Friday, May 17, 2013

The IRS "Apologizes"

The news outlets are full of words from IRS officials, saying "we apologize" for targeting certain groups which had applied for non-profit status in the past six years.

Do they "apologize" for all the extra money those groups had to spend to comply with the demands of the IRS? Do they "apologize" for the lost time that those groups had to spend? Do they apologize for, let's be honest, harassing those groups and effectively abridging their freedom of speech?

You know, in a lot of cases, a victim will be charitable and noble and say, "I don't want their money. I don't want them to go to jail. I just want a sincere apology."


The IRS is in the business of taking our money. That's their mission. If they don't get the money they're due, they will fine you, garnish your wages, shut down your business, throw you in jail, and commit all sorts of other legally-sanctioned nasty things.


We want to see the IRS treated the same way, when they abuse tax law, as the rest of us are treated when we abuse tax law. And more, because they acted from a position of ultimate power.

We want to see heads roll. We want to see people fired. We want to see people forbidden from ever having another job that includes handling other peoples' money. We want to see them reduced to WalMart greeters and lawnmower operators.

Moreover, we want to see the guilty parties jailed. From the minions all the way up to the directors, we want to see everyone in the chain of command, who knew about this or should have known about it, and who could have done something to stop it but didn't - we want them to serve jail time.

And we want to see financial restitution. That's right: we want to see the IRS financially penalized for their evil behavior. Hit 'em where it counts, just like they do to us. It would be really nice to see the money distributed among their victims.

But none of this will happen. A few people will get fired, but not very many, and certainly not the guilty ones. After six weeks or less, we'll be back to business as usual. That's the way Washington works.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

From 'Sideshow' to Three-Ring Circus

Yesterday I posted a short article, rebutting the Obama administration's assertion that the Benghazi affair was just a 'sideshow.' Boy, how things have changed overnight.

It turns out that the Obama administration is engaged in a full-blown three-ring circus. After last night's bombshell about the Associated Press, we have the following three scandals involving the Executive Branch. And if they weren't scandals before, they are now — or will be soon.

1. Benghazi. It is now clear that the State Department never told us the truth about what happened in Benghazi. Secretary of State Clinton's "What difference does it make?" dismissal of some of the important facts will come back to haunt her next year, should she decide to run for President.

2. The IRS. It is now clear that the Department of the Treasury was using the IRS as a tool to hound and harass non-profit groups with a clear political agenda  — in short, abridging their freedom of speech. It is also clear that higher-ups in both the IRS and the Executive Branch were aware of this practice long before they said they were, and that they allowed it to continue. One could even accuse them of ordering it or mandating it. The IRS and the Treasury Dept. stomped on Americans' constitutional right to free speech.

3. The AP phone records grab. This is brand-new news, and it is developing even as I write this blog entry. But it is already clear that the Justice Department secretly and illegally stole two months' worth of telephone records from Associated Press reporters. DOJ's excuse for doing this was that they were trying to stop an unauthorized leak from inside the White House (as opposed to an "authorized leak"? what a bunch of clumsy idiots!) , but they totally flouted the law to do this, acting imperiously, maybe even dictatorially, and having a potentially chilling effect on the AP's ability to investigate and report the news. This time it was DOJ that stomped on Americans' constitutional right to free speech, to due process, and to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

That's the three-ring circus, folks. And I hear that other acts are waiting for their turn in the ring.

I didn't start out anti-Obama. I was one of the independents who said, "Give the guy a chance." I note with chagrin that presidents Reagan, Carter and (Bill) Clinton had similar problems during their terms in office. Reagan was completely oblivious to what his staff was doing, Carter was too trusting of everyone, and Clinton's staff were merely following the boss's dishonest and conniving example. I don't know what Obama's excuse is.

But we've heard enough of the president and his staff dismissing all of this as partisan bickering, Republican grandstanding, and so on. They have acted unethically, if not illegally, they have used terribly poor judgement, and they have attempted to cover their tracks or to shift the blame to other, innocent parties. It's time for them to stand up and be accountable for what they have done.

And we need to make sure that the former Secretary of State, who once said she would "do whatever it takes" to get elected president, doesn't get that chance in 2016.

(Image copied from I would ask for permission to repost this if I could contact them. I hope that this attribution/credit will be enough for them.)

Monday, May 13, 2013

Obama calls Benghazi controversy a 'sideshow'

(Title copied from a article published May 13.)

No, Mr. Obama, the Benghazi controversy is not a 'sideshow.' The birth-certificate controversy was a sideshow. It came complete with its own clown, the bewigged Donald Trump.

But this, the Benghazi affair, is the main event. It's in the center ring right now. And, to mix metaphors, it's going to keep creeping out from under the rug no matter how many times Obama or his staff try to sweep it back under there. It won't go away until the President or the State Department face it head-on and give a full accounting for their actions or inactions.

This IRS scandal, where it turns out that the IRS was using its power to attempt to abridge the free speech of some political groups, is something else that bears watching. Right now is not a good time to be an unelected official or bureaucrat in the Executive Branch. (Since the Executive Branch has only two elected officials, that covers just about everybody. And the two elected officials aren't too comfortable right now either.)

On the other hand, now is a good time to be an elected member of the Legislative Branch. As long as the spotlight shines on the Department of State and the Department of the Treasury, it's not shining on the inaction and dysfunction of the Congress of the United States. In fact, this is the Congress' time to come looking like a collection of heroes and defenders of the American Way.

UPDATE: The sideshow got bigger overnight. Check out my next article, "From 'Sideshow' to Three-Ring Circus."