In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare…
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Quote of the Day: WSJ on H.R. 3, Biden & Pelosi's Dangerous Healthcare Bill

In this week's Liberty Update we highlight the potentially catastrophic threat of H.R. 3, the healthcare and drug price control bill that Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi are attempting to rush through Congress.  The Wall Street Journal helpfully offers further insight this morning on how H.R. 3 would threaten lifesaving U.S. pharmaceutical innovation and leadership, including on things like the Covid vaccines:

 

Companies that refuse the government’s price must pay a 95% excise tax on all revenue they generate from that drug in the U.S.  They’d also have to offer the government price to private insurers.  There’s no “negotiation” when a gun is pointed at your head.  A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that drug spending in the U.S…[more]

September 17, 2021 • 12:55 PM

Liberty Update

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IRS, Immigration Scandals Are Destroying the Obama Administration’s Credibility Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, July 24 2014
What both the IRS scandal and the ongoing immigration crisis show is an executive branch gone wild.

With the IRS scandal and immigration crisis revealing new depths of duplicity in the highest levels of the Obama administration, a pattern of deception is emerging that is lethal to the credibility of government leaders.

Earlier this week, investigators working for the House of Representatives publicized interviews with IRS IT experts that directly contradict the agency’s official line that potentially incriminating emails sent by former manager Lois Lerner were unrecoverable.

Since May 2013, when she admitted directing IRS staff to use search times like “tea party” to target applications for non-profit status, Lerner – then the head of the agency’s tax-exempt group – has been the focal point of interest into whether the IRS illegally discriminated against conservative advocacy groups.

The current issue is whether thousands of emails from Lerner’s government email account can be accessed.  Investigators believe they are likely to find incriminating messages that show a coordinated effort to harass the activities of groups ideologically opposed to President Barack Obama’s agenda.

In the latest round of oversight hearings, new IRS Commissioner John Koskinen has said that a hard drive crash made recovering Lerner’s emails impossible.

However, that story is being disputed by IT experts inside and outside the IRS.

“But now, investigators have had a chance to talk to the technical experts inside the IRS who actually examined Lerner’s computer, and the experts say the hard drive in question was actually just ‘scratched,’ and that most of the data on it was recoverable,” writes Byron York.

“The IRS computer experts also told the committee that they had recommended seeking outside help in recovering the data from Lerner’s computer – something IRS management declined to do.”

IT industry leaders are also criticizing the IRS’ handling of the situation.

“There is a certificate of destruction any time a piece of equipment is sent to a disposal company… Where is that?” asked Barbara Rembiesa, the chief of the International Association of Information Technology Asset Managers, in an interview with Politico. “Where is the paper trail?”

With the IRS’ credibility on this issue eroding by the day, a federal judge is deciding whether to appoint an independent IT forensic expert to look into what happened.

Then there’s the crisis on the southern border.

Though it didn’t get the attention it deserved, a recent Washington Post investigative piece quoted White House advisors and Democratic members of Congress openly admitting they put the liberal political goal of comprehensive immigration reform ahead of addressing the expected surge in illegally migrating children.

As early as 2012 – the year Obama implemented “deferred action” on deportations and the year after he instructed federal agents to use prosecutorial discretion in a way that privileged minors crossing illegally – immigration officials were “sounding alarm bells” about the rapidly growing number of unaccompanied children.

Indeed, “[t]he number of minors arriving illegally from Central America shot from 3,933 in 2011 to 20,805 in 2013,” reports the Post. In 2014 so far, the number has ballooned to an estimated 57,000.

Despite these early warnings, liberals sacrificed national security to play politics. 

The Post quotes Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) as saying that Democrats in Congress were aware of the problem, but chose to remain silent in order to help Obama pass his version of immigration reform that would make it easier to grant eventual citizenship to illegal immigrants.

“That was always a concern of mine: How to address the issue in a way that did not detract from the need for comprehensive immigration reform,” Roybal-Allard told the paper.

The political calculation amounted to a bait-and-switch: Ignore increasing waves of illegal immigrants, and pass a bill that would turn around and absorb them once implemented.

Obama’s top advisors were in on the fix too.

Members of the president’s national security team were routinely overruled by more powerful White House domestic policy staff. “Was there a lack of interest and a focus on the legislation? Yes, that’s where the focus was,” said a source involved in the deliberations.

What both the IRS scandal and the ongoing immigration crisis show is an executive branch gone wild. Untethered from a sense of duty to the citizens they serve, bureaucrats and politicians are being caught consistently abusing their power to advance their ideology. The rule of law is being sacrificed on the altar of the liberal agenda. 

The cost to society is material and cultural. Every time a government official is caught deceiving the public, oceans of money are channeled toward figuring out the truth. Partisan suspicions are confirmed and the common good gets obscured. Repeated violations of the public’s trust also damage the credibility and legitimacy of all public officials, and leads to cynicism about politics that makes even routine matters of governing difficult to achieve.

The depth of deception in the Obama administration is breathtaking, and the toll it is taking on health of our political culture could be lethal.

Quiz Question   
Based on FBI statistics, what is the approximate annual cost to U.S. victims of cyber-crime?
More Questions
Notable Quote   
 
"A generation ago, labor unions actually tried to represent the financial interests of workers. For all their other faults, they at least focused on higher wages, better working conditions, and tight labor markets for their members.That era is long gone. Now, labor unions' top issues include 'racial justice,' 'climate change,' and 'immigration reform.' This is one reason why the percentage of workers…[more]
 
 
—The Editors, Washington Examiner
— The Editors, Washington Examiner
 
Liberty Poll   

Of the presidents who have presided over the Afghanistan war, which one deserves the worst grade as the U.S. observes the 20th anniversary of 9-11?