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[VIDEO] Gruber Refuses to Tell Congress Amount Government Paid Him for Obamacare

“Would you agree to supplement your Exhibit B, so that we would have . . . your state revenue that you would’ve also received, since ultimately it’s Affordable Care Act-related?”

Fresh from The CornerBrendan Bordelon reports: Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber repeatedly refused to answer how much money the government paid him for advice on crafting and explaining the Affordable Care Act — prompting incredulous responses from Republican lawmakers, who reminded the professor he was under oath.

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“I’m sure my counsel would be happy to take that up with you.”

– Jonathan Gruber

GOP Oversight chairman Darrel Issa informed Gruber that due to a misfiled form, the committee did not receive the complete compensation data for his work on Obamacare.

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“Actually I was asking would you agree to provide it.”

– Oversight chairman Darrel Issa

IRS Hearing

“Why doesn’t he just tell us? How much money did you get from the state taxpayers and the federal taxpayers? He’s under oath, why doesn’t he tell us how much he got paid by the taxpayers? We don’t have to wait for him to send something to us, he should just be able to tell us.”

– Ohio Republican Jim Jordan

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 “As I said, the committee could take that up with my counsel.”

– Jonathan Gruber

 National Review Online


[VIDEO] Missouri Lt. Governor: Did the Obama Administration Pressure Governor Jay Nixon to Keep Out the National Guard?

At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon: Missouri lieutenant governor Peter Kinder expressed anger over the the Missouri National Guard’s absence from Ferguson during riots on Monday night, speculating that the Obama administration may have leaned on the Missouri governor to keep the soldiers back.

“Where were they last night? The law-abiding citizens and business owners and taxpayers of the St. Louis region have the right to ask this governor to answer some questions.”

Kinder, a Republican, lashed out at Democratic governor Jay Nixon for his failure to send the National Guard into the city while protesters looted and burned over a dozen businesses. Despite activating the Guard a week ago, troops were not deployed to Ferguson until Tuesday morning….(read more)

“Here’s my question that the governor must answer. Is the reason that the National Guard wasn’t in there was because the Obama administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out?”

 more….National Review Online

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[VIDEO] Senator Lindsay Graham Responds to the House Intelligence Committee Report

“I think the report is full of crap.”

Graham said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The House Intelligence Committee released a report on Friday evening, which took two years to compile, that found there was no outright intelligence failure during the attack, there was no delay in the rescue of U.S. personnel and there was no political cover-up by Obama administration officials. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Obama in 2006: ‘I Have Stolen Ideas Liberally’ From Jonathan Gruber

At The Corner, Brendan Bordelon writes: This weekend, President Obama dismissed MIT professor Jonathan Gruber as “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” But back in 2006, the president struck a much more laudatory tone while addressing the future architect of Obamacare.

At a Brookings Institution meeting in 2006, Obama praised the policy accomplishments…(read more)

National Review Online


Philip Klein: Obamacare Repeal is More Likely, and Now GOP Needs an Alternative

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Philip Klein writes:  This month, two developments have shaken the conventional wisdom that repealing President Obama’s healthcare law is an impossibility.

First, Republicans scored a historic election victory, not only taking control of the Senate but likely winning the most House seats since 1928 — the year before Ernest Hemingway published A Farewell to Arms.

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Second, the Supreme Court took up another case on Obamacare, and if the justices rule against the administration, it would force a re-opening of the law.

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“Benson’s fear is that if the Supreme Court rules against the Obama administration, whatever the merits of the decision, liberal media would portray it as a right-wing court ripping health insurance away from millions over a silly typo out of animosity for the poor. And if Republicans didn’t pass a simple fix to change the wording, they’d be accused of mass murder.”

This doesn’t even account for the recently released videos of one of Obamacare’s main architects, MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, conceding that Democrats misled the public to get the legislation passed, benefiting from “the stupidity of the American voter.”

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“The problem for Republicans — which I tried to convey to Benson in a spirited exchange that followed — is that going along with such a “fix” would be rightly seen as a complete surrender by Republicans that would alienate conservatives and enshrine Obamacare forever.”

The prospects of repealing Obamacare can now be better described, in the words of Rocco Lampone in The Godfather Part II, as “difficult, not impossible.”

But the hope of repealing Obamacare, however remote, is all the more reason for Republicans to begin coalescing around a real alternative to the law.

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“That is why conservatives should push Republicans to have an alternative plan ready to pass should the Supreme Court strike down the federal subsidies — a decision that should come by late June. “

Due to their suspicions of Republicans, whenever anybody utters the phrases “Obamacare alternative” or “repeal and replace,” many conservatives tend to hear “Obamacare lite.”

However, not every alternative to Obamacare needs to be a watered-down version of the healthcare law. And in fact, it’s always worth keeping in mind that even before Obamacare, the United States did not have a free market healthcare system. Read the rest of this entry »


Exposed: Jonathan Gruber’s Impressive Record of White House Endorsements

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“The fact that some adviser who never worked on our staff expressed an opinion that I completely disagree with in terms of the voters is no  reflection on the actual process that was run.”


[VIDEO] Executive Amnesty: ‘Wholesale Canceling of a Law Passed by Congress’

THE HAMMER: to Bret Baier on Special Report

“The reason Obama has waited is because, according to his own words which he has said repeatedly for six years, he is not allowed under the constitution to do what he’s now proposing to do. He has said this over and over again. He’s said I’d like to do all these things, but under the constitution, I do not write the laws. If any of this is true, this is a wholesale canceling of a law passed by Congress. If it is to be canceled, if it is to be reformed, it has to be done.”

“This is a constitutionally odious proposal. He knows it and he admitted it himself. As a matter of policy, I think it’s a terrible idea. I’m not against legalization, but I am against legalization before you’ve done anything serious about controlling the border. Otherwise this is an advertisement to the whole world, particularly Latin America where it’s easy to get across the border, that you come into America illegally. It’s up to you, we do not control our borders. And then if you wait long enough and you make strong enough case and there’s enough pressure, we will legalize you.”

“He’s waited [to do this] because it’s illegal. If they were a Republican who is in the White House and says I waited and waited, I demanded abolition of the capital gains tax and the Congress wouldn’t do it, so i’m ordering the IRS: no collection of capital gains. If congress wants to pass a law to override that, I invite that. You would be up here as everybody would and say this is unconstitutional, it is an impeachable offense. That’s what he’s doing. He himself has admitted that year after year up till now, with two years left, all the elections behind him. He doesn’t care.”

Inconvenient Flashback

“I know there are some folks who wish I could just bypass Congress. I can’t.” 


Obama to Violate Constitutional Authority with 10-point Immigration Plan Starting Next Week

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Epic showdown over immigration on the horizon

BREAKING: President Obama is planning to unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via executive action — including suspending deportations for millions — as early as next Friday, a source close to the White House told Fox News.

[Also see – Democratic Party Favorable Rating Falls to Record Low]

The president’s plans were contained in a draft proposal from a U.S. government agency. The source said the plan could be announced as early as Nov. 21, though the date might slip a few days pending final White House approval.

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Obama was briefed at the White House by Homeland Security officials before leaving on his Asia-Pacific trip last week, Fox News has learned.

The plan contains 10 initiatives than span everything from boosting border security to improving pay for immigration officers.

But the most controversial planks pertain to the millions who could get a deportation reprieve under what is known as “deferred action.”

The plan calls for expanding deferred action for illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children — but also for the parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

The latter could allow upwards of 4.5 million illegal immigrant adults with U.S.-born children to stay, according to estimates. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Gruber may believe that American voters are stupid, but he was the one who was dumb enough to say all this on camera’

 writes: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Jonathan Gruber was, by most accounts, one of the key figures in constructing the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare….(read more)

Here’s the full quote:

“This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO [Congressional Budget Office] scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. Okay, so it’s written to do that.  In terms of risk rated subsidies, if you had a law which said that healthy people are going to pay in – you made explicit healthy people pay in and sick people get money, it would not have passed… Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really really critical for the thing to pass….Look, I wish Mark was right that we could make it all transparent, but I’d rather have this law than not.”

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This validates much of what critics have said about the health care law, and the tactics used to pass it, for years.

For one thing, it is an explicit admission that the law was designed in such a way to avoid a CBO score that would have tanked the bill. Basically, the Democrats who wrote the bill knowingly gamed the CBO process.

[Also see Of Course Jonathan Gruber Said That by Charles C. W. Cooke]

It’s also an admission that the law’s authors understood that one of the effects of the bill would be to make healthy people pay for the sick, but declined to say this for fear that it would kill the bill’s chances. In other words, the law’s supporters believed the public would not like some of the bill’s consequences, and knowingly attempted to hide those consequences from the public. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Woodward: Obama Interested Only in Selling, Not Listening

Responding to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer’s interview with President Obama, aired on Sunday morning, Woodward noted:

“I found the interview with Obama very revealing, because he said he’s going to reach out to the other side — to persuade and sell. Now, if you’re going to reach out to the other side on something, one of the things you want to do is listen. But we didn’t hear that.”

“What we heard, is the continuous Obama line: ‘I’m heading in the right direction; this is right.’ …A go-it-alone approach just isn’t going to work.”

Ian Tuttle National Review Online


Not a Mystery: Border Figures Posted, Removed Month Before Election

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Staggering statistics that show nearly a half-million people were caught trying to enter the U.S. illegally — and more than half were not Mexican, a number far higher than in 2013 — reportedly were posted on a U.S. government website for just a few hours last month before being taken down.

According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the numbers were posted on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website on Oct. 10 for roughly five hours. The dramatic numbers raised questions over whether they were yanked to protect the administration before key midterm elections.

“According to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the stats showed about 53 percent of the migrants, or 253,000, caught at the U.S.-Mexico border this year were not Mexican — a number far higher than in 2013. A decade ago, fewer than 10 percent were from countries other than Mexico.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, told the Center he’s worried “they may have been taken down for purely political reasons.”

“If the information is ready it should be made available. The idea that it was and then yanked down for political reasons is outrageous,” he said.

“This year, some of CBP’s data was posted on the website prematurely and removed later that day. One of the statistics released was the number of Southwest border apprehensions by the Border Patrol, which was 479,371.”

– CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske

The numbers could have become a political football less than a month before the elections. They emphasize the challenge still facing U.S. border agents — the reported number of apprehensions is larger than the population of major U.S. cities including Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans. The number has dropped from even higher levels a decade ago, but the flow is staying strong, even as a virtual army of border agents numbering close to 20,000 remains posted, to catch them.

The stats also point to a startling shift, with more and more border crossers coming from other countries. It is already well-known that illegal immigrant children from Central America have been crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, but some lawmakers also have suggested the border could be a crossing for Middle East extremists. Read the rest of this entry »


Who’s Up For Some Fresh Hot Executive Privilege?

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Judicial Watch: Obama Asserts Fast and Furious Executive Privilege Claim for Holder’s Wife

Judicial Watch announced today that it received from the Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) a “Vaughn index” detailing records about the Operation Fast and Furious scandal.  The index was forced out of the Obama administration thanks to JW’s June 2012 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and subsequent September 2012 FOIA lawsuit (Judicial Watch v. Department of Justice (No. 1:12-cv-01510)).  A federal court had ordered the productioneric-holder-tall over the objections of the Obama Justice Department.

“This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal.”

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[Check out John’s Fund’s book, authored with Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky: “Obama’s Enforcer: Eric Holder’s Justice Department]

The document details the Attorney General Holder’s personal involvement in managing the Justice Department’s strategy on media and Congressional investigations into the Fast and Furious scandal.

Notably, the document discloses that emails between Attorney General Holder and his wife Sharon Malone – as well as his mother – are being withheld under an extraordinary claim of executive privilege as well as a dubious claim of deliberative process privilege under the Freedom of Information Act.  The “First Lady of the Justice Department” is a physician and not a government employee.

“The 1307-page ‘draft’ Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline.  In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are ‘subject to the assertion of executive privilege’.”

This is the first time that the Obama administration has provided a detailed listing of all records being withheld from Congress and the American people about the deadly Fast and Furious gun running scandal. The 1307-page “draft” Vaughn index was emailed to Judicial Watch at 8:34 p.m. last night, a few hours before a federal court-ordered deadline.  In its cover letter, the Department of Justice asserts that all of the responsive records described in the index are “subject to the assertion of executive privilege.”

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“A week before the contempt finding, to protect Holder from criminal prosecution and stave off the contempt vote, President Obama asserted executive privilege over the Fast and Furious records the House Oversight Committee had subpoenaed eight months earlier.”

The Vaughn index explains 15,662 documents. Typically, a Vaughn index must: (1) identify each record withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.  Read the rest of this entry »


POLL: America Is OUT OF CONTROL

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out-of-control

Brietbart.comPolitico Poll: 64% Believe America Is Out of Control


The New York Times Endorsed a Secretive Trade Agreement that the Public Can’t Read

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For The Washington PostAndrea Peterson reports: The Obama administration is secretly negotiating a treaty that could have significant effects on domestic law. Officially, it’s a “free trade” treaty among Pacific rim countries, but a section of the draft agreement leaked in 2011 suggested that it will require signers, including the United States, to make significant changes to copyright law and enforcement measures.

 “…it seems strange for the Times to be opining on a treaty the public hasn’t gotten to see yet. If the Times has gotten a leaked copy of the report, it should publish it so the public can make up its own mind.”

Strangely, the administration seems to be encouraging the public to have a debate on the treaty before they know what’s in it. The Office of the United States Trade Representative has solicited comments about the treaty on its Web site, but there is no particularly detailed information about the content of the agreement, or a draft of the current version of the proposal. Read the rest of this entry »


Judge: IRS Obamacare Rule Is ‘Arbitrary, Capricious, and Abuse of Discretion’

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Currently, over a hundred lawsuits have been filed against Obamacare – and Obamacare has lost 91% of the cases decided to-date, (71 losses out of 78 decisions), according to the latest tally by The Beckett Fund.

“Today’s ruling is a consequential victory for the rule of law. The administration and its bureaucrats in the IRS handed out billions in illegal tax credits and subsidies and vastly expanded the reach of the health care law because they didn’t like the way Congress wrote the Affordable Care Act. That’s not how our system of government works.”

For CNS NewsCraig BannisterCraig Bannister Twitter7585 reports: In his decision, U.S. District Judge Ronald White concluded Tuesday that the IRS rule altering the Obamacare law and providing billions in subsidies is “arbitrary, capricious and abuse of discretion”:

“The court holds that the IRS rule is arbitrary, capricious, and abuse of discretion or otherwise not in accordance with law, pursuant to 5 U.S.C.706(2)(A), in excess of summary jurisdiction, authority or limitation, or short of statutory right, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 706(2)(C), or otherwise is an invalidation of the ACA [Affordable Care Act], and is hereby vacated. The court’s order of vacatur is stayed, however, pending resolution of any appeal from thisobamacare-horror order.”

“Today’s decision is a reminder that the President’s broken promises of affordable, accessible health care are the result of broken policy. The Obama Administration has tried to make the law work with waivers and exemptions, but the courts continue to confront the legality of this legislation...”

– Senator Jim Inhofe

In September 2012, Oklahoma was the first of several states to challenge the legality of an IRS rule that caused billions in subsidies to be paid out, despite Congress having never authorized those payments. Read the rest of this entry »


Leaked Audio Recording of Confidential Meeting Reveals: 70% of Illegals Released by ICE Don’t Appear for Follow-up Appointments

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The AP reported in June that the administration would not say publicly how many immigrant families from Central America caught crossing into the U.S. it had released in recent months or how many of those subsequently reported back to the government after 15 days as directed. 

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“We only know this information because of a leaked audio recording (kudos to the whistleblower, whoever it is) from a meeting with anti-enforcement activists undoubtedly whining about how cruel ICE is.”

– Mark Krikorian

The AP noted that senior U.S. officials directly familiar with the issue, including at the Homeland Security Department and White House, had dodged the answer on at least seven occasions over two weeks, alternately saying that they did not know the figure or didn’t have it immediately at hand. The Homeland Security Department’s public affairs office during the same period did not answer roughly a dozen requests for the figures.

WASHINGTON (AP) —Alicia Caldwell reports: Tens of thousands of young families caught crossing the border illegally earlier this year subsequently failed to meet with federal immigration agents, as they were instructed, the Homeland Security Department has acknowledged privately.

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An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement revealed that about 70 percent of immigrant families the Obama administration had released into the U.S. never showed up weeks later for follow up appointments.

More from National Review OnlineMark Krikorian comments:

This should come as no surprise to anyone with a pulse. Yet it appears that Obama-administration officials think the released illegals are like the cowboys in Blazing Saddles, lining up to put a dime in the lone toll booth in the middle of the desert instead of just going around it. (If the Central American illegal aliens were so punctilious about obeying rules, they wouldn’t have snuck into someone else’s country in the first place.)

It’s true that ICE needs more family detention capacity, which is the reason for the planned new detention center south of San Antonio. But DHS has plans for a migration emergency such as we saw this summer, and it never activated it. They won’t say what’s in the plan, but from how Haitian and Cuban outflows were handled at Gitmo, I’d assume tent cities to enable detention of 100 percent of illegals are part of it. Once the politically appointed suits decided not to activate the emergency plan, it was inevitable that most of the illegals would simply be let go, never to be seen again.

No wonder morale among DHS employees is “abysmal.”

The ICE official made the disclosure in a confidential meeting at its Washington headquarters with immigration advocates participating in a federal working group on detention and enforcement policies. The Associated Press obtained an audio recording of Wednesday’s meeting and separately interviewed participants. Read the rest of this entry »


AP Washington Bureau Chief: How the Obama Administration Blocks Information

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Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee offered eight ways that the Obama administration is “blocking information” at a recent joint meeting of news editors.

[Also see – BORDER SECRECY: FEDS MUM ON PROSECUTION OF ILLEGAL BORDER CROSSERS]

Via The Blaze‘s , Here are Buzbee’s top five ways how the Obama administration is “blocking” journalists from getting information:

1) As the United States ramps up its fight against Islamic militants, the public can’t see any of it. News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off — there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the S. bombers fly from.obamafromcar

2) The White House once fought to get cameramen, photographers and reporters into meetings the president had with foreign leaders overseas. That access has become much rarer. Think about the message that sends other nations about how the world’s leading democracy deals with the media:  Keep them out and let them use handout photos.

3) Guantanamo: The big important 9/11 trial is finally coming up. But we aren’t allowed to see most court filings in real time — even of nonclassified material. So at hearings, we can’t follow what’s happening. We don’t know what prosecutors are asking for, or what defense attorneys are arguing.

4) Information about Guantanamo that was routinely released under President George W. Bush is now kept secret. The military won’t release the number of prisoners on hunger strike or the number of assaults on guards. Photo and video coverage is virtually nonexistent.

5) Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.

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Buzbee also criticized the current administration for making Freedom of Information Act requests “slow and expensive.” Journalists are then forced to sue the government to force officials to respond, she said. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Kerry’s Rendezvous with Reality: ‘Okay, We Can Call It ‘War’ if You Want’

Just Don’t Expect us to try To Win it or Anything

From The Corner, Katherine Connell has this: Secretary of State John Kerry reluctantly got on board with the Obama administration’s message that we are at war, in a sense, with the Islamic State.

“There’s frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology.”

In an interview that aired this morning on CBS’s Face the Nation, Kerry addressed the fact that his rejection of the term to describe the U.S. action against the Islamic State was at odds with subsequent statements from the administration.

if you want to use it, yes we’re at war with ISIL in that sense…But I think it’s a waste of time to focus on that.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Quote of the Day: ‘We’re not at war with ISIS, we’re at war with the English language’

David A. Graham’s timely tweet (is that an original epigram, David? Update: he confirms it is) reminded me of this item from a few years ago, a reference to an ancient figure, before Reagan, before Clinton and Bush, even way back before Lyndon Johnson.

[Also see – John Kerry: America Isn’t at War with ISIS]

From a column by Roger Kimball

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March 27th, 2011, Roger Kimball writes:

…what Obama’s minions are calling our  “kinetic military activity” in Libya, I noted that the folks presiding over Orwell’s Newspeak would have liked the phrase “kinetic military activity.” As a mendacious and evasive euphemism for “war” it is hard to beat. But Orwell is not the only important thinker the Obama administration’s assault on the English language brings to mind. There is also Confucius.

…Asked by a disciple how to rule a state properly, Confucius replies that it begins with rectifying the Confuciusnames:

“If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language be not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be conducted successfully. When affairs cannot be conducted successfully, propriety will not flourish. When propriety does not flourish, punishments will not be properly meted out. When punishments are not properly meted out, the people will not know how to conduct themselves.”

That was written about 475 B.C. When will we catch up with its wisdom?

 


George Will: The IRS is Cuckoo Bananas Off the Rails Criminally Insane and It Is Now Thoroughly Corrupted

Okay, George didn’t say Cuckoo Bananas Off the Rails Criminally Insane, he just said off the rails and it is thoroughly corrupted. But, you get the idea…O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

“The IRS is the most intrusive and potentially punitive institution of the federal government and it is a law-enforcement institution and it is off the rails and it is now thoroughly corrupted.”

– George Will

From The Corner:

On Tuesday’s Special Report, George Will reacted to the revelation that the IRS destroyed Lois Lerner’s BlackBerry without searching it, after a congressional investigation into her conduct had begun.

[SMIDGEN REPORT: Federal Attorney Says Backup of Lois Lerner Emails Exist]

[SMIDGEN BOMB: There Are No Missing Lois Lerner E-mails, Justice Department Concedes ]

Will said he could hardly wait for IRS lawyers to show up in court and tell the judge it would be too onerous to stop obstructing justice in this case. Read the rest of this entry »


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