IRS – Why It’s Not “GOP Hype”
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
Last comment by sebekm 1 year, 4 months ago.

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Peggy Noonan says it best in her Wall Street Journal blog from yesterday titled: “This Is No Ordinary Scandal.” The blog’s subtitle is: “Political abuse of the IRS threatens the basic integrity of our government.” The operative portion reads as follows:

“As always it comes down to trust. Do you trust the president's answers when he's pressed on an uncomfortable story? Do you trust his people to be sober and fair-minded as they go about their work? Do you trust the IRS and the Justice Department? You do not.

The president, as usual, acts as if all of this is totally unconnected to him. He's shocked, it's unacceptable, he'll get to the bottom of it. He read about it in the papers, just like you.

But he is not unconnected, he is not a bystander. This is his administration. Those are his executive agencies. He runs the IRS and the Justice Department.

A president sets a mood, a tone. He establishes an atmosphere. If he is arrogant, arrogance spreads. If he is to too partisan, too disrespecting of political adversaries, that spreads too. Presidents always undo themselves and then blame it on the third guy in the last row in the sleepy agency across town.

The IRS scandal has two parts. The first is the obviously deliberate and targeted abuse, harassment and attempted suppression of conservative groups. The second is the auditing of the taxes of political activists.

In order to suppress conservative groups—at first those with words like "Tea Party" and "Patriot" in their names, then including those that opposed ObamaCare or advanced the second amendment—the IRS demanded donor rolls, membership lists, data on all contributions, names of volunteers, the contents of all speeches made by members, Facebook posts, minutes of all meetings, and copies of all materials handed out at gatherings. Among its questions: What are you thinking about? Did you ever think of running for office? Do you ever contact political figures? What are you reading? One group sent what it was reading: the U.S. Constitution.

The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration. The Journal's Kim Strassel reported an Idaho businessman named Frank VanderSloot, who'd donated more than a million dollars to groups supporting Mitt Romney. He found himself last June, for the first time in 30 years, the target of IRS auditors. His wife and his business were also soon audited. Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government's attention. He told ABC News: "It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare." Franklin Graham, son of Billy, told Politico he believes his father was targeted. A conservative Catholic academic who has written for these pages faced questions about her meager freelance writing income. Many of these stories will come out, but not as many as there are. People are not only afraid of being audited, they're afraid of saying they were audited.

All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. The purpose, obviously, was to overwhelm and intimidate—to kill the opposition, question by question and audit by audit.

It is not even remotely possible that all this was an accident, a mistake. Again, ONLY CONSERVATIVE GROUPS WERE TARGETED, NOT LIBERAL (emphasis added). (Note: the IRS has ADMITTED this.) It is not even remotely possible that only one IRS office was involved. Lois Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the IRS, was the person who finally acknowledged, under pressure of a looming investigative report, some of what the IRS was doing. She told reporters the actions were the work of "frontline people" in Cincinnati. But other offices were involved, including Washington. It is not even remotely possible the actions were the work of just a few agents. This was more systemic. It was an operation. The word was out: Get the Democratic Party's foes. It is not remotely possible nobody in the IRS knew what was going on until very recently. The Washington Post reported efforts to target the conservative groups reached the highest levels of the agency by May 2012—far earlier than the agency had acknowledged. Reuters reported high-level IRS officials, including its chief counsel, knew in August 2011 about the targeting.

The White House is reported to be shellshocked at public reaction to the scandal. But why? Were they so high-handed, so essentially ignorant, that they didn't understand what it would mean to the American people when their IRS—the revenue-collecting arm of the U.S. government—is revealed as a low, ugly and bullying tool of the reigning powers? If they didn't know how Americans would react to that, what did they know? I mean beyond Harvey Weinstein's cellphone number.”

For the entire article, see:

So for me, the question comes down to this: Why would an agency of the federal government – in the months leading up to a presidential election – target ONLY the political opposition for the kinds of “scrutiny” and “administrative review” that the facts have shown and the IRS has already ADMITTED to? The only answer is as Noonan says – to intimidate, to stall, to suppress, and to block their ability to support conservative causes and conservative candidates in opposition to President Obama and his administration.

Those tactics are not only dirty politics; they’re against the law.

Latest Activity: May 17, 2013 at 11:30 AM

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JimmyMack commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 13:22 PM

At one point in my "smallish" govmint work I oversaw appx. 100+ employees. I ended up firing three (3) of them for

Now I was a small fish in a little pond while BHO is a big fish in a big pond. As the incompetent W. (the boy king) was famous for saying about his appointments: "I trust His\Her Judggemint."

True, some or one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch. But, It will not in this case.

The feeding frenzy is abuzz now re: BHO's appointments. Y'all waller in it all you can while you can because I gotta tell ya boys and girls, you can quote media to high heaven on this one, but one thing is certain: IT AIN'T AGONNA LAST.

That's just my opinion...I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

HMJC commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 15:23 PM

Jimmy, why is it that the current administratration continues to be allowed to wear the duck suit? Every scandal, mis-step, lie, or failure continues to be classified as "It's not my fault" and it flies every flippin time? I thought Leaders accepted responsibility for actions of those in their charge. Oh thats right, Leaders...

up2sumptin commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 15:29 PM

My two cents for whatever it is worth. Is Obama's administration a mess? Yes. Could he have done better with his appointments? Yes. Does he need a more hands on approach administering the duties of his office? Yes. Is there a conspiracy to hide the fact Obama knew the illegal activity taking place with the IRS? No. Should he have known? Maybe but i yet to see any evidence, ie Nixon, that he actively attempted any kind of cover up. If anything, the man is woefully naive as to the vicious game of politics that occurs at his level. as it stands, is there any grounds for impeachment? No.

sebekm commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 16:25 PM

Up2: I agree. But it IS Mr. Obama's administration. And they IRS WAS targeting conservative individuals and groups for years. And they (IRS officials) HAVE testified before Congress on this and related issues since the targeting began and they DID NOT acknowledge it was occurring (when either they knew or should have known). As to "impeachment," I (personally) am not suggesting that YET - but let's see what comes out when all the rocks are turned over. I'm talking about the IRS rocks; the Benghazi rocks; the AP rocks; and whatever other rocks come out of this.

To me, all of this is a clear case of an administration doing whatever it can to stay in power and to maintain/further itself by succession in 2016. It's a simple fact: those who get a taste of power want more; those who have the possibility of staying in power will usually WANT to. The questions are to what lengths they will go and whether they play "fair." Big-time politics isn't akin to a high school debate, but all parties have to obey the law. When they don't, they should get whacked. Taken together, all three of these scandals indicate an atmosphere, an attitude, and an apparent willingness to do whatever is necessary to STAY in power. That's pretty much they way it was with Nixon. Hence - the comparisons.

sebekm commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 16:40 PM

...and as to Mr. Obama's appointments, I think he's getting better at it. That's usually the case when a President gets a second term. Most second terms have "scandals" as well. It's how involved the higher-ups are and what they do to clean it up that usually makes their legacy "good" or "bad."

IMHO - Mr. Obama's key initial appointments to Treasury (Geithner) and Justice (Holder) were ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE. Neither one of those guys were fit for the position, and Mr. Obama has suffered a tremendous amount of embarrassment, ridicule, policy failures and loss of goodwill as a result of their bumbling, fumbling and stumbling. Geithner has been permitted to "move on," but the President still retains Holder. IMHO - this is misplaced loyalty and ultimately stupid. The President should cut his losses and fire the guy - and get somebody in there who can do the job and clean up the mess.

Until he does, we'll see more screw-ups like Fast and Furious, the AP, etc. (don't be surprised if some DOJ failures pops up in the IRS affair as well).

sebekm commented on Friday, May 17, 2013 at 17:44 PM

...and even USATODAY - not known for being a bastion of either conservative thinking or writing - has figured out what the President's game plan is. Check the headline on this article:

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 09:53 AM

Much ado about ?

You know what? NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE will be going to jail on this one. WHY? Because Repbublicans are for the most part harbingers of wealth. They don't create jobs. They increase their wealth by FIRING people so that they can then take their 9:00 am wine enema that the less of those among us cannot afford. They are interested in themselves. Not others. You for a moment think that they will put an IRS rep. in jail? Or as you would like to think: IMPEACH the President over this? If you do, then you are more crazier than I thought.

Another thing: How many U.S. Embassies were attacked during the Bush Administration"

A. 0
B. 1
C. 12
D. All the others ADDED above.

Correct right wing lynch mobbers: ....D.

I hate to tell ya fellas: but you ain't got nuttin!!!!

JimmyMack commented on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 09:53 AM

HYPE is an understatement.

sebekm commented on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 13:00 PM

Read my latest blog. It ain't hype, and it ain't going away.

sebekm commented on Sunday, May 19, 2013 at 15:35 PM

...and here they go again. Now it's 60,000,000 (that's right - 60 MILLION) medical records that they "wrongfully seized" from 10 million Americans, which is now the subject of a class action lawsuit:

The IRS is out of control. Somebody needs to take charge.

sebekm commented on Monday, May 20, 2013 at 19:18 PM

...and according to one of those "anonymous" Cincinnati IRS officials: "Everything comes from the top. We don't have any authority to make those decisions (i.e., targeting of Tea Party/Conservative groups) without someone signing off on them. There has to be a directive."


The article at this link also points out that the IRS at one time had 900 auditors covering nonprofit groups. That's a hell-of-a-lot of government bureaucrats - on OUR dime - picking and poking at the Tea Party and other conservative groups.

timeontarget commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 06:39 AM

Another excellent blog thank you.

We elected a person of very little experience to hold the most powerful office in the entire world and this is what we have to show for our mistake.

I think America is on the most shaky ground at this very moment that it has ever before been on.

He is either woefully naive as up2 says above or he just might be willfully vindictive.

Time and history will tell though some of us probably will not live long enough to see the results.

Our nation is broke financially and morally.

My generation and the one right behind it did the breaking.

We will be the first generation of Americans to leave for our children a world less wonderful than the one we inherited from our parents.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 14:53 PM

I hope not.

JimmyMack commented on Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 16:03 PM

Yeah, tot, ..."a world less wondeful than the one we inherited from our parents." Yep, and BHO did it all by himself too, didn't he?

The simplistic answers by conservatives to sometimes complicated and difficult questions in life and politics is an amazing thing to behold.

sebekm commented on Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 13:25 PM

Sometimes the "simplistic answer" is the best one.

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