Briefly Noted: January 2015

More proof emerged last month that President Obama is using the IRS as a weapon against his perceived enemies when the administration abruptly canceled the planned release of 2,500 damning documents reportedly showing the IRS illegally shared taxpayer files with the White House. The inspector general’s office for the U.S. Department of the Treasury is making the novel claim that privacy laws prevent releasing documents. Dan Epstein, executive director of watchdog group Cause of Action, was skeptical. Treasury is using “sophisticated” lawyering to worm out of producing the documents, he said.

National Action Network president Al Sharpton has visited the White House an astounding 61 times since Obama became president. This fact tends to support Sharpton’s boasts about the influence he wields over the Obama administration, including his claim that he was instrumental in selecting U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch as nominee for the U.S. attorney general post.

A recent march in New York City organized by Sharpton’s group, whose motto is “No justice, no peace,” got ugly. Marchers demanded that new federal laws be enacted to limit the use of physical force by local and state police agencies. Protesters had their own ideas. According to reports, many chanted “What do we want? Dead cops!”

MoveOn has launched a campaign to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to run for president in 2016. The group said 81.3 percent of its members voted in favor of encouraging the left-wing populist to seek the Oval Office. Warren is “America’s top champion of working families and the middle class” who is “leading the fight for students and graduates who are struggling under the weight of crippling student loan debt and is transforming the Social Security debate from whether to cut the program to how to grow it.”

Warren has thrown her lot in with radical left-wing community organizers. In a message to attendees of last month’s RootsCamp put on by New Organizing Institute in Washington, D.C., Warren said, “in every fight for equality, accountability, and a level playing field, it’s the smart, tough, and determined organizers who attend RootsCamp that are the ones working together on the frontlines. Simply put, we couldn’t do it without you.”

After Dr. Vivek Murthy was barely confirmed in a 51-43 vote by the U.S. Senate as surgeon general, George Soros’s Media Matters for America wondered what all the fuss was about. MMfA claims Murthy overcame “a longstanding right-wing media and National Rifle Association smear campaign.” Conservative media “worked to cast Murthy as a radical for his uncontroversial stance that gun violence is a public health issue and criticized his supposed lack of qualifications.” Actually, the notion that gun-related violence is a public health issue is thoroughly controversial. Public health is supposed to be about transmissible diseases and the like, not about self-defense and lifestyle choices.

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