” The Democrat Rep. from Maryland let loose on what was sure to be the final piece of the Orwellian puzzle that made everything ‘suddenly make sense’ at Media Matters. From the Daily Caller:
Rep. Elijah Cummings has yet to reveal the name of the “conservative Republican” IRS agent he claims started the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups, despite evidence that the targeting was overseen by a registered Democrat working out of Washington, D.C.
Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland and the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, claimed this week that an unnamed Republican manager in the IRS’s Cincinnati office started the agency’s targeting of conservative groups, and that “the case is solved” with no evidence of White House wrongdoing.
Cummings claimed in a letter to Republican Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, dated June 9, that his staff had interviewed a “conservative Republican” manager from the IRS’ Cincinnati office who took the blame for the improper targeting.
After finishing his letter to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House’s Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Cummings apparently slapped his hands together, rubbed them back and forth a bit, and said to himself, “well, that’s that.” Because on CNN, he effectively told extremely credible guy Al Sharpton that the case is “solved” and there’s no there ‘there’:”
” I thought of those Canadian Liberal “integrity provisions” passing a TV screen the other day and catching hack bureaucrats from the IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Division reassuring Congress that systems had now been put in place to prevent them succumbing to the urge to put on Spock ears and moob-hugging blue polyester for the purposes of starring in a Star Trek government training video. The Small Business/Self-Employed Division had boldly gone where no IRS man had gone before — to a conference in Anaheim, where they were put up in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms and entertained by a man who was paid $27,500 to fly in and paint on stage a portrait of Bono. Bono is the veteran Irish rocker knighted by the Queen for his tireless campaign on behalf of debt forgiveness, which doesn’t sound the IRS’s bag at all. But don’t worry, debt forgiveness-wise Bono has Africa in mind, not New Jersey. And, as Matthew Cowart tweeted me the other day, he did have a big hit with “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” which I believe is now the official anthem of the IRS Cincinnati office.”
” It took Congressman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to get to the heart of the matter: “With all due respect, this is not a training issue,” he said. “This cannot be solved with another webinar. . . . We can adopt all the recommendations you can possibly conceive of. I just say it strikes me — and maybe it’s just me — but it strikes me as a cultural, systemic, character, moral issue.”
” He’s right. If you don’t instinctively know it’s wrong to stay in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms at public expense, a revised conference-accommodations-guidelines manual isn’t going to fix the real problem.
So we know the IRS is corrupt.”
As always read the whole thing …
” We have the president of the United States’ word as a gentleman that he knew nothing about the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of his enemies until he “learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this.”
Furthermore, although the commissioner of the IRS, Douglas Shulman, visited Obama’s White House no fewer than 157 times, which is 156 times more than his predecessor Mark Everson ever visited the White House, we know that this was for legitimate Easter-egg rolls, as he testified to Congress, and meetings to discuss Obamacare. The Easter Bunny, one should note, visits the White House two to four times as often as the average IRS commissioner did before Mr. Shulman came along. But you can’t make a health-care omelet without breaking Easter eggs: It is one of the many distinctive features of Obama-style “health” “care” “reform” that, while it has not led to the hiring of a single additional doctor, nurse, or hospital janitor, it did require the biggest expansion of the IRS since the Second World War. So, when he wasn’t rolling Easter eggs and advising the moppets on whether they needed to declare the luxury Belgian white chocolate balls with praline filling, he was participating in vital meetings on how many extra SWAT teams he was going to need to enforce the new colonoscopy non-compliance penalty.”
As always , read the whole thing
” Meanwhile, back at the GOP, Sen. Rand Paul is no Dick Cheney, either: At CPAC this week, the narrow bounds of his smash-hit filibuster – questioning drone assassinations of Americans in America – broadened somewhat, not just to questioning drone assassinations of Americans anywhere, nor to questioning drone assassinations of anyone, nor even to questioning the “war on terror” or war in general, but to questioning the very assumptions of American global order, starting with our bankrolling of Mohamed Morsi in Cairo. The Egyptians send mobs to torch the U.S. embassy, the Saudis wage ideological warfare against Western civilization, the Turks call Israel a “crime against humanity” and threaten a cultural and demographic takeover of Europe, the Pakistanis are ramping up nuke production to sell to any loon in town – and those are just our “allies.” With friends like these, who needs foreign policy? There are fewer and fewer takers for the burdens of global superpower, and whoever wins the nomination in 2016 will be considerably less Cheney and more Randy.
As the CPAC crowd suggested, there are takers on the right for the Rand Paul position. There are many on the left for Obama’s drone-alone definition of great power. But there are ever fewer takers for a money-no-object global hegemon that spends 46 percent of the world’s military budget and can’t impress its will on a bunch of inbred goatherds. A broker America needs to learn to do more with less, and to rediscover the cold calculation of national interest rather than waging war as the world’s largest NGO. In dismissing Rand Paul as a “wacko bird,” John McCain and Lindsay Graham assume that the too-big-to-fail status quo is forever. It’s not; it’s already over.”
Where the government can see, it can send a drone.
” I’m a long, long way from Rand Paul’s view of the world (I’m basically a 19th-century imperialist a hundred years past sell-by date), but I’m far from sanguine about America’s drone fever. For all its advantages to this administration — no awkward prisoners to be housed at Gitmo, no military casualties for the evening news — the unheard, unseen, unmanned drone raining down death from the skies confirms for those on the receiving end al-Qaeda’s critique of its enemies: As they see it, we have the best technology and the worst will; we choose aerial assassination and its attendant collateral damage because we are risk-averse, and so remote, antiseptic, long-distance, computer-programmed warfare is all that we can bear. Our technological strength betrays our psychological weakness.
And in a certain sense they’re right: Afghanistan is winding down, at best, to join the long list of America’s unwon wars, in which, 48 hours after departure, there will be no trace that we were ever there. The guys with drones are losing to the guys with fertilizer — because they mean it, and we don’t. The drone thus has come to symbolize the central defect of America’s “war on terror,” which is that it’s all means and no end: We’re fighting the symptoms rather than the cause.
For a war without strategic purpose, a drone’ll do.”
- Why Washington’s Drone Warfare Overseas Is A Strategic Mistake (txwclp.org)
- Beware the Droids of March (askmarion.wordpress.com)
- Mark Steyn on Use of Drones (VIDEO) (shepherdspiehole.typepad.com)
- U.S. Air Force stops reporting data on Afghanistan drone strikes (news.yahoo.com)
- The 7 Absolute Worst Reactions To Rand Paul’s Drone Filibuster (mediaite.com)
- Democrats Block Rand Paul Resolution Against Drone Killings of Americans on US Soil (pjmedia.com)
- Obama’s broken promise: A Q&A on Guantanamo Bay (nj.com)
“I’m also issuing a new goal for America,” declared President Obama at his “State of the Union” on Tuesday. We’ll come to the particular “goal” he “issued” momentarily, but before we do, consider that formulation: Did you know the president of the United States is now in the business of “issuing goals” for his subjects to live up to?
The State of the Union is the opposite. The president gives a performance, extremely animatedly, head swiveling from left-side prompter to right-side prompter, continually urging action now: “Let’s start right away. We can get this done. … We can fix this. … Now is the time to do it. Now is the time to get it done.” And at the end of the speech, nothing gets done, and nothing gets fixed, and, after a few days’ shadowboxing between admirers and detractors willing to pretend it’s some sort of serious legislative agenda, every single word of it is forgotten until the next one.
In that sense, like Beyoncé lip-synching the National Anthem at the Inauguration, the State of the Union embodies the decay of America’s political institutions into a simulacrum of responsible government rather than the real thing, and a simulacrum ever more divorced from the real issues facing the country. “Over the last few years, both parties have worked together to reduce the deficit by more than $2.5 trillion,” said the president. Really? Who knew? “Now we need to finish the job.” Just one more push is all it’ll take.
What’s he on about? The annual “deficit” has been over a trillion for every year of Obama’s presidency. The cumulative deficits have, in fact (to use a quaint expression), increased the national debt by $6 trillion. Yet Obama claims Washington has “reduced the deficit” by $2.5 trillion, and all we need to do is “finish the job.” “
- MARK STEYN: ACHIEVE YE THIS GOAL: ‘I’m also issuing a new goal for America,” declared Pres… (pjmedia.com)
- Mark Steyn: Fiscal Cliff Bill ‘Signals To World That American Era Is Over’ (patdollard.com)
- Author Mark Steyn on Fiscal Cliff Deal: Out-of-Control Spending ‘Signals to World That American Era Is Over’ (foxnewsinsider.com)
- Steyn On Sage Grouse , Hawaiian Vacations And Quentin Tarantino (youviewed.com)
- Steyn Time (nationalreview.com)
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
” Celebrity news from the United Kingdom: In April, Germaine Greer, the Australian feminist and author of The Female Eunuch, was leaving her house in East Anglia, when a young woman accosted her, forced her back inside, tied her up, smashed her glasses, and then set about demolishing her ornaments with a poker.
A couple of weeks before that, the 85-year-old mother of Phil Collins, the well-known rock star, was punched in the ribs, the back, and the head on a West London street, before her companion was robbed. “That’s what you have to expect these days,” she said, philosophically.
Anthea Turner, the host of Britain’s top-rated National Lottery TV show, went to see the West End revival of Grease with a friend. They were spotted at the theatre by a young man who followed them out and, while their car was stuck in traffic, forced his way in and wrenched a diamond-encrusted Rolex off the friend’s wrist.
A week before that, the 94-year-old mother of Ridley Scott, the director of Alien and other Hollywood hits, was beaten and robbed by two men who broke into her home and threatened to kill her. “
Read On , That Was Just The Prelude
” A few months ago, Shirley Best, owner of the Rolander Fashion boutique whose clients include the daughter of the Princess Royal, was ironing some garments when two youths broke in. They pressed the hot iron into her side and stole her watch, leaving her badly burnt.
“I was frightened to defend myself,” said Miss Best. “I thought if I did anything I would be arrested.”
And who can blame her? Shortly before the attack, she’d been reading about Tony Martin, a Norfolk farmer whose home had been broken into and who had responded by shooting and killing the teenage burglar. He was charged with murder. In April, he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment—for defending himself against a career criminal in an area where the police are far away and reluctant to have their sleep disturbed.
Norfolk is a remote rural corner of England. It ought to be as peaceful and crime-free as my remote rural corner of New England. But it isn’t. Old impressions die hard: Americans still think of Britain as a low-crime country. Conversely, the British think of America as a high-crime country. But neither impression is true. The overall crime rate in England and Wales is 60 percent higher than that in the United States. True, in America you’re more likely to be shot to death. On the other hand, in England you’re more likely to be strangled to death. But in both cases, the statistical likelihood of being murdered at all is remote, especially if you steer clear of the drug trade. When it comes to anything else, though—burglary, auto theft, armed robbery, violent assault, rape—the crime rate reaches deep into British society in ways most Americans would find virtually inconceivable.
I cite those celebrity assaults not because celebrities are more prone to wind up as crime victims than anyone else, but only because the measure of a civilized society is how easily you can insulate yourself from its snarling underclass. In America, if you can make it out of some of the loonier cities, it’s a piece of cake, relatively speaking. In Britain, if even a rock star or TV supremo can’t insulate himself, nobody can. “
” Conservative columnist Mark Steyn unleashed a torrent of pithy thoughts on the mercifully ended theater-of-the-absurd that resulted in a measly few billion dollars a year in spending cuts under the fiscal cliff deal. In the video above, the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon stated in his cheerfully sardonic way that “the American era is over“:
“In a sense America voted for big government in November. What it didn’t vote for is the willingness to pay for it. We have the biggest gap between revenue and spending of any nation on Earth. So people have got to get real about this. If you want Swedish-style government, you have to pay Swedish-style taxes. And if you don’t, you have to grow up and learn to live within your means.” “
- Mark Steyn: Fiscal Cliff Bill ‘Signals To World That American Era Is Over’ (patdollard.com)
- ‘Cliff’ Bill ‘Signals to World That American Era is Over’ (visiontoamerica.com)
- EIB Guest Host: Mark Steyn (rushlimbaugh.com)
- Saturday Steyn (youviewed.com)
- Steyn: Congress Spent “Two Months Negotiating 10 Hours of Savings” (townhall.com)
- Hugh Hewitt: Donald Rumsfeld, Mark Steyn and Jake Tapper on Benghazi (hughhewitt.com)
” No epiphanies in Washington: the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the latest triumphant deal includes $2 billion of cuts for fiscal year 2013. Wow! That’s what the government of the United States borrows every 10 hours and 38 minutes. Spending two months negotiating 10 hours of savings is like driving to a supermarket three states away to save a nickel on your grocery bill.
A space alien on Planet Zongo whose cable package includes “Meet The Press” could watch 10 minutes of these pseudo-cliffhangers and figure out how they always end, every time: Spending goes up, and the revenue gap widens.
This latest painstakingly negotiated bipartisan deal to restore fiscal responsibility actually includes a third of a trillion dollars in new spending. A third of a trillion! $330,000,000,000! Fancy that! In most countries, a third of a trillion would be a lot of money. But in the U.S. it’s chump change so footling it’s barely mentioned in the news reports “
Illustration By Eric Allie
- Obama: ‘I Cut Spending by Over a Trillion Dollars in 2011′ (cnsnews.com)
- Fiscal cliff deal will add $4 trillion to US deficit, says CBO (forexlive.com)
- The Spending Cliff | Cato Institute (cg68doc.newsvine.com)
- Say What???? (bobusnr.wordpress.com)
- Obama’s Legacy: $20 Trillion in Deficits (realclearpolitics.com)
- From the Desk of Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President for Government Affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (bewellinsurance.wordpress.com)
- Letter: Fiscal cliff settlement a joke as far as reducing debt (nj.com)
- In Fiscal Wars No Negotiation Is a Negotiating Tactic (abcnews.go.com)
- The fiscal cliff deal’s price tag: -$3.9 trillion or +$600 billion (washingtonpost.com)
- A Truly Historic Presidency (youviewedblog.wordpress.com)
From Mark Steyn:
” In America, the Christmas holiday is what it says: a holiday to observe Christmas. If it happens to fall on a Saturday or Sunday, tough. See you at work Monday morning. But across the Atlantic, if Christmas and New Year fall on the weekend, the ensuing weeks are eaten up by so many holidays they can’t even come up with names for them. I see from the well-named “Beautiful Ireland” calendar this newspaper sent me in lieu of a handsome bonus for calling the US elections correctly that January 3rd 2005 is a holiday in Ireland and Britain – the Morning After The Morning After Hogmanay – and the lucky Scots get January 4th off too – the First Hogtuesday After Hogmonday? Eventually, the entire Scottish economy will achieve the happy state of their enchanted village of Brigadoon and show up for one day every hundred years.
I’ve spent Christmas on both sides of the pond and, on the whole, I prefer the intensity of the American version – the big build-up, non-stop seasonal favourites on the radio between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day, and then at midnight on December 25th, it all stops. No more “Winter Wonderland” or “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”: the entire sleighlist (as it was called back in my disc-jockey days) turns into a pumpkin, and the party’s over, and December 26th is a perfectly normal working day. Whereas the last Christmas I spent in rural England is as near as I hope I ever get to experiencing my own hostage crisis. “Is it Christmas Bank Holiday Thursday yet?” “No, it’s still Boxing Day.” “
” For those untouched by death this Christmas, someone else’s bewildering, shattering turn of fate ought to occasion a little modesty and circumspection. Instead, even by its usual execrable standards, the public discourse post-Newtown has been stupid and contemptible. The Left now seizes on every atrocity as a cudgel to beat whatever happens to be the Right’s current hottest brand: Tucson, Arizona, was something to do with Sarah Palin’s use of metaphor and other common literary devices – or “toxic rhetoric,” as Paul Krugman put it; Aurora, Colorado, was something to do with the Tea Party, according to Brian Ross of ABC News. Since the humiliations of November, the Right no longer has any hot brands, so this time round the biens pensants have fallen back on “gun culture.” Dimwit hacks bandy terms like “assault weapon,” “assault rifle,” “semi-automatic” and “automatic weapon” in endlessly interchangeable but ever more terrifying accumulations of high-tech state-of-the-art killing power. As the comedian Andy Borowitz tweeted, “When the 2nd Amendment was written the most lethal gun available was the musket.”
Actually, the semiautomatic is a 19th century technology, first produced in 1885. That’s just under half-a-century after the death of Madison, the Second Amendment’s author, and rather nearer to the Founding Fathers’ time than our own. And the founders were under fewer illusions about the fragility of society than Hollywood funnymen: on July 25, 1764, four Lenape Indians walked into a one-room schoolhouse in colonial Pennsylvania and killed Enoch Brown and ten of his pupils. One child survived, scalped and demented to the end of his days.”
- CNN Anchor Piers Morgan Calls For Increased Gun Control and Said The 2nd Amendment Was Outdated (marketdailynews.com)
- Bloomberg: No One Has ‘Defended the Second Amendment as Much as I Have’ (politicker.com)
- A Lone Voice in the Corporate Media Wilderness: Ben Swann on the 2nd Amendment (dprogram.net)
- The Real Second Amendment (americanthinker.com)
- The Seventh Circuit Keeps “Bear” in 2nd Amendment (volokh.com)
” Great! Maybe Kate could return the favor and give Snooki and her fellow Americans some advice. About fiscal prudence, for example. Say what you like about a high-living, big-spending, bloated, decadent parasitical, wastrel monarchy, but, compared to the citizen-executive of a republic of limited government, it’s a bargain. So, while the lovely Duchess of Cambridge nurses her baby bump, the equally radiant President of the United States nurses his ever more swollen debt belly. He and his family are about to jet off on their Christmas vacation to watch America slide off the fiscal cliff from the luxury beach resort of Kailua. The cost to taxpayers of flying one man, his wife, two daughters and a dog to Hawaii is estimated at $3,639,622. For purposes of comparison, the total bill for flying the entire Royal Family (Queen, princes, dukes, the works) around the world for a year is £4.7 million – or about enough for two Obama vacations.
According to the USAF, in 2010 Air Force One cost American taxpayers $181,757 per flight hour. According to the Royal Canadian Air Force, in 2011 the CC-150 Polaris military transport that flew William and Kate from Vancouver to Los Angeles cost Her Majesty’s Canadian subjects $15,505 per hour – or about 8/100ths of the cost”
- Mark Steyn: The Sesamization of America (fullcomment.nationalpost.com)
- MARK STEYN: “To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hi… (pjmedia.com)
” So now we have the latest cliffhanger: the Fiscal Cliff, below which lies a bottomless abyss of sequestration, tax-cut extension expiries, Alternative Minimum Tax adjustments, new Obamacare taxes, the expiry of the deferment of the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate, as well as the expiry of the deferment of the implementation of the adjustment of the correction of the extension of the reduction to the proposed increase of the Alternative Minimum Growth Sustainability Reduction Rate. They don’t call it a yawning chasm for nothing.
As America hangs by its fingernails, wiggling its toesies over the vertiginous plummet to oblivion, what can save her now? An Even More Super Committee? A bipartisan agreement in which Republicans agree to cave, and Democrats agree not to laugh at them too much? That could be just the kind of farsighted reach-across-the-aisle compromise that rescues the nation until next week’s thrill-packed episode when America’s strapped into the driver’s seat of a runaway Chevy Volt careering round the hairpin bends on full charge, or trapped in an abandoned subdivision overrun by foreclosure zombies. “