Category Archives: IRS

We Are Living in 1984

Unfortunately, I do not mean that we are living in the year 1984. If we were, Ronald Reagan would be President, spandex and big hair would be our go-to style choices, Jane Fonda would be teaching us aerobics, the Rubik’s Cube would be everyone’s game of choice and we would have our MTV.

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Instead, I am referring to George Orwell’s novel 1984. The novel is set in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation. In 1984, the political system is under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite that persecutes independent thinking as “thoughtcrimes.” The Party leader is Big Brother, who enjoys a cult of personality. Big Brother and the Party justify their oppressive rule in the name of the greater good. In Orwell’s world, the Ministry of Plenty rations and controls food, goods and domestic production. The Ministry of Truth controls information, such as news, entertainment and education. Sound familiar?

As in 1984, the National Security Agency (NSA) is engaging in mass surveillance by collecting and storing all phone records of all American citizens. NSA spying is governed by secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) courts. To illustrate the consequences of such a mass spying program, a 2005 Internal Revenue Service (IRS) training manual instructed agents to take information provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) Special Operations Division to begin new “independent” investigations of American taxpayers. Not only has it been revealed that the IRS has been using information obtained through the NSA to launch criminal investigations of American citizens, the IRS has admitted that it improperly targeted conservative groups, thus suppressing free speech.

Today Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chair Lee E. Goodman stated that, “The right has begun to break the left’s media monopoly, particularly through new media outlets like the internet, and I sense that some on the left are starting to rethink the breadth of the media exemption and internet communications.” Goodman, a Republican, went on to say, “The picking and choosing has started to occur. There are some in this building that think we can actually regulate.” If that were too occur than Goodman is  “concerned about disparate treatment of conservative media.” What is interesting about the FEC is that, in 1986, Lois Lerner was the head of the enforcement division at the FEC. Lerner, the former Director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS, is the woman at the center of the IRS targeting scandal. One of Lerner’s former colleagues, Craig Engle, said that Lerner harbors a “suspicion” that conservative groups are intentionally flouting the law. Judicial Watch has obtained email exchanges between Lerner and FEC enforcement attorneys indicating that she had provided the FEC confidential tax returns of conservative groups. The IRS is persecuting conservative groups who are engaging in independent thought. It is clear that the IRS is this administration’s Ministry of Truth.

What greater good is this administration protecting by using federal agencies to suppress free speech? What greater good is worth the willing sacrifice of individual liberty? Imagine if a Republican administration had been so blatant at suppressing free thought and free speech? The Democrats would prosecute any Republican involved in such contemptible behavior. Remember when liberals protested against The Man? Now they have become The Man. They have shown themselves to be cowards in the face of opposition. They brand anyone who disagrees with their views a racist, a sexist, a classist or any other form of -ist they deem appropriate. They wield federal agencies like weapons to shut down those who dare to disagree with them. They control the mainstream media so that only their message is told. Now they want the FEC to regulate conservative media outlets like The Blaze and Drudge Report, further suppressing free thought. They rally around their Big Brother, who has certainly enjoyed a cult of personality.

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Remember when in 2008 then Senator Obama said “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America?” To bring about this transformation, American could no longer be a free country. We would have to forsake our individual liberty for the greater good. President Obama’s signature law, Obamacare, has taken away our freedom of choice for the greater good of insuring the uninsured. In true Big Brother fashion, President Obama has called upon his Ministry of Truth, the IRS, to enforce Obamacare. The personal information with which Americans enter into healthcare.gov goes directly to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and to the IRS. Why does the DHS need to be involved in health insurance? President Obama uses his executive power to ignore parts of laws with which he disagrees, to selectively enforce laws and to legislate whatever he wants. When Obama said that he wanted to fundamentally transform our country, the hairs on the backs of our necks should have stood at attention. The tyranny he promised us has arrived. 1984 is here. And we are living it.

 

 

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Lies, Lies, Lies (They’re Gonna Get You)

Remember the Thompson Twins?

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How interesting that their new wave song Lies, Lies, Lies (They’re Gonna Get You) was foreshadowing the lies told by the Obama administration. Ok, the Thompson Twins song was really about a scorned love interest, but I do think the title of it is appropriate with regard to events of the past few years.

Since 2008, President Obama and his administration have told three major lies to the American people. So big were these lies, that they played a part in his reelection in 2012. They are:

1. “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period.”

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According to President Obama, we could also keep the doctors we liked under his new healthcare plan.  None of this turned out to be true. Unlike House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Republicans read the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before debating it, and therefore no Republicans voted for this bill.  Section 1251 of the ACA states that people who had health insurance prior to March 23, 2010 would be able to keep those policies. But, the Department of Health and Human Services further regulated this provision so that “if any part of a policy was significantly changed since that date — the deductible, co-pay or benefits, for example — the policy would not be grandfathered,” according to NBC News. This means that the administration knew that people would not be able to keep their existing health care plans.

In true Obama administration style, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney acknowledged that people would not be able to keep their existing health care plans, but that they would know be able to sign up for better plans. “What the president said and what everybody said all along is that there are going to be changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act to create minimum standards of coverage,” Carney said. “… So it’s true that there are existing health care plans on the individual market that don’t meet those minimum standards and therefore do not qualify for the Affordable Care Act.”

Nice. I know many of us (myself included) believed that if we liked our health care plan and if we liked our doctor we would be able to keep both under Obamacare. Because of this, many of us voted for President Obama in 2012. This lie was repeatedly told to manipulate people into voting for President Obama for a second term. That is outrageous.

2. “There were line employees at the IRS who improperly targeted conservative groups.”

On May 10, 2013 at an American Bar Association conference, Lois Lerner, former IRS Director of Exempt Organization, stated that, beginning in 2010, rogue IRS agents in its Cincinnati office targeted applications from Tea Party groups. In May 2013 Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released an audit report confirming that the IRS used inappropriate criteria to scrutinize Tea Party groups. This report also confirmed that Cincinnati IRS employees were in constant contact with the Washington, DC IRS headquarters as they targeted conservative groups.  In addition, IRS attorneys in Washington, DC approved intrusive questions of tea party groups and even wrote them. Rich Lowry writes that, “Staff in Cincinnati complained that all the micromanagement from Washington was gumming up the works.”

Following the Inspector General’s report, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform began an investigation into the IRS. At the House Oversight Committee hearing, Lois Lerner read an opening statement asserting her innocence in the events surrounding the IRS scandal, before invoking the Fifth Amendment when asked questions by members of the Committee. According to Lerner, “I have not done anything wrong. I have not broken any laws. I have not violated any IRS rules or regulations. And I have not provided false information to this or any other congressional committee.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough that Republicans have blown the IRS targeting issue out of proportion and that Republicans should instead be focused on strengthening the middle class. Uh huh.

Remember that according to President Obama, there is not a smidgen of corruption with regard to the IRS scandal. Yet another lie.

If there is not a smidgen of corruption, then why did Lois Lerner plead the Fifth instead of testifying to the House Oversight Committee?

3. “This was a spontaneous response…in reaction to this very offensive video…”.

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In an email uncovered by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought about by Judicial Watch, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, told intelligence officials, including Susan Rice, National Security Advisor, to blame a You Tube video for the attack in Benghazi and to deflect from broader policy failures. This email proves that the White House was involved in lying about the origin of the attack in Benghazi which led to the deaths of 4 Americans, including Libyan Ambassador Chris Stevens, to save political face.

The CIA never connected the video with the attack in Benghazi. CIA deputy director Michael Morell testified that when Rice “talked about the video, my reaction was, that’s not something the analysts have attributed this attack to.” The CIA station chief during the Benghazi attack testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that the attack was a terrorist attack and not a demonstration that had gotten out of control. Gregory Hicks, Deputy to Ambassador Chris Stevens, testified last year that he told then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that there was no demonstration on the night of the attack.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, recently issued a subpoena to Secretary of State John Kerry because the State Department has failed to produce all documents relating to the attack in Benghazi. Secretary Kerry apparently refuses to comply with the subpoena. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out once the Benghazi Select Committee chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) is formed.

Why would the administration refuse to cooperate with the Benghazi investigation if everything related to it is on the up and up?

How could anyone trust anything this administration says after this documented pattern of deliberate deceit?

 

 

 

Friday Debate: Is the IRS Scandal One of the Biggest Presidential Scandals of All Time?

Conservative journalist George Will recently stated that, in his opinion, the IRS targeting of Tea Party groups, coupled with Watergate and Iran Contra, is one of the 3 biggest Presidential scandals of the past 40 years.http://blog.heritage.org/2014/02/04/george-will-media-regard-irs-scandal-like-watergate-iran-contra/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=&utm_content=&utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=afternoonA4_140204

Will makes an important point: Because Watergate and Iran Contra involved Republican Presidents (Nixon and Regan, respectively) the mainstream media covered both scandals heavily, while largely dismissing the IRS scandal, which is unfolding under a Democratic President. “The first two were ravenously covered by the media — they were Republican presidents’ problems,” Will said. “This is not being pursued and the president knows that. Hence, his sense of weariness and boredom as he discussed this with Bill O’Reilly.”

Do you agree with Will? Do you think any scandals of the past 40 years are bigger than either Watergate, Iran Contra or IRS targeting? Do you think the IRS scandal belongs in the top 3 biggest Presidential scandals of all time?

 

What Next for Lois Lerner?

Today the House Oversight Committee voted 21-12 to hold Lois Lerner, former IRS Director of Exempt Organizations, in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer the committee’s questions regarding the targeting of conservative groups. For a timeline on the IRS scandal please refer to http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/viewSubCategory.asp?id=1935

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What is contempt? Individuals may be cited for contempt when they disobey an order, fail to comply with a request, tamper with documents, withhold evidence, interrupt proceedings or otherwise defy a public authority. Contempt of Congress usually applies to a person’s refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by a Congressional committee or subcommittee.

The contempt referral by the House Oversight Committee will next go to the full House. If the House approves the contempt citation, the House will then refer Lerner’s case to the Department of Justice, where Attorney General Eric Holder will have to decide how to enforce it. Fun fact: Eric Holder is the only Attorney General in to be held in both criminal and civil contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over documents tied to the Fast and Furious gun running sting.

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to refer Lerner’s case to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. Lerner could face up to 11 years in prison for criminal contempt, however, the Department of Justice is not obligated to take up the request. Here is the letter the House Ways and Means Committee sent to Attorney General Holder

By the way, despite its flagrant violation of the law, the Senate Democrats think the IRS is just peachy. Senate Democrats, including Senator Chuck Schumer, have prodded the IRS to continue to aggressively target outside groups expected to spend a lot of money on the upcoming midterm elections.

What do you all think should happen to Lois Lerner? Do you think Congress should first impeach Eric Holder so that they can get justice for conservatives who have been wronged by the IRS? Stay tuned. This is going to be an interesting ride.