In case you haven’t seen this video yet, one intrepid Oklahoma resident captured the formation of the tornado which would eventually make its way to Moore and cause untold devastation. It’s shocking footage, and worth a look. I wouldn’t advise you film like this:
Gene Healy of Reason has an interesting article up about how we need more impeachment, not less. He doesn’t call for impeachment for President Obama, but rather goes after liberal critics who think that impeachment is a radical and extreme option that should never be brought up. Here’s their argument:
I’m not convinced that any of President Obama’s recent scandal eruptions constitute an “impeachable moment.” But surely something’s gone wrong with our constitutional culture when opinion leaders treat the very invocation of the “I-word” as akin to screaming obscenities in a church.
“The notion of impeachment is industrial-strength insane,” Michael Tomasky fumes in the Daily Beast. Over at the Atlantic,“communitarian” guru Amitai Etzioni moans “I see no way to protect the president and all of us from the second term curse.”
“First among” the serious issues that confront us, Etzioni insists, is “the threshold for impeachment.” It’s distressingly low, he argues in a piece entitled “Why it should be harder to impeach the president.”
“Harder”? We’ve impeached a total of two presidents in our 224-year constitutional history: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton (Richard Nixon resigned before the full House had a chance to vote on articles of impeachment). Let’s be charitable and call it three. The question that should have occurred to Etzioni is, if we only manage to impeach a president once every 75 years or so, just how easy can it be?
Healy goes on to make a historical case for impeachment as a check against the executive that should be taken seriously, and not used as a political tool. Clinton’s perjury in the 1990s was hardly the type of “high crime” that should have warranted impeachment. Reason argues that the real impeachable offense for Obama is the invasion of Libya itself. The problem is, there wouldn’t be popular support for impeaching the President over that particular issue. Impeachment shouldn’t be a dirty word, but we need a concrete case.
Yesterday, the Cincinnati Tea Party and other Ohio-based liberty groups descended upon the federal building in that city to demand the IRS “cease and desist” when it comes to targeting political groups. Becca Lower has a solid write-up, and I wanted to share with you some video:
It looks like a solid showing, but we need to continue with the rallies and events across the nation. As I’ve previously argued, now is the time for Tea Party groups to capitalize on the national attention.
One of the key players in the IRS scandal involving the targeting of Tea Party groups is going to invoke her Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions in front of Congress. This is doing the embattled IRS no favors as they attempt to explain their politically-charged policy decision. The Washington Post has more:
Lois Lerner, the IRS official who first disclosed the agency’s improper targeting of conservative groups two weeks ago, will invoke her right not to testify Wednesday for fear of self-incrimination, her lawyer has told the House Oversight Committee.
“The committee has been contacted by Ms. Lerner’s lawyer who stated that his client intended to invoke her Fifth Amendment right and refuse to answer questions,” said oversight spokesman Ali Ahmad.
Ahmad said Lerner, the head of the IRS’s tax-exempt organizations division, would still be required to appear before the committee, which means she will have to plead the Fifth in person and on camera.
Lerner will show up, cameras on, and be forced to invoke her Fifth Amendment right over and over again as she’s bombarded by questions. What’s interesting is, multiple other IRS officials have testified in the case, but Lerner’s refusal seems to indicate she knows she engaged in illegal activity. Her testimony is key to unraveling this scandal, so hopefully she has a change of heart, for the good of the country.
The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service apparently regrets planting a question to try to “get ahead” of the Tea Party targeting scandal. The press isn’t too keen on those types of planted questions, unless they’re the ones asking them. FOX News has the report:
The outgoing IRS commissioner expressed regret Tuesday for a decision to use a planted question to go public with the agency’s practice of targeting conservative groups, calling the move “an incredibly bad idea.”
Steven Miller, appearing on the Hill for a second hearing in two weeks on the scandal, acknowledged that the agency was trying to get ahead of a damning investigative report at the time. As was confirmed over the weekend, he admitted the agency had a question planted at a conference two Fridays ago — a senior IRS official, in response to the question, then confessed to a long-running program that singled out conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
“Obviously the entire thing was an incredibly bad idea,” Miller said.
Miller explained that the agency had been trying to brief lawmakers on the Hill, in advance of the release of the inspector general report. But that “did not work out,” he said, so they used the planted question.
You know what was a worse idea than planting a question at a press conference? Targeting Tea Party groups in the first place. The Obama administration’s IRS was trying to pull a fast one on the media and on the American public in the way they handled this scandal, but this time, it didn’t work. Why, exactly, is Miller not the subject of a criminal investigation for his role in this debacle?