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Sweetheart Deal

Posted by V the K at 7:47 am - November 28, 2017.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Cities across North America are bidding to have Amazon locate its secondary headquarters in them. (Spoiler Alert: It will be built in Austin because turning Texas blue is a critical proggie objective.) A lot of localities are offering Amazon incentives and deals that would make the NFL blush. New Jersey is offering a straight-up bribe of $10,000 for each job creates. Boston is offering to put city-paid employees directly to work for Amazon. But Chicago’s proposal really stands out. Chicago is proposing that all the income taxes collected from Amazon’s employees will be kicked back to … Amazon.

Chicago and the state authorities of Illinois have jointly offered to hand Amazon more than $2bn in tax breaks, including $1.32bn of its workers’ income taxes. The scheme, known as a personal income tax diversion, would mean Amazon workers pay full income taxes, but instead of the state getting the money to use for schools, roads and other public services, Amazon would keep it.

The theory, I guess, is that the 50,000 subsidized Amazon jobs would lead to economic growth as its well-paid tech workers purchased goods and services from local business; which sounds a heckuva lot like those “Trickle Down Economics” that Democrats always say don’t work.

If Chicago were to be true to its Democratic-Socialist principles it would tell Amazon, “Tell you what, you locate here, and we will tax the living sh-t out of your revenues, and micromanage your hiring, and regulate you at every turn, and you will smile and say ‘Thank you for allowing us to do business,’ you filthy capitalist running dogs. Also, we expect kickbacks.”

Because that’s how they treat every other business.

It’s really beyond the comprehension of politicians that what they really just need to create a good business environment is to provide good basic municipal services (police, fire, waste management) and a reasonable tax burden.

They don’t understand that concept, but they understand bribes.

Chelsea Clinton Update

Posted by V the K at 9:27 am - March 20, 2017.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Chelsea Clinton has been named to the Board of Directors of Expedia… obviously because of her incredible business acumen and keen insight into the web-based travel reservation industry.

I guess the Clintons have to do something to earn money now that their Totally-Legit-Not-At-All-A-Donation-Laundering-and-Influence-Peddling-Operation-At-All Foundation is shutting down.

More From That Guardian Article

Posted by V the K at 9:15 am - November 1, 2016.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

This is so very true, and so very sad. This is the Democrat Party. This is also the Republican Party. But this is not what America is supposed to be.


Time Magazine/Berkeley Feminist: The Hillary Email Investigation Is the War on Women

Oh, Good Lord. Robin Lakoff, a “professor of linguistics” at UC-Berkeley says the only reason Hillary’s illegal use of a private email server, mishandling of classified information, influence peddling via the Clinton Foundation, and lying to the FBI is being investigated is because The Patriarchy is trying to silence a brave and stunning woman.

The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. Can you imagine this happening to a man? Clinton is guilty of SWF (Speaking While Female), and emailgate is just a reminder to us all that she has no business doing what she’s doing and must be punished, for the sake of all decent women everywhere.

Meanwhile, The Guardian, of all places, is doing what the mainstream American media won’t do (because Democrat-Media Complex) and digging into what Hillary’s emails reveal about our political culture and Governance. Basically, it’s a corrupt, rotten pay-to-play circle of insider politicians,  media figures, and billionaire donors all scratching each other’s backs.

 In one now-famous email chain, for example, the reader can watch current US trade representative Michael Froman, writing from a Citibank email address in 2008, appear to name President Obama’s cabinet even before the great hope-and-change election was decided (incidentally, an important clue to understanding why that greatest of zombie banks was never put out of its misery).

This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of course she appears to think that any kind of bank reform should “come from the industry itself”. And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another’s careers, constantly.

And if you vote for Hillary, you are voting for this.

Government Helping Again

Posted by V the K at 6:25 pm - August 24, 2016.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Since 2007, the price of an EpiPen… a device to inject life-saving epinephrine to prevent people with severe allergies from dying due to an allergic reaction, has soard from $100 to $700. Now, why is that? How can a generic technology increase so much in price?

Well, it helps when the FDA is effectively blocking any competition from coming to market.

Also, the price increase was engineered by the CEO of the company that makes the EpiPen. By quintupling the price of the devices, she added over a billion dollars a year to the company’s bottom line and increased her own annual paycheck from $2 Million to almost $20 Million.

And the CEO of the company is the daughter of Democrat Senator Joe Manchin.

Pretty cozy right?

The Clintons aren’t the only ones doing the whole “Pay for Play” thing.

Ace catches up?

Ace of Spades is a great blogger. I’m a fan. Although perhaps he hasn’t been as cynical about our two-party system, all this time, as I’ve been. He may be changing his mind. See his recent piece, titled Jay Cost: The Republican Party Is Not Your Friend. Ace begins:

I have long argued against a third-party split and the Nightmare Option of simply conceding the country to the liberals for 20 disastrous years.

I am no longer confident in such arguments.

At some point — and that point is coming soon and hard — the Republican Party must be treated as what it is, a second enemy party dominated by corporate liberalism. [sic; meaning leftism]

He gives his reasons, which you can go read. I’m not sure I agree with Ace’s conclusion:

I am not only ready, but eager to ditch the corporate class — and, frankly, the wealthiest 1% generally, which largely supports liberal policies — and begin taking a very, very agnostic view on whether or not their taxes should be raised until it hurts.

And then, once it does hurt, and they are begging relief, we can…insist that corporate interests serve the conservative agenda, rather than, as it has been forever, that the conservative agenda be made a slave to corporate interests.

First, I don’t think the libertarian-conservative movement can control the situation so finely as that, anytime soon. Ace may just be fantasizing.

Second, I’m all in favor of rejecting corporate leftism (let’s have no bailouts!); but we must always be ready to lower taxes, on moral principle. High taxation is theft; it just happens to be legal theft (since the government is doing it). It’s wrong. Doing the right thing should be a person’s first response in life, not a bargaining chip. Thus, lowering government spending and taxes should be our basic position; even automatic.

Your thoughts?

Republicans First Order of Business: More Crony Corporatism

Posted by V the K at 7:45 am - January 9, 2015.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

In December, the Republicans passed the ‘Cromnibus’ spending bill that fully funded Obamacare and mostly funded Obamamnesty, they did, however, draw one line in the stand and that was that they were absolutely committed to subsidizing megabanks like JP Morgan and CitiGroup with taxpayer-funded back-up funds for gambling on risky derivatives.

Now that the Corporatist John Boehner has been safely installed as Speaker of the House, the first bill the Republicans are going to take up is apparently going to be another massive taxpayer subsidy to big business, one favored and promoted by outgoing Democrat Majority leader Harry Reid.

Reid instructed Republicans to put TRIA — which created a taxpayer backstop for property insurers after 9/11 — at the top of their agenda. Joining Reid in this cry was a chorus of industry lobbies. And Republicans have responded.

And Republicans have put reauthorizing the bill at the top of their legislative agenda.

Le sigh.


In Defense of the Megabanks

Megabanks like JP Morgan Chase and CitiGroup got a big, fat wad of corporate welfare from the Republicans in the #CRomnibus spending bill that passed this weekend; a provision that allows them to gamble on risky derivatives with taxpayers on the hook to cover their losses. But John Hinderaker at Powerline makes a decent case that the megabanks are actually scapegoats for the failed Progressive Policies of Clinton, Bush, and Obama.

For years, my friends in the banking industry told me that the federal government was forcing them to make bad loans. Mortgages were not the only such bad loans, but while they were the largest, they were also the least problematic from the banks’ standpoint, since the taxpayers, through Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac, stood ready to buy them and assume the risk. The financial collapse of 2008 and the recession that followed were caused primarily by liberal policies enforced by the federal government that went back to the Carter administration.

The TARP bailouts, Hinderaker says, were actually just DC politicians paying back the banks for the bad policies they had forced on them; and the megabanks paid them back anyway; unlike Democrat crony-operatives like Jamie Gorelick and Franklin Raines who made tens of millions on subprime mortgages and got to keep every penny.

Hinderaker wonders what the implications are in this crony corporatist conundrum are in terms of a presidential bid in 2016 for Democrat senator Liz Warren; whose attacks on Wall Street banks have made her the darling of the progressive left. Yet, if she runs, can she count on the millions of dollars in donations from Wall Street bankers that Democrats always get. (Answer: Of course she can; those campaign contributions aren’t looked at as support for political philosophy, they’re bribes and extortion payments to politicians who could destroy the bankers at will.)

I note some Republicans relish the thought of a Liz Warren candidacy. They think there’s no way Americans would elect a far-left radical senator with a sketchy background to the presidency. Recent history says otherwise.

Democrat Special Interests Failed to Buy the Senate, Governorships

Billionaire crony capitalist Tom Steyer spent $74 Million trying to buy a Democrat US Senate that would pass draconian energy regulations… thus making his investments in “Green Energy” highly profitable. He failed.

[Steyer’s mentor is an extreme environmentalist, Bill McKibben, who thinks Americans should reduce their standard of living to third world levels in order to save the planet from ManBearPig. Although I imagine, under such a scenario, wealthy politicians and their cronies would be exempted from the third world living standards.]

Democrat-affiliated Teacher’s Unions spent as much as $80 Million to try and elect Democrat governors in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Florida… and support Democrat Kay “Conflict of Interest” Hagan in North Carolina. Gosh, think of all the school supplies that $80,000,ooo could have bought.

The travails of Government Motors

This is a long-term story; time for a review.

In 2009, General Motors made itself the fourth-largest Chapter 11 re-org in U.S. history. The U.S. Treasury was heavily involved with bailout money. President Obama made speeches and saw to it that the terms were harsh for people who had supported GM by loaning or investing their money, and not-so-harsh for labor unions and GM retirees (who can vote).

The new GM repaid government loans ahead of schedule – after shuffling around some bailout monies. But it all still cost the taxpayer at least $10 billion in the end (Treasury direct losses on GM stock as they re-privatized the company).

I would argue that the intangible costs go beyond $10 billion. GM bailout advocates like to emphasize the many jobs “saved”. But if the government had stayed out (doing nothing), the jobs would exist – at more efficient companies. GM’s productive assets would have been re-organized in bankruptcy anyway; probably taken over by startup companies or other competitors who are more efficient.

So, cars would still be manufactured in America – on better terms for the consumer. It’s a general principle that doing it the government-backed way is cronyism and always rewards incompetence on some level (at the expense of consumers, investors & taxpayers). There is no reason to consider GM an exception.

Which brings us to GM’s scandal with faulty ignition switches, which have caused at least 13 deaths.

The problem goes back for years. GM, which became a famously bureaucratic company under decades of Big Government backing, has been slow to react:

GM first learned of a problem with its ignition switches on Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other models in 2001, documents have shown, but took no steps to recall any cars until this past February.

Lawmakers are investigating why GM and regulators missed or ignored numerous red flags that faulty ignition switches could unexpectedly turn off engines during operation and leave airbags, power steering and power brakes inoperable.

The unflappable [GM CEO] Barra…announced that GM had retained Kenneth Feinberg, who recently oversaw the BP oil spill fund, as a consultant…

The drama inside the packed hearing room – named the “John D. Dingell” room after the Michigan Democrat with a long history of advocating for GM – was heightened by photos of victims, which were displayed against one of the walls.

Your crony capitalism/ Venture Socialism at work, folks.

By the way:

  • Did those famous Government Regulators help the problem? No, although they have plenty of excuses. (Prediction: the Left will surely claim that the solution is…more regulators.)
  • Did CEO Barra just tell Congress the truth, when she claimed to have only learned about the ignition switch problem recently (Jan 31)? No again.
  • Did GM commit fraud, when it didn’t reveal the problem *during its bankruptcy* proceedings? Was escaping liability one of the motives for doing the 2009 bankruptcy? Perhaps, yes.

Which is why the new, refreshed, taxpayer-revived GM now faces multiple criminal probes.

Progressives For Cronyism; Ridesharing Edition

Posted by V the K at 7:02 am - April 15, 2014.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Surprised Jeff didn’t have this one. Technology has enabled people who need rides to connect with people who have rides to offer through services like Lyft, Sidecar and Uber. The taxicab companies are not happy about these interlopers. In a Free Market, the taxicab companies would have to up their game in order to hold onto their customers; i.e. offer better services and/or better prices… cabs that don’t smell like the floor of a dive bar’s bathroom, drivers with a higher level of courtesy than a rap star’s bodyguards. But in the modern “progressive” political economy, it’s easier just to get their bought-and-paid-for politicians to shut the competition down and claim it’s for the Common Good.

In Philadelphia, the city has confiscated the automobiles of people participating in Sidecar’s ridesharing service.  In Austin TX, these services have been banned outright at the behest of… of course … taxicab companies. Minneapolis is requiring ride-sharers to register and be licensed as taxi drivers (an expensive, time-consuming process subject to the whims of bureaucracy). Efforts are underway in NYC, DC, Atlanta, and other large socialist-run cities to ban the services entirely.

It is also bothersome to the bureaucrats that the ratings systems provided by consumers offer a higher assurance of driver quality than the paperwork of a thousand bureaucrats.

Ask yourself: Would you rather ride with a driver who has been rated by other passengers, with that rating posted on your cell phone and monitored continuously by a company with a stake in maintaining consumer confidence, or one who has been cleared by some local political appointee who might, just might, see approval of a driver as a source of income?

You also don’t have to worry about a Somali cabdriver refusing to give you a ride because your guide dog is forbidden according to his Mohammedan religion.

Demagogues will always find some reason to oppose the free market; “public safety” or “protecting jobs.” When Progressives rail against “unbridled capitalism,” they are railing against the innovation, efficiency, and higher standard of service that comes from free market competition. And what they are advocating instead is bureaucracy, cronyism, and stagnation.

Leftists: Still running amok

They’re still claiming that any opposition to leftism could only be motivated by racism. Here, Rep. Steve Israel (D) says it back-hand style:

Candy: Do you think your Republican colleagues are racist?

Israel: Not all of them, no. Of course not. But to a significant extent, the Republican base does have elements that are animated by racism.

They’re still demanding that their failures be subsidized and bailed out. Here, a “green” solar company sues the government for only having dished it $250 million of taxpayer money, instead of millions more.

They’re still using highly questionable statistics to demagogue the issue of equal pay for men and women.

They’re still fighting their ‘war’ on Fox News, and failing – sometimes with hilarious results. The video shows Greta van Susteren cornering an aggressive Democrat into admitting that he lied about his resume.

They’re still racially divisive with amazing double standards. Here, a Democrat belittles her African-American GOP colleague for being only “half” black. Which, remember, happens to be what President Obama is.

They still have amazing double standards on the issues of Islam, free speech and women’s rights. Last week, leftists hit a triple (the wrong positions on all three) when Brandeis snubbed Ayaan Hirsi Ali after considering her for an honorary degree.

They’re still screeching “McCarthyism!” to deflect attention from their misconduct, as Rep. Elijah Cummings (D) did last week, when questions arose over his own staff’s collusion with the dangerously out-of-control IRS.

UPDATE: At least there’s hope for Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has had a good run lately. He signed a major tax relief package into law, his controversial budget reforms have put the state back in the black…A new poll from Wisconsin Public Radio suggests that voters are appreciative of the governor’s accomplishments. Walker leads Democrat Mary Burke by 16 points in the survey (56/40), with Walker’s approval rating soaring to just shy of 60 percent — an all-time high in the series. (President Obama’s job approval is underwater at 48/50 in the poll). Walker’s lead is fueled by a 19-point advantage among independents…

Today’s sadly-ironic headline

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 5:10 pm - April 9, 2014.
Filed under: Big Government Follies,Crony Capitalism Consequences

HP pays $108 million to settle foreign bribery probes:

WARSAW/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hewlett-Packard agreed to pay $108 million to resolve wide-ranging U.S. government investigations into whether some of its foreign units bribed government officials to obtain lucrative contracts, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

HP’s Russia subsidiary pleaded guilty…Polish and Mexican units of the computing giant also resolved U.S. criminal charges related to contracts they had won in those countries…

Get it?

  1. Foreign companies (owned by HP) paid fees that foreign officials demanded of them. Everyone called these fees “bribes” in order to displace the guilt, that is, to hide the extortion aspect.
  2. U.S. officials were jealous so they, in turn, demanded and got $108 million from HP. Everyone called these fees “settling criminal charges under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act”, again in order to displace the guilt, that is, to hide the bottom-line extortion aspect.

Pro-business or pro-market?

Jonah Goldberg makes a great distinction:

…the difference between being pro-business and pro-market is categorical. A politician who is a “friend of business” is exactly that, a guy who does favors for his friends. A politician who is pro-market is a referee who will refuse to help protect his friends (or anyone else) from competition unless the competitors have broken the rules. The friend of business supports industry-specific or even business-specific loans, grants, tariffs, or tax breaks. The pro-market referee opposes special treatment for anyone.

Goldberg’s point is that the GOP must make up its mind about which one it is. Pro-business is crony capitalism, venture socialism and Big Government as we know it today. Pro-market is more the Tea Party putting real checks on Washington. Goldberg describes the GOP’s dilemma in more detail; RTWT.

To make my view clear: I am not pro-business, I am absolutely pro-market. The mentality that the economy would boom (and America would be great again) if only we could vote in smart people to tinker with the economy in good ways – if only the Republicans had power to do better Washington-y things than the Democrats do – that mentality is part of what has gotten America into a hole.

The truth is, nothing that government does to rig interfere with markets and business outcomes is ever much good. It never turns out anything as well as the politicians said it would, and never as well as what markets – that is, free people – could do, if left to their own devices.

Chicago: Where Crony Socialism Meets Gay Blackmail

Posted by V the K at 6:38 am - March 13, 2014.
Filed under: Crony Capitalism Consequences

Ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft are seen as threats to the profits of traditional taxi companies; which have worked out cozy licensing and bribery arrangements with municipal governments (like NYC, DC, and Chicago) to protect their turf against competition.  In Chicago, Big Taxi may be resorting to extraordinary measures to protect their monopoly.

A trade newspaper for the city’s taxi industry has threatened to out five aldermen who it claims are “secretly gay,” unless the City Council bans ride-sharing services like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar.

In an editorial in The Chicago Dispatcher, publisher George Lutfallah said the trade publication “has learned that five of the city’s 50 aldermen are closeted homosexuals. In the next issue of this newspaper, set to be published early next month, we will disclose their names unless our demands are met.”

It’s also possible that the article the blog is referring to, or parts of it, are intended as satire. Some of their demands are on the order of “we demand that the letter ‘m’ be eliminated from the alphabet.” But the hostility toward competition from ridesharing is very real.

Fairness ‘frayed’? Poor people trapped? Sorry Mr. Obama, but You Are The Problem

Current Yahoo! headine, Obama: Economic fairness ‘frayed’:

President Barack Obama prodded Congress to raise wages and secure the social safety net as he issued an overarching appeal Wednesday to correct inequalities that he said make it harder for a child in the United States to escape poverty. “That should offend all of us,” he declared. “We are a better country than this.”

Obama argued that the dream of upward economic mobility is breaking down and that the growing income gap is a “defining challenge of our time.”

“The basic bargain at the heart of our economy has frayed,” the president said…

This is an example of the Left’s classic tactic, “poison as food, poison as antidote”. First the Left creates/worsens problems with their dysfunctional policies; then they position themselves (or, even more dysfunctional left-wing policies) as the supposed solution.

In this case, President Obama’s own policies create/worsen the inequality he decries. As I’ve discussed in my “Recovery for the One Percent” series here, here, here and here.

For any lefties reading this, who need the reminder:

  • Raising the minimum wage costs people jobs.
  • Big Government denies opportunity to the working poor.
  • High government spending hurts the economy and stops new businesses from being formed, as do high regulation and taxes.
  • Quantitative Easing bails out (or subsidizes) the One Percent, at the expense of the poor and middle-class.

All policies increased, maintained or advocated by Your Obama.

To be clear, the problems didn’t start with Obama; but he has worsened them.

Recovery for the One Percent: Record inequality

To “celebrate” Dow 16000 and S&P 1800, both of which the stock market just hit intra-day, I’ve gathered a few links on rising economic inequality in the U.S. A few remarks first, to set context.

As a capitalist, I have no problem with inequality – when it comes about for the right reasons, that is, when sovereign consumers have awarded it by their actions in free markets. The problem is that, under President Obama, we have inequality for the wrong reasons.

Obama puts government in control of more and more of the economy, and he has the Federal Reserve bailing out the biggest players on Wall Street (as well as the government) and goosing the financial markets ever higher. That doesn’t come for free.

Whenever someone is bailed out, somebody else was “bailed in”; somebody else lost wealth (or purchasing power). Obama’s policies stealth-transfer it from the wages, pensions, savings and balance sheets of productive people to those who happen either to (1) receive government spending, or/and (2) own financial assets (stocks, bonds, etc.).

Many of those are productive people; but many are not and, in any event, everyone should have to earn wealth the real way, by pleasing their employer or their customers in the market. None merit bailouts. No one deserves government-orchestrated wealth transfers (stealthy or otherwise). No one.

I want small government, natural rights under Rule of Law, sound money and free markets because they are both moral and populist. They form the only moral social system (the only system that lets people be free and doesn’t steal from them, or enslave them). And, as a consequence of being moral, they form the only practical system where masses of deserving poor and middle-class people can and will get ahead.

The Big Lie of Leftism is that leftism somehow stands for the People, or the little guy. It doesn’t. As we see today with President Obama’s policies, producing a result of record inequality – for all the wrong reasons.

OK, now for some data. First, via Marc Faber and Zero Hedge, here is household net worth by wealth percentile:

household net worth by wealth percentile

You can see that, in the last six years, the share of wealth held by the bottom 75% has plunged from 12.7% to barely 10%. (more…)

What difference does it make – that Hillary works for Goldman-Sachs?

In the last week, Hillary made $400,000 from Goldman-Sachs.

I’m not certain that’s money going to her personally, but it seems likely. It would be interesting to see what she takes in campaign contributions also.

Goldman-Sachs is a top political donor. Although they favored Romney in 2012, they favored President Obama even more in 2008. And they were rewarded hugely when Obama sealed the bailouts that President Bush began; not just the money funneled to Goldman via the AIG – TARP bailouts, but also the Dodd-Frank bill that guarantees Goldman future bailouts, the Federal Reserve’s general money-printing, etc.

Goldman is also the single largest backer of Sen. Chuck Schumer (D). The corrupt Jon Corzine (D) was a former top Goldman employee, as was Bush’s Treasury secretary (Hank Paulsen).

So these guys get their way with both parties, and internationally to boot. They are near the heart of the Big Government – Big Banking nexus (that isn’t capitalism).

A look at food stamps

It’s not a “safety net”, it’s a cultural phenomenon. An unholy alliance of special interests – starting with the big one, Big Government, and then getting into corporations who naturally rise to meet the business opportunity – works to keep it that way:

YouTube Preview Image

Via Mike Krieger’s blog.

Bonus (via Ace): Mark Steyn on the American Banana Republic.

Capricious Enforcement: A sign of the times

Back in October 2010, blogger Tigerhawk recalled what one of his Princeton classmates, who was originally from Romania, said about the nature of life under socialism:

One recurring tool of socialist tyranny is the capricious enforcement of unworkable laws.

He quoted the passage in making a point about the “capricious enforcement” which was an inevitable feature of the unworkable mess better known as Obamacare.

But two and a half years later, it’s evident that observation could just as easily have been applied to our byzantine tax code, our environmental regulations, and even laws pertaining to press freedoms under the Obama administration.  As Dan wrote earlier today, the only folks who are surprised by any of these scandals are the ones who haven’t been paying attention to what has been going with our government since January 20, 2009.

In the case of the Obama administration, though, it’s not strictly capricious enforcement, but selective enforcement, always with a partisan goal in mind.  The IRS targeting of the Tea Party and conservative organizations is appalling, but one would have to be naive not to believe, as ABC’s Trey Hardin noted today, that it wasn’t authorized by someone in the West Wing.  Hardin observed (audio at the link):

I will tell you this on the IRS front. I’ve worked in this town for over 20 years in the White House and on Capitol Hill and I can say with a very strong sense of certainty that there are people very close to this president that not only knew what the IRS were doing but authorized it. It simply just does not happen at an agency level like that without political advisers likely in the West Wing certainly connected to the president’s ongoing campaign organization.

And it’s not just the IRS.  Earlier today it came out that the EPA waived fees for leftist organizations and leftist journalists who requested information, but not for conservative ones:   “Conservative groups seeking information from the Environmental Protection Agency have been routinely hindered by fees normally waived for media and watchdog groups, while fees for more than 90 percent of requests from green groups were waived, according to requests reviewed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.”  Yes, this would be the same EPA that has classified carbon dioxide as a pollutant, making the mere act of exhaling potentially troublesome.

A coincidence?  I think not.  This is the same administration committed to picking winners and losers on most matters.  Hence, it should surprise no one that while oil companies are prosecuted for the deaths of eagles and other protected species, the bird-killing wind farms are naturally given a pass.   Clearly, some energy companies are more equal than others.

It’s the same with journalists.  Just a day after the AP snooping scandal broke, the administration is playing favorites again.  Jake Tapper has gained a reputation as one who can be counted on to ask tough questions of the White House with greater frequency than the reporters at most of the other lamestream news organizations.  Well, today Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection is reporting that the White House played Jake Tapper by selectively leaking one e-mail with the apparent aim of creating a diversion in the reporting about the Benghazi cover-up.  Jacobson writes: “Like I said, this entire diversion of leaking a single email out of a chain of emails to Tapper was simply meant to put critics of the administration back on their heels and to provide an excuse for White House defenders to throw around words like ‘doctored.'”

And so what else do we see today?  Well, all of a sudden the administration’s lackeys in the press such as Hilary Rosen are now out expressing their sympathy for poor Jay Carney.  I guess they’re afraid of ending up as the subject of a DOJ snooping scandal or an IRS investigation or a selective leak.