May 23, 2013
The Fourth Estate (Kinda)
Remember Larry Conners, that local reporter in St. Louis who hammered Barack Obama in an interview and then later found himself with all kinds of IRS troubles? Well, it seems that he's been fired by the station where he worked:
KMOV announced Conners' firing with a statement posted about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on its website.
"We regret to announce that Larry Conners is no longer a KMOV news reporter," president and general manager Mark Pimentel said in the statement.
Ostensibly, Conners was let go for making political statements in a Facebook post that questioned whether his sudden appearance on the IRS radar might have been punishment for treating the president without kid gloves -- understandable, given recent events. But while it is within KMOV management's rights to hire and fire whomever they please, using this as an excuse to slap the bias label on a reporter is a stretch that would make even Reed Richards think twice.
There was a time when a news outlet would stand by its reporters in the face of political pressure. More than that, they would have been proud to do it, and would make damned sure that the rest of the world knew what was going on. KMOV, however -- in true Soviet fashion -- prepared an apology for Conners to read on air and forced him to read it verbatim. Then they canned him anyway. That's what passes for speaking truth to power these days: I fought the lawless, and the lawless won.
If KMOV management doesn't realize how bad this all looks, I'd venture that they sport about the same level of competence Weird Al Yankovic demonstrated in UHF -- with the exception that Al managed to boost ratings. KMOV, on the other hand, has shown itself to be emblematic of what the rest of the MSM have become: craven, sclerotic shells of their former selves, waxing on about the glory days of Watergate but having no stomach to pursue the Big Story now -- at least not when the scandals land at the feet of "their guys" in Washington. There's nothing quite so sad as a gelding who can't realize he's no longer a stallion.
On the bright side, the IRS can console itself with the knowledge that it isn't alone when it comes to corruption. In that, the MSM are coming up fast: two tastes that fake great together. Should be interesting to watch them take each other down.
May 22, 2013
A Fifth of Lerner
If you'e the kind of person who sits in utter astonishment at the obvious, it might come as a surprise that Lois Lerner -- Overseer and Commissarette of the vaunted IRS Exempt Organizations Unit during the time it was administering free proctological exams to Tea Party groups -- has decided to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights rather than testify truthfully before Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA, 92%) committee hearings today. It is Lerner's attorneys, you see, who have advised her not to say anything further, ostensibly because doing so might make her tend to look bad. Otherwise, one imagines she'd be ready to sing like a down-home chanteuse auditioning to be the next American Idol. Right?
Well, in Lerner's defense it is possible that she's giving us the straight dope on her reasons for not testifying; but if this is indeed the case, it opens up some intriguing possibilities. Perhaps Lerner knows a little too much, and would rather not be in a position where she's forced to rat out anybody farther up the food chain. This seems as good an explanation as any, as taking the Fifth would circumvent her having to make the choice of either perjuring herself to protect her bosses or spilling the ugly truth about what's really been going on at the IRS. The takeaway: We've only scratched the surface of those wacky shenanigans. Don't change that dial, because there's lots more to come, folks!
No matter what we find out, though, of one thing we can be very certain: this scandal goes deep, and completely compromises the IRS's ability to act as a fair and impartial collector of taxes. It's more than just a matter of "rogue" employees and supervisors carrying out a political agenda. That this targeting of conservative groups went on for years without anyone at the IRS batting an eye speaks of an entirely corrupted culture at that agency -- something that isn't going to be solved by rounding up the usual suspects and giving them their walking papers.
The way I see it, we have two choices: we can either move over to a flat or FAIR taxing system and disband the IRS as we know it, or we have to completely reorganize the agency -- starting with making it illegal for its employees to be unionized. The National Treasury Employees Union directs over 90% of its political donations to the Democrat Party. So long as that remains the case, how in the hell are the American people supposed to trust the IRS not to resume business as usual once the scandal has passed?
May 18, 2013
Just in case you needed another reason to get all wee-weed up over the burgeoning IRS scandal, consider this: One of the factors often cited in Obama's victorious 2012 re-election bid was his campaign's formidable ground game. His get-out-the-vote efforts were superb, and probably made all the difference in what the polls were indicating would be a very close race. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, was clearly unable to match that effort himself, given that he got fewer votes than John McCain did back in 2008.
So what accounts for that difference?
Conventional wisdom tells us that there was just less enthusiasm for Mitt Romney last time around, and perhaps that's true; but one cannot discount the chilling effect that the IRS harassment of conservative grassroots groups must've had on their own get-out-the-vote efforts. What if these groups had been approved for non-profit status in a timely manner (as their progressive counterparts had), and had been allowed to operate during the election? Might they have mobilized more voters for Mitt Romney? And if they had, would it have made a difference in the outcome of the election?
Obviously, we can't know the answer to that question -- but it certainly is well within the realm of possibility. I think the Obama administration knew that too, which only taints the IRS further and makes their actions even more sinister. That a federal agency could be used by the party in power to suppress the vote of the opposition is beyond scary. It's downright terrifying.
May 15, 2013
Does it seem that the current Power Line line reduces to, "Another terrible scandal in the Obama administration? Good Lord, Republicans are doomed!"
Friend Lee says, "Barack Obama is the most Nixonian president since Franklin Roosevelt."
Yeah. Think about it.
May 14, 2013
Poor Jay Carney has been having a lousy time of it as of late, hasn't he? First he has to deal with the fallout over the Benghazi whistleblower testimony, then that whole business with the IRS targeting conservative groups pops up, and before you know it the AP is out for blood over Eric Holder's Justice Department going through the news giant's phone records like the boys of Delta House going on a panty raid. Carney must've been a naughty boy in a previous life to reap this kind of karma.
What's really interesting, though, isn't the scandals so much; we mouth-breathing conservative Troglodytes have been carping over corruption in the Obama administration since Fast & Furious reared its ugly head, so to us it's nothing new. No, what's fascinating is how the mainstream media are actually starting to treat these developments as, well, the scandals that they are. In that regard, poor Carney reminds me of a guy who hasn't strapped on a pair of sneakers in years suddenly being forced to run a marathon: He just ain't used to taking that kind of abuse -- and from reporters, no less! Morning Joe, say it isn't so!
In their response to all of this, conservatives have reacted pretty much as you would expect, much like gamer geeks who have suddenly discovered that by tuning their TVs just so that the Spice Channel comes in for free. But while I enjoy a good glass of schadenfreude as much as the next guy, I think it might be best if we engaged in a little constructive deconstruction and ask ourselves: Why are the media doing this? After all, they've been Barack Obama's battered girlfriend for the last four years and never said a cross word about him. What would make them go all Jennifer Lopez in Enough on him now?
The answer -- at least partially -- is that the scandals have now come so hard and so fast that they've reached a critical mass. One Benghazi? We can handle that. The IRS thing? By itself, a piece of cake. A little diversion, a little song and dance, and John Q. Public will forget all about that. But when you have the kind of week that Obama has had, there emerges a pattern that even the MSM can no longer ignore. The truth, in spite of all their protestations to the contrary, starts to shine through: These are not nice people.
And it's a terrible thing to lose one's illusions.
That does not, however, mean that the MSM will not happily resume their delusional state if given the right enticement. Obama, after all, is a pretty smooth operator when he wants to be. Like Tiger Woods, he just miscalculated how much he could push his luck before the missus came after him with a golf club. The breaking point probably came over spying on the AP, and right now all those reporters turning the White House press secretary into Carney-kabobs know they have to draw some blood if they wish to retain a sliver of credibility. But in the end, my guess is that the administration will offer to lop off some heads and make some sort of amends, and the press will fall in line once again. It's what they do, and to expect them to behave otherwise is too much to hope for.
The lesson? Don't count on the MSM to take Obama down. They won't do it. And they never will.
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