When all else fails, blame George W. Bush for everything.
"You say it happened on his watch. It happened on the appointment of the head of the IRS, who was appointed by President Bush," Pelosi said. "His length of stay extended into President Obama’s stay, but I think that that points to the fact that, why is this a politicized issue, because we all are concerned about how the IRS does what it’s supposed to do, supports the law, but does not do it in a selective way."
Pelosi referred to a Bush appointee. That appointee is former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman. As a reminder, Shulman was appointed by Bush but has donated his money to Democrats.
Yesterday the head of tax exempt organizations at the IRS, Lois Lerner, made an opening statement before the House Oversight Committee claiming she had "done nothing wrong" and then proceeded to plead the Fifth surrounding the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Now, according to counsel and Chairman Darrell Issa, because Lerner made and opening statement before invoking her Fifth Amendment rights, she effectively waived her right to do so and will be called back before the committee to testify. Lerner is also still under subpoena.
Republican Representative Darrell Issa said on Thursday he will call Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner back to testify before his committee on the IRS-Tea Party scandal after she asserted her constitutional right not to answer questions.
"We are obligated to bring Lerner back because she did not properly take the Fifth (Amendment)," Issa said.
"She clearly chose to make her statements and then not open herself up to even any questioning as to the statement she made," said Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
According to a new Rasmussen Report, the majority of Americans believe other agencies outside of the IRS also targeted conservatives. The report also shows the majority of Americans believe the IRS targeting came from Washington and directly from the White House, not a few "low-level" employees Cincinnati.
Most voters think the Internal Revenue Service’s decision to target conservative groups was made in Washington, D.C. and that it wasn’t the only government agency going after these groups.
Just 20% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the IRS’ explanation thus far that low-level employees at its Cincinnati office made the decision to target the conservative groups. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 65% think the orders came from Washington, with 26% who think the decision was made by someone at IRS headquarters and 39% who believe someone who works at the White House made the call.
Sixty-seven percent (67%) of GOP voters think the decision to have the IRS target these conservative groups was made by someone at the White House, and a plurality (41%) of unaffiliated voters agree. Only 13% of Democrats share that assessment.
Suggesting a very high level of skepticism, 60% think it’s at least somewhat likely that other government agencies also targeted Tea Party and other conservative groups. Just 30% consider this unlikely. This includes 39% who say it’s Very Likely other government agencies were involved and only nine percent (9%) who feel it’s Not At All Likely.
Perhaps most stunning is the fact that 37% of Democrats think it likely that other agencies were used to target conservative groups.
In terms of conservatives being targeted by federal agencies, we already have evidence of that with True the Vote's experience.
The group received an unprecedented level of scrutiny from the IRS since its original application for 501(c3) status was filed in 2010. The IRS sent rounds of questions over several years that went as far as demanding to see each and every tweet Engelbrecht had ever sent out and each and every speech she had ever given.
The IRS did not stop there. They demanded to know who had spoken at the group and to see each and every speech the speakers had given. They demanded to know the identities of all members of the group and who had attended their meetings. The list of probing and outlandish questions was exhaustive.
Soon, the IRS began to audit Engelbrecht’s family business and her personally. And the scrutiny from the federal government did not stop with the IRS.
Two DOJ agencies, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) began to make their presence felt in Engelbrecht’s life as well.
“They [FBI] contacted us, asked questions about one of the people who attended a program," Engelbrecht told Breitbart News. "They asked for us to call if he ever showed back up. They repeated [their calls] over time, but no longer about that individual. They said they were just calling to check up with us. They called to check up with us a great deal and said it was ‘routine."
The UK Telegraph is reporting a soldier who was walking on the street has been beheaded in Woolwich.
Several witnesses described seeing a "beheading" while another described seeing a man wearing a Help for Heroes T-shirt being attacked with a machete-style knife and dumped.
Prime Minister David Cameron called a meeting of the Government's Cobra crisis committee, describing the incident as "truly shocking".
Cobra meetings are crisis response committees set up to coordinate the actions of different agencies, including the security services, police and local authorities.
The BBC reported sources had told them the men were shouting "Allahu Akbar" as they carried out the attack and had filmed carrying it out.
One witness, called James, told LBC radio: "We saw clearly two knives, meat cleavers, they were big kitchen knives like you would use in a butcher's, they were hacking at this poor guy, we thought they were trying to remove organs from him."
Regular police officers in England are not allowed to carry guns and have to wait for armed response teams to show up in serous situations. It took the armed response team 20 minutes to get to the scene. The suspects had big knives and a illegal gun to carry out their crime.
"Then two black guys got out of the car dragging a white guy across the road towards the wall.
"One of the guys had a knife that looked about a foot long and a machete and the other bloke had a gun.
"They started slashing him up with the knife and hitting him in the stomach with the machete.
"It must've taken about 20 minutes for the police to arrive, I think it must've been because they were waiting for armed police.
The man was heard saying: "We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you," he said.
(Photo: ITV News)
This incident is alarming for obvious reasons, but the most important thing to point out is that this happened in a big city in the middle of the day. This did not happen on a battle field in the Middle East, but in Woolrich, England.
According to Republican Rep. Jim Jordan and White House visitor logs, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House 118 times in 2010 and 2011. This is the same time period when Tea Party groups were inappropriately targeted and intimidated by the IRS.
Testifying in front of lawmakers on Capitol Hill Wednesday, Shulman admitted that many of the meetings with the White House were to discuss how to implement ObamaCare.
"The IRS has a major roll in the money flow," Shulman said.
Shulman denied ever discussing 501c(4) groups with White House officials and failed to name who he met with during his visits. At the time Shulman met with the White House throughout 2010 and 2011, Tea Party and Patriot groups were expressing opposition to ObamaCare.
Inspector General Russell George said during testimony that he did not speak with anybody in the White House about targeting of Tea Party groups during his audit and did not ask IRS officials if they communicated with the White House about the targeting.
"We did not question anybody about whether they talked to the White House," George said.
He's baaaaacccckkkkk. Former Rep. Anthony Weiner is back in the political arena and has officially kicked off his campaign for Mayor of New York City.
The ex-congressman whose career imploded in a rash of raunchy tweets two years ago said in a YouTube video announcement late Tuesday that he's in the New York City mayoral race. He'd said last month he was considering it.
"I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I also learned some tough lessons," he said in the video. "I'm running for mayor because I've been fighting for the middle class and those struggling to make it my entire life. And I hope I get a second chance."
With that, Weiner is embarking on an audacious comeback quest, hoping to go from punch line pol whose tweeted crotch shot was emblazoned on the nation's consciousness to leader of America's biggest city.
For good measure, here's a flashback of when Andrew Breitbart hijacked Anthony Weiner's resignation press conference.
And remember when Weiner apologized the Breitbart?
Breitbart received the tip about Weiner's photos on Twitter on May 20, 2011. Weiner officially launched his campaign for NYC Mayor on May 21, nearly two years to the day after that scandal happened.
An FBI agent has shot and killed a man reportedly connected to the Boston bombing suspects in Orlando.
According to NBC News, a special agent was interviewing the suspect regarding his connections to bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and other extremists. The suspect, who was not immediately identified by officials, was originally cooperative, but he was shot after attacking the agent.
A friend of the suspect, Khusn Taramiv, said his friend, 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev, was being investigated as part of the Boston bombings and knew Tsarnaev because both were MMA fighters.
Taramiv claims he and Todashev were interviewed by the FBI for nearly three hours on Tuesday.
H/T Ed Morrissey
Last night on Fox News' Special Report, anchor Bret Baier revealed that the Department of Justice not only secretly monitored the phone lines of Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen, but of his parents as well.
On Hannity, host Sean Hannity revealed that five Fox News reporters were targeted by the Justice Department and that Fox News' phones lines at the White House, Pentagon, and lines belonging to Fox News executives were also monitored.
Ronald C. Machen, Jr., the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, who is prosecuting the case, has seized records associated with two phone numbers at the White House, at least five numbers associated with Fox News, and one that has the same area code and exchange as Rosen’s personal-cell-phone number (the last four numbers are redacted).
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that, as part of the investigation of the Kim leak, Obama’s Department of Justice seized e-mails from Rosen’s personal Gmail account. In the search warrant for that request, the government described Rosen as “an aider, and abettor, and / or co-conspirator” in violating the Espionage Act, noting that the crime can be punished by ten years in prison. Rosen was not indicted in the case, but the suggestion in a government document that a reporter could be guilty of espionage for engaging in routine reporting is unprecedented and has alarmed many journalists and civil libertarians.
The document uncovered today suggests the government seized “call detail” records from Rosen’s work and cell phones, which would show whom he called, who called him, how long they spoke, and the times of the calls. The document suggests that the government was seeking only the subscriber records for the two White House numbers targeted, information that a government source said would include the name of the official who used the specific line.
Anchor Greta Van Susteran took to Twitter to express her frustration with the secret monitoring, saying friends and family won't call or email anymore out a of a fear of being watched.
"Now that the word is out that Obama Admin seizes Fox phone records, my friends won't call me at work and since the Obama admin also seizes personal cell and email, my friends wont' call or email," Van Susteran tweeted.
The news of more Fox News' monitoring comes weeks after the Associated Press revealed the Justice Department had secretly monitored 20 personal and private phone lines used by AP reporters and editors. In addition, CBS News Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson said yesterday that her work and personal computers had been compromised.
Again, you can bet this isn't the end of this. Attorneys from news organizations all over the place are filing requests in order to see if their reporters have been secretly monitored.
IRS offices in Flagstaff and Prescott, Ariz. were temporarily closed Tuesday as protests of IRS offices around the country were planned by Tea Party activists.
"They have a notice up that says 'temporarily closed," said Tom Case, a Lake Havasu resident.
Case drove three hours and 200 miles Tuesday with his wife to participate in the IRS protest of the Flagstaff office, located at 1633 S. Plaza Way. This was going to be Case's first rally.
"I follow the politics of the Tea Party, I'm not necessarily a hardcore tea party person," Case said. "This IRS thing to me is just a total example of an out of control government. Benghazi, the AP, Fast and Furious those are all terrible things that are happening to us but this one at this point is just beyond all reasonable doubt that this Administration and big government in general is just totally out of control and none of the people in charge seem to know what's going on. That bothers me more than anything."
The voicemail message at the Flagstaff office states that the location is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and explains IRS closures for all offices on May 24th due to sequestration. The message also explains the office will "resume normal operations the next business day," which would be Monday, May 27. There is no mention of a temporary closing for Tuesday, May 21.
Townhall put in a request with the national IRS office in Washington D.C. for an explanation as to why these offices are closed, how long they have been closed and when they will re-open. Townhall also contacted Bill Brunson in the IRS media relations office for Arizona. At time of publishing, IRS officials did not respond with a comment.
CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who has been at the forefront of the Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals, has revealed to POLITICO that her personal and work computers have been compromised.
"I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public."
In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, "there could be some relationship between these things and what's happened to James [Rosen]," the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.
Remember when Attkisson was screamed and yelled at by DOJ and White House officials for inquiring about Operation Fast and Furious? I do.
Yesterday we found out that Fox News Reporters James Rosen, William LaJeunesse and a producer were secretly monitored by the Department of Justice. Rosen's personal and work emails and phone calls were monitored in addition to his movement. In an affidavit filed by the FBI against Rosen, Rosen was named as a "co-conspirator" and treated as a criminal for gathering the news. LaJeunesse was targeted for his work on Operation Fast and Furious.
Two weeks ago, the Associated Press revealed that the Justice Department had secretly monitored 20 phone lines and dozens of reporters.
This won't stop here. It is clear Obama's Department of Justice, with Attorney General Eric Holder at the helm, has made monitoring reporters routine.