Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Biggest Scandal in Washington

IRS-gate. Benghazi-gate. What's the other one? There's just so many right now... Oh yeah- First Amendment-gate. There's a lot of stuff going on in Washington right now. So what's the biggest?

They all are, honestly, because they're all pieces of a larger puzzle that's just starting to come together.

But if you want to know what the most un-covered, most insidious and possibly the most troubling scandal in Washington is, just do a Google search for "SEAL Team 6 killed" and read some of the unanswered questions surrounding the deaths of the team that killed Bin Laden. Read what their families are saying and the questions they're asking. And then ask why no answers are forthcoming.

At best, it was wholesale incompetence on the part of military commanders playing politics that killed these brave men. At worse it was murder by the government to silence them. I think the truth is somewhere in between.

But it's still awful.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

About Nine Months Too Late

From the LA Times:

President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to beef up security at U.S. diplomatic facilities, saying the country owes it to the four Americans who died at the Benghazi, Libya, mission last year to protect other personnel serving around the world.


Oh, man.  That's rich. I've gotta...


Who's the Patsy - Steven Miller... or the American Public?

I'm seeing all kinds of gushing on TV this morning about how the president acted so decisively last night.  Um...

From the LA Times:

President Obama forced out the head of the IRS on Wednesday, seeking to restore the public's faith in the tax agency while asserting a measure of control over a rapidly growing political problem.

That's all great and all, but... um... Mr. President... but exactly how stupid do you think we are? Oh, wait... You've gotten away with damn near everything up to this point, so I retract my question.

But you know it's getting a real-like up in here when Salon Magazine starts saying things like this:

The only thing that would appease the Washington scandal gods was human sacrifice, so Wednesday evening, President Obama announced that he had requested and accepted the resignation of IRS Acting Commissioner Steven Miller. “It is important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward,” the president said. 
But Miller is a scapegoat in the most pure and classic sense. The acting commissioner was not running the IRS at the time employees improperly targeted Tea Party groups — that would be Bush-appointee Doug Shulman, who resigned as commissioner last year — and Miller’s name isn’t mentioned a single time in the Treasury Department inspector general’s report. Indeed, there is no evidence that Miller was in any way responsible, involved or even aware of the inappropriate targeting of conservative groups by underlings. He is falling on his sword for something he did not do.

And then there's also this:

But in an email to IRS employees, Miller claimed he would only be leaving next month because his assignment would be over. 
'It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June,' Miller wrote. 'This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.

So the president "fired" the acting director of the IRS - who had nothing to do with this thing - a guy who was going to step down in June anyway? And he's not actually being "fired" immediately - he's actually still staying on until June, anyway (when his appointment was due to be up.)

Yeah, Mr. President.  That's some really decisive stuff there.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Well, Isn't That Convenient?

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Obama administration pressed Congress to revive legislation that would give stronger protections to reporters, responding to widespread criticism over the Justice Department's broad seizure of Associated Press phone records. 
In the wake of the AP controversy, President Barack Obama's chief spokesman, Jay Carney, said the White House talked to Sen. Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.) about reviving "media shield" legislation that would protect journalists from revealing sources as part of an investigation. Mr. Schumer has been a chief proponent of such a law, though an effort to pass it in Mr. Obama's first year in office failed.

What a racket. Violate the privacy of the press, then offer up legislation to give them protection from just such violation.

Ah... the Chicago way.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wait... Wasn't Nixon Impeached For Something Like This?

This is going to get really ugly really quickly.

IRS officials in Washington were involved in targeting of conservative groups

Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed... 
“For the IRS to say it was some low-level group in Cincinnati is simply false,” said Cleta Mitchell, a partner in the law firm Foley & Lardner who sought to communicate with IRS headquarters about the delay in granting tax-exempt status to True the Vote. 
Moreover, details of the IRS’s efforts to target conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency in May 2012, far earlier than has been disclosed, according to Republican congressional aides briefed by the IRS and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration ­(TIGTA) on the details of their reviews.

Ask yourself: "does this sound like a government that is using its power responsibly?"

Monday, May 13, 2013

Department of Justice Spies on the Press

From AP News:

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news. 
The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls for the work and personal phone numbers of individual reporters, for general AP office numbers in New York, Washington and Hartford, Conn., and for the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives press gallery, according to attorneys for the AP. It was not clear if the records also included incoming calls or the duration of the calls. 
In all, the government seized the records for more than 20 separate telephone lines assigned to AP and its journalists in April and May of 2012. The exact number of journalists who used the phone lines during that period is unknown, but more than 100 journalists work in the offices where phone records were targeted, on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.

Ask yourself: "does this sound like a government that is using its power responsibly?"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Climate Change Kills

From the Austrailian:

A NEW study has vindicated Aboriginal people over the extinction of Australia's megafauna, finding wild climate fluctuations killed off most of the giant species well before humans arrived.

Climate change is gonna kill us all! We're all gonna die!!!! The humpback whales! The rainforests! Rising oceans!!!!!!

Wait.... climate change was happening and affecting the the environment thousands and thousands of years ago before humans could have possibly caused it?

Well, golly. I wonder if that could still happen today?  

Probably not. I'm sure we'd know about it if the climate was cyclical and changed on its own due to natural forces, right? The news and the politicians and the trusted environmentalists surely would've told us about something like that, right?


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Pushing for Legislation to Protect Future Democrats

From the UK Daily Mail:

So... let me get this straight... Obama goes to another country and then makes a pitch for legislation to limit the rights of his own citizens, supposedly to keep the Mexican people safe ? From guns, no less? *cough*fast and furious*cough* *cough*

Instead, El Presidente, how about making a pitch to clean up the corrupt Mexican government?

How about making a pitch to keep your own damn citizens in your own country where they belong legally?

How about insisting that the Mexican government do something about border violence and their drug lords?

And while we're at it... could we please not go to another country to talk about our issues, Mr. President? It just looks, well, unpresedential (and petty and narcissistic.)

Here... here's how it's supposed to be done: