WASHINGTON — How odd! There I was Saturday evening in the Windy City at a fundraising event for the Chicago Rowing Foundation, and who do I encounter but the mayor of Chicago, His Honor Rahm Emanuel? You might recall that back in 2010 I was encouraged by conservative Chicagoans and doubtless by the good government lobby to run against Rahm for mayor, claiming, quite properly, that I had a more legitimate claim to residency in Chicago than did he. What is more, I had a friend on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and, it being more important in Chicago whom you know than the merits of your case, I am pretty sure the Republican nomination was mine. In the end I took a pass on the race, but now I am not so sure I will pass it up in 2015. Rahm’s problems mount, and I would relish debating him on the issues. He seemed like a likable fellow when he stopped me for a picture and presumably my autograph. Alas, ushers hastened us to our seats. I say the encounter was odd because of all the scandals that are now accumulating in Washington: the cover-ups, the infringements on civil liberties, the government encroachments on the press. The last time the left was using the government to hide the truth, to intimidate, and to criminalize free expression was the Clinton Administration, and Rahm was right there in the White House, serving as the big lovable lug of a president’s senior adviser. On February 26, 1998, the White House sent me an autographed copy of the President’s charmless opuscule, Between Hope and History , with an official White House return of address. I still have it among my mementoes from public service. It was sent anonymously, but I have always thought that Rahm had a hand in it. In fact, I ought to have it fingerprinted. It was like receiving a dead fish in the mail from the Cosa Nostra. The arrival of the book signaled the attacks on The American Spectator in the press and the government investigations, and the dragging of the Spectator ’s employees and friends before a grand jury in Fort Smith, Arkansas. It took a year of expensive and mostly silent persecution — when the government is after you the telephone rarely rings. Still, in the end, we were cleared in a way that the Clintons have never been cleared. Exoneration — a word neither Hillary nor Bill has ever heard! Now we have the Benghazi negligence and cover-up. Anyone who is familiar with Hillary’s career knows that she sweetly conveyed to her aides the same message she conveyed time and again in her long career of abusing power: “Cover it up.” So they did. They created a street protest where there was no protest. They said it was an anti-Islamic video that provoked the violence when it was an organized military operation carried out by allies of al Qaeda. Soon operatives of the White House and the State Department were working full time scrubbing talking points, smearing principled government employees, and, as the implausible White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “the cow jumped over the moon” or words to that effect. Yet the whistleblowers have now told their story of lax security on the ground in Benghazi, a refusal to send in a relief mission, and general imprudence. The negligence and lies are increasingly apparent. It is not just Hillary’s career that is in jeopardy. It is Barack Obama’s presidency. Then there are Friday’s admissions by Internal Revenue Service Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner of harassment of conservative organizations in 2012. Now it appears that Ms. Lerner’s admissions amounted to mere damage control. According to news reports, her organization engaged in targeting conservative organizations as early as 2010, and the IRS engaged in such activity across the nation. That is to say, that the government agency deemed most menacing by ordinary citizens harassed conservatives with inquiries about their employees, board members, and donors. As the Wall Street Journal editorialized, “there is a pattern here. Oppose the Obama Administration or liberal priorities, and you can become an IRS target.” Finally there is the Administration’s third scandal of the past week, the Justice Department’s seizure of telephone records from the Associated Press. The news accounts claim the press is really irate. Will the press remain irate at President Obama, at Hillary, at this entire mendacious Administration? We shall see. Yet one thing I am certain of. Rahm Emanuel is very glad to be back in Chicago. Even if he has some strange run-ins there, it is a lot safer than life in our nation’s capital. What if he were still our President’s chief of staff?
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My Rahm Reunion
Barack Obama at his presser, on Benghazi: “The day after it happened, I acknowledged that this was an act of terrorism.” The “FactChecker” at the Washington Post , Glenn Kessler, has actually been OK on the Benghazi issue, for whatever reason, and gives Obama four Pinocchios for this one. Obama did use the phrase “no act of terror” [will go unpunished or similar words] several times after Benghazi. Kessler asks, is it splitting hairs to note that he didn’t say “terrorism”? It almost could seem that way, except for the fact that Obama agreed, on video, that he was specifically avoiding using the word terrorism. Behold: KROFT: “Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word ‘terrorism’ in connection with the Libya attack.” OBAMA: “Right.” KROFT: “Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?” OBAMA: “Well, it’s too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.” ASIDE: Of course, as we now know, “these folks” meant “the people who made that YouTube video.” We know that Hillary told the family member of a victim, not that they pledged to get the terrorists, but that they pledged to get the maker of the video. ANOTHER ASIDE: The FactChecker says: “For unknown reasons, CBS did not release this clip until just two days before the elections, and it attracted little notice at the time because Superstorm Sandy dominated the news.” Yeah? Is it really that unknown? They had video evidence that undercut a central argument Obama was making about a hot issue related to the election, and they just happened to bury it, and we are to consider that a mystery? OK then. ASIDES ARE NOW DONE. So anyway, Obama is just lying. Again. Nice to see someone prominent calling him out.
Roger Ailes: Off Camera By Zev Chafets (Sentinel, 258 pages, $26.95) DURING THE LAST CAMPAIGN, there was a widely circulated photo taken in a diner of Joe Biden, wearing a strange sly smirk and squeezing a biker’s woman. She looks uncomfortable, and her biker looks hostilely bemused, perhaps thinking of how this would play out if it weren’t the vice president of the United States but some other old turkey doing the squeezing. In March of this year, there Biden was again, arriving in Rome for the installation of Pope Francis, captured
And it’s all part of an upcoming report . I guess it’s no longer a surprise why they admitted this. WASHINGTON — A federal watchdog’s upcoming report says senior Internal Revenue Service officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups in 2011. The disclosure contradicts public statements by former IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who repeatedly assured Congress that conservative groups were not targeted. They managed to keep the most damning facts under wraps until after the election. Kind of like Benghazi. Always helps to have a lapdog media helping you out.