Video: IRS Commish Skewered By Jordan And Gowdy At Oversight Hearing

Wednesday, at a House Oversight subcommittee hearing he chaired, Congressman Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to elicit from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen the answer to why it took him until June 13, 2014 to reveal to Congress that the IRS had lost a two years worth of Lois Lerner’s emails.

Via The Blaze:

Jordan recounted that in April, Judicial Watch learned that the IRS and the Justice Department were meeting to discuss the idea of bringing action against various Tea Party groups for undertaking political activities that aren’t allowed by tax exempt groups.

That prompted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to ask the Justice Department about it. In May, a Justice Department official told the committee that the two agencies were meeting as far back as 2010.

“So we said, you know what, we better subpoena documents from the Justice Department,” Jordan said. “And we said to the Justice Department, we want any communications with Lois Lerner that you’ve had.”

Jordan said that in response, Justice gave the committee an email between Lerner and the Justice Department that the committee didn’t have. That prompted the committee to ask the IRS why it had not received the email as part of its prior request to the IRS.

“And then, suddenly, four days later, you tell the Finance Committee, the Congress, more importantly the American people, you know what, we lost Lois Lerner emails,” Jordan said to Koskinen.

“My theory is this, Mr. Koskinen, you guys weren’t ever gonna tell us until we caught you,” Jordan concluded. “And we caught you because Judicial Watch did a FOIA request.”

Congressman Trey Gowdy’s grilling of Koskinen was so brutal it was hard not to feel sorry for the 74  year old Commish when it was over.

At issue was Koskinen’s testimony before the committee in June in which he said he had “confirmed” that backup tapes of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s email had been recycled, making it impossible to recover emails the committee is seeking.

Lerner’s missing emails are a key part of the committee investigation that the IRS had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.

On Monday, the panel released testimony from another IRS employee who indicated it is possible some information from Lerner’s computer might be retrievable from backup tapes after all.

The discrepancy enraged Gowdy.

Gowdy toyed with Koskinen in almost sadistically …

Gowdy:  “What does the word  ‘confirmed’ mean to you?”

Koskinen:  “It means that somebody went back and looked, and that all backup tapes had been recycled.”

Gowdy:  “Are you still ‘confirmed’ that no backup tapes exist?”

Koskinen:  “At this point I have no basis for not being ‘confirmed’. I do understand that the IG [Inspector General] were looking at tapes…”

UPDATE:

In case you’re wondering what prompted Gowdy to snap, “I really could not believe the colloquy that you had with one of our colleagues about the morale at the IRS. It takes a lot to stun me, but that stunned me.”

T. Becket Adams at the Washington Examiner explains:

Koskinen’s remarks were prompted by Chicago machine politician Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., who asked during a House subcommittee hearing on Wednesday whether IRS workers have been able to deal with the supposed strain being put on them by investigators.

“When they … are subject to depositions and recorded interviews, it sends — these are all career people — it has a deleterious effect on morale because they thought they were actually doing what they were asked to do,” Koskinen said.

The IRS commissioner lamented the fact that agency officials have had to take time out of their terribly busy days to comply with numerous requests for emails and other recorded correspondences. In fact, some agents are even worried that — wait for this — they may be asked to testify.

“So for everybody else who’s working on this project, they’re now looking over their shoulder worrying about, ‘Am I going to get called up next?’ ” he said.

Unfortunately for the commissioner, there was at least one lawmaker present at the hearing who wasn’t swayed by news that the investigation into the targeting scandal has inconvenienced some IRS workers.

“Here’s a piece of advice I would give. If the folks like Lois Lerner and others would have spent more time working on … their caseload and less time targeting groups and less time trying to overturn Supreme Court decisions they didn’t agree with, maybe morale would be better and maybe their backlogs would be less,” Gowdy added scathingly.

You can watch the entire hearing in two parts, here.

Bowe Bergdahl Returns To Active Duty (Video)

A lot of people – including Bergdahl’s former platoon mates- had called for Bowe Bergdahl to be court martialed for desertion, but while the Army “investigates” his 2009 disappearance from an outpost in Afghanistan, he has been assigned what will likely be a desk job at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Via NBC News:

Off duty, Bergdahl will be free to leave base and go where he wants without a military or medical escort. Army officials stressed that there are no plans for the military to assign media officers to him or take interview requests for him. It was not clear whether he will be under orders not to talk to the press.

For the first time, Bergdahl will be questioned by military officials. An initial investigation, now classified, determined that he walked away from the outpost.

On Fox News, Steven Hayes expressed surprised that Bergdahl’s reintegration into the Army happened this quickly and while the current investigation is still ongoing.

As of July 5th, the soldiers who served with Bergdahl had not been contacted by military investigators .

“There’s only a handful of us who were actually there and we haven’t been contacted yet,” former Army Sgt. Evan Buetow told FoxNews.com. “I don’t really know how in-depth they’re trying to get here. I thought we’d be some of the people they’d call. I think they have their mind made up already on what they want people to know.”

I suspect that Bergdahl is being allowed to roam around and be interviewed without media handlers because he has been coached very well on how to handle media inquiries. While pundits like Charles Krauthamer were voicing concerns about possible witness tampering due to the secrecy surrounding Bergdahl’s stay in Germany following his release,  Bergdahl’s father was telegraphing to his son that a “very devoted”, “hand-picked” team would be giving him “instructions.”

“Bowe, when you hear this — and eventually you will hear this — you have a very devoted team around you right now in Germany,” said Bob Bergdahl during a press conference on June 1. “Listen to their instructions. We sent them. These are handpicked people. We’re on first-name basis with these people. They are true, they know what they’re doing, they’re here to help you, and they have our great gratitude.”

The military went through great lengths to hush up Bergdahl’s desertion – including compelling members of his unit to sign non-disclosure agreements about what they knew.

On June 2, two of  Bergdahl’s former platoon members, Cody Full and Gerald Sutton appeared on The Kelly File to expose the truth about his desertion and push for him to be held accountable.

Megyn Kelly asked Sutton why he thought Americans should be paying attention to whether Bowe Bergdahl was a deserter. Sutton replied, “well, I just don’t want to see him hailed as a hero and I want him to face the consequences of his own actions, and possibly face a court martial for desertion.”

Cross-posted at the Conversation.

 

SCOTUS Rules Against Obama’s NLRB Recess Appointments – 1,700 Decisions Invalidated (Video)

The Supreme Court dealt a blow to the Imperial presidency, Thursday, ruling that he exceeded his authority in making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was still in (pro-forma) session.

Fox News reported:

In a unanimous decision, the high court sided with Senate Republicans and limited the president’s power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments. It was the first-ever Supreme Court test involving the long-standing practice of presidents naming appointees when the Senate is in recess.

In this case, Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break when he filled slots at the NLRB in 2012. He argued the brief sessions it held every three days were a sham that was intended to prevent him from filling the seats.

The court unanimously saw through that paper thin,  hypocritical argument. 

This means that the appointments made during the period between April 2011 to August 2013  lacked a quorum to enact rules or enforce federal labor law. The Right To Work Foundation has argued that  1,700 decisions made during that time frame would potentially become invalid.

“This is a significant victory for the separation of powers”, the ACLJ’s Jay Sekulow said on Fox News, Thursday morning.

As for the  appointees who illegally made decisions for two years, “it’s as if they were never there,” Sekulow said.  “The decisions made during that time frame are null and void.”

“What you’ve got is basically a reversal of those decisions because they had no authority to make those decisions in the first place,” Sekulow said.

MORE

A note of pessimism via the Washington TimesSept of 2013:

However, even if the Supreme Court strikes down the recess appointments as unconstitutional, rendering void almost 1,700 rulings as a result, Mr. Obama’s new board majority may try to rubber-stamp all of the outrageous decisions made while the board was operating unconstitutionally.

You see, Mr. Obama just recently installed four new members to the board with the help of weak-kneed Senate Republicans led by Sen. John McCain. This gives former union attorneys a board majority. One of the new members, Nancy Schiffer, a top lawyer for the AFL-CIO union, has testified before Congress in favor of card-check legislation and has a radical view of union organizing similar to Mr. Becker‘s. She has even argued that secret-ballot unionization elections are “inherently coercive.”

Of course.

MORE:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding the NLRB v. Noel Canning decision:

 

“Today, the Supreme Court invalidated President Obama’s unlawful abuse of the President’s recess appointments power. President Obama ignored the plain text of the Constitution and attempted to make unilateral recess appointments—circumventing the checks and balances of confirmation—when the Senate was not, in fact, in recess. Today, a unanimous Court rightly rejected that presidential abuse of power.  This marks the twelfth time since January 2012 that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama Administration’s calls for greater federal executive power.”

Video: Hillary, Presented With Hard Choice, Demurs

Anyone who’s watched Jason Mattera in action over the years already knows he has big brass ones. His specialty is getting in liberal politicians’ faces and asking embarrassing questions.

I really think he outdid himself, this time.

Watch and squirm:

Related:

Gateway Pundit: You Betcha! Palin’s Book Outsold Hillary Clinton’s Book by 381,883 Copies in It’s First Week

Watcher’s Council Nominations -Trading For Private Weasel Edition

MAD-Magazine-Trading-Private-Bergdahl_538e1730c295a6.07331124

(hat tip to Mad Magazine and Dave Schuler of The Glittering Eye for the graphic)

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere, and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News

The Council In Action

*Elise Ronan of Liberty’s Spirit has a fine new piece up at The Times Of Israel entitled Rethinking the Definition of Autism and Aspergers

*Dave Huber, or Hube as we like to call him of The Colossus of Rhodey has a hard hitting op-ed up at The College Fix, Hey Lefties – Look In The Mirror Regarding The UCSB Murder Spree

This weekLe·gal In·sur·rec·tion The Pirate’s CoveThe Mellow Jihadi and Seraphic Secret earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address ( which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor; by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members. while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, without further ado, let’s see what we have for you….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter..’cause we’re cool like that!

Claim: Humble Obama Doesn’t Give Himself Enough Credit For All His Foreign Policy Successes (Video)

In the old days, when the Regime tried to do a Jedi Mind trick like this on the American people – the media would let them.

This is not the Single Payer healthcare plan your looking for…

Obama would look straight into the camera, and repeat the lines at least 50,000 times,    “If you like your plan you can keep your plan…” or its variation – “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor…”

It took Politifact until the point Obama’s promise could be proven without a doubt to be a lie, (because millions of people were losing their health care plans) to rate it a “pants on fire” lie.

But the communication sages within the administration are always scheming to find new ways to fool the American people. And they really have their work cut out for them, lately, because on top of all the scandals currently swirling around him – Obama’s being hammered for being a weak and indecisive president who leads from behind. And Obama’s palace guard are finding it much more difficult to play along.

Poor Jen Psaki –  I truly feel sorry for her, here….

She picked the short straw on Thursday and had to face the room full of hard-boiled reporters with this howler.

JEN PSAKI: I would argue the president doesn’t give himself enough credit for what he’s done around the world. And that’s how the secretary feels too. We would not be engaged in comprehensive negotiations with Iran, which is where the program is stalled, and is rolling back, if it were not for the role of the United States, along with the P-5 +1 partners certainly. In Ukraine, we’ve been engaged more or as much as any other country in the world in supporting the elections process, supporting the government, and supporting efforts moving forward. Yes, there’s more work that needs to be done, the point is we need to continue to stay at it.

REPORTER: Is this a potential mission accomplished statement?

PSAKI: Absolutely not.

MATT LEE: You would argue the president doesn’t give himself enough credit, how much credit would you give him?

PSAKI: I would give him more than he has given himself. So would the secretary.

LEE: Like 200 percent credit? For what? Iran negotiations?

PSAKI: I mean…

REPORTER: What specifically are you saying he doesn’t get enough credit for?

PSAKI: For engagement in issues like Iran, what we’ve done on Ukraine. Efforts to dive in and engage in the world.

REPORTER: Russia has still annexed Crimea. Iran, there are ongoing negotiations, but is that the success here that your talking?

PSAKI: We’re talking about engagement in the world and taking on tough issues that present themselves, and the United States continues to play a prominent role doing that.

Now, whatever would possess a State Dept spox to say something so patently absurd? Obama doesn’t give himself credit? He only spiked the football for killing Osama bin Laden about 40,000 times. He doesn’t know how to give a speech without propping himself up as the only adult in the room with all the experts on his side, while denigrating anyone who disagrees with him. The obvious   narcissism of the guy has been duly noted by most of us on the right since early 2008.

Did those words just tumble thoughtlessly out of her mouth? Or did the White House’s crack communications team  come up with yet another awesome Jedi Mind Trick?

Because as  Twitchy notes, Lurch dropped the same talking point on Gwen Ifill , Thursday night on PBS  Newshour.

Via PJ Tatler: 

Coming off a week where President Obama laid out an Afghanistan withdrawal timetable and put forth his foreign policy vision, Secretary of State John Kerry declared Thursday that this administration is “more engaged” with the world “than at any time in American history.”

“I don’t think the president, frankly, takes enough credit for the successes that are on the table right now,” Kerry told PBS. “I mean, if you look at what has happened in Ukraine, the president led an effort to try to keep Europe unified with the United States, to put difficult sanctions on the table. Europe wasn’t thrilled with that. But they came along. That was leadership. And the president succeeded in having an impact ultimately, together with the Europeans, on the choices that face President Putin.”

I have my suspicions as to who is pushing this talking point. She is known to be a “court flatterer” and  “a peerless enabler of Barack Obama’s inflated opinion of himself”

“I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. . . . He knows how perceptive he is. He knows what a good reader of people he is. And he knows that he has the ability — the extraordinary, uncanny ability — to take a thousand different perspectives, digest them and make sense out of them, and I think that he has never really been challenged intellectually. . . . So what I sensed in him was not just a restless spirit but somebody with such extraordinary talents that had to be really taxed in order for him to be happy. . . . He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

Seriously. And he’s so extraordinarily modest –  he just doesn’t give himself enough credit for all the good he’s done around the world. By talking,  negotiating, and giving speeches he’s proved that he is a strong leader who is “engaged” and deserves a participation trophy.

Hat tip: AoSHQ

Hump Day Humor: Al Sharpton vs the Teleprompter Part Deux

Just for sh*ts and giggles, here’s the pride of MSNBC, Al Sharpton struggling with the English language and battling his own teleprompter, courtesy of the fine folks at the Washington Free Beacon:

Gallay-o?

Wow.

They’ve got quite a line-up over there at MSNBC, I must say.

Did you hear about what that character “Toure” said on Twitter, last week about a Holocaust survivor’s “white privilege?

Twitchy covered it pretty extensively:

‘Screw you’: Touré clobbered for foul idiocy about white privilege of Holocaust survivors

#Whiteness: UMUC prof lauds Touré’s callous ‘power of whiteness’ tweet

Paging Touré: Media Matters’ Oliver Willis talks Holocaust survivor privilege

#TheStruggle: Stephen Kruiser tackles Touré and white privilege

‘This even an apology?’ Touré ‘very sorry’ his ‘power of whiteness’ crap too ‘nuanced’ for Twitter

‘#ToureShaming is awesome’! Touré’s iffy ‘apology’ prompts facepalm-worthy flashbacks

Then there’s Melissa Harris Perry and her tampon earrings and mocking of the Romney’s adopted black grandchild. And let’s not forget Ed Schultz for being Ed Schultz. The fact that the guy even has an audience is mind-blowing. I know MSNBC is proud of the uber-earnest Rachel Maddow, who often has her facts wrong, but never admits it, and creepy weirdo, Lawrence O’Donnell, the absurd racialist Joy Reid, and the rest of the embarrassing clown-show that makes up PMSNBC.

What’s funny is – these are the very people who are calling the special committee to investigate Benghazi, a clown-show.

Here’s head “clown” Trey Gowdy in action. Sans teleprompter, sans notes – cutting to the chase with precise clarity and from the heart.

 

 

Linked by Maetenloch at AoSHQ, thanks!

 

 

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