Patterico's Pontifications


New Talking Point: IRS Scandal Is A Conspiracy Theory

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:39 pm

I was pretty much destined to despise any guy who stands in front of that podium in the White House Briefing Room and lies for Obama, but this “Earnest” fellow really gets under my skin. Watch as someone asks a perfectly reasonable question — did the White House search for emails to and from Lerner on its end? — and gets derided for being a conspiracy theorist:

Note how he keeps looking down, almost as if he is reviewing a set of pre-typed talking points in memorandum format:

Call IRS scandal a conspiracy. Compare it to ridiculous conspiracy theories so people will think of it the same way.

Lloyd Doggett got the memo. He lobbed a bunch of silly softballs to that arrogant IRS commissioner today:

“Have you ever been in Benghazi?” Doggett started.

“No,” Koskinen replied.

“Do you know if you or Ms. [Lois] Lerner have ever had any responsibility for anything having to do with Benghazi and our embassy there?”


Doggett’s didn’t specify what aspect of the Benghazi attack, which resulted in the death of four U.S. officials, he sees as a conspiracy. However, Republicans have said the Obama administration didn’t do enough to try to save the U.S. officials, and then purposefully misled the country about the cause of the attack in the first few days. Democrats have dismissed these charges as an attempt to hurt Democrats politically.

Doggett then pressed on to see if Koskinen was involved in other conspiracy theories.

“How about Area 51 out in Roswell, New Mexico, where all those space aliens allegedly came? Have you ever had any responsibility for that?”

“No,” Koskinen replied, without clarifying further whether he believed aliens were being held in New Mexico.

“Have you ever had custody of the president’s birth certificate?” Doggett then asked.

“No,” Koskinen replied.

“I believe one of the mistakes that you’ve made in dealing with the committee today is that you did assume professionally that this is a serious inquiry,” Doggett concluded. “I believe it’s an endless conspiracy theory here.”

At that point in the memo, it says: pause for laughter. (They really have no self-awareness in the Obama administration.)

P.S. In addition to the clear distribution of talking points, I had another reaction: Lloyd Doggett?? That guy’s still around? I guess so.


Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:56 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The extraordinary valor of Marine Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter was etched in scar tissue on his face as President Obama awarded him America’s highest recognition, the Medal of Honor, for shielding a fellow Marine from a hand grenade with his body.

It happened four years ago on a rooftop in Afghanistan. Carpenter, then 21 years old, was with Lance Cpl. Nick Eufrazio. When the grenade landed nearby, Carpenter threw his body between the blast and his buddy from training days.

By absorbing the killing force, Carpenter enabled Eufrazio to come through alive, though both were horribly wounded. Carpenter kept asking the servicemen who rushed to his aid if his friend was okay, even as he prepared to die himself and hospital medics pronounced him dead on arrival.

How happily wrong they were. Carpenter had suffered a skull fracture, punctured lung, pierced carotid artery, 30 fractures in his right arm, shrapnel in both legs. He had lost most of his lower teeth. The explosion also took his right eye.

He spent five weeks in a coma, then more than two-and-a-half years in the hospital, undergoing nearly 40 surgeries. At the age of 24, he is now enrolled at the University of South Carolina.

“I’m totally fine knowing that I gave part of myself to a bigger purpose and a bigger cause ,” Carpenter said.


UPDATE BY PATTERICO: Watch the videos in order:

Thanks to happyfeet.

The Administration Makes Moves To Deter More Minors From Illegally Crossing Into The U.S.

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:02 am

[guest post by Dana]

President Obama stated in a phone conversation yesterday with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto that illegal aliens currently pouring across the border will not be able to remain in the US, and that includes the children.

He also clarified that those crossing into the U.S. illegally won’t qualify for legalized status or deferred deportation, including children.

Further, the two discussed a strategy of how to deal with so many unaccompanied minors coming across our border.

There are now close to 50,000 unaccompanied minors in US detention centers. Their impending deportations raises several questions: Will there be family members to receive them? Will their home countries accept them back? And exactly how will this mass deportation take place? The administration has not yet offered any particulars.

In the meantime, House Speaker John Boehner has requested that President Obama send the National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border in order to relieve the U.S. Border Patrol as it deals with the enormous influx of children and families.

Our country is facing a national security and humanitarian crisis along our southern border.

The policies of your administration have directly resulted in the belief by these immigrants that once they reach U.S. soil, they will be able to stay here indefinitely.

There are several steps that we call on you and your administration to take immediately to enforce our laws, stem the tide of migrants, protect the victims, and ensure that these individuals are dealt with in a humane manner that is consistent with American ideals of compassion and family unity.


Boehner said in addition to deploying the National Guard, the administration should arrange for “apprehended migrants” to be “promptly returned” to their home countries; and he wants additional personnel sent to assist in their removal.

“The safety of these migrant children is a matter of paramount importance,” Boehner said. “It is our duty and obligation to enforce the laws of our country while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring they are healthy and well protected.”

Boehner said the Homeland Security Department “must find a way to ensure that apprehended adults and their family members do in fact appear for their deportation hearings.”

This week, in hopes of stemming the flood of illegal minors crossing the border,Vice President Joe Biden was dispatched to Central America to warn the region of the dangers faced by children on such a trip and announcing that families will now be detained at the border instead of releasing them on their own recognizance.

Guatemalan Foreign Minister Fernando Carrera told The Associated Press that his country would ask Biden for temporary work permits and a grant of “temporary protected status” for Guatemalan migrants. That status prevents migrants from being detained or deported due to the dangers of returning to their country.

The Obama administration has repeatedly rejected granting Central Americans such a blanket status, despite levels of homicide, extortion, rape and gang recruitment that have risen to epidemic levels in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in recent years.

No comment yet from administration officials regarding the decision made by Texas lawmakers this week to proceed with a border surge.


UPDATE: The Washington Times is now reporting that, in a blow to the administration, the residents of Lawrenceville, Virginia have successfully rebuffed attempts by HHS to convince the town to house 500 older youths at a recently closed college in their town. Over 1,000 residents voiced their opposition at a town hall meeting.

(This comes on the heels of Baltimore’s Democratic mayor and two Democratic senators objecting to plans to house some of the new arrivals of children at an empty office complex in Baltimore.)

According to the report from Lawrenceville:

HHS officials struggled to persuade a crowd of angry residents that the bringing the children to Lawrenceville would create jobs, boost the economy and provide a desperately needed humanitarian service.

The community remained unpersuaded.

No Apologies From IRS Commissioner

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

UPDATE: I’ve added the video clip of Rep. Paul Ryan’s push back.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen went before the House Ways and Means Committee this morning and said that he does not believe he owes an apology for the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails nor for the delay in notifying Congress of the missing emails, claiming he first wanted to know just the how far-reaching the situation was.

“I don’t think an apology is owed. Not a single email has been lost since the start of this investigation.

There was push back:

“Nobody believes you,” Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, told Mr. Koskinen, questioning how an agency as powerful as the IRS could not have the capacity to store all emails. “You ask taxpayers to hang onto seven years of their personal taxpayer info in case they’re ever audited, and you can’t keep more than six months of employees’ emails?”

Mr. Koskinen claimed the hard drive was “recycled and destroyed”. And then he blamed the loss of emails on IRS underfunding:

He said they have turned over about 30,000 emails, including 25,000 from Ms. Lerner’s account and another 5,000 recovered from some of those other IRS employees. Still to come are more than 30,000 more emails, including nearly 20,000 that were lost on Ms. Lerner’s hard drive but were gleaned from other employees’ accounts.

In the process of the investigation, Mr. Koskinen said they found seven other employees’ hard drives had also crashed — though he said it’s unclear right now whether emails were lost in those crashes.

He said the spate of crashes is to be expected given “the agency’s aging information-technology infrastructure,” which he blamed on a lack of funds.


Obama on Iraq, Then and Now

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:29 am

Obama then: I ended this war. Obama now: As I have always said, I didn’t end this war.

Obama then: I ended the war in Iraq, and stupid Romney wanted to leave troops there. Stupid Romney! Here’s from the third presidential debate with Romney:

We ended the war in Iraq, refocused our attention on those who actually killed us on 9/11. . . . [To Reomney:] I know you haven’t been in a position to actually execute foreign policy — but every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong. . . . You said that we should still have troops in Iraq to this day. . . . You just gave a speech a few weeks ago in which you said we should still have troops in Iraq. That is not a recipe for making sure that we are taking advantage of the opportunities and meeting the challenges of the Middle East.

Obama now: Hey, I always wanted to keep troops in Iraq!

REPORTER: Do you wish you had left a residual force in Iraq? Any regrets about that decision?

OBAMA: Keep in mind, that wasn’t a decision made by me. That was a decision made by the Iraqi government.

Thanks to Ed Morrissey.

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