Saturday, June 22, 2013

Nixon vs. Obama: Just Little Bits Of History Repeating


Nixon And Obama Go Together Like Syphilis and Gonorrhea

My apologies to any micro-organisms who might be offended by my comparison.

A big thank you to

Nixon Is STILL The Worst President In US History

But Obama is more corrupt. Richard Nixon is a saintly figure when he is compared to the Organizer-in-Chief. Nixon, however, was bad news on every front, bar none.

Being vain beyond redemption, I like it when heavyweights agree with me.
Here is Art Laffer from two weeks ago.

Nixon did all sorts of things wrong: the import surcharge, the wage and price controls, the huge increase in social spending, the doubling of the capital gains tax rate. But to my way of thinking, Nixon’s biggest problem was going off gold.

And here is my own assessment of Richard Nixon from this very blog written 12/31/2011.

By the way, dailyreckoning is possibly the most consistently prophetic news site on the web. The emphasis is on investing but traders probably understand the world better than any other group of people. Show me a self-deluded trader and I will show you a former investor. If you want to understand the world, as well as more specific items of interest like the direction of energy and real estate prices, read dailyreckoning.

Kobie vs. Michael. Leno vs. Letterman. Bundy vs. Gacy. Obama vs. Nixon will provide fodder for discussion long after we are all departed. The similarities are impossible to ignore.

Friday, June 21, 2013

What a Week

I suppose the one thing worse than work is being out of work. And I suppose one thing worse than a thousand or so in auto repair is being without an auto. But man...

I accidentally killed a bat this week. He is stuck in the grill of my car. Quite the conversation piece.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brokaw, Get a life

Tom Brokaw is worried about the expansion of the blogosphere;
…I think about my grandchildren, just from a domestic point of view. They’ll still have very good lives, they’ll be able to go places. But it will not be as easy for them. People will be looking in on their lives. We talk about any time that they send an email message, it’ll be there forever in some ways. And what troubles me a lot more with every passing day is the expansion of the blogosphere and the outrageous commentary now hidden behind pseudonyms of one kind or another. It’s been bad for some time. But now it’s become so vitriolic and scabrous and profane — and a lot of misogyny directed at women who are in public office. You read the worst kinds of things about them.
"directed at women who are in public office?" Does he mean Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin? Of course not. Palin has left office and Bachmann soon will. Certainly Sarah Palin has been slandered more than anyone, male or female since the invention of moveable type but Brokaw has never worked up the courage to call out the slimy perpetrators who include Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Maher, and David Letterman who have done so on live television without pseudonyms. Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin have endured more than their share of misogyny both in the blogosphere and the mainstream media but they don't hold political office. Attacks on unnamed women by by people hiding behind pseudonyms is, I suppose, something we should all be concerned about after we have reined in NSA and the IRS, balanced the budget, and secured the border but in the meantime somehow I think we and even Brokaw's grandchildren can survive this assault on civility. Who the hell is he talking about? Where can we read the worse kinds of things about her? Who is she? Get a life!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Irish legislator denounces the “almost unprecedented slobbering” over the Obama family’s visit

Clare Daly, a TD ( Gaelic Teachtaí Dála), for Dublin North, hit out at the “almost unprecedented slobbering” over the Obama family’s visit. “It’s really hard to know which is worst, whether it’s the outpourings of the Obamas themselves or the sycophantic fawning over them by sections of the media and the political establishment,” she said.
“We’ve had separate and special news bulletins by the State broadcaster to tell us what Michelle Obama and her daughters had for lunch in Dublin, but very little questioning of the fact that she was having lunch with Mr Tax Exile himself,” she said in reference to U2’s Bono. This lady didn't drink the kool-aid.

Ed Markey's Terrible Debate

It may not make a difference but Ed Markey, according to some accounts turned in an incredibly poor debate performance. Politico scored it a draw; "Most of the debate was boilerplate and predictable." The news crew at the Boston Fox affiliate saw it differently and were almost giddy as they did the debate post mortem.

FBI Uses Drones to Spy on Americans But Not very Often

The FBI uses drones to spy on Americans on US soil but very seldom. They are developing the rules and policy governing drone use but apparently there are no rules yet. How reassuring. 

R.I.P Slim Whitman

R.I.P. Slim Whitman. He was consistently more popular throughout Europe, and in particular Britain, than in America, especially with his covers of pop standards, movie songs, love songs, folk tunes and gospel melodic hymns. His 1955 hit single "Rose Marie" held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart for 36 years. A self-taught left-handed guitarist,  he was right-handed, but he had lost almost all of the second finger on his left hand in an accident.

 He was 90.

Rep. Cummings Leaks Testimony, IRS Targets Whistleblower and Bonuses for IRS Hoodlums

In an apparent effort to impede the IRS investigation by the committee on which he serves Congressman Elijah Cummings has released the entire testimony of one Cincinnati IRS employee. John Shafer, who Cummings would like to make the fall guy in the case, was interviewed in a closed hearing on June 6. He is supposedly the "conservative Republican" who claims that he began segregating conservative groups to insure uniformity in the treatment of like applicants.
Keep in mind Shafer is a lower level employee in Cincinnati nevertheless he was asked "do you have any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was involved in the decision to screen Tea Party cases?" Shafer replied, "I have no reason to believe that." and "Do you have any reason to believe that anyone in the White House was involved in the decisions to centralize the review of Tea Party cases?" he was asked. "I have no reason to believe that," he replied.
You may view and download the entire 200 page document here.
Of course proving that not everyone in the agency thinks the White House was not involved does not excuse the endemic malfeasance that permeates the IRS. Nor does it explain why Lois Lerner felt compelled to take the 5th amendment or why, like Lerner, Holly Paz was placed on administrative leave. The scandal does not stop with the Tax Exempt / Government Entities division. Suspiciously timed audits and releases of confidential tax information indicates coordination from someone either in the White House or Obama campaign. A late breaking story by CNN hints that someone in the Obama administration used the IRS as a private hit squad to harass any enemy of the administration including critics of the Department of Homeland Security.
P. Jeffrey Black was a DHS air marshall. He had taken a long list of complaints to lawmakers about how the air marshals service was run, ranging from problems keeping marshals on flights to allegations of ineptitude and favoritism by managers. The same year he retired, he appeared in “Please Remove Your Shoes,” a documentary critical of the airline security measures travelers endure on every trip.
Then came the audit, which an Internal Revenue Service agent told him about the same day the movie premiered — “almost to the hour,” he said.
The year-long investigation included the placement of a $24,000 lien against his home. In the end, the IRS found out Black owed them $480 — while the government owed him $8,300.
Black paid his $480; the government never paid him, saying the statute of limitations had run out. Now, he thinks someone — perhaps the Air Marshal Service, the Department of Homeland Security or elsewhere in the Obama administration — was using the IRS to retaliate against him.

What fate awaits the miscreants in the crime syndicate known as the IRS? Bonuses of course. Sequester be damned, the IRS is scheduled to hand out $70 million in employee bonuses.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa says his office has learned that the IRS is executing an agreement with the employees' union on Wednesday to pay the bonuses. Grassley says the bonuses should be canceled under an April directive from the White House budget office.
The directive was written by Danny Werfel, a former budget official who has since been appointed acting IRS commissioner.
"The IRS always claims to be short on resources," Grassley said. "But it appears to have $70 million for union bonuses. And it appears to be making an extra effort to give the bonuses despite opportunities to renegotiate with the union and federal instruction to cease discretionary bonuses during sequestration."
The IRS said it is negotiating with the union over the matter but did not dispute Grassley's claim that the bonuses are imminent.
Suck it up Cummings, this scandal is not going away.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

IRS Targeted Conservative Hispanics

Here's another IRS targeting abuse. Same old story but a new victim, conservative Hispanics.

Snowden Seeking Asylum in Iceland

Edward Snowden is seeking political asylum in Iceland. In a column in Icelandic daily newspaper Frettabladid, WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson wrote that a middleman had approached him on behalf of Snowden. In the past Snowden has expressed fear that Iceland would cave to pressure from the US. "Iceland could be pushed harder, quicker, before the public could have a chance to make their feelings known, and I would not put that past the current U.S. administration," Snowden said in an online forum in the Guardian on Monday.
The Icelandic government has declined to comment on the alleged request. "The main stipulation for seeking asylum in Iceland would be that the person must be in Iceland to start the process," said Johannes Tomasson, the chief spokesman for Iceland's Ministry of Interior in Reykjavik. "That would be the ground rule No. 1."

State Senator Elbert Guillory Tells Why He Left The Democratic Party

After Karen Carter Peterson, the Louisiana Democratic Party Chairwoman and state senator took to the senate floor to suggest that opposition to Obamacare was based on a prejudice toward "the black man in the White House" another black Democratic senator left his party. This defection gave Republicans control of the senate for the first time since reconstruction. Senator Elbert Guillory is graced with an affable, natural, eloquence that is very rare in politics today. Listen as he explains why he left the Democratic Party.

Monday, June 17, 2013

And By The Way, We Are Now Arming Al Qaeda-Backed Guerillas In Syria

Not since the Nixon Reign of Terror has this country known so much chaos. Whether it is by design or just the logical result of handing the keys to the White House to a community organizer, I cannot say. But our country is seriously mismanaged.

In other times, US involvement in a civil war would be page one. US involvement in a civil war where the US supported AL QAEDA!!! if only by proxy would not just stop the presses, it would stop the country. Today, that news item is #37 on the hit parade. The competition for coverage has grown fierce, so it seems.

So, how about Kim and Kanye and their new ratings grabber?

James O'Keefe Tracks Down New Hampshire AG for Surprise Interview

James O'Keefe tracks down New Hampshire Associate Attorney General Richard Head. This is the first I've heard of this case so there is little I add can beyond the contents of the video. In Head's defense I have to admit he handled the ambush interview fairly well.

Holly Paz Admits Scrutinizing Tea Party Application in DC - Placed on Leave

Since her named popped up in the IRS scandal the name Holly Paz has invoked a special fascination in me. Maybe it's because the name reminds me of a character in Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Holly Golightly. At first I thought Paz was employed in Cincinnati, also the home of Proctor and Gamble and reasoned that Holly Paz sounded like a P&G creation; something that would make the air smell fresher, something that would prevail over smelly socks and doggy odor. No, Holly Paz is a real person who works for the IRS in Washington and who evidently been cooperating with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cooperating? Well, probably motivated by a sense of self preservation but cooperating in part nevertheless.
Paz has acknowledged she was personally involved in reviewing 20 to 30 Tea Party applications for tax-exempt status as far back as 2010, a detail that further challenges the agency's initial claim that the practice of singling out those groups was limited to a handful of employees in Ohio. Naturally Paz won't go so far as to admitting any political motivation behind the targeting but her admission that she and an IRS lawyer Carter Hall were reviewing the cases in Washington pretty much kills the "Cincinnati rogue agent" narrative which been used to excuse the viewpoint discrimination practiced by the IRS. The day after Paz was interviewed by committee investigators Lois Lerner invoked the 5th amendment.

Update: From Cincinnati Com:
Paz’s lawyer confirmed Saturday that she has been placed on administrative leave from the agency, but he said she’s done nothing wrong. “Holly Paz was the whistle-blower and was the first to point out the problem,” said Roel Campos, her Washington attorney, in an emailed statement.
He noted that Paz was on maternity leave during two key time periods – when the targeting started in early 2010, and again when the IRS sent letters to tea party groups asking questions the agency now admits were improper. Both times, Paz returned from leave to discover problems, and both times she brought them to the attention of her boss, Lois Lerner, Campos said.
Yeah, everything went to hell every time she left. What will she find if she returns after her administrative leave?

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Congress to Investigate IRS Scandal Number 3

I posted on this case when the story first broke. The story involves a California health insurance company that was raided by the IRS and the health files of 10,000,000 Americans were unlawfully seized. This includes, according to the complaint which you may read here, "the medical records of every state
judge in California, every state court employee in California, leading and politically controversial members of the Screen Actors Guild and the Directors Guild, and prominent citizens in the world of entertainment, business and government, from all walks of life."
This case has not drawn much national media attention but perhaps that is about to change. Leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee have sent a letter to Internal Revenue Service acting chief Daniel Werfel requesting information about the seizure. The committee leaders asked Werfel to respond to the letter by Tuesday, June 25. This will bring to 3 the number of House committees investigating the IRS in addition to the Senate Finance Committee.
Reading the details of the case in the complaint engenders, aside from outrage, real and genuine embarrassment that the government would hire individuals so overbearingly arrogant and incredibly stupid. Did anyone in the IRS think the company was just going to forget the 10 million personal medical records it needs to do business? Why were 15 armed agents sent? Why did the IRS take medical records which are protected from seizure by federal law? The IRS was investigating a former employee of the company and the medical records were not germane to the investigation. Quoting from the complaint;
No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the
seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known
criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS
search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of
the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these
privileged records. The IRS agents ignored and discarded each of these warnings, ignored their
own published and public-reliant rules and governing ethical requirements, and ignored the
limitations of the court’s search warrant authorization, seizing the records under threat of
destroying company property.
Regarding the honest, hard working, and dedicated public servants of the IRS we have heard so much about from Democratic Senators and Representatives but have yet to see for ourselves these sections of the complaint paint a different picture.
Adding insult to injury, after unlawfully seizing the records and searching their intimate
parts, Defendants decided to use John Doe Company’s media system to watch basketball,
ordering pizza and Coca-Cola, to take in part of the NCAA tournament, illustrating their complete disregard of the court’s order and the Plaintiffs’ Fourth Amendment rights.
Then there is the employee of the month described here:
A special agent involved in the matter has a known and legally documented history of
misconduct, ethical breaches, and criminal activity, including, but not limited to, making
false statements to a grand jury, making false statements to prospective witnesses in his
investigations, misleading prospective witnesses about their rights in his investigations,
obstructing independent investigations into his conduct or the matter at hand, disclosing
  without authorization grand jury secret material in violation and contempt of federal court orders, invading and abusing search warrants and subpoenas for privileged information, including patient privileged information, attorney-client privileged records, and marital privileged information. 
The irony of this case is that under Obamacare the IRS will be responsible for maintaining confidential insurance medical records. What could possibly go wrong?