Tag: Orders

Obamanomics Update: U.S. Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low – 16 Consecutive Months Of Declines

Manufacturing Recession Deepens: Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low; 16 Consecutive Declines – Zero Hedge

In 60 years, the U.S. economy has not suffered a 16-month continuous YoY drop in Factory orders without being in recession. Moments ago the Department of Commerce confirmed that this is precisely what the U.S. economy did, when factory orders not only dropped for the 16th consecutive month Y/Y, after declining 1.7% from last month…

.

.
…but at $454 billion for the headline number, this was the lowest print since the summer of 2011.

.

.
Market reaction: stocks rebound on the news and are now well in the green.

.

.

Judge Orders IRS To Turn Over Secret List Of Conservative Groups It Targeted – Accuses Government Of Acting In Bad Faith

Court Rebukes IRS For Tea Party Targeting, Orders Release Of Secret List – Washington Times

.

.
A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.

The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Department lawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith – compounding the initial targeting – by fighting the disclosure.

“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws – all of them, not just selective ones – in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in a unanimous opinion for a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “We expect that the IRS will do better going forward.”

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.

The case stems from the IRS‘ decision in 2010 to begin subjecting tea party and conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

An inspector general found several hundred groups were asked inappropriate questions about their members’ activities, their fundraising and their political leanings.

The IRS has since apologized for its behavior, but insisted the targeting was a mistake born of overzealous employees confused by the law rather than a politically motivated attempt to stifle conservatives.

Tea party groups have been trying for years to get a full list of nonprofit groups that were targeted by the IRS, but the IRS had refused, saying that even the names of those who applied or were approved are considered secret taxpayer information. The IRS said section 6103 of the tax code prevented it from releasing that information.

Judge Kethledge, however, said that turned the law on its head.

“Section 6103 was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers,” he wrote.

Edward Greim, a lawyer at Graves Garrett who is representing NorCal Patriots, said they should be able to get a better idea of the IRS‘ decision-making once they see the list of groups that was targeted.

“What we’ll be able to see is how, starting in the spring of 2010, with the first one or two groups the IRS targeted, we’ll be able to see that number grow, and we’ll even be able to see at the tail end their possible covering up that conduct,” he said.

He said they suspect the IRS, aware that the inspector general was looking into the tax agency’s behavior, began adding in other groups to try to muddle the perception that only conservatives were being targeted.

Tuesday’s ruling is the second victory this year for NorCal Patriots.

In January U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott certified their case as a class-action lawsuit, signaling that she agreed with NorCal Patriots that the IRS did systematically target hundreds of groups for special scrutiny.

Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. But until the IRS complies with the appeals court’s ruling this week, the list of those groups is secret.

Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.

The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations.

The Justice Department has concluded its own criminal investigation into the IRS and said the targeting was the result of bad management. But investigators said they found no criminal behavior, and specifically cleared former IRS head Lois G. Lerner, saying her fellow employees said she tried to correct the problems when she learned of them.

Republicans dismissed that investigation as a whitewash by the Obama administration.

.

.

Obama Regime Crime Spree Update: IRS Erases Hard Drive Against Judge’s Orders

Chaffetz, Jordan Erupt After IRS Erases Another Hard Drive – Daily Caller

.

.
Leading members of Congress are ripping IRS officials for erasing a computer hard drive after a federal judge ordered it to be preserved.

“The destruction of evidence subject to preservation orders and subpoenas has been an ongoing problem under your leadership at the IRS,” Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Jim Jordan , wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen late Thursday.

“It is stunning to see that the IRS does not take reasonable care to preserve documents that it is legally required to protect,” Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said in the letter to Koskinen.

The IRS recently admitted in court to erasing the hard drive even though a federal judge had issued a preservation related to a Microsoft Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the federal tax agency last year, according to court documents. Microsoft accuses the IRS of inappropriately hiring an outside law firm to audit it and of failing to hand over related documents requested under the FOIA.

Chaffetz and other members of the oversight panel began calling for Koskinen’s impeachment in October. Chaffetz and Jordan in their letter point out that the IRS in March 2014 also destroyed 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails sent or received by Lois Lerner, former director of IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division.

Lerner was the central figure in the scandal sparked by the tax agency’s illegal targeting and harassment of conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.

Samuel Maruca, owner of the hard drive in question and a former senior IRS executive, participated in the IRS hiring of the outside law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP allegedly to investigate Microsoft. Maruca left the IRS in August 2014, according to court documents.

Chaffetz and Jordan told Koskinen to hand over all documents on IRS preservation policies and all documents related to the destruction of Lerner and Maruca’s hard drives.

.

.

Sweden: 14,000 Illegal Aliens Under Deportation Orders Disappear Without A Trace

Uh Oh: 14,000 Illegal Immigrants In Sweden Disappear Without A Trace – Progressives Today

.

.
Bernie Sanders thinks America should be more like Sweden. Does his thinking include thousands of illegal immigrants who suddenly go missing?

Truth Revolt reported:
.

Sweden: 14,000 Illegal Immigrants Disappear Without Trace

Of the 21,748 people who have been given deportation orders by Sweden’s Migration Agency last month – the largest number in history, by the way – 14,140 are registered by police as “departed” or “wanted,” the Swedish website The Local reports.

“We simply don’t know where they are,” said Patrik Engström, the head of the national border police.

It is unknown how many of the missing are still in the country or may have left for elsewhere in Europe. The rest of the illegals are either in refugee centers, in custody, or living in separate accommodations they have arranged for themselves, awaiting deportation.

The Swedish government has previously announced it wants to step up efforts to ensure that people without the legal right to stay in Sweden exit the country. But police say most of its resources are currently devoted to carrying out ID checks after Sweden stepped up border controls.

“It’s a huge task and it is completely dependent on the police being allocated resources,” said Engström.

.
This could never happen in the United States. Right?

.

.

Obama Regime Orders Illinois School District To Let Boys Who Wear Dresses Use Girls’ Locker Rooms

Feds Order High School To Allow Boys Who Dress As Girls To Use Girls’ Shower, Locker Room – Daily Caller

.

.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has ordered a taxpayer-funded school district in the suburbs of Chicago to allow a male transgender student who dresses like a girl and otherwise identifies as female to use the girls locker room and shower on school premises.

The feds delivered the edict against Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Ill. on Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Department of Education has given the school district one month to let the student use the girls locker room. If the district does not capitulate, it risks losing federal funding.

The Department of Education’s civil rights division made its Title IX ruling after a two-year investigation using a “preponderance of evidence” standard.

President Barack Obama’s Department of Education – which manifestly is not vested with judicial powers – has taken to applying Title IX, a comprehensive 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, to transgender cases.

The unidentified high school student at the center of the ruling currently is listed as a girl in school files, uses girls’ restrooms and plays on girls’ sports teams.

That’s not enough, though. The student wants to be treated like a female in every respect by the school district that enrolls more than 12,000 students.

Showering in a different place is “blatant discrimination,” John Knight, director of the LGBT and AIDS Project at ACLU of Illinois, told the Tribune.

The ACLU of Illinois is representing the student.

“It’s one thing to say to all the girls, ‘You can choose if you want some extra privacy,’ but it’s another thing to say, ‘You, and you alone, must use them.’ That sends a pretty strong signal to her that she’s not accepted and the district does not see her as girl,” Knight also told the Chicago newspaper.

On Monday, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights agreed.

“Student A has not only received an unequal opportunity to benefit from the District’s educational program, but has also experienced an ongoing sense of isolation and ostracism throughout her high school enrollment at the school,” the letter from the Office for Civil Rights proclaims.

The Tribune has made the full text of the Department of Education’s Title IX letter to school officials available here.

School officials had worked out a plan under which the student could use a separate locker room and shower facility so that girls using the primary girls’ locker room and shower would not feel uncomfortable. The goal was to balance rights – to accommodate the student while, at the same time, “to protect the privacy rights of all students when changing clothes or showering before or after physical education and after-school activities,” according to a recent school district press release obtained by the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper.

“We are very hopeful that we are going to be able to work to find a solution before this gets to the matter of funding,” Township district superintendent Daniel Cates told the Herald in the days leading up to Monday’s proclamation. “If we were to implement OCR’s unilateral mandate of unconditional access, we believe it sacrifices both student privacy and overrides the will of our local board of education.”

In a recent statement, Cates stressed the rights of every other female in the school district.

“The students in our schools are teenagers, not adults, and one’s gender is not the same as one’s anatomy,” Cates explained. “Boys and girls are in separate locker rooms – where there are open changing areas and open shower facilities – for a reason.”

In a statement obtained by the Tribune, the transgender student said he is elated with the ruling from Washington.

“This decision makes me extremely happy – because of what it means for me, personally, and for countless others,” he said. “The district’s policy stigmatized me, often making me feel like I was not a ‘normal person.’”

Catherine Lhamon, the Obama-appointed assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, also issued a statement about the male transgender student.

“Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room,” Lhamon said, according to The New York Times.

.

.

Pen And Phone Update: President Asshat Orders Paid Sick Leave For Employees Of Federal Contractors

Obama Orders Government Contractors To Offer Paid Sick Leave – One America News

.

.
President Barack Obama on Monday ordered government contractors to offer their workers seven days of paid sick leave a year and, without naming them, knocked Republican presidential candidates for advocating what he said were anti-union policies.

Obama signed an executive order on sick leave during a flight on Air Force One to Boston, where he spoke at a union event. The White House said it would affect some 300,000 people.

Starting in 2017, workers on government contracts will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Contractors can offer more generous amounts at their discretion.

Speaking to a friendly crowd without a tie or jacket, Obama said such policies were beneficial to employers.

“It helps with recruitment and retention,” he said.

Unions and organized labor are a key constituent to the Democratic Party whose support will be critical in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama, who joked that he was glad not to be on the ballot next year, made thinly veiled references to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for anti-union remarks and policies. He did not name them by name.

The executive order follows a series of measures by the White House to expand access to paid leave. In January, Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the government to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for other sick leave-eligible uses.

Obama is also pressing Congress to pass legislation giving government employees six additional weeks of paid parental leave. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he could not say what the cost of implementing the seven-day paid leave rule would be to contractors.

“We believe the cost of implementing this rule is offset by the efficiencies that come with reduced attrition, increased loyalty, all of those things that have been documented in a number of studies of state laws that have been enacted,” Perez told reporters on a conference call on Sunday.

Obama also used the trip to Boston to renew his call for Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require all businesses with 15 or more employees to offer up to seven paid sick days each year.

According to the White House, an estimated 44 million private-sector workers, about 40 percent of the total private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick leave.

.

.

Leftist Corruption Update: Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose White House Requests For Taxpayer Information

Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose WH Requests For Taxpayer Info – Washington Free Beacon

.

.
A federal judge on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to reveal White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, advancing a probe into whether administration officials targeted political opponents by revealing such information.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the IRS’s argument that a law designed to protect the confidentiality of such information protected the public disclosure of such communications with the White House.

The law, 26 U.S. Code § 6103, was passed after the Watergate scandal to protect citizens from retribution by federal officials. Jackson scoffed at the administration’s claims that the statute could be used to shield investigations into whether private tax information had been used in such a manner.

“The Court is unwilling to stretch the statute so far, and it cannot conclude that section 6103 may be used to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” Jackson wrote in her order.

The decision was a victory for Cause of Action, the legal watchdog group that sued the IRS in 2013 seeking records of its communications with the White House and potential disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

The group called the decision “a significant victory for transparency advocates” in a Friday statement

“As we have said all along, this administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing,” said Dan Epstein, the group’s executive director. “No administration is above the law, and we are pleased that the court has sided with us on this important point.”

The lawsuit came after Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, the IRS’s official watchdog agency, revealed that it was investigating whether Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s former chief economist, illegally accessed or revealed confidential tax information related to Koch Industries.

The corporation’s owners, Charles and David Koch, are prominent funders of conservative and libertarian groups that often oppose the White House’s policy priorities.

Goolsbee “used Koch Industries as an example when discussing an issue noted in the [President’s Economic Recovery Board] report that half of business income goes to companies that do not pay corporate income tax because they are pass-through entities and that many of them are quite large,” the White House said in 2010.

His apparent knowledge of Koch’s tax history, detailed during a conference call with reporters, “implies direct knowledge of Koch’s legal and tax status, which would appear to be a violation” of federal law, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the time.

.

.

Judge Orders Hitlery To Answer For ‘Home-Brew’ Server

Judge Orders Hillary Clinton To Answer For ‘Home-Brew’ Server – Gateway Pundit

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order late Friday afternoon ordering former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and two of her most intimate State Department aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to account for, under penalty of perjury, their use of Clinton’s ‘home-brew’ server kept at her Chappaqua, New York home during Clinton’s four-year tenure as secretary, as well as any official documents in their possession.

.

.
The order came in a FOIA lawsuit by Judicial Watch that was re-opened by Judge Sullivan in June after Clinton’s circumvention of the FOIA laws was revealed when news broke of her use of the private server.

Judicial Watch posted the text of the ruling. (Paragraphs added.)

As agreed by the parties at the July 31, 2015 status hearing, the Government shall produce a copy of the letters sent by the State Department to Mrs. Hillary Clinton, Ms. Huma Abedin and Ms. Cheryl Mills regarding the collection of government records in their possession.

These communications shall be posted on the docket forthwith. The Government has also agreed to share with Plaintiff’s counsel the responses sent by Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. These communications shall also be posted on the docket forthwith.

In addition, as related to Judicial Watch’s FOIA requests in this case, the Government is HEREBY ORDERED to: (1) identify any and all servers, accounts, hard drives, or other devices currently in the possession or control of the State Department or otherwise that may contain responsive information;

(2) request that the above named individuals confirm, under penalty of perjury, that they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department. If all such information has not yet been produced, the Government shall request the above named individuals produce the information forthwith;

and (3) request that the above named individuals describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business.

The Government shall inform the Court of the status of its compliance with this Order no later than August 7, 2015, including any response received from Mrs. Clinton, Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills. Signed by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan on July 31, 2015.”

Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton issued a statement on the ruling.

This blockbuster ruling is the most significant legal development to date in the ongoing Clinton email scandal. Hillary Clinton will now have to answer, under penalty of perjury, to a federal court about the separate email server she and her aides used to avoid accountability to the American people.

This court action shows that the rule of law and public’s right to know will no longer take a back seat to politics. Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration that is covering for her are not above the law.”

.

.

Tea Partiers Gear Up For Class-Action Lawsuit As Federal Judge Orders IRS To Turn Over List Of Targeted Groups

Federal Judge Orders IRS To Release List Of Tea Party Groups Targeted For Scrutiny – Washington Times

.
…………

.
A federal judge ordered the IRS this week to turn over the list of 298 groups it targeted for intrusive scrutiny as the agency defends against a potential class-action lawsuit by tea party groups who claim their constitutional rights were violated.

The IRS had argued it shouldn’t have to release the names because doing so would violate privacy laws, but Judge Susan J. Dlott, who sits in the Southern District of Ohio, rejected that claim and ordered the tax agency to turn over any lists or spreadsheets detailing the groups that were targeted and when they filed their applications.

Judge Dlott also ordered the IRS to say whether a partial list of targeted groups reported by USA Today is authentic as a number of tea party groups try to win certification for a class action lawsuit against the IRS.

“The return information sought is directly related to the issue of class certification in this federal court proceeding,” the judge said. “The names of the putative class member organizations and their control dates – the date which the putative class member organizations submitted their applications for tax exempt status to the IRS – are directly related to the issue of class certification.”

The judge has not yet certified the tea party groups as a class, and the information that they’ve obtained so far through depositions remains under seal. But backers say if they can be certified, then they will begin to try to pry loose some of the key information about how the IRS chose which groups it went after in its targeting.

“We’re at the precipice,” said Mark Meckler, a member of one of the tea party groups suing, and also president of Citizens for Self-Governance, which is funding the litigation.

The Ohio lawsuit is the only major legal jeopardy still remaining in the courts for the IRS — though the agency is still facing an FBI investigation, according to documents obtained by True the Vote, a tea party group, under the Freedom of Information Act.

Earlier this week the deporting U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C. informed House Speaker John A. Boehner he would not prosecute Lois G. Lerner, the former senior executive who’s at the center of the targeting scandal, for contempt of Congress. The prosecutor said Ms. Lerner didn’t waiver her Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination when she delivered an opening statement at a congressional hearing but then refused follow-up questions.

The scandal developed after the IRS acknowledged it singled out tea party groups for special scrutiny, and asked intrusive questions that agency executives later said were inappropriate. The IRS’s inspector general concluded that 298 groups were targeted, with all but a handful of them leaning toward the conservative side.

But the IRS has resisted releasing the official list, arguing that is private information.

“The Internal Revenue Service cannot disclose the identities of the potential class members because that is return information protected,” the administration said in its court filings.

The judge disagreed, saying exemptions in law apply to a case like this.

Several other cases had been filed in Washington, D.C., by tea party groups trying to force a judge to proactively halt any future targeting. The judge tossed those cases, saying that the IRS insists the targeting has ended, so there is no further action needed.

But some groups are still awaiting approval, including one that’s been pending for more than five years, which their lawyers argue means the IRS is still targeting despite its insistence that its program has ended.

Commissioner John Koskinen has said groups that are still waiting could take a deal, promising to limit their political activities to 40 percent of their business, but the groups argue that would mean giving up rights since they believe under current law politicking can be almost 50 percent of their activities.

.

.

It’s About Freakin’ Time! Federal Court Orders Obama Regime To Release Fast And Furious Information

Federal Court Orders Obama Administration To Release Fast And Furious Information – Judicial Watch

.

.
Judicial Watch announced today that on July 18, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) must turn over to the organization a “Vaughn index” of all requested Operation Fast and Furious materials from the June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)). Judicial Watch sought all of the documents the Obama White House was withholding from the House of Representatives under executive privilege claims.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge John D. Bates lifted a lengthy 16-month delay of this open records lawsuit. This order forces the Obama DOJ, for the first time and by October 1, 2014, to provide a detailed listing of all documents that it has withheld from Congress and the American people for years about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The ruling can be found here.

The DOJ opposed the Judicial Watch action, claiming it would interfere with the department’s continuing litigation with the House Oversight Committee concerning these Fast and Furious documents subpoenaed in October 2011. In September 2012, Obama asserted executive privilege over the documents. In the July 2014 opinion overruling the Obama Justice Department’s request for an almost indefinite hold on Judicial Watch’s legal right obtains this information under the Freedom of Information Act Bates said:

In the [February 15, 2013] order granting the stay, this court explicitly noted that the DOJ ‘does not seek, and the court will not award, an indefinite stay pending ultimate resolution of the House Committee litigation,’ and that ‘the benefits of delaying this case might well [become] too attenuated to justify any further delay”…

Because many of the issues to be resolved in this case do not overlap with the House committee, and because resolving those issues will not risk upsetting the delicate balance of powers in subpoena disputes between the political branches, the Court will require DOJ to produce a Vaughn index here.

In fact, the court suggested that disclosing information to Judicial Watch might actually resolve the legal dispute now before Judge Amy Berman Jackson between the Obama administration and Congress:

True, nothing in the subpoena enforcement context of House Committee would require DOJ to produce a particularized description of the withheld documents… But this is a FOIA case, and since 1973, when Vaughn was decided, courts in this circuit have required agencies to justify their FOIA withholdings on a particularized basis. And doing so here will not prematurely expose or resolve the executive privilege issues ahead of Judge Jackson and the political branches; it will merely permit the parties and this Court to cull from the dispute any documents as to which a valid, non-executive privilege reason for withholding exists, thereby narrowing or perhaps even resolving the case. To the extent DOJ argues that the mere production of the Vaughn index – not involving the release of any documents in dispute – would alter the historical balance of powers between the branches, any unbalancing would result from FOIA itself, a law passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, and which this Court cannot ignore forever.

Judge Bates also noted no court has ever “expressly recognized” President Obama’s executive privilege claims that his administration is using to keep these documents secret from Congress and the American people.

The DOJ claims, in addition to other Exemption 5 rationales, at least two distinct forms of executive privilege to justify withholding documents: a “deliberative process” privilege of constitutional dimensions and a “congressional response work-product” privilege. See: Mem.in Supp. of Def.’s Mot. for Summ. J., House Committee, No. 12-1332 [ECF No. 63] (“House Committee Def.’s Mot.”) at 21-27, 27-30. It appears that neither form has been expressly recognized by any court Id (citing Senate Select Comm. on Pres. Campaign Activities v. Nixon, 498 F.2d 725 (D.C. Cir. 1974)).

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

Fast and Furious was a DOJ/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) “gun-running” operation in which the Obama administration reportedly allowed guns to go to Mexican drug cartels in hopes that they would end up at crime scenes, thereby advancing gun-control policies. Fast and Furious weapons have been implicated in the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and hundreds of other innocents in Mexico.

On June 20, 2012, President Obama asserted executive privilege over Fast and Furious documents the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier. Judicial Watch filed its FOIA request two days later. When the DOJ denied that request, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA lawsuit on September 12, 2012. On February 15, 2013, Judge Bates stayed the case, in part to allow ongoing settlement discussions between the DOJ and the House Committee to continue. Judge Bates’ order lifted the stay after a lengthy July 18 hearing. Generally speaking, the documents at issue are about how and if the Obama administration misled Congress about the Fast and Furious matter.

“Once again, Judicial Watch has beat Congress to the punch in getting key information about another Obama scandal – this time, the Fast and Furious outrage,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “A federal court has ordered the Obama administration to produce information that could, for the first time, provide specific details who in the administration is responsible for Fast and Furious lies to Congress and the American people. This is a battle that put Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, saw Nixonian assertions of executive privilege by Barack Obama, and a hapless Congress in face of all this lawlessness. Finally, we may get some accountability for Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and the countless others murdered as a result of the insanely reckless Obama administration program.”

The Judicial Watch lawsuit for Oversight Committee documents is one of several FOIA lawsuits Judicial Watch has filed in its effort to obtain information concerning the Fast and Furious scandal:

* On October 11, 2011, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ and the ATF to obtain all Fast and Furious records submitted to the House Committee on Oversight.

* On June 6, 2012, Judicial Watch sued the ATF seeking access to records detailing communications between ATF officials and Kevin O’Reilly, former Obama White House Director of North American Affairs at the U.S. National Security Council.

* On September 5, 2013, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ seeking access to all records of communications between DOJ and the Oversight Committee relating to settlement discussions in the Committee’s 2012 contempt of Congress lawsuit against Holder. The contempt citation stemmed from Holder’s refusal to turn over documents to Congress related to the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

* On May 28, 2014, Judicial Watch sued the DOJ on behalf of ATF Special Agent John Dodson, who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious and was then subjected to an alleged smear campaign designed to destroy his reputation.

.

.

Judge Orders Feds To Help Enforce Proof-Of-Citizenship Voter Requirement In Kansas And Arizona

Federal Officials Ordered To Help Enforce Ariz., Kan., Voter Citizenship Laws – Fox News

Federal officials must help Kansas and Arizona enforce laws requiring new voters to document their U.S. citizenship, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, in a decision that could encourage other Republican-led states to consider similar policies.

.

.
U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Wichita, Kan., ordered the U.S. Election Assistance Commission to immediately modify a national voter registration form to add special instructions for Arizona and Kansas residents about their states’ proof-of-citizenship requirements.

Both require new voters to provide a birth certificate, passport or other documentation to prove their U.S. citizenship to election officials. The federal registration form requires only that prospective voters sign a statement declaring they are citizens.

Kansas and Arizona asked the federal agency for state-specific modifications, but it refused. The states and their top elected officials – Secretaries of State Kris Kobach of Kansas and Ken Bennett of Arizona, both conservative Republicans – sued the agency last year.

Most voters in both states register with state forms, but their officials said the availability of the federal form created a loophole in enforcement of proof-of-citizenship requirements. Supporters argue the requirements preclude voter fraud by preventing noncitizens from voting, particularly those in the country illegally.

“This is a really big victory, not just for Kansas and Arizona but for all 50 states,” Kobach told The Associated Press. “Kansas has paved the way for all states to enact proof-of-citizenship requirements.”

Arizona enacted its proof-of-citizenship requirement by voter initiative in 2004, and Alabama, Georgia and Kansas followed with similar laws. Kansas’ rule took effect last year.

Critics of such laws view them as suppressing voter participation. They also said the federal National Voter Registration Act, enacted in the 1990s, was meant to simplify registration across the country and allowed federal officials to reject a modification of the national form.

Jonathan Brater, legal counsel for the New York-based Brennan Center for Justice, said Melgren’s ruling, if it stands, would erode Congress’ power to protect voting rights. The center represented the national League of Women Voters and its Arizona and Kansas chapters, which intervened in the lawsuit.

“There is a concern that other states could move to pass some of these misguided laws,” Brater said. “There can be a copycat effect.”

Melgren said the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to set voter qualifications, and Congress has not pre-empted it, even in enacting the 1990s law.

The federal commission and the national League of Women Voters were reviewing the decision Wednesday and not saying whether they’d appeal to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

But league President Elisabeth MacNamara said: “Our first impression is that it’s a harsh decision and it’s a decision that will harm voters.”

The federal commission also had rejected a request for a state-specific change in the national form from Georgia, and Jared Thomas, chief of staff to Secretary of State Brian Kemp, said his state will ask the commission to reconsider.

“We applaud Judge Melgren’s decision and the good work of Kansas and Arizona in litigating this important issue,” Thomas said in an email to the AP.

The proof-of-citizenship laws are part of broader attempt by Republicans nationally to tighten up state voting requirements in the name of fighting election fraud.

“We must ensure citizens are the only ones who vote if we are to have honest elections,” said Republican Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason.

But critics contend it can be difficult for some poor, minority and elderly voters to obtain copies of their birth certificates or other citizenship documents.

Brater said college students registering to vote away from their previous homes also may have trouble finding the necessary papers quickly. And Democratic Arizona state Sen. Steve Gallardo, who joined the lawsuit on the side of the federal commission, said a proof-of-citizenship requirement is designed to weed out progressive voters, particularly college students.

“These are new voters that are getting active,” Gallardo said. “They tend to be a lot more progressive and liberal… particularly when it comes to issues like medical marijuana, same-sex marriage, more progressive-type issues.”

In Kansas, the registrations of nearly 15,700 prospective voters – enough to decide a close statewide race – remained on hold Wednesday because they hadn’t yet complied with the proof-of-citizenship requirement.

Kobach said the state has found “20 or so” noncitizens on its voter registration rolls, but he believes that’s only a fraction of the potential number. Kansas has about 1.73 million registered voters.

In Arizona, Attorney General Tom Horne, another conservative Republican, said election officials learned they had more than 200 noncitizens on their rolls when court officials forwarded the names of people who sought exemptions from jury duty because they weren’t citizens. Arizona has 3.25 million registered voters.

“There’s been a cover-up by the media of the extent to which voter fraud is a problem,” Horne said.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Judge Orders Girl Back To Home Of Guardian Whose Sex Offender Roommate Then Rapes Girl, Murders Guardian

Girl Raped After Judge Sends To Sex Offender’s Home – WorldNetDaily

Charges are being considered against a Texas judge who sent a minor back into the home of a guardian who was living with a sex offender who later murdered the guardian and raped the juvenile, according to a lawsuit.

.
……….

Also, three Texas teachers were indicted for failing to tell authorities about the student’s report of threats from the sex offender, the suit notes.

The consequences of the judge’s decision and the actions by the teachers were severe: The student was tied up and raped by the sex offender, who also murdered her guardian in front of the student, according to the lawsuit in Caldwell, Texas.

The Texas Center for Defense of Life late Tuesday filed the action on behalf of the juvenile, identified only with the initials S.R.L. The case seeks a court ruling that the teachers and judge “breached their duty” to the juvenile and compensation.

The defendants in the case are teachers Bliss Bednar, Vance Skidmore and Bradley Vestal as well as the Caldwell Independent School District and a retired judge, Terry Flenniken.

“There is no excuse for Judge Flenniken’s poor decision,” said TCDL attorney Greg Terra. “He knew exactly what the minor was dealing with in her home situation and that she lived with Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, and yet still sent her back to live with him and her guardian instead of granting the petition to release her to her biological mother.”

.
……….

The court filing states S.R.L. was living with Jean Slovacek-Storm, who previously had been married to S.R.L.’s grandfather. Edward Clinton Lee, a registered sex offender, also was living in the home.

The juvenile’s mother, Angela Belcher, had tried to get her daughter out of the living arrangement through the courts months earlier when S.R.L. became pregnant at age 15 with her 15-year-old boyfriend, but she was rebuffed by Flenniken.

The judge was considering a legal request by TCDL to remove S.R.L., during her pregnancy, from the home where she was living with Slovacek-Storm and Lee.

In that case, Flenniken interviewed S.R.L. privately in his chambers.

In the interview, according to an affidavit, the juvenile told the judge of the threats from Lee. Lee, the statement said, “had repeatedly asked S.R.L. to take off her clothes, even offering her $20 to strip down in front of him.” Also, “S.R.L. would move the dresser against the door, rearranging her room to keep Lee out and going so far as to sleep in her day clothes and not in pajamas so that Lee would not be able to see her change.”

She also reported to the judge Lee would come into the bathroom while she was showering to take pictures.

Flenniken apparently disregarded the girl’s statements.

“Flenniken returned to the courtroom with S.R.L. without making any report to the police about the reported sexual offenses and propositions,” the lawsuit alleges. “Flenniken had no discretion, based on his special relationship with S.R.L. not to intervene and protect S.R.L… Action was mandatory.”

Then on the morning of June 29, 2012, “about four months after Flenniken sent S.R.L. back to the home of Lee, a registered sex offender, Lee shot and murdered Jean Slovacek-Storm and violently sexually assaulted S.R.L., tying her up,” according to the lawsuit.

“S.R.L. eventually escaped her bonds, left the house through a window, and ran naked down the street to a local school where she found a police officer. On April 30, 2013, Edward Clinton Lee plead[ed] guilty to aggravated sexual assault of S.R.L. and aggravated kidnapping of S.R.L. in conjunction with his plea to capital murder, and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.”

.
……….

The case alleges that the teachers also knew of the dangers and had not only an opportunity but a responsibility to call authorities long before the assault and murder occurred.

In a statement by Terra that was released to WND, he reported that S.R.L. was in Bednar’s English class and was instructed to write about “the best or worst things that has ever happened in their life.”

Terra said: “S.R.L. asked Ms. Bednar if she could write about something that was happening to her right now. Ms. Bednar responded that she may do so if she changed the names.”

The essay “details the sexual abuse and sexual assault of ‘Sandra’ by ‘Phillip,’” he continued.

But after the essay was turned in, according to Terra, “Edward Clinton Lee and Jean Slovacek-Storm had been contacted by Assistant Principal Vance Skidmore and Principal Bradley Vestal regarding the paper.”

Lee and Slovacek-Storm “strongly admonished S.R.L. for ‘lying in her paper to get Eddie in trouble,’” Terra reported. “S.R.L. was immediately driven to the school and forced to apologize to Bednar, Skidmore, and Vestal for ‘lying’ in her paper.”

The lawsuit alleges once the educators received the knowledge of S.R.L.’s situation, they “had no discretion and were required to report” to authorities.

“Had they reported the abuse outcry, S.R.L. would like not have suffered aggravated sexual assault and kidnapping,” the lawsuit alleges.

Skidmore, Bednar and Vestal have been indicted on a Class A misdemeanor counts of failure to report, and their cases are pending.

According to Terra’s statement regarding the case, the Texas attorney general is reviewing Flenniken’s involvement and “will consider whether any criminal charges will be filed again him.”

Additionally, TCDL is filing grievances against Flenniken with the Texas state bar as well as the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

School officials declined to respond to a WND request for comment, and Flenniken declined comment when asked by AP.

“So much pain and agony could have been spared for the girl and her family if Judge Flenniken did what any judge in the country would have done and ordered the girl out of the home of the sex offender,” said Stephen Casey, attorney at TCDL. “The shock and horror of what happened to this girl will have lifelong repercussions. The school officials also failed her by not following the mandatory training and reporting of the abuse outcries. Had they adhered to the law, this tragedy would likely have been prevented.”

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

President Asshat Orders Federal Workers To Spy On One Another Or Be Charged As Criminals

Insider Threat: Obama Orders Fed Workers To Spy On One Another Or Be Charged As Criminals – Independent Journal Review

The more things “change” in politics, the more things stay the same. President Obama is installing measures to intimidate those who give the American people the “transparency” that was promised to them.

.

The White House is launching a government-wide initiative known as the “Insider Threat Program,” which is already being panned by experts as a threat to transparency and accountable government.We’re talking everything from the postal service (yes, it’s tracking Americans, too) to what President Obama might call the “Peace Corpse.”

.

.
The video above is from the Russia Today program “The Resident“; and it always wigs me out agreeing with RT, since it is funded by the Kremlin. Regardless, the host really nails several key points in appropriately sarcastic fashion. The left-wing outlets Democracy Now! and Young Turks also commented on the Insider Threats Program.

For those who prefer not to watch Kremlin-funded news (and trust me,the Russians know a little bit about domestic surveillance), McClatchy reports:

In an initiative aimed at rooting out future leakers and other security violators, President Barack Obama has ordered federal employees to report suspicious actions of their colleagues based on behavioral profiling techniques that are not scientifically proven to work, according to experts and government documents.

The techniques are a key pillar of the Insider Threat Program, an unprecedented government-wide crackdown under which millions of federal bureaucrats and contractors must watch out for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers. Those who fail to report them could face penalties, including criminal charges.

President Obama has prosecuted more people under the Espionage Act than all other presidents combined. Add recent Project PRISM leaker Edward Snowden to the list; although he wasn’t the first NSA whistleblower – there are at least three others, who generally support Snowden.

PRISM is more than is being reported by the mainstream media. It is not specifically directed at foreign threats, and it is much more than a periodical gathering of cellphone “metadata” (which is bad enough). The NSA monitors all sorts of data on an ongoing daily basis, and it even gushed it can do whatever it wants without public oversight or a warrant. Americans need to know about it.

Click HERE For Rest Of Story

.

Durable Goods Orders At 3 1/2 Year Low

Durable Goods Drop Worst Since Recession – Reuters

New orders for long-lasting U.S. manufactured goods in August fell by the most in 3-1/2 years, pointing to a sharp slowdown in factory activity even as a gauge of planned business spending rebounded.

The Commerce Department said on Thursday durable goods orders dived 13.2 percent, the largest drop since January 2009, when the economy was in the throes of a recession. Orders for July were revised down to show a 3.3 percent increase instead of the previously reported 4.1 percent gain.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders for durable goods – items from toasters to aircraft that are meant to last at least three years – to fall 5 percent.

Last month, the drop in orders reflected weak aircraft and automobiles demand. Boeing received only one aircraft order in August, down from 260 in July, according to information posted on the plane maker’s website.

Transportation equipment tumbled 34.9 percent after racing ahead 13.1 percent in July. Excluding transportation, orders fell 1.6 percent after dropping 1.3 percent the prior month. Economists had expected this category to rise 0.3 percent after a previously reported 0.6 percent fall.

Non-defense capital goods orders excluding aircraft, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, rose 1.1 percent, halting two straight months of hefty declines. That was above economists’ expectations for 0.5 percent gain.

But shipments of these goods, which are used to calculate equipment and software spending in the gross domestic product report, fell 0.9 percent after declining 1.1 percent in July. The weakness suggested third-quarter economic growth would probably not improve much from the April-June’s 1.3 percent annual pace.

Manufacturing, which has been the main driver of the recovery from the 2007-09 recession, has been hit by turbulence from sluggish domestic and global demand.

Fears that the U.S. Congress could fail to avert a “fiscal cliff” – the $500 billion or so in expiring tax cuts and government spending reductions set to take hold in 2013 – have also left businesses with little incentive to boost production.

(Reporting By Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Andrea Ricci)

Click HERE For Rest Of Story