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Most powerful White House Obamacare official at center of IRS scandal

10/14/2013
by Patrick Howley

The White House official who exchanged confidential taxpayer information with the IRS is a longtime Obama advisor and progressive activist who is currently the most powerful official on Obamacare implementation within the White House.

Jeanne Lambrew, deputy assistant to the president for health policy, entered Obama-world in 2008 as a health-policy adviser to then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign. She was subsequently named deputy director and then director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) now-defunct Office of Health Reform, where she reported directly to Kathleen Sebelius.

Lambrew’s current “deputy assistant to the president” position, while modest-sounding, gives her extensive and centralized power over the White House’s efforts to implement Obamacare.

“[Lambrew] is also unabashedly liberal – often serving as the architect of her party’s most progressive ideas on healthcare reform,” wrote American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Scott Gottlieb in a March op-ed.

“The few remaining centrists thinkers inside the White House, mostly scattered across the National Economic Council and Treasury, are gone – or largely marginalized when it comes to issues around implementation. The people drafting and reviewing the regulations are mostly centered in the White House and its Domestic Policy Council — and they mostly work for Jeanne Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

“Normally, the Office of Management and Budget and the National Economic Council would be heavily engaged on the issuance of regulations tied to a major law like Obamacare. Not the Obama White House. The economists still play on the fiscal issues related to Medicare and Medicaid. But when it comes to Obamacare implementation, they are not calling the shots. The power is centered on Lambrew,” Gottlieb wrote.

Lambrew exchanged confidential taxpayer information on organizations with IRS official Sarah Hall Ingram and White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller last week. Ingram attempted to counsel Lambrew and the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

Lambrew also hosted 155 of Ingram’s 165 White House visits, according to White House visitor logs that were recently taken offline during the government shutdown. The IRS improperly targeted conservative groups for harassment of their tax-exempt applications and abusive audits between 2010 and 2012.

Lambrew previously served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-wing Washington think tank headed by former Clinton chief of staff John Podesta.

Podesta credited Lambrew with helping to shape the “foundation” of the progressive health care reform push beginning in 2005, which was eventually realized under Obama despite attempts to “demagogue” the issue by conservatives who believe that “health is a privilege, not a right,” according to Podesta.

Lambrew moderated a June 2008 Center for American Progress panel criticizing Obama opponent John McCain’s health policy.

Among numerous other positions in government and academia, Lambrew worked on health care reform at the Department of Health and Human Services between 1993-94, as First Lady Hillary Clinton led the administration’s disastrous health care reform initiative.

Lambrew has contributed money to the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Obama, and to the now defunct George Soros-funded PAC America Coming Together.

“Providing and improving health care for every American may be the current test of our country’s strength of conviction, as was enacting civil rights for all in the 1960s and the creation of the New Deal in the 1930s,” wrote Lambrew, Podesta, and Teresa L. Shaw in 2005.

The White House did not return a request for comment.

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Obama quietly seeking to cede U.S. oceans to U.N. law

Shock recommendation buried in White House report

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by Aaron Klein

President Obama’s ambitious plan for stepped up government regulation of the oceans includes an unreported effort to cede U.S. oceans to United Nations-based international law, WND has learned.

The plan was previously a pet project of Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, whose ocean-zoning scheme was partnered with a globalist group that also aimed to hand over U.S. oceans to U.N. governance.

Obama’s plan is still in draft form. It calls for an executive order to be issued for a National Ocean Policy that will determine how the ecosystem is managed while giving the federal government more regulatory authority over any businesses that utilize the ocean.

The executive order is to be based on the recommendations of Obama’s Interagency Ocean Policy Taskforce, created in 2010 also by executive order.

The agency is tasked with recommending specific actions for a presidential plan to achieve the vision of “an America whose stewardship ensures that the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes are healthy and resilient, safe and productive, and understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity, and security of present and future generations.”

The Taskforce’s final recommendations, based in part on the supposed effects of “global warming, were released in a 78-page paper reviewed by WND.

The entire third section of the report recommends that the U.S. join the U.N.’s Law of the Sea Convention.

The convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment and the management of marine natural resources.

States the report:

The Task Force strongly and unanimously supports United States accession to the Convention on the Law of the Sea and ratification of its 1994 Implementing Agreement. The Law of the Sea Convention is the bedrock legal instrument governing activities on, over and under the world’s oceans.

United States accession to the Convention will further our national security, environmental, economic, and diplomatic interests.

The report lists key reasons for compliance with the law, including:

  • The Convention has garnered the unequivocal support of our national security leadership under both Republican and Democratic administrations, because, among other things, it codifies essential navigational rights and freedoms upon which our Armed Forces rely.
  • The Convention sets forth the rights and responsibilities of nations to prevent, reduce and control pollution of the marine environment and to protect and preserve resources off their shores.
  • By becoming a party to the Convention, U.S. legal rights to our extended continental shelf can be put on the strongest legal foundation.
  • As a party to the Law of the Sea Convention, the United States would have the ability to participate formally and more effectively in the interpretation and development of the Convention.
  • Joining the Law of the Sea Convention would reaffirm and enhance United States leadership in global ocean affairs.

While the White House claims its ocean plans are not meant to zone the seas, a major conclusion of the Taskforce was to “establish a framework for effective coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) that establishes a comprehensive, integrated, ecosystem-based approach to address conservation, economic activity, user conflict, and sustainable use of ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources.”

Panetta’s ocean scheme

Much of the Taskforce’s recommendations were previously called for by a group headed by Panetta until his appointment as CIA director in 2009. Panetta became defense secretary in July 2011.

Until his CIA appointment in 2009, Panetta co-chaired the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, which is the partner of Citizens for Global Solutions in a push to ratify U.S. laws and regulations governing the seas.

The oceans initiative bills itself as a bipartisan, collaborative group that aims to “accelerate the pace of change that results in meaningful ocean policy reform.”

Among its main recommendations is that the U.S. should put its oceans up for regulation to the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Other recommendations of Panetta’s Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, which mirror Obama’s taskforce recommendations, include:

  • The administration and Congress should establish a national ocean policy. The administration and Congress should support regional, ecosystem-based approaches to the management of ocean, coastal and Great Lakes.
  • Congress should strengthen and reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act.
  • Congress should strengthen the Clean Water Act.

The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council includes John Podesta, president and CEO of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, which is reportedly highly influential in advising the White House on policy.

Podesta served as co-chairman of Obama’s presidential transition team.

Panetta’s oceans initiative is a key partner of Citizens for Global Solutions, or CGS, which, according to its literature, envisions a “future in which nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms and solve the problems facing humanity that no nation can solve alone.”

CGS states it works to “build the political will in the United States” to achieve this global vision.

The organization currently works on issues that fall into five general areas: U.S. global engagement; global health and environment; peace and security; international law and justice; and international institutions.

CGS is a member organization and supporter of the World Federalist Movement, which openly seeks a one-world government. The World Federalist Movement considers the CGS to be its U.S. branch.

The movement brings together organizations and individuals that support the establishment of a global federal system of strengthened and democratized global institutions with plenary constitutional power accountable to the citizens of the world and a division of international authority among separate global agencies.

The movement’s headquarters are located near the U.N. building in New York City. A second office is near the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

The locations are significant, since the movement heavily promotes the U.N. and is the coordinator of various international projects, such as the Coalition for the International Criminal Court and the Responsibility to Protect military doctrine. That doctrine formed the basis of Obama’s justification last year to launch NATO airstrikes in Libya.

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