Who Do You Think Students at U of CO Blame for the Government Shutdown? (Video)

This will be your feelgood story of the day/week maybe even month.

Caleb Bonham of Campus Reform asked random students at the (uber liberal)  University of Colorado who they think is to blame for the government shutdown.

Their answers will surprise you. No — they’ll shock you.

Via The Right Scoop

Where the heck were those kids in 2012?

Meanwhile…

Dingy Harry thinks the Dem plan to blame the shutdown on Republicans, is working swimmingly.

When the Mayor of DC accosted him about unlocking city funds for the District of Columbia, Wednesday, at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Dingy, ever protective of he and Obama’s Masterpiece Shutdown Theater hissed – “don’t screw it up!”

Hat tip: Brian B.

ObamaCare: It’s More Than A Glitch (Video)

Another masterpiece by RedState’s Ben Howe for the Heritage Foundation riffing on the less than smooth rollout of the ObamaCare website.

The administration was warned about the problems with “the poorly designed and not user friendly” ObamaCare website months ahead of time, CNN reported today. A health care insurance consultant said that health insurers had warned HHS officials before the rollout about the faulty system, warning them not to go ahead with the rollout, but were ignored.

Wolf Blitzer said that the Regime should accept Republicans’ advice and delay ObamaCare a year.

SEE ALSO:

Andrew McCarthy, National Review: When You’ve Lost Wolf Blitzer . . .

 I think that’s what Wolf Blitzer is telling the White House: “Look, you’re losing and it is getting worse for you every day. If you cut your losses now, there’s a graceful way out: We’ll tell everyone that the system failed to anticipate how much demand there would be for the Obamacare exchanges; that the public overwhelmingly blames Republicans for the catastrophic shut-down that now threatens a default (different issue, but the rubes won’t know any better); that the Republicans failed to defund Obamacare (even though the program will be suspended); and that you, Mr. President, were big enough to realize it was best to have a delay so these unfortunate technical glitches could be resolved in time for everyone to enjoy a smooth Obamacare transition next year. But it’s time to fold — and if we turn the page now, we can move right on to how the Tea Party zealots are bent on destroying the full faith and credit of the United States. In a few days, no one will even remember the geyser stasi at Yellowstone Park.”

Obama’s America: Tourist Says Yellowstone Rangers Were Armed, Blocked Old Faithful – ‘You Could Feel The Element Of Fear’

More details have come out today about the “Gestapo tactics” used by NPS on seniors at Yellowstone this past week.

Jonathan Last of the Weekly Standard thinks the National Park Service’s acquiescence of the Regime’s “Shutdown Theater” may be the Regime’s worst scandal –  and there’s lots of competition for that honor.

The conduct of the National Park Service over the last week might be the biggest scandal of the Obama administration. This is an expansive claim, of course. Benghazi, Fast and Furious, the IRS, the NSA, the HHS mandate​—​this is an administration that has not lacked for appalling abuses of power. And we still have three years to go.

Even so, consider the actions of the National Park Service since the government shutdown began. People first noticed what the NPS was up to when the World War II Memorial on the National Mall was “closed.” Just to be clear, the memorial is an open plaza. There is nothing to operate. Sometimes there might be a ranger standing around. But he’s not collecting tickets or opening gates. Putting up barricades and posting guards to “close” the World War II Memorial takes more resources and manpower than “keeping it open.”

The closure of the World War II Memorial was just the start of the Park Service’s partisan assault on the citizenry. There’s a cute little historic site just outside of the capital in McLean, Virginia, called the Claude Moore Colonial Farm. They do historical reenactments, and once upon a time the National Park Service helped run the place. But in 1980, the NPS cut the farm out of its budget. A group of private citizens set up an endowment to take care of the farm’s expenses. Ever since, the site has operated independently through a combination of private donations and volunteer workers.

The Park Service told Claude Moore Colonial Farm to shut down.

Via Allahpundit at Hot Air:

Most of what Pat Vaillancourt says here will be familiar to you but the bit about Old Faithful is new to me. Evidently it wasn’t enough to effectively lock elderly tourists inside their hotel. To make doubly sure that no one snuck up to the geyser for a pic while it was erupting, they drove down to the site 10-15 minutes beforehand and stood guard. That’s how petty this was. Presumably even the tourists taking photos from the windows of the hotel ended up with their Old Faithful memento effectively being photobombed by the NPS. Take that, America.

SEE ALSO:

Ace: Yellowstone Park Goon Squads, Media Ignorance, and Media Ideology

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Storming The Barrycades Edition

storming the WH

Marine WWII vets after storming the Barrycade to the Marine Memorial in Washington DC.

vets

Graphic courtesy of the one and only Chris Muir over at Day By Day.

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.

This weeks’ contest is dedicated to those veterans who weren’t about to let a spiteful, dysfunctional president stop them from honoring their departed comrades, and to the blessed Rav Ovadia Yosef, ZT”L.

Council News:

This week, Ask Marion , Tel Hai Nation, Maggie’s Notebook, The Independent Sentinel and The Pirate’s Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and 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.

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, let’s see what we have this week….

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Video: Issa Grills Top IRS Obamacare Official About Email Exchange With WH In Which Confidential Taxpayer Information Was Discussed

At  today’s ongoing hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Sarah Hall Ingram, the top Obamacare official at the Internal Revenue Service, was unable to recall details about her own e-mail correspondence with White House officials regarding  legally protected confidential taxpayer information.  According to Issa, “the information was apparently disclosed during her efforts to counsel senior White House officials in response to lawsuits from religious-affiliated institutions objecting to the contraception mandate in Obamacare.”

Via The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform:

Chairman Issa:          Do you recall this document?

Ms. Hall Ingram:       I do not recall the document.  I think I recall what it was a discussion about.

Chairman Issa:          Well one of the areas of interest is there’s a significant redaction that quotes the statute 6103. Do you know who is underneath that blackout?

Ms. Hall Ingram:   I don’t recall the document so I can’t help you with what’s underneath the redaction.

The e-mail exchanges with White House officials, which can be found here and here, include several redactions the IRS indicates were made to protect confidential taxpayer information pursuant to section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code, which prohibits any federal officer or employee from, “disclos[ing] any return or return information obtained by him in any manner in connection with his service as such an officer or an employee.”  Any unlawful disclosure of confidential taxpayer information could result in five years of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

The e-mail exchange between White House and IRS officials was produced in redacted form by the IRS, which cited confidential 6103 protected information as the justification for redaction. The IRS, which presents itself as apolitical, is specifically prohibited from “willful misuse of the provisions of section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 for the purpose of concealing information from a congressional inquiry” (26 U.S.C. 7804 note).  Noting the abuse of the 6103 provision by the IRS, Chairman Issa has requested the unredacted e-mails from the IRS.

Background

  • Over fifty religious-affiliated organizations – including non-profit schools, hospitals and charities – have sued the Administration provisions of Obamacare they allege violate their religious freedom.
  • One such religious-affiliated school, Wheaton College in Illinois, filed suit against the Administration on July 18, 2012.  The very same date that Wheaton College sued the Administration for infringing on its religious liberty, Hall Ingram and several subordinates engaged in an e-mail exchange with senior White House officials about the scope and contours of the Administration’s religious exemption to the contraception mandate.
  • On July 18, 2012, Ellen Montz, a health policy advisor at the White House, e-mailed Hall Ingram and Catherine Livingston, then health care counsel in the IRS Chief Counsel’s office, with questions about whether religious-affiliated schools are “automatically exempt” from filing Form 990, which is the fourth prong of a “four prong test” the Administration’s used to offer exemption from the contraception mandate.  Hall Ingram responded the same day with answers to her questions.
  • The response referenced a document pertaining to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, an organization that represents the 43 Catholic entities.  The Archbishops of Washington and New York filed suit against the Administration on May 21, 2012 – only weeks before her e-mail exchange with the White House.
  • Jeanne Lambrew, the Deputy Assistant to the President for Health Policy, e-mailed Hall Ingram the following day with additional questions, writing: “[D]o we feel at this point we can say that we believe that replacing the four-prong test with the fourth prong will not expand the number of workers in health plans that are exempt from contraception coverage?  What more needs to be done to make such a determination?”
  • The documents indicate that Hall Ingram and her subordinates violated the IRS’s traditional role as an impartial administrator of the tax code by using their expertise and knowledge to advise the White House on a politically controversial subject: the four-prong test for religious exemption to the contraception mandate.
  • The substance and the context of this exchange indicate that the White House hoped to include religious-affiliated schools – such as Wheaton College – within the scope of the Form 990 filing exemption in order to moot the lawsuits filed.  This e-mail exchange, indicates that Hall Ingram counseled the White House on a strategy for dismissing lawsuits that challenged the Administration’s infringement of religious liberty.
  • The Committee does not have access to the redacted information the IRS has withheld on the grounds that it contains legally protected 6103 taxpayer information.

The hearing is being streamed live, here.

Fox News coverage of the hearing: Issa-Jordan Press IRS ObamaCare Head on Law’s Implementation:

Linked by Doug Ross, thanks!

Posted in IRS.

Key IRS Official Testifying Before Oversight and Reform Committee

This morning, the IRS official in charge of tax-exempt organizations at the time when the unit targeted tea party groups, is on the hot seat in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Live video from the hearing is streaming, here.

Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office between 2009 and 2012, while it was targeting conservative Tea Party, evangelical and pro-Israel groups for harassment and she got more than $100,000 in bonuses for a job well done. Then she was moved to the IRS office responsible for the Affordable Care Act.

Andrew Stiles, NRO reported:

“Although the Committee has requested several times that Ms. Ingram speak on the record about the operation implementation of ObamaCare, until this hearing, the IRS had refused to allow her to do so,” committee chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) wrote in a letter to ranking member Elijah Cummings (D., Md.) on Monday. The letter was in response to last week’s request from Cummings for four additional witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing (Ingram is currently scheduled as the only witness). A GOP aide says Democrats were likely trying to “take the heat” off of Ingram, and dilute the focus of the hearing. Issa rejected the request, noting that Republicans have been seeking to interview Ingram about the IRS’s role in Obamacare implementation for since July, when acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel “personally interceded,” as Issa put it, to prevent Ingram from appearing before a committee hearing.The purpose of the hearing is to examine the IRS’s role in implementing Obamacare, but you can safely bet Republicans will ask Ingram about her role in the targeting scandal, too.

The hearing started off on a contentious note with Chairman Issa butting heads with  Elijah Cummings: