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May 18, 2013 - May 11, 2013

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Stink, Part II

PREVIOUSLY... Good thing I waited a day. As I anticipated, the new Obama narrative being spun by supposedly critical MSM pundits is, well, the Sergeant Schultz Defense:

Obama ass-kissers and functionaries are now floating the idea that Obama doesn't know anything about anything because he's too detached and cerebral and the government is too vast for anyone to know what the hell is going on in its parts. (Right now, I'm watching Eric Holder before the House Judiciary Committee. He is also invoking the Schultz Defense. With great and casual aplomb, I might add. How could he possibly know what the Department of Justice is doing down there in the trenches?) But even Jon Stewart is laughing (and crying) at this pose.

My point is, it doesn't matter how many particulars Obama has isolated himself from knowing. A relevant truism:

A fish rots from the head down


When an organization or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.


Fish rot from the head down. This proverb is of ancient origin but precisely which of the ancients coined it is probably beyond our ken at this distant remove.

Many countries lay claim to it. I've seen sources that place it in China, Russia, Poland, England, Greece and so on..., but usually with no evidence to substantiate those claims. A correspondent of mine has asserted that it was written in a Greek text by Erasmus, who died in 1546. That may be the case, but I've not been able to substantiate that claim.

All of the early examples of the phrase in print in English prefer the 'a fish stinks from the head down' variant to 'a fish rots from the head down', which is more popular nowadays. Those early examples all ignore the nations mentioned above and credit the term to the Turks. Sir James Porter's Observations on the religion, law, government, and manners of the Turks, 1768, includes this:

The Turks have a homely proverb applied on such occasions: they say "the fish stinks first at the head", meaning, that if the servant is disorderly, it is because the master is so.

The early date of this citation and the fact Porter was in a position to be authoritative on the Turkish custom, being as he was British ambassador to the Sublime Porte of the Ottoman Empire for 15 years in the second half of the 18th century, gives Turkey a strong claim to be the birthplace of this proverb.

Of course, the proverb isn't a lesson in piscine biology. The phrase appears to have been used in Turkey in a metaphorical rather than literal sense from the outset. That's just as well as, in reality, it is the guts of fish that rot and stink before the head. [boldface mine]

In reality, the current scandals du jour are only the tip of a monstrous iceberg. The fish atop this berg has been rotting from Day One or before. First in the guts, meaning the idolatrous media that shamelessly promoted and elected this pipsqueak carp to the presidency.

There is virtually nothing in this administration that hasn't been managed by bullying, intimidation, corrupt insider deals, profound anti-American and anti-Christian sentiment, enemies lists, extortion, cynical PR manipulation, flat-out lies, celebrity puffery, and the absolute refusal to take constitutional presidential duties seriously. It's been all bad all the time, and it didn't even start with Obama. It just reached its apogee in this insanely lawless presidency.

There's a blowhard named Conrad Black over at National Review who just published a sanctimonious essay on Benghazi, in which he asserts that nothing in this sorry affair is impeachable.

The definition of high crimes and misdemeanors, which the Constitution requires to be proven before a federal officeholder is removed, should be clarified, and restored to its original content: gross material abuse of office, or abuse of office with intent to subvert the Constitution and fundamentally alter the nature of government. The Benghazi affair, as it seems to be emerging, doesn’t tick either of these boxes...

The administration staged a shabby and disgraceful performance, but it was not a high crime or misdemeanor, and the tongue of the next commentator who raises the spectre of impeachment on this account should be extracted with red-hot tongs. [boldface added by me]

Sorry, Conrad. By the criteria you quote, we do have overwhelming evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors. The problem is lawyers, who keep narrowing everything down to the point of picayune imbecility. What lawyers fail at, because it's trained out of their damaged brains, is pattern recognition.

We have the scandals everyone knows about. Which pale beside the scandals the whoring press refused to cover. A president who never submitted a budget to congress, in direct violation of his constitutional duty. A president who went hat in hand around the world apologizing to our enemies while insulting our friends. A president who spent 800 billion dollars in a stimulus package that created virtually no permanent jobs but filled the government coffers of politically friendly states and shorted the states that had voted for his opponent. A president who ignored a dire economy for a solid year while he used lies, political trickery, and phony accounting to create the biggest entitlement in the nation's history at a time when we already couldn't afford existing entitlements. A president who obsessively practiced the politics of racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual division to demonize his opponents and poison the tone of the national discourse. A president who appoints avowed communists and Chomskyite "anti-imperialists" to cabinet-level positions. A president who claimed to be Christian but systematically appeased and excused muslims to the point of denying that there is a still a war on terror and that the obvious enemy is Islamist radicals who want desperately to kill Americans. A president whose bizarre rules of engagement in Afghanistan require American troops to be shot at twice before they return fire and directs the FBI to perform outreach with domestic mosques known to be a breeding ground for terror. A president who campaigned by leaking rumors about the finances and tax issues of his opponents and their donors, obtained from where?

And now we're supposed to be surprised that it has come to this? Some would have it that this is a weird perfect storm of bad luck after a scandal-free first term. Good God almighty. How dumb do they think we are? We have pictures of Obama in the Situation Room the night Osama got killed. No such pictures the night of the Benghazi disaster. The last story on his whereabouts that night remains that he went to bed early because he had a fundraiser in Vegas the next day.

The man not only has never done his job, he's subverted and sabotaged his country at every turn. No Keystone pipeline and its potential for jobs and relative improvement in the American dependency on muslim oil nations. On his watch the IRS, the EPA, DOJ, HHS, DHS, ATF, and the FBI have become political weapons against his opponents, the national debt has exploded to levels that outstrip the total of ALL American debt before him, the policy of "lead from behind" has gutted America's influence in a world made exponentially more chaotic by his directed diplomatic surrender after military victory in Iraq, he's left Americans to die in foreign lands in the chaos he created, he's compromised and insulted American troops in combat (e.g., permitting a muslim cleric to damn Navy Seals to hell -- no Christian clerics allowed, in deference to you know who -- after their death in a mysterious and probably unnecessary helicopter mission), and in a scandal yet to burst on the scene, a virulently anti-Christian "consultant" is now crafting policy to prosecute Christian U.S. troops for proselytizing if they seek to share their faith with others in the military.

Do we need his fingerprints at the scene of every crime? No. We do not. Why the senate, which tries presidents after the house has impeached, are not a jury in any legal sense. They remain representatives of the people and can convict on a two-thirds majority. And now, just today, the press is finally starting to have some doubts because he's been going after them too? Really?

I'll repeat Conrad Black's haughty high bar: "Gross material abuse of office, or abuse of office with intent to subvert the Constitution and fundamentally alter the nature of government." We've got that.

Just two images to close with. Hillary at the funeral of the Benghazi dead, looking the families in the eye and promising to imprison the maker of the video that caused it all. And Obama taking his one question at the press conference with David Cameron, explaining that he first heard about IRS abuse on Friday, when the press reported it. Doesn't pass the smell test, does it? All it's possible to smell is rotten fish.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


The Stink, Part I

Sorry. The majority insisted on opening this can. Eat it and like it. Or throw it out.

THE I-WORD. The problem with developing stories is that they keep on developing. I had some thoughts on the scandal mess in which the nation is presently immersed, but there are two new articles from other sources everyone needs to read first. Benghazi is the lede that bleeds, and I have a must-read for you on that, but the IRS scandal, however dry and bureaucratic it sounds, is every bit as portentous and scary. Why I'm going to toss you a bone to chew on about that first. Here's an excerpt reporting the experience of a Texas nonprofit called True the Vote.

True the Vote, a Houston-based nonprofit which focuses on election integrity issues, was formed by Catherine Engelbrecht and her King Street Patriots Tea Party group. True the Vote applied to the IRS for their 501(c3) non-profit status in July 2010, and almost immediately their problems began. 

Within two years, multiple federal agencies, along with an EPA-affiliated Texas state agency, began auditing True the Vote and its founders, visiting their group, their businesses, and asking questions of people who knew them. The IRS was not the only governmental agency involved....

...Engelbrecht said, "We applied for nonprofit C-3 status early in 2010. Since that time the IRS has run us through a gauntlet of analysts and hundreds of questions over and over again. They’ve requested to see each and every tweet I’ve ever tweeted or Facebook post I’ve ever posted. They also asked to know every place I’ve ever spoken since our inception and to whom, and everywhere I intend to speak in the future."

Engelbrecht’s application with the IRS for non-profit status allegedly triggered aggressive audits of one of her family’s personal businesses as well. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) began a series of inquiries about her and her group; the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms) began demanding to see her family's firearms in surprise audits of her and her husband’s small gun dealership--which had done less than $200 in sales; OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazards Administration) began a surprise audit of their small family manufacturing business; and the EPA-affiliated TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environment Quality) did a surprise visit and audit due to “a complaint being called in.” 

The Democratic Party of Texas filed a lawsuit against her, as did an ACORN affiliated group. Both the FBI and the BATF continued to poke around her life, the lives of people in her Tea Party group, and her businesses.

This isn't about a couple of low-level Trotskyites in the Cincinnati IRS office. It's about a massive and deliberate abuse of power that permeates the entire Obama executive branch.

Now for Benghazi. The very best piece I have read about it, and believe me, I've read plenty. It's by Patrick Caddell, the lonely Carter era Democrat pollster who has stood virtually alone among his party in decrying the excesses of the Obama administration and the criminal negligence of the mainstream media. The whole essay is a must-read, including his paean to the integrity of Jimmy Carter, so these isolated chunks are meant only as teasers:

As we all know by now, the Obama administration bungled everything about Benghazi on September 11, 2012, leading to the tragic death of our ambassador and three more brave Americans. Yet at the same time, we must admit that the administration was successful in covering up its own fecklessness--at least well enough to get through last year’s presidential election.  

Yet in the last few days, that coverup has been uncovered, as all Americans can now see...

Indeed, some in the MSM have become cognizant of this new reality: The front page of the Washington Post featured a heart-wrenching photograph of Dorothy Narvaez Woods, the widow of Tyrone Woods, as she watched Gregory Hicks give his detailed first-person account, under oath, before the Issa committee. In Mrs. Narvaez Woods’ mournful but attentive face, the rest of us could see the agonizing human toll of this entire matter--not just the tragic incident of eight months ago, but also the frustratingly stubborn attempts to obstruct the true course of justice...

The cliché of scandals is that it’s usually not the incident itself that’s so serious, but rather, the cover-up of the incident. That was certainly true of Watergate; yes, it was a criminal conspiracy from the outset--a conspiracy to rig the re-election of Richard Nixon--but it’s not clear that Nixon knew about it in advance. Yet he did know soon after the June 17, 1972 break-in, and instead of cleaning house, he helped to cover it up.  That’s what turned Watergate from a election scandal into an impeachment scandal.  

The original incident in Benghazi was plenty serious, too, of course.  And so Barack Obama could have--and should have--gone to the country and told the truth. He could have declared, “Our country has been attacked by vicious terrorists. We will continue to hunt them down and kill them. We will win the war on terror.”  I am no fan of Obama, but if he had done so, the country would have cheered his resolve, and I would have, too.   Indeed, it’s most likely that the voters would have rallied around him...

It never seems to have occurred to Obama, or anyone else in his administration, that the Benghazi tragedy required some sort of midcourse correction, away from campaigning and toward governing.  No, the campaign strategy had been set in Chicago long before: The Obama re-election campaign was predicated on the idea that the 44th President had killed Osama Bin Laden and won the war on terror. 

So Obama’s team was all assembled for that famous photo in the White House Situation Room as they awaited the news of the Bin Laden raid in Pakistan on May 1, 2011. But then, more than a year later, a new attack by Al Qaeda on a new 9/11 simply wasn’t part of the carefully laid out campaign script.  And since campaigning was paramount, the Al Qaeda role in the Benghazi attack had to be airbrushed out by the White House--with the aid, of course, of an adoring media...

Thus the terrorist assassins became, in the Obama narrative, just an unruly mob, fired up by some dumb Mohammed video made in California. Once that cover story was settled upon, that was the beginning of the cover-up of Benghazi. 

As the rubble in Benghazi was still smoldering, the President declared, on September 12, 2012, “We will work with the Libyan government to bring to justice the killers who attacked our people.” And then he was aboard Air Force One, off to Las Vegas, for a rally and fundraiser.   

The immediate question, of course, is what Obama left behind in Washington D.C. that day.  Increasingly, it appears that he left his underlings in Washington to work out the new and dishonest Benghazi narrative--the cover-up.  The goal was to insulate the President from all this bad news--he had nothing to do with it.  Isn’t it interesting, for example, that no photos were ever released of the President working on the Benghazi crisis on the night of the attacks?  Nope, with the November election just six weeks away, the White House strategy was clear: The President was to kept far, far away from anything that might make the votes wonder if they had the right commander-in-chief.  

Thus we come to the more important question--the ultimate question: What did the President know?   

Everything else, in the long run, flows from that...

Most of the above is only a setup for his real analysis and argument. He's imploring the Republicans to look past Hillary to the real decisionmakers, Obama and his National Security Adviser.

The Benghazi cover-up at the White House was, in fact, a double cover-up. As we have seen, the President was to be insulated from Benghazi. But so, too, was someone else.  That someone else is Thomas E. Donilon, the national security adviser at the White House, who is, of course, Ben Rhodes’ boss at the National Security Council. So if Rhodes is doing something as vital as managing the Benghazi message, we can be reasonably sure that Donilon was all over it. We can be reasonably sure of it, that is, but we can’t actually see it, because Donilon has chosen to become politically invisible. Yes, if you and I haven’t heard much of Donilon lately, that’s not an accident; even though he is very ambitious, he has always been a behind-the-scenes player.  And he’s been very behind-the-scenes for these past eight months.  

Caddell thinks it's even more serious than Watergate, and after you read what he has to say, you will too. His essay is only Part I.

Just like this post. In my customary modest style, I'll finish my own Part I by quoting myself. This is from September 2012, shortly before the election. Among other things, I was urging Democrats to do the smart thing and let Romney flail for four years with the wreckage created by Obama. Specifically, I said this:

If you're a good Democrat, a good liberal, the best thing you can do for yourself is to put the onus on Republicans to fix the gigantic economic and international mess we're in. The Arab Spring alone is akin to ten Carter-sponsored Iranian Revolutions. Israel is in serious danger of getting nuked while Obama fiddles and hides. Foreign policy's an even bigger disaster than the U.S. economy, which is absolutely catastrophic. Real unemployment is over ten percent and not declining. We're headed for another deep recession, as all the indicators suggest if any media outlet would report them. It's probable that no one can undo the damage Obama has done in four short years. Four more years will guarantee a Republican resurgence the likes of which you have never seen or envisioned. Cut your losses. Bail for the good of your own idiotic notions of how government should be run. Bail for the more than 50 percent probability that your own Democratic congressmen will be forced, at some point, in a second term, to impeach this corrupt little con-man and throw him out of office to save the nation. Benghazi carries that risk all by itself. Then there's Fast & Furious. Solyndra. And more, much more, to come. Election law violations, dirty bargains with the SEIU and ACORN, administration ties under the table with the Occupy movement, numerous legal violations by the most nakedly political DOJ in history. Even the MSM will have to pounce on one of the hundred simmering scandals they've been ignoring when a big enough stink erupts in the endlessly expanding new media...

Hold your nose for what comes next.

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