First, IRS employee Lois Lerner targeted the political opposition from Washington DC. Then she destroyed her hard drive to hide the evidence of her misbehavior, with similar mysterious equipment failures affecting almost 20 of her friends and colleagues, and pled the 5th before Congress. Rather than expose the wrongdoing, IRS Comissioner Koskinen lied to Congress and destroyed the server backup tapes. When Koskinen faced no consequences for his deception, the CIA destroyed the only copy of the classified report on the torture techniques it used. Now, the NYPD has "lost" records of its unconstitutional domestic surveillance in defiance of a court order.
This sort of thing is going to happen more and more often until it becomes obvious that there will be serious consequences rather than a successful coverup.
DOJ blasted by federal judge for lying to the court
The outgoing administration is clearly doing everything they can to put their thumb on the scale and swing the next election their way. We used to think that sort of thing was improper and impeached presidents who tried it.
Even the Washington Post editorial board calls her server inexcusable.
One telling quote that ended up in the report:
Anyone who has worked in or for a government agency in any capacity, and often large corporations, gets regular training on how to preserve records and properly handle sensitive information. That training pretty much universally specifies that the computer (or other devices) which the government provides to you for communication is still owned by the government and the contents of that device can be reviewed. Those instructions generally note that the way to avoid having the government review everything is to use separate accounts for your official business and your personal affairs.
That is, to "avoid any risk of the personal being accessible", Clinton should have rigorously maintained separation of her personal business on a personal device from her official business on an official device.
Instead, she chose to conduct both personal and public business on a private server. This was exactly the wrong decision because it destroys the separation that is intended to protect the personal privacy of government employees. And that's before getting into whether any of those emails were classified.
What this demonstrates is that voter fraud is not an isolated incident or a simple mistake. Voter fraud is an organized, regular activity. Hundreds of dead voters (and those are just the obvious, easily discovered ones) voting in pretty much every election.
Solving the problem of dead voter is easy enough. These people should be removed from the rolls when they die, not allowed to remain and used for fraudulent election practices. But they are likely only the tip of the iceberg. How many elections have already been stolen?
We will never know until we start taking voter fraud seriously.
DOJ diverting settlements into slush fund for liberal politics
I feel like I'm mentioned this before, but maybe that was a different DOJ slush fund build from lawsuit settlements. This is yet another case of the administration circumventing the Congressional power of the purse. And it's far from the only example. It is just now coming to light that the Obama administration took $500 milliom from allocated funds for foreign aid and redirected it to the UN's Green Climate Fund... after Congress specifically declined to allocate money to that fund.
Koskinen declines to appear at own impeachment hearing
I can understand why he wouldn't want to show up for his ritual humiliation, especially when he would be asking to defend his own basically indefensible actions. But when you've done wrong, you can choose to duck the issue and hide like a coward, or face the music and admit wrongdoing. Clearly, Koskinen has chosen the coward's path.
To me, that right there is an admission of lying to Congress to obstruct justice. Remember, he told Congress repeatedly even after he knew emails were missing that he would produce all of Lerner's emails. If he knew they were missing, knew that was suspicious, knew that he would need to investigate the matter, and knew that he would need to report the missing emails to IRS watchdogs, then why would he lie to Congress and delay reporting the loss while he investigated -- unless his investigation was for the purposes of covering up the evidence before the watchdog, which he did not control, became involved?
And remember, too -- the server backup tapes were destroyed after Koskinen learned of the problem, while he was presumably investigating.
Legislation introduced to strip IRS agents of badges and guns
This is one of those pieces of reform legislation that really makes me question whether reform legislation will actually accomplish anything. Sure, having armed IRS agents (and probably a special IRS-branded SWAT team like every other federal agency) is a bad idea. Actual use of force from law enforcement agents should be narrowly concentrated in just a few closely supervised agencies, not spread out to every single petty administrator. But taking the same group of people currently at the IRS, and moving those same people to the US Treasury, seems like a shell game. Is the Treasury less populated by Democrat partisans? Less subject to bias? More closely supervised? Probably not.
The logic behind this legislation appears to be "We must do something. This is something. Let's do it."
It may be a marginal improvement, but as far as reform proposals go, I'm not impressed.
How ordinary people who mistreat classified documents are treated
Allegedly leaking classified information to a reporter and allegedly saving a single NSA document on his private computer, and he was arrested and charged with crimes carrying penalties up to 35 years in prison. How many times each day do you think Hillary Clinton leaks classified information to a reporter? And we're up to a couple thousand counts of "classified information on her private server" already.
Some of my readers insist that Hillary won't be charged because what she did isn't that serious. I think, when looked at with the same criteria as applied to ordinary employees subject to the same rules, it's obvious that what Hillary did was far more serious than anyone in the media is reporting.
Fast and Furious documents reveal obstruction of Congress
This doesn't surprise anyone who has been paying attention. This whole administration has been a continuous series of coverups and distractions from scandals with more scandals or outrageous "pen and phone" agenda items.
Kurt doesn't think they learned anything, and his analysis about the rise of Trump seems to be spot on.
Now, I still think Trump is basically a con man lying to the Republican base, but I think the base is mostly angry enough that they don't care. Trump was the one speaking loudly and forcefully about immigration and trade -- issues on which the Republican party was weak and distrusted already. Even Cruz has weakened his position on those issues and made himself vulnerable to accusations of being an insider simply by virtue of his presence in the Senate (never mind that people who had been paying attention knew otherwise).
When you know that every establishment candidate in the race will betray you and is lying to you, at least Trump was the one telling the right lies loudest. People were angry and didn't want the sane, responsible, thoughtful man with the right policies. They wanted an avatar for their anger, and they got one. It's not about Trump as a man, it's about anger and betrayal.
If Trump loses, someone else may be able to pick up the torch. I don't think Trump gets a second shot.
If Trump wins, and betrays the trust of the people who elected him.. well, I don't know what will happen, but I don't think it will be pretty.
And if Trump keeps his promises, maybe the establishment will start paying attention.
Even when the media aren't being paid shills for Democrats, they are a long ways from being fair. But this is a new low.
UPDATE: A new new low.
Note that Politico is not alone; the New York Times and Washington Post have also received similar sums in past years, though their trend lines are downwards. The mainstream media have become a government supported propaganda organization.
Congress has utterly failed to stop the IRS from abusing the tax laws to target the political opposition to the current administration. Perhaps the courts will do better, but the wheels of justice grind too slowly for politics.
The really devastating counterargument here, though, is that Hillary spent 8 years married to the President. If there is some sort of secret alien conspiracy in the US government, she should know about it already.
Obama admin wanted to confiscate guns from veterans and social security recipients
Wow. Never let anyone claim that no one wants to take your guns.
I've reported on the underlying effort by the Obama administration to declare people who want or need financial help administering their social security or veteran's administration benefits as "mentally incompetent" and add them to the NICS list to deny firearms purchases. Legislation has been introduced to stop it, but has predictably gone nowhere with a toothless Senate filled with surrender-happy RINOs. I've even said that I suspected the Obama Administration would love to use this as an excuse to perform actual confiscations to prevent those firearms from being passed down in estates.
It looks like I was right, and it was a very close call with the NRA working behind the scenes to prevent it.
The House has introduced a resolution to condemn and censure IRS Commissioner Koskinen for his role in the successful cover up of any White House role in the IRS Tea-Party targeting operation.
This will probably pass both the House and the Senate because the only substantial thing it does is ask Koskinen to resign (he will politely decline, of course) and forfeit his pension. I'm not certain if forfeiting his pension will require a Senate vote or be subject to a veto, but normally House censure motions do not require either.
Full resolution below the fold.
It is worth noting that the resolution to censure Koskinen, despite it's strong language, actually represents a failure to impeach, although the Daily Caller claims an attempt to impeach will follow. I fear many Congressmen will use the censure vote as cover for failing to impeach later.