September 1, 2015

Air Force Shrugs Off $25 Billion Accounting Error

Air Force leaders didn’t seem fazed recently when lawmakers pointed out that the service completely miscalculated the cost of its secretive Long-Range Strike Bomber program to the tune of $27 billion.

In 2014, Air Force leadership estimated that the bomber, likely to be labeled the B-3, would cost approximately $33.1 billion from 2015 to 2024. That estimate was totally wrong. This year, the new figure, for fiscal years 2016 to 2026, jumped to $58.2 billion. That’s an increase of 76 percent.

But in fact, the real cost for both fiscal periods, the Air Force noted, is $41.7 billion.

“There has been no change in the costing factors over the last two years … it was a mistake. It was a regrettable mistake,” Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said, according to Fiscal Times.

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August 31, 2015

Judge Tells IRS It Can’t Hide White House Emails

White House emails to the IRS about individual tax returns cannot be exempted by the embattled agency under the Freedom of Information Act, a federal judge ruled Friday.

United States District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled that Section 6103 of the tax code does not justify the IRS from withholding from FOIA requesters by refusing to say whether the records exist. She ordered the IRS to respond properly to an FOIA request submitted by the non-profit watchdog group Cause of Action.

“As we have said all along, this administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing. No administration is above the law, and we are pleased that the court has sided with us on this important point,” said Daniel Bernstein, executive director of Cause of Action.

Berman said the tax agency “has not described an adequate search for records” sought in the FOIA and she said the IRS response to the FOIA “raises the question of whether executive branch requests for ‘return information’ are themselves ‘return information’ that cannot be disclosed.”

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August 28, 2015

Documents on toxic spill sharpen GOP's resolve to go after the EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency's admission that it knew a toxic spill in Colorado was likely imminent, but chose to do nothing, is fueling Republican criticism that the Obama administration is ignoring public safety in favor of more lofty goals.
The EPA admission is found in an internal report issued months before an Aug. 5 spill wreaked havoc across three states in the West that the agency admits it caused. The report showed the agency was warned a catastrophic "blowout" at a gold mine in Colorado was possible if remedial actions weren't taken.
"Conditions may exist that could result in a blowout of blockages and cause a release of large volumes of contaminated mine waters and sediment from inside the mine, which contain concentrated heavy metals," a report dated June 2014 reads. A more recent internal report from May also warns of a blowout.
In the months after the warnings, a containment wall holding back millions of gallons of wastewater at the abandoned Gold King Mine in Silverton ruptured as contractors employed by the agency attempted an inspection.

August 27, 2015

AIPAC And The Treaty; An Illustration Of The Demise of Democracy

The great issue of the day, the approval or rejection of the nuclear treaty with Iran, illustrates the demise of democracy and just how far “democracy” has fallen.  The treaty issue can also be used to demonstrate the death of the US Congress as a representative body, as a result of having sold their collective soul to a special interest group, while forsaking the American people.

The nuclear treaty with Iran is a no brainer.  The American public support it, the world supports it, nuclear experts support it, all 5 nations who helped in the treaty negotiations support it, and any time a treaty limits the spread of nuclear weapons it is a good thing for all of humanity. Yet despite almost universal approval, it is having a very difficult time in the US Congress.  No one has given a rational reason for the rejection of the treaty, simply because there isn’t one.  The opponents are basing their arguments on irrational and untrue statements made to frighten the US public. At the risk of redundancy, not one logical or rational reason has been presented for rejection, yet opponents keep at it, with errors of omission, exaggeration, and outright lies.  President Obama has meekly challenged opponents by asking them to explain their alternative to rejection. It is war. Those who want to reject the treaty, want a war between the US and Iran, and that is their purpose.

Any political expert would confirm, the strongest lobbying group in the nation, is by far AIPAC, a group that represents the right wing interests of Israel.  AIPAC has become a right wing extension of the Netanyahu government, and certainly does not represent all American Jews, as polls show most American Jews support the treaty, but AIPAC has the clout, power, and money to force folks into line. AIPAC has exposed itself to the US public by being the only group who is opposed to this treaty. The treaty would be a great thing for the world’s people and the US public, yet Congress is having a great deal of difficulty doing what is best for the US public and for the world.  Instead, it is bending over backward to please AIPAC, and in doing so is not representing the US public.  Placating AIPAC, by voting against a treaty that is for the good of the US public, could, and should be, viewed as treasonous.

August 26, 2015

Intel Agencies Confirm Hillary Clinton Emails Were Classified — By Obama

Another Hillary Clinton talking point is about to bite the dust, as Fox News reports confirmation from three different intelligence agencies – the DIA, the NSA, and the NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, in charge of satellite intel) – that email on her server was classified on the day she sent it, and remains classified to this very day.

Furthermore, although Clinton has attempted to portray herself as everything from a “passive and unwitting” recipient of sensitive material to a fearless warrior on a one-woman crusade to reform silly classification rules, the Fox report makes it clear that only the intelligence agencies originating this information have the authority to declassify it, not anyone at the State Department – not Hillary Clinton, and most certainly not her top aide, Huma Abedin, who figures prominently in this story, and is looking more and more like the perfect stooge to take a fall for Clinton.

The State Department’s lack of authority to overrule intelligence agency classifications was confirmed by… a 2009 executive order from President Barack Obama. Does Hillary need one of those special little lectures about respecting the “settled law of the land?” Will we get to enjoy the spectacle of Clinton apologists claiming Obama’s executive orders were bureaucratic trifles, to be ignored as the Secretary of State saw fit?

A term raised with increasingly frequency by commentators who have first-hand experience with classified material is the “air gap” – a point of very deliberate interruption in the passage of classified material, to ensure it cannot be transmitted seamlessly to non-secure systems.

August 25, 2015

IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account

Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration’s efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner’s actions during the tea party targeting scandal.
The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.
IRS lawyer Geoffrey J. Klimas told the court that as the agency was putting together a set of documents to turn over to Judicial Watch, it realized Ms. Lerner had used yet another email account, in addition to her official one and another personal one already known to the agency.

August 24, 2015

Intel, Military Officials Fire Back At Hillary’s Over-Classification Tweet

Former intelligence and military officials were swift to reply Friday to Hillary Clinton’s contention that government over-classification of materials are “the real problem,” not her use of an unsecured private email server to conduct official business during her four years as secretary of state.

“Our ridiculous classification rules” are “the real problem,” she tweeted this morning, quoting a former Justice Department official.

Senior military and intelligence officials immediately fired back.

“It’s not up to her to decide what level it’s classified at. It’s up to her to obey the law, and clearly she did not,” Lt. Col. Col James Williamson told The Daily Caller News Foundation. Williamson entered Special Forces in 1988 and retired in 2012.

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August 21, 2015

Another: GOP Consultant Attacks Levin, Limbaugh, Hannity, Breitbart Fans as ‘Kool-Aid Drinkers’

The Consultant Class continues its serial-meltdown over the rise of Donald Trump. Already this week, and in front of the entire Internet, top GOP consultant Rick Wilson lit himself on fire by politicizing a rape threat against his own child and attacking Ann Coulter as a prostitute who charges extra for “anal.”

Elsewhere on Internet Cheri Jacobus  picked up Wilson’s genius-baton under the deranged belief that the best way to win elections is by marginalizing and insulting the most reliable of Republican voters.

The genius-consultant baton then jumped to Jacob Perry, a Florida-based consultant who went even further in politicizing the rape threat against Wilson’s child (Perry is also the Chief Strategist for a site many refer to as Pocket Full of Mediocrity.)

Perry claims he’s a friend of Wilson’s but that didn’t stop him from gleefully seizing the rape threat as a political opportunity to attack Breitbart News and pretty much everyone else in the conservative movement. As you’ll see below, this Republican consultant has nothing but dismissive contempt for the millions of everyday voters who make up the conservative base and dare listen to Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.

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August 20, 2015

Special Operations Vets Call For Kerry To Strip Hillary Of Security Clearance

A group of special operations veterans and intelligence community officials have formally asked Secretary of State John Kerry to strip former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of her security clearance along with three of her top aides, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The organization, called the Special Operations Educational Fund, wrote Kerry August 5 asking that he “immediately suspend the security clearances” because of Clinton’s use of a private unsecured email server and domain name that contains classified information. SOF is a 501 (c) 4 nonprofit group.

The group also asked Kerry to administratively suspend the security clearances of Clinton and aides Cheryl Mills, Huma Abedin and Jake Sullivan.

The SOEF demands could significantly escalate the email crisis that has engulfed Clinton’s campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in recent weeks.

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August 19, 2015

Obama protects White House insiders, cracks down on low-level leakers

The Obama administration has a history of dealing harshly with those who mishandle classified information — unless the offender resides in the White House inner circle.

The FBI is conducting a security investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s at-home private email server for holding classified material while she was secretary of state. A new poll shows the majority of Americans want a criminal probe, and some conservatives are calling for one.

This administration has investigated and prosecuted more security leakers and people who mishandled secrets than any other in history. It has sent six persons to prison.

But when it came to retired Marine Corps Gen. James E. Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff who was said to be President Obama’s favorite general, the White House refused to cooperate with a special prosecutor. The prosecutor had named Mr. Cartwright as the target of his investigation of leaked secrets about a covert program to foil Iran’s nuclear program.

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August 18, 2015

Sessions: Trump Plan Is Doing ‘What Politicians Have Been Promising’ For 30 Years

Senator Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) declared that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s immigration plan is “a mainstream plan to do what politicians have been promising to do for 30 years” on Monday’s “Kelly File” on the Fox News Channel.

Sessions said of the plan, which he consulted with Trump on, “Basically, Shannon, it’s just a mainstream plan to do what politicians have been promising to do for 30 years, and haven’t done. These are things like, you have, end the jobs magnet by not allowing people who are here legally to get jobs. You strengthen border enforcement. You stop the visa overstays. Almost half, maybe more now, of illegal entries into the United States are people who come on visas and overstay. These are things that he talks about in his plan that are bread and butter, basic, and need to be done. And if we do them, we’ll be surprised how dramatically we can reduce the illegality. And in addition to that, we need to create an immigration system that serves the interests of the American people. People are hurting today, wages are down. Jobs are down. So, we’ve got to be concerned about them, and making sure that Americans are given the opportunity to get valuable jobs first.”

Sessions was then asked if he believes Trump’s ideas can get passed by Congress. He responded, “you don’t have to pass a lot of laws. Some smart legislation would help, no doubt about it. And I think if a president is elected on the promise to fix this border, and illegality, the American people will insist that reasonable laws get passed. But, basically, utilizing existing law, we can make huge differences, and reduce this illegality, and create a system that serves the national interest. President Obama is just flat-out refusing to enforce basic law, that’s been on the books, sometimes, for a decade.”

Sessions concluded by answering a question on whether H-1B visa reform can be accomplished stating, “I think we’ve already got bipartisan support that would support a plan like Trump’s to fix this H-1B program. And you’ve got to know, one thing I like about his plan, that he emphasizes how this unlawful flow, huge flow of immigration is hammering poor people, African-Americans, Hispanics who are here, struggling to get a higher wage and a better promotion at work. This — they are getting hurt by current law, and I think he’s correct to say we can help them if we do it right.”

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August 17, 2015

Gowdy Responds: Hillary Blames Investigation On ‘Nonexistent Right-Wing Conspiracy’

Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy responded to Hillary Clinton’s recent accusations that Congress’ Benghazi investigations are the “same old partisan games” on Chris Wallace’s “Fox News Sunday,” saying she has lashed out in frustration and blamed a “nonexistent right-wing conspiracy.”

Clinton, earlier this week in Iowa, stated: “I won’t get down in the mud with them. I won’t play politics with national security or dishonor the memory of those who we lost. I won’t pretend that this is anything other than what it is, the same old partisan games we’ve seen so many times before.”

Gowdy responded to Wallace’s question if the investigation is partisan by noting that investigators are Obama appointees and that Clinton is blaming a conspiracy, rather than herself.

“The inspector general isn’t partisan. Neither one of them. In fact, they were nominated by President Obama and confirmed by a Harry Reid-lead Senate. The FBI is not partisan. I get that she’s frustrated. Her poll numbers of tanking. Folks who never thought about getting in the race are getting in the race,” Gowdy said.

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August 14, 2015

If Hillary’s Server Was ‘Blank,’ Why Was It Kept At A Data Center In New Jersey?

The new revelation that Hillary Clinton’s private server was made “blank” in June 2013 — but nonetheless stored at a data center in New Jersey — raises a slew of new questions about the former secretary of state’s handling of her emails.

The attorney for Platte River Networks, the Denver-based cybersecurity company Clinton hired shortly after leaving office to handle the server, says that she does not know why the hardware would have been stored in a New Jersey data center if it was “blank.”

“The server that was turned over to the FBI voluntarily yesterday to our knowledge has no information on it,” the attorney, Barbara Wells, told The Daily Caller in a brief phone interview.

On Wednesday, after Platte River Networks gave the server to the FBI, Wells told The Washington Post that the information from it “had been migrated over to a different server for purposes of transition” in June 2013.

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August 13, 2015

EPA Contractor Behind CO Mine Spill Got $381 Million From Taxpayers

The EPA may have been trying to hide the identity of the contracting company responsible for causing a major wastewater spill in southern Colorado, but the Wall Street Journal has revealed the company’s identity.

Environmental Restoration (ER) LLC, a Missouri-based firm, was the “contractor whose work caused a mine spill in Colorado that released an estimated 3 million gallons of toxic sludge into a major river system,” the WSJ was told by a source familiar with the matter. The paper also found government documents to corroborate what their source told them.

So far, the EPA has refused to publicly name the contracting company used to plug abandoned mines in southern Colorado, despite numerous attempts by The Daily Caller News Foundation and other media outlets to obtain the information. It’s unclear why the agency chose not to reveal the contractor’s name.

What is clear, however, is that ER has gotten $381 million in government contracts since October 2007, according to a WSJ review of data from About $364 million of that funding came from the EPA, but only $37 million was given to ER for work they had done in Colorado.

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August 12, 2015

IRS officials processed zero Tea Party applications in 2011

Officials at the Internal Revenue Service ignored the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups for years at a time, bringing the growth of new Tea Party nonprofits to a standstill in the run-up to President Obama's re-election.

For example, the IRS approved just one conservative group for tax-exempt status between Feb. 2009 and May 2012, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

More evidence of the stonewalling emerged in a 142-page report released last week by the Senate Finance Committee. The report revealed the details of a high-profile congressional investigation into allegations that the IRS had targeted conservative groups.

Poor management was to blame for much of the internal failures that led to the targeting.

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