The IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.
Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.
“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said.
He said they have also discovered the hard drives from the IRS’s email servers, but said because the drives are out of synch it’s not clear whether they will be able to recover anything from them.
“To date we have found 32,744 unique emails that were backed up from Lois Lerner’s email box. We are in the process of comparing these emails to what the IRS has already produced to Congress to determine if we did in fact recover any new emails,” Mr. Camus said.
Democrats questioned the independence of Inspector General J. Russell George, who is overseeing the investigation, saying he’s injected politics into his work. (Pay back hurts, doesn’t it? Ed)
In one of the new emails, Lerner apparently wrote, “No one will ever believe that both your hard drive and mine crashed within a week of each other.”
Category Archives: Democrats
As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives this month revealed that it is proposing to put the ban on 5.56 mm ammo on a fast track, immediately driving up the price of the bullets and prompting retailers, including the huge outdoors company Cabela’s, to urge sportsmen to urge Congress to stop the president.
Wednesday night, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, stepped in with a critical letter to the bureau demanding it explain the surprise and abrupt bullet ban. The letter is shown below.
The National Rifle Association, which is working with Goodlatte to gather co-signers, told Secrets that 30 House members have already co-signed the letter and Goodlatte and the NRA are hoping to get a total of 100 fast.
“The Obama administration was unable to ban America’s most popular sporting rifle through the legislative process, so now it’s trying to ban commonly owned and used ammunition through regulation,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA-ILA, the group’s policy and lobby shop. “The NRA and our tens of millions of supporters across the country will fight to stop President Obama’s latest attack on our Second Amendment freedoms.”
The crisis between the United States and Israel has been manufactured by the Obama administration. Building a crisis up or down is well within the administration’s power, and it has chosen to build it up. Why? Three reasons: to damage and defeat Netanyahu (whom Obama has always disliked simply because he is on the right while Obama is on the left) in his election campaign, to prevent Israel from affecting the Iran policy debate in the United States, and worst of all to diminish Israel’s popularity in the United States and especially among Democrats.
First comes the personal relationship and the desire to see Netanyahu lose the election. Recall that Obama became president before Netanyahu became prime minister, and it is obvious that the dislike was both personal and political before Netanyahu had done anything. Obama does not like people on the right, period—Americans, Israelis, Australians, you name it.
Susan Rice has determined that her job is to make bilateral relations worse, and has established no relationship with her Israeli counterpart Yossi Cohen. So the problem is not just bad chemistry at the top; it is an administration that has decided to create a tense and negative relationship from the top down.
Clearly the administration worries that Israeli (not just Netanyahu, but Israeli) criticisms of the possible Iran nuclear deal might begin to reverberate. So it has adopted the tactic of personalizing the Israeli critique. The third Obama administration reason for building up this crisis is also deadly serious: it is to use the current tension to harm Israel’s support in the United States permanently.
Perhaps this manufactured crisis will diminish after Netanyahu’s speech, where he is likely to say things that many Democrats still agree with. Perhaps it will diminish if Iran rejects any deal, even on the terms the Obama administration is offering. Perhaps Netanyahu will lose his election and a new Labor Party-led government will appear in Jerusalem. But more likely, the remaining 23 months of the Obama administration will be months of continuing tension between Israel and the United States. That is because the administration desires that tension and views it as productive. The problem is not Netanyahu’s speech, which right or wrong to deliver should be a minor and passing factor in bilateral relations. The real issues are deeper and far more serious. This president has fostered a crisis in relations because it advances his own political and policy goals. That is what his subordinates and many Democrats in Congress are trying very hard, and with real success, to obfuscate.
As expected, the president has vetoed the bill that passed both houses (surviving a Senate filibuster) that would have authorized a pipeline that would move crude oil from the Alberta oils sands region and the Bakken shield in North Dakota, a state now producing more oil than any other except Texas, to the Gulf coast.
This veto was, of course, not unexpected and it is unlikely to be overridden in either house of Congress. So the bill was, in a sense, just a political gesture on the part of the new Republican-controlled Congress. It is only the president’s third veto in more than six years in office, but there is likely to be many more as he no longer has Harry Reed to protect him politically.
But his stated reasons for the veto are almost comical:
In a message to Congress, Mr. Obama cited the ongoing State Department review as the reason for his veto, saying “because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest—including our security, safety and environment—it has earned my veto.”
“Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest,” Mr. Obama wrote. He added that while the presidential veto is an executive power he takes seriously, “I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people.”
Asked if the Obama administration might eventually approve the pipeline after the State Department review is complete, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, “That possibility still does exist. This is an ongoing review.”
This is truly rich. There is not a person on planet earth who thinks that the Keystone XL Pipeline has not been studied enough already to make informed judgments. And President Obama stated on 22 occasions that the executive branch lacked the power to change immigration law, a power reserved to Congress. But once the 2014 election was out of the way, he changed the law anyway by executive order. His complaint was that Congress had failed to act and so he had to. But when Congress, fed up with the unconscionable foot-dragging over an oil pipeline, tried to do by constitutionally correct means what the president had refused to do, he is outraged at an attempt “to circumvent longstanding and proven processes.” In other words, the Constitution is optional for the Obama administration, but executive branch procedures are absolute for Congress.
This is shameless, but what else could be expected of this administration?
In his bloviating speech on Thursday at his summit on countering violent extremism, President Obama bent over backwards to make nice with Islam.
This is the same president who said in April 2009, “Although, as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.”
It is fair to say that modern Turkey was not founded upon the same principles as the United States. It is also fair to say that Islam has not been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding, at least not in any meaningful sense.
That does not mean that there were no Muslims in America at the founding — many African slaves were originally Muslim, and were forcibly converted from that faith. But to say that Islam as a religion has been “woven into the fabric of our country since our founding” is simply false. The first wave of Muslim immigrants to the United States did not begin until well after the Civil War. The first mosque in the United States was not built until 1915, by most reports.
Islam had zero impact on the founders or their philosophy – less than zero, given that the founders despised the religion, or what they knew of it. President Obama fictionalized this history at an Iftar dinner in 2012:
As I’ve noted before, Thomas Jefferson once held a sunset dinner here with an envoy from Tunisia — perhaps the first Iftar at the White House, more than 200 years ago. And some of you, as you arrived tonight, may have seen our special display, courtesy of our friends at the Library of Congress — the Koran that belonged to Thomas Jefferson. And that’s a reminder, along with the generations of patriotic Muslims in America, that Islam — like so many faiths — is part of our national story.
Well, not so much. That magical “first Iftar” was a meeting between Sidi Solima Mellimelli, an emissary of the brutal Barbary pirates, and the president. Jefferson had over Mellimelli in an attempt to bribe him into submission after the USS Constitution captured ships from the bey of Tunis. Mellimelli requested food, lodgings, and concubines.
Jefferson already knew of Islam, having been educated in 1786 after Barbary pirates attempted to blackmail America into monetary tribute. At that time, the Barbary emissary justified piracy with reference to the Koran, according to a report from Jefferson:
The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.
Vice President Joe Biden has had a busy couple of weeks. Channeling his inner Ted Kennedy, ole Joe got a little too handsy with Stephanie Carter, the wife of incoming Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. He slid behind her, grabbed her shoulders and pressed his face against the side of her head. If I didn’t know better (and I don’t), I’d swear he’s sniffing her hair. Or perhaps he was just innocently whispering the gate code for Number One Observatory Circle into her ear.
In any other world, this man would be a walking, talking, sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen.
Fellas, conduct this experiment — go to work tomorrow and creep up behind a female coworker, then grab her shoulders and press your face against her head. See how that works for you. You’ll be in Human Resources faster than you can say “butt buddy.”
Speaking of butt buddy, last week during a speech in Iowa, the vice president said something very vice presidential (if you are Joe Biden):
These are just two examples, in less than seven days, of Mr. Biden’s often bizarre behavior and offensive oratory that have been tolerated for far too long. Tales of offending female secret service agents, skinny dipping, getting way too handsy with underaged girls at the Senate swearing-in ceremony and bawdy behavior with biker babes, are all too common for this vice president.
He’s the bad touch uncle none of us ever wanted. Instead of condemning his behavior, and demanding that he participate in a week long sexual harassment seminar, the media seem to find him charming. The liberal ladies over at Wonkette have dubbed him “Old Handsome Joe” and defend him to the hilt any time he puts his paws on a pre-teen, “Joe’s just being Joe.”
#1 Wal-Mart Greeters
Who better to meet and greet shoppers — and urge them to load their shopping carts to overflowing — than hooded and black-robed jihadists who will decapitate anyone who dares to oppose them?
#2 Part of the Establishment of Free Community Colleges
As the president never tires of saying, we must “invest” more in the education and training of our young people —including, as he sees it, young jihadists who are contemptuous of everything Western education has to offer.
#3 Posters, Flags, and All Kinds of Signage
The Islamic State is already on record in promising to fly its black flag over the White House. If that is the kind of thing young jihadists like to do, why not encourage them to fly their flag and to raise their banners at other public buildings around the country?
#4 Border Security
The jihadists know all about border security.
#5 Tax Collection and Revenue Enhancement
The Obama administration could employ thousands or even millions of jihadists as old-style tax farmers or tax collectors — personally empowered to go out into the field to collect money from anyone lucky enough to continue to possess it.
#6 Obamacare Death Panels
In addition to their new duties as tax collectors, jihadists could therefore have a role in the implementation or enforcement of Obamacare.
#7 Social Media
The astounding growth of the Islamic State over the past year has been due in no small part to its mastery of the Internet and social media to recruit new members from all over the world and to launch terrorist attacks throughout the Middle East and Europe. Surely, the new Obama jobs-for-jihadists plan will find a way to channel their social media moxie in more innocent ways — as the president himself did recently in clowning around with a selfie stick… making the video of himself for HealthCare.gov that went viral.
#8 Infrastructure Building and Demolition
Let the jihadists have at our roads, bridges, dams, and port facilities.
#9 Early Childhood Education and Development
No time is too soon for children to be taken from their parents and turned over to educators trained by the state. Those who have been trained in this way (including many jihadists) can train others.
#10 Sustainability / Reducing our Carbon Footprint
The jihadists want to turn the clock back more than 1,200 years — teaching us all to live like goat herders. What’s not to like about that? We have everything to learn from them about reducing our carbon footprint.
This past week has been dominated by comments by the president in which he continues to insist that the brutal acts of violence by the Islamic State (ISIS) and other Islamic terrorist groups are completely unrelated to Islam, to the point that he and his administration look absurd in their efforts to avoid using words like “radical Islam” or variations of it.
Let me explain why there’s more to all this than simply semantics, starting with this proposition: Engaging in acts of deception and self-deception is unwise. Yet that is precisely what Mr. Obama is doing. He persists in putting forth a false narrative that he insists is a true one. And then there is the supreme arrogance of the president, assuming that his pronouncements about Islam will be received by the Muslim world like pronouncements of the Pope will be received by the Catholic world. Of course, this is a man who declared that if elected president he would stop the rise of the oceans and heal the planet, so it shouldn’t shock us that he believes his shallow and incomplete theological interpretations of Islam will carry weight across the Islamic world.
Memo to Mr. Obama: They won’t. Having you lecture the Islamic world about the true nature of Islam actually strengthens the jihadists, who will be thrilled to get in a theological debate in which the Christian president of the United States offers one view and Islamic jihadists and imams offer another.
You might also think an American president would understand that in order to defeat an enemy you need to understand the nature of the enemy you face; that in order to win a war, you need to understand the nature of the war you are in. But you would be wrong. Mr. Obama understands neither, which explains why he’s so inept at prosecuting this war and why the Islamic State is extending its reach beyond Syria and Iraq into nations like Algeria, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Libya.
The president, then, is utterly clueless and misdiagnosing the problem. Think if you had a pain in your chest and assumed it was heart burn when it was a heart attack. That would be a problem, since to address the threat you have to diagnosis it correctly. When it comes to Islamism, Mr. Obama is badly misdiagnosing the threat we face.