May 22, 2013
A Fifth of Lerner
If you'e the kind of person who sits in utter astonishment at the obvious, it might come as a surprise that Lois Lerner -- Overseer and Commissarette of the vaunted IRS Exempt Organizations Unit during the time it was administering free proctological exams to Tea Party groups -- has decided to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights rather than testify truthfully before Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA, 92%) committee hearings today. It is Lerner's attorneys, you see, who have advised her not to say anything further, ostensibly because doing so might make her tend to look bad. Otherwise, one imagines she'd be ready to sing like a down-home chanteuse auditioning to be the next American Idol. Right?
Well, in Lerner's defense it is possible that she's giving us the straight dope on her reasons for not testifying; but if this is indeed the case, it opens up some intriguing possibilities. Perhaps Lerner knows a little too much, and would rather not be in a position where she's forced to rat out anybody farther up the food chain. This seems as good an explanation as any, as taking the Fifth would circumvent her having to make the choice of either perjuring herself to protect her bosses or spilling the ugly truth about what's really been going on at the IRS. The takeaway: We've only scratched the surface of those wacky shenanigans. Don't change that dial, because there's lots more to come, folks!
No matter what we find out, though, of one thing we can be very certain: this scandal goes deep, and completely compromises the IRS's ability to act as a fair and impartial collector of taxes. It's more than just a matter of "rogue" employees and supervisors carrying out a political agenda. That this targeting of conservative groups went on for years without anyone at the IRS batting an eye speaks of an entirely corrupted culture at that agency -- something that isn't going to be solved by rounding up the usual suspects and giving them their walking papers.
The way I see it, we have two choices: we can either move over to a flat or FAIR taxing system and disband the IRS as we know it, or we have to completely reorganize the agency -- starting with making it illegal for its employees to be unionized. The National Treasury Employees Union directs over 90% of its political donations to the Democrat Party. So long as that remains the case, how in the hell are the American people supposed to trust the IRS not to resume business as usual once the scandal has passed?
May 18, 2013
Just in case you needed another reason to get all wee-weed up over the burgeoning IRS scandal, consider this: One of the factors often cited in Obama's victorious 2012 re-election bid was his campaign's formidable ground game. His get-out-the-vote efforts were superb, and probably made all the difference in what the polls were indicating would be a very close race. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was clearly unable to match that effort himself, given that he got fewer votes than John McCain did back in 2008.
So what accounts for that difference?
Conventional wisdom tells us that there was just less enthusiasm for Mitt Romney last time around, and perhaps that's true; but one cannot discount the chilling effect that the IRS harassment of conservative grassroots groups must've had on their own get-out-the-vote efforts. What if these groups had been approved for non-profit status in a timely manner (as their progressive counterparts had), and had been allowed to operate during the election? Might they have mobilized more voters for Mitt Romney? And if they had, would it have made a difference in the outcome of the election?
Obviously, we can't know the answer to that question -- but it certainly is well within the realm of possibility. I think the Obama administration knew that too, which only taints the IRS further and makes their actions even more sinister. That a federal agency could be used by the party in power to suppress the vote of the opposition is beyond scary. It's downright terrifying.
May 15, 2013
Does it seem that the current Power Line line reduces to, "Another terrible scandal in the Obama administration? Good Lord, Republicans are doomed!"
Friend Lee says, "Barack Obama is the most Nixonian president since Franklin Roosevelt."
Yeah. Think about it.
May 14, 2013
Poor Jay Carney has been having a lousy time of it as of late, hasn't he? First he has to deal with the fallout over the Benghazi whistleblower testimony, then that whole business with the IRS targeting conservative groups pops up, and before you know it the AP is out for blood over Eric Holder's Justice Department going through the news giant's phone records like the boys of Delta House going on a panty raid. Carney must've been a naughty boy in a previous life to reap this kind of karma.
What's really interesting, though, isn't the scandals so much; we mouth-breathing conservative Troglodytes have been carping over corruption in the Obama administration since Fast & Furious reared its ugly head, so to us it's nothing new. No, what's fascinating is how the mainstream media are actually starting to treat these developments as, well, the scandals that they are. In that regard, poor Carney reminds me of a guy who hasn't strapped on a pair of sneakers in years suddenly being forced to run a marathon: He just ain't used to taking that kind of abuse -- and from reporters, no less! Morning Joe, say it isn't so!
In their response to all of this, conservatives have reacted pretty much as you would expect, much like gamer geeks who have suddenly discovered that by tuning their TVs just so that the Spice Channel comes in for free. But while I enjoy a good glass of schadenfreude as much as the next guy, I think it might be best if we engaged in a little constructive deconstruction and ask ourselves: Why are the media doing this? After all, they've been Barack Obama's battered girlfriend for the last four years and never said a cross word about him. What would make them go all Jennifer Lopez in Enough on him now?
The answer -- at least partially -- is that the scandals have now come so hard and so fast that they've reached a critical mass. One Benghazi? We can handle that. The IRS thing? By itself, a piece of cake. A little diversion, a little song and dance, and John Q. Public will forget all about that. But when you have the kind of week that Obama has had, there emerges a pattern that even the MSM can no longer ignore. The truth, in spite of all their protestations to the contrary, starts to shine through: These are not nice people.
And it's a terrible thing to lose one's illusions.
That does not, however, mean that the MSM will not happily resume their delusional state if given the right enticement. Obama, after all, is a pretty smooth operator when he wants to be. Like Tiger Woods, he just miscalculated how much he could push his luck before the missus came after him with a golf club. The breaking point probably came over spying on the AP, and right now all those reporters turning the White House press secretary into Carney-kabobs know they have to draw some blood if they wish to retain a sliver of credibility. But in the end, my guess is that the administration will offer to lop off some heads and make some sort of amends, and the press will fall in line once again. It's what they do, and to expect them to behave otherwise is too much to hope for.
The lesson? Don't count on the MSM to take Obama down. They won't do it. And they never will.
May 8, 2013
"What Difference Does It Make!" -- On 2016?
PolitiFact Wisconsin has done us a great service by resurrecting Hillary "Hell to Pay" Clinton's January cri de coeur (rather, hysterical, squeaky, falsetto, voice-cracking, calculated screech) anent the Benghazi terrorism:
Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
The attack (even the White House now admits it was an al-Qaeda terrorist assault) killed four Americans -- Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and two embassy security personnel, Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods. Ten others were wounded in the attack. But a few days after, then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice rushed onto nearly a thousand Sunday talk shows to pitch the rewritten, reelection-friendly talking points of the Obamunists: That the attack was unplanned, not premeditated, and was in fact an out-of-control movie review.
The PolitiFact piece is part of an "occasional feature" called In Context, a.k.a. the lazy man's journalism; it consists of taking some controversial statement, quoting several of the paragraphs surrounding it, and calling it a news story. But it is useful, providing a longer length of rope by which those afflicted by foot in mouth disease, such as Madame Erstwhile Secretary, can hang themselves all the quicker.
In context, Clinton's "What difference at this point does it make!" ejaculation is even worse than what we thought from the video snippet in January. We thought she had simply lost her temper after being badgered, bear-baited, and hogtied by some sneery senator. But the In Context piece shows a very different story: The shriek heard round the world was a planned evasion of a simple but devastating question, one that Clinton would surely know was coming -- but for which she had no good answer.
The questioner who extracted the Scream was Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI, 100%). And he really had only one simple, substantive question: Wouldn't a simple phone call to the survivors and evacuees, even a couple of days after the fact, have told us that there was no "demonstration" or "protest" prior to the assault? Therefore, that it was indeed a planned and executed terrorist attack.
Johnson asks his question several times:
Did anybody in the State Department talk to those folks very shortly afterwards?...
The point I’m making is, a very simple phone call to these individuals, I think, would’ve ascertained immediately that there was no protest prior to this.... Why wasn’t that known?...
But, Madame Secretary, do you disagree with me that a simple phone call to those evacuees to determine what happened wouldn’t have ascertained immediately that there was no protest? That was a piece of information that could have been easily, easily obtained?
But to each attempt to get Clinton to explain why she couldn't have found out almost immediately what really happened -- terrorism, not a spontaneous protest against a YouTube video -- Clinton evades, sidesteps, and tapdances... because she knows very well that, had she made that phone call, she would lose her plausible deniability; she would have owned the Big Lie of her subordinate, Susan Rice. Here are Clinton's "answers":
[O]nce the assault happened, and once we got our people rescued and out, our most immediate concern was, number one, taking care of their injuries.... We did not think it was appropriate for us to talk to them before the FBI conducted their interviews. And we did not -- I think this is accurate, sir -- I certainly did not know of any reports that contradicted the [Intelligence Community] talking points at the time that Ambassador Rice went on the TV shows.... Was information developing? Was the situation fluid? Would we reach conclusions later that weren’t reached initially?... [W]hen you’re in these positions, the last thing you want to do is interfere with any other process going on, number one.... Number two, I would recommend highly you read both what the ARB said about it and the classified ARB because, even today, there are questions being raised. Now, we have no doubt they were terrorists, they were militants, they attacked us, they killed our people. But what was going on and why they were doing what they were doing is still unknown --
Did I miss an actual answer in that pot of message? I mean, something like, "Yes, I could have called them and found out"... or even, "No, I couldn't call them, any of them, even days later, because my boss put the kibosh on any investigation until after he was safely reelected."
At the end, Johnson draws the only conclusion possible:
No, again, we were misled that there were supposedly protests and that something sprang out of that -- an assault sprang out of that -- and that was easily ascertained that that was not the fact, and the American people could have known that within days and they didn’t know that.
And that was when she unleashed her staged and rehearsed banshee wail, the silencing scream of the outraged woman under sexist assault by a Republican Fascist:
With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?
Of course she didn't dare answer! The simple and honest response to Johnson's question is, Yes, I could have found out immediately; but if I did, how could I safely send Siouxsie out to lie to the American voters just before President B.O.'s reelection?
Her hands were tied; rather, they were wired firmly over her ears. There are some things Man, or in this case a reasonable facsimile thereof, was not meant to know.
And don't think that Madame can just walk away from it. To paraphrase Josef Mengele in the Boys From Brazil: She betrayed her ambassador; she betrayed her oath of office; she betrayed her country!
If she chooses to run for president again in 2016, I expect her primary opponents won't forget to remember her lies, her multiple betrayals, her treasons, stratagems, and spoils. I stand by my prediction that Hillary Rodham Clinton Rodham will never, ever be the Democrat nominee for president.
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