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Uproar Over IRS Scrutiny, Snooping On The AP

Uproar over the IRS and its inquiries. Over snooping on the AP. We tackle both.

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP)

The exterior of the Internal Revenue Service building in Washington, Friday, March 22, 2013. (AP)

Double-barreled uproar in Washington right now. First, over the IRS.  Dumb and wrong for going after 501(c)4 Tea Party groups in particular.  Wrong because the tax service clearly must not take political sides.  Ever.  Dumb because the problem of big, anonymous money gushing into our political system is huge, and now the pushback looks compromised.

Then there’s the AP, and deep Justice Department snooping in its records.  Justice argues “national security.”  Our guest Floyd Abrams says, just plain wrong.

This hour, On Point:  the IRS and Justice, both under fire.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Reid Epstein, White House reporter for Politico. (@reidepstein)

Howard Gleckman, resident fellow at the Urban Institute. Editor of TaxVox, the Tax Policy Center‘s blog. (@howard_gleckman)

Toby Marie Walker, president of the Waco Tea Party, one of the groups targeted by the IRS. (@tobymarie)

Floyd Abrams, attorney, expert in Constitutional and First Amendment law. Author of “Friend of the Court: on the Front Lines with the First Amendment.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico: White House stuck on IRS scandal response — “The IRS scandal puts President Barack Obama in the worst possible position: all of the blame, none of the power to fix it. The Republicans finally have a scandal with potential staying power: One of the most reviled federal agencies improperly targeted conservative groups. The House will hold hearings. Republican leaders are making the media rounds and expressing their disgust. And the White House is stuck waiting.”

CNN: Holder orders probe of IRS targeting conservative groups — “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered an investigation into Internal Revenue Service political targeting of some conservative groups, he announced Tuesday. ‘The FBI is coordinating with the Justice Department to see if any laws were broken,’ he told reporters. Even if none were, the actions “were certainly outrageous and unacceptable,’ he said.”

NBC News: AP calls government’s record seizure a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ – “The Justice Department used a secret subpoena to obtain two months of phone records for Associated Press reporters and editors without notifying the news organization, a senior department official tells NBC News, saying the step was necessary to avoid ‘a substantial threat to the integrity’ of an ongoing leak investigation.”

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  • OnPointComments

    The report from the Treasury Inspector General states that the applications selected by the IRS for further review included 100% of the applications with Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12, and other conservative terminology; no other group had 100% selection.  The IRS may say that automatically selecting every conservative application for further review isn’t a political or partisan decision, but the explanation defies logic and isn’t believable.
     
    I doubt that President Obama had any direct involvement with the IRS.  However, I think he has had much to do with creating the atmosphere and setting the tone that made targeting conservative groups happen.  President Obama constantly berates anyone with whom he disagrees and who thinks the government has grown too large.  He has fomented class warfare. 
     
    On April 20, 2012, the Obama campaign published a list of 8 Romney donors with the heading “you can find all the facts you need right here—along with ways to share the message with whoever needs to hear it;” each donor name was tweeted out by the @TruthTeam2012 twitter handle.  Shortly after publishing the list, at least one of the 8 donors was subjected to IRS and DOL audits (by the way, the audits found nothing).  I don’t think President Obama sicced the IRS & DOL on the donor, but I wouldn’t be surprised if pro-administration supporters at the agencies, or someone who thought it would enhance their IRS or DOL careers, ordered the audits, thinking that it can’t hurt to make the boss happy.  It’s not hard to imagine that IRS employees in the nonprofit section might have done the same.

    • Mike_Card

      And the way that President Obama’s reactions to the attacks on him differ from any other politician’s are…?

      • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

        He’s more adept at telling them to go jump in the lake.

      • donniethebrasco

         He went after the press.  His only friends (Except for the nuts left on NPR).

        • Ray in VT

          How did he, and who is he, go after the press?

          • Gregg Smith

            The AP communications.

          • Ray in VT

            So how is that going after the press?  They weren’t looking to shut anyone up or shut anyone down.  It looks like they were looking for a leaker, and they have procedures for doing that when dealing with the press.

    • 2Gary2

      Who cares if the IRS targets the crazy conservatives.  Too bad they can not be shut down permanently as the conservatives are nothing more than the American version of the Taliban.  If this sounds too harsh then simply look at the damage conservatives cause this country and its people.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Thank you for share sharing you thoughtful opinion.  I of course differ.
        “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
        -Voltaire

      • donniethebrasco

         They came for the teabaggers and I did nothing.

        Then they came for me, and there was no one left.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Uh, they came for the NAACP and Greenpeace first. Chump.

        • 2Gary2

           How about this–they came for the conservatives, and now every sane person lives happily ever-after.  I am so sick of the conservatives AKA American Taliban that I could care less who does what to them.  Good Riddance.

    • generationpolitics

      You really want to talk about the tone of washington. The Republicans have been spreading hate speeches since 2008. Hell even Palin used Targets on a map of politicians.  You have an ENTIRE group known as Tea Party that is becoming a modern day KKK based on their views. 

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Thank you for share sharing you thoughtful opinion.  I of course differ.
        “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
        -Voltaire

    • 1Brett1

      What the IRS did was unconscionable. There needs to be a thorough investigation. With respect to 501(c)4 organizations, going back to 1959, the IRS inexplicably changed the language in the definition of a 501(c)4 from “…explicitly for social welfare” to “PRIMARILY for social welfare.” 

      I, for one, applaud your vociferous condemnation and your desire to stand vigilant to any and all corruption from such an important governmental agency, as well as toward the administration presiding over the government during such a scandal…The IRS targeting certain groups for what amounts to political harassment goes back as far as the agency itself, and should not be tolerated at all. Now is the time to stop this practice once and for all. And, as you say, President Obama was most likely not involved, but why should that stop a good opportunity for conservatives to pile on/trump up? Call for impeachment now and ask questions later, I say.

      And I’m sure you and all other conservatives were just as vocal in your condemnation when the IRS targeted certain groups for what appeared to be similar political harassment during the Bush Administration, the Reagan Administration and the Nixon Administration.

      I’m sure you would also agree that groups, say, for example, that are Tea Party run, are not at all political in their “primary” focus, but simply “primarily” exist to promote social welfare. The definition of a 501(c)4 organization must be tightened up to rid the political process of organizations that build resources to undermine the political process while being tax exempt. If the definition of 501(c)4s is better defined, then fine upstanding organizations, say, like Tea Party organizations, can continue their social welfare programs and advocacy without having to prove they are not political, and can operate unfettered without having to pay taxes. 

      In this current scandal, no Tea Party 501(c)4 was denied status, but that’s beside the point. The very thought of their having to show proof of their intent to “primarily” promote social welfare to receive tax-exempt status is reprehensible. What’s a political organization trying to game the system to do?

      • Gregg Smith

        I’m not so quick to say Obama knew nothing about it. This is what he does, it’s the way he operates. I’ll wait to decide on that one.

        • Don_B1

          Throwing unsupported claims around again?

          What specific actions by President Obama support your claim that he does things like using the I.R.S. to harass opponents?

          Without such specifics, your post is just false ad hominem.

          • Gregg Smith

            He advocated getting in peoples faces. He intimidated the SCOTUS in a SOTU address. His sequester idea was based on threats. He told republicans not to do any talking and just get out of the way. What happened to IG Gerald Walprin? Why was whistleblower Hicks demoted? Obama’s an Alinskyite! This is what he does. 

        • 1Brett1

          So, “most likely not involved” translates into “…quick to say Obama knew nothing.”? 

          Then you go on to say, “This is what he does, it’s the way he operates.”?

          So glad you are remaining impartial on the matter… 

          • Gregg Smith

            Well, yea… what else can it mean? Don’t you think it’s a little soon to say Obama most likely didn’t know anything? Based on what? I am basing my opinion on proven history. This is the way Obama operates.

      • Don_B1

        Your post is good, and if I had seen it before writing mine, I probably would have settled for just supporting yours.

        Another thing that could be changed would be to make large donors no longer anonymous. That would deny a lot of the attractiveness of these organizations to these donors.

        A limit of $1000 to $10,000 might suffice and still give anonymity benefits to small donors who want to help local social causes.

        • 1Brett1

          Yes, all good ideas, there, Don.

          The laws/definitions of what constitutes a 501(c)4 organization and how they can operate, including the activities large donors and their relationships have with such “social welfare” organizations, would be a good start; and as you also offer, limiting the size of donations to retain anonymity would also be a good place to tighten the definitions. 

          When the language was changed from “EXCLUSIVELY social welfare activities” to “PRIMARILY social welfare activities” it put the IRS in a position of having to delve into individual group’s purpose and activities. As the one guest pointed out, I doubt the IRS wishes to spend its resources having to render judgments based on in-depth investigations of every 501(c)4 application that comes down the pike.

    • Don_B1

      Let’s first look at just what really took place:

      1) the original law establishing 501(c)4 tax exempt status was for groups that were >exclusively for civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

      2) In 1959, the I.R.S. expanded the definition by using the term ’primarily’ for the promotion of social welfare.

      3) Karl Rove used the Citizen’s United decision to create a group which he “claimed” was primarily for the promotion of social welfare and hundreds more such groups were created or some existing groups applied for this status, primarily because donors to such groups do not have to be revealed.

      4) Just as the I.R.S. selects “home offices” as a reason for audits, it tries to pick some indicator to help select for those organization that might not fit the rules for that status.

      None of the above defends the I.R.S.’s specific actions or says that the I.R.S. was justified in using the terms they apparently used, but if they did not equally examine all groups with other terms “appropriate” (if there is such a thing) to selecting them.

      But as Howard Gleckman stated, the I.R.S. is being required, by law, to regulate speech, which is not something appropriate to its function, and almost certain to be troubling.

      • 1Brett1

        Well put…I find the IRS’s actions disturbing, but the vagueness of how a 501(c)4 organization should conduct itself has given rise to their aggressive actions to a large extent, and this needs to change. I see this as a good opportunity to take an in-depth examination of the whole Citizen’s United issue and misuse by tax-exempt organizations in how they abuse their status.

        …As sort of an aside, I thought it was amusing that the Tea Party woman claims her group’s only activities are in teaching people in her community civics/educating people about the Constitution, etc. I also find it interesting that these conservative groups claim they have been singled out even though they represented only 1/3 of the IRS’s probes, and that their rights have been violated even though they weren’t denied their tax-exempt status. 

  • 2Gary2

    I would look closely at the tea baggers.  They are bat shit crazy and I would assume they all cheat just like they are all racists. We look at the goofy right wing nut groups at their compounds in Idaho so why not the tea baggers?  The tea baggers are the American Taliban and should be on the terror watch list.

    • donniethebrasco

       You are a moron.

      • hennorama

        donniethebrasco – talking to your mirror again?  Aren’t daily affirmations supposed to be a tad more positive?

        • Ray in VT

          Channeling a little Stuart Smalley?

          • hennorama

            Ray – let’s simply say “inspired by his reflections”.

    • donniethebrasco

       People on the left targeted businesses and individuals who donated to anti-gay marriage groups.

      It is one thing to argue your own point of view, but to go after people who donate to a group you don’t agree with is undemocratic and criminal.

      • Ray in VT

        Who “targeted” businesses and individuals, and how?

      • Don_B1

        @rayinvt:disqus 
        The difference is when the government does it secretly for the direction/benefit of politicians and when private groups do it, in public view.I could support a group that would boycott any business that hires a member of the Westboro Baptist Church because of its targeting of funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in the Middle East, or a person that contributes to that “church.”

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It is refreshing to see people unafraid to voice their opinions, ignorant of the facts as they maybe.

      • 2Gary2

         yes–happens on fox news and hate radio daily.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          And it happens here perhaps 100 times a day.

  • generationpolitics

    I have a hard time caring especially when the IRS looked into a “non-profit” organization headed by Rove that spent $70million in one year. Non-profits can’t be taxed. 

    Every tea party group is some how backed by corporate lobbyist. I’d be suspicious too. I will laugh if this blows up in the Repubs face.
    Some how I am rolling my eyes that the Republicans are using this as an argument for their own agenda. 

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      If you care or if you don’t, is not at issue.  Neither is if Karl Rover has spent millions of dollars to stop the Tea Party Movement.  What is at issue is if the IRS has broken the law.  If crimes have been committed then the criminals must be punished and new procedure adopted to prevent that from happening again.

  • 1Brett1

    The Republicans demanding an investigation to do whatever it takes to gather information and get to the bottom of news leaks regarding sensitive information which could compromise national security, then wagging a finger in utter shock at information gathering methods as part of an investigation to get at those same news leaks is, well, soooo Republican of them.

    • donniethebrasco

       Defending by vague accusations is all you got.  Circle the wagons and lose the next election.

      • 1Brett1

        Well all know you have a reading comprehension problem but I didn’t at all defend anything, nor was that a vague accusation. 

    • Ray in VT

      It seems that some of the members of the GOP are fairly ho-hum about the AP issue.  I don’t like the idea of the government doing things which might inhibit a free press, but what does one do when one is confronted with a leak, such as the one that may have prompted the action in question?  The Obama administration has been really going after leaks, and this one, if indeed this is what is behind this move by the Justice Department, did involve a leak of a covert mission.  Are leaks the price that we just have to pay, or should the government be able to take steps to figure out who has leaked information, and how far can that go.  Those, I think, are some very important questions that we need to ask regarding issues like this.

      • Gregg Smith

        I don’t blame the press for reporting leaks, I blame the leakers. When classified details of the Bin Laden raid were leaked, no one seemed to mind. 

        • Ray in VT

          So if leakers use the press, then how do we go about dealing with them?  There do appear to be some methods for the government to do this, so the question in this case is did the Justice Department act appropriately and within the law.  As for the Bin Laden raid, I’m less concerned with information after the fact, just so long as it doesn’t reveal sensitive information, rather than information regarding an ongoing action.

          Then we get into the issue of the ethics of leaks.  Sometimes it is done for very noble reasons, such as if one is leaking details of corruption or wrongdoing, but sometimes it can be done for political or personal reasons.  The law may regard all equally, but it’s hard to do that personally when one looks at the intent and the effects.

          • Gregg Smith

            The President leaks things all the time to his benefit. Stuxnet the double agent in Yemen and the Bin laden Raid (yes sensitive info) are just a few. The government can’t go after the press.

          • Ray in VT

            If the President can declassify and release information, then it isn’t really a leak, and the government can take certain actions regarding the press under certain conditions.

          • brettearle

            Yes, they CAN….

            If it can be demonstrated that it is in the interests of DIRE and/or EMERGENT National Security.

            Of course, there ought to be an official legal process to this.

            Or maybe such Electronic Retrieval is part of FISA (or similar)–where the circumstances are so serious, that you petition for the Warrants later. 

             

          • Gregg Smith

            Technically you are correct but the bar is extremely high.

          • Don_B1

            And so far there is no evidence that the high bar was not met, despite AP and other Press Interests making unsupported claims to the contrary.

          • Don_B1

            President Obama did not leak the Stuxnet story. It was discovered when a programming error in the Stuxnet virus allowed it to escape to the Internet when an Iranian engineer connected his computer containing it to the Internet and then various hackers and other Internet monitors spent time figuring out what it did.

          • Gregg Smith

            There are lot’s of claims he did leak it. Politifact rated it as half true not that it means much. Several outlets made the claim. 

          • Don_B1

            Unfortunately Politifact is human and gets things wrong from time to time.

            As Politifact acknowledged, it took a broad, miles-wide definition of “leak” to pin even partial guilt on the Obama administration.

            Certainly not enough to justify your implication, and implications are what you hide behind.

          • Gregg Smith

            I deny the charge. I think it was leaked, I’ve studied it but I could be wrong. My point is Obama sudden concern for leaks regarding the AP story seems fabricated to me. 

  • Trond33

    Regulations regarding tax exempt status for politically oriented non-profits should be rewritten.  Much as the same regulations governing political activities and tax exempt status of religious organizations need to be strengthened.  The demand should be for full transparency in regards to any organization engaging in political activities while claiming tax exempt status.  

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I strongly agree with the point you are making.  It is at the core of our rights that we should be able to form groups to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  But now with this scandal and abuse of governmental power is not the time to make such changes.  Laws written during times of high emotion tend to be flawed.  

      • Don_B1

        And laws written at other times which affect powerful interest groups, but are to the benefit of the public in total, tend to not get passed.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Some do some don’t. We are not in any danger of having too few laws.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Isn’t the government targeting everyone in Bluffdale Utah with automated email, and phone transmission analyzer(s) ?

  • Ed75

    The administration is totally pro-abortion. Anything that causes them problems or hurts them is a good thing.

    • Acnestes

       Pro-choice, Ed.  No one is , “pro-abortion”, though I expect the distinction is lost on you.

      • Ed75

        The distinction is there, but it doesn’t make a difference. Either policy allows unborn children to be killed, so either policy is unacceptable.

        • anamaria23

          Do you and your church  have  anything to say about the  many men who desert their sexual partners when a pregnancy is   known?
          Your church readily condemns women for seeking abortion, but never considers that a male is present at the moment of conception.
          Birth control can prevent abortions, but is condemned by your church.
          Reversal of Roe will not stop abortions only send more women into the hands of  quacks, the results of which can be fatal.  

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Now Anamaria, there’s a reason that the phrase “she went and got herself pregnant” is considered proper English in certain circles.

          • keltcrusader

            It takes two to tango, but only one gets to carry the result of that dance for 9 months

          • Ed75

            That’s because the media don’t give the full picture. The Church teaches that, because of the biology of the situation, the man is more responsible for a pregnancy than the woman. If a man gets a woman pregnant, the man is morally responsible to support the woman and the child until the child is 18 years of age. To not do this is a very serious sin on the part of the man.

            No doubt many women seek abortion because they do not have the support of the man, which they have a right to.

            For these and other reasons the emphasis is not on criticising women, it’s on men, on the doctors, and on the effort to support women and to encourage them to give their children up for adoption or raise them with help.

            Of course the emphasis also is on a responsible use of sexuality.

    • donniethebrasco

      Kermit Gosnell was treated unfairly.  He helped women who needed services that are protected by the constitutional right of privacy.

      The right wing in Philadelphia overreached in persecuting him.  His convictions will be overturned by the 9th district.

      • Ed75

        It is a little silly that to kill a child is murder when to kill the child a few minutes before in the womb is not murder, under the law. We should conclude that all abortion is murder, not that killing any child is OK.

        In spite of the fact that as a state senator President Obama voted four times to allow children who survived abortion to die without care (infanticide), I’ll bet you a nickle that the 9th circuit won’t overturn it. Perhaps it will be the case that will go to the Supreme Court and overturn Roe.

        • donniethebrasco

           In the Gosnell case, they couldn’t tell, through autopsy, whether or not the baby was aborted or murdered.

          How is it possible not to be able to tell the difference between abortion and murder?

          • Ed75

            They were only told that the baby had moved some, made some sounds. The judge couldn’t say for sure whether, in three specific cases, this was reflex motion or the movement of a living child (what have we come to?). A worker in the clinic said that born babies were killed with scizzors in the back of the neck over 100 times.

            But Gosnell got life in prison without parole in exchange for not appealing his case, and the judicial system avoids more publicity, which the pro-abortion government doesn’t want.

      • Don_B1

        Every pro choice group I know has been horrified by the way Kermit Gosnell ran his “clinic.” It was run without regard for the laws that provide protection for patients.

        The only “advantage” it provided for its patients was lower prices, though not necessarily lower costs (to the patients).

        But that is the only type of abortion service that will be available if all abortion is made illegal. And unfortunately it will be widely used.

  • Yar

    We have issues that are just too big for one political party to solve, and we have become so polarized as a nation that we no longer have safe spaces to work on, or even talk about real solutions together, we are devolving into what is rapidly becoming a civil war.
    We must create a safe spaces for true dialog in our churches, our workplaces, and in our families.  We have to learn to talk with those with whom we disagree, learn not attack each other personally and to learn from each other “how we are to care for all people in all stages of life.” This is the essential question in what it means to love your neighbor.   
    Tom, your show has devolved over the past two years as well.  Even though On Point is the best, it isn’t doing enough in building safe space for true dialog.  

    How many outraged commentators have also said the TSA should be doing more to target specific profiles of people instead of searching the “grandma in a wheelchair?”  Wasn’t the IRS doing the same thing! It is called profiling, and we are better than that as a nation.  Barrack Obama has said, someone in Government is screwing up at any given time, and it is his job to fix it.  Lets help him do his job.

    • donniethebrasco

       He doesn’t want to do his job.  He thinks if someone messes up, you give them more resources and a hug.

      That’s why I need to have a gun.

      • 1Brett1

        No, it is your kind, the adjudicated incompetent, who DON”T need a gun.

      • Acnestes

         You need to have a lobotomy.

      • Don_B1

        Those who think that having a gun will be necessary to “preserve their rights” as 44% of Republicans indicated in a recent poll, are the biggest threat to the rule of law and the continuation of the USA as the leading democracy of the world.

        It will lead to the devolvement of our democracy into a fiefdom of armed militias, destroying the ability of anyone to make decent incomes, and live in peace with their neighbors.

        Do you picture Somalia or Afghanistan, or even Haiti as where you want to live? Armed revolutions have a bad track record in improving the degree of democracy in a country. The American Revolution was a huge exception, and probably only because it had already a strong tradition of democracy within the leaders of the revolution. [Note that many/most? of the Loyalists left after the war.] I see no such support for a true democracy among the Teapublicans who really support more of a oligarchy/plutocracy.

        Just look at their efforts to gerrymander voting districts and suppress the votes of groups that do not support them.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Are you acknowledging that you are part of the problem?  As a person who disagrees with you it is not apparent that you practice what you are preaching.  Perhaps if you spent some time with members of the Tea Party Movement outside of the political arena you might find some commonalities that would surprise you.  I have worked with members of the Occupy movement and to my surprise we have much in common.

  • Steve_in_Vermont

    With all the new revelations, proposed hearings, investigations and routine
    scandals it’s only a matter of time before Obama is officially declared a Lame
    Duck. Media pundits are already speculating on the next presidential candidates
    so perhaps this is a good time to start the 2016 election cycle.

    • donniethebrasco

       More like Lame D*ck.

      • 1Brett1

        Wait, don’t tell me, next you’ll offer, “that’s what she said!”

  • donniethebrasco

    NPR, the League of Women Voters, and the ACLU are now fair targets.

    • Don_B1

      Those three organizations explain issues thoroughly in ways that show who benefits and how they affect the country. When some sides are affected by an issue that is all they see and they do not see the full range of actions by the organization.

      Floyd Abrams was a prime supporter of Citizens United as well as the ACLU and probably considers the I.R.S. debacle an “unintended consequence.” The ACLU does support some ways to mitigate that consequence which will not help the cause of turning the country into a virtual plutocracy, so maybe that is not your cup of tea.

      The right wing considers its voters “educated” and has no desire to have others or even its own voters really aware of the underlying issues, so it has no use for a League of Women Voters, which was the organization that last ran presidential debates that really discussed the issues fully.

      NPR has all too often not discussed issues such as Climate Change adequately, often allowing long shown false arguments to be made by opponents of action to stand without pointing out the fallacies.

      I think I remember at least one time you were incensed when that was, fortunately, not the case and a long debunked talking point was called out as being long shown false. But losing on that point appropriately made it much harder for the denier case, which you make and fail at. So the response is to attack the messenger as a last resort.

  • http://profiles.google.com/barry.kort Barry Kort

    <a title="Bloody Hell" href="http://moultonlava.blogspot.com/search?q=Bloody+Hell&quot;Harrumph

         Scandals and Scapegoats abound?
         Send in the Clowns!

    But seriously, folks …

    The oldest and most insidious misconception in the annals of human civilization is a notoriously misbegotten idea that crept into the culture some 4000 years ago.

    It was the unexamined belief that a socio-political governance model based on the Rule of Law was functionally capable of yielding a stable, orderly, well-regulated, and peaceable society. Many insightful observers (colloquially known as “sages”) perceived there was something wrong with this fateful idea.

    Indeed those sages were prescient. 

    It’s been only a bit more than a century since modern science and mathematics have succeeded in rigorously demonstrating that rule-driven systems are inherently chaotic (in the mathematical sense of the word).

    Hammurabi, it appears, blundered badly. 

    And it appears humans have been mindlessly xeroxing that lamentable blunder ever since.

    One can find the first hint of Humankind’s Original Logic Error (“HOLE“) in Genesis 2:17. Augustine of Hippo examined that ancient text and came up with the diagnosis of “Original Sin.” (Note that the Latin word, “sin,” means “missing the mark.)

    Well yeah. The ancient lawmakers missed the mark bigtime. They bollixed the math so badly, Ron Weasley would have called it “Bloody Hell.”

    I simply call it “Untamed Recursion.”

    It’s actually a fixable mistake.

    But I doubt Homo Schleppians will fix it very soon. Fixing it will require that about 25% of the political leaders apprehend the mathematics of Recursion Theory and Chaos Theory.

    That’s probably not gonna happen any time soon.

    It’s gonna take a generation of Artists to devise a way to down-translate the Math into Opera. 

    If that ever happens, we will have added the Arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) so as to build up a Full Head of STEAM.

    Please, members of the Arts Culture, please make it so.

    • Don_B1

      One (of several) approaches that show the inability of (axiomatic) systems with more than a certain level of complexity to be both consistent (both a proposition and its negation cannot be proved) and complete (all true propositions can be derived from the axioms) is Gödel’s Theorem.

      A good description of what it proves and its general applicability (or not) is given here:

      http://vserver1.cscs.lsa.umich.edu/~crshalizi/notabene/godels-theorem.html

  • Steve

    We have three real IRS scandals:

    1. The IRS approved too many Tea Party, “patriot” and other smnall conservative groups for 501(c)4 status. Many that conduct mainly political activities were approved. This violates the law that the IRS is supposed to enforce.

    2. The IRS failed to target bigger Republican organizations, like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, for adequate scrutiny. American Crossroads does primarily political work and should therefore be disqualified from receiving a 501(c)4 tax-exempt status. It is scandalous that the IRS targeted only small fry conservative outfits while giving a pass to the big players like American Crossroads.

    3. The IRS failed to target both small and large Democratic/liberal groups, like Bill Burton’s Priorities USA. Instead the IRS should enforce the law with the same stringency toward Democratic and Republican groups alike; and should equally disqualify both big Republican and big Democratic political 501(c)4 applicants.

    The IRS is NOT guilty of targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking 501(c)4 status too forcefully. Rather, the IRS is guilty of target all 501(c)4 applicants, including the Tea Party, too leniently. Many groups, including Tea Party groups, have been approved for 501(c)4 status that do not meet the requirements of the law. That’s the scandal here.

    • OnPointComments

      You are wrong.  The IRS is guilty of targeting Tea Party and other groups seeking 501(c)4 status too forcefully, and the agency has admitted its guilt.  When government actions prove that it doesn’t enforce the law evenly, that a law applies differently to this group than that group, it is an abuse of power.

      • Don_B1

        The I.R.S. admitted targeting groups with “Tea Party” etc. in its name as a way of selecting a subset for legally required scrutiny but apparently did not use/find equally “easy” identifiers for other groups that would have led to more leftwing groups being selected for scrutiny.

        I would suggest that any group that has formed in the last five years with “Tea Party” in its name has a definite political bias and may, only may, not qualify for tax-free status under the 1959 I.R.S. expansion of the meaning of “exclusively” to the loosey-goosey term “primarily.”

  • Gregg Smith

    And here I thought this was tyranny. I’m glad to come here and learn it’s no big deal. 

    • Ray in VT

      Tyranny?  No. A real scandal for once?  Yes.

      • Gregg Smith

        I was using the MSNBC host’s words: “This is tyranny”. But maybe it’s not. Maybe.

        • Ray in VT

          At least regarding the AP issue, I think that Bill O’Reilly’s response was “so what?”  I don’t agree with that sentiment, but I also don’t agree with tyranny.

          • Gregg Smith

            I didn’t see that but O’Reilly is an idiot if he believes what you say he said.

            I am as critical of this administration as anyone but I still wouldn’t scream tyranny. The thing is, the notion that we the people are empowered to keep our government at bay should not be dismissed. It is our duty as citizens to take the idea seriously and I fear many just write it off as crazy talk.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that O’Reilly is an idiot, although I do think that he says some questionable things.  Some of his exact words were “AP, not a big-time story”.

            I think that you are far more critical of this administration than many, and often, I think, for less than great reasons.  I will agree with you wholeheartedly, though, that the public needs to be wary or and question officials and the government, although there is too much crazy talk that gets circulated for my liking.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            O’Reilly’s reaction was more “wait and see what develops” instead of “so what”.  O’Reilly is clearly bending over backwards to seem ‘fair’.  Also is also hyper-critical of GOP types who are attacking Hillary and Obama.  I see his point but was he equally critical of Dems who constantly attacked W. for his miscues?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know if he’s bending over backwards in order to seem fair.  Why start now?  Cornyn and some other Senate Republicans have taken a similar wait and see approach regarding the AP issue, and that is generally the approach that I like to take.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      “Unfortunately you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all of our problems. Some of these same voices do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”

      -President Obama

      • Gregg Smith

        When he said that I was shocked. That is exactly the wrong message. Whose side is he on?

        • Don_B1

          The truth is often shocking even when there is no bias on the part of the receiver, but horrifying to the point of cognitive dissonance to anyone whose fairytale image of how the world should work is contradicted.

          • Gregg Smith

            Do you advocate dismissing out of hand the notion that tyranny is lurking around the corner? They don’t in many parts of the world because they live it.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    A look at the text of the health care law reveals that much of it consists of amending the Internal Revenue Code to give the IRS more power. When Obamacare goes fully into effect in January, every American will have to prove to the IRS that he or she has “qualifying” health coverage, meaning coverage with a list of features approved by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. That will be done by submitting a document to the IRS, something like a W-2, to confirm coverage.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-irs-scandal-raises-fears-about-enforcing-obamacare/article/2529589

    • Don_B1

      Which will come from the healthcare insurance provider and require next to no additional effort by the taxpayer and a relatively simple filing by the insurer.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Sure we can trust the IRS with our health care records. They have shown themselves to be such paragons of resposibility no one need worry.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    An excellent source for articles on the IRS scandal:

     http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2013/05/the-irs.html

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    “Americans should take notice that top Obama administration officials increasingly see themselves as above the law and emboldened by the belief that they don’t have to answer to anyone,” said House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., one of the lead investigators of the administration in Congress.

    http://www.nationaljournal.com/congress/democrats-in-triage-mode-on-white-house-scandals-20130514

  • Jasoturner

    I’m not sure I’d roll up these two scandals.  The IRS issue strikes me as unambiguously serious and very troublesome.  Taxation absolutely cannot become a political weapon.  A serious investigation is called for, and heads should probably roll.

    The AP snooping seems more ambiguous.  If national security was at stake, then maybe it was acceptable.  If preventing embarrassing leaks was the objective, then we have a second very serious and worrying event.  It is to the misfortune of the AP that the “press” is held in pretty low esteem these days.  Protecting a free press is probably not as valued today as it should be, so this issue may result in more of a shrug regardless of the DoJ motivation.

    • donniethebrasco

       The problem is that the press thought that Obama had their back, they definitely had his.

      This story is about betrayal.  The press propped up Obama, then Obama spied on their personal, home phone calls.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “They definitely had Obama’s back”?

        You really ought to get out more.

        I’m still trying to figure out when the press corps stopped filing more positive stories about Mitt Loser Romney than the reelected president. I’m coming up with “just about Halloween, 2012″.

      • Jasoturner

        I am not convinced that is the proper diagnosis of the problem, but we’ll see how it plays out…

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    What about Sebelius fundraising ‘arguably an even bigger issue’ than Iran-Contra?

    FTA:
    LA: If you read the report of the Iran-Contra select committee, it said that the executive cannot make an end run around Congress by raising money privately and spending it. That seems to be happening here. That was essentially the problem. There the money came from a different place, but if you look at my statement [the Iran-Contra report said] “a president whose appropriation requests were rejected by Congress could raise money from private sources or third countries for armies, military actions, arms systems, and even domestic programs.”It’s the same kind of offense to the Constitution. It’s the same kind of thumbing your nose at Article 1.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/14/lamar-alexander-sebelius-fundraising-arguably-an-even-bigger-issue-than-iran-contra/

    • Don_B1

      The difference is that in Iran-Contra the government got the money and it did the spending, while Secretary Sebelius is asking NGOs and health organizations to spend what they can themselves to educate the public on the real benefits and processes involved with the PPACA.

  • donniethebrasco

    How is Obama going to run health care when he can’t even run the IRS?

    • Gregg Smith

      He’ll let the IRS run health care, problem solved.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      It is not a bug it is a feature…

      /humor (kinda)

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    What about the EPA waiving fee requests for friendly groups, denies conservative groups?

    CEI reviewed Freedom of Information Act requests sent between January 2012 and this spring from several environmental groups friendly to the EPA’s mission, and several conservative groups, to see how equally the agency applies its fee waiver policy for media and watchdog groups. Government agencies are supposed to waive fees for groups disseminating information for public benefit.

    http://washingtonexaminer.com/article/2529609#.UZIq1hQ69Ts.twitter

    • Don_B1

      When an OMB study shows that the regulations put in place by the EPA result in $10 of benefits for every $1 of cost it should not be too hard to determine that most of the FOIA requests from conservative groups are mainly to obstruct progress by taking up the time of workers and increase costs, taking money away from beneficial work, and therefore the fees should not be waived.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    Many Republicans are enraged over revelations in recent days that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative nonprofit groups with a campaign of audits and harassment. But of all the troubles now dogging the Obama administration—including the Benghazi fiasco and the Justice Department’s snooping on the Associated Press—the IRS episode, however alarming, is also the least surprising. As David Burnham noted in “A Law Unto Itself: The IRS and the Abuse of Power” (1990), “In almost every administration since the IRS’s inception the information and power of the tax agency have been mobilized for explicitly political purposes.”

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324715704578482823301630836.html?mod=opinion_newsreel

  • Gregg Smith

    When Harry Reid claimed to know what Romney did or didn’t pay in taxes, no one in the press was curious how he could be privy to that information. No one complained the information was leaked. The press just blindly ran with it and the sheep swallowed it whole.

    • brettearle

      Gotta admit, here, Gregg.

      You make a good point.

      And my own political views may have influenced my unwillingness to see the implications of Reed’s public comment, at the time.

      One wonders how he could have let HIMSELF get away with such a public comment–much less the Press allowing it.

      What did Fox, WSJ, or TheWS have to say at the time?

      However, to use this misjudgment as an example of pervasive LW Media Bias would, not at all, be accurate.

      I could cite you countless examples that would prove otherwise…..

      Why didn’t anyone, at the time, from the “On Point Community”–talent, callers, and Web site participants–call Senator Reed on this matter?

      Maybe someone, here, did.  

      • Ray in VT

        I thought that Reid’s claim was likely just that, a claim that was not backed up, and I didn’t care for someone making such a claim without the evidence to back it up, which I didn’t think that he had (regarding Romney paying zero taxes).

        • brettearle

          Reid (thanks for the correct spelling) said, in effect, at the time, that he had it on good authority that Romney paid no taxes.

          That, to me, in retrospect, is irresponsible.

          What’s more, if he made such a claim, without the so-called evidence to back it up, I think it is actually even more unacceptable.

          Why?

          Because then it becomes a wild chard of fairly despicable Propaganda.

        • Gregg Smith

          There was nothing to it but 2 points: 1)The press ran with it big time despite no evidence which was harmful to Romney, and 2) They had to believe that either Reid did have illegal information, in which case that was the real story or they knew there was no evidence and didn’t care.

      • Don_B1

        The public only knows about because the MSM did report Majority Leader Reid’s initial statement and his repetition of it.

        He implied that the origination was from some business associate or competitor who had heard Romney claim it. I have no way to determine how much the press tried to find the source, but I suspect that the Romney campaign did not see the advantage of the claim being fought out in public where his taking advantage of special rules for the wealthy would be a big takeaway regardless of what could be shown about ML Reid’s statement.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

      Churning out what if’s, conjecture and conspiracy theories won’t help this story make a real impact, if that’s what you want. Sometimes, I realize, it seems the Obamaphobe fringe just enjoys the what if’s, conjecture and conspiracy theories more than making a real impact.

      • Gregg Smith

        There is nothing “what if” in my comment. It happened. It was.

      • Don_B1

        You are so correct in your observation.

        Mr. Smith often makes statements that are factual, in this case that Majority Leader Reid did claim Romney might have paid zero income taxes, but then makes further speculations, in this case on why the press did not make as big a deal about it as HE thinks it should have.

        This is his inadvertent (?) way of showing us how dumb he thinks we are. By saying “It happened.” he refers to the one fact and expects us to take from that the whole thrust of his speculation as true.

        • Gregg Smith

          Are you saying the press demanded to know how Reid got Romney’s private information? Or are you saying the press did not widely report the story? Or are you saying the press reported it without evidence but with healthy skepticism? Did those things happen? Did I say anything about why the press acted this way? Or how they should have acted? Or is there something else I am missing? All I did is said what did and didn’t happen, what do you dispute?

          I must be really dumb because I can’t make hide nor hair of your comment.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    I have been posting many links this morning because there are many examples of abuses of government power in our recent history.  Too many for any one to accept them as just the work of a few bad apples.  

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Talk about fast and furious –  there are new disclosures every hour.  The latest is Obama’s co-chair attacked Romney with leaked IRS docs. The claim is these came from a ‘whistleblower’.  Now we know better. 

    “The American people are entitled to know how a confidential tax return containing private donor information filed exclusively with the Internal Revenue Service has been given to our political opponents whose leader also happens to be co-chairing President Obama’s reelection committee,”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/14/Obama-campaign-co-chair-attacked-Romney-conservative-group-in-2012-with-leaked-IRS-scandal-documents

    Will Obama supporter continue to say nothing to see here — move along OR maybe the ends justify the means?  Imagine if a GOP President used the IRS against his political opponents.  Oh wait, Nixon joked about it on a private tape but never did it and it was still included in approved articles of impeachment by the Dem controlled committee.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Breitbart? You really know how to lose an audience.

      Gawd, if there’s a point to be made, the lil’ Breitbart hacks will be the last to make it.

      • Don_B1

        Fully support your conclusion with a minor correction/expansion:

        “If there’s an actual point to be made, versus a false one, the lil’ Breitbart hacks …”

  • DrewInGeorgia

    The real scandal is the continued existence of the IRS and the never-ending increase in the pages of code that exist for Parasites and Leaches to hide behind.

  • wauch

    Eric Holder- – and by association Barack Obama’s – response to the AP crime is despicable and points back to Obama’s being against FISA before he was for it. This is another example for all those “liberals” that continue to support Obama & Co. because they throw token bones to the pack. They are now entrenched in DC and determined to maintain that power by any means necessary. I wonder where are all the Libertarians in Ron Paul’s crew worried about the size of government. Why not go to bat for the AP?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I guess that you are selectively paying attention. What sources of Libertarianism do you follow?  I would recommend Reason Online to you. 

      http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/15/media-matters-key-issues-in-doj-investig

      • wauch

         Please the “Libertarians” on Capitol Hill and elsewhere run and hide when journalist’s are violated in this fashion. Libertarians run and hide whenever their ethos is attacked in a non-traditional way. I have been to countless Dem and GOP conventions and each time the cities are under tighter and tighter military state lockdown but never ever do the small government folks such as yourself defend our right to demonstrate. Never ever do folks like yourself question conservatives about how they advocate small government BUT FOR abortion, gay rights, and the encroachment of religion into public schools. All Libertarians with few exceptions are of the bespoke/ersatz variety. 

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You are mistaken.

  • klbrooks

    Where was the outrage when the IRS investigated the NAACP in 2004 because they dare speak out against the war in Iraq. The problem is with the 501(c)4 which lets groups claim non political non profit status when everyone knows they are doing the opposite. Karl Rove’s group should have been a big red flag.

    • creaker

      Pretty much everything on the “scandal” table happened in one form or another in the last administration – minus the witch hunt.

      This feels like Whitewater II.

      • harverdphd

         The last administration happened a long time ago.

        • creaker

          And in a couple of years this will be a long time ago.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I have posted links that point to the history of political shenanigans done by the IRS.  But that is not the point of your comment is it?  You wish to exonerate President Obama by claiming that President Bush was worse.  I say if they both are guilty then punish them both.  Abuse of governmental power for political gain can not be tolerated if we wish to remain free.  

      • jefe68

        Yeah, and your comments are not partisan and right wing? Please.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          No I am not right wing, I am a liberal.  But you don’t understand what that word realy means.  I am also the most honest partisan of all the poster here, I am here to support and expand the Tea Party Movement.  I have never claim otherwise.

          • Gregg Smith

            I enjoy your post and do think you are honest. There are a few issues I disagree with you on and one in particular that I think is wacko. No offense, I’m sure my views aren’t 100% adored either. That’s cool precisely because of the honesty you cite. Honest debate has been my mantra for over a decade. I find many of the liberals here to be honest and others to be extremely dishonest. I can work with the former.

            However, I must throw the figurative flag on your claim:”I am also the most honest partisan of all the poster here”. That’s a pretty bold claim and I do not mean to imply I am more honest. I’m as honest as possible and that’s all I can do. So are you and so are many very partisan liberals on this site. But the bad ones are soooo bad….

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Point well taken. I was not attempting to say my posts were more honest than other commenter’s’ posts. I was referring to the fact that I am up front about being here as a Tea Party Member. It is tedious that many people try to hide their partisanship as if we can’t look back at the history of their comments. And partisanship is neither a vice or virtue except in if it makes you dishonest.

          • Gregg Smith

            Well said, I could not agree more. 

          • Don_B1

            One of us has a big misunderstanding of what the Tea Party represents and how its actions diverge from what it claims to support.

            1) I understand the frustration that followed the inception of the Great Recession (Dec 2007- June 2009) and the subsequent financial crisis with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in Sep 2008.

            2) I also have watched as Republican operatives, funded largely with fossil fuel industry money, have offered “organizational help” and basically taken over most of the Tea Party leadership, particularly as represented by those elected to office under the Tea Party banner, have not pushed for regulation of banks whose speculative over-leveraging led to the housing/mortgage bubble and the hard-to-recover-from balance sheet recession that is now properly considered the Lesser Depression.

            3) It was Republican legislators who opposed any and all support for the necessary stimulus to speed the recovery from the liquidity trap the current economy is suffering from.

            In times of economic distress, through all of history, people of good intent have rushed to adopt policies that only made their condition worse, or at least not improved it in time. It is certainly true that is the case now.

            It is particularly easy now, because people are so susceptible to the false cliché of the government needing to act like the normal household and cut spending now. It only helps the argument to falsely claim that most of government spending goes to the “undeserving.”

            Please read the following:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/13/opinion/how-austerity-kills.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=all

            to see how these spending cuts are only hurting innocent people, who did not cause the problem, and see the examples where different policies were followed with better results for everybody.

            Because the funding to enable Republicans to takeover the Tea Parties came largely from the fossil fuel industry, the Republican Party has committed itself to denying Climate Change even to the point of opposing the efficient use of fossil fuels. So they are actually raising costs of living well into the future without calling it a tax.

            There is so much more …

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I agree with you first statement: You don’t understand what the Tea Party represents.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Get in the wayback machine when Bush was doing it to lefties. Do you remember?

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          I just love Mr. Peabody and Sherman cartoons.  The simple pleasures of childhood.

          /humor

      • Ray in VT

        I agree that the guilty should be punished.  My main problem is that many who downplayed GOP scandals and wrongdoings are all up in arms now.  The same is true with the opposite circumstances, oftentimes.  It’s hypocritical, and I greatly dislike hypocrisy.  On the other hand, I don’t want “my guy” held to a tougher standard by those who apologized for another guy.  Who wants to be the the first to be held to a higher standard in such a situation.  Unfortunately the answer always seems to be “not me”.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You get no disagreement from me.  I see transparency and an adversarial press as the only way to curb the not-my-guy-blindness.  But it has to be coupled with a willingness to admit when wrong has been done.  That is easier sad than done.  As many comments here demonstrate.

        • Gregg Smith

          It seems to me you are making assumptions. “many who downplayed GOP scandals” is meaningless. Who? What scandals? To what extent were they downplayed and by whom exactly? Was there condemnation? Can apples to apples comparisons be made? It’s all a blanket generic, wink, wink, nod, nod, everybody knows it barb. The Tea Party did not rise out of a defense of the Conservative status quo. And at the very best if there was flesh to all of it you have proven hypocrisy which has nothing to do with the IRS, Benghazi or anything else. It’s a defense using faceless boogie men and a bad one at that. 

          But cool, I’ve said hypocrisy doesn’t bother me much. I knew a coke head doctor who worked at a rehab clinic and helped countless people clean up and improve their lives. He spent his weekends barricaded in his house shooting up coke and hiding under his bed. A bigger hypocrite never existed but he did good work and people were far better off for it. But that’s just me. You say it bothers you but for some reason the astounding hypocrisy shown by Obama regarding a whole host of issues is not a problem. Why is that?

          • Ray in VT

            Hypocrisy of all types bothers me.  Why is it that you will throw around all sorts of allegations that Obama lies and is a liar, yet carry water for Bush’s lies?  Are you still insisting that Bush never lied in the lead up to Iraq?  That’s exhibit A to me.  Where was the GOP outrage about the warrantless wiretaps?

            I will be frank, I’m less willing to call out people with whom I generally agree here, largely because I don’t see much willingness to do so from “the other side of the aisle”, so why bother?

          • Gregg Smith

            I have argued my case about Bush and I stand by it. It’s not like I’m just saying, “everybody does it” or “what else could it be”? We’ve never discussed warrantless wire taps but I am loaded for bear, I just see no purpose. BTW I doubt you know my positions as the debate occurred a decade ago. 

            All I’m saying is the scandals involving Benghazi, the IRS, Sebeilius and the AP stand alone. Nothing anyone else ever did has squat to do with them. Even if I agree that there are parallels, excusing bad behavior by citing other bad behavior is not legitimate in my view.

          • Ray in VT

            Got it.  You’ll stand by a position that is massively false when it is in the name of defending a “true conservative” like George Bush.  So much for honest debate.  We have never discussed warrantless wiretaps.  I don’t like them.  There was a process through the FISA court that gave deference to the government, and that should have been either sufficient and followed, or the law should have been changed.  What the previous administration did on that front was, in my view, a blatant violation of our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, and more should have been done to correct the problem and punish the responsible, but members from both parties pussed out.

            I also don’t think that the Bush administration scandals play directly on current ones.  These things to stand on their own, if there is anything to them.  However, I’m unwilling to have this administration held to a massively different standard than the previous one.  If some of the stuff that the Obama administration has done is so bad, then I would expect to have heard some of these critics screaming just as hard years ago, but, at least concerning many public figures, that is not the case.  So, I am not excusing bad behavior, as you often allege, although if one is okay, then why is the other not?

          • Gregg Smith

            “You’ll stand by a position that is massively false when it is in the name of defending a “true conservative” like George Bush. ”

            See, I can’t relate to that at all. Why on earth would I give Bush a pass or treat Obama unfairly just because? I don’t get it but I suspect it’s the way you think and are projecting it on me. 

            I am not excusing Bush’s lies, I am saying he did not lie. I’ve written books on it. I have given chapter and verse why I believe Obama has lied. I’ve made my case.

          • Ray in VT

            Simple.  Bias.  We all have them.  I don’t need projection to point out your blatant double standards.  One just has to know one’s facts. Also, write as many books as you like, as long as they are filled with lies like “Bush didn’t lie”, then they’re worthless.  Yes, you’ve made your case that in addition to some actual lies that the President has likely told (whether or not they pass the Costanza defense that you apply to conservatives, I doubt that), you also have included slips of the tongue and such.

          • Gregg Smith

            I didn’t just say it. 

  • Steve

    Ezra Klein of the Washington Post offers good analysis on the IRS/501(c)(4) issue here:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/10/the-irs-was-wrong-to-target-the-tea-party-they-shouldve-gone-after-all-501c4s/

    According to Klein, the scandal is that the IRS did not treat all applicants for 501(c)(4) status much more harshly.  The problem is not that the Tea Party was targeted; it is that all applicants, including the Tea Party, and also the big-money Republican and Democratic political groups, were wrongly granted 501(c)(4) status.

    If Klein is right, the Washington commentariat is making an utter hash of this issue.  They are framing everything backwards.

    • OnPointComments

      Klein writes:  “…their explanation for the added scrutiny of the tea party groups:  They weren’t trying to look specifically at conservatives. They were just trying to separate out the organizations that seemed likely to be overly political.”
       
      Klein would have been more accurate if he had stated “They were just trying to separate out the CONSERVATIVE organizations that seemed likely to be overly political.”  It was not an even-handed application of the law, as has been admitted by the IRS; it was an abuse of power.
       
      The IRS would have us believe that it was merely coincidence or serendipity that caused its BOLO list to include only conservative groups, that it wasn’t a political decision.  Only the truly gullible could believe such an explanation.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Ezra Klein has no credibility on this or any issue.  He crossed the line from journalist to propagandist.  

      Klein is famous for starting the secretive political-media members-only clique of some 400 journalists, political operatives, White House staffers, think tankers and lefty economists such as Paul Krugman known as JournoList. Until it was shut down by exposure from the Daily Caller and BigGovernment.com, the JournoList group discussed talking points to create a media echo chamber, tried to falsely smear opponents as racists, and cooked up ways to take Fox News off the air.

      http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/112811-593047-ezra-klein-goes-from-journolist-to-liberal-activist.htm#ixzz2TN62W7Z2 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        That was a non-scandal.

        And Tucker the Fncker Carlson’s DailyCaller is a shitstain on the idea of “journalism”. I’d like to think you’re smarter than to follow that.

        But given your fascination with anti-journalism links: IDB editorial, Breitbart…I’m beginning to wonder.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          “I’d like to think…”
          I bet you would.

      • Don_B1

        Compared with Grover Norquist’s “Wednesday Strategy Sessions” (whatever their actual name), Journolist was small potatoes. Grover set out to coordinate Political Talking Points of Republican in Congress and other institutions while, as Kathleen Parker made clear it was a group without any real power, who did not even coordinate their talking points, just discussed issues and different perspectives.

        But the Daily Caller should properly be deeply embarrassed about several whoppers it has disseminated lately.

        The Investor’s Business Daily editorial page is a joke for all but the most dedicated right wing people.

      • Steve

        Instead of attacking Ezra Klein ad hominem, you should address his arguments.  Discussion on the merits: a good thing.  We learn more from it.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          No, to address his arguments as if they came from a respectable source would be an insult to all those that struggle to bring the truth to the American people.  If his argument is of some value surely an honest reporter would be making it.  Sometimes it is wise to question the messenger, sometimes a messenger needs shooting.

  • MrNutso

    IRS: They should be looking more in depth at every political organization seeking tax exemption.

    AP: Last year Republicans accused the White House of leaking classified information to boost the Presidents national security bone fide’s.  They wanted DOJ to do everything they could to root out leaks.  So DOJ having done that, now Republicans are upset (or maybe not so much) that DOJ monitored call logs of AP reporters.

  • toc1234

    perhaps your guests can comment on Obama and Carney both trying to paint the IRS as ” an independent enforcement agency with only two political appointees,” he said.   When in reality, ” It is formally part of the Treasury Department and is headed by the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, who is appointed by the President. The Commissioner is accountable to the President reporting through the Treasury Secretary.”

    and what’s worse is that no one in the press pool even flinches when they say these blatantly self-serving stretches of truth….

    • Steve

      Another fun fact worth discussing:

      Lois Lerner, head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Divisions and the person overseeing the IRS group that “targeted” the Tea Party, was appointed by president George W. Bush in 2006.  She has a reputation for being non-political.

      http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/14/irs-scandal-s-central-figure-lois-lerner-described-as-apolitical.html

      If so, it seems unlikely that the IRS acted from partisan political motives.

      • toc1234

        right, that’s why this could be even a bigger story – who bullied this career public servant into these overtly political misdeeds?  probably Plouffe..

        • Steve

          I’ve also heard that Obama caused the San Andreas Fault and the red spot on Jupiter.  It’s an outrage.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s not true but he did cause this record breaking cool Spring.

          • Ray in VT

            Do you have a source for that assertion?  The NOAA maps that I looked at showed mostly an average to somewhat above average temperature range through the end of March.  April maps were not out yet.

          • Gregg Smith
          • Ray in VT

            Here’s a better source:

            http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/2013/4

            I like my sources to be done by reputable groups, preferably ones that also don’t air birther stuff.

            There’s also this page, which shows January-April as being middle of the pack:

            http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/national/Nationaltrank/201301-201303.gif

          • Gregg Smith

            It was in the news a few weeks ago, the numbers come from NOAA. It’s true, however I think it’s only regarding American recorded history which I’ve always maintained is silly.

            Read the comment replied to, it was hardly a serious proclamation, I don’t credit Obama. Really. But I had to wear a coat yesterday and there has been no warming for decades. American CO2 emissions are at a 20 year low. I’ll take the opportunity to point it out every time. You know how I am.

          • Ray in VT

            Temps here have run 10-15 above normal for almost 2 weeks, and we had 3 record high days in a row.  Local, short time events don’t mean a whole lot, but 80 in early May is pretty rare here.  Also, there has not been no warming for decades, as you well know, unless you want to misquote the economist again.  Also, the link does not provide an easy way to verify the conclusion posted, so I’m going to go with NOAA, and not Steven Goddard or, Alan Watts in case he has also said something.

          • Gregg Smith

            Steve Goddard’s data is from NOAA.

          • Ray in VT

            If his data is from NOAA, and if April was the 23rd coolest month (coolest since 1997), and his data covers the last few days of March, which was the 43rd coolest month, then it must have been about -50 nationwide during that past 10 days and really hot during the first part in order to pull April so far down.  Something in his math doesn’t add up, and I’m going to trust the NOAA scientists, and not some random blogger.

          • Don_B1

            You would be correct to trust NOAA over the pseudononymous Steven Goddard,a known climate denier.

            But even NOAA can mess up in describing things:

            http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/04/12/1859541/yes-climate-change-is-worsening-us-drought-noaa-report-needlessly-confuses-the-issue/

          • Ray in VT

            Given that there’s also a button on the blog for a page that links the Holocaust to gun control, I’d say that his history looks to be about as questionable as his science.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Karl Rove has made no secret of the fact that he wants to stop the Tea Party Movement.  Why should this surprise you?  

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

      There are actually statutes that prevent the executive branch from meddling too much with IRS functions. For obvious reasons.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        They seem not to have worked.

  • creaker

    Media circus – and sadly NPR is an active participant. But scandal and outrage always sell better.

    • Ray in VT

      It does sell better, just like sex, but there are some issues here that need to be addressed.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        But like sex, and “sex”, it’s not gonna happen, at least any more than one can learn useful techniques from watching pron.

        (Disclaimer: No firsthand experience; I’m just repeating what my friends say about adult media materials.)

        • Gregg Smith

          I’ve heard the same thing.

  • toc1234

    The White House says Mr. Obama only learned of the IRS political abuses from news reports. Funny, that’s also how they learned about the Justice Department seeking the phone records of the Associated Press. And who knows what the State Department or “the intelligence community” was up to on Benghazi. The Washington Examiner’s David Freddoso joked on Twitter that “Seal Team 6 is the only govt agency that acts directly on Obama’s behalf.” All others are run by career officials who keep screwing up. Your “independent” government at work. -todays wsj

    hopefully this wk will convince even the most liberal lemmings that the hope/change/transparency crap went out the window the day after Obama was elected (the first time).

    • donniethebrasco

       What’s going to happen when he is “running” our health care?

      • toc1234

        wsj also comments on that coming fiasco…

        This March the IRS Inspector General reiterated that ObamaCare’s 47 major changes to the revenue code “represent the largest set of tax law changes the IRS has had to implement in more than 20 years.” The tax agency has requested funding for 1,954 full-time equivalent employees for its Affordable Care Act office in 2014.

        To monitor compliance with these rules, the IRS and HHS are now building the largest personal information database the government has ever attempted. Known as the Federal Data Services Hub, the project is taking the IRS’s own records (for income and employment status) and centralizing them with information from Social Security (identity), Homeland Security (citizenship), Justice (criminal history), HHS (enrollment in entitlement programs and certain medical claims data) and state governments (residency).

        The data hub will be used as the verification system for ObamaCare’s complex subsidy formula. All insurers, self-insured businesses and government health programs must submit reports to the IRS about the individuals they cover, which the IRS will cross-check against tax returns.
         
        Good luck in advance to anyone who gets caught in this system’s gears, assuming it even works.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          WSJ op-ed? Whocoodanode what that would say?

  • creaker

    I find it interesting that the administration gets automatic blame for this – even though the primary thrust of the Tea Party is an attack on the status quo of the Republican Party. One could argue conservatives in power had more to lose from Tea Party organizations and the administration more to gain by letting the Tea Party drive a wedge in the Republicans.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Why was public radio so quick to adopt “uproar” as the narrative, and so slow when it came to voter fraud suppression?

    I saw this hour coming from a mile away. NPR and its member stations have this need to bite down on every unbaited hook of a right-wing narrative like it was the last worm in the world.

    I’d love to be wrong, but, the lineup of Beltway Inbred guests and received right-wing memes promises to make this hour another example of Public Radio Fail.

  • donniethebrasco

    Obama couldn’t have done anything wrong.  If he is not the second coming, I have no purpose in my life.

    • Ray in VT

      You still have posting simplistic drivel to look forward too.  That can get you back from the edge of the ledge.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

       Obvious troll is obvious.

    • Shag_Wevera

      I don’t remeber your posts always being THIS awful.  These last few days have been truly miserable and worthless.

    • Don_B1

      Start looking for a worthy purpose in life.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tea Party groups were applying for 501(c)4 status. Political groups can’t be 501(c)4s. They can’t be involved directly in politics, raise money for candidates, launch primary challenges, run for office, etc. But groups calling themselves “Tea Party” and “Patriots” had been in the news for months doing exactly that! So why is it a big deal that the IRS was looking into the activities of groups calling themselves “Tea Party” before granting them non-profit status?

    What am I missing here?

    Also, many on the left have mentioned the numerous ways the Bush Administration did the same and even worse, without so much as a tear from conservatives or a front page headline from the mainstream media. Remember All Saints Church in Pasadena, California? Following a 2004 anti-war sermon which went viral, the IRS investigated the church for two years and threatened its non-profit status. At the same time, conservative “Patriot pastors” telling their congregations how to vote were ignored.

    Remember when the FBI infiltrated anti-war groups as they planned protests ahead of the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis? Probably not — there’s little mention of this in the corporate media.

    Or what about this one:

        The FBI improperly targeted Greenpeace, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and two antiwar groups in domestic terrorism investigations between 2001 and 2006, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice said in a report released today.

        The IG found there was “little or no basis” for the terror investigations, and that they were “unreasonable and inconsistent with FBI policy.”
     

    • William

       Did the Sierra Club violate the rules by their “direct action” campaign against the keystone pipeline project?

      • MrNutso

        I believe the rules are about advocating for or against a specific candidate.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Let’s see, who to believe: William or the Inspector General of the USA?

        • William

           So if the Sierra Club Director advocates for civil disobedience that does not violate their 501 status?

          • Ray in VT

            Probably not.  Did they call for people to vote for or against a particular candidate while doing so?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The cover of today’s Boston Herald

    Obama: “I know nothing” (Coincidentally, that is what Nixon said)

     http://bostonherald.com/news_opinion/us_politics/2013/05/white_house_reels_from_3_scandals

    The Sargent Schultz defense eventually wears thin or maybe there really isn’t gambling in Casablanca…..

  • John_in_Amherst

    Determining whether organizations are adhering to the tax code is a
    reasonable pursuit for the IRS. Organizations that are educational in nature get
    one type of tax exempt status, which does not require listing donors, and
    organizations that are primarily political get another type of tax
    exempt status, which does require revealing donors. It appears to be
    the case that many conservative organizations that wish to keep their
    donors secret have taken advantage of the tax exemption rules to conceal
    the ID’s of their donors, some by employing the ruse that they are
    “educating people about the constitution” or “educating people about excessive taxation”. Prime example of these
    shenanigans: Rove’s “Cross Roads America” and “Cross Roads GPS”. This
    being the case, delving into organizations like the Tea Party’s
    activities to ascertain if they are complying with the law, or taking
    unfair advantage of the tax code to obscure the identities those who are making political contributions seems legitimate.  What is difficult to comprehend is the Democrats backing off this point.

    As for the AP debacle, the motives are less clear and seem to include “national security”.  Do we really need to remind people of the infringements of constitutional privacy rights under the Bush II regime in the name of “national security”, e.g.: the NSA’s efforts to ease-drop on ALL phone and e-mail exchanges?  Again, what is astonishing is the lack of push-back from the administration.

    Yet again, we have the GOP posing as the law and order party, except where following the law is politically inconvenient, and the Democrats getting weak in the knees in the face of conservative wrath.

  • RolloMartins

    I love that they targeted these money-laundering 501(c)-4 groups…the only problem is that they didn’t define what social causes constitute non-profit status and they should go after Dem causes as well. Target them all, even more forcefully!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF
    • Ray in VT

      Yeah, while the AP issue makes me uncomfortable, and possibly very uncomfortable depending upon the facts of how it all went down, I don’t think that it stacks up to the warrantless wiretaps issue.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “Warrantless wiretaps”.

        Sometimes it’s good to hear the hits.

        Hey, let’s not forget the B-side, “FBI sniffing library circulation records”.

        • Gregg Smith

          Who hired Craig Livingstone?

          • Ray in VT

            Obama.

          • Gregg Smith

            Hillary.

          • Ray in VT

            No, I’m pretty sure that it was Obama, or Saul Alinsky.  They’re the same guy, right?  I’ve never seen them together.

          • Gregg Smith

            I know you are being snarky and probably know what I’m referring to but just in case. Craig Livingstone was a Arkansas bouncer who was given a cush government job and released hundreds of classified FBI files on citizens. Hillary hired him but never admitted it.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

    I’ve got no problem with the IRS developing a healthy skepticism about political action committees weaseling their way into tax exempt status.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Amen. It’s absurd that these groups claim to be promoting “social welfare” while in fact they are extremist political organizations.

      Unfortunately, our bumbling conservadem Prez has screwed up again. They should have taken a hard look at ALL of the groups, it would turn out that most of the abusers were righty wingnuts, the results would be the same, and we could deal with the camouflaged PACs with no worries.

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        If that’s true. The “Tea Party” complainants have gotten all the press, I’d like to see the data on who, exactly, was herded into this category.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Is Politico here as a savvy observer?

    Because they’ve already got their narrative:

    Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama — and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the
    case now
    . Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.

    Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old-fashioned Washington pile-on — so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile up.

  • Shag_Wevera

    Until SOMETHING concrete actually comes of this, or Benghazi, or any of the other spitballs the republicans are hoping to stick on the wall, it’s all just a blue dress with no stain.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Funny how there’s just a mob looking for a scandal about this president.

      The numbers are in about Benghazi, and it’s not pretty for the GOP (or their courtiers in the press corps):

      There’s no doubt about how mad Republicans are about Benghazi. 41% say they consider this to be the biggest political scandal in American history to only 43% who disagree with that sentiment. Only 10% of Democrats and 20% of independents share that feeling. Republicans think
      by a 74/19 margin than Benghazi is a worse political scandal than Watergate, by a 74/12 margin that it’s worse than Teapot Dome, and by a 70/20 margin that it’s worse than Iran Contra.

      Forty-one percent of Republicans thing Benghazi is the worst thing evah.  I can’t make this up.

      • MrNutso

        I thought HHS asking for donations to implement the ACA was the biggest scandal ever, at least as big as Iran-Contra.

        • OnPointComments

          Having the person responsible for regulating a company request a donation from the company is unethical.  I wonder if Sebelius couched her request for money with “Nice little company you have here.  It would be a shame if something happened to it.”

      • keltcrusader

        I have also heard of that 41%, 39 percent are unaware that Benghazi is located in Libya. 10 percent said it’s in Egypt, 9 percent in Iran, 6 percent in Cuba, 5 percent in Syria, 4 percent in Iraq, and 1 percent in North Korea and Liberia

        • Don_B1

          Former House Representative Dick Armey (R, TX) confused Benghazi with Bangladesh on Fox, (without correction?).

    • hennorama

      Shag_Wevera – a nice turn of phrase there – “just a blue dress with no stain”.

      Well done.

    • Gregg Smith

      Nothing to see here, move on.

  • William

          “My
    father” Elliott Roosevelt observed of his famous parent, “may have been the
    originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political
    retribution.” 

  • Casey Reyner

    The groups that were targeted openly advocate for tax avoidance!

    • donniethebrasco

       They advocate that the tax system should not be used as a method of income distribution for people who either work for a government agency or are completely supported by the government.

      When your financial interest is in the government to grow, your vote follows.

    • OnPointComments

      Tax avoidance is legal.  Tax evasion is illegal.

      • Casey Reyner

         But how do you determine the difference unless you investigate?

        • OnPointComments

          What the IRS did was abusive, and the agency has admitted its guilt.  The President is outraged, and you should be too.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

    Susan Collins’ overly mannered elocution is what’s “truly outrageous”.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Eh, to me her elocution is fine. Her poutrage is funny.

      Remember when she was bi-curious?

      I barely do, myself.

    • 1Brett1

      She always seems to be waiting in the wings to exclaim how outraged she is at any possible non-Republican activity that might require scrutiny…I wouldn’t want her to sit on any jury. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Tom, can you stop saying “IRS targeting” and “IRS scrutiny” without saying what kind of scrutiny and targeting we’re talking about?

    When Bush II was president, left-wing groups were audited because they were left-wing. Even a extant Episcopal church was threatened because of a sermon before the 2004 election.

    Nobody screamed for impeachment then. Why now?

    Can someone explain the difference?

  • Shag_Wevera

    President Obama defeated the right at the ballot box twice, so they have resorted to the tactic of death by 1000 pin pricks and discreditation.  The same tactic was used by the right with some success against Bill Clinton.  In any case, they have succeeded in hijacking the conversation, and in the coming days and weeks the do-nothing government will be doing even less. 

    • brettearle

      Obama can’t be directly blamed for this stuff–unless, of course, he had a direct, intentional hand it.  [Assuming this `stuff'--AP Records, Benghazi, IRS--has any truth to it, to begin with.]

      Nevertheless, these issues have occurred on his Watch–wherein, as the Commander-in-Manager, he has to answer for them, generally.

      If, the Gulf Oil spill was certainly not his fault, can it not be argued that Salazar’s inability to scatter the cozy relationship between Minerals Management and BP, ought to be traced to the President responding to the problems and addressing the matter?

      Cannot it not be argued that the President ought to be questioned about how this tragedy in the Gulf–which destroyed so many things–might have been averted or avoided….had there been better oversight?

      These are questions, it seems to me, that are legitimate questions–ones that ought to be considered by Democrats and Republicans, alike–in these matters, as well.

  • donniethebrasco

    Either it is Watergate scandal or total incompetence.

    • donniethebrasco

       In other words, Is Obama corrupt or stupid.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

      Wake me up when Obama has something like the Saturday Night Massacre.

  • Michiganjf

    The IRS acted perfectly appropriately…

      with conservative groups starting these 501c groups 5 to 1 to progressive groups, the extra scrutiny is justified.

    These groups should know NOT to take a tax exempt status lightly, and indeed be compelled to KNOW what sort of activities they can engage in legitimately, IF they want this privileged tax status!

    The IRS should NOT be cowed by the rabid right, and the media should be more circumspect in legitimizing the “arguments” of Republican fanatics!

    • OnPointComments

      The IRS acted inappropriately and has admitted its guilt.  The president has condemned the actions of the IRS.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      I agree that the IRS shouldn’t be cowed.

      I wonder if understaffing of the IRS has left them without the expertise to handle the huge uptick in those applications.

      To analogize, I’ve worked for a financial securities firm which sends out quarterly reports to serious investors, and every three months they ramped up and buckled down like it was December at the North Pole. One would hope the IRS hasn’t been handcuffed and can respond that way.

    • StilllHere

      Even the IRS doesn’t believe you.

  • M S

    Sounds like the Internal Revenue Service in the business of affecting the outcome of presidential elections.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joanie-Gentian/610374005 Joanie Gentian

    The TEA in TeaParty stands for “Taxed Enough Already”, right? And exist in their purest form as an anti-taxation group.  Why wouldn’t they get extra scrutiny when applying to avoid taxes? And I am not sure that there IS an equivalent group on the so-called “progressive” side.

  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Well, here we go again.Another idiotic scandal for the treasonesque Repubs to terrorize Dems with for the next 2 years.

    So the problem isn’t that these fake “educational” or “social welfare” agencies rake in billions of tax-free bucksy and spread their toxic political excrement throughout America, it’s that they are finally audited and forced to justify their lies????????
    And the media is going to allow this inversion of the narrative, so that the corrupt vermin that are poisoning the political process with their monstrous distortions and bags of cash.. are the poor victims??????

    A Newsweek article is fatuous: “Since the Tea Party was a brand-new movement in 2010, they couldn’t possibly have had any data indicating that such groups were more likely to be doing something improper.” YES they could! They were ANTI-TAX radical groups, that’s not political persecution, that’s simple logic. That’s like “targeting” Islamic radicals. She suggests random audits, but they should be auditing every one of these 501.c4 scammers.

    400 parts per million CO2 and this is what the press is going to obsess about for the next year? Obama should stand his ground, and say ALL 501.c4 fronts ARE CORRUPT and are ALL going to be audited.

    • OnPointComments

      I assume that you have also concluded that President Obama is treasonous since he has condemned the IRS actions.

      • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

        No Obama is rolling over, and admitting huge mistakes, which this ISN’T. That will ensure that it is rehashed for the next 1-2 years till the public think that this was so e kind of plot. Tax evasion is a crime- remember Al Capone. These groups are all blatantly political- Crossroads GPS feeds homeless veterans?

        • OnPointComments

          The President is outraged, and you should be too.

  • toc1234

    Good try Tom.  stay on point. it’s the IRS behavior that is the subject today…

  • MrNutso

    I have not heard that actual laws were broken.

    • donniethebrasco

      You win the Obama kneepad award.

      • MrNutso

        I don’t get it.

  • Shag_Wevera

    The desperation of the right for this to be a really big deal is palpable, and a little humorous.

    • donniethebrasco

       Let’s have the IRS put you in their target sites.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      What’s funny is those willing to say anything to make these scandals seem less serious.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1125975244 Aaron K. Hallquist

    tax exempt status is not a right.  

    3 questions. First, was there an unprecedented flood of applications for this 501 c(4) status during the time period concerned?  Second, isn’t the “social welfare” designation several of these groups are claiming highly dubious?  Third, isn’t tax evasion/avoidance by all manner of groups/corporations/individuals a major cause of our structural deficit in this country?  If you stipulate a “yes” answer to all three then it’s hard to get worked up over this “scandal”.

    • donniethebrasco

      ACLU, League of Women Voters, and NPR are next.

      • brettearle

        Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute are right up there with anybody?

        We could list any one for any reason–just to get a petty rise out of the opposition.

        How about Nine Lives Cat Food or Hood Ice Cream?

        How about the American Society for the Preservation of Robert E. Lee To Remain a Hero in the Eyes of the Country?

        Why aren’t they being investigated??  Yeah, Why?

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, just like the NAACP and Greenpeace.

        Oh, wait…

        Every “outlandish” statement you think you’re inventing to scare us isn’t a patch on what the right has done while in power for the last 40-odd years.

        How born-yesterday do you think we are? We’re not Diane (ex-Nixon-girl) Sawyer (to name one outrageable centrist hack). We know our history.

        • Ray in VT

          I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Do you want to open up all groups to a heightened level of scrutiny?  I don’t think it would go well for many groups on the “Left.”   

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.burke.1422 Patrick Burke

    Asking the media to analyze the AP scandal is like asking wolves to analyze the taste of sheep. The press is not going to eat itself. Whatever we hear through the press will obviously protect the press. That new digital technology finally permitted the government to do an end-run around the age-old defense of the press exposing trusted and secret sources is only going to make the press attack the government for doing so and report it with that angle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mariannefox12 Marianne Fox

    It makes sense that the IRS is giving extra scrutiny to c4 applications by Tea Party groups, because the main focus of the Tea Party has been electioneering (getting people in or out of office). Electioneering is specifically prohibited for c4 groups.

    • OnPointComments

      The IRS acted inappropriately and has admitted its guilt.  The president has condemned the actions of the IRS.

      • Ray in VT

        And we should have Congressional committees taking a look at this, because I don’t think that people want such things to happen, because while it may be someone that you dislike this time, it might be you next time.

  • donniethebrasco

    I can’t believe that Tom is trying to defend the IRS.  This is moronic.

  • hennorama

    Ms. Walker’s claim of potential violation of civil rights is spurious.

    • donniethebrasco

       Because you disagree with her and want her to stop talking.

      You are a bully and a thug.

      • Ray in VT

        Where did Hennorama say that she wanted Ms. Walker to stop talking?

        • hennorama

          Ray in VT – logic and thoughtfulness are not required by those whose stock-in-trade is the insult.

      • hennorama

        donniethebrasco – more talking to your mirror? I’m not a health care professional, so I really cannot offer medical advice.

        Still, you may wish to get checked out, as these negative affirmations seem worrisome to a casual observer.

        • Bruce94

           I’m a casual observer today whose delicate sensibilities have been offended by not only the negative affirmations of some of the posters, but also the speculative frenzy and rush to judgment that these partisan hacks can be counted on to substitute for rational discourse immediately following the release of new and disturbing revelations like these.

          Thanks for standing up for the casual observer and self-restraint today in your usual tasteful manner.

          • hennorama

            Bruce94 – TY for your very kind words.

  • MrNutso

    She keeps say civil rights.  What civil right does she think was violated?

    • donniethebrasco

       THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, moron.

      • MrNutso

        I just would like to have her say what rights she thinks were violated rather than just use the phrase.

        Also,  I’m rubber and you’re glue.  Things bounce of me and stick to you.

      • SuziVt

        I withdraw my earlier comment. I didn’t realize I was trying to engage someone that hasn’t evolved beyond name calling. (moron?)

  • toc1234

    really Howard, “they didn’t have to apply”?  its their fault for exposing themselves to discrimination? 

  • donniethebrasco

    The IRS said they were wrong.

    Why are you trying to attack the right wing group that was attacked by the IRS?

    This is moronic.  

  • Frank Forkl

    The problem here is that, courtesy of the courts, the IRS is doing a job it was never meant to do. The runaway landslide of these type of groups is because the courts directed funders that way. Was what they did wrong? Yes, but I don’t blame them, this is a failure of the system.

  • donniethebrasco

    Toby is a true American.

    These NPR wonks live in their own government funded, tax free bubble.

    • SuziVt

      I would say that NPR in general, is usually rather objective, as far as news and issues reporting. On Point, specifically, is quite objective. Tom Ashbrook is always trying to pay full and equal respect to all points of view. Federal funding has been deeply cut. Very little tax dollars are going to support NPR.(I can’t remember the tiny percentage.) Because of the neutral reporting and the generosity of individual donors, we are all able to stay informed. Could you describe this bubble to which you refer?  

      • Ray in VT

        It’s the bubble where government can solve problems and Obama isn’t the worst ever at everything.

        • Gregg Smith

          True, not everything.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Remove ALL tax exempt status for ALL political organizations.
    Problem solved.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Anonymous donations with regard to political issues should be illegal. If you want to support something, don’t hide.

    • donniethebrasco

       Tell that to the people who gave money to support bills against gay marriage.

      They were attacked in their homes and their businesses.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Just like lefties such as Dr. Tiller.

        Oh, wait…

  • Human898

    It will be interesting to hear where this goes.  I have been involved in obtaining 501(c)3 and it took a very long time and we were told this was common.   The other thing to remember is what this is all about, tax exempt status. They were not denied the status. The lady keeps saying what is illegal and what was done, has not been proven, she harms her own case. Can we wait till an investigation and so actual proof? I’m not particularly fond of paying taxes and the IRS is not a loved organization by many people, but this is about tax exempt status and I’m interested to know what they actually do. This may be a be careful what you look for because it may expose more about those complaining than the IRS.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Disqus is messed up again. This is a reply to DrewInGeorgia below.

    Oh, but they aren’t PRIMARILY political organizations.

    Wink, wink.

  • toc1234

    uh oh Tom… obviously your booking person didn’t get the memo about finding the craziest, most extreme Tea Partier in TX. 

    • MrNutso

      She’s hardly crazy.  Fervent is a more apt description.  She makes good points about what her organization had to do.

      • toc1234

        she is making good points, much to Tom’s chagrin, I am sure.  that’s my point.

  • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

    Toby, I think what the gentleman meant was that 501(c)4 is not a “right” (a “civil right” as you would put it). It’s more accurately described as a privilege.

    • donniethebrasco

       First Amendment, Freedom of Speech

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        That’s idiocy. No one is stopping Toby or her group from expressing her views. No speech was prevented. She has every right to a soap box. She, however, has no “right” to a particular tax exemption.

        For folks who supposedly revere the Constitution, that’s a pretty ignorant view of what the Constitution means.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Really?  It seems directly in violation of the First Amendment to me.  

          Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
          religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
          speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, (Tea
          Parties are famously peaceful) and to petition the Government for a redress of
          grievances (such is the reason for the formation and continuation of the Tea
          Party Movement).  

          • Ray in VT

            How so?  In what way were any of those provisions violated?  Does freedom of the press mean that the press is in no way ever to be held accountable as part of a criminal investigation?

      • Ray in VT

        No one denied them the right to speak.  Tax exempt status is not a right that I’ve seen listed in the Bill of Rights.

        • Gregg Smith

          Then deny the application, simple.

          • Ray in VT

            For some groups it might not be so simple.  If they have provided the required information, then it may be, however, some of the terms and standards that are being used are somewhat ambiguous.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Sadly you are wrong.

          • Ray in VT

            On which point?  Were they denied the right to speak, and if so, then who and how.  If tax exempt status is in the Bill of Rights, then which Amendment is it?

    • M S

      True, perhaps, but privileges offered, should be offered to everyone in the same manner.

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        Agreed. That’s the crux of the IRS story.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I take argument with the term privilege.  It implies a greater benefit.  This is more like impairing your right to vote by not allowing you to register to vote because of your declared political party.

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        No. Voting is an actual right. Being allowed to organize your group so that you get better rates on printing? That’s not a right.

  • donniethebrasco

    Coming after Rainbow Coalition next.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Caller Edward gets it.

  • donniethebrasco

    So it is OK for Obama to target right wing groups through the IRS.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Did Obama target these groups?  Where is your proof?  Did they evade the law, and if so do they deserve prosecution?  Which case will be easier to prove?  Lets have a thorough investigation all around & let the chops fall where they may.  Meanwhile, the oxygen is sucked out of the legislative process and nothing gets done, which seems to be part of the right’s agenda.

      • Ray in VT

        Of course Obama targeted those groups.  Everything that the government, or any government employee, does to which I object was personally directed by the President.

  • donniethebrasco

    So is it right for the IRS to do what they did or is it wrong.

  • SuziVt

    The WACO Tea Party isn’t a political organization? REALLY?

    • donniethebrasco

      So they deserved to be on Obama’s enemies list.

      • John_in_Amherst

         I would be proud to be on the enemies lists of any number of conservative politicians.  And if I appeared to be breaking the laws, I would deserve investigation.

  • Futureboy68

    I can’t figure out how ANY of these groups, left or right, deserve tax exemption under the guise of “social welfare”. It’s just another example of how ridiculously convoluted our tax system is and why it’s not even close to getting fixed anytime soon. I’m tired of hearing all of these groups saying they aren’t politically motivated just because they don’t support specific candidates. When in reality, they promote political philosophies espoused and supported by specific candidates. You’d have to be pretty naive to think that an anti-government or pro big government group didn’t have some allegiance to specific politicians whom support their cause.

    Call a spade a spade, tax them all, kill the bureaucracy and make the entire system more transparent.

    “Mom and pop” political agenda-leaning ”social welfare” groups.

    What a joke.

    • donniethebrasco

       NPR has tax exempt status.  I agree.

      • Futureboy68

        So, apparently does General Electric.

  • donniethebrasco

    If it is right, why is Obama saying “He Knows Nothing” like Lt. Schultz.

  • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.burke.1422 Patrick Burke

    501(c)4 status simply legalizes what we down here in Louisiana used to call “hatchet jobs.” A straw candidate would get on TV or appear in print and lambast all the issues that one candidate stands for, all while pretending that the straw candidate is some kind of legitimate candidate himself. Of course the false information would be out and the offended candidate had the option of spending money suing the straw candidate for slander, but he’d be suing some poor bugger who couldn’t pay if he had to and the press would rally around the controversy and the false issue would get legs to it. No one ever asked where the straw candidate got the money for the TV appearance or press release but it sometimes served to undermine a real candidate’s campaign.

  • donniethebrasco

    The tea party organizations deserved to be on Obama’s enemies list and get extra scrutiny.

    No one is fired.

    • John_in_Amherst

       Yes, they do belong on the president’s “enemies list”, and they also may well have broken the law.  The first point of fact is not a reason to investigate them.  The second is.

      • donniethebrasco

        Can you get a job with the Obama administration and spout your dreck?

        • John_in_Amherst

           I never tried.  You ever try for a slot at FOX?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I don’t know if DTB qualifies. They have a slate full of white male Americans (who can pass for straight and Christian).

            I submit their “growth vector” in on-air “talent” is in “the short line”, of the “other” who want to be famous for simply being who they are (black, Latino, female, gay, lesbian) and right-wing, until they’re outed as idealess and talentless.

            Notice how quickly nobodies like Alan Keyes and Herman Cain get to be front runners in the wingnut welfare sweepstakes. Those hacks will always have a job somewhere.

          • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

            And Dr. Carson. While it lasted.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Gosh, I forget the Dr (The Next President) Carson already. Good catch!

            But then, keeping track of all these non-entities does sorta resemble how ESPN provide a zillion hours of pre-draft coverage.

            Except people care about football. And football players have to produce on the field at some point.

        • jefe68

          Inane troll.

  • jim_thompson

    The law is not vague.  It says that these groups are to be exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.  Evidently back in 1959 the guidelines changed that clear meaning of excluisve to primarily(hence the 51% threshold).  Let’s go back to the law as it was written.  It is a scandal that political groups,left right et al, are getting tax  breaks.  We are subsidizing both the Teaparty and Organizing for America folks with tax breaks.  That is wrong!

    • William

       A spirited opposition does promote social welfare.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Funny how your received wisdom of “spirited opposition” forgets “you’re with us or you’re agin us” and “let’s herd the opposition into a safety cage at the convention”.

        • Ray in VT

          Hey, I forgot about the “free speech zones”, or whatever they called where anti-Bush protesters had to stand.  Yet another golden oldie.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I’m close enough to NYC to be relieved that Bin Laden is caught, so the right wing can stop their charade of pretending t ocare about New Yorkers.

            One of the (admittedly minor) things about the Boston Marathon bombings is that they now have to pretend they care about Boston for awhile.

  • jpolock

    No one has added that not only was there a total flood of these “social welfare” groups (anti-gov and tax, right/left wing political groups with anon donors are social welfare today?), but simultaneously the Republicans had forced cuts and defunding of the IRS.

    Is it any surprise then that brakes would be applied, to vet these groups, AND that it would take WAY longer understaffed and funded?

    Personally I think ALL tax exempt groups including…no…especially “religious” organizations should be highly scrutinized and MOST stripped of that status…

    ..and we wonder why there is no resources for public works, schools, first responders etc….

    • donniethebrasco

       I can’t believe that there are so many apologists for the IRS misdeeds here.

      • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

        Just like Benghazi, we can wrap our arms around the problems we see in the IRS story without it rising to hair-on-fire-zomg-impeach-now levels.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Impeach now?

          Piker! It’s already too late!

          Why didn’t the impeachement hearings start the moment Aretha Franklin stopped singing on Inauguration Day 2009?

          • OnPointComments

            Everyone was stunned into silence by the hat that Aretha wore to the inauguration.

      • jpolock

        No, just intellectual honestly.  Would argue same about FED, SEC etc prior to the econ meltdown for example.

        You can’t de-fang regulators and then be surprised when they are incompetent and/or fail…sure even criminally or ethically under such circumstances.

        That’s like arguing we should fire public defenders because many of their innocent clients go to jail…without recognizing that they are underpaid and overburdened to the point that they can’t even read the dockets before trial

    • hennorama

      jpolock - And don’t forget that as a result of sequestration, 89,000 IRS employees are being furloughed, beginning next week.

      See:http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sequester-hits-irs-89000-employees-furloughed/story?id=19022630#.UZPGD6LUnDk

      FTA:

      “The first furlough days will include May 24, June 14, July 5, July 22 and August 30, with another two days possible in August or September.

      “On these days, all operations directed at the public, including toll-free help and Taxpayer Assistance Centers, will be closed.

      “According to the IRS Data Book, these furloughed services were used by more than 97 million taxpayers in the 2012 fiscal year. The agency processed more than 237 million tax returns and provided $373 billion
      in refunds to taxpayers, while collecting $2.5 trillion for the federal government.

      “IT and security personnel may be required to work though the agency-wide furlough days, but will still have to include alternative off days into their schedules.”

  • William

    A scary abuse of Presidential power. 

    • brettearle

      You are trying to suggest that Holder told the President.

      Even if Holder was SUPPOSED to tell the President, how do you know he did?

      How can you say that it actually IS a “scary abuse of Presidential power”, when You Don’t Even Know what the breach is?

      If you are a Right Winger or an Independent, you are doing nothing but displaying a knee-jerk reaction of political bias.

      • William

         What did the President know and when did he know it?

        • brettearle

          That’s a fair question. Except it needs modification, for very specific clarity.

          Better to say,

          “What did the President know, if anything?

          And  if he did know something, when did he know it?”

  • brettearle

    If it’s an Emergency, can you not go to court after the fact?

    As in FISA.

    But Abrams comments like the Security Breach might not have been an emergency.

    And he may very well be right.

    • OnPointComments

      How can it be an emergency if the government gave the AP permission to publish the story?  Why not issue the subpoena through normal channels and have a judge decide the issue?  It’s not like historical phone records are going to change if the AP knows that the records have been subpoenaed.

      • brettearle

        We are reacting based on the information that we know–not by information that we DON’T know.

        Permission to publish the story…..may not be the WHOLE story.

        I already point out, above, that Abrams may be right.

        I also point, above, to Court procedure.
        You can go to court–before or after, depending on the immediacy of the breach.

        You and I are not privy to the WHOLE story.

        And Abrams may not be, either. 

        • hennorama

          brettearle – how Rumsfeldian you are! (tongue firmly in cheek here).

          “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld

          Read more at
          http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/d/donaldrums148142.html#jWq2PwJxO34uEHWI.99

          Regardless of the known knowns, known unknowns, and/or unknown unknowns, jumping to conclusions is de rigueur, dontcha know?

          Blame first, ask no questions, blame later.

          Call for investigations into leaks, then criticize the investigations.

          Twas ever thus.

          • brettearle

            Sure does show up the Bias, doesn’t it?

            Hate to admit it, but Rumsfeld had a point.

            Have always felt that way.

            Except for this:

            Even when you find out, it may NOT be what is known but, rather,  what is actually THOUGHT to be known….

            If you catch the implication, here–which, I’m sure you do…. 

          • hennorama

            brettearle – Mais bien sur, Monsieur. Also, EVERYBODY “KNOWS” X, Y and/or Z, as in, X, Y and/or Z have been repeated so often, they are now “known” to be true.

          • brettearle

            Rumsfeld Rarely Rears his Robust Roar for Reliable Reasons

          • hennorama

            Rather Repugnant Rumsfeld Returns, Recommends Repetitive Reviews:

            http://nation.foxnews.com/benghazi/2013/05/15/rumsfeld-more-benghazi-hearings-must-go-forward

          • brettearle

            Right on.

            or,

            Rather [Dan],

            Right [R]on[nie].

          • brettearle

            It’s but the Power of Advertising,

            N’est-ce pas?

          • hennorama

            brettearle – Is it Advertising, or Propaganda?

            “They distort, you deride”.

          • brettearle

            Well said!

            Hey, let’s collaborate!

            [Although the word `labor' is in that word.  Watch out!]

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TYFYR.

            Besides “labor”, one also might see (and do NOT get me started on anagrams, Mr. rebel treat!):

            lab – let’s experiment!

            rat – let’s experiment! vermin! scurry! Black plague! (stopping now)

            rate – 10! hotornot? Allot (a lot?) ratio ration rationalize Liza Minelli Li Na nah nahtinmynayborhood, familial female fornicator! (stopping now, again)

            ate – sated ted cruz cruz azul la playa azul playa del carmen carmen miranda miranda rights (OK, REALLY stopping now, again, and finally).

            Phewww!

            TY again for your response.

  • donniethebrasco

    Warrantless searches by the Justice Department.

  • MrNutso

    More damage than Nixon?  Was the caller even alive in the 70′s?

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

      Yeah wake me up when there’s a special prosecutor. And Obama fires him. Along with the AG and his deputy.

  • donniethebrasco

    Will Joe Biden be taking the oath of office soon?  In the next 6 months?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Wow.

    An “Obama supporter” (Paul at 49 minutes) now gets religion on Obama and wants the hacks in the GOP House, like Darrell “Sentence First, Hearings Afterwards” Issa, to investigate and find the truth?

    Something smells funny here. Either that, or it’s an incredible bit of needle-threading.

  • Frank Forkl

    I would think the response to the AP phone record seizure should be, for the time being, to do everything via VoIP. These type of records could be a lot harder to come by that way.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Nixon didn’t have an enemies list.  John Dean did.

    The question should be does Axelrod or David Plouffe have an enemies list.  That would be the parallel to the Nixon admin.

    • StilllHere

      Obama’s got a kill list, and a plan for domestic use of drones. 

      • Ray in VT

        That’s okay, though.  Rand Paul says we can wipe out a liquor store robber with drones.

      • jefe68

        If I were you I would be moving to your basement now…

    • OnPointComments

      We know that the Obama campaign had an enemies list that it published and tweeted to its followers.

    • jefe68

      Oh for the love of BS. Nixon was the one who authorized the list. You people on the right are hilarious.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         Evidence please.

        • jefe68

          Do you really think that Nixon had no knowledge of what Colson was doing?

          The official purpose, as described by the Nixon White House Counsel’s Office, was to “screw” Nixon’s political enemies, by means of tax audits from the Internal Revenue Service, and by manipulating “grant availability, federal contracts, litigation, prosecution, etc.”
          In a memorandum from John Dean to Lawrence Higby (August 16, 1971), Dean explained the purpose of the list:
          “This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration; stated a bit more bluntly—how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            You clearly missed my point.  Nixon IS responsible for his people –even if he is ignorant.

            Apparently Nixon used the IRS for audits against opponents (until George Schultz stopped it). FDR also used the IRS as a political weapon. However, it wasn’t until the aftermath of Nixon that it was explicitly made illegal.

  • donniethebrasco

    The day the First Amendment died.

    • http://twitter.com/Astraspider Ms. Spider

      And yet, here you are, expressing your viewpoints freely, (no matter how stupid they may be).

    • jefe68

      Well you seem to be posting with your usual inane comments and I have not noticed anyone stopping you. 

  • Davesix6

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.”  Ohio Stadium on May 5, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio. 
    Really Mr President???
     
    The fact is “our brave, and creative, and unique experiment in self-rule” was designed to limit government power for very good reasons.
    Not the least of which President Obama’s administration has demonstrated in these instances and others.

    • donniethebrasco

      “It can not be proven government is sinister as long as the press continues to eat my BS.

      So if I don’t piss them off with taking their phone records, my sinister government can continue to have free reign.”

      Not said by Obama

  • toc1234

    best call in awhile…

  • http://www.facebook.com/beth.jacobs.54 Beth Jacobs

    Ask the AP for their records first or it looks like you are looking for evidence that they know you committed a crime not the other way around

    • brettearle

      If it’s an Emergency–and it might not have been–what you say would be rendered second priority….at least for the time being.

  • donniethebrasco

    What is the next shoe to drop?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I’ve posted some suggestions.

    • Ray in VT

      His “real” birth certificate.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

         LOL

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Dude, move on.

        At least to “Obama’s transcript”.

        Seems like a placeholder now, but it was the oxygen keeping the Kewl Kidz alive until Benghazi was the WorstThingEvah.

        • Ray in VT

          Well, Benghazi is the worst thing that Dick Cheney can remember.

  • brettearle

    If Abrams is accurate (by implication and directly), about how this Security Breach wasn’t an Emergency, then how can Holder’s office get away with this?

    Not only could this imbroglio give more credibility, indirectly, to any possible impropriety that might be ascribed  to “Operation Fast and Furious”, but, much more importantly, this sort of expediency could display an utter disregard for the Fifth Estate and its Constitutional Rights. 

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    “Whistle blowing” of improper or illegal activity is NOT the same as leaking confidential government information.  Especially when that information is related to a security threat.

    Instead of the reporters’ records being searched, the reporters should have turned in the treasonous leaker. I think the reporters are equally at fault for not doing so.

    • donniethebrasco

       Blame everyone but the Obama administration.

      What a moron.

      • jefe68

        Takes one to know one.

    • OnPointComments

      It’s ironic that the press which frequently trumpets the public’s right to know never extends that right to the public knowing who leaked the documents.

    • brettearle

      Please keep in mind that whistle blowers may not always be fully aware of the difference between what is improper or illegal activity and what is a bonified security breach.

      And sometimes people wish, expediently, to be scret heroes.

      I have no idea whether, what I have said is true in this case.

      I am simply bringing this up as an issue to consider.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    The irony with the leak investigation is the admin also engages an unprecedented number of intentional leaks to their favorite media outlets.

    • StilllHere

      That’s just how “transparent” they are!

  • StilllHere

    The Obama Administration seems to need a refresher course on the Constitution.  Funny, wasn’t Obama supposed to be a Constitutional Law scholar?  Hmmm.

    • brettearle

       As if the President is privy to everything that was done–as far as impropriety is concerned.

      As if the President should be blamed for everything that he is shielded from.

      Not everything is plausible deniability.

      Far from it.

      • StilllHere

        Gotcha, the buck always stops somewhere else.

        Always good to hear from the apologists.

        • Ray in VT

          It always stopped somewhere else with the Decider.  Who paid the price for the warrentless wiretapping of mass numbers of American citizens?

          • StilllHere

            Relativism is your only defense?  Pathetic.

          • Ray in VT

            Not nearly as pathetic as the drooling over and clamoring for over every scandal, either real or contrived, over the past 4+ years, as well as the truly side-show freakish contortions that some will go to in order to excuse far worse offenses from politicians on the right.

            There’s plenty of concern and anger from the left here today, which is more than is often exhibited from certain trolls regarding conservative or Republican offenses.

          • StilllHere

            More relativism.  Truly pathetic.

          • Ray in VT

            I’m just trying to make sure that this President gets the same treatment as the last one.  That’s not relativism.  Why don’t you try doing some actual thinking before letting your hands pluck away at your keyboard.  Truly pathetic.

        • brettearle

          Hey listen, why don’t we blame the President for Hurricane Sandy?

          Or the new Avian flu, perhaps?

          • StilllHere

            Really? Pathetic.

          • brettearle

            NOT pathetic.  Not pathetic at all.

            When it comes to LAWS BEING BROKEN, you have to be willfully responsible.

            Maybe the President is.

            But I doubt it.

            How do YOU actually KNOW what the nature of the Security Breach is?

            If Obama knew–and maybe he didn’t, but should have–he may have understood that it WAS an emergency.

            Then, it IS highly likely, that they acted WITHIN the law.

            You simply smell blood, where there may be no blood to smell…….

            Go ahead, sir,

            Give…It…Your…Best….Shot..

      • jefe68

        Sorry, but even if he was not privy someone in his administration was in charge here. The violation of the 1st Amendment here is outrageous.

        The right wingers are loving this, but that’s to be expected. If I was to post a link to an article about the FBI targeting people in the Occupy movement as terrorist I bet they would all be fine with that form of abuse of power. 

        • brettearle

          I wasn’t simply getting the President “off” on a Technicality.

          In the case of Watergate, if Nixon had not been involved in the Cover-Up and had had no knowledge of it, his abuse of Power  would never have brought him to Impeachment.

          • jefe68

            I never mentioned Nixon.

          • brettearle

            I was responding to your comment, “even if he was not privy, someone was in charge, here.”

            My original comment addressed, exclusively, the matter of the President’s culpability.

            When I brought up Watergate, I was defending my original argument (to which you subsequently responded) by bringing up a significant comparison, with regard to what Presidential criminal guilt might look like.

            I wasn’t defending my response to your comment, when I brought up Watergate.

            Besides, you and I both don’t know whether Holder’s claim is accurate–this was a matter of extreme urgency.

            If it was, then he (and others) might be on legal grounds.

    • OnPointComments

      Sure, he’s a constitutional scholar.  He just doesn’t like the first or second amendments.

  • hennorama

    The Treasury Inspector General’s report found that “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”.

    The solutions seem quite clear: (obviously the Justice Dept.’s probe will be ongoing)

    Get rid of the highest level employees who were involved.

    Adopt and implement all nine of the IG’s recommendations.

    Appropriate sufficient funding for the IRS to review ALL of these applications prior to granting tax-exempt status.

    FYI, the IRS says “We consistently receive about 60,000 applications for tax-exempt status each year. Most are requesting status under section 501(c)(3).”

    See:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/15/us/politics/15irs-inspector-report.html
    (for the IG’s report)

    http://waysandmeans.house.gov/uploadedfiles/miller_testimony_7.25.pdf
    (page 2 for quote on the 60K annual applications)

    http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Exemption-Requirements-Section-501(c)(3)-Organizations
    (IRS requirements for tax exemption)

    • Gregg Smith

      Then by all means let’s dramatically expand the bureaucracy and let the IRS enforce Obamacare. What could go wrong?

      • Ray in VT

        National health care by and large works pretty well in the rest of the developed world.  Why do you lack faith in American exceptionalism when it comes to improving upon that which others have come up?  I mean, we could always turn seniors back out to the free market and/or let people trade livestock for health care, if they have chickens that is.

        • Gregg Smith

          That’s just weird Ray. 

          • Ray in VT

            Only if you don’t have a chicken to trade for an office visit.  Two chickens for the ER.

          • Gregg Smith

            Alrighty then.

        • Wm_James_from_Missouri

          A single payer program would be national health care. Obamacare is not.

      • hennorama

        Gregg “I’m a harmless lovable fuzzball; I will make a better effort to not goad you” Smith – I’m not an expert, so please correct any errors. The appropriate Gregg Smith Response-O-Matic here would seem to be:

        [Your premise is whacked]

        • Gregg Smith

          I don’t understand. The IRS is charged with enforcing Obamacare. We hired an extra 16,000 agents. Does this not give you pause?

          • hennorama

            Gregg “I don’t understand” Smith – TY for your response.

            [Your premise is whacked] is YOUR expression; I’m merely quoting your words. I did ask you to correct any errors, but since this is YOUR expression, it seems a bit odd that you don’t understand.

            One might be better served by changing the Gregg Smith R-O-M response above to either [Your premise is whack] (the colloquial “whack” which means “ridiculous, crazy or bad” here) – OR – [Your premise is out of whack], but that’s your decision to make.

            As to my post, [Your premise is whacked] = “Your conflation of this IRS issue, which is about applications for tax-exempt status, with enforcing the provisions of Obamacare, is inappropriate, as this IRS issue has nothing at all to do with Obamacare.”

            One hopes this is both sufficiently brief and simple enough for you to understand.

            One could certainly define each word in the post if that is deemed necessary for you, but as you have written such things as “I don’t care what the dictionary says”, “I don’t know what the dictionary says”, .and “Dictionary definitions will fail you without context”, one must therefore doubt that such definitions would be helpful, assuming you would even read them, of course.

            Thank you again for your response.

          • Gregg Smith

            [Your premise is whacked] is YOUR expression; I’m merely quoting your words.”

            And? So I should know what premise you are referring to because I explained to someone else why their premise was whacked? You see, it has to do with the actual premise not the word “premise”. This is the way you frequently do. Cool, but I still don’t understand those first few paragraphs.

            The IRS has been expanded dramatically to enforce Obamacare at a time when they have shown they cannot be trusted. If the Chief Counsel knew about this years ago there is no higher legal authority. This has all been admitted. Conflating the issues of Obamacare and the IRS is not my work. The two are now peas in the same pod. None of this is deniable in point of fact. It is entirely appropriate to look closely at it. The concerns will be rightfully raised by many in the coming weeks.

            My premise is that if the IRS is given yet more power in a bureaucratic nightmare more abuse will happen and many will be hurt significantly and unjustly.

            I don’t think that premise is whacked but you are entitled to your opinion.

          • Gregg Smith

            You do understand that I can deny the IRS is an actual legume and still be consistent, don’t you?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

             ”logic and thoughtfulness are not required by those whose stock-in-trade is the insult.”

            Be careful when fighting monsters that you don’t become one.

            a friend.

          • hennorama

            RWB – TY for your concern. It is noted.

            Granted, one might fairly observe the presence of antipathy in dealing with a particular “monster” (your word) in this forum. However, on balance, such antipathy is fairly limited, and certainly not present in the majority of posts.

            Thank you again for your concern.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Monster is Friedrich Nietzsche’s word, sorry for the unattributed quote.

          • hennorama

            RWB – I knew you were paraphrasing Nietzsche’s original “Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one” quote. I was merely ensuring that my use of the word “monster” would not be interpreted as originating from me, as some individuals might characterize that as “calling names”, or as “an insult”.

          • Gregg Smith

            Just call me a monster and be  done with it.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – TY for your response. As you have objected to my other usual pleasantries, I will dispense with them.

            Allow me to quote you as a response to your response – [“That's silly”.]

            As I have repeatedly written, I am not a health care professional, so I cannot possibly comment as such.

            When one reads your words “Just call me a monster and be done with it”, one might express concern about what could fairly be interpreted as exaggerated self-pity or self-victimization. Others might characterize your words as “butthurt”. Again, one might suggest that “you can look it up”, but given your oft-expressed aversion to dictionaries, why would one bother?

            For the record, I do not think you are a monster and therefore have no reason to “Just call [you] a monster and be done with it”.

            Au contraire, mon frere.

            You are no doubt an upstanding and successful businessperson, who treats customers well and enjoys his business (except of course when the little skid-steer bobcat drops a valve). You no doubt have friends and an intimate partner who enjoy your presence. The issue is not about you as a person; the issue is about your words.

            Your words are, as politely as one is able to describe them, inconsistent.

            Your words do not comply with your oft-expressed respect for “open and honest debate”.

            Your words are often unsupported by facts.

            You use your words to repeatedly decline to answer direct questions.

            And on and on.

            As you repeatedly write (again, one might express concern about what could fairly be interpreted as exaggerated self-pity or self-victimization here), “It’s not about me.”

            It’s “about” your words, not you.

            Thank you again for your response.

    • OnPointComments

      Rasmussen Reports: 
       
      Only seven percent (7%) of voters believe no disciplinary action should be taken against the IRS employees involved in the investigations. Twenty-nine percent (29%) feel they should be formally reprimanded. But most (57%) think those involved should be jailed or fired, with 16% who say they should be put in jail and 41% who believe they should be fired.
       
      I’m sure the On Point commenters who consistently advocate for acting based on polls will agree that the IRS offenders should be jailed or fired.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Time for a deep breath and real hearings. You and yours are not to be trusted. You lost anyone who likes real polls when you said “Rasmussen”.

        So many right-wingers consider this WorseThanWatergate(TM), and our press is powerless to push back (like when Shrub did worse by having his enemies audited), there’s no perspective any longer.

        But I digress: WorseThanWatergate(TM) is something which the Foxholers and the usually suspect have been awarding every week since Obama clinched the nomination in 2008.

        • Ray in VT

          This is Obama’s 4th or 5th Watergate, right?  Breaking the old record of 1 Watergate.  On a side note, Watergate is one fugly building.

      • hennorama

        OPC – TY for your response, and the information contained within. (A link to the info would be a nice inclusion, simply for the convenience of the reader).

        I cannot speak for those you describe, but regardless of the civil service regulations, those involved must, at bare minimum, no longer be able to have oversight of these sort of applications, or any area where political ideology could be inserted into their activities. Firing them may be difficult, but demotion and/or reassignment would be much easier.

        As to jail – that’s quite a stretch at this point. The DOJ is investigating, as announced yesterday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=595452520 Cynthia Rose Osorio Florez

    I’m curious why any organization feels an ENTITLEMENT to be tax exempt? The IRS does the tax payers bidding and I [as a tax payer] don’t want organizations that make claims on this ENTITLEMENT to be granted this ENTITLEMENT without proof of qualification for their ENTITLEMENT. Put your big girl panties on Toby Marie Walker. You’re not ENTITLED.

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      We feel entitled to: peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.  But I see you have a problem with that because we disagree with you.  I am just as much a tax payer and I demand a single set of laws for everyone. That is what we in the Tea Party call “fair.”

      • jimino

        No one is denying you or any organization any of those rights. 

        The question is “why should I or anyone else be legally obligated to subsidize your activities?”

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You have a peculiar idea of subsidy. According to you all newspapers are government subsidized. As well as all churches.

          If you wish to form a group and pool your money to advance a cause how can you even consider that a business to be taxed? How can such donations be seen as profits? Only because you personally dislike their political opinion are you willing to twist language to justify your desire to bully others.

  • madnomad554

    In a country with 17 different intelligence gathering agencies, why does this come as a surprise?

    I guess we now have 18 sets of spying and prying eyes.

    • brettearle

      Connectivity, connectivity, connectivity

      • madnomad554

         Yep…were probably being spied on at this very moment. Maybe we should wave at them or just give them the finger

        • brettearle

           Why don’t we spy on them?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Just in case anyone’s wondering what’s happening with the Beltway Inbreds, here’s something I missed from Politico earlier:

    The dam of solid Democratic solidarity has collapsed, starting with New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s weekend scolding of the White House over Benghazi, then gushing with the news the Justice Department had
    sucked up an absurdly broad swath of Associated Press phone records.

    Maureen Dowd is still MoDo. And she’s Politico’s idea of “Democratic”. (Normally “scolding” and “gushing” are too much of someone editorializing about another writer’s tone in print for me, but they did nail that.)

    Hilarious.

  • 2Gary2

    I agree with what the IRS did–I wish they would have bankrupted these nuts.  Heck they are already morally bankrupt–Take from the poor and give to the rich they may as well be financially bankrupt.

    Conservatism is a weapon of mass destruction.  All one needs to do is look around at the devastation their policies have caused.  Gross income and wealth inequality as MF like paul ryan are doubling down on their failed immoral policies.

    • donniethebrasco

       I hope Obama admits that he was behind the IRS audits.

      • MrNutso

        So you know he’s behind it?

        • Gregg Smith

          Certainly the default assumption should be that Obama has a clue.

          • brettearle

            Why, Gregg?

            Simply because Organizations are involved that he opposes politically?

            Why be more cynical than you already are?

          • Gregg Smith

            No not at all. I don’t think default assumption should be that Obama has no idea what’s going on in his administration. I’m not saying he should know every detail of every issue of every agency. But I do think if the IRS has been doing this since 2010 Obama should have a clue about it.

            But I will certainly admit I am cynical. IMO it’s for good reason and I did not get this way overnight in a vacuum.

          • brettearle

            You and I have both heard of–and probably know, first hand of–those Executive Directors who are shielded from the Truth because of `lower case’ dysfunction….and not simply because of  `wink-wink, nod-nods’ as well as plausible deniability.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            Who will rid me of this troublesome Tea Party?

            /humor (sorta)

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Old age?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.

            /humor

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Axelrod actually excused Obama today that the government is too big.   Duh!!!  The government IS too big.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        I hope some of the nutjobs were taken to gitmo in black helicopters.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          You are revealing a charming side of your personality.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Victim of humor deficiency syndrome?

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            You maybe a victim of more than one malady, but that does not excuse you. You should attempt to correct you mistakes.

      • SuziVt

        I’ll bet you do! LOL

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       You probably don’t like the Constitution either.

      • Ray in VT

        It’s an outdated vessel.  We’re talking about the ship, right?

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          I had to show a photo ID  (they asked for a passport or driver’s license) to visit the ship last year.  I didn’t have to show any ID to vote.

          • Ray in VT

            Don’t you know how much damage a foreign agent could do with that ship?  It’s national security, man.  I also didn’t have to show an ID to the little old ladies at the town hall that have known me for 20 years.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Next time I won’t say good morning to the guard in my best Boris Badenoff accent.

          • Ray in VT

            Just make sure not to ask where the nuclear wessels are, and if you do, then just yell “double dumbass on you” and make a break for it.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Dude, that’ wasn’t much of a hit when it was new. Don’t bother waiting for the crowd to roar its applause when an oldies band plays the cover.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      They should have examined all the partisan political groups pretending to be “social welfare” organizations, no bias whatsoever. That would be a very good thing. Then it would turn out that the vast majority of the abusers were righty wingnuts, and the admin could nail them with no problems. Unfortunately our bumbling conservadem admin failed Politics 101.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        So I need to take control of the Government to be able to protect myself from people like you that see nothing wrong with using the power of the government to punish their enemies real or imagined.  

        • jimino

          Although you claim to be their protector, you are so divorced with any understanding of the principles upon which our country was founded that you don’t even have a clue as to how utterly irrational and contradictory your post is.

          I don’t know how old you are, but I (age 60) remember a time when enforcing the law was not seen as a bad thing being done by an evil “gubmint”.

          • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

            I was taught to respect my elders but not how to suffer fools gladly. If my comment seems contradictory to you perhaps it is because it should not be seen alone but as a reply to the earlier comment.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Reading deficiency?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Walking Tall (1973)

      Buford: [talking to the jury after showing his scars] If you let them do this to me and get away with it, THEN YOU’RE GIVING THEM THE ETERNAL RIGHT TO DO THE SAME DAMN THING TO ANY ONE OF YOU! 

  • OnPointComments

    Is the IRS targeting conservatives not scary enough for you?
     
    “IRS Faces Class Action Lawsuit Over Theft Of 60 Million Medical Records”
     http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/irs-face-lawsuit-over-theft-60-million-patient-health-records 
     
    “The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
     
    “This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.

        “According to the case, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the John Doe company, however, “it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter,” the complaint read. 

        “The class action lawsuit against the IRS seeks $25,000 in compensatory damages “per violation per individual” in addition to punitive damages for constitutional violations.  Thus, compensatory damages could start at a minimum of $250 billion.”

  • Will

    Peak irony: One Tea Party member said that the IRS should hire more IRS employees to handle all the backlogged applications. That’s right, increase government spending.

    • donniethebrasco

      IRS spending is usually not wasteful.

      Redistribution is.

  • StilllHere

    I got it now.
    In the apologists’ view, Obama is only and solely responsible for Obama.  The rest of his administration, and its agengies, are Bush’s responsibility.

  • pm05

     Hello,

    What about all the crap (ALL THE CRAP) that Bush and his administration did and NO Republicans did anything much to stop it!

    It sounds like the IRS was trying to do its job, with little support/personal (thank you Republicans) and get through an avalanche of applications. Can anyone give them a break until everything is known? It is crazy to be attacking these workers until it is known what really happened. It really really sounds like they were doing their jobs….. wait for the facts please!!!!

    • harverdphd

       The Bush administration was a long time ago.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Hypocrisy is forever

        • harverdphd

           Profound

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        …and War crimes have no expiration date. Bush allegedly cancled a trip to Europe for fear of arrest by Swiss authorities. I don’t see what he has to loose… he could still paint little white dogs from behind bars.

        • harverdphd

           You should know.

    • OnPointComments

      The IRS acted inappropriately and has admitted its guilt.  The president has condemned the actions of the IRS.

    • Sy2502

      What does Bush have to do with this story? Or since Obama has blamed Bush for pretty much anything, you want to blame this one on Bush too? Oh I see what you are doing! I studied it in Logic 101, it’s called “Red Herring Fallacy”: when in  tight spot, throw in something irrelevant (in this case Bush), and hope this will divert attention from the matter at hand. Good try, too bad you were so clumsy with it. 

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I don’t know. Look up how the media treated Bush. Look at how Bush’s IRS audited Greenpeace, NAACP, and, for an anti-war sermon in 2004, an Episocopal Church in California.

        I hope you know the difference between “scrutiny from the IRS” and “tax audit”.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      Rare is it for Republicans to criticize their leadership when they engage in transgressions, but when it happens across the ailse, the holier than thou part testifies before God of their opposition’s wickedness… Dems on the other hand have little such discipline to maintain a united front, so we’ve seen excoriating rhetoric from the left on this and other serious issues.

      If they let all the truth come out: Reagan, Bush and Dubya would all have been thrown in irons. Clinton… well, Ken Star’s spent years on a witch hunt to dig something up but ultimately failed to catch Bill of anything but lieing about question personal rather than official actions. I guess it all boils down to what the definition of ‘is guilty of’ is?

      So let the wealthy carreer criminals in congress wax ethical and feign indignation and prosecute those not as successful as themselves.

      • harverdphd

         ”Hyper-partisanship makes people stupid.”  – MadMarkTheCodeWarrior  – 05/02/13

  • Gregg Smith

    Obama has no problem with selective leaks to shape a false narrative:

    http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/14/cnn-exclusive-white-house-email-contradicts-benghazi-leaks/

  • Mark W

    Once again, Congress has outsourced their duties to another agency.  First they dragged their feet on passing a budget and the Fed has to step in to create “fiscal stimulas” via QE3.

    Now, instead of dealing with campaign finance reform, Congress has delegated this duty to the IRS.

    Where will this incompetence end?  And how can we “outsource” Congress?

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Republicans, Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee are Senators of Utah. In their state resides a massive computer complex that is searching through the emails and phone calls of Tea Party and reporters’ private correspondences and phone calls. How can anyone be sure of what the government is doing with this information ? There is no oversight. Is this system tied into IRS databanks ? Who knows? This is the problem with paranoia, it acts as if it were a disease and spreads throughout our entire government and eventually infects us all !

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    FTA:
    The real scandal is that all these complicated tax rules exist.  If we would just eliminate the corporate income tax, then people could organize groups, or not, just as they please.  And the IRS would not be in the position of deciding what counts as excessive political activity.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/14/the-real-scandals-of-the-irs.html

  • Sy2502

    The administration has made one big mistake this this time! So far, its behind has been saved by a very lenient media that downplayed the administration’s blunders and reported in a generally favorable way. The administration has now bitten the hand that feeds it. And the media is, hands down, the strongest political force in the nation. In a country of low information voters that sway this way and that depending on what the media drum up this week, the media can make or break an election and a government. That was a bad call on the administration’s part. The media put Obama where he is, the media can take him down.

    • brettearle

      Hurricane Sandy and Romney’s gaffes put Obama where he is.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I believe you are underselling the President.

        But I agree that there’s no “constituency in the media” trying to make things easier for President Obama.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    The right are always screaming about how, even tho we know that all the terrorists are muslims, we can’t target them because of liberal “political correctness”. Funny thing, we know that the primary abusers of “social welfare org” status are righty wingnut groups, and we can’t target them because of righty political correctness. ROTFL

    • OnPointComments

      Get up off the floor.   According to the report released by the Treasury Inspector General, “approximately one-third of the applications identified for processing by the team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names, while the remainder did not.” 

      • Steve

        You offer important data. 

        What were the names and political orientations (if any) of the two-thirds of applicants that did not have Tea Party, Patriot, or 9/12 in their name?

        How many were Democratic or liberal?

        We can’t judge the charge that the IRS “targeting” was unfair to the right until we have answers to these questions.

        • OnPointComments

          You don’t need to judge the charge that the IRS targeted conservative groups; the IRS has admitted the abuse.  The Treasury Inspector General investigated and issued a report stating that only conservative groups were targeted.  The President is outraged, and you should be too.
           
          Every liberal I’ve heard comment on the abusive IRS actions says ‘if the alleged charges;’ the charges are not alleged, they have been admitted.  Or the liberals will make a statement condemning the actions of the IRS and conclude with ‘but…’   No amount of rationalizing, wishing, or hoping will make this anything other than what it is:  the IRS targeted only conservative organizations for years and they got caught.

    • brettearle

       Two wrongs don’t make…..

    • Gregg Smith

      Yes, the right is constantly screaming all the terrorist are Muslims. That is a solid premise…NOT.

      It’s easy to tell someone what they are thinking and then criticize them for thinking it.

  • marygrav

    NAACP Faces IRS Investigation

    By Mike Allen

    Washington Post Staff Writer

    Friday, October 29, 2004; Page A08

    The Internal Revenue Service has threatened to revoke the NAACP’s tax-exempt status because the civil rights group’s chairman, Julian Bond, “condemned the administration policies of George W. Bush” during a speech this summer, according to documents the group provided yesterday.

    The NAACP, which is based in Baltimore and is the nation’s
    oldest and largest civil rights organization, is incorporated under a tax-code section that prohibits participation in a political campaign.

    The group has long had a strained relationship with the Bush
    administration.How come nobody remembers this but me?  Tom is running around with his hair on fire like he does not know the history or understand this latest fire is due to 2014 and 2016.

    The GOP House is obstructionist and cannot admit that Obama’s policies are pulling US of of the Second Great Depression.  The IRS’s workforce was cut by Congress and with the shortage of workers, probably one working on the entire project, was overwhelmed.To and for me, the Tea Party is just as dangerous as the Nazi Party was in the 1920s.  In four year this small party overthrew a democracy that whose Constitution was more liberal than our own.

    John Boehner wants people working for the IRS to go to jail.  Yet none of the Wall Streeters who caused the economic collapse went to jail.  And none of the Neocons who lied US into Iraq went to jail.

    The President has spoken about the unfairness of the IRS’s wrongful functions.  This is more than George W. Bush did for the NAACP.

    It’s funny how innocent the GOP is when its trying to damage to every Democrat even in the face of the fact that the country needs to stick together at a time of crisis.

    “Mom and Pop Nazis educated their children too,” Toby-Marie.

    • hennorama

      Wrong is wrong.  The IRS employees were wrong when  ”Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”.

      Of course, one can also understand why they felt the need to use SOME criteria “to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”.  They were inundated with applications as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. 

      However, this case has nothing to do with past transgressions, no matter how egregious.

      • brettearle

         Do we know how many Tax-Exempt applications, from the Left, were scrutinized or overscrutinized?

        Though unlikely, maybe this has not come out, as yet.

        • hennorama

          brettearle – This USA Today article was referenced on at least one of the today’s political news/talk shows:

          “IRS approved liberal groups while Tea Party in limbo”

          Gregory Korte, USA TODAY2:06 p.m. EDT May 14, 2013 Here’s the lead:

          “WASHINGTON — In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.

          That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.

          In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.“

          http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/05/14/irs-tea-party-progressive-groups/2158831/

          • brettearle

            Got it.

            Thanks.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Did you hear about the guy who applied in 2011 and got sick of waiting and then changed the name to “Greenhouse …” in September 2012 and re-applied and was approved in 3 weeks.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “The GOP House is obstructionist and cannot admit that Obama’s policies are pulling US of of the Second Great Depression.”

      OMG. This is the worst recovery since the great depression.  Which Obama policy has caused this great recovery where the U-6 unemployment is still 13.7%?
      Without the Fed and the record PRIVATE oil and gas drilling we would be in even worse straights.  And the jury is still out whether the Fed can unwind their money printing binge without causing runaway inflation.

      Also who is going to pay for the $6T in Obama debt that Mr. Obama used to BUY this great recovery? The answer is our children and grand-children. Will there be anything lasting from this massive expenditure? I don’t see it. At least Hoover gave us a dam that we still use today and FDR won a WW on two fronts.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        It’s the worst recovery because 1. tax cuts and deregulation caused the worst crash since the great depression, and 2. conservadem Obama and the far right deficit hystericals in the congress have failed to crank up gvt spending as is required to recover from such a crash. It’s shocking that public sector jobs have been shrinking even as the private sector has added jobs.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Sorry Tom, tax cuts had absolutely nothing to do with the housing or financial crisis.

          Deregulation?  Are you talking the 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall that Clinton signed?

          And are you serious with that graphic?  Obama 2010-2012?  Show me the graphic that tracks the workforce participation rate, U-6,  and part time work and then we’ll talk.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            That’s absurd. Low taxes have everything to do with overheating an economy, handing out bonuses and taking profits and putting $ in the casino instead or reinvesting.

            Sure, I’m talking about the financial deregulation of the gingrich-gramm congress and conservadem clinton, repeal of glass-stegall and mandating that derivatives can’t be regulated. I’m talking about the bush SEC raising leverage limits on investment banks. I’m talking about bush appointing a head of the SEC who didn’t believe in regulation and touting the righty concept of an “ownership society”. We could even go back further to allowing unregulated mtg companies do what used to be exclusively done by banks. The bush crash was the voodoo economics crash.

            Come on, re jobs. The job gains/losses did a U-turn when BHO came in, largely due to the ARRA. Nothing could be more obvious. You can see the “V” on what I posted and here’s another

            http://zfacts.com/sites/all/files/image/econ/job-loss-gain.png

          • WorriedfortheCountry

             Sorry, we’ll have to agree to disagree on the nexus between taxes and the housing bubble.  Read your first paragraph again, it doesn’t make sense.  Now if you focused on the perverse incentives on liar loans and the lack of understanding of credit default swap and derivative risks you’d be talking.

            Regarding unemployment, it was 7.9% when Obama took office and is 7.5% now.  However, when you look at the details the quality of the jobs now is much poorer than the state when Obama took office.  Many more of the jobs included in the 7.5% number are part time jobs and at lower wages.  Also, the labor participation rate is much lower now — in fact the lowest since 1979.

  • 228929292AABBB

    The press have some blame here (re: the second part of the hour, the AP story)  they have largely worked to help the President, while ignoring his abuses.  They are only cross now because the President has violated guess who; themselves.  Hurts when it hits home, huh?

    • brettearle

      Which abuses do you mean?

      Has it yet been proven that the President is culpable–in any of these reports?

      Sounds to me like you’ve got the guillotine, up and running–even before Monica Lewinsky’s detractors return from the dead.

      • 228929292AABBB

         If you are an Obama supporter (as I am) and you have not been shocked by the difference between his campaign, his speeches, and his actions, then there is no point trying to make it clear to you.  President Obama’s failures are largely made possible by the blind support of people like you who are unwilling or unable to be honest about the way he has governed.   The press are a part of your group of enablers, and now that their personal realm has been affected they’ve woken up, not out of any sense of duty or fairness, but out of self-preservation.   Bush was a long time ago, and Congress doesn’t control everything.  The President is not the man he campaigned as or claims to be, no true supporter of progressive causes would be anything but outraged over the past 5 years of Presidential administration, regardless of how cute his daughters are.

        • 228929292AABBB

           not sure if this link will work, but it’s for Huff post, no right wing rag that, and it should link to an article about student loan debt and how the government is making more money than Exxon on the backs of destitute students, with a slideshow on the bottom which might be relevant to you, what’s happened during the Obama administration.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/14/obama-student-loans-policy-profit_n_3276428.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular#slide=1467992

          • brettearle

            I’ll check out the link.

            But I think that you took the opportunity to pounce–as if I were defending the President for his Presidency.

            And I wasn’t.  And it was fairly clear that I wasn’t.

            The issues, of abuse, that we were generally talking about–with regard to the program’s subject–had to do, of course, with the IRS, Benghazi, and the AP story.

            I still challenge you to show me where we can, as yet, find the President guilty of abuse, in these stories…..

            Indeed, again, I think you were waiting to sandbag me–or somebody like me–by expanding the argument and ascribing positions to me that I do NOT necessarily take, with regard to the Obama administration….as if I were naively and blindly loyal and unable to discriminate….

            ….when, indeed, you knew darn well that we were only discussing the IRS, the AP story, and Benghazi.

            I find your tactics to be manipulate and belligerent–so as to prove a Strawman Point.

            Good luck on a third rate debating team….  

          • 228929292AABBB

             I’ll leave the tone of your message aside, since I’m probably guilty of the same sort of excess in my post.  As to the substance if you look at my original message, and I’m the one who started the thread, there’s nothing at all specific I think it clearly just says the press has ignored the President’s abuses for a long time, and now is interested because this issue affects the press itself.  That comment about the President’s abuses over a long time is clearly wide in scope, so the idea we had defined the conversation as limited then I went off on other angles is not supported at all.  So, let’s be honest, DID you check out the link?  Before right now so you could write back?  The slide show depresses me, I had hoped for so much from him.

  • OnPointComments

    THE ARGUMENT SHIFT STRATEGY:
     
    When a commenter can’t refute or ignore the transgressions of the White House, State Department, DOJ, and IRS, the commenter shifts the argument to “But Bush waa! waa! waa!”, and “Bush whine! whine! whine!”  It’s at this point we know that even the staunchest Obama supporters have concluded that the current administration is not being honest with the American public.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Yawn.

      Dude, the smarter among the left aren’t complaining about this. We were predicting what the press would blow out of proportion for a scandal for the next Dem prez before anyone had heard of Barack Obama.

      You’re ignoring the right and the right’s media’s fascination with making every transgression, real or imagined, into TheWorstThingEvah.

      Do some homework.

  • hennorama

    From the Dept. Of Good News/Bad News:

    From the NY Times:

    “U.S. Budget Deficit Shrinks Far Faster Than Expected”

    “By ANNIE LOWREY Published: May 14, 2013

    “WASHINGTON — Since the recession ended four years ago, the federal budget deficit has topped $1 trillion every year. But now the government’s annual deficit is shrinking far faster than anyone in Washington expected, and perhaps even faster than many economists think is advisable for the health of the economy.

    Continuing, from later in the article:

    “Over all, the figures demonstrate how the economic recovery has begun to refill the government’s coffers. At the same time, Washington, despite its political paralysis, has proved remarkably successful at slashing the deficit through a variety of tax increases and cuts in domestic and military programs.

    “Perhaps too successful. Given that the economy continues to perform well below its potential and that unemployment has so far failed to fall below 7.5 percent, many economists are cautioning that the deficit is coming down too fast, too soon.

    “It’s good news for the budget deficit and bad news for the jobs deficit,” said Jared Bernstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a left-of-center research group in Washington. “I’m more worried about the latter.”

    “Others, however, are warning that the deficit — even if it looks manageable over the next decade — still remains a major long-term challenge, given that rising health care spending on the elderly and debt service payments are projected to eat up a bigger and bigger portion of the budget as the baby boom generation enters retirement.”

    See:http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/15/business/cbo-cuts-2013-deficit-estimate-by-24-percent.html

    The original announcement from the CBO:

    “Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023 report May 14, 2013

    “If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008. Relative to the size of the economy, the deficit this year—at 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)—will be less than half as large as the shortfall in 2009, which was 10.1 percent of GDP.”

    See:http://cbo.gov/publication/44172

    For the full CBO report,
    see:http://cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/44172-Baseline2.pdf

    • pete18

       Faster than expected? That really is damning with faint praise isn’t it?

      • hennorama

        pete 18 – I put the over/under on how quickly there would be a negative reply to the Good News/Bad News comment at 30 minutes.

        I took the under. Guess it’s a slow afternevening “in here”.

        • pete18

          It’s certainly slow if you’re spending your time rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic and then gleefully taking bets with yourself about how quickly people will start pointing out the big iceberg behind you.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY for your response.

            Your “slow/Titanic/bets/iceberg” conditional logic is wanting here, at least if you are being “hennorama-specific”. The weak spots are both the “if” part (“rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic”), and the “then” part of the conditional (“gleefully taking bets with yourself …”).

            One question – do you consider the CBO’s “Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023 report May 14, 2013” of a $642 billion Deficit, projected to be “4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)” to be Good News, Bad News, Both, or Neither?

          • pete18

             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iHsx1cvACkY

          • hennorama

            pete18 – I’m not a fan of unexplained links.

            Was this link your answer to the question I posed?

          • pete18

             Watch it, it’s a self explanatory response.

          • hennorama

            The relevance of a video of part of a movie escapes me, sir. The depiction of an historic event is neither self-explanatory nor responsive to my question.

            At best it is an opaque abstruse metaphor.

            [EDIT/ADD]: If you wish to be more clearly understood, please “Use your words”.

          • pete18

            See above.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TY again for your multiple responses.

            One realizes that you are enamored with your “Titanic/iceberg” metaphor. Such a state is normal and expected.

            However, as you have not directly replied to my question, please allow me to simply repeat it:

            “One question – do you consider the CBO’s “Updated Budget Projections: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023 report May 14, 2013” of a $642 billion Deficit, projected to be “4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP)” to be Good News, Bad News, Both, or Neither?”

          • pete18

             Wow, you need to try lightening up and being a little less linear.

          • Gregg Smith

            Obama had the CBO calculate Obamacare assuming 5% GDP and guess what? It was revenue neutral and cost only $940B. How’d that work out?

            In 1993 the CBO projected $200 billion dollar deficits as far as the eye could see but the ’94 revolution came and the budget got balanced. 

            There is nothing on the horizon to give hope. There is no fundamental basis for recovery. Obamacare is killing jobs and will kill more as it’s implemented. Energy prices are going up and will continue to go up as long as we cling to this ridiculous energy policy. People are cutting back. Businesses are downsizing. There is the looming threat of aging baby boomers, unrepayable debt, rising insurance premiums and further taxation. And what happens when interest on out debt goes up? We are printing money out the wazoo and that piper will also need to be paid at some point. 

            I think Pete is right on, this is just rearranging the chairs.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – PPP.

            Please Provide Proof for each and every one of your statements and characterizations, along with definitions of all terms.

            For example:

            “There is nothing on the horizon to give hope.”

            “Obamacare is killing jobs and will kill more as it’s implemented.”

            “Energy prices are going up and will continue to go up as long as we cling to this ridiculous energy policy.”

            “People are cutting back.”

            “Businesses are downsizing.”

            “There is the looming threat of aging baby boomers, unrepayable debt, rising insurance premiums and further taxation.”

          • Gregg Smith

            PPP the CBO did not project what I cited. PPP energy prices are dropping or cite reasons they will in the future. PPP people are not tightening their belts. PPP Obamacare is not killing jobs as has been reported. PPP businesses as a whole are expanding. PPP baby boomers are not aging. PPP the debt is repayable. PPP insurance premiums are going or will go down. PPP the interest on the debt is will never rise. PPP for reasons of any hope whatsoever.

          • hennorama

            Gregg Smith – yet another deflection. So much for “open and honest” debate.

            One may fairly conclude that your repeated failures to provide evidence is because your arguments are so weak that you cannot support them with evidence. Or that you are too stubborn or too lazy to do so. Or that no such evidence exists.

            What is odd is that you demonstrate that CBO projections are often inaccurate, yet in prior posts you cite CBO projections as evidence that “Obamacare is killing jobs”.

            Curious.

          • Gregg Smith

            That’s silly. Feel free to refute me if you can.

          • hennorama

            Yet another unresponsive deflection.

  • Tyranipocrit

    conservative groups need and deserve extra careful looks–everyone knows they are deceitful and corrupt and anti-democracy–enemies of the state.  I swore a vow once to protect the constitution from domestic enemies–conservative groups–tea bags, neo-cons, the 1% have and are dismantiling the Constitution, and shredding it and undermining it–in other words they are against American people–paving the world to make it flat and make you all slaves.  Dont tread on me!

    • Tyranipocrit

      its absoultely chilling that conservatives think the way they do.  Its chilling that these so-called elecgted officials are so corrupt.

      • Tyranipocrit

         the majority of big corporations on government welfare operate outside the law and make war against the constitution and democracy.  More needs to be done!  Go IRS!  Do more please. 

        The IRS is doing theri job and they are persecuted for it–how very shameful.  wake up people.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          Is this what happens to a person if they listen to to much NPR?  

          • Tyranipocrit

            nope. This what happens to a person when he educated himself in libraries, at school, among books and a wide variety of media sources.

  • Tyranipocrit

    more politics.  These Republicans are so devious and so treacherous.  These people should be locked up–scary scary scary.  How do we even tolerate such obstruction and devious plotting–

    it only makes reasonable sense–if you wok in the IRS otr any agency to target those most commonly breaking th elaw–republicans, tea bags, the criminal rich.

    Republicans target blacks and muslims and nobody does anything.  Busha nd cheny comit genocice and infanticide and ilegally invade nations in nazi like fashion–torturing and raping–and nothing is done.  how soon these republicans decepticons–forget who forgave them–Obama.  These terrorists–bush and cheny and all in their administration and lobbysists–belong in jail–forever.  Millions are dead.  INcluding babies.  Thousands raped.

    • pete18

       I know you’re too steeped in your own myopic

      prejudice to see it but your righteous indignation that vilifies anyone that disagrees with you, coupled with your “anything goes to get rid of my enemies” formula is the perfect mix of ingredients for tyranny. Well done.

      • jefe68

        Well, you’re one to talk.

        • pete18

           I don’t think the IRS should be able to target liberal groups just because I don’t like them. Don’t you agree?

      • Tyranipocrit

        thank you. i do try. But you i am right and you are wrong. the 1% is th tyranny–not me. How can you possibly deny it–murder torture, corruption, infanticide–the death machine–american society is very sick, and you seem to be as well. I believe in the lwa and justice. I believe when you hrt people you are a danger. i dont think we should forgive and forget. We have people locked up for the wrong reasons. Who fights wars–the poor. who makes them–the rich. Please save your self-righteous indignation for some other dumb tard who pretends to know something–and plays games with truth. i am very direct. I am honest. i dont delude myself as you do. i am far from myopic–is that you word of the day–but you certainly seem to be–to reach my conclusions you must see the world broadly and disect it. but you seem to worship the party line. You are delusional and get mad when others doont se the same delusion. You are sick. Asleep. Warped. You ust dont know it. You are no doubt bnot a bad person–or so you think–but your brainwashed, and probably think you are quite intelligent. But you are the party. hail…!

        • pete18

           ” I believe in the lwa and justice.”

          Certainly not if you believe that the law can be applied unequally to punish those that you, in your great and enlightened, world dissecting wisdom, deem to be wrong.

          • Tyranipocrit

            man kills. is he wrong. I believe so. You clearly think it is a complicated issue. The used the same argument to preserve slavery. And every injustice. A little common sense is needed in the law.

          • pete18

            I’m trying really hard to figure out how your declaration of murder being wrong has anything to do with justifying the abuse of power by the IRS
            but I’m sure it all makes sense in your enlightened and empathetic brain.

          • Tyranipocrit

            and more empathy.

      • Tyranipocrit

        please excuse my typos.

    • harverdphd

       All that stuff was a long time ago.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001708537001 Joshua Evans

      If they were targeting liberal groups like this during Bush, you’d be calling for impeachment. You know this to be true. And what these groups did or what republicans did is IRRELEVANT here. The issue here is that the government used its power to crack down on a political movement. Today it’s teabaggers, tomorrow it could be progressives. Why not? Also, try to be less charged. I’m very liberal but I avoid hyperbole on principle.

      • Tyranipocrit

        i am not liberal. And i would not being calling for impeachment of Bush if the iRS was focusing on the 1%–i would probably think Bush had nothign to do with it. All the rich should be scrutinizd now–very carefully–yes we should focus on them very very closely. Al capone went to prison for taxes not murder. The 1% should be in prisons.

        • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

          No you are not a liberal.  

          • Tyranipocrit

            thank you. What is a liberal? Free trade disciple? Apologist? All talk, no action? A corporate shill? A puppet? A blowhard? Republicans and Democrats of the inner-party are the same thing–liars and crooks and mass-murderers. Those that follow them and accept their evangelism without thought are just dumb or conniving.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        I would appreciate it if you would choose to stop calling us teabaggers.

  • OnPointComments

    I could possibly believe that the IRS tactics weren’t political if it had simply selected organizations with names like Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12, and asked these organizations the same questions that were asked of other organizations.  But there are a multitude of reports about the abusive and intrusive requests that these IRS agents made.  That certainly looks political.

  • tao101

    Oh, so after warrantless wiretaps, national security letters, that giant vacuum cleaner the NSA connected to the Internet, killing American citizens with drones without a trial…NOW we’re interested in civil liberties???

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      Some of us always were.

    • 228929292AABBB

       It’s not that we weren’t interested all along, it’s that the press wasn’t interested, but now their own turf has been violated, all of a sudden they are shocked – shocked!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Glad to hear the Obama fired the acting head of the IRS.

    Oh wait,  he was already leaving in early June. 

    What a fraud.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001708537001 Joshua Evans

    Wow… I’m on the same side as a teabagger! This is outrageous. These people weren’t targeted because they were corrupt or illegal. They were targeted because of their ideology, and that’s just awful.

    • Steve

      You could be right.  But: do you have any evidence to support your conclusion?  I think not.  My advice: don’t accuse others of corrupt acts until you have at least a little hard evidence to support your charge.

      The IRS was asked to judge whether 510(c)(4) applicants were political groups.   Looking for groups that put the term “party” in their name seems like a legitimate way to search for such political groups.  Also, half of the Republican members of congress are terrified of primary challenges by Tea Party members–which supports that inference that Tea Party groups are indeed political groups.  If so, you have a large burden of proof that using “Party” as a search term is not legitimate.

      It also remains possible that many liberal/Democratic groups were also targeted.  It remains possible that more liberals than conservatives were targeted!  The data released so far does not let us reach a clear conclusion on this matter.  

      My advice, again, is that you curb your accusatory language until we know more hard facts.

       

      • OnPointComments

        What the IRS did was abusive, and the agency has admitted its guilt.  The President is outraged, and you should be too.

      • notafeminista

        It does remain possible.  Where are their names?

    • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

      I am so glad that there are things we can agreee on.

  • OnPointComments

    “IRS Targeting Pushed By Democrats Aided Obama Campaign”
     http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/051513-656189-irs-targeting-benefited-obama-presidential-campaign.htm?p=2 
     
    Excerpt:
    Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., on July 27, 2012, wrote IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman to investigate 12 conservative groups he accused of violating their tax-exempt status and engaging in coordinated political activity.
     
    Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire; Tom Udall, New Mexico; and Al Franken, Minnesota; sent a similar letter to Shulman in February 2012, asking the IRS to investigate tax-exempt groups they believed were engaged in political activities. So did retiring Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., in 2010 and House Democrats in 2012, the Atlantic reported Monday.
     
    Pro Publica, a liberal investigative news operation, received copies of applications from 31 conservative nonprofits from the IRS in November 2012, including nine that had not yet been approved and thus were not supposed to be made public.

    Democracy is threatened when a presidential campaign co-chair can use IRS documents to attack a political opponent and a campaign donor gets to write the rules.

      And the Democratic senators who pushed the IRS to do what it did know full well that the power to tax can be the power to destroy your political opposition.

    • hennorama

      OPC – you might be better served to identify the article you link to and quote from as an Investors Business Daily editorial.

      There’s nothing wrong with IBD expressing their opinions, of course, but it would be helpful to identify them as opinions in your post.

      • OnPointComments

        Your suggestion is noted.  While the last two paragraphs I excerpted are opinion, the other paragraphs I excerpted are facts.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      IBD editorial. Nuff ced.

    • notafeminista

      Well noted.

      Still no suggestions from those who would disagree as to what would be an acceptable source from which one could cite.

      Pity.

  • tao101

    Concerning the previous segment, the IRS is supposed to investigate tax violations so I don’t feel quite as outraged about this as some.  On the other hand, the demands being asked of these Tea Party (and other) organizations strike me as harassment, a word I have not heard yet in connection with this discussion, which is at the very least immoral and at the very worst illegal.

    I did vote for Obama, so perhaps I’m biased, but my gut reaction is that the situation arose through some underlings “making the rules up as they went along”, given the sudden glut of political-leaning organizations wanting tax-free status and the lack of any clear guidelines from above.  It probably will take a independent investigation to know for certain.

    • OnPointComments

      You’re right, the IRS is supposed to investigate tax violations.  The DEA is supposed to investigate drug law violations.  Would you be okay with the DEA saying we’re going to investigate anyone who appears to be in violation of drug laws and all African-Americans?  That’s what the IRS did with any organization that had Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12 in their names — the name alone, no matter what the organization did, subjected them to abusive scrutiny.
       
      The President is outraged, and you should be too.

      • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

        Well said!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dwhoffjr Warren Hoff

    I suspect these organizations gone after by the IRS really are not what they purport to be. Too bad the Dems look bad for actually enforcing the law. I can’t help but think the Obama Administration should have done a little more thinking itself before it went off half-cocked. After all, how many 501c4 groups came out of Occupy?

  • Steve

    Instead of attacking Ezra Klein ad hominem, you might try addressing his arguments.  Discussing an issue on its merits: often a good thing!

  • Zack Smith

    Sam in Lexington cracked me up re: how Obama is a smooth operator compared to Nixon. Give Obama credit – he’s a master manipulator – violating the 1st Amendment with immunity. 

  • OnPointComments

    Rand Paul:  “Each senator took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, yet Senate Democrats chose to block my resolution and thus refused to condemn the IRS for trampling on our First Amendment rights. I am incredibly disappointed in Washington’s party politics and I am determined to hold the IRS accountable for these unjust acts.”
     
    Harry Reid is the biggest weasel in the Congress, and that’s saying something.

  • hennorama

    Anyone
    else in Acronym Hell trying to slog through the Benghazi Talking
    Points emails?

    This
    is what one has come up with thus far:

    An
    acronym key for the Talking Points emails:

    HPSCI
    - House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence

    OPA
    - Office of Public Affairs

    OGC
    - Office of the General Counsel

    DI
    - Directorate of Intelligence (CIA)

    NE
    - ?

    WH
    – White House

    OSA
    - ? Office of the Secretary of the Army ?

    OCA
    - Office of Congressional Affairs

    DCIA
    - Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

    ODCIA
    – Office of the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

    DS
    - Bureau of Diplomatic Security

    NSC
    - National Security Council

    OTA
    – Office of Terrorism Analysis

    ODNCS
    - Office of the Director of the National Clandestine Service

    This
    stuff is crazydense to a casual reader.

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/05/politics/white-house-benghazi-emails/index.html

    • Wm_James_from_Missouri

      Man ; do I every agree with you ! Too many initialisms and acronyms, everywhere ! I think this says that we are overcomplicating our lives.

      • hennorama

        Wm_James_from_Missouri – Thank you for your reply.

        As with most professions, there are a significant number of acronyms that the general public would be unable to decipher without significant assistance.

        Whether “this says that we are overcomplicating our lives” remains to be seen.

        If all use of acronyms and other shortening of language were to be seen in the same light, a good deal of online communication, texting, tweeting and other truncated versions of English (and other languages) would need to be judged in the same light.

        IMO, that would be inappropriate.

    • brettearle

      ROFL, ROFTL?, IMNSHO, LMFAO…

      Still not sure what they all mean…sort of
                     [SNSWTAM....SO]

    • brettearle

      Ya know Hen, back to the IRS story, for the moment…..

      The one thing that sticks in my Craw is this:

      The Cynics among us want to believe that Civil Servants are stupid and incompetent hacks….

      Are we SUPPOSED to believe that these lower level IRS managers/agents didn’t KNOW that they were violating Federal Law?

      Or that, if they DID know, they decided to go on their merry way, committing these willful acts of political indiscretion–because they LITERALLY believed that they could get AWAY with it?

      Stretches my credulity.

      Why doesn’t it yours?  Maybe it does.

      Something may be behind the story that we DON’t KNOW about.  

      • Gregg Smith

        Evidently they are not taking the scapegoating  lying down and are saying they only did as they were told.

      • hennorama

        brettearle – “Meanwhile, back at the ranch …”

        Indeed, as you wrote. “Something may be behind the story that we DON’t KNOW about”. For example, one aspect of this issue that most are unaware of is that 501(c)(4) are NOT REQUIRED to get IRS approval.

        There are many other aspects of this issue that are as yet not publicly known. The IG report itself was fairly narrowly focused. Per the report “The overall objective of this audit was to determine whether allegations were founded that the IRS: 1) targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status, 2) delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications, and 3) requested unnecessary information from targeted groups.”

        Notably, they do NOT say “Our objective was to determine the reasons and motivations involved, if it is determined such allegations were founded”.

        As to this issue, it is definitely a troubling one. The IRS should not be targeting any particular political ideology.

        While certainly some “Civil Servants are stupid and incompetent hacks”, but this is far from an appropriate characterization of all civil servants. Personally, I’m endeavoring to wait for the DOJ investigation before concluding “they were violating Federal Law”.

        One also must consider that it is likely that regardless of how the IRS handled the influx of 501(c)(4) applications, they would have been subject to criticism. Keep in mind that according to the IG report, the number of these applications increased from 1,735 in 2010, to 2,265 in 2011, and to 3,357 in 2012. This is nearly a doubling in only two years. Try to imagine such an increase in workload.

        According to yesterday’s IRS news release “Questions and Answers on 501(c) Organizations”, there are “fewer than 200 people working directly on applications”. (See:http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/Questions-and-Answers-on-501(c)-Organizations).

        I have been unable to determine whether or not there was an increased level of staffing associated with the increased workload. I suspect that if there were any increase, it would not have been in a proportion similar to the increase in 501(c)(4) applications, but again I am unable to either confirm or deny this.

        From the perspective of the “fewer than 200” IRS employees, it is easy to understand how they might look for a shortcut or shortcuts in order to select applications for review, given the near doubling in workload. One also must recognize the difficulty involved in interpreting the qualifications for 501(c)(4) tax-exempt status in light of the Citizens United decision, as well as determining the already extant standard of “primarily engaged in
        promoting in some way the common good and general welfare of the people of the community”. Whether an organization is “primarily engaged” in promoting social welfare is a “facts and circumstances” determination, which can at times be a judgment call.

        See:http://www.irs.gov/irm/part4/irm_04-076-013.html#d0e101 (especially the Examination Guidelines)

        The IRS has a thankless job. They only receive our attention when they foul up, yet they provide an essential service to the nation. They’re sort of like the cable or telecom company – we hate paying them, but regard what they do as essential to our daily activities. And we bitch like crazy if they screw up.

        And now they get the added bonus of being subjected to furlough as a result of the sequester.

        • brettearle

          So, can I take away from your detailed account that we might be looking at IRS work overload as the result of Citizens United–which brought in a swarm of Conservative Groups seeking Exemption?….

          [But yet these Conservative Groups didn't even know that they didn't need evaluation?  Huh?]

          [So then how can they be disqualified? 

          Or were they simply rebuffed or rebuked and turned away--because the IRS told these Organizations that they NEEDN'T apply--and that THIS was reported in the Press as Determination of Ineligibility? 

          Huh?]

          anyway, thanks….yet….again.

          • hennorama

            brettearle – TY for your response. I understand and appreciate your views.

            Yes, one might, as you wrote “take away from [this] detailed account that we might be looking at IRS work overload as the result of Citizens United–which brought in a swarm of Conservative Groups seeking Exemption”.

            One might also “take away” that some fools at the IRS, as the TIGTA report stated used “Inappropriate Criteria … to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review”.

            As to the fact that 501(c)(4) are not required to get IRS approval – getting IRS approval as a 501(c)(4) entity confers significant advantages – notably the anonymity of donors, as well the ability to procure reduced rates for advertising and other products and services. It’s a sort of “rank has its privileges” thing.

            In other words, organizations can operate as a 501(c)(4) without IRS approval, but IRS approval is desirable, as it confers a certain status to the organization.

            And as always, you’re welcome.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Those emails were carefully selected to drive the public nuts.

      • hennorama

        WftC – TY for your response.  I respect your views.

        You may be right, but there has been some reporting indicating that these are ALL of the “talking points”-related emails.

        BTW, I’ll add to the acronym key as I decipher more of the acronyms.

        Any assistance anyone can provide with the acronyms will be greatly appreciated.

        • Gregg Smith

          I think DI may mean DNI, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      was FUBAR in there anywhere? 

  • Gregg Smith

    Here is the string of 100 emails regarding the Benghazi talking points.

    http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2013/05/politics/white-house-benghazi-emails/index.html

    Can someone help me find a reference to the video? I mean, if it was the best intelligence, it should be mentioned. I can’t find it.

    • Ray in VT

      Hmmm, “currently available information suggests that the demonstrations in Benghazi were spontaneously inspired at the U.S. embassy in Cairo…”.  I wonder what inspired that protest in Cairo?

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s funny!

        • Ray in VT

          How so?

          • Gregg Smith

            It did not explicitly mention the video, the 100 emails are chock full of references to Al Qaeda and I’m not even sure your quote came from the emails. You did not say.

            Now I could be wrong because I did not read all 100, it’s tedious. But Ed Morrissey reports there is no mention and I believe him to be an excellent source. If that quote came from the emails then I’ll rethink that because it could possibly be construed to be a reference, not a mention (I used both words, he just said mention but still..). If the quote is not from the emails then that only buttresses my point.

          • Ray in VT

            I scanned through the emails.  There’s a lot of repetition, as a lot of the pages are emails in a chain.

            Much of the commentary that
            I saw referred to when someone was going to speak.  A number of the comments were very cautious, such as questioning whether or not references to terrorist involvement should be made, given that there was much that was unknown at that time, and there were some concerns raised about saying too much hindering the FBI investigation.  They did not seem to be ruling out a terrorist element, given the unknowns, but they also did not seem to be questioning the possible links to the Cairo protests.  As usual, I would suggest reading something for yourself before either touting or disregarding it.

          • Gregg Smith

            I read much of them, probably more than you. Maybe not. 

            The emails show how the talking points evolved. Obviously the talking points were listed, hence your quote. But I cannot find anyone saying anything about the video or citing evidence in the discussions. There is discussion of terrorist and whether to tell the truth about it as you implied. They opted against it and lied.

          • Ray in VT

            Considering how you have quoted some sources, I am inclined to doubt that you read some of these things very closely if at all.

            The talking points came out of the intelligence community, and if you want to continue to insist, contrary to reports, that there were not initial indications of some sort of protest or demonstration, and that that was all some concoction created by the White House, then feel free to do so.  I don’t see any evidence to justify that, but that hasn’t stopped you in the past.  Once again, a find your selective application of the term liar to be disingenuous.

          • Gregg Smith

            I never lie.

            You are putting words in my mouth and missing the point. I never said there were no initial reports about the video, never. Stop lying.

            It’s a shame the way you’ve changed. It degrades the debate. We had multiple, reliable sources from the beginning who knew it was a terrorist attack. By the time Rice was sent to lie there was no ambiguity about it. the initial reports were debunked almost immediately.

            You are not stupid, why are you defending the lies?

          • Ray in VT

            “I never lie.”

            I think to say that you do not lie is untrue, as you have mispreprented facts on a number of occassions.

            So you are saying that there were initial intelligence reports suggesting that there was a protest or demonstration of some sort that evolved into the attack on the consulate?  That is not my recollection of your general position, but given that I do not have the time to comb through some 6,100 comments, then I will give you the benefit of the doubt, although comments like this “where is the evidence it was a protest over a video? Where is the evidence there was even a protest?” certainly make it look like you don’t, or at least didn’t, believe that there was any evidence of a protest.

            So, given that the initial intelligence reports did exist suggesting a protest of some sort, and that knowledge could not be established for some time, given that evidence, and by that I mean real proof, not someone “knowing” something, then how could the talking points have been lies?  I find your constant misrepresentation of facts to be annoying, but it is what I have come to expect.  I did used to let it slide for a while, because you looked somewhat reasonable next to Modavations, but I have long been dispelled of that notion.  Maybe I have changed.  I’m just no longer willing to tell me that certain yellow streams are rain.

            I will not defend lies, but I will defend uncertainty in a chaotic situation.  It’s just a shame that you will not cut this administration the slack that you cut the last one.

          • 1Brett1

            Ray, in reading your comments in this thread, I think you’re being  fair. 

          • Ray in VT

            I try.

  • Ray in VT

    I wonder what consequences there might be for Douglas Shulman, the former head of the IRS.  He already left his IRS job, so he can’t lose that, but did he commit perjury, and if so, then will he be charged?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      He was a Bush appointee.  Blame Bush.  Curiously it was little reported the Douglas Shulman is a Democrat.

      I predict the Sargent Schultz defense:  “I know nothing”

      • Ray in VT

        I didn’t realize until today that he was a Bush appointee.  I wonder what the newest former head of the IRS knew and when.  I think that it would be a shame for him to go if he really didn’t know about this, but that is the way that it goes sometimes.  Do you have a source for him being a Democrat?  I saw some references to him giving to Democratic groups but not being a registered member of either party.

      • Gregg Smith

        Mr. Hicks, a Benghazi whistleblower, was also a two time Obama voting Democrat. 

        I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up the Bush appointee thing which can be completely blown out of the water regarding relevance.

      • Sy2502

        He’s a bureaucrat, he takes orders from whoever is above him. Do you think he’s currently taking orders from Bush?

  • Zack Smith

    Are you high? http://dailycaller.com/2013/05/14/rand-paul-doj-should-have-sought-warrant-from-judge-for-ap-phone-records/

  • OnPointComments

    When do the lies begin to dissolve and the truth start to become evident?  When those perpetrating the lies throw someone under the bus, and the person or people they betray decide that they aren’t going to be the sacrificial lamb to keep the truth hidden.
     
    CNN:  “News of [Acting IRS Commissioner Steven] Miller’s resignation followed revelations that the IRS has identified two “rogue” employees in the agency’s Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for the “overly aggressive” handling of requests by conservative groups for tax-exempt status, a congressional source told CNN.”

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/05/15/politics/irs-conservative-targeting/index.html 
     
    Fox 19 in Cincinnati explored the significant local angle:  “FOX19 has exclusively learned from two separate sources that there could be at least four Cincinnati employees involved.  These four IRS workers claim “they simply did what their bosses ordered.”

    http://www.fox19.com/story/22265631/four-cincy-irs-workers-not-two-allegedly-connected-to-scandal

  • Pingback: How The AP Scandal Threatens Freedom Of The Press And Democracy Itself | Cognoscenti

  • Zack Smith

    Gregg,
    I think the answer here is that “two wrongs don’t make a right”. We should investigate and prosecute the Bush administration to the extent that their alleged crimes/violations are within the statute of limitations. I am deeply concerned by the obvious violations that went on under Bush, and frankly I think Bush and Obama should be sitting in adjacent prison cells. It would do a lot for bringing accountability to the out of control state.

    • Gregg Smith

      I don’t agree that Bush is a criminal but I do agree two wrongs don’t make a right. 

      I do not know exactly what you are referring to. If you are talking about what Bush did in regard to the IRS then I am listening. Maybe I missed it. But frankly if you are going down the war crimes road or the unjust Patriot Act road or the nasal rinse of 3 is the same as becoming our enemies or the other typical fare then I just see no purpose or relevance now. You may not mean any of it. Each of those issues is nuanced and I’ve debated them for a decade. It gets nowhere. I also think that as much hatred and opposition that there was towards Bush that he would be in jail by now if there was anything there.

      Having said that, if you want to nutshell your concerns about Bush then I will respond but I sure don’t want to rehash the Bush thing ad nauseum for the umpteenth time. Bush is the least of my concerns right now.

  • sickofthechit

    I support the IRS!

    On the IRS scandal.  Isn’t it reasonable to look more
    closely at all groups who have as their mantra the dismantling
    of your agency, whose duty is to collect the moneys which
    keep the “Beast” alive that those groups want to destroy?
    Charles A. Bowsher

     

    • mmaaaxx

       No, please! That’s exactly what we don’t want the IRS to do, they should not be self-perpetuating/protecting. Do we want the police cracking down on any organization that is ideologically anti-police? Or the military attacking and peace-nicks? ;D

  • Gregg Smith

    I’ll post this again on the weekend board so be warned. But in the meantime which is also a groovy time…

    So here was the question for Obama from the Bloomberg reporter:

     “Can you assure the American people that nobody in the White House knew about the agency’s actions before your counsel’s office found out on April 22nd?”

    And here is his answer:

    “…Let me make sure that I answer your specific question. I can assure you that I certainly did not know anything about the IG report before the IG report had been leaked through the press. Typically, the IG reports are not supposed to be widely distributed or shared. They tend to be a process that everybody is trying to protect the integrity of. But what I’m absolutely certain of is that the actions that were described in that IG report are unacceptable.”

    Er.. ugh… that wasn’t the question. Fishy fishy fishy.

    Here is the entire exchange beginning at about 14:40.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4KTXZaK49c

  • Gregg Smith

    So, Obama fires the IRS commissioner who was on his way out regardless. He made it sound like it was a bold move. That was BS. The person in charge of the dastardly deeds was Susan Ingram. She got a promotion and was replaced a week ago. That guy got fired for show. This stinks.

    http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/05/irs-official-in-charge-during-tea-party-targeting-now-runs-health-care-office/#.UZVeM5g4Tdw.twitter

  • Abraham1771

    The real IRS scandal about social clubs (that is the term in the statute) is:
     While the original  law says the social club can have no political activity, can not bean action organization, it is rewgarded such if it participates or
    intervenes, directly or indirectly, in any political campaign on behalf
    of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. Regs. Sec.
    1.501(c)(3)-1(c)(3)(iii) defines “candidate for public office” as an
    individual who offers himself or herself, or is proposed by others, as a
    contestant for an elective public office, whether the office is
    national, state, or local.

    Is that not more or less a definition of the Tea party, as understood and pronounced by the Tea Party?

    So local, or national, Tea Party organizations act fraudulent when they apply for tax exempt status. But the toothless IRS has been letting this fraud happen for years.  They are probably afraid of mighty organisation like Crossroad GPS who do this at the tune of $50Million

    In contrast, the 6 million member Move-on organization has never applied for tax exempt status, a contribution to Move-on can not be deduct from taxes.

    Unfortunately Democratic members of the House and the Senate, with the exemption of Senator Menendez of New Jersey have not shown the backbone and fortitude to bring this scandal out in the open.

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Apr 23, 2014
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