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Labor Dept Appointee Falsely Accused of Anti-Semitism by Bloomberg Reporter Reinstated

Labor Dept Appointee Falsely Accused of Anti-Semitism by Bloomberg Reporter Reinstated

This kind of media malfeasance is sickening

A few weeks ago, Leif Olson, an attorney, moved his family from Houston to D.C. to join the Department of Labor. Less than three weeks after starting work, Olson resigned when Bloomberg reporter Ben Penn dug up an old Facebook post in which Olson mocked anti-Semites and spun the post as an endorsement of anti-Semitism.

In a public post September 3, Olson wrote:

Well, that was fast: Earlier last week, I posted that I had joined the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division as an advisor to Cheryl Stanton. At the end of last week, I resigned that position. This would not have happened had I not made fun of the alt-right in August 2016.

Let me explain.

Because I delight every time the alt-right and anti-Semites lose credibility by having their noxious idiocy publicly collide with the real world, I indulged in a bit of mockery when Paul Ryan demolished his alt-right, anti-Semitic primary opponent in 2016 (as you can see in the linked album). My post and the comments that followed it were so dripping with disdain that I was complimented for “speaking sarcasm like it was [my] first language.” The sarcasm was so clear that a half-drunk, one-eyed mole rat on a Jovian moon using its empty socket to read Facebook over my shoulder through a handheld spyglass could see it.

This did not stop a reporter from asking Administration personnel for a comment on my statement that it “must be true” that Paul Ryan is a Jew because “I’ve never seen the Lamestream Media report on it, and you know they protect their own”—a statement so ludicrous that there is a 100% chance it was pulled out of context and which the reporter himself acknowledged was clearly a joke. This came shortly after I became aware that the same reporter was contacting people about my past cases. Though I knew of only one in particular, I could surmise the others that would catch a reporter’s eye. It wasn’t difficult to figure how the sort of reporter who would insinuate I’m an anti-Semite would paint those other cases.

The fact that I worked in the Division was going to be used to try to derail every regulation, ruling, proposal, notice, guidance, and letter that came out of the Division. My continued employment was an obstacle, not a help; a fully drunk, no-eyed mole rat on a comet in the Oort Cloud using its nose to read Facebook reflected on a mirror behind my shoulder through a kaleidoscope could see that.

I anticipate that, in a few hours, a story will hit Bloomberg News’s Daily Labor Report. In it, Ben Penn will write that I was hired as a Senior Policy Advisor, even though I had posted “controversial” statements in the wake of Paul Ryan’s re-election that “some might take” as anti-Semitic. He will write that my social-media accounts would have been shown to the Presidential Personnel Office as a matter of course and that I was hired after going through that process. He will continue to note that there are other “controversial” things about me. I represented the plaintiffs who sued Houston’s mayor to enjoin her executive order requiring the city to pay spousal benefits to same-sex spouses despite the explicit prohibition against doing so in the Texas Constitution, Texas Family Code, and City Charter. (He will probably not note that the lawsuit was brought before Obergefell was decided and that my name stopped appearing on the papers after it was decided.) I objected to the settlement of the class action brought in the wake of the Target data breach and am thus to blame for the delay in classmembers’ getting their settlement checks. I don’t have an obvious background in employment or labor law and thus represent a strange choice for a position in the Wage & Hour Division. Quite likely, I was hired only because I am a hard-right ideologue.

He’ll publish my statement that the Facebook comments were sarcasm criticizing the anti-Semitism and conspiracy theorizing of the alt-right. He will possibly publish my statement that Wage & Hour does important work, that I enjoyed my time there, and that I wish Cheryl and her team all the best. And I do. This was as close to a dream job as I’ve ever gotten. Wage & Hour touches nearly every employer and employee in the country; it is no exaggeration to say that my work might have helped literally millions of people—and done so with real, cognizable money in their pockets.

And on Friday, I resigned it.

Jo and I are still praying over our next move. Because she is amazing, of course, she had two job offers within 24 hours of getting to Virginia, but this move was predicated on the idea that (1) I would finally be moving into public service and (2) we would have two incomes. If you know anyone who needs a law or public-policy or writing job filled, particularly in the DC area, I’d appreciate your letting me know. Until then, my thanks to everyone for your good wishes and congratulations on the move and the old new position—I enjoyed it immensely while it lasted.

UPDATE: The story went live a bit ago. My only surprise is that they stuck with the anti-Semitic accusation in and of itself rather than going with “some might say.” Thanks, everyone, for your kind words so far.

Thankfully, the administration is sticking by Olson. Despite his pre-emptive resignation, Olson has been reinstated. From the Daily Caller:

Leif Olson abruptly left the department 18 days after joining the federal government, after moving his family from Texas to take the job. The departure came after Bloomberg Law reporter Ben Penn contacted the White House and Labor Department about what he portrayed as an anti-SemiticFacebook post from 2016. Penn cropped out in a Tuesday article portions of the exchange that directly referenced it being “epic sarcasm.”

“On Friday, August 30, 2019, senior policy advisor of the Wage and Hour Division Leif Olson offered his resignation and the department accepted,” the department said in a statement to the DCNF. “Following a thorough reexamination of the available information and upon reflection, the department has concluded that Olson has satisfactorily explained the tone and content of his sarcastic social media post and will return to his position.”

Leif Olson is good people. I had the privilege of chatting with him on multiple occasions back in my grassroots work days. Even if he were not good people, this kind of media malfeasance is sickening. Good on the administration and the DOL for refusing to succumb to the tiny minded media elites who think nothing of destroying the livelihood and reputation of perfectly respectable individuals.


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Symptomatic of the knee-jerk tendency of Republicans to act guilty every time a Democrat attacks them.

    oldgoat36 in reply to txvet2. | September 5, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    There is that to a point, but I think it’s to stop the piling on the leftist propaganda machine does, ruining their lives and their family’s lives.

    Trump is helping lead the way back from the blatant propaganda efforts.

It is things like this which makes it past the time when the laws excluding the press from accountability need to be revised and reversed from their current stance.

The media can lie all it wants to if you are a public figure, even if your “fame” comes as a result of their lies, and can’t be sued, or at least not easily, as most are thrown out because they are the press.

This is not what our founders had in mind about a free press. And the media seems to think they are a separate and honored class above any accountability.

The good news is there is a group now forming to investigate the press, checking on their background and putting out the word on them. They have currently a 2 million dollar war chest, which will grow. It’s sort of a media matters type group from the right side of the aisle, and not funded by Soros.

That will take the fight back to them, and may actually turn the media a little more honest, a little more due diligence on the media’s part before they push their propaganda.

I don’t want to see all media go away, they are supposed to serve an important purpose of keeping the people informed, and while their bias will always creep in, that is fine so long as they have to be more accountable for their lies and propaganda. As it is now most news should be discounted or turned opposite of what they report in order to understand reality. THAT needs to end.

    Milhouse in reply to oldgoat36. | September 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    the laws excluding the press from accountability

    What laws?

    The media can lie all it wants to if you are a public figure, even if your “fame” comes as a result of their lies, and can’t be sued, or at least not easily, as most are thrown out because they are the press.

    This is not true at all. If you are a public figure it is difficult to sue anyone for defamation, but the press don’t get any special break. And they can’t lie all they like, because if you can prove they knowingly lied you win, even as a public figure. The difficulty lies in proving that, since they will claim they didn’t know. But the same is true for any defendant, press or not.

    This is not what our founders had in mind about a free press.

    Our founders didn’t write or intend anything about a “free press”. They wrote about “the freedom of speech and the press”, which is the freedom every person has equally to say and publish whatever we like. It has nothing whatsover to do with “the press”.

    And the media seems to think they are a separate and honored class above any accountability.

    Indeed they think that, but the law disagrees.

    I don’t want to see all media go away, they are supposed to serve an important purpose of keeping the people informed,

    No, they aren’t. Their only purpose is to make money, just like the rest of us. They have no role in our system of government. They arrogantly call themselves “the fourth estate”, but not one in twenty of them could tell you what the first three are.

      txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | September 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Perhaps you should actually quote Amendment 1, rather than rewriting it to suit your argument. “or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;” is not exactly the same, NOR does it appear to have the same connotation as your re-write.

        Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | September 6, 2019 at 6:38 pm

        The “freedom of speech and of the press” is one thing, not two.

          txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | September 6, 2019 at 6:58 pm

          Yet you saw fit to rewrite it to make your point (and in fact, did so again by omitting the comma). Sounds like you don’t quite trust your own opinion.

          txvet2 in reply to Milhouse. | September 6, 2019 at 7:02 pm

          Oops. Omitted the change from “or” to “and” Either way, it’s just as likely that they meant two separate entities, and either way, it’s dishonest to rewrite the original to try to support your opinion.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | September 8, 2019 at 3:16 am

          Commas in the constitution do not represent modern punctuation conventions. There are dozens of commas in the original text that make no sense by modern standards.

          Consider the first and third commas in the second amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Any modern reading must omit those commas.

    RandomCrank in reply to oldgoat36. | September 5, 2019 at 11:35 pm

    Prior to the Civil War, the press was a) partisan, and b) had only limited reach. The calumnies published about Adams and Jefferson, and others, were every bit as incendiary as anything published today. The difference is that newspapers were expensive, and most people were working so hard that they didn’t have much time for them.

    A number of things coalesced to change all of that.

    1. The Civil War sparked a widespread desire for accurate battle news. Families with sons at this or that skirmish were anxious to know objectively what happened, good or bad.

    2. The telegraph erased barriers of time and distance, at least to the publisher.

    3. Mechanical printing presses dramatically cut the cost of production, enabling cheaper cover prices.

    4. The growth of a middle class with money to spend spurred advertising, and adverisers wanted the largest possible audience. They selected outlets that the most people would read.

    5. The new middle class craved comfort and stability over conflict, and selected information sources in line with “middle class preferences.” Publishers who wanted to make money catered to them.

    None of this was smooth or easy. The point is this: When the Founders wrote the 1st amendment, they did it during what was actually the country’s first civil war. Support for the war of independence was far from unanimous, and the press of the time was venomous on both sides.

    The “objective” model that began to take hold during and after the Civil War was never prescribed in the constitution, but was developed in response to a combination of new technology and market forces. The Founders were products of the Enlightenment who believed that the mass of people were rational if guided correctly, and that the clash of ideas (including stupidity and fake news) would sort itself out.

    Your appeal for “accountability” is fine, as long as it’s in the free market of foolishness and wisdom.

Someone, somewhere screeches “Anti-Semitism! Jew Hatred!”, and everyone disavows and scatters and abandons without bothering to think.

Same happened with “racism!”. Or, unfortunately “Rape!”.

That is the problem. REAL accusations of real serious evil. But when accusations become convictions in and of themselves (see Roy Moore), they are coopted as weapons and used against anyone and everyone.

And we can’t always move to new words. Espeically with SJWs and their right-wing version.

That is the evil detaching some objectively bad action from unknowable but assumptions of bad thoughts. I can only see what you do, I cannot hear what you think.

We are destroying people because of what we assume they are thinking. Ought we not all – both right and left – stop?

An example of how the administration is willing to fight. If you are falsely accused of some outlandish charge by some SJW or their media allies always push back. If, then nominee BK, hadn’t been willing to fight back he wouldn’t be on SCOTUS today.

Nothing good comes from allowing a small but admittedly influential, group of bullies to attack with impunity. Kudos to the administration for this.

The left is dangerous. They will search through the social media of every appointed Republican and then lie when they can’t find anything.

” . . . and punish our enemies . . . ”

Do you think this attitude belongs to one man only?

So why did they accept his resignation in the first place?

Leif Olson seems like a young man very capable of looking out for himself.

What Bloomberg did was typical left-wing scvmbaggery, but he shpuld haven’t have been reinstated because:

1) He quit. Quitters are not welcome anywhere

2) He is a Resistance idiot.

    hrh40 in reply to cucha. | September 6, 2019 at 7:24 am

    I’m with you on this one, as in, not all exercised about it, because there are several points of alarm in this story:

    1. He acts like Paul Ryan getting reelected was a good thing. It categorically was not. Ryan was a traitor to this country in his last term in office, a term in which he resigned half-way through but stayed long enough to get dozens of Republicans to likewise resign and personally hand the House gavel back to Nancy Pelosi. Again, it was a terrible thing that Paul Ryan got reelected.

    2. …”(1) I would finally be moving into public service”???? Huh? This is not public service, this is a high-paying federal job that really shouldn’t even exist because …

    3. “Wage & Hour touches nearly every employer and employee in the country; it is no exaggeration to say that my work might have helped literally millions of people—and done so with real, cognizable money in their pockets.” These words are chilling. Why in the world should the Federal government touch every employer and employee’s wages?!

    Sorry but the above two quoted sentences could have been said in any current Dem presidential candidate’s events, you couldn’t get more left-wing preachy, “I’m doing you all a favor by being in public service and messing with your personal wage & hour issues. Thank me, America.”

      Milhouse in reply to hrh40. | September 6, 2019 at 11:05 am

      Paul Nehlen is an actual white supremacist f*ck. If you support him then you are too, and should get the **** off this Jewish site.

      Federal regulation of wages affect almost every employee, and having the right people in the DOL to administer those regulations, and make sure they’re applied reasonably, with as light and fair a hand as the law will allow, can benefit everyone. Having the union goons administer them hurts everyone.

        Wow, good morning to you, Sunshine!

        I know nothing about Paul Nehlen but I DO know about Paul Ryan. I stand by my factual reporting about Ryan’s reelection and subsequent “public service”. Not holding my breath for your profane attack on my comment …

        I also stand by my aversion to the Feds controlling our wage and hour issues, cuz I don’t happen to believe every Fed employee is pure as the driven snow.

        Especially this guy who thinks he’s gifting us with his “public service.”

        Taking a wait-and-see attitude about him, his verbiage is not encouraging, sounds just like all those Feds who believe they know better than we do how to run our lives and we’ll all be better off with their magnaminous all-knowing selfless service (how many more times will we hear that he relocated his family? why should I care about that? totally his decision and I’m sure he’s being WELL-compensated for it, after his few days off)…

          CommoChief in reply to hrh40. | September 6, 2019 at 1:21 pm


          Just fyi Nehlen is, among other things, an anti-Semitic whackjob. A cursory search will reveal that if you were previously unfamiliar with his history.

          txvet2 in reply to hrh40. | September 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm

          The fact that Nehlen was worse doesn’t change the fact that Ryan was a disaster.

          CommoChief in reply to hrh40. | September 6, 2019 at 6:53 pm


          As Speaker Ryan lacked the ‘killer instinct’ in a legislative leadership sense, cared too much about how he was perceived vs even M. McConnell who on the rare occasions he rises to the moment he just proceeds ahead and let’s the chips fall.

          Ryan’s full fundamental flaws as Speaker do not, IMO, render the body of his legislative work ineffective. He was quite good at developing policy and was an effective salesman.

          We don’t always have good choices. The lesser of two evils was Ryan, precisely because he was not evil, just ineffective.

          Milhouse in reply to hrh40. | September 8, 2019 at 3:21 am

          Your complaint was that “He acts like Paul Ryan getting reelected was a good thing.” His entire point was that Nehlen’s defeat was a good thing. If you disagree with that, then you are a nazi f*ck.

Aaaaaaaand Facebook has removed Olson’s 2 day old post or made it unaccessible.

“Ten days later after the “right-wing operatives” panic, we’re standing on the rubble of Bloomberg’s reputation, with the organization not only seemingly dead set against acknowledging obvious error but allegedly instructing employees not to do so either.”

Report: Bloomberg Reporters Being Told Not To Promote News Of Leif Olson’s Rehiring