This sounds… familiar somehow…
(thanks to Tom W)
And the scandals just keep mounting for the Most Transparent Administration Ever. “Stratfor Email: Brennan Behind ‘Witch Hunt’ of Journalists Reporting Leaks,” Breitbart:
An obscure November 2012 Wikileaks email dump points to former White House counterterrorism adviser and now-CIA chief John Brennan as the person behind the “witch hunt” of journalists who reported unflattering Obama administration leaks.
A little over a week after President Barack Obama’s reelection, Wikileaks released an email dump of global intelligence files from the private intelligence company Stratfor. One particular email, dated September 21, 2010 discussed President Obama’s “Leak Investigations.”
The Massachusetts ACLU tweeted out a link that referenced the email and the president’s “war on whistleblowers” on November 15, 2012. The tweet only received two re-tweets after sitting online for seven months. Stratfor’s VP for Intelligence, Fred Burton, declined to comment for this story.
The Obama administration has faced criticism not only for seizing phone records of 20 Associated Press reporters but also monitoring private emails and phone calls of Fox News Reporter James Rosen.
According to a legal filing, the Washington Post reported the Obama Justice Department described the Fox News reporter as a an “aider, and abettor, and/or co-conspirator” in the case.
The public filing shows the first defense letter was filed in the case seven days before the September 21 Stratfor email regarding Brennan’s “witch hunt” on investigative journalists was sent.
Hey, let’s not act so surprised when would-be tyrants working on behest of a totalitarian ideology act the part. Just because Obama hasn’t grown a thick mustache and taken to wearing fatigues and speaking from balconies doesn’t mean he isn’t who he’s always been.
The postmodernist faculty lounge theorists have always been at war with the notion that the masses should ever be trusted with ownership over government. They just jam their tyrannical impulses into fancy suits with nice leg creases. And we timidly oblige the lie by granting them the benefit of the doubt when their entire histories have shown that doing so is hubris and sanctimony disguised as “open mindedness” and “civility.”
I wouldn’t be civil to a man trying to rape my wife or enslave my children. So why on earth am I supposed to pretend to give deference to a Marxist usurper and his hive of vicious political operatives — and try as they might, they couldn’t hide his history and his intellectual and political background and influences — just because an “historic” figure managed to dupe a majority of the electorate and beat a pair of timid centrists? — in large part because we were told we needed to show deference?
All of this was completely foreseeable. What wasn’t foreseeable was that those of us who foresaw it would be drummed out of polite society, then later find ourselves watching with amusement and sadness while those who drummed us out begin sounding alarms that we ourselves were sounding 5 years ago.
But I guess that’s what passes for leadership in an intellectually bankrupt era.
(h/t geoff B)
I know. Shocking, right? — particularly coming from a non-political, dedicated civil servant who insists she’s done nothing wrong while heading the Exempt Division at the IRS?
Meet your new Obama fall gal. Because this one they’ll throw to the GOP wolves, then lament the misogynistic Republican war on women that led to her professional demise.
That’s how these shitbags operate. And useful idiots like Lerner who exist to protect the king and his court will always one day find that they were all along considered disposable.
Perhaps no other IRS official is more intimately associated with the tax agency’s growing scandal than Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Division. Since admitting the IRS harassed hundreds of conservative and Tea Party groups for over two years, Lerner has been criticized for a number of untruths—including the revelation that she apparently lied about planting a question at an American Bar Association conference where she first publicly acknowledged IRS misconduct.
Still, Lerner has her defenders in the government and the media. Shortly after the scandal broke, The Daily Beast published an article headlined “IRS Scandal’s Central Figure, Lois Lerner, Described as ‘Apolitical.’” Insisting Lerner, and the IRS more broadly, were not not politically motivated has been a central contention of those trying to minimize the impact of the scandal.
The trouble with this defense is that, prior to joining the IRS, Lerner’s tenure as head of the Enforcement Office at the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was marked by what appears to be politically motivated harassment of conservative groups.
– and here’s where it gets interesting. The left always attempts to circle the wagons around one of their own right up until they feel the floodgates can no longer hold, at which point they’ll be forced to sacrifice this one for the Greater Good they are after. Each operative swears fidelity to the Cause — and each one believes, truly, that it will never be s/he who will have to make a personal sacrifice to it. Which fits in perfectly to the mindset of those who believe passing laws to steal other people’s money and re-distribute it makes them charitable and compassionate: it’s a form of delusion, and one that is useful to those who work them. Hence, useful idiots. Each too arrogant and too much of a special snowflake to believe it will ever be he or she who is offered up at the altar of future progressive Utopianism.
Lerner was appointed head of the FEC’s enforcement division in 1986 and stayed in that position until 2001. In the late 1990s, the FEC launched an onerous investigation of the Christian Coalition, ultimately costing the organization hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours in lost work. The investigation was notable because the FEC alleged that the Christian Coalition was coordinating issue advocacy expenditures with a number of candidates for office. Aside from lacking proof this was happening, it was an open question whether the FEC had the authority to bring these charges.
James Bopp Jr., who was lead counsel for the Christian Coalition at the time, tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD the Christian Coalition investigation was egregious and uncalled for. “We felt we were being singled out, because when you handle a case with 81 depositions you have a pretty good argument you’re getting special treatment. Eighty-one depositions! Eighty-one! From Ralph Reed’s former part-time secretary to George H.W. Bush. It was mind blowing,” he said.
All told the FEC deposed 48 different people—and that doesn’t begin to account for all the FEC’s requests for information. Bopp further detailed the extent of the inquiry in testimony delivered before the congressional Committee on House Administration in 2003:
The FEC conducted a large amount of paper discovery during the administrative investigation and then served four massive discovery requests during the litigation stage that included 127 document requests, 32 interrogatories, and 1,813 requests for admission. Three of the interrogatories required the Coalition to explain each request for admission that it did not admit in full, for a total of 481 additional written answers that had to be provided. The Coalition was required to produce tens of thousands of pages of documents, many of them containing sensitive and proprietary information about ?nances and donor information. Each of the 49 state af?liates were asked to provide documents and many states were individually subpoenaed. In all, the Coalition searched both its offices and warehouse, where millions of pages of documents are stored, in order to produce over 100,000 pages of documents.
Furthermore, nearly every aspect of the Coalition’s activities has been examined by FEC attorneys from seeking information regarding its donors to information about its legislative lobbying. The Commission, in its never-ending quest to find the non-existent “smoking gun,” even served subpoenas upon the Coalition’s accountants, its fundraising and direct mail vendors, and The Christian Broadcasting Network.
One of the most shocking things about the current IRS scandal is the revelation that the agency asked one religious pro-life group to detail the content of their prayers and asked clearly inappropriate questions about private religious activity. But under Lerner’s watch, inappropriate religious inquiries were a hallmark of the FEC’s interrogation of the Christian Coalition. According to Bopp’s testimony:
FEC attorneys continued their intrusion into religious activities by prying into what occurs at Coalition staff prayer meetings, and even who attends the prayer meetings held at the Coalition. This line of questioning was pursued several times. Deponents were also asked to explain what the positions of “intercessory prayer” and “prayer warrior” entailed, what churches speci?c people belonged, and the church and its location at which a deponent met Dr. Reed.
One of the most shocking and startling examples of this irrelevant and intrusive questioning by F EC attorneys into private political associations of citizens occurred during the administrative depositions of three pastors from South Carolina. Each pastor, only one of whom had only the slightest connection with the Coalition, was asked not only about their federal, state and local political activities, including party af?liations, but about political activities that, as one FEC attorney described as “personal,” and outside of the jurisdiction of the FECA [Federal Election Campaign Act]. They were also continually asked about the associations and activities of the members of their congregations, and even other pastors.
The Christian Coalition was ultimately absolved of any FEC wrongdoing in 1999, and Lerner was promoted to acting General Counsel at the FEC in 2001 before eventually moving on to the IRS. Bopp, who’s all too familiar with the aggressive and inappropriate tenor she set leading the FEC’s Enforcement Division, says he became concerned about what would happen as soon as Lerner joined the IRS. “When she left the FEC, I thought, ‘Wow, this means the not for profit division is gearing up politically,’” he said. “It didn’t bode well, because of the way [the FEC] approached cases.”
I tire of repeating this, but here it goes: it’s the political left. This is who they are. It’s what they do. They despise any real intellectual independence and religious liberty, which is why they write up and support egregious speech codes and use identity politics and its political correctness enforcement arm to “nudge” speech and thought into something that must first, in practice if not in law (yet), pass government sanction. It is why they seek tirelessly to re-imagine traditional American tropes and imbue them with new meanings, essentially preserving the labels while deconstructing and then resignifying them until they come to mean their opposites: “fairness” becomes about redistribution and equality of outcome; “tolerance” becomes about not giving offense and the “right” not to perceive any offense even where none was intended (I like to call this the READER POLL school of post-textual textualism, essentially, a motivated heckler’s veto suffused into law and culture); “liberty” becomes a product of government largess and help (“you didn’t build that!”), a product of collectivism and not of individual autonomy.
They will, as statist ideologues, always and forever pressure the Constitution, because they cannot as a political movement officially act within its constraints and remain committed to their collectivist cause. This is why they pretend to revere the Constitution when it favors them (usually through some wholly unjustifiable judicial interpretation) and in other instances insist we abandon it as old and the product of racism and antiquated notions of individual liberty and self-reliance.
Anti-foundationalism absolves them of the need for consistency. It instead promotes the idea of a will to power, where the ends justify the means, always. And it is why they’ve worked so hard to take meaning away from the individual and grant it to politicized consensus groups, who can be bought, corralled, controlled, and motivated to create and then assert a manufactured consent that stands in for “truth.”
eg., READER POLL!
People like Lerner are the mid-level officers in such a war against the Enlightenment and its flowering political achievement: a Constitution that takes the ultimate authority for granting certain rights away from men entirely, one that grants ownership of the government to a free people and one that is suspicious and hostile to entrenched ruling class ideas and attitudes, and about the centralization of governmental authority.
To achieve statist Utopia, the left must defeat our Constitution. And that’s what they have worked tirelessly to do — through a hostile takeover of the language and the kernel assumptions that undergird its use and function; through control over message dissemination; through the popular culture and the academies; and through the courts and bureaucratic agencies whom they lard with political activists and operatives, the overarching narrative of the righteousness of their causes seeming so overwhelming at times that it will nudge conservative justices and Republican politicians to the left, where they find a sense of belonging and raw personal power.
Lerner is like many other statist leftists in positions of power: directing her particular hive of drones to do their part to molest the free and disrupt liberty, to create pain for those who don’t hew to leftist orthodoxy while rewarding those who do.
This happens everywhere in “our” government, form the EPA to the FCC to the FEC to Interior to the IRS and on and on and on.
Which is why we must of necessity begin to dismantle the bureaucratic state, dismantle the activist press, and return to our Constitutional moorings. One way to do that is by reclaiming he language.
But history has taught me, personally, that there are those on our side who are content to operate within the left’s framework and in fact embrace it. This gives them the best of both worlds: they can use the methodologies of the left to their own personal advantages, and they can remain “warriors” for a conservative cause they help guarantee will always be under siege and can never win the long term battle.
I suppose it’s no secret to say that in many ways, I despise those types most of all.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is routinely sold as a pro-business, centrist Democrat, a real regular guy governor who, it now seems, has bigger political ambitions.
But he’s always been a liberal, comfortable with the Denver-Boulder corridor while holding much of rural Coloradans in contempt.
First, he joined forces with another petty tyrant, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to foist upon Colorado by way of a Democrat-led state assembly heavily lobbied by Bloomberg’s monied fronts, onerous, unenforceable, and unconstitutional gun control laws. That is, he sold out Colorado, a pro-2nd Amendment southwestern state, to become a darling of the east coast liberal establishment — forgetting, as did many of the state reps and state senators on the Democratic side of the aisle, that he is accountable to the people of Colorado, not to those he hopes will support him for higher national office somewhere down the road.
And now, citing the laws of “other states” and indeed foreign countries, Hickenlooper has determined to grant a reprieve — not a pardon or clemency, mind, but a reprieve — to a convicted murderer who’d been sentenced to death by a Colorado jury. That is, he’s punted the issue on to his successor, hoping to avoid the taint of being in power during an execution, playing to national Democrats while once again treating the people of Colorado he supposedly represents as backward-thinking hicks who have created bad laws that he can’t be bothered to follow. Closure for the families? Deferring sentencing to the duly empaneled jurors and the courts? Remaining true to his oath of office? Posh.
That shit’s for chumps.
Like Bloomberg and Obama and many in the contemporary liberal fascist ruling class, Hickenlooper sees himself more as a king or a dictator than as a governor to the people of Colorado, and that’s because there are only some people of Colorado who rate, those being the liberal sophisticates whom he believes mirror the make-up of the national Democrat stable of key supporters and not the rural hicks clinging to their guns and their religion and their outmoded views on retributive justice.
The law is what it is here, Hickenlooper is saying, but that doesn’t compel him to follow it, because elsewhere, in other states and in the bien pensant capitols of old Europe, are different laws that Hickenlooper prefers — and Hickenlooper, like most statists, believes himself bigger than the subjects he’s deigned to rule over, more wise than their quaint laws allow, and certainly better prepared to lead than the mewling masses who at the end of the day shake dirt off their boots and eat a plate of Hamburger Helper.
They are useful only when it comes time to vote, at which point “Hick” will don his flannels and his blue jeans and ladle out the folksy charm, mixing blue collar messaging in with the keys to cosmopolitanism he believes the rural trash so long to find favor with. Voting for him makes them independent thinkers, you see, and for a Democrat, they’ll say, he seems pretty down to earth and lunch-bucket savvy.
He is a construct, and it’s one that the Democrats constantly push: at the local level, Dems are sold as fiscally conservative and on social issues are often told to remain consonant with the local mores in order to get elected. After which, they can do as they please, as Hickenlooper has now done twice in two high profile instances.
There are no “centrist liberals.” The blue dog Democrats long ago joined the TEA Party and are being blasted now as racist conservatives, leaving behind the label, which is being filled by pretenders and managed candidates like Hickenlooper who have their eyes on bigger prizes outside a dust-covered cow town.
They are who we thought they were. And there’s hardly a Good Man among them.
One of the attackers then stopped, knife and cleaver in his blood-soaked hands, and spoke to passersby, even pausing to make a statement to a video camera justifying his actions and warning that “you people will never be safe.”
And he may be right. At least, if the many politicians here (mostly Democrats, but some from the GOP) pushing gun control get their way. The proof being that it wasn’t until the police arrived — twenty-minutes later — and were beset by the same attackers that the threat was ended. There wasn’t a Brit around to put down these animals with a pistol or a rifle or a pump-action shot gun.
Which is why those of us in the States who are doing the difficult work of protecting the 2nd Amendment against sneering liberals and cosmopolitan faux-conservatives using the government to attempt to strip us of a natural right plan to remain a helluva lot safer than the people in London who were powerless to stop the attack. Regardless of what laws are passed here.
Multiculturalism as the left has sold it is a pernicious and profoundly stupid attempt to give the appearance of tolerance rather than pushing assimilation and the kind of liberty agenda that actually engenders it in the long term.
It is a divisive strategy disguised as an inclusive one, and will be the downfall of westernized countries who buy into it.
Like everything else the left sells, it is a lie. And a dangerous one at that.
But it’s a lot less dangerous when you still have the means to defend yourselves. As many of us know, and many erstwhile nannystatists may one day come to learn.
(h/t geoffB and Darleen)
“IRS Misses Filing Deadline: Fails to Comply With Congressional Demand for All Communications With WH About Targeting Conservatives”
CNSNews has the particulars.
As for the commentary? See below. Or, as we used to say back in the days of White Out, ibid.
Of course she does.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is pleading her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself in the ongoing Congressional investigation over targeting by the agency of the tea party.
Lerner was set to give testimony before the House Oversight Committee on May 22, but a May 20 letter from her lawyer, William Taylor, changed all of that.
“She has not committed any crime or made any misrepresentation but under the circumstances she has no choice but to take this course,” Taylor wrote in the letter to committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa exclusively obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Taylor claimed that the hearing would “have no purpose other than to embarrass or burden her.” He asked that Lerner be excused from the hearing, but Issa refused and issued a subpoena.
In her opening statement, Lerner insisted, “I have not done anything wrong,” that she broke no laws or regulations. Members asserted that by delivering a sworn statement to profess her innocence, Lerner waived her right to refuse to give testimony. Issa excused her, reserving the right to recall her pending legal counsel on the question of whether she had waived her rights.
Of course, the purpose of questioning Lerner is to find out who authorized or ordered the targeting of tea party and other organizations applying for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status for special scrutiny. Also, once the groups were targeted, to find out who authorized or ordered that invasive and improper follow-up questions be asked of applicants. Lerner directs the office responsible for these violations.
Members also want to know why Lerner did not disclose the scandal to the committee even when she knew about it, and instead provided “false or misleading information” four times last year.
According to a Treasury inspector general report, Lerner supposedly discovered the targeting of the tea party in June 2011.
The drama comes as the White House has confirmed it strategized with Treasury officials over Lerner’s disclosure of the scandal by planting a question at an American Bar Association conference.
Delay, defer, deflect, dissemble, distract, demur, discount. And whenever possible, disguise.
This is completely predictable.
For a decade or more here I’ve been pounding the table trying to get people to listen to the role of language in creating the narrative frames that we live within, often without giving those frames any kind of thought that takes us outside them. This current set of scandals reveals more of the same.
The goal here is to string along investigations and inquiries, to try to reduce their concentration both officially and within the public consciousness, and in that way to dilute them inside the news cycles with the hope (and plan) that they will eventually fall away as new stories arise and people lose interest. Which is what happened with Fast and Furious and a host of other scandals that have been largely bracketed in the public mind.
It is the creation of a “reality” that is pre-planned and manipulated by those who control the dissemination of information and the news cycle, and as JournoList and its various new iterations have taught us, it is by its nature a collusion between those in power and their willing propagandists inside the media. There will be fall guys and concessions, loud denunciations and hand wringing, bed knobs and broomsticks, shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings.
The left’s ideology is at base built upon the idea of anti-foundationalism. That is, each new moment is governed by its own set of rules, not some overarching surrender to consistency or the hoary “logic” or “reason” of the Enlightenment notions of knowledge that demands such things. Capable men with capable messaging create and control what comes to count as reality; and “reality” and “truth” are but two more malleable variables that have been usurped and repurposed for the drive toward Utopian statism.
To the left — and to many who claim to embrace “pragmatism” — the ends justify the means, and forcing one’s will upon the world is the perfect way to ensure those ends are met.
Which is why when they’re caught inside a scandal, they don’t panic. They simply work on reshaping “reality” until it serves their purposes. It’s a kind of narrative chess.
And the real winning move is to refuse to play it.
Maybe one day “our” side will learn this. Because until then, we’ll get more postmodern faculty lounge politicians, and all the illusions that serve to frame them.
It’s a few days old, is Rep Kelly’s (R-PA) thumping of the IRS, but it’s new to me. And I quite enjoyed it.
What’s chilling here, as a kind of subtext, is Miller’s look and demeanor as he’s being berated. The cast of his eyes. He’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes.
It’s time to rid ourselves of the IRS. In fact, it’s been time for a long time. My political “awakening” came, I’ve mentioned before, when I first heard Steve Forbes pushing a flat tax and I surprised all of my perfunctorily liberal friends in grad school by backing Forbes, a Republican, for President, based entirely on what to me was the rather obvious fairness and simplicity of tax system he was proposing. He was, of course, kind of a one-trick candidate, but then we were enjoying the end of history, and it seemed as good a time as any to fix a clumsy and obtrusive tax behemoth, and Forbes was actually running on doing just that.
It seemed American, what he was proposing. Whereas even before I was “political” or had given it any kind of studied thought, the progressive income tax had always bugged me — had always struck me as completely at odds with the ideals laid out in our founding documents.
And now that we know — again! — that the IRS is in many respects a willing political enforcement arm of power-drunk politicians, there’s simply no reason to keep it around in its current, nearly omnipotent state.
That it will be attached very soon to our health care is, in a word, obscene.
Take it out back, put two in its skull, throw some dirt over it, and then come back inside and have a sandwich and an icy cold soda pop. Followed by a well-deserved nap.