Barack Obama's deceptiveness, chicanery,
secrecy, obfuscation, and hidden records

Note:  You might want to start at the Barack Obama Index Page, especially if you arrived here by using a search engine.

Barack Obama talks a lot and usually doesn't say anything.  Most of his supporters have given little or no thought to the real meaning of his words, if any.  Very few have asked themselves how Obama will pay for all the wonderful things he promises.


On other pages:

Lies about job creation.

Lies about Obamacare.

Lies about taxes.

Lies about energy production.

Obama's killer drones.

Lies about everything else.

General disingenuousness.

Obama resides on the outskirts of the law.

Obama's birth certificate

Friday night document dumps

The Obama team manipulates the media

Obama faces credible accusations of plagiarism



Secrecy, chicanery, and obfuscation

During his 2008 campaign, didn't Barack Obama promise to conduct the "most transparent administration in history"?

Confirmed:  Susan Rice Unmasking Documents Hidden In Obama Library.  Materials and documents pertaining to the unmasking of Trump officials done by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice have been hidden under lock and key according to a government watchdog.  Judicial Watch claims that the revelation came by way of a letter from the National Security Council (NSC).  In the letter dated May 23rd, the NSC responded to a request for records made nearly two months earlier saying the "documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library.

Stunning Coverup Manuever — Obama NSC Move All Intelligence Unmasking Material To Obama Library To Avoid Sunlight.  A FOIA request from Judicial Watch to the Obama NSC seeking information about the unmasking activities of National Security Advisor Susan Rice and the National Security Council receives a response that all documentation has been moved to the Obama Library.  The reason:  All presidential library material is NOT subject to public scrutiny until FIVE YEARS after the administration ends.

Judicial Watch:  Obama NSC Advisor Susan Rice's Unmasking Material is at Obama Library.  Judicial Watch today [6/19/2017] announced that the National Security Council (NSC) on May 23, 2017, informed it by letter that the materials regarding the unmasking by Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice of "the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team" have been removed to the Obama Library.  The NSC will not fulfill an April 4 Judicial Watch request for records regarding information relating to people "who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities."  The agency also informed Judicial Watch that it would not turn over communications with any Intelligence Community member or agency concerning the alleged Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election; the hacking of DNC computers; or the suspected communications between Russia and Trump campaign/transition officials.

'We've been living a lie!' Twitter has meltdown when it discovers that Sasha Obama's real name is Natasha.  Sasha Obama turned sixteen on Saturday, a day before Twitter was shocked to discover (again) that the former First Daughter's real first name isn't Sasha, but Natasha.

Obama Admin Did Not Publicly Disclose Iran Cyber-Attack During 'Side-Deal' Nuclear Negotiations.  State Department officials determined that Iran hacked their emails and social media accounts during a particularly sensitive week for the nuclear deal in the fall of 2015, according to multiple sources familiar with the details of the cyber attack.  The attack took place within days of the deal overcoming opposition in Congress in late September that year.  That same week, Iranian officials and negotiators for the United States and other world powers were beginning the process of hashing out a series of agreements allowing Tehran to meet previously determined implementation deadlines.  Critics regard these agreements as "secret side deals" and "loopholes" initially disclosed only to Congress.

Trump Is More Transparent Than Obama Ever Was.  President Trump's administration has decided not to invoke executive privilege to keep former FBI Director James Comey from testifying under oath before Congress. [...] Obama used executive privilege to keep the White House out of then-Attorney General Eric Holder and his Justice Department's "Fast & Furious" gun-walking debacle.  Obama's defense was "George W. Bush did it."

Education Official Got Secret Cash Bonuses as Office Lost Billions to Fraud, Corruption.  The senior Obama Education Department official who resigned this month to avoid testifying before Congress got hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonuses despite his well-documented failures, sources inside the agency tell Judicial Watch.  The extra cash was kept off the books, away from the public, and doesn't appear on his official government salary record but Judicial Watch has obtained the figures with yearly breakdowns.  The official, James Runcie, ran the scandal-plagued Federal Student Aid (FSA) office, the government's $1.4 trillion financial aid program.

HUD Watchdog Kept 14 Fraud Reports Hidden From Public.  A government watchdog withheld at least 14 reports that revealed department-wide problems that allow fraud and waste at a cabinet-level agency, The Daily Caller News Foundation's (TheDCNF) Investigative Group has learned.  The reports concern issues plaguing the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including felons illegally living in federally-funded homes, tax fraud and millions of dollars sitting in unused bank accounts for years.  The department's 2017 budget is $48.9 billion and it has 8,375 employees.

Obama lied — and now the truth.  So how much of our money did Obama ship to the terrorist regime in Iran?  We hear $150 billion.  We are not sure.  Could be a dollar less, a dollar more.  We'll never know for sure.  That's because his entire administration operated in the dark.  That's how he governed and that's how he got himself elected, in lies and in stealth, and the news media did the rest.  They covered for him.  They let him get away with murder — and in this case, that is not a cliché, it's fact.

Comey reportedly tried to expose Russia tampering before election.  FBI Director James Comey was reportedly prepared to write an op-ed over the summer about information on Russia's influence in the U.S. presidential election, but Obama administration officials blocked him from writing the piece.  Newsweek, citing two unnamed sources, reported Wednesday [3/29/2017] that Comey pitched the idea in the White House's situation room sometime between June and July.

Former Obama Official Describes Last-Minute Rush to Spy on Trump Team, Conceal Intel Sources.  A former top Obama administration official made a stunning admission during a panel discussion on MSNBC's Morning Joe this week.  Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under Obama, openly admitted that her colleagues had gathered intelligence on the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russia before Donald Trump took office and then tried to hide the sources of that intelligence from the incoming administration.

New Huma Abedin Emails Reveal Additional Instances of Clinton Sending Classified Information through Unsecured Emails, Special Favors for Clinton Donors.  Judicial Watch today [3/29/2017] released 1,184 pages of State Department records, including previously unreleased Hillary Clinton email exchanges, revealing additional instances of Abedin and Hillary Clinton sending classified information through unsecured email accounts and contributors being given special access to the former secretary of state.  The emails, were obtained in response to a court order from a May 5, 2015, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a March 18 FOIA request.

So Obama shut Comey up about the Russians.  [I]t sounds like the Obama team we know — Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.  Most of them in one way or another treated their stewardship over the national interest as subordinate to their Democratic Party's fortunes.  An editorial on Russian meddling?  What could the political gain be in that?  Particularly since at the time, they were all in for a foreign policy of appeasement of Russia and thought Vladimir Putin was in their tree.  Even though Comey already had the whole thing written[,] they told him to beat it.

Report: Obama Admin Blocked FBI Director's Offer To Reveal Russian Meddling.  FBI Director James Comey planned to write an op-ed early last summer making the case that Russia was meddling in the U.S. election, but other top Obama administration officials vetoed the idea.  That's according to a report from Newsweek magazine.  "The White House shut it down," one source told the magazine of Comey's op-ed offer.  "They did their usual — nothing."  The revelation, if accurate, would appear to suggest that the Obama administration did not take Russia's meddling in the presidential campaign as seriously as many Democrats would have liked.

Judicial Watch Sues EPA for Records about Controversial Obama Environmental Justice Grants.  Judicial Watch today [3/27/2017] announced it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seeking copies of grant awards and associated proposals for "environmental justice" grants in 2014 and 2015.  The EPA's controversial "environmental justice" programs provide taxpayer funding for environmental and other left-wing interest groups.  The EPA awards more than $4 billion annually in funding for grants and other assistance agreements.  Shortly after President Trump assumed the presidency, the Trump administration instructed officials at the EPA to freeze its grants and contracts.

Obama Spent Record $36 Million Fighting FOIA Suits.  Former President Obama's administration spent a record-shattering $36.2 million on legal costs beating back Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, according to an analysis from the Associated Press.  Obama, who once hailed his administration as "the most transparent administration in history," fielded a record-breaking influx of 788,769 FOIA requests last year alone and spent $478 million answering those requests.  A whopping $36.2 million was spent fighting to keep federal records from the public eye.

Obama's Final Year:  US Spent $36 Million in Records Lawsuits.  The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new U.S. data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.

Obama administration spent $36million trying to keep government records secret during its final year.  The Obama administration spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs in its last year in office in an attempt to keep government records secret.  For a second consecutive year, the administration set a record for the number of times federal employees said they couldn't find a single page of files that were requested under the Freedom of Information Act.  And it set records for the outright denial of access to files, refusing to quickly consider requests described as especially newsworthy, and forcing people to pay for records.

US spent over $36M on records lawsuits during Obama's final year in office.  The Obama administration in its final year in office spent a record $36.2 million on legal costs defending its refusal to turn over federal records under the Freedom of Information Act, according to an Associated Press analysis of new US data that also showed poor performance in other categories measuring transparency in government.

Experts:  Obama blocked us from vote-fraud data.  Amid vehement objection and ridicule from the left, there are many election experts who agree with the president that widespread vote fraud exists, including illegal-alien voting.  But they think it's unwise to make any estimates of the number of illegal voters, because there is no hard data at the moment.  Yet, that likely will change with access now to records that were kept under wraps by the Obama administration.  J. Christian Adams, who worked in the Justice Department's Voting Rights Section under President George W. Bush and now heads the non-profit Public Interest Law Foundation, emphasized to WND that "data-driven conclusions are the most valid."

Obama's Secret Communications with Mullahs Undermined American Foreign Policy.  The Democrats are trying to make a scandal out of the fact that one or more people associated with the Trump presidential campaign had telephone conversations with one or more representatives of the Russian government prior to Trump's inauguration.  Is there anything wrong with that?  Not as far as we know.  The CIA/NSA leakers have declined to say anything about the content of the conversations, so they must have been benign.  Let's release the tapes and eliminate all doubt, and then let's fire the leakers and, if appropriate, send them to prison.

Obama's last money shower for the UN: some $9.2 billion.  In its last year in office, the Obama Administration showered at least some $9.2 billion on the United Nations and its sprawling array of organizations, according to a document recently posted on the State Department website.  The total is gleaned from a document that summarizes U.S. government spending for international organizations, and is about 20 percent higher than the $7.7 billion figure given out by State for 2010, before the Obama Administration abruptly quit providing any overall tally for its U.N. support.

The Final Obama Scandal.  Less than 24 hours before the official end of the Obama presidency, while White House staffers were pulling pictures off the walls and cleaning out their desks, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) posted without fanfare another installment of the documents captured in Osama bin Laden's compound during the May 2011 raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  The press statement that accompanied the release made an unexpected declaration:  This batch of newly released documents would be the last one.  "Closing the Book on Bin Laden:  Intelligence Community Releases the Final Abbottabad Documents," the statement was headlined.  According to a tally on the ODNI website, this last batch of 49 documents brings the total number released to 571.

CFPB Head Cordray Used Private Device, Didn't Create Records Of Messages.  Richard Cordray, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), used a private device for government communications, and didn't create appropriate records of those messages with the bureau, according to documents obtained exclusively by The Daily Caller.

Obama 'asked UK to cover up failed Trident missile test as US technology was to blame'.  Former President Barack Obama urged David Cameron's government not to publicise the alleged failed Trident missile test launch because flawed US technology was behind the malfunction, according to reports.  Theresa May has been under intense pressure after failing to relay the news to MPs ahead of a crucial Commons vote about the future of the submarine-launched missile system.  She was made aware of the reported failed launch in the days before the vote in July but chose not to reveal the information, sparking accusations of a "cover-up".

Former Iranian Official [and] Pro-Tehran Lobbyist [were] Hosted at Obama White House Dozens of Times.  Two high-level Iranian government backers, including a former Islamic Republic official and another accused of lobbying on Tehran's behalf, were hosted at the Obama White House for more than 30 meetings with top officials at key junctures in the former administration's contested diplomacy with Iran, according to White House visitor logs that provide a window into the former administration's outreach to leading pro-Iran advocates.  Seyed Mousavian, a former Iranian diplomat and head of its national security council, was hosted at the White House at least three times, while Trita Parsi, a pro-Iran advocate long accused of hiding his ties to the Iranian government, met with Obama administration officials some 33 times, according to recently updated visitor logs.

The Editor says...
Recently updated visitor logs, indeed.  In other words, the Obama regime was hiding this information until after Obama's term.  Much like the way Malia Obama went on secret trip to South America (presumably at our expense) and we're just now hearing about it.  (See below.)

Malia Obama went on secret trip to South America.  President Obama's older daughter, Malia, embarked on a secret three-month educational trip through the mountains and jungles of Bolivia and Peru with no special treatment allowed — except for the security detail.  Malia, who deferred her acceptance to Harvard for a year, spent October and November traveling with a group of teens through the Colorado-based Where There Be Dragons organization, which says it offers young minds a chance to "examine current political trends, social movements and environmental conservation efforts" in Peru and Bolivia.  Photos emerged Thursday [1/19/2017] showing the 18-year-old posing for a picture during a jaunt through Bolivia's Cordillera Real mountain region.

Why Did the Bureau of Justice Stop Publishing the Data on Interracial Crime?  Heather Mac Donald is one of the few journalists who gathers good, clear facts in many crime cases.  She has an excellent article at City Journal on the stats for black-on-white crime and their relationship to the Chicago torture video: [...] My questions are:  Why did the Bureau of Justice stop publishing the data on interracial crime?  And, how much of our crime stats are twisted or hidden from the public?

Is The U.S. Government Insolvent?  Sorry, But Its Accountant Can't Tell You.  [Scroll down]  In particular, the report cites the estimated $144 billion spent by the federal government in 2016 on "improper payments," a gain of 5% from 2015.  It goes on to criticize "weaknesses in internal control" over such things as information security — repeated incidents of Chinese and Russian cyberhacking and Hillary Clinton's home-brew email server come to mind — and problems with "tax collection activities."  But by far the most worrisome weakness the GAO cited is the unbridled growth in entitlements, especially Medicare costs, and the overly optimistic assumptions made in the nation's budgets about them.  This failure places our ability to assess the health of our nation's future finances in doubt.

Julian Assange accuses Obama administration of destroying records in Wikileaks livestream.  Julian Assange has accused Barack Obama's departing Democrat administration of destroying records during an online livestream press conference today [1/9/2017].  Mr Assange fielded questions and answers at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been holed up to avoid facing a rape charge in Sweeden, from online followers.  The Wikileaks founder sensationally accused the departing administration of being in the process of destroying its own records NOW.

Federal Judge Orders Homeland Security to Produce "Preservation Requests" for Email Records for Secretary Jeh Johnson, Top DHS Officials.  Judicial Watch announced that a federal court judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to produce this week any "preservation requests" for emails sent to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Chief of Staff Christian Marrone, and General Counsel Stevan Bunnell.  The order from U.S District Court Judge Randolph Moss came in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking agency records in the personal email accounts used by the four top Homeland Security officials (Judicial Watch v U.S. Department of Homeland Security (No. 1:16-cv-00967)).

Obamas to disappear to 'undisclosed location' after inauguration.  President Obama will leave the White House to President-elect Trump on Friday, Jan. 20, and then according to his schedule he and wife Michelle will embark on their final flight aboard a presidential aircraft to an "undisclosed location."

FBI deletes details about hacking effort in document release.  The FBI has released 100 pages of heavily censored documents related to its agreement with an unidentified vendor to hack into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California, shooters, but it did not identify whom it paid to perform the work or how much it cost.

FBI Quietly Releases 300 Pages Of Hillary Clinton Investigation Records.  The FBI quietly released nearly 300 pages of records from its investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server on Sunday night [1/8/2017].  This is the fifth release of Clinton investigation records from the FBI.  The documents deal with the handling of computer hardware collected from Clinton's lawyers for the investigation and also contain emails from FBI officials discussing the classification of Clinton's emails.

The Mysterious FBI Sunday Document Dump #5 and The "Missing" Clinton Seagate Hard Drive.  As many of you are aware the FBI mysteriously dumped 300 pages of investigative material in an unusual Sunday evening document dump.  The timing and content of the FBI release are curious and a few people are attempting to understand what's going on.  It has taken us a full day to look over the #5 release and scour it for information.  There's some rather interesting findings.  What follows below may possibly indicate a motive, and might also outline an internal effort within the FBI to push forward:  a.) action by President Obama on behalf of Hillary Clinton, vis-a-vis a pardon; or, b.) action by the incoming administration to ensure criminal charges.

FBI Dumps 300 Hillary Pages of Documents on Sunday Night.  The FBI published around 300 pages of documents associated with Hillary Clinton's email investigation on Sunday night [1/8/2017] when the most of us enjoyed football, hockey, or the Golden Globes. [...] Back in October, reports surfaced over possible "quid pro quo" between the State Department and FBI over the reclassification of the emails.  An FBI official said that Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy bribed him to change some of the emails.  Kennedy said "in exchange for marking the email unclassified, STATE would reciprocate by allowing the FBI to place more Agents in countries where they are presently forbidden. [...] Kennedy tried to convince the officials "to issue a B9 FOIA exemption on another email that 'caused problems for Kennedy' so that it would 'end up in the basement' 'never to be seen again.'"  Yeah, that email had to do with the Benghazi attacks.

The 'most transparent' president in history issues record number of 'midnight' regulations.  President Obama has issued 145 "midnight" regulations with a cost of more than $21 billion since the election of Donald Trump, the most by a lame-duck president in a generation, a study has found.  The conservative American Action Forum said Thursday [1/5/2017] that Mr. Obama's rules, issued from Nov. 8 through Dec. 31, include 31 "economically significant" regulations with a cost of at least $100 million each.  "The administration has published more than 21 million hours of final federal paperwork requirements since November 8," said Sam Batkins, AAF's director of regulatory policy.  "At the current pace, the Obama administration is going to be the most active 'midnight' (period from Election Day to Inauguration Day) regulator in more than a generation."  The Republican-majority House on Wednesday passed the Midnight Rules Relief Act by a vote of 238-184.  It would amend the Congressional Review Act to allow Congress to repeal any regulations finalized in the last 60 legislative days of an administration under a single disapproval resolution.

Wikileaks offers $20,000 reward to catch Obama admin destroying documents.  "We are issuing a US$20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest or exposure of any Obama admin agent destroying significant records," Wikileaks posted on Twitter.  The offer came on the same night founder Julian Assange appeared on Fox News to once again say Russia was not behind the group obtaining emails of Democratic National Committee staffers and Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

Earnest Dodges on Lack of Public Response to Chinese OPM Hack But Very Public Attack on Russian Election Breaches.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked multiple times on Tuesday [1/3/2017] why the Obama administration did not have the same public reaction to the 2015 Office of Personnel Management hack by China that it is currently having towards Russia for its cyber breaches during the 2016 presidential election.

Obama Publishes $7.4 Billion Worth Of Regulations In One Night.  The Obama administration is busy pushing out last-minute regulations, including releasing $7.4 billion worth of new rules in just one night.  Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the right-leaning American Action Forum (AAF), compiled a list of regulations published Wednesday night [12/28/2016] in the Federal Register.

What's Behind Mysterious 'Disclaimer' on Top of DHS/FBI Big Russia Hacking Report.  Many have noticed that on top of the Joint Report issued on Thursday [12/29/2016] by the FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the Russian hacks, there is a very peculiar thing:  A disclaimer stating that "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) does not provide any warranties of any kind regarding any information contained within."  Some have speculated that the disclaimer is evidence that the federal government won't stand by their findings.  WikiLeaks drew even more attention to this detail by tweeting out a picture of the disclaimer, which was subsequently retweeted more than 7 thousand times.

On Russia hacks, it's jump-to-conclusions vs. wait-and-see.  [Scroll down]  There are, in fact, members of the intelligence committees who do have questions about this.  Yes, many Republicans believe Russian hackers tried to mess with the U.S. presidential campaign in some way, mostly because they believe Russian hackers are always trying to mess with U.S. systems and institutions.  But when it comes to solid information on precisely what was done, and on evidence of motives, many Hill Republicans are mostly in the dark — because the intelligence community has kept them there.

Earnest to press:  Give Obama credit for being 'transparent'.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest expressed annoyance that President Obama doesn't get enough credit for being the "most transparent" president in history.  When asked by CNN's Brian Stelter on Sunday about journalists' complaints that the federal government isn't efficient at answering FOIA requests, Earnest said they've made progress with the requests over the eight years.  Earnest added that there is really "no constituency in American politics for transparency in government beyond journalists."

EPA Employees Not 'Intentionally' Breaking Law By Deleting Official Texts, IG Claims.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials only archived 86 text messages out of 3.1 million agency employees sent and received in 2015, according to a federal watchdog's report made public Wednesday [12/21/2016] by House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Lamar Smith.  The EPA Office of Inspector General (IG) released the report requested by the Texas Republican, which described enormous text message retention problems within the EPA.  One unnamed senior official configured his phone to automatically delete texts after 30 days.

Legal Loophole Lets Feds Delete Tons Of Official Records.  A loophole in federal law allows Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employees and other federal workers get away with deleting millions of official records created using cellphone text messaging, according to government transparency experts.  The Federal Records Act (FRA) and EPA policy allow individual employees who create and receive cell phone text messages to decide whether a particular one constitutes a federal record before deleting or preserving it.  That makes it difficult to say EPA employees violated FRA when they archive only 86 out of 3.1 million text messages as official business documents sent and received in 2015.

Obama Admin Keeping Syrian Refugee Vetting Details Classified, Hiding Potential Flaws.  The Obama administration is keeping details about how it is vetting Syrian refugees for terrorism ties classified, drawing concerns from Congress that the administration is using a flawed screening process that expedites the timeframe needed to fully vet foreign individuals, according to new congressional communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  Rep. Sean Duffy (R., Wis.) is petitioning the Obama administration to publicly disclose the vetting process and explain how officials can ensure in an expedited timeframe that Syrians admitted into the United States do not have ties to terrorism, according to a letter sent by Duffy to the White House.  The Obama administration has repeatedly shortened the timeframe allocated to vet these refugees for terrorism, with checks now taking less than three months despite warnings from security officials who have asked for up to two years to perform the necessary background checks.

Arrogant Department of Energy bureaucrats are stonewalling Trump transition team questions.  Evidently the mandarins at the top of the Department of Energy believe that taxpayers work for them, not vice-versa.  How else to explain the astonishing arrogance of bureaucrats at a federal agency refusing to answer Trump Transition Team questions about their work?  Their hysteria over answering questions has turned to insubordination.

Less Than Transparent:  Journalists Fault Obama.  When President Obama took office, he gave journalists great hope by promising unprecedented transparency.  The reality has proven to be eight years of slippage in nearly every facet of openness.  As the president prepares to leave office, the Society of Professional Journalists have noted the disappointing shortfalls.  Forty journalism and open-government groups sent a letter to White House press secretary Josh Earnest* in September after he called for journalists to give the president credit for improvements in government transparency.  The Society of Professional Journalists and other groups have "repeatedly outlined to the administration various ways in which transparency has gotten worse" including:
  •   Officials' blocking reporters' requests to talk to specific people
  •   Excessive delays in answering interview requests, stretching past reporters' deadlines
  •   Refusing to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who's speaking
  •   Federal agencies' blackballing of reporters who write critically of them
  •   Lack of meaning visual access to the pressmen try an independent press pool

Dept. of Energy Reportedly Refuses to Give Trump Names of Employees Working on Climate Change.  It was reported last week that President-elect Donald Trump's transition team had sent the Department of Energy a list of 74 questions.  In that list, the DOE was asked to provide names of employees who had worked on President Barack Obama's climate change policy.  This action brought up concerns that the incoming POTUS and his administration may be looking to not only dismantle many of the actions Obama has set forth to study and combat climate change, but to also push out federal employees and contractors who had worked on those programs.  Scientists have signed petitions to call on Trump to respect the integrity of science and not rid government agencies of researchers who are in disagreement with Trump's vision.

Pentagon wastes $125 billion; Obama missing in action.  The Pentagon has buried an internal study that exposed $125 billion in administrative waste in its business operations amid fears Congress would use the findings as an excuse to slash the defense budget, according to interviews and confidential memos obtained by The Washington Post.  The report recommended that the bureaucracy be trimmed because it is overstaffed and overfunded.  It describes the infighting at the Pentagon, with everyone shifting the blame to others.  But the missing name in the story is the name of President Obama.  If you read the story, you could conclude that we do not have a president to make the decision to save $125 billion.  It is all the fault of Congress, or the generals or the system or defense secretaries.

Pentagon reportedly buried study exposing $125 billion in waste.  Senior defense officials suppressed a study documenting $125 billion worth of administrative waste at the Pentagon out of fears that Congress would use its findings to cut the defense budget, the Washington Post reported late Monday [12/5/2016].  The report, which was issued in January 2015 by the advisory Defense Business Board, called for a series of reforms that would have saved the department $125 billion over the next five years.  Among its other findings, the report showed that the Defense Department was paying just over 1 million contractors, civilian employees and uniformed personnel to fill back-office jobs.  That number nearly matches the amount of active duty troops — 1.3 million, the lowest since 1940.

Republicans Demand Transparency on Secret Negotiations to Bring 2,400 Refugees Rejected by Australia into U.S..  Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), who chair their respective Senate and House Judiciary Committees, sent a letter on Tuesday to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Secretary of State John Kerry asking them to declassify documents from their behind-closed-doors deal with Australia to admit 2,400 refugees into the United States that were rejected by that country.  This latest letter follows another on this issue sent last month.

Exclusive: Feds Refuse To Divulge Records Of Assaults On Orphaned Immigrant Children In Their Care.  Despite reports of rapes and other sexual assaults, federal officials refuse to divulge any information to the public about the safety of orphaned Central American children in facilities run by third-party contractors, The Daily Caller News Foundation's Investigative Group has learned.  Charges of child abuse and sexual assault have dogged the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) since it admitted in a 2014 Freedom of Information Act response to the Houston Chronicle that there were 101 "significant incident reports" of sexual abuse of unaccompanied children in the contractor facilities.

Chairmen tell Obama to release secret refugee agreement with Australia.  The Obama administration has written a secret deal that could let Australia ship more than 2,400 refugees waiting to enter its borders over to the U.S. instead, including refugees from terrorism-connected countries such as Somalia and Syria, two top Republican congressmen said Tuesday [12/6/2016].  But the details of the agreement have been deemed classified by the administration, shielding Americans from knowledge of what President Obama has agreed to, said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa.  They have seen the agreement and said there's no reason it should be hidden from the public.

Obama administration stiff-arms lawmakers questioning secret refugee deal.  Nearly 2,500 refugees from terrorism hotspots around the world are bound for the U.S. after being rejected by Australia, but not even top lawmakers can get answers about who they are.  In an unprecedented move, the U.S. State Department has classified details on refugees to be resettled in America via a secret deal made with Australia.  The bi-lateral agreement, which Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called a "one-off," involves 2,465 people currently being held in Papua New Guinea and Nauru who will now be transferred onto U.S. soil.

Obama fast-tracks plan to take Muslim migrants rejected by Australia.  Secretary of State John Kerry has secretly negotiated a deal to take illegal aliens from terrorist countries off the hands of Australia, which doesn't want them.  The chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees are demanding the Obama administration provide details of a secret resettlement deal in which the U.S. has agreed to take up to 1,800 mostly Muslim asylum seekers who have been rejected by Australia as illegal aliens.  Congress only learned of the deal through media reports two weeks ago and, according to a letter sent to administration officials by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the deal is not only a matter of grave national security concern, but it could be illegal.  That's because it amounts to an international treaty that Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated without consulting or notifying Congress according to Article II, Section II of the U.S. Constitution, according to the letter, sent by the two lawmakers Nov. 22 to Kerry and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Obama Admin Covering Up Key Iran Deal Details in Final Days.  Senior Obama administration officials in their final days in office are seeking to cover up key details of the Iran nuclear deal from Congress, according to documents and sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about continued efforts by the White House to block formal investigations into secret diplomacy with Tehran that resulted in a $1.7 billion cash payment by the United States.  As leading members of Congress petition the Obama administration for answers about what many describe as a $1.7 billion "ransom" payment to Iran, Obama administration officials are doubling down on their refusal to answer questions about the secret negotiations with Iran that led to this payment.

Obama Admin Covering Up Key Iran Deal Details in Final Days.  Senior Obama administration officials in their final days in office are seeking to cover up key details of the Iran nuclear deal from Congress, according to documents and sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon about continued efforts by the White House to block formal investigations into secret diplomacy with Tehran that resulted in a $1.7 billion cash payment by the United States.  As leading members of Congress petition the Obama administration for answers about what many describe as a $1.7 billion "ransom" payment to Iran, Obama administration officials are doubling down on their refusal to answer questions about the secret negotiations with Iran that led to this payment.

Former State Dept.  Official:  Every Obama Official 'Uses Their Gmail Account'.  A former top Department of State official who worked under Hillary Clinton told her presidential campaign chair every White House staffer and top cabinet official uses a personal email account. [...] Reports have been circulating for years about top Obama administration officials using "secret" email accounts to conduct official business and possibly avoid Freedom of Information Act requests.  A few Obama administration officials have been caught using private email accounts to conduct government business.

Rubio: Obama secretly sharing intel with Castros.  President Obama quietly changed American policy to allow intelligence sharing with the Castro regime last week, a Senate Republican has learned.  The change was made under the auspices of the Treasury Department, which announced that it would loosen rules pertaining to how much merchandise American travelers could bring back from Cuba.  But the new regulation has much broader applications, according to Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, because they change the rules that define which Cuban officials face travel restrictions and other bans on entering into contracts with Americans.

The Imperial President's Toolbox of Terror:  A Dictatorship Waiting to Happen.  Secret courts, secret orders, and secret budgets have become standard operating procedure for presidential administrations in recent years.  A good case in point is Presidential Policy Directive 20, a secret order signed by President Obama as a means of thwarting cyberattacks.  Based on what little information was leaked to the press about the clandestine directive, it appears that the president essentially put the military in charge of warding off a possible cyberattack.  A FOIA request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) seeking more details on the directive was allegedly denied because doing so could cause "exceptionally grave damage to the national security."  However, EPIC believes the order allows for military deployment within the United States, including the ability to shut off communications with the outside world if the military believes it is necessary.

Here's what we know about the 'Cammo Dudes,' the secretive Department of Defense contractors who protect Area 51.  Thrill seekers and paranormal enthusiasts who have attempted to break into Nevada's infamous Area 51 have almost all certainly been thwarted by armed men dressed in camouflage behind the wheel of a white unmarked pick-up truck.  These armed government contractors, dubbed "Cammo Dudes" by Area 51 aficionados because of their military-style workwear, are shrouded in nearly as much secrecy as the 38,400-acre military testing site they protect.  The security guards who patrol the periphery of the Nellis Air Force Base that surrounds Area 51 made a rare appearance in a video that surfaced this week showing two of the officers pull guns on a pair of trespassing dirt bikers.

Air Force's X-37B Space Plane Mystery Mission Wings by 500 Days in Orbit.  The U.S. military launched the robotic X-37B space plane on May 20, 2015, marking the fourth flight for the Air Force program.  A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lofted the spacecraft from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to kick off the OTV-4 mission (short for Orbital Test Vehicle-4).  Exactly what the winged space plane's duties are while it's in orbit continues to remain a tight-lipped affair.  Similarly, how long the vehicle will remain in orbit has not been detailed.

Federal Contractor Tells Local Official to Keep Syria Refugee Plans Secret.  Judicial Watch today [10/7/2016] released 128 pages of documents it obtained from the mayor of Rutland, Vermont, showing a concerted effort by the mayor and a number of private organizations to conceal from the public their plans to resettle 100 Syrian refugees into the small southern Vermont town.  The documents include an April 14, 2016, email from Amila Merdzanovic, executive director of the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, to Mayor Christopher Louras, in which she wrote:  ["]I want to share with you the concern my HQ has about holding a public forum.  If we open it up to anybody and everybody, all sorts of people will come out of woodwork.  Anti-immigrant, anti-anything.  They suggest that the forum be invite only but make it as wide as possible.  Work with faith leaders, United Way, etc...["]  The mayor and resettlement organizations shrouded the plan in such secrecy that not even the town's aldermen were informed of what was taking place behind closed doors.

A Banana Republic, If We Choose to Keep It.  Here's what Americans have learned in the last two weeks alone. [...] [T]he Washington Free Beacon revealed the Obama administration ordered the Pentagon to spend taxpayer funds on finding domestic locations, such as Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Charleston, South Carolina, and Florence, Colorado, that could be used to relocate Guantanamo Bay terrorists.  Congress has sent a letter to the administration demanding to know who authorized the site surveys and participated in them, when they took place, and how the taxpayer funds were spent.  Expecting an answer is probably naïve.  Expecting one before the election is delusional.  And if the status quo prevails, there will be no answer at all.

Obama Admin Hiding Secret Hostage Docs Signed With Iranian Intel Officials.  Key documents relating to the Obama administration's secret negotiations with Iran, including a $1.7 billion cash payment, are being stored at a highly secure site on Capitol Hill, preventing the public and many in Congress from accessing them, according to multiple sources who described the situation to the Washington Free Beacon.  The documents are not technically classified but are being kept in a "secure reading space" where the majority of congressional officials cannot access them.  Those cleared are forced to relinquish their cellular devices and are barred from taking notes, undermining the ability of staffers to brief their lawmakers on the contents, according to the sources.

Secret Homeland Security Dept. report shows it's catching barely HALF of illegal border-crossers — not the 81 percent it claims publicly.  Barely half of people who entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico last year were caught, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Homeland Security that also shows sharp declines in illegal entries.  The report found 54 percent of people who entered illegally between border crossings got caught in the 2015 fiscal year.  That's much lower than the 81 percent success rate that Homeland Security cites publicly on its website using a different counting method.  The 98-page report was completed in May, and Homeland Security has declined to release it.

Obama Admin Secretly Facilitated Iranian Ballistic Missile Program.  The Obama administration misled journalists and lawmakers for more than nine months about a secret agreement to lift international sanctions on a critical funding node of Iran's ballistic missile program, as part of a broader "ransom" package earlier this year that involved Iran freeing several U.S. hostages, according to U.S. officials and congressional sources apprised of the situation.  The administration agreed to immediately lift global restrictions on Iran's Bank Sepah — a bank the Treasury Department described in 2007 as the "linchpin of Iran's missile procurement" — eight years before they were to be lifted under last summer's comprehensive nuclear agreement.  U.S. officials initially described the move as a "goodwill gesture" to Iran.

Obama was so worried about Hillary's health he set up a secret medical check-up for her at Walter Reed .  Hillary declined the offer because she feared the media would find out about her Walter Reed visit and learn the truth about her medical condition — that she is suffering from arrhythmia (an abnormal heart beat), a leaking heart valve, chronic low blood pressure, insufficient blood flow, a tendency to form life-threatening blood clots, and troubling side effects from her medications.

Obama Admin Secretly Scouted U.S. Cities to Move Gitmo Terrorists.  The Obama administration secretly used taxpayer money to fund an official inspection of several U.S. cities as possible locations to move terrorist inmates held at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in violation of federal law, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.  The Obama administration ordered the Pentagon to spend U.S. taxpayer funds for a domestic search of "possible Guantanamo detainee relocation" sites, according to documents obtained by the Free Beacon.  United States law bars the administration from spending taxpayer money on its effort to move Gitmo inmates onto American soil.

Most Transparent Administration Ever Illegally Obstructed FOIA Requests.  [Scroll down]  This is an incredible and blatant abuse of the law.  Agencies often deny material on semi-specious grounds but the wholesale abuse of the FOIA system documented here shows just how ingrained pettiness, lawlessness, and secrecy are in this regime.  There has not been an administration more hostile to freedom of the press, oversight both from Congress, and accountability to the voters than this bunch.  The Obama administration has managed to make Nixon's look open and welcoming.

White House says Obama uses email pseudonym for security.  President Obama's use of a pseudonym when emailing then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on her private email server was a security measure to protect his communications, the White House said Monday [9/26/2017].  "There are some common-sense security measures that are put in place to protect the president's email," said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.  "The fact that it's not easy to predict what the president's email address is, is one of those measures."

The Editor says...
Encryption is what the government uses for security.  Pseudonyms are used by government officials for deception, not security.

Obama used fake name in emailing Clinton.  FBI files released on Friday indicate that President Obama used a pseudonym in at least some of his email exchanges with Hillary Clinton.  The revelation shocked Clinton aide Huma Abedin, who wondered why the emails weren't classified.  In March of 2015, the president told the press that the first he had heard of Clinton's private email server was through press reports.  But Clinton never obtained a State Department email address, using clintonemail.com, which connected to her private server.  How is it possible the president failed to notice that his emails were not going through official channels?  And why would President Obama use a fake name to communicate with his secretary of state?

Obama used pseudonym in emails with Clinton.  President Obama used a pseudonym in emails to Hillary Clinton, documents from the FBI released Friday show.  The FBI released a large batch documents related to its investigation into Clinton's private email server Friday afternoon.  The files include notes from interviews with several top Clinton aides, including longtime adviser Huma Abedin.  The FBI said in its notes from an Abedin interview that the address on a Clinton email chain "is believed to be a pseudonym used by the President."  Abedin said she didn't recognize the name and "expressed her amazement" that Obama used a pseudonym.

Obama used a pseudonym in emails with Clinton, FBI documents reveal.  President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in email communications with Hillary Clinton and others, according to FBI records made public Friday [9/23/2016].  The disclosure came as the FBI released its second batch of documents from its investigation into Clinton's private email server during her tenure as secretary of state.

Judge to State Department:  You have five days to release Hillary's records.  A frustrated federal judge ordered the State Department to begin producing within five days hundreds of documents on whether required or recommended security training, briefings or courses were completed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top aides.  Judge Richard Leon ruled Tuesday [9/20/2016] in favor of The Daily Caller News Foundation by rejecting the State Department's motion to dismiss TheDCNF's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit concerning production of the documents originally sought under the Freedom of Information Act.  But he also denied TheDCNF's request to depose State Department officials.  The State Department has been unable to produce any records confirming that Clinton and her top aides received mandatory annual security briefings about the proper handling of classified materials and the proper methods for conducting secure communications.

Obama Kept Military Out of the Loop on Cash Payments to Iran.  One might think President Barack Obama would have asked his top military officials to weigh in on his administration's decision in January to send $400 million in cash to Iran.  After all, Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and terrorists prefer cash to wire payments because it's so difficult to track.  And its armed forces have both directly and indirectly threatened the U.S. military in the Middle East.  But Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not consult Secretary of Defense Ash Carter or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford.  This news came out of a hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.  In response to a question from Republican Senator Ted Cruz about the cash payment to Iran, Carter made it clear that he had been out of the loop.

State Department convinces udge to delay release of 14,900 new Hillary Clinton emails until after Election Day.  The president of a government transparency group lashed out at the U.S. State Department on Friday after a federal judge ruled that a trove of Hillary Clinton's emails can be released to the public after Election Day.  That means the majority of messages recovered during an FBI investigation into Clinton's classified email scandal won't see the light of day until well after Americans pick a new president, raising the possibility that an 'October surprise' might pop up in December or January.  'This is an absolutely corrupt process the State Department has come up with,' Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told The Wall Street Journal on Friday [9/123/2016], blaming the Obama administration for slow-walking the release.

Documents appear to implicate State Dept. in cover-up on Clinton emails.  The U.S. State Department waited over a year before producing emails stored on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private server despite 17 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  According to documents obtained by Judicial Watch, "in August 2013, State Department officials were aware of 17 FOIA requests relating to requests for Clinton correspondence, including four that 'specifically mention emails or email accounts.'  "Despite the large number of FOIA requests and growing concern among top agency officials, the State Department did not formally request that the former secretary of state produce the emails on the clintonemail.com server until October 2014."

WH: Administration 'Prided Itself' on Transparency, Has Record FOIA Censorship.  White House Spokesman Josh Earnest says the Obama Administration "has prided itself and made transparency in government a genuine priority," as the Associated Press reports 77% of Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests are censored or completely denied.  "This administration has prided itself and made transparency in government a genuine priority and he (President Obama) believes the American people were well served by that, he believes that our government is more effective because of the way that he has made that principal a genuine priority in this administration," Earnest said during a White House press conference on Monday [9/12/2016].

President Obama's Potential Felonies.  The President and AG never seemed concerned about scrubbing references to the racist policies of police departments around the country, or numerous other issues.  And of course when the Justice Dept. allegedly attempted to find out who ordered the deletion of part of a December 2013 press conference briefing video that addressed the Iran nuclear deal, it ran into another "dead end."  While all offices of the Federal Govt. are required to retain all records pertaining to their actions in public office, somehow President Obama's administration, like the Nixon Administration, mysteriously has information disappear.  And when an investigation is conducted, they just run into a dead end.

Josef Goebbels Would Be Proud.  The current 'Ministry of Propaganda' under the Obama administration has taken the art of propaganda to a point that would make Josef Goebbels very proud.  While every administration makes an effort to try to project the message they want to get out, that is certainly nothing new, but the Obama administration has followed the practice of lying and cover up to new levels of deceit and dishonesty.

The Secretive, Underground Obama Administration.  Barack Obama promised that his would be the most transparent administration in history.  Turns out that it is likely the most furtive White House the country has ever seen.  The Obama administration has tried to operate in the dark as much as possible, outside of the light of day and in the shadows of deceit.  One of the first whiffs that this was an administration of secrets was the revelation that Obama's first EPA Director Lisa Jackson used the alias "Richard Windsor" for official government communication.

White House 'determined to conceal its workings': Columbia Journalism Review.  A new study from the Columbia Journalism Review concludes that the Obama administration isn't living up to its vow to be the most transparent White House in history.  The study's author, Susan Milligan, said the relationship between the president and the press is "more distant than it has been in a half-century" and that the White House makes reporters' job "nearly impossible."

Obama's War on Transparency.  On Inauguration Day, 2009, the White House website declared President Obama's administration would become "the most open and transparent in history."  By the end of the next day, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging "a new era" and "an unprecedented level of openness" across the massive federal bureaucracy.  This has become a cosmic joke.  The entirety of the Obama Era is marked by secrecy, obfuscation, and if all else fails, sheer dishonesty.  Even allies in the network news acknowledged on Tuesday it was a damaging story that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had never used a public e-mail account during her four-year tenure at Foggy Bottom.  What is it about these elites that they believe rules just don't pertain to them?

Judge blasts State Dept for slow-walking Hillary emails.  A federal judge blasted the Obama administration for slow-walking the release of some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails, saying in court Monday that the government appears to be withholding information from voters ahead of the election.  U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the State Department in not "being all that cooperative," and told the Justice Department lawyers to get the State Department to shape up and do its duty.  "Get with the program, so to speak, so that the people of this country can have the information they need," he ordered.  "The State Department needs to start cooperating to the fullest extent possible.  They are not perceived to be doing that."

Obama blocks release of DHS Report:  DHS captures 50, not 80 percent of illegals.  On September 15, 2016, Malia Zimmerman and William Lajeunesse of Fox News reported that the Obama Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is refusing to release a report on the number of illegal aliens who cross the southern border.  DHS claims that it catches 80% of those who cross illegally, but the report supposedly says DHS captures only 50%.  Moreover, DHS refuses to release this report because Obama has blocked release.

New State Department Documents Reveal Top Agency Officials Raised Questions about Clinton Emails in Early August 2013.  Judicial Watch today [9/15/2016] released 113 pages of new State Department documents, revealing that in early August 2013, top State Department officials raised questions about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails and the number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking information about them.  According to the newly obtained emails, in August 2013, State Department officials were aware of 17 FOIA requests relating to requests for Clinton correspondence, including four that "specifically mention Emails or Email accounts."  Despite the large number of FOIA requests and growing concern among top agency officials, the State Department did not formally request that the former secretary of state produce the emails on the clintonemail.com server until October 2014.

DHS accused of sitting on border report as immigration issue drives presidential race.  Federal lawmakers seeking to pinpoint the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border ordered up a report from the Department of Homeland Security, but the agency refuses to release it and instead cites a misleading statistic that overstates the number who are nabbed, sources told Fox News.  DHS denied it is holding back the report, but sources say it was completed in November and that it shows roughly half of adults who attempt to cross the border make it — approximately 250,000 in total.

DHS Just Buried An Immigration Report Because It Would Help Trump Get Elected.  The Department of Human Services is refusing to release an immigration study that could potentially help Donald Trump get elected.  DailyCaller.com reported:  According to Fox News, the study was commissioned in 2015 by members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, "seeking to pinpoint the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border."  DHS claims that the study is still ongoing, yet sources close to the situation tell Fox News that it was actually completed in November 2015 and yielded results that would hurt the current administration's immigration agenda.

Congress Suspects Obama Admin Delivered Billions in Cash to Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.  New admissions by the Obama administration that American officials physically handed some $1.7 billion in cash to the Iranian government are fueling a congressional investigation into still-hidden details surrounding the deal, according to congressional sources and previously unreported-on letters seen by the Washington Free Beacon.  Lawmakers now suspect the Obama administration may have dealt with members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and officials from its intelligence ministry when carrying out the cash exchange, which coincided with the release by Iran of several U.S. hostages.

Obama's Iranian Cash Laundromat.  The U.S. has strict federal Anti-Money Laundering laws, requiring "banks and certain other financial institutions, which tend to have extra-territorial effect, through requirements for US banks to control their relationships with correspondent and shell banks to prevent money laundering."  Nonetheless, the Administration publicly suggested allowing Iran "access to U.S. dollars through offshore clearinghouses."  Was this a new arrangement or the first the public heard about such an arrangement?  What we already know is enough to cause major concerns.  But will we ever find out how much money was Iran given?  Probably not.

Feds Spend Millions Fighting FOIA Lawsuits, GAO Finds.  Federal agencies spend millions of tax dollars opposing Americans' successful lawsuits seeking public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but can't say exactly how much, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  Department of Justice (DOJ) officials responsible for tracking agencies' FOIA compliance don't know how much agencies spent fighting 112 cases from 2009 to 2014 in which the plaintiff "substantially" prevailed, according to GAO. Of the 57 lawsuits agencies could track, agencies spent $1.8 million.  But that's just a drop in the bucket compared to the $144 million agencies estimated they spent fighting 3,350 FOIA lawsuits from 2009 to 2014, according to GAO.

Feds Spend Millions Fighting FOIA Lawsuits, GAO Finds.  Federal agencies spend millions of tax dollars opposing Americans' successful lawsuits seeking public records under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but can't say exactly how much, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.  Department of Justice (DOJ) officials responsible for tracking agencies' FOIA compliance don't know how much agencies spent fighting 112 cases from 2009 to 2014 in which the plaintiff "substantially" prevailed, according to GAO.  Of the 57 lawsuits agencies could track, agencies spent $1.8 million.  But that's just a drop in the bucket compared to the $144 million agencies estimated they spent fighting 3,350 FOIA lawsuits from 2009 to 2014, according to GAO.

Earnest Chides Media for Questioning White House Transparency... They Laugh in His Face.  Give Obama some credit, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told the media on Wednesday [8/31/2016] in an editorial for The New York Times.  Earnest, who has the thankless job of trying to defend the president's agenda, lectured journalists for their negative press regarding the White House's lack of transparency.  That's not fair, Earnest wrote, arguing that the president practices an open doors policy for reporters. [...] It's a short op-ed by the New York Times standard, because Earnest has little evidence to back up his claims.

Josh Earnest Pens Letter to NYT: We're Still 'Most Transparent White House in History'.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest wrote a letter to the editors of The New York Times Wednesday [8/31/2016] to defend the Obama administration's record on transparency, still agreeing with President Barack Obama's famous pronouncement that his was "the most transparent administration" in history.  Earnest took exception to a piece from Times media critic Jim Rutenberg that took a shot at the administration.  "Right now, every signal from Mrs. Clinton is that should she win, her administration would continue the tradition of being still more secretive than the one before it," Rutenberg wrote.  "The Obama White House has achieved just that with its abysmal record on fulfilling Freedom of Information Act requests and its record of prosecuting whistle-blowers who have shared national security information with the press."  Naturally, Earnest disagreed with that assessment.

Why Is Obama Stonewalling on Details of the $1.7 Billion in Iransom Payoffs?  "Confidentiality"?  Yes, that's the State Department's story on why the Obama administration is stonewalling the American people regarding the president's illegal and increasingly suspicious Iransom payoff.  The administration refuses to divulge any further information about the $1.7 billion the president acknowledges paying the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism.

Clinton's full State Dept. schedule won't be released until after Election Day.  Seven months after a federal judge ordered the State Department to begin releasing monthly batches of the detailed daily schedules showing meetings by Hillary Clinton during her time as secretary of state, the government told The Associated Press it won't finish the job before Election Day.

State Dept. will 'respect the privacy' of foreign governments on Iran payment.  State Department officials can't release more information on payments made to Iran this year because they have to respect the privacy of foreign governments, a spokeswoman said Wednesday [8/24/2016].  "We do make a practice of not commenting publicly on transactions, including settlement payments, due to the confidential nature of those payments and to respect the privacy of our international partners," State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters.

Clinton State Department Stonewalled AP for Three Years.  Today's blockbuster report from the Associated Press about Hillary Clinton's meetings with Clinton Foundation donors during her time as Secretary of State contained the following nugget:  "The AP sought Clinton's calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records."  Three years ago.  The long wait was in keeping with a practice of slow-walking such requests for information.

Obama Admin Won't Tell Congress How It Paid Iran $1.3 Billion in Taxpayer Funds.  The Obama administration is withholding from Congress details about how $1.3 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds was delivered to Iran, according to conversations with lawmakers, who told the Washington Free Beacon that the administration is now stonewalling an official inquiry into the matter.  The Departments of State, Treasury, and Justice have all rebuffed a congressional probe into the circumstances surrounding the $1.3 billion payment to Iran, which is part of an additional $400 million cash payout that occurred just prior to the release of several U.S. hostages and led to accusations that the administration had paid Iran a ransom.

Tom Fitton:  State Department Stonewalling Release of 15K Newly Discovered Hillary Clinton Emails.  The FBI announced on Monday [8/22/2016] that it has discovered fifteen thousand previously undisclosed Clinton emails — a stash nearly half the size of the work-related emails Clinton actually turned over to the State Department.  If Clinton was trying to keep this material hidden until after the election, it appears she might have succeeded.

Obama to Hand Off Control of the Internet On October 1st.  Lawrence E. Strickling, an NTIA (National Telecommunications & Information) administrator wrote that without any "significant impediment", the transition will occur October 1.  Let's look at this rationally and clear-headed.  This transition relates to DNS servers which are essentially the Internet's directory of IP addresses to call upon.  The handling of the directory of IP addresses is no longer going to happen under American authority and instead be handled by "foreign authorities"?  Who exactly are these "foreign authorities" — and why does no one know?  Boy, this sounds like a good idea!  For an administration touted on transparency and change, things are looking a little bit veiled right now.

State Dept. sued over deleted Iran video.  The State Department is being sued for records related to the selective editing of video from a 2013 press briefing, in which a spokeswoman seemed to admitted at officials might not have always told the truth about negotiations with Iran over nuclear proliferation.  Judicial Watch sued the department Thursday [8/18/2016] in pursuit of its Freedom of Information Act request for documentation of the circumstances surrounding the manipulation of the video.  State Department officials initially blamed the missing footage on a "glitch" before acknowledging that someone within the agency had directed a technician to scrub the unflattering exchange from the press archives.  However, officials have said they can't yet determine who ordered the editing.

Exclusive: Feds Hide $25 Million In Payments To Lawyers Suing Under Environmental Laws.  Groups concealed by the government have raked in $25 million in legal fees from federal agencies through lawsuits under three environmental laws since 2009, a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis found.  The Department of Treasury's Judgment Fund database tracks how much federal agencies have paid out for lawsuits and court settlements, but doesn't track the names of the individuals or groups that are actually suing the government.

Report: State Dept.  Insists on Reviewing Clinton Email Docs Before FBI Gives Them to Congress.  A new report on Monday afternoon [8/15/2016] indicates the FBI is preparing to provide members of Congress with not only Hillary Clinton's interview notes, but also copies of the classified emails at the center of the probe.  The same report also indicates Congress will be provided with a summary of all of the evidence reviewed during the course of the probe and the summaries of interviews conducted with Clinton's top aides.

Feds debate releasing Clinton's FBI interview.  The Obama administration is urgently debating how to respond to congressional demands for the official report on Hillary Clinton's three-and-a-half-hour interview at FBI headquarters, as some inside and outside government raise concerns about giving lawmakers access to politically sensitive records of the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email system.  During congressional testimony last month, FBI Director James Comey promised to respond promptly to lawmakers' requests for the interview summaries known as "302s" for Clinton and other witnesses, as well as other information gathered in the course of the year-long FBI probe.

Obama admin blocked FBI probe of Clinton Foundation corruption:  Report.  The Trump campaign seized on reports Thursday that the Obama administration rejected requests from three FBI field offices that wanted to open public corruption cases involving the Clinton Foundation and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.  After banks alerted the field offices to suspicious activity involving the Clinton family charity, the FBI wanted to investigate conflicts of interest stemming from foreign donations during Mrs. Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, CNN reported.

State Dept. shuts down questions on Clinton Foundation emails.  A State Department spokeswoman said Wednesday that the agency does not believe Hillary Clinton violated any ethics requirements by interacting with Clinton Foundation donors.  "We feel confident that all the rules were followed," Elizabeth Trudeau, State Department spokeswoman, said amid a backlash over previously undisclosed emails that showed the special access foundation donors enjoyed in the early months of Clinton's tenure at the agency.

Spokesman erupts in laughter after claiming State Dept. is transparent.  A top State Department spokesman on Thursday [8/4/2016] boasted that his department is open and transparent, but could hardly finish the sentence before erupting in laughter.  "Welcome to the State Department," spokesman Mark Toner said.  "I think we have some interns in the back.  Welcome.  Good to see you in this exercise in transparency and democracy."  Toner then burst out laughing at his own comments as reporters in the room laughed with him.

Obama IRS Waited Years to Tell the Truth.  Following up on some mega disclosures last week, this week we released 105 pages of newly obtained FBI "302" documents revealing that, beginning in 2010 and lasting through the Obama reelection campaign in 2012, the IRS orchestrated a deliberate policy of burying conservative groups' tax exemption applications in bureaucratic delays.  Interviews with numerous Cincinnati IRS employees in mid-2013 reveal that "Tea Party" group applications were automatically denied approval and assigned to a special "Group 7822" for an extended "inventory" process while waiting for decisions from IRS headquarters in Washington, DC.  One IRS manager "asked why progressive cases were not segregated similar to the Tea Party cases, but she did not get any satisfactory answers."

State Dept.  Opposes Media's Attempt to Get Taped Depositions in Clinton Email Case.  The United States Department of State is opposing the media's attempt to gain access to taped depositions taken of Hillary Clinton's aides.  The depositions were taken as part of a FOIA lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.  The group is trying to figure out if FOIA laws were circumvented by Clinton's use of a private email server.  Judicial Watch has recently deposed Cheryl Mills, who served as Clinton's chief of staff, Bryan Pagliano, who is believed to have set up Clinton's private server, and Huma Abedin, as well as others.

Agency Admits It Destroyed Records After Six-Year FOIA Stonewall.  Department of Labor (DOL) officials likely violated federal law when they said they had records requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), then six years later said they didn't and deleted an email account that proved otherwise, Americans for Limited Government (ALG) said in a FOIA appeal Tuesday [7/26/2016].  "At best, this is a case of mismanagement," ALG President Nathan Mehrens told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  "At worst, well, use your imagination.  Are they hiding something and trying to run out the clock in order to avoid sunlight into their operations?"

Obama Admin Kept Lawmakers in Dark About Secret Iran Side Deals.  The Obama administration hid from Congress key information about a secret deal with Iran permitting it to maintain critical aspects of its nuclear program, according to a leading member of Congress, who exclusively told the Washington Free Beacon that these disclosures invalidate the entirety of last summer's nuclear agreement with Iran.  The revelation of the secret deal is being described by congressional insiders as further proof the Obama administration misled lawmakers and the American public about the terms of last summer's nuclear agreement, which was framed by top U.S. officials as the only way to stop Iran's march toward a nuclear weapon.  There "will be hell to pay" as a result of the disclosure, according to one senior congressional source apprised of the situation.

FBI to start handing over deleted Clinton emails to State on Friday.  FBI officials will hand over the first of "tens of thousands" of deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's private server on Friday to the State Department, government lawyers told a court Monday [7/18/2016].  Judge Emmet Sullivan of U.S. District Court questioned State Department attorneys on why the agency would not receive the documents until several weeks after the Clinton email investigation had been closed.  "I don't understand the need for all this time," Sullivan said during a hearing Monday on whether Clinton should submit for a deposition in a Freedom of Information Act case.

The Editor says...
The State Department wants to stall until Friday so it will become a Friday Document Dump and avoid scrutiny in the press.

Report: FBI Agents Privately Believe Lynch, Clinton Struck 'An Inside Deal'.  According to The New York Post, FBI agents who worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation are privately upset with the decision not to charge her and are quietly alleging that Attorney General Loretta Lynch must have struck a deal with her husband Bill Clinton during their private meeting.  The Post cites anonymous sources in the FBI who claim that agents investigating Clinton were subject to higher-than-usual scrutiny.  Agents had to sign "Case Briefing Acknowledgment" forms, non-disclosure agreements keeping them from speaking to anyone about the case unless called to testify.  As a result, agents cannot go public with their opinions of the case, whether they agree with the final result or not.

FBI Agents Sure That Hillary Got An Inside Deal.  The suspicious nature of the final days of Hillary Clinton's FBI investigation shocked the American people, but some FBI agents were equally perplexed.  First, there was the too-perfectly-time meeting between Bill Clinton and Loretta Lynch on an airport tarmac that happened "by chance".  Now, agents are reporting that those working on the actual investigation were forced to sign unusual new clearance from to keep them from speaking publicly about what went on behind closed doors.

FBI Agents believe Lynch-Clinton tarmac meeting reflects "inside deal".  The FBI agents who worked on the Hillary Clinton email probe had to sign an NDA to force them not to talk about the investigation.  There might be a reason for it:  "FBI agents believe there was an inside deal put in place after the Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton tarmac meeting," said one source.  Oh, really?  Current and former agents do not know if the FBI has used the "Case Briefing Acknowledgment" before.

Report: FBI Agents Working Clinton Email Case Signed NDA.  FBI agents involved with the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring them from discussing the case with anyone else unless called to testify.  Agents who spoke with the New York Post said they had never heard of the "Case Briefing Acknowledgement" form before working on the Clinton email probe.  Signing the form prevented personnel from speaking about the investigation publicly.  "This is very, very unusual.  I've never signed one, never circulated one to others," a retired FBI chief said.  FBI sources close to the case also were reportedly disappointed with Director James Comey's decision not to recommend that Clinton be charged for a crime, according to the New York Post.

'Gag' order:  FBI confirms special secrecy agreements for agents in Clinton email probe.  The FBI has confirmed to a senior Republican senator that agents were sworn to secrecy — and subject to lie detector tests — in the Hillary Clinton email probe, an extensive measure one former agent said could have a "chilling effect."  A July 1 letter sent by a senior deputy to FBI Director James Comey to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, detailed the restrictions on agents.  The letter, reviewed by Fox News, confirmed agents signed a "Case Briefing Acknowledgement" which says the disclosure of information is "strictly prohibited" without prior approval, and those who sign are subject to lie detector tests.

Hillary Clinton and personal honesty.  The FBI investigation had a bizarre ending to it.  FBI recommendations are never made public as this one was.  Attorney General Loretta Lynch had been compromised by her politically disastrous but legally consequential meeting out of the view of the media with Bill Clinton just one week before Comey's announcement.  Whatever they discussed, the overwhelming public impression was such that Lynch removed herself and her senior aides from the case, effectively leaving the FBI to have the final say.  This is unheard of in the post-Hoover FBI.  The Comey announcement itself gave two reasons for recommending against indictment.  One was that "no reasonable prosecutor" would take the case.  That is not a judgment the FBI gets paid to make.  The FBI's job is to gather, present and evaluate facts and evidence, not predict what prosecutors might do with it.  The other stated reason for recommending against indictment was that though Clinton may have been "extremely careless" in handling state secrets, she was not "grossly negligent," which is the standard required by the espionage statute.

FBI confirms:  Hillary probe agents required to sign extraordinary NDAs.  The FBI did demand a separate non-disclosure agreement from agents assigned to the Hillary Clinton e-mail probe, Fox News' Catherine Herridge reported this morning.  Agents had to agree not to discuss the case outside of the investigation, and were told that polygraph tests could well be involved to make sure the cone of silence remained in effect.  The Senate Judiciary Committee got word two weeks ago of the unusual arrangements, including an apparent bar on speaking to members of Congress — which chair Sen.  Charles Grassley (R-IA) complained was a violation of whistleblower protections.

State Department Blocks Release Of Hillary Clinton-Era TPP Emails Until After The Election.  Trade is a hot issue in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign.  But correspondence from Hillary Clinton and her top State Department aides about a controversial 12-nation trade deal will not be available for public review — at least not until after the election.  The Obama administration abruptly blocked the release of Clinton's State Department correspondence about the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), after first saying it expected to produce the emails this spring.

Comey and the Will to Power.  Just how was this so-called "investigation" into Hillary's private server and her missing and deleted emails conducted?  Did anyone at the FBI or the DOJ really care that she sent all manner of national security information via unsecured servers or was it a pseudoinvestigation? [...] One possible scenario:  there never was an investigation at all.  From the outset, the administration, the DOJ and the FBI knew it was a can of worms that must not be opened.  So they simulated an investigation when there was none.  For months we have been hearing that there were 150 agents working on it.  But Comey said there were "fifteen or twenty."  None have come forward as yet.  None have resigned in protest of clearing a guilty target as some of the "leaks" suggested they would.  Was the inquiry a sham for public consumption?  Possibly.  We learned Thursday [7/7/2016] that Hillary was not put under oath for her "interview" with the FBI last Saturday.  Comey did not attend that interview and there is no recording nor is there a transcript.

State Dept. refuses to say whether Clinton, aides still have security clearance.  Hours after FBI Director James Comey blasted Hillary Clinton and her aides for their "extremely careless" handling of classified information, the State Department rejected Comey's conclusion that the agency had a "lax culture" surrounding the treatment of sensitive material.  "We don't share the assessment that as an institution ... that the State Department has in the past or does today take lightly the issue of sensitive and classified information," agency spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday [7/5/2016].

Iran deal:  Why is Team Obama trying so hard to hide information from you?  The Obama administration continues to drag its feet by refusing to release important information about the deal with Iran — information the American public wants and deserves.  My organization, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the U.S. Department of State last month to get to the bottom of why the State Department deleted press briefing video footage that appeared to confirm that the Obama administration lied about its dealings with Iran.  You can imagine what happened.  Nothing.  Predictably, there's only been silence from the State Department — no response to our FOIA requests.

Irony:
Obama signs Freedom of Information Act update.  President Obama issued new orders to make the federal government more responsive to the Freedom of Information Act after signing the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 on Thursday [6/30/2016].  The law created a new council comprising agencies' chief FOIA officers.  Obama scheduled its first meeting for July 22 and is asking the new body to "identify and address the biggest difficulties that exist in administering FOIA across government."  He also asked the committee to establish a policy by which agencies will automatically post online FOIA request responses so that everyone can access the information.

Obama signs bill to speed up Freedom of Information process.  President Barack Obama signed a bill Thursday [6/30/2016] aimed at speeding up the government's response time to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.  With his own administration often criticized for failing to respond to FOIA requests quickly or fully, the president said the reform law will make it "easier, faster and cheaper" for citizens to obtain government information under the 50-year-old law.

Obama Admin Hiding Info On $1.7B 'Ransom Payment' to Iran From Congress.  The Obama administration is withholding from congressional leaders documents and information related to a $1.7 billion U.S. taxpayer funded payout to Iran earlier this year, furthering accusations the cash was part of a "ransom payment" to free U.S. hostages from Iranian custody, according to communications obtained by the Washington Free Beacon and conversations with lawmakers.  The controversy over this payment — which arose from the settlement of a longstanding legal dispute with Iran — has deepened in recent weeks after Iranian officials disclosed that nearly all of the U.S. money had been spent to strengthen Iran's military.  Congressional efforts to compel the Obama administration to come clean about the payment have yet to yield results, prompting a separate effort to determine whether the White House overpaid Iran and is now withholding information that would prove this claim, according to documents obtained by the Free Beacon.

Obama Administration Wants to Keep Clinton Foundation Emails Hidden Until Late 2018.  The Obama Administration is already infamous for slow-walking information requests, causing investigations to drag out for years, and then complaining loudly about how long the investigations are taking!  But they've really outdone themselves this time.  The Justice Department has filed a motion in court, on behalf of the State Department, seeking to keep a vast trove of correspondence between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aides, and the notorious Clinton Foundation, hidden from voters' eyes for 27 months... in other words, until October 2018, about halfway through President Hillary Clinton's prospective first term.

Obama Admin Tells Florida Agencies To Deny Public Records Requests On Orlando Attack.  While Attorney General Loretta Lynch holds firm to her claim that the motive of Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen may never be known, the FBI is instructing Florida agencies that responded to the attack that night to deny requests for public records pertaining to the case.  Mateen called police several times during the three hour ordeal to declare his allegiance to ISIS, yet only a fraction of his discussions with authorities that night have been released to the public — first an edited version, than an unedited one.  In response to a lawsuit by local media seeking the release of the 911 audio, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office released a letter they got from the FBI instructing them to deny all requests for information and refer news outlets seeking information to the feds, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

FBI asks agencies who responded to Pulse to deny records requests.  The FBI has asked law enforcement agencies who responded to Pulse nightclub to withhold records from the public, according to officials.  A June 20 letter from the FBI, attached to the City or Orlando's lawsuit over withholding 911 calls and other records from 25 media outlets including the Orlando Sentinel, was also sent to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office with instructions pertaining to how they should respond to records requests.  The letter requests that agencies deny inquiries and directs departments to "immediately notify the FBI of any requests your agency received" so "the FBI can seek to prevent disclosure through appropriate channels, as necessary."

State Department Won't Release Clinton Foundation Emails for 27 Months.  Department of Justice officials filed a motion in federal court late Wednesday [6/29/2016] seeking a 27-month delay in producing correspondence between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's four top aides and officials with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a closely allied public relations firm that Bill Clinton helped launch.  If the court permits the delay, the public won't be able to read the communications until October 2018, about 22 months into her prospective first term as President.  The four senior Clinton aides involved were Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Fuchs, Ambassador-At-Large Melanne Verveer, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin.

State Department seeks 27-month delay for release of Clinton Foundation emails.  The State Department has sought to delay the court-ordered release of emails between four of Hillary Clinton's top aides and officials at the Clinton Foundation and a closely associated public relations firm.  The motion, filed in federal court by the Justice Department late Wednesday, seeks to put off the release of the emails by 27 months.  It was first reported on by The Daily Caller.  In the filing, the State Department says it originally estimated that approximately 6,000 emails and other documents were exchanged between the aides — identified as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Michael Fuchs, former Ambassador-At-Large Melanne Verveer, Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, and Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin — and the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a communications shop that former President Bill Clinton helped launch.

Lawsuit Aims to Get to the Bottom of State Department's 'Shameful Cover-Up' of Press Briefing.  The State Department may have hoped a furor over a censored press briefing video was over, but now it faces a federal lawsuit brought by a group determined to get to the bottom of what it calls a "shameful cover-up" relating to the Iran nuclear deal.  The American Center for Law and Justice on Tuesday filed a lawsuit, demanding that the State Department release all records that will show who was responsible for asking a technician to delete a portion of the official video clip of a Dec. 2013 departmental daily briefing.  "We demand the right to know who was involved in that cover-up," said ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow.  "Today, we are taking the Obama administration to court so the American people can unearth the truth behind President Obama's Iranian deal."

Clinton staff removed donor meetings from State Dept. schedules.  Hillary Clinton scrubbed at least 75 meetings with campaign and Clinton Foundation donors from the official calendars she kept as secretary of state, raising further questions about the extent to which she disclosed her political interactions.  The Associated Press, which obtained Clinton's State Department schedules through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit dating back to last year, discovered dozens of instances in which Clinton's staff listed dinners with donors and gatherings with corporate executives only as "private meetings" in the calendars.

Gowdy, White House in talks over classifying Benghazi report.  Rep.  Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Thursday [6/23/2016] that one of the final hurdles to releasing a final report from the House Select Committee on Benghazi is an ongoing negotiation with the Obama administration over how much of the report should be classified.  Gowdy participated in the Senate Republican lunch Thursday, and a senator at the lunch said Gowdy noted the issue of classification, raising the prospect that some information in the final report may not become public.

Tortured tale of govt. spending your money rather than agreeing to answer questions on Obamacare.  In 2013, when the government repeatedly provided false, misleading and incomplete information regarding Obamacare.gov, I filed a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to obtain the facts.  Under the law, I should have received the material within about 20 days.  It was relevant to news stories I was investigating at the time for CBS News.  Like many federal agencies, Health and Human Services (HHS) simply broke FOI law.  My FOI request went unheeded.  Eventually, though the news value of the withheld material had long since subsided, I filed a lawsuit to obtain the documents.  Most people can't afford to challenge the government's illegal responses to FOI.  It takes time and money.  The FOI experts at Judicial Watch filed the lawsuit against HHS on my behalf.  Instead of ordering HHS to promptly comply with FOI law, the Justice Department provided attorney to defend HHS in court (at taxpayer expense).

Immigration boss who barred feds from terror suspect up for award, but agency won't say why.  A U.S. immigration official blamed in a federal report for barring law enforcement agents from a suspect in the San Bernardino terror attack has been nominated for a prestigious agency award — but her bosses in Washington refuse to say what she did to earn consideration.  Irene Martin heads the San Bernardino U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office, where last December, she allegedly blocked five armed Department of Homeland Security agents from the man authorities say supplied the firepower in the deadly attack a day earlier.  Although an Inspector General's report found she acted improperly, and then lied to investigators, FoxNews.com has learned she has been nominated for the Secretary's Award for Valor.

Feds Obstruct Media Probe By Blocking Interviews With Key Officials.  An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) public relations official is blocking interviews sought by The Daily Caller News Foundation with employees believed to have vital information about the federal government's $1 billion Superfund program.  Agency spokeswoman Mollie Lemon acknowledged a May 16 DCNF request to interview an EPA contracting official, but the interview never happened, despite repeated requests during the ensuing four-week email exchange.  Lemon stopped acknowledging the requests two days after the original DCNF email, thus effectively denying it by default.

As FBI reverses itself on Orlando shooting transcript, government censorship is more pervasive.  The public owns information collected by the federal government, with few exceptions.  Under Freedom of Information law, as well as a directive issued by President Obama when he was first elected, federal agencies are to err on the side of disclosure and only withhold in limited instances when there are extremely compelling reasons to do so as delineated by law.  Unfortunately, multiple studies and investigations indicate misuse of this discretion is becoming more widespread.  "Sensitivity of victims" has been a more frequently-cited justification for withholding publicly-owned information in recent years. [...] Families of victims told me that government officials sometimes seemed bent on protecting the interests of the accused illegal immigrants or officials whose policies had allowed the crimes, rather than the interests of the victims and the American public.  They said this often involved officials withholding public information about the suspects and their immigration status, even after their conviction.

In 2009, Obama Promised Never To Hide 'Uncomfortable' Info From American People.  In a May 2009 speech on national security, President Obama promised never to withhold information from the American people just because it was "uncomfortable" or "embarrassing" to the government.  Whenever he had to withhold information to protect the American people, Obama promised at the time, there would be judicial or congressional "oversight" of his actions.  "I ran for president promising transparency, and I meant what I said.  And that's why, whenever possible, my administration will make all information available to the American people so that they can make informed judgments and hold us accountable," Obama said.

"National Security Strategy based on Obfuscation, Denial, and Lies".  It never ceases to amaze me how those who have a blanket of armed protection provided to them seek to tell others how to defend themselves.  It is well known that the FBI has nearly 1000 Islamic terrorist investigations ongoing in the United States.  And we know that the Islamic State has taken credit for the actions of Omar Mateen, for which he pledged his allegiance to ISIS and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.  So the seminal question is this, if Mateen had gone on a rampage through the Pulse club with a sword, knife, machete, or hammers, where would the discussion be one week later?  Would the progressive socialist left and their complicit media accomplices be articulating knife control?  Or would we be wasting time in our U.S. Congress over insidious legislation that will have no effect on Islamic jihadist activities in America, western civilization?

New Homeland Security Records Reveal Top Officials Were Exempted from Strict Ban Placed on Web-Based Personal Email Accounts Despite Heightened Security Concerns.  Judicial Watch today [6/16/2016] announced it obtained 693 pages of Department of Homeland Security records revealing that Secretary Jeh Johnson and 28 other agency officials used government computers to access personal web-based email accounts despite an agency-wide ban due to heightened security concerns.  The documents also reveal that Homeland Security officials misled Rep.  Scott Perry (R-PA) when Perry specifically asked whether personal accounts were being used for official government business.

Obama, Biden meet victims of massacre in Orlando.  A somber President Barack Obama met privately Thursday with wounded victims and families of the 49 people slain in the Pulse nightclub massacre, telling them, "our hearts are broken, too." [...] Spectators were not allowed to attend the president's remarks at the Dr.  Phillips Center, but crowds collected in parking lots across South Street, hoping to catch a glimpse of the president or snap a picture.

Dalai Lama reveals picture of meeting with Obama which White House held behind closed doors to avoid offending Chinese.  President Barack Obama hosted the Dalai Lama at the White House today behind closed doors — a now familiar ritual that takes place off-camera and out of the public eye to avoid irking China.  Since coming to office, Obama has hosted the Dalai Lama three previous times.  On each occasion, Obama has tried to limit the fallout by keeping the meeting private.  But today, after the Tibetan leader had departed, he posted to Instagram a photo of himself and Obama in a warm embrace.  Alongside the post was a caption crediting the official White House photographer for taking the photo.

The IRS Deleted 422 Backup Tapes With Lerner Emails.  The IRS "accidentally" erased 422 backup tapes that investigators believe contained emails to and from IRS official Lois Lerner, according to the Associated Press.  The tapes contained as many as 24,000 Lois Lerner emails.  The tapes were erased eight months after Congressional investigators requested all emails to and from Lois Lerner and a month after the IRS informed Congress they were missing some of Lois Lerner's emails.

Congress pushes Obama to keep transparency promise.  Congress has passed a new bipartisan Freedom of Information law that finally codifies the presumption that all government materials should be available to the public unless there are good, specific reasons why they shouldn't.  President Obama encouraged federal agencies to adopt this presumption when he arrived in office in 2009.  But putting the principle into law has been tricky, in no small part because Obama's practice has been nearly the opposite of his promise.

DOJ asks to keep secret Clinton aide's immunity deal.  Lawyers for the Justice Department are fighting the disclosure of an immunity deal the government reached with Bryan Pagliano, a former technology adviser to Hillary Clinton.  The DOJ lawyers submitted a motion to U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan on Friday [6/10/2016], arguing that such a disclosure could hurt the FBI probe into Clinton's private email server.  The filing argues that the judge can use his "inherent discretion" to keep under wraps the immunity agreement, if the court demands to view it as part of a Freedom of Information Act suit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative group.

Kerry may blow off House testimony on video edits.  The State Department hinted on Tuesday [6/7/2016] that Secretary of State John Kerry may skip an invitation to testify before Congress about how a 2013 press briefing video was edited to remove a key discussion about the Iran nuclear agreement.  On Monday [6/6/2016], House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked that Kerry testify about the incident, which the State Department called a "glitch" for three weeks before finally admitting it was an intentional edit.

State Department will release these Clinton emails after everyone who sent them is dead.  It will take about 75 years to fully compile and release the emails sent by Hillary Clinton and three of her top aides during her tenure in the Obama administration, the State Department said this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filing requesting the records.  "Given the Department's current FOIA workload and the complexity of these documents, it can process about 500 pages a month," the agency calculated, bringing the final deadline to somewhere around 2091. Following the predictable uproar over such a lengthy timeline, which would be completed years after the death of everyone involved, State spokesman Mark Toner defended the estimate Tuesday [6/7/2016] by arguing that it is not "outlandish" because of the "enormous amount of FOIA requests" that are "very complex."

State Dept.  Reopens Investigation Into Deliberately Edited Video on Iran Talks.  Facing mounting pressure from members of Congress and from inquiring journalists, the State Department said today [6/8/2016] it has reopened its investigation into who ordered the video edit of a State Department briefing from December 2013.  Last week when the State Department admitted the video had been deliberately edited (after having originally stated it was a technical glitch) a spokesman said the investigation was over and ultimately could not determine who was responsible.  But today [6/8/2016] State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that decision was overturned by Secretary John Kerry.  "The secretary said he wants to dive deeper into this, look more into what happened, and try to get to the bottom of what happened," Toner told reporters at the State Department briefing today.

Kerry orders State to redo investigation into video edit.  Secretary of State John Kerry has ordered the State Department to re-examine how a video of a 2013 press briefing came to be edited to remove a sensitive discussion about the Iran nuclear agreement.  Last week, spokesmen for the department said it hit a "dead end" in its investigation, which failed to determine who ordered the video to be edited.  But on Wednesday, spokesman Mark Toner said Kerry insisted that officials try again.  "Given the secretary's strong interest, given Congress' strong interest and given the media's strong interest, we've decided to continue to look at that," he said.  Kerry had called the entire episode "stupid" and "clumsy."

IRS computer hack was worse than agency admitted.  The IRS's computer hack was worse than previously admitted, and the tax agency failed to alert thousands of people that their information was stolen, and didn't give credit monitoring assistance to nearly 80,000 others who were targeted, an inspector general said Wednesday [6/8/2016].  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration says nearly 1 million accounts were potentially targeted, and nearly 360,000 people actually had their accounts broken into.  That's far more than the 220,000 hacks the tax agency initially acknowledged.

Amtrak redaction
Amtrak's lounge car complaints are the ██████ of the ██████.  Last June, MuckRock user Conor Skelding requested all complaints Amtrak received regarding its lounge cars over the past two years.  Last week, after nine months of processing, the responsive docs finally came in, and boy, those must have been a busy nine months. [...] But the real star here is the amazing redactions — who'd a thunk it, but Amtrak's has black highlighter game that'd make the CIA jealous.




"If you engage in an unethical practice, if you cover up a serious problem, you should be fired.  Period.  It shouldn't be that difficult."

Barack H. Obama,    
August 7, 2014      


State Dept.  Claims It Would Take 75 Years to Compile Clinton Emails.  The State Department claims it would take 75 years to compile the 450,000 pages of emails between Hillary Clinton and her top aides, meaning it will be able to satisfy two Freedom of Information Act lawsuits from the Republican National Committee no later than 2091. [...] This should conclusively refute the State Department Inspector General's accusation that the department constantly provides slow, inaccurate, and incomplete responses to FOIA requests — delays that always seem to have the magical result of producing vital information after the November elections.

Hillary is running, but she is also hiding.  [Scroll down]  Presisent [sic] Obama's officials originally promised to produce these documents by April this year.  But not very surprisingly, it has suddenly decided to keep them under wraps until late November, 489 days after the newspaper's request and a couple of weeks after the general election. [...] The electoral coincidence of a November release date is manifestly unacceptable.  It is calculatedly convenient for Clinton, a candidate whose public life is a 30-year litany of deceit and subterfuge.

White House Can't Explain Omission of Damaging Line About Iran Deal Deceit From Transcript.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest could not explain Tuesday the omission of a potentially damaging line about the Iran nuclear deal from the official transcript of a White House press briefing last month, refusing to revisit the matter and rejecting the notion that there was any wrongdoing.  Fox News correspondent Kevin Corke asked Earnest on May 9 if he could "state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal."  Earnest responded, "No, Kevin," followed by a brief, awkward silence before discussing the merits of the nuclear agreement.  The words "No, Kevin" never made it into the official White House transcript, however.  The transcript immediately goes from Corke's question into Earnest's talking points about the Iran deal.  ABC News first reported this story and noted the White House's official response is that the line was omitted because it was inaudible.

White House Lies About Scrubbing Press Briefing Transcript.  "Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?"  That question to White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by Fox News reporter Kevin Corke during the White House Press Briefing on May 9, 2016.  "No Kevin," Earnest replied, followed by about five seconds of silence.

Congressman: Obama Withholding Info About 86,000 Criminal Illegal Aliens.  The Obama administration is withholding from Congress and the American people detailed information about more than 86,000 illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes and continue to walk the streets in the United States, according to conversations with a member of Congress, who disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that "if the public knew about this there would be total absolute outrage" over the matter.

Censored State Department Briefing:  VP Biden Also Pledged Transparency.  As it fends off criticism over the censoring of a briefing video, the State Department is justifying a former spokeswoman's Feb. 2013 denial that U.S. and Iranian officials had held talks by saying "she had no knowledge at that date that we were conducting bilateral talks with Iran."  But days before former spokeswoman Victoria Nuland made that denial, Vice President Joe Biden is on the record as saying that were such talks to be held with the Iranians, "we would not make it a secret."  Speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Feb. 2, 2013, Biden said the administration's position remained that "we would be prepared to meet bilaterally with the Iranian leadership."

Obama adviser lashes out at Fox News amid questions over deleted footage.  Top Obama press adviser Jen Psaki lashed out at Fox News on Thursday after being pressed for clarification over her statements on press briefing footage that the State Department admitted had been deliberately deleted from a public archive.  The department acknowledged Wednesday that several minutes of video from the 2013 briefing — at which then-State Department spokeswoman Psaki appeared to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal — had been intentionally cut.  The order apparently came from an official in the public affairs office, but that individual has not been identified.

Putting the media 'under the gun'.  Just last week, [...] it was revealed that the U.S. State Department had intentionally edited out a question and answer from the online archive of a press conference from 2013.  Fox News reporter James Rosen had asked State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether her predecessor had lied when she told Rosen there had been no "direct secret bilateral talks" between the United States and Iran.  Psaki didn't confirm that anyone from the State Department had lied, but she noted in classic doublespeak that "there are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress."  So what did the "most transparent administration in history" do about it when they realized the Q&A session was "politically inconvenient" if not incorrect?  Why, easy!  They sent it down George Orwell's "memory hole," the final resting place in "Nineteen Eighty Four" for all such "inconvenient" facts.  The video was edited, and the exchange magically disappeared due to what the State Department first called a "glitch" and last week confirmed was instead political manipulation by some unnamed bureaucrat who ordered another unnamed bureaucrat to "excise the video."

Scrubbing Words is Nothing New for Team Obama.  [Scroll down]  Team Obama did this so recently that when I first read about the Psaki deletion, I thought we might already have written about it.  Just two months ago, during a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House, French president Francois Hollande used the term "Islamist terrorism" when referring to the recent Islamic State terrorist attacks in Europe.  As Scott noted here, someone at White House deleted this language from the official White House video.  As it initially did with the Psaki deletion, the White House official claimed there had been a "technical issue" that "led to a brief drop in the audio."  However, he could not explain why the alleged technical problem occurred at the precise moment that the words "Islamist terror" were spoken or how the glitch managed to correct itself in time for Hollande's next words.

Team Obama's feckless efforts to censor history.  The mystery of the missing video's been solved — except the State Department won't name the perp.  It all began when Fox News' James Rosen recently searched online for video of his 2013 question to a State Department official about whether the Obama administration had lied about secret talks with Iran.  State's Web site had video of the briefing — but his exchange with spokeswoman Jen Psaki was nowhere to be found.  In fact, it had been cut from the tape.  It was a significant moment — because Psaki's answer essentially admitted that Team Obama had indeed lied to the American people.

White House Secretly Squashed IRS Resistance to ObamaCare's Illegal Subsidies.  The New York Times reports on a secret meeting from 2014, exposed thanks to sworn testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee, at which a vanload of IRS officials were told to stifle their complaints about billions of dollars in flagrantly illegal ObamaCare funding. [...] The Times makes a fitful attempt to spin this as a "Republicans pounce" story, stressing that we're only learning about Fisher's testimony because Ways and Means Democrats "feared Republicans would release selected excerpts" as part of a "witch hunt," which would in turn be part of a "crusade to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which has been twice upheld by the Supreme Court."

Outrage Rising Over State Department's Wiping of Official Video Showing Obama Administration Lie About Iran Deal.  The US State Department is facing a wave of angry criticism after a spokesman confirmed that someone inside the department made a "deliberate request" for the scrubbing of part of an official video showing the Obama administration misled journalists on the Iran deal.  State Department spokesman John Kirby admitted to reporters on Wednesday [6/1/2016] that the missing footage of a December 2013 press briefing "wasn't a technical glitch."  During the 2013 briefing, then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed to Fox News reporter James Rosen that earlier claims of direct, secret talks between the US and Iran — which were denied in February 2013 by then-spokesperson Victoria Nuland — were indeed true.  "There are times where diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress.  This is a good example of that," Psaki said regarding the discrepancy.  Fox News discovered earlier this month that the exchange had been edited out of official State Department archive footage — including eight minutes of comments and further questions on the Iran deal.  Officials suggested a "glitch" had occurred.

White House accused of selective editing on Iran.  A new report contradicts White House press secretary Josh Earnest's Thursday statement that officials in the Obama administration would not have altered video footage or transcripts of press briefings regarding the Iran nuclear deal without consulting him first.  ABC News discovered late Friday the White House omitted a line from a May 9 press briefing that had included a response from Earnest in which he admitted the administration might have misled the public on the controversial Iran nuclear deal.  Fox News reporter Kevin Corke has asked Earnest, "Can you state categorically that no senior official in this administration has ever lied publicly about any aspect of the Iran nuclear deal?"  "No, Kevin," Earnest responded.

Obama adviser lashes out at Fox News amid questions over deleted footage.  Top Obama press adviser Jen Psaki lashed out at Fox News on Thursday [6/2/2016] after being pressed for clarification over her statements on press briefing footage that the State Department admitted had been deliberately deleted from a public archive.  The department acknowledged Wednesday that several minutes of video from the 2013 briefing — at which then-State Department spokeswoman Psaki appeared to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal — had been intentionally cut.  The order apparently came from an official in the public affairs office, but that individual has not been identified.

Congressman: Obama Admin Withholding Info About 86,000 Criminal Illegal Immigrants.  The Obama administration is withholding from Congress and the American people detailed information about more than 86,000 illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes and continue to walk the streets in the United States, according to conversations with a member of Congress, who disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon that "if the public knew about this there would be total absolute outrage" over the matter.  Rep.  Brian Babin (R., Texas) told the Free Beacon that the administration is trying to suppress information about the release of some 86,000 criminal illegal immigrants who have committed 231,000 crimes in just the past two and a half years.

HHS replies to GOP subpoena with one blacked-out page.  Department of Health and Human Services officials have only released "one heavily redacted page of one document" in response to congressional subpoenas about the funding of a disputed Obamacare program, and HHS staff has refused to communicate with congressional investigators, House Republicans charged Tuesday [5/31/2016].  "The pattern of conduct to this point suggests that the department intends to frustrate our legitimate efforts to conduct oversight of the Basic Health Program," House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, wrote to HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

State Dept. admits intentionally altering video of Iran press conference.  The State Department admitted Wednesday that a 2013 press briefing video was purposefully altered to remove a portion of a discussion about the Iran nuclear talks, after an unknown State Department official asked that it be edited out.  Spokesman John Kirby's announcement contradicted the position held by the department for the last three weeks, during which officials said the video was missing because of a "glitch."  But Kirby said officials didn't know who asked for the video to be edited, and said the department is unlikely to investigate further into who wanted the video to be edited.

Timeline: The State Department's Iran video tampering scandal.  The State Department is facing heavy scrutiny after acknowledging that it selectively edited video of a 2013 press briefing about the Iran nuclear talks.  Here's a timeline of events: [...]

President Obama's new problem — Flacks, lies and videotape.  The Obama administration suddenly has a credibility problem, and not just with Congress or the press, but with its own senior-level officials.  The State Department was forced to admit on Wednesday [6/1/2016] that it altered a press briefing video to hide an exchange in which a spokeswoman seemed to indicate officials lied about when the Iran nuclear talks began.  And late Friday [6/3/2016], a report came out that a White House transcript was altered, in another discussion about Iran.  That transcript omitted a comment from Josh Earnest in which he said "No, Kevin" when asked if he could categorically state that no one ever lied about the Iran deal.

State Department admits briefing footage on Iran deal [was] intentionally deleted.  The State Department, in a stunning admission, acknowledged Wednesday [6/1/2016] that an official intentionally deleted several minutes of video footage from a 2013 press briefing, where a top spokeswoman seemed to acknowledge misleading the press over the Iran nuclear deal.  "There was a deliberate request [to delete the footage] — this wasn't a technical glitch," State Department spokesman John Kirby said Wednesday, in admitting that an unidentified official had a video editor "excise" the segment.  The State Department had faced questions earlier this year over the block of missing tape from a December 2013 briefing.  At that briefing, then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki was asked by Fox News' James Rosen about an earlier claim that no direct, secret talks were underway between the U.S. and Iran — when, in fact, they were.

Dana Perino Blasts State Department:  Explanation of Editing 'Well Short of Acceptable'.  Former Bush White House Press Secretary Dana Perino got heated on Fox's The Five Wednesday over the State Department acknowledging they deleted footage from a 2013 press briefing.  The State Department admitted on Wednesday [6/1/2016] that several minutes from a 2013 press briefing regarding administration deception over the Iran nuclear deal was purposefully deleted.  The deleted footage involved an exchange between Fox News reporter James Rosen and then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki.  Perino provided two reasons as to why the State Department's explanation for the mishandling of the situation falls short.  "I think that their explanation falls well short of acceptable, because, one, it is a violation of the Federal Records Act.  It has to be," Perino said.  "That's yet another Federal Records Act violation the State Department is dealing with right now.

Former State Dept Spox Offers Suspiciously Specific Denial About Video Edit.  Former State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki spoke out Wednesday after an investigation revealed that one of the press briefing videos was edited to remove a politically damaging exchange under her tenure.  "I had no knowledge of nor would I have approved of any form of editing or cutting my briefing transcript on any subject while [at the State Department]," she tweeted out.  Fair enough.  But Psaki, who now handles communications for the White House, has never been accused of editing the State Department's briefing transcript.  No one has.

State Dept:  There Was 'Deliberate Request' to Delete Video of Rosen's Iran Questions.  The State Department admitted today that a "deliberate" request was made to delete a portion of a 2013 press briefing video in which Fox News correspondent James Rosen asked about secret negotiations between the Obama administration and Iran.  "There was a deliberate request, this was not a glitch," said State Department spokesman John Kirby, adding that it is not known who made the edit request on that day.  "It was not the right step to take," said Kirby.

Kerry vows to get to bottom of State Dept.-doctored video on Iran nuke deal.  Secretary of State John F. Kerry says he wants to find out "exactly what happened" with regard to the doctoring of a 2013 State Department news briefing video about the Iran nuclear deal — and that whoever altered the video was "stupid and clumsy and inappropriate."  Mr. Kerry's remarks came as two influential Republican lawmakers sought an explanation Friday [6/3/2016] for why the video record of the briefing by the department's then-spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki was deliberately altered to delete her suggestion that officials had misled the public about when the controversial Iran nuclear negotiations had begun.

House Speaker Demands Investigation Into Obama Admin's Iran Deception.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) is calling for an immediate investigation into recent disclosures that the Obama administration censored public video of a State Department briefing about secret discussions with Iran, according to comments provided to the Washington Free Beacon.  Ryan, a vocal critic of the administration's diplomacy with Iran, accused the White House of misleading Congress and the American people about the nature of last summer's comprehensive nuclear agreement.  The disclosure on Wednesday [6/1/2016] that an unnamed State Department official ordered portions of a December 2013 press briefing about secret negotiations with Iran to be cut reinforces the need for full investigation into the administration's deceptions surrounding the deal, Ryan said.

This Is Not The America My Parents Immigrated To In 1957.  Obama is pushing for several international trade deals (TTIP, TPP, and/or TISA). Only a handful of people know the full scope of these deals.  Most legislators working on these deals are only allowed to see small parts of the deal.  What we do know is that these deals will transfer national sovereignty to an international corporate dictatorship.  We, the people, aren't allowed to see any of the details — until after it is passed.  Does this sound like a representative democracy, or dictatorship?

The Obama Navy as Farce.  [Scroll down]  It's not clear how the Iranians treated the U.S. sailors, but we know a few key facts.  The Iranians seized Navy computers aboard the boats and copied their contents.  The sailors were interrogated individually — constantly — and paraded before Iranian television crews.  In footage broadcast internationally, they were apparently compelled to admit that they were in the wrong for entering Iranian waters — though the evidence showed they had not — and to apologize for doing so.  But every American soldier, sailor, airman and Marine is trained to refuse to aid the enemy in that manner.  It's a violation of their duty to do so.  So were they abused?  Tortured?  Threatened with immediate execution?  We don't know because the Obama administration has classified everything about how the sailors were treated.

Benghazi Committee Finally Questions Drone Pilots the Pentagon Said Were 'Unnecessary' Witnesses.  The Obama administration hasn't exactly been the most cooperative when it comes to the efforts of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.  Case in point:  Chairman Trey Gowdy asked the Pentagon back in February if his panel could interview two relevant drone pilots about the fateful night of September 11, 2012.  It wasn't until this past week, three months after his inquiry, that the department complied.  What was the holdup?  In a letter to the committee, the Pentagon expressed confusion as to why Gowdy and the other panelists needed to interview the pilots, since they already had access to video from the Benghazi raid.  The interviews were "unnecessary," the Pentagon concluded.

Has the IRS Been Illegally Deleting Records?  The Cause of Action Institute (CoA) filed a legal complaint against the Internal Revenue Service for illegally destroying records Tuesday [5/24/2016], at the same time that IRS commissioner John Koskinen approaches an impeachment trial before Congress.  In the complaint, CoA alleges that the IRS and Koskinen refused to "capture and preserve" employees' electronic communication dealing with official business, as the law requires.

The FBI Wants To Keep The National Biometric Database A Secret.  In early May the U.S. Department of Justice released a proposal which would exempt the FBI's biometric database from public disclosure. [...] Although the database does contain biometric data on convicted criminals, it also contains information on individuals who were only suspected or temporarily detained under the suspicion of a crime.  The system also features data from people fingerprinted for jobs, licenses, military or volunteer service, background checks, security clearances, and other government processes.  Essentially the FBI is arguing that it will prevent individuals from knowing if their information is in the massive database if the release of information would "compromise" a law enforcement investigation.

X-37B Plane In Space For A Year Now, Nobody Knows Its Mission.  At the time the plane took off, some scientists expressed grave concern.  A senior scientist at the Global Security Program, and also a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Laura Grego reportedly told Space.com that there was "no compelling reason" why experiments should be carried aboard a top-secret craft.  Currently, it is believed the unmanned plane has spent the past year orbiting around Earth.  The American government has, however, failed to give any tangible reason behind the deployment of X-37B to space, except saying it is for an experiment.  As to the actual nature of the experiment, that still remains a mystery.

EPA Conducts Two Secret Meetings A Year To Decide How To Dole Out Billions In Slush Fund Money.  Congress appropriates about $1 billion annually for EPA's Superfund program, and the agency has accumulated nearly $6.8 billion in more than 1,300 slush fund-like accounts since 1990.  Two committees consisting entirely of EPA officials meet behind closed doors twice annually to decide how the agency spends those funds on highly polluted — and often dangerous — Superfund sites.  All reports to and from the groups, as well as the minutes of their meetings and all other details, are kept behind closed doors.

Obama discovers the separation of powers.  Barack Obama has never shown much of an appreciation for the separation of powers.  At an event in Argentina, in March, the president said he found it "very frustrating ... that power is distributed across a lot of different institutions."  But suddenly he's invoking the separation of powers to stop his national security aide from testifying to a congressional panel.

Napolitano: Ben Rhodes, the Obama White House and the issue of lying.  What is a privilege?  It is the ability under the law to hide the truth in order to preserve open communications.  It is a judgment by lawmakers and judges that in certain narrowly defined circumstances, freedom of communication is a greater good than exposing the truth. [...] Executive privilege is the ability of the president and his aides to withhold from anyone testimony and documents that reflect military, diplomatic or sensitive national security secrets.  This is the privilege that Rhodes has claimed.  Yet the defect in Rhodes' claim of privilege here is that he has waived it by speaking about the Iranian negotiations to The New York Times.  Waiver — the knowing and intentional giving up of a privilege or a right — defeats the claim of privilege.

Benghazi shocker!  Pentagon caught hiding witnesses.  The chairman of the House Benghazi committee on Thursday made a surprising accusation — the Pentagon has made key witnesses in the 2012 Benghazi terror attack investigation vanish.  The hiding of witness from the night of the deadly 2012 attacks in Libya is threatening the more than two-year-old investigation — and may be part of a backroom deal to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Rep.  Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said in a statement that the Defense Department spent five weeks completely ignoring a request for the pilots who sent drones over Benghazi and Tripoli.  When the list was finally provided, the Pentagon reportedly had left off key names.

Where did the money come from?
J-Street was paid by Obama administration to promote Iran deal.  J-Street received more than half a million dollars to advocate for the Obama administration's controversial nuclear deal with Iran, it has been revealed.  The liberal Jewish group, which bills itself as "pro-Israel and pro-peace" but which critics say takes solely anti-Israel stances, was paid the money by the White House's main surrogate organization for selling the deal.  The Ploughshares Fund was named in an explosive New York Times profile of Obama aid Ben Rhodes, in which the President's chief spin doctor listed the central groups responsible for creating an "echo chamber" in order to promote the deal, even when the White House's official line didn't jibe with the facts.  According to Associated Press, the group's 2015 annual report details several organizations which received substantial funds to peddle the official White House line on the nuclear deal.  Among them was National Public Radio (NPR), which received a $100,000 grant to promote "national security reporting that emphasizes the themes of U.S. nuclear weapons policy and budgets, Iran's nuclear program, international nuclear security topics and U.S. policy toward nuclear security."

House Moves to Subject National Security Council to Public Records Law.  Congress unanimously advanced a measure on Wednesday [5/18/2016] to subject the White House's team of national security advisers to laws giving the public access to internal administration documents.  An amendment to a key Defense Department funding bill brought forward by Rep.  Jackie Walorski (R., Ind.) would require the White House National Security Council to produce internal records in response to requests under the Freedom of Information Act.  The amendment comes in the midst of controversy over admissions by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes in a recent New York Times interview that he and media allies created an "echo chamber" to promote the administration's nuclear deal with Iran.

Sen. Cotton:  White House Says One Thing In Classified Briefings, Another Thing To Public.  Sen.  Tom Cotton alleged Tuesday [5/17/2016] that President Barack Obama's administration officials say one thing in classified briefings with members of Congress and another thing in public to the American people.  "It's time that the administration came clean and told the American people exactly what they tell Congress in a classified setting," Cotton insisted.  Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt Show on Tuesday, Cotton said that he "became public enemy number one at the White House... because I'm telling the truth about the Iran deal."

GOP reps hammer WH aide Rhodes at hearing; senators seek firing.  Republican condemnation of a top White House aide who boasted about the administration's success selling the Iran deal to the public reached new levels on Tuesday [5/17/2016], as several senators urged President Obama to fire him and a House committee looking into his claims went forward with its hearing — even though he didn't show up to testify.

Is Obama's Stonewall Strategy Blowing Up In Hillary's Face?  As we have observed many times, the Obama administration's response to scandals, investigations and inquiries has been invariable:  it stonewalls them.  And the Obama Stonewall Strategy has been highly successful.  Given our generally ineffective legal processes, the administration has been able to defer compliance with Congressional subpoenas, Freedom of Information Act requests and the like for years, by which time whatever information might emerge from a sea of redaction is deemed "old news."

House Hides Most War Funding in NDAA Bill Scheme.  The House Appropriations Committee has today unveiled its draft version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a $575 billion bill that includes some $59 billion worth of money for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the controversial fund which the Pentagon is allowed to shuffle around.  This actually looks like a cut from last year's $612 billion bill, but provides a deliberately misleading figure, as it includes only the first four months of 2017 war funding, with the assumption that whoever wins the November election will seek "emergency funding" to cover the rest of the year.

CIA watchdog 'accidentally' deletes torture report, destroys physical copy.  The CIA's inspector general is claiming it inadvertently destroyed its only copy of a classified, three-volume Senate report on torture, prompting a leading senator to ask for reassurance that it was in fact "an accident."  "As you may be aware, the office of the CIA inspector general has misplaced and/or conditionally destroyed its electronic copy and disk of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence's full 6,700-page classified study of the CIA detention and interrogation program," Sen.  Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wrote in a Friday [5/13/2016] letter to CIA Director John Brennan.

Mystery Mission:  Air Force's X-37B space plane nears 1 year in orbit.  The U.S. military's uncrewed X-37B space plane is nearing one year in orbit on its latest secret mission.  The robotic space plane launched atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on May 20, 2015, kicking off the X-37B program's fourth flight.  This mission, dubbed OTV-4 (short for Orbital Test Vehicle-4), remains a clandestine affair.  "I can confirm the fourth OTV mission is approaching one year on orbit," Air Force spokeswoman Capt.  Annmarie Annicelli said in response to Space.com's inquiry about the X-37B's activities.

Obama's legacy:  Duping America about everything is the name of the game.  One can only imagine how President Obama and his sycophants will pay homage to their getting away with lying to the American people about every aspect of their administration.  Perhaps in the Obama Library they'll have a special room surrounding visitors with giant flat-screen TVs where various Obama staffers will laugh and point at them in an endless video loop.  They'll have to think of something, because May 2016 has been a banner month with the delivery of a forgotten 2008 campaign meme from Mr. Obama and his henchmen.  The good news is, the much-ballyhooed promise of being the "most transparent administration in history" has peeked out from under the covers.  The bad news is, it took the form of admissions from both current and former Obama aides that the White House is a House of Lies.

Barack H. Obama is suddenly concerned about the Constitution!
Rhodes won't show:  White House raises 'constitutional concerns'.  The White House told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Monday that Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes won't be testifying on Tuesday about his controversial comments on the Iran deal.  In a letter to Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, Neil Eggleston, counsel to President Obama, said it would raise "constitutional concerns" if Rhodes were to testify.  He also said Congress has been consulted enough.

GOP knives out for Ben Rhodes.  Ben Rhodes, the famed White House spinmeister, is entangled in a growing fight with congressional Republicans — the latest fallout from his bombshell magazine profile two weeks ago.  On Monday [5/16/2016], three Republican senators called on President Barack Obama to fire his deputy national security adviser, saying Rhodes had been "disrespectful," "deceptive" and dishonest" in how he had sold the Iran nuclear deal to the public.  The White House, meanwhile, said Rhodes will not testify about the deal before a House committee, calling it a "separation of powers" issue.

White House snubs Chaffetz, refuses to let aide testify after controversial Iran remarks.  The White House confirmed Monday [5/16/2016] that Obama adviser Ben Rhodes will not be allowed to testify before House lawmakers on the Iran nuclear deal, after a last-ditch attempt by Republican Rep.  Jason Chaffetz to pry the controversial aide loose for the hearing.  Chaffetz and the White House have been engaged in an escalating feud, all on the heels of a New York Times Magazine piece where Rhodes was quoted boasting about the administration's success in crafting a public narrative for the Iran deal.  The profile on Rhodes quotes him saying they built an "echo chamber" of experts who sold that narrative to young, often inexperienced reporters.

After Only Nine Months On The Job, Administration's New FOIA Czar Calls It Quits.  Josh Gerstein at Politico brings us that news that James Holzer will step down from his position as the director of the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS) and return from whence he came: the Department of Homeland Security. [...] Depending on where you sit, Holzer was either the perfect pick for FOIA work or the worst.  For FOIA requesters, Holzer was anything but.  His former (and now current) agency has a terrible FOIA track record.  That this background would somehow result in his promotion to a position meant to facilitate FOIA requests was inexplicable.

White House Hit With Suit Alleging Systematic Obstruction Of Transparency.  A government watchdog launched a lawsuit Monday targeting 11 federal agencies, the Office of the White House Counsel and White House Counsel Neil Eggleston.  Cause of Action Institute filed the suit "to end the Obama administration's practice of delaying government responses to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests that the administration considers politically sensitive or embarrassing," the group wrote in a statement.  "The Obama administration, however, has interfered in the FOIA process in ways that violate the statute and hinder its purpose of federal transparency," the statement said.

State Dept. faces questions over missing tape, amid scramble over WH aide's Iran boast.  While the White House scrambles to contain the damage caused by one of President Obama's closest aides — who boasted of manipulating social media, journalists and friendly interest groups to sell the Iran nuclear deal — it now is facing new questions about a portion of missing tape in which a State Department official acknowledges misleading the press on the Iran negotiations.  Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes' comments to The New York Times Magazine have sparked outrage in Washington's political and policy circles, especially re-igniting the debate over whether the White House oversold the deal to curb Iran's nuclear program.

Obama White House showed 'bad faith' in global-warming case, judge rules.  The White House showed "bad faith" in how it handled an open-records request for global warming data, a federal court ruled Monday [5/9/2016], issuing yet another stinging rebuke to the administration for showing a lack of transparency.  For President Obama, who vowed to run the most transparent government in U.S. history, Judge Amit P. Mehta's ruling granting legal "discovery" in an open-records case — the third time this year a judge has ordered discovery — is an embarrassing black eye.

Edited State Dept. video hides key admission on Iran nuke talks.  A State Department video has been altered in what could be an attempt to hide a 2013 discussion with reporters about whether the Obama administration lied about when it first began the Iran nuclear talks.  Fox News reporter James Rosen reported Monday night that a section of a Dec. 2, 2013 press briefing was somehow erased from the State Department's own video of the event.  In the section that was erased, Rosen was interviewing then-spokeswoman Jen Psaki about when the talks started.

Senator seeks secret memo used as 'loophole' for Obama regs.  The Obama administration is facing pressure from Congress to release a secret Reagan-era memo allegedly used to this day to shield a slew of executive actions and regulations from congressional scrutiny.  At issue is a 1983 memorandum of understanding (MOU) that permits the Treasury Department to "escape" a review of economic costs and benefits when it comes to IRS rules.  Sen.  Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says this has helped the administration pursue a range of unilateral changes — and he wants the memo made public.

Sen. Hatch demands secret memo that's aided Obama executive actions.  President Obama's unilateral pen-and-phone approach to governing has been aided by a decades-old secret memo that allows him to avoid economic scrutiny of some of the most intrusive rules and regulations his administration has issued, a top senator said Thursday [4/28/2016].  Now Sen.  Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican and chairman of the Finance Committee, has demanded Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew release the 1983 memorandum of understanding and defend the Reagan-era policy that has let Mr. Obama pursue changes on everything from corporate taxes to Obamacare without first giving a full heads-up to Congress.

Most Transparent Administration Ever Withheld Incriminating Hillary Emails From Federal Courts.  It would seem that the only group interested in performing oversight of the Obama administration is an independent watchdog group, not the Republican-controlled Oversight committees in Congress.  Those committees appear to be either complicit, incompetent or (more likely) both.  Instead, we are left to groups like Judicial Watch (an organization that I have financially supported in the past thanks to my generous readers) to perform oversight on the most lawless administration in modern American history.

Busted!  Obama hiding Benghazi emails.  The Obama administration defied a federal court order and refused to release a key Hillary Clinton email concerning the 2012 attacks on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya.  By holding back the information, the administration wasn't just protecting Clinton from Benghazi fallout — they may have been trying to hide the fact that Clinton maintained a private email account while secretary of state.

State Department Hid Key Clinton Benghazi Email from Judicial Watch.  The Obama State Department last week admitted it withheld a key Benghazi email of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Judicial Watch since at least September 2014.  If the State Department disclosed the email when first supposedly found, Clinton's email server and her hidden emails would have been disclosed nearly two years ago, before Clinton authorized the alleged deletion of tens of thousands of emails.

State Dept.  Withheld Key Email From Clinton's Private Server in FOIA Lawsuit.  The State Department has now acknowledged that it withheld a key Benghazi e-mail in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in July 2014.  The State Department acknowledged finding the e-mail in 2014, but it was withheld in its entirety until last week.  This latest admission comes in a FOIA lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal watchdog group, that seeks records related to the drafting and use of the Benghazi talking points.

State Dept.  Delayed Releasing Email That Could Have Blown Lid Off Hillary Email Scandal.  The State Department withheld an email that would have shown — months before it was eventually reported — that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account to conduct State Department business, a conservative watchdog group claims.  Judicial Watch says that it received a letter from the State Department last week in which agency officials said that a September 2012 email had been completely withheld from a production of documents that the watchdog demanded as part of a Freedom of Information Act seeking records containing Benghazi talking points.

Feds Blow Off House Subpoena For Obamacare Co-Op Docs.  Federal health officials refuse to give Congress hundreds of subpoenaed documents on Obamacare's failed co-ops so that people will continue enrolling in the deeply troubled program, a congressional leader said Tuesday [4/19/2016].  Twelve of the 23 co-ops created in 2011 under Obamacare at a cost of $2.4 billion have failed, and another eight of the remaining 11 are likely to go under this year.  But the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) won't hand over documents subpoenaed months ago by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Documents confirm Eric Holder's role in Fast and Furious cover-up.  "Fast and Furious" is back in the news.  The reason?  In January, Judge Amy Berman, an Obama appointee, ordered the Department of Justice to produce documents relating to the "gun walking" scandal that Congress had been seeking for four years.  DOJ finally produced them, some 20,000 pages worth, this month. [...] Having reviewed these documents, Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, has released a memo summarizing what they show. [...] Holder and his subordinates:
  1.  Presumed that allegations about gunwalking in Arizona were false and refused to adjust when documents and evidence showed otherwise.
  2.  Politicized decisions about how and whether to comply with the congressional investigation.
  3.  Devised strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information from Congress and the public.
  4.  Isolated the fallout from the Fast and Furious scandal to ATF leadership and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona.
  5.  Created a culture of animosity towards congressional oversight.

Microsoft Sues U.S. Over Orders Barring It From Revealing Surveillance.  The software giant is suing the Justice Department, challenging its frequent use of secrecy orders that prevent Microsoft from telling people when the government obtains a warrant to read their emails.  In its suit, filed Thursday morning [4/14/2016] in Federal District Court in Seattle, Microsoft's home turf, the company asserts that the gag order statute in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 — as employed today by federal prosecutors and the courts — is unconstitutional.  The statute, according to Microsoft, violates the Fourth Amendment right of its customers to know if the government searches or seizes their property, and it breaches the company's First Amendment right to speak to its customers.

New Balance claims Obama administration promised shoe contract for silence on TPP.  New Balance, a Boston company that makes athletic shoes, says someone from the Obama administration promised to help get the company a substantial military contract in exchange for the company ending its vocal opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal.  Despite the promise, no order for shoes was ever placed by the Pentagon, so now the company is renewing its opposition to TPP.

Shoe Company:  Obama Admin Pressured Us to Stay Quiet on TPP.  The Boston Globe is reporting that U.S.-based shoe manufacturer New Balance has come out hard against the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.  The odd thing, though, is that "the Boston company had gone quiet [on TPP] last year.  Now, apparently, we know why: [...]

Fournier: Obama Admin 'The Least Transparent,' Probably In This Nation's History,' 'Clearly Lying' About Fast and FuriousNational Journal Senior Political Columnist Ron Fournier declared that the Obama administration has been "the least transparent administration, probably in this nation's history, certainly in modern time" and that "the administration is clearly lying, it's clearly hiding documents that belong to us" regarding the Fast and Furious program on Wednesday's [4/13/2016] "Special Report" on the Fox News Channel.

FCC Kept 'Obamaphone' Fraud Under Wraps Until After It Expanded Program.  Federal regulators were instructed to keep a massive fraud investigation under wraps until a day after a controversial vote to expand a program that was allegedly used to bilk taxpayers of tens of millions of dollars, one those regulators claims.  The Federal Communications Commission on Friday [4/8/2016] announced that it would seek $51 million in damages from a cell phone company that allegedly defrauded the federal Lifeline program of nearly $10 million.  The commission's five members unanimously backed the Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), but Republican commissioner Ajit Pai parted from his colleagues in a partial dissent.  According to Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to reveal the details of its investigation until April 1, a day after the FCC voted to expand the Lifeline program.

House Republicans Finally Receive Huma Abedin, Susan Rice Benghazi Files.  The State Department has finally turned over to the Republican-run House Select Committee on Benghazi an estimated 1,000 pages of documents, according to military veterans group Special Operations Speaks (SOP).  These are reported to include communication between Hillary Clinton's aide and vice chairwoman for Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign Huma Abedin and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice. [...] The Benghazi committee chairman, Rep.  Trey Gowdy (R-SC) told the press on Friday, "It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them.  Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts."  "This investigation is about a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, and it could have been completed a lot sooner if the administration had not delayed and delayed and delayed at every turn," Gowdy said.

State Dept. releases personal emails from Clinton's inner circle.  State Department officials on Friday handed over 1,100 pages of documents demanded by the the House Select Committee on Benghazi, two years after congressional investigators requested them.  "It is deplorable that it took over a year for these records to be produced to our committee, and that our Democrat colleagues never lifted a finger to help us get them," committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., said Friday evening.  "Shame on them and everyone else who has demanded this committee to give up before gathering all of the facts."

Obama relents on Fast & Furious executive privilege, turns records over to Congress.  The Obama administration caved to a judge's order Friday [4/8/2016] and sent documents from the botched Fast & Furious gun-running operation to Congress, complying with a subpoena the House Oversight Committee issued years ago.  President Obama had claimed executive privilege in trying to shield the documents from Congress, but a federal judge rejected that, insisting lawmakers had a right to see the information in order to complete their investigation into an operation that saw thousands of guns trafficked into Mexico, with the administration's knowledge.  With just hours to go before the judge's 60-day deadline, the administration complied Friday [4/8/2016].

Issa, Grassley say Fast and Furious document releases a 'fraction' fails to meet subpoena.  Republicans lawmakers who led probes into the Obama administration's botched Operation Fast and Furious gun-trafficking operation are criticizing the court-ordered release Friday [4/8/2016] of related documents, saying they are only a "fraction" of those requested in subpoenas.  "What we need from the president is an explanation of why he felt these documents couldn't have been seen by the American people and why there has been no real accountability for the officials involved," said Rep.  Darrell Issa, who as chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform led congressional investigations.

Justice Department Kept Public in Dark About Iranian Hackers Until After Obama's Nuclear Deal.  On March 24, the Department of Justice indicted seven Iranian hackers for two cyber-crimes.  The charges result from the individuals' attacks on U.S. bank websites and the breach of a New York dam's control systems.  Even though the indictment was just released to the public, it had originally been announced but then immediately sealed the same week the U.S. and Iran were implementing agreements regarding Iran's nuclear program — in addition to negotiating the release of four American prisoners and compensation of $1.7 billion back to Iran.

Watchdog group sues for FBI records on Obama.  A watchdog group on Thursday [3/31/2016] announced it was suing the federal government to obtain records on President Obama held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The lawsuit from Judicial Watch, filed against the Justice Department in the U.S.  District Court for the District of Columbia, follows a 2011 Freedom of Information Act request in which the group sought information the bureau obtained from 2008 interviews with associates of former Illinois Gov.  Rod Blagojevich.  Those included meetings with Obama, his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

DHS Won't Tell You But Radical Islamists Are Actively Trying to Poison Us.  With cyber attacks becoming more frequent and attacks on our power grid and water supplies increasing, there is a corresponding decrease in information out of the Department of Homeland Security because politics trumps safety with this government.  We can't prepare if we don't know the threat.  Americans are not being warned about the attempts by Islamic terrorists on our water supplies but if you look at the Register UK, you can get some recent information.

Watchdog group sues for FBI records on Obama.  A watchdog group on Thursday announced it was suing the federal government to obtain records on President Obama held by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The lawsuit from Judicial Watch, filed against the Justice Department in the U.S.  District Court for the District of Columbia, follows a 2011 Freedom of Information Act request in which the group sought information the bureau obtained from 2008 interviews with associates of former Illinois Gov.  Rod Blagojevich.  Those included meetings with Obama, his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, and senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett.

Exclusive: EPA Dumps 880,000 Lbs Of Toxic Metal Into River, Won't Answer Any Questions.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials refuse to answer two questions surrounding the August 2015 Gold King Mine spill that would help resolve issues uncovered by a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation.  TheDCNF reported numerous contradictions in the EPA's explanation of how and why it intentionally breached Colorado's Gold King Mine, releasing 880,000 pounds of dangerous metals and mining waste into drinking water for three states and the Navajo Nation.  Yet, the EPA refused to clarify those contradictions and instead disregarded TheDCNF's findings and clung to its original story.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter used personal email nearly a year.  Defense Secretary Ashton Carter continued using a private email server for months after a scandal involving former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email use became public.  Some 1,300 emails released by the Pentagon on Friday show Carter using a personal cellphone and tablet to send emails related to official Pentagon business, including communications with Defense Department staff on press requests and other matters.  The emails also include personal correspondence with friends.

Obama EPA Used Secret Email Accounts to Scheme with Lobbyists and Climatards.  There is new evidence senior Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials routinely use private email accounts to conduct government business, this time to pass along information from an energy lobbyist.  Michael J. Bradley, president and founder of an energy consulting firm that represents numerous green advocacy groups, described his preference for using a private email to communicate with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy regarding an agency regulation, according to documents obtained by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute (E&E Legal) through a Freedom of Information Act request.  "Joe, Would you please send this email to Gina for me?  I would have sent it to her directly with a cc to you but I don't have a private email address for her and would prefer to not use an office email address," Bradley emailed to EPA Senior Counsel Joe Goffman.

Reporter Angrily Walks Out When State Dept. Won't Answer His Question.  The city of Brussels was rocked by coordinated terror attacks Tuesday morning [3/22/2016] that killed over 30 people and injured 187 others.  The Islamic State jihadist group claimed responsibility for the attacks, although Kirby said at the briefing that the U.S. government cannot yet confirm the veracity of those claims.  Kirby also said in his opening remarks that Americans were injured in the attacks, but the State Department is not ready to give a specific figure of how many were hurt.  Lee said he understood the department could not give a complete count of the number of Americans injured but asked Kirby for the minimum number possible.  "I'm going to avoid giving a specific number," Kirby responded.

What is Homeland Security Hiding Behind Immigration Numbers?  As Americans ominously observe the raging fire of suicidal immigration policies implemented by our European friends across the pond, one of the first questions on their minds is:  how many of these Islamic radicals have been admitted to our country?  The answer is we don't even know how many people in total have come to our country since 2013 because the Department of Homeland Security has refused to publish that data or make it available to Congress.

Obama busted in Clinton email cover-up.  Did President Barack Obama's administration intentionally help hide some of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aides emails from public record?  Some critics are claiming that the Obama administration couldn't have just misplaced nearly 100,000 emails and documents from a Clinton aide they claimed they couldn't find — until a lawsuit seemed to jog their memory.  And it looks like hiding emails and documents that should be public record has become a pattern for the Obama administration.

Obama Admin Delivered Property to Iran As Part Of Secret Détente.  The Obama administration has been shipping historical artifacts to Iran since last year as part of a secret détente that also included a taxpayer-funded payment of nearly $2 billion, according to a letter written by the State Department and exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  Obama administration officials engaged in secret talks with Iran between June 2014 through at least January 2015 over a series of legal claims leveled against the United States by the Islamic Republic, the State Department disclosed in its letter.

Judge Orders White House To Stop Hiding Its Bogus Global Warming 'Proof'.  [Scroll down]  The released material is not highly sensitive.  So one wonders why the government bothered to redact it in the first place — and fought its release in court for over a year.  Upon assuming office, Holdren's boss, President Obama, and his attorney general, Eric Holder, issued guidance telling agencies not to withhold information just because they can, or based on technicalities, and to err on the side of disclosure, rather than secrecy.  As Holder once noted, "On his first full day in office, January 21, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of all departments and agencies on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  The President directed that FOIA 'should be administered with a clear presumption:  In the face of doubt, openness prevails.'"  But that commitment to transparency has been flouted throughout the government, especially in Holder's own Justice Department.

Report: Obama denied a record 77 percent of FOIA requests.  The Obama administration has set a new record for rejecting Freedom of Information Act requests, according to a report published Friday [3/18/2016].  The administration censored materials or rejected requests for access in a record 596,095 cases, or 77 percent of the time, according to the annual review conducted by the Associated Press.  That's an increase of 12 percent since Obama's first year in office.

White House Slams Bush Administration for Not Being Transparent Enough.  White House spokesman Josh Earnest slammed the Bush administration Thursday for not being as transparent as the Obama administration. [...] When Obama came into office he had made a promise to be the most transparent administration in history.  Since that promise, the administration has not held up to that standard.  Vice recently reported on newly released documents from the Department of Justice showing the White House has worked behind the scenes to push against reforms that would give the public better access to information from the federal government.

White House mum on Obama dissidents meeting in Cuba.  The White House won't yet say which political dissidents President Obama plans to meet with during his upcoming historic visit to Cuba, or whether any of those dissidents include prisoners the Castro regime is holding.  Obama will arrive in Cuba on Sunday [3/20/2016], and with less than 48 hours before he leaves, the White House is putting off providing a list of dissidents it invited for a meeting with Obama.  Instead, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Friday [3/18/2016] he hasn't seen the list, which the administration plans to release at an unspecified time over the next few days.

The federal government no longer cares about disclosing public information.  Two years ago last month, I filed a public-records request to the Federal Emergency Management Agency as part of my reporting into the flawed response to Hurricane Sandy.  Then, I waited.  The Freedom of Information Act requires a response within 20 business days, but agencies routinely blow that deadline.  Eight months later, ProPublica and NPR published our investigation into the Sandy response, but it did not include any documents from FEMA.  The agency had simply never gotten back to me.

The Age of Mafia Government.  When black-helmeted men circle your home, break down your door, throw your children from their sleeping beds onto the dew-ridden lawn, and shoot you 22 times because some meathead mistook your house for a drug dealer's, it's clear government has gone from protecting you from threats to becoming a threat itself.  More directly, however, thanks to "The Godfather" and "The Sopranos," everyone knows that the mafia's presence means frequent, mysterious deaths.  That's also a hallmark of this administration.  Fast and Furious and the Benghazi massacre are the two most obvious examples.  It's been years, in both cases, and it's still an utter mystery as to why Americans died in foreign lands, where all those guns went, who used what money, where it all came from, and why.  That may have something to do with the Justice Department's utter lack of curiosity about massive crimes being committed on its watch, but remember:  where there are mafia, there are corrupt police, district attorneys, and courts.  The mystery isn't who did it, but proving it.  Part of the reason it's impossible to find evidence to prove what everyone knows is that no one will talk.

A CIA whistleblower talks about Obama's bizarre secrecy obsession.  How did this suave and intelligent guy, with the cosmopolitan demeanor, the sardonic sense of humor and the instinct for an irresistible photo-op, end up running the most hidden, most clandestine and most secrecy-obsessed administration in American history? [...] Barack Obama seems like a smart, funny, cool guy, and maybe he's too much of all those things for his own good.  Maybe we will look back decades from now and perceive the Obama paradox — the baffling relationship between his appealing persona and his abysmal record on surveillance, government secrecy and national security — in a different light.  For one thing, whatever they told him between November of 2008 and January of 2009 must have been really scary.

George Soros Had White House Meeting With Obama's ISIS Czar.  Liberal billionaire George Soros was at the White House late last year to meet with President Obama's controversial top adviser on ISIS, according to the White House visitor log.  Soros, joined by top aide Michelle's Vachon and Bulgarian political scientist Ivan Krastev, met with White House ISIS czar Rob Malley late in the afternoon on October 8, 2015 in the Executive Office Building, according to a recent update of the log.

The Editor says...
What does an "update of the log" really mean?  It means the White House staff tried to keep it quiet as long as they could, and "update(d)" the log as quietly as possible, and at the best possible time — right before Super Tuesday.

Holder used Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's name for emails while in office.  Former Attorney General Eric Holder used the birth name of basketball icon Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as an alias for his official Justice Department email account, according to new documents revealed Thursday [2/25/2016].  The Justice Department said in response to a Vice News request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) that Holder used the name "Lew Alcindor" in email conversations with his staffers.  His own name does not appear in the emails.  The disclosure raises new questions about Obama administration officials' email practices, following controversy over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's unconventional email setup.

White House Misses Deadline to Deliver ISIS Strategy to Congress.  The House Armed Services Committee noted Tuesday [2/16/2016] that the Obama administration missed their February 15 deadline to deliver a strategy to counter violent extremist groups in the Middle East, such as ISIS and al Qaeda, as required by the National Defense Authorization Act.  Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, harshly criticized President Obama's failure to meet the deadline.  "I fear the President's failure to deliver this report says far more about the state of his strategy to defeat terrorists than any empty reassurance he may offer from the podium," Thornberry said in a statement.

Reports Showing War Against ISIS Wasn't Working.  This is dipping well into cover-up mode.  This is beyond simple tampering with intelligence.  Once records are being deleted, that's a coverup.

Israeli outrage over US Judea-Samaria labeling 'deception'.  Israeli officials expressed outrage late Tuesday, after the International Legal Forum (ILF) argued that the US Customs' January 23 "reissuing" of orders to importers to label all products from Judea and Samaria as not being from "Israel" was a covert policy change.  Slamming the move as deceiving Congress, as well as the American and Israeli public, the Israeli group International Law Forum told Channel 2 that American claims of merely "reissuing" policies from 1995 are in fact false.

End the Army coverup on the 'lost dogs of war'.  From Bernie Sanders to Ted Cruz, the presidential candidates talk up how much they care for America's veterans.  Well, Sunday's [New York] Post suggests a test:  Will any of them fight for the "lost dogs of war"?  Maureen Callahan's expose shows the Pentagon repeatedly breaking its promise to reunite bomb-sniffing dogs with their handlers on the pups' return from war.  Instead, private firm K2 Solutions routinely places the four-footed veterans in civilian hands.  Never mind that a federal law passed in 2000 mandates that soldiers who handled the animals in Iraq, Afghanistan and so on get the chance to adopt their dogs.  Callahan uncovered evidence that three Pentagon employees took dogs for themselves.

John McCain threatens to subpoena U.S. sailors held by Iran if Obama administration doesn't hand over investigation findings by end of month.  US Republican Senator John McCain said on Sunday [2/14/2016] he would subpoena 10 US sailors to testify about their brief detention by Iran if the Obama administration does not provide the findings of an investigation into the incident by March 1.  'It's an option that I do not want to exercise,' McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters as he was returning to the United States from an international security conference in Germany.

Obama dines privately with DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, actor Will Smith.  As he is wont to do when he visits Los Angeles, President Obama dined secretly with moguls and stars.  Mr. Obama had dinner at a hotel Thursday night [2/11/2016] with Jeffrey Katzenberg, DreamWorks CEO and a major campaign donor; Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios; and actor Will Smith, most recently in "Concussion."  The White House didn't disclose the dinner, nor was it on Mr. Obama's public schedule.  It was first reported by Deadline.com.

Obama Scolds Illinois on 'Building a Better Politics' While Barring Public from the Speech.  Noting that the public was invited to Obama's 2007 announcement speech but that the speech this week was limited to the power brokers, the Kankakee Daily Journal accused the president of "shutting out" his Illinois supporters by only allowing legislators to attend his Wednesday [2/10/2016] speech.  "It seems like Obama is turning his back on the people who elevated him to widespread popularity and put him in the White House for eight years.  It's in one word, disappointing.  Of course, there are those who will tell you that lone word describes his entire presidency," the paper said in an editorial.

Chaffetz Slaps Uncooperative OPM Head With Subpoena.  House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (HOGR) Chairman Rep. Jason Chaffetz is slapping a subpoena on Office of Personnel Management Acting Secretary Beth Cobert after waiting months for documents about the agency's massive security breaches.  OPM's repeated failures to address known cyber security gaps allowed hackers to steal the personal information of more than 21 million current and former federal employees.  But OPM hasn't turned over all of the 11,000 un-redacted files and directories HOGR has been demanding for months.  The committee even received some of the same files OPM held back from private company CyTech, a contractor that inspected OPM's networks.  Chaffetz, a Republican from Utah, said Cobert is "not working in good faith with the committee."

Obama's Growing Conflict of Interest in the Clinton E-Mail Scandal.  [Scroll down]  So egregious have the scandal's latest developments been that a critical State Department admission from last week has received almost no coverage:  Eighteen e-mails between Mrs. Clinton and President Obama have been identified, and the government is refusing to disclose them. [...] Think about what this means.  Not only is it obvious that President Obama knew Mrs. Clinton was conducting government business over her private e-mail account, the exchanges the president engaged in with his secretary of state over this unsecured system clearly involved sensitive issues of policy.  Clinton was being asked for "advice and counsel" — not about her recommendations for the best country clubs in Martha's Vineyard, but about matters that the White House judges too sensitive to reveal.

Texas AG: Obama Admin. Resettled Syrians 'Under Cloak Of Secrecy'.  The Obama administration admitted in federal district court late last week that it did not give advance notice to Texas about settling a family of seven Syrian refugees in the state, according to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.  The failure to inform Texas authorities of the resettlement plans in advance, Paxton said, is a violation of the court's directive.  The attorney general's office on Tuesday [1/26/2016] filed a response with the court supporting its request for an injunction.

Obama to Meet with Bernie Sanders in the Oval Office.  President Barack Obama will meet Wednesday morning [1/27/2016] with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in a private sitdown in the Oval Office.  The White House announced Tuesday evening [1/26/2016] that Obama will meet with Sanders after receiving his morning briefing and meeting with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Vice President Biden.  "Afterward, the President will meet with Senator Bernie Sanders.  This meeting in the Oval Office is closed press," the White House stated.

IRS Wipes Another Hard Drive: Sackless GOP Leaders Issue Sternly Worded Memo in Response.  Leading members of Congress are ripping IRS officials for erasing a computer hard drive after a federal judge ordered it to be preserved.  "The destruction of evidence subject to preservation orders and subpoenas has been an ongoing problem under your leadership at the IRS," Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Jim Jordan, wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen late Thursday [1/21/2016].  "It is stunning to see that the IRS does not take reasonable care to preserve documents that it is legally required to protect," Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said in the letter to Koskinen.

No "Major Scandal" in Obama Administration?  This list just scratches the surface. Executive overreach has become standard fare, whether on immigration or environmental regulations.  The Obama administration's penchant for controlling leaks, a lack of transparency, and a war on journalists has been noted by the likes of former Washington Post executive editor Len Downie Jr. who said "The [Obama] administration's war on leaks and other efforts to control information are the most aggressive I've seen since the Nixon administration leaks," and New York Times reporter David Sanger who said, "This is the most closed, control-freak administration I've ever covered."  James Risen of the Times added that the Obama administration has been "the greatest enemy of press freedom that we have encountered in at least a generation."

IRS under fire for erasing records sought in court order.  Lawmakers blasted the Internal Revenue Service this week for deleting records that a federal judge had ordered the agency to produce.  First, Sens. Orrin Hatch and Ron Wyden demanded to know why a hard drive had been "sanitized" after a court ordered the IRS to hand over records from that computer.  In a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen Wednesday [1/20/2016], the pair of Republicans questioned the tax agency's record-keeping policies, which have come under fire for years thanks to a series of lengthy congressional investigations that were stymied by the IRS' failure to turn over key documents.

IRS Erases Hard Drive Despite Court Order.  The IRS erased a hard drive belonging to a former top employee involved in the agency's controversial, taxpayer-funded hiring of elite trial law firm Quinn Emanuel.  Although there was a court preservation order on all documents related to the IRS hiring of the outside firm, the hard drive was erased anyway.  The order was borne of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted by Microsoft.  Even though the white shoe law firm has zero experience handling sensitive tax data, taxpayers have been footing bills of over $1,000 per hour for its services.

EPA Knew About Michigan Water Contamination For Months Without Telling The Public.  The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) top Midwest official knew about the Flint, Michigan drinking water crisis of 2015 months before telling the public, according to a Tuesday [1/12/2016] report by the The Detroit News.  EPA official Susan Hedman did not publicize the EPA's concern over Flint's water quality or the water's dangerous health concerns.  The federal agency instead quietly fought with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for at least six months about what should be done.

FOIA: Officially, Undeniably Broken.  Secrecy is the order of the day at many federal agencies when it comes to their actions and to public records.  That's according to a new report today [1/11/2016] from the House Oversight Committee staff. [...] Instead of being an effective tool to help the public obtain public information, the FOI process has been perverted by federal agencies and is now used to obstruct the release of public information.

'FOIA Is Broken,' Says House Panel Report.  In some ways it's never been easier for citizens to seek federal agency records through the Freedom of Information Act, the public's main tool to get information from the government.  Public records portals like Muckrock.com and FOIA Machine have helped automate and simplify the FOIA process, making it easier for people to craft records requests and share disclosed documents with other online users.  According to a new report by the Republican-led House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the FOIA system has gotten more dysfunctional and opaque,

The most transparent and the most dishonest.  This is a tale about "the most transparent administration in history."  We thank President Obama for that description, for we were momentarily at a loss about how to describe the executive branch during his tenure.  On Friday [1/8/2016], the most transparent administration in history's State Department released a batch of emails from Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state.  More interesting than what they contained — it was the usual batch of previously denied classified material — was that they landed on sleepy reporters' desks at 1 o'clock in the morning.

Feds shuttle illegal migrants around Texas.  With their 21-day window closing, hundreds of minor migrants from Central America have been shuttled to new government holding facilities in Texas.  Up to 700 of the 900 unaccompanied youngsters sent to Ellis and Rockwall counties last month are still under federal control.  Because Texas law set a three-week limit at those locations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is moving the migrants to camps in Somervell and McLennan counties.  The ongoing influx of minor migrants is requiring more facilities in additional counties — though HHS has not disclosed where.  Nor could HHS spokeswoman Andrea Helling provide current head counts.

Clinton's private email account exploits FOIA loophole, report says.  Hillary Clinton's unorthodox use of a private email account and personal server for government business exploited a loophole in the State Department's FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act, process, according to the findings of the first Inspector General report to stem from her email scandal.  Congress asked the Office of Inspector General, the State Department's independent watchdog, to investigate the issue following the revelation that Mrs. Clinton did not use a government email account while secretary of state.

'Four Times Greater Than Solyndra': DOE Drops 1,200 Pages Of Heavily Redacted Docs On Green Energy Loans.  The Department of Energy recently turned over more than 1,200 pages of heavily redacted documents in response to a records request about a subsidized biofuels company from The Daily Caller News Foundation.  In October, TheDCNF filed a FOIA request with the Energy Department, asking for email records from government officials regarding federal loan guarantees given to Abengoa, a Spanish-based green energy company.  The request came on the heels of reports Abengoa was running into big financial problems, despite being given generous taxpayer-backed loans.  The DOE gave TheDCNF the records it requested Dec. 18, and after spending time reviewing the documents, it's apparent there's a lot of information the department did not want the public to see.  The DOE redacted virtually all information specific to Abengoa — in many cases whole pages were blacked out.

Report: Facing Investigations, DOJ Claims Right To Avoid Investigations.  Beset by several investigations, the Department of Justice is claiming the right to avoid being investigated.  As reported by PJMedia, the Office of the Inspector General's job is to combat problems of waste, fraud and abuse within the federal government.  But Attorney General Loretta Lynch has no intention of allowing any investigation.  She told the House Judiciary Committee that her office will simply ignore any request from the OIG at will.

Obama administration blocks Washington Times FOIA request on Syria chemical weapons.  The Obama administration is blocking The Washington Times from obtaining detailed information about Syria's extensive chemical weapons arsenal, which was used to kill thousands of innocents and changed the course of the country's savage 4-year-old civil war.  Critics within advocacy groups, and within the journalism establishment, have lambasted the administration for its slow, or lack of, responses to Freedom of Information Act requests.  Yet in 2009, President Obama pledged to run the most transparent administration in U.S. history and told FOIA administrators to err on the side of releasing data.

Obama Meets with Bloomberg, Readies New Gun Control Executive Actions.  President Obama met with gun control proponent, nanny-statist, and former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday [12/16/2015] to discuss Obama's imminent executive actions to restrict the Second Amendment.  The meeting was not on the president's public schedule but obviously revealed after the fact to the press.  The conclave was "part of the administration's continuing push to address gun violence in America," the White House said in a statement.

Carter: Using Personal Email Account for Work Was a Mistake.  Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged on Thursday [12/17/2015] that he used a personal email account to conduct some government business during his first months on the job.

How many more cabinet-level officials are using private email accounts?
Defense Secretary Conducted Some Official Business on a Personal Email Account.  Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter relied on a personal email account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to White House and Defense Department officials and copies of Mr. Carter's emails obtained by The New York Times.  Mr. Carter continued the practice, which violated Defense Department rules, for at least two months after it was publicly revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account as secretary of state, the officials said.

Defense Secretary Conducted Some Official Business on a Personal Email Account.  Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter relied on a personal email account to conduct a portion of his government business during his first months at the Pentagon, according to White House and Defense Department officials and copies of Mr. Carter's emails obtained by The New York Times.  Mr. Carter continued the practice, which violated Defense Department rules, for at least two months after it was publicly revealed in March that Hillary Clinton had exclusively used a personal email account as secretary of state, the officials said.

Did someone mention Hillary Clinton's improper use of a private email system?

Pentagon chief says 'I should have known better' on personal email use — but Senate military panel wants to see them anyway.  U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter acknowledged on Thursday that he used a personal email account to conduct some government business until 'a few months ago.'  'I should have known better,' Carter told reporters traveling with him in Irbil, Iraq, the regional capital of the Kurds.  'It's not like I didn't have the opportunity to understand what the right thing to do was.  I didn't do the right thing.'  The same practice by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, now the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, has drawn intense criticism and led to an FBI investigation into two emails that are now considered top secret.  The White House confirmed the news later Thursday [12/17/2015].

The Editor says...
I can now predict next week's headline:  Secretary Carter's hard drive was wiped, then it crashed, and then it was melted and buried at sea.

Nothing Good Ever Comes From Congress At 2:00am.  2:00am, December 16th 2015, and yet another 2,000+ page bill emerges from the halls of congressional staff — this one an "Ominibus spending bill" with over $1.5 Trillion in expenditures, almost certain to add yet another thousand billion to the structural deficit.  Republicans control the House and the Senate.

Either they are incompetent or they are stonewalling.
DHS Official Unable to Give Number of Syrians in U.S. or Number of Expired Visas.  A senior Department of Homeland Security official was unable to tell Congress the number of Syrian refugees who have entered the United States in the last year and the number of Americans who have travelled to Syria and returned, in testimony on Capitol Hill that angered many lawmakers.  Kelli Ann Burriesci, a deputy assistant secretary in the department's office of policy, could not provide statistics about immigration when the House's national security subcommittee grilled her about potential flaws in the visa waiver program.  While lawmakers had requested that its secretary, Jeh Johnson, testify before the committee, the agency sent Burriesci instead, saying that she is the resident expert on these issues.  However, Burriesci struggled to answer questions, prompting anger from lawmakers and concerns that the department is failing to track potentially dangerous immigrants.

The Editor says...
Why would someone go to testify before Congress without doing his or her homework?  What did she think they were going to ask about?

DHS Should Release All Documents Regarding San Bernardino Terrorist, says Congress.  Shouldn't the Department of Homeland Security release the information so we can figure out how to prevent another tragedy like San Bernardino?

IGs: At Least 20 Investigations Slowed or Closed Due To Obama Admin.  Numerous inspectors general say that at least 20 investigations have been slowed or closed due to government watchdogs not having access to needed documents or records under the Obama administration.  Dozens of interviews of people with firsthand knowledge of the years-long problem spoke of the tensions between the watchdogs and the administration.

ISIS Czar a Terrorist Sympathizer Once Fired by Obama for Hamas Ties.  A radical foreign policy adviser fired by President Obama years ago for meeting with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas is back as the administration's new czar in charge of countering the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).  The White House downplayed the new appointment by burying it deep in a press briefing delivered at a Paris hotel during the recent climate summit.

The Editor says...
Isn't there already a terrorism czar?

Gov't Watchdog: HUD's Financial Books Are Impossible To Audit.  A government watchdog says it can't audit billions in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spending because the agency's financial books are kept so poorly.  HUD's financial statements and systems are missing records, inaccurate and sometimes even violated federal laws, according to a HUD inspector general report released Monday [11/30/2015].  Included among the programs with useless financial accounting records is nearly $20 billion at the Government National Mortgage Association.

Demanding transparency from the 'most transparent administration in history'.  The Obama administration has an abysmal record on openness to the press and the American people.  Nowhere is it worse than the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  DHS currently boasts the largest backlog of any federal agency and, since the Obama administration took over, there has been a 182 percent increase in the number of FOIA requests at DHS.  A November 2014 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found DHS had over 50,000 backlogged FOIA requests due to mismanagement and duplicative efforts among the different departments at the agency.  The number of backlogged requests continues to rise each year and many requests are either ignored or improperly closed.

Obama signs bill making Gitmo closure tougher.  Away from public view, US President Barack Obama signed a defense bill Wednesday [11/25/2015] barbed with measures designed to undo his bid to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.  In a terse statement, the White House said Obama has signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2016, along with several other pieces of legislation.

A True Scandal.  The [New York] Times reported over the weekend that congressional investigators were informed by military officials that some of the documents related to the intentional misleading of policy makers were destroyed before they could be turned over to the appropriate authorities.  Last week, Foreign Policy revealed that reports regarding the strength of opposition elements in Afghanistan had also been shaded to create the impression of success for the White House.  On Monday [11/23/2015], Fox News Pentagon correspondent Catherine Herridge revealed "a source close to the CENTCOM analysts [alleged] that the pressure on them included at least two emails saying they needed to 'cut it out' and 'toe the line.'"  Another source confirmed to Herridge the revelation reported in the Times that incriminating communication about these warnings were destroyed before they could be handed over to investigators.

Obama Quietly Releases Plans For 2,224 Regulations Ahead Of Turkey Day.  While millions of Americans prepare to stuff themselves with Turkey and pie, the Obama administration quietly released its plans for 2,224 federal rules Friday [11/20/2015] — a preview of just how many more regulations the president is attempting to issue before he leaves office.  President Barack Obama's Unified Agenda for Fall 2015 is his administration's regulatory road map and lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months.  Obama has developed a habit of releasing the agenda late on Friday before a major holiday.

Should the State Department Be Disbanded?  In recent years, Republican presidential candidates — notably Rick Perry and Ted Cruz — have called for numerous government departments — Education, Energy, Commerce, HUD and, of course, the IRS — to be disbanded.  Almost all candidates have urged that the bureaucracies be significantly curtailed.  But in this orgy of cost and regulation cutting, one monumental, all-important agency (with a budget approaching $50 billion) curiously has been ignored — the State Department. [...] The last few years have shown us that prying information out of the State Department (Benghazi, Clinton emails, etc.) is [impossible].  Their lineup of spokespeople are about as forthcoming as dead bats.  The primary purpose of the organization seems to be self-preservation, but self-preservation for what?

Whistleblowers Claim NOAA Climate Report Was "Rushed To Publication".  I hope these whistleblowers are hiding deep, because they will be in big trouble from the CoC when found, laws [notwithstanding].  Some Warmists are already calling for the whistleblowers to be named and forced to testify publicly, in contradiction of federal law. [...] What is it with this Administration and stonewalling?  If they aren't releasing the requested material, they're hiding something.  If there was nothing there, you can bet the communications and emails would have been released.  At this point, we must ask what NOAA is hiding.

Judicial Watch Sues Department of Homeland Security for Records of Senior DHS Officials Using Personal Email Accounts on Government-Owned Computers.  Judicial Watch announced today [11/18/2015] that it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to obtain records related to the use by senior officials, including Secretary Jeh Johnson, of government-owned computers for personal web-based email accounts. [...] According to press reports, Johnson and 28 other top Homeland Security officials sought and were granted waivers to use the personal email accounts for the past year, despite the practice having been banned in April 2014.

Judge: State Dept. 'lackadaisical' in processing Clinton files.  A federal judge scolded the State Department Tuesday for being "lackadaisical" in processing the emails turned over by former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton as well as messages and notes from other department officials.  Judge Rudolph Contreras said the department has had Mrs. Clinton's emails since December, and he wondered why it is only now beginning to hire additional reviewers to go over her messages and the tens of thousands of other documents that are being sought as the Obama administration faces an avalanche of open-records requests concerning her time in office.

Obama asks people to read TPP deal themselves.  President Obama on Tuesday morning [11/10/2015] asked people to make their own judgment about the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact by reading it themselves online. [...] On Monday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., tweeted out a picture showing just how hard it might be for the average person to read the deal.  His tweet showed a pile of paper about three feet high on his desk.

Secret TPP Text Released: GOP to Push Obama's Dangerous Trade Deal.  Following years of secret negotiating, the Obama administration released the text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) at 3:30 a.m. today (Thursday, November 5).  Although billed as a "trade agreement," the treaty calls for economic and political "integration" among the TPP members.  Adopting the model that transformed the European Common Market into the European Union, the TPP creates regional governing structures and processes aimed at eventual convergence into a similar EU-style super-state.

NOAA Says There Is No "Pause" But Refuses to Turn Over Their Evidence.  Temperature has long been a problem for Climate science.  We have weather stations all over the country to measure temperature, but when volunteers looked into the siting of the stations, it was found that many were situated next to air-conditioning outlets or vast expanses of concrete that are heat collectors.  Tree-rings are fallible, but we now have a satellite record that is the gold standard.  The RSS satellite record shows clearly the inconvenient truth that there has been no global warming since January 1997.  The U.S government's main climate research agency has refused to release to Congress the key documents that support their conclusion that there has been no pause in global warming.  What could they be trying to hide?

Most transparent administration in history closes more meetings than ever.  The CRS [Congressional Research Service] just published a detailed look at what are called Federal Advisory Committees.  Yes, yes, it sounds arcane.  That's how the Washington bureaucracy gets away with so much stuff.  Make it sound as boring as humanly possible, like a Joe Biden speech on Scranton.  And the people will leave you alone, tune out.  But don't you dare.  For one thing, you're shelling out a third of a billion dollars for these things.  And you don't even know what they do.  That's $915,000 every single day.

Bizarro President.  The flurry of spy stories spinning around in recent weeks makes clear that US-Israel relations remain in crisis.  Two weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal published a fairly detailed account of the US's massive spying operations against Israel between 2010 and 2012.  Their purpose was to prevent Israel from attacking Iran's nuclear installations.  The Journal report, which was based on US sources, also detailed the evasion tactics the Obama administration employed to try to hide its covert nuclear talks with Iran from Israel.  According to the report, the administration was infuriated that through its spy operations against Iran, Israel discovered the talks and the government asked the White House to tell it what was going on.

Harsh: Obama Official Who Pled Guilty to Espionage Gets... $250 Fine.  Glenn Woodell, a NASA supervisor who pled guilty to violating U.S. espionage laws involving a Chinese NASA contractor was given a slap on the wrist with six months' probation and a $250 fine, the Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.  Daniel Jobson, a Woodell colleague and fellow NASA supervisor, had his espionage charges reduced to a misdemeanor and was released without any penalty.  The lenient plea deals were quietly delivered October 26 in U.S. District Court in Newport News, Virginia.  The U.S. Attorneys office did not to [sic] issue a press release about the deals and declined comment when contacted by the DCNF.

NOAA Won't Release Global Warming Data to GOP.  Congress is finally investigating some of the global warming claims made by the Obama Administration, particularly a study that refuted the 15-plus-years pause in warming that other studies have reported.  But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is refusing to fully comply with a subpoena issued by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, chaired by Rep. Lamar Smith.

White House Seeks to Keep Some Clinton Emails Secret.  The White House will try to block the release of a handful of emails between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, citing longstanding precedent invoked by presidents of both parties to keep presidential communications confidential, officials said Friday [10/30/2015].

The U.S. War Casualties the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to See.  Five Americans have been wounded in action while fighting ISIS in Iraq.  But the U.S. military won't say the first thing about who they are, or how they got injured.

Obama Attends Secret Luncheon at DC's Exclusive Metropolitan Club.  President Obama is attending a private luncheon today at the exclusive Metropolitan Club of Washington, D.C. Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle and George Mitchell are hosting the event.  One source described Obama's outing as "a purely social drop-by" with former and current members of the Senate.

White House concealing list of a dozen dying Obamacare insurers.  Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.  Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to eight barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.  All 24 received 15-year loans in varying amounts to offer health insurance to poor and low income customers and provide publicly funded competition to private, for-profit insurers.

Eight ObamaCare Co-Ops Failed; Are 11 More On The Way?  Last week, the total number of failed ObamaCare-created insurance co-ops reached eight, as co-ops in Colorado and Oregon announced that they were closing doors at the end of the year.  These co-ops got a total of about $900 million in low-interest loans, most of which are unlikely to be repaid. [...] Now we learn that 11 of the remaining 15 co-ops could be at death's door too, but the administration is hiding information about their health.

Feds Hide Secret List Of 11 Staggering Obamacare Insurers.  Federal officials have a secret list of 11 Obamacare health insurance co-ops they fear are on the verge of failure, but they refuse to disclose them to the public or to Congress, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has learned.  Just in the last three weeks, five of the original 24 Obamacare co-ops announced plans to close, bringing the total of failures to nine barely two years after their launch with $2 billion in start-up capital from the taxpayers under the Affordable Care Act.

Also posted under Obamacare will never work as promised.

Trumka calls for immediate release of TPP text.  One of the nation's top labor leaders on Wednesday [10/14/2015] called on the Obama administration to immediately release the text of a far-reaching trade deal that spans the Pacific Rim to Latin America.  AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote a letter to President Obama arguing that stakeholders, lawmakers and the American public need to see the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to start what is expected to be a long process of evaluating the deal brokered by the United States and 11 other nations.

Congress must hold EPA responsible for its own environmental disaster.  An EPA contractor breached a wall at a long-shuttered mine and roughly three million gallons of fluid laden with arsenic, lead, mercury, and other heavy metals flowed freely into the Animas River.  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, and local leaders have rightly called for accountability and transparency.  The EPA's response to its own environmental disaster has been anything but honest, transparent or thorough.  The EPA released documents — only after weeks of pressure and in an effort to bury the news at the end of the week — revealing how officials knew of the potential for a spill more than a year before the debacle near Durango.

Hillary Clinton is a Mess on Trade.  On Monday [10/5/2015], American officials announced that they had finally reached an accord on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), an east-meets-west free trade deal that has been in the works for nearly a decade.  TPP languished under "classified" status, irking both Republicans and Democrats who publicly lashed out against the Obama Administration for keeping the details of the trade deal secret, and that frustration has now boiled over as legislators and other officials get their first look at the 1000+ pages of negotiated regulations.

House Republicans Consider Suing Obama.  for Withholding Side Deals on Iran's Nuclear Program

Obama Admin Will Not Reveal to Congress Number of Americans Killed By Iran.  The Obama administration is declining to inform Congress about the number of American citizens and troops killed by Iran and its terror proxies, according to a document provided to Congress and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  The administration was repeatedly asked by Congress to release figures describing how many Americans and Israelis have been killed by Iran's military and terror activities since the country's 1979 revolution.  In a series of on-the-record responses obtained exclusively by the Free Beacon, and provided in written form to Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Kerry sidestepped the questions on all of the three separate occasions he was asked to provide the figures.

Elusive crime wave data shows frightening toll of illegal immigrant criminals.  The federal government can tell you how many "Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islanders" stole a car, the precise number of "American Indian or Alaska Natives" who were arrested for vagrancy or how many whites were busted for counterfeiting in any given year.  But the government agencies that crunch crime numbers are utterly unable — or unwilling — to pinpoint for the public how many illegal immigrants are arrested within U.S. borders each year.  In the absence of comprehensive data, FoxNews.com examined a patchwork of local, state and federal statistics that revealed a wildly disproportionate number of murderers, rapists and drug dealers are crossing into the U.S. amid the wave of hard-working families seeking a better life.

Official may have tried to keep Clinton emails off the record.  State Department email records suggest one official attempted to keep discussions about Hillary Clinton's private communications out of email messages that could one day become public through the Freedom of Information Act.  Peggy Grafeld, an agency FOIA officer, encouraged her colleagues to "discuss, rather than email" critical information about Clinton's records, according to conservative nonprofit Judicial Watch.  Grafeld's message "shows that one of the agency's top officials for the records management and public disclosure did not want to create a written record about issues," Judicial Watch said.

State Dept. concedes 'gaps' in Clinton emails; contradiction could result in perjury charge.  The emails former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton turned back over to the government last year contained "gaps," according to internal department messages evaluating her production.  Mrs. Clinton took office on Jan. 21, 2009, but the first message she turned back over to the department was dated March 18, and the earliest-dated message she herself sent was on April 13, or nearly three months into her time in office, according to a message obtained through an open records request by Judicial Watch, which released it Monday [9/14/2015].

41 Traitors.  41 Democratic Senators chose to back an Iran deal that is a disaster for national security, a gift to terrorists and a path to war.  Here are the five worst things about the deal that the #41Traitors now own. [...] While the text of the treaty is online, the devil is in the details.  Those details are the agreements between Iran and the IAEA.  Iran has demanded that those agreements be kept secret.  The #41Traitors are backing a deal whose contents they don't even know.  We have to pass it to find out how many nuclear bombs Iran ends up with.  Obama and Biden have refused to answer questions about what's in those agreements, [...]

State Dept. withholds dozens of Clinton-related records.  State Department officials withheld dozens of documents related to the unusual employment status of Huma Abedin, a former aide to Hillary Clinton who held two separate jobs in addition to her government position during Clinton's tenure.  Despite a court order requiring the agency to hand over 68 pages of records to the Associated Press by Tuesday [9/8/2015], the State Department delivered just seven pages to the news outlet in its response to its pending Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.  The batch contained just five emails, two of which had been partially redacted, the Associated Press said.

John Kerry Appoints Hillary Clinton Donor as 'Transparency Coordinator' at State Department.  Secretary of State John Kerry appointed former career diplomat Janice Jacobs as the government agency's "transparency coordinator" who will be responsible for improving its document preservation and transparency systems.  The announcement comes as the State Department receives multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and inquiries from congressional lawmakers stemming from the controversy surrounding former secretary of State Hillary Clinton's exclusive use of a private email system while working in the Obama administration.  Jacobs, who most recently worked as Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs before retiring last year, appears to have donated the maximum $2,700 to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in June, according to records from the Federal Election Commission.

Obama's Stonewall Tactics: A Case Study.  The Obama administration has proved to be the least transparent in our modern history.  To an unprecedented degree, the administration is staffed by scofflaws who flout their legal obligations.  When confronted with requests for information, let alone actual investigations, Obama's habitual response is to stonewall.  This strategy has been remarkably successful in avoiding accountability, in part because legal processes are so slow.  We have seen this pattern dozens of times.  One instance, which is highlighted by a federal court order issued on Friday [8/28/2015], illustrates how the administration has operated from the beginning of Obama's term in office.

Conservative group calls for removal of 'transparency czar'.  A conservative group has called on Ambassador Janice Jacobs, the State Department's newly-appointed "transparency czar," to resign amid revelations that she donated the maximum amount permitted by law to Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.  America Rising, a Republican political action committee, highlighted the "conflict of interest" created by allowing a Clinton supporter to decide which of Clinton's emails will be disclosed to the public and Congress — a reported part of Jacobs' new position.

Iran Pact's Secret Side Deals:  A National Security Fraud.  First, we know there are secret side deals that were not mentioned in the Obama administration's rollout of the Iran nuclear agreement.  The administration provided classified (that is, secret) briefings on the side deals to Congress during the week of July 20, in which it claimed that U.S. diplomats have been briefed on the side deal documents but have not seen them.  Obama officials told Congress that the side deals are routine International Atomic Energy Agency arrangements that were being briefed in a classified setting because they are confidential agreements between the IAEA and Iran.  So if the side deals are secret, from whom are they being kept secret?  The U.S. Congress, apparently.

Why an Ethics Report on a Questionable Congressional Trip Will Stay Secret.  On Wednesday [8/26/2015], 10 civic organizations and academics sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee's chairman and ranking member expressing displeasure that the panel didn't publicly disclose findings by the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent, nonpartisan entity. [...] "While we understand that the Committee claims it is not obliged to release OCE's findings because the Committee had sent OCE a 'cease and refer' order and the Committee considered the findings 'supporting documentation,' it is not clear under House rules that the 'cease and refer' order was indeed valid," the letter states.  "Thus, the decision to withhold OCE's findings may have violated House rules."

IRS tea-party villain Lois Lerner had another secret email address.  Embattled former Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner used at least two separate private email accounts to conduct government business, it has emerged, after the agency told a federal court that investigators discovered a second address as they sifted through her communications.  Lerner, considered a Washington Cruella de Vil by conservative groups who say she orchestrated a campaign to discriminate against them, retired in September 2013 amid a scandal launched by her Exempt Organizations office's slow walk of tax-exempt applications from right-wing organizations.

What Is Obama's Top Population-Control Freak Hiding?  The most transparent administration in American history is at it again — dodging sunlight and evading public disclosure.  Joining former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her secret servers, former IRS witch hunt queen Lois Lerner and her secret email accounts, former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and her Internet alter egos, and former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his non-public email account is White House science czar John Holdren.  President Obama's top climate change adviser is defending his hide-and-seek game in federal court.

"Toby Miles": IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account.  Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday that further complicates the administration's efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner's actions during the tea party targeting scandal.  The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

Response to Obama IRS Disclosure of New Lois Lerner Email Account.  It is remarkable that the Obama IRS and Justice Department waited two years to tell a federal court that Lois Lerner had a separate email account that contains documents at issue in the IRS scandal.  Especially since both agencies knew about this account since April of last year.  It could be a crime if Lois Lerner kept confidential taxpayer data on her non-governmental email account.  This new disclosure follows the Obama administration's Nixonian practice of "modified limited hangouts" of information about its IRS scandal and Lois Lerner "lost and found" emails.  Every step of the way, the Obama IRS has obstructed this court's orders to get Lois Lerner's emails recovered and searched.  The Court has already threatened contempt against both IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Justice Department attorneys over the Lerner email issue.  And I suspect that Judge Sullivan won't be pleased by this latest revelation.

It's no Camelot! Caroline Kennedy's oversight of Japanese embassy slammed.  The State Department's internal watchdog leveled biting criticism at the management style of U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy in a new audit on Tuesday [8/25/2015], citing "confusion among staff" and "major management challenges" in key offices at the Tokyo embassy.  And in an echo of the email woes plaguing former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, the inspection by the department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) specifically faulted Ms. Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy and President Obama's personal pick for the job, and her aides for using "personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business."

Report: Caroline Kennedy used private email account for official business.  Many State Department staff used their private accounts to both send and receive these emails, the State Department's inspector general found in an investigation of Kennedy's embassy in Tokyo.  "Senior embassy staff, including the ambassador, used personal email accounts to send and receive messages containing official business," investigators wrote in the report, released Tuesday [8/25/2015].  "In addition, (investigators) identified instances where emails labeled sensitive but unclassified were sent from, or received by, personal email accounts."  The watchdog report said that Kennedy's practices were against State Department policy and put the agency at risk.

Journalists: Obama Isn't Open And Transparent After All.  A coalition of 50 journalism groups Tuesday condemned President Barack Obama for his stranglehold on information — this despite promising to be the most open and transparent president.  The most recent call to end the strict control of information is not the first time the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) has tried to end the practice.  Despite the previous attempts, the administration has continued to ignore them. David Cuillier, a chairman for the group, noted what the Obama administration is doing falls in strict contrast to his earlier promises.

IRS finds yet another Lois Lerner email account.  Lois Lerner had yet another personal email account used to conduct some IRS business, the tax agency confirmed in a new court filing late Monday [8/24/2015] that further complicates the administration's efforts to be transparent about Ms. Lerner's actions during the tea party targeting scandal.  The admission came in an open-records lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that has sued to get a look at emails Ms. Lerner sent during the targeting.

DHS Kept Secret the Release Of Violent Criminal Illegal Immigrants.  Obama administration officials only began notifying local law enforcement officials of the release of violent criminal illegal immigrants within the last two weeks, according to Arizona law enforcement officials, who say they have for years been kept in the dark about the release of illegal immigrants back into local towns.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had been keeping secret its release of illegal immigrants with violent criminal records from local law enforcement for at least two years, denying for a time that this was taking place, law enforcement officials disclosed to the Washington Free Beacon.  The public disclosure of this practice, in which Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) frees criminal illegal immigrants back into U.S. communities, came to light earlier this week, when Arizona law enforcement was made aware that three illegal aliens with violent criminal records had been released back onto the streets.

Stonewalled: Feds Hide Fiscal Details About Vast Operation To Resettle Illegal Alien Minors.  Illegal aliens who show up at the border have been resettled all across United States of America instead of being detained and deported, as Donald Trump recently called for in his new immigration plan.  According to data from the Justice Department obtained by Breitbart News, 96 percent of Central Americans caught illegally crossing into the country last summer are still in the United States.  Now Breitbart News has learned exclusively that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a pro-security group about the cost of this operation is being stonewalled.

Senators: Obama administration hiding secret Iran deal letters.  Two leading U.S. senators are calling on the Obama administration to release secret letters to foreign governments assuring them that they will not be legally penalized for doing business with the Iranian government, according to a copy of a letter sent Wednesday [8/19/2015] to the State Department and obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.  Sens. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) disclosed in the letter to the State Department that U.S. lawmakers have been shown copies of several letters sent by the Obama administration to the Chinese, German, French, and British governments assuring them that companies doing business with Iran will not come under penalty.

State Department Clamps Down on Speaking to Congress or Press.  The State Department has quietly issued a new policy that some insiders view as designed to keep employees from freely speaking to Congress or the press about Benghazi and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email controversy.  The State Department issued 19 pages of revised rules about official clearance for speaking, writing and teaching on July 27.

Obama protects White House insiders, cracks down on low-level leakers.  The Obama administration has a history of dealing harshly with those who mishandle classified information — unless the offender resides in the White House inner circle.  The FBI is conducting a security investigation of Hillary Rodham Clinton's at-home private email server for holding classified material while she was secretary of state.  A new poll shows the majority of Americans want a criminal probe, and some conservatives are calling for one.

The Editor says...
There would be no such thing as a "leaker" if Obama ran the kind of open and transparent administration he promised in 2008.

Obama's Betrayals: Illegality and Malfeasance in Office.  President Barack Obama is guilty of multiple counts of illegality and malfeasance in office.  He has both willfully abused his executive powers and willfully neglected to perform his executive duties under the Constitution to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." [...] Obama asserted a spurious claim of executive privilege to withhold information from Congress on efforts within the Justice Department to hide the truth about the Fast and Furious gun-running operation.  President Obama was protecting his crony Eric Holder and trying to keep embarrassing facts from the public.

Hillary's State Department Routinely Hid Emails On Purpose.  Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's State Department routinely failed to preserve its own emails in order to intentionally hide them from official records.  Clinton-era email use at the State Department was fraught with widespread, intentional concealment, according to an October 2014-March 2015 semiannual report to Congress filed by the State Department's office of inspector general (OIG).  Only a fraction of the messages sent by email were stored as "record emails," according to the report.

EPA Withholding Mine Spill Info From State AGs.  The EPA is not letting the public know the names of the government contractors responsible for spilling three million gallons of toxic wastewater from a southern Colorado mine.  The agency is holding the information close — so close, the Colorado attorney general's office doesn't have it.

How Obama Misled Us about the Concessions He Was Making to Iran.  If what senior Iranian officials are saying is true, the Obama administration's duplicity in explaining its nuclear negotiations with Iran is even more staggering than we realized.  In a new report, MEMRI (the Middle East Media Research Institute) reveals that, according to Iranian officials, the Obama administration initiated secret negotiations with Iran not after the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, but rather in 2011 when Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was still Iran's president.

White House Blocks Pentagon Report on Russian Treaty Breach.  The White House is blocking the release of a Pentagon risk assessment of Russia's violation of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, according to a senior House leader.  Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, disclosed the existence of the Pentagon assessment last month and said the report is needed for Congress' efforts to address the problem in legislation.  "As we look to the near-term future, we need to consider how we're going to respond to Russia's INF violations," Rogers said in an Air Force Association breakfast July 8.  "Congress will not continue to tolerate the administration dithering on this issue."

Obama heavily redacts latest batch of Hillary Clinton's emails.  The Obama administration slapped a secret designation Friday [7/31/2015] on a number of Hillary Rodham Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of state, raising more questions about whether her controversial email arrangement led to classified information being left unsecured.  A new tranche of Clinton emails, released by the State Department under a court order to impose transparency on the Obama administration, contains dozens of documents with information redacted and labeled either "confidential" or "sensitive."

The Iran Nuke Documents Obama Doesn't Want You to See.  Seventeen unclassified Iran deal items have been locked in ultra-secure facilities ordinarily used for top secret info.  Why is the Obama administration trying to bury this material?

IAEA Refuses to Brief Senators on Iran Deal, Even in Classified Setting.  Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said at a hearing on the Iran nuclear deal today [7/30/2015] that they requested a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency on its agreements with Tehran.  These deals are not in the possession of the Obama administration and have never been seen by Secretary of State John Kerry, much less provided to Congress.  "I believe one person may have read it at the — at the facility, but doesn't have it, they don't possess it," Kerry told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

Kerry: We Can't Reveal Contents of Secret Side Deals to American People.  Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill today [7/29/2015] the U.S. government will not be revealing the contents of secret side deals with Iran to the American people.  Senator Tom Cotton wanted to know why it can't be made public.  [Video clip]

Moniz: The Iran side deal is 'confidential,' not 'secret'.  Protocols spelling out how the International Atomic Energy Agency will examine and monitor a country's nuclear program are always confidential, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said on Friday [7/31/2015], trying to tamp down once and for all the notion that "secret" deals with Iran exist as part of an agreement Tehran reached with six world powers to cease its nuclear weapons program.  "There is no secret side deal," Moniz told reporters on Friday at the White House.  The actual deal sent to Congress for review forces Iran to allow the IAEA to go about its work unfettered, he said.

Not Just Hillary — Clinton Staffer Delivers 20,000 Work-Related Emails From Private Account.  Philippe Reines, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan and Huma Abedin all used non State Dept. email accounts during their tenure within the Clinton led State Department.  It appears all of them joined with Hillary Clinton to avoid FOIA investigative inquiry into their activity.  Reines turns over 20 boxes of hand-selected emails for review.

Kerry: We Can't Reveal Contents of Secret Side Deals to American People.  Secretary of State John Kerry testified on Capitol Hill today the U.S. government will not be revealing the contents of secret side deals with Iran to the American people.  Senator Tom Cotton wanted to know why it can't be made public.  [Video clip]

IRS gets lashing from judge for refusing to release Lerner emails, other documents.  A federal judge Wednesday [7/29/2015] rebuked the Obama administration's IRS for refusing to divulge documents, including Lois G. Lerner's emails, and warned that he would hold in contempt those who break his orders.  Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called the administration's defense "nonsensical" and said the IRS must release documents every Monday to Judicial Watch, a conservative public interest law firm that requested the documents under open records laws and then sued after the IRS didn't comply.

House Oversight Committee Details Case for Removal of IRS Commissioner.  House Oversight Republicans, led by Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) today called for President Obama to remove IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  Under Koskinen's leadership, the agency has continually stonewalled the investigation into the Lois Lerner targeting scandal.  Years after the scandal first broke, the agency has done its utmost to bury the truth.  Taxpayers deserve a transparent and responsive government, but under Commissioner Koskinen the IRS has displayed unprecedented unaccountability.  Chairman Chaffetz vowed to explore all options to remove Commissioner Koskinen including impeachment and holding him in contempt of Congress.  As Chaffetz notes, the agency under Koskinen's leadership has failed time and time again to comply with Congressional investigators.

IRS Used Instant Messaging System to Hide Internal Communications.  The IRS used a "wholly separate" instant messaging system that automatically deleted office communications, according to documentation released by the House Oversight Committee on Monday [7/27/2015].  The system appears to have been purposefully used by agency officials responsible for the targeting of conservative non-profits, in order to evade public scrutiny.  The system, known as "Office Communication Server" or OCS was used by IRS officials, including many in the Exempt Organizations (EO) Unit, which was headed by Lois Lerner.  As the Oversight Committee report states, the instant messaging system did not archive any communications, so it is not possible to know what employees of the EO unit discussed on it.

Lois Lerner Used Instant-Messaging System Because It Didn't Save Her Messages.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) used an instant-messaging system that did not automatically save the messages they sent, according to newly released emails obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  Disgraced former IRS official Lois Lerner loved the agency's "Office Communication Server" (OCS) specifically because it left no record of her messages during the period in which her department was targeting conservative and tea party groups.

More evidence that late-night comedians are really political activists:
Jon Stewart's secret White House visits.  To engage privately with the president in his inner sanctum at two sensitive moments — previously unreported meetings that are listed in the White House visitor logs and confirmed to POLITICO by three former Obama aides — speaks volumes about Stewart and his reach, which goes well beyond the million or so viewers who tune into The Daily Show on most weeknights.  Love Stewart's jokes or hate them, he has proven to be a unique voice who is capable of turning in-the-weeds policy discussions into viral video sensations that the country is still talking about the next morning.

Jon Stewart Made Secret Visits To Obama White House.  Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, made multiple secret visits to the White House during Barack Obama's presidency, the Virginia-based political blog Politico revealed Tuesday [7/28/2015].  "Jon Stewart slipped unnoticed into the White House in the midst of the October 2011 budget fight, summoned to an Oval Office coffee with President Barack Obama that he jokingly told his escort felt like being called into the principal's office," the article by Darren Samuelsohn opens.  Stewart made another visit to the White House in February 2014, shortly before Obama warned Russia of potential repercussions if it made a bigger military intervention into Ukraine.

Obama's secret Iran deals exposed.  President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be "based on trust" but rather "unprecedented verification." Now it turns out Obama's verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.  Worse, Obama didn't even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill.  The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress [...]

Too Many Secrets.  One of the most persistent challenges of U.S. national security policy is balancing the short-term benefits of secrecy with the long-term benefits of openness.  Government agencies responsible for dealing with national security threats will often be more effective if they are allowed to keep certain details about their activities secret.  But openness is not just a cherished American value; it is a core element of American strength.  Government officials who ignore this fact and insist on secrecy whenever it seems convenient will serve their agencies and their country poorly.

IRS Encrypts An Entire CD Of Redacted Documents In Response To FOIA Request.  Muckrock has a story of Alex Richardson, seeking information on the IRS's Whistleblower Office, which has been receiving some scrutiny lately.  Richardson filed a bunch of FOIA requests and discovered that the IRS apparently would like to make his life as difficult as possible.  First he got an infamous GLOMAR "neither confirm nor deny" response — which was supposed to be limited to national security issues.  However, with at least one request, a package with a CD just arrived... and Richardson was dismayed to find the contents of the CD encrypted.

HHS Rejects Planned Parenthood FOIA Request Because It's 'Not Newsworthy'.  Earlier this week, Mary Hasson broke the news here at the Federalist that federal funds went to Planned Parenthood's salad-munching, wine-sipping, organ-harvesting Dr. Deborah Nucatola for advice on "healthy baby" births.  Hasson requested all communications and documents relevant to any payments to or compensation of fees, consultant fees, reimbursements, etc. to Deborah Nucatola, MD, a Planned Parenthood employee.  And she requested that the documents be sent as soon as possible.

White House denies Iran 'side deal' it acknowledged yesterday.  The White House is now denying that there was a side deal to the Iran agreement, just a day after National Security Adviser Susan Rice acknowledged that there was an agreement between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency that falls outside the main Iran nuclear agreement.  The issue could be a matter of semantics because the White House is insisting that the accord between the IAEA and Iran is integral to the overall deal.  "This does not represent some sort of side deal," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Thursday [7/23/2015].

Obama allows Iran and UN to see secret deal, but not Congress.  And why are key documents missing from the Iran nuclear deal that was submitted to Congress and the two leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for review?  What could possibly be worse than what we already know?  Seriously, what are they hiding now from the American people?

White House acknowledges 'side' deals between Iran, IAEA.  National security adviser Susan Rice on Wednesday acknowledged the existence of side agreements between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency.  Rice said the deals involve Iran accounting for past military uses of its nuclear program, but rejected GOP assertions that this represented "secret" side deals to the Iranian nuclear agreement.

Nets Ignore Controversy Swirling Around Secret Side Deals With Iran.  Despite the revelation on Wednesday [7/22/2015] that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) made secret side deals with Iran over nuclear weapons inspections and refused to disclose the details to the U.S. Congress, NBC, ABC, and CBS all ignored the story.  By contrast, Fox News's Special Report led with the breaking news that evening as anchor Bret Baier informed viewers:  "As President Obama continues to both court and mock critics of his legacy-shaping nuclear agreement with Iran, there is word tonight of a separate covert deal between the Islamic Republic and the U.N.'s nuclear team.  Two of them, in fact, that are not going to be shared with members of Congress nor with you."

Obama aides deny GOP accusations of secret U.N. side deals with Iran.  Obama administration officials denied Republican accusations Wednesday [7/22/2015] that the United Nations made secret side deals with Iran over the inspection of Iranian military sites, as lawmakers demanded that the administration disclose the fine print of the nuclear agreement and raised fresh objections to the historic accord.  White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice said the additional documents signed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and Iran "are not public" but that the administration would share the information with lawmakers behind closed doors.  She indicated that the U.S. government doesn't have the documents.

Corker, McConnell completely outraged that Obama hid Iran nuclear documents from Congress.  The apogee of Republican Failure Theater — the act of pretending to oppose radical Left policies while secretly supporting them — was the surrender of the Senate's treaty review rights with respect to Barack Obama's secret Iran nuclear agreement.  This complete abdication of Congressional power was orchestrated by the usual suspects — John Boehner and Mitch McConnell — along with their henchman, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN).

Susan Rice Admits Secret 'Side Deals' with Iran.  White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice admitted the existence of two secret "side deals" between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), to accompany the main Iran nuclear deal agreed last week between Iran and the P5+1 powers (U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China).

Homeland Security Leaders Bent Rules on Private E-Mail.  Jeh Johnson, the secretary of homeland security, and 28 of his senior staffers have been using private Web-based e-mail from their work computers for over a year, a practice criticized by cybersecurity experts and advocates of government transparency.  The department banned such private e-mail on DHS computers in April 2014.  Top DHS officials were granted informal waivers, according to a top DHS official who said that he saw the practice as a national security risk.

Obama's big $1 million take in the Big Apple.  President Obama raised nearly $1 million for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and other Democrats' re-election efforts in Manhattan Friday night [7/17/2015] at the uptown home of a British shipping magnate.  The president headlined a Democratic National Committee "roundtable" with some 30 donors who paid $33,400 each to attend the event held at the east side four-story brownstone of George Logothetis and his wife Nitzia.  The event was closed to the press and the White House provided only a read-out of the name of the hosts and the amount each person paid to attend.

EPA 'secret science' under the microscope as GOP lawmakers seek ban.  The Environmental Protection Agency for years has issued costly clean air rules based, in part, on two '90s-era studies linking air pollution with death.  But, critics say, the same agency has stymied efforts to access the data behind them.  The transparency concerns have Republican lawmakers on a new campaign to end the use of what they dub "secret science."  "Why would the EPA want to hide this information from the American people?" House science committee Chairman Lamar Smith, R-Texas, asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at a hearing last week.

The Justice Department's Hidden Race Data.  Back in 2010, Ron Unz of The American Conservative set off a debate by arguing that Hispanics didn't have higher crime rates than non-Hispanic whites, and therefore crime shouldn't be a concern when it comes to immigration from Latin America.  He had to argue this using a variety of roundabout calculations and obscure data sources, however, because good, national data weren't readily available.  For example, the federal government's National Crime Victimization Survey, which asks people about their experiences with crime, didn't allow interviewees to identify their attackers as "Hispanic."  And the racial and ethnic offender breakdowns stopped being published in routine reports after 2008, though the raw numbers were still available in the full data sets.  It turns out the Justice Department has been holding out on us.  It fixed the way it asked about offenders' races, but this went unnoticed because the data were no longer publicized.

State Dept. Ejects, Threatens Journalist Covering Iran Nuke Talks.  The State Department today refused to allow a reporter for the Washington Free Beacon to attend a press briefing given by lead negotiator Wendy Sherman and threatened to call security to have him removed.

ATF's Left Hand Doesn't Know What Its Right Hand is Doing.  A complaint filed Tuesday [6/23/2015] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia seeks an order to compel the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to comply with a Freedom of Information Act request filed in March and ignored in violation of federal law. [...] In 2005, the Congressional Research Service published a memorandum regarding ATF firearms testing procedures.  Among other things, it revealed that the ATF has "over 300 cubic feet of classification letters stored in file cabinets."  The Bureau hasn't scanned any of these documents into a searchable database to assure consistency of interpretation, to identify and resolve regulatory conflicts.  The extent to which this inconsistency has grown and compounded in intervening years is unknown and unknowable without a major organization and review effort.

Obama has issued 19 secret directives.  A one-digit correction to President Obama's directive on hostage policy Wednesday [6/24/2015] had the effect of disclosing the existence of a previously unknown — and still-secret — Obama order on national security.  The hostage policy was originally released Wednesday as a presidential policy directive numbered PPD-29.  When the White House corrected that number to PPD-30, it meant Obama had issued a secret directive as PPD-29 sometime in the past 17 months.  Obama signed PPD-28, an order on electronic eavesdropping in the wake of revelations by Edward Snowden, in January 2014.  So what is PPD-29?  No one's talking.

IRS Deleted Hundreds of Back-up Tapes Containing Thousands of Lerner Emails After Congressional Subpoena Was Issued.  This used to be called obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence.  According to new information from the House Oversight Committee, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration [TIGTA] Russell George and Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Tim Camus, the IRS deleted hundreds of backup tapes containing thousands of emails belonging to former IRS official Lois Lerner, the woman at the center of the conservative targeting scandal.  The tapes were destroyed nine months after a congressional subpoena was issued to the agency demanding they be preserved and turned over.

Sen. Sessions: Slow Fast-Track Now, Before It's Too Late.  Fast-Track, or Trade Promotion Authority, will receive a final cloture vote in the Senate on Tuesday morning [6/22/2015].  This is the bill that passed the House.  If cloture is invoked, the bill will pass the Senate and go to the President's desk.  More than four weeks have passed since the Senate first voted on whether to grant the Executive six years of fast-track authority.v In that time, an enormous amount has been discovered about how the President plans to use this authority — information that was either not known or understood when the vote was held.  This includes the Administration's pledge to use the agreement to impose "environmental governance."

Also posted under What's the rush?

Obama's secret dinner with Hollywood moguls.  Tinseltown is emerging as a transparency-free zone for President Barack Obama, where for the second time he appears to have given his pool the slip to have a private, off-the-schedule dinner with movie moguls.  Deadline Hollywood reported that Obama dined at his Beverly Hills hotel Thursday night with Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg and director Steven Spielberg.  White House spokesman Eric Schultz would only confirm that "the president did have dinner with two of his friends last night in Los Angeles," adding, "I believe they've been supporters of the president in the past."

No Wonder Obama Won't Let Us Read TPP.  On Friday [6/12/2015], Congress disrupted President Obama's plan for a sweeping transfer of U.S. sovereignty to an unaccountable group of foreign busybodies.  Hurray for the stalwart Americans who resisted the demands of Obama, the Republican leadership, and the big-donor claque, but Speaker Boehner plans to give Congress another chance this week to make this dangerous mistake.  The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would turn over to globalists the power to issue regulations about U.S. trade, immigration, the environment, labor and commerce.  It's called a "living agreement" which means the globalists can amend and change the text of the so-called agreement after it has gone into effect.  That reminds me of our supremacist judges who invented the term of a "living" Constitution, which they can rewrite to comport with their own updated ideology.  The globalists claim that this "living" document (TPP), now called Obamatrade, has all the powers of a treaty to commit the U.S. to new foreign obligations, although it certainly did not comply with any U.S. constitutional provisions for treaty ratification.

White House mum on working with McCain to close Gitmo.  The White House on Monday declined to say if it's working with Sens. John McCain and Joe Manchin to permanently close the terrorist detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, just days after it released another six detainees.  McCain, R-Ariz., said last week that the administration — specifically Lisa Monaco, the White House's counter-terrorism adviser, and Pentagon officials — have told him they are working on a plan to send to Congress to close the facility.

White House won't confirm Prince performed for Obama.  Prince performed some of his greatest hits at a weekend White House party for President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.  But although guests put details on social media, White House spokesman Josh Earnest is refusing to confirm the "Purple Rain" singer's attendance.

Democrat arm-twisting on trade deal delayed after Obama weekend of golf, private Prince concert.  Prince gave a private performance at the White House for the Obamas and about 500 guests Saturday night [6/13/2015] to celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month.  Among the guests were former Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; Education Secretary Arne Duncan; White House National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his date, singer Ciara; and entertainers Jon Bon Jovi, James Taylor, Tyler Perry, Connie Britton and Angela Bassett. [...] The White House didn't reveal anything about the event, which was not on Mr. Obama's public schedule.

White House Defends 'Private' Prince Concert With 500 People: 'They Did It On Their Own Dime'.  Although rumors had surfaced about the concert, the White House was silent about the event that brought up to 500 people to the event and did not inform the press about it.  News of the event quickly leaked on social media — including posts from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Rev. Al Sharpton.  Earnest indicated that the Obama family paid for the event at the White House, telling reporters that the first couple "did it on their own dime."  When repeatedly questioned about the size and scope of the event, Earnest defended it as an "appropriate" "private social event" on a Saturday night, and that the Obamas wanted a chance to "host some of their friends" at "their own home."  Earnest also suggested that since details of the event leaked, it was a sign that Obama was committed to transparency.

The Editor says...
Accidental leaks of information do not amount to transparency.  In addition, the White House is "their own home" only temporarily:  They are tenants — they do not own the house.  And if you were to "host some of [your] friends" some evening, amounting to some 500 people, would you really expect to be able to keep the event a secret?  Probably not.  So why wasn't the event announced on the presiden't schedule?  When the spokesman says Mr. and Mrs. Obama "did it on their own dime," does that mean the event cost the taxpayers nothing?  If so, why the secrecy?

DHS agent says bosses tried to strip her gun rights.  A Department of Homeland Security whistleblower testified Thursday [6/11/2015] that the "retaliation" against her for probing a controversial visa program was so extensive she was told she couldn't "carry or own a personal weapon" — a step she described as a constitutional rights violation, and just one of several ways she was punished for speaking out.  Taylor Johnson, a senior special agent in the Homeland Security Investigations division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, testified at a Senate hearing alongside whistleblowers from several other agencies who claim to have faced similar harassment.

DHS Agent Says She Was Stripped Of Gun, Nearly Lost Daughter After Blowing Whistle On Immigration Visa Program.  A Department of Homeland Security agent testified Thursday that she nearly lost custody of her 1-year-old adopted daughter and was told that she could not own a personal firearm after she voiced concerns about a little known federal program that grants green cards to foreign investors.  Taylor Johnson, a senior special agent with a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), testified at a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing alongside several other whistleblowers who claim they've faced retaliation for reporting wrongdoing in their agencies.

Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama's Trade Agreement.  Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama's executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

Obama Can't Be Trusted With This Trade Deal.  Most common-sense people rightly assume that establishing stable uniform rules of engagement and reducing trade barriers is good in and of itself.  But it's a mistake to think that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involving 11 countries in addition to the U.S. — which is close to being concluded after six-plus years of negotiation under the Obama administration — is only a free trade pact.  It's also a misstep to grant the Obama administration with fast-track authority and the attendant secrecy on all details of this trade pact.

Revealed: The Secret Immigration Chapter in Obama's Trade Agreement.  Discovered inside the huge tranche of secretive Obamatrade documents released by Wikileaks are key details on how technically any Republican voting for Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) that would fast-track trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal would technically also be voting to massively expand President Obama's executive authority when it comes to immigration matters.

Obama lawyers asked secret court to ignore public court's decision on spying.  The Obama administration has asked a secret surveillance court to ignore a federal court that found bulk surveillance illegal and to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months.  The legal request, filed nearly four hours after Barack Obama vowed to sign a new law banning precisely the bulk collection he asks the secret court to approve, also suggests that the administration may not necessarily comply with any potential court order demanding that the collection stop.

Chaffetz: Obama Administration Has Claimed 550,000 FOIA Exemptions.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the Obama administration refused to provide information more than 550,000 times in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.  "I worry that over the course of several administrations but certainly this administration, the stiff arm that is being given to the media, that has been given to the public has become excessive.  In this administration there were more than 550,000 times that the administration has claimed some sort of exemption and not let that information out," he said at a National Journal event focused on Chaffetz's chairmanship.

Rand Paul Slams Rubio over Obamatrade: 'We Should Read Legislation Before We Vote on It'.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is opening fire on Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and everyone else who backed or is backing Obamatrade without reading the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) would fast track. [...] "It kind of boggles the mind," Paul said "Who's in charge of the administration that decides to keep a trade treaty secret?  To keep it classified makes no sense at all."

I Agree with the Unions: Stop Secret Obamatrade TPP Deal.  Here are some of the things that ObamaTrade does, according to one source:
  •   Only two of its 26 chapters actually cover trade issues such as tariffs and quotas.
  •   Obamatrade would submit the U.S. to the jurisdiction of international tribunals established under the auspices of the United Nations or World Bank.
  •   Obamatrade would surrender control of 544 million acres of public land — a quarter of the entire U.S. land area — to international authorities.
  •   It would establish a system of foreign tribunals higher in authority than even the U.S. Supreme Court that could overrule federal court rulings[.]
  •   Obamatrade would shift decisions over the payment of U.S. tax dollars away from Congress and outside of the Constitutionally-established Article III federal court system (or even U.S. state system) to the authority of international tribunals.
  •   Obama's agreement would obligate the federal government to force U.S. states to conform state laws to 1000 pages of rules, regulations and constraints unrelated to trade — from land use to whether foreign firms operating in a state can be required to meet the same laws as domestic firms.
  •   Obamatrade would empower foreign companies to use foreign tribunals to enforce special privileges only available to them. Obamatrade would exempt foreign companies from EPA and other onerous regulations that American firms would still be forced to comply with.
  •   Under Obamatrade, foreign companies could actually go to an international tribunal and sue American taxpayers for cash awards to compensate them for costs associated with government regulations — something American-owned companies would not be able to do.
  •   Obamatrade rewrites the global rules of the Internet to impose restrictive rules that Congress rejected when it rejected SOPA, PIPA and ACTA.
  •   The TPP includes some 26 separate chapters that affect our sovereignty, jobs, businesses, farms, food, consumer safety, immigration, the Internet and more.

Sessions to Obama: Why Are You Keeping Obamatrade's New Global Governance Secret?  Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, has written a scathing new letter to President Barack Obama pressuring him to explain why Obamatrade has been so secretive.

What's The Rush On Obamatrade Plans With Its 'Global Governance' Hidden Inside?  Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) is pressuring House GOP leadership, particularly Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), to delay plans to muscle Obamatrade through the House of Representatives quickly.  In in a letter to McCarthy obtained exclusively by Breitbart News, he's asking leadership to slow down and consider the ramifications of what it is doing.

Directive 11: Obama's Secret Islamist Plan.  Behind the rise of ISIS, the Libyan Civil War, the unrest in Egypt, Yemen and across the region may be a single classified document.  That document is Presidential Study Directive 11.  You can download Presidential Study Directive 10 on "Preventing Mass Atrocities" from the White House website, but as of yet no one has been able to properly pry number 11 out of Obama Inc. [...] With Obama's typical use of technicalities to avoid transparency, Directive 11 was used to guide policy in the Middle East without being officially submitted.  It is possible that it will never be submitted.  And yet the Directive 11 group was described as "just finishing its work" when the Arab Spring began.  That is certainly one way of looking at it.

Smoking-gun document said to prove Obama-Muslim Brotherhood ties.  The White House isn't commenting on the exposure of a secret presidential directive, but critics tell WND it confirms what they feared:  The Obama administration has an official policy of backing so-called "moderate Islamists," including the jihadist group the Muslim Brotherhood.  A source familiar with the document told the Washington Times the "policy of backing the Muslim Brotherhood is outlined in a secret directive called Presidential Study Directive-11, or PSD-11."

Carly To Obama: Release Obamatrade Text Now.  Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, is calling on President Barack Obama to publicly release the text of Obamatrade immediately.

Two Members of Boehner's Leadership Team Openly Refuse to Admit if They've Read Obamatrade.  Two members of House GOP leadership — Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) — refused to admit through spokespersons to Breitbart News whether they have read the text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) Pacific Rim trade deal, but they still support granting President Barack Obama the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) to fast track it.  What's more, Scalise and Sessions — and others GOP conference-wide, including even perhaps Boehner — could be vulnerable to serious primary challenges if they continue forward with Obamatrade.

Attkisson: Feds 'Perverted' FOIA to Intentionally 'Obfuscate, Obstruct and Delay'.  Tuesday [6/2/2015] at the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson testified that the federal government has so "perverted" the FOIA process by "ridiculously overused" exemptions and stall tactics they have created a system to intentionally "obfuscate, obstruct and delay" the release of public information.

Media Bias? With Obama It's More Like Battered Spouse Syndrome.  Imagine a Republican president who investigated, harassed and stonewalled the press at every turn.  Reporters would be in a vein-popping rage.  But with President Obama, they keep blowing kisses.

Journalists Tell Oversight Committee: Bureaucrats Make FOIA Process 'Useless'.  Members of a House oversight committee were outraged during a bizarre hearing Tuesday [6/2/2015] in which congressmen listened to journalists discuss how government agencies intentionally botched formal requests for information.  The reporters told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of numerous instances where agencies needlessly delayed, denied or redacted Freedom of Information Act requests. The FOIA guarantees the public access to all government documents, subject only to nine exemptions such as for privacy, commercial privilege and national security.

New York Times Lawyer: Obama Admin Made Us Wait Years To Get Public Information.  David McCraw, legal counsel to The New York Times newsroom, testified Tuesday [6/2/2015] that the Obama administration has a "culture of unresponsiveness" when it comes to fulfilling Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and that the administration has made the Times wait years to get simple FOIA information.  "Last year, I filed eight FOIA lawsuits on behalf of The Times," McCraw testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  "Much of that litigation was driven not by actual disagreement about legal issues but in response to unacceptable delay by agencies.  In other words, we find ourselves compelled to initiate litigation simply to prompt agencies to act upon a request."

Dealing away American sovereignty.  The legacy media and the federal bureaucracy are really, really, hoping you'll be distracted by the arrests of soccer executives.  And if that's not your speed, they have the drama of federal charges against former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, sparking questions about blackmail, "bad acts" and Mr. Hastert's time as a teacher and wrestling coach in his hometown.  But there is something much more ominous facing the United States, which is not just being pushed by President Obama.  Rather, it is facilitated by Senate Republicans — the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

US Air Force launches X-37B space plane on 4th mystery mission.  The U.S. Air Force's X-37B space plane blasted into Earth orbit today, kicking off the robotic vehicle's clandestine fourth mission — as well as the first flight of a tiny solar-sailing spacecraft. [...] Most details about the space plane's orbital activities are classified, so it's unclear what exactly the X-37B will be doing as it zooms around Earth, or how long it will remain aloft.

House Panel Meets the Press In Probe of FOIA Woes.  An unusual House hearing next week will feature reporters testifying before a congressional committee hearing instead of covering it.  The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's probe of barriers to receiving federal documents under the Freedom of Information Act features three journalists and New York Times assistant general counsel David McCraw among the witnesses on June 2.  One journalist is Sharyl Attkisson, a former CBS investigative reporter and author of Stonewalled, a 2014 book celebrated by conservatives that targets Obama administration "efforts to monitor journalists, intimidate and harass opposition groups, and spy on private citizens."

For once, Sen. Warren is right.  What we're talking about is the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and if you haven't heard about it yet, you are not alone.  If you have heard of it, but you have no idea exactly what is in it, then you are in very good company indeed.  That's because — according to the White House — the United States got such a good deal that if anyone found out about it before it is approved, the whole thing would fall apart.  Huh?  Yep, as part of "the most transparent administration in history," the draft Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement is kept under lock and key somewhere in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center.  Only members of Congress can read it, and then only under the watchful eye of some basement bureaucrat who will ensure that no sly senator slips out a cell phone to transmit the secret details of this "free trade" deal to Twitter or Instagram.

Over 1 Million Bin Laden Documents Remain Unreleased.  The U.S. government released Wednesday morning [5/20/2015] an additional 86 documents from the vast collection of documents captured during the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  The new disclosures bring the total number of documents released to 120 — a tiny fraction of the more than one million documents that were taken during the assault.

Under What Authority Can Obama keep his TPP Trade Deal Secret?  Members of Congress are scuttling around like weasels, claiming they can't disclose what's in this far-reaching, 12-nation trade treaty.  They can go into a sealed room and read a draft, but they can't copy pages, and they can't tell the public what they just read.  Why not?  If there is a US law forbidding disclosure, name the law.

Obama's Link to Nonprofit Stirs Up Transparency Debate.  A charitable foundation connected to a president is facing criticism from watchdog groups about transparency and influence peddling.  No, it's not the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, which has come under fire over its donor disclosure, transparency standards and foreign donors as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton geared up for her 2016 presidential run.  Government watchdogs and transparency advocates say that President Barack Obama's involvement in the new My Brother's Keeper Alliance, a private-sector version of a government initiative he started in 2014, raises potential red flags about the millions of dollars in corporate pledges flowing to the new group.

Obama's State Department repeatedly ignores open government laws.  The State Department has been dismissing about half of the press requests it receives for information under open government laws — a pattern of rejection that members of the Senate Judiciary Committee described on Wednesday [5/6/2015] as unacceptable and embarrassing.  Sen. Patrick Leahy, ranking member of the committee, said the State Department has repeatedly failed to respect the country's open government laws, like the Freedom of Information Act, more commonly known as FOIA.

Reporters kept out of Obama-Lynch meeting.  President Obama dodged potential questions about violent street protests in Baltimore on Monday when he met with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  Obama met with Lynch for the first time since she was sworn in, but the White House barred print, radio, and television reporters from covering the Oval Office meeting. Only still photographers were allowed inside.

White House sneaks out two new climate-related programs.  The Obama administration snuck in two new climate change-related programs when it rolled out a major new study on the nation's challenged energy system.  The first installment of a major four-part energy analysis, dubbed the Quadrennial Energy Review, was issued Tuesday morning [4/21/2015] after several months of persistent delays.  Included with the 350-page review, which focused on the nation's energy infrastructure hurdles, were two new executive actions:  one addressing climate change resilience, and another for clean energy improvements in rural America.

Chuck Grassley: FBI obstructing Fast and Furious, other probes.  The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee accused the FBI on Monday [4/20/2015] of not cooperating with the Department of Justice's top watchdog in the investigation of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal, among others, endangering Congress's ability to be a check on the administration's actions.  "One of the tools we have created to help the government identify and correct its mistakes is being obstructed.  I refer to the vital work of Inspectors General," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, in a speech on the Senate floor Monday.  "We must stay vigilant and insist that all government agencies, including the FBI, work with Inspectors General — not against them."

Obama Kept Iran's Short Breakout Time a Secret.  The Barack Obama administration has estimated for years that Iran was at most three months away from enriching enough nuclear fuel for an atomic bomb.  But the administration only declassified this estimate at the beginning of the month, just in time for the White House to make the case for its Iran deal to Congress and the public.

Report: FBI Holds Special Meeting in Juarez on Press Strategy to Deny Judicial Watch's Reporting About ISIS on the Border.  The government watchdog group Judicial Watch is not backing down from its report about ISIS training camps on the border amid Obama administration denials.  In a new report, up at its website today, Judicial Watch reports that a "high level intelligence source" has confirmed that FBI supervisors called a special meeting at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez.  The source, who "must remain anonymous for safety reasons," told Judicial Watch that the meeting was convened specifically to address a press strategy to deny their reports about terrorist activity on the border, and to figure out who is leaking the information to JW.

AZ Sheriff: I Can't Get the Names of Criminal Illegals Released In My County.  Pinal County, AZ Sheriff Paul Babeu (R) said that he cannot get access to the names of the nearly 500 criminal illegal immigrants released in his county on Tuesday's [4/14/2015] "Your World with Neil Cavuto" on the Fox News Channel.

Russia's Invasion of White House Computers.  [Scroll down]  Only on October 28, days before the election, did the Obama administration admit that White House computers had been down for weeks.  The administration said that it learned of the foreign intrusion, apparently by Russia, from "an ally."  So we didn't detect it, and there was no indication of how long one or more hostile powers had access to White House computers before the intrusion was discovered. [...] Isn't it reasonable to infer that major news outlets kept Russia's cyberattack a secret until after the election because it reflected badly on the Obama administration's competence as well as its complacent view of the world?  Some "reset"!  I think that is an inescapable conclusion.  Even today, it is astonishing that the story has gotten so little attention in the Democratic Party press.

Read the Memo on Jack Lew's Meeting with Tom Steyer Treasury Tried to Keep Secret.  The document, a previously unreported briefing memorandum provided to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew released after months of unsuccessful efforts to prevent its public disclosure, lays out the agenda of a June meeting on U.S. climate policy with Steyer and a number of White House officials.  The event focused on the Risky Business Project, a joint effort by Steyer, former treasury secretary Hank Paulson, and other public figures to get the business community on board with restrictions on carbon emissions.

Obama administration's new spending website rolls back transparency.  A redesign of a transparency website that provides information on federal spending by the Obama administration now makes it much more difficult to see how taxpayer dollars are spent.  Usaspending.gov, a website mandated by law to provide detailed information on every federal contract over $3,000, received a makeover on Tuesday [3/31/2015].  Users can no longer search federal spending by keywords, sort contracts by date, or easily find detailed information on awards, which are delivered in bulk.

Access denied: Reporters say federal officials, data increasingly off limits.  Stacey Singer, a health reporter for the Palm Beach Post in Florida, was perusing a medical journal in 2012 when she came across something startling: a federal epidemiologist's report about a tuberculosis outbreak in the Jacksonville area. Singer promptly began pursuing the story.  But when she started seeking official comment about the little-reported outbreak, the doors began closing. [...] The stories aren't always as consequential or as dramatic as a TB outbreak, but Singer's experience is shared by virtually every journalist on the government beat, from the White House on down.

White House Vows To Be 'Protective' Of 'Private' Obama Meetings With Hillary.  The White House today explained that Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's meeting with President Obama earlier this week was "private" and that it would be "protective" of his right to do so.  The guiding principal is that we're going to be very protective of the right of the President of the United States to have private meetings," Earnest said.  "But that where possible, and when we determine that we can, we're going to do our best to try to let you know what the president is up to."

White House chief florist resigns — wilted under pressure from first lady?  The official story is that Chief Florist Laura Dowling simply left her position earlier this year.  But a source familiar with the situation confirmed to Fox News that she "resigned."  Reportedly, she was even escorted from the building — and this was preceded by a clash over aesthetics with first lady Michelle Obama.  The Washington Post first reported on the fresh-cut drama earlier this week, with a source telling the newspaper Dowling was escorted out on Feb. 13 after nearly six years on the job.

The White House head florist is gone and rumors are flying about why.  When White House chief pastry chef Bill Yosses left the executive mansion last summer, the president publicly mourned the loss of "the crust master's" mysteriously addictive pies. [...] But the recent exit of head florist Laura Dowling, who'd been in the job since 2009, has been a much quieter affair.  So hush hush, in fact, that most outside of 1600 Penn knew nothing about it.  There's still no official comment on why Dowling is no longer at the White House, but according to a source with close ties to current residence staffers, she was escorted from the building on Friday Feb. 13. [...] The silence from the East Wing surrounding Dowling's exit is in sharp contrast to the buzz of her hiring.

Obama Hosts Secret Meeting at the White House With Hillary Clinton.  At the White House Press Briefing began today [3/23/2015], White House reporters had a question: Would former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stop by the White House to visit with President Obama?  Clinton was scheduled to join a roundtable event at the Center of American Progress earlier in the day, so it was only natural to wonder if she would visit Obama while in Washington D.C.

Obama Sets Record for Refusing to Release Government Files.  Remember when Obama first came to the White House claiming that he would have the most ethical and transparent administration in history?  Well, it turns out not so much.  In fact, Obama has set the record for refusing to obey the Freedom of Information Act by releasing requested documents to the media and watchdog groups.

US Sets New Record For Denying, Censoring Government Files.  For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

No Transparency for You! The White House Excludes Itself from Transparency.  Freedom of Information Day falls on March 16th in tribute to James Madison's birthday in 1751.  Madison was known as the "Father of the Constitution" for drafting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights, and was the loudest voice of the time for ensuring that the government of the newly formed nation held no secrets from the people it owned.  The Freedom of Information Act was enacted on July 4th, 1966.  It declared that every person has the right to get information to federal agency records that are not protected by one of nine exemptions, or special law enforcement record exclusions.  Marking that day, yesterday, the O'Bomber administration announced that it was removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)!

White House Office: No More FOIA Requests.  The Obama administration, which bills itself as the most transparent administration in history, is announcing on Tuesday that its office of administration will no longer be subject to federal regulations regarding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which allows citizens to request copies of federal documents.  While the action is not surprising, it was a move they could have made in 2009, which raises questions about the timing.

The most transparent administration — oh, wait....  Many have different concerns about the email fiasco.  Some believe she may have flouted federal record laws.  Others believe this is where they can find the "smoking gun" tying her to the Benghazi debacle.  Still others just enjoy seeing egg on her face.  But the scandal is actually much simpler and more insidious than that.  The truth is, the American people have lost all patience with the Obama administration's façade, excuses, and prevarications about transparency. Hillary Clinton may or may not have violated certain rules and ethical expectations as Secretary of State.  We will see.  But the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency have been doing the same thing for years.  That much we do know.

White House gets rid of FOIA regs, raising transparency questions.  The White House, in a curiously timed move, is stripping a federal regulation that made a particular office subject to reporters' records requests.  The rule change means the Freedom of Information Act will no longer apply to the White House Office of Administration.  In turn, the policy will allow the Obama White House to reject records requests for that office, just as the last Bush White House did.

Border Patrol Agent: We are Punished for Reporting Illegal Alien Groups of More Than 20.  A U.S. Border Patrol agent from the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas told lawmakers today that his fellow agents are punished for reporting illegal alien groups of more than 20.  "Agents who repeatedly report groups larger than 20 face retribution.  Management will either take them out of the field and assign them to processing detainees at the station or assign them to a fixed position in low volume areas as punishment," Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera told a Senate panel.  "Needless to say Agents got the message and now stay below this 20 person threshold no matter the actual size of the group."

FCC chief on defensive over secret White House meetings.  Top White House aides met with the head of the Federal Communications Commission at least nine times while it was working on strong Internet regulations without telling the public, House Republicans revealed on Tuesday [3/17/2015].  Agency head Tom Wheeler defended the lack of disclosure about the meetings during a hearing in the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday [3/17/2015], claiming that the tough new net neutrality rules never came up in those talks.

White House office to delete its FOIA regulations.  The White House is removing a federal regulation that subjects its Office of Administration to the Freedom of Information Act, making official a policy under Presidents Bush and Obama to reject requests for records to that office.  The White House said the cleanup of FOIA regulations is consistent with court rulings that hold that the office is not subject to the transparency law.  The office handles, among other things, White House record-keeping duties like the archiving of e-mails.

Overreaching in Plain English.  In 2010, you see, President Obama signed the Plain Writing Act into law.  It requires that all federal agencies use "clear government communication that the public can understand and use."  In 2011, Obama took the plain-language initiative a step further.  He issued an executive order (No. 13563) that demands that government "regulations are accessible, consistent, written in plain language, and easy to understand."  Too bad these actions came after ObamaCare, which Nancy Pelosi said Congress had to pass so we could find out what was in it.

'How Hard Can It Be?' State Dept Still Can't Find Hillary's Crucial 'Separation' Form.  AP reporter Matt Lee was stumped by the State Department's inability to find the "separation" form Hillary Clinton should've signed when she quit as Secretary of State, wondering why the department cannot go back and pull the document from the department's HR files.  The form, OF-109, is critical to understanding whether Clinton violated the law by maintaining her own private e-mail account and server to conduct official business as Secretary.  If she signed the form, as is required for all departing employees, she may have committed a felony.  The document asserts, under penalty of perjury, that the employee turned over all relevant records at the time of signing.  And if she didn't sign the form, the question remains:  Why not?

National Archives Tried to Hide Email About Living in Fear of White House.  The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) tried to hide an email about its fear of upsetting the White House from Freedom of Information Act requests by the Associated Press, the AP reported Friday [3/13/2015].  Associated Press president Gary Pruitt reported in an op-ed on government transparency that, during the course of an AP investigation into Michelle Obama's dresses, NARA used a privacy exemption to redact a line in an email that was actually about the agency's fear of the White House: [...]

Surprise: Eric Holder Also Used Secret Email Aliases.  The DOJ states that the secret email account in no way interfere with Congressional oversight nor FOIA requests.  As long as the requester knows what those email addresses are that no one knows.  And, "the official told The Huffington Post[,] Holder has used the aliases to prevent spam and to keep his inbox from being overwhelmed by the public, not to avoid transparency."  Apparently, the federal government cannot afford a decent spam filter with their teeny tiny $3.8 trillion budget.  And, how dare you pesky Citizens dare email the top cop!  But, wait, it gets better!

Josh Earnest Refuses To Say Whether Or Not Obama Uses Private Email.  During the White House press briefing Wednesday [3/11/2015], White House press secretary Josh Earnest refused to answer whether or not President Barack Obama uses a private email for government business.  [Video clip]

White House won't say whether Obama uses private email.  White House press secretary Josh Earnest Wednesday [3/11/2015] declined to say whether President Obama uses a private or a government email address, claiming the president's personal security as a reason for withholding an answer.  "I'm not going to be in a position to talk about the president's email address for a variety of reasons," Earnest told reporters Wednesday when asked if Obama uses a private or a dot-gov email address.

Holder Used Secret Email Address, Too.  Attorney General Eric Holder used secretive email accounts under aliases during his tenure at the Justice Department, raising fresh questions about the Obama administration's compliance with federal records laws as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reels from her own email scandal.  Holder has emailed under the nom de plume "Henry Yearwood" in the past, former Justice Department officials say.  The Huffington Post reported Tuesday that Holder had used three aliases.

EPA's toxic mess on transparency.  In August 2012, the conservative watchdog group Landmark Legal Foundation made a Freedom of Information Act request for records at the Environmental Protection Agency — specifically seeking records of any efforts to slow down the issue of new regulations until after the 2012 election.  FOIA requests are supposed to be acknowledged and complied with very promptly.  In this case, EPA bureaucrats did precisely what the Freedom of Information Act is intended to prevent — they slow-walked Landmark's request past the 2012 elections, so that voters could not use the information to make their decision.

Most Transparent Administration Ever Suffers Curious Epidemic of Disappearing Email Systems, Crashed Hard Drives and Lost Backup Tapes.  Remember when Barack Obama promised his would be the "most open and transparent administration ever"?

FOIA Request for Hillary Clinton's Email Address Went Missing.  The State Department may have ignored or rejected a request made in 2012 under the Freedom of Information Act by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) seeking Hillary Clinton's email addresses, according to a Daily Caller report on Thursday [3/5/2015].  The New York Times reported on Monday that Clinton exclusively used a private email account and server for her email during her four years as secretary of state, skirting federal records laws, as well as State Department and Obama administration transparency guidelines, and raising suspicions that numerous public records requests for her emails were improperly blocked.

As House panel issues subpoenas, questions mount over Clinton e-mails.  A congressional committee issued subpoenas Wednesday [3/4/2015] seeking information about Hillary Rodham Clinton's use of a private e-mail account for official business while she was secretary of state, setting up a potential legal clash with the presumptive Democratic front-runner for president.  The move followed the revelation that Clinton had installed a private server at her New York home that allowed her, and not the State Department, to store her e-mail correspondence and later decide which ones to turn over as public records.

Hidden Clinton emails taint Obama transparency vow, boost Benghazi probe.  The revelation Hillary Rodham Clinton used an off-the-books email account during her time as secretary of state reverberated across Washington on Tuesday, further eroding the Obama administration's claims of transparency, giving new momentum to House Republicans investigating the Benghazi affair and raising fresh questions about Mrs. Clinton's credibility heading into 2016.  While Mrs. Clinton now has turned over roughly 55,000 pages of emails — including about 300 messages related to the deadly September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi given to House Republicans — it's unclear whether more emails remain hidden and, if so, how many.

The Hillary Cover-Up and the End of Democracy.  On Monday [3/2/2015], The New York Times reported that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton never — not once — used her official State Department email address for her official communications.  Instead, she utilized a private email account, effectively protecting her emails from public scrutiny.  The Washington Post then broke the news that Hillary had registered her email address the same day her confirmation hearings for secretary of state began.  In other words, Hillary knew she would be secretary of state conducting official business, and coincidentally opened a private email account at the same time to guard her from Freedom of Information Act requests.

Hillary Clinton's Criminal Activities Must Disqualify her from the Presidency.  'Witch hunts" sometimes find a witch, and those who dismissed the establishment of the House Benghazi Select Committee, chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., as just another witch hunt are eating their words.  The existence of a personal account that Hillary Clinton used to conduct government business as secretary of state was discovered by the committee and reported by the New York Times.  Clinton's use of this personal account explains why investigations of the Benghazi terrorist attack — and her culpability in our diplomatic mission's vulnerability there, the failure to heed warnings and the cover-up afterward — failed to find much email evidence of her direct involvement.

Hm: Hillary was warned over private e-mail use, security?  Several have wondered, surely there was someone in the Clinton orbit who said, "Hey, maybe it's not the greatest idea ever for you to ignore federal records acts, never get a government e-mail, and so obviously hide everything you do during your tenure at the State Department."  Well, there wasn't anyone close enough to her to care to get the message through, apparently, but there was someone.

Clinton Ran Homebrew Computer Service For Official Emails.  The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Clinton's emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family's home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

Other Hillary State Dept Aides Held Private Email Addresses For Secretive Communication.  We shared this expectation last evening within hours of finding out about the secret Clinton email accounts.  Specifically, regarding Huma Abedin.  If there were other State Department Officers and aides to Hillary who held similar email profiles Abedin would definitely be at the top of the list.

Court rips EPA over FOIA dodge.  In 2012, Mark Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation filed a FOIA request with the EPA in an attempt to discover if senior agency officials were postponing the implementation of key (read: controversial and politically-damaging) regulations until after the 2012 presidential elections.  As soon as that FOIA request was received by the EPA, the agency was bound to preserve any and all documentation covered by the request.  What happened next was predictable, and not at all out of character for an Obama agency.

Hillary Set Up Her Off-the-Books Email Account the Day Her Confirmation Hearings Began.  No, it wasn't a mistake, or an oversight.  Clinton's efforts to drag her correspondence into the unaccountable shadows were carefully planned and deliberate.  They required a great deal of cooperation from the rest of the Obama administration, which had to pretend not to notice that none of Hillary's mail was coming from the State Department's domain.  And we're not talking about a couple of messages sent improperly here and there, or even the sort of secretive backstage communications network Obama administration officials are so fond of (and which, let us stipulate, politicians of both parties, at every level of government, have employed.)  No, Hillary Clinton routed all of her correspondence through her off-the-books account, and only a portion of it was captured when her email slipped into the in-boxes of other officials who did use properly archived accounts.

The Lessons of Hillary Clinton's Secrecy.  We now know that Hillary Clinton evaded government record-keeping and jeopardized national security by using a private email account while Secretary of State.  Troubling as this incident is, it points to larger and more disturbing lessons about the woman who may become our next president.

White House says Clinton did not heed e-mail policy.  Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton appears to have operated in violation of what the White House said Tuesday was "very specific guidance" that members of the Obama administration use government e-mail accounts to carry out official business.  Clinton did not have a government account at the State Department but instead used her personal e-mail account.  That was permissible only if all e-mails relating to government business were turned over and archived by the State Department, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at his daily briefing.

Hillary Clinton's email server traced to home-based service: AP.  The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Clinton's emails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family's home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.  If the details in the AP report are true, they add a new level of secrecy and sophistication surrounding her e-mail use while she was at the State Department, observes CBS News correspondent Margaret Brennan.

Clinton may have broken transparency rules with email use at State.  Former Secretary of State and presumptive Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton might have violated transparency rules by solely using her personal email address for official business, according to a report in The New York Times.  That means that her official correspondence from her tenure at the State Department wasn't immediately backed up on government servers, so aides had to comb through emails to hand official work over to the State Department.  So far, aides gave the agency 55,000 emails, according to the Times, and recently turned over 900 pages discussing the attacks on the annex in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012.

Hacked emails indicate that Hillary Clinton used a domain registered the day of her Senate hearings.  The New York Times reported Monday night that, during her tenure at the State Department, Hillary Clinton never used her official e-mail account to conduct communications, relying instead on a private e-mail account.  As the Times notes, only official accounts are automatically retained under the Federal Records Act, meaning that none of Clinton's e-mail communication was preserved.

NYT: Hillary conducted official State business on her private e-mail account — all of it.  Ever wonder why multiple investigations of the Benghazi attack failed to turn up much from Hillary Clinton's e-mails?  So did the House Select Committee investigating the attack on the facility and the failures that led to it.  To their surprise, the Secretary of State had conducted all of her e-mail on a private account rather than an official State Department account — and her aides had carefully culled only the e-mails they wanted investigators to see.

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules.  Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials' correspondence be retained as part of the agency's record.

Report: Hillary Clinton Evaded Government Email While Secretary Of State.  The New York Times is reporting that, during the time that she served as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton exclusively used a private email account with unknown security protocols to communicate with State Department employees, others in the Federal Government and, presumably, foreign government officials, in what appears to be a violation of both the letter and the spirit of Federal record keeping laws.

Hillary Clinton 'used an unsecured personal email account for her four years as Secretary of State.  Hillary Clinton used only a personal email address to conduct official government business during her four-year tenure as Secretary of State in a 'serious' breach of protocol, officials have said.  The 67-year-old former first lady did not acquire nor use a government email account while serving in the position from January 2009 to February 2013, State Department officials said.  She also failed to preserve her correspondence on the State Department's servers — something that is required of officials under the US Federal Records Act — until two months ago.

The "prebranding" of Hillary Clinton.  The New York Times reports that Hillary Clinton used a personal email account — and only a personal email account — to send emails in connection with government business while she was Secretary of State. [...] There are good reasons why, except in special circumstances, the Secretary of State shouldn't conduct public business on a private email account.  One reason is to ensure the preservation of records.  Such records are of general historical interest.  In addition, they may be of interest in connection with specific investigations such as, say, the Benghazi investigation.  In fact, the existence of Clinton's personal email account was discovered by the House committee that, under the leadership of Trey Gowdy, is investigating this matter.

Treasury throws unauthorized $3 billion to insurers under Obamacare, won't say why.  It's right there in the Constitution:  "No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time."  Which is why this latest episode of lawlessness from the administration is so particularly galling.  "The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations," The Washington Examiner's Philp Klein reported on Thursday [2/26/2015].

If the FCC's 'Net Neutrality' Plan is So Great, Why Can't Anyone See It?  If the FCC's plan to "protect" net neutrality and rein in the power of greedy corporations is so fantastic, then why haven't its 332 pages been released for public consumption? [...] Despite this mammoth change in the function of the web, no Congressional debate took place, no bills were introduced and no legislation was signed.  The vast majority of Americans are unaware that this is even taking place since the news networks are offering scant coverage.

GOP House Chairmen Blast FCC Chairman's Refusal to Testify.  [Scroll down]  "The last time a rule of this magnitude was voted on by the FCC, then-Senator Obama was motivated to call for transparency at the commission," the congressmen said.  "We continue that call today."  The FCC is set to vote on the proposed net neutrality regulations on Thursday.  However, no one outside of the commissioners and their staff are permitted to see the regulations until they are passed.  Even members of Congress are barred from reading the 332-page draft.

House Chair Demands FCC Net Neutrality Gag Order Lifted.  Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) demanded yesterday [2/23/2015] that the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler make public the details of the proposed net neutrality regulations that will regulate the Internet under the same rules as the old AT&T monopoly.  Chaffetz also asked the FCC Chair to appear and answer questions at the House Oversight hearing Wednesday [2/25/2015], prior to the planned Agency vote on the draft rules now scheduled for Thursday.  The 332-page final draft FCC order was only delivered to the four other FCC commissioners three weeks ago.

White House that promised transparency refuses to cooperate with IRS probe.  The White House told Congress last week it refused to dig into its computers for emails that could shed light on what kinds of private taxpayer information the IRS shares with President Obama's top aides, assuring Congress that the IRS will address the issue — eventually.  The tax agency has already said it doesn't have the capability to dig out the emails in question, but the White House's chief counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, insisted in a letter last week to House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan that the IRS would try again once it finishes with the tea party-targeting scandal.

Michelle Obama's secret Aspen ski trip exposed after her motorcade was allowed to sneak around a car accident.  While President Obama flew to California for a few rounds of golf this weekend, his wife and daughters headed to Aspen for a secret trip — but it didn't stay secret for long.  The trio arrived in Colorado on Friday and would've stayed under the radar had it not been for a car crash and some eagle-eyed Instagrammers.

The Editor says...
This leads to an obvious question:  How many other secret trips have there been?

Obama Secretly Partied With Bill Ayers Last Summer.  On Aug. 30, 2014, MSNBC anchor Alex Wagner and former White House chef Sam Kass got married at a private wedding north of New York City.  It was widely reported at the time that President Obama, a longtime friend of the groom, attended the ceremony with his family.  There were two other notable guests, however, whose attendance has been successfully kept secret:  Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, [...]

White House Says They Will Not Release IRS Documents On Tea Party Targeting.  Is the Obama regime still claiming to be the "most transparent" administration ever?

Oops-White House Forgot To Tell Intelligence Committee About New Cyber Intelligence Center.  What a comfort it is to know that President Hope and Change has made things in Washington so toxic that the branches of government can't communicate on matters of terrorism-related national security. [...] Here is hoping that his petulance doesn't lead to something catastrophic happening, it's already doing enough damage to the budget.

Obama administration won't release IRS targeting documents.  The Obama administration is refusing to publicly release more than 500 documents on the IRS's targeting of Tea Party groups.  Twenty months after the IRS scandal broke, there are still many unanswered questions about who was spearheading the agency's scrutiny of conservative-leaning organizations.

Transparency: 47 Inspectors General Denied Documents in Violation of Law.  Obama declared that his administration would be the most transparent ever in the same Orwellian spirit that ObamaCare was named the "Affordable" Care Act.  Trey Gowdy sounds the alarm on what "transparency" means to a lawless tyrant regarding documents that by law must be provided to inspectors general:  [Video clip]

Congress looking into White House's role in FCC's net neutrality regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

Congress Looking Into White House's Role in FCC's Net Neutrality Regulations.  The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration's plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation's broadband networks.  A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler's decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

Obama prepares to veto Keystone ... in private.  Obama has spent months bragging about his pen and phone and has issued a number of veto threats publicly since the November elections that gave Republicans full control of Congress.  However, this veto won't include photo ops.

What is the Openness Administration Hiding?  In what must be the most under-reported story of the past year, some two thirds of the inspectors general in the government think the administration is stonewalling their lawful efforts to oversee government activities.  Three of them testified Tuesday [2/3/2015] before the House Oversight Committee, newly chaired by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah).  Many others were in the room.  In an August 2014 letter to Congress, 47 Inspectors General from across the administration — including major agencies like the Department of Commerce, the Department of HUD, the Department of Labor, and NASA — supported specific complaints by their fellow IGs in the Peace Corps, EPA and DOJ about foot dragging and lawyer-driven end-runs, and suggested the practice is pervasive.

Pew: Two-thirds of reporters say Obama administration spies on them.  In a survey of investigative reporters that makes Richard Nixon's enemies list look like child's play, nearly seven in 10 said they believe that the Obama administration has spied on their phone calls, emails and online searches.  According to a Pew Research Center survey of 454 media figures, 64 percent "believe that the U.S. government has probably collected data" from their calls and email and eight in 10 believe just being a journalist jumps the chance Uncle Sam is spying on them.  The survey follows multiple reports of actual spying by federal officials on reporters, and the White House's effort to track down those who leak information to reporters despite long-forgotten promises to be the most transparent administration ever.

The White House Won't Reveal Who Attended Obama's Secret Meeting With Muslim Leaders.  President Obama met with American Muslim leaders this afternoon, according to the White House schedule, but so far the administration is unwilling to reveal who attended the meeting, which was closed to the press.  The White House released a readout of the meeting explaining that Obama discussed "a range of domestic and foreign policy issues" including Obamacare, police fairness, anti-Muslim discrimination, and the upcoming Summit on Countering Violence Extremism.

Obama To Host American Muslims At The White House — Closed To The Press.  President Obama plans to meet with American Muslim leaders at the White House, the day after a video of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive was released by Islamic State terrorists.  The meeting will take place later this afternoon [2/4/2015], according to the White House, but it will be closed to the press according to the schedule.  Photographers will also be blocked from the event.

Obama Administration Refuses to Release Time Records of Key Attorney in IRS Scandal Investigation.  Judicial Watch announced today that the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to extreme lengths to keep from the public the number of hours DOJ Attorney Barbara Bosserman expended on the investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative organizations.  The DOJ has claimed no less than four separate privileges in federal court to keep secret Bosserman's hours.  In doing so, the DOJ has confirmed that the criminal investigation into the IRS' abuses is ongoing and that Bosserman, a major donor to Obama's political campaigns and Democratic National Committee, continues to be part of the team of lawyers criminally investigating the issue.

Obama WH Hiding Bowe Bergdahl Charges — Treason Too?  According to [retired Army Lt. Col. Tony] Shaffer, an analyst with the London Center for Policy Research, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, who played a key role in the cover-up of administration malfeasance in the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans, has been laboring to keep this information under wraps as long as possible, perhaps to be included later in one of those Friday data dumps the administration is famous for.  We'd be stunned if any other decision were reached, for the uncontestable fact is that Bergdahl walked away from his combat post in 2009 in a time of war, leaving behind his weapon, his gear and his fellow soldiers.  At least six soldiers were reported to have been killed in operations looking for him.  He was not out for a walk to relieve stress or clear his head.

What exactly does the Census Bureau spend $982 million on?  You might remember that the Chicago regional director — who was apparently tight with Illinois politicians — was "removed" from his job late last year.  And Census won't tell us why.  So we'd like to take a look at how Chicago is spending taxpayer money.  The Philadelphia region is where we caught someone cheating on data collection — an event that has led to congressional and Inspector General investigations.  The probes resulted in reforms despite the fact that [the Department of] Commerce "obstructed" the congressional probe.

EPA faces internal review over scrubbed text messages.  The Environmental Protection Agency, on the heels of the controversy at the IRS over missing emails, is facing a probe of its own over whether it improperly scrubbed text messages.  The EPA inspector general's office announced this week it is launching an audit into the agency's policies for keeping text messages.  The audit was prompted by a complaint from Republicans on the House science committee, worried the EPA may have "deleted thousands of text messages" that should have been preserved.

Obama, Democrats head to retreat in cloak of secrecy, with press banned.  President Obama — who famously promised when he took office in 2009 to bring about an "unprecedented level of openness in government" — has headed off to Baltimore for a retreat with Democrats with one special caveat:  No press allowed.  Newsmax reported that in previous years, the Democrats have let in some members of the media.  But this year, none are allowed — though some topics of discussion have sneaked into the public arena.

Obama Is Said to Be Planning New Rules on Oil and Gas Industry's Methane Emissions.  The Environmental Protection Agency will issue the proposed regulations this summer, and final regulations by 2016, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the administration had asked the person not to speak about the plan.  The White House declined to comment on the effort.

I'm Glad Obama Skipped Paris.  Unlike many conservatives, I was not outraged when President Obama directed the Justice Department to end the pretense of "defending" the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  I feel the same way about the president's decision not to join dozens of world leaders in Paris last Sunday to march in favor of free speech and against Islamic-supremacist terror.  I'm glad he stayed home.  I'm glad he didn't send Vice President Biden (whose main job is to attend such exhibitions), Secretary of State Kerry (whose main job escapes me), or Attorney General Holder (who was in Paris but still didn't go).  It's not too often that the "most transparent administration in history" is, what's the word? ... transparent.

Family of murdered Marine suing military over alleged cover-up.  Three days before he was scheduled to come home, in 2012, Lance Cpl. Buckley was killed in Afghanistan, in the one place he was supposed to be safe.  He wasn't killed in a firefight on a battlefield, or by a roadside bomb while on patrol.  The 21-year-old was working out with fellow Marines at the base gym when an Afghan teenager walked in carrying an AK-47 — and emptied the clip, killing Buckley and two others.  Buckley's family, stonewalled in their search for answers, has since resorted to filing a rare lawsuit against the Marine Corps and Department of Defense.

The IRS: Just One of Dozens of Uncooperative Agencies.  Earlier this year, 47 inspectors general — the officials charged with fighting corruption, waste, and wrongdoing in federal agencies — sent a letter to Issa's committee complaining that organizations ranging from the EPA to the Justice Department were impeding their investigations by withholding information — despite the fact that federal law specifically forbids withholding that information.  These are not a bunch of Republican operatives trying to score a few political points:  Those 47 inspectors general comprise more than half of all such officials, and many who signed the letter were appointed by President Barack Obama.  Their complaint is that the federal agencies treat them more or less like they do members of Congress:  thwarting them, withholding documents, obstruction investigations.

Reading the Small Print.  Mark Lander of the New York Times describes how president Obama has 'mastered the art of secret negotiations'.  "What the Cuba, Iran and China talks have in common — aside from their cloak-and-dagger allure — are a small team of negotiators, strict discipline and tight control by the White House."  A less charitable description might use the words "deceit", "amateurism" and "bad faith" to characterize the White House's efforts.

IRS Watchdog Continues to Hide Records on White House Leaks.  An independent IRS monitor announced Monday it will block the release of roughly 400 more pages of documents related to unauthorized leaks of confidential taxpayer information to the White House.  The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) told the watchdog group Cause of Action it would be withholding nearly all of the 2,500 documents it located that were related to unauthorized IRS leaks to the White House.  Earlier this month, TIGTA told Cause of Action it was withholding roughly 2,100 of the documents and said it would take an additional two weeks to review the rest.

The real story behind the release of the CIA 'torture' report.  Senate Democrats and President Obama have moved up to a whole new level of desperate.  On Tuesday, Democrats in the Senate, who will lose control of the chamber in just three weeks, released a report focused on interrogation techniques — during the administration of George W. Bush.  Yes, Mr. Obama is all about transparency, as long as it's not about his administration.

Darrell Issa Subpoenas Jonathan Gruber's Obamacare Documents, Including Contracts and Work Product.  Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is issuing a subpoena demanding MIT economics professor Jonathan Gruber produce all documents related to his Obamacare consulting work for the federal government and any state governments.  Gruber refused to produce these documents or answer any questions concerning them when he testified before the committee on Tuesday.  At the time, Issa warned Gruber that he would issue a subpoena for the documents if the professor failed to produce them voluntarily.  On Friday [12/12/2014], Issa made good on that promise.

Obama administration claims a right to hide evidence before Supreme Court.  Today [12/10/2014], the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in United States v. June, a case that has received little attention, but will have far-reaching implications.  The case boils down to this:  Can the federal government actively conceal material evidence in order to escape liability?  Common sense says no.  The Obama administration says yes.

Gruber Lawyers Up Regarding How Much Money He Made From Governments Advising on ObamaCare.  He repeatedly refuses to simply state how much he's made off advising on Obamcare, and repeatedly says he'll discuss it with his lawyer.

'Torture' report shows Obama's selective transparency.  Senate Democrats' new report on the CIA's secret detention and enhanced interrogation program outlines several highly disturbing allegations — both about the nature of the harsh techniques used by U.S. officials and the agency misleading both Congress and the White House.  To the extent that national security permits, voters have a right to know what is being done in their name, especially if it is improper.  That's part of government transparency.  But there seems to be incongruity and even political opportunism in President Obama's selective commitment to disclosing the inner workings of the federal government to its employer, the public.

Issa: Obamacare Enrollment Data Provided to Congress Was Password-Protected, in 6 Point Font.  Obamacare enrollment data that the Department of Health and Human Services was compelled by sub poena to provide to Congress was in 6 point font, unreadable even with glasses, according to Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa (R-Calif.)  Issa said data was also password-protected and locked.

Mystery Surrounds NASA's Secret Mission in Africa.  A NASA official recently confirmed that one of the agency's aircraft had been spotted on an American military airstrip in eastern Africa a few weeks ago, but like a series of U.S. military officials, declined to say what the space agency's high-tech bird was doing there.  "I really can't give you any of the details," Jim Alexander, a NASA official with the WB-57 High Altitude Research Program, told ABC News.  "You know, the airplane was there, you see it in the picture.  But I really can't tell you what it was for."

Smidgen Alert — Dept. of Treasury Blocks Release of IRS to White House Emails Because The Content Would Be Illegal To Share With Court.  As the Daily Caller partly outlines[,] Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew, Obama's former White House Chief of Staff, who was chief of staff when the illegal IRS/White House scheme was rolled out, took the emails and documents that were set to be released and now refuses to ever turn them over.  His rationale?  Secretary Lew claims he cannot release information about improper disclosures of confidential taxpayer information — because [...] that would be an improper disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

Feds balk at releasing docs showing IRS sharing tax returns with White House.  Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, said Treasury was using "sophisticated" lawyering to weasel out of providing the documents.  And he noted that their letter said that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is now looking into "potential liability" that his tax aides broke laws in sharing taxpayer information with the White House.  Epstein said that either Treasury was "stonewalling" his group, or that Lew "is incompetent" for just now looking at potential lawbreaking by his team on the case that is two years old.

Stonewalled: A Conversation with Sharyl Attkisson.  In many cases, reporters have allowed the government under the Obama administration to bully them into submission.  [Sharyl Attkisson] documents how the Obama presidency has become an enemy to openness and is one of the least transparent administrations in American history.  In fact, after reading what she had to go through, President Obama makes Richard Nixon look like Mother Teresa.

White House Quietly Releases Plans For 3,415 Regulations Ahead Of Thanksgiving Holiday.  While Americans are focused on what delicious foods they're going to eat for Thanksgiving, the White House is focused on releasing its massive regulatory agenda — marking the fifth time the Obama administration has released its regulatory road map on the eve of a major holiday.  The federal Unified Agenda is the Obama administration's regulatory road map, and it lays out thousands of regulations being finalized in the coming months.  Under President Barack Obama, there has been a tradition of releasing the agenda late on Friday — and right before a major holiday.

No Shame for Obama.  [Scroll down]  Obama's tentacles expand to silence and suppress alleged enemies.  The most recent revelation is an e-mail that "proves that the DOJ targeted reporter Sharyl Attkisson" as "out of control" because her reporting was "really bad for the AG [Attorney General]."  The corrupt Department of Justice targets anyone deemed dangerous and who will diminish its power — e.g., James Rosen, Fox News reporter, was accused of being a co-conspirator in a spying case when, in fact, he was merely reporting the news.  Conservative groups continue to be singled out by the IRS, and no one is punished by this administration.  And, of course, everything is done in secrecy, because that is how corrupt government breeds and metastasizes.

Issa calls Gruber to testify before Oversight.  The House Oversight Committee is asking embattled former ObamaCare consultant Jonathan Gruber to testify at a hearing next month on the "transparency failures" of the administration's healthcare law.  Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent a letter to Gruber on Thursday, about two weeks after videos surfaced in which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor suggested that a "lack of transparency" and the "stupidity of the American voter" helped Congress pass the Affordable Care Act.

Obama 'secretly' expands US combat operation in Afghanistan.  President Barack Obama has signed a secret order allowing the Pentagon to target Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, broadening previous plans that had limited the military to counterterrorism missions against al-Qaida, it was revealed Friday [11/21/2014].  The president's decision, made during a White House meeting with national security advisers, also gives the military the green light to conduct air support for Afghan operations when needed.

Gruber Called To Testify On Obamacare Transparency Failures.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa is calling on MIT economist and so-called Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber to testify next month about "transparency failures and outright deceptions surrounding Obamacare."  Issa also sent a letter to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Marilyn Tavener requesting her testimony as well on Dec. 9.  "I expect Mr. Gruber and Administrator Tavenner to testify publicly next month about the arrogance and deceptions surrounding the passage and implementation of ObamaCare," Issa said in a statement released Friday [11/21/2014].

Oops: Obama Administration Inflated Obamacare Enrollment Numbers.  In September, federal health officials announced that 7.3 million people had signed up for health insurance on the state or federal exchanges.  This was big news — as it meant Obamacare had beaten the White House's goal of enrolling 7 million people in the first year of the program.  However, it turns out, the real number of people who signed up for medical coverage is actually about 6.97 million.  A report by Bloomberg's Alex Wayne revealed that the administration quietly lumped as many as 400,000 dental plans into the total enrollment number without telling anyone.

5 Ways ObamaCare Hides Its Costs.  Healthcare.gov and the other exchanges were originally supposed to open in October, but the White House pushed the date back a month.  The administration said that it would give insurers more time to figure out next year's rates, but critics said that the administration meant the delay to hide ObamaCare's 2015 premiums until after the midterm elections.  Shoppers could get a peek at rates for the first time this week.

Sharyl Attkisson and the Transparency Lie.  I close my new book, You Lie!, with a list of President Barack Obama's twenty-five most egregious deceptions.  At the top of that list is the promise Obama made to the American people on his first full day in office, "Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."  This was an extension of Obama's campaign promise to establish the "most transparent and accountable administration in history."  Improbably, five years into his presidency, Obama was still claiming, "This is the most transparent administration in history."

Federal Judge Shoots Down Obama State Secrets Defense in No-Fly List Case.  Unaccountable mass surveillance, secret courts and secret lists are regular features of the modern American police state.  The federal government, now gone completely rogue and no longer representative of the people continues to invoke the magical talisman of "National Security" to prevent oversight.  That has just taken a hit though thanks to a federal judge.

Obama Hides Executive Abuses by Calling Decrees "Memoranda".  Since taking office, Obama has issues 198 decrees via memoranda — that is 33 percent more than Bush, the runner up for the record, issued in eight years — along with 195 executive orders.  Among other policy areas, Obama's memoranda edicts have been used to set policy on gun control, immigration, labor, and much more.  Just this week, Obama issued another memoranda decree purporting to declare Bristol Bay in Alaska off limits to oil and gas exploration — locking up vast quantities of American wealth and resources using his now-infamous and brazenly unconstitutional "pen and phone."  "Like executive orders, presidential memoranda don't require action by Congress," reported USA Today as part of its investigation into Obama's decrees.  "They have the same force of law as executive orders and often have consequences just as far-reaching.  And some of the most significant actions of the Obama presidency have come not by executive order but by presidential memoranda."  However, despite the newspaper's obvious confusion on constitutional matters — only Congress can make law, not the White House — the review raises a number of important issues.

'Political' pull? Border figures posted, removed month before election.  Staggering statistics that show nearly a half-million people were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally — and more than half were not Mexican, a number far higher than in 2013 — reportedly were posted on a U.S. government website for just a few hours last month before being taken down.  According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the numbers were posted on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website on Oct. 10 for roughly five hours.  The dramatic numbers raised questions over whether they were yanked to protect the administration before key midterm elections.

Obama spending Election Day behind closed doors.  President Obama is spending Election Day as he's spent much of the preceding weeks: at the White House and out of view of the cameras. [...] The president will also host a private lunch with Vice President Biden, and the pair are scheduled to meet with Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in the late afternoon.  But none of the events are scheduled to be open to reporters.

Obama's party fundraisers shutting out media.  President Obama has been largely invisible on the campaign trail this fall, but his disappearing act also has extended to party fundraisers, frequently held in secret and away from the view of the press.  Before stumping for Maine gubernatorial candidate Michael Michaud and other Democrats on Thursday evening [10/30/2014], President Obama spoke at a closed-door "roundtable" for the Democratic National Committee, an event that essentially is a fundraiser with a different title.

Apparently the President would prefer not to have the press report his movements, actions and words.
On Obama's Asia trip, members of media will have to pay $60,000 each for flights.  President Obama's trip to Asia next month should prove to be reasonably newsworthy, given its regional summit meetings in China and Burma and a stopover in Australia.  For the news media, however, there is a more immediate concern:  the heart-stopping cost of covering the president's travels.  News organizations began reacting with surprise and exasperation when they learned this week that a ticket to ride on the press charter plane that follows Obama throughout Asia will be $60,000.  Per person.

Running against Obama's postponed November surprises.  The administration's near-term plans on health care, the environment, immigration, nominees for high office and other issues are shrouded in mystery.  It doesn't take much of a crystal ball to guess what lies just ahead, but the people should hear it from the source.  Mr. Obama isn't talking.  He says his policies are on the ballot, and he knows that the less the voters know, the better for Democratic candidates.

President Obama Exerts Executive Privilege Over Letters Between Eric Holder and His Wife.  [Scroll down]  Judge Bates issued his smack down on September 23.  Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation two days later.  With only 3 hours and 26 minutes left to comply with the court order the Department of Justice finally released the 1,307 page "Vaughn index" which is being used to hide 15,662 pages of Fast and Furious documents — the revelations are mind blowing[.]

Obama Claims Executive Privilege Over 15,000 Fast and Furious Docs.  The 1,307-page Vaughn index lists 15,662 documents related to Operation Fast and Furious that the Obama administration is asserting executive privilege over — the first time that full list and description of the records has been released.  According to Judicial Watch, the withheld documents include communications between top officials at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), as well as with the United States Ambassador to Mexico.  The Obama administration is also asserting executive privilege over nearly 20 emails between Holder and his wife Sharon Malone.

Treasury Department won't let witness testify about Lois Lerner's 'lost' emails until AFTER the election.  The chairman of a powerful committee in Congress is demanding access 'without delay' to a key witness in the Lois Lerner email saga that has engulfed the IRS, but the Treasury Department insists she can't testify until after the midterm congressional elections.  House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, demanded late Wednesday in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew that he must make Treasury counsel Hannah Stott-Bumsted available before that Nov. 4 political milestone date.  Stott-Bumsted was the first Treasury aide to learn that the IRS was unable to locate two years' worth of disgraced official Lois Lerner's emails because of a hard drive crash.

ObamaCare Enrollment Delays Hide Insurance Cost Hikes Till After Elections.  On October 1st of last year, ObamaCare's inaugural enrollment period launched with all of the grace of a rocket exploding on its launch pad. Double-digit premium hikes, cancelled plans, and non-functioning websites caused misery for millions, leaving even supporters of the law lacking for words at times.  This October there is silence, with few outside of the beltway focused on anything to do with ObamaCare.  Has the system been fixed — is ObamaCare working?  Not at all.

We don't know what the White House is hiding.  Typically, the practice of avoiding making any controversial announcements or decisions in the weeks leading up to an election is something of an artful and hopefully discreet exercise — even if it obvious what is happening, there is usually a fig leaf of cover.  Apparently, the Obama administration has abandoned the "artful" aspect of this exercise.  In order to hide what they really believe and what they really want to do, this administration is blatantly delaying announcements on a range of topics until after the midterm elections.  For instance, when explaining the immigration reform delay, David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe from The [Washington] Post reported that a White House official admitted the reason President Obama was delaying action was because "we're in the midst of the political season."

Mr. Obama's November Surprise.  Only in November will Americans learn how much their health care costs will rise after the implementation of President Obama's "signature" legislative accomplishment, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  Of course, the administration doesn't admit that it is waiting until after voters cast their November ballots to give them a nasty post-election "surprise."  As the Washington Times notes, there are some states in which word is already leaking out.  Those happen to be states with hotly contested Senate contests.

How an Obama Administration Policy is Destroying Lives.  Government health officials haven't offered any explanation for the unusual outbreak.  The Centers for Disease Control has pointedly refused to disclose the states where children have died or even specific locations of outbreaks.  State and local officials are similarly closed mouthed.  Except for suggesting routine precautions, public officials largely refuse to offer any details whatsoever, and in some cases have spread misinformation.  And the media seem incapable of penetrating the wall of silence, simply repeating the official narrative.  But there is significant, almost irrefutable evidence that this outbreak is the direct result of this year's illegal alien invasion from Central America.

Obama: The Most Secretive President?  Having been elected to the White House with the promise of increased openness and transparency regarding government operations, Barack Obama may end his presidency as among the most secretive in American history.  That, anyway, was the conclusion of a couple of the high-powered panelists Monday night [9/22/2014] during a debate on freedom of the press vs. national security at the Paley Center for Media.

The Myriad Contradictions of Barack H. Obama.  In 2008 and 2009, Obama's campaign website, barackobama.com, boldly placed the following statement on its "Blue Print for Change" page:  "Too often bills are rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them.  As president, Obama will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days."  According to congressional records, the very first bill Obama signed into law as president, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed the senate January 22, 2009, passed the House on January 27, and was signed by the president just two days later on January 29.  The legislation was never posted to the White House website.  His second bill, an expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, he signed February 4, 2009, a matter of mere hours after it was finalized in Congress.  The president signed the "Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 on May 22, 2009 — only two days after the bill was finalized in Congress.  And of course, there's the now infamous "Affordable Care Act."  With associated regulations, the ACA is nearly 11,000 pages, none of which was ever posted to any website.  The bill was signed almost instantaneously after it passed the Senate on Christmas Eve 2010.

Worse than Nixon? Obama White House accused of hiding public information.  Though President Obama vowed to run the most transparent administration in history, his White House has quietly empowered itself to censor or delay the release of information in ways that not even Richard Nixon envisioned during the Watergate scandal, according to federal workers on the front lines of processing open records requests.  The workers, who spoke to The Washington Times only on the condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal, said that an April 15, 2009, memo from White House Counsel Gregory Craig to all federal agencies has slowed, and in some cases nixed, the public release of government documents that would have been released under prior administrations.

White House: Decision to Delay Obamacare Enrollment Until After The Election Was Not Political.  The White House is making an astonishing claim that the decision to delay the enrollment period for Obamacare until after the election was not political.  During the White House Press Briefing today [10/14/2014], ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl questioned the administration's decision, pointing out that people shopping for health care would be unable to see premium hikes until after the election.

White House Won't Say How Much Taxpayers Pay For Obama Fundraising.  When President Barack Obama takes Air Force One on a fundraising swing, he is required under the law to reimburse taxpayers for certain travel expenses.  But as Mark Knoller of CBS News reports, the White House has made it a practice of not publicly releasing specific reimbursement figures, making it impossible for the public to see exactly how much they pay every time the president goes on a political trip.  Knoller says it's not about national security reasons, but rather about saving face.

Must be pretty bad.
Obama Waiting For Midterm To Name Attorney General.  President Barack Obama does not plan to announce his choice for attorney general before the November elections, shielding the nomination from the midterm election politics while setting up a potential year-end showdown with the lame duck Senate.

'The dog ate my emails'.  [Scroll down]  The most troubling recent instance of this has been at the Internal Revenue Service, where Lois Lerner, the official at the heart of allegations that the agency singled out conservative groups for harassment, has pleaded the Fifth Amendment and, conveniently, seen some of her email records destroyed.  You don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to find the disappearance of such key documentary evidence suspiciously convenient for the embattled tax official.  Given that the missing documentation seems to have effectively put the brakes on any meaningful punishment for Lerner or her IRS colleagues, it should come as no surprise that similar lapses are now breaking out elsewhere in the federal government.

You can find out your 2015 Obamacare premiums after the election.  Citizens will have the opportunity to line up at their laptops once again and enroll in the program which will provide them with some sort of health insurance (no matter how much it costs or if they can even afford it) and avoid having their government hit them with a cash penalty for not being able to afford insurance in the first place.  But there will be some differences this time.

How much do Obama's fundraising trips cost? Mum's the word.  From the way the White House vehemently refuses to disclose information on the costs of presidential political travel and calculations on reimbursing the government, you might think they were state secrets.  As President Obama embarks Thursday [10/9/2014] on a three-day Democratic fundraising trip to California, the White House again refuses an umpteenth request from CBS News for the political travel information.

Investigator claims he was told to delay Secret Service prostitution report until after election.  Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, also questioned whether a double standard was at play, considering many Secret Service and military personnel were disciplined on that trip for seeing prostitutes and other inappropriate behavior. [...] "The concern is that when it came to the White House and the White House taking care of its own personnel, a totally different standard," Chaffetz said.  "And perhaps some misdirection and some cover-up to make sure that that story never saw the light of day before the 2012 elections."

EPA can't find top official's text messages.  The EPA is poised to "do an IRS" — similar to what the tax agency had to do with dismissed top official Lois G. Lerner — and officially notify the National Archives that it may have lost key electronic records, according to a think tank that's suing to get text messages under an open-records request.  Justice Department lawyers told a federal court on Tuesday that the alert will be coming soon, in a case that's shaping up as a significant battle over whether government agencies are required to keep cellphone text messages as "official" records.

No lessons learned from last year's Obamacare debacle.  Judging from last year's experience, one would expect the bureaucrats who run healthcare.gov to be relatively transparent about any issues they expect this time around.  The last thing they need is for customers to be blindsided again by massive technical, systemic or security failures on the website.  Unfortunately, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services — the agency in charge of healthcare.gov, known colloquially as CMS — has chosen darkness and smoky back rooms over sunlight.  The agency has explicitly forbidden insurers who participate in testing the new system this month from revealing anything about their experience.

White House Can't Hide Look Into Koch Tax Data Misuse.  A court tells the White House to acknowledge the existence of a probe into whether one of its advisers used private tax records for political gain.  Transparency is being forced on an administration that's anything but.

8 Ways the Obama Administration Restricts Access to Information, According to the Associated Press.  The Associated Press' Washington bureau chief is the latest journalist to criticize the Obama administration for failing to live up to its promise of transparency.  "Bush was not fantastic," Sally Buzbee recently told a meeting of journalists.  "The [Obama] administration is significantly worse than previous administrations."  Buzbee detailed eight ways the Obama administration is restricting access to information at a joint meeting of the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the Associated Press Photo Managers.

Court: Obama Admin Can't Hide Investigation into Former White House Adviser.  The Obama administration must acknowledge the existence of an independent investigation into former White House senior economics adviser Austan Goolsbee's alleged unauthorized access to the Koch brother's tax returns, a court ruled Tuesday [9/30/2014].  A federal judge ruled the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) must disclose to watchdog group Cause of Action whether records of an investigation exist.  Cause of Action filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit after TIGTA refused to confirm or deny the existence of the investigation in what is commonly known as a "Glomar response."

CDC Refuses to Directly Answer If Ebola Patient A US Citizen.  Tuesday [9/30/2014] during the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention press conference, which confirmed the first case of Ebola in the United States, CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden refused to directly answer if the man who traveled from Liberia to Texas earlier this month was a citizen of the Untied States.

Transparency Groups Press White House on FOIA Delays.  In a letter to the White House released Monday, 25 transparency organizations said the Obama administration's policy of reviewing FOIA requests that contain so-called "White House equities" has "caused significant confusion and delay among agencies in their compliance with the Freedom of Information Act."  According to a 2009 memo from the White House Counsel to all agency heads and general counsels, the White House reminded all agencies to send FOIA requests containing White House "equities" to it for review.  The equities mandate "applies to all documents and records, whether in oral, paper, or electronic form, that relate to communications to and from the White House, including preparations for such communications."  Transparency groups say the review process has significantly delayed some requests and that agencies do not have proper guidance on what counts as a "White House equity."

Most Transparent Administration Ever Bans Media, Demands ID and Shuts the Windows at Ferguson Townhall.  How is demanding identification to get into a town hall not racist?  Anyone care to explain that?

25 Rules of Disinformation.  These rules are generally used more directly by those at the leadership, key players, or planning level of the criminal conspiracy or conspiracy to cover up.  [#1] Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.  Regardless of what you know, don't discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc.  If it's not reported, it didn't happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.

Retailers want food stamp data secret.  Retail chains that accept food stamps are fighting a regulatory initiative to make public store-by-store data on their participation in the $80 billion government program.  How many food stamps — known officially as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program — are redeemed at which stores has long been viewed by the companies and the Department of Agriculture as a commercial trade secret and thus exempt from disclosure.  But a recent federal appeals court decision on a Freedom of Information Act request by a South Dakota newspaper has forced USDA to reconsider that stance.

What is the Pentagon's secret space drone doing?  For almost two years, an unmanned space plane bearing a remarkable resemblance to NASA's space shuttle has circled the Earth, performing a top-secret mission.  It's called the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle — but that's pretty much all we know for certain.

Why Won't Democrats Talk About Obama's Fundraising?  Last week, President Obama headlined a $100,000-a-plate fundraiser at the swank Jefferson Hotel in downtown Washington on behalf of the Democratic Party's Senate campaign arm.  The ticket price was high — even by modern standards.  But beyond that, there was almost no information to be found about it.

Rice Bolts During Intense Press Questioning Over Obama's Syrian Air Strikes.  Friday [9/19/2014] during the White House press briefing, National Security Advisor Susan Rice abruptly left in the middle of a question after confusing reporters with her announcement President Barack Obama was going ahead with air strikes in Syria.  When reporters began to grill Rice about whether the president had already given the authorization to the militarily to bomb in Syria, Rice kept repeating they would not be releasing information on the timing of those air strikes.

Susan Rice bolts from podium, unable to answer reporters' questions at White House press briefing.  The question that caused Ms. Rice to flee was a fairly simple one: whether or not the president has authorized the bombing of targets in Syria.  Rice responded multiple times that the timing of strikes would not be released, but that was not the question at hand, and reporters pressed her on whether her boss had authorized strikes.  This she could not answer.  Did she not know?  Or had he not bothered to sign the authorization?  Or did she get her information from Valerie Jarrett and not know the details?  We don't know because she ran away.

Obama Admin Threatening to ARREST Agents Warning of Terrorist Attack at Border.  Federal officials have threatened law enforcement agents with termination and criminal prosecution for leaking information about the threat of terrorist attacks near the Texas-Mexico border, according to a new report.  The government watchdog organization Judicial Watch (JW) says that after it reported on the possibility of radical Islamic terrorists in Juarez, Mexico — just across the border from El Paso — a memo containing warning agents about leaking information "came down through the chain of command."

Team Obama Bans Press Cameras from White House Congressional Picnic.  Ahead of President Obama's annual picnic with members of Congress [9/17/2014], the White House prohibited television cameras and photographer access to the event.  Only allowing print pool reporters were allowed to cover Obama's speech.

House GOP: Commerce 'ambushed' whistleblower interview.  Department of Commerce officials tried to block congressional investigators from speaking with whistleblowers claiming U.S. Census Bureau records were being fabricated, according to a report by House Republicans to be released Thursday [9/18/2014].  "Commerce Department officials showed up uninvited to a transcribed interview with a Census Bureau employee and put her in a position where she was forced to risk retaliation if she excluded them from the interview," according to a joint report by the House Committee on Government Oversight and the Joint Economic Committee of Congress.  "The Commerce Department officials who ambushed the witness claimed that congressional staff may only speak to witnesses in the presence of department personnel, and that it is unlawful for congressional staff to speak with department employees directly."

Obama's Untruth, Inc.  [Scroll down]  As far as the VA, AP, IRS, NSA, and other scandals go, do not count on any confession, investigation, lawsuit, or special prosecutor to reveal the truth in the next two years.  The Obama administration will lose documents, redact critical information, find e-mails only years later, and lie about evidence until most of its members are safely out of office and working for Citigroup, one of the major TV networks, or Goldman Sachs.  Obama's prevaricating has lost him any thought of a legacy, all the more so because for years as a candidate and as president he pontificated about his new transparency and the need for executive candor — itself an untruth at best, and at worst a cynical ploy to provide cover for a deliberate effort to enact policies that could not be honestly presented to the American people.

Controversial DHS Adviser Let Go Amid Allegations of Cover Up.  A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adviser long engulfed in controversy over his radical views was let go from his role in the department last week after a long fight by lawmakers and others to revoke the individual's privileges at DHS.  Mohamed Elibiary was until last week a senior member of DHS' Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).  After years of controversy about his status at DHS, Elibiary announced his final day with the department on Twitter earlier this month and said he would remain close to the agency.  Media outlets have raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his departure, speculating that his provocative comments about the "inevitable" return of the Muslim "caliphate" may have played a role.

Holder Says Private Suit Risks State Secrets.  The government said the case should be dropped because forcing the group to open its files would jeopardize national security.  The group is not affiliated with the government, and lists no government contracts on its tax forms.  The government has cited no precedent for using the so-called state-secrets privilege to quash a private lawsuit that does not focus on government activity.

White House knew of destroyed emails two months before Congress.  Congressional investigators have released tesimony showing that an attorney for the IRS told the Treasury Department counsel of the destroyed emails, who then passed the information on to the White House.  The conversations took place in April — two months before the IRS told Congress of the destruction of evidence.

Osama bin Laden's library is still locked up.
Al Qaeda Wasn't 'on the Run'.  At a Pentagon briefing one day after the raid [on Osama bin Laden's hideout], a senior official described the haul as a "robust collection of materials."  It included 10 hard drives, nearly 100 thumb drives, and a dozen cell phones — along with data cards, DVDs, audiotapes, magazines, newspapers, paper files.  In an interview on Meet the Press just days after the raid, Barack Obama's national security adviser, Thomas Donilon, told David Gregory that the material could fill "a small college library."

Attkisson: Obama Admin Refusing to Tell Congress Where Illegal Children Went.  Wednesday [9/3/2014] on Newsmax TV's "The Steve Malzberg Show," former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson said the Obama administration is refusing to tell Congress where the ten of thousands of unaccompanied minors who crossed the U.S.-Mexican Border this summer were sent after they were processed though holding centers along the border. [Video clip]

IRS Delaying Release of Data on People Leaving High-Tax States.  IRS data on internal migration showing how many people have moved to and from which states generally shows people leaving high-taxed states and states with high unemployment to states doing better in those categories.  Now Obama's IRS is seeking to delay release of these statistics for another 12 months.  For decades economists and lawmakers both have used this IRS data as a marker for which states are succeeding in America, but the Obama administration has show its disdain for this important metric.

Sharyl Attkisson wants to know where the illegal immigrant children have gone.  Since the border crisis began, three military facilities housing more than 7,700 unaccompanied, illegal immigrant children have been close[d].  Where were they sent?  The government isn't providing answers to citizens, to reporters, or even to Congress.  Of the ones that we can track down, the largest numbers seem to be going to Texas, New York, Maryland and Virginia.

Obama's Department of Labor Bans Employees From Talking To The Daily Caller.  As we celebrate the annual day of paid rest arbitrated into our calendar by powerful 19th century New York labor unions, we at The Daily Caller are also celebrating another milestone:  We're banned from talking to the Department of Labor.  Department of Labor (DOL) Office of Public Affairs senior advisor Carl Fillichio placed TheDC as well as National Review on the department's permanent "no-contact list" in a profanity-laden rant at a March 31 staff meeting.

Why Is Obama Hiding ObamaCare Enrollment Data?  It's been 110 days since the last "monthly" report on ObamaCare enrollment, when the president bragged that 8 million had signed up.  What are they hiding?

ICE refuses to identify convicted killers released from custody.  Federal immigration authorities on Monday [8/25/2014] refused to identify the seven convicted murderers with Atlanta-area addresses that they released during the last fiscal year, citing privacy reasons.  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement also could not immediately say why they were released or identify the charges for which they were convicted.

Judge rejects Obama administration secrecy on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac.  A federal judge has issued a stinging rebuke to the Obama administration's recent attempt to shield documents from disclosure in a case that could yield important clues about the Treasury Department's relationship with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Government lawyers had argued they could redact key information before releasing records to the public by saying the documents related to the "deliberative process."  But in a ruling last month, U.S. Federal Claims Court Judge Margaret M. Sweeney rejected that, saying the government was illegally cutting corners.

Is Obama really on Martha's Vineyard? Press whines they never see golfing, hiking Obama.  After being snubbed by the active president who didn't show his face to reporters on Friday [8/22/2014] or Saturday, the press "pool" on Saturday turned to mockery as Obama hit the links — again. [...] While other presidents have tried to briefly make themselves available to traveling media photographers during vacations, Obama has gone days without being seen by the press corps pool, a group formed years ago for death watch duties but also used by the White House as a mini-press corps that relays information to the larger corps.

'Extorting' Is the Word For Government Action Against Bank of America.  [Scroll down]  These huge bank settlements are election-year ATMs for the Obama administration.  It was $12 billion for JP Morgan, another $7 billion for Citigroup, and on and on.  It's a real shakedown.  No one even remotely knows how these penalty-payment numbers are calculated.  The federal government's disbursement of these funds is equally mysterious.  As the Wall Street Journal editorial page has pointed out, a lot of money has gone to states run by Democratic governors.

White House meddling in records requests? Suit claims agencies locked down documents.  A government watchdog group has sued 12 federal agencies for allegedly withholding emails and other documents, in the latest episode in which the Obama administration is being challenged over its transparency.  The conservative-leaning Cause of Action wants the documents in order to see whether agencies are being forced to channel basic public-information requests through the White House, so that politically sensitive material can be screened.  The group filed the suit Monday [8/18/2014] in a District of Columbia federal court.  The lawsuit says the agencies "stonewalled" the organization — and claims the White House is "influencing" their response to record requests.

Obama heads back to vacation after unexplained DC trip.  President Obama went back to his vacation on Martha's Vineyard Tuesday evening following less than 48 hours in Washington, leaving people puzzled over why he came back in the first place.  Obama's two days in Washington were mostly quiet, and concluded with the president receiving his daily national security briefing in the morning, and joining Vice President Biden to huddle with members of his economic team in the afternoon.

The Editor says...
It is safe to assume that Obama was up to something extraordinary that required his presence in the White House for a couple of days, since he obviously would have preferred to stay out on his luxurious taxpayer-funded vacation.  It may be weeks before the truth comes out, but someday we will know what he was up to this past weekend.

White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security.  The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare.

Lawsuit accuses Obama White House of thwarting release of public data under FOIA.  A watchdog group on Monday [8/18/2014] sued the U.S. government, accusing the Obama White House of interfering in and thwarting the release of public documents under the Freedom of Information Act.  The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the group Cause of Action (CoA) names 12 federal agencies that delayed the release of documents so officials could consult with White House under a new process established in spring 2009.

Joe Biden Stonewalled FOIA Request to Hide Travel Costs.  Vice President Joe Biden's office stonewalled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for his travel expenses, according to Ronald Kessler's new tell-all book on the Secret Service, The First Family Detail.  Kessler, a former Wall Street Journal and Washington Post investigative reporter, filed a FOIA request in April 2013 with the Air Force for the details and costs of Biden's personal trips.  "But in what amounts to a cover-up on behalf of the vice president, on June 6, Biden's office blocked transmitting the results to me and told Air Force officers they were not to comment to anyone about the case," Kessler writes.

Behind Closed Doors, Obama Crafts Executive Actions.  When President Obama announced in June that he planned to bypass congressional gridlock and overhaul the nation's immigration system on his own, he did so in a most public way: a speech in the White House Rose Garden.  Since then, the process of drafting what will likely be the only significant immigration changes of his presidency — and his most consequential use of executive power — has been conducted almost entirely behind closed doors, where lobbyists and interest groups invited to the White House are making their case out of public view.

Who's teaching the kids at New Mexico's immigration facility?.  The school year is about to start for kids across New Mexico.  And the same goes for the children staying in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, N.M., which has been remodeled to house up to 700 immigrants, nearly all of whom came to the U.S. from Central America.  But who has been contracted to teach and how much it will cost is not so easy to discover.

White House won't reveal documents related to ObamaCare website security.  The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers.  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare.

HHS HealthCare.gov Official: "Delete this email".  An email obtained by Congress shows the top official for Healthcare.gov at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Department of Health and Human Services, Marilyn Tavenner, instructed the agency's top spokesman to "Please delete this email."  The instruction appears significant for several reasons:  First, the email to be deleted included an exchange between key White House officials and CMS officials.  Second, the email was dated October 5, 2013, five days into the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov.  Third, federal law requires federal officials to retain copies of — not delete — email exchanges.

Sharyl Attkisson Sues Federal Government to Obtain Obamacare Documents.  Attkisson, a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal, filed the lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services to obtain information about the troubled Obamacare rollout last year.  The former CBS News reporter and Emmy award-winning journalist won't be going alone; the legal group Judicial Watch will represent her in court.  The lawsuit follows four unsuccessful Freedom of Information Act requests.  In October 2013 and again in June of this year, Attkisson requested information from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) concerning the efficiency and security of the HealthCare.gov website.  All four requests went unanswered.

Obama Health Official Instructed Staff To Delete Email Exchange With White House About Healthcare.gov.  House Republicans on Friday [8/15/2014] released an email from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Administrator Marilyn Tavenner, a key Obama administration health official instructing the top CMS spokeswoman to delete an email exchange between CMS, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House.  The email exchange discussed how to handle calls from people asking about Obamacare.  The email is dated October 5, 2013, five days into the disastrous launch of HealthCare.gov. and the first line of the email reads "please delete this email but see if we can work on the script".

Call Obama's mysterious mid-holiday return to D.C. 'Skulk Sunday'.  Sometime today the 53-year-old playboy president of the United States will be heading back to D.C. for a mission which the mainstream media describes as "mysterious".  No one seem to know why he's temporarily back in town for two days mid-holiday, and Barack Hussein Obama isn't saying.  In the face of the open fact that transparency is a broken Obama administration promise, today should go down as 'Skulk Sunday'.  Even as surrealistic as the BHO administration is, why should any president be making a return in stealth to Washington in the middle of another one of his too many lavish holidays?

Why is Obama returning to Washington?  President Obama won't make any major announcements on immigration reform during his secretive mid-vacation trip back to Washington next week, the White House said Wednesday [8/13/21014].  The president is expected to return to the White House on Sunday, but officials won't say why Obama is taking the unusual, and costly, trip back to Washington.  He's expected to return to Martha's Vineyard, where he's been vacationing, on Tuesday.  Speculation has circled around whether Obama might make an announcement of executive actions he's taking on immigration reform, or a surprise visit from a foreign leader.

Obama dines with chef.  President Obama stopped by for an unscheduled dinner on Monday night [8/18/2014] at the home of Sam Kass, a White House chef and adviser to first lady Michelle Obama.  A White House pool report said his deputy chief of staff Anita Decker Breckenridge also joined him for the dinner.  No other details were provided.

Obama takes break from vacation for high-level White House meetings on undisclosed topics.  Political observers have speculated that Obama might be returning to take executive action to help fix the country's broken immigration system — perhaps broadening a 2012 order that delayed deportation for some young illegal immigrants to include as many as 5 million people now living illegally in the United States.  However, White House officials have said the president won't take such action until after summer and after receiving full reports on the issue from the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

Keywords:  Cover story, ruse, red herring, chicanery.
Obama back in D.C., dealing with Iraq and Ferguson.  The president and [Attorney General Eric] Holder met Monday afternoon [8/18/2014] in the Oval Office.  Obama flew back to Washington on Sunday night from his vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.  He is scheduled to return to his vacation on Tuesday.

The Editor says...
How many of you have ever interrupted a vacation, flown back to your office for a few days, and then flown back to your vacation spot to rejoin the family?  The president's actions make no sense, unless he is going to meet with someone in the White House with whom he doesn't want to be seen.

White House rejects media's demand for openness.  The White House blew off a demand for openness and transparency from 40 prominent media groups, offering instead a "bunch of spin" that has reporters calling for a public debate on the administration's anti-press policies, according to a prominent journalism organization.  "We need to have a discussion," said David Cuillier, president of the 10,000-strong Society for Professional Journalists.  Cuillier, in Washington to address a national convention of archivists, told [the Washington Examiner] that White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday [8/11/2014] sent a response to a July 8 letter from SPJ and others demanding that the administration stop blocking reporter access to federal agencies and officials and end an overall "politically-driven suppression of the news."

Did White House press secretary Josh Earnest just tell the biggest whopper of the Obama era?  Josh Earnest is either the most gullible individual ever to serve as White House press secretary or the least concerned with telling the American people the truth.  In a letter Monday [8/11/2014] to a coalition of 42 journalism groups and media organizations, Earnest said this:  "The president's commitment to transparency and the crucial role of the independent press is unwavering.  The president has set an historically high standard of transparency that is part of the legacy to which future presidents will aspire ..."

Feds Won't Tell Texas School Districts How Many Unaccompanied Minors to Expect.  This school year, Texas taxpayers will likely be on the hook for approximately $45 million to educate the wave of Central American children who entered the U.S. illegally during recent months.  Thousands of unaccompanied minors are expected to attend Texas public schools this year.  Despite this, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is unable to put plans in place for accommodating the minors — the federal government has not revealed the number of foreign students to expect in each school district.

Press Shunned from Obama's 400th Fundraiser Charged to Taxpayers.  As we celebrate President Barack Obama's 400th fundraiser since taking office five-and-a-half years ago, it should be noted that of all the thousands of people who have attended, one group has been barred from ever entering the events:  The press.  Now, fundraisers can be a dicey place for the media to be.  You (almost) never know what kinds of things are said in what is supposed to be behind closed doors — just ask Mitt Romney.  To that end, our current president — who greatly benefited from that infamous Romney recording — has barred the press from all fundraising events.  No pictures, no recordings, and no questions asked of the richest one-percent in the room paying for exclusive access to the most powerful person in the world.  And of course, no questions for the president, either.

Senators Slam White House For CIA Torture Report Redactions That Make It 'Incomprehensible'.  The fight over the redactions of the CIA's torture report continue.  Last week, Senator Dianne Feinstein noted that she and her staff were somewhat taken aback by the amount of redacted information when they received back the black ink-drenched copy of the executive summary to the $40 million, 6,300 page "devastating" report on the CIA's torture program prepared by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

'Serious limitations': Gov't watchdogs unite in letter slamming Obama administration transparency.  Dozens of government watchdogs are sounding the alarm that the Obama administration is stonewalling them, in what is being described as an unprecedented challenge to the agencies they're supposed to oversee.  Forty-seven of the government's 73 independent watchdogs known as inspectors general voiced their complaints in a letter to congressional leaders this week.  They accused several major agencies — the Justice Department, the Peace Corps and the chemical safety board — of imposing "serious limitations on access to records."  The inspectors general are now appealing to Congress to help them do their jobs uncovering waste, fraud, and mismanage

Tavenner: Transparency for Thee But Not for Me.  It has been widely reported that the latest Obama administration official to delete emails requested by congressional investigators is Marilyn Tavenner, who runs the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Far less coverage, however, has been devoted to the ironic fact that Tavenner's agency administers the Physician Payment Sunshine Act.  The "Sunshine Act," as it is generally known, is a provision of Obamacare meant to ensure that physicians conduct business transactions with complete transparency.  In other words, the very bureaucrat whose emails have conveniently gone missing oversees the agency tasked with keeping your doctor and his business associates honest.

The glamorous life of a White House journalist, in 2 photos.  According to today's [8/8/2014] White House pool report, photographers were given a little time to photograph President Obama in the Oval Office — and by a little, we mean a little.  "At 11:18 am, the pool was brought to the windows outside the Oval Office for a photo spray.  It lasted 10 seconds."

Ben Carson Calls Into Question CDC Secrecy Over Ebola Testing.  Neurologist and author of "One Nation," Dr. Ben Carson said that the Centers for Disease Control should keep the need to balance patient privacy and the public's need to know in mind when it comes to the Ebola virus.

Valerie Jarrett in secret meetings with Elizabeth Warren, author Ed Klein says.  New York Times best-selling author and long-time journalist Ed Klein said that Valerie Jarrett has been engaging in secret meetings with Sen. Elizabeth Warren in recent months, giving rise to speculations that the Massachusetts political newcomer is actually the administration's choice to head the White House in 2016.

Governor Pat McCrory wants more information on relocated children.  Gov. Pat McCrory didn't seem to be trying too hard to hide his frustration with the federal government's response to the growing immigration crisis.  "We know we have a large Latino population," McCrory said, "but we're in the dark."  The governor said he learned last week that nearly 1,200 undocumented, unaccompanied minors had been placed in North Carolina while their cases plodded through slow moving immigration courts.

Migrant children and unanswered questions.  When protests began across South Carolina in response to the thousands of migrants that have flooded the U.S.-Mexico border, state officials said there was nothing to worry about.  They had been assured by the federal government that while those immigrants may be an issue for other states, no one had been relocated to South Carolina.  That turned out not to be true.  At least 350 children have been relocated to the Palmetto State — and both state and congressional leaders say they were kept in the dark.

Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered.  The Obama administration is concealing key details about its response to the surge of unaccompanied children illegally crossing the southern border, including where the unaccompanied minors are being sheltered and the circumstances under which some are set free inside the U.S.  Lawmakers on Capitol Hill say the lack of information has handicapped their push to pass legislation to gain a handle on the surge — a debate taking place this week in both chambers.  "We're getting almost no information, and there is all kinds of conflicting information," said Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, who for months has been hounding the administration for answers about where unaccompanied minors, who crossed the border without their parents, are detained and released.

Mike Pence Learned HHS Was Dumping Migrant Children in His State from the Press, Not HHS.  Indiana governor Mike Pence said he first learned the federal government had placed 245 unaccompanied alien children in Indiana through media reports.  In a letter to President Obama, Pence wrote that the Department of Health and Human Services informed him that the federal government had housed hundreds of unaccompanied alien children in Indiana from January 1, 2014, to July 7, 2014, but only after reports surfaced in the media.

Indiana Gov. Calls for Timely Information on Unaccompanied Minors.  Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Tuesday urged President Barack Obama to provide "timely and necessary information" to states about the placement of unaccompanied illegal minors after it was discovered that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent 245 unaccompanied minors to Indiana in January, but did not notify the state until seven months later.  "In Indiana last week, we learned from media reports that more than two hundred unaccompanied children had been placed by the federal government with sponsors in our state," said Pence in a letter to the president.

Feds quietly dump hundreds of illegal immigrants in Tennessee.  The Obama administration recently released 760 illegal immigrant children to sponsors in the Volunteer State without any warning, the governor charged. [...] [Tennessee Governor Bill] Haslam, a Republican, said he still has not been contacted by the Obama administration — and has no idea where the illegals were resettled.  "I still have not been contacted and have no information about these individuals or their sponsors other than what was posted on the HHS website," he wrote.

Eleanor Holmes Norton says 'you don't have a right to know' what's going on in government.  Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting congressional delegate for the District of Columbia, angrily sputtered during a congressional hearing Friday [7/25/2014] that the White House should not be held up to scrutiny, saying that there was no right to know what it was doing behind closed doors.  "You don't have a right to know everything in a separation-of-powers government, my friend.  That is the difference between a parliamentary government and a separation-of-powers government," Norton said during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.  It was, to put mildly, a significant departure from the more traditional liberal stance that openness and transparency are must to prevent abuses of power by government officials.

The Editor says...
Here's the good news:  Ms. Norton is a "non-voting congressional delegate."  Now for the bad news:  Barack H. Obama wants to change that, by giving statehood to the District of Columbia.

Democrat Rep: 'You Don't Have a Right to Know' What's Going on in Your Government.  Remember when the Obama Administration was meant to serve as the model for how a transparent government is supposed to operate?  That promise of "hope'n'change" has produced the most secretive government administrations in the history of this nation. [...] What Norton seems to have confused is that it is the very principle of scrutiny that defines a government that is equipped with a separation of powers. Each branch of government checks the power of the other branches of government.  It's amazing that America possesses even one citizen who would believe such an obvious falsehood; it's even more outrageous that America has a representative in Congress who believes this.

Some in 'Torture' Report Denied Chance to Read It.  About a dozen former CIA officials named in a classified Senate report on decade-old agency interrogation practices were notified in recent days that they would be able to review parts of the document in a secure room in suburban Washington after signing a secrecy agreement.  Then, on Friday [7/25/2014], many were told they would not be able to see it, after all.

Obama just dumped 1504 illegal alien kids in NJ and won't tell us where they are.  New Jersey's new motto on the Statue of, ahem, Liberty:  "Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning for Free Stuff."  Did I say "give?"  I meant dump.  Because we didn't ask for 1504 new mouths to feed.  Obama just dropped 'em off, behind our backs.

Barack Obama locks out the press — again.  President Barack Obama went to the West Coast to meet donors from two top Democratic super PACs, but the press wasn't invited.  Tuesday [7/22/2014], the reporters and photographers traveling with the president on Air Force One and in his motorcade were left on the gravel path not even within sight of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal's house in the Seattle suburbs where Obama sat for a Senate Majority PAC fundraiser with a $25,000 entrance fee.

WHCA lodges press access complaint over Apollo 11 meeting.  The ongoing battle for press access at the White House continued on Tuesday [7/22/2014] as the White House Correspondents' Association lodged a formal complaint with press secretary Josh Earnest for limiting coverage of President Barack Obama's meeting with Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.  CBS News' Major Garrett lodged the complaint during the press briefing on Tuesday. Only still photographers were allowed into the meeting for a pool spray.

Most transparent administration ever closes Apollo 11 anniversary event to press.  President Obama met with the surviving members of the moon landing mission Tuesday morning at the White House, but no press was allowed. [...] Major Garrett of CBS News lodged a formal complaint on behalf of the White House Correspondents' Association, which yes, sounds rather meek and procedural in the face of the Obama administration's treatment of the press.  But it's nice to see some fight, and such a complaint draws attention to the White House's opaque standard operating procedure, even on the fluffiest of stories.

What is Obama Hiding at His Wealthy Donor Fundraisers?  A common complaint about George W. Bush's second term is that he was "insulated" and cut off from the outside world, and increasingly so from what he perceived to be a hostile press.  This alleged isolation caused many liberal commentators to begin to derisively refer to President Bush as a "Bubble Boy."  It has taken considerably longer for the press to openly criticize Obama for the same tendencies given their largely shared ideological heritage but finally the Press is starting to carp openly about Obama's refusal to allow them basic access to Presidential events.

Now IRS Reports EVEN MORE Computer Crashes, Doesn't Know If Emails Still Exist.  IRS Deputy Associate Chief Counsel Thomas Kane said in transcribed congressional testimony that more IRS officials experienced computer crashes, bringing the total number of crash victims to "less than 20," and also said that the agency does not know if the lost emails are still backed up somewhere.  The new round of computer crash victims includes David Fish, who routinely corresponded with Lois Lerner, as well as Lerner subordinate Andy Megosh, Lerner's technical adviser Justin Lowe, and Cincinnati-based agent Kimberly Kitchens

The Editor says...
The government certainly has experienced a lot of hard drive "crashes" lately.  As part of the congressional investigation into these unfortunate coincidences, some elected representative should learn the make and model of these hard drives and publish the findings, so the rest of us won't ever buy computer hardware from those companies!  Of course, no hard drive works well after it has been slugged a few times with a hammer, which is what I suspect was the cause of most of the convenient hardware failures at the IRS.  Otherwise there would be widespread computer "crashes" all over the government, not just in the agencies that are in the middle of embarrassing scandals.

IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 hard drives.  Days after IRS officials said in a sworn statement that former top agency employee Lois G. Lerner's computer memory had been wiped clean, the agency put out word to contractors Monday that it needs help to destroy at least another 3,200 hard drives.  The Internal Revenue Service solicitation for "media destruction" services reflects an otherwise routine job to protect sensitive taxpayer information, but it was made while the agency's record destruction practices remain under a sharp congressional spotlight.

White House Press Secretary Faces Reporter Revolt After Criticizing Media At Briefing.  The White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, faced a minor media revolt at his daily press briefing Monday after he criticized a Washington Post story for its reliance on anonymous sources.  Several reporters at the briefing challenged Earnest's critique by pointing out White House officials regularly insist information be anonymously attributed to members of the administration in conference calls and other communications.

Abramson Opens Up to Greta, Defends Charge Obama WH the 'Most Secretive'.  Ex-New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson joined Greta Van Susteren tonight to open up about her firing and her experience at the Times.  Abramson also defended a claim she has made previously that the Obama White House is the "most secretive" she's ever dealt with.  Abramson said she's "never dealt with an administration where more officials... demand that everything be off the record." She cited criminal investigations against journalists' sources, including the current case involving Times reporter James Risen, to make the case of just how secretive the White House is.

Lois Lerner's Illegal Instant Message Trick.  It was so brazen.  Right there, over email, Lois Lerner warned her colleagues "Congress has asked for emails... so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails."  Then she asked whether the IRS's instant messaging application was being archived, and was told that — contrary to law — archiving had been disabled.  She responded:  "Perfect."

Most border invaders are not children; they're working age.  Most of those invading America's southern border are not what we normally call "children."  They evidently are 16 years old and older — working age.  They are labeled children to promote political agendas, even though most are teens and adults, according to those willing to break down a White House-imposed wall of secrecy.

White House: Migrants' Privacy Trump Americans' Right To Know.  The White House won't reveal where it is housing thousands of Central American juvenile migrants because their privacy rights trump Americans' right to know what's happening in their neighborhoods, press secretary Josh Earnest declared July 16.  "The public does have a right to know what's happening... [but] at the same time, there are privacy rights that are included in the law that this administration is committed to enforcing and following," Earnest told Ed Henry, Fox News' White House correspondent.  "We are not surprised in the least to see the Obama administration imitate the smugglers," William Gheen, founder of Americans for Legal Immigration PAC, told The Daily Caller.  "This is how smuggling operations work, this is what the smuggler-in-chief wants — secret planes and secret buses full of illegal immigrants."

Lois Lerner's Former FEC Pal Under Investigation Claims Her Computer Crashed Too.  Really, how much more smoke do we need to choke on before we understand exactly what is burning here[?]

Obama Official Won't Testify to Congress.  The White House said Tuesday night [7/15/2014] that it would refuse to allow its director of political strategy to testify Wednesday before a Republican-led House committee investigating whether the administration had illegally conducted political activity in the West Wing.  In a letter to Representative Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the president's top lawyer said that as a member of the executive branch the political director, David Simas, had immunity from being compelled to testify before Congress.

Issa slams White House over aide's defiance of subpoena.  The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee attacked the Obama administration late Tuesday [7/15/2014] after the White House said a top political aide to the president would defy a subpoena and not appear at a hearing investigating the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach.  The White House argued that David Simas, the office's director, is immune from the "extraordinary demand" of being forced to testify before the committee.

White House defies House Oversight Committee subpoena on the grounds that presidential advisers are 'absolutely immune' from testifying before Congress.  The White House refused to comply today with a subpoena issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee demanding that the president's official political adviser testify before Congress.  The president's Director of the Office of Political Strategy & Outreach, David Simas, was scheduled to appear before the Oversight committee today to state for the record that his work does not violate a federal law that bans most executive branch employees from engaging in political activity.

Obama rejects subpoena that would force top aide to testify in corruption probe.  Well, that's one way to cover up a scandal — just give your top aides immunity from the law.  If they can't be forced to testify, then the truth will never come out.

Hagel quietly notifies Congress of transfer of 6 Gitmo detainees.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel quietly notified Congress last week that the military is set to transfer six Guantanamo Bay prisoners to Uruguay as soon as next month, The New York Times revealed Wednesday [7/16/2014].  The deal has been waiting for Mr. Hagel's approval since March, but stalled after the Obama administration received a wave of backlash for releasing five Taliban detainees to Qatar in exchange for the release [of] Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.  The administration did not give Congress 30-days notice in that deal, but argued it was still legal because any delay could have risked Sgt. Bergdahl's life.

White House Press Secretary Claims Transparency Criticism Unfounded.  Thirty-eight national press groups and transparency organizations, including the Society of Professional Journalists and the Poynter Institute, sent a letter to the White House last week criticizing the Obama administration's "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies."  "Over the past two decades, public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees," the letter reads.  "This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government.  We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear."

White House Pushes Back Against Subpoena.  The White House pushed back against a Republican subpoena for a top presidential adviser to testify this week, saying that summoning David Simas to Capitol Hill raised significant concerns about separation of powers.  White House counsel W. Neil Eggleston wrote in a letter Monday [7/14/2014] to House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) that he would direct his staff to provide a briefing Tuesday [7/15/2014] on the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach.  But Mr. Eggleston questioned the Republican lawmaker's to decision to subpoena Mr. Simas, who serves as the director of that office.

IRS scandal: Lois Lerner's 'perfect' method for hiding emails.  At what most expected to be a relatively routine House oversight committee hearing on Wednesday [7/9/2014], there was yet another IRS bombshell.  On April 9, 2013, just days after seeing the draft Treasury Inspector General Report that revealed the IRS's massive Tea Party targeting scheme, Lois Lerner, then director of exempt organizations at the IRS, sent an email to an IRS IT official asking whether the IRS's internal chat system was searchable.  What's equally as troubling and unbelievable is that congressional investigators and the American people learned of this internal chat system only on Wednesday — the first time this critical communications method inside the IRS was disclosed.

Spokesman: Obama 'absolutely' the most transparent president.  President Obama is "absolutely" the most transparent president in history, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Sunday [7/13/2014] after the White House received a letter from signed by a dozen top journalists' groups complaining about the administration's policies toward the media. [...] The letter, signed by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Poynter Institute, among others, accuses the White House of "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies."

What's Obama hiding at illegal-alien 'refugee' camps?  President Obama's ultimate weakness may be that he believes his own blarney.  A year ago, Mr. Obama boasted in a "fireside" Web chat that his "is the most transparent administration in history."  There was not the slightest hint of irony.  He may actually believe it.  But three-dozen organizations representing newspapermen and other journalists, mostly liberals, beg to differ.  In a testy letter to the president on Tuesday [7/8/2014], the group decried the "slick non-answers" and cold shoulders they're getting from Mr. Obama's representatives, who have restricted access to any information they consider embarrassing to the administration.

Why media groups are accusing the administration of 'censorship'.  In an unusual alliance, a number of journalism organizations have banded together to denounce what they call "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies."  Those are strong words.  Suppression of news sounds like something done in totalitarian regimes.  But the Society of Professional Journalists, American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Poynter Institute and other media groups make that case in a letter to Obama.

DHS preventing reporters, congressmen from doing their jobs.  The Department of Homeland Security is clamping down on information regarding the thousands of illegal alien children being held in detention facilities near the border.  They are preventing congressmen from making unscheduled visits to the facilities and keeping reporters from covering the flood of illegals crossing the border.

White House warns Dem rep to shut up.  U.S Representative Henry Roberto Cuellar a Democrat from Texas told Brian Kilmeade on Fox and Friends this morning [7/9/2014] that he's already gotten a phone call from the White House, he wouldn't say from whom, warning him to stop criticizing Obama on his handling of the border.

Republicans Say Ex-I.R.S. Official May Have Circumvented Email.  Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official at the center of an investigation into the agency's treatment of conservative political groups, may have used an internal instant-messaging system instead of email so that her communications could not be retrieved by investigators, Republican lawmakers said Wednesday [7/9/2014].  The accusation against Ms. Lerner, the former head of the agency's division on tax exemption, came nearly a week after the I.R.S. gave investigators thousands of her emails, including some that were destroyed when her hard drive crashed in 2011 but were recovered from the accounts of people with whom she had corresponded.

White House Strong-Arms Photo Agency to Quash Malia Photos.  Malia Obama went to a famous L.A. restaurant Monday night [7/7/2014] — a restaurant regularly frequented by celebs and paparazzi — and when the White House found out a photog took her pic, they went into DEFCON 1 to KILL the photo

Press Groups Call on Obama Admin to End 'Pervasive' Secrecy Practices.  Dozens of leading U.S. press organizations are urging the Obama administration to live up to its transparency promises and reverse a trend of increased secrecy at federal agencies.  Thirty-eight national press organizations and transparency groups — including the Society for Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Poynter Institute — called on the Obama administration to end "politically driven suppression of news and information about federal agencies," in a letter to the White House released Tuesday [7/8/2014].

Censorship: 38 journalism groups slam Obama's 'politically-driven suppression of news'.  In unprecedented criticism of the White House, 38 journalism groups have assailed the president's team for censoring media coverage, limiting access to top officials and overall "politically-driven suppression of the news."  In a letter to President Obama, the 38, led by the Society of Professional Journalists, said efforts by government officials to stifle or block coverage has grown for years and reached a high-point under his administration despite Obama's 2008 campaign promise to provide transparency.

New ObamaCare Rules Mean Less Care, More Paperwork.  On July 3, when Americans were preparing to celebrate freedom, the Obama administration reduced freedom by adding 1,296 pages of regulations to ObamaCare.  The burdensome rules were published in the Federal Register on Independence Day eve, when few were likely to be watching.  So much for transparency.

Feds limit reporters on border kids visits.  As members of Congress and reporters ask to visit federal facilities housing children who have been apprehended by the U.S. in recent months, federal officials are slapping limits on members of the news media who want a glimpse inside.  For example, an email sent to news organizations by Jesus Garcia, a public affairs officer for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, sets out a number of restrictions on reporters if they want to visit "Unaccompanied Alien Children" being held at Fort Sill in Oklahoma.

The celebrity dinners, golf outings and even public appearances that Obama keeps hidden from Americans.  The White House officially said Thursday what Twitter and MailOnline knew days beforehand:  that President Barack Obama would travel to Colorado and Texas this week for a series of fundraisers.  The events weren't part of the president's public schedule, but they became common knowledge after enterprising reporters obtained copies of exclusive invites for events with the president and shared them online.  The omission from Obama's public schedule wasn't an anomaly.  The president and his administration have made a habit out of telling reporters at the last minute about previously scheduled out-of-town trips, fundraisers and speaking engagements.

Doctor Speaks Out Against Feds Silencing Medical Staff on Border.  Early in July it was revealed that doctors and nurses were allegedly threatened with arrest if they disclosed any information about the diseases discovered in federal housing facilities for illegal immigrants.  Many on the left have claimed that by speaking out about their work at the facilities, medical personnel would be violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which "protects the privacy of individually identifiable health information."

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson dodges deportation question.  Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson expressed optimism Sunday [7/6/2014] that the influx of illegal immigration from Central America could be slowed, but repeatedly dodged questions about how the Obama administration would resolve the status of the immigrants who have already arrived. [...] But Johnson was less forthright about the administration's stance toward the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors who have crossed the border this year, many of whom remain in the custody of the Border Patrol or the Department of Health and Human Services.  Those children are a "special situation," said Johnson.

CIA employee's quest to release information 'destroyed my entire career'.  His CIA career included assignments in Africa, Afghanistan and Iraq, but the most perilous posting for Jeffrey Scudder turned out to be a two-year stint in a sleepy office that looks after the agency's historical files.  It was there that Scudder discovered a stack of articles, hundreds of histories of long-dormant conflicts and operations that he concluded were still being stored in secret years after they should have been shared with the public.  To get them released, Scudder submitted a request under the Freedom of Information Act — a step that any citizen can take, but one that is highly unusual for a CIA employee.  Four years later, the CIA has released some of those articles and withheld others.  It also has forced Scudder out.

ICE Demands "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (UAC) Identifier Drop Use of Word "Alien".  Controlling the verbiage and words is a key element in deceiving the public, and keeping the electorate unaware of what is actually going on.  In the foreground we will continue to see President Obama and fellow travelers say they are opposed to the influx and committed to stopping it.  However, in the background they are giving specific instructions to the federal agencies to continue promoting the process and affirming the intent.  In essence they are doing the exact opposite of what they are saying.

Sometimes Friday document dumps happen on Thursday, if Friday is a federal holiday.
HHS releases 1,296 pages of regulations ahead of holiday weekend.  As Americans scrambled ahead of the July Fourth holiday weekend on Thursday afternoon [7/3/2014], the Department of Health and Human Services released 1,296 pages of new regulations dealing with payment rates to doctors and hospitals.  The timing of the news release is part of a long pattern for President Obama's administration, which has often used holidays as an opportunity to dump dense regulatory changes when most reporters and Americans are focused on their holiday plans.  The release came at 4:15 p.m.

We've gone from an inherited tyrant to an elected one.  The Obama administration had successfully resisted the efforts of The New York Times and others to induce a judge to order the release of the memo by claiming that it contained state secrets.  The judge who reviewed the memo concluded that it was merely a legal opinion, and yet she referred to herself as being in "Alice in Wonderland":  The laws are public, and the judicial opinions interpreting them are public, so how could a legal opinion be secret?  Notwithstanding her dilemma, she accepted the government's absurd claims, and the Times appealed.  Then the government shot itself in the foot when it surreptitiously released a portion of its secret memo to NBC News.  This infuriated the panel of federal appellate judges hearing the Times' appeal, and they ordered the entire memo released.

Government to Doctors: Mention Illegal Aliens' Diseases, Go to Jail.  It appears that our government is working hard for the citizens.  Unfortunately, they're not the citizens of the United States.  Fox News' Todd Starnes reports shocking allegations that a government-contracted security force is threatening to arrest medical personnel at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, if they reveal information about the rampant disease among the illegal migrants at the facility.  Nonetheless, several of these workers have decided to come forward, fearing the contagion risk posed to Americans.  Starnes has kept their identities secret, as they could be subject to persecution.  Starnes reports, "'There were several of us who wanted to talk about the camps, but the agents made it clear we would be arrested,' a psychiatric counselor told me.  "We were under orders not to say anything.'"

Rep. Jim Bridenstine denied access to child immigrant facility: 'What are they trying to hide?'.  Oklahoma Rep. Jim Bridenstine is asking what the Obama administration has to hide after he was denied access Monday to a Health and Human Services facility at Fort Sill currently housing up to 1,200 illegal immigrant children.  "There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held," the Republican said in a press release.

Bridenstine denied access to illegals being housed Ft. Sill.  Congressman Jim Bridenstine was denied access yesterday [7/1/2014] to the HHS facility at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma currently housing up to 1,200 unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who illegally crossed the southern border into the United States.  Congressman Bridenstine said, "There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held.  Any Member of Congress should have the legal authority to visit a federal youth detention facility without waiting three weeks."

HHS Bars Congressman From Seeing Immigrant Children.  A Health and Human Services official refused to allow a member of Congress to enter a facility in his district where some of the unaccompanied immigrant children are being housed.  Representative Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.) was told he could schedule an appointment for July 21.  "What are they trying to hide?" Bridenstine said after the incident.  "Do they not want the children to speak with Members of Congress?  As a Navy pilot, I have been involved in operations countering illicit human trafficking.  I would like to know to whom these children are being released."

U.S. Congressman Blocked From Entering Child Immigrant Facility.  An Oklahoma Congressman who visited an Army base being used to house illegal immigrant children now wonders what the federal government is hiding after he was denied access to the facility.  "There is no excuse for denying a Federal Representative from Oklahoma access to a federal facility in Oklahoma where unaccompanied children are being held," Rep. Jim Bridenstine said in a statement following his visit Tuesday to Ft. Sill Army base near Lawton.

Medical staff warned: Keep your mouths shut about illegal immigrants or face arrest.  A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, sources say.  In spite of the threat, several former camp workers broke their confidentiality agreements and shared exclusive details with me about the dangerous conditions at the camp.  They said taxpayers deserve to know about the contagious diseases and the risks the children pose to Americans. I have agreed to not to disclose their identities because they fear retaliation and prosecution.

Sharyl Attkisson: Team Obama 'Has Perfected The Stall, The Delay, The Redaction, The Excuses'.  Attkisson spoke at length about the Benghazi scandal, pointing out the lack of information regarding the timeline of events, something she has perceived to be a "basic question" because Americans "have no idea what the Commander in Chief was doing" when the attacks transpired. Attkisson is of the understanding that the administration would answer that basic question "if there was something positive to say about it."  So as a journalist the lack of answers has caused her to to be curious about a cover-up, so she has continued to press for answers.

Memo justifying drone killing of American Al Qaeda leader is released.  Neither the U.S. Constitution nor laws governing prosecution of people who commit murder abroad prohibited killing American citizen Anwar Awlaki in Yemen, according to a previously secret Justice Department memo released by a federal court Monday [6/23/2014].  Although the existence of the memo, written in 2010 to justify Awlaki's 2011 death by U.S. drone strike, has long been known, its precise legal reasoning had been shrouded in secrecy.  The ACLU and the New York Times sued for its release.

US Media Restricted at Border, Federal Agent Cites Safety Concerns.  A remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border near the Anzalduas International Bridge is one of the few places where media can witness and record the mass crossings of minors coming from Central America.  The U.S. Border Patrol is now restricting journalists' access to the area citing safety concerns.

Counting Lies: How Obama Deepens Distrust in the Presidency.  Along with two wars and massive debt, President Bush left Barack Obama a legacy of false statements — nearly 1,000 of them on the Iraq War alone, according to Charles Lewis, author of "935 Lies: The Future of Truth and the Decline of America's Moral Integrity."  After promising the most transparent and ethical administration in history, Obama picked up where Bush left off — further eroding the public's faith in the presidency.

Obama Officials Refuse To Provide Data About Flood of Illegals.  White House officials won't say how many of the illegal immigrants now flooding up from Central America have been given a courtroom date to ask for green cards.  "I will take a look and see if those numbers are available," White House Josh Earnest told frustrated reporters at the Friday White House press conference.  Earnest's evasion came after multiple questions from Fox News' Ed Henry and NBC's Jim Avila.

Washington Still Ordering Border Patrol Not To Speak On Crisis.  Thousands of illegal immigrants — mostly from Central America — have overwhelmed U.S. resources and facilities.  Amid what has been labeled a "humanitarian crisis," Border Patrol agents and spokespeople outside of Washington, D.C. have been ordered not to provide any information regarding the situation.  When asked about the status of the thousands of children who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally this year, Tucson Border Patrol spokesman Bryan Flowers told Breitbart Texas that due to orders from Washington, D.C. "we cannot give out those details."

Most transparent administration ever telling local police to keep surveillance secret.  This isn't a matter of an Obama administration official whispering in local law enforcement's ears or sending a vague memo.  They've been actively interfering in public records requests and lawsuits: [...] As we know, local law enforcement is well on its way to becoming baby military forces, with MRAPs, riot gear galore, and firepower sometimes akin to the U.S. Marine Corps.  Now, we know they're becoming baby NSAs, and being just as secretive about it.  What I find most discouraging about this story is that, if you can't get any clear idea from your local government about where and how it might be capable of spying on you, there is no chance you're going to get any answers from the feds.

Officials are now trying to silence border patrol officers from talking to the media.  Border Patrol agents overwhelmed by a recent influx of immigrant children crossing the border illegally have been knowingly letting gang members enter the country.  Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, Arizona told the National Review that officers who recognize gang tattoos on the minors are supposed to treat them like everyone else.  For the most part, that means letting these unaccompanied children be reunited with their parents or other relatives already living in the United States.  'It's upsetting that a lot of them are 16 or 17 years old and a lot of them are not going to face deportation,' Cueto said.

Obama and Prosecutorial Misconduct.  To understand the (politely-put) "lack of transparency" from the White House, the enormous politicization of the Department of Justice, the release of Taliban leaders from Guantanamo, refusal to cooperate with congressional investigations, the IRS's harassment of political opponents, and the cover-up of Benghazi, read on.

Claim: DHS Secretly Housing Would-Be DREAM Kids at Texas Military Base.  Department of Homeland Security officials are secretly housing the Central American children surging across the southern border in a Army airfield hangar that has not been identified as "an illegal immigrant processing/holding center" by the federal government, a watchdog group reports, citing a "high-level source" at the military installation.  Busloads of people are being sent to Fort Bliss, Texas, according to Judicial Watch.

IRS Says It Lost Two Years of Lerner E-mails.  House Ways and Means Commitee chairman Dave Camp has hit a roadblock in his investigation of the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups:  The IRS says it has lost over two years' worth of e-mails sent by former agency official Lois Lerner, the one of the chief subjects of the committee's investigation.  Camp, who is retiring in November, is calling for an investigation into the matter and forensic audits by the Department of Justice and Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration.

Lois Lerner's "Lost" Emails.  Eliana [Johnson]'s report is just stunning — no matter how many times similar "mishaps" have occurred in this administration.  The IRS, like other government agencies, has lots of reasons to maintain e-mails, so I'm curious about whether they will be similarly informing courts, Congress, litigants, FOIA petitioners, and other people and bodies they must periodically make disclosures and reports to that they've lost nearly two years' worth of agency communications?  Or was this just one of those highly, highly unusual computer crashes that affects only the e-mail account of Lois Lerner and any executive branch official with whom she happened to exchange messages?

The two-year gap.  The IRS has informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it has lost Lois Lerner email messages from January 2009 — April 2011.  Harkening back to the allegedly accidental erasure of 18½ minutes of critical Oval Office recordings that contributed to Richard Nixon's resignation from office, the IRS attributes the loss of Lerner email to a computer crash.  Some email survives:  the agency retains Lerner email to and from other IRS employees during this period.  The IRS claims it cannot produce email written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or offices of Democrat congressmen.  Funny how that works.

The Editor says...
This story is simply not believable because she could not have lost a selective part of her email due to the crash of her personal computer.  Her email resides on a server, and the servers have backups.

IRS Claims to Have Lost Over 2 Years of Lerner Emails.  Today [Friday 6/13/2014], Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) issued the following statement regarding the Internal Revenue Service informing the Committee that they have lost Lois Lerner emails from a period of January 2009 — April 2011.  Due to a supposed computer crash, the agency only has Lerner emails to and from other IRS employees during this time frame.  The IRS claims it cannot produce emails written only to or from Lerner and outside agencies or groups, such as the White House, Treasury, Department of Justice, FEC, or Democrat offices.

Exactly what one would expect in Cuba or North Korea:
Border Patrol Agents Threatened with Criminal Charges for Speaking to Reporters.  A surge of thousands of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border has left federal resources and facilities overwhelmed.  Most of the new migrants are children from Central America.  In the aftermath of Breitbart Texas releasing photos showing minors warehoused in crowded U.S. cells, Border Patrol agents in Texas have been instructed not to speak to media outlets.

Doctor: Obama still chewing nicotine gum, Vitamin D deficient.  President Obama seems to have kicked his cigarette habit — thanks to the continued use of nicotine gum, according to his doctor.  "The president's overall health is excellent.  All clinical data indicates that the president is currently healthy and that he will remain so for the duration of his presidency," the White House said today in releasing details about the president's latest physical.

The Editor says...
Not mentioned in the report, as far as I can tell:  Any evidence of cocaine or marijuana usage.

Palm Springs: President to arrive Friday evening.  President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama should land at Palm Springs International Airport at about 6 p.m. Friday [6/13/2014], straight from a visit to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. [...] What is Obama's plan here in the Coachella Valley?  Presumably a short vacation, and likely a round of golf or two — though the details remain fuzzy.

The Editor says...
Obama's entire life is "fuzzy."

In Bowe Bergdahl hearing, Chuck Hagel hedges the tough questions.  Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is not a lawyer.  He's not famous for lawyerly evasions.  But when it came to a few of the most critical issues discussed at the House Armed Services Committee's hearing on the Bowe Bergdahl case Wednesday [6/11/2014], Hagel was full of wiggle words.  Actually, just one wiggle word — "direct" — but Hagel used it repeatedly to sow confusion about some key questions.

Report: WH Orchestrated Campaign Of Threats and Intimidation Against Servicemen To Keep Them Quiet About Bergdahl.  Huffpo columnist Bill Robinson joined Fox and Friends Monday morning with some exclusive info from a Pentagon official.  Robinson said the official wanted the American people to know that there's a bigger story about the Bergdahl swap that isn't being told — including the claim that servicemen received threats and intimidation from the White House to keep quiet.

Judicial Watch Threatens To Sue Feds Over Communications Behind Dinesh D'Souza's Arrest.  Judicial Watch says it will sue the federal government if it doesn't hand over communications relating to the arrest of 2016: Obama's America star Dinesh D'Souza.  For now, Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA request to gain the information, but the nonpartisan group warns legal action may be needed to force the government into transparency.

US State Dept Still Won't Say If It Paid to Get Bergdahl Back.  When the Obama administration isn't lying, it's just denying giving us any answers at all. [...] "I have not heard anything about cash, I'm happy to check," said State spokeswoman Marie Harf when asked about the prospect at Monday's press briefing. [...] "I'm happy to check."  Yeah, no she isn't.  Checking means having to answer directly, and that's something that Marie Harf and her cohorts in the Obama administration just won't do.

After Leaked Photos Expose Unaccompanied Child Crisis, Border Patrol Agents Threatened With Firings.  Last week, photos surfaced from Texas and Arizona showing Border Patrol processing centers overwhelmed as thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America continue to need shelter and resources.  The photos show hundreds of children sleeping in crowded, chain linked cages.  Agents have described the situation as a humanitarian crisis.  In response to the leaked images out of Arizona, Patrol Agent in Charge Leslie Lawson is cracking down on the use of personal technology by agents in the Nogales Border Patrol processing center.

Reporters Revolt As Obama Officials Stonewall On Aliens Released From Custody.  With illegal immigrants streaming across the southern border, senior Obama administration officials couldn't provide reporters specific information about how many have been released from custody into the U.S. on a conference call with reporters Monday [6/9/2014], prompting frustration from the 4th Estate.  The call was on "background," which means that the government officials providing the information can be quoted, but not by name, a fact that didn't sit well with the first questioner.

TSA 'Abusively and Arbitrarily' Using Security Designation to Hide Information.  The Transportation Security Administration has been misusing its power to withhold certain sensitive documents from view under the guise of maintaining safety, according to a congressional report, while actually endeavoring to keep potentially disconcerting information from the public eye. [...] According to the new report, the Federal Aviation Administration in 1974 created a category for sensitive but unclassified information popularly known as "Sensitive Security Information" and issued regulations prohibiting the disclosure of information designated as such as detrimental to transportation security.  Under the regulation, documents designated as SSI were exempted from release under the Freedom of Information Act.

How Obama's media strategy unraveled with recovered POW.  [President Obama] He has stiffed the White House press corps, not only by denying reporters access to him but by creating a force field of discipline that keeps his staff from talking about what is going on in any way.  The public gets what little White House information it has from Obama's own propaganda stream — official tweets, Instagram photos and mini-events carefully manufactured for positive media effect.  Meanwhile, the administration as a whole has declared a cold war against the media it does not control.

Hillary Shares Secret Lunch With Obama at White House.  The White House pool reporter confirms a People magazine tweet saying that President Obama had lunch today [5/29/2014] with Hillary Clinton.

Hillary Clinton's (almost) off-the-record lunch with Obama.  President Obama had lunch at the White House with Hillary Clinton Thursday [5/29/2014], an event that likely would have gone unnoticed had People Magazine not sent out a tweet of its Washington bureau chief with Clinton.

Who pays for first lady's fabulous fashions?  The financing of the first lady's wardrobe is something that the Obama White House is loath to discuss.

Did Hillary know about the Bergdahl swap last week?  Last week, the White House caused a stir among the press corps by failing to announce that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had met for a private lunch.  Reporters began questioning the White House after People Magazine tweeted about the Thursday lunch meeting, which was not part of the public presidential schedule.  People Magazine deleted the tweet, but the White House finally confirmed that "The president enjoyed an informal, private lunch with Secretary Clinton at the White House this afternoon" later in the day.  Now Republicans are wondering just how informal that lunch was.

Hillary's secret 'lunch' with prez raises questions.  Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl officially became an issue in the 2016 presidential race this week when Hillary Clinton backed the president's reckless swap for the soldier with the Taliban.  It looks good for both President Obama and Clinton, the presumed front-runner for her party, that the Democrats stopped the war in Afghanistan and left no one on the battlefield, Christopher Bedford, managing editor at dailycaller.com, told Herald Radio.  What doesn't look so good is the coincidence that the president did not initially disclose his lunch date with the former Secretary of State last week.

Guilty until proven innocent in the age of ubiquitous electronic surveillance.  Upon taking office, President Obama issued a memorandum on the subject of transparency:  "My Administration," he said, "is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.  Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government."  Apparently, though, in spite of this stated goal, the Obama administration has been doing quite the opposite.  Instead of sharing information openly with the American people, they've been collecting information, in secret, about the American people, building the largest domestic spying infrastructure known to man.

What Else is Obama Hiding?  Though the Obama administration tried to cover up the full extent of the website failure in the days following its launch, the lengthy Judicial Watch document tells a tale of complete collapse.  The document was forced out of this secretive administration by our November 25, 2013, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

White House won't say if Obama kept promise to return 5% of his salary.  President Barack Obama pledged in the spring of 2013 to give back 5 percent of his $400,000 salary in solidarity with federal government workers who were expected to lose an average of two weeks' pay because of automatic budget cuts — known in Washington parlance as a 'sequester.'  A year later, however, it's not clear that he made good on his $20,000 promise.

White House Reporter Sent To Shed During Obama's Golf Game.  As President Obama golfed [5/17/2014] at the fancy Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va., an exclusive course that has hosted four President's cups, the reporter was put in a maintenance shed.  On the way to the shed, Houston Chronicle's Kevin Diaz first waited in the equipment shack cafeteria (whatever that means).  Later, he was sent to a "maintenance shed" to wait out the President's golf game.

Lawsuit follows Navy's stonewall on stonewalling information.  Some parts of the government have a history of stonewalling on information requests, but now one branch of the U.S. military has been accused of stonewalling on its procedures on stonewalling.  The Department of the Navy refuses to disclose its procedures for how it answers — or doesn't answer — Freedom of Information Act requests.  The Navy has now refused to respond to a FOIA request by Judicial Watch for more than three months, prompting a lawsuit by the taxpayer watchdog group.

CDC Official 'Gets Very Worked Up' By Interview Request From Conservatives.  Emails obtained by The Daily Caller show that a spokesman at the Centers for Disease Control told an agency scientist to lie to a reporter to avoid an interview, and that a senior press official at the agency "gets very worked up" by interview requests from conservative media outlets.  The freeze-out came in response to an inquiry into a study released in February by the CDC, which found a drastic, 43-percent decline in obesity rates for children between 2 and 5 years old.  The New York Times touted the findings in a front page article, and both the CDC and first lady Michelle Obama tied the results to her Let's Move! anti-obesity campaign.

Show Us the Drone Memos.  I believe that killing an American citizen without a trial is an extraordinary concept and deserves serious debate.  I can't imagine appointing someone to the federal bench, one level below the Supreme Court, without fully understanding that person's views concerning the extrajudicial killing of American citizens.  But President Obama is seeking to do just that.  He has nominated David J. Barron, a Harvard law professor and a former acting assistant attorney general, to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Obama adds solar panels to White House, pressing his support for green energy.  Citing security and other concerns, the White House won't say how many panels now encase the top of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. or how much they cost.

Obama's chief science adviser must explain secret emails.  White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren or somebody on his staff would have been well-advised to heed Sir Walter Scott's poetic warning:  "What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive."  As a result, the Competitive Enterprise Institute filed suit in a federal court Monday claiming Holdren violated federal law and regulation by doing something he specifically advised employees not to do.  That something was using a private email account to conduct official government business.  Holdren used the account he had held in his prior position as director of the Woods Hole Research Center, a prominent environmental advocacy group.

Shocking Charges at VA Likely To Be But the Start Of an Even Worse Scandal.  The nation was shocked by charges that more than 1,400 vets lingered and 40 died on a secret waiting list at the Phoenix, Arizona, Veterans Administration A medical center.  The list was concocted to conceal long waits for care.  What you haven't heard is even worse.  VA hospitals all over the country are manipulating the official electronic waiting list, and the deadly cover ups have been going on for years.

Toothless EPA homeland security office bristles at oversight.  When EPA officials began having doubts in 2012 about John Beale — a top adviser who bizarrely claimed he was missing work because he was on secret CIA spy missions — they didn't go to the agency's inspector general for an investigation.  Instead, they went to the Environmental Protection Agency's little-known office of homeland security to check out Beale's story.  Beale's ruse eventually unraveled, but questions have emerged in the wake of his time and attendance fraud case about the role of the EPA's homeland security operation.

Obama's war on watchdogs.  A Senate report last week revealed that the Obama administration utterly debilitated the inspector general for the Homeland Security Department.  Charles Edwards, the acting IG from early 2011 till last December, toadied to Obama appointees at every opportunity — stifling reports, deleting damning findings and boasting of his chumminess with agency chieftains.  Unfortunately, torpedoing oversight of the federal government's largest nonmilitary department fits the administration's template of suppressing evidence of its debacles far and wide.

DHS Covers Up Another Mexican Military Incursion Into U.S..  Another Mexican military incursion into the United States occurred near San Diego this month and the Obama administration is trying to cover it up, though officials at one Homeland Security agency have come forward with the startling details.  The infiltration took place a few weeks ago at a cross-border drug tunnel recently discovered by federal authorities.  The U.S. Border Patrol was charged with guarding the tunnel, which runs under the U.S.-Mexico border and leads to a warehouse in Otay Mesa.  A group of at least five armed Mexican military soldiers came through the tunnel on April 1 and attempted to enter California through the warehouse, according to an account posted on the Border Patrol's local union website.

Release Obama's Benghazi intelligence briefings.  President Obama claims he was only repeating what the intelligence community told him when his administration asserted that the attack in Benghazi began with a spontaneous protest inspired by an Internet video.  If that's the case, there is a simple way to prove it:  Give the new congressional select committee investigating Benghazi his daily intelligence briefings that show exactly what he was told.

Issa: WH Withholding Benghazi Docs 'Disturbing and Perhaps Criminal'.  During the Committee hearing on Benghazi, Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the Oversight and Reform Committee complained that the Benghazi documents recently released by the White House to Judicial Watch in response to their FOIA request, should have been turned over to Congress a year and a half ago.

Seizing Control: A Better Way to Cover the White House.  The typical White House reporter considers President Obama's team the most secretive in memory, stingier with information than the tight-lipped Bush White House and, according to a Politico survey, prone to lie.  The press corps also is relatively inexperienced, with 39 percent on the beat five years or less, and nearly 60 percent in their first decade.  Most of these extraordinary reporters were never stonewalled by President Clinton's team, deceived by Bush's advisers or bullied by any of their predecessors.  I was.  Yes, I'm pretty old.  With age comes the experience and arrogance required to advise the hard-working White House press corps.

Reporters Say [the] Obama White House [is the] 'Most Secretive' Ever.  Fifty percent of White House reporters say a White House official has lied to them and 42 percent agree that the Obama White House is "the most secretive" they've ever covered while only 20 percent disagree, according to a new survey by Politico Magazine.  The survey, based on a lengthy questionnaire filled out by 61 correspondents who cover the presidency, shows a deep skepticism toward the Obama administration and reflects a tension between the media and the president and his aides — a situation that has been customary over the years regardless of who was in the Oval Office.

Sources: Sebelius Now Refusing To Testify Before Senate Panel.  Outgoing Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius is now refusing to testify before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, a Senate aide told The Daily Caller Tuesday [4/29/2014].  Sebelius had originally been set to testify before the subcommittee about the department's 2015 $70 billion budget request on April 2. [...] Now, after announcing her resignation on April 11, she is refusing to testify according to the two aides, even though she is still the sitting secretary — remaining at the post until her successor, OMB Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell is confirmed.

Read Almost Every White House Reporter Mock Obama's Transparency Claims.  For most of President Barack Obama's first term, and even the early part of his second, the president has proudly asserted that his is the "most transparent administration" in American history.  That claim invited some scrutiny at first, but incredulity quickly took hold.  New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson famously called this "the most secretive White House I have ever dealt with."  The Associated Press has lodged complaints over blocking the access of their photographers to the president, favoring instead internal image-crafters which some say smacks of a state-run media.  Even the White House Correspondents Association has expressed frustration with this administration's lack of openness.

Cummings Responds to 'Shockingly Disrespectful' Kerry Benghazi Subpoena.  The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee accused Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) of creating conflict just to reap publicity with his subpoena of Secretary of State John Kerry.  The subpoena tells Kerry to appear at a May 21 hearing to answer more questions about Benghazi — in particular, the State Department's unwillingness to hand over requested documents to the committee.  In a three-page letter to Kerry accompanying the subpoena, Issa outlines the State Department's evasiveness with the committee and stresses that "compliance with a subpoena for documents is not a game."

A fatal wait: Veterans languish and die on a VA hospital's secret list.  At least 40 U.S. veterans died waiting for appointments at the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, many of whom were placed on a secret waiting list.  The secret list was part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor, according to a recently retired top VA doctor and several high-level sources.

Arizona VA boss accused of covering up veterans' deaths linked to previous scandal.  A Veterans Affairs official accused of keeping double books to hide the fact that dozens of veterans died awaiting care previously ran a Washington state VA facility that allegedly fudged suicide numbers, FoxNews.com has learned.  Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system, is accused with other management officials of keeping a fake waiting list that made it appear sick veterans were being treated in a timely manner — while hiding the real list that showed up to 1,600 sick veterans were waiting months to see a physician.

Obama and the Most [REDACTED] Administration in History.  Good news: thanks to a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, the "most transparent administration in history" is going to have to tell American citizens when it believes it's legally entitled to kill them.  The lawsuit arose out of Freedom of Information Act requests by two New York Times reporters for Office of Legal Counsel memoranda exploring the circumstances under which it would be legal for U.S. personnel to target American citizens.  The administration stonewalled, asserting that "the very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such documents is itself classified," and a federal district judge upheld the refusal in January 2013.

Communications Crackdown.  Members of the intelligence community are now forbidden from unapproved contact with reporters, according to a memo issued last month by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.  The March directive, obtained by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS) Project on Government Secrecy, says members of the intelligence community "must obtain authorization for contacts with the media" regarding intelligence matters.  While the directive refers to intelligence matters, it makes no distinction between classified or unclassified information.

Barack Obama and the politics of lies.  Since it became painfully clear in 2013 that Obama had lied about Obamacare since 2009, it has been increasingly difficult for many Americans to continue accepting at face value his statements on other major public issues.  In both the Benghazi and IRS scandals, for example, Obama claimed to have known nothing about them until they were reported in the national media.  But if that were true, why has the president's attorney general and so many other of his most prominent appointees withheld thousands of documents subpoenaed by Congress and requested by journalists under the Freedom of Information Act?  Are there passages in those withheld documents that make it clear Obama knew much more than he has admitted?

Census Survey Revisions Mask Health Law Effects.  The Census Bureau, the authoritative source of health insurance data for more than three decades, is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama's health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said.

Bureau secrets: 'Censusgate' e-mails fail the smell test.  What is the Census Bureau hiding?  Census, which is under investigation by several government agencies and by Congress, is refusing to turn over an estimated 1,900 e-mails and text messages between a regional supervisor in its Philadelphia office, where falsification of unemployment data took place, and a colleague in its Chicago region, whom a source has identified as the supervisor's mentor and confidant.

White House defends closed press Obama moment of silence.  The president and aides will observe the anniversary of the deadly [Boston Marathon] attack behind closed doors at 2:29 p.m., exactly one year after two pressure cookers packed with shrapnel detonated near the finish line of the raise.  "The president's going to have a moment of silence in the Oval Office.  There will be some senior advisers there," said White House press secretary Jay Carney, adding that the tribute was coming "during the course of a meeting."

The Editor says...
Sounds like a really important meeting.  Maybe a teleprompter salesman is coming by with a few samples.  Or maybe the whole story is an outright lie, and there won't be any moment of silence, because Mr. Obama doesn't grieve over Islamic terrorist attacks, since he is a Muslim.

Is Obama Cooking the Census Books for Obamacare?  For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I've been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects.  We don't know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured.  For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population.  Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they're not as good; the census is the gold standard.  Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won't be available until 2015.  I stand corrected:  These data won't be available at all.  Ever.

New Census Questions Will Change ObamaCare Findings; Networks Ignore.  New Census questions will change the findings on the impact of ObamaCare, reported the New York Times on Tuesday.  The broadcast networks ignored this new report on the Tuesday evening newscasts, however.  In fact, a census official told the Times they "are expecting much lower numbers" of the uninsured "just because of the questions and how they are asked."  As the Times stated, the Census Bureau "is changing its annual survey so thoroughly that it will be difficult to measure the effects of President Obama's health care law in the next report, due this fall, census officials said."

Jay Carney: No timetable for releasing information about Obamacare sign-ups.  White House spokesman Jay Carney said he doesn't know when the administration plans to release more information about the 7.5 million Americans who signed up for Obamacare on the federal exchanges by the March 31 deadline.  The Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services "are working to crunch the numbers and assess the data and collect it in a way that provides as much information as possible," he said Monday during his daily briefing with reporters.  "I don't have a timetable for when that would happen," he added.

This Is Probably The LAST Award The Obama White House Wanted To Win.  The Obama administration has won an award named after America's third president, Thomas Jefferson.  That's the "good" news.  The bad news?  The award is the "Jefferson Muzzle," which the administration won for spying on the news media and limiting journalists' access to Obama.  The "coveted" awards announced Wednesday by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression are presented to people and institutions that engage in the most egregious affronts to the First Amendment.

The ObamaCare Copperheads.  In the Rose Garden Tuesday, President Obama reported that 7.1 million people had signed up so far, confirming a Monday night White House news leak.  "That doesn't mean all our health-care problems have been solved forever," he conceded with customary modesty.  The government appears to have tapped heretofore-unknown reserves of bureaucratic efficiency by releasing numbers timed to this campaign-style pep rally.  Yet for months the Health and Human Services Department has refused to disclose crucial contextual data, such as how many insurance contracts are in force, the market-by-market totals and how many beneficiaries were previously covered.  Regardless of your partisan sympathies, the White House's selective disclosure is a crime against transparency and accountable government.

Captain Obama and the wreck of the Hesperus.  As with so many of the actions taken by the Obama administration, it is difficult to ascertain exactly when and how he and his minions arrived at the convoluted decision to launch an insecure website and gut their own "individual mandate."  After announcing on his first full day in office that his would be the most "transparent administration in history," Obama has conducted his affairs in such secrecy that Judicial Watch has been forced to file more than 2,500 Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests and nearly 150 FOIA lawsuits in an effort to uncover the secrets guarded by Obama's Justice Department and other federal agency lawyers.

Appeals court rules against Justice in DeLay FOIA case.  A federal appeals court on Tuesday [4/1/2014] said that the Justice Department did not provide good enough reason to withhold documents related to its investigation into former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.  The appeals court overturned a district court ruling that had allowed the department to withhold documents related to its case against DeLay.  It remanded the decision back to the district court, which will give the Justice Department another opportunity to argue why the documents should not be released.

VA Hides Names of Hospitals Where Vets Died From Delays.  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) blocked the release of the names of hospitals where 19 veterans died because of delays in medical screenings, leading to calls for transparency from news outlets and a bipartisan group of Capitol Hill lawmakers.  Earlier this month, the VA denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Tampa Tribune reporter Howard Altman, who had been investigating the deaths.

U.S. Gives Russia Free Military Equipment Used By Army, Marines.  Behind closed doors the U.S. government is giving Russia free military equipment — also used to train American troops — even after President Obama announced punitive sanctions against Moscow and, more importantly, a suspension in military engagement over the invasion and occupation of Ukraine.  The secret operation was exposed this week by members of Congress that discovered it in the process of reviewing the Fiscal Year 2014 budget and the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 budget request.  It turns out that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has been providing the Russian Federation with the Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement System (MILES), the federal legislators say.

Turning over Lerner e-mails could take years, IRS says.  Internal Revenue Service documents requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee could take years to produce, the IRS commissioner said.  At a hearing Wednesday [3/26/2014], Commissioner John Koskinen sparred with Republicans over the breadth of the investigation into the agency's handling of applications for tax-exempt status of conservative groups.

Issa to IRS Commissioner: Release Lerner's Emails or Face Contempt.  Six months ago, Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Darrell Issa subpoenaed the emails of former head of IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner.  Lerner was in charge during the IRS' inappropriate targeting of conservative, patriot and tea party groups.  IRS officials have failed to comply with the subpoena and today during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Issa threatened IRS Commissioner John A. Koskinen, one of only two political appointees at the agency, with contempt.  "Unfortunately you've been more concerned with managing political fallout than complying with this Committee," Issa said, urging Koskinen to comply or "potentially be held in contempt."

Trey Gowdy threatens to hold IRS commissioner in contempt for withholding Lerner emails.  After a contentious Wednesday hearing with IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, South Carolina Republican congressman Trey Gowdy threatened to hold the top tax official in contempt of Congress unless he produces disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner's emails by the end of this week.  Gowdy spoke with Fox News' Greta van Susteren about Wednesday's hearing, where a slew of GOP congressmen tore into Koskinen's claim that responding to the Oversight committee's subpoena for Lerner's emails could take years.

Reporter protests being 'detained' by Capitol police for trying to question EPA head Gina McCarthy.  U.S. Capitol police officers "detained" a journalist who was attempting to question Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, according to the reporter, who was released after a background check.

NY Times Reporter: Obama WH 'Greatest Enemy of Press Freedom' TodayNew York Times reporter James Risen has been in a years-long legal battle against the government to reveal one of his confidential sources, even petitioning the Supreme Court to hear his case.  He's been very critical of President Obama's administration for its "aggressive use of the powers of the government to try to rein in independent national security reporting," and in a recent journalism forum, Risen took another shot at the White House for being an enemy of press freedom.

James Risen: Obama hates the press.  New York Times reporter James Risen said Sunday [10/5/2014] that none of the current leak investigations would be happening if President Barack Obama did not hate the media so much, the Morning Sentinel of Maine reports.  "I don't think any of this would be happening under the Obama administration if Obama didn't want to do it," Risen said at Colby College in Maine after he received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy award for journalism.  "I think Obama hates the press.  I think he doesn't like the press and he hates leaks."  Risen could face jail time for refusing to reveal his sources about a failed CIA operation, though Attorney General Eric Holder and Obama have indicated Risen will not go to jail.

Obama Secretly Rewrote FOIA to Exclude His And All WH Docs.  On April 15, 2009, a mere four months after he was sworn into office, the president decided to secretly rewrite the Freedom Of Information Act, which is designed to inform the public and provide oversight of various government activities and behavior to keep any of what it called "White House equities" from being released without a White House review. [...] An actual Speaker of the House who had respect for congress and cared about the Constitution would make a major public stink, bring charges in the House and submit them to the senate for trial to force the Democrats to vote against such an outright violation of law — if they dared.  Unfortunately, John Boehner isn't that kind of Speaker.

Ego te absolvo.  Carlota Gall of the New York Times describes what — if true — must be the biggest cover up in of all of the Obama administration's checkered history.  Her article is titled "What Pakistan Knew About Bin Laden".  But it is really about what the Obama administration knew that Pakistan knew about Bin Laden.  The answer, as far as she can tell is that Washington knows for a fact that Osama bin Laden was Pakistan's creature.  They know it was Pakistan — or factions within it — that ran the whole war on terror.  But, she writes, the Obama administration has made a policy decision to ignore this perfidy, since to publicly acknowledge Islamabad's guilt would force the administration to act in ways they are not prepared to act.

The most transparent administration, cont.  On Tuesday night, The New York Times reported that no reporters would be traveling with First Lady Michelle Obama to China, and that she would be giving no interviews while there.  Nicholas Kristof, the Times columnist, called the First Lady's decision "a mistake," and said it "signals weakness or fear of coverage."

Mainstream Press to Obama: Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?  How much abuse will the mainstream media take before they stand up for themselves?  When the abuse comes from the Obama administration, their tolerance appears to be unlimited.  This week, for example, two things happened that should have sent reporters into a frenzy of outrage.  First, there were reports that the Obama administration has effectively crippled the Freedom of Information Act, despite Obama's promise of unequaled transparency. [...] Next, we learned that Michelle Obama has banned the press from her taxpayer-paid China visit.

Hmm: Hillary Camp Claims Zero Emails Exist Between Top Spokesman and Reporters.  More censorship, less responsiveness, longer FOIA wait times — and it's gotten worse.  This president is a fraud.  But that's old news.  Obama is unpopular, he's lost independents, and he's on the fast track to lame duck status.  But she who would be queen is another story.  Charles Krauthammer has long discussed the administration's successful and ongoing stonewall on the Benghazi massacre, but that matter doesn't appear to be the only front on which Clinton's protectors are fogging over details.

AP photographer hits White House: 'Once we lose access, we'll never get it back'.  The Associated Press has stepped up its attack on White House efforts to block coverage of events involving President Obama, warning that once access is cut, "we'll never get it back."  In the latest media charge that the White House has reneged on promises to be "transparent," two of AP's White House staff told a convention in Denver this week that the president's team often bars coverage of Obama events because they are "hypersensitive" about his image.

The Pentagon Spent $2.7 Billion on an Intelligence System That Doesn't Work.  Here's another item for the (long) list of spectacular waste in the Pentagon's budget:  a $2.7-billion intelligence program that's supposed to help Army troops on the ground collect and use intelligence on enemy fighters.  It sounds like a good idea, but the thing is, the Army's Distributed Common Ground System doesn't actually do that, according to report from Foreign Policy.  The article cites an internal assessment of the DCGS's effectiveness, long requested by Congress but kept under wraps by the Pentagon for eight months.  Probably because they didn't feel like talking about such a spectacular failure.

Dealing with Michelle Obama's press office is no cake walk.  Earlier this week, Dylan Byers, the media writer for Politico, detailed his dealings that day with Michelle Obama's press office and just how difficult it was to get his question answered.  "It's absolutely terrible," he wrote me by email.  The information Byers sought involved a NYT report that no reporters would be accompanying the first lady on her trip to China.  NYT's Nick Kristoff said the call was a bad one.  Byers wanted to know why the decision was made in the first place.  "A spokesperson for the First Lady responded to my inquiry but declared the response 'off the record,' meaning I wasn't allowed to use the information therein," he wrote in a post.

No Reporters on Michelle Obama's Trip to China.  First Lady Michelle Obama will be accompanied by her children and her mother on her trip to China, which begins today.  But she won't be accompanied by the press.  "Michelle Obama's trip to China starting on Wednesday will be nonpolitical, the White House says, a 'people-to-people exchange' emphasizing the importance that both nations place on education.  As if to underscore the point, no reporters are traveling with the first lady, and she does not plan to give interviews while there," reports the New York Times.

'Most transparent' White House ever rewrote the FOIA to suppress politically sensitive docs.  It's Sunshine Week, so perhaps some enterprising White House reporter will ask press secretary Jay Carney why President Obama rewrote the Freedom of Information Act without telling the rest of America.  The rewrite came in an April 15, 2009, memo from then-White House Counsel Greg Craig instructing the executive branch to let White House officials review any documents sought by FOIA requestors that involved "White House equities."  That phrase is nowhere to be found in the FOIA, yet the Obama White House effectively amended the law to create a new exception to justify keeping public documents locked away from the public.

Democrats armed with wealth of EPA records; Little trace of FOIA requests from Republicans.  Democrats have filed more than 50 FOIA requests, including lots seeking correspondence between Republicans and EPA officials — letters that operatives will scour for any hint that politicians' rhetoric doesn't square with how they conduct themselves outside of public view.  Their findings help supply a steady flow of material for damaging news stories and campaign ads.  Twenty-eight of the Democrats' requests have been completed. [...] Republican political committees have filed just four requests since 2012, and none of those has been fulfilled.

Obama's most transparent presidency in history isn't.  One of Obama's most famous sunken promises, which he still occasionally tries to re-float with Chicago-style chutzpah, was that his would be the most transparent presidential administration in history.  The first signs of trouble came early when Vice President Joe Biden's public schedule showed he had a meeting set to review the administration's transparency efforts with its head of transparency efforts.  But those meetings on transparency were closed.  It's been downhill ever since.  With Obama's Justice Department even launching criminal investigations into unauthorized releases of information.

US cites security more to censor, deny records.  The Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

Despite vows of help, White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe.  The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn't exercised a claim of executive privilege.  In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee's work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

Obama secretly waives individual mandate for millions, tries to hide it from view.  Wow.  The administration is more politically desperate than thought.  Now they are waiving the individual mandate in secret and intentionally trying to conceal it.

Oh, by the way: Obama just quietly suspended ObamaCare's individual mandate until 2016.  The "hardship" exemption applies only to people who used to have insurance, and it applies only for this enrollment period.  The mandate penalty would continue to bite people who didn't have insurance before, which seems unfair, and it'd be back in full force this fall even for people who did have it, right around the time that America votes in the midterms.  And so a political problem gets a policy solution.  Again.

Why won't the White House explain how off-budget ObamaCare money got spent?  [I]t became clear early on that the Obama administration miscalculated the operational costs of ObamaCare when Kathleen Sebelius began pressuring insurers to contribute to Enroll America after the non-profit hired Obama administration figure Anne Filipic to assist HHS in preparing people for the sign-up launch in October.  Republicans called this an attempt to get around the Constitution by creating new lines of funding for executive-branch operations, while they also wondered exactly where HHS got its funding for other efforts in ObamaCare.

Under legal fire, State Dept. hands over docs on 'competence' of ambassadors.  Facing legal action, the State Department on Friday [3/7/2014] responded to a request for documents about the qualifications of President Obama's ambassadorial nominees.  The American Foreign Service Association, the labor union for career diplomats, has been dissatisfied with the backgrounds of several recent administration picks for ambassadorships and on Thursday threatened to file suit against State for withholding information about their qualifications.

Obama's unkept promises: a scorecard.  [One] goal Obama identified on his first day in office as key to his presidency was establishing a "sunshine" administration.  He pledged to end the excessive secrecy of the Bush administration and put more information in the public arena.  Obama's self-professed aim was to restore trust between the people and their government by pledging to promote accountability and provide "information for citizens about what their government is doing."  Toward that end, the president quickly released a number of previously classified documents from the Bush years on torture policy.  But that, as it happened, was the end of the sunshine.  In the five years since, little of note has occurred in the name of transparency and much, including a war against whistle-blowers, has been pursued in the name of secrecy.

Whitewashing Benghazi.  If a president were intent on covering something up — something big, such as an illegal gun walking operation to Mexico or a dereliction of duty that gets Americans killed at a diplomatic outpost in the Middle East — he would have to operate on as grand a scale as Obama has.  He would have to insist that the events were caused not by what the facts showed, but something cut from whole cloth.  He and his administration's functionaries would have to hide documents and shut people up to thwart congressional oversight.  And, most importantly, he'd have to have the unquestioning support of loyal minions who would lie and mislead on his behalf, [...]

Emails: Another top EPA official used private email account to aid environmentalists.  It pays to know people in charge, especially if they are federal regulators.  Emails suggest that an Environmental Protection Agency regional administrator used a private AOL email account to correspond with environmentalists.  Such email use is prohibited by agency rules and is seen as a way to skirt transparency requirements.  Emails show that EPA Region 2 Administrator Judith Enck gave advice to environmental activists, including securing government funding, getting meetings with high-level officials and attending events.

Is Our Commander, Covert Or Criminal?  On January 1 an agreement between the United States and our most hostile enemy went into effect.  This agreement was secretly negotiated at secret meetings by a secret Presidential trip, and a secretive Secretary of State.  This super secret agreement we were told would bring peace in our time. [...] The only problem however is that there is now no way for "We The People" to know if our employee, one Barack Hussein Obama, is telling the truth.  And in our representative republic there is no way for our representatives — even ones legally empowered to watch foreign affairs and national security specifically — to be able to know.  Why?  Because the President has the text of the agreement — an agreement we are told is unclassified — being squirrelled away — and is off limits.

EPA's use of secret email addresses was widespread: report.  EPA employees' use of their own private email accounts to conduct government business was rampant among top-level officials, according to according to a new report Thursday from Senate Republicans that accused the agency's own internal watchdog of botching an investigation.  Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said their findings call into question the work of the EPA's inspector general, who in September issued a report clearing the EPA of wrongdoing in the email scandal.

Suspense in Senate: Debt Vote Shrouded in Secrecy.  [O]n perhaps the most important vote of the year, the Senate did something extraordinary this week:  It tried to keep the vote tally secret until the outcome was assured.

Justice bars lawyer from testifying before House panel in IRS probe.  The Justice Department said Thursday it is refusing to let a key lawyer testify to the House oversight committee on the criminal investigation into the IRS, saying that to let her brief Congress could potentially skew its probe.  But oversight committee Republicans said blocking lawyer Barbara Bosserman from testifying only makes the Justice's investigation look more partisan.

Court rejects secrecy for food stamp numbers.  A federal appeals court has rejected the Obama Administration's attempt to keep secret the government's data on how much individual retailers take in from the food stamp program.  In a ruling Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit turned down the U.S. Department of Agriculture's arguments that a provision in federal law protecting retailers' application information from disclosure also barred disclosure of how much the feds pay out to specific businesses.

Obama to speak on economy at Maryland Costco store.  A day after he delivers his State of the Union address, President Obama will head to a Costco store in suburban Maryland to speak about the economy, the White House announced Monday.  The president's remarks, which are open to the media but closed to the public, will come at Costco's Lanham store at about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday [1/29/2014].
[Emphasis added.]

Political Review Hampers FOIA Process, Watchdogs Say.  Government watchdog groups and reporters say political appointees have been given increased sway over Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in the Obama administration, slowing down the release of public records and introducing political pressure to the process.  Numerous federal agencies have adopted policies to review "significant" or "sensitive" FOIA requests.  The White House also frequently reviews FOIA requests it claims contain executive branch materials.

NY Times Editor Jill Abramson: Obama White House the 'Most Secretive' I've Ever Dealt WithNew York Times editor Jill Abramson sat down for an in-depth interview with Al Jazeera America recently.  She discussed issues ranging from Edward Snowden to the the [sic] future of the print industry, but in perhaps the most candid moment of the interview, Abramson admitted that of all the White Houses she's ever dealt with, the Obama administration is hands-down the "most secretive" thus far.

White House imposes secrecy rules on First Lady's lavish, celebrity-filled birthday party.  There was a party in the East Room of the White House Saturday night [1/18/2014], an affair attended by a reported 500 people, a lavish celebration with celebrities galore, appearances by some of the world's most popular performers, lots of dancing and powerful government officials, including, of course, the most powerful official of all, the President of the United States.  And the White House wants to make sure you know as little as possible about it. [...] [M]aybe, since the president has announced he is devoting the rest of his time in office to an "inequality agenda," the White House felt photos of a champagne-soaked, star-studded party would be somewhat off-message.

Obamacare Questions the White House Won't Answer.  The Obama administration's signature domestic policy achievement has been marked by an unwillingness to directly answer basic questions about the law and its implementation.  When it comes to Obamacare, the most transparent administration in history is anything but.  Months after the launch of the exchanges, key questions about the law remain unanswered.  First among those is how many people have actually enrolled.  Not merely signed up, but enrolled, by picking a plan, requesting a bill, and paying the first month's premium.

Obama has low-key holiday in Hawaii.  While his administration has sent out formal statements, and campaign organizations have e-mailed fundraising solicitations under his name, Obama has also gotten in daily workouts, hiking and beach trips, dinners with friends and family and six golf outings in his home state.  Obama has also signed bills into law and conducted a series of briefings, all behind closed doors.

Administration says 2.1 million enrolled in Obamacare but won't say how many paid.  The Obama administration announced Tuesday that 2.1 million people had enrolled in health plans ahead of the start of new Obamacare exchanges in 2014, but officials could not say how many Americans had actually paid for their coverage.

The Most Underreported Domestic News Stories of 2013.  To put it bluntly: nobody knows nothin' about the president of the United States, aka the leader of the free world.  And what little we do know is highly uninformative and often contradictory.  In a world where every phone call, email, text message, Tweet, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook post, [etc. ...] has been recorded digitally for posterity and beyond, nobody knows what Barack Obama even got in freshman English.  (Well, maybe the NSA does, but they're not telling.)  Does this matter?  I don't know — and that's the point.  In an administration that once proclaimed that it would be transparent like no other, but now has lied like no other, one can only guess.

Obama's albatross: Transparency.  Five years into his presidency, Barack Obama might have been reaping kudos for ushering in a new era of transparency in government.  Instead, he's under fire for his administration's secrecy.  The White House has faced a fusillade of high-profile complaints in recent weeks from all corners of Washington.

Obamacare deadline secretly pushed back to tomorrow night rather than tonight.  Americans had been told that they would have to sign up for health insurance through the ever-breaking healthcare.gov site by the end of Monday night but now it has been revealed that the deadline has been covertly pushed back one more day to try to give more people a chance.  Two anonymous officials announced that the 11.59 pm deadline that had been set for tonight was pushed back to Tuesday- Christmas Eve- over the weekend, according to The Washington Post.

Obama administration secretly extends health care enrollment deadline by a day.  At midnight Monday, the official deadline arrives for Americans to sign up through the new federal health insurance exchange for health plans that begin Jan. 1.  But, without any public announcement, Obama administration officials have changed the rules so that people will have an extra day to enroll, according to two individuals with knowledge of the switch.

Susan Rice: NSA Officials Didn't Lie, They 'Inadvertently Made False Representations'.  National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on Sunday night's 60 Minutes with Lesley Stahl, and one of the issues she addressed was the continued fallout from the Edward Snowden NSA leaks.  Rice argued that NSA officials didn't lie about intel dragnets, they just "inadvertently made false representations."  This statement comes as House Republicans are demanding a criminal probe for Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for his flat-out denial in March, three months before the Snowden leaks began, that the NSA collects data on hundreds of millions of Americans (a denial that Clapper later categorized as the "least untruthful" answer he could have provided).

Court Rejects Obama Admin Executive Privilege Arguments.  A federal judge Tuesday [12/17/2013] rejected the Obama administration's sweeping claims of executive privilege and ordered the disclosure of a foreign aid directive signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 but never publicly released.  U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle ruled the presidential order is not within the bounds of executive privilege and called the government's arguments in favor of secrecy "troubling."  "The government appears to adopt the cavalier attitude that the President should be permitted to convey orders throughout the Executive Branch without public oversight ... to engage in what is in effect governance by 'secret law,'" Huvelle said.

Judge smacks Obama secrecy in unique FOIA case.  In a Freedom of Information Act victory, a federal judge has slapped the Obama administration for its secretive ways and ordered officials to turn over a bland-sounding foreign policy document.  Chastising what she called "the government's unwarranted expansion of the presidential communications privilege at the expense of the public's interest in disclosure," U.S. District Judge Ellen Seal Huvelle ruled the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development is not exempt from FOIA.

Finally, the media revolt against another empty Obama vow.  Sentient Americans will remember Obama's vow that his would be the most transparent presidential administration in history.  Yeah, right.  Remember how ObamaCare was going to be written wide-open on C-SPAN?  Uh-huh.  Obama even appointed someone in full-time charge of pushing transparency everywhere.  That worked so well that when Joe Biden met with him to check on progress, the meeting was closed to the media.  Twice.

White House press corps tees off on Jay Carney over access.  A frustrated press corps sounded off Thursday [12/12/2013] against White House press secretary Jay Carney over lack of access to President Barack Obama.  Carney said the White House "is working" to address the concerns, noting that the administration has been meeting with the White House Correspondents' Association.  He did not, however, give further details about what steps are being taken to expand access.

This is how Mr. Obama pretends to be accessible:
Steve Harvey Interviews Obama, Avoids Politics.  Steve Harvey got the chance for a one-on-one interview the President of the United States this week, a rare opportunity for a journalist let alone a comedian.  Harvey made one item clear up front about his exclusive chat — he didn't ask President Barack Obama any political questions.

Obama's Orwellian Image Control.  Mr. Obama's administration — in hypocritical defiance of the principles of openness and transparency he campaigned on — has systematically tried to bypass the media by releasing a sanitized visual record of his activities through official photographs and videos, at the expense of independent journalistic access.  The White House-based press corps was prohibited from photographing Mr. Obama on his first day at work in January 2009.  Instead, a set of carefully vetted images was released.  Since then the press has been allowed to photograph him alone in the Oval Office only twice:  in 2009 and in 2010, both times when he was speaking on the phone.

Bush Spends 90 Minutes with Reporters on Air Force One, Obama Avoids Them.  There's nothing like a communal flight with the current president of the United States and his predecessor to make the press miss the days of a communicative commander in chief. [...] The Obamas have stayed in their cabin for the flight, according to the White House pool report from the refueling stop in Senegal, while President Bush came to the press cabin twice for a total of about an hour and a half.

Hidden Obamacare Website Costs Show Lack of Transparency.  President Barack Obama's health agency said it has spent $319 million building an online health-insurance marketplace through October.  More than three years after the passage of Obama's signature health-care law in 2010, it's almost impossible to verify and track that spending through public records.  What the estimates don't include is the around-the-clock effort to repair the website, which hundreds of thousands of Americans found unusable after its Oct. 1 debut.

NBC, ABC News Press White House on Secret Sebelius Meetings.  During Friday's White House briefing, Jonathan Karl of ABC News and Peter Alexander of NBC News both pressed White House spokesman Jay Carney on a Government Accountability Institute (GAI) report that found President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had met only once during the three and half years after the passage of ObamaCare.

Obama's Wretchedly Convoluted Presidency.  An administration that can't be trusted accurately to provide basic biographical information about the president is an administration that can't be trusted to provide accurate information about anything.  What we have in Barack Obama is not "the most transparent administration in history" but the most convoluted one.  And we have this convoluted presidency not because Obama is our first dishonest chief executive but because he's the first who had to conceal from the American people the essence of who he really is and what he really stands for.

IRS lawyer at the center of tea-party targeting scandal told Congress 'I don't recall' — a whopping 80 times!.  A top lawyer at the Internal Revenue Service told congressmen quizzing him over the tea party targeting scandal 'I don't recall' a 'staggering 80 times in fill or partial response to the committees questions', a letter revealed today [12/4/2013].  The letter was sent to Chief counsel William Wilkins by two powerful House Republicans who gave him until December 10 to 'amend' his statements.

What if It's All True?  [Scroll down]  To put it bluntly, Occam's Razor has moved.  Things that were once possibilities now seem almost certainties to me.  Principal among those is that Obama's academic records are perpetually unavailable for a reason — and that reason is most likely that they reveal he received financial preferences, scholarships and/or loans, as a foreign student.  They probably also reveal academic mediocrity, but that's par for the course for many of our politicians (except it becomes embarrassing in Obama's case where he has the reputation of being brilliant).

Rogers: WH wouldn't brief us on Healthcare.gov security gaps — even in closed session.  Rep. Mike Rogers provides a cheery thought on personal security as the White House gears up to sell ObamaCare all over again.  Last night, he told Greta van Susteren that data security on Healthcare.gov didn't even meet "minimal standards" for the industry.  In terms of the "private-sector velocity and efficiency" claimed by the Obama administration over the last couple of days, Rogers says that experts warned him that they would be sued out of business if they rolled out a website with this many security gaps.

CMS won't reveal error rate for sharing data with insurers.  The White House is trumpeting fixes to the healthcare.gov website, saying it met a self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline to deliver a smooth user experience to the "vast majority" of consumers.  Insurers, however, say the federal website is nowhere near fixed, citing back-end issues with the online marketplaces.  Insurance companies say they have been unable to receive data on many users who have successfully enrolled in Obamacare exchanges, preventing them from registering those consumers for the correct insurance plans.

NPR Reporter Frustrated by WH's Transparency: 'Have to Take Their Word' on Obamacare Site Fixes.  On Saturday [11/30/2013], the White House reached the self-imposed deadline it set to ensure that HealthCare.Gov functions for at least 80 percent of visitors.  While the White House is indicating that a number of goals it set for itself have been met, National Public Radio's health policy correspondent Julie Rovner said she found verifying the Obama administration's claims "frustrating."  She added that the administration has not provided reporters with "independent access" to the data they claim shows that they have largely repaired the federal insurance exchange portal.

Feds refuse to tell House committee about their global warming spending.  Eleven federal agencies that declined to testify at a Sept. 18 hearing on their global warming spending also missed a Nov. 22 deadline to provide a congressional panel with written information about the issue.  The House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked officials at 14 agencies to testify at the hearing.  When the agencies said none of their top officials were available, the committee extended its invitation to any available staff member.  Still, all but the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency refused to provide a witness, citing scheduling conflicts.

Obama's photo policy smacks of propaganda.  The White House has increasingly excluded news photographers from Obama's official events and is instead releasing images taken by in-house photographers, who are government employees.  These photos often appear online and in newspapers, even though they lack the same standards of authenticity that govern those taken by photojournalists.

The Obama Administration and the Press.  U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise.  Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press.  Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists. [...] "This is the most closed, control freak administration I've ever covered," said David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times.

Newsroom Protests Against White House SpreadUSA Today on Monday [11/25/2013] joined a growing list of news agencies boycotting the use of official White House photography over what it says is an unprecedented lack of access to the president.  USA Today Deputy Director of Multimedia Andrew Scott said in a memo to staff the publication will not use "handout photos originating from the White House Press Office, except in very extraordinary circumstances."  USA Today is now one of more than 35 news agencies refusing to use White House photography.

Photographers Protest White House Restriction.  A mutiny has erupted among photographers who cover President Obama over what they say is the White House's increasing practice of excluding them from events involving the president and then releasing its own photos or video.  On Thursday, the White House Correspondents' Association and 37 news organizations submitted a letter to the press secretary, Jay Carney, protesting what photographers said amounted to the establishment of the White House's own Soviet-style news service, which gets privileged access to Mr. Obama at the expense of journalists who cover the president.

White House blocks access to Obama events, news groups say.  The nation's largest news organizations lodged a complaint Thursday [11/21/2013] against the White House for imposing unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama, which they say have harmed the public's ability to monitor its own government.  The organizations accuse the White House of banning photojournalists from covering Obama at some events, and then later releasing its own photos and videos of the same events.

Journalists, Networks Decry Obama White House's 'Troubling Precedent' on Press Access.  On Thursday, CBS's Sharyl Attkisson reported on Twitter that the White House Correspondents Association, along with "dozens of associations & media outlets", sent a letter of protest to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Attkisson outlined in subsequent Tweets that the letter blasted the Obama administration for restricting the access of photojournalists at certain presidential events, "while releasing government photos and videos of the same events".

Obama's Image Machine: Monopolistic Propaganda Funded by You.  Obama's image-makers are taking advantage of new technologies that democratized the media, subverting independent news organizations that hold the president accountable.  A generation ago, a few mainstream media organizations held a monopoly on public information about the White House. Today, the White House itself is behaving monopolistic.

White House photogs seek more access.  Nearly 40 news outlets and organizations signed a letter Thursday [11/21/2013] urging the White House to relax its restrictions on news photographers when covering the president.  The group, including major wire services and TV networks, said the White House is replacing "photojournalism with visual press releases" by barring photographers from certain meetings at the White House, then releasing its own photos of the events through social media.

Report: Valerie Jarrett Led Secret Negotiations with Iran for Past Year.  The Times Of Israel is reporting that a team of negotiators led by White House adviser Valerie Jarrett has been conducting secret talks with Iran about it's nuclear weapons program for the past year.

Obama Negotiates IP Treaty in Secret, Lets Special Interests Run Wild.  Remember when Obama campaigned on not having lobbyists in the White House?  Well now he's having them write our international treaties.  The Founding Fathers explicitly rejected European conceptions of copyright by instead creating a limited short term for copyright and ensuring that it was also limited in scope.  But the Obama Administration, at the behest of Hollywood lobbyists and other special interests, is negotiating to incorporate international and European conceptions on copyright to supersede the U.S. Constitution.

President Obama and His Gang That (Still) Isn't Shooting Straight.  Incompetence is one thing.  Secrecy is another.  The administration that promised to be the most transparent ever settled on the "80-percent-is-better-than-nothing" construction without making it public.

Top White House officials refuse to testify on Obamacare.  On Nov. 7, Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, along with subcommittee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, sent the White House a letter requesting testimony from top Obama aides Nancy-Ann DeParle and Jeanne Lambrew.  Both are leading figures shaping the White House position in Obamacare design and implementation.  Issa wanted them to appear at a Nov. 20 hearing on the so-far disastrous rollout of the president's national health care scheme.

The Obamacare hearings are getting ugly.  What began as a congressional request for a bureaucrat's testimony has, over the course of a few days, escalated into an all-out Obamacare war.  This is the story of the House Oversight Committee's request to have White House Chief Technology Officer Todd Park appear at a Wednesday [11/13/2013] hearing about the rollout of HealthCare.gov.  The hearing, announced last Thursday, listed Park among the five witnesses — all members of the Obama administration — called to testify.  The White House had attempted to decline the invitation the day before, [...]

Obamacare IT chief really, really doesn't want to testify.  Todd Park is the administration's Chief Technology Officer.  Before taking the job in 2012, he was head of technology at the Department of Health and Human Services, where his biggest project was the development of the Obamacare website healthcare.gov.  Now, as he oversees the administration's tech efforts, his biggest project is still healthcare.gov.  That is why Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, wants Park to testify at a hearing Wednesday on the Obamacare rollout.  But Park doesn't want to talk, as Issa is finding out.

White House blocks tech chief from testifying on Obamacare.  The Obama administration is refusing to make Todd Park, one of the chief technology officials repairing HealthCare.gov, available for a hearing next Wednesday [11/13/2013] with House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa.  They say he's too busy right now fixing the Obamacare enrollment portal.

Energy Dept. failed to report concerns as green-tech firm was heading for bankruptcy.  The Department of Energy failed to disclose concerns about a green-technology company that won $135 million in federal funding but ended up filing for bankruptcy in September, according to a watchdog report released this week.  DOE Inspector General Gregory Friedman noted that the firm, San Francisco-based Ecotality, is still due to receive $26 million from the agency for testing electric vehicles.

Dispute Over Obamacare Tech Official Not Testifying.  The White House declined this week to make Chief Technology Officer Todd Park available to testify at a House Oversight hearing next Wednesday on the rollout of Healthcare.gov.  White House Assistant Director for Legislative Affairs Donna Pignatelli said Mr. Park is currently too busy helping fix the troubled healthcare website to appear, and suggested he testify in early December instead.

The Editor says...
I find Mr. Park's excuse to be feeble and incompetent.  Appearing before a congressional hearing would be part of fixing the website's problems.

Pentagon kills Early Bird daily news digest.  The Pentagon's Early Bird, an influential daily digest of news and opinion articles about the military that began early in the Cold War, died Friday [11/1/2013], another victim of digital news and the government's desire to control the flow of information.

Key House committee threatens Obama admin. with subpoena over health care data.  House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, Michigan Republican, sent a stern letter Friday [11/1/2013] to Marilyn Tavenner, the federal official closest to the health care law's implementation, that threatened to subpoena the records from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  "The Committee is not prepared to wait until 'around mid-November' for the Administration's scrubbed and spun numbers," Mr. Camp wrote.

O-Care stonewall: Media stymied.  CNN, ABC, MSNBC and others have filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) seeking information on the beleaguered healthcare.gov website.  They have also asked for government documents revealing how many people have enrolled in the new healthcare exchanges.  Journalists have repeatedly pressed the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for the enrollment data, but the administration says it won't do so until mid-November.  Republicans have noted that President Obama has dropped hints he is aware of the enrollment figures.  In a recent speech, Obama said "thousands" have signed up.

Carney slams reporter, to hide another Obama deception.  ABC News' Jon Karl highlighted another Obamacare deception Nov. 4, prompting White House spokesman Jay Carney to retaliate with mockery, mimicry and misdirection.  Carney is having a tough few weeks because he volunteered to defend President Barack Obama's catastrophically mismanaged rollout of the Obamacare network.

Jay Carney Mimics and Sneers at ABC News' Jon Karl During Daily Briefing.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has become increasingly animated and explicit in his pushback against some reporters, and at Monday's daily briefing that trend continued with a lively exchange in which Carney openly mocked and mimicked ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl.

WH: We Have 'Rough Estimate' of Enrollment Figures, But Won't Release to Public.  White House press secretary Jay Carney revealed that the administration has "rough" Obamacare enrollment numbers, but that it is waiting to release them to the general public until they're more reliable. [...] Carney's comments come a day after reports that just six people enrolled on the federal exchanges when the Healthcare.gov website launched last month.

AP editors: Obama relies on staged propaganda photos.  Editors of The Associated Press condemned the White House's refusal to give photojournalists real access to President Obama, who prefers to circulate press release-style pictures taken by his own paid photographers.  These official photographs are little more than propaganda, according to AP director of photography Santiago Lyon.  The AP has only been permitted to photograph the president alone in the Oval Office on two occasions — both in his first term — and has never been allowed to photograph the president with his staff in the office.

First Crony Michelle Obama's Big Business Bonanza.  On Wednesday, Mrs. Obama announced an agreement by the Sesame Workshop and the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) to join her nonprofit Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) in a two-year agreement to help promote fresh fruit and vegetable consumption to kids. [...] Joining her for the rollout of that initiative:  Hollywood actress Eva Longoria, who gets paid to promote sugary soda pop Pepsi when she's not standing by Michelle Obama telling the rest of us to drink more healthy water.  Mrs. Obama's nonprofit reportedly has assets of $4.5 million.  It doesn't have to disclose its donors.  So much for the "most transparent administration ever."

More hot water for Sebelius and the ObamaCare crew.  It's not particularly surprising to learn that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has followed the time-honored Obama Administration practice of refusing to hand over documents requested by Congress.  I'm honestly not sure why House Oversight bothers making polite requests with generous deadlines any more.  Subpoenas are the only way to get the attention of the Most Transparent Administration In History, and even then it's hit and miss.

ObamaCare sites fail to rate insurance plans.  The consumer ratings are called for in the Affordable Care Act.  They would be provided by a respected independent company, allowing consumers to judge health plans by treatment outcome, service and consumer satisfaction.  Federal and state officials, though, largely decided it would reflect poorly on the insurance exchanges if some companies were rated and others were not — and have not yet published them.

Benghazi witnesses grilled in secret on Capitol Hill.  Two of the Justice Department's key witnesses in last year's terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, were summoned to Capitol Hill this month and grilled for hours in separate legal depositions. [...] How those highly guarded and secret interviews came about was part of an increasingly bitter dispute between two branches of the federal government.

The Editor asks...
Why the secrecy?

Why is Obama hiding Joe Biden?  Where is Joe Biden?  For 16 days, the federal government was shut down, and yet the White House's ambassador to the Senate was invisible.  ObamaCare rolled out [...] and the guy who dubbed it a BFD had not a word to say.

Federal officials still mum on many Obamacare website problems.  Former White House aide Jeffrey Zients, who is heading up the administration's efforts to rescue the malfunctioning website, briefed reporters on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday [10/25/2013], but continued to remain vague about both the problems and possible solutions.  Zients still refused to say how many people had enrolled through the new health care exchanges.  He also refused to predict how many people would enroll by the Dec 15 enrollment deadline.

Has He Got a Health-Care Deal for You.  On Oct. 16, Consumer Reports offered this advice:  "Stay away from Healthcare.gov for at least another month if you can."  This will likely keep the Obama administration from reaching its goal of having seven million Americans (2.7 million of them young people) signed up for coverage through the exchanges when the enrollment period for 2014 ends March 31.  It will take signing up 38,461 Americans a day to reach that target.  The White House refuses to say how many people have signed up so far, either because that number is shockingly low or because its screwed-up computer systems can't report it.
[Emphasis added.]

White House Declares ObamaCare Truth Telling A Firing Offense.  One can be forgiven for wondering if this White House has some wimpy aversion to firing anyone, given the scale of unpunished blundering seen in the Benghazi attack, the IRS suppression of political dissent, the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and now the incompetence of the ObamaCare rollout.  But there does seem to be one offense where a red line has been drawn:  telling the truth.  That's what cost ObamaCare telephone operator Earline Davis her job.

Newspaper presses FOIA fight for food stamp payment data.  South Dakota's Argus Leader newspaper urged a federal appeals court Wednesday to reverse a ruling blocking the newspaper from receiving data on how much the federal government pays to stores that redeeem food stamp benefits.  Jon Arneson, an attorney for the newspaper, told a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit that a lower court judge misinterpreted the law by ruling that a confidentiality provision for retailer applications allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to withhold all data on payments to those retailers.

Homeland Security, Energy employees confidentially cashing in on 'official time'.  Federal agencies hide the names of employees they pay to work full-time for labor unions by claiming their right to privacy trumps taxpayers' right to know how the government spends their money.  Federal law allows agencies to provide full civil service pay and benefits to employees even though they work full- or part-time for government unions.  But finding out how many such "official time" employees there are in a particular agency can be all but impossible.

Obamacare Operator Fired After Taking Call From Hannity.  On the top of Thursday's broadcast of his radio show, Sean Hannity revealed Earline Davis, the Obamacare operator he called early in his Monday show, got fired.  Hannity quizzed her on how well the law is being received by applicants and she revealed no one liked it.  Hannity had Davis on his show today and revealed he will give her a year's salary of $26,000 and help her find a new job.

Why Was Obamacare Hotline Operator Fired, But Sebelius Still Has a Job?  Sean Hannity appeared on Fox & Friends Friday morning to discuss his pledge to help former Obamacare hotline operator Earline Davis because she was fired as a result of taking the radio host's call on Monday afternoon [10/21/2013].  Recounting the story of how Davis was fired one day after that fateful phone call, Hannity lamented that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is still gainfully employed.

Obama Admin Asks Blue Cross Blue Shield to Hide Poor Enrollment Numbers.  In a bombshell revelation, a consumer sales manager for North Dakota's largest health insurer said Monday [10/21/2013] that the Obama Administration asked Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota to hide how many people registered for health insurance through an online exchange that just went up.  James Nichol of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota told a forum in Fargo that the Obama Administration had made the request.

Feds invoke 'privacy' to shield public employees while snooping on the rest of us.  Even as Washington gets heat for snooping on ordinary Americans and warning them that they "have no reasonable expectation of privacy" on Healthcare.gov, federal officials are increasingly using the "personal privacy" exemption in the law to shield their employees from scrutiny, according to open government advocates.  Information about pay bonuses, disciplinary actions and severance packages are being withheld by federal agencies citing the personal privacy concerns of their employees.

Ryan blasts Sebelius' silence on ObamaCare implementation inquiries.  Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has repeatedly rebuffed requests by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan to testify on ObamaCare implementation, Fox News has learned, raising more questions about what the administration knew about problems with the site in advance of the troubled launch.

Obamacare's Rollout Is a Disaster That Didn't Have to Happen.  Obama promised open innovation and transparency.  Yet startups and hackers are forced to take a backseat to state-run websites, a mediocre government contractor secured the lucrative deal to build the federal exchange, and both HealthCare.gov's code and enrollment numbers are locked up by tight-lipped bureaucrats.

The Editor says...
Obamacare will inevitably implode, because Marxism fails every time it is attempted, and the Obamacare scheme is just a collectivist middle man between you and your health insurance company.  There is no value added by Obamacare — it is a tax collection mechanism that siphons money out of the health care industry, and it does this under threat of imprisonment.  Obamacare is a meddling parasite at best, and heavy-handed tyranny at worst.  In that regard, it is a reflection of Obama himself.

GOP shut out of Dem-only Obamacare briefing.  House Republicans say they're being left out of an Obamacare briefing from a White House officials who are coming to the Hill to brief Democratic allies on Wednesday.  Mike Hash, who leads the HHS Office of Health Reform, is scheduled to brief Democrats on implementation of the law at the Democrats' weekly caucus meeting.

White House Obamacare team: Best, brightest — and a mystery.  The "best and the brightest" also appear to be the cloaked and elusive.  President Barack Obama insists he's culled the country's tech elite to help repair the mangled Healthcare.gov website.  But the administration hasn't made its smart new crew public, and any of the tech companies or federal contractors involved remain tight-lipped.

State Department swept sex scandals under the rug.  Months after whistleblowers accused the State Department of covering up employee sex scandals, most of the cases have been ignored or swept under the rug, critics charge.  Records show that staffers were given cushy jobs or allowed to retire, and watchdogs say the feds have hardly bothered to investigate since the shenanigans came to light this past summer.

Barnicle: Obama Administration Lying About Enrollment Numbers.  Obamacare came under fire Monday morning [10/21/2013] on Morning Joe, with the panel pointing out that the Obama administration has been too secretive about the healthcare program.  "They are lying about the numbers of who have enrolled, the numbers of people who have made the process complete, the numbers of people who have actually signed up," said show mainstay Mike Barnicle.

Obamacare figures leave a lot unsaid.  The administration hopes to get 7 million people enrolled in coverage through the exchanges by the end of March, and millions more on Medicaid.  But the longer the computer problems persist, the harder it will be to meet that goal.  To get covered by Jan. 1, people must enroll by Dec. 15.  But they can still sign up for coverage until the end of March 2014.  Administration officials Saturday night would not release any information beyond the raw number of applications.

Obama's Secret Collaboration with ACORN Bosses.  Former officers of the disgraced radical group ACORN are still advising the Obama administration and guiding its catastrophic far-left policies almost three years after the group filed bankruptcy.  Former ACORN Housing public affairs director Bruce Dorpalen, who now runs the National Housing Resource Center (NHRC), has been meeting with and advising senior Obama administration officials on housing policy, according to good-government group Judicial Watch.  The watchdog discovered the secret collaborations after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) request.

Healthcare.gov Obama's biggest lollygag to date.  A website up and running smoothly would be the best education in existence to teach people exactly how much ObamaCare is going to cost them.  Obama can't afford that kind of knowledge coming out until he and his Democrats are safely past next year's midterms.  Forbes magazine hit the nail on the head when it headlined "Obama's Website is Crashing Because It Doesn't Want You to Know How Costly Its Plans Are".

Sebelius to Attend Gala, but Unable to Testify About Obamacare.  [Video clip]

Under Obama, Journalism Is an Inside Game.  Yesterday the Committee to Protect Journalism released a report on the Obama administration and the press. [...] One of the more disturbing points this report raises is that while the name of the game might be "free and open," there is nevertheless a large quantity of officially sanctioned communication only.

The HHS Secretary refuses to testify about ObamaCare's rollout.
Sebelius on the Run.  The Affordable Care Act's botched rollout has stunned its media cheering section, and it even seems to have surprised the law's architects.  The problems run much deeper than even critics expected, and whatever federal officials, White House aides and outside contractors are doing to fix them isn't working.  But who knows?  Omerta is the word of the day as the Obama Administration withholds information from the public.

ObamaCare's Black Box.  The White House set low expectations for the Affordable Care Act's October 1 debut, so anything remotely competent should have seemed like a success.  But three weeks on, the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov and the 36 insurance exchanges run by the federal government is an insult to the "glitches" President Obama said were inevitable.  This isn't some coding error, or even the Health and Human Service Department's usual incompetence.  The failures that have all but disabled ObamaCare are the result of deliberate political choices, which HHS and the White House are compounding with secrecy and stonewalling.

From the Start, Signs of Trouble at Health Portal.  For the past 12 days, a system costing more than $400 million and billed as a one-stop click-and-go hub for citizens seeking health insurance has thwarted the efforts of millions to simply log in.  The growing national outcry has deeply embarrassed the White House, which has refused to say how many people have enrolled through the federal exchange.

Why Is Obama Hiding ObamaCare Enrollment Data?  After spending three-and-a-half years and $634 million building its ObamaCare exchange, the administration claims it can't manage to produce any enrollment data. [...] That makes no sense, since the 14 states running their own ObamaCare exchanges have already released their first week's enrollment figures.  New York says 40,000 signed up, for example, and California claims 28,000 did so.  The only conceivable explanation for Sebelius' refusal to do likewise is that the federal enrollment number is embarrassingly small.

Obama Administration Casts A Chill On Journalism.  Barack Obama gave his word there'd be "a system of transparency" and "openness" in his administration.  Like so many other promises, this one was broken, too.  This president runs a secretive operation.

Study: Obama Admin Most Secretive Since Nixon.  A new report issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) asserts that the Obama White House is the most insular in decades, and the worst since the Nixon Administration for its secrecy and lack of transparency.  The report was based on interviews with upper echelon Washington reporters and news organization chiefs.

Report: Obama administration most secretive since Nixon.  The Obama White House's war against leaks, and its penchant for secrecy and noted lack of transparency, are the worst "since the Nixon administration," according to a major new study that relied on interviews from leading Washington reporters and news organization chiefs.  The report, released Thursday by the Committee to Project Journalists, found that reporters from many major media outlets consider the Obama administration the most closed-off in recent memory, and that there is not "any precedent" for its often hostile relationship toward the press.

White House takes down White House visitor logs, blames Republicans.  The White House has taken down online White House visitor logs and blamed Congress.  The logs, which were posted beginning in December 2009 "as part of President Obama's commitment to government transparency," are the latest victims of a partial government shutdown that has temporarily idled 17 percent of the federal workforce.

The Obama Administration and the Press.  U.S. President Barack Obama came into office pledging open government, but he has fallen short of his promise.  Journalists and transparency advocates say the White House curbs routine disclosure of information and deploys its own media to evade scrutiny by the press.  Aggressive prosecution of leakers of classified information and broad electronic surveillance programs deter government sources from speaking to journalists.

Most Transparent Administation, Evah feeling a little defensive.  Last week, a veteran New York Times reporter dubbed the Obama administration the "most closed, control-freak administration I've ever covered" in a preview of Leonard Downie's special report on the White House's supposed commitment to transparency for the Committee to Protect Journalists.  That full report was released on Thursday, and let's just say that things did not get much more flattering for the Obama administration.

What are you hiding, Mr. President?  The "most transparent administration in history" will not reveal the federal enrollment numbers for Obamacare.  A White House spokesman said it could be "weeks" before the Obama administration releases Obamacare enrollment figures.  Your tax dollars pay for Obamacare, unfortunately.  But your president can't be bothered to reveal how many — or how few — people have actually signed up.

Do you smell whitewash?
EPA officials cleared of email abuse charges.  The EPA has failed to train its employees or give them sufficient guidance about abiding by open-records laws, according to an inspector general's report released Monday [10/7/2013] that chides the agency but clears top-level employees of intentionally trying to hide information by using private email accounts.  Investigators said they talked with top-level employees and found no intent to deceive the public.

Conservatives Demand Info on Obamacare Rollout Failure.  Conservative critics of Obamacare want to know how many people have actually purchased insurance through the president's signature legislation following the glitch-ridden rollout of the Obamacare website last week.  Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) launched a website Monday — obamacarecoverup.com — attacking the administration's refusal to release information about the number of enrollees.

Is This How IRS Cover-up Works?  Darrell Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says he is confident the story behind the IRS's targeting of tea-party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status will eventually come out.  But patience will have to be a virtue.  Issa's staff acknowledged late last month that the IRS had handed over to the committee a little more than 10 percent of the documents the IRS itself has admitted are relevant to the committee's investigation.

Journalist: Obama Admin is 'Most Closed, Control-Freak Administration I've Ever Covered'.  In a long piece revealing the current antagonistic climate between journalists and the Obama administration published in the Washington Post, Obama is called a "control-freak," as well as "secretive," and "manipulative," it is said he is fostering an atmosphere of fear both at home and abroad, and is delivering a "slap in the face" to reporters all over his increased use of electronic surveillance of reporters.

FBI raids on homes in Texas, Michigan remain a mystery.  Federal officials on Monday remained silent on why they raided homes in Texas and Michigan this weekend that property records indicate are owned in part by a Houston art appraiser.

The Editor says...
I find it hard to believe there's a valid reason for all the secrecy about what they were looking for, or what they found.  My guess, based on the treatment of Gibson Guitar, is that the "art appraiser" said or did something Barack H. Obama didn't like.

ATF tries to block Fast and Furious whistle-blower from publishing book.  The ATF agent who blew the whistle on Operation Fast and Furious has been denied permission to write a book on the botched anti-gun trafficking sting "because it would have a negative impact on morale," according to the very agency responsible for the scandal.  After first trying to stop the operation internally, ATF Agent John Dodson went to Congress and eventually the media following the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.

ATF tries to block whistleblowing agent's 'Fast and Furious' book.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is blocking the main whistleblower in the Fast and Furious case from publishing a book, claiming his retelling of the Mexico "gun-walking" scandal will hurt morale inside the embattled law enforcement agency, according to documents obtained by The Washington Times.  ATF's dispute with Special Agent John Dodson is setting up a First Amendment showdown that is poised to bring together liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and conservatives in Congress who have championed Mr. Dodson's protection as a whistleblower.

CEI Suit Seeks Injunction Against Ongoing EPA Record Destruction.  Beginning in April, CEI filed a series of Freedom of Information Act requests seeking text messages from the EPA-issued personal data assistants of Gina McCarthy, then head of the EPA's Air and Radiation Office and now the agency's Administrator, and her predecessor Lisa Jackson.  CEI first asked for her texts on 18 specified days when she was known to have testified before Congress and been seen sending texts.  After EPA acknowledged no such records existed, CEI obtained information relating to McCarthy's PDA bill that showed she sent 5,392 text messages over a three-year period.

NYT reporter: Obama admin "most closed, control-freak administration I've ever covered".  Does it even occur to [Leonard] Downie that Obama's claim to deliver "the most transparent administration ever" (not just incrementally more transparent than before) was simply a load of hogwash?  Apparently not — because if Downie and the rest of the Obama-fawning media had to acknowledge that possibility, then they would have to ask themselves why Obama would deliberately set out to make his administration the least transparent ever, as [Bob] Schieffer acknowledges.

Court Says Holder Can't Stop Fast And Furious Truth Search.  The most transparent administration in history suffered a defeat Monday, when U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson turned down the Justice Department's request to dismiss a lawsuit seeking "Fast and Furious" documents hidden by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department after President Obama invoked executive privilege.  The lawsuit was brought by Rep. Darrell Issa's House Oversight and Government Reform Committee after the president asserted executive privilege to prevent records about the administration's response to the "Operation Fast and Furious" gun-running scandal from being turned over to Congress.

Obama hides aid for criminals in immigration bill.  The White House is trying to hide unpopular provisions in the Senate's immigration bill that would allow immigrant criminals to stay in the country and would increase the inflow of low-skill refugees from war-torn countries, says a top White House official.  "The bill has a number of other important provisions that have stayed under the radar, and we'd actually like to keep them under the radar," said Esther Olavarria, the White House's director of immigration reform.

Orwell, Obama, and Totalitarianism.  Yes, mendacity is integral to totalitarianism.  We have had a sample of it in Barack Obama's two administrations.  From TARP to Obamacare to Benghazi and now an off-and-on-and-off Syrian intervention, all the country has been fed is a continuing stream of lies, fabrications, and falsehoods.  Obama gave away his hand early on when he boasted that his term in office would be the "most transparent" in our history.  On that faux transparency, even liberal journalists are beginning to remove the rose-dyed gauze from their eyes.

Republicans think Labor Department has secret Obamacare 'fix' for unions.  Two Republican House lawmakers asked the Labor Department to provide "all legal analyses" it has done on a proposed Obamacare "fix" sought by Big Labor.  The lawmakers think the administration is secretly working on a such a fix but trying to keep it hidden from the public.

EXography: No public tours, but 344 visits by lobbyists to the White House.  Regular American citizens visiting the nation's capital lost access to the White House in March as President Obama eliminated public tours to make a point in his battle with House Republicans in the sequestration debate over cutting spending or raising taxes.  But hundreds of K Street lobbyists, including corporate advocates who are paid to influence policy on behalf of Fortune 500 giants, saw no change in their access to the chief executive and his senior aides, according to a Washington Examiner analysis of White House visitor logs and lobbying records.

Surveillance and Arrogance.  President Obama has said that he welcomes a debate over the proper place of surveillance in a digital society.  Perhaps such a debate would be fruitful and informative, and both sides would contribute toward some kind of mutually acceptable compromise.  The president has also claimed, essentially, that the government should be able to decide unilaterally what information is available to facilitate that debate.  When someone like Edward Snowden makes information available independently, the administration has argued, we are all less safe.  Those two arguments seem contradictory, since for a debate to be meaningful, everyone needs to be able to adduce evidence.

Former EPA Administrator Defiant over Use of Email Aliases.  Seven months after resigning as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson returned to the hot seat Tuesday [9/10/2013] to refute allegations she had abused her official email accounts and used her own private account to circumvent open records requirements.  Jackson, who used an email under the alias "Richard Windsor" at the EPA, said the practice of using a secondary official account was common among former administrators from both parties.

The Editor says...
Really?  Name the Republican officials who have used opposite-sex pseudonyms to send clandestine email about official business.

Lisa Jackson Denies Skirting FOIA Laws.  Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson denied circumventing federal record law by using secret email addresses in testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Tuesday [9/10/2013].  Jackson, who announced her resignation in December and is now the chief environmental officer at Apple, has been in the crosshairs of congressional GOP investigators since it was discovered last year that she used a secondary EPA email address under the alias "Richard Windsor."

Obama administration had restrictions on NSA reversed in 2011.  The Obama administration secretly won permission from a surveillance court in 2011 to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency's use of intercepted phone calls and e-mails, permitting the agency to search deliberately for Americans' communications in its massive databases, according to interviews with government officials and recently declassified material.

Obama Secrecy Gambit over Visitor Logs Succeeds in Court.  You remember that great Obama proclamation, don't you?  It came on January 21, 2009, the day after assuming office.  President Barack Obama then told his senior staff and cabinet members:  "Let me say it as simply as I can:  Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency."  On September 4, 2009, the Obama White House upped the ante even further, proclaiming to the press:  "Today, the President took another important step toward a more open and transparent government by announcing a historic new policy to voluntarily disclose White House visitor access records."  He added, "Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process."  And what have we gotten instead?  Nothing but lying, obfuscation and stonewalling.

The president thinks you're stupid.  But just so you know, Mr. President, Americans are not stupid.  They see through your ham-handed attempt to politicize war (he clearly hoped to use a Republican rejection in the 2014 mid-term campaigns:  "Look, the GOP wouldn't even support me to stop the killing of children!").  And Americans know they aren't getting the truth on U.S. surveillance, IRS targeting of conservatives, Fast and Furious — and especially Benghazi.

Appeals court says White House visitor logs can be kept from public.  President Obama and his successors in the Oval Office are not obligated to make public the names of individuals visiting the White House, according to a decision of the federal Circuit Court for the District of Columbia made public Friday [8/30/2013].  The case was brought by Judicial Watch, the government watchdog nonprofit that has been fighting a long legal battle seeking to force release of the White House visitor logs as public records under the Freedom of Information Act.

Snags Slow Formation of Surveillance Review Group.  Privacy and transparency advocates are dubious that Obama's group can independently examine potential or actual abuses of data collection by December, especially in light of national anxieties about future terrorist attacks.  They suspect the White House wants to buy time in an effort to stave off congressional investigators before lawmakers head home at the end of the year.

CIA Authors "Secret Key" Unlocks CIA Redactions.  "I was in the belly of the beast.  I began to see the lengths to which the CIA will go to conceal unconstitutional operations, hide information from Congress and silence anyone inside who challenges it."  Those are the words of Kevin M. Shipp, a former category 1, highly decorated CIA agent [...]

Transparency at the Obama White House.  President Obama frequently claims that he's leading "the most transparent administration in history," as he asserted last February during a Google Plus "Fireside" Hangout.  But that self-administered pat on the back is belied by The Washington Post's recent account of how the president's spin doctors allegedly tried to rewrite quotes from reporter Barton Gellman's interview with the National Security Agency's chief compliance officer.

Senator: Obama Administration Secretly Suspended Military Aid to Egypt.  On Capitol Hill, lawmakers and staffers complained that the administration is trying to skirt congressional intent by refusing to say whether it believes there was a coup in Egypt while implementing its own preliminary punitive measures outside the confines of the legislation.

5 decades later, some JFK assassination files still sealed; researchers demand 'transparency'.  Five decades after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot and long after official inquiries ended, thousands of pages of investigative documents remain withheld from public view.

Sharyl Attkisson Continues To Hit Roadblocks and Administration Refusals To Release Information.  We know of only two certainties within the White House timeline during the night of 9/11/12:  1. That both Obama and Biden were on the phone with Benjamin Netanyahu between 6:30 and 7:28pm DC time.  2. That President Obama and Hillary Clinton talked around 10:00pm DC time about the event.  That's it.  The time between the call with Netanyahu ending at 7:30pm (1:30am Benghazi) and Hillary at 10:00pm (4am Benghazi), is a void.  What happens after 10:00pm DC time is also a void.  Sharyl Attkisson, the only journalist with any intellectual credibility on the issue, has been trying to use FOIA requests to find out the rest.

Sasha and Malia join the Obamas on Martha's Vineyard.  This afternoon, The White House issued a short statement saying President and Michelle Obama's two children, Sasha and Malia, arrived on Martha's Vineyard today to spend the rest of the week with their parents vacationing on the Island.  The White House closely guards the privacy of the two children, and did not release any information about where they spent the first part of the week.

Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn't.  Outspoken members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have said frequently that they wanted to warn the public about the National Security Agency's sweeping collection of telephone records but the program's highly classified nature prevented them from making public reference to the programs.  That, however, is not the full story.  Buried in the pages of Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1976, is a provision that allows them to try.  Across those nearly 40 years, it's never been used.

IRS's Lerner Used Personal E-mail to Conduct Official Business, Investigators Say.  Embattled Internal Revenue Service official Lois Lerner sent official documents from her government e-mail address to a personal account, according to House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa and his colleague, Ohio congressman Jim Jordan.  "This raises some serious questions concerning your use of a non-official e-mail account to conduct official business," the GOP lawmakers wrote in a letter to Lerner demanding all documents from her non-official account for the period between January 2008 and the present.

Amateur Hour (once again) starring Barack Obama.  During the 2008 campaign, Sen. Barack Obama traveled the country vowing to usher in an era of openness and transparency if elected president.  Gone would be the bad old days of President George W. Bush running roughshod over the Constitution with his "enhanced interrogation techniques" and his surveillance via the Patriot Act.  No, this community organizer from Chicago was going to end all that, tell The People what was really going on.  But, guess what?  (Spoiler alert.)  He didn't.

Obama's Watergates.  The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known.  Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula.

Obama transparency promises disappear from transparency website.  President Obama's 2008 transition team website Change.gov has been publicly accessible for years, until June 8 when Obama's campaign promises and agenda were taken down.

Tax reform proposals to be secret for 50 years.  The leaders of the Senate Finance Committee last month asked senators to submit written proposals detailing tax breaks they'd like to see preserved once the tax code is reformed and explain why.  The point was to help inform committee leaders in their efforts to craft a tax reform bill.  The request apparently wasn't embraced, and the committee has now promised skittish senators that their proposals will be kept secret for 50 years.

College Republicans Denied Admittance to Obama Speech.  President Obama was bound to receive a warm response from the audience attending his speech at the University of Central Missouri yesterday — because some students who disagreed with him weren't allowed into the building.  Christopher White of The College Fix reports that students wearing "Tea Party T-Shirts and others who wore patriotic or Republican-inspired clothing" were turned away at the door under the guise of security concerns, despite the fact that they held tickets to the event.

Darrell Issa: Energy Department Whistleblowers Gagged.  Energy Department officials prohibited subordinates from speaking with congressional investigators about their probe into illicit hiring practices and related whistleblower retaliation allegations, according to the lead investigator.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, revealed in a letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon that the deputy secretary of energy issued the gag order following a scathing inspector general report last week.

Jay Carney hasn't answered nearly 9,500 questions.  Since Jay Carney has become the White House press secretary he has held over 500 press briefings.  During that time, according to a Yahoo News analysis, he has also brushed off more than 9,486 questions from white house correspondents.

Congressman: Benghazi Survivors Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements.  Congressman Frank Wolf, a Republican from Virginia, said today on the House floor that survivors of the Benghazi terror attack have been forced to sign non-disclosure agreements:  "On Tuesday I raised the question of why none of the Benghazi survivors, whether State Department, CIA, or private security contract employees have testified publicly before Congress," said Wolf.

Did someone mention Benghazi?

Transparency Suffers as State Department Fails to Report.  In her four years as the top U.S. diplomat, Hillary Clinton kept a running total of countries visited, miles traveled and hours spent in transit on the State Department website.  Still untallied:  The bill to taxpayers for her globe-trotting.

Leaking Distrust.  [Scroll down]  It may be that the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has had a closed session with [James] Clapper since then.  It may be that his "least untruthful" answer was replaced by the truth.  And it's equally possible that it hasn't, and that Congress's constitutional duty of oversight has been thwarted again by the Obama administration.  In that event, Team Obama would have[,] as it has previously in the "Fast and Furious" scandal and countless other demands for information from Congress[,] thwarted congressional oversight and gotten away with it.  We don't know.  And we're not likely to ever learn the truth of the matter.

Fracking phobia fails yet again.  The EPA just dropped its study of fracking allegedly contaminating the water in Pavillion, Wyo.  The enviro left had rejoiced at the news a few years ago that the EPA had for the first time implicated fracking as a threat to groundwater.  Now, amid criticisms of its methodology, the EPA has backed down and won't issue a final report.

Secret move keeps bin Laden records in the shadows.  The top U.S. special operations commander, Adm. William McRaven, ordered military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Osama bin Laden's hideout to be purged from Defense Department computers and sent to the CIA, where they could be more easily shielded from ever being made public.

Govt. To Use 'Honor System' Without Verifying Your Eligibility
Not Qualified For Obamacare's Subsidies? Just Lie.  On Friday, Sarah Kliff and Sandhya Somashekhar of the Washington Post discovered that the Obama administration had buried in the Federal Register the announcement that the government won't be able to verify whether or not applicants for Obamacare's insurance exchange subsidies are actually qualified for the aid, in the 16 states that are setting up their own exchanges.  Instead, until at least 2015, these states will be able to "accept the applicant's attestation [regarding eligibility] without further verification."
[Emphasis added.]

The Obamacare mess.  The administration can call it whatever it wants, but there is no hiding the embarrassment of a climbdown on a high-profile feature of President Barack Obama's signature initiative — although the administration seemed determined to do all it could to hide it.  If Bloomberg hadn't broken the news on Tuesday, the administration was apparently planning to announce it on July 3 — only because the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve were too far off.

The announcement was made timidly and quietly on a Treasury Department blog page.
Obamacare's employer mandate to be delayed a year.  In a stunning development, the Obama administration announced on Tuesday [7/2/2013] it is going to delay the implementation of the employer mandate, a major aspect of President Obama's health care law initially set to go into effect on Jan. 1, by a year.  In a blog post, the Treasury Department wrote that it has been in talks with businesses about the implications of the mandate and has decided to delay implementation to provide them with more time to adapt to the requirement.

White House knew about Lisa Jackson's secret email account.  Email records show that the White House knew about the secret email account used by former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson since at least February 2010.  In a 2010 email exchange between Jackson and Gary Guzy, the Deputy Director and General Counsel at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, after some initial confusion, Jackson reveals to the White House staffer that "Richard Windsor" is her "private" email account.

'Atmosphere of secrecy' pervades State Dept. office, audit finds.  A key State Department bureau that manages the official face presented by the U.S. to the rest of the world is rife with management problems that have left "an atmosphere of secrecy, suspicion and uncertainty," according to a department watchdog review released Thursday [6/20/2013].  A 2011 reorganization of the Bureau of International Information Programs, which oversees several of the State Department's official Facebook pages, didn't solve the problem and actually "caused new organizational difficulties," the State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in a report based on a recent inspection of the bureau.

The top 9,486 ways Jay Carney won't answer your questions.  Jay Carney doesn't have an answer for that.  He hasn't discussed that subject with the president.  He will refer you to the Department of [insert agency here].  He refuses to speculate on that.  He'll have to get back to you.  But he appreciates the question.  A Yahoo News analysis of the 444 briefings that Carney has held since becoming White House press secretary has identified 13 distinct strains in the way he dodges a reporter's question.

Why Liberals Kill.  [Scroll down]  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) preaches an animal-liberation line and even condemns meat consumption, but kills 89 percent of its shelter animals.  Barack Obama promised to have history's most transparent administration, yet it has been the most opaque, giving us scandals characterized by abuse of law and power and the trampling of Americans' rights.  And this brings us to a question:  Does power really corrupt liberals more absolutely than anyone else?

'Atmosphere of secrecy' pervades State Dept. office, audit finds.  A key State Department bureau that manages the official face presented by the U.S. to the rest of the world is rife with management problems that have left "an atmosphere of secrecy, suspicion and uncertainty," according to a department watchdog review released Thursday [6/20/2013].

Why you should worry about the NSA.  My concerns are twofold.  First, the law under which President George W. Bush and now President Obama have acted was not intended to give the government records of all telephone calls.  If that had been the intent, the law would have said that.  It didn't.  Rather, the law envisioned the administration coming to a special court on a case-by-case basis to explain why it needed to have specific records.  I am troubled by the precedent of stretching a law on domestic surveillance almost to the breaking point.  On issues so fundamental to our civil liberties, elected leaders should not be so needlessly secretive.

CFPB Working to Limit Transparency.  "Transparency is at the core of our agenda, and it is a key part of how we operate," states the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its website.  "You deserve to know what the new bureau is doing for the American public and how we are doing it."  But the bureau, which was created by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, has specifically advised its employees to take steps that would shield significant details about their activities from public scrutiny.  "If possible, avoid annotating entries with agendas, detail discussions, etc.," the CFPB flier states.

McCain Presses Obama on Secret Emails.  Republican Sen. John McCain is questioning President Barack Obama about political appointees' use of secret government email accounts to conduct official business.

President Obama: NSA Spying Programs 'Transparent'.  President Obama said that two National Security Agency programs recently revealed through leaked secret documents were "transparent" and, in an interview with PBS's Charlie Rose on Sunday [6/16/2013], he dismissed concerns that the programs were vulnerable to abuse by government officials.

DOJ Hasn't Found One Improper FOIA Exemption Since 2009.  The Department of Justice told top congressional investigators Monday it has not challenged a single instance of a federal agency withholding records from Freedom of Information (FOIA) requestors since 2009.

Obama Tells Keystone Foes He Will Unveil Climate Measures.  With his administration under pressure from environmentalists to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a package of separate actions next month focused on curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.  At closed-door fundraisers held over the past few weeks, the president has been telling Democratic party donors that he will unveil new climate proposals in July, according to people who have attended the events or been briefed.

The Editor asks...
Why does the most open and transparent administration in history conduct closed-door fundraisers?

Air Force Bans Personnel from Reading News Stories Reporting NSA Scandal.  The Air Force's 624th Operations Center sent an e-mail with a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) that prohibits them from accessing and reading news stories related to the current National Security Agency snooping controversy on the Air Force's NIPRNET (Non-Secure Internet Protocol Router Network) systems.

President Obama Doesn't Welcome Debate, He Actively Thwarts It.  President Obama kept the data collection in question a highly classified state secret.  If it were up to the White House, we wouldn't know of the program's existence, ever.  As a consequence, there would have been no debate about its appropriateness.  If Obama values debate, he doesn't value it as much as keeping secrets that inevitably make debate impossible.

More about domestic surveillance.

U.S. quietly allows military aid to Egypt despite rights concerns.  Secretary of State John Kerry quietly acted last month to give Egypt $1.3 billion in U.S. military aid, deciding that this was in the national interest despite Egypt's failure to meet democracy standards.

Kerry quietly approved $1.3 billion in arms to Egypt.  US Secretary of State John Kerry quietly approved sending $1.3 billion in arms to Egypt in May, waiving the requirements of a US law meant to promote democratic development in the post-revolutionary country.

What do the Obama administration's 'secret' email addresses say about transparency?  The Associated Press has sent another significant little ripple across the pool of Washington scandals that has been near over-flowing this past month.  After some dogged Freedom of Information requests, the AP has discovered that some Obama political appointees, including the secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, have been using 'secret' government email accounts.  Officially the accounts are used to stop senior appointees being overwhelmed with information, but inevitably they raise questions.

Is This White House Running An Outlaw Government?  The Associated Press has turned up a collection of secret email accounts used by White House appointees.  Yet another dark wall is revealed in the most "transparent administration in history."

Michelle Obama in heated confrontation with heckler, incident left out of transcript.  First lady Michelle Obama got into a heated confrontation with a heckler at a fundraiser on Tuesday night [6/4/2013], though the standoff never made its way into the official transcript put out by the White House.  The pool report, which is produced by and for members of the media, detailed the incident.

Carney: There Are No "Secret" Email Accounts, Only "Alternate Email Addresses".  Following an Associated Press report that Obama administration appointees have "secret government email accounts," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney argued Tuesday [6/4/2013] that the accounts aren't secret and, in fact, prior administrations have followed the practice of appointees having second government accounts.

The U.S. Government Asked the AP for $1 Million for Secret Email Addresses.  The Associated Press filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the secret email addresses of appointed administration employees, and a Labor Department spokesman came back with an offer:  you can have the emails if you give us a million bucks.

Obama Appointees Using Secret Email Accounts, Demand $1M for Info.  The Associated Press has been trying to uncover this information through FOIA requests.  Remarkably, this incredibly corrupt administration demanded over a million dollars for the information.

Top Obama Officials Flout Transparency Laws Using Secret Email.  The administration that promised to be the most transparent in history uses covert government accounts to keep electronic mail from becoming public, according to a national news conglomerate that reports "the scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery."  That certainly doesn't keep with President Obama's guarantee of "unprecedented level of openness in government."  Those were his words, quoted by media outlets around the globe, right after taking office.  It hasn't quite materialized.  In fact, in many ways the Obama administration has been among the more secretive in history or at least in recent times.

Obama administration defends secret email accounts.  A White House spokesman said Tuesday there's nothing secret about the secret email accounts held by administration officials, and defended the practice as sensible time management.  Asked about revelations that some Obama Cabinet officials, including former EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson, have used secret alias email addresses, White House press secretary Jay Carney said the subterfuge "makes eminent sense" because those officials would otherwise be swamped with unwanted messages.

Emails of Top Obama Appointees Remain a Mystery.  Some of President Barack Obama's political appointees are using secret government email accounts to conduct official business, The Associated Press found, a practice that complicates agencies' legal responsibilities to find and turn over emails under public records requests and congressional inquiries.

Why is the Benghazi military story still classified?  Key details about what manned and unmanned aircraft were in the region, the actions of various emergency response forces, and the deliberations of commanders from the ground up are a U.S. government secret.

Afghan Benghazi: Extortion 17, Betraying Seal Team 6.  It's not officially on the growing list of Obama administration scandals, but earlier this month families of Navy SEAL Team 6 members killed in a disastrous August 2011 shoot-down of a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan gathered at the National Press Club asking for answers, calling for a congressional investigation and blaming their government for the tragedy, the indifference and the secrecy that followed.

Officials instructed Benghazi hospital to list Stevens as "John Doe".  U.S. officials gave instructions for Benghazi Medical Center to use a "John Doe" pseudonym on the death certificate of Ambassador Christopher Stevens after he died of asphyxiation in the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.  That's according to a U.S. official speaking on condition of anonymity because the official isn't authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

More about Benghazi.

Media Uncomfortable At Holder's Off-The-Record Offer.  The Washington press corps is squirming after being offered a secretive briefing from fork-tongued Attorney General Eric Holder.  What was that about open government and journalistic scrutiny?

More about Eric Holder's attempted off-the-record press briefing.

Political intelligence firms set up investor meetings at White House.  Wall Street investors hungry for advance information on upcoming federal health-care decisions repeatedly held private discussions with Obama administration officials, including a top White House adviser helping to implement the Affordable Care Act.

Eric Holder's abdication.  As the nation's top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information.  But he seems to be proud of how little he knows.

Know Nothing.  Attorney General Eric Holder used the phrase "I don't know" or some variation, at least 57 times during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee today as House Republicans grilled him over controversies including the IRS' targeting of Tea Partiers, the Justice Department's seizure of journalist phone records, and the security lapses surrounding the Boston bombing.

Obama's war on leaks undermines investigative journalism.  For the past five years, beginning with his first presidential campaign, Barack Obama has promised that his government would be the most open and transparent in American history.

State Department shuts down Benghazi questions.  "You'll have to take my word for it," said a spokesperson for the most transparent administration in history when reporters asked her to substantiate her claim that the CIA removed references to terrorists from the Benghazi talking points before the State Department ever saw them.

Most Transparent Administration in History Releases Completely Redacted Document About Text Snooping.  The American Civil Liberties Union was curious about warrantless government snooping on citizens' text messages.  So the group filed a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department.  Here's what they got back: [...]

A legacy of scandal.  We don't know who gave the order to lie about Fast and Furious, nor about Benghazi, nor about the IRS audits.  The answers to the questions have grave consequences, especially if the IRS campaign of intimidation was orchestrated from the very top.  Nearly four decades ago, the House Judiciary Committee voted 28 to 10 to say that it is an impeachable offense for a president personally, or through his subordinates, to cause "income-tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner."

So Much For Obama 'Transparency': Enjoy This Completely Blacked-Out Gov't Doc On Text Snooping.  This week sure hasn't looked good for the Obama administration.  Scandalous examples of executive overreach, whistleblower suppression, political targeting at "independent agencies," etc., all fan the flames of discontent with what was promised to be an administration with "unprecedented levels of transparency" and openness.  Add to that pile the below goofy little FOIA request obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Twin Scandals Sap Obama Credibility.  [Scroll down]  When an official is found to have scrubbed talking points about the attack expressly to deny Republicans the opportunity to criticize the administration, it becomes clear that Obama was wrong when he said his administration was being forthcoming.  It also opens the door to the next round of questioning about whether Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were willfully misinformed or willfully spreading misinformation.  Neither is good.

White House holds 'deep background' Benghazi briefing.  The White House held a "deep background" briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon to discuss recent revelations about the Benghazi investigation, sources familiar with the meeting tell Politico.  The meeting was conducted on "deep background," according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, but sources told Politico that the existence of the meeting was "off the record." [...] Deep background means that the info presented by the briefers can be used in reporting but the briefers can't be quoted.

WH Holds Off-the-Record Benghazi Briefing for Hand-Picked Reporters.  Behold, the Obama/Media establishment literally coordinating behind closed doors on a story the White House keeps insisting is over.

Most transparent administration ever holds off-the-record briefing.  The most transparent administration in history appears to be circling its wagons.

Obama had secret inauguration party at White House: report.  A mix of A-listers from politics and entertainment mingled during the on-the-down-low party, according to The Hill.

Krauthammer On Benghazi: "Where Was The Commander In Chief In All Of This?".  ["]And I would ask another question, where was the commander in chief in all of this?  The one man who can authorize and order troops to move above everybody and instantly is commander in chief.  Where was he for these hours when the fight was raging?["]

House Republicans Call on White House to Release Benghazi E-Mails.  House Republicans on Thursday called on the Obama administration to release a new batch of e-mails that they believe will shed more light on how the White House and the State Department responded in the days after the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya.  Speaker John A. Boehner, in a written statement, made the request, saying, "The truth shouldn't be hidden from the American people behind a White House firewall."  His move was the first of many expected by Republicans in the coming days and weeks to try to force the White House to divulge more documents and allow additional witnesses to testify.

5 Benghazi Mysteries that Must Be Solved.  [#2]  Where was President Obama and what was he doing?  As commander-in-chief, the president is ultimately responsible for any U.S. response to attacks on our missions and personnel overseas.  According to official schedules and White House answers after the fact, President Obama held a regularly scheduled meeting at 5 pm Washington time with his then Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, around the time that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi began.  No photos from that meeting have been released.  The American people have been told very little about the president's activities that night. [...] No photos of the president being present or in command during the attack have ever been released by the White House.

Obama officials to decide release of UMass data.  The Obama administration will decide "in the coming days" whether taxpayers have a right to know if they helped fund the UMass education of four suspects linked to the Boston Marathon bombing investigation, the Herald has learned.  The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth — which has stonewalled requests for the financial aid records of terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and three students accused of covering up for him — requested an "exception" to federal law from the U.S. Department of Education on Friday.

Benghazi isn't the only bloody disaster being covered up by the Obama administration.
The Camp Bastion Cover-Up.  Do you remember what happened last year on 9/14?  Where are the White House phone calls for the families who continue to grieve?  What is being done to prevent another fatal attack like the one on 9/14?  And why is the full truth being withheld from the American public?

Obama's Omerta! Benghazi Whistleblowers Threatened By Administration.  According to Fox news at least four career employees of the State Department and the CIA have been threatened not to talk by their superiors. [...] But Wait!  Isn't this supposed to be the most transparent administration in history?  Why would they threaten people to prevent them from talking to congress?

Obama Not Familiar With Benghazi Whistle-Blower Threats.  Administration officials actually need to lawyer up to reveal the truth about the Benghazi disaster that left our ambassador and three others dead.  This from "the most transparent administration in history."

Government responds to 9/11 records request... 11 years later.  Sometimes the government is slow to act, and then there are times when it is glacial.  The conservative government accountability organization Judicial Watch recently received an official response letter to a Freedom of Information Act (FIOA) request the group submitted in September 2002 — nearly 11 years ago.  "It is a sad reminder that when it comes to being accountable, when it comes to following the law, the federal government doesn't [care]," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton told The Daily Caller.  "And this is why we have had to sue well over a hundred times to get access to government information."

Are We Being Compromised by Barack Obama's Murky Past?  Since he first became a presidential candidate, President Obama must have spent millions of dollars in legal expenses to combat dozens of so-called "birther" challenges seeking the original documents pertaining to his birth.  As president, he famously issued an electronic document on the White House website in 2011; the document purported to be his long-form birth certificate, though it is apparently a forgery.  In addition, he has taken great pains to hide the paper trail of passport records, college transcripts, and other data — all of which a prospective employer might require of a job applicant.

Immigration Bill Expected to Be About 1500 Pages.  The immigration bill is expected to be about 1500 pages.  What could possibly go wrong with that?  Will they even read it?  I know we won't because the process isn't transparent.  Senator Leahy said he might consider having one hearing on this massive bill.

EPA accused of using instant messages to avoid sunshine laws in lawsuit.  Top Environmental Protection Agency officials used computer instant messages to try to circumvent open-records laws, according to a new lawsuit filed late last week by a researcher who has been demanding the agency comply with the law.  Christopher C. Horner, the researcher who earlier uncovered that EPA officials were using private email addresses to conduct official business, said that in going over some of those earlier records he discovered the agency was using instant messages, too.  He now is suing to get a look at those records, which he said EPA has refused to release.

Obama Designates Five New National Monuments; Signing Ceremony Closed To Press.  Despite continued protestations of doom over the sequestration cuts that have paralyzed all of Washington in the grips of terror over the past 25 days, President Obama somehow found it possible to commit the federal government to acquiring five new national monuments today [3/25/2013].  He did so by using the Antiquities Act, thereby circumventing Congress in the process.

Is it time to ask: What's Homeland Security up to?  [Scroll down]  The lack of transparency and explanation about the need for such acquisitions certainly has contributed to conspiracy theories similar to that expressed by the congressman.  With all this ammunition, it is useless without a means to discharge it.  The DHS has also attempted concealment of the purchase of 7,000 assault weapons, and has again censored information about its $1.5 million no-bid contract with Remington.  Normally this would be required to be done in an open, full, and competitive bidding process.  What is the emergency that compels them to avoid this legal bidding process?

Where the Sun Don't Shine.  President Obama promised transparency and open government.  He failed miserably.  So why do Washington watchdog groups look the other way?

Obama Administration's Transparency: "Pretty Weak".  Government watchdog group Cause of Action yesterday [3/14/2013] released transparency grades for each of the Obama Administration's executive departments, plus the Environmental Protection Agency.  For an administration that prides itself on transparency, the results were not good.

Obama's White House is open to the rich and closed to the poor.  The most transparent administration ever?  The most transparently political, yes.  The most open government?  If you have the money to buy access, yes.

The Transparency Sham.  Lawmakers and government transparency experts criticized the Obama administration's openness at a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Wednesday morning [3/13/2013].  President Barack Obama's promise to operate the "most transparent administration in history" animated much of the hearing, with witnesses and legislators noting some progress but much failure to live up to the grand pledge.

Carney Rejects Questions on Cost of Presidential Travel, Golf Outings.  The White House would not answer a question about the cost of security for President Barack Obama's golf outings or the president's trip to Illinois this week when compared to the cost of the recently cancelled White House tours.

Vice President's press secretary has to apologize after forcing journalist to delete photos.  The Vice President's office had to issue an apology today after a staffer forced a journalist to delete pictures that they had taken of Biden at a public event.  Mr Biden was speaking at an event about ending domestic violence when one of his staffers approached a student journalist and asked them to delete the photos they had taken.  Jeremy Barr is an accredited student journalist at the University of Maryland-College Park with approval to attend the event, though he was seated in an area for the public and not the press.

Why would Biden's staff act this way, unless there's something to hide?
Biden's office apologizes to student reporter for 'unfortunate mistake'.  Capital News Service reporter Jeremy Barr was covering Biden's announcement of a new domestic violence initiative, he told Capital News Service, a student news service run by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.  He accidentally sat in a section of the audience not meant for the media.  He had identified himself as a member of the press upon entry and been directed to that area.  Barr took a few pictures of Biden at the podium.  After the event, a staffer for Biden confronted him and demanded to watch as he deleted the pictures from his camera.

Biden Press Office Apologizes for Forcing Reporter to Delete Photo.  Just imagine if VP Cheney's office had accosted a reporter at public event and demanded that a photo be deleted from the reporter's camera.  It would be the lead story on every MSM outlet, offered as proof of the rising tide of fascism.  Yet such an incident happened last week with VP Biden, and virtually no mention of it can be found in the mainstream media.

Organizing for Action: Obama's broken transparency promises.  "I'll make our government open and transparent so that anyone can ensure that our business is the people's business," Mr. Obama proclaimed in a 2008 campaign speech.  "No more secrecy.  That is a commitment that I make to you as president."  Now, however, Organizing for Action and Mr. Obama seem more interested in securing huge amounts of money to push their agenda than bringing change to Washington.  Mr. Obama is even willing to sell access to the West Wing to get donors to add extra zeroes to their checks.

Respect the office, not necessarily the man.  Barack Hussein Obama [...] remains an enigma with nothing definitively known about his birth, his alleged father, his early education, or his early mentors other than they are a succession of left wing, anti-American extremists dissatisfied with this country and its policies.  Affirmative action was his saving grace enabling his entrance into a prestigious high school followed by an expensive mainland college with no academic achievement or financial support and then transferring to an Ivy League university, again unsupported by any academic achievement or financial support.

Slate Slams Obama On Transparency.  Some in the media have reported on the Obama administration reneging on its promise to be transparent and open.  The president's drone policy is a testament to its commitment to secrecy.  The creation of a secret kill list is also another instance where Obama has betrayed a campaign promise to his liberal base.  So, why aren't watchdog groups vociferously protesting the president's 180-degree flip on this position?

Stubborn, Secretive Obama Admin Failed to Inform Congress of Its Intent.  The Obama administration failed to inform Congress that it planned to bring Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, to New York City for a civilian trial on charges of conspiring to kill Americans.  Ghaith is not a common criminal.  He has been a top al Qaeda lieutenant of his late father-in-law for years; he appeared in a video alongside bin Laden taking credit for the 9-11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000, most of those casualties at the World Trade Center in New York.  He is a true enemy combatant against the United States and should be subjected to trial under the laws of war.

Did Obama DOJ Nix U.S. Weapons Tech Espionage Probe?  It appears that the Obama Justice Department killed — or at the very least intervened in — a potentially explosive espionage investigation involving the illegal transfer of American weapons technology to China and other foreign countries.  Those who get their news from the mainstream media would never know it, though the scandalous details have been reported in several aerospace trade publications as well as Washington D.C.'s conservative newspaper.

Why Is the Air Force Suddenly Removing Drone Strike Data?  As the debate over the federal government's drone strike program is climaxing in Washington, the Air Force has quietly erased previously published drone strike data from its website. [...] Air Force Central Command (AFCENT) had been publishing monthly updates on drone strikes, or "weapons releases from remotely piloted aircraft (RPA)," since October.  However, data published in February suddenly "contained empty space where the box of RPA statistics had previously been," the Air Force Times reports.

Air Force erases drone strike data in Afghanistan war report.  As the debate on drone use heats up in the heartland, the Air Force report released on March 7 failed to list airstrikes from drones and many believe it's no coincidence given the Obama administration's embarrassment after Sen. Paul took the president to task for the U.S. government's use of drones in U.S. airspace.

Judicial Watch Sues State Department for Benghazi Security Details.  On March 5, Judicial Watch announced that it had filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking details on a nearly $400,000 contract the State Department awarded to a private company for security at the American consulate in Benghazi.

Congressmen demand investigation of EPA selectively blocking FOIAs.  An internal email that appears to counsel Environmental Protection Agency officials on delaying or obstructing inconvenient Freedom of Information Act requests has sparked congressional demands for an investigation.  Senators David Vitter, R-LA, and Charles Grassley, R-IA, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-CA, said in a letter today [3/7/2013] to Attorney General Eric Holder that the investigation should seek to determine if EPA officials stonewall FOIA requests.

Senator: EPA lied about using private emails.  Environmental Protection Agency officials lied when they said a top official used his private email only once for public business, a Republican senator said Friday [3/8/2013] as he released copies of several emails in which that official conducted business with the EPA's director and with outside groups.

US citing security to censor more public records.  The U.S. government, led by the Pentagon and CIA, censored in the name of national security files that the public requested last year under the Freedom of Information Act more often than at any time since President Barack Obama took office, according to a new analysis by The Associated Press.

No Cameras Allowed While Obama Wooed The Press At Gridiron Dinner.  You'd think that the media that constantly gripes about the White House shutting them out would have demanded that the annual Gridiron Dinner be something to be shared with the public.  But I suppose that in doing so they'd expose themselves as being easily swayed by flattery from the object of their affections.

Intelligence Committees Get Additional Targeted Killing Memos, But Not the Public.  In a win for congressional oversight over the government's vast killing program, the Obama administration has shown an additional but undisclosed number of Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel memos justifying the program to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, but has continued to withhold some of its legal opinions from the intelligence committees and has not provided any of the legal opinions to the rest of Congress or to the American public.

Secrets, Conspiracy, Rumors And A Lack of Transparency.  When Americans demand "transparency," they actually mean it.  The President and all his minions and our representatives in Congress work for us.  They are not autocrats entitled to keep their actions secret.  The oaths they take to defend the Constitution are not matters of tradition, but promises they make — in return for the offices we allow them to hold temporarily.  They need to explain their actions.  They are responsible to us.

Obama's Transparency: Fade to Black.  President Obama recently stated assertively, "This is the most transparent administration in history, and I can document how that is the case."  Obama made the comment without batting an eye or even causing a lightning strike... in fact his comment was uttered with his usual apparent sincerity. [...] The President did this as his administration simultaneously battled to suppress details of the CIA has secret drone program kill list even if the target is an American citizen.  Then, just days later Obama disappeared during a mini vacation in Florida to play golf (some with Tiger Woods) for four days without press access.

CIA's Global Warming Center A National Security Secret.  Most Americans may not know that the government agency responsible for providing national security data to the nation's senior policymakers, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), operates a special center dedicated to global warming.  That's because the CIA doesn't want anyone to know what goes on in its two-year-old Center on Climate Change and National Security.  So the exclusive unit, led by "senior specialists," operates under a cloak of secrecy that rejects all public-records requests, despite President Obama's promise to run a transparent government.

Many Questions, No Answers.  Earlier this week the usually compliant press had the audacity to question Jay Carney about Obama's Chi-town mafia's selling quarterly access to the highest official in the land for $500,000.  Apparently expecting the question, Mr. Carney read a prepared response to journalists in the Press Pool.  He reread the same statement again in response to the follow up question from Jake Tapper, as if Jake wasn't paying attention the first time or was too stupid to understand what he was parroting.  As the gaggle of media minions continued to yell follow-up questions, Jay, of course, slithered silently out of the room.

5 Reasons Barack Obama is a Creep.  [#2]  What he says is completely unrelated to what he does:  Barack Obama is like an alcoholic who pledges to quit drinking and then gets hammered every night. [...] This is how Barack Obama can demand a sequester and then turn around and run against it or yammer on incessantly about transparency while he stonewalls on Fast and Furious.  We're talking about a man who's worth nearly 10 million dollars, who has campaign events with celebrities and millionaires on a regular basis, and who just seems to squeeze in a little bit of work in between lavish vacations and golf outings with Tiger Woods; yet he spent most of last year campaigning against rich people.

Carney Flees Podium When Cornered About Obama's Pay-For-Access Scheme.  [Video clip.]

Obama to Governors: '...Clear Out the Press So We Can Take Some Questions'.  At a meeting with the National Governors Association on Monday [2/25/2013], President Barack Obama closed his prepared speech by saying he wanted the press cleared out of the room so he could take some questions.  [Video clip]

White House hid Michelle's Oscar pitch from press.  The White House kept its press corps in the dark about first lady Michelle Obama's Oscar video appearance to present Argo the best picture Academy Award Sunday night — the latest sign in the fractured relationship between the president's team and the media that cover them.

Senate Hearings Already Held: National Retirement Accounts.  The Senate held RECESS hearings in October 2010 — only Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Socialist Bernie Sanders (D-VT) were in attendance, representing the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.  First up to testify before Harkin and Sanders was a Ross Eisenbrey, the Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), which "is housed on the third floor of the building occupied by the George Soros-funded Center for American Progress." [...] As I discussed earlier this month, part of this is about bailing out union pensions with your retirement.

Revealed: Why Obama won't show the rest of his drone memos to Congress.  The Senate Intel Committee's seen four memos.  Turns out, per Dianne Feinstein, that the White House has many more in its files and is very, very reluctant to share the rest — to the point that it's willing to make a deal with the hated GOP to keep them covered up.

Robert Gibbs: As press secretary, I was ordered not to acknowledge the existence of the drone program.  During a discussion about President Obama's lack of transparency about the drone program, former White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained on MSNBC this morning that he was ordered to never acknowledge the existence of the drone program.

What's in the Secret Drone Memos.  Despite President Obama's pledge in his State of the Union address to make the drone program "even more transparent to the American people and to the world," his administration continues to resist efforts by Congress, even from fellow Democrats, to obtain the full range of classified legal memos justifying "targeted killing."  A key reason for that reticence, according to two sources who have read the memos or are aware of their contents, is that the documents contain secret protocols with foreign governments, including Pakistan and Yemen, as well as "case-specific" details of strikes.

President Obama holds off-record meeting with top White House reporters.  President Barack Obama held an off-the-record meeting with top White House reporters on Thursday afternoon [2/21/2013], POLITICO has learned.  The meeting, with reporters from major print and television outlets, comes days after the White House Correspondents Association complained publicly about their lack of access to the president during a golf outing in Palm Beach, Fla., and one day after Obama met with local television reporters.

Fineman: "It's Hard To Get Answers To Simple Questions" From White House.  Even reporters asking simple questions, simple direct factual questions of low-ranking administration officials, have a hard time getting answers.

Hagel Stonewalls, Refuses to Grant Access to Archive.  Chuck Hagel's archive is housed here at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.  But despite his nomination for secretary of defense, reporters, as well as the public writ large, are being denied access to the thousands of papers, speeches, audio and video files, and artifacts in the archive.

Obama's super-secret golf trip.  President Obama has a very carefully crafted public image, and he's willing to shut out his friends in the press to maintain it.  Over a long Presidents Day weekend, Mr. Obama hit the links for the 114th, 115th and 116th time in a little more than four years.  He bunked at the Floridian National Golf Club in Palm Beach, an exclusive gated golf community, and the traveling White House reporters were not allowed to get any closer than a seat in a bus parked just inside the gate, with an unobstructed view of a humble maintenance shed. [...] The president often hides get-togethers that he thinks wouldn't please the public.

Obama is [photographed] leaving $1m golfing weekend with Tiger Woods.  Pictures finally appeared of President Obama on Monday evening [2/18/2013] as he headed home to Washington after a relaxing golf weekend which was kept heavily under wraps.

The Editor asks...
Why would Mr. Obama keep an extravagant weekend "under wraps" unless he was doing something shameful?

Press corps expresses 'frustration' over lack of access to Obama.  The White House press corps on Sunday expressed frustration with the lack of access given to President Obama this weekend, during his trip to Florida.  White House Correspondents Association President Ed Henry released a statement Sunday evening [2/17/2013], saying that the press corps had not been given adequate access to the president and that the group would press for "transparency" in the future, according to a pool report.

Vitter: Another EPA official resigning amid probe into use of banned email account.  Sen. David Vitter, R-La., revealed that he has found "widespread" use of banned, unofficial email accounts at the Environmental Protection Agency.  At least two regional administrators used the unofficial email accounts, including the acting agency leader and one person resigning as the investigation gets underway.

Whole Lotta Redactin' Going On.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its second batch of emails from former administrator Lisa Jackson's secret email address Friday [2/15/2013], but the researcher who sued the agency to obtain the records says it improperly redacted nearly all of the information.  The emails, released in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), are from Jackson's pseudonymous, secondary email account under the name "Richard Windsor."

Pelosi: Obama can keep drone strikes against Americans a secret.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., believes that President Obama doesn't necessarily have to announce that an American citizen suspected of terrorism has been killed in a drone strike.  "Maybe.  It just depends," Pelosi replied when The Huffington Post asked her if "the administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike."

Nancy Pelosi says drone strikes on Americans can stay secret.  House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the White House doesn't necessarily have to confess to killing American citizens by unarmed drones.  It all depends on the situation, she said in reply to a Huffington Post reporter who asked if President Obama's administration should acknowledge when it targets a U.S. citizen in a drone strike, the Washington Examiner reported.  "Maybe, it just depends," she reportedly said.  "People just want to be protected."  She also said that such disclosure "depends on the timing, because that's right — it's all about the timing."

Sen. Lindsey Graham: Doing Job On Libya the Media Won't.  On his MSNBC show this morning [2/21/2013], NBC's senior White House correspondent, Chuck Todd, reported that Republican senator Lindsey Graham had been successful in his quest to see White House emails concerning Libya.  As leverage, Graham threatened to hold up the nomination of John Brennan, who's slated to take over the C.I.A., if the emails weren't released.  According to Todd, there are also memos related to Libya the GOP would like to see.  Thus far, the White House hasn't budged on those.

Obama insists he runs the most transparent administration in history.  During a "fireside hangout" on Google+ this afternoon [2/14/2013], President Obama responded to a questioner who said she was disappointed in the gap between Obama's campaign promises for transparency and the reality of the last four years.  "It feels a lot less transparent than I think we all hoped it would be," she said.  Obama said firmly, "This is the most transparent administration in history, and I can document that is the case."

The Executive Order The Press Agreed To Keep Secret For Five Hours.  Shortly before 4:20 p.m. Tuesday [2/12/2013], the White House emailed reporters that President Obama had signed a highly anticipated Executive Order aimed at protecting cyber security.  The order — setting up new programs aimed at stopping online espionage and terrorism — was already the law of the land, signed by the president.  But it was also secret.  The document was "embargoed until delivery of the President's in the State of the Union address" — despite the fact it had already been signed.

Obama says his is 'most transparent administration' ever.  President Obama on Thursday hailed his administration for its transparency.  "This is the most transparent administration in history," Obama said during a Google Plus "Fireside" Hangout.  "I can document that this is the case," he continued.  "Every visitor that comes into the White House is now part of the public record.  Every law we pass and every rule we implement we put online for everyone to see."

The Editor says...
Even if that were true, and it isn't, he still isn't putting legislation on the internet before it becomes law.

Waters: We Have 'Database That Has 'Everything On Everyone'.  "The President has put in place an organization with the kind of database that no one has ever seen before in life," Representative Maxine Waters told Roland Martin on Monday.  "That's going to be very, very powerful," Waters said.  "That database will have information about everything on every individual on ways that it's never been done before and whoever runs for President on the Democratic ticket has to deal with that. [..."]

White House: No more information about drone killings will be released to public.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday that the Obama administration will not be releasing any more information about the controversial use of drones to kill American citizens.

Least Transparent Administration in History.  The number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits filed against the federal government has increased dramatically under the Obama administration, according to a December study by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC).  A comparison between the last two years of President George W. Bush's second term and the last two years of President Barack Obama's first term shows FOIA lawsuits jumped by 28 percent, TRAC reports.  FOIA lawsuits are filed to challenge denials of records requests or the use of exemptions of information by federal agencies.

Lance and Barack: the Content of their Characters.  What does it say about the content of Obama's character that he claims authorship of the book Dreams [from My Father] when he knows he is not the author? [...] What does it say about the content of a man's character that he will not permit anyone, particularly the people of the United States whom he has asked to elect him as their president two times, see the transcripts of his grades in high school, any of the numerous colleges he has attended, or the law school he attended?  Do any of us applying for a job keep our transcripts secret from the company at which we are applying?  This is nonsense.

Where Are the 23 Executive Orders?  The President held a press conference on January 16th explaining 23 executive orders that he was to sign in relation to gun control measures.  President Obama, surrounded by children, concluded his press conference by sitting at a desk and signing several papers.  But why are those 23 orders not listed on the White House website?

Government Scientist Gets Fired for Telling the Truth.  Something's amiss at the Department of Interior.  Eight government scientists were recently fired or reassigned after voicing concerns to their superiors about faulty environmental science used for policy decisions.  Which begs the question, "Are some government agencies manipulating science to advance political agendas?"

Holder Begs Court to Stop Document Release on Fast and Furious.  Attorney General Eric Holder and his Department of Justice have asked a federal court to indefinitely delay a lawsuit brought by watchdog group Judicial Watch.  The lawsuit seeks the enforcement of open records requests relating to Operation Fast and Furious, as required by law. [...] Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said that Holder's and Obama's desire to continually hide these Fast and Furious documents is "ironic" now that they're so gung-ho on gun control.

Obama gun panel draws lawsuit.  A conservative gadfly filed a lawsuit Tuesday [1/15/2013] charging that the task force President Barack Obama set up last month to provide recommendations on policies to rein in gun violence broke the law by meeting privately and without proper public notice.  Attorney Larry Klayman, who runs an organization named Freedom Watch, filed the suit in federal court in the Middle District of Florida.

John Brennan — The CIA — Zbigniew Brzezinski — Columbia University and Obama.  Obama is friends with three Pakistani college roommates, muslims, Mohammed Hasan Chandio, Wahid Hamid, and Indian Vinai Thummalapally.  In the summer of 1981 Obama travelled with his friends to Pakistan. [...] Obama goes to Pakistan in the summer of 1981 and then for some reason there is a gap in his historical references and timeline.  He does not reappear until the fall of 1982 attending Columbia (?) — or so the story is told, where he graduated in May of 1983.

Columbia University and Obama:  "Obama alleges he attended Columbia in 1982, 1983.  But, the investigators have been UNABLE to turn up a single shred of written documentation for the years 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984 that show where Obama appeared on a school roster, register, faculty memo, bulletin board, school awards, dean's list; where Obama's name appeared in a yearbook, club record, fraternity record, extra curricular activity member roster, student newspaper, student radio or TV activity; where Obama appeared in any records as a worker, employee, laborer in or about Columbia University; where Obama enrolled in any sports activity or program."

Peeling Back the 'Cover of Darkness' on Obama's Regulatory Agenda.  The Obama administration's long-delayed laundry list of the federal regulations it intends to pursue this year, released under what one lawmaker described as the "cover of darkness," looks to contain proposals that are more costly than those offered by the president's immediate predecessors.  If fully implemented, the regulatory agenda as it is popularly known could wind up costing the public $123.2 billion, according to an analysis by the American Action Forum, a conservative, Washington-based think tank.  The 2,387 tenders also are projected to result in at least 13 million paperwork burden hours.

Obama's Lawless Presidency.  Another example of Obama's disinterest in following the law was his responsibility to report his upcoming regulatory changes, the last report of which was due in October but wasn't bothered with until December — conveniently after the election.  The earlier April report he never issued at all.

Obama administration delivers delayed regulatory agenda, could cost billions.  By law, each April and October, federal agencies are required to release an accounting of proposed regulations that will have an economically significant impact.  That didn't happen in 2012.  Instead, the Obama administration didn't release its 2012 regulatory agenda until on the Friday before Christmas.

E-mail Scandal at the EPA.  The sudden announcement that Lisa Jackson, the controversial head of the Environmental Protection Agency, will be resigning later this month means that the mysterious Richard Windsor will be leaving the building with her.  His is apparently one of several fake names on official EPA e-mail accounts that Jackson used to conduct business while at EPA.

'Richard Windsor' departure from EPA is a victory for transparency.  After years of whispers that EPA officials frequently used private email addresses, fake names and coded messages to circumvent the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, Jackson admitted recently to using "Richard Windsor" as her chosen nom de plume on a government email account. [...] The EPA inspector general opened an investigation into the matter because it is against federal law to use nonofficial or secret email addresses to conduct official business.

EPA admits secret email use as House leaders fume.  Six House leaders are pressing their demands for documents after a senior Environmental Protection Agency executive confirmed that Administrator Lisa Jackson has used a fake name and a secret email account while doing official business. [...] It is against federal record-keeping laws and regulations to use a private or secret email account or fake name to conduct official business.

Lisa Jackson forced out of EPA.  This is what we call a "stealth" catastrophic meltdown:  Jackson's ability to function in DC effectively cratered as soon as this came out, anyway.  A pity that the Media won't destroy this woman's reputation for the way that she hypocritically contravened good-government transparency, but at least she's going to be gone.

Questions mount over EPA administrator's secret email address.  The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter Tuesday [12/18/2012] requesting additional information on the secret email addresses, and earlier this month the EPA's inspector general announced the agency would begin an investigation into the issue.  Chairman Ralph Hall (R., Tex.) and other Republicans on the committee requested additional information on the secret email account, expressing concern that "the potential for confusion, not to mention intentional malfeasance, is enormous."

Head of EPA does a bunch of her work on alias e-mail account.  So, the head of one of the most active and heavy-handed regulatory agencies in the federal government does a bunch of her business with colleagues on an e-mail address, that while it's a .gov address, has no obvious connection to the EPA administrator herself.  Among the regulations the EPA released just last year were five classified as "major" and expected to cost $4 billion annually. [...] But I'm sure there's nothing the public would want to know about going on in "Richard Windsor's" e-mail.

EPA IG audits administrator's private e-mail account.  Leaders of two House committees with jurisdiction over the EPA have questioned whether the agency has been fully transparent in its handling of electronic records.  Last month, House science committee Chairman Ralph M. Hall (R-Tex.) and five of his colleagues wrote to EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. and questioned whether Jackson violated federal law by using "private email and alias accounts to conduct official government business."

EPA inspector general audits agency's use of secret email accounts.  Last week the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of the Inspector General announced an audit of the agency's electronic records management practice to determine if it follows the law when conducting official business using private and alias email accounts. [...] Among other things, the Inspector General's office will look at is whether or not the EPA "[p]romoted or encouraged the use of private or alias email accounts to conduct official government business."

What We Need to Know about Benghazi.  Much of post-attack discussion about Benghazi has focused on who knew or said what when.  That discussion misses the big picture.  We are in the middle of a long war.  The question that should concern us most is:  Are we doing everything reasonable to protect U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel so that they can accomplish their mission?  Unfortunately, we don't know the simple answer to that question, because the administration has not given Congress or the American people the basic facts.

The Coming Regulatory Black Hole.  Just how many new regulations will business have to deal with?  We don't know because the administration has failed to issue a report, required by law, that would set out Obama's regulatory agenda.

An Embarrassing Metric Disappears.  As the din of America's falling headfirst over the fiscal cliff reverberates across the nation, the Obama administration is quietly killing a key economic metric that tells how, and how many, people are voting with their feet.  Since 1991 the Internal Revenue Service has been compiling statistics on filers' addresses, which the agency's Statistics of Income division uses to show who is moving into and out of every county and state in the nation.  As you'd expect, the IRS also knows the aggregate income levels of those who move.

One year earlier...
Obama: 1, Informed Public: 0.  I've been worried about this for some time:  the government would start either manipulating the data or hiding it altogether.  Eliminating the [Statistical] Abstract [of the United States] is not just a matter of crimping the mirth of data hobbyists like me; it is ominous.  It is hiding the truth.  It is Soviet-like.  It is a short step from airbrushing people out of photos.  The Abstract has been around for 133 years, or about a century longer than the Department of Education has.

Obama swearing-in to be open to media coverage.  The American public will be able to witness President Barack Obama getting sworn in for a second term; the Presidential Inaugural Committee said Wednesday [12/12/2012] the unusual Sunday ceremony will be open to media coverage.  This should not even have been a question — but it was, because the White House would not say — as recently as Tuesday — whether the event could be covered.

Will Obama's second oath of office be closed to the press?  A Friday afternoon report at Politico brings news of another "historic" moment in the Obama presidency, which promised "transparency" but has transformed much of American government into a riddle, wrapped in mystery, inside an enigma.

The most honest and "transparent" president ever ... to be sworn-in in secret!  This is something that is absolutely bizarre.  It seems that Obama will be sworn in as President in private (secret) without the Press being allowed to view to video tape it.  They will release photos that the White House Press photographer will take, after it is done.

Obama's Swearing-in Ceremony Closed to the Press?  Politico reports that Obama's second inaugural oath for the "most transparent administration in history" might be administered privately, without any media present.

Secret Parley of Obama, Boehner Betrays Their Pledges To Open Government.  Here's one thing President Obama and Speaker Boehner agree on:  they don't want you to know what happened at their meeting Sunday [12/9/2012] about taxes and spending.  "We're not reading out details of the conversation," said identical statements issued by the White House and the Speaker's office.

Press fear Obama private swearing in.  The White House Correspondents Association is strongly urging the Obama administration to allow press access to the president's official swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20, following indications from inauguration committee officials that the event could potentially be closed to the press.

Progressive Media Fear Exclusion at Second Obama Inauguration.  Progressive journalists are worried that Barack Obama is going to cut them out from his second swearing-in ceremony.  As Politico reports, rumors abound that this time 'round Obama is going to hold a private ceremony, one not open to the media.

The open-and-shut administration.  "My administration," President Obama wrote on his first day in office, "is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government."  Those were strong and hopeful words.  Four years later, it is becoming more and more clear that they were just words.

Members Question Use of Secret Email Accounts by Top Obama Administration Officials.  In letters today [11/16/2012] to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and various agency Inspectors General, members of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee questioned whether senior personnel have been conducting official business through secretive means such as aliases and private email accounts.

Obama Administration Gets Sued Over Carbon Tax E-mails.  President Obama's Treasury Department is facing a lawsuit for stonewalling a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request relating to a planned carbon tax on fossil fuels.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a watchdog group focused on energy and environmental regulations, filed suit Tuesday ]11/13/2012] in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., announcing in a press release that it expects Obama's congressional cronies to propose the tax in the upcoming lame-duck session.

WH Won't Release Photos of Obama Team During Benghazi Attack.  Today [11/21/2012], the White House officially refused to release photos of US officials during the September 11 terrorist attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that ended with the deaths of four Americans.  CBS News requested the photos on October 31; the White House has routinely released photos showing members of the Obama administration in their hero poses during national security crises.  That happened most famously with pictures of the Obama administration key players clustered into the White House situation room during the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.

More about the Benghazi scandal.

Congress demands EPA's secret email accounts.  A House committee has launched an investigation into whether EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used an email alias to try to hide correspondence from open-government requests and her agency's own internal watchdog — something that Republican lawmakers said could run afoul of the law.  The science committee has asked Ms. Jackson to turn over all information related to an email account under the name of "Richard Windsor," which is one of the aliases identified by a researcher looking into the EPA.

Congressmen Confront EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson Over Use of Alias 'Richard Windsor'.  Two members of Congress sent a letter to EPA administrator Lisa Jackson over her use of the alias "Richard Windsor."  The congressmen, Fred Upton and Cliff Stearns, want Jackson to explain her actions. [...] Upton is the chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce; Stearns is the chairman of the subcommittee on oversight and investigation.

Obama promised transparency, delivered secrecy.  Candidate Obama promised transparency.  President Obama talks as if he has delivered it.  People paying close attention know he hasn't. [...] Obama administration officials held off-site meetings with lobbyists to avoid having to disclose them.  They asked lobbyists to use personal emails.  They divvied up ObamaCare to various industry lobbyists behind closed doors and refused to produce the emails in the negotiations.

Obama: Transparently Disappointing.  On March 28, 2011, a group of leading transparency advocates passed through the security checkpoints along the perimeter of the White House compound to present Barack Obama with an award for his efforts to open up government. [...] The meeting was closed to the media, off limits even to a promised pool photographer and reporter.  The ceremony did not appear on Obama's public schedule, and the White House did not release a transcript of the conversation.

EPA chief's secret 'alias' email account revealed.  The name Richard Windsor may sound innocuous, but it is allegedly one of the secret "alias" email accounts used by Obama EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.  "That is the name — sorry, one of the alias names — used by Obama's radical EPA chief to keep her email from those who ask for it," Chris Horner, senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the new book "The Liberal War on on [sic] Transparency," told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an email.

Who is 'Richard Windsor'?  In The Liberal War on on Transparency, published by Threshold Editions last month, I revealed the existence of a series of black, or "alias" email accounts used by EPA administrators.  These were actively instituted by none other than Carol Browner, who designed her own secret address, for an account that I also learned was set to "auto-delete".  You remember Ms. Browner?  She's the lady who suddenly ordered her computer hard drive be reformatted and backup tapes be erased, just hours after a federal court issued a "preserve" order that her lawyers at the Clinton Justice Department insisted they hadn't yet told her about?  She's the one who said it didn't matter because she didn't use her computer for email anyway?  Yes, that one.

Business Owners Warn Of 4,100 New Regs And The Administration's Secrecy About Them.  Every administration is legally required to publish a report each April and October in the Federal Register to inform Congress and the public of the administration's regulatory agenda and its potential economic impact.  The requirement is part of the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980.  The Obama administration has missed its second straight legal deadline for disclosing its regulatory plans and their economic impact to Congress and the American public.  No previous administration has ever failed to produce the report even once.

Obama stops making promises to lead an ethical, open government.  President Obama ran in 2008 while making big promises on transparency and ethics, including vows to ban lobbyists from working for him, to throw open negotiations on health care legislation, to speed freedom-of-information requests and to let voters have direct input before he signed bills into law.  He is making no such promises in this year's campaign, though, nor is he taking a victory lap on those old vows.

Obama Revealed More Than His Birth Certificate Last Year.  [Jay] Carney knew that two copies of Obama's long-form birth certificate had arrived two days earlier, but he kept silent on this fact until the following day, when a special press briefing, known as a "Press Gaggle," was held just prior to Obama's official press conference.  No recording devices or photography was permitted.  Only paper-and-pencil notes.  (Banning physical recordings?  What ever happened to transparency?)

Report gives Obama failing marks on transparency.  The administration received abysmal grades for "virtually ignoring" a promise to post laws online for five days before the president signed them, for not clearly laying out which offices have what spending authority, and for a test of the Freedom of Information Act in which "19 of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the public disclosure law."

Secret U.S., Iranian meetings to continue.  The United States and Iran are moving forward with secret negotiations, despite denying earlier meetings took place, according to a source highly placed in the Islamic government.  The source, who remains anonymous for security reasons, added that teams from both sides will resume the talks in the coming days with the hope of reaching agreement to announce a breakthrough before the U.S. elections.

White House Kills the Briefing Room Lights.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has apparently been pulled from the podium of the White House Briefing Room, as President Obama's political advisers seek to control their messaging as much as possible and avoid unforced errors.  Carney, the public face of the "openness" White House, has not briefed from the podium since October 10.  It's the only time he has appeared there this month.

Obama White House Goes Into Information Lock Down.  With mounting questions surrounding the Benghazi Massacre, and Barack Obama's consistent slide in the national polls, the administration has not held a press briefing at the White House since October 10th — this from the most "transparent" administration in America's history.

Transparency in union finances a thing of the past.  Ignoring their own rhetoric about the value of transparency and openness, the Obama administration is "rolling back rules requiring labor unions and their leaders to report information about their finances and compensation," according to [a] Washington Times report written by Jim McElhatton.

Libya and Lies.  What has this man not deceived the public about? [...] Remember his pledge to have a "transparent" government that would post its legislative proposals on the Internet several days before Congress was to vote on them, so that everybody would know what was happening?  This was followed by an Obamacare bill so huge and passed so fast that even members of Congress did not have time to read it.

Czars, Lies and Email: What Information Is the Left Trying to Delete From History?  The Supreme Court wrote that transparency laws, particularly FOIA, are to ensure the public knows "what their government is up to."  Now that liberals control the institutions that they warned must be subject to scrutiny for fear of abuse, it is transparency that apparently poses the threat.  The Obama administration is sinking to desperate depths to fend off this horror of accountability.

Transparently Biased Against Disclosure.  Obama came into office pledging to create "an unprecedented level of openness in government" and to "act promptly" to make information public.  Surprise, surprise:  Obama is just another politician.  In June, Bloomberg reporters filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 57 federal agencies.  The reporters sought data on a very basic level:  taxpayer-supported travel by Cabinet secretaries and top officials.  Just eight of the agencies met the 20-day window for disclosure required by law.  Of 20 Cabinet-level agencies, only the Small Business Administration responded within the legal time limit.

Suppressing Scientific (or Public) Inquiry.  These tactics range from the widespread use of private emails, hiding meetings with lobbyists, using "handles" and lobby groups as "cutouts" or go-betweens with pressure groups with whom the administration doesn't want a paper trail.

The Liberal War on Transparency.  [Scroll down]  But I also have an affidavit admitting to an elaborate system established by one activist agency — NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) — to view its emails remotely on a non-official computer, purchased with taxpayer money and used for the taxpayer's business but access to which is being denied the government for inspection, whose use erases any trace of the records back on government servers.

EPA execs use secret email addresses to skirt FOIA, suit alleges.  Environmental Protection Agency senior executives used secret email addresses to skirt freedom of information laws, a lawsuit by a free-market think tank alleges.  The Competitive Enterprise Institute filed a lawsuit against the EPA last week claiming senior executives at the agency used secret email accounts to conduct public business, shielding their communications from the Freedom of Information Act.  The suit cites an internal EPA memo, first revealed in a 2008 Government Accountability Office, which describes secondary email accounts known only to a "few EPA staff members, usually only high-level senior staff."

Obama, supporters lying to us.  He still has not released his school records, which may indicate there is something in them he wants to hide.  But remember he stated that his administration would be the most transparent administration ever; but yet the press has trouble getting the White House logs.

Obama Cabinet Flunks Disclosure Test With 19 in 20 Ignoring Law.  On his first full day in office, President Barack Obama ordered federal officials to "usher in a new era of open government" and "act promptly" to make information public.  As Obama nears the end of his term, his administration hasn't met those goals, failing to follow the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, according to an analysis of open-government requests filed by Bloomberg News.  Nineteen of 20 cabinet-level agencies disobeyed the law requiring the disclosure of public information:  The cost of travel by top officials.

Obama Visitor Logs Must Be Public, Lawyer Tells Court.  The names of people vetted by the U.S. Secret Service for White House visits are agency records that must be made public, a lawyer for Judicial Watch Inc. told a federal appeals court in Washington.  Judicial Watch, a Washington-based legal activist organization, asked a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals today [9/18/2012] to uphold a district judge's order requiring the Secret Service to process its request for the names of people who visited the White House during the first nine months of President Barack Obama's term under the Freedom of Information Act.

Not all Obama bundlers are on his public list.  President Obama's campaign has left off its public list of "bundlers" at least 25 names its own finance team considers to be among their most valuable funders, including seven who live in foreign countries, a review of records by The Washington Times found.  In one case the campaign's own internal documents listed Cynthia Stroum as bundling $400,000 this election cycle, yet she is not on the campaign's official public list.  Mr. Obama tapped Ms. Stroum to be ambassador to Luxembourg after she raised half a million for his 2008 campaign.

Obama's Not-So-Public Schedule.  The White House has touted the easy availability of President Barack Obama's public schedule as part of his administration's "commitment to open government."  But there's a lot the White House keeps off its regular rundown of the president's day.  Obama has pledged to run the most transparent administration in history, yet the published schedule offers only a narrow window into his activities, a POLITICO review found.  There are tough-to-fathom omissions like leaving off a reception for AIDS activists and researchers that had already been announced on a White House blog.

Obama Transparency Fail: Won't admit to producing mandatory FISA reports.  Congress required the Department of Justice to produce a semi-annual report on how the National Security Administration is using its sweeping surveillance powers under the 2008 FISA Amendments Act.  Surveillance expert Julian Sanchez at the Cato Institute submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, asking for copies of these reports — expecting that information identifying specific cases would redacted, as it was in the past, when the ACLU successfully sued to obtain publication of older issues of the report.

Testing "The Most Transparent Administration in History".  Barack Obama pledged to preside over the "most transparent administration in history," drawing an explicit contrast with the extreme secrecy of his predecessor.  The Web site of the Department of Justice highlights that pledge, declaring its commitment to faithfully carry out a presidential directive encouraging such transparency, especially with regards to Freedom of Information Act requests, which are a vital tool for public accountability and informed democratic deliberation about government's activities.  Earlier this summer, I decided I'd put that commitment to what should have been an easy test.

FISA Fight.  The Obama administration is pushing for the reauthorization of a law allowing warrantless wiretaps and prolonging Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests despite campaigning against such measures and promising to be the most transparent administration ever.

Team Obama's secret film deal.  The killing of Osama bin Laden last year was referenced repeatedly this week at the Democratic National Convention.  This is ironic, as President Obama, in denying requests for basic information about the raid, said he wasn't going to release the information because he didn't want to be seen as "spiking the football."  As there is no spiking-the-football exception to our open-records laws, Judicial Watch initiated a federal court battle with the administration over the release of post mortem images of bin Laden and his alleged burial at sea.

Thought Police Patrol Convention's Radio Row.  Conservative talk-show hosts who came to Charlotte to interview political figures are furious.  For the first time in anyone's memory, Radio Row — the designated set of booths available to visiting talk-show hosts — has seen restrictions placed on its use by Team Obama.  DNC staffers at Radio Row will book leading Democrats for slots on conservative stations but then cancel the appearances an hour or so before broadcast "because you're not our audience." [...] So much for the transparency and openness of the Obama era.

Romney Campaign Says Obama Fast And Furious Decision "Another Broken Promise".  Romney Press Secretary Andrea Saul attacked President Barack Obama's decision to invoke executive privilege on documents pertaining to the Fast and Furious scandal requested by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  "President Obama's pledge to run the most open and transparent administration in history has turned out to be just another broken promise," she said in a statement to BuzzFeed.

Obama Quashes Conservative Media Access at DNC.  Media availability for Obama officials and acolytes has been shut up as tight as a clam for conservative media here at the Democratic National Convention.  According to sources at Talk Radio News Service, placing a stringer outside the designated TV area to ask high-level Democrats to stop by radio row has been banned by the DNC — in fact, as one source told me, "You need permission from Obama for America."

Author: Journalists 'Cover Energy And Environment Subjects As Liberal Activists,' E-Mails Show.  Liberals claim to support transparency in government — until conservatives start finding shady things through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  New York Times bestselling author, litigator, and Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner has been filing such FOIAs for years and has turned up Obama's "true plan" for cap-and-trade, a close relationship between an energy official and a Solyndra director — and more.  Horner's quest for public information, labeled as "criminal" by one Obama agency head, will be detailed in his upcoming book, "The Liberal War on Transparency."

In '08, we hardly knew Barack Obama; In 2012 we don't know President Obama.  In 2008, we didn't know who Barack Hussein Obama II was.  Most of us had never even heard the name before the primary season in the spring.  We were not — and for the most part still are not — allowed to see any of his personal records, beginning with his birth certificate.  The only writings available about him then were his two autobiographies and Jerome Corsi's book, The ObamaNation.  As a Cold Warrior and a former intelligence analyst, The ObamaNation was enough for me to form a working hypothesis of who this man was.

What Obama and My Wife Have in Common.  [Scroll down]  Mr. President, you promised the American people that you are "committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government."  In fact, in your July 23 prime-time news conference, you said that your administration has been more transparent than previous administrations:  "I think that we have provided much greater transparency than existed prior to our administration coming in."  So again, I ask: Why not live out that transparency promise by posting your original birth certificate and end the division and debate?

Did someone mention President Obama's birth certificate?

Irregular Order Puts Taxpayers in Jeopardy.  In making law, process matters.  A lot.  When lawmakers eschew regular order to craft legislation, it usually means there's dirty work afoot.  That's what happened earlier this year, when Congress finagled an extension of federal highway programs and gas taxes.  Lawmakers ignored the regular way of doing business, and taxpayers got hosed.  Now, conservatives worry that lawmakers are prepping to employ the same sorry shenanigans to pass an uber-expensive farm bill.

Barack Obama — A Transparent Fraud.  In January of 2009, Barack Obama promised Americans an "unprecedented" level of transparency in his dealings with the American people and throughout his Administration.  Almost four years have passed since that promise, during which time, Americans have witnessed an extraordinary level of deception and obfuscation, all designed to divert attention from the Obama Administration's failure to grow the economy, their failure to create jobs, their failure to curb out-of-control government spending, and their failure to maintain American prestige on the international level.

Issa to Obama Chief of Staff: Tell Us Who's Been Using Personal Email for Official Business.  House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is pressing the White House for information on who is using personal email accounts for official business after Obama Deputy Campaign Manager Stephanie Cutter said staffers use personal email "for our longstanding relationships." [...] In addition to violating the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act, Issa noted that the use of non-official email accounts would stymie Freedom of Information Act requests or litigation requests.

What Obama Has in Store for Us.  The latest line of attack on Mitt Romney by Obama supporters is the most breathtaking yet:  Romney, we are told, is a stealth candidate. [...] Romney certainly could have handled the release of his tax returns better, and it's likely he is concealing embarrassing details.  But Barack Obama, aided and abetted by a subservient media, spent much of his 2008 campaign trying to conceal his radical roots and evading questions about his past.

What would the press have said if they had caught George Bush doing this?
Obama aide sent lobbyists private email.  With three months to go before Election Day, President Obama's campaign manager faced a fusillade of questions Wednesday [8/1/2012] about whether he deliberately skirted disclosure rules during his time as deputy White House chief of staff, undermining the administration's claim to be "the most transparent administration in history."

White House officials caught out with lobbyists.  The White House was accused of breaking its own transparency rules after it emerged that senior officials went to elaborate lengths to conceal back-channel discussions with lobbyists.

Trump Now Taking Aim at Obama's Collegiate Background.  A vocal Romney supporter who once toyed with a run at the top office himself, Trump took up the latest controversy over the president's background — the circumstances under which Obama attended Columbia University.  "If I were Mitt Romney, and I'm not, I would say very simply, 'I will release my returns, which are 100 percent legit, everything's fine, if you release the information that we want,'" he said on"Squawk Box."  Obama "spends $4 million trying to hide lots of different things that he's done, whether it's his passport records, his college applications and college record."

Former Obama Classmate Challenges the President to Release His College Records.  Wayne Allyn Root was President Obama's classmate at Columbia University, Class of 1983.  They graduated the same year and shared the same major but Root claims he and his classmates do not recall knowing Barack Obama during those years.

'Call Obama's bluff!'  Somehow Obama got into Harvard Law School, without leaving so much as a footprint in the sand in the Columbia collective consciousness.  The sketchy outline provided by the campaign/media combine in 2008 simply does not bear scrutiny.

Was Barack Obama A Foreign Exchange Student?  Not many students whose grades supposedly were good enough to get into Harvard Law School can say that 400 of their classmates taken randomly don't remember a single thing about him or his even being there.  But Barack Obama, Columbia University class of '83, can.  Student Obama spent two years at Columbia after transferring there from Occidental College in Los Angeles.  And for all the impression he made on his classmates, he might as well have been in the witness protection program.  The Wall Street Journal reported in 2008 that Fox News called that random group of 400 Columbia classmates and never found one who had ever met Obama.

Barry Soetoro, the Invisible Man.  In sum and substance, [Wayne Allyn] Root speculates that Barry Soetoro was accepted and attended Columbia University as a foreign exchange student, most likely as an Indonesian citizen.  Mr. Root added that He paid little for either undergraduate college or Harvard Law School because of foreign aid and scholarships awarded due to his citizenship status.  At this point, you might be inclined to brush off the entire matter as speculation, classify it as a distraction or otherwise downplay the significance of the issue.  There are a number of critically important reasons why one must not dismiss any or all of this.

Interior Department sneaks offshore moratorium past public.  While the Obama administration was taking a victory lap last week after the 5-4 Supreme Court decision to uphold the president's signature legislative accomplishment, Obamacare, the Interior Department was using the media black hole to release a much-awaited five-year plan for offshore drilling.  That plan reinstitutes a 30-year moratorium on offshore energy exploration that will keep our most promising resources locked away until long after President Obama begins plans for his presidential library.  Given the timing, it is clear that the self-described "all of the above" energy president didn't want the American people to discover that he was denying access to nearly 98 percent of America's vast energy potential on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

Transparency? Obama's Secretive Soros-Funded Money Machine.  Ever since the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, left-wingers and Democrats have been braying for center right and conservative organizations, PACS, and super PACS to reveal their donors, the libs claiming that such "transparency" is good for American politics.  But as far as these people are concerned, "disclosure" is only to be forced on others and the fact that one of Obama's biggest campaign donation bundlers is the leader of a very secretive Democrat money machine proves the rule rather than the exception.

President Obama courts wealthy donors.  Four times in the last week, President Barack Obama has quietly slipped into private, exclusive Democratic Party fundraisers around town, glad-handing well-heeled donors away from the eyes of the press — and contradicting his pledge to run the most transparent administration in history.

Obama admin under fire for secretive catch and release immigration policy.  Three Republican Senators and the presidents of two major law enforcement unions are expected to band together at a Thursday [7/26/2012] press conference to call out what they consider President Barack Obama's questionable immigration and border security policies.  Specifically, a source familiar with the presser told The Daily Caller, they'll likely focus on a secret internal U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) memo that — if eventually implemented into policy — would allow its agents to catch and release "low priority" illegal immigrants.

Levin 'Calling On Barack Obama To Release The Names Of The Drug Dealers' He Used.  Radio host Mark Levin is "calling on Barack Obama to release the names of the drug dealers from whom he bought his drugs."  On Thursday's [7/19/2012] show, Levin offered a rebuttal to Pres. Obama's campaign push for Mitt Romney to release his tax returns:  "I'm calling on Barack Obama to release the names of the drug dealers from whom he bought his drugs all those years when he was a pothead — self identified.

Obama is somebody's puppet.
Obama's insult to successful business people applies best to him.  If there's anyone who didn't get there on his own, it is not the entrepreneur but the man who was parachuted in as the 44th president of the United States of America. [...] With no accomplishments of note, no qualifications for the job at hand and no record to prove otherwise, those working to smother America decided Obama had the best makeup with which to con media and malcontents alike.  All the haughty and taunting deeds in his self-proclaimed past were written up as an intro in an 'autobiography', bought up by a book publisher without question.

Barack Obama is somebody's puppet.
Obama Is a Spokesmodel for Tyranny.  Forget calling Obama "incompetent."  This tiresome meme presupposes that Obama wants to do what's right for America but doesn't know how.  Does anyone honestly believe that anymore?  Yes, he's incompetent, in that he's a fairly unimpressive bloke with no skills, imagination, or ability to learn, who couldn't run a third-rate laundromat.  But so what?  His sponsors didn't install him for his competence.  They installed him so that he could strut on the runways of the world, showing off his fashionable skin color and perfectly creased pants, while babbling whatever useful venom they put on his teleprompter.

Transparent.  Besides from being an administration that has a hard time defining fact from fiction it also has the distinction of not being the most transparent administration in history.  Remember when the president was running in 2008 he would proclaim that the lobbyist would be driven from the White House and they would be banished.  He claimed they would no longer set the agenda for the government then promptly went back on his word when elected and issued waivers for lobbyist to join his administration.  That should have given the public a hint of what the Obama administration would do when it suited its agenda.  It took years for him to release his long form birth certificate and now he still refuses to release his academic records.

Romney rips Obama over Fast and Furious 'hypocrisy'.  Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney lashed out Tuesday [7/17/2012] at President Obama for a lack of "transparency" in invoking executive privilege to withhold Operation Fast and Furious documents.  In a release headlined "Transparent Hypocrisy: Obama's Fast and Furious Broken Promises," Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said: "President Obama's pledge to be transparent has turned out to be just another broken promise."

Special IG: Geithner dropped 'f-bombs' when I said he wasn't transparent enough.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gets very angry at the suggestion that he conduct the bank bailouts in a transparent manner, according to Neil Barofsky, the former special inspector general for the Treasury Department.

Why Obama's College Records Matter.  Yes, many want to see Obama's college records for grades and courses (as with G.W. Bush and others).  But in Obama's case, the primary reason to see his college applications is to learn whether the president applied for college in the U.S. as a foreign student.  Why should the public want to confirm that Obama did not register as a foreigner while not having the same concern for other candidates?  Read on.  Most of the basic records of Barack Obama's past — vital, hospital, medical, education, passport, draft registration, et al. — are guarded as securely as the gold at Fort Knox.  Notably, two documents — elementary school and Selective Service registrations — were obtained by independent citizens.

Harry Reid: Romney 'couldn't be confirmed as a dog catcher'.  President Barack Obama and his Democratic allies have launched a sustained attack this week over Mitt Romney's refusal to release additional tax returns, suggesting the Republican nominee is trying to "hide" something from the American people.  On Wednesday [7/11/2012], Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid suggested Romney would never win Senate confirmation for a Cabinet position because "he won't show anybody his tax returns."  But as Politico reports, Reid took that criticism a step further on Thursday, saying that Romney couldn't even win confirmation to be a "dog catcher."

The Editor says...
Senator Harry Reid and the Democrats are happy to overlook Barack Obama's lack of a paper trail while pointing fingers at someone who is not yet officially the other party's nominee.

Jay Carney sneers at reporter's request for Obama's college records.  White House Press Secretary Jay Carney derided a reporter today [7/12/2012] for asking whether President Obama would release his college records in the campaign, to serve as an example of transparency. [...] Carney reiterated that Obama was an "open book" and had an "extremely sound" record of transparency.

Why the secrecy?
Cornyn to FBI Director: Make Fort Hood Report Public.  Upon reports that the independent review of the FBI's actions in the Fort Hood shooting are going to be delivered to the bureau today, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to make that report available to the public as well.  The review team, led by Judge William Webster, is expected to submit a 150-page report, containing findings and 18 formal recommendations for necessary reforms in a range of areas within the FBI.

Transparent hypocrisy.  President Obama's senior campaign adviser last week called Mitt Romney "the most secretive candidate we've seen probably since Richard Nixon," citing Romney having assets in offshore accounts.  Amazingly, Axelrod said this just two weeks after his client invoked executive privilege — a term practically synonymous with Nixon and Watergate — to block the release of subpoenaed documents in the "Fast and Furious" scandal.  This is especially ironic considering Obama's vow, immediately after the 2008 election, to lead the "most open and transparent [government] in history."

Obama's Make-Believe Life .  Barack Obama exists only as the sock puppet of his handlers, of the people who have maneuvered and manufactured this pathetic individual's life.  When anyone else would quickly and easily produce a birth certificate, this man has spent over a million dollars to deny access to his.  Most other documents, the paper trail we all leave in our wake, have been sequestered from review.  He has lived a make-believe life whose true facts remain hidden.  We laugh at the ventriloquist's dummy, but what do you do when the dummy is President of the United States of America?

Who's Secretive?  I don't envy Barack Obama's campaign advisers.  Every day, they have to invent some new distraction to avoid talking about his record in office.  It is only July, and already they are running low on irrelevancies. [...] The litany of Obama's non-disclosures is familiar.  Unlike other recent presidential candidates, to cite just one example, Obama has kept his college and law school records under wraps.  But that is relatively trivial.  It seems to me that another instance of Obama's secretiveness is much more significant:  his refusal to release his medical records.  Almost all major party nominees in modern election cycles have made their medical records public.  (Bill Clinton is the notable exception.)

Transparency Ends at the White House Door.  On his first day in office, President Obama vowed to create "a new level of transparency, accountability and participation for America's citizens."  But the president has not lived up to his transparency rhetoric — and now even the left is taking note.  Liberal magazine Mother Jones laments this week that the Obama administration spent a record-high $12 billion in 2011 to keep government information classified.  Since the process of classifying documents is itself classified, it's impossible to determine the individual merits of those decisions.

Speaking of Foreign Money, What About Obama's?  President Obama says outside political groups supporting Republicans are "a threat to democracy" because some won't disclose who their donors are.  David Axelrod, the president's senior adviser, doubled down on the issue yesterday on CNN, insisting that when "people don't disclose, there's a reason."  Previously, when asked by CBS's Bob Schieffer whether the White House had any evidence for its charges that the Chamber of Commerce was spending foreign money on campaign ads, Mr. Axelrod famously responded, "Do you have any evidence that it's not, Bob?"

Is US government reading email without a warrant? It doesn't want to talk about it.  In March, the American Civil Liberties Union caused a nationwide stir when the advocacy group released the results of its year-long investigation into law enforcement use of cellphone tracking data.  After issuing hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests, the ACLU learned that many local police departments around the country routinely pay mobile phone network operators a small fee to get detailed records of historic cell phone location information.  The data tell cops not just where a suspect might have been at a given moment, but also create the possibility of retracing someone's whereabouts for months.

While We Were Sleeping.  We were so preoccupied with the looming health care insurance premium that is really a tax for the privilege of living in the U.S., the upcoming health exchanges, Obama's domestic army of IRS health insurance enforcement agents, more unemployment growing on the horizon, and a dim economic future, that we overlooked the national emergency declared by President Obama.  President Obama sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and to the President of the Senate on June 25, 2012, announcing his declaration of national emergency.

"Donors don't want their names to be associated with his events".  [I]sn't it curious that while on his daily fundraising binge Monday [6/25/2012], Obama himself had someone privately foot the tab for security at a New Hampshire stop after the locals decided they'd had enough of this freeloader campaigning on the public dime.  Yet they won't disclose the donor.

Obama's Secret Sugar Daddy.  Despite President Obama's outspoken criticism of the influence of anonymous, deep-pocketed donors in the political process, an anonymous donor is footing the bill for the president's upcoming visit to Durham, New Hampshire. [...] The conservative group Americans for Prosperity announced it will be filing a records request to try to determine the identity of the donor as it could be considered an "in-kind" campaign contribution, Buzzfeed reports.

Obama guilty of contempt for transparency.  President Obama promised "an unprecedented level of openness in government."  Instead, he has revealed an apparent contempt for transparency.  The president has caused a storm of controversy by using executive privilege to cover up aspects of his administration's Fast and Furious gun-running scandal.  This week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed a contempt of Congress resolution to be considered by the full House of Representatives next week.  If this resolution passes, it will be the first time in our nation's history that an attorney general has been held in contempt of Congress.

The opacity of hope: Obama's war on transparency.  Executive privilege, affirmed by the Supreme Court in U.S. v. Nixon, is historically limited to the president's own discussions.  Obama is now extending it to his attorney general.  Expanding executive secrecy contravenes Obama's promises on transparency, but it's not the first time the president has betrayed his high-minded rhetoric.

Did Obama assert executive privilege to bail out Holder before?  [Scroll down]  There are two possibilities in this case, ultimately:  Obama asserted executive privilege in 2009 for Holder to help him cover up his past, or Holder incorrectly claimed he didn't have "authority" to testify about something when he did.  White House spokesman Eric Schultz wouldn't answer when asked if Obama asserted executive privilege then, nor would Holder spokesman Tracy Schmaler.

'Just another broken promise' of transparency.  "President Obama's pledge to run the most open and transparent administration in history has turned out to be just another broken promise," Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said in an email to The Daily Caller.

Obama's Media-Contrived Courage.  [Scroll down]  The people who voted for Obama in 2008 knew virtually nothing about him, and know little more now.  Where are his college transcripts, his friends and girlfriends, and whatever he wrote for the Harvard Law Review?  No one has seen the transcripts or the writing, no one has sought out and interviewed his high school and college friends and girlfriends.  We know almost nothing about Obama's early years except what Obama himself has written.

Conservative Offers $20,000 to Anyone Who Can Produce Obama's College Transcripts.  What could be so bad?  Did he get a bunch of C's and D's?  Did he get caught using the girls' bathroom?  Did he get disciplined for smacking his gum too loudly during Advanced Horse Hockey Studies in Alinsky's Machinations class?  What?  It's gotta be some damning stuff because 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue sure ain't interested in it getting unearthed.  And the media is completely dismissive of it as well, which tells me that there's gold in them thar hills!

Barack Obama's autobiographical fictions.  Obama's Occidental years have the same waterbug quality that so many periods of his life seem to have in retrospect:  You see a figure traveling lightly and swiftly over the surface of things, darting away before he could leave an impression that might last.  Archivists have combed college records and come up empty, mostly.  Barry Obama, as he then was known, published two poems in the campus literary magazine his sophomore year.  The testimony of the handful of professors who remembered him, four by my count, is hazy.  He was never mentioned in the student newspaper, never wrote a letter to the editor or appeared in a photo; he failed to have his picture taken for the yearbook, so his likeness isn't there either.

Obama's Best-Kept Secret.  If Justice Department documents that Issa's committee seeks from Attorney General Eric Holder had been the subject of a top-secret meeting in the White House Situation Room, their contents already would have been splashed across the media.

The Enigma That Is Barack Hussein Obama, Part Two.  Barry has sequestered and locked away all of his personal records in some safe dark place where they will never again be shown the light of day.  These records include his "certificate of live birth" (he released a forgery), his college transcripts, Harvard thesis, student loans, Harvard law review articles, passport, medical records, Illinois Senate records, community organizer activity with ACORN, and others.  His Illinois bar registration, social security number (he uses one originating in Connecticut) from a place he never lived, and most any other documents of a personal or professional nature could be construed as his bona fides.  His army of lawyers from the Perkins Coie law firm of Seattle, Washington are his henchman to make sure that each and every challenge to his narrative is immediately quelled.  So much for the most "open and transparent" administration in history, which was only rhetoric as we have seen with his dismal performance in office.  This is beginning to make sense when all the facts leading up to this are considered; clearly, he is hiding something, and all these actions appear preemptive in nature as a possible legal defense for something as of yet undisclosed.

The white girlfriends Obama erased from his past.  [Scroll down]  He gives the impression of a man in such a hurry to save the world that he had no time for such distractions as romance.  But now, in a blistering new biography, Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist David Maraniss has pulled his exes out of the shadows.  In so doing, he has revealed an unflattering picture of a president so desperate to sell an image of himself as a pioneering race warrior that he has air-brushed many of the 'white' elements from his life — including that string of well-heeled, well-educated white girlfriends.

Grifters on Parade.  An unfortunate side-effect of the birth debate is that it has served to mask the bulk of the undeniable questions surrounding Obama's record, in particular his college records, which have faded almost to invisibility.  In the light of the fake bio, they may well have been transformed into the most critical element of them all.

White House Chief of Staff: 'This Administration Has Been the Most Transparent Ever'.  Yesterday on CNN, White House chief of staff Jack Lew defended the Obama administration's involvement in the Fast and Furious scandal by saying that "this administration has been the most transparent ever."  "So why did you all invoke executive privilege this time when there are some who feel there is something a little shaky taking place?," CNN's Candy Crowley asked.

Obama's latest excuse against probing eligibility.  What's Barack Obama's latest legal excuse against probing his eligibility to serve as president?  He's not the nominee of the Democratic Party.  That's what his attorneys argued in a hearing today [6/18/2012] [...] At least the hearing provided an opportunity for [Larry] Klayman to argue the eligibility case in a public setting — something Obama's attorneys, the media and the political establishment seem determined to prevent at all costs.  Klayman accused the Obama attorneys of playing a "shell game" and trying to put off the issue, as numerous courts did in 2008 until the election was over and Obama was inaugurated.

Turning the Tables on Obama and the Dems.  Obama is not seeking re-election for any reason other than to grab the four more years necessary to complete his messianic Fundamental Transformation of America.  Nothing that has ever been done before will come along to tear America from the voracious jaws of Obama.  This is a man who was propelled from within the foul ranks of street activism to the highest office in the land; the socialist community activist who hid his true face from the American people with the help of a book based on "conceptual" relationships.  This is the man who came from nowhere; did nothing to earn his lofty perch and who sealed off all those documents that would tell who he really is.  This is a man who changed his name from Barry Soetoro to what he perceives to be the more royal and more substantial sounding 'Barack Obama'.

Obama's Sons: They Are Real for Him.  Much has been said, [...] at American Thinker and elsewhere, about Barack Obama's recent pair of teleprompted references to his (presumably) non-existent sons.  Thomas Lifson toys with the notion that Obama might in fact have secret sons, as a way of making sense of the seeming insanity of it.  Selwyn Duke suggests it might indicate brain damage from Obama's (presumably) past drug use.  (Funny, isn't it, how often one is left no choice but merely to presume about the Cipher-in-Chief.)  David Paulin asks whether Obama might be the victim of a teleprompting prankster/saboteur.  All of these are reasonable speculations — which is, in itself, reason to be perturbed about America's current devolved state.

What Is Obama Hiding?  There has been plenty of conjecture regarding Obama's biography.  Clearly, he has a penchant for fiction and does not care to fact-check his own life.  Nor does he care for others to fact-check or scrutinize what he has been doing as president.  Has this been why he has been decimating the taxpayers' best friends in Washington:  the inspectors general?  Inspectors general are investigative officials charged with monitoring government programs for waste, fraud, incompetency, corruption, and the like. [...] Inspectors general are a natural enemy of, let's say, a politician who hails from Cook County and who likes to spend with abandon.  This is particularly true when the beneficiaries of the spending are donors and supporters who can be paid back for their support with other people's money.

Democrats inadvertenly open the door to Obama's past.  The Democrats, in their zeal to destroy Mitt Romney by any means necessary have opened the door to the candidates' histories.  There's only one problem.  Barack Obama, as his first official act as President, sealed his records.  The media is investigating every single pimple that Mitt Romney ever had simply because they can; because the records are available for all to see.  Where are Barack Obama's records?

Mystery Religion: Mr. Obama's Contradictory Conversions to Christianity.  [Scroll down]  Mr. Obama has adhered to two contradictory time frames as to when he converted to Christianity, and no matter which time frame one considers accepting, one encounters facts that make accepting the time frame very challenging for a rational person.  Therefore, one is rational to conclude that Mr. Obama's true relationship to religion, if indeed he has one, is, like so much else about him, a mystery.

Petitioners Challenge "Outrageous Secrecy" of Bradley Manning Trial .  To date, the Department of Defense has kept all documents relating to the Manning prosecution under lock and key and has refused to allow anyone to access those files.  Nevertheless, a few intrepid organizations have tried (so far in vain) to penetrate the thick veil of secrecy shrouding the Manning trial.

Mark Levin: Obama's College Transcripts Should Not Be Off The Table.  [Quoting Mark Levin]:  He says he was basically in a drug-induced stupor for the last two years of high school and I've asked many times, 'Well how did he get into Occidental?  How did he transfer to Columbia?  And how did he get into Harvard?'  He's a pothead.  But we're not allowed to know that, what are you, a birther?

Transparency? Secret, Soros, Left-Wing, 1% Summit Meeting Held Behind Closed Doors.  A luxury resort in Miami, Florida with police-guarded closed doors was the home of a secret George Soros-backed summit attended by deep-pocketed left-wing donors over the weekend of May 12.  They met to plan their strategy for the 2012 elections and beyond.  Yes, it was all hush hush and secret-like — so much for all that "transparency" those lefties are always braying about.  The event hosted by the leftist group Democracy Alliance was reported upon by the Washington Free Beacon from afar.  I say from afar because the Soros-paid group refused the reporters access to the event.

Did Steven Chu Sabotage BP's Top Kill Effort Just as It Was Succeeding?  [Scroll down]  So the question before us is, did the administration deliberately sabotage BP's top kill efforts for political reasons?  They were in the midst of trying to pass "Cap and Trade" legislation in the Senate so as to take control of the energy business through taxation and regulation and thereby promote their political crony capitalist allies in the "green energy" sector.  If they have nothing to hide, they need to fully comply with the legal requests for documents from the various investigations in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.  Let the public know the whole truth.  That's the least we should expect from the "most transparent administration in history."

White House abandons press pool again.  President Obama ditched his press pool reporter for the second time this year, leaving the reporter at an event as he returned to the White House. [...] Obama previously left the press pool at the White House in January when he decided to attend his daughter's basketball game on short notice.

So When Will We See Obama's College Transcripts? Or The Rashid Khalidi Tape?  I just got through reading Washington Post reporter Jason Horowitz's "expose" of Mitt Romney's prep school days the centerpiece of which focuses on an alleged bullying incident of a gay student in 1965.  If the Washington Post and other liberal media outlets insist on getting the skinny on Romney's day to day life from the age of 12 to 18 then the very least they can do is to at long last release President Obama's college transcripts from Occidental, Columbia University and Harvard Law School.  Does it really have to take a $10,000 bounty to find about Obama's academic records?

$10,000 bounty offered online for Obama college transcripts.  The Daily Caller has identified the owner of a website that promised on Tuesday [5/1/2012] to pay $10,000 to anyone who can provide an authentic copy of President Barack Obama's course transcripts from his days at Occidental College, Harvard University or Columbia University.  Although its one-page website is presented anonymously, conservative blogger Brooks Bayne confirmed to The Daily Caller that he is responsible for it.

The Editor asks...
Would "fake but accurate" transcripts qualify for the reward?

Liars, Damned Liars, and Harry Reid.  Harry Reid wants to see more of Mitt Romney's past income-tax filings.  Debbie Wasserman Schultz wants to see 23 years of his taxes.  This, from the die-hard supporters of a candidate who will not release his college transcripts or so much more.  I want to know how Barack Obama got into Columbia University for undergraduate school.  I want to see his application. [...] I want to know who funded his college education.  Columbia costs an arm and a leg.  Did Barack Obama have benefactors, admirers of his youthful promise, paying his way?  Did he take loans?  If so, how did he qualify?

Obama's College Classmate: 'The Obama Scandal Is at Columbia'.  If anyone should have questions about Obama's record at Columbia University, it's me.  We both graduated (according to Obama) Columbia University, Class of '83.  We were both (according to Obama) Pre-Law and Political Science majors.  And I thought I knew most everyone at Columbia.  I certainly thought I'd heard of all of my fellow Political Science majors.  But not Obama (or as he was known then — Barry Soetoro).  I never met him.  Never saw him.  Never even heard of him.  And none of the classmates that I knew at Columbia have ever met him, saw him, or heard of him.

Obama's Lost Years.  Barack Obama makes his first campaign visit today [9/11/2008] to his alma mater, Columbia University.  Just don't ask the prolific self-diarist to talk about his undergraduate days in Morningside Heights. [...] What can be said with some certainty is that Mr. Obama lived off campus while at Columbia in 1981-83 and made few friends.  Fox News contacted some 400 of his classmates and found no one who remembered him.

Reconstructing Obama's Columbia Transcript.  Jason Kissner recently questioned President Obama's whereabouts in spring 1982, and also discussed in passing some of the courses Obama took while at Columbia.  In response, I would like to try my hand at reconstructing the Columbia part of Obama's college transcript based on the published record and my own knowledge of Columbia's requirements as an '84 graduate of the college.

The Enigma That Is Barack Hussein Obama, Pre-Election To 2009.  [Scroll down]  Obama as a freshman Senator from Illinois went on a congressional fact finding tour to Perm Siberia in Russia with Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) in 2005 to verify the destruction of mobile missiles and their launchers under the Cooperative Threat Reduction program (CTR).  The trip was uneventful, that is, until it was time to depart the Russian military base where these inspections took place.  All of a sudden, Barry and Senator Lugar were confronted and held by Russian authorities for three hours while the Russians sought permission to search the aircraft they were traveling in.  Senator Lugar does not make any mention of this incident in his after-action trip report; the Chicago Tribune has a small blurb in passing on August 29, 2005.  Numerous foreign news sources in Italy and other nations reveal that Barry was being held and questioned for espionage as being a spy for Britain.  This is curious behavior from the Russians because the Cold War ended in 1991, and our nations have more to gain with mutual cooperation than hostility towards each other.

Who is Barack Obama?  As usual, when Obama is the subject, Americans can't count on the progressives in the Corporate Mainstream Media (CMM) for much help. [...] What happened next — after the inspections were over — was at the time reported by several foreign news sources but was never reported in the USA by the CMM.  The Russians detained Obama and Lugar for three hours at the airport, demanding to examine both Obama's and Lugar's passports and search their plane.  Some sources reported that the Russians accused Barack Obama of being a spy.  But wait — there's more!  According to an Italian source, the Russians did not accuse Obama of being an American spy; they accused him of being a spy for the British!  The report went on to say that the incident ended up involving the White House, the U.S. State Department, and military officials, along with their counterparts in Moscow.  Strangely enough, an official report from Lugar's office about the trip never mentioned the incident.

Sealed records
Who Is Barack Obama? The Question that Won't Go Away.  Alternative sources of information are much more potent now than they were in 2008.  It matters not if The New York Times closes ranks and buries a story.  There are too many other instruments of disinterment.  The news will out.  And the more people know about Barack Obama, the more, I predict, they will wonder how this man became president of the United States.

A New Declaration of Independence.  [Scroll down]  Echoing the despot of old, Mr. Obama has "called together legislative bodies" in such manner that makes the action less transparent for the "sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures."  So while he calls for creating easy-to-read, shorter bills, Mr. Obama creates monstrosities of several thousand pages.  He is famous for his Friday-night document dumps, pushing the legislation through late on Friday evening when Congress has retired.  Before ObamaCare was passed, Mr. Obama promised C-SPAN complete transparency and public coverage so that the American public could study the law.  That never happened.

Mitt Needs to Weaponize Transparency.  If there's one area where President Obama is wholly vulnerable, it's his utter lack of transparency — yet the presumptive Republican nominee is somehow losing this issue to the president.  This is patently insane.  Barack Obama is the president the mainstream media have refused to vet.  In fact, the networks and newspapers have a vested interest in the American people knowing as little as possible about The One.

Government's answer to "Fast and Furious" records requests: Blank pages.  For more than a year, CBS News has been investigating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms' "Fast and Furious" operation and related cases that also employed the controversial tactic of "gunwalking."  With Justice Department officials refusing all interview requests to date, CBS News requested numerous public documents through the Freedom of Information Act.  So far, all of the requests that have been answered have been denied in part or in full.

The coming chaos from the Obama-Soertoro playbook.  [A]ny seasoned investigator experienced in conducting background investigations knows that there is no valid substitute for the actual authenticated paper document.  When there is an outright refusal to allow for a legitimate inspection of an actual document, combined with an overt redirection of investigators' attention away from the hardcopy form, there is always something being hidden.  Always.

Obama's Secretive Keystone XL Decision.  To find out what was going on behind the scenes in the Keystone XL decision, the Institute for Energy Research (IER) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Obama's State Department and EPA. The goal was to understand if politics and special interest group pressure entered into the decision to delay the pipeline.  But while extreme environmental groups like Friends of the Earth, which opposes the pipeline, had no problem receiving similar information after its FOIA request, IER's request has been delayed.

Under Obama, the Freedom of Information Act is Still in Shackles.  Three years ago this past weekend, on his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued his now infamous memo on transparency and open government, which was supposed to fulfill his campaign promise to lead the "most transparent administration in history."  Instead, his administration has been just as secretive — if not more so — than his predecessors, and the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has become the prime example of his administration's lack of progress.

Open government? Not yet.  The day after being inaugurated, President Obama sought to pry open a government he viewed as insulated from the people it served.  Declaring that "a democracy requires accountability, and accountability requires transparency," Obama directed agencies to adopt a presumption of openness in responding to Freedom of Information Act requests, and pledged to work toward "an unprecedented level of openness in government."  We aren't there yet.

This is openness?  Image courtest Politico

Obama: 'Most transparent administration ever' meets Fast & Furious.  From the White House web site:  ["]My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.  We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.  Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.["]  Here's an example of Obama's "unprecedented level of openness in Government."

Image courtesy of POLITICO.


A Policy of Lying.  Why does the most open and transparent administration in history lie about government records?

WH: Visitor logs can't be used to verify visitors.  President Obama offered the White House visitor logs as a historic milestone in transparency, but his spokesman now says the logs cannot be used for "verifying" the identity of White House visitors.  The Ann Romney-Hilary Rosen controversy has led to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney casting doubt on the reliability and use of the visitor logs in revealing who visits the White House.

Obama Administration Discontinues Transparency Tool.  Since 1993, the Census Bureau has made available detailed data about federal government expenditures in its Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR).  The 2012 report will be the last one.  Through the CFFR website, the public had access to such data as federal expenditures made at the county level for programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare as well as for more obscure federal spending programs.  How much did the federal government send to Autauga County in Alabama for a hazardous materials training program?  That data was available, but now it is concealed.

Democrats Refuse to Hold Medicare Rationing Czar Hearing.  House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Sander Levin (D-Mich.) is refusing to hold public hearings to examine administration plans to implement a new health care rationing system at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).  The president's new Medicare Rationing Czar, Sir Donald Berwick, is a big fan of British health care rationing.  "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open," Berwick said in an interview prior to his recess appointment to head CMS.

Obama administration rebuffs subpoena.  The Obama administration has snubbed a congressional subpoena in the investigation of a White House "drafting error" that suggested certain experts supported their decision to temporarily ban oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Interior Department says it will not turnover all of the requested documents and accused the House Resources Committee conducting oversight of the incident of violating the administration's good faith effort to work with the panel.

Obama Trades His Oath for Russian Campaign Contribution.  A U.S. president has just told the leaders of an unfriendly nation that he wants to make concessions to them on matters of national defense, but that he cannot do so until after he has freed himself from having to answer to the American people.  In other words, he has explicitly made himself a servant, not of U.S. national interests, but of Russian national interests.  He is assuring the Russians that he intends to satisfy their wishes, as soon as American public opinion ceases to be an obstacle.  This, I suggest, is the kind of government secrecy that ought to cause alarm.

Birthermania!  The only way to end all doubt is complete transparency.  Complete transparency means actually releasing personal records, including his birth certificate.  Actually releasing his birth certificate means making the original available for forensic authentication.  With today's forensic technology, all doubt could be laid to rest quickly.  We have the ability to determine whether the original document is written on paper from 1961 and with corresponding seal, typeset, and ink.  No doubt was erased by Obama's "releasing" a belated birth certificate via internet posting — the internet meets no legal standard of document production.  Try showing an image of your birth certificate on your laptop to the processing agent when applying for a passport.

Postman: Ayers family put 'foreigner' Obama through school.  Did the parents of former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers help finance Barack Obama's Harvard education?  Did Ayers' mother believe Obama was a foreign student?  And was the young Obama convinced at the time — long before he even entered politics — that he was going to become president of the United States?  A retired U.S. Postal Service carrier who delivered mail to Tom and Mary Ayers in a Chicago suburb in the late 1980s and early 1990s and claims to have met Obama in front of the Ayers home emphatically says yes to all three questions.

Why the Ayers family helped Obama.  As Jerome Corsi reported Tuesday in WND, there is excellent reason to believe that Bill Ayers' parents, Tom and Mary Ayers, helped put Barack Obama through Harvard Law School.  This assertion has generated substantial media interest not only because of the credibility of the story's source, retired mailman Allen Hulton, but also because the story fits all the known facts and resolves at least one major mystery.

Kagan and Obamacare — still no answers.  Even before he became President, Barack Obama promised the American people his would be the most open, transparent administration in history.  Unfortunately, his administration's record doesn't match his campaign rhetoric.  Now, on the eve of one of the most important Supreme Court arguments in our nation's history, the stonewalling that has become the hallmark of the Obama administration may call into question the legitimacy of the court's ultimate decision.

Obama Administration Seeks More Secrecy for Govt. Files.  This sort of obfuscation is an example of an attempt by agents of the federal government to muddy the clear waters of liberty with words and arguments intended to deprive the people of the right to monitor the government they created.

Why Obama's Birth Certificate Matters, Especially Now.  You don't present a forged a document for no reason. ... We're not talking here about some kid who forged an ID so he could drink at 18 in a bar.  This is the most powerful man in the world, who, it appears, is passing off a forgery for some mysterious — or not so mysterious — reason.  This mystery needs to be solved.

Poll: Government officers impeding reporter access to information, interviews.  An overwhelming majority of journalists who cover Washington say the public is not getting needed information because of government control over interviews and information requests, according to a new poll.  The survey from the Society of Professional Journalists of reporters who cover federal agencies found most journalists have experienced a range of interference from public affairs employees.  The release comes at the start of so-called Sunshine Week, a week dedicated to government transparency.

If Obama's Past Isn't A Concern, Why Cover It Up?  The videotape of Obama praising and hugging his America-bashing, Constitution-trashing law professor Derrick Bell isn't the only evidence that's been hidden from the public.  A 1998 video of Obama praising the late Marxist agitator Saul "The Red" Alinsky alongside a panel of hard-core Chicago communists also exists.  Yet it, too, has been withheld.  So has a 2003 video of Obama speaking at a Chicago dinner held in honor of former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi. ... If there's nothing to hide, why keep these tapes under wraps?  Why not release them?

Oil and Gasoline Prices.  Actual oil prices are unknown to most Americans. ... A few of us know that the price of U.S. crude oil is always cheaper than the price of foreign OPEC crude oil.  Some of us know that because we have followed "World Crude Oil Prices" on the website of the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy for years.  On November 11, 2011, the EIA shut down the World Crude Oil Prices website.  EIA did not even leave up the valuable historic data on the website.  The Obama administration has hidden actual oil prices from the public.  That should be a scandal.

President Obama's muddy transparency record.  A minute after he took office, the White House website declared his administration would become "the most open and transparent in history."  By the end of his first full day on the job, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging "a new era" and "an unprecedented level of openness" across the massive federal government.  But three years into his presidency, critics say Obama's administration has failed to deliver the refreshing blast of transparency that the president promised.

The Editor says...
I am unable to find "the most open and transparent in history" in any transcript of Obama's inaugural address, so that first sentence might be untrue.  Aside from that, I'm generally in agreement.

White House misses Solyndra document deadline.  The Most Transparent Administration In History continued its practice of ignoring inconvenient subpoenas, by missing a Monday [2/20/2012] deadline to hand over documents related to the Solyndra "green energy" boondoggle.

Obama's Deceptive Hidden Premises.  The most evil thing about the Obama administration's recent violation of the separation of church and state is its deceptiveness.  With his order requiring inclusion of contraception and abortifacient drugs in insurance coverage, the president is smuggling the hidden premises of NARAL, Planned Parenthood, and other supporters of abortion into U.S. law, and doing so untruthfully.  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) instruction attacking religious institutions such as hospitals, universities, and programs for the poor rests on four hidden premises.

Obama's Eligibility Diversion.  [Scroll down]  In fact, there are so many curious items in Obama's history and adventures in the "birthers'" quest to obtain more information that anyone attempting to recount it all ends up sounding like a loon.  Many have scoffed at the level of conspiracy or collusion required to create such a fascinating and frustrating trail.  But does the consistent pattern of unknowns suggest that maybe there really is something there?

Obama's sneaky treaties.  President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are entering negotiations over — or seeking ratification of — five treaties that could radically limit our national sovereignty and the reach of our democratic institutions.  Particularly scary is that the treaties, once signed and ratified, have the same status as constitutional law and cannot be altered or eclipsed by Congress or state legislatures.  And their provisions must be enforced by U.S. courts.  Those who wish to preserve our sovereignty and democratic control over our future must rally to block these treaties, either by pressing Obama and Clinton not to sign them or by blocking their ratification.

Covering Up Fast & Furiously.  The Fast and Furious investigation in Congress is becoming even more fast and furious with Congressional Chairman Issa threatening a contempt citation against Attorney General Eric Holder.  Last week's Friday document dump by the DoJ once again added to the widely held belief that that the AG and his minions are hiding something from Congress and the American people, but what?

Government Withholds Information on Drone Flight Authorizations.  State and local law enforcement are increasingly using unmanned aircraft for investigations into things like cattle rustling, drug dealing, and the search for missing persons.  Any drone flying over 400 feet needs a certification or authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration, part of the DOT.  But there is currently no information available to the public about who specifically has obtained these authorizations or for what purposes.

Obama's Calculated Deception.  Calculated deception as a central public manipulation strategy practiced by President Obama involves the President taking advantage of what he thinks the average person doesn't know and won't be told by a compliant media.

The Most Open And Transparent Administration In History — Not.  A centerpiece of Barack Obama's campaign message was the grandiose pronouncement that his would be the most transparent administration in history.  Congressional bills would be posted on the internet prior to such bills gong to the floor for vote.  Governmental agencies would be open and accountable to the people.  As we have seen, the opposite is true.

The Promise That Keeps on Breaking.  President Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would have the most transparent administration in history.  As part of this commitment, he said that the public would have five days to look online and find out what was in the bills that came to his desk before he signed them.  It was his first broken promise, and it's the promise that keeps on breaking.  He has now signed 11 bills into law and gone, at best, 1 for 11 on his five-day posting promise.

The "most open and transparent administration in history" sets record for avoiding press conferences.  So since the last one didn't go as he wanted it to he's not giving any more?  This Administration has a penchant not only for insisting it control the message but for acting like children when they can't.

Dem Convention Press Briefing Attended by 500 Journos Kept Strictly Off-the-Record.  So the Democratic National Committee (DNC) gave a walk-through Wednesday for network journalists planning on covering the party's nominating convention this summer in Charlotte.  But while the DNC is trumpeting the convention as "the most open and accessible in history," the Charlotte Observer's Mark Washburn complained that the briefing, attended by some 500 journalists, was kept strictly off-the-record.

Obama Campaign Rips Romney For Failure to Release Records.  Seven years after Barack Obama burst onto the national political scene, we still await the disclosure of his background records.
1. Occidental College records and transcripts — Not released
2. Columbia University records and transcripts — Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper — 'not available'
4. Harvard University records and transcripts — Not released
5. Medical records — Not released
6. Illinois State Senate schedule — 'not available'
7. Illinois State Senate records — 'not available'
8. Law practice client list — Not released
9. Certified Copy of Original Birth certificate — Not released
10. Harvard Law Review articles published — None
11. University of Chicago scholarly articles — None
12. Record of Baptism — Not released or 'not available'
Of course, there are different standards for legacy media's preferred candidates.  Remember how the media unearthed Rick Perry's college transcripts within 48 hours of the announcement of his candidacy?

Our Elective Despotism.  [Scroll down]  Here is another political heresy:  the emperor has no college records.  Yes, I have the temerity to believe that Barack Hussein Obama should be thoroughly vetted before the 2012 election.  We know far more details about Gingrich's marriages, Romney's mutual funds, Paul's prehistoric newsletters and the voting block made up of Santorum's children than a bare minimum of facts that we need to know about the current Occupier of the Oval Office.

The Obama administration is planning a second-term attack on gun rights.  Obama administration officials are deliberately keeping gun owners in the dark about the president's gun-control agenda as we head into next year's national election, because administration officials know that when NRA members and gun owners show up at the polls en masse, anti-gun candidates lose.

Who is this Barack Obama person, really?  Almost everything about him is surrounded in mystery or is the source of never-ending questions and conspiracy.  Even his birth has been questioned.  Although the White House produced a certificate that says he was born in Hawaii on Aug 4, 1961, the document has come under intense scrutiny by many who say it was either edited or is a complete forgery.

Inside Obama's Secret Fundraiser.  With President Obama shifting into campaign mode to raise money for his re-election effort, the White House has generally let reporters inside the events at least long enough to record what he says to his top donors.  This week, though, Obama departed from that practice, meeting for more than an hour with big-dollar contributors — all behind closed doors.

Is anyone really buying Holder's excuses on Fast & Furious?  I recall when it came to light that Karl Rove, who wasn't a Cabinet secretary or running federal law enforcement for the US, used his personal e-mail account while working on George W. Bush's political team in the White House.  Democrats clutched hankies and swooned at the lack of transparency.  Now the Attorney General of the United States has suggested that his personal e-mail account might have been used to bypass transparency, and that there are thousands of communications that he will flat-out not share with Congress on the matter of Operation Fast and Furious, which a year ago resulted in the death of a US Border Patrol agent and perhaps hundreds of murders in Mexico.  Have the same Democrats demanded transparency of the Obama administration?

More about Eric Holder.
More about the Fast and Furious scandal.

Why It's So Easy To Destroy Republicans.  If one examines the voting patterns over the last few decades it appears that Republican voters are particularly picky and principled about whom they vote for.  Democrats on the other hand are more interested in what's being promised to them than in a candidate's character. ... The Democrat crushing machine will continue to eviscerate all Republicans in its wake because it knows that the media will assist in the destruction while ignoring any possible flaws in its own candidate.  Consider how very little we knew about Barack Hussein Obama in 2008 and for that matter how little we know now.

Obama's Cloud-Based Transparency.  For three years, White House officials have rolled out countless executive orders and initiatives touting open government.  Just this week, they unveiled plans to move federal archival records from a paper-based to an electronic system.  But behind the scenes, Obama's lawyers systematically have stymied public information requests, carved out crater-sized disclosure loopholes, fought subpoenas on scandals from Fast and Furious to Solyndra, and made routine the holiday document dump.  The latest meeting of the Government Accountability and Transparency Board, attended by Vice President Joe Biden, was closed to the press two weeks ago.

Border Agent's Murder Brings Calls For Investigation.  The Justice Department has sealed court records detailing the circumstances of a border patrol agent's murder by a Mexican drug cartel, including the fact U.S. agents were being hunted with U.S.-supplied weapons.

The Great American Memory Hole.  Mondo Frazier, in his new book, The Secret Life of Barack Hussein Obama, wrote:  ["]In an age in which seemingly every facet of a person's life is recorded, on file, and increasingly available on the Internet, the total absence of Barack Obama's vital records is an almost singularly unique phenomenon...  In Obama's case, the records either don't exist, haven't been released, or have disappeared.["]

Joe Biden addresses secretive donor conference.  Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a secretive conference attended by about 150 rich liberals deciding how to divvy up their cash in the run-up to the 2012 election.  A variety of liberal groups pitched the donors throughout the three-day conference, including a network of Democratic outside groups hoping to raise upwards of $120 million to fund a sort-of shadow party effort supporting the reelection campaign of Biden and President Barack Obama.

File Not Found.  Why does the most open and transparent administration in history prefer to lie about government records?

Obama's secrets.  One of the most disappointing attributes of the Obama administration has been its proclivity for secrecy.  The president who committed himself to "an unprecedented level of openness in government" has followed the example of his predecessor by invoking the "state secrets" privilege to derail litigation about government misdeeds in the war on terror.  He has refused to release the administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act, which two senators have described as alarming.  He has blocked the dissemination of photographs documenting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. service members.  And now his Justice Department has proposed to allow government agencies to lie about the existence of documents being sought under the Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA.

ACLU: Obama "Authorizing Agencies to Lie".  While the Obama administration's hostility to transparency is well known, its latest scheme would break new ground in government secrecy.  The administration's proposed changes to the Freedom of Information Act guidelines would allow the Department of Justice to deny the existence of documents and prevent judicial oversight.

Barack Obama accused of breaking transparency pledge.  Mr Obama's justice department has proposed that if documents requested by the public are exempt from freedom of information laws, federal agencies should be able to "respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."  Transparency campaigners described the move as a "stunning" reversal of Mr Obama's pledge to run "the most transparent administration in history" during his campaign for the presidency.

Update:
Justice Dept. move on FOIA requests eases headache for administration.  The Justice Department is withdrawing a new rule that would allow government officials to be misleading about the existence of records in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.  By scrapping the controversial part of the regulation, the Justice Department is easing what had become a growing headache for the Obama administration.  President Obama has said several times that transparency and openness are key priorities for his administration, and the proposed regulation was a cudgel for Republicans to swing at the White House's promises.

Who is Barack Obama?  In the summer of 1981, 20-year-old Barack Obama embarked on a two-week trip to Pakistan.  At least what little reporting that has been done claimed the length of the trip was two weeks.  The only proof that the trip didn't turn into a longer stay is that we (supposedly) have records which show that Barack Obama enrolled at Columbia University later that same summer.  Of course, the public hasn't seen those records, but that's what we've been told.  Anyone in doubt will be directed to Obama's autobiography, Dreams from My Father.  Obama clearly gave the impression in DFMF that he was this penniless, somewhat confused young man, in search of an identity.  Obama makes sure readers don't miss the point by writing that he was forced to wear "thrift store clothing" during this time.  Yet he somehow managed to find the cash to finance a two-week trip to Pakistan.

Obama freezes local reporters out of S.F. event.  President Obama is scheduled to appear before hundreds of donors at a $7,500-a-plate noontime fundraiser today at San Francisco's W Hotel — but not a single local reporter will be allowed inside to cover his only stop in the area, the White House said Monday [10/24/2011].

What's the point of the FOIA with this in place?
Obama Rule Would Allow Feds to Lie About Existence of Official Records.  A proposed rule to the Freedom of Information Act would allow federal agencies to tell people requesting certain law-enforcement or national security documents that records don't exist — even when they do.  Under current FOIA practice, the government may withhold information and issue what's known as a Glomar denial that says it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of records.  The new proposal — part of a lengthy rule revision by the Department of Justice — would direct government agencies to "respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist."

Obama's 'Fundamental Transformation' of the White House?  The current administration is one that promised transparency but delivers mysteries.

Obama's "Rose Mary Woods" moment:
Busted: DOE Altered Loan Program Bulletins.  It appears as though the Obama administration has been caught red-handed trying to cover up evidence in relation to the "green" loans programs that helped finance Solyndra.  CNBC reports that a number of press releases posted by the Department of Energy have been retroactively altered to remove the name a solar company thought by many to be the next "green" failure. ... Naturally, the DOE blames 'outside contractors,' who "inadvertently" altered the news bulletins while updating the loans program website.

Emails directly link White House to secret transparency meeting.  Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by government watchdog group Judicial Watch suggest that the White House had direct involvement in shutting a transparency hearing to the press. ... And if holding a secretive, closed-door meeting on government transparency makes the Obama administration's open-government rhetoric seem a bit insincere, the irony was not lost on the transparency advocates.

Michelle Obama is right on Target.  Until now, despite the promises, the Obama administration has been anything but transparent.  In budget year 2009, federal agencies cited exemptions to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests 466,872 times, compared to the 312,683 exemptions cited by former President George W. Bush's administration in his final year.  This nearly 50 percent increase in refusals occurred even though there was a decrease in actual information requests.  So much for open government.

The American Con Job Act.  The president is out and out campaigning for re-election while promoting his latest half-baked half-trillion-dollar "American Con Job Act," which he says will generate jobs and jump-start the sluggish economy, which continues to slide south.  When I sat down to write this, there was no bill for Americans to read and digest.  In my America, the president would have had the bill to present to Congress when he spoke to its members last week.  What happened to all that transparency, Mr. President?

Barry Honey, can we talk about hypocrisy?  [Scroll down]  You promised — quite explicitly — that you would post online every single bill passed by the Congress for five whole days before you signed it into law.  Now, any way one adds it up, this 1,400 page, biggest-lump-sum spending bill in the history of these United States was only passed 3 days before it got your Denver-hoopla signature.  Where's the transparency?

Lack Of Transparency.  After a long legal battle, a federal judge has ruled that White House visitor logs are public and can be released under the Freedom of Information Act.  So much for the White House's vaunted claim to openness.

Here's a better question:  Why did he even have an Iftar dinner?
Why did the White House hide the names of 3 guests at Iftar dinner?  August 10, 2011, President Obama hosted his third annual Iftar dinner celebrating Ramadan at the White House.  Neil Munro of the Daily Caller noted that the invite list was much shorter than previous years and had been scrubbed of several "controversial" Muslim leaders who had attended in the past.  Daniel Pipes, writing at the Investigative Project, identified three Islamist attendees who were not on the official list released by the White House but who are reported to have attended:
  •   Mohamed Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America;
  •   Awais Sufi, Chairman of Muslim Advocates; and
  •   Haris Tarin, Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
Why did the White House conduct a cover-up of the attendance by these three Muslim leaders of Islamist lobbying and advocacy groups?

Obama to host third Ramadan dinner.  President Obama will host an Iftar dinner to celebrate Ramadan at the White House Wednesday evening [8/10/2011]. ... By late Tuesday, White House officials wouldn't provide any names of expected guests.

Obama's Iftar guest list omits controversial attendees.  The White House's published guest list for this year's Ramadan Iftar dinner was much shorter than previous years' roster.  It excluded the names of several controversial advocates who have attended the event in the past, including some who The Daily Caller can confirm did attend on Wednesday night [8/10/2011].

Justice nominee keeps names of 11 clients secret.  Michael E. Horowitz, President Obama's nominee as the Justice Department's top watchdog, has earned more than $4 million since last year as an attorney representing the likes of Pfizer Inc., Dow Chemical Co. and Cablevision Systems Corp.  But he is keeping the identities of nearly a dozen other clients secret on newly filed ethics forms.

The Editor asks...
What is the purpose of ethics disclosure forms if they are kept secret?

Obama's Misleading Vocabulary.  A quick review of Obama's speeches reveals his most common euphemisms seem to show a pattern of deception, obfuscation and misdirection.  In President Obama's lexicon, words have different meanings; to decipher the message and understand what the President is saying requires a special Washington Dictionary.  Here are some samples from President Obama's special dictionary...

Obama's 'Transparent' Secrecy.  Imagine the reaction if President Obama and congressional Democrats had released a sweeping health care bill, drafted in closed-door meetings, and demanded its approval by Congress immediately.  There would have been national outrage over the secrecy, lack of time for public hearings, and the absence of discussion, revisions, amendments, and multiple votes.  Yet that is exactly what the White House and Democrats are proposing once — and if — a deal on raising the debt limit by as much as $2 trillion is reached.

'Sensitivities' Bar DOE From Discussing Progress on WH Solar-Power Plan.  The Obama administration told CNSNews.com Thursday [6/16/2011] that it is currently in the process of procuring solar panels to place on the White House roof but it cannot discuss the progress on the project because of "sensitivities."

White House to cut access to half of federal websites.  As part of the Obama administration's campaign to promote transparency, the White House announced today it intends to eliminate the public's access to half of the federal government's websites within the next year.  The White House said there are nearly 2,000 websites operated by the federal government, which it said confuses people. ... White House officials didn't say how the administration will determine which web sites to cut.  But the president is creating an 11-member "government oversight and accountability board," comprised of current executive branch officials, "to help federal agencies improve their performance."

The Editor says...
I'm not confused.  Are you confused?  If there are 100,000 names in the phone book, is that confusing?  No, the real motive here is concealment.

Stop It Already — He's Not So Smart.  [Scroll down]  To be a law review editor-in-chief, a Chief Articles Editor, a Chief Comments Editor of a law review, it is a sine qua non that you publish something fabulous, a real scholarly piece of work.  Many dozens of America's finest law students do exactly that every year.  Those articles later become part of a vast searchable electronic library of legal scholarship.  The thing is, I cannot find Barack Obama's great piece of work, the scholarship one would presume he researched, drafted, crafted, and honed, that earned him the presidency of the Harvard Law Review.  The name "Obama" is the kind of search term that should do the job.  But I cannot find any scholarship published by him that reveals the exceptional brilliance that paved the way to his achievement.

How Smart Is Obama, Anyway?  [Scroll down]  Obama went back to Chicago.  His record as a lawyer was undistinguished.  He was allowed by his firm to speak in court only once. ... Obama was associated with the University of Chicago Law School for a dozen years, during which he published zero (0) academic articles.  Yet, astonishingly, he was offered tenure anyway.

Corsi Book An Important One.  Unlike every other candidate in modern presidential history, Obama did not choose to share any of his essential documents, and the media happily obliged him.  As Corsi details, Obama has shielded those records involved with his adoption, his kindergarten, Punahou School, Occidental College, his passport and travel, Columbia University (including his senior thesis), Harvard Law School, his medical history, his Chicago law practice, his State Senate career, as well as his SAT and LSAT scores, and, until recently, his very birth certificate.  Then, too, there is the question of Obama's Connecticut-based Social Security number, a question that Corsi tackles, but the media inevitably dodge.

Now Obama has 'lost' $1.3 trillion.  By the time Bush left office, USASpending.gov was up and running and provided a serviceable tool for accessing billions of bytes about where Washington politicians are spending trillions of tax dollars.  But in January 2009 when President Obama and members of his administration came into office, they saw USASpending.gov as a potential propaganda tool and the utility of the site became an open issue.

Why reporters are down on Obama.  [Scroll down]  The correspondents association recently met with [Robert] Gibbs to discuss, in the words of Bloomberg's Ed Chen, "a level of anger, which is wide and deep, among members over White House practices and attitude toward the press."  A few days later, Gibbs said at one of his briefings, "This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country."  Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.

The most transparent and accountable administration in history announces...
White House won't turn over Obama's BlackBerry messages on Solyndra.  President Barack Obama won't be sharing his BlackBerry messages with House investigators seeking communications about Solyndra, the White House told Hill Republicans on Friday [10/14/2011].

Most transparent administration in history? Really?  Despite Presidents Obama's campaign promise that this would be the most transparent administration in history, it has been anything but.  The [health care reform] bill contained far too many instances of rules and regulations "to be determined by the Secretary" to make me feel comfortable.  When Nancy Pelosi stated, during the debate over the Healthcare reform bill that "we needed to pass the bill to find out what's in it", it indicated that the details were not important to her then and they probably aren't now.

Obama promised things he knew would be impossible to deliver.  Despite promising the most transparent administration in history, on Obama's very first full day in the Oval Office, Obama sealed his personal records resulting in us knowing less about Obama's live than we do about the life of even George Washington.

Gibbs Is Set to Rise in Obama's Inner Circle.  [Scroll down]  In an interview, [Robert] Gibbs said he was loath to talk about a job he had not formally been offered.  He said, however, that the White House press office would follow through with Mr. Obama's promise of transparency.  "The president-elect has pledged to be open, transparent and accessible," Mr. Gibbs said.

Congressional Investigation Exposes White House 'Transparency' Myth.  Officials in the Obama administration "go to great lengths to avoid disclosing their meetings with lobbyists," a Republican congressman said Tuesday, as he opened a House subcommittee hearing to investigate whether the White House is keeping its promises of "transparency."  "The American people were promised a new era of openness and accountability and they haven't gotten it," said Rep. Cliff Stearns, chairman of the oversight and investigations subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

President Obama out-secrets the "most secretive President" in history.  Democrats seem to be having a bit of trouble figuring out a winning strategy for November's elections.  They can't campaign on TARP.  ObamaCare is a campaign loser.  And unemployment [stinks].  But there is one area in which President Obama has surpassed all previous presidents — his administration is now the most secretive in history.

The Promise That Keeps on Breaking.  President Obama promised on the campaign trail that he would have the most transparent administration in history.  As part of this commitment, he said that the public would have five days to look online and find out what was in the bills that came to his desk before he signed them.  It was his first broken promise, and it's the promise that keeps on breaking.

Most transparent administration in history? The facts demonstrate otherwise.  While he was campaigning for the presidency, Barrack [sic] Obama promised that his administration would be the most transparent presidency ever.  The facts demonstrate otherwise.  A recent report by The Associated Press claims that the Obama administration has denied the release any material in more than 33% of all FOIA requests and even when it did respond, the average wait time was getting longer not shorter.  Only 20% of "urgent" FOIA requests received replies within the 20 day period required by the FOIA time.

The least transparent administration in history.  The Administration discriminates in responding to requests for documents under FOIA.  It illegally forces its critics to wait years for the documents to which they are entitled — well beyond the 20-day legal deadline for responding — or refuses to even respond to their requests for documents.  Meanwhile, it gives many of its supporters the documents they seek in just a few days.  These are just a few of the ways that Obama has broken his promise to have the most transparent administration in history.

Obama's Empty Transparency Rhetoric:  One of Obama's first actions as president was a pledge to transparency.  But according to a House hearing and outside watchdog groups, that promise has so far been a giant bust.

GOP slams White House for suspected coffee shop meetings.  House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee raised concerns at a Tuesday [5/3/2011] hearing that White House staffers hold meetings at a nearby Caribou Coffee to avoid disclosure requirements.  "White House staff apparently purposely schedule meetings at the Caribou Coffee around the corner from the White House so that those meetings won't show up on the White House logs," said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight subcommittee.

The Mysterious Mr. O.  [Scroll down]  He spent a huge chunk of change on attorneys to hide it.  He enlisted people all over the country to help.  He left a military officer to languish in a prison.  And yet, after years of stalling and hiding, Obama has released his purported long form birth certificate.  What are the possibilities here?  In withholding the document to begin with, perhaps Obama was manipulating the opposition, trying to divide and conquer us.  He may have been stirring the fans of racial resentment, knowing that blacks would assume racist overtones.  Maybe Obama was creating an elaborate smokescreen, a distraction while he dismantles the country.  Or perhaps the document he produced is a counterfeit.  Who knows?

Time For Conservatives to Focus on Obama's Performance in Office.  Emotion should have no place in the upcoming campaign.  In order to make these tactics moot it is time to put the issue of Obama's birth certificate, college grades, and all manner of personal questions on the sidelines and concentrate on making certain he is defeated based on his record.  That is not to say that there may indeed be some validity to these issues; but they cannot be proven with absolute certitude between now and the fall of 2012.  Placing any attention on these matters will not succeed in helping defeat Obama as long as the mainstream media is a wholly owned subsidiary of liberal deep-pocket benefactors and the Democratic Party with their access to taxpayer money.

Despite Campaign Claim, Obama Told Paper He Attended Trinity Church 'Every Week'.  President-elect Barack Obama said in 2004 — while he was a state legislator running for a U.S. Senate seat — that he attended services at Trinity United Church of Christ every week.  This is in contrast to what Obama, as a presidential candidate, said this year after controversial anti-American remarks by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright surfaced.  Obama then told news outlets that he did not attend the church frequently and was not aware of Wright's comments.

Barack Obama's plan to placate the Muslim world:  He's promising an unrelenting desire to create a relationship with peoples of goodwill?  What about peoples of badwill?  What about peoples of goodwill who are ruled by corrupt and oppressive governments? ... We suppose a certain amount of sheer fluff — or let's call it strategic indirection — can be useful in international diplomacy.  Let us hope that Obama is not actually naive enough to mistake the platitudinous for the profound, and that he is merely using the former to keep America's adversaries guessing.

Sorry, But Obama Scares Me.  Almost everything about Obama's campaign is fraudulent.  He masquerades as a uniter while dividing, polarizing and alienating us.  He denies he's liberal, when objective sources score him as the most liberal senator.  He says he barely knows militants and radicals with whom he has spent his lifetime cavorting and whose worldviews — horrifyingly — he shares.  He brazenly disguises welfare redistributions as tax cuts.  He and his surrogates keep changing his tax plan.

Emperor Obama's Clothes are Visible and Scary.  During this election, Barack Obama said lots to make the public feel good.  He made promises couched in vague language that could mean anything that the listener wanted them to mean.  He used words like "change" and "hope;" he promised tax cuts to 95 percent of Americans — a promise that was ludicrous and impossible to fulfill, but people fell for it.  He spoke one way in front of liberal audiences and another way in front of conservative ones.  He learned the language of evangelicalism and he spoke it fluently when it served his purposes.

'They Must Think You're Stupid'.  Let's start with social issues like Second Amendment freedoms.  Mr. Obama denies that he's ever supported banning handguns, right after the landmark Heller case where the Supreme Court struck down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban.  When a 1996 questionnaire surfaced that had asked if Mr. Obama supported banning all handguns, his one-word written answer was "yes."  He said an unnamed staffer must have filled it out without his knowledge.  Then another copy surfaced — this one with his handwriting on it.  He says he must not have read that particular question.  Sure.

Obama, the hoax.  The packaging of the Democratic candidate for the presidency of the United States, aided and abetted by the drive-by media and major TV networks, have perpetrated a great hoax on the American public.  Never before in our history have we had a candidate with such a lack of accomplishments and a lack of transparency into his background and associates.  We can't see his records from prep school, Occidental College, Columbia University or Harvard.  What was his thesis?  Who paid for his education at Harvard, since there is no record of student loans?  There are even questions concerning where he was born.

If you investigate Obama's background, you will be prosecuted.
Iowa arraignment for 9 in Obama loan case.  Nine people accused of accessing President Barack Obama's student loan records while employed for a Department of Education contractor in Iowa are to be arraigned on federal charges.

Woman accessed Obama loans record.  An Iowa woman pleaded guilty today [6/17/2010] to accessing President Barack Obama's student loan records without permission. ... The nine defendants were charged with one count of exceeding authorised computer access.  Apart from [Mercedes] Costoyas, the remaining eight have entered pleas of not guilty and are expected to stand trial in August.

But if Obama's critics are investigated, that's another matter altogether.
Judge tosses out 'Joe the Plumber' privacy lawsuit.  A federal judge yesterday threw out a lawsuit by Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher — the northwestern Ohio man immortalized as "Joe the Plumber" in the 2008 presidential campaign — alleging that three high-ranking state bureaucrats violated his privacy by running his name through confidential databases.  U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley said Wurzelbacher could not show that he had been harmed by the snooping.

A President Who Won't Uphold the Constitution? Never.  Well, now we know why Barack Obama's been so reluctant to have symbols of this country associated with his campaign.  No flags on his airplane.  Nix to pins on his lapel.  Not inclined to put his hand over his heart during the national anthem.  After all, it turns out he has a problem with that other slightly more significant representation of our nation, the United States Constitution.

Obama's campaign built on lies.  There have been many lies by Barack Obama in the 2008 campaign that he has tried to mask by shifting his recollections over time. ... But two lies in particular have been especially consequential:  Obama's pledge not to run for President in 2008, and his commitment to participate in federal financing for his general election campaign, with its consequent spending limits.  The news this past Sunday that Obama raised $150 million for his campaign in September shows the significance of the second lie.

The Real Obama:  The story of Obama's political career is not a pretty story.  He won his first political victory by being the only candidate on the ballot — after hiring someone skilled at disqualifying the signers of opposing candidates' petitions, on whatever technicality he could come up with.  Despite his words today about "change" and "cleaning up the mess in Washington," Obama was not on the side of reformers who were trying to change the status quo of corrupt, machine politics in Chicago and clean up the mess there.

Obama Grant Park election night rally "tickets" really data bonanza for Obama machine.  The Obama campaign, by requiring tickets for the election night rally in Grant Park, is using the event to collect names and contact data to be used for future voter contact, fund-raising and political or issue organizing.  That will let Obama, win or lose the White House next week, build on what are already the most valuable political lists in the nation to use to help his causes and candidates.

Obama Falsely Claims 'Every Penny' of Bailout Proceeds Will Go to Americans.  In a speech in support of the financial bailout before the U.S. Senate Wednesday night [10/1/2008], the Democratic presidential candidate claimed that American taxpayers would get their money back, raising the possibility they might even profit from the bailout.  "If this is managed correctly, and that is an important 'if,' we will hopefully get most of our money back, and possibly even turn a profit on the government's investment — every penny of which will go directly back to the American people," Obama said.  The claim is false.  According to the bill that passed, the government will get all of its money back — but none will be returned directly to taxpayers.

Hypocrisy Doesn't Begin To Describe It.  [Scroll down] More than hypocrisy is at work here.  It is not just far Left, American-hating radicals he now disowns.  You get the sense that he believes everyone can be played. … It is not hypocrisy.  It's fraud.  He's sold the same piece of political real estate to multiple buyers for multiple, conflicting uses.

The Audacity of Lies:  I don't know what is going to happen on November 4th.  But I think it's going to boil down to whether or not enough Americans have been fooled by this serial liar.  For the sake of our country, I sure hope not.

Homeless 'Driven' to Vote for Obama.  Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday [10/6/2008] on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.  The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state's elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.

Pro-Obama, Muslim-led voter registration in mosques.  A leading critic of Islam isn't surprised there has been virtually no coverage or action taken against a Muslim group that has been running an illegal "get out the vote" campaign in swing-state mosques.

Memo to McCain:  Take the Gloves Off.  Obama says, without rebuttal, that his plan lowers taxes on "95 percent of working families."  This is flatly impossible because 32 percent of income tax returns filed (some 43 million Americans) pay absolutely nothing in federal income taxes.  Obama makes his claim by offering a $500 "Making Work Pay" tax credit to everybody ($1,000 per family), by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, and creating other credits.  If your tax credit is more than your tax liability, you receive a check from the Treasury and you pay no taxes.  That is not a "tax cut."

Obama covers his tracks.  Barack Obama apparently wishes his two autobiographies to be the definitive record of his past.  He has blocked efforts by others who wish to independently examine his past.  He won't allow his transcript from his undergraduate days at Columbia University to be released.  He "lost" his thesis on Soviet nuclear policy … He won't answer questions about his days at Harvard Law School.  He "lost" his Illinois Senate records.  He will only release a simple one-page letter from his doctor on his medical condition.  He won't release his application to the state bar….

Why Won't Obama Talk About Columbia?  Barack Obama does not want to talk about Columbia.  Not even to his good friends at the New York Times, who've so reliably helped him bleach away his past — a past neck-deep in the hard Left radicalism he has gussied up but never abandoned.  Why?  I suspect it is because Columbia would shred his thin post-partisan camouflage.

The Obama Enigma.  The country is in two unpopular wars — amid the worst financial panic of the last 80 years.  Not since prophet of change and newcomer Jimmy Carter ran against Gerald Ford (post Watergate and the lost Vietnam war) have voters been so eager for a shake-up.  Why then is the charismatic Barack Obama not quite yet a shoo-in?  Easy.  Voters apparently still don't know who Obama is, or what he wants to do — and so are still not altogether sure that Obama is the proper antidote to George Bush.  After more than a year of campaigning, he still remains an enigma.

Cirque De Obama:  Barack Obama says we can't afford four more years like the last eight.  What, exactly, is bad about winning a war on terror, keeping Americans alive and free, and letting us keep more of what we earn?

Obama's Moral Equivalence Problem:  I guess we really shouldn't be surprised that Barack Obama sees no difference between our toppling of Saddam Hussein and Russia's invasion of Georgia.  On an emotional level — which is where most liberals live and breathe — the comparison is attractive.  But on an intellectual level, it is stupid and deceitful.

Obama's casual ways with the truth:  Barack Obama gave us more than some magnificent photo-ops when he spoke in Berlin yesterday.  By trying to look presidential, he revealed more then he intended to about his operating style — long on glossy production values, and painfully inadequate when it comes to getting the facts straight.  Twice in the course of generating the almost poetic images which mark his rhetoric, Senator Obama spoke to the assembled throng and the world's media about matters at variance with reality.

The Audacity of Slander:  Just as his comments about Sarah Palin's lack of experience highlighted the scantiness of his own resume, Obama's aggressive questioning of McCain's honor invites examination of his own probity.  And the Democrat presidential nominee is no stranger to prevarication.  He routinely lies about McCain's positions on a wide variety of issues, including health care, Social Security, and the mortgage crisis.

Lobbyists Give to Obama Campaign.  Obama has pledged to forgo contributions from federally registered lobbyists.  Yet, more than 40 have donated nearly $15,000 to his presidential campaign this year, according to records recently filed with the Senate and House.  The latest tally, as of Tuesday [7/29/2008], comes as lobbyists have begun filing their LD-203 forms….

Obama, Postmodernist.  [Postmodernism] claims to liberate society from fixed meanings and rigid categories, but it is invariably used to impose new ones, usually in the form of political correctness.  We've all seen how adept the PC brigades are celebrating free speech, when it's for speech they like.  Obama gives every indication of having evolved from this intellectual soup.

Cracks beginning to show in Obama's exterior.  Obama getting testy with a reporter whose only crime was mentioning that the candidate appeared to flip flop on drilling could mean that the pressure of the campaign is getting to him.  There was no call to accuse the reporter of bias.  The question is legitimate and the fact that the candidate's answer was vague and contradictory shows that Obama has a real problem with keeping his lies straight.

Life Lies:  Sen. Obama is currently misleading people about what he voted against, specifically claiming that the bill he voted against in his committee lacked "neutrality" language on Roe v. Wade.  The bill did contain this language.  He even participated in the unanimous vote to put it in.

Obama in the mud:  So much for honesty.  In the past few weeks, Obama has thrown so many false accusations against John McCain that just keeping track of them has become difficult.  And these aren't innocent errors.  They are deliberate distortions of the sort Obama has always said he reviles.  On Thursday, Obama said of McCain, "He has consistently opposed the sorts of common-sense regulations that might have lessened the current crisis."  That's entirely untrue.

Fraud:  Obama as Guardian of the American Taxpayer.  Thanks to reporting from Amir Taheri, the gist of which the Obama campaign has confirmed, we now know that while Obama is telling the American people he wants an end to the war, he has secretly negotiated with the government in Iraq to extend the U.S. military mission there.  That is a black-and-white violation of federal criminal law.  Very simply, in our system the president is responsible for conducting foreign policy.

Dirty Politics From Camp Obama.  Earlier this week, I wrote about the dirty tricks campaign against journalist Amir Taheri following his revelation that, in a private meeting in Iraq last July with Iraqi leaders, Barack Obama tried to persuade them to delay the agreement being hammered out with the US government on a draw-down of the American military presence.  According to this account, which quoted Iraq's foreign minister Hoshya Zebari, Obama had thus privately sought to undermine an American government foreign policy initiative — an explosive revelation.

McCain the Ascender, Obama the Condescender.  Polite people say Obama, the man who reads a great speech, simply doesn't come across as well as John McCain as a conversationalist because he doesn't have the Arizona senator's experience.  On Saturday [8/16/2008] night, even the polite had to admit that, while experience is a key issue when selecting a president, it is our collective experience of Obama's character deficit that keeps us from boarding Barack Obama's Double Talk Express.

Good and evil and Obama.  "Does evil exist?" [Pastor Rick] Warren asked Obama.  "And if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it or do we defeat it?"  Obama the moral philosopher replied, accurately, that evil is everywhere, in Darfur, in our city streets, in our own hearts.  We cannot "erase evil from the world.  That is God's task.  But we can be soldiers in that process, and we can confront [evil] when we see it."  (Imagine the reaction if President Bush called himself a soldier of God in the battle against evil.)

Obama's Extremism:  Obama's problem isn't his temperament, but the unsustainable exertions necessary to attempt to square his reasonable-sounding rhetoric on abortion with the extremism of his record.  Asked by Pastor Rick Warren when a baby gets rights, Obama said, "I'm absolutely convinced that there is a moral and ethical element to this issue."  This is a crashing banality couched as thoughtfulness.  If Obama is so sensitive to the moral element of the issue, why does he want to eliminate any existing restrictions on the procedure?

A little too glib.
Obama's Abortion Position?  It's a One-liner.  Barack Obama had made real strides in defusing the abortion issue with pro-life voters as late as last week. ... But Mr. Obama eroded many of those gains last Saturday when he told Pastor Rick Warren during a nationally televised forum that deciding when the rights of personhood should be extended to the unborn was "above my pay grade."

'Pay grade' unartful dodge.  Obama supports partial-birth abortion and voted against the "Born Alive Infant Protection Act."  When he got the invitation to an evangelical forum hosted by a pro-life pastor, he had to know that issues regarding life and the law were going to come up.  And his prepared answer to the most fundamental question about public policy and abortion ("is the fetus a human being?") is that it's "above my pay grade?"

What Will He Say Next?  With Obama's lead in the polls disappearing, a steady stream of doubt is now being poured over Obama's nervous and inverted campaign.  The great orator appears ready to crack. … It is nauseating to watch Obama flipping and flopping on the campaign trail as he frantically tries to tell mentally stable Americans what he hopes they want to hear.

The illusion that is Barack Obama:  [Obama] engages in doubletalk when, on free trade and Iraq, he tells the yokels one thing and the policy people another.  He overstates when he presents his minimal accomplishments in the Illinois Senate as proof of his stature.  He engages in systematic deception when he says he doesn't take money from lobbyists.  He presents a lie as metaphorical truth when he says it was the 1965 bloody Sunday attacks on peaceful civil rights protesters in Selma, Alabama, that inspired his parents to marry.  (They had been married for years already.)

Dobson blasts Obama's 'fruitcake' view of Constitution.  As Barack Obama broadens his outreach to evangelical voters, one of the movement's biggest names, James Dobson, accuses the likely Democratic presidential nominee of distorting the Bible and pushing a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution.

Paper, rapped for outing Obama note, claims campaign pre-approved leak.  What initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign.  Maariv, the second most popular newspaper in Israel, was roundly criticized for publishing the note Obama left in the Kotel.  But now a Maariv spokesperson says that publication of the note was pre-approved for international publication by the Obama campaign, leading to the conclusion that the "private" prayer was intentionally leaked for public consumption.

Obama's Prayer:  The Intended Audience.  [Scroll down slowly]  This is a political story that is essentially about character because the man putting the note is running for the highest office in the United States of America — the office of the president. … Who is Barack Obama?  Is he the kind of man who would write a note intended for the Kotel, send the media a copy, stick the note in the Kotel, have the note extracted and conveyed to the media all for political gain?  That is the question that is germane to his character.

Despite openness pledge, President Obama pursues leakers.  The Obama administration, which famously pledged to be the most transparent in American history, is pursuing an unexpectedly aggressive legal offensive against federal workers who leak secret information to expose wrongdoing, highlight national security threats or pursue a personal agenda.

Is the Democratic candidate starting to symbolize change for change's sake?  The Obama camp uses the word "change" more frequently than commas and perhaps in that constant repeating of the mantra they occasionally miss that a country yearning for change wants improvement, not change for the sake of change.

Out of bounds!  Obama falsely claims to be Banking Committee member.  Obama on Wednesday [7/23/2008] was speaking to reporters in Israel when he tried to boast about what he'd done to protect Israel.  "Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee — which is my committee — a bill to call for divestment from Iran as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon," Obama said.  Why that's wrong:  Obama is not a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.

Messiah Lies About His Senate Committee Assignment.  This guy is going to be harder than Bill Clinton to keep up with.  The next whopper whips along before you have time to wrap your brain around the last one.

Verbal junk food.  It was a flawless ploy for Obama to inject his offspring into his message.  This imparted the highest degree of folksy empathy:  "Like you, I'm a dad.  I too would feel impelled to take action."  And these syrupy supportive sentiments crossed the ocean with satellite immediacy and appealed directly to the hearts of registered Jewish voters, which they were foremost intended to sway.

How Hollywood Hurts Obama:  [Scroll down]  The Hollywood glitterati and European elites look at Obama and see one of their own: a socialist whose politics are rooted in cultural relativism and smug anti-Americanism.  In fact, Barack Obama is exactly like a high budget Hollywood flick.  Like much of what Hollywood produces, Obama looks good to the eye and sounds good to the ear (as long as you don't listen too closely).  He dazzles with style and panache.  But just like your typical Tinsletown blowout, Obama is nothing more than eye candy — the ultimate triumph of style over substance.  In the wake of a number of extemporaneous gaffes, Obama recently decided to take his teleprompter on the road, just another sign of how scripted his campaign has become.

Obama the Postmodern Candidate.  Mr. Obama is on a nodding acquaintance with the concept of "truth."  It appears that everything he says and does must be viewed "in context" and that the framing of that context is the sole province of Barack Obama.  Take the whole Reverend Wright issue for example.  Over the course of six weeks we were told that he had no idea these things were said; he had a vague idea they were said; he knew they were said but could no more disown them than his occasionally racist grandmother; he had been personally disrespected and was through with Jeremiah Wright.  Quite a bit of "context" to get from his initial statements to the end point a mere month and a half later…

Barack Obama Uses Google to Combat Vicious Rumors.  Barack Obama is waging a quiet battle in the Googlesphere to combat damaging rumors, as well as his opponent, John McCain.  Specifically, Obama's campaign has waded into online auctions for Google search terms to snap up not only obvious phrases like "Barack Obama" but also potentially negative ones like "Barack Obama birth certificate" or "Barack Obama as a Muslim," according to Hitwise, an Internet audience monitoring firm.

The Editor says...
I'm thinking that if he has to resort to such extreme measures, maybe he has something to hide.  Perhaps the "vicious" rumors have a basis in fact.  I think these are valid questions.

The Obama College Try.  Are you a college student seeking to register to vote?  Barack Obama's website makes it easy.  But does the site follow the law? ... This campaign tactic raises legal and ethical questions.  Is Sen. Obama's campaign encouraging voter fraud?  Is it encouraging college students to take actions that may be harmful without informing them of relevant risks?  If so, what does this say about the integrity of the campaign?

The new 'digital brownshirts':  Where is Al Gore when you need him?  Three years ago, the former vice president blasted "digital brownshirts" who "harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the president."  He meant the mortal threat to the Republic of bloggers and angry Republican e-mailers.  But times change, and the digital legions are greater nowadays on Mr. Gore's side.  Thus we don't hear much fretting at all about the Obama Action Wire, which, unlike the brownshirts of yore, is actually managed by Barack Obama's campaign to muzzle critical media.

Obama's Revisionist History:  The saga over Rev. Jeremiah Wright is Exhibit A.  In just 62 days, Americans were treated to eight different explanations. … Mr. Obama's problem is a campaign that's personality-driven rather than idea-driven.  Thus incidents calling into question his persona and character can have especially devastating consequences.  Stripped of his mystique as a different kind of office seeker, he could become just another liberal politician — only one who parses, evades, dissembles and condescends.

Problem with Barack Obama's First General Election Ad.  Barack Obama's first general election ad says about 46 seconds in that the Illinois senator passed laws that "extended health care for wounded troops who'd been neglected."  The ad "Country I Love", which was released Friday [6/20/2008], provides a citation at the bottom of the screen which reads "Public Law 110-181."  The problem is Senator Obama never voted for that legislation.

How Smart is Obama?  Obama has made a habit of coming across like a man who doesn't know what he's talking about.  That's bothersome enough, but what's more worrisome still is how comfortable he is with not knowing what he's talking about, and how convinced he seems that his rhetorical flourishes will obscure his ignorance.

He talks a lot, but he says nothing.
Obama Cannot Keep Running On Narcissism.  Does Obama have the sort of adviser a candidate most needs — someone sufficiently unenthralled to tell him when he has worked one pedal on the organ too much?  If so, Obama should be told:  Enough, already, with the we-are-who-we-have-been-waiting-for rhetorical cotton candy that elevates narcissism to a political philosophy.

Obama Still Hasn't Gotten the Memo.  Obama, please, for your own sake, delete the phrase "energy independence" from your database.  Purge it from your campaign.  You sound like a moron.

Idols of Crowds:  Barack Obama is truly a phenomenon of our time — a presidential candidate who cannot cite a single serious accomplishment in his entire career, besides advancing his own career with rhetoric.  He has a rhetorical answer for everything.

Barack Obama:  Oratory Versus Action.  "Yes, we can" means anything the listener wants it to be.  "Hope" is also subject to all manner of interpretation. ... If his supporters conclude that [Obama], like the Wizard of Oz, is really "the man behind the curtain" creating an illusion, his rhetorical skills will not be able to hide the fact that the federal government that created the present ills is unable to end them.

A Blank Screen And An Empty Suit.  In his most recent study in vapidity, The Audacity of Hope, Barack Hussein Obama does a remarkably terse and honest job of describing himself.  If only Americans were to take him at his word:  "I serve as a blank screen on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views."  Indeed. … All that blather about "change we can believe in," "hope we can change with ... change we can hope for ... beliefs we can change with" or whatever, seems to have mystified folks all over the fruited plain, making his "blank screen" metaphor spot on.

Prince Obama.  Barack Obama is an accomplished political actor who delivers his lines well, whether or not they contain substance.  He manipulates platitudes like Laurence Olivier, calling for "unity" and the end of alleged divisions to create a better world defined by peace among nations and the end of class distinctions at home.

The Greatest Scandal:  A visitor to Mr. Obama's Web site finds plenty of information about his plans to fix public education in this country.  Everyone knows this is a long, hard slog, but Mr. Obama and his wife aren't waiting.  Their daughters attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where annual tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school.

What We've Learned About Barack:  The senator has had nearly a year-and-a-half to explain how his new brand of politics and bipartisanship would work; the optimists among us are still waiting.  Quizzed on how he'd reach across the aisle, Mr. Obama likes to mention that he might, maybe, perhaps, possibly, if caught on a good day, negotiate on "merit pay" for teachers. … If Republicans can't figure out a way to capitalize on this gap between the spin and substance, they'll deserve backrow seats at his inauguration.

Obama's Fatherhood Talk Is Cheap.  Sen. Obama claims he is all about change.  He says he wants to get Washington working differently.  He might start by declaring independence from the teachers' unions.

When in the Course of Political Doublespeak.  [Many of Obama's] speeches use the same formula:  hearken to America's founding, hail the shining ideals of America's revolutionary liberty, invoke the greatness and even the rhetoric of American luminaries gone by, and then subtly change the focus to suggest that the next step for American liberty is to become a socialized nanny state for the greater good.

Obama should actually read the Constitution.  Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was on "60 Minutes" recently, and here's hoping Barack Obama was listening, or that if he wasn't, someone will send him a tape.  You can pray it will straighten out this Harvard Law School graduate on some of the balderdash he passes off as respect for the Constitution.  Respect, at the least, entails upholding what the document says and means, but as his reported words convey, Obama believes instead that justices should make primary reference to their own innermost moral convictions and sympathies.  He thinks the Constitution should be regarded as "living," which is to say that you should be able to jigger its principles in accord with the temper of the times.

What Obama Left Out:  [Scroll down]  In the rest of the speech, he goes on to detail — at some length — the "so many ways to serve" that are available "at this defining moment in our history."  There's the Peace Corps, there's renewable energy, there's education, there's poverty — there are all kinds of causes you can take up "should you take the path of service."  But there's one obvious path of service Obama doesn't recommend — or even mention:  military service.

Obama's Language Games:  Barack Obama, the candidate, has used nuanced language to evade and deflect in order to avoid being candid.  Here are three examples of Obama language games concerning (1) Louis Farrakhan, (2) driver's licenses for illegal immigrants, and (3) reparations.

Obama Speaks!  Thank you very much.  It's great to be here.  You know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result.  We are going to do things differently and expect a different result.  And if we don't do things differently, well, the results we get, well, they'll be the results we deserve.  Thank you.

Obama won't wear flag pin but displays Cuban Flag in his Houston Office.  Barack Obama's Houston campaign office prominently displays a Cuban flag with a superimposed picture of Che Guevara, the Argentine-born terrorist and revolutionary.  Of course, Obama made an issue of not wearing an American flag pin or placing his hand over his heart during the national anthem….

I smell Barack Obama baloney.  Anyone who delves past his soaring speeches and mesmerizing gaze and follows the money trail will find plenty to question.  The Democratic candidate of "change," for example, has raised nearly $100 million in campaign contributions, nearly as much as the Hillary Clinton money machine.  Three of his four largest group of bankrollers are executives of Wall Street giants Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers and JPMorgan Chase.  What kind of change is that?

Obama's Deceptive Anti-Oil Ad:  'I Don't Take $ From Oil Companies'.  It has been illegal for the last 100 years for an oil company to directly donate to a political campaign.  So, while it is technically correct that Obama isn't taking money from oil companies, it is ALSO true that neither is anyone else!

Not from the companies themselves, but from the employees.
Barack Obama still takes in oil money.  Sen. Barack Obama continued accepting donations from oil company executives and employees last month even as he aired ads in which he stated he took no oil company money, his campaign finance reports show.

Obama's Dry Hole:  "I want you to think about this," Barack Obama said in Las Vegas last week.  "The oil companies have already been given 68 million acres of federal land, both onshore and offshore, to drill.  They're allowed to drill it, and yet they haven't touched it — 68 million acres that have the potential to nearly double America's total oil production."  Wow, how come the oil companies didn't think of that?  Perhaps because the notion is obviously false….

The Editor says...
The oil companies haven't been "given" anything.

On offshore oil, Obama offers the audacity of ignorance.  To plan a long and challenging journey, would you reject Mapquest and GPS and only consult an atlas from the 1970s?  Unlikely.  But to pinpoint America's offshore oil deposits, congressional Democrats, starting with Sen. Barack Obama, love disco-era maps.  Despite his conditional, latter-day support for limited offshore drilling, Obama is the sole sponsor of legislation that would block geological research to locate offshore oil.

Barack Obama is a Fake.  Sen. Barack Obama's star appeal is causing physiological reactions in his supporters.  Which is to say, they're fainting.  And these fainting routines are causing me physiological reactions.  Which is to say, I'm throwing up. … I don't mean to suggest that all this is staged.  I'm saying it straight out:  It's staged.

The Obama administration has hidden surprises in store for you.  "My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government," the newly inaugurated President Obama declared in a memo to department and agency heads in January 2009.  "Government should be transparent.  Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing."  How's that working in practice?

William Jefferson Obama.  I now have reason to suspect that Barack Obama has a skill of proven value to a U.S. President:  the ability to look straight into the camera and not tell the truth, without lying.

Obama Lies.  On issue after issue, whether confessing to a mistake or tailoring his latest position for political effect ("moving to the center" is what they call this in political lingo), Obama's words are now increasingly being received as bald untruths.  His image is turning into that of presidential candidate as Pinocchio, the would-be president as habitual liar.  Simply googling "Obama Lies" produces thirteen million references on the subject — thirteen million! — as opposed to just over a million references to "Bush Lies" and three million for "Bill Clinton Lies."

Obama Campaign Removes New Black Panther Party Endorsement From Web Site.  Barack Obama's campaign has removed an endorsement by the New Black Panther Party from its Web site, one day after the Illinois senator delivered a speech calling for improved race relations in America.

Typical White Fact-Based Reasoning.  Senator Barack Obama said in his memoir, The Audacity of Hope, "The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact."  Yet he also claimed that to fear a black person on the street more than a white person is a racial "stereotype", "bred" into us.  To the contrary, such a fear is actually "grounded in reason and fact."  When the numbers are crunched, a black person is almost six times more likely than a white person to be a murderer.

Barack Obama — I'm sure we've seen him somewhere before.  Every time I listen to [Obama], I … find my mind wandering, asking itself things like:  'What does "the challenge of hope" mean?' … His is a rhetoric that soars and takes flight, but alights nowhere.  It declares that together we can do anything, but doesn't mention any of the things we can do. … Maybe Obama is so successful because he's the supreme master of what American politics excels in:  high-flown language that denotes as little as possible.

Where's the Beef in Obama's Big New Ideas?  Over the past couple of weeks, Obama has begun to reveal approaches that only a vegetarian could love.  Take his energy proposal.  Obama worries that an oil embargo could do serious harm to our economy and offers up plans to help us avert disaster.  The centerpiece of the proposal is certainly different but not in a favorable direction.

Say Watt, Senator?  Speaking Tuesday in Lansing, Mich., Sen. Obama set a goal of putting 1 million plug-in gas-electric hybrid cars, capable of getting 150 miles per gallon of gasoline consumed, on the road by 2015.  To help power them, Obama also said he wanted 10% of our electricity to come from renewable sources by 2012 and 25% by 2025.  Actually, about 20% of our electricity already comes from a renewable resource — nuclear power — and John McCain wants to up that percentage significantly.

Obama Scores as Exotic Who Says Nothing.  Obama's appeal comes not from the things he says, but from who is saying them.  He scores as an exotic who talks of barbershops and church socials in the flat tones you'd expect from any son of the prairie.  Had [Evan] Bayh been half-Kenyan and raised in Hawaii by white grandparents from Kansas, he too would have become a political star, at least for the month of December.  But he is a conventional white man.

Who Is Senator Barack Obama And What Does He Believe?  Sen. Obama's church background is clearly liberal and pro-homosexual.  His voting record shows him to be a typical secularist liberal.  Human Events notes that Obama has a 100% rating from Americans for Democratic Action, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization for Women, the NAACP and the National Education Association.  He says he believes that marriage should be a union of one man and one woman, but voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006.

What does Barack Obama believe in?  The intro he taped for "Monday Night Football" — in an Aaron Sorkin-like setting of gleaming desk and important lighting — showed he is an actor who can absorb the script and knows by nature what a camera is.  This is a compliment.  All the great presidents of the media age, FDR, JFK and Reagan, were great actors of the presidency.  (The one non-great president who was their equal in this, Bill Clinton, proved that acting is not enough.)

The real story behind the cover:  This latest campaign kerfuffle was the perfect distraction to mask what's behind the controversial caricature.  Inside the New Yorker is a 14,619-word story by Ryan Lizza that has largely escaped attention.  It's not a flattering portrayal of the senator, who comes off as opportunistic.  But few know this, so caught up in the cover controversy that they haven't taken the time to read the article itself.

Bamboozled Obama's big black lie:  It was the Republican Party that fought for the freedoms of blacks in Congress following the conclusion of the Civil War.  State chapters of the Republican Party were started by blacks in most southern states.  The first black congressional members, some of whom had been former slaves only months previous, were all Republican.

Jonathan Livingston Obama:  Only white guilt could explain the insanely hyperbolic descriptions of Obama's "eloquence."  His speeches are a run-on string of embarrassing, sophomoric Hallmark bromides.  In announcing his candidacy last week, Obama confirmed that he believes in "the basic decency of the American people."  And let the chips fall where they may!

Barack Rodney King Obama:  Barack Obama's glib announcement in declaring his candidacy for the presidency provides clues about the man and reminds us, contrary to his stated message, of the great chasm that separates people of different political orientations.  Mr. Obama appears to have fallen prey to the wave of public adulation accompanying the media's hype about him — to the point that he broke his recent promise not to seek the presidency at this early stage in his inexperienced political career.

Obama's Born-Alive Cover-Up.  Several of the purported refutations are themselves, at best, misdirections.  One of the most easily verifiable is Obama's continued insistence that he voted against the Illinois Born Alive Act because it lacked an abortion neutrality clause.  Remarkable.  Obama now has unequivocally repeated this falsehood several times.  Is he that confident nobody in the mainstream media will call him on it?

Obama's Abortion Challenge.  Senator Obama has justified his strenuous objection to the Illinois bill by claiming that differences from the federal bill are the reason.  This claim is false.  The Federal legislation and the Illinois legislation were in fact virtually identical. ... The candidate has been burnishing and airbrushing his history as November nears.  One aspect of this effort is his attempt to recreate his own political history involving abortion.

Ethanol Insanity.  Barack Obama doesn't want to talk about corn ethanol.  And it's no wonder.  In early August, his campaign Web site purged several sections of his energy plan that talked about corn ethanol.  Before the purge, Obama was touting corn ethanol as a pivotal element in his push for "energy independence." ... In early August, Obama released a new set of talking points on energy called "New Energy for America" that supplanted his old energy stance.  All mentions of corn ethanol were removed.

A new Obama:  No we can't.  During CNN's broadcast of Barack Obama's first press conference yesterday [11/7/2008], a corner of the screen flickered with a live feed of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.  As Obama spoke, the Dow average lost more than 100 points.  In his brief statement and question session, the president elect of the United States said next to nothing about anything.  There were no signs of the Yes We Can positivism of the campaign in his low-key, even halting manner.  What little he did say may well signal the beginning of a new phase in Obamamania:  No we can't.

Pablum from the President-Elect.  President-elect Barack Obama hasn't held his Friday afternoon press conference yet — but we have a pretty good idea of what he might say.  Every day this week, Obama has held a press conference to introduce new members of his team.  In each instance, Obama has said ... not a whole lot.

Obama:  Where have all his records gone?  According to March 2008 reports, State Department employees conducted an unauthorized search of Obama's passport files during the recent presidential campaign. ... Two workers were fired and another faced discipline.  Obama's files reportedly contained copies of passport applications, birth date, basic biographical information, records of passport renewal and possibly citizenship information. ... Meanwhile, a key witness who had been cooperating with federal investigators was later found fatally shot in front of a Washington, D.C., church.  A police officer found the body of Lt. Quarles Harris Jr., 24, slumped dead inside his car.  At the time, investigators said they didn't have any information connecting the murder to the passport case.  After one year of investigation of the homicide, there have been no arrests.

No Proof.  [Scroll down]  That individual, identified as Lieutenant Harris Junior, 24, was stopped for a minor traffic infraction on 25 March 2008, and was found to be in possession of stolen credit cards and documents that were traced back to the breach of the passport records.  HARRIS, known to DC police, began working with federal authorities to strike a deal as they expanded their investigation into the passport incident.  According to a review of the arrest record, HARRIS admitted to investigating officers that he obtained the documents from (an unnamed) co-conspirator "who works for the U.S. Department of State".  Less than a month later, HARRIS was found with a single bullet wound to his head on Thursday, 17 April 2008, inside of his car that was parked in front of the Judah House Praise Baptist Church in Washington, DC.

Obama's Passport Breach: Unanswered Questions, and an Unsolved Murder.  Back in March 2008, the State Department launched an investigation of improper computer access to the passport records of Barack Hussein Obama, and days later those of Hillary Clinton and John McCain.  The investigation centered on one employee:  a contract worker for a company that was headed by John O. Brennan, a key Obama campaign adviser who later became assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.  Then, a month later, the key witness in this case was murdered.  Lt. Quarles Harris, Jr., 24, was shot in the head in his car, in front of his church.

Obama on Fort Hood Massacre:  Don't Jump to Conclusions.  [Scroll down]  By sealing off records of his past, including his original birth certificate and his academic records, Obama was in a way persuading Americans to forget about "all the facts" and to jump to conclusions about his qualifications to be president.  In addition, would the White House be attacking Fox News if it had a healthy respect for the "marketplace of ideas?"

Obama Treason Charges Advance In Tennessee Grand Jury.  [Scroll down]  Yet ten months after inauguration, Obama's entire past remains a mystery under lock and key.  Obama has spent almost $2 million in legal fees to keep his life Top Secret, not counting millions in tax-payer funded road blocks thrown up by Obama's Justice Department, which has sent numerous federal attorneys into court after court to file dismissal requests on the basis of "standing" — with great success.  They don't want the courts to ever decide Obama's Constitutional eligibility on "merit," because if discovery ever goes forward and Obama's files are opened up, Obama is finished and so is his Marxist Global Agenda!

Who's Visiting The President?  President Barack Obama has worked closely with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pass health care reform and other measures, but there are a number of private-sector figures whose names appear more frequently in White House visitor records.  They include labor leaders, an executive for a Swiss bank and a Chicago billionaire.

Solving the Obama Problem.  I have argued before that Barack Obama is as close to being a rogue president as can be imagined.  There is something troublingly undocumented about him, a cloud of ambiguity hovering over his selective reticence. ... The problem is that much of genuine importance remains an ongoing mystery.  For example, his college and university transcripts, including his academic papers and financial statements, his senate files and schedules, his professional client lists and other documentation remain sequestered under seal, a fact which should properly distress even his most ardent supporters.

Obviously they have something to hide.  What could it be?
Dems object to GOP gov't transparency probe.  Some Democrats in Congress objected Wednesday [2/2/2011] to early steps taken by the new Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to conduct a broad inquiry into President Barack Obama's promises to improve government transparency.

Promises, Promises: Little transparency progress.  Two years into its pledge to improve government transparency, the Obama administration handled fewer requests for federal records from citizens, journalists, companies and others last year even as significantly more people asked for information.

Obama's openness falling short of campaign promise.  He won an award for making government more transparent, but President Obama is nowhere near keeping his pledge to "usher in a new era of open government," according to government watchdogs.  Obama rode into office two years ago as a self-proclaimed reformer, vowing to kick down the walls of secrecy that defined George W. Bush's presidency.

Obama's 'Openness' a Transparent Lie.  For an administration which has touted "openness" left and right, the pattern would be amusing — if it weren't so frightening. ... While it's obviously not possible to comply with every FOIA request, the sheer volume of refusals is troubling.  More troubling still is the apparent tendency to favor requests from sympathetic agencies and groups.


"President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history..."


Obama secretly accepts transparency award.  After canceling a scheduled appearance to accept an award from transparency advocates during Sunshine Week earlier this month, President Obama finally accepted the award this week — without letting anyone know.  According to various reports, Obama met with several transparency advocates for roughly 20 minutes on Monday [3/28/2011] to discuss open-government issues and accept an award for his commitment to increasing federal transparency.

Obama Accepts "Openness" Award at Clandestine Meeting.  Earlier this month, the White House announced that President Obama would be receiving a "transparency" award from good-government groups — a piece of news that was met with well-deserved mockery from the press.  The White House responded by canceling the award ceremony without explanation.  But now Politico is reporting that Obama accepted the award this week in a secret, closed-door meeting with government transparency groups.

The Editor asks...
Why do "government transparency groups" have closed-door meetings?

Shh! Obama gets anti-secrecy award.  President Obama finally and quietly accepted his "transparency" award from the open government community this week — in a closed, undisclosed meeting at the White House on Monday.  The secret presentation happened almost two weeks after the White House inexplicably postponed the ceremony, which was expected to be open to the press pool.

'The height of irony': Obama awarded prize for transparency ... behind closed doors.  President Barack Obama accepted an award for making the government more open and transparent in secret.  The White House even left the event off the President's public schedule, so no one knew about it and requests for journalists to cover the meeting by those attending were turned down.  'To have such a meeting not be transparent is the height of irony.

Where's the openness, Mr. President?  The day after his inauguration, President Obama promised a new era of "openness in government."  But the reality has not matched the president's rhetoric.  We ... have found little openness since Obama took office.  If anything, the administration has gone in the opposite direction:  imposing restrictions on reporters' newsgathering that exceed even the constraints put in place by President George W. Bush.  Democrats criticized the Bush administration for not making decisions based on the best science.  But the Obama administration now muzzles scientists and experts within federal agencies.

The administration's honesty deficit.  Barack Obama is a president who won a peace prize and took the nation into a new war.  It ought not to be a surprise, then, that he would accept an award for his administration's transparency last week as his third-largest agency was raked over the coals by Congress for obstructionism.  The House Oversight and Government Reform committee alleged in a report released Wednesday [3/30/2011] that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has politicized the way it responds to requests for information from the public and the press.

The White House Guess List.  President Barack Obama has won praise from the media — and from himself — for putting the White House visitor logs online.  Yet the visitor logs may hide more than they reveal.  The White House is still holding back "tens of thousands" of visitor logs, according to congressional testimony last week by Tom Fitton, President of Judicial Watch, who also added that "the Obama administration is less transparent than the Bush administration."


"It has been my experience that whenever a leader — whether elected, anointed or media-appointed — does not want you to see something, that's probably the time when you should go out of your way to see it."
Clarence Page    


This is an original compilation, Copyright © 2017 by Andrew K. Dart

Obama Birth Certificate Issue More Urgent Than Ever.  At this point, every member of the Congress and media, as well as ordinary citizens, knows that there was something putridly rotten about Obama's election.  Not just the billion dollars in campaign donations, most of which are still unaccounted for but known to have flowed from foreign donors, many of them enemies of America.  And not just the missing mountains of qualifying data that all presidential candidates are expected to produce, including:
  ·   His Illinois law license.  Is he even a lawyer?  Where is his supposed Harvard Law degree?  Where are the papers he wrote in law school?  Why does he not correct people when they say he was a law professor when he was never a professor but only a lecturer?
  ·   His Selective Service registration, which investigative-journalist and lawyer Debbie Schlussel has reported to be falsified, an accusation that Linda Bentley quite persuasively documented just the other day.
  ·   His visa or more probably visas.  After all, he did travel to Pakistan in 1981 when Americans were forbidden into that country.  Did he use the Indonesian visa he got when he was a citizen of that country?
  ·   His school records from Indonesia and Hawaii.
  ·   His college transcripts from Occidental College in CA, Columbia College in NY, and Harvard Law School in MA.
  ·   His Baptism certificate.
  ·   His Illinois State Senate records.

Did someone mention Obama's birth certificate?

America has a Deep Moral Disease.  Harlem Pastor James David Manning is convinced that, "Character matters.  Nobody talks about this... the fact that the Illinois State Bar ruled Obama is not fit to practice law and disbarred him!"  Calling it beyond outrageous, Rev. Manning wonders how American citizens could allow the man to serve as President.  [Video clip]

Presidential Executive Orders.  In a story by Tom Murse, About.com Contributing Writer, titled "Obama's First Executive Order" dated September 20, 2010 the question was asked, "Did President Really Seal His Own Personal Records?"  It might surprise you, as it did me, that the answer is "No".  One day after being sworn in as the 44th president of the United States, on Jan. 21, 2009, Barack Obama signed Executive Order 13489, states Mr. Murse and he continues, "That the first order of business Obama took care of on day one of his Presidency was to sign off on an Executive Order that states that only the records he chooses to be made public will be released.  This is the subject that was at the absolute top of his agenda.  If this isn't proof that Obama is hiding something, I don't know what is."

Democrats Force 'Birther' Issue to Rise Again:  What Gives?  In my opinion — as a civics-minded citizen — Obama's as yet unreleased original long-form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii is merely the tip of a mysterious iceberg when it comes to the 44th president of the United States.  Any journalist worth an ounce of salt would be curious as to why any presidential candidate would conceal nearly every documented item from his own past.  Obviously, America does not have many remaining curious journalists.

The Case Against Barack Hussein Obama:  [Scroll down]  Sure, there's [1] the original, long-form 1961 Hawaiian birth certificate.  Then there's:
  [2] Marriage license between Obama's father (Barak Sr.) and mother (Stanley Ann Dunham) — not found, not released
  [3] Obama's baptism records — sealed
  [4] Obama's adoption records — sealed
  [5] Records of Obama's and his mother's reptriation as US citizens on return from Indonesia — not found, not released
  [6] Name change (Barry Sotero to Barack Hussein Obama) records — not found, not released
  [7] Noelani Elementary School (Hawaii) — not released
  [8] Punahou School financial aid or school records — not released
  [9] Occidental College financial aid records — not released. (These records were, however, subpoenaed but Obama lawyers succeeded in quashing the subpoena in court.  No other Occi records have been released.)
  [10] Columbia College records — not released
  [11] Columbia senior thesis — not released
  [12] Harvard Law School records (...not released)
  [13] Obama's law client list — sealed
  [14] Obama's files from his career as an Illinois State Senator — sealed
  [15] Obama's record with Illinois State Bar Association — sealed
  [16] Obama's medical records — not released
  [17] Obama's passport records — not released
That's a lot of records sealed and not released.

Obama conspiracy — It's no longer just a theory.  On Sept. 7, 2008, Barack Hussein Obama appeared on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," and stated, "I had to sign up for Selective Service (SS) when I graduated from high school ... And I actually always thought of the military as an ennobling and, you know, honorable option.  But keep in mind that I graduated in 1979.  The Vietnam War had come to an end.  We weren't engaged in active military conflict at that point.  And so, it's not an option that I ever decided to pursue."  Some people did keep in mind that he graduated in 1979 and noted the registration requirement was suspended in April 1975 by President Gerald Ford and wasn't reinstituted until 1980 by President Jimmy Carter in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  The Military Selective Service Act required men born in the calendar year 1961 to register on any of the six days beginning Monday, July 28, 1980.

Who is Barry Soetoro?  Donald Trump is correct, Barry Soetoro, AKA Obama is hiding something in his past that is very bad and it may not be just his citizenship, it may well be a criminal past.  As an IRS tax examiner I have seen what it appears Barry Soetoro has done, mostly by illegal aliens attempting to acquire a new identity in the U.S. and/or criminals looking to acquire a new ID. [...] There are literally over 1 million open warrants on file in New York... Maybe Barry is one of them?

Obama's Draft Registration Raises Serious Questions.  Did President-elect Barack Hussein Obama commit a federal crime in September of [2008]?  Or did he never actually register and, instead, did friends of his in the Chicago federal records center, which maintains the official copy of his alleged Selective Service registration commit the crime for him?  It's either one or the other, as indicated by the release of Barack Obama's official Selective Service registration for the draft.  A friend of mine, who is a retired federal agent, spent almost a year trying to obtain this document through a Freedom of Information Act request, and, after much stonewalling, finally received it and released it to me.  But the release of Obama's draft registration and an accompanying document, posted [in this article], raises more questions than it answers.

Lawfare, Voluntary Surrender, and Right-wing "Extremists".  Fox News, who has, one assumes, a few resources, was unable to come up with a single student from Obama's purported time at Columbia, who remembered him. ... Was the guy a ghost?  Here is a very partial list of documents relating to Obama's past,that no one seems to have seen.  Good luck finding them.
  Original birth certificate (you know, as in one you can actually touch)
  Obama/Dunham marriage license
  Obama/Dunham divorce documents
  Soetoro/Dunham marriage license
  Soetoro adoption records
  Occidental College records
  Passport — the one used for the trip to Pakistan (not mentioned in either biography)
  Columbia College records
  Columbia thesis
  Harvard College records
  Illinois State Bar Association records

Is Barack Obama the Ultimate Sleeper Agent?  Many questions regarding Obama's past remain hidden.  Beyond the issue of whether he is a natural born citizen eligible to hold the office, most of the paper trail concerning his education at Occidental College in Los Angeles, followed by Columbia University and Harvard, and the funding for his tuition, his travel to Pakistan as a youth, and other factors normally made public during a campaign are still kept secret.

The Endless Secrecy Around Barack Obama.  Just to review, the public cannot get access to paperwork related grants distributed by then-state-legislator Obama (records from 1997 to 2000 aren't available); his state legislative office records (which he says may have been thrown out); he refuses to release a specific list of law clients, … he won't release his application to the state bar (where critics wonder if he lied in responding to questions about parking tickets and past drug use); he's never released any legal or billing records to verify that he only did a few hours of work for a nonprofit tied to convicted donor Rezko; and he's never released any medical records, just a one-page letter from his doctor.

No Paperwork For Obama Grants From 1997 To 2000.  [Obama] won't release his application to the state bar.  He's never released any legal or billing records to verify that he only did a few hours of work for a nonprofit tied to Tony Rezko.  He's never released any medical records, just a one-page letter from his doctor.  Does it bother anyone that a guy with political ambitions for his entire adult life has not left a paper trail?

Berg v. Obama:  Elector Suit Call to Action.  Unfortunately, the overwhelmingly vast majority of American citizens are not aware that President-elect Barack Obama has been the only candidate for the Executive who has not released certain records to help establish his credentials; to wit:
 •  Occidental College records — not released.
 •  Columbia Thesis paper — not available, locked down by faculty.
 •  Harvard College records — not released, locked down by faculty.
 •  Selective Service Registration — not released.
 •  Medical records — not released (only a one-page report).
 •  Illinois State Senate schedule — 'not available.'
 •  Law practice client list — not released.
 •  Certified Copy of original Birth certificate — not released.
 •  Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth — not released.
 •  Harvard Law Review articles published — None.
 •  University of Chicago scholarly articles — None.
 •  Record of Baptism — Not released or 'not available.'
 •  Illinois State Senate records — 'not available.'

Obama's Lost Years:  Voters and the media are now exercising due diligence before Election Day, and they are meeting resistance from Mr. Obama in checking his past.  Earlier this year, the AP tracked down Mr. Obama's New York-era roommate, "Sadik," in Seattle after the campaign refused to reveal his name.  Sohale Siddiqi, his real name, confirmed Mr. Obama's account that he turned serious in New York and "stopped getting high."  "We were both very lost," Mr. Siddiqi said.  "We were both alienated, although he might not put it that way.  He arrived disheveled and without a place to stay."  For some reason the Obama camp wanted this to stay out of public view.

Obama's Years at Columbia Are a Mystery.  Senator Obama's life story, from his humble roots, to his rise to Harvard Law School, to his passion as a community organizer in Chicago, has been at the center of his presidential campaign.  But one chapter of the tale remains a blank — his education at Columbia College, a place he rarely speaks about and where few people seem to remember him.

The Stealth Candidate:  [Obama] burst onto the political scene and has risen with such alacrity that even many of his supporters don't have a clue what he's about or where he would take America.  It's no wonder the conspiracy types are whispering that he's the Manchurian candidate.  It's not as if he's embracing his past; it's more as if he's concealing it, and for good reason.

Barack "blank" Obama and disingenuous politics of "understanding".  Who is Barack Obama?  He is a cipher running as a shaman.  He has been in the Senate for two years.  He has virtually no voting record; he has virtually no articulated positions.  Ask his advocates, and they will describe him as "a breath of fresh air" — but ask them about a single position he holds, and they will stare at you as though you are speaking in tongues.  They will tell you, however, that Obama "understands" every position you hold.

Few Details Known About Obama's Three Weeks in Pakistan.  Last April during a San Francisco fundraiser, Obama referred briefly to a visit he had made to Pakistan during his college years.  Campaign press secretary Bill Burton subsequently gave inquiring journalists a few facts.  Obama had visited Pakistan for "about three weeks" in 1981, after visiting his mother in Indonesia. He had traveled with a college friend whose family lived in Karachi.  He had also visited Hyderabad in India, Burton said.  Word of the visit surprised observers.  The Democratic presidential hopeful has not mentioned it before while campaigning, nor has he written about it in either of his memoirs.

Obama's College Trip to Pakistan.  [Scroll down]  "I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college — I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee."  This last part — a college trip to Pakistan — was news to many of us who have been following the [2008] race closely.  And it was odd that we hadn't hear about it before, given all the talk of Pakistan during this campaign.

On Obama's 1981 Trip To Pakistan.  If one was to believe the left wing media, Barack Obama's 1981 trip to Pakistan was nothing more than an innocent visit a college friend and his family. ... Pakistan was on the banned travel list for US Citizens at the time and all non-Muslim visitors were not welcome unless sponsored by their embassy for official business.  [There] would be only a few reasons a young Westerner of the Muslim faith would travel to Pakistan in 1981:
[1]  To Participate in Jihad, which is the duty of every "True Believer".
[2]  For religious education in a Wahabbi sect, Saudi funded, Madrassa.
[3]  In order to purchase drugs from the drug marketplace.
Pakistan was not a tourist stop nor the place to hang out with someone's family in 1981.

Is this related?  I hope not.
Why Pakistan Produces Jihadists.  Monday night's arrest of Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old Pakistani-American accused of planting a car bomb in Times Square on Saturday, will undoubtedly stoke the usual debate about how best to keep America safe in the age of Islamic terrorism.  But this should not deflect us from another, equally pressing, question.  Why do Pakistan and the Pakistani diaspora churn out such a high proportion of the world's terrorists?

Unprecedented and Secretive.  Lost amid all of the jubilation of the Obama victory was the announcement by the Obama transition team that it had set up a separate transition program beyond the one that is paid for by the American taxpayer.  Called the "Obama/Biden Transition Project," it is a 501(c)4 tax-exempt organization, with no limits on the contributions it can receive and no requirements to divulge the names of individuals or organizations that give it money. ... No one is certain that any political organization has ever set up a tax-exempt entity that would be shrouded in such secrecy, particularly when Obama claimed he would be more transparent about the way things were done.

Health-Care Secrets.  President Obama has promised a "new era of transparency" in Washington, so perhaps he should talk to the Senate about getting with his program.  On July 15, six weeks ago, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed an amended $1 trillion health-care bill, with acting Chairman Chris Dodd calling it a "historic achievement."  Too bad the committee won't reveal this history even to other Senators, much less to the public.

Who Is Behind Quashing the Birth Certificate Issue?  [Scroll down]  Even more significant is that no one in the media thought Obama's missing birth certificate worth even casual mention.  Their thinking seemed to be:  If we're not going to check on his eligibility to be president, then why question why the other crucial documents were — and continue to be — sealed?  For instance:  his baptism certificate; elementary, high school, college and graduate school transcripts; visa(s); selective service record; alleged multiple Social Security numbers; Illinois attorney's license; Illinois State Senate records; law practice client list; Univ. of Chicago scholarly articles; financial records while a community organizer in Chicago; and medical records.  I'm also curious about why Michelle Obama's law license was suspended in 1993 by the Illinois Supreme Court, but then again she wasn't running for president.

Transparent Obfuscation.  One problem with the Obama financial rescue plan is that it is almost as complicated and obscure as the problem it is designed to solve.  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, testifying yesterday [3/26/2009] on Capitol Hill, called for greater simplicity in financial regulation.  Good luck with that.

Obama White House bars press from press award ceremony.  Barack Obama was elected commander in chief promising to run the most transparent presidential administration in American history.  This achievement and the overall promise of his historic administration caused the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. to name him "Newsmaker of the Year."  The president is to receive the award from the federation of black community newspapers in a White House ceremony this afternoon [3/20/2009].  The Obama White House has closed the press award ceremony to the press.

FCC Won't Allow 'Diversity' Chief Mark Lloyd to be Interviewed about Public Policy Views.  The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) won't allow its Chief Diversity Officer Mark Lloyd to be interviewed by the news media about his views and past statements on federal communications policy.  Lloyd, who cites the radical author Saul Alinsky as an inspiration, has argued that public broadcasting outlets in the United States should be funded on a level equal to the funding of private broadcasting companies — with the money coming from licensing fees levied on private broadcasters by the government.

By hook or crook...
House Approves Hate-Crimes Measure as Part of Defense Funding.  Legislation to punish hate crimes became a flashpoint on Capitol Hill on Thursday [10/8/2009], as a measure expanding the definition of such crimes was attached to the bill outlining the Defense Department budget and approved by the House over the strong objections of Republicans.

What is White House Covering Up in "GateCrashers" Scandal?  The White House has consistently acted as if it has something to hide.  Though an initial letter from the committee requested Ms. Rogers' attendance at the December 3rd hearing held by the committee, the White House claimed executive privilege, or separation of powers, as the reason for her to not have to testify.  This is the same White House that promised openness and transparency.

Obama secrecy:  So much for the hope of greater government transparency.  You can't have a closed-door meeting about the need for fewer closed-door meetings and expect anyone to take you seriously.  That's like writing a memo to order fewer memos.  Such folly is business as usual in the Obama White House.  President Obama promised a historic level of transparency from his administration but hasn't delivered.  On Dec. 7, the president had a "workshop" on government openness that was closed to the public.

Obama Closes Doors on Openness.  As a senator, Barack Obama denounced the Bush administration for holding "secret energy meetings" with oil executives at the White House.  But last week public-interest groups were dismayed when his own administration rejected a Freedom of Information Act request for Secret Service logs showing the identities of coal executives who had visited the White House to discuss Obama's "clean coal" policies.  One reason:  the disclosure of such records might impinge on privileged "presidential communications."  The refusal, approved by White House counsel Greg Craig's office, is the latest in a series of cases in which Obama officials have opted against public disclosure.

Mr. Obama:  Tear Down Your Wall of Secrecy.  The real issue, however, is not about birthers or theories or racism or whatever else you want to add.  The real issue is about the secrecy of Barack Obama, and it involves more than the release of his complete birth records.  Hospital records; high school, college and law school records; transcripts; writings; and passport info have been requested, and all are being withheld by Obama.  Mr. Obama is presented as the smartest man in the country, yet we have not seen his college course list or grades.

Joe Biden update:  Working from home again today.  According to his official White House schedule, at precisely 1 p.m. today Eastern time Biden will lead a transcontinental conference call "with mayors from across the country to discuss implementation" of the ... American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. ... Because Obama promised his would be the most transparent White House administration in history, Biden's mayoral conference call is closed to everyone except the unidentified mayors, including especially those in the annoying, unelected media.

Lawyer files lawsuit against Obama administration for health deal records.  Conservative attorney Larry Klayman filed a lawsuit against the White House Monday [12/21/2009] demanding that it release information on healthcare meetings with lobbyists.  The lawsuit, filed in federal district court, charges the Obama administration violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the Freedom of Information Act by not providing relevant information about closed-door meetings on healthcare policy.

Percy Sutton dies; His Obama revelation omitted from obituaries.  However, one of [Percy] Sutton's most notable moments is absent from the media hagiographies I have seen:  he stated on television that he knew that an Islamic supremacist, Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, and advisor to a wealthy Saudi, had paid for Barack Obama's education at Harvard Law School.  Exactly how young Barack Obama, a man of slender means, managed to pay for a Harvard Law degree has long been a mystery, and the President has not been forthcoming about any details of his elite education.

Man Who Told of Obama's Islamic Benefactor Passes Away.  Percy Sutton, long-time Borough President of Manhattan passed away this week at 89.  Sutton is famous for being Malcolm X's lawyer and a powerful New York politician but he was also a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, a radio pioneer, and a civil rights activist.  There is one more little thing that Sutton is known for and that is for revealing that Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, a member of the Black Panthers and a well-known Islamist, was the benefactor that paid for Barack Obama's Harvard education.

Five Easy Questions for Obama:  What were your SAT and LSAT scores and your GPA at graduation from Columbia?  You are one of the youngest presidents ever, with one of the leanest track records in elected or executive office.  Virtually all your predecessors served in the U.S. Congress for many years, or served as vice president, or in a cabinet, or a high military command position, or as governor of a state, prior to being president. ... So what exactly were your test scores and grades?  Did you take any economics courses?

What Transparency Looks Like to the Obama White House:  As the Chamber notes, "CEQ had identified 87 documents totaling 759 pages that were responsive to our request.  HOWEVER, they could not release most of the documents because they 'originated' with another agency."  So what did CEQ produce?  An entirely blacked-out, redacted, Sharpie-markered e-mail, pictured [in this article].

No information FOIA you.  Associated Press reports the Obama administration is keeping more information hidden from the public than did the Bush administration by employing "exceptions" to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  FOIA statutes, which are designed to keep government accountable, are increasingly being abused or violated even at the state level.  In fact, unlawful FOIA methods are often employed to evade constitutional or other legal safeguards against abuse of power, thereby compounding illegalities by the government.

An Obama secret:  Here's a not-so-tiny tidbit of data that's getting lost in the White House-driven public frenzy over healthcare legislation this week:  The White House Democratic administration of Barack Obama, who denounced his presidential predecessor George W. Bush as the most secretive in history, is now denying more Freedom of Information Act requests than the Republican did.

Government Secrecy Increases Under Obama.  Government agencies keep finding excuses to keep an alarming number of public records secret as President Obama sits idly watching his promise of unprecedented transparency repeatedly mocked.  The commander-in-chief's open-government guarantee has turned out to be a big joke that has actually led to more secrecy than under the Bush Administration.

Stanley Dunham's FBI file reportedly destroyed.  Stanley Dunham, the man President Obama called "Gramps", was monitored by the FBI, but like President Obama, his paper trail has been obscured. News comes from Cliff Kincaid, via the Christian News Service and Canadian Fee Press. ... The reasons the FBI thought he was worth watching will probably never be known, along with so much about Obama's background that might conflict with the carefully manufactured image that the MSM cooperated in selling to the American public, while ridiculing those who sought more information on the odd lacunae in Obama's paper trail.

FBI Destroyed File on Obama's Grandfather, Journalist Discloses.  The FBI destroyed a file on Barack Obama's grandfather, the man who selected Communist Frank Marshall Davis to be the future president's mentor during his growing-up years in Hawaii. ... While the exact nature of the Dunham file will be a topic for speculation, Kincaid said that is likely that some of the information was related to Dunham's relationship with [Frank Marshall] Davis.

No Proof.  From an investigative perspective, the reluctance of Barack Hussein OBAMA to release an authenticated copy of his actual long form birth certificate is as revealing as it is troubling.  The exact number of lawsuits filed within the last two years to legally compel Barack Hussein OBAMA to release a copy of his authenticated, long form birth certificate is unknown. ... By comparison to the 150 or so investigations of this type I have performed over the last 25 years, I have yet to find anyone under consideration for such a position to refuse this most routine and basic request.  Moreover, I have never experienced anyone who has not only refused to do so, but spent extraordinary sums of money in legal fees to fight against such disclosure.

Uncovered:  Obama's mystery college years.  In one of the many strange features of Obama's presidential candidacy, his 2008 campaign went to great lengths to conceal normally routine information about the candidate's college years.  The information included his first two undergraduate years at Occidental College in Los Angeles, followed by his final two years and graduation from Columbia University in New York City.  No official or unofficial records were ever made available.  No college transcripts, published records, or even contemporary newspaper announcements about his education have been released.

Obama the Titan, or the Cipher?  [Scroll down]  And what has Obama published on constitutional law or any other legal topic?  Although he was president of the Harvard Law Review as a student, in which capacity he no doubt wrote some unsigned notes, a search of the HeinOnline database of law journals turns up exactly nothing credited to Obama in any law review anywhere at any time.  This is yet more indication that his status as "lecturer" at Chicago was not a regular faculty appointment, since regular full-time faculty are expected to produce scholarship.  Let me say that again.  There appears to be not one single article, published talk, book review, or comment of any kind, anywhere in the professional legal literature, under Barack Obama's name, notwithstanding an apparent eleven-year teaching career in constitutional law at a top-flight law school.

On the absurdity of background.  Peter Baker, on pool duty today at a DNC funder POTUS is headlining in Atlanta, captures the absurdity of insisting on background attribution to disclose the most harmless of information.

Does Obama tell the truth about anything?  Barack Obama pledged that if elected he would make it a goal to have much more transparency in his administration than those Presidents who preceded him.  There was going to be Change.  The transparency would bring about 'accountability" in his words.  One of the policies he trumpeted would be making available to the public the White House visitor logs so we can know who visited with the President, the Vice-President and key officials of his team.  Only later did we discover — through outside investigators' efforts — that these key officials were circumventing the new "policy" by meeting with lobbyists across the street from the White House at Caribou Coffee, as well as other spots so that their meetings would not show up on the logs.

Strictly someone else's fault.  The administration was sounding fairly untroubled by a new report detailing thousands of names missing from the White House visitor logs.  The omissions, detailed in a Center for Public Integrity story this week, include celebrities, lobbyists, campaign donors and more who visited the White House but never made the list.

White House visitor logs leave out many.  A foot of snow couldn't keep Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Jennifer Hudson and other celebrities away from a star-studded celebration of civil-rights-era music, hosted by President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House in February 2010. ... But you won't find Dylan (or Robert Zimmerman, his birth name) listed in the White House visitor logs — the official record of who comes to call at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., which is maintained by the Secret Service.  Ditto Joan Baez.

Obama's 'open' government hides behind close [sic] doors.  Barack Obama promised a more active, more open government.  He's delivered on half of that.  Two House committee hearings last week focused on the Obama administration's lack of transparency.  Cliff Stearns' Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and Darrell Issa's Government Reform Committee both assailed the administration for operating behind closed doors.  The hearings only scratched the surface of the problem.

Obama Must 'Win Over' Media? Is CBS Joking Here?  [Few in the Old Media] cared much about the lack of transparency in Obama's donor base.  Millions of dollars were likely donated to Obama's campaign illegally yet not a word was ever uttered by the largest number of Old Media establishments.  The Old Media obviously wasn't interested in the transparency of Obama's past.  The media didn't care much about looking into Rev. Wright until the Internet beat the bushes for the story and never did say a word about his communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis.

Did someone mention Frank Marshall Davis?

Obama on being a beneficiary of racial preferences:  Despite promises of transparency and openness, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama has deliberately been opaque about his past and beliefs, carefully crafting his own story in his autobiographies The Audacity of Hope and Dreams From My Father while sealing his own academic records and often voting a noncommittal "present" as an Illinois state legislator.  Instead of questioning him and demanding the promised transparency and openness, the media have gone along with Obama ... they accepted Obama handouts without question while continuing to entertain the most outrageous speculations about McCain and Palin.

We know more about the Obama's marriage than we do about healthcare.
False transparency:  I've given up hope of ever finding out what young Barack actually did at Occidental and Columbia or even reading a snippet of what he wrote, if anything, for the Harvard Law Review. ... I'm not really interested in Obama as a man (or as a husband).  I'm interested in what he does.  And most of that, of late, he has done in secret.  We know more about his marriage than about how the healthcare legislation was drafted or how its contents are being negotiated.

NPR Brushes Aside Transparency Concerns at DOJ Civil Rights Unit.  On Tuesday's Morning Edition, NPR's Carrie Johnson highlighted critiques of the Obama White House from the left on their promise to be "the most transparent administration in history," but downplayed questions over the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Unit's use of non-disclosure agreements with companies under investigation.

More Questions.  Why does the media suddenly have no interest in asking hard questions?  Why are they "factophobic"?  What is difficult about "trust but verify"?  And, why malign those who want truthful answers?  Would it be that they are Democrat operatives cloaked as journalists; or proverbial wolves in sheep's clothing?  These and many other questions animate those who no longer trust the media and who seek answers to legitimate questions in their quest of the truth.  Obama repeatedly promised "the most transparent administration in history," his continuing resistance to American citizens who seek the facts about him is a non sequitur and establishes him as Deceiver-in-Chief.

'Most Transparent White House Ever' Prevents Reporters From Covering Protest.  While mainstream media reporters are generally pretty supportive of the Obama administration, they bristle, and rightly so, at incidents where the administration is less than transparent or actively seeks to impede journalists from working.

Obama's (Axelrod's) Choreographed Media Blackout.  The "most open and transparent" president in American history is still playing hide-and-seek with the press, and even the liberal New York Times has begun to notice it, as indicated by this headline:  "Obama Turns His Back On the Press."  If the mainstream media were not so ideologically wedded to Obama's big-government agenda, they would be doing more than pointing out his secrecy and hypocrisy with the occasional headline.

Most Transparent Administration Ever Makes Effective Reporting from Gulf a Felony.  Effectively reporting on the Gulf oil spill is now a Class D felony, punishable by a fine of up to $40,000.  That's right, the most transparent administration in history has made it a felony, effective July 1, to get within 65 feet of what the Coast Guard determines are essential recovery efforts.  According to Anderson Cooper, officials tried to up that number to 300 feet.

If this is transparency, what's accountability?  The White House press corps is challenging the Obama administration's reliance on background briefings by unnamed officials — noting that the same officials tend to turn up soon after, delivering the same message on television.  And more to the point, didn't President Obama run on a promise of transparent government?

'Where's the Birth Certificate' becomes 'Why would Obama publicly mock man asking'.  [Scroll down]  Writing in American Thinker, Jack Cashill makes a strong stand for the Corsi book.  "Unlike every other candidate in modern presidential history, Obama did not choose to share any of his essential documents, and the media happily obliged him.  As Corsi details, Obama has shielded those records involved with his adoption, his kindergarten, Punahou School, Occidental College, his passport and travel, Columbia University (including his senior thesis), Harvard Law School, his medical history, his Chicago law practice, his State senate career, as well as his SAT and LSAT scores, and, until recently, his very birth certificate."

Palin/Obama Paper Trails and Media Hypocrisy.  The deafening roar of nothingness emerging from the Sarah Palin email trove points up the media's hypocritical lack of interest in Barack Obama's pre-presidential record.  Just as Palin's emails were released, Slate's David Weigel pointed out that Barack Obama's State Senate records are not available.  Weigel quotes Obama's statement to the effect that he didn't have the staff or financial resources to preserve office paperwork.  As a result, Obama claims, his State Senate records may have been thrown out.  In fact, Obama could easily have preserved his State Senate records had he wanted to.

Why Haven't We Seen Barack Obama's E-Mails? Where are his records from his U.S. Senate creer? [sic]  I can answer that for you.  ["]The FOIA applies to Executive Branch departments, agencies, and offices; federal regulatory agencies; and federal corporations.  Congress, the federal courts, and parts of the Executive Office of the President that function solely to advise and assist the President, are NOT subject to the FOIA.["]  What about his State Senate records?  ["]When asked about why he hadn't released his papers, Obama said that he had only one staff person assigned to him during his years in the senate and simply did not have the resources to keep archival records.["]

The network that produced Barack Hussein Obama, Jr..  Professor [Angelo] Codevilla raises the intriguing network of connections among President Obama's family and programs sponsored by the CIA and a variety of fronts and associated groups, including the Asia Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the East-West Center, and much more.  The evidence he presents is not conclusive, as he acknowledges, but it is indeed highly interesting, and explains some puzzling aspects of the Dunham/Obama families' histories.

Obviously, Barack Obama is somebody's puppet.
The Chosen One.  In our time, asking how a young man of scarce achievement got into position to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president courts the contemporary synonyms for "impious":  "birther," "conspiracy theorist," and, of course, "racist." ... Let us open ourselves to wonder how, minus miracles, a 10-year-old boy without obvious talent who had lived in Indonesia since age six ends up with an eight-year scholarship to Hawaii's most exclusive school; a scholarship to Occidental College; a transfer into Columbia University; acceptance into Harvard Law School, and editorship of its law review; and how he goes from job to prestigious job without apparently mastering any of the previous ones.  No wonder some of Barack Obama's supporters treat him as if he were anointed by an extraterrestrial power.

Time for New Look at 2008 Obama Passport Breach.  [Scroll down]  What made the trip controversial was not so much what Obama did once he got to Pakistan, but how he got there.  In 1981, Pakistan was not an easy or likely destination for an American tourist.  This prompted some noise in the blogosphere that Obama could not have traveled to Pakistan as an American citizen. ... The mainstream's media's beef that Obama's background has been "thoroughly vetted" and that the various "conspiracy theories" about his origins have already been debunked is just junk disinformation on top of its earlier junk misinformation.

Obama ducks calls to release his collegiate transcripts.  When President Obama gave the commencement address last week at the Air Force Academy, he congratulated the cadets for excelling at one of the most demanding schools in the country.  But decades after Mr. Obama completed his own college course work, his academic performance is still a mystery.  Before and after his election as president, Mr. Obama has refused to release his college transcripts from his days as an undergraduate and a law school student.

College transcripts replace birth certificate for Obama detractors.  Now that the issue of the president's birth certificate has been laid to rest (mostly), some conservatives are turning their attention to a new obsession: Barack Obama's college transcripts.

The Editor says...
The writer of the heavily-biased article immediately above is eager to sweep the birth certificate forgery under the rug, while accusing Obama's reasonable critics of being obsessed by Obama's college transcripts.  On the contrary, it is Obama who has an obsession:  secrecy.  The birth certificate fraud has not been "laid to rest" except by the liberal news media.

Dubious, but worth a look:
Verified CIA Front, Business International Corp, Paid for Obama's Columbia College Tuition.  After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, Barack Obama went to work for a firm called Business International Corporation (BIC), a firm that was linked to economic intelligence gathering for the CIA.



"Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their government is doing."
— Barack Obama    
Sources:  [1] [2] [3]    


Barack H. Obama is a cigarette smoker

Nicotine is a terribly addictive substance, so I hear.  I've never touched the stuff.  It doesn't matter to me if Barack H. Obama is a cigarette smoker except for a few things:  First of all, the President sets an example for others, especially America's fatherless inner-city youths.  Second, this is just another skeleton that has been kept in Obama's closet for several years, with the active assistance of the Democratic Party propaganda division, also known as the "mainstream" news media.  Third, aren't Obama's supporters the very same left-wing Democrats who have campaigned to outlaw smoking in public places, and aren't they the same Democrats who push for higher taxes on cigarettes?  Why are they all totally silent about this?  Obviously it's because they get all their information from the MSM, where reports of Obama's smoking habit are treated as vicious and baseless canards.

Did he ever really quit?
Semi-retired president now smoking again apparently.  C'mon.  He's in Europe, he was talking to an Italian, and his '08 image abroad as a global savior has been [destroyed] by six years of foreign-policy drift.  The guy had to do something to restore a little cool.

The White House also denies Obama is a lying Muslim and an incompetent doofus.
White House Denies Obama Was Holding Cigarettes In Viral Photo.  White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest denied speculation that President Obama was smoking during a visit with the Italian Prime Minister outside the G-7 summit in Germany.  An Instagram photo posted by one of the Italian Prime Ministers staff showed Obama holding a package of what looked like cigarettes, making the image go viral.

Josh Earnest Denies Obama Was Holding Cigarette Pack in G7 Photo.  During his trip to Germany this week for the G7 Summit, President Barack Obama was caught on camera standing out on a balcony with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi with an object in his hand that many have speculated is a pack of cigarettes.  Otherwise, why would they possibly be standing outside?

President pictured holding 'packet of cigarettes' during cozy balcony chat with Italian Prime Minister.  President Obama has apparently been caught red-handed after a surreptitious cigarette at this weekend's G7 summit.  A photograph of the Commander-in-Chief shows him standing on a balcony clutching an item which looks like a packet of cigarettes.

Obama claims he hasn't had a cigarette in 6 years — or has he?  The president was caught on camera Monday telling a U.N. official he hasn't had a cigarette in six years. [...] The president first admitted in a June 2009 press conference that he snuck a cigarette now and then, though at the time he was trying to quit.  Then in February 2010, his White House physician reported that the president was still smoking.  It appears that sometime in early 2010, the president went cold turkey.  The White House reported in December 2010 that Obama hadn't had a cigarette in nine months.

Report: Billy Joel Says He Recently Smoked With Obama At The White House.  The Hill's Judy Kurtz reports that musician Billy Joel recently had a cigarette at the White House with President Obama — although the president reportedly quit years ago.  According to the Hill's source, Joel said that he had smoked with Obama recently recalling the event when he was offered a smoke by Speaker John Boehner.

The Editor says...
Obama lies about everything, including cigarettes.  A reporter could ask, "what were they smoking?", since Mr. Obama has a well-known history of marijuana use, but it would be unrealistic to expect an honest answer.

Millstone or milestone?
Obama milestone: Nine months without a cigarette.  White House victories are rare these days, but President Obama can claim solid progress in his lonely battle to quit smoking.  The president has gone nine months without sneaking a cigarette, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reported Thursday [12/9/2010].

White House: Obama still trying to kick the habit.  President Barack Obama apparently hasn't had a cigarette since March, but the White House stopped short Thursday [12/9/2010] of declaring that he has officially kicked the habit bedeviling millions of Americans.

Obama kicks his smoking habit.  Apparently dealing with the worst financial crisis in decades, two wars, declining popularity and a shellacking at the polls has done wonders for President Obama's smoking habit — he hasn't touched a cigarette in nine months, according to the White House.

The Editor says...
The economy is improving, according to the White House.  Green jobs will put America back to work, according to the White House.  The government can provide health care to everyone at little or no cost, according to the White House.  Islam is a religion of peace, according to the White House.  And now... he hasn't smoked a cigarette in nine months, according to the White House.  Even if that were believable, and it isn't, how would one verify this claim?

Obama's finally quit smoking, says proud First Lady Michelle.  With his political opponents making huge gains and the economy still faltering, it's been a difficult time for Barack Obama.  But the President has won one major battle — he has given up smoking, according to his wife Michelle.

Michelle Obama denies husband is dyeing hair.  Michelle Obama, who yesterday claimed that her husband has quit smoking, now claims that he doesn't dye his hair to get rid of gray. ... If the President has truly managed to quit smoking while enduring one of the highest stress jobs in the world (even with frequent parties, vacation breaks, golf games, shooting hoops, and 2 weeks in Hawaii), more power to him.  But the short hair versus long hair explanation looks pretty questionable, and throws doubt on the smoking claim.

Can the Smoker in Chief really lead America in health care reform?  With President Obama making his final push for health care reform, I ask you to consider the following "If, Then" theorem:  If our health is the President's business, then the President's health should be our business.  The recent revelation that Obama still sneaks a cigarette now and then, contributing to an industry that costs us more than $167 billion a year in lost productivity and health care, and gambling with a substance that kills more Americans every year than anything else, means that the issue deserves a healthy debate (pun intended).

The Editor says...
Who really knows if Mr. Obama smokes "now and then"?  Such a smoky cloud of secrecy surrounds this topic that for all we know the President smokes like a locomotive.

Michelle's Marlboro Man.  Healthy kid spokesperson Michelle Obama is on a one-woman mission to restrict personal food choices and monitor American grocery lists.  Yet, there is an issue that screams "hypocrisy" to the sugar addicts Michelle deprives of Twinkies®.  Fact is, the dilettante of dietary purism is married to a man that furtively breathes out second hand smoke.  While Michelle is out touting "vegetable cleanses," Barry is mucking up presidential pulmonary tissue with hydrogen cyanide and staining the White House porte-cochere a shade of nicotine yellow.

The Editor says...
A smoker exhales first-hand smoke.  To everyone else, it is second-hand smoke.

ABC's George Stephanopoulos Defends Obama's Smoking, Coos Over Physical Fitness.  Ex-Clinton aide turned journalist George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday gushed over the results of Barack Obama's first White House physical, even going so far as to defend the President's continued smoking.  Talking to Dr. Richard Besser, the Good Morning America host defended, "My reaction is, what is the big deal?  He's got the most stressful job on the planet."

The Editor says...
Just call him Tobacc-Obama!  But wait — there's more!

Obama Boozing?  The Guardian reports that President Obama's doctors have recommended he moderate his "alcohol intake."  Most reportage on the president's recent physical has focused on Mr. Obama's continuing smoking habit, but revelation of a potential drinking problem is a much bigger story.  How much "alcohol intake" does it take to get a doctor's attention?  And what did the president drink and when did he drink it?

Barack Obama should drink less alcohol and try harder to kick his smoking habit, doctors say.  Barack Obama should not only try harder to kick his smoking habit, his team of doctors warned, but they also recommended 'moderation of alcohol intake'.

Doctors tell Barack Obama to quit smoking.  Barack Obama is still struggling to kick smoking, according to his first medical examination since becoming president.  Obama is sensitive about his cigarette habit and tetchy with reporters who raise it.  But after his 90-minute medical at the Navy hospital outside Washington yesterday morning, his doctors confirmed he had not yet managed to conquer the habit and suggested he "continue smoking cessation efforts".

Obama, cheeseburgers and cigarettes.  White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today filled in some blanks from yesterday's presidential physical.  Noteworthy items from the doctor's report included admonishments to keep up with the smoking cessation program and get that cholesterol down.  Naturally at the White House, this led to lots of questions — like where does he bum cigarettes?  (Gibbs:  I don't know)

I've kicked smoking.  Has Barack Obama followed my example?  I don't know if it's yet an impeachable offence to smoke in the White House, but it must in any event be almost impossible for Obama to do so.

Obama in Great Shape, Still Trying to Kick the Nicotine Habit.  President Obama hasn't kicked the smoking habit, takes anti-inflammatory medication to relieve chronic tendinitis in his left knee and should eat better to lower his cholesterol, his team of doctors concluded Sunday after the 48-year-old's first medical checkup as commander in chief.

President Obama still smoking?  Doctor's note may be smoking gun.  President Obama is in "excellent health" — but has to stay away from the smokes and watch his cholesterol, doctors said Sunday.  Obama, 48, is a lean 180 pounds, with 20-20 vision, but needs to "continue smoking cessation efforts," doctors said after his first physical as commander in chief.

The White House smoke screen:  President Flawless, it seems, has a flaw.  The White House has been opaque about whether President Obama has quit smoking, as he promised his wife, Michelle, when she agreed to a presidential race.  During the campaign, reporters occasionally saw him mooching a cigarette off an aide, but now that he's president, he's only seen when he wants and how he wants.

Jenna and Barbara Bush Gave Secret Service Fits.  [Scroll down]  More currently, [Ronald] Kessler delves into President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama's treatment of their Secret Service agents.  He says that despite his claims to have cut back on smoking by 95 percent, Obama continues to puff away regularly.

Obama still battling his nicotine needs.  Judging from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs' roundabout answer Friday [6/12/2009], one can conclude that President Obama still might occasionally sneak a smoke — even though smoking is not allowed in the White House.

President Obama praises nicotine legisl