Skip to main content

I live in Tennessee, somewhere between Raccoon Valley and the Cross-eyed Cricket. I'M not the most beltway savvy person. But I've had a real job for the past 25 years. I've worked for some of the most cutting edge companies on the planet. We routinely used applications like Excel to help us identify areas that needed our focus. Or to otherwise help us work as efficiently as possible. The tried and true "most bang for the buck," theory.

My experience suggest that the most probable explanation of what happened at the IRS was that workers merely used filters they believed would identify the "low hanging fruit." Thereby maximizing their time. That's what we did everyday. We couldn't survive if we didn't.

I wonder how many DC reporters and talking heads have ever worked in that kind of environment. A real job as it were. I don't think so. What did they expect, flags for names that included "snowball?" "Rubber-band?"

Hell, if I worked at the IRS, and I witnessed the behavior of the Tea Party and Patriot groups, I'd have done the same. Goodness, these folks were threatening to bring their guns to their rallies, "next time." Remember those? The guns at the rallies? Involvement of folks like Dick Armey? Who in their right minds WOULDN'T" have filtered for those groups.

There was no "targeting." Targeting implies shooting. Stopping. It was normal work done everyday without controversy. There were no audits, and all the groups were approved.

That's likely what happened. And now they can't do that anymore. I hope those "snowball" searches work out well for them.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

    by Cpqemp on Fri May 17, 2013 at 04:10:07 PM PDT

  •  I agree. (0+ / 0-)

    It's funny how desperate the right is getting on this in trying to make it look like the order came from up high in the White House and this was political in the targeting when all the info that is coming out shows the opposite.  The increase in the numbers of the groups after Citizens United and how much they spent on the two elections since pretty much explains the whole "scandal".  A lot of hoopla but this is going virtually nowhere in the end.

    •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Adam B, bluto211, Neuroptimalian

      It wasn't because of a spike in applications.

      I wish everyone would stop trying to defend this. We are supposed to be reality based, not ideologically blind.

      •  That part I understand. (0+ / 0-)

        But that doesn't exactly tell us everything we would need to know here.  One thing that has to be taken into account is the huge increase seen in campaign spending by 501c4 groups.  It's possible, and I would say very likely judging from the spending, that the type of groups filing for the status dramatically changed and that triggered the bungled job by the IRS.  

        The spending actually increased quite a bit in 2008 but the explanation may have been another SC case, noted here:

        Other notable groups filed their applications and received approval in the wake of the Wisconsin Right to Life Supreme Court decision in 2007 that first loosened the rules governing nonprofit political activity. American Future Fund, America's Families First, TC4 Trust and the Center to Protect Patient Rights fall into this category.
        In short, one case began the behavior and the second, more notable one, opened the floodgates for masked political groups filing.  Not saying I'm correct since more info is needed but it seems like it could be the case considering the timeline on everything.
  •  Why do Tea Party groups deserve tax-exempt status? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cpqemp, tgrshark13, Nattiq

    They are political organizations. Political organizations are not supposed to be tax exempt. Why does no one in the media seem to mention that?

  •  Maybe you should actually read the IG report? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neuroptimalian, buddabelly

    So you would know that you are totally incorrect.

    •  Where am I wrong? (0+ / 0-)

      They were all approved after the review.

      What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

      by Cpqemp on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:54:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  After a 2 year wait (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Adam B, Neuroptimalian

        and many simply gave up. And they were "targeted" because the IRS used specific words to ID applications (tea party, Patriot, Constitution, etc.) on a political.ideological basis.

        Read the report.

        It is not kosher regardless of the political side you are on.

        •  How would you prioritize the work? (0+ / 0-)

          You have a real job?

          I am simply suggesting that is probably how it went down.

          What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

          by Cpqemp on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:17:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Suggesting (0+ / 0-)

            without reading the report. They targeted groups according to the words tea party, patriot, Constitution, etc. Read the report before you spout off again.

            Oh yeah smart butt, I have a real job.  

            •  Let me ask you.. (0+ / 0-)

              Does the IRS review every application? I guess I'm asking would ALL the applications get reviewed? If so, what's the problem? If they don't all receive the same attention, how would you prioritize your work?

              I look forward in the coming months when a front-line employee tells the the real story during an interview.

              What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

              by Cpqemp on Fri May 17, 2013 at 06:55:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Again (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Adam B, VClib

                Read the report, or at least some news.

                Beginning in 2010 they targeted specific words: Tea Party, Constitution, Patriot etc.

                It was so egregious that there was an IG investigation and report hat just came out, a DOJ investigation ordered, and the acting director was fired.

                •  We just see things differently. (0+ / 0-)

                  In the end, they (IRS) did their job, imv.

                  Your "targeting" is my simple "search/sort."

                  Anyway, I am sorry for the insult. I am steamed at what is happening to our nation. And the seemingly little we're willing to do to save it.

                  What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. SAM HARRIS

                  by Cpqemp on Fri May 17, 2013 at 07:23:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  No prob with the remark (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Neuroptimalian

                    I have thick skin :-)

                    However, it isn't just a "as i see it thing". They used political and ideological terms to target specific groups. Searching or all political groups is one thing, but only a certain group? Not cool.

                    I can't understand anyone condoning this Nixonian practice. Yet so many here seem to think that is just fine. As long as it happens to them, and not us. heavy sigh.

          •  We're only talking about a few thousand ... (0+ / 0-)

            applications, TOTAL, that were filed over the multi-year time period.  The IRS didn't use keywords, they didn't need to; they simply scanned the list.

            "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

            by Neuroptimalian on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:45:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Outrageous and Intolerable (0+ / 0-)

    If this was just IRS workers searching and sorting to improve efficiency, why did the Democrat congressmen on the committee call it “outrageous and intolerable?”  Why did President Obama call it “outrageous and intolerable?"

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site