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DPChallenge Forums >> Rant >> "Let's stomp on Constitutional Amendments" thread
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05/24/2013 02:17:14 AM · #51
Originally posted by RayEthier:

...and it could very well be that failure to answer question might result in "Contempt" ... but you are right, best we wait and see.


Given the way congress has been behaving over the last few decades, contempt of Congress is now a charge most Americans are guilty of, given that 85% of Americans now disapprove of their behavior. I hope they don't jail me for contempt of most of what they do these days.

The house has voted to repeal health care reform 37 times in the last 2 years. Immigration reform has not come up for a vote since 1986. That deserves a bit of contempt.
05/24/2013 05:46:14 AM · #52
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

We're all doing a lot of armchair lawyering here. First, I have a hunch that Miranda rights pertaining to criminal charges are different than a congressional subpoena. She wasn't being charged with any crime, etc. Really, I have no idea, but my hunch is that members of congress, the majority of whom are lawyers are gonna have a better idea than us. Right now it's all talk. Lets wait to see if she is actually compelled to answer the questions.


this really wasn't an issue until the Congressional Committee felt slighted and a fervor was whipped up. political motivations will make us forget things. I guess it's nothing new, in the 90's Republicans forgot that people weren't independently prosecuted for perjury much- until there was a political use in it to attempt to nail Clinton...
05/24/2013 06:43:12 AM · #53
//openchannel.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/23/18451142-holder-okd-search-warrant-for-fox-news-reporters-private-emails-official-says?lite

this is funny, Fox news and the conservative crowd was all behind the initiative of taking away our privacy rights in the name of national security, they said, oh its fine, law abiding citizens have nothing to worry about and we all gladly gave them up to feel safe.

now they are just flabbergasted that the government had the gall to exercise its abilities!

we some good sideshow music.
05/24/2013 10:25:33 AM · #54
Originally posted by yanko:

Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

I'm trying to see what the big deal is with the IRS. These organization were applying for a particular tax-exempt status (501(c)4) which would allow them to not only avoid paying taxes on their income, but allows them to keep their donors' identity a secret. The restriction on this type of organization is that their mission cannot be "primarily political" in nature.

Now, it seems to me that by accepting the name "Tea Party" (as in political party, not afternoon refreshment) they are explicitly identifying themselves as having political interests. It is the DUTY of the IRS to verify that these groups are indeed "social welfare" organizations and entitled to the tax-exempt status they desire, and not disguised political organizations seeking to apply secret money to electoral issues. There is a tax-exempt status for (527) political groups, but they have to identify their donors; obviously these groups feel that it would be detrimental to their interestes (and image) if their sources of support were known to the public.

It seems like a no-brainer that one would *google* "tea party" (and a variety of other terms) to sort out those applications which have a higher than average likelihood of requiring extra scrutiny to verify the organizations' status.

Seems to me that the hoo-haw is all about the IRS using a technological device (search) everyone else uses daily to be more efficient ... how dare they!


Agree, and I wonder if anyone has read the Inspector General's report, which concludes that the IRS employees did not act out of political motivation but rather were "taking a shortcut", pretty much exactly what you said, GeneralE.


But Obama disagrees. He's outraged over it. Nothing would please him more than America to focus on this instead of drones, concentration camps and death tolls.


If Obama wanted to deflect attention from drones and Guantanamo, why did he just deliver a major policy speech on just those things? No, I think his expression of outrage on the IRS hullabaloo is actually to try to move past it as quickly as possible. From his point of view, there isn't anything that was going on in that IRS office that is defensible, even if it isn't the scandal the right-wing is making it out to be.
05/24/2013 11:38:51 AM · #55
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Seems to me that the hoo-haw is all about the IRS using a technological device (search) everyone else uses daily to be more efficient ... how dare they!


Ummm, wouldn't this be the same then as picking people out of the airport line because they are middle eastern?

It seems like a no-brainer that one would *google* "tea party" "jihadi" (and a variety of other terms) to sort out those applications airline passengers which have a higher than average likelihood of requiring extra scrutiny to verify the organizations' status.

It's amazing how it doesn't seem quite so bad when it aligns with our political views...

Again, I'm not laying this at Obama's feet, but stiffling the opposition's views with behavior like this is activity we usually associate with juntas or despots not the United States.

Message edited by author 2013-05-24 11:42:44.
05/24/2013 12:53:39 PM · #56
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Seems to me that the hoo-haw is all about the IRS using a technological device (search) everyone else uses daily to be more efficient ... how dare they!


Ummm, wouldn't this be the same then as picking people out of the airport line because they are middle eastern?

It seems like a no-brainer that one would *google* "tea party" "jihadi" (and a variety of other terms) to sort out those applications airline passengers which have a higher than average likelihood of requiring extra scrutiny to verify the organizations' status.

It's amazing how it doesn't seem quite so bad when it aligns with our political views...

Again, I'm not laying this at Obama's feet, but stiffling the opposition's views with behavior like this is activity we usually associate with juntas or despots not the United States.

1. "Profiling" is not always illegal or inappropriate. I imagine many doctors (e.g. pediatricians) profile (or "screen") their potential patients (e.g. to see if they ar the appropriate age) before scheduling an appointment.

2. You don't think the NSA is right now screening electronic communications for words like "jihadi", or that people who look "like that" aren't being singled out for extra screening by the TSA?

3. Despite the SCOTUS's bizarre interpretation of the dictionary, organizations are not people, and are not subject to all the same constitutional protections (e.g. against discrimination) as actual human persons.

4. Anti-discrimination laws generally apply to immutable characteristics (gender, skin color, etc.) and not to factors of choice like political opinion/affiliation ...

Message edited by author 2013-05-24 12:55:30.
05/24/2013 01:45:37 PM · #57
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Seems to me that the hoo-haw is all about the IRS using a technological device (search) everyone else uses daily to be more efficient ... how dare they!


Ummm, wouldn't this be the same then as picking people out of the airport line because they are middle eastern?

It seems like a no-brainer that one would *google* "tea party" "jihadi" (and a variety of other terms) to sort out those applications airline passengers which have a higher than average likelihood of requiring extra scrutiny to verify the organizations' status.

It's amazing how it doesn't seem quite so bad when it aligns with our political views...

Again, I'm not laying this at Obama's feet, but stiffling the opposition's views with behavior like this is activity we usually associate with juntas or despots not the United States.


Juntas and despots? Because they were trying to figure out if these groups were eligible for a particular tax status? I expect they would have done the same if they'd gotten a lot of applications from groups calling themselves "Occupy Wall Street." Get a grip, man.
05/24/2013 02:10:58 PM · #58
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Seems to me that the hoo-haw is all about the IRS using a technological device (search) everyone else uses daily to be more efficient ... how dare they!


Ummm, wouldn't this be the same then as picking people out of the airport line because they are middle eastern?

It seems like a no-brainer that one would *google* "tea party" "jihadi" (and a variety of other terms) to sort out those applications airline passengers which have a higher than average likelihood of requiring extra scrutiny to verify the organizations' status.

It's amazing how it doesn't seem quite so bad when it aligns with our political views...

Again, I'm not laying this at Obama's feet, but stiffling the opposition's views with behavior like this is activity we usually associate with juntas or despots not the United States.


Juntas and despots? Because they were trying to figure out if these groups were eligible for a particular tax status? I expect they would have done the same if they'd gotten a lot of applications from groups calling themselves "Occupy Wall Street." Get a grip, man.


Or the Barack H Obama Foundation? Started by his brother in 2008 when Obama was running for president? Approval in 30 days. Signed off...by Lois Lerner.

The point is not that we're trying to figure out if these groups are eligible. That's part of the IRS doing their job. That's good. The point is doing it in a selective manner. That's not how we operate in the US. That's not what we do. There is no a priori reason to think a conservative group is trying to cheat the system any more than a liberal group, except political reasons.

Message edited by author 2013-05-24 14:14:00.
05/24/2013 02:36:11 PM · #59
I didn't read this whole thread, but... //www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/
05/24/2013 03:00:37 PM · #60
Originally posted by Kelli:

I didn't read this whole thread, but... //www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/


Be aware of the difference between an individual group being scrutinized and a process that scrutinizes a specific spectrum of groups. Examples of three groups scrutinized under the Bush administration does not seem to rise to the same level. There is no current evidence to say they were targetted because they were liberal. (In a similar vein we now have conservative individuals now claiming their taxes were audited because they were conservative, but I'm unaware of any evidence produced to say this is the case.)

Because the IRS does try to make sure 501(c)4 organizations are compliant you can always find examples on one side or the other, but you have to find trends to have a smoking gun. That article is just really poor understanding of statistics or is just trying to rally the troops when they feel down.
05/24/2013 03:43:20 PM · #61
The "trend" was that there was suddenly a flood of applications for 501(c)4 status from groups which seemed to openly declare their political purpose in their choice of name. Please, take a poll of your patients:
Is the Tea Party:


[_] A Political Organization
[_] A Social Welfare Organization

It's also my impression that these applications were actually prioritized -- the "in depth" questionaires seem obviously appropriate, and this way these organizations got them ASAP in an attempt to expidite processing. Imagine the brouhaha had those questionaires been sent out when someone finally dug down that far in the pile ...

Also, remember that the only reason this is happening is not that the IRS was in any way questioning the organizations' eligibility for tax-exempt status, but over whether they qualified for the more limited classification which allows them to keep their funding sources secret. Why do you think that might be, and what are they trying to hide?

Message edited by author 2013-05-24 15:44:19.
05/24/2013 04:36:21 PM · #62
Your personal views are acting as blinders, Paul. Even the NRA has a non-profit venture The NRA Foundation which is even a 501(c)3 and not the looser 501(c)4. Their aim, according to their website, is: The NRA Foundation is the country's leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports, having awarded thousands of grants in support of educational programs since its inception in 1990. That qualifies as "social welfare" (even if we don't agree with it).

Is the NRA:

[_] A Political Organization
[_] A Social Welfare Organization

This example is meant to show you that you are missing that having "Tea Party" in your organization name does not make you the Tea Party. Of course THE Tea Party is a political organziation, but "Tea Partiers Against Hunger" (just made that up) isn't necessarily. It's probably a bunch of people who hate taxes and big government who feel compelled to fight hunger on their own (since they don't want the government doing it for them).

If you think the process was in no way in error you would be alone in your thinking. Do you really think that? These conversations tend to drift and maybe that's not your position.
05/24/2013 05:32:14 PM · #63
Bear said "You people DO realize that the IRS has been used as a political weapon by liberals and conservatives alike virtually since its inception? To use this as an example of the Obama administration "run amok" and call for Obama's impeachment on these grounds is to willfully ignore American history, LOL. I'd go so far as t argue there's little a sitting president can do to STOP the IRS from throwing its weight around."

thank you, Robert. Maybe every year we should all take a refresher course in getting real.

Message edited by author 2013-05-24 17:34:41.
05/24/2013 08:34:52 PM · #64
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Your personal views are acting as blinders, Paul. Even the NRA has a non-profit venture The NRA Foundation which is even a 501(c)3 and not the looser 501(c)4. Their aim, according to their website, is: The NRA Foundation is the country's leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports, having awarded thousands of grants in support of educational programs since its inception in 1990. That qualifies as "social welfare" (even if we don't agree with it).

Is the NRA:

[_] A Political Organization
[_] A Social Welfare Organization

This example is meant to show you that you are missing that having "Tea Party" in your organization name does not make you the Tea Party. Of course THE Tea Party is a political organziation, but "Tea Partiers Against Hunger" (just made that up) isn't necessarily. It's probably a bunch of people who hate taxes and big government who feel compelled to fight hunger on their own (since they don't want the government doing it for them).

If you think the process was in no way in error you would be alone in your thinking. Do you really think that? These conversations tend to drift and maybe that's not your position.

When it comes to non-profit status and secret donations I'm willing to have the IRS go the extra mile to protect the taxpayers (that's us) from potential political nefariousness and chicanery, and I'm just as willing for them to apply the same level of suspicion and scrutiny to "Occupiers Against Hunger" (probably a more realistic hypothetical) as to the TP or any other group name which should raise red flags at the Treasury Dept....

If those organizations deserve that level of scrutiny (which it seems to me they do) then I don't see why it's a bad thing to get to their case sooner rather than later.
05/24/2013 08:42:55 PM · #65
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Your personal views are acting as blinders, Paul. Even the NRA has a non-profit venture The NRA Foundation which is even a 501(c)3 and not the looser 501(c)4. Their aim, according to their website, is: The NRA Foundation is the country's leading charitable organization in support of the shooting sports, having awarded thousands of grants in support of educational programs since its inception in 1990. That qualifies as "social welfare" (even if we don't agree with it).

Is the NRA:

[_] A Political Organization
[_] A Social Welfare Organization

This example is meant to show you that you are missing that having "Tea Party" in your organization name does not make you the Tea Party. Of course THE Tea Party is a political organziation, but "Tea Partiers Against Hunger" (just made that up) isn't necessarily. It's probably a bunch of people who hate taxes and big government who feel compelled to fight hunger on their own (since they don't want the government doing it for them).

If you think the process was in no way in error you would be alone in your thinking. Do you really think that? These conversations tend to drift and maybe that's not your position.


Perhaps you did not mean to say "in no way error." Perhaps there were errors that don't rise to truly scandalous heights worth too much a damn.
05/25/2013 03:48:51 PM · #66
The day we stop bitching and moaning and scandalizing such behavior is the day it becomes institutionalized. If you guys don't see that you have drunk the kool-aid too deeply.
05/25/2013 05:53:59 PM · #67
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

The day we stop bitching and moaning and scandalizing such behavior is the day it becomes institutionalized. If you guys don't see that you have drunk the kool-aid too deeply.
+

...and the day we stop having organizations such as the IRS scrutinizing entities that seek to bi-pass the tax collection process is the day we collectively get screwed over.

Considering the number of organizations that have tax free status that bilk millions from the rest of the tax paying population, it is refreshing to note that someone is looking at the validity of the claims being made.

...and no, I don't even like cool-aid. :O)

Ray
05/25/2013 06:05:07 PM · #68
I've said many times Ray I got no problem with them doing their job properly.
05/25/2013 10:55:46 PM · #69
Originally posted by Judith Polakoff:


Agree, and I wonder if anyone has read the Inspector General's report, which concludes that the IRS employees did not act out of political motivation but rather were "taking a shortcut", pretty much exactly what you said, GeneralE.


Because the IRS considers me guilty until proven innocent in their tax courts, I consider any statement from the IRS to be a lie until proven otherwise. No politics involved.
05/26/2013 03:56:33 AM · #70
The tax code is intentionally arbitrary and unknowable. The game is stacked in favor of the house.
05/26/2013 09:45:10 AM · #71
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

The tax code is intentionally arbitrary and unknowable. The game is stacked in favor of the house.


if by "house" you mean large corporations...
05/26/2013 11:10:14 AM · #72
Originally posted by blindjustice:

Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

The tax code is intentionally arbitrary and unknowable. The game is stacked in favor of the house.


if by "house" you mean large corporations...

... and the miniscule proportion of the population which owns them (and whose lackeys write those tax laws).

Message edited by author 2013-05-26 11:10:45.
05/26/2013 12:51:02 PM · #73
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by bohemka:

Originally posted by DrAchoo:


I will tell you that if this had happened on W's watch there would be rioting by the media. I am not part of the "left-liberal media conspiracy" clan, but I can still feel there is some truth to the idea that Obama is getting more of a pass than former presidents would have garnered on things like this.


It raises an interesting point of perspective, actually, because this is front page news wherever you turn. It's even the BBC's lead story. The Daily Show is jumping all over it. It's being covered and analyzed and debated, there's no doubt about it.

So what's different?


Under W it would be a front page story and the second page story and talked about 24/7 in the news-cycle. It would not only be front page news, but it would dominate op-ed columns and talking heads on TV. Which do you think has been more of a scoop so far? Waterboarding and torture under W or killing of terrorists or Americans by drones? Guantanamo was big news under W and, now, 6 years later, we hardly hear about it but the story is exactly the same. Why does Obama get the Guant pass while W was a terrible president for it?


Too bad we cant test your theory by having the bush administration order drone strikes.

Oh wait, they did. Sorry, theory. You are wrong.
05/26/2013 03:12:05 PM · #74
Don, you do realize that Obama has ordered six times the drone strikes with four times the casualty rate, right? We'd have to research to see if W killed any Americans with drones. Maybe you didn't know these things because it isn't really reported that much...

You'd have to be clearer on what part of my theory is wrong.

Message edited by author 2013-05-26 15:14:23.
05/26/2013 04:41:43 PM · #75
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Don, you do realize that Obama has ordered six times the drone strikes with four times the casualty rate, right? We'd have to research to see if W killed any Americans with drones. Maybe you didn't know these things because it isn't really reported that much...

You'd have to be clearer on what part of my theory is wrong.
oh, so if bush killed four times as many people it would not have been ignored? On what basis do you make such a claim? Because the press noticed that bush was openly ordering torture, long after the fact? Because the press noticed there was no iraqi connection to wmds or 9/11, after they reported the opposite and after the war had already begun? I think its sad that you think the press was tough on bush.
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