Today the House Ways and Means Committee held its first hearing on the IRS scandal which broke just a week ago. Two people testified before the committee: Steven Miller, the out-going IRS commissioner, and J . Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General. Here are some of the highlights from today's testimony.
Last night, the White House dumped 100 pages of emails related to the Benghazi talking points. A few things. First of all, how hard was that? Congress has been begging for these emails for months and they suddenly show up now?
Second-term agenda? What second-term agenda? At this point, Barack Obama has far more pressing issues at stake: The credibility of this administration, and quite frankly the integrity of our government as a whole.
It's very rare that a scandal emerges in Washington that unites people from all sides of the political spectrum. The IRS targeting of conservative groups is this rare exception. For the most part, people from all political beliefs inherently recognize the danger of using the IRS or any political enforcement agency to target specifics groups for their beliefs.
It's pretty unbelievable that we are sitting here faced with not one, not even two, but three major scandals involving this administration. There's even a potential fourth scandal brewing, which we'll get to later.
There have been dramatic changes in what many will now openly describe as a full-blown cover-up related to the Benghazi terrorist attack on September 11, 2012. What we have here is a case of complete incompetence, which led to the death of four brave Americans and a subsequent cover-up for the purposes of maintaining political power. The pursuit of power trumped reality and the truth. Simple as that.
On Friday we received a bombshell from the IRS after it issued an apology for admittedly targeting groups applying for 501(c)(4)/tax-exempt status that used the words “tea party” or “patriot.” What we were told on Friday is that “low-level” officials in the IRS office in Cincinnati were targeting conservative groups during the 2012 election season.
The IRS issued a startling apology today, admitting the fact that it actively targeted conservative political groups in 2012 for additional review. When groups would apply for tax-exempt status, words like “tea party” or “patriot” would automatically be flagged for more intense scrutiny.
It is clear that this administration is engaging in a concerted effort to “sell” ObamaCare to the American people. What's amazing is that these people are delusional enough to believe that the problem with ObamaCare is the messaging and not the law itself. The fact remains that ObamaCare remains wildly unpopular. While Nancy Pelosi once said that we have to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it, the fact is that the more we find out about it, the less we like it!
Yesterday was a pretty unbelievable day. The hearing on Benghazi in the House Oversight and Reform committee was compelling and credible. If you didn't get the chance to see it, Greg Hicks' recount of what happened on the night of the attack was riveting, at times spellbinding.
I believe that today was a defining day for the Obama administration and particularly for Hillary Clinton. After waiting nearly eight months to get more information on exactly what happened surrounding the terrorist attack in Benghazi, three brave whistle-blowers from the State Department finally told their stories to a Congressional committee. It was clear and embarrassing based on the questions from Democrat members of the committee that they were more interested in protecting Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton and the administration rather than seeking information and the truth. With that being said, the minute-by-minute recount of what happened on September 11th from Greg Hicks (who became the highest ranking diplomat in Libya after Ambassador Stevens' passing) was absolutely riveting. Here are some of the important points we learned today from Greg Hicks, along with Mark Thompson and Eric Nordstrom.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has released its 2013 report. According to its own press release, “The Report highlights the status of religious freedom globally and identifies those governments that are the most egregious violators.” Among those that were already on the list of “countries of particular concern,” eight were recommended to be re-designated as such: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan. There were also seven other countries recommended to be put on that list: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.
I've been saying that I believe there to be four young rock stars in the conservative movement. Those people are Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), Mike Lee (UT) and Ted Cruz (TX). I believe that they represent the future of the Republican Party, if they continue on their current principled paths. But this won't be easy.
If you haven't been following this story, its truly unbelievable. It takes place in Cleveland, Ohio. Three young girls were kidnapped separately by a sick man about a decade ago. The women are Amanda Berry (now 27) who was kidnapped in 2003 just before her 17th birthday; Gina DeJesus (now 23) who was kidnapped in 2004; and Michelle Knight (now 32) who was kidnapped in 2002 at the age of 20.