The craziness of the IRS “scandal” cannot be underlined or emphasized enough. The fact that the IRS decided to scrutinize a group of Americans who basically state that they hate paying taxes and would go to any means to avoid paying taxes should not be a surprise to anyone. In my mind, scrutinizing tea party groups is a little like asking Willie Sutton why he robs banks. (His famous answer, “because that’s where the money is,” may be an urban myth but I like it nonetheless.) Since the disastrous, thoughtless Citizens United decision, the number of 501(c) 4 organizations has skyrocketed from a little over 1700 to well over 3300. The majority of these 501(c) 4 groups were, wait for it… conservative, tea party groups.
Unfortunately, given the way this I.R.S. scandal slid so easily into ideological definitions, I fear that few non-politicos are recognizing the real disgrace here: that the federal government—Congress, the White House, the tax agency, and the Supreme Court—has created a situation where blatantly political organizations are able to legally break the law by pretending they’re something that they’re not.
I know that there are some who feel that they are oh, so close to seeing the end of the Obama administration. These are the same people who thought that Mitt Romney was going to win the general election. This, of course, was in spite of overwhelming data suggesting otherwise. President Barack Obama is facing a trifecta of scandals. Let’s investigate each of the scandals separately.
Benghazi. This is the gift that keeps on giving. At long last it appears the conservatives actually have traction on this issue. Yet, there’s really nothing here. The administration initially stated that there were demonstrations before the Benghazi attack. This was wrong. The administration admitted their mistake. They came clean to the American people before the November election. Basically, an ambassador was in an extremely dangerous situation. He had an adequate security. We have a detailed report which clearly points the finger at the State Department. On top of that, we know that Secretary Clinton warned of budget cuts which could have serious ramifications. Today, the latest is that ABC News, which claimed that they had the original email trail of the talking points, really didn’t have the real trail. Jake Tapper blew the lid off of this false reporting by ABC News. (The White House has released more e-mails. We have seen these before, just in a different format.)
IRS scandal. Last night, President Obama accepted the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Stephen Miller. I agree with the president. The IRS must be a nonpartisan organization. Those who are responsible for this craziness need to be singled out and punished. Continue reading Scandal? (Update)→
It is kind of creepy that a landing gear from the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center was found yesterday.
One of the things that I find very interesting about our society is how myths continue to be perpetuated. One of my favorite myths is the notion that the United States government should balance its budget “because” it is just like your household budget. Absolute craziness. There are almost no similarities between the federal budget and our household budget. I know of no household able to set its own interest rates. I know of no household that is able to print its own money. Yet, we perpetuate this myth.
Paul Krugman went into some detail about the austerity myth yesterday. The austerity fantasy goes something like this – we have been bad as a country, as a nation, as a world. We’ve overspent. Therefore, we must cut back on spending in order to fix the problem. Sure, this worldwide cutback will cause some significant pain, but we are promised that it is going to be worth it in the long run. Again, garbage. There’s no evidence that austerity will pay off in the long run. Instead, as Krugman points out, austerity is about hurting those who really had nothing to do with the overspending. Austerity is about prolonged unemployment. It is time for our government and other governments around the world to recognize that now is the time to spend money on infrastructure. Now is the time to hire millions of unemployed citizens to get our economies back on track.
You know, it was less than two years ago when Netflix simply fumbled the ball. Subscribers were leaving left and right. It was unclear whether Netflix was actually going to survive. It appears that Netflix has weathered the storm and is heading in the right direction. Now, you have to wonder about JC Penney’s and if they can right the ship.