Week In The News: Ukraine, CPAC, Obamacare, SAT

Published March 15, 2014 by charlenecleoeiben54123
Week In The News: Ukraine, CPAC, Obamacare, SAT

Crisis over Russia and Ukraine. Another delay for Obamacare. Big changes to the SAT. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Local residents hold Sovivet flag as members of Cossack militia guard the local parliament building in Simferopol, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Lawmakers in Crimea declared their intention Thursday to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to decide the fate of the disputed peninsula. (AP)

Local residents hold Sovivet flag as members of Cossack militia guard the local parliament building in Simferopol, Ukraine, on Thursday, March 6, 2014. Lawmakers in Crimea declared their intention Thursday to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to decide the fate of the disputed peninsula. (AP)

Russia and Crimea and Ukraine over all this week.  Moscow pushing.  Putin defiant.  Washington, the White House, talking diplomacy with Ukraine’s freedom nakedly on the line.  Back home, conservatives rally in D.C.  Hear Christie, Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Palin.  In the U.S. Senate, a big push to take on sexual assault in the U.S. military is turned back.  In the House, Republican Darrell Issa shuts down a colleague.  Is called “un-American.”  He’s apologized.  We’ve got another Obamacare delay.  A big SAT revamp.  This hour On Point: our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Susan Davis, chief congressional correspondent for USA Today. (@DaviSusan)

Trudy Rubin, worldview columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer. (@TrudyRubin)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Senate blocks Obama nominee over cop-killer case – “The U.S. Senate narrowly rejected President Obama’s nominee to oversee the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division due to Republican and law enforcement objections to the role he played in the defense of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.”

Philadelphia Inquirer: Reality check on Crimea – “Folks, although the Ukraine situation may show some similarities, this is not Cold War redux, nor does Putin, for all his thuggery, remotely resemble Hitler (or Stalin). Unless politicians on both sides of the aisle take a more coolheaded approach to the realities in Ukraine, and in Russia, they will make the situation worse.

 New York Times: The Story Behind The SAT Overhaul — “More than a year ago, Coleman and a team of College Board staff members and consultants began to try to do just that. Cyndie Schmeiser, the board’s chief of assessments, told me that their first order of business was to determine what the test should measure. Starting in late 2012 and continuing through the spring of 2013, she and her team had extensive conversations with students, teachers, parents, counselors, admissions officers and college instructors, asking each group to tell them in detail what they wanted from the test. What they arrived at above all was that a test should reflect the most important skills that were imparted by the best teachers. “

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  • Jim

    I listen to your show daily via podcast here in Italy and love it. thanks. Comment: with the troop reduction planned and pressure on military budget, maybe the US should revisit the troop placement we have in Germany and japan (50k and 40k respectively). Moving troops to Poland would send a message to Russia (and to our European “allies”) and moving troops out of Japan will address the rising anti-American sentiment in Abe’s party. How much does it cost the gov’t to keep this huge contingent overseas and is it really necessary?

    • hennorama

      Jim — provocative troop movements at this point would serve only to give Putin further propaganda fodder:

      “The West is threatening our borders!” etc.

  • HonestDebate1

    Just one in 10 uninsured who qualify for ObamaCare exchange plans has signed up:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/03/06/just-one-in-10-uninsured-who-qualify-for-obamacare-exchange-plans-have-signed-up/

    HHS is not even measuring the number of uninsured who sign up.

  • HonestDebate1

    In case y’all missed it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uk8a0FapUw

  • Jonah Goldberg highlights the institutional bias at NPR:

    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/372697/handful-what-now-jonah-goldberg

    Who knew that Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) was a southern belle?
    /sarcasm

  • OnPointComments

    The above quote from USA Today is interesting:

    “The U.S. Senate narrowly rejected President Obama’s nominee to oversee the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division due to Republican and law enforcement objections to the role he played in the defense of convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.” (emphasis added)

    Republican and law enforcement objections? Isn’t the more significant part of the story that in Harry Reid’s filibuster-proof senate, seven Democratic senators rejected Debo Adegbile’s nomination? Voting against the nomination:
    Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
    Joe Manchin (D-WV)
    Bob Casey (D-PA)
    Chris Coons (D-DE)
    Joe Walsh (D-MT)
    Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
    Mark Pryor (D-AR)

    • Ray in VT

      Indeed. Seven Democrats, mostly from redder states and some facing re-election challenges, did vote against Mr. Adegbile. That would make the partisan breakdown Democrats voting 45-7 in favor of confirmation. Independents voting 2-0 in favor of confirmation, and every single Republican voting against. I will give the GOP one thing. They sure know how to hold their people in line and present a united party front better than the Democrats could ever dream of, at least much of the time.

    • dfg

      Reid never had a filibuster-proof Senate. Not now, not in 09 or 10, never.

    • What would John Adams do?

    • StilllHere

      If anything, it seems bipartisan! This is what lib whiners here have been aching for.

  • Ed75

    The movie ‘Son of God’ is still playing, excellent.
    The St. Patrick’s Day parade in NY is holding firm and allowing gay people to march but not with a banner. It turns out that no political banners are allowed: pro-life groups can’t march with their banner. It’s about St. Patrick.

  • JONBOSTON

    Tom Ashbrook and Jack Beatty:
    Regarding the IRS scandal, does it bother you that Lois Lerner again pleads the Fifth and refuses to answer questions regarding her troubling emails that describe , amongst other things, the Tea Party as “dangerous” ? Do you even question why Obama doesn’t demand that Lerner waive the Fifth if she’s protecting anyone in his administration, much like what Reagan ( and Ed Meese) did when Iran Contra broke? Or does it not matter because only conservatives were targeted –and please don’t mention the five or six liberal groups who may have been delayed but not denied their 501(c)4 status. Where is the mainstream media outrage?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Not a smidgen of testimony from Ms. Lerner.

      Why isn’t this a major headline? Why hasn’t Obama encouraged government officials to cooperate?

      • Informed American

        Don’t hold your breath WFTC, nobody was ever prosecuted for Fast and Furious, and we still don’t know all the facts concerning Benghazi-gate and the killing of the US Ambassador, J. Christopher Stevens.

      • John Cedar

        The 5th; is it only allowed for crimes or does it apply to “boneheaded decisions”?

    • John Cedar

      It is not the place of the MSN to be outraged.
      But they should clearly be reporting this outrageous story on the front page, top of the fold, every single day until there is a resolution .

    • hennorama

      JONBOSTON — you need better sources of information if you think that your claim (which your own words refute) that “only conservatives were targeted” is true.

      • JONBOSTON

        What is your source for the implied assumption that liberal groups were targeted? Mine happens to be Russell George , Treasury’s Inspector General , who said in a letter to Rep. Sandy Levin , that the IRS did not use inapprpriate criteria to scutrinize groups with”progressives” in their nameseeking tax-exempt status. George said ” Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the ‘progressives’ identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012.” The inspector general also stressed that 100% of the groups with “Tea Party “, “patriots”, and “9/12 ” in their name were flagged for extra attention.
        IRS targeting 100% certain conservative groups vs “no evidence” regarding progressives. Lawyers call this making a reasonable inference. So do you reasonably believe that this was not an effort to traget conservative groups? If so , what is your source?

        • hennorama

          JONBOSTON — TY for your response.

          As a reply, let me simply repeat the bulk of an earlier post, from Jan. 17, 2014:

          The word “targeting” is also pejorative.

          The word “target” was used only to describe the ALLEGATIONS that had been made. The IG did not find any “targeting”. Again, the IG report found only that “Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to IDENTIFY Tax-Exempt Applications for Review.”

          In fact, Appendix VII of the report (“Comprehensive Timeline of Events”) indicates in the “Additional Details” section (with EMPHASIS added) that:

          “Determinations Unit personnel indicated that they used the description Tea Party AS A SHORTHAND way of REFERRING TO the group of CASES INVOLVING POLITICAL CAMPAIGN INTERVENTION RATHER THAN TO TARGET ANY particular GROUP. The specialist used Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12 as part of the criteria for these searches.”

          Please note that applications from all sorts of organizations were identified using inappropriate criteria, not just “Tea Party” or “conservative” group applications.

          The TIGTA report indicated this was the “Breakdown of Potential Political Cases by Organization Name”

          Other: 202
          Tea Party: 72
          Patriots: 13
          9/12: 12

          Also, there’s not much dispute that the vast majority of the 298 applications identified using “inappropriate criteria” had “potential significant political campaign intervention” in IRS-speak. The TIGTA indicated that of the 298 applications “that had been identified as potential political cases as of May 31, 2012”, at least 205 (about 69 percent) had been appropriately selected as “potential political cases”, requiring additional information and review (page 10 of the report).

          Furthermore, the TIGTA projected that the IRS missed as many as 185 applications that SHOULD have been identified for further review, but were not. (page 9 of the report)

          The problem was by no means limited to “Tea Party” or “conservative” groups. The entire process of selecting applications for review was fouled up from the start.

          See:
          http://www.treasury.gov/tigta/auditreports/2013reports/201310053fr.pdf

          • hennorama, TY for re-posting this but allow my to quote Vice President Biden:
            “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

            The report clearly states that there were rules broken and abuses of power. That this is a preliminary report and that further investigation is merited.

          • hennorama

            RWB — TYFYR.

            A search of the TIGTA report (May 14, 2013 Reference Number: 2013-10-053) does not support your statements that “The report clearly states that there were rules broken and abuses of power. That this is a preliminary report and that further investigation is merited.”

            Number of instances of:

            ‘rule/rules’: zero

            ‘broke/broken’: zero

            ‘abuse/abuses’: zero

            ‘power’: zero

            ‘preliminary’: zero

            ‘investigate’: one (on page 3: “Lastly, several members of Congress requested that the IRS investigate whether existing social welfare organizations are improperly engaged in a substantial, or even predominant, amount of campaign activity.”

            ‘investigation’: zero

          • Don_B1

            Just like the “Poverty Report” from Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI 1):

            http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/the-real-poverty-trap/?module=BlogPost-Title&version=Blog%20Main&contentCollection=Opinion&action=Click&pgtype=Blogs&region=Body

            where Rep. Ryan cites many academic papers, totally misrepresenting the results of those papers.

            See also:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/07/opinion/krugman-the-hammock-fallacy.html?emc=edit_th_20140307&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=40714393

            Bottom line: Republican politicians generally have little or no integrity, and it goes down with their prominence.

            Just for completeness, on Rep. Ryan, see;

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/03/06/a-story-too-good-to-check-paul-ryan-and-the-story-of-the-brown-paper-bag/

            That he might have been elected Vice President of the United States is mind-boggling.

          • hennorama

            Don_B1 — TYFYR, and the links.

            What does one call plagiarism twice-removed? Rep. Ryan might want to consult with Sen. Rand Paul and his “fact checkers” before making another public speech.

          • I can intellectually appreciate your playing devil’s-advocate in this matter. But you would sooner be able to convince a Cherokee elder that Andrew Jackson forced them on to the Trail of Tears for their own safety, than convince me that the IRS acted without malice. I believe you to be a good person. Therefore it is my failing to convince you of the injustice inflicted on your fellow Americans for the political gain of a few. If these crimes are allowed to go unpunished, tomorrow’s corrupt and power hungry will commit even worse crimes to silence their opponents.

            Have you seen the movie “A Man for All Seasons” (1966)

            William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

            Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

            William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!

            Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!

            From page (2) WHAT TIGTA FOUND

            The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management:

            1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months,

            2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and

            3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued.

            Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Highlights Organizations function Headquarters office. (in Washington D.C.)

            From page (3)

            We would like to clarify a few issues based on the IRS response to our report. The response states that our report views approvals as evidence that the Exempt Organizations function should not have looked closely at those applications. We disagree with this statement. Our objection was to the criteria used to identify these applications for review. We believe all applications should be reviewed prior to approval to determine whether tax-exempt status should be granted. The IRS’s response also states that issues discussed in the report have been resolved. We disagree with this statement as well. Nine recommendations were made to correct concerns we raised in the report, and corrective actions have not been fully implemented. Further, as our report notes, a substantial number of applications have been under review, some for more than three years and through two election cycles, and remain open. Until these cases are closed by the IRS and our recommendations are fully implemented, we do not consider the concerns in this report to be resolved. Management’s complete response to the draft report is included as Appendix VIII.

          • Don_B1

            And what, exactly, was the Vice President referring to on the occasion of his making this statement, on which of the many times he has said it? When was it said in the timeline of this issue’s development?

            Innuendo, innuendo, and no facts!

          • JONBOSTON

            Thank you for your response. You are often guilty of not seeing the forest for the trees. Do you seriously believe this was a non-partisan IRS scandal? If so , why has there been so much foot-dragging by the IRS? why has Lerner felt the need to be concerned about her criminal culpability? Who is she trying to protect since no one now believes this was a problem centered in the Cinci office of the IRS? Why doesn’t Obama ask her to waive the fifth if she’s protecting someone in his administration? Don’t you find it troubling that a high level official in Obama’s admin (Lerner) is pleading the Fifth? Who directed her agency to conduct this review? [recall Democrat Senators , like Schumer, Levin, Durbin, etc. pressured the IRS to target these 501)c)4 groups] Frankly , I wish Issa’s committee granted her immunity so we’d learn these answers. To quote House Ways and Means Chairman Camp ,” We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were operating as 501c4s………of these groups , 83%were right -leaning. And of the groups elected for audit, 100% were right-leaning”.

            Frankly , Ms. Henn, you gotta get real and at some point let common sense prevail. Lerner, on behalf of the IRS, essentially admitted to the targeting of conservative groups at the ABA meeting on May 10, 2013.

        • Don_B1

          If your quote of Russell George was from his initial report, that report has been agreed by Mr. George to have been incomplete, so your point is not pertinent to the full results!

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    “I Have the Smoking Gun in Obama’s IRS Scandal”

    “The real scandal is that this was a widespread criminal conspiracy by the Obama White House to use the IRS to target, persecute, intimidate and silence Obama’s critics and political opposition.”

    Something Nixon was feared of doing but never actually did.

    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/i-have-the-smoking-gun-in-obamas-irs-scandal/

    • hennorama

      WftC — quoting VP Biden:

      “With all due respect, that’s a bunch of malarkey.”

      Mr. Root’s conspiracy theory is entertaining, but evidence-free.

      • StilllHere

        The question is who did Biden steal that from?

    • StilllHere

      It’s clear the administration is hiding something significant, and potentially criminal.

      • Ray in VT

        It is clear? Based upon what? Your belief that it is?

  • As Glenn Reynolds says: The country is in the best of hands….

    FTA:
    While IRS officials were targeting Tea Party groups for special scrutiny of their 501(c)3 tax exempt applications, the IRS also hired a policeman who had been prosecuted by the Justice Department — and convicted in federal court — of using his access to the FBI’s NCIC system to tip off a terror suspect about the bureau’s surveillance. The leak wrecked a major terror investigation.

    http://pjmedia.com/blog/exclusive-irs-currently-employing-convicted-terrorist-associate/

  • FTA:

    Politiqueras are typically older women with deep ties in the community. They meet with seniors at nursing homes and adult daycare centers and residents in colonias to advocate for their candidates. They come bearing barbecue plates or Mexican pastries and offer voters a ride to the polls, none of which is illegal. But over the decades intense competition in an impoverished region for a limited number of jobs and the power to decide who gets a government contract or a lucrative-paying job has pushed some candidates to cross the legal line and offer cash for votes. “The competition for access to [government] contracts has become intense,” says former Edinburg state Rep. Aaron Peña. “Politiqueras have been pushed further and further to perform in a system that has been corrupted.”

    The FBI alleges in federal court documents that Guadalupe Escamilla, Rebecca Gonzalez and Diana Castañeda worked as politiqueras for candidates in the 2012 primary, and for candidates for the Donna Independent School Board during the 2012 general election. According to the FBI, they were paid by campaign managers to buy votes for $3 to $10 per vote. Sometimes the women also gave out beer and cigarettes for votes and in some instances dropped off voters to buy drugs after they went to the polls.

    http://www.texasobserver.org/vote-buying-scandal-rattles-valley-politics/

  • John Cedar

    A couple weeks ago it was in the headlines that in Mexico they cought a drug lord named El Chapo. A friend of mine who owns a construction company was telling me about some of his sub contractors who had excessive employees not showing up to work the next day few days. Turns out they stayed home because they were upset that the drug lord was arrested.

  • jefe68
  • FTA:
    Perhaps two of the least liked organizations that we know of around here are ICE, also known as the Department of Homeland Security’s ‘Immigrations and Customs Enforcement’ group — recently subject to a sort of rebranding as Homeland Security Investigations, and GoDaddy. So here’s a story of the two of them teaming up to censor a political website in Mexico that was a key site in protesting the current Mexican administration, as well as opposing attempts to criminalize protests.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140304/16455326432/how-ice-godaddy-teamed-up-to-help-censor-mexican-protest-website.shtml

  • FTA:
    Yes, apparently the first African-American woman to serve as National Security Adviser and the nation’s Secretary of State doesn’t have what it takes to be honored by Rutgers.

    Rice holds a Ph.D. in political science. She has taught college for decades. She was Provost of Stanford University. She worked her way up from a working-class family in the segregated South to the highest echelon of world power and politics.

    But according to the Rutgers faculty council, all of that is negated by her service in President George W. Bush’s administration.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/03/06/rutgers-rage-against-rice-why-do-liberals-have-so-much-hate-for-black/

    • Ray in VT

      “They cited her roles in pushing the false claim of weapons of mass
      destruction in Iraq. They also point to her support for using enhanced
      interrogation techniques to get information from terror suspects.” Sounds reasonable enough to me.

      • Is that a standard by which you would judge everyone? How about Mrs Clinton?

        • northeaster17

          Mistaken is the rights way of doing business these days

        • Ray in VT

          It would depend upon what she knew and when. Did she know those things that the Bush administration knew but did not tell the American people? Was she aware of how the Bush administration was torturing people and practicing “extraordinary rendition”?

          • One could argue that she would be an incompetent if she didn’t. But I was think more about the role she played as Secretary of State in the administration that has so greatly expanded our use of drone strikes.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if a member of Congress does not know that which is being withheld from them then they are incompetent? That is interesting. I much prefer her working for an administration that didn’t engineer an invasion of a Middle Eastern country that cost 4,500 American lives, not to mention the 30,000 American casualties and maybe 100,000 Iraqi lives. I’ll take drones, despite my reservations regarding them and their use, over that any day.

          • anamaria23

            A documentary on MSNBC last night gave solid reference and research into the real reason for Iraq invasion. Well planned starting 11 days after Mr. Bush took office, it was a grab for oil and was not inspired by
            9/11. The research and commentators seem impeccable

          • StilllHere

            Documentary on MSNBC, you’re joking right?

          • MrNutso

            Yeah! And look at all the oil we have now! Wait, that doesn’t seem to be right,

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — I think ‘Why we did it’ demonstrates not “a grab for oil,” but rather a desire to ensure access to and continued extraction of Iraq’s oil reserves.

          • StilllHere

            Because Saddam was going to choke off his golden goose, right.

          • Don_B1

            Because Saddam Hussein was running a corrupt government which was not maintaining and enhancing the oil field production because he was using the money they brought in for other purposes.

            The Iraq oil fields where performing poorly compared to any other fields and the Bush administration saw that deposing Saddam and letting big oil companies come in and run the oil extraction would produce a lot more oil.

          • hennorama

            StilllHere — TYFYR.

            Indeed, oil would still be produced in Iraq had Saddam Hussein remained in power.

            However, given his penchant for war with his neighbors, the supply available to the world economy was unreliable. This is generally not acceptable to world economic powers.

            Here’s a quote from msnbc.com:

            “Despite years of war and continued instability, Iraq’s oil fields, which were once state-owned and controlled by Saddam Hussein, are now being developed by international oil companies, completely free from the sanctions that had held back their full potential. In 2012, Iraq produced more oil per day than it had at any point in the previous three decades.”

            The graphic in the link directly below contains both a map of Iraq’s “Oilfield[s] with international development,” and a chart of oil production in Iraq.

            See:

            http://www.msnbc.com/documentaries/international-oil-development-iraq

            You might want to watch the documentary. You can do so here:

            http://www.msnbc.com/maddow-why-we-did-it

          • FTA:
            Clinton strongly supported the 2001 U.S. military action in Afghanistan, saying it was a chance to combat terrorism while improving the lives of Afghan women who suffered under the Taliban government. Clinton voted in favor of the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution, which authorized United States President George W. Bush to use military force against Iraq, should such action be required to enforce a United Nations Security Council Resolution after pursuing with diplomatic efforts. (However, Clinton
            voted against the Levin Amendment to the Resolution, which would have required the President to conduct vigorous diplomacy at the U.N., and would have also required a separate Congressional authorization to unilaterally invade Iraq. She did vote for the Byrd Amendment to the Resolution, which would have limited
            the Congressional authorization to one year increments, but the only mechanism necessary for the President to renew his mandate without any Congressional oversight was to claim that the Iraq War was vital to national security each year the authorization required renewal.) Clinton later said that she did not read
            the full classified National Intelligence Estimate that was delivered ten days before the vote to all members of Congress, and that gave a more subtle case for Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction than the
            Bush Administration’s abridged summary, but that she was briefed on the report.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_career_of_Hillary_Rodham_Clinton

          • Ray in VT

            Plenty to criticize her there for, however, reading the NIE might not have fully informed her as to the current state of the intelligence, as the Bush administration withheld some intelligence from Congress according to a report from the Congressional Research Service. I find it hard to criticize someone harshly when that person may have been misled.

          • Sen. Clinton served on the Armed Services Committee (2003-2009)
            and on the Subcommittee on Airland and on Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and
            Capabilities and on Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support so you can see why I expected that she had knowledge of those issues.

          • Ray in VT

            So, if a member of Congress doesn’t know what is being withheld from them by the Executive branch, then that is their fault and you expect them to know it anyways?

        • OnPointComments

          “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.”— Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

          • Don_B1

            Probably the “intelligence reports” that V.P. Cheney coerced out of the C.I.A. with multiple visits until he got what he wanted, no matter what the C.I.A. really felt.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Wait, all investigations cleared the Bush admin on ‘misleading’ the American people. Being mistaken is different than ‘misleading’.

        However, by the Rutger pinhead standard they can’t have Obama speak at Rutgers because he DID mislead the American people time and time again on Obamacare. In fact, Obama earned the ‘Lie of the Year’ award.

        • Ray in VT

          All investigations cleared the Bush administration of misleading the American people? You must have been reading different reports than I did.

          Romney won’t be speaking there either, I guess, for his lie of the year.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I wasn’t aware of the Romney lie of the year so I just looked it up. Politifact owes Romney a big apology since they have now announced production in China.

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/whoops-politifacts-lie-year-turns-out-be-true_696223.html

            If conservative professors (an rarity for sure) called for boycott of a prominent african american leader, they would certainly be called racist and maybe even sexist.

          • Ray in VT

            Really? They owe him an apology? So Chrysler has moved all Jeep production to China, like Romney told people? Good to know.

            It depends, would they talk about some shucking and jiving, halfrican man child, or would they be protesting something like that person supporting torture?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            “However, disagreeing about the implications of manufacturing Jeeps in China doesn’t justify calling Romney a liar for accurately stating Jeeps would be manufactured in China. PolitiFact didn’t even dispute that, and even conceded the “Lie of the Year” was built on a “grain of truth.” ”

            http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/whoops-politifacts-lie-year-turns-out-be-true_696223.html

            Politifact has been proven to be a highly partisan group during elections. They even gave Paul Ryan a ‘whopper’ for simply quoting Obama in his convention speech. And they also erred on the facts of a GM plant closing.

            And you are equating that to Obama’s repeated lies on something that effects all American’s?

          • Ray in VT

            Yes he did. http://www.freep.com/article/20121026/BUSINESS01/121026036/Obama-Chrysler-Romney-s-claim-of-Jeep-outsourcing-to-China-is-false. You can claim that he did not, but that is a lie, and I have repeatedly linked to his comments.

            I am equating one false statement with another. I think that you would be hard pressed to make the case the a statement regarding a relatively small fraction of the health care market “effects all American’s”.

          • keltcrusader

            Worried still can’t over the fact that mittens lost. so sad

          • Ray in VT

            But the pollsters were all lying and just in the bag for Obama. Romney was really ahead. Just ask Karl.

    • J__o__h__n

      She dropped the ball on 9/11.

      • FTA:
        Liberals are shockingly quick to demean and dismiss brilliant black people like Rice, Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Professor Walter E. Williams and economist Thomas Sowell because they don’t fit into the role they have carved out for a black person in America.

        • J__o__h__n

          Clarence Thomas is not brilliant. He is an awful justice. I respect Rice’s intellect.

          • I respect both people. The question posed by the article is do liberals hold bigoted views of Black people and therefore hold them to different standards.

          • jefe68

            It’s a dumb question posted by someone who already has answered the question for himself.

          • I can see no way that you own comment is any less pointless. If the is such a dumb post why didn’t you ignore it. If you are so sure of you own skillful insights why haven’t you brought more to this thread?

          • J__o__h__n

            It was all those liberals playing Barack the Magic Negro on their right wing talk shows.

          • FTA:
            Melissa Harris-Perry, a host from the same network, decided that mocking and race-baiting Mitt Romney’s toddler grandson would be funny.

            http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jan/9/bruce-exposing-liberal-apologies/#ixzz2vIFaEeAb

          • J__o__h__n

            I’ve never heard of her and she doesn’t wield as much influence over Democrats like Rush does over Republicans.

          • You lack of knowledge is not surprising. But she is considered by some to be a major voice for the “left.”

          • nj_v2

            When you step up and call out your fellow TeaBaggers on the over racism so many have so often expressed, you might, might garner some shred of credibility.

            Until then, you’re just another mindless, partisan hack.

          • I believe that I may have already fulfilled that requirement back in 2010 when I worked to have Mark Williams removed from the Tea Party Express. You may remember the story.

            http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/tea-party-express-mark-williams-naacp-s-use-of-colored-makes-it-racist

            I have a picture of my daughter at age seven. I judge myself by if I could explain my actions to that innocent child. Currently, by that measure, I am a success.

          • Don_B1

            The bad thing is that, as President Bush’s National Security Advisor, she let V.P. Cheney and DoD Secretary Rumsfeld play her in their machinations to go to war with Iraq.

        • jefe68

          What’s that smell? Why it’s the stench of mendacity.

          • I hear you buddy. The lingering odor of NPR is tough to wash off. But because I refuse to give up on people I keep coming back here.

          • jefe68

            And yet the mendacious memes keep coming from your comments.

          • So I haven’t changed your mind yet? If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again.

        • Ray in VT

          There is plenty to criticize those people over regarding their views. I take issue with statements that Sowell has made regarding desegregation. I take issue with Walter Williams comparing the NAACP to the KKK. I find Tim Scott’s comments regarding the striking down of elements of the Voting Rights Act to be unbelievable, and Ben Carson’s bigoted comments about gays and lesbians to also be outrageous. These are all things that I would criticize people of any race for doing. The right just happens to find the few black conservatives who are willing to say such outrageous things and push them to the fore.

          • In fairness I believe that you honestly hold your opinions and do not pay lip service to issues. But I do not believe that about most of the Left. In my experience it is a wedge issue used for political advantage only. Truly it is racism not patriotism that is the last refuge of the scoundrels.

          • Ray in VT

            The race card does get played by some on the left, and it should not be. However, I do think that race is an important issue that should be discussed. One wonders how the shrill cries about the supposed wave of black violence, a call to remove references to the Founding Fathers having owned slaves from textbooks or pushes to enact school policies that would effectively re-segregate schools affect how people on the generic “left” want to talk about race. It seems to me that many white Americans think that racism is dead. Many minorities have a very different perspective.

            I would argue that anti-gay views may be the last refuge of scoundrels in America. One will get blasted for coming out and making statements about race that were once acceptable. However, making outrageous and/or bigoted statements about gays and lesbians is likely to enhance one’s stature in a certain portion of the electorate.

          • Racism is an issue and needs to be addressed as well as all other forms of injustice. Racism is not dead. There are too many Americans who subscribe to the hateful ideologies that should be rotting in the dust bin of history. For the record let me state my
            opposition to re-segregating schools or rewriting history to hide the truth and as to Black violence, all I know is that all blood is red and every life taken by crime is a loss to America,
            a loss we can not afford. Some people on the generic “right” are insensitive to the damage that lingers long after
            anyone can order at a lunch counter. It seems to me that many white Americans suspect other white Americans of racism while ignoring there own failing on the topic. I have seen good people tie themselves in knots over this issue, just as I have seen evil people profit from the fear of the other. I am not claiming that I have a solution to this problem. But I can tell when something is wrong and is festering. In many ways we have advanced toward the beloved community that Rev. Martin Luther
            King Jr. spoke so passionately about.
            But in other ways we are falling short.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Still fails to acknowledge the racism among those in his movement.

            How long are you going to dance around this?

          • ^ Still fails to acknowledge the racism among those in the progressive movement.

            How long are you going to dance around this?

          • Ray in VT

            I am sure that we have some moderate differences regarding how we see this particular topic and who misuses it for their own purposes, but I can agree wholeheartedly with the thrust of your comments. I am fairly encouraged by what I have seen from the kids at my sons’ school. True, there are not many minority students, but I have never seen the kids use such racial or ethnic differences to distinguish between their schoolmates. I think that many of the lingering prejudices are falling even further away with this new generation. We still do have a ways to go, but we should not forget how far we have come in what is a relatively short period of time.

          • J__o__h__n

            Liberals are the new racists. Christians are the new religious victims. This nonsense is getting tiresome.

          • I’m sorry you find my pursuit of the truth tiresome. Are you sure that it is fatigue that you feel? Or is your discomfort because you see too much of yourself in the actions of the Rutgers faculty council? Are you unable to tolerate people if they don’t fit into the pigeonholes you would assign them?

        • nj_v2

          That’s rich coming from TeaBagRacistan.

          • I am glad you continue to comment in your familiar fashion. That you are not ashamed of such vulgarisms says a lot. And that your repeated use of such terms has not been seen to violate the letter and spirit of the Community Standards of this site says a lot about them as well.

            “…Nonetheless, please try to disagree without being disagreeable. Focus
            your remarks on positions, not personalities. No personal attacks, name
            calling, libel, defamation, comments about someone’s mother, hate
            speech, comparisons to notorious dictators — you get the idea. And under
            no circumstances should you post anything that could be taken as
            threatening, harassing, bullying, obscene, pornographic, sexist or
            racist.”

          • nj_v2

            You should be thanking me for providing a convenient way to avoid dealing the core issues here, something you seemed determined to do.

            If you want to argue over the terms, fine

            (http://theweek.com/article/index/202620/the-evolution-of-the-word-tea-bagger; The evolution of the word ‘tea bagger’), but the fact remains that segments of the party, or movement, or whatever it is, has been disturbingly, obviously racist.

            When i invoke the term, it’s an attempt to match the strength of my response to the level of vileness i see expressed by these people.

            That you don’t acknowledge and condemn this outright makes anything else you post suspect.

      • nj_v2

        She took the ball, inflated it to an unrecognizable size, painted it in bright colors, and used to to play volleyball on the beach.

    • nj_v2

      “But according to the Rutgers faculty council, all of that is negated by her service in President George W. Bush’s administration lying like a cheap rug to defend an indefensible policy by the worst president in modern history.

      One of many statements from Conjobdoleeza which can only be explained if she was totally incompetent or if the statement was a blatant lie:

      “I don’t think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile.”

      —National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, 5/16/02

      On August 6, 2001, the President personally “received a one-and-a-half page briefing advising him that Osama bin Laden was capable of a major strike against the US, and that the plot could include the hijacking of an American airplane.” In July 2001, the Administration was also told that terrorists had explored using airplanes as missiles. [Source: NBC, 9/10/02; LA Times, 9/27/01]

      It’s hilarious how, in the case of this post, we have Teabaggers endorsing the notions of Juan WIlliams implying that some kind of racism is at work in the failure of “liberal” professors failing to “honor” Rice. Yet when criticism of demonstrable Tea Party racism is made, they’re quick to accuse critics of playing “the race card.”

      Sorry, can’t have it both ways.

      • This is what I mean when I speak about those on the left using “racism” in an attempt to silence their political opponents.
        You choose to repeatedly use homophobic epithets in an attempt to distract from the issue at hand. That I am in the Tea Party has no baring on this issue. Whether I am straight or gay or bisexual has no baring on the issue.
        The fact remains that Black people are held to different standards by Leftists based on their political affiliations.
        You dear friend are the one that wants it both ways. I want consistency. Wrong is wrong. And no amount of insults will distract me from that.

        • J__o__h__n

          Black people have every right to vote against their own interests and vote Republican. Same for gays. Same for women. Same for low income whites. It doesn’t mean members of any of these groups are immune from criticism.

          • If you consider the damage done to Black and inner city poor families by the policies advance by Democrats, and harm caused by the lack of resources stolen by the corruption committed by Democrats, one must stand in awe of these people’s adherence to the bible verse “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.”
            Matthew 18:21-22

        • nj_v2

          You’re the one who posted a bullcrap, incoherent blob of opinion by Juan Williams (though incoherent and Juan WIlliams in the same sentence is redundant.

          The operative issue is whether the people at Rutgers based their decision on Rice’s record (dismal) or her race, Other that Williams’ ungrounded speculation, there’s no evidence presented that it was race.

          • That would be a very powerful statement. If only they had not changed themselves and then given Sec Rice the honor:
            (Hat Tip to hennorama)
            — Sec. Rice will in fact be receiving an honorary degree from Rutgers,
            and will in fact be delivering its Commencement Address:

            “Honorary Degree Recipients

            “Rutgers,
            The State University of New Jersey, will proudly bestow an honorary
            degree, a distinction which is conferred honoris causa, to the following individuals during the 248th Anniversary Commencement on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver this year’s Commencement Address.”

            See:
            http://commencement.rutgers.ed..,

    • hennorama

      RWB — Sec. Rice will in fact be receiving an honorary degree from Rutgers, and will in fact be delivering its Commencement Address:

      “Honorary Degree Recipients

      “Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, will proudly bestow an honorary degree, a distinction which is conferred honoris causa, to the following individuals during the 248th Anniversary Commencement on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will deliver this year’s Commencement Address.”

      See:
      http://commencement.rutgers.edu/commencement-and-convocations/honorary-degree-recipients

      • TY for the update about the situation as regards Sec Rice and Rutgers University. But it is just an aside to the issue I wish to discuss. Do you disagree with Mr. Williams when he writes: “Black Americans must be obedient liberals on all things or risk being called a race traitor or an Uncle Tom.” and if so why?

        • hennorama

          RWB — TYFYR, and you’re welcome, of course. It’s important to have the facts.

          No doubt you support the Rutgers faculty council exercising their free speech rights regarding their opinions about Ms. Rice.

          As to Mr. WIlliams opinions:

          1. The quote you selected has nothing whatsoever to do with the Rutgers faculty, as they said nothing of the sort.

          2. I disagree completely with the premise that anyone of any race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, etc. must conform with the politics and/or behavior of the majority of the group else they “risk being called” anything.

          • I fully support everyone’s right to exercise free speech. In fact I count on it to provide education to those who would listen.
            Thank you for your many responses.

  • FTA:

    The subtle reference in a Tuesday letter from Senator Mark Udall to Obama, seeking to enlist the president’s help in declassifying a 6,300-page inquiry by the committee into torture carried out by CIA interrogators after 9/11, threatens to plunge the White House into a battle between the agency and its Senate overseers.

    McClatchy and the New York Times reported Wednesday that the CIA had secretly monitored computers used by committee staffers preparing the inquiry report, which is said to be scathing not only about the brutality and ineffectiveness of the agency’s interrogation techniques but deception by the CIA to Congress and policymakers about it. The CIA sharply disputes the committee’s findings.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/obama-cia-senate-intelligence-committee-torture?CMP=twt_fd&CMP=SOCxx2I2

  • Coastghost

    Senator Gillibrand’s proposal met with sound defeat in the Senate yesterday: the tacit disappointment was clearly audible over afternoon NPR newscasts and the terse notice on Thursday’s “ATC” with Audie Cornish (Ailsa Chang must have had a celebratory package ready to cue when the news hit).
    The junior New York Senator’s proposal to make military service an adjunct to a social service organization and military commanders social service counselors clearly deserved clear defeat.

  • Boz K

    Putin is making a permanent enemy out of another one of its near abroad neighbors. By forcefully taking Crimea and potentially other parts of Ukraine, Russia is pushing that country towards the West. Putin is opting to win the battle and lose the war.

  • MrNutso

    Does Rubio define few as 14?

  • Informed American

    Former Democratic Congressman, Dennis Kucinich went on Fox News this week and said that the C.I.A. was responsible for much of the crisis in the Ukraine through its recruitment and funding of N.G.O.’s (provocateurs) which were working to destabilize the democratically elected, internationally recognized govt. in the Ukraine.

    • MrNutso

      Blah blah blah Dennis Kucinich blah blah blah.

      • Informed American

        Can’t deal with the truth?

        • J__o__h__n

          Who cares what a no longer in office congressman thinks? He was never a representative of the party as a whole as evidenced by his failed presidential campaigns.

          • Informed American

            Dennis Kucinich was a free thinking independent representative, and not a lap dog like many of his colleagues were and are.

          • Bigtruck

            Which is why he was gerrymandered out of office and is no longer relevant. Free thinking will not be tolerated.

          • jefe68

            Oh that’s rich, as if the GOP is the party of “free thinkers”.

          • Informed American

            The GOP have their strict orthodoxy as well.

          • Ya’ think?

          • jefe68

            Talk about an understatement.

          • Informed American

            That’s really deep.

          • jefe68

            So, let me guess. You are under the illusion that you’re posting deep, well thought out comments.

            Oh brother…

          • Informed American

            You’re the only one blogging here that I see being led around by the Obama Administration by the nose.

          • StilllHere

            There are many here vying to be Chief Obamapologist.

          • Informed American

            He must been ignored a lot by his parents when he was growing up. Perhaps he sees himself as Obama’s love child.

          • Informed American

            None of which deserve to be taken seriously.

          • jefe68

            Oy Vey. Well hush my mouth. I do declare that the mendacious right winger has run out of milage.

          • Informed American

            No, I’m always willing to point out the many failures of the Obama Administration to subservient Obamanoids like you.

          • J__o__h__n

            close enough – “thought-free”

        • jefe68

          What truth might that be?
          Do you or Kucinich have any proof of this?

          • Informed American

            The Obama Administration has openly admitted to funding the N.G.O.’s in the Ukraine.

          • jefe68

            And that means the CIA is involved.
            Are you wearing a foil hat this morning?

          • Informed American

            Most sane and educated people would believe the testimony of Dennis Kucinich over you, any day of the week. I’d be willing to bet your Obamacare on it.

          • jefe68

            I’m not testifying nor am I pontificating on what’s going on in the Ukraine one way or the other. In my view what’s going on there is a lot more complicated than you or Kucinich are alluding too.

            Kucinich is grand standing and tying to make hay to get air time.

            What’s your excuse?

          • Informed American

            You only regurgitate the Obama Administration’s talking points ad nauseum. Sorry, that doesn’t make you or your blogs credible.

          • jefe68

            You’re delusional. Take a pill and lie down.

            I’ve not posted much of anything that supports Obama’s actions on the Ukraine. You seem to have some serious comprehension issues.

          • Informed American

            It’s only obvious that you’re a hardcore Obama fanatic, but seriously, you’ve got to stop taking Obama’s failed Presidency so personally.

          • Ray in VT

            Not believing in conspiracy theories does not make one a “hardcore Obama fanatic”.

          • Informed American

            Obama is a failed President, deal with it and move on.

          • Ray in VT

            I know. He can’t defeat all of the conspiracy theories and the theorists which assail him daily. Of course facts can’t slay them either.

          • Informed American

            The fact that the Obama Presidency is a failed one, is not a ‘conspiracy theory’ it’s the truth. You just refuse to accept it.

          • Ray in VT

            I think that it is working out far better than the previous one.

          • Informed American

            The country went from bad to worse.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Damning by faint praise.

            Compared to dishwater rinse, Miller Lite tastes great!

          • Ray in VT

            That’s for sure. That did occur to me. I can’t speak as to how dishwater compares to Miller Lite, as I have sampled neither.

          • jefe68

            I’ll let Bugs chime in…

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxGgnI6kCrs

          • Informed American

            You’re easily amused.

    • jefe68

      He forgot to mention all the corruption of
      Viktor Yanukovych and his cronies.

      • Informed American

        Yanukovych had agreed to new elections, which more than likely would have voted him out of office.

    • Human2013

      “The sheer scale of Mezhyhiriya is mindboggling. The Ukrainian Customs and Excise Department’s database lists details of fixtures and fittings imported for its embellishment. Each of the mansion’s Lebanese cedar doors cost $64,000. Three sets of wooden panelling for staircases came in at $200,000, wall panelling for the winter garden at $328,000, and cladding for a neoclassical column and parapet for a flight of steps at $430,000. In the course of one and a half years the overall cost of fittings imported for Mezhyhiriya was $9,416,000.”
      Do you think Yankukovych’s home might have contributed to the anger of the Ukranina people?

    • anamaria23

      Does the perpetually enraged John McCain know that? He been saying that it is all because we have a weak President whose “feckless” policies enable Putin.

  • MrNutso

    Benghazi. We can end the discussion now.

  • I will golf in the Ukraine.
    –BHO

    I will just invade it.
    –VP

  • Coastghost

    What is the substance and the merit of ANY US State Dept. official, ANY US diplomat, expressing concern about American respect for “national sovereignty and territorial integrity” THIS SIDE of Sen. Obama’s 1 Aug 2007 address to the Woodrow Wilson Center?
    Can US diplomacy proceed much longer without a formal repudiation of “the Obama Doctrine”?

  • MrNutso

    Yes. Republicans agree with and support the Presidents actions. Unfortunately they can’t say they do, because it’s Obama.

  • StilllHere

    Where are Obama’s red lines today?

  • Coastghost

    Trudy Rubin might know: in the documents of the EU proposal that Yanukovych rejected in November, is there any actual language or unambiguous implication that Ukraine’s submission to NATO designs was understood as part of the package?

  • MrNutso

    So what would not be weaker? Nuking them?

  • Coastghost

    Obama & Co. seem to have been willing to kiss the ticking clock “goodbye” on negotiations with the Iranians: no one has said in the past week where those talks are or can go without Russian participation.

  • MrNutso

    It wasn’t after Issa gave up on her, it was after Issa gave a speech and then ended the session before anyone else could speak.

  • MrNutso

    What about the investigations of progressive groups and groups funding Palestinians?

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Cummings: “one sided investigation”
    Isn’t an investigation about getting to the truth. It appears Cummings isn’t interested in the truth. Why didn’t Cummings ask her to cooperate?

    • Yes, Darrell Issa is the poster boy of serious unbiased investigations. His actions prove this without a doubt …

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Sure, Issa is a partisan but I haven’t seen anything over the top in his conduct on the IRS hearings. If anything, he has been ineffective against an uncooperative administration. Time for a special counsel.

        • He’s grabbing at straws … again.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Then let’s have an independent investigation and take it out of the politicians hands. Do do this properly the investigation CANNOT report to Eric Holder. Time for a special prosecutor.

          • Ray in VT

            Republican actions the last time around pretty much killed the independent counsel.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I’m not sure what you mean. Scooter Libby might disagree.

          • Ray in VT

            Kenneth Starr.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            I still don’t know what you mean. Scooter Libby was after Ken Starr.

          • Ray in VT

            Fitzgerald appointed by the FBI, so if someone like that was appointed, then would he not be under Holder’s ultimate chain of command?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Fitzgerald was appointed by the acting Atty General because Ashcroft recused himself.

            Fitzgerald was granted plenary authority which gave him full independence of the regime.

          • Ray in VT

            Fair enough. In my original reading of your comment I took you to mean something more along the lines of an independent counsel. The mother of one of my friends served as one, and she won a Supreme Court case against Ted Olson back in the 1980s. She thought that the actions of Starr and the GOP during the Clinton years destroyed the independent counsel, which she thought definitely had its uses.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Yeah, I’m not up on the legal mechanisms and nuances of the history. My only point is the only way to do a proper investigation is to have some serious independence.
            The flip side is over zealous prosecutors as seen with Fitzgerald and Starr.

            It would be helpful if the President personally asked government employees to cooperate. Since there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption there is no downside to cooperation. Right?

          • Ray in VT

            I’m totally fine with an investigation. Besides, even if there is a conviction, then the President can always just commute the sentence.

          • If there is any substance at all in this, then Issa has been counterproductive. When ever he is interested in something, it has been shown to be total bunk.

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            What has been shown to be “bunk”?

            Fast and Furious stonewall

            Either there is nothing there, the regime is clearly obfuscating or Issa is incompent or some combination. For now, I’ll go with b + c.

          • *Everything* he has “investigated” so far. Total bunk in a rat hole.

  • Coastghost

    Did Eric Holder have his “health scare” last week over any lively rumor that Lois Lerner was about to testify?

    • nj_v2

      ^ Troll

      • nj_v2

        Wait, i posted this under some inane comment by StillaTroll.

        Disqust acting up again?

        • Floyd Blandston

          Close enough. Either that, or Disqus has become sentient, discerning trolls by its own volition.

  • Mandala8

    I want to know exactly what is meant by “weak” in criticism of President Obama’s responses in foreign issues. Do we need to make threats to appear “strong?” Is diplomacy considered weak? What is the meaning behind the rhetorical words?

    • DeJay79

      that would be a great question that i doubt any presidential accuser could clarify.

      You say he is seems weak, what would he have to do to seem strong?

    • HonestDebate1

      No, drawing red lines that mean nothing is weak.

      • Mandala8

        Did it really mean nothing? Does the chemicals coming out due to diplomacy mean the red line wasn’t real? And the diplomatic opportunity came up while he was asking Congress for cooperation with a military action. Should he have passed on the diplomatic opportunity in order to look strong? And what if it WAS a mistake? If we make a mistake, does that alone now make one weak?

        • HonestDebate1

          He should not have said it if he didn’t mean it. And remember the deal was brokered by Putin. We are in a weak position. Kerry said all options are on the table regarding the Ukraine. That is a lie, he shouldn’t have said it. We look weak. Tyrants are salivating.

          • Steve__T

            It’s obvious that you don’t understand anything about fighting, boxing, dueling, fencing, political moves or honest debate.

        • anamaria23

          I agree with you. President Obama threatened. Not until then, after 3 pleas to Putin to demand Assad stop the gassing, did Putin step in and do a deal. He must have felt the threat was real. Should the President have gone ahead and bombed anyway? Did not it do what it was meant to do? A threat is just that, not a promise.

    • hennorama

      Mandala8 — it’s also curious that some critics of President Obama describe him as a dictator, tyrant, king, etc., and then pivot to terms such as “weak” and “feckless.”

      In addition, many of the same critics fawn over Russian President Vladimir Putin, who might accurately be described as a dictator.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        It is possible to be an incompetent dictator.

  • adks12020

    This caller is ignoring the fact that Rep. Cummings discussed that there were answers to be had if the parties were approached in a different way (ie. rather than asking the same questions over and over to make a political point), something that was already agreed to by Lerner’s attorney. Cummings also made it very clear that he was angry about the actions of Lerner and the IRS under her direction. The problem is that Issa is just making a political show despite the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that there was a conspiracy with the Whitehouse.

    • Ray in VT

      Perhaps he took issue with Representative Issa selectively, and misleadingly, quoting from emails from Ms. Lerner during a tour on the “news”.

    • HonestDebate1

      Don’t you think Cummings was putting on a show? And who benefitted? We are talking about a silly mic instead of the coverup. Mission accomplished.

      • StilllHere

        Exactly. Cumming’s stunt was theater of the absurd and the media went for it.

        • Floyd Blandston

          You can’t seriously defend Issa’s chairmanship!?! He’s a bi-partisan nightmare for anyone concerned with ‘good government’.

      • adks12020

        Of course he was putting on a show but he made some very valid points and if you have been listening you would realize that not a single investigation has shown that there was any cover-up involving the Whitehouse. Without that there is no point in having the hearings over and over again. Lerner’s attorney agreed to be more forthcoming in an actual legal proceeding but these hearings are not the place. Democrats and Republicans have both stipulated there were serious problems with the way the IRS handled the applications for tax exempt status. The only reason Issa continues the hearings is to keep the base riled up until the elections. The point is, there is a way to get to the bottom of this without the hearings but Issa won’t have it because it doesn’t fit his, and the Republican, agenda.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          Time for a special prosecutor to investigate. Of course you need one that doesn’t report to Holder. That should be obvious.

        • HonestDebate1

          Issa has never said the White House was involved. Its a red herring.

          • Ray in VT

            “For years, the president bashed the Tea Party groups. He was very
            public against these groups. And on his behalf — perhaps not on his
            request — on his behalf, the IRS executed a delaying tactic against the
            very groups that he talked about.” – Darrell Issa.

            ““As late as last week, the [Obama] administration was still trying to
            say there was a few rogue agents from Cincinnati, when in fact the
            indication is they were directly being ordered from Washington,” – Darrell Issa.

            He has certainly alleged some sort of role in the White House influencing IRS actions and some sort of D.C. connection that has yet to be shown to exist.

          • jefe68

            Because it doesn’t.
            Issa is really out to lunch. Hope he’s given his walking papers.

          • HonestDebate1

            Exactly, the first quote rejects it and the second is not about the White House, thank you.

          • Ray in VT

            The first one does not reject it. It leaves the door open, as does the second one, as the White House is in Washington, at least last I checked. I suppose that one need not let a lack of facts get in the way of the right wing talking point that alleges that Obama is using the tools of government, like the IRS, to go after his domestic opponents.

      • Ray in VT

        Yeah, and they’re gonna get away with it, just like they did with whatever cover ups supposedly happened regarding Benghazi. Of course facts don’t support the phony conspiracies of the right, but that rarely seems to stop them.

        • anamaria23

          Do you happen to know if all IRS workers are Democrats?

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t know if they are, but I believe that they are, which is just as good as knowing.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Referred to as ‘Faith based policy initiatives’.

        • HonestDebate1

          No one is talking about the 7 questions she refused to answer. Nothing to see here, move on.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    It is still a crime even if it doesn’t go to the White House.

    • StilllHere

      It’s sad this has to be pointed out.

    • Ray in VT

      It is a crime if a law was broken.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        You should inform Tom’s guest.

  • beeste

    Why not give Lerner immunity? I mean if she’s a key to getting at the White House, give her immunity and she can’t plead the 5th. If she’s the best she has, why don’t they prosecute her for something? there’s an easy way to get around the 5th… immunity!

  • CPAC is less and less relevant every day.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      You’re not going this year?

  • nj_v2

    Weekly roundup of the week’s fringe conservative, regressive, aniti-democratic jacka**ery, and general idiocy:

    http://www.alternet.org/10-biggest-right-wing-idiots-week-not-even-including-arizona-homophobes?akid=11560.1084699.Vaewxd&rd=1&src=newsletter964793&t=3&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

    10 Biggest Right-Wing Idiots This Week (Not Even Including Arizona Homophobes)

    1. Pat Buchanan: Repeal all civil rights laws, segregate gays.

    2. Bill O’Reilly: Women have gender-deficiencies and therefore should not be president, right?

    3. Ted Nugent: I know I took back the whole ‘subhuman mongrel’ thing, and promised not to call people names, but Obama is a Nazi trying to start a race war… just saying.

    4. Paula Deen sees her struggle as very like Michael Sam’s coming out.

    5. Pat Robertson gets to use the word sodomy a whole bunch. Praise the Lord.

    6. Louie Gohmert: God answered my prayers by creating the Tea Party.

    7. Gavin McInnes: Dominicans abuse food stamps, and use them as a fat pill.

    8. Douchebag named Jack Bridwell just does not understand why people are offended by a Confederate flag license plate.

    9. CNBC’s Joe Kernen: Climate change is like witchcraft.

    10. Cheney rears his Darth Vader-like head: Obama would rather buy food stamps than have a strong military.

    10. Cheney rears his Darth Vader-like head: Obama would rather buy food stamps than have a strong military.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/steve_king_gays_could_trick_businesses

    Steve King Worried Gays Could Trick Businesses Into Committing Hate Crimes

    “Rep. Steve King (R-IA) doesn’t believe “self-professed” gays should get equal protection because that treatment could allow them to trick businesses into committing hate crimes.”

    (snipped)

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/michele-bachmann-american-jews-sold-out-obama

    Michele Bachmann Is Disappointed That American Jews ‘Sold Out’ By Supporting Obama

    Michele Bachmann is deeply disappointed with the American Jewish community for supporting President Barack Obama, whose policies she believes will reduce Israel to “rubble.”

    The Minnesota Republican on Monday took particular issue with President Obama’s recent agreement with Iran after he successfully lobbied Congress to temporarily hold off on additional sanctions in hopes of reaching a larger deal on nuclear weapons.

    “The Jewish community gave him their votes, their support, their financial support and as recently as last week, 48 Jewish donors who are big contributors to the president wrote a letter to the Democrat senators in the U.S. Senate to tell them to not advance sanctions against Iran. This is clearly against Israel’s best interest,” Bachmann told Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, as quoted by Right Wing Watch.…

    (snipped)

    http://www.salon.com/2014/03/04/gop_sen_lindsey_graham_russia_invaded_ukraine_because_of_benghazi/

    GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham: Russia invaded Ukraine because of Benghazi

    South Carolina’s senior senator, Republican Lindsey Graham, has long been second to none — not even his good buddy Sen. John McCain — when it comes to obsessing over the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Seriously, he’s relentless.

    And yet, we have to admit we were still surprised to find on Tuesday that this tweet, which was sent out from his official Twitter account, actually exists in the world and is not a ham-fisted joke from Bill Maher or Jon Stewart:

    “It started with Benghazi. When you kill Americans and nobody pays a price, you invite this type of aggression. #Ukraine”

    • anamaria23

      You forgot to mention that Sarah Palin thinks Putin is hot.

      • nj_v2

        It’s a lot to keep up. Thanks for the addendum.

      • hennorama

        anamaria23 — I dunno if “Sarah Palin thinks Putin is hot,” but she certainly seems to support Putin’s propaganda images.

        A recent (March 4, 2014) article on latimes.com, from Robin Abcarian, discussed this:

        Why has Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine and Crimea? What does this mean for American interests and my 401(k)? Does President Obama have any good options? Is the Cold War coming back?

        And who is Putin wearing?

        Like many Americans, these questions filled my head Monday after my Oscars hangover lifted. I turned on the television to see what the pundits had to offer. Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor and failed 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate, was on Fox News, explaining the world to Sean Hannity.

        Putin’s aggression, it soon became clear, came about not because he wants to maintain Russia’s Black Sea naval base in Crimea and not because his is set on maintaining Ukraine’s multifaceted dependence on Russia.

        It came about because he is a manly man and President Obama is not.

        Oliver North told Hannity that Obama can’t draw red lines because he uses “a pink crayon.”

        And while you think I was joking about what Putin is wearing, I merely took my cue from Palin, who blamed Putin’s aggression on bad fashion choices by the president.

        “Obama — the perception of him and his potency across the world — is one of such weakness,” Palin said. “Lookit, people are lookin’ at Putin as one who wrestles bears and drills for oil. They look at our president as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates. We are not exercising that ‘peace through strength’ that only can be brought to you courtesy of the red, white and blue, that only a strengthened United States military can do.”

        (Don’t get me started on the political and cultural hypocrisy of a woman who uses female imagery to denigrate a man. Palin is quick to call out critics for what she perceives as sexist slights, yet has no problem slinging them around herself. Anyway.)

        Palin’s chief foreign policy credential in this discussion appears to be, yes, Alaska’s proximity to Russia, but more important, a six-year-old campaign trail statement in which she conjectured that Putin might invade Ukraine, just as he invaded Georgia in 2008.

        Suffering from the same amnesia that afflicts most Republicans in discussions about the years 2001-09, she failed to note that the Georgia incursion took place on the watch of an American president whose imperial demonstrations of strength had perilously stretched the U.S. military and seriously weakened America’s standing in the world.

        But President George W. Bush wore Levis, so that was OK, I guess.

        See:
        http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-sarah-palin-on-ukraine-putin-and-obamas-pants-20140304,0,5665367.story#ixzz2vKPZXbnT

        • anamaria23

          I found Sarah Palin’s mocking and rather cruel remarks extolling KGB Putin’s superior manliness, thus a superior being, over President Obama’s, disgusting. I
          kept it short as in “don’t get me started”. I agree with your perceptions.

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — TY for your response, which echoes Ms. Abcarian’s parenthetical.

            Critics have also pointed to the use of the word “potency” in the Palin quote, but, to be fair, earlier in the interview, Sean Hannity had introduced the term.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • HonestDebate1

            She predicted this. She was right.

          • anamaria23

            She and about a million others. She is the only one, however, who uses it to pump herself up in social media like an adolescent school girl and demean the President. She might have just stated her case with appropriate gravitas, a quality in which she is severely lacking. Despite the broad smile, she is vindictive and mean spirited. I found her remarks disgusting.

          • HonestDebate1

            I find Putin’s emboldened behavior disgusting. And a million others did not predict this. Ms. Palin was ridiculed for it. Obama told Romney the 80′s called and want their foreign policy back. No, this did not have to happen.

          • anamaria23

            Ms Palin is ridiculed for her mocking and self serving presentations. Do you and her really believe that Putin could be stopped by other than WW111? If the President put on some leathers and revved up his Harley

          • anamaria23

            Ms Palin is ridiculed for her presentation. She deliberately puts people on the defense to incite and humiliate.
            She seems to imply that if the President donned some leathers, revved up his Harley, grew a grizzly beard and slung a rifle ted nugent style, then Putin would be too petrified to invade Crimea. It is mere showgirl stuff for attention and no one would ever take her declarations seriously.
            Do you and her really think that Putin could be stopped short of WW111? Please enlighten me.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama, to the dismay of Poland, abandoned missile defense and got zip in return. Putin walked all over him. Obama weinered out on Georgia. Putin played him like a fiddle with Syria. Putin knows he can do what he wants because Obama is weak.

        • HonestDebate1

          What a shallow analysis.

  • MrNutso

    Tom, I think you should clarify that he did not work for Mumia Abu Jamal, but for the NAACP legal department.

    I live in SE PA and if there is even a hint that you are attached in some way to Mumia, you are persona non gratis.

    • Every defendant has to have a lawyer. John Adams and John Roberts agree on this.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        That’s true but not every lawyer should head the civil rights division.

        That is sort of like saying the man who facilitated a presidential pardon for scum like Marc Rich could somehow rise to the Attorney General. Couldn’t happen in a million years.

        • Floyd Blandston

          Or the Supreme Court? Or the Presidency? Did you understand Neil’s point re: controversial defendants, their attorneys, and said attorneys qualifications for higher office?

          • WorriedfortheCountry

            Check the details of the case and then check back.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Q stands as asked…

  • Coastghost

    Senator Harkin: why privilege the professionalism of defense attorneys over that of policemen? How far or to what end?

  • Informed American

    Radio Shack announced that it will close 1100 stores due to poor sales.
    Staples announced that it will close 225 stores due to poor sales.
    I thought Obamacare and Obamanomics were supposed to be job creators.

    • DeJay79

      ok, I’ll bite. What is the direct connection between ‘Obamanomics’ and the closing of stores by failing businesses?

      • DeJay79

        blockbuster only has 51 location open in the entire US, is that also Obama’s fault? or maybe Netflix and Redbox did their free market job and killed a competitor with better service and lower cost?

        • Ray in VT

          I think that he drove Ames out of business too.

          • Informed American

            Obama has added over $7 trillion to the national debt since January 2009. At the rate that rate, Obama is going to put America out of business.

          • Ray in VT

            It’s easy to run up debt when one starts with a government presiding over a collapsing economy and is already running a trillion dollar deficit. In case you hadn’t looked lately, the deficit has been coming down pretty steadily.

      • DeJay79

        I’d rephrase your statement to say

        “Radio Shack announced that it will close 1100 stores due to poor sales. Staples announced that it will close 225 stores due to poor sales” … This is due to their previous customers finding the same or better products available at other retails that were more appealing to the customer. Some of these were CDW, Amazon and other online retailers for Radio Shack and Office Depot/Max and online office suppliers for Staples.

        I mean have you been in a staples recently, I have, it is depressing. from the lighting to the carpet and everything in between and don’t even get me started on Radio Shack.

        Sarcasm follows:
        If only we had a president who would have used his power and federal policies to promote and prop up these privately owned companies so that our economy could be even more state owned.

      • MrNutso

        Because it’s Obamacare. Haven’t you been paying attention for the last 4 years?

    • hennorama

      “Informed American” — Radio Shack still has “Shacks”?

      Perhaps they learned nothing from the downfall of other electronics retailers, and the rise of Amazon.

      Ditto with Staples and their slow response to Office Depot’s purchase of OfficeMax last year.

      Anyone who believe Radio Shack’s and Staples’ problems are related to President Obama needs to gets better “Informed.”

      • Informed American

        You’re right hen, this rotten economy has nothing to do with Obama.

        • Ray in VT

          Did he kill Borders and Blockbuster too?

          • DeJay79

            oh I forgot about borders… shame on Barns and Noble, opps i mean Thanks Obama!

          • jefe68

            The air in my tire was low the other day.
            I blamed Obama.

          • Ray in VT

            We’re losing an hour of sleep this weekend because of Daylight Savings Time. Thanks Obama.

          • Floyd Blandston

            Ray- don’t laugh. My rock ribbed Vermont Republican Great-Grandfather sneered twice yearly about ‘Demmycrat time’ -from FDR through Obama!

          • Ray in VT

            Oh yeah, the state was once solidly in the GOP camp, though the GOP camp also used to be the more liberal one in some regards. At any rate, one of my friends moved up here in the early 1970s, and someone said to him “there are two registered Democrats in town, and I’m pretty sure that I know who they are.” Vermont did you about 40% for George W. Bush in 2000, and we’ve had a Republican Governor lately, just not the type that tends to get elected in the deep red states. I doubt the Jim Douglas would win in such a contest.

          • StilllHere

            Obama makes Americans lose sleep every night with his always-on-display naivete. Only the sheep sleep well.

          • Ray in VT

            I’d be sleeping poorly too if I believed in an epidemic of black crime and oodles of massive White House conspiracies. Of course, I could also worry about unicorns trampling my wife’s flower bed.

            Also, it seems to me that many denounce other as sheep spend much of their time bleating over many made up outrages that get pushed in the right wing infotainment environment.

          • Informed American

            ‘Killing’?, You must be talking about President Obama’s illegal drone strikes over Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Yemen, which have killed hundreds, possibly thousands of innocent civilians.

          • Ray in VT

            Nope. Just talking about your insinuation regarding Radio Shack’s closures and the current administration. Have you figured out yet why the WSJ reported number that you quoted is wrong?

          • Informed American

            I’m not saying everything printed in the WSJ is the Gospel truth, I just don’t believe the government numbers. When they lie over and over again as they have and do (US govt.), they lose credibility.

          • Ray in VT

            Yet that WJS number is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ initial monthly jobs number. So why trust the initial number and not the revisions? So, you don’t believe the government jobs numbers? Okay. Are you going to take the Jack Welch line and argue that they’re being cooked by the government?

          • Informed American

            Yes.

          • Ray in VT

            That doesn’t surprise me one bit. I don’t think that you can honestly claim to be an informed American if that is what you call information.
            Seeing as how the ADP report, a private survey, I think, on the measure, roughly comes up with the same numbers, one probably can’t trust them either.

        • hennorama

          “Informed American” — I reject not only your complete mischaracterization of my comment, but also your basic premise.

      • jefe68

        He’s going for the today’s meme award.

        • pete18

          99

      • TFRX

        I can buy little electrical parts at Radio Shack.

        I swear, those same solderable bits must have a “life expectancy” on the shelf of two years per package. Not a successful strategy in the day and age where “finagling with technology” means (to many more people) playing around with jailbreaking an Apple product instead of picking up a soldering iron to a transceiver accessory.

        People are not “homebrewing” electronics like they were 50-60 years ago.

        RS has figured this out. But are they too late?

        • hennorama

          TFRX — if Radio Shack is only responding now to a market that is different than what it was “50-60 years ago,” you’ve answered your own question.

    • Ray in VT

      Yet the economy added some 175,000 jobs in February. Certainly businesses went out of business prior to the ACA.

      • Informed American

        Has the Labor Dept. ever announced rosy job numbers, and then later revised those numbers DOWNWARDS?

        • Ray in VT

          Sure. It happens. December and January jobs numbers were both revised upwards in this report. I think that the November report as initially pretty good, 240,000 maybe, and that got further revised upwards later to 275,000 finally.

          • Informed American

            According to the WSJ, only 203,000 jobs were created in November 2013.

          • Ray in VT

            Those are only the initial numbers, such as today’s figure. Try taking a look at the revisions. Revised up to 241,000 in the December report and ultimately to 274,000 in the January report.

    • jefe68

      Gee, maybe it’s because more people are buying most of their electronics online. Amazon, Best Buy, Office Depot/Max to name a few. They can’t compete.

      Staples, there goes the Romney miracle…

      • Steve__T

        Miracle they lasted this long after he gut it, and walked away with their money.

    • anamaria23

      They stated that much of their business takes place on line.

    • dfg

      You need to fill in the blanks that exist between these stores shutting down and Obamacare. I thought they said they were shutting down the stores because of poor sales. What does that have to do with Obamacare?

      And wasn’t it “Obamanomics” that turned the economy around in 09-10? I seem to remember that when he was sworn in, we had something like -7% growth and were losing something like 500,000 jobs a month. By the fall of 09, were we seeing small positive growth and the job losses per month leveled off to around 0. Both indicators have been generally positive since then… small but positive, just like economists of all political colors predicted back in the fall of 08.

      Compared to “Bushenomics”, I’ll take “Obamanomics” any day. Wouldn’t you ?

    • jimino

      Please consider changing your moniker to “Uninformed American”. It would be more accurately descriptive.

      • Informed American

        Jimbo, try dealing with the truth, Obama’s economic policies have been bad for the economy.

    • georgepotts

      Radio Shack is being shut down because they can’t compete with Amazon.

  • Floyd Blandston

    Totally missing the point re; nomination. The Dem Senators who voted against it come from racist constituencies- #re-election fears

    • hennorama

      Floyd Blandston — that is an outrageous statement that does not belong in public discourse.

      • Floyd Blandston

        I dare you to cut my mic!

        • hennorama

          Floyd Blandston — thank you for your semi-amusing response.

          If instead you would care to defend and support your outrageous statement, please provide some evidence to support your claim about “racist constituencies.”

          • Floyd Blandston

            No time- gotta’ pull the flaming cross off my WV lawn…

          • DeJay79

            ok that is kinda funny

  • MrNutso

    Signing statements or something like that.

  • OnPointComments

    Ms Rubin stated that Abu-Jamal hasn’t confessed to the murder. According to trial testimony, two witnesses heard Abu-Jamal confess to the crime.

    “The prosecution also presented two witnesses who were at the hospital after the altercation. Hospital security guard Priscilla Durham and police officer Garry Bell testified that Abu-Jamal confessed in the hospital by saying, ‘I shot the motherf*****r, and I hope the motherf****r dies.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mumia_Abu-Jamal#Arrest_for_murder_and_trial

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      Her summary of the case was bizarre.

      • OnPointComments

        I agree with this editorial. The concern about Debo Adegbile isn’t about every defendant deserving a lawyer; it is about the NAACP Legal Defense Fund under Director of Litigation Debo Adegbile joining a political cause.

        Excerpt:

        The facts are clear. On Dec. 9, 1981, Mumia Abu-Jamal brutally murdered 25-year-old Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal’s guilt has never been in doubt.

        This legal fight and public relations campaign to “free Mumia” were well underway in 2009, when, 27 years after Daniel Faulkner’s murder, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) decided to join the fray. LDF’s director of litigation at the time, Debo Adegbile, was an active part of Abu-Jamal’s legal team, signing legal briefs and supervising the other, more junior LDF lawyers. This was not a case of every defendant deserving a lawyer: Abu-Jamal already had multiple attorneys. This was about joining a political cause. As part of this cause, the lawyers supervised by Adegbile promoted the myth that Abu-Jamal was an innocent man who was framed because of his race.

        …a lawyer working for Adegbile gushed, “It is absolutely my honor to represent Mumia Abu-Jamal” and affirmed “there is no question in the mind of anyone at the Legal Defense Fund, that the justice system has completely and utterly failed Mumia Abu-Jamal,” and this “has everything to do with race.”

        There was never any merit to these claims of racism – a conclusion reached by both state and federal courts.
        http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/inquirer/20140303_Unfit_for_Justice_post.html#Zp9UfF20VTtOfiLv.99

  • OnPointComments

    “Overloaded workers in the IRS”? The Washington Post gave that statement 4 Pinnochios.

    “In other words, while there was an increase in 2010, it was relatively small. The real jump did not come until 2011, long after the targeting of conservative groups had been implemented. Also, it appears Lerner significantly understated the number of applications in 2010 (“1500”) in order to make her claim of “more than doubled.”

    “In some ways, this is just scratching the surface of Lerner’s misstatements and weasely wording when the revelations about the IRS’s activities first came to light on May 10. But, taken together, it’s certainly enough to earn her four Pinocchios.”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/a-bushel-of-pinocchios-for-irss-lois-lerner/2013/05/19/771687d2-bfdd-11e2-9b09-1638acc3942e_blog.html

  • OnPointComments

    Let’s bemoan the evil of big money in politics.

    BIG LABOR, ‘LOOKING FOR REVENGE,’ EXPECTS TO DUMP $300 MILLION INTO 2014 ELECTIONS
    http://watchdog.org/129731/elections-unions-republicans/

    Excerpt:

    Big Labor pledges it will go all in, again, in its drive to knock out its top political adversaries in 2014.

    Michael Podhorzer, political director of the AFL-CIO, in a New York Times piece last week said the nation’s labor unions look to spend at least $300 million going after Republicans in this fall’s elections.

    • Ray in VT

      Americans For Prosperity spent $122 million in 2012, and outside conservative groups outspend liberal groups by more than 2:1 during that cycle.

      • OnPointComments

        “IT TURNS OUT THE ‘EVIL’ KOCH BROS. ARE ONLY THE 59TH BIGGEST DONORS IN AMERICAN POLITICS. CAN YOU GUESS WHO IS NUMBER ONE?”
        http://washingtonexaminer.com/it-turns-out-the-evil-koch-bros.-are-only-the-59th-biggest-donors-in-american-politics.-can-you-guess-who-is-number-one/article/2544025

        “So who occupies the 58 spots ahead of the Evil Koch Bros? Six of the top 10 are … wait for it … unions. They gave more than $278 million, with most of it going to Democrats.

        “So, if money is the measure of evil in American politics and the Evil Koch Bros only come in 59th, who is really the most evil donor ever?

        “Turns out it’s Act Blue, with just short of $100 million in contributions during its lifetime, which only started in 2004, 15 years after the Evil Koch Bros in the OpenSecrets.org compilation.”

        • Ray in VT

          And unions comprise tens or hundreds of thousands of workers, while the Kochs are just two guys. “Freedom Partners”, one of the many groups that the Kochs have helped to establish or finance, raised and spent some $250 million during 2012.

          http://www.politico.com/story/2013/09/behind-the-curtain-exclusive-the-koch-brothers-secret-bank-96669.html

          Let’s see where the group money was in 2012:

          https://www.opensecrets.org/outsidespending/summ.php?cycle=2012&chrt=V&disp=O&type=A

          It is also worth noting the the list that you cited excludes “dark money” groups, such as Americans for Prosperity or Crossroads GPS, which spent some $117.5 million during the 2012 cycle.

          • OnPointComments

            I wholeheartedly agree with the Citizens United decision, and think that the Supreme Court came to correct conclusion. Generally it’s the liberals who bemoan political spending, but only the conservative political spending.

            Corporations and 501(c)(4)s comprise tens or hundreds of thousands or millions of workers.

          • Markus6

            I’ve never thought of this until you said it. Whenever I hear progressives complain about political spending, it’s always conservative spending. I gave them the benefit of the doubt that they meant spending from both sides, but I can’t remember when they ever complained about union spending.

            Even this debate about the top ten spenders. I see nothing on the fact that it’s bad that unions are spending so much. Personally, I think that it’s bad that both sides buy government influence.

            It might be analogous to a discussion on race. I frequently hear people say we need a dialog on race, but when someone mentions anything not politically correct, they are shut down real quick.

          • Steve__T

            Check here I think you will find this very enlightening, as to your last paragraph. It’s in two parts, but you can’t deny the truth in what is discussed as far as race and politics.

            http://billmoyers.com/episode/ian-haney-lopez-on-the-dog-whistle-politics-of-race/?utm_source=sidebar&utm_medium=banner&utm_content=episode&utm_campaign=dog-whistle

            http://billmoyers.com/episode/ian-haney-lopez-on-the-dog-whistle-politics-of-race-part-two/

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t particularly like political spending, but I dislike it much more when it is anonymous and hard to trace.

            Unions are also private, membership based groups, while many companies are publicly held corporations. I think that there is some difference there. I dislike Citizens United for the lack of respect that it and subsequent decisions have shown for decades of precedent on the matter of spending on campaigns.

      • tbphkm33

        Careful there, Ray – lets not introduce logic and reality into the equation – we know well the Nopublican can’t compute that.

  • Floyd Blandston

    ‘White flight’ happens in the media also…

  • dfg

    Radio Shack had a niche back in the 60-70-80′s when customers would go there to buy electrical components to build things. People today seem to be much more interested in building their list of facebook friends and buying cell phones with sexy ringtones or annoying. battery operated toys. RS was forced to moving into selling stuff like that which you can also buy at Walmart, Target and Toys-R-Us. It’s tough to compete on that playing field.

    Unless they refocus on a specialty niche where they are almost alone, they will continue to shrink until they are done, together with the home made transistor radios they used to sell kits for. .

    • Gerald Morine

      A private equity fund will buy them, probably out of bankruptcy, for their real estate and sell the brand name to the Chinese.

    • TFRX

      Now let’s not discount that “building things” back in the 60s meant “soldering iron” and now it means, often, not even hand-coding HTML, but using coding tools.

      (Not that RS can compete with any number of useful coding deelies one can try and/or buy, from sites run by CNET to Sourceforge.)

  • georgepotts

    Has Putin told Obama what he should do yet?

    There will be no solution to Ukraine until Putin approves Obama’s actions.

    Obama thought about having the IRS audit Putin, then he realized that Putin isn’t an American.

    • nj_v2

      ^ 2nd-shift, mindless trolling has begun.

      • jefe68

        Yeah, I can’t wait for the grave yard shift to begin…

        Come to think of it, be nice to bury some of the inane comments being made here by this “lovely” chap.

  • georgepotts

    #FreeJustina

  • georgepotts

    No comments about another Kennedy getting away with driving under the influence because they are a Kennedy?

    • Gerald Morine

      Rich celebrities are above the law.
      Affluenza is an all-purpose excuse.
      The really good trials are when one rich celebrity murders another. The courts don’t know what to do!

  • georgepotts

    Adegbile supports forcing employers to hire felons. He is not the right person for the job.

    Also, he still supports a convicted cop killer after all of his appeals have been exhausted.

  • hennorama

    Has Putin thought this through?

    Let’s say Crimea joins Russia, whether forcibly or by a vote of the current Putin-puppet-Parliament. That leaves Ukraine with about 2.5 million fewer citizens who might be described as “pro-Russian.” The resulting smaller Ukrainian populace would therefore be less likely to welcome Russian ideals and might therefore be more “pro-Western.”

    Some other thoughts, from “a guest post from political scientists Helena Yakovlev-Golani and Nadiya Kravets” on WaPo’s ‘The Monkey Cage’ blog:

    The annexation of Crimea could be problematic for Russia in a number of important ways.

    First, annexing Crimea would be a costly enterprise. The peninsula is not self-sustainable and heavily depends on Kiev to balance its budget. Crimea has no fresh water supplies and it does not generate its own electricity; in fact, it receives 90 percent of water, 80 percent of electricity, 60 percent of other primary goods and 70 percent of its money from Kiev.

    Second, about 12 percent of Crimea’s population is ethnically Tatar. They have already called for Turkish mediation and refuse to recognize the recent seizure of power in Crimea as legitimate. Annexation could lead to a rise in inter-communal violence and instability on the peninsula.

    Third, Russia’s annexation of Crimea would set a dangerous precedent for its powerful neighbor – China – to do the same in the Far East. By some estimates, there are up to 2 million legal and illegal Chinese immigrants that live in the Russia’s Far East, which borders densely populated Chinese Northern territories.

    The annexation of Crimea may also cause further deterioration of Russia’s relations with its post-Soviet neighbors. Moscow’s aggressive action may provoke serious security concerns within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region, where Russia still enjoys geopolitical domination. Specifically, the annexation may be perceived as extremely threatening by neighboring and even somewhat friendly states, such as Belarus and Kazakhstan, where a huge Russian-speaking population resides.

    See:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/03/06/is-crimean-independence-or-annexation-a-good-outcome-for-russia/

  • Bruce94

    Has severely conservative Gov. of AZ, Jan Brewer, given a speech at CPAC yet? Oh, that’s right. She’s unlikely to have a place on the podium since her veto of SB 1062 underscores the fact that the unholy alliance of social conservatives and fiscal conservatives featured at CPAC is not only unholy, but also untenable in a 21st century pluralistic society notwithstanding the feast of wing-nuts and wacko birds on display at the CPAC convention.

    • jefe68

      I read that Mitch McConnell came on the stage with a rifle. What a rube.

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — Sen. McConnell didn’t exactly look comfortable or natural while handling that old rifle. Alison Grimes noticed, and sent out an amusing tweet:

        [Alison L. Grimes ✔ @AlisonForKY

        Someone tell @Team_Mitch that's not the way to hold a gun. KY women do it better. #kysen

        8:24 AM - 6 Mar 2014]

        See also:
        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2575197/All-flash-no-bang-Mitch-McConnell-brings-RIFLE-stage-conservative-conference-fire-thousands-political-activists.html

        • brettearle

          Was it loaded?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — it’s unlikely that the old rifle had ammunition in it.

            However, the image of Sen. McConnell carrying a rifle certainly was “loaded,” as it silently communicated volumes to the audience.

          • brettearle

            Part of the time–with me, as you know–is that humor takes aim, in my crosshairs, at anyone and anything….

          • hennorama

            brettearle — indeed, your penchant for gauging the circumstances, then firing off brassy, high-caliber comments, without going off half-cocked, is well-established.

            You barrel ahead at your target, ramrod-straight, making it clear that no one will muzzle you.

          • brettearle

            Bulls-Eye without the Bull.

          • jefe68

            With hubris.

          • brettearle

            Good one.

        • OnPointComments

          Perhaps Mitch McConnell can get some pointers on rifle handling from President Obama. After all, President Obama said “Up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time,” and he had a picture to prove it. I wonder if President Obama will hoist a rifle to his shoulder and hone his skeet shooting skills on his vacation in Key Largo.

      • OnPointComments

        Mitch McConnell appeared on stage with antique-style muzzle-loading rifle that was presented to retiring Senator Tom Coburn as an NRA Lifetime Achievement Award.

  • hennorama

    Happy International Women’s Day!

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=okFKnjfA_uE

    • jefe68

      A toast is in order, no doubt…

  • rickterp

    It’s really frustrating to hear a caller tell lies about the IRS inquiries being politically motivated attacks solely on conservative groups and have neither guest correct the caller’s lies. The FACT is that the IRS scrutinized ALL political groups equally, left as well as right, and the only group that lost its tax exempt status was a left-leaning group. The Tea Party is frothing at the mouth about a version of events that’s a tissue of lies, but no one on a show like On Point cares to actually tell the facts of the story. Facepalm…

    • OnPointComments

      How many times can you be lied to before you finally believe that it isn’t accidental? How many times can “coincidences” occur before you realize they aren’t coincidences?

      President Obama made several statements criticizing conservative 501(c)(4)s in 2010. Democratic members of Congress wrote the IRS and told the agency to investigate conservative groups. Afterward, conservative groups are subjected to abusive scrutiny. Do you really wonder why the investigations and harassment commenced?

      Lois Lerner, in a contrived question and answer session, plants a question with a confederate about the targeting of conservative groups so that she can get the news out in front of the Inspector General’s report. Lerner said the practice was initiated by low-level workers in Cincinnati, which workers in the Cincinnati office deny. IRS employee Elizabeth Hofacre testified that top people in the IRS, including Lois Lerner, were misleading the public. It has since been discovered that other IRS offices were involved.

      In a 2011 email to IRS employee Holly Paz, Lerner wrote that the “Tea Party matter very dangerous. This could be the vehicle to go to court on the issue over whether Citizen’s United overturning the ban on corporate spending applies to tax exempt rules … Cincy should probably NOT have these cases – Holly please see what they have please.”

      Washington Post: “Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved with investigating conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post…IRS employees in Cincinnati told conservatives seeking the status of “social welfare” groups that a task force in Washington was overseeing their applications, according to interviews with the activists.”

      Do you still believe that it was the Cincinnati office that caused the problem? Do you think it’s odd that the IRS has proposed a solution that will allow it to continue the practices for which it had to apologize?

      Lerner said that the targeting of conservative groups was initiated to deal with a flood of applications. The Washington Post gave Lerner’s claim four Pinnochios. “In other words, while there was an increase in 2010, it was relatively small. The real jump did not come until 2011, long after the targeting of conservative groups had been implemented. Also, it appears Lerner significantly understated the number of applications in 2010 (“1500”) in order to make her claim of “more than doubled.”

      How many times can you be lied to before you stop believing the lies?

    • Don_B1

      Exactly! And Susan Davis shows one of two things:

      1) She is incompetent, or

      2) She has conservative leanings that has biased the way she has looked into this issue.

      The trolls here are trying to pick and choose between the different reports, mixing up the timeline by reordering events, and trying to avoid bringing up the fact that the initial report by the I.R.S. Inspector General was limited by Rep. Darrell Issa’s instructions to only look at the processing of conservative groups. When only one group is looked at, why is it unreasonable to see that only that group is found as discriminated against?

      The number of new groups applying for tax-exempt status also had a ratio with many more conservative groups than liberal groups.

      But Susan Davis could not find a way to make those points. Nor could she report that the actual law on the issue does not support any of these groups receiving tax-exempt status, except by the I.R.S. regulation, written in 1959 in violation of the law.

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Wow. Humor, so early on a Saturday morning.

        Don_B1 name the progressive groups that has come forward to testify before congress or be interviewed by the media for shoddy treatment by the IRS. There were dozens of conservative groups targeted.

        Susan Davis is not ‘conservative’. I’ve seen her plenty on CNN panels to know.

        And she is NOT incompetent for not mentioning a 50 year old IRS regulation that liberal groups have been using for 50 years to great effect but now Don_B1 deems illegal. Wow!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “The FACT is that the IRS scrutinized ALL political groups equally”
      And you know this how? Are you part of the FBI investigation? Do you work for the part of the IRS that arbitrated these decisions?

      I’m doing an informal study on media bias. I’m curious where you get your news.

      And if you want ‘evidence’, simply look at this chart put together by NPR reporters and tell is that there was ‘equal’ treatment.

      http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/354850/no-irs-did-not-target-progressives-it-targeted-conservatives-david-french

    • From page (2) WHAT TIGTA FOUND

      The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management:

      1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months,

      2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and

      3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued.

      Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Highlights Organizations function Headquarters office. (in Washington D.C.)

      • hennorama

        RWB — the TIGTA report also indicated that for at least 205 of the 298 “potential political cases” they reviewed, added scrutiny was appropriate.

        In addition, the report said that as many as 185 other applications should have been reviewed, but were not.

        In other words, just because “inappropriate criteria” were used to identify applications to be reviewed, in the overwhelming majority of the cases, the TIGTA deemed that the reviews were justified. It also means that the “inappropriate criteria” missed a potentially large number of applications.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      “equally”

      You are off your rocker.

  • JONBOSTON

    One of the sorriest comments I’ve ever received. Try keeping up on what’s going on. This issue has been pending for almost a year and nothing but stonewalling. In the meantime Obama and Biden have been busy “frying fish ” while Obama ( just in the past 3 months) found the time to golf in Hawaii, Calif , and now Miami this weekend ( he was fundraising in Boston last weekend) and Biden was in Scottsdale playing golf last weekend (I met him on the course–we were both staying at the same resort) and he’s reported to be vacationing in the US Virgin Islands this weekend. I have the impression that Biden and Obama spend nearly every weekend golfing and fundraising. The hell with the Ukraine. Or for that matter this country. But he’s all in for raising the minimum wage and extending unemployment. What a freaken joke!

    But what the hell , so if the IRS is accused of subverting the election process by targeting tea party groups , or releasing confidential documents submitted by applicants , a criminal violation of law. In fact one of Richard Nixon’s articles of impeachment dealt with an effort by Nixon to use the IRS to attack his enemies. Suggest you google “US Constitution” , “First amendment”, “freedom of association” . You might even learn something but I seriously doubt it. The Democrats depend on “voters” like you. The dumber, the better.

  • pete18

    Remember the whole reason for forcing through this unpopular law that has caused millions to lose their doctors and policies and raised the costs on
    millions of others, “we need to cover the people who are uninsured”?

    Not happening: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/health-insurance-marketplaces-signing-up-few-uninsured-americans-surveys-say/2014/03/06/cdae3152-a54d-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html

    Of course this is no more surprising than the other fantasy promises that were used to sell this bill.

    • Coastghost

      Although historically “fraud and misrepresentation” have not been seen as impeachable offenses for top Federal offices . . . .

    • HonestDebate1

      So premiums will not go down, you can’t keep your plan, you can’t keep your doctor, the cost has tripled, doctors are quitting and now the uninsured will remain so.

      Why did we do this again?

      • pete18

        It’s the Republican’s fault, remember?

  • StilllHere

    What we know is that Obama used the IRS as a political weapon and his orders caused one of his employees to have to take the 5th to avoid criminal prosecution. Obama’s apparently got a kill list for both political adversaries and supposed terrorists.

    • hennorama

      BS.

    • tbphkm33

      … and here we see what happens when you binge watch FOX entertainment “News.” Too much conservative propaganda.

    • brettearle

      Your credibility continues to plummet….

      • jefe68

        Oh that ship sailed a long time ago.
        This one gets the troll award every week.
        Mind you, there are a few of the right wing meme patrol who are sporting to dethrone him.

        • brettearle

          It’s always been my understanding, since I’ve been a contributor to the Forum, that there’s a new King crowned every day.

          Sometimes every minute.

          Correct me if I’m wrong….

          What’s more, have you noticed how they love to amuse each other?

          • HonestDebate1

            Amuse each other? Sometimes I want to take a collection to buy a room for you and Henn.

          • brettearle

            Difference is, we crack jokes generically.

            Your side drips with bias, prejudice, slants, distortions, primitive putdowns, salacious attacks, unethical debate loopholes, dishonest debate etc.

            We’re guilty of it, too–but nowhere near the degree and amount that your side is.

            As a matter of fact, your side is dangerous–if not apocalyptically destructive, when it has a few facts on its side.

            For, in the end, all you guys often do is Pound the Table…..

            EVEN WHEN [some of] THE FACTS ARE ON YOUR SIDE.

            [How's that for pounding the table?]

            And, by the way, a Collection, for us, is not kosher:. We’re 501c(3).

          • HonestDebate1

            Alrighty then.

          • pete18

            “Your side drips with bias, prejudice, slants, distortions, primitive
            putdowns, salacious attacks, unethical debate loopholes, dishonest
            debate etc.”

            Pot, kettle anyone?

          • brettearle

            I SAID we think our side can save money by living in glass houses.

            But our glass has thickness to it.

            Yours usually doesn’t it.

          • pete18

            I take your comments in the unquestionable context that neither side would be a reliable judge of the thickness of their own glass.

          • brettearle

            I like that.

            Score one for your side.

            But only if you’ve made environmental improvements to your place.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — what do you mean “we,” kemosabe? ;-)

          • brettearle

            Hi Ho! Silver! Away!

          • hennorama

            brettearle — uh oh … careful there … someone may infer that “Ho!” and “Away!” imply a desire to “get a room.”

          • brettearle

            The only one who uses `Ho’ in a derogatory way is Don Imus.

            And `Away’?

            That could also mean, `shun’–as in, `Go Away’?

            So, there….did I defend myself, successfully, from the politically correct, and unpolitically, correct crowd?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — I daresay your first statement is inaccurate, but nevertheless is enjoyable for its Imus reference.

            BTW, is it nappy time yet? (Oopsie, another possible “room” reference. My bad.)

            Please note the restraint required in my not commenting on the “politically correct, and unpolitically, correct crowd.”

            Thanks for your response.

          • brettearle

            What do you call a TV Western Hero Actor on drugs?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — to be as non-generic as possible:

            High ol’ Silver(heels).

          • brettearle

            Not bad. not bad at all….

            BUT….SURVEY SAYS…don’t groan…
            ta! dah!….

            `ChemoSabe’

          • hennorama

            HA! Good one.

          • brettearle

            I know this is trivial:

            But, by far [And Away!], your answer to my joke was better.

          • hennorama

            brettearle — thank you for your very kind words. As you might expect, I’ll offer some dispute:

            Judging humor as “better” or “worse” is “in the mouth of the laugher.”

            I found your `ChemoSabe’ very amusing, and as an anagrammer, appreciated the “hidden in plain sound” aspect.

            Of course, I had to riff and stretch it a bit:

            Key? Mo’, Sabe!

            (as in “Kilo? [No, gimme] More, Sabe!” toldya it was a stretch.)

          • brettearle

            You’re Two Munch

        • pete18

          98

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        Because people routinely take the 5th for sh!ts and giggles?

        • brettearle

          It isn’t my fault that the 5th is one of the fundamental principles of Individual Rights.

          It’s not your fault either.

          It’s the Framers’ fault.

          And, last time I checked, the Framers were revered by Republicans and Libertarians, alike.

          Not just by Democrats.

          • pete18

            He didn’t say taking the 5th wasn’t legal or a fundamental principle of individual rights, he said it was telling that she did so in this circumstance. You disagree with that?

          • brettearle

            If you studied the record of its use, you would find that there are myriad reasons
            why the 5th is employed.

            Not all of them has to do with a cover-up.

            I have no idea why, in this case, it is being applied.

            Perception of Guilt is different than Guilt.

            But, additionally, Govt_Banking_Surf ridiculed the use of the 5th, generically.

            That tells me that he has no respect for a fundamental tenet of individual rights in this country.

            He ought to own up to the fact that Libertarians have a tight allegiance to the Bill of Rights, the Constitution and to its Amendments.

            And if he, himself, deviates from this position, he ought to say so–rather than engage in primitive-level politicking, by referring to using the 5th because of `sh!ts and giggles’.

          • pete18

            Of course there are a myriad of valid reasons why it’s used and invoking it doesn’t nullify the users presumed innocence but when it’s used by a government official in the midst of questioning by congress it raises a red flag.
            Particularly given the history of it’s use during congressional investigations. I take Serf to be ridiculing Lerner’s application of it and not the fifth itself.

            Why has an official from the “most transparent administration ever” taken the fifth as congress tries to determine what happened it if there wasn’t something to the charges? Still curious as to why this wouldn’t be raising alarm bells in your mind.

          • brettearle

            I’ll address your comment when I get the chance, said Brett [that's me].

            But didn’t Oliver North sort of say the same thing, before Congress?: [`I’ll address this, when I get the chance.’ [`But there is no chance.']]

            No…..o…….o…….o….. Mr North didn’t take the 5th. He just went ahead and OUTRIGHT LIED. .

      • Steve__T

        What credibility?

  • OnPointComments

    THE IRS’S BEHAVIOR TAXES CREDULITY
    By George F. Will
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-the-irs-has-a-one-sided-interest-in-politics/2014/03/07/a545366a-a56c-11e3-84d4-e59b1709222c_story.html

    Excerpt:
    The most intrusive and potentially most punitive federal agency has been politicized; the IRS has become an appendage of Barack Obama’s party.

    Lerner is, so far, the face of this use of government to punish political adversaries. She knows what her IRS unit did and how it intersects with the law, and for a second time she has exercised her constitutional right to remain silent rather than risk self-incrimination. The public has a right to make reasonable inferences from her behavior.

    And from Obama’s.

    Obama breezily says there was nothing more sinister than “boneheaded decisions” by wayward and anonymous IRS underlings. Certainly boneheadedness explains much about this administration. Still, does he consider it interesting that the consequences of IRS boneheadedness were not randomly distributed but thwarted conservatives?

    This column has previously noted that in 1996 a Republican Senate candidate called the FEC to dispute campaign finance charges made by Democrats. The head of the FEC’s enforcement division told the Republican: “Promise me you will never run for office again, and we will drop this case.” So spoke Lois Lerner.

    There almost certainly are people, above her and beyond the IRS, who initiated or approved the IRS’s punitive targeting of conservative groups and who hope Lerner’s history of aggressive partisanship will cause investigators to conclude that she is as high as responsibility for the targeting rises. Those people should hire criminal defense attorneys.

  • OnPointComments

    501(c)(5)s, LABOR UNIONS, like 501(c)(4)s, are also permitted to engage in certain political campaign activity as long as it does not constitute their primary activity. Yet for some reason the “primary activity” exemption for labor unions hasn’t caused the IRS to propose re-writing this regulation as it has for 501(c)(4)s. The money expended on political activity by 501(c)(4)s pales in significance to the political money spent by 501(c)(5) labor unions.

    THE REALLY BIG MONEY? NOT THE KOCHS
    Harry Reid surely must have meant the unions when he complained about buying elections.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303824204579423650900853802?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303824204579423650900853802.html%3Fmod%3DWSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSe

    Excerpt:
    It’s an extraordinary thing, in a political age obsessed with campaign money, that nobody scrutinizes the biggest, baddest, “darkest” spenders of all: organized labor. The IRS is muzzling nonprofits; Democrats are “outing” corporate donors; Jane Mayer is probably working on part 89 of her New Yorker series on the “covert” Kochs. Yet the unions glide blissfully, unmolestedly along. This lack of oversight has led to a union world that today acts with a level of campaign-finance impunity that no other political giver—conservative outfits, corporate donors, individuals, trade groups—could even fathom.

    Mr. Reid was quite agitated on the Senate floor about “unlimited money,” by which he must have been referring to the $4.4 billion that unions had spent on politics from 2005 to 2011 alone, according to this newspaper.

    Unions, as 501(c)(5) organizations, are technically held to the same standards against coordination with political parties. Yet no Democrat or union official today even troubles to maintain that fiction. Hundreds upon hundreds of the delegates to the 2012 Democratic convention were union members. They were in the same room as party officials, plotting campaign strategies. The question therefore is how much of that $4.4 billion in union spending was at the disposal of the Democratic Party—potentially in violation of a bajillion campaign-finance rules?

    Democrats hope to make a campaign theme out of conservative “dark” money, something else Mr. Reid knows about. In addition to other spending, unions have been aggressively funneling money into their own “dark” groups. One of these is the heavyweight 501(c)(4) Patriot Majority USA. Patriot Majority doesn’t disclose its donors, though a Huffington Post investigation found it had been “fueled” in 2012 by $2.3 million in union donations. Amusingly, Patriot Majority used its undisclosed money on a campaign to expose the Koch brothers’ “front” groups. Oh, and Patriot Majority is run by Craig Varoga, a former aide and close ally of . . . Harry Reid.

    So now, in addition to a system in which organized labor spends “unlimited money” to “rig the system to benefit themselves” and “buy elections,” (to quote Mr. Reid), Mr. Obama’s IRS has made sure to shut up anyone who might compete with unions or complain about them.

    Supporters of campaign-finance rules never want to acknowledge that their maze of regulations serve primarily as a tool for savvy politicians to manipulate and silence opponents. For proof, they need only listen to Mr. Reid—who is pretty savvy, and who didn’t misspeak after all.

    • Government_Banking_Serf

      Details, details…..

      When will you understand and accept, when the GOOD people do it, the Ends Justify the Means.

  • Steve__T

    Obama is a weak, mom jeans wearing, monolithic tyrant, dictator king.

    Republicans like Putin better, they think they should have voted for him. He wold have beat Obama hands down, cus’ he a manly man.

  • Cacimo

    No issue is bigger that the President using the IRS to silence his political enemies. It would be a complete abuse of power and needs to be thoroughly investigated. Yet when a ranking IRS official takes the fifth the press is uninterested. Sad state of affairs.

  • davecm

    When a Democrat is cornered he will always pull out the race card.
    Maybe not all Democrats, hopefully???
    Listen to this Democrat rant on why some people might abort a baby.
    http://blog.al.com/wire/2014/03/rep_alvin_holmes_says_white_la.html

    • OnPointComments

      I was in Chicago last week for a meeting with the IRS, and after the meeting I was going to have my assistant hold down the fort while I played golf, if it wasn’t snowing. I find that golf is a great stress-reliever after those meetings because the IRS frequently makes me angry. I parlayed my trip to Chicago into a couple of days of vacation and a long weekend.

      Extra credit: Identify all of the words in the preceding paragraph that liberals have said are racist.

      • Government_Banking_Serf

        assistant, fort, angry, golf (when not done by current President) liberals.

        What did I miss?

        • OnPointComments

          So close…

          I was in CHICAGO last week for a meeting with the IRS, and after the meeting I was going to have my assistant HOLD DOWN THE FORT while I played GOLF, if it wasn’t snowing. I find that GOLF is a great stress-reliever after those meetings because the IRS frequently makes me ANGRY. I parlayed my trip to CHICAGO into a couple of days of VACATION and a long weekend.

          • HonestDebate1

            Damn racist!

  • hennorama

    Let’s see … overall, the CPAC Presidential straw poll participants were (as announced before the results were given):

    Male: 63 percent

    Age 18 to 25: 46 percent

    Wonder who won this meaningless vote.

    No information on the racial/ethnic makeup of the straw poll participants was announced.

    For those who care, see:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/08/2014-cpac-rand-paul-wins-second-consecutive-cpac-straw-poll/

    • Coastghost

      hen: surely you don’t mean to suggest that demographic representation alone confers political legitimacy?

      • hennorama

        Coastghost — thank you for your inquiry.

        No, I do not.

        However, as I watched the lead-up to the announcement of the poll results, and observed the two factors mentioned in my post, the outcome was easy to predict. (I guesstimated Sen. Paul’s to come in at 25 to 30 percent. Coincidentally, the product of the two factors is 28.98 percent.)

        I wonder if there’s any truth to the rumor that CPAC ticket prices were raised in an effort to discourage those who “Stand With Rand,” as Molly Ball (political writer for The Atlantic) suggested via Twitter:

        https://twitter.com/mollyesque/status/441944216022032384

    • brettearle

      Henn–

      I think the GOP knows that it would be a Fool’s Errand to nominate a candidate, such as Senator Paul, who is inextricably connected to the policies of the Tea Party.

      The Tea Party is the one big factor as to why public opinion so radically disfavors Congress.

      It would be politically self-destructive for the Republicans to take him seriously in 2016.

      What’s more, have you noticed how thin-skinned he is?

      I think that would make him a noticeably weaker candidate than anyone on the Right realizes.

      And when you combine that weakness, with his outsized Ambition, I’d say it’s,

      ….Pride Goeth Before the Fall…..

      [Also, there’s the Creep(y) Factor, with him–which is, at once, covert and subliminal. At times, he comes across as Extraterrestrial. Maybe it’s the ET eyes… [He probably shouldn't have specialized in Ophthalmology] ]

      • HonestDebate1

        As Ted Cruz points out, look at elections in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Which ones went well for Republicans and which ones tanked. Why?

        • brettearle

          A ‘Throw the Bums Out’ Mentality obtains, these days–regardless of who presides.

          • HonestDebate1

            I agree, the establishment must go.

        • jefe68

          Ted Cruz, yeah, he’s a real great example of statesmanship.

      • hennorama

        brettearle — TYFYR.

        While the Republican leadership may know, as you wrote, “… that it would be a Fool’s Errand to nominate a candidate, such as Senator Paul, who is inextricably connected to the policies of the Tea Party,” that doesn’t mean that Republican primary voters share that opinion/knowledge.

        That said, I’ll refrain from commenting about any personal aspects of Sen. Paul (other than his “hair,” of course).

        Thanks again for your response.

    • notafeminista

      If it is meaningless why are you (and the Washington Post) offering any sort of commentary on it?

      • hennorama

        notafeminista — TY for your inquiry.

        In this era of opinion masquerading as news, perhaps you should be pardoned for mischaracterizing WaPo’s news reporting as “offering … commentary on” the CPAC straw poll.

        It’s clear that if 63 percent of the poll participants are male, and if 46 percent are aged 18 to 25, the poll is not representative of American conservatives overall. This makes the poll results meaningless.

        • notafeminista

          The vote (which is what you said) is not meaningless then. Who you find to be meaningless are the participants (IE the voters) and the results of their having had participated. You and the Washington Post did both offer commentary of some sort. Which is precisely what I said.

          com·men·tary
          noun ˈkä-mən-ˌter-ē, -ˌte-rē

          : spoken or written discussion in which people express opinions about someone or something

          : a spoken description of an event (such as a sports contest) as it is happening

          : something that shows or makes a statement about the true state or condition of something

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/commentary

        • notafeminista

          And I still don’t understand why are you discussing that which you find meaningless.

  • Cacimo

    No one objected to Adegbile representing Mumia. The problem was Adegbile advocated for Mumia to be freed and attended rallies with that goal. Disgraceful how this was willfully misrepresented during the program.

  • HonestDebate1

    In summary:

    The IRS didn’t target Conservatives so Ms. Lerner’s apologies were misplaced. And she is merely exercising her Constitutional right to avoid incriminating herself for what she didn’t do.

    Benghazi is a phony scandal because all evidence pointed to the cause being a video. They had no idea it was a terrorist attack and the murder of our ambassador in no way shows Al Qaeda is not decimated… and that was NOT a campaign issue.

    The massive surge in part-time employment has nothing to do with Obamacare and the 30 hour definition for full-time employment requiring compliance.

    The only reason insurance companies are canceling plans is greed. They are bad bad.

    The only reason employers are electing to not offer coverage is they are A-holes.

    Syria is complying. We can count on Putin. Never mind that Putin does what he wants irrespective of the perceived strength (or weakness) of our President.

    Obama is doing everything he can to improve the economy but Bush messed it up really really bad. Obama’s policies have nothing to do with the anemic recovery. What’s he supposed to do?

    Mitch McConnell is the most powerful person in government. Obama is nothing . If Mitch McConnell says “one term President” then… er.. ugh…

    Republicans want dirty air and water, Obama is doing all he can to keep them from getting their way.

    Fossil fuels are optional.

    The rich are not paying their fair share despite paying more than ever in history. if they would pay more we would be fine.

    To the extent Obamacare is causing people not to work, it’s a good thing. “Job lock” don’t you know.

    Obama is not responsible for anything. Any problems are due to Republicans, Rush, Foxnews and racism.

    It’s really quite simple.

    • davecm

      And, as Hillary Clinton would say, at this point what difference does it make.

  • HonestDebate1

    Was Sarah Palin great or what? My favorite line was to the establishment Republicans who rode in on the unprecedented, massive, humiliating defeat for Democrats in 2010. “You didn’t build that”! The Tea Partiers did, so true.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wltc7RMBPeQ

    • OnPointComments

      I heard someone say the other day “If you didn’t build that, then who did? And why didn’t they build one for the poor people?”

    • Steve__T

      I love her because she never fails to make me LMAO.

      • jefe68

        It’s funny how a failed governor can be held up as some kind of political ideal, or should it be political ideologue.

        • HonestDebate1

          She was a very successful Governor.

          • jefe68

            Yeah, she’s a contradiction.
            Well that depends. Her first years in office were pretty successful. She was a bipartisan Republican who worked with Democrats on several issues: forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics. She did this in a way that seems wildly out of character today—by cooperating with Democrats and moderate Republicans to raise taxes on Big Business.

            http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/06/the-tragedy-of-sarah-palin/308492/

            Something happened along the way here, and that’s why I would say she’s a failed governor. She lost ground as soon as she set he sights on the national stage.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well then you agree. Why not just say so?

            She did not set sights for the national stage. She was chosen.

            Apply your logic to Senator Obama.

          • jefe68

            She blew it. That was my point.
            She’s now a disgrace in Alaska.

            I’m not a fan of president Obama.
            Never was. I voted for him because I loath the GOP, that much. I never bought into him being anything other than a centrist Democrat with some ties to the progressives. Even so he was so above the divisive tone that Palin represented.

            To me the Republican party stands for intolerance, ignorance and extremism.

          • Ray in VT

            Yup, she very successfully gutted Alaska’s special education spending.

        • notafeminista

          Pffft. You took the outright racist VP over the “failed” governor.
          Weird priorities you got there.

          • jefe68

            Pffft yourself. The right wing going on about racist, that’s a laugh.

      • Bruce94

        I laughed so hard that I puked. Oh, I forgot. That’s what the majority of voters did in 2008.

    • Ray in VT

      It is too bad that they cut out the bit where, while holding Green Eggs and Ham, she said “I just finished reading my first book, and boy are my lips tired”. Courtesy of my boss.

  • pete18

    So which big political donor is in favor of gay marriage, drug legalization, of reforming and expanding the immigration system, of withdrawing troops from the Middle East, of cutting defense spending, of curbing the NSA’s overreach, and of helping
    to balance the budget by raising (some) taxes?

    Why, those evil, nasty Koch brothers that’s who. Can anyone say, “Narrative Fail”?

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/372803/harry-reids-two-minutes-hate-charles-c-w-cooke

    • I ‘m sure everyone here knows I am only in favor of decriminalizing marijuana because Chuck and Dave stroked a check…

      • pete18

        No doubt you rolled that check after filling it with your dime bag.

  • JONBOSTON

    Very interesting Susan Davis comment that Washington pols are hoping Obama avoids any confrontation with Russia over the Ukraine for fear of Obama further demonstrating weakness and impotence and humiliating the US before Russia and the world.

    Mildly amusing listening to Friday’s program as Tom and Jack struggle to avoid making any comment critical of Obama. It must be hard now that Obama has become a national embarrassment. It’s a little like wondering what EJ Dionne, Eugene Robinson and Charles Blow and other Obama sycophants must struggle through as they prepare a new column praising the wonderful but misunderstood Obama and excoriating Republicans for all things bad. They remain silent rather than state the obvious, namely that Obama has proven to be the most incompetent pathetic president that anyone alive in this country has ever experienced. Instead NPR will report Obama’s calls to Putin or to European leaders as if anyone is listening. Or cares. I feel sad for Obama but worse for the American people . We have to live with this mistake until 2016.

    • jimino

      Did Disqus eat the portion of your post that details what you think should have been done to prevent the current circumstances?

      What have we come to when so-called conservatives openly root for the Russians who aim to be our enemy? Anything they criticize Jane Fonda for doing wrong in the 70′s pales in comparison.

      • JONBOSTON

        Mind boggling commentary. Do you seriously believe I’m “rooting” for the Russians to be our enemy. Jane Fonda was a traitor , so I don’t understand your analogy. Now that the Russians have overtaken Crimea we have few if any options. However I would revisit placing missiles in Eastern Europe–something Obama, in his infinite naiveté, pulled from the table upon becoming president. Putin gave up nothing in return and our Eastern European leaders looked like fools for having placed their trust in Obama in 2008.

        My point is that when Putin identifies weakness and lack of leadership in a US president, he becomes more aggressive. It happened to Bush in 2008 when Putin invaded Georgia. At the time , Bush’s influence and leadership was at rock bottom, the US economy was on the brink of
        meltdown, and the US public was exhausted from 2 wars. It may seem cliche but Reagan was right –you have peace through US strength. Obama exudes weakness. His constant refrain to International law is a joke.
        ,

      • notafeminista

        Point of clarification here…is it your opinion Russia wants to be our enemy, or that Russia IS our enemy and the Right is trying to encourage or enhance that circumstance?

      • JONBOSTON

        see below. Other additional ideas would be to increase the export of natural gas to Europe so European economies would be freed of dependence on Russia. But that would force Obama to speed up the approval of export terminals and , of course, the Keystone XL pipeline. Fat chance, even if it meant increasing US national security and diminishing the chance of conflict with Russia.

    • Bruce94

      “Obama has proven to be the most incompetent pathetic president that anyone alive…has ever experienced” — a curious comment seeing how he’s got nearly three more years to go on his second term and would have to fall mighty far from where he is now to reach the depths of, say, a Nixon or a W. Bush according to the polls. There’s still a lot of unfinished business for the Obama administration to attend to, so your assessment of his competence is premature at best, presumptuous and arrogant at worst. Just another example of sour grapes or plain old Obama Derangement drivel–rather tedious to read now since we’re nearly two years past the last election in which the “incompetent” Obama managed to pull off a stunning victory over the would-be Outsourcer-in-Chief with all that executive experience, Mitt Romney.

      Actually, the odds-on favorite to receive the distinction as the most “incompetent president” in our lifetime is W. Bush, the Prodigal Son, whose policies and priorities hastened the economic disaster, damaged our reputation and leverage overseas, and began what some view as the erosion of our civil liberties at home.

      But by all means, continue echoing the paleoconservative/paranoid libertarian shtick from the clown carnival (a.k.a. CPAC). I’m sure it will go over really well with youthful independent voters in the mid-terms and 2016.

      • JONBOSTON

        Obama’s only core competency is his ability to campaign and convince naive impressionable 18-25 year olds, public worker parasites, clueless academics, and the legion of “takers” that depend on the continuing largess of others to vote for him.

        Name one domestic or foreign policy success of Obama’s . For someone who campaigned on improving America’s stature overseas, name one foreign policy issue where US interests are better served today than in 2008. Explain for me Obama’s program for growing the economy and increasing the number of good sustainable middle class jobs. Explain how increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment will grow the economy and help the middle class. Explain for me how “youthful independent” voters are better off today than in 2008. Explain for me how the so-called middle class are better off under Obama. You mention outsourcing– what percentage of companies do you think engage in outsourcing? 10% 50% 95%? Obama’s refusal to slow down the growth of regulation and his failure to enact corporate tax reform so companies could expatriate their foreign earnings without incurring onerous US taxes–do you think this encourages outsourcing of jobs overseas? Has Obama in fact outsourced his foreign policy to Putin and others? Are more people in poverty today than when the war on poverty first began? Was one of the articles of impeachment against Nixon his plan to sic the IRS on his political enemies? I haven’t even mentioned his signature ” achievement” of Obamacare. What a farce. I could go on but won’t.

        • Bruce94

          I have neither the time nor energy to reply to all the questions, most
          of which strike me as rhetorical and many of which are irrelevant to the question of Obama’s “competence” since they pertain to legislative matters that an unscrupulous minority in the Senate and Tea Party caucus in the House have obstructed to the detriment of the country at large and their own constituents at home.

          I do appreciate the time and energy you put into your comment, however, and want to name at least one accomplishment, the Stimulus, that most nonpartisan, mainstream economists agree saved the country from another 30′s-type Depression and reversed the economic contraction already underway when he took office. The auto industry rescue is another example of an effective and bold strategy almost universally regarded as hugely successful for not only the auto companies, but also for millions of workers in related parts and service sectors who depend on the viability of
          domestic auto manufacturing.

          As for his signature achievement,
          the ACA, I believe it’s too early to tell how it will ultimately turn out. Since the GOP had no credible alternative and was content with the status quo of 40-50 million uninsured and healthcare costs skyrocketing, it’s hard to take their criticism seriously especially
          their faux outrage over 1-2 million losing their substandard policies and being afforded the opportunity to purchase better plans for reasonable prices and possibly with subsidies (I know, they now get a two year reprieve before they have to look for a decent policy in formally dysfunctional individual market). Anyway, the current estimate is that even with the rocky roll-out and scare tactics funded by billionaire defenders of the pre-ACA status quo, 13-14 million have already signed up on the newly created exchanges or are benefiting from Medicaid expansion enabled by the ACA. Millions of people with pre-existing illnesses are now covered and would otherwise be unable to access life-saving care; millions now receive preventive/wellness services free of charge; millions of seniors now save on their prescriptions; millions of young people are now covered on their
          parent’s plans; and millions of small businesses can now claim tax
          deductions for insuring their employees.

          Here’s a list of some of the many promises kept and benefits delivered by the ACA:

          -Closed the “doughnut hole” in
          Medicare prescription drug plan
          -Provided easy-to-understand comparisons of the Medicare prescription drug plans
          -Required insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions
          -Gave tax credits to those who need help to pay health premiums
          -Required children to have health insurance coverage
          -Expanded eligibility for Medicaid
          -Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
          -Required health plans to disclose how much of the premium goes to patient care
          -Established an independent health institute to provide accurate and objective information
          -Implemented and funded proven health intervention programs
          -Expanded funding to train primary care providers and public health practitioners
          -Increased funding to expand community based prevention programs
          -Improved recruitment of public health workers
          -Required insurance companies to spend at least 80% of premium dollars on healthcare costs and, if falling below that ratio, refund the difference to
          policyholders
          -Required insurers to publicly justify rate increases exceeding 10%
          -Prohibited insurers from dropping policyholders solely because they get sick (policyrescissions)
          -Eliminated annual or lifetime benefit caps
          -Prohibited discriminatory rates charged to persons with a preexisting
          condition

          • HonestDebate1

            No, an overwhelming bipartisan consensus does not agree the “stimulus” did squat. It was awful. It was not bipartisan at all. I think you are confusing it with TARP.

          • Ray in VT

            Let me guess. You think that the consensus is that the stimulus didn’t work. Am I right?

          • HonestDebate1

            I think you can find anyone to say anything. I am saying the overwhelming bipartisan consensus does not agree the “stimulus” did squat.

            The statement is false:

            The first is the Stimulus, which an overwhelming majority of nonpartisan, mainstream economists agree saved our country from another devastating 30′s-style Depression and reversed the economic contraction already underway when Obama took office.

          • Ray in VT

            Perhaps you could provide some evidence to support what I think is your assertion that economists don’t that the stimulus worked.

            I wouldn’t oversell its impact, but if asked if the stimulus acted in such a way so as to alleviate the impacts of the recession, then I think that the economic opinion is that yes it did.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — off topic:

            While researching something else (isn’t that always the way?), I found this “political typology” quiz from the Pew Research Center:

            http://www.people-press.org/typology/quiz/?src=typology-report

          • Ray in VT

            That is interesting. Thanks. I always find what questions that such things ask to be interesting.

          • hennorama

            Ray in VT — you’re welcome. Glad you found it interesting.

          • Bruce94

            I edited the above statement so that it reads “the Stimulus helped to save our country from another 30′s-style Depression and to reverse the economic contraction” already underway by the time Obama took office. Obviously, the original fiscal stimulus (ARRA) “worked” in conjunction with other measures including ongoing monetary policy and subsequent spending increases and tax cuts. However, due to the “liquidity trap” that the U.S. found itself in 2008-09 and the desperate straits of the banking system, a consensus did indeed emerge among the vast majority of nonpartisan economists that fiscal stimulus at that critical juncture was definitely needed and “worked” helping to avoid another Depression and facilitate the recovery.

          • Bruce94

            Please see my above reply to OPC, and no I’m not confusing it with TARP–that was a joke, right?

          • OnPointComments

            On January 10, 2009, Christina Romer, chairwoman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, the vice president’s top economic adviser, issued a 14 page report titled “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan” in which they estimated that Obama’s economic stimulus of $787 billion would keep the unemployment rate below 8%. By October 2009, 8 months after the ARRA had been signed into law, the unemployment rate was 10.1% In September 2011, two and a half years after the stimulus, the unemployment rate was 9.1%; Romer and Bernstein had predicted that by October 2009, the unemployment rate would be 6.6% because of the effects of the stimulus.

          • Bruce94

            My comment did not deal with the predictions you cited, so your post amounts to a straw man; no one disputes that the estimates were off AND no one disputes that the reason they were off was that the economy was in worse shape than Obama’s advisers were led to believe by the preponderance of expert opinion. GDP was actually declining at the rate of 9% rather than the 3%, which was the mistaken belief held by most nonpartisan, independent economists at the time.

            We can relitigate the 2012 election if you want to, but I suspect there are more productive uses of your time as well as mine.

            Suffice it to say, no serious, thoughtful observer could reasonably conclude that we should have adopted the European model of austerity and invited double-dip recession. And no one by now seriously disputes that the Stimulus at its peak in 2010 saved or created the jobs of nearly 4 million people, stabilized the economy during the worst period of the recession, staved off deeper job losses, and supported a modest recovery which by this time lasts year had generated 42 consecutive months of GDP growth and 38 consecutive months of private-sector job growth resulting in the creation of 5 million new jobs including nearly 200,000 jobs in the auto industry alone marking the first time since the late ’90′s that manufacturing jobs were added to the economy. Not to mention the hundreds of thousands of teachers, police, fire fighters and other public employees who were hired or kept on the job thanks to the Stimulus.

  • hennorama

    Several forum members have been commenting about the IRS, and the issues surrounding the tax-exempt application process. Some specific points that they’ve made, and some counterpoints:

    1. OPC quoted George Will’s opinions, that “for a second time she [Lois Lerner] has exercised her constitutional right to remain silent rather than risk self-incrimination. The public has a right to make reasonable inferences from her behavior.”

    Others have also pointed to Ms. Lerner’s exercise of her rights, as though it means she’s hiding something, or has done something wrong.

    First, it’s improper to assume wrongdoing just because Ms. Lerner chose to exercise her rights. The SCOTUS has repeatedly rejected this concept.

    Second, it’s rather sad and ironic to see the conservative Mr. Will (and those who invoke his opinions) implying Ms. Lerner’s exercising her Constitutional rights means she’s guilty.

    As Doug Mataconis, Senior Editor of Outside the Beltway wrote last May:

    “If you truly respect the Constitution, that means respecting all of the Constitution including the part that allows someone to refuse to answer questions under oath from a Congressional Committee that, in addition to having an oversight role, also clearly has a political agenda.”

    See:

    http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/invoking-the-fifth-amendment-is-not-evidence-of-wrongdoing/

    ==========

    2. JONBOSTON (partially) quoted House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Davis Camp:

    “We now know that the IRS targeted not only right-leaning applicants, but also right-leaning groups that were operating as 501c4s [sic]………of these groups, 83% were right-leaning. And of the groups elected for audit, 100% were right-leaning”.

    In an earlier reply to OPC, who had more fully quoted Rep. Camp on the same topic, I wrote (emphasis added):

    notice that there are no hard numbers presented.

    Let’s use the minimum possible number for his claim of “dozens of groups”: 24.

    This would mean that of these “dozens of groups,” 20 (83%) were “right-leaning,” whatever THAT term means.

    Now, notice again there was no number given for “the groups the IRS selected for audit,” meaning this could be 2 out of 2 (100%) that were “right-leaning,” again, whatever THAT means.

    If there were large numbers involved, you can be sure that Rep. Camp would have noted the actual numbers.

    ==========

    3. WorriedfortheCountry points to a “chart put together by NPR reporters,” as evidence of unequal treatment of conservative groups.

    The problem with the chart is that it is based solely on a group of applicants selected by House Ways and Means Committee majority staff, AKA Republican members’ staff. Here’s how the linked article explained this:

    The majority staff … for the purposes of the analysis looked only at groups with names that included terms the IRS used for flagging. The terms included “conservative,” “Tea Party,” “patriot 9/12″ and “progressive.”

    The committee opted not to make any judgments about the political leanings of other groups given extra scrutiny by the IRS, sticking only with those listed on IRS “Be on the Lookout” watch lists.

    In other words, the Republican members’ staff, in order to criticize the IRS use of “inappropriate criteria,” used some of the very same “inappropriate criteria” to select the applications they want to highlight, rather than looking at all 298 applications discussed in the TIGTA report.

    Curious, that.

    Note that “the analysis” did not include all of the names that were “listed on IRS ‘Be on the Lookout’ watch lists.”

    Note also that the TIGTA report itself indicated the following, on page 14:

    The team of specialists processed applications by organizations with names other than Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12

    To determine if organizations other than those specifically identified in the inappropriate criteria were processed by the team of specialists, we reviewed the names on all applications identified as potential political cases.[18] Figure 4 shows that approximately one-third of the applications identified for processing by the team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names, while the remainder did not.

    [18] We could not determine which potential political cases may have been identified based on an organization’s

    policy positions.

    This was how the 298 applications broke down by name, per the report:

    Tea Party 72
    Patriot 13
    9/12 12
    OTHER 202

    See:
    http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/700723-treasury-inspector-general-for-tax.html

    Thanks for your attention.

    • OnPointComments

      Wake up and smell the coffee, Hennorama. Neither this forum nor Mr. Will’s column are a court of law, and we aren’t a jury.

      Can I draw an inference from someone who has proven herself a liar deciding to plead her fifth amendment right? I can, and I do. Her lawyer is wise to advise her not to testify — she has shown that she has problems with the truth, and if she spoke she would probably commit perjury. Do you believe that it was only low-level employees in Cincinnati who were involved in this scheme?

      As Mr. Will and others have asked, where are the liberal/progressive taxpayers and organizations that have had their tax records leaked, and that have been subjected to abusive scrutiny and investigations? I’ve watched many Congressional hearings about the IRS, and it has been noted in those hearings that Democrats were given the opportunity to have liberal/progressive taxpayers and organizations testify, but none have. If liberals and progressives had been asked about the content of their prayers, printouts of all of their Facebook postings, names of volunteers, and what books their members were reading, wouldn’t they have testified along side the conservatives who were subjected to IRS abusive scrutiny? What are the names of the liberal taxpayers and organizations that have endured multiple investigations by multiple federal agencies after filing a 501(c)(4) application?

      Do you really believe that the IRS was even-handed in its treatment of conservative and liberal organizations? The Treasury Inspector General doesn’t think it was even-handed, as stated in a letter to Senator Sander Levin (D-MI):

      “…we found no indication in any of these other materials that “Progressives” was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.

      “Based on the information you flagged regarding the existence of a ‘Progressives’ entry on BOLO lists, TIGTA performed additional research which determined that six tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 having the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were included in the 298 cases the IRS identified as potential political cases. We also determined that 14 tax-exempt applications filed between May 2010 and May 2012 using the words ‘progress’ or ‘progressive’ in their names were not referred for added scrutiny as potential political cases. In total, 30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words ‘progress’ or “progressive” in their names were processed as potential political cases. In comparison, OUR AUDIT FOUND THAT 100 PERCENT OF THE TAX-EXEMPT APPLICATIONS WITH TEA PARTY, PATRIOTS, OR 9/12 IN THEIR NAMES WERE PROCESSED AS POTENTIAL POLITICAL CASES DURING THE TIMEFRAME OF OUR AUDIT.”
      http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/documents/TIGTAFinalResponseToRepLevin06262013.pdf

      Freedom of speech and freedom of association mean nothing to this administration.

      • hennorama

        OPC – thank you for your response.

        We are all jurors in the court of public opinion.

        You and Mr. Will both know that “Invoking The Fifth Amendment Is Not Evidence Of Wrongdoing,” as stated in the title of the Doug Mataconis piece on ‘Outside the Beltway,’ which was cited in my OP. To imply otherwise is irresponsible.

        You have mischaracterized Inspector General J. Russell George as someone who “doesn’t think … the IRS was even-handed in its treatment of conservative and liberal organizations.” He expressed no such opinion. Per your source:

        TIGTA did not make any characterizations of any organizations in its audit report as conservative or liberal and believes it would be inappropriate for a nonpartisan Inspector General to make such judgments.

        No one is disputing that using the names and political stances of organizations as criteria for further review is inappropriate. However, just because “inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny,” that does not mean that extra scrutiny was not justified. Again, using your source:

        For 69 percent of the 296 cases, TIGTA found that there were indications of significant political campaign intervention, while 31 percent of the cases did not have that evidence. We also reviewed samples of 501 (c)(4) cases that were not identified as potential political cases to determine if they should have been. We estimate that more than 175 applications were not appropriately identified as potential political cases.

        Thanks again for your response [and for providing such a helpful source].

        • HonestDebate1

          I am not impressed because there is no hard “evidence of wrongdoing”. That’s an awfully low bar. We are not being assured. The administration is not making the case the IRS is up to their expanded task.

        • OnPointComments

          Note that the third paragraph on the first page of Mr. George’s letter to Rep. Levin is about additional research TIGTA performed after the issuance of the audit report; the remainder of the letter (including the parts of the letter you cited) is about the original audit report before the additional research. The additional research determined that there were 20 applications for progressive organizations included in the 298 cases, of which 6 (30%) were identified as potential political cases. Contrast that with 100% of conservative applications that were identified as potential political cases. 30% vs. 100%. It doesn’t sound very fair and even-handed, does it? It seems like a political vendetta to me.

          Also noted in the second paragraph: “The ‘Progressives’ criteria appeared on a section of the “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled “Historical,” and, unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria. While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including
          employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that “Progressives” was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.”

    • notafeminista

      When it comes to the suspected suppression of free speech and assembly, I’m going to assume you DON’T want that in large numbers.

    • pete18

      “Second, it’s rather sad and ironic to see the conservative Mr. Will (and
      those who invoke his opinions) implying Ms. Lerner’s exercising her Constitutional rights means she’s guilty.”

      Why is it sad or ironic? I would say it shows a good nose for news and that there’s something rotten in Denmark, just as he showed back in 1972 when he was one of the few conservative journalists who aggressively went after the Nixon administration and the lies they were trying to sell the public during Watergate.

      I ask you the same thing that I asked Brettearle below, why doesn’t an official from the “most transparent administration ever,” taking the fifth as congress tries to determine what happened in an investigation of malfeasance by the IRS against taxpayers, raise a red flag in your mind?

      • hennorama

        pete18 — TYFYR.

        Mr. WIll knows that, “Invoking The Fifth Amendment Is Not Evidence Of Wrongdoing,” as stated in the title of the Doug Mataconis piece on ‘Outside the Beltway’ cited in my OP.

        That he would imply otherwise is sad.

        Mr. Will is also a champion of the Bill of Rights, making his implicit criticism of Ms. Lerner’s use of the rights afforded to her ironic.

        You mistake me for someone who is untroubled by the issues involved, making the premise of your question inaccurate.

        However, Ms. Lerner’s exercising her rights is not one of the things that trouble me. Anyone facing a grandstanding majority of a Congressional committee, at a time when other investigations are in progress, would be a fool to do otherwise, as any even slightly competent attorney would say.

        • pete18

          ” Anyone facing a grandstanding majority of a Congressional committee, at
          a time when other investigations are in progress, would be a fool to do
          otherwise, as any even slightly competent attorney would say.”

          That might be one conclusion that someone might draw, the other more likely one is that the person in front of congress may be covering something up or feel they are in legal jeopardy for something they have actually done wrong as history shows us is often the case.

          What things ARE you troubled by in this case?

          • hennorama

            pete18 – TYFYR.

            As a reply, allow me to again refer to the SCOTUS opinion discussed in the Doug Mataconis piece in ‘Outside the Beltway,’ which was cited in my OP:

            “The Supreme Court answered that question back in 1956 in a case called Slochower v. Board of Higher Education of New York City:

            At the outset, we must condemn the practice of imputing a sinister meaning to the exercise of a person’s constitutional right under the Fifth Amendment. The right of an accused person to refuse to testify, which had been in England merely a rule of evidence, was so important to our forefathers that they raised it to the dignity of a constitutional enactment, and it has been recognized as “one of the most valuable prerogatives of the citizen.” Brown v. Walker, 161 U.S. 591, 610. We have reaffirmed our faith in this principle recently in Quinn v. United States, 349 U.S. 155. In Ullmann v. United States, 350 U.S. 422, decided last month, we scored the assumption that those who claim this privilege are either criminals or perjurers. The privilege against self-incrimination would be reduced to a hollow mockery if its exercise could be taken as equivalent either to a confession of guilt or a conclusive presumption of perjury. As we pointed out in Ullmann, a witness may have a reasonable fear of prosecution and yet be innocent of any wrongdoing. The privilege serves to protect the innocent who otherwise might [p558] be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. See Griswold, The Fifth Amendment Today (1955).

            See:

            http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/invoking-the-fifth-amendment-is-not-evidence-of-wrongdoing/

            http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/350/551#writing-USSC_CR_0350_0551_ZO

            The issues of the IRS handling of applications for tax-exempt status bring up several troubling things.

            The regulation in question appears to subvert the law. As noted by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, and discussed in the linked article below,

            Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code defines tax-exempt social welfare groups like this:

            Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

            In 1959, under the administration of Dwight Eisenhower, the meaning of this section was changed dramatically when the IRS decided the word “exclusively” could, in effect, be read as “primarily.”

            See:
            http://www.msnbc.com/the-last-word/odonnell-the-real-irs-scandal-happened-1

            It’s also troubling that there are also far too many political groups masquerading as “social welfare groups,” and thereby claiming tax-exempt status, such as Crossroads GPS and Organizing For Action, to name just two.

            There are others, but my dog is lobbying for a walk just now, so I’ll end here.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            As others have already mentioned, the court’s opinion in Slochower addresses how the law looks at the fifth not how public opinion, a detective or the sniff test deciphers the actions of public figures. These are two entirely different and unrelated things.

            So no surprise there, you’re not really concerned about IRS abuse in this case at all.

          • OnPointComments

            The regulation was in force for 50 years without a problem. Then the president and Democratic members of Congress pushed the IRS to scrutinize conservative groups, and the IRS complied with their wishes. Now that the IRS has been caught, some say that the regulation is the problem. What hogwash.

      • jefe68

        You’re comparing the IRS non-scandal to Watergate? Bit of a the stretch.

        • pete18

          Only for those with partisan blinders.

          For the record, although I do think the scandals are comparable, I wasn’t doing so in my previous post. I was only pointing out Will’s record of being good at snooping out and dissecting government malfeasance and doing so no matter which party was involved.

    • JONBOSTON

      Ms Henn,
      You are correct that no one’s guilt should be inferred by virtue of a person’s plea of the Fifth. Similarly, Judges routinely instruct jurors that a defendant’s failure to take the stand in his defense should not be held against him. Nevertheless, jurors do not park their common sense and life experiences at the door when weighing guilt or innocence of a defendant and take everything into consideration , including the failure to testify on one’s behalf. Is it right –no. Does it happen–yes.

      Moreover in some jurisdictions, pleading the 5th in a civil suit risks a judge permitting the jury to make an adverse inference that had the defendant answered the relevant question , the answer would be adverse to his interests.

      As far as your comments on the IRS scandal, I’ve already spoken my peace. I do not have your boundless energy.

      • hennorama

        JONBOSTON – thank you for your thoughtful response.

        As to my energy – were it boundless, I would not have taken the lazy way out, and would have instead composed three separate responses to you, OPC, and WftC.

        As to you having “already spoken [your] peace,” I understand, and also feel compelled to refer you to this:

        http://www.learnersdictionary.com/blog.php?action=ViewBlogArticle&ba_id=115

        Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

    • HonestDebate1

      I find your premise whacked… with all due respect. This is not about a court of law. It is not about Constitutional rights. Ms. Lerner works for us. She is a public servant. We have every right, scratch that, we are duty bound to demand transparency and accountability from our government. The IRS must be beyond reproach. It is the government’s charge to assure us that is so.

      • jefe68

        So the Constitution does count for people who work for the IRS or any other public servant.
        That’s an interesting point of view, that people who work in government are somehow not worthy of the same Constitutional guarantees that you expect for yourself.

        The level of your inanity seems to know no bounds.

        • HonestDebate1

          Jeez, it went right over your head. That’s not what I said at all.

          • jefe68

            Nope, it did not. You made a comment that pretty much stated she did not have the same legal rights as you due to her being a public servant.

            You right wingers keep on harking about this non-scandal. I’ll wait for the Benghazi meme to follow.

            By the way you’re little act of posting things and then telling people it’s not what you meant, then using it as some kind of aside is getting old. If you don’t like people posting comments that you don’t like or agree with then don’t post on this forum.

          • HonestDebate1

            “Pretty much’, see how you do? Ms. Lerner is entitled to her Constitutional rights. Everybody is. I have never said, implied or hinted otherwise. That has zero, zip, nada to do with whether she is being transparent and working in the best interest of America.

            Focus Jeffe. I didn’t say that’s not what I meant. I didn’t even say it. The act here is telling me what I think then criticizing me for thinking it. That is the hallmark of liberals.

    • jefe68

      For all the speechifying about free speech, First Amendment rights don’t apply to the issue at the heart of those suits: tax-exempt status. Such arguments “are unlikely to persuade courts because tax exemption has not been thought to be a First Amendment issue, because the organizations have the right to speak even if they’re taxable,” explains Frances Hill, a professor at the University of Miami School of Law. “The idea that their status may be delayed or denied doesn’t mean that their First Amendment rights have been denied or imperiled.”

      http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/06/tea-partiers-dont-have-case-against-irs

      • OnPointComments

        Freedom of association is the right to join or leave groups of a person’s own choosing, and for the group to take collective action to pursue the interests of members. When the federal government decides for political reasons that conservative groups will not be afforded the same privileges as liberal groups, and undertakes punitive measures to thwart 100% of conservative organizations applying for tax-exempt status, it has violated the US Constitution.

      • hennorama

        jefe68 — TY for your response.

        While I am not in any way a legal expert, to this layperson, it’s beyond obvious that no one is denied First Amendment rights simply if their organization is not approved for tax-exempt status. No one needs tax-exempt status in order to express their views, and such an argument seems specious and silly.

        • OnPointComments

          The IRS selects one side in a political argument for abusive scrutiny, and also subjects that side to multiple federal investigations and leaks of their confidential data, yet you don’t believe these tactics have an effect on free speech. Isn’t it odd that liberals make an argument such as this, yet they are certain that their own free speech has been impaired because a corporation spends its own money to express a political point of view.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TYFYR.

            It is your conclusion that “The IRS selects one side in a political argument for abusive scrutiny, and also subjects that side to multiple federal investigations and leaks of their confidential data…” I understand your arguments, but disagree with your conclusion.

            It’s also notable that you believe that Inspector General J. Russell George is someone who “doesn’t think … the IRS was even-handed in its treatment of conservative and liberal organizations.” You may be biased in your thinking, as he expressed no such opinion.

            As I am not a liberal, I cannot speak for liberals.

            Please allow me to quote the first two sentences in the Background section of the TIGTA report, with emphasis added:

            “Organizations, such as charities, seeking Federal tax exemption are required to file an application with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Other organizations, such as social welfare organizations, may file an application but are not required to do so.”

            If social welfare organizations are not even required to file an application with the IRS, please explain how their 1st Amendment rights are being infringed upon. They voluntarily submit information and agree to have it reviewed. This does not prevent them from expressing their views, and it’s clear that several have garnered significant media attention.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            I’m glad that I reread the 6/26/2013 letter that Treasury Inspector General Russell George wrote to Representative Sander Levin regarding Levin’s questions about whether “Progressives” were targeted by the IRS as conservatives were. TIG George’s conclusions in the letter
            were: Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were. “Progressives” did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.

            We reviewed all cases that the IRS identified as potential political cases and did not limit our audit to allegations related to the Tea Party. TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny – specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report. From our audit work, we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled
            “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases during the 2010 to 2012 timeframe we
            audited
            we found no indication in any of these other materials that “Progressives” was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.

            TIGTA performed additional research which determined that…30 percent of the organizations we identified with the words “progress” or “progressive” in their names were processed as potential political cases. In comparison, our audit found that 100 percent of the tax-
            exempt applications with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were processed as potential political cases during the timeframe of our
            audit.

            Back to the the TIG’s discussion of the original audit, before the additional research noted in the preceding paragraph was performed:

            Our audit did not find evidence that the IRS used the “Progressives” identifier as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012…We determined the IRS developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names…The term “Progressives” appears, beginning in August 2010, in a separate section of the BOLO listings. [from earlier in the letter: "The "Progressives" criteria appeared on a section of the "Be On the Look Out" (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled "Historical," and, unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria."]

            • [Question from Rep. Levin] In the course of your audit, what did you discover about the processing of cases with the “Progressives” identifier? Were the cases processed in the same manner as the cases with the “Tea Party” and associated terms identifiers? Or were they processed differently?

            TIGTA’s audit did not review how TAG [Touch and Go] Historical cases (including the “Progressives” identifier) were processed because we did not find evidence that the IRS used the TAG Historical section of the BOLO listings as selection criteria for potential political cases between May 2010 and May 2012.

            If it makes you feel better to pretend that conservative groups and progressive groups were treated equally by the IRS, by all means continue to do so, but it’s just pretending.

          • hennorama

            OPC – TYFYR.

            Please note that I have read the entirety of both the TIGTA report, and the June 26, 2013 letter from IG George to Rep. Levin.

            It’s interesting that in other posts you comment about “liberals [who] make an argument such as this,” and “these nonrepentant liberals,” and “treatment of conservative and liberal organizations,” and then, as Rep. Levin did, focus solely on the word “Progressive.” (To be fair, you did use the term “liberal/progressive taxpayers and organizations” a couple of times.) Not to put too fine a point on it, but the words “liberal” and progressive” are not equivalents.

            It’s also interesting that you focus solely on the small number of organizations TIGTA examined that have various specific words in their names, as if only those with specific words in their names have particular political points of view. It’s also interesting that you attribute particular political points of view to various words.

            What I mean is, do you believe that all of the 6 groups that had the words “progress” or “progressive” in their names have the exact same politics? What about all of the 96 groups that have the words/phrase “Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12” in their names? Do you believe they all have the same political point of view? And if you do believe that these groups have the same politics, do you think that they are the only applicants in the group of 298 that have those particular political views?

            Isn’t one point of all this that using the name of an organization to identify either their “potential [as] political cases,” or their political leanings, is inappropriate?

            You continue to attribute words and conclusions to IG George that he did not write.

            You wrote, “TIG George’s conclusions in the letter were:

            Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were. “Progressives” did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.”

            Once again, these are your conclusions. As evidence that IG George never wrote anything like the above, the following are results of a search of the subject letter:

            ‘conclude/conclusion’ – one match:

            “TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny – specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report.”

            “conservative’ — two matches:

            “TIGTA did not make any characterizations of any organizations in its audit report as conservative or liberal and believes it would be inappropriate for a nonpartisan Inspector General to make such judgments.”

            “When I testified, I attempted to convey that our report did not characterize organizations as conservative or liberal and I believe it would be inappropriate for a nonpartisan Inspector General to make such judgments.”

            ‘target’ — four matches:

            “TIGTA’s audit report focused on criteria being used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the period of May 2010 through May 2012 regarding allegations that certain groups applying for tax-exempt status were being targeted.”

            “The focus of our audit was on whether the IRS: 1) targeted specific groups applying for tax-exempt status, 2) delayed processing of targeted groups’ applications, and 3) requested unnecessary information from targeted groups.”

            IG George was pointedly careful to not characterize the politics of these organizations, yet you continue to believe that he drew conclusions related to their politics.

            You can do better.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            con·clu·sion
            [kuhn-kloo-zhuhn]
            a result, issue, or outcome; settlement or arrangement

            Is it your opinion that there was no result or outcome from the TIG’s audit, or are you simply nitpicking once again over synonyms?

            Hennorama [ T R E E S ] forest

            In your opinion, did the IRS treat conservative groups and progressive/liberal groups equally?

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            2nd question first: as I am not privy to all of the facts, I have insufficient evidence upon which to base an opinion. I agree with the TIGTA report, which stated “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention.”

            COMMENT: You have not addressed the fact that you continue to discuss the small number of applications with names that include various politiical-sounding terms, nor have you addressed the assumptions that various specific words in a name means the organization holds a particular political view. For example, some number of these applicants may be named “We Hate The Tea Party,” or “Patriots For The Affordable Care Act,” or “9/12: The 2nd Day Of The Apocalypse,” or “Progressive Conservatives For America’s Future,” or similar.

            1st question second: you can’t seriously contend that the definition you gave for the word “conclusion” is what you meant, rather than “a reasoned judgment.” As such, your question, IMO, is nonsensical.

            As stated above, I agree with the TIGTA report’s finding, that inappropriate criteria were used to identify applicants to be reviewed.

          • OnPointComments

            The definition of conclusion that I gave you is exactly what I meant.

            In TIG George’s letter to Rep. Levin, George states “TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny- specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report [which are the conservative organizations with names like Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12 project]…we did not find evidence that the criteria you identified, labeled “Progressives,” were used by the IRS to select potential political cases.” How can this be interpreted other than progressives were not targeted as conservatives were? George also stated in his letter that Progressives did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.

            In my opinion, organization names that include Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12 project are most likely conservative organizations, and those that include “Progressives” are most likely liberal organizations. I’m not the only one of this opinion; Rep. Levin’s letter to the TIG stated “Further, as described in my initial letter, the audit failed to acknowledge that the term “progressives” was used on the BOLOs, and failed to acknowledge that liberal groups were among the 298 applications that you reviewed for the audit.” When Rep. Levin asked about progressives, both he and I knew he was talking about liberal groups.

          • hennorama

            OPC – Thank you again for your response.

            Your errors continue to pile up.

            You wrote, “George also stated in his letter that Progressives did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.”

            This is incorrect. Quoting “his letter” (emphasis added):

            The “Progressives” criteria appeared on a section of the “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled “Historical,” and, unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria.

            Again, you’ve attributed words to IG George that he did not write.

            You also seem unable to distinguish between the terms Progressive and Liberal. They are not equivalent terms. Not all Progressives are Liberals, and not all Liberals are Progressives.

            As to Sen. Levin, his 2nd letter mentioned “progressives” and “liberal groups” separately, recognizing that these are not equivalent terms. That speaks for itself.

            In the very same letter, Rep. Levin also recognizes differences between other groups, as follows:

            There is no mention of your audit being limited to only one political side—Tea Party and conservative organizations.

            See:
            http://democrats.waysandmeans.house.gov/press-release/levin-presses-tigta-claim-it-narrowly-focused-tea-party-issa%E2%80%99s-direction

            Perhaps an article from heritage.org will be both acceptable and educational:

            http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/progressivism-and-liberalism

            Or, from a source you might not accept:

            http://www.politicususa.com/2013/06/15/liberals-progressives-difference-matters.html

            ==========
            OK, I’ll play along with you about your definition of “conclusion.”

            Let’s do a simple Find and Replace exercise, using the portion of your post including the word “conclusion.” I’ll first replace “conclusion” with your definition, then replace it with the definition I specified:

            Your original words (emphasis added):

            “TIG George’s conclusions in the letter were: Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were. “Progressives” did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.”

            Your words, after replacing “conclusion” with your definition:

            “TIG George’s results, issues, or outcomes; settlements or arrangements in the letter were: Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were. “Progressives” did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.”

            Your words, after replacing “conclusion” with the definition I specified:

            “TIG George’s reasoned judgments in the letter were: Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were. “Progressives” did not appear on a list until August 2010, and unlike conservative organizations, the “Progressive” criteria did not include instructions on how to refer progressive cases for extra scrutiny.”

            That speaks for itself, wouldn’t you agree?

            I’d ask you for your definition of the word “conclude,” but I doubt it would be worth the time.
            ==========

            One notes (again) that your bracketed explanatory words (“[which are the conservative organizations with names like Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12 project].”) are based on an assumption/opinion that organizations that included the three terms you listed are “conservative.”

            Your explanatory words (again) are words which IG George did not write.

            In marked contrast, IG George very pointedly stated (twice) that ““TIGTA did not make any characterizations of any organizations in its audit report as conservative or liberal and believes it would be inappropriate for a nonpartisan Inspector General to make such judgments.”

            One also notes that your explanatory words did not include all of the “the criteria listed in our [TIGTA's] audit report.”

            From the TIGTA report, pages 5, 6, 7, 9, and Appendix VI, respectively:

            Results of Review

            The Determinations Unit Used Inappropriate Criteria to IdentifyPotential Political Cases

            The Determinations Unit developed and used inappropriate criteria to identify applications from organizations with the words Tea Party in their names. These applications (hereafter referred to as potential political cases)13 were forwarded to a team of specialists14 for review. Subsequently, the Determinations Unit expanded the criteria to inappropriately include organizations with other specific names (Patriots and 9/12) or policy positions.

            Figure 3: Criteria for Potential Political Cases (June 2011)

            “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” is referenced in the case file

            Issues include government spending, government debt or taxes

            Education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to “make America a better place to live”

            Statement in the case file criticize how the country is being run

            In July 2011, the criteria were changed to focus on the potential “political, lobbying, or [general] advocacy” activities of the organization. These criteria were an improvement over using organization names and policy positions. However, the team of specialists subsequently changed the criteria in January 2012 without executive approval because they believed the July 2011 criteria were too broad. The January 2012 criteria again

            focused on the policy positions of organizations instead of tax-exempt laws and Treasury Regulations. After three months, the Director, Rulings and Agreements, learned the criteria had been changed by the team of specialists and subsequently revised the criteria again in May 2012. (See Appendix VI for a complete timeline of criteria used to identify potential political cases).

            In May 2012, the Director, Rulings and Agreements, approved the current criteria for identifying

            potential political cases. The criteria are “501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 501(c)(5), and 501(c)(6) organizations with indicators of significant amounts of political campaign intervention….”

            March–April 2010 The Determinations Unit began searching for other requests for tax exemption involving the Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12, and I.R.C. § 501(c)(4) applications involving political sounding names, e.g., “We the People” or “Take Back the Country.”

            January 2012 Criteria changed to “Political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding government, educating on the constitution and bill of rights, social economic reform/movement” based on Determinations Unit concerns that the July 2011 criteria was too generic.

            Source (again):

            http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/700723-treasury-inspector-general-for-tax.html

            Seriously, you can do better.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • OnPointComments

            From TIG George’s letter to Rep. Levin and the TIG audit report:

            Page 2, 2nd full paragraph after 1st bullet point:

            The inappropriate criteria used to select potential political cases for review did not include the term “Progressives.” The term “Progressives” appears, beginning in August 2010, in a separate section of the BOLO listings that was labeled “TAG [Touch and Go] Historical” or “Potential Abusive Historical.”

            QUESTION 1: IN YOUR OPINION, DOES THE PRECEDING STATEMENT MEAN THAT THE TERM “PROGRESSIVES” DID NOT APPEAR ON A LIST UNTIL AUGUST 2010?

            Page 1, paragraph 2:

            TIGTA concluded that inappropriate criteria were used to identify potential political cases for extra scrutiny – specifically, the criteria listed in our audit report.

            From the TIG audit report, page 6, Figure 3: Criteria for Potential Political Cases (June 2011):

            “Tea Party,” “Patriots” or “9/12 Project” is referenced in the file; Issues include government spending, government debt or taxes; Education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to “make America a better place to live;” Statement in the case file criticize how the country is being run

            QUESTION 2: DO THE PRECEDING TWO STATEMENTS INDICATE THAT THE CASES IDENTIFIED FOR EXTRA SCRUTINY WERE THOSE WITH “TEA PARTY,” “PATRIOTS” OR “9/12 PROJECT” REFERENCED IN THE FILE; ISSUES INCLUDE GOVERNMENT SPENDING, GOVERNMENT DEBT OR TAXES; EDUCATION OF THE PUBLIC BY ADVOCACY/LOBBYING TO “MAKE AMERICA A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE;” OR STATEMENT IN THE CASE FILE CRITICIZE HOW THE COUNTRY IS BEING RUN?

            Page 1, paragraph 2:

            The “Progressives” criteria appeared on a section of the “Be On the Look Out” (BOLO) spreadsheet labeled “Historical,” and, unlike other BOLO entries, did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria. While we have multiple sources of information corroborating the use of Tea Party and other related criteria we described in our report, including employee interviews, e-mails, and other documents, we found no indication in any of these other materials that “Progressives” was a term used to refer cases for scrutiny for political campaign intervention.

            QUESTION 3: DOES THE PRECEDING STATEMENT INDICATE THAT THE “PROGRESSIVES” CRITERIA DID NOT INCLUDE INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO REFER CASES, AND THAT THE TIG FOUND NO INDICATION IN ANY OF THESE OTHER MATERIALS THAT “PROGRESSIVES” WAS A TERM USED TO REFER CASES FOR SCRUTINY FOR POLITICAL CAMPAIGN INTERVENTION?
            * * * * *
            “TIG George’s results in the letter were: Progressives were not targeted as conservatives were…” It makes sense to me.

            I suspect that you are one of the few people in the country who doesn’t know whether “Tea Party” groups are conservative or liberal.

          • pete18

            (TREES) forest, well done!

        • HonestDebate1

          And nobody is denied their fifth amendment rights simply by being forth coming.

  • HonestDebate1
  • OnPointComments

    It is ironic to hear these nonrepentant liberals say that the IRS targeting problem occurred in 2010 because of a regulation that was written during the Eisenhower administration over 50 years ago. The regulation worked fine for 50 years, then all of a sudden these excuse-making liberals are so, so concerned that the letter of the law as originally written wasn’t being followed [correction -- it wasn't 'all of a sudden,' it was only after the IRS got caught doing exactly what they and the President wanted the IRS to do].

    The irony is heightened because these are the same liberals who have no problem — none — with President Obama changing the letter of the law to suit his personal whims, and to help scrambling Democrats with the 2014 election. How many changes has President Obama unilaterally made to Obamacare? Should President Obama follow the letter of the law too? Or is Obamacare one of those laws of which Attorney General Eric Holder says enforcement is optional?

    • pete18

      The Detroit news on that particular abuse of power:

      “While it may be politically expedient,
      rewriting a law passed by Congress simply to avoid ballot box consequences is an outrageous abuse of executive power.

      Officially, the administration explains the
      delay in requiring all policies to meet minimum coverage standards is designed to give consumers greater flexibility in their insurance
      choices — but just for an additional year.

      It doesn’t say it will use the time to reconsider those mandates or to fix Obamacare’s many flaws, nor did it cite the need for more time to implement the law.

      The clear intent is to spare Democrats from the outrage that will come when consumers are notified that they’re either losing their policies because they don’t
      meet the standards, or their premiums are soaring.

      The president continues to defend Obamacare as a grand benefit for the nation.But neither he nor his fellow Democrats are willing to make that case to voters.

      Recall that the law was written to delay the steep premium hikes and policy cancellations until the fall of 2013, conveniently after Obama’s
      reelection campaign.”

      From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140307/OPINION01/303070001#ixzz2vYS2BxfY

    • Don_B1

      The “problem” only appeared in 2010 because that was when the Citizens United decision opened the floodgates for political groups searching for ways to save their contributors money and also prevent their names from being public.

      As I have described this previously when this “problem was claimed,” when the hood is lifted, the drivers for the problem can be seen. But the trolls on this website just do what trolls do, repeat zombie false claims repeatedly.

      • OnPointComments

        How did the Citizens United decision save their contributors money? Contributions to 501(c)(4)s are not tax deductible.

      • hennorama

        Don_B1 – one also must consider that the Jan 21, 2010 Citizens United decision was a bit of a surprise, as it overturned decades of precedents, making it likely that the IRS was unprepared for the impact of the decision.

        When one looks at the timeline of events in the TIGTA report (Appendix VI and Appendix VII), one sees that activity began in February 2010. Unfortunately, the report redacted a description of the February event because it contains “Tax Return/Return Information,” but the implication from subsequent descriptions is that there was something “involving the Tea Party, Patriots, 9/12, and … political sounding names, e.g., “We the People” or “Take Back the Country.”

        On or about March 1, 2010, exactly ONE “specialist [was asked] to search for other Tea Party or similar organizations’ applications in order to determine the scope of the issue.” (BTW, the TIGTA report repeatedly refers to a “team of specialists,” despite having found (per Footnote 14) that “Initially, the team consisted of one specialist, but it was expanded to several specialists in December 2011.”)

        Soon thereafter, “Determinations Unit personnel indicated that they used the description Tea Party as a shorthand way of referring to the group of cases involving political campaign intervention rather than to target any particular group.”

        In mid-March, 2010, “Ten Tea Party cases were identified. Not all of the ten cases had Tea Party in their names.” It seems that those working these cases realized that they were dealing with sensitive topics, since in early April 2010, “The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager agreed.” Shortly thereafter, “The first Sensitive Case Report was prepared by the Technical Unit.”

        It seems clear that they really weren’t prepared for and didn’t know what to do with these applications, and that the process got out of control as more and more people got involved.

        Source:
        http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/700723-treasury-inspector-general-for-tax.html

  • OnPointComments

    What country are you living in? It is frequently mentioned that President Obama has changed the Obamacare law, among others.

    Changes to Obamacare by administrative action:

    1. Congressional opt-out
    2. Delaying the individual mandate
    3. Employer-mandate delay
    4. Self-attestation
    5. Small businesses on hold
    6. Closing the high-risk pool
    7. Medicare Advantage patch
    8. Employee reporting
    9. Doubling allowed deductibles
    10. Delaying a low-income plan
    11. Allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.

    Constitutional violations by the Obama administration:

    1. Bombing Libya without congressional approval
    2. Making illegal recess appointments
    3. Refusing to enforce immigration laws
    4. Enacting his own version of the Dream Act
    5. Rejection of Voter ID statutes already approved by the Supreme Court
    6. Changing the work requirement for welfare passed by Congress

    Under our constitution, the legislative branch makes the laws, not the executive branch.

  • marygrav

    In your embed code, you only give the new code. Why not give to old code as well? Equal opportunity should be the byword.

  • OnPointComments

    “I’ve reviewed the Treasury Department watchdog’s report, and the misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable. It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives.” –President Obama

    • pete18

      Well, we all know he’s a liar so clearly Dre is on to something.

  • OnPointComments

    Do irony and hypocrisy always go hand in hand?

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, an ardent supporter of the government agencies’ warrantless gathering of billions of records of everyday Americans, is upset that a government agency may have gathered records from another government agency.

    All that was missing from her statement was “I meant it’s OK for the government to get your records, the records of the unwashed masses, not the records of the elites in Washington.”

  • pete18

    Nothing to see here, it’s all a phony scandal, Lerner taking the fifth shouldn’t be cause to draw any suspicious conclusions, this is just the Republicans, Darrell Issa, Fox News and the Koch Brothers trying to prevent Obama from saving America: http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2014/03/house-releases-.html

    • hennorama

      pete18 — the report is a “STAFF REPORT.”

      A couple of questions for you:

      Who exactly are the “STAFF”?
      Have you read the entire report, including the 93 Appendixes?

      • pete18

        You are the master of the irrelevant question. The staff works for the committee and writes the report.

        I have only read the summary, which is pretty devastating and would make any fair minded person concerned about what Learner the IRS, and possibly the Obama administration have done.

        • hennorama

          pete18 — TYFYR.

          The point of my question as to who wrote the report is well-made by Rep. Elijah Cummings, per a WaPo piece online (emphasis added):

          Cummings criticized the Republican report in a statement on Tuesday, saying: “While there is certainly evidence of mismanagement at the IRS, this partisan Republican staff report identifies absolutely no evidence to support the central Republican allegations in this investigation — that the White House directed this activity or that it was politically motivated.”

          See:

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/federal-eye/wp/2014/03/11/house-republicans-slam-lois-lerner-in-report-on-irs-targeting/

          Thanks again for your response.

          • pete18

            Nonsense, Cummings predictably partisan statement overlooks the fact that the report includes e-mails between Lerner and other IRS employees, testimony from Learner, and testimony from head of the IRS Cincinnati office refuting Lerner’s assertion that the problems were all about a “local office,” among many others, all of which support the committee’s allegations.

          • hennorama

            pete18 — thank you for your opinion.

            Are you even slightly curious as to who wrote the report? Do you think it matters which “STAFF” members were involved, and whether or not they are partisan?

          • pete18

            I make the assumption that since the committee has more republicans than democrats that the report, whether written jointly or by one side, would be biased to some degree in their direction. That being said, none of that potential bias changes the substance of Learner’s e-mails, testimony, or the testimony of others that contradict her other statements. There is enough factual evidence there to prove, without question, that she lied to the committee during her previous testimony.

            There is also enough factual evidence to strongly suggest that there is something to the Republicans’ charges. That you would buy Cumming’s suggestion that there are no factual indications at all, and that this is nothing but a circus of pumped up political charges, suggests a lack of curiosity and fair-mindedness on your part.

            I think it is at least still possible to believe that she or the Obama administration are still innocent
            but to assert that there is no troubling evidence that warrants further investigation is, in my opinion, swimming in a sea of denial.

          • hennorama

            pete18 – thank you for your thoughtful response.

            It seems we have at least some level of agreement, that the “STAFF REPORT” in question “would be biased to some degree”. Good.

            However, Rep. Cummings’ statement did not, as you wrote, “assert that there is no troubling evidence that warrants further investigation.” Rather, the statement reads (with emphasis added), in part:

            “…this partisan Republican staff report identifies absolutely no evidence to support the central Republican allegations in this investigation — that the White House directed this activity or that it was politically motivated.

            As Rep. Cummings statement also said, and virtually no one disputes, “…there is certainly evidence of mismanagement at the IRS…”

            It’s also pretty much without dispute that if the House Oversight Committee really wanted to investigate these matters, and to find out what really happened, they would simply grant Ms. Lerner immunity. Since that has not happened, one must wonder what the actual purpose of all of these hearings and investigations is – to find out what happened, or to give political fodder to the Republican electorate. The latter seems more likely.

            IMO, the “Executive Summary” (which you have indicated is the only part you have read) is a bit more than “biased to some degree.” It’s also inaccurate. Let’s look at the some of the wording in one paragraph, and a few of the statements made therein (emphasis added):

            Paragraph 2:

            “On May 12, 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released a report that found that the Exempt Organizations (EO) division of the IRS inappropriately targeted “Tea Party” and other conservative applicants for tax-exempt status and subjected them to heightened scrutiny.[3] This additional scrutiny resulted in extended delays that, in most cases, sidelined applicants during the 2012 election cycle, in spite of their Constitutional right to participate. Meanwhile, the majority of liberal and left-leaning 501(c)(4) applicants won approval.[4]

            COMMENT:

            Quoting from the TIGTA report:

            WHAT TIGTA FOUND

            “The IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention. Ineffective management:

            1) allowed inappropriate criteria to be developed and stay in place for more than 18 months,

            2) resulted in substantial delays in processing certain applications, and

            3) allowed unnecessary information requests to be issued.

            Although the processing of some applications with potential significant political campaign intervention was started soon after receipt, no work was completed on the majority of these applications for 13 months. This was due to delays in receiving assistance from the Exempt Organizations function Headquarters office. For the 296 total political campaign intervention applications TIGTA reviewed as of December 17, 2012, 108 had been approved, 28 were withdrawn by the applicant, none had been denied, and 160 were open from 206 to 1,138 calendar days (some for more than three years and crossing two election cycles).

            More than 20 months after the initial case was identified, processing the cases began in earnest. Many organizations received requests for additional information from the IRS that included unnecessary, burdensome questions (e.g., lists of past and future donors). The IRS later informed some organizations that they did not need to provide previously requested information. IRS officials stated that any donor information received in response to a request from its Determinations Unit was later destroyed.

            ==========

            As you can see, the TIGTA report did not “[find] that the Exempt Organizations (EO) division of the IRS inappropriately targeted” any applicant.

            In fact, the TIGTA report did not use the word “target,” except to describe the allegations that were made and TIGTA’s objectives, and also in one of the “Additional Details” in Appendix VII Comprehensive Timeline of Events, thusly:

            Determinations Unit personnel indicated that they used the description Tea Party as a shorthand way of referring to the group of cases involving political campaign intervention rather than to target any particular group. The specialist used Tea Party, Patriots, and 9/12 as part of the criteria for these searches.

            That “Additional Detail” is contrary to the entire idea of so-called “targeting.”

            In addition, the TIGTA report did not use the words “heightened” and “scrutiny” at all. As in, following a search for each of the words, this notice appears: “[Adobe] Reader has finished searching the document. No matches were found.” In contrast, “scrutiny” was used 15 times, and “heightened” was used four times, in the subject “Executive Summary” alone.

            Instead of “scrutiny,” the TIGTA report used the word “review.” In fact, “review” appears in the report, in various forms, more than 150 times.

            There are myriad possible reasons as to why one might use “scrutiny” in place of “review.” Perhaps it has been focus-grouped, and was found to have a more negative connotation. Perhaps the “STAFF” members who wrote the subject report have a legal background, and understand the legal differences between “review” and scrutiny.” The former seems more likely.

            It doesn’t really matter why this language was used; the fact remains that the TIGTA report did not “find targeting” and never used the words “heightened” and “scrutiny.”

            (For more on the legal term “scrutiny,” see:

            http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Strict+Scrutiny
            http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Breakdown+in+the+levels+of+scrutiny.-a019235623 )

            ==========

            I realize that some think that it’s perfectly fine to interpret the language in the TIGTA report and other items (such as a letter from Inspector General J. Russell George to Rep. Sander Levin) loosely, but this is a rather important matter, and in my view, precision and accuracy matter.

            The TIGTA report can be accessed here:

            http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/700723-treasury-inspector-general-for-tax.html

            Thanks again for your thoughtful response.

  • hennorama

    While researching something else (isn’t that always the way?), I found this “political typology” quiz from the Pew Research Center:

    http://www.people-press.org/typology/quiz/?src=typology-report

    • Bruce94

      Thanks for providing this. I found it an interesting exercise. Some of the questions did not lend themselves to a Y/N response, so I skipped them along with the demographic info. requested. My result was, nevertheless, as I predicted. Curious as what proportion of respondents have been classified as “Disaffecteds” or ‘Bystanders”–maybe the result of Citizens United, too much money in politics and/or a calculated, cynical campaign by the far-right to oppose and obstruct every bipartisan legislative initiative that’s offered up.

      • hennorama

        Bruce94 — you’re welcome. I’m glad you found it interesting.

        Each of the “Typology Group Profiles” comprise a segment ranging from 9 to 14 percent “of the public,” according to Pew. On the left side of the results page, you can select each Group, to both see the size of the Group, and how it compare to the “General Public.”

        Have fun!

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