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Obama Hid North Korea Rocket Component Transfer to Iran

By Ari Yashar     •     Israel National News

US intelligence officials revealed that during the ongoing Iran nuclear negotiations, North Korea has provided several shipments of advanced missile components to the Islamic regime in violation of UN sanctions – and the US hid the violations from the UN.

The officials, who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon on Wednesday on condition of anonymity, said more than two shipments of missile parts since last September have been monitored by the US going from North Korea to Iran.

One official detailed that the components included large diameter engines, which could be used to build a long-range missile system, potentially capable of bearing a nuclear warhead. [Read more...]

Sidelining Menendez

by Post Editorial Board     •     New York Post

It’s telling that the federal bribery indictment of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez landed the same day the Justice Department announced it won’t prosecute IRS serial stonewaller Lois Lerner for contempt.

The net message isn’t subtle: Hold President Obama’s feet to the fire, as Menendez has done on Iran, and you’ll pay a price.

Keep quiet when it comes to implicating the White House, and Justice will play hands-off. [Read more...]

The IRS Scandal: No justice from the Justice Department

By Jay Sekulow     •     Fox News

IRS Scandal UpdateI have said it before — the Obama administration’s Internal Revenue Service is institutionally incapable of self-correction.

And, now it is even clearer that the Obama administration’s Department of Justice is incapable of holding accountable those responsible for a massive illegal targeting scheme. Even worse, its own involvement in the scandal not only means that it can’t properly investigate the IRS, it should instead be investigated for cooperating with the IRS in its campaign of censorship and oppression. [Read more...]

Making the Lois Lerner Problem Disappear

U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen decides not to send her contempt citation to a federal grand jury.

by Hans A. Von Spakovsky     •     National Review

Lois Lerner IRSOn March 31, Ronald Machen, the outgoing U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, wrote Speaker John Boehner to inform him that the Justice Department would not present Lois Lerner’s contempt citation to a federal grand jury.

The letter explaining his decision is an exercise in misdirection — the kind of misdirection that magicians use to fool an audience. Why? Because at no point in his detailed, seven-page legal analysis does Machen mention the most important point demonstrating that Lois Lerner did, in fact, waive her Fifth Amendment right.

Lois Lerner made two abbreviated appearances before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — one on May 22, 2013, the other on March 5, 2014. As Machen noted, at the May 22 hearing, Lerner gave a short statement declaring her innocence and claiming that she had “not done anything wrong,” had “not broken any laws . . . IRS rules or regulations,” and had “not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.” She then proceeded to assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refused to answer any questions. [Read more...]

The Tricks Obama Is Trying to Play with the Iran Announcement

by John Podhoretz     •     Commentary Magazine

obama profile smileIf you look at what happened today between the U.S. and Iran through the lens of domestic American politics, Barack Obama has made a very clever play here—because what might be called “the agreement of the framework of the possibility of a potential deal” gives him new leverage in his ongoing battle with the Senate to limit its ability to play a role in the most critical foreign-policy matter of the decade.

The “framework” codifies the Obama administration’s cave-ins but casts them as thrilling reductions in Iran’s capacities rather than what they are—a pie-in-the-sky effort to use inspections as the means by which the West can “manage” the speed with which Iran becomes a nuclear power.

Obama’s tone of triumph this afternoon was mixed with sharp reminders that the deal is actually not yet done—and that is entirely the point of this exercise from a domestic standpoint. the triumph signals his troops and apologists that the time has come for them to stand with him, praise the deal sheet and pretend it’s a deal, declare it historic, and generally act as though the world has been delivered from a dreadful confrontation by Obama and Kerry. [Read more...]

There’s a Not-So-Small Problem With the President’s Claim That the US is Seeing a ‘Jobs Recovery’

by Frank Camp     •     IJReview

According to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts, using data from 2000-2013, the middle class population in America has “shrunk” in all 50 states:

The states that have suffered the most recently are:

Wisconsin:
2000: 54.6% middle-class
2013: 48.9% middle-class
Total loss: 5.7%

Ohio:
2000: 50.9% middle-class
2013: 45.7%% middle-class
Total loss: 5.2%

North Dakota:
2000: 52.6% middle-class
2013: 47.5% middle-class
Total loss: 5.1%

States that have fared the best recently are:

[Read more...]

Cutting Healthcare Costs Without Harming Patients

by Peter Roff     •     The Hill

obamacare pay less for healthcareA debate has raged for more than 20 years now over the best way to bend the U.S. healthcare cost curve downward. So far, no one is winning – least of all patients and healthcare providers. And no one will as long as “bending the curve” (which is just a fancy way of saying we need to find ways to make the delivery of healthcare cheaper) remains the primary objective regardless of the impact on patient care.

Up to now the debate has focused largely on what government can proactively do to ease costs. This led to the passage by the narrowest of margins of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – which is really nothing more than a complex series of new regulations and taxes, fines and fees that have forced insurance companies, doctors, hospitals, and patients all to make changes in the way they provide and receive care as well as coverage.

People don’t like the new system very much but they weren’t exactly fans of the old one either. And no matter what the United States Supreme Court determines in the pending King vs. Burwell suit over the questionable use of tax dollars to subsidize health insurance bought through the federal exchange by people living in states that do not have exchanges of their own, things can probably only get worse. [Read more...]

At the White House, There’s Nobody Home

By Victor Davis Hanson     •     RealClearPolitics

Obama Corruption IntimidationWhat has gone wrong with the U.S. government in the past month? Just about everything, from the fundamental to the ridiculous.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the United States to warn Congress about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. He spoke without the invitation of an irritated President Obama, who claimed that he did not even watch the address on television.

Obama declined to even meet with the Israeli prime minister, announcing that it would have been improper for him to have such a meeting so close to Netanyahu’s re-election bid.

But if Obama was so concerned about not influencing the Israeli elections, why, according to some news accounts, is a Senate panel launching an investigation into whether Obama’s State Department gave grant money to a nonprofit organization, the OneVoice Movement, that sought to unseat Netanyahu with the help of several former Obama campaign operatives?

Then, 47 Republican senators signed an unusual letter to the Iranian theocracy, reminding it that any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program negotiated with the Obama administration would have to first clear Congress. [Read more...]

5 times Democrats undermined Republican presidents with foreign governments

by Philip Klein     •     The Washington Examiner

Obama Foreign Policy FailedOn Monday, 47 Republican senators led by Tom Cotton, R-Ark., released an “open letter” to Iran’s leaders noting that any deal the regime signs with President Obama without the approval of Congress could be revoked by a future president or changed by Congress. The White House went into a tizzy trying to portray the move as somehow “unprecedented” — a view that has found a friendly audience with the media.

Vice President Joe Biden claimed the letter “ignores two centuries of precedent and threatens to undermine the ability of any future American president, whether democrat or republican, to negotiate with other nations on behalf of the United States.” The New York Daily News featured an editorial blasting the letter on its front page, with photos of the senators and the bold-faced headline “TRAITORS.” A more muted NBC roundup called the move “extraordinary — if not unprecedented.” In reality, whatever one’s view of the letter, to call it “unprecedented” is to ignore history. The reality is that on many occasions, Democrats have reached out to foreign leaders to undermine the foreign policy of a sitting Republican president.

Here are just five examples. [Read more...]

Elephants Can Remember

by Peter Roff     •     The Washington Examiner

elephants_endangered species_PETAAn era of show business is about to come to an end.

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, Feld Entertainment — parent company of Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus — has announced that the 13 Asian elephants that are part of its touring units would retire, living out their lives in comfort and ease at the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida alongside more than 40 others of their kind.

Activists who have long complained that the elephants, indeed that almost all performing animals held in confinement are subjected to mistreatment, were quick to claim victory. One of them, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal’s Ingrid Newkirk, took credit for the decision on behalf of her organization while continuing to heap criticism on the circus. [Read more...]

Does Hillary email flap mean trouble ahead for White House?

by Byron York     •     The Washington Examiner

Hillary ClintonTwo statements out of the White House in recent days have added to our knowledge of the Hillary Clinton email affair. First, President Obama told CBS that he learned about Clinton’s secret email account “the same time everybody else learned it, through news reports.” Second, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters a few days ago, “I know that the secretary of state did trade emails with some White House officials.”

So: Obama didn’t know, even though White House officials exchanged emails with Clinton. Is that possible?

The answer is maybe. The first question to ask is whether the president — an active emailer — never exchanged an email message with his secretary of state. Even though email has been around since the early 1990s, neither Bill Clinton nor George W. Bush used it during their years in office. Obama changed that practice, but his email use is still reportedly limited by security concerns and a desire to keep presidential communications out of the hands of investigators. In his admiring account of Obama’s start in office, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, journalist Jonathan Alter reported how Obama became the first president to use email regularly: [Read more...]

Intellectual Property Rights are Important to Everyone

Intellectual Property - BrainOr, at least, they SHOULD be! 

Frontiers of Freedom has long been a leader in protecting property rights. Our Constitution provided for property rights for physical property and for intellectual property.  And with good reason. America became the world’s most innovative and economically powerful nation because our Founders grasped the importance of property rights and created a system that incentivized creativity, innovation and the productive use of such property.

Sadly, some foolishly think that property rights are old fashioned or that everything should be free. But these folks miss the point that if new innovations were free, we would see far fewer innovations. That would mean fewer new life sustaining medications, fewer new movies, less new music, and fewer new electronic devices and gadgets.  Imagine if someone argued that food is so important that everyone should be able to get it free and simply walk into grocery stores and restaurants and grab whatever food they want. How long would food be available? How long before grocers and restaurants close down? That’s the point. We need to incentivize the production of the things we want and need and we need to encourage innovation.

For this reason, Frontiers of Freedom was part of a group that sent the following letter to Capitol Hill hoping to highlight the importance of intellectual property rights. [Read more...]

Most Members of Congress Share Netanyahu’s View

by Michael Barone     •     The Washington Examiner

netanyahu_israelIf anyone had any doubts that most members of Congress oppose the Obama administration’s proposed nuclear deal with Iran, they can put them aside after viewing the response to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before Congress Tuesday.

Fifty-some Democratic members chose not to attend. Joe Biden arranged to be out of town, and Barack Obama let it be known that he didn’t even have time to watch on television. But the House chamber was packed, the galleries were filled and Netanyahu was interrupted multiple times not only with applause but boisterous cheers.

In negotiations with Iran, continued beyond two previously proclaimed deadlines, Obama has dropped demands that Iran disassemble centrifuges needed to produce nuclear weapons material. And he has proposed a 10-year time limit on the deal. [Read more...]

Rein in the IRS

by George F. Will      •     The Washington Post

IRS scandal_lost emails_lois lernerRep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois G. Lerner’s legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.

In 2013, Roskam, in a televised committee hearing, told the story of Al Salvi, who in 1996 was the Republican Senate candidate against the then-congressman, now senator, Dick Durbin. Democrats filed charges with the Federal Election Commission against Salvi’s campaign, charges that threatened to dominate the campaign’s final weeks. Salvi telephoned the head of the FEC’s Enforcement Division, who he says told him: “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we’ll drop this case.” That official was Lois Lerner. After Salvi lost, FBI agents visited his elderly mother, demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son’s campaign, where she got “that kind of money.” When a federal court held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the FEC’s losing lawyer was Lois Lerner. [Read more...]

Lois Lerner’s Missing Emails Are Now Subject of Criminal Probe

By Stephen Dinan     •     The Washington Post

Lois Lerner IRSThe IRS’s inspector general confirmed Thursday it is conducting a criminal investigation into how Lois G. Lerner’s emails disappeared, saying it took only two weeks for investigators to find hundreds of tapes the agency’s chief had told Congress were irretrievably destroyed.

Investigators have already scoured 744 backup tapes and gleaned 32,774 unique emails, but just two weeks ago they found an additional 424 tapes that could contain even more Lerner emails, Deputy Inspector General Timothy P. Camus told the House Oversight Committee in a rare late-night hearing meant to look into the status of the investigation.

“There is potential criminal activity,” Mr. Camus said. [Read more...]