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Posts tagged: scandal

Costello: Wolves At Obama’s Door

A week ago, the Washington Post editorial board felt compelled to remind its readers that “the press must have the ability to ask questions.” That editorial was in reaction to two known occasions when the Department of Justice accessed the phone records and emails of journalists who did dare to ask questions. The Post was defending the constitutional right of journalists to conduct investigative journalism, even if it causes discomfort to the most powerful man on Earth. Of course, if the Post and its liberal news media brethren hadn't allowed this right to atrophy over the last five years, then its editors wouldn't have had to remind people that freedom of the press still exists. Press harassment was just one of myriad scandals that have erupted in recent weeks. In the meantime, Barack Obama sandwiched Scandalpalooza with two speeches in which he argued for Americans yielding ever more control of their lives to an all-powerful federal government whose benevolence should not be questioned/Michael Costello, Lewiston Tribune. More here.

Question: How long will the scandals now dogging the Obama administration hinder its effectiveness? Or have the scandals hindered it at all?

Damianos Part Of Senate Probe IRS

As part of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee’s investigation into alleged Internal Revenue Service (IRS) harassment of Tea Party and other conservative organizations, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo has submitted documents and testimony from a Coeur d’Alene-area couple.  Crapo will meet Friday with Phil and Leslie Damiano, of Hayden Lake, who submitted the documents, during a special meeting of the Panhandle Pachyderm Club in Post Falls.  The meeting at Templin’s Red Lion Inn is free and open to the public. The Damianos submitted copies of letters written to their Tea Party Patriots of North Idaho group from the IRS.  The group had applied for 503 (c) (4) status with the IRS on the recommendation of their CPA who stated that the group clearly fit into the description of the status. The letters asked seriously invasive questions about the group, speakers and donors/News Release, U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo's office. More here.

Question: Now is the IRS scandal starting to hit closer to home?

Baucus Pledges Complete IRS Probe

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. left, accompanied by the committee's ranking Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, questions ousted IRS Chief Steve Miller, former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, and J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, on Capitol Hill, in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Top lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee are broadening their probe of the Internal Revenue Service’s practice of targeting conservative groups, asking the agency to turn over an extensive batch of communications detailing who was involved in the program. In a letter sent Monday to acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and ranking member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) sought details on how the agency reviewed applications for wide range of tax exemptions — not just the requests for 501(c)(4) status at the center of the current scandal/Lauren French, Politico. More here.

Question: On its online edition, the Lewiston Tribune asks which of the political scandals now plaguing the Obama administration will haunt it most: 1. IRS targets Tea Partiers, Associated Press phone tapping, fallout from Behghazi attack, or uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act?

SR: Federal Shield Law Needed

The U.S. Justice Department’s spying on the Associated Press was an underhanded act that ought to frighten everyone. Rather than ask the news agency for information about alleged leaks of national security information, the department ignored its own guidelines and went straight to the phone companies with wide-ranging subpoenas. Here’s the specific Justice Department rule in such cases: “Negotiations with the affected member of the news media shall be pursued in all cases in which a subpoena for the telephone toll records of any member of the news media is contemplated where the responsible Assistant Attorney General determines that such negotiations would not pose a substantial threat to the integrity of the investigation in connection with which the records are sought”/Spokesman-Review Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Is a federal shield law needed in this country?

Signe: In The Way

Signe Wilkinson/Philadelphia Inquirer

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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