Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Obama rejects subpoena that would force top aide to testify in corruption probe

Business Insider reports.

Excerpt:

White House adviser David Simas will not comply with House Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa’s (R-California) subpoena to testify before the committee on Wednesday, White House counsel Neil Eggleston wrote in a letter to Issa late Tuesday.

The White House had urged Issa to drop his subpoena, offering to brief him on the role of the administration’s political affairs office, of which Simas is the director. Issa has been conducting an investigation into the office for what he claims are possible violations of the Hatch Act, related to whether the administration is using taxpayer dollars for political purposes.

Issa refused to lift the subpoena on Tuesday, despite a lengthy briefing Tuesday from White House staff that Issa did not attend. Issa said later in a statement it would be important to get on-the-record answers from Simas at the hearing.

Eggleston sent back a letter informing him Simas was “immune” from appearing before the Oversight Committee. Eggleston said the subpoena would “threaten the longstanding interests of the Executive Branch in preserving the president’s independence and autonomy.” Eggleston also wrote to Issa that it was “regrettable” he had chosen ton continue to pursue the subpoena instead of working privately with the White House to resolve his questions about oversight.

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.

Filed under: News, , ,

After a year of stalling, IRS blames loss of e-mails on “hard drive crash”

Most ethical administration in history - not a smidge of corruption

Most ethical administration in history not a smidgeon of corruption

Sharryl Atkisson (formerly of CBS News) is has questions for the IRS about lost e-mails..

Excerpt:

According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS reports having “lost” former IRS manager Lois Lerner’s emails to and from other IRS employees sent between January of 2009 and April of 2011 due to a ‘computer crash.’

In light of the disclosure, these are some of the logical requests that should be made of the IRS:

  • Please provide a timeline of the crash and documentation covering when it was first discovered and by whom; when, how and by whom it was learned that materials were lost; the official documentation reporting the crash and federal data loss; documentation reflecting all attempts to recover the materials; and the remediation records documenting the fix. This material should include the names of all officials and technicians involved, as well as all internal communications about the matter.
  • Please provide all documents and emails that refer to the crash from the time that it happened through the IRS’ disclosure to Congress Friday that it had occurred.
  • Please provide the documents that show the computer crash and lost data were appropriately reported to the required entities including any contractor servicing the IRS. If the incident was not reported, please explain why.
  • Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?
  • Please provide documentation reflecting any security analyses done to assess the impact of the crash and lost materials. If such analyses were not performed, why not?
  • Please provide documentation showing the steps taken to recover the material, and the names of all technicians who attempted the recovery.
  • Please explain why redundancies required for federal systems were either not used or were not effective in restoring the lost materials, and provide documentation showing how this shortfall has been remediated.
  • Please provide any documents reflecting an investigation into how the crash resulted in the irretrievable loss of federal data and what factors were found to be responsible for the existence of this situation.
  • I would also ask for those who discovered and reported the crash to testify under oath, as well as any officials who reported the materials as having been irretrievably lost.

The Committee had requested the Lerner emails as part of its investigation into to the targeting of conservative non-profits by the IRS. The Obama administration has denied any corruption or intentional wrongdoing. Lerner took the Fifth when asked to testify to Congress. The House of Representatives subsequently held her in contempt. The lost materials are said to include any communications that may have occurred between Lerner and outside agencies or groups such as the White House, the Treasury Department, the Department of Justice, the Federal Elections Commission and the offices of Democrats.

House and Ways Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) says that along with providing news of the emails that have been lost, the IRS suggested in the same letter to Congress that it end its investigation.

The leftist Washington Post explains that the Democrats’ excuse of “computer crash” makes no sense, since e-mails are not stored on individual computers, but on servers that are protected from disasters.

Excerpt: (links removed)

On Friday afternoon, the IRS apparently informed the House Ways and Means Committee that it cannot produce any e-mail correspondence from January 2009 to April 2011 between Lois Lerner and anyone outside the IRS – e.g., the White House, the Department of Justice, the FEC or Democratic congressional offices.  According to the IRS, these 28 months of e-mails were wiped out by a “computer crash.”

Here is the commissioner of the IRS, testifying before Congress in March that the e-mails of employees such as Lerner are “stored in servers.”  Here is a PowerLine post arguing that the “computer crash” excuse is “implausible to anyone who understands how email systems work.”  And here is House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) calling for “an immediate investigation and forensic audit by Department of Justice as well as the Inspector General.”

The IRS is blaming a “hard drive” crash for the loss – as it the e-mails were stored on Lois Lerner’s computer. But as an IT professional with 15 years experience, this is a joke – on the order of the blaming of a terrorist attack on a Youtube video.

In enterprise IT systems, critical data (including e-mails) are replicated across multiple server clusters in multiple geographic locations. Large companies typically have disaster recovery exercises in order to ensure that even catastrophic situations will not result in data loss. You would think that the Democrats could have come up with a better story to cover up who was responsible for the persecution of Tea Party groups  in order to win the 2012 election, but alas, no. We truly have been governed by clowns since January 2009.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , ,

Darwinist Karl Giberson uses photo-shopped image of baby with tail in evolution debate

Evolution News reports.

Excerpt:

OK, if there was any doubt that Karl Giberson’s tailed-baby photo is a Photoshop creation, that doubt is now dispelled. I emailed the creator of the image, photographer Larry Dunstan, to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. Yes, confirmed the helpful and candid Mr. Dunstan, it was created with Photoshop using a photo of a tail-free two-week-old baby. The tail is not genuine. It was generated by a computer, not by, as Giberson thought, a “gene for tails.”

The reader who found the source image on the Internet for me, over at Science Photo Library, works in graphic design and 3D modeling. Says reader Ryan, what made him leery was “the lack of shadow from the tail,” and the “framing and composition,” which don’t match what you’d expect from “a photo intended to document a mutation.”

Right. Casey and I had that same gut reaction, but it’s good to have our response confirmed by professionals — again.

[...]Why do I keep harping on this? Only because human origins is an ultimate question and using human “tails” as evidence for common descent is a mainstay of Darwin defenders.

Theistic evolutionist Dr. Giberson is noted for having criticized and broken with other Evangelical Christians over issues having to do with, according to his characterization, intellectual and scientific integrity. See his book The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age.

Is Giberson right to be up on a high horse that way? I’m not a Christian so I don’t have his personal stake in the question. But Giberson, after complaining that my querying his use of this photo was “ad hominem” — which it obviously isn’t — characterizes me (and Casey Luskin) in a way that clearly is ad hominem.

Lest you think I am tricking you about this being used as evidence for evolution, here is Giberson in the Daily Beast reflecting on his debate performance.

Excerpt:

I showed pictures of otherwise healthy humans who had been born with webbed feet and tails. I asked the challenging question: “Why does the human genome contain instructions for the production of features we don’t use?” The scientific explanation is that we inherited these instructions from our tailed ancestors but the instructions for producing them have been shut off in our genomes, which is why Shallow Hal is the only person most people know who has a tail. Sometimes the “ignore these genes” message gets lost in fetal development, however, and babies are born with perfectly formed, even functional tails.

Is he right about any of this?

Evolution News explains that he is not:

For now, here’s a crucial fact: even such so-called “tails” aren’t anything like those found in tailed mammals. That is for the simple reason that “true tails” in humans entirely lack vertebrae — or any kind of bone, cartilage, notochord, or spinal cord. As the aforementioned paper in the Journal of Neurosurgery explains:

In all reported cases, the vestigial human tail lacks bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord. It is unique in this feature.2

Other prominent medical research journals agree:

  • A 2013 paper in the Journal of Child Neurology states: “True tails are boneless, midline protrusion usually attached to the skin of the sacrococcygeal region and capable of spontaneous or reflex motion. They consist of normal skin, connective tissue, muscle, vessels, and nerves and are covered by skin. Bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord are lacking.”3
  • A paper from the Journal of Pediatric Surgery states: “The human vestigial tail lacks bone, cartilage, notochord, and spinal cord. It contains a central core of mature fatty tissue divided into small lobules by thin fibrous septa. Small blood vessels and nerve fibers are scattered throughout. Bundles of striated muscle fibers, sometimes degenerated, tend to aggregate in the center.”4
  • An article in the British Journal of Neurosurgery explains: “A true tail in humans is vestigial and never contains vertebrae in contrast to other vertebrate animals.”5
  • Most striking of all, perhaps, are the words of a famous paper on tails in The New England Journal of Medicine: “When the caudal appendage is critically examined, however, it is evident that there are major morphologic differences between the caudal appendage and the tails of other vertebrates. First of all, the caudal appendage does not contain even rudimentary vertebral structures. There are no well-documented cases of caudal appendages containing caudal vertebrae or an increased number of vertebrae in the medical literature, and there is no zoological precedent for a vertebral tail without caudal vertebrae.”6
  • Finally, an article in Human Pathology explains: “In humans a true tail, is vestigial, however, and never contains vertebrae. … Bona-fide cases of human tails containing bone have not been documented.”7

These observations certainly don’t make it sound like humans can have “perfectly formed, even functional tails.” In fact, it’s difficult to argue that any tail could be called “bona fide” if it isn’t “bone-fied.”

Where did Giberson find the image? In the humor magazine “Cracked”. That’s… chutzpah. I wonder if he used Dilbert comics as evidence in his PhD thesis?

Standard Operating Procedure

I think it’s a bad idea to use images from humor magazines as evidence for your point of view, but I think it’s par for the course with Darwinists, who are still using things like Haeckel’s embryos in science textbooks as evidence of evolution.

Who says? One of the top peer-reviewed science journals “Science“:

Using modern techniques, a British researcher has photographed embryos like those pictured in the famous, century-old drawings by Ernst Haeckel–proving that Haeckel’s images were falsified. Haeckel once admitted to his peers that he doctored the drawings, but that confession was forgotten.

Still used in textbooks, though. It’s “fake, but accurate”.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , ,

Democrats refusing to comply with Freedom of Information Act requests

Katie Pavlich at Townhall breaks the story.

Excerpt:

On May 21, 2013 the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent the IRS a Freedom of Information Act request asking for “any and all documents or records, including but not limited to electronic documents, e-mails, paper documents, photographs (electronic or hard copy), or audio files,” related to correspondence from January 1, 2009 and May 21, 2013 between thirteen different Democrat members of Congress and top IRS officials.

[...]Since that request was received by the IRS nearly one year ago, IRS Tax Law Specialists Robert Thomas and Denise Higley have asked for more time to fulfill the request six times.

“I am responding to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated May 21, 2013, and received in our office on May 30, 2013,” Higley wrote in a letter to NRSC Attorney Megan Sowards last year. “I am unable to send the information requested by June 27, 2013, which is the 20 business day period allowed by law. I apologize for any inconvenience this delay may cause.”

Thomas and Higley have sent six letters with the same language and different dates to Sowards requesting more time to locate information in order to fulfill the FOIA request. Most recently, the IRS has asked for a deadline of August 1, 2014 to produce information.

Earlier this week Judicial Watch released documents showing Democratic Michigan Senator Carl Levin was in contact with former Deputy IRS Commissioner Steven Miller repeatedly throughout 2012 and was working with the agency on how conservative groups, specifically those working against his reelection, could be targeted through IRS rules and regulations. Last month we learned the staff of Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee Elijah Cummings had been in touch with the IRS about voter fraud prevention group True the Vote, despite direct denials from Cummings any contact with the IRS had ever occurred.

I think that the Democrat cover-up of this IRS scandal is so egregious, and their refusal to be accountable to harmful, that the only solution is to abolish/dismantle the IRS and go with a flat tax or fair tax system. Government agencies are not supposed to be politicized like this, and if they are, then they need to go.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

Pentagon provides sex-change to traitor, as war veterans die waiting for treatment

Investors Business Daily reports.

Excerpt:

The Pentagon tries to transfer convicted national security leaker Bradley Manning to a civilian prison to treat a gender disorder while veterans suffer and die waiting in vain on phony Veterans Administration lists.

Or should we say Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the name chosen by the convicted leaker of sensitive classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Manning has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman and the Pentagon is trying to help.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month gave the Army approval to try to work out a transfer plan with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which, unlike the Defense Department, does provide such treatment to inmates, two Pentagon officials not authorized to speak on the record told the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.

The name change from Bradley to Chelsea was approved last month by a Leavenworth County District Judge, a request the Pentagon did not oppose.

Manning has been diagnosed by military doctors multiple times, including last fall after arriving at the Fort Leavenworth, Kan., prison,with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man’s body.

[...]Meanwhile, the medical needs of veterans who have not betrayed their country but rather served it honorably fall victim to wait-list fraud in at least seven Veterans Administration facilities around the country, a very real scandal that has reached President Obama’s home state of Illinois at the Hines VA Medical Center just outside his hometown of Chicago.

Germaine Clarno, a VA social worker and employee representative in Chicago, told CBS News that at the Illinois facility there were multiple secret waiting lists designed to hide the fact that veterans were not receiving timely medical care and sometimes not at all.

Clarno says the purpose of the lists was “to make numbers look better for their own recognition and for bonuses.”

Her story mirrors those at other VA facilities, including the one in Phoenix, where Dr. Sam Foote revealed the scandal in which up to 40 veterans may have died. Sally Barnes-Breen told Sen. John McCain at a recent town hall meeting how her 71-year-old father-in-law, a Navy veteran, died while awaiting an appointment at the Phoenix VA. Thomas Francis Breen had bladder cancer and died Nov. 30.

This neglect has apparently been going on for some time. As Betsy McCaughey has written in these pages, on Jan. 30, it was disclosed that at least 19 veterans at VA facilities in Columbia, S.C., and Augusta, Ga., died in 2010 and 2011 because they were forced to wait too long for colonoscopies and endoscopies that could have diagnosed their cancers while they were still treatable.

Wow. So Bradley Manning leaks information that cost American lives and undermined our national security, and he gets a sex change while in prison. Meanwhile, war veterans die while waiting for treatment in VA hospitals. I guess this is what we should expect when we elect anti-Americans to run our government. Heck, the Democrats probably believe that they are doing the right thing by preferring traitors to veterans.

This is what my taxpayer money is going for – not to help wounded vets who protected me by risking their lives for me, but to provide traitors with sex changes. It’s appalling. I have less freedom to pursue my dreams with the money I earned, because a traitor needs a sex change.

Filed under: News, , , , , , ,

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