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Ed Driscoll

Hey, remember back in 2004, when Barack Obama, then still a candidate for the US Senate in Illinois, said in the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, July of 2004 that put him in on the national map:

The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue States: red states for Republicans, blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too. We worship an awesome God in the blue states, and we don’t like federal agents poking around our libraries in the red states.

The IRS asking what American citizens are praying about? That’s totally cool, though.

“This passage could have come directly from George Orwell’s imagination, emphasis mine,” Allahpundit writes at Hot Air, linking to testimony from Sue Martinek, president of the Coalition for Life of Iowa, to the House Ways and Means Committee today:

“[T]he IRS continued questioning us,” Martinek continued. “On June 22, 2009, IRS Agent Richards sent us additional written requests, as follows: ‘Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3).”

She added: “Organizations exempt under 501(c)(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts. Please explain in detail the activities at the prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization. Please explain in detail the signs that are being held up outside of Planned Parenthood and explain how they are considered educational.’

As Allahpundit writes:

Yes, when I pray to our Lord, I usually check in with my local IRS office to ensure I’m not transgressing their authority by appealing to Him.  We are The Bureaucracy, and thou shalt have no other God before us.

More importantly, though, note that this began in June 2009 — long before Citizens United, with the Tea Party movement still in its nascent stage.  This demonstrates a hostility to conservative, pro-life activism that existed within the IRS well before the supposed triggering event from the Supreme Court.  It came well before the eruption of outrage at Congressional town-hall events during the recess of August 2009 that put the Tea Party movement on the national radar.

Oh and speaking of those Tea Party groups, they totally had it coming from the IRS, according to Dem. Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington State today:

McDERMOTT: As I listen to this discussion, I’d like to remind everyone what we’re talking about here. None of your organizations were kept from organizing, or silenced. We’re talking about whether or not the American taxpayers will subsidize your work. We’re talking about a tax break. If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you. You could go out there and say anything in the world. I get the feeling that many of you, and my Republican colleagues, just don’t believe — or believe you should be free not just from political targeting, but from any scrutiny at all.

At the PJ Tatler, Bryan Preston writes:

Notice, by the way, McDermott’s use of the word “we” in this sentence.

If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you.

Who’s “we” in this context? Did McDermott just confess to something?

Meanwhile an interesting — and potentially devastating — story if it pans out: “Conservative group claims it has proof IRS leaked donor list:”

Asked by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., if he had “proof” that the IRS leaked that material, [John Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage], said that he did.

Eastman explained that while some information was redacted in the posted version, his group’s “forensic” specialists were able to strip layers from the document and found “the original document that was posted there had originated from within the IRS.”

He said the version had “internal IRS stamps,” which “only exist within the IRS.”

Eastman added: “You can imagine our shock and disgust over this. … We jealously guard our donors.”

He later alleged the information was “deliberately” provided to their opponents.

“If that’s inadvertent, the word no longer means anything,” he said, claiming his group has been “stonewalled” in its request for an investigation.

And finally:


As Mark Steyn wrote in his Friday column, the process is the punishment.

(Thumbnail on PJM homepage assembled using a modified Shutterstock.com image.)

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
We were wondering why the tea parties did not turn out more of the conservative grass roots in 2012. Now we know, the IRS targeting had crippled them. Obama turned the entire federal govenment into his reelection organization. Venezuela could not have done it better.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
What McDermott really want to say: If you didn't wear that dress, you would not have gotten raped.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Obama fundamentally transforms America into a Criminal Fascist State (a brief introduction)

There was a time when the IRS acted against Al Capone. Now, under Obama, the IRS acts like Al Capone.

There was a time when the DOJ fought crime syndicates. Now, under Obama, the DOJ is a crime syndicate.

There was a time when the FBI investigated crime syndicates. Now, under Obama, the FBI investigates for a crime syndicate.

There was a time when the ATF stopped Gun Running Gangs. Now, under Obama, the ATF is a Gun Running Gang.

There was a time when the TSA protected women's privacy at airports. Now, under Obama, the TSA inspects women's privates at airports.

There was a time when the DOD left no man behind. Now, under Obama, every man has to watch his own behind.

There was a time when people in India dreamed of coming to America to get Health Care. Soon now, under Obama, people in America will dream of going to India to get Health Care.

Martin Luther King: “I have a dream”.
Barack Hussein Obama: “I bring fascism”.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (29)
All Comments   (29)
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An organization's tax exemption status is not a subsidy. McDermott called it a subsidy, but 501(c) status does not confer a grant to qualifying organizations.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Surely the IRS provides a printed guideline for agents to use in determining what prayer content invalidates a group's 501(c) tax exemption status. Likewise, the IRS must also keep a list of people to compare with a group's membership and their associations to decide who is not acceptable. Just how does the IRS use prayer content and one's friends and acquaintances in approving or disallowing tax exempt status?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
McDermott should just come out and say it - He and the other Dems just consider all the money we earn to be theirs, and they just oh-so-generously allow us to keep a portion of it. It's getting just too expensive to allow their political enemies to keep all that money to use to unseat them these days.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
For more than three decades, we have watched while unruly undergraduates on college campuses throughout the land shouted down speakers (generally conservatives) with whom they disagreed, while the adults (sic) in charge of the institution stood smugly and meekly by. These little thugs, now all grown up, are currently in charge of most of our major institutions, including the government itself, and they think it wholly legitimate to shout down or otherwise silence those with whom they disagree. Chickens. Roosts.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
“On June 22, 2009, IRS Agent Richards sent us additional written requests, as follows: ‘Please explain how all of your activities, including the prayer meetings held outside of Planned Parenthood are considered educational as defined under 501(c)(3).”

“Organizations exempt under 501(c)(3) may present opinions with scientific or medical facts. Please explain in detail the activities at the prayer meetings. Also, please provide the percentage of time your organization spends on prayer groups as compared with the other activities of the organization. Please explain in detail the signs that are being held up outside of Planned Parenthood and explain how they are considered educational.’

Mr. Driscoll:
I am unable to find an IRS agent “routinely ask(ing) American citizens what they're praying about.”

Clearly, the agent is trying to find out if the “prayer meeting” is presenting educational, scientific or medical facts which is permissible activity under 501(c)(3) rules.

A breakdown of how the organization spends its time, organizing, praying, educating, etc., seems a reasonable request to ascertain whether or not a group meets eligibility for tax-exempt status.

Under your interpretation, a preacher could advocate for political candidates from the pulpit, an egregious violation of his church’s tax exempt status, just by cloaking the advocacy in “prayer”.

The first and last sentences of the second paragraph above provide the essential context for the parts you put in bold. Please reread the first paragraph quoted above. The agent wants an explanation on how “all activities”, including “prayer meetings” are “educational” under the law.

There is no “there” here, just a competent agent doing his job.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Does the IRS provide printed guidelines for how much time is allowable or required in various activities? Or is it at the discretion of the agent whether the time is agreeable or too much? Outside investigators should be able to view those guidelines and decide if they are reasonable. Are there written standards and guidelines used in investigating the members and their associates?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your fear that your magic government income stream and guaranteed pension might be snatched way makes your smell even worse, troll.

But that time is coming. Sleep light.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"A preacher could advocate for political candidates from the pulpit..." This is common practice in black churches with Obama, Hillary. Gore, Jesse Jackson, etc. openly campaigning in pulpits. None that I know of have been audited.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
trangbang68:

You and mach37 may find this interesting: http://projectfairplay.org/
44 weeks ago
44 weeks ago Link To Comment
So, if a secular liberal pro-choice group engaged in making and eating refreshments at their meetings, would it be appropriate for the IRS to harass them by asking how much time was spent making refreshments, what the contents of those refreshments were, if those refreshments were healthy and how educational they were?
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Notice, by the way, McDermott’s use of the word “we” in this sentence.


If you didn’t come in and ask for this tax break, we would have never had a question to ask of you.

Who’s “we” in this context? Did McDermott just confess to something?"

Preston is right, this is a straw man argument. If there was really a "we" in this context then the liberal groups would have received similar levels of scrutiny, which we know never happened.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps you should look up, and understand, the meaning of "straw man argument" before you use the term.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
We were wondering why the tea parties did not turn out more of the conservative grass roots in 2012. Now we know, the IRS targeting had crippled them. Obama turned the entire federal govenment into his reelection organization. Venezuela could not have done it better.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
What McDermott really want to say: If you didn't wear that dress, you would not have gotten raped.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
How about cutting the PC crap and just saying Islamgate.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
They should've said ballooning across the Atlantic.
45 weeks ago
45 weeks ago Link To Comment
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