Showing posts from May, 2013

IRS commissioner's wife works for liberal group pushing campaign finance restrictions

Daily Caller: Former Internal Revenue Service commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, a frequent White House guest during the period when the IRS was targeting conservative nonprofits, is married to the senior program advisor for Public Campaign, an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.” The IRS is under fire for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt nonprofit status of conservative groups between 2010 and 2012, demanding conservative training materials, personal information on conservative college interns and even the content of religious groups’ prayers. IRS supporters have defended the beleaguered agency by railing against outside spending and special interest money supposedly pumped into the 2012 campaign by conservative benefactors. One of those defenders is the group of which Shulman’s spouse is an executive. Shulman’s wife Susan L. Anderson is the senior program advisor for

Terrorist don't trust doctors?

Guardian: Thirteen Guantánamo Bay detainees on hunger strike have written an open letter to their military doctors insisting they receive independent, non-military medical treatment – and appealing to the conscience of their physicians. "I cannot trust your advice, because you are responsible to your superior military officers who require you to treat me by means unacceptable to me, and you put your duty to them above your duty to me as a doctor," the detainees write in an open letter from the detention center obtained by the Guardian. "Your dual loyalties make trusting you impossible." The signatories, who include former UK resident Shaker Aamer, protest that the force-feedings administered by military physicians at Guantánamo are "extremely painful" and "in violation of the ethics of your profession." The May 30 letter was co-ordinated by attorneys for the 13 detainees, nine of whom signed the statement directly. Four signed through their l

What makes this IRS scandal different

Peggy Noonan: ... ... my friend got to the essence. He wrote, “The left likes to say, ‘Watergate was worse!’ Watergate was bad—don’t get me wrong. But it was elites using the machinery of government to spy on elites. . . . It’s something quite different when elites use the machinery of government against ordinary people. It’s a whole different ball game.” ... In previous IRS scandals it was the powerful abusing the powerful—a White House moving against prominent financial or journalistic figures who, because of their own particular status or the machineries at their disposal, could pretty much take care of themselves. A scandal erupts, there are headlines, and then people go on their way. The dreadful thing about this scandal, what makes it ominous, is that this is the elites versus regular citizens. It’s the mighty versus normal people. It’s the all-powerful directors of the administrative state training their eyes and moving on uppity and relatively undefended Americans. That’s wha

Interesting 'coincidence' for IRS visit to White House

From Twitter: Larry Kudlow  ‏ @ larry_kudlow 22m # IRS Douglas Shulman in W.H. meetings with politico @ StefCutter .His wife worked for lefty group against campaign spending. # tcot Collapse   Reply     Retweeted     Favorite     More It is not clear what the source of this data is, but it is something I will be looking for. Cutter claims the meetings were about healthcare implementation.  What was she doing there?

Targeting half the country is a problem

Peggy Noonan: The Benghazi scandal was and is shocking, and the Justice Department assault on the free press, in which dogged reporters are tailed like enemy spies, is shocking. Benghazi is still under investigation and someday someone will write a great book about it. As for the press, Attorney General Eric Holder is on the run, and rightly so. They called it the First Amendment for a reason. But nothing can damage us more as a nation than what is happening at the Internal Revenue Service. Elite opinion in the press and in Washington doesn't fully understand this. Part of the reason is that it's not their ox being gored, it's those messy people out in America with their little patriotic groups. Those who aren't deeply distressed about the IRS suffer from a reluctance or inability to make distinctions, and a lack of civic imagination. An inability to make distinctions: "It's always been like this." "Presidents are always siccing the IRS on their ene

Obama's Libya screw up haunts Nigeria, Niger

Washington Post: The Islamist insurgency in northern Nigeria has entered a more violent phase as militants return to the fight with sophisticated weapons and tactics learned on the battlefields of nearby Mali, Nigerian officials and analysts say. Hundreds of people have died this year in bombings, shootings and clashes with security forces in this vast region of the country, where the militant group Boko Haram seeks to overthrow the government and install an ultraconservative brand of Islam. The militants, who traveled to northern Mali last year to the fight there, have returned with heavy weapons from Libya, presumably from former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s arsenal. Malian militants also used weapons smuggled in from Libya to seize northern Mali last year . The group and an even more radical splinter faction known as Ansaru are also kidnapping Westerners and killing anyone they deem a threat — tactics used by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the terror network’s West and North

Company uses old chopper engines for fracking wells

Fuel Fix: Deep in the swamplands of Louisiana, out of a clearing in the dense foliage that covers this coastal stretch, the roar of jet engines echoes across the landscape. It is the sound of military aircraft — an escalating hum that evokes images of acceleration, takeoff and things on the move. But these engines — which once transported troops in Iraq and Afghanistan — now move water. Millions of gallons of water. They are a part of what two Louisiana companies believe will be the next step in the high-powered, fuel-intensive business of hydraulic fracturing — the technique that has created an American oil and gas boom. Using retired military helicopter engines, Green Field Energy Services and Turbine Power Technology are building pressure pump systems that are key to that most important service in modern oil and gas drilling while doing what no competing pumps can: Run completely on low-cost natural gas. Their products have added to an intensifying engineering race among several c

IRS targeting of conservatives not limited to Tea Party

McClatchy: A group of anti-abortion activists in Iowa had to promise the Internal Revenue Service it wouldn’t picket in front of Planned Parenthood. Catherine Engelbrecht’s family and business in Texas were audited by the government after her voting-rights group sought tax-exempt status from the IRS. Retired military veteran Mark Drabik of Nebraska became active in and donated to conservative causes, then found the IRS challenging his church donations. While the developing scandal over the targeting of conservatives by the tax agency has largely focused to date on its scrutiny of groups with words such as “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, these examples suggest the government was looking at a broader array of conservative groups and perhaps individuals. Their collective experiences at a minimum could spread skepticism about the fairness of a powerful agency that should be above reproach and at worst could point to a secret political vendetta within the government against cons

Perry looks to persuade rest of the country about the Texas model of success

Fred Barnes: ... Perry has no illusions about converting Obama to the free market, small government model that’s worked in Texas. “The president is not the most open individual in the world when it comes to looking at another point of view,” he says. Obama “is a true believer in socialist policies, and to take a step away from those would be devastating to his psyche.” So forget Obama. Perry, in his 13th year as governor, has begun a bigger crusade to persuade the country that what has worked in Texas and other Republican-led states will work everywhere. “I want to engage America in this blue state / red state discussion,” he says. This may sound grandiose, but he’s not kidding. He started by going to California in February and Illinois in April, heavily Democratic states with two of the worst economic records in the country. He urged business leaders to pack up and move to Texas, where they’d thrive because of pro-business policies in place for a decade. “We keep our taxes low, our

Ted Cruz reaches out to the 47 %

Daily Beast: Addressing a roomful of well-heeled New York Republican donors Wednesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz urged his fellow GOPers to become less the Party of Romney and the Rich and focus their rhetoric more on providing the poor with a pathway up the economic ladder. “I am going to suggest that the last election can be explained in two words: 47 percent,” Cruz said, referencing Mitt Romney’s secretly recorded remarks to an earlier group of Republican donors in which he suggested that nearly half of Americans were on some kind of government dole and so unlikely to support him. “The national narrative of the last election was the 47 percent of Americans who are not currently paying income taxes, who are in some ways dependent on government, we don’t have to worry about them,” Cruz said. “That was what was communicated in the last election. I have to tell you as a conservative I cannot think of an idea more opposite to what I believe. I think Republicans are and should be the

The Navy's China exercise

Gordon Chang and James Lyon, Jr.: This spring, China's navy accepted the Pentagon 's invitation to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific — RIMPAC — naval exercise to be held off Hawaii. This will be the first time China takes part in the biennial event. Our allies should signal their intent to withdraw from the exercise if China participates. Failing that, the invitation should be withdrawn. RIMPAC is for allies and friends, not nations planning to eventually wage war on the United States. Russia sent ships in 2012, but while its senior officers may occasionally utter unfriendly words, they are not actively planning to fight the United States. Analyst Robert Sutter was surely correct when he wrote in 2005 that "China is the only large power in the world preparing to shoot Americans." That assessment, unfortunately, remains true today. Beijing is configuring its forces — especially its navy — to fight ours. For instance, China has deployed along its southern c

IRS promotes agent who made improper demands on Tea Party applicants

Conn Carroll: President Obama may have promised “to hold the responsible parties accountable” for the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative non-profit groups, but one of the agents at the center of the scandal was recently promoted, an IRS source tells The Washington Examiner . Through 2012, then-Exempt Organization Specialist Stephen Seok signed many of the intimidating letters sent to conservative nonprofits. For example, this January 2012 letter sent to the Richmond Tea Party demanded the date, time and location of all group events, as well as copies of all handouts provided at the events, and the names and credentials of all organizers. Seok also demanded the names of all speakers and the contents of the speeches they made. According to WXIX-TV/Fox 19 in Cincinnati, Seok is no longer an exempt organization specialist. He has since been promoted to “supervisor IRS agent.” ... This suggest that IRS management was not displeased with the conduct they have described

Russian oil company halts exploration off Cuba's coast

Miami Herald: A Russian state oil company drilling off Cuba’s northern shores has reportedly confirmed that it is temporarily halting its exploration — the fourth disappointment for Cuba’s dreams of energy self-sufficiency in less than two years. The announcement by Zarubezhneft signaled an end to the only active exploration program on the island, which now relies on highly subsidized oil from the beleaguered Venezuelan government of President Nicolas Maduro. Zarubezhneft confirmed this week that it was halting work due to “geological” problems but added that it will resume its exploration next year, the Reuters news agency reported Thursday in a dispatch from Havana. The Russians withdrawal had been expected because the Norwegian company that owns the drilling platform they have been leasing, the Songa Mercur, already had announced that it would be leaving Cuban waters in July for another contract. Zarubezhneft’s confirmation, nevertheless, signals “another disappointment” for Cuba’

Austin drug bust hits 7 members of Zeta cartel

Austin American-Statesman: Law enforcement officials said Thursday that key figures linked to the Zetas drug cartel were among those arrested when a pair of drug-trafficking rings were targeted in separate busts. Seven people were arrested and charged in the unrelated busts, which officials said also netted more than $1 million in drug-related funds, weapons and illegal narcotics. “We have taken some really bad characters off the street,” Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said in a news conference while flanked by federal and local police officials. Also involved in the investigation were the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s office and the Bastrop County sheriff’s office. Six men and one woman were arrested in recent weeks at homes from Austin to Bastrop County. Federal court records show at least five of the suspects are facing federal drug charges. If convicted, the defendants could face between 10 years to life in prison. Officials said the operation targeted high to midlevel dealers. “Thes

Brit defense cuts make them more reliant on US military

Telegraph: General Ray Odierno revealed that he has repeatedly raised concerns with British defence chiefs that Britain’s shrinking forces will be unable to work alongside the Americans. Gen Odierno’s comments come as ministers fight over a fresh round of spending reductions that could force another round of defence cuts. The British Army is losing 20,000 regular posts, shrinking to 82,000 soldiers by 2015. Armoured units, including the Desert Rats, are losing their tanks. Gen Odierno said that such cuts are already jeopardising US-UK joint operations, and leaving the British reliant on American forces. “As the British Army continues to reduce in size we’ve had several conversations about keeping them integrated in what we’re trying to do,” he said. ... Britain spends too much on its rationed health care system and welfare in general. It pays more out in welfare benefits to some than it pays its troops.  It is the high cost of debilitating socialism that is shrink its ability to def

Hezballah armoury found in Nigeria

BBC: An armoury belonging to the Lebanese group Hezbollah has been discovered in northern Nigeria, the West African nation's army and spy agency has said. Three Lebanese nationals have been arrested, an army spokesman, Brig Gen Ilyasu Isa Abba, said. The cache, including rifles, anti-tank weapons and an RPG, were found in a warehouse in the city of Kano, he said. Nigeria's State Security Service said they were intended for use against "Israeli and Western interests". "This is the handwork of Hezbollah," Bassey Ettang, director of the State Security Service in Kano said. "What has just been discovered is a cell of Hezbollah and what you have seen here is a Hezbollah armoury," he told journalists in Kano on Thursday. Brig Gen Ilyasu Isa Abba said 11 anti-tank weapons, four anti-tank mines, a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) and 21 RPG missiles, 17 AK-47s, two sub-machine guns and 76 grenades had been amongst the weapons found. The Lebanese owner of

IRS chief visited White House 157 times

Daily Caller: Publicly released records show that embattled former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the White House at least 157 times during the Obama administration, more recorded visits than even the most trusted members of the president’s Cabinet. Obama officials who’ve visited the White House (As prepared by The Daily Caller) Shulman’s extensive access to the White House first came to light during his testimony last week before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Shulman gave assorted answers when asked why he had visited the White House 118 times during the period that the IRS was targeting tea party and conservative nonprofits for extra scrutiny and delays on their tax-exempt applications. By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.” But the scope of Shulman’s White House visits — whic

Army sets up African response team in Djibouti after Benghazi

Washington Times: The Army now has a rapid response force in East Africa in case of another terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya , the Army ‘ deputy director of strategy, plans and policy said Thursday. During a media roundtable at the Pentagon , Army Brig. Gen. Kimberly Field said the response team was established in April in Djibouti with 129 troops from the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division , based in Fort Riley, Kansas. “They are a response force specifically trained and ready to respond to a crisis such as [Benghazi … which we didn’t have before,” Gen. Field said. “They’re ready to get where they need to be.” Former Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta ordered the team be established after U.S. and Libyan forces were unable to stop a terrorist attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi on Sept. 11. ... The base in Djibouti has been there since the early days of the war on terror.  It has been staffed by a contingent of Marines and has also been a base

Iran plot to assassinate Saudi ambassador nets 25 year sentence for Corpus man

Houston Chronicle: A former Corpus Christi car salesman, who once bragged of a life of fancy cars and fast women, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison Thursday for trying to hire a drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States. Manssor Arbabsiar, 58, got the maximum sentence after pleading guilty in October 2012 to the bizarre murder-for-hire plot and conspiring to commit an act of terrorism. Arbabsiar, who became a U.S. citizen after emigrating from Iran decades ago, admitted to plotting with officials from Iran’s military to have the Saudi diplomat killed at a Washington, D.C., restaurant. In a secretly recorded meeting in Mexico, Arbabsiar agreed to pay $1.5 million to a man he thought was a cartel assassin willing to do the job in the United States, but who really was a Drug Enforcement Administration  informant. ... This is an example of the slipping of Iranian clandestine trade craft.  This guy was not too smart and the people who selecting him

IRS acted as aider and abettor to liberal stalking

John Eastman: The world is learning about the corruption of the IRS in targeting conservative groups , including various Tea Party organizations, for heightened scrutiny. But the corruption goes much deeper than harassing groups seeking first time non-profit designations, into actively sabotaging existing non-profit groups by releasing confidential information. In March of 2012 the Human Rights Campaign published a confidential tax return of the National Organization for Marriage , which was immediately republished by The Huffington Post and o ther liberal news media outlets . The HRC and NOM are the leading national groups on opposing sides of the fight over gay marriage. HRC wants to redefine marriage to make it genderless , while NOM wishes to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman. My organization was not the only conservative-linked political group or business that appears to have faced shady actions from IRS employees. ProPublica reported this week that the IR

Tea Party official sues regulators in Nebraska

Omaha World-Herald: Tea Party leader Bob Bennie has already sued Nebraska securities regulators for $6 million. Now he wants them charged with crimes. Bennie, who owns a Lincoln financial planning firm that the state temporarily suspended in 2011, delivered a letter Thursday asking Attorney General Jon Bruning to appoint a special prosecutor to the case. Bennie said during a press conference that Bruning has investigated the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance but has refused to file criminal charges. Bennie accused the attorney general of stalling. Bennie sued last year in U.S. District Court in Lincoln, alleging that banking department officials violated his constitutional rights by preventing him from soliciting clients for three months. Bennie alleges the suspension order cost his firm $25 million in assets under management. His lawsuit names banking director John Munn and three staff members and seeks $6.4 million in damages. Munn declined to comment about the criminal al

Iran accused of plotting with Hezballah cells in South America

NY Times: The special prosecutor investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center here that killed 85 people released a report on Wednesday claiming that Iran had set up intelligence stations in different parts of Latin America with the aim of carrying out terrorist attacks directly or through Hezbollah , the powerful Lebanese militant group. The report by Alberto Nisman, who has already accused senior Iranian officials of planning and financing the 1994 bombing and Hezbollah of carrying it out, points to the resistance among some here to a recent thaw in relations between Argentina and Iran. The two nations agreed in January to establish a joint commission to investigate the attack, which has never been solved. In his report, Mr. Nisman contended that the 1994 bombing was not an isolated event. “It has to be investigated as a segment in a larger sequence,” he said in a report summary, pointing to parallels with the case of two Guyanese men convicted in 2010 of conspi

The Bachmann legacy

Ed Rogers: ... Anyway, Ms. Bachmann was sometimes inaccurate and occasionally misguided — in my opinion — but her drive, her patriotism and her tireless energy on behalf of the conservative cause should not pass unnoticed or unappreciated. On paper , I always thought she had great potential. She’s from a blue state, won six elections and, honest to God, had 23 foster kids and five children of her own. You can’t fake that commitment or dismiss it as resumé padding. Most of us will never do a fraction of what she’s done for helpless kids. And, she is a seriously credentialed lawyer to boot. By today’s standards, no one should count her out. If Al Sharpton can be fully rehabilitated after the wild antics he conjured up and inflicted on the rest of us back in the day, who knows what’s in store for Ms. Bachmann. ... Michelle sometimes let her passion overrule the carefully crafted message most lawyers try to put forward.  There is an art to structure an argument in a way that does n

Israel gets a heads up on Russian missiles in Syria

NY Times: Russian Missile Shipment Has Reached Syria, Assad Says President Bashar al-Assad of Syria said in a television interview that Russia had delivered S-300 air defense missiles to the country, weapons that Israel has said pose a threat to its security. I suspect the Mossad already had an idea when the missiles arrived and where they are currently located.  It is possible the missiles will be taken out in short order.

Ted Cruz stands up to the trash talking left

A politician with no fear is a scary thing to the left.  Breeanne Howe has more on the left's attacks on Cruz.

Apple learns the Chicago way protection racket

John Hayward: A few weeks ago, Apple executives were called on the Congressional carpet for… well, it’s not really clear, actually. Congress was very angry at them for failing to haul international profits back to the United States so they could be taxed at confiscatory anti-growth American rates. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) countered by pointing out that everyone tries to legally minimize their tax liability. Accountants who failed to take such opportunities would be failing in their duty to shareholders. Today, the news broke that Apple has hired the scandal-plagued former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa Jackson, to handle… well, it’s not really clear, actually. She’ll be paid big bucks for offering “environmental advice” and making sure Apple data centers use “renewable wind and solar energy,” which means they’ll be paying far more than necessary for power that doesn’t work when it’s cloudy or the winds are calm. And no one seems to care about windmil

IRS joined a coordinated effort by Obama administration against groups supporting Israeli settlements

Washington Free Beacon: A Washington Free Beacon investigation has identified at least five pro-Israel organizations that have been audited by the IRS in the wake of a coordinated campaign by White House-allied activist groups in 2009 and 2010. These organizations, some of which are too afraid of government reprisals to speak publicly, say in interviews with the Free Beacon that they now believe the IRS actions may have been coordinated by the Obama administration. Many of the charities openly clashed with the Obama administration’s policy of opposing Israeli settlement construction over the so-called “Green Line,” which marks the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and the West Bank and West and East Jerusalem. After the Obama administration took up the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as one of its most prominent foreign policy priorities in early 2009, and made a cessation of Israeli settlement construction the cornerstone of its approach, the nonprofits were subjected to a string

Commandant of Marines sees perpetual war in near future

National Defense Magazine: President Obama last week said the United States is ready to move beyond the war on terror. The nation's military, meanwhile, is preparing for a future of continuous combat. “I don’t see any indication that things are going to settle down or become peaceful,” said Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps. Speaking at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., May 29, Amos said he is convinced that the U.S. military during the next two decades will be just as busy as it has been during the past 12 years of war. When asked to forecast the Marine Corps’ future missions, Amos said, “I see much of what we’re going through right now. I don’t see any of it waning away. I don’t see major theater wars. I see thorny, difficult, challenging, human intensive — not necessarily technology intensive — conflicts.” Amos cited the crisis in Syria, the activities of Lebanon’s Islamist group Hezbollah, developments in Iran, Iraq, Mali and North Korea as poten

The administration that is never responsible for anything that goes wrong

Tom Price: From questions regarding the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, to the snooping of reporters' private communications, it's hard to keep track of the scandals surrounding the Obama administration these days. The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that for years, the agency had been subjecting conservative and religious organizations to additional scrutiny as they applied for tax-exempt status. They've demanded details on the contents of church prayers and political book club reports. This is absolutely chilling. In the case of the IRS targeting scandals, we have deliberate bullying of private citizens merely attempting to exercise their constitutionally protected rights. Further, we have learned that the IRS leaked the confidential applications for tax exemption of center-right groups to ProPublica, a prominent liberal news organization. To top it off, there are horror stories of conservative donors who believe they have been subjected to audits or have su

Al Qaeda operative not popular with other inmates in Canadian prison

AP/Miami Herald: The lawyer for a Canadian man who spent 10 years at the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo says his client has been transferred from a prison in Ontario to one in Western Canada after another inmate threatened his life. Omar Khadr, 26, was repatriated to Canada in September to serve out the remaining six years of his sentence. The son of an alleged al-Qaida financier, Khadr pleaded guilty in 2010 to hurling a grenade that killed a U.S. soldier during a firefight in Afghanistan. He was 15 at the time. ... His previous claim to fame was being the youngest detainee at Gitmo.  This is another example of how difficult it is to house al Qaeda operatives in a regular prison.  We are better off keeping them at Gitmo until the end of the war at least. Read more here:

The timeline of JODs pursuit of Fox News reporter

Jake Tapper does a good job of tracking events and discussing them with Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker who has broken several stories about the case,

Brits figure out why Texas is special

BBC: 10 reasons why so many people are moving to Texas It is a good piece and pretty accurate in its discussion of why Texas has been so successful. At the top of the list is jobs matched with a low cost of living giving a city like Houston the highest standard of living in the country.

Protect right to self defense

This video was sent to me by my cousin. I think it will hit home with a lot of folks.

The hypocrisy of Democrat Senators who opposed conservative groups' tax exempt status

Karl Rove: ... Mr. Wallace asked Mr. Durbin why he singled out Crossroads GPS for an IRS investigation and pointed out that his letter "did not mention one single liberal group." Mr. Durbin offered this ludicrous defense: If the IRS investigated GPS, "every other group would be put on notice." Correction: An IRS investigation of a conservative 501(c)(4) would leave liberal 501(c)(4) groups gleeful—especially since liberal groups have operated for decades in the same way GPS does without Democrats complaining. Democrats were content to have 501(c)(4) groups active as long as they were operating on behalf of liberals and their causes. For example, no Democratic leader demanded the IRS investigate the 501(c)(4) arms of the League of Conservation Voters, National Abortion Rights Act League, VoteVets, NAACP, Defenders of Wildlife, Sierra Club and other liberal organizations that have spent millions excoriating Republicans, pushing liberal issues and registering voters.

Al Qaeda decentralizing, and is not defeated

Rowan Scarborough: In the months before President Obama declared al Qaeda was “on a path to defeat,” his aides were telling Congress that the terrorist network was expanding and was capable of inflicting mass casualties in the U.S. While perhaps not a direct contradiction of the president’s near-claim of victory last week, their testimony painted the picture of a robust collection of al Qaeda franchises causing death and destruction in Yemen , Africa, Syria , Iraq , Mali , Somalia and Afghanistan . Terrorism analysts say that as the U.S. conducted a concentrated air war via armed Predators against al Qaeda ’s core leadership in Pakistan ’s tribal areas for over a decade, the group’s Islamic chieftains decided to diversify. “I totally disagree with the premise the al Qaeda is on the path to defeat,” said retired Army Gen. Jack Keane , who has advised U.S. commanders in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. “Quite the contrary, al Qaeda has deliberately decentralized its operations, n

Holder, Treasury Secretary sued along with IRS

Washington Times: More than two dozen conservative groups sued the IRS , Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew on Wednesday accusing them of slow-walking approval of the groups’ tax-exempt status and, in some cases, for disclosing private information. The lawsuit, filed by the American Center for Law and Justice in a federal court in Washington, demands the IRS be forced to recognize the groups and to find IRS officials violated the groups’ constitutional rights. “The IRS and the federal government are not going to get away with this unlawful targeting of conservative groups,” said Jay Sekulow , chief lawyer for ACLJ . Last week another conservative-run group, True the Vote, also sued seeking to force the IRS to approve its application. An auditor’s report released earlier this month found that IRS officials wrongly singled out conservative groups’ applications to special scrutiny and asked inappropriate probing questions of the groups. Some of

Google moving Motorola cell phone production from China to Texas

Washington Post: Motorola Mobility, once a pioneer in shifting manufacturing to China, is opening a smartphone factory in Texas, the company said Wednesday, joining a small but growing movement toward bringing technology jobs to the United States. The decision follows announcements by major tech firms, including Apple and Lenovo , planning to add U.S. manufacturing capacity after more than a decade in which the flow was almost exclusively in the other direction — with millions of jobs going to East Asian factories known for low wages and minimal labor protections. The shifts to the United States are fledgling, and some industry experts say the companies are motivated less by long-term manufacturing needs than by public relations strategy. At a time of rising governmental scrutiny of technology companies, analysts say, there are few better ways to acquire allies on Capitol Hill than to create manufacturing jobs in lawmakers’ home districts. But Motorola Mobility officials said they