Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My turn: Freedom under siege

Just a week after the President extolled the benign virtues of big government and told university students to ignore those who warn of its dangers, Americans woke up to headlines that this government has been targeting groups and individuals that it doesn’t like for intimidation and harassment.

I appreciate the president’s sudden interest in getting to the bottom of this. But I must remind the House that more than a year ago, I and other members rose on the floor to warn of these tactics directed at Tea Party groups by the IRS.

At the time, the administration responded by saying that this was just a normal backlog.

Now we know that was a deliberate and premeditated lie.

It now appears that nearly 500 conservative groups were subjected to invasive review and intimidation. The IRS demanded the names of every participant at every meeting these groups held over a period of years, transcripts of every speech given at those meetings, what positions they had taken on issues, the names of their volunteers and donors — and in some cases their families — and copies of privileged communications they had with elected officials. In some cases, the person filing the request was then subjected to a personal income tax audit.

There is no way to estimate the number of additional groups that were discouraged from organizing because of these tactics. Meanwhile, it appears that leftist groups had their applications routinely approved. The impact this had on the 2012 election is incalculable.

We are also learning that these tactics extended well beyond a few low-level rogue employees in Cincinnati.

Lois Lerner, the official in charge of tax exempt organizations for the IRS was awarded more than $42,000 in bonuses while she was directing what the president now calls outrageous behavior.

Highly intrusive and unwarranted demands for information also originated from the Washington, D.C., office and at least two satellite offices in California.

Dr. Anne Hendershott, a Catholic sociologist, professor and writer came under a personal income tax audit after she exposed a George Soros front group masquerading as a grass-roots Catholic organization. She said the questions put to her during a grueling audit were largely political. This occurred from the New Haven, Conn., office.

It appears that evangelical groups were also targeted, as were Jewish groups supporting Israel.

Nor was this misconduct limited to groups applying under Section 501.

There is now reason to believe that IRS officials leaked confidential tax information to top officials in the Obama campaign, and to liberal groups such as Pro-Publica and the Huffington Post, which may then have illegally published that information.

During the campaign, Austan Goolsbee and Harry Reid appeared to reference confidential tax information involving Charles and David Koch and Mitt Romney, only to back off when pressed for the source.

Nor does this conduct appear to be limited to the IRS.

Shortly after businessman Frank Vandersloot was attacked by the Obama campaign for his support of Mitt Romney, he came under audits by both the IRS and the Labor Department.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute has just released a damning survey of fee waivers granted by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Freedom of Information Act. Left-leaning groups had their fees waived 92 percent of the time. Conservative groups just the opposite – about 7 percent of the time.

And this week it also became clear that the FBI is using general warrants — banned by the Fourth Amendment — to rifle through the phone records of Associated Press reporters with a clear intention to intimidate whistle blowers and to obstruct the operation of a free press.

We are seeing a pattern of conduct throughout this administration that is absolutely toxic to a free society: government using its powers to intimidate private citizens who are simply trying to take part in the public policy debate.

This cries out for a full investigation by the Congress, and I utterly reject the notion that the ritual naming and firing of a few hapless scapegoats is sufficient. Every government employee who abused their power must be identified, exposed, disgraced, dismissed and debarred from ever again holding a position of authority or trust within this government.

Tom McClintock represents the 4th Congressional Distict.

Tom Mcclintock


Discussion | 52 comments

  • James E.May 16, 2013 - 5:28 pm

    Tom, may I call him Tom? Well sure I can, he's a public servant. I see Tom doing his crazy happy dance in the end zone. Such a self-important carpet bagger telling us that this is the first time in our nation's history that the IRS has gone off the rails. Not! As for the AP, if they aren't doing anything wrong why would they mind if the government listens in (where have we heard this before?)? The AP doesn't care when the government listens into my phone calls. Guess it all depends on whose ox is getting gored.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 16, 2013 - 5:41 pm

    James, - ". . . ox is getting Gored." Bestiality?? really! This forum needs even STRONGER filters.

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  • Alan ThompsonMay 16, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    Hey Tom, Aren't you a part of "this government?" While we're dissing improper investigations and listening campaigns let's not forget about warrantless wire taps of American Citizens initiated by the previous administration. Weren't you a part of "that government" also? Where was your outrage then?

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  • DB SmithMay 18, 2013 - 4:35 pm

    The left generally loves referring to and has titled conservatives as the "Party of No". As a conservative myself, I go with and embrace that title. NO more out of control frivolous spending, NO to an over his head, pinocchio LYING and arrogant President, NO to pompos, over his head and LYING Attorney General, NO to an out of control BIGGER government, NO to more TAX increases, No to forced OBAMACARE, NO to giving the keys to the city to ILLEGAL Immigrants, NO to BIASED news, NO to more liberal BULLSH*IT and many other NO's. Besides being the party of Jackasses, the Democratic Party should embrace their other titles as the "Party Of I Don't Know" and if they don't like that one they can go with the "Party Of I Don't Remember". Deny that Jackasses!

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  • DeeMay 18, 2013 - 5:30 pm

    DB, the Democrats are also the Party of the Great Grand Nannies; leadership in their late sixties and seventies.

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  • RufusMay 18, 2013 - 6:54 pm

    John Dean: But, you can't, you're in a very high risk perjury situation. President Nixon: That's right. Just be damned sure you say I don't remember, I can't recall.

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  • DB SmithMay 19, 2013 - 6:38 am

    Indeed Rufus, and the consequences were that he resigned before he could be impeached.

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  • EvelynMay 19, 2013 - 6:46 am

    President Obama used his weekly radio address on Saturday to reassure the American people that he has “played no role whatsoever” in the U.S. government over the past four years. - HERE

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  • James E.May 19, 2013 - 2:05 pm

    DB, Nixon resigned before he could be impeached because he was foolish enough to have recordings in his office that showed him at the center of the Watergate coverup. Wonder if they still record everything said in the Oval Office? Wouldn't seem to be prudent.

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  • DB SmithMay 19, 2013 - 3:49 pm

    Yes Colonel, Nixon resigned, Bill Clinton was impeached, Andrew Johnson was impeached, The lying Beast Clinton resigned because she knew what was up and because she is a quitter and the other liars Obama, Holder and some top IRS should resign or be fired. I could put up with Old Joe Gaffe for a few years.

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  • cookie65May 22, 2013 - 6:16 am

    "The pattern of conduct" goes beyond this Marxist regime. When the dems are in charge, the dems get what they want. When the repubs are in charge, the dems get what they want. I am as fed up with the pseudo conservatives who grow and expand government at every opportunity, as I am with the out-of-the-closet communists. How many government agencies can we thank the repubs for eliminating? ZERO. How many government agencies can we thank the repubs for reducing in size and authority? ZERO.

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  • NancyMay 22, 2013 - 6:48 am

    Dearest Tom McClintock: I know you are working hard to do the right thing in Congress for the American people. However, I am gravely disappointed with the free pass the Republicans have given Obama and his regime. If Obama is destroying our freedoms, the Republican Party has done nothing to stop him. When Eric Holder resigns, the IRS is abolished and their officials are in jail, the EPA is neutralized, impeachment of the Teflon King is in full serious swing, along with prosecution of Hilary Clinton over Benghazi, I just might once again take the Republican party seriously. Until then, in my opinion, the Republican Party is just a useless political organization that is neither representing or helping anybody. Oh, and fire John Boehner. He is an embarrassment to the House and the Republican Party. And send John McCain with him.

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  • EvelynMay 22, 2013 - 8:00 am

    "The major sea change in media discussions of Obama and civil liberties" - HERE: [I]t is remarkable how media reactions to civil liberties assaults are shaped almost entirely by who the victims are.

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  • EvelynMay 22, 2013 - 8:04 am

    "The IRS Targets Political Opponents Under Both Liberal and Conservative Administrations" - HERE

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  • questionMay 22, 2013 - 8:24 am

    In the IRS literature it states that "To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization described in Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(4), an organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare." The IRS instruction states furthermore that: "To be operated exclusively to promote social welfare, an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community (such as by bringing about civic betterment and social improvements)." Can Mr. McClintock or someone else please list what activities that benefit the GENERAL welfare have been undertaken by ED Tea Party group(s)?

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  • cookie65May 22, 2013 - 8:56 am

    question, at least verify the leftist talking points you get fed. This article focuses on the extent to which political activities may be conducted by organizations exempt under IRC 501(c)(4).

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  • Same old BSMay 22, 2013 - 9:14 am

    question, you hit the nail on the head! More "conservative" groups have applied for the 501(c)(4). Maybe they are promoting social welfare and working for the common good. Highly improbable. Think 501(c)(4) needs cleaned up or eliminated. And now there is this strong desire to dig deep into the IRS. A deep dig should have happened a long time ago. No time like the present. This agency has been a bad boy during many administrations, so to try to prove that President Obama is guilty of intention is a waste of time. Oh yeah, waste of time is the real intention. Continued obstruction. I have no worries. The GOP seems to always overreach and fall on their faces. Impeachment, I don't think so. Clinton 2016!!

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  • rodMay 22, 2013 - 9:51 am

    Tom, we needed to hear from you, thank you. Your letter well puts the shamefull state of this admistration across the board. How many scandals and corruption do we NOT know about? Remember Dr. Houser? Probably not because the media chose to not mention recent scandal in the Department of the Interior, where Secretary Ken Salazar quietly stepped down … and Science Integrity Officer Dr. Paul Houser was fired for speaking the truth. Yes. Salazar’s office chose to ignore and suppress their own scientific studies indicating the removal of four Klamath River dams were not in the best interests of the nation. Only the interests of Salazar, six Indian tribes and a handful of enviro groups were presented as justification to remove the dams until Dr. Houser spoke up and exposed the biased science. He saved the dams but lost his job, but he also presented evidence revealing the full spectrum of science and the mechanism to guarantee its integrity … is corrupt all the way to the top. 1) Evidence of Intentional Falsification: Motivated by Secretary Salazar’s publicly stated intention to issue a Secretarial determination in favor of removing four dams on the Klamath River (due on March 31, 2012), 2) Evidence of Intentionally circumventing policy that ensures the integrity of science and scholarship, and actions that compromise scientific and scholarly integrity. 305 DM 3 establishes a scientific code of conduct (section 3.7). 3) Evidence that codes and positions serve as shills only, codes written for their appearance of compliance to highest standards. Positions created only for their appearance of compliance to highest standards. 4) Evidence of reprisal: That scientists hired to fill the position of ‘Scientific Integrity Officer’, were terminated for doing their defined job, and not ‘playing ball’. 5) Evidence of deceptive practices: Management knowingly accepted and forwarded biased or false assessments, ignoring later opportunities to correct same for controversial projects like the Klamath Dams Restoration and Removal project. 6) Evidence of creating undiscoverable records for the purpose of hiding facts from the public is a common practice. Dr. Houser deserves no less than full recognition for his honorable and commendable integrity in the face of such difficult circumstances, a gold medal achievement. He is part of that group of Americans, the Real Role Models we must recognize and hold in highest esteem. So, what don’t we know, what other significant scandals are just around the corner waiting for some brave whistleblower to step up to the plate? ‘We the people’ are unique in that liberty and justice is our heritage, our ethos, and for any administration to usurp these principles is simply un-American and needs to be weeded out.

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  • 1036-FrankMay 22, 2013 - 10:10 am

    This Chicago "Know Nothing" gang makes Nixon look like a school boy. The corruption and abuse of power is evident on a massive scale. Wire tapping the media for a "leak" is a good cover story for their fishing expedition and was from Holder himself. The IRS scandal was from the top down and they were well aware of it and directed it. What is funny is a half brother of the Bummer, probably illegally in the country, was granted 501c status for a "foundation" and years of back tax free status by this same IRS in record time, this is your "social welfare" at work.

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  • EvelynMay 22, 2013 - 10:47 am

    rod: The determination in favor of removing the four Klamath River dams is more than a little frightening.

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  • Ernie LouisMay 22, 2013 - 10:54 am

    Mr.Mcclintock, You are very funny. Ernie Louis

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  • kggMay 22, 2013 - 11:00 am

    speaking of lying congressman carpetbagger mcclintock: "It now appears that nearly 500 conservative groups were subjected to invasive review and intimidation." what is your source for this inflated figure?

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  • questionMay 22, 2013 - 12:19 pm

    It would appear that whoever Cookie is exhibits kneejerk reactions when reading a simple question, to wit the response “at least verify the leftist talking points you get fed”. What “leftist talking points” are you referring to? Do you mean to imply that instructions from the IRS are “leftist talking points”? Really? The pdf you refer to does not prove any point except the difficulty in determining which organizations should actually be considered tax-exempt. I think that SameOldBS has correctly identified the problem. But where is information on ED Tea Party’s activities for the general welfare? Please list them.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 12:40 pm

    question, asks, "Can Mr. McClintock or someone else please list what activities that benefit the GENERAL welfare have been undertaken by ED Tea Party group(s)? - - - The Tea Party groups educate, support and promote the CONSTITUTION. The Preamble of the Constitution . . . We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. Is this activity too difficult to understand, question?

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 1:45 pm

    Phil, the Tea Party has the Constitution as their basic theme, but what specifically do they do to promote social welfare? Do they engage in politics or are they void of politics?

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  • DanielMay 22, 2013 - 6:56 pm

    Fearmongering chicken-little hyperbole. "Freedom under siege." Really? Hey everybody,... BOOO! Scare you? Good, now vote for me! Look, this career politician (who just hates "govmint" oh so much) has never lived in any of the counties he represents. He votes nay on everything that represents real progress, and yay on all tea party caucus nonsense that everyone knows will never, EVER make it past the House. Oh yeah, he names a post office every now and then too. Nice work if you can get it. Despite local mythology, this is not a far right tea party district. Just look at the last election results if you don't believe me. It's right of center at best. McClintock's voting record makes him a better fit for one of those deep deep red districts in one of those deep deep red southern states. I, like about 40-45% of his district's voters, feel like I'm being subject to "taxation without representation." Will the tea party help a centrist like me and most voters in this light red district regain our constitutional rights to representation???? Anyone? Anyone? Wait, I thought that's what you were all about!

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 7:11 pm

    Daniel, when you say, "I, like about 40-45% of his district's voters, feel like I'm being subject to "taxation without representation", you are admitting that the majority, 55% - 60%, of the district is well served. Tom, ignore the majority and heed the minority. OK?

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 7:18 pm

    James, promotion of the Constitution = promotion of the general welfare. Preserve. Protect. Defend. Success in those three activities promotes the general welfare by allowing individuals to preserve, protect, and defend THEIR OWN general welfare.

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 8:05 pm

    Phil, yes, but do they engage in political activities?

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 8:50 pm

    It seems, James, that zero's IRS has made it political. So, yes, from the administrations' standpoint, defending the Constitution is political activity. Perhaps this will be adjudicated.

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 8:57 pm

    Phil, I don't know that the president made it political, more likely the Tea Party activities in support of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul made it political. I don't understand, if the Tea Party wants to influence the political scene why didn't they just pay tax on their activities? Oh, right, tax is bad, not paying tax is good. No wonder we have a revenue problem.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    Of course he didn't "do" anything, James. He is behind an impermeable force field of plausible deniability. His lackeys were chosen on their ability to intuit. So I guess he did not do it. The lackeys, Rahm, Valarie . . . "intuit". I "guess" there's no crime.

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 9:54 pm

    Phil, OK, if you say so. Keep living the dream.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 9:57 pm

    Venus Jupiter and Mercury are converging in the west after sunset - LINK - sunset triangle

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 10:08 pm

    . . . the dream, James? Have we wandered that far astray? A constitutional republic is just a quaint hazy fading dreamy memory of a simpler time . . . . . . . . ?

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 10:38 pm

    Phil, actually I meant your dream to see the president handcuffed and frog marched out of the White House. Not going to happen, but nothing wrong about dreaming if it gives you warm fuzzies.

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  • James E.May 22, 2013 - 10:40 pm

    OK, shutting down the James E. net. Back tomorrow probably. Out.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 22, 2013 - 10:49 pm

    James!!! You pretend to know my dreams? No such dream re zero. I would like to see Holder and top tear of Justice along with top tear of IRS incarcerated. - LINK - On IRC section 1203

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  • robertdnollMay 23, 2013 - 4:30 am


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  • Phil VeerkampMay 23, 2013 - 6:16 am

    Oh, for crying out loud!

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  • DanielMay 23, 2013 - 7:36 am

    Phil, it's a statistical thing. Think of bell curves. If about 45% of this district is blue and about 55% is red, then it's a light red (or purple?) district. Each side has most of its bulk near the center not at the extreme tails of the bell curve. Capische? McClintock acts (and votes) as if the mode (peak) of the bell curve in his district were deep, deep red. This is simply not true. A study recently verified that congress people vastly overestimate the conservativeness of their own states and districts. Given his voting record and tea party caucusing, McClintock would be a better fit in a southern state. This means a huge number of people in this light red/purple district are being taxed with zero representation. I acknowledge that this is a conservative district but contend that even most of the 55-60% are closer to the center than the far right. The tea party is loud and visible alright, but volume doesn't equate to numbers.

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  • EvelynMay 23, 2013 - 9:13 am

    "House Gop Want IRS Official Lois Lerner Back, Say She Waived Her 5th Amend Rights" - HERE ********* Brilliant! "Mr Chairman, I'm taking the Fifth."

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  • R.J. CarterMay 23, 2013 - 10:34 am

    BREAKING NEWS:....Obama (Our Teflon King) has now found a u-tube video he can blame all these recent scandals on...... Unfortunate, it's of his inauguration....LOL...

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  • James E.May 23, 2013 - 10:35 am

    Phil, I postulated your Obama dream. I'm glad it's not true and you are, in fact, a reasonable person. Ken, no, I don't think the 10% to the church should be taxed. However, churches who enter the world of politics and who tell their flock who to vote for should lose their tax exemption.

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  • James E.May 23, 2013 - 10:59 am

    Evelyn, I've had a talk/5th Amendment experience. Someone leaked classified information to CBS and the "evil" prosecutor thought it was me. So, I receive an invitation (not engraved) to appear before the federal grand jury. First, the room -- in the federal court with the prosecutor and his assistant on the right and on the left a jury box with about 20 jurors all leaning forward to watch the execution. Before I entered (you don't get to take your lawyer in with you, you are all alone), my lawyer told me to not say anything before I claimed the 5th. And, that I had to claim the 5th as anything I said could be twisted by the prosecutor. If I talked about anything before claiming the 5th, it would void my 5th Amendment claim. So, in I go and I follow my lawyers advice. But, the prosecutor disregards my claim and asks me around 20 questions with me claiming the 5th each time with my face getting flame red (anger) each time I claim the 5th. I'm watching the jurors and they are all seeing my red face and they just know I'm guilty otherwise why would my face be so red. A later invitee to the grand jury identifies who actually leaked the classified information and I'm off the hook. However, a wonderful experience that helped build my character. Bottom line: The tax lady may have waived her right to the 5th by making an opening statement. Time will tell.

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  • EvelynMay 23, 2013 - 11:09 am

    James, your 5th Amendment experience indeed sounds like it was a character builder! For the record, however, mine of 9:13 am wasn't directed at ordinary citizens; rather, at heads of government agencies who refuse to testify. Where does one draw the line?

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  • EvelynMay 23, 2013 - 11:14 am

    Did you know that for the fiscal year ending September 2012 the number of tax-exempt organizations in the U.S. totaled 1,484,818 ?

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 23, 2013 - 11:21 am

    how many of the 1,484,818 are churches?

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 23, 2013 - 11:23 am

    approx. 300,000

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  • Ken SteersMay 23, 2013 - 12:18 pm

    This current President has taught us all a valuable lesson. There is no reason to be accused of lying or malfeasance. There is no reason to be held to ridicule by the ignorant masses as well as the "mean spirited" opposition party. Why would you subject yourself to all of that when you can just plead the fifth?

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 23, 2013 - 3:06 pm

    Daniel, I very much appreciate your mathematical approach to representational analysis in this revered Constitutional Republic. I too resort to the field of mathematics from time to time to present "sustainable" concepts. If I may, Daniel, allow me to borrow from your thesis the next time some disgruntled soul brings up Bush v Gore . Instead of a narrow victory Bush won by a huge margin when we bring in the bell curve.

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  • Phil VeerkampMay 23, 2013 - 3:17 pm

    PS - Daniel - Factoring in that bell curve thingy - Bush is a f'ing genius!

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