This was a great contest with many truly clever captions. Alas, the writers of FOTM are obliged to vote for what each considers to be the best (#1) and second-best (#2) captions. Each #1 vote is worth 4 points; a #2 vote is worth 2 points.
And the winner of the 186th FOTM Caption Contest, with two #1 votes and one #2 vote, totaling 10 points, is . . .
Kevin J Lankford!
Here’s the winning caption:
“Oh! By the way Lisa, I need a new chauffeur. You don’t happen to have any Chinese connections, do you?”
In second place are dkolb 2010‘s two captions, LibSick, pigpen51, Richieand Tim Shey, each with 4 points. Pigpen51 received two #2 votes; the others each received one #1 vote. Here are their respective captions:
dkolb 2010: “Dianne, what would you charge to haunt a house?”
dkolb 2010: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein badgering Sen. Lisa Murkowski: ‘I told you Lisa that my reserved parking space is clearly marked; Witch Parking Only All Others Toad.'”
LibSick: “OK, I’ll vote against Kavanaugh, but you had better keep your part of the bargain to send busses of illegals to Alaska to vote for me!”
pigpen51: “You promise me, Dianne, if I vote no, you will get my name off the Clinton’s hit list?”
Richie: “Where’s my lunch money, b*tch?”
Tim Shey: “Come you spirits that tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here; and fill me, from the crown to the toe, top-full of direst cruelty!” (from Shakespeare’s MACBETH Act I, Scene V)
Andy, Jerry C, Joseph BC69, and Mad Celt are in 3rd place, each with one #2 vote and 2 points. Here are their respective captions:
Andy: “No Diane, I’m staying in the closet!”
Jerry C.: “But Dianne I really do need my knee caps.”
Joseph BC69: “When next do we two meet again, by heath and moor,/or behind the Senate’s door?”
Mad Celt: “Diane: Let’s tell everyone Kavanaugh felt you up at the senior prom.
Lisa: But it wasn’t Kavanaugh! It was Ulysses S. Grant!”
WELL DONE, EVERYONE!
Congratulations, Kevin J Lankford!
Here’s your super-duper Award of Excellence, all ready for framing!
This is the 186th world-famous FOTM Caption Contest!
Here’s the pic (h/t DCG):
About the pic: The pic of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), 85, apparently badgering Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), 61, was taken around the time of the Kavanaugh hearings. Murkowski was the only Republican senator who voted against Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
You know the drill:
Enter the contest by submitting your caption as a comment on this thread(scroll down until you see the “LEAVE A REPLY” box), not via email or on Facebook.
The winner of the Caption Contest will get a gorgeous Award Certificate of Excellence and a year’s free subscription to FOTM!
FOTM writers will vote for the winner.
Any captions proffered by FOTM writers, no matter how brilliant (ha ha), will not be considered.
This contest will be closed in a week, at the end of next Tuesday, October 30, 2018.
To get the contest going, here’s my caption:
Feinstein: “Remember the dead horse’s head scene from The Godfather?”
By the way, according to an Italian government report, the country’s mayors and local administrators received 212 threats from organized crime in 2010, especially in Italy’s underdeveloped south. The most common ways to threaten administrators who refuse to collude with the Mafia are to burn their cars, mail them envelopes containing bullets, or send boxes with severed animal heads, an act reminiscent of a memorable scene involving the head of a racehorse in “The Godfather.” (Reuters)
For the winner of our last Caption Contest, go here.
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This afternoon, two senior Senate sources told Fox News the FBI has completed its investigation on sexual allegations against Supreme Court nominee U.S. District Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
The FBI’s supplemental background report on Kavanaugh concluded, “There is no corroboration for the allegations made by Dr. Ford or Ms. Ramirez”. The report will be sent to the White House before it goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The report will be secured in a Capitol Hill basement room for all 100 senators and 9 staffers to come and read.
It is not clear whether any part of the FBI report will be made public, but Thune acknowledged “some of it will probably make its way out into the public and into the mainstream. But most importantly, at least right now, is that all senators who are going to have the responsibility to vote on this nomination have an opportunity to review it, assess it and come to their own conclusions about what’s in there.”
In a letter today to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Kavanaugh’s accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s legal team said she has not yet heard from the FBI about scheduling an interview with her.
The FBI has not interviewed either Kavanaugh or Ford. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said there is no need to interview either Kavanaugh or Ford, who have each given one media interview and faced questions from the Judiciary Committee, because the FBI “pretty well know what both of them are going to say.”
Sen. John Thune (R-SD), the third-ranking Republican in the Senate, told Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino” that “obviously,” the FBI report “will enable the process to move forward and we hope that we’re going to have the votes to get [Kavanaugh] confirmed when it’s all said and done.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) set up a procedural vote for as early as Friday on the Kavanaugh nomination. McConnell has filed a petition for a cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before the Senate votes to confirm the nominee. McConnell said, “It’s time to put this sickening display behind us. The Senate will vote on this nomination this week.”
Assuming at least 50 senators agree to end debate, Kavanaugh’s final confirmation vote will come Saturday.
Republicans hold a narrow 51-49 advantage in the Senate and can only afford to lose one vote before Kavanaugh’s nomination would be scuppered. Vice President Mike Pence can cast a tiebreaking vote. Thune said, “It’s an audience of three that we have to win over, at least at the moment,” referring to the three RINO senators Jeff Flake (Arizona), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska). No Republicans, however, have said they will vote against Kavanaugh.
Rod Rosenstein, 53, a Republican, is the rat-face whom President Trump, on February 1, 2017, nominated to be the Justice Department’s Deputy Attorney General, and whom the Senate quickly confirmed on April 25, 2017.
The next month, in May 2017, Rosenstein authored a memo which President Trump said was the basis of his decision to dismiss FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein then appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election and related matters. Rosenstein also approved the raids on the home, office and hotel room of Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
The Deputy Attorney General is a political appointee of the President of the United Statesand takes office after confirmation by the Senate. According to the DOJ website:
The Deputy Attorney General advises and assists the Attorney General in formulating and implementing Departmental policies and programs and in providing overall supervision and direction to all organizational units of the Department. The Deputy Attorney General is authorized to exercise all the power and authority of the Attorney General, except where such power or authority is prohibited by law from delegation or has been delegated to another official. In the absence of the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General acts as the Attorney General.
Five days ago on Sept. 21, The New York Times reported that shortly after the dismissal of Comey, Rosenstein grew concerned about Trump’s fitness for office. Rosenstein suggested he could wear a wire to secretly tape conversations between himself and Trump, then use those recordings against the President by invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. The 25th Amendment provides for the removal of a sitting president if he or she is judged unfit to carry out the duties of the office.
Rosenstein strongly denied it, saying he was just being sarcastic in his reference to taping Trump. In response, Trump said he wasn’t sure what the deputy AG’s fate would be.
Two days ago, conservatives got all elated by talk of Rosenstein having resigned or being fired:
Citing sources, Axios reported that Rosenstein had anticipated being fired by President Trump, so he told White House chief of staff John Kelly he was resigning.
Bloomberg said Rosenstein actually had resigned and that his resignation had been accepted.
Pete Williams of NBC News, however, said Rosenstein was not going to resign but was on his way to the White House for a showdown to force Team Trump to fire him.
But the chatter all came to nothing. We are told that Rosenstein had not resigned and that he will meet with President Trump tomorrow.
That Rosenstein still has a job despite his plotting against Trump adds to conservatives’ frustration. Many of us repeatedly have asked why Trump hasn’t and seemingly won’t fire swamp creatures like Rosenstein.
Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Trump has the power to appoint an acting AG if it’s a resignation. If he is fired, the process is murkier and governed by federal employment laws.
So I looked into this. Here is what I found.
To begin, firing federal workers is very difficult.
In an article for Politifact, Angie Drobnic Holan describes the process for firing or even disciplining federal government workers as “cumbersome” and “difficult”.
Paul Light, a professor of public service at New York University, said that out of a federal workforce of 1.86 million, “Very few federal employees — in the hundreds, not the thousands — are ever fired on the basis of poor performance. If you want to fire an employee, you’re taking on a task that is very intense and difficult, and biased in favor of protecting employees, and it can take a year or more to complete.”
Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, agreed that it’s too hard to fire poor performers and that few experts who study the issue would disagree: “The federal civil service is hamstrung by antiquated rules. We need to make it easier to fire poor performers.”
John Palguta of the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit that advocates for an improved federal workforce, said that when an employee is fired, there are a number of appeals processes available to fight a termination. Some of those processes probably could be streamlined, while keeping in place rules designed to protect employees from partisan politics because “It’s not supposed to be easy to fire federal workers for the wrong reasons.”
In 1999, when the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) undertook a study of poor-performing federal employees, the researchers had a difficult time even finding a statistically-significant sample of supervisors who had attempted to take action against a poor performer. The 42 supervisors whom the researchers found said it was hard to fire workers because of a lack of support from upper management, varying quality in technical guidance for completing the process, and reluctance to devote the time and energy needed to complete the cumbersome process. Many bosses got discouraged and gave up. The OPM report said:
Interviewees found the investment of time and energy required over an extremely long period to be daunting. This was compounded by the stress resulting from the employee’s counter-charges, grievances, accusations, appeals, general hostility and attempts to subvert the supervisor. One described the documentation required as ‘horrendous.’
In contrast, if a federal employee who is a presidential appointee resigns or quits, the President immediately can appoint a person to the vacated office “in an acting capacity” until a replacement candidate is nominated and confirmed.
According to the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, if an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation (such as deputy attorney general of the Justice Department) dies, resigns, or is otherwise unable to perform office functions, the President is authorized to appoint a person temporarily to serve in the vacated office in an acting capacity for a period of 150 days, during which time the President is expected to nominate a replacement, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes no mention of what happens when an officer of an executive government agency that requires presidential appointment with Senate confirmation is fired. But common sense says that the very fact that Congress enacted this Act, to address cases when the federal appointee resigns, presumes that the procedure would be different if the appointee is fired.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Trump had to be warned by aides back in April not to fire Rosenstein. Others, such as Sean Hannity, also advised Trump against firing Rosenstein, claiming that such a move would open Trump to being impeached. Whatever the reason, despite, as NewsMax puts it, Rosenstein being “a frequent target of the president’s wrath,” the Federal Vacancies Reform Act makes clear why Rosenstein’s resignation would be preferable to him being fired.
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By now you’ve heard about the latest Alinsky tactics to derail Brett Kavanaugh.
DemoRATs are working very, very hard at this smear campaign. It’s coming fast and furious thanks to many, many demoRAT operatives. See here and the many posts on Twitchy.
And the RINOs are, of course, succumbing. Arrrrgggggghhhhh!
Another demoRAT working hard at this effort is Senator Kristen Gillibrand. You should see her Twitter timeline – full of sympathy, empathy and disdain for women who are victims of sexual assault and are not being heard because of the evil republican men.
“We can’t change our country’s culture of sexual harassment and assault if we don’t change our treatment of survivors. A country that values women wouldn’t allow this.“
“By refusing to treat her allegations properly and by playing games to protect Kavanaugh’s nomination, they’re telling women across the country that they’re not to be believed. That they are worth less than a man’s promotion.”
“This isn’t just about one incident. It’s about whether we’ll send women who have experienced sexual trauma back into the shadows.“
“Why don’t they want the facts?”
“We’re all better off when women’s voices are heard.”
“To every survivor out there: I see you. You deserved better, and we will keep fighting for justice.”
You want to know Kristen about women who were sent back into the shadows because of sexual trauma? Listen to what these women have to say:
All you demoRATs pushing these unverified and libelous stories about Brett Kavanaugh without acknowledging the voiced experiences of Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey prove just one thing:
You don’t care about women who are victims of sexual assault ONE BIT. All you care about is POWER.
All you demoRATs involved in this smear against Brett Kavanaugh are HYPOCRITES.
I wonder what Mary Jo Kopechne would have to say…had she been a survivor.
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Whereas the majority of the American people are religious (Christians) and patriotic, the bipartisan “regime class” — stripped of their lip-service rhetoric — are irreligious, arrogant and contemptuous of the American people, and love neither America nor her people.
We saw another display of that bipartisan ruling class at RINO Sen. John McCain’s funeral on September 1, when former president George W. Bush, 72, behaving like an impish schoolboy, snuck a piece of candy to a beaming Michelle “Big Mike” Obama, as their respective spouses, Barack and Laura, smiled indulgently.
Who knew that a funeral is an occasion for jovial frivolity?
Wes Walker of Clash Daily points out this isn’t the first time George W. was cozy with Big Mike:
(1) Big Mike hugs George W. during the inauguration of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, September 24, 2016:
(2) George W. kisses Big Mike, then the two hold hands and sing to one another at a memorial service for five slain police officers in Dallas, July 16, 2016:
And what was Big Mike doing with his hands in the laps of Barack and George W., as all three and Laura Bush grin as if they’re in on some private joke? What was so amusing at a memorial service for slain police officers?
Wes Walker observes:
Dubya must have finally paid off his Progressive Penance by opposing Trump’s nomination. Because it wasn’t so long ago that he was a racist, war criminal and literally Hitler.
For eight long years, the Obamas didn’t have a single nice thing to say about Bush. And now they’re best buds? He must not be the world’s most hated racist anymore.
Maybe it had something to do with Bush having joined the #Resistance.
George W.’s coziness with Michelle O. has not gone unnoticed.
On July 19, 2017,the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona, announced in a statement that RINO Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) had been diagnosed with the most aggressive strain of brain cancer known as Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Dr. Solmaz Sahebjam, a neuro-oncologist at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., said, “Glioblastoma is considered to be advanced by the time of diagnosis. At this time, it is not curable, meaning there’s no way to get rid of it. The aim is to control it as long as possible.” According to the Arizona Daily Independent, patients with McCain’s glioblastoma have a 95% mortality rate within 13 months of diagnosis.
Despite his malignant brain cancer diagnosis, McCain was determined to thwart President Trump’s plans by inflicting as much political damage as possible. On July 28, 2017, he was one of three RINO senators to kill the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare by joining Senate Democrats in voting no. The other two RINOs are Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. (See “John McCain, another snake-tongue flicker, scuttles Obamacare repeal“)
About four months later on November 6, 2017, McCain was seen wearing an orthopedic or walking boot on his right leg because, we were told, of a “minor tear” in his right Achilles’ tendon.
16 days later on November 22, 2017, McCain tweeted a pic of himself and his wife, Cindy, showing his orthopedic boot had moved to his left leg. Below are side-by-side pics of McCain on Nov. 22 (l) and on Nov. 6 (r).
McCain explained that he’d switched the boot from his right to left leg to give his left leg “a break” because it was doing extra work to compensate for the boot being on his right leg.
McCain’s ridiculous explanation only added fuel to the ankle monitor rumors. Old people’s skin gets very thin and easily bruised. The ankle monitor probably was chafing 81-year-old McCain’s skin, so he had the monitor moved to his left ankle, thus necessitating a walking boot on his left leg for concealment.
McCain was not seen publicly since December 2017 when he returned to his family’s compound in Cornville, Arizona before the Senate’s Christmas break. Nor was he in photos of the McCain family and friends celebrating the July 4, 2018 holiday at the compound. (ADI)
Despite his disappearance in person or in photos, including not showing up to vote in the Senate, McCain — through his office — continued to make public statements and policy positions, which prompted Republican strategist Constantin Querard to make the following observation on June 26, 2018:
The real problem, more accurately the likely scandal that is largely being ignored both by those close to the Senator, by virtually the entire media, and by Washington DC as a whole, is that Senator McCain is simultaneously invisible from the public for obvious reasons, while remarkably active in terms of public statements and policy positions. Again, if you know people who have suffered from this disease, you know full well that in their later months, none of them would likely be participating in philosophical or political policy debates. None of them would likely be drafting policy positions for press releases.
13 months after McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis on Saturday, August 24, 2018, McCain’s family announced that he had chosen to discontinue medical treatment. The next day, August 25, 2018, his Senate office said McCain had died that afternoon, at age 81, surrounded by his wife and family.
The death of John McCain is mourned and grandly eulogized by the same two-faced MSM who had heaped scorn on him when he ran against Barack Obama for the presidency in 2008. In the Alternative Media, however, there are those who question whether he had really died from brain cancer. Their skepticism stems from the following:
(1) Q Anon predicted McCain’s death a month before
On July 25, 2018, at 18:28 (EST), the Trump White House insider who calls himself Q published his 1706th post — of an image of John McCain making the “hands up” surrender gesture, and referring to McCain as “No Name”.
Note that Q’s post was published at 18:28 (EST) or 6:28 PM (EST), which would be 4:28 PM (Mountain Time). Arizona is on Mountain Time.
According to CBS News, John McCain died on August 25, 2018, at 4:28 PM (Mountain Time).
In other words, Q published his post #1706 a month before McCain’s death, at exactly the same time when McCain died (4:28 PM Mountain Time).
A day after McCain’s death, Q published post #1932, with the words “Suicide weekend?”, “Hands up?”,  and [0:28].
“Suicide weekend?”: McCain had died on the weekend of Saturday, August 25. Is Q intimating that McCain’s death was from suicide?
“Hands up?”: A reference to the image of McCain with his hands up, signifying surrender.
[0:28]: Is this a reference to the time of Q post #1706’s 18:28 (EST), i.e., 6:28 PM (EST), which is 4:28 PM (MT), McCain’s time of death?
: According to JustInformedNews,  refers to the “metaphorical kill box”. In military jargon, a “kill box” means targeted killing. As defined in the Department of Defense Dictionary, kill boxes are “a three-dimensional area reference that enables timely, effective coordination and control and facilitates rapid attacks.” Kill boxes are three-dimensional cubes of space on a battlefield in which members and allies of the United States military are completely free to open fire. (The Atlantic)
If Q indeed had predicted John McCain’s death to the minute a month before, that means McCain could not have died from brain cancer. Instead, he was executed (“kill box”) or allowed to commit suicide (“suicide weekend”).
(2) John Kasich said McCain was “put to death”
On September 6, 2018, Ohio Governor John Kasich was interviewed by CNN’s Chris Cuomo, griping about President Trump being a “commander of chaos”.
At the 5:03 mark in the video below, Kasich said something shocking, which Cuomo simply ignored as if Kasich hadn’t said it. Kasich said:
“Its like 24 hours since John McCain was put to death“.
Here’s the video in MP4 format in case YouTube takes down the video:
By the way, John Kasich, you POS, President Trump is “getting things done”. Or do you think a booming economy of 4+% GDP growth, the lowest unemployment numbers in 49 years, decreases in illegal border crossings and refugees, peace with North Korea (I can go on) constitute not “getting things done”?
In just 1½ years as President, Donald Trump already has achieved more than Obama in eight years, including:
Economy:Unemployment has fallen to 3.8% in May 2018, which is effective full employment. Worker productivity increased 3% in the third quarter of 2017, far above the 1.2% average of the Obama years. The number of manufacturing jobs in November 2017 was the highest recorded increase in 15 years.
We don’t hear about the Islamic State in the news any more, do we? Just months into the Trump presidency, the ISIS caliphate was crushed by the US-led coalition forces. Some of the world’s oldest Christian communities in the Mideast are able to worship freely at Christmas. (RealClearPolitics)
North Korea: Trump achieved something all previous administrations did not: He met with North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-Un and negotiated a promise from the communist regime to return the remains of American POWs from the 1950s Korean War. North Korea has also erased most of its anti-US propaganda.
Illegal migrants and refugees: In December 2017, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the UN global pact on migration. Illegal crossings across the US-Mexico border have plunged as much as 60% vs. pre-Trump levels. ICE Director Thomas Homan said President Trump “has done more for border security and public safety than any of the six presidents I’ve worked for.” (RealClearPolitics)
Despite all that, writing in the Washington Post last Friday, June 23, supposedly-conservative and supposedly-pro-life Catholic columnist George Will, 77 — one of the Never-Trump Republicans in the 2016 presidential election — urged Americans to vote against Republicans in this November’s midterm elections, not because Congressional Republicans are still too timid, but because they have acceded to President Trump’s “family separating” border policy.
It must be noted that what the jackals of the Mainstream Media call “separation of families” is actually the Trump administration enacting a measure that flowed from the Clinton-eraFlores vs. Reno Supreme Court decision allowing unaccompanied illegal border-crossing minors be held “in the least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor’s age and special needs.”
Rachel Koning Beals reports for Market Watch that Will calls lame duck House Speaker Paul Ryan and others the “president’s poodles,” and Trump’s “zero tolerance” border policy “the most telegenic example of misrule” and “fresh if redundant evidence for the principle by which” independents and moderate Republicans should vote in the November midterms.
Will even says a GOP majority’s position to fill any upcoming Supreme Court vacancies is too high a price to pay for the Trump administration’s executive and legislative “dysfunction”. He writes:
“the congressional Republican caucuses must be substantially reduced. So substantially that their remnants, reduced to minorities, will be stripped of the Constitution’s Article I powers that they have been too invertebrate to use against the current wielder of Article II powers. They will then have leisure time to wonder why they worked so hard to achieve membership in a legislature whose unexercised muscles have atrophied because of people like them. Not because James Madison’s system has failed but because today’s abject careerists have failed to be worthy of it. Congressional Republicans . . . have no higher ambition than to placate this president.”
Earlier this week, longtime Republican strategist Steve Schmidt also called for a Democratic wave in the midterm elections, blaming Trump for a “coarsening of this country” and calling the president a “useful idiot” for Russia.
So Schmidt actually believes in the Russia-Trump 2016 electoral collusion, despite not a shred of evidence? But this guy gets big bucks as a Republican strategist?
Hmm, I can’t help but wonder what dark secrets are in the closets of George Will and Steve Schmidt which they are so terrified would be exposed by “zero tolerance” Trump….
Remember how the IRS under the Obama administration maliciously targeted conservatives, for which IRS officials like Lois Lerner were never held accountable?
Judicial Watch, the nonpartisan citizens’ watchdog group, has uncovered evidence that it wasn’t just Democrats: Republican Senator John McCain (Arizona) also urged the IRS to politically target individuals and non-profit groups for special auditing, for the express purpose of ruining them financially.
Cover photo of The Atlantic, October 2008.
Yesterday, June 21, 2018, Judicial Watch issued this stunning press release:
Judicial Watch today released newly obtained internal IRS documents, including material revealing that Sen. John McCain’s former staff director and chief counsel on the Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee, Henry Kerner, urged top IRS officials, includingthen-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner, to “audit so many that it becomes financially ruinous.”Kerner was appointed by President Trump as Special Counsel for the United States Office of Special Counsel.
The explosive exchange was contained in notes taken by IRS employees at an April 30, 2013, meeting between Kerner, Lerner, and other high-ranking IRS officials. Just ten days following the meeting, former IRS director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had a policy of improperly and deliberately delaying applications for tax-exempt status from conservative non-profit groups.
Lerner and other IRS officials met with select top staffers from the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in a “marathon” meeting to discuss concerns raised by both Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that the IRS was not reining in political advocacy groups in response to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Senator McCain had been the chief sponsor of the McCain-Feingold Act and called the Citizens United decision, which overturned portions of the Act, one of the “worst decisions I have ever seen.”
[Note:Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558U.S. 310 (2010), is a landmark U.S. constitutional law, campaign finance, and corporate law case dealing with regulation of political campaign spending by organizations. On January 21, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled (5–4) that the free speech clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent expenditures for communications by nonprofit groups, for-profit corporations, labor unions, and other associations.]
In the full notes of an April 30 meeting, McCain’s high-ranking staffer Kerner recommends harassing non-profit groups until they are unable to continue operating. Kerner tells Lerner, Steve Miller, then chief of staff to IRS commissioner, Nikole Flax, and other IRS officials, “Maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous.” In response, Lerner responded that “it is her job to oversee it all:”
Henry Kerner asked how to get to the abuse of organizations claiming section 501 (c)(4) but designed to be primarily political. Lois Lerner said the system works, but not in real time. Henry Kerner noted that these organizations don’t disclose donors. Lois Lerner said that if they don’t meet the requirements, we can come in and revoke, but it doesn’t happen timely. Nan Marks said if the concern is that organizations engaging in this activity don’t disclose donors, then the system doesn’t work. Henry Kerner said that maybe the solution is to audit so many that it is financially ruinous. Nikole noted that we have budget constraints. Elise Bean suggested using the list of organizations that made independent expenditures. Lois Lerner said that it is her job to oversee it all, not just political campaign activity.
Judicial Watch previously reported on the 2013 meeting. Senator McCainthen issued a statementdecrying “false reports claiming that his office was somehow involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups.”The IRS previously blacked out the notes of the meeting but Judicial Watch found the notes among subsequent documents released by the agency.
Judicial Watch separately uncovered that Lerner was under significant pressure from both Democrats in Congress and the Obama DOJ and FBI to prosecute and jail the groups the IRS was already improperly targeting. In discussing pressure from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Democrat-Rhode Island) to prosecute these “political groups,” Lerner admitted, “it is ALL about 501(c)(4) orgs and political activity.”
The April 30, 2013 meeting came just under two weeks prior to Lerner’s admission during an ABA meeting that the IRS had “inappropriately” targeted conservative groups. In her May 2013 answer to a planted question, in which she admitted to the “absolutely incorrect, insensitive, and inappropriate” targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, Lerner suggested the IRS targeting occurred due to an “uptick” in 501 (c)(4) applications to the IRS but in actuality, there had been a decrease in such applications in 2010.
On May 14, 2013, a report by Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration revealed: “Early in Calendar Year 2010, the IRS began using inappropriate criteria to identify organizations applying for tax-exempt status” (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The illegal IRS reviews continued “for more than 18 months” and “delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications” in advance of the 2012 presidential election.
All these documents were forced out of the IRS as a result of an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the IRS after it failed to respond adequately to four FOIA requests sent in May 2013 (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)). Judicial Watch is seeking:
All records related to the number of applications received or related to communications between the IRS and members of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
All records concerning communications between the IRS and the Executive Branch or any other government agency regarding the review process for organizations applying for tax exempt status under 501(c)(4);
Copies of any questionnaires and all records related to the preparation of questionnaires sent to organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.
All records related to Lois Lerner’s communication with other IRS employees, as well as government or private entity outside the IRS regarding the review and approval process for 501 (c)(4) applicant organizations.
“The Obama IRS scandal is bipartisan – McCain and Democrats who wanted to regulate political speech lost at the Supreme Court, so they sought to use the IRS to harass innocent Americans,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The Obama IRS scandal is not over – as Judicial Watch continues to uncover smoking gun documents that raise questions about how the Obama administration weaponized the IRS, the FEC, FBI, and DOJ to target the First Amendment rights of Americans.”
Born in Munich, Germany, Henry Kerner was appointed by President Trump as special counsel for the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. Please contact President Trump and your representatives in Congress to demand that Kerner be removed from the Office of Special Counsel, and prosecuted to the full extent of the law:
Contact your reps: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Update (June 23):
I sent President Trump a message via his Twitter and the White House contact form. This is the immediate response I received from the White House:
Thank you for contacting the White House. We are carefully reviewing your message.
President Donald J. Trump believes the strength of our country lies in the spirit of the American people and their willingness to stay informed and get involved. President Trump appreciates you taking the time to reach out.