Wednesday, 22 May 2013

THE LIE-RS STONEWALL

Ken Berwitz

I am watching former IRS head douglas shulman, and Deputy Treasury Secretary neal wolin, stonewalling the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at every turn, by saying they don't know and were not involved in anything that they are being asked about.

The only one of the three testifying today who seems to have any credibility at all is J. Russell George, Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration.

It is not just that - to me, - shulman and wolin come across as liars.  They come across as clumsy, obvious liars.

In fact, they come across as lying so overtly that even Democrats on the committee - Rep. Tammy Duckworth, especially - are making it clear how disgusted they are.

These people make me sick - as they should sicken any decent person who cares about the truth.


THE LIE-RS STONEWALL

Ken Berwitz

I am watching former IRS head douglas shulman, and Deputy Treasury Secretary neal wolin, stonewalling the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at every turn, by saying they don't know and were not involved in anything that they are being asked about.

The only one of the three testifying today who seems to have any credibility at all is J. Russell George, Treasury's Inspector General for Tax Administration.

It is not just that - to me, - shulman and wolin come across as liars.  They come across as clumsy, obvious liars.

In fact, they come across as lying so overtly that even Democrats on the committee - Rep. Tammy Duckworth, especially - are making it clear how disgusted they are.

These people make me sick - as they should sicken any decent person who cares about the truth.


THE NEW YORK TIMES' MARTIN NIEMOLLER MOMENT?

Ken Berwitz

With apologies to Martin Niemoller.....

First they came for the conservatives, and we did not speak out -- Because the Times is not conservative.

Then they came for the Associated Press, and we barely spoke out -- Because the Times is a different news venue.

Then they came for Fox News....and we started to realize that they are coming after news gathering in general. 

Then we found out that they may have come after CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson, which made us wonder about how many other news venues, and reporters, are also being targeted.

Now we realize that - if they aren't targeting us already - we may be next.  And, by then, there will be no one left to speak up for us.

It seems that, finally at long last, the New York Times is starting to recognize what should have been obvious to it - and every other media venue - for a long time:  the Chicago machine politicians currently running our government - a machine The Times in no small part helped along over the past 4+ years - needs to be reined in.  And fast.

Here are excerpts from today's editorial, titled "Another Chilling Leak Investigation", which - if this is not just a one-time event to quickly be forgotten - means The Times may, however belatedly, have started to cross the rubicon

With the decision to label a Fox News television reporter a possible "co-conspirator" in a criminal investigation of a news leak, the Obama administration has moved beyond protecting government secrets to threatening fundamental freedoms of the press to gather news.

An affidavit filed with the judge made it clear that Mr. Rosens comings and goings at the State Department were carefully monitored. It said further that he tried to elicit information by "employing flattery and playing to Mr. Kim's vanity and ego." That would hardly be a first in the relationship between journalists and government officials, and, certainly, it is not grounds for a conspiracy charge.

Michael Clemente, the executive vice president of Fox News, said on Monday that it was "downright chilling" that Mr. Rosen "was named a criminal co-conspirator for simply doing his job as a reporter."

The Rosen case follows other signs that the administration has gone overboard in its zeal to find and muzzle insiders. The Associated Press revealed last week that the government had secretly seized two months' worth of records for telephones used by the agency's staff, partly to determine the source of a leak about a report involving a foiled terrorist plot in Yemen. At least two other major leak investigations are continuing. Six current and former administration officials have been indicted under the old Espionage Act for leaking classified information to the press and public. In 2010, a federal judge in Maryland sentenced a leaker to 20 months in jail while admitting that he was "in the dark as to the kind of documents" involved in the leak or what impact they had on national security.

Obama administration officials often talk about the balance between protecting secrets and protecting the constitutional rights of a free press. Accusing a reporter of being a "co-conspirator," on top of other zealous and secretive investigations, shows a heavy tilt toward secrecy and insufficient concern about a free press.

Welcome, New York Times editorial board, to the real world.

And just in case anyone thinks what Obama & Co. have been doing is a recent phenomenon, in the case of James Rosen (and who knows how many others?) the Obama administration's zealous, dark, tactics go back at least three years, to 2010.

 The New York Times - after it helped Mr. Obama's effort to win a second term, let's never forget - now is talking about it.  I wonder if The Times would have done so if its news and/or editorial staff found out what was going on a year ago:  we'll never know for sure, will we?

Nixon had nothing on this bunch.   When The Times starts writing about that comparison, it will have, if not completely than at least to a meaningful degree, crossed over to the other side, where it sees this sorry administration for what it is.

Zeke .......... ............. Lavrentiy Pavlovich Beria, head of Stalin’s secret police. ...... ..... He told Stalin, “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” ..... ..... (05/22/13)


LOIS LERNER PLEADS THE FIFTH: A COMPARISON

Ken Berwitz

lois lerner (no more capitalization for her) has informed the house committee today that she did nothing wrong, but she is pleading the fifth.

That has all the credibility a 5 year old, his face smeared with chocolate chip residue, telling you he didn't eat a cookie.

This reminded me of a very famous scene in a very well known movie.  So I thought I would show the key dialogue from that scene, and how it compares to what lerner is trying to sell us:

First, we have Michael Corleone, speaking to a Senate investigative committee in The Godfather II:

In the hopes of clearing my family name -- and in the sincere desire to give my children the fare share of the American way of life, without a blemish on their name and background -- I have appeared before this committee and given it all the cooperation in my power. I find it a great dishonor for me personally to have to deny that I am a criminal. I wish to have the following noted for the record. That I served my country faithfully and honorably in World War two and -- was awarded the Navy Cross for action in defense of my country. That I have never been arrested or indicted for any crime what-so-ever. That no proof linking me to any criminal conspiracy whether it is called "Mafia" or "Cosa Nostra" or whatever other name you wish to give has ever been made public. I have not taken refuge behind the 5th amendment as it was my right to do. I challenge this committee -- to produce any witness or evidence against. And if it does not -- I hope they will have the decency to clear my name with the same publicity with which they have now besmirched it.

Now, here is what lois lerner's version appears to be:

In the hopes of getting past this investigation without showing that I compromised my integrity on behalf of the Obama administration -- and in the sincere desire to avoid having any charges filed against me - I have appeared before this committee and given none of the cooperation I could have.  I find it a great dishonor for me personally to have to deny that I am a criminal.  I have served my lord and master, Barack Obama, faithfully in the IRS and was paid a nice fat salary and bonuses for action in defense of his administration's war against anyone who opposed his agenda.  I have never been arrested or indicted for any crime what-so-ever...so far.  And I am not about to offer anything you can use as proof linking me to any criminal acrivity, whether it is called IRS-gate, the Lie-RS scandal, or whatever other name you wish to give it.  I have taken refuge behind the 5th amendment as it was my right to do. I challenge this committee -- to produce any other Obama suckup who will give you anything more than I intend to.  And if you cannot find one, I hope they will have the decency to let me pretend I have cleared my name, with the same publicity my invocation of the 5th Amendment has now besmirched it.  Hey, if the others can stonewall you guys and get away with it, I should be able to stonewall you and get away with it too.

Anyone who thinks this scandal is going away any time soon, is nuts.


THE QUOTES OF THE DAY

Ken Berwitz

Today is a bit of a first:  the Quote Of The Day is not just one quote - it is three of them, all from usually Obama friendly media personalities.

And did they say to achieve such an honor?  Read on (the bold print is mine):

-"The Rosen affair is as flagrant an assault on civil liberties as anything done by George W. Bush's administration, and it uses technology to silence critics in a way Richard Nixon could only have dreamed of." :  Dana Milbank, Washington Post

=========

-"...if George Bush and Dick Cheney were doing this, imagine what candidate Obama would say. Candidate Obama would be unloading. There'd be a lot of Democrats that would be unloading on the administration if they were this and they were trying to crack down on leaks. This is, you can't look at this and see it as anything other than an attempt to basically scare anybody from ever leaking anything ever again.  So they want to criminalize journalism:  Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent, NBC News

=========

-"Jim Goodale, who was the counsel for the New York Times in 1971, has just written a book on the Pentagon Papers in which he says when it comes to the press, Obama is no better than Richard Nixon. That's something my liberal friends hate to hear but it's true...It is unconscionable, I think, but it's part of a pattern! They've done it in these two cases, they did it with Jim Risen of the the New York Times. And again, I'm going to repeat what Cokie said, because this really this gets liberals upset. They have gone after -they being Eric Holder - have gone after more reporters and leakers than John Mitchell, Ed Meese and John Ashcroft combined. When you throw those names in, they get a little bit rattled. It's just outrageous!... And people say who's at fault here? It reflects the President:  Al Hunt, Bloomberg columnist and host of "Political Capital with Al Hunt".

As you probably understand, the reason this I am citing this compilation is to show just how much trouble the Obama administration actually is in. 

Obama & Co. have tried to deflect Benghazi, and the IRS assault on groups opposing Mr. Obama's agenda - with plenty of media support in its efforts (if the last five years teaches us anything, it teaches us that most mainstream media are highly sympathetic to this administration).

But when they go hot and heavy into stifling the freedom of journalists - not just on the rightward side, but in places like the Associated Press?  Then it becomes a lot more personal.  Because if they'll do it to the AP, they'll do it to the Washington Post, NBC New and Bloomberg too.

So, in recognition of their belated cognizance that Chicago machine politics is alive and well in Washington DC, Mr. Milbank, Mr. Todd and Mr. Hunt jointly are awarded Quote Of The Day honors. 

And I hope, as this ugly story continues, all three will continue to display their new-found candor.


BARACK OBAMA, JUDY FAULKNER, AND YOUR HEALTH CARE RECORDS

Ken Berwitz

If you think the Obama administration's putting sarah hall ingram, of Lie-RS disrepute, in charge of ObamaCare is a scandal, you don't know the half of it.

How about putting billionaire Obama-donor Judy Faulkner's company, Epic Systems, in charge of your health care records?

Michelle Malkin's latest column - fully referenced and absolutely scary - is a must read for anyone who gives a damn about what is happening to our country under Obama's Chicago political machine thugocracy.

Here are a couple of excerpts.  But promise me that, after reading them, you will click here and read the entire piece.  Because you won't begin to realize how bad this is unless you do:

Who is Judy Faulkner? Chances are, you don't know her -- but her politically connected, taxpayer-subsidized electronic medical records company may very well know you. Top Obama donor and billionaire Faulkner is founder and CEO of Epic Systems, which will soon store almost half of all Americans' health information.

If the crony odor and the potential for abuse that this "epic" arrangement poses don't chill your bones, you ain't paying attention.

As I first noted last year before the IRS witch hunts and DOJ journalist snooping scandals broke out, Obama's federal electronic medical records (EMR) mandate is government malpractice at work. The stimulus law provided a whopping $19 billion in "incentives" (read: subsidies) to force hospitals and medical professionals into converting from paper to electronic record-keeping systems. Penalties kick in next year for any provider who fails to comply with the one-size-fits-all edict.

After hyping the alleged benefits for nearly a decade, the RAND Corporation finally admitted in January that its cost-savings predictions of $81 billion a year -- used repeatedly to support the Obama EMR mandate -- were, um, grossly overstated.

Among many factors, the researchers blamed "lack of interoperability" of records systems for the failure to bring down costs. And that is a funny thing, because it brings us right back to Faulkner and her well-connected company. You see, Epic Systems -- the dominant EMR giant in America -- is notorious for its lack of interoperability. Faulkner's closed-end system represents antiquated, hard drive-dependent software firms that refuse to share data with doctors and hospitals using alternative platforms.

Question: If these subsidized data-sharing systems aren't built to share data to improve health outcomes, why exactly are we subsidizing them? And what exactly are companies like Faulkner's doing with this enhanced power to consolidate and control Americans' private health information? It's a recipe for exactly the kind of abuse that's at the heart of the IRS and DOJ scandals.

In my previous blog, I wrote that "Nixon had nothing on this bunch".  But I was too kind.

Neither did hugo chavez.

Zeke .... ..... ..... The Issue is not "The Issue". .... The Issue is "Power, Control, Money". .... ..... As with most government purchases or mandates, the real objective is to allow the connected cronies to overcharge for their services and products. ... .... Quality and efficacy are merely polite words, unrelated to reality. .... .... Like the 'Big Dig' highway tunnel in Boston, it is merely a mechanism to charge, in that case, $14.6 billion for a project estimated at $2.8 billion. It was completed 9 years late. .... ..... (05/22/13)


A HAPPY RETRACTION

Ken Berwitz

It is not often that I feel happy to retract something I've written here.  But this, I assure you, is one of the times.

When the horrific tornado hit Oklahoma, and the number of dead quickly expanded to 51 - as was reported throughout media - I wrote that it was certain to go higher.

Well, those reports turned out to be far off the mark.  Reports are now telling us less than half that number died:  24 instead of 51.

My heart goes out the the families of all dead and injured.  But I am also thrilled to be able to say the death toll was significantly less than I thought it would have to be.

May every future retraction be in this direction.


SEPARATED AT BIRTH?

Ken Berwitz

Apropos of nothing political.....

.....is it just me, or is Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron.....

 

.....a dead ringer for actor Jack Orend, whom you might remember as the baker in "Casino" who Robert DeNiro tells to put the same number of blueberries in every muffin?

 

 
Just asking....
 
Ok, back to politics.


IRS COMMITTEE HEARING: THE LAST MINUTES

Ken Berwitz

Wow, and double-wow.

I just walked into the house, turned on the TV and caught literally the last couple of minutes of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Lie-RS scandal.

What a couple of minutes they were!!

Chairperson Darrell Issa informed us that although lois lerner, the Director of the Tax Exempt Division, invoked her fifth amendment privilege, she made an opening statement which contained material which disallows her from doing so.

I'm no lawyer and I don't know the particulars.  But Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), a former District Attorney and Federal Prosecutor, was the committee member who advised Chairperson Issa that this is so.  I would think he should know.

Issa stated that, if this bears out, the committee will call lois lerner back and insist she answer the questions.

Given the nothing-but-stonewall crap we have heard from douglas shulman and neal wolin, I can't imagine any part of today's hearing could have been more important.

God, I hope Gowdy is right.  Enough of this despicable lying and stonewalling.  Make her either tell the truth or pay for it.

Zeke .... ...... IIRC, there is some case law that IF you answer ANY question, then you have given up your right to refuse to answer subsequent questions. ....... From what you say, Issa's committee has mousetrapped this honest civil servant. .... .... But now she has the credentials to work at Fast Eddy's Honest Used Car Lot. ....... (05/22/13)

Zeke .... .... Congress, state, local officials CAN compel a witness to testify. The protection of the 5th amendment can be eliminated IF the witness is given IMMUNITY from prosecution. ..... ..... IIRC, congressional immunity only requires USE IMMUNITY (the specific testimony, or its derivatives will not be used to prosecute). Transactional Immunity (total, or blanket immunity) protects the witness from ANY prosecution on the matter being testified to. .... .... Some states require transactional immunity; Congressional witnesses only get Use. ..... .... ... Witnesses granted immunity who refuse to then testify are held in contempt and can be jailed. (05/23/13)

Ken Berwitz zeke - What a blunder!!! I guess she's a slow lerner.... (05/22/13)


LOIS LERNER PLEADS THE FIFTH: A COMPARISON

Ken Berwitz

lois lerner (no more capitalization for her) has informed the house committee today that she did nothing wrong, but she is pleading the fifth.

That has all the credibility a 5 year old, his face smeared with chocolate chip residue, telling you he didn't eat a cookie.

This reminded me of a very famous scene in a very well known movie.  So I thought I would show the key dialogue from that scene, and how it compares to what lerner is trying to sell us:

First, we have Michael Corleone, speaking to a Senate investigative committee in The Godfather II:

In the hopes of clearing my family name -- and in the sincere desire to give my children the fare share of the American way of life, without a blemish on their name and background -- I have appeared before this committee and given it all the cooperation in my power. I find it a great dishonor for me personally to have to deny that I am a criminal. I wish to have the following noted for the record. That I served my country faithfully and honorably in World War two and -- was awarded the Navy Cross for action in defense of my country. That I have never been arrested or indicted for any crime what-so-ever. That no proof linking me to any criminal conspiracy whether it is called "Mafia" or "Cosa Nostra" or whatever other name you wish to give has ever been made public. I have not taken refuge behind the 5th amendment as it was my right to do. I challenge this committee -- to produce any witness or evidence against. And if it does not -- I hope they will have the decency to clear my name with the same publicity with which they have now besmirched it.

Now, here is what lois lerner's version appears to be:

In the hopes of getting past this investigation without showing that I compromised my integrity on behalf of the Obama administration -- and in the sincere desire to avoid having any charges filed against me - I have appeared before this committee and given none of the cooperation I could have.  I find it a great dishonor for me personally to have to deny that I am a criminal.  I have served my lord and master, Barack Obama, faithfully in the IRS and was paid a nice fat salary and bonuses for action in defense of his administration's war against anyone who opposed his agenda.  I have never been arrested or indicted for any crime what-so-ever...so far.  And I am not about to offer anything you can use as proof linking me to any criminal acrivity, whether it is called IRS-gate, the Lie-RS scandal, or whatever other name you wish to give it.  I have taken refuge behind the 5th amendment as it was my right to do. I challenge this committee -- to produce any other Obama suckup who will give you anything more than I intend to.  And if you cannot find one, I hope they will have the decency to let me pretend I have cleared my name, with the same publicity my invocation of the 5th Amendment has now besmirched it.  Hey, if the others can stonewall you guys and get away with it, I should be able to stonewall you and get away with it too.

Anyone who thinks this scandal is going away any time soon, is nuts.


A LITTLE SOMETHING ABOUT THE GUY WHO WAS INVESTIGATING FOX NEWS.....

Ken Berwitz

Here's a fascinating tidbit about Ronald C. Machen, the man appointed by that fiercely non-partisan fighter for neutrality, Attorney General eric holder, to conduct a fiercely non-partisan, neutral investigation of Fox News. (feel free to wipe the sarcasm off your monitor any time).

According to Larry O'Connor of breitbart.com, Machen was a big donor to the Obama campaign.  And  according to the Washington Post,   he contributed well over $4,000 to Mr. Obama.  And according to Senator John Cornyn, he also assisted President Obama in the vetting of possible Vice Presidential candidates for the ticket (the fact that he was involved in selecting Joe Biden, (which, if you're asking me, should have disqualified him from being picked for any job at all, no matter how inconsequential).

Here is a great exchange between Cornyn and holder:

CORNYN:  Would it surprise you to know that he is a political contributor to President Obama's campaign, and indeed served as a volunteer in "Obama for America", and assisted in the vetting of potential vice presidential candidates?

 HOLDER:  I am confident that he has the ability, the capacity to investigate this case in a non-partisan, independent, thorough and aggressive way.

CORNYN:  Well I would suggest the question that that raises by your answer is whether you have the independence and the ability to conduct the investigation if, in fact, all of this comes back through you, and given your track record.

Way to go Senator Cornyn. 

And congratulations to eric holder for showing, again as usual, that he is not just incompetent and not just racist, but apparently was first in his class at clown college too.


Buy Our Book Here!


Return to Current Blog
We're Hopelessly Partisan

hopelesslypartisan.com, is a web site which is dedicated to honest, blunt, debate on the issues of our time.


About Us



Privacy Notice: In conjunction with the ads on this site, third parties may be placing and reading cookies on your browser, or using web beacons to collect information.


At “Hopelessly Partisan” we discuss all issues, big and small. In here, nothing is sacred and nothing is out of bounds.

So settle back, preferably after laughing your way through a copy of “The Hopelessly Partisan Guide To American Politics”, and let the battle begin. In this blog, your opinion counts every bit as much as anyone else's, maybe even more.

And to show that my willingness to provide all sides of the issues is sincere, here are links to a variety of web sites, from the left, the middle (more or less) and the right. Read them and either smile in agreement or gnash your teeth in anger!!