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The IRS Is Up to No Good

The IRS is abusing its authority once again by employing the help of a private law firm in its case against Microsoft.

By Peter Roff     •     USNews

If there is one federal agency that has clearly run amok during the Obama administration, it’s the United States Internal Revenue Service. From the harassment of tea party groups applying for nonprofit status to the defiance of congressional subpoenas, it’s an agency badly in need of a thorough housecleaning.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen is already under threat of impeachment by the U.S. House of Representatives. That might be a good start, but removing him won’t fix the problems any more than the ouster of his predecessor did. The problems run too deep. Congress needs to act, not just by stepping up oversight of the tax collectors but by jerking their chain and narrowing their authority.

From top to bottom the agency is engaged in a wholesale abuse of its authority – and is defying attempts to investigate what it has been doing. Groups on the right are still reportedly having their applications for tax-exempt status slow-walked through the process. Confidential data is still leaking out and the auditing process is out of control. [Read more...]

FBI Has Enough Evidence to Prosecute Hillary Clinton for Public Corruption

by John Sexton     •     Breitbart

Hillary Rodham ClintonAn investigation into possible mishandling of classified information on Hillary Clinton’s private email server has expanded to consider whether Clinton’s work as Secretary overlapped with her work for the Clinton Foundation run by her family.

Fox News‘ Catherine Herridge published the report, citing unnamed FBI sources, Monday morning. The report indicates the initial security referral looking into whether or not classified information was mishandled has expanded to look at possible public corruption involving the Clinton Foundation.

The report paints a picture of an internal struggle within the FBI over whether or not to prosecute Clinton. Herridge quotes an unnamed FBI source saying, “many previous public corruption cases have been made and successfully prosecuted with much less evidence than what is emerging in this investigation.” [Read more...]

Denying the Obvious About Islamist Terror

After another ISIS-inspired shooting, Philadelphia’s mayor joins the chorus: It’s not about religion, no sir.

 by Dorothy Rabinowitz     •     Wall Street Journal

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney at a news conference after the Jan. 8 shooting of a city police officer. Photo: Matt Rourke/Associated Press

It required only half a minute for the mayor of Philadelphia, Democrat Jim Kenney, to achieve national fame. On Friday, an already sensation-crowded day, it fell to the mayor to take part in the official pronouncements on the attempted murder of city police officer Jesse Hartnett, shot and severely wounded as he sat in his patrol car when a would-be assassin emptied his gun at him—13 shots in all.

Police Commissioner Richard Ross Jr., appointed just three days earlier, delivered the details with noteworthy eloquence: The wounded officer, bleeding heavily from three wounds, one arm useless, had gotten himself out of the car, chased the attacker and shot him.

The drama of this recital needed no amplification, but there it was anyway: Clear security video images showed the assailant in his flowing white dishdasha—a robe favored by Muslim men—running toward the patrol car, shooting, sticking his hand in the window, and racing speedily away. Pictures too of the police officer lurching out of the car to give chase. [Read more...]

Top 10 Lies in Obama’s State of the Union

by Joel B. Pollak     •     Breitbart

U.S. President Barack Obama delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in WashingtonPresident Barack Obama promised his final State of the Union address would be short. Dana Bash of CNN called it “low-energy.” One thing it was not was accurate–or honest. Here are Obama’s top ten lies, in chronological order.

1. “[W]e’ve done all this while cutting our deficits by almost three-quarters.” This is pure fiction. Obama has doubled the national debt, and it’s not because he cut the deficit. Rather, he spent staggering amounts of money in his first months in office–which he assigns, dishonestly, to the previous fiscal year, under George W. Bush. He “cut” (i.e. spent more gradually) from that spending, but only under protest, after Republicans took the House in 2010.

(Update: It is true that Obama’s 2015 budget deficit was about 25% of his 2010 deficit. But he referred to “deficits,” plural. Until last year, all of Obama’s deficits were worse than all of Bush’s deficits except for the last two.)

2. “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.” With that line, Obama took a shot at his would-be Democratic successors, as well as his Republican critics. But the truth is that despite the slow recovery–the slowest since World War II–labor force participation is the lowest it has been in decades. Wages are stagnant, household incomes still have not recovered from the recession, and young people see a bleak future. [Read more...]

In New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton throws Benghazi families under the bus

by Jazz Shaw     •     Hot Air

Hillary Clinton 2The GOP primary has probably been the best thing to happen to Hillary Clinton in years. There was a period of time during the spring and early summer of last year when it seemed as if nobody could talk about anything except Hillary’s emails and the various investigations into the horrible events at Benghazi. You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting some story about the former Secretary of State being corrupt, deceptive or just plain lying. (Ah… good times, my friends.) But then the Republican race heated up, our candidates began flinging monkey poo at each other, several parts of the western world caught fire and most of the discussions of Hillary seemed to fade into the past.

Not entirely, however. Our friend Jeff Dunetz has a great story over at his place to kick off the year and it deals with a recent Q&A that Clinton did with the editorial board of the Conway Daily Sun. In it, the editors asked her some rather pointed questions about the initial response to the Benghazi attacks and why she told one group of people one story while singing another tune entirely for others. [Read more...]

Congress must rein in rogue EPA

Washington Examiner

This week, the Government Accountability Office, a watchdog agency within the federal government, announced in a letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James Inhofe, R-Okla., that it had determined the EPA violated the law. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, proudly announced this year that 90 percent of the nearly 1 million comments on the agency’s new Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule were in favor.

“The input helped us understand the genuine concerns and interests of a wide range of stakeholders and think through options to address them,” McCarthy wrote at the time.

What she did not mention, naturally, is that agency staff had worked with environmental activists to manipulate the comments process to skew the result.

Using the Thunderclap social media app, EPA officials worked with activist leaders to spread the word to 1.8 million of their fellow travelers. The resulting social media bomb encouraged them to click through and write comments on the rule. As a result, the comment box was overwhelmed with support for the EPA’s position. [Read more...]

Hillary Says Relatives of Benghazi Heroes Are Liars

By L. Brent Bozell III     •     CNSNews.com

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a transfer of remains ceremony Sept. 14, 2012, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., marking the return to the United States of the remains of four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya. (AP Photo)

Our news media are so overwhelmingly obsequious to the Democrats that Hillary Clinton can imply the relatives of the Americans killed in Benghazi are liars on national TV, and no one in the press blinks an eye or finds it newsworthy.

ABC is about to host another one of those hide-and-seek Saturday night Democrat debates. There is something very ironic here: It was on this network where she made that outrageous statement.

Clinton lied to her former employee (and donor) George Stephanopoulos on his ABC program “This Week” on Dec. 6. In his toughest question of the day, George told his pal, “Some GOP rivals and family members of the Benghazi victims are saying you lied to them in the hearing. They point to emails that you sent the night of Benghazi attack, one to your daughter, Chelsea Clinton, saying… ‘Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an al-Qaida-like group.’” He added that she had told the Egyptian prime minister on a phone call on Sept. 12, 2012, “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film.” [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s latest lie about videos and terrorists

New York Post

Hillary Clinton at senate hearingWhen it comes to terrorists and videos, you’d think Hillary Clinton would have learned her lesson.

But her claim during Saturday’s Democratic debate that ISIS is “showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims” in order to recruit jihadists is about as accurate as her claim an online anti-Muslim video sparked the 2012 Benghazi attack.

And a number of usually pro-Hillary fact-checkers agree: The Washington Post, the Associated Press and Politifact all branded her debate claim false. [Read more...]

6 in 10 American Voters Do Not Trust Hillary Clinton

Plurality would be ‘embarrassed’ if she won 2016 election

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton 2Nearly six in 10 American voters do not trust Hillary Clinton as the former secretary of state’s private email use continues to undergo scrutiny from the FBI.

Fifty-nine percent of U.S. voters rate Clinton as not honest and trustworthy, compared with 35 percent who believe the opposite, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday.

Clinton is not trusted by nearly one-fifth of likely Democratic primary voters and 72 percent of independent voters.

The same survey also found that a plurality of American voters would be embarrassed if Hillary Clinton were elected president in 2016. Specifically, 35 percent would be embarrassed by her election, while a slightly smaller share of 33 percent would be proud. Twenty-nine percent would feel neither way if Clinton prevailed in the presidential election. [Read more...]

Watchdog: Hillary Clinton in ‘League of Her Own’ with Ethics Violations

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary clinton 5A watchdog group that has asked the federal government to investigate a number of possible ethics violations involving Hillary Clinton has named the presidential candidate the worst ethics violator of 2015.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) released its list of worst ethics violators Tuesday, placing Clinton in a “league of her own” due to ongoing ethics scandals involving the former secretary of state.

The watchdog cited a number of examples as evidence Clinton abused her government position and violated ethics rules, including a recent report that then-secretary of state Clinton gave preferential treatment to a business associate of her son-in-law in 2012. [Read more...]

State Department Can’t Find Emails For Hillary’s IT Guy

by Chuck Ross     •     The Daily Caller

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressThe State Department says it cannot find copies or backups of emails from the account of Bryan Pagliano, the State Department IT staffer who was paid by Hillary Clinton to maintain her private email server while she served as secretary of state.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley revealed the finding in a letter sent Friday to Sec. of State John Kerry which was obtained by Politico.

Grassley has considered granting immunity to Pagliano, who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination during testimony in front of the House Select Committee on Benghazi in September. [Read more...]

State Department belatedly finds 1,300 emails on Anwar Al-Awlaki

By Josh Gerstein     •     Politico

Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki (pictured in 2008) was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011. | AP Photo

The State Department has belatedly discovered about 1,300 emails relating to deceased Islamic cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki in official accounts belonging to top aides to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more than four years after a conservative group requested all such records, a new court filing reports.

At a federal court hearing in Washington last month, Justice Department attorneys assigned to the case brought by Judicial Watch told a federal judge that State‘s “executive secretariat” — the repository of records for the secretary’s office — was searched in response to the initial Freedom of Information Act request from Judicial Watch.

In the new filing Thursday evening, the lawyers representing the State Department said the records of Clinton’s former office were searched initially. The filing (posted here) is vague about whether any responsive records were found at that time. However, it says a batch of emails about Al-Awlaki — who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011 — turned up only during the follow-up search. [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton’s million little lies

Hillary Clinton’s latest “little” lie? Apparently, she’d like you to believe that she tried to join the Marines in 1975.

By Michael Walsh     •     New York Post

Hillary clinton 5To hear Hillary Clinton tell it, she was named for Sir Edmund Hillary, the conqueror of Mount Everest — even though she was already 6 years old when he made his famous ascent.

On a visit to war-torn Bosnia in 1996, she claimed she and her entourage landed under sniper fire and had to run “with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base” — although videos of her arrival show her waltzing serenely across the tarmac, waving to the crowd.

She blamed the 2012 attack on American diplomatic and intelligence-gathering installations in Benghazi on “a disgusting video” when she knew almost from the first moment that it was a jihadist assault that took the lives of four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya. [Read more...]

FBI chief is wild card for Clinton

By Bob Cusack and Ian Swanson     •     The Hill

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressFBI Director James Comey is the pivotal figure in the 2016 presidential race that no one is talking about.

Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama who enjoys a stellar reputation on both sides of the aisle, is investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of State.

Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic presidential nomination next year and is expected to be a tough candidate for any Republican to face in 2016.

Yet the controversy surrounding her private email account remains an Achilles’ heel. [Read more...]

Attorney General Lynch: Lois Lerner’s Criminal Actions Protected by DOJ’s ‘Prosecutorial Discretion’

by Joel Gehrke      •      National Review

United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch speaks during an announcement of the arrest of Abraxas J. ("A.J.") Discala, CEO of OmniView Capital, and six co-conspirators for fraudulent market manipulation at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, New YorkJustice Department officials used “prosecutorial discretion” to shelter former IRS official Lois Lerner from a grand jury after she was held in contempt of Congress.

“I believe that in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion, the matter was handled and was resolved,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch told the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday morning.

The administration’s invocation of prosecutorial discretion has become familiar to lawmakers through the debate over President Obama’s recent series of executive orders on immigration, and it frustrates Republicans. Lynch’s answer particularly annoyed Representative Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), who led much of the investigation into the IRS’s Tea Party targeting scandal when he was chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. [Read more...]