Despite being under heavy scrutiny from both Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and all over the country for inappropriately targeting conservative groups, IRS employees are about to receive $70 million in bonuses.
The Internal Revenue Service is about to pay $70 million in employee bonuses despite an Obama administration directive to cancel discretionary bonuses because of automatic spending cuts enacted this year, according to a GOP senator.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says his office has learned that the IRS is executing an agreement with the employees' union on Wednesday to pay the bonuses. Grassley says the bonuses should be canceled under an April directive from the White House budget office.
The directive was written by Danny Werfel, a former budget official who has since been appointed acting IRS commissioner.
"The IRS always claims to be short on resources," Grassley said. "But it appears to have $70 million for union bonuses. And it appears to be making an extra effort to give the bonuses despite opportunities to renegotiate with the union and federal instruction to cease discretionary bonuses during sequestration."And how is this even possible? Through unions and government bureaucracy.
Office of Management and Budget "guidance directs that agencies should not pay discretionary monetary awards at this time, unless legally required," IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said in a statement. "IRS is under a legal obligation to comply with its collective bargaining agreement, which specifies the terms by which awards are paid to bargaining-unit employees."
Eldridge, however, would not say whether the IRS believes it is contractually obligated to pay the bonuses.
"In accordance with OMB guidance, the IRS is actively engaged with NTEU on these matters in recognition of our current budgetary constraints," Eldridge said.
The National Treasury Employees Union did not respond to requests for comment.
Last night CBS' Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson went on the O'Reilly Factor to discuss the latest developments with her strange personal and work computer activity. Four weeks ago when news broke about the Department of Justice secretly monitoring dozens of reporters and naming Fox News Correspondent James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator, Attkisson mentioned that her computers had been acting as if they were compromised. We now know they were compromised and it looks like Attkisson knows
the Department of Justice who did it. Whoever was snooping around in her digital space wasn't looking for money or personal information, they were looking for information about what stories she was working on. Attkisson has been at the forefront of breaking stories on Operation Fast and Furious, Solyndra and Benghazi.
Afghanistan peace talks between representatives of the United States and the Taliban will take place on Thursday in Doha, a senior U.S. official said on Tuesday.Meanwhile, as the United States starts to heavily arm terrorist infiltrated rebel groups in Syria, we're learning the Al Qaeda arm fighting as rebels is the best armed.
Al Qaeda's affiliate inside Syria is now the best-equipped arm of the terror group in existence today, according to informal assessments by U.S. and Middle East intelligence agencies, a private sector analyst directly familiar with the information told CNN.As a reminder, Fort Hood shooter Nadal Hassan said just last week that he shot and killed more than a dozen U.S. soldiers on American soil in order to protect the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Concern about the Syrian al Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front, is at an all-time high, according to the analyst, with as many as 10,000 fighters and supporters inside Syria. The United States has designated al-Nusra Front as a terrorist group with links to al Qaeda in Iraq.
A military judge barred Army Maj. Nidal Hasan on Friday from arguing at his court-martial that he was legally acting to protect Taliban leaders when he killed 13 people and injured 32 others in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009.What could go wrong? And what a slap in the face to Ft. Hood families.
Hasan, who's representing himself, has said the shootings were a premeditated "defense of others" to safeguard Mullah Mohammed Omar and other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan from attacks by the U.S. military.
When senior IRS officials first admitted to unfair and inappropriate targeting of conservative groups, they claimed the targeting was carried out by a few rogue agents in a Cincinnati office. Weeks and mounds of evidence to the contrary later, a new Rasmussen Report shows 70 percent of Americans believe the targeting of tea party groups came from Washington D.C. and the White House.
Only 17% believe that the IRS abuse was the result of low-level employees at the Cincinnati office. Seventy percent (70%) believe the IRS decision to target conservative groups was made in Washington, an increase of five points over the past month. That includes 29% who believe the decision was made at IRS headquarters and 41% who believe it was made at the White House.
The most interesting thing about the latest polling is the number of people paying attention to the scandal. After all, the IRS affects everyone.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 82% of voters nationwide are now following the IRS targeting story, including 44% who are following the story “Very Closely.” The overall number of voters who are following is up from 74% a month ago.
Testifying Tuesday on Capitol Hill before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of the National Security Agency General Keith Alexander claimed that the NSA program and keeping of millions of phone records has thwarted more 50 terror attacks since September 11, 2001 in more than 20 countries.
Alexander stressed the NSA program is focused on terrorism and foreign threats, but that Americans involved in terrorism are looked at. Deputy Attorney General James Cole reiterated this claim, saying that in order to listen or obtain content of phone calls or emails, there must be probable cause a person is involved in terrorist activities.
"We don't get any content, we don't listen in on anybody's calls," Cole said.
"The program is not intentionally used to target any U.S. citizens," Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce said. "The program is key in our counter terrorism efforts."
Joyce detailed some of the attacks that were stopped, including the plans of Afhgan-American Najibullah Zazi to bomb the New York subway system with backpack bombs. Zazi was arrested in 2009.
The State Department investigator who accused colleagues last week of using drugs, soliciting prostitutes, and having sex with minors says that Foggy Bottom is now engaged in an "intimidation" campaign to stop her.
Last week's leaks by Aurelia Fedenisn, a former State Department inspector general investigator, shined a light on alleged wrongdoing by U.S. officials around the globe. But her attorney Cary Schulman tells The Cable that Fedenisn has paid a steep price: "They had law enforcement officers camp out in front of her house, harass her children and attempt to incriminate herself."Camping out in front of her house? Intimidating her kids? Sounds like these tactics follow the Obama administration whistleblower retaliation playbook perfectly.
Fedenisn's life changed dramatically last Monday after she handed over documents and statements to CBS News alleging that senior State Department officials "influenced, manipulated, or simply called off" several investigations into misconduct. The suppression of investigations was noted in an early draft of an Inspector General report, but softened in the final version.
Erich Hart, general counsel to the Inspector General, did not reply to a request for comment. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said last week that "we hold all employees to the highest standards. We take allegations of misconduct seriously and we investigate thoroughly." She also announced that the department would request additional review by outside law enforcement officers on OIG inspection processes.
CBS News' John Miller reports that according to an internal State Department Inspector General's memo, several recent investigations were influenced, manipulated, or simply called off. The memo obtained by CBS News cited eight specific examples. Among them: allegations that a State Department security official in Beirut "engaged in sexual assaults" on foreign nationals hired as embassy guards and the charge and that members of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's security detail "engaged prostitutes while on official trips in foreign countries" -- a problem the report says was "endemic."
The memo also reveals details about an "underground drug ring" was operating near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and supplied State Department security contractors with drugs.
Aurelia Fedenisn, a former investigator with the State Department's internal watchdog agency, the Inspector General, told Miller, "We also uncovered several allegations of criminal wrongdoing in cases, some of which never became cases."
As the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act moves to the floor of the House for a vote, President Obama is already taking cues from feminist groups to veto the legislation and is again letting his true pro-abortion, pro-infanticide stances show. H.R. 1797 bans abortions after 20-weeks. Some babies have survived as young as 21-weeks. Babies can hear things from inside the womb as early as 16-weeks.
WH issues veto threat against "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act," on grounds it's "an assault on a woman's right to choose."— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 17, 2013
WH calls the bill, HR 1797, "a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade" & says it "shows contempt for women's health & rights."— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 17, 2013
Late last night, National Organization for Women President Terry O'Neill sent an email to supporters asking for donations to fight the legislation.
As a reminder, President Obama once called a newborn baby a "fetus outside of the womb," and voted in Illinois multiple times against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, legislation that requires doctors to give babies who survive abortions medical care and full protections under the law. In other words, by voting against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act Obama voted to support infanticide and for leaving babies who survive abortions to die.
Twenty-week abortions are late term abortions, something organizations like NOW and President Obama support. Obama still hasn't released a statement about abortion monster Kermit Gosnell, either.
John Morton, the director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, will leave his post at the end of July to take a position at a private company, ICE's office of public affairs said Monday.
Appointed by President Barack Obama in May 2009, he is the third and longest serving director in the agency's history, according to ICE.
DEADLINE: So for you, other outlets especially the cable news networks do center on just one segment of the political spectrum in their reporting?As a side note, Fox News has millions of viewers not simply thousands as Pelley suggests. Here is Sarah Palin on Fox News' Fox and Friends (which rakes in more than 1 million viewer per day) responding to CBS' comparison.
PELLEY: Certainly. It’s no surprise. Fox is associated with the right and MSNBC is associated with the left and they’ve done that because it is a business model. It’s a strategy. They’ve decided to bite off one small part of the viewership and be happy with that 200,000 viewers, 300,000 viewers that they have. But when you are talking to 7 million viewers across the country, man you have got to represent everybody’s views and have got to give them the impression that you are being as honest as you know how to be.
Palin defended Cruz and Senator Rand Paul earlier this year when Senator John McCain called them "whacko birds."