May 10, 2013

"The Internal Revenue Service inappropriately flagged conservative political groups for additional reviews during the 2012 election..."

"... to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status, a top IRS official said Friday."
Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

"That was wrong. That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate. That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

"The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added.

238 comments:

1 – 200 of 238   Newer›   Newest»
Rae said...

Remember when Pres. Obama joked about auditing opponents? OH WAIT!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmcLfAfNv4w

Moose said...

LOL - inappropriate is right. We're supposed to give them credit now however for admitting it.

Methadras said...

This is clearly oppositional attacks from Obama. He directs these attacks and this is what he has done. Then when the IRS gets caught, oh, well, they are sorry.

mccullough said...

Federal employees are against non-profit groups that want to shrink the size of government. Who would have guessed

jacksonjay said...


Saint Barry makes Tricky Dick look angelic!

Pogo said...

We became a banana republic under Obama.

This apology means nothing. It had the desired effect and will be employed again.

Balfegor said...

Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias.

Haha, how the hell can they possibly say that with a straight face? They just admitted it!

Organizations were singled out because they included the words "tea party" or "patriot" in their applications for tax-exempt status, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups.

AprilApple said...

Obama: Stop worrying about tyranny!

bagoh20 said...

So I bet the only people worse off for this inappropriate behavior will not include anyone who actually did it, but the people they intended to hurt all along. Winning!

"Patriot" is a dirty word in some circles.

"Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias."

I shouldn't have to pay a penalty, I didn't mean to underpay my taxes.

Yea, I bet that would work.

MikeDC said...

And the people responsible for this have had what happen to them?

Nothing, apparently.

Lem said...

An enemies list?

Was it turned in to the White House?

Who requested the list?

Nonapod said...

I'm shocked that a big government institution like the Infernal Revenue Service would have such a chip on their shoulder against small government advocates that they would abuse their considerable power.

Big Mike said...

"That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association.

It is in the Age of Obama. Back in the 1970's the IRS resisted Nixon's efforts to use the IRS to bash his enemies. But that is so 20th century -- in the 21st century political opponents are redefined as enemies and the IRS jumps right in.

"The IRS would like to apologize for that."

I think she means that the IRS would like to apologize for being so obvious that it got caught.

AprilApple said...

The ironic thing? "tea party" people pay their taxes.

How many corrupt democrat organizations avoid taxes because of bogus "non-profit" tax-exception?

elkh1 said...

Worse than tricky Dick.
The MSM is worse than Pravda.

AprilApple said...

*exemption*

Geoff Matthews said...

What difference, at this point, does it make?

Shanna said...

That was absolutely incorrect, it was insensitive and it was inappropriate.

It was more than insensitive, folks.

X said...

phx doesn't care if they were exercising their civil rights - they got what they asked for.

Big Mike said...

@MikeDC, apparently not even a letter of reprimand for their personnel files.

And without that happening, it is fair to conclude that the "low level employees" were merely following orders from higher-ups like Lerner.

CEO-MMP said...

A story like this just seems like the right place to insert the following:

"enjoy the decline, bitchez!"

Jesus.

Of course, it seems to me that various conservative sites were talking about this back then--and being lampooned for it (not here, I don't mean that).

Nathan Alexander said...

Bill Clinton taught us that we need to parse every single thing a Democrat/liberal official says.

She said:
""The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added."

Note: literally, it is an admission that the IRS doesn't actually apologize for violating ethics, they would just like to. Apparently there is some force, issue, or ideology preventing them from doing so, she she just offered a reasonable facsimile thereof instead.

Larry J said...

A few weeks ago, I called my ISP for technical support. The agent kept apologizing for the problem. Finally, I told her that I wasn't interested in her apologies. I wanted the problem fixed so their service wouldn't suck so bad.

I don't give a rat's ass about a bureaucrat's apologies. People deserve to be fired over this abuse of government power. It'll never happen, though. Being a government employee means never having to accept responsibility for your actions or suffer any consequences for screwing up or abusing your authority.

Nathan Alexander said...

Hmmm...didn't see Big Mike's parsing. His take actually seems more likely: the official is hoping for a chance to apologize to her liberal masters for getting caught doing their bidding.

DrMaturin said...

How wierd that these mistakes always go in one direction. It's just baffling.

Henry said...

Where are the heads that should be rolled?

MadisonMan said...

So they were found out, and are apologizing.

At some point, however, someone made the decision to do this. Is that person still working, and if so, why? That is a question that I would ask.

Sam L. said...

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.

Suuuuuuuure they do.

Icepick said...

Haha, how the hell can they possibly say that with a straight face? They just admitted it!

Because they assume most of the people in this country are too stupid to be able to keep the thread of the story from one whole sentence to the next whole sentence. Sadly, the election results prove that to be true. Nothing will come of this, either.

traditionalguy said...

This is so funny. Give a mean spirited man like Obama a drone or an IRS Gestapo and then see the "unexpected" results pop up.

Americans voted for a bitter clinger who clings to his hatred of WASPs and his Presidential weapons.

MadisonMan said...

I called my ISP for technical support. The agent kept apologizing for the problem. Finally, I told her that I wasn't interested in her apologies. I wanted the problem fixed so their service wouldn't suck so bad.

There is nothing I hate more than hearing, after waiting in a long line, Thanks for your patience. I now quickly say Please don't presume that I'm being patient.

A heartfelt I'm sorry you had to wait so long would be a much much better phrase.

Amartel said...

Who made the decision and are they still working at the IRS?

Icepick said...

An enemies list?

Was it turned in to the White House?

Who requested the list?


Lem, please. They don't have to provide a list. Everyone knows that everyone that ISN'T a mindless Obama voter is the enemy and should have horrible things done to them.

traditionalguy said...

Word just in that the Japanese have apologized for the Rape of Nanking and the Bataan Death March. They feel bad about it.

Matthew Sablan said...

... Wow.

Just. Heads need to roll for this; top-down, firings.

The appearance of impropriety is enough to lose your job when it appears you are undermining the First Amendment.

Pogo said...

Tea Party bleed a lot.

Icepick said...

Where are the heads that should be rolled?

Sitting behind the big desk in the Oval Office.

Methadras said...

This reminds me of the South Park Episode when the BP oil spill happened and they would show the CEO of BP in a commercial saying sorry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDqatJPvOfk

Icepick said...

Is that person still working, and if so, why?

They are still working, they're going to get a promotion in grade, and the reason is that they did exactly what the Boss wanted them to do.

Nomennovum said...

Gosh, what could possibly have given the Revenuers the impression that they had carte blanche to harass convervatives?

cubanbob said...

The left better pray for resounding victories in 2014 and 2016. The door swings both ways and there is a far better target rich environment on the left than there is on the right.

Hagar said...

I would think a bit more than an apology is called for.
In fact, a lot more!

Matthew Sablan said...

Let me apologize if this is one of the many places I said: "Any appearance that the IRS is unfairly targeting right-leaning groups is incorrect" or in some other way gave the IRS the benefit of the doubt.

I was wrong. There were many people during the election who said the Executive Branch was flexing muscles to shut out First Amendment rights of certain conservative/Republicans, and I thought that was too cartoon villainy to be true. I was wrong.

damikesc said...

Lemme guess, Progressives, conservatives are "whining" again, huh?

And without that happening, it is fair to conclude that the "low level employees" were merely following orders from higher-ups like Lerner.

..which is why I want a Republican to get in office and fire EVERYBODY who works for any level of the Federal government (outside of military) and force them ALL to re-apply for jobs. Check out their actual work history. Make them justify their existence on the public teat.

mrs whatsit said...

"insensitive" is a jaw-dropping word. Does she think this is a matter of somebody's feelings getting hurt?

There is a reason why low-level IRS employees did this. They did not think it up on their own out of nowhere. And the tendency of Obama and his minions to blame underlings for doing all the bad things while taking credit for the good things that the underlings do (Obama himself killed Bin Laden! With one hand tied behind his back!!lll!!) is one of the most despicable things about him.

edutcher said...

I remember the Commissioner of the IRS coming to visit the Philadelphia Service Center (now defunct) about '94 or '95.

She ended up losing her job over this sort of thing.

As always, Willie put Nixon to shame.

X said...

Hatch Act these mofos. no job or pension for you asshole. I don't care. They asked for it.

Brew Master said...

Power surrendered to the state will always be abused. Always.

Andy Freeman said...

Given the Pigford precedent as it is being applied to other ethnic groups, shouldn't the federal govt now give $50k to every tea party group and person who ever had a positive thought about the tea party?

Paco Wové said...

"That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review"

But, clearly it is.

Terry said...

"Wrong".
"Incorrect".
"Inappropriate".
"Insensitive".
None of these words requires any action be taken.
The word that would require that open, documented action be taken -- "illegal" -- is missing.

DavidD said...

" 'The IRS would like to apologize for that.' "

Fine. Now go ahead and apologize; we're waiting.

Matthew Sablan said...

"In some cases, groups were asked for their list of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said."

-- That's horrendous. I also think "complained" and "accused" are the wrong words for the AP to be using here. They're accurate, but the "accused" terminology makes it sound like an unproven accusation, and complained makes me think it is not justified. Though, for simple sentences, there isn't a cleaner way to describe what the groups did.

Also: Shulman needs to file an amended report with Congress. He didn't commit perjury (he honestly did not know this was happening), but his testimony was in error. He needs to correct it, for the record.

"Lerner said 150 of the cases have been closed and no group had its tax-exempt status revoked, though some withdrew their applications."

-- The chilling effect on free speech. Heads need to roll.

James Pawlak said...

But, have they stopped doing that?

Darleen said...

it was over a year ago when TEA Party groups sounded the alarm on the onerous IRS "requests" and the IRS spokesholes sniffed "We are professionals! We would never consider political affiliation or ideology."

Now the IRS is saying "nevermind!" ... even admitting that some of those original requests (ie donor lists) were against IRS policy.

"Insensitive"? Good lord.

Matthew Sablan said...

Maybe: "Tea Party groups were vindicated by the IRS confession of wrong-doing." would be a better way to phrase the complained/accused sentences. It also saves some space (if they're vindicated, it is because something they said (the accusation) turns out to be true.) It is a bit more editorial than the complained/accused language, but it is also completely accurate and fits a nice narrative arc of the underdog over coming the government machine, which you'd think journalists would love.

Chip S. said...

But remember, Liberal Fascism is sheer nonsense.

madAsHell said...

There must have been a video on youtube.

sydney said...

This seems like it at least warrants a Congressional investigation. They need to clean the IRS of the types of people who think this behavior is OK.

And no, the door does not swing both ways. If you have long-term workers of a certain party in power within a bureaucracy, they will continue to exercise that power in favor of their own partisans.

Amartel said...

Oh, the things we learn about our government on Fridays!

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

cubanbob said... The left better pray for resounding victories in 2014 and 2016. The door swings both ways and there is a far better target rich environment on the left than there is on the right.

Unfortunately not true. If a repub did this it would be covered as the next watergate.

If you believe in accountable government you have to vote for Republican president

Tim said...

...and the dividends for voting for Obama just keep rolling in.

Sow what you reap.

Dumb voters are ruining America.

Pity is, most of them are too dumb to note what, exactly, they are ruining.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

It would be nice to see the entire list of terms that would get your group flagged.

Maybe someone will do a FOIA for any emails relating to the screening process.

bpm4532 said...

Quite a few people should loose jobs and be banned from government employment for life over this. Some should serve time.

CWJ said...

The apology itself serves the same function as the "additional reviews.". In effect, it says for those of you who were too dim to get the message before, this could happen to you. It's public outreach. Let's all sing a chorus of "Sweet Home Chicago"

As for the door swinging both ways, ain't goin to happen. This is not so much a function of which party is in power as it is a function of the bureaucrats themselves. It was the bureaucracy that felt threatened first and foremost. Democrats were secondary.

furious_a said...

...was initiated by low-level workers...

Oh, please, anyone who has ever worked in the Public Sector knows that the only thing low-level employees initiate are grievance filings.

And, to be fair, mostly because intiative brings sanction -- it creates more mork for everyone else.

Matthew Sablan said...

If it was started by low-level workers, we need to find out what in the IRS makes people think that treading on the First Amendment is a good idea, and snuff that out.

ricpic said...

The IRS was going after right wing terrorists. Just ask Janet.

phx said...

If it was started by low-level workers, we need to find out what in the IRS makes people think that treading on the First Amendment is a good idea, and snuff that out.

I agree. Of course.

Methadras said...

I defy anyone to tell me how the left gets to walk away squeaky clean from any of this. They are a cancer.

furious_a said...

IT GETS BETTER -- the IRS will be the primary enforcer of the Affordable Care Act mandates:

"Get ready for the Internal Revenue Service to play a dominant role in health care. When Obamacare takes full effect next year, the agency will enforce most of the laws involved in the reform—even deciding who gets included in the health-care mandate."

...including who gets subsidies through the exchanges. It would go something like this:

"Hello, Mr. Opposition Party member. I'm a frightening and inquisitive government official with sanction and enforcement authority. Would you like sign your name to this pre-printed absentee ballot, or should I deny your health care registration/treatment/claim/ reimbursement right here and now?"

Revenant said...

"The IRS would like to apologize for that," she added.

Apologies are nice. Criminal investigations into those responsible would be nicer.

Big Mike said...

@Matt Sablan, may I rephrase your comments as you would like to apologize?

garage mahal said...

Ooops!

campy said...

At some point, however, someone made the decision to do this. Is that person still working, and if so, why?

Yes, because he was re-elected.

X said...

we need to repeal the 16th amendment since the government can't handle it responsibly. common sense regulation of government power.

Matthew Sablan said...

I would like that, very much, Big Mike.

Jay said...

This is just all a big coincidence, I'm sure.

phx said...

Apologies are nice. Criminal investigations into those responsible would be nicer.

Why not?

bandmeeting said...

Nothing is inappropriate if it means defeating those mean Republicans.

DanTheMan said...

"Completely honest bureaucratic snafu"

Hey, it worked for Clinton....

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"Ooops!"

Ha ha, whoopsie, they got caught.

So funny to the resident fat fuck.

Did your wife say "ooops" when she left you? Did the college admissions say "ooops" when they denied you entrance to college?

What, neither of those were accidents you say?

Neither was the IRS targeting the political opposition to President Foodstamps.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

For all of you young Mid westerners out there, the IRS is A Federal Agency that styles itself on being Wm T Sherman redux.

War is hell, and DO NOT FORGET IT!

Jay said...

I'm continually amazed that anyone on the right would give Obama and his ilk the slightest bit of good faith.

These people hate anyone who disagrees with them, they make this clear in what they say and what they do, and it is silly to pretend they are just merely on the "opposite side" of an issue.

They would jail you, or worse, if they could for merely believing what you believe.

If you don't understand this, you aren't paying attention.

garage mahal said...

Ha ha, whoopsie, they got caught.

Don't worry, I'm sure you're fine. You don't have any income to audit.

Jay said...

ACLU on IRS apology: "about as constitutionally troubling as it gets"

President-Mom-Jeans said...

If only I could have a high income like someone who was too dumb to go to college, and and then hand over a portion of that every month in child support. Being uneducated, thats where the big money is!

If only. Perhaps then I could afford to have the physique of fatty mcbitchtits. All that food you stuff down your throat isn't cheap im sure.

Did I hurt your feelings Fatty? Don't like having your failed marriage and pathetic life brought up?

Ooopsie!

gerry said...

This just in...

Mark said...

The way the article is written, it makes it seem isolated to some low level person in Cincinnati. However, deep in the article is was stated that ALL cases similar to this type of tax exempt entities from across the country were given to the Cincinnati office for "consistent" treatment and so that there would be expertise.

This kind of government efficiency I can do without.

Also, note that it was a low level employee who "initiated" the method of search methodology. It wasn't "conducted" by low level employee. It wasn't "known" only to low level employee. It was "initiated".

If someone is not fired, this will continue on.

Marshal said...

Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati and was not motivated by political bias. After her talk, she told The AP that no high level IRS officials knew about the practice.

Does anyone believe this?

Plus: not one word about anyone being fired, even though the IRS asserted after the Joe the Plumber tax targeting that future similar events would be dealt with harshly.

Amartel said...

FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY

MONSTER FUCK UP RALLY

This week, next week, every week

Featuring:

IRS FUBAR drive-by vanagon!

State Department invisible growing SNAFUmobile (as not seen on tv!!!)

Hot EPA Prius on Volt action xxx!

Commerce Department stretch Humvee limousine fleet fire ballet

***Sideshow Guess Whose Meat OfficialUnOfficial Government-Issued Blackberry shots!
(Bonus Prize for Which one's Janet????)***

FRIDAY FRIDAY FRIDAY!!!!
You've already paid for admission but we're going to charge you again anyway because fairness!!!!

Jay said...

So "low level staffers" can initiate extensive reviews of tax returns from any group in the country, all of which are sent to the same place, for further review.

That's like, totally believable.

David said...

There are lots of organizations on both sides of the political divide who have problematic exemptions.

I say go after all of them, right and left.

Is there anyone left in government who would dare do that?

gbarto said...

Whew! I guess we won't be talking about Benghazi on the Sunday shows this week.

A couple low-level flunkies eventually get the axe, the lady working under Obama takes full (i.e. no) responsibility and we move on.

And we get the story about dead Americans off the front pages.

Or have the last few years pushed my cynicism too far?

Jay said...

There is a rich history on the left of trying to criminalize political differences.

This is just the latest example.

garage mahal said...

All that food you stuff down your throat isn't cheap im sure.

It's not! I eat like a King, because I am. How's the table fare for an unemployed law school dropout like yourself? Lots of mac and cheese?

Steve said...

Obama: Who will rid me of these troublesome Teabaggers?

IRS: We will.

Administration: This was not politically motivated.

Republicans will play a few rounds of "What if Bush did it and go away satisfied. Suckers.

Shanna said...

Those commenters at TPM are bonkers.

Vile Pliskin said...

I guess these "low-level" workers were just self-radicalized liberalists.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

All hail King Fatty the Uneducated.

I make more money than you, I'm younger than you, I have several more degrees than you, I have no failed marriages.

But hey, you thirty to forty pounds on me! You win that one.

Feel good about that next time you write a child support payment.

Does the IRS audit child support payments? Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that King Lardass the First isn't paying his fair share?

phx said...

All hail King Fatty the Uneducated.

I make more money than you, I'm younger than you, I have several more degrees than you, I have no failed marriages.

But hey, you thirty to forty pounds on me! You win that one.

Feel good about that next time you write a child support payment.

Does the IRS audit child support payments? Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that King Lardass the First isn't paying his fair share?


Now there's an eristic for you. Not of the dialectical variety, however.

Michael said...

Because low level staffers are told from the minute they are hired to think for themselves and to act on their beliefs.

Drago said...

Hey, what's the big deal.

Didn't these audits happen a really really really long time ago?
(channeling Jay Carney)

President-Mom-Jeans said...

And I don't think we have ever heard the story of how your wife left you, inquiring minds want to know.

Was it an escape from your basement ala Cleveland?

Or did she just get tired of the doughy braindead lump she was foolish enough to marry?

Perhaps just to take whatever money your family had? Doubt you signed a prenup, fatboy.

Most likely of all, she just left you to fuck an alpha male conservative since you couldn't take care of business in the bedroom.

But you venting on the Althouse blog totally makes up for that right?

Cedarford said...

Its "Nixonian", but remember that Nixon was just practicing what FDR, Truman, LBJ, and to a lesser extent Eisenhower and JFK did to use the IRS as a weapon against their political foes.

It really should go down in history as "Rooseveltian" - but it won't.

Isn't it splendid that after a hiatus, it is revived by Obama, diligently picking up where Nixon left off.

PS- during the hiatus, the focus by both Democrats and Republicans was not on punishment. It was to use the IRS to change rules to reward wealthy donors with tax breaks mere proles didn't get - because they didn't "pay to play".

(Besides of course the Pork-fest both parties went to like hogs to a trough - where both parties successfully blocked raising taxes to pay for free drugs for seniors bought at full price on IOU, Pigford, neocon wars of nation-building, government employee bennies, etc,

Drago said...

"That's not how we go about selecting cases for further review," Lerner said at a conference sponsored by the American Bar Association."

Except, in this case, that's precisely how the IRS selected cases for further review.

Shorter IRS: "We never do that...except for when we do."

Carl said...

"Wrong" and "insensitive" aren't quite the right words here. "Felony" and "eligible for parole in 5 years" seem more correct.

Drago said...

garage: "How's the table fare for an unemployed law school dropout like yourself?"

Wouldn't a law school dropout be someone who attained about 1.5 levels of education above you?

Remember, the left is all about being the "educated" party.

Drago said...

I'm sure the major liberal news stations and papers will pick up this AP feed and run with it.

Right?

phx said...

Because low level staffers are told from the minute they are hired to think for themselves and to act on their beliefs.

To all you guys who are scoffing at the low-level staffer theory - I understand. Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?

phx said...

I'm sure the major liberal news stations and papers will pick up this AP feed and run with it.

Right?


You too Drago. We not allowed to wait and check before you do all your boo hooing about how the media is handling this? You want credit already?

Drago said...

Remember, the left told us that GWBush and Cheney were personally responsible for the actions of the reservists mobilized and assigned to Abu Graib.

Personally responsible.

Hey, remember way back when in the early 1980's when a low level Carter admin holdover in the Agriculture Dept classified ketchup as a "food"?

Gee, remember how Reagan was personally responsible for that?

It's almost as if there is a media double standard or something.

But we know there can't be.

Because "racists" and "shut up".

Matthew Sablan said...

"Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?"

-- If the IRS is telling us the truth, there's no need for an investigation. They've confessed to wrong doing and know who did it and why.

Now, they just need to name names and issue pink slips. There are plenty of educated, able people who can do the work of these low-level staffers.

Drago said...

phx: "You too Drago. We not allowed to wait and check before you do all your boo hooing about how the media is handling this? You want credit already?"

My comment was not about how the media is handling this (present), is was comment directed towards how I think the media will be treating this going forward (future).

So, it is you are preemptively boo-hooing about what you perceived (falsely) to be my boo-hooing without giving our trusty media their chance in the sun.

LOL

Want to try again?

I wouldn't recommend it.

phx said...

Now, they just need to name names and issue pink slips. There are plenty of educated, able people who can do the work of these low-level staffers.

Fine. You gonna trust the IRS to do that though?

Marshal said...

phx said...
Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?


Ah, we're back to the "wait for the facts / you guys are beating a dead horse" shuffle. Maybe someone should tell phx you can't use that one twice the same week.

I am curious though. Aren't they already investigating? If not how do they now know this ocurred? A few months ago the IRS Commissioner claimed it was false. Why it almost seems the justifications phx imagines have no connection to reality.

phx said...

I wouldn't recommend it.

I think I'll take your good advice.

Drago said...

phx: "Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?"

LOL

Yes, lets wait for the "actual investigation" (which apparently is already complete, hence the public statement by the IRS) to be "completed".

LOL

Of course, just like Benghazi, we will be in the phx-preferred "can't discuss until actual investigation is complete mode" (which precludes commentary) right up until we advance immediately, without delay, into the "this is old old news" mode (which renders commentary meaningless/unnecessary/politicization of an issue).

This is such a tired liberal tactic.

garage mahal said...

I make more money than you

Haha! Good one Creams Jeans. Good one.

Matthew Sablan said...

Well, even more technically, the IRS -has- done their investigation. The IRS' investigations found out that low-level staffers were using the bludgeon of government to gather information on private citizens illegally, including demanding: "information about group members' political activities, including details of their postings on social networking websites and about family members."

We don't need to wait for an investigation on this one Phx. The agency has done it, completed it and found itself culpable of things it calls incorrect, insensitive and inappropriate. To pretend we need to wait for even more is a delay tactic.

They need to name names, fire people and issue some clear directives to prevent this from happening again, along with restitution to groups that withdrew their claims due to government bullying and expect to be sued, promptly, by those who lost a lot of money filing paperwork.

Drago said...

phx: "I think I'll take your good advice."

Stop smirking when you write that.

Big Mike said...

Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?

Not if you are even-handed and also reserve your judgement when it's a case of a Republican administration at the state or federal level and a progressive organization that has been impacted.

AllenS said...

The IRS didn't do anything wrong. Some motherfucker(s) who worked for the IRS did something not only wrong, but most likely criminal. Would it be too much to ask for individual names?

ndspinelli said...

I'm shocked that a Chicago pols administration would be involved w/ things like this IRS scandal and Benghazi coverup.

Captain Renault

DADvocate said...

I'm surprised garage showed up for this one. His comments show he's tryoing very hard to avoid the serious impliations of this. Total hypocrite.

Drago said...

AllenS: "Would it be too much to ask for individual names?"

The IRS won't even provide details on what, if any (unlikely), disciplinary action was taken.

But remember, they work for us.

Really.

And they just want to help.

But, hey, "actual investigation" still on-going, or something. And "Secret Routers", or something.

Methadras said...

Maybe someone is confused and they are going to investigate the apology instead?

Big Mike said...

@Matt Sablan, if the "low level employees" are in fact responsible for acting on their own (and not responding to orders filtered down from above), then they may still be sufficiently shielded from termination under Civil Service regulations. Believe it or not, a bunch of years ago the Civil Service ruled that a person could not be terminated from federal employment merely because he had murdered his manager.

phx said...

The IRS won't even provide details on what, if any (unlikely), disciplinary action was taken.

I'll bet that's a contract issue - it's in the law.

But hey, if you want to go right over there and start stringing some people up on lamposts, I won't stop you.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

Left you to fuck a conservative alpha, got it.

Atlhough I can only imagine what sort of chubby hag would marry you in the first place, if she is still in need of a real man, I have been known to dole out charity fucks now and again. After some heavy drinking of course.

Let me me know if shes ever on the East coast. I think its important to have a positive male role model in these broken homes, if only for the hour or two that I engage in my charity works.

phx said...

Not if you are even-handed and also reserve your judgement when it's a case of a Republican administration at the state or federal level and a progressive organization that has been impacted.

Fair enough. Regardless of party keep even-handed and reserve judgment until a reasonable process is exercised. Of course at some point you have to say "the process is unreasonable" - but it hasn't even begun yet.

furious_a said...

phx: Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement...

Sure. Reminiscent, though, of mid-level managers in the Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services spontaneously ordering searches of state files concering Joe Wurzelbacher after his famous front-lawn exchange with the President.

DADvocate said...

But hey, if you want to go right over there and start stringing some people up on lamposts, I won't stop you.

THere an IRS service center in Covington, KY. It's more heavily guarded than the Federal Reserve building in downtonw Cincinnati. Guards at the parking lot entries, 8 ft. metal fences, etc.

Amartel said...

Somehow I don't think we should believe the IRS's self-investigation.

The fact that the IRS found that this was due only to non-politically motivated low level employees should be automatically read to mean it was high level and politically-motivated.

Automatically.

Because

1. Common sense. Why would Tea Partiers be targeted if not for political reasons? How would a low level employee conduct this nationwide targeting? Ya, I know, duh.

BUT ALSO

2. Everything the Obama Administration says is true, assume the opposite. True is false. Up is down. Obama promised transparency he just didn't say exactly how it would be delivered. Now we know.

phx said...

THere an IRS service center in Covington, KY. It's more heavily guarded than the Federal Reserve building in downtonw Cincinnati. Guards at the parking lot entries, 8 ft. metal fences, etc.

Well there you go. Maybe they should wait after all.

garage mahal said...

Left you to fuck a conservative alpha, got it.

Definitely not that, no. To the extent that even exists.

If you weren't such an unstable, degenerate weirdo I'd probably tell you. Suffice it to say she was a lot like you though. Free at last. Free at last!

Alex said...

It's not! I eat like a King, because I am. How's the table fare for an unemployed law school dropout like yourself? Lots of mac and cheese?

Speak for yourself lard-ass. Oh of course you use gouda on your penne, while the rest of us eat Kraft Dinner.

Alex said...

It's not! I eat like a King, because I am. How's the table fare for an unemployed law school dropout like yourself? Lots of mac and cheese?

Speak for yourself lard-ass. Oh of course you use gouda on your penne, while the rest of us eat Kraft Dinner.

Shanna said...

but it hasn't even begun yet.

Why do you persist in saying this? They already issued an ass covering statement a good long while after people started complaining! That means they did an investigation. They found wrongdoing. They admitted it.

It's not unreasonable to expect repercussions at this point.

Jay said...

the left told us that GWBush and Cheney were personally responsible for the actions of the reservists mobilized and assigned to Abu Graib.

Yes, and magically Obama is not responsible for the Boston bombing or Benghazi.

Isn't that nice?

Jay said...

phx said...
Do you mind however if some of us reserve our judgement on that matter until we know more or an actual investigation is underway?


What "investigation" would that be?

Do you ever "reserve judgement" on Republican wrongdoing, like, ever?

So let me get this straight, if a House Oversight Committee finds wrong doing, you'll magically be super-duper critical of the IRS?

That is your contention?

furious_a said...

The fact that the IRS found that this was due only to non-politically motivated low level employees...

Like the State Dept "found" that the Battle of Benghazi was started by an anti-Islamic video. Sorry, Federal Agencies have forfeited credibility in investigating themselves.

Assume for the moment low-level IRS employees in the Queen City were following policy in opening investigations.

Some IRS audits are triggered by algorithmic 'flags' (analagous to the 'Audit Risk Meter' in Turbotax) but most are initiated by citizen complaints. IRS staff are then duly bound to evaluate these complaints for merit.

An Inspector General, or a House Committee armed with subpoenas, or a private entity filing a FOIA request, should investigate to see if there was a pattern of citizen complaints originating from poltical counterparts to these Tea Party groups and intended as harassment toward them.

Someone from outside the Agency. I'd prefer an IG investigation, as they are nominally non-partisan and, with some exceptions, immune to political influence.

Wherever the investigation leads.

Big Mike said...

Of course at some point you have to say "the process is unreasonable" - but it hasn't even begun yet.

Trap closes. According to Lerner's own statement the process has completed.

furious_a said...

If the IRS' internal findings are correct, then an IG investigation would confirm that. As to complaints this would needlessly divert IRS resources, it's self-evident that there are serious internal control issues at the Agency that require an independent, enforceable review to ensure that they are corrected.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phx said...

Trap closes. According to Lerner's own statement the process has completed.

Well apparently that's not what Boehner said.

phx said...

Wherever the investigation leads.

Exactly.

phx said...

It's not unreasonable to expect repercussions at this point.

Okay fine. But I don't think this necessarily stops with an internal IRS investigation. I doubt you do either.

elkh1 said...

Jay said...
"the left told us that GWBush and Cheney were personally responsible for the actions of the reservists mobilized and assigned to Abu Graib.

Yes, and magically Obama is not responsible for the Boston bombing or Benghazi."

But Bush and Condi were responsible for the original 911 because they haven't finished reviewing the memo they received sometime in August. Cheney was responsible for scaring the voters right before the 2004 election for raising the terror alert to orange, and Bush was responsible for the CIA's Iraq WMD claims...

What amazing schizophrenic mind the MSM have!

campy said...

What amazing schizophrenic mind the MSM have!

You just don't understand nuance.

Jay said...

phx said...
Well apparently that's not what Boehner said.


Um, who?

What statement did Boehner make?

Anthony said...

First couple of months: "We won't do anything until we get all the facts; it's too early right now."

After that: "That happened a long time ago, what difference, at this point, does it make?"

Lather, rinse, repeat.

phx said...

Um, who?

What statement did Boehner make?


Er...McConnell.

carrie said...

Just wait until they start reviewing posts on blogs like this to decide who to audit next!

Matthew Sablan said...

Oh, Yes, Minister, what can't you solve?

Bernard Woolley: What if the Prime Minister insists we help them?

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Then we follow the four-stage strategy.

Bernard Woolley: What's that?

Sir Richard Wharton: Standard Foreign Office response in a time of crisis.

Sir Richard Wharton: In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.

Sir Richard Wharton: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there's nothing we *can* do.

Sir Humphrey Appleby: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it's too late now.

Balfegor said...

IRS should provide the results of their internal investigation, including all notes or other memoranda taken by investigators, to the appropriate Congressional oversight committee or potentially to the public. IRS should terminate or otherwise discipline any individuals identified by their internal investigation as having engaged in misconduct if they have not already done so. And then Congress should perform their own investigation without merely relying on the internal investigation. If they find that the investigation already performed was inadequate, then that's another subject for investigation, e.g. whether there was inappropriate pressure exerted to shape the conclusions reached by the internal investigators.

Balfegor said...

Re: Matthew Sablan:

Yes, Minister is the best.

SGT Ted said...

People should be going to jail for this. Obama should be impeached.

It is obvious where the orders to do this came from. Just like the FBI files of prominent GOP-ers and donors requested by the WH office of Personnel Security under Bill Clinton. Just like Nixon.

They are just trying to pin it on a patsy to get away with it.

I bet they will even try to blame Bush.

damikesc said...

Fine. You gonna trust the IRS to do that though?

How can anybody?

The worst thing a government can do is to make their actual existence illegitimate in the eyes of many.

This gov't is doing that. Nobody trusts anybody to do anything. Nobody gets punished for wrongdoing. Nobody trusts that the rules will not change tremendously with no new legislation to explain it.

We aren't a republic. We serve at the pleasure of unelected, budybody bureaucrats.

If somebody wants a guaranteed ton of votes, make it legal to punch any EPA or IRS employee in the nose as hard as you want.

SGT Ted said...

What amazing schizophrenic mind the MSM have!

It's not schizo.

It's ideological and it's on purpose.

"No enemies to the left" is a well known axiom of progressive/left political operations. It is simply how they operate.

The only time they violate this is when one of their own repudiates an important member or idea. Think of how Nixon Slayer and thus, Liberal Hero, Bob Woodward was treated after he criticized Obama over the sequester.

You can use that very metric to forecast how the press will cover a political or socially controversial event, before you even lay eyes one it. It is predictable.

Drago said...

phx: "But hey, if you want to go right over there and start stringing some people up on lamposts, I won't stop you."

Gee, I guess that sounds like the next logical step.

I mean, there couldn't be any intermediate steps on the way to the "stringin' em up" phase.

But I get what phx is saying.

The IRS spokesperson says the investigation yielded some findings and that they (the IRS) determined a public statement as to the findings should be made public.

So they do.

According to phx, this means the investigation has not even started yet.

LOL

Meanwhile Greg Hicks over at state has been demoted.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Yes, Minister is indeed the best. The Politician's Syllogism alone ... (for those who don't know it, it runs: (1) We must do something! (2) This is something! (3) Therefore, we must do it!) is worth a mint.

Chip S. said...

Lois Lerner, today: "I'm not good at math."

Apparently she was a Bush appointee.

I can smell the toast from here.

Jay said...

According to phx, this means the investigation has not even started yet.


Well yeah.

phx thinks the Speaker of the House is the Senate Minority leader.

phx also seems to believe congressional hearings are "investigations"

phx also ignores Jay Carney, WH spokesman, who just an hour ago said: "An investigation is on going"

phx don't know much, but what phx knows is "right"

Shanna said...

IRS should provide the results of their internal investigation, including all notes or other memoranda taken by investigators, to the appropriate Congressional oversight committee or potentially to the public.

This is what the OIG does when they investigate. Do they have jurisdiction over the IRS?

virgil xenophon said...

Whaaat? The IRS targets Obama's political opponents? Perish the thought!

"I try to be cynical--but I cant keep up."

------Lilly Tomlin, Political Philosopher

LilyBart said...


How in the hell could this NOT be politically motivated?

How in the hell could it only involve lower level people?

This is just not believable.

This should be CRIMNAL. People should be FIRED. And their supervisors should be FIRED for not, you know, supervising.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
damikesc said...

This is what the OIG does when they investigate. Do they have jurisdiction over the IRS?

Obama neutered the OIG early on in his admin.

John said...

I wonder if the IRS even did this.

I think there is something much bigger than Benghazi than just incompetence. Perhaps there was a US plot to kidnap Stevens (so he could be released, Arguslike, for an October Surprise) or something equally preposterous.

I think the Obama team is scared shitless. We can see it in their reactions.

If there is something big in Benghazi, perhaps this scandal about the IRS can be blown up enough to overshadow it.

If team Obama is using the IRS to harass people for exercising their right to disagree with him, that is huge. That is impeachable, or should be.

It really doesn't surprise me. Obama already did something similar to Joe the Plumber. He has told us he was going to do this and we thought he was joking.

Enough is enough.

John Henry

John said...

Boston bombing, Cleveland kidnapping, that woman who just got found guilty.

Those were all very convenient to keep Benghazi off the front page.

At this point I am about 90=85% sure they were coincidence. But only 90-95%.

John Henry

Chip S. said...

How in the hell could this NOT be politically motivated?

Here's a way:

You're looking for a way to increase the yield on your audits. You'd like to be able to target the tax-exempt groups most likely to have been set up as tax dodges. You figure that people who are strongly in favor of lower taxes are relatively more likely to do this.

I'm not endorsing the logic or the ethics of it, just trying to answer your question. Lois Lerner's bio tags her as a classic DC drone who's risen way above her level of competence.

X said...

let's not give Obama credit for coming up with the under investigation/old news ploy. he's not that bright. that's a longtime Clinton routine. I don't know if they invented it, but I don't remember it before them.

Chip S. said...

And now this.

But remember, Liberal Fascism is sheer nonsense.

furious_a said...

But I don't think this necessarily stops with an internal IRS investigation.

Repercussions won't occur at all if this stops at an IRS internal investigation.

LilyBart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amartel said...

If they want to increase the yield on their audits they should have targeted People Who Work for Obama. I hear those people don't pay their taxes. On a grand scale.

Matthew Sablan said...

Between this, arresting the film maker, using the government to pressure crazy people to not burn Korans (a good intentioned thing, mind you), wanting to overturn Citizens United -- I think it is entirely possible Obama might be overseeing one of the most anti-First Amendment presidencies in a long time.

Matthew Sablan said...

"Obama neutered the OIG early on in his admin."


-- By, note, firing IGs who disagreed with him and punishing whistleblowers.

Matthew Sablan said...

I honestly don't think any direct orders were given. Obama joked about auditing his enemies, low-ranking people thought that was a green light to do it: Then, they get caught doing it too blatantly.

Matt said...

Having read about this a little more it seems pretty small potatoes. I see nothing wrong with this except that they used 'tea party' and 'patriot' as a label. But the label was for ALL 501(c) applications not just Tea Party ones.

Note that only 75 of the 300 organizations were actually conservative. The other 225 could have been anything from liberal to non political.

If some claims 501(c) social welfare status then they deserve to be scrutinized. They should have just changed the label to something less political.

Matthew Sablan said...

Hot Air reports that no disciplinary action was taken. Good to know you can discriminate against people's political beliefs without reprecussion in this administration.

Matthew Sablan said...

75 groups were harassed by the government because of their political affiliation that just happened to be opposite the current government's and, many of them, were denied their First Amendment rights due to this harassment.

You might call infringing on other Americans' rights "small potatoes" but, in general, most people think that the government silencing free speech it disagrees with, even if through mere benevolent neglect and idiocy, is a big deal.

Matthew Sablan said...

(And, yes, being harassed to the point of surrendering is the same as having your request rejected.)

phx said...

Having read about this a little more it seems pretty small potatoes. I see nothing wrong with this except that they used 'tea party' and 'patriot' as a label. But the label was for ALL 501(c) applications not just Tea Party ones.

Thanks for checking into it a little deeper. I count on people with credibility doing the work - I confess to being a little lazy and usually not all that interested. But it's good to hear.

phx said...

But remember, Liberal Fascism is sheer nonsense.

Some righties quivering in their loins that this just may be a real-life example of Liberal Fascism.

davidjay said...

Story ran on NBC News tonight!

Guess that makes it "mainstream", eh?

Balfegor said...

Re: Matt --

75 out of 300 really doesn't tell us anything about whether they were targeted for harassment or not. If out of the 3,400+ groups from which the 300 were chosen, only 75 were Tea Party groups, and all 75 of them were chosen for scrutiny that's what would be indicative of targeting. Without knowing more about the characteristics of the total population and the other terms used for targeting, we can't really tell whether the targeting was inappropriate or not. Lerner's statement communicates pretty clearly that they've figured out it wasn't normal or appropriate. Also that, contra the IRS's protestations that everyone received the "same, even-handed treatment," during the review, clearly some of them were also subjected to inappropriate questioning:

In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said.

Jay said...

I see nothing wrong with this except that they used 'tea party' and 'patriot' as a label

Totally self refuting.

Matt said...

Matthew Sablan

75 groups were harassed by the government because

They weren't 'harassed'. They were simply asked to fill out a questionnaire to prove that they were eligible for 501(c) status because they had not filled out all paperwork. If you worked at the IRS would you just let any and every group claim they were eligible because they said they were without the proper paperwork? Also, the scrutiny was on 300 groups, 75 of which were Tea Party. Would you say the other 225 were also harassed?

Jay said...

phx said...

Thanks for checking into it a little deeper. I count on people with credibility doing the work - I confess to being a little lazy and usually not all that interested.


Hilarious.

You're intellectually lazy, ignorant, and happy that way.

I love the fact you just assume Matt has "credibility"!

Oh, he's confirming your biases.

Never mind.

Jay said...

Matt said...
Having read about this a little more it seems pretty small potatoes.


Which is why the IRS held a news conference about it.

Matthew Sablan said...

Matt: No. They were harassed. They were asked to fill out forms that the IRS has acknowledged were illegal. They were requested to provide personal information that they were not allowed to ask for, and they asked these of organizations for no legitimate reason save their political allegiance.

If you stop a black man because he's black, it isn't OK just because you do everything you'd do for stopping a white man, who you didn't bother stopping, since you know, he wasn't black.

Jay said...

They were simply asked to fill out a questionnaire to prove that they were eligible for 501(c) status because they had not filled out all paperwork

Really?

You have a source for that claim?

Jay said...

If you worked at the IRS would you just let any and every group claim they were eligible because they said they were without the proper paperwork?

I'm willing to bet this presumption of yours is total bullshit.

Jay said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matthew Sablan said...

300 were singled out for review; 75 were done so inappropriately is how I'm reading the apology.

Matt said...

Balfegor

Yes, if they were asking to disclose donors then I agree THAT is an issue.

But so far as I can tell this was all from low level staffers in a Cincinnati office who were trying to find the easiest way to separate the paperwork. Even if one can prove that the staffers are Democrats that still puts the blame no further than their own feet until proven otherwise. I don't see enough to jump to big conclusions beyond the Cincinnati office.

I also read this: "Of the full 300 groups that received the extended questionnaire, 130 have been approved for tax-exempt status and another 150 are still under review, according to Lerner."

I would guess the 150 still under review could get a pass.

Jay said...

Gee, somehow this doesn't jive with Matt's claim:

Chris Littleton, a co-founder of the Ohio Liberty Council, said his group was asked for so much information from the IRS when they applied for status that its leadership gave serious thought to throwing in the towel. "This is a systemic failure—that's what this comes down to," he said.


I'm completely shocked Matt is mischaracterizing this mere "filling out a form"

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