Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hillary's incompetency

Earlier this week, strategist Karl Rove attacked Clinton's health, suggesting she suffered traumatic brain injury from a 2012 fall.

Her husband, former president Bill Clinton, insisted she works out regularly and is in "better shape" than him. And while he said there was nothing to Rove's charge, the ex-president acknowledged a candidate's health is fair game in national campaigns. 

In addition, Clinton has been under attack for her handling of the 2012 terror attacks in Benghazi, Libya and on her record on the terrorist organization Boko Haram, which kidnapped nearly 300 Nigerian teenaged girls from their school and threatening to sell them.

The State Department, under Clinton, refused to designate Boko Haram — which is affiliated with al-Qaida — as a terror organization. That designation was not made until last November, well after Clinton had resigned as secretary of state.

Clinton's age has also come under fire. She will turn 69 years old two weeks before the 2016 election. Late President Ronald Reagan, in comparison, was eight months older than that when he ran for office in 1980.

The former first lady's history will be an issue should she decide to run, said Priebus Sunday.

"I think Hillary is a known product," he said. "Actually, I think it's sometimes worse running against a blank slate. Hillary has decades of history for us to explore."

Priebus said her role in "Hillarycare," her push for health insurance reform while she was still first lady, will be brought up, as will her experience as a New York senator, "where there's nothing significant to point to." 

Further, Priebus said, Clinton's experience as secretary of state "is just not significant, but there's all kinds of problems with her."

And when she was asked questions about Benghazi and her response was "what difference does it make," Priebus said, "I assure you it will be an issue if she decides to run."

But Priebus said that despite calls for Rove to apologize for his comments, that will be "up to Karl Rove. He's a political operative."

But he thinks health and age is "fair game."

"It was fair game for Ronald Reagan. It's fair game with John McCain," said Priebus, noting that people attacked the Arizona Republican, saying he was "maybe psychologically not fit because he was a prisoner of war." 

But he's not sure there is "a graceful way to bring up age, health, and fitness for a candidate that wants to be president of the United States. I think the more important issue for me as leader of this party is what's the record of Hillary Clinton? What was her record as a secretary of state, Benghazi, Boko Haram, Syria. Those are the issues." 

Priebus, meanwhile, refused to speculate on Rove's claims.

"I'm not a doctor," Priebus said. "What I do know is the issue will come up as it does for any person running for president. What I think is going to make her rethink whether she should actually run for president... She's coming out with a book called "Hard Choices" or something like that. She's made a series of bad choices."

He also accused Clinton of trying to sweep Benghazi under the rug.

"If you want any evidence ask the families of people who lost their sons in Benghazi," he said. "They've talked plenty about what happened in Benghazi." 

Friday, May 16, 2014

IRS scandal deepens

Posted: 14 May 2014 09:59 PM PDT
(Paul Mirengoff)
New documents obtained by Judicial Watch demonstrate conclusively that the IRS policy of targeting tea party and conservative groups came directly from Washington D.C., not a rogue office in Cincinnati. They also show that Sen. Carl Levin was working with the IRS to make sure tea party and conservative groups were targeted for harassment.
As to the first point, a July 2012 email from IRS Attorney Steven Grodnitzky confirms that tea party group applications for exempt status were being handled in Washington. Grodnitzky wrote:
[We are] working the Tea party applications in coordination with Cincy. We are developing a few applications here in DC and providing copies of our development letters with the agent to use as examples in the development of their cases.
Chip Hull [another lawyer in IRS headquarters] is working these cases. . .and working with the agent in Cincy, so any communication should include him as well. Because the Tea party applications are the subject of an SCR [Sensitive Case Report], we cannot resolve any of the cases without coordinating with Rob.
“Rob” is believed to be Rob Choi, then-Director of Rulings and Agreements in IRS’s Washington, DC, headquarters.
Furthermore, a new email from Lois Lerner confirms that BOLO lists (“be on the look out”) were created specifically for tea party and other groups that focused on issues related to government spending, debt, taxes and “how the country is being run.” On April 2, 2012, Lerner explained:
Because the BOLO only contained a brief reference to “Organizations involved with the Tea Party movement applying for exemption under 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4)” in June 2011, the EO Determinations manager asked the manager of the screening group, John Shafer [IRS Cincinnati field office manager], what criteria were being used to label cases as “tea party ” cases. (“Do the applications specify/state ‘ tea party’? If not, how do we know applicant is involved with the tea party movement?”)
The screening group manager asked his employees how they were applying the BOLO’s short–hand reference to “tea party.” His employees responded that they were including organizations meeting any of the following criteria as falling within the BOLO’s reference to “tea party” organizations: “1. ‘Tea Party’, ‘Patriots’ or ’9/12 Project’ is referenced in the case file. 2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes. 3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live. 4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run. . . ”
So, we believe we have provided information that shows that no one in EO “developed” the criteria. Rather, staff used their own interpretations of the brief reference to “organizations involved with the Tea Party movement,” which was what was on the BOLO list.
Just to be safe, the IRS put red and orange alert symbols on tea party issues for heightened awareness.
As to Levin’s involvement, the documents newly obtained by Judicial Watch show the IRS responding to a stream of “intense” requests from Democrat Senator Carl Levin to come down on conservative tax exempt groups. Levin communicated director with then-Deputy IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.
Naturally, Levin was particularly concerned about groups working against his reelection campaign. Miller assured the Senator that IRS regulations were flexible enough to allow IRS agents to “prepare individualized questions and requests” for select 501(c)(4) organizations. On June 4, 2012, for example, Miller told Levin:
There is no standard questionnaire used to obtain information about political activities. Although there is a template development letter that describes the general information on the case development process, the letter does not specify the information to be requested from any particular organization … Consequently, revenue agents prepare individualized questions and requests for documents relevant to the application. . .
In other words, the IRS can pretty much do what it wants when it comes to picking which political action groups to subject to additional scrutiny and how much scrutiny to apply.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton concludes:
These new documents show that officials in the IRS headquarters were responsible for the illegal delays of Tea Party applications. It is disturbing to see Lois Lerner mislead the IRS’ internal investigators about her office’s Tea Party targeting.
These documents also confirm the unprecedented pressure from congressional Democrats to go after President Obama’s political opponents. The IRS scandal has now ensnared Congress.