May 14th, 2013
The IRS came after Billy Graham, too, his son charged Tuesday in a letter to President Barack Obama.
Franklin Graham, the president of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the family’s international humanitarian organization Samaritan’s Purse, said that the IRS notified the organizations in September that it was conducting a “review” of their activities for tax year 2010.
With the IRS admitting it gave extra scrutiny to conservative political organizations, Graham says he now believes that the review was part of an Obama administration effort of “targeting and attempting to intimidate us.”
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association urging of voters to back “candidates who base their decisions on biblical principles and support the nation of Israel” during last year’s presidential race was the reason why IRS agents visited the North Carolina offices of both Graham groups, the letter accuses.
“While these audits not only wasted taxpayer money, they wasted money contributed by donors for ministry purposes as we had to spend precious resources servicing the IRS agents in our offices,” Graham wrote in the letter, which was shared with POLITICO. “I believe that someone in the administration was targeting and attempting to intimidate us. This is morally wrong and unethical – indeed some would call it ‘un-American.”
Graham said that “in light” of the IRS admission that it targeted tea party groups for added scrutiny, “I do not believe that the IRS audit of our two organizations last year is a coincidence – or justifiable.”
Graham was not available to comment Tuesday because he was traveling, a spokesman said. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An IRS spokesman said that he had not seen the letter and could not comment.
The Graham organizations kept their federal income tax exemptions after the audit — but were not told they’d be able to until after the November election, he wrote.
Graham, who last week attended a White House meeting for religious leaders to discuss gun control, said the IRS story threatens to engulf all manner of non-profit organizations.
“Mr. President, the IRS has already publicly acknowledged it operated in a less than neutral and non-partisan way,” Graham wrote. “We also now know that the target of their improper actions was much wider than political or Tea Party organizations. Will you take some immediate action to reassure Americans we are not in a new chapter of American history – repressive government rule?”
The IRS review, which Graham wrote involved an IRS agent visiting the two agencies last October, followed the Billy Graham ministry publishing newspaper ads in North Carolina backing a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The amendment passed in May.
More from REID J. EPSTEIN at the Politico
May 14th, 2013
As the Benghazi lies keep unfolding, Glenn felt it important to highlight the most important and revealing falsehoods that have been fed to the American people so far. Sadly there were so many to choose from he could only narrow it down to 20.
Here are the top 20 Benghazi lies…
#1. “Our current best assessment based on the information we have at present is that in fact what this began as was a spontaneous, not a premeditated, response to what had transpired in Cairo.” — Susan Rice
The testimony now proves that the administration knew in advance.
#2. “What we do know is that the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video were used as an excuse by extremists to see if they can also directly harm U.S. interests.” — President Obama
#3. “But the entire reason that this has become the, you know, political topic it is is because of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.” — Stephanie Cutter (Obama’s campaign spokesperson)
#4. “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video, sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.” — President Obama
Important because the President’s defense has been ‘we corrected it’ and called Benghazi an act of terror two days later. This was after that.
#5. “I know there are some who ask, why don’t we just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws. Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech.” — President Obama
So it’s still the “video” and claiming people are calling for speech to be limited.
#6. “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior along with the protest that took place at our embassy in Cairo yesterday as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.” — Hillary Clinton
…how many times did they try to go down this road?
#7. “We can all condemn this reprehensible video.” — Victoria Nuland
That’s 3 members of the State Department…1 political operative…and the President.
#8. “Find the video that has been so offensive to Muslims to be disgusting and reprehensible.” — Jay Carney
#9. “To address the video circulating on the Internet that has led to these protests.” — Hillary Clinton
#10. “Was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.” — Susan Rice
Well, if nothing else, she is persistent.
#11. “And it is in response, not to United States policy, not to obviously the administration, not to the American people. It is in response to a video.” -
#12. “Now we do not yet have indication that it was preplanned or premeditated.” – Jay Carney
Really? Because we actually know that you had information that the attack was premeditated days before the attack took place. One of the people in Benghazi called the State Department with concerns warning of the attack.
#13. Reporter: “And CBS has learned that the U.S. mission in Libya reportedly ‑‑ repeatedly asked for better security before last month’s attack on the American consulate in Benghazi. A State Department officer says there were 13 confirmed security threats in the six months before the attack. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed three weeks ago.”
“Well, we weren’t told they wanted more security and we did not know they wanted more security again.” — Joe Biden
That’s cute, Joe.
#14. “The White House and State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of those two ‑‑ of these two institutions were changing the word consulate to diplomatic facility because consulate was inaccurate.” — Jay Carney
…odds Jay Carney has this job a year from now?
#15. “And make no mistake: We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.” — President Obama
Well…the video guy is in prison — no terrorists from this attack yet though.
#16. “You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character who is extremely offensive video directed at Mohammed and Islam. We had nothing to do with the video.” — President Obama
The video? Again? Come on guys…
#17. “It’s not a matter of blaming, that’s just the facts. Sometimes intelligence has to catch up with the reality on the ground. This was one of those cases.” — David Axelrod
Doesn’t the intelligence normally come from information on the ground? Throwing the CIA under the bus is never the smart choice, David.
#18. “First I pretty the faux outrage from the RNC and the Republican Party.” — Stephanie Cutter
Somehow this is one of the masterminds behind Obama’s re-election.
#19. “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they would go kill some Americans?” — Hillary Clinton
Something tells us it’s starting to make a difference to Hillary (and her 2016 presidential hopes).
#20. “Let’s be clear: These protests were in reaction to a video that had spread to the region.” – Jay Carney
Seriously, what do we think — a week? a month? How much longer does Carney have as Press Secretary?
So what’s the truth? Glenn gives a full rundown of where we stand and what we know about the Benghazi attacks HERE.
May 14th, 2013
The US Government, under the executive management of Obama and his froward Statists, has certifiably morphed into a Big Tent three ring circus ostensibly dedicated to any and every high flying parlor stunt and comedic interlude imaginable, except for the very functions it was founded to perform."~BLS
The White House was in damage control mode Tuesday morning as an escalating series of potential scandals raised questions about whether officials abused their authority -- all while threatening to undermine President Obama's second-term ambitions.
The latest controversy to hit the headlines was the allegation that the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of phone records from Associated Press journalists. The AP went public with the charge Monday, and quickly earned sympathy from lawmakers on both sides who widely agreed that the record grab appeared to be unnecessarily intrusive.
House Speaker John Boehner's office said "they better have a damned good explanation."
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Democrat, said he's "very troubled" by the allegations.
Attorney General Eric Holder is sure to come under heavy questioning on the matter when he appears on Capitol Hill for a hearing Wednesday, and could face questions during an unrelated press conference Tuesday afternoon.
The AP allegations amounted to the second controversy that raised concerns from members of both parties and could not be easily dismissed by the administration as a partisan attack. The other was the acknowledgement Friday by the IRS that it inappropriately singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for scrutiny.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a Tea Party-aligned lawmaker, said those responsible should be fired.
"Anybody who was aware of, and approved of targeting people for their political beliefs and speech, needs to be fired, never in this position again, and made an example of," he told Fox News on Tuesday.
Those two controversies came on top of a revived clamor in Washington over the Benghazi terror attack. Three whistle-blowers brought the issue back to the fore with their dramatic testimony last week. Further, newly published email excerpts show that a top State Department official pressed the intelligence community to water down its initial story line on the attack in the days before a top diplomat went on television to explain the attack to the public.
And amid that controversy, FoxNews.com and other news organizations reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has been reaching out to private-sector executives seeking donations for nonprofit organizations that help enroll people in ObamaCare.
The House Energy and Commerce Committee has already launched a probe into the solicitations. Republicans on the committee voiced concern that the department could be soliciting donations from firms that are also doing business with HHS.
Together, the scandals threaten to distract from Obama's second-term agenda. He recently suffered a defeat on gun control, but was hoping to align with influential Capitol Hill Republicans to push for an immigration overhaul in the coming weeks.
Obama, in a press conference on Monday, downplayed the scandals. He called Benghazi a political "sideshow" driven by partisan motives. As for the IRS, he made clear that he found the alleged conduct to be unacceptable and would not tolerate it.
But the administration has distanced itself from that controversy, attributing it to the actions of low-level staffers. The White House also distanced itself from the AP phone record grab, referring questions to the Justice Department.
More from Fox
May 14th, 2013
A steeper-than-expected rise in US shale oil reserves is about to change the global balance of power between new and existing producers, a report says.
Over the next five years, the US will account for a third of new oil supplies, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
The US will change from the world's leading importer of oil to a net exporter.
Demand for oil from Middle-East oil producers is set to slow as a result.
"North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world," said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.
The surge in US production will reshape the whole industry, according to the IEA, which made the prediction in its closely-watched bi-annual report examining trends in oil supply and demand over the next five years.
The IEA said it expected the US to overtake Russia as the world's biggest gas producer by 2015 and to become "all but self-sufficient" in its energy needs by about 2035.
The rise in US production means the world's reliance on oil from traditional oil producing countries in the Middle East, which make up Opec (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries), would end soon, according to the report.Slower growth
US production is set to grow by 3.9 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) from 2012 to 2018, accounting for some two-thirds of the predicted growth in traditional non-Opec production, according to the IEA.
Meanwhile, global oil demand is set to increase by 8% which would be met mainly by non-Opec supplies, the report said
The IEA still expects production capacity among traditional Opec suppliers in the Middle East to continue to grow over the next five years, but at a slower rate.
Opec capacity, which counts for 35% of today's global oil output, is expected to rise by 1.75 million bpd to 36.75 million bpd in 2018, about 750,000 bpd less than predicted in the IEA's 2012 forecast.
The IEA cites the "growing insecurity in North and Sub-Saharan Africa" in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings as a key reason for the slowdown.
"The regional fallout from the 'Arab Spring' is taking a toll on investment and capacity growth," the IEA said.Fracking
The sharp rise in US oil production is largely thanks to shale oil, a product many have hailed as the saviour of the US energy market.
Fracking, the process of blasting water at high pressure into shale rock to release oil (or gas) held within it, has become widespread in the US.
But critics of shale oil point to environmental concerns such as high water use and possible water contamination, the release of methane and, to a lesser extent, earth tremors caused by drilling.
The process has been banned in France, while the UK recently lifted a moratorium on drilling for shale gas.
May 14th, 2013
"If in fact?"
It is a fact as indicated by both the IRS itself and the Inspector General.
No one, "in fact", actually believes the President, nor the fact that a bunch of low-level employees got together and autonomically decided to go after Conservatives.
A "Ridiculous" assertion.....at best
By Beckett Adams
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday that the White House counsel’s office was briefed last month on the investigation into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups.
Carney said the IRS inspector general notified the White House counsel’s office during the week of April 22 that it was completing a review of the IRS office in Cincinnati that targeted conservative political groups for special examination.
Well, wait a minute: Didn’t President Obama say he was unaware until last Friday of the scandal?
Remember, the president said during Monday’s joint press conference with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron [emphasis added]: “I first learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this. I think it was on Friday.”
Huh. The White House was notified in April, but the president only found out last week.
“If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous. And there’s no place for it,” the president continued.
“And they have to be held fully accountable. Because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity, and people have to have confidence that they’re … applying the laws in a nonpartisan way,” he added.
However, although it seems odd that the White House counsel’s office was notified of the scandal in April and the president apparently just learned about it, Carney was careful to tell reporters that the counsel’s office was not given details about the review.
In fact, Carney specifically stated that President Barack Obama was not told about the review, and he reiterated Obama’s assertion Monday that he did not learn such groups had been targeted until news reports broke Friday.
So it’s entirely possible that the President of the United States really had no idea what was going on.....right.
More from Beckett Adams at The Blaze