From the Politico:
IRS official defies Washington
By KELSEY SNELL, RACHAEL BADE and DAVID NATHER | May 23, 2013
Lois Lerner isn’t leaving the IRS without a fight. The civil servant who has found herself at the center of the agency’s tea party-targeting scandal was placed on administrative leave Thursday…
That means she will get a paid vacation, just like (literally) countless numbers of other federal bureaucrats who are currently on administrative leave with full pay. Some for more than three years.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a senior member of the tax writing Finance Committee, said in a statement Thursday that Lerner was placed on administrative leave after she refused a request from Danny Werfel, the newly installed acting IRS commissioner, to resign.
“My understanding is the new acting IRS commissioner asked for Ms.
From National Review:
Lois Lerner Directly Involved in IRS Targeting, Letters Show
By Andrew Stiles | May 23, 2013
A series of letters suggests that senior IRS official Lois Lerner was directly involved in the agency’s targeting of conservative groups as recently as April 2012, more than nine months after she first learned of the activity.
Lerner, the director of the IRS exempt organizations office in Washington, D.C., signed cover letters to 15 conservative organizations currently represented by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) between in March and April of 2012. The letters, such as this one sent to the Ohio Liberty Council on March 16, 2012, informed the groups applying for tax-exempt status that the IRS was “unable to make a final determination on your exempt status without additional information,” and included a list of detailed questions of the kind that a Treasury inspector general’s audit found to be inappropriate.
From an irony proof Associated Press:
Obama balances threats against Americans’ rights
By LARA JAKES and JULIE PACE | May 24, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forecasting the changing nature of threats against the U.S. for years to come, President Barack Obama says "America is at a crossroads." And so, too, is his presidency’s counterterrorism policy, which has long struggled to balance protecting the nation from terror attacks while upholding Americans’ rights.
And here we were thinking Obama was the biggest threat to Americans’ rights. (Such as the right to freedom of the press, religion, speech, assembly, to bear arms…)
The Obama administration this week acknowledged that four Americans have been killed — three of whom were not specifically targeted — in secretive overseas drone strikes against al-Qaida extremists since 2009…
And never mind the right to due process.
From an unfazed Los Angeles Times:
UnitedHealth, Aetna and Cigna opt out of California insurance exchange
By Chad Terhune | May 22, 2013
Some prominent health insurers, including industry giant UnitedHealth Group Inc., are not participating in California’s new state-run health insurance market, possibly limiting the number of choices for millions of consumers.
UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest private insurer, Aetna Inc. and Cigna Corp. are sitting out the first year of Covered California, the state’s insurance exchange and a key testing ground nationally for a massive coverage expansion under the federal healthcare law.
If we aren’t mistaken, United Health was a major supporter of Obama-Care.
Meanwhile, the biggest insurers in the state — Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California — are all expected to participate in the state-run market for individual health coverage…
Until they work up the nerve to drop out.
From The Hill:
Gang of Eight: Immigration reform bill won’t add to the nation’s deficit
By Alexander Bolton | May 23, 2013
Members of the Gang of Eight say their immigration reform bill will not add a dime to the nation’s deficit.
Isn’t that the exact same thing Obama said about Obama-Care?
That anticipated Congressional Budget Office (CBO) score will defy conservative policy experts who recently claimed the measure would cost trillions of dollars.
Because giving 11 million (plus) illegal aliens welfare and ‘Earned Income Credit’ and Obama-Care will be offset by all the income taxes they pay.
And never mind that the vast majority of these people will pay no income taxes. Instead, they will get money back from the IRS, via the Earned Income Credit and other scams.
U.S. Attorney Investigating Fox News Donated to Obama
By Larry O’Connor | May 21, 2013
The US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Ronald C. Machen – the man responsible for the aggressive surveillance and phone record scrutiny at Fox News – is also a big donor to the Obama Campaigns.
At the time of his appointment, the Washington Post wrote a profile on Machen including this tidbit:
Over the years, he has donated $4,350 to Obama’s campaigns. He gave $250 to Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign in 2003, a year before Obama, then an Illinois state senator, emerged on the nation’s political radar, according to campaign finance records.
Furthermore, in June of 2012, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) questioned Attorney General Eric Holder about the appointment of Mr.
From the Daily Caller:
Issa hasn’t recalled Lerner to testify, lawyer says
By Alexis Levinson | May 22, 2013
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said Wednesday that he might recall Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner to testify on the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups, if counsel determined that she had waived her Fifth Amendment rights by delivering an opening statement. But as of Wednesday evening, Lerner’s lawyer said Issa had not acted to recall Lerner.
Reached by email, William W. Taylor, III, the attorney representing Lerner in the criminal case opened by the Department of Justice, said that Lerner had not waived her right to remain silent, nor had Issa recalled her to testify.
“Shedidnt andhehasnt [sic],” Taylor — a high-powered Washington litigator whose clients include former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn, New York Stock Exchange official Kenneth Langone and the late Keating Five member Sen.
From the Daily Caller:
Ruemmler met one-on-one with Treasury lawyer long before April
By Charles C. Johnson | May 23, 2013
Although White House Chief Counsel Kathryn Ruemmler claims to have learned about the IRS audit scandal only last month, she had three unprecedented one-on-one meetings last year with the Treasury Department’s chief lawyer, who has known about the inspector general’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative nonprofits since at least June 2012.
The Treasury lawyer in turn has a long history of extreme left-wing agitation.
Christopher J. Meade, Treasury Chief Counsel, met with Ruemmler on September 27th, December 11th, and December 13th, 2012, according to White House Visitor Records requests. The two had never met one-on-one prior to these meetings…
The two also met with fifteen other people on July 2nd, 2012 and with fifteen other people on July 17th.
From an irony proof Associated Press:
Obama to push for transparency in face of threats
By LARA JAKES and LOLITA C. BALDOR | May 23, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid lingering concerns about his national security policies, President Barack Obama is outlining measures to clarify the deadly use of drones against terror suspects, make good on a pledge to close the controversial prison at Guantanamo Bay and warn Americans about dire threats they continue to face — even from fellow citizens.
It’s hard to believe that even the AP could be so obtuse as not to see the irony in their headline. But, sure, Obama is all for transparency, now that the elections are over and he has been safely re-elected and his scandals are coming out anyway.
From the Washington Times:
Senate panel OKs tax-welfare benefits for newly legal immigrants
By Stephen Dinan | May 20, 2013
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted Monday to allow illegal immigrants who get legal status to begin collecting tax-welfare payments, as the panel spent a fourth day working through amendments to the massive immigration bill and party-line splits began to emerge…
Overall, the committee continued to maintain the delicate balance struck by the “Gang of Eight” senators who negotiated the 867-page bill..
But on Monday, the two Republicans sided with their party colleagues on key questions on giving illegal immigrants public benefits.
The 10 Democrats on the committee still outnumber the newly unified Republicans, but the votes signaled tough fights ahead on the Senate floor.
In one vote, Sen.
From Freedom Works:
IRS Employees Union: Keep Us Out Of Exchanges
By Loren Heal | May 17, 2013
The National Treasury Employees Union, NTEU, which represents the IRS employees who harassed and delayed tea party and conservative groups, has come out against the proposal to put federal workers into exchange-based health insurance.
Fancy that: the people in charge of deciding whether you go into an exchange, and who decided it doesn’t matter whether your state doesn’t want one, don’t want to be in one themselves…
The union has a handy way for its members to contact their representatives in Congress to lobby against the legislation.
See the graphic above, which is the NTEU’s online form to lobby Congress to let them out of the exchanges.
From The Smoking Gun:
IRS Worker Used Federal Plastic For Amazon Buys
Government credit card paid for years-long shopping spree
May 21, 2013
MAY 21–Entrusted with a government credit card, an Internal Revenue Service worker allegedly used the plastic for a years-long Amazon.com shopping spree that netted her hundreds of items, including a chocolate fondue fountain; Bollywood movies; Pampers; Harlequin romance novels; Omaha Steaks; Apple Bottoms skinny jeans; mango body wash; and a Ginsu knife set.
Yetunde Oseni, 37, was named this month in a U.S. District Court felony complaint charging her with embezzling government funds. Oseni has worked since 2000 as a secretary in an IRS office in Lanham, Maryland.
According to a court filing, Oseni was given a Citibank MasterCard for the “purchase of office supplies for her business unit.”
However, a probe by the Treasury Department’s inspector general determined that Oseni has made scores of unauthorized purchases since being provided the IRS credit card in mid-2009.
From the August 2008 archives of the Politico:
Obama camp: Prosecute Simmons
August 26, 2008
Obama general counsel Bob Bauer today sent a second, sharper letter to the Justice Department, directly attacking the Dallas billionaire funding a harsh attack ad, Harold Simmons.
"We reiterate our request that the Department of Justice fulfill its commitment to take prompt action to investigate and to prosecute the American issues Project, and we further request that the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute Howard (sic) Simmons for a knowing and willful violation of the individual aggregate contribution limits," he wrote.
He called the group’s activities "patently illegal."
The American Issues Project is a political action group organized as a 501(c)(4). During the 2008 Presidential elections it ran ads that accurately linked Barack Obama to Bill Ayers.
From the Washington Post:
Internal IRS probe cited same problems with approach to conservative groups in May 2012, House aide says
By Juliet Eilperin | May 21, 2013
An Internal Revenue Service review of the agency’s approach of scrutinizing conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status questioned the now-controversial policy a year ago, according to House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spokesman Ali Ahmad…
In late March 2012, IRS deputy commissioner Steven Miller… directed senior technical advisor Nancy J. Marks to investigate allegations of political targeting of groups seeking tax exempt status, agency officials told congressional aides. Holly Paz, acting director of ruling and agreements, worked with Marks on the probe, and both traveled to Cincinnati to conduct interviews.
On May 3, 2012. Marks gave what IRS officials described as a “presentation” to Miller describing her findings.
From the Cincinnati Fox News affiliate, Fox19:
Exclusive: Cincinnati agent giving orders in IRS scandal?
By Ben Swann | May 21, 2013
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) – The claim that the ongoing IRS scandal is limited to low level employees is falling apart.
The six Cincinnati workers we have identified, who sent scrutinizing letters to conservative groups with words including "patriot, liberty, tea party or 9-12" in their names are Mitchel Steele, Carly Young, Joseph Herr, Stephen Seok, Liz Hofacre and a woman identified only as Ms. Richards.
But was all of this done at the hands of a small group of Cincinnati employees working together? …
Thanks to two FOX19 sources connected to the IRS, we now understand the chain of command for these workers.
From the Associated Press:
Star witness to stay mum for House hearing on IRS
By ALAN FRAM and STEPHEN OHLEMACHER | May 22, 2013
WASHINGTON (AP) — A House committee taking Congress’ latest look at the Internal Revenue Service’s mistreatment of tea party groups will apparently have to do so without input from the star witness.
IRS official Lois Lerner will invoke her constitutional right to not answer questions on Wednesday at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, her lawyer told the panel in a letter…
Notice the contortions the AP goes through to avoid saying that Lerner is invoking the Fifth amendment. Instead, she is staying ‘mum.’
But can we plead the Fifth Amendment when we are dealing with the IRS? We don’t think so.
One does have to wonder how testifying truthfully would tend to incriminate Ms.
Tea Party group sues IRS over inappropriate targeting
By Nate Raymond | Mon May 20, 2013
(Reuters) – A California-based Tea Party group sued the U.S. Internal Revenue Service on Monday in what marked the first lawsuit to stem from an investigation finding the agency singled-out conservative organizations.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, the NorCal Tea Party Patriots accused the IRS of violating its constitutional rights due to the "intensive and intrusive scrutiny" it received while seeking tax-exempt status.
The lawsuit sought class action status on behalf of all conservative and libertarian groups – such as those associated with the Tea Party movement – that were targeted by the IRS for extra scrutiny from March 2010 through the middle of this month.
From The Hill:
Labor unions break ranks with White House on ObamaCare
By Kevin Bogardus | May 21, 2013
Labor unions are breaking with President Obama on ObamaCare.
Months after the president’s reelection, a variety of unions are publicly balking at how the administration plans to implement the landmark law. They warn that unless there are changes, the results could be catastrophic.
Translation: ‘Unless they are given carve outs and waivers, they are not going to help the Democrats steal the midterm elections.’
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) — a 1.3 million-member labor group that twice endorsed Obama for president — is very worried about how the reform law will affect its members’ healthcare plans.
Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers released a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”
UNITE HERE, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters are also pushing for changes.