Birds of a Feather Stick Together

There continues to be so much news on the Clinton front that it’s hard to keep up with it all. For instance, we now know that George Stephanopoulos, a supposed journalist who used to work for the Clintons and remains very tight with them, tried to hide the fact that when he conducted a critical interview with Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash, he was, in essence, still working for them. Stephanopoulos has contributed about $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and has actively participated in its events.

None of this was revealed when he was given the assignment to interview Schweizer, an interview in which he asserted that the author had no proof of his allegations against them. Very few people believe anymore that the mainstream media is unbiased, but this was more blatant than usual. Stephanopoulos finally was forced to acknowledge the attachment, but he hardly came across as truly apologetic.

No Strings

Meanwhile, evidence grows that the Clinton Foundation is primarily just a cash cow to benefit the Clinton family. Bill Clinton’s speaking fees rose astronomically once Hillary was seated in the secretary of state chair. As he infamously said, they have bills to pay.

How Much

He doesn’t seem the least bit embarrassed by his actions, but that’s typical for Bill Clinton. Despite the fact his presidency was a national embarrassment, he believes he can weather any storm.

The same goes for his wife. She has pretty much cut herself off from the media, some of whom are actually beginning to act like journalists—or are getting the message they’re being played and don’t like it. Trying to get Hillary to explain herself has become a fulltime profession.

You're in There

In one way, she’s not exactly like her husband:

Keep It Zipped

Pressed by Fox News’s Ed Henry, she finally took four questions from the traveling media circus surrounding her. Nothing to report there; the usual stonewalling and excuses.

Ready for Hillary

And that e-mail controversy is not going away either. Now we know for sure she lied about having only one account. Another has come to light, and she was using her office to help an acolyte named Sid Blumenthal make a profit on the chaos in Libya. She is claiming she wants the State Department to release all her e-mails. Well of course—she’s already “cleansed” the ones she sent to the department. Like her counterpart at the IRS, Lois Lerner, she did her best to destroy any trail that leads to her questionable actions:

Gov't Hackers

Hillary has taken a hit in some polls, but the real wonder is that there is anyone willing to put this untrustworthy person in the office of the presidency.

Birds

The point is that it’s not just Hillary who is corrupt. The entire Democrat machine partakes of the same corruption, and all too many who vote Democrat are blindly following their leaders.

Anyone Remember the IRS Scandal?

Lois Lerner 2If you know who this woman is, you are part of the minority who stays on top of news that is truly important. If you have forgotten who she is, or her face draws a complete blank, please allow me to fill in that blank. She needs to be known because she represents one of the most heinous activities of the federal government in recent years—the attempt to suppress all political opposition to Barack Obama. She is Lois Lerner, one of the architects of the IRS scheme to target conservative political groups and affect federal elections. In fact, her activities, along with her co-conspirators—yes, I will use that loaded word—may have led directly to Obama’s reelection.

Why am I writing about her today? Isn’t she “old news”? Well, if you get your information from the mainstream news media, that would be the case. All the major networks have ignored completely the latest development in the IRS scandal.

You might remember that Lerner’s attorney informed the Congress that all of her e-mails were inexplicably destroyed in a crash of her hard drive, and that there was no backup. Consequently, sorry Congress, but you really can’t continue investigating this scandal because of this unforeseen act of God. That’s the term, you know, for hurricanes, earthquakes, and destroyed computer hard disks.

That story, though, has been challenged by computer experts who say that’s not possible, given the backup system set up in the government. Now, the latest chapter in this saga is that her Blackberry, which had those so-called lost e-mails, was destroyed after the investigation began. Hmm, is it possible this all could be a coverup? I mean, isn’t there the slightest possibility this is political chicanery?

In league with Lerner is the fairly new head of the IRS, John Koskinen, a good friend and appointee of the president, who has carried out one of the craziest stonewalls of a congressional investigation ever witnessed. He keeps making statements that are demonstrably false, yet expects to get away with them. It’s almost like a comedy routine:

Lois Lerner's Computer

I know many other people have made the following point, but it’s worth repeating: if this were a Republican administration lying to this extent, a new Watergate would be born. Reporters would be falling over themselves digging up the dirt and rushing to report the latest angle of the scandal. Not so today. The mainstream news media doesn’t care. It is so sold out to praising Barack Obama that it has abandoned its basic journalistic role. It’s no longer a news media, but a cheering section in what it considers a political football game.

What about those hardy few who want to know the truth? Their path to the truth is going to be difficult:

Needle in Haystack

In the middle of all the other newsworthy stories—our foreign policy fiascoes and the increased terrorism threat—let’s not forget the IRS scandal. It hits at the very integrity of our government and our elections.

The IRS Scandal Escalates

As promised, I’m back on July 1. Had a great time in New Zealand. While there, I was keeping up with the news, but refraining from commenting. The big news yesterday, of course, was the Hobby Lobby decision at the Supreme Court—a victory for religious liberty. I’ll be sure to say more about that in the near future, but for now, I want to concentrate on the key developments during my month off. As I survey the month of June, there are three topics that come to the forefront for me:

  • The escalating IRS scandal
  • The tragedy unfolding in Iraq
  • Hillary Clinton’s continuing stumbles toward the Democrat nomination for president

I’ll take topic number one today, then go to the others in the next two days. You know I like using political cartoons to help aid in understanding. Well, now I have a full month’s worth from which to choose. Believe me, it wasn’t easy narrowing down to the best ones. In fact, I may overwhelm you a bit this week with the sheer number of cartoons I will use. I ask for forgiveness up front.

The latest round of corruption at the IRS stems from the supposed “loss” of two years’ worth of Lois Lerner’s e-mails, followed by news that, coincidentally, six other IRS officials connected with this probe have also mysteriously lost their e-mails. Truly an astounding coincidence:

Plead the Fifth

For some strange reason, thinking people doubt the truthfulness of this claim. Could their own experience with the IRS have colored their views? After all, that agency seems to have no problem coming up with everything the American public is forced to send them each year:

Taxpayer Records

There are always those, however, who swallow the Obama administration’s line no matter how unbelievable:

Is Dog Okay

Those same believers find it easier to accept any explanation other than the most probable one:

Real Culprit

Republicans in the House called in the newly appointed IRS commissioner, John Koskinen, to grill him about what he’s doing to get to the truth. Koskinen, though, is one of the president’s key financial contributors; he was put in this office to do Obama’s bidding and cover for him. His appearance before the committee revealed an intensely arrogant man who says nothing criminal was done and that he has no intention of really seeking the truth. Congressman Paul Ryan quite bluntly told Koskinen that no one believes him, but he remains unfazed. His ability to deny blatant evidence of wrongdoing fits in quite well with the entire Obama strategy:

Tall Tales

No matter what Koskinen might have said, Democrats on the committee were prepared to back him to the hilt:

Invaded

Aided by the media, naturally. Throughout this ordeal, the constant refrain from the Left has been that this is all politicized, that there is, as their leader asserted, not even a smidgen of corruption. That theme is wearing more than a little thin, and it’s becoming harder for Obama’s adherents to keep up the false image of a Republican frenzy to “get” the president:

Talking Point

Bottom line, here is the real victim of this scandal:

Lost Integrity

Until and unless this is resolved, conservatives need to be aware of where they stand with this IRS bureaucracy:

Drop Box

This investigation must proceed, and those who have so blatantly upended the rule of law must be brought to justice. I realize that seems unlikely, given the Eric Holder DOJ, but those who are pursuing this need to remain dedicated to their task. It’s not hyperbole to say the future of the republic is at stake.

The IRS Scandal: Worse Than Watergate

Watergate was an egregious attempt by some Nixon staffers to steal strategy intel from Democrats during the 1972 presidential campaign. If successful, it would have given the Nixon people insight into how to conduct their campaign to defeat George McGovern. It was an attempt to influence an election. For the record, it was spectacularly unsuccessful. Nothing was taken and no one who broke into the Democrat headquarters even resisted arrest.

Moreover, it was entirely unnecessary; McGovern effectively defeated himself, losing 49 states. As I tell my students, not only was the attempt to steal documents immoral, it was unbelievably stupid, as there was no way Nixon was going to lose that election. Those who carried out the deed were prosecuted, as they should have been. Nixon ended up resigning as a result of his actions to cover up what happened. His resignation also was appropriate, given his desire to obstruct justice.

Any attempt to influence an election unfairly should be viewed with the utmost concern, and anyone involved in doing so should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. When the perpetrators of such injustice are Republicans, the media’s long knives come out. During Watergate, it was the Washington Post that led the charge.

IRSWe have a situation today that is, in fact, far worse than anything that occurred in the Watergate fiasco, yet neither the Post nor any of the mainstream media cares. The IRS targeting of conservative groups leading up to the 2012 presidential election should be garnering even more attention than Watergate did in the Nixon era.

There’s even a big difference between the two cases: the IRS was successful in its endeavor to silence those organizations prior to 2012 by harassing them with endless questions and denying or stalling their tax-exempt status applications until after the election had passed. Freedom of political speech was stifled through this unconstitutional means. And it probably had an effect on that election’s outcome.

Yet the only major news outlet bothering to report on this continuing scandal (and the coverup that has become rather obvious) is Fox. Talk radio keeps attention on it, as do various conservative websites, but the mass of the public has been kept in the dark regarding these unlawful actions.

Lois Lerner 2At the center of the controversy is Lois Lerner, the IRS official who spearheaded the stalling tactics. She has a history of trying to undermine conservatives, and her refusal to testify before Congress regarding her actions only lends credence to accusations that she did this for political purposes, perhaps at the behest of the White House. E-mails have surfaced making it clear she knew what she was doing. The House of Representatives is going forward with contempt charges, and is pressing the Justice Department to prosecute her for criminality.

The only problem is that Eric Holder continues to hold the reins as attorney general. He will ensure that any attempt at prosecution is squashed. What we have here is something far more serious than Watergate. The administration, though, feels it has no reason to worry—the media has its back.

What does this portend for conservative groups as we go forward?

Harass Our Group

Republicans need to continue to apply the pressure. Election fraud needs to be addressed. Government corruption must be exposed, even if the investigation leads to the White House. Some Democrats are declaring, in outraged tones, that this is not Watergate. They are correct: Watergate pales in comparison.

The Media & the IRS Scandal

I have to comment on this before it becomes too old news. Last week, Rep. Darrell Issa tried to hold another hearing into the IRS scandal. Once again, the primary suspect in this abuse of conservative organizations, Lois Lerner, was supposed to testify. She’s the one, in case your memory needs a jog, who took the Fifth last time after making statements that she was innocent. By doing so, she might have voided her right to take the Fifth, but who cares anymore about following the law. Certainly not the IRS. Certainly not the DOJ, which is responsible for investigating these misdeeds.

Lerner repeated her earlier performance. Issa asked her seven questions; she took the Fifth on each. Clearly, this hearing was going nowhere, so Issa officially adjourned. After doing so, the minority leader, Rep. Elijah Cummings, said he had a procedural question. Issa, even though the hearing was over, gave him liberty to ask his question. There was no question. Instead, Cummings launched into a denunciation of Issa and the committee for holding biased hearings. At that point, Issa called for his microphone to be cut; the hearing was over.

That led to an eruption from Cummings, who went nearly apoplectic over his supposed ill treatment. All of this was caught on camera. His outburst made the news. And later, he made an accusation against Issa that he was . . . ready for it . . . racist. Of course. The last refuge of modern scoundrels.

Issa’s decision to end the hearing, his cutoff of the microphone, and the charge of racism were the highlight of the mainstream media’s coverage. Never mind that Cummings was out of bounds and that racism played no role here. Ignore the actual issue—the political sabotage by the IRS—and emphasize the false accusations against Issa instead.

Won't Talk

This is the usual media ploy: make the Republican into the bad guy, even though all he’s trying to do is get to the truth about a clear abuse of power.

Being Rude

Almost from the start, the media have tried to derail the IRS story. Evidence shows, beyond any genuine doubt, that only conservative organizations were targeted, yet that doesn’t seem to bother them. There are always other things more important on which to focus:

Worried Sick

Again, the only network that has stayed on the IRS story consistently is Fox, which naturally makes this network the recipient of criticism from those who want the scandal to go away. There is a pattern here:

Another Story

The mainstream media doesn’t like to be reminded of its total lack of objectivity in reporting the news.

Retiring the New Order

Barack Obama’s pledge to fundamentally transform America wasn’t an empty promise/threat. While this transformation has been obvious to anyone paying attention over the past 4+ years, sometimes it takes a really foolish act—like closing the WWII Memorial—to highlight his basic break from all of American history and tradition.

Whether you realize it or not, we are now living in a new America under this president. It’s an America we’ve never seen before:

Obamaville

Those who normally would be seen as patriotic citizens are being maligned as dangerous to the New Order:

Target

Politicized bureaucrats have been emboldened to carry out what was already in their hearts. Occasionally, one is called on the carpet for such activities, but even when one is forced to resign—like Lois Lerner, the instigator at the IRS of the investigation of conservative groups—she gets to live with a comfortable pension, paid for by many of those she targeted:

Miss the IRS

The comic strip Dilbert entered the fray recently, showing how one character fought back:

On the Run

I think that’s pretty eloquent humor, and humor remains one of our best weapons against budding tyranny. One thing tyrants can’t stand is to be made fun of. Yet this is also serious business. It’s time to take seriously the threats to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Now where have I heard those words before? Oh, that’s just an old American document that has no relevance in the New Order.

It’s well past the time to retire the New Order.

Summarizing the Scandals–Thus Far

My goal today is to attempt a summary of the three controversies swirling around the presidency right now. I can’t promise to include everything that ought to be included, but I do hope to make sense of it all. If you’ve been too busy to follow all the details, perhaps this can help pull it together. In the spirit of Watergate, I’ve decided to put a “gate” on each one. As far as I’m concerned, they more than deserve that “honor”; each one is far worse than the original.

Benghazigate

  • The killing of four Americans, including our ambassador, on 9/11/12 is the only one of these controversies that cost lives. That, in itself, makes it the worst of the three. There are three stages of this controversy:
    • Prior to the attack: Security measures were far below standards in a country on the verge of chaos and infiltrated with radical Muslim groups. Repeated requests for added security were either ignored or rejected by the State Dept. Some reports also indicate that we may have been using Libya as a center for a gun-running operation to Syrian rebels, many of whom are also radical Islamists.
    • During the attack: On-the-ground communications gave us a blow-by-blow description of what was happening in real time. Those whose lives were in danger asked for help. Two former Navy Seals rushed to the scene and again sought help from the military. There was help available, and as a team was assembled and ready to go their aid, they got a “stand down” order that, according to Gregory Hicks, the top diplomat in Libya still alive, greatly angered the colonel in charge of the troops. Due to that order, no aid came and the Seals were killed after a stalwart defense. Who gave the “stand down” order? No one is claiming responsibility.
    • After the attack: Now we know that the decisionmakers, from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, had information right from the start that implicated radical Islamists. They chose to edit all mention of terrorism out of the infamous talking points that UN ambassador Susan Rice used to go on Sunday news programs. They uniformly blamed some obscure anti-Islam video on the Internet for causing this attack. None of the documentation that has been revealed thus far provides any rationale for blaming that video, yet even President Obama, two weeks later, was using it as the cause in a speech to the UN. Despite assurances that those responsible would be dealt with, no one in Libya has ever been charged; yet the man who produced the video was rounded up and jailed, and he remains there to this day.
    • It’s hard not to believe the accusations that this has been a coverup from day one. Added to the despicable nature of this coverup is that it occurred during the campaign as a way of ensuring another Obama term.
    • More whistleblowers may be forthcoming. Not one person who was in Benghazi who survived this attack has ever said a word about what occurred. Are they under a gag order from this administration? Are they being intimidated in some way?

IRS-Gate

  • Last Friday, in anticipation of the release of an inspector general’s report, the IRS official in charge of the Exempt Organization Division, Lois Lerner, issued an apology for how the agency had targeted conservative groups for at least two years, holding them to near-impossible standards before allowing them to be considered tax exempt.

    • Ever since that admission, there have been daily reports of how these organizations were subjected to harassment. Any group seeking tax exemption that included “Tea Party,” “patriot,” limited government,” or any similar wording in their names became a target. This was a scorched-earth attempt to defund these organizations and to limit their effectiveness as the 2012 presidential election neared.
    • It also has come to light that donors to Republicans, particularly donors to Mitt Romney, were singled out for audits. This went beyond donors to other tax-exempt organizations that exhibited support for Romney. The most egregious example was the auditing of the Billy Graham Association after Rev. Graham vocally supported a defense-of-marriage law in North Carolina and then had favorable things to say about candidate Romney.

    • President Obama claims he knew nothing about this until he read the news accounts. Right. As if the president of the United States relies on the media for his information. Then he asked for the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS, who, it turns out, was planning on retiring in a couple of months anyway. He further says the IRS is an independent agency over which he has no direct control. Really? It is under the Treasury Department, which is run by Obama’s secretary of the treasury. He has direct oversight. Any claim to the contrary is invalid.
    • In a particularly strange and tone-deaf move, Sarah Hall Ingram, who served as commissioner of the office overseeing tax-exempt organizations, has now been tabbed to lead the IRS enforcement of Obamacare. What could possibly go wrong?
    • Then, yesterday, Obama announced his appointment of Daniel Werfel to take over the IRS. Who is Werfel? A current White House budget official. In other words, let’s hire the fox to guard the hen house.

AP-Gate

  • The Justice Department secretly got access to two months’ worth of telephone conversations between reporters for the AP and whomever they might have contacted for their stories. Ostensibly, this was done for national security reasons—that the AP endangered national security by releasing a story about a successful effort to thwart a terrorist attack in Yemen.

    • Now we know that there was no longer a threat by the time the AP released its story. It had worked with the administration to sit on it for five days prior to release. Reports now indicate that the offense, if that be the right word, was in releasing it before the administration had the opportunity to boast about its successful operation. There was no national security threat at all at the time AP made the decision.
    • This is a clear First Amendment issue (as is the IRS controversy), and the media, which has always sided with Obama, is showing signs of alienation from him for the first time in five years.
    • Both Obama and Attorney General Holder say they have no knowledge of what occurred. Obama says, rather implausibly, that the White House doesn’t know what its own Justice Department is doing; Holder says he earlier recused himself from the operation, although he doesn’t recall just when he did so and has nothing in writing to prove it.

In every case, Obama has tried to have it both ways: he knew nothing, yet don’t worry, he’s fully in charge and everything’s going to be fine.

Let’s just say I’m not all that assured. When George Bush was president, you may have disagreed with some of his decisions, but at least you knew what he had decided and that he took responsibility for his actions. The Obama presidency has been a study in opposites:

These controversies have only begun. They have not played out, and won’t very soon in spite of the administration’s desire to put them to rest. Don’t be surprised, either, if a few more get added on to these three. The arrogance of this president and his minions practically guarantees it.