Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Darrell Issa: So Busted!

As predicted on this site on May 20, "the worst scandal in the history of this Republic" has fizzled out and died without a whimper. There never was a scandal here - and Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee, knew goddamned good-and-well that there was no scandal. Their charge was that the Obama White House was targeting the pocketbooks of conservative groups via the IRS. Issa said he was "accumulating" evidence of all the Tea Party groups the administration was going after. Nice try. However according to Dana Milbank of the Washington Post:

"Finally, evidence surfaces that the investigator stacked the deck. Last Tuesday night, the Hill newspaper quoted a spokesman for Treasury's inspector general, Russell George, saying the group was asked by Issa 'to narrowly focus on tea party organizations.' The inspectors knew there were other terms, but 'that was outside the scope of our audit.'"

Genius at Work
In other words just expose the Tea Party groups whose organizations were being investigated by the IRS. Ignore the liberal groups. When White House spokesman Jay Carney pointed out to the assembled press that the whole thing was much ado about zilch, Congressman Issa went on national television and called him Obama's "paid liar". Someone is owed an apology here, wouldn'cha think? Don't hold your breath. Bill Clinton is still waiting for one for the Vince Foster affair. That was twenty years ago. According to a recent statement from a spokeswoman for that disgusting party, "This scandal has legs". Indeed it does. So did Franklin Roosevelt.

This isn't the first time that Issa has knowingly tried to implicate this president in a fictitious scandal; this is merely his most blatant attempt thus far. The moment he was caught with his pants down, in a laughably desperate attempt to deflect attention from himself, he resorted to that old tried-and-true mantra that has seemed to work so well for the GOP in the past year:


 Another "scandal" with legs as worthless as FDR's.

This is merely the latest  twist in the spiral toward historical oblivion that the "party of Abraham Lincoln" had been descending these last few years - and what fun it's been to watch, huh? I would not have missed this matinee in the Theater of the Absurd for anything. In an article that was posted on the Huffington Post on May 10, a fellow by the name of Andy Ostroy made the following, very astute observation:

"Despite the country's rapidly shifting demographics and social attitudes--a healthy move towards racial, religious and sexual tolerance--the GOP has boxed itself into a corner. There are patterns they simply cannot break. Ideals they can't divorce from. Rhetoric they can't stop espousing. They just can't help themselves."

He might have added the cozy little fact that this is a party that has lost its mind.

You've got to hand it to the Republicans. They've got nearly a century-and-a-half of some heavy duty scandals behind them. From Iran/Contra to Watergate to Teapot Dome; jaw-dropping debacles going all the way back to the administration of Ulysses S Grant. That's not to mention the reign of the village idiot from Crawford, Texas, whose entire eight-year-run was one rolling scandal. About the best they could ever pin on the Democrats was the spectacle of the Bill Clinton years - and that was only after years of trying in vain to pin something on the guy. They had to trick him into lying under oath about a fling with a half-witted intern - something that was totally unrelated to what he was testifying about at the time. I think it's interesting that of all these presidents mired in corruption and shame, Clinton is the only one of the lot who had impeachment proceedings brought against him. The history of this nation is just drenched in dandy little ironies like that one.

Kenny Boy
Where Have You Gone, Ken Starr?

Remember Kenny Boy? He was the asshole who spent over twenty million in taxpayer cash persecuting President Clinton. Four years ago I predicted that, like Bill, Barack would be bombarded with one investigation after another. The racists who now pollute the halls of Congress are ten times as determined than they were fifteen years ago. In their warped little minds, if any president ever needed to go down, this is the president who is custom-tailored to fulfill their twisted fantasies. Remember how much they despised Bubbah? Nowadays they can't pay the man enough compliments. They adore him! Again....all these delicious ironies.

Can these nitwits do anymore damage than they've already done? Well, yeah, they can - and they're trying to. We can expect to endure more of this nonsense until January of 2015 when they are finally swept out of office by the tidal wave of electoral rebuke that I'm almost certain is coming. 

If you're not in a blind rage over what these right wing kooks are doing to your country, you're sound asleep. Sweet dreams!

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Gettysburg Address
by Abraham Lincoln 

The Battle of Gettysburg ended one-hundred and fifty years ago today. It proved a decisive victory for the Union. President Lincoln's brief but eloquent speech on that blood-soaked field four months later continues to resonate down through the decades.


Sophie Madeleine

by Sophie Madeleine

A few months ago I was watching on YouTube Joe Brown's rendition of "I'll See You In My Dreams" from the Concert For George. When it was over a few related links were scattered across the screen. One showed the breathtaking vision of an angel with a ukelele in hand instead of the traditional harp....

(FOR THE RECORD: I'm not referring to Tiny Tim).
Talk about your happy accidents. That was the day I discovered the music of a young woman from merrie olde England whose talents I can only describe as "otherworldly". Her name is Sophie Madeleine. You've never heard of her before? You will. She is the most brilliant new recording artist I've come across in decades.

I need Sophie's music these days for no other reason than the simple fact that it makes me happy. It has been a very long time since an artist had that kind of effect on me.
Here is a link to order her CD, "The Rhythm You've Started"  off of I suggest - NO, DAMMIT, I DEMAND - that you purchase it:
The Rhythm You've Started
Sophie Madeleine inspires and astounds.


At 5:26 AM, Anonymous Ron Baldwin said...

The “scandal” has “fizzled out.” Go Figure!

Bank Robber Willy Sutton was asked why he robbed banks when he finished his jail term. His answer, “That’s where the money is.” The IRS follows a similar plan when searching for tax cheating. If you claim $100 more of itemized deductions than allowed by the standard deduction there is almost no chance that will trigger a tax audit. Claim $100,000 more than the standard deduction and you may well have a call from the tax man.

Never mind that the statute for tax exemption requires that an organization’s activities must be “exclusively” for social purposes (NO political activities). The IRS ruled about twenty years ago that “exclusively” really meant “more than 50%.” Again, Go Figure!

If you were in the group at the IRS that approves tax-exempt status, which application might draw your attention, “Feed the Homeless” or “Tax Party Patriots Reclaiming America.?” Seems to me that the IRS was just doing their job in the time-honored traditions of a Tax Agency.

As to the IRS supervisor using the 5th Amendment to refuse to testify before Congress AFTER they announced a CRIMINAL investigation led by zealot Darrell Issa, what would you have done?

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Chuck Morre said...


Damn it how can we be so far apart on our politics but so close in our taste for music?
Great sound, thank you for introducing me to Sophie Madeleine, I will get her CD!

When I think of the best concerts ever recorded, two come to my mind:

Concert For George
The Last Waltz (The Band)
Just about anything live that has Van Morrison in it would be my number 3.

Share with me your list of the best concerts, its Independence Day week, let's celebrate our shared common ground, not our differences

At 12:03 PM, Blogger The New York Crank said...

Personally, I blame Obama for all the far right witch-hunting zealotry that has happened on his watch. At the very beginning, he had the basis for criminal prosecutions against Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and others. A few headline-grabbing indictments and followup trials would have been an object lesson that would have sent the Republicans running back into their foetid holes.
Instead, Obama decided to drop it and make nice-nice so we could all sit around the campfire singing Kumbaya together and agree on Obamacare, and get judges and cabinet members appointed, and move ahead in this country. Well, guess what happened?
What comes to mind is the story of the scorpion who pleads with a beaver to carry him across the river. "I'd never harm you; I'd be grateful after you ferried me out of here. Just, please, please ferry me across the river."
They get to the other side. Just before the scorpion hops off the beaver to dry land, he bites the beaver's nose.
"Why did you do this?" asks the dying beaver. "You promised you wouldn't."
"I did it because that's what scorpions do," says the scorpion.
What Republicans do is lie, steal, grab, cheat and make trouble. The only way to stop them is to smack them down and stomp on them 'til they're flat as a squashed scorpion.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank

At 2:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Jay said...

Hi Tom,

A while back when I first go 'hooked' on your blog, you described Obama as "timid." It was a perfect word. A word that gave fair description to this man and a word that my friends and I had struggled to articulate.

Issa's chairmanship of this 'nontroversy' was to be expected. What I don't get is how the White House didn't see this coming!!

Here you have a party who: Said that Mr. Rogers made children "entitled" because he said they were "special." Claimed the last Muppets movie was a "socialist indoctrination tool." Railed against Michelle's "socialist take over of our kitchens." And went back 15 years to dig up "Captain Planet" as "evidence" that "liberal Hollywood attempts to steer children away from Capitalism." (Apparently kids should be pro-pollution!).

Given the petty basis for these nontroversies, did no one in the White House think that the IRS giving extra attention to Tea Party groups wouldn't be an issue?!?! Seriously?!? No one!?!

I sort of see this whole IRS Nontroversy as a failure of leadership of the President. This nontroversy took up a lot of time, money and energy. It was an unnecessary witch hunt and one that the White House had time to deflect or at least get out in front of. They didn't. It was a bush-league rookie mistake.

If any reason where needed to give SuperPAC filings a second look, one doesn't need to look farther than the work Stephen Colbert has done on this issue. From the ease of filing, to how easy funds can be laundered, to lack of disclosure, to the ease in which candidates can coordinate with PACs--he's done it all. There's more than a few compelling points.

But not for the Democrats. We don't seem to have the ability to 'frame' the arguments that plague us.

It's fairly easy to rile up the average American, especially when the IRS is concerned. It's also easy to rile up Americans as they learn how Citizen's United silences them.


At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just get your marching orders about Issa?

In the summer of 2010, with Republicans poised to take over the House and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) in line to lead the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the White House started urging reporters to write negative stories about the congressman’s past, a new book says.

New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich describes what he says were the anti-Issa efforts in “This Town,” a condemnation of Washington self-obsession and self-promotion, a copy of which was obtained by the Washington Post.

According to Leibovich, former Obama deputy press secretary Bill Burton and suggested the reporter look into Issa’s past.

Other highlights from the book: Secretary of State John Kerry is not popular, according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when told the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner might conflict with the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, responded, “[Expletive] the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.”

At 6:29 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

So anonymous, what would you have written if the White house or Clinton said "we have to postpone going after the #1 enemy of the United States because it will interrupt a Washington party" ?

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Dave W. said...

From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Only then will Amerika have Democracy free from the Koch Brothers and the plutocracy!

At 2:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

gee, i wonder why?

In recognition of Independence Day, Gallup has released a poll on whether American citizens are still proud to be American.

Ninety-three percent of Republicans indicate that they are “extremely/very proud” to be American while only 85 percent of Democrats feel the same way.

Eighty-one percent of political Independents indicate they are “extremely/very proud.”

Likewise, 89 percent of poll respondents who identified themselves as conservative are “extremely/very proud,” to be American compared to 76 percent of liberals.

At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Beethoven said...


Instead if dealing with historical fact, you pose a hypothetical question. That is an admission of your not having an answer, again.

Independence Day
Invasion of privacy
Government Day!

At 11:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too bad you cant blame Bush any more.

US image in world slips as conflicts deflate Obama euphoria
By Tom Curry, National Affairs Writer, NBC News

Even with President Barack Obama fresh off a trip to Africa and headed in late summer for a trip to Russia, people outside the United States take a less favorable view of America than they did right after he became president.

Surveys from different parts of the world show the initial goodwill toward the U.S. from the international community after Obama assumed office has waned and recent headlines point to some reasons why -- Revelations of U.S. international surveillance, the manhunt of information leaker Edward Snowden, drone strikes in foreign countries and the continued unrest in Syria have exposed the traditional fault lines of international relations.

In a recent commentary on the European disillusionment with Obama, Financial Times foreign affairs analyst Gideon Rachman said, “It has gradually dawned on President Obama’s foreign fan club that their erstwhile hero is using methods that would be bitterly denounced if he were a white Republican."

In 2008 Obama was "the vessel into which liberals all over the world poured their fantasies," Rachman said. Disenchantment was bound to happen.


At 1:26 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Beethoven, I notice you ducked the question, which was logical and relevent.

In other words, the person I was questioning suggested that a "feelgood" party with the press was more important than going after the # 1 threat to our natinal security. Are you saying you feel that way as well?

At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Beethoven said...

Mozart, in the words of Dave D.
your question was "inane" and hypothetical and is pure speculation.

Focus man, focus on reality.

At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

–Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998
“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
–Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
“[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs.”
Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
– Democratic Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others, Oct. 9, 1998
“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
-Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998
“There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
– Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), and others, Dec 5, 2001
“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
– Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002
“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002
“The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons…”
– Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002
“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
– Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002
“There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years … We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002
“He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do”
– Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002
“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002
“We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction.”
– Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Dave W. said...

"In a recent commentary on the European disillusionment with Obama, Financial Times foreign affairs analyst Gideon Rachman said, “It has gradually dawned on President Obama’s foreign fan club that their erstwhile hero is using methods that would be bitterly denounced if he were a white Republican." "

Gideon Rachman must be a member of the Tea Party and KKK who approves of posters with Obama having a bone in his nose!

At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Obama's tombstone, it will say, "I was perfect, it was the other guys fault."

At 12:56 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts said...

Wow. Someone wants to revise history and blame Democrats for Bush and Cheney’s war debacle.

Did the Democrats lead us to war in Iraq? No.

Looks like it’s time for Just the Facts, and some context. We know how the Righties hate context, don’t we? “You didn’t build your business” is one famous out of context comment.

So they probably won’t bother to check the missing context of those above quotes that Snopes provided.

Many Corpo-Dems were afraid to resist war out of fear of losing the upcoming election by being branded “traitor” or “coward” or any of the other names those who questioned the lies were called.

While some Democrats certainly share the blame for supporting Bush’s war of choice, they were self-serving cowards following the Republicans. However, a clear majority of Democrats opposed Bush’s war resolution.

So which Democrat ordered a war on Iraq based on lies? None.

So who really wanted war for political gain and crony profit? Blame Bush and Cheney. Who repeatedly lied? Blame Bush and Cheney.

Despite the February 2003 UN Press Release headline beginning with “Iraq Cooperating With Disarmament Procedures”, war was what Bush wanted and war us what he got.

But only over the objections of MOST DEMOCRATS:

Iraq War Resolution support from Democrats:

House: 82 Y – 126 N

Senate: 29 Y - 21 N

Total Dems supporting resolution - 111

Total Dems not supporting resolution - 147

Total House Republicans not supporting resolution – 6

Total Senate Republicans not supporting resolution - 1

These are just the facts, with context provided for the curious.

This clears things up considerably, doesn’t it?

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the while Secretary of State Kerry is out playing on his yacht (the State Department disputes actual and current photos of him doing so) and our incompetent president Obama is kayaking on the river.....and the lapdog media continues to cover for them! How sick our country leadership and journalism has become!!

At 4:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benghazi Benghazi!!!

Marine Corps Col. George Bristol was in a key position in the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) chain of command the night of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As such, he's high on the list of people that some Republican members of Congress want to interview. But they don't know where he is and the Pentagon isn't telling.

IRS, IRS !!!!
One of the most important and so-far least noted threads in the IRS sandal cloth is the inexplicable remark made by Austan Goolsbee, at the time the Chairman of the White Council of Economic Advisors about the taxes paid by the Koch brothers - arch villains in the Manichean delusions of the American left - that would require his knowledge of their confidential tax returns. Did the White House senior staff illegally browse through the tax records of their political enemies?

At 9:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well come President Obama, are you a man of the law or above the law?

The $1.5 billion in U.S. foreign aid slated for Egypt next year is in jeopardy after the Egyptian army deposed democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi on Wednesday.

Section 508 of the decades-old Foreign Assistance Act stipulates that “none of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available pursuant to this Act shall be obligated or expended to finance directly any assistance to any country whose duly elected head of government is deposed by a military coup or decree.”

A clause in the 2011 omnibus bill strengthens the provision, excluding from American aid any nation experiencing a “coup d’etat or decree in which the military plays a decisive role.”

At 8:02 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

So anonymous, where do you stand on the billions in CASH that went missing the minute it hit the tarmac in Iraq when Bush was president? Where were you when he lied to congress about the WMDs to get us into that war in the first place? You whine and cry about Obama and drum up these phone scandals, where were you for the REAL ones?

At 2:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mozart, how about dealing with CURRENT EVENTS!!!
Why don't you be the first to blame the GOP and GWB for the plane crash in San F. yesterday? You know you want to.

At 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mozart, I stand with the next President of the United States! How about you?

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members … It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
– Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

At 3:04 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts said...

Yeah Mozart, how about dealing with CURRENT EVENTS...

...Like Anonymous did at 12:54 and 2:20.

Rabid right wing double standards, hypocrisy and projection on full display.

At 3:26 PM, Anonymous Just Some More Facts said...

Some saber-rattling quotes from 2 Democratic hawks:

"Now let me be clear -- I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted UN inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him."

State Senator Barack Obama (Democrat, Illinois)
Speech at Federal Plaza, Chicago, Illinois
October 2, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members...

It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well, effects American security.

This is a very difficult vote, this is probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make. Any vote that might lead to war should be hard, but I cast it with conviction."

Senator Hillary Clinton (Democrat, New York)
Addressing the US Senate
October 10, 2002

At 3:53 PM, Anonymous Just the Facts said...

Yeah Mozart, how about dealing with CURRENT EVENTS...

...Like Anonymous did at 12:54 and 2:20....AND 3:26.

MORE rabid right wing double standards, hypocrisy and projection on full display.

They just can't help themselves. Maybe it's time again for quotes from "Good Conservative" spokesmen Limbaugh and Beck, for the true cult believers to hold as their "truth".

"...a guy who has a deep-seated hatred for white people or the white culture...This guy is, I believe, a racist." - Glenn “not a racist” Beck, on Obama

"How do you get promoted in a Barack Obama administration? By hating white people."

"You know, racism in this country is the exclusive province of the left." – Rush “not a racist” Limbaugh

At least these quotes are more current. And confidence in their cult dogma is still as high as Rush on Oxycontin.

Since the times of quotes no longer matter to the Rabid Right, here's a favorite of mine.

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" -Charles Darwin

This rings so true when we consider "Obama the racist Marxist Muslim, elected by ACORN, imposing death panels on the America he hates".

Just imagine having the belief system that forbids you from disagreeing with their cult leaders.

At least liberal civil libertarians can say they oppose the Obama/Bush surveillance state. The cult can only object when a Democrat is in office.

At 10:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How nice of you Just the Facts to offer your skirts for Mozart to hide behind or under. Taking a cue from Dave D.?

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and Hillary was correct


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