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Peggy Noonan:

We are in the midst of the worst Washington scandal since Watergate.
Um, no we are not. It's not even a scandal. It's a controversy. And, by the way, Benghazi isn't even that. But don't worry. That won't stop Republicans from overreaching.

Nate Silver:  

“The second part of the scandal is the auditing of political activists who have opposed the administration,” the Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan wrote on Thursday, describing the I.R.S.’s actions as the “worst Washington scandal since Watergate.”

What evidence does Ms. Noonan present for this second allegation?

She cites four conservatives who were audited. Four cases out of 1.5 million. Please. This is "anything for a scandal" garbage and should be treated as such.

NY Times (news section, mind you):

Republican charges range from the clearly questionable to the seemingly specious, and they grow by the day. On Friday, lawmakers sought to tie the I.R.S. matter to the carrying out of President Obama’s health care law, which will rely heavily on the agency. Whether they succeed holds significant ramifications for Mr. Obama, who will soon know if he is dealing with a late spring thunderstorm that may soon blow over or a consuming squall that will leave lasting damage.
Watch over the next few weeks as Republican glee turns to frustration as the voters decidedly ignore the trumped-up charges.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Jonathan Bernstein:

House negotiators announced yesterday that they’d reached a bipartisan agreement on an immigration bill. But as Ed Kilgore colorfully points out today, there’s not really any actual deal. Instead, on key items such as guest workers and health care, they’ve agreed to disagree for now — which sort of undermines the point of a unified bipartisan framework for a bill.

No surprise; the House has shown zero ability to legislate over the last three years. ...

What all this comes down to, really, is that the prospects for reform passing turn on one thing: whether the bulk of the mainstream conservatives in the Republican conference privately want something to pass or not.

Matthew Dallek:
“Do these people not remember the Nixon administration?” asked NBC’s senior investigative correspondent, Lisa Myers. “I’ve never seen anything quite like this, except in the past during the Nixon years,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). And BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith captured the moment with his post featuring Obama’s and Nixon’s faces morphing into one another in an endless loop of guilt by association.

The White House deserves some of the blame for the mess it’s in, but let’s be clear: The comparisons to Nixon are hyperbolic. Watergate, with its unique depth of criminality, remains a scandal unlike any other in modern times, and the echoes today reveal far more about the culture of Washington than about the supposed similarity between Obama’s troubles and Nixon’s crimes.

Lisa, who cares? The idea is throw everything against the wall, damn the facts.

Gail Collins:

But, so far, the Congressional hearings of outrage have been even less sympathetic. Perhaps you didn’t have time to spend much of your Friday watching the House Ways and Means Committee grill Steven Miller, the newly axed I.R.S. head, about the agency’s targeting of groups with names like “Tea Party” for unwelcome in-depth attention.

Let me summarize:

Committee Chairman Dave Camp: Thank you all for coming here today. Our topic is abuses in the Internal Revenue Service, an entity that I believe is about the size of China, with long, spiky tentacles that reach out and squash all the hopes and dreams of the American people. My first question, Mr. Miller, is whether your agency is so enormous and evil that it will one day destroy the nation as we know it, or whether it already has, and this committee is actually just sitting on the scattered shards and rubble of what once was a great republic.
Um, yeah.

Added Charles Blow for a succinct summing up:

Whether one thinks the demiscandals being howled about in Washington should or should not resonate more widely, they don’t.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Onimastic (43+ / 0-)

    Just yesterday coined the phrase

    Scandal Whoring
    Best description of Peggy Noonan I've heard all week.

    We've been spelling it wrong all these years. It's actually: PRO-GOP-ANDA

    by Patriot4peace on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:32:41 AM PDT

  •  yawn.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RJDixon74135, whaddaya

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:35:55 AM PDT

  •  Peggy: "Whoever you are, I've always (23+ / 0-)

    depended on the histrionic cluelessness of my conservative readership."

  •  And in the real world (19+ / 0-)

    folks have real scandals to deal with -- like failure of regulatory oversite which allows a facility to maintain a dangerous and illegal amount of shite and then blow up;  cut backs to critical agencies involving health and safety -- good timing on cutting the funding for volcano monitoring and the weather service and first responders and fire fighters.

    Finally, hoping those injured in that horrible MetroNorth accident yesterday recover fully.  I take that line frequently into the City from New Haven.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:40:38 AM PDT

  •  Suggested Miller reply to Camp. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    foresterbob, litho, whaddaya

    "That's two questions, and the answers are no and no"

  •  Collins has it right. Don't think most folks (12+ / 0-)

    give a whit about the IRS auditing and investigating as long as it's doing it to someone else.  It's always good to know that an agency is actually doing its job, but of course that's not what conservatives want because it's now become tyranny.
    Noonan can compare these scandals to Teapot Dome, the Brits' Mandy Rice-Davies, or Prez Warren Harding if she likes.  It gives her ever more reasons to swing her hair like Tallulah Bankhead while some watch in fascination to see when she's going to pass out.

    Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

    by judyms9 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:51:20 AM PDT

    •  where is the petition?? (11+ / 0-)

      demanding ABC's Jonathan Karl reveal the names of the Republicans associated with providing him an EDITED and FALSE Benghazi email.....I'm ready to sign!

      "Tax cuts for the 1% create jobs." -- Republicans, HAHAHA - in China

      by MartyM on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:03:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  besides the IRS is supposedly auditing a smaller (5+ / 0-)

      number of returns than ever before and this was before agency furloughs due to sequestration.  If I remember correctly, the irony is that the reduction in audits is at the top end of the scale while the middle class still risks the same number of audits or perhaps even more than they have historically in the past.

      Now where is the outrage over billionaires skating with their offshore accounts while Joe Sixpack sweats out a line by line?

    •  I'd get more excited about it 1 IF it seemed to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya

      be more that a screw up and 2. if there hadn't been worse done pretty much as long as the IRS has been in business.

      I've had some dealings with them over the last couple years . I have a rather small, fixed income so you'd think no problem but one year they decided they knew better than I and when I should have paid a modest sum, as I indicated on my return, they sent me a not so modest refund. I convinced them I shouldn't pay penalties for their error so victory! - kind of.) Then I sent them a new automatic withdrawal form when my bank changed hands. They used it for a few months, then for some reason reverted to the old, non-existent account & expunged the new account info. I've bumped into a few agents there who have really no clue which used never to be the case. Things seem kind of screwed up there in general & when you contact them it can take 6-8 weeks to get a reply.

      As for item 2, back in the day I my (now ex) husband was involved with the local branch of the committee to impeach Nixon & wrote a couple of letters to the editor. Sure enough our pitifully poor income tax return (only wages, barely above poverty line (I was just out of college & he was still in) only standard deduction, no investments, etc.) was audited & no one (at the IRS) seemed to know what they were looking for. It appears to have been purely an annoyance audit & I understand we were one of many that year. My understanding is this "scandal" doesn't even involve audits, just applications for tax exempt status where, in my opinion, they are way too casual anyway.

      Where are we going and what am I doing in this handbasket?

      by gelfling545 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:55:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You know what I find most tiresome (34+ / 0-)

    about contemporary Republican/"conservative" rhetoric? The compulsive superlative.

    A deficit can't just be "too large." It has to be "the biggest deficit in history."

    A tax increase can't just be "too steep." It has to be "the biggest tax increase ever."

    You can't have just a scandal, let alone a mere controversy. It has to be "the biggest scandal since Watergate."

    A Democratic administration can't simply be a danger to civil liberties (which is hyperbolic enough in and of itself). It has to be "the greatest danger to freedom since Nazi Germany."

    There are no degrees. Everything is the "worst ever." Whatever is the "worst ever" today will be replaced by a different "worst ever" tomorrow, and they won't even see the contradiction -- if you say, "But yesterday you said that x was the 'worst ever,'" they'll say, "It is!"

    Tedious, tedious, fucking tedious.

    "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

    by Geenius at Wrok on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:54:32 AM PDT

    •  this is the Mother of all hyperbole n/t (14+ / 0-)

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:55:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So I read the whole Noonan article (20+ / 0-)

      and this bit shows some serious chutzpah:

      We all have our biases. Mine is for a federal government that, for all the partisan shootouts on the streets of Washington, is allowed to go about its work. That it not be distracted by scandal, that political disagreement be, in the end, subsumed to the common good.
      No Republican holding federal elected office today has the right to say that. The whole strategy of the U.S. Republican Party is to ensure that the federal government will not be allowed to go about its work, if not by legislative or budgetary means then by the drumming up of alleged scandals.

      More schoolyard judo from the Projection Party.

      "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

      by Geenius at Wrok on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:12:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When you really, truly, believe (6+ / 0-)

        that the natural order of things is rule by the elite, by the wealthy, by the powerful, then you have to be hostile to the idea of a democratic government of the people, by the people, for the people.  It is not just rhetoric when they say government is the problem, not the solution; when they say they want to shrink the size of government so that it can be drowned in a bathtub.  I read elsewhere in this forum (all my good ideas come from others in this forum) that the conservatives in this country seek to build a power structure outside of government, namely in the corporate and wealthy elite, where government is merely a compliant arm of the ruling class.  I think that has effectively already happened.

        •  Let's be careful with our terms (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          whaddaya, LLPete, DSPS owl

          Conservatives in this country seek to build a power structure outside of constitutional republican democracy, namely in the corporate and wealthy elite. Government is the power structure, wherever power lies. Constitutional republican democracy is our government. The executive-financial elite seek to build their own government, consisting of themselves and their minions, outside -- at and the expense of -- our government.

          Anarchy is bad for business. If one government crumbles, it will be replaced by another; it may not look like what we're accustomed to thinking of as government, but it will be a government. Feudalism was a government. Early agrarian theocracy was a government. Even the Hanseatic League was a sort of government.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:23:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good Lord, did she write that? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, Nowhere Man

        Has she fallen that far off of the reality wagon? Nevermind the obstructionism -- has she forgotten how the Death Party fucked over the whole country with the manufactured whitewater/lewinsky scandals? Or does she just not care?

        What is wrong with these people?

        Jesus.

        Peggy Noonan's sole contribution to western civilization:

        We've got a thousand points of light
        For the homeless man
        We've got a kinder,
        gentler,
        machine gun hand

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:39:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's freshly squeezed propaganda for you. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Miggles, whaddaya

      can't tell you where it was squeezed from, but the smell is a clue.

    •  They remind me of the parents (9+ / 0-)

      Who don't seem to have any sense of priorities.

      To them, their kid getting a c is as bad as them not making the team which is as bad as wrecking the car or harassing another student.

      No perspective. No sense of scale. Whatever they want is right, if its not what they want its wrong, and not just wrong, THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN EVER.

      I think they must be 5, or maybe 15. They have the overwrought dramatic hyperbole of a 15 yr old, and about as much sense.

      •  But that's what works to keep their base (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xxdr zombiexx, whaddaya, tb mare

        hot and bothered.
        That worked for them in 2004, but things that outrage the right these days are being recognized more and more as fake scandals, ginned up by the talking points guys and repeated ad nauseum by the right wing media.
        And half the time, their stories don't even match.
        There was an article on TPM the other day that Drudge linked to and the comment section was invaded by right wing trolls.
        One guy said no one could get hold of Clinton that night and the Obama's were out partying and ignored phone calls.
        Two comments down from that another guy claims that both Clinton and Obama watched the whole thing on live video and did nothing.
        It was bizarre.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:38:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My intuition tells me that it's not a strategy (6+ / 0-)

          as much as it is a reflection of that base's psychological makeup. They talk this way because their voters think this way; they think this way themselves, because they come from that population.

          "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

          by Geenius at Wrok on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:54:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You're so right (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Bailey

            The base is getting smaller and more and more paranoid.
            I found out a month or so ago that current our state legislature in Topeka (KS) is the least educated one the state has ever had. It shows in the bills, too.

            “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

            by skohayes on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:20:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ever? (0+ / 0-)

              That seems implausible, given Kansas's frontier past. By what metric?

              "The great lie of democracy, its essential paradox, is that democracy is the first to be sacrificed when its security is at risk. Every state is totalitarian at heart; there are no ends to the cruelty it will go to to protect itself." -- Ian McDonald

              by Geenius at Wrok on Sat May 18, 2013 at 11:19:28 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  The Republicans still can't get over the fact (9+ / 0-)

      one of their own is the only president in the history of the Republic to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors sufficient for impeachment and conviction.  So ever since they've been casting about for someone else to blame, someone else to tar with the brush dipped in the foul Nixon left behind.

      They trumped up impeachment charges against Clinton, but the Senate had too much sense to listen.  The Tea Party crazies in the House are capable of filing impeachment charges against Obama for any one of these three so-called "scandals," but all they will succeed in doing is destroying their own reputation with the American public.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:28:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  if you don't know history, then every event is the (8+ / 0-)

      greatest in history.  Don't forget these folks rely on Newt and Barton for their history

    •  The pattern I've observed over the last 2 decades (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, tb mare, skohayes, DSPS owl

      is that the Republicans routinely present the nation with something or someone incomprehensibly horrible, for which they are rightly pilloried with fairly extreme rhetoric.

      Then, beginning in the next election cycle, they determinedly apply that same rhetoric to whomever and whatever the Democrats present to the nation.

      George W. Bush may very well have been the Worst. President. Ever. Nobody who actually knows anything about American history seems to doubt that he's somewhere in the "top" three. But now ... the wingnuts are calling Obama the WPE. It's ludicrous.

      People here tend to classify this behavior as "Projection", but I'm not sure that's it -- I think in many cases, it's just mindless imitation. I doubt if many of them even realize that they are aping the rhetoric of their own critics -- they've neither the necessary memory nor the necessary capacity for self-reflection.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:36:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This here, folks, is the greatest thread... (19+ / 0-)

    in the history of the interwebs.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:57:24 AM PDT

  •  I spent some of my time (8+ / 0-)

    Friday listening to the hearings - so embarrassing. The drama of it all - and the leap to the ACA, holy crap. These people have no shame and it's a good thing they don't actually do their jobs because we'd be in a bigger mess if the shit they think ended up as law.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:03:36 AM PDT

    •  The leap to projecting IRS involvement (7+ / 0-)

      in being able to restrict a person's health care under the ACA was truly breathtaking.  I didn't understand at all what the Republican committee members were talking about.  Luckily, Steve Doocy on Fox News made it clear later in the day, and the claim is just as unhinged as I thought.  Media Matters has the video of Doocy's explanation here.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:35:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Americans attn to IRS Below Average (7+ / 0-)
    Republicans More Tuned In

    Republicans are much more likely to say they are following these news stories closely than are independents or in particular Democrats. There is a 21-percentage-point gap between Republicans and Democrats in terms of following the Benghazi story closely, and a 27-point gap on the IRS story.

    http://www.gallup.com/...

    If I had one wish, Republican men would have uteruses.

    by Desert Rose on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:04:14 AM PDT

  •  Good morning Greg (7+ / 0-)

    I put together some pretty pictures last night in Views from an Azalea Forest.

    Have a nice day.

  •  Thanks for the roundup, Greg (7+ / 0-)

    Peggy and Michelle Bachmann are twins, separated at birth.

    I don't give a rodent's posterior about any of these soi-disant "scandals" and in fact am so turned off that I've been avoiding TV, radio, and the Intertubes lately.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:10:53 AM PDT

    •  Excellent strategy. /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya
    •  I woke up to (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hulibow, whaddaya, tb mare, Diana in NoVa

      the end of the BBC broadcast (on NPR).  It was a great piece on the Polish student uprising in 1968.  Courage that none of the so-called "patriots in this country could ever imagine.  Then I was grateful to hear the voice of Bob Edwards rather than the regular gang during the week.  NPR has been beating the scandal drum with rest of the eejits.

      Hope you have a good weekend, Diana.  You are always so thoughtful in these Abbreviated Pundit threads.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:25:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  pundits are full of it - NYT atty Obama & Nixon (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    remember in the early days, we used to go to NY Times and WA Post for most of the stories

    and the pundits were discussed a lot

    these days, they are out of it

    here is democracynow.org and the formal legal counsel for NY times during Pentagon Papers saying that Obama is number 2 of the worst attacks on free speech after Nixon. And if Obama is successful in prosecuting Assange, he will become number 1.

    JAMES GOODALE: Well, more precisely, I say that if in fact he goes ahead and prosecutes Julian Assange, he will pass Nixon. He’s close to Nixon now. The AP example is a good example of something that Obama has done but Nixon never did. So I have him presently in second place, behind Nixon and ahead of Bush II. And he’s moving up fast. And if he goes ahead against Assange, he’ll at least be even, and we’ll have to see how that prosecution, if it takes place, comes out, because maybe he’ll pass him.
    http://www.democracynow.org/...
    •  they have to earn their bread (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, whaddaya

      which mean they have to toe the line of whatever think tank they are a part of

    •  The AP story is the one that really (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, DSPS owl

      bothers me.  The others are tempests in a teapot.

      Last night Chris Hayes listed the top stories AP has done recently and asked how many sources today would be willing to open up to an AP reporter.  Or perhaps any reporter.  Between the consolidation of the press under ownership by corporatists and the chilling effect of this administration's ruthless pursuit of whistleblowers, it's no wonder we don't get the media coverage we'd hope for on controversial issues.

  •  I assume that (12+ / 0-)

    Ms. Noonan will announce that the doctored emails released by Republicans are the greatest fraud perpetrated on the American people since ...um, since they were lied into a war in Iraq?

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:14:08 AM PDT

  •  all activists are audited (5+ / 0-)

      I remember back in 2001, I appeared at a press conference before a big protest in New York. The person next to me, a veteran organizer, remarked "you do realize that if you are quoted in the New York Times as a protest organizer, your taxes will be audited for the rest of your life." And sure enough I was, and within weeks I began receiving letters saying "we notice that four years ago you were officially a resident of New York State but weren't paying local New York taxes..." (my job was out of state so I paid there), etc - and started making up wild charges about 10s of thousands of unpaid taxes that they must have known perfectly well I didn't owe. Before long they were dunning my wages, raiding my bank account, and it took calls to state senators to make them cut it out.

       I was told this is in no way unusual.

       Ralph Nader is currently being persecuted by the IRS in ways that make anything done to the Tea Party look penny ante - they are continuing to pursue him for money that he proved in a law suit he never earned and which was in fact fraudulent, but they refuse to drop anyway. All his assets, if I remember, remain frozen.

      What's telling to me is that it's only the Right, not the Left, that make a federal case out of this. The scandal is not that they do. It's that they're the only people who do. The mainstream Left just doesn't seem to care about the persecution of activists to their Left - sometimes, in fact, I suspect they are ultimately rather pleased by it - and since for the most part, it's been the Left that's been targeted, no one even knows it happens.

     

    •  and the dems are not outing the republicans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, david graeber

      like so many other cases where repubs are over the top, the dems don't nail them with the charges

      this happens over and over again

      for example, Thom Hartman makes a much better case for dems than Obama, while being critical of Obama

      the dems are part of the 1% and they don't want the cat out of the bag about the corruption of almost every institution in the country

      including the legislative branch with a 10% approval rating from a public who doesn't even know how bad it is

      and they don't care because they are serving their masters

      here is metor blades overnight news digest with a story about a real activist working on poverty

      Open thread for night owls: Stephen Lerner on breaking Wall Street's grip
      by Meteor Blades

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

    •  saw a headline (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya

      that the prez had made some remark indicating his anger at the IRS on behalf of those who'd be happy to see him gone any which way

      that made me angry at him

    •  Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

      If you are a resident of New York, you are required to file a New York tax return and pay New York taxes, even if your income is earned out of state (you would, if you filed state returns, have been entitled to a credit for the taxes you paid out of state.  So no, it isn't unusual;  if you didn't file a New York return, you fucked up.  Claiming that you're a victim because you're an organizer:  also fucked up.

      And, I can find no verification online of your claim that Ralph Nader is "currently being persecuted by the IRS."  Only that in 2004 some right-wing groups complained to the FEC and the IRS that the Nader campaign and CitizenWorks shared a receptionist and office space--complaints that appear to have gone nowhere.

      Dramatize much?

      "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

      by Old Left Good Left on Sat May 18, 2013 at 08:42:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not at all (0+ / 0-)

          of course one does have to fill out the in-state tax forms - the point is that I had no problem until I gave the press conference, and then, just as I was warned, immediately after I gave it, I started getting notices for all outstanding years at once. But especially, the point is that the NY State tax authorities were systematically abusive about how they handled it, making up huge sums as if I hadn't paid in the other state at all, claiming not to have received evidence I had when I sent it, telling me they would set up an installment plan to take the money from my bank account while it was resolved, and if I didn't give them my bank number, they'd dun my wages; then, when I gave them my bank number, suddenly taking everything (did you know it was possible to have negative $8,000 in one's bank account?) - then pretending they hadn't done it and dunning my wages anyway; insisting they weren't dunning my salary so it was impossible to take the lien off... All the tax attorneys I consulted insisted they'd never seen anything like it. Again, I had to contact a state senator and work on it with them for a month before they finally had to admit I didn't owe any of the money and gave it back.

          as for Nader, long story...

        •  Except (0+ / 0-)

          Apparently you didn't file, and got caught.  That's how it works--whether or not you are an organizer.   You cheat, you lose.

          As for Nader, how about one link to a reputable source.  Until then, you're just blowing smoke.

          "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

          by Old Left Good Left on Sun May 19, 2013 at 08:41:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't cheat (0+ / 0-)

            I would have actually got money back had I originally filed. I basically told them to keep the change and got screwed for it.

            The fact that you ignored what I wrote - that the IRS clearly audited me the moment I appeared as a political spokesman and then went and broke every rule in their own book, lying and cheating constantly, to hit me up for thousands they knew perfectly well I didn't owe and finally had to admit I didn't owe - shows everything. It doesn't seem to bother you at all that activists are being intentionally targeted. Amazing.

            All I can say is I hope the IRS goes after you with similar dishonesty and venom. It'll lovely to hear what you have to say about it then.

             

            •  Post hoc ergo propter hoc (0+ / 0-)

              You show no connection between your audit and your activism.  You confuse a personal anecdote with data.  In other words, you're full of shit.

              Also, according to your posts, you were audited by New York, not the IRS.  And you still have not adduced a single shred of evidence relating to Nader.

              "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

              by Old Left Good Left on Wed May 22, 2013 at 09:00:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know (0+ / 0-)

                why I'm replying to someone who is behaving like the most biased person in the entire universe when no one else is paying attention but let's once again go over what I actually said

                   * I had never been audited or had any trouble with the federal or local tax authorities for my entire life
                   * I made a statement at a press conference as an activist spokesman, and the person next to me warned me if I was quoted in the New York Times, I could expect to be audited immediately
                   * I was quoted in the New York Times
                   * I was audited immediately
                   * the tax authorities proceeded to pursue me aggressively for money they knew perfectly well, and finally admitted they knew perfectly well, I didn't owe

                   now, anyone who is not for some weird reason imbued with implacable hostility towards either activists, or people who question the IRS, or both, is going to recognize the overwhelming unlikelihood of this being a coincidence. If the other activist warned me that I would be audited, it was obviously because this had happened repeatedly to others in a similar situation (as indeed it had.) Now honestly, in that circumstance, what's the chance that when something is so commonplace you are warned to expect it will happen, and then it does indeed happen just as predicted, that it's happening would still be a complete coincidence? It would be like someone warns you "if you cross that line the guard in that tower over there will shoot you," and you cross the line, and the guard shoots you, and an observer still says "yes, but can you prove that's the reason the guard shot you? It might have been a coincidence! Maybe the guard doesn't shoot people who cross the line. Maybe that guy is paranoid, and just had a fantasy that he'd shoot people who cross the line, and by sheer coincidence, the guard just happened to shoot the guy for some other reason?"

                Yeah, anything is possible. But it's about as likely in either case.

                •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

                  I guess it feeds your ego to "know" that you are so important as to be audited because you are an activist.

                  What about Nader?  Are you going to even attempt to back up your claims?

                  "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                  by Old Left Good Left on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:09:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  "it's about as likely in either case" (0+ / 0-)

                  Now I understand your problem--you have an astonishing lack of ability to calculate probabilities.

                  "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

                  by Old Left Good Left on Wed May 22, 2013 at 03:26:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  How much trouble is McTurtle in?......he's been (6+ / 0-)

    seen hanging around with Bachmann lately.

  •  1: Republicans aren't making charges (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ohkwai, whaddaya

    they are committing FRAUD. They are making shit up. They have crafted false documents and have been busted doing so. It is as if that has not entered the equation.

    2: Republicans overreach. It's part of their agenda, along with lying, cheating, fraud, intimidation, bribery, and endless shit-throwing to see what can stick.

    3: It has to be screamed everyday: There is no liberal media. There is only the media owned by conservatives.

    Do we ever see Free Speech Radio Network or Democracy Now! in the APR? No. We don't because they aren't 'real media'. And they reports 'news' not engage in bloviation.

    Only traditional commercial media means anything and THAT is wholly-owned by conservatives. The story never changes because they own the the mechanisms by which words get transported to us.

    So they could say Obama wears a pink ball gown at night and every stupid American would believe that more then anything ever presented to them scientifically. Or they could say Obama sent ambassadors to certain death because bqwatever. They can and they do and they will repeatedly as long as they can get away with it.

    I don't see a thing being done about it and I imagine bullshittery is protected free speech.

    We're totally stuck with it. It cannot possibly change.

    Unless liberals can buy it out.

    Fat chance of that.
     

  •  Who the hell is copy-editing the metaphors (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, mmacdDE, VeggiElaine, whaddaya

    over at the New York Times?  From Webster's:

    squall noun
    Definition of SQUALL

    1: a sudden violent wind often with rain or snow
    2: a short-lived commotion

    And that's supposed to produce more lasting damage in comparison with a thunderstorm?  Perhaps like the thunderstorm, with accompanying tornadoes, that hit Texas the other day?

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:19:29 AM PDT

  •  IRS "scandal" just a third-rate burglary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

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

    by dinotrac on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:19:44 AM PDT

    •  When you have actual facts to (6+ / 0-)

      Show it's meaningful other than generic incompetence do post.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:32:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We didn't have all the facts on Watergate early (0+ / 0-)

        on, and that's a fact, Jack.

        This scandal almost certainly is not Watergate.
        It may be little or nothing at all.
        It may be something very serious.

        Every scandal, however,  begins with mocking apologists.
        When the question is important -- and bringing the full power of the federal government to weight against political free speech, not to mention the electoral process, then we should not hurry to brush it off.

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

        by dinotrac on Sat May 18, 2013 at 12:02:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  do you know what's like watergate? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          Nothing. Watergate was unique.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:50:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Everything -- EVERYTHING -- is unique. (0+ / 0-)

            We always have an out when we want it.

            It's why we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.

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

            by dinotrac on Sun May 19, 2013 at 06:48:36 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh, bullshit (0+ / 0-)

              a. no such "mistake" has happened here

              b. you have no evidence anything other than mild incompetence took place, and neither does anyone else.

              c. you only point is that "if"it did, it would be bad. But it didn't. So that leaves you and Republicans with a great big nothing burger.

              d. no traction with the public. See a, b and c as to why.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 19, 2013 at 12:31:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  What's the word progressives love to use? (0+ / 0-)

                Oh, that's right: Deniers.

                Y'all talk a big "Truth to power" game, but only when it suits your purposes.

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

                by dinotrac on Sun May 19, 2013 at 02:13:14 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  this is put up or shut up stuff (0+ / 0-)

                  there is no evidence of abuse of power. None.

                  Post it if there is but you have nothing, so there's no links.

                  Mind you, if any of your wild and unfounded accusations were true, different story. But, and here's the gist, they ain't true.

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 19, 2013 at 03:50:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, I suppose you could be admitting that the (0+ / 0-)

                    President is a craven coward, rushing to sack an IRS Director when nothing bad happened.

                    And, I suppose, calling to ask why any phone records are left unexamined. Hey! They don't need warrants for that, so -- it's got to be ok, right?

                    And *blush* so we lose a few folks from the Witness Protection Program.  So they might actually, ummm, be terrorists.  Nobody's perfect, right?

                    Look -- all of this stuff might be nothing at all, but this is NOT the way you would react if the President's name were Bush instead of Obama.

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

                    by dinotrac on Sun May 19, 2013 at 05:18:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I love how when you have nothing (0+ / 0-)

                      you make stuff up to justify why you must be right.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 19, 2013 at 09:24:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, I just don't get it, do I? (0+ / 0-)

                        Maybe taking care of people like me will be the next big improvement in our trek to social nirvana.

                        Whisk me away to facility where I can learn the error of my ways and come to understand the futility of asking questions.
                        I'll be we all get together, hold hands and chant.  How did that go again? Oh, I remember -- "One people, one nation, one leader"

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

                        by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:55:28 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no you don't get it (0+ / 0-)

                          stick to the facts. You made up a story in your mind and you're sticking to it. Every comment demonstrates that, but adds no facts to justify the fantasy.

                          Covering facts versus the ‘narrative’

                          This week’s focus on narrative has been infuriating to critics like Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent, a liberal writer who points out that reporters are “imposing simplistic narratives on complex, disparate situations.” Both Politico’s Alexander Burns and John F. Harris and the Post’s Karen Tumulty, for instance, frame the scandals as part of a narrative in which Obama is too aggressive in pursuing his political and ideological objectives—but no one has yet produced evidence of high-level White House involvement in either the IRS or AP cases. (As a result, Obama’s opponents are already attempting to link him to other scandals using vague language about how he gave “cues” through his “tone” and created “a mood, a tone… an atmosphere”.) Followup coverage has similarly framed the White House response as an attempt to “seize control of the narrative” and “shift in its favor the narrative.”

                          Others, like the Post’s Ezra Klein, have noted the contradiction between the narrative of scandal and the lack of evidence of high-level misconduct. The strength of evidence matters, of course, but it does not solely determine what does or does not become a media scandal; these are political events, not courtroom trials. That’s why the scope of the scandal is already growing to encompass conspiracy theories about George Soros, leaks to the Obama campaign, and suggestions of politically-motivated audits of Romney donors. Scandals can quickly take on a life of their own.

                          http://www.cjr.org/...

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 04:44:20 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  great quotes for you (0+ / 0-)

                          from people who were there.

                          http://mediamatters.org/...

                          Carl Bernstein: "We Have No Evidence" That Obama Used The IRS For Retribution. Politico reported that Carl Bernstein, one of the Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate scandal, deflated the idea that the IRS targeting was comparable to Watergate.

                          Former Nixon White House Counsel: Anyone Comparing Obama To Nixon Is "Challenged In Their Understanding Of History." John Dean, a former top aide to President Nixon, told The Boston Globe that "[t]here are no comparisons" between the IRS' actions and Watergate.

                          Wash. Post On Watergate: "Mr. Obama Has Done Nothing Of The Kind." The Washington Post editorial board wrote on May 16 that with regards to Watergate, "Mr. Obama has done nothing of the kind," in an editorial headlined "Obama a new Nixon? Oh, get serious."

                          Associate Academic Director, University Of California: "The Comparisons To Nixon Are Hyperbolic." In a May 17 op-ed for The Washington Post, Matthew Dallek, associate academic director at the University of California Washington Center, wrote that Watergate "remains a scandal unlike any other in modern times":

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:05:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You are creating straw men and ignoring the facts (0+ / 0-)

                            that are there.

                            I believe it's true that Our Dear Leader was not personally involved in any of this.  

                            Let us not forget, however, that President Nixon loudly denied any personal involvement in or knowledge of the  Watergate Scandal.  That didn't keep investigators from looking into the facts, and it shouldn't have.  The investigation was needed even if Mr. Nixon had been completely clean.  The ability to govern is not merely a matter of laws, actions and facts, but of confidence in leadership and the moral authority to exercise it.

                            Apologists make the choir happy.  Is that enough?

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:41:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the opposite (0+ / 0-)

                            the facts are as the quoters stated, but I'll make it real simple for you.

                            A question was raised
                            It should be investigated

                            on that virtually everyone agrees

                            There's nothing there after investigating except for some incompetence and some murky reading of how to interpret citizen's united. why should political organizations masquerading as social welfare get a pass? But why should more conservative than liberal groups get dinged? Fair questions, but no political motivation found after investigation, and admitted to by Mitch McConnell and Dave camp (Republcians) on the sunday shows. They can not, after trying, link it to Obama.

                            Repeat: no political vendetta, just difficulty with managing the murky question in a competent fashion.

                            Apologist? Bullshit, just like the entire thrust of your comment. Both I and the American people see a partisan witch hunt, except if you're a Republican.  if you're a Republican, you approach it like you approach Obama's birth certificate, damn the facts.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:45:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Oh -- I see. You are satisfied with the internal (0+ / 0-)

                            investigation.

                            Was there ever an apologist who admitted to being one?

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:53:14 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  heh (0+ / 0-)

                            when did you stop beating your wife, dino? prove you're not a child molester.

                            Empty comments, empty concept.

                            come back when you have something. You have nothing because there's nothing there.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 08:26:57 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We've got a whole thread here of see no evil, (0+ / 0-)

                            on a site full of the same thing.

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:22:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So long as everything's OK, I'm sure you'll love (0+ / 0-)

                            this one, too:

                            http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                            It is just so great to live in the land of the free.

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:18:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  although legal (0+ / 0-)

                            I find more to be concerned about with the AP thing than the IRS.

                            But the IRS story from the WaPo is also worth a read. Pretty much lays out the issues.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:55:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  by the way, while you play pretend games, (0+ / 0-)

                            people are realizing the IRS implications, the real ones:

                            To many on Capitol Hill, the burgeoning scandal dogging the IRS looks like a simple case of partisan political targeting by an overbearing federal agency.

                            But the IRS controversy has laid bare a far more serious and far-reaching problem: the agency’s utter failure to keep pace with drastically changing campaign finance laws. For decades, the IRS has taken heat for its muddy rules governing politically active tax-exempt groups, a recent CQ Weekly story notes. ...

                            Congress shares the blame for the IRS mess, the article concludes, but lawmakers won’t be able to ignore the questions swirling around politically active tax-exempt groups indefinitely. Such organizations are already amassing their war chests for 2014 and 2016 — even as members of Congress fixated on scoring political points kick the can yet again down the road.

                            http://atr.rollcall.com/...

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:01:42 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Um...That is the root of the problem. (0+ / 0-)

                            The IRS has incredible power to demolish the Constitution.  Clearly, no checks are in place to prevent the demolition.

                            And -- Who's in charge?

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 02:28:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  see the problem, fix the problem (0+ / 0-)

                            but your comment is an admission of the problem not some nutty power grabbing conspiracy.

                            But hey, apparently, that's what happens with a certain world view (and why I cite birthers):

                            Crazy as these theories are, those propagating them are not — they’re quite normal, in fact. But recent scientific research tells us this much: if you think one of the theories above is plausible, you probably feel the same way about the others, even though they contradict one another. And it’s very likely that this isn’t the only news story that makes you feel as if shadowy forces are behind major world events.

                            “The best predictor of belief in a conspiracy theory is belief in other conspiracy theories,” says Viren Swami, a psychology professor who studies conspiracy belief at the University of Westminster in England. Psychologists say that’s because a conspiracy theory isn’t so much a response to a single event as it is an expression of an overarching worldview.or, instead, you can

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 04:36:12 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  It is nothing of the sort. (0+ / 0-)

                            I don't believe that there is some nutty power-grabbing conspiracy, but that is beside the point.

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:49:59 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  to put it more bluntly (0+ / 0-)

                            in your zeal to blame Obama, you need to decide which competing  and incompatible theory is correct: he is Nixon/Hitler/Stalin, or no one is in charge.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 04:37:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Other than the basic "buck stops here" kind of (0+ / 0-)

                            blame, where have I laid any blame on Obama.

                            You are purposely putting words into my mouth in order to run away from the basic facts: Democrats prefer to sweep things under the rug if possible.  That tends to be a bad idea for the innocent.

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 06:53:17 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  nonsense, with poll data (0+ / 0-)

                            Demcrats prefer to deal with root causes and fix the problem instead of invoke conspiracy theories and pretend there's more to the story than there is (especially when the story is bad enough as it stands).

                            Summary of this entire argument in today's WaPo poll, without the rancor and badmouthing you are bringing to this :

                             

                            But although most Republicans and independents critical of the IRS activity consider it illegal, Democrats are more apt to view the targeting of the groups as inappropriate but not illegal.
                            Fix the problem, don't fantasize about the problem. That's not 'sweeping it under the rug", that's avoiding conspiracy theory.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:03:32 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Cherry-picking again, I see. (0+ / 0-)

                            Thanks for the link, though.

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 07:08:13 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  not cherry picking (0+ / 0-)

                            cherry pickers don't supply links. Lose the frickin' pejoratives.

                            here's a Harwood tweet for you:

                            Perhaps unsurprising that a political system more awash in partisanship than ever finds it hard to accept anyone could act for other reasons
                            @JohnJHarwood via web
                            Funny this is the "partisan" (me) gets it, the so-called (but not really) "non partisan" (you) gets it wrong.

                            Look in the mirror.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:27:49 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  On second look, I did mischaracterize your post. (0+ / 0-)

                            I apologize for that.

                            Your selection clearly points out that non-Democrats are more critical than Democrats of the IRS actions.  Which -- incidentally, is what I've been saying.

                            There were some interesting questions in that poll, by the way.  After seeing the results, I feel quite vindicated.

                            The questions:

                            Q: Changing topics, in general do you think the federal government is doing more to (protect) the rights of average Americans or more to (threaten) the rights of average Americans?

                            Q: Do you think the Obama administration (is honestly disclosing what it knows about what occurred in Benghazi) or (is trying to cover up the facts)?

                            Q: As you may know it's been disclosed that the IRS singled out some conservative political groups for extra questions about their tax status. Do you think it was appropriate or inappropriate for the IRS to do this?

                            Q: (IF INAPPROPRIATE) Given what you know, do you think this was illegal, or inappropriate, but not illegal?

                            Q: In dealing with this situation with the IRS, do you think the Obama administration (is honestly disclosing what it knows about what occurred) or (is trying to cover up the facts)?

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 09:57:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  you need to see the big picture (0+ / 0-)

                            the poll was very good.

                            Big picture is "this bothers everyone, but perspective is needed. Not Nixonian."

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:12:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I would say the same to you, and the general (0+ / 0-)

                            Democratic rush to say "Nothing to see here."

                            Very Nixonian.

                            Never trust somebody who say "Trust me."

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 02:20:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  why are you so dense? (0+ / 0-)

                            there is no Democratic rush to say "Nothing to see here." Inappropriate IRS actions (due to bad law and unclear regulation) is not "nothing", or "apologist" or any of your other asinine charges.

                            There is a Democratic pushback to the idea Obama did this for political reasons. That's what Nixonian means. Not only is it out of character for Obama, there is no data to support the concept. The only thing you keep repeating is "he hasn't proved a negative so Nixon."

                            No juice to the charge. Dismissed until/unless you have data to support it, and of course, you don't because it doesn't exit.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:11:50 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There is a Democratic full-court press to prevent (0+ / 0-)

                            anything that might provide a whiff of the untoward.

                            No juice to the charge.
                            Nothing to see here.
                            Please go away.

                            Trust us.

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

                            by dinotrac on Tue May 21, 2013 at 08:29:43 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  vague handwaving (0+ / 0-)

                            that's all you got? that's why the public won't buy it.

                            the only thing Dems are holding people to is the facts. if you have a problem with that, you're a republican.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Wed May 22, 2013 at 04:54:41 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Public won't buy it? (0+ / 0-)

                            You really have been cherry-picking the polls, haven't you?

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

                            by dinotrac on Wed May 22, 2013 at 05:31:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  ...and here's the polling data (0+ / 0-)
                          • The IRS scandal: Among overall Americans, 61 percent say what Obama has said about the matter is mostly or completely true, versus only 35 percent who say it’s mostly or completely false. Among Republicans, 68 percent say what Obama has claimed is false, and among conservatives, 56 percent say this. But independents believe what Obama has said is true by 58-36, and moderates believe this by 71-25.
                          Meanwhile, among overall Americans, 55 percent say the IRS acted on its own in targeting conservative groups, while only 37 percent say the White House ordered it.  Among Republicans, 62 percent say the White House ordered it, and among conservatives, 54 percent believe this. But independents believe the IRS acted on its own by 53-36, and moderates believe this by 65-29.

                          • The Benghazi story: Among overall Americans, 50 percent believe early statements about the attacks by Obama officials reflected what the administration believed at the time, while 44 percent believe they intentionally misled. Among Republicans, 76 percent believe they intentionally misled, and among conservatives, 65 percent believe this. But moderates believe the statements reflected the administration’s beliefs by 60-35. (Among independents this isn’t as pronounced, but still, a plurality sides with the White House, 47-44.)

                          These two stories are presidential scandals only in the minds of majorities of Republicans. This helps explain why Obama’s approval is holding.

                          http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                          see also birtherism, which is what you should compare this to. Normal people (absent any, y'know, proof and evidence and facts) agree with me.

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:40:40 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Your cherry-picking betrays you (0+ / 0-)

                            If you want to use that poll for support, you really need to include the whole picture, not just the parts you like.

                            So -- for a little balance, let's pick a different group of cherries to fill in the gaps.

                            From http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/...

                            Only 42% of the public is satisfied with how the Obama administration has handled the September attack in Benghazi, Libya
                            And only 37% say that congressional Republicans are overreacting in their handling of the matter, with 59% saying they've reacted appropriately.
                            It's the same story on the IRS controversy, with 54% saying the GOP in Congress has not overplayed its hand.
                            Americans appear to be taking all three controversies very seriously, with 55% saying the IRS and Benghazi matters are very important to the nation and 53% saying the same thing about the AP case.

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 06:51:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  so? (0+ / 0-)

                            the American people agree it's fair to look, and so do I, but having looked, agree with the President except if you are a Republican.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:46:52 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You must not agree with the President. (0+ / 0-)

                            After all, he sacked the IRS head and said the actions were outrageous.

                            And -- seriously: "so?"

                            I'm not the one who pulled a poll out of his pocket to buttress his position. I merely filled in a few skipped over facts.

                            Including the fact that Americans think this is a serious matter and that the GOP has not over-reacted to it.

                            Unless, of course, you're a Republican.

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 07:51:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I agree incompetence cannot be tolerated (0+ / 0-)

                            and am pleased he acted swiftly

                            Thanks for pointing out that everyone is unanimous that the IRS screwed up.

                             but there's no political misuse of power except if you are a republican and hate the idea Obama is President.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 08:29:15 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That statement requires blinders. (0+ / 0-)
                            but there's no political misuse of power
                            That might be true -- but it's probably not, at least not at the level of the people actually doing it.

                            True or not, the straight-faced assertion reveals far more than any investigation to date.

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

                            by dinotrac on Mon May 20, 2013 at 09:21:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yeah (0+ / 0-)

                            that we are reality based.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Mon May 20, 2013 at 01:53:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  The facts that we know so far (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya, skohayes, ratcityreprobate

      don't even come close to justifying that comparison.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:32:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Miss Peggy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Miggles, whaddaya

    Quick, call the guards!  We have an escapee from The Shining City Up On That Hill Sanatorium (somewhere or another).

    Be careful, her prosthetic teeth are really sharp and those pearls can choke the life out of you!

  •  it appears the IRS has targeted Progressive groups (6+ / 0-)

    for quite some time.  OTOH, the IRS is supposed to be the watchdog for nonprofits and there was a proliferation of RW 501c4s immediately after the Citizens ruling.  It seems it may have been prudent to target certain groups for possible fraud in the formation of their nonprofit.

    After all, LEAs have targeted certain groups such as some Muslim groups for years with only crickets as protest (though we remember the great uproar when an agency report dare suggest that the RW was the core of many conspiracies to do harm and commit mayhem)

    •  The targeting started before the proliferation (0+ / 0-)

      One of the more recent facts that have surfaced is that the targeting by the IRS started before the ramp up in requests. So the notion that the IRS had to triage because they were overwhelmed, and understaffed, and were just looking for benign shortcuts isn't holding any water.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:43:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Peggy Noonan (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    is a dottering old fool.  

    The robb'd that smiles steals something from the thief. -- Shakespeare

    by not2plato on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:24:30 AM PDT

  •  The GOP shot themselves in the foot long ago (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    litho, Remediator, whaddaya

    when they displayed pretty much on day one of this administration their unhinged contempt for the president and vowed to find something, anything, to bring him down AND went on record as saying that their number one priority in the middle of a recession was to make him a one term president (whoops).

    You can almost smell the desperation wafting off the "bigger than watergate!!1!!" bullshit Noonan and others are lobbing out there.

  •  Douglas Shulman headed IRS 3/24/08 to 11/9/12 (5+ / 0-)

    So, he was a Bush appointee, and all intervening pre-election scandals occurred on his watch.  Are they claiming that a Bush appointee harassed the Tea Party on orders from Obama?  

  •  Paraphrasing Atrios... (6+ / 0-)

    ... who was talking about Benghazi !!! a week or two ago,

    We don't know completely what all of these things are about, but we do know that they have something to do with a failed land deal in Arkansas

  •  "Question that revealed IRS scandal was planted (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies, whaddaya, VClib

    was planted, chief admits"
    http://thehill.com/...

    IRS Official Lois Lerner Called Lawyer To Plant Targeting Question

    “On May 9, I received a call from Lois Lerner, who told me that she wanted to address an issue after her prepared remarks at the ABA Tax Section’s Exempt Organizations Committee Meeting, and asked if I would pose a question to her after her remarks," Roady said in the statement, obtained by TPM. "I agreed to do so, and she then gave me the question that I asked at the meeting the next day. We had no discussion thereafter on the topic of the question, nor had we spoken about any of this before I received her call. She did not tell me, and I did not know, how she would answer the question.”
    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/...
  •  Have to hand it to conservatives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pamelabrown, Miggles, whaddaya

    We joke about how bad they are at using new media but boy they can play the trad med like nobody's business. Expert at sound bites and manufacturing controversy. It's catnip for the news business and they exploit that very effectively. They can't get away with this shit with interactive media because they'd be made to look like fools but with our he said/she said corporate media apparatus the controversy is what sells, not the boring facts.

  •  The problem republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    face with this IRS "controversy" is that most people think they personally pay a lot of taxes to the IRS and are happy to see the IRS go after groups trying to not pay their share.

    •  BDA - wishful thinking (0+ / 0-)

      For someone to think that they would have to not understand the notion of 501 c groups at all. These groups don't have "profits" so if they were a c4 or a C they still wouldn't pay any federal income tax.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:46:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  In other nooz........PowerBall up to a gazillion (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, hulibow, whaddaya

    dollars.

  •  At least the Republicans have stopped... (6+ / 0-)

    ...comparing everything they don't like to Nazis and the Holocaust.  Now it's Nixon and Watergate.

    Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon. As good as I am, the bird is going to shit on the board and strut around like it won anyway. –jbou (2013)

    by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:57:10 AM PDT

  •  Noonan is the dimbulb who saw Romney yard signs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, madronagal, skohayes, whaddaya

    and concluded that he had unstoppable momentum that would carry him into the White House.

    Yard signs.

  •  i don't know about that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya
    Watch over the next few weeks as Republican glee turns to frustration as the voters decidedly ignore the trumped-up charges.
    they don't care much about what voters think- it will keep going as long as team limbaugh and the radio locals keep it going. the MSM may cool on it but the radio will keep it going and the think tanks will add some extra material every once in a while to edge it back in.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:02:25 AM PDT

  •  we pay these fucking clowns to sit on their asses (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    in capital hill and do this sort of crap?  Now that is a scandal!

    Fuck the tea fucking party

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:11:35 AM PDT

    •  Also, too, it's a scandal (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whaddaya

      That we are subsidizing the Tea Party by giving them tax exempt status.
      They complain like stuck pigs, but none of the Tea Party groups applying for the status of 501(c)4's was in fact denied.
      That is a travesty.

  •  And the Good News Is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    While the media is consumed with all this non-scandal, scandal talk, the Immigration Reform Bill is slowly but surely making its way through the Senate Judiciary Committee's mark-up process.  Personally, I think its a good thing its getting almost no media attention.  If it was I'm sure we would be seeing exaggerated headlines saying how close to death it is.

    Fingers crossed!

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:25:42 AM PDT

  •  praise obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whaddaya

    and of course, we would all say the same thing about all this even if it happened on bush's watch wouldn't we...

     

    •  We did complain about it (0+ / 0-)

      and several prominent Democrats and Obama have come out against the actions of a few low level employees in the IRS, and Obama would like to take steps to see it doesn't happen again. But the House is too busy holding hearings to worry about legislation to try and prevent this from happening again.
      Do you remember that happening to the IRS while Bush was president?
      The real scandal is that there are blatantly political organizations on both sides taking advantage of a rather vague law to avoid paying taxes:

      Unfortunately, given the way this I.R.S. scandal slid so easily into ideological definitions, I fear that few non-politicos are recognizing the real disgrace here: that the federal government—Congress, the White House, the tax agency, and the Supreme Court—has created a situation where blatantly political organizations are able to legally break the law by pretending they’re something that they’re not.

      The key to this obscene state of affairs is an entity known as a 501(c)(4), named for the section of the tax code that created it. Supposedly, these are civic associations or organizations devoted to social welfare, which can operate tax-free, but whose donors aren’t allowed to deduct their contributions. Fair enough.

      But then comes the loopholes that politicos have used to drive not only a truck through the intention of the law but a whole fleet. Unlike a wholly charitable organization, a 501(c)(4) can engage in political activities, so long as it is not its primary purpose. In other words, I could form an organization that spends 49.99999 percent of its time, energy, and money on politics and still be deemed tax exempt. In other words, you, me—every American citizen—can be providing a tax subsidy to groups that (theoretically) are spending almost half of their money on politics. It’s worse than that. Under the law, a 501(c)(4) can spend an unlimited amount of money on lobbying, so long as it is related to its “primary purpose.” So, in truth, an organization can be fully political under any rational interpretation of the meaning of that word, yet be deemed not to be primarily political under the law.

      http://www.vanityfair.com/...

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:45:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The POTUS is doing a good job on the IRS issue (0+ / 0-)

        I think you will see at least two more senior managers resign this next week. Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Organizations, has retained William Taylor III, a high profile criminal defense attorney. The other is Holly Paz, the Director of Rulings and Agreements. Because these are career civil servants they are entitled to due process. However, I believe you will see them make deals to resign in return for immunity from criminal prosecution and retention of the federal benefits they have vested.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:53:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Referring to Ms. Noonan. A tale told an idiot... (0+ / 0-)

    full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  •  Little Boy; "WOLF! WOLF! WOLF!!!" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    "Hey, why isn't anyone paying attention to me anymore?"

    Rs might want to re-read that old fable. Although reading might not be a talent the likes of Issa, Gohmert, Cruz or Bachmann have learned.

    WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH - Big Brother 1984, Republican Party 2000-2013

    by Fordmandalay on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:56:49 AM PDT

  •  I have to say, after what OWS went through (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Laconic Lib

    at the hands of DHS, I am filled with nothing but contempt for this whining over being audited.

    Being audited is no fun, granted, but these people have got no fucking clue what it's like to be truly targeted by government suppression. Try  being beaten till your internal organs rupture, or being shot in the head and getting brain damage.

    Also if these folks are such advocates for civil liberties, maybe they ought to respect the civil liberties of their fellow citizens.

    "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:09:24 AM PDT

    •  SoLMD - there is no discussion about audits (0+ / 0-)

      at all.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sat May 18, 2013 at 09:48:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very well--whatever you want to call (0+ / 0-)

        being told by the IRS that you can't keep your tax-exempt status because you're engaging in political activity, and the 501c4 status doesn't accurately apply.

        "When people spin this in partisan terms to obfuscate the truth, it does a real disservice to normal people not in the big club in DC. Many of them will be hurting...That is why I write."--priceman

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon May 20, 2013 at 10:22:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  By voting against Obamacare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator

    GOP House blows Ryan budget all to pieces:

    But the repeal vote comes with an awkward complication: It also repeals a central deficit-reduction component of the GOP’s own budget by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), which was released in March with much bravado and projections that it would balance the budget within a decade.

    Ryan’s budget relies on $1.7 trillion in budget savings under the Affordable Care Act — $1 trillion in new tax revenues and $716 billion in Medicare provider cuts — to reach its target of $4.6 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years. Nearly all Republicans voted for that budget this spring. And all Republicans, including Ryan, voted Thursday to eliminate that central component, without which the budget wouldn’t balance in the 10-year window.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/...

    Oops.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sat May 18, 2013 at 07:11:50 AM PDT

  •  I guess it is being blown out of proportion (0+ / 0-)

    but if it was a Repug prez, we'd feel the same way?

    Somehow, don't think so. It is unfortunate that these 3 things happened, all can be considered serious when you get right down to the base story.

    I don't think we'll ever know what the Benghazi situation was all about anyway (CIA issues, an attack, or secret prison). The IRS stuff is scary when you really think about it. Noonan saying that there are only "4" were audited, as if she is aware of all 1.5 million cases. And the AP taps are also not to be taken lightly.

    But I guess all is good as long as we Dems do it.

    •  no one said they were good (0+ / 0-)

      everyone says 'jeez, have some perspective".

      Do you know what's like Watergate? Nothing.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sun May 19, 2013 at 04:54:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They got their undeserved tax exemptions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    and they're still complaining.  You would think that without getting tax breaks there can be no such thing as free speech or freedom of association.  I am oppressed because the govmint doesn't grant me tax exemptions for writing this little comment.  Or telling the guy down the block that he's a rightwing racist.  

  •  Criminal activity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Orangeman is right.  There was criminal activity, and people should be jailed.

    But they won't be.  Nobody is even talking about jailing those who violated the law, and nobody ever will.

    Because those who broke the law were Republicans, which makes it all right . . .

    The fact is, you are supposed to be recognized as a 501(c)4 organization if you are engaged in "social welfare activity" (whatever that is).  You are not if you are engaged in political advocacy.  The logic of this whole thing falls apart if we realize that saying that the organizations were "right wing" (whatever that is) MEANS that they were political and should have been denied 501(c)4 status.

    Which they weren't.

    The only people who broke the law were those who set up these bogus political groups, and exploited the broken system to enable them to a) avoid taxes and b) avoid being identified.

    The IRS officials who are being criticized were guilty of only one thing:  doing their jobs.  Except not enough.

    And now we know what that gets us . . . .

    P.S.:  I'm thinking of setting up my own 501(c)4.  The purpose of this organization will be to advocate special privileges for people named David.  It will promote the idea that people named David have special needs, and the government must exempt them from all taxes, regulations, and laws.  And since, under the new rules, every organization that applies MUST be approved, I will then be able to transfer all my income into that organization (where it won't be taxed), and never have to report anything about the money or what's done with it.

    Sounds good to me . . .

    (Of course it won't work for me.  I'm not a Republican.)

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Sat May 18, 2013 at 10:00:20 AM PDT

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