Inside the IRS, part 5

Featured image William Henck has worked inside the IRS Office of the Chief Counsel as an attorney for over 26 years. We posted his personal account, including his testimony to a retaliatory audit conducted by the IRS against him, this past February in “Inside the IRS.” We followed up with subsequent posts including part 2, part 3, and part 4. Yesterday we learned that the IRS disseminated the following announcement by email: »

IRS experts say Lois Lerner’s hard drive was just scratched

Featured imageThe IRS’s claim that Lois Lerner’s hard drive was irreparably damaged always seemed laughable to attorneys who (like John and me) have been involved in disputes over electronic discovery, as well as to IT professionals and their trade association. Now we learn, via Byron York, that IRS’s own IT professionals dispute this claim: Top IRS officials told congressional investigators that Lois Lerner’s hard drive — the one containing emails that »

The steep price of Israel’s Gaza pullout

Featured imageAs always, once the serious fighting starts, Israel is receiving most of the blame for the current battle in Gaza. And in an important sense, Israel actually is to blame. Had it not pulled out of Gaza, it would not now be fighting this war. This war, like the several before it, is the entirely predictable consequence of Israel’s inability to police Gaza. As a result of the pullout, Hamas »

The terrible cost of thwarting Hamas

Featured imageTimes of Israel editor David Horovitz has just posted his column today on the state of the war with Hamas to this point. Here is one point you may not see advertised in our own media: The real battle is taking place in those Gaza border neighborhoods — Shejaiya, Beit Lahiya, Beit Hanoun and others — where thousands of Israeli solders are searching, house to house, for the tunnel entrances. »

Marie Harf explains

Featured imageState Department spokesman Marie Harf makes me barf. Harf is the deputy to State Department spokesman Jen Psaki; Psaki makes me barf too, even though her name lacks the clue of the perfect rhyme. Together the two of them give the catastrophic foreign policy of the Obama administration a lighter than air, Valley Girl kind of twist. With them we can smile through the apocalypse. In the video below, Harf »

Friends of Hamas

Featured imageHamas has proved itself to be unusually isolated in its current war on Israel. The powers-that-be in Egypt, for example, have not lifted a finger to come to the assistance of Hamas. This all by itself proves the superiority of the Sissi regime to that of Morsi, but if one has a clue about the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which both Morsi and Hamas emerged, this not exactly »

Drafting error vs. poor draftsmanship

Featured imageObamacare by its express and unambiguous terms limits Obamacare subsidies to people using health care exchanges “established by the State.” Thus, subsidies to people in the federal exchange are not permitted, as these exchanges obviously are not established by the State. However couched, the argument that subsidies should nonetheless accrue to people in the federal exchange boils down to the notion that the limiting language of the statute is the »

What’s next after Obamacare’s defeat in Halbig v. Burwell? [updated]

Featured imageAs Steve has noted, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District Columbia today invalidated the IRS regulation that provides for insurance subsidies to millions of lower-income Americans using the federal Obamacare exchanges. The ruling means that in 36 states, Obamacare subsidies will not be available, making its insurance coverage unaffordable to many Americans and potentially crashing the system. The Court’s ruling, by a vote of 2-1, is clearly correct. »

Breaking: Obamacare Takes Torpedo Below the Water Line

Featured imageWish I had time to get through the just issued DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruling striking down the IRS twisting of the Obamacare statute’s clear language on state-based exchanges (I’m at the Reagan Library all this week doing a Gipper 101 course for high school teachers—see photo nearby of Sunday night’s opening talk—and I have to be off momentarily for this morning’s classes), but this looks to be HUGE, »

Hamas presents

Featured imageThe invaluable MEMRI supplies the subtitles for the video of Hamas at work underground; the video was recently broadcast on Al-Jazeera TV in Qatar and Al-Quds TV in Lebanon. In the footage, as Stuart Winer notes in the Times of Israel story on the video, heavily armed masked men in camouflage can be seen making their way through the narrow tunnels. The video’s narrator claims that they are on their »

Should We Feel Sorry for Obama?

Featured imageWhenever a Democratic president gets into trouble, the predictable chorus starts up: The job of President of the United States is just too difficult for anyone to master. Today’s winner is Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, who phones in the following: It’s Virtually Impossible to Be a Successful Modern President Being president is the most powerful job in the world. At which you will almost certainly fail. . . »

Is Hillary Clinton washed up?

Featured imageRobert Merry is a veteran Washington journalist. John and I had lunch with him once when he was in charge of Congressional Quarterly. It was a pleasant encounter, though he seemed disappointed and perhaps a little bit put off by our support for the war in Iraq. Merry is also a historian and a scholar of the presidency. He wrote a rather good biography of James Polk and a flawed »

HBO, Beyond the Pale

Featured imageHBO has done some good things, like Rome and Game of Thrones. But this is one of the most appalling things I have seen in a long time. There is an HBO program called “True Blood” that apparently is about vampires–way to be cutting edge, right? In its most recent episode, it featured a Ted Cruz fundraiser at the George W. Bush presidential library. In the clip below, you can »

Dueling Appellate Court Opinions on Obamacare: Where Do We Go From Here?

Featured imageThis morning, as Steve noted earlier, a panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals held, in Halbig v. Burwell, that the Affordable Care Act does not permit the federal government to subsidize persons who enroll in exchanges run by the federal government, as opposed to a state. Just two hours later, a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the other way on exactly the same issue »

Suing the President

Featured imageLiberals are in typical scoffing and mocking mode about the House pursuing a lawsuit against President Obama for failure to execute the laws faithfully, another example of the situational ethics of liberalism as well as their contempt for the separation of powers and the Constitution itself.  Liberals never thought it odd when members of Congress attempted to sue both Presidents Bush (unsuccessfully) for violating the War Powers Act, or President »

The Nutroots Are Worried, And We Have the Answer

Featured imageThe Washington Post noticed a couple days ago that a lot of liberals are growing increasingly uncomfortable with the prospect of Hillary as their candidate.  (And don’t miss this poll that Politico says will make Democrats panic about Hillary’s prospects.)  Anyway, the Post: Even as Hillary Rodham Clinton looms as the overwhelming favorite for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, the party’s base is stirring for a primary fight. There’s a »

Israel seems ready to tune John Kerry out

Featured imageIn his recent “hot mic” moment, John Kerry responded to news of civilian deaths in Gaza with these words: It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation. Hell of a pinpoint operation. We’ve got to get over there. I think we ought to go tonight. The truth is that Kerry’s desire to “get over” to the Middle East has nothing to do with any lack of precision in Israel’s military operations. »