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Washington (CNN)The FBI and the federal prosecutors in Illinois are investigating whether Rep. Aaron Schock broke the law in accounting for campaign expenses, according to people familiar with the matter.
Schock in recent days announced plans to resign, citing controversy surrounding allegations that he improperly accounted for travel and other contributions from donors and mileage reimbursements for a personal car he purchased with campaign funds. But the probe managed by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Springfield, Ill., means his legal troubles are just beginning.
The federal investigation is focused on at least three questions, according to people familiar with the inquiry, including the mileage reimbursements, travel that was paid for by donors and in-kind contributions from donors that were not reported.
The FBI is delivering subpoenas in Washington and Illinois, according to two people familiar with the investigation.
Fox News –
President Obama says he first learned from news reports that his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, used a private email account during her tenure, amid reports the White House and State Department may have known as far back as last August that Clinton did not use government email.
“The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports,” Obama told CBS’ Bill Plante, in response to a question of when the president learned of Clinton’s use of a private email account for conducting government business.
Obama, in an interview with CBS aired Sunday, continued to stand by his claims that “the policy of my administration is to encourage transparency… and that’s why my emails — the BlackBerry that I carry around — all those records are available and archived and I’m glad that Hillary has instructed that those emails that had to do with official business need to be disclosed.”
By Nancy Thorner –
There is more behind the facade of what Jeb Bush stands for than meets the eye. As detailed in Part 1, “Jeb Bush, a conservative, a moderate, or a globalist,” Jeb didn’t allow challengers to stand in his way when running and winning the governorship three times in Florida. Although it has been reported that Jeb Bush governed as a conservative, in the interim Bush has taken positions that mirror those of Democrats, specifically with amnesty and Common core.
During Jeb Bush’s recent appearance at C-PAC he captured 5th placed percentage-wise. During an interview conducted by Sean Hannity Bush spoke of himself as a “reform-minded conservative.” It is interesting that Jeb Bush was open to a question and answer session with Sean Hannity, but not to a direct confrontation with the C-PAC audience. Of even greater interest is why Jeb Bush is seemingly being pushed as the anointed Republican presidential candidate for 2016.
Part of the answer is found in Phyllis Schlafly’s book, “A Choice Not An Echo.” Schlafly details how in early 1936 a little group of secret kingmakers (prominent financiers and industrialists) laid long-range plans to control the Republican Party. This group has used every trick to dictate the choice of the Republican presidential nominee up to now, although failing in their selections of Bob Dold and John McCain. It was the kingmakers who were responsible for derailing and destroying Senator Barry Goldwater in the election of 1964. For the kingmakers, it was anyone but Goldwater, preferring, as they did, the continuation of the policies of Democrat incumbent Lyndon Johnson to those of Goldwater. With this in mind, there is every reason to believe the kingmakers of today, although faces have changed, are partial to Jeb Bush as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee?
Entities that embrace the “One World, Centralized Political System
The kingmakers are not the only entity who believe Jeb Bush fits the criteria of what a presidential candidate must stand for and represent. The author’s goal is to set forth the tangled web of Common Core as it relates to what the U.N.; non-governmental organizations; and the elitist, establishment members of the Republican Party all wish to achieve in the future: One World Government, often called Globalism. One World Government is a project of the elites. It’s presently on track to become the social and political agenda of the 21st century. Jeb Bush, as a globalist, would lead this nation’s ship in the right direction, while Common Core Standards would enable the process.
Crain’s Chicago Business,
By KRISTEN SCHORSCH,
As Obamacare enrollment in Illinois soars, the executive director of the Illinois agency that manages the state’s Obamacare health insurance exchange is stepping aside.
Jennifer Koehler, who led the online exchange, dubbed Get Covered Illinois, for two years, has resigned. She said she is volunteering her services to the Rauner administration to ensure a smooth transition until enrollment ends Feb. 22.
“Launching and growing GCI has been a great honor,” Koehler said in a statement. “In two short years, we have created a culture of coverage across Illinois, connected over 900,000 residents to health care coverage and as a result changed many peoples’ lives for the better. . . .I leave knowing that we have laid the foundation for a healthier state for years to come.”
WHAT DROVE THE ENROLLMENT SURGE?
A more informed public and a bolstered relationship with insurance brokers helped fuel Obamacare sign-ups in Illinois, jumping 60 percent so far this year compared with last year’s debut.
“We just had more momentum going into 2015,” said Barbara Otto, CEO of Health and Disability Advocates, a Chicago nonprofit that has educated consumers about the exchange.
During 2014, the first year of the exchange, some consumers mistakenly thought that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was only for people living in poverty, she said. But in 2015, “more and more people were hearing about friends, neighbors and others getting access to coverage.”
There was a gap in public awareness in 2014 not only in that the exchanges existed, but that subsidies were available for consumers who qualified, said Caroline Pearson, a senior vice president at Avalere Health, a Washington, D.C.-based consultancy.
“Illinois is one of the states with the biggest increase from 2014 enrollment,” Pearson said. “In terms of having a boost this year, I think they’re definitely doing well.”
Enrollment totaled 347,300 in Illinois as of Feb. 15. Of those, an estimated 172,000 people renewed coverage in 2015 and 175,000 people are new to the exchange, according to an Avalere Health analysis of federal data.
Of the total Illinois enrollees, 81 percent are from an area that spans from west suburban Naperville to Chicago to northwest suburban Elgin, according to the federal Department of Health and Human Services.
Daily Caller –
The House Oversight Committee on Friday ordered Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to hand over unredacted versions of emails discussing net neutrality with the White House, which the FCC asked for input on redactions prior to disclosure.
Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz sent a letter to Wheeler on Friday asking the FCC head to turn over unredacted communications between his office and high-level White House employees discussing net neutrality, which were first obtained by Vice News via a Freedom of Information Act request.
Those emails, which Chaffetz requested from Wheeler earlier this month in order to assess whether the White House exerted inappropriate influence over the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal, were reportedly “heavily…redacted at the behest of the White House.”
“I requested, among other things, all communications between and among FCC personnel and the White House, the National Economic Council, the Office of Management and Budget, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration relating to net neutrality, the open Internet proceeding, the classification of broadband, or the regulation of broadband Internet access service between January 14, 2014, and the present,” Chaffetz wrote.
Daily Caller –
by Derek Hunter,
ISIS is marching across huge swaths of land in the Middle East, crucifying, beheading and burning alive untold numbers of human beings, and making direct threats against the United States.
But the Department of Homeland Security is making sure the government doesn’t take its eye off the real enemy – right-wingers.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists.
The report cites “24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010,” or as ISIS calls it, “a slow Tuesday morning.”
Without naming names, or citing any sources, CNN declares:
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.
While anyone committing crimes is an issue law enforcement should be concerned with, the threat from lunatic fringe “sovereign citizens” — people who reject government — pales in comparison to an organized and well-financed group of jihadi terrorists excited at the prospect of their own death in the course of killing “infidels.”
A White House official said President Obama is concerned with all “violent ideologies.” How this is squared with the president personally meeting with leaders of anti-police groups in the wake of the events in Ferguson, Missouri, was not addressed. Nor were violent attacks on police in the name of “social justice,” like the execution of two New York City police officers by a member of the anti-police groups.
For clarity and comment on the report, CNN turned to the Southern Poverty Law Center:
Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said that by some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 people involved in some way with sovereign citizen extremism. Perhaps 100,000 people form a core of the movement, he said.
The federal government’s focus on the domestic groups waxes and wanes, Potok said, in part because the threat from foreign groups like al Qaeda and its affiliates.
National Journal –
About 800,000 people received tax forms with incorrect information about their Obamacare coverage, officials from the Health and Human Services Department said Friday.
The errors occurred on a new form that helps Obamacare enrollees figure out whether they qualify for a subsidy that would pay all or part of their premiums, and how big that subsidy should be. Information used to calculate those subsidies was wrong on about 20 percent of tax forms, HHS officials said. The errors would cause some taxpayers to claim too large a subsidy and others to claim less than they’re actually eligible for.
Andy Slavitt, principal deputy administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said the agency is already notifying taxpayers of the mistake and will be sending out revised forms. The “vast majority” of Obamacare enrollees haven’t filed their taxes yet, and can simply use the new, corrected information when they do, Slavitt said. But, of the 800,000 people who received inaccurate forms, about 50,000 have already filed their taxes, Slavitt said.
Washington Post –
By Sean Sullivan,
CHICAGO — The crowd at the Irish American Heritage Center was subdued, some quietly sipping beers. The moderator reminded mayoral hopeful Jesus “Chuy” Garcia that the incumbent, Rahm Emanuel, had a much bigger campaign war chest.
“And more fear of me than I of him,” Garcia, a mustached Mexican American upstart, snapped back, and the audience was subdued no more.
President Obama returned to his home town Thursday, where he sought to propel Emanuel, his former chief of staff, to a second term. The race remains surprisingly competitive, and it has crystallized some of the deep internal divisions in the Democratic Party as it prepares for the 2016 presidential campaign.
Garcia has emerged as a nothing-to-lose dissenting liberal voice who has channeled frustration with Emanuel’s rocky first term into an aggressive campaign against the mayor. The Chicago fight has become the latest front in a simmering nationwide battle between the establishment governing wing of the Democratic Party and a more restive, populist wing that is demanding a more openly liberal agenda.
Daily Caller –
Anyone who receives Obamacare subsidies could be in for a rude awakening this tax season.
Four in ten low-income Obamacare participants will face sticker shock this April 15 when they discover they owe a great deal of money to the IRS because of a little-known “clawback” provision in the health-care law.
A family of four could owe the government as much as $11,200, according to a 2013 prediction by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.
The idea that struggling, low-income Obamacare enrollees would have to repay the government for subsidies has been a dirty little secret that has always been part of the Affordable Care Act.