CRS: Half of all ObamaCare statutory deadlines missed

It’s been called a “train wreck” by its author, Democratic Senator Max Baucus, and an unpublished report from the Congressional Research Service demonstrates why.  Forbes’ Avik Roy discovers that the Obama administration has missed at least half of its statutory deadlines for ObamaCare already, and only a small minority of those have anything to do with Congressional appropriations:

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Cruz releases his birth certificate

His father fled Castro’s Cuba.  His mother was born in the USA.  No one doubts where Ted Cruz was born — in Calgary, Canada.  In order to settle the issue of his citizenship status, the Senator from Texas has released his birth certificate to the Dallas Morning News, but it’s not likely to have much impact on the debate over his eligibility for the presidency:

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Internal audit shows NSA broke privacy rules “thousands of times per year”

This Washington Post exposé surprises me only in one regard.  If the NSA and the Obama administration knew this internal audit existed, why not pull a Lois Lerner and do a Friday-night apology to defuse it?  Hey, that worked really well in the IRS targeting scandal, right? We’ll get back to that in a moment: The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

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RNC considering Limbaugh, Hannity, Levin as moderators?

If Reince Priebus wants to apply pressure on broadcasters to reform both the presidenial primary debates and their own attempts to monetize Hillary Clinton for their own benefit, this is certainly one way to do it.  Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner picks up on a comment last week from RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, who said in a Sirius XM interview that there are other fish in the sea — and Bedard’s sources say they are very big fish indeed: Miffed that their candidates were singled out for personal questions or CNN John King’s “This or That,” when he asked candidates quirky questions like “Elvis or Johnny Cash,” GOP insiders tell Secrets that they are considering other choices, even a heavyweight panel of radio bigs Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.

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IRS agent: We’re still applying extra scrutiny to Tea Party applications

One might expect that the extra scrutiny applied to conservative political groups by the IRS would have ended after the practice got exposed three months ago.  At least according to a recent deposition from the House Ways and Means Committee investigation into the scandal, IRS agents still are being directed to automatically apply extra scrutiny to applications mentioning the Tea Party, even if no other political activity is indicated in the application:

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Did the IRS also use cover-up techniques of the DEA?

In another exclusive about the investigatory practices of the executive branch, Reuters uncovered an IRS manual that instructed its agents to concoct phony investigative trails when using tips from the DEA’s Special Operations Division.  The manual, found in an archive of Reuters’ parent company, mirrors the instructions given to DEA agents building cases for prosecution: Details of a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration program that feeds tips to federal agents and then instructs them to alter the investigative trail were published in a manual used by agents of the Internal Revenue Service for two years.

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Great news: DoJ to investigate its own agency on surveillance activities

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.  Allegations arise of abuses of power and wrongdoing in a subordinate agency of a Cabinet department, which then conducts an investigation that lays the blame on a few low-level staffers and then insists that any further debate on the issue is nothing more than a “phony scandal.” The State Department did that with Benghazi, Treasury (or at least the White House’s spin on the IG report) with the IRS, and the Department of Justice with Operation Fast and Furious. The DoJ will now take a second spin on the Wheel Of Scapegoats by launching its own investigation into the DEA’s alleged widespread spying:

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