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Last night, Jon Stewart showed how unlike Benghazi, right-wingers suddenly found the proverbial nut with the news of the IRS targeting Tea Party groups, and why this is so destructive.

Well, congratulations, President Barack Obama.  Conspiracy theorists, who generally can survive in anaerobic environments, have just had an algae bloom dropped on their fucking heads.  Thus removing the last arrow in your pro-governance quiver.  Skepticism about your opponents.  Gun control.  Why can't we have background checks?
SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TX (4/17/2013): I believe it would put us inexorably on the path to a national gun registry.
(in mocking tone) Oh, right, a national gun registry, the government's going to overreach, and there's going to be a registry, and the government's even capable of that kind of overreach, and they're gonna take your guns away from you.
SCOTT PELLEY (5/10/2013): The Internal Revenue Service admitted today that some of its employees targeted conservative political groups.
MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!

This has, in one seismic moment, shifted the burden of proof from the tinfoil-behatted to the government.  The VA claims backlog and the bounced checks foreclosure clusterfuck had already given government competence fetishists fits.  (tries saying that again)  Government competence fetishists fits.

And now this.  In a few short weeks, you've managed to show that when the government wants to do good things, your managerial competence falls somewhere between David Brent, and a cat chasing a laser pointer.  But when government wants to flex its more malevolent muscles, YOU'RE FUCKING IRON MAN!!

You know what?  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I'm overreacting.  I still believe, I really do, that good government has the power to improve people's lives, and that the people have the power to restrain its excesses.  I forget that sometimes, and I'm sorry.  It's gonna be OK, and form of government is bigger than just these issues.  This storm will pass.  It's just... (listens to earpiece)  Really?  Right now?

WOLF BLITZER (5/13/2013): All right, we're just getting this into the Situation Room.  Calling it a "massive and unprecedented intrusion", the Associated Press now saying the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of phone records of its reporters and editors.
(dejected) Motherfucker.  We'll be right back.
Video and full transcript below the fold.

Let's begin tonight with a quick bit of housekeeping.  Thursday night, I caught a little flak from my TV husband and weekend squash partner Bill O'Reilly.  I was talking about Congress's ongoing Benghazi freakout, and I happened to cite a University of Maryland study that in the Bush years, U.S. diplomatic targets were attacked 54 times with 13 American deaths.

Did those situations suffer from the same poor inter-agency communication, sub-standard security measures, or general lack of accountability, as the Benghazi situation?  Who knows?  Because, for all 54 instances, there were only three Congressional hearings, or bleh.  But young William thought our study needed more study.

BILL O'REILLY (5/9/2013): When you study the study, you find that many of the cited attacks occurred in Iraq, during the war.
Ah!  Wha...?  Well, that is true.  If by "many", you mean eight.

Eight out of 54!  How is that "many"?  I mean, by that math, you, Bill O'Reilly, have many viewers who are not bedridden and cathetera... catheterized.  Catheterized, I said cathedralized.

And by the way, I'm pretty sure attacking diplomatic targets in Iraq still counts as an attack.  But here's where my friend, he just got mean!

BILL O'REILLY (5/9/2013): Jon Stewart apparently got his information from the far-left websites Media Matters and the DailyKos.
I did not!  Look at my browser history.  Just look at it!

(audience laughter)

Do you see DailyKos or Media Matters in there?  It's mostly side boob related sites and a little ESPN.

Actually, we did get our info straight from the University of Maryland's National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, an outfit so reliable, it was even cited last week by a certain FoxNews.com.  So, boom.  By the way, that website could use a side boob section.

All right, listen.  But here's the thing.  Why bother?  Why bother fighting, O'Reilly?  It doesn't matter.  It doesn't even make sense to argue with him, because facts don't matter to that side.  In their paranoid fever dreams, the State Department and the CIA changing talking points is irrefutable evidence Obama left people to die so that he could swing Ohio, despite there being no shred of evidence to validate their full-blown right-wing persecution victimization complex.

SCOTT PELLEY (5/10/2013): The Internal Revenue Service admitted today that some of its employees targeted conservative political groups for extra scrutiny, in violation of its own policy, and despite its earlier denials.
MOTHERFUCKER!!!!  Ahhhhh!!!!  Son of a bitch!!  No!!!  Motherfucker!!  What did you do???
NANCY CORDES, CBS (5/13/2013): In the spring of 2010, just as the Tea Party movement was gaining steam, a group of IRS specialists were told to focus on organizations with "political sounding names" seeking tax-exempt status.
Political sounding names?  That could be anybody!  Political sounding names?  That's not right-wing!  It could be "Hippies for Change" or "Occupy Ralph Nader".  I mean, it's not necessarily just right-wing.
NANCY CORDES, CBS (5/13/2013): Groups with names like "We the People" or "Take Back the Country".
OK, that's right wing.
NANCY CORDES, CBS (5/13/2013): Specialists were told to "be on the lookout for Tea Party applications", along with groups whose mission was to "educate about the Constitution".
Oh, OK.  All right.  In their defense, there is a good reason why people using the IRS to crack down on political enemies would not want Americans educated about the Constitution.

And while the tax-exempt status that all political groups get is kind of bullshit, it's bullshit that should at least be granted fairly and equitably, spread around evenly, if you will.  So unlike much of the Benghazi inquiry, this seems like a genuine scandal.  So explanation please, let's say from the individual who oversees tax-exempt organizations for the IRS.

LOIS LERNER, IRS DIRECTOR OF EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS (5/10/2013): They used names like Tea Party or Patriots, and they selected cases simply because the application had those names in the title.  That was wrong.  The IRS would like to apologize for that.
Oh, OK, thank you, I appreciate....  Wait a minute!  I didn't realize apologies were sufficient in IRS-related issues.  (audience cheering)  I... hold on one minute.  I bet, if I'm not mistaken, that right now, Wesley Snipes feels like a real asshole.  Wait, all I had to say was I'm sorry?  Instead of "always bet on black"?  I should've just said I'm sorry!

And since we're talking about this, you know how on my taxes I put down that I have a farm?  Actually, I had a salad.  So... sorry.

But don't worry, it gets funnier!

5/10/2013:

LOIS LERNER, IRS DIRECTOR OF EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS: I said that about a quarter of the cases that were selected for full developments had either Tea Party or Patriot in their name.

TOM COSTELLO, NBC NEWS: OK.  Sorry.  Thank you for the clarification.  But that would be a quarter of the 300 then, so we are talking 75 or so?

LOIS LERNER, IRS DIRECTOR OF EXEMPT ORGANIZATIONS: That's correct.  Is that a quarter?  That's correct.  Thank you.  I'm not good at math.

(shocked audience laughter)

That's a good one!  Lady who works at the place that calculates people's taxes.

Well, congratulations, President Barack Obama.  Conspiracy theorists, who generally can survive in anaerobic environments, have just had an algae bloom dropped on their fucking heads.  Thus removing the last arrow in your pro-governance quiver.  Skepticism about your opponents.  Gun control.  Why can't we have background checks?

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TX (4/17/2013): I believe it would put us inexorably on the path to a national gun registry.
(in mocking tone) Oh, right, a national gun registry, the government's going to overreach, and there's going to be a registry, and the government's even capable of that kind of overreach, and they're gonna take your guns away from you.
SCOTT PELLEY (5/10/2013): The Internal Revenue Service admitted today that some of its employees targeted conservative political groups.
MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!

This has, in one seismic moment, shifted the burden of proof from the tinfoil-behatted to the government.  The VA claims backlog and the bounced checks foreclosure clusterfuck had already given government competence fetishists fits.  (tries saying that again)  Government competence fetishists fits.

And now this.  In a few short weeks, you've managed to show that when the government wants to do good things, your managerial competence falls somewhere between David Brent, and a cat chasing a laser pointer.  But when government wants to flex its more malevolent muscles, YOU'RE FUCKING IRON MAN!!

You know what?  I'm sorry.  I'm sorry.  I'm overreacting.  I still believe, I really do, that good government has the power to improve people's lives, and that the people have the power to restrain its excesses.  I forget that sometimes, and I'm sorry.  It's gonna be OK, and form of government is bigger than just these issues.  This storm will pass.  It's just... (listens to earpiece)  Really?  Right now?

WOLF BLITZER (5/13/2013): All right, we're just getting this into the Situation Room.  Calling it a "massive and unprecedented intrusion", the Associated Press now saying the Justice Department secretly obtained two months of phone records of its reporters and editors.
(dejected) Motherfucker.  We'll be right back.
Jon then looked at how HHS followed up on the TIME report on hospital costs with some good transparency on how the prices for procedures vary wildly depending on which hospital you go to.
Meanwhile, Stephen also covered the news about the IRS targeting Tea Party groups, and wondered if his own Super PAC had anything to do with the IRS resorting to this "special scrutiny".
He then had another ThreatDown segment about bears huffing jet fuel.

Stephen talked with Jessica Buchanan and Erik Landemalm about Jessica's experience being kidnapped by Somali pirates and held prisoner for over 3 months before Seal Team 6 rescued her, and Jon talked with director J.J. Abrams, which went long.  Here's the whole unedited interview in two parts.
Part 1
Part 2

Originally posted to BruinKid on Tue May 14, 2013 at 05:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Electronic America: Progressives Film, music & Arts Group.

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