Selective “incompetence” in IRS scandal

posted at 8:41 am on May 15, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

After the report from the Inspector General dropped yesterday in the IRS scandal, some media outlets seized on the analysis within it that incompetence and poor training led agents to target conservative groups for excessive scrutiny and harassment.  If so, an analysis by USA Today shows that to be a rather selective form of incompetence.  While applications for Tea Party groups and other conservative organizations got held up for years, progressive groups had no such trouble:

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.

That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.

In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.

As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.

Reporter Gregory Korte lists three groups that managed to avoid all of the scrutiny applied by the IRS to check to see whether conservative groups would engage at all in the political process. Needless to say, the IRS’ tax-exempt unit didn’t have the same concerns with these three:

• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to “drive the progressive change.” According to its website, its mission includes “support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people’s interests and make tough choices.” It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.

• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. “It would be fair to say we’re on the progressive end of the spectrum,” said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after “a pretty simple, straightforward process.”

• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. “We’re busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now,” the group’s voice mail said.

Oh, and here’s another, as the Daily Caller pointed out:

Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.

According to the organization’s filings, Lerner approved the foundation’s tax status within a month of filing, an unprecedented timeline that stands in stark contrast to conservative organizations that have been waiting for more than three years, in some cases, for approval.

Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.

The National Legal and Policy Center filed an official complaint with the IRS in May 2011 asking why the foundation was being allowed to solicit tax-deductible contributions when it had not even applied for an IRS determination. In a New York Post article dated May 8, 2011, an officer of the foundation admitted, “We haven’t been able to find someone with the expertise” to apply for tax-exempt status.

Nevertheless, a month later, the Barack H. Obama Foundation had flown through the grueling application process. Lerner granted the organization a 501(c) determination and even gave it a retroactive tax exemption dating back to December 2008.

Well … that seems mighty competent, does it not?

Recall the questions that ABC News discovered that the IRS wanted conservative groups to answer before getting their tax exemption?

  •  “Please provide copies of all your current web pages, including your Blog posts. Please provide copies of all of your newsletters, bulletins, flyers, newsletters or any other media or literature you have disseminated to your members or others. Please provide copies of stories and articles that have been published about you.”
  • “Do your issue-related advocacy communications compare to the positions of candidates or slates of candidates on these issues with your positions? Provide copies of these communications. What percentage do these constitute of your issue-related advocacy communications?”
  • “Apart from your responses to the preceding, estimate the percentage of your time and what percentage of your resources you will devote to activities in the 2012 election cycle, in which you will explicitly or implicitly support or oppose a candidate, candidates or slates of candidates, for public office.”

Either we’re dealing with a highly selective incompetence that just so happened to only impact conservative groups for 27 months, or the IRS deliberately chose to apply that scrutiny on only one side of the aisle.  The odds of the former being true are, needless to say, so astronomical that we’d be better off buying lottery tickets — and assuming the IRS would miss it if we won the jackpot.


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How long can Hot Air go without mentioning the unprecedented decline in the deficit…..

libfreeordie on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

A deficit of $627 billion for the year is awesome?

Perhaps an East Georgia Math professor can help you with basic arithmetic.

sentinelrules on May 15, 2013 at 9:46 AM

That might happen, but I think it depends on how ironclad is the case for impeachment. If too hasty, the House could not only cause civil unrest, but lose the bill in the Senate.

Liam on May 15, 2013 at 9:42 AM

That’s why the House needs a Select Committee established. These piecemeal committee hearings will not get us where we need to be. We need one set of hearings where the criminals administration officials face all issues without the ability to parse the truth depending on the committee.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 9:47 AM

So, I wonder how long it will take my group “Americans for IRS reform” to get tax exempt status?

flstc on May 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Unprecedented? It’s still a lot more than any Bush deficit isn’t it?

Wagthatdog on May 15, 2013 at 9:39 AM

One other thing about the deficit. Remember that infamous hearing where Paul Ryan pressed Tim Geithner for the regime’s plan to lower the deficit and Timmy said they didn’t have one, but didn’t like Ryan’s plan? Well it was acknowledged in that hearing by both Ryan and Geithner that the deficit was on track to be lower in the middle portion of this decade before spiking back up conveniently right as Obama’s 2nd term was scheduled to end.

So there’s nothing “unprecedented” about the decline in the deficit. This is what was forecast. Just like it’s also forecasted to go back up if nothing is done to reign in spending.

Doughboy on May 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM

So, I wonder how long it will take my group “Americans for IRS reform” to get tax exempt status?

flstc on May 15, 2013 at 9:48 AM

I would think you have more problem with the mission statement that “We’re coming out after your jobs.” ;0

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM

These are just a bunch of folks from Cincinnati
-libs

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 8:56 AM

It’s just a coincidence that other IRS offices and investigators, including in Washington DC, are asking the same questions and demanding you provide the same info about your, and your associates’, and your organization’s, (potentially counter-revolutionary) political affiliations, political activities, and political views.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM

How long can Hot Air go without mentioning the unprecedented decline in the deficit…..

libfreeordie on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

OT: LOL. Tax revenues are up because so many people sold off winners in late 2012 before the capital-gains rate went up. Why do you think Al Gore was pressing to close the sale of his network before the end of 2012? This deficit reduction is the result of a short-term revenue blip. Talk to us later in the year.

On topic, this IRS scandal has all kinds of aspects. Conservative groups slammed. Liberal groups–including some bogus group led by Obama’s half-brother–given expeditious handling. Conservative individuals harrassed. All kinds of officials involved. And six or seven senators writing letters to the IRS demanding that conservative groups be harrassed. I really think those senators need to be tarred and feathered. I realize that most of them are in safe blue states, but one is Bennett from Colorado and another is from New Hampshire. How about it, residents of those states? And Franken was in on that letter? That’s outrageous targeting.

BuckeyeSam on May 15, 2013 at 9:53 AM

The problem is not just How these federal agencies were used for partisan political advantage during an election…But also How these agencies circumvented both Congressional Prerogative as outlined in the Constitution and to circumvent the Rule of Law to achieve a partisan objective.

In short the agencies of the executive routinely cut corners to achieve their ends as a matter of Policy.

Totally Machiavellian…And totally Unconstitutional.

Now we all knew this was going on as we have followed the actions of each agency as they occurred all over the country because New Media,local media and occasionally National Media and concerned activists reported each case.

It is now the duty and clear responsibility of Congress to use carefully and authoritatively their constitutional powers to focus on this Abuse of Power(s) within the Executive Branch.

Every appointed head of each of these agencies needs to resign and be subpoened to testify before congress and congress should appoint independent special prosecutors to conduct the investigations of each agency.

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 9:55 AM

libfreeordie on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Troll.

I recall a troll who was banned for deliberately try to steer a thread way away from the OP topic.

IIRC, it tried to make an unrelated thread all about Romney’s religion.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

It’s just a coincidence that other IRS offices and investigators, including in Washington DC, are asking the same questions and demanding you provide the same info about your, and your associates’, and your organization’s, (potentially counter-revolutionary) political affiliations, political activities, and political views.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Yesterday’s WaPo had an article that Lois Lerner was constantly lecturing her staff that they needed to be politically sensitive and not to do anything that they wouldn’t be able to explain at a Congressional hearing.

It’s not a original thought with Lerner but it seems to me that many in the IRS are going have to explain to Congress just why our government harrassed certain groups and curtailed their civil rights, why the IRS leaked documents to some gay marriage group to help them campaign for Obama, and why liberal groups seemingly had no scrutiny for doing the very same things as the groups culled out for harrassment.

Happy Nomad on May 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

I’m glad some of the msdnc anchors are actually reporting the USA today article about libs getting a pass

cmsinaz on May 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

By the way, why is no one asking about Geithner in all of this? He was Secretary of Treasury when most of this monkey business was occurring. I haven’t heard his name mentioned at all.

BuckeyeSam on May 15, 2013 at 10:04 AM

In February 2010, the Champaign Tea Party in Illinois received approval of its tax-exempt status from the IRS in 90 days, no questions asked.

That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.

Coincidentally, Obamacare was rammed down our throats at exactly the same time, in March of 2010. And it was an election year.

What a coincidence!

And no one in the WH had a clue any of this was going on for the past two to three years until Comrade O heard about it on CNN last Friday. Amazing.

farsighted on May 15, 2013 at 10:09 AM

The IG’s report states that many IRS agents are ignorant of Tax Law.

WTF???

What’s next…

The report states many federal lawyers at the DOJ are ignorant of federal laws.

The report states that many FBI agents are ignorant of federal laws and FBI procedures.

The report indicates that many agents in Homeland Security are ignorant of federal laws and departmental procedures.

The report states that many DOD employees are ignorant of federal laws and official pentagon procedures.

The report states that many employees at the State Department are ignorant of federal laws and foreign policies…

ad infinitum BS!…

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:09 AM

“My question in these scandals isn’t who’s going to resign…My question is who’s going to jail?…” – Speaker Boehner

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

After the report from the Inspector General dropped yesterday in the IRS scandal, some media outlets seized on the analysis within it that incompetence and poor training led agents to target conservative groups for excessive scrutiny and harassment.

I sat down and read the whole report light night from cover to cover. If you read the whole thing, it becomes apparent that this claim by the IRS is basically a lie and the report casts doubt on these claims. Furthermore, TIGTA made several recommendations on how to fix the process, two of which the IRS openly refused to implement, both of which would have made the process more transparent, and offered no explanation as to why they wouldn’t implement these recommendations.

Essentially, refusing those recommendations means the IRS can continue to flag Tea Party applications and not disclose the reasons for tying them up.

Doomberg on May 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Most corrupt administation, evah!

GarandFan on May 15, 2013 at 10:20 AM

After the report from the Inspector General dropped yesterday in the IRS scandal, some media outlets seized on the analysis within it that incompetence and poor training led agents to target conservative groups for excessive scrutiny and harassment.

I sat down and read the whole report light night from cover to cover. If you read the whole thing, it becomes apparent that this claim by the IRS is basically a lie and the report casts doubt on these claims. Furthermore, TIGTA made several recommendations on how to fix the process, two of which the IRS openly refused to implement, both of which would have made the process more transparent, and offered no explanation as to why they wouldn’t implement these recommendations.

Essentially, refusing those recommendations means the IRS can continue to flag Tea Party applications and not disclose the reasons for tying them up.

Doomberg on May 15, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Reminds me of the ARB…same Bull Sh*T!

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:21 AM

“My question in these scandals isn’t who’s going to resign…My question is who’s going to jail?…” – Speaker Boehner

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

There’s no way to get IRS employees to talk without threatening jail.

It’s near impossible to fire greedy-government-union employees, and even if you could they’d be rehired in a wink like that GSA jerk in the hot-tub. Credibly threaten them with jail and they will tell us who ordered them to corrupt the system.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

The IG’s report states that many IRS agents are ignorant of Tax Law.

WTF???

And some have even conceded they are ‘bad at math’.

socalcon on May 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

GOP house leadership sucked just now.

Boehner issues a strong concise statement about the scandals mentioning who’s going to jail…but doesn’t elaborate.

Then the others babble about jobs…keystone…

I mean C’mon.

Terrible.

No Focus at all…and this abets the media confusing the citizenry with obfuscation.

*facepalm*

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM

The IG’s report states that many IRS agents are ignorant of Tax Law.

WTF???

And some have even conceded they are ‘bad at math’.

socalcon on May 15, 2013 at 10:25 AM

do these IRS Agents even have HS diplomas…read english?

Sorry…Am I being insensitive

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:30 AM

IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records

The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

petefrt on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.

Prince Malik? Or would that be Sultan?

Akzed on May 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Lois Lerner, the senior IRS official at the center of the decision to target tea party groups for burdensome tax scrutiny, signed paperwork granting tax-exempt status to the Barack H. Obama Foundation, a shady charity headed by the president’s half-brother that operated illegally for years.

Welcome to the Banana Republic.

Fidel and Raoul Castro are impressed.

Midas on May 15, 2013 at 10:32 AM

IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records

The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

petefrt on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

Next election, the IRS will be able to leak the complete health records of our candidate, not just financial records!

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM

So seriously – why hasn’t some enterprising GOP group of folks put forward legislation to replace the IRS with a flat tax?

The timing will *never*… *NEVER* be better.

Midas on May 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

Next election, the IRS will be able to leak the complete health records of our candidate, not just financial records!

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 10:33 AM

But we can be sure Obama’s will forever remain sealed.

Liam on May 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM

OT
But…The symbolism…

“There was a crash landing Sunday at the Duluth International Airport, but it didn’t involve airplanes. Rather, it was two bald eagles, which were fighting in midair when they locked talons. In a rare spectacle of nature, they were unable to disengage in time before crashing to the runway…”

http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/two-bald-eagles-in-air-battle-crash-land-at-airport/

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:35 AM

With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups.

That’s what I told Ezra Klein yesterday afternoon after he started squawking that his was not intentional. I also asked him if he would so easily dismiss the IRS’ explanation if EVERY SINGLE black and Muslim group had been referred to the ‘Special Unit,’ as was EVERY group with ‘Tea Party,’ ‘Patriots,’ and ’9/12′ in their names. Crickets.

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 10:41 AM

petefrt on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

From your link…

“”This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search. IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued.

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

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

So who is this John Doe company…

(Including medical records of all California state judges.)

Blackmailing judges?

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:43 AM

How long can Hot Air go without mentioning the unprecedented decline in the deficit…..

libfreeordie on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Unprecedented decline in the deficit?

Harding and Coolidge not only totally erased Woodrow Wilson’s deficit, they cut the national DEBT by 47.42%.

When Obama manages to do that, get back to me.

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

The problem with press coverage of this is that I doubt few of them have worked at jobs like those of IRS employees. Most jobs like this have a set of rules that you work by everyday to the point of monotony. You required the same stuff from the same people on each and every application. If there is a disturbance in the “force” it gets pushed up the ladder. And disturbance wouldn’t be politics, it would be a lack of standard information. And that would usually be sent back to info provider for clarification. Long story, longer, this is not how normal bureaucracies, work. I guarantee that each of these worker bees has a three ring binder of procedures, not to be deviated from. This is not incompetence, it is willful political chicanery.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Resist We Much on May 15, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Must be all the cash from taxes paid by not letting Conservative groups be non-profits.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM

IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records

The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.
According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

petefrt on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

From the comment thread at the link:

Try doing this with paper records…

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 10:49 AM

petefrt on May 15, 2013 at 10:31 AM

How in the world did this happen, is this Obamacare already?

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Ok, so that means that the people who work for the IRS don’t know how to interpret or enforce the rules and regulations of the IRS even though they are supposed to be trained on these but they sure do know how to persecute citizens for not knowing how to follow the extraordinarily convoluted rules and regulations of the IRS, right?

And we’re putting these incompetents in charge of enforcing Obamacare!

(Why didn’t Boehner say anything about that???)

natasha333 on May 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents . . .

Oh, not to worry. The HHS will turn around and sue the “unnamed HIPAA-covered entity” for failing to properly secure these records. Mark. My. Words.

natasha333 on May 15, 2013 at 10:59 AM

When will TurboTax Tim get called in front of Congress for this?

IRS is under Treasury, after all. This happened on his watch.

Why is Obama trying to protect Geithner?

What did he know and when did he know it, because this has been going on a long time under his watch.

ajacksonian on May 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Obama should have been impeached when the stimulus gave the car companies to the unions over the bondholders disregarding centuries of bankruptcy law, or when dealerships with ties to Republicans were capriciously closed, or when companies and organizations were told they would have to provide abortions and contraceptives in contravention of their religious rights, etc.

If he had been, today there wouldn’t be 4 dead in Libya, multitudes having their 1st amendment rights trampled on, numerous Mexicans dead, or a border agent dead.

Angineer on May 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM

I think the President has confused INCOMPETENCE with obvious COLLUSION!

The Democrat Party of Brown shirt’s have served their masters well indeed!

I don’t think ANYONE will go to jail, be fired or anything else. The examples have already been seen….. Your have rogue agencies so busy redistribution wealth and disobeying rules of law they don’t have time for anything else. There will be NO names given to the faces of evil that are willfully and gleefully attacking the free people of this once great country.

ActinUpinTexas on May 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

You know, speaking for fellow Moron-Studies Professors, this whole government demanding to know what books you read and who you associate with is pretty cool!

libfreeordie on May 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

Fixed, for the reality of the Anti-American garbage doing their best to defend this kind of behavior.

MNHawk on May 15, 2013 at 11:30 AM

This low-level crap is irrelevant.

Think, like a Dem. A NRA member having been found to be the Boston Marathon bomber would have indicated something about the “type of people” involved in the NRA. Same thing is true if Loughner or Lanza had conservative politics.

Numerous libs are waiting chomping at the bit to conduct a guilt-by-association “Conservatism is dangerous” campaign. Only reality keeps delaying them.

Now think if these are simply independent lib partisans using the federal government’s excess of power to their own ends. What does that change?

Obama campaigns for big government. He says ignore the warnings about “tyranny” from a larger government. This scenario effectively prove that government tyranny can proceed from independent actors inside of the government and does not have to be directed from the top. Does it matter that Sejanus’ reign of terror was conducted without full knowledge of Tiberius Caesar?

They fume about J. Edgar Hoover. Did it matter that Hoover wasn’t specifically sanctioned by the individual presidents? Does it matter than Hoover is said to have set himself up a fiefdom within the federal government?

Does it matter than Joe McCarthy wasn’t granted his power by official sources, except by his membership in Senate committees?

Is it a good argument for bigger government–a government that we “all belong to”– that you can say “sometimes bureaucrats go rogue and funnel information to political opposition and hold up equal access to government treatment”?

This is stupid. Short-term, they are trying to get Obama off yet another hook. Long-term they are making a case for the unreliability of government-backing overzealous libs who could grow to have a fiefdom to protect as the government grows.

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Has anyone looked at Valerie Jarrett’s role in any of these scandals…? She runs the White House.

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

And we’re putting these incompetents in charge of enforcing Obamacare!

(Why didn’t Boehner say anything about that???)

natasha333 on May 15, 2013 at 10:57 AM

So it looks like we can read “The Secretary of HHS will decide…” as “Some rogue IRS agents that we really can’t control too well–without a lot more of your tax dollars–will decide…”

…It would be a shame if anything were to happen as a result of rogue IRS agents, wouldn’t it? But the government can protect you from that for just a few extra dollars a year….

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I agree with this historically but does it stand up today with all of the instant communications? The Left has certainly done all it could to vilify the Tea Party based on zero actual incidents of any wrong doing, other than disagreeing with the government. ALL big government, I might add. That’s a lot of rogue acting on implication rather than direction.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

IRS targets columnists…

Headline: Did the White House Try to Get a Conservative Columnist Canned?

According to Dr. Milton Wolf, the answer is “yes.” And he should know, because the columnist was him.

Milton Wolf is a physician practicing in Kansas City, and he’s also President Barack Obama’s second cousin. During the health care debates of 2010, Dr. Wolf began speaking out against the ObamaCare proposal. Because he is an articulate, knowledgeable, passionate conservative, he began getting national attention, appearing on outlets including PJTV and Fox News. He also became a regular columnist for the Washington Times.

During the 5/14/2013 White House press conference, Dr. Wolf tweeted:

The same year the #IRS held up my tax refund for months w/o ever saying why, the WH urged the @WashTimes to drop me.

http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2013/05/15/did-the-white-house-try-to-get-a-conservative-columnist-canned/

workingclass artist on May 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

When liberals start claiming “limited effect”, just remember how they wanted to take a failure in housing finance, a pie the government had too many fingers in already, as an indictment of the entire Free Market system (“Capitalism” to Marxists) itself.

Remember that liberals are never shy about spreading fire to reach the targets they really want to hit.

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Has anyone looked at Valerie Jarrett’s role in any of these scandals…? She runs the White House.

d1carter on May 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM

Check the email servers for cute AKA’s like VDzhugashvili@wh.gov.

slickwillie2001 on May 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

I agree with this historically but does it stand up today with all of the instant communications? The Left has certainly done all it could to vilify the Tea Party based on zero actual incidents of any wrong doing, other than disagreeing with the government. ALL big government, I might add. That’s a lot of rogue acting on implication rather than direction.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Cindy, I agree with that. I’m not saying I buy it that much either. But it can be an effective tactic to punish your opponent with the story they volunteered, rather than spin your wheels on our suspicions.

If an opponent tells you a story, they already have partially bought into the premise, thinking it helps their case. If you simply vent suspicions, there is no signal that crosses the gap–because of the way liberals treat suspicions.

Conspiracy theorists and paranoids have suspicions. Thus, with their effective manipulation of the media, suspicions about “hidden” motives, agendas, events are likened to “conspiracy theories”. They will hand you a tinfoil hat.

Plus the liberal threshold of whether it is reasonable for you to hold a suspicion is whether they view the case as “likely”. Their total filter on what is “likely” is their buy-in to proposed scenarios. You have to get beyond their benefit of doubt. So regardless of whether or not their standards for their own suspicions is that they feel somebody is nasty down deep, what arrives at the other end is dismissible noise.

Even to the people in the middle, unproven accusations can be viewed through the filter of that “partisan bickering” that they strain to avoid. Having once been a self-described “independent”, I know what dodges there are to avoid “taking sides”.

I’ve spent ~20 years arguing on the internet and I’ve never once had to resort to accusing a poster of having multiple handles or of being a “sock-puppet”, or accusing an opponent of concealing something. I’ve never seen anybody win arguments that way either. Those are simply explanations of how the odds were against you.

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The only fun thing about “sock puppets” are to link the writing style to a commenter who was banned for stepping on it in the past. The only true sock puppet I know on Hot Air is a good guy and quite talented.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 12:36 PM

Axeman on May 15, 2013 at 12:20 PM

The other interesting thing is that until Friday, the IRS story was a conspiracy theory. There are times to wear the tin foil hat proudly.

Cindy Munford on May 15, 2013 at 12:58 PM

The concept of “Hostile Environment” comes to mind.
And this ALWAYS goes to the top.

Obama’s ridiculing of conservative groups and causes ( think Alinsky here ) led people of his political persuasion to believe that it was OK to put pressure on those who felt differently than they.

Simply need to look at the time frame of when IRS started it’s practice and compare to what Obama was saying at the time, or shortly before.

If what he was saying at the time gave comfort to those IRS folks to do what they did, he’d be complicit in creating an environment hostile to those opposed to him.

Jabberwock on May 15, 2013 at 9:22 AM

“Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?”

cptacek on May 15, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Lerner also appears to have broken with the norms of tax-exemption approval by granting retroactive tax-exempt status to Malik Obama’s organization.

A child, on her own, decides to have a non-profit organization? Even though we are supposed to be hands off and let her have her privacy?

An incompetent organization (that’s been in existence for about 100 years) would be ham-handed with everyone, not just one side of the debate.

rbj on May 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Malik, as in a polygamist with 12 wives he beats regularly, not Malia, as in Michelle’s daughter.

cptacek on May 15, 2013 at 2:03 PM

In a speech to Latinos Obama said the following:

‘We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us,’

Guess we now know who are Obama’s enemies and who are his friends. So Obama is president of liberals and illegals only.

poxoma on May 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends

ITguy on May 15, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Reposting on this IRS thread…

“… The Internal Revenue Service is now facing a class action lawsuit over allegations that it improperly accessed and stole the health records of some 10 million Americans, including medical records of all California state judges.

According to a report by Courthousenews.com, an unnamed HIPAA-covered entity in California is suing the IRS, alleging that some 60 million medical records from 10 million patients were stolen by 15 IRS agents. The personal health information seized on March 11, 2011, included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment and other medical treatment data.

“This is an action involving the corruption and abuse of power by several Internal Revenue Service agents,” the complaint reads. “No search warrant authorized the seizure of these records; no subpoena authorized the seizure of these records; none of the 10,000,000 Americans were under any kind of known criminal or civil investigation and their medical records had no relevance whatsoever to the IRS search.

IT personnel at the scene, a HIPPA facility warning on the building and the IT portion of the searched premises, and the company executives each warned the IRS agents of these privileged records,” it continued. According to the case, the IRS agents had a search warrant for financial data pertaining to a former employee of the John Doe company, however, “it did not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter,” the complaint read.

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

IRS faces class action lawsuit over theft of 60 million medical records

luckybogey on May 15, 2013 at 2:46 PM

This is nothing new. Doctors didn’t protest Obamacare because it was made clear that Medicare would audit them out of business.The same goes for manufacturing businesses. The EPA has put out of business any company that supported opponents to Obama. Where was the media then? Where were you?

Redglen on May 15, 2013 at 3:02 PM

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