America on the threshold of dystopia 1

The untruths and hypocrisy hover in the partisan atmosphere and incrementally and insidiously undermine each new assertion that we hear from the president … Indeed, the more emphatically he adds “make no mistake about it,” “let me be perfectly clear,” “I’m not kidding,” or the ubiquitous “me,” “my,” and “I” to each new assertion, the more a growing number of people will come to know from the past that what follows simply is not true. … When we hear the president remind us that he is not a tyrant or monarch, then we assume he laments that fact; “make no mistake about it” ensures that you should believe that the president is not being “perfectly clear.”

So Victor Davis Hanson writes at PJ Media.

Here are more extracts from the same article:

The president had a strange habit, like a moth to a flame, of demagoguing the wealthy as toxic (spread the wealth, pay your fair share, fat cat, you didn’t build that, etc.), while being attracted to the very lifestyle that he damns, a sort of Martha’s Vineyard community organizer. Sometime in 2009, $250,000 in annual income became the dividing line between “us” and “them.” …

I did not think that the administration would be so haughty as to go after the Associated Press and monitor their official and private communications, especially given that the source of most national security leaks par excellence was the Obama White House itself. Recall the sordid details of the AP scandal: the AP sat on a story until they were given a quiet administration go-ahead to publish the account — even as the administration desperately wanted to scoop them and high-five over the story of the Yemeni double agent 24 hours earlier than the AP. The AP was not first advised of the administration investigations, nor were the phone checks focused and narrow. Instead, the administration went whole hog after two months of phone records to send a message to its pets in the press — secure that Eric Holder, in Fast and Furious fashion, could always go to Congress with “I don’t now,” followed by executive privilege and stonewalling.

Meanwhile, in Machiavellian fashion the Obama administration had divulged classified information about the Stuxnet virus, the bin Laden raid, and the drone targeting — in order that sympathetic Washington Post and New York Times reporters might have pre-election fuel for the hagiographic accounts of Obama, the underappreciated commander-in-chief.

While we all knew that a filmmaker did not prompt a riot that just happened to kill four Americans, we did not, until the testimony of State Department officials and the published communications of White House, CIA, and State Department staffers, appreciate just how far the administration would go to further a false narrative. And quite a myth it was: lead-from-behind Libya was still a success; al-Qaeda was still scattered; Obama was still on the global front lines condemning anti-Islamic bigots like Mr. Nakoula, whose religious hatred supposedly had spawned violence that even the Nobel laureate Barack Obama could not deter. …

The IRS, AP, and Benghazi scandals were all adroitly kept under wraps for months before the 2012 election, as [Democrats] thundered about right-wing wealthy people not paying their fair taxes, and the press echoed a “how dare you” when anyone questioned the frightening state of events.

Now the wraps have come off and we find –

Five departments of government are either breaking the law or lying or both: State [Benghazi], Defense [sexual harassment issues], Justice [monitoring of phone lines], Treasury [corruption at the IRS], Health and Human Services [shaking down companies to pay for PR for Obamacare]).

The National Rifle Association is now supposed to be a suspect paramilitary group …

Women [are] suddenly eligible to serve in front-line combat units — no discussion, no hearings, no public debate.

We had a “war on women” over whether upscale Sandra Fluke could get free birth control from the government, but snoozed through the Dr. Gosnell trial. The latter may have been the most lethal serial killer in U.S. history, if his last few years of snipping spinal cords were indicative of his first three unmonitored decades of late-term aborting.

The Obama administration …  decided to shut down as many coal plants as it can, stop most new gas and oil drilling on federal lands, and go after private companies ranging from huge aircraft manufacturers to the small guitar concerns — based not on law, but on certain theories of climate change and labor equity. As in the case with the IRS, the EPA is now synonymous with politically motivated activism designed to circumvent the law. The president in his State of the Union address assured us that cap-and-trade will be back, given, he says, the atypical violent weather that hit the U.S. in his term — even as global temperatures have not risen in 15 years, and hurricanes are now occurring more rarely than during the last administration. …

We are in unchartered territory.

The IRS has lost our trust, both for its rank partisanship and its inability to come forward and explain its crimes.

Eric Holder wants us to believe that he has no idea why his office was monitoring the communications of journalists, and yet now warrants the renewed trust of the president.

Susan Rice serially misled on national television about Benghazi and so will probably be promoted to national security advisor. …

On campuses, the Departments of Justice and Education have issued new race/class/gender guidelines that would effectively deny constitutionally protected free speech in universities, a sort of politically correct idea that proper thinking is preferable to free thinking.

If you oppose “comprehensive immigration reform” you become a nativist or worse—and apparently are one of the “enemies” the president wants to “punish.” …

In sum:

Government has become a sort of malignant metasisizing tumor, growing on its own, parasitical on healthy cells, always searching for new sources of nourishment, its purpose nothing other than growing bigger and faster and more powerful—until the exhausted host collapses.

We have a sunshine king and our government has become a sort of virtual Versailles palace.

I suppose that when a presidential candidate urges his supporters [as Obama did] to get in someone’s face, and to take a gun to a knife fight, from now on you better believe him.

And, finally, the strangest thing about nearing the threshold of 1984? It comes with a whimper, not a bang, with a charismatic smile and mellifluous nonsense — with politically correct, egalitarian-minded bureaucrats with glasses and iPhones instead of fist-shaking jack-booted thugs.

Deep rot and the art of recusal 1

If you wondered why the sky is full of flying pigs, and why the rumor is spreading that hell is freezing over, it’s because the Press and the mainstream media in general are beginning to notice that the feet of Obama are made of clay – or at least that his hands are, the persons who administer his policies.

This criticism of Attorney General Eric Holder, claiming to know nothing about his department’s illegal raid on Associated Press phone records in order to investigate the source of an information leak, comes from the pen of Dana Milbank writing in the left-leaning Washington Post:

As the nation’s top law enforcement official, Eric Holder is privy to all kinds of sensitive information. But he seems to be proud of how little he knows.

Holder was appearing before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing. He was asked –

Why didn’t his Justice Department inform the Associated Press, as the law requires, before pawing through reporters’ phone records?

“I do not know,” the attorney general told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon, “why that was or was not done. I simply don’t have a factual basis to answer that question.”

Why didn’t the DOJ seek the AP’s cooperation, as the law also requires, before issuing subpoenas?

I don’t know what happened there,” Holder replied. “I was recused from the case.”

He “recused” himself from the case because, he said, he was ” a possessor of information eventually leaked” – which leak his department was investigating. But if he had the information, was it not therefore already leaked? And what reason would there be in that for him to “recuse” himself? If he were likely to be  investigated as one of the people who could have, might have, done the leaking, he would be right to recuse himself, as he couldn’t be both investigator and investigatee. But the leak was of  a plan by the Intelligence Services. If Horder heard of it because it was leaked, and therefore had his department investigate it, wasn’t that the proper thing for him to do? Or is he afraid that not having his department investigate the leak when he first heard of it makes him vulnerable to investigation? Curiouser and curiouser!

Why, asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), was the whole matter handled in a manner that appears “contrary to the law and standard procedure”?

I don’t have a factual basis to answer the questions that you have asked, because I was recused,” the attorney general said.

On and on Holder went: “I don’t know. I don’t know. . . . I would not want to reveal what I know. . . . I don’t know why that didn’t happen. . . . I know nothing, so I’m not in a position really to answer.”

Holder seemed to regard this ignorance as a shield protecting him and the Justice Department from all criticism of the Obama administration’s assault on press freedoms. But his claim that his “recusal” from the case exempted him from all discussion of the matter didn’t fly with Republicans or Democrats on the committee, who justifiably saw his recusal as more of an abdication. …

“[I]t seems to me clear that the actions of the department have, in fact, impaired the First Amendment,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) told Holder. “Reporters who might have previously believed that a confidential source would speak to them would no longer have that level of confidence, because those confidential sources are now going to be chilled in their relationship with the press.”

In a sense, the two topics that dogged Holder most on Wednesday — the AP phone records and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups — were one and the same. In both cases, Americans are being punished and intimidated for exercising their right of free expression — by the taxing authorities, in the conservatives’ case, and by federal prosecutors, in the reporters’ case.

But Holder cared so little about those two issues that he said not a peep about either the IRS or the AP in his opening statement. When he was questioned about the AP case, his first response was to suggest the criticism of him was political. “I mean, there’s been a lot of criticism,” Holder said. “In fact, the head of the RNC [Republican National Committee] called for my resignation, in spite of the fact that I was not the person involved in that decision.” …

[Holder]  may have recused himself from the leak probe that led to the searches of reporters’ phone records (a decision he took so lightly that he didn’t put it in writing), but he isn’t recused from defending the First Amendment. 

Didn’t the deputy attorney general who approved the subpoenas have the same potential conflict of interest that Holder claimed?

“I don’t know.”

When did Holder recuse himself?

“I’m not sure.”

How much time was spent exploring alternatives to the subpoenas?

“I don’t know, because, as I said, I recused myself.”

But when the Justice Department undermines the Constitution, recusal is no excuse.

Strictly speaking, the word “recuse” can only apply to a judge or juror: he can recuse himself from a case because of a conflict of interest.

But Eric Holder sets a precedent that extends the application of the term.

It’s a great tactic: avoid being held responsible for whatever goes wrong in the organization under your control by “recusing” yourself. 

The head of BP might have recused himself when his company’s oil rig polluted the waters of the gulf.

The heads of Enron and Solyndra might have repelled accusations of mismanagement  by recusing themselves.

The Nazi war criminals might have escaped trial at Nuremberg by recusing themselves.

Napoleon might have avoided exile on St Helena by recusing himself.

And just think of the cosmic and historical disasters from which omnipotent “God” could claim to have recused himself!

Obama might elude responsibility for capitulating to the Islamic enemy in Benghazi, using the IRS to intimidate his political opponents, subverting the First and Second Amendments, plunging the US into deep debt, and numerous other calamities which he should be called to answer for, by simply recusing himself.

He could try it anyway, if Holder gets away with it.

*

These important points about collaboration – or conspiracy – between Attorney General Eric Holder’s Department of Justice and the nefarious group Media Matters are made by Arnold Ahlert in an article at Front Page. They show how habitual the corruption of the Obama DOJ has become:

Internal DOJ emails obtained in 2012 by the Daily Caller revealed the leftist advocacy group regularly collaborated with the DOJ to attack reporters who covered DOJ scandals.

Tracy Schmaler, Office of Public Affairs Director for the Justice Department, worked with Media Matters staffers to attack a number of prominent journalists, including Townhall Magazine’s Katie Pavlich, Breitbart.com writers Joel Pollak and Ken Klukowski, Fox News’s William LaJeunesse, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Megyn Kelly, Martha MacCallum, Bill Hemmer, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, and National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy. Former DOJ Civil Rights Division attorneys J. Christian Adams and Hans von Spakovsky were also attacked.

The Daily Caller obtained the emails after filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that was fulfilled long after the 20-business-day limit required by law.

Moreover, the Office of Public Affairs has no business conducting a political operation. Its function is to keep the public informed about what the DOJ is doing to enforce the laws. That it was more than willing to violate its mandate is a good indication of how deep the rot at the DOJ goes.

Yesterday [May 15, 2013], Eric Holder did what he does best whenever he appears before a Congressional Committee: provide as little information as possible, become indignant when anyone suggests he has acted improperly, and fob responsibility for every possible impropriety conducted by his department onto someone else – when he’s not busy stonewalling scandals. Even a contempt of Congress citation for his refusal to provide critical information in the Fast and Furious gunrunning debacle that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, along with hundreds of Mexican nationals, including children, has failed to chasten his contempt for the rule of law, or his determination to maintain the most ideologically-compromised Department of Justice in modern history.

Holder can only serve as long as he maintains the support of President Barack Obama. That he still does, speaks volumes – about both men.