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The IRS won’t turn over Lois Lerner’s emails. You’ll never believe why.

Remember last week when a federal judge started the countdown clock on the deadline for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to put up or shut up on Lois Lerner’s missing emails [1]? Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia made it very clear: either release Lerner’s lost-and-found emails by Friday (June 12) or have a good explanation ready. On Monday, the IRS had its excuse ready. And it’s a doozy. Reports Fox Business [2]: The Internal Revenue Service may have found 6,400 emails from Lois Lerner, who oversaw the tax agency’s Exempt Organizations Unit, but the government agency has no plans to share....

News Briefing for Wednesday, June 3

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Patriot Act Renewal: Senate Overwhelmingly Votes To Proceed “…Conservative groups are arguing against McConnell’s amendments, and that could augur trouble in the House. So far, the USA Freedom Act has enjoyed unusual support from both tea party groups and the American Civil Liberties Union. “We support passage of the USA Freedom Act as passed by the House, and see no need whatsoever for these amendments which are obviously designed to weaken the bill,” Tea Party Patriots CEO Jenny Beth Martin said in a statement. “Simply put, if it is amended in the manner that the Majority Leader desires, we will be forced to ...

News Briefing for Monday, June 1

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Oklahoma's U.S. senators support extending surveillance programs to allow more time for debate “Ahead of a rare Sunday night session in the U.S. Senate, top leaders of the American Civil Liberities Union and the Tea Party Patriots said Friday the law allowing the collection of bulk telephone data should be allowed to expire this weekend. Jenny Beth Martin, president of the Tea Party Patriots, told reporters that the collection of so-called “metadata” regarding Americans’ telephone calls sounded harmless until one considered how much tracking of locations and movement it allowed. “It is violating our freedom and the Bill ...

News Briefing for May 30

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: Choosing between Big Brother and the Bill of Rights (Op-ed) “Around 1:30 a.m. Saturday, there was a seismic shift in the U.S. Congress. As the Senate deadlocked over what to do about several expiring provisions of the Patriot Act, it became clear that political momentum had moved away from surveillance and secrecy toward freedom and privacy….” http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0529-abdo-martin-nsa-20150529-story.html ACLU and Tea Party leaders unite against surveillance “It takes a travesty most vile to compel two groups that are essentially polar opposites to get together and call for reform. Enter the ...

News Briefing for Thursday, May 28

HEALTHCARE: Overhead costs exploding under ObamaCare, study finds “Five years after the passage of ObamaCare, there is one expense that’s still causing sticker shock across the healthcare industry: overhead costs. The administrative costs for healthcare plans are expected to explode by more than a quarter of a trillion dollars over the next decade, according to a new study published by the Health Affairs blog. The $270 billion in new costs, for both private insurance companies and government programs, will be “over and above what would have been expected had the law not been enacted,” one of the authors, David Himmelstein, wrote Wednesday. ...

News Briefing for Friday, May 22

HEALTHCARE: Costs trouble Obamacare enrollees “More than one-third of Obamacare enrollees aren't happy with the extra out-of-pocket costs they must still pay for healthcare. Thirty-seven percent of respondents to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Thursday said they're "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied with their plan's deductible — a set sum consumers must pay for some doctors visits or treatments before their insurer steps in. Those on plans that meet the new requirements under the Affordable Care Act were more likely to report problems with costs — like being unable to pay their medical bills or skipping doctors visits because of cost ...

News Briefing for Tuesday, May 19

HEALTHCARE: ObamaCare Premium Increases Next Year May Shock You “The top ObamaCare exchange insurers in six states where 2016 rate requests have already been filed are seeking to raise rates an average 18.6% next year. Early reports range from an alarming 36% hike sought by the dominant insurer in Tennessee, to a hefty 23% average increase requested by Oregon insurers, to a moderate 7.7% average rise proposed in Connecticut. Flyers promoting Blue Cross Blue Shield and ObamaCare are on display to attract Hispanic customers at a kiosk at Compare Foods in Winston-Salem, N.C.... Flyers promoting Blue Cross Blue Shield and ObamaCare are on display to ...

News Briefing for Friday, May 15

HEALTHCARE: One in four Americans who got insurance still can’t afford medical care: Study “One in four people who bought health insurance on their own couldn’t afford medical care last year, according to a study released Thursday that shows out-of-pockets costs are still getting between Americans and their doctors despite Obamacare’s progress in cutting the ranks of the uninsured. Families USA studied people who purchased insurance in the non-group market — they weren’t covered through their jobs or a public program — in 2014, the first full year for which Obamacare’s marketplace was fully operational, and found 25.2 percent ...

News Briefing for Thursday, May 14

HEALTHCARE: Conservative groups renew pressure on 'ObamaCare exemption' “A coalition of conservative groups want to make sure Congressional Republicans don't let up on the fight to eliminate what they call D.C.’s exemption from ObamaCare. Heritage Action for America and Club for Growth are among a half-dozen groups that have joined a campaign called the “No D.C. Exemption,” according to a release shared first with The Hill. The effort is spearheaded by the right-leaning organization, the U.S. Health Freedom Caucus. The groups are looking to drive up support for a two-year-long investigation into how members of Congress pay for ObamaCare, ...

News Briefing for Wednesday, May 13

TEA PARTY PATRIOTS: GOP SENATORS’ PRO-CONGRESSIONAL EXEMPTION FROM OBAMACARE CRUSADE DRAWS SCORN – FROM AMERICA (Jenny Beth Op-Ed) “Pity poor Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ)40% And Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)45% And Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)14% , Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)32%, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)42% , Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE)58%, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)51%, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC)49% , and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)93% , and at least three other GOP Senators too timid to allow a reporter to quote them by name as they disparaged a fellow Republican. Bless their hearts, they apparently haven’t had time to read a law that was enacted more than five years ...