A Philosopher's Blog

DOJ vs AP

Posted in Ethics, Philosophy, Politics by Michael LaBossiere on May 17, 2013
Seal of the United States Department of Justice

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During the Bush administration, I was critical of the misdeeds of government. Being consistent, I apply the same standards to the Obama administration.

While Obama failed to close the infamous prison and has run a drone assassination campaign of dubious legality and morality, his administration  has largely avoided the volume of scandals that have hit previous administrations. While the same Republicans who said very little about 54 attacks on American consulates/embassies under the Bush administration worked tirelessly with the Fox News allies to make Benghazi into a scandal, it would seem that Fox News’ dream has come true: two true scandals on Obama’s watch.

The first involves the IRS which apparently flagged conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status for special review. While it has yet to be proven that Obama was directly connected to this, I do hold that leaders are accountable for the actions of those who fall under their authority. This is, of course, can be mitigated by various factors such as reasonable knowledge and the extent to which the leader directly oversees those in question. For example, the CEO of GE is obviously not accountable for a low-level employee stealing office supplies in some office overseas.

While some claim that this scandal has been deflated, this matter probably needs more sorting out.

The second involves the Justice Department obtaining two months of the Associated Press’ telephone records.  As happened so often in the Bush Administration, this apparent violation of rights was  defended by concerns of national security. In this case, the concern was in regards to a criminal investigation of leaked information in a May 7, 2012 AP story about the CIA stopping an al Qaida bomb plot in Yemen.

During the Bush years, I was critical of using appeals to national security to warrant violations of rights and liberties. Being consistent, I must be critical of the same approach when it is used under Obama.

As I have argued before, such apparent violations can sometimes be properly justified by appeals to national security. In the AP case, there do seem to be legitimate grounds for an investigation. However, the handling of the phone records by the DOJ certainly seems to be excessive and unwarranted and it seems to have grotesquely violated the rights of the reporters and editors, not to mention assaulting the foundation of the free press.  This is clearly an unjust act on the part of the department of justice.

Naturally, I cannot help but compare the views expressed on Fox News and by some Republicans when a Republican administration was engaged in violating rights (such as illegal wire tapping, illegal detention and torture) as well as other wrongful and/or incompetent behavior (such as the invasion of Iraq on the basis of lies). This time around, Fox News and I are sort of on the same side in that we are critical of the IRS and DOJ. However, I am acting on the basis of a consistent application of moral principle and the folks at Fox News are presumably following their usual approach of attacking Obama.

 

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  1. T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 8:16 am

    “The Bush spy program was first disclosed by The New York Times in December 2005, and the government subsequently admitted that the National Security Agency was eavesdropping on Americans’ telephone calls without warrants if the government believed the person on the other end was overseas and associated with terrorism.”

    Bush taps the phones of suspected terrorists, Obama kills them with a drone strike. Yet judging from the tone of Mike’s post, he seems to think that tapping phones is worse.

  2. T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 8:25 am

    And look at what the Democratically controlled Senate did recently:

    The Senate on Friday reauthorized for five years broad electronic eavesdropping powers that legalized and expanded the President George W. Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program.

    The FISA Amendments Act, (.pdf) which was expiring Monday at midnight, allows the government to electronically eavesdrop on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails without a probable-cause warrant so long as one of the parties to the communication is believed outside the United States. The communications may be intercepted “to acquire foreign intelligence information.”

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/12/senate-fisa-amendments/

  3. WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:13 am

    While the same Republicans who said very little about 54 attacks on American consulates/embassies under the Bush administration worked tirelessly with the Fox News allies to make Benghazi into a scandal, it would seem that Fox News’ dream has come true: two true scandals on Obama’s watch.


    This, again, is so much sophist BS. Please provide a link to these 54 attacks. How many times were the embassy walls breached and sensitive data compromised? How many American diplomats died in these attacks? How many times were US forces told to stand down? How many of these attacks were blamed by Bush on American citizens instead of the attackers. Mike, you’re not stupid enough to believe this argument. Do you think we are stupid enough to buy into it?

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

      “…two true scandals on Obama’s watch.”

      It is actually 3 scandals, and the one involving the AP may finally wake the press up.

      • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 11:14 am

        DOJ
        EPA
        Benghazi (which you may count as 2, below)
        IRS
        Still think I’m missing one…

        Not counting Pigford, which isn’t a story if no one covers it.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        The press wakes up for scandals and then slumbers again. If some salacious sex scandal or a big trial were to occur, the media’s cyclopean eye would shift. Except for Fox News- they always have an eye on Obama and the War on Christmas.

      • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Ace of Spades:

        “Idiocracy Was Not a Movie. Idiocracy Was a Documentary Beamed Backwards in Time From the Future.”

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:29 am

      There are 2 scandals to Benghazi:

      1) The business about the video was a total fabrication, and this lie was repeated over and over again.

      2) There is some chance that a couple of people could have been saved, but those who were ready to help were ordered to stand down.

      So Obama lied to the American people and chose not to save people who might have been saved all in order to help his re-election bid.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

        The video explanation seemed to be the most plausible at the time.

        It is not clear if anyone could have been saved. I have heard the Internet rumors about how an officer was relieved for wanting go Kirk and do a rescue mission against orders, but I have yet to see credible evidence of such a thing. I infer at you can link to such a source, right?

        The idea that Obama would let people die to provide some small, possible boost to his election chances is not inconceivable. After all,the Bush folks lied to get us into a needless war. However, there needs to be evidence that his conspiracy is plausible. I don’t think Bush ordered 9/11 and I don’t think Obama ordered that those people be left to die rather than engaging in a rescue mission that was reasonably likely to succeed.

        If there is wrongdoing, I do want t know about it. But, Fox News keeps promising to blow the lid of this and the lid is still there. So either there is nothing to blow or Obama is such a master of deception that he has managed to conceal all such evidence. Or those looking for it are not doing a good job.

        • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:37 pm

          “After all,the Bush folks lied to get us into a needless war.”

          This is far too glib–suitable for a bumper sticker–and does not do justice to a complex reality.

          Did Bush really lie or did he make a bad judgment call in the face of uncertain evidence?

          • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:39 pm

            Obama will get his chance when Iran goes nuclear in a year or two. I predict he will blink and let Iran get the bomb.

        • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:41 pm

          The video explanation seemed to be the most plausible at the time.

          Not if you believe the testimony OF THE ACTUAL PEOPLE there on the ground. The testimony is right there. Here’s the freakin’ videos. Are you lying or just willfully ignorant?


          AND AGAIN, Bob Woodward, from my post below:
          “You were talking earlier about kind of dismissing the Benghazi issue as one that’s just political and the president recently said it’s a sideshow,” said Woodward. “But if you read through all these e-mails, you see that everyone in the government is saying, ‘Oh, let’s not tell the public that terrorists were involved, people connected to al Qaeda. Let’s not tell the public that there were warnings.’ …”

    • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

      Bob Woodward on Benghazi:

      “You were talking earlier about kind of dismissing the Benghazi issue as one that’s just political and the president recently said it’s a sideshow,” said Woodward. “But if you read through all these e-mails, you see that everyone in the government is saying, ‘Oh, let’s not tell the public that terrorists were involved, people connected to al Qaeda. Let’s not tell the public that there were warnings.’ I hate to show, this is one of the documents with the editing that one of the people in the state department said, ‘Oh, let’s not let these things out.’ And I have to go back 40 years to Watergate when Nixon put out his edited transcripts to the conversations, and he personally went through them and said, ‘Oh, let’s not tell this, let’s not show this.’ I would not dismiss Benghazi. It’s a very serious issue. As people keep saying, four people were killed. You look at the hydraulic pressure that was in the system to not tell the truth, and, you know, we use this term and the government uses this term, talking points. Talking points, as we know, are like legal briefs. They’re an argument on one side. What we need to get rid of talking point and they need to put out statements or papers that are truth documents. Okay, this is all we know.”

      http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/woodward-i-would-not-dismiss-benghazi-similar-watergate_724707.html

  4. WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Mike:
    During the Bush years, I was critical of using appeals to national security to warrant violations of rights and liberties. Being consistent, I must be critical of the same approach when it is used under Obama.

    But this “fairness” approach apparently falls by the wayside when the issue is Bush’s overseeing Katrina vs. Obama’s oversight of DOJ, State Dept., IRS, etc. etc. etc. Kinda like Obama claiming credit for low-level Seal Team VI’s killing of OBL but in this Scandalgate he’s all Sgt. Shultz. “I know nuh-think! I saw nuh-think!”.

  5. T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Mike, to be fair, the impression I get is that you gleefully go after Republicans but only reluctantly (and after a great deal of throat clearing) will you hold Democrats to the same standard.

    • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Do you think Mike has any interest in this story? After all, it involves academics:

      Jason Richwine, who resigned from the Heritage Foundation amid protests about his Harvard Ph.D. thesis, on nationalreview.com.

      http://washingtonexaminer.com/michael-barone-in-defense-of-jason-richwine-and-charles-murray/article/2529856

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      I do admit at I have a psychological bias in favor of Democrats. However it is a weak bias and is easily overcome by the misdeeds of Democrats.

      I suppose I also go after Republicans a bit harder because they tend to be somewhat more hypocritical. For example, claiming to be all about the Constitution and Liberty while engaging in voter suppression and restricting liberty.

      The Democrats also have their hypocrites.

      Also, Republicans seem to do more bad stuff. While Obama has his 3 scandals, they certainly pale in comparison to the Bush years- especially comparing types of incidents. So Bush created a target rich environment for outrage, while Obama provides less basis for warranted outrage. So, I am less angry with Obama and the Democrats. But, if they really cared they could earn Bush levels of outrage.

      • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        TJ, do you ever notice how Mike’s “psychological bias” is quite apparent in his ability to see or not see fallacious arguments posted here? You or Magus (of course Mike doesn’t read me and/or ignores me..of course) make the slightest nuance in your arguments that even remotely could be interpreted as a fallacy, and he’s all over it. Biomasses and AJ’s making the most rediculous statements from a leftist POV (or even in AJ’s case, where the extreme right and extreme left meet) and he’s oblvious to it. Not worthy of comment.

        • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 3:54 pm

          Mike is a tough case, but we are educating him slowly. I think there is hope.

        • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 4:05 pm

          Also, I think Mike will sometimes say things just to get us riled up–but will he admit it?

          • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

            Well, yes. Ask Doug-I am not above using psychology in my tactics. But I am scrupulous in regards to competition.

      • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 9:05 am

        Mike speaks of conservative hypocrisy, as I’ve said an overused word. Used hypocritically itself quite often. How’s this for moving beyond hypocrisy? A “Progressive” award-winning blogger, no less.

        http://theothermccain.com/2013/05/01/the-dreaded-wyoming-gop-facebook-hatef-k-rapist-has-been-apprehended/

        And this is by no means a one-off. Numerous other examples are available for inquiring minds. Assuming such exist in academia. Hypocrisy indeed.

  6. T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Obama saying he will get to the bottom of Benghazi is like O.J. promising to find the “real killer.”

    • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Exactly. I mean, what’s his motivation? The media and the Mikeomasses are already making his excuses for him and blaming it all on politicization and “Faux News! Faux News! Faux News!”. Like OJ, he’ll be back on the ol’ golf course in no time.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Do you mean that Obama killed those people?

      I’m still waiting on credible evidence of conspiracy. Interestingly, the Obama admin has been doing a better job regrading attacks on US diplomatic sites than Bush. So, should Bush be held accountable for the 54 attacks on his watch? And 9/11?

      There is certainly a difference in standards being used here on the part of Fox News and certain Republicans.

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:18 am

      Of course Obama did not kill those people.

      There are 2 issues to Benghazi:

      1) The government lied to the American people in a way that helped Obama’s re-election campaign.

      2) Someone made the decision (we still don’t know who) not to send any help to the people fighting the terrorists. The help may have arrived too late, but shouldn’t it have been sent in any case? If the help was not sent to help Obama get re-elected this is a serious issue indeed, but we are not there yet.

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

      There is also the issue of whether the filmmaker should be regarded as a political prisoner as he has received a far harsher sentence than is typical for such a violation.

  7. ajmacdonaldjr said, on May 17, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but everyone’s data has been gathered – all of it – since September 2001.

    See: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/23/opinion/the-national-security-agencys-domestic-spying-program.html?_r=0

    It’s simply a matter of sorting through it when necessary. Storage has become an issue, but not collection.

    See: http://nsa.gov1.info/utah-data-center/

  8. muggleinconverse said, on May 17, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    I’m in shock over the DoJ issue. However, I’m not really surprised by the IRS one. I don’t think it is ridiculous to flag groups that are known as being adamantly opposed to taxes. Fringe conservative groups not only disagree with tax raises but to many of the taxes we already pay. Ensuring that they are actually worthy of tax-exempt status and are not trying to con the system is reasonable. Perhaps the terms flagged were too broad but I don’t think they were ‘playing politics’ so much as using common sense. I haven’t seen anything yet to make me think otherwise.

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      “I don’t think it is ridiculous to flag groups that are known as being adamantly opposed to taxes.”

      The fact that you don’t see anything wrong with the government targeting people because of their beliefs is quite scary. It is even more scary because these beliefs were shared by the founders of the U.S.

      • muggleinconverse said, on May 17, 2013 at 11:06 pm

        I think ‘targeting’ is a bit inflammatory here. Context matters. These groups were asking the government for something, tax-exempt status. The IRS is entitled to look into the financial records of any group asking for this status. If there are specific groups that are known for having issues with taxes, it makes sense to check their paperwork with a fine tooth comb.

        If the IRS was actively pursing individuals that consider themselves tea-partiers, I’d have an issue. That isn’t the case. It wasn’t specific people, it was organizations asking for special status.

        I’m not saying there was no wrong doing or that it shouldn’t be looked into to ensure there was no political backing but I don’t think it is an automatic scandal.

        • WTP said, on May 17, 2013 at 11:20 pm

          The law was not being applied evenhanded lay. Conservative groups were slow tracked and were made to provide unreasonable amounts of information. Your comment “if there are specific groups that are known…” Is the definition of prejudice. Lady Justice wears a blindfold for a reason.

          • muggleinconverse said, on May 17, 2013 at 11:39 pm

            I agree that the terms that they flagged were too broad. I haven’t seen any articles/segments discussing unreasonable amounts of information. Could you link to some so I could be better informed?

            The organizations weren’t being prosecuted for a crime. Lady Justice might wear a blindfold but no one was in a courtroom. Again, individuals turning in their taxes being flagged would be unfair. Groups asking for a special tax status? No.

            • T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:19 am

              Sounds pretty unreasonable.

            • muggleinconverse said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:51 am

              That falls under the too-broad spectrum I spoke about. I was speaking specifically about the Tea Party organizations and taxes.

              However, I know that a lot of religious institutions get away with telling people who to vote for while maintaining tax-exempt status. Obviously, we don’t know the full context from a 39 second clip but I wonder if the question could have been related to something along those lines.

            • T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:21 am

              “Again, individuals turning in their taxes being flagged would be unfair. Groups asking for a special tax status? No.”

              Everyone should be treated equally under the law. Period. No exceptions.

            • muggleinconverse said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:58 am

              If been looking at the requirements on the IRS website. From what I’ve been watching/reading, I’m still not convinced there was any wrong doing. I’m not saying there wasn’t. I’m just saying that I have yet to see any. These type of hearings rarely seem to bring anything meaningful to light and I have a feeling the public will never get the full picture.

            • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:36 am

              People should be treated equally, but people can “earn” different treatment. For example, if I turn in a tax return full of odd deductions, then I would earn a closer look. However, this would need to apply to everyone who does that.

              For example, if I claimed deductions for having solar and wind power added to my house and the cost was double my claimed income, than that should pop a red flag. It might turn out I took out loans, but there would be grounds for thinking I was running a hippie scam.

            • WTP said, on May 18, 2013 at 6:48 am

              “The organizations weren’t being prosecute for a crime…no one was in a courtroom”. I suspect you, nor anyone you are too familiar with, have never been on the business end of an IRS audit. People and organizations were put in the position of having to spend large sums on legal fees. You might also note that prosecutorial vindictiveness is illegal. Again, only certain (conservative) groups were targeted. This is a very big deal.

        • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:30 am

          True-groups that want to not pay taxes would be legitimate targets to see if they qualify. To use an analogy, if I wanted to start a church to get tax exempt status, I think the IRS should check me out. However, the checking needs to be principled and fair. So, if they just went after Christians and ignored Buddhists, that would be wrong. But, as with the political groups, tend to think that religious exemptions are BS except to the degree that he religious group earns the exemption by doing true charity.

      • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:25 am

        On the one hand, I agree that groups who profess a hatred of taxes might thus merit a closer look to see if they are trying some trick to avoid taxes. On the other hand, there is the very good point that this is a philosophical view about the justness of taxation and singling out such a view would be unfair. So, I prefer the fair approach: explicitly political groups should all be flagged together or not at all. However, I contend that spending money in politics should not make a group tax exempt. So, I think he ruling in question is wrong and helps corrupt our system even more.

        • T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:32 pm

          “However, I contend that spending money in politics should not make a group tax exempt.”

          I don’t the tax exempt status was as important as that for these particular organizations the donor lists did not have to be public. Even so, there are allegations that the IRS turned over these private donor lists to Democratic pols.

    • Michael LaBossiere said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Reasonable points. But, the IRS has to be careful to avoid even the appearance of being partisan. Apparently the IRS flagged about 300 applications, 75 of which were conservative groups. The majority were not. However, the IRS bungled its handling of the matter. They should have gone with a general policy that all political groups would get extra scrutiny because of the rule about how the money can be spent. Rather like how the IRS might flag a tax return that has a huge number of odd deductions.

      In general, scandals often seem to grow out of folks try to handle the original problem. Socrates and Confucius got it right: when a mistake is made or wrong is done, it should be admitted and corrected.

      • muggleinconverse said, on May 18, 2013 at 5:59 pm

        All good points. I agree.

      • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 9:27 am

        Can anyone spot Mike’s logical (and statistical) fallacy (fallacies?) here? Please tell us how many of the other 225 were flagged for ideological reasons. Do your own leg work, I’m tired of doing it for you.

  9. T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Umar Lee:

    • T. J. Babson said, on May 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Slowly, slowly, the truth wins out.

  10. T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 11:26 am

    The Diplomad gets to the root of the problem. There is really very little diversity of thought at universities.

    The scandals–Benghazi, AP phones, and IRS, among others–come not just as some have said because the government is too big, and too difficult to control and manage. These scandals have a root that goes much deeper and will prove more difficult to kill than just trimming the size of government a bit. They are products of the arrogant liberal orthodoxy (see here for some thoughts on that) that rules almost unchallenged within our government, universities, media, and Hollywood. There is an unspoken assumption in these corridors of influence and power that it’s the liberal way or the highway. I just came from spending a few days at a major university and was stunned–yet again–by the complete lack of ideological debate, by the denigration of anybody who thinks even remotely different from the prevailing liberal wisdom. There is no diversity of thought, no humility in expressing views, no consideration given that maybe the other side has a valid point. It is, therefore, no surprise that IRS bureaucrats should unquestioningly carry out instructions to give special scrutiny to “Tea Party” groups, or that the State Department spokeswoman should worry about the Republicans in Congress using the truth to criticize the administration, and arguing for the truth to be altered.

    http://thediplomad.blogspot.com/

    • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 7:02 am

      Exactly, TJ. And why is that? Does this apply to anyone we know?

      From what I have seen there’s a deeper root here. It’s a psychology of narcissism. Narcissists won’t change for two reasons, not only do they think too highly of themselves, but if they did change they would be killing the one thing they love most of all. Thus they will fight tooth and nail, make the most ridiculous arguments in the face of conflicting reality, in order to preserve the status quo.

      This narcissism isn’t unique to the political left; you can find it in certain evangelical circles and amongst a few mountebanks of the R’s. It’s been a factor throughout history and will continue to be. But the fertile ground this narcissism has found in the universities, media, and Hollywood is driven by a feedback loop of each group praising each other’s ideas, none of them being able to put together a functioning model of all their wonderful ideas. When their ideas fail, they fall back to excuse making, finger pointing, and the “if we just had more money” whine. In a certain sense it’s quite the endorsement of free market capitalism that we’ve been able to carry such a large, unproductive chunk of our society on the backs of the real tax payers for so long.

      • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 7:03 am

        Oh, yeah..and Faux News!!! Wait, I mean CNN..

      • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 7:27 am

        A comment by David Thompson (http://davidthompson.typepad.com) along the lines of some of what I was getting at. Far more eloquently stated, of course:

        The academic bubble is already starting to deflate, and not before time. But meanwhile the circus is in town.

        As Heather Mac Donald illustrates in the links above, “the massive campus-diversity bureaucracy treats the delusional claims of hyperventilating students with utter seriousness.” And so, in order to cultivate their precious misfit status – and with it, attention and special favours – students are encouraged to flatter themselves by claiming that they face brutalising cruelties on a daily basis while wandering one of the most indulgent and cossetting environments in human history. And if a student’s caricature “identity” is pandered to in this way and rewarded with status and leverage, that same “identity” will be embellished and exaggerated even more. This theatre of the absurd can get quite heated and competitive, as seen in the video linked earlier. And so we end up with a menagerie of self-dramatizing idiots and people who think their own supposedly exotic sex lives are the stuff of degree courses. And, presumably, careers.

        http://davidthompson.typepad.com/davidthompson/2013/05/reheated-34.html?cid=6a00d83451675669e20192aa1589a2970d#comment-6a00d83451675669e20192aa1589a2970d

  11. T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    Even Piers Morgan is starting to wake up:

  12. T. J. Babson said, on May 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    They knew what they were supposed to do.

    In April last year, the Obama campaign identified by name eight Romney donors as “a group of wealthy individuals with less than reputable records. Quite a few have been on the wrong side of the law, others have made profits at the expense of so many Americans, and still others are donating to help ensure Romney puts beneficial policies in place for them.” That week, Kimberley Strassel began her Wall Street Journal column thus:

    Try this thought experiment: You decide to donate money to Mitt Romney. You want change in the Oval Office, so you engage in your democratic right to send a check.

    Several days later, President Barack Obama, the most powerful man on the planet, singles you out by name. . . . The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money.

    Miss Strassel wrote that on April 26, 2012. Five weeks later, one of the named individuals, Frank VanderSloot, was informed by the IRS that he and his wife were being audited. In July, he was told by the Department of Labor of an additional audit over the guest workers on his cattle ranch in Idaho. In September, he was notified that one of his other businesses was to be audited. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never previously been audited, attracted three in the four months after being publicly named by el Presidente.

    http://nationalreview.com/article/348687/autocrat-accountants-mark-steyn

    • WTP said, on May 19, 2013 at 7:10 am

      There’s an excuse for that. The Mikeomasses are working dilligently on it right now. They can always come up with an argument. So long as they live in their self-referential ivory towers, it doesn’t have to be a very good one as each will praise the other. Though funny to see the cracks starting to form when Obambi turned on the press with the DoJ/AP mess. We’ll see how long they continue to suffer for their master.

  13. T. J. Babson said, on May 21, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    They knew what they were supposed to do.

    “What I think is fair to say about Fox … is that it really is more a wing of the Republican Party,” said Anita Dunn, White House communications director, on CNN. “[L]et’s not pretend they’re a news network the way CNN is.” On ABC’s “This Week” White House senior adviser David Axelrod said Fox is “not really a news station.” It wasn’t just that Fox News was “not a news organization,” White House chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel told CNN’s John King, but, “more [important], is [to] not have the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization …”

    These series of “warnings” to the Fourth Estate were what you might expect to hear from some third-rate dictator, not from the senior staff of Hope and Change, Inc.

    Yet only one mainstream media reporter—Jake Tapper, then of ABC News—ever raised a serious objection to the White House’s egregious and chilling behavior. Tapper asked future MSNBC commentator and then White House press secretary Robert Gibbs: “[W]hy is [it] appropriate for the White House to say” that “thousands of individuals who work for a media organization, do not work for a ‘news organization’?” The spokesman for the president of the United States was unrepentant, saying: “That’s our opinion.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/21/how-hope-and-change-gave-way-to-spying-on-the-press.html


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