ARMY CHARGING SGT. BOWE BERGDAHL WITH DESERTION Obama traded ‘Taliban 5′ for release

Editors Note: Being a Veteran myself I feel I have earned the right to both Criticize and Condemn the actions of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. There is no greater dishonor than to desert your fellow soldiers in a combat zone and to consort with the enemy.

President Barack Hussein Obama to bolster his image seized the chance to play upon the feelings of most Americans to secure the release of a captured American combatant. Obama and members of his administration knew from the beginning that there were questions regarding Sgt. Bergdahl’s leaving his base and resulting capture. With this knowledge Obama disregarded the advice from his military advisers and traded (5) high ranking Taliban leaders for Sgt. Bergdahl’s release. With great fanfare and a nationally carried broadcast, Obama flanked by both of Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents announced that he had negotiated and instrumented the release of their son Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. It was then learned to cost for that release was the return of (5) Taliban leaders specifically asked for by the Taliban. With his reckless disregard President Obama has enabled these (5) proven Terrorists to return to the battlefield to possibly initiate the killing of more Americans. With this in mind Congress needs to investigate if Obama or any members of his administration are guilty of pressuring the Army to drop the investigation so any possible Court Marshal would not embarrass the President for his fool hardy trade for a deserter.

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be tried for his alleged crimes in a Military Court according the the rules set forth in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) under Articles #32, #85 and #99.

Article #32 INVESTIGATION

(a) No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a through and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth therein has been made. This investigation shall include inquiry as to the truth of the matter set forth in the charges, consideration of the form of charges, and recommendation as to the disposition which should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline.

(b) The accused shall be advised of the charges against him and of his right to be represented at that investigation as provided in section 838 of this title (article 38) and in regulations prescribed under that section. At that investigation full opportunity shall be given to the accused to cross-examine witnesses against him if they are available and to present anything he may desire in his own behalf, either in defense or mitigation, and the investigation officer shall examine available witnesses requested by the accused. If the charges are forwarded after the investigation, they shall be accompanied by a statement of the substance of the testimony taken on both sides and a copy thereof shall be given to the accused.

(c) If an investigation of the subject matter of an offense has been conducted before the accused is charged with the offense, and if the accused was present at the investigation and afforded the opportunities for representation, cross-examination, and presentation prescribed in subsection (b), no further investigation of that charge is necessary under this article unless it is demanded by the accused after he is informed of the charge. A demand for further investigation entitles the accused to recall witnesses for further cross-examination and to offer any new evidence in his own behalf.

(d) The requirements of this article are binding on all persons administering this chapter but failure to follow them does not constitute judicial error.

Article #85 DESERTION

(1) without authority goes or remains absent from his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to remain away therefrom permanently;
(2) quits his unit, organization, or place of duty with intent to avoid hazardous duty or to shirk important service; or
(3) without being regularly separated from one of the armed forces enlists or accepts an appointment in the same or another on of the armed forces without fully disclosing the fact that he has not been regularly separated, or enters any foreign armed service except when authorized by the United States; is guilty of desertion.
(b) Any commissioned officer of the armed forces who, after tender of his resignation and before notice of its acceptance, quits his post or proper duties without leave and with intent to remain away therefrom permanently is guilty of desertion.
(c) Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.

Article #99 MISBEHAVIOR BEFORE THE ENEMY
Any person subject to this chapter who before or in the presence of the enemy–
(1) runs away;
(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;
(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;
(4) casts away his arms or ammunition;
(5) is guilty of cowardly conduct;
(6) quits his place of duty to plunder or pillage;
(7) causes false alarms in any command, unit, or place under control of the armed forces;
(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy; or
(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle;
shall be punished by death or such punishment as a court- martial may direct.

 
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban after abandoning his post in Afghanistan, then freed five years later in exchange for five Guantanamo detainees in a deal hailed by the White House but blasted by his fellow soldiers, will be charged with desertion, officials told Fox News.
The development comes 10 months after his May 2014 release — which initially was a joyous occasion, with his parents joining President Obama in celebrating the news in the Rose Garden. Bob Bergdahl, who had studied Islam during his son’s captivity appeared with a full beard and read a Muslim prayer, while Bergdahl’s mother Jani embraced the president.
But that euphoria quickly gave way to controversy in Washington as Bergdahl was accused of walking away from his post and putting his fellow soldiers in danger. The trade of hardened Taliban fighters for his freedom raised deep concerns on Capitol Hill that the administration struck an unbalanced and possibly illegal deal.
The military plans to address the case at a press conference Wednesday afternoon at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.

bergdahl parents obama reuters.jpg
U.S. President Barack Obama stands with Bob Bergdahl (R) and Jami Bergdahl (L) as he delivers a statement about the release of their son, prisoner of war U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington May 31, 2014. Obama, flanked by the parents of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a U.S. soldier who is being released after being held for nearly five years by the Taliban, said in the White House Rose Garden on Saturday that the United States has an “ironclad commitment” to bring home its prisoners of war.
Fox News has learned he will be specifically charged with desertion and misbehavior toward the enemy. A senior U.S. official said he will face a court martial and likely trial.
Bergdahl 28, walked away from his post in Afghanistan and was captured, then released years later by the Taliban in the controversial prisoner exchange.
Gen. Mark Milley, head of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, has been reviewing the massive case files and had a broad range of legal options, including various degrees of desertion charges.
A major consideration was whether military officials would be able to prove that Bergdahl had no intention of returning to his unit — a key element in the more serious desertion charges.
The announcement marks a sharp turnaround for the administration’s narrative of Bergdahl’s service and release. After the swap last year, National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction.”
But as Bergdahl faced criticism from fellow servicemembers for his actions, the administration faced heated complaints from Congress over the Taliban trade itself.
“This fundamental shift in U.S. policy signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages,” said former Rep. Mike Rogers, (R-Mich.), then the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Bergdahl disappeared from his base in the eastern Afghanistan province of Paktika on June 30, 2009. A private first class at the time, he had three days earlier emailed his parents expressing disillusionment with the war.
“The future is too good to waste on lies,” Bergdahl wrote, according to the late Rolling Stone reporter Michael Hastings. “And life is way too short to care for the damnation of others, as well as to spend it helping fools with their ideas that are wrong. I have seen their ideas and I am ashamed to even be American.”
Bob Bergdahl, a former UPS delivery driver in Sun Valley Idaho, replied with a message bearing the subject line, “OBEY YOUR CONSCIENCE!”
Bergdahl left a note in his tent that said he was leaving to start a new life and intended to renounce his citizenship, Fox News reported last year.
For the next five years, Bergdahl is believed to have been held by the Taliban and Pakistan’s infamous Haqqani network. In one of several hostage videos released during his captivity, he said he was captured when he fell behind a patrol, but fellow soldiers, outraged after the trade was made with the Taliban, accused him of deserting. Some asserted that American servicemembers’ lives were put at risk in the hunt for Bergdahl.
Bergdahl was freed on May 31, 2014, after the White House agreed to trade five high value Taliban operatives held at Guantanamo Bay for him. He was turned over to Delta Force operatives in eastern Afghanistan, near the border village of Khost, while the Taliban members were handed over to authorities in Qatar, which helped broker the swap.
The trade was branded as illegal by lawmakers, who said they weren’t advised beforehand, It was also blasted by critics who said it violated America’s longstanding tradition of not negotiating with terrorists, and from Bergdahl’s fellow soldiers, many of whom view him as a traitor.
There were also concerns – which would prove well-founded – that the Taliban members would return to the fight against the West. Of the five, Mohammad Fazl, the former Taliban army chief of staff; Khairullah Khairkhwa, a Taliban intelligence official; Abdul Haq Wasiq, a former Taliban government official; and Norullah Noori and Mohammad Nabi Omari, at least three have attempted to rejoin their old comrades, sources told Fox News.
Then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Bergdahl was a “prisoner of war,” and that the deal did not amount to negotiating with terrorists. He also said concerns about Bergdahl’s deteriorating condition made it imperative that the U.S. move quickly to make the trade.
A Pentagon probe concluded in 2010 that Bergdahl had walked away from his base, but stopped short of accusing him of desertion, reopening the probe after his return.
Bergdhal was promoted to sergeant while in captivity, and had accrued more than $200,000 in back pay by the time he was freed. He was assigned to duty at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, after his return and reportedly refused to speak with his parents.
Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/25/bergdahl-to-be-charged-with-desertion-official-says/

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Netanyahu’s Likud Surges to Stunning Israeli Election Win

Netanyahu's Easy Win Adds to Difficulties For Obama White House

Editors Note: Obama’s attempt to torpedo Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection has failed miserably and has resulted in Netanyahu coming out of the election stronger than before. Congress is now investigating whether Obama and his supporters used Federal Money to fund groups in Israel to oppose the Prime Ministers quest for another term.

The rift between the two leaders is well know and was exasperated when Netanyahu spoke before Congress with out Congress consulting with Obama first. Obama is willing to go to any lengths to get an agreement with Iran over their Nuclear Weapons ambitions even if it is a bad deal. Congress has been fighting to stop Obama from making any kind of pact or agreement without Congressional approval and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been openly hostile to any type of agreement with a regime that has sworn openly that it supports the total destruction of Israel as a nation and its people.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also pledged that their will also be no Palestinian State that Obama has been working towards so the tension between the two leaders will last until Obama is finally out of office. Obama’s big gamble to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made him look petty and guilty of meddling in a trusted Allie’s national election. If anything he has made Bibi more determined to side with the Republican controlled Congress to stop any agreement with Iran on their nuclear ambitions. [TS]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party scored a resounding victory in the country’s election, final results showed Wednesday, a stunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy.

With nearly all votes counted, Likud appeared to have earned 30 out of parliament’s 120 seats and was in a position to build with relative ease a coalition government with its nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies. Such a government would likely put Israel at odds with the international community over settlement construction and its opposition to Palestinian statehood, and continue clashing with the White House over hard-line policies.

The election was widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, who has governed the country for the past six years. Recent opinion polls indicated he was in trouble, giving chief rival Isaac Herzog of the opposition Zionist Union a slight lead. Exit polls Tuesday showed the two sides deadlocked but once the actual results came pouring in early Wednesday, Likud soared forward. Zionist Union wound up with just 24 seats.

Given the final results, it is all but assured that Israel’s largely ceremonial President Reuven Rivlin will task Netanyahu with forming a new government. Netanyahu says he hopes to do so quickly, within two to three weeks.

“Against all odds, we achieved a great victory for the Likud,” Netanyahu told supporters at his election night headquarters, declaring victory even before final results were known. “I am proud of the people of Israel, who in the moment of truth knew how to distinguish between what is important and what is peripheral, and to insist on what is important.”

Netanyahu focused his campaign primarily on security issues, while his opponents instead pledged to address the country’s high cost of living and accused the leader of being out of touch with everyday people. Netanyahu will likely look to battle that image now by adding to his government Moshe Kahlon, whose upstart Kulanu party captured 10 seats with a campaign focused almost entirely on bread-and-butter economic issues. Kahlon is expected to become the country’s next finance minister.

A union of four largely Arab-backed factions became Israel’s third largest party — with 14 seats — and gave Israel’s Arab minority significant leverage in parliament for the first time. Ten parties in all made it into parliament.

Herzog, who appeared poised only days ago to stage a coup, conceded defeat, saying he called Netanyahu and offered him congratulations. He signaled that he would not join forces with Netanyahu and would rather head to the opposition.

“I think that at this moment what Israel needs most of all is another voice, a voice that offers an alternative and a voice that tells it the truth,” he said outside his Tel Aviv home.

Netanyahu’s return to power for a fourth term likely spells trouble for Mideast peace efforts and could further escalate tensions with the United States.

Netanyahu, who already has a testy relationship with President Barack Obama, took a sharp turn to the right in the final days of the campaign, staking out a series of hard-line positions that will put him on a collision course with much of the international community.

In a dramatic policy reversal, he said he now opposes the creation of a Palestinian state — a key policy goal of the White House and the international community. He also promised to expand construction in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem, the section of the city claimed by the Palestinians as their capital.

The Palestinians, fed up after years of deadlock with Netanyahu, are now likely to press ahead with their attempts to bring war crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court. Renewed violence could also loom.

The international community overwhelmingly supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, areas captured by Israel in 1967, and opposes settlement construction. With the race close, Netanyahu reneged on his previous stated support for a Palestinian state in an attempt to shore up his hawkish base in a frenzied last day of campaigning.

Netanyahu also infuriated the White House early this month when he delivered a speech to U.S. Congress criticizing an emerging nuclear deal with Iran. The speech was arranged with Republican leaders and not coordinated with the White House ahead of time. Reaching a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict has been a top foreign policy priority for President Obama as well.

In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama was confident strong U.S.-Israeli ties would endure far beyond the election, regardless of the victor.

Throughout the campaign, Netanyahu portrayed himself as the only politician capable of confronting Israel’s numerous security challenges.

Avi Degani, president of the Geocartography polling institute who had predicted an outright Likud victory, said ultimately Netanyahu’s experience prevailed.

“There was a situation where many people wanted to replace him but there was no one whom they wanted to replace him with,” he said.

Source: http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/netanyahu-victory-election-win/2015/03/18/id/630792/

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Source: Senate panel probes whether Obama administration funded effort to oust Netanyahu

It is outrageous that this administration is involved in the elections in Israel. Especially after the Democratic comments about how it was not good for Netanyahu to speak to congress because it was too lose to the elections….what a crock….

A powerful U.S. Senate investigatory committee has launched a bipartisan probe into an American nonprofit’s funding of efforts to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Obama administration’s State Department gave the nonprofit taxpayer-funded grants, a source with knowledge of the panel’s activities told FoxNews.com.

The fact that both Democrat and Republican sides of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations have signed off on the probe could be seen as a rebuke to President Obama, who has had a well-documented adversarial relationship with the Israeli leader.

The development comes as Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel Two television station this week that there were “governments” that wanted to help with the “Just Not Bibi” campaigning – Bibi being the Israeli leader’s nickname.

It also follows a FoxNews.com report on claims the Obama administration has been meddling in the Israeli election on behalf of groups hostile to Netanyahu. A spokesperson for Sen. Rob Portman, (R-Ohio), the chair of the committee, refused comment, and aides to ranking Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri, did not immediately return calls.

The Senate subcommittee, which has subpoena power, is the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs’ chief investigative body with jurisdiction over all branches of government operations and compliance with laws.

“The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations does not comment on ongoing investigations,” Caitlin Conant, spokeswoman for Portman, told Foxnews.com.

But a source familiar with the matter confirmed for FoxNews.com that the probe – undisclosed until now – was both underway and bipartisan in nature.

According to the source, the probe is looking into “funding” by OneVoice Movement – a Washington-based group that has received $350,000 in recent State Department grants, and until last November was headed by a veteran diplomat from the Clinton administrations.

A subsidiary of OneVoice is the Israel-based Victory 15 campaign, itself guided by top operatives of Obama’s White House runs, which seeks to “replace the government” of Israel.

“It’s confirmed that there is a bipartisan Permanent Subcommittee inquiry into OneVoice’s funding of V15,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity about the American group, which bills itself as working for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In his television interview, Netanyahu said the coalition seeking to oust him is generously funded by foreign donors who are also encouraging a high voter turnout among Israel’s Arab and left-wing voters in a bid to replace the existing leadership.

He characterized the campaign against him as “unprecedented.” While Netanyahu pointed the finger at “European countries and left-wing people abroad,” some observers note that he held back from openly criticizing Obama during his recent trip to the U.S. to address Congress on problems his government sees with administration-backed efforts to reach a nuclear weapons inspection deal with Iran.

“We appreciate all that President Obama has done for Israel,” Netanyahu told lawmakers – while Obama refused to meet with the Israeli leader, and later criticized his speech as “nothing new.”

No direct link has been confirmed between Obama and the anti-Netanyahu campaign in Israel, but polls have shown that a large majority of Israelis believe the administration has been interfering in the election, set for March 17.

One expert told FoxNews.com earlier this month the State Department grants constituted indirect Obama administration funding of the anti-Netanyahu campaign by providing OneVoice with the $350,000 – even though State Department officials said the funding stopped in November, ahead of the announcement of the Israeli election.

Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of NGO Monitor, which tracks money flows to unmask non-governmental organizations that deviate from their stated human rights or humanitarian agendas, said even ostensibly unrelated grants keep an organization going during periods it is not engaged in political activity.

Indeed, by January, OneVoice – whose focus on Israel’s 1967 borders as a negotiating starting point reflects Obama’s thinking but is counter to Netanyahu’s – had announced its partnership with V15.

Around the same time, Jeremy Bird, who served as Obama’s deputy national campaign director in 2008, and his national campaign director in 2012, arrived in Israel to help direct V15. Bird took with him additional former Obama campaign operatives to help V15 achieve its goal of knocking on one million doors to make the case for a change in Israel’s leadership.

OneVoice is barred from directly targeting Netanyahu by U.S. law regulating its tax-exempt status, and doing so would threaten that status.

But the recent FoxNews.com investigation showed that the nonprofit, in its 2014 Annual Report, said its Israel branch would be “embarking on a groundbreaking campaign around the Israeli elections.” In partnering with V15, the two groups have operated from adjacent offices in Tel Aviv.

In addition to McCaskill, other Democrats on the subcommittee are Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota.

Republican subcommittee members, who form the majority, are Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, in addition to Portman.

State Department documents say the grants to OneVoice were meant for the group’s work in encouraging both Palestinian grass-roots civic activism and Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The State Department itself, meanwhile, denied any of the funds had been used for election campaign activities despite OneVoice’s backing of V15.

Launched in 2002 by snack bar mogul Daniel Lubetzky and boasting the star power of such celebrities as Brad Pitt, Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman and Sir Paul McCartney among its honorary advisors, OneVoice was headed until November by Marc Ginsberg, who advised President Carter on Middle East policy and served as President Clinton’s ambassador to Morocco.

Ginsberg, who has described the Obama administration’s approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a “window of opportunity,” is now serving OneVoice as “special advisor” after resigning as CEO at a time that turned out to be just ahead of the early December announcement of the Israeli election.

“I resigned on November 11, 2014, because I had only committed to serve as CEO for one year and my resignation was effective December 19, 2014,” he wrote in an email to FoxNews.com. “I agreed to be available after that as a Senior Adviser on an occasional basis to the organization…along with many others, but have had ZERO decision-making authority over personnel, budgets, programs, etc. That responsibility was transferred to the Executive Director of the OneVoice Europe organization after I resigned.”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/14/senate-committee-probes-whether-obama-administration-funded-effort-to-oust/

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Hackers, probing Clinton server, cite security lapses

Stirred by the controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, a determined band of hackers, IT bloggers, and systems analysts have trained their specialized talents and state-of-the-art software on clintonemail.com, the domain under which Clinton established multiple private email accounts, and uncovered serious lapses in security, according to data shared with Fox News.

The findings call into question Clinton’s confident declaration, at a hastily arranged news conference in New York on Tuesday, that “there were no security breaches” in her use of a private server. One prominent figure in the hacker community, bolstered by long experience in the U.S. intelligence community, has undertaken to build a virtual “replica” of Clinton’s server configuration in a cyberlab, and has begun testing it with tools designed to probe security defenses. This individual has shared details of the Clinton system not disclosed publicly but legally obtainable.

Among other things, outside experts have managed to trace the most recent location of Clinton’s server – something she did not specify during her news conference and a subject of much speculation, as the server’s physical placement would provide early clues about whether the data stored on it was adequately secured against compromise by private-sector hackers and foreign intelligence services.

Fox News has previously reported that, with the aid of software named Maltego, experts had established that the server is up and running, receiving connectivity to the Internet through an Atlanta-based firm called Internap Network Services Corporation. Clinton’s stern insistence at her news conference that her server “will remain private” would appear to rest, then, at least in part, on the inviolability of Internap.

Now, working with publicly available tools that map network connectivity, experts have established that the last “hop” before the mail server’s Internet Protocol, or IP, address (listed as 64.94.172.146) is Internap’s aggregator in Manhattan (listed as 216.52.95.10).

“This is a very strong indication that the clintonemail.com server is in Manhattan,” the source told Fox News.

By entering the IP address for the Internap aggregator into existing databases, the experts obtained the exact geolocation coordinates for the aggregator – revealed to be on lower Broadway, at the intersection with Chambers Street, some two blocks north of City Hall. This in turn suggests that the Clinton server itself lies within close proximity – most likely former President Clinton’s Harlem office, and not as far away as the Clintons’ home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

That outside experts could so swiftly unearth such information left them convinced that the server remains, as presently configured, highly “vulnerable” to unauthorized intrusion – even if, as most observers suspect, the server, with so much publicity now attendant on it, is no longer in active use. The hackers further concluded that Clinton’s email operation was likely not much better secured when she was secretary of state.

To test that proposition, they took the relatively simple step of examining the source code on the front page of clintonemail.com. This yielded the discovery, sources told Fox News, that the Clintons have not been using the latest version of Microsoft Outlook Web Application (OWA) to send and receive emails. The most recent version of OWA is listed as 14.3.224.2, whereas tests show clintonemail.com to be using the older 14.2.390.1.

“[It’s] an indication they’re not keeping up with software upgrades,” one hacker told Fox News. “If I were a bad guy, I’d start looking for any vulnerabilities in that older version they’re using.” 

 

Work on the “replica” of the Clinton system also determined that the certificate for its TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is invalid – a lapse that “makes the site less secure,” the source said. A screen-grab provided to Fox News and shown here, illustrating the results of this test, showed the word “FAIL” appearing twice in a multifaceted stress-test for the security defenses of clintonemail.com.

Perhaps most concerning, private analysts determined that clintonemail.com has been running an older model of Microsoft Internet Information Services, or IIS – specifically version 7.5, which has been documented to leave users exposed on multiple fronts. The website CVEDetails.com, which bills itself as “the ultimate security vulnerability datasource,” is awash with descriptions of serious security vulnerabilities associated with version 7.5, including “memory corruption,” “password disclosure vulnerability,” and the enabling of “remote attackers to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial of service.”  

The cyberlab technician who discovered the Clintons’ use of version 7.5 marveled at “the vulnerabilities the Clintons are ignoring” in an email to Fox News. “This is a big deal and just the thing real-world hackers look for in a target and will exploit to the max,” the source said.

“Several of these vulnerabilities have been known since 2010 and yet HRC is running official State comms through it.”  

Coupled with the earlier disclosure, first reported by Bloomberg, that the Clinton system used a commercial encryption product with “a default encryption certificate, instead of one purchased specifically for Ms. Clinton’s service,” these latest revelations suggest a complacent approach to server security on the part of the secretary and her aides.

Representatives for Clinton have not responded to multiple requests for comment. Spokesman Nick Merrill has released a FAQ document stating that “robust protections were put in place” on the server, with “upgrades and techniques employed over time as they became available, including consulting and employing third party experts.” Merrill added that “there is no evidence” that the server was ever hacked, and said there was never an unauthorized intrusion into the secretary’s email.

The Merrill document stated that Clinton’s server “was physically located on her property, which is protected by U.S. Secret Service,” but did not address its present location.

Bruce F. Webster, an IT expert with 40 years of corporate experience — the last 15 spent testifying on IT issues in civil litigation — raised the question of whether Clinton’s server has been moved at some point. On his blog, “And Still I Persist,” Webster entitled his latest post “No, we still don’t know where the Clinton server is, was, has been.” In an email to Fox News, Webster referenced suggestions that the server remains in Chappaqua, where it was first registered, and stated: “I consider that the least likely location at this point.” 

Just the original decision to use a private email account, with Clinton’s own surname embedded in it, has baffled the hacker community. The analyst with experience in the intelligence community, a “white hat” hacker — the kind corporate firms retain to conduct “penetration testing” that exposes businesses’ cybersecurity lapses — told Fox News: “If we learned that the foreign minister of a major foreign country was using her own private server to send and receive emails, and was relying on outdated commercial software to operate and protect it, that’d be a hallelujah moment for us.”

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/12/hackers-probing-clinton-server-cite-security-lapses/

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Clinton admits should have used official email, says used personal account for ‘convenience’

Hillary Clinton, in her first public comments on the controversy over her use of personal email as secretary of state, acknowledged Tuesday that it “would have been better” to have used an official government account — but said she used the personal one as a “matter of convenience.” 

The former secretary of state, and likely 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, addressed the controversy in New York, following an event on women’s empowerment at the United Nations headquarters.

She also briefly addressed her use of a private email server, but said it contains personal communications between her and her husband.

“The server will remain private,” Clinton said.

Clinton fielded several questions about the implications raised by her unusual use of a personal email and private server after more than a week of critical news reports about her computer practices, including whether they were secure and whether she complied with records rules.

Explaining her original decision, Clinton told reporters she “opted for convenience” to use her personal email, on one device, when she became secretary of state. She said she thought it “would be simpler” to do so.

‘The server will remain private’- Hillary Clinton

 

“Obviously it hasn’t worked out this way,” Clinton said. She admitted it would have been better to use “two separate phones and two email accounts.” 

But she said federal laws and rules allowed her to do so, and that she is fully complying with the State Department’s request for her emails. She also said her server, set up for President Bill Clinton’s office, contained “numerous safeguards,” was protected by the Secret Service and experienced “no security breaches.”  

Clinton said she has “absolute confidence” that anything “in any way connected to work” is now in the possession of the State Department. She also made clear what she described as personal emails were not turned over.

Whether Clinton’s answers will calm the furor remains to be seen.

A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said the press conference “raised more questions than it answered.” 

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., head of the House Benghazi committee seeking her emails, said the same.

And he said: “Without access to Secretary Clinton’s personal server, there is no way for the State Department to know it has acquired all documents that should be made public, and given State’s delay in disclosing the fact Secretary Clinton exclusively used personal email to conduct State business, there is no way to accept State’s or Secretary Clinton’s certification she has turned over all documents that rightfully belong to the American people.” 

Despite Clinton’s statement, Gowdy said he sees “no choice” but for Clinton to “turn her server over to a neutral, detached third-party arbiter who can determine which documents.” 

He said the committee plans to call her to appear “at least twice,” first to clear up questions about her personal email use and again to answer questions about Benghazi.

Clinton spoke after facing mounting calls, from both sides of the aisle, to publicly address the controversy.

Until now, the only public response Clinton had was to send out a late-night tweet last week saying she’s asked the State Department to make public her emails. In the absence of any other Clinton response, the White House had been left to defend her email practices, reportedly creating tension between the Obama administration and her camp.

Senior Democrats in recent days urged her to speak up.

“Step up and come out and state exactly what the situation is,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told NBC on Sunday. “She is the leading candidate, whether it be Republican or Democrat, for the next president. … From this point on, the silence is going to hurt her.” 

The controversy indeed has hung over her expected entry into the 2016 presidential race, though her representatives insist she cooperated with the State Department and handed over thousands of emails when she was asked.

Earlier Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said they are reviewing the emails Clinton turned over, and plan to post them on a “publicly available website.” 

She said the review will likely take “several months.” 

Before addressing the email matter on Tuesday, Clinton began her statement by weighing in on a recent open letter written by Republican senators to Iran’s leaders on the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran. That letter challenged President Obama’s ability to strike a lasting deal without congressional approval. Clinton, joining other Democrats, called that letter “out of step with the best traditions of American leadership.” 

The first question she took on the emails, from a Turkish correspondent and official of the U.N. Correspondents Association, was about whether she thinks she would have faced such a controversy if she were a man. She did not address that directly.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/10/sources-clinton-to-address-email-controversy-in-next-few-days/

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EPA Scrambles To Finish ‘Global Warming’ Regulations Before Obama Leaves Office

Gina McCarthy YouTube screenshot/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Chief Administrator Gina McCarthy claims she is “busier than [she’s] ever been” as the agency rushes to finish major carbon dioxide regulations on power plants before President Obama leaves office.

“One of the main focuses of the White House right now is to make sure that the administration is coordinated, so that the entire breadth of the climate action plan can be basically realized before the president leaves office,” McCarthy told the Hill in an interview published Thursday.

With only 22 months left in Obama’s second term and the departure of climate adviser John Podesta, McCarthy has been meeting with the president more than ever in a rush to finalize the administration’s legacy: the first-ever carbon dioxide regulations on power plants.

As part of Obama’s “Climate Action Plan,” the EPA proposed two new regulations capping carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The first, proposed in fall 2013, is a de facto mandate that new coal-fired power plants install carbon capture technology to meet new emissions standards.

The second regulation, and most contentious, was announced summer 2014. The rule, also called the “Clean Power Plan” of 111-D, forces states to cut carbon emissions from power plants 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Both power plant regulations have sustained legal challenges from states and the coal industry. With such heavy resistance from conservatives, both regulations need to be finalized before Obama leaves office, or else their fates will be in the hands of a future administration — possibly a Republican one.

“We certainly have enough information to know what the big issues are that we need to tackle so I have been meeting at least once a week every week with the team of people in the agency that are working on 111-D,” McCarthy said.

“For a rule like this there is no way that we are not going to be challenged,” McCarthy added. “We think we have appropriately used 111-D for this sector and that the rule will be not just be legally defensive, it’s going to be solid.”

In fact, the EPA is so keen on quickly pushing out its climate rules they may be reconsidering a key plank of the rule for new power plants: the de facto carbon capture mandate.

InsideEPA reports that the agency “is analyzing scenarios that would drop its contentious carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) mandate for new coal-fired power plants … amid growing agency concern that the rule is legally vulnerable.”

The EPA’s rule for new coal plants set carbon dioxide emissions limits at 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour — a standard that can only be met by installing carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.

The only problem with CCS: it’s not been proven to work well on a commercial scale. The only cases where CCS has been used are at small-scale government-funded projects.

Federal law prohibits the EPA from mandating technology that is subsidized by the government, a fact which Republicans were quick to point out. Republicans have also threatened to use the Congressional Review Act to derail the EPA’s carbon dioxide regulations.

“We’re gonna be able to use the CRA,” said Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe.

“If you talk to people in the real world they’ll tell you that EPA regulations are so onerous they can’t be competitive,” he added. “President Obama is trying to do the things he couldn’t do through legislation through regulation.”

The EPA’s proposed rule for new coal plants only cited government-backed CCS projects as proof the technology is ready for prime time. Unfortunately for the agency, those examples aren’t very good ones.

One CCS project cited by EPA got its federal funding pulled in February. FutureGen 2.0 got $1.1 billion from the Obama administration’s 2009 stimulus package, but persistent problems forced the government to pull the plug earlier this year.

“In order to best protect taxpayer interests, the Department of Energy has initiated a structured closeout of federal support for the project that will help maximize the value of investments to date while minimizing ongoing risks and further costs,” said Energy Department spokesman Bill Gibbons.

Another CCS project EPA touted was the Kemper plant, which got $270 million from the Energy Department and another $133 million in investment tax credits from the IRS. This project too has run into problems, including delays and huge cost overruns. Kemper was initially projected to cost $2.4 billion, but is now estimated to cost $5.6 billion.

EPA has tried to refocus its CCS efforts by highlighting the Boundary Dam CCS plant in Canada — a project that was backed by the Canadian government. The project went online last year.

But SaskPower also ran into problems of cost overruns and delays. It was also a government-backed project, which means it still likely violates federal law.

Source: http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/06/epa-rushes-to-finish-global-warming-regulations-before-obama-leaves-office/

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The Sentinel of Liberty……The Obama Administrations Disrespect of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

old north church

                                    The Voice of Freedom and Warning
 The Obama Administrations Disrespect of Prim Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Today March 3rd 2015 is a day that Liberals in America showed their true colors by boycotting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress. Israel is Americas best and most trusted Allie in the Middle East and should have been treated to the respect the leader of an Allied country should be treated with. Starting with the President and Vice President and including his entire Cabinet and a long list of Democrats in both the Senate and House of Representatives. It was a shameful act of disrespect and it was intentional.

The hatred shown towards both Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by President Obama is well known and documented and started the day Obama took office. Obama instigated the boycott because he was upset the Republican Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner invited Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu without consulting first with Obama. Rep. Boehner was well within his Constitutional rights to invite anyone he sees fit to invite without consulting the President but Obama’s feelings were hurt because he was bypassed. Obama was bypassed because Rep. Boehner knew ahead of time that Obama would try to stop him. The fact that Obama himself ordered the boycott is yet another slap in the face to not only to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but to Israel itself. Obama’s hatred has led him to order his rich supporters to actively fund the Prime Ministers opponent in the upcoming Israeli election.

Obama has no time to meet with a trusted Allie like Israel but he has more than enough time to meet with Terrorist Leaders from around the world with the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood gaining favored access to the President. The Iranian Nuclear Weapons ambitions that the world has been slow to control is a direct and imminent threat not only to Israel but to the entire world including the United States and Obama is overlooking that threat just so he can broker a deal with Iran to cease research and development of such Weapons of Mass Destruction. The entire world knows that Iran will not honor any agreement made and will continue its quest for nuclear weapons unabated by any agreement it may sign. The other Arab Middle East countries have already stated that if Iran is allowed to develop a nuclear weapons arsenal it will spark a Middle East arms race. Many of these countries have enough national wealth to just buy weapons on the open market and such countries as North Korea, China and Pakistan are more than willing to sell them to them.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress was full of warnings against any agreement that doesn’t spell out clearly that Iran will be prevented at any cost from developing and such nuclear weapon systems. Obama will do anything to push his ineffective agreement through so his precious Legacy will show he managed to get an agreement even if it proves to be a bad one. Below is a list of those who boycotted the Prime Ministers address to Congress.
President of the United States Barack Obama
Vice President of the United States Joe Biden
Secretary of State John Kerry
Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew
Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter
Attorney General Eric Holder
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewel
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez
Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro
Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
Secretary of Education Aene Duncan
Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald
Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson
SENATE
Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.)
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D., Hawaii)
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)
HOUSE
Rep. Karen Bass (D., Calif.)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D., Ore.)
Rep. Corrine Brown (D., Fla.)
Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.)
Rep. Lois Capps (D., Calif.)
Rep. Andre Carson (D., Ind.)
Rep. Katherine Clark (D., Mass.)
Rep. Lacy Clay (D., Mo.)
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D., Mo.)
Rep. James Clyburn (D., S.C.)
Rep. Steve Cohen (D., Tenn.)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D., N.J.)
Rep. John Conyers (D., Mich.)
Rep. Danny Davis (D., Ill.)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D., Ore.)
Rep. Diana DeGette (D., Colo.)
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D., Texas)
Rep. Donna Edwards (D., Md.)
Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.)
Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.)
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Ohio)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D., Ariz.)
Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D., Ill.)
Rep. Denny Heck (D., Wash.)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (D., Texas)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D., Texas)
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D., Ohio)
Rep. Rick Larsen (D., Wash.)
Rep. Barbara Lee (D., Calif.)
Rep. John Lewis (D., Ga.)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.)
Rep. Betty McCollum (D., Minn.):
Rep. Jim McDermott (D., Wash.)
Reps. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.)
Rep. Jerry McNerney (D., Calif.)
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D., N.Y.)
Rep. Gwen Moore (D., Wis.)
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D., D.C.)
Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D., Texas)
Rep. Chellie Pingree (D., Maine)
Rep. David Price (D., N.C.)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D., N.Y.)
Rep. Cedric Richmond (D., La.)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D., Ill.)
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.)
Rep. Mike Thompson (D., Calif.)
Rep. John Yarmuth (D., Ky.)

 
Watch for the next Sentinel Alert coming soon.
TopShot

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WaPo: Four Pinnocchios for Obama on Keystone Spin

In case you’d forgotten — perhaps thanks to this fiasco sucking up political oxygen last week — President Obama has taken the dramatic, out-of-the-mainstream step of vetoing Congress’ overwhelming and bipartisan approval of the Keystone Pipeline.  All told, 332 members of Congress voted to green light the job-creating infrastructure project, including dozens of Democrats.  Keystone has the strong backing of our Canadian allies, would help North American energy production, has passed environmental and legal muster over years of study, and would cost taxpayers nothing.  Approving the pipeline merely involves getting government out of the way, and letting the private sector take things from there.  It’s a political and policy no-brainer, which is why it consistently attracts lopsided support from the American people in public polling. But the president has an extreme agenda to protect, and self-interested “green” billionaire donors and special interests to reward.  So he wielded his veto pen, laughably citing separation of powers concerns as a pretext to nix the plan.  This from a man who’s unilaterally rewriting immigration laws without Congressional input, and who’s apparently eyeing similar power grabs in order to raise taxes on his own.  In an effort to justify his extreme veto, Obama is relying on dishonest arguments, eliciting a ‘Four Pinocchios‘ ruling from the Washington Post’s fact-checker:

President Obama, seeking to explain his veto of a bill that would have leapfrogged the approval process for the Keystone XL pipeline, in an interview with a North Dakota station repeated some false claims that had previously earned him Pinocchios. Yet he managed to make his statement even more misleading than before, suggesting the pipeline would have no benefit for American producers at all…The president’s latest remarks pushes this assertion into the Four Pinocchios column. If he disagrees with the State Department’s findings, he should begin to make the case why it is wrong, rather than assert the opposite, without any factual basis. Moreover, by telling North Dakota listeners that the pipeline has no benefit for Americans, he is again being misleading, given that producers in the region have signed contracts to transport some of their production through the pipeline.

The Post notes that Keystone pipeline absolutely would benefit American producers and consumers, despite the president’s factually inaccurate insistence that it “bypasses” the US completely.  The fact-checker quotes an independent study, which happens to be reinforced by the Obama State Department’s own findings on the matter.  Obama “appears to be purposely ignoring the findings of the lead Cabinet agency on the issue,” the piece concludes.  That’s because the evidence — the “science” — doesn’t comport with Obama’s political agenda, so he’s simply ignoring it, and celebrating his intentional ignorance in public pronouncements.  USA Today’s editorial board is joining many others in urging Congress to override the president’s veto:

Obama has sent conflicting signals about whether he’ll ultimately approve or reject Keystone. Last November, he gave pipeline critics hope by buying into the argument that the oil Keystone would deliver to U.S. refineries will simply be exported, rather than be used domestically. Politifact.com rated that claim “mostly false,” and The Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave it three out of four Pinocchios for inaccuracy, noting that the best evidence is that “at least half” the oil would remain here. Congress ought to end this drama by overriding Obama’s veto, just the third of his presidency and his first since 2010. If the votes can’t be mustered on Capitol Hill, the president has more than enough information to bring down the curtain. It is long past time to just say yes.

Saying “yes” to a privately-funded, job-creating, environmentally-sound infrastructure project shouldn’t be difficult for a president who pays much lip service to “getting things done,” and demanding “bipartisanship.”  But it’s a problem for Obama because he’s a hardened ideologue.  His pragmatism persona is, and has always been, a fraud.  Incidentally, you may have noticed that the above USA Today house editorial mentions WaPo’s previous ‘Three Pinocchios’ assessment, which has since been upped due to bonus presidential mendacity.  The Post also points out that Obama sneers at the several hundred permanent jobs Keystone would create, effectively dismissing tens of thousands of construction jobs as a non-factor in the cost/benefit analysis.  Most Americans don’t believe our leaders are in aposition to turn up their noses at any jobs in the midst of a tepid and frustrating economic recovery.  Senate Democrats, for their part, are bizarrely planning to filibuster Mitch McConnell’s effort to proceed to a veto-override vote. Superseding the president’s veto requires 67 votes — seven more than the filibuster threshold. Why launch a doomed filibuster against something that will almost certainly fail anyway?  Perhaps because Reid and company have quickly become the very nihilistic obstructionists they’ve so often accused Republicans of being in recent years.  Proponents of the Keystone Pipeline appear to be four votes shy of overcoming Obama’s veto in the US Senate.  I’ll leave you with Majority Leader McConnell marveling at the idiocy of Reid’s redundant, pointless filibuster plot:

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2015/03/02/wapo-four-pinnocchios-for-obama-on-keystone-n1964472
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U.S. and Israel: The Manufactured Crisis

Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Editors Note: The hatred of Netanyahu and Israel by Obama and his administration has been obvious from the start to even the most ardent backer of Obama. Obama openly favors the Arab nations over Israel and has done his best to hinder Israel in its defense of its homeland. Israel is openly threatened by Iran and has stated on the record its wish to destroy Israel and all of its people. Iran’s nuclear ambitions are a major concern to Israel and to the other Arab nations in the Middle East. Obama is so eager to get some kind of deal he can claim he is willing to sell out Israel to achieve a short term deal that Iran will immediately break and then suggest further negotiations as a way to continue its nuclear weapons program. Obama cares not that if Iran gets a nuclear weapon that it will start a nuclear arms race and unlike the arms race between the former USSR and America that was held in check but the effects of MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) that prevented WW3 Iran upon getting a viable nuclear weapons program would immediately not only threaten Israel and every Middle East Nation but would also threaten America and the rest of the world. Obama has only his own personal interests in mind and his all important Legacy and his failed Foreign Policies have proven that. Congress needs to assert itself and not allow any deal to be signed between America and Iran without the approval of the entire Congress. A bad deal endangers the entire population of the earth and this failed President has to be stopped. [TS]

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.

Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Suppose for a moment that the Netanyahu speech before Congress is a mistake, a breach of protocol, a campaign maneuver, indeed all the bad things the White House is calling it. Grant all of that for a moment for the sake of argument and the behavior of the Obama administration is still inexplicable. Clearly more is behind its conduct than mere pique over the speech.

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. Obama also decided immediately on taking office to pick a fight with Israel and make construction in settlements and in Jerusalem the central issue in U.S.-Israeli relations. Remember that he appointed George Mitchell as his special negotiator one day after assuming the presidency, and Mitchell was the father of the demand that construction—including even construction to accommodate what Mitchell called “natural growth” of families in settlement populations—be stopped dead. A confrontation was inevitable, and was desired by the White House.

Obama has overplayed his hand, in the sense that in poll after poll Israelis say that they do not support his Middle East policies. Historically, an Israeli prime minister loses domestic support when he cannot manage relations with Washington. This year may be the exception, the time when Israelis want a prime minister to oppose U.S. policies they view as dangerous. They may also believe that the Obama administration is simply so hostile that no prime minister could avoid confrontations.

I well remember how we in the Bush White House handled the poor personal relations between the president and French president Jacques Chirac. In 2004-2005 especially, the two men did not get along (arguing mostly about Iraq and just plain disliking each other as well) but we wanted to prevent their poor personal chemistry from damaging bilateral relations. So National Security Advisor Condi Rice in 2004, and then her successor Steve Hadley in 2005, set up a work-around. The French National Security Advisor Maurice Gourdault-Montagne traveled to Washington almost every month and came to the White House. There the French ambassador to the U.S., Jean-David Levitte, joined him for meetings with key NSC, DOD, and State Department officials. In 2005, Secretary of State Rice would come over from State to join Hadley and several of us on the NSC staff, and in the course of a half-day we would review every issue facing the United States and France. It was a serious time commitment for the American and French officials, but that is because we were determined to quarantine bad personal chemistry and prevent it from infecting the entire relationship—a goal set by President Bush himself.

Quite obviously, President Obama has no such goal. Israeli officials have complained to me for several years about the lack of contacts and communications with the White House. 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.

One reason, as noted, is the hope that tension with America can lead to Netanyahu’s defeat in the March 17 election.  The second reason is Iran policy. The administration is desperately seeking a deal with Iran on terms that until recently were unacceptable to a broad swath of Democrats as well as Republicans. One after another, American demands or “red lines” have been abandoned. 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. Arguments that are shared across the Israeli political spectrum—that the likely Iran deal says nothing about Iranian ballistic missile development, says nothing about Iranian warhead development, does not require that Iran meet IAEA demands that it account for past warhead work, allows Iran thousands of centrifuges, will allow Iran to escape all monitoring and limitations after perhaps ten years—are attributed solely to Netanyahu and his election campaign. So Democrats are told they must oppose such arguments, and stiff Netanyahu, lest they contribute to his reelection. Clever, in a way, but of course completely misleading. And irresponsible when it comes to the deadly issue of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

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. All opinion polls in the last several years show a partisan edge in support: overall support for Israel is steady and high, but its composition is changing. More and more Republicans support Israel, and the gap between Democratic and Republican support levels is growing. President Obama acts as if he sees this as a terrific development, one that should be enlarged as much as possible before he leaves office. That way he would leave behind not just an Iran deal, but weakened support for Israel on Iran and everything else.  Support for Israel would become less of a bipartisan matter and more a divisive issue between the two parties. It is not hard to envision Obama in retirement joining Jimmy Carter as a frequent critic of Israel, pushing the Democratic party to move away from its decades of very strong support for the Jewish state.

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.

Source: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/us-and-israel-manufactured-crisis_867037.html?page=1

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Another Federal Judge Strikes Down An Obama Executive Action On Immigration

Editors Note: Once again the Obama administration has been found to have overstepped its legal authority. Obama has no respect for the law or the Constitution when issuing what most legal scholars illegal executive orders. Now if Congress will show a bit of intestinal fortitude and take back their Constitutional authority and do the job that the voters elected them to these illegal actions by Obama and his administration will come to an end. [TS]

A federal judge appointed by President Obama issued a preliminary injunction last week ending a key 2014 immigration executive action that helped end a wave of illegal immigration from Central Americans countries last summer.

“At the heart of Plaintiffs’ suit is their assertion that [the Department of Homeland Security] has adopted an unlawful detention policy aimed at deterring mass migration,” United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge James Boasberg wrote in his opinion. “Defendants have presented little empirical evidence,” Boasberg continued, “that their detention policy achieves its only desired effect – i.e. that it actually deters potential immigrants from Central America.”

DHS implemented the executive action challenged by plaintiffs in June 2014 to detain migrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador who claimed a “credible fear” of persecution and sought asylum in the United States.

Previously, DHS had just released any migrant who claimed asylum into the U.S., but DHS determined that this policy was creating an “active migration network” that was encouraging more migrants to come to the United States.

To break this network, DHS began detaining migrants in federal facilities throughout the United States, including the Kansas County Residential Facility in Texas where all ten named plaintiffs in the suit were held.

DHS tried to argue that the lawsuit should have been moot since all ten named plaintiffs have since been released, but the judge found that since they were suing as a class, they still had standing.

Federal statute explicitly authorizes DHS to detain asylum seekers for any reason, and Judge Boasberg even admits that, “the statute contains no limitation on the Executive’s discretion to detain, nor does it enumerate the factors that may be considered.”

Nevertheless, Judge Boasberg held that the statute should be rewritten to read that DHS only has the authority to detain aliens for “a period reasonably necessary to bring about that alien’s removal from the United States.” At no point does Judge Boasberg then say how long it would be “reasonably necessary” for the DHS to hold migrants seeking asylum under the statute.

“The court held that it was illegal to detain families based on deterrence. It made clear that the government cannot deprive individuals of their liberty merely to send a message to others,” American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project director Judy Rabinovitz said in a statement.

Asked at the White House press briefing Tuesday if the Obama administration will seek an emergency stay of Judge Boasberg’s injunction, like they did for the injunction on Obama’s Deferred Action for Parental Accountability program, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest referred reporters to the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice has not yet commented on whether or not they will seek a stay.

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/conncarroll/2015/02/25/another-federal-judge-strikes-down-another-obama-executive-action-on-immigration-n1962110

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Ambassador John Bolton: ‘Obama Worse Than Neville Chamberlain’

AP Photo/Dennis Cook

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate John Bolton revealed on Breitbart News Saturday the launch of The Foundation for American Security and Freedom (FASF).

Bolton, a leading voice in advancing public debate on U.S. foreign and national security policies, believes his new organization “will provide the necessary platform, resources, and leadership to demonstrate to the world that we will recognize American exceptionalism not only in rhetoric, but also in deeds.”

The Yale Law School graduate appeared on the show airing on Sirius XM Patriot Radio, channel 125, hosted by Breitbart Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow and Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon. The not-for-profit 501(c)(4) organization, explained Bolton, “is intended to educate the public on the significance of the national security threats that we face around the world.”

The staunchly pro-American diplomat explained that the FASF was designed to help America avoid the mistake of electing a president who doesn’t care that much about America’s national security, as it did when electing Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. Bolton characterized Obama as a subscriber to the notion that “America’s strength and success in the world is part of the problem, not part of the solution.”

Bolton also heads up the John Bolton PAC and Bolton SuperPACs, which Bannon referred to as “enormously successful in the 2014 election in actually getting national security into that entire debate.” According to a release from the foundation on Thursday, the PACs raised a combined amount of $7.5 million and made contributions of almost $500,000 to Republican candidates who are strong on national security policies.

The foundation’s goals are more educationally oriented than the usual role of PACs, explained the former Ambassador. Americans are not going to get real information or analysis about the attacks in Paris, about Islamic terrorism, the beheading of Christians by ISIS, etc. from the administration or the media. The FASF will shed light and bring to the surface these kinds of issues, he explained.

Ambassador Bolton aims to make National Security issues one of the top two or three issues in the upcoming 2016 election. He strongly believes that Barack Obama has done his best to marginalize the discussion, and the Foundation’s mission will be to elevate it. “Getting people ready for the 2016 debate is a critical function,” he maintains.

Bolton agreed with Marlow, who suggested that it is “surreal” and a “bit of a regression… that we have to actually make a case to the American people that it is beneficial that we have a strong America.”

Bolton attributes this development in “substantial part to President Obama.” He noted that unlike president’s dating all the way back to FDR after Pearl Harbor, “Obama doesn’t wake up in the morning with his very first thoughts thinking ‘What threats does America face in the world today?’” Bolton asserts that “he doesn’t believe that American strength in the world is beneficial to protecting our way of life here at home. He really is an isolationist.”

Blame can also be cast on the Republicans, he explained, for not doing their job as the opposition. Republicans failed to explain to citizens that “not talking about foreign threats and challenges” doesn’t make it easier to resolve the problems abroad; it makes it more difficult.

The ambassador predicts a series of threats to the United States over the next couple years. Because America’s enemies know that Obama is going to be in office only two more years and his successor may prove to be more formidable, “this is the time to do it,” he argues.

A run in 2016, to correct the Obama mistakes on national security and reopen the debate on these issues, may be in the cards for the former ambassador. He and Bannon agreed that the American people, unlike the way they are often portrayed, crave the discussion and care deeply about foreign policy issues.

Obama’s snuggling up to Iran, whom Bolton refers to as the “main banker” for thirty five years of both Shia and Sunni terrorist attacks, may lead to a nuclear armed Iran and destabilize the Middle-East. Moreover, Bolton would not put it past the Iranians to shuffle one of the nukes off to a terrorist group to sail into an American harbor.

Bolton added that he doesn’t blame Prime Minister of Israel Bibi Netanyahu in coming over to speak with Congress and circumventing the president next week, because “Israel faces a legitimately-labeled existential threat,” he said. Bolton described Obama’s behavior of objecting to the meeting as that of a “petulant high school student.”

Marlow pointed out that in an AP article on Friday night, Obama astonishingly boasted that a nuclear deal with Iran will be his signature accomplishment for the next two years. Bolton responded that this “puts Obama in a category worse than Neville Chamberlain.” He asserted that at least Chamberlain didn’t consider his appeasement of Germany in the lead up to WW II a stabilizing factor. Rather, the British Prime Minister hoped that it would satiate Hitler’s thirst for conquest. Obama’s belief, on the other hand, that allowing Iran to be a nuclear world leader will help stabilize the Middle-East is “ludicrous,” Bolton said.

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/21/ambassador-john-bolton-obama-worse-than-neville-chamberlain/

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ISIS’ army of 7-footers? Experts say video of Copt beheadings manipulated

Video of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians being marched along a Libyan beach before being beheaded by black-clad members of ISIS is hard for any civilized person to watch, but experts who made it through the sickening, five-minute clip told FoxNews.com Friday they came to the same conclusion: The footage was faked.

No one holds out hope the victims, mostly poor fishermen who had gone to Libya to scratch out a living, are still alive. But several anomalies in the video, which was posted online Feb. 15, indicated to trained eyes that at least some of the production was done on “green screen” with background added later, perhaps to disguise the real location of the atrocity. A day after the clip went viral, Egyptian warplanes struck hard at an eastern port city near Tripoli, where the video appeared to have been shot.

“The Islamic State’s manipulation of their high-production videos has become commonplace,” said Veryan Khan, editorial director of the Florida-based Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. The murders likely took place in a studio, and the background image shown was likely from another location, the Bay in Sirte, a part of the Mediterranean Sea on the northern coast of Libya, according to Khan. There are several technical mistakes in the video that show it was manipulated, she said.

“The shot that seems really tampered with is the one with the really tall Jihadists and the dwarf Christians.”- Mary Lambert, horror film director

The most obvious, Khan said, is the speaker, “Jihad Joseph” is much larger than the sea in both the close up and wide shots, and his head is bizarrely out of proportion, meaning he was filmed indoors and the sea added behind him, Khan said. In addition, the jihadists featured in the film look to be more than 7 feet tall, towering as much as two feet above their victims.

The perspective is something several Saudi Arabians noted in their tweets about the video, questioning whether the jihadists were a part of some sort of special forces unit since they were so large.

Hollywood horror film director Mary Lambert, who among her many film credits directed Pet Cemetery, analyzed the film for FoxNews.com and quickly concluded Khan was correct.

“The shot that seems really tampered with is the one with the really tall Jihadists and the dwarf Christians,” said Lambert, also a professor at New York University’s vaunted film school. “The close-ups of Jihadists on the beach are most likely green screen.”

Other technical giveaways: The sound of the ocean is likely a well-known audio track. Even more bizarre, the stream of blood in the ocean at the end of the video, and during the beheading of the final victim, is most likely not real. TRAC’s forensic analyst said turning the sea red is the “cheapest and easiest post-production tool” and “can even be achieved with a cell phone.” But doing it in the manner portrayed in the video is actually impossible, Khan said.

The sea turning red is obviously “FX”, Lambert agreed, with special computer effects used.

“I think that in the opening shot all the figures might be animated. They never had more than six men on the beach,” Lambert said.

The directors of the video used animation and “rotoscoping” to use the six figures like a rubber stamp in the marching sequence and also in the kneeling sequence, Lambert said.

Rotoscoping is a visual effect where the image is manually removed from a background in a live action video, and then composited on a different background, usually with green screens and chroma key.

“The weird jump-cut editing in the opening is a way to conceal this,” Lambert said.

There are shots that pan the prisoners on the beach and tilt down to the kneeling that look real to Lambert, although she added they “might have been enhanced in some way.”

The most amateur mistake, according to Khan’s forensic analyst, is getting the perspective along the shoreline all wrong.

“What is supposed to be the seashore is, in reality, a bay as determined by the tide, rocks, and wave action. Looking at the two big sets of footprints in the sand shown at a 90- degree angle, neither set of footprints can be the hostages or the hostage takers. Had this been a seaside shot, the sand would have been much softer and the victims’ footprints would have sunk much deeper into the sand,” the forensic analyst reports.

Another mistake was made during the beheading of the final victim, Khan said.

“Not only did it lack the correct blood pulsation for decapitation, but seems to have had the blood ‘faked’ with cornstarch,” Khan said.

As human blood oxygenates, it darkens, Khan said, adding because this blood did not, it exposes the possibility that the beheadings were not done at the same time, despite ISIS’s claims.

Why all the bizarre video manipulation?

“Islamic State has been revolutionary in using the green screen technique, most likely to limit exposure to drones [and] satellite [locating of] their operations,” Khan said. “The producer probably required that only the cameraman and his assistant be present for the outdoor frames. Later, in post production, the editors dropped in the executions.”

The Islamic State is notorious for its high-quality productions of horrific murders such as children learning to behead victims, suspected gays being thrown from buildings and the burning alive of Jordanian air force pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, but this video was produced by a much less talented ISIS crew, Khan said.

FoxNews.com provided TRAC’s analysis to the CIA, where a spokesperson said the matter was under review. The agency is among the intelligence bureaus already pouring over the footage to determine the identity of “Jihad Joseph,” who leads the mass beheading depicted on the video and who some have speculated may be an American.

Egyptian government officials did not respond to requests for comment, but Edward Yeranian, an Egypt-based radio correspondent for Voice of America and other news agencies, said Egyptian analysts are also openly skeptical about the video’s authenticity.

“Even the number of people beheaded is still in dispute,” Yeranian said.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/02/20/isis-army-7-footers-experts-say-video-copt-beheadings-manipulated/

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State Department spokeswoman: Call for using jobs to combat terror ‘too nuanced’ for critics

Editors Note: Another Obama administration progressive who thinks the American people are to stupid to understand the grand plan of things. Harf’s statement is reminiscent of Obamacare architect Johnathan Gruber’s statements that Americans were to stupid to understand Obamacare. Both are following the lead of their arrogant leader President Obama who also thinks Americans are to simple minded to understand the big picture of things he thinks is best for a citizenry to uneducated to know what is good for them. The typical liberal progressive mantra of not placing blame on the perpetrator but making excuses and offering them jobs to satisfy their grievances. The refuse to use the word Muslim when talking about terrorists and go out of their way not to offend them. Obama has one pressing issue on his immediate adgenda and that is a deal with Iran over their pursuit of nuclear weapons. He is willing to agree to any terms so he can say it was under his leadership a deal was brokered irregardless of the future consequences. Harf is just another example of the wrong people in a job they do not understand that has world consequences when things go wrong. While ISIS is running amok slaughtering innocent people the White House preferred method of controlling them is on Twitter and using hashtags. [TS]

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, after coming under fire for suggesting a way to fight the Islamic State and all terrorism is by creating jobs, has an answer for her critics: Her argument is just “too nuanced” for them to understand.

Harf, in TV interviews Tuesday night, stood by her original remarks and said she was speaking about a comprehensive approach to combating “extremism.”

Harf said that means airstrikes in the short-term, and going after “root causes” like poor economic conditions in the long-term.

“Longer term, we cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try,” Harf said on CNN. “How do you get at the root causes of this? Look, it might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the past 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, military commanders, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat this.” 

Harf went on to say the approach doesn’t fit “into a sound bite,” when asked to respond to the intense criticism, on social media and elsewhere, of her original remarks.

On Tuesday, Rob O’Neill, former Navy SEAL Team 6 member, told Fox News a “military strategy” is what’s needed to fight ISIS.

“They get paid to cut off heads — to crucify children, to sell slaves and to cut off heads and I don’t think that a change in career path is what’s going to stop them,” he said.

O’Neill, who claims to have fired the shot that killed Usama bin Laden, warned that the problem is spreading.

“We can’t let it happen,” he said. “It’ll go to Saudi Arabia, it’ll hit Jordan.” 

Harf first pointed to jobs as a counter-ISIS strategy during an interview Monday night on MSNBC — after ISIS-aligned militants slaughtered 21 Coptic Christians in Libya.

“We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them. … But we cannot win this war by killing them,” Harf said on MSNBC’s “Hardball.” “We need … to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s lack of opportunity for jobs, whether –” 

At that point, Harf was interrupted by host Chris Matthews, who pointed out, “There’s always going to be poor people. There’s always going to be poor Muslims.” 

Harf continued to argue that the U.S. should work with other countries to “help improve their governance” and “help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people.” 

She said: “If we can help countries work at the root causes of this — what makes these 17-year-old kids pick up an AK-47 instead of trying to start a business?” 

Harf stood by the remarks Tuesday night on CNN, and on MSNBC. CNN host Wolf Blitzer challenged her statements, asking if she thinks these young men might not turn to terror if they just had a job.

Harf called that a “gross oversimplification.” 

Blitzer pointed out that some of the world’s most notorious terrorists, including bin Laden, came from wealth and privilege.

Harf acknowledged that point. On Twitter, she also defended herself by quoting other leaders, including former President George W. Bush, who has pointed to the need to fight poverty as a way to fight terrorism.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/18/state-department-spokeswoman-call-for-using-jobs-to-combat-terror-too-nuanced/

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The Cost to America of an AWOL President

Buzzfeed
Editors Note: Not only is Obama AWOL but he is also dangerous with his constant Foreign Policy screw ups that has left the Middle East in total chaos. At a time when strong American leadership is needed w have a President to is more interested in Climate Change and Selfies. Europe is being over run with terrorist attacks and the President of the United States is to busy to stand in defiance with European Leaders in a march of protest. His close associations with Terrorist Groups have emboldened them to a point they are not afraid of American intervention. Will Congress and the American people need a Charlie Hebdo incident here in America before they finally restrain the antics of the Court Jester or will they continue to allow this Community Organizer to bring the world into WW3. 2016 will be here sooner than you know and it will be up to the American people which direction America will proceed. Elect another Liberal Democrat to the White House and turn the Congress back to the Democrats and America as we have know it will cease to exist. Elections have consequences as proven by the election of Obama, America can not withstand another Democratically controlled government and survive. [TS]
In the recently released, but largely unheralded, National Security Strategy of the United States, the new buzz-word was “strategic patience.” As our unarmed Marines hastily departed Yemen, and ISIS closed in on their fellow devil-dogs in Iraq, the President was more than showing patience: he was making video about taking selfies.
The new National Security Strategy of the United States, which was a year late and strangely dropped on a Friday – a technique usually reserved for documents the administration doesn’t want to be read – opens with a a letter from President Obama. In it, he states that his answer to the threats and challenges that face the nation is “strategic patience.” Instead of tackling the dangers of the word proactively and head-on, America will play a waiting game. This fits neatly into previous approaches from the White House that have emphasized “leading from behind.” Given the geopolitical realties of today’s world, American voters should draw their own report card of what a reactive and “patient” approach has brought the Republic in the last six years:
  • The Global Jihadist Movement: Not only is Al Qaeda not on the ropes, but ISIS /The Islamic State has overtaken it as a fully-fledged insurgency which is so powerful that latest reports have it attacking the base in Iraq where US Marines are deployed to assist the Iraqi army in standing itself back up after being routed last Summer. As media attention focuses again on the Middle East, especially after the gruesome immolation of Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Jihadist movement grows ever stronger in Africa, with Boko Haram killing thousands and enslaving hundreds of Christian girls. Back home, we have the unprecedented statement by the director of the FBI that the Bureau is investigating ISIS activity in 49 states of the union. (Every state except Sarah Palin’s Alaska).
  • On the Shia side of this global war, we see that not only is Iran very deftly outmaneuvering the administration when it comes to its nuclear program, its proxies are gaining ground in South Asia and the Middle East, most especially in Yemen, where the Houthis have captured the capital. This despite the fact that Yemen was lauded last year by the President as one of the true success stories of his counterterrorism strategy.
  • The most populous and important Arab Muslim state, Egypt, has not responded well to “strategic patience” – or rather, strategic neglect and rejection of the White House. When the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi was deposed by General Sisi, Cairo became the black sheep of the region as far as the administration is considered. This despite the fact that now-president Sisi is the only Muslim leader since 9/11 to openly call for a “religious revolution” in Islam aimed against the violent jihadists that threaten his nation as much as ours.
  • With the “pivot to Asia” declared by then-Secretary Clinton resulting in nominal, if any actual, redirection of our attention to the region, China has proceeded to build up its military and use it to intimidate its neighbors and lay claim to new territories in ways that could very easily lead to a shooting war in the region.
  • And in Europe, Vladimir Putin has managed to break a 60-plus year international taboo by using force to redraw borders and annex the territory of a neighboring state. Clearly, the former KGB colonel believes in being a pro-active leader.
This is just a short version of a disturbing list that could be made much longer. The empirical truth on the ground is that we have enemies at home and abroad, enemies who believe neither in “leading from behind” nor in “strategic patience.” At the same time, the most powerful nation the world has ever seen has a Commander-in-Chief who is Absent With Out Leave.
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Surprise: Obama Administration Still Stonewalling on IRS Scandal

Editors Note: More stonewalling from the self proclaimed “Most Transparent Administration In History” . When will Congress finally exert their Constitutional Authority and do a proper investigation and force this most corrupt President and his Administration to hand over all pertinent information to Congressional investigators and issue subpoenas to force the appearance of reluctant witnesses. Force Lois Lerner to appear and if she so desires plead the 5th Amendment, then give her limited immunity and require her to testify under threat of immediate arrest at the witness table and prosecution for Contempt of Congress.

It is far past the time of allowing Obama and his administration to snub their noses at the rule of law and force an end to this ongoing circus. It is time to pull the curtain back and reveal the corruption that originates with the President of the United States Barack Hussein Obama and permeates his entire administration. No American is above the law and that includes sitting Presidents. [TS]

The Inspector General’s office charged with looking into the IRS targeting scandal has denied Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests filed by The Hill pertaining to more than 500 correspondences between their office (known as TIGTA) and various Obama officials and IRS scandal players.  Correspondent Bob Cusack reports on the latest stonewall:

The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party groups. Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency’s scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations. The Hill sought access to government documents that might provide a glimpse of the decision-making through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Hill asked for 2013 emails and other correspondence between the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). The request specifically sought emails from former IRS official Lois Lerner and Treasury officials, including Secretary Jack Lew, while the inspector general was working on its explosive May 2013 report that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to review the political activities of tax-exempt groups. TIGTA opted not to release any of the 512 documents covered by the request, citing various exemptions in the law. The Hill recently appealed the FOIA decision, but TIGTA denied the appeal. TIGTA also declined to comment for this article.

So in addition to the IRS “losing” and “accidentally” destroying certain communications attached to this scandal, the IG’s office is also blocking access to documents that do exist. I discussed these latest developments with AB Stoddard on Fox News earlier today:

 

Cusack’s story goes on to list the various reasons TIGTA cited in refusing to release any of the 512 documents:

In its written response to The Hill, TIGTA cited FOIA exemptions ranging from interagency communication to personal privacy. It also claimed it cannot release relevant documents “when interference with the law enforcement proceedings can be reasonably expected.” Yet, congressional Republicans say there is no evidence of any prosecution in the works, and media outlets have indicated that the Department of Justice and the FBI have already determined that no charges will be filed. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) notes that eight months after Lerner was held in contempt of Congress for not testifying at two hearings, the matter has not yet been referred to a grand jury.

They point to “personal privacy” concerns. If only the IRS had been equally concerned about conservative groups’ privacy before leaking donor lists to hostile rival organizations.  And if only the IRS were sufficiently committed to privacy that they did not hire back hundreds of employees fired for cause, including improper use of taxpayers’ private information.  Alas, different rules.  Another excuse given is the ‘reasonable expectation’ of impending criminal proceedings, of which there have been zero indications thus far.  As I noted in the segment, one can’t help but wonder if there’s any connection between the lack of charges and the status of the leader of the DOJ’s investigation as an Obama and Democratic donor over multiple election cycles.  On one hand, there are no signs of any criminal prosecutions coming down the pike.  On the other, the possibility that they might someday materialize is being held up as a cause to deny transparency requests.  Neat trick, that.  If and when the administration is asked about any of this, they will undoubtedly return to their old playbook, directing reporters to the tens of thousands of documents they’ve released, like these:

Last week, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said the IRS recently delivered 86,000 pages of new documents to the panel. Hatch added, “These documents … were given to us without notice or explanation roughly twenty months after we made our initial document request [on the targeting].”

You’re asking about a few hundred emails over here, but look over there at those tens of thousands of other emails we dumped without warning, nearly two years after they were requested!  And of the document drop, who’s to say that the most relevant or damning emails weren’t deliberately excluded, as was the case in the Benghazi cover-up?  I should point out that this lack of cooperation emanates from the Inspector General’s office, which is interesting, given the IG’s role as a pro-transparency watchdog.  We don’t know nearly enough to  impugn anyone’s motives within TIGTA at this point — recall that Democrats launched a shameful assault on the IG’s credibility when this scandal was a front-page story — but it’s not surprising that some Republicans are frustrated.  And it’s not as if GOP lawmakers haven’t questioned TIGTA’s practices in the past: When the IRS scandal broke, it eventually became clear that the IG’s office and elements within the Obama administration knew of the agency’s abuse months prior to the 2012 election, but the scandal’s existence was successfully buried until the spring of 2013.  Don’t forget, incidentally, that the White House’s official story on how any when they were made aware of the targeting practices shifted roughly half-a-dozen times before they finally settled on an answer.  It also seems worthwhile to note that a separate Inspector General’s office came under withering criticism last year for a report on the VA scandal, the findings of which were reportedly watered down following political pressure from the Obama administration.

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2015/02/10/surprise-obama-administration-still-stonewalling-on-irs-scandal-n1955503

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Obama administration issues 5.5M work permits to non-citizens; critics call it ‘shadow’ immigration system

Since 2009, the Obama administration issued roughly 5.5 million work permits to non-citizens beyond what Congress has authorized, according to recently-released documents that critics of U.S. policy say reveals a “shadow” or “parallel” immigration system stifling wages and taking jobs from Americans.

The information was obtained by the conservative-leaning Center for Immigration Studies through a Freedom of Information Act request and has prompted Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions to call for an investigation.

“This request has unearthed the operation of a shadow immigration system previously unknown to the American public,” said Sessions, one of Capitol Hill’s most outspoken critics of President Obama’s immigration policy. “A full investigation is warranted.”

Congress authorized an estimated 5 million green cards and 3.5 million guest worker permits during the 2009-2014 period, in additional to the 5.5 million issued additionally by administration action, a Senate staffer said Wednesday.

Jessica Vaughn, the study author and the center’s director of policy studies, argues the administration has discovered the power to issue work permits outside the limits set by Congress and that it has become “the vehicle” for Obama’s executive actions — in which he has offered deferred deportation to millions of people now in the country illegally.

The biggest group of recipients has been people entering the U.S. without being inspected. More than 957,200 of them received permanent or “pre-permanent” work permits, according to the center.

Others received those types of permits were 23,215 parolees, nearly 1,000 stowaways and 49 people suspected of document fraud.

In addition, 531,692 students and 470,028 students received temporary work permits over that period. And those in both groups we neither originally admitted to the U.S. for employment nor qualified for admission, the group found.

“Some of those people are on track to get a green card,” Vaughn said recently on Fox News Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” “But the vast majority of them entered illegal or on a tourist visa or the visa waiver program. … It’s not like there’s a labor shortage here.”

Session has largely framed his argument against Obama’s immigration policy as hurtful to U.S. workers, many of whom have not seen wages increase in the growing, post-recession economy.

“The slack labor market has depressed median family income by $5,000″ since 2009, he said.

Vaughn also broke down the numbers to show the three biggest groups ineligible for work permits but receiving them are illegal immigrants (928,000), people of “unknown” immigration status (1.7 million), and those on a temporary visa (1.8 million).

“There’s no reason to issue (work permits) to people here illegally or whose status is unknown,” Vaughn also said.

She said 1.7 million have either not been recorded or their statuses have not being disclosed by the Citizenship and Immigration Services, which  should be a concern because work permits are “gateway documents” to driver’s licenses and other benefits.

The agency did return a call requesting comment.

“And if the government agency issuing them does not know or will not disclose how the bearer arrived in the country how can others rely on the authenticity of an individual’s identity? It is equally disconcerting if the government does know and chooses not to disclose it,” Vaughn said.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/07/obama-administration-issues-55-million-work-permits-to-non-citizens-that/

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Military intel boss: ‘Very little’ can be done to stop Taliban 5 from returning to fight

Editors Note: In his feeble attempt to demonstrate his “Compassion” for the U.S. Military he openly detests and to bolster his plummeting poll numbers Obama disregarded his military and civilian advisers and traded (5) known Terrorist leaders for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Either not bothering to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding Bergdahl’s disappearance or intentionally ignoring the accusations of his fellow soldiers Obama made the trade and then flanked by his parents announced it with great fanfare. The Army is expected to very soon announce that  Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with Desertion at an upcoming Court Marshal. During his absence the Army sent rescue units to try to retrieve the Sgt. where soldiers were killed in their attempt to rescue him.

Obama’s total ineptitude in dealing with any kind of foreign problem is manifested with the release of the Taliban 5. His single mindedness and obsession with closing GITMO has enabled (5) know Taliban high echelon commanders to return to the battlefield withing a short period of time with at least one confirmed to have already made contact with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Couple that with the troop draw down that was announced again against the advice of his advisers Obama has not only endangered those American troops left in Afghanistan but the Afghanistan people themselves.

It is becoming more and more evident that Obama is a very little man in a job to big for him to handle. Since his election in 2008 the Terrorist threat around the world have grown out of control especially with the advent of ISIS. World leaders now know that under Obama’s tenure as President of the United States, America can not be counted on or trusted to stand with the world in its fight against Global Terrorism. Americas closest and most trusted Allie in the Middle East Israel knows all to well that Obama is not to be trusted when it comes to negotiations with any terrorist organization or country especially Iran who is almost certainly now going to  develop a nuclear weapons program. Once that happens there will necessarily be a Middle East Nuclear Arms Race that will not only endanger Israel  and the Middle East but the entire world.

With 2 more years left in his Presidency the world will no doubt suffer more from Obama and his Administrations lack of leadership. Let us hope that Congress will finally use its Constitutional authority to stop Obama from more of his Foreign Affairs screw ups. The world has been brought to the verge of  a World War by a President who has not a clue nor the desire on how to lead the world in this fight against Radical Muslim Terrorists. When you have the leader of the Free World refusing to even designate these Terrorist Groups as such there is little hope that his agenda of disengagement will ever change. [TS]

A top military intelligence official acknowledged Tuesday there’s “very little” his agency could do to prevent the Taliban fighters traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from returning to the battlefield later this year.

Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, made the comments in testimony before the House Armed Services Committee, shortly after officials confirmed that at least one of the five former Guantanamo prisoners freed last year was intercepted making calls to the Taliban.

Those five ex-prisoners are currently being monitored in Qatar, but the terms of that arrangement expire in May or June. Asked Wednesday what the DIA could do to protect American troops in Afghanistan from those fighters returning to the battlefield, Stewart indicated the most they could do is issue a warning.

“We continue to look at monitoring the number of sources that will tell us when these individuals have gone back into business,” he said. “Directly, though, besides notifying folks that these terrorists have gone back into business, there’s very little at this point the DIA could do besides warning of their continued operations.” 

He stressed that his agency has been on the “periphery” of the move to release those five detainees, and confirmed his agency was not even consulted prior to their release. Generally speaking, Stewart said over the last four or five years, officials have confirmed about 18 percent of former detainees have returned to the battlefield. Another 11 percent are suspected of having returned. He said, roughly, one in five former prisoners could be expected “to go back into the business.”  

The warning came during a hearing where top military officials warned about the expanding reach and ambitions of groups ranging from the Taliban to Al Qaeda to the Islamic State.

In his written remarks, Stewart warned that the Taliban, Al Qaeda and their allies “will likely seek to exploit the reduced Coalition presence” in Afghanistan by “pressuring” local security forces in rural areas and “conducting high profile attacks in major population centers, and expanding their safe havens.” 

He also warned about the “spread” of the Islamic State beyond Iraq and Syria, to three other countries.

“With affiliates in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, the group is beginning to assemble a growing international footprint that includes ungoverned and under-governed areas,” he said in written remarks.

Stewart was questioned on the so-called “Taliban 5″ on Tuesday by Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. Lawmakers have raised fresh concerns in recent days about those freed prisoners amid claims that one of them tried reaching out to the Taliban.

The White House and Pentagon last week defended the terms of that trade and insisted that all five former detainees were in Qatar and accounted for — and have not returned to the battlefield.

But lawmakers questioned what would happen after the strict monitoring in Qatar is over.

“What happens then?” Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said in an interview with Fox News last week. “Never mind that they’re already attempting to re-engage and obviously making communications to do so.”

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/03/military-intel-boss-very-little-can-do-to-prevent-taliban-5-from-returning-to/

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Iowa 2016 Poll: Walker Surges to Early Lead, Big Names Struggling

And boy, do we mean early. With the 2016 Iowa caucuses nearly a full year away, a new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll released over the weekend shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker jumping out to a small lead in the state — followed by Rand Paul, Mitt Romney (now out of the race), Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson.  Jeb Bush pulls eight percent, with Chris Christie struggling at four percent, weighed down by uniquely weak favorability ratings.  Notably, grassroots hero Ted Cruz hasn’t gained much traction in an electorate that seems fairly well-suited to his message; the same can be said of Rick Santorum, who narrowly carried Iowa in 2012.  And Marco Rubio’s backing among Iowa Republicans stands at three percent.  Details:


According to Bloomberg’s write-up, when Romney’s supporters are re-allocated among their stated second choices, “Walker’s backing grows to 16 percent, followed by 15 percent for Paul, 13 percent for Huckabee, and 10 percent for Carson. Removing Romney from his third-place spot had no effect on the ranking order of the other top potential candidates and offered the biggest boost to Huckabee. Bush’s overall number inched up just one point, to 9 percent.”  That last nugget is a departure from national Republican preferences, based on a recent Fox News poll revealing that Bush has the most to gain from Romney’s exit:

[The survey] found that Mr. Bush was the second choice of many who favored Mr. Romney, and would lead the field in his absence. Although Mr. Romney would have led the field with 21% of Republicans surveyed by Fox, the poll found that in his absence Mr. Bush rose to No. 1 spot with 15%, followed by Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky tied with 13% each.

Name recognition is the name of the game at this point, and money will become an increasing potent factor — which is why Jeb Bush’s six-figures-per-day fundraising clip is an eye-opener.  The Iowa survey suggests that voters are eager to hear from the emerging Republican field, and are open to change their opinions based on candidates’ performances.  Walker’s share of support shot up by eleven points compared to his anemic four percent showing in the same polling series just four months ago.  A much-heralded showing at a recent Hawkeye State forum, resulting in plenty of buzz, appears to have vaulted the Wisconsin governor from an afterthought to the front of the pack.  The survey was in the field a few days after that event, and concluded before Romney exited the race.  Suffice it to say, things are quite fluid at this stage (as they should be, with no formally declared candidates).  The nascent Democratic contest is, well, less competitive:


Staring at stable, dominant numbers like these, it’s little wonder that Team Hillary is privately debating running mates and mulling forgoing primary debates.  Democratic voters are clearly “ready for Hillary,” even if that enthusiasm hasn’t necessarily transferred over to the broader electorate.  Before you go, click through to a New York Times piece detailing the process behind Romney’s 2016 demurral.  It appears as though Jeb Bush scored his first major victory of the cycle by contributing heavily to Mitt’s decision via aggressive poaching of donors and staffers.  An opening for Christie?  Perhaps — if he can straighten out his aforementioned favorability problems.  I’ll leave you with Scott Walker’s table-setting web ad, in case you missed Dan’s post late last week:

UPDATE – A relevant point about this poll, via Brit Hume:

Yeah, that MOE is…high. Also, it’s early February of 2015.

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2015/02/02/iowa-poll-n1951145

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At a glance: Where the GOP contenders stand in the 2016 race

WASHINGTON (AP) — Technically, no big-name Republican has formally declared his candidacy for president in 2016.

But we now know that former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is out, after he announced Friday that he would forgo a third presidential run.

There are as many as two dozen others still in the mix, ranging from those who are just talking about it to others with what amounts to campaigns-in-waiting.

Here’s where they stand in the off-and-running race for campaign cash.

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JEB BUSH

The former Florida governor created a political action committee and super PAC in December, both named Right to Rise. Those moves accelerated the race for donors among the prospective GOP candidates, and every sign points to Bush seeking to become the third member of his family to serve as president.

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SCOTT WALKER

The Wisconsin governor this week announced a nonprofit group, Our American Revival, that will allow him to promote his policy ideas and raise unlimited donations. Because of the way Walker structured the organization, it allows him to hire staff and consultants, but he cannot give campaign donations to lawmakers in early voting states such as Iowa or New Hampshire.

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CHRIS CHRISTIE

The New Jersey governor is working to turn his fundraising success as chairman of the Republican Governors Association into cash for a possible presidential campaign. Christie moved toward a run this week with the formation of Leadership Matters for America, a political action committee.

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RAND PAUL

The Kentucky senator has his Senate leadership committee, RANDPAC, up and running – with staff in the crucial presidential states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. Paul has used it to pick up the tab for his travel around the country, as well as to pay aides and consultants who would form the backbone of a presidential campaign.

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MARCO RUBIO

The senator from Florida is using Reclaim America, his federal leadership political action committee, to lay the groundwork for a campaign. Rubio spent this week away from Washington, lining up donors in California, Texas and Illinois for a likely presidential run.

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TED CRUZ

The tea party firebrand has used his federal leadership PAC, the Jobs, Growth and Freedom Fund, to advance his national political brand. The senator from Texas also has earned allies – and favors – throughout the conservative movement by helping outside organizations raise money.

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LINDSEY GRAHAM

The senior senator from South Carolina this week announced he had formed Security Through Strength, a campaign-like committee that will allow him to gauge interest in a potential White House bid. He also continues to operate a Senate leadership committee, the Fund for America’s Future.

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RICK PERRY

The former Texas governor started a federal political committee last year to help him support candidates and allies, ranging from a New Hampshire sheriff hopeful to the South Carolina Republican Party. Perry initially proved a skilled fundraiser during his 2012 bid, but the money dried up after his high-profile stumbles.

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MIKE HUCKABEE

The former Arkansas governor recently stepped down from his post with Fox News to more seriously weigh a presidential bid. He has also has used his political committee, Huck PAC, to keep involved in campaigns.

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RICK SANTORUM

After dropping out of the 2012 presidential race, the former senator from Pennsylvania formed the nonprofit Patriot Voices to help him keep in touch with supporters, as well as a sister PAC with the same name. At the same time, Santorum has long hated raising money and is telling supporters he would run another shoe-string campaign.

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BOBBY JINDAL

The Louisiana governor’s Stand Up to Washington PAC is his federal campaign effort, although it has not been a priority for him. Jindal recently has been courting pastors and trying to build his national security credentials with fiery speeches against radical Islam.

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CARLY FIORINA

The former tech executive is trying to build a female-empowering organization, Unlocking Potential Project, for conservatives. While she has helped GOP committees raise cash and chairs the American Conservative Union Foundation, her most recent filing to the Federal Election Commission shows she still owes close to $500,000 from her 2010 failed Senate bid in California. A Fiorina aide says she has paid that off since her last report.

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BEN CARSON

The retired pediatric neurosurgeon has developed a fervent following within conservative corners of the party, but he has never served in elected office. He has helped the anti-Obamacare American Legacy PAC raise cash, and several independent committees have sprung up to support him if he should run.

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SARAH PALIN

The 2008 vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor recently fanned speculation that she might seek the GOP nomination in 2016. She has used her SarahPAC – along with her reality television programs and Fox News appearances – to keep her name in the mix and to pay for travel to campaign rallies with allies.

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GEORGE PATAKI

The former New York governor launched a super PAC, Americans for Real Change, and has run ads promoting his message. Pataki previously considered presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

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JOHN BOLTON and PETER KING

Two of the biggest hawks in the GOP have formed political operations to ensure the party considers national security a priority. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, heads a political action committee that carries his name. King, a congressman from New York, runs the American Leadership Now PAC.

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MIKE PENCE, JOHN KASICH and RICK SNYDER

The Midwest governors lack active federal campaign committees. Pence and Kasich had federal committees while they served in the House, but those are no longer their political bases of operations.

Source: http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2015/01/30/at-a-glance-where-the-gop-contenders-stand-in-the-2016-race-n1950788

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The Illegal Bergdahl Deal: Sordid Details, Troubling Implications

Editors Note: Last night 1-26-15 on the O’reilly Factor on Fox News Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer reported that his sourced in the Army said the decision made by the U.S. Army was to charge now Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion and that Berfdahl’s civilian lawyer had been given a “Charge Sheet” specifying what charges would be brought against Bergdahl. Desertion is covered under Article 85 of the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). Today the spokesman for the Chaiman of the Joint Chiefs Rear Admiral John Kirby announced at a press conference that no decision has yet been made concerning possible charges against Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl  the complete opposit of Lt. Col. Shaffer.

It would seem as though the White House has behind the scenes has put pressure on the Army to slow down the investigation and any decision to charge Bergdahl with desertion. Obama and his charges are attempting to forestall and negative news about Bergdahl seeing Obama traded (5) Terrorist Commanders in exchange for releasing Bergdahl which Obama on live TV (with Bergdahl’s mother and father standing with him) called an American Hero. Obama had been advised by then Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta and Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and many others in the government and military to not make such a trade. Obama ignored these warnings and made the trade anyways so he could score points for returning what he described at the time an American Hero who had been captured by the Taliban,

Obama and his administration are afraid that if charges for desertion are filed against Betrgdahl for desertion then Obama will receive even more heat for the prisoner swap. Obama seems more interested in saving his reputation than seeing justice done to a deserter. Obama and his administration are once again trying to cover up its miserable failures as was the case in Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the EPA and on and on. This attempt to meddle in US Army legal action is now front and center and his participation should it be proven will be massively damaging to Obama’s effectiveness during that rest of his Presidential term. [TS]

 

Multiple news sources are now reporting that the US Army is charging Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl — the American soldier handed over by terrorist hostage takers in exchange for the release of five high-ranking Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay last spring — with desertion.  This comes as no surprise for those who followed the Bergdahl controversy closely; as Katie reminded us earlier, Bergdahl’s platoon mates unanimously spoke out against his actions.  The evidence of his desertion is overwhelming.  Other facts suggest that he may have crossed a line into active collaboration with the enemy.  Despite the fact that the military had drawn negative conclusions about Bergdahl’s conduct as far back as 2010 and declined to list him as POW, White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice declared that his service was marked by “honor and distinction” on national television.  This was part and parcel of the Obama administration’s public relations strategy surrounding the entire affair: Wave the flag about a captured American returning home to his family, and hope that the good vibes and emotional images of relieved family members and friends would crowd out the more sordid details — such as the freed terrorists’ long trail of blood and destruction, Bergdahl’s alleged crimes, and the manner in which Obama bypassed strong objections from top military and intelligence officials to close the deal.  Remember this?

Leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and military were opposed to freeing five senior Taliban commanders in exchange for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl when the White House first began exploring the prisoner swap in 2011 and 2012. The U.S. military wanted to bring Bergdahl home, but releasing Mullah Mohammad Fazl, Mullah Norullah Noori, Abdul Haq Wasiq, Khairullah Khairkhwa, and Mohammed Nabi Omari was seen as too dangerous at the time. James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, according to three U.S. intelligence officials flat out rejected the release of the five detainees, saying there was too high a risk these Taliban commanders would return to the battlefield and orchestrate attacks against Americans. Clapper was not alone. Leon Panetta, who was then the Secretary of Defense, declined to certify that the United States could mitigate the risk to national interests of releasing the Taliban commanders…Current U.S. intelligence and defense officials who spoke to The Daily Beast on Monday say the process for exchanging Taliban for Bergdahl this time was rushed and closely held, in some instances leaving little room for any push back against a policy clearly favored by the White House. “This was an example of forcing the consensus,” one U.S. military official said. “The White House knew the answer they wanted and they ended up getting it.”

The administration has insisted that the Bergdahl swap was not an instance of the US government violating its longstanding policy against negotiating with terrorists, assuring the country that it was a routine prisoner exchange.  This assertion is contradicted by the nature of Bergdahl’s captors, and the White House’s own spin that the plan had to be hatched and executed quickly, without informing Congress (as required by law), because the terrorists had threatened to kill Bergdahl.  That’s not how routine prisoner exchanges work.  Another one of their excuses wilted under light scrutiny.  The reality is that the Obama administration has been ideologically hellbent on emptying Gitmo for years, despite Congress’ repeated refusals to go along.  This scenario offered the president a chance to “get rid of” five dangerous terrorists and dress it up as a happy homecoming story. So the decision was made to (effectively, if not explicitly) negotiate with terrorists, then deny that any such thing had occurred. Now five influential jihadist captains are living comfortably in this “allied” nation, and a probable deserter/collaborator is set to stand trial here at home.  Does anyone doubt rumors that White House officials tried to stall the investigation and keep the desertion charges under wraps?


According to Shaffer, the Obama official at the center of these political machinations is the now-infamous Ben Rhodes, of course.  News of the desertion charges thrusts the administration’s terrorist-releasing policies back into the spotlight, raising fresh questions:

Before he was released from a U.S. maximum-security prison last week, a confessed al Qaeda sleeper agent was offered up in a potential prisoner swap that would have freed two Americans held abroad. The Daily Beast has learned that the proposal was floated in July 2014 to the then-U.S. ambassador in Qatar by an individual acting on behalf of that country’s attorney general. According to two individuals with direct knowledge of the case, the proposition was made shortly after the Obama administration traded five Taliban fighters for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Those fighters were also sent to Qatar, where they’re to remain under government watch until later this year. U.S. officials have said they’re at risk of plotting further attacks against the United States. The proposed swap involving the al Qaeda agent, Ali Saleh Al-Marri, raises troubling questions about whether the Bergdahl trade opened a kind of Pandora’s box, signaling to foreign governments that they can pressure the United States to make concessions on terrorism by trading American prisoners abroad for dangerous extremists held in the United States.

The administration denies that Al-Marri’s early release from federal prison — which we wrote about just last week — was tied to any quid pro quo.  Why should Americans believe that claim?

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2015/01/27/bergdahl-deal-and-us-policy-n1948873

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Obama seeks bigger wilderness designation in Alaska refuge

Editors Note: The Anti-Energy in Chief is at it again trying to take land away from any future oil exploration and development. 12.3 MILLION ACRES under the guise that it is for preservation of undeveloped land and the preservation of wildlife. In actuallity it is bedding down with the radical conservationists who despise any oil exploration and development. Obama is trying to please those groups who donate huge amounts of money to the democrats to keep the gravy train going. As in the past Obama will try to do anything to stifle Americas path to energy independence no matter how much it hurts the country and its people. This time he may not be so successful with a republican controlled Congress and democrats in fear of standing with this out of control enemy of energy. Now is the time to call,email or snail mail your elected officials and DEMAND that they oppose this obvious attempt by Obama to achieve his land grab in Alaska. People should also keep in mind when voting for a potential Hillary Clinton presidency that she has the same anti-energy beliefs as Obama. It is also of utmost importance that the republicans maintain control of both houses of Congress. Americas energy future and security is dependent on a government interested in both rather than pleasing a bunch of enviormental wackos. [TS]

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government.

“They’ve decided that today was the day that they were going to declare war on Alaska. Well, we are ready to engage,” said U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, and chair of the Senate energy committee.

The designation would set aside an additional nearly 12.3 million acres as wilderness, including the coastal plain near Alaska’s northeast corner, giving it the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands. More than 7 million acres of the refuge currently are managed as wilderness.

The refuge’s coastal plain has long been at the center of the struggle between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. Political leaders in Alaska have supported allowing for exploration and production within the coastal plain. They have opposed attempts to further restrict development on federal lands, which comprise about two-thirds of the state, including within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.

A resolution passed the state Legislature with bipartisan support last year urging Congress to allow for exploration and development on the coastal plain. A federal lawsuit brought by the state over the Interior Department’s refusal to consider a proposed exploration plan for the refuge’s coastal plain is pending. The state in 2013 proposed an exploration plan that it said was aimed at determining the true oil and gas potential in the refuge.

The Republican congressional delegation, along with Alaska’s new governor, Bill Walker, sent out a joint news release Sunday morning calling the action “an unprecedented assault on Alaska.” Walker changed his GOP affiliation to undeclared in running for office last year.

Walker told reporters in Anchorage that while he is not leaning toward litigation, the state is reviewing its options. He said this is one more example of a restriction that the federal government wants to put on Alaska. He wants to reach out to other governors in hopes of banding together to fight the proposal, Walker said.

The federal government is taking Alaska’s economy away from it piece by piece, he said.

In a White House video released Sunday, Obama said he is seeking the designation “so that we can make sure that this amazing wonder is preserved for future generations.”

The Interior Department issued a comprehensive plan Sunday that for the first time recommended the additional protections. If Congress agrees, it would be the largest wilderness designation since passage of the Wilderness Act in the 1960s, the agency said.

However, the proposal is likely to face stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Congress. Murkowski said in an interview that Obama is going after something “that is not possible in this Congress.” She said she sees it as an attempt by the administration to “score some environmental points” and to rile passions ahead of another announcement by Interior in the coming days that Murkowski said she was told would propose putting off-limits to development certain areas of the offshore Arctic.

Murkowski said she spoke with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Jewell’s chief of staff in the last few days.

Interior Department spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw, responding by email Sunday, did not offer details, but she said a proposed five-year offshore drilling plan is forthcoming and that environmental reviews of lease areas in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s shores are underway.

The department pegged the timing of Obama’s announcement in part to recent legislation proposed in Congress and talks involving potentially opening the refuge to development. Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, introduced a bill that would allow for development on the coastal plain. On Wednesday, in his first State of the State speech, Walker talked about working with the congressional delegation to tap oil within the refuge. Murkowski referenced the refuge — and the economic benefits that she said could come from unlocking a part of it — in an energy-focused Republican weekly address on Saturday.

Murkowski, who chairs the Interior appropriations subcommittee, said Sunday that the days of Obama administration officials knowing they can call her and get a call back are done.

Young, in a statement, called the proposed wilderness delegation a violation of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. “Simply put, this wholesale land grab, this widespread attack on our people and our way of life, is disgusting,” he said.

Conservation groups hailed Obama’s announcement.

David Houghton, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association, said in a statement released by conservation and some Native organizations that the refuge’s coastal plain “is one of the last places on earth that has been undisturbed by humans, and we owe it to our children and their children to permanently protect this invaluable resource.”

Robert Thompson, who lives within the refuge’s borders at Kaktovik and is chairman of the group Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands, worries that oil and gas development would displace Native subsistence activities. He said he was pleased with Obama’s action, even if it is symbolic.

Source: http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2015/01/25/obama-to-seek-wilderness-designation-for-alaska-refuge-n1947947

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Obama Targets Americans At The Pump

Editors Note: More of Obama’s War on Energy agenda and a way to punish hard working American’s. Once again Obama seeks to turn lose his “Brown Shirts” in the EPA to over regulate the energy industry and drive all energy prices up. His War on Coal and Oil is well known and has been effective in raising energy costs for the average American. As America seeks to free itself from the control of OPEC Obama has been and is doing his best to keep America under the thumb of the mostly Arab control of OPEC. This coupled with his very strong support of Arab Muslin countries Like Iran, Syria and the Palestinians and Terrorists groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, AL-Quida and Hamas it has to make all Americans wonder where his allegiances are. They certainly are not with Americas Allies and specifically Israel and his total lack of support to France and the other world leaders that gathered to protest Radical Islamic Terrorists. If one wishes to understand Obama’s basic beliefs you should know his quotes from the past such as “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”  as written in his book “Audacity of Hope”.

There are also these quotes made by Obama praising Islam and the Muslims:

1. “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”

2. “The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer”

3. “We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

4. “As a student of history, I also know civilization’s debt to Islam.”

5. “Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance.”

6. “Islam has always been part of America”

7. “we will encourage more Americans to study in Muslim communities”

8. “These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

9. “America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

10. “I made it clear that America is not – and will never be – at war with Islam.”

11. “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

12. “So I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed”

13. “In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

14. “Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

15. “Ramadan is a celebration of a faith known for great diversity and racial equality”

16. “The Holy Koran tells us, ‘O mankind! We have created you male and a female; and we have made you into nations and tribes so that you may know one another.’”

17. “I look forward to hosting an Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan here at the White House later this week, and wish you a blessed month.”

18. “We’ve seen those results in generations of Muslim immigrants – farmers and factory workers, helping to lay the railroads and build our cities, the Muslim innovators who helped build some of our highest skyscrapers and who helped unlock the secrets of our universe.”

19. “That experience guides my conviction that partnership between America and Islam must be based on what Islam is, not what it isn’t. And I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.”

As compared to these quotes Obama made about Christianity:

1. “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”

2. “We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation.”

3. “Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?  Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination?  Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith?”

4. “Even those who claim the Bible’s inerrancy make distinctions between Scriptural edicts, sensing that some passages – the Ten Commandments, say, or a belief in Christ’s divinity – are central to Christian faith, while others are more culturally specific and may be modified to accommodate modern life.”

5. “The American people intuitively understand this, which is why the majority of Catholics practice birth control and some of those opposed to gay marriage nevertheless are opposed to a Constitutional amendment to ban it. Religious leadership need not accept such wisdom in counseling their flocks, but they should recognize this wisdom in their politics.”

6. From Obama’s book, The Audacity of Hope: “I am not willing to have the state deny American citizens a civil union that confers equivalent rights on such basic matters as hospital visitation or health insurance coverage simply because the people they love are of the same sex—nor am I willing to accept a reading of the Bible that considers an obscure line in Romans to be more defining of Christianity than the Sermon on the Mount.”

7. Obama’s response when asked what his definition of sin is: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

8. “If all it took was someone proclaiming I believe Jesus Christ and that he died for my sins, and that was all there was to it, people wouldn’t have to keep coming to church, would they.”

9. “This is something that I’m sure I’d have serious debates with my fellow Christians about. I think that the difficult thing about any religion, including Christianity, is that at some level there is a call to evangelize and prostelytize. There’s the belief, certainly in some quarters, that people haven’t embraced Jesus Christ as their personal savior that they’re going to hell.”

10. “I find it hard to believe that my God would consign four-fifths of the world to hell.  I can’t imagine that my God would allow some little Hindu kid in India who never interacts with the Christian faith to somehow burn for all eternity.  That’s just not part of my religious makeup.”

11. “I don’t presume to have knowledge of what happens after I die. But I feel very strongly that whether the reward is in the here and now or in the hereafter, the aligning myself to my faith and my values is a good thing.”

12. “I’ve said this before, and I know this raises questions in the minds of some evangelicals. I do not believe that my mother, who never formally embraced Christianity as far as I know … I do not believe she went to hell.”

13. “Those opposed to abortion cannot simply invoke God’s will–they have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths.”

14. On his support for civil unions for gay couples: “If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount.”

15. “You got into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

16. “In our household, the Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita sat on the shelf alongside books of Greek and Norse and African mythology”

17. “On Easter or Christmas Day, my mother might drag me to church, just as she dragged me to the Buddhist temple, the Chinese New Year celebration, the Shinto shrine, and ancient Hawaiian burial sites.”

18. “We have Jews, Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, and their own path to grace is one that we have to revere and respect as much as our own”

19. “All of us have a responsibility to work for the day when the mothers of Israelis and Palestinians can see their children grow up without fear; when the Holy Land of the three great faiths is the place of peace that God intended it to be; when Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed, peace be upon them, joined in prayer.”

20. “I believe that there are many paths to the same place, and that is a belief that there is a higher power, a belief that we are connected as a people.”

It is important to take these words from Obama’s own mouth into consideration when analyzing Obama’s motives behind his decisions and his Illegal use of Executive Orders that severely punish America and her Allies and those elected official that stand with him. [TS]

Last week, the Obama administration announced it was proposing new rules for methane regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency will unveil the new regulations this summer.

The Obama administration’s goal is for methane emissions to be cut 40 to 45 percent by 2025. Yet, it was unclear how such an objective could be achieved, given that methane escaping from pipelines wouldn’t be subject to regulation, according to Politico. As Erik Telford of the Franklin Center wrote, this regulatory onslaught will only hurt Americans and small businesses; not to mention that the energy industry has taken steps to reduce emissions:

According to the EPA, methane accounts for about 9 percent of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities, making it the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States. It’s also the primary component in natural gas, which has helped lower energy prices substantially in the U.S. and around the world.In fact, the boom in natural gas production is a key factor driving down prices at the pump and giving Americans a much needed respite after an extended recession. And experts have predicted that prices will drop even lower–anticipating an average of $2 a gallon by spring of 2015. However, those forecasts may not be accurate if the administration has its way.

The energy industry has reduced methane emissions by at least 16 percent since 1990, despite impressive increases of natural gas production–rising 37 percent during the same period. Furthermore, despite the natural gas industry being the target of the administration’s latest attack, more than 71 percent of methane emission are produced by other sources.

As energy costs increase for small businesses and prices start rising at the pump, it should be very clear to everyday Americans that Obama’s incursion on the energy industry is really an attack on them.

Tom Pyle of the Institute For Energy Research also commented on the pending new rules concerning methane emissions:

“EPA’s proposed methane regulation is redundant, costly, and unnecessary. Energy producers are already reducing methane emissions because methane is a valuable commodity. It would be like issuing regulations forcing ice cream makers to spill less ice cream.“The Obama administration’s latest attack on American energy reaffirms that their agenda is not about the climate at all—it’s about driving up the cost of producing and using natural gas, oil, and coal in America. The proof is in the EPA’s own research on methane, which shows that this rule will have no discernible impact on the climate. Like most of the regulations coming out of this ideologically driven EPA, the environmental benefits of this new methane rule are virtually non-existent, but the economic costs for American families are very real.

“In 2012 President Obama dismissed and mocked the notion that we could drill our way to lower oil and gasoline prices. He was wrong. Thanks to increases in oil production on private and state lands, Americans are feeling some relief from high energy prices. Today, this administration has issued yet another crushing regulation aimed at driving energy prices right back up again.”

Source: http://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2015/01/24/obama-targets-americans-at-the-pump-n1947552

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PROTOCOL SQUABBLE Boehner sets Netanyahu talk — but Obama takes a pass

Editors Note: The White House is claiming a “Breech of Protocol” was perpetrated by House Speaker Boehner for inviting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress. Boehner was well within his right as Speaker to make the invitation but the White House (Obama) doesn’t like Americas greatest Allie in the Middle East so they whine about Protocol. Even democrats are fed up with Obama’s continual snubbing of Netanyahu and siding with Iran. Obama is the last person on earth to cry about breaking protocol when he has  engaged in it time after time. [TS]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address Congress on March 3, House Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday — though President Obama does not plan to meet with him.

The House speaker had invited Netanyahu to speak to lawmakers about the threat from Iran. The announcement caught the president off-guard, as the invitation was not cleared first with the Obama administration; such invitations typically are coordinated with the White House and State Department.

Asked Thursday about the visit, the White House said Obama would not meet with him, citing the country’s upcoming elections. Spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan said that in keeping with “long-standing practice and principle,” the president does not meet with heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., meanwhile, said it was inappropriate for Boehner to invite Netanyahu to address Congress in the shadow of that election and give the appearance of endorsing the prime minister. “If that’s the purpose of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit two weeks before his own election, right in the midst of our negotiations, I just don’t think it’s appropriate and helpful,” Pelosi said.

But Boehner cast the invitation as part of Congress’ effort to stay tough on Iran, as the Obama administration forges a possible nuclear deal with the country. Boehner on Wednesday denied any suggestion he was “poking [the White House] in the eye,” though White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest noted the invitation was a breach in protocol.

Boehner originally asked Netanyahu to speak in February. His office now says the prime minister will address a joint session of Congress on March 3. A source told Fox News the Israeli leader requested the date be changed so he only would have to make one trip to the U.S. before Israeli elections; he also plans to attend an AIPAC conference in Washington at the time.

Boehner had announced the invitation a day after Obama delivered his State of the Union address, in which he threatened to veto a bill — backed by Republicans and some Democrats — to tee up more sanctions against Iran in case negotiations fail to curtail the country’s nuclear enrichment program.

Obama warned the legislation would “all but guarantee that diplomacy fails.” 

But Boehner told members of the GOP House Conference on Wednesday morning they would not sit on the legislation. “Let’s send a clear message to the White House — and the world — about our commitment to Israel and our allies,” he said.

Boehner signaled he wants Netanyahu to explain the stakes of the debate to Congress.

The address would mark his third appearance before a joint session of Congress and his second during Boehner’s speakership. His previous addresses were in July 1996 and May 2011.

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/01/22/netanyahu-to-address-congress-on-march-3-boehner-says/

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The “rich” already pay more than their fair share

Obama is constantly clamoring about how the “rich” should pay more. The problem is that the “rich” already pay more than their fair share in taxes. The CBO and IRS have already shown this to us if we care to look.  ebarnes

Since he first appeared on the national stage,

Barack Obama has been claiming that the “rich” don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. But to the contrary, the “rich” pay far more than their “fair share,” which official IRS and CBO data have shown for years, reconfirmed in new, recent reports.

The latest CBO report shows that the top 20% of income earners pay 70% of all federal taxes, while earning just over 50% of before tax income. The top 1% pay 24% of all federal taxes, while earning only 14.6% of before tax income.

By contrast, CBO reports that households in the middle 20%, the real middle class, pay 8.9% of all federal taxes, while earning 14.1% of before tax income. Households in the bottom 20% pay 0.6% of all federal income taxes, while receiving 5.3% of before tax income.

Federal Income Taxes

If we look just at federal income taxes, where the policy debate is, the disparity is even worse. The bottom 20% of households pay an income tax rate of -7.5%, CBO reports. The next lowest 20% pays an income tax rate of -1.3%. That means that instead of paying the IRS, like the rest of us, the bottom 40% are paid by the IRS.

The middle 20%, again the real middle class, pays an average income tax rate of just 2.4%, while earning 14% of before-tax income. Obama has been telling them for years the deck is stacked against them. Apparently, he has been pitching to low information voters who don’t know anything about IRS or CBO data. Or maybe we got a low information President.

A more recent report on the latest, publicly available, official IRS data, published by the Tax Foundation, shows that the top 1% paid 38.1% of total federal income taxes in 2012, almost twice their share of income at 21.9%. In fact, these top 1% themselves paid 28% more in federal income taxes than the entire bottom 90% combined, about 122 million households! That bottom 90% earned 52% of the income, yet paid 29.8% of federal income taxes.

The top 20% carries virtually the whole load of federal income taxes, paying 93%, almost twice the share of before tax income they produce, at about 50%.

Obama Falsehoods

Obama has also repeatedly proclaimed that Republicans only cut taxes for the rich, but not for the middle class and the poor. But the latest CBO report states, “Households in the middle three quintiles of before-tax income, taken as a group [the middle 60%], experienced a decline in their average tax rate of almost 7 percentage points over the 1979-2011 period, from 19.1%…to 12.2%….” That amounted to a cut in the average federal tax rate for the middle class under Republican policies going back to Reagan of 37%. The remaining taxes are mostly Social Security payroll taxes, as the Reagan Republicans almost completely abolished federal income taxes on the middle class.

CBO further reports, “Between 1984 and 2007, the average federal tax rate for households in the lowest quintile [bottom 20%] of the distribution of before-tax income declined fairly steadily.” The truth is that it was the Republicans from Reagan to George W. Bush who through their policies actually phased out all federal income taxes for the poor and the working poor, and turned the federal income tax into a cash machine for the bottom 40%.

You won’t get that straight from our low information President either.

Economic Growth and Opportunity Is the American Dream

Most importantly, though, Americans are highly mobile, moving up and down the income ladder, based on education, effort, family conditions, bankruptcy, retirement, investment, and business success and failure. A young Harvard law student this year may not be able to make bus fare home for the holidays. But next year starting at a Wall Street law firm he will rocket near the top.

Social media billionaires in their 20s and 30s developed their ideas in a walk-up flat, scrounging for their next meal. A high percentage of Americans find themselves in the top 20% at least once in their lives when they enjoy a major investment payoff, sell their home or business, or receive a bequest from family members.

Dynamic economic growth and opportunity, not static income equality, is what America is all about. We can restore that to America if we move to a low, flat rate tax that becomes essentially a “consumption” tax by excluding taxation on personal and corporate savings and investment.

But punitive overtaxation on the most productive, and excessive redistribution, shuts down long term economic growth and the American Dream. That is why inequality has actually consistently risen even faster under President Obama, as lagging economic growth has left the poor and the middle class with stagnating or falling wages, while incomes and wealth for the rich have been booming with the stock market.

Lew Uhler is Founder and Chairman of the National Tax Limitation Committee, and of the National Tax Limitation Foundation. Peter Ferrara is Senior Fellow for Entitlement Reform and Budget Policy for the National Tax Limitation Foundation, and for the Heartland Institute.

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/20/lewis-uhler-and-peter-ferrara-rich-pay-more-their-/#ixzz3PWKnMuhC
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Racist Hollywood? Racist Sports.

Al Sharpton is throwing another very public temper tantrum.  His target this time is Hollywood, specifically the Oscars/The Academy Awards.  It seems they are not BLACK enough.

It’s very hard to view Sharpton’s comments as anything other than self-promotion, ranting (for which he is well known) and an attempt to shine a light on an issue that simply doesn’t exist.

Sharpton’s latest RANT:

”The movie industry is like the Rocky Mountains, the higher you get, the whiter it gets. I have called an emergency meeting early next week in Hollywood with the task force to discuss possible action around the Academy Awards.

The lack of diversity in today’s Oscar nominations is appalling and while it is good that Selma was nominated for ‘Best Picture,’ it’s ironic that they nominated a story about the racial shutout around voting while there is a racial shutout around the Oscar nominations. With all of the talent in Selma and other Black movies this year, it is hard to believe that we have less diversity in the nominations today than in recent history.”

Cheryl Isaac Burke, the Academy’s BLACK female president doesn’t see a problem with the list of all-white nominees, especially considering that “Selma” was nominated for best picture.  When asked if “diversity” was an issue, her response was straight forward:  “No, not at all.”

Al seemed to miss the fact that this is only the second time in the last twenty years that only white actors were nominated for best actor, actress or director.

Though Al Sharpton’s “diversity task force” will be as multi-racial as his National Action Network, which features, well, there is no diversity there at all.  NAN says it is DEDICATED to the civil rights “for all people” regardless of “race, religion, nationality or gender.”  Or at least that is what they “say”.

al-sharpton-board

NAN’s Board of Directors

Colonel-AllenWestIf Sharpton is looking for places where lack of diversity is a REAL problem, Col. Allen West wrote about Al Sharpton’s response to the Oscars’ “all-white” nominees and his suggestion puts the “controversy” into proper perspective.

“But I’ll tell you where there IS a clear pattern of racism. It’s in the NFL!

I did a quick review of the starting line-ups for the four playoff teams (Seahawks, Packers, Colts and Patriots) and 65 percent of those players are black. I’d say that’s a little lop-sided, wouldn’t you — considering blacks make up only around 14 percent of the U.S. population.

And don’t get me started on the racism in the NBA!

If you want to talk about no diversity in honoring excellence, look at the recipients of the Most Valuable Player awards over the last 58 years.

It’s shocking! Seventy-eight percent of all MVPs in history have been black! Boy, I’d say the NBA is way too black. We ought to hold an emergency meeting to discuss possible action against the NBA, right Al? I mean it’s simply not FAIR.

In the NBA, it’s like outer space Al — the higher you get, the darker it gets.” 

Of course, no one seriously considers that there’s an actual problem with the racial makeup of professional sports. Allen West simply points out directly and in a humorous way that sports is a meritocracy.  As it should be.

Not everyone gets a Medal, Ribbon or a Trophy.

That’s also the central issue with the Oscars — Academy members vote for the best in each category based upon the options with which they’re presented. Race simply isn’t an issue.

http://www.ijreview.com/2015/01/234485-col-allen-wests-responds-sharptons-oscars-white-modest-proposal/

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