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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

PROF. PHILIP HAMBURGER: The SEC And The Cascade Of Evasions. “The SEC clearly hopes to use administrative proceedings to evade the constitutional right to jury. When discussing the recent trial losses suffered by the SEC, Ceresney defended its evasion by talking about the SEC as if it were a victim of unfortunate circumstances in court — circumstances that ordinarily are called juries. . . . But the juries have a point. The SEC, in reality, is acting as a prosecutor. Notwithstanding the pretense of “civil penalties” — a strange oxymoron — the SEC candidly proclaims on its website that ‘the SEC is a law enforcement agency.’ Indeed, its proceedings are government enforcement actions that seek to punish or correct, and they thus are criminal in nature. No surprise, then, that juries expect more than a civil burden of proof. Rather than a problem, this is a reminder of why juries are valuable.”

They’re only valuable if you want to protect individual freedom and government accountability. That’s not the SEC’s priority. And as Hamburger notes, it’s not just the SEC: “The ever widening evasion of constitutional rights is worrisome. Administrative agencies, such as the SEC, enforce important laws, but this is no justification for their evasion of rights — let alone the cascading evasions that threaten to make judges and juries nearly irrelevant. At one point or another, the judges will have to face up to the expanding evasions, and the longer they wait, the more difficult their task will be.”

A READER EMAILS: “It might be time for a reminder that many of the folks protesting the shooting in Ferguson, MO are likely of the opinion that only the police and members of the military should have the right to carry guns.” Good point!

Meanwhile, I saw this on Facebook yesterday:

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UPDATE: And by reader request, there’s this.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: BULL CONNOR WAS A MEMBER OF THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. Dems paying black staffers 30% less than white ones. “If you’re a person of color hoping to get hired by a political campaign, here’s the ugly truth: You’ll probably get paid less than your white counterparts, if you’re even hired at all. . . . For example, African-American staffers on Democratic campaigns were paid 70 cents for each dollar their white counterparts made. For Hispanic staffers in Democratic campaigns, the figure was 68 cents on the dollar.”

REMINDER: Hillary Clinton Pushed Obama to Keep Troops in Iraq.

THE COUNTRY’S IN THE VERY BEST OF HANDS: The U.S. Just Sent Thousands of Draft Notices to Men Born from ’93 to ’97—1893 to 1897.

Alternate headline: John Scalzi, call your office!

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMEMBER, THE REPUBLICAN PARTY TALKED THIS GUY INTO RUNNING AGAIN: Thad Cochran Gets Lost In Capitol. “Cochran didn’t seem to realize he was in the wrong place until someone in the room asked him if he was planning to join the Democrats for lunch.”

Reminder: If I recall correctly, Mark Foley, whose text-message scandal was the tipping point for the GOP in 2006, didn’t want to run for another term and was talked into it by Karl Rove.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having the IRS Audit His Enemies. I guess it was less a joke than one of those “dog whistles” we’re always hearing about.

BECKET ADAMS: A brief and painful reminder that Washington is filled with flippant and incompetent halfwits.

As the situation in Iraq grow increasingly volatile, and the Obama administration’s response increasingly vague, critics have voiced frustration at what they perceive to be a lack of leadership in the White House.

Yes, Iraq is imploding, threatened by a well-armed and highly motivated terrorist organization, and the White House’s critics are upset.

And this is on top of the president’s terribly unpopular decision to trade five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl (who may or may not have deserted his post in 2009 to join the Taliban), the growing scandal involving the Department of Veterans Affairs and, of course, the September 11, 2012, terrorist attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

Each of these events involves several dead Americans, some in the line of duty, some waiting for medical attention and some waiting for reinforcements that would never come. Very little has been done to find and punish those responsible for these events.

So along comes Tommy Vietor, he of the “dude, that was two years ago” fame, to inform the unwashed masses on Friday that their anger is very much misplaced and that they’re croaking on about nothing.

It’s hard to imagine that this White House could be unserious about things.

obama_speech_writer_jon_favreau_hillary_cutout_2008

REMINDER: Operation Choke Point deliberately targets businesses administration doesn’t like. “Operation Choke Point, a credit card fraud task force run by the Justice Department, was created to ‘choke out’ businesses the Obama administration finds objectionable, according to a congressional committee report obtained by The Washington Times. The administration is knowingly targeting these businesses, despite the fact they are legitimate, says a staff report released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.”

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REMINDER: Ayn Rand Was Not A Defender Of The Rich. “Ayn Rand, the famous novelist and free market advocate, is often caricatured as a defender of the rich or big business. But, as Steve Horwitz explains at the Bleeding Heart Libertarian blog, there are more wealthy villains in her books than wealthy heroes. And many of her heroes – including John Galt, whom Rand portrayed as the person best exemplifying her philosophy – are not particularly wealthy. Ultimately, Rand’s work praises producers, not wealthy people as such.”

In today’s America, as in that of Rand’s books, the two sets are increasingly distinct.

IN USA TODAY, TAXPROF PAUL CARON ON THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE IRS SCANDAL: The media ignore IRS scandal: We need to get to the bottom of it by giving Lois Lerner full immunity in exchange for her testimony.

Related: The IRS scandal for dummies.

Now with the warrant of Caron’s column I add my usual reminder. Nixon’s efforts to misuse the IRS were futile. They went nowhere. Nixon and his henchmen desired the IRS to “screw” their political opponents, but their efforts were a pathetic failure.

Nixon henchman Jack Caulfield astutely complained that the IRS was a “monstrous bureaucracy…dominated and controlled by Democrats.” As we have come to see, Caulfield was on to something. By contrast with Nixon’s failures to misuse the IRS, the IRS have very effectively “screwed” Obama’s political opponents, and we have yet to learn what the president knew and when he knew it.

Indeed. Though it’s possible that the IRS is so politicized that its employees needed no explicit instructions to go after Obama’s enemies. Arguing against that, however, is the White House’s stonewalling.

FIGHTING BOKO HARAM ON TWITTER: Operation Pouty Face. And just a reminder of the link that Ed Driscoll put below.  When it counted, Hillary’s State Department Refused to Brand Boko Haram as Terrorists.

VIDEO: CNN BOSS JEFF ZUCKER SHOCKED BY STAFFER’S FEARFUL QUESTION:

Zucker was sucker-punched at a CNN town hall meeting last month when a staffer offered a brutally honest critique during a Q&A with Anderson Cooper.

“How do we stop managers . . . from being afraid of you?” asked brave Atlanta-based producer James Curry in a question read by Cooper at the session in New York seen by all bureaus. “It seems that everyone is on pins and needles whenever you give guidance . . . The bottom line is managers seem to fear you and act very strange when you’re around.”

When you’ve lost fellow Time-Warner-CNN employee Joe Klein and the Boston Globe, perhaps it might be time to end the joyless monomania of the Zucker current approach.

Plus there’s plenty of karma involved, considering that ordinarily, CNN loves audience plants armed with sucker punch questions.

A timely reminder from The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol about how and why Ronald Reagan was one of America’s greatest presidents and the most successful conservative political figure of the 20th Century. Hint: It wasn’t because he told a good yarn and it wasn’t because he and Democratic House Speaker Tip O’Neill got together at night and shared a few bipartisan laughs.

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REMINDER: PRIDE IS A DEADLY SIN. Michael Bloomberg Is Sure That He’s Going To Heaven.

WELL, WHAT BOOKS HAVEN’T THEY COOKED? Is Obama Cooking the Census Books for Obamacare?

For several months now, whenever the topic of enrollment in the Affordable Care Act came up, I’ve been saying that it was too soon to tell its ultimate effects. We don’t know how many people have paid for their new insurance policies, or how many of those who bought policies were previously uninsured. For that, I said, we will have to wait for Census Bureau data, which offer the best assessment of the insurance status of the whole population. Other surveys are available, but the samples are smaller, so they’re not as good; the census is the gold standard. Unfortunately, as I invariably noted, these data won’t be available until 2015.

I stand corrected: These data won’t be available at all. Ever.

No, I’m not kidding. I wish I was. The New York Times reports that the Barack Obama administration has changed the survey so that we cannot directly compare the numbers on the uninsured over time.

If the numbers were good, we’d know about it.

Reminder: Obama moved Census control to the White House early in his first term.

A TAX DAY REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

PAY “GAP” REMINDER: Men vastly overrepresented in dangerous jobs, workplace deaths.

IT’S NICE THAT THEY APOLOGIZED, BUT WHAT KIND OF PERSON THINKS THAT’S OKAY TO BEGIN WITH? ABC Apologizes for Story That Connected Mozilla CEO to Hateful Westboro Baptist.

Reminder: Fred Phelps was a Democrat.

WELL, THAT WOULD EXPLAIN WHY HE’S BEEN WORKING SO HARD TO DERAIL THE INVESTIGATION: Darrell Issa says emails suggest Elijah Cummings prompted IRS targeting of True the Vote.

UPDATE: The Hill: Lerner mentioned Organizing for Action job. Note the presence of Holly Paz on the email chain.

Also, a reminder: The House can jail Lerner itself for contempt, even if Eric Holder won’t do anything. Though I’d be surprised if that happened.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Kathleen Sebelius lied about not extending the Obamacare enrollment deadline past March 31. And she did it less than two weeks ago. There’s video at the link.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Targeting His Enemies With Tax Audits.

RUNNING ON EMPTY: UK Shale Struggles A Reminder Of Why America Succeeded.

America remains the sole state to capitalize on its shale oil and gas resources, and difficulties in countries like the UK and China remind us that the shale revolution was more than just the result of applying the dual techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal well drilling to underground hydrocarbon reservoirs. Rather, the US energy revolution was the product of a mature oil and gas drilling industry, replete with robust supply chains. The boom depended on a unique set of mineral rights that provided landowners with a financial incentive to invite drillers on to their land, on a deep pool of capital, and on a variety of small wildcatting firms willing to take on the risk of drilling exploratory wells. . . .

This isn’t to say that shale can’t be tapped elsewhere, just that it’s going to be a more difficult process than many world leaders not named Obama might like. But the race to produce even a pale imitation of America’s experience is more important to European energy security now than ever, given the situation in Ukraine. Europe sources nearly a third of its natural gas from Russia, and that’s a lever Brussels is keen to rid itself of as it maneuvers against Moscow. Lawmakers in Washington have made the case that American LNG could help on that front, but so too could the continent’s significant domestic supply of shale gas. The Crimean crisis may be the strongest incentive yet for Europe to frack.

Frack now, or regret it later. By the way, I recommend Gregory Zuckerman’s The Frackers on this. I interviewed him here.

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OVERSOLD: The Facebook and Instagram Gun Speech Ban Issue:

Facebook has released their statement on the effort by anti-gun groups to ban speech & photos by gun owners. The other side is going to declare a win because they are recognized by Facebook for their efforts. In reality, the only impact is that if a post gets “reported” as being any kind of regulated product (not just firearms) for sale, the poster will be reminded that they should follow applicable laws.

That’s it. Facebook will pop up a message reminding you that you should follow the law if you post a gun for sale and someone complains to them about it. They won’t ban the speech. They won’t ban the images. They won’t even ban promotions of guns for sale at all.

The only speech-related restriction is that they say they will interpret phrases like “no background check required” as being a possible tip off that the seller may be willing to help others evade the law. They don’t require that private sellers agree to run a background check, just that they don’t make “no background check” a selling point of their firearm.

Under these rules, NRA can still do their gun contests, and local Friends committees can still promote the guns they’ll be giving away to FNRA dinner attendees. You can even still post that you’re going to sell a gun privately. The only thing is that Facebook can tell anyone who complains about the posts that they sent a reminder to follow the law.

If the anti-gunners had truly gotten what they wanted – a ban on firearm images or promotions of any kind – we would have completely pulled our personal and community Facebook accounts and no longer visited the site. I suspect that many of the millions of gun owners on the site would have done the same, and that’s not something Facebook can afford. It is, at best, a pyrrhic victory for the other side.

Related: The PR War Between The Anti-Gun Groups.

Moms Demand Illegal Mayors, or whatever the two merged groups are called these days, are declaring total victory in the Facebook/Instagram policy statement that any reported post featuring an offer to sell any regulated product privately will generate a reminder to sellers that they shouldn’t violate the law.

But the Brady Campaign swiftly sent out a letter to their supporters highlighting that the anti-gun groups didn’t get anything they demanded at all, and this is not in any way a victory. The thing is, the Brady Campaign is right on this, at least coming from a gun banner’s perspective.

Ouch.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

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STEPHEN L. CARTER: Climate-Change Skeptics Have a Right to Free Speech, Too. “I am old-fashioned enough to believe that the cure for bad speech is good speech. Yes, it’s a cliche. But it’s also a useful reminder. Nobody is forced to enter public debate. Once you’re there, it’s rough and tumble. Unfair attacks are as common as dew and sunshine, and everybody’s reputation takes a beating. That’s the price of freedom.”

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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FORD’S ALUMINUM TRUCKS: What are they really made of? “I’m telling you all of this because I kind of wanted it to be true, for there to be a scandal at the auto show for a change, and also as a reminder to not trust everything you read. Except this.”

GANGSTER GOVERNMENT: Geithner Threatened S&P After U.S. Downgrade. “An executive with Standard & Poor’s parent company said in a new legal filing that former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned him that the credit rating firm would be ‘looked at very carefully’ following its decision in 2011 to downgrade the credit rating of the United States.”

Reminder: In 2009, Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

A MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY REMINDER: Bull Connor Was A Member Of The Democratic National Committee.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

PUSHBACK: ‘Completely false’: Sources on ground in Benghazi challenge NYT report.

Fifteen months after the Sept. 11 attack in Benghazi which killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the narrative of the attack continues to be shaped, and reshaped, by politicians and the press.

But a New York Times report published over the weekend has angered sources who were on the ground that night. Those sources, who continue to face threats of losing their jobs, sharply challenged the Times’ findings that there was no involvement from Al Qaeda or any other international terror group and that an anti-Islam film played a role in inciting the initial wave of attacks.

“It was a coordinated attack. It is completely false to say anything else. … It is completely a lie,” one witness to the attack told Fox News.

The controversial Times report has stirred a community that normally remains out of sight and wrestles with how to reveal the truth, without revealing classified information.

Fox News has learned that the attack on the consulate started with fighters assembling to conduct an assault.

“Guys were coming into the compound, moving left, moving right…and using IMT (individual movement techniques). … That’s not a spontaneous attack,” one special operator said.

“One guy was shooting, one guy was running. There are guys watching the gates. … The bosses on the ground were pointing, commanding and coordinating — that is a direct action planned attack.”

The community of operators in Libya that night and since includes the CIA, FBI, U.S. military, U.S. State Department and contractors working for the United States in a number of capacities. According to multiple sources on the ground that night, all the intelligence personnel in Benghazi before the attack and there now understand Al Qaeda is a significant threat in Libya.

They’ve been sitting on these guys hard to keep them quiet. Not sure it’ll work forever.

UPDATE: “More curious to me is Obama media’s sudden Benghazi push after a year+ of silence. It’s like they want to avoid something else.”

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reminder: Hillary Clinton lied about Benghazi while standing in front of the victims’ caskets.

REMINDER: In 2009, Barack Obama “Joked” About Having His Enemies Audited By The IRS.

21ST CENTURY RELATIONSHIPS: All My Exes Live in Texts: Why the Social Media Generation Never Really Breaks Up. “There’s the ex who ‘likes’ everything you post. The ex who appears in automated birthday reminders. The ex who appears in your OkCupid matches. The ex whose musical taste you heed on Spotify. The ex whose new girlfriend sent a friend request. . . . There was also a time, I am told, when staying in touch was difficult. Exes were characters from a foreclosed past, symbols from former and forgone lives. Now they are part of the permanent present.” Well, I dunno. I always tended to stay in touch with ex-girlfriends. Helen and I probably would never have dated if it weren’t for one of them who put us together.

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IRS: Audits of ObamaCare Critics Just a Coincidence. Uh huh.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies. See, after you do that sort of thing, the “coincidence” explanation is less believable. . . .

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Barack Obama “Joked” About Having The IRS Audit His Enemies.

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WELL, NOW, THIS SEEMS LIKE A BIG STORY: Census ‘faked’ 2012 election jobs report.

In the home stretch of the 2012 presidential campaign, from August to September, the unemployment rate fell sharply — raising eyebrows from Wall Street to Washington.

The decline — from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September — might not have been all it seemed. The numbers, according to a reliable source, were manipulated.

And the Census Bureau, which does the unemployment survey, knew it.

Just two years before the presidential election, the Census Bureau had caught an employee fabricating data that went into the unemployment report, which is one of the most closely watched measures of the economy.

And a knowledgeable source says the deception went beyond that one employee — that it escalated at the time President Obama was seeking reelection in 2012 and continues today.

“He’s not the only one,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous for now but is willing to talk with the Labor Department and Congress if asked.

The Census employee caught faking the results is Julius Buckmon, according to confidential Census documents obtained by The Post. Buckmon told me in an interview this past weekend that he was told to make up information by higher-ups at Census.

So with this and the IRS intimidation of the opposition, the asterisk on Obama’s re-election gets bigger. . . .

UPDATE: Reminder: Obama Moved Census Control To White House Early In First Term.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: Senate Dems Supported Obamacare Rule Leading to Cancelled Insurance. “In September 2010, Senate Republicans brought a resolution to the floor to block implementation of the grandfather rule, warning that it would result in canceled policies and violate President Barack Obama’s promise that people could keep their insurance if they liked it…. On a party line vote, Democrats killed the resolution, which could come back to haunt vulnerable Democrats up for re-election this year. Senate Democrats like Mary Landrieu, Jeanne Shaheen, Mark Pryor, Kay Hagan and Mark Begich – all of whom voted against stopping the rule from going into effect and have since supported delaying parts of Obamacare.”

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REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

JAMES TARANTO: Let’s Get Cynical: Why should we trust the government–especially now?

“An old friend who has been active in politics for more than 30 years tells me he’s giving up,” claims Robert Reich in a Puffington Host post: ” ‘I can’t stomach what’s going on in Washington anymore,’ he says. ‘The hell with all of them. I have better things to do with my life.’ ”

Reich is a proven fabulist, so one has to assume any story he tells is a tall tale. But we’re interested in the supposed moral of the parable of Reich’s Disgusted Imaginary Friend: “My friend is falling exactly into the trap that the extreme right wants all of us to fall into–such disgust and cynicism that we all give up on politics.” The “Tea Bag Republicans,” as the homophobic Reich calls them, “want to sow even greater cynicism about the capacity of government to do much of anything.”

In reality, nobody is more disgusted or cynical about government than Tea Party activists themselves–and they have much to be cynical about. The Washington Examiner reports that TeaParty.net “has finally received its tax-exempt status after a three-year delay” caused by the repurposing of the Internal Revenue Service into a political operation aimed at suppressing opposition to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign . . . .

Ronald Reagan was the last president who had a basic skepticism of Big Government, but Barack Obama may end up having done more than any of his predecessors to promote that feeling among the public.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

UPDATE: IRS Officials Counseled White House on Contraception Mandate: Sent confidential taxpayer info, redaction indicates.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE: Investor’s Business Daily: Ben Carson’s IRS Audit Can’t Possibly Be Coincidence.

This is not a coincidence, any more than awakening with a severed horse’s head in your bed after being made “an offer you can’t refuse” is.

Someone — either within the IRS bureaucracy or above it — saw what Carson did, didn’t like it, and decided to make him pay. The American people must know who it was.

And there are two other crucial points to the victimization of this man who personifies the American Dream.

First, when a government is as big as ours has become, outrageous abuse from the soldiers of its financing machinery is inevitable, especially within a governmental climate that encourages it.

Second, there is no excuse for a president who’s been in office for more than four years failing to ensure that such outrages couldn’t happen.

Whether or not Obama instigated IRS abuse for political objectives, he is responsible for a culture within the bureaucracy that tolerated and even encouraged it.

Reminder: In 2009, Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

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IRS AGENTS USED TO BE FEARED BUT RESPECTED. NOW THEY’RE LOOKING LESS RESPECTABLE: Dr. Ben Carson: I had my first encounter with the IRS after challenging Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Reminder: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

JUST A REMINDER THAT THE IRS’S TEA-PARTY TARGETING also went after individuals by name.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

REMINDER: In 2009, President Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies’ taxes.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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REMINDER: In 2009, Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies.

THE BIGGEST WEINER OF ALL:

Amid the spectacle that has become Anthony Weiner’s campaign for mayor, New Yorkers have heard many arguments calling for him to withdraw. Surely the least persuasive of these is the one advanced on national TV by Dee Dee Myers: that Bill and Hillary find his continued candidacy distasteful.

Like so many others statements that involve the name Clinton, Myers later “clarified” her comments by saying she hadn’t actually spoken to the Clintons before saying they wanted Weiner out. Her remarks, however, fit with all the other anonymous complaints we hear that the Clintons are “livid” over the comparisons between Anthony and Bill — or Hillary and Huma.

And here we have Weiner’s real sin: It’s not that he’s treated women shabbily. It’s that the national focus on Carlos Danger is an uncomfortable reminder of Bill Clinton’s own antics in office — and the way those around him fought to help him remain in office.

On the material facts, it’s easy to understand why Weiner is resisting calls to step down. For every argument against Anthony applies even more forcefully to Bill.

Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: Related thoughts from Rand Simberg.

JAMES TARANTO: It’s Always Selma Again: On the cheapening of civil-rights history.

Jackson is not alone in seeking to trivialize civil-rights history. As Commentary’s Seth Mandel noted the other day, Rep. John Lewis–who suffered a fractured skull when a racist mob beat him on Bloody Sunday–in 2008 scurrilously likened the McCain campaign’s criticism of Barack Obama to the Birmingham church bombings. Lewis has a long history of similar comparisons, and his undisputed heroism 48 years ago does not excuse his inflammatory and irresponsible rhetoric.

Some of the efforts to evoke the civil-rights movement today are downright laughable. The Washington Times–in a story reporting that the Smithsonian Institution is trying, no joke, to acquire the sweatshirt Trayvon Martin was wearing when George Zimmerman shot him in self-defense–reports: “The National Museum of African American History and Culture is set to open in 2015 and will display objects related to the Civil Rights Movement, such as the handcuffs used to restrain Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr.”

Was Gates arrested at Selma? Unlikely, since he was 14 at the time. It’s a safe bet the event in question is the one that happened in Cambridge, Mass., in 2009, when Gates was trying to break into his own home and a passerby mistook him for a burglar and summoned police. This column sympathized with Gates. But to characterize the kerfuffle as “related to the Civil Rights Movement” is ludicrous.

Yes, but if you admit that Selma is in the past, people will have to rethink a lot of things. Including their own self-image. Meanwhile, a reminder from the real civil-rights era: Bull Connor was a member of the Democratic National Committee.

MEMBERS OF CONGRESS UPSET THAT OBAMACARE APPLIES TO THEM. Plus, the price of a win-at-any-costs mentality:

The article also provides a useful reminder that what became the PPACA was a draft bill that its supporters never intended to become law. The Senate-passed health care reform bill was intended to serve as the Senate’s contribution to a House-Senate conference that would iron out all the final details. Yet after Scott Brown was elected to the Senate, the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority and had to use the Senate bill as the basis for the final law. . . . Because the Senate bill was used as the basis for the PPACA, and only subject to limited reconciliation amendments, there are quite a few provisions were enacted that were not what health care reform supporters wanted. (This likely explains the language at issue with the IRS tax credit rule too.) The problem is that intentions are not law, and if Congress passes an imperfect or ill-conceived statute, it’s still the law of the land.

Someone should be challenging all these waivers in court.

REMINDER: Barack Obama “Joked” About Auditing His Enemies In 2009.

IRS SCANDAL UPDATE, ATTACK-THE-WHISTLEBLOWER EDITION: Watchdog decries ‘unprecedented’ treatment by Dems at IRS hearing.

The government watchdog who issued the report that found the IRS was targeting conservative groups was turned into a punching bag by Democrats in the second half of a tense hearing Thursday, leading Inspector General J. Russell George to chide lawmakers for their attacks on his office.

“This is unprecedented,” he said of his treatment before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee at the end of the hearing. The first half of the hearing was devoted to testimony from IRS officials who claimed higher-ups in Washington, D.C., were involved in applying additional scrutiny to Tea Party and other groups.

But the second half featured George and his associates, and ended up becoming a forum for Democratic lawmakers to accuse him of effectively ignoring potential signs that liberal groups may have been targeted as well. They pointed in part to IRS documents that suggest “progressive” groups may have been singled out.

George, though, said he didn’t see one of those packets until last week. He said he was “disturbed” it took so long for the IRS to produce the documents.

Hey, it took a while to make them look convincing. . . . And it’s obviously racist of the Democrats to go after a black man this way.

More:

Earlier Thursday, a veteran IRS worker testified that officials from a Washington office led by a political appointee intervened in the screening of Tea Party applications, saying publicly for the first time the IRS chief counsel’s office was involved in the controversial program.

Carter Hull, a recently retired tax law specialist, had earlier come under scrutiny after an employee in the Cincinnati IRS office told congressional investigators that he had been micro-managing her review of Tea Party groups’ applications for tax-exempt status. But Hull revealed that he, too, was taking orders from up the chain of command.

Hull specifically said he was told to forward documents to an adviser for embattled IRS official Lois Lerner — who first revealed the targeting of Tea Party groups and has since refused to answer lawmakers’ questions. But Hull said he was then told to send documents to the Office of Chief Counsel for their review — which is led by political appointee William Wilkins.

Reminder: Back in 2009, Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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A REMINDER FROM MATT RIDLEY: Science Is About Evidence, Not Consensus.

Last week a friend chided me for not agreeing with the scientific consensus that climate change is likely to be dangerous. I responded that, according to polls, the “consensus” about climate change only extends to the propositions that it has been happening and is partly man-made, both of which I readily agree with. Forecasts show huge uncertainty.

Besides, science does not respect consensus. There was once widespread agreement about phlogiston (a nonexistent element said to be a crucial part of combustion), eugenics, the impossibility of continental drift, the idea that genes were made of protein (not DNA) and stomach ulcers were caused by stress, and so forth—all of which proved false. Science, Richard Feyman once said, is “the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

My friend objected that I seemed to follow the herd on matters like the reality of evolution and the safety of genetically modified crops, so why not on climate change? Ah, said I, but I don’t. I agree with the majority view on evolution, not because it is a majority view but because I have looked at evidence. It’s the data that convince me, not the existence of a consensus.

As it should be. After all, within my lifetime it was the “scientific consensus” that homosexuality is a mental disease.

REMINDER: Obama “Joked” About Auditing Enemies in 2009.

REMINDER: In 2009, Obama “joked” about having the IRS audit his enemies.

REMINDER: IRS Chief Confirms Targeting of Tea Party Groups.

REMINDER: Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies in 2009.

JUST A REMINDER: Chuck Schumer voted for the Defense of Marriage Act. Someone should ask him if his views have changed, and if so, why.

I note that Steny Hoyer voted for it too. And is that Joe Scarborough I see in the Yeas column? I do believe it is. . . .

FIRST THEY DUMP ON RUSH LIMBAUGH, NOW THIS: Sebelius in talks with NFL on promoting ObamaCare insurance plans. On the bright side, maybe this will improve head-injury awareness.

UPDATE: Reader Bryan Woody emails: “Regarding the NFL, just a reminder that the targeting of Limbaugh during his attempt to purchase the Rams was led by the Executive Director of the NFL Player’s Association, DeMaurice Smith. In a remarkable coincidence, Mr. Smith previously worked as Eric Holder’s Counsel when Holder was Deputy Attorney General. The playbook never really changes, does it?”

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