This is certainly true, but if you look at all the things mankind has used for currency for the last few thousand years, gold has less "wobble" than anything else.
Everything will be somewhat unstable but gold has been more stable consistently than anything else.
All the people in developed(and undeveloped for that matter) countries desperately need a stable money supply but that is precisely what governments don't want to give them.
Drowned Ones automatically pick up this feat. Am I correct in assuming that Drowned Ones are not vulnerable to any blindness spell effect because as any undead they are immune to anything requiring Fortitude saves?
They presumably have this feat so they can fight in total darkness such as the deep ocean and reduce their miss chances against any types of concealment.
This is for 3.5 but it probably didn't change in Pathfinder.
I see people bringing up nuclear power plant disasters, something which I am very concerned about with Fukushima still leaking two years later and many reports of sea life in the Pacific being adversely affected.
I don't think people realize just how much effort was made by governments, particularly the US government, to get nuclear reactors in place. It was a way to "sell" the idea of nuclear fission being a benefit, at a time when people were very cautious and even frightened by the implications of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as well as the understanding that radiation causes cancer.
If the government had never gotten involved, nuclear power plants would not have been built without insurance. How much would it cost to insure a nuclear power plant? Well, considering the fact that a worst-case scenario could result in toxic pollution that endures for thousands of years...
It would cost a tremendous amount of money. In fact, building a nuclear reactor with private insurance may not even be possible. I don't know Japan's laws but I do know that if Fukushima tried to be covered by private insurance, with it being built over an aquifier, near the ocean and vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis...the cost would have been astronomical. I do know Japan passed a law to protect Fukushima from liability after the accident happened.
In the US, the government stepped in and said it would take care of this and handle the insurance by making sure nuclear reactors were "safe". And now we know they are safe, sort of, unless of course we get a really big earthquake. Then they might not be so safe. They are also getting old, and in some cases being used beyond their planned lifetime...by a bureaucracy that really doesn't seem to think long-term.
So to point fingers at capitalism and free-markets for nuclear reactors and the harm they cause is to demonstrate that you really don't know anything about how nuclear power plants came to be.
While Social Security is a ponzi scheme, insurance is not. Insurance is generally a bad bet because most people won't get out of it what they put into it...but it isn't a ponzi scheme. You aren't making an investment hoping for a return, instead with insurance you are paying a small amount in the hopes that you never have to use it.
The problem is that sickness care(not healthcare) insurance in most of the western world has become distorted into something that really can't be called insurance. If Obamacare were fire insurance you could call your insurance agent and buy fire insurance as you watch your house burn down.
Great for the guy whose house burned down, not so great for the guy who bought fire insurance and never uses it.
I believe the previous owners allowed the public to access the beach, so it was private with public access for a long time.
Then the new guy comes in and shuts off access. A lot of people got angry, but it appears he has the legal right to do so.
Well if Japan can't stop their nuclear reactors from leaking eventually no one will want beach front property in California anyway.
No Lazar, I don't have Paul Krugman's problem.
No Lazar, I am not doing what you are doing.
I already pointed out how this section of Paul Krugman's text is where he does in fact, sweep the real problem under the rug and pretend the root causes aren't fundamental flaws in his(and others) economic view of the world. I see no reason to review them again, you can just look at my previous post again.
What you have shown is that Paul Krugman likes to talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. Not surprising at all, I wouldn't accuse him of being a scrupulously honest person.
I will agree that we can't call it a mini-Greece any longer, it is worse than that. The Greeks will get significantly more than 16 cents on the dollar.
Well, Detroit pensioners are going to get 16 cents on the dollar.
Very sad, but at least the banks were willing to take only 75 cents on the dollar, they have/had the clout to get even more and screw the pensioners even worse.
Hopefully other city workers will take note and begin make their own preparations so that they can weather such a storm should it hit them.
Not an automatic assumption, but a very strong possibility.
In theory it is a safe bet because of what you state, a retiree should drop a tax bracket or two or three, and the IRA will be taxed at a lower rate.
But the fact is the government needs more and more money to cover the deficit. Considering it has roughly $200 trillion in obligations it will need to fund in the future, politicians are going to start to get a bit desperate. Especially when interest rates rise and people here and overseas become less willing to lend money.
And there is all that untaxed money sitting in 401Ks and IRAs, carefully tracked by the IRS.
Governments in other countries help themselves to retirement accounts when they get desperate. There is a risk it could happen here.
I wouldn't consider Roth IRAs safe either. Instead of taxing 401Ks and IRAs, they could just start forcing those accounts to buy government bonds to keep funding the government.
This wouldn't happen if the government would cut its budget to balance it but we all know that is not going to happen until there is no other choice.
NH, when you say this-
"But my total tax "burden" (state and federal combined) is just over 8% of gross income. Welcome to the wonderful world of tax deductions!"
Someone who doesn't understand economics and finances, someone who fills out a 1040EZ and pays a 10-15% tax rate, is going to think you take home 92% of your money.
I knew, of course that wasn't the case, but a lot of people don't understand that. I mostly just wanted to point that out for clarification. Political arguments on tax rates easily get distorted that way.
I will also mention your 6% 401K contribution is going to be taxed...just not now. It will be taxed later, most likely when taxes are higher.
The same holds true for IRAs.
NH, can you elaborate a bit on your deductions?
Because I also live in California, I also have an income like yours, and the tax rate on my gross income is way higher than 8%. It actually is closer to 35%.
See, I don't think making more money lowered your taxes. I don't think your friends making more money lowered their taxes either. I, of course, don't know your financial situation at all, so you can correct me if I am wrong. But I am your counter-example. For me, making more and more money has only meant paying more and more taxes as a total percentage of my wealth.
Let me take a guess though...your mortgage is what is lowering your taxes. Is that correct?
If that is the case, what you actually did was lower the tax rate percentage on your gross income in exchange for drastically raising the percentage of your gross income which you give directly to banks in the form of interest payments. You mention property taxes but don't make it clear if you count that as part of your 8% of gross income, it sounds like you aren't.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Now I wish I was running my game in Eberron!
LOL, you still can. Get a second set of players together, and run both groups through the same adventures at the same time, with appropriate themes and mods for the Eberron group of course.
Kyuss has to be stopped on both worlds to prevent the new age of course.
One guy who got rid of bed bugs eventually without exterminators used the following tactic...
First, get the bed free of bed bugs, using whatever methods you can, I like the steam gun idea.
Use old yogurt containers and put all four bed legs into said containers. Then wrap the outside of the yogurt containers with carpet tape. Make sure nothing else on the bed touches the floor and keep the bed well away from the wall.
Now any bedbug trying to reach you should get stuck on the carpet tape. If a pillow or sheet falls off the bed during the night run it through the dryer.
I have heard of bed bugs dropping onto a bed from the ceiling so you might want to carpet tape the walls near your bed as well.
It goes away eventually. I remember a year ago when I started back up I was in some pain early on. I remember one day I was on the couch watching TV and my GF was in her office on the PC. It literally hurt to pick up the remote to change the channel. Every time I did I would groan out loudly as I lifted the remote. My GF thought it was comical but I wasn't exaggerating I hit the gym way too hard early on :)
That reminds me of this.
Dungeon Magazine #141 puts Cauldron and Sasserine on the same map so you can use the scale to get an estimate. There is also a map of the local area around Sasserine in Dragon Magazine #349 which has Cauldron off the map but an arrow pointing in its direction. Roughly according to those maps I would say Cauldron is about 70-75 miles away from Sasserine.
LOL, I am right now writing a sticky note for Serpents of Scuttlecove that there have to be innocent hostages spread throughout the Crimson Fleet HQ. That the PCs care about.
Your words, not mine.
But those three cities can't meet their future obligations, so they will default or get a bailout, one way or another.
That's hardly just "sweeping things under the rug".
Which parts of the article are you paying attention to?
"Never mind the repeated failure of the predicted U.S. fiscal crisis to materialize,"
FYI to Krugman...Detroit going bankrupt is the latest materialization of the ongoing US fiscal crisis.
"the sharp fall in predicted U.S. debt levels"
The only reason it hasn't sharply fallen is the US govt extra borrowing to keep the level up and the Federal Reserve propping up the housing market with free money for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
" and the way much of the research the scolds used to justify their scolding has been discredited;"
Krugman ignoring a problem does not make the problem go away or discredit the problem.
"Are Detroit’s woes the leading edge of a national public pensions crisis? No."
Wrong, the correct answer is yes, and anyone counting on a public pension better start financial preparations so they don't have to count on it. If they don't, they are in for a world of hurt later like Detroit city pensioners are now.
"but for the most part the city was just an innocent victim of market forces."
False, I will quote someone else who has lived in Detroit and got to experience the whole thing first hand...
In December 1991, one block from my home, a man twice my size tried to stuff me into the back of a Chrysler New Yorker that was occupied by three other co-crazies blanked out on dope. Using my athletic prowess, I escaped the grasp of my attacker, and I immediately realized that had I not been able to throw off the attacker, I probably would have been just another number in the city morgue archives: gang-raped and dumped in an alley, only to be found several days later by someone cutting through the alley on the way to nowhere. My husband and I packed our bags and left the city the following spring. After ten years, we were done with The Experiment. The Marxism, crime, anti-white racism, tax rates, and lack of stable neighborhoods chased us out of town.
In reality, the city died in 1967, with the riot that changed the city for decades. The decomposition occurred immediately thereafter. My father, a firefighter, worked a 72+ hour shift during the riots, putting out fires while being shot at by rioting civilians. He told me stories about the lack of police protection, and thus having to fight off gangs of rioters and looters by pulling out what is know as the 2 1/2 inch handline, the ultimate firefighter tool.
And of course, the final conclusion from Krugman, which I already quoted, as he sweeps it under the rug...until the next big city hits the wall.
"There are influential people out there who would like you to believe that Detroit’s demise is fundamentally a tale of fiscal irresponsibility and/or greedy public employees. It isn’t. For the most part, it’s just one of those things that happens now and then in an ever-changing economy."
Krugman's way of saying...nothing to see here folks, not to worry just move along.
In April 2012 city officials went to the state government because they were desperate. Their choices were to stiff bond holders, stiff pension holders, stop paying for current city programs, or bankruptcy(stiff all three to some extent). The made the offer to let the state have more control over their finances in exchange for financial help(translation: hope for bailout).
The state agreed.
The economic necessity is either a) bailout or b) bankruptcy. The decision as to which choice will be made is, of course, pure politics. The governor is a Republican, the city is Democrat so the choice is b). If the governor were a Democrat the decision would be a).
If the city had not made the agreement with the state, then bankruptcy would still happen at some point.
As for Krugman, his quote...
"For the most part, it’s just one of those things that happens now and then in an ever-changing economy."
Completely sweeps under the rug that Detroit is just the first large city of many, many more bankruptcies coming down the pike.
Chicago, Los Angeles and Baltimore all have greater pension obligations per city resident than Detroit does. We can't blame all of these cities mismanagement on the "ever-changing economy".
From Paul's conclusion...
"There are influential people out there who would like you to believe that Detroit’s demise is fundamentally a tale of fiscal irresponsibility and/or greedy public employees. It isn’t. "
Wrong again Paul. That is exactly what it is.
Fiscal conservatives warned for decades what would happen to Detroit if the city did not change its ways. It was the epitome of bad government. But no, the city government didn't want to listen. The red ink could just flow forever. The city Democrats practically dared any naysayer to try and stop them.
Well, they just got stopped.
Kirth Gersen wrote:
For myself I know I can't expect to work my current job too long after age 55-60. Many companies do what you mention because they can easily replace the old guy's work with a new guy at half the price.
I do intend to offer to work for less compensation in my latter years but even backup plans don't come guaranteed. In any case I would rather run a small business out of my home at age 65-80 rather than depend on an employer.
There is talk of a bailout for Detroit, a judge is blocking the bankruptcy and is clearly hoping for Obama to step in.
It might happen, but Rand Paul will oppose it and Obama doesn't get much benefit from a bailout for Michigan, he doesn't need to buy their votes anymore.
Personally I don't think Detroit can renew and rebuild until the bankruptcy happens, so IMO a bailout will only prolong the agony and decline.
I want to emphasize to everyone who has a pension...
Contrary to what politicians claim...your pension is not inviolable, your pension promise is not sacred, and your pension money is not guaranteed.
Whether a corporation or a government body, your pension is dependent on the financial acumen of the people managing the pension, and even if that pension was promised by a city or state government, that promise is no longer binding in a bankruptcy.
And while the federal government can't ever be bankrupt as long as it can have the Federal Reserve create money in digital bank accounts, it can and will sell you out if the votes are against you.
So have a backup plan.
If you want to know my backup plan, that would be my plan to work until I am 80.
At least retirees over 65 can fall back on Medicare.
Bankruptcy should be viewed as a way to start fresh. This way the city can ditch the financial obligations which are crippling it. That is going to screw quite a few people, including those with pensions, but the only alternative is to dig an even deeper hole.
Of course, Bank of America is going to get 75 cents on the dollar, while pension holders will get about 10 cents on the dollar. No surprise there.
I hope California and Illinois employees take a good look at what is happening in Detroit and start financial planning in case the same thing happens in their respective states.
I only learned today that the jury consisted of six women, five white, one Hispanic.
My guess is the Hispanic woman is the reason Zimmerman was found not guilty. That would indeed be ironic, because this case for many people stopped being about facts and started being about racial politics.
PC: Modified 6th level Paladin of Freedom using 3.5 rules and PHB2's Charging Smite
As the party investigates the stone scale replica of an ancient city and Tloquatcha's crypt, Sutolore hears them from the adjacent room and moves into position to attack. He flies into the room low to the ground, breathes fire catching every PC and Forol in the cone. He then banks to the right and gains a bit of altitude for next round.
The paladin is the first to react, charging straight at the abyssal creature and makes a charging smite attack with his magic warhammer. He rolls a 20. To confirm the crit, he rolls another 20. Adding up all the critical damage including all the smite damage x3...Sutolore takes 67 hp of damage after subtracting DR. One shot and instant explosion, this time only half the party was in range to take further fire damage.
Anyone have any suggestions?
If there isn't any than I will fall back on the Kreegs from Pathfinder #3 in Rise of the Runelords AP, but if anyone knows of any others from Dungeon Magazine's run up through #150 let me know.
Lord Khayven is statted out fully in Dungeon Magazine #120, where he appears in the Lost Temple of Demogorgon. This adventure is unrelated to STAP, but can easily be integrated in.
Troop subtype? I am looking forward to seeing this, I always loved and used the concept ever since I saw Paul Jaquays use it to good effectiveness in M5 Talons of Night.
I have used touching, which they call escalating kino, in order to convince a woman that I am worthy of keeping her attention. This has been verified in Scientific American of all places.
But for a man, building attraction with a woman is an extremely delicate art. The wrong timing for a suggestion or action, even slightly, can turn her off. On the other hand, if she is interested she won't necessarily be able to pinpoint why she is interested, she is just enjoying the feeling of attraction without trying to rigorously analyze it.
Andrew Turner wrote:
Wouldn't he be able to profit on those copies of Insomnia people buy from him?
If the copyright is in the public domain at that point, he still can sell copies, but he has to compete against anyone and everyone else that is selling copies also.
This reminds me of when Obama complimented Kamala Harris on her appearance. He had to backpedal fast and apologize for that.
The irony was that she had actually complimented Obama on his appearance in the past, and no one thought anything of it.
It makes perfect sense once you realize how people tend to judge other people by default, versus how feminism would like to see it done.
The general default(not in all cases of course) is...men are judged by their actions/accomplishments, women are judged by their appearance. So Kamala complimenting Obama on his appearance doesn't matter, because no one is going to judge him based on how he looks. They might like his look, but what he does and what results he gets are going to be the standard.
But turn it around, and have Obama compliment Kamala, and it brings to that forefront that women are judged by their appearance, not on their actions or accomplishments. This is anathema to feminism, which wants men and women judged the same, that is by accomplishments and actions. So Obama commenting on her looks raises that question of whether her career in office and as California attorney general is somehow less important than how hot she is.
Brian E. Harris wrote:
LOL, of course she never heard of Mystara. Is she crossing her fingers when she says that hoping no one asks her if she ever heard of the D&D Known World?
I first heard of this and what she was doing back in 2012...I assumed she was foolish enough to believe that a few cosmetic changes was enough to avoid violating trademarks and copyright laws. Now I guess she actually thought at the time no one would notice because the campaign setting was discontinued almost 20 years ago.
@Freehold DM: Your welcome!
My purposes for incorporating the two cairn adventures(and elements of the second adventure just to get more use out of Diamond Lake) is to make a Rod of the Seven Parts campaign/AP for Birthright. King of the Giantdowns reveals the ancient history of Cerilia had a race of cloud giants and the idea of the vaati can be incorporated with that. Either the giants were allied with the vaati and thus fought as allies in their wars, or the vaati history could be morphed to make it cloud giant history.
I agree Gorgon's Crown and Brechtur highlands are good choices. A Birthright campaign starting off in the domains of the Gorgon sure would be different from the usual fair, wouldn't it? The players might be young adults(with weak bloodlines) facing a life of serfdom and visit the Whispering Cairn as an escape only to find powerful magic and treasure. They then must flee the only home they have ever known when the local authorities learn what they have found and try to take it.
Scott Betts wrote:
The availability of a gun is required for gun violence to take place.
The availability of a gun is the cause of gun violence taking place.
Two different statements, two different meanings.
That the first statement is true does not necessarily mean the second statement is true.
The black raven wrote:
If the availability of guns is the sole or main cause for gun violence, as you suggest, then there truly is no hope.
There is no hope because 3D printing is going to make guns more available at a lower cost than ever before. Not now, but in the future. Costs are going to fall and when prices fall, more is demanded.
So if we follow your line of reasoning, then the USA and other countries are only going to see gun violence increase, and there is nothing we can do. Banning or controlling 3D printers will be impossible. They are just too useful for a variety of applications.
Do other developed countries have sanctuary cities yet? I honestly don't know myself, but that is what I was referring to in the USA.
If you are not familiar with what a sanctuary city is, I can describe it but that is a significant digression.
But my main point is that the USA is not like most other developed countries, it is almost unique. It has always had a gun ownership culture, which is very different from Japan, which instead has a long history of the government confiscating weapons from the citizenry. Not surprising that Japan has a low gun ownership rate and a low gun violence rate.
Switzerland, on the other hand, has a culture where gun ownership is considered part of the obligation of the citizenry, so ownership rates are much higher. But yet the gun violence rate is much smaller than the USA.
Three different developed countries, three different cultures, and, yet gun availability doesn't neatly correspond to gun violence for all three. Throw in more countries, especially undeveloped countries, and the association between the two gets all kinds of crazy data input.
Which, of course, suggests someone's culture and outlook on life has an impact on whether they decide to pick up a gun and use it if one happens to be available. Hardly a controversial suggestion that these would be factors along with gun availability.
The black raven wrote:
An honest examination of other countries in comparison to the USA needs to look at more than just the number of guns and legality of guns in that country in order to draw conclusions.
And because the USA allows a significant amount of immigration from undeveloped countries, you need to take those undeveloped countries' gun statistics into account as well.
The black raven wrote:
The thread, though, has discussed how all those anti-gun laws are made utterly useless by 3D printer technology. The occasional criminal or the fellow who wants to commit a massacre has only to print out the guns they need, and go. Organized criminals as well. They will have their hands on the gun.
Nothing can prevent it. You will have to arrest them after the fact, or, if you get very lucky, on the way to the commission of the crime if someone happens to arrest him or her while traveling to the intended target. This is the reality in the next few years.
Searching these threads, a few people in the past mentioned doing this. I was curious where people put Diamond Lake. I am thinking of just adapting the two Wind Duke cairn adventures from this AP, rather than the whole thing.
There are a few places where Diamond Lake fits, but if any of you who ran this before in Birthright happen to see this post, let me know what you did.
So a couple of developments...
First, the Department of Homeland Security(I hate that name) agrees that 3D guns cannot be controlled.
And second, a 3D gun was printed that was able to shoot 9 times. Total cost less than $1800 for the printer and materials.
Guy Humual wrote:
It's almost as if there had been some kind of financial disaster or something that happened in the Obama administration.
I am sure if that becomes the justification for all those visits, the Obama will also have a great explanation for how the revenue collection agency suddenly got assigned the responsibility of raising the debt ceiling:)
And this scandal just keeps getting better...
By contrast, Shulman’s predecessor Mark Everson only visited the White House once during four years of service in the George W. Bush administration and compared the IRS’s remoteness from the president to “Siberia.”
Well we can see where the Obama administration's priorities were. I am sure there are completely reasonable explanations for all of those visits.
Is anyone else amused that they are sticking to the story Obama didn't know about the IRS scandal until it broke the news, but they have admitted that White House officials did know about it as much as a month beforehand.
Which essentially means that no one tells the President bad news, he has to read about it in the papers. I hear the last Czar of Russia had the exact same problem.
Those air traffic controllers never got their jobs back.
The simple fact is that the President of the United States has tremendous power, and he can fire anyone in the various executive branch agencies at a moment's notice.
Can those workers fight back in the court system? Sure, on their own dime. Meanwhile the President will have an army of lawyers that can bury those workers for years under legal briefs. And of course even if they continue the fight it will be heard in a federal court by a federal judge, and there is, maybe, one judge in a 100 that has the stones to put his or her neck on the line and not be biased in favor of the President, regardless of the merits of the case. I have followed several legal cases filed against Obama since 2008, and the federal judges always look for the easy way out to rule in favor of Obama rather than make a ruling that would cause him some difficulty.
You think federal judges are going to risk their careers to look out for some IRS employees that the President has sacrificed as a scapegoat and the public reviles? Those air traffic controllers will tell you your ideal principle won't survive reality.
Now as for the rest of what you said...
If your referring to the civil service laws that got rid of the spoils system, you got it backwards. By protecting bureaucrats from being fired once a new political party took power, corruption actually became worse. This is because one of the balances of power from the spoils system is that if the people began to suffer corruption at the hands of unelected bureaucrats who had power over them, they could check that power by voting for the other political party. That new party would come in and fire the current bureaucrats and replace them. So old corruption would be swept away as elected offices changed hands.
Today, we have no such check on bureaucrats' power, and the fact is an unelected bureaucrat has the power to bankrupt a citizen should they choose to do so, with little recourse for a citizen who is innocent. And that bureaucrat will continue to keep their job.
That is why this IRS scandal has sparked such anger, because IRS agents have the power to take away your bank account, put a lien on your house, or charge you with violating the nigh incomprehensible tax laws. If people think the IRS is biased, they know that great power can be used arbitrarily against them.
As I have explained, Obama doesn't have to show any such misconduct. If he wanted to, he could fire as many IRS agents and officials as he pleases, and he will never suffer any legal consequences for doing so. Even if he lost in court eventually years later, he won't pay a dime in legal fees.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't necessarily want Obama to fire anyone. I was just explaining one way Obama could defuse the IRS scandal and deflect anger away from himself and his administration. Sacrifice a few scapegoats and throw all the blame on them, and appease the public.
I think he was hoping this whole thing would blow over, but IMO the media are so angry about the AP scandal that they want to inflict some pain on his administration. And they can do that very easily by keeping these scandals in the public eye.
Just add me to the list of people completely in awe of that collection.
Do you work for Middle Pillar Path Painting? I may commission these guys myself sometime...for something much smaller in scope.
Problem is Steve Miller was resigning in early June anyway according to reports, so that comes across as the lightest of wrist slaps.
And Joseph Grant is retiring, so presumably he still gets all his benefits and pension, so again, no punishment.
Matthews was talking about firing the people who actually put the plan into action and carried it out. That would be the bureaucrats in Cincinnati and anywhere else this was done. And sure, people can get fired all the time for even the appearance of a conflict of interest, why should bureaucrats have special immunity from being fired? Getting fired from your job isn't being convicted in a trial, there is no presumption of innocence.
This scandal keeps getting better, having that IRS official plead the fifth just shows they have more to hide, and now people are coming forward making accusations of being targeted for audits based on political activity.
Now Congress needs the IRS. But unfortunately for Congress, the IRS blatantly lied to Congress several times about this in 2012. That makes Congress look like a bunch of chumps. They don't like that, and they can't let this slide.
Now IRS employees will be hunkering down for a few years afraid of getting into any more trouble.
Overall, I think Matthews is right. Even though, as wolf and meat point out, you can argue the scrutiny is deserved because almost everyone abuses that particular tax exempt designation, the public doesn't care about that. They don't because the IRS is the most feared agency in the federal government. People put up with it because they trust the agency plays fair.
But calling that trust into question puts into jeopardy faith in the federal government. The left is frustrated by this and because Obama doesn't seem to be willing to fire people. He probably doesn't like direct confrontation.
There are reports that the scandal was brewing for awhile, but Obama says that he only just learned of it. If true this means his people shelter him from bad news and confrontation.
Management 101, if you can't handle firing people, then you have to give the power to someone else who will do the job.
This article provides a good summary of how the IRS is used as a political weapon since at least FDR's time.
Kennedy also used the IRS to strong-arm companies into complying with "voluntary" price controls. Steel executives who defied the administration were singled out for audits.
The Landmark Legal Foundation sued the IRS in 1997 after being audited. Its brief quoted an IRS official who had explained at an IRS meeting in San Francisco that audit requests from members of Congress or their staff had been shredded and also suggested how future requests from Capitol Hill could be camouflaged.
The IRS has usually done an excellent job of stifling investigations of its practices. A 1991 survey of 800 IRS executives and managers by the nonprofit Josephson Institute of Ethics revealed that three out of four respondents felt entitled to deceive or lie when testifying before a congressional committee.
The agency also has a long history of seeking to intimidate congressional critics: In 1925, Internal Revenue Commissioner David Blair personally delivered a demand for $10 million in back taxes to Michigan's Republican Sen. James Couzens—who had launched an investigation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue—as he stepped out of the Senate chamber. More recently, after Sen. Joe Montoya of New Mexico announced plans in 1972 to hold hearings on IRS abuses, the agency added his name to a list of tax protesters who were capable of violence against IRS agents.
So as I suggested in my original post, the IRS has always been out of control, and it will remain that way until it no longer exists.
Here is my take on things...
Thumbs up to partisan witch-hunts. I love them. I really do. I love seeing politicians with the deer-caught-in-the-headlights look as they stumble at the podium trying to save themselves. Obama did a great imitation of Sergeant Shultz the other day, to paraphrase, "I know nothing! I see nothing! I did not even get out of bed on the morning it happened!"
Thumbs up for the AP spying scandal. As I pointed out in the 3D printing guns thread, this administration doesn't respect the 1st Amendment. It spies on everyone, and so after the media rolled over and played dead when the Bush administration sought immunity for companies that helped them spy, it is good to see the media get bitten also. Their outrage is also a pleasure to see, "How dare they do to us what they do to the public every day!"
Thumbs up for the IRS scandal. When has the IRS not been used as a political weapon? The 1920s? It is good to remind everyone that, contrary to the posturing, the system is unfair and biased.
I am neutral on the Benghazi scandal. I think it makes a fitting epitaph for Hillary Clinton's career, but at this point, the US military may be fighting in as many as 6 dozen mini-wars throughout the globe. CENTCOM is active in 20 countries, and AFRICOM claims it is supporting military to military relationships in 54 African countries. Who knows how many of those are or may run hot with actually shooting?
I wouldn't want the USA involved in any of these, but it is involved and so it shouldn't surprise anyone when the US loses track of what is happening, gets caught off guard, screws up and people get shot(or worse). Benghazi may have been incompetence, it may have been something worse, but the US government isn't going to come clean about anything unless Wikileaks does it for them.
Matthew Vincent did an awesome model apparently.
Unfortunately the links he provided don't work.
However the good news is that he did describe what floorplans and downloads he used so you have the building blocks to go and rebuild it if you want.