MEET LORETTA LYNCH – OBAMA’S ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE WHO MIGHT BE EVEN WORSE THAN ERIC HOLDER

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Eric Holder made a career out of protecting and coddling financial oligarchs (his 1999 memo essentially invented “Too Big to Jail”)

by MICHAEL KRIEGER | LIBERTY BLITZKRIEG | JANUARY 30, 2015

On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment “an effective penalty” and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama’s statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records “certainly constitutional, and effective.”

– From the New York Times article: Criticism of Holder Dominates Hearing on Loretta Lynch, Attorney General’s Possible Successor

Eric Holder made a career out of protecting and coddling financial oligarchs (his 1999 memo essentially invented “Too Big to Jail”). This was such a lucrative decision for Mr. Holder, that it allowed him to climb all the way to the top of his profession. The dividends that supporting this man ultimately paid to Wall Street criminals were priceless. Not only were they bailed out despite wrecking the U.S. economy, they have since funneled all of the wealth gains since 2008 to themselves, while remaining above the law. This truly remarkable heist is what both Barack Obama and Eric Holder will be remembered for by history. Congratulations guys.

When Eric Holder announced his resignation, many of us breathed a sigh of relief thinking it can’t get much worse, but not so fast. The authoritarian streak and rampant cronyism of the Obama administration is a well oiled machine. You didn’t think you’d get off that easily did you? Enter Loretta Lynch.

I’ve touched upon Mrs. Lynch’s record previously, in the post, Wall Street Journal Reports Obama’s Attorney General Nominee Has Been Involved in $904 Million in Asset Forfeitures. Here’s an excerpt:

    As a prosecutor Ms. Lynch has also been aggressive in pursuing civil asset forfeiture, which has become a form of policing for profit. She recently announced that her office had collected more than $904 million in criminal and civil actions in fiscal 2013, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Liberals and conservatives have begun to question forfeiture as an abuse of due process that can punish the innocent.

Naturally, that was just the tip of the iceberg. What we have learned from her ongoing confirmation hearing is that she’s a lover of NSA spying and the death penalty, while disagreeing with the statement that “marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol.”

I wonder if she has much personal experience to base this opinion on, or if it’s just more of the same we “know what’s best for you plebs, despite the fact that we have no idea what we are talking about.”

Meet the new Attorney General, same as the old. From the New York Times:

    Ms. Lynch had steeled herself for tough questioning from a new Republican-controlled Judiciary Committee, particularly on her views of President Obama’s immigration policy. But the questioning was mostly cordial, and, most important, the Republicans on the committee who hold the key to Ms. Lynch’s confirmation — she needs three of their votes to proceed to a vote by the full Senate — showed little opposition.

Of course it was cordial. Other than perhaps immigration, she basically espouses complete and total neo-con principals.

On the issue of immigration, Ms. Lynch said she found it “reasonable” that the Justice Department had concluded it was lawful for Mr. Obama to unilaterally ease the threat of deportation for millions of unauthorized immigrants. Mr. Holder similarly endorsed that view.

Democrats see some Republicans, such as Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Jeff Flake of Arizona, as possible confirmation votes. Mr. Flake said he had made no decision on Ms. Lynch but had come away with a favorable impression and expected that she would be confirmed.

On matters of policy, Ms. Lynch called capital punishment “an effective penalty” and said she disagreed with Mr. Obama’s statements that marijuana was no more harmful than alcohol. She called the National Security Agency’s collection of American phone records “certainly constitutional, and effective.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat on the panel, said she had given “a flawless performance.” Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, called her testimony “among the most accomplished and impressive that I’ve seen as a member of this committee.”
Oh, but there’s more. As if you needed proof that Ms. Lynch shares Eric Holder’s financial oligarch coddling tendencies, the International Business Times reports that:

WASHINGTON — In advance of her nomination hearing, Loretta Lynch did what every cabinet nominee is required to do: fill out a questionnaire listing all her media interviews so lawmakers can evaluate her candor. But the questionnaire U.S. attorney general nominee Lynch submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee has a notable omission. Lynch failed to include an interview in which she defended the controversial settlement she orchestrated with the bank HSBC.

The bank was accused of knowingly allowing Mexican drug cartels to launder money and of allowing violations of economic sanctions against countries including Iran, Libya, Sudan and Cuba. Lynch, then the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, allowed the bank to avoid prosecution in 2012 by paying a $1.9 billion fine and submitting to a monitor for five years to oversee compliance. Critics slammed the deal as an example of the Obama administration’s pattern of going easy on the financial industry. In the Dec. 11, 2012, interview she did with CBS News, Lynch endorsed the settlement and dismissed criticism of the deal as “shortsighted.”

Lynch’s boss at the time of the HSBC deal, Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who was then head of the Department of Justice’s criminal prosecution division, resigned after a scathing Frontline piece that highlighted Justice’s failure to try any of the banks tied to the recession and the risky trades that led to it. It was during a discussion of HSBC before the Senate Judiciary Committee that Attorney General Holder famously said some banks — although not HSBC specifically — were too big to prosecute.
Well there you have it. This woman, like Eric Holder, will be an unmitigated disaster for freedom in America.
That’s what “liberal” looks like in today’s America.

MILLIONS TO OWE OBAMACARE TAX PENALTY

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The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
Were you uninsured in 2014? It’s time to pay the piper!
Some 3 million to 6 million Americans will have to pay an Obamacare tax penalty for not having health insurance last year, Treasury officials said Wednesday. It’s the first time they have given estimates for how many people will be subject to a fine.

The penalty is $95, or 1% of income above a certain threshold (roughly $20,000 for a couple). So you could end up owing the IRS a lot of money.
Take a married couple with $100,000 in income – their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator.
The penalty for remaining uninsured rises to the larger of $325 or 2% of income in 2015.

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As millions of Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they’ll have to contend with Obamacare’s health insurance mandate for the first time.
Some three-quarters of the nation’s 150 million taxpayers have health insurance through their jobs or government programs and will simply have to check a box on the Form 1040.
Another 15 million to 30 million people will request and be granted an exemption to the mandate by filing Form 8965. Those who aren’t subject to the insurance requirement include undocumented immigrants, low-income Americans and those for whom insurance premiums were more than 8% of their household income.

Finally, between 4.5 million and 7.5 million taxpayers received subsidies for insurance premiums when they signed up for coverage on Obamacare exchanges. They will have to use Form 8962 to reconcile their actual 2014 income with the amount they estimated when they applied for a policy in late 2013 or early 2014.
Those who underestimated their income either will receive smaller tax refunds or will owe the IRS money.
Treasury officials declined to forecast how many people may be in this situation. But H&R Block projects 3.4 million taxpayers will have to pay back part of their premiums.
Of course, those who overestimated their 2014 income may get a healthier-than-expected refund. And some will see no change.

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AMERICANS HATE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NOW MORE THAN EVER

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    Treasury gets gold star as the most-hated

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By
CATEY
HILL
REPORTER

If you have to deal with the federal government — be it the seemingly innocuous Social Security Administration or the eternally-despised Treasury Department, home to the IRS — prepare to be even more annoyed than in the past.

According to a report released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index http://www.theacsi.org/news-and-resources/customer-satisfaction-reports/reports-2014/acsi-federal-government-report-2014, our satisfaction with the federal government has hit an all-time low (at least since the company began collecting data for this index in 2007). The federal government now scores a 64.4 out of 100 in terms of satisfaction (the average across all industries is 75 out 100). This is the lowest score across the 40 different industries – including industries like airlines, cable companies and others — that the ACSI measures, with the exception of Internet service providers.

“Overall, the services of the federal government continue to deliver a level of customer satisfaction below the private sector,” the report — in which ACSI interviewed 1,772 randomly selected people — concludes.

When asked what they specifically didn’t like about the government, some Americans cited issues with the staff and customer service. Indeed, Americans are more annoyed with the government’s customer service (specifically how courteous, helpful and professional the government staff are) than they were in 2013: customer service rankings for the government plummeted 6% from a year ago — from a score of 80 to a score of 75. While this sounds bad, ACSI Director David VanAmburg says that some of it has to do to with the fact that some agencies have fewer staff members now than in the past, which makes consumers more frustrated when trying to get something accomplished in a timely manner.

Plus, Americans say that the services the government provides aren’t always easy to navigate or delivered in a timely manner – and were worse in 2014 than in years past (scores fell from 70 to 68 out of 100), as was the information provided to them by the government (scores fell from 71 to 69), which they say often lacks clarity and isn’t accessible. The only area that Americans weren’t less pleased with was, perhaps surprisingly, government websites, which while certainly not well-reviewed (72 out of 100) didn’t see a fall in ratings from last year.

While no department within the federal government scores above the national average, some departments are more hated that others — with the Treasury getting the gold star as the most-hated. VanAmburg notes that this isn’t surprising, as its public face is often the IRS, which we don’t have to tell you, isn’t very popular. That’s followed closely by the Veterans Affairs department and the Health and Human Services Department — both of which may score fairly low because there is sometimes some controversy about people’s eligibility for benefits from these organizations, which can anger consumers, he says.

But perhaps more disturbingly, customers may soon be even less satisfied with the government: “While there are exceptions to the general trend of lower customer satisfaction with government services, the challenge of maintaining high-quality service with fewer resources may affect even more services soon,” says VanAmburg says. “For example, the wait time for callers to the IRS is projected to balloon even more than it did a year ago—possibly exceeding 30 minutes.”

MONTAGE: 112 UNKEPT PROMISES FROM EARLIER OBAMA SOTU ADDRESSES

I lie

The media are already analyzing the new proposals President Obama is set to layout this evening in his sixth annual State of the Union address (seventh if you count his unofficial 2009 address). Here at Grabien, we’re also looking at results. Taking a look back at past SOTU promises, How many actually ever materialized?

The numbers aren’t pretty. From 2009 through 2014, we count 112 promises that to date remain unfulfilled.

We should also note that many of these promises are duplicated from one year to another. For example, every year he has pledged to pass comprehensive immigration reform, overhaul corporate taxes, reduce regulations, and close Guantanamo Bay.

The full list is below. Montage above. Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

2009

1. The stimulus bill will create 3.5 million jobs over the next few years, 90 percent of which will be in the private sector.

2. Create program that will enable Americans facing foreclosure to lower their mortgage payments and save their homes.

3. Double the supply of renewable energy within the next three years.

4. The “largest ever” federal spending program on science will yield breakthroughs in energy, medicine, science, and technology.

5. Lay down 1,000s of miles of power lines to connect Americans’ homes to these new sources of energy.

6. Reduce Americans’ energy bills by “billions of dollars.”

7. Cure cancer “in our time.”

8. Use stimulus funds to spend on preventive health care, which will get federal health spending “under control.”

9. Use the savings that result from the stimulus’ reform of health-care to reduce the deficit.

10. Cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.

11. Go “line by line” through the federal budget to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs – saving $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

12. Never raise taxes “a single dime” on any family earning less than $250,000.

13. Stop the growing cost of Medicare and Social Security.

14. Make Social Security sustainable.

15. Create tax-free savings accounts for all Americans.

16. Close the detention center at Guantanamo Bay.

2010

17. Use stimulus funds to build a high-speed railway in Florida.

18. Research funds from the previous year’s stimulus will cure cancer, lead to “the cheapest solar cells.”

19. Building a new generation of nuclear energy plants.

20. Passing a climate-change law that will make clean energy profitable

21. Passing health-reform that lets Americans keep their doctors and their plans.

22. The health-reform law will reduce costs for “millions” of families and businesses

23. The health-reform law will bring down the deficit $1 trillion over the next 20 years.

24. Starting in 2011, government spending “ will be frozen for three years.”

25. Cut programs we don’t need to maintain a balanced budget.

26. Veto spending bills that don’t adhere to balanced budgeting.

27. Go through budget “line by line” to eliminate programs that we can’t afford and don’t work.

28. Create a bipartisan fiscal commission; the recommendations of which he’ll enact.

29. Restore the pay-as-you-go budgeting rules.

30. Create a website that publishes every lawmakers’ earmark requests.

31. Never give up “ trying to change the tone of our politics.”

32. Pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

33. Secure America’s borders.

34. Enforce existing immigration laws

2011

35. More nuclear power, more natural gas, more wind and solar.

36. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.

37. Secure America’s borders.

38. Enforce existing immigration laws.

39. Reduce unemployment by increasing the number of people working on infrastructure projects – ensuring these projects are “fully paid for.”

40. Recruit private sector financing to assist these infrastructure projects.

41. Projects will be prioritized by importance, not by politics.

42. Give 85 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.

43. Within the next three years, enable 98 percent of Americans to receive high-speed wireless Internet.

44. Lower the corporate tax rate and eliminate loopholes.

45. Reduce business regulations restraining growth and investment.

46. Starting this year, freeze domestic spending for the next five years.

47. ObamaCare will slow rising costs of health-insurance premiums.

48. Enact medical malpractice tort reform.

49. Consolidating various federal departments to streamline federal bureaucracy and ensure it’s “more competent and more efficient.”

50. Create website that lists all federal spending.

51. Veto every bill that contains earmarks.

2012

52. Reduce corporate income taxes.

53. Consolidate federal jobs-training programs – creating a single website that makes all information about these programs available in one place.

54. Convert federal unemployment insurance into a system that focuses on finding the unemployed jobs.

55. Enact comprehensive immigration reform.

56. Force all high schools to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18.

57. Open more than 75 percent of off-shore U.S. territory to drilling.

58. Go “all out” on every type of energy.

59. Take “every possible action” to expand natural gas production.

60. Ordering “every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense.”

61. Create “financial crimes unit” to crack down on white-collar crime.

62. Work with Congress to procure power to consolidate federal bureaucracy.

63. “End the notion that political parties must be engaged in a perpetual campaign of mutual destruction.”

2013

64. Reform Medicare and Medicaid to save as much as was proposed by the Simpson-Bowles Commission.

65. “Reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies.”

66. Raises taxes on the wealthiest seniors.

67. Bring down health-care costs by changing the way the federal government pays for Medicare.

68. Eliminate loopholes and deductions for the “well off.”

69. Enact comprehensive tax reform that brings down the deficit and encourages job growth.

70. Cut “red tape and speed up new oil and gas permits.”

71. Create an “energy security trust.”

72. Create a “fix it first” program that will direct the unemployed to the highest priority programs.

73. Make “high quality” preschool available to every child in America.

74. Require that aid to colleges be distributed according to the value they impart upon students.

75. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.

76. Raise the minimum wage to $9/hour.

77. Create a tax incentive for companies to hire the long-term unemployed.

78. Create a program to put people back to work by rebuilding vacant homes in rundown neighborhoods.

79. Enact new tax credits for businesses that hire and invest.

80. Eliminate the marriage penalty for low-income couples.

81. Encourage fatherhood through tax policy adjustments.

82. By the end of 2014, end the war in Afghanistan.

83. Never make promises the government can’t actually keep.

84. Keep the promises already made.

2014

85. Lower corporate income taxes, close loopholes.

86. Use the money saved from corporate tax reform to finance new infrastructure spending.

87. Slash bureaucracy through executive orders.

88. Create an additional six “high tech manufacturing hubs” in 2014.

89. “Do more” to help entrepreneurs and small business owners.

90. Use government research funds to create entirely new industries – like vaccines that adapt to evolving bacteria, and inventing material thinner than paper but stronger than steel.

91. Pass a patent reform bill.

92. Use executive orders to cut red tape to enable factories to be built that are powered by natural gas.

93. Reform taxes so that fossil fuel companies are taxed more and “ fuels of the future” are taxed less.

94. Enact new fuel-efficiency standards for trucks.

95. Pass comprehensive immigration reform.

96. Consolidate federal jobs training programs, helping match people with skills to jobs they can fill.

97. Reform unemployment insurance to encourage Americans to return to the workforce faster.

98. Assemble a coalition to help more kids access pre-K education.

99. Pass the “Equal Pay Act” for women.

100. Raise the minimum wage to $10.10

101. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit

102. Reform the tax code to help lower-class Americans save

103. Give every American access to “an automatic IRA on the job.”

104. Ensure Americans never have to wait more than a half hour to vote.

105. Pass legislation that will prevent mass shooting tragedies.

106. End the Afghan war by the end of 2014.

107. Reform NSA surveillance programs.

108. Close Guantanamo Bay Prison in 2014.

109. End the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

110. Ensuring the Iran will stop installing advanced centrifuges.

111. Be the “first” to call for more sanctions if Iran doesn’t abandon nuclear program.

112. Reform Veterans Affairs so that vets no longer have to deal with backlogs and instead receive the health care that they need.