Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston





Thursday, June 6, 2013

The IRS Scandal That Isn't

For those of you who are still following this tempest in a Tea Party pot, here are some facts that you won't read on conservative blogs, because most of them are more interested in yelling IMPEACH! than in looking at facts (via Andrew Sullivan's blog):

What IRS Scandal? 
Ctd JUN 6 2013 @ 12:15PM 

After learning that conservative groups make up two-thirds of the groups that had 'received special scrutiny and been approved for tax-exempt status,' Kevin Drum is even less convinced by Republican attempts to play up the scandal: 

This doesn’t tell us anything definitive about the entire set of groups that got special scrutiny. If the whole set is similar to the approved set, then about two-thirds were conservative and one-third liberal—most likely because of the boom in new tea party groups in 2010. 

But that’s just a guess. One thing isn’t a guess, however: 

Two-thirds of the groups who were approved for tax-exempt status were conservative. 

If the IRS was on a partisan witch hunt against conservative groups, that’s sure an odd way of showing it, isn’t it? 

 Garance Franke-Ruta lists some of the progressive organizations whose tax exempt status was checked by the IRS: 

 Non-conservative advocacy groups given special scrutiny by the IRS in or after 2010 included the Coffee Party USA, the alternative to the Tea Party movement that got a bunch of press in 2010, as well as such explicitly progressive groups as the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; Rebuild the Dream, founded by former Obama administration official Van Jones; and Progressives United Inc., which was founded by former Wisconsin senator Russ Feingold. 

 Also included in the special scrutiny were Progress Texas and Progress Missouri Inc.; Tie the Knot, which sells bow ties to raise money to promote same-sex marriage; and ProgressNow, which describes itself as 'a year-round never-ending progressive campaign.' ”

Capt. Fogg of The Swash Zone has a great post on this.

Check it out!


The Honorable, Esteemed And Distinguished Judge Dervish Sanders (A High IQ Individual) said...

I disagree that this isn't a scandal. IMO it most certainly IS a scandal... a Republican one. The law AS WRITTEN says 501(c)(4) must be engaged EXCLUSIVELY in social welfare. A 5/29/2013 article from AllGov points out that Tea Party groups committed perjury when they applied for 501(c)(4) status and answered "no" when asked if they planned on politicking.

Some examples include "CVFC, a conservative veterans' group in California [that spent] nearly $8,000 on radio ads backing a Republican candidate for Congress... [and] the Ohio Liberty Coalition... that engaged in a pro-Romney email campaign and organized statewide anti-Obama protests".

But that isn't the primary scandal here, IMO. The primary scandal is that these groups are using the 501(c)(4) status to hide their donors. They could have applied for 527 status... if so they would still be tax exempt, but would have to disclose their donors. This is why Karl Rove had two groups: the SuperPac American Crossroads (a 527) and Crossroads GPS (a 501c4). If someone wanted to donate and keep their donation secret... they gave the money to Crossroads GPS which then passed it along to the SuperPac.

What's going on here is that the Repubs are using the 501(c)(4) status to LAUNDER MONEY! The politicking when the law clearly says they are supposed to be engaged in social welfare EXCLUSIVELY, the hiding of donors, and the money laundering -- this all needs to be stopped.

FreeThinke said...


_____ The hostiler answerde hym anon,

And seyde, `Sire, your felawe is agon,

As soone as day he wente out of the toun.'

_____ This man gan fallen in suspecioun,

Remembrynge on hise dremes that he mette,

And forth he gooth, no lenger wolde he lette,

Unto the westgate of the toun; and fond

A dong carte, as it were to donge lond,

That was arrayed in that same wise,

As ye han herd the dede man devyse.

And with an hardy herte he gan to crye,

Vengeance and justice of this felonye;

'My felawe mordred is this same nyght,

And in this carte he lith gapyng upright.

I crye out on the ministres,' quod he,

`That sholden kepe and reulen this citee!

Harrow! Allas! Heere lith my felawe slayn!'

What sholde I moore unto this tale sayn?

The peple out-sterte, and caste the cart to grounde,

And in the myddel of the dong they founde

The dede man, that mordred was al newe.

_____ O blisful God, that art so just and trewe!

Lo, howe that thou biwreyest mordre alway!

MORDRE WOL OUT, that se we day by day.

Mordre is so wlatsom and abhomynable

To God that is so just and resonable,

That he ne wol nat suffre it heled be,

Though it abyde a yeer, or two, or thre.

MORDRE WOL OUT, this my conclusioun.

And right anon ministres of that toun

Han hent the carter, and so soore hym pyned,

And eek the hostiler so soore engyned

That they biknewe hire wikkednesse anon,

And were anhanged by the nekke-bon.

~ Geoffrey Chaucer - Canterbury Tales

skudrunner said...

Dervish, Agree with your assessment 100%. Just because has a 501c4 doesn't mean the repugs should. After all MoveOn was created for a specific non-political reason, to save BC from impeachment.

When was the last time a presidential administration has had so many scandals. For the GOP to try to blame Obama is absurd. Like Holder, he knows nothing. He has done more to expand minority unemployment that any of his predecessors, has built up the welfare roles and has created a class division never seen in the US. We should be proud.

Anonymous said...

"When was the last time a presidential administration has had so many scandals."

Richard Nixon, Ronnie Raygun, and George Dubya Boosh are right up there with scandals that make the Obama administration look like amateurs. When it comes to HUGE scandals, no one can beat the GOP! Theirs are BIGGER AND BETTER than anything any Democrat can dream up.

A BJ? Hell, that's nuthin' compared with what Ronnie was up to. And Dubya's war of choice in Iraq? Homeric!

Democrats can't come close to the major scandals of the GOP! They are THE BEST!

Anonymous said...

the messiah can do no wrong

Jerry Critter said...

Only Civil Action is a 501(c)(4). Their political,arm is a PAC. Just thought you would want to know, skud. You are welcome for the correction.

Black Sheep said...

You're all putting your wishful thinking ahead of reality and you have to take your blinders off SOMETIME or you'll surely get run over.

Obama famously said that if it comes to a choice between America and Islam, that he'll stand with the Muslims.

What if John F. Kennedy had said that if it came to a choice between America and Catholicism, that he'd stand with the Pope?

Our presidents are supposed to stand up for America. Period. Not that any of them do, but they're supposed to, and Obama is no better than the others.

As for the IRS mess, excuse me but HE'S IN CHARGE OF THE IRS. Likewise he was in charge of the Benghazi embassy. He was in charge of the Fast and Furious sale of machine guns to Mexican drug cartels. He's in charge of the mass collection of phone numbers of Americans. He's in charge of the HUGE NSA data collection center in Utah that's compiling minute details on all of us. He's appointed avowed Communists to important "Czar" posts, even to appointing a pedophile to be Safe Schools Czar.

Obama is IN CHARGE OF OUR GOVERNMENT. All these scandals are scandals because they are VIOLATIONS OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, and all of them are under his watch, done by governmental bureaus that answer directly to him.

I'm not a Repugnican, thank you very much, nor am I a Democrap. They both suck. What I am is an old guy who's watched this stuff go on in government for decades, and it blows me away how so many otherwise intelligent people turn a blind eye to the incredible crimes this particular president keeps committing.

Are we as a nation that vapid? Is this White Guilt, that we can't see what's going on here because the man is half black?

The truth is self-evident. All anyone has to do is look.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Mr. Obama actually wrote these words in his book "Dreams From My Father."

"Whenever I appear before immigrant audiences, I can count on some good-natured ribbing from my staff after my speech; according to them, my remarks always follow a three-part structure:'I am your friend,' '[Fill in the home country] has been a cradle of civilization,' and 'You embody the American dream.'

They're right, my message is simple, for what I've come to understand is that my mere presence before these newly minted Americans serves notice that they matter, that they are voters critical to my success and full-fledged citizens deserving of respect.

Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern.

In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani AMERICANS, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
[Page 260-261] . . . "

You are not the only conservative to distort and misrepresent what Mr. Obama wrote.

If you actually read what he wrote, he's saying he'll STAND WITH AMERICANS.

But those who detest this president make a sport of distorting and misrepresenting him for their own devious reasons.

I can't change people's habits, but I CAN correct false statements about what Mr. Obama actually wrote.

And I just did.

Shaw Kenawe said...

PolitiFact, Snopes, and all have shown that quote about standing with the Muslims is WRONG.

"Obama did not say he would side with "the Muslims," which could easily be read as meaning he would side with the world’s Muslim population even if it meant working outside the best interests of the United States. He said he would side with "them," referring back to his mention of immigrant communities and specifically to 'Arab and Pakistani Americans.' Furthermore, he was speaking of an "ugly direction" like the mass internment of Japanese Americans."

So let me ask you, Black Sheep, since you continue to spread that misquote, why should I take seriously your other complaints about Obama in your comment.

I don't have the time nor the inclination to shoot down all your other charges about him specifically, but I think that the first one about "standing with the Muslims" pretty much shows I can't have a real discussion, because you apparently want to believe the worst about him.

Black Sheep said...

Shaw, you go by what he says. I go by what he does. There's no doubt that he's a charismatic speaker, that he knows all the really groovy, cool things to say that people love to hear.

Does being a suave talker make anyone a good president? NO, and if you think it does, and you do, then you've allowed yourself to be caught up in the fantasy.

Obama is just as much a liar as both Bush's, Clinton, Reagan and all the others.

Okay, try this. Obama said that his mother was a Christian. That's a SCREAMING lie. His mother was an avowed atheist, as was HER mother. That's only one of a long litany of lies he's told about his family and his life. What are you going to do, just pass that off as "Oh well, that's how it is in politics"?

In “Audacity of Hope” he writes: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.” Page 261. For your perusal.

Shaw, good lord, come on. I don't want to believe the worst about anyone and I'm sorry if you feel that I'm attacking the Modern Day Jesus Christ. He isn't Jesus, what he is, is just another power monger, and he scares me, and I'm trying to get you and maybe one or two others who read this stuff to just step back, put their love of their political party and the party line aside -just for a moment- and be objective.

Absolutely refusing to see this man as having any faults is rabid, slavish devotion to a guru. To a cult leader. It's behaving mindlessly.

He's just a guy. He's not The Savior, like the anonymous comment "The messiah can do no wrong", that I'm beginning to think you didn't delete because you agree with that instead of seeing it for the sarcastic remark that it is.

It's not at all that I want to believe anything, best or worst. I'm not a believer type. I have no use for beliefs, we don't make good decisions acting on what we believe. Our only chance of making good decisions is to act on what we know.

I never listen to Obama's speeches. I only watch what he does, the same as I watch what the rest of us do. His glowing words don't matter to me. I'm not hypnotized. His actions do matter to me.

Black Sheep said...

I've been looking harder at this contradiction in that quote. I don't have the book, and I see both quote versions represented as being the actual words from "Dreams of my Father".

If the one "Stand with them" is the right one, he was still aligning himself with the Muslims. American Muslims to be sure.

That does take a lot of the onus off that remark, I agree, if that's what he really said, but to be fair, it still has him expressing favoritism.

This is the issue, for me. He sided with the New Black Panthers when they were grossly violating a polling place, he sided with a black professor against the police who arrested him, but only the white police even though there were 3 black cops there too.

He appoints radicals to high positions.

I don't like what he does. I hated what President Johnson did, I was helping draft dodgers evade the Vietnam War. Okay? I hated what Nixon did. I thought, and still think, that Clinton was one of the best presidents we ever had. Okay? Stop looking at me like I'm some Far Right nut.

Obama IS NOT THE CHRIST! Come on! He's just one more lying, scheming sumbitch. See him for what he is.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Black Sheep,

For the last time, Mr. Obama never said "I stand with the Muslims."

What I've quoted above is what he wrote in his book not what you've repeated. It's not a matter of interpretation. OBAMA NEVER WROTE WHAT YOU STILL "THINK" HE WROTE.

I'm not going to discuss this again. Either you believe the truth or you don't.

What does it matter what religion Mr. Obama claimed his mother belonged to? My own children could correctly say their mother is "christian," since I was raised in the Catholic religion but, like Obama's mother, I am now a nonbeliever. I was raised as a Christian, but now I do not belong to any religion.

If you and others need to use that as an example of "lying Obummer" you're welcome to do so. It's petty and irrelevant, IMO, but just another bone to gnaw on.

I read the rest of your comment to me. Let me be clear on this:

You don't know me. I don't think someone who reads a blog on the internet has a real insight into how anyone thinks. But you've assigned thoughts and preferences to me just by reading my posts?

Here's an example: You believe I think Mr. Obama is Jesus Christ. That's something the conservatives have been whining about from the day he won the Democratic nomination. You and they confuse allegiance to a party's values and the man who represents that party with slavish allegiance to a religious figure. You're wrong and confused.

I am a liberal Democrat because that party most closely reflects my values--note the qualifier "most closely." Therefore, I support the man or woman who is the leader of that faction that "mostly closely" aligns with my political, social, and economic values. That would then include supporting President Obama, warts and all.

I don't need to apologize one iota for my allegiance to a political party and its leader.

I understand very well, and don't need to be lectured on, the problems within the Obama administration.

What you and other conservatives who come here or who complain on other blogs want, apparently, is for me to slander Mr. Obama as they have, or continue to spread lies about what he wrote in a book, as you have.

No. I'm not going to engage in that. You and other conservatives who own blogs are free to bash and whine and complain and tell the world what a miscreant Mr. Obama is. You're all doing a smashing job of that.

What these harangue about my position vis-a-vis President Obama is, I believe, is that you and the conservatives want people like me to believe the worst about liberals, and especially President Obama.

The evidence for that claim is in your refusal to believe that Mr. Obama never wrote "I stand with the Muslims," despite evidence to the contrary.

I don't believe President Obama is Jesus Christ (why should I, I don't believe Jesus Christ was divine.)

I am very aware of how humans can fail and disappoint and even betray those they should not.

At the same time, I am a practical person who understands politics is a nasty business, and no one comes away from it with clean hands.

But I refuse to join with you and others who believe themselves superior and above the unwashed by engaging in cynicism.

“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.”

FreeThinke said...

Thank you, Ms Shaw, for the clarification on that "infamous" quotation from Mr. Obama. Funny! Someone else used it just yesterday or the day before at another blog, and while I have no love for this president, I respect the truth, so I asked for the source of the "quote." I felt all such remarks should be verified.

Of course, I got no answer, but I see the pejorative use of "I will side wit them" as just another in a long long series of tricks used in the game of politics by one side -- OR -- the other using "facts" or "factoids" taken out of context or slightly misquoted to "sway the masses" in order to gain political leverage.

BOTH sides use this device, and have since time immemorial, so it's entirely disingenuous to try to attribute the practice solely to the side you'd rather not see in power.

I think such practices are childish, myself, but then most PEOPLE really ARE childish, and give far more thought to what their next CAR is going to be than they do to the selection of ambitious individuals who are bound to have a profound effect on the material well being of their future.

That said I have to agree with Black Sheep on the basic thrust of most of his other remarks.

Some may want to believe that agreement automatically puts me the "enemy's camp."

I hope not. If we are ever to make any REAL progress as a society, I think we MUST stop vilifying each other over our philosophical disagreements, and do more THINKING than REACTING.

skudrunner said...

Regardless how you spin it the 501c4 is tied to them.

So you are content with the current irregular actions within the current administration because the other side had them as well. Great logic, ours is corrupt but so was yours.

Black Sheep said...

Shaw, your reading comprehension skills need work.

Read again my first sentences in my last comment where I agree that you appear to be correct and that Obama said "Stand with them".

Repeat (I want to be sure you get this, because you owe me an apology) I don't have the book, I see both "I stand" versions quoted, and yours looks to be the correct one.

Okay? Can you read that?

I think you're more than a little on the hysterical side. You attack me just the same as the Right Wing Wingnuts attack people on AOW, the only difference is that you don't use cuss words. However, you are as hostile in your defense of your personal opinions as they are. Their hostility to discourse is why I left that blog.

I'm not asking you to start reviling Obama. I was hoping that you would see things directly, as they are and not colored by your opinions of what they are. You clearly resent my efforts in this regard, so I'll cease. It's a waste of my time as well as yours.

I sincerely wish you good luck on your path through life.

Black Sheep said...

Well, I can't let this go by before leaving.

You said, "What does it matter what religion Mr. Obama claimed his mother belonged to?"

It doesn't matter. But it matters HUGELY that he LIED about a thing like that to the American public, and you can't see that?

Shaw, there's a big difference between truth and opinions. Your loyalty to your own political opinions is like a brick wall across a freeway.

FreeThinke, you astound me. You've never impressed me as someone who can be dispassionate about issues, I'm happy to be enlightened to the contrary.

Jerry Critter said...

skud said "Regardless how you spin it the 501c4 is tied to them. []

Absolutely, and they are using it as the law intended, not for political purposes or to hid donors. That is not spin. It is truth and fact.

Shaw Kenawe said...

B.S.: "Shaw, your reading comprehension skills need work."

Black S., is it necessary to be so condescending? Must you impugn my ability to read in order to make a point?

Do you remember writing this?:

"Does being a suave talker make anyone a good president? NO, and if you think it does, and you do, then you've allowed yourself to be caught up in the fantasy."

It appears you're living in my head. And I'm not even charging you rent. What does my opinion matter when you know what I think? Just ask the question, then answer it yourself. What do you need me for?

Black S.: "Read again my first sentences in my last comment where I agree that you appear to be' correct and that Obama said "Stand with them'."

I do not "appear to be correct," I am correct when I state that Mr. Obama never wrote what you claimed he did--"standing with the Muslims."

Black S.: "I think you're more than a little on the hysterical side."

Oh great! Another male commenter who can't handle the "little woman" who has strong opinions and is not shy about stating them. IIRC, on AOW's blog, you've been banned for holding very strong opinions. Do you consider yourself hysterical? Or are we little ladies the only ones who get labeled "hysterical" when stating a strong opinion?

That condescending attitude is so 1950! Today, in 2013, we'll just refer to it as "derpy."

Black S.: "You attack me just the same as the Right Wing Wingnuts attack people on AOW, the only difference is that you don't use cuss words. However, you are as hostile in your defense of your personal opinions as they are. Their hostility to discourse is why I left that blog."

If what you want from me is to agree with what you've written about President Obama, you're not going to get it.

Black S.: "I'm not asking you to start reviling Obama. I was hoping that you would see things directly, as they are and not colored by your opinions of what they are."

And the fact that you admit that you don't like President Obama isn't "colored" by your opinion of him? Are you serious?

You're instructing me on how opinionated I am?

If you wanted to come here and address Obama policies and what you dislike or think are the wrong direction, fine. But all I got from you, so far, is a rehash of every skewed opinion the rabid rightwingers have posted here since 2008.

Not one thing you've written is original in its attack on Mr. Obama. I'd hoped for a give and take on the issues.

All I got was these lousy warmed- over "Obummer Hates Whitey!" implications.

It's all so boring.

FreeThinke said...

I'll give this tip to each and all:
Consult that mirror on the wall.

Pip pip and cheerio!


The Honorable, Esteemed And Distinguished Judge Dervish Sanders (A High IQ Individual) said...

skud: Regardless how you spin it the 501c4 is tied to them. []

Jerry Critter: ...they are using it as the law intended, not for political purposes or to hid donors.

Right Jerry. As long as they are following the law and not using the 501c4 to launder money to their PAC and hide donors like Karl Rove did. And so long as Moveon's 501c4 isn't telling people who to vote for (or not vote for) like the Tea Party 501c4 abusers did... then they are following the law and I don't have a problem with it.