The lies just keep stacking up:
A number of people have sought to explain the IRS targeting of Tea Party, patriot, and 9/12 group applications — as well as those from other conservative groups — for “specialist team” treatment (mainly delays and excessive and inappropriate questions) in 2010 by pointing to the Citizens United decision that year allowing for unlimited, undisclosed fundraising by such groups. That’s the explanation IRS official Lois Lerner gave a week ago when she first revealed that the agency had improperly handled a slew of applications — the political shorthand was a mistaken attempt to deal with a surge in applications.
But Todd Young, a Republican congressman from Indiana, pointed out at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing with former acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller and Treasury Inspector General J. Russell George that this was not the case, according to the very data the IRS provided to the Treasury IG’s office.There were, he noted, actually fewer applications for tax-exempt status by groups seeking to be recognized as social-welfare organizations that year than the previous one, according to this IRS data. The real surge in applications did not come until 2012 — the year the IRS stopped the practice of treating the Tea Party class of groups differently from others.
Worse still? This –> IRS Official in Charge During Tea Party Targeting Now Runs Health Care Office
**Posted by Phineas
You know it’s bad when pleading stupidity is the best you can come up with.
Via Sharyl Attkisson at CBS:
Obama administration officials who were in key positions on Sept. 11, 2012 acknowledge that a range of mistakes were made the night of the attacks on the U.S. missions in Benghazi, and in messaging to Congress and the public in the aftermath.
The officials spoke to CBS News in a series of interviews and communications under the condition of anonymity so that they could be more frank in their assessments. They do not all agree on the list of mistakes and it’s important to note that they universally claim that any errors or missteps did not cost lives and reflect “incompetence rather than malice or cover up.” Nonetheless, in the eight months since the attacks, this is the most sweeping and detailed discussion by key players of what might have been done differently.
“We’re portrayed by Republicans as either being lying or idiots,” said one Obama administration official who was part of the Benghazi response. “It’s actually closer to us being idiots.”
My first observation is that “lying” and “idiots” are not mutually exclusive terms. In fact I suspect the former came about trying to cover for the latter.
The article addresses several questions, among them: Why wasn’t the Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) activated? Why was the Counterterrorism Security Group, described as…
an interagency task force (…) to be convened when emergency terrorist events are suspected. According to a public military document, it’s part of a plan to “synchronize the efforts of all the government agencies that have a role to play in the Global War on Terrorism.”
…not convened? Where was the “in extremis” (emergency rescue) force?
The answers are, well, “special.” Things along the lines of (paraphrasing) “we didn’t think that was their mission” (FEST); they had been made “lower level” (CSG) and senior people were dealing with it; and “they were off on a training mission (because we didn’t notice the significance of the 9/11 anniversary) and they couldn’t be recalled in time.” Like I said, pleading incompetence.
Read the whole thing, it’s worth your time. You’ll notice that not really touched on is the issue of security for Benghazi prior to the attack on the consulate. I suppose they got tired of saying “We’re idiots” over and over.
Like I said above, one can be both a liar and incompetent at the same time, when the lying is used to cover the incompetence, particularly Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s; she had screwed up our Libya policy big-time, and the commander in chief needed his beauty sleep to be ready for his big fundraiser in Vegas the next day. These underlings weren’t just furiously trading emails and holding meetings to fight a blame war between State and the CIA, they were figuring out how best to cover their bosses’ arses and not damage his reelection campaign and her 2016 run.
And, in the process, lying to the American people, Congress, and the families of the victims.
There is “malicious”, and there is “idiot.”
And then there are “malicious idiots.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
Today, Senate Democrats placed a hold on Sen. Rand Paul’s recent resolution that condemns the targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calls for an investigation into this practice.
“This resolution is not about Republican vs. Democrat or conservative vs. liberal. It is about arrogant and unrestrained government vs. the rule of law. The First Amendment cannot and should not be renegotiated depending on which party holds power,” Sen. Paul said. ”Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights. I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”
I’m not sure why anyone would find this surprising: as the party of arrogant, unrestrained government, the leaders of which think the Constitution is obsolete, well, of course they would shoot this resolution down.
It threatens their very reason for existence, after all.
via Stephen Green.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
It’s sorta like the Sandra Fluke manufactured “controversy” over “access” to birth control mixing with the religious exemptions issue – except on a local scale, with narcissistic North Carolina “feminists” in the starring role(s). Via the Raleigh News and Observer:
RALEIGH — A bill allowing private employers to refuse to cover contraception in their health insurance plans cleared a House committee Wednesday morning and is headed for a vote of the full chamber.
The legislation would also prohibit coverage for abortions in the new state health insurance exchange that is part of the federal Affordable Care Act, and through the plans cities and counties offer their workers. It also says any health-care provider can refuse to participate in abortions; current law protects doctors and nurses.
The bill is off to a rocky start, as Republicans in a House judiciary committee were not unified in supporting it. Rep. Bob Steinburg, a freshman Republican from Edenton who described himself as a hardcore abortion opponent, said he would only support the bill if the prohibition on contraception coverage was removed.
“It’s almost like we’re stepping back in time,” Steinburg said. “To suggest in the 21st century that women would be prevented from having access to birth control – even as far to the right as I am – is going off the cliff. This is going too far.”
Wellllll, I hope Steinburg’s constituents give him a piece of their mind on his feminist-themed criticism, which greatly misrepresented what the bill actually called for – giving employers the right to EXCLUDE from their health care insurance plans coverage for BC purchases (and abortions). It did not “restrict access.” It just changed who pays for it – not the insurer, but YOU. A self-described staunch pro-lifer shouldn’t be using left wing talking points to advance his argument one way or the other. Perhaps Rep. Steinburg is confused. I dunno.
Unfortunately, Steinburg’s misguided remarks only served to unintentionally amplify a 60s-style themed protest by – you guessed it – self-centered, anti-freedom of religion pro-choicers in attendance at Wednesday’s House committee meeting on the proposed bill:
Steinburg’s remark about stepping back in time played directly into the costume-themed protest that members of Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina and other abortion-rights supporters staged in the audience. About 15 of them dressed up in “Mad Men” early-sixties attire to make the point that the GOP legislature was rolling back women’s progress in society.
Here’s a sampling:
(Rep) Rep. Steinberg says he very pro-life and is AGAINST denying BC coverage. Says he feels “we’re going back in time” Must have seen us!
— PPActionFundCNC (@PPCNC) May 15, 2013
Welcome to bizarro world:
— Planned Parenthood (@PPHSNC) May 15, 2013
But women can impose their beliefs on employers, who are made up of … individuals, then? *scratches head*
And from consultant Jeanne Bonds, a prominent North Carolina Democrat and activist comes this classic Fluke-You-And-Your-Freedoms-Too response to a local GOP women’s group:
— Jeanne MillikenBonds (@JeanneBonds4NC) May 15, 2013
Sigh. Embarrassing. What is it about the US Constitution that Ms Bonds – whose Twitter bio includes “Former Special Asst. to NC Chief Justice” – Rev. Akpan and other Democrat women don’t understand? If “going back to the 60s” is what it takes to get us back to the religious freedom all Americans have the RIGHT to observe thanks to the First Amendment, then yeah – we are “going back.” Indeed, we have strayed too far from the Constitution. This bill, and other similar bills which put the emphasis on personal responsibility (SHOCKING!) and protecting the unborn (PANIC!), has nothing to do with wanting to make women subservient to men, “taking away contraceptive access” or any other sort of mindless scare tactic “feminists” warn you it does. It was a woman who proposed the bill, for crying out loud. Oh, wait, it was a Republican woman which means her opinions count because she’s not an “authentic woman” or something due to the fact that she opposes the termination of unborn children.
Stop me if you’re heard this one before …
Anyway, the birth control part of this bill was taken out in last night’s “crossover” marathon session of legislation so on that score, at least, the “feminists” here won. But on the abortion issue itself and an employer’s right to not offer health insurance plans that offer abortion coverage, the unborn are winning. Thank God. Of course this really, REALLY upsets the Usual Suspects, who are still trying to brainwash people into thinking this means women won’t have access to “quality healthcare” aka abortions on demand.
Last word from Charlotte-area Tea Party activist Dennis Peterson:
— Dennis Peterson (@Dennis_Peterson) May 16, 2013
Says it all.
A red-faced, positively outraged!!!-at-the-GOP-for-daring-to-hold-this-admin-accountable Chris Matthews throws the perfect pitch, and Sharpton, of course, hits the race card out of the ball park (via Greg Hengler):
You know how it is …
The above card says it all. Conservatives must be silenced by any means necessary, according to the left. Need I say more?
**Posted by Phineas
But they’re absolutely, totally, without a doubt non-political. And don’t you dare say otherwise, wingnut!
IRS officials refused to grant tax exempt status two pro-life organizations because of their position on the abortion issue, according to a non-profit law firm, which said that one group was pressured not to protest a pro-choice organization that endorsed President Obama during the last election.
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
Planned Parenthood endorsed Obama in 2008 and 2012.
The article also mentions a Texas pro-life group that had its free speech rights roughed up, too.
With new revelations of IRS abuse coming out seemingly hourly, this would be almost comical if it weren’t for the serious constitutional, legal, and political implications. Granting tax-exempt status only if they promise not to exercise their First Amendment rights?? Can these morons in IRS really have been so blind as to not see what a bright red line they were crossing? (Or did they think it was an “Obama red line,” and therefore meaningless?)
via Kevin Eder.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
We’re in the best of hands:
The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.
“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.
You know, we may just be a lowly state, and they may be a mighty federal agency, but it would take only a few angry superior court judges to make life miserable for the regional IRS office…
Meanwhile, what are we up to? Five scandals in the last two weeks? Six? Am I bid seven?
via Drew M.
UPDATE: Lawyer Gabriel Malor is “calling BS” on the Healthcare IT News story, describing the suit as “vague” and “lurid.” See his tweets beginning at 3/15/13 at 10:12 AM.
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
**Posted by Phineas
At this point, there’s not much we can do about it, folks. Losing a Supreme Court decision and the 2012 election guarantees that Obamacare will go into full effect on January 1st, 2014 – Happy New Year!
All we can do for now is observe and take note of the pain (some of it our own) as businesses make their plans to deal with the forthcoming train wreck, plans that include laying people off to cover the new, federally-imposed expenses:
From Channel 41 Action News (1), Kansas City, Missouri:
I’ve reported on the consequences of Obamacare before, and we’re going to see more and more as we approach 2014 and enter our Brave New World of government-controlled health care. The PPACA imposes immense burdens on businesses, and they will have to act rationally in response, whether by passing on costs to the consumer or cutting costs elsewhere — by layoffs, for instance.
People who voted for the Democrats since 2008 are, in effect, getting exactly what they voted for, even if they refused to see it at the time. (2) To use the cliche, “elections have consequences.”
But so do bad laws, and the people can always fix their mistakes in the next election. Obamacare is the “Mother of Bad Laws,” and I predict its myriad problems are going to cost the Democrats dearly as voters harmed by Obamacare first get worried, then annoyed, then angry, and then royally ticked off. Democrats are already so worried that some are retiring to avoid facing the voters in 2014.
Elections have consequences for the ruling class, too.
via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt
(1) For any Obamacare apologists in the audience, before your knee jerks too much, note that Channel 41 is an NBC affiliate, not the evil FOX. When you’ve lost NBC…
(2) No, I’m not saying the people laid off in Missouri all voted for Obama and thus got what they deserved. Some almost certainly did, but we don’t know who or how many. Presuming innocence, they all have my sympathy. But the broad electorate voted for people who used anti-constitutional means to pass a horrendous law in expectation of getting Free Stuff(tm), in violation of all the laws of economics. To them, I can only quote the words of the late, great Mayor Ed Koch: “The People have spoken … and they must be punished.”
(Crossposted at Public Secrets)
The various scandals we see the Obama administration currently immersed in were entirely predictable, as were the socialistic policies he’s advocated since his very first day in office, as was the continued state of economic stagnation our country still faces as a result of those very policies. What’s may not be widely known – or a better word for it might be “understood” – even amongst many a political junkie is a very successful tactic employed by Obama and his team of Chicago political thugs that utterly neutralizes their political opposition to the point that even “mainstream” GOP ideas that you’d think most people could agree on are laughed off as “extreme” or “fringe.” Jay Cost at the Weekly Standard wrote a fantastic piece about this political strategy that should be considered a must-read by all (bolded emphasis added by me):
In a May 3 Q&A with the New York Times’s John Harwood, former Obama strategist David Axelrod put a demographic spin on the president’s analysis. When Harwood asked why gun background checks failed in the Senate, Axelrod responded, “The Republican Party today is, at its core, a mostly Southern, white, old, evangelical party.”
This is, at its core, false. A majority of Romney voters were from outside the Old Confederacy, under 65 years old, and not evangelical. But truth is not the point, nor is the purpose of Obama’s “permission structure” analysis merely to explain why his legislative program has stalled. Instead, it is to define the president’s conservative opposition as out of the mainstream of American society. Obama’s opponents, so the logic goes, are so out to lunch that their opinions should not be taken seriously.
The Obama team employed this approach successfully in 2012. Mitt Romney may have been a family man who gave nearly $2 million to his church in 2010, but by the time Team Obama finished defining him, he was a heartless plutocrat. It worked: The exit polls showed an electorate either split or tilted to the right on the top issues, with Obama defeating Romney because the latter simply was distrusted.
Social scientists call this the mobilization of bias. Marxists refer to it as the establishment of cultural hegemony. More plainly, it is a common trick pulled by Team Obama any time they are in a jam: Define your opponents in such a way that their views are not really taken seriously.
Of course, politicians are always trying this stunt. It makes sense to convince fickle swing voters that the opposition is just no good. Yet Obama’s attempts to mobilize bias stand out, for two reasons.
First is the total commitment to the strategy. Listen to any Obama flack long enough (usually just a matter of minutes), and he or she will reference how extreme the opposition is. Last month when discussing entitlements, Jay Carney said the president was looking for the “common-sense caucus.” And, of course, the media echo this: Last week Politico repeated the “common-sense caucus” phrase to report on the president’s golf game with Republican senators. The result is to paint conservatives as so far outside the mainstream that there is nothing that this president can do with them.
Second is the hypocrisy behind the tactic. This, after all, is the president elected because he promised to bring fundamental change to Washington. In The Audacity of Hope, Obama goes on at length about respecting the views of those who disagree with him, especially on abortion. Instead, we have sustained partisan warfare and a first-ever presidential address to Planned Parenthood, in which the president proclaims that the people whose views he once professed to respect are trying to return America to the 1950s.
His disclaimers lauding sensible centrism aside, Barack Obama is the most partisan president since at least Richard Nixon, and maybe even since Harry Truman. He seems to have a visceral dislike of his opponents, deep in his bones, and his political strategy since the spring of 2008 has been to win by disqualifying them altogether.
Indeed. We’ve all seen how petulant he is when he doesn’t get his way. His embarrassingly unpresidential reaction to his loss on the gun control bill is a very recent example. He’s a guy who doesn’t like to lose, who has mastered the game of appearing to be the type to “reach across the aisle” although in reality he only “reaches” as far as he needs to to advance his far left wing policy objectives. Sadly, “moderates” in both the House and Senate are all too often willing to oblige in the name of “harmony” and “bipartisanship.” Barack Obama had it so easy his entire political career, with his first few elections almost literally handed to him, not to mention how Democrats have treated him like the second coming of Jesus Christ. After a while, all that fawning and gushing and praise and adoration received can make a person really feel like the are above reproach, that they shouldn’t be questioned, and how dare you oppose him my fellow extremist right wing malcontents!
This is the type of cold, callous, calculated political opposition we’ll have for the foreseeable future. Couple that with a complicit MSM and you see the massive hurdles “our side” has to deal with in order to try and get the message out. Our politicos on the right should never forget that (but they often do) when they’re tempted to extend an olive branch to entrenched elected partisan Democrats. Some are worth breaking bread with, while others (most) only do it to advance their own agendas and careers – at the expense of GOP politicos, who they will stab in the back at the first opportunity, and will in fact USE those good-faith attempts at shaking hands with the political opposition against them in some way shape or form later on. It’s a soberingly cynical way to look at things, but this is modern-day politics, peeps – and it’s not going to change, especially not under this Chicago Way-style administration.
It’s never a bad idea to remind like-minded people as to who and what we are up against, as well as the obstacles we’re looking at going forward. Let this post serve as my official reminder to you (for those of you who need it, anyway). In the infamous words of our VP: “Gird your loins.” The future’s going to be a brutal ride indeed. But so very much worth it.