IRS targeted conservatives as early as 2010: WSJ; Update: ABC corroborates

posted at 9:21 am on May 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

On Saturday, we discovered that the IRS targeting of conservative groups didn’t start in 2012 and wasn’t limited to a few rogue low-level agents.  Senior officials became aware of the practice at least as early as June 2011, including the top lawyer for the IRS.  Today, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters report that an upcoming IG report will show that the practice first began in the 2010 midterm cycle (via TPM):

But questions continued to swirl about the failure of IRS officials to disclose the problems until the inspector general’s report was about to become public.

The timeline contained in the draft report indicates that IRS scrutiny of tea-party and other conservative groups began as early as 2010 and came to the attention of Ms. Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt-organizations division, at least by the following year.

The report’s timeline indicates that the criteria were changed to be more neutral in July 2011 after Ms. Lerner “raised concerns.” The criteria for heightened scrutiny continued to evolve over the next year or so, even as complaints from tea-party groups—and questions from GOP lawmakers—mounted over IRS inquiries to various groups about their activities.

Lerner seems to have deliberately misled Congress, which was demanding answers after receiving a raft of complaints about aggressive IRS agents:

Letters from Ms. Lerner in April and May 2012 responding to questions by Republican lawmakers made no mention of the problems that had surfaced in the IRS unit.

According to the draft report, on April 24 and 25 of last year, officials in Ms. Lerner’s office were reviewing “troubling questions” that had been asked of organizations, including “the names of donors.”

One way the IRS attempted to throw people off the trail was by subtly changing their search criteria.  They started off by looking at Tea Party groups, but then expanded to any group unhappy with the administration’s performance:

When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as ‘Tea Party,’ but later they focused on criticisms by groups of “how the country is being run,” according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.

Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.

At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making “America a better place to live.”

Who knew that motive was so sinister? Does the IRS want America to be a worse place to live?  If so, they’re well on their way with this scandal.

Reuters mentions Friday’s announcement ahead of the report:

After brewing for months, the IRS effort exploded into wider view on Friday when Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, apologized for what she called the “inappropriate” targeting of conservative groups for closer scrutiny, something the agency had long denied.

At a legal conference in Washington, while taking questions from the audience, Lerner said the agency was sorry.

She said the screening practice was confined to an IRS office in Cincinnati; that it was “absolutely not” influenced by the Obama administration; and that none of the targeted groups was denied tax-free status.

In retrospect, this looks like a strategy to spin the report ahead of its release. Rather than wait for the results to drop like a bombshell in the media, the IRS sent Lerner out for damage control, admitting to as little as possible while sounding as though the agency was taking responsibility for their errors.  That way, when the report did come out, the media could proclaim it “old news,” taking a page from Jay Carney’s Benghazi scandal strategy, and castigate anyone demanding more answers and drawing the obvious conclusion that the Obama administration has politicized the IRS.

Unfortunately, that strategy didn’t work very well.  Lerner turned out to be a very poor choice for that job, bungling the media handling badly enough that the media ended up more annoyed than mollified.  Mostly, though, this is news that’s just not spinnable.  The report now appears to implicate the highest levels of the IRS in either misleading or outright lying to Congress, and raises questions about how exactly this effort got put into place at all.  They basically threw gasoline on a fire that would have exploded anyway, making the conflagration even more eye-catching as a result.

Update: The New York Times’ headline focuses on the real scandal — “I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives G.O.P. an Issue to Seize On”.  If you pay for the subscription, presumably you get the audio of the Gray Lady weeping over this blow.

Update: Jon Karl also reported this morning that it’s been going on for three years:

ABC News has obtained a draft of a soon-to-be-released investigative reporting showing that the Internal Revenue Service began targeting conservative groups as far back as 2010 and that senior IRS officials in Washington have known about it for almost two years. Last week, we learned that the IRS was targeting groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names, but it goes beyond that, ABC’s JONATHAN KARL reports. The draft report, conducted by the IRS’s internal watchdog, says the agency was tracking groups who’s goals included, quote “limiting government” and “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” and that, “criticize how the country is being run.” Friday, the White House says it had it no idea the IRS was targeting Tea Party-allied groups.

That little game Lerner played isn’t fooling anyone. This is going to get very ugly very quickly. Here’s the question, though — can anyone put any reliance on this Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute this corruption? I think we’re heading into special prosecutor territory.


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Impeach the SOB…

PatriotRider on May 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

The timeline contained in the draft report indicates that IRS scrutiny of tea-party and other conservative groups began as early as 2010 and came to the attention of Ms. Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt-organizations division, at least by the following year.

So basically this has been going on for nearly the entire time Obama’s been in office? And the IRS has known about it for at least 2 years? Issa’s gonna be a busy man.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:24 AM

: The New York Times’ headline focuses on the real scandal

This is a red herring folks. Yes it is a scandal. And yes heads again will roll (pick two flunkies and fire them…that’s how they do it in this administration).

But this effectively takes Hillary and Benghazi off page 1, something the MSM and the Clintons desperately need done soon.

dirtseller on May 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

This story is going to explode. When Democrats are speechless you know something big is going one.

brewcrew67 on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Damn, I thought my enemies list was extensive, but these guys make me look like a piker…..

RT @RichardNixon

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Keep on applying the boot to the neck. Let’s find out what Harry Reid was referencing when he had sources regarding Romney’s tax returns. Put this a-hole under oath and end his career.

hillsoftx on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

And now they are going to higher 16000 low level employees to implement obama care, great

phatfawzi on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

pick two flunkes and fire reassign them.

Nothing to see here….

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

targeting conservatives: a big part of ‘Remaking America’…

…or should we say ‘Unmaking America’?

shinty on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

What did Harry Reid and Barack Obama know about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, when did they know it, how did they know about it??

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Would someone please remind the pinheads in the media about the oh-so important
AG ALBERTO GONZALES
“scandal” a few years back,…….and how important it was to the democrites then.

Where is their outrage over any of this NOW ???

FlaMurph on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

Flashback: Who leaked Romney’s donation to the National Organization for Marriage?

http://dailycaller.com/2012/04/12/pro-marriage-group-thinks-irs-employee-leaked-mitt-romneys-donor-info-to-human-rights-campaign/

Flashback: Was Romney donor Obama Campaign personally attacked harassed by the IRS?

online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304070304577396412560038208.html
online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304203604577397031654422966.html
online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444464304577537233908744496.html

ninjapirate on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

So Lerner is stone-cold lying about the uber-powerful IRS targeting American citizens purely because of their political stance, lies on top of lies on top of creepy fascist tactics.

In a sane nation not dominated by liberal trash we would be lining the streets of D.C. and forcing all of these political jackasses to run a gauntlet before tossing them into the darkest prison hole we have.

Bishop on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

The timeline contained in the draft report indicates that IRS scrutiny of tea-party and other conservative groups began as early as 2010 and came to the attention of Ms. Lerner, the head of the tax-exempt-organizations division, at least by the following year.

Ms. Lerner will be gone by Wednesday. She’s become a political liability, is high enough up the food chain it protects the political appointees, and is utterly expendable. She was sent out on Friday to do damage control but the phone conference was so badly managed it only managed to fan the flames.

Congress needs to jump on this in their role of oversight because this is Stalinesque.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

They started off by looking at Tea Party groups, but then expanded to any group unhappy with the administration’s performance:

As if it wasn’t so bad this way?

Who knew that motive was so sinister?

No Shinola

“I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives G.O.P. an Issue to Seize On”.

And the NYT wonders why we don’t like them…

Nixon is in awe of these people.

cozmo on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

This is the reason I will make no political comments on Facebook or even Like a political status that someone else posts. No sense in drawing attention to yourself and risking getting an IRS audit. Drudge has a headline stating that Facebook and even private emails are not safe from FBI surveillance. Why post something on a public site and risk blowback from the government?

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

IMPEACH

crosshugger on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

What did Harry Reid and Barack Obama know about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, when did they know it, how did they know about it??

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

BINGO !!!

brewcrew67 on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

What did Harry Reid and Barack Obama know about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, when did they know it, how did they know about it??

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:27 AM

We all pretty much knew that Reid had seen Romney’s tax records. I would like to get the bastard on record speaking about the IRS targeting honest Americans for political purposes.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM

Another good week ahead?

docflash on May 13, 2013 at 9:30 AM

With Benghazi and the IRS dominating the news we might very well have a lower troll count this week, though I fully expect Bayam to arrive bleating about the Iraq War and the 2000 election.

Bishop on May 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Lerner seems to have deliberately misled Congress, which was demanding answers after receiving a raft of complaints about aggressive IRS agents:

If Congress wants to reestablish some of its damn credibility, then level some consequences against these folks who think that they can go up there and lie to their faces. Starting with Eric Holder.

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Bishop on May 13, 2013 at 9:31 AM

Yeah right. Like last week?

They know the best defense is to get out there and lie and lie and lie.

cozmo on May 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Nixon is in awe of these people.

cozmo on May 13, 2013 at 9:28 AM

funny,

phatfawzi on May 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Yes people your own government not only has targeted you but they have suppressed your vote.

CW on May 13, 2013 at 9:32 AM

Hmmmmm….so you’re saying Conservatives were NOT targeted under the Bush administration? D@MN! Obama can’t blame Bush for THIS one…

easyt65 on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

drudge: A New “Enemies List”

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

But this effectively takes Hillary and Benghazi off page 1, something the MSM and the Clintons desperately need done soon.

dirtseller on May 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I don’t buy that. This is not the kind of “distraction” the Obama Administration wants right now. This frankly is a worse scandal politically than Benghazi. The Democrat/media complex can at least attempt to spin or downplay what happened in Libya and the aftermath. There is no spin for this. And even if this never gets linked to Obama, nobody with half a brain will for one second believe this wasn’t a politically-motivated campaign designed to benefit Obama and the Democrats in election years.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

They apologized.
Have they stopped?

TimBuk3 on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Very curious statement issued by the White House…

The President believes that the American people expect and deserve to have the very best public servants with the highest levels of integrity working in government agencies on their behalf. Based on recent media reports, he is concerned that the conduct of a small number of Internal Revenue Service employees may have fallen short of that standard. We understand that the matter is currently under review by the Inspector General. If the Inspector General finds that there were any rules broken or that conduct of government officials did not meet the standards required of them, the President expects that swift and appropriate steps will be taken to address any misconduct.

Once again, he acts like he has no role in this. He should be firing people and not expect someone else to take ‘swift and appropriate steps to address misconduct.’ That’s what an executive does…especially one that is offended by unconstitutional, illegal, unethical, immoral, and UN-AMERICAN behaviour.

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

the next shoe to fall will be how they stole the election.

phatfawzi on May 13, 2013 at 9:34 AM

Lerner said the agency was sorry

It certainly is.

NOW WHO IS GETTING FIRED?!

GarandFan on May 13, 2013 at 9:35 AM

This is the reason I will make no political comments on Facebook or even Like a political status that someone else posts. No sense in drawing attention to yourself and risking getting an IRS audit. Drudge has a headline stating that Facebook and even private emails are not safe from FBI surveillance. Why post something on a public site and risk blowback from the government?

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

You know, I actually limited my political donations last year because I didn’t want the IRS coming after me. I thought I was being overly paranoid at the time, but I figured better to err on the side of caution. Turns out I wasn’t being paranoid at all.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM

The New York Times’ headline focuses on the real scandal — “I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives G.O.P. an Issue to Seize On”.

Fine, the oversight committee has the ability to Subpeona. The list of such documents issue should be long and all other business (immigration, guns, the gays) should be tabled until we get real answers from people far higher up than a math-challenged partisan whore.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

On Saturday, we discovered that the IRS targeting of conservative groups didn’t start in 2012 and wasn’t limited to a few rogue low-level agents.

That’s right: with the massive amounts of data handled, and handled by — most broadly — people required to follow rigidly ordered tasks pre-configured for them (the greatest ‘handling’ of data done by employees required to follow preset rooutines not of their own making, design or reasoning), there is no way that keystrokes based upon flagging words, associations, etc. were NOT sent through the IRS system from higher-level, so to speak, employees who themselves were acting on commands from their “higher-ups,” etc., upward progressively.

To believe at face value the latest lame excuses with pithy apologies from IRS employees who are attorneys who “don’t know math” is to believe the moon is filled with creme cheese.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Chilling…. as planned.

CW on May 13, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Too bad Breitbart is gone…

PatriotRider on May 13, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Update: The New York Times’ headline focuses on the real scandal — “I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives G.O.P. an Issue to Seize On”.

Dog whistle reporting at it’s finest..

Oh no honey.. you see the headline should be..

“Democrat Senator raping three co-eds revelation, gives those sluts a reason to attack that nice man”./s

ggggaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….

YOU CAN’T MAKE THIS STUFF UP…. The Slimes thinks it’s that the GOP might benefit politically from a REAL CRIME, is the scandal which gives them the vapors?

and that Obama benefitted from the Wall Street crash the democrat party engineered through Schumer and Fwank… no scandal there..

nope..

You know, there is a time when the insidious nature of a one party state press becomes a self parody in action. How do these hacks sleep at night?

mark81150 on May 13, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.

I’d like to know what criteria are used to select applications for closer examination. Is it supposed to be at random? Are there triggers for audit? Is it a proportion of all applications that are to be closely examined? I mean, how, in normal circumstances, are they chosen? Is that a secret?

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:41 AM

apologies …

Jobs will be lost.

Write your reps and Senators.

CW on May 13, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Have they stopped?

TimBuk3 on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Good question.

Just to be safe, the Tea Party and other small government anti-tax groups should throw words like “progressive” and “social justice” in their names.

After all, planned parenthood does much better with a name that doesn’t reflect a thing about the organization than with the more accurate “slaughterer of half the black population”

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:41 AM

The libs are calling this irresponsible on the part of some low life level workers when it’s illegal on a lot of points. This can’t be swept under a bus. Whoever in the DC cesspool that’s responsible for investigating the IRS needs to get saddled up. If this isn’t nipped in the bud, what are we gonna do when the IRS is in charge of collecting for Ocare and gets to know all of our medical stuff?

Kissmygrits on May 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Drudge has a headline stating that Facebook and even private emails are not safe from FBI surveillance. Why post something on a public site and risk blowback from the government?

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Creepier, even personal phone calls are now being admitted to being captured and recordings of them stored, without presence of warrant or even cause to snoop — phone calls not private even when you’re talking about the most banal of issues like who gets to do the recycling or pickup the drycleaning for the grandparents.

I laughed a bit when I read that news, about that (last week or so) when thinking bsck over the hours of boring details contained in most of my personal calls to family.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

ABC’s JONATHAN KARL reports. The draft report, conducted by the IRS’s internal watchdog, says the agency was tracking groups who’s goals included, quote “limiting government” and “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” and that, “criticize how the country is being run.” Friday, the White House says it had it no idea the IRS was targeting Tea Party-allied groups.

How convenient. We had no idea that a large swath of our “political enemies” were being targeted and–*shrug–don’t give a f*ck if they were as long as it helped us out.

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

They apologized.

As my old man used to as: Sorry you did it, or sorry you’re caught?

socalcon on May 13, 2013 at 9:43 AM

They are making it very hard to be civil….

Electrongod on May 13, 2013 at 9:44 AM

How many times has this administration stood upon stupidity and ignorance when events swirl around them??? They are the smartest guys in the room except when it comes to the obvious.

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:44 AM

She said the screening practice was confined to an IRS office in Cincinnati; that it was “absolutely not” influenced by the Obama administration; and that none of the targeted groups was denied tax-free status.

Sorry, but this woman is a phucking c*nt.

The application for tax-exempt status is a very daunting application. But compound it with the extraordinary amount of additional information that the IRS demanded. Every group that engaged lawyers and accountants to walk them through the application process should have their professionals review their bills and estimate the amount of fees that were attributable to the requests for additional information. Then, those amounts should be collected by the senators or House members for those constituents, and they should be submitted to the federal government for reimbursement. And the professionals should be reimbursed for the time required to review their bills and to allocate their fees.

This is outrageous. All these applicants should be made whole. Further, these IRS personnel should be fired, they should never be allowed to work for the federal government or for a federal contractor again, and, if they are lawyers, they should be barred from being able to practice before the IRS or in any federal tax matter.

BuckeyeSam on May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

this whole disgusting administration is falling apart. so now we know how long an incompetent and thuggish and lawless president can operate when no press is watchdogging. 4 years plus re-election. never thought they’d make it over the finish line. but they did. now its all devolving. i am still sceptical that the MSM will get up off its knees, wipe their mouths and stop swallowing. they will still have to be dragged.

t8stlikchkn on May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Why post something on a public site and risk blowback from the government?

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

You know, I actually limited my political donations last year because I didn’t want the IRS coming after me.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM

That’s what they want. They want you to be so afraid that you will stand down, say nothing, give no money, and, eventually, obey.

Just think what you will do when they are making your healthcare decisions.

‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’

- Edmund Burke

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Barack Nixon.

Enjoy the ride, Obots! You’ve earned it!

Good Lt on May 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Lerner doesn’t make it to the end of today as an employee of the IRS.

BobMbx on May 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Insane. Absolutely insane.

It sounds like a good time for some nationwide protests outside the IRS to call attention to this.

bitsy on May 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Buffalo News hedlines

Page A1 above the fold:

-After surgery, he’s Reed thin-

-Bill would reform oversight of charities-

Page A1 below the fold:

-No easy answers on Gitmo stalemate-

-Diversity lacking in attorneys who argue before high court-

A5:
-Diplomat absolves Clinton in Libya flap-

mjbrooks3 on May 13, 2013 at 9:46 AM

Most corrupt administration evah.

MSM’s going to get dizzy spinning all this to deflect criticism from their boy prince.

DRayRaven on May 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

The libs are snickering as they got away with this and covered up Benghazi to ensure Barack Hussein’s 2012 victory. Shameless.

CW on May 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

I’m becoming increasingly convinced that every action and inaction is tailor made to trigger further unrest in this country. The left is increasingly frustrated and desperate to spark violence in this country. Don’t believe me? Look at the breathless exasperation and hope that is placed upon every violent event and the political connotations that it just may have to further their cause.

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Don’t expect anything from Boehner. If anything, the GOP is complicit in this.

The worm has turned for the US.

BobMbx on May 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

She said the screening practice was confined to an IRS office in Cincinnati; that it was “absolutely not” influenced by the Obama administration; and that none of the targeted groups was denied tax-free status.

We all know this was specifically a lone-wolf offense—nothing else to see here—move along.

Rovin on May 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

So, how many decades of mileage can we get out of these events? 3? 4?….

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I agree there has to be a special prosecutor in part because rats are going to have to be threatened with prison time before they tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

WannabeAnglican on May 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I’d like to know where these forms were printed. Are these standardized forms issued to all offices? Are the forms a downloadable pdf in the IRS system? Or has all that evidence been scrubbed already and all that is left is a word document on some schmucks computer in Ohio?

BeachBum on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Why Cincinnati? Is that where all tax-exempt applications go? If not, then how many could’ve been flagged there?

If it is where all these applications go for approval, then the notion by the IRS that only Cincinnati was involved seems misleading.

If not, then it would seem odd that only those applications fielded and scrutinized by the Cincinnati office (Was Ohio a hotbed for new Tea Party groups in 2010?) would draw Congressional attention.

BKeyser on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

The libs are calling this irresponsible on the part of some low life level workers when it’s illegal on a lot of points. This can’t be swept under a bus. Whoever in the DC cesspool that’s responsible for investigating the IRS needs to get saddled up. If this isn’t nipped in the bud, what are we gonna do when the IRS is in charge of collecting for Ocare and gets to know all of our medical stuff?

Kissmygrits on May 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM

The Left is scrambling to try and rationalize this gravest of corruptions — obviously they’re denying the reality of the lack of personal liberties and even ideas that exist amidst the great number of employees in organizations such as the IRS and the manual, rote, repeatedly fixed course of what they actually do all day long: it isn’t creative work with much to any variation of activities.

No, the “pattern match-up” process of correlating one individual and one group with others of similar parameters or qualities, characteristics, by the IRS is a process “ordered” after a course of action is determined by those way ‘high in the organization, if not from the top and most likely, yes, from the top: ordered to gather information based upon what-whom-why.

And the IRS is part of Treasury and Treasury is a Cabinet position. That means, the President is the answerable dude for the activity.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

So, how many decades of mileage can we get out of these events? 3? 4?….

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I’m expecting a dramatic “wag the dog” in the next two to three days Ted. Obama will call Al Gore and ask for a cat-5 Hurricane.

Rovin on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Even if it was just low level flu kids at the IRS doing this (which I don’t believe), who cares? It is the job of the guy at the top to make sure that IRS agents are not running amok with their power. If it was just low level flunkies doing this and Obama had no idea, that is just as bad!!!

bitsy on May 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

This is the reason I will make no political comments on Facebook or even Like a political status that someone else posts. No sense in drawing attention to yourself and risking getting an IRS audit. Drudge has a headline stating that Facebook and even private emails are not safe from FBI surveillance. Why post something on a public site and risk blowback from the government?

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 9:29 AM

You know, I actually limited my political donations last year because I didn’t want the IRS coming after me. I thought I was being overly paranoid at the time, but I figured better to err on the side of caution. Turns out I wasn’t being paranoid at all.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:36 AM

when I caught myself pulling back, concerned that the Obama hacks in both Facebook and the government might target me for harassment because we condemned them..

I wondered how many other SS or SSD pensioners were doing the same?.. when social security is your livelihood, how vulnerable does that make you do you think?

I ended up just plain mad.. and posted what I thought anyway,.. if they decide to take away my pension.. well, I’ll be in good company with Americans who have had… ENOUGH.

There comes a time when all the Obama calls for people to turn in their neighbors for speaking out against him.. against over reaching government, to report them to the democrat party for crying out loud.. and these fascists call it just gathering demographics.. as their little old douchebag lady brigades report you for a letter to the editor.. or even a family conversation, so an O-bot can contact them to “set them straight”

It’s the Cuban, East German Block Watch all over again.. and rank and file democrats just smirk about it.

His communist upbringing is showing through..

mark81150 on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

flu kids flunkies

Silly autocorrect.

bitsy on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

The New York Times’ headline focuses on the real scandal — “I.R.S. Focus on Conservatives Gives G.O.P. an Issue to Seize On”.

Well, if you look in their archives, they thought that “focus” was a good thing back in March 2012. So this “it’s all political” headline is only a modified limited hangout for them.

Also, reading the comments to Douthat’s piece this weekend, their readers think it’s just fine, too.

Jeff Weimer on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

No worries holder will get to the bottom of this (refer to fast and furious)
/

Expect dear leader to use holder won’t touch special prosecutor

cmsinaz on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Begin the impeachment proceedings asap for turning the US government into a Chicago-styled protection racket.

HotAirian on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Oh wow, are we applauding ABC for coming glaringly and irresponsibly too late to this party? ABC, where were you when this stuff was being reported BEFORE the Obaminator’s re-election? Oh yeah, your heads were up your you-know-whats.

stukinIL4now on May 13, 2013 at 9:52 AM

time for a youtube montage of all the times that “tax returns” have been called for over the last few years……

ted c on May 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

IRS targeted conservatives as early as 2010: WSJ; Update: ABC corroborates

You’re getting Warmer…..look a little deeper, still.

I’m quite certain it goes back to February, 2009….

ToddPA on May 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

If not, then it would seem odd that only those applications fielded and scrutinized by the Cincinnati office (Was Ohio a hotbed for new Tea Party groups in 2010?) would draw Congressional attention.

BKeyser on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

It isn’t a case of some or one or a few offices doing this activity, the issue is WRONGDOING BY THE IRS.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Get out of DC now !

Its time for more of the endless campaigning !

Truly, the people’s President.

FlaMurph on May 13, 2013 at 9:53 AM

And these are the people we’re about to trust with a crapload of our personal health information when they start collecting for Obamacare.

29Victor on May 13, 2013 at 9:54 AM

QUICK! Someone figure out a way to blame this on Bush!!!!

UnderstandingisPower on May 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

The libs are snickering as they got away with this and covered up Benghazi to ensure Barack Hussein’s 2012 victory. Shameless.

CW on May 13, 2013 at 9:47 AM

It could backfire on them bigtime though. If Obama’s 2nd term is plagued by scandals, it could make him a lameduck for the last 3 1/2 years of his Presidency, hand the Senate back to the GOP in 2014, do major damage to Hillary’s viability as a Presidential candidate, and undercut the very agency tasked with enforcing his signature piece of legislation.

Now imagine if Romney had been elected in 2012 and presumably the Senate races played out the same with the Dems retaining control. Obamacare couldn’t be repealed. The IRS scandal gets some headlines, but doesn’t harm the Democrat Party as a whole. Benghazi pretty much disappears with the GOP now controlling the White House. And Hillary is set up as the Dems’ best hope at retaking the Presidency in 2016.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Why Cincinnati? Is that where all tax-exempt applications go? If not, then how many could’ve been flagged there?

BKeyser on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

EOs generally come out of Ogeden UT IRS office actually.

t8stlikchkn on May 13, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Just think what you will do when they are making your healthcare decisions.

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

You know, the IRS and our government only work because the populace voluntarily goes along with things like taxation. There is a tipping point where the public will not willingly go along with taxation because the IRS has no credibility. So what would the rat-eared bastard and his party do then?

Lois Lerner is a dead partisan whore walking this morning because the administration has to offer up somebody very quickly.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

If Congress wants to reestablish some of its damn credibility, then level some consequences against these folks who think that they can go up there and lie to their faces. Starting with Eric Holder.

1. Obama’s 2008 campaign web page sported an endorsement from the New Black Panthers. As President, he had Hoder step in & drop charges against the NBPs who were arrested for brandishing weapons & engaging in voter intimidation at a voting location.

2. Holder perpetrated 3 felony counts of perjury before Congress over ‘F&F’ – the Justice Dept REFUSED to do their job/enforce the law & would not charge Holder for his crimes, leaving Congress with their only option – ‘Censuring’ Holder.

3. Members of Congress were found to have engaged in Insider Trading, feigned ignorance that they didn’t know the law applied to them, ridiculously passed a piece of legislation that declared THAT law ‘now’ applies to them; & then recently quietly passes new legislation stating Congress no longer has to report any of its personal financial dealings – ensuring there would be no way to find out if they were engaging in Insider Trading or not. (And these are the guys we are in whome ‘hanging our hat on’ to bolster our confidence in Washington?)

The FACT is the American people have been ‘asleep’ at the wheel’ for decades – like an ostrich with their head in the sand, we have entrusted that people who have so much power over our lives & who have the power to give themselves even more to ‘do the right things / look out for us. We have (or are hopefully beginning to) woken up to find our elected ‘servants of the people’ have elevated themselves to the position of ‘Masters’, no longer accountable to the laws they pass for us, to find they have been looking out for THEMSELVES, and that – like the 4 Americans in Benghazi – we are all expendable for the benefit of their personal/party benefit.

Obama is the worst President, as far as Constitutional / Rule of law violations due to a personal agenda, I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, & his ability to continue to keep his promise to fundamentally change the U.S. has been aided by a Congress hampered by both massive partisanship as well as personal / party greed.

I read where one Congresswoman said she was worried that this story getting out would increase the American people’s distrust in government….Gee, I wounder where she got THAT idea?!

easyt65 on May 13, 2013 at 9:56 AM

Obama AND Cabinet — and it;s looking like most of his ‘workers’, uhh, supporters, really are communists. They are pervasively altering our government toward that method of politic. DoE is engaged in even more egregious activity than the IRS.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

That little game Lerner played isn’t fooling anyone. This is going to get very ugly very quickly. Here’s the question, though — can anyone put any reliance on this Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute this corruption? I think we’re heading into special prosecutor territory.

Eric Holder: “Do you know how that makes my people look?”

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 9:57 AM

IRS targeted conservatives as early as 2010: 1997ish, maybe ’95?

I can’t source and I wouldn’t be surprised if others have already said this upthread, but I definitely remember hearing way back when that Bubba pulled this crap too, and I don’t know why it’s never been mentioned now from either side. I’d have thought for sure Barry’s crew would have brought it up in a typically weaksauce “everybody’s done it” sort of defense.

I’m not sure of the details of the IRS abuse back then. I suppose it would fit the pattern if it were the sort of corrupt Democrat thing Clinton gave us a taste of (yeah, I know, never use the words “thing Clinton gave us a taste of” in sequence like that…), and Barry has brought into overdrive.

Gingotts on May 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

This is a red herring folks. Yes it is a scandal. And yes heads again will roll (pick two flunkies and fire them…that’s how they do it in this administration).

dirtseller on May 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

Actually, what they do is “fire” a couple of flunkies, then re-hire them the next week at the same government agency, but in a different job title, with a higher salary.

This administration is a criminal organization.

AZCoyote on May 13, 2013 at 9:58 AM

If it was just low level flunkies doing this and Obama had no idea, that is just as bad!!!

bitsy on May 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

If a bunch of rogue GS-8s have this kind of autonomy, how many layers of bureaucracy can the IRS eliminate without harm? Might fend off the effects of sequestration.

Happy Nomad on May 13, 2013 at 9:59 AM

So I’m guessing that according to Todd and Brokaw the preferred response is to ignore Benghazi cause it happened a long time ago & doesn’t really matter so we can focus on the IRS story or something…

“In a telling back-and-forth with colleague Tom Brokaw, Todd expressed dismay over the “very weak” White House reaction Friday suggesting the scandal has broader political implications for the Democrats than they may think. “This story has more legs politically in 2014 than Benghazi,” Todd said as Brokaw chimed in, “Welcome to the second term, Mr. President….”

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/05/13/NBC-Todd-On-IRS-Story-Wheres-The-Outrage

Why does one story doesn’t have to be sacrificed for another in terms of investigation or coverage…They both point to a pattern of corruption,deceit and abuse of power at the highest levels of government.

workingclass artist on May 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

That’s what they want. They want you to be so afraid that you will stand down, say nothing, give no money, and, eventually, obey.

Just think what you will do when they are making your healthcare decisions.

‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’

– Edmund Burke

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 9:45 AM

Too bad our Founding Fathers never wrote anything about the right of the citizens to speak publicly. /S

I was drug into Facebook kicking and screaming (by myself), but have found it handy to communicate with friends. Still do not want to publicly leave a record of my views that gets stored in cyberspace. I will, however speak to others about politics on a one to one basis though.

CBP on May 13, 2013 at 10:00 AM

I don’t buy that. This is not the kind of “distraction” the Obama Administration wants right now.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

Wouldn’t surprise me if this coming up now had nothing to do with the Administration and everything to do with Bill and Hillary. Like I said, this takes HILLARY off the front page because she has nothing to do with the IRS. Sure it makes the Administration look even worse then it already did, but do you think the Clintons care about that? They are no longer part of the Administration and remember “Just a few years ago he’d be getting us our drinks.”

dirtseller on May 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM

This story is going to explode. When Democrats are speechless you know something big is going one.

brewcrew67 on May 13, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Ask yourself why the limited hangout? Is this why didn’t they try to cover this up as furiously as they are Benghazi? What more could there be? Possibilities:

-Tax returns of Republicans on the primary ticket for 2012 were leaked to the DNC and Soros-type progressive groups. Did this IRS program have an effect on the 2012 election?
-Trickle-down harrassment; not only the 72 organizations applying for special tax status, but their leaders were targeted for personal audits.
-Membership lists and donor lists of those 72 organizations were leaked to other government and private groups for trickle-down harrassment.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 10:01 AM

Remember the IRS will be enforcing ObamaCare.
You voted Republican? Donated to a conservative cause? Extra scrutiny and confiscating money from you!

albill on May 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM

and the Left and the Media snickered a “Death Panels”…

PatriotRider on May 13, 2013 at 10:03 AM

I’m expecting a dramatic “wag the dog” in the next two to three days Ted. Obama will call Al Gore and ask for a cat-5 Hurricane.

Rovin on May 13, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Snap out of it. This is a wag the dog event, distracting from Hillary and Barack’s bungling of Benghazi.

Just for the record…..who was in charge of the IRS when all of this was going on? Why, none other than well-known tax cheat Timothy Geithner.

“Call your next witness”

“Mr. Timothy Geithner…please take the stand”

BobMbx on May 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

This frankly is a worse scandal politically than Benghazi. The Democrat/media complex can at least attempt to spin or downplay what happened in Libya and the aftermath. There is no spin for this. And even if this never gets linked to Obama, nobody with half a brain will for one second believe this wasn’t a politically-motivated campaign designed to benefit Obama and the Democrats in election years.

Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 9:33 AM

It is, but it’s only worse for Obama. Hillary’s hands will be completely clean and even should Obama be impeached and removed from office, Biden will be there to act as a caretaker until 2016 when Hillary can (presumably) sweep to power. I will say that if this thing really explodes Hillary might be able to escape the consequences of Benghazi if there’s a year-long impeachment against Obama or some other, drawn-out affair.

This is a red herring folks. Yes it is a scandal. And yes heads again will roll (pick two flunkies and fire them…that’s how they do it in this administration).

dirtseller on May 13, 2013 at 9:25 AM

If it ends quickly with the firing of some random fall guys, the Republicans will swivel right back to Benghazi.

Doomberg on May 13, 2013 at 10:04 AM

Are there no honest people in this administration? It all seems to be a big game to them. The tea party wins an election, takes the House, gets Scott Brown elected in Massachusetts and does it fair and square so what does Obama do? He tries to cheat the system.

Republicans don’t do this because most of the government employees are Democrats and, if they tried, they’d go out and blow the whistle. With Democrats, however, it appears that ethics go out the window.

bflat879 on May 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Regardless, the big story here should remain, -are these the type of bureaucrats that should have full access to your healthcare records, including all your bank, investment, and retirement accounts as mandated by Obamacare?

Post-Obamacare, I can see the complete health and financial records of Republican candidates leaked to Media Matters. You know it will happen.

slickwillie2001 on May 13, 2013 at 10:05 AM

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