Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Inner Party strikes back (Page 3)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 28 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  ...  26  27  28   
Author Topic: The Inner Party strikes back
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"Does it have to be new to shock or anger? Your acceptance of this as business as usual is quite worrisome."

waddayagonnadoaboudit? I don't condone it, but I've never experienced an Administration where it didn't happen. Some of them have hoodwinked us into wars that we should never have been involved in that cost massive loss of life and casualties, drained our economy of $$B or $$T needlessly, and irreparably damaged our standing in the world as a "good actor".

If Pyrtolin's statistic bears out (that the number/ratio of TP-ish organizations that were given a rough time is comparable to the number of non-TP-ish ones), then it's not even a scandal.

Here's two potential scenarios for how this plays out:

1. The TP-ish groups were indeed singled out. We follow the trail as high up as it goes and whoever committed wrongdoing is publicly exposed and punished. The GOP goes absolutely bananas about this and claims that the Obama Administration is the most corrupt in history, which proves that Democrats don't deserve to lead and aren't capable of it.

2. The TP-ish groups were not singled out, and groups across the entire spectrum were given more or less equal treatment. The GOP goes absolutely bananas about this and claims that the Obama Administration is the most corrupt in history, which proves that Democrats don't deserve to lead and aren't capable of it.

[ May 15, 2013, 05:06 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tea party affiliation was used as a shortcut to identify the low hanging fruit because they made up the lion's share of the dark money applications that came in after Citizens United, to the point that, apparently, something like "Tea Party Groups" effectively became the catchall nickname for dark money applications, regardless of actual affiliation. TP groups weren't exclusively looked at, but they were the ones that were easiest to identity as pushing the line for acceptable levels of political activity.

It was that low hanging fruit characteristic, though, not actual political bias that seemed to be at work, until upper level management put a stop to it and forced policy adjustments that tried to make it more clear that political focus was the key factor, with some amount of back in forth in revising the standard to try to best express how to identify groups that needed to be scrutinized.

There doesn't seem to be any evidence of an actual political agenda, but rather of using trying to use profiling as a shortcut. (It's probably too much to hope that this situation helps supporters of similar profiling by law enforcement understand exactly why it's such an objectionable practice.)

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Now here's an interesting tidbit from the Inspector General's report:

quote:
...the IG report actually absolves the rest of the administration and the Obama campaign from the accusation of direct pressure. The key lines:

quote:

We asked the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division; the Director, EO; and Determinations Unit personnel if the criteria were influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. All of these officials stated that the criteria were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. Instead, the Determinations Unit developed and implemented inappropriate criteria in part due to insufficient oversight provided by management. Specifically, only first-line management approved references to the Tea Party in the BOLO [Be on the Look-Out] listing criteria before it was implemented. As a result, inappropriate criteria remained in place for more than 18 months.

This is why, since the report came out, you've heard more questions about when/why/how key Democrats learned of the story, and why they didn't react until the AP broke the news last Friday. Recall that the IRS officials dinged here are often career officials and Bush appointees—not great scalps.
(Emphasis mine.)

So the question was already asked where the direction to target these groups came from. And the answer was from within, not without.

But I suppose no one will believe that unless they want to. [Smile]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Given the Obama regime's near pathological penchant for lying, why should you believe it?
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Steven Miller, under the bus! Will that be enough to stop the hemorrhaging?

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


oh, wait. Firing a guy that was leaving in a few weeks anyway....lame.

Just for fun:
quote:

The IRS, the president conceded, 'improperly screened conservative groups.' He referred to a report released Tuesday by the IRS's Inspector General.

'The misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable,' Obama exclaimed. 'It's inexcusable and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it.'

I just want to see Pyrtolin go on about how what Barry said is not what he said but if it is then it's not what he meant. It's pretty fascinating stuff to watch. [Big Grin]
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A local news affiliate has the latest:
quote:

FOX19 has exclusively learned that as many as four people may be the first Cincinnati Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to face disciplinary action, and possibly even criminal charges, for allegedly targeting Tea Party and Liberty groups applying for non-profit status.

...

One of FOX19's two sources went on say that these four IRS workers claim "they simply did what their bosses ordered." FOX19 reported on Tuesday that the report by the Office of Inspector General states that senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting Tea Party groups as early as 2011.

In other words, they won't willingly join Steven Miller under the bus - their jobs probably weren't scheduled to end next month. Hopefully a immunity deal can be worked and get some of these 4 talking.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
How it did what the Obama regime desired:
quote:
“We’re just regular citizens,” said one member [ of the Kitchen Table Patriots] who only spoke on condition of anonymity. “It’s not like we have access to resources to deal with this. Whenever you get pushback from the IRS of this magnitude you’re not able to deal with it.”

The member said the IRS replied to their 2009 application for tax exempt status with the same multi-questionnaire response other groups had gotten. Six months, thousands of dollars, and countless hours later, they gave up.

“As a result of receiving that questionnaire, the person who was our treasurer quit, and the group decided to not move forward with tax exempt status,” the member said. “That’s an example of the type of affect this type thing has.”

notice, only on condition on anonymity. The guy is fearful, mission accomplished!

quote:
Stefano said she tried to start her own group called The Loyal Opposition between 2010-2011. But when she applied for tax exempt status, the IRS responded with a litany of questions that put her off.

“I was pregnant and on a single income and they were asking me questions like, ‘Are you on Facebook,” she said incredulously. “They wanted my personal Facebook page.”

“A lawyer told me, ‘They’re going to come after you and if you make one mistake they could ruin your life’,” Stefano added. “I like to think of myself as very tough, but I’m ashamed to say I was intimidated and frightened, and I shut it down.”

mmmmm, the fear is strong in this one. Mission accomplished!

In case anyone is still hung up on the activities allowed by a 501(c)(4):
quote:
“Social welfare” is a term of art that doesn’t mean exactly what it sounds like. To qualify, a group must have the aim of producing benefits that accrue to the community as a whole, not just its members. “Benefit” and “community” are construed broadly; organizations do not have to demonstrate that the policies they promote are good or that they benefit everyone.

You can see this in the IRS regulations governing 501(c)(4) groups. These groups may engage in unlimited lobbying related to their social welfare missions. The IRS offers these specific examples of acceptable activity: “promotion of legislation on animal rights,” “advocacy of anti-abortion legislation,” “legalization of currently illegal activity” and “advocacy of changes in the tax law.”

The groups can also engage in electioneering, even endorsing candidates. Here’s the IRS: “An exempt IRC 501(c)(4) organization may intervene in political campaigns as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.”

The only word left out was "liberal" I guess.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Remember, 2/3 of the groups who got the special attention were *not* TP-ish:
quote:
A liberal group on Wednesday said it had faced the same level of scrutiny from the IRS that was applied to tea party groups.

“Progress Texas and the Tea Party strongly disagree on the role of government,” the group’s executive director, Ed Espinoza, said in a statement. “Yet, when we applied for tax-exempt status, Progress Texas received the same type of additional scrutiny that Tea Party groups are complaining about. The similar treatment indicates the IRS was likely addressing a flood of 501c4 applications after Citizens United, and undermines the paranoid notion that Tea Party groups were singled out.”

An IRS letter (PDF) published by Progress Texas online Thursday showed the liberal group was given 22 days to respond to a list of 21 questions. Some of the questions included up to nine sub-questions.


Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Given the Obama regime's near pathological penchant for lying, why should you believe it?
Hard to say, considering that (by my estimate) at least half of the "lies" conservatives accuse Obama of telling have turned out to be lies themselves. [Smile]

When pathological liars accuses someone of being a pathological liar, it's hard to know the truth, you know? [Smile]

[ May 16, 2013, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Things don't look good for the IRS and the Obama Administration. An analysis by Nate Silver shows that the IRS was loath to approve conservative tax exempt groups until a Congressman asked about it.

quote:
Public data from the Internal Revenue Service, which recently acknowledged that agency officials singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny, shows that dozens of Tea Party groups were approved for tax exempt status beginning in May 2012. That was the same month that Representative Dave Camp of Michigan wrote to the I.R.S. asking for information about all “social welfare” groups that had applied for tax-exempt status in 2010 and 2011, to determine whether the I.R.S. was targeting conservative groups.

The flurry of approvals that came in the next few months was a sharp break from the previous two years, during which the agency approved just a handful of 501(c)(4) applications from Tea Party groups.

The public data provided by the I.R.S. does not include information on when groups submitted their applications for tax-exempt status, or how long they waited compared to the average application.

But an inspector general’s report indicated that I.R.S. officials began targeting conservative groups in March 2010 by searching for groups with names containing “Tea Party,” “patriot” or “9/12.” The report says officials then switched to more expansive, less partisan search criteria in July 2011 and in January 2012, before broadening the criteria a third time on May 17, two weeks after Mr. Camp’s letter.

But the first two revisions to the search criteria do not appear to have resulted in more Tea Party groups gaining approval. During the entire two-year span — from March 2010, when the agency began singling out conservative groups, to April 2012, just before it received Mr. Camp’s letter and changed its search criteria for the last time — the I.R.S. approved the applications of just four groups with those conservative keywords in their names. After the I.R.S. altered its search criteria the final time, the agency approved more than 40 Tea Party applications...

As a point of comparison, we tried to identify liberal groups approved for 501(c)(4) status since 2010. A search for “progress,” “progressive,” “liberal” and “equality” finds 32 groups. (This might not be a representative sample — identifying left-leaning groups is more difficult, as there are is no clearly defined nomenclature on the left equivalent to the Tea Party.) The I.R.S. approved these groups at a fairly steady rate from 2010 through 2012. The I.R.S. approved 13 in 2010, nine in 2011 and 10 in 2012.

It looks like most of the approvals were done as damage control. [Frown]

[ May 16, 2013, 01:31 PM: Message edited by: Wayward Son ]

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The greatest evil is not now done in those sordid "dens of crime" that Dickens loved to paint. It is not done even in concentration camps and labour camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried, and minuted) in clean, carpeted, warmed and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voices. Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern.

C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)]

Pretty much sums up the current IRS.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Things don't look good for the IRS and the Obama Administration. An analysis by Nate Silver shows that the IRS was loath to approve conservative tax exempt groups until a Congressman asked about it.

Now lets do a little dot connecting. The Obama regime claims it was a couple of rogue low level staffers doing it. Was the congressman asking them directly? No, he probably didn't ever even learn their names. Yet, somehow, word got to these low level, independently acting, "rogue" staffers.

Who did Camp write? The commissioner of the IRS.

If I was a low level, "rogue" staffer right now, I'd be getting my lawyer and looking to cut the deal.

[ May 16, 2013, 06:08 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This is going off the rails:
quote:
“In one case, the IRS withheld approval of an application for tax exempt status for Coalition for Life of Iowa. In a phone call to Coalition for Life of Iowa leaders on June 6, 2009, the IRS agent ‘Ms. Richards’ told the group to send a letter to the IRS with the entire board’s signatures stating that, under perjury of the law, they do not picket/protest or organize groups to picket or protest outside of Planned Parenthood,” the Thomas More Society announced today. “Once the IRS received this letter, their application would be approved.”
And meanwhile:
quote:
Sarah Hall Ingram served as commissioner of the office responsible for tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. But Ingram has since left that part of the IRS and is now the director of the IRS’ Affordable Care Act office, the IRS confirmed to ABC News today.

Ingram was the person actually in charge of the tax exempt division, she oversaw the political persecution and subsequently received over $100,000 in bonuses. And now she is in charge of the enforcement of Obamacare.

Un-****ing-believable.

Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
More go under the bus:
quote:
An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency’s tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. Grant joins Steven Miller, who was forced to resign as acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday.

As part of his duties, Grant oversaw the IRS division that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Grant was promoted to that position 8 days ago.

Perhaps the Obama regime should consider some explanation around this one, on the surface it looks pretty farcical. Of course, details are sketchy and likely only now being fabricated.

Hey, it could be legit.

[ May 16, 2013, 09:20 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Are you talking to someone here?
Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Seneca
Member
Member # 6790

 - posted      Profile for Seneca   Email Seneca       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
More go under the bus:
quote:
An internal IRS memo says Joseph Grant, commissioner of the agency’s tax exempt and government entities division, will retire June 3. Grant joins Steven Miller, who was forced to resign as acting IRS commissioner on Wednesday.

As part of his duties, Grant oversaw the IRS division that targeted tea party groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

Grant was promoted to that position 8 days ago.

Perhaps the Obama regime should consider some explanation around this one, on the surface it looks pretty farcical. Of course, details are sketchy and likely only now being fabricated.

Hey, it could be legit.

What really makes me sick though is that the person who was in charge of the tax exempt division for the lion's share of the scandal period, and who was most likely complicit in it, was moved to become the head of the Obamacare compliance department of the IRS. If we couldn't trust that person with not going after conservative groups in the tax exempt division, what do you think they'll do when they are running the IRS's ACA division to police people's healthcare fines and fees? It's pretty clear who they'll go after, the people who disagree with it!

Americans needs to wake up and realize the IRS has become a bloated punitive organization whose sole job is to harass Americans. We need to gut the tax code completely, put in a low flat tax and dismantle the current IRS.

[ May 17, 2013, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: Seneca ]

Posts: 6017 | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
I just want to see Pyrtolin go on about how what Barry said is not what he said but if it is then it's not what he meant. It's pretty fascinating stuff to watch.

Stay classy G3. It's god to know we can always relay on you to eventually substitute deceptive personal attacks for anything resembling substance.

I've already said that I think that profiling is a bad idea regardless of which way it's being used or how statistically justified it seems to be. I'm just amused by the fact that, not here specifically perhaps but in general, the same people that are outraged by it being used against them on this issues are the same people who tend to support letting the police use it against people who aren't them on criminal matters.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
In case anyone is still hung up on the activities allowed by a 501(c)(4):
quote:
The groups can also engage in electioneering, even endorsing candidates. Here’s the IRS: “An exempt IRC 501(c)(4) organization may intervene in political campaigns as long as its primary activity is the promotion of social welfare.”

And if the primary activity the group is to funnel anonymous money into campaigns through the loophole created by the CU decision removing contribution caps (as a disproportionately large number of conservative groups applied to be able to do in the wake of the decision)?
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Seneca:
What really makes me sick though is that the person who was in charge of the tax exempt division for the lion's share of the scandal period, and who was most likely complicit in it, was moved to become the head of the Obamacare compliance department of the IRS.

Or, rather, as the actual reported sequence of events seems to suggest, was actively involved in directing the team that using such politically specific profiling was a bad idea once it came to her attention and was part of the effort to set down more formal terms for trying to identify groups that were trying to abuse the CU loophole without singling out any particular side, no matter how disproportionately abuses were coming from that side.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
djquag1
Member
Member # 6553

 - posted      Profile for djquag1   Email djquag1       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The IRS has been misbehaving.

The obvious solution is to screw the poor a little more, because they have it easy. And let's help those rich folks out, they look like they're having a hard time, have pity on them.

Viva le flat tax.

Posts: 769 | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Looking at the testimony in Congress this week (note the highlights, mine):
quote:
At the hearing, outgoing acting IRS commissioner Steve Miller repeatedly objected to the use of the word “targeting.” He said the so-called “be on the lookout” (BOLO) list was an “inappropriate” organizational tool or “shortcut” that IRS staff used to find potential political cases. Miller claimed the tea party groups would have be subjected to extra scrutiny regardless of the BOLO list.

“If the targeting wasn’t targeting, if the targeting wasn’t based on philosophy, how come only conservatives got snagged?” Roskam confidently asked.

“They didn’t, sir,” Miller responded. “Organizations of all walks and all persuasions were pulled in. That’s shown by the fact that only 70 of the 300 organizations were tea party organizations, of the ones that were looked at by TIGTA [Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration].”

Roskam angrily cut off Miller and asserted his statement was at odds with the inspector general’s testimony, then ended his questioning.

But Treasury inspector general J. Russell George testified during the hearing that no evidence indicated the additional review of the 300 groups was politically or ideologically motivated. He blamed the incident on mismanagement.

Of the 298 groups subjected to additional review, 72 were “tea party” groups, 11 were “9/12″ groups and 13 were “patriots” groups, according to the inspector general’s report.

This indicates that certain words were triggers that drew the attention of IRS case inspectors, but that overall only 96 out of 298 were TP-ish. I am seriously wondering how this is going to stand up as a scandal, and perhaps would have no chance if Obama hadn't rushed to judgment and weighed in as soon as this story broke. His Administration did that a couple of years ago with Shirley Sherrod and had to backtrack, but only after significant damage had been done by the intentional misreporting by FOX and other conservative media.

So far almost all of the "Obama scandals" have been fictions generated by Republicans in Congress and nationally known conservatives. Doesn't this tell you something about how they operate? Bill Maher is saying that the GOP has finally gone beyond obstructionism, where they block Obama's agenda, to treason, because they are actively thwarting the effective operations of government on so many fronts.

I don't ascribe to that view, but you really have to wonder what exactly the GOP is after, if the orderly operations of government is not one of their concerns.

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In as much as political profiling was used, no matter how the overall balance of applications seemed to justify it, the judgement that such behavior was unacceptable is absolutely correct, if for no other reason than it lends the impression of bias and provides room for accusations of political machinations to be made.
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that it was unacceptable, but what kind of scandal is this? There are two definitions of that word, one indicating a moral failure leading to illegal acts (e.g., bribery, condoning sexual abuse), and the other is moral outrage that a seeming failing or abuse occurred. Given that there was apparently no intent to abuse and likely no illegal acts were committed, we have to apply a third definition that is specific to politics that also applies to Benghazi, that actions that can be construed to have the appearance of a moral failure by the other party is a scandal.

Instead, this was an operational failure of the IRS brought on by weakness in the organization. It seems that the staff was not fully trained, not well supervised, and extremely overworked.

If there is a scandal here, it is that those employees would be forced to work in such conditions. There may be an additional scandal, that their behavior was knowingly caused by budget cuts. I heard at least one House Committee member say yesterday that this is proof that the IRS is too powerful and that its budget should be reduced further. That is scandalous.

Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was investigating the Internal Revenue Service’s screening of politically active organizations seeking tax exemptions, disclosing for the first time on Friday that Obama administration officials were aware of the matter during the presidential campaign year.

senior administration officials knew 5 months before the election. Obama's claim that he "didn't know" until last Friday is looking... like a lie.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks...like a nail. If you can show evidence that Obama lied, for instance that people come forward and say that they told him, then you have a point. Until then it just looks like a nail, and conservatives have been pounding their thumbs a lot lately when it turns out that they are pounding on issues and they are just trying to screw him.
Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
A good example of how bias can skew perception is Peggy Noonan's article accusing Obama of targetting political activists based on four cases she knows about.

As Nate Silver points out, this is not evidence.

quote:
This [Nate's methodology] results in an estimate that about 380,000 of Mr. Romney’s voters were audited last year, as were about 480,000 of Mr. Obama’s voters...

[So] even with no political targeting at all, hundreds of thousands of conservative voters would have been chosen for audits in the I.R.S.’s normal course of business. Among these hundreds of thousands of voters, thousands would undoubtedly have gone beyond merely voting to become political activists.

The fact that Ms. Noonan has identified four conservatives from that group of thousands provides no evidence at all toward her hypothesis. Nor would it tell us very much if dozens or even hundreds of conservative activists disclosed that they had been audited. This is exactly what you would expect in a country where there are 1.5 million audits every year.

Political bias can make normally intelligence people jump to absolutely wild conclusions.
Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Right, Nate nailed her on that one.
Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It gets complicater:
quote:
Republicans in Congress have known that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) asked additional questions of some tea party groups seeking tax exempt status since last July, only recently raising the issue as a matter of controversy according to documents released by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The questionnaires were revealed after the IRS inspector general explained last week that agents in the Cincinnati office asked for more information of groups applying for tax exempt status if they had the words “tea party” and “patriot” in their title, apparently singling them out over liberal groups seeking similar classification.

“We would be happy to provide a status update to the Subcommittee staff and provide a copy of our interim and final reports on the matter when they are issued,” IRS inspector general J. Russell George wrote (PDF) to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) last July, according to ABC News.

An article in Roll Call found that a series of progressive groups were not subjected to similarly detailed IRS questionnaires after their applications for tax exempt status. Roll Call wrote that “much of the big money flooding the 2012 elections is being spent not by super PACs but by nonprofit organizations that describe themselves as social welfare advocacy groups.”

In response, Issa sent a letter (PDF) to the IRS’ Inspector General office, calling the scrutiny of conservative groups a “campaign of intimidation” and “overreach.” It was to this accusation that George responded in July.

Republicans claimed Friday that George’s admission of embarking on his investigation in July was proof that the Obama administration knew in advance that conservative groups were being targeted in a scandal some conservative pundits say is indicative of a stolen election. Progressive groups have since come forward to reveal they too were targeted with extra-long questionnaires, suggesting the real “scandal” here is more about the flood of dark money groups after the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United than an administration run afoul of tax law.

While President Obama has accepted the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller, the enhanced scrutiny of tea party groups occurred under the tenure of Bush-appointee Doug Shulman, who resigned in November. Obama named Daniel Werfel, a Bush appointee from the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Miller as acting IRS commissioner.


Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
A good example of how bias can skew perception is Peggy Noonan's article accusing Obama of targetting political activists based on four cases she knows about.

As Nate Silver points out, this is not evidence.

quote:
This [Nate's methodology] results in an estimate that about 380,000 of Mr. Romney’s voters were audited last year, as were about 480,000 of Mr. Obama’s voters...

[So] even with no political targeting at all, hundreds of thousands of conservative voters would have been chosen for audits in the I.R.S.’s normal course of business. Among these hundreds of thousands of voters, thousands would undoubtedly have gone beyond merely voting to become political activists.

The fact that Ms. Noonan has identified four conservatives from that group of thousands provides no evidence at all toward her hypothesis. Nor would it tell us very much if dozens or even hundreds of conservative activists disclosed that they had been audited. This is exactly what you would expect in a country where there are 1.5 million audits every year.

Political bias can make normally intelligence people jump to absolutely wild conclusions.
The problem is that now you can't be sure. It's all suspect. Note very conservative voter/organization can be audited and certainly some were audited under normal conditions. But which ones?

And you don't have to target all that many to make the point and suppress dissent. A few examples will suffice. For example:
quote:
In July 2010, Catherine filed with the IRS seeking tax-exempt status for her organizations. Shortly after, the troubles began.
That winter, the Federal Bureau of Investigation came knocking with questions about a person who had attended a King Street Patriots event once. Based on sign-in sheets, the organization discovered that the individual in question had attended an event, but “it was a come-and-go thing,” and they had no further information on hand about him. Nevertheless, the FBI also made inquiries about the person to the office manager, who was a volunteer.

The King Street Patriots weren’t the only ones under scrutiny. On January 11, the IRS visited the Engelbrechts’ shop and conducted an on-site audit of both their business and their personal returns, Catherine says.

Two months later, the IRS initiated the first round of questions for True the Vote. Catherine painstakingly answered them, knowing that nonprofit status would help with the organization’s credibility, donors, and grant applications. In October, the IRS requested additional information. And whenever Catherine followed up with IRS agents about the status of True the Vote’s application, “there was always a delay that our application was going to be up next, and it was just around the corner,” she says,

As this was occurring, the FBI continued to phone King Street Patriots. In May 2011, agents phoned wondering “how they were doing.” The FBI made further inquiries in June, November, and December asking whether there was anything to report.

The situation escalated in 2012. That February, True the Vote received a third request for information from the IRS, which also sent its first questionnaire to King Street Patriots. Catherine says the IRS had “hundreds of questions — hundreds and hundreds of questions.” The IRS requested every Facebook post and Tweet she had ever written. She received questions about her family, whether she’d ever run for political office, and which organizations she had spoken to.

...

On the same day they received the questions from the IRS, Catherine says, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) launched an unscheduled audit of their machine shop, forcing the Engelbrechts to drop everything planned for that day.

...

That was in February. In July, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration paid a visit to Engelbrecht Manufacturing while Bryan, Catherine, and their children were out of town. The OSHA inspector talked with the managerial staff and employees, inspecting the premises minutely. But Bryan says the agent found only “little Mickey Mouse stuff, like, ‘You have safety glasses on, but not the right kind; the forklift has a seatbelt, but not the right kind.’” Yet Catherine and Bryan said the OSHA inspector complimented them on their tightly run shop and said she didn’t know why she had been sent to examine it.

Not long after, the tab arrived. OSHA was imposing $25,000 in fines on Engelbrecht Manufacturing. They eventually worked it down to $17,500, and Bryan says they may have tried to contest the fines to drive them even lower, but “we didn’t want to make any more waves, because we don’t know [how much further] OSHA could reach.”

Three years, still no approval. FBI, IRS, ATF and OSHA; targeting her personally, her and her husband's business as well as the organization she was trying to create. Fines. This is tyranny. This is government power being used to to target and suppress political opponents.

Did it work? Damn straight:
quote:
Catherine says she knows of at least one other group that received government inquiries about its relationship with True the Vote, and she suspects more did, too. And other Tea Party groups decided not to form nonprofits at all after learning about her experience, she says. “They were scared,” she explains, “and you shouldn’t be scared of your government.”

Meanwhile, Catherine says the harassment has forced her to seriously reconsider whether her political activity is worth the government harassment she’s faced.

So pointing out that audits occur anyway so it's all good is utterly irrelevant. Justify it and explain it away all you want.

[ May 20, 2013, 03:34 PM: Message edited by: G3 ]

Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
national program. He tells the story of how he was recently audited twice and gives details of how he believes it came directly from the top, the WH. Root, like a lot of others who have been critical of Obama, especially on a national level, have been targeted no doubt deliberately for political reasons by this administration.

He discusses with Bill how an IRS agent called him on the phone and says the agent knew exactly who he was and that he guest hosted a radio show.

Root then drops another bombshell, telling Cunningham that he personally knows of at least 15 people who wrote big checks to Romney in election 2012 and were audited within 90 days

Of the 15 he listed, 8 were specifically named on the Obama campaign website.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Wayward Son
Member
Member # 210

 - posted      Profile for Wayward Son   Email Wayward Son   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Per Nate:
quote:
The probability of being audited is highest for high-income taxpayers — about 12 percent of individuals who made more than $1 million were audited in 2012 — although taxpayers who report little to no income are audited at higher rates than those with average incomes.
So, did the Fox host ask Root how many Romney donors he knows? If he knew over 60 wealthy donors, he would doubtlessly know about 15 who were audited, as would someone who knew 60 wealthy Obama donors. Would that prove that Obama is targetting Obama donors, too? [Wink]

This kind of proof works only to those who already believe the conclusion (i.e. Fox viewers [Smile] ). But it is not evidence.

Posts: 8681 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
G3, again, NAACP audit in 2004. Was that horrible evil oppression as well?
Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
AI Wessex
Member
Member # 6653

 - posted      Profile for AI Wessex   Email AI Wessex   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Don't forget Bush going after PETA, Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood, ACORN and even a Church for preaching a sermon against the Iraq War. Just last week Congressional Republicans were demanding the IRS investigate the AARP to challenge their tax exempt status. My, how short some memories are.
Posts: 8393 | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Three years, still no approval. FBI, IRS, ATF and OSHA; targeting her personally, her and her husband's business as well as the organization she was trying to create. Fines. This is tyranny. This is government power being used to to target and suppress political opponents.
Nice try, but handwaving over persecution of a voter suppression group like True the Vote is about as credible as Al Capone trying to claim that he was being persecuted by targeted investigations.

Any profiling is completely irrelevant to this case; it's troubles come from complaints and active investigation of the coordinated intimidation and suppression efforts that they organize.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
G3, again, NAACP audit in 2004. Was that horrible evil oppression as well?

Were they selected for audit because they were black? Do you see why what you're doing is misleading?
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Per Nate:
quote:
The probability of being audited is highest for high-income taxpayers — about 12 percent of individuals who made more than $1 million were audited in 2012 — although taxpayers who report little to no income are audited at higher rates than those with average incomes.
So, did the Fox host ask Root how many Romney donors he knows? If he knew over 60 wealthy donors, he would doubtlessly know about 15 who were audited, as would someone who knew 60 wealthy Obama donors. Would that prove that Obama is targetting Obama donors, too? [Wink]

This kind of proof works only to those who already believe the conclusion (i.e. Fox viewers [Smile] ). But it is not evidence.

Well, if we leave it to you, apparently virtually nothing is. Not surprised.
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
G3
Member
Member # 6723

 - posted      Profile for G3   Email G3       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Three years, still no approval. FBI, IRS, ATF and OSHA; targeting her personally, her and her husband's business as well as the organization she was trying to create. Fines. This is tyranny. This is government power being used to to target and suppress political opponents.
Nice try, but handwaving over persecution of a voter suppression group like True the Vote is about as credible as Al Capone trying to claim that he was being persecuted by targeted investigations.
In other words, you got nothing so fire up the logical fallacy. You'd have been better served by ignoring it rather than this panicked response. [FootInMouth]

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Any profiling is completely irrelevant to this case; it's troubles come from complaints and active investigation of the coordinated intimidation and suppression efforts that they organize.

Irrelevant. Got your talking point I see. Keep saying that. Everything is irrelevant!!! [Roll Eyes]
Posts: 2234 | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kmbboots
Member
Member # 6161

 - posted      Profile for kmbboots   Email kmbboots   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
quote:
Originally posted by kmbboots:
G3, again, NAACP audit in 2004. Was that horrible evil oppression as well?

Were they selected for audit because they were black? Do you see why what you're doing is misleading?
Nope. I am not suggesting they were selected for audit because they were black. I am saying that they were selected for audit because some Republicans in congress demanded they be audited for political activity when they were critical of President Bush.

So, no, I don't see how what I am doing is misleading. Explain it to me, please.

Posts: 2635 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by G3:
In other words, you got nothing so fire up the logical fallacy. You'd have been better served by ignoring it rather than this panicked response.

What fallacy exactly is there in pointing out that your example here was a group that is, in fact being targeted for bad behavior and not related to the issue with IRS workers using profiling to quickly isolate large sections of organizations that needed to be reviewed because of active political entanglements?
Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyrtolin
Member
Member # 2638

 - posted      Profile for Pyrtolin   Email Pyrtolin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Got your talking point I see.
The IG report and every actual bit of evidence presented so far has said that it was profiling done to help an overworked and understaffed IRS department process its workload a little more quickly. So far you've provided a handful of anecdotes and a lot of conjecture based on them, but absolutely no actual evidence to suggest it was anything but what the IG report describes it as.

Trying to use another bit of anecdote, this time from a group that has brought active scrutiny on itself, not through any incidental searches, but because of active bad behavior, combines a bit of whitewashing with more conjecture; it still doesn't amount to evidence of anything.

If you want to show that there was a top down order to harass conservative groups, then show us evidence of that order; right now all the evidence we have, including that which you've posted, says that as soon as word of the search parameters being used to more quickly isolate most politically oriented groups reached any levels of authority they pushed back against them and worked to establish policies that were more clearly neutral.

Posts: 11997 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 28 pages: 1  2  3  4  5  6  ...  26  27  28   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1