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Scandal politics sweep Capitol Hill
House committees will morph into mock courtrooms with the White House as defendant.
Scandal politics are sweeping Capitol Hill.
Just days after news broke that the IRS targeted conservative
nonprofits, Speaker John Boehner’s House committees will morph into mock
courtrooms where the White House will be the defendant in what amounts
to a number of high-stakes political trials.
The most recent scandal to grip the Obama administration came Monday
evening, when The Associated Press disclosed that the Justice Department
sought its reporters’ phone records — including those of correspondents
who sit in the Capitol. Within hours, House Republicans vowed to
investigate. To make things worse for President Barack Obama, Attorney
General Eric Holder is scheduled to be on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a
House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Benghazi, IRS: Son of Watergate?
In his defense of President Obama, Press Secretary Jay Carney is
beginning to sound a lot like Ronald Zeigler, Richard Nixon's spokesman.
Carney only has to use the word "inoperative," as Ziegler did when
incriminating evidence surfaced that proved his previous statements
Following what appears to be a cover-up in the Benghazi attack, the
Washington Post has obtained documents from an audit conducted by the
IRS's inspector general that indicate the agency targeted for special
scrutiny conservative groups with "tea party" and "patriot" in their
names, as well as "nonprofit groups that criticized the government and
sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution."
Washington Post Corrects Obama's 'Facts'?
“The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.”
— President Obama, remarks at a news conference, May 13, 2013
Once again, it appears that we must parse a few presidential words. We
went through this question at length during the 2012 election, but
perhaps a refresher course is in order.
Notably, during a debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney, President
Obama said that he immediately told the American people that the killing
of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya “was an act
of terror.” But now he says he called it “an act of terrorism.”
Some readers may object to this continuing focus on words, but
presidential aides spend a lot of time on words. Words have
consequences. Is there a difference between “act of terr
IRS head Steven Miller: 'Mistakes were made'
The IRS says Miller learned of the targeting program in May 2012.
Steven Miller is breaking his silence about the scandal that’s engulfing the Internal Revenue Service.
Miller, the acting IRS commissioner, is quickly emerging as the focus of
fury in Washington after an agency official acknowledged last week that
conservative groups seeking nonprofit status were targeted for extra
screening if their applications included words such as “tea party” or
Federal government creates more low-wage jobs than Wal-Mart
The federal government is better at creating low-paying jobs than Wal-Mart and McDonald's combined, according to a new report.
A study released earlier this month from the public policy group Demos
states that through various forms of government funding in the private
sector, nearly two million people are making $12 an hour or less. The
number of workers at Wal-Mart and McDonald's together at $12 an hour or
less is currently around 1.5 million, according to the report.
Pentagon furloughs planned at 11 days
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel plans to announce Tuesday the Pentagon
will furlough about 800,000 civilian employees to pay for budget cuts
under sequestration, but for just 11 days, not 14 as previously
contemplated, a senior Defense official told POLITICO.
The Pentagon had originally proposed 22 days of furloughs, but Hagel and
his staff were able to reduce that to 14 days last month and vowed to
try to further savings to mitigate the forced days off.
Russia expels U.S. diplomat for alleged spying
Moscow says American caught with wigs and spy gear trying to recruit an intelligence officer.
Russia ordered a U.S. diplomat expelled Tuesday after allegedly catching
him red-handed -- wearing a blond wig and carrying spy gear -- trying
to recruit a Russian intelligence officer.
The diplomat, identified as Ryan Fogle, a third secretary at the U.S.
Embassy political section, was detained Monday night, the Federal
Security Service said in a statement.
Syria's savagery will thwart reconciliation
Syrian soldiers slowly stab a man to death, puncturing his back dozens
of times. A rebel commander bites an organ ripped out of an enemy
combatant. A young boy hacks the head off a prisoner. A soldier
mutilates the genitals of a corpse.
These are the images of Syrian conflict, the first war in which the
prevalence of camera phones and Internet access has allowed hundreds of
gruesome war crimes to be broadcast, spreading hatred and fear. They are
defining the war that is spilling across Syria's borders and making
reconciliation an ever more distant prospect.
Pelosi: Boehner 'Weakest Speaker in History'
House Speaker John Boehner would be called "the weakest speaker in
history," if he was a woman, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said
But the California Democrat, who was the first woman to serve as speaker
from 2006 to 2010, told MSNBC's "All In With Chris Hayes," that she has
a good relationship with her Republican counterpart from Ohio, The
Huffington Post reports. Still, she had critical words for her
She said he deserves the "weakest speaker" title because House
Republicans "have never been able to pass anything without [Democrats]
coming to the rescue," except for the GOP's "nasty" and "unprincipled"
Sessions, Graham Push Biometric IDs in Immigration Bill
Senators weighing a landmark immigration bill defeated an effort by
Republicans Tuesday to require biometric identification — such as
fingerprinting — to track who is entering and leaving the country.
The amendment by Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., would have required a
biometric system to be in place before any immigrant here illegally
could obtain permanent residency or citizenship.
Carl Bernstein: AP Phone Scandal a 'Nuclear Event'
Investigative reporter Carl Bernstein on Tuesday called the scandal
involving the Department of Justice securing telephone records of
Associated Press reporters and editors a "nuclear event."
"This is outrageous," Bernstein said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "It is
totally inexcusable. This administration has been terrible on this
subject from the beginning.
"The object of it is to intimidate people who talk to reporters," he
said. "This was an accident waiting to become a nuclear event, and now
The IRS Wants You
The scandal over politicized tax enforcement is growing.
President Obama famously joked in a college commencement address in 2009
that he could use the IRS to target political enemies but of course he
never would. It appears that people at the Internal Revenue Service
didn't think he was joking.
That's become clear since IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois
Lerner admitted on Friday that the agency targeted conservatives for
special tax-exempt scrutiny during the 2012 election season. The story
has already blossomed into the latest abuse of government power, as
documents show the IRS targeted tea party types and groups that
specifically opposed the Obama Administration.
The Federal Revenue Surge Won't Last
Large capital gains were taken as the low tax rates enacted by Bush neared their expiration date.
There were many happy faces in Washington on Friday with the Treasury
Department's announcement of robust tax revenues for April. Individual
income-tax receipts surged to $240 billion for the month, taking the
total for 2013 to $483 billion. This is far greater than the $393 in tax
revenues the federal government collected for the first four months of
2012. The increase far surpassed the Congressional Budget Office
projections in February.
The influx surprised the CBO and many other observers, but it shouldn't
have. Neither should the dramatic drop that is likely to follow, though
policy makers will be tempted to behave as if the revenue flood will
- 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