Chris Wallace

Disgraced ex-IRS official will not get immunity in exchange for testimony

When disgraced IRS official Lois Lerner appears before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Wednesday, she will not receive immunity for any testimony she gives, according to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA):

“Her attorney indicates now that she will testify. We’ve had a back and forth negotiation,” Issa told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. “But quite frankly, we believe that evidence that we’ve gathered causes her in her best interest to be summoned to testify.”

The evidence that Issa, who chairs the House Oversight Committee, has obtained are emails showing that Lerner drafted the proposed IRS regulations that would restrict political speech of nonprofit groups that engage in public policy discussions. The regulations are currently being considered by the IRS.

Wallace asked whether the House Oversight Committee offered Lerner immunity in exchange for her testimony. “We did not,” Issa replied, adding later that he believes the disgraced IRS official will answer all the committee’s questions about the powerful tax agencies targeting of conservative groups.

What does Bachmann’s candidacy mean for the GOP?

As you know doubt know by now, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) officially announced her bid for the Republican nomination for president yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, which is her hometown (although wasn’t a big secret that she was running):

Republican Michele Bachmann is casting herself as the “bold choice” in the 2012 presidential race.

The outspoken congresswoman and tea party favorite formally launched her bid Monday in her Iowa birthplace, Waterloo, after first making her intentions clear at a debate earlier this month.

Outside a historic mansion, Bachmann said she’s waging the campaign “not for vanity.” Instead she says voters “must make a bold choice if we are to secure the promise of the future.”

Bachmann enters the race as an Iowa poll shows her near the front of the pack in the first in the nation caucus state.

“I am a descendant of generations of Iowans and I know what it means to be from Iowa. I know what we value here and I know what’s important,” said Bachmann.

Bachmann played up her tea party ties but also made mention of her Democratic roots. Bachmann said she grew up a Democrat, but changed parties after working for Jimmy Carter in 1976. She didn’t like his spending policies.

She now counts herself as a tea-party candidate, which she said is made up of Republicans but also fed up Democrats and independents.”It’s a very powerful coalition that the left fears, and they should because make no mistake about it Barrack Obama will be a one-term president,” said Bachmann.

Herman Cain Plays The Race Card

Remember the 2008 campaign (and afterward) when several of Obama’s opponents were called racist for criticizing him? Remember the conservative backlash against liberals playing the race card? Fast forward to the 2012 campaign and we are once again seeing the same filthy, immature racialism. Only this time it’s coming from a conservative – tea party darling Herman Cain.

I came across this story from ThinkProgress and was immediately skeptical as I am a frequent viewer of The Daily Show and consider myself to be a huge fan of Jon Stewart. I have never once even considered that Jon Stewart harbors any sense of racism. However, keeping an open mind and not wanting to cast a hasty judgement, I decided to hunt down the clip of Stewart’s show in question to see just what it was that Herman Cain was referencing. Perhaps Stewart has said something that Cain merely took out of context. To my surprise, the segment was from a show which I had already seen. The issue of race did not so much as pass through my mind upon my initial viewing that episode, and I did not detect the slightest hint of it the second time.

Here’s what Herman Cain had to say:

“The private sector can do it”: New House Republican leader says Congress should let the crony Export-Import Bank expire

Kevin McCarthy

In his first major talk show appearance since being elected to serve as the next House Majority Leader, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace that he’s ready to end the Export-Import Bank, the reauthorization of which could hit the floor of the lower chamber in the next few months.

“Authority for the Export-Import Bank which…helps encourage the selling of U.S. products overseas expires in September,” Wallace noted. “Do you agree with conservatives who say that the Export-Import Bank is crony capitalism and it should be put out of business, allowed to expire?”

“One of the problems with government is they go and take hard earned money so others do things that the private sector can do,” McCarthy replied. “That’s what the Ex-Im Bank does. The last authorization with the Ex-Im bank directed the President and the Treasury secretary to wind down the Ex-Im bank, negotiate with other countries to wind them down so we have a level playing field.”

McCarthy noted that the House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing this week on the proposed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

Rand Paul on domestic surveillance: Strengthen the Fourth Amendment

Rand Paul

The solution to the National Security Agency’s broad domestic surveillance apparatus, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), is to pass legislation applies Fourth Amendment protections to third-party records.

“I would like to apply the Fourth Amendment to third-party records,” said Paul, referring to the NSA’s bulk data collection programs, which includes obtaining records of Americans’ phone calls. “I don’t think you give up your privacy when someone else holds your records. So, when I have a contract with a phone company, I think those are still my records. And you can look at them if you’re from the government if you ask a judge.”

The comments came during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. Paul also disputed the legality of what the NSA is doing, arbitrarily collecting these records, even if they don’t in anyway relate to actual investigations into terrorist activity. He also said that the Supreme Court needs to take a look at the issue of privacy.

Justin Amash appears on Fox News Sunday, slams NSA surveillance

The distinctions between a government that adheres to constitutional limitations and a government that runs roughshod over the Bill of Rights were heard yesterday on Fox News Sunday.

General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA and the CIA, defended the programs being employed to surveil Americans accused of no crime and said that efforts to limit them would put the country at risk. He also proclaimed that there is no expectation of privacy when it comes to third-party records, including phone records collected by the NSA.

But Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) disputed this notion, explaining that the Founding Fathers put the Fourth Amendment to protect Americans from an overreaching government.

“[I]t’s precisely because we live in this dangerous world that we need protections like the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution,” Amash told Chis Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. “The Framers of the Constitution put it in place precisely because they were worried that you would have national security justifications for violating people’s rights.”

Mike Lee defends push to defund ObamaCare

There has been significant push back in from the Republican establishment over efforts in Congress to defund ObamaCare. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has been leading the effort in the Senate to cut off funding rather than delay parts of the law, which could lead to a government shut down.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) panned the plan to defund ObamaCare, telling a talk radio host that it’s the “dumbest idea I’ve ever heard of.” Karl Rove, who is no fan of fiscal conservatives, recently tried to stoke fear in Republicans, writing in an op-ed that a government shutdown could cost the party the House of Representatives.

In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Lee defended the push by fiscal conservatives in the Senate to defund ObamaCare, noting that it’s “not about liberal or conservative,” but rather “Washington versus everyone else.”

“[W]e always knew ObamaCare was going to be unaffordable. We now also know that it’s going to be unfair. The president has said that he’s not ready to implement this law. And because he’s not ready to implement it, he’s going to selectively enforce it,” Lee told Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday. “He is going to, you know, give a big pass to big business while simultaneously telling hard working Americans, individuals that they have to comply with these laws demands or else they’ll face stiff penalties under federal law.”

Rand Paul Slams Obama on Civil Liberties, Weighs Court Challenge

Rand Paul on

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is none too pleased with President Barack Obama’s broad interpretation of the PATRIOT Act and use of surveillance techniques on innocent Americans. During his appearance yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Paul explained that the type activity in which the NSA has engaged is a direct infringement of the Fourth Amendment.

“[T]hey’re looking at a billion phone calls a day is what I read in the press and that doesn’t sound to me like a modest invasion of privacy. It sounds like an extraordinary invasion of privacy. The Fourth Amendment says you can look at and ask for a warrant specific to a person, place and the items,” noted Paul, who has established himself as one of the more vocal defenders of civil liberties in Washington. “This is a general warrant. This is what we objected to and what our Founding Fathers partly fought the revolution over is they did not want generalized warrants where you could go from house to house with soldiers looking for things or now from computer to computer, to phone to phone, without specifying who you’re targeting.”

Chris Wallace, host of Fox News Sunday, asked Paul about a couple specific examples of terrorists plots that werre allegedly thwarted as a result of the program, including a plot to bomb the New York City subway (that claim has also turned out to be false). Paul explained that he has no problem with specific targeting of suspected terrorists, but that’s not what is going on with this program.

Toomey Spokesman: Background Check Measure “Unlikely” to Come Up Again

As noted earlier this week, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the primary sponsor of the expanded background checks amendment that failed last month in the Senate, told Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday that he would continue to gather votes in hopes to bring the measure up again as a “clean bill.”

Wallace had asked Manchin about comments made by the measure’s co-sponsor, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who said that he thought the issue was done in the chamber and that he would be returning his attention to “economic and fiscal matters.”

“I don’t think he’s done. I really don’t know,” Manchin told Wallace. “I was with Pat last night and Pat’s totally committed to this bill and I believe that with all of my heart and we’re going to work this bill — when people read the bill, just take time to read the bill.”

Via the Weekly Standard, Toomey has reiterated his view that the push for greater gun control measures is done in the Senate, at least for now:

Sen. Patrick Toomey, R-Pa., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., the dynamic duo who drafted a gun sale background check compromise bill, find themselves divided now on the future of gun control.

Background Checks Bill Could Come Up Again in the Senate

Joe Manchin

Yesterday on Fox New Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who sponsored the expanded background checks measure that was recently defeated in upper chamber, told Chris Wallace that the measure will “absolutely” come up for a vote again.

“It came out today that your cosponsor, Pat Toomey says, no, I’m done with it. Do you really think that the expansion of background checks can be revised and can be passed by the U.S. Senate?” Wallace asked Manchin.

I certainly do,” the West Virginia Senator replied. “The only thing that we’ve asked for is that people would just read the bill. It’s a criminal and mental background check strictly at gun shows and online sales.”

“The way the law is today, if you go to a gun store, you have a background check done,” he continued. “If you go to a gun show and you go to a licensed dealer, they still do a background check. But you can go to the next table over and have no check at all.”

Most dealers at gun shows are licensed and online sales already have to be finalized by a licensed dealer, so that talking point is a red-herring.

“I want to make it clear — you’re going to bring this bill back,” said before being interupted. “Absolutely,” Manchin replied. “And you think it’s going to be different?” Wallace asked.

The views and opinions expressed by individual authors are not necessarily those of other authors, advertisers, developers or editors at United Liberty.