Twelve Ethics Observations On “The Scandal Trifecta”

Obama

1. “The Scandal Trifecta” may be gaining traction in D.C. and in the news media as the hot term to handily describe the Obama Administration’s three instances of serious and significant misconduct: the Benghazi deceptions, the I.R.S. harassment of conservatives and conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s surveillance of Associate Press reporters. It should be rejected. I know conservatives and Republicans are especially smug and gleeful right now to have their suspicions and warnings confirmed, but this is a national crisis, at a time of dire challenges to the nation, and tragic in many ways. It is not a game, and should not be likened to one. Nor should the three situations be lumped together, though they have, to some extent, common seeds. They are each important in and of themselves, and packaging them like stop-light peppers risks allowing all or some of them receive less than the individual attention they must have. This is the first and last time I’m using the term, and I urge everyone, in the media or out of it, to similarly drop it. Labels matter, in this is a bad one.

2. Here’s someone Democrats and the rest of us can blame, in part: the left-biased news media. You see, knowing that the news media is looking to expose them when they make mistakes, blunder, show corruption and otherwise do a bad job when entrusted with the welfare of the greatest nation on earth makes our leaders better, more responsible, more objective, and more competent, out of fear, if nothing else. The media does nobody any favors when it lets its biases take over and lies down on the job—not the public, not Republicans, certainly; not the nation, not their profession, but also not even those they are desperately trying to help succeed. Instead, this abdication of the news media’s duty makes those in power arrogant, careless, sloppy, reckless, stupid, less demanding, less responsive, inefficient, unwilling to see their own flaws, tolerant of mediocrity and failure, and ultimately  self-destructive. Ironically, it also causes them not to respect the press…and we have seen the results of that in many instances recently, from the insulting lies of Jay Carney, to the Justice Department’s surveillance of the Associated Press. Yes, Obama Democrats can blame the press, just like the children of over-indulged, weak and endlessly adoring parents can blame their upbringing, in part, when they become entitled, unethical. self-centered and failed adults. Poor President Obama and his sycophants really thought the hands-off, worshipful media was doing them a favor. In truth, they were being undermined by a lack of oversight.

3.  Pundits who suddenly express indignation at what was obvious years ago are admitting that they have no integrity, and have forfeited all legitimacy and credibility. How dare the Post’s Dana Milbank, a shameless Obama booster since the 2007-2008 Democratic primaries, write this

“…Nixon was a control freak. Obama seems to be the opposite: He wants no control over the actions of his administration. As the president distances himself from the actions of “independent” figures within his administration, he’s creating a power vacuum in which lower officials behave as though anything goes. Certainly, a president can’t know what everybody in his administration is up to — but he can take responsibility, he can fire people and he can call a stop to foolish actions such as wholesale snooping into reporters’ phone calls…”

or MSNBC’s Chris Matthews say that President Obama

“…obviously likes giving speeches more than he does running the executive branch….What part of the presidency does Obama like? He doesn’t like dealing with other politicians — that means his own cabinet, that means members of the congress, either party. He doesn’t particularly like the press…. He likes to write the speeches, likes to rewrite what Favreau and the others wrote for the first draft. So what part does he like? He likes going on the road, campaigning, visiting businesses like he does every couple days somewhere in Ohio or somewhere. But what part does he like? He doesn’t like lobbying for the bills he cares about. He doesn’t like selling to the press. He doesn’t like giving orders or giving somebody the power to give orders. He doesn’t seem to like being an executive.”

…after four years of consistently refusing to acknowledge or tell the public that this was the man who was at the controls of power during incredibly challenging and perilous times? How dare they? Nothing that they contemptuously note now wasn’t on full display daily, weekly and monthly to anyone who paid attention—as they were duty-bound to do—and who knew anything about how government works—as both of them are assumed to be. Not only didn’t they honestly tell the public about the amateurish, imperial, detached and dangerous manner in which this President handles his office, they were quick to attack any analyst who did, and in Matthews’ case, reflexively accuse them of being racist for doing so. Matthews is especially disgraceful. He has been an objective journalist in the past; he was, for example, one of the few Democratic partisans in the media who refused to tolerate the Clinton spin machine during the Lewinsky scandal. He obviously traded his integrity for a paycheck from his cynical MSNBC masters, who required him to toe its one-note, progressive line.

Milbank and Matthews are just two examples; there are scores of others. They are all professional failures. Nobody should care what they, think, say, or write. They sold their right to be trusted as journalists for a juvenile partisan dream.

4. The current partisan spin and Obama-defender talking point to shift blame for Benghazi to Republicans is dishonest garbage, and is beneath contempt. It is, however, a useful tool for spotting the most shameless of Democrats unwilling to accept reality. The charge: that GOP budget cuts were responsible for the Benghazi attack. The key sentence in Washington Post (progressive) Fact-Checker Glenn Kessler’s review of this lie:

“During hearings into the attack last fall and this month, State Department officials were specifically asked if a lack of financial resources played a role in the attack. The answer was no.”

5. Eric Holder’s continued presence in the Justice Department is itself a breach of Presidential diligence and competence. His testimony before Congress this week was mind-numbingly inexplicable. He knows nothing. he takes no responsibility for anything. He can’t recall when anything happened. He recused himself as a fact witness from the AP leaks investigation, but can’t say when, a matter of some significant legal importance. He says he may not have put it in writing. Former attorney general Michael Mukasey: “It is inconceivable to me that you would not do it formally. Of course, you’d have to inform all the people who might otherwise have to contact you. Indeed, if you didn’t you might conceivably come into possession of information you should not have.” He added that “in the one case I can recall in which I recused myself I did it in writing. Hard to imagine how else you’d do it — shout ‘I recuse myself’ in your office? In the hall?” It’s not just Mukasey. Every single lawyer I have asked about Holder’s performance just shakes his or her head in wonderment. He is either incredibly incompetent, stonewalling, or an idiot, and I have it on good authority (my sister worked under him at Justice) that he is not an idiot. Holder should have been fired for the Fast and Furious fiasco, and other examples of his blatant politicization and weak management. After this stunning performance, there are no excuses for him remaining. [ Aside: I heard Rush Limbaugh say that there was absolutely no way this President would ever remove an African-American Attorney General, no matter what the provocation. I think that’s a terrible indictment, and I hope it is not true. I fear that he is correct.]

6.  The I.R.S. culture together with the administration’s culture is the problem, not “a few rogue agents in Cincinnati.” First, it is far too partisan for an organization that claims to be “independent.” Second, it, like all organizations in a chain of command, it reflects the attitudes of those above it. The Obama Administration was openly and contemptuously dismissive of the Tea Party, and its attitudes toward differing policy positions and dissent are redolent of the days of Nixon’s enemies list. It should surprise no one—especially the President— that horror stories are emerging about systematic harassment and biased treatment of GOP donors, conservative organizations, and advocacy groups.

When news of Abu Ghraib broke, the mainstream media would have none of the Republican defenders’ arguments that it was the result of some rogue military personnel. The devastating revelations were laid at the doorstep of the highest command in the Defense Department as well as the White House, and properly so. Donald Rumsfeld, who understands accountability, offered his resignation, and Bush was a fool not to accept it. By not doing so, he symbolically signaled that he did not believe the abuse scandal was all that serious…but it was. And this I.R.S. scandal is worse. It is unethical and an abdication of leadership for President Obama not to accept full responsibility for this occurring under him. His press conference on the topic was nauseating: like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes, he knew nothing, and nothing is his fault. I’m not sure he knows nothing….and it is his fault, just as Abu Ghraib, which was in Iraq, not Washington, D.C., was Bush’s fault.

7. President Obama’s “strong” response to the I.R.S. scandal was beyond irresponsible,  disrespectful of his office and the American public.  Incredibly, it was to fire in mid-May an acting director who was scheduled to leave in June, and he is going to hang around for transition purposes, perhaps until his original departure date! How insulting, impotent, and cynical. Could the message be sent any more clearly that to President Obama, this is just a PR mishap that he can address with smoke and mirrors? Could there be a more disturbing or, frankly, stupid message to author at this time?

8. Here is a trivial but telling example of what is wrong with the culture at the I.R.S.  and the administration generally: the I.R.S. cancelled its scheduled softball game with Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn’s  office, apparently because of tensions over the scandal. You see, now they are at war, and Republicans are the bad guys…no collegiality for them. This is what develops from the toxic adversarial culture that Obama pledged to fix but in fact made worse. Republicans aren’t enemies for properly calling the agency to account for devastating misconduct and breach of trust. The I.R.S. professionals should be eager to join in the effort to repair the damage: that is their duty and their job. Symbolic snubs and “F-you” gestures are trivial, unprofessional and counter-productive…but this is a government of spiteful amateurs.

9. With depressingly few exceptions, both Congressional Democrats and Republicans presented a revolting image to the American public while questioning Holder, who presented a revolting image of his own. Most Republicans were rude, unnecessarily antagonistic, disorganized and dedicated to making cheap rhetorical points and ideological grandstanding rather than getting to the truth, which with Holder doing his “What me worry?” act, would have been hard enough.  One notable professional: Alabama’s Spencer Bachus, who squeezed from Holder the fact that he never memorialized his recusal in the AP leak matter. Bachus was polite, probing, concise, prepared and effective.

His Democratic counterpart for honors was Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who bluntly said that the Justice Department secretly obtaining the Associated Press’s phone records impaired the First Amendment. Others of her party seemed to think their job was to treat Holder as their client, and to waste time by listing all the wonderful things he has done that have nothing to do with the very serious reason for the hearing. Others, like Tennessee’s Steve Cohen, apparently couldn’t care less about the national tax collector using its power to stifle political dissent or the Justice Department impinging on freedom of the press., and thought it was appropriate to hijack the hearing for his own pet issues, such as pot legalization (and a worse and more illogical argument for that it than he gave would be hard to conceive.)

10.  The absolute imperative of Jay Carney being fired was driven home by the 100 new e-mails the White House parceled out this Wednesday to distract from the other scandals (or vice-versa…you know, if you don’t want the press to use Watergate comparisons, it’s really dumb to use the drip-drip-drip evidence trick that Nixon’s minions used.) Carney lied, and everyone knows it. He may have been told to lie, but his whopper about the White House having no substantive involvement in altering the talking points, and his refusal to retract it, both makes him inherently incredible but also makes one wonder what the White House is hiding.

11. Special Prosecutor time! Law professor Ann Althouse writes,

“Obama rejected the idea [of a Special Prosecutor] at his news conference today, saying “Between those investigations [by Congress and the Justice Department] I think we’re going to be able to figure out exactly what happened, who was involved, what went wrong, and we’re going to be able to implement steps to fix it.” He also said: “I promise you this, that the minute I found out about it, then my main focus was making sure that we get the thing fixed… I’m outraged by this in part because look, I’m a public figure, if a future administration is starting to use the tax laws to favor one party over another or one political view over another, obviously, we’re all vulnerable. I still want a special prosecutor because I just don’t trust them not to cover up. “The minute I found out about it, then my main focus was making sure that we get the thing fixed.” I don’t think people believe that. I don’t believe it. And when was “the minute [he] found out about it”? He keeps making statements about finding out things around about whenever we do… which is absurdly self-serving, as if the only problems are public relations problems. Apparently, nothing exists for him until we learn about it!”

And Peggy Noonan:

“What happened at the IRS is the government’s essential business. The IRS case deserves and calls out for an independent counsel, fully armed with all that position’s powers. Only then will stables that badly need to be cleaned, be cleaned. Everyone involved in this abuse of power should pay a price, because if they don’t, the politicization of the IRS will continue—forever. If it is not stopped now, it will never stop. And if it isn’t stopped, no one will ever respect or have even minimal faith in the revenue-gathering arm of the U.S. government again.”

Yup. If there ever was an Administration that has forfeited the right to be trusted to investigate itself, it is this one.

12.  Four years of hyperpartisan, arrogant, irresponsible, rudder-less and badly managed government have had its predictable result, and I will be stunned if we have yet seen the worst of it.

____________________________________

Sources: WSJWashington Post 1, 2, 3, 4; Politico, Examiner, Free Beacon, Althouse

Graphic: Political News Now

42 thoughts on “Twelve Ethics Observations On “The Scandal Trifecta”

  1. but this is a national crisis, at a time of dire challenges to the nation, and tragic in many ways

    Bullshit. Every single bit of this was predictable based upon the man’s known behavior (or the behavior of those he has long associated with and were brought with him to Washington), and yet the ignorant, unwashed masses went and voted this pile of failure into office.

    TWICE.

    All 12 points stem from the following quote…

    “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.”

    • How does the fact that this was predictable show that it isn’t a national crisis? Your comment is a non sequitur! I don’t disagree with the predictable verdict, since I predicted it, but plenty of crises are predictable… the transportation infrastructure collapse, the housing bubble meltdown, Wall Street corruption, the crushing national debt, the health care crisis, the eventual deadly consequeneces of Obama’s weak and feckless foreign policy…they are still major crises, and so is this.

      • I say it is not a crisis because it was absolutely knowable, and therefore preventable.

        However, instead of avoiding this place we now find ourselves in, we apparently sought it out.

        It is not a crisis if you actively cause the conditions to be both possible and for them to actually come about, much like it is not a crisis if you never bother to do any homework or study a single thing for a class, and then before the final suddenly are rushing around in a panic because you have to find some way to do all that stuff in 2 days…

        Yeah, it is a bad situation, but one that you knew was coming – someone’s lack of attention and planning doesn’t make bad things a crisis.

        What I am saying is that when you elect a feckless, arrogant, divisive, petulant man-child to high office, and he then brings all his similarly behaved friends with him, the end result of his unethical, unprincipled, illegal and (though I usually hate to use the word I feel I must here) immoral behavior isn’t a crisis…

        It is simply the result of inevitability.

        • A crisis (from the Greek κρίσις – krisis;[1] plural: “crises”; adjectival form: “critical”) is any event that is, or expected to lead to, an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, community, or whole society.

          I don’t see anything about unpredictability in that definition.

          • Although all the items listed are indeed separate crisis, I think they all originate from a common crisis, that is what motivates the average voter.

            It is a crisis that as a populace our thoughts are governed partially by narcissism, partially by a conditioned self-loathing, alot by emotions and not at all based on a faith in our republican system. Additional factors in the originating crisis are an erosion of the sanctity of privacy and private property and erosion of personal fiscal responsibility. That is the crisis.

    • “and yet the ignorant, unwashed masses went and voted this pile of failure into office.

      TWICE.”
      *******
      That is what happens when The Idiot Sheep becomes de rigueur.

  2. Jack, you’ve articulated the problem with more clarity and insight than any other writer thus far. Thank you.

  3. I think No. 2 is the most significant factor. The media comprise the lense through which those of us who are not members of the professional political and governmental classes see the government and politics. Most times these days, all I can see is the lense, it’s so distorted. But much of the populace evidently either don’t see the distortions or, even worse, and sadly more likely, actually prefer the lense to BE distorted. The left’s leadership and adherents are just so convinced they’re correct, anything and everything goes. This may be a vestige of the ’60s counter-cultural, anti-war, rebellion which spawned the so many of the left’s beliefs and partisans. In any event, I just think in D.C. circles, it’s “anything goes because we’re right, and the morons who disagree with us are morons.” See, eg. Bill Maher, Al Franken or Keith Olbermann. And it’s a problem that strikes me as being intractable. [Of course, the right engages in the same tactics, but they invariably get called out for doing so by the media.]

    In any event, thanks for a very, very thorough commentary on the situation, Jack. We may or may not have a crisis on our hands, but we’ve certainly got a situation.

    • Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann are entertainers — not the media or politicians. And, to be fair, I apply the same analysis to Rush Limbaugh. It’s not correct to criticize them on the basis that their coverage might not be thorough or neutral. The media is a dying culture unfortunately — there is absolutely no money to sustain it. Newspapers, magazines — all dying because of the internet. And TV news? A joke. Fox News and MSNBC are both agenda driven — and I do check in fairly regularly because I like to hear both sides spin the same story. I can’t speak to the liberal labels placed on the other networks because the few times I have watched over the years (usually when I am trapped in an airport), I am more annoyed at how dumbed-down all the reporting is more than anything. Here’ s 5 minutes on the IRS scandal, but 15 minutes on what’s going on in Hollywood or feel-good baby stories. In my opinion, the networks are only covering what they think their audience wants to hear in order to keep ratings and ad revenue. So is the problem the media or an ignorant populace? For what it’s worth, I only listen to NPR — but that station gets blamed for bias too. I think it the most thoughtful and even-handed option available though.

      • I think calling Keith Olbermann not a media person and NPR “even-handed” is like placing Noam Chomsky on the most highly regarded person list. To paraphrase Jack: “NPR? NPR???!!! Even-handed? Are you KIDDING me? It’s the equivalent of Pravda!”

        • And of course Al Franken isn’t in the media/entertainment industrial complex any more. Now he’s, improbably enough, in the Senate!

        • Re NPR, I never said it was perfect, I said it was the closest out there to being neutral. Is there a better station? Seriously, if there is, please advise. And no, I don’t think Keith Olbermann is a media person – I think he is an entertainer who covers politics from his point of view, just like Rush.

          • Beth, NPR is down the alley liberal biased, all the way. I like the programming; I appear as a guest; and it will sometime do good journalism gores sacred liberal cows, like the recent expose on the aid to children with disabilities fiasco. And its entertainment features are fine. But if you can’t see that it’s severely partisan in orientation, it’s only because your biases are comfortably aligned with theirs.

            • Yes, bias is like an accent; we all have one, and if you can’t detect somebody else’s then it’s because it’s too close to your own. (Caveats: (1) You might need to listen to more than a sound bite; (2) some people are really good at accents.)

              • (I was going to say, “Some people are good at faking accents,” but that seemed disrespectful toward people who only fake accents.)

            • Again, in my first comment I acknowledged that there is perceived liberal bias — I just think it is the best we’ve got or at least the best that I have found.

              “For what it’s worth, I only listen to NPR — but that station gets blamed for bias too. I think it the most thoughtful and even-handed option available though.”

              Sheesh. Seriously, can someone point me to an unbiased or even slightly more neutral news show or publication? Anyone … Bueller? And, NPR has covered the following stories just in the last few weeks: (1) evidence that HeadStart programs don’t deliver results: (2) the hideous abortionist murder trial; (3) over diagnosis of mental illness;(4) heavy programming on the Obama scandal trifecta — and none of it has been complimentary toward the administration. I don’t think any of these topics are from the liberal playbook. Maybe I need a new edition…. And this is not a complete list — just off the top of my head from when I’ve been in the car. Out of curiousity, do you think your analysis is unbiased? I’ve never met a person who thought that he/she was truly neutral.

              • And when the best isn’t good enough, you just say, well, that’s OK? Because it isn’t, and better than lousy is still unacceptable If you don’t watch the networks you don’t know—NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN have their moments, but all are unacceptably left-biased, and it has real impact. Fox is no more right biased than FOUR networks are left-biased, often less, and often it is the only hope of catching real stories that the Left wants down the memory hole. Comparing Fox to MSNBC was once fair, but no longer—Fox has gotten better, and MSNBC has ditched all pretense of trying to be fair or even honest—it is a pure, progressive advocacy outlet at this point. There are individual objective reporters and commentators at all the networks–Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper,Shep Smith, Martha Raddatz, a few others scattered here and there. Yes, one has to work at finding the truth, but its your obligation to do it, and not excuse the inexcusable…and pretending to be unbiased while making no effort to actually be balanced is inexcusable.

                • You’ve answered my question I think. Overall, I wanted a station that I can turn on generally for news that is unbiased — and there doesn’t appear to be one. As for hunting and pecking for the real story, of course I do that — doesn’t everyone do that? If you go back, you’ll see that I regularly watch Fox News re its coverage of big stories.

      • Oh go fuck yourself. The entirety of MSNBC, most of CNN, and ABC, CBS and NBC have all been deeply in the tank for Obama, as have been the New York Times, the LA Times, NPR, Time, Newsweek, and on and on and on.

        The right has Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh…

        #2 is DIRECTLY on point, and that you don’t seem to grasp the why speaks volumes.

        • Well, you go f*** yourself too. I don’t know a single liberal-minded individual who praises the work being done by the major networks. For that matter, I don’t know a single “Obama loving” liberal either — we’ve been pissed with him since (if not before) he started using giant flying killer robots to take out perceived enemies. The AP debacle is the final blow. If the major networks are defending him, ask why. These are profit-driven networks — they are putting on shows that their corporate people tell them will keep their audience and ad revenue based on market research. The only way you will have unbiased reporting (if that’s even possible) is to take the money out of it, but I don’t see how that will happen. But go back to your bubble where you think all liberals will protect Obama no matter what.

            • I didn’t go back and do a thorough survey, but I think AM uses this type of language a lot. Hmmm … but I get critqued the first time I use it? Interesting. But you’re right, bad language is not my nature. It’s a conspiracy — I’ve been hacked! Call the FBI! And I need to friend that nice AZ lady chef, she’ll understand!

              • You just can’t ever let it go, can you, Beth? You ALWAYS have to be right, you ALWAYS have to have the last word, and you ALWAYS think a snarky come-back means you win. What are you, 16? I’m surprised you’ve gotten this far in life without someone giving you a severe beating, I mean the kind where somebody knocks you down and breaks your teeth.

                • Steve, dude, I don’t need to be right. I was making a joke — obviously I’m a crappy comedian. I agree with about 90% of everything Jack says, but get ripped apart where I disagree. Do you want this site to be about everyone agreeing on every single analysis or are you willing to entertain other opinions? I find a lot of Jack’s blogs interesting and insightful — as well as many of the comments — but there does seem to be some level intolerance for other views. That’s disappointing. And if you want to reply, that’s fine — I don’t need to have the last word or comment generally.

              • I believe I included both you and AM in the reply, Beth, and it came to you because the reciprocal comment theoretically risked a “Yeah, well, fuck YOU!” chain reaching into the 22nd Century.

                • Who can take you seriously when you come up with such nasty responses? Can you not write coherently that you have to resort to attacks on other commenters because you don’t agree with them but can’t seem to be able to articulate why?

                    • Hon, I’m old enough to be your grandmother, so you may refer to me as Queen. And no, you didn’t hurt my feelings – it would take more than your pathetic posts. Now please be a dear and at least try to post without the language. You coarsen this website and detract from its intent.

                    • Also, suggestions that you be referred to as “queen” will simply result in you being referred to as “bitch”. I’m sure you understand.

                      And while I would not dream of speaking to the intent of this site and it’s owner (seeing as you are more than comfortable doings such a thing on your own), it would seem to me that the intent is, above all else, frank dialog.

                      Course language is by nature frank. It hides no meaning, uses no rhetorical flourishes to obfuscate. It says exactly what it means to.

                      If that is too distressing, bitch, maybe you need to thicken that skin.

                    • Come on. I am willing to give you some rope, but civility is a theme here, and I believe in it. Jerks can be called jerks, and fools can be called fools; I even allow the occasional “idiot” and indulge in it myself on occasion. I’ve allowed a fuck or tow for style. But outright name-calling just degrades the discussion. You have a lot to contribute here—don’t make me ban you. No more gender-based insults, for a start. I mean it. I don’t care what the provocation is.

                  • Oh, I am more than capable of forming a detailed and cogent response. I could spend countless paragraphs detailing the exact and precise nature of Beth’s “issue”, but such effort would be wasted as pearls before swine.

                    This is because people like Beth are utterly divorced from objective reality, and instead reside solely in a make-believe world where thinking nice thoughts make them true; where thinking the Arab Spring could only result in peace and harmony and never could it result in hardline fanatics taking power; simply wanting to make healthcare cheaper is all that matters, facts and reality be damned, and the perfectly knowable results of the efforts simply don’t exist.

                    However, that is wasted effort. Reasoning is anathema to progressives, as they have long since become immune to anything that does not fit their narrative.

                    So I vent my rage at their efforts to rob me of my liberty with profanity.

                    Because fuck them.

                    • Wow — even though you’re a jerk, I hold the same opinion as you about the Arab Spring. Hmm, but you better change your position now since I am so divorced from reality — I’m obviously partisan and wrong on everything.

                    • Even a brain-damaged chimp managed to find a banana every once in a while.

                      The fact that you hold the same position as I on Arab Spring is rendered meaningless by the fact that you so blindly support an Administration whose only true claim to fame is their stunning level of incompetence.

      • Gosnell was the final nail in the ‘the media is just giving the audience what it wants’ coffin for me. A story that salacious, that bloody, that juicy – and not ONE major network thought it was newsworthy?

    • “In any event, thanks for a very, very thorough commentary on the situation, Jack.”
      ************
      Ditto.
      Good comments and replies, also.

  4. To me, the most disturbing thing about the IRS is when you consider WHY it’s a bad idea for the government to stifle dissent and discussion, beyond the first amendment implications.

    The government is By the people (and who knows how many watch lists I’m on now for uttering that phrase. I’m ready for my audit, Mr. DeMille!) If the governement is allowed ANY toehold in communicating to the people what kind of government they want, it will always use that power for its own benefit. It’s never in any organism’s interest to voluntarily restrict itself – see the Lucifer effect for that. It will always argue that the government needs to be bigger, stronger, have more authority, more resources. But if the government has the authority – by hook or by crook – to determine who is allowed to speak… then it controls what the people will hear, and by hearing know, and by knowing act. And by acting, determine the shape of the government they live under. Then the government is ultimately master of what it will look like.

    And We the people are subjects, not citizens. “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”

  5. 1) “Trifecta”. I agree that this is an improper and casual term. It is an understatement as it implies three scandals and travesties that mark the Obama presidency. I’d add to the list:

    -The sham and mockery of a legislative process that got ACA passed.

    -Fast and Furious

    -The utter lack of decorum, rationalism and deliberation in the push for abridgment of 2nd Amendment rights

    Of course the media must use amateurish buzz-words, such as “Trifecta”, because they need to slowly minimize the impact of all this in the minds of the populace. Regardless of whether one of the scandals directly impacts them or not, they are still all-in on protecting this president and their ideology.

    Reducing the entire discourse on this to one petty side pursuing partisan witch-hunts and the other “too err is human” side just trying to get stuff accomplished is how they will buffer the whole thing and ultimately guide the national narrative towards forgetting all the scandals.

    2) I’ve been blaming them.

    3) Those same pundits will be back on board covering and defending this President and administration in about a month or less. But at least this way they can say they approached this objectively.

    4) Dishonest garbage, but enough to obfuscate what the people know enough that they no longer trust anyone, no longer care or are too confused to try to care.

    5) And who hires/fires Eric Holder? He’s loyal and playing his part, he’ll go no where until the People wake up.

    6) Yup.

    7) At best his action is further proof of his utter incompetence (and I use the most disgusted tone). At worst it is further evidence that he knew precisely what was going on.

    8) Wow. So they figuratively said “I don’t wanna play anymore, I’m taking my toys and going home to pout” Wow…

    9) Definitely. I was absolutely appalled by the Republicans handling of all the hearings since last fall. Hey guys, don’t squander any moral superiority by being petty. You really sound like Roland Freisler ‘trying’ the 20 July revolutionaries.

    Equally appalled at the Democrats clear mollycoddling of the hearings.

    10) See 5. Same ‘principles’ apply.

    11) Once the media has resumed its role as protectors of the faith of the Leftist cause and their high priesthood, expect any special prosecutors to have their credentials slurred and their trustworthiness impugned.

    12) Haven’t seen this kind of concord and civility since just before 1861. (format for sarcasm).

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