May 30, 2013

Did Todashev Have a Knife When He "Attacked" the FBI Agent? Early Reports Claimed He Did, and Now Sources Say He Didn't
— Ace

Were you kind of bothered by this fact-set? Guy spontaneously confesses to a triple homicide and then attacks three armed persons (FBI agent and two Massachusetts State Troopers) with a knife and is then killed?

Well, none of the following will allay your suspicions.

So, maybe he didn't have a knife.

A local Orlando tv news operation reported:

FBI sources say Ibragim Todashev, a friend of accused Boston Marathon bomber Tamarlen Tsarnaev, was unarmed when he was shot and killed by an FBI agent during questioning at an Orlando apartment last week," says an Orlando television station.

Officials said Todashev pushed a table and possibly threw a chair.


Sources said a sword was inside the apartment, but the weapon was moved to the corner of the room before questioning began. Law enforcement said when Todashev lunged, the FBI agent believed he could have possibly been going for his gun or the sword in the room, and that's when the agent opened fire.

The Washington Post then reported:

One law enforcement official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said Wednesday that Todashev lunged at the agent and overturned a table. But the official said Todashev did not have a gun or a knife. A second official also said Todashev was unarmed.

An official said that according to one account of the shooting, the other law enforcement officials had just stepped out of the room, leaving the FBI agent alone with Todashev, when the confrontation occurred.The shooting followed hours of questioning by the law enforcement officials that had begun the night before.

The most recent story, from the Orlando Sentinel, has the samurai sword back in the mix.

Though early accounts from unnamed federal law-enforcement sources claimed Todashev might have been armed with a knife, the latest version, released by a Fox affiliate in Boston, reported that Todashev lunged with a sword at the agent.

Shibly said there was a sword at the apartment, but it was mounted on the wall, ornamental and had a dull blade and a broken handle.

I have no explanations for this. I don't even have a read on it.

Except for this: While I previously gave certain parts of government more credit than others, I'm starting to believe it's just all corrupt.

And I don't even mean Scary Conspiracy Theory Corrupt. I mean corrupt as human beings are always corrupt: They screw up, then they lie about it, and then their initial lies spur follow-up lies, and then the whole department realizes that there's a problem with the initial employee who lied and now they all have to lie to "protect the integrity" of whatever.

I don't know if that happened here. The guy could have lunged for the sword, and the FBI agent could have just been a little too quick on the draw. (Or perhaps just in time on the draw. Who knows.)

But whereas before I'd provisionally assume the FBI was telling the truth, I gotta tell you: My working assumption is now that they are lying.

Because that's what they do.

And this is a pretty good reason to keep the government small and weak and then eyeball the hell of it anyway.

Incidentally, it sure would be nice to see photos of the wounds reportedly suffered by the FBI agent, even if the agent's identity continues to be obscured. Surely they can release photos of wounds to the body or arms.


Posted by: Ace at 12:25 PM | Comments (246)
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Did Eric Holder Also Lie... to a Judge?
— Ace

It's very simple: In his warrant application, Holder claimed to be interested in investigating James Rosen as a coconspirator in an espionage case. In addition, he claimed Rosen was a "flight risk," which would justify even closer monitoring (to make sure he wasn't buying plane tickets on Kayak, I suppose).

Now he says he never had any intention of prosecuting Rosen. In other words: He now says he lied when he told the judge these things, in order to secure his license to snoop on Rosen.

Well, which is it? If he never had any intention of prosecuting Rosen, the warrant application is a fraud on the court.

If he did have such an intention... that raises some additional questions.


Posted by: Ace at 11:08 AM | Comments (305)
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"McCain says we can identify the good guys in Syria — after he unwittingly meets with kidnappers"
— Ace

Sorry, I forgot I was supposed to be a blogger and just commented for the last three hours.

Headline stolen from Allah. Says it all, really.

Here's a question: Many people have suggested that we just "let them fight each other until the maximum number of the jihadis (on either side) have killed each other."

Without endorsing that, and without questioning that: I'm wondering how the notion that Assad seems to now be winning this war, and, some thing, will win it within the next year or so, modifies the previous "do nothing" stance.

If we want them to keep fighting each other and Assad is slowly moving towards a win, does that mean we should step up support for the rebels in order to prolong the fighting?

I'm just asking. This is not a rhetorical question. It's a question-question.

It's one of those few times someone actually asks a straight question on the Internet.

Posted by: Ace at 10:17 AM | Comments (350)
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RedEye Gang Not Sold on Outrage Over Adam Levine "I Hate This Country" Comment
— Ace

I'm skeptical myself, of this and the Lena Dunham outrage. And that's because I've seen this before, and I've seen this sort of ginned-up outrage directed at us, and it seems to me to be an unfair tactic.

Let's look at the left-wing version of faux outrage. The left is convinced that the right is racist. Every single person on the right is racist. They are convinced of this.

This is a conclusion which only needs to go looking for some evidence to support it. And it does go looking, and when evidence is constantly being sought, and the flimsiness of this evidence does not matter, it will be found.

So, for example -- but this could apply to any of ten thousand recent cases -- the left is convinced that Rick Perry is racist, because 1, he's from Texas, 2, he's white, and 3, he's Republican. The left knows he's racist. To make their belief a story, they need only strike upon some chintzy proof of it.

Lo and behold, they find that he once vacationed at a place which once, in its past (before Perry had vacationed there), had a rock on the property upon which was written a racial slur.

Now this becomes a Big Story. But note the actual story itself is ludicrous. The story itself is not a story. It's only pretended to be a story because the charge it supposedly proves-- Rick Perry is a kissing cousin of a Klansman -- would itself be a Big Story, were it proved.

I see the same thing going on with Adam Levine and Lena Dunham in their two recent gaffes. Levine said "I hate this country" after televoters watching his show voted against him; Lena Dunham tweeted some idiotic over-sharing posts about peeing in various Starbucks, and then added "Happy Memorial Day" to one.

Posted by: Ace at 08:05 AM | Comments (781)
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McClatchy, CNN Join Boycott of Holder's Spin Session
— Ace

So that's good.

Meanwhile, ABC, the Washington Post, and Politico will attend.

FoxNews just announced it too will boycott the Secret Spin Session.

I don't know how I feel about this last one. I want the secret spin session boycotted, but I also want someone in there who can report on any shenanigans that go on -- softball questions, reporters strategizing with Holder about how to win the media war on this, etc.

That is, I'm less interested in what Holder has to say than what the other reporters have to say.

But I suppose the Media-Government Complex has each others' contact information and can just call one another whenever they like.

Posted by: Ace at 06:54 AM | Comments (235)
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Shocking! Sequester Wasn't The End Of The World!
— DrewM

Unpossible! If the government spends a tiny bit less we were told there'd be riots and DC/NoVa residents would have to resort to cannibalism. Apparently not.

In the months since the automatic federal spending cuts known as the sequester took effect, the Washington area has added 40,000 jobs. Income-tax receipts have surged in Virginia, beating expectations. Few government contractors have laid off workers.


“The surprise is that the economy is as good as it is,” said Stephen S. Fuller, the economist who directs the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. “We’ve done better than I expected.”

In January, Fuller predicted that the sequester, if enacted, would be an “end-of-the-world kind of hit” to the regional economy. He wrote an analysis of the cuts in March concluding they would kill more than 325,000 jobs in Virginia, the District and Maryland combined.

That estimate included both direct and indirect effects — that is, layoffs not just among federal workers and contractors, but also the workers, such as waiters or car salespeople, whose jobs depend on spending from federal paychecks.

So what's the lesson to be learned? Cut MOAR!

I can't say I'm surprised that the economic impact on the DC area hasn't been greater but I am disappointed. I think it's very unhealthy for the capital to be protected from the economic realities of the country as a whole.

Posted by: DrewM at 06:41 AM | Comments (69)
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Russia Today interviews James Goodale [Purp]
— Open Blogger

In case you don't know, this is who James Goodale is.

... He is the former General Counsel and Vice Chairman of The New York Times and has represented the Times in all four of its cases that have reached the United States Supreme Court. He has also been called “the father of the reporters' privilege."

That said, on to the interview. The Russia Today lead in and the whole interview is interesting, go read it all, but here's a teaser:

RT: You’ve been called the father of reporters’ privileges. What do you see as the current threats to press freedom in the United States?

JG: It, frankly, is President Obama and Rosengate because this is the first time the – I hate to use the term ‘Espionage Act,’ we’ll say national security act for your viewers – has been used to get reporters. I mean, that really is frightening because it’s usually used to get leakers. Rosen is a leakee, to use legal phraseology. If the Obama administration, or at least his Justice Department, thinks they can use criminal laws to get journalists because they’re co-conspirators, honestly that is one of the worst things I’ve come across in all the years I’ve been doing this.

The NYT also published some of Goodales thoughts here, but the Russia Today interview is considerably more expansive.

If you're looking for an alternative to supplement US lamestream media, give Russia Today a look. They're covering a lot of stuff absent from US headlines -- such as this story about Gitmo prisoners getting being rehabilitated and reintegrated into society in a Yemeni facility. What could possibly go wrong with that?

Posted by: Open Blogger at 06:04 AM | Comments (109)
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Top Headline Comments 5-30-13
— Gabriel Malor

Happy Thursday.

NRO's indispensable Daniel Foster writes about Sen. McConnell's behind-the-scenes efforts to foil Obama's liberal plan.

Mayor Bloomberg -- and one of his gun-grabbing lobbyists -- got a ricin-tainted letter in the mail. Several police officers who intervened became ill.

The AP, in addition to the NYTimes, said "no fuckin' way" (paraphrase) to the AG's offer to give them an off-the-record chat about the DOJ's secret warrants targeting journalists.

Posted by: Gabriel Malor at 01:38 AM | Comments (297)
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May 29, 2013

Overnight Open Thread (5-29-2013)
— Maetenloch

60 Years Ago: Top of the World Baby!


Baby Name America



Posted by: Maetenloch at 04:56 PM | Comments (933)
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Seems Like Old Times: MSNBC In Ratings Collapse, Down 20% Year-Over-Year
— Ace

Discussing mere numbers is boring.

Let's talk about specific names of specific failures. Failure isn't interesting unless it's attached to a human agent of failure. No one ever goofed on an anticipated circular storm for failing to kill people.

The soft start for All In With Chris Hayes has not helped. Hayes, down 32 percent in total viewers from The Ed Show last May, has offered a poor lead-in for MSNBC's primetime flagship, The Rachel Maddow Show, at 9 p.m. The show delivered its lowest-rated month since it debuted in September 2008 (717,000 total viewers) and its second lowest with adults 25-54 (210,000). Maddow was topped by typical time slot victor Sean Hannity and CNN's Piers Morgan.

Chris Hayes' massive throbbing failure has transformed Ed Schultz into a Titan of Broadcasting.

Posted by: Ace at 02:56 PM | Comments (345)
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Jay Carney: Eric Holder Didn't Lie, & of Course I'll Just Refer You to the Justice Department (Which Eric Holder Heads); Also, the White House is Completely "Satisfied" with IRS Candor on Scandals
— Ace

Carney pronounces the White House "satisfied" completely with the IRS' "responsiveness" to inquires about the scandals.

Of course they're satisfied. They're not snitching. Mobsters don't mind if you take a pinch, they just don't want you to rat out the higher-ups when you're caught.

Note that the White House could have criticized the IRS officials for their lack of candor, and thus lobbed a shot across their collective bow, urging them towards greater honesty.

They chose not to, but instead to laud them for their parsimony with the truth. This is not an accident.

This is the White House giving Douglas Schulman, Steve Miller, and Lois Lerner the Across-the-Room Air High Five.

That video below, plus Carney referring a report to the Justice Department for an opinion as to whether the head of the Justice Department lied under oath.

Update: The AP will also not attend Eric Holder's Secret Briefing on Government Openness. Via Politico:

"We believe the meeting should be on the record and we have said that to the Attorney General’s office. If it is on the record, AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll will attend. If it is not on the record, AP will not attend and instead will offer our views on how the regulations should be updated in an open letter," AP spokesperson Erin Madigan said in a statement sent to POLITICO. "We would expect AP attorneys to be included in any planned meetings between the Attorney General’s office and media lawyers on the legal specifics."


Posted by: Ace at 01:55 PM | Comments (219)
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NYT Boycotting Holder's Off-the-Record Briefing On, Um, Press Freedom
— Ace

This administration takes freedom of the press very seriously.

No, you're not alowed to quote me on that.

Yes, Holder's briefing on the "unfettered" right of the press to report the truth was/is to be off-the-record, no quotes permitted.

The New York Times has declared it would be "inappropriate" to attend, given those restrictions.

Other media groups may follow.

Here's a question that perplexes me: How can every other reporter or news organization be so beta, always needing the New York Times to make their decisions for them?

[Update JohnE.] Here's the Democrat Party's Communications Director:

Are you F'in kidding me? The balls. The balls.

Posted by: Ace at 12:34 PM | Comments (247)
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House Committe Formally Considers Perjury Charge for Holder
— Ace

What difference could it possibly make, Part 689.

Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the chairman of the subcommittee on investigations, sent a letter to Holder detailing specific aspects of his testimony that they say conflicts with subsequent media reports.

They want to know what exactly Holder's alibi could possibly be when he claimed he'd never even heard of a criminal investigation of a reporter, when in fact his signature is on a warrant claiming James Rosen was a coconspirator in espionage.

Moderate/liberal Jonathan Turley is now calling for Holder's resignation, calling him Obama's "sin eater" -- a stooge paid to eat the sins of the departed and thus clean their souls for Heaven.

Posted by: Ace at 10:08 AM | Comments (259)
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So Apparently Amanda Bynes (Whoever That Is) Has Gone Crazy
— Ace

Before writing this post, I didn't know who this is and I didn't know what she's alleged to have done.

However, when you see a tweet like this, from Hot Heroin Mess Courtney Love... does tend to pique the interest.

What the hell does one have to do to get Courtney Love to urge prudence and restraint?

Remember when Guns n Roses kicked out one of its members for abusing drugs and alcohol? And you were like, Whoah. So yeah, it's like that.

I still don't know who she is and all that she's done, but apparently she was arrested for DUI and maybe hitting and running. Then she asked Obama for his personal intervention in her case.

Her parents want to involuntarily commit her, but "sources" say she isn't demonstrably 5150 yet, so there's nothing to be done.

She's also taken to posting sorta unappetizing selfies (moderate content warning).

Those look pretty natural. It's a very hot look in France, called l'air de Mongolfier.

Anyway, Twitchy is documenting this person, whoever she is, and whatever she may have done.

But the reason I'm linking is because of a tweet she tossed towards a model, a Chrissy Tiegen. I linked something about Tiegen a week or so ago. I forget what the hell it was (oh, right, it was about shaming the Teen Mom who wanted to do a Sex Tape), but what I remember about it that sometimes Tiegen looks like this:

I'd buy that for a dollar, I would say if I lived in the Robocop Universe.

Anyway, Bynes sort of proves she's ready to be involuntarily commited by writing this meshugas:

@chrissyteigen Ur not a pretty model compared to me. I signed to Ford models @ age 13. I don’t look up to u beauty wise. I’m far prettier than u! I’m offended that you’re saying I have a mental illness when I show no sign of it, but thankfully not one man that wants me wants you and you are an old ugly model compared to me! You look 45! You’re not pretty so I’m not intimidated by you! I think you’re jealous that you’re just an ugly model whos career is uninspiring! I don’t respect you! You’re no beauty queen! I’m a beauty queen!

Casting doubt on her claim that she shows no signs of mental illness: She didn't write that on Twitter. She scrawled it over her face and breasts in lipstick and Rainbow Glitter Sharpie, then posted a picture of it on

Posted by: Ace at 09:30 AM | Comments (246)
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Anthony Weiner Searching for Online Interns
— Ace

What's the worst that could happen?

The ad says the former Queens congressman wants interns...

Not really news.

... who can use “social media to enhance our message.”

And patrol toasters for loyalty.

The job is unpaid but does come with free tickle-fingers and mustache rides.

Via the sidebar, Weiner is feeling cocky, inching up in polls of Democratic voters, and now surging just behind Christine Quinn, essentially rubbing her in the tail with his erect and turgid penis.

Oops. Guess I dropped the ball on the "double entendre" thing and just went One Entendre.

Posted by: Ace at 11:19 AM | Comments (388)
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Mitch McConnell's New Ad Highlights IRS Abuse, Nixon
— JohnE.

Great ad. It reminds me a lot of the fantastic "Remember November" ads the RGA ran before the 2010 election. Moar, please. more...

Posted by: JohnE. at 08:50 AM | Comments (165)
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NBC News: Washington DC Higher-Ups Involved in Targeting Scandal
— Ace

Although Lisa Meyers is reporting this at NBC, here's a link to Breitbart.

We've actually known this -- those of us outside the liberal bubble -- for a week. But now maybe a few people inside it know it now too.

Jay Sekulow is a one-time trial lawyer who represented the IRS in tax-exempt cases. Today, though, he represents 27 conservative groups singled out by the IRS. The lawsuit he intends to file includes letters to his clients that come from "Department of the Treasury / Internal Revenue Service / Washington, D.C."

Sekulow told NBC News:

“We've dealt with 15 agents, including tax law specialists -- that's lawyers -- from four different offices, including (the) Treasury (Department) in Washington, D.C.,” Sekulow said. “So the idea that this is a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati is not correct.”

Fifth Amendment Enthusiast Lori Lerner's signature is on the cover letters of many of the partisan inquiries-- and those inquiries continued through 2012.

BTW: Schulman called it perfectly normal to visit the White House 118 times in a two year period.

Know how many times the Bush appointee in his position visited the White House from 2003-2007?


So 118 times does not seem "normal."

Among the reasons Schulman offered for visiting the White House so much -- he said that one time he was there for the Easter egg roll.

Posted by: Ace at 08:08 AM | Comments (217)
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May 30, 2013

Let's Attack Syria Talk Getting Louder
— DrewM

Obama is asking for plans to create a No Fly Zone.

McCain is visiting rebels.

And op-eds on how easy this will all be are starting to appear (WSJ so you may have to Google it to get to the article).

From retired General Jack Keane and Danielle Pletka, head of AEI's foreign and defense studies.

It is the advisability question that is thornier, lending itself to more subjective analysis about the unknowns of a rebel victory and Assad's (as well as Iran's and Hezbollah's) reaction to an escalation. Here are the facts we do know: Right now, countless Syrian innocents are being murdered weekly. Chemical weapons are being used by the regime. Yes, certain factions among the rebels are affiliated with al Qaeda, but it is also true that their allegiance has cost them support among the Syrian civilian population in the months since it was announced.

Play this out: Assad wins and Iran's most important Arab alliance is preserved, with terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad back on the gravy train of international terrorism. American credibility is shot. Or, the conflict continues, and the spillover into Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Iran and Turkey escalates. Is conflict between Israel and Iran over Syria a ridiculous notion? How about the fall of the Jordanian king? More fighting between al Qaeda allies and Hezbollah in Lebanon? The collapse of Iraq? None of our business? Never going to draw us in? Remember, a return to the status quo ante is out of the question.

Arming the right rebels with antiaircraft weapons and severely degrading Assad's air power with limited airstrikes is achievable without boots on the ground and minimal risk to aircrews. If the U.S. pursues this strategy, moderates among the rebels will be strengthened, Syrian civilian casualties are likely to be reduced (though not eliminated) and finally, after two long years, Assad will be on notice. This option leaves room for escalation to the no-fly zone, and for a further escalation to attacks on Assad's ground forces if he uses chemical weapons again or tries to transfer them to America's enemies.

First off...dead Syrians and chemical weapons aren't of interest to me. That's a them problem, not an us problem.

Second, I find it amusing how the influence of al Qaeda and other Islamists is just waived away. Not many and losing support we're told.

Contrary to the sunny suggestion is the fact that almost everyone agrees it's the most Islamist units that are doing the heaviest and most effective fighting.

But interviews and reviews of military actions in Syria show that Nusra remains a major contributor to rebel tactics. On Wednesday, Nusra participated in the capture of a Syrian army base in the northern province of Idlib. In past weeks, Nusra had played a role in the systematic destruction of army checkpoints along the highway that leads to the base.

Nusra is also key to a fight in the eastern suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, where rebel groups have united in an attempt to reopen a road that all groups in the area had used as a supply line.

“Sometimes you do not hear about any operations by us, because some targets need time,” a Nusra spokesman in eastern Damascus who uses the nom de guerre Abu Hammam said in response to the notion that Nusra had been quieter in recent weeks.

He was answering a question from a Syrian journalist at an informal news conference in Damascus last week, a recording of which was provided to McClatchy by one of the journalists present. During the 80-minute session, Abu Hammam answered questions about the group’s aims and tactics in what seemed to be an open and candid fashion.

“We will not put down our weapons until God’s law is applied,” he said in response to a question about whether the group sought to impose religious law should the Syrian government fall.

And after doing all this fighting and dying, these hardcore Islamist fighters are just going to...step aside and let the "moderate" and "secular" backup singers have control of the country?

But I'm sure this time we'll pick "the right rebels" and won't wind up with anything like Benghazi.

Or you know, not.

The two suspected kidnappers — Mohamed Nour and Abu Ibrahim — in the photo with Mr. McCain are members of the Northern Storm militant group, who are believed to have planned and executed the abduction, the Daily Star said.

Mr. McCain’s office went on the defensive, issuing a statement through spokesman Brian Rogers.

“A number of the Syrians who greeted Sen. McCain upon his arrival in Syria asked to take pictures with him, and as always, the senator complied,” he said, as quoted in the Daily Mail. “[It] would be regrettable” if those pictured with the senator were kidnappers, he added.

No one thinks McCain condones kidnapping but it's a wonderful illustration of how easy it is to get caught up with the wrong crowd. If you going swimming in a cesspool, you're going to bump into a few turds. Sometimes you have to do business with undesirable but this is case where we really don't have to do business with any of them.

The idea that unlike every other cesspool in that part of the world Syria is going to wind up with some sort of decent and reasonably pro-Western, hell, not anti-Western would be enough, government and society is to place hope above all experience.

Hezballah wants to make Syria the hill they die on? Great, let's make that happen. Yes it will mean getting some weapons to unsavory types but the longer they are using it to kill Batthists and in turn are killed by the Batthists, that's the best the US can hope for. Extend the fighting as long as possible and watch all sides weaken themselves. Once they've bled themselves dry, we can talk about what comes next.

Added: The "reset" with Russia created "flexibility" for them to tell Obama, STFU.

Hmmm, just as the US starts talking about a "No fly zone" the Russians send advanced missiles to Syria. Smart Diplomacy(tm)!

Posted by: DrewM at 05:02 AM | Comments (223)
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May 29, 2013

"The System Worked:" Former EPA Head Lisa Jackson Hired by Apple, Which Was Just Beaten Up By Democratic Politiicans
— Ace

Democrats railed at Apple for obeying the tax laws. That's right. Apple obeyed the US tax laws. However, had they arranged their company differently, they could have paid more money to the US government.

So Apple -- which is certainly among liberals' most beloved corporation, after Starbucks and the US Government -- is probably feeling a little heat right now from its liberal, Democratic client base.

Not to mention the government bureaucracy. Which, Gibson Guitars can tell you, can be pretty aggressive about roughing you up if you don't play ball.

There's an app for that -- hiring a disgraced but loyal liberal bureaucrat in need of a paycheck.

Posted by: Ace at 07:44 AM | Comments (120)
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