Archive for 2012

Voting Early and Often…and Oftener

Try not to let this story destroy your faith in the integrity of elections

A crosscheck of voter rolls in Virginia and Maryland turned up 44,000 people registered in both states, a vote-integrity group reported Wednesday.

And that’s just the beginning.

Working with the Privileges and Elections committees of the state House and Senate, VVA identified 31,000 dead voters via the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File. Subsequent processing by SBE found 40,000 to 60,000 dead voter registrations.

“Dead voter registrations are prime targets for voter fraud which generate few complaints,” George noted.

More broadly, George said, “Virginia must control the registration process, as well as the form used to register voters. The current system is the perfect vehicle for identity theft and ‘lost’ registrations.”

“There needs to be a clearinghouse for all voter fraud referrals statewide,” he said. “The SBE would be the perfect place to assume that role and provide transparency for the public.”

DeLancy and Wheeler urged the board to open its voter-crosscheck data to the public and to publicize cases of voter fraud.

DeLancy said groups that downplay or dismiss the incidence of ongoing voting irregularities use “pretzel logic.”

Maryland is a solidly Democrat state, but Virginia’s 13 electoral college votes are up for grabs. And grabbing is just what the Democrats do, with all four hands.

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Lyin’ Lois

She takes the 5th:

Former IRS official Lois Lerner refuses to testify at House hearing on tea party targeting.

This is what she had to answer for.

PS: Fireworks ensued:

Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa cut off the hearing minutes into it after Ms. Lerner repeatedly said she would not answer any questions — including refusing to say whether she would ever be ready to answer them.

At that point the hearing devolved into a partisan fight, as Mr. Issa gaveled the matter closed, cutting off the chance for Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the panel, to deliver a statement.

As Mr. Cummings tried to continue, Mr. Issa had the microphones cut, and the two men exchanged harsh words.

It was a dramatic end to what was an otherwise anticlimactic hearing.

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Hey, Tea Party Patriots!

You have been warned:

Good morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. My name is Catherine Engelbrecht. I am the Chairwoman of True the Vote, a nonprofit election integrity organization; the Founder of King Street Patriots, a citizen-led liberty group; and President of Engelbrecht Manufacturing.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my story with you today.

It must be made publicly known that across this country citizens just like me are being targeted by an administration willing to take any action necessary to silence opposition.

My life before I spoke out for good government stands in stark contrast to the life I now lead. As a wife, a mother, and small businesswoman working with my husband, raising our children and participating in my church and PTA, the government collected my taxes and left me and my family in peace. But when I helped found and led True the Vote and King Street Patriots, I found myself a target of this federal government.

Target? Isn’t that eliminationist rhetoric?

Well, yeah:

Shortly after filing IRS forms to establish 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organizations, an assortment of federal entities – including law enforcement agencies and a Congressman from Maryland, Elijah Cummings – came knocking at my door. In nearly two decades of running our small business, my husband and I never dealt with any government agency, outside of filing our annual tax returns. We had never been audited, we had never been investigated, but all that changed upon submitting applications for the non-profit statuses of True the Vote and King Street Patriots. Since that filing in 2010, my private businesses, my nonprofit organizations, and family have been subjected to more than 15 instances of audit or inquiry by federal agencies.

In 2011, my personal and business tax returns were audited by the Internal Revenue Service, each audit going back for a number of years.

In 2012, my business was subjected to inspection by OSHA, on a select occasion when neither my husband nor I were present, and though the agency wrote that it found nothing serious or significant, it still issued fines in excess of $20,000.
In 2012 and again in 2013 the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms conducted comprehensive audits at my place business.
Beginning in 2010, the FBI contacted my nonprofit organization on six separate occasions – wanting to cull through membership manifests in conjunction with domestic terrorism cases. They eventually dropped all matters and have now redacted nearly all my files.

All of these incursions into my affairs began after filing applications for tax-exemption. There is no other remarkable event, no other reason, to explain away how for decades I went unnoticed, but now find myself on the receiving end of interagency coordination into and against all facets of my life, both public and private.

Bear in mind, distinguished ladies and gentlemen of this sub-committee, these events were occuring while the IRS was subjecting me to multiple rounds of abusive inquiries, with requests to provide every Facebook and Twitter entry I’d every posted, questions about my political aspirations, and demands to know the names of every group I’d ever made presentations to, the content of what I’d said, and where I intended to speak for the coming year. The answers to these sorts of questions are not of interest to the typical IRS analyst, but they are of great interest to a political machine that puts its own survival above the civil liberties of any private citizen.

I usually refer to this scandal as the IRS scandal. I stand corrected. While the IRS is the most visible government agency, they are ably assisted by the FEC, FBI, ATF, OSHA and Elijah Cummings.

Elijah Cummings?

I also refuse to let a precedent be set that allows Members of Congress, particularly the Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to misrepresent this governing body in an effort to demonize and intimidate citizens. Three times, Representative Elijah Cummings sent letters to True the Vote, demanding much of the same information that the IRS had requested. Hours after sending letters, he would appear on cable news and publicly defame me and my organization.

Such as?

“On October 12, 2012, the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights issued a report concluding that True the Vote’s poll monitoring efforts in North Carolina appear to be aimed at African American and other minority communities that historically have voted for Democratic candidates,” Cummings wrote. “According to the author, the information in the report demonstrates that your organization has a ‘highly partisan and political agenda to deny African Americans and Latinos, specifically, the right to vote.’”

Cummings said any efforts to intentionally and improperly challenge the rights of minority voters to go to the polling booth “could amount to a criminal conspiracy to deny legitimate voters their Constitutional rights.”

Is it any wonder Barack Obama won reelection with so many levels of government—executive and legislative—bullying the opposition into submission? I’m only surprised he didn’t win with a Saddam Hussein-sized majority (unanimity). Ms. Englebrecht has been put through the liberal fascist wood-chipper.

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State of the Bunion

Actually, I have a higher opinion of President Obama: he’s a pain in the ass, not the foot.

People for the American Way, founded in 1981 by television producer Norman Lear, makes no secret that it is an advocate of a “wide variety of liberal causes.” The nonprofit’s 501 tax-exempt status has never been challenged by the Internal Revenue Service.

It’s a different story for Friends of Abe, a right-leaning Hollywood group whose membership includes actors Gary Sinise, Jon Voight and Kelsey Grammer. The nonprofit’s application for tax-exempt status has been “under review” by President Obama’s IRS for two years.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that the federal tax authorities presented Friends of Abe (as in Abraham Lincoln) with a 10-point demand for detailed information about its meetings with various conservative political figures.

That follows a previous IRS demand that Friends of Abe give its enforcers enhanced access to its security-protected website, enabling the feds to identify the group’s members.

The agency’s demands on the Hollywood nonprofit raise renewed suspicion that the IRS continues to target conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they apply for tax-exempt status; continues to hold right-leaning groups like Friends of Abe to a different standard than unabashed liberal groups like People for the American Way.

The IRS hasn’t been been punished in the least for its disenfranchisement of American citizens, delivering the 2012 election to Obama. They couldn’t have been more intimidating if they had worn black fatigues and berets and carried truncheons.

Oh sorry, that was 2008:

James Taranto addressed this story yesterday:

FOA members have good reason to fear being identified to the IRS. Last year the agency was revealed to have leaked confidential donor information about the National Organization for Marriage to the Human Rights Campaign, an antagonist in the debate over same-sex marriage. HRC promptly posted the purloined information online. LifeSiteNews.com reported in October that congressional investigators had identified the leaker, “but in an ironic twist, the Internal Revenue Service is forbidden from disclosing whether the employee has been prosecuted, fired, or even reprimanded.”

The IRS’s intrusive tactics thus have a chilling effect on people who wish to exercise their First Amendment right of free association without attracting public attention–or, more precisely, the attention of vicious ideological antagonists. Even calling attention to those tactics can compound the problem, as illustrated by FOA’s need to reassure its members in the wake of the Times story. The gradual accretion of power by a vast administrative state, combined with an administration intolerant of dissent, has produced a clear and present danger to basic American freedoms.

Remember one of the demands by the IRS on one of the Tea Part groups?

“Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.”

I’m pretty sure that violates some part of the Constitution—maybe the part about not coveting your neighbor’s donkey—but I know for a fact it’s one of the most poorly constructed sentences ever written in what I take to be English.

Obama has seen what he’s gotten away with so far, and just keeps going. The executive branch will now ignore the legislative, leaving only the judicial branch as a check or balance. How you feeling about our chances?

Me neither.

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Heads and Tales

Oscar Levant once noted: “Strip away the phony tinsel of Hollywood and you’ll find the real tinsel underneath.”

Same goes with Barack Obama:

On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, Barack Obama sat in the office cabin of Air Force One wearing a look of heavy-lidded annoyance. The Affordable Care Act, his signature domestic achievement and, for all its limitations, the most ambitious social legislation since the Great Society, half a century ago, was in jeopardy. His approval rating was down to forty per cent—lower than George W. Bush’s in December of 2005, when Bush admitted that the decision to invade Iraq had been based on intelligence that “turned out to be wrong.” Also, Obama said thickly, “I’ve got a fat lip.”

That morning, while playing basketball at F.B.I. headquarters, Obama went up for a rebound and came down empty-handed; he got, instead, the sort of humbling reserved for middle-aged men who stubbornly refuse the transition to the elliptical machine and Gentle Healing Yoga. This had happened before. In 2010, after taking a self-described “shellacking” in the midterm elections, Obama caught an elbow in the mouth while playing ball at Fort McNair. He wound up with a dozen stitches. The culprit then was one Reynaldo Decerega, a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Decerega wasn’t invited to play again, though Obama sent him a photograph inscribed “For Rey, the only guy that ever hit the President and didn’t get arrested. Barack.”

Oh the wit! The banter! The bons mots! And with a gratuitous swipe at George Bush. This could only be The New Yorker (or Harper’s, or The Atlantic, The New Republic, or every other glossy magazine).

Usually, Obama spends Sundays with his family. Now he was headed for a three-day fund-raising trip to Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, rattling the cup in one preposterous mansion after another. The prospect was dispiriting. Obama had already run his last race, and the chances that the Democratic Party will win back the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections are slight. The Democrats could, in fact, lose the Senate.

Obama spent his flight time in the private quarters in the nose of the plane, in his office compartment, or in a conference room. At one point on the trip from Andrews Air Force Base to Seattle, I was invited up front for a conversation. Obama was sitting at his desk watching the Miami Dolphins–Carolina Panthers game. Slender as a switch, he wore a white shirt and dark slacks; a flight jacket was slung over his high-backed leather chair.

Let me quote another wit, and contemporary of Oscar Levant, Dorothy Parker: “And it is that word ‘hummy,’ my darlings, that marks the first place in The House at Pooh Corner at which Tonstant Weader fwowed up.”

“Preposterous” mansions, “dispiriting” prospects—the poor lad flies in unmatched comfort to be feted by the high and mighty, and still lays his head on his own pillow that night. Oh, and about his spending Sundays with his family? That’s if he got a round of golf in on Saturday. If not, it’s hasta la vista, babies.

I don’t have no journalistic training, but it seems to me that a behind the scenes, warts and all profile might want to include a few warts. (“Slender as a switch”? Gag. How about “Skinny as a bean pole”?)

Warts:

A new documentary about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney premiered Friday night at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The film, “Mitt,” is an extraordinarily intimate look at the former Massachusetts governor as he ran for president twice, in 2008 and 2012.

[F]or viewers who follow politics closely, especially for Republicans who desperately wanted to defeat Barack Obama, there is a revelation in “Mitt” that is not just unexpected but deeply disheartening. At a critical moment in the campaign — the two weeks in October encompassing the first and second general election debates — the Romney portrayed in “Mitt” struggled with a nagging pessimism and defeatism, unable to draw confidence even from a decisive initial debate victory over President Obama. Deep down inside, the Romney seen onscreen in “Mitt” seems almost resigned to losing to Obama in those crucial showdowns.

Then came the debate. Romney gave a dominating, near-perfect performance, while Obama struggled. The president didn’t even hit Romney on “47 percent.” It was a smashing victory, a big, big win for Romney.

Such a clear-cut triumph would seem a huge confidence-builder, but afterward, Romney seemed mostly concerned that Obama would come back and beat him badly the next time. “Sitting presidents have a very hard time in these debates,” Romney told the family. “They feel like, who is this whippersnapper coming up here who knows nothing? And so they don’t prepare, and they just think they can waltz through it. Then they get crushed in the first debate, and then they come back.”

“He’ll be better next time,” Ann said, as always trying to build her husband’s confidence. “But you can be better next time, too.”

Romney wasn’t buying it. Instead, he went into an extended monologue on how his father, former Michigan Gov. George Romney, was a better man than he will ever be. As he spoke, Romney held the notes he had made during the debate (candidates are not allowed to bring any notes with them to the stage, but are allowed to make them during the debate). Romney pointed out that in every debate he began by writing “Dad” at the top of the paper.

“That’s what I start with: ‘Dad,’” Romney explained. “I always think about Dad and about I am standing on his shoulders. I would not be there, there’s no way I would be able to be running for president, if Dad hadn’t done what Dad did. He’s the real deal …”

“You’re the real deal,” said one of Romney’s sons.

Romney didn’t pause. “The guy was born in Mexico. He didn’t have a college degree. He became head of a car company and became a governor. It would have never entered my mind to be in politics, how can you go from his beginning to think, I can be head of a car company, I can run for governor, I can run for president?”

Romney wasn’t finished. “The gap — for me, I started where he ended up. I started off with money and education, Harvard Business School, Harvard Law School. For me it’s moving that far” — Romney held two fingers close together — “for him, it’s like that,” Romney said, holding his arms wide apart.

Do you think Obama has those same feelings about his father? Do you think he has any feelings about his father? Bill Ayers did, but Obama?

This humanizes Romney, but it also greatly disappoints. I often said of him that he was every Republican’s third choice; but at the end, he was the party’s choice. We needed—deserved—a better showing.

And he knew that better than anyone:

“I cannot believe that [Obama] is an aberration in the country. I believe we’re following the same path of every other great nation, which is we’re following greater government, tax rich people, promise more stuff to everybody, borrow until you go over a cliff. And I think we have a very high risk of reaching the tipping point sometime in the next five years. And the idea of saying ‘it’s just fine, don’t worry about it’ — no, it’s really not.”

That was the case to make, Mitt, and you didn’t make it. History is made of great eras and great men and women. The decline of America hastened by Obama needed a great man to reverse it. We didn’t have one in Mitt Romney. Sadly, he knew that better than anybody, too.

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Obama Steals Election, Obama Least Outraged

Just some “folks” in Cincinnati:

OBAMA: That’s not — that’s not something that’s reported about. If, on the other hand, you’ve got an office in Cincinnati, in the IRS office that — I think, for bureaucratic reasons, is trying to streamline what is a difficult law to interpret about whether a nonprofit is actually a political organization deserves a tax exempt agency. And they’ve got a list, and suddenly everybody’s outraged.

MATTHEWS: 501(c)(4) is tricky to begin with, how to define it.

OBAMA: To begin with.

Your Christian faith. Thanks, Chris.

You know who was outraged at the time?

Obama told reporters Monday morning, “that’s outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions, people have to be held accountable and it has got to be fixed… I’ve got no patience with it.”

Obama also accepted the anger among conservatives as legitimate. “This is something I think people are properly concerned,” he said.

What happened to “outrageous”, “contrary to our traditions”? Where did he find “patience” with it? Lois Lerner and Steven Miller resigned over an office in Cincinnati? Douglas Schulman visited Obama 137 times to discuss “streamlining”? (When he met Sebelius just once since the passage of Obamacare?)

What a skunk.

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Let Obama Be Obama… Says Obama

With the publication of Game Change, every thought Sarah Palin had (and she had more than a few, you left-wing sexists) was front page news.

So, how come the sequel, Double Down, might as well have been printed in a plain brown wrapper?

In the fall of 2011, they recount, “All too often, Obama felt as if he were driving with his foot on the brake.”

In a strategy meeting with his political advisers, Obama brought up climate change as an example of his undue caution. According to Halperin and Heilemann, the president said: “Maybe I should just come out and say what I really feel about this. Maybe I should just go out and say what I think about everything.”

Longtime adviser Robert Gibbs noted maps showing how he could struggle to get to 270 electoral votes, and he quipped, “Well, Mr. President, I don’t really see a Bulworth scenario in here.”

Nonetheless, it was decided that the president would come back to the next meeting with a list of issues he wanted to be bolder and more forthright about. At that session, he brought to the Roosevelt Room a stack of pages from a yellow legal pad on which he had scrawled his more heartfelt initiatives.

What were they? Climate change. “We’re never gonna outdrill the other guys,” he said. “We gotta take some risks on this issue.”

Immigration reform. His Latino allies were right that he had been too timid.

Poverty. He needed to do more.

Peace between “Israel and Palestine.” He had let politics get in the way of working toward a settlement.

Closing Gitmo. Again, he hadn’t tried hard enough. “No one is gonna persuade me that we should run a penal colony in perpetuity in America,” he said.

Gay marriage. He didn’t want to keep dissembling about his real position.

“Taken in sum, Obama’s list was a revealing document,” Halperin and Heilemann write. “He believed that over the past three years his progressive impulses had too often been trumped by the demands of pragmatism. That he had trimmed his sails in just the way his critics on the left had charged.”

Some of the aides thought Obama was sketching out a rough second-term agenda, but Chief of Staff Bill Daley had a different thought, according to the authors: “Holy sh**. We have a bunch of leakers here. I hope to God this doesn’t get out.”

Good job by you, Bill, it didn’t.

The president ran an almost entirely empty campaign based on attacking Mitt Romney, so much so that it bothered even the president.

Halperin and Heilemann describe in detail President Obama’s debate prep following the disaster in Denver. After one particularly awful practice session, Obama’s advisers staged an intervention, frankly telling him how poorly he was doing.

Obama admitted he was struggling. He said it was because he was a lawyer and had a natural tendency to over-explain, but that it also came from the vapidity of his own campaign. Halperin and Heilemann call it “Obama’s despair about his lack of an agenda.”

“You keep telling me I can’t spend too much time defending my record and that I should talk about my plans,” the president said, in Halperin and Heilemann’s paraphrase. “But my plans aren’t anything like the plans I ran on in 2008. I had a universal health-care plan then. Now I’ve got . . . what? A manufacturing plan? What am I gonna do on education? What am I gonna do on energy? There’s not much there.”

“There’s not much there.” Even that sounds like hyperbole now.

Will the mainstream media report this? Will they allow that they were duped? Not likely. They were and are willing dupes. They were and are accessories to the duping itself.

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IRS… CIA… FUBAR

[To be sung to the theme of Mickey Mouse]

I don’t actually think President Obama is so devious as to concoct foreign policy disasters to take attention away from his domestic fiascos—but it’s working:

Congress’s investigation into the IRS targeting of conservatives has been continuing out of the Syria headlines, and it’s turning up news. Emails unearthed by the House Ways and Means Committee between former Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and her staff raise doubts about IRS claims that the targeting wasn’t politically motivated and that low-level employees in Cincinnati masterminded the operation.

In a February 2011 email, Ms. Lerner advised her staff—including then Exempt Organizations Technical Manager Michael Seto and then Rulings and Agreements director Holly Paz—that a Tea Party matter is “very dangerous,” and is something “Counsel and [Lerner adviser] Judy Kindell need to be in on.” Ms. Lerner adds, “Cincy should probably NOT have these cases.”

That’s a different tune than the IRS sang in May when former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller said the agency’s overzealous enforcement was the work of two “rogue” employees in Cincinnati. When the story broke, Ms. Lerner suggested that her office had been unaware of the pattern of targeting until she read about it in the newspaper.

We noted two days ago, meanwhile, that the lies about Benghazi are breeding like maggots (who don’t breed, I know, but I like the imagery):

But what is perhaps most striking is the inconsistencies: the US version of events compared with those of witnesses and the facts on the ground. The two do not tally. And so, a year later, there remain pressing questions about what happened that night – and what the Americans say happened.

It can’t be stated often enough: the Tea Party movement that swung the 2010 midterm election was bullied, intimidated, sidetracked out of 2012. The mainstream media won’t talk about it, but self-identified Tea Partiers are (or should be) pi**ed off like never before. And they don’t get mad, they get even.

And if Hillary can survive, when Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty did not, this country deserves the failed leadership it gets.

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Looking Out for Israel

When President Obama told Israel we had its back, who knew this was what he meant?

Acting IRS commissioner Danny Werfel on Monday told reporters that the now-infamous “Be On The Lookout” list was far broader than originally disclosed in the Treasury Department inspector general’s report. News accounts in outlets such as the Associated Press and Bloomberg News supported Werfel’s claim, indicating that terms on the list ran the gamut, politically speaking, from “tea party” to “progressive” and “occupy,” and even to groups whose applications included the word “Israel.”

Lest you think this pogrom against Americans spread beyond Conservative-Americans:

A November 2010 version of the list obtained by National Review Online, however, suggests that while the list did contain the word “progressive,” screeners were instructed to treat progressive groups differently from tea-party groups. Whereas they were merely alerted that a designation of 501(c)(3) status “may not be appropriate” for progressive groups — 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from conducting any political activity — they were told to send applications from tea-party groups off to IRS higher-ups for further scrutiny.

That means the applications of progressive organizations could be approved by line agents on the spot, while those of tea-party groups could not.

Further, remember that a denial could be appealed; much more effective was to stall, to follow page upon page of questions with more pages of questions and clarifications: “Please detail the content of the members of your organization’s prayers.”

And remember that such stalling was (almost?) exclusively targeted at conservative groups.

Tea Party Americans helped shape the conservative realignment in the 2010 midterm elections. By 2012, they had been disenfranchised. Along with supporters of Israel, their political voice had been gagged. Like IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, they had been kidnapped and held hostage for the duration of the election.

The state of Limbo has no electoral college votes. If it had, Mitt Romney would be president and Barack Obama would be consulting very expensive lawyers.

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The Face of Voter Intimidation

2008:

2012:

James Taranto explains:

President Asterisk

This column is not alone in thinking it’s possible the Internal Revenue Service stole last year’s election. Economist Stan Veuger describes new research he conducted with colleagues at Stockholm University and Harvard:

[We] set out to find out how much impact the Tea Party had on voter turnout in the 2010 election. We compared areas with high levels of Tea Party activity to otherwise similar areas with low levels of Tea Party activity, using data from the Census Bureau, the FEC, news reports, and a variety of other sources. We found that the effect was huge: the movement brought the Republican Party some 3 million-6 million additional votes in House races. That is an astonishing boost, given that all Republican House candidates combined received fewer than 45 million votes. It demonstrates conclusively how important the party’s newly energized base was to its landslide victory in those elections. . . .

President Obama’s margin of victory in some of the key swing states was fairly small: a mere 75,000 votes separated the two contenders in Florida, for example. That is less than 25% of our estimate of what the Tea Party’s impact in Florida was in 2010. Looking forward to 2012 in 2010 undermining the Tea Party’s efforts there must have seemed quite appealing indeed. . . .

It might be purely accidental that the government targeted precisely this biggest threat to the president. It may just be that a bureaucracy dominated by liberals picked up on not-so-subtle dog whistles from its political leadership. Or, it might be that direct orders were given.
As we’ve repeatedly emphasized, the possibility that the IRS was acting under orders from the White House, as alarming as it is, is far less so than the “dog whistle” alternative. If the IRS did the bidding of the party in power without having to be ordered, then the federal government itself, not just the current administration, is so corrupt as to call into question the very integrity of American democracy.

Mark Steyn has made the same point:

[L]et’s take the president at his word that the existence of this shadowy IRS entity working deep within the even shadowier U.S. Treasury planted in deep cover within the shadowiest conspiracy of them all, this murky hitherto unknown organization called “the Executive Branch,” that all this was news to him. What that means then is not that this or that elected politician is corrupt but that the government of the United States is corrupt.

Hundreds and hundreds of groups were consigned to the purgatory of “pending” — a term for IRS customers not as favored as Malik Obama can stretch leisurely from six months to ten to twenty to thirty, and beyond. When the most lavishly funded government on the planet comes after you, eventual guilt or innocence is irrelevant: The process is the punishment.

Americans are fearless if some guy pulls some stunt in a shopping mall, but an IRS assault is brutal and unending. Many activists faded away, and the media began writing stories about how the Tea Party had peaked; they were over; they wouldn’t be a factor in 2012. And so it proved. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out the other day, the plan worked.

More accurately, this was the face of voter suppression 2012:


Hey, bitter clingers! How’s my a** taste?

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Your Terrorist Atrocity is Very Important to Us…

Your wait is approximately… eight… months:

A source familiar with the creation of the ad says the RNC leadership approved the ad but it was scrapped at the last minute because of objections from the Romney campaign, which was concerned the ad would distract from Romney’s efforts to focus on the economy.

“White House Situation Room, this is Terri, how may I direct your call?”

The ad certainly issues a challenge, stakes a claim. It can’t be ignored. Romney was wrong to kill it. But while we can agree that he could have handled the situation better, he probably couldn’t have handled it successfully. The media not only stonewalled the story, they pushed back. Candy Crowley shut him down in the debate (later “regretting” it); any discussion of the story was met with derisive snarls of politicization; details were denied, cover stories adhered to.

It was not Romney’s place to conduct a review, or even demand one—it was the responsibility, the duty, of the press. Instead of doing their duty, they did diddly. With few exceptions (C-Span 3??? Who knew there was one?), they’re still doing diddly.

But it happened a long time ago. And Chris Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty are still dead.

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And the Winner Is…

I must say it was compelling television. To watch someone so in charge, so much the master of the whole picture, from grand strategy to the smallest detail.

I refer, of course, to Bill Belichick on “A Football Life: Cleveland ’95″.

Why, was there something else on?

James Carville told his fellow CNN panelists that, despite his support for President Barack Obama, he has to admit that it looked like GOP challenger Mitt Romney had a better performance.

“I had one overwhelming impression,” he said. “I did everything I could not to reach it, but it looked like Romney wanted to be there and President Obama didn’t want to be there.”

He continued: “It seemed like Romney was happy to be there. Obama gave me the impression that the whole thing was kind a lot of trouble.”

Well, to him, it was.

Other right-wing nut jobs were even nastier:

MSNBC host Ed Schultz displayed disappointment in the debate performance of President Barack Obama facing off against Mitt Romney.

“I was disappointed in the president tonight,” said Schultz. “The president had an opportunity tonight – he created a problem for himself on Social Security tonight: he agrees with Mitt Romney.”

Schultz went on to say that Obama failed to explain his position on the economy either. “I thought he was off his game,” Schultz said. “I was absolutely stunned tonight.”

He wasn’t the only one:

Bill Maher took to Twitter tonight presumably to root for Barack Obama during the first presidential debate, but ended up expressing a great deal of disappointment in the president’s performance.

Or just call Sarah Palin a c**t, right Bill?

Speaking of…

Sarah Palin panned President Barack Obama‘s debate performance while heaping heavy praise upon fellow Republican Mitt Romney‘s showing.

“I almost felt sorry for him…

Typical soft-headed liberal reaction.

This is more like it:

Especially Chris Matthews, the host who infamously said that the president sent a “thrill” up his leg during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Clearly disappointed in Obama’s performance, Matthews lamented to host Rachel Maddow: “This tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate, was it? It just wasn’t,” he said.

“I don’t know what he was doing out there. He had his head down. He was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney came out with a campaign,” continued Matthews.

This matters. Today. In November, who knows?

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