May 22, 2013

Unknown Unknowns

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was famously mocked for saying:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know.

He was talking about the "fog of war" at the time but today it is equally applicable to the "Fog of Washington."

Every day we learn something new about each story of corruption. New details have come to light about attempts to smear a fast & Furious whistle blower, new details about Benghazi continue to surface, the scope of the Department of justice interference with journalists continues to expand, and every day there are new details about the IRS abuse of power and another story from the White House.

There are two  plausible explanations for each of these controversies. Corruption or Incompetence. The position of the White House seems to be the incompetence defense. Which convinces me that there is more Unknown Unknown corruption.

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 09:05 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 20, 2013

The Good Old Days

Every so often a bit of text makes its way around the web about the things we did and survived as kids that aren't done or are illegal today. There are bunch of different versions but they all follow the same basic format. And for the most part they cover my childhood pretty well. No bike helmets, various daredevil stunts, drinking water from the hose and riding in the back of a pick-up.

Many of those things are experiences my children will never have. They are no longer legally available.

When you combine all of the little freedoms that have been regulated away in the name of keeping us safe from ourselves with all of the big assaults on liberty like: the Patriot Act; the bank bailouts; the federal takeover of healthcare; the use of the IRS as a political enforcement machine; telling manufacturers where they can and cannot manufacture their products; and Department of Justice seeking to silence news reporting, the general trend does not look good.

Hope and optimism are not automatic - unless the hope you have is a vague and undefined campaign slogan. They require that no matter how grim things seem, you look for the bright spot and once you find it you grab it and hold on tight.

The bright spots are getting harder and harder to find.

When I think about what the federal government has become over the last 20 years patriotism starts to feel like the nostalgia Ronald Reagan had in mind when he said " and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 07:24 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

May 19, 2013

The Nature of Irrelevancy

The White House sent the designated talking points reader of the week,  senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer, out to do the round of the Sunday news talk shows. Pfeiffer's assigned task was to spout the approved endless stream of lies obfuscation and pure BS.

Pfeiffer's word of the day was "irrelevant." 

He told one interviewer that it was irrelevant if the IRS broke the law by targeting groups based on ideology. That the White House believes breaking the law is irrelevant, tells you basically everything you need to know about this administration.

On another show, Pfeiffer said that where the President was and what he was doing during the September 11, 2012 attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi is "an irrelevant fact." He also said that the name of the person who crafted the bogus talking points used by the White House following that attack that resulted in the deaths of four Americans including our ambassador to Libya is, you guessed it, "irrelevant."

For a fact to be irrelevant, it means that is has importance. It just doesn't matter. It is a fact that has no impact on the issue at hand.

If the President's whereabouts and actions during the Benghazi attack are meaningless and unimportant trivia: and if the author of the You Tube video talking points is meaning less and unimportant, why not just answer the questions?

If these facts are truly without relevance why is the White House trying so hard to hide them?

Posted by: Stephen Macklin at 04:20 PM | No Comments | Add Comment

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