Category Archives: Justice – What Justice?

Greece Today, America Tomorrow?

The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines

greece-greek-bankby Ron Paul | InfoWars | Originally published July 13, 2015

The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.

The Greek crisis provides a look into what awaits us unless we stop overspending on warfare and welfare and restore a sound monetary system. While most commentators have focused on Greece’s welfare state, much of Greece’s deficit was caused by excessive military spending. Even as its economy collapses and the government makes (minor) cuts in welfare spending, Greece’s military budget remains among the largest in the European Union.

Despite all the handwringing over how the phony sequestration cuts have weakened America’s defences, the United States military budget remains larger than the combined budgets of the world’s next 15 highest spending militaries. Little, if any, of the military budget is spent defending the American people from foreign threats. Instead, the American government wastes billions of dollars on an imperial foreign policy that makes Americans less safe. America will never get its fiscal house in order until we change our foreign policy and stop wasting trillions on unnecessary and unconstitutional wars.

Excessive military spending is not the sole cause of America’s problems. Like Greece, America suffers from excessive welfare and entitlement spending. Reducing military spending and corporate welfare will allow the government to transition away from the welfare state without hurting those dependent on government programs. Supporting an orderly transition away from the welfare state should not be confused with denying the need to reduce welfare and entitlement spending.

On reason Greece has been forced to seek bailouts from its EU partners is that Greece ceded control over its currency when it joined the European Union. In contrast, the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency is the main reason the US has been able to run up huge deficits without suffering a major economic crisis. The need for the Federal Reserve to monetize ever-increasing levels of government spending will eventually create hyperinflation, which will lead to increasing threats to the dollar’s status. China and Russia are already moving away from using the dollar in international transactions. It is only a matter of time before more countries challenge the dollar’s reserve currency status, and, when this happens, a Greece-style catastrophe may be unavoidable.

Despite the clear dangers of staying on our recent course, Congress continues to increase spending. The only real debate between the two parties is over whether we should spend more on welfare or warfare. It is easy to blame the politicians for our current dilemma. But the politicians are responding to demands from the people for greater spending. Too many Americans believe they have a moral right to government support. This entitlement mentally is just as common, if not more so, among the corporate welfare queens of the militarily-industrial complex, the big banks, and the crony capitalists as it is among lower-income Americans.

Congress will only reverse course when a critical mass of people reject the entitlement mentality and understand that the government is incapable of running the world, running our lives, and running the economy. Therefore, those of us who know the truth must spread the ideas of, and grow the movement for, limited government, free markets, sound money, and peace.

 

The Last Days Of ‘Normal Life’ In America

These are the last days of “normal life” in America

American-flag-barbed-wireby Michael Snyder | End Of The American Dream | Originally published July 13, 2015

If you have got family and friends that you would like to visit before things start getting really crazy, you should do so within the next couple of months, because these are the last days of “normal life” in America.

The website where I have posted this article is called “End of the American Dream“, but perhaps I should have entitled it “The End of America” because that is essentially what we are heading for.  The debt-fueled prosperity that so many of us take for granted is about to come to a screeching halt, and we are about to enter the hardest times that any of us have ever known.  And I am not just talking about economics either.  Based on all of the intel and information that I have gathered, we are about to enter a “perfect storm” that is going to shake this country in just about every possible way that it can be shaken.  So I hope that you will truly savor this summer – days like this will not come around again any time soon.

Have you ever known someone that lived a seemingly charmed life even though that individual made foolish decision after foolish decision?

In the end, reality almost always catches up with people like that.

And in so many ways, we have been living a charmed life as a nation even though we have been making incredibly foolish decisions for decades.  We have cursed ourselves over and over again, and just about every form of evil that you can possibly imagine is exploding all around us.  As a nation, we now stand for just about everything that is foul, disgusting and wicked, and the rest of the world is absolutely horrified by what has happened to us.

Once upon a time, we were one of the most loved nations on the entire planet.

Now we are one of the most hated.

The things that we have been doing to ourselves and to other countries are about to catch up with us in a major way.  We thought that we were getting away with everything that we were doing, but that was never the case.  When you do evil, there is always a price to pay.

Over the past few weeks, some very strange things have begun to happen.  And in the months ahead, we are going to see some more unusual events.  But to be honest, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  For now, you are just going to have to trust me on this one.

If my tone sounds ominous, that is good, because that is precisely the mood that I am trying to convey.  Right now, there are major things going on behind the scenes, and all of our comfortable little lives are about to get shaken up big time.

I have often written about the global elite and about how they like to go about doing things.  Throughout history, they have always liked to create order out of chaos.  In other words, they will often purposely create a crisis in order to push through things that they would not be able to accomplish during “normal” times.

I believe that we are about to enter one of those periods of time.  The problems that we are about to experience are going to be used to justify radical “solutions” that will further the overall agenda of the elite.  But because we will be in the middle of an “emergency”, a lot of people will choose to go along with those solutions.

Sadly, most people don’t understand how the world works because they are so consumed with other things.  We live in a society that is absolutely addicted to entertainment.  Just recently, I wrote about how the average American spends more than 10 hours a day plugged in to some form of media.  If we are not watching television, we are listening to the radio, going to movies, playing video games, messing with our smartphones or spending endless hours on the Internet.  And more than 90 percent of the “programming” that we are fed through these devices is produced by just 6 absolutely gigantic media corporations.

And who controls those gigantic media corporations?

The elite do.

And have you noticed how “the mainstream media” loves to divide us?

Today, Americans are more divided than ever it seems.  Our news broadcasts endlessly fixate on “black vs. white”, “male vs. female”, “liberal vs. conservative”, “rich vs. poor”, etc, etc.

Americans are extremely angry and frustrated at this point, but most of our anger and frustration is directed at one another.

How can we ever hope to come up with any solutions for our nation if we spend so much time hating our fellow citizens?

But this is just how the elite like it.

They love to play divide and conquer.  If we were united, we would be far more difficult to manipulate.

And even if we did find a way to come together, what values and principles would we use to rebuild this nation?

The truth is that most Americans deeply reject the values and principles that the founders of this country once held so dear.

Personally, I am very optimistic about the future.  My wife and I believe that the greatest chapters of our lives are still ahead of us.

But am I optimistic about the future of the United States?

No, I am not.

Perhaps you are reading this and you have come to the conclusion that I am being irrationally negative.  If so, you are probably spending way too much time plugged in to the “propaganda matrix” that I described above.  The establishment wants you to believe that everything is going to be just fine and that the best days for this world are ahead.

If you think that I am wrong, I challenge you to bookmark this page.  Then, after some time has passed, come back and revisit what I had to say today.

I believe that you will be quite shocked by how your perspective has changed.

The last half of this year (2015) is going to represent a major turning point, and we are moving into hard times unlike anything that America has ever seen before.

Unfortunately, most of the “sheeple” are going to be completely blindsided by what is coming.  They just continue to follow their utterly clueless leaders down a path toward oblivion.

But the good news is that once the “shaking” starts, many of these “sheeple” will begin to wake up.

When that happens, who will those “sheeple” turn to for answers?

 

 

Anti-austerity Protesters and Police Clash Outside Greek Parliament

Demonstrators oppose surrender of Greek sovereignty to European bankers

July 15, 2015

Demonstrators opposed to the surrender of Greek sovereignty to European bankers are confronting police and throwing Molotov cocktails in Athens, according to reports.

clash

The protests against the $96 billion bailout plan have shut down much of the city.

USA Today reports:

As the deadline neared and Greece teetered on the verge of financial collapse, a general strike and at least 10 separate protests took place in Athens as demonstrators called for the government to reject the new rescue package or try to renegotiate for better terms from international creditors that include the European Central Bank, eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund. So far, the lenders have been unyielding in their terms.

 

 

JP Morgan to Pay Another Slap on the Wrist Fine for Engaging in Systemic Consumer Credit Card Debt Fraud

Average citizens are treated under the U.S. “justice” (or just us?) system

jp-morgan-bankby Michael Krieger | Liberty Blitzkrieg | Originally published July 9, 2015

Just yesterday, I published a post titled: Florida Man Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Jail for Having Sex on the Beach. The purpose of that post wasn’t to justify his actions, but rather to highlight the difference between how average citizens are treated under the U.S. “justice” system, and how thieving, remorseless financial oligarchs are treated.

While, Mr. Caballero may have ruined the day of a few beach goers by crudely having sex on a public beach in broad daylight, he didn’t run the U.S. economy into the ground and cause destitution to tens of millions of Americans. Nor did he received trillions in taxpayer backstops and bailouts, only to turn around and pay himself a record bonus and then carry on with extremely profitable, illegal financial schemes. No, it was the bank executives who did (and continue to do) all of that. Guess who ends up in prison?

And now, for the latest financial scam perpetrated by JP Morgan, as well as the insignificant slap on the wrist fine, I present the following – this is from Reuters:

JPMorgan Chase & Co has agreed to pay at least $125 million to settle probes by U.S. state and federal authorities that the bank sought to improperly collect and sell consumer credit card debt, according to people familiar with the matter.

The settlement also includes about $50 million in restitution, the sources said.

The nation’s largest bank has been accused of relying on robo-signing and other discredited methods of going after consumers for debts they may not have owed and for providing inaccurate information to debt buyers. Robo-signing refers to signing documents in mass quantities without reviewing records.

I mean, what’s the big deal here? Clearly sex on the beach presents graver threat to American society.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), 47 states and the District of Columbia are expected to announce the settlements as soon as Wednesday, the people said.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris sued in 2013, claiming the bank engaged in fraudulent and unlawful debt collection practices against 100,000 California credit card borrowers over some three years.

The state claims the bank flooded state courts with questionable lawsuits, filing thousands every month, including 469 such lawsuits in one day alone.

In September 2013, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered JPMorgan to refund $309 million to about 2 million customers for illegal credit card practices, including charging consumers for credit card monitoring services they did not receive.

Thanks for playing suckers. Now go BTFD.

 

Sealed HSBC Report Shows U.S. Managers Battling Clean-up Squad

Managers from unit battled auditors with four-part strategy — Discredit, Deny, Deflect and Delay

hsbc

by Greg Farrell | Bloomberg | Originally published July 7, 2015

HSBC Holdings Plc, smarting from a $1.9 billion fine for providing banking to money launderers and sanctions-dodgers, promised U.S. officials it would clean up its act.

Within a year, its reform efforts met resistance from leaders of HSBC’s U.S. investment-banking unit — some of whom mounted a campaign of bullying, footdragging and discrediting against in-house watchdogs, according to previously unreported details from a report by the bank’s court-appointed monitor.

HSBC agreed to submit to the monitor’s oversight in late 2012, as part of a pact with the U.S. Justice Department that required it to bolster its in-house controls. Armed with that directive, HSBC compliance officers singled out a half-dozen clients whose activities could put the London-based bank at risk — including a Saudi bank that had been linked to Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers — and advised the U.S. investment-banking division to consider dropping those relationships.

There was no indication that the U.S. managers jumped to investigate. Instead, some of them requested that the six banks’ alleged sins be omitted from an in-house audit that compliance-team members were preparing to submit to HSBC’s top executives. The compliance team’s final audit omitted specifics about the banks, according to the monitor’s report.

As that audit took shape, U.S. investment banking managers put up other resistance, according to the court-appointed monitor’s report: One manager shouted at a compliance officer for wasting his time and dismissed her findings. Overall, the report says, managers from the unit battled auditors with what one compliance officer characterized as a four-part strategy — Discredit, Deny, Deflect and Delay.

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Maintaining the Illusion of Stability Now Requires Ever-Greater Extremes

Brittleness is being passed off as stability

economy

by Charles Hugh Smith | Of Two Minds | July 10, 2015

 

This much-needed re-set to an economy that serves the many rather than the few is what the Powers That Be are so fearful of.

On the surface, everything still looks remarkably stable in the core industrial economies. The stock markets in Japan, Germany and the U.S. are only a few percentage points off their highs, and we’re constantly assured that inflation no longer exists and official unemployment is low.

In other words, other than the spot of bother in Greece, life is good. Anyone who signs on the dotted line for easy credit can go to college, buy a car or house or get another credit card.

With more credit, everything becomes possible. With unlimited credit, the sky’s the limit, and it shows.

Europe is awash with tourists from the U.S., China and elsewhere, and restaurants are jammed in San Francisco and New York City, where small flats now routinely fetch well over $1 million.

In politics, the American public is being offered a choice of two calcified, dysfunctional aristocracies in 2016: brittleness is being passed off as stability, not just in politics but in the economy and the cultural zeitgeist.

But surface stability is all the status quo can manage at this point, because the machine is shaking itself to pieces just maintaining the brittle illusion of prosperity and order.

 

Consider what happened in Greece beneath the surface theatrics.

1. Goldman Sachs conspired with Greece’s corrupt kleptocracy to conjure up an illusion of solvency and fiscal prudence so Greece could join the Eurozone.

2. Vested interests and insiders gorged on the credit being offered by German and French banks, enriching themselves to the tune of tens of billions of euros, which were transferred to private accounts in Switzerland at the first whiff of trouble. When informed of this, Greek authorities took no action; after all, why track down your cronies and force them to pay taxes when tax evasion is the status quo for financial elites?

3. If Greece had defaulted in 2010 when its debt was around 110 billion euros, the losses would have fallen on the banks that had foolishly lent the money without proper due diligence or risk management. This is what should have happened in a market economy: those who foolishly lent extraordinary sums to poor credit risks take the resulting (and entirely predictable) losses.

4. But since the big European banks that were on the hook for the 110 billion in bad debt were highly leveraged (estimates are 30 to 1), then a mere 5% loss in their capital would render them insolvent–a Lehman Moment of cascading defaults that the European leadership could not allow, as not only would their cronies lose fortunes but they would lose power when the fragile house of cards they’d constructed collapsed.

Here is the debt in 2009–mostly owed to private banks and bondholders:

5. The status quo’s solution: transfer all the private bank debt to the taxpayers of the Eurozone members and loan Greece another 200+ billion euros in exchange for the illusion of reform and a squeezing of average Greek households to pay the interest due on the ballooning debt.

Here is the debt in 2015–almost all was shifted onto the backs of Eurozone taxpayers:

6. Five years later, the debt has exploded to 340 billion euros, triple the debt that should have been written off in 2010 when it became clear Greece could not pay the debt down or even service the interest payments.

7. Five years of austerity and suffering by the Greek people have all been for naught, as the entire euro system is untenable, the debt cannot be paid and the simulacra reforms did nothing to change the power structure or the corrupt, dysfunctional status quo in the country.

8. To maintain the surface illusion of stability for five years, the Powers That Be tripled the debt, vastly increased the risk of default and the damage a default would unleash, and caused undue suffering above and beyond the costs of default and a return to a national currency–a re-set that, if undertaken when it became clear there was no way the debt could be paid in 2010, would already be over and done.

This re-set, while painful in the short-term, is the only mechanism available to force reforms on a self-serving kleptocracy and rid the economy of a dependence on unsustainable credit expansion.

This much-needed re-set to an economy that serves the many rather than the few is what the Powers That Be are so fearful of, for it is the few who garner most of the gains of a corrupt, fully financialized neofeudal system and it is these few who fund the election campaigns of the politicos who are so desperate to maintain the perquisites of the Financial Nobility.

Austerity is meted out to debt-serfs while those at the top transfer tens of billions to their private accounts.

There are variations of this basic flow of income from serfs to the nobility, of course; stock market bubbles are inflated by authorities, insiders sell, sell, sell as credulous banana merchants and wage-earners buy, and then when the bubble bursts, these same authorities ban selling by the small-fry bagholders.

But this is not real stability; it is a brittle simulacrum of stability, an illusion that has required the status quo to pursue extremes of policy and debt that are intrinsically incapable of yielding stability.

In effect, the status quo has greatly increased the system’s vulnerability, fragility and brittleness–the necessary conditions for catastrophic collapse–all in the name of maintaining a completely bogus facade of stability for a few more years.

 

 

 

 

 

A Serial Short Seller Asks “Do Governments & Central Banks Ever Lose?”

071714stockfloor

 

by Jared Dillian | Zero Hedge | July 10, 2015

We are about a week into the Greek non-crisis, and nothing especially scary has happened. Stocks opened up lower a couple of times, and there was one wild trading day in EURUSD, but everything is essentially unchanged. Which surprised everyone. Including me, a little.

I used to be a plunger. Loved shorting stuff. I had one muscle, and I flexed it constantly. By my rough calculations, I was up about 18% by the time Lehman went bankrupt in 2008. The more turmoil, the better.

I was born in a bear market. Literally, in 1974, and figuratively—I learned to trade in the dot-com bust. Seven years into my trading career, I had experienced two crashes. I know lots of people who got rich buying GE at six bucks. I almost shorted it there.

So the past six years have been tough on me. I’ve made money, but not a lot. Worse, I’ve been conditioned to expect that whenever I spend a bunch of money on S&P puts, I’m going to get sconed and watch them melt to zero while the market rips higher.

The real kick in the nuts was when the market was melting down on Ebola fears in October and St. Louis Fed President Bullard walks out with a “buy” ticket stapled to his forehead.

Here’s another way to look at this: We had two crashes in seven years, and if you go back in history, the market doesn’t crash all that often.

Like the ‘50s. Stocks went up, quietly, for a decade. Nothing happened.

But this isn’t the ‘50s. There’s an IPO boom, a VC boom, valuations are stretched, and crap like Fitbit is going public. Shake Shack has a bigger valuation (I am told) than the entire coal industry.

We have unicorns and decacorns, and it’s only a matter of time until we have a centicorn. All the kids are going to startups. Talk about risk-taking.

I have seen worse bubbles, but the markets are definitely running hot.

So a developed country is about to default on a couple of hundred billion dollars worth of debt, and the market just shrugs. Worse, it sets a nasty precedent for other, larger economies defaulting on debt. Seems much more contagious than Russia in 1998. And stocks are bulletproof. The only selling going on is in China.

Serious question: Do you give up shorting? Like, throw in the towel?

The thing that gets a lot of people is that they believe the market is engineered by the authorities to go higher. Like Bullard with his rate comments. But it’s gotten so bad, there are wide swaths of people who think the Fed is actually buying stocks. ZeroHedge talks about this all the time.

There is a pretty funny Twitter account called 3:30 Ramp Capital, LLC. Plunge Protection Team rumors have been around since the beginning of time, but six years of stocks going straight up have given rise to all kinds of other theories. (For the record, the Fed fully acknowledges its interventions in the bond market, but it has never admitted to trading stocks.)

And it’s true that “the authorities” want the price of financial assets (stocks, bonds) to go up, and the price of hard assets (commodities) to go down… which is exactly what has happened.

So do governments and central banks ever lose?

In the old days, they lost all the time. In one extreme example, an individual hedge fund took out the entire Bank of England. But central banks are currently on a massive winning streak.

So to answer the question, “Will we ever have a crisis,” you need to answer the question, “Will we ever be allowed to have one?”

I’m not just some crazy guy asking these questions. Market professionals I talk to, hedge fund managers, mutual fund managers, will freely discuss the widespread distortions in the market. They feel like they can’t ply their trade. What I mean is, you can’t buy stuff cheap and sell it dear. Everything is dear, and it keeps going up, and you have to participate or get left behind.

That’s not the way it was in the ‘50s. There was all kinds of value to be found. That was how Warren Buffett made his money.

Today, I realized that, outside of some biotech stuff, I haven’t written about an individual stock in months. There’s just nothing interesting to buy, and you certainly can’t short anything. You’ll get your head blown off.

At one point in my career, I was really good at market timing. Calling tops and bottoms. You just can’t do it anymore. Tops never happen, and bottoms don’t get deep enough to find value. We haven’t had a 10% correction in how long?

Honestly, it’s so hard to invest in this environment, I’ve made nearly all my money in the last two years trading FX. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

This is a lot of me whining. And I’m secretly hoping that this letter means there will be a return to rationality soon.

But probably not. Stupid usually gets stupider.

 

Farage Rocks EU Parliament: Tells Tsipras – ‘Leave the Euro, Reclaim Your Democracy’

Capturefarage

 

Rousing speech met with cheers, applause

by Paul Joseph Watson | July 8, 2015

UKIP leader Nigel Farage gave a rousing speech in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg today during which he directly told Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone and reclaim the country’s democracy.

Farage told Tsipras that his country should have never joined the euro in the first place, but that it was forced to do so by big banks like Goldman Sachs and German arms manufacturers.

“When the bailouts began, they weren’t for the Greek people, those bailouts were to bailout French, German and Italian banks – they haven’t helped you at all,” said Farage to the sound of applause.

“You have been very brave, you called that referendum, when one of your predecessors tried to do the same, the bully boys of Brussels had him removed,” said the UKIP leader as Tsipras looked on.

“There were threats and bullying, but the Greeks stood firm….they will give you no more these people – they can’t afford to – if they give you more they’ll have to give other Eurozone members more – so your moment has come and frankly if you’ve got the courage you should lead the Greek people out of the Eurozone with your head held high, get back your democracy, get back control of your country, give your people the leadership and the hope that they crave,” added Farage.

The response to Farage’s speech – given that he is normally used to being heckled by pro-Brussels MEPs – was quite momentous as loud applause once again filled the room.

“Yes it will be tough for the first few months, but with a devalued currency and with friends of Greece all over the world, you will recover,” concluded Farage to the sound of cheering.

Tsipras looked fairly nonplussed but he was obviously trying to keep a straight face.

The Greek Prime Minister is still planning to strike a deal with creditors before a deadline on Thursday. Speculation is mounting that banks could run out of cash if the impasse continues, followed by civil unrest and riots.

Farage also remarked on what the wider implications of the Greek referendum were for the entire EU.

“The European project is actually beginning to die,” said Farage, adding that the people of Europe have rejected EU federalism time and time again whenever asked.

The UKIP leader said that attempts to make Europeans show allegiance to the flag and anthem of the EU had proven fruitless, noting that the ultimate agenda of a political union had failed.

“The countries of Europe are different – if you try and force together different people or different economies without first seeking the consent of those people it is unlikely to work and the plan has failed,” said Farage, adding that the whole of the Mediterranean now “finds itself in the wrong currency.”

“The continent is now divided from north to south, there is a new Berlin Wall and it’s called the euro,” asserted the UKIP leader.

Judicial Watch: New Documents Reveal DOJ, IRS, and FBI Plan to Seek Criminal Charges of Obama Opponents

Lois Lerner and IRS concoct reason to put Obama’s opponents in jail before re-election

irsobama

 

by Judicial Watch | July 7, 2015

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted non-profit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups  – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.”

The documents were produced subsequent to court orders in two Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits: Judicial Watch v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:14-cv-1956) and Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:14-cv-1239).

The new IRS documents include a October 11, 2010 “DOJ Recap” memo sent by IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner and other top IRS officials explaining an October 8 meeting with representatives from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and “one representative from the FBI” to discuss the possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations for alleged political activity:

On October 8, 2010, Lois Lerner, Joe Urban [IRS Technical Advisor, TEGE], Judy Kindell [top aide to Lerner], Justin Lowe [Technical Advisor to the Commissioner of Tax-Exempt and Government Entities], and Siri Buller met with the section chief and other attorneys from the Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section, and one representative from the FBI, to discuss recent attention to the political activity of exempt organizations.

The section’s attorneys expressed concern that certain section 501(c) organizations are actually political committees “posing” as if they are not subject to FEC law, and therefore may be subject to criminal liability. The attorneys mentioned several possible theories to bring criminal charges under FEC law. In response, Lois and Judy eloquently explained the following points:

  • Under section 7805(b), we may only revoke or modify an organization’s exemption retroactively if it omitted or misstated a material fact or operated in a manner materially different from that originally represented.

 

  • If we do not have these misrepresentations, the organization may rely on our determination it is exempt. However, the likelihood of revocation is diminished by the fact that section 501(c)(4)-(c)(6) organizations are not required to apply for recognition of exemption.

 

  • We discussed the hypothetical situation of a section 501(c)(4) organization that declares itself exempt as a social welfare organization, but at the end of the taxable year has in fact functioned as a political organization. Judy explained that such an organization, in order to be in compliance, would simply file Form 1120-POL and paying tax at the highest corporate rate.

Lois stated that although we do not believe that organizations which are subject to a civil audit subsequently receive any type of immunity from a criminal investigation, she will refer them to individuals from CI who can better answer that question. She explained that we are legally required to separate the civil and criminal aspects of any examination and that while we do not have EO law experts in CI, our FIU agents are experienced in coordinating with CI.

The attorneys asked whether a change in the law is necessary, and whether a three-way partnership among DOJ, the FEC, and the IRS is possible to prevent prohibited activity by these organizations. Lois listed a number of obstacles to the attorneys’ theories:

[REDACTED]

She pointed to Revenue Ruling 2004-6, which was drafted in light of the electioneering communication rules before they were litigated.

Just prior this meeting, the IRS began the process of providing the FBI confidential taxpayer information on nonprofit groups. An IRS document confirms the IRS supplied the FBI with 21 disks containing 1.25 million pages of taxpayer records:

FROM: Hamilton David K

SENT: Tuesday, October 5, 2010  2:49 PM

TO: Whittaker Sherry [Director, GE Program Management], Blackwell Robert M

SUBJECT: RE: Question

There are 113,000 C4 returns from January 1, 2007 to now. Assuming they want all pages including redacted ones, that’s 1.25 million pages … If we get started on it right away, before the 10th when the monthly extracts start, we can probably get it done in a week or so….

The DOJ documents also include a July 16, 2013, email from an undisclosed Justice Department official to a lawyer for IRS employees asking that the Obama administration get information from congressional witnesses before Congress does:

One last issue. If any of your clients have documents they are providing to Congress that you can (or would like to) provide to us before their testimony, we would be pleased to receive them. We are 6103 authorized and I can connect you with TIGTA to confirm; we would like the unredacted documents.

“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his reelection. And this abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information. How can the Justice Department and FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?”

On April 16, 2014, Judicial Watch forced the IRS to release documents revealing for the first time that Lerner communicated with the DOJ in May 2013 about whether it was possible to launch criminal prosecutions against targeted tax-exempt entities. The documents were obtained due to court order in an October 2013 Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit filed against the IRS.

Those documents contained an email exchange between Lerner and Nikole C. Flax, then-chief of staff to then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller discussing plans to work with the DOJ to prosecute nonprofit groups that “lied” (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities. The exchange included a May 8, 2013, email by Lerner:

I got a call today from Richard Pilger Director Elections Crimes Branch at DOJ … He wanted to know who at IRS the DOJ folk s [sic] could talk to about Sen. Whitehouse idea at the hearing that DOJ could piece together false statement cases about applicants who “lied” on their 1024s –saying they weren’t planning on doing political activity, and then turning around and making large visible political expenditures. DOJ is feeling like it needs to respond, but want to talk to the right folks at IRS to see whether there are impediments from our side and what, if any damage this might do to IRS programs. I told him that sounded like we might need several folks from IRS…

Democratic Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse held a hearing on April 9, 2013, during which, “in questioning the witnesses from the DOJ and IRS, Whitehouse asked why they have not prosecuted 501(c)(4) groups that have seemingly made false statements about their political activities…”

The House Oversight Committee followed up on these Judicial Watch disclosures with hearings and interviews of Pilger and his boss, DOJ Public Integrity Chief Jack Smith. Besides confirming the DOJ’s 2013 communications with Lerner, Pilger admitted to the committee that DOJ officials met with Lerner in October 2010. Judicial Watch obtained new documents about these meetings in December 2014 showing the Obama DOJ initiated outreach to the IRS about prosecuting tax-exempt entities.

Following Judicial Watch’s lead, the House also found out about the IRS transmittal of the confidential taxpayer information to the FBI. Because of this public disclosure, the FBI was forced to return the 1.25 million pages to the IRS.

 

 

 

 

‘We’re Training ISIL’: White House Website Corrects Obama’s Speech Blooper

President’s embarrassing error during press briefing amended on official transcript

by Paul Joseph Watson | July 7, 2015

The White House.gov website has corrected an embarrassing mistake made by Barack Obama during his press briefing yesterday about the Islamic State when the President said that U.S. forces were “training ISIL.”

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During his speech, Obama uttered the line, “with the additional steps I ordered last month, we’re speeding up training of ISIL forces.”

The White House.gov transcript left in the original quote, but placed the word ‘Iraqi’ in brackets after the word ISIL, correcting Obama’s mistake.

This is by no means the first time that the White House has edited transcripts of Obama’s speeches to put the president in a better light or cover up for his mistakes.

Last October, the White House completely scrubbed a reference Obama made to unpaid pills being stacked up at his home in Chicago, replacing it with the quote, “there’s still junk on my desk, including some — newspapers and all kinds of stuff.”

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest later dubiously claimed that the line about Obama’s bills was left out because the recording equipment malfunctioned.

The White House again edited Obama’s remarks in March when he mistakenly stated, “the bond between the United States and America is unbreakable.”

When the Bush administration caught flak for amending transcripts, they immediately switched to providing the president’s remarks verbatim, which was not an easy decision considering George W. Bush’s notorious “Bushisms”.

However, the Obama White House seems happy to continue amending history instead of providing an accurate record of what the president actually said.

Cops Taser Family Man Again and Again, Up to 27 Times Until He Went Limp and Died

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A left-behind family of a man killed by cops has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against San Bernardino County for excessive force

Filming Cops | February 1, 2015

VICTORVILLE — A left-behind family of a man killed by cops has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against San Bernardino County for excessive force.

Dante Parker was electrocuted as many as 27 times as cops shot him repeatedly with a Taser gun, according to the lawsuit.

Dante’s five children and his wife were devastated when he died after the electrical shock.

The incident occurred when Dante dropped his children off at school.

After he left them in school, he went on a bike ride around 4 PM.

He was riding his bike down Luna Rd when he was stopped by Officer Irwin.

Officer Irwin claimed to be responding to a report about a suspicious black male who was attempting to break into houses.

It is presumed that at some point during the questioning, an argument ensued, though the lawsuit does not specify.

At one point during the interaction, Officer Irwin began shooting Dante with a Taser gun, electrocuting his body and causing his muscles to involuntarily tighten and contract.

Other cops quickly arrived at the scene and began Tasing Dante even more, at least 25 times until his body became limp and he fell to the ground.

The cops then hogtied Dante’s limp body as he begged and said “I can’t breathe.”

They then lifted him up while he was hogtied and pushed him into the back seat of a police car, face down.

The inside of the police car was scorching hot as the weather outside reached almost 100 degrees.

Shortly thereafter, Dante’s heart stopped and he was pronounced dead.

The Sheriff Department’s defense is that Dante was “combative” with the officer, causing the officer to “fear for life.”

But Dante’s family believes the police murdered their father.

The family is suing for an unspecified amount in damages.

 

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Judicial Watch Obtains ‘Smoking Gun’ Benghazi Documents

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State Dept., Clinton (and possible runner for the Next Presidential Elections…) is found to be involved in massive cover-up…

Jerome Corsi | WND | January 27, 2015

Documents obtained Monday through a federal court order show State Department officials disseminated the false story that the 2012 Benghazi attack that killed a U.S. ambassador was nothing more than the violent escalation of a demonstration by Muslims against an insulting video, even though they knew it was a coordinated military-style assault.

Among the documents obtained by the Washington-based government watchdog Judicial Watch was a memo sent the day after the Sept. 11, 2012, attack to the U.S. Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia, by the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Command Center titled “Emergency Message to U.S. Citizens: Demonstrations.”

The Diplomatic Security Command Center, or DSCC, was well aware that the attack was carried out by highly organized and armed Islamic militia, because the DSCC was the unit that monitored the attack in real time via video transmissions from a drone.

The message is identical to the emergency message issued by the U.S. Embassy in Tunis and archived on the embassy’s website.

The emergency message reads in the first paragraph: “On September 11, 2012, violent demonstrations took place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt and at the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in damage in both locations and casualties in Benghazi. Media reports indicate that demonstrations may take place at the U.S. Embassy in Tunis on Wednesday, September 12, 2012.”

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Also… Watch An InfoWars Report filed on YouTube here…

France Announces Plans To Hold The Internet Responsible For Terrorism – be ready to loose OUR FREEDOM

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Purely hamfisted attempt to label innocent service providers as “accomplices”

Timothy Geigner | Techdirt | January 27, 2015

And on it goes. In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, much of the world rallied around a French magazine’s free speech right to publish controversial text and images concerning Islam, a major world religion. Since that solidarity was expressed, France has strategically sought to undermine its own support of free expression through some of the most arcane law enforcement actions concerning speech to date. From arresting comedians, to threats against news organizations, all the way to stepping into the muck with a bunch of racist idiots, France has shown that it’s not a country that defends free and open speech — but rather one that only defends the speech with which it agrees. But if any of that troubled you, you may be disappointed to learn that it was only the precursor to a full on attack on free speech on the internet.

President Francois Hollande said Tuesday in Paris the government will present a draft law next month that makes Internet operators “accomplices” of hate-speech offenses if they host extremist messages. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said he will travel to the U.S. to seek help from the heads of Twitter Inc. (TWTR) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) as well as Google and Facebook. Spokesmen for the companies did not immediately return requests for comment.

It’s exactly the wrong move on France’s part. What was once a rallying moment for Western values and open speech has now devolved into a full-on attempt to censor speech online. If this law passes, internet services will have no choice but to seek to proactively censor all sorts of speech just to avoid liability. It’s the exact opposite of the systems and policies that made the internet such a welcome home to free expression.

It would be one thing if any part of this plan made even the least bit of sense, which it doesn’t, but where this gets really stupid is in the strategic impact this would have were it to be put in place. Extremists that have since gathered online will now be pushed back into places where they cannot be so easily monitored. What was essentially a honeypot of sorts will be neutered. How does that make even the smallest amount of sense, even throwing aside the horrific implications this has on France’s willingness to censor speech it does not care for?

Add to that the purely hamfisted attempt to label innocent service providers as “accomplices” under the shade of a recent terror attack, and you might think this couldn’t get any more cynical. You’d be wrong.

Hollande, speaking at a Paris memorial for Jews deported during World War II, said he would discuss a crackdown on racist and extremist Internet posts with global leaders at a ceremony at Auschwitz, Poland, on Tuesday as they meet to commemorate the death camp’s liberation 70 years ago. At last week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Hollande called on Internet companies to help identify and shut down illegal content. France has laws against making racist statements or denying the Holocaust.

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Obama looks past GOP in promoting his 2015 agenda

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“The president is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained”

Josh Lederman & Nedra Pickler | Associated Press | January 4,

President Barack Obama plans new steps to help more Americans buy a home and attend college, part of a 2015 agenda he hopes can build on the postelection momentum from high-profile moves on immigration and Cuba.

His approach for the new year appears to look straight past newly emboldened Republicans who take full control of Congress on Tuesday.

Fresh from a two-week Hawaiian vacation, the president was readying executive actions and legislative proposals to start promoting right away while advisers and speechwriters flesh out the broad themes that Obama wants to emphasize in his State of the Union address on Jan. 20. It will be his sixth since taking office, but his first before a Congress entirely in GOP hands.

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Obama Released Nuclear Terrorist Back to Afghanistan

obamaphone Considered “low threat”

Trey Sanchez | Truth Revolt | January 4, 2015

Mohammed Zahir was released form his prison cell in Guantanamo Bay in December and was sent directly back to the battlefield in Afghanistan, his home country. Zahir was one of four prisoners released who were considered “low threats” in a sign of good faith with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, as reported by The New York Times.

The report states that the four men aren’t expected to receive further detainment once they reached Afghanistan. But according to WikiLeaks documents, Zahir was caught with a sealed can of “Heavy Water – U235 150 Grams.”

Translated from Russian, that means he was in possession of uranium and admitted it was to be used in making an atom bomb. Other items found during the search of his property linked him directly to Taliban and extremist networks, including recruitment materials.

Also discovered was a book documenting 50,000 metric tons of “sugar” having been shipped to Washington, D.C., and the United Kingdom with stops in Brazil and other international sea ports. It is noted that “sugar” is code for heroin trafficking.

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