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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Facts Aren’t That Sexy These Days


I really enjoyed watching the host of “The Last Word” Lawrence O'Donnell ,tell it like it really is last night. He said that the media loves to be in scandal frenzy because it beats investigative journalism. All they have to do is dig out the old “Watergate” playbook  “what did the the president know and when did he know it.” For backup,the media has added “why didn’t he know,and if he did why didn’t he put a stop to it?”  The media has always had a deadline but nowadays the need to be first will often take precedence over factual journalism.  The administration hurt the feelings of the mainstream media by aggressively going after their sources, whom they say the leaked classified information.  As of right now, the media doesn't feel a need to give the president the benefit of the doubt.

Mr. O'Donnell was elated because some Democrats are stepping up to the plate and saying the real scandal is the abuse of  501 ( c) (4 ) and after this is all over, the IRS will be beaten up so bad that they will be scared  to go after the violators.  I was wrong yesterday when I gave an example of how the abuse could be solved. The easy remedy would be to remove the word “primary” from the law and stick to the original word “exclusively" in designating that all funds are used for promoting general welfare to obtain tax-exempt status. 


Conservative groups were wrongly singled out, but it wouldn't be wrong to expand that search criteria to include church phrases, and words like progressive.  Conservatives were not denied nor were there audited,  and they didn't have to pay a single dime in taxes.  They were asked inappropriate questions but all that can be rectified.  

This morning RNC Chairman,Reince Priebus, went on the “Morning Joe” trying to say that Lois Learner of the IRS is hiding something because she pleaded the fifth yesterday. John Heilemann, co-author of "Game Change", would have none of that.  Pleading the fifth is a legal procedure, and any lawyer worth his degree would not let his client testify in a congressional hearing, knowing that the FBI is undergoing a criminal investigation into the matter.  Several prominent attorneys have said that the Republican representative who said that she waved her rights by making an opening statement was just showboating because she certainly did not.

The Wall Street Journal is not a liberal rag and certainly not a fan of our president,so it was surprising that they published an article suggesting what I thought all along, that this is a low level blunder that was not politically motivated.

Sahil Kapur 9:27 AM EDT, Thursday May 23, 2013

Internal IRS emails analyzed by the Wall Street Journal indicate -- albeit not conclusively -- that the agency's targeting of conservative groups was designed by low-level employees in the Cincinnati office.
[House Oversight] Committee staff on Wednesday released several documents related to the matter—including the IRS emails and a 2012 statement by Ms. Lerner—that helped provide a clearer picture of what happened. The criteria were developed by an IRS screening group in Cincinnati "based on cases they were seeing," Cindy Thomas, a supervisor in the Cincinnati office, wrote in a June 2011 email to an official in Washington. "When the screening group starts seeing new type cases that have similar issues, they meet and come up with criteria to identify 'emerging issue' and elevate information," she wrote.
In another email from June 2011, a screening manager in Cincinnati, John Shafer, outlined the criteria the group was using to select applications for extra review. They included references in the case file to "tea party," "patriots" or "9/12 Project"; issues such as government spending, debt and taxes; advocacy or legislative activity to "make America a better place to live"; and "statements in the case file that are critical of…how the country is being run."
The Journal notes that the emails don't rule out involvement by high-level officials by they also don't contain any evidence that the targeting scheme was developed by anyone other than low-level staffers.”

Will the media ask Karl Rove how much his group gives to charity? Karl Rove is not bashful,so he will say not a penny and then go on to name all the liberal groups that take advantage of their tax-exempt status.The media will then write a story how the left and right takes advantage of the loophole in the IRS code but they won’t say that recently it’s generally conservative groups who are likely to abuse their status.They certainly won’t pressure the IRS to stop the abuse because catching the White House and the president in a gotcha moment will sell more papers.

1 comment:

Mike said...

The media still has an important role to play and they can do a lot of good...This afternoon,my wife was telling me about Pires Morgan calling out an health insurance company on his TV show for telling one of the many brave Oklahoma teachers who was injured by that horrific tornado that they would not pay for her injuries...The next night the teacher called Mr.Morgan to thank him and informed him that the insurance company called that night to inform her that they would pay 100% of the bill...Another case where a possible low level employee spoke for the company or maybe the insurance company was embarrassed...I think it was the latter.