Tag Archives: Lois Lerner

Fast Information = Fast Forgetting

The one thing that amazes me about our ‘instantaneous-quick as a flash’ culture is our ability to forget situations, items and events as quickly as we learn about them.  There appears to be a direct correlation between these two events.  So I, Grandpa T am offering the following formula for our ‘instantaneous- quick as a flash’ culture.

The faster we receive news and information is in direct proportion to the speed with which we forget that news and information.  Or, f {fast} I {information} = f {fast} f {forgetting}.  Now that I have advanced that formula, am I eligible for some kind of Nobel prize?  After all, if the POTUS can get the Nobel Peace Prize after being president for about 10 minutes, I should be able to get some kind of a prize, too!  (Or…….did you forget he received it?)

There is no question that we receive information much, much faster than we did during my formative years.  Look at all the available sources.  We have the obvious mass media sources of TV, radio and newspapers.  But what really makes this instantaneous is the internet, personal computers, personal handheld devices, cell phones and personal devices that can take either pictures or movies and the ability to create a flash mob in a moments notice with these devices, all with the use of social media.  Look at what can be instantaneously flashed around the world because of dash cams in police cars, from cell phones and from other hand held devices.  It is truly amazing!

Grandma P has a cell phone that has an app that reports traffic accidents, road closures or bridge closures in our area.  Amazing!  Rather than go into a bad traffic area, the app directs you to an alternate route.  Need another example?  Recently, my best friend’s daughter got married.  Because of time and distance, Grandma P and I were not unable to attend.  I was on my computer at the same time the wedding was occurring at the opposite end of the country.  Golly and gadzooks, pictures of my friend escorting his daughter down the aisle were appearing on a social media website within seconds of it taking place!  Pictures of the ceremony and reception were being posted within minutes of the actual occurrence!  My friend was amazed when I called to tell him how beautiful the bride looked and how good he looked in his tailored suit.  It was as if I were in attendance.

November 7, marks the 3rd anniversary of writing this blog.  Yes, if you are sharp, you will realize that I began writing this within minutes of the last presidential election in 2012.  I was bummed and I needed a way to vent my anger, angst and disbelief.  Our country (as you may have forgotten) was experiencing high unemployment, a colossal increase in the national debt, did not have a budget for four years, a large percentage of people receiving welfare and food stamps…..and the country decided we liked that situation so much that we reelected the person that got us there.  That would be Barack Hussein Obama. I digress.

I began visiting some of my previous written posts on the blog site.  Then I realized that what was the ‘hot topic’ at the time of my writing the blog is all but forgotten.  Thus my formula for the Nobel prize of fast information = fast forgetting.  I have given examples of the quickness of obtaining information, let me give you some examples of how quickly we forget.

The financial crisis in Greece.  Do you remember that?  The country of Greece represents less than 2% of the world GDP.  Because of its socialistic society, it could no longer afford all the socialistic programs.  Over 40% of the population was on the government payroll.  People were retiring in their 50s with full salary and benefits.  Coupled with the high unemployment rate, it was a disaster in the making.  They raised taxes on the wealthy to afford their bloated programs.  The result?  The wealthy, which pretty much encompassed all of their educated professionals such as doctors, dentists and engineers, began migrating to other countries to escape the high taxes.  The Greek financial crisis whipsawed the world financial markets and stock exchanges for months. There  was a movement to kick them out of the European Economic Community, thus taking them off the euro and forcing them to go back to the drachma as their currency.  Here is the point of this blog…have you heard about the Greek financial crisis lately and do you think it has gone away?

Benghazi and lost emails.  Benghazi is all but forgotten.  The only reason the name is ever brought up is because of Hillary Clinton’s presidential candidacy.  If she were not a candidate, I very much doubt it would ever be heard of again.  As for the emails?  Well, it is amazing to me that she has abused her position as former Secretary of State to do something infinity larger than Richard Nixon’s Watergate break-in, and he resigned the presidency.  His crime involved reelection.  Hers involved national security.

IRS and the Tea Party Scandal.  This whole event has been swept under the carpet to the point of creating a mountain of dirt under the fibers.  You would think that much dirt would eventually cause a problem, but rest assured, Lois Lerner is still retired, walking the streets and collecting a full pension for being the director of the IRS.  She is thus liberated even after using her position to throttle the Tea Party movement prior to the elections by not granting tax exempt status to their cause.  The IRS throttled many conservative groups other than the Tea Party.  In front of numerous congressional fact-finding committees, our Lois, our government employee, pleaded the 5th amendment to many of the direct questions.  A classic case of the government forgetting that they work for the people.  Why has this whole affair gone MIA from the media?  Well, it was my opinion that Lois Lerner was not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and that she was directed in her actions by her boss.  At that time it would have been the Attorney General, Eric Holder, and  he worked for the POTUS.  How convenient during an election year.

Fiscal Cliff and National Debt.  How can anyone forget the overused usage of the words ‘fiscal cliff?’  Yet, when was the last time you heard the term?  Two years ago, it was the term de jour coupled with the continuing controversy about our national debt.  At the time, the national debt was $18 trillion and rising.  The prognosis was it would be over $20 trillion before Obama left office in 2016.  If you can believe Donald Trump, it is already over $19 trillion with over a year to go in the Obama presidency.  Wow!  If you can believe financial pundits, they are predicting a fiscal collapse of mega-proportions on a world scale once the US debt reaches $24 trillion.  I have never heard the reason why, but I have heard that figure and predicted result more than once.  Perhaps the dollar will be replaced as the world reserve currency by some other currency.  The dollar being the world reserve currency is the only reason why we have been able to accumulate so much debt.   If the government was a corporation, it would have had to declare bankruptcy long ago!  Look at what the Greek government has had to do, and then magnify that by about 15.  It is surprising that this pending fiscal crisis was not thoroughly addressed in the first two Republican presidential debates.  But then, it would have made the present administration look bad for quadrupling our national debt in 8 years! 

After reading the previous paragraph about our predicted financial doom, isn’t it interesting that the three of the leading Republican presidential contenders; Trump, Fiorina and Carson are not career politicians.  Unlike the present administration, where less than 10% of the cabinet or staff have had experience in the private sectors of our economy, you can surmise that if any of these three become president, 40% or more of the cabinet or staff will have experience in the private sector of our economy.  That is what we needed in 2012, but opted for the status quo by reelecting Obama.  These three leading Republican contenders have sent shock waves through all career politicians because of their non-political experiences and their rapidly growing popularity among the populous by not being career politicians.  Regardless who the next president will be, they will have to face some very burgeoning fiscal issues.  They will also have to retool our country from socialism back to its capitalistic roots.  But again, I digress.  (Its my blog, and I can digress if I want!)

There were many other terms that have come and gone over the last three years.  Disappearing with nary a whimper.  Government gridlock.  Voter ID.  Washington Redskins name change.  The situation in the Ukraine.   These are just some of the terms and events that were in the forefront and have somehow evaporated from sight like mist in a wind.  Too bad that can’t be said about the Kardashians.

I am writing and practicing  my acceptance speech for the first Nobel prize for Common Sense.  I can just see it now, sitting in Stockholm waiting for that grand announcement….”And the winner of the first ever Nobel prize for Common Sense goes to”……….(Oh crap!  Sitting in Stockholm with no place to go.)

Accountability in the Ring

Just about the time Grandma P and I were planning to leave on vacation, (Grandpa T’s Rule Number 3 – Retiring is tiring!) someone else stepped up to trample all over the concept of common sense.  Egads and gadzooks!  Don’t these people realize that is the reason I write this blog?

James George Janos

One recent violator of the common sense belief is none other than James George Janos.  James has taken it upon himself to criticize the late Chris Kyle of American Sniper fame by saying, “You can’t have honor if you’re a liar.”  He has gone on to say that he will never watch the movie American Sniper, as he calls it war propaganda.  Apparently, James George Janos has never lied in his life, so that should make him the ‘paragon of truth.’

But wait.  You don’t know who James George Janos is?  I am shocked!  After all, he now goes by the name of Jessie (The Body) Ventura.  Now do you know about whom I’m speaking?

Yes, the man who successfully sued and won a libel case against the widow and estate of the late Chris Kyle, has said publicly that Chris Kyle is no hero.  That is quite an accusation coming from a man who has lived most of his life using an alias.  Isn’t an alias really a lie about who you really are?

Jessie has had quite a career.  He was a member of a Navy Seal Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) during the time of the Vietnam war, thus his association with Chris Kyle and the Seals.  After that, he did some acting.  Of course, he made most of his fame and fortune as a wrestler.  Now there is a profession worth discussing.  Professional wrestling,  a profession that rings with thoughts of honesty and integrity.  I’ve always wondered how there could be about a dozen ‘world titles’ at any one time.  I’ve always wondered how someone could take an elbow to the throat, get their head pile-driven into the mat, get hit over the head with a chair and still come back to win the match!  It all had to be real, right?

After his wrestling days were over, Jessie ran as an Independent and was elected Governor for the state of Minnesota in 1998.  He was elected primarily because the electorate was tired of the gridlock of the traditional two party system.  He was also elected because, during three pre-election debates, he outshined his two ‘party entrenched’ opponents by offering, and I can’t believe I am writing this, common sense solutions to problems presented at the debates.  His answers were much of what the average voter wanted to hear, as they were devoid of the normal political line.  He struck a clear chord for personal responsibility.

So, after a stunning upset in that election, James, oops, Jessie Ventura was now Governor of Minnesota.  And……….within weeks of being elected, with the voter exuberance and expectations at fever pitch, James, err, Jessie did what Jessie did best…….he once again became a ‘rassler’.  He, as Governor, refereed a WWF title match in Minneapolis for a reported $1 million!  He received much publicity as a result of his ‘photo ops’ with Vince McMahon and with two Amazon ‘rassler’ women.  He took a job as a color commentator for the now defunct Extreme Football League (XFL) while he was in office!    He told the press that his job as Governor was a Monday to Friday job, and what he did on the weekend was his business.  He did not run for re-election.  That was an excellent decision, considering his approval ratings were lower than the temperature in Minnesota on a January morning.

So now, James, the class act that he is, has said that the late Chris Kyle is no hero.  Let me be perfectly clear to all of the Chris Kyle critics.  Chris Kyle volunteered to become a Navy Seal.  He then became a sniper, and from all military accounts, he was a very, very good sniper.  He was trained and tasked to do a job….. a very necessary, oftentimes gruesome job.   What was that job?  He was to protect American soldiers and Marines from getting killed.  Let me put this in simple terms, so it is easier to comprehend.  Without Chris Kyle (or any other sniper), more letters from the Department of Defense would be notifying parents/spouses of the loss of their loved ones.  Argue the politics about being in Iraq all you want, but never, ever be so small-minded and petty as to criticize those who are willing to serve.  James, er, Jessie’s whole life has been fabricated, including his name; and yet, knowing no limits, he has the audacity to call the deceased Chris Kyle a liar.   That ‘rassler” sure has balls, if not brains.

Benghazi

There has been a House of Representatives special committee appointed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Benghazi attack that resulted in the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.  This committee is being chaired by  Representative Try Gowdy (R-SC).  Mr. Gowdy has promised to ‘ratchet up’ this investigation.  This 12-member panel was created last May.

Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the panel’s senior Democrat, complained that the committee’s investigation was moving at a ‘glacial’ pace and said that he and other Democrats, “have grave concerns about the partisan path this committee has taken over the past year.”

The Democrats are already crying foul and are accusing the committee of being involved with ‘partisan politics’.  In other words, it is apparently a partisan ‘witch hunt’ if any Democrat’s reputation is being besmirched.  How could this not be the case?  Common sense tells me that if the Secretary of State, the Attorney General and the President are all Democrats with a Congress that was Democratically controlled at the time of the incident (9/11/2012), then most likely any indication of malfeasance would fall on the shoulders of some Democrat.  No foolin’?

The committee has been moving at a snail’s pace because of the lack of cooperation from the State Department, under the leadership of Hilary Clinton at the time, and from other agencies.  One of those agencies is the CIA.   It appears that Mrs. Clinton has now agreed to appear before this committee.  No doubt this change in attitude has arisen because of her presidential aspirations.

Common sense tells me that the Democrats can create smoke screens, scream ‘partisan politics’, and stonewall the investigation until the cows come home.  However, most likely a Democrat will be at fault for this fiasco if malfeasance is determined because they were the party totally in power at the time.  Personally, I want to know if the rumor about the military launching a rescue operation, only to have it called back by a ‘high office’ is true.  So much for protecting the Americans (soldiers/marines/ambassador) on the ground!  Someone in power needed a dose of the ‘sniper mentality’ that Chris Kyle possessed in supporting his people on the ground.

Lois Lerner

I, like most Americans, would like a well-oiled, accountable, functioning federal government.  I would like to see both political parties make a bipartisan effort to work together to legislate what is best for both America and for Americans.

Having said that, I want a partisan, conservative, Grandpa T-endorsed ‘witch hunt’ to take place concerning Lois Lerner and her use of the IRS prior to the 2010 midterm elections.  This woman, as head of the IRS, used her office to stifle the political process by stonewalling the creation of conservative groups opposed to her and the government’s liberal agenda.  In particular, they targeted the Tea Party movement.

Let me be clear.  I have never attended a Tea Party seminar, meeting, beer party or any other event that they held.  (Though I have had tea once at Harrod’s in London, but I digress.)  I have never researched what they really represented.   What I take a very strong exception to, is that a governmental agency would deliberately impose its power to stifle the political process in our country.  Don’t these yahoos work for us?  Are they not being paid by our taxes?

The plot has thickened concerning this obvious abuse of power since it occurred.  Ms. Lerner resigned her position.  She has been called before investigative committees and, as a former government employee, pleaded the 5th amendment to very direct questioning.  Really?  Someone on the government payroll (and now retirement payroll!) is able to plead the 5th amendment about her duties while serving the people?

During these investigations, emails and other documentation were requested.  These requests were greeted with the response that all of this material has been ‘deleted’ and is therefore unavailable.  Well guess what?!  Through the miracle of modern technology and the help of a bunch of independent ‘computer nerds,’ these deleted documents have now become available!

And guess what those ‘unavailable’ documents indicate?  The recovered emails Lois Lerner attempted to delete – those concerning the allegations against the IRS and their supposed targeting of conservative groups – show that the Department of Justice was helping the IRS!  Great!  We have a frickin’ conspiracy between the IRS and the Election Crime Division of the Department of Justice!  There are over 800 pages of documents concerning Lerner’s visits with the DOJ just prior to the 2010 midterm elections, and the DOJ is refusing to provide those documents!   Some documents were recovered, which show that Lerner had discussed the possibility of prosecuting tax-exempt entities with the assistance of the DOJ.  Lerner provided the DOJ with a 1.1 million-page database of information from tax exempt organizations.

The plot thickens further.  There is an independent organization called Judicial Watch.  The president of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, said it is outrageous that the DOJ’s Public Integrity Section, which is supposed to be investigating such abuses of power and authority, was shown to be involved in the IRS scandal as well.  Holy crap!  Isn’t the DOJ under the auspices of the Attorney General?  That would be Eric Holder.

So here is my common sense inquiry.  Why are Lois Lerner and possibly Eric Holder walking the streets, collecting government salaries and retirements?  Holder wants to step down as soon as a replacement can be confirmed.  I can see why.  I see a deliberate abuse of power like no other during my lifetime.  Isn’t that treason?

Common sense tells me that some prison time might be appropriate, but then again, the Democrats would just scream ‘partisan politics’.

Yeah, with all this going on, Grandma P and I are determined to have a good time on vacation.  Rest assured, I will make a valiant effort at having fun.  First thing – shut off  the TV.

Doing Right or Doing Wrong – How Difficult Can it Be?

As I was growing up during my preteen years, life and choices were pretty simple.

Vanilla or chocolate?

TV or a movie?

Indoors or outdoors?

Pie or cake?

Then I got older and choices became a little more difficult.

Blond, brunette or redhead?

Clarinet or drums?

Football, basketball or both?

Linda or Mary?

Ah – the sweet innocence and simplicity of my youthful years.

Then I reached the age of twelve and life went to hell!  That is when my Mom’s parents decided I needed religion – and lots of it!  They would pick me up on a Saturday, drive me twelve miles to their house, and then force me to attend church another five miles away.  In the early 60s, those miles represented ‘importation’ of religion.

This routine was wholeheartedly endorsed by my parents.

When my grandparents could not get me for these weekly jaunts to heaven, they made sure I attended church in my hometown.  This was much preferred by me, as many of my classmates attended the same church.  I was able to do the local church sessions quite often during the school year, but the summers were spent avoiding hell twelve miles away.  No school meant no excuses.

One of the religious lessons that I was subjected to was that once you reached the age of thirteen, the Good Book (that would be the Bible, not Playboy) said that you were an adult.  Thus you became wholly responsible for your own actions.  Holy crap!  I was a late bloomer!  Did God take that into consideration when deciding your eternal fate?

About the time I was 12 1/2 years old, I hardly got a good night’s sleep.  I was consumed with thoughts of my impending responsibilities.  No happy birthday that year!  I was not looking forward to the red carpet walk of becoming a teenager.   I was convinced I would only live about a week after that dreaded birthday, before God sent a bolt of lightning right up my ass!   I survived.

The truth be known, I actually did enjoy some of my church time.  There were other kids my age attending church.  I did learn a smidgeon of information from the Bible.  I got a pretty good handle on Christian principles.   But the lesson that I really learned was the difference between ‘right and wrong.’

Looking back at my early exposure to church religion, I realize two things.  Firstly, after growing up in a Midwestern state where the cold, nasty winters lasted about six months a year, maybe a warm hell would not be that bad after all!  With any luck, maybe hell is located halfway between Orlando and Miami.

Secondly, my sister, who is four years younger than me, was never forced into the same religious exile experience at my grandparents’ church.  Isn’t that reverse sexist discrimination?  Either that, or they thought my sister as one of ‘Satan’s mistresses’  early in her life.

‘Right or wrong’ should be a pretty easy and understandable concept.  Parenting, schooling and  religion all form the basis for this concept.

So why don’t our federally elected representatives understand this concept?  Let me provide an example.

The House of Representatives is the legislative body that is to propose our annual federal budget.  Ideally,  this proposed budget would go to the Senate and on to the POTUS for signing.  The federal government runs on a fiscal year from October 1 to September 30.  This year, even though the beginning of the next government fiscal year is less than six months away, only one person has proposed a budget – Representative Paul Ryan (R) Wisconsin.  You remember Ryan.  He was Mitt Romney’s running mate in the last presidential election.

At first, this does not appear to be any big deal.  But last week, the media reported that no US Representative was going to put forth any budget proposal this year.

One would have to believe that the House of Representatives knows what is right and what is wrong in this situation.  What is right is that our government should be operating on an approved budget. (A balanced budget would be a bonus!)  That is their job!

Why is this not happening?

Please refer to Rule 1 of Grandpa T’s rules of politics.   Grandpa T’s rule number one is:  “An elected politician’s primary objective is to get reelected.”  Don’t be misled into thinking an elected politician’s primary objective is to represent his/her constituents or do what is right for America.  Those concerns become secondary after experiencing the aphrodisiac of power.

This year is a mid-term election year.  Not one Representative, either conservative or liberal, wants to propose a budget and be seen in the crosshairs of public opinion and media scrutiny.  These people know what is right, and they know what is right for America.  They are too cowardly to do what is right.

Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is already under fire.  The conservatives say it is not conservative enough.  Ryan’s budget proposal balances the budget by 2024.  The conservatives want the budget balanced by 2019.  Both Paul Ryan and the conservatives want to do it by cutting back on all government spending, specifically by neutering the Affordable Health Care Act (Obamacare) and by retailoring the Medicare program.  The conservative’s proposal would be to offer seniors a lump-sum amount to purchase their own health care program, thus taking the first steps to get the federal government out of the health care business.  Amen, brother!!!

The liberals, on the other hand, are jumping for joy that some audacious conservative would offer a proposed budget.  Why?  So they can tear it apart!  They, in conjunction with the liberal media,  will   try to convince voters that all kinds of bad things will happen to our country and to its population, if those mean, nasty, tight-wad, impassionate conservatives get their budget.

This budget proposal also becomes a detractor from the current administration’s failures.  Benghazi is still an issue.  Obamacare appears to be a tremendous failure. The government keeps tooting its horn over the number of enrollees, but how many of those enrollees have written a check?   Our foreign policy is a joke in light of Putin attempting to reconstruct the old Soviet empire.  Really?  Putting economic sanctions on some of Putin’s close friends is going to bring Russia to its knees in the Crimea?  Those Russians are laughing so hard, they are crying tears into their vodka!

I will give Ryan credit for at least having the fortitude to propose a budget.  (Do you ever wonder what a Romney presidency would have been?  All those smart MBAs in cabinet positions with a surefire plan to get our country out of its financial malaise?  Business-experienced people reaffirming our capitalistic principles?  People that would defend the Constitution rather than attempting to circumvent it?  One can only wonder.  Where do you think that alternative outcome would have us today?)

Here is another failure of our current administration that keeps getting swept under the carpet.  Lois Lerner.  You know who she is.  She was the Commissioner of the IRS during the Tea Party scandal.

Ms. Lerner was on administrative leave and receiving her full pay, which in the first four years of her tenure totaled $740,000 in salary and bonuses.  Yup, you heard me right.  She got bonuses totally $42,000 over three years.  Could she have gotten these bonuses for subverting the Tea Party movement prior to the 2012 national election?  She has since retired last fall, receiving a $50,000 per year retirement.  Not a bad retirement for a four year tenure!

What is a travesty is that Ms. Lerner used her position of authority and the power of her agency to trample the First Amendment rights of a large portion of our citizenry.  She has appeared before two Congressional inquiries, utilizing her Fifth Amendment rights, thus offering no reason or excuses for her actions.

What is right and what is wrong concerning Ms. Lerner?

What would have been right would have been for the administration to fire her, thus stripping her of her pay and retirement.

Why hasn’t anything been done concerning this issue?  Well, you have the President saying that there is no indication that anything illegal was done by the IRS during Ms. Lerner’s tenure.  There was some conjecture that the Attorney General would investigate.  That would be imprudent.  If California represented the far left politically and Maine represented the far right politically, then Eric Holder’s political beliefs would be geographically located somewhere near Guam!

I believe that nothing has been actively done by this administration concerning Ms. Lerner, because  her actions were guided by someone in the administration.  You can draw your own conclusions as to whom.  Personally, I believe Lois Lerner should be brought up on charges of treason.  She used her agency to declare war on a segment of our citizenry and to trample on their First Amendment rights.  She subverted our democratic principles in order to assist an administration in its efforts to remain in power.  She ‘fixed’ an election by stifling political opposition.   Any dictator would be proud!

It appears the concept of ‘right or wrong’ is much more difficult than I was raised to believe.  It is obvious to me that some of the people in this administration should have been required to attend church with my grandparents. These ‘leaders’ should have been forced to learn the difference between ‘right and wrong.”   But then again, the POTUS does not attend church.  Hmmmm.