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White House refuses to remove IRS chief

by Sarah Westwood     •     Washington Examiner

President Obama has no intention of removing the embattled head of the Internal Revenue Service, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.

“Commissioner [John] Koskinen is a man of the highest integrity with a steadfast commitment to public service during difficult times,” said Eric Schultz, deputy White House press secretary. “His decades of experience turning around both public and private institutions continue to make him the right person to lead this agency.”

The White House’s defense of Koskinen came two days after Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee publicly called for Koskinen’s removal. [Read more...]

The newest Obamacare fail: penalties of $36,500 per worker

The Internal Revenue Service swoops in with a money grab

by Diana Furchtgott-Roth     •     MarketWatch

ObamaCare IRSHey, employers, don’t even think about reimbursing your workers’ health-insurance premiums.

Beginning this month, the IRS can levy fines amounting to $100 per worker per day or $36,500 per worker per year, with a maximum of $500,000 per firm.

This Internal Revenue Service penalty is not written into the Obamacare law. The amount is over 12 times the statutory amount in the Affordable Care Act of $3,000 per worker per year. That is what an employer is charged when one of its employees gets subsidized care on one of the health-care exchanges. It’s 18 times the $2,000 penalty for not offering adequate health insurance.

The $100 fine is applicable not only to large firms, but also those with fewer than 50 workers that are exempt from the $2,000 and $3,000 employer penalties. Firms with one worker are exempt. The penalty for S-corporations will take effect on Jan. 1, 2016. The new rule is broad, sweeping and overly punitive. [Read more...]

U.S. Will Teach Iran to Thwart Nuke Threats

Iran: ‘All our goals materialized’ under deal

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

The United States and other world powers will help to teach Iran how to thwart and detect threats to its nuclear program, according to the parameters of a deal reached Tuesday to rein in Iran’s contested nuclear program.

Under the terms of a deal that provides Iran billions of dollars in sanctions relief, Iran and global powers will cooperate to help teach Iran how to manage its nuclear infrastructure, which will largely remain in tact under the deal.

Senior Iranian officials, including the country’s president, celebrated the deal as a victory for the country. Iran’s state controlled media quoted President Hassan Rouhani as saying that the deal will “remove all sanctions while maintaining [Tehran’s] nuclear program and nuclear progress.” [Read more...]

The Bold Leadership of Hillary Clinton

by Andrew Stiles     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressMost people who run for president lay out a clear agenda that reflects their party’s values, and take firm positions on important policy issues. Hillary Clinton does not. She equivocates. In some cases, she refuses to take a position altogether, especially when her actual stance on a given issue is at odds with liberal voters. Here’s where Hillary stands on several key issues:

Trans-Pacific Partnership
Position: [Indecipherable]

Many Democrats, including influential lawmakers such as Elizabeth Warren, oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement negotiated by the Obama administration. However, Hillary Clinton is on the record as Secretary of State repeatedly praising the TPP as the “gold standard” of trade agreements. That’s awkward, because it’s obvious how she really feels, but she doesn’t want to annoy too many liberals, so she has yet to take a coherent position during the campaign, which places her to the right of Donald Trump on the issue. [Read more...]

Standing Up to the Politics of Hatred

by Dr. Miklos K. RadvanyiUAE United Arab Emirates

One of the most important lessons of mankind’s history is that neither individuals nor societies can better themselves unless they are governed by good intentions, a tireless quest for stability, and a true desire for internal and external harmony. Conversely, individuals and societies nourished and sustained by hatred are fated to self-destroy and to pose real existential threat to human civilization.

The origin of infinite religious, ethnic and existential hatred that has coalesced into totalitarian political ambition by a significant minority in the World of Islam can be found in (i) the discombobulated mixture of perceived victimhood; (ii) hyperbolic belief in the victim’s moral superiority; (iii) utopian vision of an uninterrupted progression toward the absolute, God-like state of the individual and society; and (iv) an utterly ridiculous conviction that perfection can come from the pursuit of radical evil. The tragedy of this politics of hatred is that while it elevates individual and societal purity to supreme objective, it accomplishes the exact opposite, because it corrupts the processes upon which the normal progress of humanity depends. [Read more...]

IRS Concealed Internal Communications By Using Instant-Messaging System

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Lois Lerner IRSInternal Revenue Service (IRS) officials–including ex-director of exempt organizations Lois Lerner–used an instant-messaging system in a seemingly deliberate effort to prevent their communications from being archived.

Americans for Tax Reform observed that new documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform demonstrate that IRS officials used an instant messaging system called the “Office Communication Server,” denoted OCS, that did not archive their communications.

Moreover, in an email obtained by the House committee, Lerner wrote to her IRS colleagues of the need to be “cautious about what we say in emails,” as the agency had on “several occasions” been asked by Congress to provide select emails or submit to “electronic search for responsive emails.” [Read more...]

President Punts on IRS

by Boston Herald editorial staff     •     Boston Herald

Not Smidgen Obama IRSBecause there’s a looser vibe on late-night talk shows perhaps President Obama felt free to play looser than usual with the facts. But his characterization of the IRS scandal during an appearance on Jon Stewart’s show this week isn’t as easily laughed away as it may have been by the audience.

Yes, the president tried to rewrite a bit of embarrassing history, chalking up the IRS targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status as the simple fallout from a “crummy” law enacted by Congress.

“When there was that problem with the IRS, everyone jumped … saying, ‘Look, you’ve got this back office, and they’re going after the Tea Party’ ” Obama told Stewart. “Well, it turned out, no, Congress had passed a crummy law that didn’t give people guidance in terms of what it was they were trying to do. They did it poorly and stupidly.” [Read more...]

The Wisconsin Targets Tell Their Story

After victory in court, conservative activists talk on the record for the first time about their 21-month ordeal.

IRS Gangsterby Collin Levy

The John Doe investigation of Wisconsin conservatives collapsed last week with a powerful decision from the Wisconsin Supreme Court that called state prosecutors’ theory of campaign-finance law “unconstitutional” and “unsupported in either reason or law.” But the legal exoneration shouldn’t pass without noting the hardship the secret probe imposed on its targets and on political debate in Wisconsin.

For the past few days, I’ve been talking to the targets of the task force of Milwaukee Democratic prosecutors, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board and Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz. Their experiences, on the record here for the first time, reveal the nasty political sweep of an investigation that invaded privacy with surveillance of email accounts, raided homes with armed law enforcement, and swarmed individuals with subpoenas demanding tens of thousands of documents while insisting on secrecy.

One target did speak up in public in real time— Eric O’Keefe, who went on the record in limited ways with me not long after he was subpoenaed in October 2013 as part of the prosecutors’ investigation of conservative speech during the Wisconsin recall elections. The director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth knew that violating the gag order put him at personal risk, but he told me then that he had to fight because it was an assault on basic constitutional freedoms and “we have done nothing illegal.” A Journal editorial exposed the extent and dubious legal basis of the Doe investigation for the first time. [Read more...]

Iran Vows to Buy Weapons Anytime, Anywhere

Senior Iranian official says no restrictions on import, export of weapons

by Adam Kredo     •     Washington Free Beacon

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister.

A senior Iranian official who led the negotiations with world powers that led to the recent nuclear deal said that the Islamic Republic will continue to import and export arms freely across the globe without restriction, according to recent comments flagged by the CIA’s Open Source Center.

Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, said that he insisted during the negotiations that Iran be able to purchase and ship military hardware at any time and from any place, according to the comments made on state-controlled television.

Araghchi vowed “to buy weapons from wherever possible, and [said that Iran] is to provide weapons to whomever and whenever it considers appropriate,” according to a translation of his comments made by the Open Source Center. [Read more...]

Why Liberals Hate Uber

By Rich Lowry     •     RealClearPolitics

Grandmothers may know best, as Hillary Clinton has put it in tweets, but judging by her latest economic speech, they don’t necessarily get or like Uber.

The ride-sharing service is synonymous with the new efficiency and convenience enabled by information technology, and is anathema to regulators and entrenched interests everywhere. Add to the list of its critics the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

Hillary Clinton didn’t mention Uber by name but warned about the disruption caused by it and other companies in the so-called sharing economy. Her husband wanted to build a bridge to the 21st century; Hillary worries about the downsides of “advances in technology and expanding global trade.” [Read more...]

President Is Dead Wrong About Climate Change: Nobel Prize Winning Scientist

by Royce Christyn     •     YourNewsWire.com

70 Nobel Science Laureates in 2008 stood up to endorse Barack Obama for President – and now Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Ivar Giaever is saying The President is dead wrong about climate change.

According to a recent article in The Daily Caller [1]:

“I would say that basically global warming is a non-problem,” Giaever, who won the Nobel for physics in 1973, told an audience at the Lindau Nobel Laureate meeting earlier this month [2].

Giaever ridiculed Obama for stating that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change.” The physicist called it a “ridiculous statement” and that Obama “gets bad advice” when it comes to global warming. [Read more...]

Government too big to get basics right

by Carly Fiorina     •     USAToday

big governmentWe knew hack of security clearance records was coming, but we did too little to stop it.

Last week, we learned that that 1 in 15 Americans was personally affected by the federal Office of Personnel Management’s egregious failure to protect our most personal information. It is now clear that their security breach compromised the personal information of every U.S. citizen who has undergone a government background check in the last 15 years. That is nearly 22 million people — more than the population of the state of New York and nearly 7% of the entire U.S. population.

Social Security numbers, health information, fingerprint records and information about family or foreign contacts were compromised. This breach violated not only our right to privacy – but also the very safety and security of our nation. [Read more...]

1938 and 2015: Only the Names are Different

By Dennis Prager     •     RealClearPolitics

We say that evil is dark. But this metaphor is imprecise. Evil is actually intensely bright, so painfully bright that people look away from it. Many even deny its existence.

Why? Because once people acknowledge evil’s existence, they know they have to confront it. And most people prefer not to confront evil.

That is what led to World War II. Many in the West denied the darkness of Nazism. They looked the other way when that evil could have been stopped and then appeased it as it became stronger.

We are reliving 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich to negotiate with Adolf Hitler. He left believing Hitler’s promises of peace in exchange for Germany being allowed to annex large parts of Czechoslovakia. Upon returning to England, Chamberlain announced, “Peace for our time.” [Read more...]

Iran: ‘We Will Trample Upon America’

Friday prayers take anti-American turn

by Adam Kredo     •     Free Beacon

A senior Iranian cleric delivered Friday prayers in Tehran while standing behind a podium that declared, “We Will Trample Upon America,” according to photos released by Iran’s state-controlled media.

Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani, who was handpicked by the Islamic Republic’s supreme leader to deliver the prayers, delivered a message of hostility toward the United States in the first official remarks since a final nuclear deal was signed between Iran and world powers in Vienna last week.

A Persian-language message on the podium declared, “We will trample upon America” while the English phrase “We Defeat the United States” can be seen underneath. [Read more...]

Obama’s False Iran Choice

There was a better alternative to his deal. He never pursued it.

Wall Street Journal

obama_31The debate is raging over President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, and Mr. Obama held a rare press conference Wednesday to say that “99% of the world community” agrees with him. Then why bother with a press conference? Mr. Obama made other claims we’ll address in coming days, but for today it’s worth rebutting his assertion that “none” of his critics “have presented to me or the American people a better alternative.”

Specifically, Mr. Obama resorted to his familiar default of the false political choice. “There really are only two alternatives here. Either the issue of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon is resolved diplomatically through a negotiation or it’s resolved through force, through war. Those are—those are the options,” Mr. Obama said. He added that no better deal was or is possible than the one he has negotiated.

Mr. Obama knows there has always been an alternative to his diplomacy of concessions because many critics have suggested it. It’s called coercive diplomacy, and it might have worked to get a better deal if Mr. Obama had tried it. [Read more...]