Archive for the ‘Cronyism’ Category
The Obama administration is trying to keep reams of White House emails regarding the 2010 firing of former Agriculture Department official Shirley Sherrod secret.
Justice Department lawyers argued in U.S. District Court last week that documents filed recently in Sherrod’s libel lawsuit against the late Andrew Breitbart—who published edited video clips that led the White House to fire Sherrod over accusations of racism—should be sealed and not released to the public.
Josh Gerstein of Politico reports:
Court filings are normally public, but the Justice Department said the e-mails from the accounts of nine White House staffers and an additional number of Agriculture Department officials should be kept under wraps in part because the public already has enough information through official statements about Sherrod’s forced resignation and the ensuing events.
“The parties to this case have no need for ‘public access to the documents at issue’ because they can litigate under seal any issue to which those documents are relevant. Neither does the public at large have any need for access to those documents. As the United States has acknowledged in this case, plaintiff’s resignation from USDA ‘implicate[d] sensitive issues and significant public interest,” DOJ lawyers Charles Glass and Arthur Goldberg wrote. “Those matters have already been addressed, however, by the statements about plaintiff made by Secretary of Agriculture Thomas J. Vilsack and by then-White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs at or about the time of plaintiff’s resignation. Those matters have also been addressed by the thousands of pages of documents dealing with plaintiff that USDA has produced to the public pursuant to [the Freedom of Information Act.]”
What could it be? What *could* it be?
Some might suspect that they’re just putting something in the water, but the five happiest cities in America are all in the same state: Louisiana. Those cities are Lafayette, Houma, Shreveport-Bossier City, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.
The Northeast and one city in the Midwest did not fare too well: Scranton, Erie, and Pittsburgh, PA, Gary, IN, and New York City were found to be the top five unhappiest cities. Nearly all of the unhappiest places in the nation lean heavily Democratic when it comes to voting.
The paper examined data from a CDC study called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and adjusted for age, sex, income, and other factors.
Other “abnormally happy” cities include Charlotte, NC, and Naples, FL. Is it just me, or is there a pattern here, and does it have something to do with southern cities?
The study examined why unhappy cities continue to see such population growth.
White House Reporters Lodge ‘Formal Complaint’ Over ‘Intense Secrecy’ Surrounding Moon Landing Event
I swear, Obama’s like Forrest Gump insinuating himself in historical pictures and texts…
At a time of bad news and sagging approval ratings, a meeting between President Barack Obama and the crew of Apollo 11 to mark the 45th anniversary of the moon landing might seem like a welcome change — but instead became a story about the White House’s lack of transparency.
The White House Correspondents Association made a formal complaint to White House press secretary Josh Earnest asking why the meeting was closed to reporters and TV cameras, and only open to still photographers for less than a minute.
“On behalf of the correspondents association I just want to lodge a formal complaint about Apollo 11 event today,” WHCA board member Major Garrett, a CBS News reporter said during the briefing. ”The astronauts were among the most visibly televised national heroes this country has ever known. That entire program is financed by the American taxpayer. The stills presentation of that, limits to television coverage of that event, we believe that that is a classic definition of something that should have the broadest press coverage imaginable.”
Earnest responded,”Understood. These are legitimate American heroes. On that, you and I can agree.”
Later in the briefing, ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl asked why the White House has such “intense secrecy” for this event.
“It’s merely a scheduling matter,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. Obama was signing a bill on job training before departing for three days of fundraising on the west coast.
If you need an example of this dynamic, just take a look at what’s happening to former NFL head coach Tony Dungy. In a recent interview, he was asked about Michael Sam, the first ‘openly gay’ player drafted into the NFL. Dungy had this to say: “I wouldn’t have [drafted] him. Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it. It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen.”
An exceedingly reasonable opinion, and one shared by most NFL officials, which is why Sam wasn’t taken until the 7th round. Notice, Dungy never said that he hates Sam because of his sexuality, nor did he say that Sam shouldn’t be in the NFL. In fact, he said the opposite. Dungy’s position is very clear. Sam is a mediocre talent and a marginal prospect. He’s too slow to be a linebacker and too small to be a defensive end. He doesn’t have the athleticism to be a starter, and he may very well lack the talent to make the squad. At best, Michael Sam will see the field for kickoffs and punts, and that will be it.
Is an unspectacular player worth the media circus that will follow? Would any coach in their right mind relish the thought of being accused of bigotry if Sam has to be cut to make room for better players? Does any football organization want to be tossed into the middle of a ‘gay rights’ fight when their only concern is winning football games? One poor team answered ‘yes’ to these questions, but 31 did not. Tony Dungy echoed the sentiments of the 31 teams — the sane ones.
Michael Sam isn’t very good but he is a self-congratulatory pseudo-’equal rights’ champion who loves the attention and does not hesitate to throw homophobia accusations around. This is the guy who cut a deal to star in a documentary during training camp, and hid the agreement from the NFL until after he was drafted. This dude is on a crusade, and it’s got nothing to do with making the playoffs and bringing home the Lombardi Trophy. He’s not worth the trouble, not by a longshot. Any rational person can see that, and Tony Dungy is a rational person.
Progressives, however, are not. That’s why Dungy’s remarks have been met with a furor as repulsive as it is predictable. Tony Dungy never criticized Sam’s sexual preference, but he did take a position that diverges from the liberal narrative, and now he is being punished severely for it.It’s because they’ve claimed so many victories that they have earned the luxury to demand more than a cowering tolerance from their ideological opponents. Conservatives and Christians who tried to keep their hands clean by merely putting up with the slaughter of children and the destruction of the nuclear family are now faced with a dilemma. They can’t just tacitly endorse evil anymore — they are going to be required to give their enthusiastic and active approval.You’re either with them or against them.
Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner’s computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.
The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for “media destruction” services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency’s record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.
Congressional investigators of the IRS targeting of conservative groups have been hampered by the unexplained destruction of emails and other records of Ms. Lerner, the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division and a central figure in the scandal.
The loss of Ms. Lerner’s hard drive also raised broader questions about why the tax agency never reported the missing records to the National Archives and Records Administration, as required by the Federal Records Act.
While those questions remained unresolved, IRS officials signaled plans to destroy tens of thousands of additional electronic records.
“After all media are destroyed, they must not be capable of any reuse or information retrieval,” IRS officials stated in the contract papers.
IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20,” and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.
The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner’s technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens.
“You stated at the time that document was produced to Congress, the document, the white paper in Exhibit 3[the June 13 memo], that it was accurate to the best of your knowledge. Is it still accurate?,” a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee investigator asked Kane.
“There is an issue as to whether or not there is a ‑‑ that all of the backup recovery tapes were destroyed on the 6‑month retention schedule,” Kane replied.
“So some of those backup tapes may still exist?,” the investigator asked.
“I don’t know whether they are or they aren’t, but it’s an issue that’s being looked at,” Kane said.
The Obama Dallas Immigration Visit – The Curious Case of Obama’s “Faith Leaders” and Obama’s “Faith-Based Groups”…
Religious Herald - Obama held the meeting in Dallas one day after he asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency spending for the crisis along the Texas/Mexico border. Border Patrol has apprehended more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors so far this year, many of them fleeing violence in Central America.
Chris Liebrum, who leads the Baptist General Convention of Texas’ disaster recovery program, characterized the meeting as a genuine roundtable discussion with “quite a bit of back and forth” dialogue, noting Obama called on each person to ask for his or her ideas.
[...] Also attending the meeting was Kevin Dinnin, president of Baptist Child & Family Services, a BGCT-related agency providing care for children housed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.
Other participants included Arne Nelson, president of Catholic Charities of Dallas; Gov. Rick Perry; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas; Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who had volunteered the county to house up to 2,000 immigrant children; the mayors of Dallas and nearby Grand Prairie, and county and state officials. (link)
So that’s who President Obama calls “faith leaders“. But there’s a problem, none of them are religion based organizations. None of them have churches. None of them have congregations or parishioners’.
They are the heads of government funded non-profits. Remember ACORN? Same/Same.
They are taxpayer funded corporations who exist almost exclusively on government grants. Despite the words “Baptist” and “Catholic”, these are NOT religious “faith based” groups. The name Baptist and Catholic is only to give the appearance of “religion” and add a dose of “charity” to the appearances.
But the most staggering figure is what HHS has spent on Unaccompanied Minor Children (under grant code 93676) since the President’s 2012 Deferred action program began:
Grants of asylum are up 10-fold during President Barack Obama’s time in office, even before the latest flood of illegal immigrants. Fraud is involved in 70 percent of the instances, according to Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican and chairman of the House Committee of Judiciary.
In his typical ignore-the-law fashion, Obama is expanding the grounds for asylum beyond the statutory definition of a person who has fled his country “because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Obama’s new definition is that if he deems your country unsafe, you can come to America and stay in America. And you can collect valuable benefits that help transform the “land of the free” into the Land of the Freebies.
Under Obama’s standards, all 30 million residents of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador could be admitted to America because all are equally unsafe in their homeland, not just the young people who have fled recently. Even if we limited asylum to the youngest, more than half their populations are age 24 and younger.
Nevertheless, asylum has now been granted, it’s reported, to two-thirds of applicants among the 57,000 (or more) “children” who have come across our southern border since October. Other applications are pending.
The bear is loose!” President Obama has been saying, whenever he leaves the White House to visit Starbucks, or sandwich shops, or burger joints, or BBQ shacks, or neighborhood diners, in his increasingly rote and pathetic attempts to “connect” with “real people.” Obama, we have been told, is frustrated, “restless,” bored with the responsibilities and chores of office. He thinks of himself as the bear — intimidating, wild, untamed, roving — escaping his den. But he is flattering himself. Obama is not the bear. He is the cub: aimless, naïve, self-interested, self-indulgent, irresponsible, irresolute. The bear is in Moscow.
One can trace a line from any global hotspot to Russia and its authoritarian ruler. Iran? Russia has assisted its nuclear program for decades. Syria? Russia is Bashar Assad’s arms dealer. Iraq? Russia is sending men and materiel to the central government. Afghanistan? Putin muscled nearby Kyrgyzstan into closing our air base there, crucial for transport, resupply, and reconnaissance in the war against the Taliban. The contretemps between the United States and Germany is the result of Edward Snowden’s breach of national security. Where is Snowden? In Russia, where he has just asked to have his visa renewed. I wonder if Vladimir Putin will say yes.
Well, there is no getting around it now. “Obama contends with arc of instability unseen since ’70s,” says the Wall Street Journal. Militias and rogue generals in Libya, Hamas versus Israel, Hezbollah and Assad and Iran against Sunni rebels and the Caliphate, the prospect of an Iranian bomb, war in Ukraine, withdrawal from Afghanistan, China bullying its neighbors — such is the extent of global disorder today.
“It’s 3:00 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep,” Hillary Clinton’s campaign imagined in 2008. “But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing.” Things are “happening” in a “dangerous” world. “Who do you want answering the phone?”
Today we know the answer: The phone isn’t ringing in the White House. It’s ringing in the Kremlin. And the man answering it is Vladimir Putin.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said the strength of individual candidates will help her party outperform expectations in the upcoming midterms.
“Pundits are wildly misinterpreting or over interpreting,” the Florida Democrat said, specifically responding to a projection published by the Washington Post that gives Republicans an 86 percent chance of taking control of the Senate.
“Models don’t elect candidates. Voters do,” she said, speaking at a Thursday morning event organized by centrist Democratic think tank Third Way.
Wasserman Schultz predicted Democrats would retain a majority in the Senate and pick up seats in the House — although she stopped short of predicting that they would gain the 17 seats needed to capture the majority. Explaining her reasoning, Wasserman Schultz said the midterm election will be driven by individual campaigns and she believes a strong Democratic candidate pool will help the party outperform expectations.
“If you’re putting a premium on polls, the polls we’re ahead in are the ones that matter most: head to heads of the candidates,” she said. “There’s not a generic candidate on the ballot.”