EnduringSense

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

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IRS Scandal Growing

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 27, 2014

The so IRS scandal involved the Internal Revenue Service targeting organizations with anti-Obama leanings, delaying their tax-exempt status.  This lessened donations to anti-Obama candidates during the 2012 presidential election campaign.

It is not surprising that the IRS has pro-Democratic and Leftist bias.  The Democratic Party stands for increasing the size and scope of government.  IRS workers (of government employees) from the bottom to the top are more likely to see their personal income increase, along with their power, when Democrats control government.  In addition, the Democrats are pro-organized labor.  This leads to an incestuous relationship between government unionized employees and that Party.  These unions donate substantial funds to the Democrats, who once in power, are in charge of negotiating the same unions’ contracts.  This bizarre relationship should be illegal given the flagrant conflict of interest between the two and the People they are supposed to be serving.

When the scandal broke in 2013, President Obama went on the offensive acting incredulous about the obvious misdeeds of the IRS.  His comments after reading the IG’s report included:  “Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” and “it should not matter what political stripe you’re from. The fact of the matter is, the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity“. It is incredible just a year later how different the President acted and what he has since said. Just a half year later while when asked by Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “So you’re saying there was no corruption there at all,” the President morphed his earlier stated of anger into saying: “there were some bone-headed decisions out of a local office” and more incredibly: “not even a smidgen of corruption.” These two stated positions cannot coexist.

Initially, the IRS with the backing of the Obama Administration, blamed the IRS’s illegal actions on a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, Ohio. That dog didn’t hunt very long. It has since been learned that high-level IRS employees in Washington, DC, including Lois Lerner who has taken the Fifth, refusing to testify in front of Congress, were involved in a scheme to thwart the rights of organizations with anti-Obama political views.

Fast-forward another few months and the scandal is starting to snowball into something bigger. First, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in a sworn statement before Congress said that the IRS would turn over all Lois Lerner’s emails to Congress. A few months later in June 2014 he informed Congress that two years of Lois Lerner’s emails that were requested are gone because her hard drive was destroyed. (More incredibly, six other relevant IRS employee’s hard drives were also reportedly destroyed at the same time.) During his June testimony, Koskinen with attitude that demonstrated disdain for Congress and the People, testified that he learned of Lerner’s hard drive destruction in April, but he did not correct his earlier testimony to Congress until six weeks later during this testimony.

This past week the story gets more bizarre when it was learned the supposedly destroyed Lerner hard drive was merely scratched. In addition, while Koskinen previously testified that the backup tapes for the Lerner hard drive were destroyed, that testimony has since been changed indicating that backup tapes may actually still exist.

Included below is a video of IRS Commissioner Koskinen being grilled by Congressman Trey Gowdy, and experienced prosecutor prior to entering Congress. This exchange not only shows a lack of contrition by the IRS for its illegal behavior, but also an attitude that is at the very least bordering on obstruction of justice.

The IRS scandal has growing legs. Recent polling indicates that 70% of Americans want this matter thoroughly investigated to its completion. The IRS’s and the Administration’s stonewalling since day one has resulted in damning facts being trickled out. Between congresses investigation and some civil suits that are ongoing, it is likely that even more damning facts are yet to come.

As time moves on the IRS scandal is feeling more like the Watergate scandal of the early 1970s. It is already known that high level IRS employees used the power of the IRS to attempt to change the political landscape during the 2012 election. This is a dangerous and scary proposition on its own. However, there is likely even more. Already produced emails indicate pressure from certain Democrat Senators and Congressmen on the IRS to go after conservative political action groups. There are also emails between the IRS and the Justice Department on similar issues. Given the facts already exposed, it is likely that politicos in the White House were involved with the IRS’s illegal actions. That leaves the question of how high in the White House this goes. The answers are likely in September as the Country focuses on the November midterm elections.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Romney Versus Obama on Russia

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 23, 2014

During one of the debates between President Obama and presidential contender Mitt Romney, the issue of Russia and how it fits in the world order was discussed, as seen in the video clip below. Romney characterized Russia as a “geopolitical foe”. Obama responded critically, scoffing at Romney that his was a 20-year-old and from the Cold War, and issue that has long since been closed.

Given the events of this year in Ukraine, it is apparent that Romney’s view of Russia was correct in Obama’s was not. Add to this the turmoil throughout much of the world and it is apparent that Obama’s foreign policy is in tatters.

Posted in President Obama, Russia | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Right to Work Laws Promote Economic Growth

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 21, 2014

The so-called “right-to-work” laws make it illegal for workers to be forced to join a union, even if one represents the plant in which they work.  In states that do not have right-to-work” laws, union membership can be made a requirement of employment in those factories.

Pro-unionists argue that once a plant votes for union representation, all workers in that plant should be forced to pay dues to that union whether or not the individual employee desires the representation.  The opposing argument revolves around the rights of individual workers to choose or not to choose to join the union.

Those favoring compulsory unionization or closed shops often proffer to view that this requirement is for the overall good of not only the company workers as a group, but also overall society.  This is in keeping with a made union argument that somehow unions not only promote the overall economic good by raising worker compensation, but also help companies be more efficient in some undefined manner.  The video clip below of Barack Obama on a stump speech in front of the union audience repeats this argument.

IRreview.com has published economic facts that bring into question the soundness of the unions’ and Obama’s economic argument.  The following facts are listed from a study by The Competitive Enterprise Institute relating to economic activity between 1977 and 2012:

  • Median income for a family of four has decreased by approximately $13,100 in forced-unionism states. In addition, the greater the union membership percentage, the more depressed the state’s economic growth.
  • States with right-to-work laws have had an overall net gain in population growth compared to a net loss in other states. Populations move to more prosperous states.
  • During this period, nationwide the employment growth rate was 71%. However, in right-to-work states that number increased by 105% with non-right-to-work states growing by only 50%.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute study is interesting at various levels.  First, it bolsters the argument that right-to-work laws play a part in a state’s economic success.  In addition, it helps demonstrate that there are unintended consequences when the government interferes with the natural operations of the marketplace, in this case the labor marketplace.  While compulsory union shop laws may initially have been made for the benefit of workers, they have had long-term detrimental effects on employment and compensation.  It is likely that these compulsory laws’ largest benefactors have been the professional workers who work for organized labor including their executives, i.e. union bosses.

Posted in Unions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Professor Jonathan Turley’s Scolds Obama on his Unconstitutional Power Grab

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 19, 2014

Professor Jonathan Turley is a well-respected constitutional law expert. His credentials include currently holding the Shapiro Chair for Public Interest Law at The George Washington University Law School. In addition, he was youngest professors to be offered tenure at Tulane University School of Law.

Turley’s politics are liberal and he is stated: “I happen to support most of the changes that President Obama has ordered. I voted for him. I voted for him in 2008.” In adding to his liberal credentials, he sought criminal prosecution of the Bush administration for torture and is vocally against the death penalty.

Turley has recently testified before Congress on perhaps the most important constitutional issue facing the country. He expressed strong intellectual concerns about the increasing power of the Executive Branch and more specifically the unconstitutional power grab by President Obama. Turley’s testimony included in the video posted below is chilling and in fact he proffers the view that Congress’s current lawsuit against Obama is not only appropriate, but necessary to protect the Constitution stating: “You asked if I think a lawsuit would be a good idea? I do.” Included below are additional quotes from that testimony.

Turley’s unquestionable liberal credentials should remove from the discussion of Obama’s unconstitutional power grab the claim that it is a partisan political issue. It is that only if the Constitution is ignored and one happens to agree with the Uber-president’s policies. To my liberal friends, as Turley correctly points out, there are going to be other presidents in the future. Once we travel down this slippery slope of the executive branch trampling on the Constitution, the consequences are scary, but unfortunately predictable.

Professor Turley’s statements before Congress:

  • There’s a growing crisis in our system, a shifting of the balance of power within the tripartite system in favor of now dominant chief executive.
  • Our system is changing and his body is the one branch that must act if we are to reverse those changes.
  • We are seeing the emergence of a different kind of government, a model long ago rejected by the framers.
  • The President’s pledged to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge. When a president can govern alone, he can become a government in itself, which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid.
  • What we are witnessing today is one of the greatest crises that expect the members of this committee and his body will face.
  • People misconstrue the separation of powers regularly. It is not there to protect the institutional rights of the branches. It is there to protect individual liberty. It was created by the framers to prevent any branch from aggregating enough power to be a danger to liberty.
  • This is not a question of what should be done. . It is a question of how it should be done and more importantly who should do it.
  • The framers repeatedly rejected that type a notion that the executive has to essentially rework legislation, to use what we would call an executive prerogative.
  • As much as I respect the President, the arguments he is making over presidential authority are extreme …

Posted in Constitution, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Harry Reid Claims “Border is Secure”

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 16, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is known for making outrageous, partisan and downright stupid statements.  However, even by these standards, Reid went over the top this week during comments he made to reporters after the weekly Democratic caucus meeting.  In it, as included in the video below, Reid claims “the border is secure.”  That ridiculous claim brings into question Reid’s sanity, if not his intelligence.  Just imagine the clamoring from the mainstream media had Sarah Palin made such an outrageous comment.

Posted in Harry Reid, Illegal Immigrants | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Department Of Defense Cuts Firefighting Assistance to Thwart Pollution

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 15, 2014

Blog reader Liz sent in this unbelievable story from the Wall Street Journal titled Obama’s Nonpolluting Fire Fighters.  According to the Journal, the Department of Defense (DOD) has for years loaned firefighting equipment to states and municipalities through programs called Federal Excess Personal Property Program and Firefighter Property Program. The equipment included trucks, tankers and pumps. The Journal reports that the DOD has suspended the programs since some of the equipment may not meet federal government admission standards.

The DOD bizarro decision is straight from the Progressive manifesto of irresponsible government. In this case the government would hinder smaller fire departments’ abilities to fight wildfires in the name of some potential future pollution issue or global warming. No matter that this decision will lead to more pollution and carbon gases being spewed into the atmosphere, it meets the logic of some lame governmental law or regulation.

This is yet another blaring example of why President Ronald Reagan properly concluded that government is the problem, not the solution.

Posted in Environmentalists, Government Ineptness | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama Says He Can Now Tell the Truth Since he’s No Longer Campaigning

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 14, 2014

During a campaign style speech in Texas last week President Obama made a rather remarkable statement included in the video clip below:

I’m just telling the truth now. I don’t have to run for office again, so I can just, you know, let her rip.”

Quite frankly Mr. President, it would be appropriate for you to tell the truth all of the time. Perhaps even sadder than your statement was the fact that your audience cheered you for it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Megyn Kelly Calls Nancy Pelosi on her Hobby-Lobby Sexist Rant

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 12, 2014

In typical Progressive fashion, the Left has attacked the Supreme Court’s justices personally and with false facts for a decision the Left disagrees with.  In the “Hobby Lobby” decision, the Court found that small, privately-owned companies whose owners have strong religious beliefs otherwise cannot be forced to pay for 4 out of 20 birth-control methods required under Obamacare.  Those four methods in essence abort a fertilized egg.

The Court neither outlawed any method of birth control nor stopped a woman’s right to obtain them.  It merely removed from small, privately owned companies the obligation to pay for these certain methods of birth control that go against their “strongly-held” religious beliefs.

The outcry from some on the Left is not only outrageous, but also telling as exemplified by the rent posted below by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a commentary by Megyn Kelly.  Here are some of the outrageous quotes from Pelosi:

“We should be afraid of this Court that five guys should start determining what contraception’s are legal or not.”The problem with this quote, the Court did not outlaw any form of contraception.

“That court decision was a frightening one, that five men should get down the specifics of whether women should use a diaphragm.” - The problem with this quote, the court made no mention of a diaphragm.

The question raised by Ms. Pelosi’s outrageous rant is whether she is purposely misleading the public, i.e. lying, or is she ignorant.

Posted in Nancy Pelosi | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Houston Woman Understands Cost to American Poor from Illegal Immigrants

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 11, 2014

To Progressives, the crisis of thousands of illegal immigrants flooding America’s borders is an opportunity. They use this human tragedy to increase the power, scope and spending of the federal government. And yes, at the same time they increase the amount of people employed by and the any amount of compensation some federal employees are paid. It is a despicable use of human tragedy for the same basic greed often blamed on Wall Street and private businesses.

When liberals raise the issue of illegal immigrants, it is typically couched in terms of the humanitarian problems of the immigrants. These immigrants often come from deplorable conditions and corrupt and dysfunctional countries. That does not relieve the federal government of its obligation to have secure borders.

President Obama has responded to the immigration crisis asking Congress for an emergency $4 billion to spend on the issue. Any expenditure comes from a finite pool of funds that are therefore no longer available for Americans and legal immigrants in need. While the President and his Leftist allies seem ignorant to this economic reality, one Houston resident, Ms. Bernadette Lancelin, clearly understands this basic law of economics. Her rant in the video below demonstrates the potential political costs to the President and his party for the immigration mess and the Obama’s lame response.

Posted in Illegal Immigrants | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar Blast Obama

Posted by Steve Markowitz on July 10, 2014

The decay of the Obama presidency is accelerating following continuous scandals. The most recent crisis involves the tens of thousands of illegal alien children from Central America flooding across the Country’s Southwest borders.

From the beginning of his presidency, Barack Obama has had many critics on the Right. This group is no longer the only dissenters against the President with his national approval ratings being measured below 40% in some polls. However, more problematic for the President, is that the criticism is growing amongst some of his previous allies including Democratic politicians and the mainstream media.

In a recent interview by MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar of Texas went on a strong attack the President questioning why Obama could not take the time to visit the border when the night before he was playing pool of having a beer in Colorado with its governor. Cuellar went so far as to call this Obama’s “Katrina moment” was reporter Mitchell seemingly agreeing on the thesis.

Those that have seen the weaknesses of Barack Obama and his policies some years ago should not rejoice at the decay of his presidency. It weakens the Country and presents significant dangers during the last two years of the Obama’s lame-duck presidency.

Posted in President Obama | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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