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

This is a rather stunning admission: Justice Department attorneys have acknowledged that there are not, and have never been, any missing Lois Lerner e-mails. Judicial Watch, which has been pressing the IRS and the Obama administration for the Lerner e-mails in its Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, has just released this statement by JW president Tom Fitton:O-SMDGE-CONDENSED

Department of Justice attorneys for the Internal Revenue Service told Judicial Watch on Friday that Lois Lerner’s emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe.  The Obama administration attorneys said that this back-up system would be too onerous to search.  The DOJ attorneys also acknowledged that the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) is investigating this back-up system...(read more)

We obviously disagree that disclosing the emails as required would be onerous, and plan to raise this new development with Judge Sullivan.

This is a jaw-dropping revelation…(read more)

The press release is here

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Mr. Exactly Backwards: The New Yorker’s David Remnick on ABC’s This Week

From The CornerIan Tuttle brings this:

The Obama administration has been “rather light on executive orders,” says David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.

 “This business about a lawsuit and talk of impeachment is pathetic.”

On ABC’s This Week, apparently having dipped into the NYT’s cannabis stash before going on the air,  continues.

“It is a very sad spectacle, and history will look back on this Congress with a very, very critical eye.”

History will look back on which branch of the government with a very, very critical eye?

Later in the show, Remnick insisted that it was shameful that a majority of the Republican party was in favor of impeachment.

Really. A majority of the Republican party?

There you have it. If the editor of The New Yorker says it on ABC’s This Week, it must be true.

 

 


The Hammer: Amnesty via Executive Order an Impeachable Offense, But Impeachment Would Still Be Political Suicide

If Obama were to carry out his threat to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegals, Charles Krauthammer expressed this duality:gpoj-approved-panic

 “Clearly lawless and it would be biggest domestic overreach of a president in memory…an impeachable offense.”

And later added,

“I would be 100 percent against impeachment because it’s political suicide.”

See how that works? The political paradox for opponents of executive overreach: If a president has the majority of the media working to protect him, and his opponents are defenseless because of this historically unique opportunity — virtually immune to impeachment — why wouldn’t he abuse his authority?

[Also see: Jeff Sessions: House Border Bill Is a ‘Surrender To a Lawless President’]

Obama-Gallup-poll-unpopular-Hex

From today’s National Review Online: Talk of impeachment is a “concoction of Democrats,” but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a grander strategy by the White House and its congressional allies, Charles Krauthammer warned.

On Tuesday’s Special Report, he speculated that the Obama administration may be trying to exhaust the idea of impeachment and “softening people up for” when the president uses executive action to grant legal status and work authorization to millions of immigrants in the country illegally…(read more)

 National Review Online


[VIDEO] Tom Rogan: ‘Perception Abroad of Obama Is That He’s Disengaged’

Also see Tom Rogan’s essay at NRO“Words, Just Words”

“… Policy and rhetoric are effective when deployed together in pursuit of a goal. Yet, for the Obama administration, from the Middle East to Ukraine, American policy exists, rudderless, as pure rhetoric…”

“Whether it’s domestic or foreign policy, Obama has failed to build a bridge between words and action. Without such a bridge, the administration will sink in a morass of increasingly pointless speeches…” (read more)

— Tom Rogan is a blogger and a columnist for the Daily Telegraph. He is based in Washington, D.C., and tweets @TomRtweets.

 

 


Laws: Maybe We Should Write Them Down

Disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive imagination.

Louvre_code_Hammurabi

Kevin D. Williamson — no slouch when it comes to precise language himself — has a must-read in this weekend’s National Review, reminding us that the “ancients understood something that has been neglected in recent centuries: Grammar is the foundation of logic.”

There will always be occasions for discretion and interpretation on legal questions, but it is not the case that such discretion should presumptively empower the IRS to do things that the IRS is not legally entitled to do simply because Barack Obama wishes it to be so. If history teaches us anything, it is that a system of law that presumptively sides with political power soon ceases to be any sort of system of law at all. Rather, it becomes a post facto justification for the will to power, an intellectual window dressing on might-makes-right rule.

Prologue_Hammurabi_Code

The matter addressed in Halbig is hardly the Obama administration’s first attempt to circumvent the law as written — see Hobby Lobby, etc. — nor is it the progressives’ only attempt to impose what they imagine to be enlightened ad-hocracy on the American people. The disdain for the letter of the law is complexly intertwined with the progressive managerial imagination: The law, in their view, is not something that limits the ambitions of princes, but something that empowers them to do what they see fit… (read more)

obama-signing-law

From Halbig and Hammurabi

[Also see: Progressives Learn the Hard Way that the Constitution is Obstructionist]

[Kevin Williamson's book "The End Is Near and It's Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure" is available at Amazon]

National Review Online


Good News: Americans No Longer Required to Obey Laws, Regulations, or Court Decisions

rise-up-disobey-obama

White House Signals Greater Flexibility and Autonomy, Encourages Non-Compliance for All Americans, All U.S. Laws and Regulations Subject to Individual Discretion

For The Daily CallerSarah Hurtubise reports: The Obama administration will continue handing out Obamacare subsidies to federal exchange customers despite a federal court’s ruling Tuesday that the subsidies are illegal.

A D.C. Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday morning that customers in the 36 states that didn’t establish their own exchange and use HealthCare.gov instead cannot be given premium tax credits, according to the text of the Affordable Care Act itself.

[White House on Obamacare Ruling: Letter of the Law Doesn’t Matter]

[RELATED: Federal Court Takes Down Obamacare: Subsidies In Federal Exchange Are Illegal]

[‘Court Upholds Obamacare; Liberals Hit Hardest’]

But the White House said in response that it will continue handing out the billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies.  Read the rest of this entry »


The Hammer on Iranian Nuclear Program Negotiations: Obama Administration wants to ‘Come Up with a Fig Leaf of a Deal’

Obama-Fig_leaf-Hammer

At The Corner, this item from Molly Wharton:

Charles Krauthammer last night said that the Obama administration and Iran will agree to continue talks about the latter’s nuclear program this week because the administration wants to “come up with a fig leaf of a deal.”

This coming Sunday is six months from the signing of an interim agreement on the Iranian nuclear program, and that deal will have to be adjusted to continue talks. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Kelly File Guest Ben Shapiro Blasts Obama Administration as ‘Anti-Israel’

Truth Revolt‘ editor Ben Shapiro labelled the Obama administration as being “anti-Israel”, basically a “Jew-hating” administration. With Israel and Hamas on the brink of open warfare, Shapiro detailed how Obama has supported Hamas with his silence, and pressured the Israeli’s to restrain their response.


In NSA-Intercepted Data, Those Not targeted Far Outnumber the Foreigners Who Are

FISAdocs_promo

This is one of those big WaPo investigations that few traditional newspapers have the resources to do anymore. I recommend it, read the whole thing here.

For The Washington PostBarton GellmanJulie Tate, and Ashkan Soltani report:

Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

[Also see: History lesson: The crucial differences between Bush and Obama's NSA phone surveillance programs]

Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

The Post reviewed roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts.

Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

The material spans President Obama’s first term, from 2009 to 2012, a period of exponential growth for the NSA’s domestic collection.

The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.

Among the most valuable contents — which The Post will not describe in detail, to avoid interfering with ongoing operations — are fresh revelations about a secret overseas nuclear project, double-dealing by an ostensible ally, a military calamity that befell an unfriendly power, and the identities of aggressive intruders into U.S. computer networks. Read the rest of this entry »


Dawn of the Age of Oligarchy: the Alliance between Government and the 1%

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Thanks to their cozy relationship with the Obama administration, a new class of super-wealthy oligarchs keeps getting more powerful while the country’s middle class shrinks.

For The Daily BeastJoel Kotkin writes: When our current President was elected, many progressives saw the dawning of a new epoch, a more egalitarian and more just Age of Obama. Instead we have witnessed the emergence of the Age of Oligarchy. The outlines of this new epoch are clear in numerous ways. There is the diminished role for small business, greater concentration of financial assets, and a troubling decline in home ownership
Barack_Obama_and_Dmitry_Medvedev_in_Kremlin-1

[Also see A Glimpse into the Political Future - city-journal.org]
On a cultural level, there is a general malaise about the prospect for upward mobility for future generations.Not everyone is suffering in this new age. For the entitled few, these have been the best of times. With ever more concentration of key industries, ever greater advantage of capital over labor, and soaring real estate values in swanky places such as Manhattan or San Francisco which , as one journalists put it, constitute “vast gated communities where the one percent reproduces itself.” The top hundred firms on the Fortune 500 list has revenues, in adjusted dollars, eight times those during the supposed big-business heyday of the 1960s.
This shift towards oligarchy well precedes President Obama’s tenure. It was born from a confluence of forces: globalization, the financialization of the economy, and the shift towards digital technology. Obama is not entirely to blame, it is more than a bit ironic that these measurements have worsened under an Administration that has proclaimed income inequality abhorrent.
clas-conf
[Check out Joel Kotkin's book The New Class Conflict at Amazon.com]

Despite this administration’s occasional rhetorical flourishes against oligarchy, we have seen a rapid concentration of wealth and depressed conditions for the middle class under Obama. The stimulus, with its emphasis on public sector jobs, did little for Main Street. And under the banner of environmentalism, green cronyism has helped fatten the bank accounts of investment bankers and tech moguls at great public expense.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare: Good For Who? Big Insurers. Most Customers? Rate Hikes

obama-frown

For The Daily Caller, Sarah Hurtubise reports:

Obamacare is looking better than ever for the biggest insurance companies, and they’re prioritizing boosted earnings over expanding Obamacare coverage, according to a memo from Moody’s Investor Service.

“The premium increases show that insurers have chosen to protect earnings margins rather than push membership growth.”

Moody’s is optimistic about insurers’ credit ratings, noting that more insurers are expected to join Obamacare exchanges or offer more plans — and fewer enrollees for each insurer is likely to be beneficial, given early reports that Obamacare customers’ are sicker and costlier to insure than other insurance pools.

[RELATED: Obamacare customers could be sicker than the rest of the country]

“Since the policy-buying population has an unknown medical status and potentially unfavorable risk characteristics, less membership, and therefore less risk, is credit positive,” Moody’s concluded. Read the rest of this entry »


The New Dumping Grounds

New-Dumping-Grounds

The administration quietly redistributes illegal aliens through military bases.

In this week’s National Review Online, Michelle Malkin:

A source tipped me off last week to a curious occurrence: It seems that two planeloads of illegal aliens were recently shipped to Massachusetts. The first reportedly landed at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford. According to my tipster, approximately 160 illegal immigrants arrived on that flight and stayed nearly a week before being transferred to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS)Governor-Mary-Fallin site and then released.

“The Obama administration continues to fail in its duty to protect our borders and continues to promote policies that encourage, rather than discourage, illegal immigration.”

– Governor Mary Fallin

The second flight reportedly was diverted from Hanscom to Boston’s Logan Airport this past weekend. I am told that both Massachusetts and New Hampshire officials were on hand. I reached out to Hanscom AFB for Culture-of-corruptionconfirmation but did not receive a call back by my deadline.

[Order Michelle Malkin's book: "Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies" from Amazon.com]

Question: How many other military bases are stealthily being used to redistribute, house, process, and release illegal border crossers? Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Former Navy SEAL: Bergdahl Swap Latest Example of Amateur Hour in the Obama Administration

“We’re measuring them by the size of their mistakes, and that is amateur hour.”

From NROs Molly Wharton: Former Navy SEAL and FBI special agent Jonathan Gilliam thinks that the Obama administration has shown it’s not up for the task of effectively and safely overseeing America’s wars, and the recent prisoner exchange of five high-level Taliban generals for American Bowe Bergdahl is just the latest example…

“I just don’t know where their politics end and their legality and their war-fighting start.”

(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Jeffrey Toobin: Obama Clearly Broke the Law with Bergdahl Exchange

“…the president is taking power for himself that the law didn’t give him — he’s explicitly contradicting it.”

– CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

For NROAndrew Johnson: The Obama administration’s failure to notify Congress of the release of five Guantanamo Bay detainees ahead of his exchanging them for American soldier Bowe Bergdahl is a direct violation of the law, according to CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin.

“It matters whether people follow the law or not…I think he clearly broke the law.”

“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said on Monday, adding that the president’s signing statement in which he called the law unconstitutional does not automatically make it so…(read more)

National Review Online


[VIDEO] Suspending the Law: Constitutional Scholar Jonathan Turley on Obama Administration’s Selective Enforcement

The president has a constitutional duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” Previous administrations have been criticized for overreaching — that is, going beyond what the law expressly authorizes. But the Obama administration has pioneered a new way to shirk this duty: suspension of the law. In numerous areas — including Obamacare implementation, immigration law, education funding, and environmental regulation — the administration has carried out its policy objectives not by exceeding the law’s limits but by picking and choosing which provisions to enforce.

Featuring Andrew M. Grossman, Adjunct Scholar, Cato Institute; Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center; and Jonathan Turley, Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School; moderated by Ilya Shapiro, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute.

In some cases it has relaxed legal requirements as an inducement for states to carry out its preferred policies, without any legal basis. In other cases, like immigration, it has established entirely new programs never authorized by Congress. And in every instance this approach has allowed the administration to avoid legal challenge by ensuring that no party suffers an injury sufficient to confer the legal “standing” necessary to bring suit. At least that’s been the working assumption — but it may not hold true in every instance. 


[VIDEO] Israel: Ted Cruz on Palestinians & Obama Administration

Texas Cruzn: In Israel ➡ Video – Linkis.com


[VIDEO] The Hammer: Obama Must Give Vouchers To Waiting Vets

Charles Krauthammer said that the Obama administration must use their authority to let veterans seek civilian healthcare.

“It turns out the VA has had the authority to issue out vouchers, to allow a vet who has been waiting forever to go out and get private care, they should have done that on day one when the scandal broke.”

Read the rest of this entry »


The Hammer: Obama’s Stonewall Playbook Won’t Work on VA Scandal

“To say, ‘We can’t know what happened unless there’s investigation or until it comes in,’ is simply untenable…”

While the Obama administration has largely been able to fend off criticism from many of its looming controversies, it won’t be able to do the same with the mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs given the wide scope and various reports and anecdotes of the problem, Charles Krauthammer said on Friday’s Special Report. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Megyn Kelly’s Post-Guilty Plea Interview with Filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza

“It’s the issue of fair treatment. You know you don’t want to have a country where lady justice has one eye open and she winks at her friends and then gives the evil eye to her enemies.”

Conservative commentator and best-selling author, Dinesh D’Souza exits the Manhattan Federal Courthouse in New York last week. Reuters

– Dinesh D’Souza

Megyn Kelly: It’s an end around the campaign finance laws.

[Also see Eric Owens' Why Did Dinesh D’Souza Cop A Plea For Making Illegal Campaign Contributions? in The Daily Caller]

Dinesh D’Souza: Yes. It’s an end around campaign finance law. I acknowledge responsibility. And I have — I did admit doing that from the beginning. But I did contest the issue of selective prosecution, why was I being — so, we made a motion before the judge on selective prosecution but in a ruling last week he said no you can’t bring that into the case. So what really happened is I was going into a trial with in a sense, no defense.

Megyn Kelly: Do you feel chilled at all from, you know, the kind of work you do, the kind of films you make now?

Dinesh D’Souza: Well, one thing, Megyn, I mean, this is been a bit of a scary process…

Read the rest of this entry »


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