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Darrell Issa just before Eric Holder called his conduct
Note the the headline of this post does not say "IRS scandal investigation broadens," it says "IRS investigation scandal broadens," because the thing that's a scandal isn't the way the IRS treated conservative groups, but rather how Republicans in Congress have spent so much time and public resources investigating something that never happened.

Now, as if to prove the point that the GOP investigation is nothing but a political freak show, House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Rep. Jim Jordan are asking the Department of Justice to launch an investigation into the person responsible for the DOJ's investigation of the IRS, not for anything connected in any way whatsoever to the substance of the investigation itself, but because the person leading the investigation contributed money to President Obama and attended a bill signing ceremony at the White House. You can read all about it on Fox News, naturally.

This is ridiculous in so many ways—the mere fact that somebody in D.C. made perfectly legal contributions to a campaign means absolutely nothing. Perhaps the story would be different if it were the case that the IRS had targeted Obama administration enemies while giving allies a pass, but it's abundantly clear that's not what happened.

The real story is that campaign finance laws are a complete mess thanks to Congress, the Supreme Court's Citizen's United ruling, and the regulatory approach taken by the FEC and IRS. But that issue has been completely ignored by rightwingers who are convinced that the Obama administration turned the IRS into a secret police force aimed at destroying the tea party.

C'mon, man. That's nuts. Does anybody in their right mind believe the Obama administration would have tried to eliminate tea partiers? That would be the dumbest political move ever. If anyone has an incentive to annihilate the tea party, it's the GOP establishment. I'd be more suspicious of the DOJ investigation if it were run by a Boehner lieutenant than if Obama put Bill Ayers himself in charge of it.

There is no IRS scandal. Obama is not using the government's tax-collecting authority to destroy his political enemies, Karl Rove's groups still get their preferential tax status, and Mitt Romney is still paying 9 percent or whatever it is that he pays on his income. Of course, none of that matters to the tin foil crowd on the right. In fact, to them, it probably means the scandal runs even deeper than anyone will admit.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The Whole Cloth Caucus of the GOP, showing how (15+ / 0-)

    the Benghazi cover-up is connected to IRS retribution against the 'baggers and by extension, the Kochs

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:18:36 AM PST

  •  The evidence is clear! (11+ / 0-)

    The reason nobody can find any evidence is because of the coverup!


    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:20:53 AM PST

  •  This Just In, Issa splices personal genes... (7+ / 0-)

    with squid.

    Now capable of creating obfuscating clouds of newsprint to hide the real malfeasance of his compatriots.


    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:22:43 AM PST

  •  This is all to cover up the (14+ / 0-)

    real scandal. That Issa should be in prison, not in Congress.

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:22:46 AM PST

  •  Are there not 170,000 voters in CA-49 (15+ / 0-)

    ...who are sick of being represented by Darrell Issa?

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:23:35 AM PST

    •  Oceanside, Encinitas and San Clemete (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sybil Liberty, aaraujo, TomP, mcstowy

      Where old Republicans go to wait for death.
      In other words, CA-49 is perfectly represented.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:40:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

        It is also home to Camp Pendelton Marine base.

        Dave Peiser is running and hopefully this time Dems will really get behind him.  He's already working hard in the district.  

        I'm hoping that he can rid on Jerry Brown coattails because the GOP has nothing but crooks and nuts to run for governor.  Lot's of formerly moderate R's in CA are pretty satisfied with Brown.

        One of the top R contenders for CA gov is Abel Maldonado who ran for Congress in 2012 and lost by 10 points in a district that went to Romney.  If he's the top guy for the GOP then they got problems.  And the Baggers hate Maldonado, their refusal to vote for him was why he lost so badly to the very Progressive Lois Capps.

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:24:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Los Three Amigos....Ayotte McCain Graham....are (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, tekno2600, TomP

    still frothing from the mouth over.......dum dum dum.........BeNGhAzEEeeeEE!!!

  •  Who is the sort who can ferret out how much (6+ / 0-)

    taxpayer cash this diagnosable, disordered, menace to society has squandered? Someone is out there, I know it. I sure wish I had the skill.

  •  These people are insane. (8+ / 0-)

    That's the only excuse I can come up with. And they keep getting reelected, which really makes me think there's some sort of mass psychosis at work. Seriously.

    •  For Low Foreheaded Low Information Voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is all done for the people who hate President Obama because he's not white.  When they hear that the investigation is still going on, they say to themselves, "no smoke without fire."

      Those of us who actually read and pay attention to what goes on in world around us hear that the investigation is still going on and say to ourselves, "smoke and mirrors."

      "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

      by uniqity on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 10:20:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All this crap (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    caul, rg611, annominous, sethtriggs, ColoTim

    It's the same crap that they did during Clinton.  

    The mantra of the GOP is "investigate everything!"

    It doesn't matter what it is.  the mere fact that something is investigated is enough to convince their feeble minded voters that something bad happened.  

    Think about all the idiotic Republicans who still believe the shit about Vince Foster, and about Travelgate.  

    They just know that a court of law is not the only place to try someone.


    by otto on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:32:04 AM PST

  •  It's taxghazi! n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annominous, mcstowy

    I'm not always political, but when I am I vote Democratic. Stay Democratic, my friends. -The Most Interesting Man in the World

    by boran2 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:35:05 AM PST

  •  dude... issa is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    a freaking lunatic.

    enough wasting time and money.

    every adult is responsible for every child

    by ridemybike on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:37:16 AM PST

  •  Until we put Issa in jail like the car stealing, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    insurance defrauding, corrupt scoundrel that he is, he will keep doing what people like him do: Lie, cheat, and steal.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:38:28 AM PST

  •  Proof of fiscal irresponsibility (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My proof that GOP has for a long time been predominated by social instead of fiscally conservatives values, and in the process has become the symbol of fiscal irresponsibility, is the investigation of Clinton.  Billions dollars wasted, all to produce a pornographic treatise.  They are controlled by their emotions, spending any amount of money to convince others that they are right.

    Where would this country be if we were ruled by people who looked at facts and carefully balanced costs and benefits, rather than the emotional hormonal beings that now dominate the GOP.

    •  Another perfect example (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, ColoTim

      of not understanding the process.  There was no way that Clinton was going to be impeached, as the Senate was firmly in Democratic hands, and it was an obvious witchhunt.  Just as calls for Obama's impeachment are detached from reality.

      Why Republicans think that calling for impeachment (because you can) is a vote getter mystifies me.  You won't convince any Democrats, you alienate the Independents, and they've already got the Republicans in their pocket.  

      "There are times when even normal men must spit in their hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats." - H.L. Mencken

      by rwgate on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:47:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thnx for the mindf*** in that first paragraph Jed. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

    by TheHalfrican on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 08:56:37 AM PST

  •  What ever happened with Issa and the East/West (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bank scandal.  It seems to have disappeared?  That deal looked really dirty with all the secondary lenders suing and then it seems to have disappeared without any settlement.

    Congressional elections have consequences!

    by Cordyc on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:26:53 AM PST

  •  Darrell Issa is Kenneth Starr (0+ / 0-)

    on steroids.

  •  Fine. I suggest that we take Issa at his word, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and call on him to investigate himself for his own partisan Republican activities while pretending to investigate every wingnut conspiracy theory in sight.

    See Civil War General Benjamin Franklin Butler. He responded to Confederates demanding the return of their slaves who had escaped to Union lines, specifically to his Army camp, by taking them at their word that the slaves were their property, and that the owners claimed to be citizens of another country where the Fugitive Slave Act did not apply. (Legally, the Union held otherwise.) He thus confiscated the refugees as contraband of war. Congress ratified his action and ordered other commanders to follow his example.

    As a member of Congress later on, Butler wrote the first version of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, outlawing the KKK and giving the Federal government authority to prosecute and destroy it. He also wrote the sweeping Civil Rights Act of 1875, overturned by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional, so that Blacks would have to wait until 1948 for desegregation of the military, 1954 for desegregation of schools, and 1964 for the modern Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act. On many other matters, they are still waiting, along with the rest of us.

    That's what being a Republican meant back then.

    Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

    by Mokurai on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 09:36:39 AM PST

  •  So I guess there was nothing to conclude from (0+ / 0-)

    the fact that Lois Lerner refused to testify and pleaded the 5th. Just like there was no reason to conclude anything in particular from David Wildstein doing the same. It's all good. Thanks for the reassurance. Pass the Miracle Whip, please.

    •  Actually, there IS nothing to infer from EITHER. (0+ / 0-)

      That's what the 5th A means.

      In Christie's case, it is the evidence that actually shows a real abuse of power for purely political means, i.e., a ton of emails with smoking guns.

      In the IRS case, the evidence shows there is no there there, and never was: the T-baggers were not denied 501c4 status ever (even during the pending process, since it is granted with the application tho may be taken back depending on subsequent investigation of its truth), tho liberal groups doing exactly the same thing were denied such status.  IOW, if there is a scandal here it is liberals and Ds that were harmed.

      •  You ought to read DKOS more— (0+ / 0-)

        you'd see a fair number of conclusions taken from that fact:
        Be sure to read the comments.

        If denial of applications were the only issue, you could have a point. How about just sitting on decisions?

        Over the two years between April 2010 and April 2012, the IRS essentially placed on hold the processing of applications for 501(c)(4) tax-exemption status received from organizations with "Tea Party," "patriots," or "9/12" in their names. While apparently none of these organizations' applications were denied during this period,[Note 2] only 4 were approved.[48] During the same general period, the agency approved applications from several dozen presumably liberal-leaning organizations whose names included terms such as "progressive," "progress," "liberal," or "equality."[48][49]
        Requesting all sorts of pretty intrusive information about inner workings of the organizations?
        Improper release of confidential info to Pro Publica?

        I didn't like it when the Nixon administration used the bureaucracy to harass its political enemies, and I'm not happy to see what looks like the latest version of abuse of power. And I wish someone would offer Lerner immunity for sworn testimony, just for a start.

        •  Wiki, srsly? U know T-baggers probably wrote those (0+ / 0-)

          entries right?  

          IOW, there is not there there.  If there was, you'd be quoting CNN or the Wash.Post, instead of World Net's readers fevered wiki dreams.*

          Not too mention, the rest of this is not responsive to my comment.  What a few folks at DKos say hardly matters for the merits of my comment or your's that I replied to.

          * And re: IRSghazi!!!... And, more importantly, we already know from the testimony that this decision was made by a Republican and conservative at IRS, without anycommunication or direction from DC office and absolute no imput from the Whitehouse, and not done for political reasons.  Pretty weird for a conservative Republican to decide by himself to do the Ds nefarious work but for no nefarious reason, eh?  Just bc Issa only leaked part of the transcripts didn't make it true.

          Simply put, lack of evidence proves there is nothing there, it does not prove 'they hid the evidence' or some other T-bagger CT.

          Further, you miss that the group get tax-exempt status upon application, i.e., presumptive grant, and same continues while pending, so no one was denied even if the final decision took longer than you wish.

          And so what? These groups were political groups that were usually overt about using their tax-free status funds to run political campaign ads, in direct violation of the law.  Unlike you're so-called groups with the words  "progressive," "progress," "liberal," or "equality" in the names. Simply put, there are a host of ways a legitimate social welfare group could have those in its name, there is pretty much no way that could be true of "Tea Party," "patriots," or Glenn Beck's "9/12" in 2012.  Objectivity does not mean ignoring the facts.

          Not to mention, that the agency 'approved... several dozen' applications from such groups 1) proves diddly, since there were several thousands, 2) not rebut that the only groups actually denied the status were liberal ones, and 3) means nothing about how or the validity of treatment of T-bagger groups, that is not an apples to apples comparison (you'd have to compare actual applications for that).

          Finally, no one stopped T-liban groups from doing anything.  They just didn't get final word when they wanted that tax-payers would foot that part of their bills.  Note, that's not that they didn't get tax-free status, just didn't get it RIGHT NOW!, i.e., exactly when the privileged pricks decided they were entitled to, nevermind the law or job the IRS agents are legally entitled to do.

          •  You have a rich imagination (0+ / 0-)
            we already know from the testimony that this decision was made by a Republican and conservative at IRS, without anycommunication or direction from DC office and absolute no imput from the Whitehouse, and not done for political reasons.
            Actually, "we" know nothing of the kind. Sarah Ingraham of the IRS didn't make 150+ trips to the White House, along with exchanging a steady stream of email on these matters?

            Similarly, "we" have no reason to think that the Wikipedia article you dislike was,  unlike any other similarly sensitive article on Wikipeda, written by Tea Party or other extreme partisans and left unchallenged by the Wikipedia community.  

            And as for not getting a decision "RIGHT NOW!" (N.B., caps really add so much to your argument, as do eponyms like "privileged pricks"—really shows the depth of your contentions), the delay was closer to years than months. Here's a cute little saying for you: Justice delayed is justice denied. Goes along with the thought underlying that odd little Constitutional quirk that calls for a speedy trial.

            •  No, *I* actually *READ* the *COMPLETE* transcript (0+ / 0-)

              Go look at Rep. Cummings website if you care to know more than Issa's biased, incomplete excepts and wild allegations.  You know, facts.

              That your link was to Issa's site explains your complete misunderstanding to the truth here.

              Simply put Issa has been prove a LIAR over and over again on pretty much everything.

              •  The link was to (0+ / 0-)

                where the email was. Have you got some other source for that material? Please provide the link, then. Was it in the Cummings material you drag in now? I think not. I, too, read the transcript of anonymous testimony released by that wonderfully neutral Rep. Cummings (not at all like the partisan Issa). Strangely, there was little new and no particular reason to rely on whoever the unidentified witness might be. But perhaps you are a more trusting kind of person. That's nice.

  •  So the IRS tried to expose fraudulent groups... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chrismorgan, cheminMD

    …asking tax exemption status, and because of that, Republicans now want to identify Democrat supporters?

    Aren't Republicans actually trying to do EXACTLY what they blame the IRS for trying to do…but with malice and partisanship???

    •  Where does it stop? (0+ / 0-)

      Issa is setting precedents that democrats should remember and not just keep the powder dry. Yes, I'm calling for every donor to Issa to be investigated when he is no longer in power. I'm also calling for democrats to warn Issa that will happen if he continues.

      Aren't the donations supposed to be protected as a 1st amendment issue? What if a donor to Issa donated to the groups being investigated? Shouldn't someone investigate the donations of the donors to the committee chair in charge of the investigators of the investigators?

  •  I don't know if trying to eliminate the Tea (0+ / 0-)

    Partiers would be the dumbest move ever.  The GW Bridge issue in New Jersey sounds like it's a pretty solid contender - punishing someone(s) or disrupting a real estate deal in that fashion where there would be tens of thousands of people affected?  If it was politics against the mayor because of the endorsement for a campaign where Christie was going to win by 20+% anyway, or if it was punishment against the local Senator because she was asking tough questions of his judicial nominees, or because Christie's friends weren't profiting from the billion dollar real estate deal and they needed their vig?

    Then trying to cover it up in such blatantly poor fashion?  

    That's a strong contender to IRS-gate.

  •  If ... (0+ / 0-)
    ... the Obama administration turned the IRS into a secret police force aimed at destroying the tea party.
    O, if only 'twere true...
  •  Regarding this (0+ / 0-)
    C'mon, man. That's nuts. Does anybody in their right mind believe the Obama administration would have tried to eliminate tea partiers? That would be the dumbest political move ever.
    Does anyone believe Chris Christies folks would try to cause traffic on the GW Bridge in order for political retribution? That would be nuts and the dumbest political move ever.

    Not saying I agree at all with Issa.

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:12:09 AM PST

  •  In Republican-Land... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the fact that there's no evidence of a cover-up simply proves just how deep the cover-up goes.

    You know you're winning a fight against a Republican when they stop mocking your position and start whining about your tone.

    by slappymagoo on Thu Jan 16, 2014 at 11:56:45 AM PST

  •  U don't get the self-serving T-liban mythology at (0+ / 0-)

    work here: i.e., 'T-liban are the bestest political genius eeever! and Obama targeted them bc if they had all the unlimited money they had last year there's no way he could have won, so he obviously stole the election bc they had all the money they could get but he hates them bc T-liban are the bestest political genius eeever!  So there."


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