You can find this week’s column on my Newsmax Insider page at:
If you’ve been skeptical about the IRS’ explanation that Lois Lerner’s email disappeared during a World of Warcraft online game that got out of control, I have good news. Particularly since you’ve also probably been a little reluctant to express that thought. No one wants to be called a racist in the latte line at Starbucks while you–know–who is in the White House.
But you are not alone. Barbara Boland of CNS News reports that an overwhelming 76 percent of the American public does not believe the email was “lost” and rumors have it Jay Carney’s support is slipping, too. This means IRS deniers aren’t bigots after all! Since only 63 percent of the total US population is white, that means 13 percent of the minority population is included among the hard drive crash skeptics. Even the trends are looking bad for Barack ‘What? Me Worry?’ Obama. In April only 7 percent of the public believed that Congress should continue investigating “until someone is held accountable.” Now that figure is at 74 percent.
Disbelief was so pervasive among poll respondents that only people who swallowed the IRS story were over 65–years–old and still using a rotary phone.
Even 63 percent of Democrats believe the potentially incriminating messages were “deliberately destroyed,” but of course they have not received any contributions from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. Boland — who has been all over this part of the story, too — found that Koskinen gave a $5,000.00 donation to re–elect Obama in 2012 and a total of $19,000 to the Democratic National Committee from 1988 to 2008. He’s also contributed to every Democratic presidential nominee since 1980. And he even gave $3,800.00 to Hillary ‘What difference does it make’ Clinton.
I won’t bore you with pointing out that a Republican in similar circumstances would be asked to recuse himself from anything concerned with the investigation. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D–MD) was so honored by the IRS commissioner’s appearance before the House committee investigating the IRS scandal that he almost pre–paid his taxes right there. Sounding like the master of ceremonies at a Kim Jong–un birthday party, Cummings gushed, “I want to thank you for being who you are. I want to thank you for giving a damn and caring about our country.”
What Koskinen is, is an arrogant, long–time laborer in the Democrat vineyard who is offended that Republicans won’t take his word for it that email on Lois Lerner and six of her henchmen’s computers suddenly came down with a bad case of digital flu that wiped out the messages. The fact that this is exactly what your ex–wife says about your email requesting a week’s grace period on the child support check is just a coincidence. It’s simply chance that time period involved in the elusive email is the exact same time period the House has subpoenaed.
Just because grandma has her data backed up on the cloud — she calls it “heaven” just for laughs — doesn’t mean a giant organization like the IRS with an annual budget of $11.2 billion has to follow even an elementary data preservation protocol.
Although the Senate appears content to sleep through this data disaster, there could be repercussions among the public. Losing information certainly does nothing to create confidence in the IRS E–File program that uses the Internet to file tax returns and make payments.
What if tax collections fall a bit short and the commissioner decides to double dip and tell you there is no record of your payment? It makes me suspicious that maybe the reason for IRS audits is not because the bureau thinks you are cheating on your taxes, it’s because they lost your tax information and are hoping you kept the records. Any revenue the auditor can gouge out during the process is a bonus.
Of course if the situation were reversed, what are the chances the IRS would accept an explanation like this from a taxpayer? You know the answer is less than zero. Lack of data would be just the same as pleading guilty, with fines and imprisonment to follow.
For that matter Koskinen’s excuse is even worse than the “I only had two beers, officer” that the drunk always gives during a DUI stop right before he participates in a field sobriety test.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R–SC) is a former prosecutor and he has had it with Koskinen’s arrogance. Last Monday he lit into the commissioner’s glib assurances that the IRS was a paragon of probity.
“You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing,” Gowdy remarked. “I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated.”
“I have not looked at any,” Koskinen replied.
“Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” Gowdy shot back.
No doubt Koskinen is surprised at Gowdy’s lack of confidence in his assurances. The mainstream media treats him like the Oracle at Delphi, but this backwoods hick with the aggressive hair is attacking him in public!
Meanwhile back at the White House, it’s interesting how Obama continues to deploy the Will Roger’s Defense — All I know is what I read in the newspapers — with a straight face every time his administration demonstrates its incompetence. Why didn’t George Bush think of that during Katrina, the US Attorney firings or Iraq?
Still, I do wonder what Obama does during his daily briefings. Surely he must get tired of playing computer solitaire occasionally and look up to ask a question. During the 30 months and counting remaining of his second term, I hope no low level minion ever forgets to pay the New York Times subscription.
Otherwise Obama will have to rely on his golfing buddies to keep him abreast of current events.
Time for a bit of boasting. Newsmax has asked me to join their excellent group of columnists, which are called Insiders. My column will focus on government waste, which means I’ll never lack for a topic.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to pass it along.
The column will appear each week. Under the terms of my agreement, that work can’t appear here, but I will be posting the URL so you can see it on Newsmax.
This doesn’t mean I will no longer post here. Thanks for being a reader.
This week’s URL:
It’s no mystery why Eric Cantor lost his primary last Tuesday. He simply failed to turn out his new Hispanic base. And Cantor is not completely to blame for this failure, because events outside his control were also working against him.
On the day of the vote many members of his new voting block, Futuro Ciudadnos for Cantor couldn’t votar because they were waiting outside the local bus stations and airports to be reunited with younger members of their extended family. It’s really a shame Cantor lost because footage of these tearful reunions would have made great feel–good television spots in November, as long as the crew made sure no weeping taxpayers could be seen in the back of the frame.
[CULTURAL SENSITIVITY NOTE REGARDING OUR NEW NEIGHBORS: When Gringos send their unaccompanied minors to visit the ex, they complicate the process with needless rules and bureaucracy. On United Airlines — my carrier of choice — parents pay a fee of $150 each way for an unaccompanied minor, on top of what the airfare cost. The parent or guardian is required to arrive early at the airport, with photo identification and contact information and the same info regarding the person meeting little Belgium at his destination.
The child gets an I.D. badge and experiences the tender mercies of the TSA, which may include being felt up. When boarding the plane, flight attendants greet him personally, escort him to his seat and buckle him in. At the destination a United employee meets your child and escorts him to the arrivals area where the identification of the ex is checked closely to make sure there is an exact match with the data supplied before the child boarded.
Once the paperwork is complete, Belgium is handed over.
Futuro cuidadnos in need of an anchor adolescent have a much simpler system. First of all it’s a one-way trip. Jesusito — who can be a son, cousin, uncle, nephew, foster child, drinking buddy or fellow gang member — is tossed on the nearest autobus heading for El Norte. His documentation, if any, consists of tattoos and a handwritten note listing the town where his ‘relatives’ are living in the shadows doing the work US business won’t pay citizens enough to do.
Once he arrives at the border he wades, rides, walks, sneaks, jumps or runs across. If he’s not lucky enough to be captured immediately by the Border Patrol, Jesusito must track one down and inform the CBP officer of his rights and what services the officer needs to provide to avoid a UN investigation.
On the United flight the unaccompanied minor gets a bag of pretzels.
At INS Daycare Jesusito gets food, a bed, his diaper changed (only if necessary), a shower, entertainment, visits from befuddled Members of Congress and transportation that will reunite him with the family whose deportation he will prevent in the future. And it’s all free! Well, free for Jesusito since the taxpayers are footing the bill.]
So it’s no wonder Cantor lost with that kind of distraction affecting his base. Of course there is no guarantee Eric would have won even without the interference of the infant invasion. His new amigos aren’t known for displays of gratitude, in fact amnesty advocates invaded Cantor’s ‘Victory Celebration’ after he lost demanding legislation he was in no position to pass after the polls closed.
Now that he’s no longer a political factor the rumors of how hard it was to work with Cantor’s arrogant staff start to surface. This is plausible. Cantor was House Majority Leader, so he gets funding for two sets of staff members: The Congressional staff and the majority leader’s staff. I used to work for a majority leader and in DC this officer holder is not a mere congressman or representative. People address him as ‘leader’ and do so with a straight face. It’s like ruling in your own private North Korea without the really bad hair and mass starvation.
You can imagine what a shock it must have been to go back to the district were voters not only didn’t call him ‘leader,’ they asked impertinent questions and wanted college recommendations for their kids.
The same goes for the staff. In DC everyone treads lightly around these pencil necks because they have Cantor’s ear and can make your political life miserable. But they, too get no respect when some rube from Virginia calls wondering where her Social Security check is and why her son can’t get full disability after that unfortunate explosion in the meth lab.
The only portion of Cantor’s new base that came through for him was the big business money that allowed him to outspend opponent Dave Brat by 25–to–1.
Which reminds me: How many of you took my excellent advice shared here and contributed to Brat’s campaign BEFORE he won? I feel like one of those guys that bought Apple stock before Steve started using deodorant and came back to save the company.
Cantor is another one of those too–clever–by–half politicians that outgrew their voters and made the fatal mistake of letting the voters know it. His focus–group tested language and his amnesty triangulation — conservative enough to confuse the district, but not so much that the US Chamber of Commerce, agriculture lobbyists and HB–1 visa proponents would shut off the money spigot — had one fatal flaw. Clinton, the inventor of triangulation, did his in the general election, not the primary.
Brat’s campaign and his fund raising just got him over the threshold of credibility and angry voters did the rest. But Brat should take care that Cantor’s defeat doesn’t go to his head. When an incumbent loses the vast majority of voters don’t vote for the winner, they vote against the incumbent. Brat just happened to reap the whirlwind.
He must still continue to make the case for his ideas and build strong ties with the district before November.
In the meantime conservatives can enjoy watching the amnesty lobby explain how illegal immigration had absolutely nothing to do with Cantor’s loss. In fact, if Cantor had only come out stronger for amnesty and Chipotle has closed early on the day of the primary, he would still be the Congressman.
It’s like trying to explain that Noah’s flood didn’t wipe out the earth’s population. The root cause was lack of oxygen and no Corps of Engineers.
A lack of affordable housing forced me to move 24 miles south of the Fort Hunt area in Fairfax County, VA. I couldn’t find an affordable house that had a view of the Potomac River.
We had been renting a home there for five years and each winter, after the leaves fell from the trees in the backyard, we could catch a postage stamp–sized glimpse of the river from the dining room.
My thinking was if a glimpse was good, how much better would a year–around view be?
I wasn’t the only one with this opinion. Evidently politicians, Democrat lobbyists and environmentalists had cornered the market. The demand for river views boosted housing prices far outside my budget.
This brush with the market may have served to accelerate my departure from the Democrat party. More ‘affordable housing’ had been the battle cry and tax–dollar black hole for Northern VA Democrats since we moved here from Texas.
Yet when I needed an affordable house no concerned Democrat was to be found.
So the family moved into a house on the waterfront of Lake Montclair that we could afford. Down among the Republicans and gas–guzzler owners, many but one generation removed from the trailer park. But I’m afraid — like many California refugees that have fled to Arizona — when I left Fairfax I didn’t leave behind all my bad, leftist ideas.
Case in point: Our back deck has an excellent view of the lake. During the spring and summer (and soon maybe year around if the warmist Chicken Little’s are correct!) I sit on the deck and read the newspaper before going to work.
Three years ago I decided to spread the wealth and each morning began leaving two peanuts on the deck rail in front of my chair. Montclair is home to foxes, raccoons, beavers, hawks, many varieties of songbirds and innumerable squirrels. The peanuts were for the squirrels.
A routine was quickly established. Each morning I would replace the two nuts that had disappeared overnight and then begin with my coffee and paper. This went on for a few weeks until one morning there was a new development: A squirrel came to get the nut while I was still outside.
He/she/it watched me from the far edge of the deck and then cautiously came halfway down the rail. After a period of watchfulness, the squirrel would dart in front of me, halt long enough to snatch the peanut and then scamper away.
This was entertaining. So much so that I began exceeding my two–nut limit, replacing each snatched nut with a new one until I went back in the house.
Then the escalation really began. I started to think like a crack dealer. The squirrel is hooked on rail nuts, how about bending him to my will and forcing the squirrel to ask for the nut? So I would put the initial two nuts on the rail and wait.
After those were taken, I didn’t add replacements. Instead I waited until the squirrel returned and then I took a peanut off my table and slooowly leaned out toward the squirrel. I looked like a geriatric at the Early Bird Special reaching for the salt.
At first the squirrel wanted no part of this slow–motion enticement — much like a conservative applying for his first food stamp — but gradually I wore down his resistance. And before cooler temperatures arrived he was taking nuts out of my hand and occasionally resting one paw on my finger to steady himself as he grabs the nut, as you can see here:
I was so proud of myself that frankly I overlooked multiple warning signs. Rocky (what other name could there be for a squirrel?) had been missing for most of a week and when he finally returned there was a bare spot on the back of his neck where the fur had been ripped away and a big gouge in the underlying skin.
I rationalized his wound and chalked it up to a domestic disturbance that got out of hand.
Then the next summer the process was repeated. A formerly sleek squirrel (Rocky II) appeared one day looking like Rodney Dangerfield. And his neck had the same ripped fur and ugly scab.
Since the average life span of a squirrel is one year, I wasn’t dealing with a rodent that had forgotten to wear his toupee. This was a different squirrel with the same wound. It’s obvious that breakfasting at the Shannon Country Buffet wasn’t exactly burning up the calories.
Rocky I & II’s weight gain had caused him to lose a step and the hawk that perches in the mimosa tree had had taken advantage of his gluttony. The only good news was his peanut–centric diet made him so fat the hawk evidently dropped him.
The new Rocky also resumed eating out of my hand. I don’t know if the previous Rocky had passed down knowledge of the peanut program by word–of–mouth, scratched a treasure map on a tree or if it is encoded in their DNA, but the word was out. Other squirrels would line up on the rail like crony capitalists waiting for a tax break. Soon the deck looked like earmark time in Harry Reid’s Senate. In fact, the goobers were so plentiful squirrels didn’t bother to eat many of the nuts and instead buried them in the flower boxes.
This spring marks the third year of my private sector peanut handout program and Rocky III is here with his neck — so far — intact. Unfortunately with his arrival I have to face the realization that I have created a culture of dependency in my own backyard.
Now when Rocky III arrives on the rail he ignores the two traditional nuts laid out for him and instead comes to a dead stop in front of me and stares until I personally give him a handout.
And I do, in spite of the fact these unearned giveaways make me the Barack Obama of Skyline Drive.
I started out with the best of intentions, feeding neighborhood animals, and wound up running a peanut kitchen for able–bodied squirrels that are entirely capable of fending for themselves.
The worst part is that I enjoy the feeling of benevolence and superiority I get from having squirrels dependent upon me. So much so that like Obama and his ever–expanding welfare benefits, I have no intention of ending the program, even though it would be better in the long run for the squirrels.