Saturday morning round-up and Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesNo long intros. Just the good stuff.

You’ve all heard already that the IRS is going Nixon one better and, rather than claiming just an 18 minute gap, is telling Congress that two-years’ worth of Lois Lerner’s emails were wiped out when a hard-drive crashed. This is impossible to believe.

I’ve done discovery work for large corporations and know that they back up everything once a day. A deeply anonymous DOJ attorney attests that this is true for government too, and s/he wrote to Power Line to say so:

[T]he idea that a “hard drive crash” somehow destroyed all of Ms. Lerner’s intra-government email correspondence during the period in question [2009-2011] is laughable. Government email servers are backed up every night. So if she actually had a hard drive fail, her emails would be recoverable from the backup. If the backup was somehow also compromised, then we are talking about a conspiracy.


The worst part of the attorney’s email is the post script: “I’m serious about your keeping any identifying information out of the media. Things are very, very bad.” (Emphasis mine.)

That’s not the post script we associate with a Justice Department worker. That’s the type of post script we associate with someone working in a tyranny.

Incidentally, there’s a nice legal word for what the IRS appears to have done with Lerner’s emails: “Spoliation.” It means to destroy documents deliberately after becoming aware that those documents can become the subject a judicial matter, either civil or criminal. In California, the punishment for spoliation is harsh, since it’s a fraud on the courts. Usually, of course, it’s a lot harder to prove than with the IRS’s Nixon redux.


Two articles came across my consciousness yesterday, and both speak to exactly the same point, which is that the Left views religion, not as a spiritual matter tied to God, but solely as a competing power for control over people.

The first article I saw was the announcement that the government of Denmark has mandated that Danish churches must perform gay marriage ceremonies. I instantly had three separate thoughts:  (1) That’s why the Founders separated church and state. (2) American Leftists want the state separated from the church, but they don’t want the church separated from the state. (3) The article I read, which quotes many Danish sources, doesn’t mention a single word about God, the Bible, religious doctrine, or faith. The Danish church, in other words, is precisely the same as the Russian Orthodox church under the Soviets: It is an instrument of the state, not of God.

These thoughts were still swirling through my brain when I read an article about Bowdoin’s crackdown on religious groups, a practice that the New York Times revealed. Bowdoin has mandated that all religious groups must open leadership positions to people who don’t believe in the religion. One might ask “Why would someone want to head a religious group if he doesn’t believe in the faith?” The obvious and only answer to destroy the faith. But Bowdoin doesn’t see it this way. It claims that this is all in the interests of anti-discrimination, diversity, and inclusiveness.

Michael Toscano, who wrote the article, had the perfect analysis of Bowdoin’s view, one that applies to Denmark as well:

Bowdoin’s reply to the Times reveals a fundamental problem with the way it understands religion. Bowdoin complained, “Every other volunteer connected with a student organization signed the agreement.” The clear implication was that because the Muslim and Catholic volunteers signed it, Evangelical Christians should be able to do so also. Bowdoin really believes that religions and religious doctrines are entirely fungible. In this view, religions have no unique internal integrity, traditions, and doctrines that make specific and different demands on their adherents. They are all just collections of subjective and arbitrary “beliefs” that can be reordered at whim by students, volunteers, and Bowdoin itself. This view is most apparent in the statement’s assertion that the problem with the Gregorys was that they sought to make “choices” and “decisions” about Christian sexuality on behalf of the students. According to Bowdoin, “These decisions are up to the students themselves.”

Bowdoin simply does not understand religion, and that’s why its non-discriminatory policy is really no surprise. The college cannot understand that what it calls “choices” and “decisions” are for the Gregorys [who head the organization under attack], the BCF [Bowdoin Christian Fellowship], and the other religious men and women at Bowdoin College, matters of faith, truth, and even love.

That quotation could apply equally well to the mandate in Denmark.

And as I hinted above, please don’t think that in Obama’s America the First Amendment will be the strong wall that will protect religions from the mandate that they perform same-sex weddings. As the above-quoted Department of Justice attorney said, in Obama’s D.C. fiefdom, “things are very, very bad.”

The government’s position, backed by arms and the IRS, will be that the civil right to a same-sex marriage trumps the First Amendment. Moreover, no respect will be accorded the legally and constitutionally accurate defense that, per those judges who are falling like dominoes, the state is free to authorize civil same-sex marriages, but it cannot force religious institutions to do so. We already know from the administration’s efforts to force religious organizations to fund abortions that this argument is given, not just short shrift, but no shrift at all.


Matthew Continetti reminds us that America’s national security policy is only as good and strong as the president wants it to be. To the extent that Obama’s team is composed for political hacks and yes-men under Valerie Jarrett’s thumb, nothing is going to change in Obama’s security policies.


The Gitmo 5 aren’t the first super bad guys under the Obama administration who got a kiss and farewell from those in charge. In 2009, we had in our hands the Islamist who is now leading the ISIS’s bloody campaign through Iraq . . . and the powers-that-be ordered that he be let go. (Or maybe Valerie Jarrett ordered it. I get confused sometimes.)


Apparently one Columbine survivor didn’t like being the fish in a barrel on the receiving end of a fish shoot.  He thinks that the answer is letting the fish shoot back. He therefore has written an open letter to the president opposing the administration’s attempts to legislate the Second Amendment out of existence.


There are lots of articles lately about Hillary’s tin ear and off-putting self-righteousness and dishonesty. I mean, who doesn’t get a laugh out of her claim that she and Bill were headed for the poor house when they left the White House and, just by sheer luck, somehow found themselves in a 5-bedroom mansion in one of New York’s priciest suburbs (as well as, I believe, a condo in New York). For this reason, we conservatives all think that Hillary’s personal horribleness will kill her campaign.

Myra Adams, however, has a well-placed Democrat Hollywood friend who argues otherwise:

Hillary is NOT a celebrity but an American fixture and part of the national landscape, my friend argued. Therefore, people will not “get sick of her” and she is not “going away.”  Having been on the scene since 1992 she is not just a political figure but a cultural force and a hero to women. Hillary is like a blue-chip stock, she will always endure through ups and downs. She has managed to stay relevant and become the most prominent woman in the nation. Throughout the years Hillary has matured and gathered more experience.  Thus, I am “totally off base” with my premise that she could even have an expiration date and I am exhibiting Republican wishful thinking.

I think he’s right.  Paying attention to my DemProg friends’ Facebook posts, it’s clear that they’re already all in for Hillary because she’s, well, Hillary.  Just as Obama was “The One,” she’s “The Hillary,” and that’s good enough for them.

That doesn’t mean Hillary will win, but it does mean that lots of DemProgs will never desert her, no matter how tin-eared a candidate she is, no matter her corruption, no matter anything.  She’s The Hillary, and her time is now.


Here’s a letter that’s a hoax, but I’m including it as the graphic portion of my round-up because it perfectly illustrates the mentality I’ve seen in teachers in our public school district.  I’ve never forgotten the day when a teacher marked my daughter’s spelling test down in much the same way.  (I blogged about the whole experience here.  Please note the update to that post.)

This is a HOAX, but it resonates, because I had a real experience that was similar.
This is a HOAX, but it resonates, because I had a real experience that was similar.