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(Salon)   Hey, remember when George W. Bush had the IRS target liberal organizations like Greenpeace and certain churches? No? Well, then, shut up, Tea Party and Marco Rubio   (salon.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, George W. Bush, IRS, Greenpeace, IRS Commissioner, Pete Stark, human beings, Christian Centre, Ethics in Washington  
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4323 clicks; posted to Politics » on 14 May 2013 at 10:58 AM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-14 09:38:48 AM  
Meh. Whatever.
A) If your IRS unit has found a propensity for widgy forms in a specific group, looking into multiple parts of that group makes sense.
B) Even if it were a bad thing, tu quoque is not a defense for bad behavior
 
2013-05-14 09:40:11 AM  
Some liberal organizations were individually investigated after public displays of quasi-political content.  Some conservative groups were as well.

That's not relevant to the current story.  Even bringing it up seems like a weird attempt at misdirection.

The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements.  They weren't being targeted individually.  They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.
 
2013-05-14 09:56:33 AM  

unlikely: B) tu quoque is not a defense for bad behavior


Done in one.

Captain Dan: This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.


Done again in two.
 
2013-05-14 09:56:36 AM  
I am by no means a IRS apologist in this case but on a completely surface level it seems that scrutinizing new applications for tax exempt status - especially when their is a massive wave of them under an umbrella hot-topic umbrella like "Tea Party" or "Patriot" or for that matter any cause celebre such as "Hurricane Sandy" or "Katrina" "Little Kid That Was Trapped In A Well and Was All Over The News" seems prudent to me.

There are a lot of sleezebags out there.
 
2013-05-14 10:00:27 AM  
Bush did it, ergo it's fine if Obama does it.

That's why I hate everyone who's in power, they always turn out to be the same dirtbags as the guys who left power, and end up doing the exact same things they were whining and crying that the other side was doing
 
2013-05-14 10:04:42 AM  

Captain Dan: Some liberal organizations were individually investigated after public displays of quasi-political content.  Some conservative groups were as well.

That's not relevant to the current story.  Even bringing it up seems like a weird attempt at misdirection.

The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements.  They weren't being targeted individually.  They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.


Looks around nervously never the less
thenewpolitical.com
/hot
 
2013-05-14 10:05:29 AM  

Captain Dan: Some liberal organizations were individually investigated after public displays of quasi-political content.  Some conservative groups were as well.

That's not relevant to the current story.  Even bringing it up seems like a weird attempt at misdirection.

The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements.  They weren't being targeted individually.  They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.


Its kind of scary is what it is.  I know its happened in the past, and will again in the future.  But the IRS just has too much power to be allowed to abuse it in this way.
 
2013-05-14 10:05:48 AM  

brap: I am by no means a IRS apologist in this case but on a completely surface level it seems that scrutinizing new applications for tax exempt status - especially when their is a massive wave of them under an umbrella hot-topic umbrella like "Tea Party" or "Patriot" or for that matter any cause celebre such as "Hurricane Sandy" or "Katrina" "Little Kid That Was Trapped In A Well and Was All Over The News" seems prudent to me.

There are a lot of sleezebags out there.


This more or less
 
2013-05-14 10:10:53 AM  

Tatsuma: Bush did it, ergo it's fine if Obama does it.

That's why I hate everyone who's in power, they always turn out to be the same dirtbags as the guys who left power, and end up doing the exact same things they were whining and crying that the other side was doing


When it happens under a Democrat, both sides fall all over themselves to resolve the issue.  When it happens under a Republican, the Republican response is "Lol fark you libs."  The fact that Democrats have become the party who recognizes the difference between right and wrong while the GOP has become the party of moral relativism is quite interesting, especially if you experienced the Republican rantings of the 90's.
 
2013-05-14 10:24:39 AM  
In the IRS code for 501(c) organizations is a rule that states:

"...directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."

A 501(c) organization cannot promote or criticize a specific candidate.  Not to defend anything idiot Bush did, but the audits under Bush addressed specific instances of those rules being broken.


The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.
 
2013-05-14 10:26:35 AM  

minoridiot: Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.


More like police pulling people over for smoking a hand-rolled cigarette in a car covered with weed stickers.
 
2013-05-14 10:33:47 AM  

unlikely: minoridiot: Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.

More like police pulling people over for smoking a hand-rolled cigarette in a car covered with weed stickers.


ok, I like your analogy better.
 
2013-05-14 10:44:22 AM  

minoridiot: unlikely: More like police pulling people over for smoking a hand-rolled cigarette in a car covered with weed stickers.

ok, I like your analogy better.


You shouldn't, it's a bad analogy.  There were no indications of fraud amongst Tea Party groups, nor any legitimate reason* to suspect that they were more fraudulent than any other ideological group.

*Gut feelings are not legitimate reasons.
 
2013-05-14 10:47:23 AM  
B bu buh Bush!
 
2013-05-14 10:49:52 AM  
We could solve some of this problem by no longer giving churches tax exempt status, seeing as how so damned many of them directly engage in political actions that should remove the exemption.
 
2013-05-14 10:51:25 AM  
That's not really relevant to the current problem.  Other than it's just further evidence of how screwed-up the IRS is.  It should be kept in mind when investigations and reforms are considered, but this isn't a Bush/Obama, liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican thing.
 
2013-05-14 10:53:51 AM  

minoridiot: In the IRS code for 501(c) organizations is a rule that states:

"...directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."

A 501(c) organization cannot promote or criticize a specific candidate.  Not to defend anything idiot Bush did, but the audits under Bush addressed specific instances of those rules being broken.


The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.


To the extent that it is a scandal, that is pretty much it.  They were making generalizations associated with political associations.  That is not the same as using the IRS to attack your political enemies which is the scandal the GOP would like to have.
 
2013-05-14 10:55:05 AM  

Mentat: When the Republicans fall all over themselves trying to turn the most insignificant things into scandals, your first instinct is to assume they're lying. It's usually a pretty safe bet. Of course, we've been warning for years about "Boy Who Cried Wolf" syndrome. Now that it's happening, you shouldn't be too surprised that people aren't taking it too seriously. But that's not an indication that people are trying to protect Obama, simply that the GOP has zero credibility right now.


Democrats were trying to take everything they could against Bush and make it into something. Remember Bushisms? Obama said at least as many stupid things since he's in power, but suddenly those are not funny anymore. From the smallest of things to actual big scandals, Democrats were attacking Bush and the Republicans on everything they could.
 
2013-05-14 11:00:33 AM  

Tatsuma: Democrats were trying to take everything they could against Bush and make it into something. Remember Bushisms? Obama said at least as many stupid things since he's in power, but suddenly those are not funny anymore. From the smallest of things to actual big scandals, Democrats were attacking Bush and the Republicans on everything they could.


Maybe some enterprising Republican could take those Obamaisms and create a book about them.

Christ, are you really getting your panties in a knot about that?
 
2013-05-14 11:01:56 AM  

Tatsuma: Democrats were trying to take everything they could against Bush and make it into something. Remember Bushisms? Obama said at least as many stupid things since he's in power, but suddenly those are not funny anymore. From the smallest of things to actual big scandals, Democrats were attacking Bush and the Republicans on everything they could.


Remember a preemptive war against Iraq that turned it into a vassal nation?

Remember the lies about WMD that the White House used to justify the war?

Remember the extraterritorial torture camps?

Remember the DoJ massaging the law to legalize torture?

Remember the corporate mercenaries gunning down Iraqi civilians for fun?

With Bush, there was an actual there there.  The Bushisms were just garnish.
 
2013-05-14 11:02:11 AM  
Republicans are hypocrites.

Rick Romero has more details.
 
2013-05-14 11:02:33 AM  

Captain Dan: Some liberal organizations were individually investigated after public displays of quasi-political content.  Some conservative groups were as well.

That's not relevant to the current story.  Even bringing it up seems like a weird attempt at misdirection.

The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements.  They weren't being targeted individually.  They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.


It is a partisan issue in the sense that vast portions of the Reich Wing Noise Machine are non-profit in name only.
 
2013-05-14 11:02:49 AM  

I_C_Weener: But the IRS just has too much power to be allowed to abuse it in this way.


Yes, they have the power to ask why you should be tax exempt and whether your organization is political or not. Ooga booga.
 
2013-05-14 11:05:08 AM  

mrshowrules: minoridiot: In the IRS code for 501(c) organizations is a rule that states:

"...directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."

A 501(c) organization cannot promote or criticize a specific candidate.  Not to defend anything idiot Bush did, but the audits under Bush addressed specific instances of those rules being broken.


The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.

To the extent that it is a scandal, that is pretty much it.  They were making generalizations associated with political associations.  That is not the same as using the IRS to attack your political enemies which is the scandal the GOP would like to have.


They were harassing groups of an opposing political affiliation from the party in power and improperly released confidential information about said groups.  The IRS is going to get the giant bipartisian biatch slap they deserve over this one.
 
2013-05-14 11:06:22 AM  

ShadowKamui: They were harassing groups of an opposing political affiliation


That word does not mean what you think it means.
 
2013-05-14 11:07:09 AM  

Tatsuma: Bush did it, ergo it's fine if Obama does it.

That's why I hate everyone who's in power, they always turn out to be the same dirtbags as the guys who left power, and end up doing the exact same things they were whining and crying that the other side was doing


No one is saying this would excuse improper behavior.

They're saying the people whining about how this is the worst thing since they cancelled Firefly are hypocritical dickjammers because it's Only A Problem When Those People Do It.

In other words, "where was the outrage when this happened a decade ago? F*cking nowhere, because you didn't see any political gain it. So shut up, no one wants to hear you whine about being a victim while you try to f*ck a football."
 
2013-05-14 11:07:25 AM  

KiltedBastich: Tatsuma: An ambassador was tortured, raped, mutilated and killed publicly. That's a huge farking deal and not something that happened during the Bush years.

Um, he died of smoke inhalation and was dragged through the streets by sympathizers trying to get him to a hospital. No torture, rape, or mutilation involved, and even the killing was indirect. What strange alternate reality are you talking about?


That's kind of like rape.
 
2013-05-14 11:07:50 AM  

Captain Dan: The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements. They weren't being targeted individually. They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.


Should the FBI investigate the "No More FBI Party?"
Should the ATF investigate the "Guns, Cigarettes, and Booze to Anybody Party?"
Should the EPA investigate the "Pollute the Air Party?"

Maybe, maybe not.  But when your name is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already, it's hard to imagine that the IRS wouldn't be a little interested.
 
2013-05-14 11:08:00 AM  
What a bunch of unmitigated horse shiat.

Churches aren't supposed to take political stands (despite all the Democratic politicians who go into black churches and do just that). If you do it, you are subject to losing your tax-except status, because you've slipped into advocacy.

I see the rise of JournOlist again. Where are the marching orders coming from this time?
 
2013-05-14 11:08:21 AM  

minoridiot: The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.


That would be true if the audit itself were a revocation of tax exempt status. As it stands, an audit is a review. Being targeted for review is a pain in the ass, and it feels like punishment, but it's not. All that happened, as far as I can see, is that the IRS got thousands of new applications for tax exempt status in a short period of time, mainly from these Tea Party groups, and a lot of them seemed kinda ... political. Why not use some keywords to flag them for review? It seems like basic bureaucratic competency.
 
2013-05-14 11:08:52 AM  

Mentat: Remember the extraterritorial torture camps?

Remember the DoJ massaging the law to legalize torture?


None of that has changed under Obama.
 
2013-05-14 11:09:23 AM  

KiltedBastich: dragged through the streets by sympathizers


Not that I've been following the Benghazi "revelations" all that closely, but this is the first I've heard of this. Citation?
 
2013-05-14 11:10:12 AM  

I_C_Weener: Captain Dan: Some liberal organizations were individually investigated after public displays of quasi-political content.  Some conservative groups were as well.

That's not relevant to the current story.  Even bringing it up seems like a weird attempt at misdirection.

The Tea Party groups weren't being targeted because they had made political statements.  They weren't being targeted individually.  They were collectively targeted for audits because they had "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their name.

This shouldn't be a partisan issue.  Pretty much everyone, across the aisle, realizes this is farked up, so it's probably going to be resolved quickly.

Its kind of scary is what it is.  I know its happened in the past, and will again in the future.  But the IRS just has too much power to be allowed to abuse it in this way.


The IRS isn't even the worse,  Bush had the FBI target groups he didn't like.
 
2013-05-14 11:10:18 AM  
Explain to me why it's a scandal that the IRS investigated groups who loudly express their hatred of taxation.
 
2013-05-14 11:10:20 AM  

someonelse: minoridiot: The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.

That would be true if the audit itself were a revocation of tax exempt status. As it stands, an audit is a review. Being targeted for review is a pain in the ass, and it feels like punishment, but it's not. All that happened, as far as I can see, is that the IRS got thousands of new applications for tax exempt status in a short period of time, mainly from these Tea Party groups, and a lot of them seemed kinda ... political. Why not use some keywords to flag them for review? It seems like basic bureaucratic competency.


And more importantly, were there any improper denials of the applications? Even if they were improperly singled out, where is the harm?
 
2013-05-14 11:11:53 AM  
The Tea Party farkers are the same people who supported the Patriot act with rhetoric like "If you don't have anything to hide then you don't have to worry".
 
2013-05-14 11:12:17 AM  

TofuTheAlmighty: Explain to me why it's a scandal that the IRS investigated groups who loudly express their hatred of taxation.


Because they support Republicans, who support the wealthy first and foremost. That's enough of a scandal for them.
 
2013-05-14 11:12:27 AM  
Taxed Enough Already
 
2013-05-14 11:14:16 AM  

TofuTheAlmighty: Explain to me why it's a scandal that the IRS investigated groups who loudly express their hatred of taxation.


Because Fast & Furious and Benghazi weren't sticking, and the Iowa primary is only 2 years or so away.
 
2013-05-14 11:15:31 AM  
When John Stewart talks, people listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izc_IaBTr50">http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=izc_IaBTr50
 
2013-05-14 11:15:45 AM  
With the GOP crying wolf about literally anything and everything, I can't even tell what's real any more.

This is the problem when you have the minority party (1) that is purely a "whatever you do I oppose" party; (2) which is full of politicians who are willing to fuel conspiracy theories; and (3) would rather try to make news and damage the sitting president than actually govern.

Honestly, if the GOP was making any genuine attempts to get any public policy moving, then maybe I'd give them a break.  But they haven't done jack shiat.  Seriously, what substantive legislation has the GOP proposed this session so far?   The GOP hasn't proposed a budget.  It hasn't proposed any genuine attempts at reform.  It hasn't proposed any new policies.  All the GOP congresscritters have done this session is do everything possible to get in front of a "news" camera.  And the public eats it up.

For God's sake, we're still talking about Benghazi, despite the complete lack of evidence that there's any actual wrongdoing or scandal afoot here.  It's just "bad things happened and people died, so it must be a scandal in some way!"

Ok media, how about this:  provide us with (1) what exactly the GOP is claiming the "scandal" is here, and (2) what evidence supports those claims?

Guess what, if you don't have any coherent "scandal" based on actual evidence, IT ISN'T A STORY. It's just some asshole politicians getting camera time to score political points.
 
2013-05-14 11:15:46 AM  

ShadowKamui: They were harassing groups of an opposing political affiliation from the party in power and improperly released confidential information about said groups. The IRS is going to get the giant bipartisian biatch slap they deserve over this one.


So can you concede that this is not the fault of the Democratic party or the President, and it is an institutional bias within the IRS proper? Or are you going to be a partisan shill and forget that this was done to Liberal groups in the Bush administration? From what I gauge, the IRS targeted a broad spectrum of groups, not just on the right, but mostly on the right thanks to the new influx of Tea Party organizations.

This is not a scandal. It's just the GOP realizing just like the rest of America that the IRS can suck.
 
2013-05-14 11:16:32 AM  

minoridiot: A 501(c) organization cannot promote or criticize a specific candidate. Not to defend anything idiot Bush did, but the audits under Bush addressed specific instances of those rules being broken.


The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken.


Show me a Tea Party group that isn't criticizing Obama and Democrats and I'll accept your logic.
 
2013-05-14 11:16:57 AM  

doyner: Maybe, maybe not.  But when your name is an acronym for Taxed Enough Already, it's hard to imagine that the IRS wouldn't be a little interested.


A preference for lower taxes is not equivalent to an endorsement of tax fraud.  That's the kind of all-or-nothing thinking that equates a tax increase to totalitarianism.

I support lower taxes and less government.  I also hope that the last sentence won't put me in a database of people to be audited.
 
2013-05-14 11:18:07 AM  
Well, when the number of supposed "non-profit social service" groups jumps from 1500 to 3400 in one election cycle, that's going to set off a few red flags.

The IRS is corrupt through to it's core and needs a top to bottom audit and house cleaning. It sucks that it's only becoming an issue because CONSERVATIVES are feeling some heat. If they were hitting Libby groups, no buddy Republican would be saying dick...just like in 2004 when the DOJ wouldn't do dick when the Libby groups WERE getting targeted.

Everyday I hate Republicans a little bit more...
 
2013-05-14 11:19:32 AM  

Chummer45: For God's sake, we're still talking about Benghazi, despite the complete lack of evidence that there's any actual wrongdoing or scandal afoot here. It's just "bad things happened and people died, so it must be a scandal in some way!"

Ok media, how about this: provide us with (1) what exactly the GOP is claiming the "scandal" is here, and (2) what evidence supports those claims?

Guess what, if you don't have any coherent "scandal" based on actual evidence, IT ISN'T A STORY. It's just some asshole politicians getting camera time to score political points.


The GOP has spent eight months b-boying on the graves of 4 dead Americans and thinking the general public would rally around them. The real scandal is why hasn't there been hearings about the Al Quaeda agents that attacked us and how we can end their lives faster. That and how the GOP cut Embassy Security by 331 Million dollars.

It's funny to see the GOP hang their hat on non-scandals. They really do have nothing.
 
2013-05-14 11:25:03 AM  
Mart Laar's beard shaver:
Churches aren't supposed to take political stands (despite all the Democratic politicians who go into black churches and do just that). If you do it, you are subject to losing your tax-except status, because you've slipped into advocacy.

If only that were the case.  Remember Pulpit Freedom Sunday?

Stanley said pastors attending the Oct. 7 "Pulpit Freedom Sunday" will "preach sermons that will talk about the candidates running for office" and then "make a specific recommendation." The sermons will be recorded and sent to the IRS.
But sure, it's only black Democrats that do it.
 
2013-05-14 11:25:41 AM  

Wessoman: ShadowKamui: They were harassing groups of an opposing political affiliation from the party in power and improperly released confidential information about said groups. The IRS is going to get the giant bipartisian biatch slap they deserve over this one.

So can you concede that this is not the fault of the Democratic party or the President, and it is an institutional bias within the IRS proper? Or are you going to be a partisan shill and forget that this was done to Liberal groups in the Bush administration? From what I gauge, the IRS targeted a broad spectrum of groups, not just on the right, but mostly on the right thanks to the new influx of Tea Party organizations.

This is not a scandal. It's just the GOP realizing just like the rest of America that the IRS can suck.


The liberal groups were done after the fact not during application process and were select audits (not every liberal group), nor was their confidential information leaked.  Sorry the "But Bush" card only works if the other side doesn't actually one up the stupidity.  So stop trying to shill for the Dems, even they want these peons' heads on a pike.
 
2013-05-14 11:27:01 AM  

ShadowKamui: mrshowrules: minoridiot: In the IRS code for 501(c) organizations is a rule that states:

"...directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."

A 501(c) organization cannot promote or criticize a specific candidate.  Not to defend anything idiot Bush did, but the audits under Bush addressed specific instances of those rules being broken.


The problem with the current IRS audits is that they targeted the groups without there being any instances of rules being broken. Sort of a guilt by association, like the police pulling over people for being brown.

To the extent that it is a scandal, that is pretty much it.  They were making generalizations associated with political associations.  That is not the same as using the IRS to attack your political enemies which is the scandal the GOP would like to have.

They were harassing groups of an opposing political affiliation from the party in power and improperly released confidential information about said groups.  The IRS is going to get the giant bipartisian biatch slap they deserve over this one.


Yes but that is a bureaucratic level scandal is my point.  Not a political one.
 
2013-05-14 11:29:30 AM  

Captain Dan: A preference for lower taxes is not equivalent to an endorsement of tax fraud.


This issue is only peripherally about tax fraud. No one is saying these groups didn't pay the taxes they owe. The IRS was looking at whether or not these groups were violating the conditions upon which they were granted tax-exempt status, namely the bans on lobbying and electioneering.
 
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