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President Obama press conference May 13, 2013
In a White House press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, President Barack Obama said that if IRS personnel engaged in the political targeting of conservative groups, it was "outrageous" and "contrary to our traditions" of a neutral and non-partisan IRS.

"I don't care whether you're a Democrat, independent, or Republican," he said. "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it's contrary to our traditions, and people have to held accountable, and it's got to be fixed."

Obama was also asked about the GOP's Benghazi talking points investigation. Unlike the IRS issue, Obama dismissed the GOP investigation as "a political circus."

"The whole issue of talking points ... has been a side show," Obama said. "There's no there, there." Obama said that the talking points used by Susan Rice "pretty much matched the assessments that I was receiving at that time in my presidential daily briefing."

Obama dismissed the idea that he'd engaged in a coverup, pointing out that three days after Rice's talk show appearance, the administration presented newly obtained information in Congressional testimony that the attack was an act of terrorism carried out by extremists. "The fact that this continues to get churned out has a lot to do with political motivations," Obama said. Instead of using Benghazi for "fundraising," Obama suggested his critics should sit down with him to talk about how to prevent the next attack.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That's the way you do it. (8+ / 0-)

    Nice bit of honest outrage, transition into "No we didn't cover-up Benghazi" =

    Hey! We don't hide from the truth, even when it hurts.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:07:27 AM PDT

    •  No, I see it as the President folding, again (14+ / 0-)

      With little to no information he submits to the right wing outrage machine without putting up a fight, again. Just like Shirley Sherrod. The IRS is right to investigate political groups filing as non-profits to ensure that they truly are non-profits or have filed in the correct section. The President should have the backs of his employees who are trying to enforce the law and not leave them dangling in the wind.

      Union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com.

      by DemSign on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:13:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, just how often does he fall for this type (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DemSign

        of bait before learning to fight?

        Maybe if he were eligible for a third term there'd be hope!

        •  It's pathological... his need to acquiesce to... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          apimomfan2

          ... the Republicans.

        •  Well --- there is good reason to believe that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio

          something happened within the IRS and, you are probably much more tuned in than I am, but I'm willing to believe that the President can get answers more readily than I can...so...

          what exactly is he falling for?

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:59:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He's not 'falling for anything' in this case. (0+ / 0-)

          Hasn't a report already been issued on this?

          Please see my comment below, and the Reuters piece.

          Heck, with such a broad category of "groups focused on making "America a better place to live," they may have also been focused on left-leaning groups who are not satisfied with the direction of the country.

          If this happened, it's an outrage, and should be stopped.  So Kudos to the Administration, if they are going to look into this matter, and/or demand accountability.

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:18:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  There was a lot of “if” (17+ / 0-)

        in the statement quoted here. So if it turns out the accusations are bullshit, he's covered. What he emphasized was that the charges were serious.

        At this point, it's a reaction that makes sense: There are still investigations to be carried out, but the charge is real. The Sherrod move would've been to start firing people preemptively.

        Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
        Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
        Code Monkey like you!

        Formerly known as Jyrinx.

        by Code Monkey on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:20:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right. It's not Obama jumping to conclusions. (12+ / 0-)

          It's the commenter.

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:24:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Innocent until proven guilty is the correct stance (4+ / 0-)

          ..to take imo, and the President did just that:

          "If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way..
          It laws were broken, that should be investigated, of course.

          And by putting in that proper context even the RWNJ's have no justification for further accusation/conspiracy (not that that will stop them) ; but now the question that will come to mind - even teabaggers will know it (which is probably half the cause of their "outrage"..

          Are these teaparty groups really of 501(c)4 status as a non-political entity? - easy answer there


           • An organization that primarily benefits a private group of citizens cannot qualify for IRC 501(c)(4) exempt status.
          [...]
           • However, an organization that loses its IRC 501(c)(3) status because of excessive lobbying or political campaign intervention may not be treated as an organization described in IRC 501(c)(4). IRC 504(a).
          501(c)4

          Not that the teaparty doesn't insist that pushing their "values" on other people is anything but "common good".
           Most people will see that the various teabag patriot groups break 501(c)4 rules

          •  No, they still have a basis and that's why a (0+ / 0-)

            proper investigation is appropriate.

            One very legitimate question for an investigation:

            If this was not an intent to harass specific groups, how do we protect against innocent intents that have less than innocent results?

            Having spent many years in software, I could well imagine somebody jumping up and saying -- "Wait! I know how we could make that a lot more efficient" and nobody scrutinizing the end result for possible Constitutional problems.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:44:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  seems like the meat of (10+ / 0-)

        the repug argument is that IRS staff did a keyword search looking for "teaparty" and "patriot" when looking to identify which groups to look at closely. It seems the first thing that needs to be asked is what other keywords did they search for? If the IRS was doing their due diligence and conducting a broad search, it would be logical for them to search t.p. and patriot, within a significant group of terms from the right and the left as well as some politically neutral terms like "campaign" or "elect"

        "labor is superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration,"... Theodore Roosevelt

        by HugoDog on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:21:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, and these are the things (5+ / 0-)

          that an investigation might bear out. Once we have a fuller picture, it'll make more sense for the President to be specific and stop talking in hypotheticals.

          Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
          Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
          Code Monkey like you!

          Formerly known as Jyrinx.

          by Code Monkey on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:24:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for such a sensible comment and (4+ / 0-)

          question about keyword searches.  (Really hoping they used a wide range of keywords.)

          We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

          by Observerinvancouver on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:43:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  From what I've seen, it included such radical (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HugoDog, musiccitymollie, Eric Nelson

          terms as "make American a better place to live".

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:25:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  According to Reuters, they were giving extra (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HugoDog, dinotrac

          scrutiny for applications from groups focused on making "America a better place to live."

          Here's an excerpt and a link below.  [H/T NC]

          IRS Kept Shifting Targets in Tax-Exempt Groups Scrutiny: Report

          By Kevin Drawbaugh and Kim Dixon | Reuters – 4 hours ago

          WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as 'Tea Party,' but later they focused on criticisms by groups of "how the country is being run," according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.

          Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.

          At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making "America a better place to live."

          Exactly who at the IRS made the decisions to start applying extra scrutiny was not clear from the findings, which were contained in portions of an investigative report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).

          Expected to be made public this week, the report was obtained in part by Reuters over the weekend as a full-blown scandal involving the IRS scrutiny widened, embarrassing the agency and distracting the Obama administration.

          In one part of the report, TIGTA officials observed that the application screening effort showed "confusion about how to process the applications, delays in the processing of the applications, and a lack of management oversight and guidance." . . .

          Now, this could be trouble, if they are unable to come up with a satisfactory answer as to 'what was going on.'

          Most folks would be far more upset over this type of scrutiny, than 'a Benghazi.'

          Mollie

          "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible."-- Frank L. Gaines


          hiddennplainsight

          by musiccitymollie on Mon May 13, 2013 at 01:09:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sandy on Signal, cybersaur

        If the groups were profiled based on behavioral trends, that seems fair.

        If that potential for behavior was influenced by the group's politics, that's just how the cookie crumbles.

        It certainly seems that if any group was likely to cheat or bend the rules based on a sense of entitlement, or that the government has no business telling them what to do, I'd put my money on the same groups as being "of interest".

      •  Funny, this is what the conservatives said... (5+ / 0-)

        ...in 2004 when the IRS was investigating liberal churches:

        The IRS is right to investigate political groups filing as non-profits to ensure that they truly are non-profits or have filed in the correct section.
        The problem with this statement both then and now is that if you're only investigating political groups on one side of the spectrum, that gives good reason for people on the outside to suspect partisan motivation in the investigations.

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:45:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "only"? (0+ / 0-)

          who said those were the only words they searched for? that they only searched for words that would bring up right-wing groups?

          investigation is warranted into what other words they were using, but it looks like the top brass are just hitting the Eject button on a bunch of low-level guys, throwing up their hands and saying "we're sorry, we're sorry, it was those bad apples" instead of attempting to clarify the issue at all.

          this is the Tea Party and Fox News we're talking about here, which obviously calls for appeasement. skepticism is reserved for hippies

          Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

          by Boogalord on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:09:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Would you feel better if they searched words that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TexasTom

            brought up liberal groups based on their politics?

            For example, one phrase was "making America a better place to live".

            Should groups (which are just people organized together) be subject to special scrutiny because they want to make America a better place to live?

            The IRS has no business selecting people to harass on such a basis.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:27:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe not folding but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybersaur

        yeah...

        I mean, what happened? The republicans demanded he denounce it, and attacked him for it. Then he denounced it... And they attacked him for it.

        Because of course they did. I get what he's doing, I can see why it may have been the better of two really bad options... But i'm not happy about it.

        Still, we know why they're doing this, and we need to keep it in perspective: They were losing control of the Benghazi debate again, and needed a new controversy to latch on to.

        Its the way the republican party works now.

        "Trust not the words of a poet, as he is born to seduce. Yet for poetry to seize the heart, it must ring with the chimes of truth."

        by kamrom on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:30:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Little to no information? (0+ / 0-)

        You must be highly placed indeed to know how much information the President has.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:58:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What are the standards? (3+ / 0-)

      When is an IRS investigation of a tax-exempt group lawful? Exactly what actions are? Some of a group's conduct is plain-sight public information.
      I bet that in other contexts countless Tea Party people have said "If you have nothing to hide you have no reason to worry about being scrutinized." If you don't use drugs, why should you object to having to pee?

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:24:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  here are the videos (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pamelabrown

      Benghazi

      IRS

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

      by zizi on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:48:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  in the past... (12+ / 0-)

    election cycle, countless preachers exerted various levels of pressure on their congregations to vote a certain way, even though churches are tax exempt. When churches lose their tax exempt status, I might get outraged about what the IRS did here. Until then, I call it an attempt to even the scales.

    The fact that there is such a thing as profitable corporations in this country that pay zero federal taxes is a trillion times more outrageous.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:07:57 AM PDT

  •  Republicans are digging their own grave. (7+ / 0-)

    Leave them at it, reality would hit them in 2017 when another democratic president is getting sworn in.

  •  Tell it like it is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, cassandracarolina

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:10:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm missing something about the Tea Party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faito, scott5js, shoeless

    I thought donations to political organizations were not tax exempt.  Don't know what the problem is.  Would someone explain it to me, please?

    War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.- Ambrose Bierce

    by Sandy on Signal on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:15:00 AM PDT

    •  Apparently (6+ / 0-)

      if you donate to an outfit (be it a megachurch or a silly hat wearing legislative lobbying group) that pushes for a Republican agenda that is considered God's work and therefore should be tax exempt.  Heck, let's just say the outfit should be exempt from all rules and regulations and given mandatory parades.

    •  It depends how the organziation is structured (6+ / 0-)

      501c3 and 501c4 are sections of IRS regulation that determines both how they are treated as not for profits and what sort of political activities the organizations can engage in in order to maintain their tax status.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:19:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Under 501 c 3 you can take the H exemption (3+ / 0-)

        which allows you to engage in indirect, grassroots advocacy, ie encouraging your members to contact legislators about issues, etc.  However, it can't constitute more than about 1/3 of the organization's activities and participation in electoral politics (donating to candidates, running ads for candidates) is forbidden. Donations to 501 c 3 organizations are tax deductible.

        501 c 4 organizations are allowed to engage in direct advocacy (contact w/ elected officials, participation in electoral political activity), but donations are not tax deductible.

        The laws and guidelines on this kind of thing are pretty clear.  Non-profit organizations have been following them successfully for decades.   Non-profit boards and attorneys usually understand them very well.

        The recent large increase in non-profit political activity by new organizations means they need more oversight.  There are always those who want to have it both ways - engaging in direct political advocacy while still writing off donations as tax deductible expenses.  No can do.  Follow the rules or close up the organization.

        "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

        by Betty Pinson on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:22:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Non-profit accounting is also much different (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White

          than corporate accounting.

          Because non-profit organizations don't pay taxes on their earnings (primarily donations), they're subject to much more disclosure to the IRS on finances and activities.  That just comes with the territory, the price you pay for not paying taxes.

          Many of these conservative political non-profits are run by people from the for-profit corporate world.  They don't like having to disclose so much of their financial information and activities.

          Our organization has hosted a couple of accounting interns in the past who wanted to learn non-profit accounting.  They're always shocked at how much more non-profits have to report each year to the IRS, but hey, those are the rules, you have to live by them.

          "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

          by Betty Pinson on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:46:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think the issue is that they were (5+ / 0-)

      only looking at groups with conservative leanings, instead of also looking at progressive groups.

      But yeah, the whole issue of tax exemptions seems to be a mess. I mean, what kind of nonbiased criteria can you use to determine if an organization isnt primarily engaged in political activity. Seems like the exemption should just be completely eliminated.

    •  Your donation is to a "charity" when you donate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sandy on Signal

      to a 501 C4, they can do a little political work but mostly a charity, what a joke!!!

    •  Political vs. partisan. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rschndr, wadingo, JerryNA

      Groups that pursue explicitly political goals can be tax-exempt, but they are not allowed to align themselves with or advocate for parties or candidates.

      Everyone knows these Tea Party groups are political - they say so themselves. The question is whether they are Republican.

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:27:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe as educational outfits (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rschndr

      I am not well-versed on how tax laws affect political groups. Let's hear from someone who does know.

      Censorship is rogue government.

      by scott5js on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:34:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Outrageous? Really? (10+ / 0-)

    If I were the IRS and were looking for non-profits that may be cheating on their taxes, doesn't it make sense to investigate those organizations that were specifically formed to fight taxes?

  •  I watched/heard Obama (4+ / 0-)

    Obama needs to pick things up a bit.  What I heard was way to nice and civil.  Idiot republicans have given ample proof that they do not deserve respectful treatment by anyone - especially their constituents.

  •  Wonder what the people in IRS Dallas office think (0+ / 0-)

    The office where the tax hater flew the plane into and killed an employee.  That wasn't political either was it??

  •  Go for it, GOP (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmcphail, rschndr, cybersaur, JerryNA

    It just really helped you out the last time you pulled this, didn't it?

    The GOP's deep-down problem is that they have never, ever gotten over Watergate.  Watergate showed the GOP as it was then and is today--as essentially a bunch of thugs.  It showed it in a way that was simple, straightforward, and easily grasped by the public--Disneylike burglars in masks with bags over their shoulders.  And their man went down as he deserved to,  after telling the world "I am not a crook;" and they have been hoping and praying and pleading with dear sweet Jesus for a chance at payback ever since.  It's possible that Watergate infects all politics with the GOB's terrible humiliation and their generations-old thirst for revenge. That is why to this day every time a president blows his nose it's "worse than Watergate."

  •  I will await the facts. I support the IRS investig (7+ / 0-)

    ating these so called "social welfare" groups which are really just fronts (like Karl Rove's Crossroads) to escape tax law, election law, and the publishing of names of contributors.

  •  Good responses on both issues (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joe from Lowell

    I hope they quickly implement the recommendations of the ARB(I think there were 30 or so of them).

    There are legitimate questions about security regarding Benghazi, but they arent the partisan issues that the GOP wants to discuss.

    As far as IRS, can the president even fire anyone there? Seems like that is a power that might have been taken away post-Watergate, but maybe I'm wrong. Certainly, I think those involved should lose their jobs.

  •  Regarding the IRS (7+ / 0-)

    Maybe I just don't get it, but is it totally unreasonable to at least consider that the IRS may have been justified in giving some of these Tea Party and right-wing groups greater scrutiny?

    These are groups that have all but said that taxes are tyranny, that they're "sovereign citizens" so the law doesn't apply to them, and that citizens need to consider an armed revolt against the Government. Doesn't it follow that those groups might be more likely to engage in tax shenanigans than other groups who don't express those beliefs?

    I completely agree that the IRS should never target any individual or group for purely political purposes -- including payback. And if the IRS under a GOP administration did that to a liberal group, I'd be justifiably enraged.

    But I'm not sure that's what happened here. The IRS has been around for a while now, and I assume they've been able to develop some pretty advanced models for determining who gets audited, who is/isn't a risk, etc.

    I'm not sure this is all as simple as most people want to believe.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:18:54 AM PDT

    •  And it was not an audit, just, could we have some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rschndr

      more backup that what you do is a charity, please?

    •  IRS isn't empowered to consider anti-tax per se (0+ / 0-)

      as a basis for scrutiny.  But they are mandated to ensure that political activity is not unfairly exempted from taxation.  It is not a stretch to question whether a politically charged name or mission statement might imply a political mission.

      Guns don't kill people like hammers don't pound nails.

      by rschndr on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:58:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IRS is obligated to investigate (0+ / 0-)

      when they see these non-profit organizations raising millions of dollars and spending it on tv ads, radio ads and other obvious direct political, election year activities.

      There are certain red-flags that the IRS watches for in any non-profit organization.  Any good accountant will tell you the activity to avoid if you don't want to trigger an IRS audit.

      I'm not buying the assertions that the IRS chose to audit groups that had certain words in their names.   More likely, they're watching for groups that raise large amounts of tax deductible donations as 501 c 3 tax exempt organizations, then switch to 501 c 4 status in order to use those funds for political activities.  

      If your local PTA group or soccer league suddenly raised a million bucks, then applied for c4 status while buying a bunch of political tv ads, they would attract IRS attention, too.

      "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

      by Betty Pinson on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:34:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GOP reply will be " thats not enough" (0+ / 0-)

    I can hear them now!

    •  So? (0+ / 0-)

      Investigating what happened is the right thing to do, not something he's offering in hopes of appeasing the Republicans. Let them whinge.

      Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
      Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
      Code Monkey like you!

      Formerly known as Jyrinx.

      by Code Monkey on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:23:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How dare Obama not know everything immediately!! (7+ / 0-)

    Said the party that insisted WMDs were in Iraq for years without evidence.

    The irony is crushing.

  •  Maybe I'm missing something... (12+ / 0-)

    The political party that ordered US attorneys to prosecute Democratic "voter fraud" and fired US attorneys for refusing political prosecutions has the nerve to complain about IRS investigations of tea party nuts - when the IRS itself shut those investigations down once they realized what was going on?  

    Seriously?

    The political party that failed to prevent 9/11 and fabricated intelligence to start a war is complaining about Benghazi?  

    Seriously?  

    Obama needs to go on the attack.  He shouldn't be standing up there apologizing.  This is nuts.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:21:54 AM PDT

  •  IRS has false flag written all over it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rschndr, PorridgeGun

    I'm not a CT guy but this has Republican plant creating perfect noise written all over it. There are already articles of impeachment being drafted because the "trail leads to the White House".

    Of course I'm wrong but if the investigation leads to a Bush partisan in the IRS office in Cleveland ...

    It's also what happens when you spend 5 years playing prevent defense. Obama doesn't fight back or even fight at all. It's not who he is. There is no cost for the Republicans to work every angle.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:24:24 AM PDT

  •  ALL 501c4s need to be looked at now (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ender, sunbro

    but they wouldn't like THAT

  •  Sigh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    Is President Obama going to address Benghazi at every press confrence?  After all the hearings and documents realeased can't he just say, I have already addressed this issue?  Or is that right merely reserved for Republicans?  

  •  "Traditions"? Hah! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, JerryNA

    Oh, there's a tradition, all right.  But it's the opposite of "neutral and non-partisan".  

    If Obama doesn't like what the IRS apparently did, maybe he should think about what he could have done regarding the events that preceded him, instead of deciding to "look forwards, not backwards".  That could have set a different tone and possibly forestalled these events.

    OTOH, I agree with those who say there should be more audits of non-profits, not fewer.  For example, anything with which Karl Rove is associated should absolutely not receive any kind of tax break.  But expecting more audits when the budget for the IRS keeps getting cut is, well, unrealistic.

    I am become Man, the destroyer of worlds

    by tle on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:27:20 AM PDT

  •  I reserve judgement... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    It is completely reasonable for the IRS to investigate groups such as this, I think what makes it look so bad is:

    1) timing, so very close to presidential elections makes it feel political as opposed to good governance.

    2) the fact that only conservative groups were investigated, if this were a part of broad ranging investigation of all groups it wouldnt feel so political.

    3) uncommon..lets face it - you dont hear about the IRS doing this very often, they certainly seem to be terrified of going after churches who actually advertise they will flaunt the law.

    Its these appearances that make this look bad, and if its shown to have been initiated for political purposes then it is abysmal.

    So for now I support Obamas response, the qualifiers he used allow him to withdraw the statement if these investigations prove to have not been politically motivated, if they turn out to have been so motivated then he should deride them.

  •  Lindsay Graham Is The Terrorist Cheerleader (0+ / 0-)

    Graham is the terrorists ally, trying to exploit terrorism to overthrow the US government.  

    His message to terrorists is "Attack America now and Lindsay Graham will carry the ball over the goal line!"

    It's just a shame that the boys in Boston weren't affiliated with any group because Lindsay and Fox News were all ready to give them $20,000,000 in free publicity.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:36:39 AM PDT

  •  Brace yourselves. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp

    Because house Republicans are begging for any excuse to begin impeachment proceedings.  

    If you don't think they will, you're deluded.   This is what the drumbeat on Benghazi has been about, and now even the mention of IRS, they smell blood in the water.  

    Prepare to hear nothing but IRS SCANDAL until it fizzles like Benghazi, or they impeach the President.  

    Part of the reason Nixon was about to be impeached was misuse of the IRS, and before you remind me that a Bush appointee runs the IRS right now, you should also remember that the guy in charge during Nixon's presidency was appointed by LBJ.  

    I don't bring this up because I think Obama should be impeached, I'm just saying that these people remember this shit, because they've been wanting to settle the score for Nixon for decades.    They'll use anything against him they think they can get away with.  

    In other words:   Welcome to 1998 Part II.  

    Get ready for the crippling of Obama's second term.  

    The tent got so big it now stands for nothing.

    by Beelzebud on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:50:54 AM PDT

    •  I agree. They're going to do it (0+ / 0-)
    •  Well, something smells (0+ / 0-)
      This is what the drumbeat on Benghazi has been about, and now even the mention of IRS, they smell blood in the water.  
      Not so much "blood in the water" as the smell of the GOP stewing in their own fumes. That scent that has them all excited is from the rotting detritus in their own echo chamber.

      +++ The law is a weapon used to bludgeon us peasants into submission. It is not to be applied to the monied elite.

      by cybersaur on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:53:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  WELCOME . . . to the crippling of Obama's term? (0+ / 0-)

      They've been doing that nonstop since 2010 and they haven't shown any signs of letting up.

      Face it - the Republicans are going to do absolutely nothing and do their best to run this country into the ground for as long as we have a black Democratic president. If Hillary Clinton is elected in 2016 they'll probably work just as hard to run the country into the ground for 4 or 8 more years.

      Nothing new here.

      When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

      by PhillyJeff on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:04:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, he stole my line (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Supavash
    There's no there, there (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:Calvino Partigiani, TXdem, ceebee7, MadGeorgiaDem, jaywillie, Matt Z
    Changing talking points?  Seriously?  Ass covering, if that's what it is, is a scandal?  There's no covering up of anything that actually happened.  As opposed to a mere PR statement.
    Keep the TVA public.

    by Paleo on Sat May 11, 2013 at 04:26:38 PM EDT

    Keep the TVA public.

    by Paleo on Mon May 13, 2013 at 10:52:38 AM PDT

  •  Ahem, hasn't the IRS Always been just this side of (0+ / 0-)

    the mafia, using their power to punish whatever individuals or groups of whatever persuasion any agent feels like that week? Why is it that it's not until they target Tea Party groups that anybody gives a shit?

    •  I've found them easy to work with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gator Keyfitz

      if I have a question about my non-profit's accounting or activities, I'm not afraid to call the IRS and get their advice. They've been very nice about it.  In recent years, they've worked pretty hard to overcome their bad guy image.

      "If you can't take their money, eat their food, drink their booze and then vote against them, you have no business being up there."

      by Betty Pinson on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:50:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, if you really dig into the IRS... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pfiore8

    do a web search on "audits" for example, it is easy to find evidence that corporations have had the upper hand and have persuaded Congress that targeting small businesses will get them the best bang for their buck.

    Now that's outrageous.

  •  IRS Commisioner Republican (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Nice Ogre

    The IRS commissioner at the time, Douglas Shulman, was a Bush appointee, and the IRS, despite a past history of political meddling for the White House, is usually lauded for its independence.
    This all took place before the election and this guy promptly resigned and left right after the election, when his appointment was up. Certainly he was not trying to help Obama, but was targeting groups with "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names because THOSE are the groups who would and will target GOP candidates for primaries. Also, he had previously used his authority to help the Bush Administration  after Bush appointed him.

  •  Wow the hate HR for humble opinion here. (0+ / 0-)

    Lol.
    Sorry if I offended anyone for not drinking the kool-aid.

    NO CE/CW. NO UNION BUSTING

    by Aeolos on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:08:16 PM PDT

    •  I think people actually commented on the... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lost and Found

      ...'merits' of your comments and your thoughts on the US 'invasion' of Libya...LOL?

      •  Oh, can't read them they "eradicate" any harmful (0+ / 0-)

        ideas counter to the group think here.

        No chance to reply. Only that, in fact, Libya was invaded by the U.S. military. People need to check their facts. When you take on a sovereign with airpower or any other weaponry, you are in fact an invasion force. International law, ya know.

        NO CE/CW. NO UNION BUSTING

        by Aeolos on Mon May 13, 2013 at 12:29:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll refer this "progressive" community, (0+ / 0-)

          to International treaty dating back to 1907:

          CONVENTION CONCERNING BOMBARDMENT BY NAVAL FORCES IN TIME OF WAR

          Since no one here is interested in the legality of the war making powers of the Executive when he is a "progressive" democrat, will concentrate on International Law. That's to rail about when we get another Dubya - which we will, you can count on it - and a site like this can play the other side to foment burst of new outrage traffic on its servers. Nice little gig, Kos has here. Play the middle and throw hand grenades when convenient. Arianna during the Iraq War made MILLIONS converting to a tabloid, later. This internet outrage is a great revenue deal.

          The treaty above and all subsequent International treaties outline what are and aren't legitimate conflicts. Like the Invasion of Iraq.
          There was no difference in what took place in the spring of 2003 over Bagdad and what happened over Tripoli in 2011.

          Only that Obama was the "good" guy ISFA us "progressives" are concerned.

          NO CE/CW. NO UNION BUSTING

          by Aeolos on Tue May 14, 2013 at 09:23:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Conservatives Tasting their Own Medicine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hockeyray

    Obama is right in saying that if the IRS procedures targeted conservative groups for merely being a conservative group, then that would be outrageous. In that case heads should roll at the IRS.

    On the other hand, for years conservatives have supported racial profiling of blacks and Muslims. They have argued that blacks are more likely to commit crimes and Muslims are more likely to be terrorists. The IRS may have decided that conservative groups are more likely to misuse the 501(c)(4) statute than progressive groups. Now that conservatives feel they have been profiled, they now taste a bit of their own medicine.

    The truth is that conservatives really do misuse the tax statute more than liberal groups do. Conservatives love to talk about how liberal groups tend to be special interest groups while conservative groups tend to fight for an overall big picture philosophy (usually conservatism). That's exactly why groups such as American Crossroads are political and not social welfare organizations.

  •  This president never had a chance (0+ / 0-)

    Not a meaningful one after the conservatives took control in 2010. They made their agenda clear from go. So what he is to engage in a war of words over silliness? He's dong what he needs to. I personally have lost respect for the political process entirely. And if I could apply for a refund for services paid for and not rendered I would demand every dime in taxes I have paid back.

    This cosmic dance of bursting decadence and withheld permissions twists all our arms collectively, but if sweetness can win, and it can, then I'll still be here tomorrow to high-five you yesterday, my friend. Peace. ~The Gingerbread Man - Adventure Time

    by live2learn on Mon May 13, 2013 at 02:23:40 PM PDT

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