Thursday, May 16, 2013
About The IRS Bit
This is a big deal:
While the team of specialists reviewed applications from a variety of organizations, we determined during our reviews of statistical samples of I.R.C. § 501(c)(4) tax-exempt applications that all cases with Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names were forwarded to the team of specialists.It actually gets worse from there:
We asked the Acting Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division; the Director, EO; and Determinations Unit personnel if the criteria were influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. All of these officials stated that the criteria were not influenced by any individual or organization outside the IRS. Instead, the Determinations Unit developed and implemented inappropriate criteria in part due to insufficient oversight provided by management. Specifically, only first-line management approved references to the Tea Party in the BOLO listing criteria before it was implemented. As a result, inappropriate criteria remained in place for more than 18 months. Determinations Unit employees also did not consider the public perception of using politically sensitive criteria when identifying these cases.Lastly, the criteria developed showed a lack of knowledge in the Determinations Unit of what activities are allowed by I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) and I.R.C. § 501(c)(4) organizations. (A screamer.)
Organizations that applied for tax-exempt status and had their applications forwarded to the team of specialists experienced substantial delays. As of December 17, 2012, many organizations had not received an approval or denial letter for more than two years after they submitted their applications. Some cases have been open during two election cycles (2010 and 2012).
The team of specialists stopped working on potential political cases from October 2010 through November 2011, resulting in a 13-month delay, while they waited for assistance from theTechnical Unit. Figure 5 illustrates significant events and delays concerning potential political cases.
One of the few cases in history in which a grand jury did NOT indict.
While the trial was going on Mellon was giving away a good part of his fortune to his "New Deal" tormentors.
What puzzles me about all this is how this report got published in the first place. The Administration has shown no reluctance to interfere with IG investigations in the past. How did this one get through? Who was running interference for the investigators?
So, the report writer's primary concern is that they didn't consider the PR aspects rather than the fact that they didn't consider the Constitution and the applicable laws?
One of the functions of higher-level management, of course, is establishing the policies about what kinds of decisions can be approved at what levels, who has authority to make exceptions to particular policies, etc.
In the Soviet Union, they had something called the "Vertical Stroke," where when a bad problem occurred, EVERY LEVEL of the chain of command above the problem was taken out...fired, or worse. I believe this was done after a guy landed a Cessna in Red Square.
Might be appropriate in the IRS case.
Neil - Well, it is public info now. Congress had been pursuing the matter. Questions had been asked in Parliament.
Anon - I don't believe it either. Who takes that sort of risk? I await with interest more data.
Sorry, the good guys will go 0 for 3.
AP. IRS. Benghazi.
There is only Zuul.
I think that's probably the correct model to apply--I doubt there will be any evidence that Obama ordered these things to happen.
I don't think though, that this is a case in which it is true that "if you are going to kill the king, then you must kill the king". Obama probably relies, as in your analogy, on underlings who will do what must be done without being told exactly what must be done. This has worked out for him because of the cloak of invulnerability which has been thrown over everyone in his organization. It seems as though some people are realizing that this cloak also hides what he does to his own allies (i.e., AP, the CIA, and the Foreign Service).
If he has lost the acquiescence of even a portion of the press, and if malfeasance is shown to have consequences for his followers, that might just do the job and divert our politics from the path to civil war that they are now on.
I don't think it's any coincidence that these scandals all bore fruit in rapid succession. This was orchestrated for maximum effect.
I also wonder if it's just a coincidence that the scandals nearly buried the news that three military officers in charge of responding to sexual harassment accusations have now been charged with sexual harassment themselves. Or that I only heard one mention in the news of the bill that was almost immediately introduced in Congress to take responsibility for such charges away from the normal chain of command and assign it to a parallel chain of command. A parallel chain of military command which, one might surmise, would be staffed by political appointees.
Perhaps someone with a sense of history and a lot of favors to cash in got really, really scared.
Nixon didn't bug the AP. I'm not sure what the press will do, but the administration's current position is that they can investigate the press for reporting anything about executive branch that the White House does not wish to see reported. Period, full stop. The White House asked the AP not to go public, not due to national security concerns, but because they were going to do a media blitz on the story starting the following day. They didn't want to get scooped.
The White House went through the AP's private communications so that they could punish somebody for upstaging their own press release. It is possible that this will cause some second thoughts among the press.
But there are constitutional violations involved in both the IRS & AP situations, and the courts, as in Nazi Germany, are still relatively independent.
A second district court just threw out a labor board ruling because it found that one of the NLRB board members was not legal due to it being an invalid recess appointment.
We've all known what Obama was, beginning with his skulduggery in getting himself elected to the Illinois State Senate, his obvious bribes from Reszko, his success in unsealing Senator Ryan's divorce records, over the objections of both parties, his bussing in thousands of Chicago foot soldiers to defeat Hillary in the Iowa cauci, and we could have predicted we would come to this point. Why is it all being revealed, now? Possibly someone with a conscience has tunneled into the dung heap that is the Obama administration. Possibly one person squealed, and has set off a panic among other equally guilty parties. Possibly, the Hillary faction thought to divert attention away from Benghazi. We may never know. We do know that these were never honorable people. And, when thieves fall out...
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