Friday, May 31, 2013

The Tea Party v. The Obama IRS

My FrontPage Magazine article today:

The Tea Party v. The Obama IRS

By Matthew Vadum

The IRS is being sued by 25 Tea Party groups in federal court over the political witch-hunt the agency has been conducting against conservative and libertarian grassroots organizations since the start of the Obama presidency.

The action comes three weeks after the Internal Revenue Service apologized to Tea Party groups and similar organizations for what it described as overzealous investigations of their requests for tax-exempt status. The White House denies directing the IRS to crack down on the groups.

Apart from Obama shills like Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo and Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, who slavishly lap up whatever propaganda the administration feeds them, not too many informed observers believe the White House. The White House position was undermined significantly when it was revealed that then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman visited the Obama White House a minimum of 157 times. “Even Attorney General Eric Holder, one of Obama’s closest allies, visited only 62 times according to the records,” a Daily Caller report noted.

Crimson Tide: Two Tea Party Candidates Vie for GOP Nod in Alabama’s 1st C.D.?

My piece from PJ Tatler yesterday:

Crimson Tide: Two Tea Party Candidates Vie for GOP Nod in Alabama’s 1st C.D.?

By Matthew Vadum

Two Tea Party-friendly Republicans may soon vie for a safe GOP House seat in Alabama in a contest that could foreshadow 2014 GOP nomination battles.

The vacancy will occur in Alabama’s solidly Republican 1st congressional district in the southwest corner of the state. Since 2003 it has been represented by Rep. Jo Bonner, a moderate Republican. Bonner announced last week he’s leaving Aug. 15 to become the University of Alabama System’s vice chancellor of government relations and economic development.

The two Tea Party contenders are journalist Quin Hillyer (who declared he’s running) and Alabama state representative Chad Fincher (who hasn’t yet decided).

Fincher, a member of the Alabama House Ways and Means Committee, told me in an interview that he will probably make a decision in the coming week.

“I definitely relate to the Tea Party movement,” he said. “I want to have that conservative voice that we desperately need” in Washington. “I want to have someone who pays taxes and has to meet a payroll.”

In addition to his legislative duties, Fincher is a broker/agent at Fincher & Associates Realty Services in Semmes.

Longtime conservative journalist Quin Hillyer announced his candidacy May 23 in a farewell post at the American Spectator website.

“I am a constitutional conservative—and an ‘opportunity society’ conservative as well, hearkening back to the Reagan-Kemp era of prosperity and liberty … Readers of this site know I am a full spectrum conservative. Mostly libertarian on economics, firmly for a strong defense, and for traditional values.”

Social conservative and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum has endorsed Hillyer.

The field for the soon-to-be-open seat may get crowded.

Other possible candidates for the GOP nod include state senators Trip Pittman, Bill Hightower, and Rusty Glover. Former state senator Bradley Byrne, a Republican establishment figure who ran for governor in 2010, could also throw his hat in the ring.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Did Nixon Do?

My article from today's FrontPage Magazine:

What Did Nixon Do?

By Matthew Vadum

Although Richard Nixon left office under a cloud for trying to subvert the democratic process for his own political advantage, Barack Obama’s behavior has been far more serious in its corruption and blatant attempts to manipulate the electoral process by unethical and unconstitutional means.

Nixon, bad as he may have been, has been oversold as a villain. He serves as a convenient bogeyman for left-wing historians and journalists to spew self-serving narratives in which they paint him as a devil and themselves as victims. It would, therefore, do well to review some of the facts of what really transpired in the Nixon presidency and how they stack up against Obama’s unprecedented malfeasance:

First, the much-vaunted “enemies list” that was maintained by Nixon is more the stuff of myth than underhanded politics. In his 1979 book, Blind Ambition, Nixon White House counsel John Dean explained that the list consisted merely of names of individuals not welcome at White House functions. White House chief of staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman singled out about 20 people on the list for IRS audits and other official torments, “but no action had been taken as far as I knew,” Dean wrote.

So what did President Nixon actually do?

IRS Targeting of Conservatives: Indisputably Political

My article from the May 23, 2013 issue of FrontPage Magazine:

IRS Targeting of Conservatives: Indisputably Political

By Matthew Vadum

To order David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin’s The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Futureclick here.

Despite propaganda relentlessly churned out by the mainstream media to justify the Obama IRS crackdown on conservative groups, the fact remains that the American Right is severely outgunned by the much better funded Left. And while highly political left-wing organizations far outpace their conservative counterparts in number and assets, they have never been subjected to the kind of rigorous scrutiny and interference that the IRS has recently inflicted on right-wing groups, making allegations of partisan abuse by the agency difficult to refute.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stands as a case in point of the kind of misinformation being peddled by the Left to shield the Obama administration from the IRS scandal. Toobin writes in the New Yorker that Obama’s IRS didn’t do anything wrong. The Tea Party groups targeted by Obama’s bureaucrats got what was coming to them. Those organizations
were seeking approval to operate under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. This would require them to be “social welfare,” not political, operations. There are significant advantages to being a 501(c)(4). These groups don’t pay taxes; they don’t have to disclose their donors—unlike traditional political organizations, such as political-action committees. In return for the tax advantage and the secrecy, the 501(c)(4) organizations must refrain from traditional partisan political activity, like endorsing candidates.
If that definition sounds murky—that is, if it’s unclear what 501(c)(4) organizations are allowed to do—that’s because it is murky. Particularly leading up to the 2012 elections, many conservative organizations, nominally 501(c)(4)s, were all but explicitly political in their work.
However, as David Horowitz and Jacob Laksin show in their meticulously researched 2012 book, The New Leviathan: How the Left-Wing Money Machine Shapes American Politics and Threatens America’s Future, the greatest exploiters of the “murkiness” of “social welfare” activism are by far left-wing organizations. The collective assets of liberal-progressive grant-making foundations are in fact 10 times the size of the assets of conservative foundations.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Obama Scandals vs. Watergate

My article today in Front Page Magazine:

Obama Scandals vs. Watergate

By Matthew Vadum

How does President Barack Obama compare to Richard Nixon who was nearly impeached in 1974 for corruption and egregious abuses of power?

The short answer? Not well.

Obama’s serial acts of malfeasance have cost hundreds of lives while Nixon’s caused no loss of life. Both attacked their political enemies using taxpayer resources and tried to rig the system to favor their side.

But Nixon, unlike Obama, didn’t come from what bestselling author Michelle Malkin termed a “culture of corruption.” Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to Democrat John F. Kennedy probably because Democrats committed massive vote fraud. In a move some consider noble or patriotic, he refused to put the country through a drawn out fight over the election result. Nixon was not a so-called people person. He was a political outsider who fought hard and bitterly for whatever political victories he achieved. He wasn’t regarded as much of a dirty trickster, at least he wasn’t until he ascended to the presidency.

Obama, on the other hand, might as well have been heir to Chicago crime boss Al Capone. Obama was a community organizer who taught left-wing activists how to blackmail and pressure governments and corporations into doing their bidding. He preached class warfare and hatred against productive members of society. Obama specialized in having his political opponents knocked off the ballot. He unsealed court records to embarrass his adversaries. He launched his career in electoral politics in the 
home of unrepentant Weather Underground terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

When Obama does something noble or on the straight-and-narrow it’s probably a mistake on his part.

Let’s recall the bad things that Richard Milhous Nixon actually did while in the White House:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A President’s Enemies List?

My article from today's Front Page Magazine:

A President’s Enemies List?

By Matthew Vadum

President Obama’s use of the Internal Revenue Service to vex and harass his political opposition is yet more proof that he is far more interested in hunting down his domestic adversaries than Islamic terrorists.

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said revelations the Obama IRS singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny ought to “send a chill” up Americans’ spines.

The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee told Fox News that the tax-collection agency’s recently revealed strong-arming of political organizations “is as dangerous a problem the government can have.”

“This is something that we cannot let stand. It needs to have a full investigation.”

News that President Obama has been playing Chicago-style Saul Alinsky hardball with political activists on the Right provides more fodder to Obama’s critics in Congress — some of whom are now taking a hard look at impeaching the president and removing him from office.

Some commentators draw parallels with President Richard Nixon, noting he came dangerously close to impeachment for unleashing the IRS on his enemies.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?

My article from the May 10, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

What Did Obama Know and When Did He Know It?

By Matthew Vadum

Congressional testimony this week showed the appalling lengths to which the Obama administration went to cover-up its mishandling of last fall’s terrorist attack at the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, but President Obama’s precise role in the cynical operation remains hidden.

Americans still don’t know what President Obama knew and when he knew it. We don’t know what exactly he did when he learned on Sept. 11, 2012 that U.S. officials in Benghazi were under attack. Obama may have gone to bed while the attack was in progress, leaving others in the administration to develop a politically expedient cover story calculated to get the Obama administration past the finish line last Election Day.

Obama’s advisers, with the president’s consent or not, opted to tell lies to get their man reelected, and to deal with the consequences of those untruths later. They knew they could count on the mainstream media to snooze on the job and dismiss the investigation to come as a partisan witch-hunt.

The manufactured storyline emphasized Obama’s increasingly hollow claim that “al-Qaeda is on the path to defeat and Osama bin Laden is dead.” It allowed the president to escape much needed scrutiny about his lame approach to national security and the threat that Islamism poses to the United States.

Although three State Department whistleblowers testified Wednesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the testimony of one witness in particular was especially unfavorable to the Obama administration.

During the hearing, star witness Gregory N. Hicks, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Libya during the attacks, explained to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) that U.S. military personnel were not allowed to come to the aid of U.S. officials in Benghazi, a mere 400 nautical miles away.

“They remained in Tripoli with us,” Hicks said. “The medic went with the nurse to the hospital and his skills to the treatment of and care of our wounded.”

Chaffetz asked how the personnel reacted to being ordered to stand down.

“They were furious,” Hicks answered. “I can only say, well, I will quote [Army] Lieutenant Colonel [Steve] Gibson — he said ‘this is the first time in my career that a diplomat has more balls than somebody in the military.’”

Thursday, May 9, 2013

I'll be on the Andrea Tantaros Show re Benghazi at 10:15 Eastern this morning

I'll be on the Andrea Tantaros Show talking about my article, Obama's Benghazi Propagandist, at 10:15 Eastern this morning.

Obama’s Benghazi Propagandist

My article from the May 8, 2013, issue of Front Page Magazine:

Obama’s Benghazi Propagandist

By Matthew Vadum

A young White House speechwriter may be responsible for concocting the official lies about last September’s deadly terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

The Obama administration’s rapidly unravelling narrative about what happened at the U.S. consulate in Libya’s second-largest city may have been cooked up by creative writer Ben Rhodes, the president’s 30-something Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications and Speechwriting.

The origin of the administration’s desperate election-season fabrications may come up today as a congressional committee hears from three government whistleblowers who are expected to contradict the administration’s version of the events of Sept. 11, 2012.

There is little doubt now that the Obama White House twisted the facts for partisan political advantage.

Stephen F. Hayes of the Weekly Standard reports that the CIA’s talking points about what happened in Benghazi were manipulated by senior Obama administration officials as they “knowingly misled the country” in the days following the attacks.

That fog of misinformation was apparently calculated to deflect blame away from the Obama administration last September and October long enough to get an embattled president with an embarrassing national security record reelected.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Obama's Lifeline to the Boston Bomber

My article from the May 2, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

Obama's Lifeline to the Boston Bomber

By Matthew Vadum

The Obama administration is reportedly negotiating a plea bargain that would spare the life of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and that could allow the FBI to continue interrogating the suspect about other terrorist plots.

NBC News reports that federal prosecutors and Tsarnaev’s lawyers “have begun very early discussions about a possible deal in which he could avoid the death penalty in return for a full accounting to the FBI of what happened and why as investigators continue working to find those answers for themselves.”

Talk of a legal settlement that would allow Tsarnaev to escape execution comes after high-powered attorney Judy Clarke, a death-penalty specialist from San Diego, was added to Tsarnaev’s legal defense team earlier this week. U.S. Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler approved Clarke’s appointment Monday.

Clarke is credited with helping to secure life sentences for clients facing the death penalty such as Jared Loughner, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, and 1996 Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph. Clarke’s fees will reportedly be paid by U.S. taxpayers.

John Kerry: National Security Menace

My article from the April 26, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

John Kerry: National Security Menace

By Matthew Vadum

Secretary of State John Kerry’s credibility has taken a major hit with the revelation that his favorite Middle Eastern dictator has been killing his own people with illegal chemical weapons.

Kerry’s abominable judgment, coupled with his anti-Americanism, has blinded him for a long time to the threat posed by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime. For years Kerry functioned as an unofficial lobbyist for Assad in Washington, D.C., making excuses for him and doing his bidding in Congress.

So it must have pained Kerry yesterday to admit that someone he not-too-long-ago called his “dear friend” used Sarin in at least two known attacks against rebels in Syria’s increasingly blood civil war, according to reports.

The United Nations designates Sarin as a weapon of mass destruction. Its manufacture and stockpiling are prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes Sarin (also known by the military designation GB) as
“a nerve agent that is one of the most toxic of the known chemical warfare agents. It is generally odorless and tasteless. Exposure to sarin can cause death in minutes. A fraction of an ounce (1 to 10 ml) of sarin on the skin can be fatal.”
The pressure will now be on President Obama, who said last summer that if Syria used chemical weapons such an action would be a “game-changer” for the United States.

Russia’s Multiple Warnings About Tamerlan Tsarnaev

My article from the April 25, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

Russia’s Multiple Warnings About Tamerlan Tsarnaev

By Matthew Vadum

Russian authorities warned the Obama administration repeatedly — not merely once — that Boston Marathon bombing mastermind Tamerlan Tsarnaev could be an Islamic terrorist, but those admonitions went unheeded in Washington, D.C.

It’s a depressingly familiar tale of intelligence failures, official lies, politically correct posturing, and bureaucratic bungles coming from an administration that has little interest in protecting Americans from the Islamic terrorist threat, a danger President Obama refuses even to acknowledge.

Time magazine previously reported that Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) warned the U.S. government about Tsarnaev a single time two years ago, after he frequented a radical mosque in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, during a six-month visit to that politically unstable, jihadist-friendly Russian republic. The mosque is reportedly a terrorist hangout.

But the Boston Globe now reports there were several such warnings.

Saudi Connection to Boston Bombing?

My article from the April 23, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

Saudi Connection to Boston Bombing?

By Matthew Vadum

Questions remain about whether there is a Saudi connection to the Boston Marathon bombing last week and if the Obama administration has been interfering in the investigation of the Islamic terrorist attack.

These questions take on greater urgency as Islamic terrorist organizations continue preparing attacks. Canadian authorities yesterday upended an ambitious terrorist plot that could have killed hundreds of Americans and Canadians.

In the spotlight is Saudi visa student Abdul Rahman Ali Alharbi (also spelled al-Harbi) who was injured in the marathon bombing blast and was initially considered a suspect in the deadly terrorist attack that killed three bystanders and hospitalized close to 200 others. There is a prominent Alharbi clan in Saudi Arabia. Many individuals with the surname Alharbi are reportedly active in al-Qaeda.

Glenn Beck’s news website, The Blaze, reported yesterday that Alharbi was placed on the “no-fly” list as a potential terrorist after he was detained by federal authorities last week. A Department of Homeland Security source said the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center (NTC) created an “event” file on Alharbi under section 212 (3b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the part of the federal statute that deals with aliens involved in terrorism. The file is important enough that it has reportedly been read by members of Congress.


My article from the April 19, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:


By Matthew Vadum

Dramatic events are unfolding in Boston. As of 8am EDT, an MIT police officer has been killed by the suspects on Cambridge campus. One Boston Marathon bombing suspect is dead and another is on the run. Reports indicate that the bombers, who turn out to be brothers, are from Chechnya. We will keep you posted as the breaking news comes in.

One Boston Marathon bombing suspect is dead, while the other one is on the run. The search for these terrorists was significantly helped by bombing victim Jeff Bauman, whose legs were traumatically amputated below the knee by the blast. He  looked into the eyes of one of the suspects at the finish line two and a half minutes before the explosion — his brother, Chris Bauman, told reporters. “He woke up under so much drugs, asked for a paper and pen and wrote, ‘bag, saw the guy, looked right at me,” Chris Bauman said. “I’ve had many times alone with him, and yes, he told me every single detail.”

From intensive care, Jeff Bauman gave a physical description to the FBI which enabled investigators to narrow their search as they reviewed hours of surveillance video from around the scene of the explosions Monday.

Investigators determined that one bomb was housed in a pressure cooker concealed in a backpack. The second bomb, also hidden in a backpack, was housed in a metal container but it is not yet clear if the container was a pressure cooker.

Unreleased video footage reportedly shows that the two suspects remained at the scene to watch the explosions.

“When the bombs blow up, when most people are running away and victims were lying on the ground, the two suspects walk away pretty casually,” according to an unnamed federal law enforcement official. “They acted differently than everyone else.”

Boston Blame Game

My article from the April 17, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

Boston Blame Game

By Matthew Vadum

As speculation continues to rage over who bombed the Boston Marathon, the Left has been doing its best to paint its enemies in the Tea Party as the likely perpetrators without any evidence whatsoever.

Some left-wing commentators hedged in their statements, acknowledging that nobody knows for sure who was behind the attack, the first bombing of a U.S. target since 9/11, but those pundits tended to receive little media attention.

Obama senior advisor David Axelrod refused to let this crisis go to waste. He acknowledged there was very little hard evidence at the moment but went on to suggest on TV that the deadly bombing at the marathon’s finish line Monday had something to do with people who are upset about taxes.

“And I’m sure what was going through the president’s mind is — we really don’t know who did this,” Axelrod said. “It was Tax Day.”

MSNBC talking head Chris Matthews blamed those on the Right, stating incorrectly that, “Normally, domestic terrorists, people tend to be on the far right.” Rep. William Keating (D-Mass.) played along on the TV show, also suggesting the bombing could have something to do with Tax Day.

“Now, we have an international event, the marathon, the oldest marathon,” Keating said. “And we also have Tax Day, April 15, so we don’t know if that’s the kind of symbol a domestic terrorist might use as well.”

Selling Out on Guns

From the April 11, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

Selling Out on Guns

By Matthew Vadum

Two senators have brokered a Faustian bargain on gun purchaser background checks that they hope will allow the Democrats’ anti-gun legislation to pass the Senate.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), both of whom have “A” ratings with the National Rifle Association, have assigned the creepy Orwellian name, the “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act,” to their legislation.

The measure, which the sponsors plan to offer as an amendment today to the main anti-gun bill pending in the Senate (Senate bill S.649), would expand background checks for gun purchasers, which critics say would clear the way for a national gun registry in the future. Honest commentators admit collecting more information from more and more gun buyers will have no effect on crime because criminals won’t bother submitting to such checks. Even worse, the data that would constitute a de facto gun registry could be used to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens.

Toomey acknowledged he faces resistance in his own party. For this reason he asked that a key Democratic co-sponsor of the amendment, leftist Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York, skip a Capitol Hill press conference yesterday.

To Hire A Murderer

From the April 4, 2013 issue of Front Page Magazine:

To Hire A Murderer

By Matthew Vadum

Convicted cop killer and Weather Underground terrorist Kathy Boudin is now teaching as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s notorious School of Social Work, the New York Post revealed.

Amazingly, the communist revolutionary had been lecturing at the school for several years unnoticed by the media until now. She serves as director of the school’s “Criminal Justice Initiative.”

There’s no question Boudin has expertise in criminality — after years as a fugitive, she served 22 years in prison for her role in an assault on an armored-car in which two police officers and a Brinks security guard died. She also has longstanding ties to Columbia, having plotted with her Weather Underground comrades in 1970 to plant bombs in Butler Library on the university’s Morningside Heights campus.

After years of lying low, Boudin, now 69 years of age, has been thrust back into the spotlight as grizzled leftist director Robert Redford prepares to release his new movie, The Company You Keep, based on a novel about Weather Underground fugitives. Boudin was also recently named the Rose Sheinberg Scholar-in-Residence by New York University Law School. Last month at NYU she delivered a lecture on “the politics of parole and re-entry.”

Boudin was paroled in 2003 after telling officials that she took part in the $1.6 million robbery because she felt guilty for being white. Security guard Peter Paige and Nyack, N.Y. police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady died in the 1981 attack. Nine children subsequently grew up without their fathers.

The crime that Boudin participated in was a joint action by the Black Liberation Army and May 19th Communist Organization. It was perpetrated to raise money for an insurgency against the U.S. government.

From Their Cold Dead Hands

My Front Page Magazine article from March 29, 2013:

From Their Cold Dead Hands

By Matthew Vadum

Emboldened by the public’s waning enthusiasm for tougher gun control measures, five Republican senators are now vowing to filibuster any of President Obama’s gun-control measures to block their enactment.

The sweet smell of statist defeat is in the air. Tired of being harangued by an authoritarian president, polls suggest Americans have largely returned to their senses after a fleeting flirtation with gun control proposals.

It’s quite a turnaround from the dark days of December when a madman gunned down innocent schoolchildren in New England. Even some conservative lawmakers cowered as the media relentlessly and viciously attacked law abiding Americans for owning guns.

But many people are incensed at Hollywood left-wingers’ constant condescension on gun issues, which has only grown more intense and obnoxious in recent months. Comedian Jim Carrey, a high-school dropout who opposes vaccinating babies, jumped the shark this week when he released an offensive, unfunny video mocking gun owners as stupid, clumsy hicks. Reaction to the Dumb and Dumber star’s video was swift and largely negative.

This all shows that in modern American politics, gun control legislation continues to be a sure political loser at the national level.