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  • RuralRebel 8:43 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: IRS,   

    Union-tied group slips IRS scrutiny 

    Union-tied group slips IRS scrutiny

    Published June 20, 2013

    The Restaurant Opportunities Center has slipped IRS scrutiny, and critics of the nonprofit are asking why. 

    A complaint filed by a coalition of restaurant owners with the federal tax authority alleges the 501(c)(3) labor nonprofit has received special treatment. 

    Florida Watchdog has obtained a copy of ROC’s tax exempt acceptance letter, dated June 1, 2010, and approved by Robert Choi, director of exempt organizations at the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service. 

    The Cincinnati office is blamed for much of the harassment and delay tactics incurred by conservative groups applying for similar tax exempt treatment, which is no fault of ROC. 

    What is of concern, according to a coalition of restaurant owners and workers calling itself the Restaurant Opportunities Center Exposed, is the multi-state “union front” continues to slip by the watchful eye of the IRS. 

    “It does raise the question of whether they’re receiving a pass because they’re ideologically in line with the administration. But we’ll have to see if the IRS will now investigate. We’ve presented them with some pretty strong documentation of lobbying and we’ve juxtaposed that with filings the IRS already has in their possession,” said Mike Paranzino, communications director for ROC Exposed.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/20/union-tied-group-slips-irs-scrutiny/?test=latestnews#ixzz2Wn78TihL

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  • RuralRebel 8:07 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    The low infos will find out…. 

    imagejust who actually benefitted and made money under this administration….while they simply received  just enough freebies to keep them QUIET

    image

     
  • RuralRebel 7:09 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Memos Show White House, IRS Wrapped Media Requests in Red Tape 

    Even as the freshly minted Obama administration was pledging a “new era of open government” in 2009, officials were quietly adding new rules that had the potential to slow down public requests for documents.

    Those rules, detailed in memos reviewed by FoxNews.com, could even trip up present-day efforts to dig into the IRS’ practice of targeting conservative groups. The rules detailed in the memos largely emanated from the Treasury Department and, specifically, the IRS. 

    “It would seem to repudiate this notion that this is going to be the most transparent government in history,” said Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, the group that first obtained the memos.

    The memos follow reports about the administration’s use of private email accounts, and coincide with ongoing debate about government transparency — particularly with recent disclosures about widespread surveillance programs.

    Epstein said the document request procedures are “troubling” since the media are “really concerned about the limits of government power.”

    According to the documents, the Treasury Department in 2009 set up an additional review for requests involving “sensitive information,” which covered a broad range of items. The White House sometimes got involved, slowing down the process. The IRS also acknowledged having another review process for requests from “major media,” but not for requests from private individuals.

    Members of the media often try to obtain documents not readily available by citing a law known as the Freedom of Information Act. The Treasury Department, though, in late 2009 erected speed bumps for some so-called FOIA requests.

    The rules were detailed in a November 2010 memo and report sent from the Treasury inspector general to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.

    The documents showed the Treasury Department set up an additional “formal level of review” for requests for “sensitive information.” This category would cover everything from emails to memos to calendars to travel logs for top department officials, legal advisers, senior advisers and others.

    Once a request was deemed “sensitive,” it would then go before a “review committee,” made up of officials from several Treasury offices.

    Further, the document said a special report would be prepared for IRS requests from “major media.” This covers requests from traditional news media as well as bloggers, and according to the report covered information that “was likely to attract news media or congressional interest, involved large dollar amounts, or involved unique or novel issues.” 

    This report would then be sent to a higher-up in the division who decided whether the material should be disclosed.

    The report repeatedly said that, in most cases, political appointees were not involved in these decisions, and that the agencies have no procedures to allow that.

    But Epstein said these rules could cause problems as Congress and the media dig deeper into the origin of the IRS practice of singling out conservative groups for additional scrutiny. 

    He pointed to another memo, dated April 15, 2009, from then-White House Counsel Greg Craig that urged “executive agencies” to consult with his office “on all document requests that may involve documents with White House equities.” Craig said this pertains to everything from FOIA requests to congressional requests to subpoenas.

    This practice apparently dates back to 1993. The Treasury IG memo cited this, and described the White House involvement as “minimal and limited.” However, the report also said the White House involvement “was responsible in several cases for adding a significant processing delay,” which in Treasury’s case slowed them down.

    “It actually is heavily ironic in the realm of transparency,” Epstein said.

    He pointed to edicts and memos early on in the first term of the administration stressing transparency. Obama issued a January 2009 directive calling for an “unprecedented level of openness.”

    Attorney General Eric Holder in March 2009 directed all Executive Branch departments to use a “presumption of openness” when dealing with FOIA requests.

    To that end, the administration has instituted several other transparency initiatives. It has followed through on requiring Cabinet secretaries to hold Internet town hall discussions, set up a comprehensive website to track stimulus spending, and set up a national declassification center.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/06/20/white-house-irs-slowed-down-document-requests-memos-show/#ixzz2Wn1iYPwS

     

     

     
  • RuralRebel 3:58 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bigots, gay rights, intolerance   

    Is this what we send our children to college for 

     Are you tired of the Intolerant…teaching tolerance?

    Columbia State professor’s assignment about gay rights sparks protest

    Jun. 20, 2013 4:40 AM 

    A professor at Columbia State Community College wanted to teach her students a lesson about diversity.

    Instead, she’s being accused of religious intolerance.

    At issue is an assignment in a class taught this spring by psychology professor Linda Brunton. Students claim they were required to wear a rainbow ribbon and make public statements in support of gay rights. They were then assigned to write a paper about the reactions they got from other people.

    Lawyers from the Phoenix-based Alliance Defending Liberty, a Christian legal group, said they received complaints from Christian students in Brunton’s class who oppose gay rights.

    Travis Barham, an Alliance Defending Liberty attorney, claimed in a letter to Columbia State that the assignment was illegal.

    “Dr. Brunton’s assignment violates decades (of) clearly established law by compelling students to support in public views they either do not wish to advocate or find abhorrent,” Barham wrote.

    Brunton declined to comment for this story.

    But Chris Sanders of the Tennessee Equality Project, a friend of the professor, said the lawyer’s claims are untrue. He said the assignment was voluntary and is commonly used in psychology classes.

    It’s designed to help students gain empathy for gays and lesbians, according to a teaching guide for the assignment, called “Promoting Increased Understanding of Sexual Diversity through Experience Learning.” That guide says that the assignment should be voluntary.

    “Students were allowed to opt out, and some did,” Sanders said. “And students were told that if they felt uncomfortable, they could take off the ribbons.”

    David Hacker of Alliance Defending Freedom said that teaching students to have empathy or to understand opposing views in the classroom is allowed. But students can’t be required to wear the ribbons outside the class.

    Hacker would not identify the students who complained about Brunton or say how many there were. He also did not know if the organization had documents showing whether the assignment was required.

    The letter also claims that Brunton called those who oppose gay rights “uneducated bigots.” It demands that Brunton apologize to students she offended.

    College officials said in a statement that they are looking into the matter.

    The allegations angered Greg Gwin, the minister at Collegevue Church of Christ, which is across the street from the college. On Wednesday, the church changed its sign to read, “CSCC: God is not an ‘Uneducated Bigot’ Rom 1:26,27.”

    “I am increasingly disgusted by the intolerance of those who claim to promote tolerance,” Gwin said.

    Columbia State student Jeff Vernon, who attends Collegevue Church of Christ, said he took a class with Brunton two years ago. He said she was clear about her support for gay rights and at one point described those who oppose gay rights as hateful.

    “I take offense at that,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone.”

    But wearing the ribbon was a voluntary, extra-credit assignment, Vernon said. He did not participate and suffered no consequences.

    “It did not affect my grade,” he said. “It did make for an uncomfortable situation.”

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130620/NEWS06/306200068/Columbia-State-professor-s-assignment-about-gay-rights-sparks-protest?odyssey=obinsite

     
  • RuralRebel 1:14 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    HSS…liar…..caught…..yet again…. 

    THE FEDERAL EYE
    How much money did Customs and Border Protection need to avoid furloughs?
    By Josh Hicks,  Published: THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 6:00 AM ET
         

    Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told Customs and Border Protection employees on Wednesday that they would not be furloughed this year, despite the agency’s initial estimate that its employees would have to take 14 days off because of the sequester.
    Napolitano informed CBP employees that Congress approved a plan to mitigate the impact of the automatic spending cuts. ”Today, I am pleased to say that Congress has approved that plan, and we have eliminated the need to furlough CBP personnel for the remainder of the fiscal year,” she said.

    We wanted to see the reprogramming plan to understand how much money DHS shifted between accounts to help avoid sequester furloughs. Neither CBP nor Homeland Security provided that information when asked for it on Wednesday.

    Congressional staff from the House Appropriations Committee eventually sent the following Homeland Security document in response to the same query:

    DHS reprogramming request

    The document is a letter in which Homeland Security asks permission to transfer about $11 million to CBP’s account for salaries and expenses, using money from other spending categories such as the Office of Intelligence and Analysis and the agency’s border-security fencing appropriations.

    The $11 million figure appears in a Washington Post article that went online Wednesday night. Homeland Security spokeswoman Marsha Catron later questioned the number, saying the department actually reprogrammed more than $100 million to avoid sequester-related furloughs.

    In order to reach Catron’s figure, the agency would need to shift another $89 million on top of the $11 million that Congress just approved for reprogramming.

    We’ve asked Homeland Security to provide a breakdown of the remaining $89 million it reprogrammed — apparently without needing Congressional approval — to avoid unpaid leave.

    The question remains: From which accounts did the agency draw that funding? The Federal Eye will update this article if Homeland Security provides the requested information.

    For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.com. E-mail federalworker@washpost.com with news tips and other suggestions.

    COMMENTS
    asmith1 wrote:
    June 20, 2013 at 7:47 AM
    because sequestration has nothing to do with funding cuts and everything to do with punishing

    Every program that has escaped furloughs is either a program that directly affects congress or Obama. Even though National Guard can be trained and moved to the borders, there is a need to keep up appearances especially now that the Illegal Aliens Rewards & Jobs bill (aka: immigration reform) debates are exposing the ugly truth that our borders are no where near as secure as Napolitano would have us believe … and that does not make Obama or the Dems looks good
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  • RuralRebel 12:03 pm on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Vacation? 

    Obama’s Turbulent European Vacation
    President Obama’s honeymoon with the world is over.

    What was it, exactly, about Obama’s controversy-marred trip to Germany and the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland that fell so flat? Ummm, how about … everything?  

    There were the snarky words from Vladimir Putin, who expressed an almost Soviet-esque distance from Washington in his views about Syria. “Of course our opinions do not coincide,” the Russian leader said bluntly. There was the coded warning from Chancellor Angela Merkel about spying on friends, and her and Obama’s continuing frostiness over the issue of economic stimulus versus austerity. Above all, there was Obama’s vague attempt at the Brandenburg Gate to capture some wisp of his past glory by pledging vague plans to cut nuclear arms and an even vaguer concept of “peace with justice.”

    The “peace with justice” line was a quote from John F. Kennedy, Obama’s attempt to steal just a little of JFK’s thunder from 50 years before. He didn’t come away with much, winning just a smattering of applause from a crowd that was one one-hundredth the size of JFK’s. A crowd that, at about 4,500, was also much, much smaller than Obama drew as a candidate in 2008.

    Not only is the honeymoon long over, folks. The marriage is becoming deeply troubled and, increasingly, loveless.

    On June 26, 1963, you may recall from your history books, Kennedy flew to West Berlin, which was isolated behind the Iron Curtain, and declared “Ich bin ein Berliner” to delirious roars from a crowd of 450,000 Germans who immediately understood that he  was telling them that  “all free men, wherever they may live,” stood behind them.

    Some linguists later quibbled that Kennedy should have said “Ich bin Berliner,” and that by adding the “ein” he was really saying, “I’m a jelly doughnut,” since “Berliner” was the name of a pastry in some parts of Germany. In truth, the Germans didn’t misunderstand JFK for a moment, and his speech instandly became one of the most famous and inspiring in modern history.

    In contrast to JFK, and Ronald Reagan’s almost-as-famous line 24 years later — “Mr, Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” — Obama came across as more of a jelly doughnut, a little soft and perhaps too sweet inside, especially compared to the hard-edged Putin. After their meeting, it was clear that Putin, right or wrong, was pursuing a set course on Syria and other issues, frankly backing the regime of Bashar al-Assad, while Obama was continuing to temporize over how much and what kind of aid he would give to the Syrian rebels.

    “We cannot dictate the pace of change in places like the Arab world, but we must reject the excuse that we can do nothing to support it,” the president declared in his Brandenburg Gate speech. It wasn’t much of an applause line. Even after announcing that his “red line” had been crossed in Syria, Obama rejected air strikes and then told Charlie Rose that aid will be delivered “in a careful, calibrated way” because “it is very easy to slip slide your way into deeper and deeper commitments.”

    Compare that to Putin’s active military support of Assad, which has helped the Syrian dictator regain the advantage against the rebels, and Putin’s harsher words. After his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, in opposition to arming the rebels, Putin declared:  “You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years.”  

    And even as he quoted Kennedy in his Brandenburg Gate speech  Obama appeared to hop lightly from topic to topic, much as his foreign policy has. “The Russians know what they want.  I think we’ve in a situation of strategic drift for several years,” says John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School.

    Indeed, as I have previously written, to a degree that the administration has not really acknowledged, Russia under Putin has become the chief countervailing force to U.S. power and influence around the world, even more so than China, which often follows Moscow’s lead in the U.N. Security Council.

    So now, instead of the Americans, it’s the Russians who are delivering up the challenging quotes, and drawing the hard lines, in Europe. History may well still be on Obama’s side, as he suggested by touting Berlin’s “lesson of the ages” in his speech. The audiences, perhaps not so much.

     
  • RuralRebel 11:54 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Background Checks Faked With Lax Oversight, Watchdog Says 

    image

    Yup lack of money is the reason we can’t keep crooks out of government….

    Background Checks Faked With Lax Oversight, Watchdog Says
    Investigators charged with conducting background checks of U.S. national-security workers have falsified records and aren’t receiving adequate oversight, according to an inspector general’s testimony.

    One worker fabricated 1,600 credit checks before it was discovered her own background investigation had been falsified, Patrick McFarland, inspector general of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, said in prepared testimony obtained by Bloomberg in advance of a Senate hearing tomorrow.

    While 18 investigators, including contract and government employees, have been convicted of falsifying reports since 2006, McFarland said the inspector general’s office lacks the resources to clear a backlog of an additional 36 cases.

    “My office has been alarmed for several years about the lack of oversight,” he said in his written testimony. “Our resources remain woefully inadequate, preventing us from performing the level of oversight that such an important program requires.”

    McFarland provided few details about the cases.

    Passing a government background check is a requirement before the employee or a contractor is granted a security clearance.

    Snowden Leak
    The disclosure of secret documents describing two U.S. surveillance programs by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor who had worked for Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH) and had a top-secret clearance, has called attention to the government’s process of vetting people who handle sensitive information.

    Two Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittees plan to hold a hearing addressing the government’s security-clearance process.

    The Office of Personnel Management is responsible for some 90 percent of the background investigations of U.S. government employees and contractors. The Pentagon and Department of Homeland Security are the biggest users of the program.

    The personnel office conducts more than 2 million investigations a year, according to its website. It vets applicants for federal agency jobs and applicants for security clearances.

    While the personnel office charges other federal agencies to conduct the checks, it isn’t allowed to include the cost of the inspector general’s oversight in its prices, according to McFarland.

    President Barack Obama has included in his fiscal 2014 budget a proposal that would let the agency include oversight costs in the prices of its background investigations, McFarland said.

    image

    …now just how did he KNOW this was needed????

    This news link http://tiny.iavian.net/13rc was sent from a friend.

     
  • RuralRebel 10:52 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: democracy, freedom   

    Elections don’t guard rights by Ralph Peters 

    Democracy vs. freedom

    Elections don’t guard rights

    • By RALPH PETERS
    • Last Updated: 12:10 AM, June 20, 2013
    • Posted: 11:21 PM, June 19, 2013
     

    With the very best intentions, we got it wrong. By elevating the establishment of democracy above all other priorities in states beyond Europe, we got elections — then had to watch freedom suffer.

    The roads to Tahrir, Taksim and Red Squares have been paved with good intentions, but led to the oppression of those who shared our values.

    The headline example is Turkey, whose democratically empowered prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was welcomed at the White House as a “friend” by our president — even as his government methodically undercut the country’s secular constitution, imposing his party’s Islamist values step by skillful step and imprisoning more journalists than China.

    Rallying for liberty: Protesters in Ankara’s Kizilay Square this week. On the flag is Kamal Ataturk, whose secular legacy the Islamist gov’t is assaulting.

    SIPA
    Rallying for liberty: Protesters in Ankara’s Kizilay Square this week. On the flag is Kamal Ataturk, whose secular legacy the Islamist gov’t is assaulting.

    Mesmerized by elections, we forgot freedom.

    Prime Minister Erdogan constantly cites his party’s election wins — with just over 50 percent of the vote last time around — as justification for imposing his Justice and Development Party’s Islamizing agenda on the entire population.

    This month’s impassioned demonstrations and strikes in Istanbul, Ankara and other Turkish cities were triggered by the planned destruction of the last green space in Istanbul (and exacerbated by restrictions on alcohol sales), but are really about the struggle between those Turks who lean West and want social freedoms, and a government intent on reestablishing Turkey as an Islamic Middle-East hegemon.

    Turkey has been a cultural conduit and invasion route between East and West for millennia. Today, it’s the cockpit of a new East-West struggle our politicians dread to acknowledge, a profound contest over the extent to which a majority can demand conformity from the dissenting individual (all too often in the name of a god).

    Our president clings to “democratically elected” Erdogan even as Turkey beats freedom demonstrators to a pulp, backs Muslim Brotherhood factions in Syria’s civil war, exploits a staged confrontation with Israel and does its best domestically to pack ministries, courts and the military with Islamists.

    Last Wednesday’s walk-out by the nation’s lawyers in sympathy with the freedom demonstrators had more to do with Erdogan’s subversion of the judiciary than with saving trees.

    In Russia, Putin cites his election wins as justification for increasing tyranny, as do his clones in much of the former Soviet Union. Across the Middle East, sectarian leaders exploit election victories to exclude minorities from any hope of future power through the polls (elections that bring religious parties to power do not appear to come with a reverse gear). Democracy is, indeed, advancing, but freedom is retreating.

    Democracy as we know it works within our practiced culture. For us, it’s the zenith of human self-organization. Disagree angrily though we may, we’ve learned to grit our teeth and compromise with political opponents in the clinch. The recent IRS debacle, for all the grandstanding on Capitol Hill, displayed our system’s strength: Members of Congress from both parties were genuinely shocked.

    But we who self-govern in the Anglo-American tradition have had eight centuries of practice, with plenty of errors made along the way. Americans didn’t start from scratch in 1776, but inherited a tradition of the rule of law and impartial judicial institutions, of individual rights and of tolerance (however reluctant) of minority rights. We would even fight a great civil war over the rights of a never-before-enfranchised minority, an event that remains unique in world history.

    And then we convinced ourselves that what has worked well for us must work for others with profoundly different traditions in societies at different stages of social and ethical development.

    We were wrong. It’s time to face it.

    We shouldn’t turn our back on democracy, but must recognize that the house needs a firm foundation that may take time to build. Instead of prodding ruptured societies to hurtle into elections — a pattern that gave us the treacherous President Hamid Karzai in Kabul and Baghdad’s sectarian partisan, Nouri al-Maliki, as well as the hapless President Mohammad Morsi in Egypt — we should stand for the rights of individuals and minorities, for guaranteed freedoms first. And we need to consider that there may be no universally applicable formula for getting to authentic, robust democracy in short order.

    Democracy has worked well in two types of societies: The homogenous, such as Sweden or the Netherlands, where elections are about issues, not confessional or ethnic differences, and in diverse societies such as today’s United States that form and re-form fluid coalitions and where no single voting block can dominate all of the others.

    Democracy consistently has disappointed in ethnically or religiously divided societies in which a majority tribe or faith wins the election and assumes the right to tyrannize minorities or “unbelievers.”

    Conflating democracy with freedom, we elevated one narrow means over a desired universal end. It’s time for us to stand for freedom again.

    Ralph Peters is Fox News’ strategic analyst and author of the Civil War novel “Hell or Richmond.”

     
  • RuralRebel 10:40 am on June 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    National Presidential Radio….report 

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