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February 27, 2015

Comments

Increasingly, Congress seems to be unable to get its act together and actually do its job. In the last couple of decades, as doing its job with respect to the budget has become more challenging, Congress has come up with a handy work-around: the continuing resolution. Basically, that allows them to just say "keep going next year like you did last year."

But whatever you think of that approach, at least it gave everybody something to work from. Now, Congress has come up with something a whole order of magnitude worse: a continuing resolution for a week!

That's right, they have been unable, for a couple of months, to work out funding for Homeland Security. And there is no sign that they have even gotten close to doing so. So instead, they have apparently decided that one more week will magically see a decision made.

Most likely, what they will end up doing is repeating this multiple times. The principle impact being to make the Congress look even worse than it does already -- and Congress' approval ratings are already flirting with single digits.

It really does seem like they have found a gun rest for their knee -- the better to make sure that, when they shoot themselves in the foot, they won't miss.

Now, Congress has come up with something a whole order of magnitude worse: a continuing resolution for a week!

well, the dimwitted armchair "conservative" revolutionaries did that. the Dems would be happy to keep the country running smoothly, but the dopes elected by the dupes think it's more important to emote than it is to govern.

Well, if it doesn't have to be about Nimoy.

The IRS' inspector general is seriously considering criminal charges in the targeting scandal. Says it only took him two weeks to find the backup tapes the IRS testified were destroyed, and when he asked for them at the IRS' data archive, he was told that he was the first person to inquire about them.

Meaning, multiple IRS officials testified under oath that the emails were gone, without bothering to check. Perjury on a huge scale, and maybe conspiracy to commit it.

But for the video...

Good questions: "But here’s my question: Why aren’t the seven witnesses to Dendinger’s nonexistent assault on Cassard already facing felony charges? Why are all but one of the cops who filed false reports still wearing badges and collecting paychecks? Why aren’t the attorneys who filed false reports facing disbarment? Dendinger’s prosecutors both filed false reports, then prosecuted Dendinger based on the reports they knew were false. They should be looking for new careers — after they get out of jail."

The Dems are much happier to have the chance to blame Republicans' for the country not running smoothly. Do nothing, just say no Democrats.

The prosecutors should be held for criminal and civil charges, and made an example of.

Also: lose their license to practice law in the state forever.

The cops should also be held for civil and criminal penalties.

But probably none of this will happen, and the city will foot the bill for penalties and the defense of everyone involved.

Proposed: if you bring false suit against someone and are caught doing so, you are automatically subjected to the maximum of the penalty you attempted to inflict on the other person.

Proposed: law enforcement officers be held to a different standard than the rest of us, and that the different standard is a higher one, not a much lower one.

The Dems are much happier to have the chance to blame Republicans' for the country not running smoothly.

is something you never said about the Republicans in the last eight years. am i right?

Proposed: law enforcement officers be held to a different standard than the rest of us, and that the different standard is a higher one, not a much lower one.

seconded.

Sorta sorry this isn't about Nimoy, but I have no anecdotes. I was hoping others did.

On Brett's Balko link, I agree with Slarti. On the IRS issue, I don't know enough, but if it is s Brett said, then people should be prosecuted.

Proposed: if you bring false suit against someone and are caught doing so, you are automatically subjected to the maximum of the penalty you attempted to inflict on the other person.

That's how the Chinese did it in imperial times. Seems to have worked relatively well for several centuries. In theory bad intent was not even necessary, just the fact that someone got wrongly convicted. It also worked as a constraint on the (customary) torture of supects.

Police should definitely be held to a higher standard. Two reasons:
1) They have more power than the average citizen. With power comes responsibility. (Or certainly should.)
2) Unlike the average citizen, they are supposed to be trained in what the law is. No "I didn't realize the law said that" defense allowed. (And that goes at least double for the prosecutors involved!)

As for the IRS, if the facts are as stated, both purjury and contempt of Congress charges should be brought. Not to mention obstruction of justice.

Here's a scenario to conjure with:
After Netanyahu's speech, but before the Israeli elections, some enterprising member of the UN Security Council puts forth a resolution. Not one of the ones blasting Israel, but something relatively minor. Say one calling on Israel to dismantle the settlements in the West Bank.

And, when the vote comes, the US . . . abstains. Which, given the extent to which Netanyahu has damaged US-Israeli relations, does not really seem impossible.

If you were an Israeli voter, suddenly the damage to those relations ceases to be theoretical and becomes all too real. What do you think happens to Netanyahu's electoral prospects -- in what is already a very close election, from the polls I have seen.

Yes, there would be screams of outrage on the US political scene. But then, is it really possible to make the Republicans less willing to work with Obama? Probably not. And, on an issue like the settlements, the majority of US voters are unlikely to fault the administration for doing something agree with -- so where is the downside?

re: Nimoy...

from Wil Wheaton's blog:

http://wilwheaton.tumblr.com/post/112425569564/so-a-blog-reader-sent-this-to-me-and-its-too

(NSFW)

I don't really think police abuses are a partisan matter, but that's part of the problem: Both major parties have their hands dirty, and so don't want to fix the problem.

I almost wish it were just something Republicans were doing, frankly. The media would be more interested in it.

I think pretty much everybody here would agree, Brett.

Some of us might take a little more convincing in some cases, depending on who was alledged to have committed a particular bit of misconduct. But we would be persuadable by evidence. And be in favor of coming down hard on those involved. Which, I suppose, is why none of us have a career in politics....

Anybody here have an opinion on the Chicago black sites?

Really reassuring about the state of journalism in the US, apparently the local media all knew about them, but refused to cover it. I wonder how many places in the US it's going on at?

And, given that it happened under the administration of one of the President's most trusted advisers, I wonder if it's going on at the federal level, too? I've been saying for some time now that we're constructing a police state in the US, and better stop before it's finished. Now I wonder if I'm behind the curve, and the only reason I didn't think it was finished was that the media were already under control...

Says it only took him two weeks to find the backup tapes the IRS testified were destroyed, and when he asked for them at the IRS' data archive, he was told that he was the first person to inquire about them.

If this is true, I want Darrell Issa to personally cut a check payable to the US of A for every dime his committee spent investigating this whole freaking mess.

Just saying.

I've been saying for some time now that we're constructing a police state in the US

That's funny, me too.

God bless Bradley Ralko for keeping the heat on this issue for so long.

As far as Nimoy is concerned, my favorite thing about him is the sense I always got that, as far as he was concerned, he was the luckiest guy on earth, he was having a great ride, and was enjoying every minute of it.

I could imagine some people spending their days being pissed off that they were gonna be remembered as the guy with the pointy ears. Nimoy always seemed to have nothing but fun with it.

A cool guy, I'm sorry he's gone.

"If this is true, I want Darrell Issa to personally cut a check payable to the US of A for every dime his committee spent investigating this whole freaking mess."

I fail to understand the reasoning here: Darrell Issa is supposed to reimburse the US for the cost of an investigation, because the witnesses perjured themselves before the committee? And, I guess, because the DOJ refused to act on the contempt of Congress referrals that were sent it when the committee decided they were being lied to?

Wouldn't it make more sense to charge the witnesses who committed the perjury?

I suppose you could be suggesting that Issa should have personally walked down to the IRS data repository, rather than trying to work through official channels?

On Nimoy, I was a sufficient fan of Star Trek as a child to learn the Vulcan salute, and it wasn't because I thought Kirk was cool. I rather thought the Klingons had him nailed in The Trouble with Tribbles: "a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood".

as with all things IRS-related, i'm going to wait and see how much reality differs from the well-promoted fantasy. because i'm a partisan.

Well, speaking of waiting for reality, way back when the IRS honchos were lying that the emails were all destroyed, I was saying that nobody runs a backup system that way.

Turns out they didn't run a backup system that way, and the emails weren't really destroyed. They just said they were destroyed, and deliberately didn't look for them.

As I recall, I was also the guy who claimed that Obama could produce that original birth certificate any time he felt like it, while everybody here was all, "Legally impossible, so nobody should ask." And then, when he felt like it, he got on the phone, and it was produced.

So I figure I'm batting pretty good here, in terms of reality matching my views. Not perfectly, of course, but I'm hitting some conspicuous home runs.

They just said they were destroyed, and deliberately didn't look for them.

bzzt. mind-reading. loss of down.

and remember, Inspector, your claim, repeated here many times, is that this goes all the way to Obama. that's the bar.

"I rather thought the Klingons had him nailed in The Trouble with Tribbles: "a swaggering, overbearing, tin-plated dictator with delusions of godhood"."

As a nanny-state liberal, I thought Kirk was a fool for not ordering his crew to wear seat belts when the Enterprise was sent into warp drive.

Letting your crew be subject to possible injury so cavalierly seemed a dereliction of duty because of possible endangerment to the mission and cause for demotion, at least.

After all, commanders of any craft, air, space, or sea-borne, are in fact commissioned by the rule of law to essentially be dictators, which is why when you make a big rude fuss on an airplane about the amount of alcohol allotted, at some point the pilot will turn over the cockpit to the co-pilot and walk back through the cabin, lean over the problem passenger, and ask him or her to step outside for a chat or shut the eff up.

I always thought the swaggering, overbearing bits were Shatner very badly over-acting. Youda thunk the Tribbles would have pointed that out.

Not a Star Trek fan, though I liked Spock/Nimoy and the entire long-running Star Trek fandom phenomenon because it was so weird.

My show at the time was "The Fugitive" with David Janssen.

Now there was a guy on the run from the authorities.

They don't have "Fugitive" fan festivals that I know of, as the Trekkies do, although maybe they do but it's on the down-low at rundown boarding houses, with Richard Kimble lookalikes skulking into town, their collars up, sitting alone at opposite ends of the bar, and tables full of fans nearby, each with only one arm, glancing furtively around, and then the assembled Kimbles beating it out of town by jumping a freight train when the Lt. Gerard lookalikes, like a platoon of dogged Brett Bellmores on the case, show up.

Ok, Cleek, if it makes you feel better, you are free to believe that the decision not to look for the records they were subject to a legally binding order by Congress to provide, but to instead claim they'd been destroyed, involved no deliberation.

It was just a spontaneous brain fart that occurred to multiple people without coordination.

You're free to believe that, but it does involve a rather large component of willful self-delusion.

So, Obama is a native-born American citizen and not Kenyan?

I think you buried the lead, Brett.

If we call all of the laws you disapprove of "legally binding orders", are we and Kirk good to go?

I've always maintained that it was extremely unlikely that Obama wasn't a native-born American citizen. Birth notices in the paper, and all that. While his mother would indeed have had some slight motive to fake it if he'd been born abroad, (His US citizenship was at stake.) I really doubted she would have had the resources.

I simply thought that, since his constitutional qualification to be President hinged on the matter, that the idiots who doubted it were entitled to be proven wrong by the best available evidence. As they were, as soon as he stopped obstructing that evidence's production.

These idiots you speak of, do you hang at their blogs mansplaining the eternal verities to them too.

Of course, I kid. No point in wasting perfectly good recipes on folks who dine only on raw red meat without utensils and napkins.

But what I mean is, have you let THEM know that I(you) told you(them) so.

Ok, Cleek, if it makes you feel better, you are free to believe that the decision not to look for the records they were subject to a legally binding order by Congress to provide, but to instead claim they'd been destroyed, involved no deliberation.

i'm going to continue to believe that i can't read their minds.

and i'm going to continue to believe that whatever happened will probably be a lot less scandalous and far-reaching than you desperately want it to be (not that you won't pretend it's twice as bad as you could have imagined) - because that's how this kind of thing usually turns out.

and again: Obama's personal, intentional, involvement is where you've set the bar.

I fail to understand the reasoning here

Issa ran a very expensive dog and pony for, what, months? How much did it cost?

And the fact that "the email records went missing!!!" was how big of a very big deal?

The IRS IG tracks them down in two weeks, and the IRS data archive says nobody ever even asked for them.

I want my money back.

I suppose you could be suggesting that Issa should have personally walked down to the IRS data repository

I'm suggesting that if nobody ever even asked the IRS data archive for the records, Issa has been setting great big piles of our money on fire.

And hells yeah, if nobody from Issa's staff and/or from the investigating committee even bothered to do the due diligence of getting on the phone to ask the records office if the emails existed, let alone calling a cab and taking a ride over there to ask in person, then Issa et al have basically been having us on.

Says me.

"Show us the email"
"Oops, we lost them"

Nobody freaking calls the records office to give that a reality check?
Nobody wanders by one afternoon to have a chat with the friendly folks in IRS records archive?

There appears to be a failure to understand the meaning of the word "investigate".

Somebody's story is not holding up.

I've always maintained that it was extremely unlikely that Obama wasn't a native-born American citizen.

Welcome to planet earth.

whatever happened will probably be a lot less scandalous and far-reaching than you desperately want it to be

So says the FBI.

If "stupid" or "boneheaded" is an adequate explanation, it's usually not necessary to go looking for "criminal conspiracy".

It's much harder to manufacture the appearance of incompetence than it is to simply be incompetent. most folks are capable of the latter, and in fact many people excel at it; the former requires unusual intelligence, and a fairly high level of effort.

From russell's personal collection of heuristics.

"The IRS IG tracks them down in two weeks, and the IRS data archive says nobody ever even asked for them.

I want my money back"

I love this. The head of the IRS and various other officials tell Congress they destroyed the emails AND the IT people don't bother to mention to ANYONE that they really did have them and Issa is at fault? That's a bs deflection of astonishing proportion. Yes the IG found the right person, great, that certainly should not have been Issa's responsibility.

We just went through this thrashing about last week. The fing IRS is guilty, period. To what level is the only question. All that dissembling that happened last week is the partisan party line. And it makes me wonder just how worried people are that Obama did know.

Brett, the 'he's dead' referred to Leonard Nimoy, not the horse of Obama's birth certificate. I suppose that one could use the same kind of swing one hits a baseball with to flay a dead horse, but one should also realize that the aim of each exercise is quite different. Still a home run in 2009 and now 2015, you are a regular A-Rod.

"So says the FBI."

Yeah, yeah, the administration says that the bureaucracy innocently targeted the administration's enemies. Not a smidgen of corruption.

And Nixon said he wasn't a crook, too.

Yes the IG found the right person, great, that certainly should not have been Issa's responsibility.

Why not?

He's running an investigation. There's a purported evidence trail indicating malfeasance, possible criminal activity, and the possibility of impeachable actions by the President.

"Oops, we lost the emails".

Oh, OK. That's that, then. Too bad we can't follow up to see if you're telling the truth.

That strikes me kinda like:

"Where were you when the murder was committed?"
"I was at my buddy Joe's house. I was there from 7 until midnight".

Oh, OK. I guess you didn't do it.

Nobody calls Joe?

I am basically not invested in whether the IRS is guilty or innocent, nor of what they are guilty or innocent of.

If they broke the law, send them to jail.

If Obama directed the IRS to use the power of their office to suppress conservative political activity, impeach him.

Follow it wherever it leads.

All I ask is that folks making the claims show me the evidence. It's not a particularly big request to make.

But yeah, my reaction to the IG finding the allegedly incriminating email trail in two weeks, and the folks at the data archives office saying that NOBODY had asked them for the emails, is that (a) somebody's story is not holding up, and (b) WTF kind of "investigation" was Issa running?

Maybe the folks at the data archive are lying, and somebody in the investigating committee actually did ask about the emails. In that case there should be phone records.

Let's see them.

Somebody - and "somebody" here may actually be plural - is full of crap.

All I ask is that folks making the claims show me the evidence

evidence is a crutch used by people who can't find the certainty they need in their imaginations.

") somebody's story is not holding up, a"

Yes, Lerner, who was delivered a subpoena for records. It is an amusing image that Darrell Issa would be wandering around DC buildings searching with his Sherlock Holmes hat and CSI kit asking seemingly inane questions in his rumpled raincoat then jumping in his Aston Martin to jaunt back to the Watergate to meet with G. Gordon.

the administration says that the bureaucracy innocently targeted the administration's enemies.

The IRS disproportionately targeted conservative groups for review of their 501(c) applications.

It must be a plot.

The FBI investigates and finds that criminal activity is not in evidence.

That's a plot, too!

I'm waiting for the assertion that the lack of evidence proves that the evidence exists. You're not hitting all the notes here today, Brett.

i'm going to continue to believe that i can't read their minds.

and i'm going to continue to believe that whatever happened will probably be a lot less scandalous and far-reaching than you desperately want it to be (not that you won't pretend it's twice as bad as you could have imagined) - because that's how this kind of thing usually turns out.

Gotta go with Brett on this one. If you're called before Congress to provide information, the first thing you do is look for it in the usual place. But if it isn't there (e.g. already deleted) the very next thing you do, before every you go to testify, is check the backups. If you (and your entire staff!) don't do that, then even bureaucratic incompetence is not a believable excuse. If you are all that incompetent, your organization has already fallen apart totally.

That said, yeah if Issa didn't send someone to ask after backups, he was running a pretty slip-shod investigation as well.

(Of course, someone might also ask why the guy who knew about the back-ups, and says he was never asked, didn't step forward earlier. It's not like it wasn't a very public dust up.)

It is an amusing image that Darrell Issa would be wandering around DC buildings searching with his Sherlock Holmes hat

"Hello, IRS data archive, who is this?"

"Hi, I'm Joe Blow from Darrell Issa's office. John Doe from Exempt Organizations says you guys lost Lerner's emails. Is that right?"

That never happened? Nobody followed up, at the most perfunctory level, to see if John Doe from Exempt Organizations was perjuring himself?

The folks at the data archive said nobody has even asked about the emails. Or, at least, Brett says the folks at the data archive said nobody asked. Maybe Brett is the weak link here.

In any case, if the story is true, either those folks are lying, or Issa's investigation was a farce.

Look, if I understand correctly, you've managed fairly large professional organizations.

Somebody comes into your office, says they aren't getting their staff work done because the dog ate their homework.

You don't make a phone call? You don't stop by somebody's office to get a reality check?

We're not talking rocket science here.

prove the conspiracies (i've lost count of how many there are now). and until you do that, please have the good sense to realize that wishes are not facts.

that's what we're asking.

someone might also ask why the guy who knew about the back-ups, and says he was never asked, didn't step forward earlier.

Indeed. I would, and do, ask that question.

This is alleged to be a case of the IRS using the power of their office to deliberately suppress conservative political activity.

It's further alleged that the direction to that came from the White House, and possibly the POTUS himself.

Brett will extend that conspiracy to include the DOJ and the FBI.

So yeah, the IG finding the emails in two weeks, and the data archive office saying "Gee, nobody ever asked for them before" boggles the mind.

Just to be clear Russell, you are making a huge set of assumptions about who talked to who in one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world. The IG would probably know more about all that than a committee who counts on its subpoena power and testimony to most of the work. But even given the most extreme circumstance, Issa was standing in the hall talking to the guy who runs tape backups at night in the datacenter in, say, Arlington VA and he didn't ask him, that's still a preposterous reaction to finding out that they just bold faced lied about the emails being lost. Damn that Issa, he should have found them, lets pillory him not the people who lied. I am actually sitting at my keyboard giggling uncontrollably at the thought.

Just to be clear Russell, you are making a huge set of assumptions about who talked to who in one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world.

The assumption I'm making is that somebody on a committee tasked with investigating possible malfeasance and criminal activity would reality-check a pretty amazing claim made about the loss of evidence that is highly relevant to the investigation.

I'm not talking about Issa personally walking across town and having a chat with the guy who wrangles tape backups.

I'm talking about the simplest and most obvious thing you could possibly do.

Direct a staff person to pick up the phone and reality check the claim.

Nobody should even have had to give the direction, I would think it would be virtually automatic.

that's still a preposterous reaction to finding out that they just bold faced lied about the emails being lost. Damn that Issa, he should have found them, lets pillory him not the people who lied.

What's clear is that somebody's story is bogus. Or, somebodies' stories are bogus.

Unclear, at least to me, who those people are.

I am actually sitting at my keyboard giggling uncontrollably at the thought.

Glad to provide you with today's entertainment. Enjoy yourself!

Just to be clear Russell, you are making a huge set of assumptions about who talked to who in one of the biggest bureaucracies in the world.

how large is the set of assumptions you're making?

Perhaps we could all agree that there seems to have been malfeasence and/or incompetence on all sides? It sure looks like everybody involved was far more interested in scoring political points, or avoiding being scored upon that in actually doing their jobs and finding out what happened.

I didn't mean to be rude Russell, sorry. Odd things hit my funny bone.

I didn't mean to be rude Russell, sorry

Wasn't taken that way, no worries.

It's probably better to laugh about this stuff than kick the furniture. :)

Perhaps we could all agree that there seems to have been malfeasence and/or incompetence on all sides?

I'm not sure that I'm even making claims of malfeasance.

Quite simply, my reaction is:

We spent how many millions of dollars, and how many weeks months and years of the time of members of Congress and their staffs, and the IG finds this stuff in two weeks?

And the data archive office says, "Gee, nobody asked for it before"?

Can we please have our money back?

In any case, it's just another of many mind-boggling things about this whole mess.

My druthers: if you want tax-exempt status, you don't get to engage in political activity, period.

Not "you can, as long it's mostly not what you do".

If you are incorporating for social betterment, you can spend money on social betterment. Not on lobbying, not contributing to PACs, none of it.

If you want to engage in political activity, incorporate as appropriate for that, and live you life. But you don't get tax-exempt status and the privilege of not disclosing contributor's names.

It's a freaking boondoggle from the get, the IRS mess is just the logical consequence of bad legislation.

"(Of course, someone might also ask why the guy who knew about the back-ups, and says he was never asked, didn't step forward earlier. It's not like it wasn't a very public dust up.)"

My guess would be, he works for the guy who lied about trying to find the emails, not for the guy who his boss lied to. And he knows who signs his paycheck. And he works for that guy during an administration that's getting a serious reputation for going after whistleblowers.

But that's only a guess for why he didn't come forward to expose the fact that his boss was a perjuror.

My guess would be that you have no basis for knowing any of the above.

In other words, you're making it up.

Hey, Issa didn't follow up when folks said they lost the emails. HE MUST BE IN ON IT TOO!!!

The worst thing about this whole thing, IMO, is that it's provided the world's biggest shiny chew toy for conspiracy nuts.

"My guess would be that you have no basis for knowing any of the above."

I suggest you look up the definition of "guess"; If I had a basis for knowing it I wouldn't have called it a "guess".

So, my comment stands.

Or, rather, I'll make one change in it.

It's not my guess that you have no basis for knowing any of the above, you have, yourself, acknowledged that you have no basis for knowing any of the above.

You're just making it up.

Everybody needs a hobby.

You know what's dead, Jim? The horse - that's what. But we're still kicking it.

to be fair, it was a really bad horse.

But Jim, try whispering to the dead horse, of course, of course. You can't lead a dead horse to water, but if you do succeed in doing so, hold in under until it stops breathing.

Lois Lerner deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor, a Nobel Prize, and an Emmy for her efforts to block Tea Party/Conservative hit contract payments from reaching the hit men in the Republican Party who are intent on murdering Obamacare and Medicaid enrollees one way or the other.

These people have a short time until their and their children's chemo treatments are halted.

It is murder, pure and simple, by subhuman sadists.

We'll talk about the vengeance that is coming to these murderers and their children later.

Let's hope the IRS is looking into the finances of Supreme Court judges and the King plaintiffs too who look to be ready to hand down death sentences from their Pig Filth Death Panel.

Funny things sometimes hit my odd bone.

Brett: "Dendinger’s prosecutors both filed false reports, then prosecuted Dendinger based on the reports they knew were false. They should be looking for new careers — after they get out of jail."

Brett, the prosecutors are in on it.

I'll wager that in any really grotesque case of 'we're the police and will get away with it', the prosecutors already helped them get away with dozens of similar cases.

Hartmut: "That's how the Chinese did it in imperial times. Seems to have worked relatively well for several centuries. "

That could be said of many things, and doesn't mean much for our standards. For example, note the term 'imperial'.

I can't believe you guys thread jacked Spock.

And no mention of Mission Impossible !

So, I heard second hand some weeks back (i.e., before this latest IRS email disclosure) that there was "no way" Lerner's emails were lost. I found that surprising as Commissioner Koskinen seemed pretty definitive that there were no back ups.

The tax press reports that the data/emails on the tapes simply had not been overwritten, instead just added to the still available space on the tapes. Also note that TIGTA took over this investigation (including into the backup tapes) in June 2014, so apparently it took even them more than 6 months to bother asking the IRS data center (in West Virginia) about the tapes.

Also, they still don't know if these "newly discovered" emails are ones that have not been seen before in the course of the investigation. Apparently we should know by the end of the week.

All that said, this entire thing continues to be manna from heaven for the GOP, not unreasonably it seems (although they've taken it to some unreasonable lengths).

That damn horse just wont die....

"(Of course, someone might also ask why the guy who knew about the back-ups, and says he was never asked, didn't step forward earlier. It's not like it wasn't a very public dust up.)"

My guess would be, he works for the guy who lied about trying to find the emails, not for the guy who his boss lied to.

My guess would be that there was no incentive for the bureaucrats in question to go looking for the emails on their own initiative (or otherwise increase their workload) or involve themselves in a politically-charged public debate "above their pay grade". I'm making this guess not on any basis of partisan loyalty one way or the other, but instead based on having observed bureaucrats in their native habitat. Keep your head down and don't make work for yourself where it doesn't already exist are guiding principles there. I'll add indifference and laziness to russell's list of things that are usually safer to assume than malice, at least when dealing with bureaucrats (and most office workers, but particularly bureaucrats - gotta love those rigid hierarchies).

That damn horse just wont die....

Not as long as there's a cowboy somewhere willing to ride it.

And no mention of Mission Impossible !

I'm with you all the way on that one, Nigel.

The girls say save a horse..

Maybe we could have the horse stuffed and mounted, like Trigger....

I never saw Trigger mounted...

it is pretty hilarious that mr. bellmore brings up obama's birth certificate here. there was a thread at the former reality based community which featured several interlocutors working to clarify his position about obama's birthplace to which he finally descended to an argument which consisted of him saying that while he had no reason to believe that obama was born anywhere other than hawaii the fact was that he wasn't in the delivery room and therefore couldn't state it objectively from his personal knowledge. i wish i could point you to that thread because i saved a link to it along with links to some other prime examples of the bellmorian style of argument. i should have saved screenshots since the proprietors of the rbc decided to burn their blog to the ground and start over with heavily, and i do mean heavily, moderated comments. dr. humphrey's was the first to disable comments to his posts and sometimes posts links to other bloggers explanations about how comments are unnecessary and overrated.

"while he had no reason to believe that obama was born anywhere other than hawaii the fact was that he wasn't in the delivery room and therefore couldn't state it objectively from his personal knowledge."

Set phasers to stun!

Highly but desperately logical, Mr. Spock.

“Insufficient facts always invite danger.” - Star Trek, season 1, episode 24 (“Space Seed,” 1968)

“In critical moments, men sometimes see exactly what they wish to see.” - Star Trek, season 3, episode 9 (“The Tholian Web,” 1968)

“When you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, 1991

“May I say that I have not thoroughly enjoyed serving with humans? I find their illogical and foolish emotions a constant irritant.” - Star Trek, season 3, episode 7 (“Day of the Dove,” 1968)

The girls say save a horse..

Who am I to disagree?

;)

More Spock-like wisdom.

(via Mr. Cleek)

" he finally descended to an argument which consisted of him saying that while he had no reason to believe that obama was born anywhere other than hawaii the fact was that he wasn't in the delivery room and therefore couldn't state it objectively from his personal knowledge."

Many years ago, in a quite profound collection of essays entitled "", I read an essay on the importance of never assigning absolute certainty to any opinion, that one's certainty should only approach 100% as an asymptote. This struck me as wise advice, and I have tried to live by it.

So I rejected then, and reject now, the demand that I be absolutely certain of this matter. It may be a mandatory profession of faith in your church, but I'm not a member.

End link?

And yet, as engineers we spend our careers doing things because we are reasonably certain that they will produce the results that we desire. And are also reasonably certain that they will not produce undesirable side effects.

100% certainty as an asymptote is a cute idea. But if your boss comes to you and says, "Will this work?" do you routinely say "I think so...."? Or do you just say "Yes. It's been used hundreds of times and it works."

So when the idiots referred to above scream: "My kingdom for a dead horse!", you think maybe they are only down by a furlong.

There are no glue factories in your world. Just a freezer full of dead horses and Ted Williams' head awaiting resurrection.

I would be highly amused if, the day after the new President is sworn in in 2017, Barack Obama reveals his true provenance as a Native born Kenyan.

I, too, will be a Kenyan.

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/upside-down-statue-of-king-wenceslas-riding-a-dead-horse

Also, from deadhorses.org:

When Riding a Dead Horse

Comanche Indian wisdom says, "When you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount."

In business, government and (sometimes) education often other strategies are tried with dead horses, including the following:

1. Buying a stronger whip.
2. Changing riders.
3. Saying things like, "This is the way we have always ridden dead horses."
4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.
6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.
7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.
8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.
9. Comparing the state of dead horses in today's environment vs. in history.
10. Changing the requirements, declaring, "This horse is not actually dead."
11. Hiring contractors to ride the dead horse.
12. Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.
13. Declaring that "No horse is too dead to ride."
14. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.
15. Funding a study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.
16. Purchasing a product to make dead horses run faster.
17. Declaring the horse is "better, faster and cheaper dead."
18. Forming a quality circle to find uses for dead horses.
19. Reviewing the performance requirements for horses.
20. Saying this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.
21. "Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.(My personal favorite!)

a brief dose of unadulterated old school, Nimoy talking about growing up in Boston's West End, way back when it still existed.

i grew up in suburban NY, but listening to this is like listening to my grandparents, parents, and aunts and uncles talking about growing up in Brooklyn and Queens.

folks up here tore down Boston's West End to create our very own example of New England Stalinist architecture, Boston's Government Center.

LLAP

22. drowning the horse in a horse-sized bathtub

23. Declaring the dead horse acquisition a phenomenal cost savings due to its TCO.

24. Assuring all and sundry that while everyone understands the problems raised by a dead horse, because inventory does not distinguish between dead and live horses, there is nothing that can be done.

at the moment, in the Boston area, we're addressing our mass transit dead horse with the ever-popular (4) appointing a committee to study the horse.

Declaring the dead horse acquisition a phenomenal cost savings due to its TCO.

LOL. It's true, they don't eat much.

"And yet, as engineers we spend our careers doing things because we are reasonably certain that they will produce the results that we desire."

I was, in fact, reasonably confident he was a natural-born citizen, and said so at the time. I got attacked for refusing to rule out any theoretical possibility that the contrary could be the case.

And my boss is very much of the "Let's have a plan B anyway." school of thought, he doesn't object in the least to my habit of reserving just a little doubt.

here are a couple of Brett + birther comment threads:

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2009/09/music-for-shoplifting.html

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/2010/03/they-hate-russia-for-its-freedoms-too.html

(
you can find more if you Google:
site:obsidianwings.blogs.com brett birth certificate
)

in case you want to relive the exciting days of 2009

Yes, note that they are "Brett + birther" threads, not, "Brett = birther" threads. I have always made clear my view that I thought the birthers were wrong, and deserved to be proven wrong in a court of law by the best evidence available.

I thought the birthers were wrong, and deserved to be proven wrong in a court of law by the best evidence available.

"Deserve" is a funny word.

I could say Obama is a Manchurian President from Mars, sent to enslave us Earthlings to be helots for the red planet.

But the burden of proof would be on me to show that it's so, not on Obama to show that it's not.

At a certain point, you just have to filter out the nutty buddies if you actually want to get anything done.

Your boss would probably agree with that, too. I know for sure mine would, as do I.

Brett's open mindedness seems to only extend towards those who would question the President in particular or Dems in general. Funny, that.

(4) appointing a committee to study the horse.

Haven't had much to say on this thread, but I am reminded of the always relevant:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bjj_94ECUKU

"Send it to committee for review!"

Yes, well all those "birther" theories flaming out still leave my personal contribution:

Obama was in fact born in Hawai'i, was secretly adopted by the Hawai'ian royal family, and now officially (and secretly) "The Emperor of Hawai'i (and Conqueror of The Mainland)"

We'll find out for sures in 2016, when traitors are tossed into volcanos, for the greater glory of Pele.

"Brett's open mindedness seems to only extend towards those who would question the President in particular or Dems in general. Funny, that."

Now, how many times did I note, during the birther contraversy, that McCain, the Republican nominee, was the one who actually had the "native-born citizen" problem, and wasn't constitutionally qualified to be on the ballot?

25. Cutting the dead horse in half and keeping its rear quarters around as costumery for a bunch of likewise whinnying horse's asses to trot out every two years as evidence in the court of public opinion against the thoroughbred who won the race, despite his race.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Si8yWTCp49w

"he doesn't object in the least to my habit of reserving just a little doubt."

That would explain the bale of hay you keep in your work cubicle.

26. Admitting the horse is dead but keeping it's carcass around because we need the horse manure.

Now, how many times did I note, during the birther contraversy, that McCain, the Republican nominee, was the one who actually had the "native-born citizen" problem, and wasn't constitutionally qualified to be on the ballot?

In this thread a total of none.

You, as a high priest of cover your ass, might point to this comment, which you rememberd after the fact to damn McCain, and where you conclude with the following open minded observation.

One thing I will say for the guy [Obama]; When a good biography finally comes out, it's going to be a real page turner; His family appears to make your average soap opera look conventional.

Another day, another home run in your mind.

I got attacked for refusing to rule out any theoretical possibility that the contrary could be the case.

So Brett, since his mother clearly was a US citizen at the time, which would make him a natural born citizen regardless of where he was born, where was the theoretical possibility? Were you positing IVF and she was merely a host mother? (Circa 1960???) Or was there some other approach that I'm not yet awake enough to imagine?

"So Brett, since his mother clearly was a US citizen at the time, which would make him a natural born citizen regardless of where he was born"

All you've demonstrated here is that you're ignorant of the relevant law. Which, at the time, would have required him to have been born in the US to be a natural born citizen, due to only his mother being a US citizen, and her being only 18, and having spent much of her life outside the US.

Just as McCain was not a natural born citizen, because the relevant laws at the time he was born dictated that you had to be born on US territory, and he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which didn't at that time count.

Any comment on the latest revelation about Hillary: That she conducted all her business while working in the State Department using a private email account, in violation of the law?

Somebody's got it in for her, what with the recent data dumps, and I'm pretty confident it's not somebody on my side, as the data dumps are actually getting reported in the MSM.

i want a second choice. Clinton is a hawkish centrist with all the wrong friends.

but, there is still much uncertainty about whether she broke any laws at all.

http://thedailybanter.com/2015/03/story-hillary-clintons-private-email-account-isnt-awful-seems/

read the updates. everyone has a different interpretation of what the state of the law was at the time.

Remind me. How many people objected to McCain's nomination on the grounds that he was not a natural born citizen? (Using the criteria you set forth.)

For that matter, how many people argue that he should not be eligible to vote or to hold office in the Senate, seeing as how he never underwent the naturalization process which is the only other route to becoming a US citizen?

Note that merely serving in the US military is not sufficient. You still have to formally apply. Which McCain never did.

"Any comment .....?"

What does this look like, a press conference?

"I'm pretty confident ...."

You are going to need more hay.

27. Holding one end of a carrot in your mouth, feed the dead horse the other end and see which one of you gets to the middle of the carrot first for the equine kiss of death.

"it's not somebody on my side ..."

Today, he has a side. Tomorrow, above it all.

These somebodies, are they aware they are on your side?

Any comment on the latest revelation about Hillary: That she conducted all her business while working in the State Department using a private email account, in violation of the law?

When did the law come into effect?

Somebody's got it in for her

Ya think?

Everybody get your popcorn popped. It's gonna be a funky couple of years.

"but, there is still much uncertainty about whether she broke any laws at all."

Of course there is, of course there is: She's Hillary.

"Remind me. How many people objected to McCain's nomination on the grounds that he was not a natural born citizen? (Using the criteria you set forth.) "

Not enough to matter, since the legal system didn't care, but non-zero. It was brought up at the time, for all the good it did.


"For that matter, how many people argue that he should not be eligible to vote or to hold office in the Senate, seeing as how he never underwent the naturalization process which is the only other route to becoming a US citizen?"

Didn't have to. About 2 years after he was born, Congress passed a law naturalizing en masse everyone born under McCain's circumstances. Which didn't make him a natural born citizen, 'cause that's not a retroactive sort of thing. But it did make him a citizen.

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