Dems Label Inquiry into Hillary's Emails "Witch Hunt"
The revelation that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of an insecure private email account for top secret communications has even liberal commentators concerned.
On MSNBC's TV news show Morning Joe, Lawrence O'Donnell, a self-described "practical European socialist," observed that "e-mail system was set up obviously to defy the freedom of Information Act." Co-Host, Mika Brzezinski agreed saying "this wasn't honest."
On the other hand, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf attempted to rebuff criticism by repeating Clinton's infamous "what difference does it make at this point?" remark the then Secretary of State made in her appearance before a Congressional committee investigating the murder of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya in 2012. "Even if she did have classified information on this computer there is nothing we can do now to undo any damage that theoretically might have been done," Harf declared. "So we might as well drop the issue."
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md) echoed Harf's view calling House Committee on Benghazi Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy's (R-SC) efforts to subpoena Clinton's emails "a witch hunt and an invasion of privacy. As I understand it, Secretary Clinton used this email for everything—including planning the wedding of her daughter. Exposing such private and intimate details of this great family's personal lives repeats the wrongs done by Kenneth Starr's prurient interest in former President Clinton's sex life. Isn't it time we ended the persecution?"
Cummings also warned that "prying into these emails could have a chilling effect on the Clinton Foundation's fund-raising. A lot of those making million dollar donations would prefer that their identities remain concealed. They don't want some nosy Republicans sniffing out their names. Fear that this could happen acts as a disincentive to other prospective donors and stunts the rewards the Clintons can reap from their public service."
Complicating the issue is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2011 directive forbidding Department employees from using their personal email systems for government business because "personal email is more vulnerable to being hacked by foreign adversaries." US Ambassador to Kenya Scott Gration was removed from office by Ms. Clinton for violating this directive.
In related news, Rep. Cummings may face criminal charges for his role in urging and aiding the IRS to illegally discriminate against conservative organizations in 2012. An unapologetic Cummings defended his actions as "a demonstration of my loyalty to President Obama and my willingness to 'go the extra mile' to protect him from his enemies." He also boasted that "GOP efforts to get me will come to nothing. The President will veto any prosecution and if that doesn't work he'll pardon me if I'm ever convicted of anything."
Controversial Imam Hired by DOJ Bureau of Prisons
Fouad El Bayly, an Egyptian-born imam who in 2007 said that Somali-born activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali should be killed, has been hired by the Department of Justice Bureau of Prisons to teach classes and provide leadership and guidance to Muslims who are in federal prison.
Bureau of Prisons Director Charles Samuels, Jr. sees no problem with hiring El Bayly, "as I understand it, Hirsi Ali is an apostate. Under the tenets of Islam she should be put to death. That El Bayly has said so merely demonstrates his bonafides as a genuine Muslim scholar. If anything, this should vindicate our selection of him to preach to fellow Muslims residing in federal prisons."
Hirsi Ali is not only an apostate from Islam, she also wrote the script for Dutch director Theo van Gogh's documentary–Submission—which connected so-called random acts of violence committed by Muslims with passages from Islam's holy scripture. Van Gogh was murdered in the street by a Muslim for "insulting Islam."
"Barring a person from employment just because his religious beliefs contradict those with which Americans are more comfortable would be a violation of his Constitutional rights," Samuels explained. "While our government may not yet be able to suppress anti-Muslim prejudices in the broader society, we can try to set an example by preventing these prejudices from interfering with how the government treats this besieged minority."
Cruz Health Care Choice Act Labeled "Exercise in Futility"
This past week Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) introduced his Health Care Choice Act. If enacted, this bill would repeal Obamacare's insurance mandate and allow consumers to purchase a health insurance plan in any state. Cruz characterized his bill as "a true market-based reform that will make health insurance more personal and affordable, giving consumers the freedom to select plans that fit their needs from any vendor in America."
Presidential Press Secretary Josh Earnest labeled the bill "an exercise in futility. We doubt he can get it past his own Party's Congressional Leadership. The President is confident that either Senate Majority Leader McConnell or House Speaker Boehner will abort this baby before it sees the light of day. If by some freak circumstance they fail in their mission, the President will veto it."
"The title of Cruz's bill tells you everything you need to know about why it's wrong for America," Earnest continued. "Choice is not the answer to this country's health care crisis. We had choice before the Affordable Care Act was passed. That system failed because too many people chose not to buy insurance. The ACA solved that problem by making insurance compulsory."
"It is the President's position that when people are allowed to choose they will not choose wisely," Earnest said. "By relieving people from the burden of having to choose we are freeing them to devote their time and energy to more pleasurable pursuits. This new kind of freedom is the core goal of the President's promised fundamental transformation of this country. He will not abide a turn backward toward out-dated concepts of freedom."
Obama Unimpressed by Netanyahu Speech
While GOP members of Congress seemed mostly impressed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech on dealing with Iran, President Obama was not.
"He didn't say anything new," Obama complained. "It was just the same old story about Jews being threatened with annihilation. Iranian officials may have said on several occasions that wiping Israel off the map was their goal, but I have a feeling that they're just bluffing. Even if they aren't I doubt that they could succeed where the much more powerful Nazi war machine did not."
"And even if the Iranians did wipe Israel off the map this doesn't mean all of its people would necessarily perish," the President argued. "Death is only one of three possible fates that the Jews would face. They could continue to live under Muslim rule as Jews by submitting and paying the jizya. Or they could convert. If the Jews are exterminated it will be due to their stubbornness and arrogance in continuing to occupy Muslim lands."
"From a broader perspective we should keep in mind the fact that Jews represent a very small portion of humanity—less than two-tenths of one percent, I think," Obama added. "Even if every Jew were eliminated, natural growth of the global population would make up this loss in about two months. So, they'd scarcely be missed. In fact, the disappearance of this segment of humanity might usher in a more peaceful era. Other ancient peoples like the Hittites and Olmecs disappeared. Would it really be so bad if Jews also went extinct?"
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) seconded the President's sentiments pointing out that "there are ten times as many Iranians as there are Israelis. We shouldn't get sucked into siding with the less populated and weaker nation. Surely the well-being of 77 million Iranians must take precedence over Israel's six million Jews. Allowing Netanyahu to insult Iran from the podium in our Congress was a strategic mistake."
IRS Insists Giving Tax Refunds to Illegal Aliens Is "the Least We Can Do"
The IRS has announced plans to follow up President Obama's illegal grant of amnesty to persons in this country illegally with a program that will permit illegal aliens to receive tax refunds for taxes they never paid.
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen defended the move as "a necessary component of the President's vision for America's future. The vast majority of these immigrants are poor. They will need substantial help if the President's dream of transforming our culture is to become a reality. Diverting some of America's excess wealth to these people via tax refunds is one way of making this happen."
Koskinen's view was bolstered by President Obama's speech celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's Selma march. In the speech Obama said "giving amnestied illegal immigrants the same rights as citizens is a way of honoring Dr. King's message of brotherhood and equality. President Lincoln freed the slaves from bondage, but a century of Jim Crow laws, discrimination and poverty continued to oppress African-Americans."
"Let's not make the same mistake today," Obama said. "I have opened the door to freedom for Latin American people oppressed by corrupt governments south of our border. Let's not make these liberated millions live in the shadows of second-class status for a hundred years. Let's accelerate their integration into our society by giving them the sustenance they need and the full rights of citizenship so they can be active participants in selecting the rulers who will govern us all."
"In light of the President's recent remarks, I think everyone can agree that our plan to give them tax refunds is the least we can do," Koskinen concluded.
In related news, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the federal government made nearly $125 billion in improper payments during fiscal year 2014. These are payments made for services not rendered, merchandise not received, and to recipients not eligible to receive the money. Nearly $18 billion in improper payments were made through the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)--the very mechanism by which the IRS proposes to pay tax refunds to amnestied illegal aliens.