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 Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/16/2013, 9:00 am

I wrote:
What are your thoughts on the article? . . . Was there anything in it you found particularly compelling? If so, why? Any particular points you wanted me to address?

Anything? 'Specially since you derided me for ignoring it:

happy jack wrote:
Y’know what the funny thing is about ignoring something?
It generally doesn’t make it go away.

Seems silly that you'd do the same.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/16/2013, 9:16 am

Heretic wrote:
Was there anything in it you found particularly compelling?

Yes.
The fact that the mainstream press is paying attention.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/16/2013, 10:38 pm

happy jack wrote:
The fact that the mainstream press is paying attention.

To what?
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 4:32 am

Heretic wrote:
happy jack wrote:
The fact that the mainstream press is paying attention.

To what?

To the (finally) growing realization that Barry does not walk on water.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 7:49 am

happy jack wrote:
To the (finally) growing realization that Barry does not walk on water.

Again, the only people who thought he was the Messiah was the GOP. The rest of us liked him simply because he wasn't Romney, McCain, or Bush.

And I certainly don't see how that ridiculous op-ed counts as "mainstream".
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 7:56 am

Beltway narrative schizophrenia

Quote :
It’s hard not to notice that a kind of narrative schizophrenia has taken hold as Republicans seek to turn the various ongoing scandals in Washington to their advantage — and as commentators try to interpret what the political fallout from them will mean.

One current storyline has it that all of these stories could converge to create a sense that Obama’s embrace of government activism has shaded into Nixonian abuses of power — revealing that Obama personally harbors a far more intrusive, overbearing, and even sinister approach to governing than he previously let on. But another current storyline has it that the White House’s pushback on these scandals — the claims of a firewall between the Justice Department and the White House, the assertions of no connection to the IRS abuses – reveal a president who is weak and unable to control the government he presides over.

. . .

Meanwhile, in the second camp, here is Peter Baker, arguing that Obama has become something of a “bystander” in the Oval Office:

Quote :
On Wednesday, announcing the departure of the acting director of the I.R.S., he portrayed himself as an onlooker to the scandal, albeit one with the power to force changes. “Americans have a right to be angry about it, and I’m angry about it,” he said.

He likewise had nothing to do with the Justice Department seizure of phone records of reporters for The Associated Press, aides say. The Benghazi dispute, he complains, is brazen politics, and the White House released e-mails Wednesday meant to show that the president’s close aides had little involvement in its most hotly debated aspect. He has no way to force Congress to pass even a modest gun-control bill, aides say, while the slaughter in Syria defies American capacity to intervene.

All of which raises the question of how a president with grand ambitions and shrinking horizons can use his office. Mr. Obama may be right about some of the things he cannot do, but he has also struggled lately to present a vision of what he can do.

Obviously, these narratives can’t both be true at once. The scandals can’t demonstrate that Obama’s true dictatorial streak has finally been revealed while simultaneously supporting the idea that they’ve shown him to be too weak to control a government that has run amok.

. . .

Rather, what is really revealed by this schizophrenia is the folly of the Beltway addiction to what Jonathan Chait describes as “narratives that revolve around the president as a protagonist.” Obama is not the only character of any significance in the Beltway drama, though he may be far and away the most powerful. And complex policy disputes and serious governing lapses can’t be reduced to — or ascribed to – nothing more than outgrowths of presidential character. The yearning to impose character-driven narrative simplicity on complex policy and governing questions actually encourages us to turn our focus away from the actual factual details underlying them.

Such is the conflicting nature of "conspiracies". Twoofers had this too - Bush was able to murder 3,000 US citizens in a (near) flawlessly executed plan as pretense for war in Iraq but too stupid to photoshop a bomb on a camel to justify the invasion.
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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 8:38 am

Heretic wrote:
And I certainly don't see how that ridiculous op-ed counts as "mainstream".

You are correct.
It completely slipped my mind that the Chicago Tribune is published by a blogger living in his mother's basement.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 8:53 am

What cracks me up are that the idiots on the right that are trying to compare the most scandal free administration in decades,Obama's,to Richard Nixon. Rolling Eyes
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/17/2013, 9:25 am

happy jack wrote:
It completely slipped my mind that the Chicago Tribune is published by a blogger living in his mother's basement.

If a single poorly written opinion piece counts as the entire collective of the "mainstream press", then they've always been paying attention. Such op-eds have been appearing in papers since before he won his first Presidential election.
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edge540

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/20/2013, 8:28 am

happy jack wrote:
edge540 wrote:
happy jack wrote:

Americans see evidence of truth-shading, arrogance and intrusion
You betcha, here's the evidence:
Quote :
PPP’s newest national poll finds that Republicans aren’t getting much traction with their focus on Benghazi over the last week. Voters trust Hillary Clinton over Congressional Republicans on the issue of Benghazi by a 49/39 margin and Clinton’s +8 net favorability rating at 52/44 is identical to what it was on our last national poll in late March. Meanwhile Congressional Republicans remain very unpopular with a 36/57 favorability rating.


Gotta love that irrefutable "evidence" of yours.
Good one, edge.
Quite the knee-slapper.



Yes indeed jack, it certainly is quite the knee-slapper.
9 months later and 9 investigations and this is what you have. Giddy up.

Quote :
CNN Poll: Obama approval rating unharmed by controversies

By Sean Sullivan, Published: May 19, 2013
Even as his administration has faced intense scrutiny over a trio of controversies, President Obama’s approval rating hasn’t suffered, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday.

Fifty-three percent of Americans said they approve of the job the president is doing, while 45 percent said they disapprove. That’s virtually unchanged from an early April survey in which Obama’s approval/disapproval split was 51 percent to 47 percent.
The poll is one of the earliest indicators of how Obama’s image has been affected during one of the worst weeks of his presidency. As questions about the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups, and news that the Justice Department secretly obtained journalists’ phone records have fueled Republican attacks, the president has been put very much on defense.

More than seven in 10 Americans said the IRS actions were unacceptable; 55 percent said they believe the agency acted on it own, while 37 percent said it acted under the order of White House officials. The White House has said Obama did not learn of the episode until he read about it in news reports.

The good news for Obama is that 61 percent said they believe that what the president said about the IRS matter is mostly or completely true. The good news for the GOP is that 54 percent said they think congressional Republicans are reacting appropriately to the episode.

The CNN poll was conducted on Friday and Saturday.

According to a Gallup poll released last week, interest in the IRS scandal and the controversy over Benghazi remains below average when it comes to major news stories. The findings mirrored a Pew Research Center survey which showed relatively few people are following the Benghazi controversy closely.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/20/2013, 10:49 am

Elaborating on what Edge posted earlier:
CNN poll: Republicans only ones wrapped up in scandal
Quote :
President Obama's net approval rating in CNN's latest poll has gone from -3 in March (47 percent approve, 50 percent disapprove) to to +8 in May (53 percent approve, 45 percent disapprove), a gain of 11 points.

Yeah, you read that right. According to CNN, President Obama is now more popular now than he was two months ago. People think he's doing a better job.

So much for a presidency in disarray. In the aftermath of the GOP holding hearings with "Benghazi whistleblowers," the release of Benghazi talking points emails, the IRS scandal, and the AP phone records subpoena ... Obama isn't just unshaken, he's stronger than he was two months ago.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/21/2013, 2:14 am

I am loving this CNN poll...
GOP scandal-mongering making Obama more popular, GOP most unpopular in CNN polling history
Quote :

The Democratic Party went from a 46-48 favorable-unfavorable rating a month ago, to 52-43 in this latest poll. That's a net gain of 11 points.

As for impeachment-screeching Republicans? They're DOWN a net eight points from 38-54 a month ago, to 35-59 this week.
It turns out that:

* The American people just don't think that it's the worst scandal since Watergate that Obama called the Benghazi consulate attack an "act of terror" as opposed to a "terrorist attack".

* The American people just don't care that the IRS spent extra time looking at the applications of political groups—none of which had their applications rejected, mind you. (Well, except for that one liberal group.)

* The American people can't be bothered to care that some reporters were spied on, after the GOP spent the last decade pushing for increased wiretapping powers in the name of "national security". This is exactly what Republicans wanted. No one believes they're really that outraged about it now.

So after the president's supposed worst week ever, with Republicans jumping in glee at the scandals, we find that the president's popularity has inched up, the Democratic Party's popularity is significantly up, and Republicans, at 59 percent unfavorable, are at their highest unpopularity level since CNN started polling the question in 1992.

Way to go, sherlocks.
Please,please please start banging the drum for impeachment so we can reclaim the House cheers
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/21/2013, 2:28 am

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/21/2013, 11:17 am

Colbert's take:

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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/21/2013, 11:35 am

House Defense Bill Aims to Implement Lessons From Benghazi Attack

Quote :
Discussions of these security issues have, up to now, been overshadowed completely by the flurry of accusations from some Republicans that the president either failed to act out of incompetence, insufficient concern, or for some as yet unexplained political motive. Many of these allegations have surfaced as part of an investigation led by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif.

Senior GOP aides pointed out that many of the accusations involving security and military forces turned out to be unfounded. One recent example involved a supposed whistle-blower who reported that an armed Predator drone was operating in the area, but was not called upon to respond to the Benghazi attack, an assertion labeled erroneous by Pentagon officials and Hill staffers.

“There are some real issues there and then there is just some crazy stuff,” the senior House GOP aide said. “The crazy stuff is, you know, the airman in Ramstein [Air Base, Germany,] that knew that the Predator [drone] was armed. There are no armed Predators in the region there. The [status of forces agreement] does not allow us to fly them armed, and everybody knows it.”

GOP aides described another criticism aired at a recent House Oversight Committee hearing that there were four security officers at the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli who were ordered to remain in the capital for several hours after the first reports of an attack, rather than being scrambled to assist the consulate in Benghazi.

“The stand-down order was for four guys,” the GOP aide said. “When you step back and say how were the people killed at the annex, they were killed by an indirect fire mortar round. Four more M-4s [rifles] inside the annex doesn’t change that outcome. In fact, they might have just created more casualties.

It's gotta be hard for the guys doing the actual work at the behest of their idiot masters. Honest people just going to work, especially if they have any love for government work, forced to fabricate a useless conspiracy in a poorly thought through attempt to hurt the current President.

The polls demonstrate how effective the conservative media machine is, however. I don't know how comfortable anyone can feel knowing that such a large portion of the American people are so easily fooled by such demonstrably false nonsense.

This is case and point:

Quote :
Conservative US shoppers turned off by eco-friendly lightbulbs, study finds

Eco-friendly labels on energy-saving bulbs are a turn-off for conservative shoppers, a new study has found.

The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that it could be counterproductive to advertise the environmental benefits of efficient bulbs in the US. This could make it even more difficult for America to adopt energy-saving technologies as a solution to climate change.

Consumers took their ideological beliefs with them when they went shopping, and conservatives switched off when they saw labels reading "protect the environment", the researchers said.

The study looked at the choices of 210 consumers, about two-thirds of them women. All were briefed on the benefits of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs over old-fashioned incandescents.

When both bulbs were priced the same, shoppers across the political spectrum were uniformly inclined to choose CFL bulbs over incandescents, even those with environmental labels, the study found.

But when the fluorescent bulb cost more – $1.50 instead of $0.50 for an incandescent – the conservatives who reached for the CFL bulb chose the one without the eco-friendly label.

This kind of anti-science/anti-environment mentality fostered and groomed by the GOP is downright dangerous. How can a government "of the people" be effective in any way if most of them are so walled off from reality?
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/21/2013, 2:11 pm

Heretic wrote:

The polls demonstrate how effective the conservative media machine is, however. I don't know how comfortable anyone can feel knowing that such a large portion of the American people are so easily fooled by such demonstrably false nonsense.

This is case and point:

Quote :
Conservative US shoppers turned off by eco-friendly lightbulbs, study finds

Eco-friendly labels on energy-saving bulbs are a turn-off for conservative shoppers, a new study has found.

The findings, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest that it could be counterproductive to advertise the environmental benefits of efficient bulbs in the US. This could make it even more difficult for America to adopt energy-saving technologies as a solution to climate change.

Consumers took their ideological beliefs with them when they went shopping, and conservatives switched off when they saw labels reading "protect the environment", the researchers said.

The study looked at the choices of 210 consumers, about two-thirds of them women. All were briefed on the benefits of compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs over old-fashioned incandescents.

When both bulbs were priced the same, shoppers across the political spectrum were uniformly inclined to choose CFL bulbs over incandescents, even those with environmental labels, the study found.

But when the fluorescent bulb cost more – $1.50 instead of $0.50 for an incandescent – the conservatives who reached for the CFL bulb chose the one without the eco-friendly label.

This kind of anti-science/anti-environment mentality fostered and groomed by the GOP is downright dangerous. How can a government "of the people" be effective in any way if most of them are so walled off from reality?
Oh yeah. Did you know that this has been the signature issue of lunatic Michelle Bachmann,that is when she's not trying to repeal Obamacare for the 38th time Rolling Eyes
Bachmann reintroduces Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act
Quote :
Mar. 3, 2011 (McClatchy-Tribune Regional News delivered by Newstex) — Rep. Michele Bachmann is back with her light-bulb choice bill.

Bachmann, the Republican from Minnesota’s 6th District, said Wednesday that she has reintroduced her Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act in the U.S. House.

It would repeal a portion of the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act that phases out traditional incandescent light bulbs for more energy-efficient ones over the next several years. Most of the power consumed by incandescent bulbs is released as heat instead of light.

Two years ago, Bachmann led an unsuccessful effort to get the government to reconsider that approach.

Democrats controlled Congress then, but now Republicans are in charge of the House, giving the tea party favorite a potentially more receptive audience.

“The government has no business telling an individual what kind of light bulb to buy,” Bachmann said in a statement.

“This mandate has sweeping effects on American families and businesses and needs serious consideration before taking effect,” she added.

Bachmann said her bill also would provide an opportunity to examine whether assertions that newer bulbs would help consumers save money, would reduce carbon dioxide emissions and would not cause health risks are true.

A highly visible critic of big government, Bachmann has been mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president.

“The American people want less government intrusion into their lives, not more, and that includes staying out of

their personal light-bulb choices,” she said.

A similar effort is under way in Minnesota.

In January, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation establishing that incandescent bulbs manufactured in Minnesota and not sent to other states aren’t subject to federal law. They said the Ninth and 10th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution guarantee a state’s right to provide such protections.

The legislation hasn’t made any progress yet in the state House and Senate.
In other words,keep your damn gubmint paws off my lightbulbs clown Prime example of why nothing gets done in Congress anymore.
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/23/2013, 1:23 pm

Yeah. Well it's clear that the GOP isn't the slightest bit interested in doing their job...

Boehner urged to sit on divisive bills while scandals play out

Quote :
The conservative group Heritage Action warned House GOP leaders Thursday not to bring controversial legislation like the farm bill to the floor because doing so would distract from the International Revenue Service and Benghazi scandals.
Michael Needham, the head of Heritage Action, wrote to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.).

"Recent events have rightly focused the nation’s attention squarely on the actions of the Obama administration," he wrote. "To that end, we urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference."

Heritage Action specifically cited the $940 billion farm subsidy and food stamp bill that was approved by the House Agriculture Committee late Wednesday night and the Senate-passed bill to allow state collect taxes on purchases made over the Internet.


So, it appears that "press management" is more important than governing. Why am I not surprised?



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happy jack

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/23/2013, 3:36 pm

Scorpion wrote:

So, it appears that "press management" is more important than governing.

Really?
I didn't see Jay Carney or Dan Pfeiffer mentioned anywhere in the article.
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Artie60438

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/23/2013, 5:30 pm

All in favor of renaming this thread "happy jack's multi-misadventure say Aye!
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/23/2013, 9:22 pm

Scorpion wrote:
So, it appears that "press management" is more important than governing. Why am I not surprised?

Seriously.

Quote :
"Make no mistake, principled conservatives will still oppose bad policy if it comes to the floor. Rather than scheduling such legislation for consideration, we urge you to keep the attention focused squarely on the Obama administration," he wrote.

'Cause maybe the American public won't notice they're still not doing their jobs? What are they doing instead? Sitting in front of a TV watching Fox News all day?
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/28/2013, 2:04 am

Some tea-party groups examined by the IRS indeed crossed the line

Quote :
The more information that comes out about the scandal at the Internal Revenue Service, the harder it is to say employees there erred completely in putting more scrutiny on particular groups seeking tax-exempt status. According to the New York Times, for example, several of the tea party groups targeted by the IRS were engaged in overt political activity. One group — the Wetumpka Tea Party in Alabama — sponsored get-out-the-vote training “dedicated to ‘the defeat of President Barack Obama.’” Another, an organization meant to engage veterans in government, had given donations to a Republican candidate for the House of Representatives.

As the Times notes, this is exactly the kind of activity that the IRS is supposed to question when it’s deciding on tax-exempt status for “social welfare” organizations:

Quote :
[A] close examination of these groups and others reveals an array of election activities that tax experts and former I.R.S. officials said would provide a legitimate basis for flagging them for closer review.

“Money is not the only thing that matters,” said Donald B. Tobin, a former lawyer with the Justice Department’s tax division who is a law professor at Ohio State University. “While some of the I.R.S. questions may have been overbroad, you can look at some of these groups and understand why these questions were being asked.”

None of this is to say an investigation of the IRS’s process is unnecessary. There are documented instances when the agency stepped beyond the lines of acceptability. What this shows, however, is that there’s still no substance behind the idea that it was engaged in political or ideological targeting.

Cue the sad trombone.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/30/2013, 12:49 pm

The hilarious truths about the IRS "scandal":

Don't Blame the IRS For Doing Their Job

Quote :
Over 80 percent of applications submitted for tax-exempt status were from conservative organizations.

The only organization to have its tax-exempt status revoked was one run by Democratic women to try and encourage more women to run for office.

There is no requirement that any 501(c)(4) organization apply for approval of their tax-exempt status. If they do not apply, there is a risk of audit and disqualification down the road, but they are not required to apply to be a 501(c)(4) entity.

Despite Rush Limbaugh's exaggerated claims, there was no limitation imposed by the IRS on these groups' ability to influence the 2012 election.

Many of the IRS requests for information came about because of activities observed by agents in real time.
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Scorpion

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   5/30/2013, 6:10 pm

Heretic wrote:

There is no requirement that any 501(c)(4) organization apply for approval of their tax-exempt status. If they do not apply, there is a risk of audit and disqualification down the road, but they are not required to apply to be a 501(c)(4) entity.

Yep. And this part of the story has gotten very little coverage. The simple fact of the matter is that any organization that is doing legitimate work can just set up and go. The fact that they might be audited is simply business as usual for any 501(c)(4).

The idea that the IRS somehow cost Romney the election is a fucking joke. Put simply, the Republicans are a bunch of whining crybabies.
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   6/3/2013, 9:22 am

Hell, the first I'd heard about it was on the Colbert Report:



Even he couldn't believe it when his lawyer told him.

Quote :
These teaparty anti-Big Government organizations didn't have to ask Big Government for permission but they did anyway? What a bunch of pussies!

Brilliant. Laughing
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Heretic

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PostSubject: Re: Barry's Not-So-Excellent Adventures   6/3/2013, 9:36 am

Is GOP hyping of scandals prompting a media backlash?

Quote :
It’s true that some news orgs have been way too quick to inflate the importance of this or that detail of what the White House knew and when about the timing of the impending inspector general’s report on the IRS scandal. But we’re also seeing a very serious effort in many cases to separate the scandal wheat from the chaff. The Washington Post has done great work detailing, contextualizing, and demythologizing what those emails concerning the Benghazi talking points really told us. The New York Times has done deeply reported, nuanced work on what really drove the IRS targeting of conservatives.

Meanwhile, some D.C. journos are now openly reacting badly to GOP scandal hyping. Remember that Daily Caller “scoop” reporting that the former IRS commissioner visited the White House 157 times? Garance Franke-Ruta’s debunking of the story prompted a surprisingly sharp discussion of it on Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources yesterday, with the Post’s Dana Milbank ripping into it as ”shoddy reporting.” Meanwhile, House GOP investigations leader Darrell Issa is getting pilloried by reporters for suggesting, with zero evidence, that Obama administration officials coordinated IRS targeting of conservatives. CNN’s Candy Crowley insistently cornered Issa over the claim yesterday, and Ron Fournier (who has not refrained from slamming the White House) tore into Issa for resorting to “cherry picked evidence” and “weasel words.”

Also see today’s big Times overview of the House GOP prosecution of these scandals, which is appropriately skeptical, flatly suggesting that Republicans are allowing “investigatory zeal” to displace “serious legislating.”

Again: The goal of Issa and others here is to create an atmosphere of scandal, with the deliberate aim of obscuring the importance of the details of the actual scandals themselves (as Rep. Mike Rogers has now helpfully revealed). But there does seem to be a real media effort underway in some quarters to point out that that the smoke coming from the GOP smoke machine doesn’t mean there’s necessarily any fire there. That’s a far sight better than the 1990s, when scores of reporters would eagerly clamber aboard their shiny red fire truck to chase even the thinnest wisp of smoke whenever Republicans told them to.

The media is finally doing their job. We could have used this years ago.
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