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Monday, September 26, 2016

Two weeks after the press partied hearty with President Barack Obama at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, the administration admitted that federal authorities had secretly combed through phone records for dozens of Associated Press journalists.

If ever there has been a reason to abolish this embarrassing display of fake camaraderie between journalists and the government officials they cover, this is it.

The Department of Justice didn’t stop at authorizing subpoenas for the journalists’ office phone records. As The New York Times reported, “the dragnet covered the work, home and cellphone records used by almost 100 people at one of the oldest and most reputable news organizations,” and it went on for months. Among the targeted phone lines: AP general office numbers in Washington, New York and Hartford, CT, and the main number for reporters covering Congress.

AP president Gary Pruitt called it a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”

“There can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters,” Pruitt wrote to Attorney General Eric Holder. “These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a roadmap to AP’s newsgathering operations and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

The next day, more than 50 news organizations — including The New York Times, NPR and The Washington Post — signed a letter to the Justice Department protesting the decision to secretly obtain AP’s phone records. It read, in part:

“In the thirty years since the Department issued guidelines governing its subpoena practice as it relates to phone records from journalists, none of us can remember an instance where such an overreaching dragnet for newsgathering materials was deployed by the Department, particularly without notice to the affected reporters or an opportunity to seek judicial review.”

Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists, told The Washington Post, “This investigation is broader and less focused on an individual source or reporter than any of the others we’ve seen. They have swept up an entire collection of press communications. It’s an astonishing assault on core values of our society.”

Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who ordered the subpoenas, tried to explain away spying on a major news organization as part of a “criminal investigation involving highly classified information.” The feds were investigating leaked details of a CIA operation in Yemen that foiled an al Qaeda plot last year to set off a bomb on an airplane headed to the United States.

  • sigrid28

    If we are really honest with ourselves, the Nerdprom had long ago outlived its usefulness–just send those eager young hopefuls their scholarships in the mail. I’d had it when Ed Henrey used his twenty minutes to give a shout out to O’Reilly and his “Killing the [insert the president’s name]” series, the same week that a ricin-laced letter had been discovered in the president’s mail box.

    Setting aside the AP subpoena for a paragraph, the entire media have been led around by the leash all this week and last, by Republicans intent on cooking up any conspiracy they can rail on about, real or imagined. Let’s look at the quasi-intellectual term “trifecta,” applied on MSNBC, for one news agency, to the most recent “outrages” trumpeted on the right. Isn’t it about time the legitimate press (excluding Fox News and its like) started to distinguish between whistleblowers and ideologues out to toot their own horn?

    The AP subpoena stems from a Republican-led outrage (shared on both sides of the aisle) over the release of classified information that outed the fact that it was an undercover agent who thwarted the attempt in Yemen to blow up a plane filled with passengers headed for the United States. When the DOJ acts AS REPUBLICANS INSIST IT MUST to protect American interests here and abroad by identifying the source of leaks in its counter terrorism network, Republicans then feel entitled to forget the reason for the investigation (of which the subpoena is a part) and complain of DOJ over-reach. For its part, the Fourth Estate is outraged as well, because it perceives its job as having become more difficult.

    Legitimate whistleblowers and the best journalists will not be in any way intimidated by the collection of telephone records to secure the counter-terrorism network here and overseas. Spokesperson reporters and talk show hosts on the lam provide a distraction behind which the true crusaders of the Fourth Estate remain hard at work uncovering corruption and bringing it to light.

  • Sand_Cat

    When the hell are these idiots going to stop acting like the last administration? We didn’t vote them in for more of the same. Aside from lying us into a war, Bush-Cheney’s greatest crimes were abuses of executive power, and now the Obama administration seems to be trying to set a new record. A commentator on another site referred to the president as “Obusha,” and not without reason.

    Aside from the far more important point that these intrusions are just plain wrong, the give the Republican hypocrites legitimate complaints to voice when their fake non-scandals fall flat, and thereby give credence to future Republican lies and exaggerations. If they can’t stop it for legal and ethical reasons, aren’t they at least smart enough to do it for political reasons?

    • mike

      For once you were not influenced by the catnip.

      How about the administrator that headed the IRS illegal attack to slow down the approval of all these groups, has been promoted to head the New Department for Obamacare. She approved illegal actions by the IRS and then gets an even bigger job. I would say corruption permeates this administration.

      • sigrid28

        You can say whatever you like, but no one will take you seriously unless you provide some proof.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Siggy, you moron… her appointment to Obozocare head at the IRS is all over the news! And no one needs to provide proof. Your messiah Obozo is alll over TV everyday apologizing for IRS corruption. He admits it, you dope!

          • sigrid28

            You may see for yourself the facts of the case as they came out in today’s hearing that will be re-run on C-Span tonight. In an existential sense, of course “no one needs to provide proof” for anything he or she might say that pops into their head. But the facts will always win over wild exaggerations and empty, angry rhetoric, no matter how much unsubstantiated ravings are “alll over TV” (read Fox News and its media equivalents).

            I dare you to just sit and listen to the four hours of testimony tonight. The sweet thing about morons and dopes like me is that we, at least, admit the need to find out the truth, rather than assuming that anything that pops into our heads is true. When we don’t know enough, we go to the trouble of trying to figure out a problem on its own merits.

            Another nice thing to know, there are a lot more people like me than there are people like you, filled with racial animus toward the president and duped by wealthy politicians counting on your votes to keep riches pouring into the coffers of their wealthy benefactors.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Siggy… you really are an idiot, aren’t you? What exactly does Obozo mean when he goes on TV and says that “the IRS targeting conservative groups is unacceptable?” What exactly does Lois Lerner (IRS chick) mean when she publicly admits and aopologizes for the IRS targeting and harrassing conservative groups? How many hours do you need to waste watching hearings into what they have already admitted to?

            The part of the hearings I heard was where the acting commissioner of the IRS told the committee that he thought that the IRS targeting of political opponents was not illegal. NOT ILLEGAL???? If that’s not illegal, what the hell is? Now I know that you, no matter what is heard, cannot be anything but an Obozo zombie. You’d support Obozo if he was caught on tape performing lewd acts with a minor. And you know I am right.

            Have a nice weekend, Siggy!

            “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the presidency.. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who
            is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung

          • Inthenameofliberty

            ‘Racial animus’……always back to the race card.
            I am calling you on it.
            I have MANY issues with the gentleman that I voted for in 2008 and lost all respect for by 2012.
            RACE, MY DEAR SIGRID, HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.
            Get over it already.
            You may have a race issue, it seems, but many of us (that were previous Obama supporters) have NEVER seen his presidency as a race issue.

          • sigrid28

            Look at the post directly below, where a person on this comment thread calls President Obama “Sambo.” I’m sure you have read many posts on right leaning comment threads full of this kind of hate talk. I do not care how many capital letters you employ. I will never concede that there is no racial animus on the right in this country until this hate talk stops.

          • Inthenameofliberty

            See – I am not in the loop on these things.

            I have no idea what the term means.
            Yes, there are those that are racist. I am not that naive. What I am saying, however, is that I object to the notion that the only reason I have to dislike our current president is because of his race. Which is ridiculous.

            Did ‘Obozomustgo’ write the comment you have referred to?

          • sigrid28

            Read down the comment thread to the next one by cats33. “Sambo” refers to a children’s book called “Little Black Sambo,” known to all children in the fifties and sixties. At the time, many children’s books exploited racial stereotypes that only became recognized as offensive following the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Educators and readers became less comfortable with such politically incorrect and racially motivated characterizations once black literature and history became a larger part of the curriculum in American Studies, which I used to teach.

          • Inthenameofliberty

            See. Such literature was never referred to in my education.
            Which is as it should be, then.

        • mike

          Thank you ObozoMustGo. Most of those on the left are so naïve and so uninformed. It probably isn’t on MSNBC, or on Media Matters.

          The left

          • sigrid28

            According to the IG and Steve Miller in today’s hearings–if they can be believed–Ms. Ingram oversaw an office that was swamped with applications for tax-exemption, 150 personnel to handle 70,000 applications, I believe the figure was. Out of these 70,000 applications, 300 were set aside for further examination, and 67 of these were selected based on the terms Tea Party, Patriot, or 912 in their names.

            So, doing the math, that would mean that while 67 were set aside for inclusion of these terms in their names, terms that suggest on the face of it a right-wing political orientation, 233 were set aside for other reasons, perhaps left wing orientation suggested in their names. That would mean that 69,700 applications were somehow processed–which alone should qualify Ms. Ingram for a bonus. Please note that having been processed, if a group does not qualify for tax exempt status, it may appeal that decision, further complicating and extending the process.

            Personally, I do not see a problem with researching the social welfare emphasis of a group with a political term of any kind in its name. Nevertheless, the Inspector General of the IRS and Steve Miller described the singling out of these 67 groups as inappropriate–but not illegal. They also described the questionnaires, designed to determine whether a group with a political name had enough of a social welfare mission to qualify for tax-exempt status,were, as possibly “inappropriate” but not “illegal.”

            When Steve Miller was asked what could be done in the future to avoid such inappropriate measures within the IRS, he asked for better clarification of the definition of this tax-exempt status (an action required by Congress), and funds to hire more personnel give them better resources with which to process tens of thousands of applications (also an action required by Congress). I hope Republicans who are so incensed over these inappropriate behaviors, attributed to the volume of applications to be processed rather than to partisan politics, will vote in a nonpartisan way to increase funding for the IRS and clarify the tax code, and do so as soon as possible.

          • ObozoMustGo

            Siggy… the IRS does NOT need more people, money and power. Rather, the IRS needs to be abolished entirely. They are the government’s Gestapo with far too much power over all the people. Just simply go to a flat tax where everyone pays the same rate, say 10% on income over a poverty threshhold. No deductions, no loopholes. No IRS needed. Everyone treated the same makes us all treated equally under law. Everyone treated equally under the law is the most fair system there is. Compliance with the system would also be near 100%. It’s only fair.

            Have a nice weekend, Siggy!

            “A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” — George Bernard Shaw

          • mike

            I am glad you did your homework but your argument just doesn’t hold water. No matter the volume that is not the point.

            Inspector General: Was the IRS using inappropriate criteria in its review of organizations applying for tax-exempt status. YES!!!

            Inspector General: Was IRS delaying their applications. YES!!

            Inspector General: Did the IRS use inappropriate and unnecessary questions of applicants. Yes!!!

            Was a “BOLO” sent out in 2010 to be on the look out for conservative groups? Yes or NO

            Explain to me how Malik Obama could get a determination in one month, even when for two years(2008) his foundation never filed for application or approval until 2010.
            At least 12 other progressive like names were passed in 6 months. Some other progressive name were slowed but still sailed through in far less time than any of the conservative.

            What was really revealed today was Mr. Miller’s remark when asked if there was inappropriate criteria: he said that the IG says so, others will argue or disagree, with that the House Representative asked him what he personally thought, his reply was no it was not inappropriate. Is this the mentally of the IRS? and if is, we have even bigger problems.

          • sigrid28

            The difference between “inappropriate” and “Illegal” is that “inappropriate” can be eliminated or amended within the bureaucratic guidelines of the IRS; for illegal actions to be corrected, protracted legal procedures may be called for. For example, so far Inspector General Russell George has isolated the problem and recommended solutions, though his investigation is said to be ongoing. I don’t understand what’s wrong with this in-house approach.

            A bigger problem is inadequate funding for the IRS as it is today and the need for more personnel to process complicated applications resulting from the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. The definition of what qualifies for tax-exempt status also needs better clarification. Both can be done by Congress if Republicans ever decide to do anything except try to repeal the Affordable Care Act and staff unnecessary hearings where they ask the same questions over and over.

          • mike

            The conservative groups were targeted, plain and simple. The person who ran the tax-exempt division was promoted.

            Who authorized the BOLO? How high up did the authorization come from. Too many unanswered questions.

            I never said anything about “in house changes”. What you can’t or won’t acknowledge is that the agents did both inappropriate and illegal actions. They asked questions far beyond their legal authority and delayed applicants for years.

            Miller acknowledge that names like progressive, liberal names did not have a BOLO.

            Miller acted in an arrogant, belligerent attitude. If he is the typical agent, this country has a much bigger problem,

          • Inthenameofliberty

            Just what we need – more taxpayer money to hire people so that in the end we need to pay more taxes.
            Ever hear of the joke of the nightwatchman, watching over the trash pile?
            Go look it up – it certainly applies in this instance.

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            April 25, 2009
            Sarah Hall Ingram to Take Over as Commissioner of TE/GE

            IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman has selected Sarah Hall Ingram to succeed Steven T. Miller (who will become Commissioner, LMSB, which oversees tax administrations for the largest corporations and partnerships in the U.S.) as the commissioner of the Tax Exempt/Government Entities Division of the IRS. According to the IRS news release, Ingram served as Chief of Appeals for the past three years and was TE/GE Deputy Commissioner from 2004-2006. Prior to that, Ingram served as Division Counsel/Associate Chief Counsel for TE/GE, where she was responsible for providing legal servIces to TE/GE as well as other parts of the IRS. Ingram began her career with the IRS in the former Tax Litigation Division in 1982.
            JDC
            http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2009/week17/index.html

            Doug Shulman was appointed by President Bush And Sarah Hall Ingram should be asked to resign as well.

          • mike

            I think she should be brought before the house and tell the American people who above her authorized this debacle.
            Except for few on the left, most of the left want to swipe it under the rug and go on.
            If the left is not skeptical about govt. now, then all is lost. Freedoms will limited more and we will all be wards of the state.

      • Sand_Cat

        No, but you go for the hard stuff
        I suppose the fact that this happened while Bush’s nominee was head of the IRS is irrelevant, right?

        • mike

          I am not sure your meaning of first line.

          It makes no difference what individual or party, when the law is broken, justice must be served. Plain and simple.
          How about the AP scandal. Do you believe Holder did not inform Obama, his best friend, that he had recused himself from the DOJ investigation on phone tapping. Especially, if Obama is so concerned about leaks, he would keep him in the cold. I don’t think so.

    • cats33

      I think Sambo is in something he can’t get out of this time. FINALLY!!

  • itsfun

    We cannot accept what has happened. Violating the first amendment rights of the AP reporters, the IRS breaking the law and using private information to corrupt an presidential election, letting four Americans be murdered, then trying to cover it up, or shift the blame. We should also look into fast and furious again. The President, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State all saying they don’t know a thing about anything is a complete insult to the intelligence of all Americans. Some of these are criminal act and some are complete incompetence. Eric Holder says trust me, I will fix is a joke. He must go. Hillary has obviously committed perjury. If Obama has been involved in these activities, he must go also.

    If nothing else, this administration has almost guaranteed the 2014 elections for the right. Maybe, the biggest question is will we ever be able to find honest politicians again.

    • Even the First Amendment is not without limitations when it comes to national security. The media has a tendency to reveal overly sensitive information just for the sake of boosting ratings. It is their lot to sensationalize the smallest thing. I am not saying that these are small things, but this “scandal” is being perpetrated by Republican leaders in Congress. Why just a year ago they were screaming for the administration to investigate the leak of classified information, and some were even accusing the White House of the leaks. Now that the DOJ has launched an investigation, they are crying foul. This complete reversal leads me to believe that these contrived “scandals” are just a way to stonewall the progress being made under this administration. The hatred out there is blocking progress and keeping the country from moving forward

      • itsfun

        Not hatred, but love of my country that demands our leaders follow the laws of our land. How can spying on reporters be called the smallest thing? How can the IRS helping groups to corrupt a presidential election be called the smallest thing? How can the murder of 4 Americans be called the smallest thing? How can supplying guns to drug cartels be called the smallest thing?

        Oh well WHATS THE DIFFERENCE?

      • mike

        How did the Stuxnet investigation go? who did out the top secret virus? Administration sure isn’t talking about it.

        Only a few people knew about it, shouldn’t have been that hard to find the answer. Where was the press with this one? Oh, that’s right protecting his rear end.

        When there is a will there is a way.

    • awakenaustin

      Maybe you would care to share with us your First Amendment analysis and explain how this is a violation of the First Amendment.

      Any reading of the facts of this story in any serious news source makes plain there is no First Amendment violation here. The process by which the records were obtained is the very same legal process by which every law enforcement agency in this nation pursues information they think they can only (or more easily) get in this way. Law enforcement agencies everywhere subpoena phone records. If you have a gripe about this, write your Congressman and tell him to support a law to make it illegal or if you concern is actually journalist’s rights then tell him to support a Shield law for journalists. There is no First Amendment right to not be subject to an investigation regarding possible violations of the law. Reporters as citizens have no greater rights to violate the law than any other citizen or to cover up a crime committed by another.

      Personally I don’t like the fact that the Justice Department sought this information this way. But this action by the Justice Department, although quite possibly dumb and ill-thought out, as it has been discussed in the news, was neither illegal nor unconstitutional.

      Additionally, as an aside, it is clear from the rest of your post that you only think this is a problem because it occurred during this Administration. You are crying crocodile tears.

    • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

      How did Mrs. Clinton commit perjury? What “high crimes and other misdemeanors” did President Obama commit that he should be impeached for?

      Let’s see – Reagan and Iran Contra – no calls from the right calling for impeachment. Clinton – and his poor behavior with Monica and because under oath he lied about his poor sexual behavior with her – Impeached by the Right. Bush/Channey/Rice lied to the Congress, American people about Iraq which they used to justify our going to war with Iraq – no calls for impeachment.

  • Canistercook

    We are all intimidated now with the power that government workers have. We are afraid of the powers to tax, harass and ‘punish’ us if they don’t like what we say. Our freedoms have been lost to a Union of Government!

    • sigrid28

      Speak for yourself. A majority of Americans are not intimidated by “government workers,” who have lately been honored for bravery and service beyond the call of duty, in Boston, for example, in the aftermath of the bombing of the Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. You remember that, don’t you? Are you afraid of these government personnel?

      Who do you think EMT and police and fire fighters and Boston Marathon organizers work for? Government is their employer, which really means that these first responders and city workers are the employees of residents of Boston and of the many municipalities that sent in additional personal from all over the region. We are the government, you and me. That’s not so frightening, is it?

      Furthermore, you imply that “we are all” afraid that the powers that be will “tax, harass, and punish” those with whom they disagree. To this I reply, why not welcome controversy instead of demonizing it. Many of us like to research questions that come to mind, rather than running around like our hair is on fire over every situation that isn’t exactly to our liking. Many of us actually welcome opposition, which sometimes introduces problems we ourselves might not have thought of but that ought to be solved. Rather than feeling harassed, we start to read and write and inquire to find the best solutions. If we think something has been lost, we do not sit and wallow in our victimhood–we go looking for it.

      • Canistercook

        I do speak for myself as the victim of greedy, crooked government employees! Even the lawyer I tried to hire was afraid he would be targeted by the State tax board.

        • sigrid28

          Again, I can identify with you and empathize–completely. Here in Iowa, there is a Legal Aide Society, where consultations are free, and the advice is very good. Google “free tax advice” and you may also get some valuable assistance. Some tax attorneys will work with the idea of being paid later, or for a small retainer. You can supplement their help by researching the facts of your case for yourself. Remember also, that even years after the fact, a tax return can be amended, payment programs can be set in place, and the worst aspect of a tax battle you cannot win can be lessened–just as long as you don’t give up and stay in the game until you get a result you can live with.

          • Canistercook

            Unfortunately I don’t think life in California is as safe as Iowa . The weather here though is great!
            Sent from my iPad

        • Sand_Cat

          Ah, you poor, poor man.

      • angelsinca

        “Furthermore, you imply that “we are all” afraid that the powers that be will “tax, harass, and punish” those with whom they disagree. To this I reply, why not welcome controversy instead of demonizing it.”
        Abuse of power is now ‘controversy’? You have found the deep end.

        • sigrid28

          I prefer the deep end to the shallow, which you seem to prefer, where nothing can be solved or improved–you like the way you are treated or you just take it: no choice whatsoever. I’ll give you an example. I taught English at the University of Paris in France for a year. After first semester final exams, the students’ grades were posted for them to see on bulletin boards in the hallways. In the U.S., that would be an invasion of privacy. There, it was a punishment or a delight, depending on how well you did on your final exam first semester, until the end of the academic year. You seem to dislike controversy or complexity, but sometimes protecting our rights and freedoms demands it.
          Totalitarianism is always simple to pull off–democracy takes work.

          • angelsinca

            “I prefer the deep end to the shallow (which you seem to prefer), where nothing can be solved or improved”

            No, ‘deep END’. Not as in ‘complexity’, but as in ‘all by yourself’ with the looney liberal extremism. And you are responsible to educate the youth? My God, we are screwed.

            While fancying yourself as the controversial intellectual, your image remains that of an over-tenured bureaucrat. You tend to defend your extreme liberal positions with unrelated hyperbole by mocking those that question your errant positions. Statements such as “hair on fire”, “distrust (of) controversy compexity”, ‘you seem to prefer the shallow end”, only displays a enchant for placing your elite self above those around you. Unlike.

          • Inthenameofliberty

            A gentle reminder, Sigrid, that we are not a democracy. The US is a republic. Thank goodness.

      • angelsinca

        “A majority of Americans are not intimidated by “government workers.” We are in awe of them,”

        Want to share that poll data? You and Toto obviously haven’t had to pay a $455 bail for the privilege of arguing a traffic ticket for running a red light that never happened (challenged and won). Or, threatened to have your children removed by CPS and compelled to attend 32 weeks of parenting classes at your expense because you minced words with the top rung social admininstrative puke at a county hospital (ignored order, threatened by social services, left state). Or, unable to pay your mortgage because your wages were attached due to a state tax clerk unfamiliar with their own tax law (money refunded, no apologies). Or watch your own president defiantly (or dumbly) refuse to cover his heart during the nat’l anthem and then see his wife bitch about respectful observance of the flag. Yeah, we are ‘in awe’ of the government that is ‘us’. I feel nauseuous.

        • Inthenameofliberty

          Well said.

        • sigrid28

          Where else would you rather live? You’ve moved once. Why not again?

          • angelsinca

            When I moved out of state, it wasn’t to avoid the social services assholes. We had already been planning on a move in order to help with raising a son from a previous marriage. The CPS episode only resulted in disdain for gov’t intrusion and ebbed any future allegiance to that state, that is now broken beyond belief due to bureaucratic corruption.

      • mike

        Come on Sig, this whole argument is about FEDERAL EMPLOYEES, SPECIALLY IRS, DOJ. This govt. is too vast and hard to manage. A great many people are afraid of this govt.. CNN poll found 56% fear losing rights. Only 37% of Democrats, 63% of Independents and 7 in 10 Republicans say the govt. poses a threat to the rights of Americans.

        A Pew Poll(3-13) show 53% view govt. as a threat to freedoms and rights. It went on to say 73% trust the govt. some of the times or never.

        Pew Poll: March 2010 to March 2013, the numbers have reversed when asked: IS GOVT. A TREAT TO YOUR PERSONAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS? 2010-YES 47%,-NO 50%, now 2013 Yes 53%-No 43%.
        Big changes and you believe all is right with the world.
        The next few months should really be interesting to see what the polls will be showing after this mess.

        • sigrid28

          Lazy troll, trying to get a rise out of people interested in political discourse by tossing around old poll data and linking Republican talking points. Better luck next time.

          • mike

            So prove it wrong, that is what discourse is all about. Yours is just a one way street, boring, and with out merit.

            The Pew Poll is old data!! Baloney!!!! Can’t change the bad numbers for the pro govt. folks, do you want to take a bet on what the numbers look like in the next poll. I bet you don’t. Go look at the Rasmussen poll(5-18-2013) showing 57% believe IRS was politically motivated and 55% somewhat believe Obama and top aids knew.

            Talk about a lazy troll, look in the mirror. You sure couldn’t show any numbers to refute the points.

            You are the one that needs the luck. DRIP, DRIP, DRIP,

            NO MATTER HOW YOU WANT IT TO BE THE IRS ACTIONS WERE EXTENSIVE AND SOPHISTICATED AND ILLEGAL.

            IG report said 58% of applicants held up had no reason for delay. I/3 of those had no political connection. Go read it old lazy one and cry, your leader is in trouble.

          • sigrid28

            Would you say that the four individuals you all stress as the cause for hearing after hearing on Benghazi were federal employees? How about Seal Team 6? Or the soldiers who gave their lives in Bush’s gratuitous war in Iraq? If we are to condemn government workers as a useless excess, as exemplars of over-reach by the U.S. government, why carry on the Benghazi hearings or lobby for dollars to support the DOD?

            About proof: Your data were from March, so you also recognized that you were referring to data about the past that does not reflect the conditions today. If I am so worthless as a counterpart in political discourse, why refer to the more recent data?

            As for my refusing to play the dueling poll numbers game, I do not want to waste my time on individuals who just rail on with baseless name-calling and bullying talk about President Obama. The whole point of duels is winning under conditions in which both parties show mutual respect.

          • mike

            My God you love to change the subject, stay on task. This whole mess is over IRS-Federal Employee, nothing more. This has nothing to do those brave people who service in dangerous places. I never called Fed Employees useless excess, your words not mine.
            What you seem not to comprehend is that “Old Poll Data” showed the majority of Americans feel the govt. is a threat to their rights and freedoms. So between 2010 to 2013 the numbers reversed from a govt.non threat to a govt. threat. The next poll will continue the trend of fear of govt. taking the rights and freedoms.

            So give me the recent data. Pretty simple, lazy bones.

  • elw

    All you hysterical people who think that somehow this is the first time people’s personal and private phone records has been tapped have lost their sense of perspective. It was just last year the Murdock and Company was in deep water for doing the same thing. President Bush faced his own phone-tapping scandal; in fact, he gets the credit for expanding the Governments power in this area. If our first amendment rights are being abused, it has been going on for a very long time, how is it that it only now that it is unacceptable? Where were you during the Bush Administration?

    • ObozoMustGo

      elw… several points

      1) most of us conservatives/libertarians were decrying the Patriot Act. (don’t confuse Republicans and consertives/libertarians) when that was being jammed through. However, it puzzles us how the leftist freaks constantly love to bash Bush for the Patriot Act, yet what do we hear about the NDAA that Obozo signed into law TWICE when that law is the Patriot Act on steroids? crickets…….. crickets………. crickets…………. crickets…………. Fact is, both Obozo and Bush are disasters to the Bill of Rights.

      2) You cannot dismiss the wrongdoing of Obozo based upon the wrongdoing of another. What you’re saying is that “the government has been screwing us for a long time, so just sit back and take it.” Isn’t that what you are saying? Well, that’s oddly the same thing they say in totalitarian run states. Too bad for that lame excuse because this issue cuts across the whole political spectrum in America. Just like the IRS scandal targeting and harrassing Tea Party groups for the last 4 years does. The reason we are against it is because when the political winds shift as they inevitably do, the next ox to get gored will be yours.

      Have a nice day!

      “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” — P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

      • elw

        You poor confused thing, as usual you hear what you want to and twist the rest. The only thing I am asking is – where were you when Bush was doing the same thing? ObozoMustGo somehow was not commenting then.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Hey moron… Obozo was not around then, nor was The Memo and the comments section. You truly are an absolute idiot!

          Have a nice day, and remain oblivious!

          “The difference between being stupid and being a fool: A stupid person at least has an idea about their own inadequacies. The fool is oblivious to them, and is more inclined to believe their own fantasies and lies as truth.” – ObozoMustGo

          • elw

            Gee I must have touched a nerve!!! Are you trying to tell me you were not around during the Bush Administration?

          • ObozoMustGo

            elw… are you so stupid that you cannot understand the inference I am making with my post that Obozo and The Memo were not around? I’ll walk you through a simple deductive reasoning exercise, you slack jawed dummy:

            1) The Memo and comments section did not exist during that time following 9/11/01 and the passage of the Patriot Act.

            2) Obozo was nothing but a no-show IL senator and community organizer thug smoking with his choom gang in Chicago

            Given those 2 facts, do you think that maybe you actually don’t have a single clue what the heck I said or thought at the time? In other words, you cannot possibly have known nor seen or heard anything I had ever said up until 14 months ago when I first came on this site. Himmmmmmmm……. does that spell it out for you enough, dope?

            Take my advice elw…. wipe the drool from your chin and DON’T wander out into traffic today. You’re welcome!

            Have a nice day!

            “Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.” ― Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            ObozoMustGo – Do you think it is Okay for a Whistle Blower to leak information that could put our troops in harms way, or to put our Allies personnel in harms way (which this did and England was furious), or to put CIA or FBI personnel in danger as well as the friendlies they use?
            What they did is not illegal and you can thank people like Issa and the rest of the Republicans and Democrats in office in 2007 when they voted against the Shield Law, which would made this act illegal.

          • ObozoMustGo

            As per usual, the leftist freak set has trouble with the meanings of words. This is intentional, by the way, by those smart enough to know they are using the language to fool morons like the leftist morons too stupid to know better. Let’s us take a look at the words you are confusing:

            1) A whistleblower (whistle-blower or whistle blower)[2] is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities (misconduct) occurring in a government department or private company or organization. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

            CONTRAST WITH:

            2) Leaking information that would help enemies by foiling our efforts against them would be considered TREASON.

            These are 2 radically different concepts. In the former, wide and extemely broad sweeps like the DoJ did to the AP, are utilized more for delivering a message than for digging up information, although it is 100% certain that DoJ was collecting political information in discussion they were listening to. In the latter, it is not difficult and it is common that very targeted use of wiretapping for the most probable individuals involved are done.

            Clearly, Connie Schultz, an avid Obozo supporter, is even objective enough to know this difference. You, however, who are getting your talking points most likely from the center of the leftist freak universe called Media Matters, are either not wise to the word tricks being played on you, or you’re sold down the river like many useful idiots and don’t care what Obozo does because he has your undying loyalty. Just like Nixon, there were people who defended him AFTER he left office and all was out in the open. Don’t be such a sucker, dude(ette).

            Have a nice weekend!

            “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Joseph Goebbels

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            ObozoMustGo – I expressed my view without being rude and nasty. You apparently can not.

            Ms. Schultz should be fired for her actions, the criteria should be the same for everyone and applied equally. I do not believe any of the Groups Democratic or Republican should be given 501c4 status – they are ALL political. I also think that Religious entities who become political should have their tax exempt status revoked.

            And where do you get your information: Fox News, the Drudge Report, Daily Caller, Breibart, Media Research Center, Glenn Beck or Limbaugh. No bias there?
            Have a nice weekend.

          • ObozoMustGo

            fsqeo… If you read carefully, I did not direct my commentary at you personally. Rather, I supposed in general that you may or may not fall into the category of others. While I have been known in the past to deliver personal attacks, this is not one of them directly. I actually am trying to be better at that while making my points.

            Have a nice day!

            “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.” — P.J. O’Rourke, Civil Libertarian

          • disqus_fsqeoY3FsG

            Thank you for the acknowledgement.

          • ObozoMustGo

            No problem.
            Have a nice week, qeo!

    • cats33

      This is the first time the media has ever been pissed at Sambo. They must not appreciate what he did : ))

      • The Same Way Those 33 Cats Are Piss At You For Eating Their Do Do And Drinking Their Pee???

  • ObozoMustGo

    Kudos to Connie Schultz! Finally, a piece on The Memo that actually demonstrates a dose of intellectual honesty and professional integrity. Finally, you are beginning to see in the Obozo regime what many of us have been saying for years. The only reason why is because now it’s YOUR ox that’s getting gored. Where were you when more than a year ago people were complaining about abuses by the IRS focused on Obozo’s political opponents? Calling them all crazy conspiracy theorists. Now we see that that was also true.

    The overriding point that should be made here is not necessarily that this is Obozo and his regime specifically, though he clearly owns these scandals. These things happen in Republican administrations, as well. Rather, these scandals are symptomatic of the broader problems that come with a Federal Government that has grown into a Leviathan that now feeds itself on the very liberties of the people it was set up to protect in the first place. There is virtually ZERO aspects of our lives today that do not have government sticking their noses into our businesses. These scandals are THE very argument in favor of a small, limited federal government. Big government begets corruption. It’s that simple.

    Have a nice day!

    “As long as it is admitted that the law may be diverted from its true purpose–that it may violate property instead of protecting it–then everyone will want to participate in making the law, either to protect himself against plunder or to use it for plunder.” ― Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

  • charleo1

    They used to say, never pick a fight with a man that buys his ink by
    the barrel. Probably wise advise. Because the author of the article here
    goes through a long laundry list of supposed, violations of the First, and
    Fourth, Constitutional Amendments. Without addressing the responsibilities
    a free press has, to inform, yes. But also, to protect the public’s safety.
    As in this case, when in the course of investigating, they acquired information,
    if released, would thwart the efforts of those, often working at great personal
    risk, in defense of their Country. In this case, a British agent, that had managed
    to do what has proven to be the near impossible. Infiltrate an Al Qaeda cell.
    When it was published, that due to this agent’s remarkable work, not only had
    an act of terror been discovered, and stopped. We had control of the unexploded,
    ordinance. And were in the process of further exploiting our advantage. That
    advantage was lost. So, in the final analysis, did the press serve the public good? Was it that vital, for the public to know this, right away? Or, did it serve the greater good, to allow the operation the time necessary to find out more about the cell? Who is financing it? Is this cell part of a larger ring, we don’t yet know about?
    All things that might have been discovered, if not for the heads up, afforded to Al Qaeda, courtesy of the AP.

  • sleeprn01

    Dear Ms. Schultz,

    Usually I like your well thought out essays, however this time I think that you missed the mark. To keep it short, the AP article let al Qaeda know that the US was in possession of the bomb. But the worst part of the rush to be first with the scoup and recoup their financial award was they outed a spy within the al Qaeda organization in Yemen who was actually working for the British intelligence service. This little episode could possibly cost that spy and his family their lives. I would hope that the British intelligence service doesn’t trust the US again with sensitive information. In following your logic, I assume that you would have been OK if the Rosenbergs had given the atomic bomb plans to the AP rather than the Soviets. These kinds of government leaks need to be stopped and the people responsible held accountable.

  • cats33

    The more these dictators get away with, the more they will do what is against the Constitution. Eric Holder should be fired. He should have been fired along time ago. But he knows to much, if he goes down, Sambo goes down with him

  • neonnautilus

    I would feel a lot more sympathy for the press if 1. it had been doing its job well and 2. the government wasn’t spying on the rest of us w/o warrants and w/o notice.