It is the the Obama administrations most deadly scandal, resulting in the deaths of two Federal agents and over 300 Mexican nationals. Operation Fast and Furious was the Justice Department’s scheme to send thousands of rifles, grenade launchers, and other weapons into the hands of Mexican drug cartels and then wait to see where they turned up. The answer is: they turned up everywhere, on the scenes of so many murders it’s nearly impossible to keep count.
Finally, a Federal Judge has ordered the Obama administration to release the info about the horrifically corrupt scheme to give guns to violent criminals on our Southern border.
from Daily Caller:
The Obama administration lost a crucial legal battle on July 18 when a federal court ordered the White House to release previously withheld information on Operation Fast and Furious to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
According to a press released issued Thursday, the court case stems from a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (that originally began as a FOIA request) filed by Judicial Watch in 2012 to obtain all documents that the president has withheld from Congress under claims of executive privilege.
The decision, issued by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, would require the Department of Justice to turn over a “Vaughn Index” to Judicial Watch for the documents the group requested.
A Vaughn Index, according to the Office of Government Information Services, must: “1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.”
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia’s decision comes after a 16-month delay on the lawsuit due to a request by the Department of Justice for an almost indefinite hold on the case. The DOJ claimed that Judicial Watch’s FOIA lawsuit interferes with its legal case with the House Oversight committee over the same documents relating to the botched Fast and Furious operation.
It’s a mockery that the Justice Department’s excuse for not complying with the FOIA request was that it would interfere with the House Oversight Committee’s investigation. The Justice Department has stonewalled the Oversight Committee at every turn. This is the kind of redacted documents the House investigators have received:
Israel has agreed to a 72 hour cease fire with Hamas. Hamas continued firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel until mere minutes before the cease fire officially went into effect.
from Arutz Sheva:
Hamas fired a salvo of rockets at the south just before 7:00 am Friday; two rockets hit open areas in S’dot HaNegev and in the Merhavim area. There are no injuries or damage.
Later, additional rockets were fired at Ashkelon and Ashdod, just after 7:30 am. Two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system over Ashdod; there are no reports of injuries or damage.
Yet another salvo was fired, just five minutes before 8:00 am, at Gaza Belt communities.
The barrages were fired just minutes before a 72-hour ceasefire was to take effect, in a UN and US-brokered deal slated to begin 8:00 am Friday.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced Friday morning that Israel has officially accepted the three-day truce.
"In accordance with the Cabinet decision, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister [Moshe Ya’alon] have accepted the US’s and UN’s proposal for a 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire, beginning from 8:00," it said, in a statement.
We’ll see if the cease fire actually holds. At this juncture, Hamas has broken every single cease fire with Israel before this one.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it seems like the global warming alarmists are getting desperate lately. I suspect it’s because, after 18 years of no global warming and with only two more years of Obama as President, they feel that they might be running out of time to enact sweeping regulatory changes and expand the role of government even more. But whatever the reason, here are a few examples of the ridiculousness:
The IMF is urging, urging governments to raise taxes in order to fight global warming. Because, you know, raising taxes solves everything.
From Reuters (Via Yahoo!):
Energy taxes in much of the world are far below what they should be to reflect the harmful environmental and health impact of fossil fuels use, the International Monetary Fund said in a new book on Thursday.
For the first time, the IMF laid out exactly what it views as appropriate taxes on coal, natural gas, gasoline and diesel in 156 countries to factor in the fuels’ overall costs, which include carbon dioxide emissions, air pollution, congestion and traffic accidents.
That’s right, folks. The climate is changing because taxes are too low. Sheesh.
California Governor Jerry Brown tries to win over conservatives by saying that climate change will lead to illegal immigration.
You know, if those crazy conservatives could just understand that global warming is what is leading to the influx of illegals, maybe they’d begin to take it seriously.
On a three-day trade mission to Mexico, California governor Jerry Brown talked most frequently about climate change and immigration, and spoke passionately about the link between the two, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“We can see how some are fearful of children walking across the border,” Brown said at the signing of a voluntary climate-change agreement with Mexico’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, according to the Journal. “What will they think when millions of people are driven north from the parched landscapes of a world degraded by intensifying climate change?”
MSNBC anchor loses it on Twitter when people pointed out the irony of Al Gore’s global warming meeting being held on a 58 degree summer day.
On Thursday, the Twitter account for Fox Nation, a blog run by Fox News, tweeted a link to a post headlined, “Climate Doesn’t Cooperate With Al Gore’s Group’s Visit to Denver EPA Hearings.”
The story, aggregated from the Washington Times, relates to a Denver visit by former Vice President Al Gore‘s “Climate Reality Project” for EPA hearings on power plant emissions.
The group showed up to hand out ice cream even though it was 58 degrees.
Weir retweeted the link, with his own comment: “Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant f—-sticks.”
If this doesn’t reek of desperation, I don’t know what does. Isn’t it classy when the anchor of a formerly great news network argues his “point” by calling his opponents dirty names? But seriously though, willfully ignorant? Really? Does he know what that means? The globe hasn’t warmed in 18 years. Who’s willfully ignorant, again?
Israel has the world’s most stringent air travel security protocols, yet the State Department has cancelled all tourist visa applications from Israel.
from Arutz Sheva:
The US embassy in Tel Aviv has cancelled tourist visa applications for Israelis, according to a statement on its official website, in a move it claims is a matter of staffing and security.
"Due to the current security situation in Tel Aviv, U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv remains open but is operating at reduced staffing until further notice, and has canceled routine visa application processing and American Citizen services," the statement says. "Emergencies involving an American citizen and visa applications will be considered on a case by case basis."
The statement surfaces in the midst of both souring US-Israel relations and an already-pressured visa crisis, which has seen the visa process for Israelis grow more and more difficult over the past year.
In April, US Secretary of State John Kerry announced an internal review into claims that hundreds of young Israelis were being barred from entering the US for political reasons.
I simply don’t buy any explanation that this move is anything but more politically motivated prodding of Israel from the Obama administration.
Note to Israelis: if you want to visit America, just fly to Mexico and cross the southern border. Nobody will turn you away.
Kudos to everyone who has called their member of Congress this week. John Boehner’s awful border bill is dead.
Unable to secure the necessary votes to pass it, House leadership pulled the Republican border spending bill from the House floor.
After both parties debated the border bill, the chair brought the Senate Transportation bill to the floor instead of the border bill vote that was scheduled to take place at 12:45 pm.
The bill was not rescheduled before the August recess which begins later today.
Speaker John Boehner issued the following statement:
“This situation shows the intense concern within our conference – and among the American people – about the need to ensure the security of our borders and the president’s refusal to faithfully execute our laws. There are numerous steps the president can and should be taking right now, without the need for congressional action, to secure our borders and ensure these children are returned swiftly and safely to their countries. For the past month, the House has been engaged in intensive efforts to pass legislation that would compel the president to do his job and ensure it can be done as quickly and compassionately as possible. Through an inclusive process, a border bill was built by listening to members and the American people that has the support not just of a majority of the majority in the House, but most of the House Republican Conference. We will continue to work on solutions to the border crisis and other challenges facing our country.”
The Congressional switchboard was completely overloaded today for the 3rd day in a row.
As the fighting in Gaza intensifies, it is becoming increasingly clear that Israel is dealing with pure evil at their door step.
from Arutz Sheva:
New details have emerged about the booby-trapped clinic explosion that killed three IDF Maglan unit soldiers in Gaza earlier this week - Sergeant First Class Matan Gottlieb, 21, from Rishon LeZion; Sergeant First Class Omar Chai, 21, from Savion; and Sergeant First Class Guy Algranati, 20, of Tel Aviv, hy”d.
Over eighty kilograms of explosives were built into the UN-funded hospital’s walls themselves, it was cleared for publication Thursday - revealing that the clinic itself was built to mask, and perform, potential acts of terror on the IDF.
Moreover, the clinic was built over tens of terror tunnels, according to the report.
The UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) has yet to respond to the revelations, and has still not responded to the deaths of the Israeli soldiers Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket arsenals were found in a UNRWA school for the third time this month.
The regularity of bombs and missiles being found in UN facilities in Gaza makes me question whether or not the UN is an ignorant pawn or an active facilitator in Hamas’s terror against Israel and their own people.
Part of the Senate’s job as a balance of power to the Executive Branch is to oversee agencies like the CIA and make sure their actions fall in line with the Constitution and the law. Well, the CIA doesn’t like being accountable, and they hacked into the computers of Senators who were overseeing their actions.
from National Journal:
The Central Intelligence Agency improperly and covertly hacked into computers used by Senate staffers to investigate the spy agency’s Bush-era interrogation practices, according to an internal investigation.
CIA Director John Brennan has determined that employees “acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding” brokered between the CIA and its Senate overseers, according to agency spokesman Dean Boyd.
The stunning admission follows a scathing, 40-minute speech Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein gave from the Senate floor back in March, in which she accused the CIA of covertly removing key documents from her panel’s computers during its review of the government’s torture, detention and rendition policies during the Bush presidency. Feinstein lacerated the CIA and charged them with possibly violating the Constitution.
At the time, Brennan denied Feinstein’s accusations, telling NBC News reporter Andrea Mitchell that “the allegations of the CIA hacking into Senate computers … [are] beyond the scope of reason.”
But after being briefed on the inspector general’s findings, Brennan “apologized” to both Feinstein and the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, for the actions of his officers.
Oh, an apology! That’ll fix it! No, it’s time we have a thorough audit of the CIA’s and a house cleaning of its corrupt officials. Who knew this behavior was happening. Who were they in communication with? Did anybody outside of the CIA know about these actions? Was anybody at the White House aware of the situation? Where are the people responsible now?
Who else has the CIA been illegally spying on? If they’re bold enough to hack into the computers of the Senate, they clearly have no limits as to whose privacy they will violate.
Reporters in Gaza have a difficult time reporting the truth about Hamas’s disregard for civilian live. They face intense scrutiny and often put their lives in danger if they reveal how the Palestinian terror organization routinely uses human shields against Israel.
This week, the press went into a tailspin after rocket fire hit a school yard near the Al Shati refugee camp in Gaza. Naturally, most of the media bought the official story from the PLO that Israel was responsible.
Now, an Italian reporter who was in the country is revealing that he witnessed the attack, and it was Hamas’s own rockets that killed at least 10 of their own people.
from Arutz Sheva:
Verifying facts on the ground in Gaza is notoriously difficult for foreign reporters, and even for Palestinian journalists seen as aligned with the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority, as journalists are closely watched by Hamas security forces and can face interrogation and a permanent ban from Gaza for publishing material deemed unfavorable to the territory’s Islamist rulers. As such, little information has emerged on what exactly happened that day in Shati.
But returning from a stint in Gaza, and safe from what he ominously referred to as potential “Hamas retaliation”, Italian journalist Gabriele Barbati broke the media silence by tweeting the following message, confirming that Hamas terrorists rushed to cover up evidence of what was indeed errant rocket fire aimed at Israel
When is the press going to wise up and admit that a terrorist organization who hides its headquarters under a hospital and stashes its weapons in elementary schools should not be believed when it blames casualties on someone else.
President Obama channelled his inner Choom Gang yesterday. Instead of engaging his critics on the issues, he decided to whine like a spoiled prep school brat.
With just two days left until Congress goes on vacation, President Obama today urged lawmakers to get to work and “stop just hatin’ all the time.”
“We could do so much more if Congress would just come on and help out a little bit,” Obama said, chuckling. “Stop being mad all the time. … I’ve only got a couple years left. Come on, then you can be mad at the next president.”
In a rowdy, campaign-style speech before a packed house at the Uptown Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, the president slammed Republicans for wasting time on a “political stunt.”
Why is he still campaigning? Because he doesn’t know how to govern by the consent of others.
Please forgive me for caring about lawless, corruption in the Executive Branch leads to hundreds of lives lost (See VA scandal, Fast and Furious, Benghazi), political enemies punished (See IRS scandal, AP scandal, Whistleblowers) , and liberties tramped (see Obamacare, Operation Choke Point, EPA).
Obama’s critics aren’t “just hatin.’” We just care about our country.
The Obamacare online Health Insurance Exchange is officially the most expensive website ever created…by a long shot.
from National Journal:
The Obama administration has spent roughly $840 million on HealthCare.gov, including more than $150 million just in cost overruns for the version that failed so badly when it launched last year.
The Government Accountability Office says cost overruns went hand-in-hand with the management failures that led to the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov and the 36 state insurance exchanges it serves.
GAO’s report, prepared for a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Thursday, details a long series of management, oversight, and contracting problems that plagued the entire process, from risky contracting practices in 2011 through the botched launch last October.
A massive repair effort got the site stabilized by January, and despite the early failures, the administration ended up exceeding its enrollment target for this year. More than 8 million people chose plans through Obamacare, including the 36 states whose marketplaces run through HealthCare.gov.
All the same, GAO says, similar problems could arise again without structural changes in the way the government manages its contracts and spending.
Next time the Feds need a website built, they should come to me. I promise to build a website that works at least as well as Healthcare.gov for….oh say….HALF the price!
Just when I thought my opinion of Lois Lerner couldn’t get any worse, we recover one of her emails. Released today by the House Ways and Means Committee, the email makes it clear that Lois Lerner despises Conservatives.
from House Ways and Means:
Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) sent additional evidence to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the April 9, 2014 criminal referral letter which laid out evidence of possible criminal wrongdoing by former IRS employee Lois Lerner uncovered through the Committee’s investigation.
In releasing the letter, Camp stated, “Despite the serious investigation and evidence this Committee has undertaken into the IRS’s targeting of individuals for their beliefs, there is no indication that DOJ is taking this matter seriously. In light of this new information, I hope DOJ will aggressively pursue this case and finally appoint a special counsel, so the full truth can be revealed and justice is served.”
In the letter to DOJ, Chairman Camp revealed:
Lerner had a bias against conservatives:
A newly discovered email exchange from Ms. Lerner’s official IRS email account, dated November 9, 2012, directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as “—-holes.” Lerner further illustrates her disgust with conservatives, even suggesting they will ruin the country. In her email, Lerner states: “So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists. (sic) It’s our own crazies that will take us down.” This email shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives.
Lerner used her personal email for official business, including taxpayer information:
The Committee also found that Lerner used her personal email for official business, including confidential return information. The Committee believed that further investigation, using resources available to the Department of Justice, could reveal whether there was unauthorized disclosure of taxpayer information in violation of the law. A newly discovered email from February 22, 2012 shows an exchange between Ms. Lerner and an IRS IT professional regarding a “Virus on Home PC.” In the exchange, Ms. Lerner indicates that she kept work information on her home computer, some of which may have been lost. She further states that her computer may have been “simply hacked because my password was too simple.” This exchange further raises concerns that taxpayer information may have been leaked.
Here’s sample of the emails:
And here’s a link to the entire batch of emails released today. They go on to show what a smug elitist she really is.
There are so many layers of government corruption here, I don’t even know where to start. It’s straight up evil.
Let’s start with this from Bloomberg:
Health-care insurance premiums for individuals in California rose between 22 percent and 88 percent in 2014 from last year, even after the federal health-care overhaul, the state’s insurance commissioner said.
The rate increases, with variation for geography and age, were masked by federal subsidies that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act provides to 88 percent of the 1.4 million Californians who purchased health care through the state’s exchange, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said.
Let’s take a second to laugh at the words “…even after the federal healthcare overhaul.” Any honest person with a brain knows that rates skyrocketed precisely because of the overhaul, not in spite of it. But I digress.
Because of new taxes and regulations, there’s no way for insurance companies to keep costs down (this was part of the plan from the beginning). The California Insurance Commissioner has apparently noticed the massive rate increase and really wants to do something about it. What’s the solution is he in favor of, you ask? Repealing Obamacare? Allowing the free market to bring costs down by encouraging competition? Lowering taxes and removing harmful regulations? Tort reform? Nope. None of those. That’s crazy talk. He’s in favor of what any good socialist Democrat would be in favor of: Price controls.
Why is a partisan California Democrat making a ‘statement against interest’ by sounding the alarm over soaring Obamacare premiums? In order to arrogate more price-control power for himself, of course. He wants voters to approve a ballot measure that would hand the government — and him, specifically — the power to reject proposed rate increases deemed to be ‘excessive.’ Insurers oppose the measure, which they (understandably) argue would not solve the problem of higher costs — not to mention the significant risk of providers pulling out of the market. Nevertheless, state health commissioner Dave Jones’ statistics paint a picture of steep 2014 premium hikes in California.
This is absolutely infuriating. Government, which was the main reason that prices were high to begin with, “fixes” the problem by adding an unprecedented amount of government. Then when prices predictably and necessarily go up as a result, the solution embraced by the left is, you guessed it, more government. It never stops.