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More Obama scandal news

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Turning to Obama scandal news, there is lots of it:

In the comments, please remember: If another’s argument is ludicrous, there is no need to engage in personal attacks; just tear it apart point by point.

UPDATE: Via HotAir, here is 2008 video of candidate Obama saying, in essence, that a sitting administration must not prosecute or spy on reporters and critics:
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That it’s ironic, is clear. Obama was, after all, speaking to the AP and (among his other lies) painted the Bush administration as intolerant of dissenters.

But what I really love about the clip is how Obama looks down his nose, as he speaks. It’s that note of contempt which his white liberal admirers fell for, going “Ooh, he’s so smaaarrt! He has deep integrity and wisdom!” I saw through Obama’s act from the beginning.

Did W (or his minions) ask what books his political adversaries were reading?

Just caught this at Ace: “To Ask the Question Is To Answer It“:

Charles C. W. Cooke wonders why those who freaked out about the PATRIOT Act and how it might lead to people’s library records being seized aren’t so concerned about the IRS asking conservative groups to hand over their Facebook posts and a list of books they were reading. Or for records of conversations they had or their positions on issues. Shouldn’t the ACLU be as up in arms about the IRS’s intrusion into people’s privacy as they were about Homeland Security looking at suspected terrorist’s use of library computers?

Did the immediate past president — or his henchmen — ever demand that his political adversaries, in order to receive a benefit from the government, reveal the content of their prayers or the names of their members?

On the March 2010 meeting between Obama & the IRS Union Chief

Earlier today, I caught Jim Hoft’s report on ties between the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU, which represents, among others, employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)) and the Democratic Party.  Jim links us to the NTEU’s release just following the 2012 election where its president Colleen M. Kelley congratulated Obama on his reelection and noted the efforts her government employee union made on behalf of that Democrat.

Commenting on a report that President Obama met with Miss Kelley “the day before agency targeted Tea Party“, Ace wonders, as should we all, about the strange coincidence and considers the meaning of the meeting. He surmises how events might have unfolded in circumstances similar to this one, with a hypothetical President Tee meeting with the head of Union N which had supported him politically:

It would seem that President Tee could choose to go outside the normal chain of command to issue an illegal order by simply telling the head of Union N to inform the union members she leads to pursue the policy, rather than issuing a formal order to the head of the IRS.

 Ace spins out an interesting scenario which, given what we know about Chicago politics, does not seem that far-fetched.  That said, I’m with Ace who disagrees with the authors of the report he linked; “I don’t think this meeting is a smoking gun,” but I do think it is significant and news outlets should report it.

And journalists should be asking Jay Carney, in his next press briefing, to tell us what transpired in that meeting.  And they should ask the president as well.  Reporters should be doing what they can to learn what passed between the president and the union boss in March 2010.

UPDATE:  Maybe there is nothing to that meeting.  But, the time is indeed curious.

RELATED:  Over on the National Review’s home page, Andrew Stiles has a good piece on Miss Kelley’s union:

The IRS may be “an independent enforcement agency with only two political appointees,” in the words of White House press secretary Jay Carney, but its employees are represented by a powerful, deeply partisan union whose boss has publicly disparaged the Tea Party and criticized the Republican party for having ties to it.

UP-UPDATE: Doug Powers has more.

Surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging Obama

There is“, writes Gabriel Malor at Ace of Spades,

. . . a fundamental disconnect between the White House’s actions and the White House’s words on the IRS scandal. The White House has repeatedly claimed that the President is “outraged” over the targeting — but there are surprisingly few actual consequences for outraging the leader of the free world. One of the folks involved in harassing conservatives got a promotion. Another got several thousands of dollars in bonuses. Even the thought of legal consequences is tossed aside as “irrelevant.”

The president’s outrage coincides with the story of the IRS scandal hitting the headlines.  Interestingly, as Jonah Goldberg observed on Friday, when people the president “views as his ‘enemies’” first “complained about a politicized IRS, what did he do? Nothing.”

If Obama were truly outraged by the targeting, he would have ordered the IRS to investigate as soon as the first reports became public.  And would use stronger terms than he has.  He would be ordering the Treasury Secretary not just to hold “those responsible for these failures accountable”, but would also be making clear that those responsible could lose their jobs — and face prosecution.

To note, as per Jonah’s point, the president didn’t ask the immediate past Treasury Secretary to take action when the story first came to light.  Nor has he specified how those responsible would be held accountable.

Doesn’t seem like the consequences will be very severe.

Scandal news

All via HotAir.

UPDATE: There seems to be controversy over Pfeiffer’s remark on the IRS scandal, “The law is irrelevant.” Here is his full quote, for context:

“I can’t speak to the law here. The law is irrelevant. The activity was outrageous and inexcusable, and it was stopped and it needs to be fixed so we ensure it never happens again.”

Superficially, Pfeiffer said: The IRS activity was outrageous, regardless of whether it was illegal. Which sounds like taking the high road.

But Washington-speak is notoriously indirect. Pfeiffer may have been saying: The administration/DOJ is giving NO focus to the question of legality, as we intend to have no prosecutions.

To make my view clear: On current information, there should be prosecutions. If the Obama administration won’t send malefactors to court, then the Obama administration isn’t serious about repairing the scandal’s profound moral damage. As Gabe at Ace points out, “…the most obvious of crimes related to the IRS scandal [is] the public release of confidential information, something punishable by up to a year’s jail time.”

UPDATE: Per ABC, Pfeiffer later tweeted “Before folks quoting me out of context get too far ahead of themselves, of course the law matters, IRS conduct is wrong even if legal.”

Again, note Pfeiffer’s posture. While expressing outrage over what the IRS did, he carefully plants the suggestion that it might have been legal – which would mean that no prosecutions are needed. Sorry Mr. Pfeiffer, I don’t think so.

Did the IRS ask progressive groups the same kind of intrusive questions they asked of Tea Party groups? (And if not, why not?)

If as outgoing Acting Internal Revenue Service Director Steven Miller claimed in his testimony before the House Ways and Committee that “politics didn’t play a role” in singling out Tea Party and other groups critical of the Obama administration, could he — or anyone at the IRS for that matter — please identify the “progressive” groups subject to the requests made of right-of-center/libertarian groups, including:

And if these progressive groups were not subject to such scrutiny, could someone at the IRS please explain why not.


UDPATE:  Did they ask any “progressive” groups to agree not to protest any social conservative institutions as a condition of receiving their 501 (c)(4) status from the federal government?

UP-UPDATE: Seems a handful of “progressive” groups were singled out for extra scrutiny: Nonconservative Groups Say IRS Scrutinized Them, Too (Via HotAir headlines).

Jesus, on tax collectors

With apologies to the GayPatriot blog’s many Jewish friends and to its many “secular conservative” atheist/agnostic friends.

My only comment on the following material shall be this summary: It seems that Jesus took note of who was a tax collector and was willing to forgive them, on the premise that they were sinners who obviously needed to repent of their many crimes against their fellow man.

Matthew 9:9-13, English Standard Version (ESV), Jesus Calls Matthew

9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

10 And as Jesus[a] reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 12 But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 15:1-32, English Standard Version (ESV), The Parable of the Lost Sheep (more…)

What took the IRS so long to come clean about the scandal?

A video every American should see:

Scandal central? Or a whole lot of talk that will amount to nothing?

As the scandals engulfing the Obama Administration have proliferated and “gotten legs” this week, many of the conservatives I know or whom I hear on the radio have started drawing comparisons with what happened under Nixon, bringing up the word “impeachment,” and hoping that as  it becomes evident that these activities were not accidents but part of a coordinated strategy, Obama will eventually resign, or at least some of those who hold key posts of power in this administration–such as Eric Holder–will resign and that the Administration will be hopelessly tainted as the truth becomes known.

I hear that talk, and I think, it would be nice, but I can’t see it happening.  Maybe Holder will resign.  Maybe.

I can imagine the press starting to subject the Obama Administration to a little more scrutiny in the future, but “a little more” than none is still only a little bit of scrutiny, hardly enough to make a significant difference in public opinion.  While the outrage surrounding all of this may be enough for the Republicans to hold the House and to gain control in the Senate in 2014, there will still be formidable problems, and we’ll still have a very divided country.  The low-information voters in the electorate will still be willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt because most of them are either unwilling to see him for the cynical, partisan character he is, or they are unable to do so.

It is possible that after a year or two of scandals and after the outrage that is sure to follow the full implementation of Obamacare, Obama will end his second term with even lower approval ratings than George W. Bush ended his, but at this point, I think that’s about the most we can hope for, that, and maybe Holder’s resignation.  I’m not even sure any of this will derail the immigration bill, which is looking more and more like the next legislative disaster coming down the pike.

I’m not trying to be pessimistic, merely practical.  In the lead-up to the election in November, I knew that what happened  with the administration’s lies about Benghazi was an outrage, but after the election, it seemed evident to me that Obama, Hillary, and the entire administration were going to get away without any consequences.  The American voters had failed to demand answers and accountability and had just re-elected Obama.

Now that the scandals are starting to illustrate the kinds of things conservatives have been saying about Obama for years and years now, some liberals are upset with Obama, but others are busy trying to find more ways to blame conservatives for making an issue of the problems.   In one of the most ironic defenses of Obama I have encountered so far, David Axelrod offered the “incompetence” excuse, namely, that the government is just too big for Obama to really know what’s going on, an excuse we are sure to hear echoed in the days ahead.  Forgive me if I can’t forget that in November the American electorate rejected a man who was renowned for his management skills and his ability to lead large organizations successfully, all so they could re-elect the “community organizer.”

So what do our readers think?  Am I just being pessimistic about all this?  Is the investigation of these scandals likely to have real and significant consequences for our government, or are they a lot of talk that will amount to nothing, or at least nothing much?

To those who think IRS snooping was masterminded by rogue agents . . .

. . . please explain why such snooping didn’t occur while George W. Bush was President of the United States.

And as a bonus, for those constantly blaming that man for wanting to destroy his enemies, please provide evidence of him — or his minions — rooting around in confidential government files for details about his political opponents.

IRS Delays Reporting Tea Party Snooping Until After Presidential Election

Some news reports just speak for themselves.

In the Weekly Standard today, Daniel Halper writes:

NBC’s Lisa Myers reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election . . .

The IRS commissioner “has known for at least a year that this was going on,” said Myers, “and that this had happened. And did he share any of that information with the White House? But even more importantly, Congress is going to ask him, why did you mislead us for an entire year? Members of Congress were saying conservatives are being targeted. What’s going on here? The IRS denied it. Then when — after these officials are briefed by the IG that this is going on, they don’t disclose it. In fact, the commissioner sent a letter to Congress in September on this subject and did not reveal this. Imagine if we — if you can — what would have happened if this fact came out in September 2012, in the middle of a presidential election? The terrain would have looked very different.”

Via Ace. Barack Obama’s much vaunted commitment to transparency notwithstanding, that Democrat is more interested in winning elections than in opening the books on his administration.

RELATED: Worse and worse: IRS claimed in 2011 that there were no documents related to scrutiny of tea-party groups

Why did the IRS keep the scandal quiet until after the election?

Before Obama, did IRS ever ask for names of teenage* interns?

I updated a previous post to cite reports that the IRS has requested the names of high school and college kids which conservatives organizations were training/mentoring.

At the National Review today, Andrew Stiles builds on that story:

The tax-collecting agency sought to identify and track student interns at the Leadership Institute, a conservative educational organization based in Virginia.

At around the same time the IRS began its “inappropriate targeting” of conservative organizations applying for nonprofit status — a practice detailed in a Treasury Department inspector general’s report published Tuesday — the agency conducted an audit of the Leadership Institute. The institute has offered workshops, seminars, internships, and other training programs for young conservatives and grassroots activists since its founding in 1979.

. . . .

It is not the only known instance of the IRS seeking information about conservative students. Kevin Kookogey, who founded a conservative mentoring program for high-school and college students in Tennessee, told National Review Online the IRS asked him to “identify the students I’m teaching and what I’m teaching them” as part of his application for 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

So this got me wondering if the IRS had ever previously asked organizations applying for 501(c)(3) or (c)(4) status (or organizations with such status under audit) to name their interns.

Do any of our readers know if that happened before?  I will link any credible report of such requests.

Was the same person (or persons) who crafted the questionnaire the individual (or team) deciding to ask for the names of high school and college kids?

* (more…)

The Real Culprit Isn’t Barack Obama…It’s Just Everything He Stands For…

As damning as the scandal at the IRS (as well as the ones at the HHS, the DoJ, Benghazi, the other ones at the DoJ, etc.) is for the presidency of Barack Obama, I am 100% in agreement with Utah Senator Mike Lee‘s take that the scorn should be much broader:

Unfortunately for the president, his best defense is the same reason Americans should reject his liberal agenda to make the federal government more powerful, more intrusive, and more involved in the decisions we make. The bigger government gets, the less control the president has and the more opportunities there are for abuse.


I’ll have more to say about this soon, and I could cut-and-paste every word in this article, but you might as well just read the whole thing.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from HHQ)

The IRS Scandal gets worse; stay-at-home Mom silenced

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:02 pm - May 16, 2013.
Filed under: Democratic Scandals,IRS/Tea Party Scandal

Remember that moment in Star Wars when Han, Luke, Leia and Chewie land in the trash compactor and the princess trying to make the best of things, sighing, “It could be worse.”  A moment later, they hear the growl of the “garbage creature,” leading Han Solo to quip, “It’s worse.”

The garbage creature just let out another growl.

Ann Althouse reports that the IRS targeted a stay-at-home mother who had set up a Tea Party group:

“Send us your Facebook pages, your Twitter pages,” and I said, “Does that include personal pages?” and they said, “Everything.”  They wanted to know your personal relationships with politicians and political parties. And I asked, “What would happen if I don’t send this to you?” and they said, they made an insinuation like, “Look, it can be considered perjury if you omit things from the IRS.”  I’m a pregnant stay-at-home mother on one income, I thought, “Oh, my goodness, I’m not doing anything.” I stopped.

Via Instapundit. Seems the snooping strategy had the desire effect. It hindered one engaged young woman from actively debating issues of public concern.

She wasn’t the only woman impacted by the IRS intimidation.

When will liberals see?

Only days ago, Obama gave a speech in which, rather than warn us against tyranny, he warned us against the people who go around warning us against tyranny.

The IRS revelations only get worse: From the Washington Examiner yesterday (via Ed Morrissey this morning), we learn that the IRS demanded of a pro-life group – under “perjury of the law”, the IRS staffer’s words – that it not engage in legal Planned Parenthood picketing. And required another pro-life group to furnish detailed plans on its constitutionally-protected speech activities.[1]

This is the same IRS that Obama has been beefing up to enforce Obamacare by demanding ever-greater private information of citizens.

The AP snooping scandal speaks for itself. Now from the GP comments, V the K reminds us of something Obama said in 2008:

We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

Video here.[2]

In these disparate data points, I see a pattern: Obama wants to be a tyrant – while pretending not to. My question is, do liberals really not see the pattern?

I know that some liberals have begun seeing it – and will, for example, condemn the IRS actions – but others don’t. The other day, I noted Julian Bond saying that he thinks conservative groups deserve the IRS harassment. The execrable Bill Maher has joined the fun there.

Obama maintains his democratic pretense by periodically declaring the goodness of his intentions. For example: yes, the other day he called the IRS actions “inexcusable”.

But a troubled President Nixon, as well as actual tyrants like Chavez and worse, also frequently declared their own goodness. So many of Obama’s other words, policies, and actions of his underlings point in a direction opposite to his self-declared goodness. Do liberals really not see? Or are they part of the pretense; de facto pro-tyranny?

[1] (I don’t know the ins and outs of these tax-exemption laws, but I thought that as long as a group would refrain from electioneering for parties/candidates, it would get a pass.)
[2] Students of history will note that the Fascists also believed in having powerful civilian, national security forces, and will be troubled by the weird applause that Obama’s liberal audience gave him for proposing it.

Who wrote the Questionnaire*?
(*that the IRS reserved for Tea Party groups)?

Looking at the “IRS letters to Tea Party groups“, J. Christian Adams found that they “read like an opposition researcher’s fantasy:  demands for the names of volunteers, money, content of speeches, donors, offices, on and on and on.”

An opposition researcher’s fantasy. . . . Wonder if any allies/associates of the president have an expertise in that kind of work.

According to Politico,

The Internal Revenue Service asked tea party groups to see donor rolls.

It asked for printouts of Facebook posts.

And it asked what books people were reading.

A POLITICO review of documents from 11 tea party and conservative groups that the IRS scrutinized in 2012 shows the agency wanted to know everything — in some cases, it even seemed curious what members were thinking. The review included interviews with groups or their representatives from Hawaii, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere.

Asking what books they were reading?  Now why would they ask that?  For what purpose?  And why would they need to see their donor rolls?  (Well, the Obama campaign did slime some pretty prominent Romney donors, a number of who were subject to IRS audits.)
An investigation into this matter will not be complete unless it identifies the author or authors of these questionnaires and deposes them under oath to ask why they crafted the requests they did — and at whose behest.

If a candidate snoops around in the divorce records of his political opponents. . . .

. . . it stands to reason that that man’s minions might be interested in using the IRS to obtain information about his ideological adversaries.

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.

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.