On the Professor’s Island

Reader J sends along Glenn Reynolds’ USA Today column:

At a tax symposium at Pepperdine Law School last week, former IRS chief counsel Donald Korb was asked, “On a scale of 1-10 … how damaging is the current IRS scandal?”

His answer: 9.5. Other tax experts on the panel called it “awful,” and said that it has done “tremendous damage.”

I think that’s right. And I think that the damage extends well beyond the Internal Revenue Service. In fact, I think that the government agency suffering the most damage isn’t the IRS, but the National Security Agency. Because the NSA, even more than the IRS, depends on public trust. And now that the IRS has been revealed to be a political weapon, it’s much harder for people to have faith in the NSA.

Glenn lives in a world where the IRS scandal is “current”, and the arbiter of the importance of the scandal is George W Bush’s chief IRS counsel. If you live there, too, then you’ll buy this:

Spend a little while on Twitter or in Internet comment sections and you’ll see a significant number of people who think that the NSA may have been relaying intelligence about the Mitt Romney campaign to Obama operatives, or that Chief Justice John Roberts’ sudden about-face in the Obamacare case might have been driven by some sort of NSA-facilitated blackmail.

A year ago, these kinds of comments would have been dismissable as paranoid conspiracy theory. But now, while I still don’t think they’re true, they’re no longer obviously crazy. And that’s Obama’s legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

On this theory, Obama is responsible for every person who’s been hospitalized in a psychiatric unit since January 20, 2009. This would be nutpicking if it weren’t published in USA Today.






117 replies
  1. 1
    amk says:

    That Obama feller is frickin’ awesome. So many heads explode. In so little time.

  2. 2
    Belafon says:

    @amk: Yep. I just wish he’d do a speech on how bad drinking bleach is.

  3. 3
    cmorenc says:

    Why does the fact that the IRS was also sifting for progressive groups whose claim for special tax status might also potentially be vulnerable to question, not penetrate such discussion of the IRS matter as there is? That no link to anyone higher than the Cincinnati office has been shown? The IRS division in question was sifting for all organizations with names suggesting they were more directly involved with political activity than allowed under the tax exemption status claimed, and not conservative groups per se.

  4. 4
    JGabriel says:

    Glenn Reynolds:

    And that’s Obama’s Nixon’s legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

    Fixed that typo for ya, Glennie!

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    Remember when Instapundit was a big deal? People finally realized that Reynolds was only weakly coupled to reality. It’s still true.

  6. 6

    And that’s Obama’s legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

    Blaming the victim at its finest.

  7. 7
    GRANDPA john says:

    the only people who they could possibly sound sane to are the paranoid nuts who postulate the paranoid conspiracy theories.

  8. 8
    The Other Chuck says:

    The NSA relies on public trust? An agency whose initials until recently for most people stood for “No Such Agency”?

    Did this mensa candidate even bother explaining why? Oh of course not. Reasons are for little people.

  9. 9
    catclub says:

    I think it is progress towards sanity that he did not say ( On a scale of 1-10) Eleventy!!1!!

  10. 10
    Belafon says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: And the only reason I can think that he makes conspiracy theories real – apart from being black – is that Obama is pretty scandal free. They just can’t believe that he’s that clean. Oh, and he’s black.

  11. 11
    legion says:

    I think a more damning problem is that you will not find a single Republican – especially not Reynolds – who would have the slightest problem if it turned out that the NSA was giving inside info to a Republican President on his Democratic challenger. Not a fucking one.

  12. 12

    @GRANDPA john:
    Unfortunately, at this point that’s the entire Republican Party. So much crazy since Obama was elected. Back during Clinton’s election, these kinds of accusations were fringe.

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Well, once a black man gets elected President, Anything is possible.

  14. 14

    Wasn’t John Cole a big fan of Instapundit back when he was a wingnut himself?

  15. 15
    Schlemizel says:

    Example number 63,941,580,221 of how the Internet is destroying the country. These comments Instaputz talks about are all on a segment of the net, with some small spill over from people who spend too much time there out on to non nut ball sites.

    Living in a cocoon like that allows one to ignore reality and substitute fantasy for it. This leads them to many bad decisions that they believe MUST be supported at all costs because the outcome of their not being supported 100%, no compromise, not backing down is the destruction of what they believe America to be.

    I don’t see how we ever get to peek wingnut or ever back off the insanity. Too many people have too much money & power riding on the continuation and it has to remain turned up to 11 all the time.

  16. 16
    Schlemizel says:

    Example number 63,941,580,221 of how the Internet is destroying the country. These comments Instaputz talks about are all on a segment of the net, with some small spill over from people who spend too much time there out on to non nut ball sites.

    Living in a cocoon like that allows one to ignore reality and substitute fantasy for it. This leads them to many bad decisions that they believe MUST be supported at all costs because the outcome of their not being supported 100%, no compromise, not backing down is the destruction of what they believe America to be.

    I don’t see how we ever get to peek wingnut or ever back off the insanity. Too many people have too much money & power riding on the continuation and it has to remain turned up to 11 all the time.

  17. 17
    Mike in NC says:

    @The Other Chuck: The problem with his ‘analysis’ is that about 80% of the unwashed masses either don’t know the NSA even exists, much less its function, or they just don’t care.

  18. 18
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    Gotta admit, the Republican plan is elegant and effective: kill public education, produce generations of barely literate, ahistorical ignorami, and then implement the feudal agenda by spouting this bullshit.

  19. 19
    dmsilev says:

    I’m just impressed that the answer to “on a scale from one to ten, how bad wass it?” wasn’t “Benghazi”.

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    I’d disagree. The whole cocaine dealing, enemy killing, woman raping, swindler, image they pushed onto Clinton had legs, there are still many normal people running around that believe at least some part of it must have some truth to it. They were very successful in infiltrating this bullshit into the main stream.

    Obama’s skin tone allowed them new avenues of attack and easy access to the lizard brains of some segment of the population not as susceptible the the Clinton hate.

  21. 21
    MomSense says:

    @Belafon:

    Or the health benefits of ingesting yellow snow.

  22. 22
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    now, while I still don’t think they’re true, they’re no longer obviously crazy.

    Glennuendo at its best. The Perfesser been rebroadcasting wingnut crazy while distancing himself from its content for over a decade now. Perhaps we should ask why he spends so much time on eliminationist / black helicopter / crazypeople websites?

  23. 23
    VOR says:

    Their new excuse for Romney’s loss is that the NSA was feeding the Obama campaign information? Seriously? What color is the sky in their world?

  24. 24
    RaflW says:

    I’m glad that Glenn Reynolds has now outed himself as obviously crazy.

    For f*ks sake, John Roberts is still a right-wing wet dream, he just also happened to find a narrow way through ACA that was admissible.

    The NSA-blackmail idea is utterly absurd, and so is Glenn.

  25. 25
    amk says:

    Invoking mandatory godwin.

    goebbels was avbit too soon ahead of time.

  26. 26

    Way back in 2002 from the BJ archives: Bolding is mine;

    Glenn Reynolds, The Instapundit, has a new article on techcentralstation about blogging. I try not to link everything I find on his site, for two reasons. The first is that I think everyone should check his page once a day on their own, and the second reason is that if everyone IS checking his page, there is no need to post it here. However, as Glenn is the primary inspiration for this site, I will continue to put up stuff that I view there and find particularly compelling, if for no other reason than profound respect.

    Things surely have changed around here in the last 10 years!

  27. 27
    GregB says:

    Have they ever produced one ounce of harm against the alleged victims of the rogue IRS?

    One frigging ounce of harm?

  28. 28
    Commenting at Balloon Juice since 1937 says:

    Its the ultimate conspiracy theory, just blame the NSA for all your own failings.

  29. 29
    RaflW says:

    @Belafon: Yeah, I think this is a good part of it. The whole Benghazi thing is a fervid hope that there will finally, finally! be an Obama scandal. I mean, every Preznit has one, amirite?

    Or so the punditry dearly hopes. They gotta sell eyeballs & clicks.

  30. 30
    Schlemizel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I wish we could bottle whatever it was that affected JC, put it in an aerosol and spray the nation with it. It would cause me to smile to think of all those wingnut grifters slowly starving to death

  31. 31
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Belafon: Extremely scandal free (at least so far). Unfortunately, looks like he’s pretty much a lame duck for the next couple of years, unless a miracle happens and we get a Democratic House in the mid-term elections. (Or Boehner comes to his senses on a few issues like immigration reform).

  32. 32
    RaflW says:

    @GregB: Well where’s the truthiness in that?

  33. 33
    cleek says:

    people trusted the govt before Obama?

    Reynolds is such a fucking hack

  34. 34
    Seanly says:

    What kind of paint are they huffing at that symposium? Hasn’t the IRS scandal over & done with 8 months ago?

    And since when did the NSA rely on the trust of Americans? Isn’t the primary tool of destroying the trust of Americans?

    I remember arguing with my father-in-law about IRS & Benghazi last time we saw him (April?). He claims to be an independent but watches nothing but Fox News. He couldn’t articulate what happened in either event that was so terrible. My wife who hates arguing with him got so fed up with his confused logic that she got into the conversation also.

  35. 35
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I’m proud of JC for changing so dramatically. Never knew of him or Balloon Juice back in his wingnuttery days. Ditto Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs for giving up on the dark side.

  36. 36
    RaflW says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The ability of the mind to make progress, to adapt, to take in new information and come to new conclusions is clearly better for some folks than others.

    Pity the feeble-minded cons who just can’t handle change.

    .

    And mock them. That’s good too.

  37. 37
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: I bow to your superior understanding of the type.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    MomSense says:

    Extremely scandal free

    There is an actual scandal and that is the Republicans clinging to failed economic ideology and policies and trying to punish the president by intentionally starving the economy and hurting the ordinary people who their failed economic policies have harmed.

    If we had a functioning press, they wouldn’t get away with this.

  40. 40
    Violet says:

    I honestly didn’t know what IRS scandal this story was referring to. Couldn’t even remember an IRS scandal.

  41. 41
    Eric U. says:

    I think one of the things I hated most about the failed Bush presidency is that it made me believe in conspiracy theories. I’m back to scoffing at them. Sure, there are some bad apples in government, but Bush put most of them there.

  42. 42
    Citizen_X says:

    Spend a little while on Twitter or in Internet comment sections and you’ll see a significant number of

    …COMPLETE FUCKING NUTBARS!

    Seriously, that’s your “evidence?” Loons in comment sections believe crap? Fuck off, Reynolds.

  43. 43
    Poopyman says:

    Well of course! Everyone knows about how the tens of thousands of Republican operatives patriots working at NSA were let go back in January of 2009 and replaced with tens of thousands of Democrat (sic) operatives. Seamlessly.

  44. 44
    Alexandra says:

    Ezra Klein leaves, but Volokh Conspiracy over to The Washington Post.

    Somehow, I think this might be also on-topic.

  45. 45
    Poopyman says:

    @Citizen_X: Hmmm. I believe you’ve found the root of the problem here.

  46. 46
    kc says:

    When is that leech Reynolds going to go Galt?

  47. 47
    Sasha says:

    A year ago, these kinds of comments would have been dismissable as paranoid conspiracy theory. But now, while I still don’t think they’re true, they’re no longer obviously crazy. And that’s Obama’s legacy: a government that makes paranoid conspiracy theories seem possibly sane.

    Curiously, I had the same thought regarding Bush and torture. (The trivial difference of course being that, unlike Obama, W. actually *did* all that stuff and actually created and abused the snooping apparatus that Obama inherited.)

  48. 48
    David Hunt says:

    @VOR:

    Seriously? What color is the sky in their world?

    It’s red, of course. Only in a liberally biased world, would the sky be blue…

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    Glenn lives in a world where the IRS scandal is “current”

    Yeah, my first reaction was… what? There’s been another IRS “scandal?” Oh, no, they’re still hung up on that thing.

    Of course, they’re still not over Jimmy Carter, so I suppose this isn’t surprising.

  50. 50
    PaulW says:

    If Obama really was using NSA-related blackmail, why hasn’t he used it to shut down FOX Not-News altogether? Or get the likes of Rush Limbaugh arrested again on drug charges? At some point a blackmailer is gonna run into someone who says “go ahead, you’ll just be exposing yourself as the criminal here”, you’d think a principled conservative opponent to Obama would take the exposure just to demonstrate that Obama is a blackmailer…

  51. 51
    PaulW says:

    @Chris:

    Of course, they’re still not over Jimmy Carter, so I suppose this isn’t surprising.

    They’re still not over Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, for God’s sake.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Chris: Not over Carter? They’re still upset about Wilson and the League of Nations.

  53. 53
    Emma says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: What is the point? Haven’t you ever changed your mind about ANYTHING? Have you never reconsidered anything? Part of becoming a functional adult is to revisit former decisions and see if you were right or not. Cole has done that, which is the honorable thing. Making snide comments is… not.

  54. 54
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @dmsilev: Little known fact; the literal translation of BENGHAZI! in Arabic is “Hey! Look over there!”

  55. 55
    Chris says:

    @Seanly:

    He couldn’t articulate what happened in either event that was so terrible.

    That’s the thing; they’re so absolutely certain that Obama’s up to no good that as soon as anything, anything comes up that they think might maybe help them make their case, they jump on it and then go straight to the “See! SEE! I TOLD you he was a criminal corrupt murderous traitor Chicago union thug!” while skipping right over the “what actually happened” part.

  56. 56
    Renie says:

    When I read IRS Scandal, I thought I missed something in the news this week. I couldn’t believe they were talking about that non-scandal from months ago.

  57. 57
    Anoniminous says:

    @Chris:

    Not over Carter? They are not over the Civil War.

  58. 58
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not over Wilson? They’re not over Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation.

  59. 59
    Poopyman says:

    @Anoniminous: That too.

  60. 60
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Not over Wilson? They are still pissed off about Lincoln and that whole war between the states thing.

  61. 61
    Chris says:

    @Sasha:

    Yeah, Glenn’s behind the curve on all of that – the events of the sixties and seventies (Tonkin Gulf, the sabotage of the peace talks, Watergate, COINTELPRO) are what made conspiracy theories plausible. Even George Bush didn’t bring much to the table that was new – although he was certainly more brazen and open about it than any of his predecessors.

  62. 62
    David Hunt says:

    If Obama had used the NSA to blackmail John Roberts into upholding the Affordable Care Act, he wouldn’t have made the Medicaid expansion optional. It’s clear to me that Roberts cut out the absolute maximum out the ACA that he could get away with without the ruling being an even more obvious partisan hack-job. I think that he knows that Bush v Gore is going to be discussed in future law school classes right next to Dredd Scott, and he didn’t want his name attached to a case that they’d add to list of Worst Supreme Court Rulings Ever.

  63. 63
    Cacti says:

    Pepperdine is the Law School that made Ken Starr its dean.

    That should tell you all you need to know about what sort of crowd its symposiums attract.

  64. 64
    jheartney says:

    The main thing to know about Reynolds is he thought the Iraq invasion was a fine idea. No, scratch that; he thought it was such a great idea that anyone opposing it was a goddamn traitor.

    Glenn Reynolds, IRS dead-ender.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    I was using a Democrat. If we really want to go back, a lot of them haven’t really recovered from the US ditching the Articles of Confederation.

  66. 66
    White Trash Liberal says:

    The IRS was such a trusted federal department before The Dark President took over.

    The damage done to the credibility of the federal government in the wake of losing the IRS is just too much to handle… What next? The EPA? ATF?

    Fuck Glenn for trying to put old rightwing airplane glue in fresh ziploc bags and telling us to huff. Not all of us have brains mangled by decades of rightwing freebase.

    Some of us are liberal.

  67. 67
    SFAW says:

    @Belafon:

    I just wish he’d do a speech on how bad drinking bleach is.

    In light of the cold temps in the East (take that, Libtards! Global freezing!!1! And Al Gore is still fat!), a better choice might be antifreeze. “And don’t be fooled by the sweet smell/taste.”

    @NorthLeft12:

    That was awesome.

  68. 68
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Maybe, but the “Constitution in Exile” concept/movement, so loved by the wingnuts and other assorted insane persons, really does drive a lot of their actions.

    That commie FDR, will his malevolence never end?

  69. 69
    White Trash Liberal says:

    @SFAW: @SFAW:

    Antifreeze is just Mountain Dew. That’s the secret the NSA doesn’t want you to find out!

  70. 70
    Poopyman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was using wingnuts, who switched parties between the CW and Wilson’s time, of course.

  71. 71
    Citizen_X says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Articles of Confederation? They still haven’t gotten over the Enlightenment.

    I wish to hell I was joking.

  72. 72

    @Emma: I was not criticizing Cole at all, I was just pointing to the delicious irony of it all and also wondering what he ever saw in Instapundit.

    ETA: I have always thought that the Republican party was odious, but even I am surprised at far they have fallen.

  73. 73
    SFAW says:

    @Citizen_X:

    What is this, the Four Yorkshireman, translated into political speak?

  74. 74
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yeah. There are how many divisions and working groups within the NSA. One of them must have gotten to Romney and Roberts. I think we should hold Congressional hearings until they find something there. Put all of the documents out there. Name all the names.

    The whole “Obama uses the government as a political weapon” idea is strange. Of course, I don’t want him to use the government as a weapon against his enemies, who I happen not to like. That wouldn’t be fair. And I wish he was better at it. I’d definitely berate him after the fact for that. Definitely after the fact.

  75. 75
    Paul in KY says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I know he’s embarassed about it…

  76. 76
    Cervantes says:

    @JC on GR via schrodinger’s cat:

    if for no other reason than profound respect.

    [giggle]

  77. 77
    Chris says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Alright, jokers. I see your enlightenment and raise you a “they still haven’t gotten over the Nazarene Jew hippie ruining their religious fun by telling them to love their neighbors and that the poor were blessed.”

    Wish I was joking too.

  78. 78

    @Paul in KY: I started hanging out on this blog after Obama’s election in 2009 or so. So imagine my surprise when I went through the archives one day. I felt like Alice in Wonderland.

  79. 79
    kindness says:

    Pepperdine. Look no further. A nice well funded PRIVATE university safely tucked into the hills of beautiful Malibu. From there they don’t see poverty so it doesn’t exist. That Gaultian view in and of itself is abominable enough but what I really don’t like about Pepperdine is it’s Christian orthodoxy stance even though it isn’t a Christian college.

  80. 80
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Emma:

    @schrodinger’s cat: What is the point? Haven’t you ever changed your mind about ANYTHING? Have you never reconsidered anything? Part of becoming a functional adult is to revisit former decisions and see if you were right or not. Cole has done that, which is the honorable thing. Making snide comments is… not.

    @Emma:

    schrodinger’s cat didn’t ask for my defense, but I must say I didn’t read her comment as in any way snide. Sounds to me as though she, like you, admires the fact that Cole “revisit[ed] former decisions” and changed his mind, very publicly. Indeed, it is the honorable thing, you are right about that. If I’m misinterpreting what schrodinger’s cat wrote and quoted, I hope she’ll let me know. (Also, I don’t know for a fact that s.c. is female; big apologies if I got that wrong.)

  81. 81
    Joel says:

    I like how the column title is “Government conspiracy theories aren’t crazy’.

  82. 82

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    If I’m misinterpreting what schrodinger’s cat wrote and quoted, I hope she’ll let me know. (Also, I don’t know for a fact that s.c. is female; big apologies if I got that wrong.)

    You didn’t and I am a girl kitteh! Thanks for jumping in and defending me.

    ETA: See comment 72.

  83. 83
    Cervantes says:

    @Citizen_X:

    They still haven’t gotten over the Enlightenment.

    That’s the one.

  84. 84

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    If I’m misinterpreting what schrodinger’s cat wrote and quoted, I hope she’ll let me know. (Also, I don’t know for a fact that s.c. is female; big apologies if I got that wrong.)

    You didn’t and I am a girl kitteh! Thanks for jumping in and defending me.

    ETA: See comment 72.

  85. 85
    Cervantes says:

    @kindness:

    what I really don’t like about Pepperdine is it’s Christian orthodoxy stance even though it isn’t a Christian college.

    It is an explicitly self-identified Christian institution.

  86. 86
    danielx says:

    In fact, I think that the government agency suffering the most damage isn’t the IRS, but the National Security Agency. Because the NSA, even more than the IRS, depends on public trust.

    The NSA depends on public trust? Glenn, Glenn, Glenn…to put it in Tennessee terms, that horse has done left the barn quite a while back. The only thing the NSA depends upon that is remotely related to the public is the public’s tax dollars. If there’s anybody left who believes any of the NSA’s – or any of their fanboys/fangirls’ – yeah, that would be you, Dianne Feinstein – public pronouncements about what the agency is or isn’t doing in regard to domestic surveillance, he or she needs to be checked for a pulse.

    Complete horseshit, but then that’s something with which Instaputz is very familiar.

  87. 87
    VOR says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I think Charles Pierce has it right, the Republican party has contracted a prion disease which is eating away its brain.

  88. 88
    Jay C says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well, to be semi-fair, back in 2002, Glenn Reynolds’ blog may have been (just barely) worth following: the ‘Net was a much smaller place “Back Then”* – and Instahack had gotten a lot of notice and hits in the aftermath of 9/11: unfortunately, after years of hackish cheerleading for war, revenge and cheapjack wingnuttery badly figleafed as “libertarianism”, his relevance has faded. Deservedly.

    * “Back Then”. It’s barely a decade ago: why does this sound like terminal geezerdom?

    “2002”?? Durn you young whippersnappers! Back in them days, the Intertubes were made of gutta-percha! And we had to get up early to pump up the steam in the servers every morning! Which was no fun on them cold days before all this goshdarn climate change!!

  89. 89
    chopper says:

    spend a little while … in Internet comment sections and you’ll see a significant number of people who think that

    god, i mean, come on now.

  90. 90
    SFAW says:

    @danielx:

    The only thing the NSA depends upon

    … is fear. Of whomever.

  91. 91
    SFAW says:

    @Jay C:

    Back in them days, the Intertubes were made of gutta-percha!

    Nicely done.

    Now, get offa my lawn, you whippersnapper.

  92. 92
    burnspbesq says:

    @cmorenc:

    Why does the fact that the IRS was also sifting for progressive groups whose claim for special tax status might also potentially be vulnerable to question, not penetrate such discussion of the IRS matter as there is? That no link to anyone higher than the Cincinnati office has been shown? The IRS division in question was sifting for all organizations with names suggesting they were more directly involved with political activity than allowed under the tax exemption status claimed, and not conservative groups per se.

    Because Darrell Issa got control of the narrative, and nobody in the Administration had the stones to effectively rebut his framing.

    The IRS has been under sustained attack since the mid-1990s (if not before), and the cumulative effect of those attacks is being felt.

    BTW, dpm, fuck off. Don Korb is a very good lawyer, completely non-political, and did an outstanding job as Chief Counsel. Stick to shit you know something about.

  93. 93
    danielx says:

    @Citizen_X:

    Twitter or Internet comment sections, say like this one? You don’t even have to look that far. Peruse the comments section in any major metropolitan newspaper; teh crazy runs deep. You’d be amazed at how many problems – issues with snow removal, strong arm robberies, you name it – are directly related to the presence of That Man In The White House.

  94. 94
    Paul in KY says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I have never done that. Just have seen some excerpts from the bad ole days.

  95. 95
    cleek says:

    now why would Reynolds drudge up this old ‘scandal’ now ?

    Why Indeed

  96. 96
    gnomedad says:

    Raising the bar to “not obviously crazy” is soooo RINO.

  97. 97
    Paul in KY says:

    @Jay C: And by cricky sometimes the tubes would get blocked up from all them thar bits & bytes & your screen might not work for 2 hours…and we liked it!

  98. 98
    burnspbesq says:

    @GregB:

    Have they ever produced one ounce of harm against the alleged victims of the rogue IRS?

    No, but there’s a catch-22 at work here, which relatively few people know about.

    Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code is a very broad privacy rule. Subject to only a handful of narrow exceptions “return information” (which is broadly defined) can’t be disclosed without the consent of the taxpayer. Unauthorized disclosure of return information (including, in some cases, merely accessing return information not needed for an employee to perform his or her duties) is a felony.

    While the wisdom of this rule should be obvious, it also limits the IRS’ ability to respond to bullshit allegations from the likes of Issa.

  99. 99

    Pepperdine Law School. Where Ken Starr went to take his victory laps.

  100. 100
    burnspbesq says:

    @Chris:

    Oh, no, they’re still hung up on that thing

    Yup. Didn’t you hear last week’s howls of outrage from Issa over the fact that the DOJ lawyer overseeing the FBI investigation was an Obama Ccmpaign donor? Oh the horrah! Whitewash!

  101. 101
    Jay C says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The whole “Obama uses the government as a political weapon” idea is strange.

    Not really: It’s just basic modern-Republican doublespeak. A Republican President (say George W. Bush) stacking a Government department with partisan hacks and/or ideologues? Just the normal routine of politics-as-usual. A Democratic President doing the same (even if he doesn’t)?? Shame, Horror and Scandal!!!

    SSDD…

  102. 102
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Oh good! Yes, saw your comment after I posted mine.

  103. 103
    muricafukyea says:

    Glorified reddit poster phones another one in. Looks to be more than 85% cut/paste. Also took awhile to figure out whether he was posting that nonsensical crap in sarcasm or in agreement. Speaks to his track record on such things. One day he may even give wr0ng way Cole a run for his money.

  104. 104
    Mr. Longform says:

    @Chris:

    Alright, jokers. I see your enlightenment and raise you a “they still haven’t gotten over the Nazarene Jew hippie ruining their religious fun by telling them to love their neighbors and that the poor were blessed.”

    Hell, they’re still pissed about having to move on from being homo habilis. The old ways are always best! Only goddamn libtards use fire! That whole big-brain cooperation thing is for sissies.

  105. 105
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Instanpundit’s slogan should be something along the lines of “Stupid that burns eternally.”

  106. 106
    JGabriel says:

    VOR:

    Their new excuse for Romney’s loss is that the NSA was feeding the Obama campaign information? Seriously? What color is the sky in their world?

    Blue, but only because it’s a conspiracy to hold back the Red States.

  107. 107
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @muricafukyea:

    Heh, indeedy.

  108. 108
    JGabriel says:

    Mr. Longform:

    Hell, they’re still pissed about having to move on from being homo habilis.

    “Damn kids! Gonna hurt themselves with all walking upright nonsense! And their goddamn foreheads are too big too!”

  109. 109
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Jay C:

    Back in them days, the Intertubes were made of gutta-percha! And we had to get up early to pump up the steam in the servers every morning! Which was no fun on them cold days before all this goshdarn climate change!!

    OK, I call shenanigans. There is no climate change, at all. After all, it’s January and it’s snowing!

  110. 110
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @David Hunt:

    he didn’t want his name attached to a case that they’d add to list of Worst Supreme Court Rulings Ever.

    Well, I’m afraid that Citizens United indicates that that particular boat is heading for the horizon.

  111. 111
    mfasano says:

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  112. 112
    john f says:

    @Chris: I also pressed a conservative I used to work with about Clinton and Whitewater and never got a coherent answer. He didn’t know what the actual crime was that the Clintons supposedly committed

  113. 113
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    “On the Professor’s Island” ?

    What, did the Skipper, GIlligan, Maryann, Ginger and the Howell’s find a way off, and left him there by himself?

    Not a bad idea, actually.

  114. 114
    Thymezone says:

    The US Post Office has been opening and reading your mail for decades. I know this because the Postmaster sent me a letter in 1963 telling me that they were reading my mail.

    Since that day, I haven’t used any public means of communication transport to convey any information that I don’t want made public.

    It’s a fairly simple solution. I recommend it as being foolproof and reliable.

  115. 115
    SFAW says:

    @john f:

    He didn’t know what the actual crime was that the Clintons supposedly committed

    Not being Republicans, of course.

  116. 116
    sm*t cl*de says:

    No, scratch that; he thought it was such a great idea that anyone opposing it was a goddamn traitor mentally ill.

    Before Reynolds became a staunch defender of conspiracy theorists — they’re just wrong, not crazy (and it’s Obama’s fault they’re wrong for looking so paranoiable) — he promoted Bush Derangement Syndrome. That is, anyone opposed to Bush policies was not wrong, just a crazy conspiracy theorist.

  117. 117
    mclaren says:

    Why is anyone paying attention to Glenn Reynolds?

    He belongs to the same category as John Hinderaker or Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin: an ignorant incompetent deluded crank.

    The fact that Reynolds is a law professor should not distract us from his essential incompetence and craziness. A law degree is not an innoculation against dementia.

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