Monday Morning Catch-up: Benghazi, IRS Scandals Heating Up, ObamaCare Failing – Obama Fund-Raising

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Weasel Zippers: Even MSNBC Is Outraged Over IRS Targeting Conservatives: “This Is Outrageous, No Matter What Political Party You Are”…

Via Washington Times:

It’s little surprise to see Republicans bashing the Obama administration over reports that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups during the 2012 election season.

But even the president’s most vocal supporters — the talking heads of liberal cable news channel MSNBC — are unloading on the White House and the Democratic Party as a whole.

“Look at the reaction of the entire Democratic Party. Of course the Republican Party is jumping on this … beating up the IRS is always good politics. But why aren’t more Democrats jumping on this?” asked MSNBC host and White House correspondent Chuck Todd. “This is outrageous, no matter what political party you are.”

Twitchy: Well, they were ‘flourishing’: David Plouffe excuses IRS targeting of conservative groups:

No, really. Former Obama adviser David Plouffe took to Twitter to spin the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups. And boy, did he step in it.

***

Important to note that they totally asked for it. By being successful fundraisers.

Then came the immediate backpedaling attempt. Call him out for his ludicrous tweet? You are a conspiracy theorist, natch.

Weasel Zippers: White House Dismisses IRS Targeting Conservatives As Only “A Small Number Of IRS Employees,” Says Obama “Concerned”…

WRONG! This went all the way to the top of the agency who knew for at least two years this was going on and denied it was happening to Congress.

Via TPM:

White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement Monday that President Barack Obama is “concerned” that a “small number of Internal Revenue Service employees may have” inappropriately singled out conservative groups for further review during the 2012 election and that he expects “appropriate steps” will be taken should an independent review find that rules were broken. […]

Townhall: A Reminder of How the Obama Government Has Repeatedly Targeted Conservatives:

We learned late last week that the IRS specifically targeted conservative groups for political purposes starting in 2011, but they aren’t the only federal agency that has abused its power to do so. As a reminder, here’s a compilation of just some of the ways conservatives, “tea party groups,” and “patriots” have been targeted.

Doug Ross: THE IRS SCANDAL AND OBAMACARE: Yes, Your Private Health Information Will Be Used Against You:

So what could possibly go wrong with the IRS administering all of your health care data

When Obamacare’s individual mandate takes effect in 2014, all Americans who file income tax returns must complete an additional IRS tax form… The new form will require disclosure of a taxpayer’s personal identifying health information in order to determine compliance with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

As confirmed by IRS testimony to the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, “taxpayers will file their tax returns reporting their health insurance coverage, and/or making a payment”.

…Simply put, there is no way for the IRS to enforce Obamacare’s individual mandate without such an invasive reporting scheme… As a service to the public, Americans for Tax Reform has released a projected version of this tax form to help families and tax specialists prepare for this additional filing requirement. Taxpayers may view the projected IRS form at http://www.ObamacareTaxForm.com. On the form, lines 3-4 show where taxpayers will disclose their personal health ID information.

Big Government:59 Congress Members Demand Hagel Explain Meeting with Anti-Christian Extremist:

Monday morning, Congressmen Steve Scalise and John Fleming—both Republicans representing districts in Louisiana—sent a letter signed by 59 Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon, demanding answers regarding Pentagon officials meeting with an anti-Christian extremist.

This story began two weeks ago when Breitbart News reported on at least one such meeting. Since that time it has become a growing controversy, as Breitbart News reported additional disturbing details. Now Congress is weighing in.

The Scalise-Fleming letter begins:

It has come to our attention that as recently as April 23, 2013, Pentagon officials met with Mr. Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, Founder and President of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), to discuss religious freedom in the military. As we have great concern regarding numerous inflammatory statements from Mr. Weinstein in recent weeks, we are seeking further clarification on the meeting that took place late last month.

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Ramirez cartoon via Townhall.

Big Government: Dems: GOP Leading Benghazi ‘Witch Hunt’ Against Hillary:

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) went out of her way to try to protect Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling Rand Paul’s attacks on Clinton’s malfeasance “nonsense” and blaming Republicans for a loss of American credibility for attacking the Obama administration. But even she admitted that criticism of the administration was warranted. “I think the talking points were wrong,” Feinstein said.

Meanwhile, Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) said on local NBC, “I think there are some unanswered questions about how they came to say what they did.”

With all this going on, what do you think the president is doing, this week?

Michelle Malkin: Dead and circuses: Clown-in-chief Obama calls Benghazi talking points a “sideshow;” Flashback to Obama’s U.N. and Letterman sideshows:

Oh, yes he just did. At a joint press conference with British PM David Cameron in Washington today, President Obama lied and evaded and obfuscated some more on his Benghazi crime and cover-up.

Obama called the swelling uproar over the Etch-a-Sketch YouTube video talking points shilled by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and himself a “sideshow.”

Read all about it at Twitchy.

Re-watch the “sideshow” yourselves of Obama plying the YouTube falsehood two weeks after the attack. (Click link for video.)

Breitbart: Don’t Blow It on Benghazi: The Focus Must Be Obama, NOT Clinton:

As the rubble in Benghazi was still smoldering, the President declared, on September 12, 2012, “We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.” And then he was aboard Air Force One, off to Las Vegas, for a rally and fundraiser.

The immediate question, of course, is what Obama left behind in Washington D.C. that day.  Increasingly, it appears that he left his underlings in Washington to work out the new and dishonest Benghazi narrative–the cover-up.  The goal was to insulate the President from all this bad news–he had nothing to do with it.  Isn’t it interesting, for example, that no photos were ever released of the President working on the Benghazi crisis on the night of the attacks?  Nope, with the November election just six weeks away, the White House strategy was clear: The President was to kept far, far away from anything that might make the votes wonder if they had the right commander-in-chief.

Thus we come to the more important question–the ultimate question: What did the President know?

John Bolton, Trib-Live: FOREIGN POLICY: another example of President Obama’s failed leadership – says one thing and does another.

In recent weeks, President Obama has worked assiduously to redefine and thereby back away from his earlier statements that Syria’s Assad regime would face grave consequences if it used chemical weapons. The president’s emphatic pronouncements, starting last August, that any such actions would cross a “red line” and be a “game changer” had turned from news-getting one-liners into a major public-relations problem for his administration.

Then, on May 5, The New York Times’ lead article reported the spectacle of unnamed administration officials leaking that the president’s comments were “unscripted.” One anonymous source said “the idea was to put a chill into the Assad regime without actually trapping the president into any predetermined action.”

These White House comments to its favorite media outlet possibly reflected a strategy to downplay the “red line” comment, seemingly even at the president’s short-term expense, in order to minimize longer-term political damage. Or, much worse, the anonymous sources could have been leaking against their own boss, a dangerous sign of instability and dissension within the administration.

NRO: Grassley: Baucus Retiring Because He’s ‘Fed Up’ With Obamacare:

Democratic senator Max Baucus is retiring because he is “fed up” with the Affordable Care Act, according to his Republican colleague Chuck Grassley. Speaking at Friday night’s Lincoln Day dinner in Iowa, Grassley told the audience the Montana senator is leaving office ”because he’s so fed up with the possibility of the implementation of Obamacare being a train wreck.”

Baucus, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, played a key role in writing the 2010 law.

Grassley said that dissatisfaction with the health-care bill exists across party lines, describing a “bipartisan coalition in Washington” that considers the implementation of the law a disaster. “It’s a shame that a trainwreck even left the station a couple years ago,” he added, referring to Baucus’s now-infamous statement of frustration.

The Weekly Standard: Obama to Attend 3 Democratic Fundraisers:

President Barack Obama will start the week by attending 3 Democratic fundraisers in New York City, according to the White House.

“In the afternoon, the President will travel to New York City. The departure from the South Lawn and the arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport will be open press,” the president’s schedule reads.

“While in New York City, the President will deliver remarks at two DNC events at private residences and a joint DCCC/DSCC event at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The DNC events are print pool for remarks only and the DCCC/DSCC event is pooled press.

“In the evening, the President will depart New York City en route Washington, DC. The departure from John F. Kennedy International Airport and the arrival on the South Lawn will be open press.

The Examiner: Immigration enforcement run by La Raza, claims ICE union leader:

The head of the union representing members of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement division of the Homeland Security Department on Thursday stated that immigration enforcement is being run by leaders of a racist group known as La Raza (“The Race”).

According to Chris Crane, the current president of the union for ICE agents, the National ICE Council, President Barack Obama, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and ICE Director John Morton have all but abdicated their leadership in the enforcement of immigration laws and the protection of U.S. borders and citizens.

In a letter to Congress on May 9, Crane and a number of law enforcement executives complained that while business groups, activists, and other special interests were closely involved in the drafting of the proposed Schumer-Rubio immigration reform bill (S. 744), law enforcement personnel were excluded from those sessions.

The idea was to test the response of police and firefighters to a situation that was right out of the news headlines.

What news headlines?

I read a lot of news every day and these “angry parents” taking over a school at gunpoint, requiring SWAT intervention, somehow completely escaped my notice!

Well, it must be true, because the police officer in charge said, “We’ve been dealing with this across the country for years.”

Where? When?

It’s very obvious what this actually is. It is desensitization training.

de·sen·si·tize

verb \dē-ˈsen(t)-sə-ˌtīz\

to make emotionally insensitive or callous; specifically: to extinguish an emotional response (as of fear, anxiety, or guilt) to stimuli that formerly induced it.

Kurt Schlichter,Townhall: Dems Shoot Themselves in the Foot Again On Guns:

We need to understand that the motivation behind the gun grabbing campaign has always been more than just naked political calculation. Certainly, liberals think it will help motivate their base and maybe shore up the squishy suburban mom demographic for 2014, but this is really a campaign fueled by emotion.

That emotion is hate.

This isn’t about dead children. If saving kids was their real motivation, liberals would have long ago allowed the police to end the daily slaughter in Democrat-owned war zones like Chicago, Detroit and Washington, D.C. No, this campaign is driven by elitist hatred for regular Americans who refuse to bend to their will, who defiantly live life on their own terms, and who stubbornly resist accepting the moral supremacy of the urban liberals who would rule them.

They want to show us who is boss, to put us in our place, to take away the proud symbols of – and the tools that protect – our independence for one reason and one reason only. They want to show that they can. They want to demonstrate that what rights we have come not from our maker but from them, to be granted or withdrawn as they please.

They want us disarmed, demoralized and defeated. They are furious that we refuse to allow it, but anger is a poor foundation for building strategy.

Their anger clouds their thinking – they simply do not understand their opponents and seem to feel that considering their opponents’ motivations, even if only to come up with a way to defeat them, are somehow beneath their dignity. Sun Tzu knew what happens when a general does not understand his enemy. He loses.

Hot Air: Actual NYT headline: “IRS Focus on Conservatives Gives GOP an Issue to Seize On”:

Ed flagged this earlier in an update but I want to make sure people see it. You know this routine by now: If it’s a scandal involving Republicans, the story is the scandal. If it’s a scandal involving Democrats, the story — or at least a significant part of it — is whether and how Republicans will “politicize” the scandal for their advantage. (Aren’t Democrats interested in “seizing on” this malfeasance to root out IRS corruption too?) That LA Times headline that I screencapped last week is a textbook example of the genre: “Partisan politics dominates House Benghazi hearing,” as if the big takeaway from Greg Hicks’s testimony was nothing-to-see-here politics-as-usual squabbling between Republicans and Democrats. What makes the NYT’s angle this morning noteworthy is that they’ve been downplaying tea partiers’ accusations against the IRS since the beginning, starting with this now-infamous editorial last year and continuing right on through this weekend.

Life News: Kermit Gosnell Jury Hung on Two Counts, Doesn’t Say Which Ones:

Reports this morning indicate the jury in the murder trial of abortion practitioner Kermit Gosnell is hung on two counts, but reports do not indicate which ones.

The jury has indicated that it has reached verdicts on 261 other counts. Judge Minehart took less than five minutes to instruct the jury to go back and reconsider the two hung charges and attempt to come to a consensus without violating anyone’s conscience. He told them that their disagreement is a sign that they are taking the case seriously, according to reporters inside the courtroom.

If verdicts cannot be reached, the judge may accept any possible guilty verdicts and declare a mistrial on the two hung counts.