Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Give ’em what they want

Good and hard.

The West Baltimore rioters of 2015 didn’t call for more LBJ-style antipoverty projects, but for less policing. In a “keep off our turf” version of belligerent multiculturalism, the rioters see police as both to blame for black criminality and as an embodiment of bourgeois white values. The old riot ideology referred to mostly white urban police forces as occupying armies; the new version sees even Baltimore’s integrated police force, under the leadership of a black mayor and (until recently) a black police chief, as an occupying army. Withdrawing the police from black neighborhoods is the only acceptable solution.

This new racial politics is not only coalescing around activists claiming to speak for urban blacks – represented publicly by groups like Black Lives Matter – but also is expressed in the writings of best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates. And Baltimore is once again center stage.

In his memoir, “The Beautiful Struggle,” Coates described how his father, a former Black Panther, drove his son around West Baltimore “telling me again the story of the black folks’ slide to ruin.” Whites had “plundered” what belonged to blacks, his father explained, as they had done with once-great African kingdoms.

Coates, who lived in fear of black street toughs as a teen, sees the police as a greater threat to black well-being than the drug “crews” and gangs roaming the streets of West Baltimore today. His vision, in part, is to free gang-ridden areas from the malign grip of white standards and aggressive policing. Coates has adopted his father’s view that “our condition, the worst of this country’s condition – poor, diseased, illiterate, crippled, dumb – was not just a tumor to be burrowed out but proof that the whole body was a tumor, that America was not a victim of a great rot but the rot itself.” Not even a hurricane of violence, says the new riot ideology, justifies a vigorous police presence in black localities.

For Ta-Nehisi Coates, the crews and the gangsta rappers singing about the need to “Fuck the Police” are preferable to the cops. The cops, complains Coates, “lord over” young black men with “the moral authority of a protection racket.” There is a touch of truth in this. But, Coates goes on, the problem with the police “is not that they are fascist pigs but that our country is ruled by majoritarian pigs.” The solution, he implies, is a black population released from the ideals of the American dream and from the “false morality” of white Americans. For Coates, blacks can only be freed from racism after whites have been emancipated from capitalism.

A man, a city, a movement and a moment have met: Baltimore has, for the time being, been liberated from American morality. Let’s judge Coates’s vision on how that plays out.

Oh, it’s easy enough to determine the answer to that one: look at Detroit, Zimbabwe, Haiti, the Congo, Yemen, and any number of other dangerous, poverty-ridden hellholes around the globe. But hey, no reason to think things won’t work out differently this time, right?

So yeah, let ’em have what they want: pull the cops out completely, along with all white investment and businesses. Also government subsidies, tax breaks, and “enterprise zones,” and all other welfare programs to boot. Segregate their urban-ghetto shitholes from “white America” completely, and put fences up around ’em. Let all the whiny, indolent thugs have their own space where they can live completely unmolested by “white oppression.” Let’s all see where that gets ’em.

And hey, did somebody mention Detroit? Yep, I do believe someone did. And while most real Americans consider that nightmare a textbook example of how to run a city right into the ground, not everyone seems to feel that way:

“Detroit has helped nurture a new black mentality,” Johnson said, pounding his desk for emphasis. “More than any other city, blacks here make an issue of where you live. If you’re with us, you’ll find a place in the city.” Whites often say, in their own defense, that many middle-class blacks also leave the city at the first opportunity. I mentioned this to Johnson, but he waved it away. “The majority of the black middle class is here. We are engaged in the most determined, feverish effort to save Detroit. Why? Because Detroit is special. It’s the first major city in the United States to have taken on the symbols of a black city. It has elected a strong, powerful black mayor, powerful in both his personality and his office. Detroit, more than anywhere else, has gathered power and put it in black hands.”

But [Coleman Young, Detroit’s Democrat mayor from 1974 to 1994] has done more than broaden access to the pork barrel. Under him, Detroit has become not merely an American city that happens to have a black majority, but a black metropolis, the first major Third World city in the United States. The trappings are all there— showcase projects, black-fisted symbols, an external enemy and the cult of personality. Detroit has even developed a quasi-official ideology that regards the pre–-Young era as a time of white colonialism, ended by the 1967 insurrection and its aftermath. An official city publication describes the police department as having been “a hostile white army, entrusted by white authorities with the job of keeping nonwhites penned up in ghettoes.”

[Ron] Hewitt is the planner for America’s sixth largest city, once the symbol of the country’s industrial power. But the old myths of the Arsenal of Democracy mean little to him. “As a people we have more soul, we are more spiritual than others,” he said. “Our technology will be tempered by that soul. If white folks could leave us alone and give us the resources, we could solve our own problems.”

“Leave us alone.” “Give us the resources.” Well, which is it, bub? You want we should leave you alone so you can get busy solving your own problems, as you so correctly put it? Or do we continue shoveling handouts your way, secure in the knowledge that you will immediately shovel it all down more Progressivist ratholes? No just reason you should expect both, from people you malign, loot, assault, spit on, rob, riot against, and routinely defame for their supposed “racism.”

A “new black mentality,” is it? Funny how it so resembles the same one Progressivists are always pimping: professional victimhood, a perception of helplessness, loss of personal dignity and self-determination, blame-shifting, infantilization, and perpetual reliance on government programs which merely feeds and exacerbates the first three rather than alleviating any of them.

Cut ’em off, I say. Withdraw that “hostile white army” from their midst, stop the endless flow of money to the Free Shit Army, and let ’em riot, kill each other, and eventually starve, until there’s not one of them left to continue impeding the progress of the civilization they say they despise. It sounds harsh–hell, it IS harsh–but I’d say it’s far more reasonable to rid oneself of an infestation of parasites by removing them than by letting them kill their host in the vain hope that they’ll someday, somehow figure out who it is that’s REALLY oppressing them.

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Burn, baby, burn

They deserve each other. ALL of them.

Chicago is bracing for riots after the release of a video of a black teenager, 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, being shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer.

And you know what? I have a lot of sympathy for the protesters’ grievances. If any city government deserves to be torn down brick-by-brick over its contempt for the rights and well-being of the majority of its subjects, it’s Chicago’s Democratic Machine.

From what we know, McDonald was hopped up on hallucinogenic drugs and in his addled state had attacked a police car and slashed its tires with a knife, so he was definitely a danger to himself and others and needed to be apprehended. But when he was shot, he was trying to walk away from police and did not pose an immediate danger to them, so the hail of bullets that took him down—and kept pumping into him after he was on the ground—was grotesquely excessive.

But that’s not the real grievance. The real grievance is the total contempt the city government of Chicago has always shown for its citizens.

Take the way the city government refused to release the video for 13 months. McDonald was shot in October of 2014. What happened between then and now that might have motivated the city to suppress the video? Oh, yes, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, faced an unexpectedly close re-election. You can see why he wasn’t eager to have anything rile up the voters at such a delicate time.

So if there are any people who have a right to be lividly angry at their city government, it’s the people of Chicago—even more so because they have voted lockstep for the Democrats for 50 years, and this is the thanks they get.

Ah, but there’s the rub. If the city is about to get the riots it deserves, the protesters have to admit they have gotten the city government they asked for.

It’s not just that they have voted for politicians from the Democratic Party. It’s that they have uncritically embraced that party’s ideology. As they have suffered under the yoke of a big, intrusive, corrupt, callous, and indifferent government, they have clamored for more of it.

They got the government they deserved; may they have joy of it. May every decent citizen left get the hell out as quickly as they can. And may we all enjoy sitting back and watching as Chicago gradually reduces itself to a smoking ruin, Detroit-style. Tracinski’s closing paragraph is dead on the money…and nobody should be holding his breath waiting for it to happen.

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“What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of ‘American leadership’ or ‘America winning'”

Uhh, thanks anyway and all, but we figured that one out a long time ago, champ.

Throughout Monday’s press conference, Obama insisted that his strategy for defeating ISIS was working and did not need to change. On Friday, just hours before the deadly Paris attacks, the president insisted in a television interview with ABC News that his administration had “contained” ISIS.

Obama’s tone during Monday’s press conference alternated between defensive and disinterested. The two-term Democratic president repeatedly insisted that his strategy was working and scoffed at demands to change his plan to confront and defeat ISIS.

“What I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people and to protect the people in the region who are getting killed and to protect our allies and people like France,” Obama said. “I’m too busy for that.”

And a helluva fine job he’s doing, too. Why, if you don’t believe it, just ask him.

To prove that he was on top of the terrorist threat, Obama noted that he regularly meets with his national security team to review and respond to ongoing threats against the U.S.

“Every few weeks I meet with my entire National Security team,” Obama told the crowd of reporters.

Good enough for government work then, right, pResident Human Dynamo? Now quick, back to the golf course!

We deserve everything we’re going to get, just for ever allowing this useless piece of shit to set foot in the Oval Office in the first place.

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“This is banana-republic stuff”

Aw, just say it: this is a banana republic. The only thing missing is the tasty, nutritious bananas, which in a federally-micromanaged socialist economy are now too expensive for non-working working stiffs to afford without government aid.

The IRS did mishandle tea party and conservative groups’ nonprofit applications, but their behavior didn’t break any laws, the Justice Department said in a letter to Congress Friday that cleared the tax agency and former senior executive Lois G. Lerner of any crimes.

“Ineffective management is not a crime,” Assistant Attorney General Peter J. Kadzik said in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee. “TheDepartment of Justice’s exhaustive probe revealed no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution. What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action — but it does not warrant criminal prosecution.”

The decision comes more than two years after the IRS’s internal watchdog reported that auditors singled out tea party groups’ applications for special scrutiny and delayed those applications beyond reasonable timelines, preventing the groups from being able to say they were officially recognized nonprofits.

The agency initially admitted its bad behavior, and President Obama vowed an investigation — but he later said, in the middle of the probe, that there was no evidence of corruption.

Some Republicans have questioned the validity of the probe from the beginning, after learning that one of the Justice Department lawyers assigned to the investigation was a contributor to Mr. Obama’s political campaigns.

In its letter Friday the Justice Department specifically cleared Ms. Lerner, a senior executive in charge of approving the groups’ applications, who had authored a number of emails that suggested a bias against the tea party movement.

It wasn’t “a bias against the tea party movement,” and it wasn’t “suggested”–it was an obvious and successful attempt at muzzling political dissent from the Progressivist orthodoxy, a contra-Constitutional move to limit and/or destroy a large segment of the population’s right to have a say in their own governance, via harassment by the most powerful bureaucracy in an out-of-control and overpowerful federal government. It was an attempt–I repeat, a successful attempt, which is a crucial distinction–to deny Americans their most fundamental rights under the now-irrelevant, toothless, useless Constitution. No more, no less. Williamson comes close, but can’t quite bring himself to come right out and say it–and with good reason, given that it is now established beyond any doubt that if the IRS wants to come after dissenters, it both can and will, with total impunity.

Lois Lerner’s cynical, overt politicization of the Internal Revenue Service, and the fact that she and other IRS leaders misled investigators, Congress, and the public about the extent of the IRS’s political shenanigans, undermines the legitimacy of the federal government. DOJ won’t lift a pinky against a friend of the Obama administration. This is banana-republic stuff. 

Indeed it is. And with that, the Obama “fundamental transformation” of the FUSA is now just about complete. Let the starry-eyed Pollyannas of the Right continue bleating about American “exceptionalism” while singing the Star Spangled Banner with tears streaming down their cheeks, deluding themselves about things that ought to be obvious to them above all others. Sterner, more clear-eyed sorts will be able to recognize what kind of country this really is from here on out, and will do all they can to avoid any contact at all with its government while quietly undermining and subverting it in any way they can.

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The law of the land

Is whatever Obama and the Democrat Socialists say it is at any given time, changeable according to whatever sinister command-and-control goal they may be pimping for in that particular moment.

The Supreme Court has upheld ObamaCare subsidies in states that did not set up their own health care exchanges, in a major win for the Obama administration. 

The decision was 6-3, with turncoat “conservative” Roberts writing the majority opinion, according to NBC TeeWee News just now. So tell me yet again about how crucially vitally crucial it is to elect Republicans because SUPREME COURT NOMINATIONS, YOU GUYS.

As many commenters on the Fox website are saying: the Constitution is dead. Also the plain meaning of the written language, the idea of representative government in America, and the right to self-determination. None of those things will be coming back. Modify your behavior accordingly, serfs.

I’ll just repeat an old quote of mine from the earliest days of this debate: in twenty years (probably less) the dwindling handful of people who continue to rail against government-controlled health care will be dismissed by the overwhelming majority as nothing more than lunatics and crackpots. That’s all folks, we’re done.

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Blame: assigned

And correctly. But the real question is: should we really be considering them failures if their REAL–not purported–purpose was achieved?

Who Caused Baltimore’s America’s Collapse?

Fixed it for ya.

Fact: The last Republican city council member in Baltimore City left office in 1942. That is 73 years of solid Democrat city councils.

Fact: The last Republican mayor of Baltimore City left office in 1967. That is 48 years of unbroken Democrat control of the mayor’s office.

Fact: The Maryland Senate is currently 33 Democrats to 14 Republicans.

Fact: The Maryland House is currently 90 Democrats to 50 Republicans.

Fact: The last time Republicans held both the Maryland Senate and the Maryland House of Delegates was 1897.

Fact: The last time Republicans held even one chamber of the Maryland General Assembly—the House—was 1917. That is unbroken Democrat control of the Maryland legislature since 1918, or nearly a century of Democrat control.

He has plenty more, all along the same lines and winding up here:

Charles Murray’s classic study of destructive welfare policies, “Losing Ground,” and Marvin Olasky’s decisive repudiation of the idealistic premises of big-government liberalism’s approach to poverty, “The Tragedy of American Compassion,” explain decisively the failure of Baltimore Democrats. Their values, principles, and organizations doom their efforts to failure.

A sound program has to start with safety and work. That policy has to begin with favoring public safety and small business.

All Americans should care enough about their fellow citizens trapped with bad leadership, bad government, selfish bureaucrats, and misleading news media. All of us should care about creating a much better future for poor Americans. That future has to start with a fact-based analysis of how we got here and who has been responsible.

That’s all true enough, I suppose, but I have to take issue with one thing: why exactly should more sensible people give the slightest damn about what the benighted citizenry of blighted coastal urban areas have done to themselves by their slavish dedication to Democrat Socialist policy?

At the local level, elections and even political parties can still make some difference in the fate of the people living there. So if those populations have preferred to vote for bigger, more corrupt, and more intrusive government (sorry for the redundancy there)–voting themselves largesse from the public treasury, as a famous phrase has it–rather than selecting officials with a modicum of integrity and an appreciation for what the Founders considered good government to be, are the rest of us really obligated to give much of a damn about what happens to them, aside from how it may affect ourselves in the long term?

Which, admittedly, is just a more windy way of saying: let ’em burn.

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Lies, damned lies, and…

Phony, ginned-up, overmassaged, government-manipulated “statistics.”

Right now, we’re hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is “down” to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job — if you are so hopelessly out of work that you’ve stopped looking over the past four weeks — the Department of Labor doesn’t count you as unemployed. That’s right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you arenot counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news — currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren’t throwing parties to toast “falling” unemployment.

There’s another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you’re an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 — maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn — you’re not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn’t get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find — in other words, you are severely underemployed — the government doesn’t count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There’s no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

As Clifton notes above, all the various political power-branches of our national Ruling Class have a vested interest in maintaining the lie–because the truth is, the liberal-fascism that has dominated us for so long does not work, cannot work, has never worked, and never will work, and they are so wedded to the idea of top-down control and micromanagement of the lives of their subjects that they can’t allow the truth to be generally acknowledged. The laughable fiction (or delusion) that national elections amount to anything more worthwhile than a somewhat sordid form of entertainment is much the same, and must be maintained for the same reason.

“Liberalism” is, in short, a luxury only a truly rich nation can afford, and it totters precariously on a foundation of lies. And we’re a whole lot less rich now than we used to be…thanks, ironically, to that same “liberalism.”

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Make a promise, keep a promise

Under my plan, electricity rates (will) necessarily skyrocket.”

Even as gasoline prices plummeted and the overall energy price index calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics declined, electricity prices bucked the trend in the United States in 2014.

Data released today by the BLS indicates that the electricity price indexes hit all-time highs for the month of December and for the year. 2014 was the most-expensive year ever for electricity in the United States.

By contrast, the overall Consumer Price Index declined by 0.4 percent in December with particular help from the decline in the price of gasoline.

Yeah, well, don’t worry. Ogabe is gonna be working on that, too.

Good. And. Hard.

(Via Maet and Hoft)

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Oh, there’s a conspiracy right enough

Ever notice how you never hear anybody talking about Big Government greed, Big Government collusion, a Big Government conspiracy to manipulate prices to its own great benefit?

When gasoline prices jumped after the Russian annexation of Crimea, the usual dopes — dopes who, luckily for the likes of Markey and Blumenthal, have the vote— detected the usual conspiracy: “The big gas companies collude and set the prices.” Even George W. Bush fell into that line of thinking, ordering the Federal Trade Commission (no free republic should have a federal trade commission) to conduct an investigation into price gouging in 2006. The FTC’s finding? It was all supply and demand.

But that answer is profoundly unsatisfying to people who do not understand or appreciate the most beautiful and interesting aspect of free markets — that nobody is in charge of them. For these people, somebody somewhere has to be pulling the strings. Never mind the geopolitical situation, never mind the fact that most big oil companies do not even operate retail gas stations (Exxon, for example, does not actually own Exxon-branded stations), that gas stations earn very little money selling gas (soft drinks and cigarettes are where they make their jack), and that the evil rotten Big Oil companies generally make very small profit margins (Exxon makes about 8 cents a gallon on gasoline, less than half of what the federal government collects in taxes on the same gallon), and never mind economic reality: If somebody doesn’t like the price of a gallon of gas, then that price must be unfair and the result of a conspiracy, and if a sufficient number of dopes in elected office believe the same thing, then it must be a crime, too.

So what the hell happened?

Where’s the conspiracy now, when oil prices and retail gasoline prices are plunging? If the goblins in Nancy Pelosi’s head are correct in their insistence that higher gas prices must necessarily be the result of a criminal conspiracy, does it not follow that lower gas prices also must be the result of that same conspiracy? Either nasty wicked Big Oil controls gas prices or it doesn’t. A mind as narrow and uncomplicated as Pelosi’s shouldn’t be that difficult to make up.

The thing is, we’re not even supposed to be having this fight. James R. Schlesinger, who served as Richard Nixon’s secretary of defense before becoming the nation’s first secretary of energy under Jimmy Carter — somehow, the republic had managed without one for two centuries — insisted back in 1977 that we’d run out of oil by the end of the 20th century. The “peak oil” enthusiasts — same old Malthusians, different commodity — have been insisting for decades that we’re right on the verge of seeing oil production fall short of demand. Instead, we’re producing so much that prices are crashing: It turns out that the road to abundance is abundance, i.e. producing more of what people want and need.

In fact, the only halfway successful price-fixers are the politicians themselves: From gasoline to sugar to milk, there are a great many commodities that would be less expensive if not for politicians. And, as noted, they make more money off a gallon of gas than Chevron does, to say nothing of gas-station owners like Raj Bhandari. And who is really profiteering from the issue? Presumably, Dick and Ed are better off as senators than they were in less exalted offices. Strange how many Democrats grow wealthy in “public service.” I’m sure your average Big Oil CEO lives in a nice house; Harry Reid lives at the Ritz. The oil companies make their money providing a useful product; politicians make theirs standing in the way.

Not supposed to be having this fight? We’re “not supposed to be” a great many things that we currently, well, are, more’s the pity…and disgrace. But don’t fret too much about reasonable, affordable gas prices; the Ruling Class and both wings of its political party are going to see to it that we won’t be enjoying them much longer, in the interest of UNITY! and GETTING THINGS DONE!

Record-low gas prices across the U.S. have given rise to fresh talk in Washington of raising the federal gas tax for the first time in over 20 years, with leading Republicans now saying a hike must not be ruled out.

The GOP has long resisted calls from business leaders and others to boost the 18.4 cent-per-gallon tax as a way to pay for upgrades to the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Yet in recent days, senior Senate Republicans have said they want to keep options open and that “nothing is off the table” when weighing the best mechanisms to pay to finance infrastructure projects.

Democratic leaders in both chambers of Congress, meanwhile, declared this week that “now is the time” for an increase.

Looks like the era of “gridlock” has finally ended–to the benefit of Big Government, and the detriment of just about everybody else. Funny how that works, innit?

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UNACCEPTABLE!

Add the IRS to the list of bloated government bureaucracies that are whining about not having “enough money.”

Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen warned that close to half the people trying to reach the IRS by phone might not get through during the upcoming 2015 tax filing season. “Phone service could plummet to 53%,” he told an audience of tax practitioners at the AICPA National Tax Conference inWashington, D.C. today. That would be down from an already unacceptable 72% during the 2014 filing season. The average hold time projection: 34 minutes! What’s to blame? Budget woes. “All we can do is try to maximize our services as well as we can; as well as we can is still going to be miserable. You really do get what you pay for,” he said.

Koskinen’s remarks followed National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson who was even gloomier:“The filing season is going to be the worst filing season since I’ve been the National Taxpayer Advocate {in 2001}; I’d love to be proved wrong, but I think it will rival the 1985 filing season when returns disappeared.”

There are five key factors at play – complicating the upcoming filing season (that’s when you file your 2014 tax return). The IRS agency budget is the number one challenge, Koskinen said. The House has voted to cut the IRS budget for 2015 by $341 million, and the Senate has proposed to increase it by $240 million—that would still be 7% below 2010 funding levels.

Poor, poor IRS; it’s hard not to sympathize with an agency that has done such a laudable job and enjoys such a warm place in the hearts of the people it tries so diligently to serve in an honorable, fair way.

No matter how much you feed Leviathan, it will always be hungry for more. If this doesn’t prove it, nothing does. COUGH UP, KOMRADES! Because 4 trillion dollars JUST ISN’T ENOUGH to run The Government You Deserve™.

Obscene. Utterly, completely obscene.

(Via Insty)

Update! Now, see, this is the kind of good stewardship of the public trust that needs to be appropriately rewarded.

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted to the court that it failed to search any of the IRS standard computer systems for the “missing” emails of Lois Lerner and other IRS officials. The admission appears in an IRS legal brief opposing the Judicial Watch request that a federal court judge allow discovery into how “lost and/or destroyed” IRS records relating to the targeting of conservative groups may be retrieved. The IRS is fighting Judicial Watch’s efforts to force testimony and document production about the IRS’ loss of records in Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation about the IRS targeting of Tea Party and other opponents of President Obama(Judicial Watch v. IRS (No. 1:13-cv-1559)).  The lawsuit is before U.S. District Court Judge Emmett G. Sullivan.

Judicial Watch lawyers reviewed the IRS court filings and concluded that the agency “did not undertake any significant efforts to obtain the emails.”

IRS attorneys conceded that they had failed to search the agency’s servers for missing emails because they decided that “the servers would not result in the recovery of any information.” They admitted they had failed to search the agency’s disaster recovery tapes because they had “no reason to believe that the tapes are a potential source of recovering” the missing emails.  And they conceded that they had not searched the government-wide back-up system because they had “no reason to believe such a system…even exists.”

Now see, if only they had more money, all these problems would no doubt be solved.

“No reason to believe such a system even exists”? SRSLY? Like I said: obscene.

(Via Denninger and Ross)

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Repudiation

The main thing–the only truly significant thing–about the midterms is this: the majority of Americans have again, as in 2010, expressed their disgust with Washington and liberal-fascist government about as clearly as it can be expressed. It would seem that, despite a very successful war of indoctrination waged over many decades in the schools and pop culture, the Left hasn’t quite closed the deal just yet, and there remain a great many Americans who are not yet persuaded that abandoning Constitutional government is the way to go. It’s worth remembering as the temporarily resurgent GOP celebrates its Pyhrric victory and prepares itself to lead us all onwards to “bipartisanship” (i.e., knuckling under to the Left and continuing to expand government) and “compromise” (i.e., knuckling under to the Left and continuing to expand government).

Meanwhile, let’s enjoy a bit of schadenfraude before getting back to the ongoing business of dealing with the sad reality, shall we?

When did President Obama ever attempt to govern as he preached? When did he ever put the effort into attempts at the grand bipartisan achievement? Where did he ever subjugate domestic political priorities to any decision about the future of the country? From Obamacare to Immigration to telling Eric Cantor Republicans would have no say in the stimulus because “I won”, his record is at odds with his promise. Obama’s only bipartisan achievement of significance – the budget control act – was marked by a series of public temper tantrums attacking the deal, rather than using it as a demonstration of how he could bring people together.

Now the president is full of resentment, fatalistic, irritated at being ignored or disrespected by his people and The People. But this doesn’t come from long years of attempts to bring the parties together to forge compromise – it comes from his realization that he’d rather golf than put up with the demands of the job. If Obama truly thought that politics only consists of getting elected, he was truly naïve about the demands of the presidency – just as he has been naïve about the nature of the Republican Party, conservatism and libertarianism, party and congressional politics, the public’s desire for wage growth and job security, even middle eastern dictators’ and terrorists’ assessment of their own interests.

The stunning part is the nature of this naïveté. It is not that it is the high-minded academic view of a cloistered college professor – it’s the naïveté of a dim-witted screenwriter, an acceptance of an beau ideal of the American presidency that is most recognizable as an invention of Aaron Sorkin, not a reflection of history. The president who walks into the room, says “I am the Lord your God”, and wins the argument. Only in the world of Andrew Shepard or Jed Bartlet does the president demolish his adversaries and win major political battles merely by reading his lines. But no matter: after he leaves office, we’ll be treated to an unprecedented revisionism tour, framing him as facing a political environment tougher than anything since Abraham Lincoln; how Republican opposition was all about racism, but he held back saying so to protect the American people from that fractious debate; how Hillary and the Clinton team was always working against him and key staffers were in cahoots with her all along. Get ready, because we’ll be hearing this for years.

For Obama, the presidency, to paraphrase Chesterton’s line about the Christian ideal, was not tried and found wanting – it was found difficult; and left untried. The problem begins with Obama’s vision of himself, a vision completely unlike the presidents who did not view themselves as world-altering historical figures from whom opponents cower and melt away, and toward whose will history bends. The idea that Obama attempted change and was trapped by existing unchangeable systems is nothing more than a comforting delusion, whispered by courtiers to the god-king who cannot understand why others did not bow down. He has become the worst kind of leader in American politics – a leader who feels the people no longer deserve him, and would prefer to dissolve them and elect another.

And now, back to the gloom and doom (i.e., reality) with Steyn:

Now maybe that’s all squaresville, uptight social-conservative stuff, and not where the party needs to be in 2014. Nevertheless, it’s the official position, and the base has been disinclined to change it. So when a pro-life State Committee sends out leaflets boasting about being pro-choice, they’re telling you that those two bolded words “we believe” are meaningless when uttered by a New Hampshire Republican official. Why would what they claim to “believe” on Obamacare or debt or foreign policy be any more reliable? When a man tells you his word is bullsh*t, take him at it.

More revealingly, look at how the State Committee characterizes Brown’s position: The candidate is “pro-choice” and “supports issues important to women”. That’s Democrat framing: Opposition to abortion is part of the Republican war on women, etc. Furthermore, being “pro-choice” is evidence that Brown “has a strong record of fighting for what is right”. So it’s not just a policy dispute or a matter of personal conscience on which people of good faith can disagree. Being “pro-choice” is “what is right” – which presumably means being pro-life is what is wrong.

This is what the supposedly pro-life Republican Party is mailing its base on the eve of a low-turnout midterm election.

Presumably down at head office in Concord one of the oleaginous creeps with which “professional” politics is infested assured everyone that there was no downside to issuing a flyer indistinguishable from the Democrats because, after all, those pro-life rubes have nowhere else to go, right? Brown’s pro-choice, you got no choice.

Maybe. But, even in cynical and opportunist terms, in 2014 oughtn’t a functioning political party be sophisticated enough to be able to target pro-choice flyers at independents and squishy moderates and mail something a little less openly contemptuous to its own base? A cardinal rule of business is KYC – Know Your Customers. The GOP knows its customers and it despises them. The subtext of its flyer is: We don’t mean it. We don’t mean anything. Usually we wait until Wednesday morning to start selling you out, but this year we need to do it upfront.

And let me emphasize the larger point: The Republican State Committee has swallowed Democrat framing of the issue hook, line and sinker. They do that not just on abortion but on immigration and a zillion other issues. And you wonder why, even when they win, nothing changes? Tonight may well see a nominal victory for Republicans, but they remain a party for losers.

The best take for us gloom and doomers–meaning the most accurate–is probably Erick Erickson’s:

As projected, Republicans took control of the Senate as well as the House on Tuesday. But many of those GOP Senate candidates who squeaked into office are, in my view, political philanderers – by which I mean that while they pledge their troth to conservative principles, they still carry on outrageous affairs with Big Government. And frankly it’s no surprise that many voters would rather continue an unhappy marriage to Barack Obama rather than indulge in a one-night stand with false-dealing Republicans.

So while we are going to see a Republican Congress in name in January, its small-government rhetoric is certainly not going to fool or win over the party base. In 2014, the American public has shown that it hates Washington, D.C., and the Republican leaders in Washington are demonstrating why. They have assembled a team of strategists, consultants, and other political operatives who eat, breathe, and sleep Washington, D.C. Instead of standing for something, they stand for anything they think might get them back into power.

The message from Washington’s Republican elite is no longer that government is the problem, but that Democrats in charge of government are the problem. That might work in 2014, but it’s not going to carry the day in the next presidential election. Republicans cannot make the case that government is the problem when they covet the power of controlling it to the extent they do.

Which is likely why they aren’t even bothering to pretend to try to make that case anymore. As usual, they remain behind the curve of public opinion, following rather than leading, reacting rather than taking the offensive against Leftist totalitarianism. They aren’t going to save us from Progressivist usurpation of Constitutional government; they aren’t even very good at leading a rearguard action to defend what little remains of it. What they’re good at, what they’ll be doing, is selling us out. Bottom line:

Republicans did well on Election Day. The president’s job approval has cratered. The GOP outperforms the President on a host of issues from the economy to handling terror threats. But Washington’s Republican establishment made a conscious decision to find candidates who looked and sounded more like them and less like the Americans whose votes they need. They have provided no alternative and took far longer to close the deal with voters than they should have. When the voting closed on Tuesday, Republicans did not so much win as Democrats lost.

And so the message is plain: The GOP celebration will be brief. When the new Republican Congress convenes next year, tries to lead, and looks over its shoulder, there won’t be many conservatives following.

Which is as it should be: currently, conservatives have no political party representing their interests, and they definitely should NOT be pretending otherwise. But hey, let’s not let our solid foundation of well-earned mistrust for the treacherous GOP prevent us from lapping up and enjoying the rich flavor of those delicious “liberal” tears, eh? But first, I just gotta mention what had to be the best election live-blog coverage out there: the esteemed–and probably estoned and esdrunked–Biff Spackle’s.

06:57pm: Not sure if anyone’s interested, but apparently there are some elections going on today. My idiotic boss never bothered to tell me. He just said, “Biff, please man Blog Station Zero.” What a tool.

07:01pm: KY: Well, that was a nail-biter. Fox News just called Kentucky for Mitch McConnell.

07:02pm: VA: Oh, my: Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie too close to call… possibly a very bad sign for the Ebola Democrats. Warner was up by 18 points just two months ago, I hear.

07:03pm: SC: Lindsey “Goober” Graham crushes his Democrat challenger; Tim Scott smashes Joyce Dickerson.

07:04pm: Senate balance of power: D-34 vs R-33.

07:05pm: OT: VA to treat foreign Ebola patients, moving them to the front of the line.

07:08pm: I love it when Bob Beckel tries to say “cyclical” after tossing a couple back.

07:09pm: Does anyone have Dana Perino’s phone number?

07:50pm: NC: Tillis leads Hagan 51-45 with 3% in.

07:50pm: OT: Karl “WMD” Rove is saying something, but all I hear is static.

07:52pm: GA: Perdue leads Nunn 58-40 with 2% in.

07:57pm: OT: Tide and Downy together said to give children’s clothing a truly deep clean.

08:25pm: RI: Still socialist.

09:12pm: OT: Karl Rove was talking and talking and talking, but somehow my TV was on “mute”.

09:38pm: NH: Jeanne Shaheen wins seat over Scott Brown, 52-48%.

09:41pm: NH: How freaking stupid does someone have to be to vote for Jeanne Shaheen?

Pretty freaking stupid. Or pretty freaking socialist, which amounts to the same thing.

Meanwhile, the Progressivist spin machine is already whirling madly away, squeezing out bullshit by the bucketloader-full. As I was dropping off the young ‘un at school this morning I heard any number of desperate NPR commentators blibbering about how the repudiation en masse of Obamism amounts to a mandate for “working with” the beleaguered Marxist currently embunkered deep inside a secure liberal-fascist fantasy in an undisclosed location. Um, sorry, NPR, but it’s abundantly clear that more cooperation with a pretend pResident they’ve twice expressed revulsion for in massive, historic wave “elections” isn’t exactly the message real Americans are sending.

Which is no reason to assume that real Americans are entirely thrilled with the GOP either, of course. Nobody could possibly be all that excited with the prospect of mainstream GOP toad Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader, for example. It’s just that he was viewed by people voting yesterday as marginally better than Harry Reid…and if that ain’t damning with faint praise, I don’t know what is. Cognizant conservatives know full well that McConnell will spend every bit as much time and energy “crushing” Tea Partiers in GOP ranks as he will brokering dirty deals with Democrat Socialists. As a champion of Constitutional conservatism, McConnell makes a great career politician–and little else.

So yeah, enjoy the weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and hysterical propagandizing of Progressivists everywhere today. But don’t expect much in the way of real change. And as for rescuing America from the ashes of Democrat-Socialist destruction, fuhgeddaboutit. We’ll get a bit of talk about reining in Leviathan from the outermost fringes of the Republican Democrat Party, from good guys like Ted Cruz, who will then be assailed, vilified, and condemned by the McConnells and Boehners for their outlandish radicalism. Americans have demonstrated that they haven’t bought into communism entirely, yes, but it’s going to be business as usual in Mordor on the Potomac; Grond will crawl on. And then, in two years’ time, the schizoid American public will be all set to elect the next Democrat-Socialist president.

Rather than doing a bunch of new posts, I’ll most likely just be updating this one throughout the day as and when the mood and opportunity strikes. Stay tuned, folks.

Update! Not all the spin will be coming from the Left, of course.

Ethics and Public Policy Center scholars Henry Olsen and Peter Wehner have written a clever front-cover piece for Commentary magazine with its headline blaring notice that Ronald Reagan would be 103 years old if still alive, and criticizing politicians and partisans all claiming him as theirs, for their own political purposes. Yet, they cannot resist adopting the same strategy themselves. They pretty much get Reagan the man but miss wildly on two rather critical elements: his philosophy and his political theory.

The scholars find Reagan to be pretty much like themselves – reasonable, moderate Commentarians who warn Republicans not to be trapped by the legacy of Reagan as Democrats have been sentimentalized through Franklin Roosevelt and John Kennedy. While Reagan was right for his times, conservative candidates “need to locate themselves firmly in the here and now.” It gets a bit complicated, since they acknowledge the establishment fiercely opposed Reagan as too conservative but still insist he “was not in fact antiestablishment” like many activists on the right today because he sought to “win it over.” Anyway, they argue, today’s GOP establishment is more conservative so the Tea Party wing must adopt Reagan’s pragmatism to become successful.

The EPPC scholars are even more confused about Reagan’s philosophy. They are explicit that “For Reagan, human dignity—not human freedom—came first.” They quote Reagan to prove it, but the very phrase uses the freedom word “choose” to make the opposite point. And they concede Reagan “was indeed a great champion of human freedom.” They are more coherent when they quote him rejecting ideology as “a rigid, irrational clinging to abstract theory in the face of reality,” which was the “complete opposite to principled conservatism.” Yet, they draw no conclusions from this. Reagan himself did and was very clear about them.

Human freedom and dignity are NOT mutually exclusive; in fact, one cannot really exist without the other. But it’s certainly instructive how many people–even Democrat Socialists, for God’s sake–want to co-opt Reagan as their very own these days, for sometimes nefarious purposes.

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Mencken refresher course

Okay, this is just sad.

Recent events tied a bow around a simple, powerful, and true closing message for Republicans running for Congress this year: The American people deserve to be treated better than the way their government treats them.

People who like their doctors and health insurance deserve to keep them. Ourveterans deserve care in a timely manner. The American people deserve the truth about illegal immigrants released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They deserve straight answers from the Centers for Disease Control, and when a promise is made, it should be kept. Americans deserve a secure border, and when there is overwhelming support for restricting flights from countries with severe Ebola outbreaks, the option deserves careful consideration, not arrogant dismissal.

Americans of all political stripes deserve to be treated equally in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service, with no special targeting based upon political views. Ourambassadors and those serving our country overseas deserve protection when they ask for it. If American taxpayer money is going to be used to save a car company, the people deserve to know whether that company is making unsafe cars.

They deserve to send and receive e-mails, texts, and calls without the National Security Agency peering over their metaphorical shoulder without a warrant. They deserve a director of national intelligence who does not lie in testimony to Congress. For the amount of money we spend on gathering intelligence, we deserve better performance — or for an administration to act upon that intelligence more promptly. In a dangerous world, we deserve leaders who don’t fool themselves into thinking jihadists on the rise are just “the JV team.” They deserve a Secret Service that takes its job seriously and corrects its mistakes.

The Republican party and its candidates are not perfect. But the vast majority of its candidates bring a righteous anger to these unacceptable failures of the federal government and the culture of complacency that is flourishing within the federal bureaucracy.

One of the very first comments dismantles this nonsense well enough:

How do we ‘deserve’ better? Over half of us VOTED for this- TWICE!; the rest acquiesced. Short of scores of thousands of us descending on DC and actually throwing rocks at the thing, we have the government we deserve.

Pretty much, yeah. Only I think it’s gonna take something a bit stouter than rocks. Geraghty’s desperate bluster about Republicrats supposedly putting the Progressivist criminal conspiracy on some imaginary “hot seat” of show hearings rings pretty damned pathetic too, on this the five hundred and who-the-hell-even-knows-or-cares-anymore day of the IRS scandal, with nary an ounce of real justice for obvious crimes against the Constitution in sight.

Jim, I love ya and all, but it’s going to take something one hell of a lot more stern than just more Hearings Theater, blue-ribbon party-hack panels, and half-assed investigatory committees to put all this right again. And we’re not voting our way out of it, either–not when our system has been warped top to bottom by being locked into a two-party approach with no meaningful opposition mounted (or possible) to dragging us off into ever more contra-Constitutional directions in search of Big Government utopia.

The Democrat Socialists are totalitarian scum; the Republicans are their enablers–when they’re not co-conspirators outright. This profanely insidious partnership doesn’t even qualify to be mocked as opposite sides of the same statist coin anymore. Go ahead, vote for them all you like. See if it gets you anything other than more liberal-fascist tyranny.

Update! Via Maet, Neo-neocon is keeping (vain) hope alive. I like her, and always have, so I have no intention of jumping all over her–I’ll leave that sort of antipathy to the GOP enablers who keep stridently demanding each and every “election” that Constitutional conservatives all shut up, get in line, and vote for the RINO Flavor Of The Year–or of 2012, if they get their wish and get Romney nominated again, which is probably a good bit more likely than most of us would care to admit.

I’ll just restrict myself to this for now: if this can even still be considered a nation governed by the consent of the governed at all anymore, then I choose to withhold my consent from the Statists who currently rule us. Seems to me that the enablers’ standard argument has it exactly backwards: if you DO vote for the clowns, grifters, and charlatans they keep trotting out for entertainment purposes, YOU’RE the one who has no right to complain about what you get afterwards. You’ve granted them your approval to keep the big-government status quo wobbling along on its broken wheels, and shouldn’t expect any different.

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“We have done a horrible job, so give us more money”

The usual cry of government, as Patterico says. Inept, overlarge, too-powerful, Constitutionally-indefensible government, that is.

The United States government has pledged to send help to West Africa to help stop Ebola from spreading—but the main agencies tasked with this aid work say they’re hamstrung by budget cuts from the 2013 sequester.

On September 16, the Senate Committees on Appropriations and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing to discuss the resources needed to address the outbreak. Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked NIH representative Anthony Fauci about sequestration’s effect on the efforts.

“If even modest investments had been made…the current Ebola epidemic could have been detected earlier, and it could have been identified and contained.”

“I have to tell you honestly it’s been a significant impact on us,” said Fauci. “It has both in an acute and a chronic, insidious way eroded our ability to respond in the way that I and my colleagues would like to see us be able to respond to these emerging threats. And in my institute particularly, that’s responsible for responding on the dime to an emerging infectious disease threat, this is particularly damaging.” Sequestration required the NIH to cut its budget by 5 percent, a total of $1.55 billion in 2013. Cuts were applied across all of its programs, affecting every area of medical research.

Maet has the only appropriate response to that bureau-rat whining (with an assist from David Harsanyi): “Apparently they spent a lot of it getting people to eat less salt, more vegetables, warning about second and third-hand smoking, and treating guns like a viral disease. The rest they just wasted.” And then there’s this:

Sen. Tom Coburn, a practicing physician and ranking member of an oversight subcommittee, issued a 115-page minority office report questioning the CDC’s spending on projects including an employee fitness center with $200,000 in equipment such as zero-gravity chairs and a mood-enhancing light show, and a $1.7 million effort to have accurate medical information portrayed in movies and TV shows.

Coburn’s report on the CDC provided details on a massive construction project at the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta that has exceeded $1 billion.

The new buildings include a $106 million communications center with a 70-foot-wide-by-25-foot-tall wall of plasma video screens for visitors, the report says. The center is named after Sen. Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who was the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee overseeing CDC spending. A video production studio at the center cost $18.6 million, the report says.

The new construction includes a $110 million headquarters building named after Sen. Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who is the former chairman of the subcommittee shaping the CDC budget. Coburn’s report says the CDC spent $9.8 million on furniture for the building.

And the rest they just wasted.

Corruption. Fraud. Waste. Mismanagement. Incompetence. Failure. Mission creep. Unaccountability. Meddlesome edicts from “experts” who wish to dictate to the “citizenry” at large how they will and will not be allowed to live their lives. An orgy of profligacy that borders on the outright degenerate, with no discernible good result.

And still they cry for more. They will never, ever have enough.

You could find a reiteration of this same grotesquerie in government anywhere you could bear to look. These are all features, not bugs, of the supposedly benevolent dictatorship Americans have decided to accept in swap for the former Constitutional republic. They have traded liberty for “security” (theater), have lost both, and deserve neither. May they have joy of their choice…in full measure, all they have coming to them, until the ancient lesson is at last well and truly (re-) learned.

Update! Ask a silly question, get a drop-dead perfect answer:

Can we trust the government to do its job? On Fox News Sunday columnist George Will parried: “What isn’t its job nowadays?…It’s fine tuning the curriculum of our students K-12. It’s monitoring sex on campuses. It’s deciding how much ethanol we should put in our gas tanks. It has designed our light bulbs. And it’s worried sick over the name of the Washington football team. This is a government that doesn’t know when to stop.”

Overreaching government is the natural consequence of progressivism, said Will, the “distilled essence” of which is that government is “a a) benign, that is, disinterested force — that’s false — and b) it is stocked with experts who are really gifted at doing things.”

Can we have faith in government? “I think we have much more to fear from excessive faith in government than from too little faith in government.”

Bang. Zoom. Correct in every particular. Well said, George. Although I do have one quibble, minor though it may seem: overreaching government isn’t a “natural consequence” of Progressivism; it’s the whole point.

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Of victors, and spoils

Peggy Noonan gets one right.

We’re all used to a certain amount of doublespeak and bureaucratese in government hearings. That’s as old as forever. But in the past year of listening to testimony from government officials, there is something different about the boredom and indifference with which government testifiers skirt, dodge and withhold the truth. They don’t seem furtive or defensive; they are not in the least afraid. They speak always with a certain carefulness—they are lawyered up—but they have no evident fear of looking evasive. They really don’t care what you think of them. They’re running the show and if you don’t like it, too bad.

We are locked in some loop where the public figure knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and the public knows what he must pronounce to achieve his agenda, and we all accept what is being said while at the same time everyone sees right through it. The public figure literally says, “Prepare my talking points,” and the public says, “He’s just reading talking points.” It leaves everyone feeling compromised. Public officials gripe they can’t break through the cynicism. They cause the cynicism.

The only people who seem to tell the truth now are the people inside the agencies who become whistleblowers. They call a news organization, get on the phone with a congressman’s staff. That’s basically how the Veterans Affairs and Secret Service scandals broke: Desperate people who couldn’t take the corruption dropped a dime. What does it say about a great nation when its most reliable truth tellers are desperate people?

Well, for one thing, that it’s no longer a great nation. More evidence:

History will ill-serve Eric Holder if it does no more than echo the view common in the wake of his resignation that his tenure as Attorney General was “controversial.” Mr. Holder’s more than five years as the nation’s chief legal officer were consequential.

In tandem with Barack Obama ‘s White House, Mr. Holder pushed the authority of the federal government and its administrative agencies beyond the edge of the Constitution and law. They did so not in one or several controversial instances, as with past presidencies, but repeatedly and across the breadth of the federal government.

Messrs. Obama and Holder have attempted to make federal legal authority limitless. The Obama-Holder theory of law—that the needs of justice, as they define it, supersede the law’s boundaries—deserves to be repudiated. It has no precedent outside progressive law journals or various periods in South American history.

Mr. Obama made his intentions clear. In July 2011, the president said in public he’d like to “bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.” The phrase, “change the laws on his own,” is not in the U.S. Constitution. The next year, Mr. Obama made his now-famous and unconstitutional recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The recess appointments were the tip of the iceberg.

For the firm of Obama & Holder, shocking the conscience of sitting federal judges with legal overstepping is just another day in court. The Obama lawyers’ legal justification for their actions has often been, in effect, what difference does it make? That isn’t a legal argument. Yet.

It’s legal if His Royal Majesty says it is. His minions, lackeys, and satraps in the bureaucracy that really rules us are just following his lead and, as Noonan says, doing so with no fear of repercussion. Hey, they won, after all.

Update! Progressing beyond Progressivism and its boundless regulatory state.

You must read this excellent piece by Megan McArdle, It’s Normal for Regulators to Get Captured. “regulatory capture is not some horrid aberration; it is closer to the natural state of a regulatory body.”

This is true. That is why the entire modern administrative state has to be re-thought, re-configured and replaced. It does not work, it never worked, it cannot work.

The regulatory state is the defining feature of the Industrial Era, America 2.0 state. It needs to be shut down, wrapped up and replaced.

This does not mean return to the law of the jungle. It means making laws that actually align incentives with desired ends, as imperfect as that always is.

It also means sunsetting and doing away with those laws–and the vast, unaccountable bureaucracies they inevitably establish–once those “desired ends” are achieved…and most especially when they aren’t.

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I don’t know what you’re talking about, it never happened, and anyway it was three other guys and their sister’s cat’s grandmother that did it

I exaggerate but slightly.

The elements of the administration’s blame, deny, and wait-it-out communications strategy has been front and center amid all the recent controversies. When the administration badly botched the launch of the health care exchange website, Obama said he was “not informed directly that the website would not be working the way it was supposed to.” This, for his signature achievement in office. Blame was later pinned on Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who left the administration in April.

When officials at the Internal Revenue Service improperly targeted conservative outside groups for scrutiny, Obama first feigned outrage, saying he had “no patience for” the misconduct. But months later, as the public’s anger subsided, Obama said there “wasn’t even a smidgen of corruption” at the agency, and the administration has done little to hold anyone accountable since.

After CNN reported that Veterans Affairs Department offices covered up long wait times at several of its facilities, former Obama press secretary Jay Carney said, “We learned about them through the [news] reports.” Long wait times were hardly a secret, with Obama himselfcampaigning on VA reform as a candidate. To his credit, Obama signed legislation reforming the VA and replaced embattled Secretary Eric Shinseki. But the president himself escaped much of the blame, even though he was clearly familiar with the long-standing problems that the agency faced.

The administration’s approach to controversies was best crystallized by former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor, who deflected criticism about allegations that talking points on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were altered for political reasons. “Dude, this was two years ago,” he told Bret Baier of Fox News. The remarks were perceived as flippant, but they underscored the success of the administration’s public-relations strategy. Buy enough time, and inevitably problems tend to go away—especially in today’s attention-deprived environment.

And most especially when you have a trusting, supportive, adoring establishment media running interference for you every step of the way, along with an out of touch and uninformed polity willing to lap up every morsel of the swill that media serves up without question or reflection.

Absolutely hilarious update! Let’s be clear on this: there are those who say it wasn’t me.

President Obama wasn’t passing the buck by saying intelligence officials underestimated the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the White House said Monday.

Press secretary Josh Earnest said officials were aware of the threat posed by ISIS, but misjudged the will of the Iraqi military to fight back and how successful the terror group would be at capturing territory. He said “everybody” — from the intelligence community to the White House — made the same mistake, but that Obama was ultimately responsible.

“The president’s commander in chief and he’s the one who takes responsibility for ensuring that we have the kinds of policies in place that are required to protect our interests around the globe,” Earnest said.

Y’know, it must be just hell on earth being the spokeshole for this douchebag. Anybody with even a shred of integrity would be forced by their conscience to publicly commit seppuku within no more than a month’s time.

(Via Insty)

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“Remember when he gave that godawful No Strategy presser a couple weeks ago and you thought it couldn’t get worse? It got worse”

Apparently, some fool made some kind of speech last night wherein he droned endlessly about things he knows nothing whatever about (the Islamic State isn’t Islamic, and isn’t a state? Really?); proposed taking actions he only a short while ago derided as “fantasy” (he’s right about that bit, actually); declared we’d be going to war without actually going to war in Iraq (slogan: “Iraq War III: now with more Syria!“); pimped for the usual Progressivist “global coalition” bullshit, trying to tie a bunch of completely unrelated problems (including not a few of his usual halt and lame domestic hobbyhorses) together with a pretty Tranzi bow; demonstrated that–as with any other faculty-lounge muttonhead with absolutely no experience of the real world–calling his grasp of reality “feeble” is being far more charitable than he deserves; underpinned the whole squalid mess with the usual fabric of lies; and just generally beclowned not only himself but the idiots who voted for him.

So off we go, mincing to the sound of the guns in yet another futile war to bring “freedom” and “democracy” and “stability” to people who neither desire nor comprehend any of those things. As is usual with any war liberal fascists run (other than the mostly clandestine, mostly cold war on real Americans here at home), we’ll be dragged along into it incrementally, a few dead “advisers” at a time, with no compelling national interest at stake, no idea of what victory (a word His Most Puissant Majesty didn’t deign to utter in his Big War Speech even once) might look like, and no meaningful strategy at all.

We’ll be telegraphing our reluctance, distaste, and overwhelming desire to get out every step of the way, thereby assuring the enemy that all he really has to do to defeat us is wait until the poll numbers shift a bit and then just sit back and laugh at the inevitable chaotic skedaddle as we beat feet, hurling empty threats most dire and bloodcurdling over our slumped shoulders every step of the way. We’ll waste bucketloads of men, materiel, money, and weaponized rhetoric to no discernible good purpose. Eventually, we’ll look around to find ourselves having passed so many “grim milestones” (hey, remember that one?) as to be fully locked into an unwinnable quagmire (hey, remember that one?) with the only options available to us being humiliation, enfeeblement, and further sapping of the national will, treasury, and armory.

Oh, and whatever few freedoms you still have left? They’ll be revoking those, of course. Hey, it’s “wartime,” people; for God’s sake, where is your patriotism?

What can one say but: UNEXPECTED!™ And: what difference, at this point, does it make?

A little cold-water reality for ya:

Obama talks about countering the Islamic State’s ideology. How, and, more important, why, is the United States supposed to be in charge of that? On what planet are any Islamists, let alone Sunnis so hardcore al-Qaeda doesn’t want them, susceptible to the moral suasions of secular America? Maybe it’s the planet where all the peaceful, moderate, freedom-loving Muslims live.

It’s Obama’s world; unfortunately, we have to live in it. What I find perhaps most amusing about that bit, though, is Obama’s positing the necessity of countering an “ideology” that he earlier stuttered has “no vision.” Um, they’re not exactly antonyms, Perfessor Lunkhead. But nobody by now expects him to know anything, or tell the truth about anything, or properly lead anything, or…well, you get the picture, dark though it is.

Since it’s my firm belief that there’s never a bad time to trot out another LOTR analogy, let’s do so here:

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was sometimes faulted by literary critics for caricaturing the evil orcs as uniformly bad. All of them were as unpleasant to look (at) as they were deadly to encounter. There is not a single good orc or even a reformed orc in the trilogy. The apparent one-dimensional assumption of men, hobbits, dwarves, and elves is that the only good orc is a dead orc. So the absolutist Tolkien tried to teach us about the enduring nature of absolute good and evil. Apparently he did not think that anything from his contemporary experience might allow him to imagine reforming or rehabilitating such fictive folk.

Tolkien’s literary purpose with orcs was not to explore the many shades of evil or the struggle within oneself to avoid the dark side; he did that well enough in dozens of once good but weak characters who went bad such as the turncoat Saruman the wizard, his sidekick Wormtongue, a few of the hobbits who had ruined the Shire, and, best of all, the multifaceted Gollum. Orcs, on the other hand, are unredeemable. Orcs, goblins, and trolls exist as the tools of the even more sinister in proud towers to destroy civilization, and know nothing other than killing and destruction. Their reward is to feed on the crumbs of what they have ruined.

Evil is ancient, unchanging, and with us always. The more postmodern the West becomes — affluent, leisured, nursed on moral equivalence, utopian pacifism, and multicultural relativism — the more premodern the evil among us seems to arise in nihilistic response, whether it is from the primordial Tsarnaev brothers or Jihadi John. We have invented dozens of new ways to explain away our indifference, our enemies hundreds of new ways of reminding us of our impotence. I suppose we who enjoy the good life don’t want to lose any of it for anything — and will understandably do any amount of appeasing, explaining, and contextualizing to avoid an existential war against the beheaders and mutilators, a fact well-known to our enemies.

The Europeans are shrugging that Ukraine is lost and will soon sigh that the Baltic states are a far-off place not worth risking the coffee shops of Amsterdam to defend. Westerners lament beheadings but then privately mutter that journalists know just what they are getting into when they visit the Middle East. Murdering and abusing a U.S. ambassador on video is not such a big deal anymore and is worth only a second or so mention on Google News.

So we wait behind our suburban Maginot Lines, arguing over our quarter- and half-measure responses, refighting Iraq and Afghanistan as if they were the Somme and Verdun, assured that we can distract ourselves from the horrors abroad with psychodramas about Ferguson, the president’s golfing, his lectures on fairness, and which naked celebrity photo was hacked on the Internet.

Meanwhile the orcs are busy and growing and nearing the ramparts…

Hey, I don’t call it Mordor on the Potomac for nothing, y’know. Although I realize that doesn’t quite jibe with VDH’s usage there.

We’re actually sort of a cross between Rohan and Isengard at this point: many among us remain stalwart, valiant, and true, but like Eomer and his small band roving through the countryside doing their personal best against the forces of evil, those voices are either ignored or actively suppressed. And we’ve not even allowed ourselves the dignity of having a clever if flawed Saruman leading us on to ultimate disaster; no, our Fiend In Charge is the weak, hapless, short-sighted, self-serving, and cowardly Grima Wormtongue.

How fucking embarrassing for us, eh? In sum: three groans for the Part-Time pResident and his shiny new half-a-war! Rally ’round the flag, boys! Onward To…uhh, Whatever!

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Stop helping!

Politicians: useless.

Senator Paul will come out of his vacation looking pretty good. Given the political class’s endless appetite for self-serving theater, I found myself wondering why President Obama, Mrs. Clinton, or Vice President Biden did not choose to spend their vacations in a similar way, offering to put their skills and abilities to use on behalf of others. And then I realized that this was a deeply stupid question on my part.

What the hell would they do?

What they always do: order people around; feed their own monstrous egos; line their own pockets; lecture and hector everyone else about the vital importance of a morality they neither possess nor respect themselves; and confiscate wealth for redistribution according to their own ass-backwards notions of what’s “fair” and “effective.” I’ll never understand how it came to pass that we accepted this agglomeration of leeches–call ’em the Parasite Class–as in any way necessary to human existence.

They live in their secure, palatial enclaves, enjoying the bounteous fruits of labor they didn’t perform and wealth they didn’t earn–rather than spending most of their daily existence running for their very lives, as would be truly just. They wallow swinishly in the golden sun in luxury vacation spots the rest of us can’t afford and wouldn’t be allowed into anyway, and the only pitchforks they ever see are in the hands of those laboring to feed and support them as their motorcades flash past, rather than being pointed at their flabby, overfed bellies.

Yep, it’s a real mystery, all right.

Unlike Senator Paul, neither the president nor the vice president nor the former secretary of state has anything that one might describe as a useful skill. That’s not quite right: They have skills that are useful…to themselves. As for skills that are useful to other people — you’d be hard pressed to think of one. If you were a poor family in Guatemala, which would you rather have: the services of a pretty good ophthalmologist, or those of an excellent orator? (Never mind that, unlike Senator Paul, President Obama does not speak Spanish — or, indeed, any foreign language.) Imagine dispatching Hillary Rodham Clinton to Calcutta or Joe Biden to Conakry and then expecting them to do something useful. The idea is preposterous.

Politicians do not provide health care. Doctors, nurses, technicians, orderlies, pharmaceutical researchers, medical-device manufacturers, and junior senators from Kentucky volunteering in Guatemala provide health care. Politicians do not feed the hungry — farmers, grocers, long-haul truckers, and Monsanto feed the hungry. They neither sow nor reap. Barack Obama gives the impression of being a man who probably couldn’t change a tire, but we have persuaded ourselves — allowed ourselves to be persuaded — that such men must be central to our lives. The wheat farmer in Kansas or the contractor in Pittsburgh? All they do is keep the world fed and housed.

Politicians can redistribute wealth, but they do not create any. They can attempt to command the energies of those with the ability and inclination to produce valuable goods and services, but as politicians they do not produce. The entire idea of politicians as society’s leadership is an inversion of the real order of things: Government is not here to lead anybody anywhere — it is here to serve us in the important but limited role of coordinating collective action toward such ends as physical security and the enforcement of contracts.

Well, ideally, yes. Constitutionally, yes. But we’ve come a very long way indeed from either of those eminently desirable states.

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Coincidence, or just bad luck?

Neither.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is, to the surprise of all thinking people, right about something: “A spark has exploded,” he said, referring to the protests and violence in Ferguson, Mo. “When you look at what sparked riots in the Sixties, it has always been some combination of poverty, which was the fuel, and then some oppressive police tactic. It was the same in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Los Angeles. It’s symptomatic of a national crisis of urban abandonment and repression, seen in Chicago.”

A question for the Reverend Jackson: Who has been running the show in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, and in Los Angeles for a great long while now? The answer is: People who see the world in much the same way as does the Reverend Jackson, who take the same view of government, who support the same policies, and who suffer from the same biases.

This is not intended to be a cheap partisan shot. The Democratic party institutionally certainly has its defects, the chronicle of which could fill several unreadable volumes, but the more important and more fundamental question here is one of philosophy and policy. Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles — and Philadelphia, Cleveland, and a dozen or more other cities — have a great deal in common: They are the places in which the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions. They are the hopeless reality that results from wishful thinking.

This is yet another Williamson piece I could happily repost every word of, but fair use restrains me from doing so. it’s chock full of eminently quotable bits–“The philosophy of abusive eminent domain, government monopolies, and opportunistic taxation is also the philosophy of police brutality, the repression of free speech and other constitutional rights, and economic despair…” being but one example. I’ll lift the closing paragraph from it and then say what I always do:

The Reverend Jackson should not be surprised that places such as Ferguson, Mo., have feckless police departments. He himself has spent his career helping to ensure that they have feckless schools, self-serving bureaucracies, rapacious public-sector unions pillaging the municipal fisc, and malevolent political leadership that is by no means above exploiting racial sentiment in order to hold on to power. His allies have been running U.S. cities for a generation, and it takes a considerable measure of brass for him to come in decrying the results as though he had no hand in them.  

You know what you must do, Grasshopper.

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High crimes and misdemeanors: the fruits of weakness and collaboration

Yes. This.

Yet even if you assume, as the Republican establishment appears bent on doing, that Obama is right and that his knowingly false alarm about imminent impeachment is bad for Republicans, the solution is simple: Just make it very clear that there is no plan to file articles of impeachment against Obama — not now, and not in the foreseeable future. It is already clear that that is the case to sensible people, and after a short while it will be clear to everyone — the Democrats’ cynicism will be seen for what it is.

But no, the GOP can’t leave it at that. For whatever reason they feel compelled to say not only that they will not impeach Obama but that Obama’s systematic refusal to execute the laws faithfully does not rise to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” the Constitution’s impeachment standard.

Wrong. To repeat, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” a British term of art borrowed by the Framers, does not refer to penal offenses. It refers to what Hamilton called “the misconduct of public men, or in other words…the abuse or violation of some public trust.” Such misconduct need not be an indictable wrong. It could involve dereliction of duty, lies to Congress or the public about serious matters, the failure to honor an oath (such as the oath to execute the laws faithfully), and any conduct that intentionally undermines the governing framework that safeguards our liberties and security (the president, of course, takes an oath to preserve the Constitution).

The border is being overrun and the president, far from taking action to stop it, is encouraging it. Illegal aliens are being smuggled throughout the country by the federal government without notice to the states. The president refuses to enforce the immigration laws. The president is usurping the power of Congress to confer federal benefits on aliens. The president is unilaterally rewriting Obamacare, the drug laws, and other congressional statutes that are inconvenient to him. The president willfully lied to the country to get Obamacare enacted and to get reelected. The commander-in-chief took no meaningful action to protect Americans before and during the terrorist siege of Benghazi, and then he and his administration willfully lied to the country about the cause of the massacre in order to get reelected. The president has used the federal bureaucracy to harass and punish his political opponents. Evidence of the IRS’s wrongdoing has been destroyed. Evidence about the Justice Department’s Fast & Furious scandal, which resulted in the murder of a Border Patrol agent, has been withheld from Congress — with the attorney general held in contempt. The VA cooked its books to conceal the mistreatment of our veterans, some of whom died.

How does it help Republicans to assert, and how do they justify asserting, that none of this misconduct rises to the level of profound breaches of the public trust — high crimes and misdemeanors? Do they really believe the failure to recognize the seriousness of Obama-administration malfeasance makes them more attractive to voters?

Yes, they do–to Obama voters and illegal aliens, none of whom will ever vote for a Republican under any circumstances whatsoever. Bill lays out exactly why the idea of impeachment–the proper remedy for an overreaching tyrant, more than justified by this particular megalomaniacal cretin’s actions to date–is a nullity, a non-starter, as disgraceful and piss-poor a reflection on the polity as that sad fact is. It may not be precisely what you think:

It’s the proper constitutional method for remedying the problem of a lawless, rogue president.  I’d love to see Obama impeached, convicted, removed from office, and then prosecuted for his many crimes, bankrupted, and jailed.

That would be proper, and as the Framers envisioned it.

Unfortunately, ever since the Senate was given to the mob with the 17th Amendment, the application of that remedy has become almost impossible.

I’ve long said that many if not most of our current problems began with the 17th, and its removal of due and proper representation of the states in the eternal struggle with the greedy, grasping Federal monolith. I was right then, and I’m right now.

Meanwhile, Obama is fully cognizant of the fact that with his and his henchmen’s raising of the impeachment alarums, he’s once again run rings around the damned-fool GOP, and is now announcing his intention to spike the ball in their slackjawed faces:

White House senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer responded to the House vote to sue President Obama for abusing his executive authority by announcing another executive order.

Pfeiffer also promised that Obama would take unilateral action on immigration.

“The President is not going to back away from his efforts to use his authority to solve problems and help American families,” Pfeiffer wrote following Wednesday’s vote. “In fact, tomorrow, President Obama will announce his next executive action to crack down on federal contractors who put workers’ safety and hard-earned pay at risk. It’s just the next in a series of steps this Administration will be taking this year to make sure that American workers are getting a fair deal, and he has pledged to take executive action to deal with our broken immigration system in the months ahead.”

“Make sure that American workers are getting a fair deal”–by end-running around them and destroying their ability to make a living with an invited horde of illegals eager to do “the jobs Americans just won’t do.” And why not? He’s colonizing the FUSA with a more-malleable class of future Democrat Socialist voters, and abandoning his old-guard supporters secure in the knowledge that the union thugs, urban socialists, and sundry ignoramuses comprising that old guard have nowhere else to go. Useful idiots, after all, are forever.

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Grond crawls on

Just in case anybody had any doubt: there is none.

To summarize: The IRS (famed for nitpicking and prosecuting the tax law), chose to authorize hundreds of billions of illegal subsidies without having performed a smidgen of legal due diligence, and did so at the direction of political taskmasters. The agency’s actions provided aid and comfort to elected Democrats, even as it disenfranchised millions of Americans who voted in their states to reject state-run exchanges. And Treasury knows how ugly this looks, which is why it initially stonewalled Congress in its investigation—at first refusing to give documents to investigators, and redacting large portions of the information.

Administration officials will continue to use the IRS to try to improve its political fortunes. The subsidy shenanigans are merely one example. Add Democrats’ hijacking of the agency to target and silence political opponents. What you begin to see are the makings of a Washington agency—a body with the power to harass, to collect, to fine, to imprison—working on behalf of one political party. Richard Nixon, eat your heart out.

Somewhere, though, Stalin is standing up and cheering.

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Impeach Obama the voters

Short of delivering myself of a semi-pedantic lecture on the futility and irrelevance of our show elections, I can’t find a lot to disagree with in the central thrust of his argument, honestly.

I understand all of the talk on the right about impeaching President Obama, I really do.

It’s not just incompetence that has led to the collapse in Iraq, to renewed conflict with Russia, to the fact that the Germans hate us now, to the chaos at the border, and so on. It’s the president’s dereliction of duty. It’s not that he is trying his best and getting it wrong. It’s the suspicion, the near-certainty, that he’s flubbing everything because he just doesn’t care. Or worse, it’s the suspicion that American failure—particularly American failure overseas—neatly fits with his ideological prejudices.

Yet talk of impeachment is premature and misplaced. The fact is that Obama’s worst failures have been in the areas—foreign policy and diplomacy—where the president has the most unilateral authority, where he is supposed to be able to act without really having to answer to Congress.

Which is to say that the proper constitutional remedy is for the American people to not vote for the SOB. But they did vote for him, so unfortunately the public is just going to have to suffer the consequences.

It’s not like they didn’t have lots of evidence already about his outlook and intentions. And it’s not like they weren’t warned about everything that could go wrong, from Iraq to Russia. I never thought I would find myself pining for the lost Mitt Romney presidency, but I have to admit that on a whole slew of issues, Romney was right.

The American people heard these arguments, and they went with the other guy. So we have to remember H.L. Mencken’s dictum: the people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard. They voted for Obama, they got him, and now they have to lump it. If they don’t like the results, they can choose better next time.

That’s the crux of the issue. Instead of wasting our efforts on impeachment, we should be focused on helping the American people learn from their mistakes. They need to learn about the perils of believing in a great leader who will solve all their problems. They need to learn about the stupidity of voting for a candidate in order to symbolically repudiate the legacy of racism (or, in 2016, sexism), rather than voting for an actual leader. And they need to learn the specific lessons about Obama’s peculiar combination of domestic statism and blame-America-first foreign policy, an ideology in which our government can do no wrong at home and do no right overseas.

The most damning indictment against the ostensible wisdom and good judgment of Duh Peepul is that such a vile mountebank could ever get within visual distance of the White House in the first place–except, as I’m fond of saying, as part of a guided tour. So…good and hard, people.

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IRS doubling down

Ace’s headline pretty well sums it up:

IRS: Hey Sorry We “Lost” Lois Lerner’s Emails
GOP: It’s Not Credible You Only Lost Lois Lerner’s Emails
IRS: Oh Right We Lost Other Emails Too
GOP: Whose?
IRS: Other People Involved in the Targeting of Conservatives
GOP: Oh

At this point, I’d have to say that it’s that final strongly-worded, forceful GOP response that’s problematic here. We know by now, if we have the stomach for admitting it, that the IRS, like most other FederalGovCo bureaucracies, is heavily politicized and exists not only to perform whatever (Constitutionally illegitimate) functions they purport to be all about, but also to perpetuate, consolidate, and expand the Left’s gains in their incremental soft coup against Constitutional government and any limits at all on their own power. The question now, as I keep droning on about, is: what are we gonna do about it? More to the immediate point: what is the GOP–as the supposed “opposition” party and therefore the last desperate resort for those who still naively believe that we’ll ever be able to vote our way out of this–gonna do about it?

Lois Lerner indirectly answered that question with an oh-well, up-yours response:

Lois G. Lerner, the employee at the center of the IRS tea party targeting scandal, wanted to recover files from her computer hard drive after it crashed in 2011, but when told it was impossible, she took a philosophical view.

“Sometimes stuff just happens,” she said in a 2011 email to the IRS tech staff that tried to recover documents from the hard drive.

Lerner knows full well, as does everybody else at the IRS and throughout the federal tyranny, that there ain’t gonna be one damned thing done about them. They are perfectly secure in their position as unquestioned lords and masters of a cowed and enervated populace. They clearly believe that they can lie with utter impunity; that their near-baroque perversion of our former system of government will stand without meaningful consequence to themselves; that their power over us is absolute and eternal, and they may blithely commit atrocities against the very idea of legitimate self-government and then cover up their abuses in the most lackadaisical and nonchalant fashion without fear of repercussion; that the “liberal”-dominated Court Jester-media complex will be both compliant and effective in helping them cover up those abuses and conceal the truth.

They know, in short, that they’ve won.

They need to be taught otherwise, at long last and for all time. I only wish I could say I thought there was a snowball’s chance of it.

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Let’s not be too hasty in blaming the professional politicians

Instead, let’s be sure idiot “liberals” get some recognition too.

“I’m at the breaking point,” said Gretchin Gardner, an Austin artist who bought a 1930s bungalow in the Bouldin neighborhood just south of downtown in 1991 and has watched her property tax bill soar to $8500 this year.

“It’s not because I don’t like paying taxes,” said Gardner, who attended both meetings [of “irate homeowners”]. “I have voted for every park, every library, all the school improvements, for light rail, for anything that will make this city better. But now I can’t afford to live here anymore.”

One suspects this dumbass is incapable of perceiving the slight problem with her statement. As Tigerhawk says:

Anyway, that Ms. Gardner can say such a thing without the slightest recognition that — oops — all the things she voted for have now cost so much that she cannot afford to live in Austin is both comic and tragic and, in the end, a painful reminder that most voters do not have an even tenuous grip on cause and effect. Indeed, hard as it may be to believe, it gets better. Gardner goes on to say that “[s]omeone needs to step in and address the big picture.” How, pray tell, are even honest and competent politicians to make sense of constant demands for new services and howls of outrage over higher taxes from the exact same voters?

Always remember, though: “liberals” are the smart ones. And if you don’t believe it, just ask ’em.

(Via Maet)

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Accountability at last!

King Sleazeball’s self-serving notion of it, anyway:

News quiz: President Obama and his communications team hope that Americans are: 1) Dumb; 2) Distracted; 3) Numb to government inefficiency; 4) All of above.

Answer: 4, all of the above.

That answer along with utter incompetence are the best explanations for why the White House thought it could get away with claiming that the departure of Veterans Affairs official Robert Petzel was a step toward accountability for its scandalous treatment of war veterans.

Fact is, the department announced in 2013 that Dr. Petzel would retire this year.

It being Ogabe and Pals we’re talking about here, of course there’s more and worse. After Lois Lerner, it’s looking like this early-retirement ploy is beginning to be the Liar In Thief’s preferred MO when it comes to protecting his hatchet-men, stooges, and stalking horses in the bureaucracy after they’ve done his dirty work for him.

Attaboy, Barky–you “bring ’em to justice” now, y’hear? We all know you’re “madder than hell” at everything your ruling junta has been caught doing at your sly behest, and we’re relying on you to “get to the bottom” of it all. Three groans for our scrupulous and incorruptible Dear Leader, everybody!

Update! Of course and also as usual–this being another of the lying son of a bitch’s usual dodges–Barky only heard about all this when he read it in the newspapers. Y’know, just like all the other scandals he’s eyeballs-deep in. This, despite having been informed of the mess at VA many years ago.

It’s perhaps our greatest national disgrace that this villainous, amoral scumbag ever became president in the first place.

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Told ya so

And all any of us had to do to know exactly what was coming was look at the history of every damned place it’s ever been tried. Now we all get to enjoy the (entirely predictable) socialist disaster. Thanks a pantload, morons.

It directly affects the personal life of every American, and it controls or regulates a complex sector of the American economy that is slightly larger than the entire economy of France.

If you guessed Obamacare, you’ve been paying attention for the past four years.

Four years ago, many health policy analysts, including those at The Heritage Foundation, predicted some of the effects this law would have on Americans. These are all coming true. Here are nine of our predictions that have come to pass—and it’s not over yet.

All of it going according to plan, working as intended to destroy the last vestiges of free market capitalism in health care to allow for the complete federal takeover the Left wanted all along; as Trojan horses go, this one has been every bit as effective as the original. You guys will all know this stuff already. But read ’em anyway–and weep.

(Via Sarah)

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"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards." – Claire Wolfe, 101 Things to Do 'Til the Revolution

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