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Posts Tagged ‘Scandal’

Hollywood’s Complicity in the Weinstein Scandal

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 20, 2017

The rich and famous in Hollywood make a habit of lecturing America on values.  Most often these values are Progressive and far left of center in a political context.  The recent outing of one of Hollywood most significant elitist, Harvey Weinstein as a serial sex predator demonstrates hypocrisy in that wealthy community.

Inappropriate behavior is not limited to any political view.  It is an equal opportunity affliction.  However, Hollywood’s cone of silence and cover-up to protect Weinstein over many years is an indication of deep-seated dishonesty within that community.  The fact that Hollywood’s strong Leftist’s leanings that include suppose concern for women’s rights were trumped to protect one of its own is deeply troubling.

Since the Weinstein scandal went public, the number of women who claim to have been mistreated by the movie mogul over many years continually increases.  The sheer number involved, many who are now powerful figures, make it difficult to understand how this cover-up occurred.  More troubling are the number of Hollywood males who were aware of Weinstein’s proclivities and only did not go public, but heaped praise on Weinstein for years.  This group includes famed Quentin Tarantino who admitted to the New York Times that “I knew enough to do more than I did.

Tarantino’s confession is too little, too late.  It will be followed by many others from Hollywood elitists.  Without their complicity, many young women would have been spared trauma caused by one of their own.

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MSNBC Host Slams Hillary over Email Scandal

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 24, 2015

Neither MSNBC nor its host Mika Brzezinski have ever been accused of being part of the “right-wing conspiracy” that supposedly is the source of Hillary Clinton’s troubles.  Last week on the network’s “Morning Joe” show, Brzezinski showed displeasure with Hillary’s lame excuses for the growing scandal concerning her usage of a private email account while Secretary of State.  The video below is another indication that the Left is tiring of the Clinton dishonesty.  Get ready for Elizabeth Warren,

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

IRS Scandal Growing

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 27, 2014

The so IRS scandal involved the Internal Revenue Service targeting organizations with anti-Obama leanings, delaying their tax-exempt status.  This lessened donations to anti-Obama candidates during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

It is not surprising that the IRS has pro-Democratic and Leftist bias.  The Democratic Party stands for increasing the size and scope of government.  IRS workers (of government employees) from the bottom to the top are more likely to see their personal income increase, along with their power, when Democrats control government.  In addition, the Democrats are pro-organized labor.  This leads to an incestuous relationship between government unionized employees and that Party.  These unions donate substantial funds to the Democrats, who once in power, are in charge of negotiating the same unions’ contracts.  This bizarre relationship should be illegal given the flagrant conflict of interest between the two and the People they are supposed to be serving.

When the scandal broke in 2013, President Obama went on the offensive acting incredulous about the obvious misdeeds of the IRS.  His comments after reading the IG’s report included:  “Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” and “it should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is, the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity“. It is incredible just a year later how different the President acted and what he has since said. Just a half year later while when asked by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “So you’re saying there was no corruption there at all,” the President morphed his earlier stated of anger into saying: “there were some bone-headed decisions out of a local office” and more incredibly: “not even a smidgen of corruption.” These two stated positions cannot coexist.

Initially, the IRS with the backing of the Obama Administration, blamed the IRS’s illegal actions on a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, Ohio. That dog didn’t hunt very long. It has since been learned that high-level IRS employees in Washington, DC, including Lois Lerner who has taken the Fifth, refusing to testify in front of Congress, were involved in a scheme to thwart the rights of organizations with anti-Obama political views.

Fast-forward another few months and the scandal is starting to snowball into something bigger. First, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a sworn statement before Congress said that the IRS would turn over all Lois Lerner’s emails to Congress. A few months later in June 2014 he informed Congress that two years of Lois Lerner’s emails that were requested are gone because her hard drive was destroyed. (More incredibly, six other relevant IRS employee’s hard drives were also reportedly destroyed at the same time.) During his June testimony, Koskinen with attitude that demonstrated disdain for Congress and the People, testified that he learned of Lerner’s hard drive destruction in April, but he did not correct his earlier testimony to Congress until six weeks later during this testimony.

This past week the story gets more bizarre when it was learned the supposedly destroyed Lerner hard drive was merely scratched. In addition, while Koskinen previously testified that the backup tapes for the Lerner hard drive were destroyed, that testimony has since been changed indicating that backup tapes may actually still exist.

Included below is a video of IRS Commissioner Koskinen being grilled by Congressman Trey Gowdy, and experienced prosecutor prior to entering Congress. This exchange not only shows a lack of contrition by the IRS for its illegal behavior, but also an attitude that is at the very least bordering on obstruction of justice.

The IRS scandal has growing legs. Recent polling indicates that 70% of Americans want this matter thoroughly investigated to its completion. The IRS’s and the Administration’s stonewalling since day one has resulted in damning facts being trickled out. Between congresses investigation and some civil suits that are ongoing, it is likely that even more damning facts are yet to come.

As time moves on the IRS scandal is feeling more like the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. It is already known that high level IRS employees used the power of the IRS to attempt to change the political landscape during the 2012 election. This is a dangerous and scary proposition on its own. However, there is likely even more. Already produced emails indicate pressure from certain Democrat Senators and Congressmen on the IRS to go after conservative political action groups. There are also emails between the IRS and the Justice Department on similar issues. Given the facts already exposed, it is likely that politicos in the White House were involved with the IRS’s illegal actions. That leaves the question of how high in the White House this goes. The answers are likely in September as the Country focuses on the November midterm elections.

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25,000 VA Employees Earn More than $180,000 Annually

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 7, 2014

The VA scandal involved veterans dying as they waited for medical treatment from Veterans Administration hospitals.  In addition, VA management personnel were given bonuses as a result of their falsified reports that indicated timely treatment.

The IRJournal.com published VA salary information that adds fuel to the fire of the growing scandal.  The compensation list comes from the Office of Personnel Management.  It includes the number of civilian governmental employees who earn more than $180,000 annually that indicates:

  • Just over 25,000 government civilian workers earn more than $180,000 annually.
  • 18,709 of the 25,000 works for Veteran Affairs Department, 5% of its workforce.
  • For comparison, 2,355, or 3% of the Department of Health and Human Services workforce, earn more than $180k annually.
  • Also, 1,605, or 3% of the Department of Transportation’s workforce, earn more than $180k per year.

The government’s knee-jerk reaction to the VA scandal has been to increase the Department’s budget for the coming year.  However, the problem is not related to a lack of funds.  It is caused by employee greed, pure and simple.  While Liberals decry greed in the private sector, they hide from the discussion when it comes to governmental employees since such a discussion will likely lead to the conclusion that the power and funds going to the government should be limited.

VA Pay

Posted in Government Ineptness, Government Waste | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Congressman Trey Gaudi Versus IRS Commissioner Koskinen

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 2, 2014

Last week IRS Commissioner John Koskinen was in front of a congressional committee concerning the IRS scandal.  During the interrogation Koskinen had an attitude that showed disdain for Congress and the American people.

Koskinen ran into a buzz saw when questioned by former prosecutor, Congressman Trey Gowdy, Republican, SC.  In the exchange Koskinen, who was not the IRS Commissioner during the time the scandal occurred, went to bat for the IRS claiming there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.  The exchange below is endemic of the ruling class of politico-bureaucrats in Washington DC.  It goes beyond arrogance and approaches tyranny by the IRS.

Gowdy – “You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing.  I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated.”

Koskinen – “I have not looked at any.”

Gowdy – “Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?”  ….   “How would you know what elements of the crime existed?  You don’t even know what statutes are in play.”

And:

Gowdy – “It was Jay Carney that perpetuated the myth that it was two rogue agents in Ohio, it wasn’t any of us.  Was that accurate?”

Koskinen – “Not that I know of”.

Gowdy – “So that was inaccurate and that came from the White House.  Who said there’s not a smidgen of corruption?”

Koskinen – “My understanding is that was the president”.

Gowdy – “So that’s Jay Carney and the president both inserting themselves into the IRS scandal,” Gowdy said. “And you want to blame us for bringing the White house into it?

Koskinen – “I haven’t blamed you at all”.

Gowdy – “You just did, commissioner.  You just did.”

 

Posted in Governmental Intervention, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A report issued to President Obama by his deputy Chief of Staff, Rob Nabors, indicates that a “corrosive culture” played a role in the VA debacle.

Posted by Steve Markowitz on June 30, 2014

The Veterans Affairs tragedy is another to add to the list of scandals that have occurred during the presidency of Barack Obama.  However, this scandal is the worst in that veterans died waiting for care while bureaucrats and government employees received bonuses for creating false reports.  People should go to jail for this tragedy, but that is unlikely.  A more likely outcome will be that a few government employees will be asked to retire on fat pensions or even continued pay, or moved to other position within the government.

In a report just issued to President Obama by his deputy Chief of Staff, Rob Nabors, indicates that a “corrosive culture” played a role in the VA debacle, also stating:

  • It is clear that there are significant and chronic systemic failures that must be addressed by the leadership at the VA.”
  • The department must take swift and appropriate accountability actions. There must be a recognition of how true accountability works.”
  • It currently acts with little transparency or accountability with regard to its management of the VA medical structure.”

The VA scandal was made public by a whistleblower at its Phoenix, Arizona facility who reported that the hospital kept a secret list where veterans needing treatment were purposely “lost” in the system.  At this Phoenix facility in excess of 1,700 veterans waiting to see a doctor were never scheduled for appointments.

The VA health system is largest in the country with over 1,700 facilities serving about 9,000,000 people annually.  This organization has over 300,000 full-time employees and a budget of over $150 billion annually.

The VA scandal is a prime example of the failure of big government, which raises an interesting question for Progressives who promote even more big government.  Is the VA debacle the result of inherent problems of a massive bureaucracy that makes government unable to properly manage the People’s business, or is it the result of an incompetent of CEO, Barack Obama?  Either answer being uncomfortable for those on the Left means that this important question will be avoided.

The reaction from President Obama was typical Leftist politics, asking for more money to fund a failed organization.  Obama has requested an increase in the 2015 VA budget of 6.5%.  History has proven that you cannot throw money at a failed organization and expect better results.  In fact it is money and greed that led to the “corrosive culture”.

It will be difficult for this President to ignore his responsibility in the VA tragedy and claim this to be another “phony scandal”.

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Phoenix VA Hospital: Another Government Scandal

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 27, 2014

It seems that on nearly a weekly basis the People are exposed to yet another scandal at the hands of their government.  Last week the amount scandal involved the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Health Care system.  According to CNN, the Phoenix VA used a hidden list to a cover-up their inept services.  This hidden list allowed the Phoenix VA to keep the fact that veterans were seeking services and had to wait extended periods of time from being logged into the computer.

In an unusual usual show of bipartisanship, both sides of the aisle announced outrage at the VA’s behavior including Republican Congressman Jeff Miller of Florida and ultraliberal senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.  Sanders stated: “I am troubled when I hear that any veteran may have received substandard service from VA.”  Well Senator Sanders, being troubled does not help those who received substandard services including those who may have died as a result.

According to CNN, the Phoenix VA Hospital set up an “elaborate scheme” to hide from bureaucrats in Washington the fact that approximately 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait many months to receive any medical attention.  It quoted whistleblower, Dr. Sam Foote, who said:

  • The scheme was deliberately put in place to avoid the VA’s own internal rules,” and that “they developed the secret waiting list.
  • “So then when they did that, they would report to Washington    ‘Oh yeah.  We’re makin’ our appointments within – within 10 days, within the 14-day frame.’”  He then went on to state that some veterans were forced to wait between 6 and 21 months for appointments.

Making this story even more tragic, it has been reported that the VA’s sleight-of-hand may have be carried out so that hospital officials in Phoenix could obtain bonuses from the government.  CNN reported that the Phoenix VA director, Sharon Helman, received in 2013 a nearly $9,300 bonus above her annual salary of $170,000.

The government’s incompetence likely led to the deaths of veterans.  In addition, it shows the uselessness of congressional oversight that typically holds hearings only after the genie is out of the bottle.  Their “oversight” does not improve the government’s future behavior.  Finally this Phoenix tragedy should bring fear into those many Americans whose healthcare will soon be under the control of the government bureaucrats as the result of the Affordable Care Act.

Assuming VA hospital officials’ desire to receive bonuses was the motivation behind the scandal, it again demonstrates that human greed is not eliminated when the government hires employees.  Politicians will likely hold hearings and create new laws and/or rules and regulations as a result of the VA tragedy.  However, they will not change human nature or its weaknesses.  Only by using harsh penalties for those involved with these schemes, whether in the public or private sector, can there be deterrence for similar behavior going for.

Posted in Government Ineptness | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

IRS Scandal-II

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 23, 2014

IRS Scandal-1 involved its employees targeting groups with conservative political leanings for special scrutiny.  While at first the President Obama called this a serious matter, he shortly thereafter began calling it a false scandal, a phrase he uses when his administration is caught with its hands in the cookie jar.

Well, the Internal Revenue Service is at it again, now with IRS scandal-2.  As reported by CNNMoney, an audit by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS gave bonuses of nearly $3 million and thousands of hours of paid time to IRS employees over a two-year period who had recently received discipline for workplace misconduct.  Incredibly, approximately 1,100 employees received $1 million in bonuses even though they were in trouble with the IRS on their own taxes.  You can’t make this stuff up!

This latest IRS scandal is an example of the growing problem of an out-of-control government.  Public-sector employees are no different than employees in the private sector.  They are susceptible to the same human frailties including greed.  In the private sector such greed is often damaging to the employer with the most costly sanction being the death of the company (at least before bailouts).  The public sector’s employer, the government, is not subject to this ultimate sanction.  It is not surprising, therefore, that with the growth of government the scandals are becoming more numerous and more expensive.

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MSNBC Attacks Obama

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 13, 2013

Last this week Left-leaning MSNBC created a video clip, posted below, that in essence asks: “What did the president know and when did he know it?

There are only two plausible explanations for President Obama’s often repeated claim of lack of knowledge on various scandals and other important issues affecting his administration: 1) either the President is completely out of touch with important issues, or 2) the President is a dishonest man.

In the second montage below, MSNBC goes after the Obamacare rollout fiascoes.  Even the Leftist media is tiring of this Administration’s incompetence.

Why is the media now calling the President on his incompetence when for so long they gave him a pass?  The likely impending failure of Obamacare has scared off its blind loyalty towards Obama.  They can no longer turn a blind eye on a presidency that seems to be imploding and risks the Left’s agenda to control more of the private sector through a central government.

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CNN Reports CIA Personnel Threatened into Silence on Benghazi Attack

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 5, 2013

CNN, a left of center cable news network, on August 1 released a story demonstrating that the Benghazi terrorist attack that killed four Americans including our ambassador is no phony scandal.

Since the Benghazi attack 11 months ago, the American people have yet to hear directly from survivors of the attack or from US operatives on the ground. We now know why.   CNN’s Jake Tapper reports that the Obama Administration is using threats against CIA operatives in efforts to keep them silent.  According to Tapper:

CNN has learned the CIA is involved in what one source calls an unprecedented attempt to keep the spy agency’s Benghazi secrets from ever leaking out.

Since January, some CIA operatives involved in the agency’s missions in Libya, have been subjected to frequent, even monthly polygraph examinations, according to a source with deep inside knowledge of the agency’s workings.

The goal of the questioning, according to sources, is to find out if anyone is talking to the media or Congress.  It is being described as pure intimidation, with the threat that any unauthorized CIA employee who leaks information could face the end of his or her career.

In exclusive communications obtained by CNN, one insider writes, “You don’t jeopardize yourself, you jeopardize your family as well.”

CNN’s report comes out just a few days after Pres. Obama and his mouthpiece Jay Carney have started the talking points of the so-called “phony scandals” in an effort to make the scandals go away.  It remains to be seen whether the President’s intimidation tactics will be successful or whether the cover-up will cause more political damage than the original scandal.

Barack Obama is looking more Nixonian by the day.

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