May 29, 2013

AP Coverage of Exxon Mobil Annual Meeting Contains Predictable Misleading ‘Climate Change’ Statements

David Koenig’s Wednesday coverage at the Associated Press of Exxon Mobil’s annual meeting contained a predictable headline and related content telling us that the company wouldn’t “explicitly ban discrimination against gays because the company already banned discrimination of any type and didn’t need to add language regarding gays.” Koenig’s report apparently couldn’t be considered complete without a contribution of misleading climate statistics and statements from the wire service’s Seth Borenstein.

Borenstein’s apparent input consisted of the following four paragraphs (bolds and numbered tags are mine):

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CNN: Furloughed Federal Employees Will Get Unemployment Benefits, Undercutting Sequestration

The pity party for furloughed federal employees should be toned down. A story at CNNMoney.com notes something I don’t expect will be only rarely be reported anywhere else, namely that there has been a concerted and likely largely successful effort on the part of federal employee unions to ensure that as many of their members as possible will be eligible to collect unemployment benefits during their time off. I would expect that those who don’t have union representation are also attempting to imitate what the unions are doing whenever and wherever possible.

It’s pretty safe to say that extra spending on unemployment benefits wasn’t treated as a partial offset to estimated savings resulting from sequestration. CNN Money’s coverage of one instance of this kind of maneuvering makes it clear that the total dollar amounts aren’t small in a federal workforce of 4.4 million. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine):

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Pathetic Puff Piece on Holder Shows Why Daily Beast and Newsweek Continue Their Slide

Earlier this afternoon, Matt Sheffield at NewsBusters noted that “The owner of Newsweek, the troubled liberal weekly news magazine, has confirmed reports that it is trying to unload the money-losing operation even despite the fact that it jettisoned its print edition last year.”

A Tuesday morning puff piece on poor, besieged, downtrodden, regretful Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder posted by Daniel Klaidman at the Daily Beast, Newsweek’s online umbrella, perfectly illustrates why the operation continues to shed readers and contributed mightily to a reported $8.8 million loss last year. Get out the waist-high-boots for this one:

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Cincinnati poll worker’s conviction, IRS conduct reveal hostility toward ballot-box integrity

Filed under: Activism,Privacy/ID Theft,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:45 am

This column was posted with minor edits at Watchdog.org a short time ago.

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Long-time Cincinnati resident, Hamilton County poll worker, and serial illegal vote generator Melowese Richardson finally met her long overdue match on Tuesday in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. It’s not inconceivable that several Internal Revenue Service employees in Cincinnati and elsewhere may also eventually face some serious legal music.

Richardson worked on Election Day at a precinct in Cincinnati’s Madisonville neighborhood since 1998. Faced with a battery of criminal charges, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported on Tuesday that she ”pleaded no contest to four counts of illegal voting … in exchange for prosecutors dropping four other illegal voting charges.” Despite the dropped charges, Richardson still could spend six years in prison when she is sentenced on June 9.

Richardson admitted to an extended track record of illegal voting. The Enquirer’s Kimball Perry noted that her no-contest pleas included “voting three times for a relative who has been in a coma since 2003,” and that she acknowledged casting illegal ballots in 2008, 2011, and 2012.

The Madisonville woman was also clumsy, which may be the only reason she was caught. One prosecutor involved with the case told the Enquirer that county Board of Elections workers “noticed a bunch of absentee ballots coming from the same place with the same handwriting.” Others at the BOE then recognized it as Richardson’s.

The amount of times Richardson got away with casting illegal votes and how blatant she was about it  raise seious concerns over how many instances of voter fraud committed by people who are more careful go undetected — not only in Hamilton County, but also around the country.

Richardson didn’t leave any doubts about her motivations when she first became aware that her activity was under grand jury scrutiny in February. At that time, local TV station WCPO reported the following:

.. Richardson’s case will be heard on Feb. 22 and she says it’s far from over.

“Absolutely. Absolutely, I’ll fight it for Mr. Obama and for Mr. Obama’s right to sit as president of the United States.”

She also forfeited any possibiity of prosecutorial sympathy when she “brazenly asked what authorities were going to do to her for illegal voting.”

One would be tempted to dismiss Richardson’s partisan defiance as isolated, except for what has recently been revealed about the horrors suffered during the past three years by Houston-based True The Vote and its founders at the hands of the Internal Revenue Service and other federal government agencies.

TTV describes itself as ”a citizen-led effort to restore truth, faith, and integrity to our elections.” TTV is frequently tagged as “conservative,” but that would be the case if you believe that conservatives are the only people in America who are interested in clean elections. Though people like Melowese Richardson make that a tempting thought, one would hope that TTV’s mission is something virtually everyone would agree is vitally important, regardless of political ideology or affiliation.

Unfortunately, there are powerful people in the federal government under President Barack Obama who apparently disagree. TTV has alleged that several employees at the IRS’s Tax Exempt Organizations Office in Cincinnati and elsewhere, as well as other agencies, have by their actions demonstrated clear hostiity towards TTV and its mission.

TTV’s IRS application for tax-exempt status, filed three years ago, still has not been approved. Out of sheer exasperation – “After answering hundreds of questions and producing thousands of documents, we’re done waiting” — and in light of recent revelations that the IRS has since early 2010 targeted Tea Party and conservative groups for unwarranted, harassing and likely illegal scrutiny or their applications for tax-exempt status, TTV filed suit last week in Washington to force a decision on their application and to hold those who have delayed it accountable.

Here is a brief summary of what TTV and its founders have endured:

(TTV President Catherine) Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family’s firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership–which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.”

TTV is done playing nice. It is suing the IRS and the employees involved, who, as reported by the Daily Caller, “could personally be held liable to pay damages that would be established in litigation.” According to Cleta Mitchell, the group’s lead counsel, the justifications for including individuals in the lawsuit include their demands for “confidential information … not necessary for purposes of ascertaining whether or not the organization qualifies for exempt status” and “violation of our Constitutional rights” under the First Amendment.

If the alleged actions indeed occurred, TTV’s decision to go after individuals is not a case of legal overreach or intimidation. The federal government advises its employees that it will only defend them if their actions “were within the scope of employment and such representation is in the interest of the U.S.” A commenter at Instapundit, the blog of University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds further notes:

In my branch of (the) federal government I am reminded via mandatory annual training that I can be held individually accountable both criminally and civilly for violations of the law … It is not bullying to hold people accountable.

It sure isn’t.

 

Wednesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (052913)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Military archbishop honors, gives thanks for US veterans

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

May 26, 2013 / 04:03 pm

The head of the military archdiocese honored veterans and those on active duty, thanking members of the armed forces and praying for all who have served in the protection of the United States.

“We gather in this Basilica of the National Shrine to the Immaculate Conception, because we want to give thanks in that perfect prayer for all of those who have served,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio at the May 19 Mass of Remembrance in Washington, D.C.

“We are able to be here in prayer, because women and men have set aside their security, their plans, their families, and what is familiar in order to serve this Nation whose foundation is based on principles.”

“How can we fail to pray for those who have assured those principles throughout the 237 years of our national existence?” he asked.

The Memorial Mass was sponsored by the Archdiocese for the Military Services, and was the 19th year the archdiocese has sponsored this Mass. The archbishop served as the principal celebrant and homilist and, according to the Archdiocese two auxiliary bishops and “more than two dozen” priests and deacons concelebrated and assisted.

The Mass prayed in a particular way for the sacrifices of members of the armed services and “the families who still suffer the ravages of war.”

Archbishop Broglio also offered prayers “for the fallen so that they might also dwell in the presence of the Author of all,” including for those buried in Arlington National Cemetery and recent posthumous Medal of Honor recipient, Father Emil Kapaun.

In the weeks preceding the Mass, the archdiocese also “collected many petitions and request for remembrance” from around the globe.

The Archdiocese for the Military Services is responsible for the pastoral care of the nearly 2 million Catholics who serve in the United States Armed Forces, are enrolled in military academies, or are patients in VA hospitals and medical centers, as well as their families and United States civilian government personnel deployed overseas.

The archdiocese is the only body that is responsible for overseeing the military’s 265 Catholic chaplains, as well as deacons and lay ministers, and helps to oversee the spiritual and sacramental life of Catholics in military service. …

Go here for the rest of the story.