Category Archives: Conservatives

Obama IRS targeted for audit 1 in 10 donors to conservative groups

Under Obama, conservative Americans suddenly found themselves living not in the U.S.A., but in the (former) Soviet Union.

In 2013-14, news came that the all-powerful Internal Revenue Service of the Obama administration was singling out for scrutiny conservative groups that had applied for non-profit status. See:

But what actually happened is even worse. It turns out Obama’s IRS targeted for audit:

  1. Not just conservative groups that had applied for non-profit 501(c)(4) status, but also conservative groups that already were 501(c)(4)s.
  2. Not just conservative groups, but also individual conservative Americans.

(1) Obama IRS targeted all right-wing groups

In February 2014, then-Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) stated that:

“Additionally, we now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were already operating as 501(c)(4)s.  At Washington, DC’s direction, dozens of groups operating as 501(c)(4)s were flagged for IRS surveillance, including monitoring of the groups’ activities, websites and any other publicly available information. Of these groups, 83 percent were right-leaning. And of the groups the IRS selected for audit, 100 percent were right-leaning.

The right-leaning groups that were targeted included the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Leadership Institute, a 501(c)(3) that trains young conservative activists. The group’s president, Morton Blackwell, told Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) the audit had cost his organization more than $50,000 and hundreds of man-hours. As part of the investigation, the Leadership Institute was required to produce 23,430 pages of documents and answer far-ranging questions about its interns and other miscellaneous topics.

(2) Obama IRS targeted conservative individuals

On July 22, 2015, the D.C. citizens’ watchdog group Judicial Watch announced that it obtained documents from IRS which confirm the IRS had used donor lists to conservative tax-exempt organizations (such as the aforementioned Leadership Institute) to target those donors for audits. The IRS produced the records in a Freedom of Information lawsuit by Judicial Watch seeking documents about selection of individuals for audits, based upon application information and donor lists submitted by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations (Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:15-cv-00220)).

One of the damning documents is an exchange of letters between then-Democrat Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman:

  • In his letter to Shulman of September 28, 2010, Baucus wrote: “I request that you and your agency survey major 501(c)(4), (c)(5) and (c)(6) organizations.…”
  • Shulman replied in a letter dated February 17, 2011: “In the work plan of the Exempt Organizations Division, we announced that beginning in FY2011, we are increasing our focus on section 501(c)(4), (5) and (6) organizations.”

Note: Sen. Roy Blunt wrote that Douglas Shulman was cleared to visit the White House more than 100 times during his four years as Obama’s IRS commissioner. In contrast, Shulman’s predecessor, Mark Everson, says he was cleared to visit the Bush White House just once during his four years as IRS commissioner.

After receiving Sen. Baucus’s letter, the IRS considered the issue of auditing donors to 501(c)(4) organizations, alleging that a 35% gift tax would be due on donations in excess of $13,000, which required the IRS audit the donors.

But the 35% gift tax was really just a ruse because a gift tax on contributions to 501(c)(4)’s was considered by most to be a dead letter since the IRS had never enforced the rule after the Supreme Court ruled that such taxes violated the First Amendment. In fact, the IRS had not enforced the gift tax since 1982.

The documents show that individual donors to Crossroads GPS, associated with Republican Karl Rove, were specifically referenced by IRS officials in the context of the gift tax audit. IRS attorney Lorraine Gardner emailed a 501(c)(4) donor list to former Branch Chief in the IRS’ Office of the Chief Counsel James Hogan. Later, this information was shared with IRS Estate Gift and Policy Manager Lisa Piehl.

In September 2014, another Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit forced the release of documents detailing that the IRS sought, obtained and maintained the names of donors to Tea Party and other conservative groups. IRS officials acknowledged in these documents that “such information was not needed.” The documents also show that the donor names were being used for a “secret research project.

At a May 7, 2014 hearing, the House Ways and Means Committee announced    that, after scores of conservative groups provided donor information “to the IRS, nearly one in ten donors were subject to audit.” In 2011, as many as five donors to the conservative 501(c)(4) organization Freedom’s Watch were audited, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bradley Blakeman, Freedom’s Watch’s former president, said he was “personally targeted” by the IRS.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said:

These documents that we had to force out of the IRS prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech. And the snarky comments about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the obsession with Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS show that the IRS was targeting critics of the Obama administration. President Obama may want to continue to lie about his IRS scandal. These documents tell the truth – his IRS hated conservatives and was willing to illegally tax and audit citizens to shut down opposition to Barack Obama’s policies and reelection.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Tom Perez: The new foul-mouthed face of the DNC

Excellent choice demorats!

DCG

President Trump signs law restoring states’ right to defund Planned Parenthood

On his first full day of work in the White House on January 23, 2017, a day after the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by signing an executive order to defund overseas abortion agencies. {See “Trump fulfills 3 promises in first day of work as POTUS, including defund International Planned Parenthood”)

On April 3, 2017, President Trump put an end to the U.S.’s $75 million funding  of a United Nations abortion agency — the UN Population Fund.

Ten days later on April 13, 2017, President Trump signed into law a joint Congressional resolution, H.J.Res. 43, enabling states to defund Planned Parenthood and other abortion mills.

H.J.Res. 43 repeals one of Obama’s last malevolent acts as POTUS.

In December 2016, Obama had bestowed his parting gift to the abortion industry with a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule banning states from withholding Title X federal “family planning” grants to abortion clinics. At the time, HHS explained that the rule was created in reaction to states that tried to stop funding abortion providers.

H.J.Res. 43, that President Trump signed into law, reads:

Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the final rule submitted by Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services relating to compliance with title X requirements by project recipients in selecting subrecipients (81 Fed. Reg. 91852; December 19, 2016), and such rule shall have no force or effect.

On April 14, 2017, speaking for all pro-lifers, Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, said:

“Today we thank President Donald Trump for restoring states’ freedom to direct taxpayer dollars away from abortion providers in favor of supporting community health centers that deliver comprehensive women’s care, and already outnumber abortion providers 20 to 1.”

Applauding H.J.Res. 43, Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser urges Congress to take up more legislation to strip Planned Parenthood and abortion providers of other federal funds like Medicaid reimbursements, and redirect those federal funds to health providers that do not perform abortions.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) introduced H.J. Res. 43 to the U.S. House of Representatives, which nullified the HHS rule. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) sponsored H.J. Res. 43 in the Senate. The measure passed the House easily and then narrowly passed the Senate, with Vice President Mike Pence as the tie-breaking vote.

If the Trump administration never does anything else, H.J. Res. 43 alone is a confirmation of the rightness of our votes last November 8 for Trump-Pence.

And don’t let anyone tell you that Republicans are no different from the party of  Demonrats.

~Eowyn

Trump makes 180° reversal on WikiLeaks, now called ‘a hostile agent’ in collusion with Russia

Donald Trump owes WikiLeaks no small amount for his winning the 2016 presidential election.

Were it not for WikiLeaks‘ publishing of Democrat emails — those of Hillary Clinton, Democratic National Committee (DNC), and John Podesta — the voter would not have known the corrupt pay-to-play Clinton Foundation, Hillary’s illegal private email server, the DNC’s corruption and betrayal of Hillary’s primary rival Bernie Sanders, and the satanic practices of Podesta and Pizzagate.

Throughout, Trump had been supportive and never critical of WikiLeaks. As an example, on January 4, 2017, Trump tweeted this:

In a speech on October 10, 2016, Trump declared, “I love WikiLeaks!” (New York Times)

Before he became the Trump administration’s CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) similarly was approving of the WikiLeaks emails. On July 24, 2016, Pompeo tweeted this:

Then was then, now is now.

Then, Trump needed WikiLeaks. Now that he’s President, WikiLeaks has become “a hostile agent”.

Matthew Rosenberg reports for The New York Times that in his first speech as director of the CIA yesterday, April 13, 2017, Mike Pompeo attacked WikiLeaks as a stateless hostile intelligence unit eager to do the bidding of Russia and other U.S. adversaries. Pompeo said, “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.”

“It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a nonstate hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia.” You would think we’re still in the Obama administration or a Hillary Clinton administration.

To support his assessment, Pompeo cited as evidence of WikiLeaks‘ hostile intent the latter’s release of Democratic Party emails — the exact same emails that Pompeo had promoted in July 2016, but now insists had been stolen by Russian hackers, although both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and hacker Guccifer 2.0 maintain the leaker was a DNC staffer named Seth Rich, 27.

On early Sunday morning, July 10, 2016, Seth was shot dead in the streets of Washington, DC. His assassination remains unsolved.

Pompeo also cited how WikiLeaks encouraged followers to join the C.I.A. and steal secrets, and how “it overwhelmingly focuses on the United States while seeking support from antidemocratic countries.”

Pompeo’s harshest words were reserved for Assange, whom Pompeo calls a “narcissist,” “a fraud — a coward hiding behind a screen,” and a “false wizard”.

There goes our hope and expectation that a President Trump would commend Assange and provide him political asylum and a safe refuge in America.

The 180° reversal is because the Trump administration now finds itself on the receiving end of WikiLeaks disclosures. Last month, the group released thousands of pages of documents describing sophisticated software tools and techniques used by the C.I.A. to break into the American people’s smartphones, computers and even internet-connected televisions.

~Eowyn

Cuomo’s free tuition program comes with a major catch

andrew-cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

Everything free comes with a price.

From NY Post: Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s much-heralded new program for free tuition at state colleges comes with a huge catch: You have to sign years of your life away to get it.

Under a provision that was added to the tuition bill at the last moment, students who get a free ride at CUNY and SUNY schools must live and work in New York state for up to four years after graduation, or be forced to pay the money back.

The amendment — which was not part of Cuomo’s original offer of free college for middle-class students — was added at the insistence of Republicans in the state Senate.

The GOP members worried that taxpayer-educated students would take their valuable knowledge and flee to other parts of the US, particularly from remote upstate communities.

“New York spends $1 billion on college financial assistance. There is a brain-drain problem,” said Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif. “We have to get away from educating people and then having them move away. We want to create a climate for business and new jobs.”

Cuomo agreed with the change. “Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you pick up and you move to California?” Cuomo said during a call with state editorial writers.

The concept of investing in you and your education is that you’re going to stay here and be an asset to the state. If you don’t want to stay here, then go to California now, let them pay for your college education.”

But one professor of higher education slammed the proposal as “economically and educationally foolish.”

“As someone who has worked on almost every free college bill, I promise@NYGovCuomo won’t be remembered well if he keeps this provision,” Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab tweeted. She noted that Tennessee offers free tuition at its community colleges “without this nonsense.”

Cuomo’s Excelsior Scholarship provides free in-state tuition for students from families with adjusted gross incomes of $125,000 or less. It is the first program of its kind in the country to fully subsidize tuition at both four-year and community colleges. Students must maintain a minimum grade-point average to qualify.

Cuomo is expected to tout the program at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday at La Guardia Community College in Queens.

Lawmakers also approved a new tuition assistance program for students at private colleges that offers up to $3,000 in tuition grants. That assistance, too, comes with a requirement that a student remain in New York after graduation.

Students who receive free tuition and then leave the state for an advanced degree won’t have to pay the money back, assuming they return to New York once they complete their graduate studies. State officials also plan to make accommodations for graduates who leave the state for military service.

DCG

Trump on verge of war in Syria

2 days after Trump had 59 cruise missiles fired at Syria’s Shayrat Air Base, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said removing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power is a priority. On Sunday, April 9, Haley said Trump “will not stop” with the missile strike and that “If he needs to do more, he will.” Haley’s pronouncement is a complete U-turn: Just days ago, she had said toppling Assad was not a priority. (CNN)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said today (Wall St. Journal):

“It is clear to all of us that the reign of the Assad family is coming to an end.

Today, White House press secretary Sean Spicer didn’t just compare Syrian President Assad to Hitler, he said Assad is worse than Hitler for using chemical weapons. (Chicago Sun-Times)

See “Former US intelligence officials: Trump lied about Assad’s chemical attack on Idlib province” and “3 reasons why the latest Syrian chemical attack attributed to Assad is a false flag

During a joint press conference with Italian President Sergio Mattarella today, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US is planning a false flag operation, faking chemical weapons airstrikes on Syrian capital Damascus. The attack will be blamed on the Assad government and used as the pretext to take him out. (The Mirror)

Paul Joseph Watson writes that “The Trump administration is currently locked in a heated debate over whether to launch a full ground invasion of Syria, with hundreds of thousands of soldiers now massing . . . . Troop numbers are now being massively escalated in western Iraq . . . including the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, to back up and cover the flank for U.S. Army ground forces in case of possible attack by Assad.”

Watson says that “According to White House sources who spoke to Infowars, Trump is reticent to see U.S. troops embroiled in yet another Middle East quagmire, but is under pressure from top neo-cons in his administration to prevent Russia from dominating the region as the fall of ISIS nears.” (InfoWars)

Pat Buchanan asks:

A Syrian war would consume Trump’s presidency.

Are we ready for that? How would we win such a war without raising a large army and sending it back into the Middle East? . . . .

We have no vital national interest in Syria’s civil war. . . . If, after Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Yemen, we do not want America in yet another Mideast war, the time to stop it is before the War Party has us already in it. That time is now.

Question to Deplorables:

Did you vote for Trump so that the U.S. will get into yet another war in the Middle East? And how does a war in Syria make America great again?

Meanwhile, it looks like the US-Mexico border wall is going up in smoke.

Breitbart just reported that federal funding for wall construction may be excluded from the House GOP’s budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018. House Democrats, along with a few House Republicans, are working around-the-clock to make sure funding for the estimated $12 billion border wall is not factored into the GOP budget, according to a report by The Hill.

H/t Will Shanley

~Eowyn

Hillary Clinton Explains Why She Really Lost to Trump

enhanced-video-of-hillary-clintons-9-11-collapse

The most qualified womyn…

It’s the usual suspects and, of course, sexism.

From NBC News: Almost four months after her stunning defeat, Hillary Clinton on Thursday primarily blamed her loss to President Donald Trump on four factors that were beyond her control.

The former Democratic presidential candidate cited Russian meddling in the election, FBI Director James Comey’s involvement toward the end of the race, WikiLeaks’ theft of emails from her campaign chairman, and misogyny.

Clinton’s comments came during her first post-election interview at Tina Brown’s eighth annual Women in the World Summit in New York City. She was questioned by Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times.

She largely cited these factors for her defeat:

  • Russia. “A foreign power meddled with our election,” she said, labeling it “an act of aggression.” She called for an independent, bipartisan investigation into the Kremlin’s involvement and said the probe should examine whether there was collusion with the Trump campaign.
  • Misogyny. “Certainly, misogyny played a role. That has to be admitted,” she said. Clinton added that “some people — women included — had real problems” with the idea of a woman president.
  • Comey. Clinton cited as damaging to her campaign his unusual decision to release of a letter on October 28, less than two weeks before Election Day, that said he was looking at additional emails related to the FBI probe of the former secretary of state’s use of a private server.
  • WikiLeaks. Weeks of disclosures of stolen emails from the personal account of then-Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, were particularly harmful, Clinton said, adding that it “played a much bigger role than I think many people yet understand.”

She said the combination of Comey’s actions and the WikiLeaks’ revelations “had the determinative effect.”

About her own role, she said, “There were things I could have done better.”

While Clinton said there were “lots of contributing factors” to her failure to secure the nation’s highest office, she called Russia’s interference the “weaponization of information.”

“I didn’t fully understand how impactful that was and so it created doubts in people,” Clinton said. “But then the Comey letter coming as it did — just 10 days before the election — really raised questions in a lot of people.”

Two days before the election, Comey announced that none of the emails would lead to criminal charges — leaving in place the FBI’s determination from July. Officials told NBC News that nearly all of the emails were duplicates of emails that had been examined already.

Kristof also asked Clinton about Trump. “I don’t understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this White House, seems to be pursuing,” Clinton said, pointing to the immigration ban, the slashing of U.S. funding for the UN Population Fund, and the failed health care bill.  What they did or tried to do on the health care bill, which I will confess to this — having listened to them talking about repeal and replace for 8 years, or 7 years now, and they had not a clue what that meant,” she said. “They had no idea. I don’t know that any of them had ever even read the bill.”

Clinton, who is writing a book that she said would examine her defeat last year, said she doubted she would ever seek public office again. “Devastating,” was how she described her loss.

Watch the full video here.

DCG