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Outgoing IRS chief apologizes for 'foolish' targeting
The outgoing commissioner of the IRS apologized Friday for his agency's
practice of targeting conservative groups, calling the actions "foolish"
while claiming it was not motivated by partisanship.
"As acting commissioner, I want to apologize on the behalf of the
Internal Revenue Service for the mistakes that we made and the poor
service provided," Steven Miller, the outgoing commissioner, said at the
first congressional hearing on the scandal. "The affected organizations
and the American public deserve better."
Badgered: Obama acts, but Republicans unsatisfied
President Barack Obama, seeking to regain his footing amid controversies
hammering the White House, named a temporary chief for the
scandal-marred Internal Revenue Service Thursday and pressed Congress to
approve new security money to prevent another Benghazi-style terrorist
The efforts did little to satisfy Republicans, who see the controversies
as an opportunity to derail Obama's second-term agenda. House Speaker
John Boehner suggested the White House had violated the public's trust,
and he promised to "stop at nothing" to hold the administration
U.S. has seen Syria chemical weapons evidence?
President Barack Obama has said the US has seen evidence of chemical weapons being used in Syria.
However, speaking after meeting Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he
insisted it was important to get more specific details about alleged
Earlier, residents of a north Syrian town told a BBC reporter how
government forces had dropped poisonous gas canisters on them from
The government has repeatedly denied claims it has used chemical agents.
Detroit to spend $22k it doesn't have to send 4 trustees to Hawaii?
Four trustees of Detroit’s two public pension funds are heading to a
Hawaiian beach resort this weekend with their $22,000 tab paid for by
the funds, which are mired in claims of mismanagement and said to be at
least $600 million underfunded.
Trustees say the conference provides the education they need to manage
complex investments for the funds’ retirees and beneficiaries. But other
major public pension systems, including the Los Angeles Fire and Police
Pensions, avoided sending their officials to Hawaii because of concerns
the exotic locale sends the wrong message at a time when pensions
nationwide are contemplating or implementing reduced benefits to cope
with rising retirement costs and shaky investment returns.
Rep. Camp Says IRS Scandal Has Exposed 'Rotten' US Tax System
A leading U.S. congressman said on Friday that an Internal Revenue
Service scandal had exposed deep problems with the federal tax system
and an administration rife with a 'culture of cover-ups.'
"Trimming a few branches will not solve the problem when the roots of
the tree have gone rotten," House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave
Camp told a Capitol Hill hearing on the IRS's targeting of conservative
groups for extra scrutiny.
Jay Carney, reality challenged and in total denial?
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has come under heavy fire this
week as journalists grilled him about the three scandals hitting
President Obama’s administration at once.
Carney asserted that in his opinion, the three scandals within the Obama administration were not scandals.
“I dismiss the premise, the idea that these are scandals,” Carney said
flatly, calling the controversy over Benghazi a “total concoction by
Republicans,” and the IRS scandal merely “inappropriate behavior” by the
Democrat Baucus warns: More to come out on IRS scandal
Senior Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who recently slapped Obamacare as a
"train wreck," believes that the IRS scandal is just beginning and that
"a lot more" damaging information will be revealed, likely at
"I have a hunch that a lot more is going to come out, frankly," Baucus,
whose pending retirement seems to have freed him up to speak bluntly,
told Bloomberg Government's "Capitol Gains" TV show.
"It's broader than the current focus. And I think it's important that we
have the hearings, and I think that will encourage other information to
come out that has not yet come out. I suspect that we will learn more
in the next several days, maybe the next couple three weeks which adds
more context to all of this," added Baucus, chairman of the Senate
Russia sends 'killer' missiles to Syria
Russia has sent advanced anti-ship cruise missiles to Syria, a move that
illustrates the depth of its support for the Syrian government led by
President Bashar al-Assad, American officials said on Thursday.
Russia has previously provided a version of the missiles, called
Yakhonts, to Syria. However, those delivered recently are outfitted with
an advanced radar that makes them more effective, according to American
officials who are familiar with classified intelligence reports and
would only discuss the shipment on the basis of anonymity.
CIA Chief Brennan Makes Unannounced Israel Visit
An Israeli defense official says the head of the American CIA spy agency has made an unannounced visit to Israel.
CIA chief John Brennan visited with Israeli prime minister, Binyamin
Netanyahu, defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, military chief of staff,
Benny Gantz, and Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, to discuss the deteriorating
situation with Syria, according to reports in Israel media.
Judge says Arizona CAN Deny Driver's Licenses to Immigrants
A U.S. federal judge refused on Thursday to block Arizona's Republican
governor, who has long clashed with Washington over immigration reform,
from denying driver's licenses to young immigrants granted temporary
legal status by the federal government.
Civil rights groups had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
Phoenix in November against Governor Jan Brewer and two state
transportation department officials on behalf of five Mexican immigrants
who qualify for deferred deportation status under a program pushed by
President Barack Obama.
The suit challenged the legality of an order issued by Brewer in August
that denied the young migrants licenses, arguing that the federal
deferred action program did not give them lawful status or entitle them
to public benefits.
This is No Ordinary Scandal
Political abuse of the IRS threatens the basic integrity of our government.
We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate. The
reputation of the Obama White House has, among conservatives, gone from
sketchy to sinister, and, among liberals, from unsatisfying to
dangerous. No one likes what they're seeing. The Justice Department
assault on the Associated Press and the ugly politicization of the
Internal Revenue Service have left the administration's credibility
deeply, probably irretrievably damaged. They don't look jerky now, they
look dirty. The patina of high-mindedness the president enjoyed is gone.
Something big has shifted. The standing of the administration has changed.
As always it comes down to trust. Do you trust the president's answers
when he's pressed on an uncomfortable story? Do you trust his people to
be sober and fair-minded as they go about their work? Do you trust the
IRS and the Justice Department? You do not.
The IRS Scandal Started at the Top
The bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service did exactly what the president said was the right and honorable thing to do.
Was the White House involved in the IRS's targeting of conservatives? No
investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the
IRS is an "independent" agency and that they knew nothing about its
abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama
picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that's not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama
didn't need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what
he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that
conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly
call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and
publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
- Medal of
Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an
enemy force which can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the
Armed Services of the United States.
GeneTrerally presented to its recipient by the President of the
United States of America in the name of Congress.
first award of the Medal of Honor was made March 25, 1863 to Private
The last award of the Medal of Honor was made September 15, 2011
to Sergeant DAKOTA MEYER.
then there have been:
• 3458 recipients of the Medal of Honor.
• Today there are 85 Living Recipients of the
Medal of Honor.
CAPTAIN HUMBERT R ('Rocky'). VERSACE
UNITED STATES ARMY
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:
Captain Humbert R. Versace distinguished himself by extraordinary
heroism during the period of 29 October 1963 to 26 September 1965,
while serving as S-2 Advisor, Military Assistance Advisory Group,
Detachment 52, Ca Mau, Republic of Vietnam. While accompanying a
Civilian Irregular Defense Group patrol engaged in combat operations in
Thoi Binh District, An Xuyen Province, Captain Versace and the patrol
came under sudden and intense mortar, automatic weapons, and small arms
fire from elements of a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle
raged, Captain Versace, although severely wounded in the knee and back
by hostile fire, fought valiantly and continued to engage enemy
targets. Weakened by his wounds and fatigued by the fierce firefight,
Captain Versace stubbornly resisted capture by the over-powering Viet
Cong force with the last full measure of his strength and ammunition.
Taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, he exemplified the tenets of the Code
of Conduct from the time he entered into Prisoner of War status.
Captain Versace assumed command of his fellow American soldiers,
scorned the enemy's exhaustive interrogation and indoctrination
efforts, and made three unsuccessful attempts to escape, despite his
weakened condition which was brought about by his wounds and the
extreme privation and hardships he was forced to endure. During his
captivity, Captain Versace was segregated in an isolated prisoner of
war cage, manacled in irons for prolonged periods of time, and placed
on extremely reduced ration. The enemy was unable to break his
indomitable will, his faith in God, and his trust in the United States
of America. Captain Versace, an American fighting man who epitomized
the principles of his country and the Code of Conduct, was executed by
the Viet Cong on 26 September 1965. Captain Versace's gallant actions
in close contact with an enemy force and unyielding courage and bravery
while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of the military
service and reflect the utmost credit upon himself and the United