Four Charts Showing How Obama’s Statist Agenda Is Hurting Jobs and Growth

July 31, 2013

But, if you hit the president with facts, you’re dubbed a racist birther, or something.

International Liberty

President Obama made a much-hyped pivot-to-the-economy speech yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I already explained, immediately following the speech, why his “grand bargain” on corporate taxes was not a good deal because of all the hidden taxes on new investment and international competitiveness.

But I also had a chance to dissect the President’s overall track record on the economy for today’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Here’s some of what I wrote.

…he didn’t say anything new or different. His audience was treated to the same tax-spend-and-regulate boilerplate that the President has been dispensing ever since he entered political life. …with Obamanomics, not only has America failed to enjoy the traditional period of four-to-five percent growth at the start of a recovery, the economy hasn’t even gotten close to the long-run average of 3 percent. That’s a damning indictment. But it gets worse. The data on employment is…

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#IRS scandal spreads to Federal Elections Commission

July 31, 2013

Corruption is like cancer; it can spread into places you never suspected. In this case, congressional investigators have uncovered correspondence indicating that the IRS’ Lois Lerner had improperly shared confidential tax information about conservative groups with the FEC’s General Counsel’s Office, which, apparently, was improperly investigating those same groups.

Via National Review’s Eliana Johnson:

The correspondence suggests the discrimination of conservative groups extended beyond the IRS and into the FEC, where an attorney from the agency’s enforcement division in at least one case sought and received tax information about the status of a conservative group, the American Future Fund, before recommending that the commission prosecute it for violations of campaign-finance law. Lerner, the former head of the IRS’s exempt-organizations division, worked at the FEC from 1986 to 1995, and was known for aggressive investigation of conservative groups during her tenure there, too.

“Several months ago . . . I spoke with you about the American Future Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization that had submitted an exemption application the IRS [sic],” the FEC attorney wrote Lerner in February 2009. The FEC, which polices violations of campaign-finance laws, is not exempted under Rule 6103, which prohibits the IRS from sharing confidential taxpayer information, but the e-mail indicates Lerner provided that information nonetheless: “When we spoke last July, you had told us that the American Future Fund had not received an exemption letter from the IRS,” the FEC attorney wrote.

The timing of the correspondence between Lerner and the FEC suggests the FEC attorney sought information from the IRS in order to influence an upcoming vote by the six FEC commissioners. The FEC received a complaint in March 2008 from the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party alleging that the American Future Fund had violated campaign-finance law by engaging in political advocacy without registering as a political-action committee. The American Future Fund responded to that complaint in June 2008, telling the commission that it had applied for tax exemption in March of that year and was a “501(c)(4) social-welfare organization that was organized to provide Americans with a conservative and free-market viewpoint and mechanism to communicate and advocate on the issues that most interest and concern them.” According to the e-mail correspondence, a month after receiving the American Future Fund’s response, the FEC general counsel’s office — which is prohibited under law from conducting an investigation into an organization before the FEC’s six commissioners have voted to do so — contacted Lerner to investigate the agency’s tax-exempt status.

The FEC general counsel’s office, in its recommendation on the case, apparently didn’t tell the agency’s commissioners about how it had obtained the information about the group’s tax-exempt status. Recommending that the commissioners prosecute the American Future Fund, the general counsel’s office wrote, “According to its response, AFF submitted an application for tax-exempt status to the Internal Revenue Service . . . on March 18, 2008.” The footnote to that sentence reads, “The IRS has not yet issued a determination letter regarding AFF’s application for exempt status. Based on the information from the response and the IRS website, it is likely that the application is still under review.” In fact, an FEC lawyer knew that the organization had yet to obtain tax-exempt status because Lerner provided the confidential information. 

Emphases added.

Be sure to read the rest. While the commission voted not to investigate AFF and while there’s no evidence yet that the commissioners themselves knew of the illegal investigation, this is further evidence of, at best, an insouciant attitude at the IRS toward the privacy rights of conservatives, if not downright hostility and contempt. And as for the FEC lawyer, well, I’ll be charitable for now and put it down to an arrogant, cavalier attitude I’ve seen all too often after decades of working within bureaucracies. I can just imagine his reasoning: “Well, we all work for the government, and I need the info, and, besides, we’re going to get this information anyway, once the commission opens the investigation, so a little rule-breaking doesn’t matter.”

Happens all the time.

But that doesn’t excuse it. The Ways and Means Committee wants to know who else was snooped on in this manner, and I imagine they’ll have some hard questions both for Lerner (another pleading of the 5th?) and the FEC. Firing is far too hard to do in the federal government these days, so maybe some budget cutting is in order to drive home the lesson that, “no, you really do have to obey the law.”

And wouldn’t that be a nice change?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Sun King Obama to peasant reporter: “Do not bother me with lawyers!”

July 30, 2013
"My will is enough!"

“My will is enough!”

We’ve already noted President Le Roi Soleil Obama’s speech at Galesburg, Illinois, last week, in which he (again) revealed himself to be something of a schmuck. But, in addition to the neo-Marxist, class-warfare theme of the speech itself, something else came from that trip. In an interview with audience granted to Jackie Calmes and Michael Shear of The New York Times, Juan Peron Obama had this to say when asked about his unilateral, illegal, and unconstitutional decision to grant a delay in enforcement of the Obamacare employer mandate:

NYT: People questioned your legal and constitutional authority to do that unilaterally — to delay the employer mandate. Did you consult with your lawyer?

MR. OBAMA: Jackie, if you heard me on stage today, what I said was that I will seize any opportunity I can find to work with Congress to strengthen the middle class, improve their prospects, improve their security —

NYT: No, but specifically –

MR. OBAMA: — but where Congress is unwilling to act, I will take whatever administrative steps that I can in order to do right by the American people.

And if Congress thinks that what I’ve done is inappropriate or wrong in some fashion, they’re free to make that case. But there’s not an action that I take that you don’t have some folks in Congress who say that I’m usurping my authority. Some of those folks think I usurp my authority by having the gall to win the presidency. And I don’t think that’s a secret. But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions — very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers.

I am concerned about the folks who I spoke to today who are working really hard, are trying to figure out how they can send their kids to college, are trying to make sure that they can save for their retirement. And if I can take steps on their behalf, then I’m going to do so. And I would hope that more and more of Congress will say, you know what, since that’s our primary focus, we’re willing to work with you to advance those ideals. But I’m not just going to sit back if the only message from some of these folks is no on everything, and sit around and twiddle my thumbs for the next 1,200 days.

Keep that in mind: he first dodges the question of whether he consulted with White House legal staff (or the staff of any relevant cabinet department) and then asserts that his critics are mere gadflies because they, unlike he, are not constitutional lawyers.

Translation: “Silence, you ignorant bitter-clinger!”

Let set the record straight: Obama taught con-law (a course on the 4th amendment, as I recall) and was regarded as faculty, but he was no great scholar. Really. Search the literature, and you’ll find next to nothing.  For him to dismiss the many well-read, educated people who have criticized his actions because they don’t have “esq.” after their names is the height of ivory-tower arrogance. And typical for the academic elitists from whose ranks he comes.

But look at that second paragraph: If Congress refuses to do what Obama wants, Obama will do it anyway, regardless of any grant of authority by the legislature, the only body constitutionally allowed to make laws. This isn’t the first time he’s dismissed Congress as a bother. From “I won” to issue after issue, he’s used the vast (too vast) administrative power of the Executive to make or rewrite law, and then stretched the limits of Executive power even further than anyone since FDR or Nixon. Think I’m exaggerating? Consider how many times Obama and his minions have been smacked down nine-to-nothing (9-0!) by the Supreme Court. That includes liberal Justices Ginsberg, Kagan, and Sotomayor, and the latter two were Obama appointees! If even those three think Obama’s White House has lost any constitutional moorings…

What we have here is a man who sees himself as a supercharged Mayor of Chicago, ruling as he wishes and only paying attention to the “city council” when he absolutely has to, not as the head of one branch of government dealing with a constitutionally equal branch, respecting the powers, boundaries, and traditions of both. “Consensus” means to Obama “do it my way.” And, when stymied, he feels no need to consult with anyone else, no need to wait for the people’s elected representatives to grant him authority, nor even any need to obey the law as written. His will be done. Even after five years, his arrogance is breathtaking.

And there’s a word for people who think they can rule on their own.

via Byron York

LINK: More from PJM’s Rick Moran.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Howard Dean: “Palin was right about ‘death panels'”

July 29, 2013

That’s not an exact quote, but a paraphrasing what the former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential flame-out said in a Wall St. Journal article yesterday. Here’s the money quote:

One major problem is the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board. The IPAB is essentially a health-care rationing body. By setting doctor reimbursement rates for Medicare and determining which procedures and drugs will be covered and at what price, the IPAB will be able to stop certain treatments its members do not favor by simply setting rates to levels where no doctor or hospital will perform them.

There does have to be control of costs in our health-care system. However, rate setting—the essential mechanism of the IPAB—has a 40-year track record of failure. What ends up happening in these schemes (which many states including my home state of Vermont have implemented with virtually no long-term effect on costs) is that patients and physicians get aggravated because bureaucrats in either the private or public sector are making medical decisions without knowing the patients. Most important, once again, these kinds of schemes do not control costs. The medical system simply becomes more bureaucratic.

Emphases added.

When Palin made her first comments about “death panels,” (see also here and here) she was widely derided by the Left and the Establishment Right. And yet now we have a major figure on the left wing of the Democratic Party, a man known to favor some form of nationalized medicine, in effect saying she was right all along, because rationed medical care means having to deny it. In other words, IPAB will choose who gets what treatment, who lives and who dies, taking that decision away from the doctor and his patient.

I’d call that a “death panel.”

Now, Howard still favors way too much government intervention in health care, but I’d call this progress. He’s yet another important voice on the Left saying this is a looming train wreck. With many on the Right calling for defunding Obamacare, we may yet be able to form a coalition to at least suspend the implementation of this anti-constitutional monstrosity.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin was right. Too bad more people in power didn’t listen to her way back then.

"Well, I tried to tell them."

“Well, I tried to tell them.”

via Twitchy

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


NASA predicts 8 degrees of warming in the US by 2100

July 29, 2013

Here’s a good example of a sad, recent phenomenon: “agenda science,” where data is trimmed to fit political needs, observational integrity be damned. Note the use of the years 1970-1999 to calibrate their models, a period of cyclic warming, and the convenient ignoring of cooling (or at least non-warming) periods before and after.

Watts Up With That?

For the National Climate Assessment NASA has produced a model-based prediction of eight degrees Fahrenheit for the continental US by 2100 as the most likely scenario

Story submitted by Ben Bakker

NASA scientists have created a video showing predicted dramatic heating of the continental US between now and the year 2100.  The video and prediction show results of models assuming a rise in CO2 to a low of 550 ppm and a high of 800 ppm by 2100.  The NASA team states that the 800 ppm value is a more likely scenario.  The scenarios based upon their models lead to rises of 4 degrees and 8 degrees Fahrenheit respectively across the contiguous US.  Video follows:

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Robber tries to stick up gun store, learns meaning of “bad idea”

July 28, 2013

You really didn’t think this one through, did you, Derrick?

Sheriff’s deputies say [Derrick] Mosley walked into Discount Gun Sales on Southwest Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway around 4 p.m. Thursday with a bat in hand and smashed a display case.

But they say when Mosley tried to steal a gun, the store manager simply pulled out his own personal firearm and pointed it straight at the would-be-robber. The manager then yelled some orders at the guy and got him to drop the baseball bat, the gun he had tried to take and a nine-inch long knife he had on him.

Trying to rob a gun shop with a baseball bat. That kind of genius, friends, is why Derrick Mosely is the major success he is.

I wonder how long it took the cops to stop laughing?

via Jazz Shaw

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Iconic firefighter photo almost excluded from 9/11 memorial exhibit

July 28, 2013
"Patriotism. How gauche."

“Patriotism. How gauche.”

Because, you see, it’s too “rah-rah American”:

According to Elizabeth Greenspan, author of the up coming book Battle for Ground Zero (St. Martin’s Press), Michael Shulan, creative director of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, thought about cutting the famed photo from Ground Zero of three firefighters raising the American flag amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center…because he thought it was too “rah-rah America.” Shulan said, “I really believe that the way America will look best, the way we can really do best, is to not be Americans so vigilantly and so vehemently.”

The “problem” was eventually solved by adding other pictures, “to undercut the myth of ‘one iconic moment…'”, according to the museum’s curator. See, the lone image was just too simplistic, hiding the complexities and meaning of what happened that day.

Just what part of nearly 3,000 Americans being massacred by Muslims waging  jihad is too simple for you, Mikey? What complexity, what nuance, what other perspective is lacking? The jihadists’? Point-of-view shots from the cockpits as the planes were about to slam into the towers? Should you have included a plaque of the text of Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa declaring war on us? That would introduce some of your beloved meaning, letting the al Qaeda leader explain in his own words why 9/11 was only justice for our crimes, how we’re as much to blame by making them hate us. And who is to judge who is right? Complexity! Perspective! Meaning!

I hope you’ll forgive this simple American for being too “rah-rah,” Michael, but that single image carries more layers of meaning than I suspect you, trapped in a decadent, nihilist multiculturalism, could ever understand.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Cry me a river: #IRS employees, charged with enforcing Obamacare, demand not to be covered by Obamacare

July 27, 2013

My heart bleeds in sympathy:

IRS employees have a prominent role in Obamacare, but their union wants no part of the law.

National Treasury Employees Union officials are urging members to write their congressional representatives in opposition to receiving coverage through President Obama’s health care law.

The union leaders are providing members with a form letter to send to the congressmen that says “I am very concerned about legislation that has been introduced by Congressman Dave Camp to push federal employees out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into the insurance exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.”

The NTEU represents 150,000 federal employees overall, including most of the nearly 100,000 IRS workers.

IRS employees currently have a great plan provided by the federal government, the same plan that covers member of Congress. Congressman Camp thinks it only reasonable that, if the exchanges are good enough for us, they’re good enough for federal employees.

But the National Treasury Employees Union, two-thirds of whose members get to enforce Obamacare and know its provisions well, don’t like that idea. In fact, they’re positively aghast at it. What, did they think that, if they liked their plan, they’d get to keep their plan? Maybe they should ask any of 28,000 South Carolinians about that.

By the way, we’ve met the NTEU before. The head of this union, a union known to loathe the Tea Party and love the “party of government,” visited the White House and met with President Obama on March 31st, 2010. The next day, the IRS began targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups for their political beliefs.

You can imagine the tears I’m shedding for them.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Glorious Irony: Half of Obamacare employees at call center will get no health care

July 26, 2013

Because –I bet you can guess– they’re being hired part-time:

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County won the right to run a health care call center, where workers will answer questions to help implement the president’s Affordable Care Act. Area politicians called the 200-plus jobs it would bring to the region an economic coup.

Now, with two months to go before the Concord operation opens to serve the public, information has surfaced that about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.

The Contra Costa County supervisor whose district includes the call center called the whole hiring process — which attracted about 7,000 applicants — a “comedy of errors.”

Read on for a tale of bungling and incompetence — at least on the part of Contra Costa authorities who couldn’t realize this very thing could happen, since Obamacare gives employers every incentive to go part-time.

And for those employees angry that they’ve been misled, what did you expect from an Obama administration project? Competence? Please.

This is yet more proof that the universe has a sense of humor. Bitter, dark, and cruel, but a sense of humor nonetheless.

via Karl Rove

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Breaking: @BarackObama is a schmuck – Updated

July 26, 2013

“Phony scandals?” Really, sir??

In his hour-long speech laden with barely disguised Marxist tropes Wednesday in Illinois, President Obama had this to say:

But with this endless parade of distractions and political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball.  And I am here to say this needs to stop.  (Applause.) This needs to stop. 

That’s just rich. Let’s forget the billions wasted on “Green jobs,” such as the Solyndra fiasco (and so many others). Let’s forget the firing of inconvenient inspectors general. Let’s forget the targeting and harassment of groups and individuals based on their political beliefs by the IRS. Let’s forget your administration’s disdain for Constitutional boundaries and the rule of law.

Let’s forget all that, Barack.

But let me ask you this:

Four men died in Benghazi on September 11th, 2012, because of the stupid, incompetent policies of your administration and your Secretary of State, and you and your “team” lied like dogs about it to the American people. You trampled the first amendment and turned some nobody minor crook into a scapegoat so you could appease the Muslim world and blame anyone but yourself.

Four Americans died:

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

That’s a “phony scandal?”

And what about the 300 or more Mexicans and two federal agents killed by weapons illegally supplied by your Department of Justice to Mexican drug cartels in Operation Fast and Furious?

Was Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry “phony?

brian terry

Was ICE agent Jaime Zapata “phony?”

Jaime_ZapataICE

Were these teens killed in Juarez by Fast and Furious bullets “phony?”

Fast and Furious got results, all right.

The only “phony” here, Mr. President, is you.

via Doug Powers

RELATED: Jonah Goldberg touches on the same theme of Obama avoiding blame, but, as always, does it much better than I — “Cynic in Chief.”

UPDATE: Townhall’s Katie Pavlich makes a perceptive observation:

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Oh, what a difference a year makes in Greenland melting

July 25, 2013

And another global warming “Run Around With Hair On Fire” scare-mongering moment falls flat. See especially the link to the 150-year cycle of Greenland’s ice melts.

Watts Up With That?

ARCTIC SUMMER SNOWSTORM

By Joseph D’Aleo CCM

Remember a year ago when few days of July ‘warmth’ with strong blocking over Greenland had the media abuzz over some melting?

Last July a brief spell of temperatures in the mid 30s had caused some surface slush formation on top of the 1 to 1.5 mile thick Greenland ice. The NASA sensors merely color-coded the phase of the water – ice (white), mixed water and ice (rose) and none (land grey). Rose meant some surface liquid. For Greenland, business as usual, because 150 years ago, there were no satellites to record the event.

It quickly refroze in a few days even before the flurry of news stories hyping it stopped.

clip_image002

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The #Obamacare plan in action: another major insurer pulls out of another state

July 25, 2013

This time, it’s Medical Mutual, which insures about 28,000 people in South Carolina:

The second-largest health insurance company in South Carolina is pulling out of the state at the end of the year because of the Affordable Care Act. Medical Mutual of Ohio is the parent company of the Carolina Care plan, which insures about 28,000 people in South Carolina.

The company is also pulling out of Georgia and Indiana. Medical Mutual spokesman Ed Byers says, “Under new regulations, which are vast and quite complex, it is in our best interest to focus on our core market of Ohio where we are headquartered and have been doing business successfully for nearly 80 years.”

He says the 28,000 people who are members of the Carolina Care plan will be transitioned to United Healthcare, and they’ve all been notified of that.

South Carolina Insurance Director Ray Farmer says the loss of the state’s second-largest health insurer could raise rates for everyone. “If you have less competition, not only in insurance but in any marketplace, it could result in higher rates. I don’t think there’s going to be a big groundswell of other companies leaving the marketplace, though,” he says.

You know, I could have sworn someone once said something about this kind of thing. What was it, again? Oh, yeah:

Suckers.

Sure, their plans are transferred to United, but are the plans the same and, if they are, will they stay the same? And what if the policyholder simply liked dealing with Medical Mutual and doesn’t want to switch. Particularly with the elderly or those facing serious medical problems, stability is important, and this, which creates uncertainty and anxiety, doesn’t help.

Not to mention the rising premiums.

But let’s make something clear, here: this is something Obamacare proponents want. Maybe not all, but a significant portion of the beyond-liberal-left, which hates insurance companies with a passion. While many progressives, fearful of rising public anger at election time, will say Obamacare should be fixed and (maybe) even rolled back in parts, these dysfunctional results are what many more want, even though they’ll never say so outside of friendly audiences. It’s the Cloward-Piven strategy of non-reforming reforms applied to health care: Knowing that once Obamacare is established and people are receiving subsidies, it will be damned difficult to undo this monstrosity regardless of its dysfunctions, and their hope is that the people will be open to a fix in the other direction: full-blown single-payer government controlled healthcare. To quote Stanley Kurtz, who’s written the book on Obama:

[W]hen President Obama says “Go for it” to Republicans who hope to repeal his health-care-reform law, he means it. Those who already see Obama as a socialist tend to think of his insistence on backing health-care reform in the face of collapsing political support as the suicidal impulse of a true ideologue. It’s more likely that Obama has a long-term class-based realignment strategy in mind. Obama would love the Republicans to try to take away the health care he’s offered to millions of uninsured. Taking a leaf from the Cloward-Piven [socialist] handbook, Obama hopes that a Republican campaign for repeal will ignite a political movement of the poor that will energize and radicalize the Democratic Party.

And of course, that radicalized movement will push for single-payer and a total takeover of health care by the government.

Hey, if you don’t believe Kurtz and me, just ask “Red” Jan Schakowski (D-IL), who makes the ultimate goal very clear:

So, don’t be fooled; when insurance companies leave the market, it’s all part of the plan.

via Bryan Preston

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“Heroic” Edward Snowden applies for membership in KGB veterans group

July 24, 2013

This just gets better and better:

Renegade National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied to join a group of former Russian intelligence and security officials, according to the group’s director.

Participation in a union of former KGB security, intelligence, and police officials, would likely change Snowden’s status from that of a whistleblower seeking to expose wrongdoing, to an intelligence defector who has changed sides.

Alexei Lobarev, chairman of the group called “Veterans of the Siloviki”—literally “men of power”—told a Russian news outlet on Monday that Snowden, who has been staying in a Moscow airport transit lounge for a month, applied for membership in the group.

(…)

Ariel Cohen, a Russia specialist with the Heritage Foundation, said joining the former KGB officers’ group would be a significant development in the Snowden affair.

“It could be a spoof or a deliberate attempt to tarry the former NSA contractor,” Cohen said in an email. “However, if proven true, this puts Snowden squarely into the defector category. Whatever the whistleblower rhetoric—if indeed it is Snowden—the man is seeking to join a group whose livelihood was to spy on and harm, the United States. There is hardly a more anti-American group in Russia than ex-security officials. They would want nothing more than to coddle Snowden.”

Other experts think Snowden is being played by the Russians, rather than being a “traitor aforethought.” And there could be another reason for this farce. Who knows? What we do know is that he’s done tremendous damage to our national interests, the Obama administration looks like fools, and Putin is laughing his head off at us.

Great work by the man some call a hero, no?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


#IRS: Delaware officials suddenly can’t find records Congress wants

July 24, 2013

Hey, remember Christine O’ Donnell? She was one of the more… “interesting” candidates to run in the 2010 “Tea Party wave” election, losing eventually to Chris “Bearded Marxist” Coons. A few days ago, it came out that O’Donnell, the same day she announced her candidacy for that race, the IRS hit her with a “mistaken” lien:

That same day, the IRS put a tax lien in her name on a house she no longer owned, arguing that O’Donnell owed the government $12,000, according to Grassley’s office.

O’Donnell told [Senator Charles] Grassley’s office that she provided the IRS with documents needed to clear her tax record “four or five times, and they kept getting ‘lost,’” the aide said.

The IRS later said it had made a mistake, which the agency said was the result of a computer glitch, and removed the lien.

The lien is significant because O’Donnell’s opponents cited it as evidence that she was financially irresponsible even though she espoused financial stability for the federal government.

I remember that incident with the lien; it became a significant part of the argument on the Right about whether O’Donnell was or wasn’t a total flake. Now it looks like she may have been “investigated” by state tax officials in her heavily Democratic state inappropriately accessing her federal tax records. This has caught the eye (and ire) of Senator Grassley (R-IA), who wants to see Delaware’s paperwork on this case.

And yet, now —O! What a coincidence!!— Delaware just can’t find those records:

Delaware state officials have told Congress that they likely destroyed the computer records that would show when and how often they accessed Christine O’Donnell’s personal tax records and acknowledged that a newspaper article was used as the sole justification for snooping into the former GOP Senate candidate’s tax history.

The revelations to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office came Tuesday as the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration, the government’s chief watchdog for the Internal Revenue Service, formally reopened its investigation into the matter by re-interviewing Ms. O’Donnell.

O’Donnell claims the state access to her records occurred on March 9th, 2010, a date given to her by the Treasury official who alerted her to the breach. Delaware says it was late March, and only after they’d seen the newspaper item (that alleged no wrongdoing on her part), but, gosh, they can’t find the records to prove their claim, so we’ll just have to take their word for it…

There’s no evidence (yet) that the Delaware Division of Revenue was part of the “inadvertent” smear of O’Donnell, but consider the situation in 2010: Riding a tidal wave of Tea Party support, Republicans were making a serious effort to take back Congress from the Democrats. Delaware was one of several states that could have been crucial to gaining control of the Senate. How convenient for the Democrats, then, was it that IRS hits her with a lien that guts her claims of fiscal responsibility, making her campaign in a Democratic state that much more difficult? Sure, they admitted the mistake, later, but the damage by that time was done.

And what were state officials doing digging at whim in her federal records? Perhaps a fishing expedition to look for more dirt, trying to do their part to help the national “party of government?” We don’t know, because they’ve destroyed records that could answer a few questions.

But it sure stinks.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Day the Earth Smiled – stunning photo from Saturn by Cassini spacecraft

July 23, 2013

This is just way cool. *Sigh* We should have been to Saturn on a manned mission by now.

Watts Up With That?

From NASA: In this rare image taken on July 19, 2013, the wide-angle camera on NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has captured Saturn’s rings and our planet Earth and its moon in the same frame. It is only one footprint in a mosaic of 33 footprints covering the entire Saturn ring system (including Saturn itself).  At each footprint, images were taken in different spectral filters for a total of 323 images: some were taken for scientific purposes and some to produce a natural color mosaic.  This is the only wide-angle footprint that has the Earth-moon system in it.

The photo:

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#IRS scandal: I’m sure this is just a (another) coincidence

July 23, 2013

I mean, what could possibly be sinister about a meeting between President Obama and the Chief Counsel of the IRS, who’s already been fingered as being deeply involved in the political targeting of conservative groups, a mere two days before those targeting criteria were changed?

The Obama appointee implicated in congressional testimony in the IRS targeting scandal met with President Obama in the White House two days before offering his colleagues a new set of advice on how to scrutinize tea party and conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.

IRS chief counsel William Wilkins, who was named in House Oversight testimony by retiring IRS agent Carter Hull as one of his supervisors in the improper targeting of conservative groups, met with Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on April 23, 2012. Wilkins’ boss, then-IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on April 24, 2012, according to White House visitor logs.

On April 25, 2012, Wilkins’ office sent the exempt organizations determinations unit “additional comments on the draft guidance” for approving or denying tea party tax-exempt applications, according to the IRS inspector general’s report.

Wilkins is just one of two political appointees at IRS. In other words, he’s Obama’s guy.(1) Meanwhile, let’s not forget another curious coincidence: Obama’s meeting with the head of the very anti-Tea Party Treasury employees union just the day before the targeting began.

Sure all these might have individually reasonable explanations, but, when so many flies are buzzing around, there is usually something that stinks drawing them.

Footnote:
(1) Wilkins once defended Obama’s former reverend, Jeremiah Wright, before the IRS when his church was accused of violating its –oh, the irony– 501(c)(3) status. And then he gets an appointment from Obama in which he’s deeply involved in the extra-special, super-duper scrutiny of conservative 501(c) groups. Hmmm…

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The “corruption and irrelevance” of the civil rights establishment

July 22, 2013

There’s a great article by Shelby Steele in the Wall St. Journal on the decline and decay of the American civil rights movement, a fall made almost inevitable by its very success.  And, on the so-called leaders of today’s movement, Steele nails the real reasons they went after George Zimmerman: to pretend they’re still relevant and to keep their power over society.

The civil-rights leadership rallied to Trayvon’s cause (and not to the cause of those hundreds of black kids slain in America’s inner cities this very year) to keep alive a certain cultural “truth” that is the sole source of the leadership’s dwindling power. Put bluntly, this leadership rather easily tolerates black kids killing other black kids. But it cannot abide a white person (and Mr. Zimmerman, with his Hispanic background, was pushed into a white identity by the media over his objections) getting away with killing a black person without undermining the leadership’s very reason for being.

The purpose of today’s civil-rights establishment is not to seek justice, but to seek power for blacks in American life based on the presumption that they are still, in a thousand subtle ways, victimized by white racism. This idea of victimization is an example of what I call a “poetic truth.” Like poetic license, it bends the actual truth in order to put forward a larger and more essential truth—one that, of course, serves one’s cause. Poetic truths succeed by casting themselves as perfectly obvious: “America is a racist nation”; “the immigration debate is driven by racism”; “Zimmerman racially stereotyped Trayvon.” And we say, “Yes, of course,” lest we seem to be racist. Poetic truths work by moral intimidation, not reason.

If these “leaders” truly cared about the condition of Blacks in America more than they do about their next appearance in front of the cameras, they’d start doing something about the devastation of the Black family, in which, as Steele points out, 73% of all Black children are born without fathers married to their mothers.

But they don’t. They’re wedded to an outdated vision of America and the power exploiting that vision gives them.

PS: Steel expounds on this theme of the decay of the civil rights movement and the exploitation of victimization in his “White Guilt,” which I highly recommend.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Australia’s average temperature

July 21, 2013

The upshot is that, after accounting for natural events, there is no discernible trend toward warming, let alone one that could be attributed to human-generated CO2. In other words, it’s all scare-mongering on the part of the Eco-Left and Green Statists, and the fools who think they’re right.

Watts Up With That?

Are Australians heading for the cooker?

Guest essay by Bill Johnston

Elections for Australia’s National (Federal) parliament are looming and carbon tax is a battleground issue.

The incumbent Labour Party have proposed to transition its existing toxic carbon tax to an emissions trading scheme, linked to that in Europe, a year earlier than planned. Supposedly this would save their ‘working families’ about $300 AUD/year for one year. The Liberal opposition party has promised to scrap the tax and ETS altogether and go for “direct action”. The fringe Greens party are wailing from the political sidelines because they don’t like anything.

IF climate change is natural; and, IF the warming is more hot air than substance, neither plan is likely to achieve anything except increase the cost of living.

To help clarify things, this essay presents a straightforward analysis of Australia’s overall average temperature record, in sufficient detail that it could…

View original post 2,431 more words


Illinois state legislator: “Maybe the police are killing some of these kids”

July 21, 2013

The stupid, it burns:

Illinois State Representative Monique Davis is blaming the Chicago Police Department for the high number of killings in the Windy City. She is not just blaming the CPD for bad policing, though. She wonders if the police are doing some of the killing.

Davis, a House member from Chicago’s South Side district, uttered the accusation on Detroit’s WCHB-AM radio on July 16.

“I’m going to tell you what some suspicions have been, and people have whispered to me: they’re not sure that black people are shooting all of these children,” Davis told the Detroit radio audience.

She continued saying, “There’s some suspicion — and I don’t want to spread this, but I’m just going to tell you what I’ve been hearing — they suspect maybe the police are killing some of these kids.”

She doesn’t want to spread rumors, but she’s “just sayin’, you know?”

People are suspicious because so few have been arrested and prosecuted for these crimes.  Couldn’t have anything to do with an overwhelming case load and city budgetary woes. Nope. It has to be a “death squad.”

And Representative Davis is right there to happily demagogue it.

via The Jawa Report

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


(Video) The lynching of George Zimmerman

July 21, 2013

In one of the best Afterburners in a while (1), Bill Whittle looks at the trial of George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin and proclaims it nothing less than one of the great civil rights violations of our time — a violation of Zimmerman’s rights:

This information about Martin’s use of “Lean” and its side-effects (paranoia, physical aggressiveness) is new to me. That the judge barred the evidence is flabbergasting, as it bears directly on Martin’s state of mind that night. Remember, he had lost Zimmerman, got to his destination, and then went back to confront Zimmerman at his truck. And yet Martin using a drug that could lead to this kind of behavior wasn’t ruled admissible?

Along with “lynching,” let’s add “kangaroo court” and “show trial,” too. smiley angry

Footnote:
(1) Which, if you recall my liking of this series, is a pretty high bar.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)