Monday, June 30, 2014
North Korea will try two American tourists for 'carrying out hostile acts against the country' such as 'leaving a bible in a hotel room'
Of all the places to go on vacation…the best they could come up with is North Korea?
The planned itinerary:
First dinner with Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman
Then jet off to hike along the Iranian border
Followed by a short hop to IRAQ so they can celebrate Ramadan with ISIS
• Americans Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle are being tried in North Korea for 'hostile acts against the country'
• Diplomatic sources said Fowle was detained for leaving the Bible in his hotel room
• A spokesman for Fowle's family said the 56-year-old from Ohio was not on a mission for his church
• North Korea remains highly sensitive to any actions it considers political and is particularly wary of anything it deems to be Christian proselytizing
By Associated Press
Published: 00:20 EST, 30 June 2014 | Updated: 03:01 EST, 30 June 2014
North Korea said on Monday it is preparing to try two Americans who entered the country as tourists for carrying out what it says were hostile acts against the country. Though a small number of U.S. citizens visit North Korea each year as tourists, the State Department strongly advises against it.
Investigations into Americans Matthew Todd Miller and Jeffrey Edward Fowle concluded that suspicions about their hostile acts have been confirmed by evidence and their testimonies, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said in a short report.
KCNA said North Korea is making preparations to bring them before a court. It did not specify what the two did that was considered hostile or illegal, or what kind of punishment they might face. It also did not say when the trial would begin.
Jeffrey Edward Fowle wil face trial for charges including 'perpetrating hostile acts' and he allegedly left a bible in a hotel room
Fowle arrived in the county on April 29. North Korea's state media said in June that authorities were investigating him for committing acts inconsistent with the purpose of a tourist visit.
Diplomatic sources said Fowle was detained for leaving the Bible in his hotel room. But a spokesman for Fowle's family said the 56-year-old from Ohio was not on a mission for his church.
His wife and three children said they miss him very much and 'are anxious for his return home,' according to a statement after his detention that was provided by a spokesman for the family.
KCNA said Miller, 24, entered the country April 10 with a tourist visa, but tore it up at the airport and shouted that he wanted to seek asylum.
One Austrian named Justin Short, 75, was detained in North Korea for distributing religious pamphlets in Pyongyang but was later deported after issuing an apology.
Historically, North Korea has been harsher on U.S. Citizens and some experts believe they are using prisoners as a bargaining chip with the United States.
A large number of Western tourists visited Pyongyang in April to run in the annual Pyongyang Marathon or attend related events. Miller came at that time, but tour organizers say he was not planning to join the marathon.
North Korea has also been separately holding Korean-American missionary Kenneth Bae since November 2012. He was convicted by a North Korean court and is serving 15 years of hard labor, also for what the North says were hostile acts against the state.
Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Christian missionary has been detained in North Korea for more than a year
The latest arrests present a conundrum for Washington, which has no diplomatic ties with the North and no embassy in Pyongyang.
Instead, the Swedish Embassy takes responsibility for U.S. consular affairs in the North. State Department officials say they cannot release details about the cases because they need a privacy waiver to do so.
Pyongyang has been strongly pushing tourism lately in an effort to bring in foreign cash. The tourism push has been directed at Chinese, who by far are the most common visitors to the North, but the still small number of Western tourists to North Korea has been growing.
Despite its efforts to bring in more tourists, the North remains highly sensitive to any actions it considers political and is particularly wary of anything it deems to be Christian proselytizing.
After Miller's detention, Washington updated its travel warning to the North to note that over the past 18 months, 'North Korea detained several U.S. citizens who were part of organized tours.
Do not assume that joining a group tour or use of a tour guide will prevent your arrest or detention by North Korean authorities.'
It added that efforts by private tour operators to prevent or resolve past detentions of U.S. citizens in the DPRK have not succeeded in gaining their release.
The Korean Peninsula is still in a technical state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 U.S. troops are stationed in South Korea.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/30/2014 12:23:00 PM
Sunday, June 29, 2014
President Obama blasted the findings of the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service's heightened scrutiny of conservative groups as "intolerable and inexcusable."
"I have now had the opportunity to review the Treasury Department watchdog's report on its investigation of IRS personnel who improperly targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status. And the report's findings are intolerable and inexcusable," he said in a written statement hours after Treasury released the report.
"The federal government must conduct itself in a way that's worthy of the public's trust, and that's especially true for the IRS. The IRS must apply the law in a fair and impartial way, and its employees must act with utmost integrity. This report shows that some of its employees failed that test." Obama said he's directed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "to hold those responsible for these failures accountable, and to make sure that each of the Inspector General's recommendations are implemented quickly, so that such conduct never happens again."
That was then this is now:
Barry talks a good game. But did just the opposite.
The problem is, except for FOX, no one ever follows up on his bullshit.
Barry talks a good game. But did just the opposite.
The problem is, except for FOX, no one ever follows up on his bullshit.
Barry now refers to this as a phony scandal. "There's not a smidgen of corruption" he said.
(Smidgen's emails and everyone she sent an email to is now missing)
Picking up where Carney left off >Lying<
Picking up where Carney left off >Lying<
According to Rhonda Knehans Drake, assistant professor at New York University the odds of these seven drives crashing is 1 in 3.1 million. Add to the probability of not being able to retrieve the data from each one and the odds are approaching that of you alone being hit by a meteor.
"Two rogue employees in Cincinnati" has become a bigger lie than "It was the video".
A recent poll shows 76% of the American people believe Smidgen and her cohorts emails were deliberately deleted.
(The other 24% have their brain contained in their ass)
Even Barry loving CNN is getting into the act
If video won't load click post title
With the preposterous account of what happened coming out of the IRS you have to wonder what level of absurdity has to be arrived at before the rest of the MSM runs with the story.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/29/2014 07:00:00 AM
Saturday, June 28, 2014
Barry tried to pull another fast one when he appointed three people to the National Labor Relations Board in 2012 while the U.S. Senate was taking a break from regular business. Of course, it only took 2 years to strike it down. In his l-o-n-g list of lawbreaking this is a speeding ticket compared to the IRS, VA, and Benghazi scandals… just to mention a few.
Supremes strike down Obama recess appointments
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that President Obama overstepped his bounds when he tried to circumvent the Senate and install his nominees to key positions — but the justices left the heart of the executive's recess appointment powers intact.
In a ruling freighted with constitutional implications, the justices said the president must wait for Congress to break for at least three days before he can use his recess powers, and said lawmakers on Capitol Hill generally get to decide what constitutes a recess.
But it was the way the court ruled — deferring to what it said was long-standing practice — that may have the broader implications. Justice Antonin Scalia, in a stinging opinion, said the court had opened the door to clever lawyers finding yet more ways to expand the president's powers beyond what the country's founders intended.
"The real tragedy of today's decision is not simply the abolition of the Constitution's limits on the recess appointment power and the substitution of a novel frame work invented by this court. It is the damage done to our separation-of-powers jurisprudence more generally," Justice Scalia wrote.
The decision was 9-0, with all of the justices agreeing Mr. Obama overstepped by making recess appointments at a time when the Senate was meeting every three days specifically to deny him his recess powers.
But five of the justices, led by Justice Stephen G. Breyer, said the president should still have broad powers when a recess lasts at least 10 days.
Justice Breyer said the Constitution itself was unclear, but said the practice of the last century show both the president and the Senate have come to a general understanding, and Thursday's ruling essentially ratifies that understanding.
"The president has consistently and frequently interpreted the word 'recess' to apply to intra-session recesses, and has acted on that interpretation. The Senate as a body has done nothing to deny the validity of this practice for at least three-quarters of a century. And three-quarters of a century of settled practice is long enough to entitle a practice to 'great weight in a proper interpretation' of the constitutional provision," Justice Breyer wrote.
While the ruling was a loss for Mr. Obama, it is a win for the executive branch more generally. Indeed, it returns the situation to where it was before Mr. Obama took office, when presidents generally waited for breaks of 10 days or more before using their powers, but other than that had few limitations.
Justice Breyer said the Constitution was unclear, so he said he had to look at what the practice has been. He said the executive branch has had a broad interpretation of its powers for nearly two centuries, and even the Senate has embraced that broad interpretation for nearly 100 years.
The key clause of the Constitution reads: "The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session."
The problem is that the words "recess" and "session" have several meanings in the Constitution and as used in legislative procedure on Capitol Hill.
Justices were deciding a case stemming from Mr. Obama's efforts in 2012 to name three members to the National Labor Relations Board. He was unable to get quick Senate confirmation so he decided to act alone — even though the Senate was meeting every three days specifically to deny him his recess powers.
Republicans said the recess maneuver was a political stunt. They said two of the nominees Mr. Obama made recess appointments for weren't even sent to the Senate until Dec. 15, and Mr. Obama made his recess appointments just three weeks later — a much shorter period of time than even non-controversial nominees take to wind through the process.
"The administration's tendency to abide only by the laws it likes represents a disturbing and dangerous threat to the rule of law. That's true whether we're talking about recess appointments or Obamacare," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who led fellow Republicans in joining the suit against Mr. Obama. "I hope the Obama Administration will take away the appropriate lessons. Because the Court's decision today is a clear rebuke of that behavior."
But Senate Democrats — who had used the same three-day procedure to deny President George W. Bush his recess powers — embraced Mr. Obama's move, saying the GOP left them no choice.
Thursday's court ruling tinkers with some of the fundamental balances between Congress and the executive branch, though it falls short of the full-scale upheaval that lower courts — and a four-justice minority of the Supreme Court — said should happen.
Now, Congress and the president will have to work out a new normal for recess appointments, and that could involve the executive testing never-used powers to force Congress to adjourn.
In the near term the opinion will have little effect, because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid — possibly anticipation the court's ruling — last year detonated the "nuclear option." That was a bold parliamentary move to change Senate rules and reduce the number of votes needed to overcome a filibuster on nominees to just a majority vote, rather than the 60 required to end most filibusters.
That means Mr. Obama can get most of his nominees through without having to worry about a GOP filibuster — though it does make the process more tedious.
But if a future president were faced with a Senate held by the opposite party, the justices' ruling would give those senators exceptional leverage in nominations.
In a statement, Mr. Reid said the court's ruling justifies his use of the nuclear option.
"Without that reform and with today's ruling, a small but vocal minority would have more power than ever to block qualified nominees from getting a simple up-or-down vote on the floor," he said. "Since the November reform the Senate has been confirming qualified nominees at a steady pace and today's ruling will have no effect on our ability to continue ensuring that qualified nominees receive an up-or-down vote."
(What else would you expect from Reid)
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/28/2014 11:49:00 AM
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Obviously the women wanted to whine about so-called Muslim mistreatment. Brigitte sure put her in her place.
If 25% of the world’s Muslim population are Jihadists that’s more than all the armies in the world!
(If video won't load click post title)
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/26/2014 07:20:00 AM
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
IRS Pays Out $50K To National Organization for Marriage Over Donor Info Scandal
"In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information," read a statement from NOM Chairman John D. Eastman"
Sounds quite a bit like Smidgen's opening statement pleading the 5th.
Likewise if Barry and Stedman are truly not involved in the IRS scandal then it would stand to reason they would be involved in getting to the bottom of it…and we all see where that's going.
Furthermore, I guess the MSM is not going to take action until the IRS starts beheading the TeaPartiers and even then who knows.
Behind the scenes
The IRS will pay $50,000 in damages to the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) for illegally leaking donor information to a pro-gay marriage group, it was announced Tuesday.
The Human Rights Campaign posted NOM's 2008 tax return, along with the names and contact information of major donors, on their website during the 2012 presidential campaign. The unauthorized dissemination of such information is a felony.
TheDC broke the story, obtaining NOM's official demand for a federal investigation. Now, an investigation that is part of the civil suit NOM filed against the IRS has found that someone at the IRS did give NOM's confidential tax and donor information to a gay rights activist in Boston. The identity of the leaker is not yet known. (RELATED: IRS Responds To NOM, Is Taking Alleged Leak Very Seriously)
"In the beginning, the government claimed that the IRS had done nothing wrong and that NOM itself must have released our confidential information," read a statement from NOM Chairman John D. Eastman. "Thanks to a lot of hard work, we've forced the IRS to admit that they in fact were the ones to break the law and wrongfully released this confidential information."
Human Rights Campaign's then-president, Joe Solmonese, was also the co-chair of President Barack Obama's re-election campaign.
The $50,000 covers actual costs incurred by NOM while responding to the leaked information, and are not punitive damages. No criminal charges have been filed.
(And they probably never will be)
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/25/2014 08:20:00 AM
Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and The New York Times. So keep a wary eye.
I have mixed emotions about this primarily because I supported Bush and thought attacking Iraq and ridding the world of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do. Now that Barry has taken over he is more then willing to allow Iraq to go down the toilet after we spent a trillion dollars and over 4,000 soldiers killed. Most certainly Barry will cover his ass by pulling out the "Bush card". He has made certain overtures to that affect already.
Imagine the families who have lost a loved one. All for nothing.
Imagine the families who have lost a loved one. All for nothing.
But there is something here more consequential then Barry or Bush which is the lack of will of the Iraqi soldier to fight for his own country. I read story after story of Iraqi soldiers abandoning their post, uniforms, and weapons, (that we provided) only to be captured… and in many cases…beheaded. So should we spill more American blood when Iraq won't even defend their own country? I think not. Was Bush, and people like me who supported him, supposed to know ISIS outnumbered 20 to 1 will in all likelihood bring Iraq back to the day of Saddam Hussein because of a weak an ineffectual army?
This has all the ingredients for another Vietnam.
This has all the ingredients for another Vietnam.
By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus
Discussions of U.S. involvement in stemming the violence in Iraq are occurring amid a backdrop of highly negative views of the Iraq war, a new CBS News/New York Times poll out Monday reveals.
Just 18 percent of Americans think the result of the war in Iraq was worth the loss of American lives and other costs of attacking Iraq, the lowest percentage ever recorded in CBS News Polls. Seventy-five percent do not think the Iraq War was worth it, up eight percentage points since 2011 (just before all U.S. troops were removed), and up 30 points since August 2003.
Republicans, Democrats and independents alike view the Iraq war as not worth the costs.
As old sectarian rivalries erupt again in Iraq, some have criticized the removal of all U.S. troops from that country in 2011. Fifty percent think the U.S. should have removed all its troops, while 42 percent think the U.S. should have left some troops behind. Most Republicans think U.S. troops should have remained, while most Democrats and independents think they should have been removed.
More Americans from households with either an Iraq or Afghanistan War veteran think the U.S. should have left some troops behind in Iraq (43 percent), but they agree with Americans overall (20 percent) that the Iraq War was not worth the loss of life and other costs.
Military Options in Iraq
When Americans are asked about a range of military options in Iraq, there is support for some actions, but not others. A slim majority of Americans (51 percent) favor sending military advisers into Iraq to train and advise the Iraqi military and collect intelligence, which President Obama has proposed. Forty-two percent oppose it. There is bipartisan support for this plan.
• Poll: Lagging approval for Obama overall and on Iraq
Nevertheless, four in 10 don't think that will have much of an effect on the violence there. Twenty-eight percent think sending advisers will increase the violence there, while 23 percent expect it to decrease.
In addition to sending military advisers into Iraq, there is public support for using unmanned aircraft or drones to target militants in Iraq - something the president has not ruled out. But there is less support for airstrikes using manned aircraft.
Large majorities (77 percent), however, oppose sending U.S. ground troops into Iraq -- something President Obama has said the U.S. will not do.
Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to support the use of drones and as well as manned airstrikes (although most oppose sending ground troops).
Fifty percent of Americans think the U.S. does not have a responsibility to do something about the recent violence in Iraq, while fewer - 42 percent - think the U.S. does. More Republicans than Democrats or independents think the U.S. has a responsibility to do something about the violence, but even among Republicans, 42 percent think that is not the U.S.'s responsibility.
The poll also suggests the public views the situation in Iraq with some futility; most Americans do not think the U.S. can do something about the situation in Iraq. Fifty-seven percent think the situation there is beyond the control of the U.S., including majorities of all partisans.
Two-thirds of Americans have heard or read at least some about the recent violence in Iraq, but just 36 percent have heard or read a lot about it. Those who have been paying the most attention to news about Iraq are more inclined to think the U.S. has a responsibility there and that the President should be doing more about it.
U.S. Involvement in Iraq
Americans express concern that U.S. intervention in Iraq now will lead to a long and costly involvement there. More than eight in 10 are at least somewhat concerned about that, including 54 percent who are very concerned.
Beyond stemming the current violence in Iraq, just 37 percent of Americans think the U.S. has a broader responsibility to make sure Iraq is a stable democracy. Far more - 57 percent - do not think the U.S. has that obligation.
Fifty-three percent of Americans favor the U.S. working with Iran in a limited capacity to resolve the situation in Iraq. Republicans divide on this course of action, but 62 percent of Democrats favor it.
Eight in 10 Americans think what happens in Iraq is at least somewhat important to the interests of the United States, though just a third think it is very important.
Still, many Americans are concerned that the violence in Iraq will lead to a more widespread war in neighboring countries and other parts of the Middle East. Forty-two percent are very concerned, and another 37 percent are somewhat concerned.
Most Americans think the situation in Iraq will impact prices at the pump. Eighty-three percent expect gas prices in the U.S. to go up in the wake of the violence in Iraq. Americans across partisan lines hold this view.
The Threat of Terrorism
Some expect there to be repercussions in the U.S. from the violence in Iraq. Forty-four percent of Americans think the threat of terrorism against the U.S. will increase as a result of the current violence there, but more - 50 percent - think it will remain unchanged. Most Republicans (60 percent) think the terrorism threat against the U.S. will increase, while Democrats and independents are more doubtful.
Broadly speaking, most Americans (58 percent - including most Republicans, Democrats, and independents) do not think the U.S. should take the leading role among all other countries in the world in trying to solve international conflicts. Support for U.S. involvement in international conflicts has declined since the beginning of the Iraq War, when nearly half thought the U.S. should take the lead role.
This poll was conducted by telephone June 20-22, 2014 among 1,009 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and The New York Times by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher Results based on the sample of veterans is plus or minus eight points. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/24/2014 12:02:00 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2014
This just reeks!!!
So much for a computer crash!
How is this any different then Nixon? Nixon deleted 20 minutes of tape, Smidgen is missing 2 and half years of emails! If this new allegation doesn't warrant appointing a Special Prosecutor I don't know what does. Like I said before I wouldn't be surprised if these emails are missing from the server too. Who's responsible for this? Believe it or not the MSM. Barry and his henchman know they can get away with murder (literally) and the MSM will do nothing. Imagine where we would be if there was no FOX news.
Remember now... "there's not a smidgen of corruption".
GOP fury after report claims IRS 'recycled' Lerner hard drive
Smidgen in all her glory.
The top Republican on one of the House committees investigating the IRS targeting scandal reacted furiously late Wednesday to a report that ex-IRS official Lois Lerner's hard drive had been recycled, making it likely that many emails sent to and from Lerner prior to the summer of 2011 will never be recovered.
The Politico report cited two anonymous sources, as well as Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who confirmed that the Senate Finance Committee had been told that the hard drive had been discarded.
"If the IRS truly got rid of evidence in a way that violated the Federal Records Act and ensured the FBI never got a crack at recovering files from an official claiming a Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, this is proof their whole line about 'losing' e-mails in the targeting scandal was just one more attempted deception," House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement. "Official records, like the e-mails of a prominent official, don't just disappear without a trace unless that was the intention."
Lerner headed the IRS division that processed applications for tax-exempt status. The IRS acknowledged last year that agents had improperly scrutinized applications for tax-exempt status by Tea Party and other conservative groups.
Congressional investigators have been probing the agency for more than a year. However, IRS officials did not inform Congress of the lost emails until June 13.
Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee have charged that the agency knew as early as February that the emails were missing. They have also said that email records of six IRS employees believed to be involved in the scandal in addition to Lerner have not been found.
The missing emails are mainly messages to and from people outside the IRS, including the White House and other major offices and departments.
The IRS was able to recover 24,000 Lerner emails from 2009 to 2011 because Lerner had copied in other IRS employees. The agency said it pieced together the emails from the computers of 83 other IRS employees.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/19/2014 10:05:00 AM
Sunday, June 15, 2014
On a tip from Phil McCafferty
The IRS Loses Lerner's Emails
The IRS—remember those jaunty folks?—announced Friday that it can't find two years of emails from Lois Lerner to the Departments of Justice or Treasury. And none to the White House or Democrats on Capitol Hill. An agency spokesman blames a computer crash.
Never underestimate government incompetence, but how convenient. The former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations was at the center of the IRS targeting of conservative groups and still won't testify before Congress. Now we'll never know whose orders she was following, or what directions she was giving. If the Reagan White House had ever offered up this excuse, John Dingell would have held the entire government in contempt.
The suspicion that this is willful obstruction of Congress is all the more warranted because this week we also learned that the IRS, days before the 2010 election, shipped a 1.1 million page database about tax-exempt groups to the FBI. Why? New emails turned up by Darrell Issa's House Oversight Committee show Department of Justice officials worked with Ms. Lerner to investigate groups critical of President Obama.
How out of bounds was this data dump? Consider the usual procedure. The IRS is charged with granting tax-exempt status to social-welfare organizations that spend less than 50% of their resources on politics. If the IRS believes a group has violated those rules, it can assign an agent to investigate and revoke its tax-exempt status. This routinely happens and isn't a criminal offense.
Ms. Lerner, by contrast, shipped a database of 12,000 nonprofit tax returns to the FBI, the investigating agency for Justice's Criminal Division. The IRS, in other words, was inviting Justice to engage in a fishing expedition, and inviting people not even licensed to fish in that pond. The Criminal Division (rather than the Tax Division) investigates and prosecutes under the Internal Revenue Code only when the crimes involve IRS personnel.
The Criminal Division knows this, which explains why the emails show that Ms. Lerner was meeting to discuss the possibility of using different statutes, specifically campaign-finance laws, to prosecute nonprofits. A separate email from September 2010 shows Jack Smith, the head of Justice's Public Integrity Unit (part of the Criminal Division) musing over whether Justice might instead "ever charge a 371" against nonprofits. A "371" refers to a section of the U.S. Code that allows prosecutors to broadly claim a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. You know, conspiracies like exercising the right to free political speech.
The IRS has admitted that this database included confidential taxpayer information—including donor details—for at least 33 nonprofits. The IRS claims this was inadvertent, and Justice says neither it nor the FBI used any information for any "investigative purpose." This blasé attitude is astonishing given the law on confidential taxpayer information was created to prevent federal agencies from misusing the information. News of this release alone ought to cause IRS heads to roll.
The latest revelations are a further refutation of Ms. Lerner's claim that the IRS targeting trickled up from underlings in the Cincinnati office. And they strongly add to the evidence that the IRS and Justice were motivated to target by the frequent calls for action by the Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats.
One email from September 21, 2010 shows Sarah Hall Ingram, a senior IRS official, thanking the IRS media team for their work with a New York Times NYT -2.44% reporter on an article about nonprofits in elections. "I do think it came out pretty well," she writes, in an email that was also sent to Ms. Lerner. "The 'secret donor' theme will continue—see Obama salvo and today's [radio interview with House Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen ]."
Several nonprofit groups have recently filed complaints with the Senate Ethics Committee against nine Democratic Senators for improperly interfering with the IRS. It's one thing for Senators to ask an agency about the status of a rule or investigation. But it is extraordinary for Illinois's Dick Durbin to demand that tax authorities punish specific conservative organizations, or for Michigan's Carl Levin to order the IRS to hand over confidential nonprofit tax information.
And it's no surprise to learn that Justice's renewed interest in investigating nonprofits in early 2013 immediately followed a hearing by Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in which he dragged in officials from Justice and the IRS and demanded action.
It somehow took a year for the IRS to locate these Lerner exchanges with Justice, though they were clearly subject to Mr. Issa's original subpoenas. The Oversight Committee had to subpoena Justice to obtain them, and it only knew to do that after it was tipped to the correspondence by discoveries from the watchdog group Judicial Watch. Justice continues to drag its feet in offering up witnesses and documents. And now we have the two years of emails that have simply vanished into the government ether.
New IRS Commissioner John Koskinen promised to cooperate with Congress. But either he is being undermined by his staff, or he's aiding the agency's stonewalling. And now that we know that Justice was canoodling with Ms. Lerner, its own dilatory investigation becomes easier to understand. Or maybe that was a computer crash too.
Posted by Merchant of Venom at 6/15/2014 09:39:00 AM