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Will Obama Do “Everything” Within His Power To Ensure This Never Happens Again?

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 10:43 pm - May 15, 2013.
Filed under: IRS/Tea Party Scandal

This afternoon during the statement in which he announced the sacking of the interim head of the IRS whose tenure apparently may already have been approaching its expected end anyway, the president said, among other things:

I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again

Now, there is a possibility, I suppose, that he’s lying.

However, imagining the possibility that he really will do everything in his power “to make sure nothing like this happens again”, I have a suggestion of something that he can do immediately that is absolutely within his power and wouldn’t even take that much work: Prepare and then deliver the following statement from the Oval Office:

Greetings, my fellow Americans. I come before you to start a new chapter in American politics. I realize that I told you that I’d start a new chapter in American politics almost five years ago when I won the presidency. I said then, as I had throughout that campaign, that my administration would usher in a new type of politics in America. Many of you first heard about that dream four years earlier when I delivered a speech to the Democratic National Convention extolling the virtue of Red States and Blue States coming together as one Nation working together to solve our problems and live in harmony.

Indeed, many of you were enthralled with the concept of a young and charismatic politician who did not pit Americans against each other, and throngs of you from both sides of the political aisle came together to make history by electing me as president in 2008. You believed in that new chapter of American politics I sold you at that time. Perhaps I did too.

I am going to be frank with you in my assessment of my own record since then. Simply put, I have let you down.

I let you down during my first term, for example, by suggesting those who opposed my $800,000,000,000 increase in government spending were “rooting for failure“, and in an effort to convince you that the government was a better judge of your health-care decisions than even your doctor, insinuating that some of them perform unnecessary surgeries simply for their own monetary gain, among many other instances.

I often highlighted not simply the differences of opinions—fair game in the rough-and-tumble sport of politics and vital in the arena of competing ideas—but impugned the motivations of my opponents. It wasn’t simply that Fox News, for example, showed an opposing view, my thin-skinned response was that they were “entirely devoted to attacking my administration“. I had no qualms with singling out individual citizens who were expressing their First Amendment rights to disagree with my policies publicly if it would provide a face to demonize rather than forthrightly and honestly defend my positions.

On topic after topic, in forum after forum, it was belittling those who disagree with me as bitter clingers, and that my supporters should “punish our enemies“. Heck, just last year, my campaign produced a commercial that—no kidding—said my opponent was “not one of us“. Okay, sincerely, as an aside, I’m surprised at the lack of irony Americans displayed when I, of all people, was allowed to get away with that one…but that’s a story for my memoirs and I digress.

Point being, I have fostered, as much as or possibly likely more than anybody an atmosphere of demonizing your political opponents to the degree that we cannot even get along and agree to disagree anymore. Let’s set aside my cynicism in having suggested that I am the non-cynical one in all of this and simply recognize my role in the degradation of our political culture.

Now, let me be clear that I state unequivocally I never explicitly directed nor even winked-and-nodded to anybody who works for me nor any part of the government to single out my political opponents for IRS scrutiny. But as I reflect on the employees of the Federal Government, I cannot help but recognize the role that my leadership must have had on them.

In no way do I excuse this despicable and illegal conduct and I stand behind my comments and my commitment to follow the trails to those who did this and punish them accordingly.

That said, I certainly deserve part of the blame here.

Therefore, starting now, I will institute a new form of public dialog. From this day forward, I vow to never again attack my political adversaries’ motives but rather honestly and straightforwardly challenge them on their positions and policies. We will disagree, and the arguments will be pointed and heated at times, but they will not—at least from me—ever be personal again.

Let me start by acknowledging unequivocally that my opponents do not want poor people to starve and die naked and emaciated in the streets. They do not want poisoned air and water, and that they want a clean environment for their children just as much as anybody does. My opponents don’t hate gays, Muslims, nor foreigners. They don’t want you to go without teachers, policemen, firemen, libraries, or White House tours.

Just like me, they want to help people stay healthy and have access to health-care…they just want to approach it a different way.

Just like me, they want our children and families and friends to be safe from random acts of violence…they just have a different idea of how to achieve that.

Just like me, they want a revitalized economy and more people working fulfilling careers…they just don’t agree with how we get there.

Just like me, they want a strong and respected America that leads the world…we just differ on what that means and what it looks like.

Now, to my supporters, don’t worry…I’m not disarming unilaterally. I am not in any way abandoning the foundational ideas of a strong and effective centralized government playing an active role in our citizens’ lives in an attempt to make our Nation great and strong. But going forward, I will respect my opponents’ motives and respect that they also hope for the best for America and want our Nation to be strong and prosperous.

I cannot promise that my taking this new approach will ensure no underlings in the IRS or other parts of the government will never again act as recklessly and criminally. But I can guarantee you that as of this moment, this evening, right now…they will never be able to imagine for a moment that I, President Barack Obama would even for a second condone such actions. I regret that it is incredibly likely that up until now, they may very well have.

Thank you, and good night.

My partner says it’s also “in his power” to just resign.

I suppose I’d give both possibilities about equal chance.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

UPDATE: My apologies (mine, ColoradoPatriot, not the hypothetical president)…no end of troubles with WordPress last night. I didn’t realize till this morning that comments had been turned off, now since rectified.

What did David Axelrod know and when did he know it?

To believe“, Bruce tweeted last night, “that no one in @BarackObama White House knew about IRS scandal is to, in words of @HRClinton ‘willingly suspend disbelief’.”  Perhaps, I was in too generous of a mood last night when I read that, aware that there was as yet no evidence linking top Obama officials to the scandal.

Though given the information asked of Tea Party groups — and the fact that the IRS was approving liberal groups while leaving Tea Party ones “in limbo”, it is pretty clear that some political appointee had a say in that. Once again, who decided to ask for all this information from the Tea Party folk?

Seems the IRs was interesting not just in gleaning information about the organizations, but also about learning the names of citizens participating in the organizations. Why would they need know the names of all the group’s members and its donors?

Was their goal to get those names? And for what end?

Seems there was more to this than just string out the process.

And now Breitbart is reporting that an Obama campaign co-chair was attacking Romney with leaked IRS documents. (And that co-chiar just happens to be a Mr. J. Solmonese.)

Maybe we should be asking these questions, “What did David Axelrod know? And when did he know it?”

UPDATE: Even the names of high school and college kids?

UP-UPDATE: Sounds like David Axelrod is acknowledging Obama’s incompetence, the president’s unfitness to preside over the executive branch?

UP-UP-UPDATE: The answer could be nothing and never, but one’s gotta wonder how Obama’s political allies manage to get copies of confidential forms his ideological allies filed with the IRS.

Does the buck stop anywhere in the Holder Justice Department?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 11:50 am - May 15, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals

Via Drudge, we learn that the Attorney General is pointing the finger as this deputy who secretly obtained journalist’s phone records:

Holder said that he recused himself from the making the controversial decision to subpoena the phone records of Associated Press journalists, saying that it was made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

kHolder said that he recused himself from the making the controversial decision to subpoena the phone records of Associated Press journalists, saying that it was made by Deputy Attorney General James Cole.

Well, did he think the way Mr. Cole engaged in a bit of overreach in the manner in which he attempted to contain the leak?  And does he think a man should keep his job in the federal Justice Department after casting so wide a net?

UPDATE:  Hmmmmm. . . . : Holder: I can’t remember when I recused myself from the AP investigation, and I know I didn’t do it in writing

On men who don’t look like their pictures (on online dating sites)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:48 am - May 15, 2013.
Filed under: Dating,Friendship,LA Stories,Random Thoughts

Last night, I had a pleasant dinner, spontaneously arranged, with one of my closest friends in LA.  He and I had met about six years via an online dating service.  We didn’t feel much romantic chemistry, but did enjoy each other’s company and became friends.

as we occasionally do, we shared our stories about online dating, he kvetching about a man who didn’t call when he promised, but who subsequently kept pestering him with texts, I sharing stories about a number of decent dates I had with guys whose profiles presented a pretty accurate portrait of their personality, profession and passions.

And then we fell to talking about guys who misrepresented themselves on line, with both of us recalling dates with men who just didn’t look like their pictures.  I related a tale about a guy I met depicted as thin in his online pictures, but who in person, suffered from a severe shall we say, a severe absence of thin.  (After our coffee date, I went back home and checked his profile and ascertained that that was clearly the guy depicted online, but the pictures were at least ten years old.)

And we wondered last night, my friend and I, we wondered what these men thought when they posted these pictures, that their scintillating personalities would make up for the difference in appearance?  Didn’t it occur to them that men who responded to the ad would be attracted to that picture and expect to meet someone who looked like the guy in the picture? Or did they believe that the picture merely served to draw the potential date to the profile and that the qualities delineated therein constituted the real nature of said date’s interest?

Or did they believe their own propaganda, that they actually looked today like they did ten years ago, despite the fact that ten years ago, they exercised regularly whereas today they’re making plans to exercise next week? (more…)