Congress Is Downsizing The IRS, So It Must Downsize The Tax Code

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

March 19, 2015

Merill Matthews , Rare Contributor

Remember when IRS commissioners, both former and current, smirked when House Republicans tried to get to the bottom of Lois Lerner’s efforts to harass conservative groups applying for nonprofit status? Here’s a little free advice for them: Don’t deceive and diss the people who decide your budget.

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen complained to Congress Wednesday that cuts to the IRS budget explain the agency’s poor customer service. The Washington Times reports the comish said that just 43 percent of taxpayer phone calls are being answered.

So how does he explain the previous 150 years of bad IRS customer service?

Koskinen said he’s had to cut 3,000 positions, leaving him with only … wait for it … 87,000 employees.

Oh, and he says Congress hasn’t provided him with any funding to implement his Obamacare duties—thank you, Republicans—and so he has had to yank at least $100 million from user-fee funding so the IRS can slap penalties on Americans who can’t afford to buy Obama’s overly expensive health insurance, or who just decide they won’t be cowed into obeying the government mandate to have coverage.

And yet Koskinen has the nerve to tell Politico the IRS will go forward with its efforts to harass nonprofit “social welfare” organizations—known as 501(c)(4) organizations—engaged in education and raising political awareness. The only concession he now makes is that the IRS will be “fair” about that harassment instead of almost exclusively targeting conservative groups. “If it’s going to be a fair system, it needs to apply across the board,” Koskinen told Politico.

But if he puts political partisans like Lois Lerner in charge, yet again, it won’t be fair.

Republican downsizing of the IRS budget is the right thing to do, but Koskinen has a point about the public’s need for guidance. However, that need is a result of the ridiculously complicated U.S. tax code.

Koskinen wants more money so he can hire more people to answer taxpayers’ questions. The better solution is to radically simplify the tax code so taxpayers have fewer questions. Reduce the number of tax brackets to two or three, dramatically lower the rates and eliminate most if not all tax deductions and credits. Ronald Reagan did it, and he had bipartisan support.

Koskinen also says that without more IRS employees more taxpayers will cheat on their taxes, costing the government money. But a simplified, streamlined income tax would make it harder to cheat and easier to catch those who do—requiring fewer IRS employees.

Both parties recognize the need for fundamental tax reform. President Obama wants to reform the tax code so he can take more money; Republicans want to simplify the system because that spurs economic growth.

Republicans are on the right path. Tax reform and simplification needs to be one of their top priorities. In the meantime, they should continue cutting the IRS budget until it hits … well, zero may not be realistic, but it would be a nice goal.
Read more Rare

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Watch: Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense officials get a Constitution class from Rand Paul!


March 19, 2015

crew-2231Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist, Oath Keeper and Patriot.

I must confess to being one of those who have basically written Senator Rand Paul and his father Congressman Ron Paul off as being libertarian kooks.


Rand Paul makes all the sense in the world.  We can’t continue to have open-ended wars all over the map without the checks and balances of a president coming to congress for authorization.

Our current one, the alleged “Constitutional Law Professor,” might consider reading the Constitution or at least the parts of it he as let stand thus far.

During a Wednesday Senate hearing Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) schooled Secretary of State John Kerry and other top administration officials on how Constitutional separation of government power is supposed to work in the United States.

The Kentucky lawmaker’s remarks were likely prompted by Kerry’s earlier criticism of the 47 senators who signed an open letter warning Iranian leaders that any plan worked out with the administration would have to pass congressional muster.

“To write to the leaders in the middle of a negotiation… to write them and suggest that they’re going to give a constitutional lesson, which by the way was absolutely incorrect, is quite stunning,” Kerry had said. “This letter ignores more than two centuries of precedent in the conduct of American foreign policy.”

Paul wasn’t impressed and took a few minutes during a conversation on Obama’s latest request to use military force against the Islamic State to explain to Kerry why the administration is wrong.

Quoting John Madison, Paul reminded Kerry that the Constitution vested war powers in the legislature because the “executive branch is most prone to war.” He also noted that the Constitution was designed, in part, to pit the ambitions of the three branches of government against one another.

“I’m not particularly happy with being lectured to by the administration about the Constitution,” Paul said. “This is an administration who I believe has trampled the Constitution at many turns.”

“This is an administration that seeks to legislate when it is not in their purview, whether it be immigration, whether it be health care, or whether it not be a war that’s been going on for eight months without congressional authorization,” he continued.

Paul said that his reason for signing the letter to Iran was to send a message to the White House.

“The message was to President Obama, that we want you to obey the law, we want you to understand the separation of powers,” Paul said.

“I signed it to an administration that doesn’t listen, to an administration that at every turn tries to go around Congress, because you think you can’t get your way,” he added. “The president says, ‘oh, the Congress won’t do what I want, so I’ve got a pen and I’ve got my phone and I’m going to do what I want.’ The letter was to you.”

Moving on to the issue of authorizing military force against ISIS, Paul lamented that the administration’s current request is too broad.

More at We The People

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

Justice Department Increasing Assistance For Troops and Veterans

dMarch 19, 2015

By Lorra B.

The new ‘Servicemembers and Veterans Initiative’ is a new program the Justice Department is instituting to help address issues of unemployment, financial safeguards, voting rights and employment protections that our troops are facing.

Acting Associate Attorney General, Stuart Delery, stated, “We have brought significant enforcement cases and expect more to come.”

According to Navy Times, Justice Officials have “recently:

• Settled a lawsuit for almost $10 million in relief against a company that allegedly repossessed the cars of more than 1,100 troops.

• Obtained relief for 138 Missouri National Guard dual-status technicians who were allegedly illegally required to leave their civilian positions before being called to Active Guard Reserve status.

• Recovered over $123 million for service members who were the victims of alleged illegal non-judicial foreclosures.”

The focus of this initiative will be on the education and access to justice for service members. “Officials will also focus on the unique needs of troops and veterans in the criminal justice system—for example, recognizing that some veterans accused of crimes are also struggling with post-traumatic stress, substance abuse or other mental health problems connected to their military experience.”

Officials will be working with military attorneys and U.S. attorneys to increase the efforts already being made. In this effort to support troops facing justice and criminal situations, grants and other resources for things such as law enforcement and court will be implemented to help in civil and criminal justice.

Three Justice Department attorneys will lead this initiative, Director “Silas Darden, an Air Force Reserve major, and two assistant directors: Spencer Fisher, a Marine Corps Reserve chief warrant officer, and Andrew Braniff, who works in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division’s Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Rights Act program.”

Pro bono legal support to veterans and military members is a goal the Officials will work to achieve and are seeking out more attorneys who are willing to volunteer their services and will be working with Veteran affairs as well as the Defense Department to educate veterans, troops and their families about their rights.

Director of the Service Members Law Center at the Reserve Officers Association, retired Navy Capt. Sam Wright, stated, “There’s plenty of work to do in all three of these areas (employment rights, voting rights and financial protections). Whether it’s the Department of Justice, or U.S. attorney’s offices, if they’re going to take it seriously and move on it — and it sounds like they are — I think that’s great.”

Speaking of Senate Messages to Iran, Let’s Look at What Obama Did in 2008

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

March 14, 2015

Mad World News:  Since people are talking about 47 Senators sending a message to Iran, we should talk about a real treasonous message from a Senator in 2008.

It seems there’s a great deal of anger and frustration from the Obama administration that 47 Senators signed a letter, explaining the Constitution to Iran. It seems that the left would like you to think it is treason, although seven times Democrats went behind the president’s back to “advise” our enemies. While the list includes actual treason by Teddy Kennedy making a deal with the KGB, there is a sitting world leader that committed actual treason with Iran in a secret eighth time they went behind the president’s back since 1983.

According to foreign policy analyst Michael Ledeen and verified by Ambassador William G. Miller’s activities, a Senator sent more then a letter to Iran, telling them not to agree to a deal with then President George W Bush. He sent a personal emissary to Tehran to advise the  mullahs not to sign with President Bush as they would have a much more Iranian friendly tone from the next president once President Bush was out of office. He assured them that they would be very happy with the next president’s policies. That Senator was himself a presidential candidate in 2008.

That Senator was none other then Senator Barrack H. Obama.

Perhaps Biden’s loophole in making his 36-year representation is that the message Senator Obama allegedly sent was not in written form. It was a verbal message delivered to Tehran’s leadership by Ambassador William G. Miller, who assured an enemy who was at war with us that a President Obama would be much more amicable to deal with. (Breitbart)

President Obama from the beginning of the negotiations stated that this deal was going to be his way or not at all, even before the Israel Prime Minister spoke before Congress. He has made it quite clear that he will use Executive Action to achieve his goals, regardless of the fact that they don’t align with the goals of the people of the United States. There were rumors that President Obama would get as close to a treaty as possible without an actual treaty that requires 67 Senators to approve, knowing he will have a problem getting a bad deal with Iran approved by a Republican-controlled Senate. John Kerry even slipped when trying to chastise the Senators by saying that it was not a “binding deal,” meaning this would occur by executive fiat.

This “bad deal” has been brewing for a long time. Ambassador Miller has confirmed his conversations with Iranian leaders during the 2008 campaign. Since becoming president, Obama has worked with Iran through four channels, and each can be confirmed: Iraq, Switzerland (the official U.S. representative to Tehran), Oman, and a variety of American intermediaries, the most notable of whom is probably Valerie Jarrett, his closest adviser. Many Middle Eastern leaders have confirmed personal visits from Jarrett that included briefing them on her work efforts to “manage” the Iranian relationship to the US.

The reason is quite frighteningly treasonous.

This was confirmed to me by a former high-ranking American official who says he was so informed by several Middle Eastern leaders.

The central theme in Obama’s outreach to Iran is his conviction that the United States has historically played a wicked role in the Middle East, and that the best things he can do for that part of the world is to limit and withdraw American military might and empower our self-declared enemies, whose hostility to traditional American policies he largely shares. (Michael Ledeen)

When you put the pieces together it starts making sense. We know President Obama has had secret meetings with Hamas and even provided them weapons which is against Article 3, Section 3 of the Constitution. We know of his involvement in the overthrow of both Mubarak and Gaddafi to include weapons to al-Qaeda aligned forces. We know he is still animate about re-instating the Muslim Brotherhood back to power in Egypt. We know about the five terrorists for Burgdahl. We know about supplying weapons to the FSA and to ISIS. We know about the premature pull out of Iraq and wanting to go to war with Assad. We know of his utter contempt for Israel. We know of his twisting of history to praise Muslims, while shaming Christians worldwide.

Throw in what is happening domestically here at home. We know of his military purges. We know of his contempt for veterans. We know of his involvement in the open border scandal. We know of his “executive amnesty” plan. We know of his involvement in race baiting. We know of the ever-growing list of what he likes to call “phony scandals.” It is a clear-cut case of weakening us from within.

It’s not a matter of if he will potentially subject us to a nuclear Iran who wants the US wiped out. It just a matter of when.

More at Mad World News:

Disclaimer: This was not written by Lorra B.

Jon Stewart on “Her majesty’s” secret server


March 14, 2015

We The People:

Comment by Jim Campbell, Citizen Journalist, Oath Keeper, and Patriot.

Another vast “Right-wing conspiracy” indeed. 

Stewart outdoes himself this time taking Hillary to the woodshed and banging on her for several minutes.

He even calls her “Former president,”   sticking it to her further.

“Servergate,”won’t be the only thing to bring her down……………………


After weeks of arguments over Hillary Clinton’s use of private email to conduct State Department business, Clinton came out of the shadows and spoke to reporters on Tuesday.

She admitted it would have been better to use a government email address along with the private one she used during her tenure as Secretary of State. Clinton said she used a private address for her official work out of convenience.

The Examiner
By Lawrence Lease

She emphasized during her address that she went above and beyond what she was required to do regarding the private email system, which was allowed during her time as Secretary of State as long as she kept records. She claimed that she did not discuss classified information on her personal email.

Clinton’s discussion comes just hours after she spoke at the United Nations discussing gender equality. Clinton is accused of using a private email server that was installed at her New York residence and her own internet domain to conduct official business. Prior to this news conference, her only comments about the controversy came via Twitter on March 4.

According to Clinton, the email server was set up for use byPresident Bill Clinton. Hillary assured the media that numerous safeguards were in place and that there were never any security breaches.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that they will releases 55,000 pages of Clinton’s emails as soon as a review is complete. “We will … release in one batch at the end of that review to ensure that standards are consistently applied,” Psaki said.

Clinton defended her process on deciding which emails to turn over to the State Department saying that her staff “err[ed] on the side of providing anything that could be possibly viewed as work-related.”

Hundreds of emails that have been released to the House Select committee on Benghazi, will also be released and reviewed before the entire set is available.

More at We The People:

Poll finds Americans think the government, not terrorism, is the biggest problem facing the country

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

(Screenshot Credit, Rare)

March 13, 2015

Rare: by Matt Purple

Apparently—and try not to pass out from shock on this one—there’s a disconnect between what Washington is talking about and the rest of the country is worried about. Gallup reports on their latest survey:

Americans continue to name the government (18%) as the most important U.S. problem, a distinction it has had for the past four months. Americans’ mentions of the economy as the top problem (11%) dropped this month, leaving it tied with jobs (10%) for second place.

Though issues such as terrorism, healthcare, race relations and immigration have emerged among the top problems in recent polls, government, the economy and unemployment have been the dominant problems listed by Americans for more than a year.


This will be spun into sixteen different contortions, with liberals arguing the public are fed up with Republican congressional dysfunction, conservatives contending people disapprove of big bureaucracy (but not the Pentagon!), centrists claiming a mandate for more tinkering around the edges, and libertarians sighing that the implications are pretty damned clear.

Two major takeaways here. First, while the public still broadly disapprove of the economy, they appear to believe it’s gotten slightly better over the past month—enough to trigger a five-point shift to other issues. It will still be a vulnerability for Democrats in 2016, but dissatisfaction with Obama’s blithering economic stewardship might not be as potent for Republicans as it was in 2010 or could have been in 2012.

Second, despite the fervent wishes of certain foreign policy wonks in Washington, 2016 is not going to be an election about terrorism or ISIS or Iran or Bashar al Assad or the NSA or ground troops. Consequently, while the neoconservatives vs. realists clash within the GOP that many of us were hoping to have out in a presidential year might still happen, it’s not going to matter all that much. Barring a terrorist attack or another string of ISIS beheadings, the public has returned to its traditional, kitchen-table concerns: the economy, taxes, health insurance.

I guess that means we need to start writing depressing Obamacare blog posts again. Le sigh. Washington might believe it’s the center of the universe, but it’s more like that space station from Ascension, deluded into thinking it’s the hope of mankind with no clue what’s actually going on.
Read more at Rare:

Disclaimer: Not written by Lorra B.

Watch Michelle Obama Throw A Big Party, But It’s Not For An American Holiday

(Screenshot Credit, YouTube)

(Screenshot Credit, YouTube)

March 13, 2015

Mad World News: Wading into the waters of politics a bit further than she should, Michelle Obama hosted huge party for the Iranian New Year celebration, but what she said during the event couldn’t have been further from the truth. Her husband must be desperate to push his bumbling plan to give Iran nuclear weapons.

While the media is concentrating on the 47 Senators reminding Iran and the Obama administration what they should have already known, a treaty can not be approved without a Senate super majority and according to Article 1 Section 10 they can amend any sucker deal President Obama makes, Michelle Obama decided to throw another expensive party in Iran’s honor.

She timed this exactly 10 days from the start of the two week celebration starting March 21.

For the optics-conscious Obamas, the timing couldn’t be more perfect with the Republicans’ letter to Iran and Netanyahu’s speech still ruffling administration feathers. (Downtrend)

Sticking with her husband on the “Muslim contributions” to our society, she added that this holiday was what makes America.

“I think it’s so fitting that we are holding this celebration here today because one of my favorite things about the White House is how it is truly the people’s house. A house that reflects the diversity of culture and traditions that make us who we are as a country. And Nowruz is one of those traditions.”

Listening to her speech, you would think a New Year Celebration of the Shiite Muslims and Persians was as American as apple pie, baseball, and the 4th of July. Most Americans haven’t even heard of this holiday.

She went on to throw an extravagant party at the taxpayers’ expense to include catering by a Shiite Muslim and the Silk Road Dance Company performing for the White House.

Michelle Obama Throws A Big Party, But It's Not For An American Holiday

Hosting events like this, spending thousands of dollars at the taxpayers’ expense to impress a regime that calls the US the “Great Satan,” shows their ever growing contempt for the people of the US while expressing love of branches of Islam that would rather see us destroyed.

More at Mad World News:

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

How State Dept To Spend $1 Million Of Taxpayer Money Is INFURIATING!

March 13, 2015

Mad World News: It’s tax season, and that’s enough to make any hard-working American feel a little frustrated, but when you see how the State Department is spending $1 million of taxpayer money, you are about to be furious. The government is squandering away your hard-earned money on things like this:


That, my friends, is considered to be a piece of art, but rest assured, the powers that be have reneged on their agreement to purchase the piece for a whopping $1 million dollars. Unfortunately, it’s not because someone took a look at the budget and realized we can’t afford it, as our tax dollars … a whole ONE MILLION of them … are still slated for some art to take the place of the pile of rocks above.

You see, the sculpture featured in the photo was going to decorate the the new U.S. Embassy in London but was found to be too heavy. Too bad someone didn’t notice that the price tag was a bit too big as well, because although the plan for this piece is being scrapped, the money will go to a replacement art piece to sit in its place, although the details are not clear at this time.

What’s even more disturbing is that the State Department awarded the $1 million contract to Irish-born American artist Sean Scully to provide the sculpture for the grounds of the new embassy complex in December of 2013. Did you know the State Department took $1 million of our dollars for something like this over a year ago as our economy struggled, veterans went homeless and without healthcare, and Americans everywhere were tightening their belts? Yeah, me neither. Which lets one to wonder, what else have they been wasting our money on?

If the State Department has extra money lying around for our embassies, how about spending it to better secure them? Or should we just wait for another Benghazi before something like that is done?

Here’s a thought, how about not spending the money. We are in debt! Besides, this artist, who resorted to the name-calling of Americans as “Right-wing lying bigots like the National Front” isn’t someone I care to be helping out with taxpayer funds when veterans that fought for our country are cold and hungry on the street. For those unaware, the National Front is incidentally a racist group. Nice, huh?

According to Greta Van Susteren, the artist has said he will do another piece for the embassy, but I have to say, I agree with her sentiments when she said, “How about a refund?  I’m all for art, and I want our American buildings to look really nice, but a million dollars is way out of line, especially for taxpayers who will never even see this sculpture. By the way, I would like to know who authorized this. It’s about time we get names.”

More at Mad World News:

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

The New Clintonite Defense On Email: IT’S THE MEDIA, STUPID!

dMarch 13, 2015

Fox Media Buzz:

The Clintonian pushback against the media is under way.

And let’s face it, we’re a big target.

Now that Hillary has laid down her “convenience” defense after avoiding the press for a week, her allies are starting to assail the media establishment that disclosed and is driving this controversy.

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse called the story “ridiculous,” telling the New York Times: “I’m not indulging this bizarre fetish.”

Got that? Journalists are just exhibiting their weirdness, like a preference for whips and chains.

And for good measure, the Rhode Island lawmaker added: “You guys have lost your minds on this.”

No one can defend everything that happens in a media frenzy. The new Time cover, which appears to put devil’s horns on Hillary’s silhouette, is only the latest example.

Clinton’s exclusive use of private e-mail as secretary of State is absolutely a legitimate story. Does Whitehouse believe the Times, Washington Post, network newscasts and all the cable news channels share the same fetish?

It’s also true that the media can utterly obsess about fleeting controversies that later don’t seem hugely important. Look back at 2012: There was the Mitt Romney aide who talked about Etch-a-Sketch; a Democrat’s swipe at Ann Romney for never working a day in her life, Newt’s attacks on the press, and on and on. How much time did the media spend in 2008 on Joe the Plumber?

But how a presidential candidate handled her communications as the nation’s top diplomat seems kind of relevant, even if James Carville is dismissing the whole thing as “right-wing talking points” embraced by the press.

Still, you can see the emerging line of attack. Salon’s Elias Isquith, acknowledging that he was a youngster during the Whitewater furor of the 1990s, is appalled by the media’s treatment of Hillary:

“I must admit something. Despite finding her views on economic and foreign policy to be lacking, when it comes to her antipathy for the media, I can’t blame Clinton. Not one tiny bit…

“While I’m certainly used to seeing my colleagues in the political press devote their time and energy to cynical, superficial stories that few people outside the politico-media elite will bother to read, I’ve never seen them do it with such unabashed gusto. I’ve never seen them be quite so shameless about placing themselves, and their relationship with a politician, at the front-and-center of the national stage. I’ve never seen them be so gleeful and self-conscious about creating a circus, either. It is, quite simply, embarrassing.”

Well, the fact that he doesn’t hold Hillary accountable “one little bit” for a secretive style that creates media skepticism is, I suppose, a sign of his inexperience. Hillary’s aides used to write her memos when she was first lady, urging her to find better ways to deal with the press. (Said one: “Hillary is comfortable with local reporters and enjoys speaking with them. This will help us get around her aversion to the national Washington media and serve to counter the tone of the national media.”)

Maybe there is too much gusto over this story, but anyone who doesn’t think the media are a major problem for Hillary doesn’t understand how the process works. And they will be a major obstacle for Jeb, Rand and other Republican candidates as well.

Part of the craziness of running for the White House is figuring out how to deal with a cantankerous, relentless and sometimes superficial press corps. Because it doesn’t get any easier when you’re actually president. And voters have come to view the daily combat as a test of the candidate’s leadership and communications skills.

The press is divided, meanwhile, on the fallout for Hillary’s 2016 chances. The New York Times said Thursday that Democrats are totally behind her:

“They shrug off questions about Hillary Rodham Clinton’s email habits. They roll with the attacks on her family’s foundation, the big checks from foreign governments, the torpid response of her not-yet-campaign.

More at Fox Media Buzz:

Disclaimer: This article was not written by Lorra B.

ISIS Releases Disturbing Video of a “Young CUB” Executing an “Israeli Spy”

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

(Screenshot Credit, Mad World News)

March 11, 2015

Mad World News:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released a disturbing video, using one of their 10-year-old “young cubs” to execute a Palestinian for being an “Israeli spy.”

After Muhammad Said Ismail Musallam’s taped confession, they show a propaganda video that ends with showing the “young cub” being handed a gun, a hand pulling the trigger at point blank range, and the young boy pointing the gun in the air and yelling, “Allah Akbar,” before lowering the gun and putting another round in Musallam’s corpse. In the end the 19-year-old Palestinian is dead.

While most media outlets are stressing the “confession” and execution of an “Israeli-Arab” that ISIS says was a Mossad (Israel’s version of the CIA), the family tells of a very different story. They skip through a lot of the details, including both the father and the brother, which he blames in the 13 minute full version being Palestinians from Jerusalem. Even a reporter granted an interview before the execution highly doubted the story.

Musallam was a 19-year-old firefighter that told his family he had some extended training he had to attend just three short months ago. While his brother, Ahmed, claims that he drew some anti-Daesh cartoons and posted them, other friends claim he sent out pro-Islamic State messages on social media before his disappearance. The police offered the explanation to the family that he had gone to Turkey and through the border into Syria to fight beside ISIS. This shocked the brother, who then saw photos of his brother with a beard and battle dress.

He had traveled to Turkey, then to Syria, of his own accord. He soon fell out of love with what ISIS was doing and made the mistake of a phone call to his father asking for money to get out of Syria. That’s when ISIS insurgents caught him and arrested him for spying. He’s now dead after a confession and execution at the hands of a 10-year-old boy.

More at Mad World News:

Disclaimer: This was not written by Lorra B.