Archive for politics

Political will ignores the last straw

Why is impeachment off the table?

“Democrats, forced to defend Obama’s numerous impeachable offenses, would be placed in the uncomfortable position of defending their own actions (or inaction) and their party’s policies and methods – which would, by extension, also be on trial. (ObamaCare is a perfect example on all counts.)

“And while the Democrat-media complex insists that the GOP shouldn’t want impeachment – in reality, neither should the complex, since the process would call attention to its own integrity and validity. Obama is the “media’s president.” They created him, protected him – and they own him. As the song goes, “it’s too late to turn back now.”

“Until conservatives can successfully convince the people that the office of the presidency is more special than the person who occupies it, and that our constitution is more important than party politics – every single American, not just Republicans in the upcoming elections, will lose. And what is lost, should Obama continue on this destructive path of fundamental transformation, may never be regained.”

Cindy Simpson takes on Impeachment: The Red Line and the Last Straw. The point is that as long as people accept assertions like the AG’s latest race-baiting and excuse and overlook criminal behavior, remedies such as impeachment are not likely to go anywhere. One only has to look at the partisan divide in Congressional oversight committees where Democrats present a solid block even going so far as to sympathize with witnesses and proclaim sorrow that they have had to be dragged through such a process to see how the political will is not there.

The political will goes back to the electorate and as long as the voters do not hold their representatives accountable to standards of integrity and validity, accountability in office will remain off the table. As long as the electorate gives credence to the excuses, the blaming, and the bald assertions that fly in the face of reality, accountability in office will remain off the table and talk of impeachment will be ridiculed and scoffed as it is now.

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Trying to understand the mess

Daniel Greenfield tries to explain Why Obama Ignored Iraq. Maybe an “It’s the ideology, stupid” as a campaign slogan might summarize things. Maybe his ideas will help those who are having difficulties understanding the many scandals and puzzling political behaviors facing the public today.

“The anti-war activist as pacifist is largely a myth. There are a few anti-war activists who oppose all wars, but mostly they just oppose America. Obama, who got his foot up the political ladder by flirting with the anti-war movement, falls into that category. Obama isn’t opposed to wars. He’s opposed to America.”

“Obama thinks of the ideological issue first. Then he packages it as a national interest for popular consumption.”

“Obama and his staffers see America as just another transnational institution that they happen to be running, not all that different than a corporation, non-profit or UN body. They don’t see it as a country, but a series of policymaking offices that reach across the country and the world.”

“Obama doesn’t just oppose America. He disregards it as an outmoded institution.”

“To a transnational mindset, institutions exist to promote issues. America is only of value to the extent that it can promote the left’s agenda. To the extent that it doesn’t, America is dead weight.”

“Ideologues are not big on independent thinking. When everything is politicized, they lose the ability to see the things that can’t be neatly assigned to one side or another.”

Many ideas to consider. They may help provide a better understanding of why things are as they are and what to do about it.

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Something has changed. Government as a cancer?

Dr. Hanson calls it the Federal Octopus.

“Government always grows, sometimes even more rapidly under Republican than under Democratic presidents. But under President Obama we are seeing something a little different — the creation of a partisan, semi-autonomous government that seems to exist for the benefit of its employees and the larger ideological agenda of the present administration.

“we are witnessing a new federal government that is a sort of rogue organism that exists for its own enhancement and is willing to do anything necessary to help those who help it.

This is not America. It is like most failed states abroad, which also are not America.”

Perhaps what is most frightening is the collusion of one party in the legislature whose members stand as a solid block opposed to any investigation or inquiry into even the most blatant criminality. It is mindful of the tale of the frog and the scorpion. Denial doesn’t change nature (or reality).

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Prosecutors and other government agents building confidence in the system?

“We are not safe. We are not happy. The only question now is: How long are we going to take it?”

What will finally be the last straw? FrankMiele asks.

“There is a name for what the government did to the Washington Redskins last week. It is called extortion.”

Johnathan Turley describes how The patent office goes out of bounds in Redskins trademark case.

“The problem is that the Redskins case is just the latest example of a federal agency going beyond its brief to inappropriately insert itself in social or political debates.

Few people would have expected the future of the Redskins to be determined by an obscure panel in a relatively small government agency. Yet the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board showed little restraint in launching itself into this heated argument — issuing an opinion that supports calls for change from powerful politicians, including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). The board had at its disposal a ridiculously ambiguous standard that allows the denial of a trademark if it “may disparage” a “substantial composite” of a group at the time the trademark is registered.”

“As federal agencies have grown in size and scope, they have increasingly viewed their regulatory functions as powers to reward or punish citizens and groups. The Internal Revenue Service offers another good example.”

“There is an obvious problem when the sanctioning of free exercise of religion or speech becomes a matter of discretionary agency action.”

Then there are matters of prosecutorial indiscretion and the political propaganda campaign. David Harsanyi takes up the latest outrage on this front as Hillary vs. Walker: Due Process Only Applies If You’re A Liberal” – “Child rapists deserve due process. Conservatives governors, not so much.” Hillary defended a rapist early in her career by sliming the victim. Walker was the subject of secret ‘investigations’ that both state and federal courts threw out as unsubstantiated. Hillary gets defended and excused. Walker gets excoriated by innuendo.

And then there’s the IRS commissioner with a smirk and no apologies about destruction of evidence despite the laws for records retention.

worried, yet?

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Power or wealth: Corruption and ideology: The sad state of the Doj

There’s a book out. Feulner describes it as detailing The disastrous tenure of ‘Obama’s Enforcer’ – Holder’s stint as attorney general has been driven by politics and incompetence.

“To some observers, the idea of a truly ethical Justice Department is something of a pipe dream. As far as they’re concerned, the attorney general is nominated by a president who’s either Democrat or Republican, so we shouldn’t be surprised when he conducts business is a partisan manner.

“Such a cynical view, though, is unfounded. Many fine attorneys general have served ethically defensible terms under both Republicans and Democrats. The tenures of Edwin Meese under Ronald Reagan and Griffin Bell under Jimmy Carter, for example, prove that the Justice Department can be run in an entirely independent, professional way.

“Mr. Holder’s term as attorney general represents the other end of the spectrum: driven by politics, tainted by scandal and mired in corruption. The need for an attorney general that will, in fact, uphold the Constitution in a fair, impartial and ethical fashion has never been greater.”

But there’s another story this morning, too. It seems that the Pope thinks that anyone who has a lot of money is unethical so maybe corruption in government and politics wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for rich people. or something. Perhaps this sort of a priori assumption – perhaps based on greed and envy itself –  illustrates the confusion that allows the behavior that is described in the book Feulner describes.

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War on energy; symbols and acceptable collateral damage

First up is DRIESSEN: What’s really behind anti-Keystone fanaticism? who describes how “The pipeline is the symbol of Big Green opposition to modern living standards”

“The Keystone and other anti-fossil-fuel campaigns are backed up by other wealthy liberal foundations that collectively have more than $100 billion in assets.”

“This is a force to be reckoned with — a force that vigorously supports what the Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates has now reached $1.9 trillion in regulatory compliance costs on United States businesses and families. That’s one-eighth of the entire U.S. economy.

It’s no wonder employment and economic growth rates are so miserably low.
Opposition to Keystone epitomizes how callous, arrogant, hypocritical and destructive Big Green has become. Legislators and regulators need to start recognizing the rights and needs of poor, working-class and minority families.”

Then the story about Fallout from fracking bans: Family farms, elderly devastated in Mountain West.

“Overlooked in Colorado’s fierce political battle over the booming practice of hydraulic fracturing are the state’s 600,000 mineral owners, many of whom depend on the royalties from oil and gas leases for their livelihoods. Those owners are growing increasingly alarmed as anti-fracking groups demand moratoriums or outright bans on oil and gas production in jurisdictions across the state.”

Voters in four Colorado cities along the Front Range — Boulder, Broomfield, Fort Collins and Lafayette — approved anti-fracking measures last year. Local and national environmental groups hope to parlay those victories into a statewide win in November.
Mineral owners such as the Koenekes have remained on the sidelines, but that is about to change. Neil Ray, past president of NARO-Rockies, said owners are considering a lawsuit aimed at recovering their losses in cities that ban fracking.
The damages from such a lawsuit could be astronomical. Mr. Ray pointed to an engineering report that places the value of a 640-acre section of eastern Boulder County at $64 million for a mineral owner who is paid 20 percent on the lease over the lifetime of the production.”

“Of course, most voters who cast ballots against fracking aren’t considering the prospect of enormous compensation awards, nor the harm to mineral owners, said Michelle Smith, NARO-Rockies president.”

““Lafayette has an outright ban, so [the widow] is denied that income,” said Ms. Smith. “You can’t put the rights of some of the citizens above the rights of some of the others. And that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Consequences and implications are often overlooked, especially in propaganda campaigns where sound bytes and symbols are more likely to stick in the mind. The fanatical ideologues have the funding to put their utopia front and center. It is up to the voter to detect the lack of intellectual integrity and consider the consequences and implications because they will not be denied and the price will be paid if they are set aside.

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Club Gitmo: Propaganda and delusion realized

Bruce Thorton takes on the Progressive Gitmo Myth. The Bergdahl case has brought the issue of shutting down the prison back to the fore. That, in turn, is a reminder of just how the Left politicized the war on terrorism and that, as usual, gets into the myths of the Left and its delusions about war and about the United States.

“For Obama’s liberal base, Gitmo has been part of a larger narrative of American tyranny, particularly George Bush’s alleged lawlessness in waging an “illegal” and “unnecessary” war in Iraq. … Democrats began endorsing the far-left “Bush lied” analysis of the war that John Edwards, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton had voted for based on the same intelligence that led to the Bush administration’s decision. With the anti-war movement providing the visuals for television news, the left’s distorted history of Vietnam was resurrected to provide the template for the war in Iraq, particularly the charge that the Bush administration had lied … Soon the whole litany of American militarist evils was applied to Iraq and the war against terrorists and their enablers. Torture, illegal detention, and abuse of prisoners were staples of that catalogue, and for leftists Gitmo fit the bill.”

“Yet despite these facts, the myth has arisen that the existence of Gitmo, as the Wall Street Journal summarized liberal thinking, “symbolizes prisoner abuse, serving as a propaganda tool for extremists and complicating counterterrorism efforts with allies.” The incoherence of this argument points to the larger problems of American foreign policy in dealing with jihadism.

First, our tendency to take seriously the malignant propaganda of our enemies bespeaks our civilizational failure of nerve. Since there has not been any “prisoner abuse” at Gitmo, why should we legitimize blatant lies the purpose of which is to erode our morale and serve the interests of disaffected Westerners?”

The question boils down to asking just how many (more) will die as a result of these delusions? Those kinds of stakes are why denial and delusion are so heightened.

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Constitutional tension

Robert N. Tracci provides today’s lesson in Consitutional tension with a current example of its abuse: Sacrificing the Constitution for the Democratic Party.

“Legislative leaders have never been so eager to strip themselves of powers the Constitution entrusts to them. Never before have they so openly colluded with the executive to do.

“Article I, Section 1 of the Constitution vests Congress with “all legislative powers.” Congress can arrogate executive power no more than the president can assume lawmaking functions. Of no less importance, Congress can validly relinquish legislative power to the executive no more than the president can properly cede executive authority to Congress. Messrs. Reid, Durbin and Schumer’s extralegal effort to endorse the executive exercise of legislative power does not confer legitimacy upon potential presidential action. Rather it compounds the constitutional injury such action would inflict while diminishing the institutional standing and credibility of the Senate itself.

“Constitutional vandalism of this kind must be repudiated.”

Countries do not become tyrannies because of just one. It takes collusion and cooperation.

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The hardened heart

It seems that so much of what should be a reasoned debate is useless. Facts do not matter and denial behavior including projection, logical fallacies and the rest become predominant. Herschel Smith provides an analysis of a letter: Dear Christians With Guns.

“But since you don’t believe in God, you have no means to effect anything.  God doesn’t hear you, and Mr. Scott doesn’t control anything.  It wouldn’t matter.  You wouldn’t change God’s law with your prayers anyway, you would only be asking God to change your own heart.  It seems to me that you don’t want your views to be changed, so your heart is hardened.  You’re at a dead end, Anastasia.

As for me, you cannot possibly do anything to my views of the Bible and guns. I see things through the eyes of the holy Scriptures. I’ve pointed out that God’s law requires me to be able to defend the children and helpless. “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.” I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.”

There is a reality and there is a fantasy. All too often, it seems, the fantasy is too real for too many,

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Pope Francis: just a man of the time?

Front Page Magazine has two columns on the Pope and his expression of the PC attitudes towards the people of Jesus’ ancestors. Caroline Glick describes Pope Francis’ Unfriendly Visit to Israel and Robert Spencer notes the problems with Pope Francis: Mahmoud Abbas is a “Man of Peace”. Both are mindful of the Biblical advice about false prophets. The Pope isn’t supposed to be politically correct in the manner that Jesus and his disciples made their own path.

A friendly visit?

“The Palestinians – and their Islamic and Western supporters – de-Judaize Jesus and proclaim him Palestinian in order to libel the Jews and criminalize the Jewish state. It seems like it would be the job of the Bishop of Rome to set the record straight. But instead, Francis’s discourtesy indicated that at a minimum, he doesn’t think the fact of Jesus’s Judaism should be mentioned in polite company.

Francis’s behavior during his public meeting with Netanyahu could have been brushed off as much ado about nothing if it hadn’t occurred the day after his symbolic embrace of some of the worst anti-Jewish calumnies of our times, and his seeming adoption of replacement theology during his homily in Bethlehem.”

and a man of peace?

“In allowing himself to become an instrument of Palestinian jihad propaganda, and spreading that propaganda himself, the Pope has done a grave disservice to free people and aided and abetted the genocidal jihad against Israel. The damage resulting from his trip is impossible to calculate at this point, but it could be immense. Pope Francis’s jaunt in the “State of Palestine,” was a tremendous show of support for the jihad against Israel, and a dark day for the papacy, the Roman Catholic Church, and free people everywhere.”

Add this to the understanding of the human side of economics and one has to wonder. The Pope is supposed to be a bit better in touch with the real world God created rather than the one human’s imagine.

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Myth mongering: trying to deny the reality

The ‘Nixon got the IRS to go after political enemies’ has been popular lately what with the current IRS scandal. The ‘useless Bush wars’ is another one that denies the authorization to use military force. Now we have the outing of CIA agents as a stimulus to push another denial rationalization. William A. Jacobson describes how the WaPo perpetuates myth that Bush Admin Iraq War supporters “outed” Valerie Plame.

“A reader called to my attention this sentence in a Washington Post report about the Obama administration outing the identity of the CIA Station Chief in Afghanistan …”

“Scooter Libby was convicted for lying to prosecutors and obstruction of justice in the Special Prosecutor’s investigation, under a contorted theory that nonetheless prevailed with a jury. He was sentenced to jail, but the sentence was commuted by George W. Bush.

“Libby, a close confidant of Dick Cheney, however, was not the leaker.

“The leaker was an Iraq War critic in the State Department, Richard Armitage. Christopher Hitchens reported at the time”

They’ve got a twofer going on this one. Not only a ‘both sides do it’ excuse for the current example but also a blame shift away from the culpability of friends in the previous example.

Then there’s the whole issue of screaming about useless investigations compared to what happened to Libby, but that’s another story.

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Incrementalism when all else fails

The banners of “equality” and “fairness” are quite attractive. What is under the banners, though, can be quite ugly. But who looks under the covers? TELFORD: A stubborn devotion to Internet regulation describes one case.

“The “Open Internet Order,” an FCC order adopted in December 2010, intended to place strict federal regulations on ISPs, forcing them to treat all data equally. Veiled under the pretense of “fairness,” these net neutrality regulations could have prevent ISPs from providing efficient Internet service to consumers, as all data are not created equal, and different types of Web content (simple text and live streaming video, for example) require varying degrees of service. Under this order, ISPs would not have been allowed to differentiate between simple and complex data, prioritize high-demand content such as Netflix or take other steps to compete, innovate and attempt to make Internet service better for their customers.

“Fortunately for everyone who uses the Internet — from developers all the way down to casual Web browsers — a federal court struck down the order earlier this year, determining the FCC lacked legal authority to impose such a regulation. Rather than accept defeat, the administration moved on to Plan C, pushing the politically unpopular policy through yet again, this time softened to allow traffic to be differentiated, but only if bureaucrats at the FCC consider it “commercially reasonable” on a case-by-case basis. This version of net neutrality has Google, Facebook and other White House-friendly tech giants in an uproar.”

Persistence is an admirable trait but when that persistence is after controlling someone else, it becomes something else.

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Net Neutrality

J.C. Dvorak takes on the The Net Neutrality Hysteria, one of those appealing labels applied to a questionable effort for government control at the expense of those ‘greedy, evil’ corporations.

“It stems from a belief that without some sort of law or government edict, the evil ISPs—mainly Comcast—will go out of their way to screw customers by practicing all sorts of devilment.”

“So … why hasn’t it done this already? Nobody can really answer that, except to say some unenforceable FCC principles, suggested years ago, are being used to stem any corrupt practices.”

“After years of fear that the government will take control of the Internet, now everyone is begging them to do it. The two liberal commissioners on the FCC pretty much said that problems are coming and rules need to be put in place. This pre-crime thinking will result in regulation that will encroach on everything.”

“The public can find a lot of ways to punish a corporation that abuses its privileges. This situation should not be escalated to the point that the FCC has anything to do with it.”

The Snowden episode is used as an example to illustrate why the government cannot be trusted. That illustrates a bias on its own that tends to detract from the case made. Fundamentally, it conflates the matter of knowing with that of doing. The net neutrality effort isn’t just a listening issue, it is a control and doing issue. It is about having the government regulate the internet service business to control content and how it is handled. It is being done with an unwarranted suspicion of the targets involved and an anticipation of something that might happen but hasn’t yet – notice how that same set of tactics is used by the climate alarmists?

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Ethics, politics, and the current state of affairs

Victor Davis Hanson provides a list: President Obama’s ethical vacuum — “Untainted administrators and department heads are few and far between.”

In all of these cases, politics trumped ethics. Because Mr. Obama professed that he was on the side of the proverbial people, administrators assumed that they had a blank check to do or say what they wished without much media audit. The mystery is not whether some administration officials were incompetent or unethical or both, but whether there are any left who are not.

and, no, both sides are not the same. Asserting so is just a denial of reality.

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The will of the people?

You have to wonder. When the citizens of a state overwhelmingly pass a constitutional amendment only to find that their officials don’t defend it and the courts dismiss it, what will happen next. This scenario has happened in California, Utah, and, now, Oregon. Ed Morrissey has the story about how a Federal judge overturns marriage definition in Oregon constitution.

“Remember when traditional marriage advocates put their trust in constitutional amendments to keep activist judges from unilaterally imposing a requirement to recognize same-sex marriage? In Oregon, that’s not ancient history; 60% of voters approved the constitutional amendment just ten years ago, when several states did the same thing in response to state courts changing the definition of marriage. The strategy didn’t last, as a federal judge overturned the clause in the state constitution — after the state refused to defend it”

In this case, the issue was settled by the voters. … the Attorney General is the people’s lawyer, their legal representative as well as their top law-enforcement officer. If the state’s elected lawyer doesn’t want to represent the people in court, then he or she should resign and let someone else take the job. The people deserved to be represented in court by their paid attorney, whether the AG liked the law or not.

If attorneys argue — correctly — that rapists and murderers deserve a defense, then why should that be denied to the people of Oregon and California?

Dereliction of duty, political activism on the bench, and shoving it down the throats of the people. The question is what will happen when the people decide that enough is enough?

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Both sides do it?

One of the excuses or rationalizations for inappropriate behavior is that ‘both sides do it.’ This comes up in the IRS scandal trying to pretend that wishing to sic the IRS on political opponents (e.g. Nixon, R) is the same as actually doing it. A pattern is beginning to show, however, that is making the ‘both sides do it’ rationalization rather thin. Communications have surfaced that implicate Democrat Party leaders in misconduct in regards to the IRS scandal. Another is described by John Hinderaker about how Democrats persist in illegal use of capital visitor center.

“In addition to being tasteless, the event is illegal for the reasons we stated here. Today, Candice Miller, Chair of the Committee on House Administration, wrote a polite letter to Nancy Pelosi pointing out the legal issues with the Democrats’ use of the Visitor Center for a partisan political event.”

“Tomorrow evening’s event promises to be a clown show, and an illegal one, at that. The fact that the Democrats have sunk this low is one more sign of how intellectually bankrupt the party has become.”

The Koch Brothers obsession is about trying to overturn the Citizens United where the SCOTUS decided that corporations could speak as citizens. The use of taxpayer facilities to air a deceitful propaganda film with Congressional leaders chipping in to denigrate their opposition is the example here. That isn’t something both sides do.

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Marking a descent into the depths

“Reading Paul Pillar’s smear of Sheldon Adelson saddened me. Paul, when I knew him, was as honest, as intelligent, as idealistic as anyone of my acquaintance. Forty-odd years later, is this what liberalism has come to? A dead end where its best representatives have nothing substantive to offer, but can only smear Republican campaign donors? Where formerly brilliant minds labor to justify a claimed equivalence between the Democrats’ “white primaries” of the 1930s and a Republican donor trying to find a good presidential candidate to support?

“Yes, I think that is exactly the depth to which liberalism and the Democratic Party have fallen. There is nothing left of principle; of honesty; of idealism; of intelligence. There is only malice, snarling in the dark.”

John Hinderaker: Paul Pillar, CIA Terrorism Expert, Descends to Anti-Israel Smear Merchant. The description is just another case. The Senate Majority leader still has his Koch thing, The House minority leader is still trying to figure out how to cover up scandals by smearing political opponents. 

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Official FUD mongering

“Let’s get one thing clear: The National Climate Assessment is a political call to action document meant for the president’s left-leaning constituency. What pretense of scientific support that decorates it quickly falls away under a close and critical inspection.”

Spreading Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt is a dubious and dishonest tactic. Paul Knappenberger describes how the recently released National Climate Assessment report raises [a] false alarm and how “Politics [is] certainly behind the president’s report.”

It boggles the mind how a ‘science policy paper at such a level could qualify for “Nothing could be further from the truth.” As Knappenberger notes, the assertions don’t even pass the laugh test. Yet they are put out as Truth.

worried?

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Censure Reid?

Ralph Benko says Harry Reid’s Neo-McCarthyist Vilification Of The Koch Brothers Begs For Censure.

“In conducting a campaign of vilification and of leveling an accusation of “un-American” Harry Reid is disgracing the United States Senate in ways comparable to the misconduct of Joe McCarthy. Only by censuring Harry Reid can the United States Senate regain dignity. Harry Reid deserves censure for Neo-McCarthyism.”

But, you hear, both sides do it! That is like the recent story about how North Korea released a long list of U.S. civil rights abuses to show that ‘both sides’ do that, too. The tearing in that rationale is related to other scandals. Thomas Lifson describes The Democrats’ Dilemma on Benghazi.

“Though they may publicly deny that there is any scandal in the Obama administration’s response to the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2012, there must be doubts emerging, if only because we now know with certainty that a critical email was withheld in violation of a subpoena from the Issa Committee. Though most Democrats loathe Darrel Issa (and the entire Republican Party, for that matter), the expression “cover-up” is now in play, and the senior Congressional leadership of the party is old enough to remember the Watergate hearings, and the articles of impeachment that emerged from that process, authored in part by a young committee staffer named Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Article 1 cited as part of the justification for impeachment:

withholding relevant and material evidence or information from lawfully authorized investigative officers and employees of the United States;

The Bundy affair is another one that comes up and implicates Senator Reid as well. The corruption possibilities have a lot of meat for the conspiracists but isn’t getting much play. What is getting play dates back to the 1976 legislation that started the overturning of Western land homestead grants and rights. That was where the idea of using ‘protected habitat’ started as a means to grab land for politically correct development. 

A disjointed collection? Indeed. The common theme goes back to the Senate Majority Leader and his approach towards his political enemies and his accumulation of wealth while serving as an elected representative of the people. He isn’t alone in what he considers proper behavior.

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Burning Man does an about face

“Money is not Bundy’s point. Pleasing Harry Reid or the federal bureaucracy is not either. Making a living from the scrub of a desert by providing people good food probably is.

“Grant him that. He’s our past, Harry Reid and the bunch in Washington our future. To paraphrase the ancients, sometimes we’d rather be wrong with Cliven Bundy than right with Harry Reid — and the SWAT teams that will revisit Mr. Bundy and his clan very, very soon to enforce a dispute over grazing fees and insensitivity to a tortoise.”

Victor Davis Hanson on Civilian Bundy and The Rural Way

But it seems that Bundy has got a Burning Man organizer miffed (Washington Times). It seems they pay The Man so why shouldn’t Bundy? It does seem rather strange. Burning Man is about individual freedom and sticking it to the powers that try to control, a.k.a. The Man, you know, the one they burn. In this case, though, they side with The Man and go after the individual.

Burning Man charges its participants to pay whatever fees the government decides to charge along with other costs and whatever is needed to make an appropriate profit. The fee is to allow them use of a BLM playa for a week or so. As they’ve done before, they can change venue if the fees become too onerous or the government sets unreasonable conditions or whatnot. Burning Man organizers are more interested in keeping participants coming – and paying the fare – than they are in the land. The land and the nearby communities and the various governmental agencies fall into the category of ideological niceties or necessary nuisances.

Bundy is in a bit different situation. His ranch is a homestead which the government deeded to him with certain rights on nearby resources in exchange for developing the land as a productive ranch. His livelihood depends upon effective and proper stewardship of that land. He can’t just up and go somewhere else – he’s lost 52 neighbors who have been forced out and had to find other careers. When the government goes rogue, or some folks like the Burning Man organizer target him, he is backed into a corner.

It is a typical disingenuous tactic of the left, though: Ignore the issues and ramifications and instead find a nitpick to pound incessantly. The nitpick here is that Bundy is a lawbreaker. The issues and ramifications have to deal with armed forces trying to enforce a civil matter, governmental overreach, regulatory harassment, potential governmental corruption and collusion, proper land use, historical precedence, state’s rights over lands within their boundaries,  and governmental enforcement priorities.

I wonder what the Burning Man organizers would think if Federal, State, and county enforcement showed up en-masse in full SWAT gear to take a sweep of their event to arrest any and all lawbreakers. How many vehicles are not equipped properly or properly licensed and registered? Drugs? Public displays of nudity? Child porn? Polluting the playa or otherwise not following the letter of the use permit? Attendees with outstanding criminal warrants? Foreigners with improper paperwork? Vagrancy? Fires and hazardous materials? Electrical and construction code violations?– It’d be quite a project to cull all the laws and regulations to find all the offenses that could be cited. Handcuffs, guns, tazers, police bullying, and other tactics as seen at the Bundy ranch would probably not make for happy campers.

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