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Posts tagged ‘Newsmax Media’

Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives Continues.


Image: Cleta Mitchell: IRS Targeting of Conservatives ContinuesCleta Mitchell testifies on Capitol Hill on Feb. 6. On the panel with Mitchell are, from left, Catherine Engelbrecht, Founder of King Street Patriots, Becky Gerritson, Founder and President Wetumpka Tea Party, Inc., and Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel American Center for Law and Justice.

By David A. Patten

Explosive testimony lit up a House hearing on the IRS targeting scandal Thursday, as GOP super lawyer Cleta Mitchell told representatives that the systematic effort to delay the processing of grass-roots groups applications for nonprofit status continues to occur.

Mitchell represents several grass-roots conservative organizations whose applications under sections 501C3 and 501C4 of the internal revenue code were delayed for years in the run-up to the 2012 election. She said that targeting had not stopped.

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told Fox News on Thursday that the effort to suppress conservative voices was “almost Nixonian,” noting President Obama said in a recent interview that there was “not even a smidgeon” of corruption involved in the apparent IRS effort to chill conservative groups after the tea party movement emerged in February 2009.

“How could you possibly say that when Lois Lerner in charge of tax-exempt groups pled the fifth?” Graham asked.

Also testifying Monday was Jay Sekulow, head of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). ACLJ officials also contend the IRS targeting continues to this day.

There were 41 grassroots groups named as plaintiffs in the ACLJ lawsuit alleging widespread abuses of the First Amendment rights of assembly and free speech by the Obama administration and the IRS. Of those, 13 still have not yet received adjudication of their request for non-profit status.

The oldest of those 13 pending applications for nonprofit status dates back to December 2009, French says. That would mean at least one group has been sidelined through two election cycles, with a third rapidly approaching.

Of the 13 groups in limbo, two sought 501c3 non-profit status and the other 11 sought 501c4 status as “social welfare” organizations, French said.

According to the ACLJ, five other groups joined the lawsuit after withdrawing their nonprofit applications due to frustration over the IRS approval process. Also, two of the plaintiffs refused to answer IRS questions that they considered unconstitutional, which led to the IRS closing their nonprofit applications without further consideration.

The proposed new IRS regulations seek to limit 501c4 groups’ activities. Conservative activists say the rules have exacerbated their sense of uncertainty and intimidation.

“Of course that has a chilling effect,” says French. “And until it is decisively and emphatically stopped through public, legal accountability, that chilling effect is likely to linger.”

Mitchell, who represents grass-roots conservative activists not included in the ACLJ lawsuit, recently echoed the view that conservative groups continue to be singled out in the run-up to the 2014 elections.

“The IRS is still, very deliberately targeting conservative organizations and subjecting them to additional intense and burdensome scrutiny — and this has not stopped,” she said. “This is still ongoing.”

According to House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp of Michigan, the new proposed IRS regulations, which were first unveiled in November, appear to single out as political activity the precise sorts of programs tea party organizations typically run: Candidate forums, voter registration drives, and distributions of voter guides.

In a column published in the February edition of Newsmax Magazine, the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley A. Strassel contends that conservative groups are much more likely to become ensnared in the new proposed limitations.

She notes that neither unions, which conduct most of their activities as 501c5 groups, nor 501c3 organizations such as the liberal League of Women Voters Education Fund, are affected. That’s because the rules were not written to apply to those types of nonprofits.

The reaction of conservative activists has grown increasingly strident. Everett Wilkinson, chairman of the grass-roots National Liberty Federation organization, tells Newsmax:

“Never before have we seen such attitudes and actions taken in America by an administration or government body.

“They are intentionally trying to silence the voices of millions of Americans, who all they want is to be heard.”

Wilkinson said his organization is closely following nine critical Senate races that could flip either way. But the fear of some that they could become targets of the IRS is having an impact, he says.

“Through this intimidation a lot of people have said, ‘I don’t know if I want to risk the IRS or the Treasury Department or whoever they’re going to send after me,’” he says.

Recent remarks by Democrats appear to have exacerbated conservatives’ concern that the IRS has been politicized.

In January, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer urged the IRS to “redouble [its] efforts immediately” to constrain the tea parties.

Urgent: Is Obama Telling the Truth on IRS, Benghazi Scandals? 

During his Super Bowl interview with Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, President Obama said there was “not even a smidgeon of corruption” involved. This despite the fact that the FBI has yet to release the findings of its investigation.

Such remarks appear aimed at energizing a Democratic base that has seen tea party nonprofits as fair game ever since the Citizens United ruling made it easier for corporations to get involved in politics.

Curiously, the IRS targeting has had relatively little impact on the major activist groups that raise millions of dollars each year.

A recent New York Times story reported that four major conservative organizations — FreedomWorks, Tea Party Patriots, the Club for Growth Action Fund, and the Senate Conservatives Fund — are actually outraising their more establishment GOP counterparts such as Crossroads GPS.

But unlike the big groups that can afford to “lawyer up,” it is the smaller activist organizations all over the country — with names like Linchpins of Liberty, Colorado 9/12 Project, First State Patriots, Mid-South Tea Party, and American Patriots Against Government Excess — who have been ensnared by the long arm of the IRS.

Those smaller organizations are believed to play a key role in getting out the vote in local neighborhoods.

Wilkinson praises the myriad local tea parties as “the most effective system out there, compared to the Republican consulting groups that get millions of dollars in TV ads and radio ads.

“They put every dollar they have in, and their heart and soul. They’re getting people to the polls for maybe pennies on the dollar.”

How those groups will fare as the tax laws they must comply with grow increasingly complex and demanding is open to question.

French says the proposed IRS rules will mean “an enormous amount of activity undertaken on the basis of issues, is now re-characterized as political, and now subject to limits.

“That essentially takes a group’s ability to engage in issue advocacy and then completely neuters it in the days and the weeks leading up to an election, by defining political activity so very broadly,” he adds.

When the targeting controversy first broke last May, President Obama said the IRS targeting was “inexcusable,” and added: “I’m angry about it.”

The “social welfare” and issue-advocacy 501c4 organizations have received special attention in part because their donors’ names generally do not have to be disclosed.

The controversy over IRS targeting dates back to May 2013. That’s when former IRS executive Lois Lerner revealed that IRS personnel had acted in what she called an “absolutely inappropriate” way by holding up the non-profit applications of groups with the terms “tea party,” “patriot,” or “9/12” in their names.

The IRS asked the targeted groups to answer intrusive questionnaires regarding their activities — ranging from information on their members’ employers, donors lists, and even in one case how much time a particular organization spent “on prayer groups.”

At the time, GOP Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, received several complaints. He wrote a letter of inquiry to then-acting IRS Commissioner Stephen T. Miller.

Miller wrote back with assurances that no conservative groups were being targeted. But not long after Lerner’s disclosure, Miller was asked to resign.

The Obama administration has portrayed the IRS affair as a limited imbroglio involving a few rogue agents in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.

But Mitchell says several of her clients were told a final decision on their applications would be handed down from IRS offices in Washington, D.C.

Not every grass-roots leader is concerned that conservative activists’ IRS problems will work to Democrats’ advantage, however. Tea Party Express chairwoman Amy Kremer is among those predicting it will backfire.

“When all this came out about the IRS targeting, it made people mad,” she tells Newsmax. “It made them mad as hell.

“…You get these individuals, under whatever local group, they don’t care: They’re going to go out there, and work their hearts and souls out for the cause.”

Editor’s Note: Govt Prohibited From Helping Seniors (Shocking) 

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: ‘Misleading’.


Image: Mike Rogers, King Blast NYT Benghazi Report: 'Misleading' Rep. Peter King, left, and Rep. Mike Rogers

By Newsmax Wires

Two of the House’s top experts on terrorism blasted a New York Times report that says al-Qaida did not carry out the 2012 attack on the U.S diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

The Times report, published Saturday and based on numerous interviews with Islamists in Benghazi, concludes that there was no evidence that al-Qaida or any other international terrorist groups had any role in the assault that killed four Americans on September 11, 2012.

Instead, the Times reports that the attack was fueled in large part by anger at an American-made anti-Islamic video, as the Obama administration first claimed. The attackers were entirely locally based Islamist malcontents with few if any contacts outside of Libya.

But New York Rep. Peter King, member and former chairman of the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, told Fox News that the story’s premise that other anti-American militias led the attack is at best academic.

“It’s misleading,” King said. “It’s a distinction without a difference.” King specifically challenged the notion in the Times piece that the Libya-based terror group Ansar al-Shariah somehow was not part of the al-Qaida Islamist network.

“They are saying that ­al-Shariah is involved, but al-Shariah is a part of the al-Qaida umbrella, the al-Qaida network,” King said, challenging the Times’ conclusion that al-Shariah “had no known ­affiliations with terrorist groups.”

“Al-Shariah is a pro- al-Qaida terrorist organization,” King said, adding that the video had little to do with the attack, which he said was highly organized.

“This was a well-coordinated attack,” he said. “This was not a ragtag group.”

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, told “Fox News Sunday” that the attack was clearly an “al-Qaida-led event.”

Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said his panel has gone through 4,000 classified cables, talked to people on the ground and done a postmortem on the event. He doubts, he said, whether the newspaper conducted such an exhaustive investigation.

“So what did they get wrong?” host Chris Wallace asked.

“That al-Qaida was not involved in this,” Rogers said. “There was some level of pre-planning. We know that. There was aspiration to conduct an attack by al-Qaida and their affiliates in Libya. We know that. The individuals on the ground talked about a planned tactical movement on the compound even. … That tells me they didn’t talk to people on the ground who where doing the fighting, shooting and the intelligence-gathering.”

Fellow committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., agreed with Rogers that intelligence shows that al-Qaida was involved in the attack. But other groups were involved, too, Schiff said.

Schiff called it a “complex picture.” There was some pre-planning, he said, but it was not extensive, and people joined in the attack for multiple reasons, including because of an anti-Muslim video produced by a man in the United States.

Rogers also disputed the contention that al-Shariah was key to the attack. The intelligence shows otherwise, he told Wallace.

“Now, do they have differences of opinion with al-Qaida core? Yes. Do they have affiliations with al-Qaida core? Definitely,” he said.

Rogers said he doesn’t know whether the story was politically motivated to clear former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before an expected presidential run in 2016. But he is suspicious of the timing, especially with former U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice talking about the subject on “60 Minutes” last week.

“I don’t want to speculate on why they might do it,” Rogers said, adding that what is being presented in The Times and on “60 Minutes” has been shown by committee testimony not to be accurate.

The attack killed Ambassador Chris Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

The Times’ conclusion also conflicts with other evidence, including the testimony of Greg Hicks, Stevens’ deputy, Fox reports. 

Hicks described the video as “a non-event in Libya” at that time, and consequently not a significant trigger for the attack. Also, a separate report by a leading social media firm found that the first reference to the anti-Islam film that was initially blamed for sparking the attack was not detected on social media until a day later.

Rep. Darrell Issa also stood by his conclusions that a group affiliated with al-Qaida was involved.

“It was accurate,” Issa said on NBC’s Meet the Press. “There was a group that was involved that claims an affiliation with al-Qaida.”

Issa said that Times reporter David Kirkpatrick did “very good work” but that he has seen no evidence that the video was the attack’s leading cause, a claim made by then-UN ambassador Susan Rice in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

The administration should come clean about misstatements about the causes of the attack, even if those claims were made to protect the CIA outpost in Benghazi, Issa said.

“They went out on five stations and told the story that was at best a coverup for the CIA or at worst something that cast away this idea that there was a real terrorist operation in Benghazi,” Issa said.

Kirkpatrick, who also appeared on the show, said that Republicans like Issa, King and Rogers conflated local Islamic militant groups with international al-Qaida.

“If you’re using the term al-Qaida to describe even a local group of Islamist militants who dislike democracy or have a grudge against the United States, If you’re going to call anybody like that ‘al-Qaida,’ then, okay,” he said.

A senior Obama administration official told NBC News on Saturday that the White House does not dispute the New York Times report.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

White House Year in Review: ‘Yes We Can’ Ignore the Scandals.


Image: White House Year in Review: 'Yes We Can' Ignore the Scandals

By Cynthia Fagen

It’s the White House spin on “Yes We Can.”

The White House’s yearly wrap-up appears to have ignored persistent media reports of the Obamacare fallout, the NSA spying scandal and the president’s plummeting popularity polls, preferring instead to spin a sunnier version of President Barack Obama’s political accomplishments while offering lighter feature fare.

“In 2013, our economy grew, and our deficit shrunk. For the first time in almost two decades, we said that we’re producing more oil at home than we buy from the rest of the world,” the White House cooed in its website introduction.

“We honored our heroes. We bounced back from national tragedies and natural disasters. We strengthened our relationships with allies around the world and took action to promote the American dream at home. Take a look at our 2013 year in review.”

While this was the president’s worst year in office, you likely couldn’t tell from this round-up. Alongside a July video of Obama pushing for immigration reform was the Kids State Dinner. A photo of the president with a Photoshopped hairdo from the black-tie White House Correspondent’s Dinner highlights the month of April, and the president and Michelle Obama are seen watching a 3-D movie at the first-ever White House Student Film Festival in November. That comes one item after Obama touts how the deficit had been cut in half under his watch at the end of his October moments.

It could make you want to hug a puppy. That came in August, when the Obamas‘ new dog Sunny was introduced.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Andrew McCarthy: Closing Gitmo Will Come Back to Haunt US.


A former federal prosecutor says the U.S. media have largely ignored one of the biggest stories of the year: the gradual shutting of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, where the United States has held terrorists since the 9/11 attacks.

“They’re gradually shutting [it] down . . . by sending these guys back to their countries, including two who were sent back last week to Sudan,” Andrew C. McCarthy, a columnist for National Review, told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“So, we’re now taking trained terrorists and sending them back to governments that practice terrorism and that are rabidly anti-American. Go figure.”

Story continues below video.

“So, it’s not just that we’re reining in the [National Security Agency] program,” McCarthy said. “The administration is really starting to cut off Bush counter-terrorism, which, as long as the president needed to be re-elected, he was all for Bush counter-terrorism.”

McCarthy fears the NSA stands to be weakened, “largely because the intelligence community has really done a terrible job trying to defend it.”

McCarthy, author of “Spring Fever: The Illusion of Islamic Democracy,” is a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York who prosecuted the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center in 1993.

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Bill Hoffmann

Allen West: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Suspension May Violate Civil Rights.


A&E may have violated the civil rights of “Duck Dynasty‘s” Phil Robertson when it suspended him for making anti-gay remarks in a magazine interview, former Rep. Allen West of Florida says.

‘We cannot start censoring people like this,” West told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“As far as A&E . . . it’s their business. I don’t know what’s in the contract, but if they suspended someone for their religious beliefs, that’s a violation of the Civil Rights Act.”

Last week, Robertson, 67, star of A&E’s smash reality show, was suspended for criticizing the homosexual lifestyle in GQ magazine, comparing it to bestiality.

He quoted passages from the Bible to back up his beliefs.

“GLAAD [founded as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] and other organizations such as them, they want freedom from any dissenting views,” West said. “The majority that is out there are in concert with Phil.

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

GOP: All Americans Deserve Obamacare ‘Hardship’ Exemption.


Image: GOP: All Americans Deserve Obamacare 'Hardship' Exemption

By Todd Beamon

House Republicans stepped up their attacks on Obamacare on Friday — after President Barack Obama admitted that “we screwed it up” — charging that the healthcare law should be delayed for all Americans, not just those who lost their insurance.

“With this latest delay, the Obama administration is once again admitting that the president’s healthcare law is unworkable and unaffordable,” House Speaker John Boehner said. “Millions have lost the plans they liked, only to find themselves priced out of new policies with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.

“The administration’s action does nothing to address the problems at the center of the president’s healthcare law, or to help the families suffering its consequences,” the Ohio Republican continued. “All Americans deserve a hardship exemption from this train wreck of a law, and a focus on patient-centered reforms that will help lower costs and protect jobs.”

Late Thursday, the White House announced that Americans whose insurance has been canceled could buy “catastrophic plans” or avoid buying insurance altogether. The surprise announcement came just four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for Americans to choose coverage that will begin on Jan. 1.

The decision has roiled the insurance industry and sent the stocks of such major insurers as Cigna Corp., Aetna Inc., and Humana lower on Wall Street.

At his last news conference of the year, Obama admitted on Friday that “we screwed it up” regarding the botched rollout of the healthcare plan’s individual mandate on Oct. 1.

He continued to blame many of the problems with the rollout on technical issues regarding the HealthCare.gov website, which covers 36 states that lack their own exchanges.

“There are a whole bunch of things that we’ve been taking a look at,” Obama said at the White House session.

That was not enough for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia and other GOP legislators, though, who have long attacked Obamacare as unworkable, expensive, and unfixable.

“Our entire healthcare system can’t be fundamentally changed at any given time subject to the random impulses of President Obama,” Cantor said in a statement. “How can anyone make healthcare decisions today knowing that the law may be unilaterally changed again tomorrow?

“Many Americans had good healthcare that they liked and could afford, but lost it due to Obamacare,” he added. “Absent affordable alternatives, these families are now being told to simply go without care for a year or buy a bare-bones plan that doesn’t offer them the care they need. Is that the promise of Obamacare?

“Republicans have consistently asked for a one-year delay of the mandates for all Americans, and put forward a proposal to allow American families to keep their health plans,” he said. “The White House actions clearly prove Obamacare can’t work as designed. It’s time for Obamacare to be delayed for all.”

Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, an orthopedic surgeon who is vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, said that “at this point, no one is particularly surprised at the Obama administration’s inability to govern in a coherent and orderly manner.

“But President Obama and his team are showing a remarkable level of disregard for how their decisions will affect millions of Americans and how Obamacare is harming real people in real ways.

“American families are doing all they can right now to plan and adjust to the fallout of Obamacare, whether it’s losing their current healthcare coverage or facing higher costs,” Price added. “Does the administration honestly believe it can simply paint over the damage it is doing with these sort of last-minute maneuvers? This law is fundamentally flawed.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee referenced her questioning of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week during a hearing of the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

“We asked Secretary Sebelius point-blank what would be the next holiday surprise, and she was silent,” Blackburn, the committee’s vice chairman, said in a statement. “Yet, here we are with another major policy shift.

“The sad reality is that when the law takes effect come Jan. 1, more Americans will be without coverage under Obamacare than one year ago. What’s worse, the administration knew millions of plans would be cancelled, but the president kept repeating his solemn promises knowing they would not be kept.”

In another setback for HealthCare.gov, a top federal official told the House Oversight Committee this week that “high” and “moderate” security risks had been discovered on the site in recent weeks.

The disclosures by Teresa Fryer, chief information security officer at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, bolstered claims by Republicans, technology experts, and users that HealthCare.gov was vulnerable to security breaches.

“There were two high findings,” Fryer said in transcripts released on Friday by Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the oversight committee’s chairman. “One high finding was identified in an incident that was reported in November.”

Of the disclosures, Blackburn’s Volunteer State colleague, Diane Black, said: “It is deeply concerning that, almost three months after HealthCare.gov was launched, we are still learning of new and serious security risks with the Obamacare website.

“The fact is, this program was never ready to be launched, and it is reprehensible that this administration would proceed with implementation when the security of millions of Americans’ personal information is at risk from cyber threats and identity theft.

“Obamacare should be stopped in its entirety, but in the meantime, the very least this administration can do is properly notify someone if the personal information they have entered into the website is under threat — something that the federal government is currently under no obligation to do.”

Black noted that the legislation she introduced this week would require the government to notify Americans of such data breaches.

“Until Obamacare can be fully repealed, we must do what we can to protect Americans from this disastrous and dangerous law,” Black said.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Latest Obamacare Debacle Stuns Insurers, Market Shares.


Image: Latest Obamacare Debacle Stuns Insurers, Market Shares

By Sandy Fitzgerald and Cathy Burke

The Obama administration‘s decision to allow people whose insurance has been canceled to buy “catastrophic plans” or avoid buying insurance altogether is causing howls of protest from the health insurance industry and a dip in market shares on Wall Street.

Thursday’s surprise announcement came just four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for Americans to choose coverage that will begin on Jan. 1, reports The Washington Post.

ObamaCareYou Can Win With The Facts

“This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” Robert Zirkelbach, spokeman for American’s Health Insurance Plans, told the Post.

Within hours of the announcement, several insurers’ shares, which had been up in early trading started to drop on Friday, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Aetna Inc.  Cigna Corp.,  and Humana,  all of which have significant roles in the Obamacare marketplaces, all marked slight downgrades of less than 1 percent.

Meanwhile, two other major Obamacare insurers, WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group Inc. went up by about 1 percentage point.

Robert Zirkelbach, spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans warned Thursday that “this type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers.”

Lawmakers are also speaking out about the change.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., once again demanded a delay for Obamacare for everyone, saying the latest exemption shows the healthcare law is not working, and changes in the system should not be based on Obama’s “random impulses,” reportsBloomberg.

And Michigan Republican Rep. Fred Upton, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said that the “sad reality” is that fewer people will have coverage under Obamacare than were covered a year ago.

“Rather than more White House delays, waivers and exemptions, the administration should provide all Americans relief from its failed law,” Upton said in an email to Bloomberg.
However, the Obama administration insists that allowing people to buy catastrophic coverage or opt out altogether is the right, fair thing to do.

“This is a common sense clarification of the law,” said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. “For the limited number of consumers whose plans have been canceled and are seeking coverage, this is one more option.”

The policy change went out in a letter to Democratic Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine of Virginia, Jeanne Shaheen, of New Hampshire, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who had asked the administration Wednesday if people whose plans were cancelled could qualify to be exempted from having to buy insurance, reports The Hill.

Two of the senators, Landrieu and Shaheen, are expected to face tough races in their 2014 re-election bids. Landrieu has been distancing herself from Obamacare for some time, andcriticizes Obama in her first campaign commercial over his handling of the new healthcare law rollout as she begins her re-election fight in Louisiana for a fourth term.

And in October, Shaheen called on the White House to extend Obamacare’s open enrollment period amid efforts to fix glitches plaguing the government’s health insurance exchange website HealthCare.gov.

All five Democrats issued a statement Thursday to say they’re pleased with the changes.
“This clarifies an option that will help those consumers who have had their plans cancelled this year transition more smoothly into the marketplace,” the senators said.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the new rule means that consumers whose insurance has been cancelling for not meeting federal standards enforced under Obamacare can buy cheaper “catastrophic” coverage if their new out-of-pocket costs are too high.

Previously, the coverage was only available for buyers under the age of 30. Now, everybody can apply for the same hardship exemption younger policy buyers enjoy.

The Obama administration says the change is expected to affect fewer than a half-million people, Bloomberg reports. Insurers fear the exemptions will keep younger, healthier people from buying insurance plans, which could cause problems down the line when it comes to keeping plan prices from climbing.

But California alone has already reported that more than 1 million insured people received letters telling them they are losing their policies.

ObamaCare: You Can Win With The Facts 

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Senate Confirmation of Yellen Delayed.


Image: Senate Confirmation of Yellen Delayed

By Melanie Batley

A final vote in the Senate expected this week to confirm Janet Yellen as chairman of the Federal Reserve has been postponed until early January as part of a deal with Republicans to secure the confirmations of three other presidential nominees.

The decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was an attempt to break a stalemate between the parties which reached fever pitch after Democrats changed the filibuster rules to ram through appointments that had been stalled for months, according to Bloomberg. Republicans have since been digging in their heels by dragging out debate on each appointment.

“I think the solution to this is not to throw daggers at each other but to sit down and talk this through,” Indiana GOP Sen. Dan Coats said on the Senate floor shortly after the agreement was announced, according to The Washington Post.

Senators will vote to end formal debate on Yellen’s nomination Friday, take a two-week holiday break, then return Jan. 6 for the final vote, Bloomberg reports.

In exchange, votes to confirm three other presidential nominees are set for Friday, including John Koskinen as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and Brian Davis to be a federal judge in Florida.

Under the new filibuster rules, Yellen needs the support of a simple majority of the Senate’s 100 members to become the 15th chairman and first woman to head the central bank in its 100-year history. If confirmed, she will replace Ben Bernanke whose term expires on Jan. 31.

“We need her expertise at the helm of the Fed as our nation continues to recover from the great recession, completes Wall Street reform rule-makings and continues to enhance the stability of our financial sector,” Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat, said in a floor speech, according to Bloomberg.

Yellen said at her Nov. 14 confirmation hearing that she will maintain current policies until “strong recovery” allows the bank to scale back monetary accommodation.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Rep. Peter King: Rand Paul ‘Disgraced His Office’ With Clapper Attacks.


Image: Rep. Peter King: Rand Paul 'Disgraced His Office' With Clapper Attacks

By Todd Beamon

New York Rep. Peter King on Thursday ripped into Sen. Rand Paul for his attack on Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, charging that his fellow Republican “disgraced his office — and he owes General Clapper an apology immediately.”

“That is absolutely disgraceful to compare General Clapper with a traitor,” King, who confirmed to Newsmax in July that he was considering a bid for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, told Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

Editor’s Note: Seniors Scoop Up Unclaimed $20,500 Checks? (See if You qualify) 

He was referring to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked information about the government’s vast electronic surveillance programs.Paul told Blitzer on Wednesday that Clapper posed a greater threat to the nation’s security than Snowden.

“For Senator Paul to compare that patriot, General Clapper, with someone like Snowden — who is a traitor, who has put American lives at risk — Senator Paul should be ashamed of himself,” King said. “It’s an absolute disgrace.”

Paul, who represents Kentucky, said in his interview that Clapper’s testimony to Congress in March — in which he said that the NSA “not wittingly” collected data on millions of Americans — amounted to “lying.”

Clapper later called the statement “clearly erroneous” and apologized to Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Paul told Blitzer on Wednesday that Clapper’s testimony was “probably more injurious to our intelligence capabilities than anything Snowden did.

“Clapper has damaged the credibility of the entire intelligence apparatus — and I’m not sure what to believe anymore when they come to Congress,” Paul said.

In his attack on Paul, King said that Clapper had been put “in an impossible position” in the committee’s public session, since the member who posed the question, Democratic Sen. Rob Wyden of Oregon, had obtained more specific information in a classified meeting.

“He knew that General Clapper could not give the full answer because it would let our enemies know what we were doing,” King told CNN. “The question was wrong. General Clapper gave the best answer he could.”

King, a former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, also said that he opposed a letter released on Wednesday by seven House Republicans calling for the Justice Department to begin a criminal investigation of whether Clapper had lied to Congress at the March hearing.

The letter, King said, came from “the isolationist wing of the party,” likening it to “radical left-wing Democrats of the 1960s.”

“These are people who are apologizing for America,” the senator said. “That is not the Republican tradition. That is not the tradition of Ronald Reagan. That is not a Republican position.”

King lodged into his rant against Paul as he attacked a report released on Wednesday by a presidential advisory committee that recommended the NSA be limited in how it seizes Americans’ telephone and Internet records without court approval.

“This commission is caving in to political correctness,” King told Blitzer. “The fact is no Americans have had their rights violated. No American citizens’ calls are being listened to unless they’re in contact with terrorists. No one’s name is on file, no one’s address is on file. This is a totally phony issue.”

The interview began with King endorsing the bipartisan legislation introduced by 26 senators that would tighten sanctions on Iran if it violates the nuclear deal reached with world powers last month or lets the accord expire without a long term agreement.

The senators, 13 Republicans and Democrats each, defied President Barack Obama in putting forth the sanctions bill and drew a veto threat.

“If Iran is serious about the agreement, they should have no problems with the sanctions,” King said. “The sanctions only kick in if they don’t comply with the agreement.

“The president should want these sanctions as a weapon to hold over the Iranians,” he added. “The president is making a very serious mistake in threatening to veto this bill.”

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Ralph Reed: Boycott A&E for ‘Anti-Christian Bigotry’.


Image: Ralph Reed: Boycott A&E for 'Anti-Christian Bigotry'

By Todd Beamon

Conservative political activist Ralph Reed on Thursday called on the 800,000 members of the Faith & Freedom Coalition to boycott the A&E Network until “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson is reinstated to the program.

“Phil Robertson’s suspension is a brazen act of anti-Christian bigotry,” Reed, the coalition’s chairman, said in a statement.

ObamaCareYou Can Win With The Facts 

Robertson was placed on indefinite suspension by the cable network on Wednesday after he compared homosexuality to having sex with animals in a published magazine interview.

But Robertson has since received broad support from conservatives and Republican politicians ranging from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

In the interview, Robertson “never represented his views and values as being those of A&E or the producers of ‘Duck Dynasty,’ ” Reed said. “He was specifically asked about his views on sin and God’s best plan for humanity — and he answered honestly, forthrightly, even directly.

“His comments were based on his faith in God, not animus directed at gays or others who might be different from him,” Reed added.

“To suspend Robertson under these circumstances is sanctioning him for holding Christian faith and beliefs — and it is a sign of a broader intolerance, bigotry, and discrimination against Christians that has no place in America.”

The coalition’s boycott efforts will also include telephone calls, email blasts, mailings, and text messages. Member are urged to write A&E executives to protest the suspension.

Reed said that he, too, wrote network officials over the matter.

“Sadly, A&E is in danger of destroying one of the most-valuable franchises in the television industry and offending 40 million Americans in the process,” Reed said. “If its management is smart, they will move swiftly to repair the damage before it is too late.”

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