If you’ve been watching the Congressional committees hearings of both Houses regarding the IRS targeting scandal, you know that the current Acting IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, whose retirement was already slated, before the scandal broke, for the end of June this year, and his predecessor and longtime mentor, Douglas Shulman, along with the Treasury Department Inspector General over the IRS, J. Russell George, have been the primary witnesses on the hot-seat in the hearings.
One of the things that have been so disconcerting and, I believe, telling, in this matter, has been the idiosyncratic manner of speaking of the IRS bopsy-twins, Messrs. Shulman and Miller in the form of prefacing many of their under-oath responses with the queer evocation: “So….”
It’s one of those incidences most of us have experienced of the obvious emulation by one person of another person in which the emulator mimics the idiosyncrasies of speech and speaking mannerisms of the one they are emulating. It’s usually something that occurs among youth or in some sort of cultural subgroup or pop-cult who have invented their own specialized slang lexicon and code language to distinguish adherents from the rest of society and give the illusion of being “special,” and more “hip” and “cool” than others.
In my youth it was the “hippies,” whose retarded drug-induced hallucination was that they were somehow “special” and a “set apart” culture group because of the various hallucinogenic drugs they imbibed and the specialized terminology they invented over the course of several decades until the hippy culture was absorbed into its successor culture, whatever and whenever that was.
Then, subsequently, there was the angry, militant Black Power posses whose apparent claim to fame was a halting, jake-legged walk that they thought made them look tough and intimidating, which gradually morphed into the ghetto-ers, gangbangers, and “gangsta” cultures that produced its own ghetto-ebonics, ostentatious “bling,” and its prized claim to fame, the incredibly demeaning, dehumanizing, and dumbing-down hip-hop jargon and attendant so-called “music” genre of the same name, which to me is as deserving of the dignifying inherent in the term “music” as is the incessant braying of jackass at midnight in a tin barn. I’m sorry (not really), but the only thing about hip-hop intonations that is even remotely associated with the otherwise honorable art of “music” is that I suppose, from an audiogenic/musical science standpoint, it does consist of identifiable “notes” and “lyrics,” as unconscionable and inhuman as they are.
Additionally, without even attempting to enumerate the multitudinous and diverse spectrum of such, many occupational subsets have their own indigenous specialized lexicon they employ. Then, there’s the phenomenon of husbands and wives who’ve been companions for so long that they actually begin to look, talk, walk, think, and dress alike.
The point is: it’s not an uncommon occurrence for linked individuals to begin talking alike and evoking some of the same idioms of speech and manner of speaking.
But, “IRS-speak?” Are you serious? That is beyond idiosyncratic…it’s plain weeeeird, in my book!
Beyond and far more important than the weirdness factor, such cultish emulation as is present in this scenario is, in my view, a very telling, psychological indicator of the problem that exists with respect to the bureaucratic culture in agencies of our federal government. To have the former and the current IRS Commissioners appear before Congress and use the same identical words, idioms, intonations, idiosyncrasies of speech, as well as such informal colloquialisms as “You Guys” when addressing Representatives and Senators, accompanied by incessant chessy-cat grins, condescending remarks, and sardonic laughter in sworn testimony in Congressional hearings pursuant to potentially one of the most egregious instances of systemic abuse of power by federal appointees and the agencies they are sworn to oversee is unfathomable, inexplicable, inexcusable, unjustifiable, outraging, chilling, and terrifying. Moreover, it is the height of arrogance—hubris on steroids!
But, sadly, it is also reflective of the attitude of the entire Obama administration as a whole. House speaker Boehner recently called it, “The Arrogance of Power,” but it goes beyond even that, in my mind. It’s more accurately—”The Temerity of Tyranny”—that’s being reflected by the one agency that has the most law-granted and expansive authority for intrusion and intervention into the private matters of American citizens—not criminal citizens, but average law-abiding citizens—than any other federal agency. This is the culture of condescension and arrogation that exists in the federal government today.
Barack Hussein Obama has ghettoized the federal government, injecting it with the Mafioso-gangsta culture of inner-city Chicago. If you want to see who the real Obama is, watch this video of Senator Obama speaking at a black minister’s conference convened at Hampton University in 2007 prior to his election to the Executive Office of our nation—http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hokV4oE7uSM. He’s one of the most accomplished actors to ever occupy our White House. This video shows the real, pretention-stripped Obama, and the culture he identifies with, complete with gangsta stylizing and dialect—the Obama persona that shows up at political pep-rallies—which is quite different than the presidential Obama personality that surfaces when he is so adeptly acting out his presidential shtick. Prior to the first election, we got the Black Hip-Hop Gangsta campaigner Obama, but, now, post-election, now that he’s President, when the red camera-light comes on and he stands behind the presidential podium bearing the presidential seal, staring into the presidential teleprompters, and emoting into the presidential microphone, or sits in the presidential TV interview chair, we get the presidential personality. Before it was changed in the DSM his multiple personalities would have qualified him for what used to be called, Multiple Personality Disorder, without any doubt. It’s an act—a good act—but nevertheless an act that Obama puts on to give the illusion of “connecting” with whoever his audience is at the moment, and whether he’s appearing as Obama the Campaigner, or Obama the President. The name Obama should be in the dictionary for the quintessential political chameleon.
That arrogance and hubris that seems to be permeating the federal government under this administration I was speaking about before digressing are not only unavoidably visible in many of the statements and responses made by both Miller and Shulman, but also blatantly obvious as being the sort of deep-seated attitudes and mindsets of agency heads that invariable trickle down to subordinates, which is the larger issue being exposed by this Congressional probe. The opening statements alone of both these men are as troubling and problematic as it gets, particularly considering the enormous power the agency they led wields over the American citizenry. Neither man seems to grasp the severity of the issue and what it reflects about the attitudes, mindsets, and morality of the IRS overall.
Moreover, they appear not to possess a clear understanding of the ramifications when a supposedly “free society” such as America gradually slides into the dark abyss of a society whose governmental ideologies and methodologies are historically associated with autocratically or tyrannically governed nations. And, even more troubling, they appear in these hearings to be emotionally detached and dissociated from the implications of such a powerful government agency run amok. They invoke words intended to convey concern and even some level of remorse for managerial mistakes and misjudgments, but their explanations, responses, and overall buoyant deportment undermine their words. Bottom-line, they just don’t seem to much care about the impropriety, incompetence, and culpability (criminal or otherwise) reflected in the facts and issues of this matter. Basically, their mantra seems to be: “Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.”
In the face of the whole scandal, the former Internal Revenue Commissioner, Shulman summarized in one of his opening statements: “I’m deeply, deeply saddened by this whole set of events. I have read the I.G.’s report, and I very much regret that it happened, and that it happened on my watch.”
After reading the I.G.’s findings of gross mismanagement, the previous five-year term IRS Commissioner is saddened and regretful that the gross mismanagement happened during his tenure. Notwithstanding, his statement is in effect a tacit admission of the stunning incompetence and dereliction of duty as the leader of the one agency that strikes more fear in the hearts of Americans than any other—FBI, NSA, CIA, Homeland Security, and every other agency and arm of the federal government. And, then, subsequently, he and Miller set about to offer up some of the most arrogant, indifferent, smirking, snarky, and sarcastic testimony given on Capitol Hill since the La Cosa Nostra investigations four and five decades ago.
Shulman claimed in these hearings to have first learned of the targeting system in May of 2012, two months after he definitively stated under oath to Congress that “there was absolutely no targeting” going on in the IRS. Once again, gross incompetence and dereliction of duty evidenced here, even if his timeline is true.
When asked why he is singing a different tune now regarding his knowledge of “the list” of organizations filing for 501(c)(4) status vis-à-vis his previous sworn testimony, Shulman’s response was:
“What I knew wasn’t the full set of facts in this (I.G.’s) report. What I knew some time in the spring of 2012 was that there was a list that was being used. I knew that the word “tea party” was on the list, didn’t know what other words were on the list, didn’t know the scope and severity of this, didn’t know if groups that were pulled in were groups that would have been pulled in anyway.” (Parenthesis added for clarity.)
Tell me, if you were a sworn presidentially appointed Commissioner of the IRS, and were told a “list” of applicant groups whose applications had been hand-selected and set aside from other applications for special scrutiny because of certain politically-related terms in their organization names, during an election year when it is well-known that numerous conservative groups were emerging whose agenda included opposing Obama’s reelection and the liberal takeover of government, would you simply say, “Okay,” and allow the person who was conveying this information to you to simply move on to another topic, ask no follow up questions, and not ask anyone else in the agency, to include the director over that division, any questions about this matter aimed at ascertaining whether or not rules, policies, and/or laws were/are being violated or even if there was a potential perception that such improprieties existed?
If you were told discriminatory practices were transpiring, would you do nothing, make no further inquiries of anyone, not be personally outraged? If you were told “tea party” was one of the terms on the list, at the minimum, wouldn’t your next question be, “What other terms are on the list?”
If you were “the-buck-stops-here” leader of the IRS, and “didn’t know the scope and severity of this, didn’t know if groups that were pulled in were groups that would have been pulled in anyway,” wouldn’t you be furious, stop the presses, and leave no stone unturned until you found out ALL the details of this matter—who was involved, who constructed the BOLO list, who told IRS examiners to pull out applications whose organization names included BOLO list terms for special scrutiny, what special, intrusive inquiries were posed to the organizations that required them to justify to the IRS’ satisfaction activities, actions, associations, and ideologies that are entirely within the expressed Constitutional rights of American citizens under the laws of the nation?
Wouldn’t you stop at nothing until you got to the bottom of this prima facie egregiously inappropriate, unethical, un-American, and possibly illegal matter, identify the responsible parties, and take whatever disciplinary action you deemed appropriate?
When asked directly by Senator Stabenow, “How in the world could it take so long for senior people at the IRS to find the problem, fix the problem? And was there no ongoing oversight of the employees in Cincinnati and what they were doing?” Shulman responded, ” I agree that this is an issue that, when someone spotted it, they should have run up the chain, and they didn’t. And why they didn’t, I don’t know.” But, the fact is that the nanosecond Mr. Shulman became knowledgeable about the existence of a list and discriminatory practices, HE should have RAN DOWN THE CHAIN and essentially verbally assaulted IRS employees until he uncovered ALL the facts and confronted EVERY SINGLE PERSON who had anything whatsoever to do with these reprehensible actions, took whatever remedial action was appropriate, vociferously and profusely reported it up his “chain,” and let the chips fall where they may.
When the existing IRS Commissioner, Steven Miller, in the face of ongoing federal government inquiries and investigations over a two-year span concerning reports of improper activities transpiring at the IRS, concerning which he repeatedly reassured Congress targeting was not occurring, as well as an ongoing I.G. audit that concluded there were numerous findings of impropriety and gross mismanagement, how did he propose to inform Congress and the American people that he now had knowledge that wrongdoing had indeed occurred? He arranged for a planted question at an American Bar Association conference and instructed, Lois Lerner, Director of the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division, a lawyer herself, to issue a meticulously-crafted “apology,” which intrinsically was a backdoor “admission” of wrongdoing, interlaced into a somewhat tax-law technical mini-speech geared toward the tax lawyers in attendance in which she attempts to justify the methodology used for the review of these applications in question on the premise of previously established precedence and other process rationale, which she concludes by saying:
“The problem in the (c)(4) area is that the kind of activity the organizations were doing is okay for (c)(4)s but it can’t be their primary activity. So that weighing and balancing is a little different than when we have a (c)(3) that says you can’t do any political activity. That’s a pretty easy question. So…I guess my bottom line here is that we at the IRS should apologize for that, it was not intentional, and as soon as we found out what was going on, we took steps to make it better and I don’t expect that to reoccur.”
While I’m not a lawyer, I’m pretty sure that Ms. Lois Lerner, who acts more like she believes she is Lois Lane, did not do the lawyer profession any favors with this incredibly stupid idea crafted supposedly by two lawyers—herself and Miller—of how to “reach out” to the Treasury Department, Congress, the President, and the American people with their “Ohhh…ooops!” confession. At least, when asked point blank in the hearings who’s brilliant idea this was, Miller owned up to being the culprit, responding: “We had our response. We thought we should begin talking about this. We thought we’d get out an apology. The way we did it, we wanted to reach out to the…to Hill staff about the same time and come and brief. It didn’t work out. Obviously, the entire thing was an incredibly bad idea.”
But, then for Lerner to follow that exercise in inanity and insanity with her statement to the House Government Oversight Committee, to wit: “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations, and I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee,” and then invoke her Fifth Amendment right to refuse to testify on the grounds that if she answers questions honestly and truthfully she may incriminate herself, for all intents and purposes overshadowed like a solar eclipse her previous boner with another legal miscalculation. Moreover, I must say that, in concurrence with your ending words in the ABA conference, Ms. Lerner, that “I don’t expect that to reoccur” either. I also do not expect what you and your two IRS’ bosses did to reoccur, because you will soon be asked for your resignation or otherwise terminated from your employment with the federal government, and more than likely be exchanging your expensive St. John Knits for some pretty drab and unglamorous prison garb. But, maybe you and your former bosses can all collaborate on a book together, each from your own government-paid prison cells.
One thing we know from past experiences with scenarios like this, when high-ranking officials and employees of governmental agencies start lawyering up, invoking their Fifth Amendment rights, and taking leaves of absence, you can be assured that the smoke plume you see rising up from Washington is the tell-tale sign of some very real fire behind the scenes, and what the tidbits of information they are offering up and revealing is merely the proverbial tip of the iceberg. I think it very reasonable to presume that there’s much more to all of this than what we’re currently being told and that some very big revelations will soon be coming out that will lead to places that will be shocking and to people that at this very moment know this could very well be their personal Waterloo in the making and tune-up for their very unmelodious Swan song.
While Congress will eventually ferret out the real truth about this egregious violation of public trust, the greater issue is that this is all part and parcel of the narcissistic, arrogant, and hubristic Obama administration, and is just one of hundreds of violations of public trust, high crimes, and acts of treason committed by this administration, which must be brought to an end, post haste, via impeachment.###
Dr. Steven Lambert was ordained in 1977 and holds several earned graduate/post-graduate degrees. Over more than four decades in ministry, he has served as a pastor, radio/TV host, adjunct-professor, Board Certified Doctoral Diplomate Christian Therapist/Counselor, and a speaker/commentator on a range of social, political, and theological issues, particularly as a recognized authority on the matter of ecclesiastical authoritarian abuse. He is the founder/Overseer of Ephesians Four Network (ephesiansfour.net) and its subsidiary, Ephesians Four Network of Deliverance Counselors (efndc.ephesiansfour.net). Dr. Lambert authored several books (catalog at realtruthpublications.com), many published articles, and is the founder/editor of Spirit Life Magazine (spiritlifemag.com). His bio, extensive blog, and scheduling information are available on his ministry website at: http://www.slm.org. You can follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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