The VA Scandal

It’s the face of government as it actually exists.

Between ObamaCare, the IRS, the VA, and now the EPA, it’s been a bad year for cheerleaders of big government. Which means a good year for liberty. We’ll see what it means in November.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Note Glenn’s quoting of Pournelle’s law of bureaucracies:

…the strongest priority of most bureaucracies is the welfare of the bureaucracy and the bureaucrats it employs, not whatever the bureaucracy is actually supposed to be doing.

I often say that there are a lot of good people at NASA, and there are. But they are trapped in a similar system.

Today’s Stupid Space House Hearing

Jeff Foust has a report.

[Update a few minutes later]

Frank Morring on why we explore space.

This all misses the real point, which is that exploration is a means to an end. As long as we imagine it’s just a search for knowledge, we can’t possibly justify the insane amount of money (for so little activity) that NASA spends on human spaceflight.

A Series Of Unfortunate Events For The IRS

Yeah, right:

That these events represent an unconnected string of unfortunate events — all of which just so happen to benefit the Left and its IRS allies while hurting conservatives and IRS critics — beggars belief. Add to that mix the willful dishonesty, the staged press rollout, complete with planted questions, intended to preempt questions about the internal investigation and its results, the naked lie that the wrongdoing was limited to a few nobodies in Cincinnati — the only way to believe that story is to desire very deeply to believe it.

The alternative and much more likely — undeniable, to my mind — explanation is that the Internal Revenue Service is engaged in an active and ongoing criminal conspiracy to misappropriate federal resources for political purposes, to use its investigatory powers, including the threat of criminal prosecution, for purposes of political repression, and to actively mislead Congress and the public about the issue; that the Justice Department is turning a blind eye to these very serious crimes for political purposes and is therefore complicit in the cover-up; that these crimes were encouraged if not outright suborned by Senate Democrats; and that the White House is at the very least passively complicit, refusing to lift so much as a presidential pinkie as the IRS runs amok.

It will continue until Congress grows a pair.

Heidegger

Since we were discussing philosophy the other day, Lileks has some thoughts:

The article concerns the anti-Semitism of Heidegger, and how the publication of recent texts the philosopher intended to be the capstone of his output reveals that he didn’t have the easy, lazy cultural anti-Semitism of the era, but really, really thought hard on how the Jews were putting the stick to the decent noble Volk. Not just any kind of Jews, though: worldwide jewry! It’s the richest kind.

..Anything that starts out with “Russia and America are the same” is the product of a mind so high in the clouds it cannot tell the different between red and black ants. But while Russia did indeed have “unrestricted organization of the average man,” an inevitable consequence of the state’s politicization of the entire society, you could say Germany under Hitler had a smattering as well. Or a gerschmatturung, to use Heidegger’s word. Just kidding; he doesn’t. But the article is full of German words intended to set off a Concept, as though expressing a concept in a train-wreck of consonants makes it important. I suppose the point is to be accurate, use the terms the author uses so there can be no misunderstanding. But for my part that would require anything close to comprehension, and I cannot grasp a lot of what Heidegger is talking about, perhaps because there seems to be no point in understanding what he’s saying.

Philosophy isn’t useless, but some philosophers are. Or worse than.

Trivializing Sexual Assault

First the left went after George Will, and now they’ve chosen a really bad target: a smart law professor:

But really, all that vitriol because Dean is “not sure” that an imprecise reading of what I wrote is correct? Even if she had recounted what I wrote precisely correctly, all that vitriol because she’s “not sure” I’m right?

Nor, for that matter, does Dean ever address my point about a proposed California law providing for judging sexual assault complaints by an “affirmative consent” consent standard, but only for college students in college-run hearings; if this is a good idea, why only for this limited category of people in limited circumstances? Why not make it the legal standard for sexual assault in California? A particular scenario can’t logically change from sexual assault to non-sexual assault because it happens the day after graduation instead of the day before.

As for my broader point, that the extremely broad explicit consent standard incorrectly provided on DOJ’s website means that the vast majority of men and women in the U.S. are guilty of sexual assault, Dean doesn’t bother to disagree. Instead, the best she can muster is “I do not think we are looking at any real danger of people being marched off to death camps for kissing each other.”

That’s obviously not really the question. The question is whether you want to create a sexual assault standard that is so broad that a prosecutor (or other authority, if for example it’s a university matter) can basically punish anyone they want to, so long as someone is willing to file a complaint. And so broad, as well, that it trivializes sexual assault, in that it conflates sexual assault with things like reaching out to hold your date’s hand under the dinner table.

We need to push back against these little fascists, hard.

[Update a few minutes later[

More thoughts from Ann Althouse on “chilling” debate.

Congressional Hobbling Of Spaceflight

Michael Lopez-Alegria weighs in at the Huffpo:

Flying our astronauts should be a national strategic priority, and NASA should be free to continue expanding its use of public-private partnerships and building on its successes. NASA will always lead our nation’s exploration of space, but it must empower all the members of the team that makes that happen, including commercial companies. If Congress can ensure that NASA is cutting bureaucracy and getting the most value for its money, our nation will have a bright future of space exploration ahead of it. If not, our human spaceflight program may be a disappointment for years to come.

Instead, “safety is the highest priority.”

I may have missed it, but I’ve seen no support in the media for the Shelby shenanigans.

The IRS

didn’t follow the law after it “lost” Lerner’s emails.

Laws are for the serfs, not the enforcers:

Here’s the bottom line. The IRS has been accused of targeting the political opponents of the Obama administration. The response, in rough order of emission, has been:

  1. No they didn’t. It was all (quoth the president of the United States) a “phony scandal.”
  2. They targeted liberal groups too (except the IRS inspector general disagrees).
  3. It was all the fault of two “rogue agents” in Cincinnati (that was Jay Carney’s little piece of drollery)
  4. Then we had Barack Obama’s personal assurance that there was not even a “smidgeon of corruption” at the IRS. “Smidgeon, noun. Informal: a small amount of something.” There wasn’t even a small amount of corruption at the IRS—which is why, of course, a senior agency employee like Lois Lerner decided to take the Fith Amendment to avoid self-incrimination.

Mr. Koskinen’s testimony over the last several days has been greeted with what might politely be called skepticism, not to to say naked disbelief and contempt, by Congress. “You promised to produce documents,” Darrell Issa reminded Mr. Koskinen. “You did not. . . .

You worked to cover up the fact they were missing and only came forward to fess up on a Friday afternoon after you had been caught red-handed.”

Some might say that John Koskinen was guilty of obstruction of justice. Currently, the Wikipedia entry for “Obstruction of Justice” lists four “notable examples” of the crime. Leading the list is Richard Nixon’s efforts to silence people involved in the Watergate scandal. I wonder whether there will soon be a fifth notable example. If so, it is likely to include the names of John Koskinen, Lois Lerner, and who knows how many people at the White House.

Not if the media has anything to say about it.

[Update a few minutes later]

Speaking of the media, now Woodward and Bernstein are wondering where they are?

Apparently, being a Democrat operative with a byline trumps the chance for a Pulitzer.

[Mid-afternoon update]

Mark Levin goes ballistic after last night’s hearing:

Levin also pointed out that Democrats wouldn’t be obstructing so hard if it weren’t for White House involvement, which tells him that this IRS targeting scandal goes all the way to the top.

That would be the way to bet, yes.