Wednesday Chronicle

Obama's Abuse of Power Isn't New

May 29, 2013

The Foundation

“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” –James Madison

Editorial Exegesis

“On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws. … Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain ‘East Indian Rosewood,’ which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized? Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. … By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles. … Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was ‘inappropriately targeted’ is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power. The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an ‘aider, abettor, co-conspirator’ in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list.” –Investor’s Business Daily


“Our Founding Fathers feared the emergence of an agency such as the IRS and its potential for abuse. That’s why they gave us Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, which reads: ‘No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.’ A capitation is a tax placed directly on an individual. That’s what an income tax is. The founders feared the abuse and the government power inherent in a direct tax. In Section 8 of Article 1, they added, ‘But all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.’ These protections the founders gave us were undone by the Progressive era’s 16th Amendment, which reads, ‘The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.’ … The bottom line is that members of Congress need such a ruthless tax collection agency as the IRS because of the charge we Americans have given them.” –economist Walter E. Williams

“[A] Fox poll asked people which of the recent scandals concerned them the most. IRS topped the list with 32%; followed by Benghazi with 27%; the monitoring of AP reporters scored 21%; and 10% went for none of the above, claiming that all of them were of grave concern. … [T]he truly shocking number was 8%. That represented the percentage of Americans who were not the least bit concerned about any of these matters. And I will remind you that these ignoramuses are allowed, even encouraged, to go out and vote every Election Day.” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

“From around 1630 to 1966, immigrants sank or swam. About a third of them couldn’t make it in America and went home – and those are the ones who weren’t rejected right off the boat for being sick, crippled or idiots. That’s why corny stories of someone’s ancestors coming here a half-century ago are completely irrelevant. If their ancestors hadn’t succeeded, their great-grandchildren wouldn’t be here to tell the story because no one was given food stamps, free medical care and housing to stay. (And vote Democrat.) Now we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel by holding ourselves out as the welfare ward of the world and specifically rejecting skilled immigrants. As Milton Friedman said, you cannot have open borders and a welfare state. The reason a country’s average immigrant matters is that the losers never go home – they go on welfare. (Maybe if they had to work, immigrants wouldn’t have as much time to build bombs.)” –columnist Ann Coulter


“The only liberty that is valuable is a liberty connected with order; that not only exists along with order and virtue, but which cannot exist at all without them. It inheres in good and steady government, as in its substance and vital principle.” –British statesman Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

“I should like to adopt political doctrines that would live longer than my dog.” –President James Garfield (1831-1881)

Essential Liberty

“We have truly entered the world of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ when the CEO of a company that pays $16 million a day in taxes is hauled up before a Congressional subcommittee to be denounced on nationwide television for not paying more. Apple CEO Tim Cook was denounced for contributing to ‘a worrisome federal deficit,’ according to Senator Carl Levin – one of the big-spending liberals in Congress who has had a lot more to do with creating that deficit than any private citizen has. … The real danger to us all is when government not only exercises the powers that we have voted to give it, but exercises additional powers that we have never voted to give it. That is when ‘public servants’ become public masters. That is when government itself has stepped over the line. Government’s power to bully people who have broken no law is dangerous to all of us. … No American government can take away all our freedoms at one time. But a slow and steady erosion of freedom can accomplish the same thing on the installment plan.” –economist Thomas Sowell


Boy have we ever: “It’s no secret that in recent decades many Americans have lost confidence in many of the institutions that helped shape our society and our democracy. … And we’ve seen how the actions of a few can undermine the integrity of those institutions.” –Barack Obama

Says the most ideological president in history: “Every day, elected officials … devote themselves to improving our communities and our country. But all too often we’ve seen a politics where compromise is rejected as a dirty word, and policies are driven by special interests rather than the national interest. And that breeds a cynicism that threatens our democracy.” –Barack Obama

Reaching out: “[T]he best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community – which has consistently rejected terrorism – to identify signs of radicalization and partner with law enforcement when an individual is drifting towards violence.” –Barack Obama

False boasting: “So after I took office, we stepped up the war against al-Qa'ida but we also sought to change its course. We relentlessly targeted al-Qa'ida’s leadership. … Today, Osama bin Laden is dead, and so are most of his top lieutenants. There have been no large-scale attacks on the United States, and our homeland is more secure. … Our alliances are strong, and so is our standing in the world. In sum, we are safer because of our efforts.” –Barack Obama

Carrying water: “Well, you said [the IRS scandal] happened under [Obama’s] watch. It happened under the appointment of the head of the IRS, who was appointed by President Bush. His length of stay extended into President Obama’s stay. But I think that that points to the fact – why is this a politicized issue? … The Inspector General has said over and over it is not illegal. … The president doesn’t know about everything that is going on in every agency of government.” –House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Setting parameters on rights: “[H]ere is the bottom line – the media shield law, which I am prepared to support … still leaves an unanswered question, which I have raised many times: What is a journalist today in 2013? We know it’s someone that works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who is tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection? We need to ask 21st century questions about a provision that was written over 200 years ago.” –Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)


Denying the obvious: “[Barack Obama] says … we cannot allow any group of thugs that calls itself al-Qa'ida to bait us into an endless war. And the point is, the Tsarnaev brothers, who the vice president called knockoff jihadis, these two suspects, I mean, hard to say suspects when you see them killing someone on camera, in London, they may say that they’re some affiliate of something. These are just murderers. These are murderers.” –MSNBC’s Chris Hayes

Mirror, mirror: “Everybody knew about this [IRS] investigation long before the election. So if they were that freaked out about it, why didn’t Romney make more of a big deal of it during the election?” –MSNBC’s Karen Finney

Say what? “All [Senator Ted] Cruz wants to do is prove that self-government is evil or impossible or whatever else will justify his existence as a hard-right political bomb thrower.” –MSNBC’s Chris Matthews

Speaking truth to power: “A White House official tells me that the president feels strongly about showing how standing together during a time of crises is what makes this country strong. He has become the consoler-in-chief.” –ABC’s Reena Ninan

Newspulper Headlines:

Shortest Books Ever Written: “The Good Side of the IRS Scandal’ –

Longest Books Ever Written: "Obama’s Forgotten Victims” –The New York Times

He’s in the White House: “Easily Confused Man Missing From South Side” –Sun-Times Media Wire (Chicago)

Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Is Bob Dole the Future of the Republican Party?” –Washington Examiner website

Bottom Story of the Day: “Somebody Did Something” –The New York Times

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto)

Village Idiots

The only thing to fear… “At one Tea Party rally this week, mobs chanted ‘Waterboard Obama, Waterboard Hillary!’ At another, radicals waved signs with Nazi symbols. … [T]he Democratic Senate is the only thing holding back the right-wing House from implementing their radical agenda.” –Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) fundraising appeal

Belly laugh of the week: “If anything, we are overachieving on deficit reduction right now, given where we are in terms of the current year and immediate economic needs.” –Treasury Secretary Jack Lew

Things the stimulus was supposed to fix but didn’t: “Collapse of bridge in WA underscores urgent need for infrastructure investments. Will latest falling structure prod Rs in Congress to act?” –tweet from Obama adviser David Axelrod

Sycophants: “I love the Clintons and they know it. Bill and I are friends for 22 years, 23 years. He’s creating the greatest post-presidency in the history of the presidency. … [I]f [Hillary] decides to run [for president again], I would walk across the country to get her into office.” –singer Michael Bolton

Short Cuts

“The ratings are out, and MSNBC has hit a 7-year low with their coverage of the scandals swirling around the White House. Well, when the emperor has no clothes, it’s hard to take his tailor seriously.” –Fred Thompson

“President Obama called in the Marines to hold an umbrella over his head during his Rose Garden press conference. Let’s face it. We just don’t have the military capability to protect our Middle East diplomats and the president’s suits at the same time.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“Jesus was merciful to tax collectors – but the ones who repented, not those who invoked the 5th.” –columnist David Limbaugh

“Time magazine found a picture of President Obama at his high school prom back in 1979. Let me tell you how long ago that was. Back then, Obama had to ask a girl for her phone number. He couldn’t illegally obtain it through the Justice Department.” –comedian Jay Leno

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team