Posts Tagged ‘IRS SCANDAL’

h1

IRS SCANDAL-a non issue; DARRELL ISSA-a very scary issue

June 25, 2013

More is revealed in the “IRS Scandal”.  Other groups including many Democratic “Progressive” groups were also included in the key word search….but were just not included in the Republican complaints.

Seems to me we have TWO issues here.  The first is the need to alter the wording of the non-profit regulations so that to qualify for tax exempt status one is prohibited from all political activity- as outlined in the original law passed.  That was changed in a looser Congressional amendment to require instead, that political activity cannot be the “primary” activity of these non-profits.  And therein is the rub.  Define primary.  Define based not only on measurable dollars expended, but time expended as well.  Define how to measure that without bias.  You have now just joined the IRS agent in the world of opinion and doubt. 

FIX the Law; return it to its original state…not only will the US benefit by a lot more tax revenue, but lives of the agents at the IRS will be significantly simplified – especially in view the exceedingly high number of  requests for tax-exempt status were requested in 2012.   Some “influencers” will lose a free ride.  So be it.

But the second issue is probably more serious.  Republican “witch-hunting” seemingly led by Issa.

As a child in the 50s, I was more afraid of Senator McCarthy than the communists he was accusing everyone of being.  All through my school years, he remained my choice of topics for term papers, research papers and similar as I struggled to understand how we as a country could have been so influenced by a crazy man’s rantings and irrational fears.  The long arm of McCarthy went way beyond the government as he attacked every public figure he didn’t like including a great many of the Hollywood crowd.  Not long ago, I went to a play at the Guthrie that focused on this very issue.  It rattled me as much as it did as a child and a student.

And, as much as Congressman Darrell  Issa rattles me today.

 

h1

MESSAGE TO MIKE LEE, R-Utah re IMMIGRATION

June 17, 2013

Your charge that (the Immigration Reform Bill) “grants broad new power to the same executive branch that today is mired in scandal for incompetence and abuse of power” needs a little editing at the very least so let’s look at the current status of all those scandals and mismanagement:

BENGHAZI INCIDENT ITSELF: 

So far, the only emerging suggestion for improvement is better security.  No one doubts that it was asked for prior to the night of violence, but let’s talk about who bears responsibility for denying the Administration’s request for funding to do that? I think it was the REPUBLICANS.  Maybe you should examine why that was.

BENGHAZI TALKING POINTS:

So we can’t find a concrete issue there  that is wholly owned by the Administration, so let’s switch to a five minute update on Meet the Press from a person sitting in for the Obama Administration reading talking points not prepared by her.  First you all chose to try to crucify her- knowing full well she was not involved; and now  enough evidence has been forthcoming to show that both Republican and Democratic members of the Obama Administration were involved in making decisions to capture a point in time in the talking points that was no longer accurate by the Sunday viewing of Meet the Press.  Once the facts were on the table in written proof, the noise on this faded….except for “Benghazi is a scandaland we are not through with this yet” When might you think it will be over?  It’s been weeks since you all have raged on this topic….you must still be looking for WHAT the scandal is that has upset you so.

THE IRS SCANDAL

I admit, it made my stomach drop when I first heard this.  Just as you all planned, the IRS is easy to be fearful of and therefore suspicious of,  I guess.  But once we learned the hyped “scandal” originated not with Obama, but with a conservative Republican employee just trying to do his job who sent the first file (that coincidently just happened to be a Tea Party organization) to IRS legal in Washington for further clarification on whether their actions were explicitly within the law. 

Unfortunately, legal counsel for all IRS resides in Washington so what a bonus to the scandal mongers.  This poor guy just trying to do his job the best he could had just created the perfect opportunity for the rest of you to cry scandal; why, the direction came from “Washington”!  Did you check the facts or did you all manipulate this on purpose to play on the average US citizen’s mistrust of all of you in Washington?

And now we even know what Washington told him…NOT to search for more of these, but if you do see more, let us know.

Back in Cincinnati, this poor little guy just trying to do his job the best he could amidst the flood of requests for non-profit status and with the absence of adequate number of  IRS employees to assist, made himself a list of buzz words to help him recognize cases that IRS legal wanted flagged for further review.  I call that conscientious; you call it a scandal.

I think the scandal occurred long before and  when the clerk ran a search expecting to quickly identify and process the few more that may be waiting in the stacks surrounding him, it surfaced.  His search uncovered a deluge – totally by accident- of political activists trying to skirt the law and requesting non- profit status . Too bad, so sad; they were all Republican-based.

Now whose fault was that again?  I simply cannot, try as I may, make the connection to Barack Obama.

THE “INVASIVE SPYING on CITIZENS by NSA” SCANDAL

We’ve looked at this backwards and forwards; in and out and upside down in the last days since this came to the surface. Oh yes, you mean the one the Bush Administration put in place after they were stopped from  actually eves-dropping  and wiretapping  at will without a court order?

Yes indeed, the one that Obama opposed at the time; still opposed when he ran for President in 2008, and slowly learned through 2009, that it was not as simple as he thought to get rid of ?   The one his staff (including those that were Republican carry-overs) convinced him he had to leave in place?  Oh yes, the one he said as this scandal broke he would WELCOME further debate on to find a better way? 

Ah yes, the one that has Congressional Oversight (and was just renewed by Congress)as well as Judicial Control?

That posturing does not even deserve my time. Look in the mirror for the guilty.

MISCELLANEOUS

And then we have the Press Scandal issue. Because it is the press, it seems there has been an unwillingness to share facts, or maybe the facts aren’t there- I don’t know, so for argument’s sake, let’s leave that one on the table until we know something concrete. 

That will give you more time to keep searching.  You thought Benghazi would be the strategy to pen in Hillary, but that did not work; now we have new issues…..not unique to Hillary… of bad moral behavior of her secret service guys.  They made the news, but aren’t exactly NEW news, so I am not sure that did the trick to turn the tide. 

Really guys, it needs to be something more subtle…Hillary survived 8 years of you the first time around; she has survived 4 years of you this time around…you are not going to be the influencing difference in whether she runs or not.  I know, if she runs, you lose.  But have you ever thought shouting scandal from the rooftops over the ants on the dinner table may be enough in itself to ensure you are not qualified as a party to take up residence in the White House?

BACK TO IMMIGRATION REFORM

All that aside, Immigration reform is needed for the country, for the immigrants and certainly for the Republican Party.  What about your lack of support in the last election do you not understand?.  Oh yes, got it.  That was before you started the scandal campaign that is working so well.

I’m thinking you all would be better served spending time looking in the mirror, identifying weaknesses, and misconnects with the American people. So far, looking for the Elmer Gantry in your midst that can “save” your party with soap box rhetoric is not working. 

And there is no doubt you all are not Shakespeare, so continuing to make “Much Ado About Nothing” is not the answer to moving the country forward.

 

h1

THOUGHTS FROM MY DESK

June 12, 2013

UNIVERSITY CAMPUS AND SURROUNDS
Yesterday I was a bit early for a meeting with the National Park Service folk at Dunn’s on East Bank at University and 6th, so had a bit of time for people-watching.
One of the staff was first to catch my eye…turquoise, black, and white stripped dress…skirt at mid- thigh, top with deep V neckline in back revealing undergarments half way down her back-without a care in the world….an emerald short shorts clad young lady came in paired with a guy in salmon skinny jeans and matching plaid shirt…two determined couples on the front sidewalk were pretending the sun was out and refused to move in spite of the rain…lots of singles with computers and smart phones, working away – or chatting on-line…
As I looked around, I also noticed a great mix of cultures and a spattering of gray-hairs….which brought me back to reality.
Just like in my day, the UM campus and its surrounds reflects the times and welcomes all.
And isn’t that the way it SHOULD be?!!!!
THE WEATHER
I keep reminding myself that JUNE as “Happy Summer” is a figment of our imagination and of a 20th century marketing campaign aimed at the bridal market. For years and years, I have scoffed at the concept of the June Bride-wondering why they didn’t move to September when weather would be better…knowing full well we have only a 50-50 chance of nice weather in June. Every year, an unrealistic dream of “June” gives us the motivation to keep moving forward from January to Memorial Day weekend when “it will change”. But when I look back, I recognize that half the time, I have been disappointed! BUT…surely this is the WORST in memory. (Or do we say that every year, and conveniently forget?!!)
Once again, I can barely see the Stone Arch Bridge…35W and all points beyond including the University campus and Saint Paul are totally obliterated from view. Even the Water Lab on Hennepin Island looks like a ghost out there in the river someplace. This is not healthy-I guess I will have to do a skyway walk for my daily outing- even though I will feel like a rat in a maze! But maybe being grumpy about the skyways will also distract me from the fact that all this rain increases the tick population and for some reason, keeps them around later in the season. My worst summer nightmare come true.
IRS TARGETING SCANDAL OR A CHILD’S GAME OF “TELEPHONE”Each day we learn more details on all the “scandals” that have erupted lately, but today’s update on the IRS Targeting certainly gave me some food for thought.
It appears that the “IRS Scandal” began with a conservative Republican IRS worker in Cincinnati. As he sat quietly doing his job, processing requests for tax-exempt status, he reviewed a case that seemed gray, not black or white-due to its level of political activity. So he sent it along to Washington to get help and council on whether this particular case did indeed qualify for tax-exempt status.
He got his answer and the Washington manager asked him to flag any similar cases he found for additional review. Note he was not instructed to search for similar cases; merely to flag for additional review.
And here is where it gets tricky. The conscientious employee then developed a list of “key words/terms” as a guide to assist him in efficiently complying with his supervisor’s request to flag similar situations. When he tested that list, he did not just get a few matches, he received HUNDREDS of matches and thereby inadvertently stumbled on fraudulent activity that was not even suspected nor on the radar as part of his job responsibility.
YES, hundreds of new organizations looking for tax exempt status despite an over-abundance of political activity within each –a ratio that made them ineligible for tax-exempt status and at the same time signaled a concern…were these companies committing fraud as they masked their purpose to escape paying taxes?
Not a scandal, an accidental discovery of fraudulent activity against our government and country.
Reading this, I think this a good example –not of IRS Targeting- but of adults playing that childhood “telephone” game…remember the one that taught us how a message changed as it was passed from kid to kid around the circle?
I could not help but laugh when I learned that this spying on the Tea Party was not initiated by an evil Democrat in the Obama Administration but by a conservative Republican IRS worker – just trying to efficiently do his job.
Yes indeed, truth is often stranger than fiction!
But isn’t that a function of free press…to sort through it all and preserve the facts – NOT fuel the assumptions and misunderstandings? One can understand the posturing of the opposing political party, but I for one am raising an eyebrow at the press. What was their motivation to accept at face value and blow it up, rather than dig for the truth?