Archive for Barack Ilyich Obama

Number 32 With a Bullet

To the head:

On Monday the Tax Foundation, which manages the widely followed State Business Tax Climate Index, will launch a new global benchmark, the International Tax Competitiveness Index. According to the foundation, the new index measures “the extent to which a country’s tax system adheres to two important principles of tax policy: competitiveness and neutrality.”

A competitive tax code is one that limits the taxation of businesses and investment. Since capital is mobile and businesses can choose where to invest, tax rates that are too high “drive investment elsewhere, leading to slower economic growth,” as the Tax Foundation puts it.

The index takes into account more than 40 tax policy variables. And the inaugural ranking puts the U.S. at 32nd out of 34 industrialized countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

One small correction: the authors of the study list Slovenia and Slovakia separately when everyone knows they’re the same thing. And is there really a Switzerland and a Sweden? Someone should clean that up.

Aside from that, however:

Any day now the White House and Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) will attempt to raise taxes on business, while making the U.S. tax code even more complex. The Obama and Schumer plans to punish businesses for moving their legal domicile overseas will arrive even as a new international ranking shows that the U.S. tax burden on business is close to the worst in the industrialized world. Way to go, Washington.

With the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate at over 39% including state levies, plus a rare demand that money earned overseas should be taxed as if it were earned domestically, the U.S. is almost in a class by itself. It ranks just behind Spain and Italy, of all economic humiliations. America did beat Portugal and France, which is currently run by an avowed socialist.

The new ranking is especially timely coming amid the campaign led by Messrs. Obama and Schumer to punish companies that move their legal domicile overseas to be able to reinvest future profits in the U.S. without paying the punitive American tax rate. If they succeed, the U.S. could fall to dead last on next year’s ranking. Now there’s a second-term legacy project for the President.

And people wonder why Recovery Summer V has been no more successful than Recover Summers I-IV. (People wonder, but the media seem not to.)

But get a load of this remedy. Are you sitting down?

Rather than erecting an iron tax curtain that keeps U.S. companies from escaping, the White House and Congress should enact reform that invites more businesses to stay or move to the U.S.

OMG! You are one bad-ass newspaper, WSJ. Next you’ll be arguing for a cut in the capital gains tax rate:

A rising tide lifts all boats, but Obama warned us that the tide would stop rising if he were elected president. One promise he kept.

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El Presidente

As usual, it’s not Obama’s hypocrisy and dishonesty that galls so much, but the media’s justification of same:

President Obama will delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections, bowing to pressure from fellow Democrats who feared that acting now could doom his party’s chances this fall, White House officials said on Saturday.

The decision is a reversal of Mr. Obama’s vow to issue broad directives to overhaul the immigration system soon after summer’s end, and sparked swift anger from immigration advocates. The president made the promise on June 30, in the Rose Garden, where he angrily denounced Republican obstruction and said he would use the power of his office to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation.

“Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the president believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections,” a White House official said. “Because he wants to do this in a way that’s sustainable, the president will take action on immigration before the end of the year.”

The “Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue”??? How did they even bring themselves to print those words? Obama has been the biggest demagogue on amnesty north of the Rio Grande. For him now to lose what cojones he has for the basest of political stunts would be comic if… well, it’s just comic.

Tragicomic, maybe:

A lawless amnesty decree is bad enough, but openly saying you’re going to issue such a decree only after the people have had a chance to vote is much worse. Every Republican candidate in the House and Senate needs to make clear that, whatever your views on the substance of immigration policy, a vote for any Democrat is a vote for caesarism, for presidential rule by decree. There’s actually a good deal of support for that on the hard left, but most people, of all descriptions, recoil from Obama’s promised power grab.

Note that it’s a “promised” power grab; the AP report notes “the officials said Obama had no specific timeline to act, but that he still would take his executive steps before the end of the year.” So this isn’t some teabagger conspiracy fantasy, but a promise to decree sweeping extra-constitutional changes to the law, but just to do it around Thanksgiving or Christmas to avoid electoral fallout.

I thought the Democrats would lose big in November, but because of ObamaCare. They still might, but this cynical power-grab is such a lavish gift, it makes ObamaCare look like a necktie or a pair of socks under the tree. Scott Brown, et al: you know what to do, or ought to.

PS: With the possible added benefit of so angering pro-amnesty voters that they will stay home. Nice work, O.

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Can You Blame Her?

If I had done half the [bleep] Lois Lerner had, I’d have taken a flame thrower to my hard drive:

Judicial Watch today released a new batch of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) email documents revealing that under former IRS official Lois Lerner, the agency seems to acknowledge having needlessly solicited donor lists from non-profit political groups.

The new documents obtained by Judicial Watch also reveal that 75% of the groups from whom the lists were solicited were apparently conservative, with only 5% being liberal.

That’s a ratio of 15:1, my liberal friends. Still care to dispute that the chief witch in the IRS was on a witch hunt herself?

I didn’t think you did.

The documents came in response to an October 2013 Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service (No. 1:13-cv-01559)) filed against the IRS after the agency refused to respond to four FOIA requests dating back to May, 2013.

Key parts of this email and other documents the IRS produced to Judicial Watch have been blacked out. (Many of the documents are completely blacked out (or partially redacted) seemingly because they are allegedly “pre-decisional” or “deliberative,” information that might be exempt from disclosure under FOIA. The Obama administration’s decision to withhold this information is completely discretionary and is not required by law.)

The IRS ignored four previous FOIA requests, finally responding with a heavily-censored batch of emails and other documents.

In which we learn:

A subsequent IRS email thread on June 27, 2012, revealed that inappropriately obtained donor lists were being used for a “secret research project” and that a top official wanted then-Acting IRS Commissioner Steve Miller to decide how to handle the issue.

The documents produced do not detail the “secret research project” nor disclose how the IRS used the donor names the agency improperly obtained.

Alas, the subject of the “secret research project” was redacted. But doesn’t that make you feel special, conservatives? Any donor to any cause deemed unseemly by the IRS might have been part of this “secret research project”. (Isn’t that what Mengele called his research?)

Anyway, we know one thing the IRS did with the donor lists:

Then-IRS Commissioner Miller initially testified to Congress on May 17, 2013 that “instructions had been given to destroy any donor lists,” but donor lists were actually produced to the House Ways and Means Committee four months later. The House Ways and Means Committee also announced at May 7, 2014 hearing that, after scores of conservative groups provided donor information “to the IRS, nearly one in ten donors were subject to audit.” In 2011, as many as five donors to one conservative (c)(4) organization were audited, according to the Wall Street Journal. And this past June, the IRS admitted wrongdoing in releasing the conservative National Organization for Marriage’s (NOM) confidential tax return and donor list, which were published in March 2012 by the Human Rights Campaign. The Human Rights Campaign is the chief political rival to NOM; its outgoing president had been named a national co-chair of the Obama Reelection Campaign. The IRS reportedly agreed to pay NOM $50,000 to settle the lawsuit.

But it may be this exchange that puts Lois’s left-leaning proclivities in the least likeable light:

Shortly after this email exchange, another email chain on June 28 between Lerner and Holly Paz, the former director of the Office of Rulings and Agreements, shows that Lerner believed that the TIGTA and congressional inquiries into the IRS’s practices were “dangerous”:

June 28, 2012 8:57 AM — Paz to Lerner: “Now TIGTA wants to talk to me. I am guessing they read this morning’s paper. [Apparent reference to Wall Street Journal article concerning IRS scrutiny of Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS tax exempt status]Will keep you posted.”

June 28, 2012 9:13 AM — Lerner to Paz: “Not alone. Wait til I am there.”

June 28, 2012 09:17 AM — Paz to Lerner: “Sorry. Too late. He already called me. It was not about WSJ. Just him trying to get better understanding of the scope of the [House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave] Camp [R-MI] request.”

June 28, 2012 8:22 AM [9:22 most probably]— Lerner to Paz: “Just as dangerous. I’ll talk to you soon. Be there in half hour.”

As I say, I’d throw my computer into Hell’s Canyon if it had this much incriminating evidence on it. And I’d plead the 5th on advice of counsel too.

One last lie to dispel: the low-level workers in Cincinnati:

The new documents also include emails further contradicting President Obama’s February 2014 excuse that the IRS targeting was entirely the fault of “bonehead decisions in local offices.” Obama was parroting Lois Lerner’s May 2013 claim that the targeting of conservative groups was the fault of “low-level” employees in Cincinnati for the targeting of conservative groups. In the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, Lerner and other top IRS officials made it clear that no “advocacy” applications should be approved or denied without express approval from Lerner’s office in Washington, DC:

June 20, 2012: — Email from IRS attorney Michael C. Seton to managers in Exempt Organizations division defining targeted groups’ approval procedures:
Please inform the reviewers and staff in your groups that before issuing any favorable or initial denial rulings on any cases with advocacy issues, the reviewers must notify me and you [Lerner and other senior IRS staffers] via e -mail and get our approval. No favorable or initial denial rulings can be issued without your and my approval.

That lie is almost as bad as the “anti-Muslim video” they blamed for Benghazi.I’m tempted to say it’s worse, but no one died. Only Democracy.

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The People Who Brought You the Weekend…and Low Productivity

I could not let Labor Day pass without my own tribute to the sacrifices made by the working men and women of this country.

I’m so sorry you had to sit through this:

Vice President Joe Biden railed against corporations in a combative Labor Day Parade speech in Detroit with union bosses and their members in attendance – speaking with such passion that even when he made up the name of a fictional historical American president the crowd applauded.

“Why do CEO’s now make 333 times more money than the line worker when back when [WAGER?] was president, they made 25 times what the line worker,” Biden said (10:40). “What happened? What happened?”

President who? Wager? President Way-gur? Did the vice president start saying “Reagan” and then realize halfway through that he shouldn’t? Or did he just make the name up?

But it wasn’t the text that tripped Biden up. It was the optics.

Untitled

Even on Labor Day, it’s not a good look to appear next to someone named “Jimmy” and “Hoffa”.

This is how you do populism for the folks:

We used to call that a “work shirt”. I don’t know what made it a work shirt, but it had to be blue. Check.

But what about the background guys, so heavily vetted by the Obama PR machine? AFSCME I get: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. SEIU in green shirts, instead of purple.

But what about the guy in the red shirt with the clenched fist? What’s that all about? I thought Obama was the first Post-Clenched-Fist™ president.

And the symbolism! Soviet Communism, anyone?

A-ha!

Now it all makes sense.

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Nice Bank Ya Got There

Shame if somethin’ happened to it:

Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder’s record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation’s largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.

In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.

According to the list provided by Justice, those groups include come of the most radical bank shakedown organizations in the country, including:

• La Raza, which pressures banks to expand their credit box to qualify more low-income Latino immigrants for home loans;

• National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington’s most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;

• Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, whose director calls himself a “bank terrorist;”

• Operation Hope, a South Central Los Angeles group that’s pressuring banks to make “dignity mortgages” for deadbeats.

Worse, one group eligible for BofA slush funds is a spin-off of Acorn Housing’s branch in New York.

He’s written back-door funding for Democrat groups into other major bank deals he’s brokered, including the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement and the $7 billion Citibank deal. They stand to reap millions more from those deals.

I never really understood the concept of “predatory lending” anyway. It implies—heck, it all but shouts—that the recipients were too stupid to understand the terms of their loans. You wouldn’t catch me claiming that.

But also the banks were all but ordered to increase mortgage loans to “marginal” neighborhoods: no more “red-lining”. How is it a scandal (let alone a surprise) that many people who wouldn’t have qualified for a loan under typical terms failed to keep up with a mortgage practically gifted to them?

I do see a conflict if the government both requires loans to unqualified borrowers and guarantees the loans if the borrowers default. That’s just free money for the banks, who can lend with abandon, without regard to financials, knowing someone will pay them. But that’s at least as much the fault of government as it is of the banks. Capitalism works if there’s a possibility of profit and a threat of loss. Tilting the balance for political ends was bound to end badly. And it did.

But the Left always lands on its feet—thanks to someone else’s parachute. And money.

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By the Way

I don’t want to waste your time with “phony scandals” or other trivial matters that detract from the Most Transparent Administration Evah!™, but as the old saying had it:

“The IRS is the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government and it is a law-enforcement institution and it is off the rails and it is now thoroughly corrupted,” Will said. “And people are saying, ‘Well, the Justice Department can take care of this.’ There’s a reason why Jack Kennedy had his brother [be] attorney general. There’s a reason why Richard Nixon had his campaign manager, John Mitchell, [be] attorney general. It’s an inherently political office and it can’t be trusted in cases like this.”

Just to keep you up to date on this trifling, inconsequential issue:

Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun its probe into IRS targeting of conservative groups, a senior IRS lawyer acknowledged in a sworn declaration.

Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was “removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.”

That date – June 2012 – is significant because by that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups.

“If you intentionally destroy evidence, that is a crime. If you make a statement in court saying the evidence is not available and it is, that is also a crime,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice.

News of the Blackberry’s destruction followed Monday’s statement by Judicial Watch that Justice Department attorneys said in a Friday phone call the federal government backs up all computer records to ensure continuity of government in event of a catastrophe, but retrieving the Lerner emails would simply be “too onerous.”

An administration official told Fox News Monday night that Judicial Watch misinterpreted the Friday phone call. “There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch,” he said. “Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony.”

But Cleta Mitchell, an attorney who represents other conservative groups suing the IRS, cited a whistleblower who bolsters Judicial Watch’s interpretation.

“I received information from a former Department of Homeland Security official who had security clearances. He just retired in April,” Mitchell said. “He contacted me and he contacted Judicial Watch and some members of Congress and said there is backup material.”

The dueling versions are not likely to sit well with District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan, who is presiding over Judicial Watch’s lawsuit against the IRS. “He gave the IRS not one, but two opportunities in court filings with him to tell him where they were,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch. “There was no mention of this backup system to the court at that time.”

Let me cut through the blizzard of lies.

After the emergence of the Tea Party and the stunning correction in the course of the country in the 2010 midterms, establishment Democrats (Chuck Schumer most vocally) called for conservative grassroots organizations (“astroturf” according to Nancy Pelosi) to be cut down to size. Lois Lerner, the Madame Defarge of the Obama Terreur, happily complied. Any group with “tea party”, “patriot”, or other dog whistle in its name was singled out for scrutiny. A few Lefty groups were tossed in for seasoning, but were soon cleared. Conservatives, however, entered a mire of bureaucratic slime that they never escaped. Rarely turned down for 501(c)(4) tax status—which rejection they could appeal—they were instead delayed, given the runaround. Justice delayed was justice denied—all the way through the 2012 election. Obama, who was severely rebuked in 2010, won in 2012. Funny that.

It took some doing, but Congress began to investigate. Lerner was called to testify. She made a statement, then clammed up, citing the 5th Amendment. There is still a legal debate whether she had waived the 5th by making her statement, but with Lois lawyering up, Congress understandably turned to her record as Director of the Exempt Organizations Unit at the IRS. Which weren’t there. Her emails were gone, no backups available (in violation of archive and record-keeping laws), hard drives either lost, scratched, erased, destroyed (the story kept changing). And not just hers, but those of several other IRS employees. And not just her hard drive, but now her Blackberry as well. And we were expected to believe it all. Or, rather, they didn’t care if we believed it—what were going to do about it if we didn’t?

Then just the other day, the story veered wildly: there was a back up. It existed, had always existed (as IT people assured us it must), but was a real drag to gain access to. (You remember what a pain those floppy disks were.) And when that story didn’t fly, they now say it was all a misunderstanding, there is no backup: evidently, a senior officer in one of the most punitive bureaucracies in the federal government can run a political hit squad for months to years, and leave not a trace behind. Even the Teflon Don, John Gotti, left behind more incriminating evidence.

Lerner is just the face of the scandal, but it reaches much higher. IRS Commissioner Douglas Schulman signed into the White House visitor logs 158 times during that period—solely to talk about the IRS’s role in ObamaCare, we are assured, and he maybe didn’t even actually show up every time he was cleared to. You silly amateurs see the most alarming things in every innocent thing.

Like this:

Last night on The Kelly File Chief Counsel at the American Center for Law and Justice Jay Sekulo revealed that the former chief of staff to former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, Nikole Flax, visited the White House 35 times after talking with former head of tax exempt groups Lois Lerner about working to criminally prosecute conservative tea party groups for “lying” about political activity. At the White House, Flax met with a top Obama aid during some of those visits.

The email discussed in the segment above is detailed in this previously reported story, along with Lerner’s contact with Democrat Elijah Cummings and suggestions from former FEC Attorney Larry Noble and Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse that conservative groups should be targeted for criminal prosecution in order to “make an impact and they [conservative groups] wouldn’t feel so comfortable doing the stuff.”

You mean voting. Organizing and contributing. Democracy, in other words. That sort of stuff.

Change the political affiliation from a D to an R, even change the skin from black to white, and this administration would have been impeached a year ago.

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We May Be A-Holes, But We Ain’t No…

I can’t say it, but while we’re on the subject of bodily orifices:

An email exchange released by a Republican-led House committee investigating scrutiny by Lerner’s unit of GOP political groups seeking tax-exempt status suggest she’s no fan of conservative talk radio.

“Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP … The right-wing radio shows are scary to listen to,” read an email to Lerner from an unidentified sender in November 2012 as Congress was probing the matter.

“Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many a**holes,” Lerner replies.

“And I’m talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid,” another email to Lerner, apparently from the same person, shows.

“So we don’t need to worry about alien terrorists. It’s our own crazies that will take us down,” Lerner responds.

I don’t have a problem with the language. I hear it every day out and about, sometimes from flesh and blood. But I do have a problem with who said it. And what she could have done to my…orifice by any number of her jack-booted thugs. No wonder she tried to claw the files off her hard drive with her gnarled talons.

And it’s not just conservatives:

Emails uncovered by the House Ways and Means Committee show that the State Department was involved in the IRS’s attempt to deny tax-exempt status to Z-Street, the pro-Israel organization founded and run by AT contributor Lori Lowenthal Marcus, based on Z-Street’s pro-Israel positions that conflicted with Obama administration policy. This is known as “viewpoint discrimination,” and is strictly illegal.

In an April 16, 2009 email, Treasury attache to the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem Katherine Bauer sent IRS and Treasury colleagues a 1997 JTA News article sent to her by State Department foreign service officer Breeann McCusker. The subject was whether 501(c) groups buying land in Israel’s disputed territories were engaged in “possible violations of U.S. tax laws.” The article chronicles the controversy and whether “ideological activity” can “legally be financed with the help of U.S. [tax] dollars.”

“Thought you might find the below article of interest—looks like we’ve been down this road before,” Ms. Bauer wrote. “Although I believe you’ve said you can’t speak to on-going investigations, I thought it was worth flagging the 1997 investigation mentioned below for you if it can be of any use internally when looking for precedence [sic] for the current cases.” A Treasury spokesman declined comment on Ms. Bauer’s behalf.

The “current cases” would have been applications like Z Street’s in which Israel-related activity was apparently being scrutinized for its ideological and policy content. The government says Z Street got special scrutiny because it was focused in a region with a higher risk of terrorism, which is hard to believe and in any case doesn’t explain all of the IRS’s behavior.

It doesn’t cover, for instance, why one questionnaire we’ve seen from the IRS to another Jewish group applying for tax-exempt status asked, “Does your organization support the existence of the land of Israel?” and “Describe your organization’s religious belief system toward the land of Israel.” No matter the answers, they should not affect the processing of an application for 501(c) status. The State-IRS emails reveal a political motivation for IRS scrutiny that gives Z Street powerful evidence for its suit charging IRS bias.

This is now a scandal that involves a conspiracy between different departments of the federal government, strongly implying a coordinating effort senior to the Departments of State and Treasury. Which would be…the White House.

This is so incriminating that a full court press is being invoked to delay further discovery. The lawsuit filed by Z-Street in 2010 is the furthest along of any judicial inquiries into the IRS scandals. And the IRS is doing everything possible to slow it down:

On Monday the IRS filed an appeal of the judge’s decision denying its motion to dismiss Z Street’s case. The government says the action stops all discovery while the appeal is pending, a process that could take months or even years. By filing the appeal on the last possible day, the Justice Department is running out the clock on discovery during the remainder of the Administration.

This is a whole lot of effort to prevent discovery in a case that is not even seeking damages.

Maybe you believe this is nothing, or very little. Maybe you think nothing of an IRS Commissioner signing into the White House hundreds of times during the period in question. Maybe you think it was entirely normal for the revolutionary Tea Party spirit of 2010 to have evaporated into thin air by 2012. And maybe you think this “most transparent administration ever” contents itself with critics and alternate viewpoints. You can think that, it’s a free country.

But here in Literalville, we have a saying: whatever you’re smoking, I want some.

PS: And maybe you think that a regime that persecutes pro-Israel nonprofits and that insists on an armistice that leaves a genocidal gang of killers in power truly “has Israel’s back”. Lay off that [bleep], man. It’s scrambling your brain.

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CSI: IRS

Okay, enough already. The Lois Lerner Show has jumped the shark:

House investigators said Tuesday that the computer hard drive of ex-agency official Lois Lerner — a key figure in the IRS targeting scandal — was only “scratched,” not irreparably damaged, as Americans have been led to believe.

GOP-led Ways and Means Committee investigators, in their quest to recover missing Lerner emails, learned her hard drive was damaged but recoverable by talking to IRS information-technology experts, after the government originally refused to make them available, according to the committee.

“It is unbelievable that we cannot get a simple, straight answer from the IRS about this hard drive,” said committee Chairman Dave Camp.

The Michigan Republican said the new information also raises more questions about potential criminal wrongdoing at the IRS because the committee was told no data was recoverable and the physical hard drive was recycled and potentially shredded.

In addition, learning that the hard drive was only scratched also raises questions about why the IRS refused to use outside experts to recover the data.

“In fact, in-house professionals at the IRS recommended the agency seek outside assistance in recovering the data,” the committee said Tuesday in a release.

House investigators said they also are trying to determine whether the scratch was accidental or deliberate.

“If the IRS would just come clean and tell Congress and the American people what really happened, we could put an end to this,” Camp said. “Our investigators will not stop until we find the full truth.”

Then it’s been renewed for another season. Because there’s no way the Obama regime is going to come clean.

Democrats say there is no scandal and that Republicans are trying to turn it into an election-year issue.

That’s what happens with lies and evasions: they never go away.

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Transparent Hypocrisy

Everything Barack Obama touches turns to dreck: it’s the reverse Midas touch. What a pleasure it has been lately watching his reputation swirl down the cistern where dreck belongs:

Right now, here ON THE RECORD, fired “New York Times executive editor, JILL ABRAMSON.

While working at “The New York Times” and after decades of covering presidential administrations, Abramson calling President Obama’s White House the most is he secretive White House that she’s covered. And she’s not the only one.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BYRON YORK, THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: This is not the most transparent administration in history.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I will make our government open and transparent.

One of the things I want to do is open things up. I want transparency. I want accountability.

BOB CUSACK, MANAGING EDITOR, ‘THE HILL': This White House came in saying we’ll do things differently, we’ll change Washington. They didn’t change Washington.

OBAMA: The more transparency we can bring to Washington, the less likely it is Washington will be run by lobbyists and special interests.

Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

A.B. STODDARD, ‘THE HILL': He’s broken a promise.

OBAMA: This is the most transparent administration in history.

VAN SUSTEREN: You said have this administration is the most is the secretive. What is your support? Why do you say that?

ABRAMSON: I think it’s easy to demonstrate that that’s true, starting with — I love the name of your show, “ON THE RECORD.” I have never dealt with an administration where more officials — some of whom are actually paid to be the spokesmen for various federal agencies –demand that everything be off the record. So that’s secretive and not transparent.

But the most serious thing is the Obama administration has launched eight criminal leak investigations against sources and whistleblowers. And they have tried to sweep in journalists, including – it’s almost the one- year anniversary exactly that your college, James Rosen, had his record secretly looked at by the government in a leak investigation.

VAN SUSTEREN: Is it profoundly different thought than the other administrations?

ABRAMSON: It is profoundly different. Before these cases, these eight cases, and all of history, there have been fewer than half of those. And so it is different.

So, this has been an historic administration, after all.

Oh, and about “not changing Washington”, there is agreement:

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: This is within our power to change. Everybody says because we tried in ‘08 and it didn’t happen, it’s not possible.

Give yourself a little credit, Joe. You changed Washington plenty. Never before has an administration that “ended” two “wars” and governed over a five-year “recovery” been so wretchedly unpopular. If you guys were the ones we were waiting for, I wish we had been less patient.

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Smidgen of Corruption Update

Another red line is crossed:

STEVE KORNACKI, MSNBC: Jonathan, let me bring you in now. [...] Presidential overreach, executive orders they think sort of undercut Congress, but you know, you’ve been following this, their complaints for the last few years, really. Legally speaking, is there any kind of a case here?

JONATHAN TURLEY, PROFESSOR OF LAW: Oh, I think there is a case against the president for exceeding his authority. I happen to agree with the president on many of his priorities and policies, but as I testified in Congress, I think that he has crossed the constitutional line.

KORNACKI: Where has he crossed it? Like what specific issue has he crossed it on?

TURLEY: When the president went to Congress and said he would go it alone, it obviously raises a concern. There’s no license for going it alone in our system, and what he’s done, is very problematic. He has shifted $454 million of the ACA from appropriated purpose to another purpose. He’s told agencies not to enforce some laws, like immigration laws. He has effectively rewritten laws through the active interpretation that I find very problematic. While I happen to agree with him, I voted for him, I think this is a problem.

One broken law is a tragedy. A million is a statistic.

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Lois, You Got Some ‘Splainin’ To Do!

Seriously, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry (from laughter):

Congressional investigators have uncovered emails showing ex-IRS official Lois Lerner targeted a sitting Republican senator for a proposed internal audit, a discovery one GOP lawmaker called “shocking.”

The emails were published late Wednesday by the House Ways and Means Committee and pertain to the woman at the heart of the scandal over IRS targeting of Tea Party groups.

The emails appear to show Lerner mistakenly received an invitation intended for Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, in 2012.

“Looked like they were inappropriately offering to pay for his wife. Perhaps we should refer to Exam?” she wrote.

Her colleague, though, pushed back on the idea, saying an offer to pay for his wife is “not prohibited on its face.” There is no indication from the emails that Lerner pursued the issue any further.

America’s Madame Defarge has blood dripping from her knitting needles. But was she acting alone?

“We have seen a lot of unbelievable things in this investigation, but the fact that Lois Lerner attempted to initiate an apparently baseless IRS examination against a sitting Republican United States Senator is shocking,” Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., said in a statement.

“At every turn, Lerner was using the IRS as a tool for political purposes in defiance of taxpayer rights.”

Grassley, incidentally, is a member of the Senate Finance Committee — which is one of the congressional panels investigating the IRS over the targeting scandal.

Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La., told Fox News that the revelation that Lerner tried to scrutinize Grassley over an invitation is another example of the administration using the agency as a “political tool, as a weapon.”

The liberal media is weepy that they’re going to tear down the parking garage where Deep Throat met with Bob Woodward. I just hope that IRS HQ is declared a historic building. A site of such epic corruption needs to stand as long as Rome’s crumbling columns have (the only other site of equivalent venality).


The Corps of Rome in Ashes is entombed,
And her great Spirit rejoyned to the Spirit
Of this great Mass, is in the same enwombed

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See No Evil

How the IRS investigates itself:

REP. TREY GOWDY (R-SC): You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing. I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you have evaluated.

JOHN KOSKINEN, IRS COMMISSIONER: I have not looked at any.

GOWDY: Well, how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?

KOSKINEN: I have seen no evidence that anyone —

GOWDY: Well, how would you know what elements of the crime existed? You don’t even know what statutes are in play. I’m going to ask you again. What statutes have you evaluated?

KOSKINEN: I think you can rely on common sense that nothing I have seen —

GOWDY: Common sense. Instead on the criminal code, you want to rely on common sense? No, Mr. Commissioner, you can shake your head all you want to, Commissioner. You have said today that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and I am asking you what criminal statutes you have reviewed to reach that conclusion?

KOSKINEN: I reviewed no criminal statutes.

All you had to do back in the Bush years was say Donald Rumsfeld’s or Dick Cheney’s names and people would respond with spittled fury or deranged laughter. They became punchlines without jokes. Yet Lois Lerner can go underground; this ghoul, Koskinen, can lie and prevaricate before Congress; Hillary Clinton can shrug off terrorist murders; Eric Holder can be held in contempt (not just mine, but Congress’s); and on and on.

These people should be held in the stocks in a public square, and pelted with overripe produce.

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