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February 11, 2015


Should there be one? Yes, it's past time to get the legal formalities done.

Beyond that, think of the possibilities for amusement while it is happening. Just for one, you get to watch conservative Republicans arguing that the law ought to grant a President that they accuse of being a tyrant more power than he has asked for. How can you not love that, russell?

If it includes a domestic AUMF for the internal enemies, I'm good to go.

I don't know, official approval in advance kind of ruins the bombs of live mood.

Live => love

does Putin need an AUMF?

Obama's such a wimp. Putin would just act.

While the Senate is debating the AUMF, Biden should sneak Obama up to the main podium...then when Sen. Graham is holding forth about "yadda yadda Obambi's doon it rong derp", Obama pops up and yells BOOO!

I just hope that Graham's girlish shriek and pants-wetting is caught on CSPAN.

It will give the Senate something to do.

the questions I have about it:

what is the causus belli that warrants military action?

there are probably plenty to pick from, i'm just curious to know what is presented in the request.

are we doing this ourselves?
if not, who are we allied with?
how do we know when we've won?
assuming we defeat ISIS, who holds the territory afterwards?

i'm also wondering how enemies-who-are-enemies-of-our-enemies fit into this. for instance, iran and maybe assad in syria.

are they friends for the duration?

last but not least, what happens to the other two AUMF's that are currently in place?
does this replace them?

What Russell asked.

You can never have too many AUMFs. I keep my old ones in a big plastic bin in my garage, just in case.

I "accidentally" lose my AUMF's so I can keep going back for another. That way I have several in case of multiple opportunity types.

It's always nice to force the Executive to at least pay lip service to the responsibilities demanded of it by the Constitution and the law. There's some legal status stuff where increased formality benefits the people we're throwing into harm's way as well.

Plus, what Marty said. It's so embarrassing when - an hour before a diplomatic function - you look on top of your dresser and absolutely none of your omphs coordinate with your outfit and you have to plunge back into the closet and start from scratch with that threadbare omph that's so ten years ago...

bobby, isn't it kind of a heroic assumption that the Senate will actually manage to pass something? (Or did you just mean that debating it will give them something to do....)

We're not being very helpful here.

If Russell was President and we were his foreign policy/national security strategy team, we would have been replaced first thing this morning.

The two most interesting questions:

"How do we know when we've won?"

Given the dynamics of the Mideast, the imaginary borders drawn from colonial times, the Sunni-Shiite blood feud, and the djinn-like nature of the enemy - appearing like whirlwinds in the desert and then vanishing and turning up hundreds miles away (so it seems from the news reports), I've no idea.

When George W. Bush removes the rolled up socks from down his flight suit and stuffs then in Lindsay Graham's mouth, thus shutting him up, might be one answer.

I've got nothing. And "Nothing" may be the answer. I hereby resign from the national security team to spend more time with my family.

"Who holds the territory afterwards?"

A new set of murderous, conservative, religious ideologues. Might as well ask if the next crop of Republican hopefuls for elective office might be a tad less sadistic.

It's like asking if Vlad Putin, Bibi Netanyahu, or any number of unrelenting conservative filth might be a little more conciliatory tomorrow.

Forget it. In all cases, it's a f&cking horror show.

I think Jon Stewart's resignation is an admission that satire as a peaceful weapon against conservative sh*theads across the globe has lost its edge.

I'd love it if he reappeared at some point in the future as the head of a fully nuclear trans-national superhero paramilitary force and started laying waste to the sadistic conservative ruination killing the world, including within our own borders.

No studio audience. No laugh track. No hilarious graphics.

Just an end to it. And then silence. We'll know the enemy are all dead by the conservative silence on Twitter.

I don't care what comes after.

It's always nice to force the Executive to at least pay lip service to the responsibilities demanded of it by the Constitution and the law.

Yeah, that would be nice. But Congress definitely isn't forcing, and the request for an AUMF from the administration maintains that they don't need one:

Obama again noted in his letter to Congress Wednesday that he already has the authority to fight ISIS


I still think its a good exercise, if for no other reason than to show people a framework of how Congress could, in theory, debate the merits and objectives of military action before we start launching missiles.

Of course, the whole purpose of an AUMF is to keep Congress from the horror of having to actually execrise their Constitutional responsibility to declare war. Possibly because doing so would entail a responsibility for them to demand actual sacrifices on the part of the whole country (not just the military) in pursuit of victory.

isn't it kind of a heroic assumption that the Senate will actually manage to pass something?

They should pass a kidney stone. No amendments. No cloture.

From what I understand (which is admittedly not much) the Sunni population in these areas is pretty well excluded from roles in government or formal power structures, and ISIS is currently the most visible attempt to get that power. Just Aing some MF without doing something to change that, like recognize their interests and working with them some way, seems like it won't achieve much.

Turns out the shadow U.S. Secretary of State in America's radical right shadow government,, Bibi Netanyahu, has leaked the details of sensitive negotiations between the elected government of America and Iran.


I wonder if Putin will give Bibi displomatic shelter in the Moscow airport along with Edward Snowden.

This is pretty good.


In a sad and awful kind of way.

What would be sad, obscene even, would be facing something like ISIS, and not waging war.

At some point, you need to be able to recognize when you're faced with genuine evil on a "final solution", "lampshades made of human skin" level. What's the matter, not enough funny mustaches for you to see what they are? Waiting for a larger death toll before moving against them? A more challenging fight?

Like cancer, (with which I've got some experience) you need to recognize this sort of thing when it's small, and deal with it BEFORE it becomes a looming existential threat. Not go straight into denial at the first signs, and leave it to deal with when it's gotten bigger. (Alas, experience, also.)

ISIS is growing fast, they find Islamic societies fertile ground. The despots who rule those societies are not in denial about what they're faced with, they know serious competition when they see it.

If the somewhat benign tumors can recognize genuine cancer, should we avert our gaze until it comes after us at home?

"Like cancer, (with which I've got some experience) you need to recognize this sort of thing when it's small, and deal with it BEFORE it becomes a looming existential threat. Not go straight into denial at the first signs, and leave it to deal with when it's gotten bigger. (Alas, experience, also.)"

Good to see that you're coming to appreciate the looming threat of Global Warming, Brett.

"All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.

You counsel passivity as people are burned alive.

"At some point, you need to be able to recognize when you're faced with genuine evil on a "final solution", "lampshades made of human skin" level. What's the matter, not enough funny mustaches for you to see what they are? Waiting for a larger death toll before moving against them? A more challenging fight?"

You got a strategic military plan for which funny moustaches to go after and where with U.S. troops? Or, are all moustaches funny and thus fair game?

In other words, to follow your metaphor, do you prescribe radical surgical intervention followed up by full body chemo and radiation therapy, or perhaps something more targeted, and with a long-term after-care plan with reconstructive surgery and perhaps a well-funded disability fund for the ravaged patient?

A prognosis might be in order while we're at it. Especially against a cancer, as I see cleek has pointed out, WANTS surgery, chemo, and radiation on its turf so it can use them as nourishment.

I'd like to see a detailed plan with a list of the American interests threatened by ISIL as soon as your thick cloud of tough-guy squid ink dissipates.

First bullet point in the plan: an immediate tax increase on every American, perhaps an annual surcharge, to pay for every single foreseeable military cost item in Operation Funny Moustache, including American casualties and the after plan.

No tax increase upfront? I stop reading the plan and for all I give a sh*t, ISIL can start unloading jeeps with mounted weapons from wooden rafts on the beaches of either U.S. coast and get the beheadings of the undertaxed underway.

I will concede that the sadistic, murderous plan by our very own genuine, domestic witches brew of Evil to halt Obamacare for millions of Americans, does NOT include making lampshades out of their victims' skin, in so far as anyone has been privileged to see a plan for the sadistic after-party, but I suspect this is only because the sadists in question make a pretty good living and are all ready fully provisioned with adequate shade from harsh light.

"already", already. Not all ready.

Under Sharia law, what is the penalty for improper word usage?

At some point, you need to be able to recognize when you're faced with genuine evil on a "final solution", "lampshades made of human skin" level

I would say that a casual look at the history of the human race shows that being faced with genuine evil on a final solution, lampshades made of human skin level is more or less the normal state.

Unfortunately, we're not really in a position to rid the world of bad actors. So, we have to pick our battles.

I think the question on the table is whether ISIS (or whatever they call themselves today) are a sufficient threat to *us* to warrant committing ourselves to their defeat.

It won't be enough to just go kill them all, even if that were possible. They exist for a reason, and the reason would have to be understood and addressed, otherwise it's just a game of mole whack.

And, assuming they could be eliminated, their demise will leave a vacuum, which will have to be filled.

When we last decided to take up arms against a final solution, lampshades made of human skin evil actor, we instituted a draft, raised taxes (top marginal income tax bracket was above 90%), and marshaled the resources of the entire productive economy toward that goal.

Then followed about four years of war, another decade or so of occupation, and another generation of providing military and economic support to the successor government.

The ISIS situation would likely be at least that complex, if not more, because of the overall volatility of the region where they hold territory.

It's great to talk about Defeating Evil, but evil's always around, because humans are always around.

What will it cost to defeat this particular evil.

What will it cost to let them be.

That's what needs to be weighed.

Sorry, there is a third option:

What will it cost to limit how far and fast they can grow.

I.e., containment.

When you say "skin in the game" to the vast majority of Americans, they think you mean to make lampshades of their tax dollars.

That's the only skin they've been trained to fear losing existentially.

By the usual pig filth suspects.

How is the U.S. plan, not yet paid for, but carried out by our Shiite low-tax puppet Iraqi government, that dismissed tens of thousands, maybe more, of experienced Sunni Iraqis from that country's military going, I'd like to know?

Can the tough, glib know-nothings counseling Armageddon tell me where those folks went when they were excluded from our touching democratic freedom yearning, also not paid for yet, yearning being a tax haven in the Caribbean to hide American money from paying for American adventurism abroad, except in so far as it used to purchase American Federal debt instruments, clipping the coupons and depositing those proceeds abroad too.

And then whining about the debt and blaming it on poor Americans on food stamps in every so-called election we conduct in this country.

I'm curious too, before I assent to even more American blood and treasure being emptied pointlessly into the sands of than region, about the material support finding its way to the Sunni ISIL from our erstwhile strategic ally, the Sunni Saudi government, which in turn, discriminates against Shiites in its own country.

No argument about its being better to defeat something like ISIS while it is still small.

The question is, how to best attack and defeat it? It is pretty clear, after our experience in Afghanistan, that simple military assault won't do the trick. Yet those demanding war don't seem to be able to wrap their minds around anything else.

I would say that there will have to be some military component. Albeit not huge in terms of foreign troops; weapons for the Kurds, etc. would be more to the point.

But the real core of the attack will have to be economic. Which means
a) convincing Turkey, or whoever else is providing/allowing it, to stop the flow of oil out ISIS territory.
b) convincing the Saudis, the Gulf states, etc. to stop the flow of funds to ISIS, and to freeze whatever accounts they have.

If that is done, two things start to happen:
- ISIS can't pay their troops
- ISIS can't buy weapons. And, more to the point, ammo.
And it becomes hard for them to provide anything resembling government in the territory they control. Without which, the attraction of their caliphate drops substantially.

One of al Qaeda's strengths was always that they were not generally trying to sieze, hold, and govern territory. ISIS is doing so, which increases their vulnerability to economic attack.

This U.S. invasion of ISIL territory should be accompanied by the simultaneous shutdown of key parts of the Department of Homeland Security, just to keep front and center how colossally full of sh*t the people "counseling" all of these policy prescriptions are.

To paraphrase George W. Bush mimicking Karla Faye Tucker: "'Please,'" Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, "'don't kill me.'"

"Please", Americans whimper, their lips pursed in mock desperation about people being burned to death in the Mideast, "don't kill me, too. But please do shut down the government and cut my taxes to kill the Others."

That's what needs to be weighed.

Also, is there even something productive that CAN be done, without providing propaganda material for ISIL, which wants to paint this as a holy war between the caliphate and the US?

How long can ISIL maintain control and recruiting while exhibiting a level of barbarism that is alienating everybody in the region?

I really don't see a US lead military solution to ISIL, mostly for the reasons russell noted. We could probably grind them down, but something would fill the void. Unless we want to commit ourselves to indefinite occupation of that reason, we need to work to fix the underlying problems of that region.

convincing the Saudis, the Gulf states, etc. to stop the flow of funds to ISIS, and to freeze whatever accounts they have.

Well, they are keeping the oil taps open, depressing prices. Added bonus to the Saudis: increased pressure on Iran.

We better get moving on Boko Haram and the LRA, too. They're evil. Those Mexican drug cartels could use a good "How's Your Father?" while we're at it.

We've got a lot of evil to clean up around the world, huh?

Don't forget the need for a massive military response to "parking disputes" before they escalate into terrorism.

"You counsel passivity as people are burned alive."

C'mon, Global warming isn't THAT bad yet! There's still time to deal with it, and it's far more of an "existential threat" than a bunch of fanatics running around in Iraq.

But hey, if YOU want to go over there with a fire extinguisher, be my guest. I think we'll even chip in for the airfare. And if you want to sit passively and do nothing about it, that's okay too. It's not your fight.

"Republicans are less likely to see a shutdown as a big problem, 46% say so compared with 66% among Democrats."



It's apparent what the domestic subhuman murderous pig filth are up to with this pincher movement against THEIR mortal enemy.

It's as if ISIL has its domestic front warring against our government.

You counsel passivity as people are burned alive.

and you think the US is the world's police force, to be used to solve any problem, any time, any where, no matter the cost or consequences - so long as it gives you a way to complain about your political opponents.

It's as though our government were (Mildly, at the moment.) warring against a substantial fraction of it's population, and in the process losing their sympathy.

That's what happens when you weaponize the government, and use it in your political fights. The people you use it against stop feeling that it's 'their' government.

look out, there's a black helicopter right over your house, ready to take you to a FEMA camp for re-education.

You counsel passivity as people are burned alive.

You counsel action.

So, what action do we take?

Yeah, right, IRS confesses to doing political targetting, it's "Black helicopters".

IRS lies about relevant emails being gone, just didn't look for them. "Black helicopters".

I'm getting to think that 'black helicopters' is just liberal-speak for "something I refuse to acknowlege".

You counsel action.

So, what action do we take?

wheels within wheels, man.

the government you want to solve every world crisis is also the one that's out to git ya!

quite a dilemma.

You complain about lost e-mails while people are burned alive.

(Me, I just brush my teeth and ponder my navel.)

Cleek, it just requires understanding that a government which is massively incompetent at home (which is why it shouldn't be trying to run everything), is nearly omnipotent else (which is why it should take responsibilty for fixing all the (outside) world's problems. what's the conflict? Incompetence (like politics once upon a time) stops at the water's edge. ;-)

The IRS scandal isn't about incompetence, but corruption. It wasn't incompetence that led multiple IRS employees to perjoriously deny the existence of the backups Lerhner's emails were later found on. To the incredulity of everyone who knew anything about IT.

There are many things the goverment is incompetent at. Breaking stuff and killing people, however, is it's core competency. If it can't do that even when that's the actual answer to a problem, what good is it?

So, what action do we take?

So, what action do we take?

sounds like "break stuff and kill people" is the way to stop people from killing people.

and blowback is a liberal myth invented by Lois Lerner to entrap god-fearing grifters.

Incompetence and corruption are not even close to being the reasons the Republican Party and the libertarians want to get rid of the IRS.

They just don't want to pay taxes. In fact, the core competency of the IRS, which it's pretty good at when fully funded, is collecting taxes and the enforcement that comes with, and THAT, and only that, is why the IRS is under constant attack.

All else is entertainment on Brett's political playstation.

"What action do we take?"

All of that will remain a mystery.

The action we can be certain won't be taken is collecting the tax revenue to pay for the mystery action in the Mideast.

Mitt Romney (as good a name to use as any) and company buy safe U.S. debt, collecting certain tax deductible income while enabling the purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars of military gear from their own corporations to leave rotting and/or available for Mideastern despots, and I include conservative fundamentalist Israelis among that group, to kill their own people, whenever and wherever they fail again at their war aims, which remain clothed in mysterious prevarication.

Mitt Romney and company's corporations and investors squirrel the profits away in a beach-side unmarked account.

Mitt Romney and company look up innocently from their tax evasion every two years, while their killer surrogates beat the drums for austerity in the interim, and exclaim, hey, whatta about all this debt? We need to cut food stamps, SS disability and privatize just about everything else (again, to their corporations) so their government-guaranteed income is not endangered.

Or trying to send various functions to the States, which have been deliberately shorn of their own tax revenue by the usual Norquistian suspects to prevent taking on the responsibilities.

"What action do we take" again.

We'll probably find some tubes, maybe the missing intertubes, somewhere in ISIL territory, and the conservative machine and its media will lie, cheat, and steal our soldiers and the country into a another deadly boondoggle.

Jeb Bush the other day said he doesn't want to talk about the past vis a vis foreign policy.

No kidding?

How utterly sh*thead American of him. To want to blunder into another deadly war with no reference to the past (in the Mideast, where EVERYTHING is marinated in the past) with some fresh lies and bullsh*t, which resemble the previous lies and bullsh*t, but shhh, those last are off the table for discussion.

You break, you own it.

Never sign a contract with an American that contains those words.

and THAT, and only that, is why the IRS is under constant attack.

doing away with the evil IRS would make the gears of the grift machine mesh much smoother.

someone should ask all the wingnut wannabes what they recommend we do about ISIS. let's have that debate right now.

IRS ... ISIS, these acronyms are one and the same to conservative grifters.

one would think the phrase "revenue neutral" would be all over the lips of every "conservative" war monger out there. but, no.

i get the feeling any war will be happily put on the credit card, with the resulting debt blamed on the nearest liberal. cause, ya know, fiscal responsibility and all that.

First rule of holes, Brett.

Second rule of holes: A pile looks like a hole, to somebody who's standing on their head.

poor Brett, getting piled on again? Strange how it always happens to year, guess we just can't handle the actinic light of your truth!

A pile looks like a hole, to somebody who's standing on their head.

I'm probably more sympathetic to some of the points you're making than most here (Frex, I am pretty disturbed my the Lerner/IRS scandal).

But, I'd also really be interested in your answer to russell's 3X query. If we should take action on ISIL, as you seem to think, what should it be?

Economic pressure? Air raids? Drones? Ground troops? A draft-supported million soldier occupying force in the region?

It's all well and good to say 'something must be done!' but without specifics as to what 'something' is, its very difficult to weigh the pros and cons, or if it even has potential to succeed.

ISIS seems to be channeling a Christian hymn

based on their outraged reactions, one of the most effective ways of poking religious fundamentalists like ISIS is to make fun of them.

I, for one, intend to do my part to defend western civilization.

Nestled within Brett's comment far above he wrote:

"The despots who rule those societies are not in denial about what they're faced with, they know serious competition when they see it."

I think this comment has merit. I would add that one despot, Saddam Hussein, as much as he was a blood thirsty killer financed by the United States when it was convenient for us, might have been the only motherf*cker who would be able to deal with the ISIL threat, but alas.

An interesting read:


ISIL executes innocent Muslims, probably the same ones we and our client despots been killing as collateral damage for years, probably the translators we couldn't find room for after the Iraq War, and probably the same innocent ones who want to live peaceably in the United States but are under siege from our domestic paranoid evil, because all Muslims are suspect.

Incidentally, I like the David Koresh reference in the article.

Maybe we know more about how to deal with End World fanatics than we're letting on.


I am with you: the one thing fanatics can't stand up to is ridicule.

Sure, they can kill cartoonists. But just like civilized people can't kill all the fanatics, the fanatics can't kill all the cartoonists.

What the fanatics can do is hope that "religious moderates" will tsk,tsk at the cartoonists for "provoking" them. But blowback works both ways, and it's at least possible that even "moderates" will decide that they'd rather side with the cartoonists after all.


What this world needs are more fanatic cartoonists.

here's number four.

what action should we take?

if it was just a matter of waving a magic wand and making them go away, i'm pretty sure everyone here would be in favor.

we don't have a magic wand. we have people, and money, and gear. maybe, we have sufficient diplomatic clout to get some other folks to help us.

how do those resources translate into a plan?

note that we are already doing well beyond nothing, so the question really is what *else* should we do?

Cartoonists should wear hoods like fanatics do.


The fanatically stupid are the real existential threat to America.


Perry wears glasses with a prescription for severe self-myopia. He's dumb-sighted.

4x counts as a deafening silence.

and so i remain 100% convinced that all of this "we must act!" noise from "conservatives" is absolutely nothing more than cynical posturing from people who have substituted complaining about their imaginary Obamas for actually trying to make America better.

I am pretty disturbed my the Lerner/IRS scandal

from the WaPo article i linked above:

For the most part, the bigger and more elite PACs Hawkins looked at are the ones that spent money in the way they said they were going to; for instance, Club for Growth Action spent 88 percent of its contributions on candidates. On the other end, the Tea Party Express spent only 5 percent of its contributions on candidates; Hawkins even found a couple of smaller PACs that spent nothing at all on candidates.

so we should excoriate the IRS for daring to wonder if these groups are legitimate under the law ?

Of course we should. Because the IRS was looking at conservative groups. The fact that they were actually ripping off conservative donors is simply irrelevant in the face of the overarching fact that they were conservative groups (it says so right on the label) and were being investivated by the Federal government.

That, by definition, is outrageous -- and outrage is the name of the game. Because it generates more donations. ;-)

If ISIL blew up IRS headquarters and all of its satellite offices around the country and beheaded Lois Lerner, would anti-American conservative PACS increase their donations to the ISIL cause for future operations in this country, while decreasing donations to conservative Republican candidates because the tax problem would have been solved/ended, or what?

How do reptilian minds work so closely together, even across such a wide cultural gulf is what I'm trying to find out.

Any lurking reptiles want to fill me in.

Well, since the PACs are supposed to spend money on issues, not candidates, I suspect the IRS should look at the ones that spent 88% on candidates. Whichever "side" they're on.

"4x counts as a deafening silence."

4x counts as having a life. I think I was fairly clear: We should kill them. We should kill them in such numbers that anyone who might think of joining ISIS would view it as suicide, and change their mind.

"Of course we should. Because the IRS was looking at conservative groups."

The problem was not that the IRS was looking at conservative groups. They SHOULD be looking at conservative groups. And liberal ones, and apolitical ones.

The problem was that the IRS was, explicitly, deliberately, treating similarly situated conservative and liberal groups differently. Slow walking the former's applications, transmitting confidential data from them to liberal groups, and so forth, while the liberal groups got valet service.

This is not a controversial charge, it is what the IRS has already confessed to doing, what the IG has already confirmed happened. The only question is how high the rot went, and the fact that the IRS went to Congress and committed perjury about Lerhner's emails being beyond retrieval, and that those emails are currently not being released to Congress, creates a presumption the rot went pretty high.

You can be in denial all you want about the IRS and other three letter agencies being used by this administration as political weapons, but your denial doesn't stop conservatives from reacting to it. We don't live in your fantasies.

4x counts as having a life.

I've generally taken 'having a life' to mean 'I was too busy to reply', not 'I'm going to reply to other things and ignore your question'. Hope that I wasn't mistaken in that assumption.

I think I was fairly clear: We should kill them.

How should we do that?

Should we just carpet bomb or even just nuke the territory they hold? We will kill all of the folks who live there who aren't in ISIS. Is that price a fair one?

Should we invade and engage them in on-the-ground combat? How many people will we need to do that? Where will those people come from? How long will it take?

ISIS currently holds territory larger than the UK, including territory that is nominally in at least two countries (Iraq and Syria). Assuming we destroy them, what happens to that territory? Does it just go back to Iraq and Syria? Are either of those countries capable of holding the territory once we've defeated ISIS?

What does "defeating ISIS" mean? Kill the caliph? Kill every person who claims allegiance to the caliph? Re-take the territory they hold? How does doing any of those things prevent them from re-forming somewhere else, under a different caliph if that's what is needed.

Basically, you haven't really answered my question. Or, your answer is no improvement over waving a magic wand.

If it was as simple as "duh, go kill them!" I don't think there would be much question about what to do.

To reply to folks' questions about how to move forward with comments like "You counsel passivity as people are burned alive" is just bullshit.

You sit behind your computer monitor and say "go kill them" while people are burned alive, and beheaded, and otherwise abused.

Are you going to accept a 10, or 15, or 20% increase in your taxes to pay for it?

Who is the "you" that is going to go kill them? Are you going to send your kid, or your wife, or other family members, or god forbid your self, to go do the fighting?

ISIS is a really thorny problem, "go kill them" is basically a moronic reply.

Don't be a moron.

Or, if you have to play the moron, don't give other people sh*t if they try to actually make intelligent comments about the situation.

while the liberal groups got valet service.

I call bullshit.

Because the IRS was looking at conservative groups

and liberal groups.

why do people always forget that ?

No one forgets it cleek. They looked at gardening groups and library groups and individuals and corporations and well, everyone. They looked specifically at conservative groups differently. This is a particularly irritating way to argue this, I call bad faith.

They looked specifically at conservative groups differently.

They looked at groups with obvious partisan language in their names differently.

Russell (and cleek), there hasn't been any doubt that they treated conservative groups differently. There is not a rational person in the country that believes otherwise. when there was a big push to prove the White House ordered it, I agreed it hadn't been shown. But this is the most partisan and unsupportable position I have ever seen either of you take. So it's a lot like watching Brett try to defend and indefensible position. IMO

This is a particularly irritating way to argue this,

know what's really irritating? the fact that this is so obviously a partisan witch-hunt is irritating. that it's founded entirely on bad faith, deliberate ignorance and wishful thinking is irritating, too. no fact is just a fact here, it's always a sign of a deeper conspiracy: irritating.

people who want Obama to look bad have already convinced themselves of the conclusion and now they're using the mighty power of confirmation bias to support it.

also, Brett's threadjack is irritating.

i apologize for enabling.

Marty, they know the party line, ("There are no real Obama administration scandals!") and the're not departing from it. What are facts next to the party line?

I'll forgive Brett's IRS threadjack, since he's provided a model for creating a perfect world. It goes like this:

Q: What do you do if you have a problem?

A: Fix it! Duh...

Now let's get to it! Let's clean up this mess!

I think I was fairly clear: We should kill them.

Yeah, what russell said. Even if I thought that killing ISIL would solve the problem once and for all, and I don't, I really don't see how 'killing ISIL' is going to be any easier than killing the Taliban, or Iraqi insurgents, etc.

We have over a decade of very costly experience that shows us that killing insurgencies is out of our reach.

In you want to explain why you think otherwise in this case, I'm curious to hear why.

Brett: Marty, they know the party line, ("There are no real Obama administration scandals!") and the're not departing from it.

in response to

Marty: when there was a big push to prove the White House ordered it, I agreed it hadn't been shown.

Not. On. Point.

Really, hairshirt, who am I, the Joint Chiefs?

Brett: We should kill them in such numbers that anyone who might think of joining ISIS would view it as suicide, and change their mind.

Um, we're talking here about people who, successfully recruit suicide bombers. Whatever makes you think that merely seeing joining ISIS as suicide would cause them to change their mind? (For some, it actually seems to be an attraction.) Just because you would have better sense doesn't mean the rest of the world does.

And that's before we get to the fact that most people joining such a cause, whether ISIS or any other violent uprising or even just the conventional military of their country, routinely assume that they will survive. Even if the odds are demonstrably strongly against them, they still assume that they, somehow, will survive.

Marty: there hasn't been any doubt that they treated conservative groups differently.

Say, rather, "...there hasn't been any doubt among conservatives that they treated conservative groups differently." That would still not be completely true, but at least it would come close. Among those not already paranoid on their own behalf, the matter is far from proven. Witness the comments from some others here.

no wj, among just about everyone there is little doubt that the IRS treated conservative groups differently. Even the numbers put up in defense were laughable. There is this diehard mentality, I guess reflected here, that because no one got Lerner to confess that "nothing happened". I f there is a partisan view of this, that's the primary one. Secondarily there is a partisan view that the White House "had to know". While I believe that, I recognize that it is a partisan bias on my part.

Really, hairshirt, who am I, the Joint Chiefs?

Obviously not. But when you put yourself out there by criticizing others for failing to advocate further(!) (unspecified) action "while people are burned alive," you better bring something better to support your kinda-sorta offensive critique.

It's easy to paint others as being spineless and morally bankrupt when all you have to come up with is "Do something!" as opposed to making a suggestion that takes into account the complexities of the situation at hand. But you don't get to do that here, because we're not that stupid.

You don't know what do to about ISIS anymore than anyone else on this thread. The difference is that others acknowledge that they don't know what to do and don't have the gall to talk like they do or to pretend that it's so simple as "kill them."

I don't expect you to know what to do, except when you make comments implying that you do. So stop being poor, put-upon Brett. No one forced you to make your stupid comment.

The rancid, monied conservative groups in these latter years of the Republic that have been legally enabled to launder their resources anonymously into the political system to pervert government ARE different.

Like a shark fin appearing offshore of a swimming beach is "looked at" differently than a harmless log floating by, I congratulate the IRA and Lois Lerner for doing their jobs and trying to clear the beach.

She's a patriot, exposing an anti-American domestic enemy.

Why? Because I say so.

Does that clear that up?

F8ck the Republican Party! Blow it up!

They are f*cking sadists with no good intentions toward the government that Brett demands kill (though there is never an active subject in his demands for protection, merely a verb "kill" and an object "them") ISIL.

Yever notice how when I issue bloviating demands that our enemies be killed, whomever they are, and I know who they are, Brett predicts we'll read about me in the newspapers one day, but when he demands killing, no one expects to see him front and center in the news, because he wants someone else to do it for him, the goddamned f*cking government he hates.

Mercenaries are streaming to the Mideast to fight WITH and AGAINST ISIL, depending on which crazy-ass religious and political motives are involved.

You wanna kill ISIL? Plane to Turkey, various buses to the border, some smuggled transport into Syria and Iraq, no doubt some hiking at night with a beard and some diversionry head-gear to get to the center of attention and then introductions to the dozens of anti-ISIL paramilitary forces swarming through the area.

Do it.

Stop asking me to pay for it with taxes while you f*ck with the agency trying to collect the f*cking money for your protection.

That would be IRS, not IRA.

The Irish are always trying to stick their noses into things.

Among those not already paranoid on their own behalf, the matter is far from proven.

And the report:

"The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management: 1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months, 2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and 3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued. Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months.... For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications [reviewed in the audit] as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to 1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles).... Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors)."

The matter, that inappropriate criteria and burdensome questioning was used by the IRS, according to the IRS' IG, is settled.


there hasn't been any doubt that they treated conservative groups differently.

Yes, there has.

I got your doubt right here. *I* doubt that they treated conservative groups differently.

We know that both conservative and progressive groups were targeted. At least, I do. I know this because the only group whose application was denied was a progressive group.

So, at least one progressive group was targeted. Q.E.D.

If you want to claim that conservative groups were targeted more, or in a different way, than progressive (or whatever) groups, there are some basic questions you have to answer.

How many groups that applied had language in their name or in their application that would flag them as conservative?

How many had language in their name or application that would flag them as progressive?

Of those having language flagging them as conservative, how many were investigated?

Of those having language flagging them as progressive, how many were investigated?

Of those having language flagging them as conservative, and which were investigated, what was the disposition of the investigation?

And, likewise for progressive groups.

Was there a quantitative difference in how they were handled? I.e., were 50% of apparently conservative groups investigated, while only 5% of progressive groups were?

That would be a significant difference.

Was there a measurable qualitative difference in how the groups were handled? I.e., conservative groups had their requests denied, while progressive groups did not, or 80% of conservative groups experience delays of N weeks in the processing of their requests, while only 10% of progressive groups experienced delays of similar length.

That would be a significant difference.

Stuff like that is what *proof* looks like.

In the absence of proof, my position is that I doubt it happened. Because I'm not a priori disposed to assume that the IRS is on a witch hunt.

Show me the proof, and my doubts will disappear.

Note that "proof" sourced from Breitbart, or whatever other variety of Knucklehead Knews Daily Brett (or whoever) is reading today, will be viewed with suspicion.

Show me the freaking numbers, from a credible source having some kind of documentary evidence.

Short of that, IMO it's rumor.

Really, hairshirt, who am I, the Joint Chiefs?

No, you're Some Guy On The Internet who wants to disparage other folks's comments with tough-guy Churchill-wanna-be one-liners, without contributing anything of substance to the discussion.

If that's a cap you like to wear, have at it.

The matter, that inappropriate criteria and burdensome questioning was used by the IRS, according to the IRS' IG, is settled.

I don't think anybody disagrees with this.

What has not been demonstrated, at least to me, is that the inappropriate actions were disproportionately directed toward conservatives.

Is evidence of that in the report? Or anywhere else?

"I got your doubt right here. *I* doubt that they treated conservative groups differently."

Ok, no rational doubt. The proof you're asking for has been out there for over a year. I've presented links to it myself at this site.

"Is evidence of that in the report? Or anywhere else?"

Read the freaking report, why don't you?

Right, thompson, there is no doubt that the IRS used "inappropriate criteria". What is in doubt is whether one of those criteria was to just go after conservative groups and not others.

What the report says is that the IRS was going after groups with "Tea Party . . . or other 'political-sounding' names." Now maybe "other 'political-sounding' names" means only conservative political-sounding names -- but I didn't get that from the report. From the report: "Determinations Unit employees stated that they considered the Tea Party criterion as a shorthand term for all potential political cases." (emphasis added)

russell, you might also not that those criteria (whatever they were) were not used to deny approval. They were used to refer applications to a special group for review. Which resulted in some unacceptable delays in processing, as the IRS has acknowledged, but is not the same as denying approval.

What ISIS Really Wants: The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

"Really, hairshirt, who am I, the Joint Chiefs?

Have to admit, I find this is a funny rejoinder.

I picture General "Buck" Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove:


I, by the way, am the Obamacare Death Panel that Sarah Death Panel warned us about.

As soon as the Republican Party goes the way of ISIL, as in vanquished, I will be tasked with allowing the IRS to collect whatever taxes it deems appropriate to pay for whatever health insurance and procedures keeps every American in fine medical fettle, without skimping.

I'll even give a thumbs-up to an all-expense-paid emergency brain transplant for Palin herself, despite the meager chances of IQ improvement.

Just a thought:

ISIL has killed ... is it three .. or four Americans?

In early March, the conservative reptiles on our Supreme Court may issue orders to kill and/or shorten the lives of, I don't know, up to 11 million Americans, but if it makes folks feel better, probably ONLY hundreds of thousands of ailing Americans.

It will be murder, to be avenged, hopefully by the families of the murdered, in kind.

Kind of puts those body count contests we have periodically between Stalin and Hitler into base relief.

As in, those who want to kill ISIL will be vaguely discomfited that ISIL isn't trying harder to close the body bag gap and will hope they try harder to make their domestic Stalins seem not as lethal.

Anyway, I hereby withdraw from the pile-on, justified though it be, to look forward to the weekend recipe thread.

I second CharlesWT's link recommendation, which I linked to upthread as well.

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