Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rat Poison and Cyanide! The Iran Deal's Smell Lingers. Bernie and Israel. Excuses Even A Blind (Visually challenged) Person Sees Through!















 Women who still find Obama acceptable and,
given the, chance would still hop in bed with
Billious.
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The polls are shifting towards Trump and seem to imply Hillarious is out of touch trying to impale Trump with the liberal's game of identity politics which ain't selling this time.  Dems were able to slam Romney and he was incapable of responding and now he is sour grapes.

This does not mean Trump will win but it does suggest Hillarious ain't wining and why should she?  She is so dull, so disingenuous and so full of herself and you know what that means.
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The Iran Deal stinks to high heaven and the smell lingers.

Perhaps, one day, Iran will break apart and Iranians will reign over the Mullahs and their equivalent of the Former Shah's goons but before that happens we may see the world involved in another war that Obama helped to occur. (See 1 and 1a below.)
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Eriick Erickson attacks Conservatives for selling their soul and becoming no different than Al Sharptonlike shake down artists for supporting Trump simply because he is not Hillary Clinton and for attacking Facebook. 

Erickson's message is you cannot win out doing liberals at their own game.

I understand the points Erick makes but I would respond that conservatives are offered a choice of two poisons - rat poison and cyanide.  The former might make us sick at times but the latter will kill us. I chose to live in the hope that, as Trump is faced with decisions he never contemplated never having been in the political arena, logic and common sense will dictate most of his moves and decisions because he is just that. (See 2 below.)

As for Hillary, we have 30 years or more of her political manipulations and her display of character and she is worse than cyanide.

Trump may not win but should he the prospect for America's train getting back on tracks is possible.  Clinton would be another train wreck.

Obviously, millions of Americans are so fed up with Obama and the prospect of a continuation with Hillary they are ready to go out on a limb and vote for what they hope will be a real change which brings us back to the nation we were before this radical president decided to wreck us.

So I will swallow the lesser poison and hope for the best. Suicide, even at 83, is unthinkable.(See 2a below.)
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Bernie and Israel. (See 3 below.)
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Yes, one would think the various scandals and violations of the Constitution by this administration would have eroded Obama's popularity but emotional women still think he is the best thing since sliced bread which we know has no nutritional value. 

Women remain enthralled with Obama and ignore his record of dismal achievements. These are the same cadre of female voters who hung in there with Billious and would still willingly jump in bed with this oaf given the opportunity. Yet, they find Donald repugnant.  

Call me sexist. I could care less. I am not running for office. My wife still tolerates me after 44 years and I have many girl friends. 

I understand the Mars Venus thing but what I do not understand is how these women ignore reality and make excuses which even a blind person can see through. 

Oh s---, I forgot to say visually challenged. (See 4 and 4a below.)
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Off to the beach. I lied again about no more memos.  Maybe Obama has a place for me in the IRS!
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Dick
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1)  "Apart from national security, “I have a personal interest in locking this down.” To Obama a key risk of a failed policy appears to be a bruise to his ego. Unmentioned in the interview is the catastrophic risk of a nuclear Iran to the international order or to fulfillment of Iran’s threat to wipe out Israel.""Menendez’s wise words deserve repetition: “legacy is not a policy, and hope is not a national security strategy.”


Persisting doubts about the Iran Nuclear Deal

Leonard Cole
Leonard Cole Leonard Cole is an adjunct professor of political science at Rutgers University, Newark, New Jersey, USA, and of emergency medicine … [More] at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where he is the Director of the Program on Terror Medicine and Security. [Less]

Hardly a week has passed since last year’s introduction of the Iran nuclear deal without reports of an unsavory Iranian action or an American surprise disclosure or obfuscation. Last week’s surprise was about White House manipulations to gain support for the agreement. Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser to President Obama, admitted that the administration’s touting of a new “moderate” Iranian leadership had been a deception. It was “largely manufactured for the purpose of selling the deal.” Further, he boasted that “freshly minted” experts and compliant reporters had echoed whatever talking points the White House gave them.
A hoped-for benefit beyond curbing Iran’s nuclear program was that the deal would ultimately change Iranian behavior. Although the agreement was struck last July implementation officially began in January 2016. In exchange for billions of dollars made available by the lifting of sanctions imposed by the United States and others, Iran has curtailed some weapons-intended activities. It has dismantled equipment at several nuclear facilities including the core of a nuclear reactor and centrifuges that enrich uranium fuel. But continuing Iranian belligerence and American concessions have been dismaying.
The rush by so many countries to discard previous inhibitions about engaging with Iran makes unlikely the reversal of this new reality. Days after implementation, an array of post-sanctions activities were undertaken. Besides sanctions relief by the US, the United Kingdom ended its ban on 22 banks and companies previously blacklisted for engaging in nuclear-linked financing; Germany’s trade arrangements with Iran rose by 33 percent; China signed contracts to help build five more Iranian nuclear reactors; Russia began delivery to Iran of S300 anti-missile systems; France sent a 100 member delegation to Iran in search of business contracts. The pre-deal assurance by the US that sanctions could be “snapped back” if necessary now seemed more a wish than a possibility.
When the implementation began, Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush and Barack Obama, put a damper on prospects for success. The belief that Iran over time “will abandon its theological revolutionary underpinnings, its aspirations in the region, or even its aspirations for nuclear weapons is unrealistic,” he said. He rued the Obama administration’s concessions to get Iranians to accept the deal, including dropping the administration’s earlier insistence on “anytime anywhere” inspections.
Thus far, Iran’s behavior has validated Gates’s skepticism. Iran continues to export terrorism, call for the annihilation of Israel, and develop long-range missiles that could carry nuclear warheads. In March Iran added a new twist to its defiance by not only test firing long-range missiles in violation of a UN Security Council resolution. The missiles were inscribed in Hebrew: “Israel must be wiped off the Earth.”
The American response was hardly satisfying. Secretary of State John Kerry said the US would continue to lift sanctions as part of the nuclear accord even whileimposing new sanctions in response to Iran’s missile tests. This posture was akin to hosing a single room in a burning building as fire rages throughout the building.
Events last month were especially disheartening to those who had hoped for better from Iran. Yousef al Otaiba, the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to the US, observed that “Iran is as dangerous as ever.” It remains “hostile, expansionist [and] violent.” Reports also appeared of further US concessions. The administration was yielding leverage by incentivizing banks to lend to companies doing business with Iran. After concessions to get the deal the Obama team was still making concessions to keep it.
Two more troubling reports surfaced at the end of April. The first, described as a loophole in the deal, could allow Russia and China to procure materials and renovate Iranian nuclear facilities without informing Western powers. The second was the news that the Obama administration had agreed to buy heavy water from Iran. Heavy water can be used to develop nuclear weapons. The deal had called for Iran to reduce its supply though it did not say that Iran should receive remuneration for doing so. The American payout of $8.6 million for 32 tons of the material reportedly was made “to encourage Teheran to stick to the nuclear agreement.”
The passionate intensity of opposition to the Iran nuclear deal has subsided since Congress failed to block it last September, but the worries of opponents have not. In a recent US poll only 30 percent of respondents approved of the agreement and 57 percent disapproved. The sentiment has changed little since the eve of the Congressional vote when 56 percent of surveyed Americans believed Congress should reject the deal.
Longstanding and broad-based Jewish organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, and more than two-dozen Jewish Federations across the country issued statements of opposition. Many of the other 100-plus Federations expressed concern while taking no formal public position. None issued a statement of support.
Most members of Congress were in sync with the public and voted against the agreement. In the House the margin was 269 to 162, and in the Senate, 58 to 42. Yet the deal went forward because the Senate majority fell two votes short of the 60 required for rejection. As reported in the New York Times, most Democrats voted their loyalty to President Obama rather than to their constituents.
Therein lies the core fallacy of the debate on the nuclear issue. The outcome was and still is perceived by many as determined by loyalty to the President and enhancement of his legacy. The matter should have been seen as beyond partisanship. Too bad that Obama has also framed the issue as a matter of legacy. If the deal ultimately fails to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon, he said in a much publicized Atlantic interview, “it’s my name on this.” Apart from national security, “I have a personal interest in locking this down.” To Obama a key risk of a failed policy appears to be a bruise to his ego. Unmentioned in the interview is the catastrophic risk of a nuclear Iran to the international order or to fulfillment of Iran’s threat to wipe out Israel.
Of course, several supporters of the deal said that it was the best option available regardless of partisan considerations. They also admitted their decision was a close call. Now we may wonder which lawmakers might have voted differently had they known of the administration’s manipulations or the continued intensity of Iran’s belligerence.
Whether or how long the nuclear deal holds remains uncertain. But many skeptics, like New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, believe its demonstrated flaws have already validated their opposition.
Menendez’s wise words deserve repetition: “legacy is not a policy, and hope is not a national security strategy.”






1a) https://www.commentarymagazine.com/foreign-policy/middle-east/iran/compensate-iran-1953-coup/

In 2000, when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright obliquely apologized to Iran for the CIA role in the 1953 coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, she hoped that it might pave the way for reconciliation. Instead, the Iranian government turned around and argued that, with the United States admitting its guilt, that it should then compensate Iran. Often, Tehran demands compensation not to win justice but rather to obstruct reconciliation. Show any flexibility and the regime smells blood in the water.

Hence, the fact that the Iranian parliament is once again demanding reparations now for the 1953 coup should come as no surprise. As USA Today reports:

The compensation bill does not determine a monetary amount for the damages, the Islamic Republic News Agency reports. The CIA has acknowledged directing the 1953 coup, which drove out Iran’s democratically elected prime minister during a bitter dispute over control of oil. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi remained in power until the Islamic Revolution in 1979, months before the start of the iconic hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The parliament is also seeking compensation for, among other things, 17,000 victims of assassination, the “martyrdom” of 223,600 soldiers in the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and more recently for damages for “blocking, confiscating or seizing of assets belonging to Iranian government, organizations or public and state-owned organizations and officials of Iran.”

Let’s hope Obama and Kerry can dispense with the lens of guilt through which they see the world. To compensate Iran let alone apologize to it would be the ultimate irony. In our book

To compensate Iran let alone apologize to it would be the ultimate irony. In our book Eternal Iran, Patrick Clawson and I tackle the mythology surrounding the 1953 coup, the backdrop to which was, of course, Mosaddeq’s nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (the forerunner to British Petroleum). After seizing the company in which the British had spent the equivalent of billions in today’s dollars, he adamantly refused to negotiate, even though the British were willing to up the Iranian share of royalties. That was not the only problem. Today Mosaddeq is depicted as a democrat, but he was only a democrat in the sense that Haiti’s Jean-Bertrand Aristide or Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was: those who disagreed with him might find themselves subject to mob violence or worse. That and his flirtation with the Soviet Union were among the reasons that not only the United States but the Iranian Army and the Iranian clergy cooperated in his ouster.

In the Shah’s memoirs, he described the tension as the “red versus the black,” with the red representing the communists and the black representing the clergy (based on the color of their turbans). To apologize to the Islamic Republic is to apologize to the co-conspirators in the coup. And as for the popular notion that the coup ousted the democratically-elected prime minister and installed the dictatorial Shah? The Shah had been the leader of Iran since 1941. Mosaddeq was pushing for his ouster. What transpired was much less a coup than a countercoup.

The rest of the Islamic Republic’s reading of history is just as skewed. The Iran-Iraq War? Saddam surprised the Americans; he was hardly a U.S. puppet and, indeed, trended much more toward the Soviet camp, to the annoyance of the White House and State Department. And yet, out of a desire to engage the ayatollahs, the Reagan administration initiated the arms-for-hostages scheme which aided Iran in the midst of the war.

The Obama administration may believe that moderates are tipping the balance to a new Iran (or at least that’s what Ben Rhodes sought to push forward to his echo chamber), but the very fact that they are trying to throw roadblocks in the way of any rapprochement suggests the opposite. At the same time, the Iranian government knows what buttons to press. They see in Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry men whose first reaction is to blame the United States and who believe they understand the world but are, in reality, ignorant of history. For Iran, that’s a dream team. For U.S. national security, it’s a nightmare
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2)

The Surrender of Principle


This past week a group of conservatives were invited to meet Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in California. Facebook scrambled to do damage control over a story that suggested conservatives were being censored on Facebook.
The specifically allegation, made by one aggrieved self-identified conservative former Facebook employee, was that humans controlled the trending news section on Facebook and those humans were predominately liberals intentionally ignoring conservative news. On the basis of this one report, Facebook’s CEO summoned leading conservatives from around the country for a face to face meeting.
I was invited, but I could not make the meeting. I know most of those who went to the meeting. I know what was said at the meeting. I also know those who were invited and refused to go. One conservative organization invited to the meeting refused to go because, among other reasons, Facebook had refused to give money for an event held by that group.
Still other conservatives who did go to the meeting insisted Facebook should hire conservatives. They insisted Facebook should steer money toward conservative causes and candidates and join conservative fights. All those things may sound well and good, but when did the conservative movement decide to behave like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Both those men are portrayed by the right as shakedown artists and here come a group of conservatives shaking down Facebook.
It seems a growing number of conservative decided they must embrace the same tactics of the left and turn into professional grievance mongers and shake down artists. Just as Republicans fail to win elections by being Democrat-lite, conservatives are never going to beat liberals at their own game. But here they are trying.
Conservatives should be appalled at conservative leaders essentially demanding affirmative action policies for conservatives while otherwise opposing affirmative action. Facebook is only one recent example. The Presidential election provides an even more outrageous example of conservatives abandoning their principles.
In 2016, conservatives are faced with a Presidential candidate who supports socialist healthcare plans run by the government, protectionism in trade, increases in the minimum wage, and Planned Parenthood. The other choice is Hillary Clinton. Too many conservatives have decided they would take the liberal not named Clinton to Hillary Clinton. It is becoming harder and harder to figure out just what might make a Republican oppose Donald Trump other than him changing his name to Hitler and even then many Republicans and conservatives give the impression they would still vote for him over Hillary Clinton.
Almost all of the Republican Presidential candidates and large numbers of conservatives declared Donald Trump singularly unfit for the office of President. During the primaries these crusaders for principle insisted that Donald Trump near the nuclear button was a bridge too far. But once Trump secured the nomination, suddenly he miraculously became fit for office because he is not named Hillary Clinton.
Louisiana’s former governor, Bobby Jindal, penned a column and went on television to say he stood by all his criticisms of Donald Trump as a terrible choice for office, but would support him. Texas’s former governor, Rick Perry, told Americans on the campaign trail that Donald Trump was unqualified to be President of the United States, but will now raise money for his campaign because Trump is not Hillary Clinton.
Pete Ricketts, the Governor of Nebraska, endorsed Donald Trump after Trump had savagely attacked Ricketts’ mother and father and then, after Pete Ricketts’ endorsement, attacked his brother. The Nebraska Republican Party killed a resolution that denounced offensive statements by Republicans against minorities and women because they viewed it as an attack on Donald Trump.
A number of leading conservative pro-life women issued an open letter earlier this year writing, in part, “America will only be a great nation when we have leaders of strong character who will defend both unborn children and the dignity of women. We cannot trust Donald Trump to do either.” Now several of them have endorsed Trump.
Conservatives who act like liberals will not beat liberalism and conservatives who surrender their principles in the name of team sport will soon lose everything.

2a)Summary of e rumor:
An essay attributed to Charles Krauthammer calls the Clinton Foundation “organized crime at its finest.”
 
The Truth:
Charles Krauthammer didn’t write this essay about the Clinton Foundation, but most of the essay’s claims are on point.
 
The name of Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist and FOX News contributor, was first attached to an essay that accused the Clinton Foundation of money laundering, tax evasion and organized crime in early November 2015. The essay was widely forwarded in emails and posted at online discussion forums under Krauthammer’s name.

One of the earliest versions of the essay appeared on a blog site called True News U.S.A. on October 28, 2015, under the headline “Charles Krauthammer on Hillary Clinton.” In that version, Charles Krauthammer’s name is briefly mentioned in the opening, but the article was not attributed to him:
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AS USUAL , CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER EXPLAINS A VERY COMPLICATED SUBJECT IN CONCISE TERMS ????
 Recently, Charles Krauthammer alluded that he had no doubt some of the 30k emails Hillary deleted from her private e-mail server very likely had references to the Clinton Foundation, which would be illegal and a conflict of interest.

The Clinton Foundation is "organized crime" at its finest
Here is a concise summary of how the Clinton Foundation works as a tax free international money laundering scheme. It may eventually prove to be the largest political criminal enterprise in U.S.  history.   This is a textbook case on how you hide foreign money sent to you and repackage it to be used for your own purposes. All tax free.
 
Here's how it  works:
 1. You create a separate foreign "charity." In this case, the Clinton's set it up in Canada.
 
2. Foreign oligarcs and governments, then donate to this Canadian charity, in this case
      over 1,000 did - contributing mega millions.  I am sure they did this out of the goodness
      of their hearts, and expected nothing in return.  (Imagine  Putin's buddies waking up one morning and just deciding to send untold millions to a Canadian charity). 
 
3. The Canadian charity then bundles these separate donations and 
      makes a massive donation to the Clinton Foundation.

 4. The Clinton Foundation and the cooperating Canadian charity 
      claim Canadian law prohibits the identification of individual donors.
 
5. The Clinton Foundation then "spends" some of this money for 
      legitimate good works programs. Unfortunately, experts believe this 
      is on the order of 10%. Much of the balance goes to enrich the 
      Clinton's, pay salaries to untold numbers of hangers on, and fund        
       lavish travel, etc.  Again, virtually all tax free, which means you 
      and I are subsidizing it..
 
6. The Clinton Foundation, with access to the world's best 
      accountants, somehow fails to report much of this on their tax 
      filings. They discover these "clerical errors" and begin the 
      process of re-filing 5 years of tax returns.
 
7. Net result -- foreign money goes into the Clinton's pockets tax 
     free and untraceable back to the original donor. This is the 
     textbook definition of money laundering. .
    
     Oh, by the way, the Canadian "charity" includes as a principal one 
     Frank Giustra. Google him. He is the guy who was central to the 
     formation of Uranium One, the Canadian company that somehow 
     acquired massive U.S. uranium interests and then sold them to an 
     organization controlled by Russia. This transaction required  U.S. 
     State Department approval, and guess who was Secretary of State 
     when the approval was granted.

     As an aside, imagine how former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell feels.
     That poor schlep is in jail because he and his wife took $165,000 
     in gifts and loans for doing minor ? ? favors for a guy promoting a 
     vitamin company. Not legal but not exactly putting U.S. security at 
     risk.

      Sarcasm aside, if you're still not persuaded this was a cleverly 
      structured way to get unidentified foreign money to the Clinton's, 
      ask yourself this:

      Why did these foreign interests funnel money through a Canadian 
      charity? Why not donate directly to the Clinton Foundation?  Better 
      yet, why not donate money directly to the people, organizations and 
      countries in need?

     Because this is the essence of money laundering and influence peddling.

     Now you know why Hillary's destruction of 30,000 e-mails was a risk she was willing to take.
     Bill and Hillary are devious, unprincipled, dishonest and criminal,       and they are Slick! Warning: They could be back in the White  
   House in January 2017.
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3)

The Last Pro-Israel Democrat?

4)

The IRS’s Ugly Business as Usual

‘How much has really changed?’ a judge asks. Answer: not much. The scandal goes on.

ENLARGE
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG NEWS
Amid the drama that is today’s presidential race, serious subjects are getting short shrift. 
No one is happier about this than Barack Obama. And no agency within that president’s administration is more ecstatic than the Internal Revenue Service.
That tax authority’s targeting of conservative nonprofits ranks as one of the worst federal 
scandals in modern history. It is topped only by the outrage that no one has been held to 
account. Or perhaps by the news that the targeting continues to this day.
That detail became clear in an extraordinary recent court hearing, in front of a panel of 
judges for the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The paired cases in the hearing were
Linchpins of Liberty, et al. v. United States of America, et al. and True the Vote Inc. v. 
Internal Revenue Service, et al. They involve several conservative nonprofits—there are 
41 in Linchpin—that were, as they said, rounded up and “branded” by the IRS. The 
groups are still suffering harm, and they want justice.
A lower-court judge had blithely accepted the IRS’s claim that the targeting had stopped, 
that applications for nonprofit status had been approved, and that the matter was therefore
 moot.
The federal judges hearing the appeal, among them David B. Sentelle and Douglas H. Ginsburg, weren’t so easily rolled. In a series of probing questions the judges ascertained 
that at least two of the groups that are party to the lawsuit have still not received their 
nonprofit approvals. The judges determined that those two groups are 501(c)(4) social-
welfare groups, which are subject to far less scrutiny than 501(c)(3) charities, yet are still 
being harassed by the IRS five years later. The judges were told that not only are the 
groups still on ice, but that their actions are still being “monitored” by the federal 
government.
As one lawyer for the plaintiffs noted, despite the IRS’s claim that it got rid of its 
infamous targeting lists, there is “absolutely no showing” that the agency has in fact 
stopped using the underlying “criteria” that originally “identified and targeted for 
mistreatment based on political views.”
The hearing also showed the degree to which the IRS has doubled down on its outrageous revisionist history, and its excuses. IRS lawyers again claimed that the whole targeting 
affair came down to bad “training” and bad “guidance.” They blew off a Government Accountability Office report that last year found the IRS still had procedures that would 
allow it to unfairly select organizations for examinations based on religious or political 
viewpoint. The lawyers’ argument: We wouldn’t do such a thing. Again. Trust us.
More incredibly, the IRS team claimed that the fault for some of the scandal rests with the conservative groups, for not pushing back hard enough during the targeting. In response to complaints that the groups had been forced to hand over confidential information (information the IRS now refuses to destroy), one agency lawyer retorted: “They didn’t have to give the information to the IRS if they thought it was inappropriate, they could have said so.
” Really.
At one point, an incredulous Judge Sentelle noted that the IRS might be more believable 
if it had ever shown “a bit more contrition.” He said: “The Court would have to be 
awfully ignorant not to recognize that there has likely been an egregious violation of the 
First Amendment rights of American citizens by the IRS, and the IRS to this day seems 
very resistant to acknowledgment of that.”The government lawyers also smugly noted 
that some of the targeted conservative groups had blown their chance for nonprofit 
approval when they turned down the IRS’s “fast track” procedure (an Obama Treasury 
creation that bestows nonprofit status on groups that agree to give up their political speech rights). The IRS team even excused its continuing harassment of these groups by blaming 
Congress: The Obama IRS came up with a new rule in 2013 to help “clarify” nonprofit 
regulations—by essentially outlawing nonprofit speech—but congressional Republicans
 keep blocking it.
An IRS lawyer rolled out the defense used by former agency official Lois Lerner that the 
targeting was just the unfortunate use of “inappropriate” criteria, but Judge Sentelle 
reminded the lawyer of the IRS’s vindictiveness. He noted that on one occasion the IRS 
simply shelved the application of an organization that had sued it. The agency “came to 
Court not having done anything to eliminate” the problem, he said, so “It’s just hard to 
find the IRS to be an agency we can trust, isn’t it?”
Judge Sentelle said there is a “pretty good case” that “egregious violations of the 
Constitution” had been committed, and he dared an IRS lawyer to “stand there with a 
straight face” and say otherwise. Judge Ginsburg, who spent the hearing catching out the 
IRS’s conflicting statements, at one point simply asked: “How much has really changed?”
Answer: not much. It was good news, then, that the House Judiciary Committee recently announced it will hold two hearings to examine the conduct of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in this matter. Donald Trump, as the presumptive GOP nominee, could do 
worse than to use his megaphone to draw attention to the hearings. The IRS scandal 
needs to remain a story.

4a)

How Obama Gets Away With It

It is amazing that the president’s dismal record is largely absent 

from the 2016 campaign—until you consider his PR machine.

Using a 3D-printed bubble wand at the White House Science Fair, April 13.ENLARGE
Using a 3D-printed bubble wand at the White House Science Fair, April 13. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
At a time when large numbers of Americans say they are fed up with 
politics and politicians, why is it that the nation’s chief politician, President 
Obama, seems to skate above it unscathed?
Usually when an incumbent president is leaving office and a slew of 
candidates are battling for his job, that departing chief executive’s record is 
a major campaign issue.
But not this year, even though two of three Americans say the country is 
on the wrong track, job creation is sluggish, income inequality continues to 
rise and Mr. Obama’s job approval barely tops 50%. Moreover, approval of 
his handling of the war on terror and Islamic State is underwater, and a 
majority of Americans—white and black—say race relations are getting 
worse, not better.
When Mr. Obama ran for office in 2008, a central part of his campaign 
strategy was to heap blame on George W. Bush. How has Mr. Obama 
dodged similar treatment? One reason: Donald Trump’s bombastic 
candidacy is a huge distraction and often blocks out or obliterates more-
substantive issues. That was the case even when his now-vanquished rivals 
tried to address serious topics. When Mr. Trump does criticize the president,
it gets far less news play than his attacks on his opponents and critics, 
Republican or Democrat. As for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, they 
both are angling for a third consecutive Democratic administration, so are 
not eager to criticize Mr. Obama.
But another reason—a big one—why Mr. Obama is able to avoid being a 
target is that he is a deft manipulator of the media, probably more skillful 
at it than any president ever. He heads a savvy public-relations machine 
that markets him like a Hollywood celebrity, a role he obligingly and 
successfully plays. One of the machine’s key tactics is to place Mr. Obama 
in as many positive news and photo situations as possible. Ronald Reagan’s
 advisers were considered masters of putting their man in the best possible 
light, but they look like amateurs compared with the Obama operation—
which has the added advantage of a particularly obliging news media.
A sampling over the past few weeks: A Washington Post photo captures 
President Obama blowing giant bubbles “At the final White House Science 
Fair of his presidency.” A New York Times photo shows the president 
mobbed by women admirers at a ceremony designating the Sewall-Belmont
 House on Capitol Hill as a national museum for women’s equality.
An ABC News video gives us Mr. Obama’s helicopter landing on the rainy
grounds of Britain’s Windsor Castle, and then we visit the president and 
first lady lunching with Queen Elizabeth II on her 90th birthday.
In other news clips, we see a doctoral-robed Obama speaking to graduates 
of Howard University, a tuxedoed Obama yukking it up at the White House 
Correspondents Association dinner, a brave Obama drinking a glass of 
water in Flint, Mich., a cool Obama grooving with Aretha Franklin at a White House jazz concert, a serious Obama intently listening to Saudi King Salman, a jubilant Obama on his showy trip to Cuba.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but with Mr. Obama you also get
 the thousand words.
Yet at the same time we were seeing those nice photos, videos and articles, 
a lot of other important stuff was going on where Mr. Obama was hardly 
mentioned, seen or questioned. For example, the U.S. economy grew at a 
meager 0.5% in the first quarter of 2016; Russian military planes lately 
have been buzzing U.S. Navy ships; and China is building its military 
forces and expanding their reach in the South China Sea. Early in May, a 
Navy SEAL was killed in Iraq (the president has assured the American 
public that U.S. troops there, increasing in numbers, are not in combat 
roles). Islamic State terrorist attacks in Baghdad in recent weeks have 
killed scores of civilians. The Taliban are on the march in Afghanistan. The
vicious war in Syria continues. The Middle East refugee crisis shows no 
sign of diminishing. Military provocations by Iran and North Korea keep 
coming.
President Obama’s media handlers try to keep the president as far away 
from these crises as possible, leaving others in his administration such as 
Press Secretary Josh Earnest,Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State 
John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carterand Joint Chiefs Chairman 
Joseph Dunford to be their public face. That way the problems don’t appear
 to be Mr. Obama’s problem, and he is free to bask in the good news.
One of the news media’s main jobs is to hold public officials accountable, f
rom the president on down. But Mr. Obama is the beneficiary of news-
media managers and reporters who mostly like his style and agree with his 
policies, from his reluctance to make strong military commitments to his 
advocacy for LGBT rights, fighting climate change and supporting tougher 
gun-control laws. Case in point: The administration’s easy orchestration of 
the media story line about the Iranian nuclear deal, recently revealed by 
Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, only scratches the surface 
of the White House’s skill at managing a media happy to be managed.
Given such a congruence of opinion, Mr. Obama’s policies don’t receive 
the scrutiny and analysis they should. Reporters who criticize or dig too 
deep are cast by the administration as spoilsports or, worse, cut off from 
sources.
With Donald Trump now the media obsession—and most in the media 
don’t like him—it is easy to see why Mr. Obama’s performance over the 
past seven-plus years is still not a major issue in the 2016 campaign. And 
that’s the way he likes it.
Mr. Benedetto, a retired USA Today White House correspondent and columnist, teaches politics and journalism at American University and in the Fund for American Studies program at George Mason University.
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