Obanana Republic

On November 5th, 2008, I said that the Obama Administration would be the most corrupt in living memory. I was wrong. It’s not merely living memory. And it goes beyond simple corruption.

The American people have been subject to a direct, systematic attack by the federal government, accomplished via the tax laws. Extremely complex laws were combined with bureaucratic ignorance, institutional arrogance, a monopoly on the use of force and a leadership competent solely in permanent campaign mode; in a comprehensive effort to punish dissent, interfere in elections and restrict religious freedom. Information was demanded that could only result in limiting freedom of assembly. Confidential tax information was leaked. Lies were repeatedly told to the legislative branch and to all Americans. When it became apparent that the perfidy would be exposed, and before informing Congress, the IRS staged a passive “Mistakes were made” apology by planting a question at a press conference.

[The IRS] acknowledged it was wrong for the agency to target groups based on political affiliation.

“That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That’s not how we go about selecting cases for further review,” Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

“The IRS would like to apologize for that,” she added.

OK, go ahead and apologize, you have our permission. When you do, please reference the First Amendment. And then, name names, fire people and bring charges.

Admit that it was not just groups with the words “Tea Party” in their names. Discuss why, after president “Know Nothing” and his cronies specifically named individual Americans who disagree with the president’s policies, that those named individuals were audited. Expand on your understanding of why it’s wrong for the federal government to demand the content of individual prayers, specifically threatening perjury charges for those so questioned. Tell us why “progressive” groups received preferential treatment in the same time period. I think we need more insight than “inappropriate,” or “poor customer service.”

Tell us if you believe that the root problem is allowing corporations to practice free speech, and whether more regulation is needed. Why is current legal complexity insufficient unto hiding the IRS agenda? Explain why the reasons you gave for the “enhanced scrutiny,” don’t even hold up.

Finally, do you think the IRS transgressions are irrelevant if no one can prove that Obama is directly involved? Do you agree that if the president was involved, it shows that he is the most corrupt, tyrannical leader in American history, and that every branch of the executive division in our government is suspect? If the president wasn’t involved, can any number of straw men, any amount of ad hominem political hackery, any quantity of ignorance pleading – change the fact that it is his Administration?

Before answering, think about what it means if Obama wasn’t involved: The IRS, an agency with the power to destroy every person in America, did all of this on its own initiative.

Explain, please, why your actions did not violate each and every term of the following:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is a nascent protest scheduled at IRS locations on Tuesday May, 21st. At noon, I will be at:

EAST LANSING, MI /DET IRS OFFICE
3100 WEST ROAD
EAST LANSING, MI 48823

Let us see what happens.

Diplomatic note to the shores of Tripoli:

While the United States of America thoroughly condemns images that offend your exquisite religious sensitivities, it is our official position that use of RPGs at film festivals is overzealous. We have therefore withdrawn our Ambassador.

Notwithstanding that sanction, and as a show of good faith, we have given a “two thumbs down” rating to the perpetrator of the most recent offense against The Prophet Mohammed. See attached photograph. The United States therefore expects all film related festivities in the Middle East and Africa to cease being hosted on US soil.

To further encourage a return to normal relations, the President of the United States will issue an executive order banning showings of the movie “Zero Dark Thirty.” As you may know, this film documents the death of Osama bin-Laden. The rumor that President Obama’s Administration directly co-operated in the making of that film must be stopped.

Below you will find reporting indicating that the American people fully support our initiatives.

Yours Truly,
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of Statism

Alleged ‘Innocence of Muslims’ filmmaker taken in for interview

Pay No Attention to the Burning Flags, Stormed Consulates, and Dead Americans . . .
By Victor Davis Hanson

Raging crowds and Islamic wrath could not possibly be connected to the enlightened Obama administration or, more generally to a U.S. that has been “reset” on his watch — given the three years of laborious Muslim outreach and the long-ago departure of George Bush. So we are to think away all those burning flags, stormed consulates, and dead Americans, and instead remember that the violence “is a response,” a sort of cry of the heart against a couple of America-residing video makers — and has nothing much to do with any anger at well-meaning Americans per se.

The Unofficial Campaign’s Latest Disinformation Offensive
Paul A. Rahe

The American people cannot be allowed to discover that Barack Obama’s policy of appeasement has persuaded our enemies that we are weak and feckless and has elicited aggression on their part. Nor can they be allowed to learn that Hillary Clinton and our minions have been grossly negligent with regard to the security of our embassies, consulates, and other installations in the larger Muslim world. Instead, we must ignore the spirit of the First Amendment and vent our wrath on an inept Coptic Christian immigrant from Egypt.

Not #brettkimberlin’s Velvet Revolution

Added to the blogroll.

Here’s the initial post: Brett Kimberlin and the Justice of Google

On November 30, 2004, convicted terrorist bomber, drug dealer, and perjurer Brett Kimberlin formed a Maryland corporation for the purpose of soliciting tax-exempt donations from the public and charitable foundations, to promote an alleged “network of more than 100 progressive organizations reaching millions of people demanding progressive change through our various campaigns”. Campaigns such as offering bounties for the head of the Chamber of Commerce, the impeachment of a Supreme Court Justice, and proof that John Kerry actually won the 2004 presidential election.

This corporation was also known as the Velvet Revolution, or “VelvetRevolution.US, Inc.” according to its corporate filings.

…We believe it is a farce and a disgrace that Brett Kimberlin seeks to cloak his nefarious acts under the name “Velvet Revolution”, a name which in the rest of the world stands for courage and dignity in the face of terror.

Brett Kimberlin stole the Velvet Revolution. We’re stealing it back.

Visit them often, and it would be nice if you do so from TOC’s blogroll.

Update: 3:28PM Criminal charges dropped against Aaron Walker, but gag order remains

NY State Senators: We need Canada’s speech laws

Only 10 times more restrictive.

Proponents of a more refined First Amendment argue that this freedom [speech] should be treated not as a right but as a privilege — a special entitlement granted by the state on a conditional basis that can be revoked if it is ever abused or maltreated.

Refined? That isn’t “refined.” It’s what statist fools mean when they call the Constitution a living document: “It means what we say it means, whenever we say what it means.” It’s Orwell’s Newspeak. It’s Humpty Dumpty from Alice in Wonderland. It’s Bill Clinton expounding on the meaning of the word “is.”

If this…

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

…isn’t clear on the subject of speech, then I suggest it is also not clear on freedom from religion, freedom of religion, freedom to publish, or the right to associate freely. All those things are subject to the whims of unelected and faceless bureaucrats.

We’re well shut of Lee Bollinger

Not that that has materially improved the intellectual diversity of the University of Michigan.  Still, Bollinger’s recent plea to bail out print media, at least, won’t be associated with UofM.

Via PajamasMedia and Frank J. Tipler: Columbia U.’s Bollinger Oblivious on MSM Bailout 

His argument is so obviously false that he himself, in his own article, cannot avoid providing the facts needed to refute it. For example, Bollinger writes:

There are examples of other institutions in the U.S. where state support does not translate into official control. The most compelling are our public universities

RTWT

Apparently, Bollinger has no clue why Hillsdale College does not accept any money from the Feds. 

Bailing out any media is a violation of the First Amendment.

Shotgun Sellout

‘Shotgun Sellout’: House Democrats cut special deal with NRA

House Democrats held a shotgun wedding between campaign finance “reformers” and the National Rifle Association today in announcing a carve out for the powerful gun lobby in a bill responding to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

The “Shotgun Sellout” exempts large organizations from the most burdensome regulations of the DISCLOSE Act, “Democratic Incumbents Seek to Contain Losses by Outlawing Speech in Elections,” while pistol whipping genuine grassroots groups. …

Draft amendment affecting the NRA as part of a “Manager’s Amendment” for consideration this week in the House Rules Committee:

Exempt section 501(c)(4) organizations” are also exempt from new reporting requirements. These are organizations which have qualified as having tax exempt status under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code for each of the 10 years prior to making a campaign-related disbursement, that had 1 million or more dues-paying members in the prior calendar year, that had members in each of the 50 states, that received no more than 15 percent of their total funding from corporations or labor organizations, and that do not use any corporate or union money to pay for their campaign-related expenditures.

NRA members, especially, should call the NRA at 1-800-672-3888 and ask them why they don’t defend the First Amendment as strongly as they do the Second.  They should withdraw their support and urge a vote against the DISCLOSE Act.

State speech registry

In the spirit of those states criminalizing (see yesterday’s post) the videotaping of police, State Senator Bruce Patterson (R-District 7) wants to register journalists: he is not asking, yet, to criminalize those who write without a license, he merely wants to get the list of exceptions in place.

Since Senator Patterson was mentioned for this proposal on Fox News, he’s been defending himself on the floor of the Michigan Senate by pointing out the difference between “voluntary registration” and “licensing.”

He’s right, there is a difference, but there remain some problems with this semantic defense:

1), What responsibility is it of the taxpayers of Michigan to be paying to create and administer such a registry?

2), What business is it of the State of Michigan to put its imprimatur on information or on individuals’ speech, flawed or otherwise?

3), Since among other things, the law would require applicants for the State conferred title of “Michigan registered reporter” to possess: a) “Good moral character”; b) a degree in journalism; and c) submit three writing samples: 3a) How does the State make a determination of moral character? 3b), If no degree is required to be a “Michigan legislator”, why should “journalists” have to have one? 3c) Who is going to grade the writing samples; on what basis?

Senator Patterson does not deserve the title “Michigan legislator;” probably could never have achieved it under his rules for “journalists;” and certainly should not be allowed to keep it. Apparently term limits are working in favor of that outcome.

Cubs v Dodgers – April 25, 1966

33 years ago today Rick Monday suppressed the “free speech” of a couple of trespassers. Of course, this particular attempt at expression of free speech was not free speech at all. The rest of us are not required to provide the venue, something the left has never understood.

Which is why they want to re-instate the “Fairness” doctrine.

H/T MC

No fishwrap left behind

Senator Benjamin Cardin, D-MD, is proposing to fold newspapers into the Department of Education.

Cardin’s Newspaper Revitalization Act would allow newspapers to operate as nonprofits for educational purposes under the U.S. tax code, giving them a similar status to public broadcasting companies.

Under this arrangement, newspapers would still be free to report on all issues, including political campaigns. But they would be prohibited from making political endorsements.

What now, without any legislative interference, stops newspapers from becoming non-profits without giving up their right to political speech, the most important example of free speech protected by the First Amendment? I mean, aren’t the AARP and the NRA non-profits who publish magazines containing political opinion? The AARP and the NRA, of course, have members about whom they care intensely, not customers who are supposed to believe content from the Associated Press does not represent a political endorsement.

But, never mind that. It’s obviously a bit too subtle for Senator Cardin. What we must truly puzzle over is his farcical contention that NPR and PBS do not make political endorsements; on the strength of which fallacy he deftly advocates removing the First Amendment rights of newspaper publishers. “We had to destroy the Press in order to save it?”

Senator, what newspaper wants to be castrated? The thrill won’t be running up their legs anymore.

Newspapers are going online, and they will live or die there based on whether people want to read the content. If the value – educational, prurient or humorous – of the writers’ output does not attract a readership, so be it. Isn’t the demise of newspapers about the shift of advertising dollars to platforms people actually want to spend time reading? Besides, I can’t imagine how the semi-annual pledge drive from the Lansing State Journal would even be conducted. Extra sticky notes on the front page?

Minus endorsements for even local candidates and critiques of local political policy, the whole LSJ might as well be MSU sports, weather and TV listings. Suppression of political speech would probably improve the “balance” of the Letters to the Editor, but I doubt publishing the remaining missives would be worth the labor cost. Take out the wingnuts and moonbats and you’ve got a few people from PETA objecting to the local appearance of a circus or rodeo leavened with occasional pleas for everyone to stop eating meat, and seasonal complaints about snow removal and road repair. You could even make a good case that’s all political. Boring won’t help.

Senator Cardin doesn’t understand that the newspapers are failing because the content of their stories – not the editorials, the stories – are mostly endorsements of a specific political philosophy. Compounding this error, he names his bill so as to make NRA the acronym. That’s a half measure, and he should rename it.

Here’s a suggestion: Preserving Reflexive Advocacy for Venerated Democrats Act. Or maybe Sycophant Assistance Program.