Archive for Barack Ilyich Obama

Take a Hike, Grandma

My loose translation of Obama’s comments on Justice Ginsberg:

In an interview with The New Yorker, the president claims “the Senate necessarily has to treat the Supreme Court nomination process differently than the circuit- or district-court nomination process.”

“[H]igher profile, people are paying attention,” he said.

Obama’s response comes after Ginsburg told Elle magazine in a Sept. 23 interview that if she was to “resign any time this year, he could not successfully appoint anyone I would like to see in the court.”

But Obama staunchly defended his “good track record” on high court appointments.

“We’ve got a couple of Supreme Court Justices confirmed who I think are doing outstanding work,” he said, referring to his appointments of Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

When it comes to the Supreme Court, he told The New Yorker, “they have the sense ‘All right, this is big,'” noting media attention as well “means that some of the shenanigans that were taking place in terms of blocking appointments, stalling appointments, I think are more difficult to pull off during a Supreme Court nomination process.”

But:

“Having said that,” he added, “Justice Ginsburg is doing a wonderful job. She is one of my favorite people. Life tenure means she gets to decide, not anybody else, when she chooses to go.”

But knitting is a wonderful hobby, Ruthie. And putting up jams. My favorite is damson plum.

Don’t you love the raw politicization of the Supreme Court? And Obama has the chutzpah to call the Senate’s advice and consent “shenanigans”.

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Ebola Follies

A great, great, GREAT, GREAT call to Rush today:

RUSH: Here’s Thomas in Washington, DC. Thomas, you’re our first call today. It’s great to have you on the program. Hello.

CALLER: Longtime listener first-time caller. I really appreciate what you’re doing.

RUSH: Thank you, sir.

CALLER: I wanted to make a statement that I think the American people need to hear. (huffing for air) Sorry, I was just out jogging. The… (gasping) I’m a physician here in Washington, DC. I used to be in the military.

Introductions out of the way, I’m going to cut to the chase:

CALLER: Just, for instance, somebody comes into contact with somebody with Ebola and the virus now replicating in the host body, in the human.

RUSH: But the host may not know it. The patient may not know that he’s contagious yet.

CALLER: He has no idea.

RUSH: Okay.

CALLER: If you’re in an infected area or high-risk area where it’s found, you should be concerned about it. But if you’re around somebody, say, in an airport and they’re shedding the virus and they’re asymptomatic you have no idea. What I’m saying is the virus can reach elevated levels prior to 21 days, prior to sickness symptoms and be shed through close contact prior to the patient getting sick. So if we’re just leaving it as a litmus test, “Oh I’m sick; therefore I shouldn’t be on a plane,” or, “therefore I now can transmit this disease,” that’s wrong. The viremia prior to getting sick can be shed even though it may be smaller but it’s still infectious.

RUSH: So let me… So what you’re essentially saying is that when we are told, “If a patient is not showing symptoms, you can’t catch the disease,” that may not be true.

CALLER: That may not be true. Like I said, studies to prove or disprove this have not been made.

This confirms something I thought—and wrote—days ago: how likely is it that you become toxic just the moment you start feeling poorly? The only reason you start feeling poorly in the first place is that the viral load is building up in your body. It must be true that you are “shedding” the virus for a period of minutes to hours before you acknowledging feeling sick yourself.

But let the doctor tell you:

CALLER: Because from a statistical point of view, that’s probably true 99% of the time, for the majority of the time. But the virus is replicating in the body prior to it getting to a high enough titer where they can get sick. But prior to the symptoms occurring, the virus can still be spread or shed from the body that has been infected prior to actually having symptoms. This is what people need to know. We cannot be allowing people to come into America even if they’re asymptomatic, because the virus can be shed prior to symptoms. Prior to a level of the virus actually hurting the body, the body can be shed in the same manner prior to sickness. It may be statistically low, but it can happen.

They finished with the politics of situation:

CALLER: Well, they’re hurting us. Our own health care workers are at risk. Our patients are at risk. You look at what happened down in Dallas and you’ll realize that our facilities are ill equipped to handle an outbreak more than maybe a patient or two. We’re not equipped to handle this. We should not be allowing patients to come in from infected areas without like a 31- or 40-day waiting period.

RUSH: No, no, no. Doctor, as has been stated by a number of people now — particularly when it comes to Liberia and Sierra Leone — we cannot turn our backs on those people because it was slavery in this country that was responsible for those countries being set up and established so that slaves in this country could escape and have a place for freedom. Now if they’re getting sick, we can’t turn our backs on them. We can’t close the borders. That isn’t going to happen for political reasons, among many others.

CALLER: Well, that’s illogical. It bares no common sense, and from a national security point of view —

RUSH: Maybe not, but there is common sense if you have different objectives.

Rush has made the point several times that Obama can’t close the borders to Liberians because he wants to open the borders to everyone else. Anyone want to convince me that’s not so?

I didn’t think so.

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Headache, Cramps, Vomiting

It’s not Ebola; it’s the morning news:

With a number of prominent conservative politicians raising fears that the Ebola outbreak could spread to the U.S. via the country’s porous borders with Mexico and Canada, Customs and Border Protection and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sought to reassure a worried public that they are doing everything they can to monitor people entering the U.S. – whether legally or illegally – for the virus.

A CBP report published online earlier this week on Breitbart.com broke down where undocumented immigrants are coming from and, between January and July of this year, at least 71 people reportedly arrived from the three West African nations hit with the current Ebola outbreak.

Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia wrote to the head of the CDC last month about his fears that undocumented immigrants are carrying “swine flu, dengue fever, Ebola virus and tuberculosis” into the U.S.

“As the unaccompanied children continue to be transported to shelters around the country on commercial airlines and other forms of transportation, I have serious concerns that the diseases carried by these children may begin to spread too rapidly to control,” he wrote.

While the CBP did not mention in its statement how it plans to monitor undocumented immigrants for the virus, the agency did say that it has been on the watch for anyone showing overt signs of the illness and all officers have been trained on how to identify a prospective Ebola patient.

“When a traveler or alien is identified with a possible communicable disease or identified from information that is received from the CDC, CBP personnel will take the appropriate safety measures by donning personal protective equipment, to include gloves and surgical masks, which are readily available for use in the course of their duties,” Evanitsky said. “The traveler would be isolated from the traveling public while the CDC and local public health authorities conduct an evaluation.”

On a scale of zero to ten, how confident are you? Very well, I will accept negative numbers.

My reaction: even assuming the unassumable, that any government agency could manage to do anything more than pull its thumb out of its behind, isn’t a person showing symptoms (be it from Ebola or any other imported, non-native disease) at his most infectious? It’s all well and good that you’re kitted out like a space walker, but our “undocumented immigrants” tend to travel in packs or herds. What about the rest of the Walking Deadly who may well be carrying the contagion imported by Patient Zero?

And why are we still shipping illegal alien kids around the country when Ebola and polio-lite are popping up across the landscape?

We conservatives are used to being the target of our government. How does it feel to the rest of you?

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Brother George Will Explains it All For You

I heard clips of Obama’s economy victory lap speech on NPR while making my pre-dawn cup of coffee. He sounded desperate, voice all whiny, high-pitched.

Will is, as ever, clearer and calmer:

The president went to the state of Illinois to brag about the economy. Illinois has 300,000 fewer jobs than it had in 2008. For the last four years in the state of Illinois, the number of new food stamp recipients has increased twice as fast as the number of new job recipients. He was speaking in Illinois on a college campus. He did not mention that 40 percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed — that is, in jobs that don’t require college degrees — and one in three recent college graduates is living at home with their parents.

Now, the president, we just heard, disparage trickle-down economics while bragging about doubling the stock market value. He is practicing trickle-down economics by doubling the stock market. He, and, for six years now, and most recently under his choice to be head of the Fed, Janet Yellen, have had zero interest rates, the intended effect of which is to drive people out of bonds and into assets like farm land, but particularly into stocks. That is why this has been a boon to the 10 percent of Americans who own 80 percent of all the directly owned stocks. And this is why 95 percent of the wealth created in the last six years have gone to the dreaded top one percent.

Thanks, Barack!

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CORRECTION

Yesterday, we implied that Fast & Furious (2010) was the Obama regime’s first “smidgen of corruption”.

Shame on us:

The very first controversy of the Eric Holder-led Justice Department (“DOJ”) involved the dismissal of the voter-intimidation lawsuit against the New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The matter provided a template for most of the DOJ controversies that followed: denial, stonewalling, obfuscation, deceit, and racialism.

The U.S.Commission on Civil Rights conducted a year-long investigation into the matter shortly after the dismissal. Despite being compelled by statute to cooperate fully with commission investigations, DOJ

refused to answer 18 separate interrogatories,

refused to respond to 22 separate requests for production of documents,

barred two key DOJ attorneys from testifying (both of the attorneys defied DOJ and testified at considerable risk to their careers),

refused to provide witness statements for twelve key witnesses,

invoked specious privileges in order to withhold critical information,

failed to provide a privilege log,

and failed to provide requested e-mails between Civil Rights Division personnel and other DOJ officials regarding the dismissal of the NBPP lawsuit (some of the e-mails later were revealed pursuant to court order in a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch)

Despite the vigorous stonewalling, DOJ publicly claimed that it was cooperating fully with the investigation. The claim was blatantly false, but was cheerfully reported by the media. What most of the mainstream media failed to report, however, was that the bipartisan commission’s investigation adduced testimony that

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee gave instructions that the Voting Section was not going to bring cases “against black defendants or for the benefit of white victims.”

A high-ranking DOJ political appointee explicitly told the entire Voting Section “that this administration would not be enforcing Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act.” (The purpose of section 8 of the NVRA is to ensure that persons ineligible to vote are not permitted to vote.)

DOJ refuses to enforce Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act on behalf of white victims.

There exists within DOJ pervasive hostility to the race-neutral enforcement of civil-rights laws.

Furthermore, a high-ranking DOJ political appointee testified under oath that no political leadership was involved in the decision to dismiss the NBPP lawsuit. The testimony was shown to be false only after the Judicial Watch lawsuit pried loose e-mails showing clear political involvement.

The commission’s 262-page report to congress contains much more evidence that, under Holder, DOJ did not enforce the nation’s civil-rights laws in a color-blind manner. Something to consider while reading the next obtuse editorial extolling Mr. Holder’s record on civil rights.

Strong words, Eric (the Red). What have you to say for yourself?

“When you compare what people endured in the South in the 60s to try to get the right to vote for African Americans, and to compare what people were subjected to there to what happened in Philadelphia—which was inappropriate, certainly that…to describe it in those terms I think does a great disservice to people who put their lives on the line, who risked all, for my people,” said Holder, who is black.

Your people, Americans, were met with real, obvious, and documented voter intimidation. And you let it go.

In the absence of any explanation, we are left to surmise. Were the Panthers your “shock troops”, your “boots on the ground”?

He’s not too fond of “typical white people” either. Or atypical ones.

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Yet Another Hairball Coughed Up By ObamaCare

It’s almost too asinine to be true. But this is ObamaCare: asininity was its very intention.

Take a look at the chart below. It reflects the fact that all commercial health insurance must fit within four metallic bands: Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. Each band is defined by its “actuarial value” – which is the percent of covered benefits the plan is expected to pay. For example, a Bronze plan is expected to pay between 58% and 62% of health care costs for a representative enrollee. A Silver plan is expected to pay between 68% and 72%. And so forth.

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Now here is what is really strange and it is explained superbly by Bob Graboyes, a health economist with the Mercatus Center, in this video [see below] There are gaps between the corridors. And if your plan happens to fall within one of the gaps, it is no longer a valid plan.

Suppose you are in a Bronze plan with an actuarial value of 58%. Then, a year from now, because of price changes, technology changes, or some other kind of change, your plan suddenly covers 60% 64% of expected expenses. That’s good for you, right? Wrong. Because your plan no longer fits into one of the metallic corridors, it’s no longer a valid plan – despite the fact that it has become a better plan!

Now let’s suppose you have a really good plan – a plan that pays 98% of expected health care costs. Given the large number of Democrat’s who believe that health insurance should pay almost every medical bill, you would think that the law passed by a Democratic Congress without a single Republican vote would strongly encourage such a plan. If you’re inclined to think that, you are mistaken, however.

Any plan that pays more than 92% of expected health care costs for the average enrollee is illegal under Obamacare.

We’ve all wondered if ObamaCare was passed as the uninspected POS that it is with all of these failures very much intentional.”Oh well, we tried,” the ruling class laments. “Socialized medicine is the only way out.” That explains this colossal asteroid impact better than sheer incompetence.

In fact, I have to wonder if Obama isn’t looking at his watch, waiting for the long overdue demands to junk his “signature achievement” in favor of a more “European” model.

Which is what he’s wanted all along.

He’s tried every trick in the book—and a few outside, if that book is the Constitution of the United States—to get us to scrap this bad joke, this “law of the land”. But we haven’t done it. What more does a man have to do, he must be muttering to himself.

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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.

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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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