Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More Scandal!

Red Train by paynehollow
Red Train, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

From CNN...

(CNN) -- Skeptics who have long theorized that TWA Flight 800 was brought down by sinister forces will get a fresh surge of energy when a new documentary attempts to disprove that the 1996 crash was accidental...

Suspicions that criminals or terrorists were behind the TWA 800 explosion are not new. The FBI conducted a parallel investigation, but concluded that the incident was not a crime or terrorist attack...

The evidence proves that "one or more ordnance explosions outside the aircraft caused the crash," the producers said. But it does not identify or speculate on the source of the ordnance explosions...

How long before Obama gets the blame for this?

29 comments:

Bubba said...

"I am opposed
as a matter of principle
to noise"

Exceptions must be allowed, of course: ambulances, fire trucks, and mocking those who dare expect our elected officials to exercise some kind of oversight over the bureaucracy.

Dan Trabue said...

I'm all for accountability of our elected officials, Bubba.

But, I'm all for consistency, too.

The political noise I don't care for is the harping on Obama's small-s "scandals" (the IRS "scandal" of having an understaffed and underdirected IRS who did nothing illegal or immoral except try to take short-cuts to do their impossible job, etc, the scandal of Obama holding on to Bush-era policies that were bad to begin with, etc) by people who didn't have the decency to worry about these problems when they were INTRODUCED by the Bush administration or the very real Scandals of the Reagan/Bush/Bush years.

That sort of partisan noise and inconsistency, I do find to be annoying.

Bubba said...

I notice that you defend those poor widdle civil servants in the Internal Revenue Service even more strongly than the President himself:

"If, in fact, IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that is outrageous, and there is no place for it, and they have to be held fully accountable, because the IRS as an independent agency requires absolute integrity and people have to have confidence that they are applying the laws in a non-partisan way. You should feel that way regardless of party."

You should feel that way, according to Obama, but you still feel compelled to defend their behavior as their doing an impossible job with too few funds and too little direction.

The IRS harasses Tea Party groups and pro-Israel groups and anti-abortion groups -- ordering the latter to promise not to protest Planned Parenthood under penalty of perjury -- all while fast-tracking the Barack H. Obama Foundation, run by the President's half-brother. The Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury issues a 54-page report documenting that the IRS used inappropriate criteria in flagging tax-exempt organizations for abuse and hasn't done enough to correct the problem. The IRS director of exempt organizations, who has a history of partisan bullying, subsequently pleads the Fifth before Congress.

You denigrate this all as a fabricated quote-unquote "scandal," and doing so, you make clear just how much you care about accountability and consistency.

Dan Trabue said...

I've not heard about any of the other IRS things you mention. I have heard, as noted in a previous post, that some folk at the IRS have targeted specifically Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny NOT for political reasons but because they seemed legitimately questionable (are they TRULY working to serve others or are they politically-based anti-tax groups... this seems a legitimate reason for extra scrutiny to me)... and by all accounts, it appears that none of these groups failed to receive their status, just that they underwent extra scrutiny.

Poor idea politically to do this? Sure, perhaps. But illegal? No. Immoral? Not that I can see. Just doing their job for which they are understaffed (thanks in no small part to groups that like "small gov't" regardless of efficacy or how it might impact gov't's duty... I mean, you can't REALLY demand smaller gov't and then, when gov't doesn't have enough staff to adequately do its job, complain that they're delaying - it's hypocrisy to do this).

In any case, this "scandal" has no apparent connections to Obama so tying this to Obama seems to be NOT a sincere concern, just pathetic partisan whining and manipulation, certainly more evil and hypocritical itself than any perceived misdeeds of an understaffed agency. Now, as I said, IF they did indeed target groups for political reasons, that would be wrong of those IRS employees, but thus far, there is no indication that they did so, nor is there any indication that Obama had even the slightest whiff of anything to do with it.

So, spare me your sanctimony, Bubba. But thanks for illustrating the sort of hypocrisy that is the point of this post.

But tell you what: Here is your chance to stand up for some consistency and truth...

I opposed the sort of bad big gov't over-reach that was set up with parts of the Patriot Act when Bush set it up, including the drone attacks and spying on citizens that Bush started and Obama has continued. I disagreed with it then and disagree with it now.

Do YOU think Bush was wrong to do the drone attacks and that Obama has been wrong to continue this Bush policy? Do YOU think Bush was wrong to spy on citizens and Obama, to continue that Bush policy?

Then say so, but lay the blame NOT merely at Obama's feet, but at Bush's feet, because he's the one that set the precedent.

But to only complain now when it's a democrat doing the Bush policy, that smacks of hypocrisy.

Finally, if you didn't/can't blame Bush for the very SERIOUS and real scandals of invading a sovereign nation unprovoked and on false pretenses, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, then it's very hard to take your type seriously as a moral voice over these rather more petty "scandals."

Bubba said...

Of course you're ignorant of the breadth of the misbehavior on the part of the IRS, just as I'm sure you have no idea about how easy or difficult the path to tax-exempt status has been for blatantly political left-leaning organizations like Organizing for America (formerly Obama for America). Such information wouldn't be useful, and so it's unknown and indeed unknowable despite the wealth of information at your fingertips.

It's funny, then, how you're so very informed about other aspects of this scandal.

The IRS employs more than a hundred thousand people, and yet you just KNOW they're understaffed.

The federal tax code is 73,000 pages long, and fiscal conservatives believe that the tax code needs to be radically simplified, but you just KNOW that our simultaneous opposition to government over-spending is the reason the IRS is understaffed. Our opposition doesn't even have to result in any political victories: its mere existence is the reason "in no small part" for the scandal!

And, whatever else you don't know about the scandal, you're positive that placing the scandal at the President's feet is "certainly more evil and hypocritical itself than any perceived misdeeds of an understaffed agency."

How do you know? Because Obama is "apparently" not directly involved and therefore not to be held responsible.

The idea that our elected officials have a responsibility to control the bureaucracy? You dismiss it as pathetic, hypocritical, and even evil.

To you, the bureaucracy of unelected civil servants isn't apparently subordinate to our elected officials: it's an independent, unelectable and unaccountable fourth branch of government, and so long as our representatives don't directly and traceably abuse they system, we cannot possibly hold them to account for letting Leviathan run amok.

Dan Trabue said...

Bubba...

How do you know? Because Obama is "apparently" not directly involved and therefore not to be held responsible.

Yes, "apparently" not. That is, there is NO evidence to support that charge. If there was evidence and he did do so, it WOULD be wrong.

But instead, there is ZERO evidence and yet you all want to lay "scandal" after "scandal" at his very flawed feet, all the while ignoring the huge and very real scandals of GOP administrations.

There are words for such behavior: Hypocrisy, foolish, blindly partisan.

Myself, I say we hold Obama accountable for his real problems (ie, "real" as in "fact-based" and "evidential" as opposed to wild-ass guessing and paranoid conspiracy-ism) and hold Bush accountable for his real problems.

That you all appear to only want to raise the red flag when it is a Dem president says more about your character than his.

Alan said...

"You denigrate this all as a fabricated quote-unquote "scandal," and doing so, you make clear just how much you care about accountability and consistency."

Notice that Bubba doesn't list the IRS investigation of All Saint's Episcopal Church, investigated during the Bush administration for political reasons.

Which makes clear just how much he cares about accountability and consistency.

It's like shooting fish in a barrel with these guys.

Bubba said...

The IRS letter sent to All Saints was scandalous, too, Alan, but I don't know where you think I should have listed it in my previous comments.

I can't write about everything, otherwise jackasses with short attention spans only reply with "tl;dr."

--

Dan, you've asserted on multiple times your belief that the IRS did nothing wrong: nothing immoral, nothing illegal "except try to take short-cuts to do their impossible job."

Is this belief fact-based and evidential, or is it wild-assed conspiracy-ism?

Is your evidence more compelling than the IG report and the fact that a high-ranking IRS official took the fifth before Congress?

Dan Trabue said...

I'm not sure what you're failing to understand.

There is NO evidence that these IRS folks took actions based on political persuasion.

Do you think there is? If so, what is your evidence?

Did they, as a rule, target any and all conservative groups? Or was it only ones who looked as if they were questionably out to do good for all, as opposed to being primarily a political organization?

If so, what is your evidence?

These people are tasked with granting exemptions to groups that are "operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare if it is primarily engaged in promoting the common good and general welfare of the people of the community." IF, on the other hand, it is primarily a political group, that is fine and good, but it does not warrant non-profit status.

Someone made the decision (not an unreasonable one, it seems to me) that tea party types of groups ought to receive some extra scrutiny to verify that they meet non-profit criteria. Now, perhaps singling out "tea party" as a red flag was an unfair mistake (PERHAPS), but there is no evidence that I have seen that it was motivated crass political motives.

Do you have ANY evidence to support the notion that wrong-doing was done, as opposed to bad judgment? I've yet to see it.

The fact that tea party types were targeted is not, in and of itself, evidence of wrongdoing. You actually have to make a case beyond that.

Bubba said...

Dan, you not only claimed that there is insufficient evidence to conclude that the IRS' actions were politically motivated, you put forth an entirely different explanation for their behavior.

For the sake of consistency, shouldn't you provide evidence that the IRS is understaffed? That they were "try[ing] to take short-cuts to do their impossible job"? That an agency of 100,000 employees in a government that spends $3 trillion a year "doesn't have enough staff to adequately do its job"?

Prove your assertions, or retract them, or stop acting as if everybody's position is unsubstantiated except your own.

Dan Trabue said...

You are the one making what appears to be charges motivated by political reasons, rather than just practical ones. You provide evidence for the charge or acknowledge that you have no evidence, 1. That these actions are politically motivated and wrong and, 2. That Obama is involved somehow.

Provide evidence, and then condemn the Bush policies that started these other policies or admit that you are blindly and ignorantly and irrationally blaming Obama for nearly every "scandal" when you won't do the same for the GOP's much worse behavior.

Bubba said...

"You provide evidence for the charge or acknowledge that you have no evidence, 1. That these actions are politically motivated and wrong and, 2. That Obama is involved somehow."

Show me, specifically, where I made either charge?

I could grant the opposite of both and my point would still be valid.

The IRS' actions were inappropriate, and they haven't done enough to address the problem; I say that, not on my own authority, but based on the already cited-and-linked 54-page report by the Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury.

Even if those actions weren't politically motivated, and even if the actions occurred without direction from Obama himself, the White House, or even any politically appointed official, the scandal points to a lack of oversight on the part of our elected officials.

It's absurd for you to suggest that our elected officials bear no responsibility for agencies that have run amok, so long as they didn't give any direct orders.

It's absurd for you to denigrate as conspiracy theorists those who are understandably outraged about this scandal.

And it's hypocritical of you to demand evidence for claims I didn't make, while you provide NOTHING to support claims that you DO make.

You're as partisan as they come, so don't try to tell me that you don't have to prove your position on the vague claim that it's grounded on "practical reasons" rather than political reasons.

Alan said...

"I can't write about everything, otherwise jackasses with short attention spans only reply with "tl;dr.""

Uh huh. And that excuse would almost be convincing if you didn't keep trying to do so.

Or perhaps you didn't write about it because news of that event never penetrated your tinfoil hat.

I'm going with Option B.

Alan said...

BTW, Dan, does Bubba agree with the nutjob theory that TWA 800 was an inside job? Can I get the Cliff's Notes version of his pages of ranting? Given all the electrons he's spending, apparently he thinks it was an inside job, eh?

Dan Trabue said...

No doubt, the theory is that then-president Clinton hired then-Senator Obama to pull some strings and get a Short Range Missile Launcher from Bazooka Joe and the rest is obvious for anyone with half a mind...

Bubba said...

Alan, I cannot think of any legitimate reason why you would ask Dan what I think.

And, Dan, since you've just been insisting that we give a government agency every possible benefit of the doubt in the absence of absolutely airtight evidence of wrongdoing -- the act of stonewalling Congress is apparently inconsequential -- I cannot concieve of a good reason why you would attribute to me the worst possible position in the complete absence of evidence, to write that "no doubt" I believe in a massive government conspiracy regarding an airline crash.

You've routinely attributed my inconvenient conclusions about your writing to delusions about having the god-like power to read your mind, so how in the world can you possibly answer for me about a subject I've NEVER addressed in our exchanges?

"I don't know, ask him" wouldn't have been so hard to write.

I'm not going to put up with people fabricating complete bullshit about me even as I'm in the room. Looks like you found a sure-fire way to get me out of the conversation in record time.

Congratulations, assholes.

Parklife said...

"It's absurd for you to suggest that our elected officials bear no responsibility for agencies that have run amok, so long as they didn't give any direct orders."

Says the guy for the elimination of government.

"73,000 pages long"

So size does matter.

Dan Trabue said...

The point here, Bubba, is to mock those who seek to blame Obama for every minor "scandal," whether or not there is any evidence to support that it IS actually a scandal, and without regards to them supporting the previous GOP administrations when they did the same things.

That is hypocritical and nutty. Do you not agree that such hypocrisy and irrationality deserves mocking?

I'll ask you again and give you an opportunity to set yourselves apart from the hypocritical ones:

Are you willing to condemn the Bush administration AND the Obama administration for crossing a line on spying or on drone attacks, OR are you only blaming the Obama administration for what you supported or ignored in the Bush administration?

If the latter, then your hypocrisy is showing and hypocrisy is, in my mind, mock-worthy.

Alan said...

Good lord, she does get pissy, doesn't she? I haven't seen that much door slamming and foot stomping tantrum throwing since my niece was 4. (Though to be fair to her, she likely had a real reason to be upset, other than Bubba's "invisible anonymous strangers on the interwebs were mean to me after years of wading through pages and pages filled with my pompous, arrogant BS.")

"Looks like you found a sure-fire way to get me out of the conversation in record time."

Alas, I have a feeling that is probably too good to be true.

But, as I am ever the optimist, we can keep hoping.

Marshall Art said...

Wow. Alan claims to have a "husband" and dares refer to Bubba as "she". Don't you just love the irony, Dan? (I'll leave alone the crack suggesting arrogance and pomposity on Bubba's part--that's just plain hypocrisy.)

Indeed. Bubba shows all the grace that Dan pretends he desires from visitors, while Alan shows none. We've come to expect such double-standard policy here.

"Notice that Bubba doesn't list the IRS investigation of All Saint's Episcopal Church, investigated during the Bush administration for political reasons."

Alan seems to really think this is a gotcha example. But in this case, complaints were lodged which led to the IRS involvement. There is, thanks to people like you guys, policies that affect the tax status of a church for political speech. From what I can find so far, it isn't as if Bush just got a wild hair up his butt and ordered an IRS investigation on All Saints just out of the blue. This is different from what is happening now, at least as it has been reported.

As to the current situation, I have seen articles referencing IRS employees claiming direction from "the White House", but I haven't taken the time to read them. The point here is that some are suggesting a tie and whether or not those accusations are legitimate are yet to be resolved. Until then, calling this an "Obama scandal" is appropriate.

I would also suggest that the use of the term "scandal" can be quite subjective. Dan has no trouble pointing to right-wing administrations and seeing various scandals. But since he favors Obama, he sees nothing that gives him pause...at least nothing that he can't then put off as continuations of Bush policy. But even here, I would suggest there are likely clear distinctions between Bush policies and Obama's version.

Furthermore, the "scandal" itself is not necessarily "scandalous" to everyone, as, depending upon the action that gave one side the vapors, the other might find the action just and righteous. As far as this administration, nothing has been done that is more scandalous to me than the fact that it was given another four years.

Finally, to suggest that the downing of this plane would be blamed on Obama is incredible irony, given how Obama is still not beyond blaming anything on Bush.

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

The point here is that some are suggesting a tie and whether or not those accusations are legitimate are yet to be resolved.

? Yes, some MAY be suggesting a tie. The point is, THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM.

That is rather the point of this mocking post. People are making claims that Obama is trying to overthrow the nation, to lead us into socialism, to have sex with the devil and all manner of naughtiness, but these wild claims are crazy and not touching base with the real world, thus, the mocking. You all sound loopy and will continue to sound loopy if you keep making fantasy claims based on swamp gas.

Marshall Art said...

"THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM."

Not yet. There may never be. But again, you presume that all such concerns are loopy while maintaining you have perfect vision regarding your own accusations toward right-wing figures. As I said, subjectivity looms large in any "scandal".

Alan said...

Ah yes... the "there may never be evidence, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist" claim of the tin-foil-hatted loons.

In fact, the very fact that no evidence has been discovered means it must have been covered up! No proof is proof!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Marshall Art said...

"In fact, the very fact that no evidence has been discovered means it must have been covered up!"

No, girl. I'm suggesting that the issue is not yet resolved. That means, people are still looking into it. The case is not closed whatsoever. What's more, I'm suggesting that when the shoe (or pumps in your case) is on the other foot, you fools sing a different tune. Even more so, I'm suggesting that you presume that all such concerns are loopy while maintaining you have perfect vision regarding your own accusations toward right-wing figures.

Marshall Art said...

One other point for Dan...

"People are making claims that Obama is trying to overthrow the nation, to lead us into socialism, to have sex with the devil and all manner of naughtiness, but these wild claims are crazy and not touching base with the real world, thus, the mocking."

The problem here is that, unlike the wild claims made about Bush/Cheney and Reagan, for example, we do have some evidence for some of what is put forth above. Obama promised to "fundamentally transform" the nation. That would require overthrowing to some degree what America is or has been. His economic proposals have more than hinted at socialistic leanings and his own words have borne this out, even while he may have, to you at least, said enough to convince you he is a capitalist. But more than anything, your side is all too willing to jump on the rhetorical flourishes of Obama opponents in a manner that you pretend fundamental Christians do with Scripture. That is, while you pretend to know the difference between different styles of Biblical writing (poetic, metaphor, etc), you pretend there is no difference in the speech of contemporary speakers. For example, will there really be actual panels of people deciding who lives or dies, or was Sarah Palin speaking metaphorically? Hers were among the "wild claims" that make the right sound looney, but we now see that she was not far fetched at all.

And by the way, THAT is pretty scandalous to me, that Obamacare would lead to such decisions being part of the law.

Alan said...

Pumps? You're joking, of course. I'm 6'4". You think I'm not going to play on that height? (Not to mention, heels make my calves look amazing.) Sensible shoes are for wimps.

And if you're going to bring it, it's "girlfriend", kitten.

Parklife said...

Wow.. Marshall continues to drown in the shallow end. That was totally unhinged.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

Perhaps Dan deleted it, since I'm not you or Parklife, so I'll say it again: you've made it quite clear you're no friend of mine.

Parklife,

Wow...No surprise that you continue to demonstrate you have absolutely nothing to say.

Parklife said...

Its over...

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/06/obama-scandals-used-to-be-a-thing.html

.. Marshall.. you can take off your tinfoil hat.