Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Government meddling in other people’s business way too headache-inducing!

One of the reasons why I personally would never contemplate running for electoral office is the fact that I’d get stuck taking the blame for the screw-ups of other officials beneath me.

OBAMA: Does the president feel ...
While it may well be true that a public official is responsible for those who answer to him, I can’t help but wonder how much of the Tylenol Barack Obama is consuming these days.

FOR ONE RIGHT on top of the other, a pair of stories have cropped up that would have us think that Obama deserves to be thought of in the same class of people as J. Edgar Hoover or Richard Nixon – if not Joe McCarthy (not the Yankees manager version) himself.

The ideologues are getting all worked up over recent Washington Post reports about how the Internal Revenue Service was giving extra scrutiny to certain groups claiming tax-exempt status.

None of the groups ultimately was denied that status, but it seems they resented having so much attention paid to them. Particularly since many are politically-motivated groups whose desire is to promote candidates who push their conservative ideological thoughts on issues.

We’re hearing the screaming that the government is out to get them – although coming from these ideologues, I wonder if what they’re really upset about is that anyone would have the nerve to “scrooten” them (remember Mayor Daley, the second?).

MAYBE IT’S ONLY okay when their opposition is the one facing the scrutiny from the government?

Now I don’t mean to downplay the concept of the government turning into “big brother” and deciding to meddle into the private affairs of people. It is a serious problem, and Obama himself quickly joined in the gaggle of people criticizing the IRS.

Although I suspect he’s more upset about the fact that everybody on the ideological spectrum against him is going to blame this on him. He’s going to have to take the heat for this – particularly when the sympathetic leadership of the House of Representatives decides to hold hearings to give those voices a microphone and television camera to amplify their thoughts all the moreso.

... something more like this these days?
But what makes it worse is that this has to crop up in the public ear at the same time that the Justice Department decides it has to resort to reporter-harassment in order to advance its criminal investigations.

THAT’S WHAT IS usually behind any incident where prosecutors decide they need to go after a reporter-type person’s notes or telephone records – they are unable to figure out a case by themselves, even though they have subpoena power.

In this case, the Associated Press learned that federal prosecutors had managed to get records of about 20 telephone lines – both at AP offices and, in some cases, the home telephone and personal cellphone lines of reporters.

It seems that a Central Intelligence Agency disruption of a plot to bomb an airliner became known, and someone was upset enough to want to punish someone – most likely whoever let it be known to reporter-types that this was going on.

Personally, I can appreciate how someone might be offended by having prosecutorial-minded people wading through lists of places one called on their telephone. Although if anyone tried subpoenaing my home phone records, all they’d really get is a list of which restaurants I patronize for carryout food.

BUT THERE’S THE greater principle at stake about some respect for privacy – which I suspect the ideologues facing what they see as harassment from the IRS oftentimes are not willing to respect for others.

It is why I am less than sympathetic – even though we may well have IRS agents who stepped across the line of decency in their investigatorial behavior. And a president wondering what he ever did so bad in life to deserve all the harassment he gets dumped on him on a daily basis!


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