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April 19, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

IRS scandal bad for whole nation

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One of the latest scandals out of Washington deals with the Internal Revenue Service willfully targeting conservative groups for audits and inquiries. This is a practice that the IRS and its leaders vehemently denied for several years.

Several media outlets reported, and subsequently confirmed, that the timing of the IRS admission of wrongdoing coincides with the fact that the IRS management received an advance draft report, for comment, from the Treasury Department’s inspector general, J. Russell George.

We are learning as copies of the draft report are leaked to news organizations that the report is scathing to the IRS and its management.

To his credit, Mr. George did not allow politics and political correctness to interfere, curtail or suppress him and his staff with the investigation and the issuance of the inspector general’s report. His office did its job and did it well. Three cheers for the inspector general.

Where this will all end, we don’t yet know. But based on history, it won’t be good for the country, the people and the president.

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  1. Carmine is obviously correct. The deeply ingrained culture of corruption and intimidation prevailing in the Obama administration is finally revealing itself as a parade of scandals unfold.Even Obama's most ardent supporters are finally turning against him. The arrogance and insensitivity of Obama,his handlers, hand picked officials and staffers to existing laws and the constitutional rights of Americans have been the hallmark of his rein of power.

    The bloated Obama government when combined with Obama's reckless political ambitions,his natural instinct for retaliation and revenge and the supression of dissent by anyone and everyone, has lead to a government wide culture in which governing values and practices are marked by extreme political bias,corruption and clear overeaches of power. The behavior of the rank and file clearly mirror the values and behavior of the chief executive.

  2. Summaries of the inspector general's report lead me to believe the IRS action had less to do with politics and more to do with incompetence. The best information I've found is from NPR.

  3. In my opinion, both Carmine's letter and Bradley's response are a reflection of how much 'politics' has infected everything in our once great country.

    I highly doubt if President Obama had any direct connection to or knowledge of what the IRS did. To be involved or allow it to happen once he was aware would have been stupid and dangerous. It's possible of course but highly unlikely, but of course, many Americans on one side of the 'political' divide are sure that is exactly what happened, despite what might be there to argue other wise. Here, sadly, 'politics' trumps common sense and good judgment.

    Then we have the other side of the 'political' divide, represented by Bradley, Julian Bond and others. Mr. Bond saw nothing wrong with what was done because it is convenient for him to believe all Tea Party organizations and everyone in them are 'racist'. This despite the 'fact' that not every Tea Party member is a racist and the even more important 'fact' that even if it were true that every Tea Party member was a racist, under 'our' system, it would not be permissible to use the IRS against them. Again, sadly, 'politics' trumps common sense and good judgment.

    Our government is now so politicized that what is seen as necessary and acceptable to further a 'political' agenda now totally trumps what is right in all too many cases. The fact that many of us on one side will use any wrongdoing to try to paint everyone on the other side black and many on the opposite side will take an outright wrong and try to whitewash it with flimsy justifications really goes a long way toward explaining why our country is where it is. I hope we all wake up before it is too late.


  4. Carmine,

    Please accept my apologies. I confused what you wrote, which was relatively even handed with what HoustonJack concluded (which you may agree with) but used your name. My point is the same, however, that 'politics' is clouding everyone's judgment and causing us to jump to conclusions and or excuse obviously bad behavior.


  5. Bradley,

    Let's talk inconsistencies... for you and I. I am not outraged by the practice of water boarding people dedicated to murdering Americans, even though I know the practice is outlawed under US law, is morally questionable and is considered torture by many.

    You justify using the Internal Revenue Service to selectively target for investigation, Tea Party organizations, despite the fact you know that such a practice is illegal under US law, is morally and ethically questionable and is considered discrimination by many.

    I guess neither of us is exactly consistent in our views, are we? I guess that just makes us both human beings and not the despicable person you often portray me to be. Lighten up, Bradley...


  6. In the wake of "Citizens United" the IRS received numerous applications for 501[c][4] status from numerous organizations. Quite a large number used terminology in their names suggesting links to conservative Tea Party groups. The IRS rightly scrutinized all these groups for compliance with the law and regulations. Some were required to refile with more information, some were given provisional approval and some were approved outright. Only one was denied....a liberal women's group from Maine. Did the IRS single out potential abusers of the tax system....yes they did, that's their job, just like they would single out a rash of applications from Earth First or Citizens for Polygamy. Our financial and political systems are awash with scams...there are legitimate conservative organizations and there are those which are nothing more than money-churns which hide their donors and purposes. This "scandal" is nothing more than conservatives, and in the case of Mr. DiFazio, their shill, claiming to be victims. They lost, they hate the fact that they lost, they hate the fact that the United States is no longer the exclusive province of the conservative moneyed class and they will do anything to bring down the President. In my view many are engaged in illegal and un-American activities and should be investigated thoroughly.

  7. Tax-free status is not given to entities that engage in politics. Tax-exempt is for groups engaging in social welfare activities only.

    What happened to groups getting money from Karl Rove, Sheldon Adelson, etc, besides nothing? The IRS never once questioned a single Conservative Super-Pac.

    The real scandal is why didn't the $100-million dollar Conservative groups receive any oversight? Clearly, they do not comply with tax codes nor is the GOP taking note...

    The IRS had every right to question their motives and get truthful answers, including Karl Rove.

    This "scandal" is actually a One-Way scam. Another example of the waste of taxpayer time and money spent in Congress to support conservative groups who intentionally plan to evade the tax laws by engaging in pure politics and not a lick of social welfare.

  8. Chapline,

    Please let us know your professor's name...we will all contact him or her and stipulate that you should receive an A+ in your Creative Writing 101 class. Afterwards, please take a logic & reason course or perhaps a world history course.


  9. You clowns would blame Obama if a meteor struck this planet. Let's look behind the curtain and take a peek at a conspiracy drummed up by the radical right wing whack jobs. Talking heads are saying it's an impeachable offense and should be used against Obama.

    These are the facts:

    The years the Tea Party 501c tax exempt welfare programs were scrutinized were between 2009 and 2012.

    The commissioner of the IRS from 2008 to 2012 was Doug Shulman who was appointed by George W. Bush.

    The reason the IRS targeted Tea Parties for tax exemption applications was due to the decision made by the SCOTUS on Citizens United, which allowed huge secret donations.

    The IRS had a large number of applications for those new Tea Party run 501c welfare programs.

    The IRS was understaffed so they used short cuts to identify who was applying.

    Unfortunately the idea sucked and is inexcusable, however nothing done was criminal. It just took longer to receive tax exemption status.

    Why didn't those in the GOP/Tea Party whine and complain when the IRS targeted the NAACP and similar liberal organizations?

  10. Casler wrote this:
    "...I am not outraged by the practice of water boarding people dedicated to murdering Americans, even though I know the practice is outlawed under US law, is morally questionable and is considered torture by many..."
    It is torture and yields questionable at best information. To defend it is to ruin whatever reputation, character, and integrity you have Casler. No decent person should have anything to do with you or Bush, Cheney and all others who pushed for and smiled at the thought of humans being tortured.

  11. Hello Vernos,
    According to testimony this morning liberal groups were also affected by this. Funny that Faux News cut to commercial in the middle of this part of the testimony isn't it.

  12. Vernos said: 'Why didn't those in the GOP/Tea Party whine and complain when the IRS targeted the NAACP and similar liberal organizations?'

    That's the important part of what Vernos said. The 'fact' is that now, politics plays a major role in just about anything. Whenever it does and it comes to light, one side or the other is outraged, and the other side puts up a defense.

    This is what is wrong. When the NAACP was investigated, both liberal and conservatives should have been outraged, but only liberals were outraged and were sure that the NAACP was 'targeted' for no good reasons. Conservatives, many of whom think the NAACP is evil, thought that it should be 'targeted'.

    Now we have this situation and you have conservatives outraged and claiming intentional 'targeting' and you also have Julian Bond and some other liberals claiming that even if Tea Party groups were 'targeted', it's a good thing because these groups are evil Tea Party groups and 'should' be targeted.

    As Dick Enberg used to say on the old UCLA Basketball telecasts, 'OH My!....


    The library of Congress has 75,000 VOLUMES of congressional hearings since 1798. You wonder why very little gets done.

  14. Bradley,

    I hear from people that read what I write and come into my office to have documents prepared and from others that know me or know of me. I have also been written to privately via the SUN. From what I hear and read, my credibility seems to be surviving just fine, thank you. You disagree with me, which is fine and so do others, which is also fine.

    And I think that most people reading what you wrote might reasonably conclude that you don't really have much of a problem with what was done.

    Have a nice day....


  15. Future,

    I have no doubt that citizens united made more work for the IRS but I do have my doubts that all that was done by the IRS was done to improve efficiency. It is also troubling that the head IRS guy says he will find names of the people who did this and the people who ordered them to do this when we all know that the likelihood of him actually doing that is next to zero or is zero. It will be like Benghazi.

    It's frustrating because both parties stonewall like this when something goes wrong, whether the error was intentional or unintentional

    Then Congress spends huge amounts of taxpayer dollars to ask the wrong questions (as with Benghazi - instead of concentrating on the various memo's, they should concentrate on who decided not to provide increased security before the attack and why was that done, and who decided not to send help to the 4 who were killed and why was that decision made).

    This is all very dysfunctional yet Americans just sit and passively watch the same movie play over and over again, no matter what party has control of the 3 branches of government. Very sad...


  16. What ever happened to Benghazi that most Republicans have been trying to keep in the news as the ultimate cover-up? It looks like it has taken a backseat with the new IRS allegations,which the Republicans are trying to lay at the Presidents doorstep, and implying that he had direct involvement.

    With the huge loss that Republicans experienced in the last Presidential election.I guess they are grasping at straws and hope something sticks and they can bring down President Obama.Nothing else has worked for them in the past,so they keep trying and hoping for something they can use in this game of chess.

  17. Vidi,

    The Republicans in the House have been obstructionists. I don't deny that. They have also made accusations against President Obama and some of them are no doubt false. I don't deny that either. The House has passed many 'show' votes to repeal the ACA, knowing full well they will go nowhere. I admit that. The House has also passed many bills that either are never brought up for a vote in the Senate by Harry Reid or that cannot pass. I also admit that. The House has also passed many unimportant housekeeping bills. I also admit that.

    It all makes the House look pretty bad, if considered in a vacuum. It is also true that the Senate has spent time passing unimportant bills. It is also true that bills passed by one House of Congress have been refused a hearing and vote in the Senate on the whim of one man; the Senate majority leader. It is also true that like most administrations, this one will not come clean and instead covers up any mistakes it makes.

    I am willing to admit that many members in the Republican House have done much to criticize but you and others are only willing to see that side of things. We have big problems in this country and I am sorry that they are not call caused by Tea Party Republicans because if they were, I'd be with you, calling for an end to them. I'm a realist and my eyes are wide open and I can and do see that our problems are not centered with one party, but rather are with how Congressional elections are funded and held, no term limits and the influence of lobbying.


  18. hombre - "Vernos exonerates Obama for everything except the killing of Usams bin Laden. Convenient truth?"

    If you bothered to read many of my comments you'd realize that isn't true. For example, I don't like drones being used to kill innocent people. I don't like the fact that bankers ripped off the public and not one scumbag is in jail. I don't like the fact that we still have troops in Afghanistan. I don't like the fact that Obama sold out on policies like healthcare, taxes, big oil, and others when negotiating. I don't like the fact that Obama allowed corporations to dictate policy in White House meetings.

    If you payed attention you'd realize many of these attacks on Obama by Republicans is nothing less than them being political hacks. They did the same to Bill Clinton and it was costly to the party. We could have been in a far more stable economy if the parties worked together and one didn't obstruct for the sake of obstruction and then try to blame the president. Republicans have done zero to create jobs because they think it will help them win back the White House by having a slow economy. The GOP fiscal clowns wasted $55 million of your tax dollars voting 37 times to repeal Obamacare. They can't admit the deficit is down and Obamacare has helped lower costs as reported by the CBO last week.

    Major Garrett who worked for Fox a few years ago, recently reported, that in their zeal to attack Obama over Benghazi the GOP edited the White House emails to suit their lies. Darrell Issa and his ilk are dishonest grand standing a-holes who attacked American hero General Petraeus for trying to protect the CIA and the intelligence community. That's being upfront and honest?

  19. Will Carmine call for an investigation of the Republican role in altering Benghazi e-mails?

  20. For once, I'll agree with Future. There is OBVIOUSLY criminal action s at work here. First, ALL the organizations that applied for, and accepted, tax exemption as groups engaged exclusively in social welfare activities and then supported ONE political ad, should have their exemptions withdrawn, be required to pay ALL back taxes and penalties, to advertise a FULL list of their donors, and be charged with tax evasion.

    THEN we need to prosecute ALL IRS employees that used that word "exclusively as though it were "primarily" with conspiracy to evade taxes. The investigation on THAT charge should go back as far as the statute of limitations will allow or 1959 - whichever comes first. Why 1959? Because THAT is when IRS started using "primarily" as a criterion instead of "exclusively".

    Anyone who feels this problem was initiated by Obama should be required to provide incontrovertible proof of their claim. As a minimum, they need prove how he managed to initiate a problem before he was born.

  21. IRS. Benghazi. FAR closer to "scandal lust" than to "scandalous." AP? Too soon to tell but probably it too.

  22. "Many conservatives, particularly those who are clearly authoritarians, are not aware of their illogical, contradictory, and hypocritical thinking. If made cognizant of it, they either rationalize it away, neglect to care, or attack those who reveal their human weaknesses. Because such thinking seems to be a reality of contemporary conservatism, anyone operating from a logical mind or has the inclination toward a reasoned judgment will have a problem with this."

    "Within these factions, there is a good amount of inconsistency and variety, but the movement has long been held together through the power of negative thinking. The glue of the movement is in its perceived enemies. Conservatives once found a common concern with respect to their excessive concern about communism (not that liberals and progressive were not concerned as well, but they were neither paranoid nor willing to mount witch hunts). When communism was no longer a threat, the dysfunctional conservative movement rallied around its members' common opposition to anything they perceived as liberal. (This was, in effect, any point of view that differed from their own, whether it was liberal or not.)"

    John Dean

  23. Mr. Bob Jack:

    I read your letters in the Review-Journal, like the one earlier this week. Well done.


    Please accept my apologies.

    M. Casler.... No problem.


    Obama put IRS agent Sarah Hall Ingram in charge of his Obama care enforcement.

    Future....I opine with Obama care unraveling and its already problematic rollout problems, Ingram will be gone soon and replaced with a political independent and/or even a republican. BTW, she received $25K annual bonuses each of 4 consecutive years for over $109K [on top of salary], all signed off by Obama.

    Carmine D

  24. "this [I.R.S. scandal] will last even shorter than BENGHAZI BENGHAZI BENGHAZI a..."

    It's been 8 months now since 9-11-12, and Benghazi, Libya it's still in the news. Watergate hearings took 11 months to get underway. Congress moves by its own momentum.

    Carmine D

  25. The quotation is: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." comes from Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, scene II, where it is spoken by Queen Gertrude. How did that work out for her?

    Carmine D

  26. "This "scandal" is nothing more than conservatives, and in the case of Mr. DiFazio, their shill..."

    If knowing J. Russell George makes me a shill, then guilty as charged. And proud of it.

    Carmine D

  27. I guess if President Obama were Queen Gertrude not so well. Lucky for those of us living in reality this is not so. You just keep beating these dead horses in hopes that they will come back to life.

  28. Look at all the time that has and is being wasted on Benghazi and now the IRS so called scandal that the Republicans are working hard to manufacture.It is just a decoy being used by them to try and gain some ground in the upcoming midterm elections.

    Its to bad they the Republicans didn't give this much time and effort to the problems that we need to deal with as a nation.

    But in reality we are not talking about fixing the countries ills.We are talking about getting a foothold on the upcoming midterm elections, by trying to create a scandal. What a waste of taxpayer time and money.

  29. By hombre,

    Just in case you missed the news the Republicans are trying to drag President Obama the white house into the IRS firestorm.

    "Scott Miller,the ousted chief of the Internal Revenue Service,says" foolish mistakes" were made but none was politically motivated."

    I'm sure Mr.Miller would not open himself to a perjury charge, along with prison time.

  30. "I'm sure Mr.Miller would not open himself to a perjury charge, along with prison time."

    Don't make book on it. When asked before the House Ways and Means Committee yesterday if he would release all his emails while Commissioner, Miller paused and thought. Then answered...Not without asking my lawyer first.

    Never trust a man over 50 with a hair perm.

    Carmine D

  31. "FDR, on the other hand, led this country successfully through the Great Depression and to victory in World War II...."

    And used I.R.S. in 1944 to spike an audit of illegal campaign contributions made by a government contractor to Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson.

    Carmine D

  32. Jeff and your his Obama robots:

    I detect the coveting in your posts.

    Benghazi, Libya


    DOJ AP

    Dr. Gosnell

    NLRB non-recess recess appointments

    No wonder I live rent free in your mind. My being right on all the above is intimidating for you who was not.

    Carmine D

  33. On a good note for you Jeff, and the Obama robots, as a career Fed all my overtime and weekend duty, and there was a lot of it, was unpaid. Now, to you who doesn't know better, that may not sound like a big deal. But when you know that the retirement pay I collect now is based on wages earned, it is.

    Carmine D

  34. Comment removed by moderator. Personal Attack

  35. renorobert 3:06 Let us be realistic and prosecute those IRS employees who had AUTHORITY and DIRECTED staff to do illegal things. Those who carried out orders are not free from scrutiny but how could they have turned in supervisors for illegal orders without getting heat, serious heat and lose jobs, careers....? IRS has historically been non-partisan. HOW did that change? That's where the FAILURE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION and perhaps CRIMINAL COMPLICITY occurs. What IRS (Acting) Commissioner would institute such stupidity without DIRECTION from the administration? Just can't happen. Sure, Congressional investigation (or IG) will get details of who what when where why how but PLAN ON ongoing MUD, and tawdry--as tawdry as Jodi A.

  36. Roslenda:

    Having experience, I can unequivocally say with 100 percent certainty, field I.R.S. government employees don't act as lone rangers. They get their marching orders from the bosses they serve in headquarters in DC. As soon as these employees lawyer up, in fear of losing their government jobs [some of whom may be protected by their unions], they will be deposed and say so.

    Carmine D

  37. "Carmine has splattered that dead horse all over the actual facts..." Mark Schaffer

    I get the facts straight from the horses' mouths... your oblivion to the facts kill the horses. At least a dead horse can't produce the manure that you do.

    Carmine D

  38. If ever a Washington DC political/government scandal cried out for the appointment of an independent counsel, the current I.R.S. scandal does.

    Carmine D

  39. Carmine,
    You just keep on talking to yourself...No one outside of your fellow delusional right wing posters is being convinced by your 'facts' from secondary rumor sources.

  40. "You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Abe Lincoln.

    Mark, I posted that just for you and those who think like you.

    Carmine D