Blog Archives

Progressives Made Their Beds; It’s Time They Lay In It

Oct 20, 2013
Derek Hunter

Throughout the government shutdown, Democrats, who knew Republicans wouldn’t be able to delay Obamacare, routinely said, “It’s settled law.” President Obama was re-elected, they say – though he said almost nothing about Obamacare during the campaign, and what he did say amounted to platitudes he knew were false. And the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional.

The debate was over, progressives crowed. It was going to happen. Soon they will be eating crow, and Republicans have to position themselves smartly and strategically now to make sure that crow is served up to them on a silver platter.

The roll out of Obamacare has been a disaster that makes “New Coke” look like the iPad. The website rarely works, and when it does, it sends incorrect information to insurers. And when young and healthy people do sign up, they discover they’re going to be paying exponentially more for insurance to subsidize premiums for wealthy retirees.

That last one should stick in the craw of everyone under 35. They will be paying thousands of dollars per year more so retirees who technically have no income but own their homes and are living off savings and investments – which don’t count as income when it comes to subsidies for the “poor.” And they will be paying for this until they reach 65 and go on Medicare, at which point still younger people will be subsidizing them.

In short: Obamacare is a massive wealth “spreading” from the young and struggling to the old and well off.

Add to that Obamacare’s devastating impact on the economy and part-timing of the American workforce, and you can almost see the train flying off the rails.

There will be attempts at bi-partisan “fixes” to some of the more visible problems caused by Obamacare. Republicans and Democrats have been working together to delay or repeal the medical device tax and change the definition of a full-time employee back to 40 hours per week from Obamacare’s 30 – to name just two.

Republicans must resist the urge to help with these “fixes.”

We just spent a month being lectured by arrogant know-it-alls about how Obamacare is “settled law.” So keep it settled.

Obamacare is failing already, and it will continue to fail in more spectacular ways as we move forward, let it.

Democrat wrote the bill, Democrats voted for the bill, a Democrat president signed it into law. It’s theirs. Make them live with it. As is.

Do not change one comma, one letter. It’s settled law! This is what they wanted, this is what people voted for. If the full failure of Obamacare isn’t allowed to happen, if “fixes” are passed, it will live on in a money-sucking spiral of destruction that will lead to a complete and total government takeover of health care in this country – which is their goal.

It’s going to be painful, but it’s also going to be quick. And the pain will be nothing compared to the damage to the economy and our future if this Frankenstein’s monster is helped to limp into permanency.

Meanwhile, this is also a chance for conservative groups to flex their muscles (and ample money) in a non-circular firing squad way. I have to address them directly now.

Set up a website as a clearinghouse for Obamacare failure stories.

I know you don’t play nice with each other, but get over it. One website, not competing websites – and the focus has to be spreading these collected stories to the media, both national and local. I know you love adding to your email lists, but this can’t be about that. This has to be about spreading the truth the media will do its damnedest to ignore.

Gather stories from any source possible, including user-submitted. Verify them and record the actual people going through them on video in 30- and 60-second clips. Then blast them out daily to every local media outlet in their area. And post new ones on the site daily. Go around the media like President Reagan used to. Overwhelm them into covering the truth.

It’s going to take money, but this can’t be a fundraiser for you. Asking people for money is understandable in normal circumstances, but this is not a normal circumstance. Collect stories, film them and get them out there – that is the only purpose here. If you want to win, that is. If you’d rather be the voice of the conservative movement or the Tea Party group, then that’s your priority – not making the country a better place – and I can’t help you.

Republicans have to be united. Conservatives have to be united. If done right, this effort will have no spokesman on TV. It will be a conduit for getting real people with real Obamacare horror stories in front of any camera, at any time, anywhere in the country. It will be a major undertaking, a massive database and possibly the most important thing any or all of you can do over the next year.

Progressives are unified and indignant. They are indifferent to the cost to both the country and individual, and the pain to the individual is, to them, irrelevant. This is about the concept.

To protect their agenda, they will highlight any success story, no matter how dubious. Conservatives must beat them at their own game. They trot out personal stories constantly; we must do the same. If the president gives a speech touting Obamacare in Fresno, Calif., every reporter within 100 miles should be served up a menu of people suffering under it before Air Force One touches the ground.

This is a winnable fight. It’s our fight to win. But if there’s one thing Republicans and conservatives excel at, it’s snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Obamacare is a disaster, not just in code on a website, but in concept and construction. It survives if we allow it to survive. No more delays, no more defunds, and no more changes. Every unconstitutional change the president makes must be immediately met with a court challenge, even if it’s good. It’s his law. It’s his “medicine.” Make him take it.

Source

Troll the NSA

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Copy and paste this text into an email and send to a friend. Let’s see how good the surveillance software really is.

Hey! How’s it going? I’m all right.

My job is so shitty I wish I could overthrow my boss. It’s like this oppressive regime where only true believers in his management techniques will stay around. I work marathon-length hours and he’s made all these changes that have made it the worst architecture firm to work at in Manhattan. Like he moved the office to the Financial District and fired my assistant. She was the only one who knew where the blueprints were! I need access to those blueprints to complete my job! F my life, right? And he keeps trying to start all these new initiatives to boost revenue, but seriously we just need to stick to what we do best. There’s only one true profit center. I seriously feel ready to go on strike at any second.

I just read this article about how these free radical particles can cause the downfall of good health and accelerate aging. These could actually cause death to millions of Americans. If these particles are flying around undetected everywhere, does that mean we’re all radicalized?

Have you seen the second season of Breaking Bad? I just finished it. I couldn’t believe that episode where they poison the guy with ricin! That was the bomb! I won’t say any more because I don’t want to reveal the earth-shattering events to come.

Oh! So I’ve been planning a big trip for the summer. I’m thinking of visiting all of the most famous suspension bridges in the United States. So probably like the Golden Gate Bridge, The Brooklyn Bridge, and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. I’m gonna bring my younger brother and I know he’ll want to go to bars, so I’m thinking of getting him a fake drivers license, but I hope that doesn’t blow up in my face.

Okay, I gotta run! I’m late for flight school. I missed the last class where we learn how to land, so I really can’t miss another one. Talk to you later!

Source

What to Do with the Power of the IRS

June 6, 2013
By Greg Richards

In testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee Monday, we heard from Alexis de Toqueville’s “little battalions” of social relationships, political pedagogy, and cultural argument — i.e., the soul of American civic society.  These are the ones who were abused by the IRS in being denied timely consideration of their applications for tax-exempt status to put them on a level playing field with the forces of the left.  And shocking testimony it was, well worth watching on C-SPAN (www.c-span.org, then look for “Conservative Groups Testify on IRS Scrutiny”).

In an essay three days ago in American Thinker, Herbert E. Meyer (who, as vice chairman for National Intelligence Estimates at the CIA, in the face of overwhelming conventional wisdom, including from the Agency itself, identified for William Casey and President Reagan that the Soviet Union, far from being a permanent presence on the world scene, was in fact decaying from inside and on the verge of collapse, thus providing the basis for Reagan’s strategy to win the Cold War) suggested that there would never be a smoking gun in the IRS conspiracy because (a) it is not necessary and (b) that is not the way things work at the top.  The leftists are all working from the same playbook.

Sander Levin, the ranking Democratic member of House Ways and Means, in what is doubtless his understanding of what went wrong, said in his opening statement, “The handling of these applications was gross mismanagement by the IRS Exempt Organization Division.”

But it wasn’t.  It was a well-executed mission.

Remember the status of the Tea Party.  It had sprung up spontaneously after Rick Santelli on CNBC struck a nerve by articulating the unfairness of the bailouts by the federal government.  The Tea Party had no organization.  It had no single leader or leadership structure.  And yet it struck the 2010 elections like a tuna hitting a fishing line and returned control of the House to the Republicans.

So when the left in all its components — and remember that there are no stronger advocates of high bureaucratic pay and big government than those who work for it — looked out at the coming landscape for the 2012 election, what was the greatest threat?  Another strike at the polls by the Tea Party, which at that time did not show up on conventional measurements of political activity and power.

The Tea Party and its confrères represented a real but unmeasurable threat not just to the Obama administration per se, but to the leftist project in general.  It was a new, anti-leftist force that had to be brought under control.

What is the real attitude of the IRS to conservatives?  Contempt.  Which we saw from both Mr. Shulman and Mr. Miller, former and removed acting commissioners of the IRS, last week.

Question to Douglas Shulman, IRS commissioner for five years until late last year: “It appears you visited the White House 95 times [since increased] during your tenure as IRS Commissioner.  What did you do on those visits?”

Mr. Shulman: “Participated in the Easter Egg Roll with my children.”

But if we are not likely to get a smoking gun and if the IRS has a culture of contempt for conservatives, what can we expect to get from these hearings?  A lot.  Not least the vocabulary to deal with the crisis.

Targeting of conservative groups and suppressing of conservative participation in the public forum by the IRS…

…is not “a mistake.”

…is not “a failure.”

…is not “due to incompetence.”

…is not “a breakdown.”

Rather, it is a manifestation of the leftist project.  A leftist storm has blown through the IRS, and we are seeing in the hearings the debris line left by that storm.  But now that the IRS has been infested by the leftist project, cleaning up the debris is not enough.

If conservative cultural and political activity is to continue unmolested in this country, the IRS must be eliminated.  It is too disdainful of American mores, and it is too powerful.  Neither of those things will change with a new commissioner and whatever is the final disposition of Lois Lerner.

Of course, the nation must have a revenue collection agency.  As a first cut, perhaps the new agency would have six regional and independent divisions.  They would be located in offices around the country, and there would be no single IRS commissioner in Washington.

The six agency heads would report to Congress every six months on the activities of their agencies on penalty of perjury.  There would be new offices of ombudsman for each regional agency.  The ombudsmen would testify to Congress along with the agency heads every six months as to the number and type of complaints they had received and what had been the disposition of those complaints.

All salaries in the new six agencies would start at 10% below the equivalent levels in the current IRS.  There would be no union in the six agencies, because the agencies must represent the interests of the country and that alone.  Something like that.

The current IRS is sick and corrupt.  This is what the Democrats, even the ones appalled by the activities just revealed, do not understand.  They think this behavior is isolated.  It isn’t.  It is the leftist project come to fruition, promoting unlimited power for government and brooking no opposition.

The limited government of enumerated powers created by the Founding Fathers and embedded in the Constitution is illegitimate in the eyes of the left.  That is why this mission was not “a mistake.”

We must act on this knowledge, or we will be complicit in the dispossession of our liberty.  They say about power, “Use it or lose it.”  We must act while we still can.

Source

Anonymous Cincinnati IRS official: “Everything comes from the top.”

A story in the Washington Post yesterday about the Internal Revenue Service’s Cincinnati office, which does most of the agency’s nonprofit auditing, clearly contradicted earlier reports that the agency’s targeting of Tea Party groups was the result of rogue agents.

The Post story anonymously quoted a staffer in Cincinnati as saying they only operate on directives from headquarters:

As could be expected, the folks in the determinations unit on Main Street have had trouble concentrating this week. Number crunchers, whose work is nonpolitical, don’t necessarily enjoy the spotlight, especially when the media and the public assume they’re engaged in partisan villainy.

“We’re not political,’’ said one determinations staffer in khakis as he left work late Tuesday afternoon. “We people on the local level are doing what we are supposed to do. . . . That’s why there are so many people here who are flustered. Everything comes from the top. We don’t have any authority to make those decisions without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive.”

The staff member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said that the determinations unit is competent and without bias, that it grouped together conservative applications “for consistency’s sake” — so one application did not sail through while a similar one was held up in review. This consistency is paramount in the review of all applications, according to Ronald Ran, an estate-tax lawyer who worked for 37 years in the IRS’s Cincinnati office.

This pretty plainly contradicts the story coming out of the IRS that rogue agents in Cincinnati were responsible:

News of (acting IRS commissioner Steve) Miller’s resignation followed revelations that the IRS has identified two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for the “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status, a congressional source told CNN.

Miller said the staffers have already been disciplined, according to another source familiar with Miller’s discussions with congressional investigators. The second source said Miller emphasized that the problem with IRS handling of tax-exempt status for tea party groups was not limited to these two employees.

In related news, I also noted how the Post’s story on the Cincinnati office also appears to contradict what Miller told Congress this week about how many auditors the IRS has covering nonprofit groups. Miller said the figure was between 140-200, but the Post story puts the figure at 900. The Post doesn’t source the figure, but presumably that also came from people the reporters talked with in Cincinnati.

Source

Republican Freshmen Protect Big Government

The Community Development Block Grant program is a perfect example of the blurring of responsibility between the federal government and the states. The program’s roots go back to the Great Society and the wishful belief that the problems of urban Americans could be solved with handouts from Washington. Instead, the program “has degenerated into a federal slush fund for pet projects of local politicians and politically connected businesses.”

That quote comes from Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) who introduced an amendment this week to terminate CDBGs. As McClintock explained to his House colleagues, it is not the federal government’s responsibility to fund purely parochial activities:

Even in the best of circumstances, these are all projects that exclusively benefit local communities or private interests and ought to be paid for exclusively by those local communities or private interests. They are of such questionable merit that no city council is willing to face its constituents and say, this is how we’ve spent your local taxes.  But they are more than happy to spend somebody else’s federal taxes.

Unfortunately, McClintock’s words fell upon deaf ears as his amendment was voted down 80 to 342.  Not a single Democrat supported the amendment. But it was the 156 Republicans who voted against the amendment that doomed it. Among those Republicans voting “no” was House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Worse, only 33 percent of the GOP “Tea Party Freshmen” voted to terminate a program that is completely at odds with the principles of limited government.

As I noted back in May, many of the GOP freshmen have switched from tea to Beltway Kool-Aid. Take, for example, tea party favorite Allen West of Florida. On West’s congressional website, he states that “As your Congressman, I will curb out of control Government spending.” He also says that “we need to challenge the status quo in Washington and stop the floodgates of government spending” and that he will “carry the torch of conservative, small government principles with me to Washington.” West, however, voted to save the CDBG program and he also voted back in May to save the Economic Development Administration, which is another parochial slush fund. In April, he accused Democrats of being communists. That’s pretty rich given that he proceeded to vote to protect programs that engage in central planning.

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