Open thread: Obama to address IRS scandal at 6 p.m. ET; Update: More than 75% of donations at Cincinnati IRS office went to Democrats; Update: Acting IRS commissioner resigns; Update: Was resigning anyway?

posted at 5:47 pm on May 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Here’s all you need to know, really:

While we wait, let’s chew on some of the other claims of IRS bias out there. I’m leery of touting any single group’s allegations but the Thomas More Society has looked at the following and evidently thinks there’s enough evidence to justify taking on the Coalition for Life of Iowa as a client. No one’s alleging an agency-wide pro-choice policy, but this may well illustrate the tremendous power individual IRS agents have to quietly discourage political activity of which they disapprove. The news about tea-party groups being targeted gets headlines because it’s about systematic bias, but how often does the particular bias of an, ahem, “rogue” employee cause delays or denials for disfavored orgs?

In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent “Ms. Richards” told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood. Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved. After a series of letters following a request for more invasive information, Thomas More Society special counsel Sally Wagenmaker sent a letter to the IRS demanding the tax exempt status be issued immediately…

In another similar case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for charitable tax-exempt recognition of Christian Voices for Life, questioning the group’s involvement with “40 Days for Life” and “Life Chain” events. The Fort Bend County, Texas, organization was subjected to repeated and lengthy unconstitutional requests for information about the viewpoint and content of its educational communications, volunteer prayer vigils, and other protected activities.

Two cases doesn’t prove a “policy” but it’s a start. More on this, please. Meanwhile, here’s a pro tip from a former Republican National Committee staffer: If you change the name of your organization to something that sounds more liberal, it might just speed up your approval time. Go figure:

He submitted the paperwork to the IRS in July 2011 for a news site called Media Trackers, which calls itself a “non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government.” Although the site has investigated Republicans like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Gov. Rick Scott, the site’s organizers are unapologetically conservative…

When September 2012 arrived with still no word from the IRS, Ryun determined that Media Trackers would likely never obtain standalone non-profit status, and he tried a new approach: Starting over. He applied for permanent non-profit status for a separate group called Greenhouse Solutions, a pre-existing organization that was reaching the end of its determination period.

The IRS approved Greenhouse Solutions’ request for non-profit status in three weeks…

In December 2012, Ryun simply made Media Trackers a project of Greenhouse Solutions and withdrew the Media Trackers application.

If you’re planning to apply for 501(c)(4) status for your own group, replace “tea party” or “patriot” with “occupy” and see how you do. It might spare you from having to submit the names of children your group is trying to help. Good lord.

Update: Tim Carney looks at the donations records for IRS employees in Cincinnati and finds a lesson about big government. Whether or not the White House was handing down directives, when federal power is as broad as it is now, partisan abuse by cogs in the state’s machinery is inevitable. Smoking gun?

In the past three election cycles, the Center for Responsive Politics’ database shows about $474,000 in political donations by individuals listing “IRS” or “Internal Revenue Service” as their employer.

This money heavily favors Democrats: $247,000 to $145,000, with the rest going to political action committees. (Oddly, half of those GOP donations come from only two IRS employees, one in Houston and one in Annandale, Va.)

IRS employees also gave $67,000 to the PAC of the National Treasury Employees Union, which in turn gave more than 96 percent of its contributions to Democrats. Add the PAC cash to the individual donations and IRS employees favor Democrats 2-to-1.

The Cincinnati office where the political targeting took place is much more partisan, judging by FEC filings. More than 75 percent of the campaign contributions from that office in the past three elections went to Democrats. In 2012, every donation traceable to employees at that office went to either President Obama or liberal Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

As someone noted on Twitter in response to Carney’s post, if you’ve made your career working in government — especially at the IRS — you have a heavy political interest in protecting the party of big government.

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS and a man who’s known for a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out. Worth noting, though: Miller wasn’t commissioner when most of the targeting occurred. That was Doug Shulman, who left in November.

Update: So the Miller resignation effectively meant nothing.

‘Lew took the first step by requesting and accepting the resignation of the acting director of the IRS,’ Obama said.

‘It’s important,’ he added, ‘to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward.’

But in an email to IRS employees, Miller claimed he would only be leaving next month because his assignment would be over.

‘It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June,’ Miller wrote. ‘This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation’s tax agency.’


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The Swine of the Land warned the congress to not make it “politica”.

He is a criminal pig in charge.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

This is not a political event…LOL.

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

by the time I got the livestream open, it was done…..

not that I missed anything but shizzzzat…dude….?

ted c on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

So in a nutshell:

“This sucks. We’ll fix it. Peace out, B*****S!”

Dunedainn on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

A short speech, so he can’t incriminate himself.

Expect Obama to be walking around Marine One a lot, cupping his ear and pretending not to be able to hear reporters.

portlandon on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

“Mister LaForge, reroute emergency power through main deflector to strengthen bull$hit shields. Engage!”

“Aye, Captain!”

Dunedainn on May 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

Did LaForge say “Aye Captain”?

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

wheres the outrage like you showed towards those gop strawmen…

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

His pants actually caught on fire, that was awesome!

JustTruth101 on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

“Meaningless” — Krauthammer

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:25 PM

He bailed on what he was supposed to say, folks.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Steven Miller gone. “The wheels on the bus go ’round and ’round”

Krauthammer calls it a “holding operation”…

Grace_is_sufficient on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

“we’re going to make sure there’s no ambiguity in how these laws are enforced…”

he’s talking about the IRS. Add Obamacare to their list and demand no ambiguity? that’s rich!

DanMan on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

We got a lot people to bring to justice for a lot of things…

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I’m listening on the radio. Is his nose growing?

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Not yet, but his pants are fire-resistant I ‘m sure
:O

burrata on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

lmfao 20 minutes late to speak for five minutes and takes no questions. unbelievable. thanks 50.8%ers!

tom daschle concerned on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

pop smoke

ted c on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Well, I feel better don’t you?

He finally gave the American people the reacharound we deserved after the bending over.

Phoenix7 on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Dear Leader is still not sure what exactly happened…LOL.

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Obowma’s on it…

… Everyone can relax.

Seven Percent Solution on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

A lot fewer Is and Mes than most of his speeches.

Wigglesworth on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Wow. I’m still ticked off that the only person he’s seen fit to fire is a guy who wasn’t even in charge when this was going on.

This is the most transparent fall-taking I’ve ever seen. Nobody going to buy this.

KingGold on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

well, there ……

thats how you get in front of a story folks…..either that or in front of your own bus….

ted c on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

The bandaid ain’t a tourniquet.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Committee Chairman: ‘Yes,’ I Was Lied To by IRS

Representative Dave Camp, chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, charged top IRS officials, including former commissioner Doug Shulman, of lying to Congress over the targeting of tea-party groups.

“They knew this was going on and responded in writing to the committee that it was not,” said Camp in an interview at the Capitol. He also said “yes” when I asked him whether he felt that Shulman and others had lied.

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Did LaForge say “Aye Captain”?

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:26 PM

All the time.

Dunedainn on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

“The good news is that it is fixable”

Unlike Benghazi.

can_con on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Was that a quickie?

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

This makes no sense. His handlers wouldn’t set this up for a non event. I think he decided not to go through with whatever they planned.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

This was a good speech. What do you conservatives want,the status quo?

terrye

xblade on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

I have just recused myself from all things IRS…

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

33 congressional committees are now busy with scandals.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Lie, obfuscate, and deflect. Rinse and repeat.

The Team Obama crisis strategy, in a nutshell.

TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Dear Leader is still not sure what exactly happened…LOL.

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

He’ll find out…….. in tomorrow’s newspapers !

burrata on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

only news is that he will take questions tomorrow

means 1 or 2

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Aw, I’m sure Democratic leanings in the IRS are just a coincidence! Nothing to see here. Honest!

GarandFan on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

As expected. Playing defense. Yawn!

tommy71 on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

need special consul on this one…

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Resigning a job? BS.
what I want to know…
Who is going to jail?

marybel on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Smoking gun?

Really? Come on, now, Allah. You know it’s that way or worse at every IRS office in the country. Next you’re going to point out that they think unions are the end-all be-all of the American workplace.

MadisonConservative on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

“We’re making excremental progress at finding the rogues in the IRS. We have to find someone who knows absolutely nothing so we are sure they won’t turn ‘whistle-berry’ on us.”

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

So, what commissioner is gone ?
IRS commish ?

pambi on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

You can’t tell me Obama hasn’t smoked a pack of cigarettes this week.

Ashtrays are BACK at the White House.

They keep finding cigarette butts in the rose garden & cigarette burns in the Resolute Desk.

portlandon on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

King Obama the Turd

FloatingRock on May 15, 2013 at 6:29 PM

That Benghazi thing must be really bad…

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Wow. Short direct answers from a politician? That can’t be good, for someone. Equivocation is an art form with them.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

wolfie excited, nothing to pin on dear leader

re emails

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commission of the IRS and a man who’s known for more than a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

Aaaand just as I finish posting…you slap me with this. Touche.

MadisonConservative on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Waiting for the announcement from CAP that they’ve hired former acting commissioner of the IRS, Steven Miller…

BKeyser on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Dang! How much weight did Judge Napolitano lose?

Grace_is_sufficient on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Firings and resignations are not enough. Jail only.

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS and a man who’s known for more than a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

There’s only one resignation that’s going to make this right, and it sure as hell ain’t that guy’s.

KingGold on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

I think the 20 minute delay came from them not being able to get their talking points in order. He’s hoping he can come up with some talking point before the press briefing tomorrow. He had to come out and make a statement after announcing it to the press.

midgeorgian on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Wow, did he sound stern and authoritative. /

scalleywag on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

these are selected pages
-issa

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:30 PM

Does the State Run Media really think they are going to release emails that incriminate Dear Leader or anyone in the White House?

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS and a man who’s known for more than a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

bullsh!t. He’ll get reassigned.

ted c on May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commission of the IRS and a man who’s known for more than a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

So effing what?

Where are the criminal charges?

tetriskid on May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

wolfie wants to focus on issa exchange with holder..he was furious at you (issa)

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

@portlandon Bullseye. You have no idea how embarassing that is, in a mysterious way. :-)

tommy71 on May 15, 2013 at 6:32 PM

out means taking a 0.003% pay cut, getting to spend more time with his family and having to move his office a block away from where he is right now.

ted c on May 15, 2013 at 6:32 PM

NBC didn’t interrupt my local news to cover it…

OmahaConservative on May 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commission of the IRS and a man who’s known for more than a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

“This would have been all OK if the Republicans hadn’t obstructed his appointment.” CBS reporterette, or Media Matters Staffer, or Valerie Jarret. First two are only nom de html.

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

OT but Rhodes and Tommy Vietor’s fingerprints are all over the Benghazi emails dated 9/14 and later.

Guess Rhodes fiction degree came in handy afterall.

wyntre9 on May 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

My quick tip to maintaining santity:

Stop watching or listening to any Obama statement or speech when his resignation announcement fails to come within the first 30 seconds.

TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

NBC didn’t interrupt my local news to cover it…

OmahaConservative on May 15, 2013 at 6:33 PM

I hope there’s nothing incriminating in their phone records.

KingGold on May 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

So effing what?

Where are the criminal charges?

tetriskid on May 15, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Perps were Democrats.

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I hope there’s nothing incriminating in their phone records.

KingGold on May 15, 2013 at 6:34 PM

Actually, strike that. I hope there’s volumes of incriminating evidence in NBC’s phone records. Because screw NBC.

KingGold on May 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

All I could hear when the President was speaking were the words of Woody Allen in Bananas: “It’s a travesty of a mockery of a sham of a mockery of a travesty of two mockeries of a sham!”

DarthBrooks on May 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

I think I can hear a couple of bus engines warming up !

Sandybourne on May 15, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Now, you rat-eared bastard, what about the EPA’s same discriminatory actions?

TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

No written records for recusal of the Attorney General of the US..? WTH?

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Why the heck did Obama fire this guy? This is the part of Obama that pisses me off.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

So the 2 rogues get to stay ?

burrata on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

This is a classic, for the times.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Firing the head of the IRS isn’t going to work, Zero. Nobody believes he acted without authorization from you.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Why the heck did Obama fire this guy? This is the part of Obama that pisses me off.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Me too. He should take himself to jail.

So, HAL, aside from all the TEA parties to be audited, when should they be lined up and shot, for being constitutional patriots?

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Now, you rat-eared bastard, what about the EPA’s same discriminatory actions?
TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

As usual, until Obama fires every single government employee, the tea-billies won’t rest.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Now, you rat-eared bastard, what about the EPA’s same discriminatory actions?

TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:36 PM

X 10,000. Press? Crickets.

American public? What’s the EPA? My high school civics teacher didn’t show us that, and the globe is warming by the way.

oldroy on May 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Why the heck did Obama fire this guy? This is the part of Obama that pisses me off.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

He’s playing Nixon on TV.

dogsoldier on May 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

HAL wants to keep the crooks where they are.

After all, its only the right they are working hard to destroy.

cozmo on May 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Was that a quickie?

Fallon on May 15, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Where is lorien when you need his expertise ?

burrata on May 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM

He’s really feeling this. Look at that top lip. He didn’t even have time to shave today.

Capitalist Hog on May 15, 2013 at 6:41 PM

This was a good speech. What do you conservatives want,the status quo?

terrye

‘Words, just words.’

- Barack Obama

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Obama redeemed Nixon, 40 years, to the week.

Obama did more for the TEA party than they ever could.

Congratulations America!

Obama is the “smartest president, evahhhh”. His minions want you to think that he’s also the Three Monkeys of Oblivion. Stole this from VorDaj.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:42 PM

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

You were so happy on November 6 & January 21, weren’t you.

Now…you need a waahmbulance!

22044 on May 15, 2013 at 6:43 PM

“That was Doug Shulman, who left in November.”

Hey, he got his job done by then and it was time to bail.

Schulman should be called on the carpet after the fact and if nothing else, be subject to a Contempt of Congress citation, and if successful, fined and jailed for the maximum $5k and 1 year in jail, IIRC.

Dusty on May 15, 2013 at 6:45 PM

Update: The first head rolls: O announces that Steve Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS and a man who’s known for a year about the agency’s targeting of conservatives, is out.

That’s BS – HE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL!!

HondaV65 on May 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

“We are going to conduct an investigation.”

That should be the democrats’ campaign slogan.

franksalterego on May 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

As usual, until Obama fires every single government employee, the tea-billies won’t rest.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:39 PM

First, thanks for the compliment. Second, you’re right, but it wouldn’t really be necessary to fire all government employees if the first one he fires is himself.

TXUS on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I can hear the sound of golden parachutes unfurling all around me.

BeachBum on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

That’s BS – HE NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL!!

HondaV65 on May 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM

The one you brung needs to go there. But, first he needs to destroy you and all who helped, from all sides.

What a disgust to the land and the world he is.

Schadenfreude on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Midnight toker fires midnight toker.

Mark1971 on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Earlier today on this site or Ace, someone linked to examples of Putin punishing his political enemies with trumped up charges stemming from their version of the IRS. Does anyone know which article that’s from or where the links are?

It’s referencing the billionaire political opponent that Putin had thrown in jail and they keep adding jail time onto his sentence with new, trumped up charges.

njrob on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

This guy is getting toxic to his own party now.

DanMan on May 15, 2013 at 6:47 PM

Why the heck did Obama fire this guy? This is the part of Obama that pisses me off.

HotAirLib on May 15, 2013 at 6:37 PM

You just don’t get it, do you?

The IRS has violated Federal law and the civil rights of Americans. Mr Miller is going to be named in a civil rights suit.

You and your ilk’s cries for ‘fairness’ and ‘a level playing field’ are nothing but BULLSHIT.

You are also part of a very small minority of Americans…

* 57% Want IRS Offenders Jailed or Fired

* Just 16% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the IRS investigations of these groups were a coincidence

* 57% think the investigations were politically motivated

* 55% think it is at least somewhat likely that President Obama or his top aides were aware that Tea Party and other conservative groups were targeted by the IRS

* Only 7% of voters believe no disciplinary action should be taken against the IRS employees involved in the investigations

If I were you, I’d stop applauding or trying to make excuses and start condemning the behaviour because the American people are not buying it. Such is only making the MAJORITY of Americans believe that Obama and/or his top aides were behind it.

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

THE GUY WHO WAS JUST FIRED HAD ZERO TO DO WITH WHAT HAPPENED AT THE IRS. HE HAD ONLY BEEN THERE SINCE NOV. 2012.

THIS IS A SHAM.

tetriskid on May 15, 2013 at 6:48 PM

This was simply to provide cover for Carney-boy in WH Press Corps (pronounced “corpse”):

Carney: “I believe the President answered that in his statement. Next question?”

Which they’ll dutifully skip along and ask.

de rigueur on May 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Laws were broken…

… When are the charges going to be filed?

Seven Percent Solution on May 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

conduct an investigation= nothing to see here move along…

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 6:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3 4 5