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QUESTION ASKED AND ANSWERED:

Shot: “Is America’s Tax System Fair?”, asks Amity Shlaes, the author of the best-selling history of FDR’s Great Depression, The Forgotten Man, in a new video at Prager U:

Chaser: “IRS subjects tea party groups to new round of scrutiny, publicizes tax return data,” the Washington Times reported on Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

STEPHEN L. CARTER: Obama’s White House Can’t Take A Joke.

Well, I remember when Barack Obama “joked” about auditing his enemies, so maybe they know something about his sense of humor that we don’t.

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPYING: Did Obama’s Top Adviser Really Just Joke About Spying On Your Online Activity? “We have ways of finding out everything you’ve been doing online.” Not all that funny.

But then, in 2009, Barack Obama joked about auditing his enemies.

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

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

RULE OF LAW: Mike Lee: Latest Obamacare delay is ‘lawless’ — ‘he is not an emperor.’

President Obama’s latest delay of the employer mandate is yet another “lawless” change to Obamacare, according to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who said Attorney General Eric Holder still hasn’t provided the legal basis for the last delay.

“[Obama] has no authority to do that,” Lee told the Washington Examiner after his speech on higher education reform at the Heritage Foundation. “He’s acting outside of what the law authorizes him to do and this has got to stop. At some point the president of the United States has to recognize that we are a nation that operates under a system of laws. He is not an emperor. He is not a super-legislature. And he doesn’t have the power to just trump what Congress does.”

Related: Obama: “As President I Can Do Whatever I Want.”

President Obama made what turned out to be an ill-timed joke while visiting Monticello with French President Francois Hollande.

“That’s the good thing as a president, I can do whatever I want,” Obama joked while walking to a typically off-limits terrace at the home of Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville, Va., according to a pool report.

Reporters received the email shortly after the Treasury Department announced that it would again delay the Obamacare employer mandate for midsized businesses until 2016.

Yeah, he also “joked” about auditing his enemies.

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

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

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.

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. . . .

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.

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

IS THIS LIKE WHEN OBAMA “JOKED” ABOUT AUDITING HIS ENEMIES? Former NSA/CIA Chief Jokes About Putting Edward Snowden on Obama’s Kill List.

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

WELL, OBAMA HAS JOKED ABOUT AUDITING HIS ENEMIES: S&P Blames DoJ’s Lawsuit On “Retaliation” For US Downgrade.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

TAXPROF ROUNDUP: The IRS Scandal, Day 31.

Reminder: Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009.

SALENA ZITO: Scandals vs. Sway:

In T.S. Eliot’s drama “Murder in the Cathedral,” kowtowing knights who overhear England’s Henry II vent frustration with Thomas Becket decide to please the king by killing the archbishop.

Confronted with the scandalous murder, Henry is forced to deny involvement and punish his knights. Secretly, he is quite happy to be rid of the pesky archbishop.

Time will tell if the Obama White House will be directly tied to the incompetence and obfuscation surrounding the Benghazi terrorist attack, or the IRS’ virtual political-enemies list, or the Justice Department’s seizure of Associated Press phone records.

Yet the common theme of these Washington scandals may be the degree to which they reveal President Obama’s incredible “referent power.” . . .

Presidents also wield power by influencing those who deeply admire, strongly identify with or highly respect them. This is referent power, which focuses on ability to exploit others’ trust.

Celebrities — with no formal power and little expertise — wield influence through referent power; some people feel so close to and trustful of celebrities that they act upon their perceptions of what a celebrity wants them to do.

So when Obama joked about auditing enemies’ taxes, it wasn’t really a joke at all. . . .

JUST A REMINDER: Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009.

Related: Reporter Claims IRS Harassment After Tough Obama Interview.

WASHINGTON POST: Playing Politics With Tax Records. “A bedrock principle of U.S. democracy is that the coercive powers of government are never used for partisan purpose. The law is blind to political viewpoint, and so are its enforcers, most especially the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. Any violation of this principle threatens the trust and the voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends. So it was appalling to learn Friday that the IRS had improperly targeted conservative groups for scrutiny. It was almost as disturbing that President Obama and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have not personally apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation.”

Remember, Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009. At the time, I warned about the damage to the “trust and voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends,” but Obama didn’t get much pushback elsewhere. Now, however, people need to be fired, and most likely prosecuted, to drive home the appropriate lesson. And Obama himself needs to be taken to task. The Post editorial is just a start.