Patterico's Pontifications


On Trusting Obama’s Administration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:17 am

Eric Holder had his off the record meeting yesterday with those news organizations willing to submit to an “off the record” requirement, ensuring no tough questions would be asked and that a message would emerge that Holder cares deeply:

Holder and aides “completely endorsed the president’s statement that reporters should not be at legal risk for doing their job,” said Martin Baron, The Washington Post’s executive editor, who was among the participants. “They acknowledged the need for changes in their own guidelines and the need to have a more rigorous internal review.”

Trust him! Meanwhile, maybe the IRS targeted conservatives for audits as well as closer scrutiny of tax-exempt status.

If I had to place a percentage on my confidence level that this happened, it would be somewhere in the high 90s. There is already rampant evidence of questionable audits. All we need is the admission.


Ted Cruz Calls for Eric Holder’s Resignation

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:40 pm

Love this guy.

Will Congress Make the Redskins Change Their Name?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:20 am

With a little legal arm-twisting: a threat to remove their trademark protection.

Weigh in below. But be warned: if you disagree with government pressuring a football team to change its name, you are a racist.

Shocking News from the L.A. Times: Tax Breaks Benefit Those Who Pay the Most Taxes

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:18 am

Except they don’t tell you about the “paying the most taxes” part.

Prominently featured on this rag’s web site this morning is this story:

Tax breaks benefit rich households the most, report says

Tax breaks benefit U.S. households unevenly, with the top 1% receiving more than 17% of the savings in 2013.

Federal income tax breaks disproportionately benefit wealthier households, according to a report issued Wednesday that is certain to become ammunition in the budget battles as Congress debates the best ways to reduce Washington’s deficits.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that the top 10 major tax breaks “are distributed unevenly across the income scale,” with the top 1% of households — those who make more than $450,000 a year — receiving more than 17% of the savings in 2013.

Absolutely nowhere in the story do they tell you that the top 1% of households pay 30% of the nation’s taxes. Which, you would think, would provide a little bit of perspective.

Paging the Koch brothers. I bet they would understand this.


House Investigating Whether Holder Lied Under Oath

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:48 am

The House?! Partisan!!!! I say we put the nation’s top law enforcement officer on it instead. Have Eric Holder investigate whether Eric Holder lied under oath!!!

I love the way they are already redefining what he said:

Justice did not return a request for comment, but [Democrat Rep. Hank] Johnson on Tuesday defended Holder, arguing his statement was specific to Johnson’s line of questioning about the Espionage Act and not meant to pertain to other investigations.

“The attorney general’s statement that no journalists have been prosecuted under the Espionage Act during his tenure is accurate,” he told The Hill.

Um, that’s not what he said that is in controversy. This is:

In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material.This is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.

He reviewed an affidavit that sought records because they might be relevant to the potential prosecution of James Rosen for aiding and abetting the disclosure of material by a government employee. He was involved in it, and he heard of it, and Hank Johnson is trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes.

Chris Christie Wins Teddy Bear for Obama

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:41 am


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IRS Scandal: More Proof Emerges of D.C. Involvement — But in What?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:34 am

Some more evidence has emerged of inquiries to Tea Party groups originating from the IRS in Washington DC. Ed Morrissey says this is evidence that Washington, D.C. was involved in the targeting of Tea Party groups. Maybe — but I’m not completely sure what to make of this evidence.

The scandal is not that organizations were being asked for more information — that happens all the time with organizations seeking tax-exempt status. The real scandal is why they were targeted to begin with: that they had names that sounded conservative. It’s not clear to me that the new evidence sheds any light on that question, although it might.

I think we need to know: did D.C. typically get involved in the process of questioning an organizing selected for further scrutiny ? If so, the new evidence doesn’t necessarily tell us much about who was involved in targeting conservatives as such — unless there is some unreported aspect of the communications that I am missing.


New York Times Article on Alleged California Surpluses Ignores Crushing California Debt

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

Their story is titled California Faces a New Quandary, Too Much Money.

Too much money!

After years of grueling battles over state budget deficits and spending cuts, California has a new challenge on its hands: too much money. An unexpected surplus is fueling an argument over how the state should respond to its turn of good fortune.

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.

It’s “by any measure” significant? How about by the measure of what we owe?

Apparently the debate is over how best to squander the alleged tiny surpluses: spend spend spend, or tax cuts. Not mentioned anywhere in the story: California’s crushing debt burden. For that, you have to go to this link from CBS.

The combined debt of California’s state and local governments is at least $848 billion and could escalate past $1.1 trillion, according to a new report.

The California Public Policy Center – focused on the analysis of California’s financial information on the state and local government levels — based its findings on official reports from the offices of the state controller and treasurer.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s $27.8 billion “wall of debt” was only part of the state’s official debt that the report put at $132.6 billion.

All of a sudden a $1.2 billion alleged surplus does not look “significant” by the “measure” of placing it next to a trillion dollars of debt and unfunded liabilities.

Too bad the New York Times doesn’t offer this perspective, at all, anywhere.

The Kaitlyn Hunt Case

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

I am somewhat out of the news loop and have not closely followed the case of Kaitlyn Hunt, who is facing charges in Florida for a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. But people seem interested in the case, so I figured I would give you a thread to discuss it.

Emily Bazelon says: “It’s hard for me to see how you can take the homophobia out of this case.” But she seems to provide no evidence to support that statement. Is there any genuine reason to believe this is about gay rights in any way? I don’t see it.


Happy Memorial Day

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:19 pm

Hope all is well.

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