5/10/2013

Even the Washington Post has a devastating discussion of the IRS targeting conservative nonprofits

Well, with Obama's Benghazi coverup being compared to Watergate (only with deaths), Obama apparently felt that he had to out do Nixon on abusing the IRS.  Here are some of the points gleaned from a piece by the Washington Post.
IRS officials claimed that there was no political bias behind the targeting of these conservative groups, but they failed to produce any examples of similar targeting of groups with non-conservative-sounding names. . . . Lerner wouldn’t say whether anyone is being disciplined, then appeared to say there was no disciplinary action, then went back to saying she wouldn’t comment. . . . Lerner said she disclosed the information because someone asked her about it Friday morning — indicating that she had no plans to release the information publicly, despite the confirmed wrongdoing. . . . When asked how they found out about the wrongdoing, Lerner said the investigation stemmed from media reports about conservative groups claiming that they were targeted, not from any internal review. . . . 
UPDATE: Unfortunately, other recent concerns about IRS abuses of power have been arising.
The American Civil Liberties Union released documents in April showing that investigators in the IRS criminal tax division believed the agency could access emails and text messages without a warrant. Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.), the chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee, demanded answers from acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller on how many emails were accessed and why. . . . 
UPDATE2: Politico has a somewhat less critical discussion.  If Shulman didn't know about this problem, the question is why Lerner or these other "senior" IRS appointees didn't tell Shulman about it.
low level employees in the IRS’ Cincinnati office began flagging conservative groups as early as 2010, according to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Lois Lerner, who directs the agency’s tax exempt groups unit, said applications were scrutinized if they included words such as “patriot” or “tea party.” . . . 
Lerner has so far declined to say when she first learned of the targeting practice and told reporters on Friday she didn’t remember when she notified her bosses.
But a TIGTA report due out this week will say that senior IRS officials knew about the activities as early as 2011. That would seem to contradict testimony then-IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman provided to Congress in 2012 when he told lawmakers that the agency wasn’t providing extra scrutiny to groups because of their political affiliations. . . .
UPDATE3: Even Susan Collins was very upset Obama's response to the IRS abuse.
. . . "I think it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out," Collins said. "His spokesman has said that it should be investigated, but the president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America."Collins said on CNN's "State of the Union" that "it is absolutely chilling" for the IRS to target political groups.The tax agency acknowledged Friday that it had singled out groups with "Tea Party" or "Patriot" in their names for additional scrutiny of their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed the actions on a small group of employees.
"I just don't buy that this is a couple of rogue IRS employees," Collins said. . . . 

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