The Administration

Obama's politicking over Trayvon's death

"If Trayvon Martin was of age and was armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk?" "If the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, then it seems to me that we should examine those laws." So said President Obama on Friday in an unusual appearance at the White House press briefing room podium.

The answer is yes. If Trayvon Martin was legally armed, and if (and this part is pivotal) he had been attacked physically, he could have stood his ground, according to Florida law, regardless of his race. However, the president would have us all believe otherwise.

He artfully ignored the fact that the "stand your ground" defense was not utilized in the George Zimmerman defense. He not-so-artfully ignored the fact that like him, Zimmerman was mixed race. To suggest that a jury of six women also ignored those points is an insult to thinking Americans.

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William Wilkins: The G. Gordon Liddy of the IRS scandal?

If the IRS Tea Party scandal is at all reminiscent of the Watergate debacle that brought down a president in 1974, we may have just discovered the latter-day G. Gordon Liddy, the man who oversaw the chain of events that led to Nixon’s resignation.

Who would that be? Well, a good guess would be William Wilkins, chief counsel to the Internal Revenue Service. More and more evidence is sucking his office into the maelstrom of the IRS/Tea Party scandal.

Let’s take a look at him.

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World gone mad

You can either laugh or you can cry. But in case you have any doubts, this past week provided proof that the world has indeed gone mad.

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Marc Rich's death brings up a name Eric Holder can't want back in the news

Eric Holder Jr., then deputy and later acting attorney general in the second Clinton administration, was so stained by the pardon that his boss, Bill Clinton, issued to billionaire fugitive from American justice Marc Rich on Jan. 20, 2001 — the day Clinton handed over the White House to George W. Bush — that Holder told friends and reporters his public career was over.

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It's all a question of emphasis

There is an old joke about a retailer named Fink, who had a sign in his store window that read: "My name is Fink, and what do you think? I sell clothes for nothing." A customer picked up a suit and started to walk out when Fink stopped him and said he owed him $40 for the clothes. “But your sign said you sold things for nothing," the hapless customer replied. Fink said, "My sign asked, ‘What do you think? I sell clothes for nothing?’ It was all a question of emphasis.”

I think of this old joke as I ponder what happened at the IRS when someone decided to question whether groups seeking charitable status were truly charitable or in fact were political. There would be nothing wrong with IRS officials noting the use of 501(c)(4) status to advance political versus charitable purposes by some organizations and instructing employees to watch for this and assure that is not done. That would be their job.

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What's holding Obama up?

Why does Obama boast an average approval rating of 48 percent when he scores terribly on each issue he is now handling? Here’s the rundown in the latest Bloomberg News poll:

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Scandals combine to form perfect storm

When it rains, it pours.

The combined weight of the three growing Obama administration scandals is weighing down the White House and overwhelming its ability to control the story or advance its agenda.

In hospital triage, this is the equivalent of not having enough bed space.

Each scandal, if it occurred by itself, could potentially be dealt with. But their combination is forming a narrative that the White House is not being honest amid a culture of “scandal.”

The three controversies, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the Benghazi, Libya, terrorist attack and the Justice Department's targeting of AP reporters, are unique. They will ebb and flow on their own terms and in their own way, as news develops.

But each poses a serious political threat to the administration.

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Issa and IRS: What Issa knew and when he knew it

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) was one of the first officials in Washington to know of the existence and substance of the inspector general's report on the Internal Revenue Service. 

For some time Issa maintained his silence about it, stating that it was important to have a nonpartisan and objective investigation before leveling criticism. Should Issa be subpoenaed and put under oath? 

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The Republicans’ obsession

I’m tired.

Under Bill Clinton we had to endure the Republicans’ obsession with so-called "scandal" Whitewater, the death of Vince Foster, the travel office, and finally Monica Lewinsky and impeachment.

It was all so exhausting and so useless and so far from doing the people’s business.

Nevertheless, Bill Clinton had one of the most successful presidencies in modern times.

Ever since Barack Obama was elected, various elements of the Republican Party have engaged in nothing but petty character assassination, false accusations and partisan political attacks designed to undermine his presidency.

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