Archive for Obama administration

Memo to Issa: IRS targeted Progressive groups more than Tea Party, per records

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real IRS scandal

Clearly, President Obama cooked the books in Benghazi while taking over the world with Obamacare in order to produce a new report that makes Darrell Issa look like the lying fool he is regarding the IRS "scandal." Why allow facts to get in the way of a good smear, right Dar?

Speaking of facts, Think Progress is reporting that Progressive groups got more scrutiny from the IRS than did those associated with the Tea Party. Are we surprised? No, we are not.

A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status “received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs.” The 22 “Be On the Look Out” keywords lists, distributed to staff reviewing applications between August 12, 2010 and April 19, 2013, included more explicit references to progressive groups, ACORN successors, and medical marijuana organizations than to Tea Party entities. [...]

[T]he actual IRS records indicate that at least some additional scrutiny was required for groups of all types that had names that sounded political — and that the explicit heightened scrutiny for left-leaning groups was even longer-standing than for Tea Party groups.

Oops. Sucks to be you, Dar. Even on a good day.

chart who the IRS really targeted

Issa has been proven wrong so many times, you'd think they'd come up with a FUBAR Award to commemorate his laughably pathetic achievements. Let's take a stroll down Memory Lane to remind of us of a few of his worst offenses:

-- Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) stated what many of us have been thinking about Darrell Issa

--Oops! Dems accuse Darrell Issa of leaking misinformation about #Obamacare

--Top Democrats rip Darrell Issa after his document dump endangered Libyans working with U.S., damaged U.S. efforts.

Issa's futile witch hunts-- including sniffing and digging and snooping around Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Benghazi, The Affordable Care Act, and the IRS-- have led straight to nowhere. And they've wasted time, energy, and taxpayer money. He self-servingly leaks partial transcripts only to be called out by his fellow Congress members (when he allows them to speak, that is), and he continues to embarrass himself and what's left of his party.

Time to vote this guy out, California's 49th.

issa

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George Zimmerman: "I certainly was a victim," Obama administration's "scapegoat"

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Via TPM, video of CNN's Chris Cuomo interviewing Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman:

Cuomo: If you could go back and do it again, you had said you would have stayed home that night.

Zimmerman: I would stay home.

Cuomo: So that both of you would still be alive today.

Zimmerman: That’s a presumption I can’t make, I don’t know what would have happened. I could have gotten in a car accident when I left, you know?

Cuomo: But you wouldn't have wound up killing Trayvon Martin if you had your way?

Zimmerman: He probably wouldn’t have ended up attacking me either if I would have stayed home.

In other words, had he stayed home-- or even stayed in his car-- Martin wouldn't have had to defend himself against a stalker carrying a loaded gun.

George Zimmerman also seemed to have trouble articulating exactly what he might say to Trayvon Martin's family, given the opportunity. When  asked, he was literally tongue-tied.

He did say this, however:

"No, I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose broken and beaten, I wouldn’t say I was not a victim."

Zimmerman went on to talk about "the miscarriage of justice that happened to me." Yes, him, because, you see, Georgie's the real victim here. Not the unarmed teenager who was gunned down, nor the dead teen's grieving family. You, you, you, it's all about you:

it's not all about youCuomo: What was the miscarriage of justice?

Zimmerman: The fact that two law enforcement entities stated that I had acted within the laws of our nation, in self defense.

Cuomo: You don't think it was about the law?

Zimmerman: I know it wasn’t, yes.

Cuomo: And what does that make you?

Zimmerman: Like a scapegoat.

Cuomo: A scapegoat for?

Zimmerman: The government, the President, the attorney general.

Cuomo: They would be scapegoating you, why? Just to show that they're taking a position on something that matters to a lot of people?

Zimmerman: I don’t know what they’re thinking or why they’re thinking it, all I know is that is that they’re doing it. I don’t know what agenda they have.

They're after me because, Benghazi!!!!!

Here's one comment I noticed under the TPM post:

alyoshakaramazov
7 Minutes Ago:

George,
STFU.

Sincerely,
God

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Call Me, Irresponsible, Call Me John McCain

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shut up

Once again, it's Sunday's favorite talking heads GOP puppet John McCain who's running off at the mouth without really thinking of what he's saying. Along with his apology for overstating the significance of the Obama-Raul Castro handshake, McCain took to the winds with another tack.

This time it's the Obama White House not doing enough to find an American who disappeared while on a secret intelligence mission to Iran back in March of 2007. If you start first with the date, you'll find it's nearly two years before Obama was first inaugurated. If we're going to place initial blame on anyone, it should be the Bush Administration which had been in total charge of the CIA for over 7 years at that time.

Initially the report of American Robert Levinson going missing in Iran was that he was a U.S. citizen, a tourist. No mention was made publicly that he actually was a CIA spy. And realistically, getting caught is a routine risk these brave men and women serving in that capacity run. Though I'm not a CIA operative or know for sure, I've certainly heard through numbers of articles and documentaries that agents are told that their affiliation with "the organization" or "the Company" would be denied. So why the CIA didn't come forward to report US spy Robert Levinson went missing and is believed to be in Iranian hands makes a lot of sense.

Yet not to Senator McClain. According to Talking Points Memo:

McCain said he is confident the U.S. is doing all it can to learn what has happened to Robert Levinson, but he told CNN's "State of the Union" the CIA has not been forthcoming with the Congress about him.

With all the leaks the Congress is responsible for -- just look to Darrell Issa as a perfect example -- it's understandable sharing this kind of news with every congressperson is irresponsible. Maybe it was shared, but not with McCain or his committees. It might have been shared with others. Yet even if it wasn't disseminated, who do you point the finger at? I'd think the sitting president who in this case was George W. Bush.

The U.S. long has publicly described Levinson as a private citizen who traveled to an Iranian island on private business. McCain, R-Ariz., told CNN "the CIA did not tell the truth to the Congress" about Levinson.

As of this writing, the Iranian government actually has denied they are holding U.S. Spy, Levinson. and let's hope their right. It was only last week that the issue of Levinson being a CIA operative came to light:

An Associated Press investigation published last week found that Levinson was working for the CIA -- investigating the Iranian government. The U.S. long has publicly described Levinson as a private citizen who traveled to an Iranian island on private business.

How the AP got this info is something the CIA and perhaps congress might want to look into. But to have McCain going out on national television, taking away some deniability by the CIA on this man's true identity and his mission puts Levinson's life in a more precarious position. Frankly, it's irresponsible.

There still is no definitive proof of CIA sanctioned activity by Levinson.

After he vanished, the CIA at first told lawmakers he had previously done contract work for the agency, but he had no current relationship with the agency and there was no connection to Iran. However, in October 2007, Levinson's lawyer discovered emails in which Levinson told a CIA friend that he was working to develop a source with access to the Iranian government. The emails were turned over to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which touched off an internal CIA investigation.

Three veteran analysts were forced out of the CIA and seven others were disciplined as a result of a breach of agency rules.

Well if Levinson went rogue, it was bad enough. Sharing that news with others was his risk. But when this info came to light, the CIA did what it was supposed to do. It notified Congress. More so, it took action by firing and disciplining those guilty of leaking this info or taking part in this activity. Now McCain joins the public fray. Perhaps an investigation sanction against the senator from Arizona is called for.

Darrell Issa, are you listening?

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Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) stated what many of us have been thinking about Darrell Issa

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issa

Let's take a stroll down Memory Lane, shall we?

-- Oops! Dems accuse Darrell Issa of leaking misinformation about #Obamacare

-- Top Democrats rip Darrell Issa after his document dump endangered Libyans working with U.S., damaged U.S. efforts.

For many moons, we at The Political Carnival (among others) have been calling out Rep. Issa (R- NoCredibilityWhatsoever) for his reckleess leakitude. We have company: Now Rep. Elijah Cummings, along with none other than the White House its own self, are piling on.

The Hill:

Since you became Chairman of the Committee in 2011, you and your staff have engaged in a reckless pattern of leaking sensitive information and documents to promote political narratives that turn out to be inaccurate after further investigation,” wrote [Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.)], who is the committee’s ranking Democrat.

“You have ignored repeated requests to consult first with Committee Members, law enforcement officials, and agency experts to understand how your disclosures might harm our national interests. As a result, under your leadership the Committee has become a virtual revolving door of leaks and misinformation.

Issa's pursuing his most recent pet witch hunt, sniffing and digging and snooping around Fast and Furious Solyndra Benghazi The Affordable Care Act. Again. He apparently felt it absolutely vital to our national health, well being, and salvation to issue a subpoena to MITRE Corp., a contractor dealing with security issues at the ACA website.

Why, when you stop and think about it, he's America's very own private insurance policy against Kenyan Marxist private insurance policies! Whew! I feel safer already!

Cummings used words like “unnecessary and confrontational” to describe the cry for media attention subpoena and pretty much said that Rep. Issa (R- SelfAggrandizement) wants physical copies of unredacted reports so he can leak a fresh new batch of whoppers.

And don't get me started on Issa's timing:

Cummings also accused Issa of rushing to issue the subpoena for the documents while he was returning from the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela. He said Issa’s staff rejected requests by Democratic staffers to wait until he returned, and that he and the chairman had an agreement to consult one another before issuing subpoenas.

As Jay Carney noted, Rep. Benghazi!!!! (R-STFU) keeps politicizing everything in sight by releasing sensitive or classified information that only “partially reflect what’s happening." Or as I like to call it, lying like the rug dead thing on Rand Paul's head.

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Oops! Dems accuse Darrell Issa of leaking misinformation about #Obamacare

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issa

Darrell Issa is at it again. This guy eats lies for breakfast and then regurgitates them all over America.

Think Progress:

Democrats on the House Oversight Committee are accusing Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) of selectively leaking misinformation about HealthCare.gov in an effort to portray administration officials as misleading the public about the implementation of Obamacare.

Guess where Issa leaked this damning information? Oh come on, guess.

If you said, "Fox," you win.

He said he had proof that Healthcare.gov contractors thought the site could only support 1,100 users before the Big Launch.

But.

The White House thought it could handle more like 60,000.

But in a letter to Issa, Rep. Ellijah Cummings (D-MD), the ranking member on the Committee, pointed to an interview Issa’s own staff conducted with Henry Chao, the Deputy Information Officer. Chao explained that the 1,000 figure were “the results of a much smaller testing environment” and were not conducted “with final production testing of the system at full capacity.”

Context is everything, isn't it?

This would be the same lying, deceiving, pathetic Darrell Issa who said the IRS was going after conservative groups.

Wrong.

Oh, and let's not forget...

tv benghazi

And Solyndra!!!!! With lots of exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and then there was this: Top Democrats rip Darrell Issa after his document dump endangered Libyans working with U.S., damaged U.S. efforts.

Yeah, let's trust him.

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The Obama administration has been busy

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I'm about to run out the door, but I wanted to get a couple of newsy, good news/bad news items out there for you. First, via an email alert from the New York Times, the good news:

Justice Dept. Files Lawsuit to Block US Airways-American Merger

The Justice Department, along with the attorneys general of six states, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the proposed merger of American Airlines and US Airways.

The $11 billion deal, announced in February, took American out of bankruptcy. It would create the nation’s biggest airline, a company with the size and breadth to compete against United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which have grown through mergers of their own in recent years and are currently the biggest domestic carriers.

But in the complaint filed Tuesday in Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, the Justice Department said that the merger “will leave three very similar legacy airlines — Delta, United and the new American — that past experience shows increasingly prefer tacit coordination over full-throated competition.”

And the bad news, via The Hill. Surprisingly, this has been the Labor Department's site since February, but nobody said a peep about it. Republicans will. It feeds right into their talking points:

Administration delays ObamaCare caps on out-of-pocket costs

The Obama administration has delayed a main provision in President Obama's healthcare reform law that would limit out-of-pocket insurance costs for consumers until 2015.

The cap, which includes deductibles and co-payments, was supposed to limit consumer costs to $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family. But administration officials have quietly delayed the requirement for some insurers, allowing them to set their own limits starting in 2014. [...]

An administration official said the health law would “protect consumers from the worst insurance company abuses, by banning discrimination based on a pre-existing health conditions [sic], ending lifetime and annual limits on what an insurance company will cover, and capping out-of pocket spending to protect Americans and their families.”

A-a-nd the GOP takes full advantage and ups their Obama/Obamacare bashing in 5...4...3...2...

heavy sigh

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Larry Summers Made Out Like a Bandit on Wall Street: That May Be His Key Credential to Head the Fed

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Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

It would have been hard for Summers to do anything else but urge the use of taxpayer money to salvage banks too big to fail for a variety of reasons.  First, he was a key advocate of allowing large banks to trade in derivatives without regulation. (Summers took a position as early as the Clinton administration, in which he served as deputy secretary of the treasury, that big banks should self-regulate themselves on derivatives.) Secondly, he was responsible for Harvard University, where he served a controversial term as president, losing an estimated one billion dollars in derivative tradings. Thirdly, he supported repealing vitally important protective provisions of the Glass–Steagall Act, the repeal of these regulations that many analysts consider the beginning of the rash recklessness and unethical if not illegal behavior on Wall Street that led to the 2008 economic crash. Fourthly, Summers is of the same economic elite as those who control Wall Street and Silicon Valley (in fact, he is currently paid for his work with a "red flag" online financing service).  This is a guy who served as a chief economist at the World Bank!

Fifthly (although we could go on to create quite a longer list), Lawrence Summers has enriched himself through his Wall Street and Silicon Valley ties to become another revolving door overseer of the institutions who have made him very rich.

As a lengthy New York Times (NYT) front page (print edition) above-the-fold article on Summers records:

But in 2006, Mr. Summers was forced out of the [Harvard] university presidency for a variety of reasons, including remarks he made questioning why few women engage in advanced scientific and mathematical work. Soon after, a young Harvard alum brought him into the hedge fund world with a part-time posting at D. E. Shaw. That firm, one of the largest in the industry, paid Mr. Summers more than $5 million.

[...]

This is a "the guy has too much baggage" piece of reporting from a paper in a city that in large part depends upon the financial industry for much of the city's expendable income and tax base.

One possible way of interpreting the NYT's choice to pursue and publish this story is that Summers may just draw too much heat if appointed Fed Chair -- and in that respect could be bad for Wall Street since Obama might need to potentially replace him with an actual reformer.  The ongoing vulnerability of Summers -- for being a protector of the banks too big to fail and questionable Silicon Valley start-ups and schemes -- might, in the end, bring more light to shed on the shady underside of Wall Street than would be the case with a more low key and uncontroversial pick such as Janet Yellen, the current vice chairwoman of the Fed. ...

Please read the entire post here.

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