The All-Seeing State
Mark Steyn has plenty to write about in his latest weekly column, given the Barackian horrors of the past week:
If you don’t instinctively know it’s wrong to stay in $3,500-a-night hotel rooms at public expense, a revised conference-accommodations-guidelines manual isn’t going to fix the real problem.
So we know the IRS is corrupt. What happens then when an ambitious government understands it can yoke that corruption to its political needs? What’s striking as the revelations multiply and metastasize is that at no point does any IRS official appear to have raised objections. If any of them understood that what they were doing was wrong, they kept it to themselves. When Nixon tried to sic the IRS on a few powerful political enemies, the IRS told him to take a hike. When Obama’s courtiers tried to sic the IRS on thousands of ordinary American citizens, the agency went along, and very enthusiastically. This is a scale of depravity hitherto unknown to the tax authorities of the United States, and for that reason alone they should be disarmed and disbanded — and rebuilt from scratch with far more circumscribed powers.
Here’s another congressional-subcommittee transcript highlight of the week. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois asks the attorney general if he’s spying on members of Congress and thereby giving the executive branch leverage over the legislative branch. Eric Holder answers:
“With all due respect, senator, I don’t think this is an appropriate setting for me to discuss that issue.”
Senator Kirk responded that “the correct answer would be, ‘No, we stayed within our lane and I’m assuring you we did not spy on members of Congress.’” For some reason, the attorney general felt unable to say that. So I think we all know what the answer to the original question really is.
Holder had another great contribution to the epitaph of the Republic this week. He went on TV to explain that he didn’t really regard Fox News’s James Rosen as a “co-conspirator” but had to pretend he did to the judge in order to get the judge to cough up the warrant. So rest easy, America! Your chief law officer was telling the truth when he said he hadn’t lied to Congress because in fact he’d been lying when he said he told the truth to the judge.
If you lie to one of Holder’s minions, you go to jail: They tossed Martha Stewart in the slammer for being insufficiently truthful to a low-level employee of the attorney general’s. But the attorney general can apparently lie willy-nilly to judges and/or Congress.
It gets worse; read the whole thing.
By the way, with Holder, the IRS, PRISM, Benghazi, and Fast and Furious, a reminder from Gabriel Malor that "The EPA Is The Underreported Scandal." The administration can't have enough of them, apparently. (Which may oddly help them in a way: with so many going on, and a supine media which is reluctant to report their details, how can low-information voters keep track of the shell game?)
As for Major Hasan, who needs surveillance? He put “Soldier of Allah” on his business card and gave a PowerPoint presentation to his military colleagues on what he’d like to do to infidels — and nobody said a word, lest they got tied up in sensitivity-training hell for six months.
Jack [Dunphy] will forgive me when I say this is less good cop/bad cop than no cop/bad cop. Because the formal, visible state has been neutered by political correctness, the dark, furtive shadow state has to expand massively to make, in secret, the judgment calls that can no longer be made in public. That’s not an arrangement that is likely to end well.
Steyn's post also dovetails well with this Tweet from Iowahawk:
Govt has to scrape all your phone calls and emails because govt forgot to enforce immigration law on 20 expired visas in 2001.
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) June 8, 2013
Perhaps they weren't Verizon customers.