News From the Swamp: IRS Targeting Continues
“There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” –James Madison
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
News From the Swamp: IRS Targeting Continues
During congressional testimony on IRS political targeting of Tea Party and Patriot groups, an unidentified IRS agent revealed that, three months after the “phony scandal” broke, the IRS is still targeting the Tea Party. “[R]ight now we really don’t have any direction or we haven’t had any for the last month and a half,” the agent said. “At this point I would send [a Tea Party application] to secondary screening, political advocacy.”
In other words, applications for special tax status coming from Tea Party groups are still subject to additional scrutiny because the IRS hasn’t yet established new guidelines. But six weeks ago, acting IRS chief Danny Werfel promised Congress to end the IRS’s “be on the lookout” policy for conservative groups, which had continued into June. Even Barack Obama pledged, “I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and, going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be – in a fair and impartial way.” Nothing of the sort has happened.
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), chair of the Oversight subcommittee, are demanding that Werfel provide an explanation and a report on corrective action by Friday.
Meanwhile, it turns out that Lois “Plead the Fifth” Lerner was using a private email account to conduct her official duties. Needless to say, the Obama administration’s espoused virtue of transparency is not a byproduct of such behavior. Lerner isn’t the only Obama bureaucrat to have used private email, either. Since her admission of the targeting, followed by her refusal to testify, she remains on paid vacation. And she’s demanding immunity in exchange for testimony.
After recent changes at The Patriot Post, some readers have asked what happened to our PDF format. We opted to discontinue the PDF, but we plan to release a new and improved printer friendly version that will look and function much like the PDF. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
And a correction: In Monday’s Digest, we inadvertently referred to Rep. James Clyburn as a Republican. He is a Democrat. Our sincerest apologies to the Republican Party and to the voters of South Carolina.
Obama: ‘Gosh, the NSA Needs Reform’
Barack Obama announced Friday that he really has been meaning all along to get around to reforming the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, and that Edward Snowden’s revelations of the extent of those programs only highlighted the need. Except everyone knows that Obama had no intention of revisiting those programs until Snowden’s bombshell.
To demonstrate his seriousness, the president tapped Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to head an investigation into the NSA and its activities. Unfortunately, that would be the same James Clapper who earlier this year lied to Congress regarding the existence of the very programs he will now investigate. Trusting this administration was the issue from the beginning, and it will remain so.
And then there’s this gem from Obama’s Friday press conference: “[I]f you are the ordinary person and you start seeing a bunch of headlines saying, ‘U.S.-Big Brother looking down on you, collecting telephone records, et cetera,’ well, understandably, people would be concerned. I would be, too, if I wasn’t inside the government.” Lucky for him, he’s the president! As for the rest of you ordinary suckers…
Finally, after Russian President Vladimir Putin granted asylum to Edward Snowden, Obama responded by canceling a planned meeting with Putin in Moscow next month. So much for that “reset” button. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg. When the commander in chief appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” however, he didn’t voice any anger over Snowden; he saved his displeasure for Russia’s new law against “LGBT” activists. U.S. standing in the world will continue to suffer while he remains in office.
Around the Nation: Detroit’s Mismanagement
With Detroit languishing in bankruptcy, one would think city officials would be scrambling for every penny. Instead, a $1 million check from a local school district sat forgotten in a desk drawer for a month. If it seems odd that a million-dollar check would be sent in the first place rather than the funds transferred electronically, it is. Except in Detroit. The city that’s been ruled by Democrats for 50 years hasn’t invested in improving its computer system for efficiency since the 1990s and has no wire transfer capabilities. But it doesn’t end there. Detroit has no central computer system, period, and it still does everything from payroll to income tax receipts by hand. With inefficiencies like this, the only surprise is that bankruptcy didn’t come sooner.
Good thing Detroiters can still vote out incompetent leaders. If voters can get to the polls on the right day, that is. A billboard paid for by the city recently urged citizens to vote on Sept. 2. The election is Nov. 5. The mistake was set to be fixed yesterday – unless, of course, doing so involves any sort of computer, in which case all bets are off.
Department of Military Correctness: ‘Diversity Day’
Despite significant budget cuts resulting from the Obama sequester – let’s not forget it was the commander in chief’s idea – the military is now using what little available money it has to fund “Diversity Day” celebrations. Apparently they couldn’t think of a better way to spend your precious tax dollars – other than funding the first family’s junket to Martha’s Vineyard.
Last week the Los Angeles Air Force Base featured a performance by a drag queen group. The revelation comes even as Christian service members are increasingly persecuted for their faith. As one anonymous airman put it, “We can’t even have Bibles on our desks. … The [drag] display was totally inappropriate and offensive.”
A military spokesman, however, said, “Drag acts to this day represent the struggle for freedom and equality of the LGBT community, while at the same time providing a deep-rooted historical form of entertainment for the LGBT culture.” If you needed further proof of cultural degradation in the ranks, look no further: The Obama administration’s social experimentation with the military was not limited to ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”; nor will this administration let our dwindling military prowess get in the way of “tolerance.”
Reason’s Peter Suderman: “At a conference of state legislators and health officials this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius chided Republicans for their continued opposition to Obamacare. ‘This is no longer a political debate; this is what we call the law,’ she said… ‘It was passed and signed three years ago. It was upheld by the Supreme Court a year ago. The president was re-elected. This is the law of the land.’ That’s rich, given the administration’s recent track record. Sebelius and her colleagues in the White House may not like that Republicans are not eagerly lining up to assist the White House implement a law that they have always opposed. But their major forms of opposition – declining to expand state-based Medicaid programs, refusing to build state-run health care exchanges, saying mean things about the law – are all perfectly legal. … It is the Obama administration which has chosen to ignore the law of the land by selectively enforcing provisions, encouraging government agencies and ignoring clear legislative language that conflicts with the administration’s goals.”
For the Record
Economist Garrett Baldwin: “While speaking outside Phoenix, AZ’s Desert Vista High School [last week], the president rejected accusations of favoring ‘socialism’ in the housing markets. ‘I know that sounds confusing to folks who call me a "Socialist,”’ he said. ‘I think I saw some posters there on the way in.’ ‘But,’ he continued, ‘I actually believe in the free market.’ … The reality is that the president hasn’t embraced free-market capitalism. Instead, he’s embraced crony capitalism in the alternative energy markets, socialism for the bank bailouts, neo-feudalism with higher taxes and Fed policies, fascism with the healthcare markets, and statism with the ongoing programs that have spied on American citizens. The only hope for this country is real, accountable capitalism. Sadly, we don’t have any champions of this philosophy in the administration.“
Re: The Left
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: "In a 20-page opinion released Monday, U.S. District Court Judge William T. Moore Jr. tossed out race discrimination claims made by former Savannah restaurant manager Lisa Jackson against celebrity chef Paula Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers. … One suspects progressives would like nothing better than to use the power of the federal government to create a ‘standard of harmony’ for the entire nation. But for now, they will have to content themselves with the reality that Deen’s career may never be fully resurrected, irrespective of the numerous, high-profile apologies she has made. Such a fate may be insufficient for the racial grievance industry, still reeling from the not guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case. Their reflexive charge of racism, based on Deen’s use of a single word that virtually every one of the ‘civil rights’ leaders have undoubtedly uttered themselves, reeks of hypocrisy.”
For more, visit The Right Opinion.
National Review: “U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin has ruled that New York City’s so-called stop-and-frisk approach to crimefighting is unconstitutional, a form of ‘indirect racial profiling.’ … Blacks and Hispanics make up 87 percent of stop-and-frisk targets, which is in fact lower than the share of crime suspects who are black and Hispanic, and significantly lower than the share of violent-crime suspects who are black and Hispanic. … Two points must be kept in mind: One, the police are looking for suspects in reported crimes and working from victim descriptions. Two, there is something that comes between the stop and the frisk – namely, questioning. If a police officer sees behavior that he believes is suspicious, he may initiate a conversation with the target, especially if that target fits the description of a suspect in a criminal investigation. If, after questioning, the officer believes that he has probable cause to frisk, he may do so. That is a long way from randomly hassling every non-white person within eyesight of a police officer. … It is possible that the standards for conducting stops are too loose, but there is no standard that takes into account reality that will not see blacks and Hispanics stopped at rates disproportionate to their share of the population. Judge Scheindlin can declare reality unconstitutional, but that does not change the facts of the case.”
Columnist Michelle Malkin: “Why is gun control the only policy we’re allowed to discuss when horrific murders occur? In the liberal mindset, ‘root causes’ of crime begin and end with the Second Amendment. But who pays the price when our public guardians fail to secure our borders, refuse to deport serial criminal offenders, and enable drug-crazed menaces to prey upon innocent citizens?”
President Herbert Hoover: “If our youth is rightly instructed in the faith of our fathers; in the traditions of our country; in the dignity of each individual man, then our power will be stronger than any weapon of destruction that man can devise. … The great documents of [our] heritage … are from the Bible, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Within them alone can the safeguards of freedom survive.”
Barack Obama: “I do think what’s shifted is a notion that the wealthier you are, the more conspicuous consumption you engage in. The more successful you are, the more society should stay out of your way as you pursue the bigger house or the fancier jet or the bigger yacht.”
This from the “community organizer” who won the propaganda lotto and now engages in the most conspicuous consumption of all, living in the most expensive public housing, and using the fanciest transportation on earth. Obama is the Consummate Liberal Hypocrite.
From the ‘Non Compos Mentis’ File
Sen. Mark Pryor: “[ObamaCare’s] been an amazing success story so far.”
This Week’s ‘Alpha Jackass’ Award
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “[Republicans are] doing everything they can to make [Obama] fail. And I hope that it’s – and I say this seriously – I hope that it’s based on substance [and] not the fact that he’s an African-American.”
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell: “I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior.”
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: “Hey, Obama just arbitrarily delayed another part of Obamacare. At this rate, there will be no active parts of Obamacare left for Republicans to defund. I remember that old School House Rock song about how a bill becomes a law, but they totally left out the part where the president can just change implementation of the law in ‘consultation with businesses.’ They’ll have to add a whole other verse for that part.”
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team