Thursday, May 16, 2013


Scandals, they're everywhere.
They're in the air and who put them there?
You, you and you, you nasty men ...
~ Song lyrics, Nasty Man
Reporters love scandals because they sell soap. Politicians love scandals because they attract reporters like flies to dung. Citizens love scandals because they make day-to-day politics marginally entertaining. Since U. S. Grant was president, at least, second terms have been the realm of scandals.

I'm not really impressed with the 2013 iteration of second term scandals.

Benghazi is simply a phony revenge scandal where the losing political party is trying to undo the results of the last election. The only way to make a scandal is to assume as a starting premise that President Obama is perfectly prescient. It's equal is the proposed scandal that President Roosevelt allowed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The IRS and the Ohio Tea Party may have been an overreach by local agents. As a leader of a local Sierra Club chapter decades ago I know from experience that the lines between "education" and political advocacy have been blurred to joke status. Non-profits engage in technically illegal political activity all the time. The Catholic Church, NRA, ACLU, it happens across the political spectrum. When you have an organization declare itself to be a new political party then claiming to be doing non-partisan education it should set off red flags in a reasonable IRS office.

The AP scandal was made to interest the press. Spying on the Media! Outrageous! I'm not going to defend the spying although I should be happy about it. The federal government has been spying on American citizens since before I was born. Never has it been as comprehensive and intrusive as it is today. What's new here and why should the media be immune? I would be happy if this scandal would lead to a media led outrage against the government's domestic spying. Unfortunately, that won't happen. The media will negotiate a limited exemption for themselves while leaving the rest of us Americans subject to invasive snooping.

All in all, these scandals are pathetic and not worthy of the term Yellow Journalism.

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