Archive for Conservatism

What Might Have Been

Instead of the Abortable Care Act:

[T]he Heritage Foundation last week released a definitive compilation of health-care solutions that make patients the primary decisionmakers. Our commonsense solutions are based on five principles:

Let Americans have total choice and control with regard to their health insurance.

Allow free-market forces, with light regulation, to incentivize insurers and health-care providers to offer affordable and effective health coverage.

Encourage businesses to provide portable health-insurance benefits to their employees.

Help the most vulnerable Americans through the states, non-government organizations, and the free market.

Protect Americans’ right of conscience and unborn children.

Our solutions include changing the tax treatment of health insurance so that all Americans, not just those getting coverage through work, can benefit from a tax credit to buy private insurance.

What does health care have to do with tax law? Don’t be silly! Next you’ll tell me the individual mandate can be twisted into a tax, and that the IRS will end up enforcing this crap law. Get out!

We also encourage states to use high-risk pools or reinsurance and risk-transfer mechanisms, so that insurance companies are able to insure patients with preexisting medical issues without risking insolvency.

See? How hard is that? If the government deems it vital that Americans without insurance, but with preexisting conditions, be covered by private insurance, government should kick in—have skin in the game, as Obama likes to say. Private insurance isn’t in the business of giving stuff away. Government is.

Why would Democrats forbid such initiatives? Because they empower the individual citizen, make him or her a sovereign unto him- or herself. [Bleep] that.

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See Cruz

Rush Limbaugh said this on his show today:

RUSH: Now, a lot of people say that Cruz is really exposing people, using them, setting them up for a massive disappointment. “Cruz is promising them things that can’t happen! Obamacare’s not gonna be defunded. Obamacare’s not gonna be delayed. Cruz knows it, but he’s making these people think that that can happen and they are going to be sadly disappointed.”

“Yes, he is. Ted Cruz is making people think that they can actually support and make happen the defunding of Obamacare, and it can’t happen. There aren’t the votes.

“He’s using people, and he’s setting people up for a major, major disappointment. It’s going to fail. It’s so mean. And then Ted Cruz is making people think that if they support him and sign his petition,” he’s not asking for money, by the way, “that they can delay Obamacare. And they can’t, and it won’t happen. He’s just using people, and he’s setting people up for major, major disappointment. It’s not nice and it’s very selfish.”

Well, my question is, “Why isn’t that said about Obama?” You want to talk about misleading people and setting them up for major disappointment and shock? How about a guy who’s promised people will “get to keep their doctor,” and they don’t. How about a guy who’s promised that their premiums come down $2500, and they won’t? How about all the promises Obama’s made with his stimulus and all the shovel-ready jobs?

None of it’s happened. How come the same standard is not applied to Barry? How come it’s not said of Barry that, “Oh, God, what a mean guy! He’s really using us. He’s setting people up. He’s promising all these wonderful things that are not possible really, and they’re going to be so disappointed.” Why is that not said, folks? I think it’s a perfectly legitimate question. Obama is misleading people.

Fine, you say, but hardly unique. Who isn’t saying that?

But who was saying that on October 11th, more than three weeks ago?! He replayed the rant today. I don’t post it to credit Rushtradamus. I post it because it was right then and is right today.

Ted Cruz may have done Obama a (temporary) favor by distracting the public from the rancid smell of the Abortable Care Act, aka EdselCare. But people will little note nor long remember that Cruz read Green Eggs and Ham on the floor of the Senate. They will remember that he was the last man standing in the fight to stop it. We may get our first evidence of that in the Virginia governor’s race, where Democrat (and Clinton stooge) Terry McAuliffe has been leading Republican Ken Cuccinelli throughout the campaign. As the deadline nears, however, EdselCare is featuring more prominently. Obama is even on the stump for McAuliffe, and Cuccinelli is portraying his victory as a “refudiation” of EdselCare. If the Republican wins, a lot of Democrat drawers will be soiled.

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Creating Conservative Converts

Not really, but read on, and you too will wonder why not:

For more than a decade, Robin Emmons felt helpless as her older brother lived on the streets, eating out of garbage cans.

After he was arrested in 2008 for damaging someone’s car during a schizophrenic outburst, she was finally able to become his legal guardian and get him into a halfway house with psychiatric services.

She investigated and found out that the nonprofit facility was mainly feeding him packaged and canned foods because it couldn’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables.

“I had a small garden, so I thought, ‘Well, I’ll just put in some extra rows,’” Emmons said. “I began making weekly deliveries of whatever was coming up.”

She soon realized, however, that the problem extended well beyond her brother’s transitional home. While farmers markets were springing up across the city, she noticed that low-income and working-class neighborhoods had few grocery stores or places to buy fresh produce.

A recent study from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte confirmed her impressions. It showed that more than 72,000 low-income city residents, many of them minorities, lived in “food deserts” — areas without a supermarket with fresh food nearby. They also faced a greater risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death.

“I really thought it was an injustice. … Healthy food is a basic human right,” she said. “I decided to rip up my whole backyard and make it all a garden, and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

Today, Emmons has 200 volunteers helping her tend 9 acres of crops on three sites. Since 2008, she says, her nonprofit, Sow Much Good, has grown more than 26,000 pounds of fresh produce for underserved communities in Charlotte.

Let’s see: government “benefits” barely feed the body, let alone the soul. But individuals, acting in concert, without any benefit from government, manage to grow tons and tons of food for their own benefit. They have learned the ultimate conservative value of self-sufficiency and hard work. It’s not only wrong to rely on the government, it’s unhealthy. If they’re not all overnight Ted Cruz supporters, I don’t get it.

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Say, You Know What ObamaCare Reminds Me Of?

Slavery! What, you don’t see it?

He does:

Controversial physician-turned political commentator Ben Carson has claimed that Obamacare is the worst thing to happen to America ‘since slavery’.

The incoming Fox News contributor made the statement during a fiery speech at the annual Values Voter Summit in Washington on Friday.

‘You know Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,’ he said.

‘And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care – It was about control.’

‘Slavery was a clear evil which had a very negative impact on everything in our society, and ObamaCare is a clear evil that is also going to have a very negative impact on everything in our society — in addition to the fact that it subjugates the population to the government,’ he said.

You remember this guy, don’t you? President Obama sure does:

Carson has become known for his acerbic statements following his speech at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast, during which he criticized a number of President Obama’s policies as the president sat nearby.

But he is arguably best known for a speech where he called white liberals ‘racist’.

‘[White liberals are] the most racist people there are,’ he said in April.

‘You know, they put you in a little category, a little box — you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?’

Someone sounds a little obsessed with the topic—understandably. Slavery was a Very Bad Thing. One to which Carson’s forebears were subjected, presumably, and one to which the president’s were not (presumably). I believe it was Maureen Dowd who cited the Doctrine of Absolute Moral Authority as it applies to those who have suffered such wounds and abuses. Like the Pope’s supposed infallibility, the DAMA put those like Cindy Sheehan—perhaps only Cindy Sheehan—above reproach. Where she still stands (presumably not), like one of those statues barricaded from view by the National Park Service SWAT Team.

Perhaps Carson is falling into the trap of Godwin’s Law, only this time with reference to slavery, not Nazis. Likening a national health care law to the Peculiar Institution of slavery is a bit of a stretch, wouldn’t you say? I mean, sure, each is imposed by a distant and inhuman federal government upon a powerless, subservient populace that barely knows any other way of life. Both are (were) also practiced in many other countries, with mixed results. Both might have been (are) benign in nature, but led (lead) to unimaginable cruelty when taken to their logical (illogical) extremes. Both are/wee the Law of the Land, reaffirmed by the Supreme Court.

Then again, maybe Carson is on to something, and Godwin can shove his Law up his keister.

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“A Great American, and a True Hero”

CNN columnist, LZ Granderson, black and gay, had this to say a couple of weeks ago:

[T]he reason why you probably have not heard of Bayard Rustin has nothing to do with the significance of his contributions to the March on Washington or the civil rights movement in general. His absence is epitomized by the sentiment woven between the lines of that joke between Jones and Rustin’s protege. You see, the organizer of the great march, the man who held a fundraiser at Madison Square Garden to help fund the bus boycott in Montgomery, the intellectual behind the founding of the Southern Christian Leadership Council was also unabashedly gay. And it was the discomfort some had with his sexuality that led to his disappearance in our history books.

“We must look back with sadness at the barriers of bigotry built around his sexuality,” wrote NAACP chairman emeritus Julian Bond in “I Must Resist,” a collection of Rustin letters. “We are the poorer for it.”

Cathy Young, not black and I’m not sure of her sexuality, says not so fast:

The standard media narrative on Rustin is that he was sidelined in the civil rights movement and nearly erased from its history due to homophobia. But this is not entirely accurate—especially not the second part.

[P]aradoxically, when Sen. Strom Thurmond openly denounced Rustin as (among other things) a homosexual a few weeks before the March on Washington, his attack ended up neutralizing the issue: other black activists rallied around him in solidarity against the segregationist politician. Scholar Arch Puddington, who later worked with Rustin at Freedom House, asserts that after this incident, Rustin’s homosexuality “was never again a serious impediment to his career as civil rights or human rights advocate.” He was a prominent speaker at the march; he and his mentor, union leader A. Philip Randolph, appeared on the cover of Life as its leaders. Six years later, a feature on Rustin in the New York Times Magazine stated that he “came on the intellectual and political scene as the most articulate strategist of the drive for Negro equality.”

Rustin was a committed liberal integrationist in an era of rising black radicalism and nationalism. Younger militants tended to see him as an Uncle Tom—particularly a 1968 controversy in which he backed the United Federation of Teachers in a conflict with black activists in New York over the transfer of several white teachers from a mostly black school district. What’s more, Rustin spoke out against the anti-Semitic rhetoric employed by some of the activists against the union’s mostly Jewish leadership; in a speech to a conference of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League, he deplored “young Negroes speaking material directly from ‘Mein Kampf.’”

Rustin’s comments were reported in February, 1969—a handful of years after the Civil Rights protests, supported by many Jews; and less than two years after Israel held off annihilation from massed Arab armies. What the [bleep] was wrong with those “young Negroes”?

They must have hated this:

Rustin further alienated the left with his passionate support for Israel. He framed the issue in stark terms: “Since Israel is a democratic state surrounded by essentially undemocratic states which have sworn her destruction, those interested in democracy everywhere must support Israel’s existence.” He criticized fellow civil rights leaders Andrew Young and Jesse Jackson for their contacts with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which he described as “an organization committed to racism, terrorism, and authoritarianism.” In observations that remain highly relevant, he called Israel “the opiate of the Arabs” and accused “proto-fascist” Middle Eastern regimes of whipping up Israel-hatred to divert attention from their own failure to “liberate their people from poverty and misery.”

Is that Bayard Rustin or is that me?

And then there was Vietnam:

Rustin, a devout pacifist with a Quaker background and a World War II draft resister, had initially urged King to oppose the war as early as 1965, and defended his right to do so in 1967. But as historian John D’Emilio notes in the 2003 biography, Lost Prophet, Rustin himself kept his distance from antiwar activism, and “when he did make statements about the building opposition to the war, he tended toward criticism of the movement.”

According to Puddington, Rustin “opposed the war but was deeply disturbed by the prospect of Vietnam’s people coming under the domination of a totalitarian regime on the Soviet or Chinese model.” He came to oppose American withdrawal without a negotiated settlement. He was appalled by antiwar radicals who cheered for a Viet Cong victory, and lambasted the “political naïveté” of well-meaning people who were willing to work with Communists and Maoists in the name of peace.

The tributes to Rustin often describe him as a pacifist. In fact, by 1970, his view of pacifism had changed dramatically. Rustin bluntly stated, “Whereas I used to believe that pacifism had a political value, I no longer believe that.” He still considered himself a pacifist insofar as he had a strong interest in non-military means to defend freedom, which he now regarded as the most important value; without such feasible alternatives, he argued, it was “ridiculous…to talk only about peace.”

Rustin’s pro-Israel advocacy was part of his more general turn to international issues, including human rights activism on behalf of refugees from tyrannical regimes. He became executive chairman of Freedom House, a non-governmental organization that criticized both right-wing and left-wing dictatorships but had a strong anti-Communist bent.

Labels aside, Bayard Rustin was a great American and a true hero. He had firsthand experience of oppression and prejudice; yet for him, human rights activism was never about solidarity with his own group but about freedom, justice and dignity for all. He had firsthand experience of the shortcomings of Western democracy—yet he understood that it was the bulwark of the values he believed in, and that it’s worth fighting for. His legacy presents a challenge to both left and right: to the right, a warning against demonizing social democratic politics and gay advocacy (which Rustin embraced late in life, less as a personal cause than as an integral part of the human rights struggle); to the left, a warning against treating the West and its allies as the cause of all ills.

What a great article. And infinitely more illuminating than the drivel Granderson dribbled. I’m sure Strom Thurmond was homophobic, just as I am sure some black leaders were. What I learned from this piece, as I have learned repeatedly over the past decade of discovery, is that the roots of leftism tap into some very foul ground.

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Did He Have To?

You know President Obama (unfortunately): he just couldn’t help himself:

“His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time,” Obama told a crowd that gathered under gray skies and intermittent drizzle to attend the five-hour ceremony.

King, Obama said, “gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions,” heralding leaders who braved intimidation and violence in their fight for equal rights.

“Because they kept marching, America changed. Because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, a voting rights law was signed,” Obama said. “Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually, the White House changed.”

Because it’s all… about… him.

And did it really take five hours, or did it just seem that way?

The speech starts off promising enough: “His words belong to the ages, possessing a power and prophecy unmatched in our time.” Not bad, and true.

But then he makes a rhetorical fumble. Why start off with the grandest statement—America had changed—and then bother with the trivialities? Who cares, really, about city councils? And to culminate with himself—not Congress, not the landmark laws, not the country,himself—displays a narcissism bordering on obscene.

And this part was particularly disappointing:

Some conservatives have criticized the 50th anniversary celebration as an exercise of liberal Democratic politics, though the organizers have said the agenda is nonpartisan.

Organized labor; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups; and opponents of “stand your ground” laws all see Wednesday’s event as an opportunity to get their messages out.

However, many Republicans have chosen to remain on the sidelines.

I’m sure it did become a political rally—Dr. King would have been a gay-marriage-supporting, single-payer-advocating, gun-control activist, who supported bombing Syria without delay.

But Republicans were instrumental in passing the civil rights bills—Republican senators and congressmen voted for them at a higher percentage than their segregationist Democrat colleagues. (Look it up—I’ve posted on this several times.) Eisenhower did as much or more to desegregate than Kennedy. I can understand not wanting to be associated with rank partisan hacks, but Martin Luther King is too important to this country to have his bones picked by those hyenas.

I wish one or both Bushes had attended and spoken. I wish David Eisenhower, a historian, had spoken. Carter, Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Oprah Winfrey—they all spoke. But the best conservatives got was this (and it was very good indeed):

Social activist Robert Woodson, who heads the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, said the African-American community faced a completely different set of issues in the 1960s. “Our problems today are not the Klan coming in, but it is, what are we doing to ourselves?”

Woodson added, “About 10 years ago, there was a Klan rally in downtown Washington, and The Washington Post asked an old black guy in (mostly black) Ward 8 — the highest crime area of the city — if he was going to join in the demonstration. He said, ‘Bring the Klan down here if they can get rid of these drug dealers.’ ”

Woodson, who is black and describes himself an independent, is highly critical of the current state of civil rights advocacy. He recently addressed a meeting of the Republican National Committee, echoing some of his concerns about the movement and the state of black leadership.

“I really think it has morphed into a race-grievance industry. I think they have descended from the moral high ground that they used to occupy. And that they have become an extension of the Democratic Party,” Woodson said.

Great. I mean it. But the Republican Party, political conservatives, can’t cede “the moral high ground” to the “race-grieving industry”. Dr. King dreamt of the day when a person would be judged not on the color of his skin, but the content of his character. That’s Conservatism 101. And a high-profile conservative Republican should have been there to pay honor to King’s legacy.

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Gang of 8 – 1 = 0

It wasn’t Marco Rubio’s efforts at trying to bring sense to immigration reform that so angered conservatives. We want reform too. It was the people—and their motives—with whom he was trying to do it.

Sounds like he got the message:

After relentlessly defending for months the Senate’s ambitious overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t respond when House GOP leaders last week trashed it as a “flawed … massive, Obama-care like bill.”

The Florida Republican’s office, which churned out countless press releases touting his interviews and speeches about the legislation, hasn’t said a word about immigration since the Senate passed the bill on June 27.

The silence is a sign that, at least publicly, Rubio won’t try to dissuade the House from a piecemeal approach that excludes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

Instead, Rubio is turning to the safer, more-conservative-friendly issues he campaigned on in 2010—President Obama’s health care law, federal spending, the deficit—but with less support from Republicans than before, according to public polls.

There may be a way to satisfy concerns of conservatives over border security and the rule of, and respect for, law. But I don’t think Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are going to find it. Rubio’s choice is to stick with the Gang of 8 or with his conservative base of (somewhat shaken) admirers. Sounds like he’s made his choice.

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“Mad, Swivel-Eyed Loons”

And proud of it!

My interest in Nigel Farage lies largely in his oratorical skills. Repeatedly, and without a teleprompter, he jousts against the socialist behemoth of the EU in Brussels, drawing blood with every thrust. I don’t follow UKIP closely enough to embrace their every position (ditto with the Republican Party here), but they’re on the right side of independence and self rule.

And they’re making their presence felt at home too:

Local Conservative party campaigners, including the chairman of one constituency association, will this week pledge their support for Nigel Farage after one of David Cameron’s allies described grassroots Tories as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.

Mr Farage uses an advertisement in Monday’s Telegraph to urge Conservative voters to back Ukip. The “loons” description, he says, is “the ultimate insult” from a party leadership that has betrayed the trust of its own supporters.

The Prime Minister’s own position was called into question as Tory members demanded that the Conservative leadership identify the individual responsible for the “loons” comment and eject that person from the party.

Six members of the Tory group on Merton council in south London are quitting. One, Richard Hilton, who has been acting chairman of the local Conservative association, said he would join Ukip because the insult was “the final straw”.

He added that the comment demonstrated “the arrogance and the attitude of the liberal elite that runs the Tory party nowadays”.

Suzanne Evans, another defecting Merton Tory councillor, said grassroots members worked “phenomenally hard” and would feel insulted by the comments.

The differences between UKIP and the Tea Party are greater than the similarities, but they share this: a deep distrust of a distant, bloated government; and contempt from the leadership of the party from which they were born.

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Book Group

The best answer:

When Marion Bower decided to start her tea party organization in 2010, she didn’t know that it would take nearly two years for the Internal Revenue Service to approve her request for tax-exempt status.

The Ohio woman also did not expect that providing information about the books her group read would be part of the application process.

“I was trying to be very cordial, but they wanted copies of unbelievable things,” Bower told ABC News today. “They wanted to know what materials we had discussed at any of our book studies.”

She ultimately sent one of the books, “The Five Thousand Year Leap,” promoted frequently by Glenn Beck, to the IRS official handling her tax-exempt request in Cincinnati. She also sent a paperback copy of the Constitution.

“They wanted a synopsis of all the books we read,” Bower said. “I thought, I don’t have time to write a book report. You can read them for yourselves.”

It’s a great response, but I get a Soviet shiver when I read this story.

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H&R Blockheads

Is there anyone who didn’t get audited by the IRS?

Here are a few other dots that may or may not be connected to the IRS’s anti-Tea Party efforts:

• In 2010, as the Jewish Press notes, a pro-Israel group called Z Street sued the IRS “claiming it had been told by an IRS agent that because the organization was ‘connected to Israel,’ its application for tax-exempt status would receive additional scrutiny.” As we wrote at the time, defenders of the IRS argued that the IRS’s actions might have been justified under Bob Jones University v. U.S., a 1983 Supreme Court decision that held the IRS could deny tax exemptions on the ground that an organization was “contrary to established public policy.” But Bob Jones did not permit viewpoint discrimination; it was the university’s conduct–racially discriminatory admissions practices–to which the IRS objected. (The first hearing in the Z Street case is scheduled for July.)

• In March 2012, the Puffington Host published a confidential form that the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, had filed with the IRS. The website obtained the document from the Human Rights Campaign, a pro-same-sex-marriage outfit. In a press release issued today, NOM says its analysis of the images “has determined that the documents came directly from the Internal Revenue Service.”

• Last July, our colleague Kim Strassel reported on the troubling case of Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot, who’d donated money to a pro-Romney organization. In April, an Obama campaign website “called out Mr. VanderSloot and seven other private donors by name and occupation and slurred them as having ‘less-than-reputable’ records.” Two months later he received an audit notice from the IRS. Two more weeks later the Department of Labor informed him it would audit his business.

• Last September, the Obama campaign issued an ad demanding that Mitt Romney release more of his tax returns: “What else is he hiding?” Earlier, Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, claimed to know, the Puffington Host reported.

While no evidence has surfaced directly implicating the White House in the IRS abuses, it is not unreasonable to think that the pattern of abuse is responsive to the tone set by the man at the top of the executive branch. As Strassel observed:

Entrusted with extraordinary powers, Mr. Obama has the duty to protect and defend all Americans–regardless of political ideology. By having his campaign target a private citizen for his politics, the president forswore those obligations. He both undermined public faith in federal institutions and put his employees in an impossible situation.

Rush helps us remember that this is nothing new:

Did the White House use Romney’s tax returns against him? Was Harry Reid getting his crazy allegations about Romney’s taxes from the IRS? Remember when Harry Reid said, “Mitt Romney hasn’t paid taxes.”

“How do you know?”

“Well, good friends have told me.”

“Who?”

“I’m not gonna tell you who’s told me.” But it is clear, Austan Goolsbee demonstrates, you could pick up the phone, call the IRS, and they’d tell you what you wanted to know. Somebody at the IRS, it had to be the IRS, told Goolsbee about the Kochs’ tax returns. How did Harry Reid find out about Mitt Romney’s taxes? And we know that all of these Romney donors were targeted for audits by the IRS. We know that what’s-her-face, Janet Napolitano, in a memo to the Department of Homeland Security, warned law enforcement officials to be on the lookout for right-wing extremist grouped who were concerned about illegal immigration, abortion, increasing federal power and restrictions on firearms.

Folks, the fact of the matter is, this administration has targeted right-wing groups from practically every bureaucracy in the government. The idea that it’s something new and uncommon from the IRS is ludicrous. Clinton did it. Clinton had targeted audits of conservative groups. It isn’t anything new. But for some reason the media has joined the chorus of criticism on this one. And I’m convinced it’s because they have to save the IRS, and so it’s a little bit of damage control, among other things.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Under Clinton the IRS went after the NRA, the Heritage Foundation, the National Review, the American Spectator, Freedom Alliance, American Policy Center, Citizens for Honest Government, the Progress and Freedom Foundation, Concerned Women for America, and on and on and on.

Rush should know:

I am audited every year by the state of New York, still, after being gone since 1997. I’m in the middle of a nine-month audit right now for just the last year. I didn’t live there. I didn’t work there. I didn’t earn any money in New York, but it doesn’t matter. They’re so cash strapped they’ve got a division in Albany, I’m convinced, that just follows people who leave and move to no-income-tax states.

Local conservative columnist and radio host, Howie Carr, recalls the time when the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis launched a state audit of him (only to have to cancel it and apologize later). He faced federal audits as well. (Here’s some audio that comes in on the middle of the story.)

Conservatives are a persecuted minority.

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All Your 1040s Are Belong to Us

Two words, Mr. President: Uh and oh.

A federal watchdog’s upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011.

The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted. ….

That report says the head of the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups learned that groups were being targeted in June 2011. It does not say whether Shulman was notified.

The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But on June 29, 2011, Lois G. Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt organizations, learned at a meeting that groups were being targeted, according to the watchdog’s report. At the meeting, she was told that groups with “Tea Party,” ”Patriot” or “9/12 Project” in their names were being flagged for additional and often burdensome scrutiny, the report says. …

On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement,” the report says.

While this was happening, several committees in Congress were writing IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to express concern because tea party groups were complaining of IRS harassment.

In Shulman’s responses, he did not acknowledge targeting of tea party groups. At a congressional hearing March 22, 2012, Shulman was adamant in his denials.

“There’s absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status, Shulman said at the House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing.

All of which prompts this observation:

It now appears that this is one more scandal that the Obama administration managed to keep quiet until after November’s election. One wonders how many more skeletons will come tumbling out of the closet, now that Obama is safely re-elected.

And these questions:

Remember how much Harry Reid was mouthing off about tax returns? Did the White House feed him some inside information, or did the IRS?

Boy, did I blow this one. I thought four Americans dying at the hands of Islamist savages would cripple this presidency. Silly me. Obama’s like Al Capone: of all his manifest crimes, it’s the tax abuse that will bring him down.

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Sorry, Patriots

How often does a jack-booted thug apologize anyway?

Responding to a flurry of complaints from conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, the Internal Revenue Service admitted Friday it made “mistakes” in the last few years while trying to process those requests.

Multiple tea party groups reported significant delays and excessive questioning from IRS officials while trying to obtain 501(c)(4) status.

While the groups and conservative members of Congress cried foul, the agency strongly contests the notion that groups were targeted out of political bias.

Lois Lerner, director of tax exempt organizations for the IRS, said on a conference call Friday that the IRS office in Cincinnati that handles most applications for 501(c)(4) status had seen a strong uptick in applications of 1,500 to 3,400 between 2010 and 2012.

Any applications that were incomplete, lacked consistent information, or indicated a group would be involved with some type of advocacy, were filed into a certain group for further review.

However, approximately 75 of the 300 groups that were filed for further review were simply filed because they had the names “tea party” and “patriot,” Lerner said.

“They did pick the cases by names and that’s absolutely inappropriate and not the way we should do things,” she said, though stressing it was done as a “shortcut,” not out of “political bias.”

Huh? A “shortcut” to what? And if there was no “political bias”, how was it “inappropriate”? This “apology” makes no sense.

Though this does:

I’m sure President Obama is grateful for all the help the IRS gave his reelection campaign, but, still, you have to wonder how the bureaucrats who tried to pull this off can sleep at night.

So many Americans knew this was happening, but many felt defenseless and even helpless against a government that seems to roll along without accountability or sense of obligation to the people it’s supposed to serve. These Americans were mocked for being concerned about this, but now we see light shining on the truth, finally.

This IRS revelation is another step in the unraveling of the Obama administration’s self-proclaimed “hope and change.” Between the Benghazi cover-up and the IRS targeting Obama’s political opponents, we see the corruption at the heart of big government.

Americans should remember that this same corrupt IRS will be in charge of enforcing Obamacare. And this same inept and corrupt government will supposedly secure our now unsecured borders in advance of immigration reform and will implement a completely ethical and non-political IPAB panel to make life and death health care decisions for you and your family. Forgive me for not trusting these big government promises any more than I trust the White House’s latest Benghazi spin or the IRS’ fairness.

Sarah Palin, who still speaks more plainly and sanely than anyone in Washington, save maybe Ted Cruz.

This is more typical:

In an appearance before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight in March 2012, Shulman was asked about the controversy. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Louisiana, asked if it was true the IRS was politically targeting conservative groups.

“Yes, I can give you assurances. We pride ourselves in being a non-political, non-partisan organization,” he said. “There is absolutely no targeting. This is the kind of back and forth that happens when people apply for 501(c)(4) status.”

What is it they say in Congress all the time? “I reserve the right to revise and extend my remarks.” Yeah, that must be what he meant.

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