Category Archives: President

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New Surveillance Whistleblower: The NSA Violates the Constitution

John Napier Tye is speaking out to warn Americans about illegal spying. The former State Department official, who served in the Obama administration from 2011 to 2014, declared Friday that ongoing NSA surveillance abuses are taking place under the auspices of Executive Order 12333, which came into being in 1981, before the era of digital communications, but is being used to collect them promiscuously. Nye alleges that the Obama administration has been violating the Constitution with scant oversight from Congress or the judiciary.

“The order as used today threatens our democracy,” he wrote in The Washington Post. “I am coming forward because I think Americans deserve an honest answer to the simple question: What kind of data is the NSA collecting on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”

Executive Order 12333 is old news to national-security insiders and the journalists who cover them, but is largely unknown to the American public, in part because officials have a perverse institutional incentive to obscure its role. But some insiders are troubled by such affronts to representative democracy. A tiny subset screw up the courage to inform their fellow citizens.

Tye is but the latest surveillance whistleblower, though he took pains to distinguish himself from Snowden and his approach to dissent. “Before I left the State Department, I filed a complaint with the department’s inspector general, arguing that the current system of collection and storage of communications by U.S. persons under Executive Order 12333 violates the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures,” Tye explained. “I have also brought my complaint to the House and Senate intelligence committees and to the inspector general of the NSA.”

White House Fights to Keep Shirley Sherrod Emails Secret

Admin says public does not have ‘any need for access to those documents’

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.]”

They probably couldn’t get a good Obama selfie from the moon…

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…

obama-on-moonAt 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.

Oh. Really?

IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives

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.

Now IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes, Doesn’t Know If Emails Still Exist

And the skepticism grows…

pinocchioIRS 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.

A major shell game…

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:

$644,188,522.00

Obama Jesus Pose

Obama makes asylum the new amnesty, complete with freebies/giveaways

WashingtonTimes

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 and it ain’t Obama…

NationalReview

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.

A pre-planned crisis…

Budget Raises Questions on Admin’s Foreknowledge of Border Crisis

While the Obama Administration has largely expressed surprise at the sharp increase in illegal immigrants from Central America this year, the Health and Human Services (HHS) budget for processing unaccompanied foreign minors has exploded in recent years, raising questions about whether the administration could have foreseen, or did foresee, the crisis.

After being apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, many illegal immigrants are then put into the custody of HHS where they receive a myriad of taxpayer-subsidized benefits including housing, food, vocational training, education, and even legal counsel.

HHS’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is responsible for administering payments for such services.

According to federal data, about $168 million was spent on benefits for unaccompanied alien children (UACs) in fiscal year (FY) 2012. Each subsequent year, that figure increased substantially. $376 million was spent in FY 2013 and then almost double that amount, $868 million, was spent in FY 2014.

Shelley Kais–a Congressional candidate in Arizona, CEO of Kais eSystems, and certified government financial manager–told Breitbart Texas that the spike in funding between FY 2012 and FY 2013 shows that the federal government was probably aware that border crisis was forthcoming. She pointed out that federal agencies begin putting together proposals for FY budgets over a year before they are actually enacted.

The Cut and Paste President

EdDriscoll

that’s the problem when the president is utterly dependent on his speech writers and teleprompter programmer that he’ll relentlessly stick to the script on such a grim news day, one in which 23 Americans were reported killed.

Meanwhile, with State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki also ignoring the disaster in the Ukraine while “briefing” the press today, Allahpundit speculates that goal by Mr. Obama and Psaki is to make the White House appear as if “They’re in control of the narrative, not the media — or at least they want to be. In reality, [Fox's Sheppard Smith] and Jennifer Griffin are laughing at them and going back to covering the crash. Baffling, but this is where we are with two and a half years to go.”

Update: Jim Geraghty adds, “Some Days, It Feels Like We Don’t Have a President:”

This is the president who didn’t address the country for three days after the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009, who gave a “shout-out” to an audience member moments before his first comments on the Fort Hood shooting, and who attended a campaign rally on September 12, 2012, when most Americans awoke to the news of the murder of four Americans in a terror attack in Benghazi, Libya.

I understand the Obama White House never wants to look like they’re overreacting. They behave as if it’s impossible to underreact.

Note the empty chair in the photo at the bottom of Jim’s post.

Flashback: In sharp contrast to all of the above, “This is how an American president should address Russian aggression.”

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