Here are my observations on items in the news. Continue reading
Here are my observations on selected items in the news.
YOU JUST CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP – The Centennial School District in Portland, Oregon voted last week to change the names of three of their elementary schools – Lynch View, Lynch Wood, and Lynch Meadows – in response to some parents and school officials who believed “lynch” is a bleak reminder of a time in America when blacks were publicly hanged – lynched – by white mobs and the KKK. One name change document stated that “the Lynch school names have proven to be a disruption in the learning environment for our increasingly diverse student population.”
Never mind that they were originally named after pioneering berry farmers Patrick and Catherine Lynch, Irish homesteaders, who initially donated land to build a one-room school house in 1900. Officials were so pleased with that donation and a subsequent bargain land sale by the Lynches that they named the whole district Lynch, which became Centennial in 1976 when it merged with another district.
Incidentally, a survey of Lynch school alums revealed that 360 were opposed to the name changes, while just 17 favored the changes. (Rick Anderson, LA Times.com)
SUSAN RICE OFFERS ADVICE ON NORTH KOREA – Who asked her? The leftist CNN, of course. “History shows that we can, if we must, tolerate nuclear weapons in North Korea,” Rice said, “the same way we tolerated the far greater threat of thousands of Soviet nuclear weapons during the Cold War.”
Surely, she realizes that was a different time with a Soviet leader in Nikita Khrushchev, who was a far cry from Kim Jung Un. Under a strategy of mutually assured destruction, neither the U.S. and Soviet Union wanted to launch nuclear weapons.
Only a national security failure like Rice would come up with a silly comparison like that. Serving as ambassador to the UN and former President Obama’s top national security advisor, Rice admitted to the failure of the Obama administration to stop North Korea from building its nuclear weapons capability. Of course, she also blamed other administrations (those of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush) who were not able to stop it.
BEEN THERE DONE THAT – “Each administration,” she said, “tried a range of measures, from sanctions and pressure, cooperation with China, and other methods we shouldn’t speak about on television, to no avail.
“The fact of the matter is, that despite all of those efforts, the North Korean regime has been able to succeed in progressing with its program, both nuclear and missile,” Rice noted, “That’s a very unfortunate outcome. But we are where we are, and we now need to decide how to proceed.”
Why, despite all of her failures, including her Sunday news show lies about Benghazi, does Rice think the current administration is interested in her advice, but in a New York Times op-ed she offers that “President Trump should soften his rhetoric and accept a nuclear North Korea.”
SPEAKING OF BENGHAZI – The investigation into Hillary Clinton’s cover-up of the terrorist attack on our compound there that resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including our ambassador, got a boost this week by Washington D.C. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta. The judge ordered the State Department to search the state.gov e-mail accounts of Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jacob Sullivan, former aides to Clinton during her tenure as secretary of state, in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act query.
While this may finally result in more answers about the Benghazi scandal and Clinton’s involvement, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton remarked that “It is remarkable that we had to battle both the Obama and Trump administrations to break through the State Department’s Benghazi stonewall. Why are Secretary Tillerson and Attorney General Sessions wasting taxpayer dollars protecting Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration?”
THAT MAKES FOUR STONEWALLS supported by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In earlier posts, I wrote about two – the Lynch-Clinton meeting document redacting, and the failure to reveal which Obama staffers did unmasking of whom – now he’s forcing Judicial Watch to fight for the Benghazi papers. The fourth involves the protection of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen and Lois Lerner, who stonewalled searches for documents covering their treatment of conservative organizations seeking tax exempt status. You may recall that Lerner took the Fifth Amendment during Congressional testimony and is now enjoying her government pension. Unbelievably, Obama-appointee Koskinen still holds down the IRS position under President Trump.
THE IRS TARGETING OF CONSERVATIVE non-profit organizations continues under the Trump administration, according to Kimberly A. Strassel of The Wall Street Journal. She recently reported that Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Sound Government, told her that nothing has changed since Trump came into office. His organization has been funding a class action suit in Ohio federal court on behalf of groups targeted by the IRS, at a cost so far of $3 million. He’s now fighting the DOJ (Sessions) which has refused to turn over documents or make witnesses available for depositions. The Texas Patriots Tea Party continues to fight the IRS after five years of stonewalling.
ANOTHER TALE FROM THE WASHINGTON SWAMP – Most likely, you’ve never heard of Paige Herwig. She was a counsellor to former Attorney General Loretta Lynch (aka Elisabeth Carlisle) at the time Lynch met with former President Bill Clinton in her airplane, parked in Phoenix. Herwig’s name popped-up several times in the 417 pages of meeting documents recently obtained by Judicial Watch.
As often happens in “the Swamp,” bureaucrats resurface in another position. Herwig now serves as deputy general counsel for the minority (Democrats) on the Senate Judiciary Committee, where she will have access to all investigative documents, including those with communications between her and her former boss, Lynch (Carlisle). Isn’t that just great?
As Election Day neared, did you notice how the media was obsessed with the need for unity in the country to heal a divided nation? The gall; after they were directly responsible for causing that divide by the negative coverage of Donald Trump’s campaign, while ignoring the activities of Hillary Clinton, the most corrupt person to seek the presidency.* Continue reading
In my Sept. 14, 2016 post, “Bret Stephens for Dummies,” I expressed my disappointment in Stephens for his Wall Street Journal column, “Never Trump for Dummies.” But it wasn’t enough. Yesterday, he felt obligated to twist the knife. Continue reading
Here are a few interesting items you may have missed, depending on your news gathering choices. Continue reading
“Our investigation uncovered substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment … but poor judgment is not a crime.” – Asst. Atty. Gen. Peter Kadzik
Secret e-mail accounts and a coincidental server crash are meaningless.
In his letter regarding the investigation of Lois Lerner and the IRS to the House Judiciary Committee, Kadzik stated that “What occurred is disquieting and may necessitate corrective action; and while they found mismanagement and poor judgement, (they found) no evidence that would support a criminal prosecution.”
While the work of the Select Committee on Benghazi is yet to be completed, Kadzik’s statement reminded me of one of the findings of the Accountability Review Board on Benghazi. Continue reading
I, for one, haven’t given up on the charges of targeting conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service.
Perhaps it’s because I’ve gotten hooked on the daily feature posted by Instapundit, The IRS Scandal, Day XXX, written by Paul Caron of Pepperdine University School of Law, who writes the TaxProf Blog.
On Day 771 (yes, it has been going on that long) Caron reported how the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a viewpoint discrimination lawsuit against the agency can proceed, handing the Obama administration another setback.
The IRS has been stonewalling the lawsuit in an attempt to get through the last days of the Obama administration, but they now have just seven days to appeal Z Street v Koskinen to the full court. Z Street is a Pennsylvania-based pro-Israel group that applied for exempt status in 2009, and was told the agency had a policy that required Israel-related applications to get extra scrutiny by a special unit in Washington. Hundreds of Tea Party groups were similarly targeted.
Remember how we were told that Lois Lerner’s hard-drive was no longer in existence? Then, magically, e-mails were found. The IRS failed to meet a court-ordered deadline to turnover some 6,400 new e-mails miraculously found on her hard-drive. They now say it will be September before they can turn over the documents because – wait for it – they want to ensure there are no duplicates. On Day 768, Caron noted that the agency intends to block any inquiry into its doings and avoid any accountability for its actions.
The IRS has been illegally serving as a political arm of the Obama administration. We must insist on justice for those organizations that have been targeted.
Republicans are just days away from halting candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 plan to fundamentally transform the United States of America.
Republicans now hold the majority in the Senate 54-44-2 and have increased its hold in the House to 246-188.
Even though the president continues to arrogantly flaunt the possession of the veto pen, the euphoria over the GOP’s decisive mid-term win is still high.
Yes, there are those who are concerned with the split within the party between the more conservative Tea Party and traditionalists. More importantly, however, is the concern many of us have over the ease in which Republicans compromised in the passage of the so-called “Cromnibus” spending bill.
“We are going to fight the president tooth and nail if he continues down this path,” said Speaker John Boehner, referring to illegal amnesty, “this is the wrong way to govern. This is exactly what the American people said on Election Day they didn’t want”
We also heard Boehner talk about how the Democrats crafted ObamaCare behind closed doors, his references to the “broken institution,” and “what our constituents want.”
“If, in fact, the president’s actions on immigration are against the Constitution and the rule-of-law,” asked the Washington Times’ Joseph Curl, “then why would the GOP cave in on the budget negotiations and actually allow them to be funded?”
Although the funding only continues through February 2015, support for the bill, in my view, validates the president’s executive action. Continue reading
During Martha McSally’s campaign for Congress in Arizona’s Second District, the left-leaning Arizona Republic reported that, if she were to win, she would have to shed any conservative views she might have if she wanted to serve more than one term.
McSally was finally named the victor this week in a recount over Democrat incumbent Ron Barber, who narrowly beat her in 2012. Barber won the seat formerly held by Rep. Gabby Giffords, who survived wounds inflicted by a crazed gunman in 2011, and resigned from Congress.
In a Dec. 18, editorial, McSally wins; now, the tightrope, the Arizona Republic again found it necessary to caution her that she “will need to plot a moderate course to earn reelection …” and referenced the left’s portrayal of her as a tea-party extremist. “The GOP’s tea-party wing is not shy about threatening primary challenges to lawmakers it deems politically impure,” the Republic seemed to warn.
During her campaign, McSally faced a nasty assault by Americans for Responsible Solutions, the super PAC and nonprofit arm, which has ties to Giffords. See my Sept. 9, 2014 post, GOP addresses women’s issues …”
“It’s time to come together and heal our community,” said McSally. “… my focus will be on what unites us, not what divides us, such as providing better economic opportunity for our families and ensuring our country and community are kept safe.”
A retired Air Force colonel, McSally was the first American woman to fly in combat since the 1991 lifting of the prohibition of women in combat, and flew the A-10 over Iraq and Kuwait. She was also the first woman to command a USAF fighter squadron. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, she earned a Master’s degree from Harvard’s JFK School of Government.
I’m betting McSally will acquit herself just fine when she takes her seat in Congress next month. The Arizona Republic should turn its attention from the tea party to the far left Elizabeth Warren extremists, who now threaten Hillary Clinton.
“The majority report (Democrat) asserts that there was no political bias in the way the IRS selected groups for additional scrutiny and that conservative groups and liberal (progressive) groups were treated equally,” was the finding of the Senate subcommittee led by Michigan’s outgoing Sen. Carl Levin. As usual, the report was released late Friday to avoid major news coverage.
“The minority report (Republican) sharply disagrees with the conclusion reached by the majority staff report,” wrote ranking senior member Sen. John McCain (R–AZ) representing the Republican side. Of the groups singled out for extra scrutiny, he said 83 per cent, or 248 of the 298 groups, were “right-leaning.”
Further, he referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means published study detailing questions asked of conservative groups and progressive groups. The IRS asked conservative groups 1,552 questions, an average of 14.9 per group, while just seven progressive groups were asked a mere 33 questions or 4.7 per group.
For those unfamiliar with details of the IRS scandal, it was Senator Levin, who along with Senator’s Charles Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen.Richard Durbin (D-IL) and others, wrote intimidating letters to the IRS following the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United. See my post, Understanding the IRS scandal, Part 1, March 10, 2014
In the conclusion of the 288-page report, this laughable sentence appears, “(The subcommittee) continued its tradition of in-depth fact finding and frequent consultation that are the hallmark of the Senate’s work and lead to a deepened understanding of the issues.” This is a good spot to tell you that the subcommittee didn’t interview one victim group, conservative or progressive. It reminds me of the Benghazi ARB that didn’t interview Hillary Clinton. And Congress wonders why they rank so low as a group. According to Real Clear Politics, 77.4 per cent currently disapprove of Congress, while just 14 per cent approve.
To see an interesting interview by the WSJ’s Dan Henninger with Cleta Mitchell, one of the attorneys representing conservative groups, click here.
You can find the full report here.
Pay no attention to the Senate report. This issue is not dead by any means. “Lost” Lois Lerner e-mails will surface. Mark my word.