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Author Topic: The Inner Party strikes back
Seneca
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I assume they are documents with prompts and fields, that is something along the lines of:

"State your name: _______________"
"State your social security number: _______"
"State some income related number: ________"

etc.

Go ahead and redact the actual filled in info, but leave the structure of the original form alone, because we need to see what those forms actually ARE to see if they are ones that the White House is not supposed to get!

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Oddly enough the government doesn't have the same privacy protections as citizens. Wow! Who'da thunk?

Redacting personal info from these docs would be easy, but the forms themselves have to be identified so we know what kind of forms they are!

The notion that the government is somehow protected from civilian oversight and transparency is amusing.

Didn't you say you could bring charges? On what ground do you stand? Why can't other people inquire about other groups' tax status? You're doing pretty much the same thing? If the OathKeepers tried to find out if "liberals" inquired about "conservative" or "Judeo-Christian rights" groups, would you be as concerned?
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D.W.
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I suppose that I would have trusted them to say, "we provided X instances of form Y for Z people/groups. As well as A instances of form B for C people/groups. Seeing the actual redacted files seems like a rather tedious amount of work for this type of grand standing.

If you didn't trust they provided what they say they provided... then why would you trust pallets of redacted info to be what actually exchanged hands? [Smile]

Other than the cost in preparing it, and time wasted (assuming these staffers do useful work when not placating political opponents), I see no issue with what you are asking I guess. The "curious" party should have to foot the bill for it not the tax payers and I'm down with the witch hunt! We'll even have plenty of paper for the bonfire.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
Oddly enough the government doesn't have the same privacy protections as citizens. Wow! Who'da thunk?

Redacting personal info from these docs would be easy, but the forms themselves have to be identified so we know what kind of forms they are!

The notion that the government is somehow protected from civilian oversight and transparency is amusing.

Didn't you say you could bring charges? On what ground do you stand? Why can't other people inquire about other groups' tax status? You're doing pretty much the same thing? If the OathKeepers tried to find out if "liberals" inquired about "conservative" or "Judeo-Christian rights" groups, would you be as concerned?
Somehow I mangled this post. I had intended to ask if Seneca would be as outraged if people tried to find out if the Oathkeepers had requested comparable documents about liberal groups. I'm guessing I know the answer, though.
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scifibum
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There just isn't enough information here. The group that is releasing this information to the press has been giving it a spin, of course, but hasn't been providing much detail. What did the court order actually say? What did the most recent statement from TIGTA actually say? These things don't seem to be available.

OK, there are more details if you go looking (you're welcome)

quote:
TIGTA has publicly acknowledged that it investigated whether Mr. Goosbee’s statement was based on improper disclosure by the IRS. There seems to be a good chance that it was a pretty easy investigation seeing as how it is extremely likely that Goosbee was flat out wrong in his speculation that KI was an S corporation. Taking that as the scenario, how can TIGTA then explain the results of the investigation without disclosing the very thing that was not supposed to be disclosed? Koch Industries’s status as either a C or an S Corporation.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterjreilly/2014/10/03/tigta-must-disclose-more-about-investigation-of-possible-irs-release-of-koch-industries-return-information/

This is all - ALL - about whether Goolsbee's gaffe was due to improper disclosure about Koch industries by the IRS to Goolsbee (or someone else in the White House). TIGTA investigated, but in order to reveal the result of that investigation, they'd likely have to confirm or deny that Koch industries is an S corp - which is the very information that Goolsbee wasn't supposed to have and the IRS isn't allowed to release to anyone.

One possibility is that they concluded that Goolsbee was flat out wrong, because KI isn't an SC. If they announce that result, they've disclosed the undisclosable. That's a pretty likely result, in fact the most likely result (see the analysis in the Forbes article).

Another possibility is that KI is an S-corp, and the documents they have include this:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1120s.pdf

That would also effect the same disclosure, however much personal information is redacted.

The thousands of pages are pages related to the TIGTA investigation of this one situation. They are not thousands of pages of information that went from the IRS to the White House.

The Forbes article is a lot more informative than what Seneca posted here and what Cause of Action is feeding to the right wing news/opinion outlets.

At this point, I believe that TIGTA has complied with the order of the court: they've confirmed that they investigated this (thousands of pages worth). It's entirely plausible that the documents related to the investigation would improperly disclose the fact whose alleged disclosure started this whole thing.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
The Forbes article is a lot more informative than what Seneca posted here and what Cause of Action is feeding to the right wing news/opinion outlets.
If Seneca is fact-driven, your facts must be in error.
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Seneca
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We now know that a top IRS official was going to disclose the improper IRS targeting but decided not to, because of the 2012 election...

quote:
A top IRS official considered going public with the agency’s targeting of conservative groups at a hearing just months before the 2012 presidential election but ultimately decided against revealing the bombshell news, according to a new report from a GOP-led House committee.

Then-Deputy Commissioner Steven Miller wrote in an email in June 2012, about a month before a House Ways and Means subcommittee hearing, that he was weighing whether to testify to “put a stake” in the “c4” issue -- apparently a reference to allegations about politics playing a role in the agency’s denial of tax-exempt, 501(c)(4) status to conservative-leaning groups.

“I am beginning to wonder whether I should do [the hearing] and affirmatively use it to put a stake in politics and c4,” Miller told his chief of staff, Nikole Flax, in a June 2012 email obtained by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Miller ultimately testified at the July 25 hearing but never revealed his knowledge of the misconduct.

“Because he did not, he did a great disservice to the American taxpayers,” the House oversight committee report states.

The detail is one of many findings and allegations in the 226-page Republican-authored report, obtained by Fox News in advance of its release on Tuesday. The report highlights numerous examples of what House Republicans say is agency officials misleading congressional investigators and trying to slow their investigations.

Miller testified before Congress on at least six occasions as deputy commissioner and later as acting commissioner, from May 2012 until May 2013, when he was forced to resign.

During a final hearing, Miller apologized for the agency’s “poor service” but maintained the targeting was not motivated by politics.

The report states: “Though Miller was never asked as directly as [Commissioner Doug] Shulman about the targeting … Miller likewise never told Congress about the IRS misconduct. Miller’s multiple missed opportunities to tell Congress about the targeting continued the IRS’s pattern of failing to inform Congress.”

Now-retired IRS official Lois Lerner, in charge of the agency’s tax-exempt division during the 2010-2012 targeting, eventually revealed the scandal at an American Bar Association event in May 2013 -- roughly six months after President Obama won re-election and just days before an inspector general report on the allegations was scheduled for release.

“They used names like Tea Party or Patriots and they selected cases simply because the applications had those names in the title,” she said at the time. “That was wrong, that was absolutely incorrect, insensitive and inappropriate.”

In light of the coming budget I'd say this doesn't look good. It's a pity they didn't completely eliminate the IRS altogether...
quote:
The report follows a recent congressional budget agreement for fiscal 2015 that cuts IRS funding to roughly fiscal 2000 levels, which agency officials argue will make oversight and other jobs even more difficult.

Other conclusions in the report, including several already made public, are that the Obama administration appears so far to have done an incomplete investigation and at times has been uncooperative.

“Only a month after Attorney General (Eric) Holder announced the administration’s investigation, then-FBI Director Robert Mueller was unable to answer basic questions about the status,” the report states. “Even as recently as July 2014, after the IRS informed Congress that it had destroyed two years of Lerner’s e-mails, the FBI continued its refusal to provide any information about its investigation.”

In addition, the Justice Department at one point was willing to pursue criminal prosecutions against the tax-exempt groups, based on information obtained by the IRS, according to documents obtained by House GOP investigators.

And the IRS failed to provide sufficient internal oversight, the report concludes.

“Congress created administrative oversight entities within the Executive Branch to ensure the IRS carries out its mission efficiently and responsibly,” the report states. “These entities -- specifically, the IRS Oversight Board and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration -- exist to ensure that IRS misconduct does not occur and, if it does, to identify and address it immediately. In the case of the IRS’s targeting of conservative tax-exempt applicants, these administrative oversight entities failed in their missions.”


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Seneca
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Look what just popped up...

quote:
Investigators said Thursday they have recovered 32,000 emails in backup tapes related to the Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative organizations.

Though they don't know how many of them are new, they told a congressional oversight committee that IRS employees had not asked computer technicians for the tapes, as directed by a subpoena from House oversight and other investigating committees.

That admission was in direct contradiction to earlier testimony of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

“It looks like we’ve been lied to, or at least misled," said Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. at a congressional hearing Thursday evening,

IRS Deputy Inspector General Timothy Camus, who testified alongside Inspector General J. Russell George, said his organization was investigating possible criminal activity. He did not elaborate, other than to suggest a key factor is whether documents were intentionally withheld.


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TomDavidson
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*rolls eyes* Really?
Oh, man. It's like the Republicans are determined to embarrass themselves, like clockwork.

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Seneca
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I didn't realize IRS Deputy Inspector General Tim Camus was a republican congressman.

Which Congressional District is he elected from?

Oops, he works for Obama.

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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
*rolls eyes* Really?
Oh, man. It's like the Republicans are determined to embarrass themselves, like clockwork.

Why would you roll your eyes about a situation where a government agency deliberately refused to turn over official records and lied about the steps they took to obtain them?

There was a day when the Democrats refused to trust anything the government did and demanded accountability. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why would you roll your eyes about a situation where a government agency deliberately refused to turn over official records and lied about the steps they took to obtain them?
Because it's pretty painfully obvious that Republicans continue to lie about pretty much every step of this investigation, but are eager to use their control of both houses to try to drag it out as long as they can. Seriously, read the transcript more closely. This is no new bombshell; these are not even necessarily new emails. But somebody feels like clogging the news cycle again.

[ February 27, 2015, 03:13 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Seneca
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Why is Obama's deputy IG investigating for criminal activity?

Is Boehner mind controlling Obama?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Why is Obama's deputy IG investigating for criminal activity?
Sturm und drang, I suspect.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
This is no new bombshell; these are not even necessarily new emails.

The material part is not the content, though that may turn out to be fascinating down the road, and if it does that will be a better news item.

The material part is that IRS officials lied about trying to obtain the tapes (remember the endless discussions about how they should have tapes), and claimed they had been overwritten, when in fact they had done nothing of the sort.

Is it really the case that the only way you'd take this seriously is if the Republican's were the one's who had been non-compliant?

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TomDavidson
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quote:
The material part is that IRS officials lied about trying to obtain the tapes (remember the endless discussions about how they should have tapes), and claimed they had been overwritten, when in fact they had done nothing of the sort.
See, we're throwing out the word "lied" here, and while I understand how that fits into the Fox News narrative, I don't think there's evidence of intentional wrongdoing at this stage. In fact, I would be astonished if there were, because I can guarantee you that technical staff were doing what I said from the very beginning of this thing they'd try to do -- scrape together details from other computers, server backups, etc. If you look in more detail at where these emails came from, that is exactly where they came from.

"So-and-so didn't ask for this tape" isn't a smoking gun, because the whole problem is knowing whether a given tape exists and knowing to ask for it.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Why is Obama's deputy IG investigating for criminal activity?
Because Congress asked him (him being the IRS's deputy IG- there is no "Obama IG", deputy or otherwise) to conduct an investigation.

Even the initial investigation on this was explicitly conducted based on an direct congressional request that the IG look into the matter and report only on the use of Conservative terms while leaving any other terms out (something that the initial report is very clear about pointing out).

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Seneca
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Congress asked Eric Holder to do lots of things, he refused.

Who do Eric Holder and Tim Camus both work for?

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TomDavidson
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Um. Different people, actually.
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Seneca
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Both of them work for the executive branch. Neither works for the legislative branch. Obama is their employer vs the Congress.
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TomDavidson
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Technically, then, my wife is employed by both Congress and the President. It's sad that they haven't shown up for the Christmas party.
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Seneca
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Large scale executives rarely do. When my daughter attended her Starbucks Christmas party when she was working part time in high school Howard Schultz didn't show up. And yes it was a corporate owned store.

[ February 27, 2015, 11:38 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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TomDavidson
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Ask your daughter the name of the person she worked for when she was at Starbucks. She won't say "Howard Schultz."
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Seneca
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Corporate owned stores were under him. Yes there are middle managers, just like there are middle managers between Obama and the IRS deputy IG.
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TomDavidson
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How many Batista's prepared coffee with Schultz's directions in mind?
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Seneca
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Corporate SB issues specific serving directives to baristas all the time. Most recently there was this one:
http://cdn5.gunssavelives.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/sbucks_memo.jpg

[ February 28, 2015, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

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Seneca
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I'd also submit that the deputy IG of the IRS is a lot closer in the chain of command to Obama than a Starbucks barista is to Schultz.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I'd also submit that the deputy IG of the IRS is a lot closer in the chain of command to Obama than a Starbucks barista is to Schultz.
That's entirely possible. Do you think the Attorney General of the United States and a deputy investigator for the IRS have similar relationships with Congress?
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Seneca
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Inspector General, Attorney General...

Fairly similar relationship to Congress I'd say. Both are lawyers who work for Obama and only cooperate with Congress when Obama permits them to.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Fairly similar relationship to Congress I'd say.
Look into how often the Attorney General addresses or is questioned by Congress, vs. IRS inspectors of any stripe. I think you'll find a difference.
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Seriati
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The material part is that IRS officials lied about trying to obtain the tapes (remember the endless discussions about how they should have tapes), and claimed they had been overwritten, when in fact they had done nothing of the sort.
See, we're throwing out the word "lied" here, and while I understand how that fits into the Fox News narrative, I don't think there's evidence of intentional wrongdoing at this stage. In fact, I would be astonished if there were, because I can guarantee you that technical staff were doing what I said from the very beginning of this thing they'd try to do -- scrape together details from other computers, server backups, etc. If you look in more detail at where these emails came from, that is exactly where they came from.
Which technical staff? Because that's not where they came from. In fact, it looks from the accounts that I can find, that if the IT staff had looked for them in good faith they would have found them a couple weeks after they went "missing".
quote:
"So-and-so didn't ask for this tape" isn't a smoking gun, because the whole problem is knowing whether a given tape exists and knowing to ask for it.
Actually according to recent accounts, "so and so" did ask for the tapes, including naming their location and they were deliberately not reviewed.

You remind me of that Shaggy song, "It wasn't me" no matter what turns up you just say it doesn't exist.

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TomDavidson
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Which accounts have you found? Can you link to one that provides actual details?
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scifibum
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So, any smoking guns yet? If nothing new comes out of those emails, is anyone still convinced that there was some deliberate attempt to suppress something?
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Rafi
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So stall long enough and it's as if it never happened?
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TomDavidson
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What do you believe actually happened, G?
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
So stall long enough and it's as if it never happened?

What happened seems to be exactly what Lerner described two years ago, followed by truly impressive clown act by Republicans.
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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
So, any smoking guns yet? If nothing new comes out of those emails, is anyone still convinced that there was some deliberate attempt to suppress something?

The funny thing about destroying evidence is that it removes the evidence. I don't have any dislike for Hillary as compared to most of the Republican candidates, but the severity of her misdeed in this instance is almost unknowable. The range of possibilities goes all the way from 'irrelevant breach of office guidelines' to 'national security breach', and I am assuming good intent on her behalf in this range. Ill intent would have a separate category of possibilities.

On its own this would be a strange kind of scandal and perhaps forgettable, but when tied in with other ghosts from her past, including the recent claim that the Clinton foundation accepted 'donations' from Russia to increase their stake in American uranium, the list of allegations makes having potential e-mail secrets more alarming by far.

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scifibum
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Huh?
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Seneca
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So many instances of evidence being destroyed with this administration, it's understandable that one might confuse some of them. I guess Hillary hired the IRS email retention specialists.
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scifibum
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When you can't find the evidence you have imagined must exist, it must have been destroyed. You couldn't possibly be mistaken about whether it existed.
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