Breitbart News has obtained an exclusive video of Attorney General Eric Holder flatly rejecting the idea of appointing a special counsel to investigate Benghazi.
Filmed on May 15 and provided to Breitbart News by Special Operations Speaks, the video shows Holder emerge from his car and walk towards the Rayburn House Office Building for hearings on the IRS scandal. Holder is clearly asked, “Mr. Holder, will you appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Benghazi?”
In equally clear tones, Holder answers, “No,” and disappears into the building.
The Washington Times – House Republicans have concluded that the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies bear no blame for failing to halt the terrorist assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last year, releasing a report Tuesday that said President Obama and the State Department set up the military for failure.
The report also found that plenty of intelligence presaged the attack, but the White House and State Department — including the secretary at the time, Hillary Rodham Clinton — failed to heed the warnings.
In the most damning conclusion, House Republicans said Mr. Obama’s team lied about the attacks afterward, first by blaming mob violence spawned by an anti-Muslim video, and then wrongly saying it had misled the public because it was trying to protect an FBI investigation.
“This progress report reveals a fundamental lack of understanding at the highest levels of the State Department as to the dangers presented in Benghazi, Libya, as well as a concerted attempt to insulate the Department of State from blame following the terrorist attacks,” the GOP investigation concluded in its 46-page report.
Washington Times – The chief of the FAA told Congress today that Washington-area airports will largely escape the effects of the air traffic controller furloughs — a blessing for lawmakers who fly out of the nation’s capitol.
Michael Huerta, head of the Federal Aviation Administration, told a congressional panel that the Washington region’s airports are spaced out enough and have enough spare capacity that furloughs to air traffic controllers won’t hurt as much here.
He also said Atlanta should escape major problems because the big airfield there has five runways, which makes it easier to space flights out.
That’s not the case in places like New York City, where several big airports are clustered together.
The furloughs of air traffic controllers — which the FAA said it had to do because of budget sequesters — has created delays at some airports. With fewer air traffic controllers, flights are being spaced out more, meaning planes depart their gates on time but can end up sitting on the runway for two hours awaiting clearance from the tower.
Red State -
More wild and crazy adventures in Barack Obama’s command economy, courtesy of the Washington Examiner:
It’s more than a little disheartening when the chief executive officer of one of America’s most storied Fortune 500 corporations is “comfortable” with the fact that his companycreated a mere 10 jobs with a $25 million grant under President Obama’s economic stimulus program in 2010.
The CEO in question is Honeywell’s David Cote, and the stimulus grant involved came from the Department of Energy to advance Obama’s green energy agenda. The funds were to be used by Honeywell’s UOP subsidiary to build a biofuels technology demonstration plant in Oahu, Hawaii, supposedly creating 85 construction jobs and 40 permanent positions in each succeeding year.
There were gushing promises of a thousand permanent jobs ultimately resulting from the Oahu plant, but so far it’s just the ten permanent positions, plus claims of 85 temporary construction jobs.
If Cote ever starts feeling uncomfortable with that, he can cheer himself up by remembering that his company is doing better than Fisker Automotive, Obama’s little Solyndra On Wheels, which justdefaulted on its first $10 million loan payment to the Department of Energy… which gave it nearly $200 million of our money. Anticipating the collapse of the company it once subsidized so lavishly, DOE has already seized $21 million from Fisker accounts, so we taxpaying chumps are only a little over $170 million in the hole.
When it was up and running, Fisker was a glittering example of Obamanomics, causing vast amounts of redistributed wealth to vanish as it pumped out an incredibly expensive car nobody wanted to buy. From Bloomberg News:
Fisker Automotive Inc. spent more than six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce each luxury plug-in car it sold than the company received from customers, according to a research report.
The Anaheim, California-based company made about 2,500 of its $103,000 Karmas before halting production last year, disrupting its plans to use a $529 million U.S. loan to restart a shuttered Delaware factory owned by the predecessor of General Motors Co. (GM) The Karma was assembled in Finland.
Fisker was allowed to keep using money from its Energy Department loan after violating its terms multiple times, according to a report released April 17 by PrivCo, a New York-based researcher specializing in closely held companies. It said it based its report on documents, including the loan agreement, obtained through the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.
“They made a mistake” in awarding the loan, PrivCo Chief Executive Officer Sam Hamadeh said of the Energy Department in an interview yesterday. “Should they have fought this sooner? Obviously — as soon as it became evident that they had begun to default.”
They were selling a hundred-thousand-dollar electric car, and losing half a million bucks on every sale. Brilliant!
Breitbart - A bill called the Marketplace Fairness Act has been advanced in the Senate by a vote of 74-20 after being strongly endorsed by Barack Obama. The bill would let states tax online purchases so internet businesses would be forced to make consumers pay state taxes on their purchases. Amendments will now be offered, and the bill is expected to be voted on later this week.
Two giant tech companies are facing off: Amazon is in favor of it, while eBay is against it. Amazon has been reportedly building distribution centers in many states so they can accommodate the bill. Other supporters such as the National Retail Federation, which represents chains such as Best Buy, Macy’s and J.C. Penney, and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), which includes Target, said they would watch to see which way lawmakers voted. Other endorsers include governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, Rick Snyder of Michigan and Bob McDonnell of Virginia.
The opposition, in addition to eBay, includes Wall Street groups such as The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association and the Financial Services Roundtable. Scott Talbott, the senior vice president of public policy for the Roundtable, said:
It’s important for Congress to explore all the possible outcomes and costs of the proposal, especially the impact on consumers. A transaction tax on financial services products will hurt retail investors, retired Americans, and small businesses, effectively making it more expensive for them to invest and plan for the long-term. Without hearings, these implications and others will not be properly addressed.
The White House disagreed. White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “We have heard overwhelmingly from governors, mayors and the business community on the need for federal legislation to level the playing field for our businesses and address sales tax fairness.”
Associated Press -
Commercial airline flights started backing up and delayed some travelers Monday, a day after air traffic controllers started going on furlough because of government spending cuts.
Information from the FAA and others showed that flying Sunday was largely uneventful, with most flights on time. There were delays in parts of Florida, but those were caused by thunderstorms.
Mark Duell at the flight tracking website FlightAware said that John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports in New York indicated delays due to lower staffing starting late Sunday evening. The FAA website said that flights from Philadelphia and Orlando, Fla., into John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Westchester County airports were delayed due to staffing issues.
The trade group Airlines for America, which represents the airlines and had predicted a big traffic snarl, said Sunday evening that it was “not seeing a significant impact at this point.” A spokeswoman said the group would continue to monitor the situation, and urged flyers to stay in contact with their airlines.
Delays were also affecting travelers in Los Angeles. The FAA said late Sunday night that staffing cuts were causing delays averaging more than three hours for flights arriving at Los Angeles International Airport. The agency did not say how many flights were affected.
Airport spokesman Marshall Lowe said about 70 flights had delays of about an hour or more Sunday, but he could not say what role the staffing cuts played in the delays.
Daily Caller – According to White House visitor log records, Obama’s chief fundraiser Matthew Barzun was among those in attendance at the Dec. 5 White House meeting that also included Shawn Reilly, the Kentucky politico who is accused of secretly bugging a campaign meeting held by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.
Longtime journalist and Louisville Courier-Journal editorial board member Keith Runyon was also there.
These facts, along with other emerging details, further undermine the narrative that Reilly and his colleagues were nothing more than quixotic rogues who got out over their skis.
Breitbart - Late Friday, the FBI finally admitted that it had interviewed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was killed by police early Friday morning. The FBI reversed itself after the Tsarnaevs’ mother, Zubeidat, told Russia Today that her son had been monitored by the FBI on Skype, and actually spoke with him “every step of the way.” She said, “They used to come [to our] home, they used to talk to me … they were telling me that he was really an extremist leader and that they were afraid of him. They told me whatever information he is getting, he gets from these extremist sites… they were controlling him, they were controlling his every step…and now they say that this is a terrorist act!
CBS News correspondent Bob Orr said that the FBI conducted the investigation into Tsarnaev after requests from a foreign government – likely Russia — but could not uncover any ties between Tsarnaev and any foreign terrorist entities.
CBS reports that the FBI likely ran a background check, including foreign communications and overseas travel. He was finally interviewed personally by the FBI.
This is the latest in a pattern of late intelligence from the FBI. They missed the boat on 9/11; they had a bead on Major Hasan Nadal prior to his terror attack at Fort Hood; they even interviewed Carlos Bledsoe, man who murdered a soldier at a recruitment post in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2009.
PHOENIX (AP) — Authorities are investigating what was reported to be an explosive device addressed to Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America” known for his strict treatment of jail inmates and cracking down on illegal immigration.
The device intercepted in Flagstaff late Thursday was in a package addressed to Arpaio at his downtown Phoenix office, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
It appeared suspicious, so it was X-rayed and the device was detected. A bomb squad team neutralized the explosive, the statement said.
Postal Inspector Patricia Armstrong said investigators were examining debris from the package. “We don’t know if it was an actual device of some sort,” she said.
Armstrong said authorities were alerted by a “very astute” carrier who observed “something suspicious” about the package when the carrier emptied a collection box in the Flagstaff area.
Flagstaff is about 140 miles north of Phoenix.
The Hill -
President Obama’s budget, to be released next week, will limit how much wealthy individuals – like Mitt Romney – can keep in IRAs and other retirement accounts.
The proposal would save around $9 billion over a decade, a senior administration official said, while also bringing more fairness to the tax code.
The senior administration official said that wealthy taxpayers can currently “accumulate many millions of dollars in these accounts, substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving.”
Under the plan, a taxpayer’s tax-preferred retirement account, like an IRA, could not finance more than $205,000 per year of retirement – or right around $3 million this year.
Romney, Obama’s 2012 opponent, had an IRA several to many times that amount, leading to questions about how the former Massachusetts governor was able to squirrel away so much money in that sort of retirement account