May 17, 2013

Mark Steyn, in Essence: Tyranny Has Arrived at Several Federal Agencies

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:59 am

Yours truly, on Tuesday:

Obama’s (May 5) advice to OSU grads to dismiss warnings of tyranny just a few days ahead of the disclosure of two textbook examples of its application is enough to make one wonder if he was trying to conduct a preemptive rhetorical strike ahead of bad news he and cohorts already saw coming.

From a sardonic Friday evening column by Mark Steyn at Investor’s Business Daily:

There is a “President of the United States” and a “Government of the United States,” but, despite a certain superficial similarity in their names, they are entirely unrelated, like Beyoncé Knowles and Adm. Sir Charles Knowles. One golfs, reads the prompter, parties with Jay-Z, and guests on the Pimp With A Limp show, and the other audits you, bugs your telephone line, and leaks your confidential tax records.

But they’re two completely separate sinister entities. So it’s preposterous to describe Obama as Nixonian: Beyoncé wouldn’t have given Nixon the time of day.

If you believe this, there’s a shovel-ready infrastructure project in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. 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(ly):

“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.

Miss Strassel explicitly predicted in America’s biggest selling newspaper that this was exactly what the Obama enforcers were going to do.

The “separate, sinister entity” of the Government of the United States went ahead anyway. What does it care? If some lippy broad in the papers won’t quit her yapping about it, they can always audit her, too — as they did to Miss Strassel’s sometime colleague Anne Hendershott, a sociology professor who got rather too interested in ObamaCare and wrote about it in the Journal and various small Catholic publications.

… Big Government is erecting a panopticon state — one that sees everything, and regulates everything.

The points:

  1. The Obama campaign knew the names of large Romney campaign donors, and the IRS proceeded to go after a number of them. Either it was told to, or it just knew that it was supposed to.
  2. The Obama administration has clearly been upset about Tea Party and other activists opposing its agenda. The IRS, in early 2010, began to inordinately delay those organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status and to aggressively harass them will illegitimate and arguably illegal requests. It did this either because it was told to, or because it just knew that it was supposed to.
  3. It has been learned that the Treasury Department knew in mid-2012 that one of its Inspector Generals had investigated the tax-exempt applications situation. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s general counsel knew this, as did Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin.

There are three possibilities. Either this information was not relayed to Geithner; it was relayed and Geithner failed to inform Obama; or it was relayed and Geithner did inform Obama, in which case Obama is lying about just learning of it in the newspapers in the past week.

All of this leaves two possible conclusion: The Obama administration is incredibly incompetent, or unacceptably corrupt.

The President claimed at Ohio State on May 5 that we should “reject these voices” warning “that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner.” In a sense, he’s correct. At some federal agencies (IRS, DOJ, and EPA at least), tyranny is here. He knows it. And everything except his implausible denials veritably screams that he’s perfectly okay with it.

Friday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (051713)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Hero rescues toddler from car in pond

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Jacksonville, Florida:

Published: 5/08 6:41 pm
Updated: 5/08 9:43 pm

When Donald Jackson saw an SUV sinking in a retention pond on his way to work to the Community First Credit Union, he acted on his security guard instincts to protect people.

“I just kind of looked around and didn’t see anybody doing anything,” said Jackson. “So I just I saw it sinking so that was the first thing I just took off everything and ran to the pond and jumped in.”

He says he tried to open the driver side door but it was stuck. By the time he got to the back door, the SUV was nearly submerged, but he was able to spot a baby boy and pull him out.

“I held onto that boy as hard as I could,” said Jackson. “I wasn’t going to let him go. I got a three year old so I just know being in that situation, I would really love for someone to do that for my son too.”

Another good Samaritan helped a woman who was in the front seat also escape. Jackson says he is still in shock. Some may call him a hero, but he says his ability to come to two victims rescue was nothing short of a miracle.

Go here for the rest of the story.