May 11, 2013

"The problem wasn’t that the IRS was skeptical of tea party groups registering as 501(c)4s."

"It’s that it hasn’t been skeptical of Organizing for America, Crossroads GPS, Priorities USA and Heritage Action Fund registering as 501(c)4s. The IRS should be treating all these groups equally and appropriately — which would mean much more harshly."

Says Ezra Klein, who's afraid that now the IRS will go wimpy on everything.

I'm not enough of a policy wonk to have any opinion about how harshly 501(c)4s should be scrutinized, but I do have a strong opinion about the relative seriousness of the 2 problems Klein identifies and distinguishes, and I'm sure he's wrong.

The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law. We can disagree about what the tax laws should be and how strictly or harshly they should be enforced, but everyone knows it is fundamentally wrong to vary the degree of enforcement, selecting victims by their politics. If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all. It would be better to wipe the tax code clean and rebuild it without any complicated corners where government officials — great or small — have a place to do their dirty work.

ADDED: Instapundit writes:
Remember, Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009. At the time, I warned about the damage to the “trust and voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends,” but Obama didn’t get much pushback elsewhere. Now, however, people need to be fired, and most likely prosecuted, to drive home the appropriate lesson. And Obama himself needs to be taken to task. The Post editorial is just a start.
Here's that Washington Post editorial.

170 comments:

harrogate said...

Agreed with your main point. But, why cannot we talk about both things at the same time? Both are legitimate issues, though the issue of equal application is definitely the more pressing. Let's enforce these rules across the board on everyone to be sure--but let's also actually make sure that when we say enforce, we don't mean "enforce."

One can dream, anyway.

Jay said...

The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law.

Yes. Which is why Klein is trying to change the subject.

paminwi said...

This is Bush's fault since he appointed the woman that was in charge of this division!

Of course, we can't bring up the fact that the tax cheat Timothy Geitner was her boss, right?

Lem said...

Keep' honest professor.

Jay said...

But, why cannot we talk about both things at the same time?

Because you're trying to bring this up in bad faith.

CWJ said...

Althouse nails the point I was trying to make in my 2 posts on an earlier thread. This "small" transgression thoroughly compromises the presumption of equal protection, equal enforcement, and the strong protection of the first amendment.

Oso Negro said...

To my mind, one of the biggest undiscussed issues is the complete infestation of the unelected portion of the Federal government with statist liberals. With the exception of the armed forces, the remaining agencies are overwhelmingly staffed by Democrats. This facilitates the IRS-type misbehavior. The agents of the Federal government should either be dispersed among the 50 states or turned out of office wholesale with every Presidential election. Failing this, the bureaucracy creeps on and on without regard to who is in office. Just once before I die, I would like to see an entire Department dismissed without being absorbed into another agency.

Jay said...

But, why cannot we talk about both things at the same time?

Because imagine if during the Bush Administration the IRS targeted political groups that were “progressive” for special scrutiny.

You wouldn't have any interest in the IRS treating all these groups equally and appropriately.

That's why.

Browndog said...

If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all.

I believe that is the whole point behind the U.S. Constitution and enumerated powers

edutcher said...

Anybody who saw what the IRS wanted can tell this was way over the line.

Klein merely outs himself as somebody who would have been right at home in Germany or Russia 80 years ago.

harrogate said...

Both are legitimate issues.

As I say...

X said...

repeal the 16th amendment. government cannot handle the power responsibly.

Achilles said...

The only way to stop the abuse of power by the federal government is to remove its power. If you want to get money out of politics then the government needs to stop giving away trillions of dollars to cronies. But now that the dems get more money than repubs money in politics is ok. And now that most federal employees back the statist line more fed power is ok too.

LarsPorsena said...

@ Oso Negro your 9:19....Bullseye!

Michael K said...

You might ask all the GM dealers who had contributed to Republicans before Obama nationalized GM how they felt when they were put out of business. Too old a story ? It's the Chicago way. We haven't heard of any judges bodies being found, or not found just disappeared, but that day might yet come.

It is so appropriate that Penny Pritzger, whose grandfather was heavily supported by the Mob, is to be the new Commerce Secretary.

lemondog said...

Of course, we can't bring up the fact that the tax cheat Timothy Geitner was her boss, right?

How 'bout des guys. Think they've been penalized and are all now paid up?

41 Obama White House aides owe the IRS $831,000 in back taxes -- and they're not alone

bpm4532 said...

Cronyism in government? What do you expect from a Chicago pol?

It all comes down from leadership any "subtle" statement from the "leader" is understood to be an order to do what you can to discredit, penalize and bankrupt the opposition, at any level of the political organization or follower.

bpm4532 said...

It soon becomes understood that to get anything done, liquor license, camping permit, business license, business loan... that you must toe the line. Why do you think Chicago is so full of Democrats, most in name only? Why do you think aldermen, state representatives/senators, racial-grievance thugs show up on the doorstep of business suggesting they support this and that if you want to conduct ordinary business? At the lowest level, the cost to fight each and every crime like this becomes cost prohibitive so people just pay the toll?

"That's a nice little business you've got there. It would be a shame if anything happened to it."

One big protection racket.

bpm4532 said...

Whatever professionalism was established within the armed forces becomes easily corrupted as the generals get appointed, assigned and promoted by agreeing to do the political bidding of the president. We definitely see this today. It happens in little ways in various places then infects the whole organism.

You go bankrupt (morally and ethically) slowly, then all of a sudden.

Hagar said...

Tax exempt "non-profits" is a dubious proposition to start with, and the rules ought to be tightened up considerably.
Remember, "non-profit" does not mean that you cannot make a profit; just that you cannot issue stock and pay dividends.

However, what the IRS did to these particular "non-profit" wannabees was partizan harassment and had little or nothing to do with "enforcement" as such.

Bob Ellison said...

Ann Althouse said "It would be better to wipe the tax code clean and rebuild it without any complicated corners where government officials — great or small — have a place to do their dirty work."

The fastest and simplest way to do that would be to eliminate almost all existing tax systems and replace them with a VAT (value-added tax).

Jay said...

If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all.

The government has show that it can not avoid "fundamental wrongs" over & over, dating back to slavery.

So let's make the government as small as possible in order to minimize "fundamental wrongs" Ok?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law.

That sounds like a good starting argument against the principle of Affirmative Action. And it is.

madAsHell said...

Who in the hell would burden a son with a gender confused name like Ezra?......yeah, I didn't read the article.

Bob Ellison said...

madAsHell, you should change the casing in your screen name to "madAsHELL".

Big Mike said...

If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all.

Tea Party realized that 4 years ago. You're pretty slow catching up.

elkh1 said...

"It would be better to wipe the tax code clean and rebuild it without any complicated corners where government officials — great or small — have a place to do their dirty work."

That would never happen, there's no room for graft.

jacksonjay said...


Is Ezra Klein a journalist? At the renowned Washington Post?

lemondog said...

The fastest and simplest way to do that would be to eliminate almost all existing tax systems and replace them with a VAT (value-added tax)

Don’t hold your breath. Greedy pols will wish to see a VAT in addition to the current federal income tax.

Let the good times roll.

Paco Wové said...

"Is Ezra Klein a journalist? At the renowned Washington Post?"

No. Yes.

elkh1 said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
"That sounds like a good starting argument against the principle of Affirmative Action."

Against Affirmative Action? Are you kidding? How would a mediocre white woman with high cheek bones move up the echelons of academic elitedom and onto the Senate? How would a mediocre pot-head become the editor of an elite law review without contributing a single review himself and onto the WH?

ndspinelli said...

This is the 1960's Annie talkin' this morning. Are you wearing patchouli oil? Can it be purchased on Amazon?

Bob Ellison said...

lemondog, that's correct. Taxers (politicians) seek to add taxing systems, not to reform them. If you could sneak into Obama's, Pelosi's, or Reid's bedroom at night (no, Secret Service, I'm not contemplating an attack) and listen to them talking in their sleep, you'd hear them murmur, "a VAT of only 1% would solve all of our budget problems." It's a holy grail.

But what if conservatives got behind it? Fix the problem, and we'll erect a new structure.

lemondog said...

And if they do replace the income tax with a VAT, sooner or later their greed and stupidity will reinvent/resurrect the federal tax system.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law.

You may equally apply that analysis to the disgracefully politicized, selective non-enforcement of the immigration laws, and of the Voting Rights Act while you're at it.

edutcher said...

Bob Ellison said...

The fastest and simplest way to do that would be to eliminate almost all existing tax systems and replace them with a VAT (value-added tax).

No, government can't be trusted with that kind of money.

Look at Blighty.

jacksonjay said...

Is Ezra Klein a journalist?

More like a journolist.

Dante said...

Using the IRS for political purposes is a huge story, and Ann describes it right.

Ezra says there is an even HUGER story, that 501(c)4's are not skating.

So why didn't he report on it before?

The simplest answer is that Ezra is a biased hack, distracting the flock by saying "Oh, look at the birdie." And "See how smart you can be?"

Unlike Ann's (awesome) post, I do not take Ezra at face value. The narrative would have been quite different if these were leftist groups the IRS unfairly targeted.

Rusty said...

harrogate said...

Both are legitimate issues.

Not really. Because now we cannot assume impartiality. It must be assumed that the entity is biased. Hence the last portion of Ms. Althouses comment.
I'm sure she will correct me if I'm putting meaning where it doesn't belong.

Jay said...

The simplest answer is that Ezra is a biased hack, distracting the flock by saying "Oh, look at the birdie." And "See how smart you can be?"

Heh.

That's pretty good.

I'd also suggest that Ezra, deep down, isn't all that upset about this. Over at the Atlantic there is a piece on this and moonbats are in the comments calling Tea Party groups terrorists, so they're rationalizing this.

Tank said...

Jay on fire this morning.

Bob Ellison said...

WaPo says, "Thankfully, it’s a safe bet that the decision on whether to answer such questions won’t rest solely with the agency for much longer."

What made them think that was either good writing or good commentary? It's untrue and stupid.

CrankyProfessor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bender said...

The IRS should be treating all these groups equally and appropriately — which would mean much more harshly.

He probably does not even realize how much he has embraced the mindset of a despot. It is disturbing the extent to which we have simply accepted that government should be entitled to take money.

But when X gives money to Y, what really is the justification for the government to demand a cut? Why should the government's grubby hands be in the middle of each and every transaction? Why, if X gives to Y and then Y gives to Z and then Z gives back to X should the government be able to demand a percentage each and every time the money changes hands? Why should X's original $100 be down to only $50-60 when it gets back to him merely because he passed the cash around the room?

But so many people just automatically believe that, yes, government has a right to that money.

CrankyProfessor said...

Bravo - it wasn't about how tax laws should be enforced - it is about politicized enforcement.

pm317 said...

May be the IRS officials took Obama seriously when he "joked" about auditing his enemies and followed through.

pm317 said...

Check out Drudge's headline -- someone in the WH is trying to get rid of the lapdog press..heh.

St. George said...

pm317--

No way.

This is pure Watergate designed to win Obama's relection.

Orders come from the top...with "plausible deniability" built in. White House is now in "limited modified hang-out" mode.

Where is Judge Sirica when you need him?

Chip Ahoy said...

The comments over there are better than the article. In fact, skipping the article is the better option because then you'll have everything except for the annoyance of resolute dummkopfery.

Bender said...

Meanwhile, my parents, who have had their home paid-off for 20 years, owning it free and clear of any mortgages whatsoever, will soon be forced to move out because they cannot afford to live in it. It is costing them too much money to own it.

The government's demand that they pay the government several thousands of dollars per year for the privilege of owning their own property is what is forcing them out.

And people just accept this as the right and natural way that things should be.

People simply go along with the deceit and delusion that private ownership of property exists in this country, when actually private ownership was abolished long ago. Now, no one owns anything privately -- we all rent from the government.

Chip S. said...

Oso Negro and Bob Ellison are exactly on target.

What pct of libertarians want to work as a gov employee? Zero? Statists self-select into it, which means (as when Bush tried to fix the problem in the Justice Dept.) an attempt to offset it is "politicization of hiring".

When people like that have the admin power to audit and regulate individuals, they feel justified in using it as they see fit. Which makes something like the income tax the ultimate mistake.

Referring to a VAT, edutcher said..

No, government can't be trusted with that kind of money.

The government's demonstrated that it can't be trusted not to spend money it doesn't even collect. The larger point is, w.r.t. the income tax, government can't be trusted with that kind of power.

For those who worry about adding a VAT only to keep the income tax, two points:

1. It's nearly politically impossible now to increase taxes, even in the face of $1T deficits. Why do you think piling a big VAT on top of the income tax would be remotely politically feasible?

2. Repeal the 16th amendment.

bagoh20 said...

Even when the outcry over a public employee's crime against the citizenry is widespread and bipartisan, there never seems to be an actual long term cost to the perpetrator. Even if they get fired they land on their feet with another public sector job, often with the same access to abusive power.

You watch. These people will either get off completely, or be made whole or better withing a few months of their "punishment". That's why they feel free to do it.

Hell, if they were thinking straight they would do something terrible, make sure they get caught, write a book, and never have to work again.

jacksonjay said...


You watch. These people will either get off completely, or be made whole or better withing a few months of their "punishment". That's why they feel free to do it.

My guess is that they've already cashed the bonus check!

rhhardin said...

That's a stability principle, not so much bedrock.

Nobody knows what bedrock is, beyond perhaps tradition, but stability is pretty clear.

There are other stability principles, like not paying for non-work, like not having large voting welfare blocs, that don't seem to be called bedrock.

A flat income tax could easily be bedrock. It's stability. Every vote for an increased tax rate also raises your own tax rate.

AprilApple said...

Obama: Stop worrying about tyranny.

Tank said...

NY Times covering this story at the bottom of page 10.

chuck said...

I think the Department of Justice has also engaged in differential enforcement. At this point the government is in material breach of contract if we consider the Constitution as the contract. The consequences are not trivial.

Sorun said...

"Here's that Washington Post editorial."

It's Saturday.

pm317 said...

Yeah, the IRS official is not good at math and this Rhodes fellow has a masters in fiction and is a national security adviser.. What a laugh! People who voted for Obama are FOOLS. This is much worse than what I saw with Bush because the big media has become propaganda machine for this WH.

take a look at this:

"That reporting revealed that President Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes — brother of CBS News president David Rhodes — was instrumental in changing the talking points in September 2012.

ABC’s reporting revealed that Ben Rhodes, who has a masters in fiction from NYU, called a meeting to discuss the talking points at the White House on September 15, 2012."

Read more: Here.

The Drill SGT said...

Two points should be noted:

1. When this issue was raised more than a year ago, the IRS Commissioner assured Congress that there was no bias.

2. They came forward now, to get in front and spin before the IRS IG report, du out soon, came out.

pm317 said...

Oh, the Rhodes fucker is trying to get rid of Sheryll Aatkinson at CBS, perhaps the only one reporter who has tried to maintain her journalistic integrity wrt to Benghazi.

Chip S. said...

@pm317...incredible.

Attkisson! You can't report in here! This is the newsroom!

furious_a said...

This is Bush's fault since he appointed the woman that was in charge of this division!

Unless Ms. Lehrer's position transitioned to career civil service from political appointive, wouldn't she at some time in the last five years had to have been re-appointed by the current administration?

somefeller said...

Using the audit powers of the IRS to penalize groups because of their ideological leanings is unacceptable and is more of a problem than neutral enforcement of a bad law. And it's not clear to me this is a bad law. A comment on that page sums up the issue nicely:504(c) organizations don't have any shareholders so that even if they were to operate at a "profit," there'd be no one to get the money. Taxing them as if they were profit-making organizations makes no sense. Even if you were to tax them as if they were profit-seeking entities, they could just spend all the money they raise every year an show no profit. So what's the point of trying to tax them? And contributions to them are not tax-deductible. Bottom line: the IRS should stop wasting its time going after any of them.

I wouldn't agree that the IRS should ignore them completely, but I don't think Klein has shown that 501c4s are inherently bad.

We'll see where the investigation goes. Heads should roll for this, but I doubt this will be the massive, White House-led conspiracy that some are hoping for.

Jay said...

Bender said...
Meanwhile, my parents, who have had their home paid-off for 20 years, owning it free and clear of any mortgages whatsoever, will soon be forced to move out because they cannot afford to live in it. It is costing them too much money to own it.


That's because the local school district is "Underfunded"!!!

Get with the program, and pay up, wingnutz!

Jay said...

Jay on fire this morning.

I stayed at a Holiday Express last night.

Thx

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Althouse says: If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all.

Ding! If ya don't like what they does with the Power, then don't give it to them. Seems simple enough.

Individual citizens - Republicans and Democrats both - complain about Government's abuses of power.

Elected legislators - Republicans and Democrats both - find the answer to every subject they are allow to touch in aggregating more power to Government.

Fer Chrissake, people, when ya gonna get smart?

Any decision a Government Bureaucrat is empowered to make is a decision which you are no longer empowered in.

Paco Wové said...

"Obama’s deputy national security advisor, Ben Rhodes — brother of CBS News president David Rhodes"

I think I've made harrumphing noises in the past while attempting to call attention to the media-governmental complex -- that odd situation where the revolving door between Big Media and government, particularly the Democratic Party, turns so fast and so smoothly that that the two can be said to be in bed with each other -- but I don't want to be a Johnny-one-note and harp on it too much.

SteveR said...

I never understood why young Ezra Klein was such a big deal. Even for a partisan hack, he's a crappy writer and especially for the WaPo. But this is where we are.

R. Chatt said...

And then of course there's the case of the New Black Panther party committing voter intimidation in Philadelphia being thrown out by DOJ.

pm317 said...

but I don't want to be a Johnny-one-note and harp on it too much.

heh.. I can't stop screaming about Benghazi.. there is not even a decent thread/post on Althouse this morning to do that.

creeley23 said...

More fodder for my theory that current Democrats are working to become the American version of PRI, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, which has been a corrupt one-party dictatorship mostly running Mexico since 1929.

Note that this arrangement has not worked out well for Mexico. As the Global Post observed:

During its time in power, the PRI became a symbol for corruption, repression, economic mismanagement and electoral fraud...

Enjoy the decline, amigos!

Chip S. said...

With this administration, it's almost impossible to be a johnny-one-note. There's something new to be outraged almost constantly, now that the election's over.

somefeller said...

There's something new to be outraged almost constantly, now that the election's over.

Especially if you are always looking to be outraged! But the permanently aggrieved were that way long before the election, so no big deal and I guess it's fun for some.

pm317 said...

Chip S. here is the something new on something old..

It is the CIA, STUPID . Oh, throw in the State there too.

Dailybeast's Eli Lake got the memo from the WH, may be yesterday in their off the record meeting with the WH.

Chip S. said...

Yep, that's it, somefeller. Just lookin' for shit to get worked up over. Nothing really there.

No lies and coverups at the highest levels of the administration. No malfeasance at the IRS. No repeated, astonishingly politicized pronouncements from the Sec of HHS. And things are going great in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and wherever else we've deployed that fantastic smart diplomacy.

I understand why your best response to all this is to cover your eyes, somefeller; I really do. Bless your heart.

garage mahal said...

I'M OUTRAGED

Alex said...

What did Obama know and when did he know it? Impeachment time baby. Between Benghazi-gate and IRS-gate, we have more then enough.

Alex said...

garage - sure you are. You're outraged that this story became public. You would prefer the persecution continued.

SteveR said...

@somefeller At some point, maybe even you, will feel outraged. In the meantime move along, nothing to see here. The press will let you know if anything important happens.

pm317 said...

garage mahal said...

I'M OUTRAGED
--------------------

No, no, YOU'RE STUPID.

Chip S. said...

Hey garage...here's a pro tip for you.

You can cut the buffoonery quotient of your comments in half by turning off caps lock and removing your 1/! key.

Try it!

phx said...

What garage meant to say was

I'm outraged.

James said...

Why is anyone surprised by these actions from the IRS?

it doesn't take a direct order from the President for abuses like this one to occur. Remember Joe the Plumber? He had an exchange with candidate Obama on a Sunday afternoon and by Sunday night at least two state employees at the Ohio Dept of Job and Family Services who were Obama supporters used the state's computer databases to search for negative information on "Joe" and distributed it to left-leaning blogs.

Similarly, IRS employees sympathetic to Obama, or dedicated to ensuring his re-election, sought to obstruct legitimate political opposition by making unreasonable and illegal document request. This was all to stall political opposition in the run-up to the November elections. The excuse now that no group was denied tax-exempt status is hollow since they wanted such status BEFORE the Nov. elections, not months later when it can do little good.

pm317 said...

Republicans have to be smart. The WH has sent out their mouthpiece called Eli Lake pointing the finger at CIA and State and saying republicans are going after State because of Hillary. NO! It is the WH going after State and Hillary to cover their fucking ass. Republicans have to be smarter to play this game.

Chip S. said...

I'm outraged.

There. See how much more sensible that looks?

phx said...

We are of one mind on the aesthetics.

Although rather than THE OUTRAGE that is going around, I'm personally Enjoying the Decline.

garage mahal said...

Alex
They should be auditing ALL of those c4's. Not JUST the Tea Party.

THAT'S the SCANDAL!

cubanbob said...

Somefeller a 35% gross receipts tax on 501(c)4s would level the playing field. Indeed all non-profits and tax excempts should be similarly taxed.

Pm137 who better than a masters degree in fiction should script the narrative for a leftist Administration and the political party it represents? In that respects the guy is superbly qualified.

As X said, repeal the 16th amendment and the problem largely resolves itself.

somefeller said...

Republicans have to be smart. The WH has sent out their mouthpiece called Eli Lake pointing the finger at CIA and State and saying republicans are going after State because of Hillary.

If you think Eli Lake is a mouthpiece for Obama, being smart is definitely something you need to work on.

Jay said...

phx said...
We are of one mind on the aesthetics.


Yep.

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. But it's good to hear.

5/10/13, 6:02 PM


Aesthetics indeed...

virgil xenophon said...

Within the comments of Oso Negro@9:19 are the seeds of an eve bigger problem; namely, the cost and effort of reversing the trend he describes. Think of the analogy of air pollution (the old-fashioned kind, not the CO2 hoax stuff) It all gets up there (in the atmosphere) essentially for free as a by-product of some industrial process or another. Yet to cleanse the atmosphere takes untold billions in industrial equipment and devoted planning/developing manpower, not to mention the millions of man-hours devoted to the subj by govt planning/regulator agencies, not to mention more countless hours of legislative hearings, etc., on the subject. Reversing air/water pollution is a dauntlessly huge, costly and sisyphean task. So it will be also in reversing the osmotic leftward bureaucratic drift Oso Negro spotlights--yet the leftward bureaucratic drift itself has been almost effortless and cost-free..

Rabel said...

The President could really use a distraction about now. What's it gonna be?

creeley23 said...

The Obama administration is getting into Watergate territory.

It's mostly forgotten now, but although Watergate started with the one botched burglary, it became the umbrella term for a series of Nixon scandals -- ITT, milk fund, the enemies list, LSD-on-John-Anderson's-steeringwheel, the Agnew bribes, the Ellsberg psychiatrist burglary, and more -- that emerged as the Watergate incident was investigated.

Of course, in this case the press is protecting Obama instead of investigating him, and Democrats show no signs of functioning as anything more than shameless party hacks, so it's unlikely Obama will be forced out of office as Nixon was.

But it's been more than four years of corrupt machine politics and there are plenty of scandals to come if we get around to looking.

phx 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. But it's good to hear.


You may be a phx fanboy if you are copying and pasting his old comments into a new comment thread for no manifest purpose.

This actually happens to me often it seems.

I seem to have this obsessed fanbase on Althouse.

pm317 said...

somefeller said..
---------

I want the mouthpiece Eli Lake to ask the more important question: What did Obama do on the night of Benghazi? And how about this: CIA and State don't report to Obama? Instead of defending that fucker Lake, why don't you start asking these questions?

garage mahal said...

Just think hows outraged you guys would be if Obama were Reagan.

"By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations. In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever."

virgil xenophon said...

PS: I forgot to finish my statement above by noting that the statist unelected bureaucracy on leftist auto-pilot which Oso Negro describes is like the Stealth Bomber: time passes and one wakes up one morning to find one has been covered in a maze of left-wing statist restrictive regulations that obliterate one's freedoms just as surely as if one had been paid a visit by a B-2 stealth bomber in the dead of night..

geokstr said...

garage mahal said...
They should be auditing ALL of those c4's. Not JUST the Tea Party.


I guarantee you wouldn't like that, garage, there's a lot more of them on the left than on the right. But I think we should also audit all the 501(c)(3)s too, and there's a ton more of them on the left there as well.

"Non-partisan", "public interest", "non-profits" are a major industry for the left. While those on the right and moderates go into business to succeed, where they produce useful things that people want, leftlings go into these phony "institutions" where they can do their leftism to their hearts' content. And the Democrat Party subsidiary known as the "unbiased", "objective" "news" media uses these leftist groups almost exclusively as "experts", where their biases are never mentioned.

If you want to throw up, here's a site that reveals the multi-thousand headed Hydra that is the left, in detail:
Discover the Networks

It's a huge site, and yet still a work in progress, as leftism continues to infect/infest pretty much everything.

garage mahal said...

I guarantee you wouldn't like that, garage, there's a lot more of them on the left than on the right. But I think we should also audit all the 501(c)(3)s too, and there's a ton more of them on the left there as wel

Audit them all. Better yet, get rid of them all.

Jay said...

Just think hows outraged you guys would be if Obama were Reagan.

Look ma, squirrel!!!

Don't you think it rather instructive you can't drag yourself to utter a single word of criticism on this matter?

What do you think that says about you?

Jay said...

phx said...

You may be a phx fanboy if you are copying and pasting his old comments into a new comment thread for no manifest purpose.


Uh, the "manifest purpose" is to remind everyone that you're intellectually lazy, ignorant, and see no problems with being that way, but will offer baseless, pointless comments on the matter.

Thanks.

Jay said...

somefeller said...

Especially if you are always looking to be outraged!


Don't you think it rather instructive you can't drag yourself to utter a single word of criticism on this matter?

What do you think that says about you?

garage mahal said...

Don't you think it rather instructive you can't drag yourself to utter a single word of criticism on this matter?

I did. Twice.

Jay said...

"By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted

Awww, how cute, he got his talking point from Daily Kos.

Note: the number of dead ambassadors during the Reagan administration remains at zero.

Note 2: the number of IRS "further questions" of groups for political purposes during the Reagan administration remains at zero.

Here's your waffle, thanks for participating, troll.

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. But it's good to hear.

Feel free to repost on every comment thread, fanboy. It's absolutely true and I'll even sign an affidavit.

As to your exegesis, post that everywhere you like as well. It probably keeps you off of Justin Bieber's back.

creeley23 said...

Just think hows outraged you guys would be if Obama were Reagan.

And that's all Garage has had since I've been reading this blog, his childish cry: "You guy are just as bad!"

At least he realizes, in his degraded way, that his side has been bad.

Jay said...

phx said...
It's absolutely true


No shit.

I'm glad you're announcing you're proud of being dumb.

Thanks.

phx said...

Thanks.

Thanks for your pussy love, fanboy. : D

Aridog said...

Did anybody notice it, or did I miss it here...that Jay Carney claimed the IRS is an "independent enforcement agency?" Does the dumb ass really not know the IRS is part of Treasury? Or is he just a liar?

Seems to me that Jacob Lew and Timothy Geithner were both Obama appointments, and they over see the IRS, and set policy, at the cabinet level. A trend toward blaming subalterns seems to be forming in political Washington.

One explanation is that the governing class thinks we are all stupid. Why else would Carney allege IRS independence? [Hint: so he/they could blame a subaltern. Hello?]

garage mahal said...

Note: the number of dead ambassadors during the Reagan administration remains at zero.

Yea but what about that Beirut thingamagig?

SMGalbraith said...

"The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law.:

Well put. That's the problem and Klein is trying to divert us away from that by pointing to a lesser problem.

Klein is saying, to use another case, that the problem with Nixon or Kennedy using the IRS to go after enemies was that they should have gone after their friends too.

Right.

exiledonmainst said...

"This actually happens to me often it seems"

That is because you are a hypocritical liar and it's very easy to catch you lying.

Tell us more about how you're all for the truth whereever it leads. That's always good for a laugh.

khesanh0802 said...

Hurray, Ann!

Well stated: "The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law ....."

Carl said...

I'm sure he's wrong.

Ezra Klein is wrong? That's like saying the Sun came up in the East today. I'd actually read with interest a story that began "Ezra Klein is right...!" (if it wasn't written by one of his suck-ups or pimps).

phx said...

That is because you are a hypocritical liar and it's very easy to catch you lying.

Fine. Tell me what I lied about.

AJ Lynch said...

Ezra Klein works for a non-profit called the Washington Post.

phx said...

Tell us more about how you're all for the truth whereever it leads.

Wherever the Benghazi investigations or the IRS investigations lead, I'm good with it. As long as the investigations are aboveboard and bipartisan, I won't stonewall.

RazorSharpSundries said...

Ezra Klein is the most disingenuous shit-blossom in the liberal turd-bouquet called the mainstream media.

somefeller said...

Jay shrieks:Don't you think it rather instructive you can't drag yourself to utter a single word of criticism on this matter? What do you think that says about you?

My first comment on this thread said that use of the IRS's audit powers against organizations for ideological reasons was unacceptable and that heads should roll. That's more than one word. But don't let me stop your daily outrage frenzy.

creeley23 said...

As long as the investigations are aboveboard and bipartisan, I won't stonewall.

phx: You're guaranteed that the investigations won't be bipartisan. There'll be no Howard Baker or Eliot Richardson from your side.

You won't have to stonewall. You've got the Dem leadership to do it for you.

bagoh20 said...

"Yea but what about that Beirut thingamagig?"

Yea and Reagan blamed that on "Rambo: First Blood".

phx said...

phx: You're guaranteed that the investigations won't be bipartisan. There'll be no Howard Baker or Eliot Richardson from your side.

You won't have to stonewall. You've got the Dem leadership to do it for you.


Well, no gettin' around it. Put me down as a liar then.

Jay said...

phx said...

Thanks for your pussy love, fanboy. : D


Again, there are a lot of weird and silly people on the Internet.

Lefty dimwit phx is one of them.

Jay said...

I won't stonewall.

Right, 'cause you're like a congressman and stuff!

creeley23 said...

Put me down as a liar then.

That's too harsh. You're just a bit clever and comfortable.

Jay said...

My first comment on this thread said that use of the IRS's audit powers against organizations for ideological reasons was unacceptable and that heads should roll.

Oh, my error, I missed it.

Now you can go back to trying to change the subject about "outrage"

That's heartwarming.

phx said...

Again, there are a lot of weird and silly people on the Internet.

Lefty dimwit phx is one of them.


Guess you'd rather flirt with me than answer somefeller, eh Jay?

phx said...

Now you can go back to trying to change the subject about "outrage"

Oh. It was somefeller's fault.

Kirk Parker said...

Hey, if the 16th Amendment is repealed, can the 17th and 19th be far behind? ;-)

Kirk Parker said...

virgil @ 12:27pm: Decimation, there's your answer. Who would want to be a staff member in a government bureaucracy under that rule?

Steve Koch said...

"The unequal, politically skewed enforcement of a law is a far more serious problem than the level of harshness of a neutrally enforced law. We can disagree about what the tax laws should be and how strictly or harshly they should be enforced, but everyone knows it is fundamentally wrong to vary the degree of enforcement, selecting victims by their politics. If government cannot be trusted to avoid that fundamental wrong, it cannot be trusted with any power at all. It would be better to wipe the tax code clean and rebuild it without any complicated corners where government officials — great or small — have a place to do their dirty work."

Althouse is starting to get it. Next step is for her to realize that people are inherently corrupt and that government, which is composed of these corrupt people, is also inherently corrupt.

The founders realized this and strove to construct a government system that is based on balance of power, on checks and balances. We've thrown that brilliant system away and permitted the power and size of the feds, to grow like a cancer. Naturally federal employees will tend to be eager to do the bidding of the dems, the statist party.

The only solution is to radically decrease the size, power, and cost of the fed gov and force it to conform to the constitution. The first step to make this happen is for the Tea party to take control of the gop and rebuild the gop from the ground up to be the party dedicated to restoring constitutional government. Realistically this probably won't happen in time to prevent a one party democracy.

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

creeley23 @1:50 said,

"You're (phx) just a bit clever and comfortable."

I think the word smug covers both bases. Without smug, phx has got nothing.

sydney said...

virgil xenophon said...

...the statist unelected bureaucracy on leftist auto-pilot... is like the Stealth Bomber: time passes and one wakes up one morning to find one has been covered in a maze of left-wing statist restrictive regulations that obliterate one's freedoms...

Things are so bad in medicine now that doctors can purchase insurance to protect us from financial ruin by government audits. The regulations are so onerous that no one can sanely comply, so people figure it's safer to just buy insurance. Something is seriously wrong with a country when you have to purchase insurance to protect yourself from your own government.

Fr Martin Fox said...

More harassment of 501(c)4s or 501(c)3s is not the answer unless you love statism.

Of course it will always be uneven--the notion that you can somehow ensure such audits and such scrutiny will be neutral is absurd.

Here's an idea: freedom.

How about we just repeal the corporate income tax--which is the main federal tax at issue.

You realize that, right? These groups still withhold taxes for their employees, and pay the employer portion of those taxes.

What federal tax--other than the corporate income tax--is at issue?

And if you don't want charitable donations to be tax-deductible, that's fine. You'll get less of them. Government will have even more human needs to care for.

Which is what will happen if the forced-participation-in-providing-contraceptives mandate will mean, too. Wait till Catholic hospitals have to close or be sold off. That'll work out just ducky for taxpayers.

Fr Martin Fox said...

If you think some charity (501[c]3) or advocacy group (501[c]4) is shady, you can:

> Refuse to give money;
> Tell everyone and anyone why you refuse to give money;
> Take a look at the documents the group has to file with state or federal agencies, such as 990 forms;
> Publicize whatever you want;

...All without wanting even more government snooping and harassment.

Oh, and by the way, when you juice up the government to go after people you don't like, what do you do when the government goes after you?

From A Man For All Seasons:
Will Roper: So now you'd give the Devil benefit of law!

Thomas More: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country's planted thick with laws from coast to coast– man's laws, not God's– and if you cut them down—and you're just the man to do it—do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake.

Baron Zemo said...

Why is this a surprise?

Obama is the most like Nixon of any President that followed the Tricky Guy.

His lachrymose whining and self pity. His enemies lists. His use of the Federal Government to attack his opponents. Bebe. Reggie Love.

Obama is Nixon.

CWJ said...

Obama is Nixon. Maybe, but certainly without the intelligence.

Baron Zemo said...

Well he has the sneer down pat.

And Hillary really does look like Spiro Agnew. Just sayn'

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

I think the word smug covers both bases. Without smug, phx has got nothing.

I'm always open to a sincere engagement, inquiry or argument. I don't think anyone who's addressed me with a modicum of respect has ever gotten smug or smirk except if I apologized - and I do that when I get called for being unfair (how many others do that here?)

I've always been conciliatory to the commenters here who have said some of the worst things about me - WHEN they stopped addressing me with hostility or disrespect.

Never ONCE have I called anyone here a liar but I get called that regularly (right in this thread).

I don't care who it is or what their past is with me, if they address me civilly or respectfully they get the same back. I've shown that plenty of times.

The rest of you assholes who are so enamored of your self-important political opinions, or so threatened by someone who isn't buying them that you can't afford the least civility can deal with the smug.

Paco Wové said...

Generally, when you address a group as "you assholes", you're probably not going to get treated very well.

phx said...

Generally, when you address a group as "you assholes", you're probably not going to get treated very well.

You're missing the restrictive clause.

Paco Wové said...

Ok, I see.

"The rest of you, (who are assholes), who are so enamored..."

Got it.

"I'm always open to a sincere engagement, inquiry or argument. I don't think anyone who's addressed me with a modicum of respect has ever gotten smug or smirk"

I think you're mistaken there. I'll let you know if I notice.

phx said...

I think you're mistaken there. I'll let you know if I notice.

Oh sure, knock yourself out. But what really interests me is seeing integrity and character in my opponents.

Someone who's just waiting to pounce on me or trap me - not so interesting. As you can see from this thread, I do have several of those fanboys.

But anyone's invited to hold me at my word.

Inga said...

Phx, obviously they are so busy trying to take the mote out of your eye, they don't see the beam in theirs.

I love the bully thread today, while reading, I was wondering if anyone, just one person would admit that non conservatives are bullied here on a daily basis.

CWJ said...

Inga,

I'm sorry, who was bullied on this thread. I missed it.

phx said...

Oh please. A lot of wingers here are constantly bullying lefties or anyone who doesn't think like them. That's their raison d'etre.

In this thread.

I'm not having any of it from the bitches. My smug trumps their candyass bullying every time.

Paco Wové said...

"non conservatives are bullied here on a daily basis"

Oh, you delicate flowers.

Inga, I hate it when people stretch the meanings of words beyond comprehension. I don't think anything happening on Althouse could qualify as "bullying". We're all just dots on screens to each other. Let me know if somebody starts publishing real-life data about somebody else.

Are there jerks, loudmouths, blowhards, idiots here? Absolutely. Personally, I'm mystified why one commenter in particular seems to see it as his mission in life to yank your pigtails, so to speak, every time you show up. That's profoundly boring for everybody, and I'm sure it's annoying for you. But come on, it's not "bullying".

phx said...

Are there jerks, loudmouths, blowhards, idiots here? Absolutely. Personally, I'm mystified why one commenter in particular seems to see it as his mission in life to yank your pigtails, so to speak, every time you show up. That's profoundly boring for everybody, and I'm sure it's annoying for you. But come on, it's not "bullying".

That's BS IMO. People here bully - or try to - all the time. Most of the regular lefties can give as well as they take. They may be dots on a screen but they use the same exact behaviors bullies always use everywhere.

Here of course the cowards get to be anonymous.

Inga said...

Paco Wove, posting the real name and a real picture of my daughter here on this blog comments section is beyond pulling my pigtails.

phx said...

@Inga, Paco Wove hears what he wants to hear.

damikesc said...

The fastest and simplest way to do that would be to eliminate almost all existing tax systems and replace them with a VAT (value-added tax).

Um, no.

A national sales tax would be nice. NOTHING gets a break. Food is taxed just like everything else is.

Get skin in the game from more people.

Both are legitimate issues, though the issue of equal application is definitely the more pressing. Let's enforce these rules across the board on everyone to be sure--but let's also actually make sure that when we say enforce, we don't mean "enforce."

Who does the enforcement? The IRS just showed that THEY cannot be trusted to do so.

damikesc said...

Especially if you are always looking to be outraged! But the permanently aggrieved were that way long before the election, so no big deal and I guess it's fun for some.

Don't worry. Conservatives have a good reason to care if Progressives get shat on. Really, we do.

Douglas said...

Klein's comments doesn't make a lot of sense. c(4) corporations are not profit-seeking corporations. They don't have shareholders to whom profits are distributed. Even if they were to be taxed as profit-seeking corporations, they would just spend everything the get in and show no profit to be taxed. Contributions to them are not tax deductible. Subjecting them to income taxes only means in the real world that they have a huge compliance burden, not that they actually have to pay any taxes.

Inga said...

Phx, ......and disregards the rest.

Roux said...

I'm so glad that the IRS will be running the "death panels"....

Matt said...

"Here of course the cowards get to be anonymous."

Does that include yourself? I ask because I believe you are as anonymous as everyone else here, except the Professor, Meade and Inga.

phx said...

Does that include yourself? I ask because I believe you are as anonymous as everyone else here, except the Professor, Meade and Inga.

Yeah, except I'm not the bully.

MrCharlie2 said...

my reaction: self interest more than partisanship.

personally, though, I'm more concerned about the HRs of french cheese, and I'm not kidding

Matt said...

phx said (as well as other things)...

"Weak-ass righties."

"Weak-ass righties all boo-hooing over Libya and how bad Obama and his defenders are."

"Prove to me you give two shits about dead American representatives. Right now I think you guys couldn't care less. You just cynically want to get Obama."

"Go suck Titus's dick."


You are correct, phx. You are much better than all the "Righties". Pure as the driven snow!

CWJ said...

Fetch me the fainting couch, phx. Who are the bullies? This strikes me as one of the most bully-free althouse threads I've ever read.

phx said...

You are correct, phx. You are much better than all the "Righties". Pure as the driven snow!

Aren't you the guy who had absolutely nothing to say to the other guy calling Chris Stevens a fudgepacker? You know, the guy who said "they let fags run the embassy in Libya?"

Yeah, that was you I think. No problem pushing back at me though, huh?

phx said...

Snotty righties.

Matt said...

Um, that was Titus, I never have replied to him. I am not the hall monitor!

Sloanasaurus said...

If i donated to romney or say a bad thing about obama in this blog, is my name on a special enemiea list?

It's no longer a conspiracy theory.

Big Mike said...

I've always been conciliatory to the commenters here who have said some of the worst things about me - WHEN they stopped addressing me with hostility or disrespect.

Lie #1.

Never ONCE have I called anyone here a liar but I get called that regularly (right in this thread).

Lie #2.

I don't care who it is or what their past is with me, if they address me civilly or respectfully they get the same back. I've shown that plenty of times.

Lie #3. You're out.

Big Mike said...

@Sloanasaurus, that's about the size of it.

Plus, phx gets to call you a "snotty righty."

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

On Jan, 25, 2012, the criteria for flagging suspect groups was changed to, "political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform/movement," the report says. --AP

Great, now expanding people's knowledge of the constitution is under attack by the partisans.

Scott M said...

Great, now expanding people's knowledge of the constitution is under attack by the partisans.

The odd thing there is that it should contain the Dept Of Education...