Tag Archives: SCANDAL

Mark Caserta: Scandal characteristic of Obama’s rule

8 Jan

Will the pattern continue into 2015?

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FSP editor – Mark Caserta

Jan. 08, 2015 @ 12:01 AM

While President Obama charged Republicans with probing “phony scandals” in 2014, a look back at the sheer number of aspersions throughout his progressive tenure suggests that abuse of power and corruption are not something being dreamed up by the GOP, but instead a defining characteristic of the Obama administration.

Last year, the president assured Americans there wasn’t “a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS, yet investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform revealed intentional targeting of conservative organizations prior to the 2012 election. IRS Director Lois Lerner was ultimately held in contempt of Congress for failing to cooperate with the committee investigation. Questions remain as to White House involvement and any intent to cover up the scandal.

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Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki was forced to resign following an interim independent report showing officials falsified records at a medical center in Phoenix, hiding the amount of time veterans had to wait for medical appointments. Subsequent investigations revealed a systematic breakdown across the country revealing false record-keeping and long waiting lists for veterans, some who died while waiting for care.

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Americans actually witnessed a three-part scandal in the attack on Benghazi: The failure of the administration to protect the Benghazi mission on the anniversary of 9/11, the changes made to the talking points in order to suggest the attack was motivated by an anti-Muslim video, and the refusal of the White House to say what President Obama did the night of the attack.

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Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress over his failure to turn over documents related to the “Fast and Furious” scandal, the first time Congress has ever taken such a dramatic move against a sitting Cabinet official. Then CBS News investigative correspondent Sharyl Attkisson exposed the truth about her investigations into this and other Obama administration’s scandals in her book, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction and Intimidation in Obama’s Washington.”

While the number of executive orders issued by the president is within the range of recent past presidents, the scope of the orders has gone far beyond what is constitutional. Obama altered Obamacare 38 times by executive fiat despite not having the constitutional authority to unilaterally alter passed legislation. In the face of several Supreme Court decisions that went against him, a defiant Obama mockingly taunted Congress by saying, “So sue me.”

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As the Obamacare “shared responsibility” payment prepares to impact Americans across the country, details of the lies and deception needed to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have emerged. Jonathan Gruber, a health economist who helped design Obama’s health care law, stated during a panel discussion at the University of Pennsylvania that the ACA “was written in a tortured way to make sure” it did not appear to raise taxes, because it would not have passed if voters knew the truth.

With two years remaining in the Obama administration’s rule over the United States, one can only hope the number of scandals will be kept to a minimum. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.

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Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

Mark Caserta: IRS corruption meets ‘smidgen’ standard

26 Jun

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Jun. 26, 2014 @ 12:00 AM

President Obama appears determined to eclipse his Politifact “Lie of the Year” regarding Obamacare with his position on the recent IRS debacle.

In response to a question about the IRS investigation during a recent interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, President Obama emphatically declared that “not even a smidgen of corruption” was involved in the IRS scandal.

In fact, the president has referenced it as one of a number of GOP fabricated “phony scandals.”

Really, Mr. President?

Not only do I believe this is quintessential partisan corruption for political gain, this incredulous journey has brought to light the conniving, liberal factions of the Internal Revenue Service and their abusive overreach into American’s lives.

In August 2010, the IRS circulated the first “Be on the lookout” list to its tax exempt screener and evaluator unit, commissioning minions to flag applications with key words such as “Tea Party” and “Patriots.”

In June 2011, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., sent a letter to then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman inquiring about IRS targeting of taxpayers who donated money to conservative groups, as well as information regarding audits of 501(c)(4) organizations.

In July 2011, the IRS responded to Chairman Camp’s letter with assurances “that the IRS’s actions in this area were in no way influenced by political considerations.”

In March 2012, during a hearing of the Ways and Means Oversight Subcommittee, Commissioner Shulman was asked about reports that the IRS has been unfairly targeting Tea Party groups. Shulman responded, “I can give you assurance, there is absolutely no targeting.”

However, complaints were pouring in from conservative groups regarding questionable IRS application forms and difficulties securing tax-exempt status.

A March 2012 follow-up letter sent by Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darryl Issa, R-Calif., to IRS Exempt Organization Division Director Lois Lerner requested additional information related to the reports that conservative groups were receiving “extra scrutiny” from the IRS.

In April 2012, Director Lerner responded to Chairman Issa’s letter that “the ordinary course of the application process” was in place for securing tax-exempt status.

Months of investigation began exposing irrefutable proof that the IRS had unfairly audited conservative Tea Party organizations far more than others.

In February 2013, Lerner publicly admitted the IRS had indeed targeted taxpayers based on their political stance. Lerner then wrongly attempted to blame the entire perusal on two “rogue” front-line workers in a Cincinnati office.

In a May 2013 Oversight Committee hearing, after reading an opening statement asserting her innocence in the scandal, Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment. A “repeat performance” in March 2014 saw her held in contempt of Congress.

And now, with GOP lawmakers closing in on the truth, the IRS expects Americans to believe that Lerner’s emails from a two-year period during the scandal’s timeline have disappeared, along with emails from six other IRS employees, and that “unfortunately” the hard drives also were destroyed.

To deny this masquerade is a blatant, government cover-up would be simply nonsensical.

But for President Obama to deny even a “smidgen” of corruption exists in this IRS atrocity is, well, predictable.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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