Patterico's Pontifications

9/9/2014

Issa: DoJ Called My Aides Looking to Minimize IRS Scandal, Apparently Thinking He Was Talking to Democrats

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:12 pm

My, this is odd:

The administration official calling House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) office last week had an odd request.

Could the Justice Department get some help leaking information about the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups? asked Brian Fallon, a top spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder.

Apparently thinking he had reached the office of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Fallon said the department wanted congressional staffers to get documents to selected reporters so that [DoJ] officials could comment on them “before the majority” did.

Apparently the Holder flack was “audibly shaken” after the Issa staffer said that the Oversight Committee would have to look at documents first. He put the call on hold, came back, and said there had been a “change in plans.” Why, no documents were going to get released! He was just calling to say, hey guys! Can’t we all just get along? Stop hatin’ so much!

It almost sounds — I say almost sounds — as if DoJ isn’t really interested in investigating the IRS for reals. It’s almost — almost, I tell you! — as if they are just playing the role of partisan hack.

Speaking of which . . .

Breitbart News says IRS targeted company for audit

The company that runs the conservative Breitbart.com news site says the IRS has selected the network for an audit, in a move company executives suggest is politically motivated.

Breitbart News Network, a California-based company which runs several conservative websites, says the IRS recently audited its 2012 financial information.

“The Obama administration’s timing on this is exquisite, but try as they might through various methods to silence us, we will only get more emboldened,” Stephen K. Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network, said in a written statement.

You know, everybody always talks big at the beginning of an episode where a legal process is being dishonestly invoked to squelch dissent. The real measure is what happens a year from now, after the full weight of the government has been brought to bear.

Don’t worry, Breitbart.com! If the IRS gets carried away, you can count on DoJ to come to your rescue collude with Democrats to spin the evidence.

Can’t You Totally Relate??

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:23 pm

[guest post by Dana]

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Smart kid. It’s about the only thing that makes sense right now. Throw yourself on the couch in complete frustration at what is happening in the world today. (And wouldn’t it be just so typical if the president never even noticed – either the boy in the photo or the American people!)

–Dana

Shorter Thomas Friedman: All These Guys Really Want Is A Little R-e-s-p-e-c-t

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:03 am

[guest post by Dana]

No, it’s not satire. But then again, none of us are Pulitzer prize winners, so perhaps that explains any disbelief at Friedman’s latest wherein he advises President Obama on what is necessary to simultaneously address ISIS and Putin (two peas in a pod in Friedman’s book). According to Friedman, the president must lean in lead from within, lift the ban on our oil exports, and establish a carbon tax to strengthen us and weaken them. Yes, I know.

This sage advice is followed by a psychological assessment of ISIS and Putin by would-be psychiatrist Dr. Friedman as he seeks to explain their atrocious behaviors. Interestingly, and unbelievably, Friedman ascribes a functioning moral code to both ISIS and Putin, and assures us that they are ashamed of their actions. (Hey, if you had experienced the intense levels of humiliation that they have, you would be chopping off heads, too, and seeking to devour your neighbors.) In other words, they can’t help it. At the end of the day, all these guys really want is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T:

I don’t know what action will be sufficient to roll back both the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, but I do know what’s necessary. And it’s not “leading from behind,” which didn’t really work for President Obama in Libya, and it isn’t simply leading a lonely and unpopular charge from in front, which certainly didn’t work for President Bush in Iraq. It’s actually reviving America’s greatest strategy: leading from within.

The most effective leadership abroad starts with respect earned from others seeing us commit to doing great and difficult things at home that summon the energy of the whole country — and not just from our military families. That is how America inspires others to action. And the necessary impactful thing that America should do at home now is for the president and Congress to lift our self-imposed ban on U.S. oil exports, which would significantly dent the global high price of crude oil. And combine that with long overdue comprehensive tax reform that finally values our environment and security. That would be a carbon tax that is completely offset by lowering personal income, payroll and corporate taxes. Nothing would make us stronger and Putin and ISIS weaker — all at the same time.

How so? First you need to understand how much Putin and ISIS have in common. For starters, they each like to do their dirtiest work wearing a mask, because deep down, somewhere, they know that what they’re doing is shameful. The ISIS executioner actually wears a hood. Putin lies through his poker face.

Both seem to know that their ideas or influence are unsellable on their merits, so they have to impose them with intimidating force — “convert to puritanical Islam or I will chop your head off,” says ISIS, and “submit to Russia’s sphere of influence or I will invade you and wipe out your regime,” says Putin.

Both are clearly motivated to use force by an intense desire to overcome past humiliations. For Putin, it is the humiliation over Russian weakness that followed the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, which he once described as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the 20th century, which left millions of Russian speakers outside the Russian state. And for ISIS, it is how modernity has left so many Arab/Muslim nations behind in the 21st century by all the critical indices of human development: education, economic growth, scientific discoveries, literacy, freedom and women’s empowerment. Preventing Ukrainians from exercising their free will is Putin’s way of showing Russia’s only real strength left: brute force. Beheading defenseless American journalists is ISIS’s way of saying it is as strong as the United States. Both are looking for respect in all the wrong places.

Our enemies count on this sort of muddle headed thinking. Our weaknesses become their strengths.

If you are so moved, you can read the piece in its entirety here.

–Dana


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