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Constitutional and Political Freedom

Tom Steyer Wants To Nullify The Bill Of Rights To Get Other People’s Money Out Of Politics

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by Lachlan Markay • The Federalist

Tom Steyer wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow the government to regulate religious sermons, tap the phones of the American Civil Liberties Union, seize phone record and Internet search histories on a whim, and give bureaucrats veto power over the content of The New York Times.

If that sounds like hyperbole, you need only read the text of Proposition 59, the California ballot measure Steyer endorsed last week. Billed as an attempt to roll back the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, the measure is actually far broader and more dangerous: it seeks to eliminate all constitutional rights for incorporated entities—for-profit companies, but also nonprofit groups, labor unions, charities, churches, and any other association given an official government imprimatur.

Steyer has focused of late on the ostensibly pernicious effects of money in politics as he pours more money than any other individual into federal elections. But for all of Prop 59’s focus on Citizens United, it never even mentions the separate Supreme Court case that has allowed Steyer to almost single-handedly finance one of the wealthiest political groups in the country. Continue reading


Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal

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By Josh Gerstein and Nolan D McCaskill • Politico

President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday.

The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton’s private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

The 189 pages the bureau released includes interviews with some of Clinton’s closest aides, such as Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills; senior State Department officials; and even Marcel Lazar, better known as the Romanian hacker “Guccifer.”
In an April 5, 2016 interview with the FBI, Abedin was shown an email exchange between Clinton and Obama, but the longtime Clinton aide did not recognize the name of the sender. Continue reading


Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney’s taxes. He’s still not sorry.

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by Chris Cillizza • Washington Post

One of the strangest incidents of the 2012 presidential campaign was when then-Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid accused then-Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney of having not paid any taxes over the past decade. That Reid made that allegation from the floor of the Senate made it even odder.

The problem with Reid’s allegation? It’s just not true. We know that, at least in 2011 and 2010, Romney did pay taxes. How do we know that? Because Romney released his tax returns for those years. In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes; in 2010, he paid slightly more than $3 million in taxes.

Our own Fact Checker gave Reid Four Pinocchios for his “no taxes” claim. PolitiFact gave the claim a “Pants on Fire” rating. Continue reading


CNN’s Sally Kohn: I’m Happy Free Speech Is Under Assault on Campuses

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by Tom Ciccotta • Breitbart

At a free speech symposium at the University of Missouri, CNN commentator Sally Kohn argued that pro-free speech conservatives are really just afraid of the increasing desire for multiculturalism on college campuses.
Kohn, who frequently appears as a progressive commentator on CNN, claimed at the symposium that the right, by fighting for free speech, has merely been seeking new ways to stifle calls for diversity, particularly on college campuses.

Kohn argued that pro-free speech conservatives are really just afraid of “multiculturalism.”

Kohn’s CNN colleague Kirsten Powers challenged her, arguing that “speech is not in itself dangerous.” Kohn responded that their white, upper-middle class backgrounds disqualify them from deciding if free speech is harmful. Continue reading


Speak While You Still Can

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by Peter Roff • U.S. News

The armchair constitutionalists who have lately been about the business of trying to nullify the decision of the United States Supreme Court in the Citizens United case are so full of ardor for their cause they are no longer thinking clearly.

They believe passionately to the point of distraction that money is a singularly corruptive influence on the American political process – as long as it is corporate money which, to them, means it comes from General Motors, Microsoft, Goldman-Sachs and other really big repositories of wealth.

There’s so much wrong with this thinking that there isn’t enough bandwidth available on the internet to explain the errors in one place. Suffice it to say, their passion for the subject has led them in directions that threaten the constitutional integrity of the American system. Continue reading


Koskinen’s IRS Failed to Search Five of Six Locations for Lois Lerner Emails

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by Alexander Hendrie • Americans for Tax Reform

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen will appear before the House Judiciary Committee to defend himself against impeachment charges following his role in the Lois Lerner targeting scandal.

Koskinen was appointed to lead the IRS after promising to bring transparency and openness to the embattled agency. He has failed.

The IRS failed to search five of six possible sources of electronic media for Lois Lerner’s emails, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee in July 2015.

Over the course of investigations into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal, Commissioner John Koskinen repeatedly assured Congress that he would provide all of Lois Lerner’s emails. But based on testimony from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), this did not occur. The agency’s ineptness — or corruption — resulted in 24,000 Lerner emails being lost when they were “accidently” destroyed. Continue reading


Just 9 Obama Executive Orders Cost Taxpayers $31 Billion

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by Elizabeth Harrington • Washington Free Beacon

The cost to taxpayers for just nine executive orders signed by President Barack Obama is $31 billion, according to a new report.

The American Action Forum found that Obama’s “pen and phone” strategy of going around Congress has incurred major costs for Americans for reasons including the delay of provisions in Obamacare and imposing new gun control measures. The group analyzed the most expensive executive orders and administrative action taken by the president for its analysis.

“‘I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone … I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball.’ That was President Obama in 2014 pledging to use executive action to implement his policy priorities,” writes Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute. “The American people elected Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate and President Obama responded through regulation, rather than working with Congress on legislation.” Continue reading


Clinton Foundation Donor Barred Entry Into U.S. on Terrorism Grounds

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by Natalie Johnson • Washington Free Beacon

A billionaire Clinton Foundation donor was denied entry into the United States last year for suspected links to terrorism, the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday.

Gilbert Chagoury, who contributed millions to the Clinton Foundation and gave $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009, was barred entry into the U.S. because of his connection to a Lebanese organization allied with Hezbollah, a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization.

A 2013 FBI intelligence report said Chagoury donated funds to Michel Aoun, a Lebanese Christian politician whose party has been part of a decade-long political coalition with Hezbollah. A source told the FBI that Aoun was “facilitating fundraising for Hezbollah” and had transferred Chagoury’s donation to the terrorist group. Continue reading


Congress Moves to Block Obama Admin’s ‘Ransom Payments’ to Iran

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by Adam Kredo • Washington Free Beacon

Congress is set to consider new legislation that would block the Obama administration from awarding Iran billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars in what many describe as a ransom payment, according to a copy of the legislation obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) will introduce on Tuesday new legislation that would prohibit the Obama administration from moving forward with all payments to Iran, according to the bill, which would also force Iran to return billions of dollars in U.S. funds that have already been delivered to Tehran by the White House.

Rubio’s bill—a version of which is also being introduced in the House by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.)—would mandate that Iran pay American victims of terrorism some $53 billion in reparations for past attacks planned and coordinated by the Islamic Republic. Continue reading


Obama Rejects Recommendation for VA Reform

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by Morgan Chalfant • Washington Free Beacon

President Obama is disputing a recommendation to change the governance structure of the Department of Veterans Affairs network of hospitals, saying it would undermine the authority of bureaucrats overseeing the agency-run facilities.

The proposal was one of several included in the final report of the Commission on Care, an independent panel established by Congress to examine the VA’s hospital network after veterans were found to have died waiting for care as agency employees kept secret lists to conceal long appointment waits in 2014.

Obama sent a letter to Congress on Thursday reacting to the commission’s final report of recommendations, which the Washington Free Beacon first reported in July. While he agreed with the majority of the commission’s 18 recommendations, Obama expressed “concerns” about establishing a board of directors responsible for the overall governance of the VA health care system. Continue reading


Attorneys general shouldn’t outsource legal work to private firms

By Peter Roff • Washington Examiner

The office of attorney general is a role that is unrivaled in government. Its occupant possesses the power to prosecute private citizens, corporations and even governments on the public’s behalf.

It is the reason that most fair-minded attorneys general maintain a semblance of nonpartisanship, generally picking cases that serve the broadest public interest instead of giving in to the quick and easy returns that come with pursuing flashy lawsuits, pandering to powerful voting blocs or chasing big paydays.

All this has changed thanks to the pioneering efforts of a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, Cohen Milstein, and firms like it, which have been aggressively courting a pool of potential new clients among the nation’s attorneys general. Critics of the practice call this a troubling trend often encouraging the pursuit of potentially lucrative but legally dicey cases they might not otherwise touch. Continue reading


Social Security Paid Dead Government Workers $1.7 Million

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by Elizabeth Harrington • Washington Free Beacon

The Social Security Administration has paid dead federal workers $1.7 million in recent years, with the deceased receiving benefits an average of seven years after their death, according to an agency watchdog.

An audit released by the agency’s inspector general Monday revealed that the Social Security Administration had not crosschecked beneficiaries’ deaths with the Office of Personnel Management, which manages federal employees.

Missing just 35 deaths cost taxpayers $1.7 million. Continue reading


State Dept Finds 30 Clinton Emails Discussing Benghazi

by Jack Heretik • Washington Free Beacon

The State Department announced Tuesday that it has found 30 new emails from Hillary Clinton’s private server that discuss the terror attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.

With a steady stream of new Clinton emails being publicized in recent weeks, a federal judge has ordered the review and release of Clinton’s emails to be accelerated, the Washington Examiner reported.

A judge asked the agency to speed up its review of the documents in preparation for release to Judicial Watch, the conservative-leaning group that filed the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Continue reading


CNN: Clinton Told FBI She Didn’t Recall 39 Times

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by David Rutz • Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton told the FBI she didn’t “recall” 39 times according to the investigation report about her email server practices released Friday.

According to CNN correspondent Evan Perez, the response generally came to questions about “whether or not she was aware of the propriety of using her unclassified system to discuss some of these issues” and whether she’d gotten security training to use such a system to discuss sensitive programs. Continue reading


FBI Interview Catches Hillary Clinton In Multiple Lies

by Bre Payton • Washington Free Beacon

The FBI just released notes from its July 2 interview with Hillary Clinton about her use of a private, unsecured email server during her tenure as secretary of State. Their findings don’t look good for Clinton.

Days after the interview, which was not recorded, FBI director James Comey publicly held a press conference urging the Department of Justice not to press any criminal charges against Clinton, despite her “extremely careless” handling of classified information.

In the FBI report, Clinton made statements that appear to either contradict her earlier remarks about the email scandal or to be flat-out lies.

Clinton has repeatedly said she has turned over all of her work-related emails on her private server, but the FBI report stated they found 17,448 emails she failed to turn over to the Inspector General.

Several weeks after the initial New York Times story broke in March 2015, revealing the existence of Clinton’s private email server, a bunch of these emails were deleted.

Clinton told the FBI that she didn’t pay attention to the different levels of classification, and that she didn’t understand that an email containing a “(C)” meant “confidential,” but that she thought they were marked “alphabetical order.”

Her claims of ignorance — whether they’re true or not — violate an agreement she signed during her first day on the job in the State Department.

From the very beginning of her tenure as secretary of State, Clinton signed a non-disclosure agreement acknowledging that it was her responsibility to ascertain whether documents contained sensitive information. She also acknowledged the criminal penalties she would face if she disclosed government secrets.

In 2011, State Department employees reportedly received a memo sent on Clinton’s behalf warning them against using personal email accounts for official business, as it could put sensitive information at risk. She told the FBI she didn’t remember sending that memo.

Whenever she upgraded to a new device, the State Department would sometimes lose track of her old ones. On two occasions, staffers destroyed her old devices by beating it with a hammer.

Throughout her time in the State Department, Hillary Clinton went through 13 different Blackberry devices — none of which she found or turned over to the FBI.

Former secretary of State Colin Powell warned Clinton about the dangers of using a personal device, because if it came out, then all her private emails would be subject to public scrutiny — a conversation she refuses to talk about publicly.

You can read the FBI’s notes of their interview with Clinton here.

FBI Hillary Clinton Email Notes 1/2 by Justin Gren on Scribd

FBI Hillary Clinton Email Notes 2/2 by Justin Gren on Scribd