October 4, 2011

Holder, Gunwalker, Fast and Furious: Definitely Impeachable, Into the Realm of Criminal (Update: No Do-overs, Eric)

Filed under: 2nd Amendment,Activism,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:45 pm

Via Bob Owens at Pajamas Media (internal links in original):

Gunwalker: Holder Appears To Be Fast, Furious, and Finished
New documents indicate that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder more than likely perjured himself in congressional testimony about Operation Fast and Furious earlier this year.

Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News and William LaJeunesse of Fox News have been the only mainstream media reporters diligently working on the most important scandal in White House history, and it is no surprise that they concurrently released information indicating that the attorney general, who claimed in direct testimony on May 3 of this year in front of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that he first heard about Operation Fast and Furious “over the last few weeks,” had actually been briefed on the program in a memo by the director of the National Drug Intelligence Center almost a year earlier on July 5, 2010.

copy of the heavily redacted weekly report posted by CBS News offers direct evidence that not only was the attorney general briefed on Operation Fast and Furious, but that he was briefed on it regularly and was well aware that the program was sending thousands of weapons into the hands of the Sinaloa cartel.

Scooter Libby went to jail for far, far less (“lying” to Tim Russert?).

Martha Stewart, among several others, went to jail for something quite similar — lying to investigators. That the “investigators” are members of Congress in Holder’s case and not FBI agents as in Stewart’s case hardly matters, given that testimonies in both instances were given under penalty of perjury.

It matters far more that Eric Holder is the sitting Attorney General of the United States, and clearly should be held to at least as high a standard as a kitchen, housewares, and home-decorating queen — and that a sitting president was impeached by the House (but, sadly, not convicted by the Senate) 12-1/2 years ago for perjury.

On Monday night, Justice Department officials told CBS News that “Holder misunderstood that question from the committee – he did know about Fast and Furious – just not the details.” That would appear to be the posturing of someone who wants to be fired or resign — because the other choices are much, much worse.

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UPDATE, 3 p.m.: Via the LA Times, the excuse cited in the previous paragraph doesn’t pass the stench test —

On May 3, he was asked by Issa when he first learned about Fast and Furious. “I’m not sure of the exact date,” Holder testified. “But I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”

Justice Department officials said Holder was referring to the date when he first learned about the operational details of Fast and Furious, not the program itself.

There’s no “hedging” (a word the LAT used in a Holder pic caption) around “first learned.” If he had meant that he “first learned about the details,” he would have said “I first learned about the details.” Otherwise, we have to assume that he was referring to when he first learned of the existence of the operation.

Holder doesn’t deserve any kind of a do-over. Scooter Libby didn’t get one, and Martha Stewart didn’t get one.

Ari Armstrong, Lizzie Warren, and the ‘Social Contract’

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 10:56 am

Longtime BizzyBlog readers might remember Ari Armstrong as the guy who, along with his wife, proved the truly bogus nature of the “Food Stamp Challenge” back in 2007.

Last week, Armstrong had a brilliant Pajamas Media column: “Elizabeth Warren’s ‘Social Contract’ an Ideological Fantasy.” One key point (among so many): “the wealthy (already) pay for most of the governmental services that others use.”

I want to extend Ari’s point about Lizzie Warren’s stretched-beyond-reason definition of “social contract.”

There is some validity to the argument that parents without children have an obligation to continue to support public schools at reasonable levels even after their kids are grown — but there is a strong case against public schools as currently organized, most notably the past 50 years of substandard performance and costs rising at twice the rate of inflation during almost the entire time.

But when salaries and benefits get out of control and are miles above what the average person in the private sector receives, you’re past the realm of “reasonable.” Pushback is not only understandable but necessary — especially when the beneficiaries won’t budge an inch. Hence Issue 2 in Ohio, for which the only fully informed vote can be “Yes.”

Extending a basic concept beyond the family, society also needs to take care of the elderly who can’t fend for themselves. But somehow, that “social contract” has been rewritten to guarantee middle-class lifestyles to almost any and every retiree, regardless of their means and ability to work, even if they stop working at 62 and live on average to be 90. That’s out of whack.

But it’s far, far worse than even that. Lizzie Warren knows it, but won’t admit the inconvenient truth in front of her ignorant liberal fan base. The truth is this: While at some level, you can semi-excuse the bleating about the “social contract” when one set of living humans agrees to do something for another set of living humans, today’s “social contract” is obligating generations not yet born to the tune of trillions of dollars (tens and even hundreds of trillions if you count “unfunded obligations”) to finance Lizzie Warren’s and the left’s bottomless pit of income- and wealth-transfer schemes — and they have absolutely no intention of letting up.

Obviously, nobody has asked generations yet unborn if any of this is okay, and no one currently alive can properly claim authorization to speak for them. Given the amounts involved (and potentially involved if Lizzie and her leftists get everything they want), no amount of brainwashing will get future generations to agree that taking on these burdens is okey-dokey once they arrive into this world and reach adulthood. Even if the brainwashing were somehow to work, they simply won’t have the means to keep the “contract” going. Lizzie Warren is smart enough to understand this (unlike Sherrod Brown, who I believe really doesn’t), but she doesn’t care.

Top Tier GOP Trip-Ups

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh spoke of how perceived leaders in the race for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination can’t seem to handle prosperity.

Mitt Romney, alleged front-runner several months ago, continues to defend his RomneyCare handiwork, and back in June expressed his firm belief in the fraud known as human-caused global warming. (Rush Pearl of Wisdom of the Day yesterday: “The (Obama) Regime and State-Controlled Media want Romney to be the nominee. That’s what they want. They think Romney is beatable.” Of course he is.)

Rick Perry clings to immigration stands betraying a relative lack of concern about border security and indifference towards the unlawfulness of allowing children of illegal immigrants to get state-subsidized college educations.

Now Herman Cain, who is fresh off of two huge-margin straw poll wins (Florida, with 37%, beating all other rivals by over 20%; and in Kansas City, where “the voters included Republican women convention-goers from 41 states,” winning 49% of the straws, with Perry and Romney getting only 14% and 13%), has fallen into the top-tier trap.

In an ABC-Christiane Amanpour interview which was “full of lame gotchas,” Cain responded miserably to a question about a story in the Washington POS (my new name for the Washington Post) about Rick Perry which is literally dumber than a box of rocks. Cain said that Perry was “insensitive” about … geez, I can’t even stand writing about it, and refuse to link to the Washington POS story. (“POS” stands for “Paper Obviously Stinks,” in case anyone is curious. :–>)

Rush’s thoughts:

So here you have the Washington Post with an unsupported nonstory, and here comes Herman Cain piggybacking on it trying to capitalize on it, essentially letting the mainstream media (in this case, the Washington Post) set the narrative. It’s exactly what I mean. There’s this… I don’t know if you call it a fear or just a mistaken belief that the power in media still exclusively resides in the mainstream media, and it’s those people that you have to get on your side; those people you have to use to get your message out, or what have you, and so that leads to pandering to them. Cain is doing it in this case. The Republican leadership in both the House and Senate are renowned for doing it throughout all of our lives. Even some Republican presidents have done so.

There are no on-the-record sources for this. Cain is out there saying that Perry’s rock stuff was “insensitive.” Perry and his dad tried to cover it up and Herman Cain is out there saying that Perry’s insensitive. There are no on-the-record sources in the Washington Post for this story.

Cain told Sean Hannity later in the day that Perry deserves credit for taking care of the situation if that is indeed what happened (as appears to have been the case), which is fine. But that doesn’t excuse Cain’s fundamental error, which was to accept the premise of any question from a presumptively hostile establishment press. You can NEVER let that happen, and you NEVER answer such a question until you’ve had a chance to evaluate the situation for yourself.

Rush also fairly pointed out that Cain blew it in the ABC interview on the September 22 “gay soldier” question, when the fact is that two members of a 5,500-member audience booed a self-described gay soldier’s question, not the soldier himself (the press, of course, has turned it into a false meme that “the audience booed the gay soldier”; again the truth is that “two audience members booed the gay soldier’s question”; and of course, President Obama has cynically and dishonestly capitalized on the false meme):

Herman Cain is saying, “I should have defended that gay soldier booed during the GOP debate.” So what is it about the lead that some people cannot handle? Cain ends up being launched into the top tier as a result of his performance in this debate and now his whole demeanor changes. He’s gotta weigh in on all this stuff. He acts like he’s reached the top tier, and now he has to act like what he thinks a top-tier candidate would do. That is really misreading this.

I agree totally. I also get the sense from the Hannity interview, and I hope I’m right, that perhaps Cain has learned his lesson. He’d better, or he’ll fall back just as Romney and Perry have — perhaps just in time for Chris Christie to swoop in. (I was in a gathering of mostly conservatives last night. About 60% of them wanted Christie to run. I was not one of them. Unless his positions are far more based in sensible conservatism than currently understood, Chris Christie is not the answer.)

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UPDATE: There’s a third straw poll where Cain cleaned up — at the Midwest Tea Party Convention in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, “Cain won 77 percent of the straw poll vote. He was the only presidential candidate to show up at the convention, though organizers said all the contenders were invited.”

UPDATE 2: Priceless Michael Ramirez cartoon at Investor’s Business Daily — “The Cain Mutiny.”

Tuesday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (100411): ‘Week-old’ Special

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:52 am

Rules are here.

Once again, I have a number of items which, though all a week old, should be ripe for comment. Other topics are also fair game.

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Week-old news we could all use in Ohio: “Chase to Add 1,000 Jobs in Ohio.”

Week-old news we can do without: “GOP Plans to Cave on Transportation Spending.” Credible updates in this regard would be welcome.

Week-old items not to forget: Michelle Malkin’s compendium of White House bullying.

Week-old stats from the Associated Press, in a story about the negotiations between the federal government-beholden United Auto Workers union and Ford Motor Company: “The average hourly worker at Ford made $109,020 in 2010, including wages, benefits and overtime, up 17 percent from 1999. … the average salaried factory supervisor made $99,760 in wages and benefits.”

Week-old media bias analysis by Byron York which should not be missed, comparing how Ron Suskind has been treated in writing an expose on the Obama White House to how he was fawned upon in his book about Bush.

Week-old item on the law’s devolution, in the Wall Street Journal: “In recent decades, Congress has repeatedly crafted laws that weaken or disregard the notion of criminal intent. Today not only are there thousands more criminal laws than before, but it is easier to fall afoul of them. As a result, what once might have been considered simply a mistake is now sometimes punishable by jail time.”

Very troubling week-old news from Australia (HT Michelle Malkin): “The assumed right of unfettered freedom of speech was trumped by laws protecting against racial vilification this morning after the Federal Court delivered its decision on the controversial “white Aborigines” case of Pat Eatock v Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt.”

Week-old news about the New York Times: “NY Times Whacks Half About.com’s Editorial Staff, Will Rehire Replacements.” The Times spent over $400 million to buy About.com in 2005. The acquisition’s purpose appears to have been to have About’s operating profit offset newsroom losses ad infinitum. But according to the company’s most recent quarterly financials, About’s operating profit declined from $15.3 million in last year’s second quarter to $11.6 million this year. Based on the employment move, the third quarter will probably be worse. NYT stock is down about 85% from where it was nine years ago. As I noted in April, it is “a group of contracting, money-losing journalistic endeavors propped up by an also-shrinking Internet enterprise.”

Week-old chart from the Tax Policy Center (HT to an emailer), showing the incidence of the federal income tax, payroll taxes, and the corporate income tax by income quintile:

TaxIncidenceByQuintile2012

The inclusion of the payroll tax is questionable, because Social Security benefits are already means tested in a variety of ways.