Barack Obama’s close friend and major fundraiser, Penny Pritzker, who has been nominated to be the new Secretary of Commerce, didn’t include more than $80 million in income in financial disclosures she filed last week. Pritzker, who is a billionaire, supposedly “inadvertently omitted” this tiny part of her fortune. Her lawyer, Robert Rizzi, wrote the Commerce Department on May 21 that the money was not included in the May 15 filings that were reviewed by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics “because of a clerical error and through no fault of Ms. Pritzker.”
Susan Anderson, Pritzker’s personal spokeswoman, said Prizker’s “financial advisors” discovered the mistake within the 184-page submission. The $80 million in income was derived from Pritzker being paid over ten years for consulting for more than 400 domestic trusts, which were being restructured because of an intergenerational family feud that split into 11 family lines. Some of the entities being fought over were the Marmon Corp., Hyatt Hotels, Union Tank Car, Conwood Company and the Hyatt Center office building in Chicago. Anderson said, “Pritzker provided advice on the restructuring, managing and in some cases, selling various trust assets.”
Although the GOP is not hostile to Pritzker, one factor that might check her advance is the failure of Superior Bank, a Hinsdale Savings and Loan that her family controlled. Pritzker tried to revive the bank with an expanded push into subprime loans. There were also some tax avoidance strategies that her trusts and business empire used that may be looked into.
In a post earlier today, Eddie notes a Washington Post report that says Code Pinker Medea Benjamin posed as a member of the press to get in to President Obama’s counterterrorism speech this week. That just doesn’t make sense to me: What media outlet did she claim to be representing? Did she use a false name? — because any security check of “Medea Benjamin” would surely have raised red flags, what with her multiple arrests and well-documented sympathies for noted terrorist organizations.
In contrast, Benjamin claims that she was actually been invited to the event.
“I had an invitation, somebody gave me an invitation who I’m not at liberty to disclose,” Benjamin told HuffPo, calling her protest “epic” when compared to her past demonstrations. When pressed further on who may have invited her to the event, she responded: “Well, getting in that’s a state secret I’m not at liberty to divulge. But I should say that we have friends in many places that some people might not acknowledge, including within the military…”
If this is true, it explains a bit about how she was able to disrupt the president’s remarks not once, but twice before being escorted out by security. Further, the president and the audience were oddly receptive of Benjamin’s protest. ”The voice of that woman is worth listening to,” the president responded. Benjamin even admits her own surprise that no one recognized her and pulled her from the event before the president took the stage.
Despite the mixed accounts and questionable security screening procedures, Medea seems confident that she’ll be able disrupt future events with the president. ”I’ll probably get in again,” Benjamin said. ”There’s something to white privilege and it’s important to use it in a positive way… but if we get a chance to speak directly to the president, we’ll certainly do that.”
The White House is losing support for Obamacare from some leading labor unions that are concerned their members could lose healthcare coverage once the program is fully implemented.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) said it is worried that its members will actually lose healthcare coverage they have now once the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented early next year, reports The Hill.
Joe Hansen, president of the UFCW, a 1.3 million-member group that endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, wrote in an editorial published in The Hill that Obama’s claim at the 2009 AFL-CIO convention that union members could keep their current insurance under the new law “is simply not true for millions of workers.”
“You can’t have the same quality health care that you had before, despite what the president said,” Hansen asserted, adding: “Now what’s going to happen is everybody is going to have to go to private for-profit insurance companies. We just don’t think that’s right. … We just want to keep what we already have and what we bought at tremendous cost.”
At issue is the fact that many UFCW members have multi-employer Taft-Hartley plans, and the law apparently does not provide tax subsidies for the approximately 20 million people covered by them.
Hansen said in The Hill editorial that his members normally negotiate with their employers to receive better healthcare services in lieu of higher wages, and that the bargaining chip could be eliminated because some employers won’t have the incentive to keep their workers’ multi-employer plans without tax subsidies.
Hansen’s concerns are shared by other labor groups. Last month, the president of the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers issued a statement calling “for repeal or complete reform of the Affordable Care Act.”
Unite Here, a prominent hotel workers’ union, and the International brotherhood of Teamsters are also calling for changes, according to The Hill.
WASHINGTON — A top IRS official in the division that reviews nonprofit groups will invoke the 5th Amendment and refuse to answer questions before a House committee investigating the agency’s improper screening of conservative nonprofit groups.
Lois Lerner, the head of the exempt organizations division of the IRS, won’t answer questions about what she knew about the improper screening — or why she didn’t disclose it to Congress, according to a letter from her defense lawyer, William W. Taylor III. Lerner was scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on Wednesday.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” said a letter by Taylor to committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Vista). The letter, sent Monday, was obtained Tuesday by the Los Angeles Times.
Taylor, a criminal defense attorney from the Washington firm Zuckerman Spaeder, said that the Department of Justice has launched a criminal investigation, and that the House committee has asked Lerner to explain why she provided “false or misleading information” to the committee four times last year.
Since Lerner won’t answer questions, Taylor asked that she be excused from appearing, saying that would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” There was no immediate word whether the committee will grant her request.
By now, unless you’re a know-nothing LIV (Low Information Voter), you’ve heard and seen plenty about the IRS singling out conservatives and Christians for special scrutiny. (See “Groups & individuals targeted by Obama’s IRS witchhunt,” May 15, 2013.)
The charity is called the Barack H. Obama Foundation, named after the Obama brothers’ Kenyan dad, Barack H. Obama, Sr. Its mission statement is “to provide people everywhere with resources to uplift their welfare and living standards in memory of Barack H. Obama: in the region of his birth, Kenya, and beyond.”
First reported by The Daily Caller, the Barack H. Obama Foundation was speedily approved for IRS exemption by Lois Lerner, the IRS senior official at the center of the targeting of conservative organizations that have waited over two years to receive tax exempt status. More astonishing still is the fact that the BHO Foundation was given retroactive tax-exempt status despite never having bothered to apply for it. The IRS also overlooked the foundation’s history of soliciting donations before receiving tax-exempt status.
via The American Conservative
No, this is not Watergate or Iran-Contra. Nor is it like the sex scandal that got Bill Clinton impeached.
The AP, IRS and Benghazi matters represent a scandal not of presidential wrongdoing, but of presidential indolence, indifference and incompetence in discharging the duties of chief executive.
The Barack Obama revealed to us in recent days is something rare in our history: a spectator president, clueless about what is going on in his own household, who reacts to revelations like some stunned bystander.
Consider. Because of a grave national security leak, President Obama’s Department of Justice seized two months of records from 20 telephones used by The Associated Press. An unprecedented seizure.
Yet the president was left completely in the dark. And though he rushed to defend the seizure, he claims he was uninvolved.
While the AP issue does not appear to have legs—we know what was done and why—it has badly damaged this president. For his own Justice Department treated the press, which has an exalted opinion of itself and its role, with the same contempt as the IRS treated the Tea Party.
The episode has damaged a crucial presidential asset. For this Washington press corps had provided this president with a protective coverage of his follies and failings unseen since the White House press of half a century ago covered up the prowlings of JFK.
The Benghazi issue is of far greater gravity. Still, Obama’s sins here as well seem to be those of omission, not commission.
The president was apparently completely in the dark about the urgent requests from Benghazi for more security. Obama was also apparently completely out of the loop during the seven-hour crisis of Sept. 11-12, when Ambassador Stevens was assassinated, calls for help from Benghazi were denied and two heroic ex-Navy SEALs died fighting to defend U.S. personnel from the roof of that CIA installation.
No one seems to know where Obama was that night.
- White House Troubles (lewrockwell.com)
- The Bystander President (theamericanconservative.com)
- The Spectator President (takimag.com)
- The Spectator President (buchanan.org)
- Half of America wants Obama impeached (wnd.com)
- It’s Bigger Than Obama — We’re Witnessing What Happens When Liberalism Rules (rushlimbaugh.com)
Judge Jeanine Pirro RIPS the Obama administration in another fantastic monologue..
Americans Fear Obama More Than Terrorists
Those of us who pay attention, who are not doing the zombie shuffle through life, take polling results with more than a grain of salt. But, I found the results of a couple of post-Boston bombing, small-sample polls conducted by Fox News and the Washington Post to be interesting for what they say about our perception of the federal government.
According to a pair of recent polls, for the first time since the 9/11 terrorist hijackings, Americans are more fearful their government will abuse constitutional liberties than fail to keep its citizens safe.
Even in the wake of the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing – in which a pair of Islamic radicals are accused of planting explosives that took the lives of 3 and wounded over 280 – the polls suggest Americans are hesitant to give up any further freedoms in exchange for increased “security.”
A Fox News survey polling a random national sample of 619 registered voters the day after the bombing found despite the tragic event, those interviewed responded very differently than following 9/11.
For the first time since a similar question was asked in May 2001, more Americans answered “no” to the question, “Would you be willing to give up some of your personal freedom in order to reduce the threat of terrorism?”
Of those surveyed on April 16, 2013, 45 percent answered no to the question, compared to 43 percent answering yes.
In May 2001, before 9/11, the balance was similar, with 40 percent answering no to 33 percent answering yes.
But following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the numbers flipped dramatically, to 71 percent agreeing to sacrifice personal freedom to reduce the threat of terrorism.
He goes on to report similar findings in the Washington Post poll.
Even though both polls represent a very small sample of the American people, I am convinced by all I have seen and read that many more Americans today do indeed fear the federal government, and I believe they have very good cause to do so. Despite the despicable “mainstream” media’s desperate attempts to give cover to, and lie for, the most lawless administration in American history, plenty of us, using other information sources, are able to see through the detestable media’s putrid smokescreens.
We can see that Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) and the anti-American radicals in his administration and Congress have boundless contempt for the constitutional limits on their power. It is clear to many of us that we are watching a federal government that is systematically working to tear down this nation, its freedoms and foundations.
So, is the federal government scarier than Muslim terrorism? I say it most certainly is. While Islamic jihad is a danger to our nation, we can still stop it if our authorities are willing, but in the federal government, which is run by power-mad people, we are dealing with a nearly unstoppable entity that has the power to rain destruction on the entire nation, not just spot locations.
Further, Islamists and the communists running the federal government (Senator McCarthy was right, by the way) share the same hatred of America and its freedoms and the same hatred of Jesus Christ and His followers. How can I say that Obama and his fellow-traveling buddies in the administration and Congress hate America and its freedoms? By their actions, their inactions and their words.
In their words, these people routinely lie about their motives, about the evil goals of their legislation, about their political opposition and even the American people who oppose them, who they falsely label as “racists” or “right wing extremists.” In his words, Obama regularly trash-talks America, apologizing for what needs no apologies.
In their actions, we see their ceaseless attempts to impose a socialist form of government on our nation, in contradiction to our Constitution’s design for a representative republic. They are destroying our military in every way, including forcing it to accept open homosexuals and women in front-line combat.
We see their vile attempts to squash our God-given right to self-defense under the guise of “public safety.” We see the war they have waged on our God-given rights to freedom of religion with their hell-born “Obamacare” abortion coverage mandate and their push for sodomy “rights” and fake marriage that would subvert our freedom of religion, association and ultimately, speech.
In their inactions, we see their treasonous refusal to secure our nations borders and deport the criminal aliens among us. We see their stonewalling of investigations into their other criminal actions like the Fast and Furious Mexican gun running scandal and the Muslim murders of our Ambassador and others in Benghazi, Libya – murders aided by this administration.
These are just the tip of an America-hating iceberg of lawlessness perpetrated by these people currently in power, not that other administrations and congresses have not abused their power, but we’ve never seen anything like the current administration. There is no conclusion that I can draw other than the people running our federal government are enemies of America. Our nation has been overthrown by enemies within.
These people are on the side of the Islamists. Again, their actions show this – their support for the Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East, and the outrageous purging of military and intelligence agencies of proper Muslim training materials at the demand of Islamist groups and Islamist “advisors” within the federal government. That says volumes about where this administration’s loyalties lie. They do everything they can to avoid even saying “Muslim terrorism.”
Since our “mainstream” media will never speak the truth about the Islamist infiltration of our nation and government, it took an Egyptian publication to report that the Obama administration has Muslim Brotherhood operatives at the highest levels.
America is in big trouble. I see the Lord’s judgment falling and the terrible storm gathering. The collective sins of our nation are coming home to roost. No nation can butcher pre-born – and even just-born – babies by the millions and not to expect awful consequences. No nation can hope to avoid God’s judgment while it embraces and even “glorifies” homosexuality and its various manifestations, along with its militant assault on the freedoms of those who oppose it.
No, we should not be surprised to see the sorry state of the soul of America when the leaders in our government, schools, entertainment industry, and institutions all across the land have spit on the Lord and have shunned His wisdom, knowledge and commands for living our lives. We now have the federal government we have earned while we slept and allowed God to be outlawed as sin was made mandatory.
We are not surprised to see that the federal government is now a monster that is scarier than the Muslim terrorists among us.
What a pair of balls!
Host Chris Wallace reminds Pfeiffer that Obama didn’t really talk with Secretary Clinton, Secretary Panetta, or Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that night. “He was talking to his national security staff,” Pfeiffer insists.
Asked about whether the president entered the Situation Room, Pfeiffer says, “I don’t remember what room the president was in on that night, and that’s a largely irrelevant fact.”
Pfeiffer then argues that Wallace’s questions about the president’s handling of the Benghazi terror attack are “offensive.”
UPDATE: Here’s a full rush transcript of the exchange:
Try it the next time you hear the President speak . . .
Please read the rules before playing. This distraction may dull the nausea.
Rules for Bullshit Bingo:
- before barrack obama’s next televised speech, print your “bullshit bingo”
- check off the appropriate block when you hear one of those words/phrases.
- when you get five blocks horizontally, vertically, or diagonally, stand up and shout “bullshit!”
- Barack Obama Bingo Game (thesource.typepad.com)
Chris Matthews sours on Obama
Yes, you read that right: The MSNBC host who in 2008 felt a “thrill going up my leg” after hearing Obama speak has grown disenchanted. Tonight’s episode of Hardball saw Matthews delivering a rare, unforgiving grilling of the president as severe as anything that might appear on Fox News.
“What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn’t like dealing with other politicians — that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn’t particularly like the press…. He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft,” Matthews said.
“So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere,” Matthews continued. “But what part does he like? He doesn’t like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn’t like selling to the press. He doesn’t like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn’t seem to like being an executive.”
On Tuesday’s program, Matthews similarly called Obama “a ship with the engine off.”
Another Obama lie?…Ousted IRS chief claims in email that he’s leaving because ‘my acting assignment ends in early June’…
Obama fires acting IRS commissioner as pressure grows surrounding political targeting of conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status
- Steven Miller is ousted but writes face-saving email announcing departure when his ‘assignment ends in early June.’
- Obama: IRS ‘misconduct’ is ‘inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.’
- Jacob Lew, Obama’s trusted Treasury Secretary and former chief of staff, gave Miller his walking papers
- IRS reportedly targeted 300 right-wing groups while letting left-wing organizations slide through with far less scrutiny
- President Barack Obama has thrown his acting IRS commissioner overboard, making Steven Miller the highest-ranking political casualty thus far in a series of scandals that have swept his administration in recent weeks.
In a hastily called press conference in the East Room of the White House, Obama told reporters that he had asked Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to find out who was responsible for a program that targeted tea party groups and other conservative organizations for a special level of intrusive questioning after they applied for tax-exempt charitable statuses.
‘Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting director of the IRS,’ Obama said.
‘It’s important,’ he added, ‘to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.’
But in an email to IRS employees, Miller claimed he would only be leaving next month because his assignment would be over.
“Pay no attention to those voices that warn you of tyranny in government”.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2325223/Obama-fires-acting-IRS-commissioner-pressure-grows-surrounding-political-targeting-conservative-groups-sought-tax-exempt-status.html#ixzz2TQSEkWcj
DC & Media turn on Obama..
Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama – and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.
Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old fashioned Washington pile-on — so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile-up.
Vernon Jordan, a close adviser to President Bill Clinton through his darkest days, told us: “It’s never all right if you’re the president. There is no smooth sailing. So now he has the turbulence, and this is the ultimate test of his leadership.” Jordan says Obama needs to do something dramatic on the IRS, and quick: “He needs to fire somebody. He needs action, not conversation.”
Obama’s aloof mien and holier-than-thou rhetoric have left him with little reservoir of good will, even among Democrats. And the press, after years of being accused of being soft on Obama while being berated by West Wing aides on matters big and small, now has every incentive to be as ruthless as can be.
This White House’s instinctive petulance, arrogance and defensiveness have all worked together to isolate Obama at a time when he most needs a support system. “It feel like they don’t know what they’re here to do,” a former senior Obama administration official said. “When there’s no narrative, stuff like this consumes you.”
Republican outrage is predictable, maybe even manageable. Democratic outrage is not.
The dam of solid Democratic solidarity has collapsed, starting with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s weekend scolding of the White House over Benghazi, then gushing with the news the Justice Department had sucked-up an absurdly broad swath of Associated Press phone records.
Democrats are privately befuddled by the White House’s flat-footed handling of this P.R. and legal mess, blaming a combination of bad timing, hubris and communications ineptitude. The most charitable defense offered up on background is that Obama staffers are scandal virgins, unaccustomed to dealing with a rabid press.
CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. (AP) — It happens about once a month here, on the barren foothills of one of America’s green-energy boomtowns: A soaring golden eagle slams into a wind farm’s spinning turbine and falls, mangled and lifeless, to the ground.
Killing these iconic birds is not just an irreplaceable loss for a vulnerable species. It’s also a federal crime, a charge that the Obama administration has used to prosecute oil companies when birds drown in their waste pits, and power companies when birds are electrocuted by their power lines.
But the administration has never fined or prosecuted a wind-energy company, even those that flout the law repeatedly. Instead, the government is shielding the industry from liability and helping keep the scope of the deaths secret.
Wind power, a pollution-free energy intended to ease global warming, is a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s energy plan. His administration has championed a $1 billion-a-year tax break to the industry that has nearly doubled the amount of wind power in his first term.
But like the oil industry under President George W. Bush, lobbyists and executives have used their favored status to help steer U.S. energy policy.
The result is a green industry that’s allowed to do not-so-green things. It kills protected species with impunity and conceals the environmental consequences of sprawling wind farms.
More than 573,000 birds are killed by the country’s wind farms each year, including 83,000 hunting birds such as hawks, falcons and eagles, according to an estimate published in March in the peer-reviewed Wildlife Society Bulletin.
Getting precise figures is impossible because many companies aren’t required to disclose how many birds they kill. And when they do, experts say, the data can be unreliable.
When companies voluntarily report deaths, the Obama administration in many cases refuses to make the information public, saying it belongs to the energy companies or that revealing it would expose trade secrets or implicate ongoing enforcement investigations.
Nearly all the birds being killed are protected under federal environmental laws, which prosecutors have used to generate tens of millions of dollars in fines and settlements from businesses, including oil and gas companies, over the past five years.
“We are all responsible for protecting our wildlife, even the largest of corporations,” Colorado U.S. Attorney David M. Gaouette said in 2009 when announcing Exxon Mobil had pleaded guilty and would pay $600,000 for killing 85 birds in five states, including Wyoming.
The large death toll at wind farms shows how the renewable energy rush comes with its own environmental consequences, trade-offs the Obama administration is willing to make in the name of cleaner energy.
“It is the rationale that we have to get off of carbon, we have to get off of fossil fuels, that allows them to justify this,” said Tom Dougherty, a long-time environmentalist who worked for nearly 20 years for the National Wildlife Federation in the West, until his retirement in 2008. “But at what cost? In this case, the cost is too high.”
The Obama administration has refused to accept that cost when the fossil-fuel industry is to blame. The BP oil company was fined $100 million for killing and harming migratory birds during the 2010 Gulf oil spill. And PacifiCorp, which operates coal plants in Wyoming, paid more than $10.5 million in 2009 for electrocuting 232 eagles along power lines and at its substations.
But PacifiCorp also operates wind farms in the state, where at least 20 eagles have been found dead in recent years, according to corporate surveys submitted to the federal government and obtained by The Associated Press. They’ve neither been fined nor prosecuted. A spokesman for PacifiCorp, which is a subsidiary of MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, said that’s because its turbines may not be to blame.
“What it boils down to is this: If you electrocute an eagle, that is bad, but if you chop it to pieces, that is OK,” said Tim Eicher, a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service enforcement agent based in Cody, who helped prosecute the PacifiCorp power line case.
By not enforcing the law, the administration provides little incentive for companies to build wind farms where there are fewer birds. And while companies already operating turbines are supposed to avoid killing birds, in reality there’s little they can do once the windmills are spinning.
Wind farms are clusters of turbines as tall as 30-story buildings, with spinning rotors as wide as a passenger jet’s wingspan. Though the blades appear to move slowly, they can reach speeds up to 170 mph at the tips, creating tornado-like vortexes.
Flying eagles behave like drivers texting on their cellphones; they don’t look up. As they scan for food, they don’t notice the industrial turbine blades until it’s too late.
The rehabilitation coordinator for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program, Michael Tincher, said he euthanized two golden eagles found starving and near death near wind farms. Both had injuries he’d never seen before: One of their wings appeared to be twisted off.
“There is nothing in the evolution of eagles that would come near to describing a wind turbine. There has never been an opportunity to adapt to that sort of threat,” said Grainger Hunt, an eagle expert who researches the U.S. wind-power industry‘s deadliest location, a northern California area known as Altamont Pass. Wind farms built there decades ago kill more than 60 per year.
Eagle deaths have forced the Obama administration into a difficult choice between its unbridled support for wind energy and enforcing environmental laws that could slow the industry’s growth.
Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, in an interview with the AP before his departure, denied any preferential treatment for wind. Interior Department officials said that criminal prosecution, regardless of the industry, is always a “last resort.”
“There’s still additional work to be done with eagles and other avian species, but we are working on it very hard,” Salazar said. “We will get to the right balance.”
Meanwhile, the Obama administration has proposed a rule that would give wind-energy companies potentially decades of shelter from prosecution for killing eagles. The regulation is currently under review at the White House.
The proposal, made at the urging of the wind-energy industry, would allow companies to apply for 30-year permits to kill a set number of bald or golden eagles. Previously, companies were only eligible for five-year permits.
In exchange for the longer timetable, companies agree that if they kill more eagles than allowed, the government could require them to make changes. But the administration recently said it would cap how much a company could be forced to spend on finding ways to reduce the number of eagles its facility is killing.
The Obama administration said the longer permit was needed to “facilitate responsible development of renewable energy” while “continuing to protect eagles.”
That’s because without a long-term authorization to kill eagles, investors are less likely to finance an industry that’s violating the law.
Typically, the government would be forced to study the environmental effects of such a regulation before implementing it. In this case, though, the Obama administration avoided a full review, saying the policy was nothing more than an “administrative change.”
“It’s basically guaranteeing a black box for 30 years, and they’re saying `trust us for oversight.’ This is not the path forward,” said Katie Umekubo, a renewable energy attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council and a former lawyer for the Fish and Wildlife Service. In private meetings with industry and government leaders in recent months, environmental groups have argued that the 30-year permit needed an in-depth environmental review.
The tactics have created an unexpected rift between the administration and major environmental groups favoring green energy that, until the eagle rule, had often been on the same side as the wind industry.
Those conservation groups that have been critical of the administration’s stance from the start, such as the American Bird Conservancy, have often been cut out of the behind-the-scenes discussions and struggled to obtain information on bird deaths at wind farms.
“There are no seats at the exclusive decision-making table for groups that want the wind industry to be held accountable for the birds it kills,” said Kelly Fuller, who works on wind issues for the group.
The eagle rule is not the first time the administration has made concessions for the wind-energy industry.
Last year, over objections from some of its own wildlife investigators and biologists, the Interior Department updated its guidelines and provided more cover for wind companies that violate the law.
The administration and some environmentalists say that was the only way to exact some oversight over an industry that operates almost exclusively on private land and generates no pollution, and therefore is exposed to little environmental regulation.
Under both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the death of a single bird without a permit is illegal.
WASHPOST: Obama’s claim he called ‘act of terrorism‘ Gives him Four Pinocchios…
Once again, it appears that we must parse a few presidential words. We went through this question at length during the 2012 election, but perhaps a refresher course is in order.
Notably, during a debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President Obama said that he immediately told the American people that the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya “was an act of terror.” But now he says he called it “an act of terrorism.”
Some readers may object to this continuing focus on words, but presidential aides spend a lot of time on words. Words have consequences. Is there a difference between “act of terror” and “act of terrorism”?
Immediately after the attack, the president three times used the phrase “act of terror” in public statements:
“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”
— Obama, Rose Garden, Sept. 12
“We want to send a message all around the world — anybody who would do us harm: No act of terror will dim the light of the values that we proudly shine on the rest of the world, and no act of violence will shake the resolve of the United States of America.”
— Obama, campaign event in Las Vegas, Sept. 13
“I want people around the world to hear me: To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world. No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.”
— Obama, campaign event in Golden, Colo., Sept. 13
Here’s how we assessed those words back in October:
Note that in all three cases, the language is not as strong as Obama asserted in the debate. Obama declared that he said “that this was an act of terror.” But actually the president spoke in vague terms, usually wrapped in a patriotic fervor. One could presume he was speaking of the incident in Libya, but he did not affirmatively state that the American ambassador died because of an “act of terror.”
Some readers may think we are dancing on the head of pin here. The Fact Checker spent nine years as diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, and such nuances of phrasing are often very important. A president does not simply utter virtually the same phrase three times in two days about a major international incident without careful thought about the implications of each word.
The Fact Checker noted last week that this was an attack on what essentially was a secret CIA operation, which included rounding up weapons from the very people who may have attacked the facility.
Perhaps Obama, in his mind, thought this then was really “an act of war,” not a traditional terrorist attack, but he had not wanted to say that publicly. Or perhaps, as Republicans suggest, he did not want to spoil his campaign theme that terror groups such as al-Qaeda were on the run by conceding a terrorist attack had occurred on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Whatever the reason, when given repeated opportunities to forthrightly declare this was an “act of terrorism,” the president ducked the question.
For instance, on Sept. 12, immediately after the Rose Garden statement the day after the attack, Obama sat down with Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes and acknowledged he purposely avoided the using the word “terrorism:”
KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.”
KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?”
OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.”
Why Obama released embarrassing IRS bombshell
The Internal Revenue Service under the Obama administration – described by Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., as the “most feared government agency” – admitted Friday it targeted conservative and tea-party groups during last year’s election because of their politics.
Bachmann, a former tax attorney, told WND in an interview the IRS admission means the credibility of the 2012 election is in doubt.
Americans, she said, should be wondering whether Obamacare, which is to be enforced by the IRS, will target conservative voices opposed to President Obama with delays or denials of medical care.
But why would an administration ever confess to such a flagrant misuse of politics and power?
Bachmann, who chairs the House Tea Party caucus, said it’s the Benghazi scandal.
“There’s no doubt this was not a coincidence that they dumped this story today, a Friday dump day,” Bachmann told WND. “This is when they put their negative stories out.”
But she said the looming storm cloud called Benghazi is the “soft underbelly” of the Obama administration and likely will keep Hillary Clinton from fulfilling her dream of occupying the Oval Office.
That would make it logical to release an IRS story that, while embarrassing, also could be cubbyholed as another “conservative” dispute with the White House.
She was referring to the ongoing hearings on the administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack by al-Qaida-linked terrorists on a U.S. foreign service post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including the ambassador.
House Republicans allege the U.S. government knew of a terrorist threat but ignored it. After the attack, critics charge, the administration blamed the deaths on reaction to an obscure anti-Muslim video, despite evidence from the beginning that it was a premeditated terrorist attack.
Locked in a tight presidential race, a deliberate assault on American assets and the murder of Americans by al-Qaida on a date as significant as 9/11 would have damaged Obama’s campaign claim that his administration had al-Qaida under control.
Bachmann said the IRS announcement of misbehavior was intended to provoke conservatives and draw their anger and attention.
“I was in that Benghazi hearing,” she told WND. “I think the Obama administration is desperate to spin Benghazi, and they can’t. I think they saved this story up for a day like today so that conservatives would focus on this admission.”
It won’t work, she insisted.
“Conservatives can handle two shocking stories at the same time,” she said. “Both are equally unconstitutional and call into question the very president.”
The Benghazi investigation has been getting worse for Obama, with witnesses testifying to a House panel Wednesday that military troops were prepared to come to Benghazi but were told to stand down. Today, the White House was grilled about the elimination of references to terrorism in the talking points officials used in the aftermath of the attack.
Sorry libs, Hick is not a partisan hack.
A key Benghazi whistle-blower who has allegedly been punished for speaking out against the administration is a registered Democrat who voted for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The lawyer of Gregory Hicks, the former U.S. deputy chief of mission in Libya who testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Wednesday, confirmed the information to The Daily Caller on Saturday.
It’s on. As the White House grapples with a growing backlash over its Libya lies and lapses, President Obama’s apologists are gearing up for battle. Put on your hip-waders. Grab those tar buckets. Get ready for Operation Smear Benghazi Whistleblowers.
Capitol Hill hearings this Wednesday on the deadly 9/11 consulate attack by jihadists will feature three compelling witnesses, all State Department veterans: Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya and highest-ranking U.S. diplomat in the country at the time of the Benghazi jihad attacks; Mark I. Thompson, a former Marine who now serves as deputy coordinator for operations in the agency’s Counterterrorism Bureau; and Eric Nordstrom, a diplomatic security officer who was the top security officer in Libya.
Nordstrom first testified last fall about how State Department brass spurned his requests for increased security at the compound. Hicks and Thompson are coming forward publicly for the first time this week with more damning evidence contradicting Team Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s claims about the administration’s response the night of the attack and in the ensuing months of cover-ups.
According to the House Oversight Committee, Hicks reportedly will refute Team Obama’s claims that nobody was told to stand down and that all military resources available were used in the rescue efforts. As Special Forces prepared to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi to save lives during the attacks, Hicks says the team received a phone call from the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa telling them “you can’t go” and that the decision was “purely political.”
The State Department press office already has accused Victoria Toensing, attorney for one of the Benghazi whistleblowers, of “lying” about administration pressure on her clients. Left-wing operatives funded by billionaire George Soros have taken to Twitter to mock reports of fear and intimidation among the new witnesses. White House press secretary Jay Carney continues to sing “Long, Long Ago” and deny all wrongdoing.
And one anonymous State Department official told Fox News reporter James Rosen that Hicks and Thompson have “axes to grind.”
Gee, who wouldn’t have an “axe to grind” if your bosses lied to you, blocked you from saving your co-workers and friends, and lied shamelessly and repeatedly to the American public about the reasons for their deaths?
It’s this corrupt and vengeful White House that wields the sharpest axes and biggest grindstones. The casualty count in Obama’s war on whistleblowers is double-digit.
ATF insiders who testified before Congress about Obama’s Fast and Furious gun-running nightmare faced systemic retaliation and harassment — both from government supervisors who openly declared witch hunts against them and from liberal media water-carriers.
Fourth Benghazi witness gagged by red tape..
Obama administration officials are finally letting the attorney for a Benghazi whistle-blower get a security clearance — but the clearance is at such a low level that it will probably slow the congressional probe of how the administration handled last year’s terrorist attack on the embassy in Benghazi, Libya.
Victoria Toensing represents an unnamed government official who can help explain the reaction of top government officials to the jihadi attack on the U.S diplomatic site in Benghazi and killed four Americans last Sept. 11.
The official may also be able to explain if officials rewrote intelligence reports and took other actions to minimize media coverage of the administration’s errors and the perceived role of Al Qaeda jihadis.
At least three officials will testify today at a House hearing about the scandal, and are expected to say top officials at the Department of State took actions to minimize political damage to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the days after the attack, officials claimed the attack had resulted from a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim film. That story was quickly refuted, although the filmmaker was arrested on a probation violation and remains in prison.
Is This Man The Mastermind Behind The Benghazi Cover Up?
I wrote yesterday about how the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) knew that the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda operatives. We know the Obama White House put out the story for nearly a week that it was just Muslims upset over a benign YouTube video. In spite of knowing what was going on and having the ability to intervene, the Obama administration did nothing to stop or assist Americans who they knew were being attacked by Al-Qaeda. Instead, they chose to cover it up and intimidate witnesses. Stephen F. Hayes has an excellent piece at the Weekly Standard titled The Benghazi Talking Points, in which he fingers the man he believes is the main person behind the Benghazi coverup, Ben Rhodes.
Of course, one would immediately have to wonder about those who would be around a man who has vowed to stand with the Muslims instead of America. If you recall, Barack Obama made a speech in Cairo, Egypt to an audience which included the Muslim Brotherhood, in which he distorted the Qur’an to put it in a good light and then attempted to make out like Islam had made great contributions to both America and the world. That speech was written by Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy speechwriter and now a part of a his National Security Council.
Hayes writes in his article about the talking points that were first put out to officials. He writes:
The talking points were first distributed to officials in the interagency vetting process at 6:52 p.m. on Friday. Less than an hour later, at 7:39 p.m., an individual identified in the House report only as a “senior State Department official” responded to raise “serious concerns” about the draft. That official, whom The Weekly Standard has confirmed was State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland, worried that members of Congress would use the talking points to criticize the State Department for “not paying attention to Agency warnings.”
In an attempt to address those concerns, CIA officials cut all references to Ansar al Sharia and made minor tweaks. But in a follow-up email at 9:24 p.m., Nuland wrote that the problem remained and that her superiors—she did not say which ones—were unhappy. The changes, she wrote, did not “resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership,” and State Department leadership was contacting National Security Council officials directly. Moments later, according to the House report, “White House officials responded by stating that the State Department’s concerns would have to be taken into account.” One official—Ben Rhodes, The Weekly Standard is told, a top adviser to President Obama on national security and foreign policy—further advised the group that the issues would be resolved in a meeting of top administration officials the following morning at the White House.
|Benghazi buzz: Obama predicted to LEAVE OFFICE.. Is it even conceivable?|