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Hey, Sen. Schumer: How about answering questions about the Iran deal?

By Post Editorial Board     •     The New York Post

Where’s Chuck?

On Monday, The Post sent Sen. Chuck Schumer 10 key questions to gauge his stand on the nuclear deal with Iran. On Tuesday, a Post reporter asked him in person for his view.

“I’m studying [the issue],” snapped New York’s senior senator.

Studying the issue? Please.

There’s nothing to study: Just nix the deal, Chuck.

We’d asked Schumer — among other things — if he had any input into the agreement, what he thought of its 24-day advance notice for inspections and whether the deal raises new concerns for Israel.

As the Democrats’ presumptive next Senate leader, Schumer’s view is key — because it could influence others in his party in any move by Congress to scuttle the deal. [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s former spokesman turns over 20 boxes of emails

by Rachael Bade     •     Politico

Hillary Rodham ClintonLong-time Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines handed the State Department 20 boxes of work-related emails taken in part from a personal email account, State officials said Wednesday, calling into question the extent to which top aides to the former secretary of state also engaged in controversial email practices.

State Department top document official John Hackett, who heads Freedom of Information Act requests for the agency, told a federal judge in a court hearing Wednesday that Reines was among several officials asked to turn over any any work-related documents in his possession.
Story Continued Below

He handed over 20 boxes last night, according to a separate State lawyer present at the hearing. The hearing involved a lawsuit filed by the Associated Press that charges the agency with failing to respond to FOIA requests. [Read more...]

If Wind Energy Is “Strong” Why Does It Need Subsidies?

American Energy Alliance

Wind Energy Subsidies Green EnergyLast week, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) released its second quarter 2015 U.S. wind energy market report. In a press release, AWEA CEO Tom Kiernan hails the report as indicative of a vibrant wind energy industry: “With a near-record amount of wind capacity under construction, this looks to be a strong year for American wind power.” However, Kiernan quickly changes tone, stating that “…to create longer term stability for the industry the full Senate and the House of Representatives must move quickly to extend the PTC,” or wind Production Tax Credit.

If the wind industry is “strong,” then why does it need subsidies for “stability”? This doublespeak is a favorite tactic of AWEA, who continues to boast about how vibrant the wind industry is while also lobbying for more subsidies that they supposedly need to survive. AWEA and wind advocates can’t have it both ways: if they expect Americans to believe their claims that wind energy is booming, then the industry should give up the PTC and stand on its own two feet. [Read more...]

Three Sentences That Explain the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal

by Andrew Stiles     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton 1Hillary Clinton is awkwardly defending herself again after an intelligence community inspector general determined that she sent classified information over her private email account. Here are three sentences that explain everything you ever wanted to know, but were afraid to ask:

1. “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”
— Hillary Clinton (March 10, 2015) in a press conference shortly after her private email account was revealed [Read more...]

IRS Used Donor Lists to Target Conservatives for Audits

Also warned Chamber of Commerce may come under ’high scrutiny‘

by Ali Meyer     •     Washington Free Beacon

irs-targets-conservativesA request made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by the investigative group Judicial Watch reveals that the Internal Revenue Service used donor lists of tax-exempt organizations to target them for audits.

“The IRS produced the records in a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking documents about selection of individuals for audit-based application information on donor lists submitted by Tea Party and other 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations,” the group states. In addition, IRS officials warned that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may come under “high scrutiny” by the IRS.

“These documents that we had to force out of the IRS prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech,” said Tom Fitton, the group’s president. “And the snarky comments about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the obsession with Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPD show that the IRS was targeting critics of the Obama administration.” [Read more...]

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...]

The Not So 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...]

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...]

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...]

Our hero: Hillary Clinton, the last truth bender

by John Kass     •     Chicago Tribune

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressWhat is the best lie that Hillary Clinton has ever told?

Can you pick just one?

She’s the inevitable Democratic presidential candidate even though 60 percent of Americans consider her a liar. So her pants suits are always on fire, and only a Hillary Meat Puppet would say otherwise.

Yet rather than criticize her — like those other men who just don’t get it — I’d like to celebrate her amazing truth-bending superpowers.

We’ve had males in high office who were great liars, like her husband. So why can’t we have an awesome female liar, say a shrewd Mistress of Big Fat Whoppers? [Read more...]