May 19th, 2013
A Brilliantly conceived and expertly executed article.
It must be noted, however, that Conservative Refocus disagrees with the very narrow focus of this idea in principle, however the overall premise in general cannot be refuted based upon everything that we have seen thus far.
We do know that the culpable IRS Commissioner resigned in November, as this story was just being hatched for the public to take note of. We also know that this systemic practice of harassment has been hitting both religious and social groups and individuals nationwide, other than those whom are just socio-political in nature, and not just the 501 c groups.
Ultimately, these attacks are almost impossible to be couched as simply an organic bureaucratic contagion that spread by non-contact alone.
Critical analysis would seem to dictate that even an infectious disease has a defined traceable origin.
The Wall Street Journal
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Was the White House involved in the IRS's targeting of conservatives? No investigation needed to answer that one. Of course it was.
President Obama and Co. are in full deniability mode, noting that the IRS is an "independent" agency and that they knew nothing about its abuse. The media and Congress are sleuthing for some hint that Mr. Obama picked up the phone and sicced the tax dogs on his enemies.
But that's not how things work in post-Watergate Washington. Mr. Obama didn't need to pick up the phone. All he needed to do was exactly what he did do, in full view, for three years:
Publicly suggest that conservative political groups were engaged in nefarious deeds; publicly call out by name political opponents whom he'd like to see harassed; and publicly have his party pressure the IRS to take action.
Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. "He put a target on our backs, and he's now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?" asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a "wealthy individual" with a "less-than-reputable record." Other donors were described as having been "on the wrong side of the law."
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot's divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes.
In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch.
In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses.
Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks.
Not one resulted in a fine or penalty.
But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn't account for what the president's vilification has done to his business and reputation.
The Obama call for scrutiny wasn't a mistake; it was the president's strategy—one pursued throughout 2012. The way to limit Romney money was to intimidate donors from giving. Donate, and the president would at best tie you to Big Oil or Wall Street, at worst put your name in bold, and flag you as "less than reputable" to everyone who worked for him: the IRS, the SEC, the Justice Department. The president didn't need a telephone; he had a megaphone.
The same threat was made to conservative groups that might dare play in the election. As early as January 2010, Mr. Obama would, in his state of the union address, cast aspersions on the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, claiming that it "reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests" (read conservative groups).
The president derided "tea baggers."
Vice President Joe Biden compared them to "terrorists."
In more than a dozen speeches Mr. Obama raised the specter that these groups represented nefarious interests that were perverting elections.
"Nobody knows who's paying for these ads," he warned. "We don't know where this money is coming from," he intoned.
In case the IRS missed his point, he raised the threat of illegality: "All around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates . . . And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it's a foreign-controlled corporation."
Short of directly asking federal agencies to investigate these groups, this is as close as it gets.
Especially as top congressional Democrats were putting in their own versions of phone calls, sending letters to the IRS that accused it of having "failed to address" the "problem" of groups that were "improperly engaged" in campaigns. Because guess who controls that "independent" agency's budget?
The IRS is easy to demonize, but it doesn't exist in a vacuum. It got its heading from a president, and his party, who did in fact send it orders—openly, for the world to see. In his Tuesday press grilling, no question agitated White House Press Secretary Jay Carney more than the one that got to the heart of the matter:
Given the president's "animosity" toward Citizens United, might he have "appreciated or wanted the IRS to be looking and scrutinizing those . . ." Mr. Carney cut off the reporter with "That's a preposterous assertion."
Preposterous because, according to Mr. Obama, he is "outraged" and "angry" that the IRS looked into the very groups and individuals that he spent years claiming were shady, undemocratic, even lawbreaking. After all, he expects the IRS to "operate with absolute integrity." Even when he does not.
More from Kimberly Strassel at the WSJ
Write to email@example.com.
May 19th, 2013
Refocus Notes: So, why would an entire US revenue agency be devoted to such a non-revenue generating cause as political harassment?
Once one answers that question, and the answer is quite obvious, then we can see this particular argument going up in smoke.~BLS
“I’m mad. It is un-American, it is wrong, and we have to make sure that this gets fixed,” Missouri’s senior senator said. “There’s a reason Lady Justice wears a blindfold in America. That is because in America, we don’t apply the law based on who you are, who you know, or what you believe. We apply the law equally.”
McCaskill went on to say that the targeting of one group based on political beliefs “infuriates” her.
“We should not only fire the head of the IRS, which has occurred, but we’ve got to go down the line and find every single person who had anything to do with this and make sure that they are removed from the IRS and the word goes out that this is unacceptable,” she said. “It is un-American, it is wrong, and it cannot occur again.”
Refocus Notes: Notice here that the Senator pointedly directs her remarks towards the IRS only and wants an investigation "down the Line" and not "up the line."
However the problem with this argument is that it assumes that political bias, which is clearly not supposed to be an IRS consideration, was being pursued despite the fact that there would be no actual advantage in agency revenue or otherwise in going after only a certain group or individuals.
So, why would an entire US revenue agency be devoted to such a time-wasting, non-revenue generating cause as political harassment? Once one answers that question, and the answer is quite obvious, then we can see this particular argument going up in smoke.
McCaskill concluded by saying many groups claim to be charities while doing political work and that it is a problem which needs to be fixed “but not in a way that highlights one belief over another.”
May 19th, 2013
What do you get from the Obama Regime when journalists repeatedly ask a severely damaging question ten different ways?
Ten different answers, all meaning the same thing, and none of them actually answering the question, insisting that the answer is "irrelevant."
Indeed, if the answer is irrelevant, then why not simply voice it?
The question is very simple, so why is it that no one will admit to where the President was when US soil came under fire in Benghazi? Only the President has the authority to act or not act, in such foreign hostility situations, as the case may be.
The urgent call came in and the President failed to perform his assigned duties, it's as simple as that.
May 19th, 2013
-The Benghazi scandal
-The Obama DOJ actually seized months of phone records of Associated Press journalists secretly
-Obama's EPA also targeted Conservative Groups while giving Liberal and green energy groups carte' blanche
It's as if everything Conservatives have been warning about for the last five years has been proven true and in spades. In the Jon Stewart video featured in this article, you get to actually see the gut-reaction of most Liberals upon finding out that their man Obama is not, necessarily, the Messiah they all thought that he was.
More like the Beast, quite frankly.
But, a Liberal Media Star who actually has the intellectual honesty to point out how absurd and completely wrong this Saul Alinsky-style Conservative-Christian-Right-wing targeting is, rather than trying to defend it like many Leftists?
This is the difference between a true old-style Liberal and mindless, Left-Wing, apparatchik-like "Social Liberals." In fact today, in the modern day, Social Liberal is actually code for Socialists or Socialism, a US grouping of pinheads which have grown in number like weeds in the last eight years.
Indeed, Liberals don't always follow the same codes much in the same vein as Conservatives for those who might be surprised at Stewart's reaction. For instance, Sen. Rand Paul, a Conservative super-star, has often spoke of himself as a "classical government Liberal" which essentially means less government and more Liberty, a thing completely in opposition to the radical Liberals of today.
Hmmm.... really, many might be saying right now?
Yes, it is true but one must remember that the times and the history dictate the defining of the various ideologies as the meanings sway and blur over the years. The Founders, who set forth the foundation of America, were in fact, classical government Liberals. This is mainly because, in their day, the Founders were bucking the trends of current tradition and thought, and setting off on a completely new path and form of government, which was not at all conventional in its time.
Thus they were the Liberals of their time, but as their ideological brilliance grew and spread into the mainstream of the day, it became more of a foundation of US political tradition, which embarks the term Conservative in the modern day.
We Conservatives may not agree with Stewart on most political points, but at least we can respect him as one of the few on the radicalized Left who stands mostly on principle. However, Stewart runs a comedy show, for heaven's sake, albeit one highly successful.
Which leads us to the next big story as it regards principles or rather those who show a rather startling lack of any principles whatsoever.....
May 18th, 2013
Fox News via AP
Authorities in hazardous materials suits searched a downtown Spokane apartment Saturday, investigating the recent discovery of a pair of letters containing the deadly poison ricin.
Few details have been released in the case, and no arrests have been made. Federal investigators have been searching for the person who sent the letters, which were postmarked Tuesday in Spokane.
The letters were addressed to the downtown post office and the adjacent federal building, but authorities have not released a potential motive. They also have not said whether the letters targeted anyone in particular.
Ricin is a highly toxic substance made from castor beans. As little as 500 micrograms, the size of the head of a pin, can kill an adult if inhaled or ingested.
There have been no reports of illness connected to the letters.
FBI agents, Spokane police and U.S. Postal Service inspectors descended on the three-story apartment building Saturday morning and the investigation continued into the afternoon.
FBI spokeswoman Ayn Sandalo Dietrich would not say whether agents were questioning anyone in connection with the case.
"We are not actively looking for a subject," Sandalo Dietrich said. "We are not asking the public's help in bringing someone in."
Despite the hazmat suits, officials said apartment residents were not at risk, and people were seen coming in and out of the brick building in the city's historic Browne's Addition neighborhood.
"There's no public risk," Sandalo Dietrich said.
Sandalo Dietrich would not say specifically why the FBI was searching the apartment.
"Information we developed led us to believe this was a productive spot to search," she said.
Two letters containing the substance were intercepted at the downtown Spokane post office Tuesday.
The Postal Service has received no other reports of similar letters, said Jeremy Leder of the Postal Inspection Service on Saturday.
In a statement following the discovery, the Postal Service said the "crude form of the ricin suggests that it does not present a health risk to U.S. Postal Service personnel or to others who may have come in contact with the letter."
The Spokane investigation comes a month after letters containing ricin were addressed to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a Mississippi judge. A Mississippi man has been arrested in that case.