Patterico's Pontifications


Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom SWATted

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:47 pm

It’s another Friday celebrity SWATting. As usual, TMZ has the story first:

Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom were just swatted … TMZ has learned … and this one was dramatic, with cops racing to the scene with guns drawn.

Sources tell TMZ … 911 dispatch received a call claiming Lamar and a friend were arguing inside his home, and the friend shot the bballer.

When cops arrived … they found Lamar at home alone and he was unharmed.

An eyewitness on scene tells TMZ … this was a full police response.

Here is the (partial) roll call of the SWATted: Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom; Anderson Cooper; Magic Johnson; Mike Rogers; Wolf Blitzer; Ted Lieu; Erik Rush; Ryan Seacrest; Russell Brand; Selena Gomez; Justin Timberlake; Rihanna; Sean Combs; Chris Brown; Tom Cruise; Paris Hilton; Clint Eastwood; Brian Krebs; the Jenners and Kardashians; Justin Bieber; Miley Cyrus; Ashton Kutcher; Simon Cowell; Aaron Walker; Erick Erickson; Mike Stack; and me.

IRS: Gee, We’re Sorry We Targeted Tea Party Organizations for Burdensome and Unnecessary Procedures!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:04 pm

This morning I criticized the Obama administration for targeting the speech of that Nakoula fella, and I said:

If an Administration targets only critics of the President for IRS audits (not that any such thing could ever actually happen!!), and it turns out some of those critics have cheated on their taxes, I’m not sure those people should get a pass for their tax evasion . . . but I also think that President should be impeached.

I promise I did not already know about this:

The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for subjecting Tea Party groups to additional scrutiny during the 2012 election, but denied any political motive.

Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS unit that oversees tax-exempt groups, said organizations that included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their applications for tax-exempt status were singled out for additional reviews. Her remarks, which came at an American Bar Association gathering, were first reported by the Associated Press.

White House spokesman Jay Carney on Friday afternoon called the IRS action “inappropriate” and said the Obama administration supports a full investigation, suggesting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration would have jurisdiction.

It’s not really surprising that they did it. It’s surprising that they admitted it.

More Benghazi Talking Point Revelations, Plus: Is Nakoula a Political Prisoner?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:36 am

Jonathan Karl at ABC News:

When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.

ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the CIA to the final version distributed to Congress and to U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice before she appeared on five talk shows the Sunday after that attack.

White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department. The edits included requests from the State Department that references to the Al Qaeda-affiliated group Ansar al-Sharia be deleted as well references to CIA warnings about terrorist threats in Benghazi in the months preceding the attack.

That would appear to directly contradict what White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said about the talking points in November.

I’m concerned that Jonathan Karl’s reporting is coming dangerously close to advocacy. Can we shut him up in any way?

Speaking of shutting people up, a small Internet debate has been occurring concerning the question of whether that Nakoula fellow is a “political prisoner.” Those saying “yes” include folks like iowahawk and Adam Baldwin on Twitter. (UPDATE: And Instapundit, who has a refrain echoed in several posts: “filmmaker Nakoula is still in jail.” Thanks to Rob Crawford.) On the “no” side is Ken White at Popehat, who makes the eminently sensible argument, which we have discussed before, that Nakoula’s antics of being a fraudster using a phony name while being on supervised release and under orders not to use a phony name . . . well, that kind of thing tends to get you locked up. And rightfully so, I would think.

And yet, with an Administration that tried to get YouTube to remove his video . . . and with Hillary declaring: “We will make sure that the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted” . . . it kinda feels like he was targeted for his speech, doesn’t it?

I think Ken from Popehat is giving short shrift to that concern in his post. He shows concern for the possibility that Obama has abused his position, to be sure, but he’s a bit harsh on the people raising that concern, in my view.

I guess my question is: if an Administration targets people for criminal investigation because of their speech, and it turns out some of them have committed crimes, does that make everything hunky dory? The answer, I think, should be no. If an Administration targets only critics of the President for IRS audits (not that any such thing could ever actually happen!!), and it turns out some of those critics have cheated on their taxes, I’m not sure those people should get a pass for their tax evasion . . . but I also think that President should be impeached.

In other words, there is a problem.

Ken promises a post on the law in this area soon. I look forward to it. I hope it concentrates, not just on the narrow question of whether a conviction should be reversed for selective investigation, but also what free speech concerns are raised by selective investigation, and what the remedies for that might be.

Three Videos from Ted Cruz on Immigration

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:08 am

Good stuff. Just common sense.

You have to suffer through a little Chuck Schumer in this one. Fairly warned be thee, say I. But Cruz is in there.

Back to pure Cruz.

Apparently Obama is trying to make this guy the face of the Republican opposition. I’m good with that.

California Senate Approves Anti-SWATting Bill

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:05 am

To me, this merits a big shrug of the shoulders. They’re barely catching anyone — but if they do, that slap on the wrist is going to be so hard now!

SWATting isn’t just for celebrities, by the way, as shown by this story of a SWATting in Des Moines. The name of the victim has not been released. Thanks to Russ from Winterset for that one.

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