Morning Bits

Reason enough to defund the United Nations. “Iran will preside over the United Nations arms control forum this month, despite the fact that it is under U.N. sanctions for illicit nuclear activities and routinely supplies arms to the terrorist organization Hezbollah in violation of international law.” Unfortunately that is par for the course over there.

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) is calling for a full IRS investigation (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

If the press didn’t have reason to turn on the administration, this should do it. “In a sweeping and unusual move, the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of journalists working for the Associated Press as part of a year-long investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a failed al-Qaeda plot last year.”

There is good reason for the administration to worry when Time magazine sounds like National Review: “President Barack Obama angrily batted away questions Monday about his administration’s response to the Benghazi attack, calling the recent furor over edited talking points a ‘sideshow.’ Less than a week after emotional testimony in the House of Representatives brought the conservative obsession with Benghazi into the mainstream, Obama tried to contain the damage by framing the GOP focus on the attack as politically driven.” Ouch.

There’s a good reason to think the administration wasn’t being candid on Benghazi. The president is still making stuff up. As the speaker of the House pointed out, although the president claimed Congress looked at the e-mail exchange months ago andd found nothing wrong, “[i]n fact, the improper drafting and handling of the administration’s talking points was one of the key finding in the interim report released on April 23rd by the five committees investigating this matter.” It’s almost like the White House doesn’t care about the truth.

Republicans have reason to be optimistic on the 2014 Senate races. Charlie Cook finds that in Massachusetts “this race really does look like a single-digit contest. It is moving to the Lean Democratic column.” And in South Dakota, “Democrats have had a rough few days … Although U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, son of retiring Democratic Sen. Tim Johnson, has not made a statement, the conventional wisdom is that he will not run for his father’s seat. And today, former U.S. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin wrote in a post on her Facebook page that she would not be a candidate. Herseth Sandlin was a favorite of many national Democrats.” That race moves to “likely Republican.”

Reason enough to fire him. “When members of Congress repeatedly raised concerns with the Internal Revenue Service about complaints that Tea Party groups were being harassed last year, a deputy IRS commissioner took the lead in assuring lawmakers that the additional scrutiny was a legitimate part of the screening process. That deputy commissioner was Steven T. Miller, who is now the acting head of the agency.”

There are good reasons why Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’s conduct in hitting up regulated companies for money to implement Obamacare is just fine with the president, I am sure. “First, her misconduct came in the service of universal coverage. To the Church of Universal Coverage, there is no higher law. Second, the president needs Sebelius because she is the only person in the universe who can wield the considerable powers of ObamaCare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board without needing a Senate confirmation hearing.”

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