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Press Shakedown? Labor Dept. Wanted $1M from AP

by Keith Koffler on June 4, 2013, 8:45 am

In the latest blow to the Obama administration’s claim to be the “openness administration,” word emerged today that the Department of Labor sought to charge a news organization more than $1 million for information.

According to the Associated Press, which reported today on the widespread use by government officials of secret email accounts, Labor demanded that AP pay $1.03 million for costs the department said were involved in retrieving email addresses for political appointees.

According to the piece:

(The agency) said it needed to pull 2,236 computer backup tapes from its archives and pay 50 people to pore over old records. Those costs included three weeks to identify tapes and ship them to a vendor, and pay each person $2,500 for nearly a month’s work.

But under the department’s own FOIA rules – which it cited in its letter to the AP – it is prohibited from charging news organizations any costs except for photocopies after the first 100 pages. The department said it would take 14 weeks to find the emails if the AP had paid the money . . .

A department spokesman later termed the demand for cash a “mistake” and provided the Associated Press with the email addresses for all Labor appointees confirmed by the Senate. But it would appear demanding such and exorbitant sum to drum up a few email addresses may amount to an effort to create a barrier to the release of information.

The episode suggests that the failure to appreciate the role of the press extends well beyond the White House, which bullies reporters to suppress the news, and the Justice Department, which makes them subject to criminal inquiry for collecting information. It is one of the cardinal rules of journalism that you don’t pay for information, particularly not a sum like $1 million.

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{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

schm0e June 4, 2013 at 8:54 am

Freedom (of information) Ain’t Free!

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Cindy June 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

Actually it is, it’s the law.

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SquirrelyBritches June 4, 2013 at 9:46 am

Schm0e, sometimes you have to let people hit the wall a few times before they go through the doorway. Cindy, we all know it is the law, but the fact that the $1,000,000.00 ransom on the information has been requested is not FREE!

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John Barnett June 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hey, Obama has to pay for Obamacare some way, most people just call it extortion.

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GOOGLE WHO WOULD JESUS TAX June 4, 2013 at 10:03 am

They shake down everyone. Its called a tribute to Caesar, or taxes. But, According to the IRS, 67 MILLION AMERICANS don’t even file taxes. Didn’t any of you notice that corporations, IRS employees and senators, even Treasury Secretary Geithner, are famous for not paying taxes, OR saying they don’t have to pay? Just Maybe, these people have actually read their income tax law. HERE’S A TEST for tax professionals, including IRS AGENTS, Where is ONE and ONLY legal definition of Exempt income codified in tax law?

ANSWER: 26 CFR 1.861-8T(d)(2)(ii) and 26 CFR 1.861-8T(d)(2)(iii)

According to US tax law, most Americans DON’T OWE ANY income tax. Of course, the perps will say Sec. 861 is frivolous, yet there it is, definition of Exempt income IS codified in Sec. 861. Just how do you think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner gets away with saying such things as they don’t have to pay? Its codified, which means its precise. Obviously, the perps and tax parasites don’t want the easy money gravy train to end. Arrest the perps, … AND OBEY THE LAW. Then, the govt corruption, illegal undeclared wars, requirements for FACEBOOK activities and passwords, etc, will dry up like frozen warts. Stop paying for your chains with your own tax money. You cannot serve both Truth and mammon. Hint: mammon is god of money, creator of money, i.e. the GOVT. Jesus said, if someone sins, and doesn’t change their evil ways, they are to be treated as TAX COLLECTORS. – Matt. 18:15-17
GOOGLE WHO WOULD JESUS TAX

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 11:50 am

Those are the smart people… Anyone with half a brain understands our “fiat currency” is worthless. It really makes no difference if ANYONE pays taxes. They can always “print up” some more. A few weeks ago I heard a Libidiot say 0bama should just create a Trillion Dollar Coin, make a few hundred and were all set…

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Defiant June 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

It is NOT, necessarily. I worked for a school district that often had to deal with FOIL (Freedom of Information Act Law) requests. Government agencies can not charge for the information, but they CAN charge for the manpower and expenses (the cost of copies, for instance). It’s underhanded, but the government agencies often tabulate LARGE expenses in order to discourage FOIL requests.

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Star June 4, 2013 at 10:40 am

Who thinks this charge, if legit, is shall we say, enhanced? I do. I do.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 11:54 am

“Large expenses”. Gee, ya think???? Govt is America gravest threat.

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myron_monk June 4, 2013 at 8:56 am

The day’s latest from our Extortionist in Chief… typical Democrat!

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Buster June 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

I love it – FINALLY a govt agency realizing the HUGE cost and burden of the regulations it creates.

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RickW June 4, 2013 at 8:57 am

“openess administration” = Open Your Wallet

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Bucky June 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

this is the “fun” in fundamentally change this country…

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gone postal June 4, 2013 at 8:59 am

Pikers.

You should see what the USPS charges for FOIA requests, which are then answered with piles of redacted pages. They charged the state of Montana (IIRC) $987,000 for information requested under FOIA, and that’s just one example, government body to government body.

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Bucky June 4, 2013 at 9:00 am

obfusicate and bebother these reporters…
(apologies to R.R. Tolkien)

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Cd June 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

Even if the below comment are making light of this issue,it’s time to stop making light and get serious about these issues. This Nation as a problem with there President being a liar,cheat,and not having the Tax payers interest @ heart.The Tax Payers better be @ there House/senate door asking why isn’t Obama gone by now.

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65andcounting June 4, 2013 at 9:02 am

My disgust level for the Obama administration is epic. They will stop at nothing and someone seriously needs to make them accountable. But if they continue to hide emails through bogus accounts and their AG lies under oath, what hope does America have for the next three years?

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Steve D June 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

Tapes? Good lord what is this 1978?

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Keyser June 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

“The most transparent administration in history”

Cough, cough, bullshit.

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Deeply Divided June 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

In at least one respect we see just how transparent our gov’t has become. They will disregard any law, lie, cheat, steal. We see it very clearly.

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Playrighter June 4, 2013 at 9:57 am

It may be time for a Transparency Price List, so we’ll know the costs up front (I’m sure there’s a Pelosi quote here somewhere).

Let’s see, so far: $1 Million for your own e-mails
$500,000 for face time with Obama
$100 Million or so for union goodies

As the gentleman once said to the alleged hooker, “We’ve already established what you are, we’re just negotiating price.”

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buffmuffin June 4, 2013 at 9:05 am

Pay for play, the Chicago way…

Anyone surprised?

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Geoff Caldwell June 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

If there is ONE bill that needs to be passed NOW it is:
All persons at the cabinet and assistant cabinet level of the federal government shall utilize public, government email accounts only while in office. All said emails shall be archived and stored. Failure to do so is punishable by death, or say 20 years hard labor, or better yet, stripping of U.S. citizenship and deportation to a Banana Republic of choice where such corruption is business as usual.

Yes it needs the proper legal mumbo jumbo but you get the point.

Comparing Obama to Nixon is no longer fair. O has far surpassed him in so many ways.

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Bill June 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

You don’t have to kill them. Take away their pensions. Compliance will shoot to 100% overnight.

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nygrump June 4, 2013 at 10:38 am

This has been going on for more than one administration, in case you’ve forgotten. the problem is structural and I agree, public officials need to be severely punished when they do things like hide emails, make public CIA agents, provide insider information, indulge in industrial espionage, etc etc…

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jjv June 4, 2013 at 10:50 am

How about some examples, as in PROOF this has been going on in other Admin.?

This sleazy WH crew is so freakin low they have to look up to see the bottom of the barrel

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

So the Liberals ONLY solution is to grow it bigger? Youre the enemy…

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:00 pm

We are just a couple of days/months/years away from these Bureaucrats entire unsustainable employment/retirement SCHEME come crumbling down on all of our heads. Last I checked America was indebted to the Unionized Public Sector employees to the tune of -2.5T. That bill coming due will be the beginning of the New American Revolution. And they have all of our guns…

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TimW June 4, 2013 at 7:27 pm

“And they have all of our guns…

No they don’t…it’s .not even close

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Bill June 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town!

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Playrighter June 4, 2013 at 10:00 am

I learned yesterday that until the election in which Rahm Emanuel was elected Mayor, a single donor could contribute over $100,000 to a single candidate (Emanuel, or course).

Isn’t the national limit something like $3,500? And they say money can’t buy you love…

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magicbeans June 4, 2013 at 9:08 am

I think what we are seeing is Chicago style politics on a national level. Nice to see the Press is actually reporting this stuff now that it directly effects them.

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Kathy June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

Libs lack empathy and are in general total hypocrites. Nothing will change until they themselves are negatively affected. Then they will change their votes but the hideous mindset? Nope which is why I will despise them for the rest of my life.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I watched the Natl press and the term I saw most often used was “OVEREACH”. Over and over and over… Yea the Natl press report “news”…

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derdagian1 June 4, 2013 at 9:09 am

Lube up folks!!! The openness hurts like a speculum in your sphincter, and it lets a team of Democrat Union halfwits from the IRS into your colon.

ABOLISH the IRS Union and all of their bureaucrats.

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Krusatyr June 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

EyeYourAss: they gotta see it all.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:11 pm

AMEN BROTHER. Should already be happening but they are going to do what Bureaucrats do. Drag it on for years until everyone is sick and tired of hearing about it then do it again..

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Misscheryl June 4, 2013 at 2:55 pm

We all want the IRS abolished but since when does what American’s want matter? Our lifelong politicians need the IRS. It’s just another tool they use to retain control over the citizens. They will never abolish it.

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Lincoln Robertson June 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

That stupid Bush and that right winged conspiracy! Democrats have to do things like this to level the playing field because Repubs are so ruthless. Ain’t that right you leftist robots!

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Jim1937 June 4, 2013 at 9:48 am

You mean the stupid Bush whose grades were better than Kerry or Al Bore and if they were public better than Bathhouse Barry’s?

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Marbran June 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

How much more? How much more do we have to learn about this administration and our current government, in general, before we demand that every house get cleaned up?!?

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Aileen June 4, 2013 at 9:15 am

*Like!*

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NealWV June 4, 2013 at 9:17 am

DIDO!

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Denver June 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

And 53% of voters supported this Gang’s desire to rule.

You. People. Are. Idiots.

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NealWV June 4, 2013 at 9:16 am

This revelation of Obama’s administration sounds about right. It started from the beginning when his Senate seat went up for sale. For all of you nieve blind libs that think Obama was going to be the most open admin in history, do you still believe? Sounds to me he made the same promise as Pelosi did when she took the Speaker’s seat. Only its worse to correspond with the power that he was given. Some people can’t be given power, they get a god complex. Especially ones that are called Messiah and send shivers down the legs of the media.

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Walter W. Charles June 4, 2013 at 10:02 am

You must have missed the correction to Chrissy Matthew’s quote on His Lowness, King Barack the Useless. It was originally quoted as “a tingle up my leg”, however, it was later revealed what he actually said was “a tinkle down my leg”.

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James Madison June 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

People working in government have forgotten their obligations that they work for the benefit of the people, not the party, or for government. The outrageous mindset that infects this administration in particular that they are an entity unto themselves is the reason so many people are alarmed about the rising threat of tyranny.
Obama pledged during his first week in office to make government more transparent and open. The nation’s signature open-records law, he said in a memo to his Cabinet, would be “administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails.” The actions of himself and his subordinates betray his hypocrisy.
Time for a cleansing.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:23 pm

The only thing a Govt employee cares about is getting as big a paycheck as possible and Power over others… That’s it…

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TimW June 4, 2013 at 7:33 pm

“Obama pledged during his first week in office to make government more transparent and open.”

Which means that Obama did the exact opposite like he does with all of his grand self righteous pronouncements.

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Ratt June 4, 2013 at 9:19 am

Ahh, so this is why AP was targeted.

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Moe June 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

Ding, ding, ding!

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Krusatyr June 4, 2013 at 9:20 am

Shakedown, a community organizer’s go-to modus, even at the fed govt level. Note Sebelius is shakin down private businesses she regulates and/or benefits to pay for promotin obamacare, which funds congress has denied her.

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NealWV June 4, 2013 at 9:21 am

Keith Koffler,
Where is the accountability? This is the most corrupt administration in history. Yes some have been taken down and for far less I might add, but this guy(Obama) has more felonious scandals going on than the last ten Presidents were rumored to have committed. I want to see calls for impeachment or you all are nothing more than a sounding board for the President, much like the press in Syria!

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surroundedbycorruption June 4, 2013 at 9:22 am

News flash
All you need is the computer IP ADDRESS. Then you can track ALL communications via where that IP goes to. BINGO. Then you know that there will be different email accounts and precisely how many. EVERYTHING is trackable on a computer. Even data that has been deleted. The only way to “erase” it is to burn the hard drive into a puddle of goo. EVEN THAT will not erase the IP trail.

People need to be doing FOIA requests for IP addresses!

Cheers!

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Iconic Freedom June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

graft, fraud, corruption!?

sounds like the government is doing its job again today

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margielyle June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

How many political appointees ARE there in the Labor Department? I’d think you could just assign an intern to run around with a clipboard and ask – if that takes more than 2 weeks there are way too many political appointees.

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js June 4, 2013 at 9:24 am

Seems like this borders on criminal.

The fact that there is no central repository for information like this is stupendous from the gitgo.

Government agencies like the IG and DOJ should be capable of retrieving this info on short notice, 14 weeks is a joke.

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srdem65 June 4, 2013 at 9:25 am

The stonewalling of the information that the people have a right to see is outrageous and illegal.
The explanation of the difficulty of assessing the information on 2000+ computers is ridiculous and insulting. The labor department is suggesting that all the employees are private contractors who haven’t shared their e-mail addresses with anyone inside the agency.

Is anyone in charge, anyone?

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Lee June 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

When he claims to have the most transparent administration in history he isn’t lying. He means the most transparently corrupt.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Liberals only have TWO tools they can use against us. LIES and Useful idiots.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Forgot one. Projection…

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Jim1937 June 4, 2013 at 9:29 am

Corruption, Obama is thy name.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Come on now, youre just being racist, against his white half… LOL.

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KmikeB June 4, 2013 at 9:31 am

I don’t see any need to get upset over this, tomorrow the AP will just note that it was a ‘rogue’ person at Labor who made this request and that Obama could not have known about this, government is just too big for his holiness to know all that goes on. It will be another pass given by the press who would look foolish if they were to implicate ‘Their Chosen One’.

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Playrighter June 4, 2013 at 10:05 am

another argument for smaller government….

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:27 pm

The US Constitution should make it so. It doesn’t. A couple of key “Claus” and the Govt is in complete control… Commerce, General Welfare and Necessary and Proper… With those in hand they can do anything to anyone…

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florida gal June 4, 2013 at 9:32 am

Kenya believe it? We no longer have a federal government-we have a feral government.

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Jamesb June 4, 2013 at 9:34 am

It’s official, we now have “Chicago on the Potomac,” a little slice of CORRUPTION, influence peddling, extortion – and of course – election theft gone “big time.”
This is the DIRIEST regime in American history – bar none.

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

The scariest part it likely isn’t even close. Look up Woodrow Wilson.. He just arrested and Jailed his political enemies. The common denominator is PROGRESSIVE. Both parties are infected but the Democrats are 100% zombie progressive. The GOP calls its progressives “Rinos’s” for some reason. They are PROGRESSIVES…

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Freedom or Bust June 4, 2013 at 9:36 am

Unreal…

Everyone should check out the conservative/ freedom centric novel Blood of the Tree on amazon. We need more media like this

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STV June 4, 2013 at 9:40 am

Since the 1980s I have said that the IRS is the Gestapo of the US Government. I guess I was limited in my perception. The entire Government system is in question. We pay these guys to heap on us what chickens and ducks do naturally.

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Boss June 4, 2013 at 9:41 am

While POTUS parties away, the media hides his massive Chicago mob corruption. While he centralizes government power for special interests (Federal Reserve-Goldman Sachs and Monsanto), the liberal media STILL sells him as a caring soul that works for the common man. Amazing!!!! Does this not sound like “Socialist” N@zi Germany in the 1930s? The leader of the German “Socialist” Party (also known as Hitler) pushed the government and citizens to spy on each other(like Big Sis), claimed there were conspiracies against the government (right wingers), used false flags (Fast&Furious), used race and class warfare to get elected and divide the people(the Tea Party is racist and rich people are evil), demanded that citizens accept searches without a warrant (NDAA), administered centralized economic planning managed by a corrupt central bank (Fed Reserve), forced government controlled healthcare (Obamacare), death panels (Obamacare), healthcare focused on the most productive citizens (as stated by Rahm Emanuel’s Bro and Obamacare), mass abortion on minorities (Planned Parenthood) and obviously mass Gun Control. In reality, Gun violence is down 40% from the mid 90s, yet they create hysteria by lying through their teeth. Notice that the DHS has purchased over 2 Billion rounds in the past two years. All the while Obama signs unconstitutional executive orders to limit ammo for the public. These are tyrannical operations. This administration took the worst of Bush (Crushing debt, war, police state policies and constitutional destruction) and accelerated the agenda. Our leaders continue to use our soldiers to fight wars for banks and contractors. Why? Because you people keep electing them. Both parties are two heads on the same monster. Why do you think the Republicans robbed Ron Paul? He wanted to audit their, the IRS and Obama’s overlords at the corrupt and privately owned Federal Reserve. A simple vote by congress to repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 would save our Nation A LOT of Money! Cheers!

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sks June 4, 2013 at 9:49 pm

NDAA is more than just searches without a warrant-the govt. can arrest and hold a person indefinitely without a trial-SCARY!The “One” is definitely following Hitler’s path with the help of George Soros.

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Tonyn June 4, 2013 at 9:43 am

The Obama Precedence that Democrats Better hope Republicans never take control through …..

If the Republicans would start saying this to Democrats I bet they would start calling for the Heads of Obama Administration Officials that have Perverted the USA Rules of Laws !!!!!

With the anything goes policy this President has regarding following the laws or making new Eos that pertain to his agenda the democrats better hope a Republican controlled congress and Administration NEVER gets back in power because they will not be able to say one thing about anything that they don’t like and say is Unconstitutional because they are setting a Precedence here regarding following the rule of law with all these scandals !!!!!

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Billy June 4, 2013 at 9:44 am

It’s impossible for me to read the “$1 million” part without hearing Dr. Evil in my head.

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hischosen816 June 4, 2013 at 9:52 am

“Ummm…….I just want to make one thing perfectly clear. Ummmm…. Now, hear me on this. I had absolutely no knowledge whatsoever that this was taking place. And uhhhhhh……As I have said before, I will look into this. I will get to the bottom of this. Uhhhhhh……Let there be no mistake, I will find out who is responsible. Uhhhhhhhhh……This type of thing cannot be allowed to happen. Americans deserve better, so I intend to utilize all the resources at my disposal to clear this up. Now, understand, this may take some time. With all the budget cuts due to sequestration that the Republicans insisted on, we don’t have the resources to dedicate to clearing this matter in a timely matter. Uhhhhh…..I ask that you be patient and know that this will be addressed.”

(Note from my attorney – it is highly probable this is a close version of what he would say)

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JoeThePimpernel June 4, 2013 at 9:55 am

This is extortion-as-usual by the feral government.

They make exercising your rights so expensive that they de facto strip you of all your rights.

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wow June 4, 2013 at 9:58 am

Last I checked filing a Motion to Quash would have been significantly cheaper.

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John Barnett June 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

LOL, so now the administration is into down right extortion, when do we get to see some perp walks?

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Todd P. June 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

As a lifelong Republican, I’ve waited 39 YEARS for a Democratic Administration to come along that SO corrupt, people would forget about Richard Nixon. How ironic that it would be the Administration of Barack Milhous Obama. Apparently, using the IRS, DOJ, EPA, HHS, and ATF (basically every agency that had the power to punish/harass) at the same time to target “enemies” was a little too obvious. Geez, even Nixon only used the IRS and DOJ to go after a handful of individuals………

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Playrighter June 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

and using the IRS was one of Nixon’s Articles of Impeachment…

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American Patriot June 4, 2013 at 9:59 am

I am sick of this corrupt Barry Milhous Obama administration. This is WHY conservatives didn’t want him in the first place. All thanks goes to the no-moral/value Democrat liberals who forced this illegal Indonesian citizen on the American people. See what you’ve done, fools?

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Bob Biddle June 4, 2013 at 10:08 am

Subscribe me

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Pancake3 June 4, 2013 at 10:10 am

What kind of 3rd world place has the US morphed into? Bribes for basic government services? Sounds like Latin America. Can you spell Banana Republic?

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Despiser June 4, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Maybe somebody should have asked 0bamas definition of “Transforming America” 5 days before the election. This man has eliminated himself from the office of POTUS so many times before and after both elections Ive lost count, yet there he is…

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PabloKoh June 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

When did this occur? Was it before or after the Whitehouse wiretaps on the AP were discovered?

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RodgersN June 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

Name the specific individual(s) in the Labor Department who “… demanded that AP pay $1.03 million for costs.. “.

Why protect the wrong-doing of these ‘public-servants’ by concealing their name(s) ?

The AP knows exactly which Labor Department bureaucrat(s) issued that outrageous monetary demand, but AP follows the normal subservient media custom of using abstract/collective terms when reporting on the “government” (i.e., the “Labor Dept”; the “White House”; the “EPA”; etc.).

Media-granted anonymity to government officials just gives them more incentive to bend/break the rules. Private citizens are rarely granted such deference.

Report the facts. Names are facts and highly relevant to the primary news item being reported here.

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anne June 4, 2013 at 10:12 am

first rule: don’t get into a pissing contest with the press (you’ll always lose) this shows a lack of experience.
admin. has succeede in changing the gov’t into a big middle school populated by jr high aged people..

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Ryan June 4, 2013 at 10:13 am

Shakedown?

Extortion.

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