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.

Blunt Instrument of Goverment

“Swatting” is the term describing an attempt to have a SWAT Team dispatched to an innocent person’s house by fraudulently reporting a serious crime. When a SWAT team comes to your house because they think you’ve just murdered your wife, someone could easily die.

This practice has recently been employed against several conservative bloggers by those on the far left. It was combined with harassment of their families and employers sufficient to force some into hiding.

“Swatting” is not the only form of harassment to which government may be put by the unscrupulous. There are yet blunter instrumentalities that can be aroused. Here is an example:

  • An Obama campaign website, “Keeping GOP Honest,” calls out eight private citizens backing Mitt Romney as “wealthy individuals with less-than-reputable records.” One of them is named Frank VanderSloot, owner of Melaleuca Inc..
  • Within days, a former law clerk (on the Democratic side of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations) asks for court records regarding Mr. VanderSloot’s divorces, as well as records of cases involving Melaleuca. He is later found to be working for a firm that does oppo research. Remember, VanderSloot is a private citizen. He’s not running for office. Character assassination doesn’t change votes here, it can only be intended to deter others from speaking without approval.
  • Shortly after the Obama campaign website’s attack, VanderSloot is made subject of an IRS audit.
  • Two weeks later, Mr. VanderSloot is told that the Department of Labor will be doing an audit of workers he employs on his Idaho-based cattle ranch.

Maybe it’s all coincidental, but it appears to be blatant application of undue political influence. Someone not well marinated in Chicago-style politics might avoid even the appearance. One is certainly justified in wondering if any highly placed Democrat politician or bundler happened to pass a note about Mr. VanderSloot to the IRS and DoL.

“Swatting” is a crime for obvious reasons, the perpetrator must lie to authorities to solicit the response and, if successful, he puts lives at immediate risk. “IRSing” by public innuendo is legal. It requires no overt lies. Indeed, it seems to require no activity beyond the suggestion that specific donors to your political opposition are disreputable. If certain list-keeping authorities appear to act independently on such allegations, who is to say those authorities are politically motivated? Who is to say it’s government that’s unscrupulous? No lives are immediately at risk, it’s merely the principle that government operates fairly and without favor put in jeopardy. We know that that is of little consequence to the present administration.

When the IRS and Labor Department are the actors instead of your local police SWAT unit, the perpetrator is some politically motivated bureaucrat, protected by the state. Which is worse? And before you answer, recall that the IRS is hiring over 10,000 new enforcers to deal with the tax that is Obamacare.

The bullet points above were drawn from stories by Kimberley Strassel at the WSJ:
Strassel: Trolling for Dirt on the President’s List and
Strassel: Obama’s Enemies List—Part II

Confusing, coercive and corrupt financial contracts

Our President is making a concerted effort to reform credit card issuers. Emphasis mine.

Obama Seeks Reform of Credit Card Firms’ Practices
By Michael D. Shear and Nancy Trejos
Washington Post Staff Writers

…”So that if somebody gets a credit card, they don’t find that their rates go up exponentially on a certain day based on fine print in a contract that no one is ever going to read, [like TARP?] or that we find out that certain fees — you know, interest is charged, [like on the National Debt?] an interest rate is charged on certain fees involved in a credit card,” [press secretary Robert] Gibbs said.

“He’s going to outline and go through some principles of what he would like to see and that he believes Congress can get done [Congressman Rangel could pay his taxes?] in order to protect the American people,” Gibbs added.

Obama pushing for credit-card reforms
By Ruth Mantell, MarketWatch

…Obama laid out four core principles:

  • Banning unfair rate increases, fees and penalties
  • Providing transparent and easy-to-understand forms and statements [like the IRS?]
  • Providing easy-to-access contract terms [ditto] to enable simplified comparison shopping for consumers
  • Creating more accountability in the system, with stronger monitoring and enforcement [like Secretary Geithner’s tax evasion?]

Tough talk at WH for credit card execs
By CAROL E. LEE & EAMON JAVERS

…In Thursday’s meeting, Obama discussed four principles that he’d like to see included in any legislation. According to a White House statement, they included:

  • “Strong and reliable protections for consumers — protections that ban unfair rate increases and forbid abusive fees and penalties.
  • “All the forms and statements that credit card companies send out have to have plain language that is in plain sight. No more fine print, no more confusing terms and conditions.
  • “Requirement that all firms make their contract terms easily accessible and provide consumers with the information they need to go online and do some comparison shopping. It also means requiring firms to offer at least one simple, straightforward credit card that offers the strongest protections along with the simplest terms and prices. [like a flat tax?]
  • “Increased accountability in the system, so that we can hold those responsible who do engage in deceptive practices [Rangel, Geithner and many others] that hurt families and consumers. [like inflation?] This will require beefing up monitoring and enforcement, and also penalties for any violations of the law.” [Not Rangel, Geithner or any other members of the Administration, however.]

If these rules make for better credit card companies, wouldn’t they also make for better government? I mean, I’d really like to go online and compare alternatives.

My credit card agreement, for example, is the very model of transparency and simplicity when compared to the tax code. No contest. And I don’t remember any stories about Congressmen, Treasury Secretaries, et. al., having difficulty with their credit card payments, just their taxes.

Never mind that this “evil corporations” rhetoric will substantially reduce the availability of consumer credit and damage several recipients of TARP funds – the exact opposite of what TARP is supposed to be doing – the burning question is why can’t these same principles be applied to the IRS, an organization intended to be regulated by the general government?

And where’s my advance notice and opt-out form from Obama concerning the fact that my tax rates are going to go up “exponentially” (I don’t think Mr. Gibbs actually knows the meaning of the word exponential.)?

I am a creditor of the general government and I think we need to rexamine the contract.

Taxation with too much representation

Dave Barry: How your taxes turn into manure

…Perhaps you wonder why this project [the Catfish Genome Project] is being financed by taxpayers, as opposed to the catfish industry. The answer is that the Catfish Genome Project is crucial to achieving a vital national goal that we all share: reelecting the Alabama congresspersons who stuck it in the federal budget.

…My point is that, as you do your taxes, you should remember where your tax dollars are going, and recognize that you, as a citizen, have a moral obligation to prepare your tax return with the same degree of conscientiousness that Congress exhibits in spending your money. So let’s get started on your taxes! Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step one is to gather together your tax forms, your financial records, and, if you plan to itemize your deductions, at least two liters of vodka.

…This is where the vodka comes in. If you go to the official Internal Revenue Service site on the Internet (www.irs.gov) and start poking around among the thousands and thousands of forms, instructions, bulletins, etc., you would be amazed at the range of deduction options. For example, according to IRS Rev. Proc. 2006-50, certain individuals recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission may deduct up to $10,000 for whaling expenses. Could this deduction apply to you? Think about it! I, personally, have done many things that I later could not remember; being a recognized Eskimo whaler would not be the weirdest of these. So go ahead! Find an empty box on your 1040 form and write ”Harpoons — $9,990.” (Don’t claim the full $10,000, because that might arouse IRS suspicion.)

RTWT at the link above.