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I don't think Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus quite understands the notion of "unbiased," at least not from this tweet promoting the GOP's latest fundraising campaign:

Tweet from Reince Priebus
If you want to investigate how the IRS handles tax-exempt applications from political groups, by all means, go ahead, but why limit to conservative groups? After all, the IRS is responsible for determining the status of all non-profit applications, not just those of conservatives.

Obviously, the reason that guys like Reince only want to focus on the conservative side of the equation is that they want people to believe their conspiracy theory that the IRS is "targeting" conservative groups and conservatives groups alone. But the truth is that any group that applies for a special benefit like nonprofit status is subject to scrutiny. In fact, the scandal would be if the IRS didn't review the applications and simply rubber stamped them.

Nonetheless, for a Republican Party that is operating on fumes when it comes to actual substance, this "issue" is one of the most important ones they've got in 2014. And this week, Republicans are putting it at the center of their universe:

Congress returns to Washington this week for another three-week stretch that will take them all the way to a St. Patrick's Day recess in mid-March. With a budget passed, a spending deal approved and other leftover work from 2013 completed, lawmakers are increasingly turning their attention towards the midterm elections.

That's why this week is "Stop Government Abuse Week" in the House. House Republicans plan to hold votes this week on 12 measures that they say are designed to curtail government abuse and address some of the best-known recent scandals at federal agencies.

If this sounds familiar, your memory isn't playing tricks on you. Republicans held a "Stop Government Abuse Week" last year as well, at the end of July, right before their summer recess.

And to prove just how much they believed in Stopping Government Abuse™, when Republicans returned from their vacation in September, they shut the government down. What will they come up with this time?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Stop Government Abuse (26+ / 0-)
    That's why this week is "Stop Government Abuse Week" in the House.
    Sounds good to me. So when are the marriage equality, domestic spying curtailment, and voting rights guarantee bills scheduled for votes?

    On the Internet, nobody knows if you're a dog... but everybody knows if you're a jackass.

    by stevemb on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:20:41 AM PST

  •  Stop abusing the GOP Jed........ya beast. (5+ / 0-)
    •  "After all, the IRS is responsible ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... for determining the status of all non-profit applications, not just those of conservatives."

      As a matter of fact, the one and only group whose application for tax-exempt status was actually DENIED, rather than simply delayed for further investigation, was a LIBERAL group.  But you'd never know that if your preferred source for information is FAUX News, or if you put ANY degree of credence into the rantings of "Lather, Reince & Re-Preibus."

      OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

      by mstaggerlee on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 02:32:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, is Priebus admitting that the Issa (13+ / 0-)

    probe into this issue is not unbiased?

    Bring it on, Reince.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:23:57 AM PST

    •  Any pollster, lawyer, or sociologist knows... (0+ / 0-)

      ...ask the question the right way and get the answer you want.  That way, anything that is not white is black, anything that is not up is down, any response that is not "yes" is "no."

      Organizations whose names imply a political party affiliation are not due tax-exempt status by law.  If your organization has the words "Tea Party" or "Party" in any manner implying political affiliation, you should expect to be scrutinized by the IRS.  If your organization can stand up to the scrutiny, there is no tax liability.  If you don't want the IRS looking closely at you, don't include "Party", "Republican", "Democratic", or other such words in the name of your organization.

      What I'd like to know is how many organizations had their tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS, and if no Tea Party organizations lost that status, why not?

  •  Ugh. There's nothing like the gamy aroma of.... (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Aunt Pat, shoeless, TKO333, Matt Z, anon004

    ... Riinse Peenus in the morning.

  •  "A three week stretch that will take them all the (5+ / 0-)

    way to St Patty's Day!!!"

    Will this be a new record for them?  Hopefully they'll take plenty of "coffee" breaks so they don't crash and burn from the intensity of the slog.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

    by nailbender on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:35:55 AM PST

  •  They're dim, Jed! (6+ / 0-)

    You knew that was coming, `cause it's true!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:38:08 AM PST


    Somebody had to say it!

  •  hopefully, if we ever regain the majority (0+ / 0-)

    in the house, we don't do the same for our side's various conspiracy theories.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:42:19 AM PST

  •  I'm actually more concerned (6+ / 0-)

    with the amount of mental gymnastics you have to do to think that investigating the tax-exempt status of allegedly non-profit Tea Party groups qualifies as "stifling free speech."

    First explain that part, then we can get into whether or not this needs an investigation.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:45:22 AM PST

    •  I think (5+ / 0-)

      the "stifling free speech" part is how the govt is preventing the Tea Party from talking about the targeting of conservative non-profits by the IRS--you know, by exhaustively investigating it and finding there to be no basis for the allegations. The darn feds keep preventing the Tea Party from spreading their conspiracy theories by proving them false! Hey, they have the right to freely speak whatever comes out of their mouths (or anuses), and the government has NO right to prove them wrong! Even if the GOP was involved in the investigations.

      Hey, look over there, something shiny---Benghazi!!
      Bennnghaaaazzzzzi!  !!11!!

  •  Reince Priebus? Isn't that a Klingon name? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shoeless, Matt Z, Mayfly

    Maybe Romulan?

    Fiat justitia ruat caelum "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

    by bobdevo on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:47:21 AM PST

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    Reinse, lather, repeat!

  •  They've got "Right to free speech" as a tagline. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, shoeless

    Now just add something about guns, and they're good to go.

    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" -- (Talbot, in: The Maid of Orleans by Friedrich Schiller)

    by rfall on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:54:07 AM PST

  •  I think a grenade loaded with (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, shoeless

    Respiridal Consta is clearly warranted here. Loaded on drones and dropped in many areas of the South and Southwest. The atomized anti-psychotic medication might be able to clear up at least a fraction of their crazed shit.

    These freaks are running 100% on delusional thinking now and that is horribly dangerous. They ARE going to be hurting people.

    I think that politely tolerating their FUCKING INSANITY is a bad thing to do and that it actually harms our lives to tolerate them out of some sense of fairness.

    They aren't treating you fairly - why waste fairness on them? The clock of our life is ticking and these fuckers are shitting on the only time we have.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 08:55:49 AM PST

    •  I disagree. Surely Joe and Jane Sixpack, the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      prototypical brain-rotted Arizona folks who love their guns, beer, and NASCAR, and would vote for Genghis Khan were he a Republican, believe every word of it. Reince, Rush, etc.? Not so much. They're perfectly sane and know exactly what they're doing and saying.

      •  Nah. They have shit for brains. (0+ / 0-)

        And we're supposed to not act like they are as dangerous as they are.

        Legal means "good".
        [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

        by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:26:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Guess we'll have to agree to disagree. I'm sure (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ColoTim, JerryNA

          they know perfectly well that what they're saying is lies, half-truths, etc., but they're paid to propagandize the moron masses, whom they remind that eddification is evil, being the province of them godless elitist LIBBURULS. I remember Dan Quayle sneering about "Mike Dukakis and his Harvard buddies." GHWB went to Yale and that was perfectly OK. I still haven't figured out how the right-wing mind (so to speak) can resolve that contradiction.

          •  Their goal is to kill off as many liberals (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            as possible.

            As long as one is uber-focused on polite decorum, they will NEVER understand these motherfuckers.

            They are focused on destroying you and you are insisting on not seeing their ultra-shittiness.

            They are our enemies.

            At least my enemies.....

            Legal means "good".
            [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

            by xxdr zombiexx on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:47:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Just because Reince, Rush, etc. know (0+ / 0-)

        exactly what they are doing, doesn't mean that they are sane. Joe and Jane sixpack may be sane, but they are just stupid.

        Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfu*king snows on this motherfu*king plain!

        by shoeless on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 10:32:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  John Doe II (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Sounds like John Doe II is on to something, and Reince is trying to beat the drum of "liberty".  I'm thinking he and Walker are going down, and not just on the Koch brothers.

    •  Great title and closing paragraph ! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shoeless, JerryNA

      And all the rest in the middle, too. Got my day off with a good grin. I didn't think the GOP could be any more obviously pandering to the vapors when they had Mr. Steele as their point man. Clearly, it was meant to show their "diversity." By replacing him with RP, they show a more limited diversity. Now they're openly appealing to the most flagrant idiots.

      But Sun-Tzu would admonish us never to underestimate our enemy. There is no small amount of racism, sexism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, et al, for him to appeal to in elections. Hopefully, the framers at the DCC can turn this against them more adroitly and forcefully.

      I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

      by AllanTBG on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:10:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Uncle Sam steals GOP's lunch money, and ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    tells them to put a sock in it. The GOP, along with the courage of the NRA, vows to stand their ground. Ted Nugent is still looking for clean underwear.

    If life weren't so damn hard, we’d have no need for fabric softeners.

    by glb3 on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:07:37 AM PST

  •  They're not conspiracy theories. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    airportman, TKO333, shoeless, Matt Z, jnww, asterion

    They're conspiracy hypothesis.  If the average American actually understood science, this fundamental mistake would not be made.  

    What's the difference between the Federal government and organized crime? One's legally sanctioned.

    by FrankenPC on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:11:51 AM PST

  •  Doctors (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, Matt Z

    Could an Atheist doctor in an emergency room refuse to treat a dying Christian?

  •  WTF is a 'St. Patrick's Day Recess'? eom (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, ColoTim, Matt Z, jnww, JerryNA

    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” - John Steinbeck (Disputed)

    by RichM on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:19:45 AM PST

  •  Stop Government Abuse II (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Son of Stop Government Abuse
    Stop Government Abuse, The Dark World
    Shriek, Stop Government Abuse
    Shriek, Stop Government Abuse 2
    Shriek, Stop Government Abuse the Third
    Shriek, Stop Government Abuse Forever After

    I know stop government, problem solved.

    Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

    by 88kathy on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:34:26 AM PST

  •  wouldn't an "unbiased investigation into irs (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, shoeless, ColoTim, anon004

    targeting of conservative groups" preclude conservatives from doing any of the investigating, since they are, by definition, not "unbiased"?

    members of a club cannot really investigate their own club without being biased, can they?

  •  Don't you understand their plight? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TKO333, anon004, JerryNA

    No groups face more discrimination than those of old right-wing white males financed by old right-wing white male billonares. Keep your government hands off of their tax exempt laundered money.

    Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfu*king snows on this motherfu*king plain!

    by shoeless on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 09:51:09 AM PST

  •  It's Only a Conspiracy Theory if it involves R's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This house only investigates Democrats.

    And 9-11 was an inside job, now let's get back to being lead around by the nose by Repubs cause they can.


    These extremist conservatives remind me of Adolf Hitler. Where will they stop? Their agenda is a fascist nation with a dose of their own religious hatred, racism and intolerance thrown in, with them at the helm.

  •  Someone might want to point out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnww, JerryNA

    to the narrow-shouldered rodent that the LAW reads as follows:

    "Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(4) provides for the exemption of two very different types of organizations with their own distinct qualification requirements. They are:

    • Social welfare organizations: Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated EXCLUSIVELY for the promotion of social welfare, and

    • Local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of designated person(s) in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted EXCLUSIVELY for the promotion of social welfare." — IRS (my emphasis)

    * "The IRS later opened the door to some forms of political activity by interpreting the statute to mean groups had to be "primarily" engaged in enhancing social welfare." — ProPublica (my emphasis)

    Someone strap the little rodent to  his high-chair and ask him to explain why so many of his party's incumbents are facing 'Tea Party' primaries! Ask him how these poor-as-church-mice individual 'Tea Party' groups are paying for their ubiquitous political advertising! Ask him if he can purse his little mouse-lips and form the words "Koch Brothers"! Ask him if he can list any "social welfare activities" by these transparent front groups and dark-money outlets.

    ... and ask Priebus if he thinks effin' perjury under oath — by those longsuffering 'Tea Party' witnesses — before Issa's 'star-chamber' committee clownshow is a prosecutable crime!





    •  Yes! This!! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StillAmused, JerryNA the point on this non-issue everyone seems to be missing, especially conservatives.  The more they complain that the "free speech" of politically conservative groups was"targeted" by the IRS, the more they are making the very point that nothing wrong was done.  If these were politically conservative groups interested in promoting political speech, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE FRACKING TARGETED BY THE IRS BECAUSE THAT SPEECH IS SUPPOSED TO PRECLUDE THEM FROM GETTING TAX EXEMPT STATUS.  

      Conservative Tea Party groups can engage in all the "free political speech" they want, they are just not entitled to engage in "tax-free political speech" via non-transparent supposedly social welfare organizations.  I mean, it's bad enough that Mortimer and Randolph Duke --er, the Koch Brothers -- get to dump a Fort Knox worth of non-transparent gold nuggets into funding groups to go out and promote these lies, but to get a tax exemption on top?  Now that hurts.

      I'd love to see anyone in the MSM come to grips with this fundamental point and cram it down Priebus or Issa or McConnell's throats the next time they start chirping about "free speech."


      •  ...not too sure about free speech... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and tax exempt status supposed to be totally separate. A Church isn't supposed to order or instruct people how to vote in an election. This is true, but it happens all the time and more now than ever.

        Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

        Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

        by paradise50 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 at 08:09:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Political Campaigning By Churches Not OK (0+ / 0-)

          A church or a social welfare organization can engage in all the political speech it wants to.  Since 1954, however, thanks to a law introduced by then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson (and which was later upheld by the Supreme Court), it will just lose its tax exempt status if it does.  The fact that a lot of churches may get away with that does not change the law:

  •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hasn't Darrell Issa already conducted "unbiased" investigations?

  •  Um... Why is there a St Patricks' Day recess? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    + It's the "I hurt my thumb today" recess!

    + Today we recess for "ants on a log" (otherwise known as celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins) It seems like a good time to take a recess, no?

    + Let's take off of work, err.. take a recess (wink!wink!nudge!nudge!) to make sure the local strip club is able to keep its doors open (to make up for the time we actually do have to work, you see) Shop locally!

    No really, our politicians make way too much money. No wonder they're always so concerned with saving their own asses.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 11:48:43 AM PST

  •  I think Cummings(?) (0+ / 0-)

    Wrote a letter to the IRS seeking information the IRS had provided  to a group of republican congress members during a private meeting. I think it was a couple of weeks ago on a Friday. He also wanted them to show the history of how/who they chose to investigate

  •  Why doesn't anyone throw this back in Reince's (0+ / 0-)

    face? Not only were liberal groups AND non-partisan groups equally scrutinized, but not a single one of the conservative groups "targeted" by the IRS was denied the tax-exempt status it was seeking.

    It is the IRS' job to enforce the tax code, so everyone seeking tax-exempt status should be scrutinized to see if they comply with regulations.

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