October 31, 2012

Congress, not Obama, has power to change election day

As I reported yesterday, a White House reporter asked White House Press Secretary Jay Carney whether President Obama would “change election day” due to potentially catastrophic damage from Hurricane Sandy.
The president, however, doesn’t have that power, as Congress sets the law defining the date of the election. I spoke with Professor Stephen Huefner at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law who explained that the power to change or extend the election lies in the hands of Congress.
“The bottom line is that Congress sets the date for the states to conduct the election of presidential electors,” Huefner explained, noting that the election date has already been set for November 6th. “Congress would be free to change that date but that seems a pretty remote prospect at this point that they would reconvene and change the date.”
Huefner added that if Congress did change the date, each state would have to adjust their existing laws to comply with a theoretical change.
Individual states have some power to extend the voting hours beyond election day – with provisional ballots. That power varies from state-to-state. For example, a governor or election official might be able to adjust the voting hours as they deem necessary. Should a state official choose to move the election, it is likely that it would have to be ratified by the State legislature.
State laws, however, were written to comply with federal law. If state officials attempted to adjust the schedule, it is likely that it would be challenged in court under the federal provision.
At this point, it is extremely unlikely that the election date will be changed. Virginia, for example, has plans to provide emergency power for polling locations, in the unlikely scenario that power hasn’t been restored by next week. The Virginia board of Elections has authority to move a polling location, if authorities deem it unsafe.

October 30, 2012

AUTO BAILOUT BOMBSHELL: Fiat Says Chrysler, Jeep Production May Move to Italy

Coming hot on the heels of speculation that some Jeep production may be moved to China comes a bombshell from a Bloomberg report. Fiat is now considering moving Chrysler and Jeep production to Italy.
According to the piece, "To counter the severe slump in European sales, (Fiat CEO Sergio) Marchionne is considering building Chrysler models in Italy, including Jeeps, for export to North America. The Italian government is evaluating tax rebates on export goods to help Fiat. Marchionne may announce details of his plan as soon as Oct. 30, the people said."

So, let's be real clear here, we are talking about vehicles that will be built in Italy and exported to America. The evidence is clear that Fiat is looking at ways to move production of vehicles from the US to elsewhere, whether it be China or Italy, costing American jobs. This is becoming indisputable, despite outcries from certain parties to the contrary.

Mitt Romney has rightfully criticized the Obama Administration for handing over Chrysler to the Italians and now leaving the fate of American workers in the hands of Fiat management. Fiat is not a healthy company and the auto industry is in as great a risk as ever. The insistence that all is well by those with political motivations does not mask the danger. More jobs are at risk of being lost and more taxpayer money may be lost as well.

Let's face it, the auto bailouts were not well thought out. Perhaps General Motors' CEO, Dan Akerson, said it best when he said, "The good thing about our bankruptcy is that it took only 39 days. The bad news is that bankruptcy took only 39 days. If we had been there longer, people would have asked these questions and looked at these things."

The whole auto industry bailout process was rushed through with the wrong primary motivation of protecting the politically powerful UAW's interests. The Obama Administration never considered that giving Chrysler to Fiat was not a great idea and could eventually hurt the same UAW workers it was trying to protect.

Manufacturers like Chrysler and GM are at a competitive disadvantage due to UAW obligations that were not properly addressed in the bankruptcy process. The industry is more competitive than ever and the government does not seem to be the best innovators to lead the sector to real health. This truth is very likely to become more apparent when the political season ends.


October 29, 2012

State Dept: Texas can’t arrest international election observers

International election observers planning to visit Texas polling places have “full immunity” from being arrested in the United States, the State Department said when discussing a letter from the Texas Attorney General.
“I’m not going to get into any kind of hypothetical situations or predict where this is going to go other than to say we have every expectation that this will be worked out and to state the fact, which is that under U.S. law they are eligible for immunities,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. Reporters tried to get her to state explicitly that Texas could not arrest election observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), but Nuland would only reiterate that OSCE observers have full immunity.
Attorney General Greg Abbott, R-Texas, warned OSCE that it “may be a criminal offense for OSCE’s representatives to maintain a presence within 100 feet of a polling place’s entrance,” as The Hill noted.
Nuland dismissed Abbott’s observation that OSCE consulted with Project Vote, a group that was affiliated with ACORN before that now-discredited organization collapsed under the weight of voter fraud charges.
“[I]f there are concerns that Texas authorities have, they have an opportunity through the direct dialogue that’s now going on in Texas with OSCE observers to take up their concerns,” she said. “But the mandate of the OSCE is designed to be absolutely and completely impartial, and that’s what we plan on when we participate and that’s what we’d expect here.”

October 26, 2012

Obama Scandals Around Libya Attack Keep Growing

With explosive new revelations emerging almost weekly, Obama administration scandals surrounding the deadly September 11 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya and the killing of Ambassador Christopher Stevens continue to mount. Most recently, official e-mails showed the White House was informed that it was a potential terrorist strike hours after the assault began, exposing alarming contradictions in the false and evolving narrative peddled by President Obama and multiple top officials for days.

According to documents obtained by multiple news organizations, the State Department issued an alert just hours following the start of the attack noting that an al-Qaeda-linked terror group had claimed responsibility for it. The White House, the FBI, the Pentagon, and other government agencies were all copied on the alerts.

"Ansar al-Sharia Claims Responsibility for Benghazi Attack," read the title of one e-mail sent out as the deadly assault was still underway. "Embassy Tripoli reports the group claimed responsibility on Facebook and Twitter and has called for an attack on Embassy Tripoli." The Islamist group in question has known ties to al-Qaeda and was deeply involved in the Obama-backed war on Libya.

Two other e-mailed alerts sent out during the siege also suggested that the incident was anything but a protest gone awry. One of the e-mails, headlined "U.S. Diplomatic Mission in Benghazi Under Attack," noted that the American Embassy in Tripoli “reports approximately 20 armed people fired shots; explosions have been heard as well." The message also noted that a local militia was providing security support.

"An independent board is conducting a thorough review of the assault on our post in Benghazi," State Department spokesman Mark Toner was quoted as saying in response to the latest revelations. "Once we have the board's comprehensive account of what happened, findings and recommendations, we can fully address these matters."

Separately, the Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Libya reported within 24 hours of the diplomatic attack that evidence pointed to Islamic militants, not protesters, U.S. officials told the Associated Press. The CIA assessment was compiled from statements by eyewitnesses and was sent to Washington, D.C., almost immediately.

Despite all of that, numerous top officials falsely insisted for a week that the deadly attack was simply the result of a protest over a crude YouTube video depicting the Islamic Prophet Mohammed as a murderous pedophile. White House spokesman Jay Carney and the administration’s ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, both parroted the false narrative over and over again — at least until the lie was exposed.

Like with the glaring contradictions in the Obama administration’s claims surrounding the assassination of Osama bin Laden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton blamed "fog of war" for the wildly inaccurate early statements about the Libya attack. However, the resulting scandal has sparked serious suspicions among lawmakers and analysts, many of whom believe political considerations took precedence over the truth in administration pronouncements about the terror strike.

Last week, two Republican leaders in Congress sent a scathing letter to the president demanding real answers about the tragedy. Among other points, the congressmen suggested that the lax security at the American post might have been a political ploy — essentially, a public-relations gimmick to conceal the fiasco in Libya left in the wake of Obama’s lawless and devastating war, which empowered Islamic extremists while leaving the nation in ruins.

"We have been told repeatedly that the administration did this to effectuate a policy of 'normalization' in Libya after the conclusion of its civil war. These actions not only resulted in extreme vulnerability, but also undermined Ambassador Stevens and the diplomatic mission," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said in the letter, pointing out that budgetary constraints had nothing to do with the decision. "The normalization process, which began in November 2011, appeared to have been aimed at conveying the impression that the situation in Libya was getting better, not worse."

Other evidence released this month showed that Ambassador Stevens and other U.S. personnel in Libya and even Washington, D.C., were well aware of the dangers. In fact, Stevens was practically begging for more security as he warned the administration that Islamic extremism was exploding in the area as assaults on Western targets became increasingly brazen. With four Americans dead, lawmakers now want answers.

"The American people have a right to know why the administration withdrew security resources over the objections of embassy officials and why their government did not heed the warnings of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues,” the two congressmen wrote. "Whether based on political concerns or bureaucratic neglect, the actions of this administration contributed to an inadequate and ineffective security posture in Libya as it emerged from civil war."

Before the latest revelations, multiple reports also indicated that the Islamist rebels and al-Qaeda leaders armed and financed by the Obama administration to overthrow the Gadhafi regime might even be implicated in the killing. Some intelligence officials cited in news reports, for example, have pointed the finger at Abu Sufian Ibrahim Ahmed Hamuda bin Qumu, a former detainee in Guantanamo Bay who was released in Libya and became what analysts described as a U.S. government “ally of sorts” in the bid to overthrow Gadhafi.

Sources cited by WorldNetDaily Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein, meanwhile, said Ambassador Stevens was using the compound in Benghazi to work with assorted Arab dictatorships in an effort to recruit jihadists. The Islamist recruits were supposed to help Western powers and Sunni Muslim dictatorships in the fight against the secular Bashir al Assad dictatorship in Syria — a similar strategy to the scheme used to unseat Gadhafi in Libya.

“Ambassador Stevens was directly involved in arming the rebels,” WND’s Klein reported, citing Egyptian security officials who claimed Stevens played a “central role” in recruiting Islamists to wage “Jihad” in Syria against the ruling despot. According to Klein’s sources, the U.S. ambassador also served as a key contact with the Saudi Arabian regime to coordinate the recruitment of Islamist fighters. The jihadists recruited from Libya and broader North Africa were reportedly sent to Syria through Turkey.

Questions and concerns have also been raised in recent days about how and why the U.S. government could fail so miserably to rescue its personnel during an attack that lasted for at least six hours. According to news reports, an American drone was flying overhead and teams of U.S. military personnel were stationed all over the region — easily within a few hours distance from Benghazi. Nothing was done.

While the political furor continues to grow, Democrats, President Obama, and Ambassador Stevens’ father have all called for an end to the politicization of the tragedy. Critics counter that getting to the truth is not about politics, it is about accountability and preventing similar disasters in the future. For now, however, it seems that the outcry will keep escalating, at least until all of the facts are out. Republicans have already called for the resignations of multiple officials as the fallout intensifies.

What has become clear to analysts as new information emerges is that the administration’s unconstitutional policy on Libya — war, arming terrorists, regime change based on falsehoods, and an astounding lack of security for unknown reasons — has been a terrible failure. Whether anything will be learned from the tragedy remains to be seen. But with a similar course of action currently being pursued in Syria, Obama appears to be asking for more of the same.


October 25, 2012

Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson sues Time, alleges Fortune libeled him

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent John Dodson is suing Time, Inc., The Daily Caller has learned, alleging that its Fortune Magazine libeled him in an article it ran this summer. Dodson is the ATF agent who blew the whistle on Fast and Furious, exposing the failures of the operation to the American people.

The article, authored by Katherine Eban, claims that a “Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust.” The article was headlined “The Truth about the Fast and Furious Scandal.”

In his libel lawsuit complaint, obtained by TheDC, Dodson said that “predicate is false and deceptive in that it leads readers to erroneously believe that it is the only accurate account of these events.”
Dodson also alleges “the article is fictitious in the sense that it contains facts that Defendant knew to be false prior to publication. Further, the contentions made in the article have been eviscerated in the public domain.”

“[T]he article generally concerns the United States Justice Department’s ‘gun walking’ operation known as ‘Fast and Furious,’ which allowed firearms to end up in the possession of Mexican drug cartels,” Dodson said in the lawsuit. “Despite the admitted and unquestioned Justice Department directive to implement this program, known to Defendant prior to publication, the Defendant nonetheless characterized the ‘public case’ of this program as being ‘….. replete with distortions, errors, partial truths, and even some outright lies.’”

Specifically, Dodson alleges that Eban – and therefore, Time – “falsely reported that the Plaintiff initiated gun walking activity based on a grudge he had with his superior.”
Dodson said the accurate way to report that would have been to characterize him as “an ATF agent stationed in Phoenix, Arizona,” who was “following a department directive.”

Dodson said the article also placed him “in a false light by describing him as showing up to work in flip-flops, unprepared, without safety equipment or back up plans, and essentially accusing him of being incapable and unfit in his chosen line of profession, federal law enforcement.”

“He is described in the article as a ‘renegade,’” Dodson said of the way he was depicted. “The article, read as a whole, communicates that Plaintiff is unfit for his profession, a law breaker and motivated by personal grudges as opposed to his oath to follow the law.”

Dodson said the article falsely portrayed him as “lazy” and incorrectly claimed he “did not want to work weekends.”

Dodson also said the “article communicated that he took leave from work without a plan in place to interdict the guns that ‘walked.’ In contrast, the Plaintiff had in fact protested and objected to the program within his chain of command.”

In the complaint, Dodson said Time was “negligent, grossly negligent, willful and wanton in publishing the said statements referenced herein” and “purposely avoided the truth, including but not limited to, failing to interview the major witness in the case, the Plaintiff himself, especially when the Plaintiff offered to be interviewed and provided the author the proper protocol for arranging the interview through Plaintiff’s employer.”
Dodson also alleges that Time “published these false statements with actual knowledge of their falsity because, for example, congressional staffers informed Defendant through its author prior to publication that the article’s premise was flawed” meaning the article ran “with a reckless disregard for the truth.”

Dodson is suing for damages “in excess of $75,000.00.”

Spokespersons for Time, Inc., haven’t responded to TheDC’s request for comment on the lawsuit. The docket report for Dodson’s case on PACER.gov shows no official response from Time. A summons ordering Time to respond “within 21 days after service of this summons on you (not counting the day you received it)” is dated Oct. 15, 2012. It’s unclear if the summons has been served on Time already or if it’s en route.

Through his lawyer, Dodson asked Fortune editor Andrew Serwer to retract the article, arguing the Justice Department’s Inspector General report on Fast and Furious proved Eban’s article was “demonstrably false in many respects.”

Eban disagreed, and then doubled down on her original article. She argued the IG report “appear[s] to corroborate a number of Fortune’s findings: that there was no conspiracy to walk guns, no higher-up plan to do so and that walking guns was not the goal of the investigation, but rather a response to ‘legal and tactical’ circumstances on the ground, as the report states.”

“The facts presented by Fortune do not appear to be in dispute, but on this point the Inspector General has drawn a different conclusion from them,” Eban added.

She and her editors have refused to retract the article.

Dodson did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.


October 24, 2012

Another Scandal by Obama Adminstration

Amidst ongoing questions concerning the potential cover-ups by the Obama Administration of Fast and Furious and the Benghazi attack, another scandal is coming back to light for the White House. The U.S. Secret Service made the news last April when a number of agents were suspended after being accused of consorting with prostitutes while in Cartagena, Columbia for the Summit of the Americas attended by President Obama. As he did with the latest scandals surrounding his administration, the President called for an investigation into the incident:
What happened here in Colombia is being investigated by the director of the Secret Service,” Obama said. “I expect that investigation to be thorough and I expect it to be rigorous,” the president told reporters in his first public reaction to the controversy. If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.
In the days following, the news from officials was (as we’ve come to expect) conflicting.

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) stated on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that “wheel-up parties when the president leaves,” were not unheard of, but these kinds of activities before the President even arrives on the scene was news to him. Political Analyst David Gergen, who has worked for four Presidents, also confirmed that incidents such as the prostitution scandal were known to happen. Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) called for White House personnel who were also in Cartagena at the time to account for their activities as well. The day after Lieberman’s statements, White House Secretary Jay Carney stated:
There have been no specific, credible allegations of misconduct by anyone on the White House advance team or the White House staff. Nevertheless, out of due diligence, the White House Counsel’s office has conducted a review of the White House advance team, and in concluding that review, came to the conclusion that there’s no indication that any member of the White House advance team engaged in any improper conduct or behavior. So, simply out of due diligence, over the last several days that review was conducted, and it produced no indication of any misconduct.
As reported by Jake Tapper of ABC News, Secret Service director Mark Sullivan testified soon after in May before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the disgraceful behavior of the Secret Service members was “not part of our culture” and “we have not found this type of behavior was exhibited by any of these individuals before.” Still, members of the Senate investigating the incident persisted that the current scandal was just the newest in a pattern of behavior exhibited consistently behind the scenes in the Secret Service agency. Sen. Lieberman maintained that allegations and complaints of sexual misconduct aimed at Secret Service employees had been made 64 times in the last 5 years.

Later, after the Secret Service completed their internal investigation and reported to the Senate committee on it, the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to a memo released today by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), refused to work with the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General (DHS OIG) to complete an independent investigation.

Additionally, when the DHS OIG completed their report and gave it to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano September 26th, she failed to take any actions to follow up on it.

As the ranking Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, Sen. Ron Johnson was able to review the DHS OIG report and expressed concerns about discrepancies between public statements by administration officials and information contained within the report. He also found that Secret Service agents involved in the scandal may still be on the government’s payroll. When Johnson’s office requested additional information regarding what they’d found, DHS, the DOJ and the White House ignored their inquiries.

The inspection by Johnson has revealed that prior to Sullivan’s testimony before the Congressional committee, the Secret Service director was informed of previous incidents by Secret Service agents involving prostitution. Further, although Sullivan testified that the names of the prostitutes had been run through U.S. national security and law enforcement databases and hadn’t raised any red flags, the inspector general’s report claimed otherwise. In fact, two of the women’s names had initially been found to be potential security concerns and one is still being investigated. According to a FoxNews.com source, Sullivan blatantly lied to Congress in his testimony. Sullivan has also potentially misled Congress in his written responses and conspired with those around him to “manipulate, falsify, or edit records to downplay past problems.”

The DHS OIG report also uncovered hotel records that seem to indicate, contrary to White House Secretary Carney’s statement, that one officer with the Department of Defense and one member of the White House staff and/or advance team checked prostitutes into their rooms in Cartagena. Unfortunately, because the DOJ wouldn’t cooperate with the DHS OIG, the investigation was limited in assessing whether additional White House personnel were involved in the scandal. In his letter to White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew, Johnson assessed:
The national security risks associated with this type of misconduct threaten the very safety of the President of the United States and creates and environment where sensitive information may be stolen, accessed, or otherwise extracted from U.S. personnel. Further, this type of disappointing behavior creates an opportunity for blackmail.
Former undercover FBI operative Brandon Darby, who has worked in both counterterrorism and human trafficking investigations, has expressed concerns previously about cases of prostitution being covered up within the FBI, with help from the DOJ. Darby stated to RedState:
The men and women of the FBI and DOJ as a whole are great patriots. The politically appointed leadership has exhibited a tendency under Eric Holder to neglect the needs of trafficked women and minors, for that matter, involving cases of sex and prostitution.
For the past month, the DOJ has claimed they are “busy” and have been unable to provide an attorney to receive the report from DHS. Considering the information from Darby, however, it may be the case that the DOJ is fine allowing this scandal to go unreported until after the election.


October 23, 2012

Schieffer asks no questions about border security, Operation Fast and Furious

Moderator Bob Schieffer did not ask President Obama or Republican nominee Mitt Romney any questions about U.S. border security during the third presidential debate Monday night.

According to the Justice Department, Mexican drug cartels operate broadly across the United States. (RELATED: DOJ says Mexican cartels operating in over 1,000 U.S. cities)

That level of cartel activity inside the U.S. marks a 300 percent increase since 2008.

During the second debate, Romney mentioned the botched gunrunning program — Operation Fast and Furious — a failed program designed to track drug cartel members receiving illicit guns from the United States.

It resulted in the death of U.S. border patrol agent Brian Terry and more than 300 Mexicans.

(RELATED VIDEO: Obama slammed on Fast and Furious in Spanish-language TV interview: Shouldn’t you “fire” Holder?)

No questions were about the operation or other issues related to the U.S.-Mexico border.


October 22, 2012

President Obama's Other Libya Scandal

As presidential debaters clash over the meaning of a Rose Garden general reference to "acts of terror," and whether that phrase was applied to the murder of our ambassador to Libya and three of his colleagues, and with a debate moderator throwing a "life line" to one of the candidates, it's interesting to note something else said in the secure environs of the White House complex the bright morning after that night of flame and death in Benghazi.

It's almost like Poe's short story, The Purloined Letter. The critical evidence is in plain sight. The day after the murders of the Americans, President Obama promised to cooperate with our presumed friends in the new Libyan regime in Tripoli. Here's what he said:

"The United States condemns in the strongest terms this outrageous and shocking attack. We're working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats… And make no mistake, we will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people." --Rose Garden Statement, September 12, 2012

The "make no mistake" phrase has been poll-tested, no doubt, to suggest the speaker is most resolute, most firm. In this context, however, the phrase is as vacuous as Bill Clinton's definition of "is" is, or Joe Biden's definition of "we."

The candid world has already seen just how cooperative this new Libyan regime is. The New York Times inadvertently showed us the spots of this leopard in its story on the reported death of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi back in May:

"Tripoli's new leaders refused to return him. But, under international pressure, they signaled a willingness to get to the bottom of the Lockerbie case, still unresolved after nearly a quarter of a century of struggle among nations and investigations that spanned the globe, touching on Iranians, Syrians, Palestinians and Libyans."

The Times then reported how Tripoli's new rulers had declined to help the U.S. bring closure to the investigation into the bombing of PanAm 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988. Recall, these are rulers whom President Obama helped to put in power. For them, he ordered NATO airstrikes against the dictatorship of Col. Muammar Khaddafi. For them, he has requested another $250 million in foreign aid.

Suddenly, the man who was imprisoned in Scotland, but who later infamously was released from jail and flown home to a rapturous reception in Tripoli, has turned up dead. How convenient.

It is this same Libyan gang that President Obama says he will work with to get to the bottom of the murders in Benghazi. Don't hold your breath. We've been waiting 24 years for the "international community" to bring to justice the killers of 270 passengers of the doomed jet liner and bystanders on the ground in Lockerbie. With the supposed death of Megrahi, we will probably count PanAm 103 as a cold case and not pursue it further.

Libya is a burning issue. The case of the PanAm jet that fell in flames from the skies cries out for justice. Why should we give a penny in aid to a so-called government in Tripoli that stonewalled our efforts to bring Megrahi to justice?

That same Tripoli government was duty-bound under international law to protect our diplomats and State Department employees. We saw on September 11th -- of all days -- how indifferent this Libyan bunch was to the safety of our American personnel.

"Working with the government of Libya to secure our diplomats" is one of the weakest excuses in history. We already know how much this Libyan regime cares about American lives.

They do care, of course, about another $250 million in American aid. Not a penny of that money should be given unconditionally to people who have already shown their indifference to human lives -- ours and others.

The final presidential debate is scheduled for next week. Let us see whether CBS' Bob Schieffer will raise this burning Libyan issue with the candidates.


October 19, 2012

Obama-backed, bankrupt Solyndra sues Chinese solar companies

The infamous bankrupt solar manufacturer Solyndra is now suing three U.S.-based Chinese solar companies, arguing that these companies used predatory pricing to undermine American competition.

Solyndra is asking for $1.5 billion in compensation from Chinese solar companies Suntech, Trina Solar Ltd, and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co., now saying that these firms came to the U.S. to destroy domestic solar manufacturers.

“[W]e just received notice of this complaint, but from our initial review, these are unwarranted and misguided claims from a company that has a clear history of failed technology and achievements,” said Robert Petrina, managing director at Yingli Green Energy Americas.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that the government may recoup next to nothing from the failed solar company — only projected to get back 19 percent on $142.8 million of the loan and likely nothing on the remaining amount.

However, all of Solyndra’s creditors could be made whole from the $1.5 billion lawsuit, said Solyndra attorney Debra Grassgreen.

Solyndra received a $535 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009, after which, President Obama hailed the company as “leading the way” and the company represented one of the “true engines of economic growth.”

“It is time to rev up the American innovation machine and reclaim our lead on clean energy,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu when the loan was announced. “This investment is part of a broad, aggressive effort to spark a new industrial revolution that will put Americans to work, end our dependence on foreign oil and cut carbon pollution.”

Despite warnings early on from DOE staff that the solar company would run out of cash by September 2011, the loan moved forward with the loan, and in August 2011, the Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, laying off 1,100 workers.
The failure sparked an 18-month investigation led by House Republicans which suggested that that administration officials knew Solyndra was risky since the beginning and rushed the loan through for political purposes.

“One year after Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, we continue to learn the ugly truth of Solyndra’s sweetheart restructuring deal,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Republican Fred Upton of Michigan and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Republican Cliff Stearns of Florida.

“Our investigation showed White House officials ignored numerous red flags in the pursuit of fawning headlines, and taxpayers are sadly paying the price,’ the Congressmen continued. “Our No More Solyndras Act will put an end to DOE’s mismanaged loan guarantee program once and for all, a program the Obama administration was unprepared to lead.”

The House passed the No More Solyndras Act last month which would program an increase oversight and curtail the DOE loan guarantee program. However, the Senate is expected to ignore the bill altogether.


October 18, 2012

AG Holder Demands U.S. Court Allow Fast and Furious Coverup

As lawmakers seek to use federal courts to force disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to hand over documents on the deadly Fast and Furious gun-running scandal, the Obama administration filed a motion this week claiming that the judicial branch has no power to interfere. According to the Department of Justice, a ruling in favor of Congress and its oversight authority would violate so-called “executive privilege.” But lawmakers are not buying it. While he is currently abusing his position to shield himself from prosecution, Holder famously became the first attorney general in U.S. history to be held in civil and criminal contempt of Congress in late June on a bipartisan vote. Lawmakers were upset over the administration’s ongoing coverup in which it refused to provide subpoenaed documents on Fast and Furious, the now-infamous federal scheme that put thousands of high-powered American weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. “Disputes of this sort have arisen regularly since the founding,” the Justice Department claimed in the legal brief filed late Monday, asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss the lawsuit. “For just as long, these disputes have been resolved between the political branches through a constitutionally grounded system of negotiation, accommodation and self-help.” The filing also claimed the courts lack jurisdiction in the case. The administration has unlawfully refused to hand over thousands of documents related to the scandal, repeatedly defying congressional subpoenas and flouting the authority of Congress. When it became clear that lawmakers would not back down in the effort to uncover the details of Fast and Furious, however, President Obama stepped in and claimed “executive privilege” to justify the coverup. Congress responded with contempt charges and over 120 members of the House and Senate demanded Holder’s resignation. When that failed, lawmakers filed suit in federal court. Now the administration claims that even the judiciary does not have the authority to force the executive branch’s hand. Lawmakers trying to carry out their oversight responsibilities, though, say the Justice Department’s argument is absurd on its face. “The Obama Administration’s argument should trouble Americans who believe the President and the federal government are not above the law,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who has been leading the charge for accountability. “In perpetuating a cover-up, through false and misleading statements that even the Justice Department’s own Inspector General found troubling, the Obama administration argued for months that it did not have to meet its legal obligations to a lawfully issued congressional subpoena.” Incredibly, after purporting to have the authority to defy the American people’s elected representatives, the Obama administration is currently claiming that it is also above the courts, too. In other words, the executive branch is above the law, above Congress, above the courts, and accountable to nobody. Rep. Issa, however, says that reasoning will not fly. “Now, the Department is advancing arguments — already rejected by the federal judiciary — that our court system does not have jurisdiction to ensure accountability either,” Issa explained. “The American people deserve to know the full truth about what happened in Operation Fast and Furious and why top justice officials stood behind false denials of reckless conduct.” The new DOJ brief does acknowledge that federal courts ruled just four years ago in Committee on Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives v. Miers that Congress could indeed compel executive branch officials to cooperate with congressional investigations. However, the Justice Department argued that the decision in that case was allegedly leading the country down the wrong path by getting courts involved in what the administration claims is essentially a “political” dispute. The deadly federal gun-trafficking program was exposed over a year ago when brave whistleblowers within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) stepped forward. Since then, the scheme has become a massive international scandal. And as the Obama administration continues its half-baked efforts to conceal the truth, outrage over the blood-drenched plot has only grown louder. Some of the Fast and Furious guns were recovered at the murder scenes of U.S. federal law enforcement officers such as Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Others were used to massacre Mexican teenagers. The Obama administration’s operation was supposedly aimed at targeting two “drug lords” who already worked for the FBI, official documents later revealed. Resulting violence, meanwhile, was exploited by the top officials to push for more restrictions on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms. Despite contempt charges and the escalating nationwide uproar over the scandal, the coverup, and the official lies told by top officials throughout the investigation, however, the Justice Department, which originally responded to the gun-trafficking accusations with lies, still refuses to cooperate. If the judicial branch were to force the administration to come clean, "countless other suits by Congress are sure to follow, given the volume of document requests issued by the dozens of congressional committees that perform oversight functions," according to the federal court filing this week. It was not immediately clear why the potential for more transparency and oversight of the executive branch going forward was a proper reason to dismiss the suit. If anything, critics of the increasing level of government secrecy say more lawsuits from Congress demanding accountability would be a positive development — somebody has to hold the administration accountable, after all. The Justice Department, however, apparently disagrees. “The combination of robust alternative remedies and the historical absence of involvement by the judiciary have provided incentive for both branches to work in earnest through the process of negotiation, accommodation and ultimate resolution,” the DOJ filing claimed. “That process would unravel if courts were available to dictate what information may be demanded or withheld. Judicial intervention would move the branches toward litigation, not accommodation, and would dramatically alter the separation of powers.” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz recently released the results of his investigation into the scandal as well. While blasted by critics as a “joke” and a “whitewash,” the final report concluded by recommending that more than a dozen senior DOJ and ATF officials be considered for disciplinary measures. However, according to the investigation, evidence that Holder knew his top officials were sending weapons to cartels was not found, though Horowitz did acknowledge that White House officials refused to cooperate with the investigation. Experts say the truth about the deadly scheme remains concealed, but that the operation must have been known to the White House and senior officials including Holder, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and others. The Department of Justice, however, does not want the courts or Congress to intervene in the matter, raising even more suspicions among critics — especially considering the growing amount of evidence suggesting that Fast and Furious was part of a far more sinister plan than the administration has admitted thus far. "Judicial restraint, not judicial intervention, is warranted," the latest DOJ court brief argues. The current case is being handled by U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, a recent Obama appointee. A ruling on the dispute is not expected until after the election, though even then it is likely to be appealed. Analysts say the outcome is difficult to predict, but lawmakers believe they are standing on solid ground. Activists hope the prosecutions, if warranted, can begin once all of the facts eventually emerge. Source

October 17, 2012

Secret Service director suspected of lying to Congress about prostitution scandal

An investigation for the agency that oversees the U.S. Secret Service suggests Director Mark Sullivan lied during his congressional testimony in the Colombia prostitution scandal that ensnared 13 of his agents, multiple law enforcement officials and congressional sources tell FoxNews.com.

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Inspector General (DHS OIG) have completed their investigative report, which will be referred to the Department of Justice along with a memorandum of activity that lists potential criminal actions. The report indicates Sullivan may have obstructed Congress by lying about the criminal associations of prostitutes involved in the scandal. The report also alleges Sullivan may have manipulated a report requested by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, the sources said.

DHS OIG uncovered the evidence -- including specific incidents of alleged perjury, making false statements and impeding Congress -- during their ongoing probe into the scandal surrounding agents' misconduct prior to President Obama's trip to Cartagena, Colombia last April, sources told FoxNews.com. Sources said Sullivan may have violated statute 18 USC § 1505 -- obstruction of proceedings before departments, agencies, and committees -- and investigators are now handing the case over to federal prosecutors in the Justice Department's Public Integrity Section.

DHS OIG has been in talks with Justice Department prosecutors in the Public Integrity Section for months, and met with them late last week about the potential charges against Sullivan, sources said.

The OIG, however, declined to discuss details of its investigation.

"The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General is conducting an ongoing investigation, requested by Congress, of the United States Secret Service regarding its actions during a presidential visit to Cartagena, Colombia, earlier this year," Charles Edwards, acting inspector general, said in a written statement. "The department and the Secret Service have cooperated with the OIG’s investigation thus far. However, as a matter of policy, the OIG does not discuss its ongoing investigations."

Sullivan has retained private counsel in the case. Joshua Hochberg, a former DOJ Public Integrity Section deputy chief-turned-white-collar defense attorney, specializes in defending public officials and CEOs charged with corruption. Hochberg was with Sullivan at his Aug. 2 interview with DHS OIG investigators, sources said. Hochberg also led the DOJ investigation of the failed energy company Enron and was head of DOJ's Fraud unit before joining a private firm.

Reached for comment, Hochberg denied the allegations.

"I've confirmed the public integrity section at DOJ does not have an open investigation. Mr. Sullivan did not in any way obstruct Congress," Hochberg told FoxNews.com.

Sources said DOJ may not yet have an official open case on Sullivan because DHS OIG has not completed handing over a final report.  The Justice Department will decide if the case will be prosecuted only after evaluating the DHS OIG report.

Multiple sources tell FoxNews.com that DHS OIG officials have been in talks with Justice Department officials for months about the possible charges against Sullivan. DHS OIG also notified the FBI, as is protocol, when it uncovered evidence early on in the investigation that Sullivan may have violated federal law.

Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan, in response to inquiries from FoxNews.com, defended the agency's handling of the Colombia probe.

"Director Mark Sullivan and the Secret Service have conducted a fair and thorough investigation resulting from the Cartagena incident. The agency response to those with oversight responsibility has been timely and truthful. We will continue to respond to the DHS-OIG and Congressional inquiries in that manner," Donovan said in a statement. "We will not respond specifically to anonymous allegations that have lingered since the beginning of this investigation that are either without merit, grossly inaccurate or blatantly false."

During the May 23 hearing before the Senate committee, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, asked Sullivan: "Have you now been able to definitively conclude that the women were not associated with -- that they were not foreign agents? That they did not work for drug cartels? That they were not involved in human trafficking? That they were not working for FARC, for example, or other terrorist groups?"

Sullivan replied: "One of the first things we did, Senator, was to get the names of all the women. We had their country identification number. We provided those names and identifiers to some of our various partners out there who could verify for us if there was any connection with any type of criminal activity or criminal organization as well as any type of intelligence concerns that we may have.

"All of the information that we have received back has concluded that there was no connection either from a counterintelligence perspective or a criminal perspective."

Multiple high-ranking law enforcement officials close to the investigation told FoxNews.com that at the time of his testimony, Sullivan knew the intelligence community had found one confirmed hit -- meaning one of the prostitutes hired by a member of the Secret Service showed up in a CIA database of known criminals -- and one partial, unconfirmed, hit.

A search of the names of the prostitutes in a CIA database came back with a hit, which was confirmed before the May 23 hearing.

"He lied, absolutely he lied to Congress. He knew it, he knew what he was saying was a lie," said a law enforcement official close to the investigation.

"One hit was the CIA hit, the prostitute in question was tied to a drug cartel for laundering money," a law enforcement official close to the investigation told FoxNews.com.

"Sullivan had direct evidence of the hit," the source said.

"The night before his May 23 testimony before the Homeland Committee, he knew but he lied and said there was no hit and nothing was compromised."

At the time of his testimony, sources say Sullivan also knew of a partial hit, meaning a name in an intelligence database matched the name of one of the women who were checked into a Cartagena hotel by a member of the Secret Service. Investigators later determined after the May 23 hearing that the prostitute signed in by the Secret Service agent was not the same woman found to have ties to a criminal group, but simply shared the same name. But sources said at the time Sullivan testified before Congress he knew there was a potential second hit on a second prostitute that was still in the process of being confirmed, and therefore lied about this second possible association. It was only after the hearing that they learned the partial hit was ruled out.

Sources said Sullivan could not have known when he testified if this partial hit could be confirmed or ruled out.

These investigative findings are part of DHS OIG's ongoing and wide-ranging probe into the overall culture of Secret Service to DOJ prosecutors. The full report is not expected to be released for months.

In addition to his alleged perjury, Sullivan is suspected of misleading Congress in his responses to written questions for the record submitted by lawmakers, including Rep. Peter King of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Other potential charges stem from allegations that Sullivan conspired with his top deputies to manipulate, falsify or edit records to downplay past problems in a report compiled for the Senate Homeland Security Committee, which requested a report on the agency's last three years of disciplinary actions taken against its employees.

The report was referenced several times during the May 23 hearing.

Multiple high-ranking officials within the Secret Service said Sullivan and other top Secret Service officials also conspired to manipulate other internal investigations, including a probe into whether members of the Secret Service had hired prostitutes before a March 2011 presidential trip to El Salvador. The investigation was ordered after a news report from South America alleged that Secret Service agents had hired prostitutes and visited strip clubs in advance of President Obama's visit.

But a recently retired senior executive with Secret Service shot down these allegations, and defended Sullivan, his longtime friend and colleague. He also said Sullivan would never lie, let alone commit perjury before Congress.

"I don't know anyone who is more honest, more trustworthy, with more of a conscience than Mark," said the recently retired senior executive. "Mark Sullivan is an altar boy."

The retired official also said the internal El Salvador investigation uncovered absolutely no wrongdoing on the part of the Secret Service.

"No one in the history of the Secret Service has ever gotten a prostitute before Colombia," he insisted.

Sullivan was appointed director of the Secret Service in May 2006. The Arlington, Mass., native began his career with the agency in 1983 as a special agent in the Detroit Field Office. During his 28 years with the agency, he has served as deputy assistant director in the Office of Protective Operations; deputy special agent in charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division and deputy assistant director, Office of Human Resources and Training.

The Cartagena prostitution scandal isn't Sullivan's first. In December 2009, he was called to testify before Congress about security failings that allowed uninvited guests Tareq and Michaele Salahi to crash an official state dinner at the White House. Sullivan took responsibility for the breach, saying: "This is our fault and our fault alone."

October 16, 2012

Justice seeks dismissal of Fast & Furious suit

The Justice Department on Monday night sought dismissal of a lawsuit by a Republican-led House committee demanding that Attorney General Eric Holder produce records about the botched law enforcement probe of gun-trafficking called Operation Fast and Furious.

President Barack Obama has invoked executive privilege and the attorney general has been found to be in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents that might explain what led the Justice Department to reverse course after initially denying that federal agents had used a controversial tactic called gun-walking in the failed law enforcement operation. The tactic resulted in hundreds of illegally acquired weapons purchased at Arizona gun shops winding up in Mexico, where many of them were recovered from crime scenes. Two guns in Operation Fast and Furious were found on the U.S. side of the border at the scene of a shooting in which U.S. border agent Brian Terry was killed. In a Feb. 4, 2011 letter to Congress, the Justice Department said that agents made every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased illegally and prevent their transportation to Mexico, which turned out to be incorrect. Ten months later, the department withdrew the letter.
In its court papers, the Justice Department says the Constitution does not permit the courts to resolve the political dispute between the executive branch and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that is seeking the records. The political branches have a long history of resolving disputes over congressional requests without judicial intervention, the court filing said.
If the lawsuit is allowed to go forward, ‘‘countless other suits by Congress are sure to follow, given the volume of document requests issued by the dozens of congressional committees that perform oversight functions,’’ the Justice Department’s court filing stated. ‘‘This case thus illustrates vividly why the judiciary must defer to the time-tested political process for resolution of such disputes.’’
The Justice Department cited a Supreme Court ruling which said the court lacked jurisdiction to decide a challenge brought by several members of Congress to the constitutionality of the line item veto law.
In the current dispute over records from Operation Fast and Furious, the House asked the court to reject a claim by the president asserting executive privilege, a legal position designed to protect certain internal administration communications from disclosure.
The failure of Holder and House Republicans to work out a deal on the documents led to votes in June that held the attorney general in civil and criminal contempt of Congress.
In Fast and Furious, ATF agents abandoned the agency’s usual practice of intercepting all weapons they believed to be illicitly purchased, often as soon as they were taken out of gun shops. Instead, the goal of the tactic known as ‘‘gun-walking’’ was to track such weapons to high-level arms traffickers, who had long eluded prosecution, and to dismantle their networks. Federal agents lost track of many of the guns. The operation identified more than 2,000 illicitly purchased weapons, and some 1,400 of them have yet to be recovered.


October 15, 2012

David Axelrod blames State Department for security issues at Benghazi consulate

President Barack Obama’s chief re-election campaign strategist David Axelrod told “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace that the State Department — not the White House — was responsible for lax security at the Benghazi embassy prior to the deadly Sept. 11 terror attack that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

“The White House was talking about what the White House knew,” Axelrod said, referring to Vice President Joe Biden’s statement during a debate Thursday night that “we weren’t told” personnel in Benghazi had asked for extra security measures.

“There are embassies all over the world and requests all over the world and these requests go over the the security professionals at the State Department,” Axelrod said. “And there’s no doubt that some of these matters went into the security department of the State Department. But it didn’t come to the White House, and that’s what the vice president was responding to.”

Officials in the Obama administration, including U.N. ambassador Susan Rice, initially claimed that the attack was the result of a protest occurring outside the embassy over an anti-Islam YouTube video.

When it became clear that account was inaccurate, however, the White House scrambled to blame intelligence agencies and the State Department for various oversights. (RELATED: State Dept. says Rice was completely wrong about Libya attack; White House throws Hillary under 2012 bus)
“These kinds of issues are handled in the State Department by security officials,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said during Friday’s press briefing.

Wallace reminded Axelrod about Biden’s insistence that the State Department never informed the White House that more security was necessary.

“We weren’t told they wanted more security,” Biden told moderator Martha Raddatz, contradicting several State Department officials, who recently testified under oath that they had requested more security at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. “We did not know they wanted more security.”
But Axelrod remained defiant, before pausing to emphasize Obama’s personal stake in the Benghazi incident. (RELATED: Mark Steyn says Obama administration is using ambassador’s dead body as a political ‘prop’)

“These matters were being handled by the State Department,” Axelrod repeated. “Here’s the fundamental thing: Nobody on this planet is more concerned about getting to the bottom of this than the president of the United States. … He knew Chris Stevens, he admired Chris Stevens. We want to get to the bottom of it.”


October 12, 2012

The real Libya scandal: The failure to respond

Today marks exactly one month since terrorists attacked the U.S consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing our ambassador and three other American personnel. In the weeks since, Washington has been gripped by the unfolding scandals over the Obama administration’s failure to heed warnings of a growing terrorist danger in eastern Libya; its failure to provide additional security requested by U.S. personnel on the ground; and its failure to acknowledge that what happened in Libya was in fact a terrorist attack.

But all this has obscured the more serious scandal: the Obama administration’s utter failure to respond.

It took less than four weeks after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, for the Bush administration to gather intelligence, plan the full-scale invasion of Afghanistan and begin executing Operation Enduring Freedom. By October 7, 2001, multinational forces from the United States, Britain and Australia were on the ground, linking up with friendly Afghan forces, overthrowing the Taliban and driving al-Qaeda from the haven from which they had attacked our country.

By contrast, it is now Oct. 11 — four weeks after the attack of Sept. 11, 2012 — and the Obama administration has barely gotten a criminal investigation off the ground. The Post reported this week that while President Obama has vowed to “bring to justice” those responsible for the attacks, “nearly one month later, the White House has not spelled out how it plans to do so, even if it is able to identify and capture any suspects.... An unproductive, slow-moving investigation is complicating matters, with the FBI taking three weeks to reach the unsecured crime scene.”

Three weeks to reach the “crime scene”? Within days, CNN reporters were able to rummage through the rubble and recover the ambassador’s diary, and Post reporters were able to access and photograph the destroyed diplomatic compound. But the administration can’t get the FBI to the scene for three weeks? It should come as no surprise that the Obama administration is treating the attack as a crime — but it can’t even get the criminal investigation right.

This is not to suggest an invasion of Libya. But certainly by now we could have identified the groups responsible for the attack, targeted their compounds and retaliated in some fashion. Heck, the Libyan people have done more to retaliate than Obama has. The Associated Press reports that a few days after the attack, “Hundreds of protesters seized control of several militia headquarters … including the compound of one of Libya’s strongest armed Islamic extremist groups, evicting militiamen and setting fire to buildings as the attack that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans sparked a backlash against armed groups.”

What kind of signal does it send when a Libyan mob does more to avenge the killing of an American ambassador than the president of the United States?

Consider: Within two weeks of the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the Clinton administration had launched Operation Infinite Reach — cruise missile strikes on targets in Sudan and Afghanistan. The strikes were more symbolic than impactful, but at least Clinton did something. Instead of Operation Infinite Reach, the Obama administration appears to have launched Operation Infinite Inaction — and the United States’ paralysis in the face of terror is sending a message of weakness to our enemies.

In a speech this week, CBS News foreign correspondent Lara Logan ripped the Obama administration for its feckless response to the Libya attack, declaring it was time for the U.S. to “exact revenge and let the world know that the United States will not be attacked on its own soil. That its ambassadors will not be murdered, and that the United States will not stand by and do nothing about it.”

She is absolutely right. Perhaps President Obama has some decisive action planned. Perhaps when the White House is done trying to cover up this terrorist attack, it will pivot to responding to this terrorist attack. That would be a welcome “October surprise” indeed.

But as of now, all the world sees is a president who is afraid to call an act of terror what it is, much less do something about it. This country has not looked weaker in the decade since Sept. 11, 2001. And as we learned on 9/11, weakness is provocative.

October 11, 2012

ABC News scrambles to downplay Obama’s attendance at VP debate moderator’s wedding

President Barack Obama was a guest at the 1991 wedding of ABC senior foreign correspondent and vice presidential debate moderator Martha Raddatz, The Daily Caller has learned. Obama and groom Julius Genachowski, whom Obama would later tap to head the Federal Communications Commission, were Harvard Law School classmates at the time and members of the Harvard Law Review.

After TheDC made preliminary inquiries Monday to confirm Obama’s attendance at the wedding, ABC leaked a pre-emptive statement to news outlets including Politico and The Daily Beast Tuesday, revealing what may have been internal network pressure felt just days before Raddatz was scheduled to moderate the one and only vice-presidential debate Thursday night.

Both Politico and The Daily Beast jumped to ABC and Raddatz’s defense. The Huffington Post, a liberal news outlet, joined them shortly thereafter, while calling “unusual” ABC’s attempt to kill the story before it gained wide circulation.


October 10, 2012

Obama foreign donor scandal grows


In the past several days, President Barack Obama is being hit with suspicion of wrongdoing regarding a donors' fundraising scandal in his efforts to raise money for his reelection bid, similar to questionable fundraising methods alleged in 2008.


Four years ago, the Washington Post claimed that the Obama campaign allowed political donors to use “largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity.” Naturally, that allegation strongly suggested that Obama was breaking the campaign fundraising law.

Once again, in the 2012 election cycle, there is severe concern regarding Obama’s following the election fundraising laws. In the current election cycle, the Washington Examiner is reporting that there has been a nine-month investigation of presidential and congressional fundraising practices via a taxpayer watchdog group.

Wrongdoing points to President Barack Obama and congressional figures in that the investigation has revealed thousands of situations involving credit card solicitations and donations from "unsecure" accounts, many of which are from overseas. The allegations of wrongdoing involve the fact that these donations may be in violation of federal election laws – a serious offense.

The current scandal coincides with the Obama campaign boasting a record-breaking month of fundraising to the tune of $181 million. As far back as April of this year, it was reported that persons could make an online donation to Obama without the three-digit security code on the back of one’s credit card while any transaction made to Mitt Romney without the code was rejected. This severe irregularity may have been the obvious “heads-up” for the investigation to continue to where it is at this time.

The primary source of this article is the Washington Examiner.

October 9, 2012

How it costs taxpayers $1.4 billion a year to fund the White House

A book about presidential perks recently revealed that taxpayers spend about $1.4 billion paying for the staffing, housing, transportation and entertaining of President Barack Obama’s White House.

Now another author, John F. Groom, explains in “The 1.4 Billion Dollar Man: Costs of the Obama White House” exactly how researchers came up with that $1.4 billion estimate.

“One of the most important things to note about the $1.4 billion figure is that it specifically does NOT include the cost of running the White House’s policy operations – the $1.4 billion is money that is directly related to the president and his family,” Groom writes in the book.

Here’s the breakdown, according to Groom:

• President’s salary and allowance: $450,000
• White House building operating expenses: $14,658,000
• White House Grounds: $6,057,000
• Vacations: $20,000,000
• Health care for the first family, including traveling medical staff and equipment: $7,000,000
• Campaign expenses not reimbursed to government: $311,000,000
• White House staff: $7,985,420
• Office of Administration budget: $14,481,000
• Special missions including White House Communications Agency: $161,252,000
• Military salary costs: $153,441,360
• Salary costs for presidential airlift squadron: $75,000,000
• Presidential plane fleet: $44,000,000
• Presidential helicopter fleet: $300,000,000
• Ground transportation: $2,200,000
• Transportation total: $346,200,000
• Secret Service: $259,152,884

“We need to return to the idea of the president as first citizen – a very important person, but not a deity,” Groom says in the book. “He and his administration should run their lives as examples to the nation, with frugality and simplicity, at least until the huge institution they run, the United States government, returns to some degree of solvency.”

Obama is hardly the first president to run up massive expenditures on the taxpayer’s dime. According to a government analysis of the White House’s expenditures under George W. Bush, total spending on White House operations reached nearly $1.6 billion in 2008.


October 8, 2012

New Obama scandal emerging over accepting illegal overseas donations

According to the Washington Examiner, a big story is about to hit that after Obama’s poor performance at the presidential debates on Wednesday night, a new emerging scandal pens that he and his campaign may have have been accepting donations overseas by unknown nations, possibly Middle Eastern nations in violation of federal election laws.

Some are also theorizing that the Obama campaign and Obama himself were aware of the story which may have contributed to Obama’s poor performance at the debate against Mitt Romney due to the source that told the Washington Examiner that the Obama camp has been attempting to block the story.

Knowledgeable sources told the Washington Examiner that a national magazine and a national web site are preparing the donor scandal story which most likely will be released on Monday although Sunday is possible.

A taxpayer watch group is behind the allegations through their investigations but the group has not been named.

It also appears that Obama’s campaign broke a record by raising $181 million dollars last month but it was not announced on Friday when the numbers were reported. The numbers were announced this morning thereby raising suspicions as to why today and not yesterday and the suspicion of the astronomical amount raised in one month, when Obama's campaign was behind, is nearly unheard of.
The donation issue with Obama and his campaign is nothing new. In 2008, Pamela Geller of AtlasShrugs reported on illegal donations to the Obama campaign in the 2008 Presidential election. The mainstream media remained quiet about the illegal donations.

The Paulding County Republican Examiner is withholding of who the taxpayer watch group is until the report is released and as the story develops.


October 5, 2012

Obama wants to destroy American way of life

What a wake-up call for America. In his latest speech Obama stated that people who have succeeded in building businesses from the bottom up cannot claim credit for their individual success story. Off teleprompter, Obama finally unmasked himself and his radical left agenda by attacking the very engine which drives our nation’s economy, the free enterprise system and entrepreneurs. Clearly, the American way is not for Obama.

In 2008 his message of “hope and change” along with “fundamental transformation” of America was no doubt misunderstood by many Americans but the outcome of the “transformation” is clear. Consider the complete failure of his agenda, including but not limited to the taxpayer dollars which were poured into a stimulus package that did not work; Solyndra which closed; “shovel-ready jobs” that never surfaced; the government takeover of GMAC; collapse of the housing market; the “fast and furious” scandal in the Department of Justice; and Obama’s misuse of Executive Order to forcefeed his radical left views on the American people.

Putting further strain on the economy, his “signature” piece, “Obamacare,” will result in massive tax hikes, the rationing of health care, higher insurance premiums, government officials making end-of-life decisions, and redistribution of wealth to cover the millions of uninsured.

People are weary of Obama’s blame-game (”I inherited a bad economy” and “It’s Bush’s fault”). What they know is the jobless rate is more than 8.2 percent and when one factors in the number who stopped looking for work, the rate jumps to 11 percent.

I propose that the President knows exactly what he’s doing, and only by destroying America’s free enterprise system can he replace it with his vision of socialism which has failed in every nation it was tried. In order to redistribute the people’s hard-earned wealth, he proposes higher tax brackets for all except those at the very bottom. Those who pay no taxes will not be affected. Soon the “have-nots” will outnumber those who pay. The tipping of this scale and the nation’s growing debt cannot be sustained. Obama’s narrow vision will fail.

By shouting loud enough and long enough that the rich must pay “their fair share” he is creating a group for the “have-nots” to hate, which further divides out nation. Common sense tells us that Americans cannot sustain the current state of the union. The “great experiment” of the Founding Father is teetering on the brink and if the American people fail to recognize the “elephant in the room,” this exceptional nation will perish and the people will be suffocated by Obama’s radical left nightmare, a bigger more intrusive government, and the loss of liberty.

Government “of the people,” “by the people,” and “for the people” will be but words on a page, and the Founding Fathers who risked their very lives to create a nation where liberty and smaller government are valued will have been for nothing. Allegiance to one man is flawed and fleeting. Only allegiance to the principles in the Declaration of Independence, to the Constitution of the United States, and to the promise of America envisioned by the Founders is what will preserve this great nation.

October 4, 2012

Hannity "District of Corruption" Special: Required Viewing for Intelligent Voters

The liberal media establishment generally remains an arm of the Obama campaign, but whistleblowers like MonCrief and Adams and intrepid investigators like Pavlich, Picket and Webb are sharing the ugly truth that Team Obama tries to conceal and ignore.

Unless preempted, there will be a Hannity Special on Friday, October 5, on the new Judicial Watch blockbuster feature documentary, "The District of Corruption," directed by Stephen K. Bannon, a formidable attack on "the political/media elite" for forsaking principle for the sake of power and profit.  This fact-filled documentary, nearly 70 minutes long, in Judicial Watch's words, "lays bare the lawless and unconstitutional Obama administration and makes the case for more openness, integrity, and honesty in government and leads the way for changing the climate of corruption that has gripped Washington, D.C. for far too long."  May it be so! That's a climate change we desperately need.  Fittingly, conservative multimedia star Sean Hannity uses excerpts from the documentary and interviews with key persons involved in the documentary to do just that. Voters, pay careful attention.  Judicial Watch asserts that "District of Corruption"
  • Presents a gripping lineup of the gross malfeasance and unparalleled secrecy of our government today. The film exposes Obama administration scandals such as Solyndra, Fast and Furious, Crony Capitalism, Czars, and its politicized Justice Department. This cabal of government insiders comprises an essentially Shadow Government that uses favoritism, regulatory power, and abuse of office to enrich the party faithful at the expense of the general public.
  • Explores the recent history of the abuse of power in Washington during the Bush and Clinton administrations to put the current state of affairs in context. Act I will end as a dog-eared and beaten George W. Bush gives way to a Chicago politician claiming “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency.”
  • Covers more major Obama Scandals. Will briefly consider Obama the “community organizer,” the professor, and the State Senator before delving more deeply into the scandals (such as the Bailouts, White House Visitor Logs, Secrecy, White House Czars, Green Energy, Fast and Furious) that have marked the first four years of his Presidency. Act II ends with an exposé on White House secrecy controversy and sets up the stakes for the next election, specifically focusing on voter and election fraud.
  • Provides an in-depth exploration of the Judicial Watch 2012 Election Integrity Project, the upcoming election, and will answer the questions: What is the meaning of these abuses of power to the rule of law and the future of the United States? And why is Judicial Watch absolutely essential as an advocate for the rule of law and independent watchdog for the people of the United States?
Judicial Watch's battles with both the Clinton and Bush 43 Administrations are reviewed at some length at the start of the documentary. Judicial Watch is a non-partisan opponent of government secrecy founded in 1994, during the Clinton Administration, and its overriding message is that both Democrats and Republicans are loathe to investigate corruption vigorously because both are corrupt and the result would be "mutually assured distruction." Judicial Watch suggests that the major difference between the Bush 43 Administration and the Obama Administration is that the Bush 43 Administration was honest about its secrecy while the Obama administration with its "Chicago gangster mentality" has hypocritically posed as transparent.

Unfortunately, many voters are not interested in studying American political history over the last score of years. They are receptive only to short, sharp, memorable messages. Such messages are delivered as the documentary proceeds, for those with the patience to keep watching.  Hannity realizes that now is the time to scrutinize President Obama, focuses on the immediate problem--the Obama Administration seeking a second term, and highlights those messages for his viewers who may not see the documentary.  Hannity interviews Bannon and Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton for an overview of the documentary, as well as Townhall news editor Katie Pavlich and Washington Times opinion blogger/editor Kerry Picket on the Fast and Furious scandal, former Justice Department career attorney J. Christian Adams and former Federal Election Commsioner Hans von Spakovsky on the Obama Administration's politicization of the United States Justice Department, and radio star David Webb and ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief on ACORN, the radical organization that trained Obama and supported his political career all the way to the , ACORN, Obama's cunning lies about his relationship with it notwithstanding.  The Hannity Special is an illuminating hour at a critical time.  What President Reagan called "pesky facts" can make Obama a one-term president, IF they become generally known.  Tragically, the liberal media establishment generally remains an arm of the Obama campaign. Fortunately,whistleblowers like MonCrief and Adams and intrepid investigators like Bannon, Fitton, Pavlich, Picket, von Spakovsky and Webb are ready, willing and able to share the ugly truth that Team Obama tries to conceal or ignore and Hannity gave them a great platform to do so. Mark Twain observed, "A lie can travel halfway round the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."  With Election Day 2012 nearing, there is no time to waste in exposing the lies by broadcasting the truth.