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Beginning in 2010, several different IRS offices – including those in Cincinnati, Ohio; El Monte, California; Laguna Niguel, California; and Washington D.C. systematically discriminated against conservative groups. The targeting was not the work of a few “rogue” agents, as IRS commissioner Steven Miller initially claimed.
The IRS targeted organizations who “criticize how the country is being run” - singling out those with “tea party”, “9/12” and “patriot” in their names.
The agency harassed right-leaning 501(c)(3) applicants with intrusive questions, including “please detail the content of your members’ prayers."
160 such applications were delayed for over 200 days – some for more than three years and two election cycles.
During this period, the IRS approved applications from several dozen groups who used words like “progressive”, “liberal” and “equality.” Media Trackers, a conservative applicant that had been delayed for 16 months, was approved in three weeks after it reapplied under the name “Greenhouse Solutions.”
The White House account of these events has changed several times. While the White House initially maintained that it had learned about the scandal through the media, it has since been revealed that both Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew were aware of the scandal a month prior.
Under the Obama Administration, IRS higher-ups have treated themselves to extravagant entertainment and lavish conferences on the taxpayers’ dime. The agency spent over $60,000 producing two short films for fun. In one instance, the IRS “paid for the construction of an elaborate mock-up of the bridge of the starship Enterprise.” The IRS also spent millions on luxurious accommodations for its managers – in violation of its own policies - and paid $135,000 fees to at least 15 outside speakers. One speaker was paid $17,000 to discuss “leadership through art.”
Democrats have attempted to shield themselves from blame by pointing out that IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman was a Bush appointee. Shulman’s wife, however, is a senior employee at liberal group Public Campaign, an organization “dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
Sarah Hall Ingram, who ran the IRS’ tax-exempt division during the targeting, is now the director of the IRS’ ObamaCare office. Since graduating from Georgetown Law, Ingram has never worked anywhere except the IRS. Interestingly, Ingram has visited the White House 165 times.
The IRS has been put in charge of enforcing ObamaCare. Federal agencies are currently assembling a “Federal Data Services Hub” in what has been called “the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic” by USA Today. Under ObamaCare, government-approved health insurance providers will submit reports about their customers to this database - where they will be monitored and cross-checked by the IRS. Although only 10% of Americans now say they have confidence in the IRS, we are apparently expected to trust the agency to oversee our healthcare.
On Wednesday, The Hill reported that the Obama administration had begun to implement the individual mandate at the heart of Obamacare. Noting its unpopularity, rules have been written by the IRS and Department of Health and Human Services that "downplay the scope" of the mandate and emphasize the exemptions. As a curious blogger, I wanted to see for myself the fact sheet that was disseminated.
Treasury Secretary Nominee Jack Lew's Shady History with Citigroup
There are many troubling facts about Obama’s nominee for Treasury Secretary, Jack Lew, but perhaps the most disturbing is his history with too-big-to-fail Citigroup. This should raise red flags for people for all political beliefs—it signals that Jack Lew would be just as corrupt as his predecessor Timothy Geithner.
Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Jack Lew for Treasury Secretary
On today’s podcast Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama joins me to talk about the nomination of Jack Lew as Treasury Secretary. Why he’s the wrong man for the job, what you can do to stop his confirmation and hey, why do we even need a treasury secretary - we have no money?
Opposition Grows As Jack Lew Proves He Doesn't Understand Budgets
Jack Lew, President Obama's choice to replace Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary, has been in Washington DC a long time. Anyone in public service that long will have quite a record of public statements that will paint an accurate picture for Senators who are considering his nomination.
Jack Lew, Architect Of Budgets Receiving Zero Votes, To Replace Geithner As Secretary Of Treasury
It has been widely reported this week that President Obama will nominate Jack Lew today for Secretary of the Treasury, replacing Timothy Geithner, expected to step down next month. It takes a special kind of crazy only found in Washington DC for someone who has failed so spectacularly to be nominated to head up our nation's treasury (see also: Geithner, Timothy).
Recently, speaking to a television station in Macon, Georgia, Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) said, "I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge." The Americans for Tax Reform pledge, by Grover Norquist, was signed by almost every Republican in Congress including Chambliss.
Wishful thinking gone horribly awry.The right wing has lost the election of 2012.The evidence for this is overwhelming, yet it is the year's best-kept secret. Mitt Romney would not be throwing virtually all of his past positions overboard if he thought the nation were ready to endorse the full-throated conservatism he embraced to win the Republican nomination.
Hating Breitbart: An Interview With Director Andrew Marcus
While guest hosting on the Jayne Carroll Radio Show on www.kuik.com this week, I had the privilege of interviewing Andrew Marcus, director of the new documentary on the life, ascension and pioneering spirit of Andrew Breitbart (official film website here).Download the audio podcast here: