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Obama Scandal #3: The IRS Report


H.R. Haldeman

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The Inspector General's report about the IRS unit in Cincinnati that appeared to be targeting conservative groups inappropriately is now out. The WaPo:

Federal authorities have opened a criminal investigation of whether Internal Revenue Service employees broke the law when they targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status — the latest setback for an agency that is the subject of withering bipartisan criticism and multiple congressional inquiries.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Tuesday that the Justice Department and the FBI began the probe after the IRS acknowledged that it selected conservative groups with the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their names for special reviews.

“We are examining the facts to see if there were criminal violations,” Holder said at a news conference.

Also Tuesday, a widely anticipated report by the IRS’s watchdog described the agency’s tax-exempt unit — where the screening of conservative groups occurred — as a bureaucratic mess, with some employees ignorant about tax laws, defiant of their supervisors and blind to the appearance of impropriety.
Criminal probe of IRS launched as report details targeting of conservative groups - The Washington Post

Here is a digest of the report from the always outstanding Politico:

5 takeaways from IRS report - Kelsey Snell and Lauren French - POLITICO.com

Here are the 5 takeaways they list:

- IRS agents weren't partisan
- Unclear on whether the IRS misled Congress
- Asking about donors crossed the line
- The IRS hasn't fixed all the problems
- No plans to crack down on 501(c)(4) groups

A reminder that this story has been compared to Watergate. Here, by veteran WaPo legend George Will:

George Will: IRS scandal carries echoes of Watergate - The Washington Post

And here and here and here and here:
IRS scandal shows that we've forgotten Watergate's lesson - George F. Will
Watergate revisited: did Obama's tax officials at the IRS target Republicans? - IV Drip - Voices - The Independent
IRS Scandal Echoes a Long History of Political Harassment | TIME.com

....

Here is what any impartial observer should conclude: This is yet another trumped-up, bogus non-scandal. In fact, of the 3 current scandals doing the rounds, this ranks as the least serious behind Benghazi and AP. The IG report is immeasurably less serious than most people thought it would be 24 hours ago. And yet, in the US, it is playing as the most serious.

Here's the problem. The liberal media and wider liberal commentariat are desperate - desperate - to appear even-handed. They've spent 4 years cheering on Obama. They know this perception is strong out there, and so when this chance comes along to be supportive of conservative groups, they've all jumped into the groupthink boat and are having a field day at the Administration's expense.

In essence, what happened in Cincinnati is that a flood of applications for tax exempt status were coming in the door. The office needed to differentiate those groups that may have been ineligible due to being too political from other groups - like traditional charities - who had no political side to them. And so, as the applications came in, they were tagged "tea party" or "patriot" or whatnot so that they would ping in the system as being in need of further investigation.

As regards those subsequent investigation, the report, somewhat bafflingly, says the IRS shouldn't have asked about the groups' doners (although I'm not sure how that isn't germane to whether the grouping is political.) This is the strongest Politico can say be about it:

The Inspector General said donor lists and details were an unnecessary, burdensome request in the vetting process. That may be the biggest victory for frustrated conservatives.
5 takeaways from IRS report - Kelsey Snell and Lauren French - POLITICO.com

Essentially, that's it. That's the whole "scandal". The report finds no partisanship in this procedure. It's about misguided and inappropriate administrative procedures.

Watergate? Even mentioning it in the same breath shows a stunning, terrifying lack of understanding about history. This is a minor, localised muddle with no political partisanship involved. The report shows that the initial reports on this "scandal" were entirely wrong and massively overblown. The report shows that this is yet again a massive overreaction by the American right, this time aided and abetted by a terrified liberal establishment desperate to show they are non-partisan and even handed. Even Obama himself is having to play this game, pretending to be "outraged".
 

Analyzer

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Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
46,201
Power has gotten into the heads of the fools in the shObama Administration. They are behaving in an unaccountable manner.

Maybe there is a need for a one term limit on the office of POTUS.
 

Sync

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Joined
Aug 27, 2009
Messages
28,845
That Will article is something to behold.

“He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavored to . . . cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be initiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.”
A quote from the Nixon investigations in the 70s. It's used in the first line. The author then persists in linking the 2 affairs without ever offering anything to support a claim that Obama or a subordinate has initiated audits. Nixon was found to be picking up the bloody phone and ordering investigations into rivals. Now I'm not saying Obama isn't doing that, I'm saying there's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that he is.
 

Prester Jim

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,071
The Inspector General's report about the IRS unit in Cincinnati that appeared to be targeting conservative groups inappropriately is now out. The WaPo:



Criminal probe of IRS launched as report details targeting of conservative groups - The Washington Post

Here is a digest of the report from the always outstanding Politico:

5 takeaways from IRS report - Kelsey Snell and Lauren French - POLITICO.com

Here are the 5 takeaways they list:

- IRS agents weren't partisan
- Unclear on whether the IRS misled Congress
- Asking about donors crossed the line
- The IRS hasn't fixed all the problems
- No plans to crack down on 501(c)(4) groups

A reminder that this story has been compared to Watergate. Here, by veteran WaPo legend George Will:

George Will: IRS scandal carries echoes of Watergate - The Washington Post

And here and here and here and here:
IRS scandal shows that we've forgotten Watergate's lesson - George F. Will
Watergate revisited: did Obama's tax officials at the IRS target Republicans? - IV Drip - Voices - The Independent
IRS Scandal Echoes a Long History of Political Harassment | TIME.com

....

Here is what any impartial observer should conclude: This is yet another trumped-up, bogus non-scandal. In fact, of the 3 current scandals doing the rounds, this ranks as the least serious behind Benghazi and AP. The IG report is immeasurably less serious than most people thought it would be 24 hours ago. And yet, in the US, it is playing as the most serious.

Here's the problem. The liberal media and wider liberal commentariat are desperate - desperate - to appear even-handed. They've spent 4 years cheering on Obama. They know this perception is strong out there, and so when this chance comes along to be supportive of conservative groups, they've all jumped into the groupthink boat and are having a field day at the Administration's expense.

In essence, what happened in Cincinnati is that a flood of applications for tax exempt status were coming in the door. The office needed to differentiate those groups that may have been ineligible due to being too political from other groups - like traditional charities - who had no political side to them. And so, as the applications came in, they were tagged "tea party" or "patriot" or whatnot so that they would ping in the system as being in need of further investigation.

As regards those subsequent investigation, the report, somewhat bafflingly, says the IRS shouldn't have asked about the groups' doners (although I'm not sure how that isn't germane to whether the grouping is political.) This is the strongest Politico can say be about it:



5 takeaways from IRS report - Kelsey Snell and Lauren French - POLITICO.com

Essentially, that's it. That's the whole "scandal". The report finds no partisanship in this procedure. It's about misguided and inappropriate administrative procedures.

Watergate? Even mentioning it in the same breath shows a stunning, terrifying lack of understanding about history. This is a minor, localised muddle with no political partisanship involved. The report shows that the initial reports on this "scandal" were entirely wrong and massively overblown. The report shows that this is yet again a massive overreaction by the American right, this time aided and abetted by a terrified liberal establishment desperate to show they are non-partisan and even handed. Even Obama himself is having to play this game, pretending to be "outraged".
To me, from here, it seems that the Republicans have been playing hardball and using any method, no matter how low or unethical to attack the democrats since Clinton.
The Dems seem either weak or too high minded by comparison.
I would usually applaud their higher moral stand but they are letting the republicans do or say virtually anything with only a lackluster defense.
The repub methods should cause a wave of revulsion through the populace if they were fully revealed and displayed for their delectation, but the Dems just don't seem as sure of their position, their moral rightness as the Repubs.
I know there is a huge amount of frustration with the Dems shaky defence within their own faithful, any viewing of the Daily show would confirm that.
 

Prester Jim

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Joined
Jul 3, 2009
Messages
10,071
That Will article is something to behold.



A quote from the Nixon investigations in the 70s. It's used in the first line. The author then persists in linking the 2 affairs without ever offering anything to support a claim that Obama or a subordinate has initiated audits. Nixon was found to be picking up the bloody phone and ordering investigations into rivals. Now I'm not saying Obama isn't doing that, I'm saying there's no evidence whatsoever to suggest that he is.
And there doesn't seem to be any will in the media to point out the hypocrisy and exaggeration.
Why is this? Has Fox news caused such a fright among the rest that they are terrified of being labelled liberal?
 

cyberianpan

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Website
www.google.com
Here is what any impartial observer should conclude: This is yet another trumped-up, bogus non-scandal. In fact, of the 3 current scandals doing the rounds, this ranks as the least serious behind Benghazi and AP. The IG report is immeasurably less serious than most people thought it would be 24 hours ago. And yet, in the US, it is playing as the most serious.

The substance of the scandal - low ranking employees doing silly things on their own initiative - is indeed slight...but ...but This scandal is going to be about who knew what when, and when it was disclosed. So this could prove to be serious trouble.


cYp
 

Dan_Murphy

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Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,811
Is the USA a viable entity, in the long run?
In the long run, probably not, the only question is how long will it take to end.

It took less than a decade for the Soviet union to dissolve but it took 4 centuries for the Roman empire to collapse, and even then the Byzantine empire lasted another thousand years.

I think it'll outlast you and I at the very least. :)
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
50,459
In the long run, probably not, the only question is how long will it take to end.

It took less than a decade for the Soviet union to dissolve but it took 4 centuries for the Roman empire to collapse, and even then the Byzantine empire lasted another thousand years.

I think it'll outlast you and I at the very least. :)
It's effectively two strips of heavily populated coastline going blue, and the rest going red, is it not? How would a split work, in such circumstances?

We probably have our own urban/rural divide here, but without the gun culture.
 

Ribeye

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Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
26,306
#impeachObama

He's drunk with power, the administration is gone rogue,

Insiders are now turning on them because other insiders died in Benghazi,

They have made a sick joke of America,

Get them out, and put before a Grand Jury,
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Messages
50,459
#impeachObama

He's drunk with power, the administration is gone rogue,

Insiders are now turning on them because other insiders died in Benghazi,

They have made a sick joke of America,

Get them out, and put before a Grand Jury,
A sick joke when compared to George Bush junior?
 

opinions

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Joined
Jul 23, 2011
Messages
648
Obama is not in charge and never was. The Military industrial complex now calls the shots.

Why is the US still in Iraq & Afghanistan? They illegally attacked Iraq, using the excuse they were to destroy Saddam's WMD's. They bombed the country into the stone age, slaughtered thousands of innocent men, women and children, got rid of Saddam but no WMD's.

The US actually used chemical weapons in the massacre at Fallujah. Why are they still there? Because they want to bring stability to the country when their presence is the cause of instability.

They are being attacked by IED's. I wonder how many of these are false flags? One thing it does do is give them an excuse to remain in Iraq.

The US will NEVER leave Iraq. Why? Oil of course. They are now providing 'security' over the Oil wells. Fact is they will both protect these for their own use and make sure that countries like China is left short.

Obama will do what he is told to do, as will his successor in 3 years time.
 

Dan_Murphy

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Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
3,811
It's effectively two strips of heavily populated coastline going blue, and the rest going red, is it not? How would a split work, in such circumstances?

We probably have our own urban/rural divide here, but without the gun culture.
Thats the thing, a lot of the red states are totally dependent on the blue states for money, to my knowledge only Texas really isn't. (Someone correct me if I am wrong with that!)

I'm not sure how it would work, to be honest.
 

james5001

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Carlos Danger

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Have they lined up the scapegoat for this one yet?
Geithner presided over this, so it would be hard to blame Lew.
Doug Shulman left the IRS back in November, and Steve Miller is only acting commissioner.
Surely there must be some SES'er, or at least a GS 15 that can be found to take the fall for this one. Rogue auditor...acting alone...coloring outside the lines.
 

H.R. Haldeman

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Joined
Oct 1, 2008
Messages
4,444
#impeachObama

He's drunk with power, the administration is gone rogue,

Insiders are now turning on them because other insiders died in Benghazi,

They have made a sick joke of America,

Get them out, and put before a Grand Jury,

We're back to the Rovian political playbook here Ribser...just keep saying something long enough until eventually it becomes true, whether it's true or not. Forge your own reality.

And so, the narrative all along has been that Obama is unAmerican and will eventually be impeached as such, once the full extent of his otherness is revealed.

And here we are. The conservative zealots - the tea baggers, the creationists, the neo-con hawks, the House obstructionists, the survivalist fantasists, the gun nuts - are doing their "more in sorrow than anger" routine and sighing deeply...Obama, at last, has been unmasked and must go.

Problem is, it's still all complete fantasy. As per this thread, the IRS scandal is an outrageously minor local muddle in Cincinnati. The Benghazi rumpus, fuelled by doctored emails that the GOP has had for months but are only now making a fuss about, is political opportunism of the worst kind with shag-all substantive charge against the Administration. And the AP seizures, whilst certainly the most substantial of these scandals, it turns out wasn't even presided over by the recused AG, and which involve exceptionally serious allegations of criminality.

The irony is that the liberal media have been far too passive in the last 4 years in holding the Obama WH to account, and yet now when we have these three powder-puff scandals, they've suddenly woken up in a belated attempt to appear even-handed.

The whole spectacle is a farce.
 

R3volution_R3ady

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punchdrunk

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To me, from here, it seems that the Republicans have been playing hardball and using any method, no matter how low or unethical to attack the democrats since Clinton.
The Dems seem either weak or too high minded by comparison.
I would usually applaud their higher moral stand but they are letting the republicans do or say virtually anything with only a lackluster defense.
The repub methods should cause a wave of revulsion through the populace if they were fully revealed and displayed for their delectation, but the Dems just don't seem as sure of their position, their moral rightness as the Repubs.
I know there is a huge amount of frustration with the Dems shaky defence within their own faithful, any viewing of the Daily show would confirm that.
It is time for Irish people to stop deluding themselves about the Democratic Party. Visit Chicago and look at the behaviour of Democrats for decades. That is only one example. The media here takes its cue from the Democrat supporting media in the US. The reality is that the Democrats nationally have been increasingly using tactics similar to those employed in Chicago. Remember the Democratic party was also the party of the Ku Klux Klan. The Democrats were never saints. In Ireland we are besieged by reports about the "big bad Republicans". The Democrats have been generally painted as saints.
 
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