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On Opinion: Benghazi, IRS: Son of Watergate?

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Mike Gerhardt 1 year, 7 months ago

This administration will go down as the most corrupt one in the history of this country.

jack22 1 year, 7 months ago

There's no way we're going to get Bush to give back his trophy for most incompetent/corrupt. I think he's rather too proud for that, and besides, he is in fact the more deserving of the title.

John Hamm 1 year, 7 months ago

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

jonas_opines 1 year, 7 months ago

Anyone who thinks that either this or the last administration is the most corrupt just demonstrates that they haven't studied anything more than a decade or so old.

jack22 1 year, 7 months ago

Jonas, I agree. Who would you give the award to?

jonas_opines 1 year, 7 months ago

Harding would be my first choice. He had almost modern-age levels of scandal in a time before TV, much less 24 hour news stations. For only a two-year term.

But I'll accept other recommendations.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 7 months ago

"Hayes went to bed, believing he had lost. But in New York, Republican National Chairman Zachariah Chandler, aware of a loophole, wired leaders to stand firm: "Hayes has 185 votes and is elected." The popular vote apparently was 4,300,000 for Tilden to 4,036,000 for Hayes. Hayes's election depended upon contested electoral votes in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida. If all the disputed electoral votes went to Hayes, he would win; a single one would elect Tilden.

Months of uncertainty followed. In January 1877 Congress established an Electoral Commission to decide the dispute. The commission, made up of eight Republicans and seven Democrats, determined all the contests in favor of Hayes by eight to seven. The final electoral vote: 185 to 184.

Northern Republicans had been promising southern Democrats at least one Cabinet post, Federal patronage, subsidies for internal improvements, and withdrawal of troops from Louisiana and South Carolina."

http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/presidents/rutherfordbhayes

He banned alcohol from the White House and his wife, Lucy was given the nickname, Lemonade Lucy. I can still remember that after all these years. I am constantly surprised at the information I have retained.

CalitoNY 1 year, 7 months ago

good response jonas......jack22 must be receiving Obama's perks to make a statement like that....really Dude??!!!

jack22 1 year, 7 months ago

Really Dude, the "free stuff" crowd crack me up. What perks do you think I'm getting? I'm interested to know.

uncleandyt 1 year, 7 months ago

WOW, The IRS looks into groups that are seeking special tax breaks or exemptions ? And 35% or so of those groups in some time period starting around 2010 were conservative groups? This is the tip of the iceberg. If my calculations are close to correct, the IRS scrutiny of non-conservative groups happened at nearly twice the rate, and will be twice the scandal.

imastinker 1 year, 7 months ago

What % of the remaining 65% were political groups at all? Many, if not Most non profits are non political, like the humane society or the Salvation Army.

chootspa 1 year, 7 months ago

They were looking at a specific type of social issues group that can engage in some but not a lot of politicking.

CalitoNY 1 year, 7 months ago

any chance you have read about Obama's half brother that is running a "charity" for Obama and received tax exempt status almost immediately?? Many charities and companies wait several years to get that status.....liberal or conservative one should be alarmed by that.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Should Political Organizations be Tax Exempt? Absolutely not. This action has been subverting democracy and a fair voting system for at least 33 years. Abuse is the word.

In the past this has not been the case with the exceptions of many church organizations that take active roles in politics but usually PACs, Lobby Firms, and other political groups have not received tax exempt status.

Now it seems that groups that claim to be politically active want 501(c)(3) status. Should this be the case?

The answer is NO! The NRA was converted to one of these 501(c)(3) groups for the sake of funding rt wing politicians for the sake of bypassing spending regulations. The right wing over the past 33 years has been wandering about dreaming up 501(c)(3) PAC's ....... can we say our campaign funding system got deregulated? Yes we can.

The Chamber of Commerce is another such bogus PAC.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Tempest in a teapot.

First, given the definition of qualification for 501c4 status, I don't see why many of these organizations would qualify - their main goal is supposed to be "social welfare", not "political activity". Granted these are a bit vague and open to interpretation, but still.

The IRS may have been wrong to single out certain groups for more scrutiny, but they've apologized, and there's an investigation (and, by the way, none of the groups thus scrutinized were denied tax exempt status).

And, I'm still waiting for some sort of big deal to surface about Benghazi, but nothing has. After rather extensive investigation, no major misbehavior has been found.

But, it's clear that some on the right are trying to take Obama down, as they did with Clinton.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

The Republican party's primary policy agendas are those of class warfare, and in a divided government, their best (only?) political tactic is look for scandal wherever they can dig it up, and create it out of thin air when there is none.

That doesn't mean there aren't lessons to be learned from the IRS or Benghazi situations, but the Republicans aren't looking for ways prevent future such events; they're looking for distractions away from their own lack of policy initiatives that would help the great majority of Americans. They have only one true constituency-- the ueber-wealthy and the corporations that they own and control.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

Those people certainly benefit from Republican policy goals, even if they don't always agree with them. But aside from asserting your approval of the petty partisanship that has completely swallowed the Republican party, what's your point?

CalitoNY 1 year, 7 months ago

sorry bozo but it appears your thinking is part of the problem. ALL politicians seem capable of using tactics to destroy the other. exactly why the problem is division of America and if we could put things aside and just take a stand as Americans and tell the politicians to take a hike....life might get better. Don't blame Republican bc Democrats are just as bad-they all are profiting from our hard earned taxes. Stand alone bozo, or with your neighbor.....let the politicians play the games without you!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

My comments were about Republicans only. Please don't read that as any sort of comment about either the Democratic Party as a whole, or Obama in particular.

That said, while Democrats are nearly as corrupt as Republicans, the percentage of Democrats with integrity and honesty is certainly much higher than the percentage of Republicans who can claim that. Sadly, the percentage is still way too low for Democrats, as well.

John Hamm 1 year, 7 months ago

"There are none so blind as those who will not see."

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Why not remove the log in your own eye first?

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

No joke.

Minor mistakes may have been made, but that's about it.

If those who are so strongly attacking Obama and this administration were equally concerned about such mistakes when they're made by politicians they support, I'd give them more credence. But, it's clearly a one-sided partisan thing, which I find boring and tiresome.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Your assertion is completely unfounded, and any careful reading of my posts would show you that.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

The deaths of 4 Americans is a tragedy.

However, many more died in 9/11 - about 3,000 more. Do you hold Bush accountable in anywhere near the same way you want to hold Obama accountable here?

John Hamm 1 year, 7 months ago

"Minor mistakes?!" Four Americans dead, IRS used as political arm and spying on the press........ What does it take to make "Major" status with you?

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"but they've apologized"

Would an apology be sufficient for singling out groups containing the word "choice" in their name for extra scrutiny regarding taxation?

Are we no longer equal under the law?

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

There's also an investigation, and I'm sure that a number of people at the IRS will lose their job over this. And, some may even be subject to criminal charges.

Frankly, I'm not at all convinced that many organizations receiving 501c4 status really should be granted that, regardless of which "side" they're on. And, if the IRS scrutinized left leaning groups more, I'd find it disconcerting (and I'm sure they've done that in the past), but if the situation were exactly the same, and all of the groups got the tax exempt status they were seeking, I'd call it a minor thing, not a major one. Now, if they denied that status based on political leanings, that would be a bigger problem to me.

501c4 status is supposed to be for groups that have "social welfare" as their main goal, not political activity.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

""social welfare" as their main goal, not political activity."

Jafs, why do you care about that? Some American citizens were treated differently by the governemnt because of their political beliefs. You should be disconcered right now, you don't really need to wait for your side to be targetted.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Because it's not at all clear to me that the groups targeted had "social welfare" as the main goal.

So, I'm not even sure that they should have been granted tax exempt status at all, but they were.

So, it's a minor thing - they were scrutinized a bit more, but granted the status. As I said, if it were left leaning groups in the exact same situation, I'd feel the same way. In fact, if it were left leaning groups that had political activity as the main goal, I think they should be denied 501c4 status as well.

What this really shows me is that we need to tighten up the definitions/qualifications for tax exempt status.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

You're certainly entitled to your opinion that this is all a minor thing. Yesterday, when announcing the resignation of the acting head of the IRS, President Obama came off as very concerned, very pissed. He specifically pointed out the special relationship the IRS has with the American people. Obama looked quite angry to me. Whether this whole thing is minor or not may be a matter of opinion, but I think the President and you are of differing opinions.

Then there's the whole matter of laws being broken. I obviously have no way of knowing if that has happened. It's all speculation at this time. But events seem to be moving rather quickly here and I expect more revelations are forthcoming.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, it's entirely possible that the president and I have differing views, since we're different people.

That's quite all right with me.

And, I'll also wait until the investigation is complete before forming a final opinion on the issue.

I wonder what sort of "special relationship" he was referring to?

I'm not even sure we should have tax exempt organizations at all, and if we do, they should be of the same kind, all devoted to clear public good/social benefit/etc. and all have the same rules/regulations. Then, what's the justification for prohibiting certain kinds of political speech from those organizations, given the CU ruling? Given the definition for 501c4 groups, I'd think that a little scrutiny for groups identifying with political groups is fine - maybe the problem is that similar left leaning groups don't get enough scrutiny (if there are any).

For some reason, the whole thing just doesn't spur a lot of outrage on my part - there are plenty of problems with the IRS that might, like their ability to seize property and make the owner prove it was legally obtained.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, I'll speculate as to what he meant by a special relationship. Generally speaking, we Americans guard our privacy. Government intrusion into our private affairs is generally seen with great skepticism. However, when it comes to the IRS, our lives are very much an open book. They have the power to look into our lives in ways not given to other government agencies, with or without our permission. In return, we expect that the IRS will behave in a manner which is "fair" (there's that word again). We expect them to treat us all equally. And when they don't, even if it's a slight misstep, we retreat to our instincts that government intrusions into our lives should be viewed with great suspect.

As an example, we've discussed in the past what might happen if during a traffic stop a policeman asked to look into the trunk. Imagine now if the IRS asked us how much money we earned last year and we simply refused to answer the question. Or we told them to get a warrant if they wanted that information. The whole system would break down at that point. They largely trust us to tell them the truth. They largely trust us to pay our "fair" share. In return, we trust them to treat us all equally. When that trust is breached, we all suffer.

Or imagine you were going before a judge, expecting a fair ruling on some matter of law. Yet that judge had been accused and convicted several times of behaving in an unethical manner. Would you trust him? Probably not, even though in your matter he might be making a perfectly ethical ruling. The judge's only currency is trust. Once he's lost that, he has nothing left. Should that happen, the judge needs to step down. No future ruling would be seen as "fair". The same is true with the IRS. Trust is their currency. Once they have been corrupted, they have nothing left. And since they operate largely on the honesty of the citizens, once those citizens lose faith, the system is ripe for corruption by those same citizens.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Anybody who thinks that most citizens tell the IRS the truth, or that the IRS operates in a "fair" or "equitable" manner is awfully naive.

I don't "trust" the IRS - do you?

It's a government agency with too much power, and there are numerous problems with it.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

First off, I've seen estimates that say 50% of taxpayers cheat. The extent of cheating is the question.

I drove one mile per hour over the speed limit today. I did it yesterday as well. Does that make me a career criminal? You've got to be using some pretty broad definitions there.

Do I trust the IRS? Generally, yes. First you need to understand certain things. The tax code is so complex that no individual knows it all. It's un-understandable. Mistakes will happen. They have to happen. But that brings up a couple of points. As long as we understand that honest mistakes will happen, we need to accept them. But that's why this controversy is so troubling. What is being alleged is that specific wrongdoing was being purposely done. That is not acceptable.

That bring up the second point. I've long called for a simplified tax code, a flat tax. People might assume I have a pro-business point of view from my post history. that's somewhat true. However, I firmly believe that the more complex the tax code is, the more the wealthy can find loopholes. They can hire tax attorneys and tax accountants that probably know more about the tax code than the typical IRS worker. The wealthy benefit from the complexity. Simplify the tax code and you will be leveling the playing field.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

You're the one who said that they largely trust us to tell the truth - that doesn't fit well with your own description that about 1/2 of taxpayers cheat. Heck, there's one tax that you've posted something like 95-98% of people don't pay.

I have no idea what your "career criminal" comment means - also, you're generally the one who cuts people no slack when they break the law. You don't apply that to yourself apparently?

Your faith in the IRS is naive, but endearing. They have much too much power, including the power to seize property and make the owner prove it was legally obtained, rather than them having the burden to show it's illegal before they seize it.

I agree that we should simplify the tax code.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

Maybe I didn't state my opinion well, as I'm not sure you understood what I meant. Suppose 100% of the people paid 99% of the taxes they owed. Then we'd all be tax cheats, but the extent of the cheating would be relatively small. I think most people try to pay what they owe. I also think the process is so complex, that many fail, despite trying pretty hard to do the right thing. Large scale fraud exists to be sure. But I don't think it's widespread.

The example I gave about 98% not paying taxes on internet sales is due to just that complexity. Again, suppose I work for a social service agency, am single, don't own a house. I might opt to file a 10-40EZ form, just as I have for years. Some time later, I remember that I made $100 in purchases and should have paid $5 in taxes. But what's done is done. Yes, I've technically cheated. But that wasn't the intent. It would be similar to me taking a pen from work. Stealing? Sure. I guess. Technically.

But back to the idea of taxes, if the system becomes so complex that the average person finds it difficult to obey every single rule, then they need to try as best as they can, but we all need to realize that those little mistakes will happen.

Let me give you another little example. Suppose a car mechanic fixes my car and I pay that debt by giving several free meals in my restaurant. That transaction is technically an exchange of services that has value and should be taxed as such. The question is, will I even remember this when I sit down with my accountant? Maybe, maybe not. If I don't remember, that's cheating. Then again, these little things happen all the time and even the most honest person will simply forget.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Ok.

But that's analogous to many people stealing just a little, which you've condemned in no uncertain terms - if a million people steal a dollar,...

I agree about the complexity, as I've said - another problem is that, according to our accountant, you can call the IRS and ask three different people the same question and get three different answers.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

Right, that's where intent has to come in. If the system is so complex that an ordinarily honest person doesn't know exactly the correct amount of taxes that needs to be paid, then when the inevitable mistake happens, it can be overlooked. Stealing is different than making an honest mistake, even though the result might be exactly the same.

But bringing this all home to the original point, was it the intent of the IRS to single out certain groups for extra scrutiny? If so, they violated a trust that exists between the people and the government, even if the net result was the same, which in this case would be those groups getting the same tax exempt status that other groups in that category received. What was their intent?

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

85% of the so called "social welfare" groups that applied for 501c4 status were republican political pacts. None were denied. The only group that applied for 501c4 status that was denied was a progressive pact that supported women's issues.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

If you worked for the IRS, and received information from a credible source that some group was not "social welfare" enough, then by all means, look into it. The problem is the "credible" source were the names of the organization.

"So, it's a minor thing"

When the federal government violates the constitution, I'd say it's more than a minor thing.

In_God_we_trust 1 year, 7 months ago

"And, I'm still waiting for some sort of big deal to surface about Benghazi, but nothing has. After rather extensive investigation, no major misbehavior has been found."

Four people were attacked and killed. That's kind of a big deal.
This administration has delayed and delayed in hopes the American people will forget about it, but that's not going to happen.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

No, God, what you are referring to is that no matter what information the administration provides and no matter what republican circus act they provide information about the republicans will always say we need more information. That is their strategy that they have used on every controversy they have manufactured. Every one of them and then you get to play simon says and parrot it as if it had any validity at all which it doesn't.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes. Now they want to "investigate the investigation".

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 7 months ago

Ah, the Teapot Dome Scandal. That sort of thing has always been with us, has it not? I read that the embassy asked for protection from special forces and was denied it. The CIA tried to get someone to take action but no one would listen. The administration is going out of its way to avoid calling it a terrorist attack. Why is that?

We should move on from the IRS and seriously discuss Benghazi because this could happen again if the US gives the impression it is not going to take action when intelligence is received of an on coming attack.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, the latest news is that on two different occasions the ambassador himself declined additional security.

roadwarrior 1 year, 7 months ago

send every ambassador on a meet and greet with a fully armed division of armed soldiers huh ? think we would be complaining about that expense. If that was the kind of security needed - the visit should never have happened. The guys we thought were on our side...weren't and they helped funnel 'on the ground' information that our agencies took as credible. Our govt agencies - analysts, in staggaring numbers - had tons of conflicting information...you want them to announce to us ONE and have it be The one ? Nieve. Our civil servants do their best to relay correct information. They are people who are haunted when someone they were tasked to help protect are left vulnerable.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

"Journalists should stop protecting President Obama and Hillary Clinton and do their jobs, like Sharyl Attkisson. Congressional Republicans should press for all the facts. That’s their job."

Journalists should do their job and not manufacture the news and Congressional Republicans should be at the bargaining table working on compromises that would allow the country to benefit from what they were really elected to do. Thats their job.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Not knowing the definition of compromise and commenting on it is funny

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Obama has bent over backwards trying to work with the republicans and they burn him every time. He should learn to quit trying to work with them and just push his policies through and if they work give him credit and if they don', give him credit. Shutting them down before they have a chance and then blaming him saying they didn't work is obstruction.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"just push his policies through"

Really? How do you propose he do that with Boehner running the house and the senate easily filabustered? He isn't Kim Jung Barrack.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

You nailed it Liberty, all the blame game the right wingers are playing about Obama not being able to get anything done is and will continue to be because the republicans are obstructing him and then continuing to blame him while they manufacture one fake scandal after another. They should all be run out of town if not tarred and feathered.

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

Now the running total of scandals is mounting, Benghazi, IRS, DOJ - Boston bombing, and messing with journalists. Sadly those are not the old scandals, yet to be fully addressed is Fast and Furious, money trail from failed stimulus 1&2, Solyndra.....

Barry and comapny are being exposed for what they are, scam artists and inept.

deec 1 year, 7 months ago

You are mistaken. You would be hard-pressed to find any post I have made which defends Obama. I have made repeated posts pointing out how little outrage there was when the last guy did the same and much worse with the vocal support of the conservatives on this board and the conservative contingent in general.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

You guys can't run on your record of doing nothing but creating scandal after scandal so you have to bet the farm on your next creation and then the next and the next. Where were all you people when the real scandals were being perpetrated by the Bush regime. Where were you guys when it was time to get to the bottom of the Bush Administrations ignoring all the daily warnings about the trade center attack? Now thats a scandal.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

So I guess you put 911 terrorist attacks on the same level as the Bengazi terrorist attack with your bigoted glasses.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Big difference is that Bush didn't lie to America about the 9/11 attacks.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

That is pure fantasy. Firstly it assumes Obama lied about Benghazi which is s Faux news and republican lie that you have bought. Secondly the bush regime was so incompetent on so many levels and so many layers that a strong case could be made that his regime wanted the 911 attack to happen. The project for a new american century (the bush regime prior to the republican supreme court awarding them the presidency) so badly wanted a war with Iraq so they could have a war president that they declared it would take an event on the magnitude of "pearl harbor" in order to convince the american people to go to war against Iraq. This in their own words, not mine. You should do some research on this if you want to make ridiculous comments like, "Bush didn't lie about 911. With 911 they got their Pearl Harbor and the very day of the attack Cheney went to work to figure out how to use it as an excuse to attack Iraq. It took a whole lot of lies pull of that scam.

Bush spent his entire 8 years lying to the American people.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Susan Rice officially conveyed the talking points approved by the White House for weeks. She was lying because she was given lies to say. That makes the White House a liar as well as the president.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Republican congressional staffers took the emails and rewrote them into a lie to support the republican lie and controversy machine and then leaked them to ABC. What the actual emails said very much solidify that. I actually feel sorry for people who can't do enough research on their own or are to lazy or just want to buy into the lies so bad that they are willing to not only believe them but stake their credibility on them. There fore, the price they pay is looking bad as well as being devoid of the reality of the situation and losing their credibility.

Lisa Medsker 1 year, 7 months ago

Nope. Just covered it, ignored the warnings, then attacked the wrong country for a fabricated reason!

John Hamm 1 year, 7 months ago

You guys just can' give up on "It's Bush's fault" can ya? Well BO's had the reins for almost Five years and the scandals are mounting faster than ya can count 'em.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

They have a lame duck president and they live in a state sorrounded by people that have different ideas about how things should be done. When you are in such a position, you might as well start with the personal attacks as you have little to lose.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Rush Limbaugh's addiction to oxycontin is a known fact. Acknowledging this is stating a fact, and is not a personal attack. Acknowledging that while he was addicted to oxycontin he was doing his usual shock jock bullying attacks on drug addicts claiming they should be locked up and the key should be thrown away. Calling that hypocrisy is not a personal attack either, it is a fact.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Why do you think a comedian's use of drugs is relevant in a discussion about the IRS abusing it's power and violating the constitution?

And what do you have against oxycontin and people that use it? I think it should be freely available to any person of the state's drinking age, at walmart, in the recreational drug aisle. There should even be coupons for it.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

What in the world are you talking about.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Wondering what Oxy Rush has to do with the IRS violating the constitution.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

There is no logical connection between your comment and the comment you appear to be explaining. Comedian? I expressed no opinion on oxycontin or anybody other than the known facts of Limbaugh abusing it while criticizing others who abuse it as well as other drugs .I have no explanation for the opinion you made up that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Many of the posters here are parroting his tirade of assumptions, misquotes, and fabrications to support his shock jock bullying persona as Limbaugh attempts to be the news rather than report the news. That opens him up for scrutiny on these forums. People who buy into his misinformation because they like it will tend to repeat it as if it had any validity whatsoever even though it doesn't.

Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Move military spending to domestic spending for new industry. Outsourced industry is not coming back.

How congress can justify Free Trade Agreements that essentially export USA jobs is beyond me.

What is Congress going to do? This country cannot wait any longer for the Republican Party to cooperate. The Democratic Party cannot wait another fours years for Republicans to stop being obstacles to new U.S. industry that cannot be outsourced.

The U.S. cannot afford millions to have new jobs outsourced. Congress has failed the majority of the U.S. population. That 99 percent was the motor behind everything that had anything to do with the economy.

Why did Congress allow that to be nearly destroyed?

Why did Congress provide a tax code that protects profits on U.S. goods made abroad, in essence encouraging outsourcing of U.S. jobs by the millions.

Members of Congress need to explain why they think the U.S. economy does not need millions upon millions of blue- and white-collar workers employed in the United States.

Where did these conclusions come from? Corporate America was never going broke. Instead corporations have been making tons of profits.

This large group posing as the GOP will not build bridges. The GOP as it was 33 to 50 years ago is dead. Replace this bogus GOP with the Green Party.

MyName 1 year, 7 months ago

What a joke. As someone who was old enough to actually pay attention to Watergate, Cal should be ashamed. Of course, judging by his past worthless partisan hack pieces, I'd say he had shame removed a long time ago.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

"which part(s) of The Constitution you believe have been violated. Really, I'd love to hear. :)"

"nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Basically, that means in America, everyone is entitled to be treated the same by the government. In this case, groups were treated differently because of words in their names that implied a political philosophy at odds with those of the president.

Your word might come up some day and I guarantee you will sing a different tune.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

jhf.

I understand your point, but I might expand my definition of "mistake", in order to be compassionate. One can see committing a crime as a mistaken choice. And, I can't possibly say that all those who don't pay their taxes correctly are just making "honest" mistakes. Many people rely on professionals, of course, who should know what they're doing.

Well, the head of the IRS has said that it wasn't politically motivated, and a response to a doubling in the number of 501c4 applications after the CU decision. Those attacking Obama for this see something more sinister. I doubt we'll ever know for sure, since actions are open to interpretation, and people approach things with certain biases.

As I've said, I think the real problem is the complexity involved with tax exempt organizations, the differing kinds and differing rules, and the "open to interpretation" qualifications, which can't possibly be objective.

jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

If the Obama administration really believed that the targeting wasn't politically motivated, then they simply say so. However, when employees are disciplined and when the acting head of the agency is forced to resign, it appears to be an admission that wrongdoing has happened. If not an admission, then why disciple? Why the forced resignation? If wrongdoing wasn't done, then the disciple would be without cause. You can't have it both ways.

Interesting, Jafs, that your last paragraph seems to be calling for clarity, leaving our subjective choices. That appears to contradict your first paragraph, which calls for compassion, a distinctly subjective matter.

jafs 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, it may have been a mistake, but not politically motivated in the way the attackers see it. And, clearly in the political arena, it's a good idea to act quickly and decisively to show that you don't approve of something like this.

I don't really understand your last paragraph - we're talking about two different things here. One is my personal view of the world, and how I look at things, and the other is how laws should be structured.

It seems clear to me that having a lot of leeway in interpreting criteria for tax exempt status is a bad idea, because there's too much room for differing interpretations - it would be better to have objective standards that can be applied easily by anybody.

That doesn't mean that people are robots, or that I have to deny my humanity when I look at things. You're much harsher on crime than I am, especially theft. Is there any objective view of that? I think not.

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

This story just keeps getting more interesting.

"WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department’s inspector general told senior Treasury officials in June 2012 he was auditing 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."

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/us/politics/irs-scandal-congressional-hearings.html?hp&_r=3&

Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Some more:

“Coalition for Life of Iowa found itself in the IRS’s crosshairs when the group applied for tax exempt status in October 2008. Nearly ten months of interrogation about the group’s opposition to Planned Parenthood included a demand by a Ms. Richards from the IRS’ Cincinnati office unlawfully insisted that all board members sign a sworn declaration promising not to picket/protest Planned Parenthood. Further questioning by the IRS requested detailed information about the content of the group’s prayer meetings, educational seminars, and signs their members hold outside Planned Parenthood."

It's like a liberal inquisition.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/congressman-irs-asked-pro-life-group-about-the-content-of-their-prayers/article/2529924

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

The big question is will the Obama lap dogs ( press ) let Barry slide on this one too ?

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

Benghazi was preventable if resources would have been committed.

Trumbull 1 year, 7 months ago

You can't prevent or control much of anything in the Middle East. Thinking you can is an error.

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

Especially if you don't act when people are pleading for their lives. Nice job Barry

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Resources like the funding the republicans denied to do just that?

Trumbull 1 year, 7 months ago

I am ticked off that the IRS would do what they did no matter how much I disagree with the Tea Party folks.

But in Benghazi, I see the Republicans trying to capitalize from this tradgedy. A quick military response was difficult because of available forces and distance. It also shows that the rescue response did in fact save others stationed there. Sadly not everyone.

It was a chaotic event during and after. Easy pickings to find fault if you are a partisan.

tomatogrower 1 year, 7 months ago

There was no major investigation by the Democrats or the media after the towers were destroyed. There was no major investigation after no WMD's were found in Iraq, so no. Benghazi was the same thing. Intelligence agencies can't catch everything, especially since their funding gets cut. And all the nasty things said by tea baggers about government employees, it's a wonder they still care and catch problems at all. I mean aren't they just lazy government employees sucking at the tit of the tax payers? Could they have dispatched people and saved some lives? Maybe, but maybe those who came to help might have died too. If you work for the state department of seas, especially in dangerous, unstable countries, you put your life on the line, period. No laws were broken here, and hindsight is always better than foresight.

After 9/11, more interpreters were hired, more scrutiny are given to student visas, and more protections were set up at airports. Well, until sequester anyway. But we learned from 9/11 what we needed to do to help protect people. There are things to learn from this too, but Republicans don't care; they only care about getting rid of Obama. They don't care about our country, they don't care about our poor and infirm, they don't care about you.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

"It may be that Republicans are attempting to politicize this, but if this had been a Republican President, would the Democrats not attempt to play politics?"

Simple answer. No. Dems gave Oliver North and Reagan a free ride on Iran Contra after it was undeniable. The Pubs. would have impeached Reagan over this. Probably even sought imprisonment for him. The Dems gave Bush a free ride through his entire administration. He lied us into a war and allowed the 911 attacks. All of these events make Obama look like a mouse even if the controversies that the pubs have largely exploited are trumped up and politicised into being something far more than they were. Benghazi and 911 were both terrorist attacks. 3000 Americans dead and vs. 4. The Dems were complete cowards about going after Bush. They felt it was inappropriate to try to divide the country by pursuing it and pursued unity instead. This is only 2 examples of what actually happened and the best the pubs can do is try to trump something into being as bad as these despicable republican failures.

Come on Wrist, do you really think there is any question that they are trying to politicize this? You may debate on how much- like 8 out of 10 or 10 out of 10 but it is undeniable that they are. You determine this by their actions, their posturing, their relentless shaping of the events to support their desired outcome. There is no doubt In my mind that the Obama Administration could have and very well should have handled Benghazi differently but to try to make it into 911 or Iran Contra is purely political.

How about the emails that were leaked to ABC that were rewritten by congressional republican staffers to implicate Obama but, when read as they were written, actually exonerated Obama. That is not just political but down right criminal and is the real scandal.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

"I don't care about what happened in the past (if it doesn't support your preferred biases.)

there is your answer. So long as it is republicans breaking the law you don't care. If you can manufacture a controversy that favors republicans then you care. That is exactly the way the republican house and faux entertainment thinks as well. That is pure politicalization and a political biase that has their desired results they only need to manufacture a path to get their. Politicalization:

I like the way you disagree with the facts of the past without any explanation other than "i don't care". You can't deny them on any factual basis so you just "don't care". Are you denying that the Reagan administration created "Iran Contra"? Are you denying that he wasn't impeached or imprisoned. Are you denying Oliver Norths participation in this. Are you denying he wasn't imprisoned for his crimes? How about the Savings and Loan Scandal that was a Reagan scandal that he was not held accountable for. Are you denying that Bush used the 911 attacks to justify going to war with Iraq, which had nothing to do with 911. Are you denying Bush adm. lied about this. Oh, thats right you only care if you can politicize manufactured controversies that favor your political views. Priceless.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

The republican supreme court created the culture for this problem with "citizen united" while a republican congress passed the murky laws that the IRS now has to sort out how to interpret while a republican appointee was the head of the IRS while republican organizations (85% of applicants) are applying for 501c4 tax exempt status for purely political and financial gain while pretending to be "social welfare" organizations in order to enhance their ability to be transparent about what they(and who) are doing and you and your buddies think this shouldn't be a red flag to the IRS. Instead you come to the rediculous self serving conclusion and the spin it into :

"this administration is willfully silencing organizatons" and people who do not agree with their agenda."

You have fabricated a completely false scenario to blame OBama so you can cover for the republicans benefiting from the situation they created.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Your "facts" are easily disputed. Although I can't do it and am not going too. although I can't because that would require me to be honest

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Again, just for you, twister

The latest news is that on two different occasions the ambassador himself declined additional security.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

Republican house staffers altered (lied) emails to manufacture republican support for their desired results on Benghazi. The altered emails seemed to implicate Obama while the actual emails vindicated the White House.

Pure politicalization even if it takes making up the story to do so.

http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/05/14/cnn-media-outlets-misrepresented-white-house-be/194072

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

Was this before or after the 11 or 12 revisions from the Whitehouse ?

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

The republican congressional staffers altered the "actual" email sent to their "falsified" version of the "actual" email sent and leaked that "falsified" email to the press.

Do you think any white house or virtually any entity doesn't produce drafts on the way to a final version. You think all you have to do is twist this into what ever you want to make it out to be. Ask any author of any book if the the final version didn't have preliminary drafts. Ask any composer if their released version of a composition was their only version. It is ridiculous for people like you to turn this common practice into something else.

The congressional staffers who "altered" this email to their liking almost surely made drafts of their "altered" version before leaking their actual "lie" to the press. Your position is weak and misleading so you don't have to accept the truth that doesn't support your desired truth.

Fox is still quoting this "falsified" version (multiple times so far this morning) even though they know that it has been proven to be a "lie". Business as usual for them because they know it is what people like you want.

Armstrong 1 year, 7 months ago

"Do you think any white house or virtually any entity doesn't produce drafts on the way to a final version". Yes I think they prefer the "draft" that points the finger of blame on someone besides them.

msezdsit 1 year, 7 months ago

s I think they prefer the "draft" that points the finger of blame on someone besides them."

This while you are completely spinning the facts (making them up) to put the blame on who you choose to blame . awesome.

Upvote0

yourworstnightmare 1 year, 7 months ago

Benghazi is a manufactured "scandal". Where is the ethical violation here? That Obama listened to his intelligence advisors in a dynamic and rapidly changing situation? There is no scandal, but the GOP will continue to pretend as if there is just to keep feathers ruffled.

The IRS story deserves attention, but in my opinion will also turn out to be nothing, especially with regard to Obama.

The behavior and rhetoric of many right-wing, anti-government tea party groups is overtly political and borders on supporting one particular political party. The IRS has a duty to investigate these groups, and in 2009 after Obama was elected, the number of thes new groups swelled, so it was only natural that they would be the focus.

Childish, whiny tea partiers just don't like having their organizations investigated, so they threw a tantrum.

The paranoia that infuses the tea party and other right wing groups makes them very sensitive to legitimate IRS investigation. They threw a fit. Investigate it. Move on.

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