Land of the Freeloader

Medicaid rolls hit a record 72.6 million last year while nearly 11 million Americans — also a record — received disability benefits in May. America has truly become a nation of freeloaders.

When nearly one-fourth of the entire nation — in this case about 23% — is enrolled in the country’s health care program for indigents, and record numbers are collecting disability payments, the trouble is deep. America is the land of opportunity and prosperity, not the land of dependence.

But that’s the goal of the progressives and the Obama presidency — to turn America into a welfare state where most of the country lives off the productivity and earned wealth of a few.

Don’t think so? Look at the Congressional Budget Office report issued Wednesday. That account, requested by Democrats, says that the top 10 major tax breaks “are distributed unevenly across the income scale,” with 17% of the benefits going to families earning $450,000 or more a year.

That would be the top 1%, the small number of Americans who were the objects of the Occupy Wall Street mob’s rage and continue to be a target of the progressives who want to enshrine their version of “fairness” in the tax code.

What the left wants is for this thin slice of the population to pay for leftist programs. This is clearly seen in the comments of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. On review of the CBO report, he concluded that “we could achieve a significant amount of deficit reduction, long-term deficit reduction, by limiting these tax preferences to the highest-income earners.”

In other words, the Democrats want even more from the rich they so routinely demonize.

This country is hurtling in the wrong direction. Between 1988 and 2011, the number of Americans receiving federal benefits — from Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, subsidized housing, tuition aid and countless other entitlements — has increased 62%, according to a Heritage Foundation study released early this year.

Over the same period, the population grew by less than half that rate while the Heritage’s Index of Dependence on Government Score increased 180%.

No, Obama is not responsible for this jump in dependency. But welfare spending has grown 19% during his time in the White House and the health care overhaul that bears his name will increase reliance on government even more.

And he did say that it was his goal to fundamentally change this nation and spread the wealth. Anyone who doesn’t think he was talking about turning the U.S. into a nation of dependents isn’t being honest.

A freeloading country is an unstable country; it cannot last. Dependency undermines morals and work ethic that drive nations to prosperity. It encourages sloth and inner rot. It is dehumanizing and has no future.

Eventually those who are forced to pay for it will not be able to fund it. That’s when everyone becomes equal — as in the even distribution of misery. (IBD)

And that’s the best equality outcome the Democrats could hope for.

Land of the Freeloader and Home of the Dependent.

What could be better.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
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Bedfellows

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

“As democracy is perfected, the office of President represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be occupied by a downright fool and complete narcissistic moron.” – H.L. Mencken, The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

“For me, it’s about collaboration.” — National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama White House

 Is President Obama directly implicated in the IRS scandal?

Is the White House Visitors Log the trail to the smoking gun?

The stunning questions are raised by the following set of new facts.

March 31, 2010.

According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.

The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:

Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30

In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”

The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.

The NTEU is the 150,000 member union that represents IRS employees along with 30 other separate government agencies. Kelley herself is a 14-year IRS veteran agent. The union’s PAC endorsed President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, and gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles to anti-Tea Party candidates.

Putting IRS employees in the position of actively financing anti-Tea Party candidates themselves, while in their official positions in the IRS blocking, auditing, or intimidating Tea Party and conservative groups around the country.

The IG report contained a timeline prepared by examining internal IRS e-mails. The IG report did not examine White House Visitor Logs, e-mails, or phone records relating to the relationship between the IRS union, the IRS, and the White House.

In fact, this record in the White House Visitors Log of a 12:30 Wednesday, March 31, 2010 meeting between President Obama and the IRS union’s Kelley was not unusual.

On yet another occasion, Kelley’s presence at the White House was followed shortly afterwards by the President issuing Executive Order 13522. A presidential directive that gave the anti-Tea Party NTEU — the IRS union — a greater role in the day-to-day operation of the IRS than it had already — which was considerable.

Kelley is recorded as visiting the White House over a year earlier, listed in this fashion:

Kelley, Colleen Potus/Flotus 12/03/2009 18:30

The inclusion of “FLOTUS” — First Lady Michelle Obama — and the 6:30 pm time of the December event on this entry in the Visitors Log indicates this was the White House Christmas Party held that evening and written up here in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Sun-Times focused on party guests from the President’s home state of Illinois and did not mention Kelley. Notably, the Illinois guests, who are reported to have attended the same party as Kelley, included what the paper described as four labor “activists”: Dennis Gannon of the Chicago Federation of Labor, Tom Balanoff of the Service Employees International Union, Henry Tamarin of UNITE, and Ron Powell of the United Food and Commercial Workers.

Six days following Kelley’s attendance at the White House Christmas party with labor activists like herself, the President issued Executive Order 13522 (text found here, with an explanation here). The Executive Order, titled: “Creating Labor-Management Forums To Improve Delivery of Government Services” applied across the federal government and included the IRS. The directive was designed to:

Allow employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….

However else this December 2009 Executive Order can be described, the directive was a serious grant of authority within the IRS to the powerful anti-Tea Party union. A union that by this time already had the clout to determine the rules for IRS employees, right down to who would be allowed a Blackberry or what size office the employee was entitled to. The same union that would shortly be doling out serious 2010 (and later 2012) campaign contributions to anti-Tea Party candidates with money supplied from IRS employees. The union, as noted last week here in this space, already has the authority to decide all manner of IRS matters, right down to who does and does not get a Blackberry.

It is the same union whose IRS employee-members were being urged in 2012 by Senate Democrats (Chuck Schumer, Al Franken, Max Baucus, and others) to target Tea Party and other conservative groups.

Which, as the IG records, they did.

Both Mr. Obama and the NTEU’s Kelley have been by turns evasive and tight-lipped about their roles in the blossoming IRS scandal.

Kelley refused to open up to the Washington Post. In an article titled ”IRS, union mum on employees held accountable in ‘sin’ of political targeting,” the Post quoted the following:

“NTEU is working to get the facts but does not have any specifics at this time. Moreover, IRS employees are not permitted to discuss taxpayer cases. We cannot comment further at this time,” NTEU President Colleen M. Kelley said via e-mail.

A call to the NTEU office in Cincinnati resulted in a similar response: “We’ve been directed by national office. We have no comment.”

The President approached things in a more evasive manner.

Last Thursday at the President’s press conference with the Turkish prime minister, Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg News asked the following question, bold print for emphasis: 

“Mr. President, I want to ask you about the IRS. Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd? And when they did find out, do you think that you should have learned about it before you learned about it from news reports as you said last Friday? And also, are you opposed to there being a special counsel appointed to lead the Justice Department investigation?”

The President’s response? (Again bold print emphasis.)

“But let me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press.”

Take note: Goldman’s question was:

“Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your Counsel’s Office found out on April 22nd?”

The President evaded by answering:

“I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report…..”

The question was not whether he knew about the IG report ahead of time. The question was whether he could “assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions.”

In response, the President ducked.

In other words, the IRS union chief went to the White House to meet personally with the president on March 31. The union already had Executive Order 13522 behind it, issued by the President barely three months earlier. An Executive Order directing that the IRS must “allow employees and unions to have pre-decisional involvement in all workplace matters….”.

The very next day after that March 31 meeting at the White House, the IRS, with the union involved in its decision-making, was setting up its “Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party.”

Which raises the famous question from Watergate: What did the President know and when did he know it?

While potentially explosive now, in fact the Obama Administration hadn’t been in office a month before Kelley was boasting of the IRS union’s influence in the White House.

In a February 15, 2009  interview given to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh is Kelley’s home town), there was this question from the PG reporter, with the now Washington-based Kelley boasting as below, key point in bold print: 

Q: Has the Obama staff been receptive?

A: Yes. We have worked with the transition team, given them suggestions; and throughout the campaign, President Obama talked about working with the federal employees and unions. He’s recognized the contributions federal employees make. I was just at the White House (Jan. 30) while he was signing some executive orders to undo some things the prior administration did.

Catch that?

The boast?

“I was just at the White House…”

Which is to say, the election of 2008, in which the union had endorsed Obama, was no sooner over than the head of the IRS union had “worked with the transition team” and “given them suggestions.” Literally ten days after the Obama January 20 inaugural in 2009 — January 30 the article notes — Kelley was boasting that “I was just at the White House while he (the President) was signing some executive orders to undo some things the prior administration did.”

And what did Kelley see as the IRS union’s relationship with the White House she had already visited ten days into the President’s first term?

Kelley responded candidly, again with the bold print added for emphasis:

We are looking for a return to what we used to call partnership. I don’t really care what it’s called. For me, it’s about collaboration.”

Catch those words?

Collaboration. Partnership.

In addition to Kelley’s three visits to see the President — in January of 2009, December of 2009, and March of 2010 — she is listed for three other visits, the contact names those of presidential aides:

“Kelley, Colleen Weiss, Margaret 11/04/2009 10:00”

“Kelley, Colleen Weiss, Margaret 12/01/2009 12:00”

“Kelley, Colleen Nelson, Greg 01/14/2010 13:40”

The obvious question instantly arises with the revelation that Kelley was meeting with the President personally — the day before the IRS kicked into high gear with its “Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party”.

Were the President of the United States and the President of the NTEU meeting in the White House at 12:30 on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 — and engaged in “collaboration” and “partnership”? A “collaboration” and “partnership” that was all about targeting the Tea Party?

And did that collaboration and partnership result in the IRS letting loose the hounds on the Tea Party and conservative groups — the very next day after the Obama-Kelley meeting?

To add to the administration’s IRS-NTEU woes is the fact that beyond the Inspector General, there is another IRS-connected agency in the Treasury Department: the IRS Oversight Board.

And on that board sits a presidential appointee named Robert M. Tobias. Tobias, oddly, was a Clinton appointee in 2005, confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term. He is still there. He is the longtime NTEU general counsel and Kelley’s predecessor as the union president. Here’s the statement, from the IRS Oversight Board, on all of this. It is headed: 

IRS Oversight Board Deeply Troubled by Breakdown in IRS Process in Reviewing Tax-Exempt Applications.

There was no reference to the influence of the anti-Tea Party NTEU in the statement. Why would there be when the union’s ex-president sits on the Oversight Board itself?

Obama’s problem here is considerable.

By not forthrightly answering Goldman’s question, he seems to be evading the issue in the manner that brought so much trouble in the form of congressional investigations, special prosecutors, and impeachment threats to Presidents Nixon and Clinton, with Nixon being forced to resign the presidency and Clinton brought to a Senate trial.

The President’s too-clever-by half evasion added to Kelley’s silence leaves open the question of whether the union and the White House, not to mention the IRS Oversight Board, are collaborating — collaborating right now — on a cover-up.

Nixon looked the American people in the television eye and flatly lied about his personal involvement in the Watergate scandal, lies that came from a frantic attempt to conduct a cover-up.

Clinton looked the American people in the eye and famously wagged his finger as he lied that he “did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.” In Clinton’s case this extended to lying to a federal grand jury.

For a good long while, the American people in fact believed both Nixon and Clinton. The stories are now legion of Nixon cabinet and staff believing their man, and Clinton’s cabinet and staff believing their man’s protestations of innocence as well.

Finally, in both cases, the truth was out.

As Washington and the country have long since twice-learned the hard way, the parsing of presidential words in cases like this, not to mention looking into the cameras and boldly lying on the prayer of getting away with the lie, always bodes ill for presidents. It leads inevitably to that simple question famously uttered by then-Tennessee GOP Senator Howard Baker and posed of Nixon at the Senate Watergate hearings: “What did the President know and when did he know it?”

Twice in recent American history the answer to this question, once for Nixon and once for Clinton, has landed popular, powerful presidents in impeachment hot water. Ending Republican Nixon’s presidency altogether and coming close to doing the same with Democrat Clinton. Leaving the legacy of each permanently scarred.

The notion that the players in the IRS scandal did what they did to get past the 2012 election will only add to an Obama presidential reputation as borrowing the Nixon playbook on skirting scandal in a presidential election year.

Ironically re-casting the image of America’s first black president as the black Nixon.

With the examples of how Nixon and Clinton dodged, evaded, and lied, Obama’s non-answer to Juliana Goldman’s question at last week’s press conference comes in for much more scrutiny. Matched to the silence of Kelley it begins raising obvious questions. Such as:

• Did the President himself ever discuss the Tea Party with Kelley?

• Did the President ever communicate his thoughts on the Tea Party to Kelley — in any fashion other than a face-to-face conversation such as e-mail, text, or by phone?

• What was the subject of the Obama-Kelley March 31, 2010 meeting?

• Who was present at the Obama-Kelley March 31 meeting?

• Was the Tea Party or any other group opposing the President’s agenda discussed at the March 31 meeting, or before or after that meeting?

• Is the White House going to release any e-mails, text, or phone records that detail Kelley’s contacts with not only Mr. Obama but his staff?

• Will the IRS release all e-mail, text, or phone records between Kelley or any other leader of the NTEU with IRS employees?

• What role did Executive Order 13522 play in the IRS investigations of the Tea Party and all these other conservative groups?

Doubtless there are others, considerable others and the list of questions will grow.

Not to be lost sight of here is the role of the NTEU in raising money for Democrats in the 2010 and 2012 election cycles — the exact period when the IRS was busy going after the Tea Party and the others to curb any possible influence the groups could have in the elections of 2010 and 2012.

The NTEU, through its political action committee, raised $613,633 in the 2010 cycle, giving 98% of its contributions to anti-Tea Party Democrats. In 2012 the figure was $729,708, with 94% going to anti-Tea Party candidates. One NTEU candidate after another, as discussed last week in this space, campaigned vigorously against the Tea Party. 

So the motivations here — defeating the Tea Party in 2010, and failing at that, making sure that the news of the metastasizing cancer in the IRS was kept quiet until after the 2012 presidential election was over — are clear.

What is particularly interesting here are the automatic assumptions of the mainstream media in all of this.

Like this “given” from the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, bold print added for emphasis. 

The most corrosive of the controversies is what happened at the IRS, which singled out tea party and other conservative groups for special scrutiny in their applications for tax-exempt status. That Obama knew nothing about it does little to quell concerns that one of the most-feared units in government was operating out of control.

But if in fact the President did know about it?

Here’s the Washington Post’s “Journolist” Ezra Klein:

The crucial ingredient for a scandal is the prospect of high-level White House involvement and wide political repercussions.…

If new information emerges showing a connection between the Determination Unit’s decisions and the Obama campaign, or the Obama administration, it would crack this White House wide open. That would be a genuine scandal. But the IG report says that there’s no evidence of that. And so it’s hard to see where this one goes from here.

Exactly. 

Which is why it will be a curious sight indeed to see the efforts the media will go to ignore/dismiss the tight, on-the-record connection between the President personally and a vociferously anti-Tea Party union. A union that has the literal run of the IRS — and whose union chief is recorded as having met with the President in the White House the day before the IRS launched “a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases.” A decision with which, according to the IG report: “The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.” Check those words from Mr. Klein again:

If new information emerges showing a connection between the Determination Unit’s decisions and the Obama campaign, or the Obama administration, it would crack this White House wide open. That would be a genuine scandal.

The question now is a simple one.

In 1974, “the smoking gun” was a tape recording that ended the Nixon presidency.

In 1998, the smoking gun was a blue dress — and it almost undid Bill Clinton’s White House.

Now the all-too-familiar pattern of scandal and its day-by-day drip-drip-drip nature has begun to set in. Newsmax is now quoting Washington attorney and conservative activist Cleta Mitchell as saying:

“There were nearly 100 groups across the country that got the very egregious set of letters from the IRS that were almost identical and they came from offices all over the country, so I know of at least 85 to 90, maybe more, organizations.”

Jeffrey Lord, American Spectator: Regular American all over the country are coming forward with their stories. Understanding the relationship between the Obama White House and the IRS union will be a must for congressional investigators.

President Obama is coming perilously closer to becoming the new Nixon. The next Bill Clinton.

And once again, as news of exactly what a president was doing in the Oval Office on a particular day and time goes public, yet again the old question becomes new.

What did the President know? And when did he know it?

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Bully For You

Thomas Sowell: We have truly entered the world of “Alice in Wonderland” when the CEO of a company that pays $16 million a day in taxes is hauled up before a congressional subcommittee to be denounced on national TV for not paying more.

Apple CEO Tim Cook was denounced for contributing to “a worrisome federal deficit,” according to Sen. Carl Levin — one of the big-spending liberals in Congress who has had a lot more to do with creating that deficit than any private citizen has.

Because of “gimmicks” used by businesses to reduce their taxes, Levin said, “children across the country won’t get early education from Head Start. Needy seniors will go without meals. Fighter jets sit idle on tarmacs because our military lacks the funding to keep pilots trained.”

The federal government already has ample powers to punish people who have broken the tax laws. It does not need additional powers to bully people who haven’t.

What is a tax “loophole”? It is a provision in the law that allows an individual or an organization to pay less taxes than they would be required to pay otherwise. Since Congress puts these provisions in the law, it is a little much when members of Congress denounce people who use those provisions to reduce their taxes.

If such provisions are bad, then members of Congress should blame themselves and repeal the provisions. Yet words like “gimmicks” and “loopholes” suggest that people are doing something wrong when they don’t pay any more taxes than the law requires.

Are people who are buying a home, who deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages when filing their tax returns, using a “gimmick” or a “loophole”? Or are only other people’s deductions to be depicted as somehow wrong, while our own are OK?

Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes pointed out long ago that “the very meaning of a line in the law is that you intentionally may go as close to it as you can if you do not pass it.”

If the line in tax laws was drawn in the wrong place, Congress can always draw it somewhere else. But if you buy the argument used by people such as Levin, then a state trooper can pull you over for driving 64 miles per hour on the highway in a 65-mile-per-hour zone, because you are driving too close to the line.

The real danger to us all is when government not only exercises the powers that we have voted to give it, but exercises additional powers that we have never voted to give it. That is when “public servants” become public masters. That is when government itself has stepped over the line.

Government’s power to bully people who have broken no law is dangerous to all of us. When Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department started keeping track of phone calls going to Fox News Channel reporter James Rosen (and his parents) that was firing a shot across the bow of Fox News — and of any other reporters or networks that dared to criticize the Obama administration.When the Internal Revenue Service started demanding to know who was donating to conservative organizations that had applied for tax-exempt status, what purpose could that have other than to intimidate people who might otherwise donate to organizations that oppose this administration’s political agenda?

The government’s power to bully has been used to extract billions from banks, based on threats to file lawsuits that would automatically cause regulatory agencies to suspend banks’ rights to make various ordinary business decisions, until such indefinite time as those lawsuits end. Shakedown artists inside and outside of government have played this lucrative game.

Someone once said, “any government that is powerful enough to protect citizens against predators is also powerful enough to become a predator itself.” And dictatorial in the process.

No American government can take away all our freedoms at one time. But a slow and steady erosion of freedom can accomplish the same thing on the installment plan. We have already gone too far down that road. F.A. Hayek called it “the road to serfdom.”
IRS Scandal: The inexplicable raid nearly two years ago on a guitar maker for using allegedly illegal wood that its competitors also used was another targeting by this administration of its political enemies.

On Aug. 24, 2011, federal agents executed four search warrants on Gibson Guitar Corp. facilities in Nashville and Memphis, Tenn., and seized several pallets of wood, electronic files and guitars. One of the top makers of acoustic and electric guitars, including the iconic Les Paul introduced in 1952, Gibson was accused of using wood illegally obtained in violation of the century-old Lacey Act, which outlaws trafficking in flora and fauna the harvesting of which had broken foreign laws.

In one raid, the feds hauled away ebony fingerboards, alleging they violated Madagascar law. Gibson responded by obtaining the sworn word of the African island’s government that no law had been broken.

In another raid, the feds found materials imported from India, claiming they too moved across the globe in violation of Indian law. Gibson’s response was that the feds had simply misinterpreted Indian law.

Interestingly, one of Gibson’s leading competitors is C.F. Martin & Co. According to C.F. Martin’s catalog, several of their guitars contain “East Indian Rosewood,” which is the exact same wood in at least 10 of Gibson’s guitars. So why were they not also raided and their inventory of foreign wood seized?

Grossly underreported at the time was the fact that Gibson’s chief executive, Henry Juszkiewicz, contributed to Republican politicians. Recent donations have included $2,000 to Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and $1,500 to Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

By contrast, Chris Martin IV, the Martin & Co. CEO, is a long-time Democratic supporter, with $35,400 in contributions to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee over the past couple of election cycles.

“We feel that Gibson was inappropriately targeted,” Juszkiewicz said at the time, adding the matter “could have been addressed with a simple contact (from) a caring human being representing the government. Instead, the government used violent and hostile means.”

That includes what Gibson described as “two hostile raids on its factories by agents carrying weapons and attired in SWAT gear where employees were forced out of the premises, production was shut down, goods were seized as contraband and threats were made that would have forced the business to close.”

Gibson, fearing a bankrupting legal battle, settled and agreed to pay a $300,000 penalty to the U.S. Government. It also agreed to make a “community service payment” of $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation — to be used on research projects or tree-conservation activities.

The feds in return agreed to let Gibson resume importing wood while they sought “clarification” from India.

The feds say they acted to save the environment from greedy plunderers. America is a trivial importer of rosewood from Madagascar and India. Ninety-five percent of it goes to China, where it is used to make luxury items like $800,000 beds. So putting Gibson out of business wasn’t going to do a whole lot to save their forests.

Juszkiewicz’ claim that his company was “inappropriately targeted” is eerily similar to the claims by Tea Party, conservative, pro-life and religious groups that they were targeted by the IRS for special scrutiny because they sought to exercise their First Amendment rights to band together in vocal opposition to the administration’s policies and the out-of-control growth of government and its power.

The Gibson Guitar raid, the IRS intimidation of Tea Party groups and the fraudulently obtained warrant naming Fox News reporter James Rosen as an “aider, abettor, co-conspirator” in stealing government secrets are but a few examples of the abuse of power by the Obama administration to intimidate those on its enemies list. (IBD)

He’s Checking his list to see if you’ve been Naughty or Nice… 🙂

The Devil Went Down

Desperate DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:

Getting in President Obama’s way has been the top priority for Republicans in Congress since day one. But now they’ve gone too far.

They’ve been caught red-handed making up so-called ‘scandals’ out of thin air to stir up false rumors of vast ‘cover-ups’ happening in the White House.

Did they find a single shred of evidence to back up their outrageous claims? No.

But rather than let the truth stand in their way, Republicans actually doctored emails between administration officials about Benghazi. Then, they released them to the press, trying to pass them off as real in order to create their scandal. Fortunately, they got caught in the act when the White House released all of the actual emails.

Tell President Obama you’ve got his back right now, no matter what Republicans come up with next.

Thanks, Debbie… ::sigh::

Country-music legend Charlie Daniels isn’t buying the White House line that President Obama simply “didn’t know” about the scandalous actions plaguing his administration.

From the gun-running “Fast & Furious” debacle of 2011 to recent revelations the Internal Revenue Service has been targeting tea-party groups, Obama has denied knowledge of his underlings’ actions, even stating he only discovered the improprieties after the evening news reported them.

But in an exclusive interview with WND, the ever-outspoken Daniels blasted the president’s “excuses.”

“If I had a drunk bus driver, for instance, and I told everybody, ‘Don’t tell me about that, I don’t want to know about it,’ and that way if we get sued I can say, ‘I didn’t know it,’ basically that’s got to be what’s happened,” Daniels said. “[But] when you hide behind plausible deniability, that is not leadership. That is cowardice. You’re not leading the country, you’re misleading the country.”

Daniels further charged the blame-shifting is “pervasive” throughout the Obama administration.

“Look at the so-called attorney general, who should have been held to task a long time ago, for one thing, not prosecuting the Black Panthers standing in front of the polling place,” Daniels said. “Then we have Fast & Furious, then we have this thing in Benghazi, then we have the IRS thing – it’s one thing after another. This administration is out of control!

“People have, with reason – regardless of whether they support the presidential administration or not – lost any kind of trust,” Daniels said. “If someone says something, you don’t know if it’s true, if they mean it, if they don’t mean it. As far as what’s going on right now, we don’t have a leader.”

And don’t even think about defending Obama by pointing back to George W. Bush.

“Going back and saying what Bush or Reagan – or for that matter George Washington – did is a total and complete waste of time,” Daniels told WND. “It makes no difference what they did. This guy was supposed to be in to fix the mistakes any president in front of him made, and he’s not doing it. Making excuses for him is not going to help him. He needs to be held to account, he needs to come clean. He needs to get that IRS woman to go back in front of Congress and tell the truth.”

The IRS scandal in particular, appears to have piqued Daniels’ ire.

“Somebody deserves some jail time out of this thing with the IRS,” Daniels told WND. “It’s like the Gestapo. It’s like having your own, private, secret police force to sick on people. It’s dirty.

“I am not comparing Obama to Hitler; I’m comparing politics to politics,” the singer explained. “In the 1920s and ’30s Germany erred in that direction, giving a little bit here, a little bit there, giving the government more and more until they had it all, then all of a sudden the government turns around and says you can’t have guns and you can’t do this, you can’t do that. … This is a dangerous, terrible situation we have going on in this country right now.”

Watch Charlie Daniels’ message to America about the loss of U.S. sovereignty and the rise of a New World Order in the riveting new video “Behold a Pale Horse” on DVD!

Since the 1950s Daniels has been a country singer and famed fiddler, perhaps best known for his hit song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.

But he also writes frequently on culture and politics, no stranger to bold statements in defense of God and country, and maintains a “soapbox” blog on his website, CharlieDaniels.com.

“I have never in my life seen the United States of America in the kind of shape it’s in right now,” Daniels told WND. “It’s time for somebody to do something to bring this country back together.”

But who’s that somebody, and what can they do?

Daniels decried that so many people in our country are unaware of the severity of the scandals rocking Washington and unwilling to be educated about their own government or the freedoms being slowly sapped from them by the very people they voted into office. Far too many, Daniels lamented, “don’t even know who the speaker of the House is” and “couldn’t find New Jersey on a map.”

“How much more are we going to let stupid get away with?” Daniels asked. “The Bible says, ‘My people perish for lack of knowledge’ – it’s what’s going on in this country. If people knew what was happening, it would scare them to death. But they don’t know. They’ve got their head in the sand; they don’t want to know. It’s just like, ‘Send me my check every month and the h— with everything else.’

“Who are they going to vote for?” he asked rhetorically. “They’re going to vote for the guy that gives them the most.

So can anyone make a difference in Washington?

“The true power in this country is the House of Representatives. That’s our people,” Daniels said. “That’s the people that the people put in every two years. We need to put people there that hold people accountable. The Senate’s a d— lost cause. In my opinion the House of Representatives needs to hold everyone’s feet to the fire. … We need to get to the bottom of this thing.

“If the IRS gets off scot free, the Benghazi thing is let go and the Justice Department getting into these reporters’ lives is let go, we’re finished,” Daniels concluded. “I mean, it’s just gone: nothing going to be done about nothing, and they can do anything they want to and we’re just at their mercy.”

“I hope that this time he’s dug in deep enough that they’re not going to let it go,” Daniels said of Obama. “If people had any idea what they’re losing in this country, they would be doing something about it.” (WND)

Obama: I’m the Best there has ever been! 🙂

 

Memorial Day

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

If there was ever a moment in time when the American people could collectively glean knowledge from a “teachable moment,” the Obama Administration’s handling of the al Qaeda-related attacks on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya is surely one. From the moment the public became aware of what can only be perceived as an act of war, perpetrated at the hands of an enemy that has officially declared war on the United States and the West, the Obama Administration – Progressives one and all – have engaged in one of their favorite tactics of political opportunism: re-writing history. In this instance, they are doing it in real time; right in front of our faces.

From the moment US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice took to the airwaves to insist that the attacks that took the lives of a US Ambassador and three of his colleagues were, in fact, not a coordinated and planned terrorist assault of a US target of interest, but, rather, a “spontaneous” uprising turned violent, spurred by a third-rate video that literally no one had ever seen, the American people were being subjected to fact manipulation for political purposes. With an election coming up, a terrorist attack did not fit the Obama Campaign’s narrative that, “Osama bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is on the run.” If the al Qaeda was on the run on September 11, 2012, it was running forward, bayonets fixed, with death in their eyes.

But re-writing history is nothing new to the Progressive Movement. During the time of Woodrow Wilson, Progressives perfected the art of propaganda to such an extent that many in the fascist  movements of Europe – Hitler, the hierarchy of the Nazi Party and even Italy’s Mussolini – took notice; impressed at the effectiveness and results achieved by Wilson’s Administration.

In Liberal Fascism, Jonah Goldberg writes:

“Under President Wilson, progressives perfected the art of government propaganda. Wilson appointed the journalist and former muckraker George Creel to head the Committee on Public Information (CPI), the first modern ministry for propaganda in the Western world. Thus empowered, Creel methodically assembled an army of nearly 100,000 ‘Four Minute Men,’ each trained by the CPI to deliver, at a moment’s notice, four-minute propaganda speeches at town meetings or any other public venues where they might be heard. In 1917–18 alone, these operatives delivered some 7.55 million speeches in 5,200 communities.

“In addition, the CPI produced – with taxpayer dollars – millions of posters, buttons, and pamphlets bearing pro-Wilson, Progressive messages. The CPI’s nearly 100 pamphlets were distributed to approximately 75 million people. ‘It was a fight for the minds of men, for the “conquest of their convictions,” and the battle line ran through every home in every country,’ Creel later recalled…

“The public-relations pioneer Edward Bernays learned the science of what he termed ‘the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses’ during his time on Creel’s committee.”

To that end, it could be argued that Barack Obama’s entire life story is a product of decades of propaganda perfection. From Dreams From My Father to The Audacity of Hope, Mr. Obama’s entire life’s story has been very carefully crafted to present a myth rather than a man; a story rather than a life; an illusion instead of a person; an idea rather than reality. But I digress…

With UN Ambassador Rice’s advancement of the narrative that it was a protest over an inconsequential and poorly made film that served at the genesis for the murders of Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues, the spin of a propaganda machine meant to protect the Obama presidency began. CIA talking points used in a briefing to Obama Administration officials by the Director of National Intelligence were revised no less than two times in less than 24-hours – from 231 words that included references to jihadists and al Qaeda to 91 words that completely expunged all reference to radical Islamist participation, planning or premeditation.

And then the propaganda machine began to hum. From Ambassador Rice to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to high-ranking officials at the Pentagon and CIA, to President Obama himself, the story – the talking points – were so succinctly crafted and choreographed that they could have been loaded into a teleprompter. Well-rehearsed and with authoritative style, each of these political operatives delivered the approved talking points text with conviction, insisting that they, too, were disgusted by the Islamophobic nature of the incendiary video. Mrs. Clinton even went so far as to look the father of slain former-Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods in the eye and say, “We will make sure the person who made that film is arrested and prosecuted.”

Of course, the light of the truth is shining on the facts of this story thanks to many in the new media, talk radio and FOX News, three information outlets routinely lambasted as “bias” and “right-wing” by the Progressive Movement’s many “useful idiots,” both in the mainstream media and the special interest community. And those facts, as they present, depict a much different reality – a much more truthful accounting – of the circumstances surrounding the slaughter in Benghazi. Ambassador Stevens and his colleagues were abandoned; left to fend for themselves and die in a foreign land so that an election could be won.

An equally disturbing truth, albeit not as lethal, is the fact that many serving in the highest elected offices in the United States; the highest offices in the Executive Branch as well as the Legislative Branch, left these people to die because of their political aspirations; so emboldened by their total commitment to a socio-political ideology, so cripplingly devoted to attaining the power that only winning elections can afford, that they blatantly and freely deceive the American people, even about lethal attacks on our diplomats; deadly attacks against our country.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the very real fact that many, if not all, of the people who voted for Mr. Obama in 2012 were led to incorporate the “Obama Campaign Islamophobic film narrative” into their decisions at the ballot box.

The facts being what they are, it cannot be denied that the decision to deceive the American people, the decision to flagrantly lie to the American people – and, in fact, the decision to abandon four Americans as they fought for their very lives – was a decision based on a political motive. The CIA talking points on the slaughter in Benghazi were purposely and grotesquely altered in an effort to deceive the voting public into believing the deadly events of September 11, 2012, were inconsequential to the 2012 Presidential Election; that everything that could have been done to save the lives of four Americans in the service of their country was done; that the hellfire that rained down on Ambassador Christopher Stevens, US Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former-Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods was the result of “common over-reactionary” violence associated with the hurt feelings of Islamofascists to which the Obama Administration had no recourse.

The decision to lie to the American people about the act of war that happened in Benghazi, Libya, on September 12, 2012, was made to mask the weak and conciliatory foreign policy of a president whose only real-life prerequisite experience for the highest office in the land was that of Chicago community organizer – not a constitutional scholar, not an exceptional legal mind, not a well-seasoned elected public servant, but a failed Chicago Progressive community organizer.

In the book, Fabian Freeway, Rose L. Martin explains the agenda mindset of the founders of the Fabian Socialist Movement, the very movement that would give birth to today’s Progressive Movement. Incidentally, among the founding members of this arrogant and totalitarian movement: George Bernard Shaw:

“From the outset, the nine young men and women who remained to found the Fabian Society had grandiose plans. Quite simply, they wanted to change the world through a species of propaganda termed ‘education,’ which would lead to political action. To a rather astonishing degree they have been successful…”

“Changing the world through a species of propaganda termed ‘education’.” Given the fact that the same people who lied to the American people about the slaughter in Benghazi are the very people in control of our public education system, I would have to say I have never read more chilling words.

When the people we elect to public office are caught lying there should be consequences; a price paid for the cost of the deception. Keeping in mind that the four Americans who died in the slaughter of Benghazi – whose last moments on this earth must have been hopelessly tormenting – have already paid the ultimate price in the service of their country, it is fair to say that, so far, the only price Mr. Obama has been made to pay for his deadly political opportunism is to be re-elected to the Presidency on the wings of a lie.

I’m sure he’ll lose sleep over it. (CDN)

Lurking Tyranny 600

securedownload

Welcome to The Party

Obama To Media: Support the Stop Me Before I Kill Again Act

Derek Hunter: In the original Die Hard movie, John McClane is desperately trying to get the police to notice terrorists have taken over Nakatomi Tower. He’s already pulled the fire alarm and called 911, but no one had taken him seriously. Finally, an officer is dispatched to check it out and, after a half-hearted look, he decides there’s nothing happening and starts to leave. It’s then McClane throws a terrorist’s body out a window and onto the hood of the patrol car and says the famous line, “Welcome to the party, pal!”

That character, Sgt. Al Powell, would recognize how the progressive mainstream media feels this week with the revelation the federal government, headed by their guy, attempted to criminalize what they do for a living by claiming Fox News reporter James Rosen was a “co-conspirator” to espionage for essentially doing his job, their jobs.

Hundreds of dead from the Obama administration’s Fast and Furious program didn’t interest the Democrat Media Complex. Neither did the cronyism of “green” loans to campaign donors or the illegal “recess appointments” to the National Labor Relations Board and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. Neither did the president’s decision to refuse to enforce the immigration laws in any way other than cheering his implementation of the “DREAM Act” without it having been passed by Congress, or his choice to not defend the Defense of Marriage Act which, agree with it or not, is the law of the land.

There are many more scandals and abuses of power that would be 48-point headlines if the man in the White House had an R after his name instead of a D, and that’s before we even get to the disaster of Benghazi and the IRS targeting political opposition to the president. But now that the Obama administration has targeted their progressive media allies themselves, journalists suddenly have perked up a bit.

Welcome to the party, pal.

The subpoenaing of phone records of the Associated Press perked up their ears, but going after James Rosen’s records, including his personal email and parents’ phone records, finally seemed a bridge too far. To seize Rosen’s records, the government had to accuse him essentially of espionage against the country, which effectively criminalizes the act of investigative journalism. The Justice Department hasn’t pursued Rosen because the accusation was made only to gain access to his records, not build a criminal case against him. But the concept has put the fear of God into the hearts of journalists everywhere.

Most Washington reporters thought themselves immune to the pointy end of the stick because they were cheerleaders who were grateful for the carrot. But power knows no loyalty. They’d be less surprised by this purge if they’d learned from the history of left-wing purges of loyal lapdogs, but no victim ever thinks that which they cheer would turn on them.

For the liberal/progressive media, the timing of this story affords them special treatment. The harmonic convergence of Scandalpalooza means the president needs them on his side right now to cover (if not kiss) his flank, so he’s done a public mea culpa and is now calling for legislation to help them.

In his long, rambling speech that made a sneeze seem organized at the National Defense University on Thursday, President Obama said, “Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs. Our focus must be on those who break the law. That is why I have called on Congress to pass a media shield law to guard against government overreach.”

He said that line without the slightest acknowledgement it was his administration putting journalists at risk. The First Amendment used to be enough. “Congress shall make no law …” is not at all vague. But then, neither was “when the Senate is in session …” until recently.

President Obama was caught with his hand in someone else’s cookie jar and wants to blame the baker for not making them less delicious. He’s putting the onus on Congress to act to pass a law saying his administration can’t do what it already can’t do – but does. Stop me before I kill again.

Some hard-cases in the progressive media will forgive his sins and shift focus to Congress, but some will not. Once bitten, twice shy would apply had the mainstream media not seen its credibility decimated by the million little chomps it already has suffered.

Those chomps would have been forgiven had the news of this assault on the only constitutional amendment journalists care about – and the one part of it they like – not happened now. But it did.

Progressives will not put anything ahead of their agenda, except themselves. The ruling class in leftist regimes throughout history silently tolerated the oppression of others because they were “safe.” Once it became clear they had a target on their backs too, their tone changed. It takes only one small crack to bring down a dam. Will journalists continue to treat the president as a conquering hero or will they actually report honestly before he metaphorically “kills” a piece of the Constitution again?

Only problem, that John McClain had to catch everyone anyhow because law enforcement was too incompetent to do for themselves.

Come to think of it…

 

Secure

In arguably the weakest national security speech by a commander in chief, Obama denied Thursday that our terrorist enemy is inspired by Islam — while at the same time appeasing Islamic critics by apologizing for drone strikes and agreeing to throttle back on such precision bombings, and close down the terrorist prison at Guantanamo.

Talking Points!!

He vowed to wind down further military actions in the war on terror, arguing he can protect America through law enforcement actions, instead, as if the threat comes from bank robbers or other common criminals.

His mea culpas and capitulations will only embolden the Islamist enemy. In case you missed the interminably long and rambling speech, here are some of its many pusillanimous lowlights:

• “Force alone cannot make us safe. We cannot use force everywhere that a radical ideology takes root; and in the absence of a strategy that reduces the wellspring of extremism, a perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating.”

• “So the next element of our strategy involves addressing the underlying grievances and conflicts that feed extremism.”

• “In Iraq and Afghanistan … thousands of civilians have been killed.”

• “Much of the criticism about drone strikes understandably centers on reports of civilian casualties … It is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties. And for the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss … those deaths will haunt us as long as we live, just as we are haunted by the civilian casualties that have occurred throughout conventional fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

• “By the end of 2014, we will no longer have the same need for force protection (in the Afghanistan theater), and the progress we’ve made against core al-Qaida will reduce the need for unmanned strikes.”

• “America does not take strikes when we have the ability to capture individual terrorists; our preference is always to detain, interrogate and prosecute.”

• “America does not take (drone) strikes to punish individuals” for past terrorist acts; “we act against terrorists who pose a continuing and imminent threat to the American people.”

• “Targeted action against terrorists, effective partnerships, diplomatic engagement and assistance — through such a comprehensive strategy we can significantly reduce the chances of large-scale attacks on the homeland.”

“It is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths or less likely to create enemies in the Muslim world.”• “By narrowly targeting our action against those who want to kill us and not the people they hide among, we are choosing the course of action least likely to result in the loss of innocent life.”• “For what we spent in a month in Iraq at the height of the war, we could be … feeding the hungry in Yemen, building schools in Pakistan, and creating reservoirs of goodwill that marginalize extremists. That has to be part of our strategy.”

• “And the best way to prevent violent extremism inspired by violent jihadists is to work with the Muslim American community — which has consistently rejected terrorism.”

• “Even after Boston — we do not deport someone or throw somebody in prison in the absence of evidence.”

• “Gitmo has become a symbol around the world for an America that flouts the rule of law.”

“This war must end.”

Not 48 hours before he uttered those final words, an al-Qaida-inspired jihadist who decapitated a war veteran in the streets of London vowed to keep up the attacks on the West.

“We swear by almighty Allah that we will never stop fighting you,” said the 29-year-old alleged murdering British Muslim, blood dripping from his butcher’s knife. “You will never be safe.”

If this president has his way, he may be right. (IBD)

Unless Big Brother and The Ministry of Truth tell you otherwise and you my must believe them, OR ELSE!
 

OBAMACARE

When Rahm Emanuel helped foist on America the unready, unsteady and unsustainable healthcare religion known as Obamacare, one wonders in retrospect whether he had in mind another unready, unsteady and unsustainable government religion: union health benefits for government workers.

Last week Obama’s former chief of staff- and Chicago’s newest mayor-for-life- Emanuel, decided that the city was through with paying for healthcare benefits on behalf of about 30,000 retired government workers.

“Once the phaseout is complete,” reported the Chicago Tribune, “those retired workers would have to pay for their own health insurance or get subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The city-subsidized coverage is particularly important to retired workers who aren’t yet eligible for Medicare, as opposed to those 65 or older who use the subsidies for Medicare supplemental insurance.”

The 30,000 retired workers will either pay for their health insurance individually, says the city, or they can move their healthcare over to Obamacar and receive a federal government subsidy along the way, in addition to paying an out of pocket premium. The proposal will save Chicago $109 million next year.

The bill to the federal government for the move to Obamacare will be $110 million. The bill for the retired workers will be about $167 million- a kind of hidden tax within a the premium.

And if you know anything about how economics works under the Rahm and Obama show, you’ll know that the fact that the combined cost of $277 million to taxpayers and citizens to save Chicago a $109 million next year is a benefit under the system.

Because, as the Wall Journal reported earlier this year, more cities might be looking to do the same and shift costs from big cities to the federal government.

And that’s when the real hopey and changey stuff begins.

That means that there will be more state and city money in budgets available for the dues-paying, non-retired members of the government employee unions.

“All told, state and local governments are on the hook for between $700 billion and $1.5 trillion for retiree health benefits,” writes the Journal, “and like Chicago most will soon be unable to afford even their minimum annual payments. Offloading the costs on Uncle Sam will look attractive since retiree health benefits don’t enjoy the legal protections that some states have bestowed upon pensions. Stockton, California intends to shed its $400 million unfunded liability for retiree benefits in bankruptcy.”

This was the same scheme that was widely criticized regarding Romneycare. The state of Massachusetts, under Romney’s example of healthcare reform was able to offload a substantial amount of healthcare costs to the federal government and to beneficiaries in the form of a hidden tax known as insurance premium increases.

About 20 percent of the cost for Romneycare is born by Massachusetts, 20 percent by the federal government and the rest by the private sector in increased premiums.

“Of course, the full cost of Romneycare includes not only increased state spending but increased federal spending (in the form of matching Medicaid funds) and mandated private spending by individuals and employers,” says the Cato Institute’s Michael Tanner. “In total, [the Massachusetts Taxpayers] foundation conservatively estimates that the full cost will exceed $2.1 billion this year. That is, Romneycare is covering the uninsured at a cost of about $6,700 each. For comparison, in 2007 the average cost nationally of an individual policy was just $2,600. That’s a bad deal, even by government standards.”

It depends on which government you ask.

For state and local governments that are trying to live on tighter budgets, it’s great deal.

“Who cares how much reform costs as long as I don’t have to pay for it,” it seems, Chicago’s Emanuel is saying.

Labor unions however are bridling over the consequences.

“It makes an untruth out of what the president said, that if you like your insurance, you could keep it,” Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said according to CBS News. “That is not going to be true for millions of workers now.”

It’s not going to be true of millions of union retirees either.

And it’s just another “untruth” that Emanuel and Obama knew about regarding their healthcare religion when they discovered it engraved on 2,900 stone tablets on a mountain outside of Chicago.

Or, maybe they didn’t know. Take your pick.

Because, whichever one they admit to, I’m certainly sure they mean the opposite. (John Ransom)

But the goal of controlling people from birth to death and having the government decide both will still be intact so the Agenda is satisfied.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok