Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Disagreeable And Dangerous

In his latest column, George Will writes of yet another Obama administration scandal, the recently released Office of Civil Rights - Department of Education guidelines on what constitutes sexual harassment at institutions of higher learning. He concludes with the following.

Like the IRS abuses of power, the OCR-DOJ initiative demonstrates how permeated this administration is with disagreeable people with dangerous intentions. So the administration is making conservatism’s case against the unlimited arrogance that is both a cause and a consequence of unlimited government.


"...disagreeable people with dangerous intentions" - A fitting description of the gang populating the executive branch these days. It applies perfectly to Lying Lois Lerner, former overseer of the IRS' notorious exempt organizations office. Deroy Murdock speculates on her current taxpayer supported lifestyle.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Politicize The Political

A writer I'm not familiar with, Kurt Schlichter, suggests ignoring those overly cautious voices urging conservatives not to politicize the Obama administration's scandals.

There’s nothing wrong with politicizing politics. In fact, it’s kind of difficult to imagine why politics shouldn’t be politicized – politics is, after all, by definition political.

We now have an Administration that lied about what happened in Benghazi, and is now lying about its lies. We have a cabinet secretary shaking down healthcare companies for “donations” to a propaganda fund for Obamacare. We have the government grabbing up reporters’ cellphone records, and we have the IRS randomly selecting for persecution people and entities who just happen to oppose the regime’s goals.

For some liberals, this is just too much to swallow, and we should focus on splitting them out of the liberal coalition.

He also makes these perceptive observations.

We spend so much time seeing and reading the ravings of the zombie liberals of the media and the blogs that we forget there is another group of liberals who are liberal because – for whatever misguided reason – they think liberalism is the right way to be. In other words, there are liberals who actually believe what liberalism used to purport to support – including civil rights, civil liberties and the rights of traditionally disadvantaged people.
It is interesting that from those ranks come some of the most dedicated and effective conservative activists – people who became conservative not because they changed their views but because they didn’t. Liberalism left them. (From personal experience, I know this is true). They believe in individual rights and in equality before the law. They hate prejudice and bigotry in all their ugly forms. They embrace every individual’s value, and want to see every individual have a chance to live and to succeed.

They are people like Andrew Breitbart. Andrew was not born a conservative. He wasn’t raised a right-winger. He started out a liberal, but he actually took seriously what liberals said. His great sin – and why he was and is so hated by liberals – is that he refused to stop believing in those values when those values stopped being useful. His outrage was not that liberals were liberal; it was that establishment liberals were liars, that they struck poses as defenders of what was true and good and then abandoned them without a second thought if another pose better served their purpose.

Schlichter also wins the metaphor of the day award for this -

Today’s liberalism is a festival of hypocrisy, of purported values solemnly praised and heartily
defended right up until the second it stops being in the interest of liberalism to do so. At that point,
these sacred values get discarded like so many whiskey bottles in the Kennedy compound’s recycling bin. 

Big Brother Barack

"...We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us..."  Barack Obama, 10/25/2010

Meet Obama's enemies, the Engelbrecht family -  hard working, successful, law abiding people learning first hand of The Chicago Way.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

They're Not Mutually Exclusive

"We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”

Benghazi : Who Ordered The Coverup?

Need we ask? (Great cover, isn't it?)

News Report, 2/14/2013

"President Obama didn’t make any phone calls the night of the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the White House said in a letter to Congress released Thursday."

Jay Carney, 2/20/2013

“He (Obama) was in regular communication with his national security team directly, through them, and spoke with the secretary of state at approximately 10 p.m. He called her to get an update on the situation.”

(Note the inconsistency).

Andrew McCarthy

We do not have a recording of this call, and neither Clinton nor the White House has described it beyond noting that it happened. But we do know that, just a few minutes after Obama called Clinton, the Washington press began reporting that the State Department had issued a statement by Clinton regarding the Benghazi attack. In it, she asserted:

Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet. The United States deplores any intentional effort to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. Our commitment to religious tolerance goes back to the very beginning of our nation.
Gee, what do you suppose Obama and Clinton talked about in that 10 p.m. call?


Mayor Williamson?

Kevin Williamson of National Review, whose new book I mentioned a couple of posts ago, has been suggested as a mayoral candidate by the New York Post. An excellent choice, though it was an act of civil disobedience that prompted the recommendation.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Inevitable Tyranny Of Big Government

Nobody understands and is able to explain the significance of a news issue better than Mark Steyn. His latest article on the IRS scandal is no exception.

A sampling.

In April last year, the Obama campaign identified by name eight Romney donors as “a group of wealthy individuals with less than reputable records. Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans, and still others are donating to help ensure Romney puts beneficial policies in place for them.” That week, Kimberley Strassel began her Wall Street Journal column thus:
Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.
Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. . . . The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.
Miss Strassel wrote that on April 26, 2012. Five weeks later, one of the named individuals, Frank VanderSloot, was informed by the IRS that he and his wife were being audited. In July, he was told by the Department of Labor of an additional audit over the guest workers on his cattle ranch in Idaho. In September, he was notified that one of his other businesses was to be audited. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never previously been audited, attracted three in the four months after being publicly named by el Presidente. More to the point he attracted that triple audit even though Miss Strassel explicitly predicted in America’s biggest-selling newspaper that this was exactly what the Obama enforcers were going to do. The “separate, sinister entity” of the government of the United States went ahead anyway. What do they care? If some lippy broad in the papers won’t quit her yapping about it, they can always audit her, too — as they did to Miss Strassel’s sometime colleague Anne Hendershott, a sociology professor who got rather too interested in Obamacare and wrote about it in the Journal and various small Catholic publications. The IRS summoned Professor Hendershott to account for herself, and forbade her husband from accompanying her, even though they filed jointly. She ceased her political writing.

...There are no correct answers, only approved answers. Drew Ryun applied for permanent non-profit status for a group called “Media Trackers” in July 2011. Fifteen months later, he’d heard nothing. So he applied again under the eco-friendly name of “Greenhouse Solutions,” and was approved in three weeks.

The president and the IRS commissioner are unable to name any individual who took the decision to target only conservative groups. It just kinda sorta happened, and, once it had, it growed like Topsy. But the lady who headed that office, Sarah Hall Ingram, is now in charge of the IRS office for Obamacare. Many countries around the world have introduced government health systems since 1945, but, as I wrote here last year, “only in America does ‘health’ ‘care’ ‘reform’ begin with the hiring of 16,500 new IRS agents tasked with determining whether your insurance policy merits a fine.” So now not only are your books and Facebook posts legitimate tax issues but so is your hernia, and your prostate, and your erectile dysfunction. Next time round, the IRS will be able to leak your incontinence pads to George Soros.


Friday, May 17, 2013

Barack Obama's Sinister Government

"It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare."
Hal Scherz, Georgia physician

Of the myriad scandals presently engulfing the Obama administration, (George Will counts at least five - the three currently in the spotlight - Benghazi, IRS, AP, and another two under the radar at the moment - the NLRB's operating with illegally installed members and HHS Secretary Sibelius' solicitation of  unappropriated funds to propagandize in favor of Obamacare), the least objectionable is the AP scandal. At least here, the administration had a compelling national interest in skirting the law - that of determining who may have leaked the name of an undercover operative involved in exposing an al-Queda bomb plot. Of course, this affair is the one that's gotten the press all prickly. Self-interest trumps all, even obeisance to ideology.

The Benghazi and IRS scandals are the result of the all-encompassing, laser-like focus by the executive branch (and Congressional Democrats) to re-elect Barack Obama, a goal decidedly not in the national interest. The Benghazi affair began with the administration's failure to provide adequate security for our diplomatic staff in a very dangerous place. Subsequently, it allowed four Americans to die as it failed to respond to an ongoing terrorist attack. (In a locale targeted in the recent past by terrorists on multiple occasions. On 9/11. How could anyone anticipate that?) The president, who posed for a staged photograph during the Bin Laden raid, went AWOL while a small group of Americans attempted to fight off as many as 150 attackers armed with RPGs. The Commander-In-Chief was resting up for a campaign gig in Vegas the next day.

And then, to cover up its incompetence and irresponsibility, administration officials, most notably the president himself and his Secretary of State, shamelessly and repeatedly lied to the nation and the world regarding the nature of the attack and the motivation of the attackers.

The ramifications of this travesty will be enduring and far-reaching. As National Review's Andrew McCarthy pointed out, Libya's new president, Mohammed Magariaf is a rarity - a moderate, Western educated Muslim who has the courage to speak the truth about the dangers of radical Islam. Magariaf immediately recognized the Benghazi attack as the planned terrorist assault it was and stated so in no uncertain terms. He was undercut and embarrassed by the administration's narrative that the attack was a spontaneous protest over an irrelevant You Tube video that got out of hand. Magariaf is a potential American ally alienated by an Obama policy blunder. As such, he's in good company. The list of affronted or forsaken allies includes Israel, Great Britain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, Iraq, democrats (small d) in Iran, (and soon) Afghanistan. 

Reliance on the mendacious talking points delayed the dispatching of the FBI to Libya for more than two weeks. Evidence that could have led to the capture of the perpetrators is now lost forever. Obama's unfulfilled "vow" to bring them to justice further corrodes whatever credibility he has left. The terrorists remain free and their comrades are well aware of Obama's impotence. As are miscreant nations seeking to take advantage of it : Russia is sending advanced missiles to Syria to prop up its ally, Bashar Assad.

Benghazi also damaged us on the domestic front. By claiming that the infamous You Tube video was the impetus behind the attack and condemning and criminalizing its producer, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the administration bowed feebly to the reactionary forces of radical Islam. Even if it was true that the attack on the consulate was a response to the video, and it absolutely was not, there was no justification - none! - for the groveling apologies, on the world stage no less, by Obama, Clinton, Rice, et al. And, as an additional affront, they have given us the spectacle of an American citizen jailed for practicing his First Amendments rights in order to appease proponents of a regressive, fascist ideology. As National Review's Rich Lowry wrote, Nakoula "is the first person in this country jailed for violating Islamic anti-blasphemy laws."

But hey, "What difference does it make?"

The administration's use of the IRS to intimidate and deter its political opponents follows closely behind Benghazi in seriousness. This egregious abuse of power is exactly what one would expect from the Obama cabal, always seeking to expand the government's reach and influence, particularly when the chief beneficiaries are Democrats and their allies.

Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal)

All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.

Despite his declarations of "outrage", the driving force behind the scandal is Barack Obama.

Kimberly Strassel (Wall Street Journal)  
Was the White House involved in the IRS's targeting of conservatives? No investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.

President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an "independent" agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.

But that's not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn't need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years: Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.

Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do.
John Boehner says he wants to know "who's going to jail" over the IRS scandal. A fair question. Here is what the U.S. Code (Title 18 > Part I > Chapter 47 > § 1001) has to say about lying to Congress under oath.

...whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.

On Wednesday, Obama announced the "resignation" of Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS. (Strange how Obama has the authority to make this move despite the agency's "independence"). Obama's stated reason for Miller's firing?

"Given the controversy surrounding this audit it's important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward."

Uh huh.

Actually, Miller was fired because he was informed in May, 2012 that conservative groups were illegally singled out for extra scrutiny by his agency. Miller did not reveal this fact to Congress, even after he had been briefed on the matter.

A news report notes that "At least twice after the briefing, Miller wrote letters to members of Congress to explain the process of reviewing applications for tax-exempt status without disclosing that tea party groups had been targeted. On July 25, 2012, Miller testified before the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, but again did not mention the additional scrutiny — despite being asked about it."

Sounds like "concealing a material fact."

And Benghazi? Who gets jailed for that?

Another news report -

"House Republicans came to the conclusion in their interim report on Benghazi that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lied to them about what she knew and when during her testimony this January. This includes her statement that at no time was she aware of requests for additional security at the diplomatic facility in Benghazi prior to the attack.

The 46-page report by Republicans on five House committees cites a request from then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Gene Cretz, sent last March 28 to Clinton asking for additional security resources, and a response dated last April 19 that bears Clinton's signature.

The April cable from the State Department, according to the GOP report, acknowledged then-Ambassador Cretz' formal request for additional security assets but ordered the withdrawal of security elements to proceed as planned.'

Clinton's statement to Congress - 'I have made it very clear that the security cables did not come to my attention or above the assistant secretary level where the ARB (Accountability Review Board) placed responsibility.'"

A "materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation"? Any thoughts?

As Andrew Malcolm (Investor's Business Daily) noted -

Obama told Ohio State grads, "you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems."
Why ever would that be?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

In A Better World...

The Wall Street Journal editorial board wins a Pulitzer Prize for the series of editorials it wrote in 2003-2004 warning that a combination of the Federal Reserve's excessively loose money policy and out of control GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises - Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac) would end badly.

Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard also garners a Pulitzer for clearly exposing the lies of the Obama administration with regard to the Benghazi scandal.

Planned Parenthood is shunned by its donors for advocating that a baby born alive during an abortion attempt has no right to life - a position held by Kermit Gosnell (and Barack Obama), the practice of which got the former convicted of first degree murder.
President Mitt Romney, who gave away his entire inheritance and continues to donate a substantial portion of his income to charity and whose hard work and business acumen helped create tens of thousands of jobs, is treasured and rewarded by the society he enriched.

Having never held a real job in which he produced, something, anything, of value and whose radical ideology and anti-Americanism limits his political career to those narrow leftist redoubts which favor hollow, misguided windbags, citizen Barack Obama is regarded as the worthless, self-absorbed narcissist he really is.  
Failing that, President Obama resigns as he recognizes that his misuse of the IRS to intimidate his political opponents is precisely one of the abuses of power that led to Richard Nixon's threatened impeachment.

There would exist free markets for health care financing and education, allowing greater access to higher quality products in those areas, especially for the poor, results similar to that seen in fields which free markets currently hold sway such as telecommunications, transportation, computers, internet retailing and food.  
Conservative philosophers would give their brilliantly written books less awkward titles than "The End Is Near And It's Going To Be Awesome" (Kevin Williamson) and "The Fortunes Of Permanence: Culture And Anarchy In An Age Of Amnesia" (Roger Kimball).