American Elephants

Beware the Radical Right-Wing Extremist Tea Party! by The Elephant's Child


The IRS wanted every bit of information that the “suspicious” organizations had on their members. What does the membership consist of? Are they mostly individuals? Provide the member application/registration form/ Provide the membership agreement and rules that govern members. Provide a membership fee schedule. Provide copies of your website that only your members can access.

Tell us about your board members, officers, key employees and members of their families who have served on the board of another organization, was or plans to be a candidate for public office. Indicate the nature of any candidacy. And it didn’t end there, in the quest for more information. One group claimed that “500 pages of stuff” went back and forth between them and the IRS.

These groups say they didn’t hear from the IRS until after their 2010 victories. Then, before they could recreate that success against Obama in 2012, all of a sudden they are intimidated, restricted from certain political activities, and bogged down in a bureaucratic nightmare — all at the hands of the IRS.

I still haven’t figured out quite what it is that frightens the Left so much about the Tea Party. The media has gone to extraordinary lengths to proclaim them racist, radical, dangerous right-wing extremists. Is it so frightening when people on the right start carrying homemade signs? How odd, when they celebrate the violent Occupy people and the Anarchists who take great pleasure in breaking business windows and doing major damage, but some old ladies carrying patriotic signs gets on the “extremist list.”

This theme that such groups are dangerous has been spread throughout Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano has listed them as groups to be watched. Some official West Point organization noted their radicalism, and that they were on the list of dangerous groups. It is increasingly clear that the IRS targeted Obama’s political enemies for political purposes.

One Tea Party Group that applied for Tax Exempt status was largely interested in being a study group, learning more about government and how it worked. The IRS deluged them with demands for more information, more lists, and finally demanded to know what their reading materials were. The head of the group sent them a copy of the Constitution. Way to Go!

The IRS Inspector General’s report has not yet been released. That promises to be interesting. Aside from some problems of leaking information, targeting an enemies list, it was only last month that I posted a story about dozens of IRS employees who have claimed to be unemployed in order to receive welfare, housing allowances and food stamps. That suggests that there are all sorts of interesting things to be discovered in the final report.

Targeting Political Enemies By Fair Means or Foul. by The Elephant's Child

Once a scandal emerges, more people feel free to talk, or want to proclaim themselves on the correct side of the controversy. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gets to handle all the financial information of citizens and businesses who pay taxes because they don’t give out information to anyone, whether government official, press, or private citizen. Apparently the IRS office that handles applications for tax-exempt status has felt free to release the applications and tax returns of citizens, organizations, and businesses that do not hew to the reigning party line freely.

The progressive-leaning investigative journalism group ProPublica says the Internal Revenue Service office that targeted and harassed conservative groups during the 2012 election cycle gave them nine confidential applications of conservative groups whose tax-exempt status was pending. The initial spin was that the perpetrators were low-level people in some back office in Cincinnati.  It seems that groups that seemed to be associated with the Tea Party, patriotism, the Constitution, the Declaration, were pro-Israel, expressed any opposition to the Federal Government, the National Debt, the Budget Deficit.

ProPublica, undoubtedly on the advice of attorneys, wants to get out ahead of the scandal and admit that they received, and made public information from applications or returns, assuming that they were newsworthy. Oddly, they did not target any groups with the word “progressive” or who received millions from the Sandler Foundation or George Soros” Open Society Foundations. ProPublica was initially given millions from the Sandler Foundation to “strengthen the progressive infrastructure” meaning very liberal. The group has won two Pulitzers for their investigative reporting — attacks on oil companies, the health care industry, opposition to fracking, and coal, of course:

Throw in a couple of investigations making the military look bad and another about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and you have almost the perfect journalism fantasy— a huge budget, lots of major media partners and a liberal agenda unconstrained by advertising.

ProPublica is not the only Soros-funded organization stacked with members of the supposedly neutral press. There’s the Center for Public Integrity, which received $651,650 from the Open Society Institute in 2009 alone. The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIN) which received close to $1 million from Open Society from 2003-2008. They lean to stories on climate change, illegal immigration and the evils of corporations.

We are constantly told that journalists are neutral, and it isn’t true. They bemoan the influence of money in politics, yet make no mention of the influence of money in journalism. They need be more up front about their connections, their funding and who sits on their boards. There is a reason why they are losing money, losing subscribers and losing advertising.

And trust for the IRS is gone. Everybody lawyer up. Obama seems unconcerned. He does not take this seriously, any of this.  He has never felt, as far as I can tell, that the words he says particularly matter. What he says today doesn’t necessarily stand. He might say something different tomorrow. Whether it’s because he doesn’t think you will remember, or that he doesn’t think you’ll care, I don’t know. He got a full four Pinocchio’s from the Washington Post for his claim that he identified the Benghazi attack at the time as a terrorist attack.

All these scandals are inflating into vast bubbles, and the more you find out, the more questions there are.

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