Search parties were still seeking the dead and maimed from yesterday’s tornado, when:
Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse took to the Senate floor to rail against his Republican colleagues for denying the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Whitehouse spent 15 minutes chastising GOP senators and justified his remarks by alluding to states that seek federal assistance in the wake of natural disasters.
“So, you may have a question for me,” Whitehouse said. “Why do you care? Why do you, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, care if we Republicans run off the climate cliff like a bunch of proverbial lemmings and disgrace ourselves? I’ll tell you why. We’re stuck in this together. We are stuck in this together. When cyclones tear up Oklahoma and hurricanes swamp Alabama and wildfires scorch Texas, you come to us, the rest of the country, for billions of dollars to recover. And the damage that your polluters and deniers are doing doesn’t just hit Oklahoma and Alabama and Texas. It hits Rhode Island with floods and storms. It hits Oregon with acidified seas, it hits Montana with dying forests. So, like it or not, we’re in this together.”
Alas, he’s right: we are stuck with fulminating morons such as Whitehouse. (Bumper sticker: “Don’t Let Whitehouse near the White House”).
Climate had no bearing on yesterday’s extreme weather. For one thing, global surface temperatures have not risen since 1998. This is something Climatists are trying to explain, especially now that CO2 levels are higher than ever.
But weather and climate are different, except to Climatist Fundamentalists, who revel in righteous indignation incubated in scientific ignorance.
Surely I can’t be the only person who has a hard time falling asleep at night, thanks to all the unanswered questions floating around in my head. For instance, after seeing Juan Williams constantly trying to pooh-pooh away questions about the Benghazi cover-up on both Bret Baier’s “Special Report” and O’Reilly’s “The Factor,” I keep wondering if he’s been required to register as a lobbyist for the Obama administration.
For instance, how is it that lefties like Michael Bloomberg think that adults should have no say in the matter when it comes to sugar, salt, guns and the size of soda containers, but insist that teenagers should have free choice when it comes to purchasing the day-after pill and/or aborting their babies without parental consent or even awareness?
I’m sure most of us breathed a sigh of relief when the Pennsylvania jury found Kermit Gosnell guilty of first-degree murder. But perhaps not all of us. Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher, who is a professor of Bioethics at Princeton, in response to whether he would be in favor of killing a disabled baby, replied, “Yes, if that was in the best interests of the baby and of the family as a whole.”
Well, God knows I’m not a moral philosopher, but I’m wondering how the baby would go about voicing an opinion. And I’d like to hear what Stephen Hawking has to say about all this.
Prof. Singer also declared: “One point on which I agree with opponents of abortion is that from the point of view of ethics rather than the law, there is no sharp distinction between the fetus and the newborn baby.”
Apparently when you get to bill yourself as a moral philosopher, people tend to treat you with kid gloves, so nobody, as far as I’m aware, asked him if there was a sharp distinction between a newborn baby and a four-year-old or between a professor of Bioethics and a Nazi.
By now, we’re all aware of the fact that background checks would not have spared us the massacre at Newtown, but the question I haven’t heard asked is whether background checks would have prevented Operation Fast & Furious. After all, how much do we really know about notorious gun-runner Eric Holder?
For sheer irony, it’s hard to beat Hillary Clinton, who campaigned as the person we’d all want to see at the receiving end of a 3 a.m. phone call, totally botch the call she got in the wee hours regarding Benghazi.
Speaking of Benghazi, we keep hearing the various Pinocchio’s who speak on behalf of this administration insist that they could not have possibly sent armed reinforcements in the seven hours our people were under attack. Well, one, I keep wondering why not, inasmuch as our military base in Italy is a mere three hour flight away; and, two, lacking the gift of precognition, how could they have had the slightest idea how long the siege would continue?
Moving on to a more recent scandal, we have a spokesperson for the IRS stating: “Mistakes were made, but they were in no way due to any political or partisan motivation. We were — and will continue to be — dedicated to reviewing all applications for tax-exempt status in an impartial manner.”
And what’s more, it was a sheer coincidence that for two years only groups of a conservative persuasion were targeted, never a single group that had “Progressive,” “Liberal” or “We Love Obama,” in its title.
I confess I am less concerned about the scandal swirling around Obama’s tapping the phones of the Associated Press. To me, considering how supportive the news agency has been of Obama, this is more like a falling-out among thieves. Still, I can’t help wondering about his motive. The only thing I’ve come up with is he just couldn’t wait to find out what swell things they were going to say about him next.
We all grew up hearing people say with something resembling awe: “Is this a great country or what?” Ever since 2008, when Obama was elected, I’ve been thinking “what” is the correct answer.
Who’s the biggest the bully of them all? Barack H. Obama and his Chicago gang.
Catherine Engelbrecht’s tale has all the markings of a classic conspiracy theory: She says she thinks that because of her peaceful political activity, she and her family was targeted for scrutiny by hostile federal agencies.
Yet as news emerges that the Internal Revenue Service wielded its power to obstruct conservative groups, Catherine’s story becomes credible — and chilling. It also raises questions about whether other federal agencies have used their executive powers to target those deemed political enemies.
Before the Engelbrecht family’s three-year ordeal began, Catherine says, “I had no real expectation or preparation for the blood sport that American politics is.” Sounding weary on the phone, she continues: “It’s all been a through-the-looking-glass experience.”
Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer who specializes in representing conservative organizations, says that the Engelbrecht family’s experience is “just the tip of the iceberg. . . . I think there’s definitely a Chicago-politics-style enemies list in this administration, and I think it permeates this branch of the federal government.”
The Engelbrechts were not, until recently, particularly political. They had been busy running a tiny manufacturing plant in Rosenberg, Texas. After years of working for others, Bryan, a trained machinist, wanted to open his own shop, so he saved his earnings, bought a computerized numerical-control machine, which does precision metal-cutting, and began operating out of his garage. “That was about 20 years ago,” he says. “Now, we’re up to about 30 employees.”
For two decades, Bryan and Catherine drove to work in their big truck. Engelbrecht Manufacturing Inc. now operates out of a 20,000-square-foot metal building on the prairie just outside of Houston, where a “semi-pet coyote lives in the field just behind us,” Bryan says. They went back to their country home each night. Stress was rare, and life was good.
But the 2008 elections left Catherine feeling frustrated about the debates, which seemed to be a string of superficial talking points. So she began attending tea-party meetings, enjoying the political discussion. A spunky woman known for her drive, Catherine soon wanted to do more than just talk. She joined other tea partiers and decided to volunteer at the ballot box. Working as an alternate judge at the polls in 2009 in Fort Bend County, Texas, Catherine says, she was appalled and dismayed to witness everything from administrative snafus to outright voter fraud.
These formative experiences prompted her to found two organizations: King Street Patriots, a local community group that hosts weekly discussions on personal and economic freedoms; and True the Vote, which seeks to prevent voter fraud and trains volunteers to work as election monitors. It also registers voters, attempts to validate voter-registration lists, and pursues fraud reports to push for prosecution if illegal activity has occurred.
Bryan says that when his wife began focusing on politics, working less often at the manufacturing shop, “I told her, ‘You have my undying support.’” He pauses, then adds in his thick Texan drawl: “Little did I know she’d take it this far!”
In July 2010, Catherine filed with the IRS seeking tax-exempt status for her organizations. Shortly after, the troubles began….
Is President Obama directly implicated in the IRS scandal?
Is the White House Visitors Log the trail to the smoking gun?
The stunning questions are raised by the following set of new facts.
March 31, 2010.
According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.
The IRS is unionized? Why aren’t they covered by the civil service?
The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:
Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30
In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”
The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:
April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.
In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.
The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies. Kelley herself is a 14-year IRS veteran agent. The union’s PAC endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates…
The candidates listed are mostly Democrats, so how do they determine whether a candidate is “anti-Tea Party”?
Read it all (the site must be heavily trafficked because it can hard to get in).
Gavin McInnes with hilarious satire on the problem of Asians having it too easy in America.
…Nobody clutches their purse to their side when an Asian walks into the elevator. If an Asian applies for a job at a bank or on the police force, he or she is welcomed with open arms. When an Asian commits a crime, people are shocked. When an Asian is appointed to the head of the Department of Energy, everyone knowingly nods their head. Asian privilege pervades every part of our day-to-day life and it’s time they joined the conversation about race.
Though they comprise less than 4.8% of the American population, they make up 8.3% of all doctors. Only 2.3% of doctors are African American, yet they’re 13% of the population. Thirty percent of African American men will go to jail, but only 1.6% of prisoners are Asian. Nobody sees the problem with that?
McGill University is one of the most elite schools in North America, and to walk through their campus is to be transported into a pastoral Chinatown. This is true of all Ivy League schools. Asian Americans have the highest education level of any racial demographic and they’re also the wealthiest. While African American households earned an average of $30,939 in 2005, Asian Americans walked away with twice that…
The State Department, under Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, created an arrangement for her longtime aide and confidante Huma Abedin to work for private clients as a consultant while serving as a top adviser in the department.
Ms. Abedin did not disclose the arrangement — or how much income she earned — on her financial report. It requires officials to make public any significant sources of income. An adviser to Mrs. Clinton, Philippe Reines, said that Ms. Abedin was not obligated to do so.
The disclosure of the agreement that Ms. Abedin made with the State Department comes as her husband, former Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a Democrat, prepares for a mayoral run in New York City. Politico reported the arrangement on Thursday afternoon.
Ms. Abedin declined a request for an interview, but the picture that emerges from interviews and records suggests a situation where the lines were blurred between Ms. Abedin’s work in the high echelons of one of the government’s most sensitive executive departments and her role as a Clinton family insider…
A thought: if President Bush was held accountable for anything that went wrong during Hurricane Katrina, shouldn’t President Obama be held accountable for the IRS scandal?
Bush was held accountable for matters outside his control. In fact, the Democrats and the media (redundant) effectively used the tragedy of Katrina to poison his second term. This despite the fact that Louisiana’s governor and New Orleans mayor were both incompetent boobs who botched things.
As Kimberly Strassel noted in her Friday column, Obama and his campaign created the poisonous atmosphere that encouraged rank partisanship at the IRS.
There was a recent study of the 50 states that determined that the five freest were North and South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma; the least free were Rhode Island, Hawaii, New Jersey, California and New York. The results shouldn’t be too surprising. The freest, after all, tend to be more conservative, the least free are all liberal. That stands to reason when you see how much leftists relish bureaucratic regulations and regularly elect nannies such as California’s Jerry Brown and New York’s Andrew Cuomo and Michael Bloomberg.
It occurred to me that even though I don’t watch Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman, I don’t read the trashy magazines or tune in to “The View” or Ellen DeGeneres, I am all too aware of people like Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna and the 4,000 women known collectively as the Kardashians. It’s as if all this vile protoplasm were floating in the air, and no matter how hard you try, you can’t avoid sucking them in like human smog.
In the old days, movie stars and singers hired publicity agents. They paid good money to get their names and pictures in the press in order to promote their careers and enhance their images. Thus, nymphos, drunks and drug addicts, would be sold to the gullible public as if the next logical step in their lives wouldn’t be Oscars and hit records, but canonization as saints.
One of the few celebrities who was an exception was Frank Sinatra, who paid an expensive flack to keep his name out of the press. Even a guy who liked to play up his connection to Mafia dons didn’t want it to be headline fodder every time he sucker-punched some shrimp or had his thuggish bodyguards put some guy in the hospital.
But how the times have changed! Now every two-bit schnook can’t wait to go on TV and confess all. Instead of seeking atonement through private confession to a priest, these bottom-feeders seek out one of those aging sob sisters, like Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer or Oprah Winfrey, while 500 pinheads in the studio audience mindlessly applaud, and the viler the confessions, the louder the applause.
Whenever I see someone like Bill O’Reilly get dewy-eyed over Abe Lincoln, I wonder why. I know the 16th president has been passed down to us as a humble log-splitter who was killed during a valiant attempt to end slavery. But that doesn’t quite mesh with the fact that he only freed the slaves in the Confederacy, not those in the Union states. I also know that he didn’t care for black people and urged the freed ones to self-deport to Liberia.
On top of all that, although his fable tells of his walking five miles in the snow to school and five miles home, uphill in both directions, and being a poor, but honest, lawyer, he was in fact constantly running for one political office or another. In the meantime, he served as a very wealthy mouthpiece for the railroad barons, who, in turn, financed his successful run for the presidency.
Then there was also the blatant hypocrisy of his “malice toward none, with charity to all” malarkey, while constantly urging his generals to wage bloody havoc on women and children, burning down homes and farms, all the while waging a war that left 700,000 Americans dead. What’s worse, his overriding motive was to make it possible for the North to continue punishing the South with tariffs that protected the producers of steel and textiles, while ruining those who raised and exported cotton and other farm products.
To me, the greatest of our presidents was without question George Washington. Not only had he commanded the Army that defeated the mighty English forces, but he both rejected the crown and was probably the last president who couldn’t wait to leave the presidency and return home.
George (“First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen”) Washington was to American politics what Babe Ruth was to baseball. Ruth, while with the Boston Red Sox, was one of the greatest pitchers in the game. Then he went to the New York Yankees and became the game’s all-time greatest hitter.
One of the worst results of the Lincoln fable was that, to this day, politicians never stop bragging about how poor they started out. Did even a single day go by in 2012 when Joe Biden or Rick Santorum didn’t remind us of their humble origins? But neither, you may have noticed, bothered mentioning how wealthy they had become in the guise of being public servants.
Another subject of popular fairy tales are Indians, or Native Americans, as they’re referred to in certain effete circles. Although there were some peaceful tribes back in the day, don’t believe anyone who tells you that it was white men who introduced torture and genocide to the noble savages. Many of them even engaged in cannibalism.
These days, they have added something new and shameful to their resume. It’s called disenrollment. That is a process whereby tribal leaders get to decide who does and who doesn’t have a legitimate claim to tribal identity. This outrageous activity owes its origin to the success of Indian casinos.
The way it works is that the fewer members of the tribe, the bigger the payouts to those who survive these purges. What’s more, because the tribal leaders get to make these decisions unilaterally, there can be no appeal to state or federal courts. I guess some people would take heart from the fact that in this way, at least, the Indians have finally learned the ways of the white man.
Finally, although Bob Beckel, who, for some unfathomable reason has become the darling of Fox News, should be commended for being a recovering alcoholic, I have to confess that every time I see him blathering away on “The Five” or “The Factor,” I feel as if I’m being driven to drink.
Kimberly Strassel’s column will, no doubt, cause apoplexy on the left.
Just remember how progressives are always citing a “climate of hate” or “culture of violence” to point fingers.
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. “He put a target on our backs, and he’s now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?” asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a “wealthy individual” with a “less-than-reputable record.” Other donors were described as having been “on the wrong side of the law.”
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot’s divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That (more…)
Yesterday Obama bloodlessly referred to the murder of an Ambassador and three other Americans as an “incident.” He thinks “there’s no there there,” as do many liberals.
There’s an immeasurably deep cleavage between left and right in America, illustrated vividly in the way Americans regard the Benghazi scandal and outrage. It’s in the DNA.
Democrats generally and liberals in particular can’t understand what the noise from Benghazi is about, though they’re willing to concede that the deaths of the American ambassador and three colleagues was a shame and maybe even a tragedy. The families of the dead deserve the nation’s thoughts, and even the prayers of the guns-and-religion clingers, and if any of the families can find condolences in mass-produced clichés they’re welcome. But whatever bad happened in Benghazi was a bureaucratic failure and the word at the White House is that bureaucrats can fix it.
Republicans generally and conservatives in particular can’t figure out why the ambassador and his three luckless colleagues were allowed to twist slowly, slowly in the toxic smoke of the burning consulate, and can’t understand why everyone else is not as outraged as they are. How much is a human life reckoned to be worth?
The left, which weighs everything on the scales of political expediency, can’t understand why American “special operations” standing by in Tripoli were so eager to fly to the rescue. Liberals and lefties can’t understand why, after being told to stand down, the soldiers were “furious,” as Gregory Hicks, the No. 2 diplomat in Benghazi, eloquently described them in his testimony to the House committee inquiring into the episode. The ambassador and his colleagues died pleading for help that never came because the president’s men and women were too surprised, too timid, too frightened to send it. “None of us should ever have to experience what we went through in Tripoli and Benghazi,” Mr. Hicks told the panel.
Ordinary Americans have thrilled with pride to the stories of blood and flesh spent to attempt the rescue of the helpless, whether the exploits of the famous (more…)
The new Pope talks like a socialist. Let’s see him put the church’s money where his mouth is.
Pope Francis urges global leaders to end ‘tyranny’ of money
Pope Francis has attacked the “dictatorship” of the global financial system and warned that the “cult of money” was making life a misery for millions.
He said free-market capitalism had created a “tyranny” and that human beings were being judged purely by their ability to consume goods.
“While the income of a minority is increasing exponentially, that of the majority is crumbling,” said Francis, who as archbishop of Buenos Aires visited slums, opted to live in a modest flat rather than an opulent Church residence and went to work by bus.
Money should be made to “serve” people, not to “rule” them, he said, calling for a more ethical financial system and curbs on financial speculation.
Countries should impose more control over their economies and not allow “absolute autonomy”, in order to provide “for the common good”.
The gap between rich and poor was growing and the “joy of life” was diminishing in many developed countries, the Argentinian Pope said, two months after he was elected as the successor to Benedict XVI.
In poorer countries, people’s lives were becoming “undignified” and marked by violence and desperation, he said.
Francis made the strongly-worded remarks in his first major speech on finance and the economy, during an address to foreign ambassadors in the Vatican.
It underlined a reputation he has established in the last two months for showing deep concern for the plight of the poor and vulnerable…
Capitalism does not create poverty, it generates wealth.
In general, more people today are living longer, richer lives than at any time in history. Remember, once upon a time the whole world was an “undeveloped” country.
Bad government, like we see in Argentina and Venezuela and much of the world, thwarts the creation of wealth. Too bad the Argentine Pope didn’t learn the truths right before his eyes.
One thing that I hope is not lost in the political maneuvering surrounding the IRS scandal: This is not mainly about the president, the Republicans, or either party’s political prospects. The first sentence out of practically every Democrat’s mouth has been: There’s no evidence the White House was involved. And that’s true enough, though there is very strong evidence that at least one Senate Democrat, Carl Levin of Michigan, was pressuring the agency to investigate tea-party groups.
Whatever happens politically in the next few years, Barack Obama will leave office at the end of his term — and the IRS will still be there. The permanent bureaucracies have political interests of their own, which may or may not align with the interests of any given candidate or any given party at any given moment. A dangerous, abusive, and politicized IRS is a serious threat to the well-being of our country: The rectitude of such institutions is an important part of what makes a free society and a free economy work. Labor is cheap in Haiti and Afghanistan, but there is a reason that people do not invest in those places. Even India, which has relatively good law and honest courts but a great deal of piddling corruption, especially in the lower levels of the bureaucracies, suffers economically because of political corruption. If you do not have credible institutions, it is difficult to thrive…
But the Senate is another story:
The abuse of power may not be confined to the IRS. It might also involve high-ranking Senate Democrats who pressured the IRS to conduct such witch hunts and threatened action if it didn’t.
In September 2010, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus wrote to IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, requesting that the agency survey major nonprofits involved in political campaign activity for their possible “violation of tax laws.” In February 2012, Sens. Charles Schumer, Michael Bennet, Al Franken, Jeff Merkley, Jeanne Shaheen, Tom Udall and Sheldon Whitehouse wrote a similar letter to Mr. Shulman, and promised to introduce legislation if the IRS failed to “prevent abuse of the tax code by political groups.” In July 2012 and again in August, Sen. Carl Levin complained to the IRS about its apparent passivity.
“I believe if we want to know what happened in Benghazi, it starts with the fact that there was not enough security. There was not enough security because the budget was cut.”
— Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), speech on the Senate floor, May 14, 2013
Leave it to MSNBC, the most race obsessed news outlet in America, to find a racial angle to the scandals.
His last line is a bit muddled, so:
“It’s going to be very very difficult for us to erase some of the things they’ve embraced,” he added. “They simply want this to be a figment of his pigmentation.”
WASHINGTON — In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They included:
• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to “drive the progressive change.” According to its website, its mission includes “support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people’s interests and make tough choices.” It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.
• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. “It would be fair to say we’re on the progressive end of the spectrum,” said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after “a pretty simple, straightforward process.”
• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. “We’re busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now,” the group’s voice mail said.
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like “citizen participation” or “voter education and registration.”
In a conference call with reporters last week, the IRS official responsible for granting tax-exempt status said that it was a mistake to subject Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny based solely on the organization’s name. But she said ideology played no part in the process.
“The selection of these cases where they used the names was not a partisan selection,” said Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations. She said progressive groups were also selected for greater scrutiny based on their names, but did not provide details. “I don’t have them off the top of my head,” she said.
The IRS did not respond to follow-up questions Tuesday.
As the nation’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows.
Why didn’t his Justice Department inform the Associated Press, as the law requires, before pawing through reporters’ phone records?
“I do not know,” the attorney general told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon, “why that was or was not done. I simply don’t have a factual basis to answer that question.”
Why didn’t the DOJ seek the AP’s cooperation, as the law also requires, before issuing subpoenas?
“I don’t know what happened there,” Holder replied. “I was recused from the case.”
Why, asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was the whole matter handled in a manner that appears “contrary to the law and standard procedure”?
“I don’t have a factual basis to answer the questions that you have asked, because I was recused,” the attorney general said.
On and on Holder went: “I don’t know. I don’t know. . . . I would not want to reveal what I know. . . . I don’t know why that didn’t happen. . . . I know nothing, so I’m not in a position really to answer.”
Holder seemed to regard this ignorance as a shield protecting him and the Justice Department from all criticism of the Obama administration’s assault on press freedoms. But his claim that his “recusal” from the case exempted him from all discussion of the matter didn’t fly with Republicans or Democrats on the committee, who justifiably saw his recusal as more of an abdication.
“There doesn’t seem to be any acceptance of responsibility in the Justice Department for things that have gone wrong,” said Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), after Holder placed the AP matter in the lap of his deputy. “We don’t know where the buck stops.”
The best Holder could do was offer an “after-action analysis” of the matter and pledge the administration’s renewed support for a media shield law (the same proposed law the Obama administration undermined three years ago). But that does nothing to reverse the damage the administration has already done with its wholesale snooping into reporters’ phone records and its unprecedented number of leak prosecutions.
“I realize there are exceptions and that you have recused yourself, but it seems to me clear that the actions of the department have, in fact, impaired the First Amendment,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told Holder. “Reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence, because those confidential sources are now going to be chilled in their relationship with the press.”
I will frankly admit I find it increasingly difficult to share the same planet as leftists. That’s because I believe they are all insane. They say such things as “We all belong to the state” or “It takes a village to raise a child” with a straight face. One might say that a North Korean belongs to the state, but an American?
To tell the truth, the only way I have found to cope with liberals is by ridiculing them every chance I get.
Does anyone but an idiot believe that folks like Jefferson, Washington and Franklin, went to all that trouble to create a nation that was basically the same as the English monarchy?
Just how is it that it takes a village to raise a child, but any female, even one as young as 12 or 13, is entitled to have it murdered by someone like Kermit Gosnell before the village gets their hands on it?
Lest anyone ever forget, Barack Obama, while in the Illinois legislature, not only voted in favor of late term abortions, but voted in favor of killing any tots who, miraculously, managed to survive the butchery. Furthermore, unlike same-sex marriages, transparency in government and the Patriot Act, Obama has not evolved even the slightest little bit when it comes to this particular issue.
Speaking of he who should go back to community-organizing, I immediately thought of Obama when I heard about the letter sent to a casting agency by the Canadian Broadcasting Company. The CBC was looking for someone to host an afternoon TV show. But they didn’t want just anyone to apply. In order to qualify, the person had to be good with kids, love physical comedy and enjoy hanging out with puppets all day. The job was open to people of any gender, so long as they weren’t white. I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if they had sent the job offer directly to the White House.
For one thing, we know Obama likes spending time with his daughters, especially when the taxpayer is picking up the tab. Next, anyone who saw him sink only two of the 22 shots he took on Easter Sunday knows he is Buster Keaton’s equal when it comes to physical comedy. And, finally, after spending four years pulling the strings of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Charley Rangel, Henry Waxman and Jay Carney, he has already put in more time with puppets than Burr Tillstrom, Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers, put together.
An odd fact I recently came across is that if you’re treated for COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) at the Bayonne Hospital Center in New Jersey, the cost is $99,490. However, just 30 miles away, at the Lincoln Medical Center in the Bronx, it will run you $7,094. I can’t possibly explain the discrepancy or recommend one hospital over the other but that doesn’t mean I’m not suspicious of Bayonne.
For one thing, the price is far too reminiscent of those rip-off artists that go out of their way to keep the price of their product or service below $100 by offering it for $99.99 or under $1000 by deducting a penny from the cost. But unless I find that Bayonne has a success rate 14 times higher than Lincoln or that they encourage smoking in the Bronx facility, I’d give Bayonne a very wide berth.
In case you missed the news, Kathy Boudin, a dedicated radical/convicted cop killer, went straight from the penitentiary to a professorship at Columbia. She is merely following in the tawdry footsteps of other unrepentant nogootniks like Angela Davis and William Ayers. If anyone is seriously wondering why academia is held in such low regard these days, it’s because so many universities will roll out the red carpet for murderous loons, while at the same time slamming their ivy-covered doors in the face of conservative scholars.
What makes Democrats so despicable isn’t simply that they’re wrong on just about every issue, but that they will lie and provide cover for their fellow liars. All you had to do was tune in to the Benghazi hearings to realize how, even in the wake of our ambassador and his three gallant colleagues being slaughtered by the barbarians in Libya, people like Rep. Elijah Cummings will put partisan politics ahead of ferreting out the truth. And for good measure, they will then attribute partisan motives to those seeking the facts.
In the run-up to the election, in order to bolster the big lie about having decimated Al Qaeda, Obama, Biden, Clinton and Susan Rice, pretended that the Benghazi massacre was the result of an impromptu demonstration brought on by a silly video.
One would think that however one felt about Obama’s re-election prospects, an honest person would have to take the word of the Libyan president when he immediately announced that the attack was premeditated and carried out by Muslim terrorists.
One would also think that a cover-up involving four dead Americans would trigger at least as big a reaction from the media as Watergate, which involved an office break-in, for God’s sake, but no spilling of innocent blood. But, then, of course, one can’t really expect a Democrat such as Patty Murray, Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin or Patrick Leahy, to follow the example of Barry Goldwater and tell the president in no uncertain terms to do the honorable thing and vacate the premises.
One of the more mind-boggling things about Americans is the ridiculously high esteem in which so many of them hold Hillary Clinton, a woman who owes her fame not to any actual achievement, but to the fact that 37 years ago she displayed her own lack of judgment by marrying a serial adulterer
But to me, the nadir of her public life took place last January. I only wish I had been sitting in Sen. Ron Johnson’s chair when she berated him for daring to question her over the tragic events that took place on 9/11 in Benghazi.
After her hammy outburst, I would have said, “Somehow I can’t quite believe that if Ambassador to Libya Chelsea Clinton had been murdered by jihadists four months ago, her mother would sit there today and say, ‘What difference, at this point, does it make who did it?’”
Lois Lerner, the senior executive in charge of the IRS tax exemption department and the federal employee at the center of the exploding scandal over the IRS targeting of conservative, evangelical and pro-Israel non-profits, was given $42,531 in bonuses between 2009 and 2011.
That figure was included in data provided by the IRS in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The Washington Examiner. Lerner is director of the IRS exempt organizations division, which processes and approves or denies applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status.
One wonders, what is the basis for a bonus in a government job? Do they give IRS agents extra for extra aggressive audits?
The US Fish and Wildlife service, another agency that seems ripe for pruning, has decided that it’s okay for greenies to kill rare Condors.
Rare meaning 226 left in the wild, many the product of an expensive government program to prevent extinction.
Federal wildlife officials took the unprecedented step Friday of telling private companies that they will not be prosecuted for inadvertently harassing or even killing endangered California condors.
In a decision swiftly condemned by conservationists and wildlife advocates, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said operators of Terra-Gen Power’s wind farm in the Tehachapi Mountains will not be prosecuted if their turbines accidentally kill a condor during the expected 30-year life span of the project.
So windmills have a license to kill. Contrast that to US Fish and Wildlife’s decision regarding hunting not-so-endangered species in Texas.
A court case filed by one animal rights group may cause three endangered species to become extinct.
The three species of African antelope — the scimitar-horned oryx, the addax and the dama gazelle — are already nearly extinct in their native Africa. But they are thriving on the plains of Texas, mostly on ranches where hunters pay thousands of dollars for the privilege of hunting them.
For decades this practice has meant roughly 10 percent of the herd on any given ranch is culled annually, with the proceeds allowing the ranchers to continue to feed and breed these animals.
But animal rights activists generally oppose all hunting, including hunts on exotic game ranches. They have successfully sued to have it stopped, and now the ranchers are faced with a dilemma: How do they continue to support animals which they have no economic reason to keep, but are prohibited from killing?
Since 2005 an exemption to the Endangered Species Act has allowed ranchers to raise the three species, and hunters to stalk them, without a special permit. In all, Texas ranchers had about 1,800 of the animals in 2004. With the exemption in place, those numbers swelled to more than 17,000 by 2011.
CBS News aired a “60 Minutes” feature story about the controversy on Jan. 29. Priscilla Feral, president of the animal rights group Friends of Animals, told correspondent Lara Logan that she has waged a seven-year legal battle to get the exemption overturned.
Feral won. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a new regulation, scheduled to go into effect on April 4.
On that date, the agency says, “the three antelope species will be treated the same as all other captive-bred endangered species in the United States.
Got that? The hunting ranches kept rare species alive without federal grants or intervention. Now a busybody uses the federal government to end hunting because it offends her sensibilities.
Hear this, Obama: “…voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems…”
Yes, we’re talking about you and yours.
…Too many Washington journalists see everything through a prism of politics. Benghazi isn’t about the death of four Americans … it’s about the future of Hillary Clinton. The IRS scandal isn’t about the abusive use of federal government power … it’s about how the GOP will use it to score political points.
But even if you play by these rules, why isn’t the story on page one of the New York Times about how Democrats in the Obama administration may have been going after conservative groups … for political gain?
Why isn’t the Benghazi story framed in a way that questions Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s political spin? Is she trying to stay out of trouble precisely because she wants to run for president? Was Mr. Obama more concerned about winning re-election, running in part on the phony premise that he had al-Qaeda on the run, than he was in admitting early on that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attack in Benghazi? Is he now more concerned about his reputation than … well, than anything else?
Victor Davis Hanson on Obama’s selective leak investigations
…when the Obama administration wants the public to appreciate its unheralded and successful accomplishments, it leaks classified information that imperils national security (did the Taliban really need to know the precise units and their methodology of operation that took out bin Laden?) — and leaks so much that former defense secretary Bob Gates is said to have been reduced to threatening John Brennan with “shut the f*** up!” Yet one wonders whether the administration tapped the phones of David Ignatius or David Sanger on rumors that by some strange happenstance they got the classified information about the most intimate moments of Obama as commander-in-chief and protector of the realm and wrote quid pro quo paeans despite the national-security implications?
Ditto the televised dramatics of the Obama team huddled around consoles as they saw the raid against bin Laden unfold in real time — a photo opportunity not repeated when live feeds from Benghazi began coming in about the al-Qaeda attacks. Certainly, that evening when Americans were on the defensive rather than the offensive, nobody deemed it necessary to bring in the photographers to capture the Obama team in mediis rebus. Translated into Animal Farm terms: All leaks bad — except some. All hands-on-operations are televised — unless they go badly. Give classified information to reporters — if they are cooperative.
Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.
Unfortunately, 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; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.
– Barack Obama
Sigh. They better stop watching PBS’s Nova, too, because David Koch supports it.
In her keynote speech at last year’s annual Netroots Nation gathering, Darcy Burner pitched a seemingly simple idea to the thousands of bloggers and web developers in the audience. The former Microsoft MSFT +0.51%programmer and congressional candidate proposed a smartphone app allowing shoppers to swipe barcodes to check whether conservativebillionaire industrialists Charles and David Kochwere behind a product on the shelves.
Burner figured the average supermarket shopper had no idea that buying Brawny paper towels, Angel Soft toilet paper or Dixie cups meant contributing cash to Koch Industries through its subsidiary Georgia-Pacific. Similarly, purchasing a pair of yoga pants containing Lycra or a Stainmaster carpet meant indirectly handing the Kochs your money (Koch Industries bought Invista, one of the world’s largest fiber and textiles companies, in 2004 from DuPont).