Today I'll be keeping my weekly date with Hugh Hewitt (see our right-hand sidebar), live coast to coast at 6pm Eastern/3pm Pacific.
~As I've had cause to remark many times before, American government is corrupt. The IRS scandal is Ground Zero for the corruption of the republic, and, if you want it in a nutshell, the invaluable Judicial Watch just provided it. (Incidentally, the fact that an outside group gets more useful results than Congressional oversight does is itself testament to the diseased state of American institutions: the executive branch treats the legislative branch with ever more open contempt.) Here is Lois Lerner's email explaining the BOLO ("Be On the Look-Out") criteria for identifying and scrutinizing what it regards as "Tea Party' groups:
1. 'Tea Party', 'Patriots' or '9/12 Project' is referenced in the case file.
2. Issues include government spending, government debt and taxes.
3. Educate the public through advocacy/legislative activities to make America a better place to live.
4. Statements in the case file that are critical of the how the country is being run.
That last gets to the nub of the matter: Supposedly impartial agencies of the state are explicitly targeting the ruling party's political enemies. In other words, it's the merging of the state and the party in order to criminalize opposition: the very definition of a banana republic.
The IRS demanded donor lists from these groups, and, in a system where one in 100 taxpayers are at risk of an audit, ten per cent of individuals on the lists wound up getting audited. During all this, the Number Two guy at the IRS was in unusually close contact with Democrat Senator Carl Levin. To turn to the climate-change thugs for a moment, because Mann and his cronies were never punished for what they did in Climategate, it was inevitable that they would take that as a green light to carry on doing it. Likewise for the IRS: They think they've got away with it, and so they'll keep doing it.
~To reprise another old line of mine, the US Secretary of Education is the only education minister in the western world with his own personal SWAT team. Not to be outdone, the US Secretary of Agriculture is the only agriculture minister in the western world with his own cache of submachine guns. He's in the market for more, if you'd like to bid on the contract. I guess that means they're serious about cracking down on bovine flatulence.
Either that, or it's for security at the Future Farmers of America LGBTQ parade:
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) on Wednesday announced the launch of the Rural Pride campaign to elevate and address the needs of LGBT people living in rural communities across the country.
The goal of the campaign is to challenge the stereotype that LGBT people live only in metropolitan areas by elevating the voices and stories of LGBT people living in rural America.
I never cease to marvel at the mission creep of federal departments, which is on a scale unknown to other countries. As I understand it, USDA was set up initially to regulate all the taste out of American milk and cheese. But it just growed like Topsy. If you're a children's magician required to file an emergency evacuation plan for the bunny rabbit in your stage act, that's USDA. If you're paying for a lapdance with food stamps, that's USDA. Even so, for the Brokest Nation in History, this latest expansion is ingenious:
The campaign will also raise awareness of the particular issues faced by LGBT rural communities including increased rates of economic insecurity, lack of family protections, lack of nondiscrimination protections, and the heightened challenges facing rural LGBT youth and rural LGBT people of color.
Heightened challenges featuring "rural LGBT people of color": Wow, they're getting screwed every which way. Talk about drawing the short straw in the haystack. Check your privilege in the third stanchion on the left. As far as I can tell, the phrase "rural LGBT people of color" has never been used in the entirety of human history until USDA decided to "raise awareness" of the issue: That's how unaware we were.
My advice to Cliven Bundy would be to announce he's "transitioning".