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Posts tagged ‘DOJ’

US Pressure on Swiss Banks May End Era of Secret Accounts.


Image: US Pressure on Swiss Banks May End Era of Secret Accounts

By Lisa Barron

The Swiss banking industry is slowly but surely abandoning its legacy of guarding the secrecy of customer accounts.

As many as 40 of the country’s approximately 300 banks have said they would voluntarily turn over client information to the U.S. Department of Justice in return for immunity from prosecution for helping Americans evade taxes, reports USA Today.

The Justice Department set a deadline of Dec. 31 for the banks to take deals protecting them from prosecution in exchange for handing out Americans’ account information.

“What’s really clear is that this [Justice] program is at the limit of what is tolerable for banks in Switzerland,” Sindy Schmiegel of the Swiss Bankers Association in Basel told the newspaper.

The effort is part of a government crackdown on tax evaders and overseas banks that heated up in 2009 after UBS, Switzerland’s biggest bank, agreed to a $780 million settlement for concealing identities and assets from the IRS.

The Justice Department is currently investigating 14 major Swiss financial institutions, including Credit Suisse, Julius Baer, and the Swiss arm of HSBC, for shielding U.S. tax evaders, and many leading banks that are not yet being probed have been urging wealthy clients to turn themselves in to the tax man, Politico reported last month.

“The banks have every incentive to shove their American clients into compliance in order to reduce the penalties,” tax attorney Jeff Neiman, who prosecuted UBS for the U.S. government, told the publication.

Politico cited three letters from Swiss banks to U.S. clients urging them to come clean.

“Your account information may be subject to a treaty request from the United States to the Swiss Federal Tax Administration, which may result in your account information being turned over to the DOJ or IRS,” warned one letter sent by Corner Bank.

Meanwhile, the World Economic Forum taking place this week at Davos, Switzerland, will reportedly hold a forum dedicated to how the country’s banking industry can reinvent itself in the absence of banking secrecy.

“Swiss bankers accept that they are living in a new reality,” Bruno Patusi, head of wealth and asset management at Zurich-based financial services firm EY, told USA Today.

“But we will only see a change in certain areas. Confidentiality is still extremely important. It is true that we are seeing assets flow out [of Switzerland], but that’s partly because the next generation is more interested in spending than saving.”

Related stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

DOJ to Supreme Court: Religious Beliefs Aren’t Important:


Barack Obama and Eric Holder
President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder (Courtesy of the ACLJ)

If we wanted your religious beliefs on abortion-pill coverage, we’d give them to you appears to be the latest in an untenable string of arguments from the Obama DOJ over the HHS mandate.

On Friday, the DOJ filed its response to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby case.

Politico has the latest on the DOJ’s arguments:

“In arguments filed late Friday, Justice Department lawyers told the court that an employer’s religious beliefs aren’t a legitimate reason to deny something as important as preventive care to an employee who is entitled to it under the health law.

“ ‘The connection is too indirect as a matter of law to impose a substantial burden’ on employers’ right to practice their religion, the lawyers wrote in their opening argument defending the contraceptive requirement against Hobby Lobby Stores Inc.”

The crux of the Obama administration’s legal argument seems to boil down to two points:

1) Opposing forced coverage of abortion pills isn’t a legitimate religious belief; and 2) our pro-abortion agenda is far more important than your silly religious beliefs anyway.

If that sounds like an argument to turn the religious liberty protections of our Constitution on its head, that’s because it is. The moment the government can tell us what is and is not an important part of our faith and further that what we consider to be a sin is far too attenuated to actually be real sin in God’s eyes is the moment we have lost our religious liberty.

This argument comes days after Obama’s DOJ attempted to convince the court that forcing Catholic nuns to pay for abortion pills in no way violated their faith because all they had to do was sign a form and let someone else violate their faith for them.

The absurdity of these arguments is astounding. There is no stronger principle upon which our nation was founded than religious freedom. If the government can say my religious beliefs don’t count, then what religious liberty can we possibly have?

The Supreme Court is set to consider this exact question later this year. At the ACLJ, we are preparing to file a brief on behalf of thousands of concerned Americans and our clients (each of which we have put a stop to the mandate for as their cases continue). Join the fight by signing on to our amicus brief today.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

MATTHEW CLARK

Matthew Clark is associate counsel for government affairs and media advocacy with the ACLJ. A lifelong citizen of the Commonwealth of Virginia, he lives with his wife and three boys in Northern Virginia. Follow Matthew Clark on Twitter at @_MatthewClark. This article is crossposted on Red State.

DOJ Diversity Police Seeking to Shackle Christians.


gay marriage

The Department of Justice is robbing Christians and other conservative people of our rights to believe as we choose and to be free to speak in pushing a politically correct emphasis for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda, as I reported in my last Strang Report.

Via DOJ Pride, a group recognized by the DOJ and made up of its employees, the Department gave a directive that supervisors in the DOJ must affirm the LGBT values or “silence will be interpreted as disapproval. Never before has the government gone this far. To me it’s as bad or worse than spying on journalists or the IRS targeting conservative groups. We must get out this word.

In investigating this, Mat Staver and Richard L. Mast of the Liberty Counsel have been a big help in providing the information I’m sharing here. The emphasis is not only on the DOJ, but throughout all federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA, Department of Agriculture, the Veterans Administration and more. If you read on and click on the links provided, I think you’ll be shocked—as I was—that the gay agenda is this deeply entrenched in the governmental bureaucracy. Right now, they can only order federal employees to do this and discriminate against people who don’t go along. But it’s not long until it applies to everyone in society unless we sound the alarm.

We Christians and good people of other faiths must be as vocal and vigilant to stand up for our First Amendment freedom of religion and freedom of speech rights as my fellow journalists are to protect their First Amendment freedom of the press rights.

In 2008-2009, the Obama Administration pushed for “diversity” to be defined to include LGBT and gender identification in all the agencies. The Veterans’ Administration apparently led the way—or at least takes credit for doing so.

This push also included the creation of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). The premise is that “diversity” is not enough; “inclusion” must be a prominent factor as well. What exactly is “inclusion”? Open affirmation of homosexuality and gender identity. (Notice there is no mention of Christians or other people of faith.)

In 2008, ODI embarked on a groundbreaking effort to change the dialogue about diversity and inclusion in the public sector and usher in a new paradigm linked to organizational performance. This new paradigm championed two inextricably intertwined precepts: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is foundational to an effective diversity management program; and diversity and inclusion are essential to high performance in the 21st century. For example, the Veteran’s Administration bragged that  the “VA remains unequivocally committed to ensuring equal opportunity in the workplace. We also understand that EEO is essential but not sufficient to create a high-performing organization in this millennium.”

In 2011, President Obama established a government-wide initiative, the 2011 Executive Order No. 13583, that directed individual agencies to develop their own diversity and inclusion strategic plans consistent with the government-wide plan, the agency’s overall strategic plan, human capital plan, applicable laws and Merit System Principles. The government-wide plan identifies three strategic goals—workforce diversity, workplace inclusion and sustainability—along with associated priorities. The guidance for agency-specific plans directs federal agencies to outline actions they will take to achieve the priorities identified in the government-wide plan.

It’s interesting to me that in all the materials I’ve read about the federal workforce reflecting the diversity of the population, I have not come across anything stating that conservative or religious people should be represented, even though a large plurality and maybe a majority of the population falls into this key demographic. It would appear that “diversity and inclusion” is really code for suppression and exclusion of traditional and religious values.

It appears that lip service only is being given to religious diversity. We have not seen the level of attention paid to religious diversity that has been paid to homosexual advocacy. There may be PowerPoints out there to that effect, but they have been given little fanfare compared to the red-carpet treatment that the homosexual agenda has received from this administration.

If you look at the links below, you’ll see that the various governmental agencies have articulated how this initiative applies to them. For example, “VA defines diversity in its broadest context to include all that makes us unique: race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability status, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, educational background, socioeconomic status, intellectual perspective, organizational level, and more. By doing so, we are able to harvest the full performance advantages our diversity offers. Inclusion is the means by which we harvest this talent. It is the deliberate effort to leverage diversity and empower all voices to contribute to the mission.”

(Notice again that despite the fact chaplains have been a part of the military since the Revolutionary War, there is no hint that the religious community is a part of this new diversity.)

Continue reading from the VA’s document: “The change in paradigm began by restructuring and renaming our office to reflect the more proactive mission of the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion. That same year, ODI set out to lead the development of VA’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. In 2009, the VA Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for FY 2009-2013 was published. The plan attracted the attention of other Federal agencies, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM).”

A year later, OPM convened an interagency task force to develop the federal sector’s first Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, largely modeled after VA’s plan. This work culminated in President Obama issuing Executive Order 13583, which “establish[ed] a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.” That executive order is said to “designate the agency’s chief human capital officer to be responsible for enhancing employment and promotion opportunities within the agency, in collaboration with the agency’s director of equal employment opportunity and director of Diversity and Inclusion.”) (See it for yourself by clicking here)

Here are other very interesting links that will be eye-openers:

● USDA – see attachments (including PowerPoint) and links

● “A progress report on USDA’s cultural transformation”

● Internal Video Exposes USDA Staffers Chanting ‘The Pilgrims Were Illegal Aliens’ During Taxpayer-Funded Cultural Sensitivity Training

● Brian Cammenker’s FBI/CIA material

● From FBI

● From CIA in 2012

Other links of interest on the “diversity/inclusion” material:

● The White House

● OPM.Gov

● OPM.Gov/policy-data

● OPM.Gov/Inclusion Strategic Plan

What can you do? First you can become informed. Read these links. Do other research. Then we must tell our friends and bring this to the attention of those in authority.

In light of the IRS scandals and others, we’re currently seeing how the administration is trampling on rights. How can we stop them from not only trampling on our religious freedoms, but also from cramming down our throats a radical gay agenda that the majority of Americans do not accept?.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

STEVE STRANG


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).

DOJ Diversity Police Seeking to Shackle Christians.


Rainbow gay agenda
(Flicker)

The Department of Justice is robbing Christians and other conservative people of our rights to believe as we choose and to be free to speak in pushing a politically correct emphasis for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) agenda, as I reported in my last Strang Report.

Via DOJ Pride, a group recognized by the DOJ and made up of its employees, the Department gave a directive that supervisors in the DOJ must affirm the LGBT values or “silence will be interpreted as disapproval. Never before has the government gone this far. To me it’s as bad or worse than spying on journalists or the IRS targeting conservative groups. We must get out this word.

In investigating this, Mat Staver and Richard L. Mast of the Liberty Counsel have been a big help in providing the information I’m sharing here. The emphasis is not only on the DOJ, but throughout all federal agencies, including the FBI, CIA, Department of Agriculture, the Veterans Administration and more. If you read on and click on the links provided, I think you’ll be shocked—as I was—that the gay agenda is this deeply entrenched in the governmental bureaucracy. Right now, they can only order federal employees to do this and discriminate against people who don’t go along. But it’s not long until it applies to everyone in society unless we sound the alarm.

We Christians and good people of other faiths must be as vocal and vigilant to stand up for our First Amendment freedom of religion and freedom of speech rights as my fellow journalists are to protect their First Amendment freedom of the press rights.

In 2008-2009, the Obama Administration pushed for “diversity” to be defined to include LGBT and gender identification in all the agencies. The Veterans’ Administration apparently led the way—or at least takes credit for doing so.

This push also included the creation of the Office for Diversity and Inclusion (ODI). The premise is that “diversity” is not enough; “inclusion” must be a prominent factor as well. What exactly is “inclusion”? Open affirmation of homosexuality and gender identity. (Notice there is no mention of Christians or other people of faith.)

In 2008, ODI embarked on a groundbreaking effort to change the dialogue about diversity and inclusion in the public sector and usher in a new paradigm linked to organizational performance. This new paradigm championed two inextricably intertwined precepts: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) is foundational to an effective diversity management program; and diversity and inclusion are essential to high performance in the 21st century. For example, the Veteran’s Administration bragged that  the “VA remains unequivocally committed to ensuring equal opportunity in the workplace. We also understand that EEO is essential but not sufficient to create a high-performing organization in this millennium.”

In 2011, President Obama established a government-wide initiative, the 2011 Executive Order No. 13583, that directed individual agencies to develop their own diversity and inclusion strategic plans consistent with the government-wide plan, the agency’s overall strategic plan, human capital plan, applicable laws and Merit System Principles. The government-wide plan identifies three strategic goals—workforce diversity, workplace inclusion and sustainability—along with associated priorities. The guidance for agency-specific plans directs federal agencies to outline actions they will take to achieve the priorities identified in the government-wide plan.

It’s interesting to me that in all the materials I’ve read about the federal workforce reflecting the diversity of the population, I have not come across anything stating that conservative or religious people should be represented, even though a large plurality and maybe a majority of the population falls into this key demographic. It would appear that “diversity and inclusion” is really code for suppression and exclusion of traditional and religious values.

It appears that lip service only is being given to religious diversity. We have not seen the level of attention paid to religious diversity that has been paid to homosexual advocacy. There may be PowerPoints out there to that effect, but they have been given little fanfare compared to the red-carpet treatment that the homosexual agenda has received from this administration.

If you look at the links below, you’ll see that the various governmental agencies have articulated how this initiative applies to them. For example, “VA defines diversity in its broadest context to include all that makes us unique: race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability status, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, educational background, socioeconomic status, intellectual perspective, organizational level, and more. By doing so, we are able to harvest the full performance advantages our diversity offers. Inclusion is the means by which we harvest this talent. It is the deliberate effort to leverage diversity and empower all voices to contribute to the mission.”

(Notice again that despite the fact chaplains have been a part of the military since the Revolutionary War, there is no hint that the religious community is a part of this new diversity.)

Continue reading from the VA’s document: “The change in paradigm began by restructuring and renaming our office to reflect the more proactive mission of the new Office of Diversity and Inclusion. That same year, ODI set out to lead the development of VA’s first strategic plan for diversity and inclusion. In 2009, the VA Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for FY 2009-2013 was published. The plan attracted the attention of other Federal agencies, as well as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Personnel Management (OPM).”

A year later, OPM convened an interagency task force to develop the federal sector’s first Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan, largely modeled after VA’s plan. This work culminated in President Obama issuing Executive Order 13583, which “establish[ed] a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.” That executive order is said to “designate the agency’s chief human capital officer to be responsible for enhancing employment and promotion opportunities within the agency, in collaboration with the agency’s director of equal employment opportunity and director of Diversity and Inclusion.”) (See it for yourself by clicking here)

Here are other very interesting links that will be eye-openers:

● USDA – see attachments (including PowerPoint) and links

● “A progress report on USDA’s cultural transformation”

● Internal Video Exposes USDA Staffers Chanting ‘The Pilgrims Were Illegal Aliens’ During Taxpayer-Funded Cultural Sensitivity Training

● Brian Cammenker’s FBI/CIA material

● From FBI

● From CIA in 2012

Other links of interest on the “diversity/inclusion” material:

● The White House

● OPM.Gov

● OPM.Gov/policy-data

● OPM.Gov/Inclusion Strategic Plan

What can you do? First you can become informed. Read these links. Do other research. Then we must tell our friends and bring this to the attention of those in authority.

In light of the IRS scandals and others, we’re currently seeing how the administration is trampling on rights. How can we stop them from not only trampling on our religious freedoms, but also from cramming down our throats a radical gay agenda that the majority of Americans do not accept?

STEVE STRANG


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).

Government Forcing Employees to Affirm Homosexuality.


LGBT Brochure
(Courtesy Libertycounsel.com)

On the heels of three more scandals in Washington, D.C., there’s yet another reason Americans should be concerned about our government. This one isn’t about national security or freedom of the press or the IRS, but with how the federal government is pushing gay rights through the Justice Department.

We know President Obama supports same-sex marriage. And it’s well known that certain advocacy groups make a concerted effort to not only normalize the gay lifestyle, but also suppress anyone who dares differ with this “new normal.” The question we Christians must face, then, is this: Will we speak up to sound the alarm as vocally as journalists do to protect their freedom-of-the-press rights? The First Amendment also guarantees the right to religious freedom, which includes the freedom to interpret what the Bible says, even if it isn’t the politically correct version.

Recently, CharismaNews.com ran a report that the Obama administration is requiring federal workers to publicly embrace and affirm homosexuality. A whistle-blower from the Department of Justice (DOJ) contacted Liberty Counsel, led by Mat Staver, seeking help to protect her First Amendment rights. She had received a brochure, sent to all DOJ employees, entitled “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers,” created by an advocacy group called DOJPride, launched in 1994 by a few DOJ employees.

The brochure instructs DOJ supervisors on what to do in June, which the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community celebrates as Gay Pride Month. The brochure says that a good supervisor should vocally affirm homosexuality. “DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” the brochure tells employees.

Apparently, Christians can no longer quietly dissent or remain neutral to same-sex relationships. Now the DOJ seems to be requiring federal employees to affirm sexual behaviors that every major religion in history has deemed immoral.

The problem is not just in the Justice Department, but also in other federal agencies that I’ll document in another issue of The Strang Report. So far, this gross violation of our religious liberties has received almost no attention from the mainstream media. It’s not unlike the lack of coverage of the murder trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Philadelphia—until there was pressure brought by pro-life groups.

To me, this is as bad—or worse—than the IRS targeting certain groups for their political views or the government spying on journalists they may disagree with.

If you agree this is serious, let your voice be heard, and forward this to your friends and ask them to forward it to theirs. And speak up in our comments section.

We’ve seen a growing acceptance of homosexual behavior—something that until recently was “kept in the closet.” But this goes way beyond acceptance. There is a new strident advocacy, and also pressure on those who don’t agree to conform. A gay employee is quoted in the brochure: “Silence seems like disapproval. There’s still an atmosphere of LGBT issues not being appropriate for the workplace … or that people who bring it up are trying to rock the boat.” The brochure also tells managers to “use inclusive words like partnersignificant other or spouse rather than gender-specific terms like husbandand wife” and to “use a transgender person’s chosen name and the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s self-identified gender.”

If you don’t believe me, click here to read the actual brochure.

Can you imagine the outcry if a group of Christian government employees sent out a brochure urging people to avoid sex until marriage or condemning those who have extramarital affairs, or even to live out their Christian beliefs in the workplace?

The fact is, few Christians in our culture speak up, even though we make up (if you include cultural Christians) almost 80 percent of the population. When Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy articulated a traditional view of marriage in an interview last summer, all hell broke loose. When Tim Tebow articulates his Christian viewpoint, he’s vilified by those who disagree with him. That’s because those men (and others) are speaking truth. It’s a lie that homosexuality, in any of its forms, is normal, yet for a lie to exist it must be in a bubble, undisturbed by the truth.

“This administration is pushing the most radical, immoral agenda on the American people,” Staver notes. “Christians are not merely required to ‘shut up,’ but now they are being coerced to embrace immorality that goes against their sincerely held religious beliefs. Liberty Counsel will do whatever is required to stand for religious freedom amidst this religiously intolerant administration.”

By contrast, many well-meaning Christians avoid supporting fellow believers in this fight because they disagree on other matters of theology and therefore don’t want to be seen as endorsing those believers. I know this because I’ve had leaders tell me this when I tried to get their cooperation, even to meet with fellow believers to strategize on what to do.

We must get over our petty differences. These are critical issues. Christians must stand together in favor of a traditional view of marriage and sexuality and stop the tide of political correctness that is washing over our culture.


Steve Strang is the founder and publisher of Charisma. Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook (stephenestrang).

DOJ Forcing Federal Employees to Publicly Affirm Homosexuality.


Department of Justice building
The Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building is the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the United States Department of Justice. (Bjoertvedt / Creative Commons)

The Obama administration is requiring federal workers to publicly embrace and affirm homosexuality. Last week a whistleblower from the Department of Justice (DOJ) contacted Liberty Counsel seeking help to protect her First Amendment rights.

The whistleblower sent Liberty Counsel a copy of an email sent to all DOJ employees, entitled, “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” The directive requires employees to vocally affirm homosexuality. “DON’T judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” the DOJ tells employees.

No longer can Christians quietly dissent or remain neutral to same-sex sexual relationships. Now the DOJ is requiring federal employees to affirm sexual behaviors that every major religion throughout history has deemed immoral.

A homosexual employee is quoted in the directive: “Silence seems like disapproval. There’s still an atmosphere of LGBT issues not being appropriate for the workplace (particularly for transgender people), or that people who bring it up are trying to rock the boat.”

The DOJ also instructs managers to “display a symbol in your office (DOJ Pride sticker, copy of this brochure, etc.) indicating that it is a ‘safe space.'”

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, explains, “Under this directive, one cannot be a Christian and a manager at the Department of Justice. How does one who believes in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Bible display ‘gay pride’ stickers?The Department of Justice is engaged in viewpoint discrimination and religious intolerance.”

“LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers” also instructs managers to “use inclusive words like partnersignificant other or spouse rather than gender-specific terms like husbandand wife” and to “use a transgender person’s chosen name and the pronoun that is consistent with the person’s self-identified gender.”

In dealing with transgenders, the directive quotes a man who dresses like a woman: “I want people to understand that I’m real. I want to be recognized as the gender I really am. … Just imagine if people were constantly debating YOUR bathroom privileges. Imagine how humiliating that would be.'”

“This administration is pushing the most radical, immoral agenda on the American people,” Staver notes. “Christians are not merely required to ‘shut up,’ but now they are being coerced to embrace immorality that goes against their sincerely held religious beliefs. Liberty Counsel will do whatever is required to stand for religious freedom amidst this religiously intolerant administration.”

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

BILL ROBERTS

Bob Goodlatte: DOJ Wasting Money on Travel, Making Movies, $12 Cups of Coffee.


Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., on Tuesday blasted the Department of Justice for its excessive waste of taxpayer dollars.

In an opinion piece in Politico, Goodlatte, who is chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, also took Attorney General Eric holder to task for warning the public ahead of the March 1 sequester deadline that the DOJ would be “forced to make cuts that would threaten the safety of all Americans” by diminishing its ability to investigate and prosecute crimes.

Goodlatte writes that a closer look at DOJ spending patterns by the Judiciary Committee “reveals many areas of wasteful spending, suggesting that these ominous threats are part of a scare-tactic narrative to promote the Obama administration’s political agenda.”

The real story, he asserts, is that “our government throws away taxpayer dollars on nonessential items every day.”

Among the examples Goodlatte cites is the DOJ’s purchase last year of an unused prison in Illinois. The department spent $165 million to buy the facility, he says, “even though the Bureau of Prisons already had four brand-new federal prisons sitting empty and waiting to be put to use.”

The DOJ also spends $1.5 million a year to operate the FBI’s Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit, which is dedicated to helping Hollywood make movies and TV shows, “including ‘The Kingdom,’ ‘Fast and Furious 4’ and ‘CSI,’” Goodlatte claims.

In addition, he says, DOJ staff uses public funds to host costly conferences around the country. In 2010 alone, it apparently spent nearly $100 million on these conferences, twice what it spent in 2008, which “includes more than $600,000 in event-planner costs for five conferences, even though the need for this was not shown,” charges Goodlatte, adding “The food at these conferences was also exorbitant. “ Coffee, for instance, reportedly cost as much as $12.36 for a 12-ounce cup.

DOJ officials also spend millions of tax dollars on personal travel, maintains Goodlatte.

“According to the Government Accountability Office,” he writes, “both the attorney general and FBI director spent more than $11 million on luxury private jets for non-mission trips from 2007 through 2011.” Holder apparently took more than 28 percent of the flights for personal reasons.

As for DOJ grants to state and local entities, says Goodlatte, they “have also proved to be wasteful.” He points to an audit of grants given to Hartford, Conn. by the Office of the Inspector General, which found the “Hartford Police Department used $10,000 of its grand funding for a pizza party and plaques. Although the Judiciary Committee has asked for an explanation, Goodlatte continues, “This request has gone unanswered.”

Finally, he says, a GAO report from July 2012 “found that there is a huge amount of duplication and overlap in grants awarded by DOJ,” including 56 programs that provide funds to victim assistance and research, 41 that provide technology for forensics and 33 that provide money for juvenile justice.

And these are “just some of the many examples of inefficient and redundant spending at the DOJ,” Goodlatte points out, adding that with the release of President Barack Obama’s 2014 budget on Wednesday, the “House Judiciary Committee will continue to look for ways to reduce wasteful spending in the DOJ.”

“With our national debt more than $16 trillion, we simply cannot afford to drink $12 coffees and help Hollywood make movies,” concludes Goodlatte. “It’s essential that our nation get its fiscal house in order.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Lisa Barron

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