Of the 298 groups subjected to additional review, 72 were “tea party” groups, 11 were “9/12″ groups and 13 were “patriots” groups, according to the inspector general’s report.
The Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration sent a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa and Congressman Jim Jordan on July 12, 2012 informing them they would be auditing the IRS in response to their concerns that certain groups might be receiving extra scrutiny. The letter came in response to a June 28th letter of that year from Congressman Issa and requests for an investigation.
The letter states that after meeting with the staff of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, which Issa chairs, the IG Office of Audit began work on the issue. The IG offered in the letter to provide a status update to the staff of the committee throughout the investigation as well as provide copies of interim and final reports..
”While there’s still more information to be gathered and more investigations to be done, all indications are that these decisions – on the AP, on the IRS, on Benghazi – don’t proceed from [Obama],” wrote Ben Domenech in The Transom, his influential conservative morning newsletter. “The talk of impeachment is absurd. The queries of ‘what did the president know and when did he know it’ will probably end up finding out “’just about nothing, and right around the time everyone else found out.’”
Michael A. Needham: “We urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference. Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another ‘circular firing squad’ article.”
We urge you to avoid bringing any legislation to the House Floor that could expose or highlight major schisms within the conference. Legislation such as the Internet sales tax or the FARRM Act which contains nearly $800 billion in food stamp spending, would give the press a reason to shift their attention away from the failures of the Obama administration to write another ‘circular firing squad’ article.
We need to let those who will come in the future to represent us [know] that we are serious. The 2nd amendment means nothing unless those in power believe you would have no problem simply walking up and shooting them if they got too far out of line and stopped responding as representatives. It seems that we are unable to muster that belief in any of our representatives on a state or federal level, but we have to have something, something costly, something that they will fear that we will use if they step out of line.
Some have suggested that the apprehended suspect should be held as an enemy combatant under the law of war. I am not aware of any legal basis at this point for such a designation in this case. Under the law of war, we have the authority to detain individuals who join a hostile foreign force engaged in attacking the United States. The 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force authorizes such detention in the case of an individual who is a part of al Qaeda, the Taliban, or an associated force.
I am not aware of any evidence so far that the Boston suspect is part of any organized group, let alone al Qaeda, the Taliban, or one of their affiliates — the only organizations whose members are subject to detention under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, as it has been consistently interpreted by all three branches of our government. In the absence of such evidence I know of no legal basis for his detention as an enemy combatant. To hold the suspect as an enemy combatant under these circumstances would be contrary to our laws and may even jeopardize our efforts to prosecute him for his crimes.
If Portman can turn around on one issue once he realizes how it touches his family personally, shouldn’t he take some time to think about how he might feel about other issues that don’t happen to touch him personally? Obviously the answers to complicated public policy questions don’t just directly fall out of the emotion of compassion. But what Portman is telling us here is that on this one issue, his previous position was driven by a lack of compassion and empathy. Once he looked at the issue through his son’s eyes, he realized he was wrong. Shouldn’t that lead to some broader soul-searching? Is it just a coincidence that his son is gay, and also gay rights is the one issue on which a lack of empathy was leading him astray? That, it seems to me, would be a pretty remarkable coincidence. The great challenge for a senator isn’t to go to Washington and represent the problems of his own family. It’s to try to obtain the intellectual and moral perspective necessary to represent the problems of the people who don’t have direct access to the corridors of power.
The real rap on Woodward isn’t that he makes things up. It’s that he takes what powerful people tell him at face value; that his accounts are shaped by who coöperates with him and who doesn’t; and that they lack context, critical awareness, and, ultimately, historic meaning. In a 1996 essay for the New York Review of Books, Joan Didion wrote that “measurable cerebral activity is virtually absent” from Woodward’s post-Watergate books, which are notable mainly for “a scrupulous passivity, an agreement to cover the story not as it is occurring but as it is presented, which is to say as it is manufactured.
Republican politicians and corporate media continue to frame the great debate of our time as “big government vs small government”. It’s an obsession. I actually think most Americans are open to both arguments even if they tend to side with one or the other most of the time. But this is not the great debate of our time. It’s an argument about how to get “there”.
The great debate of our time is not about how we get there. It’s about where we are going. And Democrats, whether you like them or not, have an answer for this question. Contemporary Republicans do not.
My desires for myself, my family, my friends and my country are actually pretty mainstream in the 21st century. I’ll take any size government that can help me achieve these things. I’ll consider any party that shares my aspirations.
The problem is not that Democrats and Republicans have competing visions for how to get “there”. It’s that Republicans are divided between those heading for an increasingly isolated and unpopular “there”, those who think we passed “there” 60 years ago and, increasingly, those who aren’t even sure where “there” is.
Small government isn’t a goal. It’s a tactic. The Republican party needs a vision. It needs to look forward. It needs to find the next thing and chase after it. It needs to convince us that it wants all Americans to have it. And it needs to prove that shrinking government is the best way to get there.
Until then, the GOP is just a cab driver who’s so invested in the argument over whether the bridge or the tunnel is faster that he forgets to ask where he’s taking you.
I’m bemused by neoconservatives who simutaneously pillory the Obama administration for the Benghazi screw-up, yet call for greater efforts to “do something” in Syria. What happened in Benghazi, and Algeria, and Mali are the direct follow-ons from the last time the U.S. ramped up its efforts in a non-strategic situation. If anything, it seems clear that Obama has learned from that lesson — as well as the Afghanistan “surge” — and determined that the utility of military intervention is more limited and the costs are even greater than he imagined in 2008. Furthermore, as the Congo comment suggests, he’s also conscious that if one really wants to apply liberal ethical criteria to the use of Amertican force, then Syria is not at the top of the queue.