IRS apologists are furiously trying to change the subject from the outrageous targeting of political opponents by the IRS to a policy debate over forced disclosure of contributions to groups that engage in political speech. The story is that a deluge of applications forced the IRS to cut corners and the targeting scandal was an accidental result of mismanaging that flood. From there the apologists pivot to demanding a new crackdown on political speech, forced disclosure of donors, or both. But the story is a fairy tale and the "solutions" are unconstitutional.
As part of the brash rash of wire-brush scouring on the Teflon coating that routinely seals the Obama presidency, a large heavy-duty cast-iron deal has been made of the IRS conducting audits on Tea Party-affiliated organizations. But scratch the surface and it makes a sort of perverse sense.
The growing scandals enveloping the Obama administration are becoming a series of shiny baubles being dangled before the right and the left alike. The right wants to impeach Obama, while the left, of course, wants to blindly defend him. Meanwhile, the American people are being sold a bill of goods that this is a partisan fight and that partisanship is a danger to the Republic. The truth is, the real danger lies in so-called bipartisanship.
Forget the political "blame game." The biggest game in town now is the credibility game -- a high-stakes exercise that will end with America's political middle deciding who is trustworthy and who isn't. Some key players:
At some point, we need to stop believing in miracles, at least in education. While we're still getting over the RICO indictments handed down in the Atlanta cheating scandal comes the revelation that the success Michelle Rhee achieved as the "no excuses" superintendent of Washington, D.C.'s public schools was the product of massive cheating. Those asking why Rhee isn't under indictment just like her former colleague in Atlanta are missing the bigger question: If she's an example of its success, is the theory behind market-driven education reform valid?
Up until about an hour ago, most Americans thought Benghazi was the guy who palled around with John Cassavetes back in the '60s, but now it's obvious we're talking about the foreign policy arm of a multi-ramped tar pit the president has found himself swimming -- up to his armpits. Yes, friends, it's pity time at the White House.
Bill Clinton, wearing a white toga and a crown of gold, sat in a garden while attractive women fed him grapes. President Obama, having just suffered the most devastating week of his presidency, sat nearby, seeking advice in the art of telling whoppers. Using the Socratic method of teaching, Clinton began to tutor his new student.
"We have a large government," political consultant David Axelrod offered as a plea of ignorance to all of the scandals swirling around his boss. "Part of being president is there's so much beneath you that you can't know because the government is so vast." And yet, thanks to Axelrod and Obama, we now stand on the precipice of the largest expansion of government power in almost half a century: Obamacare, officially known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Car e Act (PPACA).
There is a big problem with the prevailing liberal narrative that the phrase describing subsidy eligibility in Obamacare, "established by the state," could not possibly mean what it says. The problem is named Jonathan Gruber.
Political correctness is a contradiction of reality and distortion of morality that necessitates relentless government intervention devised by those who seek to control our lives. These self-appointed "Speech Sheriffs" warn us that words spoken outside the imaginary perimeters they've set are judgmental, negative, racist or intolerant.
Nebraska's legislature recently made headlines when it ended the state's death penalty. Many found it odd that a conservatives-dominated legislature would support ending capital punishment, since conservative politicians have traditionally supported the death penalty. However, an increasing number of conservatives are realizing that the death penalty is inconsistent with both fiscal and social conservatism. These conservatives are joining with libertarians and liberals in a growing anti-death penalty coalition.
Craig Ranch North Community Pool in McKinney, Texas was not a "whites only" pool, but it might as well have been. Before Eric Casebolt shoved a black girl's face into the ground and pulled a gun on her two unarmed friends, white neighborhood residents at the pool assumed that all those black teenagers were in the wrong place. They didn't see the invited guests of a black neighbor getting a little rowdy at an end-of-school pool party. They saw black people who didn't belong in the mostly white neighborhood.
Rich people with too much time and money on their hands often seem to get bored with the hum and drum of their gold-filigreed existences. In response they turn to egalitarian enterprises, such as feudal kings commissioning alchemists to turn base metals into gold, because a lot of stuff back then needed to be filigreed.
You don't need to check a screen to know how much time we're spending with them. Besides, surveys keep reminding us: total screen time for adult Americans is now just under 10 hours per day - roughly half in front of what we still call a "television," the rest spent with computers and mobile devices.
When we last visited the sorry state of Kansas, Governor Sam Brownback - a former short-lived GOP presidential candidate - was showing us what happens when a right-wing ideologue tries to impose his utopian fantasies on the real world. Predictably, the result has been disastrous.