IRS

This Is What Happens When You Fear Free Speech

The Obama administration is undermining our most basic rights.

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Perhaps these Obama administration scandals (popularly referred to as "so-called scandals" in liberal media circles) lack the explosive drama of a Watergate and the entertainment value of Bill Clinton's peccadilloes, but for those who are less obsessed with the political consequences and more troubled by constitutional fallout, there's plenty to see.

To begin with, the Internal Revenue Service scandal isn't just about the abuse of power; it's a byproduct of an irrational fear of free speech, which seems to permeate much of the left these days. The unprecedented targeting of conservatives wasn't incidental to this administration as much as it was an intuitive extension of the paranoia the left has about unfettered political expression.

Democrats, after all, hadn't been merely accusing political opponents of being radical twits the past four years; they'd been accusing them of being corrupt, illegitimate radical twits. The president endlessly argued that these unregulated groups were wrecking the process at the behest of well-heeled enablers rather than engaging in genuine debate.

Heck, some of these funders may even be foreign nationals! Senators called for investigations. Obama called out the Supreme Court during a State of the Union speech for defending the First Amendment in the Citizens United case (which prohibits the government from restricting political independent expenditures by groups). The New York Times editorial board (and others) advocated the cracking down by the IRS on conservative dissenters and getting to the bottom of the anarchy.

How can Americans function in a society in which anyone can speak out or fund a cause without registering with the government first?

Why wouldn't the IRS—a part of the executive branch, lest we forget—aim its guns at conservative grass-roots groups during an election in which the president claimed that a corporate Star Chamber was "threatening democracy"? Come to think of it, I'm still not sure why the president believes that it was wrong of the IRS to single out limited-government groups for their tax-exempt status at all. He couldn't stop talking about the topic for two years.

Even if we concede, for the sake of discussion, that Republicans are, generally speaking, unrepentant conspiracy-mongering obstructionists who've been duped by Ayn Rand devotees and their big oil money, shouldn't those groups have the right to pretend to be nonpolitical entities practicing "social welfare" just like everyone else? Most observers now say yes, but it sure hasn't sounded that way for much of the past four years.

You may also remember that back in 2009, the administration was so preoccupied with Fox News (the only news network one could reasonably call the opposition) that top-ranking administration officials—including Anita Dunn, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod—made a concerted effort to delegitimize its coverage. This was also unprecedented. Not long after that effort, Attorney General Eric Holder decided to spy on a Fox journalist who was reporting on leaks—shopping his case to three separate judges, until he found one who let him name reporter James Rosen as a co-conspirator in a crime of reporting the news.

When Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., was asked about the possibility of passing a media shield law to curb this sort of abuse in the future, he replied, in part: "We know it's someone who works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who's tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?" In the shadow of these attacks, the Senate majority whip is troubled that there may be too many protections for speech rather than too few. That is quite remarkable—and, these days, quite unsurprising.

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  1. Hey, Obozo’s all for freedom of speech, but…

    1. my neighbor’s step-aunt makes $61 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for 10 months but last month her pay was $12418 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more here Click Here

  2. Who in the world could ever have possibly seen this coming?

    I mean, besides me and the small number of people who vetted this guy back in 2008 and studied his hero Saul Alinsky.

    1. On top of the fact he is the son of a government functionary from a Third World dictatorship. I don’t think “free speech” was ever strongly encouraged in the Obama household.

      1. There never really was an Obama household, was there?

  3. Interesting article today on how the Nazis shut down movie theaters in the early 30s.

    If you had gone down to Berlin’s Mozart Hall on Dec. 5, 1930, you’d have been sure of a big surprise. Lewis Milestone’s “All Quiet on the Western Front” was playing, though you wouldn’t have gotten to see much of the picture, what with all the stink bombs and sneezing powder that a bunch of invading louts were flinging about. By the time they set a pack of mice loose in the aisles, you’d have been ready to leave.

    Which was exactly what they wanted. Because the louts in question were Nazis. They thought Milestone’s movie?and the Erich Maria Remarque novel on which it was based?no more than pacifist propaganda. As the terrified audience scurried out of Mozart Hall, the Nazis’ media mastermind, Joseph Goebbels, was to be seen screeching “Judenfilm! Judenfilm!” at the images on the screen. “The cinema was a madhouse,” Goebbels diarized that evening, adding gleefully that “the police are powerless.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/…..98440.html

    Whose tactics do those remind you of? 21st Century American campus liberals? the infamous Sal Alinsky wasn’t onto anything new. The Nazis had done the same thing 30 years before. One man’s Alinskite is another man’s fascist.

    1. “One man’s Alinskite is another man’s fascist.”

      I was just reading some stuff about the left-wing side of Nazism the other night. We tend to think of them as right-wing fascists, but even their name stands for “National Socialist.” In essence, they were for a largely government-controlled economy operated in concert with some state-sanctioned private corporations headed by party members or at least sympathizers. Remind you of any modern parties?

      1. See my comment to Tony above. The Nazis hated capitalism. Fascism was the embrace of the total state just like communism was. They were two sides of the same evil coin.

        1. Every major socialistic movement of the early 20th century, from fascism to Stalinism and everything in between, was based to some degree on the marxist idea that the righteous were being exploited by an unaccountable “other” and that this exploitation could only be remedied by a massive central government run by the righteous.

          Paul Johnson pointed out in “Intellectuals” that marxism is fundamentally an economic and social version of religious apocalypticism, and most radical socialist movements have continued to echo those same themes.

          1. ^^THIS^ They were all based on the concept of collective guilt and the belief in a state created Utopia. In communism, Utopia was achieved by eliminating those from the impure economic classes. In fascism, Utopia was achieved by eliminating the impure races.

            1. In fascism, Utopia was achieved by eliminating the impure races.

              I disagree. The Nazi variant of fascism believed this, certainly, but Mussolini was focused entirely on class warfare, as was FDR.

              1. Yeah, I disagree with John about that. Mussolini didn’t give a shit about ‘purity of race.’ He didn’t start deporting Jews until Hitler made him.

              2. Mussolini was a bit of hybrid. He was a Communist who put his finger to the wind and decided Fascism was a better brand.

                1. He actually named Fascism though, and his version of Fascism predates German and Spanish Fascism.

                  I don’t think you can say he ‘put his finger to the wind’ when he’s the one who came up with the idea of nationalist socialism in the first place.

                  1. I don’t think you can say he ‘put his finger to the wind’ when he’s the one who came up with the idea of nationalist socialism in the first place.

                    You can when you realize he started out as a communist only to change his tactics.

                    1. Sounds familiar.

                    2. Fine, but he still invented Fascism (or defined the term anyway). Nazis were a similar, but distinct movement.

                    3. Mussolini is the founder of fascism. That’s well documented. Iris is right about Mussolini and the Jews. I think it’s about at that point Italians started have second thoughts.

              3. and Obama has touted nothing but class warfare his entire life.

              4. True. Mussolini was also considered with nationalism as it related to a strong and unified Italy. He was suspicious of the degree of loyalty to the Italian state he could expect from the areas along Italy’s borders with Switzerland, Austria, and what is today Slovenia. That’s why he encouraged “real” Italian families from the southern part of the country to move up there (with the help of government subsidized jobs and housing) and help displace some of those “pseudo” Italians with German-sounding and Slavic-sounding last names, of which there were many in those parts.

          2. the righteous were being exploited by an unaccountable “other” and that this exploitation could only be remedied by a massive central government run by the righteous.

            Let’s see, does this remind me of anything in modern American political discourse? Hmmmmmmmm…no, can’t think of anything.

      2. they were for a largely government-controlled economy operated in concert with some state-sanctioned private corporations headed by party members or at least sympathizers

        Socialists tended to view State Capitalism as a necessary transition phase in their revolutionary process. I say “revolutionary process,” because that’s what modern communist nitwits actually call it.

        The idea is that there are successive waves of reform. The big capitalists are taken out with the help of the small capitalists, and their property is nationalized. Then, the middle class rises up against the remaining small capitalists. Laborers rise up against the middle class. The proletariat, in turn, rises up against the labor elite. Then we have utopia.

        The details may vary, but the point is that history, in the “progressive” worldview, has a direction. We apply scientific theories to engineer a better society over the course of several iterations. Capitalism was bad not just because it was unfair, but because market competition was not managed by scientists and therefore presumably inefficient.

        So, more direct to your point, having big corporations tied to government meant making the economy more manageable in the “State Capitalism” phase, but it wasn’t necessarily the end goal.

  4. There’s something off in the title of this piece on the blog…

    1. My post would’ve beat yours, Brandon, but I was up late last night.

  5. Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”

    That even such a question could be asked… Wow.

    1. But, John, are they “people”?

      1. If they are not good card carrying party members, clearly not.

      2. 1st amendment says nothing about people. A computer that generates content or a very clever monkey has the same freedom of the press as a person. “Congress shall make no law” and all that.

    2. Durbin? Corrupt Illinois pol is corrupt.

      Appearing on Fox News on Wednesday night, Rove said, “One of Durbin’s own aides Bill Burton ? started a 501(c)4 in 2011 for Obama called Priorities USA, and I don’t see Dick Durbin sending a letter to the IRS saying, ‘Investigate my former deputy mouthpiece for forming a 501(c)4 to support Obama.’ It was a use of their power and offices to target conservatives.”

      http://www.politico.com/story/…..92025.html

    3. How is whether or not they are journalists relevant? Everyone has (or ought to have) the same constitutional protections of freedom of the press, regardless of their profession. A journalist shield law is (should be) only necessary to protect journalists from things not already forbidden by the constitution.

      I hate the idea that freedom of the press somehow applies only or especially to journalists. If you publish anything by any means, you are part of “the press”.

      1. It is not, except that the Left does not admit to understanding the etymology of words and now publicly thinks “the press” means the profession of journalism and not the instrumentality of a printing press (or functional equivalent).

      2. Its easy to think of Thomas Paine as a member of the press, but shortly after immigrating here, he printed Common Sense and its not as though the act of printing bestowed upon him his right to the 1st amendment protection, he had it before he ever put paper to pen.

        He wasn’t working for a paper or anything, so he’s example A for me anytime someone starts spouting off about the need to define exactly what a journalists is.

        I say fuck off, its an individual right, so if the individual thinks himself engaging in press then there isn’t shit you can do about it, slaver!

      3. It’s a key part of fascism, though. The state must be the institution that assigns all privilege, and as much as possible, rights must be converted into privileges for the state to dole out or withhold in accordance with its benefit.

        Thus, political speech must be heavily restricted, except to journalists. Journalists must be granted special privileges to enhance their own sense of self-importance and establishment buy-in. Inconvenient reporters may not become unpersons, but they become unjournalists.

        Similarly, gun rights must be restricted to state officers and loyalists, and religious freedoms must be restricted to a professional caste of priests who are recognized by the state and granted privilege like tax exemption, in exchange for a requirement that they not use their moral authority to harm the legitimacy of the state.

      4. I think the journalist will like some form of regulations because with that they get two points.
        1. They can regulate FOX off the air and anybody else they don’t like like Rush.
        2. They can claim “if they can regulate the 1st amendment then they can surely regulate the 2nd and any other amendment they chose to screw over.

        They know this will hurt them a little but they can hurt others more, that is until they are the only ones left to be hurt. then they to will be “rounded up” and regulated out of business.

        1. It also gives them legitimacy.

          “See, I qualify as a journalist. The state said so. And I qualify for certain protections, because I am special and trained and A PROFESSIONAL. Not like those Bloggers over there.”

          I went on a long thread with some asshole who insisted that he should be given special protections, while bloggers shouldn’t because he is a professional who has “Standards”.

          Make no mistake- by fighting for protections for themselves, they are really fighting to persecute others who might compete with or undermine them.

    4. It shows how debased the Democrat’s understanding of what civil liberties are. Whenever a Reason writer claims that the Dems are good on “civil liberties”, this quote of Durbin’s should be brought up. This cramped, restrictive understanding of free speech is what Democrat’s respect for civil liberties amounts to.

      1. In a just world, that statement would doom Durbin’s political career permanently.

      2. Yeah, I don’t get Reason attempts to equalize Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans are wrong about a lot of things. The Democrats are outright Marxists/socialists. The fact that Democrats are cool with dudes having buttsex doesn’t really change that.

    5. I thought journalists forfeited all that the other day.

    6. Unspoken in that question is a nice reveal. The “constitutional protection” people enjoy is protection from their own government. Gee, Dick, could you make it more obvious that you believe some animals are more equal than others?

      1. Dick is just protecting us from the amateurs and the astroturfers. He’s fighting the good fight for the welfare of our puny little minds that cannot hope to comprehend the lies and misinformation that constantly pervade our media.

  6. David Harsanyi’s ______________ on Obama’s Hostility to Free Speech

    Harsanyi’s what? His intern? His cleaning lady? What?

    1. His size 14 alligator boots?

  7. We know it’s someone who works for Fox or AP, but does it include a blogger? Does it include someone who’s tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?

    Did Senator Durbin seriously question whether citizens are entitled to act as members of the press without government permission and ask if they’re entitled to constitutional protection? Yes. Yes, he did.

    1. Well, the 1A clearly states that the people must ask permission before being granted their “freedom” of speech, and then face consequences if those in power do not approve of the content.

    2. “Yes. Yes, he did.”
      I presume the esteemed senator represents the P-trap under someone’s toilet.

      1. False…

        A P-trap serves a useful function.

        It stops your house from smelling like shit.

        Dick Durbin could only make my house smell like shit and sadness.

    3. There is ample law on this. In reality, the freedom of the press is not a separate right from the freedom of speech. We each have it.

  8. The Stossel article about gas prices and oil companies is a perfect illustration of Obama’s SOP.

    Oil companies make 7c per gallon of gasoline sold.
    Government takes 27c in taxes per gallon of gasoline sold.

    When gas prices spiked Obama called for investigations into oil company practices, all the while stymieing every effort the oil companies made to increase supply.

    Mendacity with a heavy dose of malice.

    I suggest placing next to this definition in the dictionary ; Tin-pot dictator – An autocratic ruler with little political credibility, but with self-delusions of grandeur., a picture of captain shitweasel .

    1. You forgot, pathetic cult following as part of the description.

    2. In SF, the gas prices are always the highest or nearly so in the nation.
      First, land is really pricy, and the government does what it can to make it more so. Then the people working the station are ‘entitled’ to a ‘living wage’, plus ‘free’ health care, plus X days family leave, etc. And then the ‘safety’ regs are probably worse than any place else.
      So when prices spiked a bit earlier this spring, the local politicos were all atwitter with plans to “investigate” why SF gas prices were so high. That didn’t get far; maybe someone pointed out the tax burden on the stuff and the politicos decided that was bad enough to cause embarrassment.

  9. For all the talk about the President having a mandate from the majority, they sure do fear a little dissent.

  10. Dang. I was hoping these scandals had some traction as the mainstream media shows signs of interest, but I see Republicans are already embracing a siege mentality.

    There is this: lack the explosive drama of a Watergate

    Are you fucking kidding me. The Justice Department goes after a reporter on the basis of being a ‘co-conspirator’ for doing his job, and you can’t make a Watergate out of that? Are you amateurs or something.

    Then the Alinksi references. Jeez, that’s like a sectarian greeting at the clubhouse if there ever was one.

    ‘The others will never understand us, Brother Bob.’ ‘No they wont, Brother Harold. It is our duty to carry the burden of truth.’

    Show some goddamned confidence and get out there and fight. And stop being weird about it.

    1. You don’t understand how Washington works. There are three key pieces to Washington, the two parties and the media. You have to get two of the three to buy in on a story or it goes nowhere, I don’t care how serious it is. As long as the Democrats stick together, their allies in the media can portray the whole thing as a partisan fight and people will not take it seriously.

      That is what is happening now. Read the MSM stories on this. They are always horse race stories about how Republicans are going after Dems with this “scandal”. They reduce it from a scandal to a political talking point. Unless and until a few Democrats get really serious about this, preventing the media from writing about it as a horse race story or the media gets serious and starts writing about it as a scandal and an outrage, the story will never be serious.

      1. A story is only serious if the Democrats say it’s serious.

      2. That’s the point. You even got an advantage in the horse race that is rare for your side. This isn’t some addled donkey pulled out of a show in Tijuana. You are riding on top of Secretariat here.

        1. This is very damaging to the Dems’ prospects in 2014. No question about that. But that doesn’t mean the country is going to get behind cleaning house and impeaching people and stuff. That would require the media taking the story seriously.

          1. Holder is exactly where you want him. I would have paid him money to do the things he did. Sign off on it, and shop for a judge. When I read the last bit, I jumped up and yelped a ‘Yes! The dumbass actually did it!’

            And it is playing out on cue. Even the NYT refused to meet with him.

            This is not the time to be showing a lack of confidence and mumbling amongst yourselves in Republican speak.

            1. We will see. They are not giving up. And the stories are not going away. I think the dam will break after the 2014 midterms. If the Dems really get spanked, the Dems will turn on Obama as the only way to distance themselves from him in 2016. When that happens, he is done.

              1. The enthusiasm gap this could produce in 2014 would be fucking epic.

                I think that is why the press stuff is the biggest scandal, because it depresses liberals and hurts their image of themselves. Tea Party groups are nuts and don’t deserve tax exemptions, and Benghazi is just some Republican attempt to make political hay out of a national tragedy, but going after journalists? The same noble journalists who took down the dreaded Richard Nixon and were always willing to tell the truth about how evil Bush was?

                Jeez, man, it would be one thing if it was just a Faux News “journalist” but they went after the AP and the NYT.

                Seriously, expect a lot of liberals to stay home on election day if that thing drags on into early 2014.

          2. Well, John, if they actually wrote stories that caused a house cleaning, they might get kooky people with non-traditional views who don’t put TEAM above all else. And the establishment media doesn’t feel like writing that story.

            Its not even a purely TEAM BLUE thing. If some ultra-liberal challenged Pelosi or Frank, they would ignore that person as well, because they hate anyone who dares challenge the bipartisan welfare-warfare state.

    2. To be sure, Watergate didn’t happen overnight. There’s some point where this is enough blood in the water that the sharks begin a feeding frenzy. Right now, they’re just bumping their prey.

      1. Watergate would have never brought down Nixon had the Republicans not decided that it was no longer worth defending him. It was Republicans who went to Nixon and said he should resign.

        1. Yep. They saw enough to turn on him. Part of that was fear of political fallout, but part of it was that they thought he was a scumbag, even by DC standards.

          I don’t see the Democrats doing the same except for reason number one, if it comes to that. They’ll back their guy no matter what so long as they don’t think the public will turn on them.

          1. See above. In order for this to really damage Obama, the Dems have to get killed in 2014. If that happens, the Dems will turn on him.

      2. I seem to recall someone else playing a role bringing Watergate to forefront of people’s minds. There were these guys who investigated stuff and then published what they found out, even though the government didn’t like it. I forget what they were called. Would be nice to have something like that now.

        1. Ah, yes, you refer to the ancient profession of journalism, which involved some sort of daily reporting of facts to large audiences. Once common in the United States, it was abandoned for something else long ago.

          1. and didn’t those same journalist use a leaker, a whistle blower. You know the same type of people that the DOJ is trying to go after journalist for today, why would they do such a thing unless they have something to hide.

            1. Who was that, Deep Gloat? Deep Moat?

  11. http://www.hollywoodreporter.c…..low-559923

    Meanwhile MSBNC’s ratings are in collapse. It is almost like government propaganda is really boring and doesn’t do well in the market or something.

    1. Good, Good. (Rubs hands together)

    2. You are Bill O’Reilly’s loofah.

      1. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 12:29PM |#
        “You are Bill O’Reilly’s loofah.”

        This from Obozo’s toilet tissue.

      2. Yeah Tony, everyone who disagrees with you watches Bill O’Reilly and other scary people.

      3. And you are Paul Krugman’s sockpuppet.

      4. Tony, I would think you of all people would know that the key to alleviating yourself of butthurt is more lube.

      5. You are Bill O’Reilly’s loofah.

        … said Obama’s jizz jar.

      6. Tony’s ratio of ad hominems is unusually high today. That, and I haven’t seen much of him around since, oh, the Obama scandals started hitting the news. He was on full force with the “only right wing lunatics (including Maureen Dowd) have a problem with Benghazi”, but then, by the time the DOJ scandal and the IRS scandal hit almost simultaneously, he was gone.

        Now, he’s back, and ready to troll.

        It’s been a rough few weeks for Tony. Try to cut him some slack.

        1. I was on vacation.

          1. Weren’t we all?

    3. Nah. It just means that the bitter clingers are so stupid that they believe oil money funded Faux News. It’s not MSNBC’s or the government’s fault. It’s Big Oil and the Koch brothers.

      1. False Kochciousness

    4. It’s a clear example of market failure.

    5. Monthly YoY:

      Total Day
      FNC: 1,246,000 total viewers, up 24 percent (236,000 in 25-54, down 5 percent)
      CNN: 465,000 total viewers, up 61 percent (161,000 in 25-54, up 92 percent)
      MSNBC: 346,000 total viewers, down 10 percent (115,000 in 25-54, down 7 percent)
      HLN: 494,000 total viewers, up 111 percent (175,000 in 25-54, up 90 percent)

      Primetime
      FNC: 1,973,000 total viewers, up 17 percent (308,000 in 25-54, down 6 percent)
      CNN: 660,000 total viewers, up 70 percent (225,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)
      MSNBC: 539,000 total viewers, down 20 percent (175,000 in 25-54, down 19 percent)
      HLN: 624,000 total viewers, up 91 percent (209,000 in 25-54, up 97 percent)

      Good grief, did CNN just stop broadcasting in May 2012?

      1. Also, why is the data displayed that way w/ MSNBC placed above HLN when HLN had higher numbers?

    6. What’s double extra sad for them is how many people (like me) watch MSNBC just to hate on it. I’ll bet it is a non-trivial % of their veiwership. I need to start actually watching the commercials too so I can know what products to avoid, when convenient.

      1. Heh, reminds me. My nephew would sit down and watch Gray’s Anatomy with my wife. He hates it even more than I do but he would do it just to have something to bitch about. When I let him know I wasn’t going to subject myself to second hand accounts of his self inflicted suffering, he stopped watching it.

  12. The Clinton’s “peccadilloes” certainly were entertaining. Well, except for a few dozen serious crimes like the massacre of dozens of women and children at the Waco siege. Otherwise it was just fap-fap-fap squirt-squirt rape-rape. Yeah, great entertainment value.

  13. The unprecedented targeting of conservatives

    But only because they are conservatives. Political targeting, or attempts at it, using the IRS is hardly unprecedented.

    “I want to be sure,” said Richard Nixon of the IRS head, that he is “ruthless,” and “that he will do what he’s told, that he will go after our enemies and not go after our friends.”

    The IRS only pushed back, of course, because it was “full of Jews.”

    1. Up next… A pig that refuses to eat Jews.

    2. It’s like the fountain at the Bellagio except it’s derp instead of water.

    3. Tony,

      If your only defense of Obama is that he was only as bad as Nixon, I don’t think that defense means quite what you think it does.

      Yes, Nixon did this. And because of that, he was one of the most corrupt Presidents in history.

      1. I didn’t think of it that way.

        “It’s OK because Nixon did it first, and he was a Republican!”

        Derpaliscious!

        1. “Derpalicious” I’m stealing this word.

      2. I fail to see what Obama has to do with this.

        1. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 12:37PM |#
          “I fail to see what Obama has to do with this.”

          Shithead, you misspelled “refuse”.

        2. Tony: Nixon did it, too.

          Human: So?

          Tony: Nixon did it, too. Mmm, ..derpaliscious!

          1. Nixon “did it.” Obama hasn’t done anything as far as you know.

            1. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 12:53PM |#
              “Nixon “did it.” Obama hasn’t done anything as far as you know.”

              Of course not, shithead. He’s just in charge, so there’s no reason to presume he’s in charge, is there, shithead?

            2. All Obama’s done is continue to defend Holder, an individual largely at fault for Fast and Furious and multiple instances of press intimidation and surveillance.

              Don’t you think defending the perpetrator of these crimes and refusing to hold him accountable makes Obama culpable? At the very least Obama is enabling press coercion and the sale of firearms to drug cartels.

              So tell me, Tony. If I shield a criminal from justice, will the cops be okay with that since I didn’t actually commit the original crime? Or will they hold me accountable as an accessory to the crime?

            3. You’re right, the perfect little angel is completely innocent. It’s just very unfortunate he’s appointed criminal minds who are forever acting on their own throughout the federal government. Nothing he can do about it. It’s derpaliscious!

            4. Tony is defending President Know-Nothing’s know-nothingness as a virtue.

              He is too good to stay abreast of the sinful affairs of his Executive Branch.

      3. People seem to forget there was another president, also a Democrat, who used the IRS as a weapon against those not sympathetic to his party. Bill Clinton.

        1. Hell, it started with FDR.

          1. That, I was unaware of. It’s not surprising, though.

            Once Federal Law Enforcement had discovered the IRS could be used as a weapon against “mobsters” it reasonable to expect it would only be a matter of time before they’d use it against their political rivals.

      4. But from what I can see, Nixon did a lot less than Obama has done. Nixon just had some people audited, IIRC. Obama’s administration has done that, plus road-blocked conservative non-profits, leaked confidential IRS documents, and sicced the FBI, the ATF, and OSHA on opponents.

        1. Auditing of political opponents is worse than targeting tax-exempt applications for scrutiny. Why couldn’t the Tea Party groups, which are probably all mostly political outfits anyway, just not apply? It’s not like it’s required.

          1. You misread what I wrote. Obama has also had opponents audited.

            Your second and third sentences make no sense: they did apply for 501 status, like many political groups. (E.g. Ms. magazine has had 501 status for decades and they are certainly as political as any Tea Party group.)

    4. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 12:28PM |#
      “But only because they are conservatives. Political targeting, or attempts at it, using the IRS is hardly unprecedented.”

      Hey, shithead, need a pretty long arm to grasp at that straw, don’t you?

      1. “[B]ut for those who are less obsessed with the political consequences and more troubled by constitutional fallout. . . .”

    5. Wow, it’s a tu quoque directed at Team Red. That’s bound to change people’s minds here.

      1. I’ll say!
        Nixon is certainly considered a hero of freedom and classical econ in these parts!

        1. Not to mention that Republicans don’t exactly hold him up as the pinnacle of conservatism.

        2. In Tony’s defense, Ayn Rand did endorse Nixon, and a lot of progressives think she was a libertarian.

        3. I think Nixon was one of the better presidents of the second half of the 20th century, despite being a corrupt racist.

          1. That’s some excellent judgement you’ve got there.

            Afterall Nixon did setup some very successful price controls, so I can see why you’d be apt to praise him.

            1. Nixon launched “wage and price control” and also took the dollar off the gold standard.

              To call Nixon a conservative, at least in the way we understand the term to apply to economic issues, makes almost no sense.

              For that matter, even Bush 43, who the left absolutely hated for his so-called conservatism, was hardly conservative. Other than the Bush tax cuts, I don’t recall anything about his economic policies that encouraged smaller government. Between his huge expansion of Medicare, the policies he pushed in reaction to 9-11, the No Child Left Behind expansion of federal gov’t into education he crafted together with Ted Kennedy, and his support of TARP, his policies were anything but conservative. Other than the wars, which I would argue are more neocon that traditional conservative, he actually did a lot of stuff that liberals would ordinarily LOVE. It’s little wonder that his successor has kept many of those policies in place.

          2. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 12:53PM |#
            “I think Nixon was one of the better presidents of the second half of the 20th century,…”

            Of course you do; you’re an ignoramus.

            1. No, well yes, but that’s not the reason. Nixon was on Tony’s side of most issues. Of course, people like Tony would never admit that while Nixon held office. He was hated for being anti-Communist, not a conservative.

              1. “Nixon was on Tony’s side of most issues”

                Exactly.

          3. [bangs head on wall]

          4. what do you mean “despite”?

          5. Racist? Really? The guy who, as vice president, cast the tiebreaking vote to defeat an amendment to the Civil Rights Bill of 1957 that would have required jury trials on charges of contempt of court arising out of violations of court orders against voter intimidation or interference with the right to vote in federal elections (with the consequence that convictions in Southern states would be few and far between)? The president who issued an executive order requiring affirmative action in hiring by federal agencies? Whose Philadelphia Plan (and similar “hometown plans” for other cities) used government contracting as a tool to break racial discrimination by labor unions in the construction and building trades? Which pushed for desegregation of public schools in the South (so that only 8% of black children in the South attended all-black schools by 1974, even though 68% did in 1968, before Nixon took office)?

            No argument on the “corrupt” part, though.

            1. The president who issued an executive order requiring affirmative action in hiring by federal agencies?

              Well, affirmative action is a racist policy.

              1. Is it? I think a modern liberal will argue that only minorities can be victims of racism and never the other way around. Racism only works one way, in other words. If the KKK targets blacks, that’s racist, of course. But if the Black Panthers target some whites, that’s NOT racist. (They’d probably label it as seeking justice or something.)

                Even blacks and Latinos can only be victims of racism when they are ideologically pure. If they are not, then they are “part of the problem” and are fair game. That’s why it’s perfectly okay for a white to criticize Clarence Thomas or Bush’s Attorney General Gonzales without being considered racist.

    6. But only because they are conservatives. Political targeting, or attempts at it, using the IRS is hardly unprecedented.

      You’re right. It was started by FDR.

    7. thanks for the quote Tony because that is in line with what Obama said when he said “We will punish our enemies”, when talking about republicans

      1. They deserved to be punished for what they’ve done, and continue to do, to my country.

        1. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 5:21PM |#
          “They deserved to be punished for what they’ve done, and continue to do, to my country.”

          Lies, shithead.

  14. my neighbor’s step-sister makes $84 an hour on the computer. She has been out of work for five months but last month her pay check was $17822 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more http://www.Taz1.com

    1. You know the difference between your neighbor’s step-sister and a washing machine? After I drop a load in the washing machine, it doesn’t follow me around for three days.

      /Cam Brady

    2. My best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it’s pretty serious.

    3. Is that link safe for work? I am assuming it’s your neigbor’s sister’s porn camera web site, right? What’s her shtick? I am into feet, or sumthing…

  15. OT: Venezuela’s New Labour Law: The Best Mother’s Day Gift

    Progressives around the world looking for ways to advance gender rights still have much to learn from Venezuela’s continuing social revolution.

    https://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/17-3

    1. Venezuela has the lowest rate of inequality in Latin America.

      I guess everybody being poor has one benefit: 1st world, progressive ignoramuses will laud you in their blogs. Go Venezuela!

    2. Full-time mothers will now be able to collect a pension.

      They have a pension: it’s called their child. Raise the little shit right and make them not hate you, and that should be all the pension you need.

      1. Why do you hate women so much?

        1. He is the Audie Murphy in the War on Womenz!

    3. Holy fuck, one of the comments is defending Russian Communism and talking about how the Russian Communist Party is now the third biggest because millions recognize how much better they were under the Soviet system.

      When the aliens arrive, take one look, and nuke us from orbit, just remember: We probably as a species deserved it for not eliminating such idiocy ourselves.

    4. Actually, the whole article and the comments are hilarious to read when you remember that in Venezuela crime is rampant and toilet paper is sold on the black market. To see Chavez’s cock being sucked under those conditions is… well, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry.

  16. At first I allowed that the president may not have had anything to do with the IRS so-called scandal. I thought it was plausible that people who sign up for a big government ob would see anti-government groups as a threat to their living and targeting them as an act of self defense. But this thing keeps going higher up and now the two options are that president Obama is not in control of the executive or his is directly involved. Neither option is comforting.

    1. The head of the IRS visited the White House one time in the 8 years of Bush II. He visited the Obama White House 179 times in less than five years. What exactly was he doing there if not receiving instructions on how to target political opponents?

      1. I was really taken aback when I heard that. Has it been confirmed? I have to say, I can’t think of a good reason for that many visits. I can think of some bad reasons, though.

        1. I believe it has. And remember, Obama had no idea what was going on in the IRS even thought the head of the IRS visited the White House nearly once a week for four years.

          1. Not necessarily discounting that Obama was doing something bad, but the Healthcare law had A LOT to do with IRS (they were calling for thousands of new agents to enforce it). This could be a reason for many of the visits. It would be interesting to see when the visits happened and what legislation/proposals from the whitehouse were pending.

      2. Neat. Who tracks this kind of stuff anyways? I guess everybody signs a guest registry when the visit the White House or something.

        1. Yup. And the registry is subject to FOIA. So someone FOIAed the records and did up a count.

      3. Furthermore, when did you stop beating your spouse?

        Could be that Bush simply had the same level of interest in the IRS as he did counterterrorism before 9/11.

        1. So you are saying that Citizen’s United is the same as a terrorist attack? I just want to see if I got the point you are trying to make correct.

          1. He’s just a sockpuppet trying to get a response. You’re supposed to say Bush was only in office for seven months, argue that this is about the current situation, etc.

            1. Got it. Thanks for the pro tip. I really do like reading Tony’s post. I know others tire of him but I like to hear counter view points to my own. I think it is good to challenge your own belief system. Not that he has changed my mind on anything yet but I like to keep an open mind.

          2. I don’t really have a point, but if I did it would be “John, your flights of paranoid fantasy are counterproductive to your goal of tearing down the Obama administration for the purpose of petty partisan points scoring. Learn to edit!” Good advice in general, I’d say.

            1. Ok. I guess I saw a link where you weren’t trying to make one.

            2. The IRS commissioner has never visited the White House that many times. There is no reason for him to. He is two levels below the President. No Treasury Secretary in the past would have allowed such a thing.

              When you put that figure together with the corruption and the fact that we now know that higher ups in the IRS knew about it and supported it (so much for the lie you were peddling last week about this just being a few rogue employees) and the situation is obvious. The White House had a huge interest in the IRS and didn’t want to involve the Treasury. They wanted to talk directly to the commissioner and talk to him frequently. Why was that?

              The only plausible explanation is that the IRS was a part of the overall political strategy. What do you think he was doing there Tony? Discussing the flat tax? Doing Valerie Jerrett’s taxes?

              1. I heard him say something about an Easter egg hunt, so that covers 5 days at least over the last 5 years.

              2. It could have been Obama Care related. Were the visits clustered in a certain timeframe?

                1. Could have, except that Obamacare was written in Congress and is being implemented by HHS.

                  1. Ninja, please. You think Obama sat passively on the sidelines while all this happened?

              3. I don’t know John, why don’t you assume the worst with absolutely no evidence?

            3. “I don’t really have a point”

              You’ve never spoke more truthfully.

              1. “I don’t really have a point”

                Other than the one on the top of his head.

        2. Tony| 5.30.13 @ 1:11PM |#
          “Could be that Bush simply had the same level of interest in the IRS as he did counterterrorism before 9/11.”

          Could it be that you’re a purple unicorn, shithead?

    2. He isn’t in control of the executive.

      The guy came into power with no power base other than the movement that eventually became Campaign For America (ironically, a 501(c)(4) 🙂 ).

      It’s really apparent to me that he essentially gave different factions carte blanche to loot and pillage so long as they didn’t get him in trouble. It works in the short term, but in the long term inevitably leads to an unholy mess.

      1. If you look at Obama and think of every thing he has done in terms of looting the government to pay off his supporters, every thing makes perfect sense. Obama is a Chicago politician. And this is how Chicago politics works.

        1. It really, really, scarily correlates. It explains why he didn’t go after the bankers, the birth control mandate from the HHS, the green jobs debacle, etc.

          In fact, the only group he hasn’t given money from the government too who supported him are black people, who are doing much worse economically. But I guess he is paying any number of them off by being black and the President.

          I guess this will be another depressing chapter in the insanely sad history of black America.

          1. The first black President will have spent 8 years paying off connected white supporters.

    3. Of course this goes up to him. Think about it, if Obama were innocent of all of this and found out that these bad things were going on under his nose, what would his reaction be? To protect those that are getting him into trouble? Hardly. We’d be seeing firings and investigations galore.

      Instead, we’re seeing multiple cover-ups. Everyone, even the partisan supporters, know that much of this goes up to him. The big question is whether that can be proved, but the circumstances make his involvement quite likely.

      1. Yeah, you don’t go, “I heard it the same as you guys- on the news.”

        You go, “Yeah, this is the first I’m hearing of it, and frankly, I’m really angry and you can bet some heads are going to roll over this.”

        1. It’s amazing how unprincipled politicians are and how much we tolerate their bad behavior. If I were president and something like this happened, I’d turn the administration upside down, firing everyone even tangentially involved and running massive internal investigations, while abjectly apologizing to the American people and throwing open the door to the media.

          1. Oh we know you would use your powers to torment Epi with SWAT raids and IRS audits, you can’t fool us.

            1. Look, one little abuse of power while otherwise being a wonderfully libertarian president–is that too much to ask?

              1. I suppose some things can be forgiven, but you leave Warty alone. (for the safety of all of us)

                1. Just who do you think will be wielding joint SWAT/audit powers?

    4. Those would appear to be the only two possible logical conclusions.

      And when we learn the IRS official who was in charge of targeting Obama’s political rivals was punished with $103,390 performance bonus, and a huge job promotion to overseer of the entire Obamacare operation, it becomes very difficult to continue to believe the trail does not necessarily lead to the very top.

      1. I agree. I just hate to jump on a band wagon without holding on to a large dose of skepticism. I think it comes from years of trying to see through propaganda in the public school system and media.

      2. It’s as though the rabbit hole convulsed, and belched out an effluvia of assholes.

        Fortunately, Tony assures me that the smell is merely a petty nuisance, and not in any way indicative of other rot down there.

  17. OT

    FBI ran child porn ring that included distributing pictures and instructions on how to lure kids in an attempt to arrest customers. I have always said that the theory that a child is victimized every time someone looks at a piece of child porn is a total legal fiction. And the FBI has just shown that they agree.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Insta…..Pedophiles

    1. Court records indicate investigators hoped to trace customers and were unable to do so through traditional means.

      “Traditional” meaning “legal”?

      Seems like yet another so-called scandal.

  18. I fail to see what Obama has to do with this.

    *feigns surprise*

  19. These stories are doing a lot of damage. The thing to remember is that the brain dead followers like Tony and Shreek are only about 35 or 40% of voters. The rest of the 52 or so percent who voted for Obama are what I like to call low information brand voters. They like to vote Democrat because it makes them feel good. It makes them feel smart and tolerant. All of these scandals take away the feel good factor. And that causes the low information voter to lose interest and stay home or in some cases vote for the other party to express their concern over this. Meanwhile, it fires up the true believing R base, a good number of whom stayed home in 08 and 12 but came out in 2010. Put those two factors together and it is a disaster for Dems.

    1. They like to vote Democrat because it makes them feel good. It makes them feel smart and tolerant.

      What does it take to start making them feel dirty, stupid, and used?

      1. That’s what selective memory is for. “Feel good” is all that’s important and nothing’s going to get in the way of that. Especially the truth.

        1. But they also find other ways to feel good and stay home. If supporting Obama becomes uncool or embarrassing and not a good cultural signaler, they find another one.

          1. And, unfortunately, living a life built upon lies isn’t the best prescription for sound mental health. The charade goes on, and on. And those playing get nuttier and nuttier.

            1. IN some ways yes. That is how communists and fascists get people to remain loyal to them despite horrific crimes. Once the Nazis started doing horrible things, their German supporters couldn’t renounce them without admitting to themselves and the world they bore at least some responsibility for the crimes. Few people have the courage to do that. So instead they chose to believe the camps were not death camps and Hitler was doing the best he could.

      2. Obama using the FBI and IRS to spy on his enemies is likely to make them feel that way.

      3. I believe they are caught in what is known as a “roofie cycle.”

  20. Durbin’s remarks just reminded me how much I hate Illinois Nazis.

    1. After spending some time in Illinois, it became obvious that many of the state’s residents, not living within the state’s festered anus of Chicago, actually despise their state’s anus for forcing it’s Nazism down their throats.

  21. I think Nixon was one of the better presidents of the second half of the 20th century, despite being a corrupt racist.

    “Despite”?

    I would have thought it would be “because”.

    1. Shithead misspells quite a few words.

  22. The unprecedented targeting of conservatives wasn’t incidental to this administration as much as it was an intuitive extension of the paranoia the left has about unfettered political expression.

    This is very true. The left has a long-standing preoccupation with manipulating political debates via framing (see George Lakoff) and political correctness. The strategy isn’t really putting the facts out there or engaging in rational dialogue, it’s controlling the narrative and controlling social norms so as to suppress undesirable ideas. When you’re primary strategy for “winning” a debate is to make it socially unacceptable to express certain views, then the more people publicly expressing those views there are, the more danger there is of them not being considered unacceptable. It’s really all about shutting people up so that there appears to be no dissent on a subject, so you can claim the remaining dissenters are outside the mainstream.

  23. Does it include someone who’s tweeting? Are these people journalists and entitled to constitutional protection?”

    I didn’t realize only some of us were afforded constitutional protection. Good to know.

  24. The left has always been this way about speech (no doubt the right is also so inclined) they support free speech as long as they think it will get them into positions of power. Once they get there, everybody else better shut up.

    1. Most people have always been this way about speech. Adams signed the Alien and Sedition acts while the ink on the 1st amendment was still wet.

  25. free speech? why aren’t going after Disqus, Google, Facebook…..they are the one’s undermining the very process of free speech without so much of a whisper. Or is that a Libertarian business liberty they are exersizing?

  26. “it was an intuitive extension of the paranoia the left has about unfettered political expression.”

    They’re not paranoid, they’re just opposed to any dissent to the Progressive Theocracy, and will stop it by any means necessary.

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