The IRS And The White House

Does Issa have the goods?

I’ve never had much doubt that it came from the top. The only issue was whether or not we’d get to the bottom of it. We’ll see.

[Update a while later]

Sorry, I’ve been away from the news for a couple days. I guess that was from Wednesday night, and he was scheduled to testify yesterday. I’ll scroll up Instapundit to see how it came out, since I won’t find out anything from the usual suspects.

[Update a few minutes later]

Well, Peggy Noonan thinks it’s a bombshell. Guess her ObamaCrush is really over.

25 thoughts on “The IRS And The White House

  1. Gregg

    Counting down til Baghdad Jim comes running, sweating and wild eyed into the room shrieking…..

    …the IRS scandal is fizzling!

    1. Jim

      Sorry, I can’t get wild eyed about such a non-story. Issa’s “bombshell” was known two months ago (“Issa didn’t have anything new. He was repacking a revelation that didn’t get a ton of attention in May because it seemed like a weak connection to the White House.”). Neither of Issa’s “blockbuster” witnesses yesterday even alleged political motivations for the IRS scrutiny.

      The fizzle continues.

      1. Gregg

        “The fizzle continues.”

        …behaves as predicted!

        Not that it was really hard to predict….

        1. George Turner

          How did you call that one so easily?

          BTW, I left an update down in the Boeing thread. It seems the fire may have started in the emergency locator beacon. You think those would be programmed to broadcast “Holy f***! I’m on fire!!!!”

        2. Jim

          My prediction: there will be still more “revelations” that will be hyped in advance, as yesterday’s were, and then turn out to be nothing and/or old news. As long as you keep lapping it up, Issa and company will keep dishing it out.

          1. wodun

            Funny, two months ago you denied what today you claim as old news!

            But this is right out of the Benghazi playbook of deny what happened, delay the investigation, then months later claim we knew this all along and it is old news not worthy of investigation.

          2. Leland

            Two months ago, Jim said that the Teaparty organizations could have avoided everything by just self-declaring while outright ignoring Lois Lerner’s workplan calling on increased scrutiny of self-declared organizations.

            Jim has been ignorant on this issue from day one.

          3. Jim

            Two months ago, Jim said that the Teaparty organizations could have avoided everything by just self-declaring

            They could have avoided the keyword targeting, yes.

            ignoring Lois Lerner’s workplan calling on increased scrutiny of self-declared organizations

            There’s no evidence that Lerner’s workplan (as opposed to 501c4 application processing) was carried out in a politically biased fashion. So yes, Tea Party groups could have avoided being targeted simply for having “Tea Party” in their names by self-declaring.

            That doesn’t mean they would have escaped any scrutiny at all, nor should they — anyone who wants special status from the IRS should be subject to scrutiny. This scandal isn’t about whether the IRS should review organizations with special tax status, it’s about whether they should use politically loaded search terms like “Tea Party” or “progressive” when deciding which groups to focus on.

          4. Leland

            There’s no evidence that Lerner’s workplan (as opposed to 501c4 application processing) was carried out in a politically biased fashion.

            You mean other than the IG’s report and the testimony of many organizations that have been denied a status given to MoveOn.org, OrganizingForAmerica, and BarackObama? I see absolutely nothing partisan about saying government spending is excessive. Further, I think people need to be educated on the limits of taxation in order to gain raise revenue.

      2. wodun

        Wait, two months ago when you were saying this was all a few local rogue agents? And now we know that it goes up to the chief council or you say we knew that before but at the time you denied the extent. Does this mean you now admit that this wasn’t just a couple of bad apples in Ohio?

        “The big revelation was that Hull took his concerns about the IRS’s BOLO lists to—hold your breath—the chief counsel of the IRS, a White House appointee. And he did so in 2011!”

        Hull testified that he was not allowed to make any decisions regarding groups flagged for persecution and that all of those decisions were forwarded to Wilkins, one of two Obama appointees. And while the year 2011 is tossed out there, the targeted discrimination continues today long after it supposedly stopped.

        And lets take a look at another claim that progressive groups faced the same treatment. Here is a quote from the Noonan piece,

        “Ms. Hofacre of the Cincinnati office testified that when she was given tea-party applications, she had to kick them upstairs. When she was given non-tea-party applications, they were sent on for normal treatment. Was she told to send liberal or progressive groups for special scrutiny? No, she did not scrutinize the applications of liberal or progressive groups. “I would send those to general inventory.””

        1. Jim

          Does this mean you now admit that this wasn’t just a couple of bad apples in Ohio?

          The decision to use search terms like “Tea Party” was made in Ohio. We’ve known all along that once applications were flagged for extra scrutiny they were processed all over the place. That isn’t news, and it isn’t a scandal — it’s routine bureaucracy.

          Hull took his concerns about the IRS’s BOLO lists to—hold your breath—the chief counsel of the IRS, a White House appointee. And he did so in 2011!

          He took it to the counsel’s office. I believe there are 1,600 people working in the counsel’s office, only one of whom was appointed by Obama.

          while the year 2011 is tossed out there, the targeted discrimination continues today long after it supposedly stopped.

          The targeting stopped in 2012. “Bureaucracy fails to turn on a dime” isn’t much of a story.

          No, she did not scrutinize the applications of liberal or progressive groups

          That’s right, Issa found one IRS employee who did not scrutinize applications from liberal groups. Other IRS employees did. The notion that the IRS in general was systematically discriminating against conservatives and in favor of liberals hasn’t been proven at all, much less that such discrimination was politically motivated, much less that it was ordered by the administration for political gain.

          1. wodun

            “The decision to use search terms like “Tea Party” was made in Ohio.”

            Was it? That may have been the office that handled the searches but was the decision made there? The testimony so far points to the decisions being made at the highest levels of the IRS. And we know that the questions asked were not crafted by the people doing the reviews but higher up in the food chain.

            “Issa found one IRS employee who did not scrutinize applications from liberal groups. Other IRS employees did.”

            Hofacre said liberal groups got the normal scrutiny in the normal system. There have been zero liberal groups that have come forward with the same types of questions directed toward conservative groups. She said conservative groups got extra scrutiny outside of the normal system.

            “The notion that the IRS in general was systematically discriminating against conservatives and in favor of liberals hasn’t been proven at all, much less that such discrimination was politically motivated, much less that it was ordered by the administration for political gain.”

            Actually, all of those things are proven by the testimony available to us so far. How far up into the administration it goes, we don’t know. It does go to the highest levels of the IRS and administration appointees to the IRS.

          2. George Turner

            The decision to use search terms like “Tea Party” was made in Ohio.

            I always thought that decision was made in Parliament or Buckingham Palace or something.

          3. Jim

            Actually, all of those things are proven by the testimony available to us so far.

            No, they aren’t. Show one piece of testimony that proves a political motive for the targeting. Show one piece of testimony that proves that the targeting was ordered by the White House for political gain. Wishing doesn’t make it so.

  2. Bilwick

    Good call, Gregg, although BJ is fairly predictable. His latest post is an example of “the wish being father to the thought”–BJ’s ongoing wish being that we all shut up and fall in like good little serfs behind Dear Leader.

    1. Gregg

      Thanks Bilwick but it hardly took any skill….Baghdad Jim being so utterly predictable.

  3. wodun

    The IRS also weaponized a leak against Christine O’Donnell and illegally put a lien against her to damage her campaign. DOJ will surely look into this…

    You all remember what happened to Joe the Plumber and his confidential information? Turns out that was just a foreshadowing of what Obama was going to do to all of his critics.

    1. Jim

      Yes, because the Democrats were so scared of Christine O’Donnell. Christine O’Donnell is one of the best things to happen to the Democratic Party since 2008!

      1. wodun

        Regardless of how scared they were, the IRS leaked her tax info and put an illegal lien against her. This is wrong whether she was a terrible candidate or a good one.

        1. Jim

          Regardless of how scared they were

          The question isn’t whether the IRS has made mistakes — show me an organization that size that hasn’t. The question is whether Democrats used the IRS for political gain. It’s ridiculous to think they would use the IRS to go after Christine O’Donnell while O’Donnell was in the process of handing them a Senate seat.

      2. Gregg

        “Yes, because the Democrats were so scared of Christine O’Donnell.”

        Spoken like a true Statist Thug – she was no threat so let’s violate the law and her privacy.

        Do you know how illogical that sounds?

        And as Wodun said it doesn’t matter how scared they were of her….they broke the law and violated her privacy. Same way Obama’s Illinois opponent’s privacy was violated and the law broken…..

        no pattern there huh?

  4. fred k

    Geez, It is time for conservatives and their lame Republican representivies to start sensationalizing this appropriately:

    This is a clear violation of constitutional rights, namely “Equal protection clause” of the 14th amendment AND the first amendments freedoms. It is wildly inappropriate and illegal to discriminate in such a manor.

    Where is the special prosecutor? For god sake, if ever there was a time for such a thing it is now, on this highly political issue.

    Where the hell is the ACLU (rhetorical question). The first amendment states, in part:

    The gov’t is prohibited from regulating “… the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    and clearly that is exactly the intent here, made worse by applying it to only selected groups.

    This needs to be strongly pursued with all legal mechanisms in order to punish those involved and present a strong precedent against future horrific actions.

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