Thursday, May 23, 2013
THERE ARE CRACKS IN THE DAM –
An update to – IRS scandal
Jay B Gaskill
The Policy Think Site
For the context, please refer to JBG’s earlier articles-
Comedians are having a field day
The IRS scandal seems to be getting closer to the White House. Yesterday it was revealed that President Obama’s chief of staff actually knew about the IRS targeting conservative groups, but never told the president. It’s getting so bad for Obama, one comedian said, that perhaps his only recourse is to kill bin Laden again.
US Senate Races may be affected:
The Republican committee includes four questions it wants Democrats to answer, including whether the targeted lawmaker will return campaign contributions from the IRS union, whether they believe Obama should apologize to those targeted and whether they’d like an independent counsel to investigate the misconduct.
There has not yet been a concerted push from Republicans in Congress to appoint a special counsel to investigate the issue but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has indicated he’s open to the idea.
Similar releases target 11 other Democrats, most of whom are up for reelection or running for Senate in 2014. Sens. Mark Warner (Va.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Mary Landrieu (La.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Mark Udall (Colo.) and Dick Durbin (Ill.) are all heading into reelection; Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) will be up in 2016.
Also included in the attack are Reps. Gary Peters (Mich.) and Bruce Braley (Iowa), both of whom are running for the Senate.
Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/senate-races/301291-nrsc-continues-targeting-dems-on-irs-scandal#ixzz2U2iyX8Nv
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IS THERE A NEW SCANDAL?
The “charity” run by President Barack Obama’s half-brother that was fast-tracked for IRS tax-exempt status is based at a Virginia UPS store, according to its website.
The organization’s IRS filings list another Virginia address that is actually a drug rehab center where the foundation does not appear ever to have been based.
The Barack H. Obama Foundation is run by Abon’go “Roy” Malik Obama, the half-brother of Barack Obama.
[We might ask ourselves, Which IRS official was so kind as to streamline tax exempt status for Roy Obama’s organization? JBG]
Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.
According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.
Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization
This author has no special information either to corroborate or dispute the account just quoted, except these questions:
- DO YOU DETECT A PATTERN HERE?
- IF IT HAPPENED AS ALLEGED, WHY WOULD MS. LERNER DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS?
- WHICH POLITICAL OPERATIVES WERE IN TOUCH WITH HER?
- WHAT DOES THE PRESIDENT SAY?
WHY WASN’T THIS JUST ORDINARY ‘GREED’?
None of these cases are “scandal” in the normal sense. They’re not rooted in any of the deadly sins. In fact, they’re nearly the opposite. They’re simply a mode of governing. They are examples, actually, of deep belief.
Belief that the ends justify the means. That the other side must be delegitimized. That, except during election season, public opinion is beside the point.
A scandal is what happens when you’re exposed doing something you knew was wrong.
We can’t be sure, of course, but I suspect that if you were to go back in time and talk to any of the people involved in these situations—the ones redrafting the Benghazi talking points, the ones pulling the Associated Press logs and going after Fox News, the ones targeting conservative groups—they wouldn’t have been embarrassed in the least. They would have explained how they were helping the greater good.
And I’d posit that this sort of fervor is far more worrisome than mere scandal. A rogue is a rogue and every administration has its scoundrels. True believers are something else.
This was just written by Jonathan V. Last, Senior Writer for The Weekly Standard, May 22, 2013.
I believe Mr. Last was actually describing another parallel with the Nixon presidency.
The Watergate burglary was a misguided, but sincere, attempt by true believers to seize evidence of treason. That is chilling precisely because it posits an end that justifies seriously warped means … justified at least in the eye of the beholder. And it is doubly chilling because the attack on dissent and political opposition using the power of government is the trademark of the bullies-in-sheep’s clothing who attempt to transform the political system to consolidate power.
This is part of a sinister pattern that, if not nipped in the bud, can quickly MUTATE into something very ugly and very authoritarian.
This is my advice to congressional republicans (and any non-conforming democrats who are still in the closet, but might want to give courage a try):
Explore these and the related matters with relentless care, and thoroughly; do not allow a single lead to pass without investigation and exposure.
If this administration cannot achieve transparency and accountability, then is up to the Congress to do so, using its contempt powers to pry loose the truth from the stubborn miscreants who are hiding it.
If the President’s political team keeps it up, these scandals will cascade into an entertaining circus that will surface and resurface well into 2014.
Without a doubt, the administration’s political managers saw these storms coming, and hoped to bleed the bad stories out now, in the interval between the presidential election and the forthcoming midterm elections, so that the electoral the damage could be “managed.” But one effect has been to re-energize the moribund populists who do not trust the president, wake up the GOP establishment, and galvanize the friends of personal liberty to form a common front.
This attempt at scandal containment does not bode well for the president, who desperately wants these converging scandals NOT to be part of the conversation when the Senate and House races heat up in the summer of 2014.
But an erosion of trust in the presidency and an arousal of distrust and suspicion about a falling administration cannot be easily repaired in the coming sixteen months, if at all. Turnout may no longer favor this president.
This has been a test, not so much of this president’s leadership (the absence of which is a settled issue) as it is of his character. Recall that the ancient Greek sage, Heraclitus, famously said that “character is destiny”.
This president’s destiny seems to be trapped in that long and slippery slide from admiration and hope to disappointment and disintegration of support.
When Bill Clinton was at his political nadir, his wife Hillary, had the good sense to call in Dick Morris; and President Clinton had the good sense to heed sage advice. But a serious case of narcissism can operate as a thick bubble that hinders such rescues. Nothing that this author has yet so far detected suggests that Mr. Obama’s bubble is ready to grant insider admission even to a “good” democrat like James Carville, let alone one like Pat Caddell[i].
Mr. Obama believes that he is the smartest, most beloved president in history. That narrative, even more than the false narratives designed to deflect the Benghazi and IRS abuse scandals, could be this president’s ultimate undoing.
Except for the extensive quoted material, this piece is Copyright © 2013 by Jay B Gaskill, attorney at law. Contact via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] Mr. Caddell is a prominent democratic pollster, speech writer and consultant, who has worked for President Jimmie Carter and Governor Jerry Brown, as well as other mainstream democrats, but has sharply broken with the current administration. James Carville is still active in democratic politics, having worked closely with Bill Clinton and, later, for Hillary. He is a fierce defender of his clients in public, but, in private, is painfully candid with them. Not every candidate is ready to hear the truth.