"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt


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Monday, May 13, 2013

IRS Began Targeting Conservative Groups in 2010



"The IRS's behavior is outrageous and I will find the scapegoats whose reprimands will cause the least political damage to myself and do my utmost to make this go away. Oh, and Benghazi too. But that was Hilary's thing."

The Inspector General's report has revealed that the IRS was targeting conservative groups back in 2010.

From ABC News:
The targeting of conservatives by the IRS started earlier and was more extensive than the IRS acknowledged last week, according to a draft IRS inspector general report obtained by ABC News.

As we reported on “Good Morning America” this morning, the IRS began targeting “Tea Party or similar organizations” in March 2010. That was when the Cincinnati-based IRS unit responsible for overseeing the applications for tax exempt status starting using the phrases “Tea Party,” “patriots” and “9/12″ to search for applications warranting greater scrutiny.

During this first phase, 10 Tea Party cases were identified. By April of 2010, 18 Tea Party organizations were targeted, including three that had already been approved for tax-exempt status.

By June 2011, the unit had flagged over 100 Tea Party-related applications and the criteria used to scrutinize organizations had grown considerably, flagging not just “Tea Party” or “Patriot” in group names, but also groups that were working on issues like “government debt,” “taxes” and even organizations making statements that “criticize how the country is being run.”

The report, done by the Inspector General for the IRS, also shows that senior IRS officials in Washington was aware of what was going on as early as August 4, 2011 when, according to the report, the IRS chief counsel held a meeting with the IRS’s Rulings and Agreements unit “so that everyone would have the latest information on the issue.”

Huh. So maybe it wasn't just some low-level worker out of Cincinnati. Shocker.

And equally as shocking is the fact that the IRS was also targeting groups that criticized the government and were teaching the Constitution. I guess you can't have an informed citizenry when trying to "fundamentally transform" America now, can you?

From The Washington Post:
At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials targeted nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.

The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that on June 29, 2011, IRS staffers held a briefing with senior agency official Lois G. Lerner in which they described giving special attention to instances where “statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.” Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the agency, raised objections and the agency revised its criteria a week later.

But six months later, the IRS applied a new political test to groups that applied for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” groups, the document says. On Jan. 15, 2012 the agency decided to target “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement.,” according to the appendix in the IG report, which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be released.
Obama is in full damage control right now. He's calling the IRS's beahavior "outrageous." And of course that is being reported by his primary water carriers at NBC news, because, you know it was that mean old IRS that's responsible. Certainly not their guy Obama.

From NBC News:
 Amid outcry over revelations that Internal Revenue Service specialists specifically targeted conservative groups for scrutiny before the 2012 elections, President Barack Obama said Monday that the tax agency employees' reported conduct was "outrageous" and "contrary to our traditions." [Obama is a great admirer and an expert at our traditions. Yeah.]

Appearing at a White House press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, the president said he does not want to judge the findings of an Inspector General investigation "prematurely" but said that if the reports of political targeting are found to be correct, those responsible must be held "fully accountable." [Maybe a lot of paid vacations are in order.]

"If in fact IRS personnel engaged in the kind of practices that have been reported on and were intentionally targeting conservative groups, then that’s outrageous and there’s no place for it," he said. [Except in Chicago politics where Obama has used just about every dirty trick his people could think of to advance his career.]

"I've got no patience with it," he added. "I will not tolerate it and we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this."
I can't wait for Obama's people to find out that Bush is responsible because he hates conservative groups and he really wanted Obama to win his re-election bid.

And forgive me if I don't revel in the idea that Obama's got no patience for that. The only time Obama talks tough is to his fellow countrymen or our international allies. When it comes to an actual scandal or real enemies, then Obama's got plenty of patience, and also plenty of excuses and doubletalk to justify his dithering or lack of action and spine.

This is going to be some bad years for Obama. The Benghazi scandal seems to get deeper and deeper. The revelations of the IRS's intolerable behavior is getting worse and worse. The economy's recovery is extremely weak and likely to be stalling-- or getting ready for another recession. And the worst of ObamaCare is getting ready to be unveiled to the general public, and ObamaCare's effects are beginning to be felt across the country.

In fact, I think the year will be almost as bad for Obama as it will be for the American people.

UPDATE: Now The IRS is being accused of leaking confidential donor information. The IRS indulging in political shenanigans? I don't believe it.

From The Daily Caller article by Matt K. Lewis:

A little over a year ago, I reported that, ”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.”

Now — on the heels of news the IRS’s apology for having targeted conservative groups — NOM is renewing their demand that the Internal Revenue Service reveal the identity of the people responsible.

“There is little question that one or more employees at the IRS stole our confidential tax return and leaked it to our political enemies, in violation of federal law,” said NOM’s president Brian Brow, in a prepared statement. “The only questions are who did it, and whether there was any knowledge or coordination between people in the White House, the Obama reelection campaign and the Human Rights Campaign. We and the American people deserve answers.”

Recent reports indicate the IRS may have begun targeting conservative groups as early as 2010.

In a 2012 speech, Sen. Mitch McConnell noted, “The head of one national advocacy group has released documents which show that his group’s confidential IRS information found its way into the hands of a staunch critic on the Left who also happens to be a co-chairman of President Obama’s re-election committee. The only way this information could have been made public is if someone leaked it from inside the IRS.”
 
The hits just keep on coming for the Obama administration.

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