Posts Tagged ‘House Republicans’

IRS Scandal Follow-up: The Show Must Go On

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

…But nobody actually asked Koskinen about the Sonasoft contract. Wonder why?

On Saturday, it was revealed that the IRS has been contracting with Sonasoft for the back-up of emails since 2005, and indeed, looking at Sonasoft’s clients list, listed there is the Internal Revenue Service.  Adding to my list of things about which the Republicans should seek testimony (if they’re serious,) the specific details of the performance requirements of this contract must now be considered.  Undoubtedly, in soliciting bids for back-ups, there must have been a policy for back-ups the bidder must have been prepared to fulfill.  These details would have been dominated by a records retention schedule that would have been designed to comply with statutory minimums. In any event, such a contract would have been carefully vetted for specific performance requirements, the methodology by which performance could be verified, and the chain of responsibility for those on the government side of the contract to make sure performance was fulfilled, or to seek remediation if the requirements were not met.  There would be a schedule of audits of the performance, and there should be no excuse for pretending somebody hadn’t known their specific duties, on either side of the contract. Here’s the point: We very likely have an organized criminal conspiracy, and if the Republicans don’t begin to immediately turn over rocks to find the culprits, the evidence will be destroyed, but that may be precisely what the GOP leadership wants.

People continue to question whether I’ve entered the realm of “tinfoil-hat-wearing” conspiracy kooks, because I doubt the seriousness of the intent of the House Republican leadership in pursuing this scandal.  After all, they ask, why would the Republicans seek to cover the scandal?  Let’s be blunt, shall we?  As long as this scandal has been going on without serious investigation, how much evidence has been destroyed in the interim?  It is true that if there is a cover-up, there will always be some evidence of that, because it’s impossible to completely cover the tracks of what has been done.  Permitting a delay of the investigation would allow the culprits to destroy the evidence so that any crimes perpetrated in the original scandal would be hard to substantiate to the satisfaction of a jury, or an impeachment proceeding, even if the evidence of a cover-up would be harder to conceal.  In the end, however, let us imagine that there had been a few Republicans who had wanted to hammer the TEA Party, like John Boehner, or Mitch McConnell.  They’ve said as much in open contempt for the TEA Party.  By permitting the administration and its lackeys to destroy evidence, the evidence of their own complicity would be hidden too, and all that would remain are the allegations and evidence of a cover-up of something, in which the Republican leadership would not be implicated.  After all, they’ve been conducting an investigation, right?

If this sounds too conspiratorial to you, consider that these are the same people who invented voting for a thing before voting against it.  John Cornyn had no problem voting for cloture on the Senate Amnesty bill last year before coming home to Texas to tell voters he had voted against the final bill, which he had.  He repeated the procedure at the time of the government shutdown last October, again voting to bring the bill for a vote, so that he could vote against it thereby claiming “conservative credentials” all the while have enabled the bill to see the light of day in the first place.  They bank on we voters remaining largely ignorant of their scandalous manipulations, so that a less-than-vigorous investigation wouldn’t provide much of a surprise. By the way, and by way of evidence of the establishment’s thesis in operation, John Cornyn won his primary by pretending to be a conservative while relying on the longterm detachment and ignorance of voters.  Still, roughly forty percent of the Republican electorate in Texas was able to see through his nonsense, but not enough to replace him as our Senator.

My point to you is this: It may be too late to salvage the data, because this has been left withering on the vine for much too long.  The list of particulars I provided yesterday should have been exercised more than two years ago, and it should have been done with vigor.  If there is no active complicity by Republican leadership, there is at least gross incompetence verging on the criminally negligent.  Are we to believe that none of the people in leadership had any idea, and that none of their staff had any idea how to approach such a scandal?  Are we to believe they had no access to any person with sufficient technical understanding who would have apprised them of the sort of things that would need to have been done to “disappear” such data?  Are we to believe that those who were conducting the preliminary investigations on behalf of House committees could not imagine to immediately contact people specializing in data recovery?  Why has it taken until yesterday to discover that the IRS had contracted with Sonasoft?  What were these investigators investigating?  Didn’t they look at the IT expenditures and contracts of the IRS for clues?  You see, once you consider all of this, it’s easier to understand how an observer could reasonably conclude that the Republicans didn’t want to investigate, and having been forced into it by public pressure, have done a half-hearted job of it.

How can we be nearly three years into this investigation, and we’re only now finding there had been a back-up company contracted?  I will not be surprised to learn that the IRS contract with Sonasoft required them to hold emails for a period of only three years, so that by now, Lois Lerner’s emails have fallen off the archive due to age.  A serious investigation would have immediately discovered the existence of a contract with Sonasoft, and those records could have been pulled three years ago.  What will we get as a result?  At best, some underlings who were a part of the cover-up will be burned, but the chain of command to the top will be obfuscated, and then we will get some dog-and-pony IRS Reform bill that will require the agency from this date forward to maintain all emails for ten years, or some such thing.  Then it will all go away, and the original participants in the scandal of targeting TEA Party groups and their members will be forgotten, and life will go on in Washington DC, with we being the only victims, now poorer and less free, and deprived of justice.

The questions I’ve posed over the last thirty-six hours are the sort I would expect of a serious investigation.  To date, we’ve had a lot of finger-waggling by Republicans asking questions of witnesses, but we’ve gotten no meat from these bones.  Certainly, it does not help that we have a Department of Justice that is led by a crook and crony, and it does not help that the media covers everything up on behalf of this administration, but if the Republicans had been serious about getting to the bottom of this scandal, they would have taken significantly more exhaustive steps by now, but to date, all they’ve done is generate ominous soundbites that tend to feed the red-meat aspects of politics, yet have resulted in no arrests, no indictments, and no justice.  In three years?  This scandal is well on its way to becoming a cold case, and that’s just how Washington DC likes it.

Update: The Daily Caller reports that the IRS cancelled its Sonasoft contract only weeks after Lois Lerner’s hard-drive “crash.”

John Boehner’s Dog and Pony Show

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

On Friday, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives continued its wholly political, and ultimately theatrical investigation of the IRS Tea Party-targeting scandal.  Chairman Dave Camp’s(R-MI) committee brought current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen before the committee to testify as to the loss of Lois Lerner’s emails, among other misdeeds.  You may argue that Paul Ryan(R-WI) was very aggressive in his examination of the witness, but that entire exchange was mere political theater that will evince nothing at the end of the investigation.  Had the Republicans in Congress the first inclination to get to the bottom of this scandal, they would begin by taking the following series of steps:

  1.  Bring before the committee the entire IT staff that supports the IRS, particularly its executives.
  2. Audit the purchase records and replacement schedule of equipment used to support Lois Lerner’s computer usage. Congress should want to know how old her computer had been when the hard disk “died.”
  3. Require IT staff managers to testify as to the method of email archiving, email storage, email backups, and the entire email system used by the IRS.
  4. Seek a federal court order requiring the production of all existing equipment that is currently, or has ever been in use by the IRS in storing email,over the period of the last six years, including particularly SAN devices and servers.
  5. Seek a federal court order requiring the immediate production of all backup media on which IRS files and email may have been copied.
  6. Form a select committee with broad investigatory powers to pursue the entirety of this affair, particularly with an eye toward fraud, destruction of government records and data, as well as political influences brought to bear on the IRS from any branch of government or outside interest groups.
  7. Bring in experts to audit access records for servers and storage devices to discover when anybody interacted with the equipment in question. These devices and servers maintain extensive logs of the commands issued from administrators. Knowing who did what will be a key to cracking this case. The government may well have logging servers to which all events are reported.

For those of you who are less than technically inclined, I will be glad to explain to you why this whole “lost hard drive” claim is a dodge, and for those who may have less than a strong understanding of the politics, I’ll be glad to explain to you how I know the Republicans are playing a game for show, but do not want the truth to come out.

As an information systems professional, who works with storage systems, backup systems, networks, servers, and workstations every day, and who works with the applications and databases which is the purpose of all of that lovely, grotesquely expensive equipment, let me tell you a few things you won’t read in the media.  You might even take a moment to learn a bit more about your own computer.

First, the email system the IRS uses is almost certainly an IMAP or MAPI variant.  This means that on the most basic level, emails are not stored on the client, except as a temporarily cached copy.  Deleting it may cause the email to appear deleted for that user, but the mail archiving functionality will maintain a copy for a period as prescribed by policy, usually determined in applicable statutes and regulations. Most corporate and government environments will not even permit users to store mail in local folders(email folders solely on your local computer) unless they are first archived in the email archiving system, which is generally part of the same overall system. Nevertheless, examining the event viewer in Windows will offer some insight into what may or may not have been done on a given workstation or server. Linux and other operating systems have similar logging facilities.  (If you have Windows, you can get an idea by going to your Control Panel, then to Administrative Tools, and Event Viewer. You will be surprised what you can learn about your computer’s routine operations.)

In the second place, the number of servers used for an email system to support an organization the size of the IRS must be quite large.  It undoubtedly consists of multiple servers, at multiple server farms, in a redundant scheme of some sort intended to prevent the loss of data.  You, the taxpayer, has spent billions upon billions since the advent of email to provide these facilities for our federal bureaucracy.

Third, since email storage in such an environment is bound to be monumental in scale, there are undoubtedly many storage blades of some form, probably Storage Area Networks(SANs) to handle the storage needs of the mail system servers.  These are also geographically dispersed for reasons of data security, and what you should know about these technologies is that if your Storage Administrators are doing their jobs, there is virtually no credible fashion in which data of this sort could be lost simply because somebody’s office computer’s hard disk died.

To put it in context, consider one of the leading manufacturer’s systems.  Called an ISE2, it’s made by X-IO and it can contain two datapacs that contain what are essentially a stack of hard disks that are effectively “self-healing,” and in common usage, contain more than fourteen terabytes of data in each datapac.  By design, such a device already creates a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks(RAID) by virtue of its design, permitting the administrator to choose either RAID 1(mirroring) or RAID 5(a form of quasi-mirroring).  The way these devices are used is to create storage volumes in the datapacs and attach those volumes to servers.  They can be swapped in and out, and they can be mirrored as individual entities across other devices.  The servers in question see these volumes as hard-drives, and in effect, they function in precisely that manner.    I would be stunned to find that the US Federal government is not using such an arrangement, whomever the vendor, and there are many.  Chances are high that wherever the server farm is that operates the IRS email system, there are likely to be many SAN units, or other storage containers that have similar functionality.

Putting of all of this into simplest terms, the series of failures that would be required to disappear Lois Lerner’s emails, along with those of six other IRS executives, is an astonishing string of virtual impossibilities and displays of incompetence and malfeasance that should result in the ouster of every IT manager supporting the IRS.  It’s not that I don’t believe there are incompetents working in government, or that I don’t believe there are some slothful folk administering systems for the IRS, but that the totality of this loss of data represents a complete failure at virtually every level and every step of the organization.  Even in a clunky, bureaucratic, top-heavy organization like the IRS, there are still some competent people who keep it working despite all the obstacles placed in their way. The manner in which their storage systems and server farms are designed tends to preclude the chance that something so seemingly innocuous as the loss of one person’s email(or seven) is even a remote possibility.

Knowing how such systems work, and knowing that the government spends more money on the core computing technology than any entity on the planet, their claim to have lost the email due to a hard drive failure on a client machine is an absolute farce.  To claim even that no data was recoverable on that hard drive is pretty hard to believe too, since I’ve seen data recovered from hard disks that have been in computers essentially destroyed by fires.  In fact, given the nature of the data I have handled over the course of my computing career, it is common that when a computer reaches the end of its service life, organizations resell the computers but strip the hard drives out of them for mechanical destruction so that no data may be recovered from them. (In many cases, this involves drilling holes through the platters, using a cutting torch, or other methodology designed to destroy the actual storage media in the drive, which is generally very hard metal platters.)

All of that doesn’t matter in the least, however, as the servers and archive servers and storage devices in the systems are apt to have contained one or more(probably many more) copies of the target emails. Then there are backup tapes or other backup devices. No, ladies and gentlemen, if the administration’s hacks like Mr. Koskinen come forward to tell you in smug tones that the data was irretrievably lost, they are lying.  It may have been irretrievably destroyed, but that would require a conspiracy because no one computer technician could possibly have access to all the relevant systems in an organization so large.

The technician who was responsible for maintaining and repairing Lois Lerner’s computer is not the same technician who administers the email system.  That administrator is not the same person who operates and maintains the bulk data storage containers, nor is that the same person who operates all backups and certainly not the same person who maintains and administers the network on which all of this computing takes place.  It’s not plausible in an organization the size of the IRS.  In many cases, data is duplicated and moved off-site for disaster recovery purposes.  No, if this data is unrecoverable, it is because it was ordered to be placed in that state.  Knowing this, and knowing what would be entailed in literally destroying any trace of these emails, I can only conclude that this administration is lying, and is an active participant in a criminal conspiracy and cover-up of crimes that would tend to place Lerner and her superiors in jeopardy of long jail terms, and this president in the direct path of impeachment proceedings.

At the beginning of this article, I explained to you that I believed that the claim about the emails being “lost” is nonsense, and a lie.  I hope I’ve managed to illuminate a few of the reasons why you should not believe such claims, but I also contended that you should not believe that the Republicans are very serious about uncovering the truth, despite their harrumphing to the contrary.   You see, if the Republicans in Congress were serious about all of this, they would issue subpoenas to the entire IT staff.  They would drag them in, one at a time, starting at the top, and working their way down to the lowest technician.  They would have questions, specific technical questions, prepared for them by people like me, or actually those rare birds who designed such systems, and they would begin the grilling.  Under oath.  Somebody would crack.  A lie of this sort cannot be hidden if there is a consistent and tireless effort to uncover it.

The problem may be that to uncover Lois Lerner’s email would reveal something no Representative in that committee hearing room wants you to know:  Lerner may have been receiving emails from both sides of the aisle on Capitol Hill urging audits and investigations into Tea Party groups.  The IRS was used in this instance to quell a peaceful, political uprising by making the formation of a group so painful and problematic as to frustrate into capitulation all but the most insistent and persistent persons.  The Republicans tried first to co-opt the Tea Party phenomenon, making it their own, but when they found they were unable to control the myriad of organizations springing to life around the country, their next motive was to destroy it because they posed a serious challenge to the orthodoxy of establishment power in Washington DC.  Most Republicans in Washington DC want the Tea Party buried, some of them more fervently even than the Democrats.

If the Republicans in the House cannot muster a select committee to look into this and other matters of extreme government corruption, it is only because they do no want the truth discovered.  If they will not bring an endless string of witnesses to testify as to their role in the email “losses” and the system design of the email and data facilities of the IRS, then they don’t want an answer.  Paul Ryan and others can put on one Hell of a show in the committee room, but the truth is that saying “I don’t believe you” in an exchange with an IRS commissioner isn’t going to turn over many stones.  If you want the truth, you bring in the subject matter experts and responsible parties, and you grill them and continue to remind them of their oaths.  At some point, some junior flunky intern who was told to ditch a hard disk in the Potomac is going to squeal, because he doesn’t want to go to prison.  Then you bring back the person who gave him that order, and then the person who issued that order from higher on the food chain.   Work your way down to get them on the record, until somebody cracks, and then work your way back up, exposing lies until the scheme is revealed in full.

If the Congress won’t do this, they’re not serious about the matter.  It suggests strongly that they don’t want the truth revealed any more than the administration.  There are plenty of smart people on Capitol Hill, and they have plenty of contacts who understand such systems and could provide technical advice both in the formation of questions and in the manner by which to challenge the credibility of the answers.  Those behind this atrocious abuse of government power must be held accountable and jailed for their crimes.  Make no mistake about it: Grievous crimes were committed both as a part of the targeting, as well as during this extended cover-up.  If the Republicans now fail to uncover those crimes and see this investigatory process through to a just ending, you can be sure that they hadn’t wanted the truth to be discovered, because their fingerprints are all over this too.




Conservatives Concerned About Wrong Threat

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


If there’s one thing I hate, it’s when the national audience that is conservatism gets distracted by stories that seem outrageous while ignoring stories that need their immediate attention, and a goodly dose of their activism.  Yes, if it’s true that some unnamed White House official told Bob Woodward that he would regret telling a truth about Barack Obama’s negotiator as the source of the “sequestration” rather than Congress, it is an awful abuse of power and it bodes ill for the future of the freedom of the press.  Horrible!  Unbelievable!  Now that we have this out of our system, remembering that Woodward is a leftist, which means in the long run, he’s apt to recant or later minimize the impact of the story anyway, let me offer that conservatives are paying attention to the wrong damned threat.  Woodward will have no problem finding defenders, but you may, and you’re probably going to need them.  Why?  Unable to push gun control through directly, the Obama administration and the GOP leadership in the House are setting you up to lose your guns by a much more indirect route.  As NRO’s Katrina Trinko reports, Eric Cantor is now threatening conservatives with civil war in the GOP caucus.

As Mark Levin explained, under federal law, those convicted of domestic violence lose their right to keep and bear arms.  You may be thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, but I would urge you to reconsider.  If the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act(S.47) passes the House, as Eric Cantor is currently twisting Republican arms to do, “unpleasant speech” will be considered a federal crime qualifying as domestic violence.  Are you still more concerned about the alleged threat against Bob Woodward?  You see, the Senate version of the bill now includes a number of chilling provisions that would turn mundane arguments among couples into the grounds for the loss of one’s second Amendment rights.  If you think this is a joke, or that I’m going over-the-top, I would ask you to consider what sort of jurisdiction the Federal government has in domestic violence anyway.  Isn’t this an issue for states and local governments?  Federalism?  Tenth Amendment?  Conservatives?  Anybody?  The only reason to make this sort of law on the federal level is to use it as a vehicle for its legislative side-effects.  You are going to be disarmed, and this will be the vehicle.

One might wonder why Republicans like Eric Cantor would go along with such monstrous, probably extra-constitutional legislation, but the answer remains what it has been since Boehner and Cantor took over leadership: They’re not on our side.  They would be only too happy to ban weapons, but they know they’ll get clobbered in 2014 if they go that direction, so instead, they’re looking for the back door to registration and eventual confiscation.  The Violence Against Women Act is the path to taking everybody’s guns, because it even changes the burden of proof effectively from the accuser to the accused.  That’s right, under this act, if you are accused, it will be nearly impossible to avoid being found guilty because almost anything remotely unpleasant can be considered as “abuse” or “violence.”  So much for “sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

Perhaps as insidiously, it adds more classes of people to the legislation, including homosexuals, transgendered, and men too, begging the question as to why it is labeled “Violence Against Women Act.”  The answer is clear, however, considering this bill constitutes a continuation of the Obama strategy of denouncing Republicans’ “War Against Women.”  As RedState’s Daniel Horowitz observes, it’s impossible to see where this is anything but a social engineering package. With the added implications for gun ownership, it becomes an even darker tool.  Again, as Horowitz concludes:

“Yes, they should vote against this ridiculous rule, which is politically motivated.  There is no reason they should be considering this bill anyway.  Why is a GOP-controlled House taking up leftist legislation instead of bills to block grant Medicaid, repeal ethanol mandates, or reform the Fed?  Even if they choose to bring up bad legislation, they should do so under an open amendment process.”

Ladies and gentlemen, such legislation is an abomination to our constitution, and while we may be upset about threats against Bob Woodward emanating from this despicable White House, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that the threat against Woodward is just one more small token of Obama’s lack of esteem.  The Violence Against Women Act should be called the Violence Against the Constitution Act, because it offers to set aside the whole notion of “innocent until proven guilty,” as well as expanding the meaning of “violence” to include “unpleasant words.” If you value your liberty, you must act to stop this bill by calling your House members, and calling Eric Cantor’s office, though I’d suggest the former will do more good.  Nevertheless, make those calls.  It’s such a despicable situation that Mark Levin announced a “Levin Surge,” and to the degree I am able, let me add my outcry to his:  We must stop this act, because it will be used to further destroy the constitution while setting you up for easy removal of your Second Amendment rights.  The worst threat this day isn’t the one aimed at Bob Woodward, or even by Cantor against conservatives in the House Republican caucus, but instead the one aimed most squarely at you.

Note: Eric Cantor can be contacted here:

Eric Cantor
303 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2815
Fax: (202) 225-0011

One-Half of One-Third of the People Screwing Us [Again]

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Boehner and the Boys

There must be something in the water in Washington DC, and I think it’s about 80 proof.  Speaker John Boehner has led the abandonment of principle once again, and I can’t believe these are allegedly our guys.  This evening, the rotten Republican leadership sent down the word that Republicans ought to support a bill that eliminates Senate confirmation for an additional 169 Executive branch positions, meaning that they just let Barack Obama have his way with 169 more positions he can fill, unchecked by Congress, and able to appoint the most maniacal leftists he can dig up.  Thankfully, it was a roll-call vote, and you can look to see how your Representative voted.  My own Representative voted “Aye” on this hogwash, and before this evening is over, his office is going to hear about it, and tomorrow, his offices both in the district and in DC are going to hear about it.  The purpose of confirmations is that there should be Congressional oversight on these appointments so no President can become too powerful.  Boehner and the boys just voted to reduce their own power but according to Mark Levin’s sources, there’s a reason they did so:  Mitt Romney told them to do it on the basis that he would like it if he were to become President.  What?!?

The purpose of this collection of elected jack-wagons is not to dispense with the Constitution, or to weaken the legislative branch on the basis that somebody from their party might become President at some date in the future.  It is their job to protect and defend the constitution, and that means to uphold its intent, which includes the Congressional responsibility of oversight over Presidential appointments.  Who in the world do these people think they are?  It’s not their job to “remove obstructions” to the process.  For the love of Pete, why don’t Boehner and McConnell just get together with Obama and give him all power of Congress, since Mitt Romney might want to be dictator someday?  This is preposterous.  It truly is disheartening, but more than that, it’s a bit more evidence that we cannot salvage the Republican party.  It’s broken.  It doesn’t represent us in many cases, and it certainly doesn’t represent our interests when our elected Republican majority throws we and our constitution under the bus in the name of expedience.

Others may take a somewhat less terse approach, but I no longer give a damn about holding back “for the sake of party unity.”    When they sell us out, I am going to scream it.  What party unity?  The only “unity” I see in this matter is that between John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Hussein Obama: They’re united against us!  I heard part of Mark Levin’s commentary on this, so I’ve decided to share it with you.

Clips 1 & 2:

Alternative content

Ladies and gentlemen, if you want to know what’s wrong with the Republican party, look nowhere beyond this instance of dire stupidity.  Or is it something else?  Barack Obama is a dangerous thug wearing the office of President like the robes of a king, and yet the Republican leadership in the House just gave him a pass on 169 appointments.  Their excuse is that Romney wanted it?  What if Romney doesn’t win???

Even if Romney does, do we want him filling those jobs without Congressional oversight, or the ability of the American people to call their Senators to object to appointments?  What happens when Romney begins filling these jobs with RINOs?  What happens when he fills them with more of his friends, in payment for their support?  What are we to do then?  I’ll tell you:  We should thank John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and all the other all-star losers in the Republican party who voted for this garbage.

Your voice as a check on the power of the Presidency is being stolen from you, but the they’re not finished.  They intend to bypass the confirmation process for up to an additional 270 positions.  That’s 440 total possible instances in which some President will have no need to worry that he’s appointing a louse, whether it’s the current jerk, or some future occupant of that office.  Do you not see what they are doing to us?  Do you not realize it?  They are systematically converting the courts and the Congress into a mechanical auto-pen for the office of the President.  In short, they’re building a dictatorship, and I don’t much care whether the dictator has a “D” or an “R” behind the name.  It matters not one whit to our liberty what party a tyrant might claim.

The Republican establishment is a part of the disease in Washington DC, and with incidents like this, it’s becoming apparent that they’re the larger part.  Obama and the Democrats can only get away with this because guys like Romney, Boehner, and McConnell let them, and this sell-out is a prime example.

We pay the price, every time.

This isn’t about Mitt Romney.  This is about the separation of powers under our constitution, and the role of the Senate in confirming Presidential appointees.  It doesn’t matter that Mitt Romney may become President.  It doesn’t matter if Ronald Reagan were to rise and somehow become President again.  This is a bad idea, no matter who the President is, and the fact is that at present, the occupant of that office is Barack Obama, and it may just be him again.  Defending the separation of powers is something our Congress ought to do, and on Tuesday evening, the Republican “leadership” in Washington DC failed us again.




Obama’s October Surprise Courtesy of John Boehner

Friday, February 17th, 2012

Will He Have the Last Laugh?

We’ve been set up again.  Mark my words:  The debt ceiling issue will come again, this time, as Democrats’ October Surprise.  Senator Rob Portman(R-OH) has completed a new study, and has discovered that the Debt Ceiling will be reached just in time for the election.  Obama will use this issue to bludgeon Republicans on the eve of the election.  You can bet there will be no short-term deals, and no negotiations, and these big government liars are going to drive their base to the polls, and not only to re-elect Obama, or stave off the loss of the Senate, but also to re-take the House.  Granny will again be pushed off the cliff by “Paul Ryan,” with an impersonator of the Republican nominee may be, nodding approvingly in the background.  Not only did Boehner manage to get nothing for his debt ceiling sell-out, but he also walked his entire party into Obama’s trap.

Those of you will remember how John Boehner poked and prodded and cajoled Republican freshmen to forsake their voters’ strong opposition to any increases of the debt ceiling, but what you may not remember is how Whiner of the House undermined his own party’s bill by seeking a deal with Harry Reid to undercut Cut, Cap and Balance before it could even be considered in the Senate.  To say that this situation is dangerous is an understatement.  While Boehner succeeded in making a deal, what he really did was to set us up.  Just days short of the election, Barack Obama will rail against Republicans, and in this situation, it will be nearly impossible for him to lose.  He will demonize House Republicans, and he will associate them with the GOP nominee.

In that situation, if the GOP makes a deal, they will lose.  Obama will be seen as the winner, an their own district electorates will throw them out, or sit out the election in disgust.  Their only chance is to stand, but if they don’t learn a new message and learn it fast, they’ll be painted as uncaring monsters who want to stop Granny’s Social Security check, starve children, and lay off teachers.  You might wonder how I could assert all of this, but the answer is simple: We’ve seen it all before.  This is one more ignominious result of the glaring failure of John Boehner and Republican leadership in Congress to make politically smart decisions.  They should have had this fight last summer, but they’re so fearful of bad public relations that they were willing to make a deal that may well doom them.

If the Republican leadership doesn’t go on the offensive now, and stay there, we will lose big in November, and our country will be ruined.  When it is, you can thank [then] Minority Leader John Boehner, who will undoubtedly cry in response.

House Republicans Now Regret Debt Ceiling Deal

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Now The Claim They Didn't Know

What a bunch of liars!  Everybody with the discerning capacity of a gnat knew that the Debt Deal was a loser, and that the triggers and targets and sequestrations would all result in only one thing:  Massive defense cuts while the Obama spending machine chugs along.   Now that it has come to pass, some House Republicans are now expressing “buyers’ remorse.”  My suggestion to these simpering would-be Republican leaders is that if they think they now feel badly about the way this has turned out, just imagine their poor voters.  These members of Congress who were elected precisely to stand firm on this issue should understand something more:  If they think they’re feeling buyers’ remorse, they should see how their voters feel about having elected them. They feel badly?  Not badly enough!

This foolishness is their way of trying to repair bridges to voters, particularly the Tea Party, but I think it’s pathetic and will not work.  I think the voters who elected these members, all of them, should remember that these are the people who sold us out to Barack Obama on the basis that they needed to do so in order to save their own electoral skin.  As I discussed at the time of the “deal,” the entire episode was a display of sickening surrender by House Republicans, whipped into submission by a weak Republican leadership that is more willing to discipline its own members than to fight the leftist front.

Cowardice was the approach of the time, and it was all about their unwillingness to do the hard work of leadership.  It is this same troop of alleged “stalwarts” who shafted Newt Gingrich in 1995 over the government shutdown, as they went with Dole rather than Gingrich.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is who the whiners in our House leadership is comprised of today.  Nobody on the conservative side of this argument should forget that these folks had a chance to stand up to the Republican leadership, and to stand against Obama and the Senate, in order to stave off this growing disaster.

Our military is now bearing the vast majority of the cuts under the auspices of this programmed sequestration and now we see Congressmen from defense-heavy districts complaining, after having voted for this pig in a poke.  They took what they thought was the easy way out politically, to try to safeguard their own necks, all because they were unwilling to fight.  To suggest that we need new leadership in the House of Representatives is to undersell the point:  We need new leadership everywhere among the Republicans, in the House, the Senate, and in committees.

Consider the case of Buck McKeon(R-CA), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.  He backed the deal, and helped round up the freshmen members, and pushed them to support this plan, yet now he complains bitterly that the deal is no damned good.  Interviewed for The Hill article, he said:

“I voted for it because I was told the supercommittee couldn’t fail, because sequestration was so bad that they would have to come together on that,” McKeon said. “Well, obviously it didn’t work, so now we find ourselves in a very difficult situation.

“Can I go back knowing what I know now, and change my vote then? We don’t get that luxury around here.”

This is the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee complaining that if he knew then what he knows now, he’d have changed his vote.   If Buck McKeon were in easy shouting distance of me, I’d point out to this bonehead that THE ENTIRE CONSERVATIVE BASE OF THE PARTY KNEW, and was telling he and the Speaker, and the Majority leader all of this in no uncertain terms.  What sort of dismally bankrupt logic permits this man to now pretend that he didn’t know. He’s lying!  He did know!  They ALL knew!  The rare few members whose arms they could not twist certainly knew.  The members who they cajoled and prodded into joining them in surrender knew.

What then is this business about not knowing then what he knows now?  Somebody who lives in Chairman McKeon’s district should please let him know I’m calling him out on all of this. I may be nobody, but even this nobody knew!  Obviously, the Tea Party in his home district must be making a fuss, otherwise this useless whiner wouldn’t be out in the media whining about not having known how this would go.  How can any serious leader in the GOP claim not to have known?  The answer is that there are not now many serious leaders in the GOP in the House, so if the truth would be told, every last one of them who has been there over three terms should be bounced out of town on their asses at the next possible electoral opportunity.

Forgive me please, ladies and gentlemen, for becoming a bit hacked-off about all of this.  It’s unconscionable that the leadership of the Republican party in the House of Representatives would tell us with a straight face, and plenty of simpering, that they hadn’t known.  Boehner needs to go. Cantor needs to go.  McKeon and every other one like him needs to go.  I think we should question the sincerity of any member of the House, never mind the leadership, who claims that he or she hadn’t known.  In fact, I’m certain of it.  We told them.  We demanded Cut, Cap and Balance, and while it passed the House, it was already being undercut by the Speaker’s own negotiations.  No sir, they all knew.  All of them.


Obama Threatens Veto – Setting the Stage for Crisis

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

The Less You Know...

A day doesn’t pass in which this president isn’t spoiling for a fight with congressional Republicans.  In the House on Tuesday, the Republicans passed a bill that would continue the payroll tax cut, fund the so-called “Doc-Fix” to keep funding doctors who will otherwise face reimbursement  cuts, and also clear the way for the Keystone pipeline that will provide for tens of thousands of jobs without a single tax-payer dollar.  President Obama is threatening a veto, because it contains the pipeline provision,  and since he’s beholding to environmental extremists, he’s more concerned with getting their support than seeing job opportunities for the American people.  More than this, I now believe Obama is trying to engineer the failure of the United States, and create a crisis from which the republic will never recover as we have known it.  This is what Barack Obama does:  He is driving this country from one manufactured crisis to the next, while offering up greater government controls as the means of our salvation.

Consider how many times this President has pushed us to the brink, in one form or another, whether over the budget, or the debt ceiling, or Obamacare, or any of a large number of issues that has grown even more rapidly since the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives.  It has been his default position to find something absurd over which to fight in virtually every instance, and sadly, in far too many of these cases, house leadership has buckled and bent and capitulated for the sake of electoral expedience, not wanting to be saddled with the accusation that they are obstructing the welfare of the country.  This is the Obama strategy, and so is the continual creation of these crises.  He must make the American people desperate and the best way to do that is to heap new deprivations upon you.

Part of his aim has been to deprive you of energy, all in the name of some apparition of “environmental justice,” that is an absurd and unattainable notion that contradicts the liberties and rights of all Americans.  This is why he now stands against this bill, and for no other reason:  Not only will it create jobs for tens of thousands of Americans, but it will also provide you a source of more fuel for which the nation is slowly starving.  Every simpleton understands the critical nature of energy resources to the growth or recovery of our economy, but this president pretends that such things are less important than another environmental study.

The pipeline plan has been studied and cleared and studied some more, but this president has directed his EPA to undertake another study.  The idea is to delay the pipeline, because he needs to cripple the country, and restricting our ability to develop or receive energy resources is a lynch-pin in stopping us cold.   Speaking of temperatures, you can prepare yourselves as the EPA will be forcing more coal-fired power plants off-line next year, under the auspices of the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule.  It is estimated that this rule will force the shutdown of as many as 20% of the coal-fired power plants in this country, which account for nearly 50% of our electric generation.   This will disproportionately affect Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, as the top generators of electricity from coal-fired plants.  In other words, next year, Americans are going to be forced to do with roughly 90% of the electricity produced in 2011.    If you think you think you can recover or grow an economy while shutting down electricity production, you missed a basic economics lesson somewhere along the way.  Every direction you may look, the Obama administration is choking off your economy, and trillions of diminishing dollars are being flushed down the drain.

Yes, I am well aware that “it can’t happen here.”  That’s what every nation being led over the precipice and down into the abyss tells itself right before the plunge.  The problem is that this isn’t mere alarmism any longer: Obama and his regulators are implementing this, step-by-step, as the nation sits idly croaking while the pot now shows the first signs that it will begin soon to boil.