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Ed Driscoll

“Whoa: Did the IRS also target Jewish groups for ‘extra-special attention’?,” Twitchy asks:

The IRS admits to targeting conservative groups for additional review and laughably claims the witch hunt wasn’t “motivated by political bias.” What will its math-challenged spokeswoman Lois Lerner say about allegations that the IRS gave “extra-special attention to the tax-exempt status of some Jewish groups for political reason”?

* * * * *

The pro-Israel group Z STREET filed a lawsuit against the IRS in 2010, claiming an IRS agent said the organization would come under extra scrutiny because it’s “connected to Israel.”

In addition, the IRS agent told a Z STREET representative that the applications of some of those Israel-related organizations have been assigned to “a special unit in the D.C. office to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the Administration’s public policies.”

* * * * * *

The Jewish Press reports:

The IRS even took the position that because Israel is a country “where terrorism happens,” the service was justified in taking additional time to determine whether Z STREET was involved with funding terrorism.

The first hearing in Z STREET v IRS is reportedly scheduled for July.

And that’s in addition to John Podhoretz’s post at Commentary yesterday, in which he wrote:

As it happens, I know something about the chilling effect of an IRS investigation into a non-profit’s 501 (c)-3 status because in 2009, COMMENTARY (a non-profit) received a letter from the Internal Revenue Service threatening the revocation of the institution’s standing as a non-profit due to a claim that on our website we had crossed the line in the 2008 election from analysis to explicit advocacy of the candidacy of John McCain for president. (Non-profits are not permitted to endorse candidates.) The charge was false—all we had done was reprint a speech delivered at a COMMENTARY event by then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman in which he had endorsed McCain.

Taking away a non-profit’s ability to receive tax-exempt charitable contributions is equivalent to a death sentence.

We were told by counsel that, should the IRS rule against us, we would have almost no recourse. You might think free speech rights would trump any such effort, but of course no one is challenging your speech rights, merely finding that what you say runs afoul of laws dealing with non-profits. You have no constitutional right to non-profit status, after all.

Disproving the false charge, which we did eventually in part by literally printing out the 2 million words that had appeared on this site in 2008 and sending them in many boxes to the IRS to show that the words in which Lieberman said he was supporting McCain were essentially a part per million, cost us tens of thousands of dollars and dozens upon dozens of hours of lost work time. The inquiry, which never should have been brought, was closed. But talking to lawyers and strategizing and the like in such a circumstance make the experience an ordeal that leaves you a bit shell-shocked—which is, of course, the point.

Now, I had assumed that a hostile reader or hostile liberal group was responsible for the IRS inquiry into COMMENTARY, but there is a salient detail in today’s story that makes me think something else might have been at work. IRS official Lerner said the effort against the conservative groups in 2012 came from “low-level” officials in the Cincinnati office. The investigation into COMMENTARY came out of the Columbus office. Is there something going on inside the IRS offices in Ohio?

Who will find out?

“Well whaddataknow,” Iowahawk tweets today. “Turns out ‘low level IRS employees in Cincinnati’ was IRS Chief Counsel in 2011.” (Another Iowahawk tweet today was the basis for our headline above.)

More after the pagebreak.

Would President Obama sic the IRS on his political opponents? Well, he does have a rather nasty habit of making “jokes” that turn out to be anything butThe Virginian blog notes today:

Glenn Reynolds linked to an article in the Wall Street Journal Tax Audits Are No Laughing Matter;the subhead is “A president shouldn’t even joke about abusing IRS power.”Reynolds commented:

Remember, Obama joked about auditing his enemies in 2009. At the time, I warned about the damage to the “trust and voluntary cooperation of citizens upon which this democracy depends,” but Obama didn’t get much pushback elsewhere. Now, however, people need to be fired, and most likely prosecuted, to drive home the appropriate lesson. And Obama himself needs to be taken to task. The Post editorial is just a start.

Here’s what I have noticed about Obama’s “jokes.” They are a way of disarming the opposition by mocking them. If you joke about sending the IRS after your opponents, it makes it much harder for people the IRS is going after to get other to pay attention. They are going to be laughed at and ridiculed as conspiracy theorists. One of the Tea Party groups that had trouble getting a tax exempt status is in Richmond, Virginia. They complained but got no help from anyone in the press or in government.

Read the whole thing, to coin an Insta-phrase.

“How big of a deal is abusing the tax system to gain an advantage over the political opposition?, Ed Morrissey asks today in his post at Hot Air on the Obama-era IRS targeting conservative groups. This big a deal: “Don’t forget that it was one of the charges in the Watergate articles of impeachment.”

But if anything, Obama’s enemies list is far larger than Nixon’s.

Update: As with most of the networks, ABC has multiple ties to the Democratic Party, such as former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos, and the sister of the network’s news division president who’s currently serving as an aide to Obama. Fortunately, though, ABC isn’t letting these familial connections get in the way of breaking this story wide open.  Nightline’s Terry Moran wrote a tweet attacking “A truly Nixonian abuse of power by the Obama administration: IRS Apologizes for Targeting Conservative Groups.” See, ABC can now say it’s is on the case:

This isn’t the first time Moran has tweeted about a case conservatives cared about and then failed to cover it on his TV show. On April 12, 2013, the host tweeted, “Kermit Gosnell is probably the most successful serial killer in the history of the world.”

Nightline and the ABC network have never mentioned Gosnell, charged with murdering four babies, or the gory details of the abortionist’s trial. Not once.

Most Americans don’t have their own TV show. Moran does. Perhaps rather than lamenting stories online, he should actually cover them.

Why start now?

Related: IRS targets “expanded to groups ‘educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights,’” Prof. William A. Jacobson writes at his Legal Insurrection blog.

No wonder the Times is burying this story, considering the op-ed they chose to wrap up 2012.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post asks if yesterday’s news regarding the IRS could be considered a Friday night news dump:

Did some officials hope never to reveal this wrongdoing? Did others hope it could quickly get lost in the weekend news cycle? Misguided, if so. We hope to hear Democratic leaders as well as Republican ones loudly saying so.

Given that this is the paper that mentioned George Allen’s idiotic “Macaca” gaffe in 112 articles during the fall of 2006, the impact of these current revelations is ultimately up to the Washington Post, isn’t it?

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
This kind of crap has been going on for a while - remember Gibson Guitar? As Reynolds also said, "Wake up and smell the CHICAGO." The stench is worse than a bunch of dead bodies voting.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (35)
All Comments   (35)
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When we allow Communists to educate our children then we are asking for trouble. This has been happening for the last 60 years and some of us are just waking up to reality.
Soon alll State Governments will be in recievership due to mismanagement of pension plans for the teachers of our children.
Does anyone see a connection between the teachers and the bureaucrats???
Wake up and take control of our Nation before it is too late.
The next step is to assault us directly in our face with gun control....
Where and when do we hit the limit of degradation and stand up for our Constituiton?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
As a person who is conservative I do thoroughly understand the left's use of the tax exemption as political blackmail and coercion. Duly noted.

Also, they shouldn't have a tax exemption. No one should unless they are truly and directly a charity, a matriculating or degree granting educational institution, or a religious entity.

The exempt organizations discussed here, God bless them, are political in nature and their work is political advocacy - God Bless them.

Political advocacy should be done on the advocates nickel and should not have tax preferential treatment.

If I donate money to a campaign it is not an operating expense. And that is right. Emily's list is a business that sells political policies. If they raise 300 million dollars it should be taxed.

That they distribute it to candidates should not be an allowable deduction. Mine isn't.

Similarly, the grant world and the tax exempt world are major major ways of funding the Left. This is a fight that Podhoretz can't win but wanting his own funding, unless, as I suspect, part of him forever belongs to the Left.

Better defund the Left utterly, completely and irrevocably, irreversibly and totally. Much better/
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Wasn't Joe the Plumber hit from behind by a "low level" government employee? in Ohio? Must be something in the water?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Bush would have been impeached and removed from office if this happened on his watch.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Only if the IRS was targeting Leftists.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Poor ol' divider in chief....... looks like maybe some of his "hens" are coming home to roost.

1. Affordable health care.
2. Fast and Furious.
3. Benghazi.
4. IRS targeting "the enemy".
5. Attacks on selected parts of the Constitution of the United States of America which he swore to support and defend.
6. Lest we forget the failed "green jobs" and failed "green industries"
a. A123 Systems (batteries)
b. Fisker (electric cars)
c. Solyndra
d. Solar Trust of America
e. Bright Source
f. LSP Energy
g. Energy Conversion Devices
h. Abound Solar
i. Sun Power
j. Beacon Power
k. Ecotality
l. UniSolar
m. Azure Dynamics
n. Evergreen Solar
o. Ener1
p. (most likely more than this short list)

This man may have been born in the United States of America and he may be an American citizen but I do not consider him a true American. He seems to be an American along the same lines as Benedict Arnold.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
General Benedict Arnold was born in Connecticut, so he is American born. He was a fairly successful and accomplished officer. But then he decided to join America's enemies by surrendering West Point to them. Seems he had more ambition for himself than loyalty to his country and her goals as stated in the Declaration of Independence. Our current president may be American of birth, but not of heart or spirit.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This isn't going to help reduce the number of Nixon-Obama comparisons. What surprises me is that people are surprised. This administration is all about pressuring and intimidating political "enemies", it is what community organizers do. This Prez is more concerned about personal criticism than our real enemies killing Americans. 43 more months?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
This is only the latest, although the most news worthy, of the Obama administration's abuses. A well researched comprehensive list would clearly show that Obama and his cronies care nothing for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the rule of law generally. For the anti-gun activists to claim that it is crazy to think that the Obama administration wants to confiscate all guns may sound good to the ignorant and uninformed. But, to the people who do not accept Obama's word at face value, it follows that the contempt of the Constitution and the rule of law is not going to go away with Obama, it is now ingrained into the power that the Federal government now believes is its due. The Feds have actually become the enemy of the American people and the American way of life. Without the restraints on government that the 2nd Amendment provides, there is no limit to the powers that the Feds could and would wield.

Do the power-mongers in Washington want even more power over us? Does a bear do it in the woods? Any well read individual is aware of the human characteristic of seeking power over other people. The Founders of our country were well aware of that characteristic and sought checks and balances to prevent it.

The system has failed due to a concerted effort by Statists, Progressives, Communists etc to destroy it from within. The effort has been active for decades and is illustrated very well by the dumbing down of the people through selective education [failing to teach history and about the Constitution] and indoctrinating our young about the "goodness" of government.

The only answer, in my opinion, is to return the Federal government to its Constitutional size and responsibilities. Any number of Constitutional amendments may be appropriate. For instance, repeal the 17th Amendment thus giving power back to the states as originally intended. Since longevity in office appears to corrupt all too many politicians, have term limits. Also, an amendment forbidding Congress from exempting themselves from the burdens of excessive legislation both as to subject [Obamacare] and length of thousand page laws which generate more thousands of pages of regulations [again Obamacare].

We do indeed need a "revolution" in America but the reality of that revolution will not be known until it happens. Will the several states band together and use the 10th Amendment to pare down the Federal behemoth or will the "revolution" be violent. After abusing the power of the IRS against political enemies, what might the Lefties do next, control public gatherings, require travel permits, an unqualified requirement to show their "papers" on demand?

America as I have known and loved it for 73 years is in trouble. What will happen in the near future is up to us. Will we work together with states to trim the Fed's scope and power or will we continue to accept the abuses of the Fed until shooting breaks out? I fear for America. Optimist that I am, I believe we can salvage her and what was intended by the Founders but it will be a tremendous undertaking to reverse the growth of decades, even a century of growth and abuses.

People are buying guns at an unprecedented rate which is certainly not a show of optimism for America but is a clear picture of the mood of Americans. What will it take to change course? How much more abuse of power from the Feds are people willing to accept?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Such abuses have been going on for quite some time, thoughout republican and democrat adminstrations. For quite some time bureaucrats, departments and agencies have targeted individuals and companies for... special attention. From the NEA to the EPA to the IRS and more, this tyrannical behavior is nothing new. It does need to be dealt with asap.

Dor the last two decades people such as myself have tried to warn you that this moment was not only coming, it was already here. It didn't affect you, personally, so you ignored us and did everything in your power to discredit us and ruin us.

So...welcome to the party pal.

Are youi just gonna sit there and whine, or are you gonna put your reputation, your life and career on the line? Lives, fortune, sacred honor, time, pal.

Your government is calling your bluff. What ya gonna do about it?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Warren Bonesteel's calling me "Pal" suggests that he thinks I have just been sitting on my butt and doing nothing. Not true. I have been active in educating people about our dire situation, how it came about and why history is important. For instance, we have a 1st Amendment relating to freedom of religion. How and why did that come about. Could it have been a result of history, i.e. Henry VIII and the years subsequent to his death when one could be burned at the stake for not being of the officially sanctioned religion?

I have been quite vocal about getting our youth out of the clutches of public schools and their lack of solid education but lots of indoctrination . A voucher system seems a very reasonable way of correcting this situation but it is fought by the Lefties because is would water down their power over young minds. They yell about the possibility of tax money going to religious based schools but, the truth is that they fear any loss of power over young minds.

I have advocated that the monied interests of the Right get together and start up new colleges that actually teach like in the past and don't indoctrinate ala most, if not all, so-called "top" colleges and universities.
Conservative oriented businessmen could support these colleges by pledging to hire their graduates. The leaders we will need for tomorrow will not come from Harvard or Yale.

I will not detail some other things I am doing as I don't want a public record the Lefties can use. I will, however, guarantee you that when push comes to shove, I will put it all on the line, my life, fortune and sacred honor.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not at all surprised at this abuse of power, and this makes me very sad. Very, very sad. Will we ever be able to repair the damage done to our country by these people?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Days after a speech in which Obama implored voters not to listen to the voices warning of tyranny, the IRS admits is persecutes citizens who believe in the Constitution. What would the Founding Fathers do? Oh, I know: Ready! Aim! Fire!

Technocracy is an illusion. The systems are built by technocrats, but technocrats do not run for office, nor are they elected by the people.

It is not possible to build a technocratic government that is not controlled by thuggish politicians.

A people can remain free only if they refuse to create institutions that enslave them. And for the past 100 years* the American people have steadily voted for more regulations, more government departments, and more tyranny.

When I have confronted Progressive/Communist/Democrat party members with the inevitable corruption of technocracy, their all-purpose argument for refutation is “You can’t run a modern government without the IRS/Department of Education/Etc.”

Perhaps they are right: modernity requires tyranny. Get used to it.

* The IRS and Federal Reserve, both founded 1913.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
They were targeting those educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Good news, Harvard's tax exempt status is not at risk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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