Posts Tagged ‘Campaign Contributions’
What on earth do a bunch of paper pushers need with AR-15′s and shotguns?
Rep. Jeff Duncan, a Republican Congressman from SC, has started a bit of a firestorm on Twitter. Duncan is the Homeland Oversight Chair, and during a recent tour of a DHS facility, the congressman noticed IRS (yes, the Internal Revenue Service) agents training with AR-15 style rifles.
Why you might ask? Well that’s a good question, and the congressman has the same ones. It’s been known that the Department of Homeland Security has been bulking up their guns and ammo reserves for sometime now. However, this is the first report we’ve gotten of IRS agents getting in on the action. Now, the IRS does have armed enforcement agents, and they have for a long time, but why they now need tactical training is a serious question.
Duncan said he was concerned about what he saw.
“Why do IRS law enforcement agents need standoff capability that you would have with a long rifle or with a weapon similar to an AR-15? They’re generally investigating tax evasion, fraud and money laundering. We think of the IRS as an audit agency more than doing the type of law enforcement where they have to use an AR-15.”
Duncan said the IRS has the resources of the federal government, including the FBI, if they come into a situation where they feel like they need a SWAT team.
Meet some of the everyday Americans who decided to organize groups to fight for their liberties, and found themselves the targets of an abusive, politicized IRS:
Becky Gerritson, Founder and President of Wetumpka TEA Party, Alabama:
View on YouTube
Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Patriots:
View on YouTube
Dr. Karen Kenney of the San Fernando Valley Tea Party Patriots, related the madness of an intrusive questionnaire with 35 topics and 80 sub-topics, which she was expected to complete in just 20 days, under penalty of perjury. One of the questions asked her to list the ways her organization was condoning or promoting illegal activities. ”I think the IRS needs to fix its labeling machine,” Kenney said sarcastically. ”We’re the San Fernando Valley Patriots, not Occupy Oakland.”
She eventually gave up on the “costly and exhausting IRS process,” but kept her organization going with her own money and a few modest donations kept n a cake tin. ”Like patriots before us, we persevere,” she declared. ”The voice of this Republic resides in our citizens, not in the tongue of government. More must grasp that self-evident truth. This dialogue is about the jackboot of tyranny upon the field of our founding documents. To whisper the letters ‘IRS’ strikes a shrill note on Main Street, USA, but when this behemoth tramples upon America’s grassroots, few hear the snapping sounds.”
[...] Susan Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, talked about the IRS inquisition into the conduct of her group’s prayer meetings, and the “educational” content of their protest signs. She was eventually instructed by the IRS not to protest outside Planned Parenthood offices.
[...] Becky Gerritson of the Alabama Tea Party was one of several who testified that they received intimidating letters personally signed by the infamous Lois Lerner, the IRS official currently on paid administrative leave. ”This is a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view,” charged Gerritson. ”What the government did to our little group in Wetumpka, Alabama is un-American.”
“I’m not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in, the America that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become a part of, and I’m terrified that it is slipping away,” Gerritson testified.
Early Tuesday during a House Ways and Means Committee, Democrat Jim McDermott blamed tea party groups for IRS targeting. McDermott essentially said that because conservative groups dared to apply for tax exempt status, they deserved to be targeted.
[...] Luckily, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan was there to shut down his nonsense and received roaring applause in the hearing room for doing so.
The liberal media is dutifully echoing their spin:
During Tuesday’s testimony, Congressional Democrats attacked the private citizens brought before them to tell their individual horror stories. The witnesses were Tea Party groups and other conservative groups put through months of paralyzing harassment by an IRS that had intentionally singled them out based on their political beliefs.
Well, that is not the point and everyone knows it. Had the IRS put the same number of left-leaning groups through the same hyper-scrutiny as they did right-leaning groups, none of this would be happening. There would be no scandal.
But the idea here is to change the subject from the fact that the IRS singled out Obama’s political foes for paralyzing scrutiny in the run-up to Obama’s re-election campaign, to the supposed abuse of a tax exempt status by conservative political groups.
The thinking goes that if Democrats can make the Tea Party look like tax cheats it will take the heat off of Obama and further damage his opponents.
Well, right on cue, Politico arrives this morning like the cavalry with an appallingly dishonest (but expected) piece of reporting that falls right in line with what Congressional Democrats did yesterday. It is as pure a piece of coordination and left-wing propaganda as you will ever read.
And this is the only kind of investigative reporting Politico ever does. Imagine if Politico poured these same resources into investigating the IRS’s connections to the White House or the shaping of the IRS talking points by the State Department.
Got that, boys and girls? If you dare to exercise your constitutional rights, liberals believe you deserve a target on your backs.
Donors to conservative causes. Conservative activists and businesses. Pro-military donors. Christian, pro-life and pro-marriage groups. Adoptive families. Pro-Israel groups. The list of IRS victims grows by the day.
What is the administration’s response? Blame the little people, of course!
But the truth is, the little people were following orders from D.C., according to the testimony of a former IRS employee:
Q: In early 2010, was there a time when you became aware of applications that referenced Tea Party or other conservative groups?
A: In March of 2010, I was made aware.
Q: Okay. Now, was there a point around this time period when [your supervisor] asked you to do a search for similar applications?
Q: To the best of your recollection, when was this request made?
A: Sometime in early March of 2010.
Q: Did [your supervisor] give you any indication of the need for the search, any more context?
A: He told me that Washington, D.C., wanted some cases.
Q: Did anyone else ever make a request that you send any cases to Washington?
A: [Different IRS employee] wanted to have two cases that she couldn’t — Washington, D.C. wanted them, but she couldn’t find the paper. So she requested me, through an email, to find these cases for her and to send them to Washington, D.C.
Q: When was this, what time frame?
A: I don’t recall the time frame, maybe May of 2010.
Q: But just to be clear, she told you the specific names of these applicants.
Q: And she told you that Washington, D.C. had requested these two specific applications be sent to D.C.
A: Yes, or parts of them.
Q: Okay. So she asked you to send particular parts of these applications.
Q: And that was unusual. Did you say that?
Q: And she indicated that Washington had requested these specific parts of these specific applications; is that right?
The Cincinnati employee was clearly perturbed that the administration is making low-level employees the fall guys:
“It’s impossible,” an IRS employee responded to an investigator’s question about the allegations that the targeting of conservative groups was due to “two ‘rogue agents.” “As an agent we are controlled by many, many people. We have to submit many, many reports. So the chance of two agents being rogue and doing things like that could never happen.”
Answering a question about the employee’s reaction to news reports that the targeting was contained in Cincinnati and the fault of the Cincinnati office, the employee said that Washington has been throwing them under the bus.
“Well, it’s hard to answer the question because in my mind I still hear people saying we were low‑level employees, so we were lower than dirt, according to people in D.C. So, take it for what it is,” a Cincinnati IRS employee said. “They were basically throwing us underneath the bus.”
If you’re opposed to the idolatrous cult of the Messianic Nanny State, beware…the Obama administration has you in their cross-hairs.
In a blistering letter to President Barack Obama, the Rev. Franklin Graham said the IRS targeted the two non-profits he heads with an audit last year after the organizations took out ads urging people to support biblical principles on marriage and in choosing political candidates.
In the letter, dated Tuesday, Graham said in light of recent revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, he does not believe the audit was “a coincidence — or justifiable.” Graham, son of famed Christian evangelist the Rev. Billy Graham, now heads the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association based in Charlotte, N.C., and Samaritan’s Purse, a worldwide relief organization headquartered in Boone.
“I am bringing this to your attention because I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us,” Graham concluded in the letter. “This is morally wrong and unethical — indeed some would call it ‘un-American.’”
James Dobson, the pro-life family advocate disclosed today that he was a victim of IRS discrimination, in a revelation that adds to the growing Internal Revenue Scandal.
Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, says he faced discrimination from the federal agency when trying to start a new group.
Family Talk Action Corporation is a Christian ministry that was formed for the purpose of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ; of providing Christ-oriented advice and education to parents and children; and of speaking to cultural issues that affect the family. Dobson is the president and CEO.
On September 2, 2011, Family Talk Action filed a Form 1024 with the Internal Revenue Service requesting § 501(c)(4) status. The attorney completing this form had submitted scores of similar applications over his 26 year career with none being rejected.
In January and February 2013, Family Talk Action’s counsel called the IRS reviewing agent, R. Medley (ID no. 52402), to inquire regarding when there would be a determination of the application. Her voice mail box was full on each of these calls so no message could be left. On March 6, he called Ms. Medley again and got routed to her voice mail again. This time, he was able to leave a voice mail message and requested a return call.
Medley did not call back until March 19. Family Talk Action’s attorney asked her when the IRS would issue its determination letter. Ms. Medley responded saying, I don’t think your Form 1024 (application for exemption) will be granted because Family Talk Action is “not educational” because it does not present all views. She continued, saying that Family Talk Action sounded like a “partisan right-wing group” because, according to Ms. Medley, it only presents conservative viewpoints.
She then added, “you’re political” because you “criticized President Obama, who was a candidate.”
Dobson and Graham weren’t the only targets during the 2012 campaign:
The Biblical Recorder, the official news journal for North Carolina Southern Baptists, found itself in the same situation in March – audited for the first time since the Baptist newspaper was founded in 1833.
The newspaper garnered national attention last summer after Editor Allan Blume published an interview with Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy. In reference to his support of the traditional family, Cathy said he was “guilty as charged.”
The Biblical Recorder also published the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s ads affirming traditional marriage.
And then – came the telephone call from the Internal Revenue Service.
“It raised some red flags and made me wonder why we were being targeted for an audit when we have been around since 1833 and have never been audited before,” Blume told Fox News. “Putting it all together made me wonder.”
Blume said the timing may have been coincidental – but “it didn’t seem that way.”
“There seems to be a very anti-Christian bias that has flowed into a lot of government agencies – oppression literally against Christian organizations and groups,” he said. “It makes you wonder what’s going on.
Blume said the newspaper was eventually cleared, but the audit consumed time and money.
“It was a lot of time and energy that we didn’t have,” he said. “It took some of our staff literally several weeks of doing nothing but that (the audit),” he said.
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status to two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The IRS also pressured another pro-life group about its religious activities. “The IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with ’40 Days for Life’ and ‘Life Chain’ events,” according to the law firm. “The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.”
With this much coordination against his “enemies,” there’s NO WAY Obama didn’t know about it.
At this point, I’m not the least bit surprised.
[A]s details of the IRS scandal emerge, it’s increasingly giving the appearance of a wide-scale effort to tilt the playing field against conservative activist groups who might have been helpful to Republican candidates in the 2012 election, while at the same time coddling liberal groups helpful to Obama.
Consider what we now know the IRS did:
• Gave preferential treatment to liberal groups. On Tuesday, USA Today reported that while the IRS was hounding conservative groups and holding up their applications for tax-exempt status, it was quickly ushering liberal groups with names like “Progress Florida” and “Missourians Organizing for Reform” through the process.
USA Today found that in the 27 months after Feb. 2010, the IRS did not approve a single Tea Party application. Over those same months, however, dozens of applications submitted by liberal groups that were engaged in the same type of activities and were seeking the same tax status as the conservative ones sailed through the agency.
[...] • Made unusual document requests. Not only did the IRS target conservative groups for extra scrutiny, it also asked for massive amounts of information that it couldn’t possibly need to determine tax-exempt status.
[...] • Engaged in selective leaks. This week, ProPublica, a liberal-leaning nonprofit journalism organization, revealed that the IRS had leaked it nearly a dozen pending applications, including one submitted by Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS.
Tea Party groups reported waiting up to 3 years to get approval for their tax-exempt status, while liberal groups were approved in a matter of weeks. One Tea Party group claims that, after waiting for over a year with no response, they changed their name to one that sounded more “liberal” and were approved in 3 weeks.
Another Tea Party group in Ohio said that the IRS effectively shut down their efforts in the 2012 election:
Tom Zawistowski, executive director of the Portage County Tea Party, said donors stopped contributing to causes and candidates because of the confusion and fear that the IRS created.
“They succeeded in preventing us from doing what we were trying to do in 2012,” Zawistowski said. “Groups literally stopped fundraising in the summer of last year.”
The IRS is under investigation for the excessive scrutiny it gave conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, a practice that elicited complaints from the Portage County Tea Party and other groups during the 2012 presidential election campaign.
Billionaire businessman Frank VanderSloot, a major Mitt Romney super PAC donor who was subjected to three federal agency audits after being slimed by the Obama campaign, says he isn’t the only one of his peers who was audited after donating to Romney.
VanderSloot, who was also national co-chair of the Romney campaign’s finance committee, was described in an April 2012 Obama campaign Web posting as one of eight “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.”
Shortly after the post appeared, VanderSloot was subjected to two Internal Revenue Service audits — one focusing on his personal finances, the other related to his business interests — and a Labor Department audit of one of his businesses. When asked about whether any of the other seven donors who appeared on the list were audited as well, VanderSloot spoke cautiously, but did say he “wasn’t the only one.”
“I talked to only a handful of them since,” VanderSloot said. ”I’ve reached out to all of them. But only got calls back from a handful and most of the responses were they’re just laying low, you know, they took their own beatings and they don’t want any more of it and they don’t want to even talk about this.”
We also know that the IRS leaked confidential documents which were used by Obama’s re-election campaign to attack Mitt Romney.
Conclusion: the IRS was turned into the mafia intimidation arm of the Obama campaign.
Are we finally ready to abolish a corrupt agency who’s powers can be so easily weaponized against innocent citizens?
Barely a week ago, President Obama stood before a crowd of new graduates and told them to reject the voices which warned them to be wary of government tyranny and oppression.
His remarks are all the more ironic, given the explosion of scandals which have been exposed this week, not the least of which involves the Obama administration using the IRS to intimidate and harass political opponents.
The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.
Conservative applicants were forced to answer bizarre and intrusive questions, provide mounds of paperwork, and wait as the IRS stalled on their applications for up to three years. For some groups, these hurdles prevented them from fully participating in the 2012 election.
An IRS campaign to apply additional scrutiny to conservative groups went beyond targeting “Tea Party” and “patriot” groups to include those focused on government spending, the Constitution and several other broad areas.
[...] The internal IG timeline shows a unit in the agency was looking at Tea Party and “patriot” groups dating back to early 2010. But it shows that list of criteria drastically expanding by the time a June 2011 briefing was held. It then included groups focused on government spending, government debt, taxes, and education on ways to “make America a better place to live.” It even flagged groups whose file included criticism of “how the country is being run.”
By early 2012, the criteria were updated to include organizations involved in “limiting/expanding government,” education on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and social economic reform.
It wasn’t just Tea Party groups being targeted. The IRS also targeted pro-life groups, Jewish groups, and individuals who dared to challenge, question or criticize Obama or his policies, including Billy Graham, columnist Todd Starnes, news anchor Larry Conners, businessman and Romney donor Frank VanderSloot, and Wayne Allyn Root, who describes the ugly ordeal:
I am the face of Obama’s IRS attacks. I am proof of how bad it is, when it started, that it was directed at individuals as well as groups, and that it did not involve only “low level IRS employees.”
[...] Most importantly, I’m living proof it was directed at individuals — with the intent of ruining our lives. It almost ruined mine. This is important because the American public needs to see the faces of the targets. I have a wife and 4 children. I didn’t deserve this.
Here is my personal story. I’m a small businessman, but also a national media personality with a megaphone. I’m an outspoken critic of Obama. My views are seen by millions on Fox News Channel, and read at web sites like The Blaze and FoxNews.com. And in almost every media appearance its pointed out that I’m Obama’s Columbia Class of ‘83 classmate. You don’t think Obama noticed?
The result? In January, 2011 an unprecedented IRS attack was launched against me. My personal story of IRS attack was covered extensively by conservative media.
In 30 years of doing business, I’ve had a spotless tax record. And I had never heard a peep from the IRS. The attack was so over-zealous and out of bounds, I was forced to hire one of this nation’s top tax attorneys, who took my case to court where we won a 100% victory.
My relief at being vindicated lasted five days! Then the IRS announced a new tax audit against me.
My attorney had never heard of such a thing and, before me, assumed it wasn’t possible.
The many legal and accounting experts (who drained my savings) all agreed this could only happen if I was on “Obama Enemies List.”
The attack was chilling and intimidating, affecting every aspect of my life. It was meant to bleed me dry, and teach me a lesson — if you dare to criticize Obama, get ready to lose everything.
Former Defense Secretary Don Rumsfeld claims that the IRS has been used to retaliate against businessmen who dared to speak out, as well:
“Having been in the position of a chief executive officer, I can understand why a businessman might be reluctant to speak out against the actions of federal agencies that have the power to harm their enterprises,” he wrote in Rumsfeld’s Rules, which goes on sale Tuesday.
“By doing so, corporate leaders could expose themselves and their companies to government retaliation–from the IRS, the SEC, congressional committees, or the many other agencies of the federal government that regulate and oversee their operations,” he added.
Criticism of presidents, he said, is hard. “I suppose if more business leaders defended capitalism, there might not be quite as many smiling photos with politicians.”
As if this weren’t bad enough, it appears that not only was the IRS targeting conservatives for additional scrutiny and investigation, but they were also handing over their confidential information to progressive groups that could use the information against them:
The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office that targeted and harassed conservative tax-exempt groups during the 2012 election cycle gave the progressive group nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending.
The commendable admission lends further evidence to the lengths the IRS went during an election cycle to silence tea party and limited government voices.
A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”
Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.
“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”
Eric Holder’s corrupt Department of Justice has promised to investigate the IRS scandal. Congressman Issa scoffed at the idea of the Executive branch legitimately investigating itself, promising a thorough and transparent congressional investigation.
The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight is already demanding all IRS communications which contain conservative buzz words such as “tea party” or “patriot,” along with the names of anyone involved in the scandal.
Repeal the 16th Amendment. Abolish the IRS.
Sorry, peasants. If you’re just an average citizen wanting a tour of the “People’s House” for your duly elected public servants, you’re out of luck.
If you’re a big donor to Obama’s revamped campaign arm, “Organizing For Action,” however, we’ll be happy to grant you a front row seat to the King Obama.
Once, only nobles were granted an audience with the King.
In America, we’ve prided ourselves on abandoning those privileges of class some 237 years ago, following that little uprising in the 13 colonies.
And we again congratulated ourselves at 12:01 pm Eastern Time on January 20, 2009, just moments after Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States and as he committed to making his administration the most transparent and open in history.
But more than four years later it is time to ask questions. The most transparent administration ever? The most transparently political, yes. The most open government? If you have the money to buy access, yes.
Since last weekend, Mr and Mrs Regular Citizen have been denied the access people used to be granted to tour the White House, purportedly because of the clampdown on federal spending since the “sequester” that imposed cuts across the board.
These tours, most recently guided by volunteers though monitored by paid Secret Service staff, have been an American tradition since John and Abigail Adams, the first White House residents, personally hosted receptions for the public.
And their cancellation is an austerity measure that saves a pittance, while more frivolous taxpayer funding for items like the White House dog walker continues.
Meanwhile, noble Americans can buy time with the president for a suggested donation of $500,000 to his new campaign group, Organising for Action.
Yes, the announcement offering access to the president for cold, hard cash was made openly and with total transparency. But it was also made without shame.
It’s the third version of Obama’s original monster campaign machine, Obama for America, which then morphed into a re-election campaign machine, Organising for America, on the third day of his first term.
It has now re-launched again as Organising for Action (OFA) – a non-profit, tax-exempt group headed by his former campaign advisers. Apparently no longer “for America”, the group might just as well be called Organising for Obama’s Agenda.
Its mission: to support the president in his attempt to achieve enactment of gun control, environmental policies and immigration reform.
Did you watch the news tonight? According to the Obamamedia, the sequester has “forced” the FAA to close 149 air traffic towers.
Of course, there’s apparently still enough money to give $200 million to Jordan, to send Vice President Biden to Paris at a cost of $585,000 a night, and to pay federal benefits to descendants of Civil War veterans long dead.
Just not to pay for pilot and passenger safety in the skies. Or training our armed forces.
Julie Gunlock explains the deceitful agenda behind these twisted priorities:
The president told Americans to gird for a disaster. Sequestration would result in unspeakable suffering. The elderly would starve; kids would miss vaccinations; teachers would be laid off; airplanes would crash mid-air due to a dearth of air traffic controllers. And don’t bother calling for help—no one’s coming thanks to massive layoffs of police and firefighters.
Fast forward to today. America is still standing. The public is still waiting for the wave to hit. Now President Obama has launched a charm offensive toward the Republicans who called his alarmist bluff.
Sadly, such alarmism isn’t limited to budget debates and sequestration cuts. Today, alarmism permeates nearly every nook and cranny of our culture. Americans are told to be on high alert about everything from their common household cleaners, toys, plastic bottles and canned food, to their child’s favorite pair of sandals, garden hoses, school supplies and playground equipment.
Women—particularly mothers—are the prime target for such messaging. For mothers, there’s nothing more distressing than the idea that something might harm her child. In today’s information age, mothers face a daily avalanche of information—much of it meant to terrify.
[...] Alarmism also presents vast opportunities for politicians. If you tell a mother that a product might harm her child, she’s far more likely to utter those magic words — the words every alarmist yearns to hear — “something must be done!” Enter the helpful, eager and desperately concerned politician who will suggest regulations, bans and taxes to address the so-called problem.
In this case, the alarmist is meant to convince Americans that any kind of spending cut will create so much pain and danger that they must no longer demand cuts – and allow our spendaholic politicians to continue digging us into deeper debt to the tune of over $48,000 PER SECOND.
Marie Antoinette would be proud.
Visitors to the nation’s capital looking for a White House public tour are out of luck starting this weekend, courtesy of what the Secret Service says is its own decision to deal with the sequester cuts.
But while the agency said it needed to pull officers off the tours for more pressing assignments, the budget ax didn’t swing early or deep enough to curtail a host of recent Secret Service-chaperoned trips like President Obama’s much-discussed Florida golf outing with Tiger Woods and first lady Michelle Obama’s high-profile multi-city media appearances.
Knowing sequestration was looming, there was still enough money for an extra $15 million in Pakistan aid, $50 million for TSA uniforms and even hundreds of thousands for portraits. Even post sequestration they were somehow still able to scrape $250 million from under the country’s couch cushions to give to Egypt.
Pay to play. It’s the Chicago way!
[H]ere is how the pitch goes: Obama can not enact his second-term agenda without significant help from outside groups. Those outside groups can channel resources through Obama’s old presidential re-election apparatus, which has now been rechristened “Organizing for America,” an IRS 501(c)4 tax-exempt “social welfare” organization.
The sole purpose of OFA will be to advance Obama’s policy agenda, and to that end, Obama will meet personally with OFA’s national advisory board in the White House at least four times a year. And, here is the money part: You too can become a member of the national advisory board for the bargain basement price of just $500,000. OFA hopes to become “a powerhouse national advocacy network” by selling such slots to wealthy donors and raising $50,000,000 this year.
If that isn’t selling access, then we don’t know what is. And it’s also a clear case of hypocrisy — of Obama doing precisely the thing for which he harshly criticized others, and with which he formed the very core of his political identity as a candidate of “change.”
Pressed to defend Obama’s hypocrisy, White House press secretary jay Carney insisted that OFA is an “independent organization” and that Obama meets with many independent organizations like environmentalists and labor unions all the time.
But none of those organizations exist for the sole stated purpose of, in Carney’s own words, “rallying support for the president’s policy agenda.” None of those organizations used to be Obama’s presidential campaign. And none of those organization can officially speak for the president, as OFA does through the authenticated @BarackObama Twitter account. No one who ponies up $500,000 to OFA is under any illusion that OFA would ever do anything the White House did not want it to.
You know it’s bad when even MSNBC’s Chuck Todd complains that Obama is “ceding the moral high ground” and observes that “this is how a bad system gets worse.”
The only way this should surprise anyone is if they bought the idea that a Chicago Machine politician would ride into Washington to clean up that one-horse town. What looks bad is the shock,shock that ensues when Obama reveals himself to be every bit a product of that Chicago environment.
OK, I made that last one up. But in a state with billions in unfunded liabilities, business-strangling environmental regulations, and an overtaxed, overburdened private sector, unicorn rides are about as realistic as any of their other demands.
The state’s largest public-sector union released a list of its bargaining demands on Thursday, and a few of them venture outside the traditional parameters of bargaining.
The Service Employees International Union Local 503 is asking the state to restore financial cuts it has made in recent years by dropping furlough days, boosting wages, granting a cost-of-living adjustment between 2 percent and 6 percent in each year of the contract, and adding vacation days.
Know anybody in the private sector who has gotten a sweet deal like that since the Great Recession began four years ago? Yeah, neither do I. Why should they get perks that the struggling taxpayers who pay their salaries don’t get?
Obama Demands ‘Shared Sacrifice’ As He Prepares For $4M Taxpayer-paid Hawaiian Vacation, Puts Up 54 Christmas Trees
And he has the gall to tell taxpayers we need “shared sacrifice”? How about you STAY OUT OF MY WALLET and stop spending my hard-earned money on your Czarist perks?!?
I can’t believe we have to foot the bill for this spoiled narcissist for another four years!
The prospect of pitching over the federal “fiscal cliff” isn’t stopping the White House from moving forward with President Obama’s year-end Hawaii vacation plans.
Even as Republicans and Democrats report minimal progress so far in talks to meet a deadline to avoid sharp tax hikes and spending cuts, the White House was moving forward with the first family’s and friends’ $4 million vacation to Mr. Obama’s native state.
Perhaps the most ironic part about the President’s trip is that it will run the State of Hawaii and the American taxpayer up to $4 million in bills… during a crisis that was caused by too much government spending.
Both parties agree that Washington is blowing too much money: that is certainly not under debate. Interestingly enough, Republicans seek to cut entitlements, but Democrats are hoping to slash military spending. Yet, the Hawaii Reporter article indicates that the President will be spending almost a half-million dollars (or more) on C-17 military aircraft transports for limos, a Navy SEAL mobile security detail, and the list goes on…
Peter Roff at US News recommends that Obama cancel his trip and show some leadership (as if the Narcissist-in-Chief could be bothered):
The country is on the brink of an economic apocalypse and the president has his eyes on his upcoming $4 million family and friends holiday trip to Hawaii.
Someone’s priorities are a bit out of whack. He’s either not serious about the responsibilities of being president, he actuallywants the country to go over the cliff, or the coming crisis is not as serious as we have been led to believe it would be. If the stakes are really as high as all that, the family Christmas trip needs to be put on hold—or moved to someplace close like Camp David. Being president means shouldering the responsibilities of the presidency—something for which Obama has not exactly shown much enthusiasm. He’s comfortable with the trappings of office, the symbols of power, but on the responsibilities he’s been kind of out to lunch in a lot of ways. He hasn’t shown much leadership beyond stating what he wants and expecting folks to fall in line. And, having done that, he once again feels the need to get out of town while letting other people hash the details out. This is not leadership. It’s not even good management. It’s a recipe for chaos, which should leave no one unclear about whose responsibility the current mess actually is.
Must be nice to live high on the hog with other people’s money…that was taken by force. Mark Steyn calls it the “Royal Presidency“:
Say what you like about a high-living, big-spending, bloated, decadent, parasitical, wastrel monarchy, but, compared to the citizen-executive of a republic of limited government, it’s a bargain. So, while the lovely Duchess of Cambridge nurses her baby bump, the equally radiant president of the United States nurses his ever more swollen debt belly. He and his family are about to jet off on their Christmas vacation to watch America slide off the fiscal cliff from the luxury beach resort of Kailua. The cost to taxpayers of flying one man, his wife, two daughters, and a dog to Hawaii is estimated at $3,639,622. For purposes of comparison, the total bill for flying the entire royal family (Queen, princes, dukes, the works) around the world for a year is £4.7 million — or about enough for two Obama vacations.
[...] Just for the record, William and Kate actually spent an “incredible” £51,410 — or about $80,000 — for nine business-class tickets on British Airways to Heathrow. At the check-in desk at Los Angeles, BA graciously offered the Duke and Duchess an upgrade to first class. By now you’re probably revolted by this glimpse of disgusting monarchical excess, so, if it’s any consolation, halfway through the flight the cabin’s entertainment consoles failed and, along with other first-class passengers, Their Highnesses were offered a £200 voucher toward the cost of their next flight, which they declined.
By contrast, in a republic governed by “we, the people,” when the president of the United States wishes to watch a film, there are two full-time movie projectionists who live at the White House and are on call round the clock, in case he’s overcome by a sudden urge to watch Esther Williams in Dangerous When Wet (1953) at two in the morning. Does one of them accompany the first family on Air Force One? If the movie fails halfway across the Pacific, will the president and first lady each be offered a $2 million voucher in compensation?
In his recent book Presidential Perks Gone Royal, Robert Keith Gray, a former Eisenhower staffer, revealed that last year the U.S. presidency cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion. Over the same period, the entire royal family cost British taxpayers about $57 million. There’s nothing “royal” about the current level of “presidential perks”: The Obama family costs taxpayers more than every European royal house put together.
In other news, Obama’s Inauguration ceremony will cost taxpayers $100 million. In contrast, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee cost $51 Million.
Why did we get rid of King George, again?
This is what desperation looks like:
Obama For America took out a $15 million loan from Bank of America last month, according to the campaign’s October monthly FEC report. The loan was incurred on September 4 and is due November 14, eight days after the election. OFA received an interest rate of 2.5% plus the current Libor rate.
Drew at Weasel Zippers, who has the stomach to stay on the Obama campaign’s mailing list and put up with all the spamming (God bless him), reports that they’re now resorting to shaming their supporters in a rather creepy, stalker-like fashion:
At some point I feel like there will be an Obamabot knocking on my door demanding their “suggested” $5 donation.
Update to this story.
But that’s not all. You REALLY know they’re desperate when they resort to the Allred treatment:
Republicans are bracing themselves for Gloria Allred to make a potentially damaging revelation about Mitt Romney, just weeks before the election.
The pro-President Obama lawyer is rumoured to be preparing for her so-called ‘October surprise’ in which she will strike the Republican presidential hopeful’s chances by unearthing some sort of secret or scandal.
[...] New York Conservative blog, The Red Side of Life, demanded Romney supporters ‘stop her now,’ adding ‘we’re doing too well to risk ‘an Allred.’
[...] ‘The media will ‘eat up’ anything she feeds them and turn it into an endless scandal. Recall she took down Cain and RINO Whitman with NO EVIDENCE. We’re doing too well to risk ‘an Allred.’ She can be stopped, but it will take action on our behalf.’
The most dangerous place in the world to be is between Gloria Allred and a news camera. She pimps her clients for the media spotlight.
This is a classic Alinsky tactic: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
We’ll see how effective it is at this late stage of the game.
If the Romney campaign flagrantly violated the law in this manner, I can guarantee the Justice Department would be all over it, and it would be front page news for a week. But if a Democrat does it, they shrug their shoulders and look the other way.
The Obama re-election campaign has accepted at least one foreign donation in violation of the law — and does nothing to check on the provenance of millions of dollars in other contributions, a watchdog group alleges.
Chris Walker, a British citizen who lives outside London, told The Post he was able to make two $5 donations to President Obama’s campaign this month through its Web site while a similar attempt to give Mitt Romney cash was rejected. It is illegal to knowingly solicit or accept money from foreign citizens.
Walker said he used his actual street address in England but entered Arkansas as his state with the Schenectady, NY, ZIP code of 12345.
“When I did Romney’s, the payment got rejected on the grounds that the address on the card did not match the address that I entered,” he said. “Romney’s Web site wanted the code from the back of card. Barack Obama’s didn’t.”
Unfortunately, it’s clear this isn’t an isolated incident:
A soon to be released report from the conservative Government Accountability Institute shows that President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has increasingly collected more electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes throughout the 2012 campaign cycle.
From February through June this year the GAI findings reported that the Obama campaign collected $175,816.26 in electronic donations from non-existent ZIP codes. One month later, the campaign raised $411,369.55 through such donations and $197,464.59 in August.
By the end of September, the Obama campaign raked in $2,199,204.38 – thanks to donations from non-existent ZIP codes.
Obama House of Cards Could Collapse with Donor Scandal
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There are plenty of foreign nations who would love to influence the outcome of this election. China wants us to continue borrowing from them until they literally own us, and to neglect our military while they engage in a massive build-up. Russia wants the “flexibility” Obama promised to surrender our missile defense. Saudi Arabia wants us to continue to be dependent on their oil instead of harvesting our own reserves. Radical Muslims in the Middle East want the US to stay impotent as they transform the region into a dangerous, unified Islamic Caliphate.
All of them want Obama to stay in power. All of them have good reasons to funnel money into his campaign. With the security features on his donation forms set to virtually nil, there’s little to stop illegal campaign contributions from making their way into his coffers. No doubt, that’s exactly what he wants.
A new report on foreign influences in American elections by the conservative Government Accountability Institute (GAI) has raised questions over whether the Obama campaign has violated federal election law by allowing foreign credit card transactions on its website.
In a 109-page report entitled ‘America the Vulnerable: Are Foreign and Fraudulent Online Campaign Contributions Influencing U.S. Elections?, several major security vulnerabilities on the part of the Obama campaign are detailed.
‘As FBI surveillance tapes have previously shown, foreign governments understand and are eager to exploit the weaknesses of American campaigns,’ the report states.
‘This combined with the Internet’s ability to dis-intermediate campaign contributions on a mass scale, as well as outmoded and lax Federal Election Commission rules, make U.S. elections vulnerable to foreign influence.’
To buy Obama merchandise, the campaign requires buyers to enter their credit card CVV security code but does not ask the credit card security code to be entered when making an online campaign donation.
By GAI’s estimates, the Obama campaign’s failure to utilise industry-standard protections potentially costs the campaign millions in extra processing fees.
The study also points out security problems with a host of political websites, including the online donation pages for nearly half the members of Congress.
It found that the third-party owned Obama.com – which redirects users to an official Obama campaign donation page – has 68 percent foreign traffic, which would suggest a large amount of foreign traffic also heads to the Obama campaign donation page. The GAI found the site was was bought by an Obama bundler in Shanghai, China.
‘It’s very clear the Obama campaign is the most successful and aggressive at online fundraising and they on a regular basis are submitting contributions or asking for contributions from people around the world,’ Peter Schweizer, president of GAI, told Fox News.
The study claims the campaign used ‘active foreign solicitation’ with email solicitations that go around the world and raised the possibility that low-dollar donations could be trickling in with little accounting of where they come from. Information on donations under $200 does not have to be disclosed.
Red State’s Erik Erickson wanted to test and see what kind of donations the Obama Campaign was willing to accept, and he took this screen shot of one they processed (click to enlarge):
This is illegal and a big deal, but if pouring billions of taxpayer money into dozens of bankrupt “green” companies, two dead border agents, 300 dead Mexican citizens, and 4 dead Americans (including an Ambassador) in Libya aren’t enough scandals to make Americans sit up and pay attention (thanks to our deliberately negligent media), I doubt this is going to make a dent.
There are so many scandals with this administration that it’s hard to keep track anymore.