The Benghazi E-mails

Benghazi AttackBenghazi is back. Big time. As it should be. All the facts about the terrorist attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans have never been uncovered. Questions remain about a number of issues: Why was that consulate even open in a hostile environment? Why was it not adequately protected? Could our military have gotten there in time to stop the attack? How in the world did an obscure internet video become the scapegoat for the violence? How did politics play into the decision to blame the video?

Benghazi-HillaryThe Obama administration has ducked and weaved to avoid straight answers. It has gone to great lengths to shield both Obama and Hillary Clinton, the latter of whom staged her infamous response to a congressional committee with a fake outrage, yelling, “What difference at this point does it make?” when asked about her role in the tragedy.

Congress sought relevant White House e-mails about the attack last year, only to be stonewalled. It took a Freedom of Information Act request by a private organization, Judicial Watch, and a court order to force the administration to finally release those e-mails. What they reveal is revealing.

One of the e-mails is now the subject of great attention. Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser, outlined what the official response should be. The summary is simple: blame the internet video for the violence; deflect attention from policy failures; emphasize Obama’s cool and collected leadership. All of this is in the context of the 2012 presidential campaign as the Obama people were more focused on reelection than actually conducting foreign policy and getting to the truth about the Benghazi episode.

Yesterday, White House spokesman Jay Carney tried to assert that this particular e-mail had nothing to do with Benghazi, despite the fact that it is mentioned specifically in the e-mail. His absurd answers to reporters finally doing their job after two years could be called comedic, if not for the horror of the Benghazi event itself.

This is a story that should not go away. It is far worse than Watergate, as is the IRS debacle. Yet it appears that only one network besides Fox took the time to include it in broadcasts yesterday. The New York Times didn’t think it worth the trouble either. These journalists don’t deserve any awards for their work:

Pulitzer Pies

And when the president decides to lecture other nation’s leaders on their behavior, he has no credibility:

Irresponsible Behavior

Benghazi and the IRS are open wounds that need immediate attention. They cannot and should not be ignored. Will the mainstream media do its duty for once? Not unless their feet are held to the fire. It’s time to turn up the heat.

The Obamacare Chronicles (cont.)

It’s time for my obligatory Obamacare posting of the week. Why? Two reasons. First: despite all the administration’s efforts to convince people this is a success, the horror stories on how it is affecting us continue without letup. Second: the cartoonists are still having a field day with it. And why not? It’s ripe for lampooning. For instance, the administration’s theme that enrollment is rising covers up a significant factor in any numbers they put forward:

More People

That technique will become more prevalent in the future.

Then there’s the insistence that the debate is over, and it’s time to move on. One cartoonist saw a similarity with an event in a previous administration:

Mission Accomplished

The goal, apparently, is to deny reality as long as possible:

Keep Playing

As long as the media is on the president’s side, reality will be ignored in the hope of keeping the populace ignorant. Will ignorance win out in the end? We’ll find out in November.

Return of the Phony “War on Women”

Politicians from all countries throughout all ages have lied. That’s nothing new. Neither is it unexpected. The power that comes with political position brings all latent arrogance/pride to the surface more easily perhaps than other professions. While lying is pandemic (one of the Ten Commandments forbids giving false witness), some politicians have taken the practice to a higher level.

Take the Obama administration and the Democrats as a whole, for example (you knew I was going there, right?). To what lengths are these people willing to go to maintain power? Harry Reid, on the Senate floor in the last election cycle, flatly stated that Mitt Romney hadn’t paid taxes in ten years. It was patently false, but that didn’t stop him from declaring it. President Obama refuses to acknowledge one smidgen of corruption in the IRS affair. Everyone, including the president himself, knows that’s a whopper.

One of the biggest lies promoted in the previous presidential election was that the Republicans were waging a war on women. The proof? Why, they didn’t want to pay for contraception for everyone. A “poor” Georgetown law student who would soon be a lawyer raking in more money than most people ever see, was being discriminated against.

They now have decided that’s still a winner. The phony “War on Women” has been resurrected:

Falsely Claim

Also in circulation is the discredited statistic that women only make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. That has been debunked on both the Right and the Left; it doesn’t take into account many other factors. Yet that hasn’t stopped Obama from making it the basis of his latest accusations:

Not a Myth

It’s rather embarrassing to trumpet a war on women using this approach when one’s own White House pays women less than men. Well, change that—this administration isn’t embarrassed by anything, not even loss of credibility:

Credibility Gap

Remember when Romney made a remark about having binders full of women? Although everyone knew what he really meant by that comment, the Democrats made a joke out of it, and used it as further evidence that women were on the periphery of Republicans’ interests. Perhaps there’s a better application of that phrase now:

Binders

The hypocrisy and outright lying on this issue is so blatant, I’m sure the mainstream media will pick up on it very soon. Sure. The same media that avoided reporting Obama’s remark about having visited all 57 states is not about to start being honest now. The rest of us are the ones who have to disseminate the truth. We need to be faithful in that task.

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.

Polls, the Media, & Bad Principles

President Obama’s approval ratings are in later George W. Bush territory, still hovering above those of Richard Nixon right before his resignation. It’s doesn’t matter which poll you look at, he’s in the tank. The trust factor is almost gone, at least for an effective presidency. One might hope these numbers would make him rethink his entire philosophy of government, but all he ever does is double-down on his fundamentals:

Disapproval Rating

Ordinarily, I would respect someone who abides by his principles, but not when the principles are as bankrupt as his. They don’t deserve the name “principles”; they are false philosophies.

One might also expect the media to do its own rethinking, since both the news and entertainment segments have been his chief cheerleaders and apologists. That expectation, sad to say, is not to be realized:

Duty to Report

Another indication that the mainstream networks haven’t shifted gears into doing their job honestly is the resignation of CBS investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. She was determined to get to the bottom of some of the Obama scandals, but was hindered and/or thwarted at almost every step. She finally had enough and left an employer that didn’t really want her to do her job well:

Gold Watch

This is another black eye for CBS news, but there should be an outlet somewhere for Attkisson to continue her investigations.

What we are are seeing is a rather unholy alliance between government and the supposedly free press to advance a common goal. The collusion has led to massive deception and an electorate largely in the dark about this administration’s aims and its reprehensible actions. Although those opinion polls are now beginning to go against Obama, they are five years too late. Only the continuing bad economy and the Obamacare debacle have awakened the people. I wish they had been awakened much earlier simply by the knowledge of our current leader’s overall goals. Thinking about principles, though, is not the norm; people respond more to bad prospects for jobs and healthcare. I’ll take what we can get, but I want to keep pointing to the false foundation on which Obama promised “hope and change.”

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.

Eternal Vigilance . . .

A few follow-ups today on topics I’ve mentioned recently. Yesterday I commented on Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that global warming is settled science and that anyone who questions it belongs to the Flat Earth Society. Never mind, of course, that no one of learning ever really believed the earth was flat; to point that out would be inappropriate. I came across what I consider to be a fine rejoinder to Kerry’s rather smug assertion:

Early Denier

Our modern-day skeptics of global warming science find themselves in the same place as Galileo did five centuries ago. And they are subject to the same ridicule and threats from authority that he was.

Then there was my post a few days ago about the FCC studying how to monitor newsrooms, a clear violation of First Amendment free speech protection. This was an unprecedented attempt to stifle criticism of the administration. But it’s not that this administration hasn’t had practice doing some stifling:

You're Next

Now, supposedly, all the uproar over this “study” has caused the FCC to back down. For that, we can be grateful. Yet we need to stay alert; sometimes a backdown like this can be just a feint, and they find a new way to accomplish the same goal. What’s that motto? Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty?

Another topic I refuse to let go of is the continuing abuse of conservative groups by the IRS. Even though there has been much publicity about the targeting of conservatives, IRS officials are unbowed, apparently. Despite new evidence revealing that only conservative groups were singled out, the IRS presses forward, seeking to limit further what tax-exempt organizations can do during election cycles. Where will this end?

Give Your Opinion

No, I’m not paranoid; I’m simply paying attention to what’s actually happening.