Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Cruising the Web

Some leaks are better than other leaks, apparently, in our government. The IRS has been leaking private information about certain conservative organizations. And quite by coincidence the IRS leaked the information to liberal groups which then tried to intimidate their donor lists. This seems to be part of a campaign of political attacks on certain ideological groups. As Becky Gerritson of Alabama Tea Party said yesterday, this goes beyond a political scandal and represents a threat to our system of government.
"This was a willful act of intimidation to discourage a point of view. What the government did to our little group in Wetumka, Ala., was un-American. It isn't a matter of firing or arresting individuals. The individuals who sought to intimidate us were acting as they thought they should in a government culture that has little respect for its citizens.

"Many of the agents and agencies of the federal government do not understand that they are servants of the people. They think they are our masters and they are mistaken. I am not interested in scoring political points. I want to protect and preserve the America that I grew up in, the American that people cross oceans and risk their lives to become part of, and I am terrified that it is slipping away."
This goes beyond attacks on political enemies which was despicable enough when FDR, Nixon, or Clinton did it. This was much broader-based harassment of hundreds of groups that represented perhaps millions of people solely because of their political ideology. This is horrifying and it is unacceptable to simply assert that no one knows who ordered such behavior in the IRS.

And just by a weird happenstance, the Democrats didn't come up with any witnesses from liberal groups who had been targeted by the IRS even though they were given the opportunity to call their own witnesses.

Ed Morrissey points out that the pressure put on a pro-life group including demanding that they promise not to protest at Planned Parenthood which, apparently in Obama's America, has a privileged status that allows denying First Amendment rights to its opponents, began in June 2009 before the Citizens United decision which liberals are using to blame for the whole scandal. In addition to protecting Planned Parenthood, the IRS also demanded to know what the activities were at the group's prayer meetings. Think about that - our nation's tax enforcers demanding to know what goes on at prayer meetings. That should chill everyone, except political jerks like Jim McDermott.

And here is another leak that was just fine by the Obama administration: the Inspector General reporting on former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's interactions with Hollywood's filming of "Zero Dark Thirty" about the Osama bin Laden raid reports that he leaked top secret information about the Navy SEALS. Panetta was so outraged over the leaks about North Korea that led to Attorney General approving a dishonest affidavit to get Fox News' James Rosen's phone records. But he felt just fine leaking top secret information about our armed forces to Hollywood executives. Rather typical of this administration.

With all these scandals breaking, it seems to be no coincidence that Obama has not filled vacancies for some key inspector-general positions throughout his administration.

Gosh, don't you hate it when your performance on the Price is Right leads to your conviction for fraud on your workers' comp application?

Apparently, people won't lie as much in polling questions if they're offered money.

Ramesh Ponnuru has some good advice for the Republicans on what sorts of reforms should emerge out of the IRS scandal.

Now kids can get in trouble at school for saving another student from a knife attack. This is how we breed a bystander culture. On that note, Glenn Reynolds (from whom I got the previous link) writes in USA Today about how we are facing a new sort of fanaticism from the education blob.

Get ready for Obama's newest scandal - his outreach efforts to Muslims have embraced radical Islamists.

Sean Trende explains how everyone is a loser when Chris Christie appoints a new senator to fill Frank Lautenberg's seat.

Well, he should know. Charlie Rangel comments that a phone call from the IRS is "a very, very uncomfortable feeling."

Obama is embracing a nuclear option on the budget. Pretty fancy work for a guy whose party failed to pass a budget for the past four years.

So which congressional districts are the great white whales in 2014?

The Examiner points to a trend in politics today. Politicians like to self-righteously claim that they are taking responsibility for some scandal or fiasco, but they are not willing to accept blame and consequences for those actions they are claiming responsibility for.

This is the sort of graduation address that college seniors should be hearing.

Illinois, which is by great coincidence governed by Democrats top to bottom, has just suffered another credit downgrade. This is for the state with the worst debt record in the nation. And they just keep sinking. As Guy Benson points out, is it a coincidence that neighboring states that elected Republicans such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio are seeing improved economies and credit upgrades. And Illinois, that blue-state model of governance, keeps sinking. And Illinois, my former home state, has a hundred-billion dollar shortfall in its public pension fund and the state government can't seem to do anything to address this problem.

Gallup is trying to figure out how they got their polling so wrong in last year's election.