Some senators, including Harry Reid, rarely go home

harry reidSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid rarely makes time to travel back to Nevada and listen to the voters who sent him to Washington, according to a Washington Examiner review of Senate disbursement records.

Reid’s office budget showed only 11 trips in three years, far fewer than any other senator.

At the rate of three to four trips per year, Reid was one of seven senators to travel to their home states 11 times a year or fewer.

Other high-profile senior lawmakers have records that aren’t much better. Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein averaged only nine trips to California annually, according to Senate office travel logs. That’s one-third as many as most lawmakers.

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Gowdy lights up IRS Commissioner: ‘Words have consequences…’

trey gowdyAfter spending years colluding with the IRS in their targeted attack of the Tea Party and month blocking and obfuscating the congressional investigation, Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings called for an end to what he referred to as the “public harassment” of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Cummings objected to Koskinen being made to appear once again before the House Oversight committee to answer questions regarding Lois Lerner’s hard drive. The IRS claimed that it crashed and was destroyed. However,  Lerner’s hard drive was merely ‘scratched’ and the data was recoverable.

Watching Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), who is also the chair of the Select Committee to investigate Benghazi, it’s obvious why Cummings wanted to play protector instead of investigator, as his role on the House Oversight Committee requires.

Gowdy begins his questioning with a simple question. He said, “I’m going to read a quote for you from June 2014 and I want you to tell me if you know who said it. Okay? We confirmed the back up tapes from 2011 no longer existed because they had been recycled pursuant to the IRS normal policy.”

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Another GOP establishment candidate bites the dust

perdueBusinessman David Perdue, an outsider who had never before ran for public office, the former CEO of Dollar General and Reebok, narrowly defeated GOP establishment-backed career politician Jack Kingston in Georgia’s U.S. Senate runoff on Tuesday.

Perdue’s victory advances him to the general election in November, in which he’ll face Democrat Michelle Nunn, who’s hoping to benefit from her retired father, long-time former Senator Sam Nunn. 

As with Eric Cantor’s amazing loss to newcomer Dave Brat in Virginia, the race turned into a focus on amnesty and Perdue brilliantly used Kingston’s financial support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to his advantage. 

“Jack Kingston’s pro-amnesty vote is bought and paid for,” said the Perdue ad that was blasted on Georgia airwaves in the days leading up to the runoff election on Tuesday. 

The ad blasted Kingston for taking $3 million from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the organization that was previously for free markets, but now is referred to as the “Chamber of Crony Capitalism” by popular radio talk show host, Mark Levin. 

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Lois Lerner’s hard drive was scratched, then shredded

lois  lernerEx-IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer hard drive was “scratched” and the data on it was still recoverable. But the IRS did not try to recover the data from Lerner’s hard drive, despite recommendations from in-house IRS IT experts to outsource the recovery project.

The hard drive was then “shredded,” according to a court filing the IRS made to House Ways and Means Committee investigators.

The IRS claims that it lost Lerner’s emails from 2009 to 2011 including emails to and from the White House, when her computer crashed in the midst of the agency’s conservative targeting program. The IRS also claimed in a transcribed interview that many other IRS employees who worked under Lerner in her Washington, D.C. department and its Cincinnati-based affiliate also experienced computer crashes that deleted their emails, bringing the total number of crash victims to “less than 20.” 

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Kerry, aides, undergo metal detector screening

PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-US-CONFLICT-GAZA-DIPLOMACYSecretary of State John Kerry defied a Federal Aviation Administration ban and flew into Israel’s main airport Wednesday in a sign of sheer will to achieve a cease-fire agreement in the warring Gaza Strip despite little evidence of progress in ongoing negotiations aimed at halting fighting that’s left at least 31 Israelis and 650 Palestinians dead.

Kerry’s arrival in Israel came as Israeli troops battled Hamas militants near a southern Gaza Strip town as dozens of Palestinian families trapped by the fighting scrambled to flee the area.

It also came as Israel closed the border crossing into Gaza at Erez “until further notice,” citing the heavy fighting.

Kerry planned to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during what appeared to be a crucial day in the flailing talks.

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