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December 24, 2014

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OK. I have a pet peeve, vaguely holiday-related, since it will be a problem with some gifts.

Occasionally I need to look up the serial or model number of some electronic device. This can be to get support, make a warranty claim, etc.

Why, why, why, are these numbers always obscurely located in some dark and inaccessible part of the device, written in a tiny type size, and often found in a sea of other numbers, making it hard to identify the actual number needed?

Bah!!

I'm looking forward to the Chelsea/Jenna Presidential election of 2032....

To quote Mark Shields from the last newshour:

Franklin Roosevelt, four times president of the United States, winner of World War II, saved the country in the Depression, his namesake, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Jr., could get elected to the House of Representatives only from New York. He couldn’t even get elected attorney general.

The idea that George Herbert Walker Bush, a thoroughly admirable and good patriotic American, would spawn two sons in the space of 20 years who become president, are we that thin on talent in this country of 315 million people that we go back to the same family three times in less than a generation?

There was a time this country fought to rid itself of a lineage based monarchy. Now its name recognition.

Happy holidays!

Zombie Baby Jesus

My great-aunt Marion, peace be upon her, was not a housekeeper; indeed, she was almost a hoarder. Her house was extremely cluttered, though mostly with "nice things".

Marion had a beautiful Nativity scene, nine-inch olive-wood figures hand-carved and tinted in Italy, with shepherds and sheep and a donkey and angels and wise men with camels a foot tall. But one Christmas, the Jesus figurine went missing.

When we cleaned out her house after her death, we found the little thing under a settee where, apparently, the cat had left it -- a tiny bit chewed-on, hardly noticeable, but unfortunately quite moldy. Soon cleaned up, and not really replaceable, and who actually looks into the manger anyway?

Now my aunt Barb has that set, and every year those in the know check the manger for Moldy Baby Jesus.

Merry Christmas to those of you who keep it,
and best wishes to all of us.


I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet, the words repeat:

Peace on Earth! Goodwill to men!

Judas The Cat

LJ, can you explain this?

In other news, merry christmas everyone.

What I don't understand is why KFC is considered an "also ran" compared to McDonalds. Or perhaps, why is is an also ran.

KFC is actually edible. I wouldn't want it every day, but I like it. But McDonalds (and Burger King, etc.) are not. Might as well eat cardboard . . . preferable with furikake or something to give it at least a little flavor. (Hmmm, the cardboard would probably be better for you, too....)

"Omnipresent amid all the frenzy of Shanghai is that famous portrait, that modern icon. The faintly smiling, bland yet somehow threatening visage appears in brilliant red hues on placards and posters and is painted huge on the sides of buildings. Some call him a genius. Others blame him for the deaths of millions. There are those who say his military reputation was inflated, yet he conquered the mainland in short order. Yes, it's Colonel Sanders." —P.J. O'Rourke

wj:

AFAIK it costs more to get a basic meal from KFC than from McDonald's. Also, McD's foods are much easier to eat in a car, while driving -- because, as the Earl noticed, the bread keeps your hands clean(er). KFC pretty much requires a table.

nobody knows how to make a sandwich anymore?

Why, why, why, are these numbers always obscurely located in some dark and inaccessible part of the device, written in a tiny type size, and often found in a sea of other numbers, making it hard to identify the actual number needed?

Extra credit if disassembly is required.

:(

Meanwhile, I'm feeling kind of poorly from stress and lack of sleep. We're going to go to Annie tomorrow, then we need to figure out which Chinese restaurants are open. Or perhaps I'll make Chinese food here, don't know yet.

On Boxing Day we'll have the big holiday dinner, featuring Meatballs with Allspice-Cream Sauce -- but I'll make the meatballs with venison. This is one of the best venison recipes I've come up with, always a winner -- especially for my dad, for whom venison is always the first choice (when available). We'll have it with cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. After dinner, it'll be cookies, champagne, and presents.

russell:

But the point is, you often get these foods when you don't have time to go home. They're fast, and McD's is faster than KFC.

that's cool, Doc S, I'm just practicing my cranky old guy shtick.

or, as my wife said recently, "practicing??!? i think you have it down."

If we find ourselves where the time difference between McD's and KFC is significant, it's time to take a serious look at how much we are trying to cram into our days. Need to slow down and smell the roses occasionally.

Dr S.,
Do you know anyone who is Jewish? They traditionally (OK, American Jews traditionally) go out for Chinese on Christmas. So they would know.

FWIW, I actually like McDs. I have no illusions about it's health benefits, nor do I think it's fine dining.

But its relatively cheap, fast, and tasty. I can get breakfast that is reasonable for $2 for a less then 5 minute deviation on my way to work. Not something I do every day, but if I'm running late in the morning...

And that's not to say I don't enjoy the occasional big mac or mcnuggets. And the good Doctor is correct: they are easy to eat on the road.

Darrel Issa has yet to find anything linking the White House to the Tea Party targeting scandal.

That IS kind of the point of a cover-up, no?

So, the IRS lied about the emails being backed up, lied about the backups being deleted, (So, they're NOT missing, for all that they still haven't been turned over.) lied about having searched for the emails, and now is refusing to provide to the court 2500 emails sent to the White House that it admits are responsive to a discovery order, because doing so would violate the law because they contain confidential taxpayer information that can't by law be released outside the IRS.

Including, except for very narrow exceptions, to the White House, which is what the discovery order was all about.

But, nothing to see, move on.

Nope, no plans to go anywhere, my brakes failed last week, and the vacation money is now under the car, in the form of all new brake lines. But there's a turkey brining in the garage, and friends invited over for dinner tomorrow, so who needs to go anywhere? Maybe we'll go for a drive on the Blueridge parkway this weekend, to see some snow.

wj,

At this risk of sounding slightly snarkier than usual, I believe I've read enough of Dr. Science's writing to suggest that she knows herself.

Picky, picky. ;-)

That IS kind of the point of a cover-up, no?

OK, buckle up, here we go down the good old threadjack luge track....

The fact that they didn't find anything proves that there really is something going on?

If the good doctor didn't want a threadjack, why'd she freaking mention it in the first place?

No, the fact that the IRS repeatedly lied to prevent access to the emails, and is still stonewalling, proves it. You don't carry out that sort of cover-up, including lying under oath to Congress, to cover up nothing.

So Brett, the fact that you have once been incorrect about something you said (surely you have!), "proves" that anything you say is incorrect? No way!

As a rule of thumb, given a choice between evil intent and stupidity as the reason someone did something, pick stupidity. The odds are far more in your favor.

This is why conspiracy theories get little credency from me. Not because conspiracies do not exist. But because the vast majority of them, even the vaguely plausible ones, are simply wrong.

If the good doctor didn't want a threadjack, why'd she freaking mention it in the first place?

My bad, you are correct, the good Doctor raised the issue in the original post.

Not a threadjack!!

Carry on.

I, for one, am covering up ALL of the evidence of JFKs assassination AND Pearl Harbor. And since no one has ever been able to link me to any of it, the conspiracy must run VERY deep!

Snarki, you left out Joe Kennedy creating the 1929 market crash and Great Depression. Which he must have, since he was the one who got out in time to not lose his shirt. And nobody has had a clue for almost a century -- now that's an impressive conspiracy!

Don't get Brett started on Benghazi.

Hey that was me who mentioned the IRS! Must credit Ugh!

That's right, know the difference between yer Ughs and yer ah-OOO-gahs!

As for what I'm doing, the people are coming to us -- but I'm not sure if this is going to be the last time. I'm *extremely* lucky, because I have two living and fundamentally healthy parents, but my mother's 90th birthday is next year and I just don't know if they'll be able to handle the trip, even though my brother drives for the more traffic-y half. It's a shorter visit, too, because my brother has been promoted and can't take as much time off -- he's a priest, so this is his second-busiest time of year.

But we *do* all have our health, as does the cat, and this year we have enough money to get a concolor fir again -- they have a wonderful tangerine-like smell, and very nice foliage, too. And this year we have a Star of David tree-topper, too!

And yes, wj, that means that *we* are the Jewish people -- but most of our usual Chinese restaurants are closed for Xmas. Though in recent years we've found that we aren't the only ones at the movie theater -- it's getting to be quite crowded Christmas afternoon, which is kind of startling.

It's Christmas morning here and the kids have just left for school...which, I think in its own way explains how the colonel (a word I could never spell until I realized that it started with 'colon') could take root here.

I'm trying (but failing) to find an article in the major Japanese English newspaper about that (which I think is the source of 'a Japanese friend' in the article). It covers the same territory, but it was the comments that I wanted to share. I think almost all of them are from foreigners living in Japan (the short term is gaijin, which some find offensive, and the term that some consider more polite is gaikokujin) and maybe 1/3 are some comment on how it surprised them, another third are 'geez, this was so 20 years ago', another third are 'this is completely overstated'. As always the truth lies somewhere there, but hellifIknow where it is.

I'm sure that he could blow the minds of Japanese friends telling them that KFC in the states is closed at Christmas, but he could have also done that by saying that kids there get 10 days off from school for Christmas and New Year's.

This line was particularly interesting

To trace the transition of Colonel Harland Sanders—a remarkably surly man, if Shelbyville gossip is to be believed—from aggressive Depression-era cook to beaming cartoon icon to a twisted Father Christmas—is to see the bizarre logic of the global market at work.

I'm not sure why the logic is 'bizarre'. "They don't celebrate Christmas like we do! Can you believe it?"But if you think about it, the bizarre thing might be that some rather unbelievable story 2000 years ago (of a man who seemed to be, as Chris Rock said
Jesus is the least materialistic person to ever roam the earth. No bling on Jesus.

can be the focus of the economies in half of the world. Now that is bizzaro logic!!

Merry Christmas all

So, Dr S, do you call your tree a Hannukah Bush? Just curious how eccuminical things are there...

Merry Christmas and happy holidays and so on to you all. I've been reading this blog since 2004, which seems both an awfully long time and an awfully quick passage of time. I don't come around much any more--too much dog rescue going on in my life plus I got elected President (of an HOA) and I'm working on a short story with illustrations. Besides politics is too fucking depressing. But anyway I am glad you all are still here and I miss everyone who doesn't come by any more.

Brett: Including, except for very narrow exceptions, to the White House, which is what the discovery order was all about.

Well, 26 USC 6103 - the Code section providing that returns and return information shall be confidential - provides in subsection (g) that Upon written request by the President, signed by him personally, the Secretary shall furnish to the President, or to such employee or employees of the White House Office as the President may designate by name in such request, a return or return information with respect to any taxpayer named in such request.

He has to include in the request the name/address, the type and year of the return, and why he is asking for it. He also has to eventually file a report with the Joint Committee on Taxation.

So, that's it. The restriction on POTUS getting confidential tax return information is that POTUS has to, essentially, ask nicely.

Doesn't seem too narrow.

wj:

*I* call it a Yule Tree. The rest of the family doesn't always go along with me, but at least no-one calls it a Hanukkah bush.

Yes, a happy holiday to all. My family had our yearly crab feast tonight, and the white port that had been recommended to me to go with crab turned out to do so quite spectacularly. Tomorrow we have more eatings and a few token presents to exchange, and I continue to see if I remember how to relax.

Yeah, he has to ask nicely, own up to it, and catch unbridled h-e-double hockey sticks if he didn't have a good reason, like maybe vetting the guy he plans to nominate for Secretary of the Treasury to make sure he's not a tax cheat.

And maybe he asked for taxpayer information on some people he had no business asking about, and then didn't bother telling the Joint Committee. Which is just a bit hard to determine if the IRS takes the position that it doesn't have to comply with discovery orders.

And Congressional oversight becomes a tad difficult if the IRS thinks it's entitled to lie repeatedly to Congress, and the DOJ laughs at Congressional referrals over the perjury and contempt. But people who've done illegal things don't like oversight much.

Bottom line: The IRS lied to everybody, including Congress under oath, about those emails. Repeatedly. I guess the Democratic talking point is that they risked jail time for the yucks, and orchestrated a cover up to cover up nothing.

FWIW, in the seasonal spirit I just put up a short post ("Hallelujah") in the blog of my daughter, Magistra et Mater:
http://magistraetmater.blog.co.uk/

Not at all holiday related, I came across this gem today.

Food for thought. Happy holidays.

Turkey is in the oven, roasted root vegetables prepped, guests are bringing side dishes. And my son is napping, a great opportunity to relax for a bit.

All of you have a merry Christmas, despite our differences. They really are more superficial than we pretend.

Happy Christmas to all.

Dr. S: "*I* call it a Yule Tree."

Ah, a traditionalist. Well, it's a lot more accurate than calling it a "Christmas Tree". Being, after all, a northwestern European pagan symbol which got coopted (like so many others) by Christianity. No reason Judiasm shouldn't coopt it as well.

It occurs to me to wonder what American Muslims do on the subject.... (The Buddhists I know mostly seem to just go with the flow, without bothering to even mention that they aren't actually embracing Christmas in its religious sense.)

Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah to all! Not to mention a belated Happy Solstice, if there's anyone here who celebrates that.

bobby, the author of your link raises an interesting issue:
"Some very smart people have wondered aloud if people should lose their jobs for being stupid on social media."

I would say that just being stupid is not, per se, a reason someone should lose their job. However. If your job involves being part of the political establishment, and your being stupid involves seriously damaging your ability to function in that capacity, then you really ought to find alternate employment.

I would also say that bullying is the sort of thing that should put anybody's job at risk. (Unless you have the sort of job, say professional wrestler, where bullying is part of the job description.) And an adult denouncing a couple of teenagers for being teenagers, and not particularly obnoxious teenagers at that, definitely counts as bullying. Especially when she has to know that the kids involved are not going to be able to respond in their own defense.

I get the impression that over here Christmas has become so secular that few Muslims have a problem with it. It may help that the German term "Weihnachten" is nonspecific as far as religion is concerned ('holy/sacred night').

It occurs to me to wonder what American Muslims do on the subject

Probably lots of points of view.

Here's one.

Bottom line: "conservatives" are, once again, casting their imaginations far and wide in the slim hope that one of their dreams will somehow match reality and then Mitt Romney becomes President automatically and Obamacare is repealed, too.

I guess the bottom line is that you don't actually CARE if the IRS lies, as long as admitting they lied might help the right.

Brett, no question there are those whose position, both for or against, on any particular question is determined (or at least massively influenced) by what the impact on the right will be. Just as there are those whose position on any particular issue is determined by what President Obama's position is.

But that doesn't really describe most of those here. Personally, while I think the far right is daft on a lot of issues, and would be horrified at having their overall worldview inflicted on the country, I would be fine with something that they want actually happening. Not anything that they want, but some of the things they favor are just fine. Even, things that I feel would be an enormous benefit to the nation.

And I suspect that even the liberals here could find positions that the far right embraces which they, too, could support. Maybe not a lot, but certainly some. Including not having the IRS deliberately targetting NGOs based on their politics. The problem here isn't whether the IRS should do this or not. It is whether there is convincing evidence that it did so.

And whether occasional discrepencies between what its managers said was happening and what is shown to have happened a) actually exist, and b) are reasonably attributable to malice (they knew they were lying) or ineptitude (they simply didn't have the right information).

If one starts out believing the IRS is out to get one, then of course how convincing the proof needs to be is a lot lower. And that appears to be where we end up with disagreements here. It's not whether some things are bad -- we all agree that they would be. It's not whether the discrepencies exist -- at least some of the time. It's the assumptions about the motives of those involved.

And note that similar effects can be seen in the motives attributed by the left to those on the right. For example, it is entirely possible to oppose abortion for reasons other than misogyny. But you would never know it to listen to some on the far left. (No doubt you have observed this yourself.)

I suspect that, in both cases, it is simply a matter of being so certain of the merits of one's position that it is difficult (or impossible) to imagine that anyone could disagree except from evil intent. But I may be wrong on that.

Bottom line is that Brett cares far more about lying about taxes than lying about torture.

Excuse me, "occasional discrepancies"? They flat out lied, repeatedly, under oath. Not even plausible lies. These are the sort of "discrepancies" that result in perjury charges if they're not beneficial to the administration in power.

How handy, therefore, that the new Congress' Republican majority will be able to bring charges, without reference to the administration. Be interesting to see if they do.

They'll have to be careful. After all, you want to prevent the other side from using a tool. Or punish them for using it. Not break the tool.

And I suspect that even the liberals here could find positions that the far right embraces which they, too, could support. Maybe not a lot, but certainly some. Including not having the IRS deliberately targetting NGOs based on their politics. The problem here isn't whether the IRS should do this or not. It is whether there is convincing evidence that it did so.

No. I don't want the IRS targeting organizations based on their politics.

Neither do I want campaign organizations misrepresenting their purposes, effectively lying, so as to gain a tax advantage. Apparently conservatives don't consider those lies to be worthy of note.

When you make everything illegal, selective prosecution is as good as not having to be bound by laws at all. Might have been a case for shutting down all non-profits that engage in politics, but that wasn't what the IRS was up to. They were only going after the ones whose politics they didn't like.

Brett,

1. Everything is not illegal. Tax evasion, however, is.

2. The IRS went after some liberal groups as well. There are disagreements about relative numbers and so on, but it is quite clear that they were not, only going after the ones whose politics they didn't like."

They were only going after the ones whose politics they didn't like.

I'm curious about one thing. You seem quite certain that the IRS was doing this. But people who could take action about this (e.g. Congressman Issa), and who have been devoting substantial resources to finding evidence of it, don't seem to have succeeded in finding evidence which would allow them to take legal action. They put out statements roughly parallel to yours. But actual legal action (which definitely is legally within their purview)? Nada.

What do you know that they do not? Or do you merely share their certainty, in the absense of evidence?

"2. The IRS went after some liberal groups as well."

No, there were liberal groups that were subject to some degree of investigation, but every single tea party group. And the sort of treatment they got was radically different, resolution within days vs months/years of delay.

"I'm curious about one thing. You seem quite certain that the IRS was doing this."

They said they did it. They confessed doing it. The IG confirmed they did it. That they did it is not in question. How far up the chain of command the malfeasance went is the question, not whether it happened.

"But people who could take action about this ... don't seem to have succeeded in finding evidence which would allow them to take legal action.

Again, that IS the point of stone walling. And Issa and company can refer them for actual legal action. Which they have done. The DOJ is simply refusing to act on the referrals.

Short of sending Congress's man at arms to lock somebody up in the basement, there isn't a lot they can do once the DOJ decides it won't act on their criminal referrals.


Just curious to see if that worked.

(Italics)

every single tea party group.

Can you define what you mean by "tea party" group?

If you mean any group that had "tea party" in the name, then my response is "well, duh!". A group that seeks tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) that labels itself using explicitly partisan language should reasonably expect to have the request challenged.

Assuming that more conservative groups were targeted, is it possible that that is so because *more conservative groups were pushing the limit of the law*?

Again, that IS the point of stone walling. And Issa and company can refer them for actual legal action. Which they have done(linked article, which see-ed).

Are you serious? Did you actually, like, read the article you linked to? Are you really going to argue that Rove's Crossroads GPS was primarily an "educational" endeavor, not a nakedly political organization that most likely does not deserve the special tax status?

And a bullshit partisan screed calling for heads to roll is a "referral"? And somehow not acting on this crap is some kind of scandal? That is hilarious. If the DOJ acted on every Issa call for prosecutions half this country would be in the dock.

That this does not happen, even when the GOP runs the executive branch, is because just about everybody knows he is a lying hack, a GOP thug, and an utterly dishonest asshole.

Happy New Year!

Last I heard, it was entirely possible to lock someone up for Contempt of Congress. (Which deliberately lying to a Congessional committee definitely fits.) No action by the DoJ required.

"The IRS went after some liberal groups as well. There are disagreements about relative numbers and so on, but it is quite clear that they were not, only going after the ones whose politics they didn't like."

It is correct that were not only "going after" conservative groups. They have some actual criteria that applies to groups across the spectrum. It is equally clear that they went after many more conservative groups BECAUSE they were conservative groups. In the same way the most racist police force will also "go after" some white people, there will be some disagreements over the numbers.

I will admit that the IRS thing is just not something I have paid that much attention to, mainly because when Issa is involved I basically assume fraud.

So for all I know, conservative groups were targeted at a rate completely out of proportion to their actual numbers, and solely and deliberately because they were conservative.

But if folks are going to make claims like "every single one", or draw analogies to the "most racist police force", then you have to show your work.

And statements implying that the inability to find proof of White House collusion is evidence of a cover up are not just paranoid, they more or less define paranoid delusion.

One more point on the IRS "scandal:"

We've seen so much phony ginned up anti-Obama outrage, from birtherism Bill Ayers to Benghazi, that it's hard to take another one seriously.

The wolf-criers need to shut up.

Russell - thank you for the link :) Always appreciated to know someone is reading :)

Merry Christmas, everyone.

It is equally clear that they went after many more conservative groups BECAUSE they were conservative groups.

This assertion goes to motive, and it is, based on the evidence revealed to date, the least tenable...a gossamer apparition, a chimera, a fact free supposition, a partisan mirage.

Of course, being a partisan myself, I remember the day when the IRS was actually used as a partisan weapon by Dicky Nixon. Good times.

This current so-called scandal does not even rise to the level of weak beer in scandaland.

A partisan mirage if you just completely blow off the data.

"Of course, being a partisan myself, I remember the day when the IRS was actually used as a partisan weapon by Dicky Nixon."

Now, THAT is a partisan mirage. He tried to get the IRS to attack his enemies, and they retaliated by auditing HIM.

A partisan mirage if you just completely blow off the data.

Then try producing some.

"draw analogies to the "most racist police force", then you have to show your work."

In a thread full name calling GOP THUG, etc. A pretty simple analogy requires "show your work"? I don't think it really needs that, right?

One person has been called a GOP thug, and that is Issa. And no, IMVHO there is no need for anyone calling Issa a thug to show their work.

Look, here is a simple data point from the wiki page on the IRS scandal:

The letter further stated that out of the 20 groups applying for tax-exempt status whose names contained "progress" or "progressive", 6 had been chosen for more scrutiny as compared to all of the 292 groups applying for tax-exempt status whose names contained "tea party", "patriot", or "9/12".

This tells me two things:

1. Conservative groups with obviously partisan language in their names were investigated at a higher rate than liberal ones with similarly partisan language in theirs

2. Conservative groups with obviously partisan language in their names applied for 501(c) status in almost *15 times* the numbers of their liberal counterparts.

This could speak to either intent, or simply to a freaking overflowing in-box on the conservative side. Maybe all of the conservative groups were tagged for investigation because there were so freaking many of them that nobody had the time to vet them to see which merited action and which did not. Tag 'em all and sort them out later.

I don't know which. Either or both could be true.

But it's not incumbent upon me to show my work and demonstrate which is so, because I'm not making any claims about it.

There are lots of possible explanations for what happened. Some of them are highly suspicious, some are not.

If you want to make a claim about which of them is true, you need to show your work. Or not, but if you wish to actually be persuasive, you need to show your work.

And leading off your argument with a claim that the failure to find evidence is actually evidence that evidence exists, somewhere, as Brett did, is more or less wading into the argument with your full clown suit on.

Now, THAT is a partisan mirage. He tried to get the IRS to attack his enemies, and they retaliated by auditing HIM.

touche. But consider this, there is no doubt that Nixon tried to use the IRS for political advantage nor any doubt about his intent.

But here we have a case of alleged intent with no credible evidence. Marty claims they did it BECAUSE they were conservative groups. Other conservative outlets have asserted the administration was involved.

Produce the evidence, please.

Is that too much to ask?

As for the word "thug". Kiss my ass. I see the term used routinely here by the usual suspects, to wit "union thug", Trevon Martin-thug", etc. You get the picture? Save your crying hankies for something more important.

And, for the record, Darrell Issa is a thug.

russell, you left out the minor detail that the tea party folks are pretty much universally partisan. (Anybody know of a group with "tea party" in its name which was not partisan?) Whereas it is possible to use the term "progress" without being political, let alone partisan -- unless one thinks that anything that even suggests change is, by definition, partisan.

I listened to a lot of shufflin in my life, this issue is impossible for progressives to just admit all the evidence shows there was a partisan component. I've seen dozens of actual people on regular old news shows over the years now, that tell clear stories of undeniable harradsment

Neither the Senate investigative report nor the FBI's investigation found what you so clearly claim to see, Marty.

You continue to provide no evidence of IRS abuse motivated by partisanship, i.e., sworn testimony or incriminating correspondence where it is clearly stated, "Yes, we (the IRS) invoked this higher level of scrutiny in order to cripple the conservative Tea Party movement".

I would entertain theories of stupidity, incompetence, arrogance, or even institutional revenge because the GOP Congress gutted their budget, but I have not seen evidence of a partisan or ideological motivation.

I be shufflin' off for the day. Have a good one.

I've seen dozens of actual people on regular old news shows over the years now

Case closed.

I have not seen evidence of a partisan or ideological motivation.

I wouldn't even say that.

I would say that more conservative groups being targeted than liberal groups is *evidence* of a possible partisan motivation.

What it is not, is *proof*. It's evidence.

I would go further and say that it's evidence that warrants investigation. And, we've had that, too, at length if not ad nauseum.

We've spent millions of dollars, and hundreds or thousands of hours of the time of folks in Congress and their staffers, looking for the elusive smoking gun. And it's not like the folks looking haven't been highly motivated to find it.

It just hasn't been found.

If we want to hold Lerner in contempt and compel her to talk under threat of jail time, fine with me. Have at it.

If we want to continue to pursue the fabled email trail for another ten years, live it up. It's only money.

But a lot of people have spent a lot of time and money digging through the entrails, and as of yet, no joy.

So maybe it's time to give it a rest. No worries, there will be fresh new scandal tomorrow.

Considering the RW folks that whined about "oh that evil IRS, that delayed non-profit certification of our Tea Party groups, just so we could not affect the elections the way we wanted", the proof that *I'd* like to see is that the Tea Party groups were actually non-partisan.

See my point about selective prosecution. Both sides make extensive use of partisan non-profits. Only one side's partisan non-profits get dragged through the wringer.

Deny them on both sides, or neither. Anything else is just the IRS itself being partisan.

Did any of the groups applying for 501(c) status in the time period under discussion actually have their application denied?

What was the apparent political orientation of those groups?

Of course there is no smoking gun Russell, emails were deleted, top officials pled the fifth, the smoking gun was dumped in the river. Sometimes, particularly in the court of public opinion, it is reasonable to rely on the weight of circumstantial evidence. Particularly in blog comments.

Marty, how do you hide the evidence of organizations being denied 501(c) status? It seems like there ought to be a pretty solid paper trail there.

"It seems like there ought to be a pretty solid paper trail there."

Unless...the 501(c) groups themselves were "disappeared" before they could speak out. Obama Body Count, wake up sheeple!

Sometimes, particularly in the court of public opinion, it is reasonable to rely on the weight of circumstantial evidence.

I don't have a problem with that.

In the case we're talking about, it certainly smells like the IRS went after tea party groups more aggressively than other groups.

So, if you're inclined to think that's what happened, there's plenty of information in the public record to support your point of view.

There are also countervailing facts, such as the fact that to date no tea party group has actually had 501(c) status denied them, whereas at least one liberal group has.

There is also the fact that the number of tea party related groups seeking 501(c) status grossly outnumbered their liberal counterparts, which is a plausible explanation for the delay in processing their requests, if someone is actually interested in entertaining other possible explanations.

What makes me want to shake my head and go have an adult beverage is the argument that the inability of Issa and his crew to actually come with a smoking gun, after the hours and dollars that they spent seeking one, is somehow evidence that the smoking gun exists.

That's just nutty.

" how do you hide the evidence of organizations being denied 501(c) status"

By not actually denying it. Just drag the process out interminably, never arriving at a final decision. It's just as effective as denying status, without any denial to point at. In the meanwhile you can waste the organization's resources by making insane demands for further documentation. Asking the organization to document the content of their prayers, for instance. Organizations were asked for lists of donors, and those lists passed on to liberal groups outside the IRS.

You don't need to officially deny an application to deny it. Just make the process never ending.

First Benghazi peters out, now Issa's off of the IRS thing.

It's slim pickings for conspiracy theorists these days.

You don't need to officially deny an application to deny it. Just make the process never ending.

Actually, I think this is 100% wrong. 501(c)4's can begin to operate when they are organized and have a EIN. There is no need to wait for approval, and there is a 27-month window for applying.

If the application is ultimately rejected there are no retroactive penalties.


But they have a bit of trouble convincing anybody to donate during that period.

At any rate, that's why you didn't see Tea Party rejections: Lacking any actual basis for rejecting the applications, they just perpetually slow-walked them.

Why would lack of 501(c)4 status deter people from donating? Unless they are more interested in the deduction than in the cause, I suppose. But it seems like that wouldn't be true for most of those who would be inclined to donate. What am I missing?

Unless they are more interested in the deduction than in the cause, I suppose. But it seems like that wouldn't be true for most of those who would be inclined to donate. What am I missing?

There is no tax deduction for donations to a 501(c)4, so that's not an issue.

Thanks, byomtov. Then I'm totally at a loss for why it would inhibit donors.

Correct me if I am wrong, but if you have the 501(c)4 status, donors may remain anonymous.

Why this would be so important to a small group of Tea Party activists in Peoria who claim they only want to pass out copies of the US Constitution is beyond me.

Why such a small group would seek 501(c)4 status is quite mystifying to begin with, because nobody would really give a shit if all they wanted to do is merely what they claimed they wanted to do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/501(c)_organization#501.28c.29.284.29

For those interested.

"Why this would be so important to a small group of Tea Party activists in Peoria who claim they only want to pass out copies of the US Constitution is beyond me."

Well, you can't be harassed for your donations if nobody knows you made them. For example, Gibson Guitar got raided. Competitors that used the same wood, from the same sources, didn't. What's the difference?

Gibson's CEO was donating to conservative candidates and causes. His competitors were donating to liberal candidates and causes.

Can't be a target for politically motivated enforcement if the government doesn't know your politics. So, yeah, being able to donate secretly to political causes is very important to some people.

Other guitar companies do use ebony. But from sustainable sources in Cameroon (in Taylor's case), rather than Madagascar (where its harvesting appears to have been done illegally).

Of course, that doesn't prove that the raid was not politically motivated. But it does suggest that it might not have been. Unless one considers that all the laws on protecting endangered species are harassment and should simply not be enforced -- which is a separate question. Or is seriously paranoid.

The Gibson raid.

The Gibson raid again.

You give all evidence of being in intelligent person. Why play the fool like this?

Thanks for the links, Russell.

So, according to the OpenSecrets list, Juszkiewicz gave $6800 to Republican candidates and $3000 to Democrats over the period 2009-2011.

Notice that the GOP contributions were to Huckabee in 2007, not to McCain in 2008, and to Marsha Blackburn, who routinely gets about 70% of the vote in her campaigns.

And we are to believe that this motivated big bad Obama to sic the government on him because he is such a vital cog in the Republican electoral machine?

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