Sunday, June 25, 2017


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Lois Lerner
Will they find anything this time?

Rep. Kevin Brady and Rep. Peter Roskam asked the Justice Department recently to take a look at new evidence against former senior executive of IRS Lois G. Lerner to determine whether charges should be filed against her for targeting Tea Party groups and misplacing key evidence in the case.

An investigation by the Obama administration cleared Ms. Lerner, but the two top Republicans say there are several questions on how that probe was run, and that a fresh look at the case by the Trump administration’s Justice Department is clearly needed.

“Taxpayers deserve to know that the DOJ’s previous evaluation was not tainted by politics,” the congressmen wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

However, Ms. Lerner’s lawyer, William Taylor, claimed she was adequately cleared of all charges in the previous investigation.

“Ms. Lerner did not violate any laws. There is no evidence that she did and no new investigation will change that reality,” he wrote in an email to The Washington Times on Wednesday.

The IRS’ targeting scheme came under the spotlight almost four years ago, when Ms. Lerner, looking to escape bad news from an investigation by the inspector general, planted a question at a conference, revealing that the agency had indeed, been scrutinizing conservative groups.

The IRS leadership had repeatedly refuted any claims of such targeting in responses to Congress’ questioning.

While her exact role remains unclear, Ms. Lerner was a key figure in the probe.

Republicans claim that she helped plan the targeting. They even released emails showing hostility towards the GOP and other conservative groups. However, the Obama administration, in addition to clearing her of any wrongdoings, said she was in reality, trying to help fix things from the inside, and was actually the first official to realize what the agency was doing was not right.


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IRS: Satan Club? Yeah, cool, you're approved.

While the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) makes conservative groups wait years for tax-exempt status an “After School Satan Club” launched to hinder Christian-based counterparts got its nonprofit ranking in just ten days, records obtained by Judicial Watch show. The classification is offered to charitable, religious and educational organizations that operate as nonprofits. Under the Obama administration IRS political appointees illegally targeted conservative groups, either making them wait up to seven years for tax-exempt status or denying their application altogether. Judicial Watch uncovered that scandal and has obtained piles of government records showing how the IRS illegally colluded with another federal agency to single out groups with conservative-sounding terms such as patriot and Tea Party in their titles when applying for tax-exempt status.

In the meantime, leftist groups like the Satan club got fast tracked. The principle goal of establishing the Satan clubs in public schools throughout Washington State appears to be to counter existing enterprises operated by a Christian-based group. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch include the process of establishing an after-school Satan club at Point Defiance Elementary in Tacoma. The entity behind the club is a nonprofit called Reason Alliance, which is based in Somerville, Massachusetts, and operates in Washington State as the Satanic Temple of Seattle. Its director, Lilith X. Starr, established the Point Defiance Elementary Satanic club, the records show. In its application the club states that its purpose is “character development” and that adult instructors are vetted by the Satanic Temple’s “Executive Ministry.” Children ages 5-12 will develop basic critical reasoning, character qualities, problem solving and creative expression, according to the Satanic Temple filings included in the documents. The club logo is a pencil with devil’s horns. Records obtained by Judicial Watch from the Treasury Department show that the Satanic cult applied for tax-exempt status on October 21, 2014 and received it on October 31, 2014.

The parent permission forms ask for the name of the child’s church and pastor, the records show. They also reveal that Starr, the Seattle Satanic Temple director, told Tacoma School District Superintendent Carla Santorno that the clubs are led by “caring Satanists” and each child receives a membership card. Starr also tells the superintendent that the effort to establish after-school Satan clubs in Tacoma schools is in direct response to the Christian-based Good News Clubs operating in campuses throughout the district. This ignited concern among some Tacoma district officials, the records show. In one electronic mail exchange, Tacoma Schools official Andrea O-Brien-Henley sends colleague Paul Koch a citation from the Satanic Temple’s website noting that the temple only wants to establish after-school Satan clubs in school districts with Christian Good News Clubs. O’Brien-Henley notes that it’s odd that the Satanic Temple only targets schools that have Good News Clubs, writing to hear colleague: “If they really want to get their message out to kids it seems kind of odd that they would only be targeting schools with a Good News Club; one would think that they would want to start clubs anywhere there is an *interest* in them.”

Here’s the citation that O’Brien-Henley forwarded to fellow school district official Koch from the Satanic Temple’s website: “How do I start an After School Satan Club in my school district? If there isn’t a chapter of The Satanic Temple near you, but you’re interested in starting and After School Satan Club in your school district, please contact The Satanic Temple. Please keep in mind that the Satanic Temple is not interested in operating After School Satan Clubs in school districts that are not already hosting the Good News Club. However, The Satanic Temple ultimately intends to have After School Satan Clubs operating in every school district where the Good News Club is represented.”

In another exchange, the Executive Director of Communications for the Tacoma School District, Dan Voelpel, expresses concern to colleagues that people will confuse the school district’s message of tolerance toward the Satan Club with tolerance toward alleged “hate-related activities around the country in the wake of the presidential election.” In the records the principal of Point Defiance Elementary reveals that, two weeks after the Satan club was launched, no one had signed up for it. The fact remains however, that the IRS fast-tracked a deranged Satanic cult to operate as a nonprofit in taxpayer-funded elementary schools.

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Remember three years ago, when Lois Lerner went on Capitol Hill and pleaded the fifth when it came to asking about the IRS targeting conservatives? Well, it has taken a few years and a lawsuit to get them to admit wrongdoing.

The IRS sent a list of 426 organizations that the federal agency target and delayed or denied approval. There are more. Over 40 decided not to be included in the class-action lawsuit.

The 426 total number of groups that was turned over is much higher than the 298 groups the IRS Commissioner, John Koskinen, admitted to back in 2013.

Most of the non-profit groups in the lawsuit say they had to wait years for approval or in some cases had to answer and give up unusual details that delayed the process. In some cases the IRS may have illegally delayed the right to some groups and there will be repercussions if found guilty.

One concern with the list that was turned over by the IRS, is that it has some obscure groups on it and some that have nothing to do with the conservative movement.

A lawyer for some of the groups says that the IRS could have placed some “outliers” on the list to make it look like that conservatives were not targeted as exclusively as they were.

The list still contains over 90 groups that have “patriot” or “tea” in the name. There were 26 groups that had the word “liberty” in the name.

At this point it is very clear that the IRS targeted groups on the right and especially the “tea party” organizations.

It has taken us over three years to get to the point where the IRS admits the large number of groups the illegally targeted, but it will still take some time before something happens.

Stay up to date on this case with Liberty News Now!

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Everyone knows that the leaders of Facebook are big supporters of the Democratic Party and especially to President Obama. Now former employees are releasing some troubling news about the bias of the company as well.

Former workers have stated that they routinely suppressed news from conservative points of view from the “trending” news area on Facebook.

The news section is highly influential to a lot of Facebook users because it allows them to see what everyone is talking about.

The former coworkers said that they would remove positive content about Mitt Romney in 2012 even though it was trending among active users.

For candidates and politics, it is in important to be in the news cycle and be seen. In the case of Facebook they are limiting the influence that conservatives can have on the platform while spreading the progressive news the company believes in.

The bigger picture is to look at the platform and how many people use it. Over a billion people use Facebook daily and it’s a place where millions of Americans get their daily news. Sometimes it is the only source.

Now imagine if those people are only getting half of the political news. Imagine if all the videos that were shared on Facebook about Donald Trump, only the ones that make him look like a racist and a bigot are allowed to be trending. Do you think that would have an effect on the perception of Donald Trump?

Here lies the problem for America, where do we get our honest news? Where can we get the truth?

The IRS targeted conservatives and now Facebook is doing the same thing and there will be a major backlash. This isn’t the last you’ve heard about this topic. Just don’t go on Facebook for updates, check back here.

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Considering the Obama Administration’s well-documented willingness to use the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a political weapon to intimidate, silence and bankrupt organizations and individuals who oppose the president, a proposed IRS rule to force charities, churches and nonprofits to report the Social Security numbers of donors to the IRS could dry up donations and run them out of business.

In response to the proposed rule, the Tea Party Patriots – a target of the IRS in the past – has launched a nationwide email and social media campaign encouraging supporters and conservative leaders to kill the proposed a rule before it is finalized and becomes law.

As part of an interview with The Daily Signal, Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin said:

“They don’t need to be collecting Social Security numbers. Donations to nonprofits are allowed to be kept confidential.”

“Having gone through the [IRS] targeting [of conservative groups] because our name is Tea Party Patriots, I’m very sensitive to anything that expands the IRS’ reach into nonprofits and who their donors are.”

The goal of the campaign is to urge citizens to post comments against the proposed rule to the public record – a comment period that ends on December 16 leaving the Tea Party Patriots and every other charity, church or non-profit organization covered under the proposed rule virtually no time to register their objections.

In addition to the “comment campaign” Tea Party Patriots also be launched its own page where visitors and supporters can express their opposition to the regulation.

“We’ve seen that the IRS has successfully targeted organizations, and employees of the IRS have abused the power of the agency against people they perceive as political opponents,” Martin said.

“Having more information about who supports those organizations would give them the potential to continue the abuse of power and hurt the individuals, not just the groups. That’s the danger of it.”

In an interview with The Daily Signal, Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation cited recent revelations that the IRS leaked confidential donor information filed by conservative groups, to the news media and political opposition groups.

“Just think if they had leaked not only the names of the donors, but Social Security numbers,” von Spakovsky said. “I don’t trust the government to have that information, and there’s no reason for them to have that information.”

In the aftermath of leaks by the IRS of confidential donor information submitted by conservative groups by law, donors came under withering attack in the media and radical left groups seeking to dry up financial donations to targeted groups.

For now, the proposed IRS regulation would make it optional for nonprofits to collect the Social Security numbers of donors of more than $250. Martin fears the proposed regulation could become mandatory with a stroke of a pen affecting nonprofits with political leanings but smaller groups as well.

“Small Junior Leagues or civic organizations around the country would also wind up being affected, and not just Tea Party groups, but civic groups have to keep information secure,” Martin said.

“It adds to the bookkeeping process and would have a negative effect on organizations that are designed to help make communities better.”

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The Republican National Committee asked the IRS to audit the finances of another one of the Clinton family’s charities—and that’s not the news Hillary Clinton wants to hear.

The Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) has long been under fire in the media for shaky accounting. Earlier this year, they refused to re-file their IRS 990 tax forms, to clarify incorrect accounting.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, in his letter to the IRS, wrote:

“Given CHAI’s history of repeatedly failing to accurately report the amount of money it received from foreign governments … there is no way to tell whether there exists other undisclosed foreign government grants without the IRS conducting a full audit of CHAI’s financial records… The American people deserve to know whether the largest philanthropic arm of the Clinton Foundation continues to misreport the funds it receives from foreign governments, and whether this might lead to the potential for further conflicts of interest.”

Hillary Clinton’s scandals seem to be growing by the day. What was, initially, an investigation into her conduct during the Benghazi killings in 2012, quickly snowballed into a Nixonian web of wrongdoing.

First, the revelation that she kept confidential public records on an unsecured, private email server—and now, clear conflicts of interest between the State Department, companies with ties to the Clintons, and the Clinton family’s various charities.

The scandal is also threatening to consume more than just Hillary Clinton and her campaign.

Huma Abedin, Hillary’s longtime aide and confidant, is also under investigation. Abedin drew a salary both from the State Department where she worked under Hillary, and from Teneo, a company with ties to the Clinton Foundation and asked for key political favors during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State.

Reports of deeper investigation by the Republicans into her recent scandals are not what Hillary Clinton wants to hear—and her poll numbers are continuing to tank. It could be only a matter of time before one of her scandals dashes her presidential hopes—for good.

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The Justice Department announced on Friday that they’re closing the book on their two-year-old investigation into whether or not the IRS improperly targeted Tea Party groups in the run up to the 2010 and 2012 elections.

But their judgment is sure to cause anger: they announced there would be no charges filed. Not against Lois Lerner—the former IRS official at the center of the scandal. Not against anyone.

In a letter to Congress, obtained by CNN, Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik basically said there wasn’t enough evidence for the Department of Justice to do anything about it—despite the mountain of evidence that seemingly piled up over the last few years:

We found no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution. We also found no evidence that any official involved in the handling of tax-exempt applications or IRS leadership attempted to obstruct justice.

Based on the evidence developed in this investigation and the recommendation of experienced career prosecutors and supervising attorneys at the department, we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges.

The scandal had been colored for the extreme lengths Lerner went through to hide evidence. After first claiming that her data had been erased due to a hard drive crash, the IRS later admitted that the crash hadn’t been until months after the Justice Department had already issued a subpoena.

The data was later recovered on backup systems, after which Lerner tried to hinder the investigation by pleading her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But, as it turns out, the investigation was all for naught—Lerner’s free to enjoy her forced “retirement” from the IRS.

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In a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (note, not request) the watchdog group Judicial Watch obtained documents confirming every negative supposition surrounding the IRS in the now years-ongoing political targeting scandal. Judicial Watch’s blockbuster findings show that the IRS did indeed intentionally and repeatedly target conservative groups for negative attention from the tax agency.

The incredible revelations show that former Democratic Senator and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus, of Montana, had a personal hand in siccing the IRS attack dogs on the various conservative groups with a hostile letter, and further show the IRS used donor lists from tax exempt groups to more effectively harass conservative organizations.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, made a lengthy statement confirming the revelations.

“You have political targeting that is factual at this point,” he said. “There are no ifs, ands or buts. You had groups within the IRS who were politically targeting conservatives and impeding their First Amendment rights.”

Former House Oversight Committee Chairman and California Rep. Darrell Issa took that a step further, saying that the IRS is still targeting conservative groups. “It is clearly still a procedure,” he said in an appearance on Fox News’ America’s Newsroom. “The fact is, [IRS Commissioner John Koskinen] is a spokesperson for the president and is part of the delay and cover-up,” he continued. “This is becoming an old story, and the president … is actually trying to take back his words from 2013 when he admitted this was unreasonable targeting. [Barack Obama] He wants to talk about how there is not enough money and blame a law passed before he was born that served us well and from then until now when it was suddenly broken.”

Issa referred to an appearance by Obama earlier in the week on The Daily Show, in which the president first blamed congress for the scandal, before having the temerity to say the “real scandal around the IRS is that they have been so poorly funded that they cannot go after these folks who are deliberately avoiding tax payments.”

Obama’s statements are refuted by clear evidence. Part of the Judicial Watch revelations was that William Wilkins, appointed by Obama, personally signed off on the harassment strategy.

Chaffetz, for his part, doesn’t plan to let this end quietly. “You’re going to continue to hear more about this,” he said. “Because when the targeting became evident, the Oversight and Government Reform Committee put in place a subpoena for the documents – a small window of Lois Lerner’s e-mails. Internally, the IRS put a preservation order in place — don’t destroy or get rid of any of these documents. These documents and e-mails were in the possession of the IRS. And on March 4, 2014, they destroyed them” he said.

“Imagine if the IRS had given you a summons for you to produce documents. You had them in your possession, and then you destroyed them. What would happen to you? Do you think they would say, ‘Oh, darn it!’ No, which is why Congress has to stand up for itself. You cannot — with a duly issued subpoena and eternal preservation order in place — go out and destroy documents and say there is no consequence to that; nobody’s going to be held accountable, and nobody is at fault.

“And yet that’s essentially what we’ve heard from the President… You know this ridiculous law the president is talking about? It was passed in 1913. He makes it look as if we had passed this law. That little detail he said on the Daily Show, you’re going to see that surface. We will continue to pursue this, and I promise you – there will be news on the IRS side as early as next week. So stay tuned.”

Conservatives certainly will take that advice.

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Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that gay marriage is a fundamental human right under the Constitution, the fight over tax-exempt status for churches and religious schools that reject gay marriage as a matter of faith has begun.

And the Justices cannot say they didn’t see this coming.

After all, the Obama administration’s top lawyer said during oral arguments said that the charitable tax status of religious organizations that oppose gay marriage was “certainly going to be an issue” if the court found that gay marriage was a civil right.

Now Senate Democrats are faced with job of dealing with what they wished for and they do not know where it is safe to step.

Earlier this week, Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate, said he was unsure if he would support revoking the charitable tax status of religious schools telling The Weekly Standard that:

“There’s no question this was an historic decision, and now we’re going to go through a series of suggestions for new laws to implement it…” “I can’t predict how this will end. But from the beginning we have said that when it comes to marriage, religions can decide what their standards will be.”

When asked if religious protections would extend beyond houses of worship to religious schools that require employees to affirm their faith’s teaching about marriage, Durban said:

“Getting into a challenging area, and I don’t have a quick answer to you.” “I’ll have to think about it long and hard.”

Even Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate and is running for the Democratic presidential nomination this year, said “I don’t know if I would go there” when asked if religious institutions opposed to same-sex marriage should lose their tax status.

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) on the other hand appeared to be open to the idea of taking away the charitable tax status of some religious institutions because:

“Religious freedom allows you to deal with teaching your religious principles without interference of the government.

But when you’re dealing with rights of third parties, then the protections are afforded for you to get the privileges of your tax-exempt status.” “You have the freedom to teach, to preach the way you believe without losing your tax-exempt status, the answer is yes. If you are affecting the rights of third parties, then you’ve crossed the line.”

“Employment is subject to protections.” “I’m not sure how it applies to Christian-run schools.”

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) pushed back hard saying she strongly opposed revoking the tax-exempt status of religious schools opposed to same-sex marriage saying:

“I just think that religious organizations should not be taxed,” Baldwin told me. “The last thing we want is the government getting into looking at the principles of each particular faith and judging it. That is wrong and shouldn’t occur.”

But is Baldwin splitting hairs? Earlier this month, religious liberty advocates criticized Baldwin for saying that the First Amendment’ protection of the free exercise of religion does not protect “businesses and individuals” engaged in commerce.

That means Baldwin supports states that have fined and punished bakers, florists and other businesses owned by faithful Christians who have declined to participate in same-sex weddings. In fact, Baldwin expressly said that religious dissenters who decline to work gay weddings to the owners of “lunch counters that wouldn’t let people of color sit [there].”

Mainstream Democrats may have won on the issue of same sex marriage at the Supreme Court but opened up dozens of issues that must be addressed in implementing the consequences of the ruling leaving conservatives with plenty of targets to shoot at as the 2016 campaign unfolds.

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Hidden away in President Barack Obama’s first term legislative achievements – somewhere between ObamaCare and his $700 billion drunken sailor stimulus spending law – was the creation of a new federal agency with the nice sounding name “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau” (CFPB).

The president wanted to create the “consumer protection” agency to do what other federal agencies already do only better – protect consumers from themselves. On the surface, the CFPB says it is:

“A 21st Century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.”

We have 20th Century bureaucracies that say they do this but who’s counting.

The difference between the old and new has to do with the access the CFPB has to the personal finances of all Americans. It has access to their mortgage payments and details, credit card statements and details, auto loan payments and details – in effect anything you own and details.

The news media and politicians fret about the NSA’s domestic spying program, whether the government can scoop up meta data of all the people you call, when and for how long and the gathering face recognition, retina scans, fingerprints and other biometric data on the people by the government but not a word about government intrusion on the financial lives of all Americans.

What people don’t know and what a new polls reveals is that people recoil in anger when they learn that, under CFPB rules, the government is collecting identifiable financial data of each American that gives government bureaucrats an intimate picture of a person’s financial status at any point in time.

If the CFPB teams up with the Internal Revenue Service, ObamaCare, the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Communications Commission’s recent takeover of the Internet and the U.S. banking system and there is no part of your life that you own.

Your privacy is not just dead. It’s buried.

The poll, conducted by the U.S. Consumer Coalition (USCC), a grassroots organization that works to protect consumers’ rights to access free-market goods and services, is the first national survey about the CFPB and how Americans feel about the agency once they find out what it does.

The poll showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to see the CFPB subject to congressional oversight through the appropriations process.

“Americans have spoken loudly for the first time in this survey that they believe this agency is invading their privacy and restricting their freedom of choice in a way that makes them very uncomfortable,” said Brian Wise, Senior Advisor to the U.S. Consumer Coalition.

According to a press release, the USCC commissioned the nationwide survey of 3,225 likely voters and 3,604 adults to better understand how Americans feel about the CFPB. Key Findings of the USCC-Zogby Analytics Poll include:

• A majority (55%) of respondents believe the CFPB’s data collection program is similar or worse than the controversial NSA monitoring program.

• Only 20% of those polled believed that the CFPB should be able to collect and review Americans’ credit card statements without their knowledge.

• 78% of respondents believe the CFPB should have to seek Congressional approval for its budget like other agencies.

• Nearly 70% of those polled believe that the government should not be able to tell consumers how to spend their money or make financial decisions for their families.

• 71% agreed that it is the consumer’s responsibility to determine whether or not to take out loans and mortgages with unfavorable terms as long as they are presented clearly.

“We have a powerful agency unilaterally regulating products and industries while subjecting Americans to an unprecedented invasion of their personal financial data. And it’s clear Americans don’t like it,” said Wise.

“They clearly oppose the agency’s activities to invade their privacy, track their purchases, and efforts to tell them what products they can and cannot use.”

Continuing from the release:

“The CFPB has come under fire in recent months for proposing controversial regulations of consumer financial products without congressional approval. The CFPB instituted a program to acquire and monitor the purchases of more than 500 million credit cards of American consumers.

The CFPB has also refused to provide information to Congress on the purpose of the data collection program, or agree to allow Americans an opportunity to opt-out.”

“Consumers are increasingly against the government telling them how to spend their money and are skeptical of the claim that mountains of their personal data are needed to keep them safe – not from terrorists in this case – but from themselves and their own choices.

USCC hopes that this survey will raise awareness about a number of the questionable activities of the CFPB and serve as a catalyst for real reform to protect America’s consumers from the so-called ‘consumer protector.'”

Based on these findings, Americans are sending a clear message to Congress, the President and the bureaucracies he controls – BUTT OUT!


Guarding Republicans

Over the weekend, the New York Times was slammed for running a piece where the news outlet apparently tried to cover up the motives...