Video: Did Lerner and Treasury attempt to secretly change rules to target conservatives?

posted at 1:41 pm on February 6, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama’s insistence that the IRS scandal of targeting conservative political groups contained “not even a smidgen” of corruption may get tested this week, as new information comes out about why Lois Lerner may have taken the Fifth in a Congressional hearing. According to a memo released by the House Ways and Means Committee, Lerner worked secretly with Treasury to create new 501(c)(4) rules that would have made such targeting even easier — without letting the public know about it. Fox News reported this morning that the committee plans to take this matter up pronto, while the panel’s Democrats object to the line of inquiry:


The Daily Caller had the story late yesterday:

The Obama administration’s Treasury Department and former IRS official Lois Lerner conspired to draft new 501(c)(4) regulations to restrict the activity of conservative groups in a way that would not be disclosed publicly, according to the House Committee on Ways and Means.

The Treasury Department and Lerner started devising the new rules “off-plan,” meaning that their plans would not be published on the public schedule. They planned the new rules in 2012, while the IRS targeting of conservative groups was in full swing, and not after the scandal broke in order to clarify regulations as the administration has suggested. …

The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.

“Don’t know who in your organizations is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off -plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting…,” Treasury official Ruth Madrigal wrote in a June 14, 2012 email to Lerner and others obtained by Ways and Means and provided to The Daily Caller.

The Wall Street Journal has more, and notes that the IRS and Treasury hadn’t tried changing the 501(c)(4) rules in more than 50 years before Lerner tried doing it secretly (via Rick Moran at the American Thinker):

House committees are still digging into the IRS political targeting scandal, and based on a hearing Wednesday there’s more to learn. The day produced more evidence blowing apart President Obama’s claims that there was “not even a smidgen of corruption” or political motivation in the IRS handling of groups applying for tax-exempt status. …

The email cites a blog post about the political activity of tax-exempt 501(c)(4) groups and reads: “Don’t know who in your organizations [sic] is keeping tabs on c4s, but since we mentioned potentially addressing them (off-plan) in 2013, I’ve got my radar up and this seemed interesting.”

Interesting for sure. The IRS typically puts out a public schedule of coming regulations, and Mr. Camp noted that in this case “off-plan” appears to mean “hidden from the public.” He added that committee interviews with IRS officials have found that the new 2013 rules were in the works as early as 2011, meaning the Administration has “fabricated the rationale” for this new regulation.

Mr. Camp added that everything his committee has discovered contradicts the White House argument that the IRS scandal was caused by legal “confusion.” The current rules governing 501(c)(4)s have existed, unchanged, since 1959. Prior to 2010 the IRS processed and approved tax-exempt applications in fewer than three months with no apparent befuddlement.

Why the sudden interest in changing a regulation that had been in place for more than 50 years? Better yet, why the need to do so in secret?

Fox News had more on these smidgens last night, too:

This goes way beyond “boneheaded decisions” by a few low-level employees.


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Slois Lerner needs some jail time.

Flange on February 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

Why bother to change them in secret? The Press, the courts, and Congress aren’t doing anything to stop them when they’re going through channels to do the same thing.

Socratease on February 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

People don’t plead the 5th if they did nothing illegal.

Left_is_Wrong on February 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Fox News had more on these smidgens last night, too:

Of course they did. A Fake Scandal from Faux News.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Libs love Due Process, except when they don’t. Like having to give notice and other inconvenient steps to enacting their agenda.

JFletch on February 6, 2014 at 1:48 PM

This isn’t really surprising. This is just deeper down the rabbit hole, and I’m sure we haven’t even gone halfway yet.

Naga_Jolokia on February 6, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Of course they did. A Fake Scandal from Faux News.

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

You forgot your sarc tag…

sandee on February 6, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Keep the hearings going.

nobama1267 on February 6, 2014 at 1:50 PM

The rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Corrupt to the core.

rbj on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

This goes way beyond “boneheaded decisions” by a few low-level employees.

Of course it does.

That’s why the Democrats on the committee are objecting to the line of inquiry.

That’s why the DoJ isn’t even trying to realistically fake running their investigation – as Rep Trey Gowdy noted in today’s testimony

“How can the president say there’s not a smidgen of criminality when Lois Lerner invoked the Fifth Amendment and 41 witnesses haven’t been interviewed including the two that are here right now?”

It’s why Lois Lerner took the 5th – and why so many have embraced the progressive omerta in order to protect not only senior IRS officials over their abuses of power, but the links of these initiatives to the White House (Connections between Lerner, IRS Chief Counsel and WH Counsel office, no details re interim IRS head’s 157 visits to the WH during the time of the crackdown).

Everything we’ve seen at this point is pointing to an abuse of power / cover-up that exceeds those of Nixon re: Watergate. If that wasn’t the case, one would think it would be easy for the most open and transparent Administration ever to answer all of these questions openly and transparently.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Not a smidgeon!

rjoco1 on February 6, 2014 at 1:53 PM

We have no laws anymore, just kings.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 1:54 PM

This goes way beyond “boneheaded decisions” by a few low-level employees.

I’m beginning to get suspicious about the IRS’s motives here.

Happy Nomad on February 6, 2014 at 1:54 PM

Darryl Issa will get to the bottom of all of this.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Well, this certainly restores my faith in Washington bureaucrats. I don’t know why I’ve ever thought Obamacare would be anything less than a success.

Chris of Rights on February 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I can’t believe Bill O’Reilly and Fox were so desperate for a “scandal” that they would hack into the Treasury and IRS and create fake emails from all of these honest, hard working government officials…just to keep their fake news story going. /sarc

nextgen_repub on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Darryl Issa will get to the bottom of all of this.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Congress will hold the Attorney General in contempt. That’ll show ‘em.

Chris of Rights on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

My maiden comment!

Immigrant_in_CA on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

No one will ever be held to account for this. Eric Holder’s Justice Department will never investigate, let alone prosecute this.

The only solution is for Congress to either dissolve the IRS, or Defund it until justice is done. Or both. I’m not picky.

Iblis on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Yep, the timing isn’t suspicious at all. Just a quiet, under the radar attempt to change rules that have been in place for half a century right before an election.

WitchDoctor on February 6, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Video: Did Lerner and Treasury attempt to secretly change rules to target conservatives?

No she didn’t, that’s just smidgen English..

Will Barack the illegitimate also claim to not have known about this?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 1:59 PM

Secret rules? How Soviet of them.

29Victor on February 6, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Why do it hidden from public view? Off plan? Why would they want to limit public knowledge of tightening up the parameters for all groups?

butch on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

A prediction: none of these liars will suffer any consequences. Nevermind jail for those using the apparatus of state against their political enemies; they won’t even lose the pension funded by us unpeople.

I hope I’m wrong, but recent events don’t fill me with much hope.

Boomslang Joe on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Right. And that’s why the email said “off plan” and Lerner took the 5th. Do you need more cookies before mama tell you another fairy tale?

Walter L. Newton on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Why is the IRS regulating political activity?

And don’t you see a tinsy winsey little conflict of interest with Obama’s Internal Revenue Stasi controlling free-speech?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

WitchDoctor on February 6, 2014 at 1:58 PM
butch on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Walter L. Newton on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

LOL, you’re talking to a wall. Save your keystrokes, verbalduece has no moral compass. No sense of right or wrong. Everything obama does is cool with the duece.

HumpBot Salvation on February 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Right. And that’s why the email said “off plan” and Lerner took the 5th. Do you need more cookies before mama tell you another fairy tale?

Walter L. Newton on February 6, 2014 at 2:01 PM

What’s the old saw when the national socialist left wants to destroy our privacy even more:

If you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about.

Makes you wonder why they wanted to keep that under wraps, don’t you?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Darryl Issa will get to the bottom of all of this.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Congress will hold the Attorney General in contempt. That’ll show ‘em.

Chris of Rights on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Strongly worded letter to follow.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/05/congressmen-ask-holder-if-obama-is-receiving-updates-on-irs-probe/

partsnlabor on February 6, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Aren’t they still trying to change 501(c)(4) regulations?

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Aren’t they still trying to change 501(c)(4) regulations?

Fallon on February 6, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Schumer is pushing it hard.

butch on February 6, 2014 at 2:09 PM

To end the abuse of these IRS regulations by the IRS, the federal government in general, politicians, and the groups that register under these regulations, we need to end the tax deduction for political groups, and end federal grants to politicians for campaigns.

Joseph OHenry on February 6, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Slois Lerner needs some jail time.

Flange on February 6, 2014 at 1:43 PM

… and to lose her pension.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 2:13 PM

The “pups” are following the Top Dog’s example. Time to get a “Lead” dog in there and retrain them the “right” way.

31giddyup on February 6, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Wait! You mean Obama lied AGAIN!?!

philw1776 on February 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM

To be honest, a few conservative groups may or may not have been targeted, but either way, we’re not really worried about this one. When the majority of Americans start hearing words such as, “House Ways and Means Committee” and “501(c)(4) rules” they’ll immediately tune out and just assumes it’s “politics as usual”.

The small percentage of Americans who actually understand the potential seriousness of this issue don’t vote for our side anyway…so no real damage.

Frank Lib on February 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM

Darryl Issa will get to the bottom of all of this.

PrettyMooch on February 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Darryl Issa couldn’t name the home team is the Cubs were playing the Padres in San Diego.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 2:17 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Why is the IRS regulating political activity?

And don’t you see a tinsy winsey little conflict of interest with Obama’s Internal Revenue Stasi controlling free-speech?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

They shouldn’t do that.
And it hasn’t been proven that they do.
I understand you believe it to be true.

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Left_is_Wrong on February 6, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Not necessarily–if this administration wanted to put me under oath for anything, you can bet I would take the Fifth if they asked if my eyes are blue.

DrMagnolias on February 6, 2014 at 2:19 PM

Wait! You mean Obama lied AGAIN!?!

philw1776 on February 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM

The word “again” assumes he stopped. Obama’s Presidency has been one big continuous lie,

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 2:20 PM

The fact that no FBI agent has interviewed a single individual or representative from any of the groups is, to my mind, proof positive that there has been direction given from a very high place to slow walk this indefinitely. I believe this program began at the direction of Obama and continues to this day with his implied approval. Unless they can get an IRS employee to flip with an immunity offer, I don’t see us finding out what truly happened. Just like when they get someone to flip on the Mob, start at the bottom and work your way up the ladder. The media has no interest in this story because they know once they start looking, they will not like what they find. No mainstream reporter wants to be this generation’s Woodward or Bernstein.

rmkdbq on February 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

My maiden comment!

Immigrant_in_CA on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

It only will hurt a little the first time.It’s the second one when you start to enjoy.

docflash on February 6, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Well lois is a true little soldier, anything for her ideology and masters

disguted by the elites on February 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaloon on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Imagine this, Cultist!

It’s a pdf copy of the letter Chuckles Schumer sent to the IRS Commissioner about 2 years ago, and it’s signed by 8 Democrats. All asked the IRS to go after specific targets.

Notice it was also signed by “Senator” Al Franken, who knows a thing or three about election fraud and stolen elections.

F-

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The goal is to wrap up the time and money of Obama’s opponents so that they are less effective. If Media Matters can have this IRS designation, and it does, than so can any Tea Party.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Darryl Issa couldn’t name the home team isf the Cubs were playing the Padres White Sox in San Diego Chicago.

bw222 on February 6, 2014 at 2:17 PM

affenhauer on February 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Imagine this, Cultist!

It’s a pdf copy of the letter Chuckles Schumer sent to the IRS Commissioner about 2 years ago, and it’s signed by 8 Democrats. All asked the IRS to go after specific targets.

Notice it was also signed by “Senator” Al Franken, who knows a thing or three about election fraud and stolen elections.

F-

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Racist.

bigmacdaddy on February 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

And it hasn’t been proven that they do.
I
verbaloon on February 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

LOL! Even when we do provide credible and concrete evidence of proof of your Cult Leader’s War against America, you simply put your fingers in your empty skull and pretend that said evidence never existed. Nice little planet you live on!

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

The small percentage of Americans who actually understand the potential seriousness of this issue don’t vote for our side anyway…so no real damage.

Frank Lib on February 6, 2014 at 2:16 PM

These would be the taxpaying people who are concerned about our fiscal mess and electing congresscritters to get us out of it. I suspect they have more than a passing interest in how the IRS operates and there may be more than you think. Otherwise the IRS wouldn’t be trying to shut them up.

butch on February 6, 2014 at 2:25 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Why is the IRS regulating political activity?

And don’t you see a tinsy winsey little conflict of interest with Obama’s Internal Revenue Stasi controlling free-speech?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:03 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

They over whelming targeted Barack the illegitimate’s political enemies.

That’s the Reality of the situation – they already admitted as such last year.

Do you always deny reality?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Why aren’t these people in jail?

giorgio111 on February 6, 2014 at 2:31 PM

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The goal is to wrap up the time and money of Obama’s opponents so that they are less effective. If Media Matters can have this IRS designation, and it does, than so can any Tea Party.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2014 at 2:24 PM

In effect they were suppressing Barack the illegitimate’s political enemies by forcing them to jump through extraordinary hoops just to operate in the political realm.

Those on the national socialist left can pretend that those groups weren’t suppressed, but that’s like saying that Stalin never killed people in the gulags – he just sent them to Siberia and it was the cold and starvation that killed them.

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

They shouldn’t do that.
And it hasn’t been proven that they do.
I understand you believe it to be true.

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Of course they do it. By law. Structually, it stinks. What in hell does tax collection have to do with deciding who is or isn’t qualified to have political voice, if not to apply leverage?

butch on February 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

If Boehner and Issa don’t call for one, I will begin to believe they are part of the obstruction.

h a p f a t on February 6, 2014 at 2:35 PM

Do you always deny reality?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Ummmm…that’s a rhetorical question, right?

bigmacdaddy on February 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Do you always deny reality?

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Ummmm…that’s a rhetorical question, right?

bigmacdaddy on February 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

Yes, admittedly it kind of is, knowing the national socialist left as I do.

I really don’t think they could move ‘forward’ with their ideology if they knew of the organized evil of it’s past.

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

She did the exact same this to the Christian Coalition when she worked FEC. It took them years to finally get to court and it was thrown out but it put them on hold and cost them some big buck. The woman has a history and it’s effective. I don’t know if it is illegal but then it doesn’t have to be if it achieves its goal. She is unethical.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

She did the exact same this thing to the Christian Coalition when she worked FEC.

For the new folks, I’m sorry, I am, bar none, the worst proof reader alive.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2014 at 2:44 PM

I really don’t think they could move ‘forward’ with their ideology if they knew of the organized evil of it’s past.

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

You’re assuming they care about the evil of its past.

¡­Sí, se puede!

bigmacdaddy on February 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaloon on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Hmm, perhaps…

…except that the evidence and information known doesn’t support your effort to spin this.

The IRS Conservative Targeting Scandal involved:

At least 292 conservative groups
At least 5 pro-Israel groups
Constitutional groups
Groups that criticized Obama administration
At least two pro-life groups
An 83 year-old Nazi concentration camp survivor
A 180 year-old Baptist paper
A Texas voting-rights group
A Hollywood conservative group was targeted and harassed
Conservative activists and businesses
At least one conservative Hispanic group
IRS continued to target groups even after the scandal was exposed

The Obama IRS gave preferential treatment to liberal groups during the same period.

Or, as noted by the IRS Inspector General while testifying under oath last June…

The IRS inspector general said this week that while some liberal groups were given extra scrutiny by the tax agency, they were not subjected to the same invasive queries as tea party groups — a finding that seems to confirm a political bias was at play.

In a letter sent late Wednesday and released Thursday, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George said that just 30 percent of groups with the word “progressive” in their name were put through special scrutiny for tax-exempt applications, but 100 percent of groups with “tea party,” “patriot” or “9/12” in their name were subjected to invasive questioning.

“TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny — specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report. From our audit work, we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 time frame we audited,” Mr. George said.

That finding contradicts claims by congressional Democrats who said liberal groups were targeted too — and, they argue, that suggests the scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service didn’t have a political bias.

Hours after the letter was released, acting IRS chief Daniel Werfel said that while an initial investigation has found no evidence of bias or political motivation, he didn’t disagree with the auditor’s conclusions.

And before one of the trolls decides to move the goalposts to focus on the “30 percent of groups with the word “progressive” in their name were put through special scrutiny for tax-exempt applications” as opposed to the 100 percent of conservative groups, let’s not forget the fact that the progressive groups received expedited / preferential treatment and approvals without the delays and invasive questions posed towards conservative groups.


F-

Del Dolemonte on February 6, 2014 at 2:22 PM

Exactly.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

If this occurred in a f***ing vacuum, nothing.

But it didn’t occur in a f***ing vacuum, did it?

It occurred in the midst of a corrupt and illegal abuse of IRS power by a cadre of criminals in the White House directed at their political opponents during a presidential election campaign, didn’t it? What makes you think we will just ignore those circumstances, you idiot?

I don’t usually waste my time on you, but since there are a bunch of noobs around I decided to make sure no one confuses silence with assent in the face of your deceitful and moronic BS.

novaculus on February 6, 2014 at 2:55 PM

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 2:32 PM

She did the exact same t thing to the Christian Coalition when she worked FEC. It took them years to finally get to court and it was thrown out but it put them on hold and cost them some big buck. The woman has a history and it’s effective. I don’t know if it is illegal but then it doesn’t have to be if it achieves its goal. She is unethical.

Cindy Munford on February 6, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Yes, that is exactly what I mean, they don’t directly suppress the opposition’s voters but the end effect is the same – skirting the law all the time.

This proves the adage that

”Freedom is never lost all at once,” Edmund Burke.

Were this to have taken place by itself 10 – 15 years ago, their would have been people in the streets armed with tar and feathers looking for those people.

But now we’re gotten use to living in quasi banana a republic so people accept that kind of injustice.

DinaRehn on February 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Just by a smidge.

Kissmygrits on February 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

The media doesn’t care.

The dog barks, but the caravan moves on.

Good Lt on February 6, 2014 at 3:01 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

I know you’re immune to facts but nearly 300 conservative groups were targeted and only 6 liberal ones were.

Lerner also had a history of targeting her political opponents while at the FEC.

There were multiple cases of the IRS illegally leaking information to liberal groups. That didn’t happen to ANY liberal groups.

There were also multiple cases of conservative groups being asked illegally for inappropriate information – like facebook postings, emails, donor lists, etc. AGAIN, not one single liberal group suffered the same level of scrutiny.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 3:04 PM

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 2:49 PM

I see you already devastated verbaluce’s nonsense.

Good job.

gwelf on February 6, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Not quite sure why the states don’t seize the day.

The feds are making it almost too easy. Start nullifying federal laws in your states on basic stuff – dept of ed, EPA, DOL. You can pretty much stop their enforcement activity right away. The feds have no way to really stop them. Texas has started with lawsuits. Needs to go faster – the 10th Amendment is there – you have national guards to prevent federal agancies or federal courts from enforcing anything. And the IRS – yes, the IRS needs to be shut down. But you have to start small. Start by making the payroll deduction of federal taxes illegal.

Zomcon JEM on February 6, 2014 at 3:14 PM

The problem with a special prosecutor: such an individual would be appointed by Holder. Not much of a solution.

I’m not sure what the tangible effect of Congressman Issa’s committee hearings are.

Bif Malibu on February 6, 2014 at 3:18 PM

My maiden comment!

Immigrant_in_CA on February 6, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Welcome!

Jayrae on February 6, 2014 at 3:20 PM

“Did Lerner and Treasury attempt to secretly change rules to target conservatives?”
Not a smidgen!!!!

jams on February 6, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Not to worry these conservative groups were on Double Secret Probation by the IRS (just like Delta House was by Dean Weamer and you know how that worked out).

By the way Kevin Bacon says, “Remain calm! All is well!”

Mich_93 on February 6, 2014 at 3:39 PM

the panel’s Democrats object to the line of inquiry

Of course they do!

Too bad they can’t be arrested for conspiracy to obstruct justice!

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 3:40 PM

Reminds me of Bill Murray’s ESP experiment in “Ghostbusters.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn7-JZq0Yxs

SNJ xplant on February 6, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Making DC a Chicago-style thugocracy just wasn’t a great idea. Who woulda thunk it?

Unfortunately, so many have been added to the dole that I fear that’s what we will be stuck with going forward.

Big Haired Girl on February 6, 2014 at 4:13 PM

As Krauthammer just pointed out, Lerner would not have needed to take the fifth for “not a smigden” of political targeting by the IRS

Dr.B on February 6, 2014 at 4:16 PM

PajamaBoy the Destroyer on February 6, 2014 at 1:47 PM

An argument against Open Enrollment.

Traffic must be really down.

BuckeyeSam on February 6, 2014 at 4:17 PM

Obama claimed there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption so that he will be able to say that shows that he didn’t know about what was going on. Then he’ll express that one one is madder than he is. Then he’ll do nothing.

Mallard T. Drake on February 6, 2014 at 4:19 PM

Obama claimed there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption so that he will be able to say that shows that he didn’t know about what was going on. Then he’ll express that one one is madder than he is. Then he’ll do nothing.

Mallard T. Drake on February 6, 2014 at 4:19 PM

It’s almost as if you have seen this happen before . . .

Big Haired Girl on February 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

Did Lerner and Treasury attempt to secretly change rules to target conservatives?

…do bears shit in the woods?

KOOLAID2 on February 6, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Excellent (but long) post re a history of IRS abuses and efforts to stonewall whitleblowers:
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/02/bill-henck-inside-the-irs.php

onlineanalyst on February 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Fox News had more on these smidgens last night, too:

Smidgens sure is a strange misspelling of shenanigans.

There Goes the Neighborhood on February 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Leaving aside what some imagine, what in this suggests specific targeting rather than an overall re-examination of what is to be considered ‘politcal activity’…with a view towards limiting the abuse of 501(c)(4) regs?

verbaluce on February 6, 2014 at 1:52 PM

The fact that c4s are the subject of discussion is itself evidence of the targeting.

All apps for c3s and c4s were frozen and forwarded to Washington, automatically, if they had words in their name that even suggested conservative philosophy.

“Liberal” c3s were processed normally, with a notation added to recommend filling out some additional form. c4s (the subject of the email) were not filtered for these groups. This is according to documents provided by Democrats.

I’m curious: do you think they should have flagged and “limited” the non-profit org that was just a re-branding of Mitt Romney’s campaign staff, and who run his website and personal Twitter account? Would your answer be more certain if Mr. Romney went and spoke at their national events?

The Schaef on February 7, 2014 at 8:04 AM

So, we managed to discover that a supposedly non partisan wing of the government was targeting one party with a view to what? Well we learned that it appeared to be a somewhat clumsy attempt to place a stranglehold on that party’s ability to raise funds for the 2012 elections, and more importantly to attempt to suppress their ability to turn out the vote. Result of this discovery: nothing. We now learn that the IRS was attempting to put their behind the scenes change of rules discriminating against primarily conservative groups into effect prior to the election. Result of this discovery: again nothing. Will anything rouse the supposed Republican leaders from their stupor? Or are they so frightened individually by the unrestrained power of the tax man, that no amount of criminality will make them fight for their constituents? In the meantime the Obama administration has discovered that they can get away with far more than even they had imagined in their wildest dreams!

patrician42 on February 7, 2014 at 10:46 AM