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Obama just fired the acting director of the IRS… This person was not even part of the IRS when allegedly this Tea Party business occurred. He became director just after last year’s election. He found out about the problem at the same time as did us, And Obama fired him. Wow.
For you see, nothing really wrong was done. The group who were looking at Tea Party applications have a job to do..
The exact purpose of the IRS office in question IS to look at political groups. Specifically, to weed out purely political groups that promote or oppose candidates from obtaining a tax status that’s supposed to go to nonprofit educational organizations. The crime of the IRS agents in Cincinnati? They were doing their job.
But the targeting! Why wasn’t Think Progress or George Saros targeted to?
It came up at exactly the time the office was getting flooded with a bunch of hastily prepared applications spewing from the Tea Party’s messy birth. The edict went out expressly because the office was being flooded with a bunch of hastily prepared, clearly political, applications all using very similar terms. In fact, the entire group of IRS employees in question was created to address the influx of possibly political applications……
Behind all this are the staggering numbers. Out of thousands of applications, only a handful were rejected. You know what happens while a nonprofit organization is waiting to get this approval? They get to operate as a nonprofit organization. The harm caused by this action is exactly zero….
Which is why we are only hearing about it now. Some of these could have been shut down, possibly throwing the election towards a Democrat, but they weren’t…
These are agents doing their job. They responded to an unusual influx of groups with political language in their applications all going after a designation that excludes groups that carry out many political actions.
The only scandal here is that this is being reported as if the IRS did something wrong in injecting itself into politics. The law requires that the IRS inject itself into politics. Don’t like it? Change the law. Don’t attack the people trying to enforce it.
And now, the acting director is fired….Just like that. over something that took place over which he no control, no input, and no knowledge….. and wasn’t even in charge when it happened…… That person has retired.
Now I’ll tell you why it was the right thing for Obama to do… “the fact of the matter is that the IRS has to operate with absolute integrity.”
That is why it was done. It was not done for the past. It was not done for the present. It was done because without doing it, the IRS would always be tainted with the memory.
Americans would ask,… are they looking at me? Are they doing it now? Things would grind to a halt. But after today, i seriously doubt that anyone in the office is going to say… “let use all this power to demonize our opposition?” I know that were I to get audited or have dealings with the IRS, I would know it wasn’t because of what I am. It was because something I did probably wasn’t kosher…. Upon opening that letter of dread, my reaction is now…” oh, I did that?” instead of …”they’re out to get me, see?”
How do I know this? Because someone who happened to be the IRS director at the wrong time this news let out, was made accountable…. No one is going to do it again….
This is why Obama is so great. I remember George HW Bush sticking with LA police commissioner Gates, who without doubt, was running a racially intimidating police force. Not acting on that cost him the election.. Firing innocent people who do a good job, is not easy. It is especially hard when one fires someone to save the ship, even though that person has no guilt, no accountability, but is in the wrong place at the wrong time..
Bad as it was, it had to be done to save the accountability and honor of the United States of America. We’ve heard from Delaware Politics and national Tea Party candidates how corrupt the Democrats and Obama are. In one swift move, what we Democrats always knew is now proven. Obama don’t stand for that.
You can go to bed now. Our country is in safe hands… Honesty has taken the upper hand.
Today is School Board Elections…Polls are open 10-8… If anyone is sponsored by Markell or Rodell or RTTT or WSFS, don’t vote for them.. If anyone is sponsored by DSEA, they are on the students side. They are safe.
So go out and vote like a goat… Be… B-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-D
There is a dual application of interpretation going on. The new head of the NRA James Porter, an attorney who defends gun manufactures in lawsuits, is quoted as calling our president a fake president; he once termed the Civil War of Southern Disobedience, as the “War of Northern Aggression,”; he believes that one of our highest priorities should be to train and arm all our citizens so that, when the time comes, they can “fight tyranny” and impose their will upon the rest of the population; who believes white is right, brown goes down, and guns are the way to achieve that end…..
He is now the new head of the NRA, an organization once dedicated to outdoor sportsmen and hunters.
If he were Muslim, he’d be under surveillance for fear of blowing up people at a Marathon.. James Porter’s words are more inciteful than any mullah.
Either we back off all Muslims, or we treat the NRA as we would Al Qaeda under Osama Bin Laden….
Not to do so is simply continuing a double standard…..
The NRA … IS the new Muslim…. Anyone who condones Newtown Connecticut as a great secret United States of American plot is simply put, … untrustworthy. It is time to round up all NRA members in put them in internment camps for observation just as we did for the Japanese during WWII..
America gets up in arms when it’s privacy issues are at stake. How dare you know that about me! However when someone slips through our net and blows up a building or car, they exclaim, how did you not catch him in time?
Soon to be announced if not already out there, is our nation’s now no longer classified Trap Wire System. In the reports of its inception this package was held up as the ultimate surveillance tool. Cameras across the country would capture data from cities, highways, tolls, parks, public arenas, and everywhere else there is a camera, encrypt the data, then send it to a central point where it gets incorporated with all other data already compiled on every citizen. That data including public on line events such as dating services, chat rooms, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, as well as corporate files, employee rosters, and the vast cesspool of corporate data gleaned each and every time you use your credit card.
On every adult citizen, a computer can spit out a file of facts that even that citizen doesn’t know… The computing power is unparalleled. You are sitting at the stoplight, and for no reason a camera goes off, you think weird, no one tripped it. and instantly your face has been identified, your file pulled, and a program knows you buy Colgate toothpaste 39% of the time. And it knows you are on Zoloft. Your credit score is 593. And you are cheating on your spouse of 27 years with a 19 year old who gets something from Victoria Secret every month…..
A song comes on the radio and your mind jumps to it and you go on never thinking of that random event again…….
Of course there is the other side of the story. You pull up to the light right beside the dufus mentioned above. The same thing happens. You wonder too. Your picture triggers an alarm because your image was last seen in the lower Philippines having been traced there from Manila before paying for the boarding of a private boat off Gov. Lim Ave, then going dark 18 months ago. The alarm is because you were once an acquaintance on the third level of a Detroit sheik who propagated militancy. The file shows you worked with explosives on construction sites, you were terminated at one time being blamed for some missing C4. You denied you had anything to do with it. The camera notes that your car is low in back, and alerts other cameras on the route your are traveling that you will soon be entering their view. Your facebook page shows you liked Iran and support Assad of Syria. Your high school psychological profile says you were quiet and brooding. Your license plate is registered to a car reportedly at the gas station on Rt.273 undergoing lengthy repairs. You are unmarried. You don’t date, and your credit card has a large cash balance, yet you spend very little and that is only on food, gas, and a furnished apartment in Christiana Meadows. As you drive by a transponder, your new phone signal gets captured, and all your calls are now being pulled up. You spoke with a person of high interest, 2 times this morning, for a length of one minute each. Your visage is updated to all local cameras and all transportation portals, and put at the top of each face recognition program. Someone is dispatched to scout your apartment.
You see. That is the dilemma. We enjoy our safety, and abhor our loss of privacy.
If you haven’t noticed already, on your emails sometimes you have these buried within the routing: Abraxas and the others you see will say, Stratfor…. Bloggers are very used to seeing these on a rather regular basis. They are everywhere across the net.
One thing noticeable during the Olympics was that the Brits live this way all the time. They are used to it and prefer the cameras and intrusive software over a coordinated attack on their trains. And no one can blame them. But what the Brits have, and we don’t, is a set of rules regarding this capturing of information. If someone violates this code as did Murdoch, then the ramifications are severe; perhaps bringing down an entire corporate empire. The CEO, Vice President, and quite a few others all charged with illegal actions.
And that is the lesson we need to take. Accept the surveillance but know that if anyone, anyone breaks the code of privacy… you are going to be filthy rich for the rest of your entire life at their or their employer’s expense…. For if that is truly the case, going back to the original story up top, if you got busted for your too hot to fail 19 year old lover, and lost your spouse, for $83 million, you really wouldn’t mind too much… My bet? You would see it as a blessing in disguise. And if you still loved your spouse, don’t worry. When you are worth $83 million, she won’t go far.
This has to become the future of surveillance. Here is why.
I’ll use Facebook as an example. I can always tell when one a friend has to hand over their password to their employer. Whereas they used to be so lively, responsive, and fun, they suddenly stop posting anything showing their personality. Their presence on line becomes reduced to “look at my kid”; “here is my dog”. Whereas you used to be able to talk to them about their spouse, their parents, how they were feeling, how they liked their job, how they were doing in the lover department, how their head was, what hopes and dreams they possessed, how drunk they got, suddenly their presence is as chilled as someone passing Checkpoint Charlie in the 60′s. There is a rigidity that they must conform to. There is a corporate mentality that they must express, and most deal with it by staying silent.
That is not what America is about. America is about freedom, about life…. about liberty….. and about the pursuit of happiness…… What once was open air on the internet is now poisoned with carbon particles, so much so that it is hard to breathe.
We can’t lose our nation’s fun-loving identity. And we can’t stop protecting ourselves by our newer and newer technology. So, what we can do (and we can easily do this), is not to constrain the surveillance, but penalize any misuse of the data that gets captured.
And make the punitive damages so huge, so grand, so big, that American citizens will actually enjoy having their privacy breached when it comes time for the judge to make the monetary judgment. Which means we need to rethink all things private, and that includes the intrusiveness of the press into private lives…
I’m always saddened when someone suffers because of something got out of control on their social media, and everyone gangs up on line, saying, “well, you shouldn’t have put it on the internet.”
Really? REALLY? A person should never have a light moment with an acquaintance, one of those few joyous moments we as people treasure forever, because someone they don’t know, someone they never met, might hack into their account, and spread it across the world?
That is ridiculous. The internet IS us. If we want a fun moment, we have the right to exercise it.. Back when I was growing up, laws were passed and on the books to control the positions that went on within the bedroom. That has fortunately faded away into being ridiculous. The same needs to happen on the internet. And the easiest way, the simplest way, is to have huge, gigantic fines, ones that are so big they will bankrupt anyone, and everyone who breaches another’s privacy.
So what if some entity knows you use Colgate 39% of the time. If no one else ever knows that they know it, as far as impacting anything in the real world, their knowledge of that minutia, doesn’t matter.
We need to start the process. We first announce the problem; we offer a solution; we educate the public; we elect responsible legislators, we pressure responsible legislators, we get legislation signed, and then, we relax and really enjoy the rest of our lives.
It is past time that our personal privacy be now given a price tag that is equal to what it is worth. Something in the range of tens of millions comes to mind….. Hell, you can get $90 million for spilling hot coffee in your lap…..
It was called politics as usual when Rich Krett withdrew from the New Castle County Council President’s race.
It was anything but usual.
You see, Rich Krett, is head of AFSCME Local 3109. AFSCME has 7000 Democratic employees in Delaware, … Mr Pam Scott, is head of the Realtor’s Association of New Castle County. They have 1900 agents and all of them, all of them are Republicans. Not much help in a Democratic primary….
Something had to be done to stop Rich Krett from going through with his election…. Otherwise the Realtors were out!
Somehow Rich’s signature showed up on a grant request for a new driving simulator for paramedics. He is not a signatory. He is an alternate, get that, alternate… It could have gone like this…
“This grant application is no good…”
“What? No good?”
“Yep, it’s no good.. It’s missing a signature…”
“Where? We got all the signatures…. “
“No, we need two alternates also to sign on this form… “
“Aw, man… Cut us a break… we are just here ourselves… “
“Well, do you know anyone who can co-sign? You could be their proxy?”
Hey, Rich won’t mind…. Put his name down, and I’ll tell him later… (if I remember it, lol)…
“There… are we good now?”
“Yep, you are good now.”
And so a signature is attached and Rich has no idea how it got there… But, under the Hatch Act, any local officials who in any way receive federal funding are bound by the Hatch Act’s prohibition on seeking political office. Problem is: it often keeps qualified candidates out of the field… sometimes people more qualified than the current office holder….
Hats off to WDEL’s Rick Jensen. In an on air interview with Assistant attorney for New Castle County, Ed Danberg, we heard Ed dancing semantically arouhd Rick’s direct questions.
Ed sent Rich an email on March 7th informing him there could possibly be some conflict with the Hatch Act. Today, Ed sent Rich an ultimatum… “Quit your job, or quit the race against my boss (the man who could one day remove the word “assistant” from my job title if I prove my loyalty)… Paul Clark”
“Ed, you can have my damn job… I’m definitely going to take the job of your boss now!!!!!” …. didn’t happen. Rich obviously needs to work. And so Paul Clark does not have a head of the government union running against him in the Democratic Primary….
In the conversation, (which Ed was on a speakerphone with “realtors” also in the same room), Ed slipped up that whether or not this violated the Hatch Act.. was in his words… “HIS” opinion…. His opinion…
When pressed by Rick Jensen, as to what was the hurry, as to why such a short time existed between the first notice and the ultimatium: “quit your Job, or quit your campaign“, Ed fell back on the doctrine that New Castle County could lose all their funding if they violated the Hatch Act…
Although that could be true in an extreme case, it would have to go through a long series of events to make that happen. First, Rich would have to say, I’m challenging this. Then Mr. Pam Scott, would have to say, … you’re right… We are not firing you and not only that.. we are going to be sticking up for you!… Then, the Feds would have to ask the Special Counsel to look in on the situation. She would, and she would have to respond back, that things were completely out of control in New Castle County under the leadership of one Mr. Pam Scott, and that all Federal funding for everything in New Castle County should be frozen….
Rich Krett probably should have contacted the Office of Special Counsel to see if his very suspicious situation would, could, or might be covered under the Hatch Act… There is a very good chance that she would say,… “no. I determine that you are free to run….”
Ironically on the very day Rich was first contacted by Ed (attorney for Mr. Pam Scott), on the blue carpeted floor of the United States Senate, a bill by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), was introduced that would… in the future, EXEMPT ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM THE HATCH ACT….
Head of the Office of Special Counsel, Carolyn Lerner, said on this matter… “The law desperately needs to be updated. What we’re seeing now is unfair results and probably unintended consequences that were never meant to be part of the act,”
She is on record as being in favor of NOT holding local government employees to full accounting by the anachronistic Hatch Act…
Looks like the only people who REALLY care about this ancient piece of legislation, are a crotchety bunch of Realtors, desperate in times of changing political loyalties, to limit any competition……….
These charts were compiled by the St. Louis Federal Reserve. They have been the most active data collection agency to date, of economic data relative to different income levels…
These charts are most telling because they are all timelined with the Recessions and Depressions….
2. At the same time, corporate profits are at an all-time high, both in absolute dollars and as a share of the economy.
I cannot do better than the Atlantic‘s summation of all these moving parts…
It took the country 15-20 years to pull out of that slump and fix the imbalances. But by the mid-1950s, employment, corporate profits, wages, and inequality had all returned to more normal levels. And the country enjoyed a couple of decades of relatively well-balanced prosperity. But now, everything’s out of whack again.
Importantly, the inequality that has developed in the economy over the past couple of decades is not just a moral issue. It’s a practical one. It is, as sociologists might say, “de-stabilizing.” It leads directly to the sort of social unrest that we’re seeing right now.
SO, WHY IS NO ONE TAKING REPUBLICANS TO TASK FOR THE RESULTS THEY MADE, INSTEAD, THEY GET TREATED LIKE THEIR PHILOSOPHY COULD BE A VIABLE OPTION?
Isn’t “someone” bending over backwards, NOT to report “All The News That’s Fit To Print?”
C-Span carried the coverage here…. Go to 18:30 for the best part.
They cost you too…
The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.
(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)
But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..
But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…
They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..
So, how does that relate to you?
House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.
Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?
So what would normally happen?
Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.
But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.
Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….
The tax cut will expire…
It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.
That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….
Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..
One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.
It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….
For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….
Practice now, by punching brick walls.
It is a simple vote…
Should we or should we not put this man in an administrative function.
Please vote yes…. or no…..
(It should be open cut because a majority have already said they would support Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Agency.) Just get it done…
But, it never goes to vote. In a motion to stop debate requiring 60 votes, 53 are found….
There is nothing more to debate. Vote yes or no… The argument has been on the table for months… But no… it cannot go forward because the Republican Party (all of it) had 45 members who voted against it…
The agency still has no one at the top to get it rolling. There is no one regulating Wall Street as we speak, simply because the entire block of Republicans, who voters put into minority receivership based on their previous track record, voted NOT to stop debate.
There will be no government until there are no Republicans.
There will be no Congress, until there are no Republicans.
There will be no Democracy. until there are no Republicans.
There will be no United States of America, until there are no Republicans.
(Sad thing this is not hyperbole. This is not campaign rhetoric. This is not hateful bantering. This is what is really happening. Makes a veteran want to cry)