Make Your Picks

IRS targeted conservative groups

Tools    





will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
If you want the text of the WSJ story, you can plug the article's title into Google News--they usually show the full text when referred by a search engine. Not that this has anything to do with your bizarre refusal to source your claims, for which there is simply no reasonable explanation.

You didn't either provide a real link and still haven't and since i just cited my source with an actual excerpt I actually did more than you did. And, yes, i did cite a source, didn't I? i just didn't link it.

That said, the quote from ABC doesn't appear to contradict anything in the WSJ report. It says they "believe" their work was being monitored, but that's a different claim from saying it was "directed," which the WSJ report says they were told by their superiors. And what is your accusation, anyway? That this is just made up? What part of "our superiors told us this" is supposed to be slant, exactly? Either they testified that, or not. If they did, it's not slant. If they didn't, it's a straight up fabrication. Is that what you're claiming?
It appears to be made up because none of the other reports confirm this rather important point they were told by their superiors their work was being monitored in washington. They say the opposite, they suspected only because of the scrutiny their work was receiving. Why does only the WSJ have this particular information? It is a widely reported story. More likely, the WSJ reporter made assumptions not actually directly from the source information.
__________________
It reminds me of a toilet paper on the trees
- Paula



You didn't either provide a real link and still haven't and since i just cited my source with an actual excerpt I actually did more than you did. And, yes, i did cite a source, didn't I? i just didn't link it.
This is downright goofy. Of course it's a "real link"--it's the only link I can possibly provide. And there's no reason for you to refuse to provide a link, unless this is just some weird passive-aggressive gesture, which is pointless at best and petty at worst. Source your claims.

It appears to be made up because none of the other reports confirm this rather important point they were told by their superiors their work was being monitored in washington. They say the opposite, they suspected only because of the scrutiny their work was receiving. Why does only the WSJ have this particular information? It is a widely reported story. More likely, the WSJ reporter made assumptions not actually directly from the source information.
Nope; the WSJ article produces direct quotes and specifically says they're from the transcripts:

The Cincinnati employee who conducted the search, Gary Muthert, said he started gathering applications in March 2010, at the request of an unidentified local manager, who allegedly told him that "Washington, D.C., wanted some cases," according to the transcripts. Mr. Muthert first heard of tea-party applications from another Cincinnati employee.
And guess what? After finding the link myself, it turns out this exact quote is in the ABC article, too, which directly contradicts the claim from the higher-ups were ignorant of what was happening and stopped it as soon as they found out. And the ABC article cites the exact same employee--Elizabeth Hofacre--as the WSJ article, along with her claims that she was specifically overseen by someone in Washington.

So no, they didn't make anything up (which was an absurd claim to begin with), and the source you weirdly refused to provide says the same thing. And it doesn't use the word "suspect," either.



Also, what of those arguments you advanced a few posts back? You made suggestions about how the targeting was initiated and when and why it took place that are, frankly, impossible to reconcile with the basic facts.

So I'm left asking an unfortunately familiar question: why are you arguing about a topic you don't know much about? Don't you feel any obligation to be informed about a topic before you go around arguing with people about it? And if you feel compelled to offer an uninformed opinion about something, shouldn't it be couched in a good deal more humility?



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Also, what of those arguments you advanced a few posts back? You made suggestions about how the targeting was initiated and when and why it took place that are, frankly, impossible to reconcile with the basic facts.

So I'm left asking an unfortunately familiar question: why are you arguing about a topic you don't know much about? Don't you feel any obligation to be informed about a topic before you go around arguing with people about it? And if you feel compelled to offer an uninformed opinion about something, shouldn't it be couched in a good deal more humility?
Why are you posting about something you don't know anything about? You report sketchy stuff as if it is proven fact.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
This is downright goofy. Of course it's a "real link"--it's the only link I can possibly provide. And there's no reason for you to refuse to provide a link, unless this is just some weird passive-aggressive gesture, which is pointless at best and petty at worst. Source your claims.

Crap, it is not a real link if I can't read it, if the only way to read it is to subscribe, and you could have done a little extra work and find another source for the story or find another source reporting the story. Oh, and, guess what, you also could have pasted it. I cited a source and an excerpt, which was more useful than what you did and would have provided a real link if it wasn't for your jerk response when you didn't provide me with a useful link and never did give me one, at best telling me where I might find one and, by the way, went to Google News and it wasn't able to access the story there. It is typical of you to find fault when you are engaged in similiar behavior. That was the second time you provided a WSJ link that wasn't there.

Nope; the WSJ article produces direct quotes and specifically says they're from the transcripts:


And guess what? After finding the link myself, it turns out this exact quote is in the ABC article, too, which directly contradicts the claim from the higher-ups were ignorant of what was happening and stopped it as soon as they found out. And the ABC article cites the exact same employee--Elizabeth Hofacre--as the WSJ article, along with her claims that she was specifically overseen by someone in Washington.

So no, they didn't make anything up (which was an absurd claim to begin with), and the source you weirdly refused to provide says the same thing. And it doesn't use the word "suspect," either.
I missed there was a second page, but look at this d=from the ABX News report:


Hofacre’s office, which oversaw tax-exempt applications, reportedly requested help from the agency’s Exempt Organizations Technical unit in Washington, D.C. in 2010 to deal with an influx of new applications from Tea Party groups.

Which screws with your scenario that the tea party focused investigations was unrelated to an influx of applications and the marching orders for how to deal with the applications originated in washington. The request went directly to the washingtom office that was responsible for such things and interestingly the lawyer in charge had created earlier guidelines how to investigate union activity, which doesn't make him sound like a political partisan. This would also explain why the extra focus on tea party groups only occurred in the Cincinatti office and not in other regions. If this was actually orchestrated by the White House, why was it only going in that region, which was probably the only office that requested help from Washington?



Crap, it is not a real link if I can't read it, if the only way to read it is to subscribe, and you could have done a little extra work and find another source for the story or find another source reporting the story. Oh, and, guess what, you also could have pasted it. I cited a source and an excerpt, which was more useful than what you did and would have provided a real link if it wasn't for your jerk response when you didn't provide me with a useful link and never did give me one, at best telling me where I might find one and, by the way, went to Google News and it wasn't able to access the story there. It is typical of you to find fault when you are engaged in similiar behavior. That was the second time you provided a WSJ link that wasn't there.
Wait, because of my "jerk response"? You were refusing to post the link as some petty act of passive-aggressive defiance? Seriously, grow up.

I missed there was a second page
See, this is why I express skepticism when you don't post sources. Because when faced with the decision between a major newspaper "making something up" and you just missing something obvious like a second page, the latter is always far more likely.

but look at this d=from the ABX News report:


Hofacre’s office, which oversaw tax-exempt applications, reportedly requested help from the agency’s Exempt Organizations Technical unit in Washington, D.C. in 2010 to deal with an influx of new applications from Tea Party groups.

Which screws with your scenario that the tea party focused investigations was unrelated to an influx of applications and the marching orders for how to deal with the applications originated in washington.
This is an absolute train wreck of confusion. I said the targeting started before the influx of applications, which is a literal fact. Why on earth do you think how an employee reacts to that targeting (in this case, by requesting help) contradicts this? That doesn't even make sense, because Hofacre isn't the one who instituted the guidelines; she's describing how she dealt with them.

The request went directly to the washingtom office that was responsible for such things and interestingly the lawyer in charge had created earlier guidelines how to investigate union activity, which doesn't make him sound like a political partisan. This would also explain why the extra focus on tea party groups only occurred in the Cincinatti office and not in other regions. If this was actually orchestrated by the White House, why was it only going in that region, which was probably the only office that requested help from Washington?
Actually, we don't know if it was only going on in that region; The Daily Caller reports that conservative groups were subjected to demands unrelated to the tax process in several other cities across the country, too. But as you say, we'll see what comes out. The relevant part for now is that the WSJ wasn't making anything up and the ABC article says pretty much exactly the same thing. They're directly quoting multiple IRS agents contradicting the higher-ups who tried to pass the buck. Thus ends this little crusade to debunk the WSJ story.



Why are you posting about something you don't know anything about? You report sketchy stuff as if it is proven fact.
You mean sketchy stuff like Congressional testimony widely reported by a variety of nonpartisan sources? Which I described not as fact, but as (directly quoting myself here) "IRS officials have already told Congress"?

And should I take this little volley to mean that you don't have a response to what I asked? And that you admit to talking about the targeting despite not knowing the basic facts about how it worked, and when or why it took place?



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
You mean sketchy stuff like Congressional testimony widely reported by a variety of nonpartisan sources? Which I described not as fact, but as (directly quoting myself here) "IRS officials have already told Congress"?

And should I take this little volley to mean that you don't have a response to what I asked? And that you admit to talking about the targeting despite not knowing the basic facts about how it worked, and when or why it took place?
Yes, it is sketchy stuff because you have been reporting leaked selective parts by Republicans that give a distorted view of what has actually been going on in the hearings.

IRS Probe So Far Yields Partial, Partisan ‘Facts’

Posted on June 13, 2013

Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on printMore Sharing Services

The House Oversight Committee chairman and the ranking Democrat are overreaching in recent statements about the committee’s investigation of the IRS. Chairman Darrell Issa has yet to produce evidence of his theory that the Obama administration in Washington “directly … ordered” the agency to target conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. But Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings has failed to provide evidence that there was “no political involvement,” and he goes too far when he says “the case is solved.”
The two men have been engaged in a high-profile exchange in recent days over the Obama administration’s level of involvement in the IRS controversy. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found that the IRS used “inappropriate criteria” to determine the tax-exempt status of “social welfare” groups. Specifically, the IRS singled out groups for extra scrutiny based on search terms that were exclusively conservative descriptors – including names, such as “tea party” or “patriot,” or policy positions, such as concern over government spending and debt.
The back-and-forth between Issa and Cummings began after Issa went on CNN’s “State of the Union” on June 2 to allege that Obama administration officials in Washington ordered the targeting of conservative groups.
Issa, June 2: As you know, as late as last week the administration’s still trying to say there’s a few rogue agents in Cincinnati, when in fact the indication is they were directly being ordered from Washington.
The IG report found no evidence of that. In fact, the report said that employees in the Cincinnati office “developed and implemented” the “inappropriate critiera” in early 2010 and Lois Lerner, the director of the exempt organizations division, “immediately directed that the criteria be changed” once she learned about it in June 2011.
To support his claim, Issa released excerpts of interviews that his committee conducted with IRS staffers based in Cincinnati. But the excerpts were hardly conclusive. Asked if Washington directed the extra scrutiny of the tax-exempt applications of conservative groups, one unnamed IRS staffer replied, “I believe so.” The excerpts show the witness didn’t know for certain whether orders came from Washington or not.
Here is an excerpt released by Issa with that witness:
Q: So is it your perspective that ultimately the responsible parties for the decisions that were reported by the IG are not in the Cincinnati office?
A: I don’t know how to answer that question. I mean, from an agent standpoint, we didn’t do anything wrong. We followed directions based on other people telling us what to do.
Q: And you ultimately followed directions from Washington; is that correct?
A: If direction had come down from Washington, yes.
Q: But with respect to the particular scrutiny that was given to Tea Party applications, those directions emanated from Washington; is that right?
A: I believe so.
CNN host Candy Crowley challenged Issa’s lack of conclusive evidence, and he responded by saying there are more transcripts to release and more evidence to collect. “We’re getting to proving it,” he said.
But the evidence he has released so far hasn’t proved it.
Then again, Cummings hasn’t supplied evidence that proves his claim, either.
On June 9, the ranking Democrat on the committee appeared on “State of the Union” and CBS’ “Face the Nation” and discussed just-released excerpts of other committee interviews that he said proved Issa wrong. He told Crowley, “[T]he case is solved.”
The excerpts Cummings released included the testimony of a self-described conservative Republican who was the IRS screening group manager in the Cincinnati office at the time. The manager said that a screening agent in Cincinnati was the first to bring the tea party cases to his attention and that he notified “EO Technical” (Exempt Organizations Technical in Washington) “based upon, you know, the high-profile issue.”
Cummings, “Face the Nation,” June 9: This Republican manager said there was no White House involvement, no political involvement, none of that. He made the decision doing the best he could to have some kind of consistency.
But the excerpts are not as conclusive as Cummings portrayed them.
The IRS manager, who was not named by the committee, said, “I am not aware of that,” when asked directly about a political bias or political motivations behind the targeting of conservative groups. And he said he had “no reason to believe” that the White House was involved in the decision to target conservatives.
The excerpts released by Cummings also included parts of testimony given by an IRS screening agent based in Cincinnati who said he developed the initial criteria in early 2010 — a statement that is consistent with the IG report. But the excerpts do not address why the agent used search terms that only targeted conservatives. They also don’t fully explain why the manager considered the tea party cases a “high-profile issue,” or what Exempt Organizations Technical in Washington did with the tea party cases forwarded by the Cincinnati office.
(So-called “social welfare organizations” seeking tax-exempt 501(c)(4) applications can be involved in political activity as long as it is not their “primary activity.” It is the job of the Exempt Organizations division to determine if the group qualifies for such status. EO Technical provides advice to area managers on “unusual or complex” cases or when there is a “lack of uniformity” in handling such cases.)
The Wall Street Journal reviewed other excerpts of committee interviews with IRS staffers based in Cincinnati that show Carter Hull, a lawyer in EO Technical, was involved in the drafting of some of the questions that were later sent to groups flagged for extra scrutiny. But there’s much that we don’t know — including what advice Hull provided, whether it was followed, and whether his advice was meant just for conservative groups or for all groups seeking tax-exempt status that were engaged or planned to be engaged in political activity.
The Journal found the transcripts it reviewed to be inconclusive.
Wall Street Journal, June 5: The transcripts don’t suggest that Obama administration officials at the Treasury or the White House knew of or were involved in the targeting. Many questions remain unanswered, including who ordered the targeting.
The excerpts released by Issa and Cummings are just snippets of hours-long interviews. Issa said he does not want to release the full transcripts of interviews conducted so far, saying it would compromise the investigation. That may be. But the public trust is compromised when the committee’s top members selectively release partial transcripts that provide an incomplete picture of what has become a partisan investigation.
– Eugene Kiely



This is just doubling down on the confusion. That editorial is about whether the Obama administration, specifically, "directly...ordered" the targeting, as it says in the very first paragraph. What I posted earlier contradicts the idea that Washington didn't even know, and that these were "rogue agents," which is another claim entirely and is clearly debunked by the testimony of multiple employees (not just Hofacre).

Also, still waiting for an answer to this:

And should I take this little volley to mean that you don't have a response to what I asked? And that you admit to talking about the targeting despite not knowing the basic facts about how it worked, and when or why it took place?
Then again, if I have to keep asking, I'm pretty sure I have my answer.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
This is just doubling down on the confusion. That editorial is about whether the Obama administration, specifically, "directly...ordered" the targeting, as it says in the very first paragraph. What I posted earlier contradicts the idea that Washington didn't even know, and that these were "rogue agents," which is another claim entirely and is clearly debunked by the testimony of multiple employees (not just Hofacre).

That is not an editorial. It is one of those fact checker deals. And if you think what you are chososing to spotlight, that nobody in Washington never actually knew something that actually matters, is absurd. Who knew in Washington? An IRS attorney whose divison is suppose to establish guidelines for such things. Did it go all the way to the top to someone who might have a conversation with the President? Unproven. Was the whole thing actually being directed in Washington? Unproven. What are you actually worked up about? That the claim it was just a few rogue agents was not accurate? Which means, what, they were lying and covering up? Unproven. You going to bring down the administration based on that? I am not arguing something serious didn't happen, that there might not be a sinister washington involement and coverup. I am saying at this point the evidence does not show that and your nutty seizing on the thin pieces of meat being dangled by partisan leaking is hilarious. At this point all we have is you interestingly selectively picking what you think shows evil behavior and ignoring things like an IRS official in Cincinatti saying the initial inquiry started in his office. Like i said before, why can't you just wait to see where this thing is actually going instead giving into this propaganda nonsense of reacting to selective leaks by Republicans, who then refuse to release the full testimony?
Also, still waiting for an answer to this:


Then again, if I have to keep asking, I'm pretty sure I have my answer.
Do I know how the targeting worked? No, neither do you. Basic facts? I know them as well as you. And you show no interest in trying to understand how it works either. You are just trying to blame it directly on direct meddling from the Obama Administration with absurd leaps of logic like who was at the White House the most without even showing that person had any involvement. So when are you going to start an NAS scandal thread and try to distinguish that controversy over the same things the Bush admiistration did, which is your specialty. It is only bad when Democrats do it.



Your first paragraph is one giant non-sequitur. People are trying to defend the scandal by saying it was done by rogue agents in Cincinnati. We have testimony from multiple agents which contradicts that. So that point stands unharmed.

And note the hilarious timeline:
1. Suggest this was just some rogue agents in Cincinnati.
2. Learn that testimony says otherwise.
3. Attack the source, offer alternative sources.
4. Learn that the alternative sources say the same thing.
5. Say that the whole thing doesn't matter anyway.
So...do you usually make a habit of fighting tooth and nail about the accuracy of things that don't matter? Because a couple of posts ago you were accusing the Wall Street Journal of making things up. Now that you know they didn't, suddenly the whole thing's one big shrug. Funny how that works.

Do I know how the targeting worked? No, neither do you. Basic facts? I know them as well as you.
Boy, that present-tense "know" is mighty conspicuous. Maybe you know it now, but you clearly didn't before, because you said several things that didn't fit the basic facts. And when I say you didn't know how targeting "worked," I mean you didn't even appear to understand how groups were labeled suspicious in the first place.

You also clearly didn't know the timeline, hence your bogus defense about the targeting being a response to an influx of applications. And then, you compounded the error by suggesting that Hofacre dealing with an increase in applications contradicted this, even though she didn't order the targeting and that makes no sense whatsoever.

It's been an absolute mess of confusion.

And you show no interest in trying to understand how it works either. You are just trying to blame it directly on direct meddling from the Obama Administration with absurd leaps of logic like who was at the White House the most without even showing that person had any involvement.
It's you making leaps of logic, in assuming that by posting any circumstantial evidence, I must be inferring a massive conspiracy that Obama knew about and directed. But I don't think that, and I explicitly said so back on page 1.

So when are you going to start an NAS scandal thread and try to distinguish that controversy over the same things the Bush admiistration did, which is your specialty. It is only bad when Democrats do it.
Wow. You must be pretty hard up for arguments if you're stuck accusing me of hypocrisy preemptively, for a thread I never started.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Your first paragraph is one giant non-sequitur. People are trying to defend the scandal by saying it was done by rogue agents in Cincinnati. We have testimony from multiple agents which contradicts that. So that point stands unharmed.

It doesn't matter they said that. Was it an official line? No. It was more like it appears to be. And the rogue agents line is rather ambiguous, It may simply meant it was going on only in the Cincinatti office and didn't literally mean a few agents,. To claim that is an important point s is typical of you when applying a standard that you only apply to Democrats.

And note the hilarious timeline:
1. Suggest this was just some rogue agents in Cincinnati.
2. Learn that testimony says otherwise.
3. Attack the source, offer alternative sources.
4. Learn that the alternative sources say the same thing.
5. Say that the whole thing doesn't matter anyway.

What is your point? Here is the timeline as we now know it. It did start in the Concinatti office. And what exactly is important if it was a few agents in the Cincinatti office or a dozen? What is important, the whole reason for the investigation, is where did the going after tea party groups start? Was Washington ever directing it? When did the Obama Administration actually know about it? The few agents statement answers none of that unless you can show a deliberate attemp to lie or deceive. If not, it still doesn't matter that they said that.
So...do you usually make a habit of fighting tooth and nail about the accuracy of things that don't matter? Because a couple of posts ago you were accusing the Wall Street Journal of making things up. Now that you know they didn't, suddenly the whole thing's one big shrug. Funny how that works.

They didn't make it up, but they were reporting deliberate selected leaks from Republican sources on the Committee whorefused to release the entire testimony. A deliberate attempt to make the testimony look more serious than it actually was, to gloss over other testimiony that contradicts it. Yes, what you have so far doesn't much matter because the testimony doesn't say what you claimed it did.


Boy, that present-tense "know" is mighty conspicuous. Maybe you know it now, but you clearly didn't before, because you said several things that didn't fit the basic facts. And when I say you didn't know how targeting "worked," I mean you didn't even appear to understand how groups were labeled suspicious in the first place.

So I didn't know it before, so what? You keep posting things that don't say what you say it did. So you have an understanding deficency as well. And I still dispute your nonsensical definiton of systematic targeting because what is happening in only one regional office.
You also clearly didn't know the timeline, hence your bogus defense about the targeting being a response to an influx of applications. And then, you compounded the error by suggesting that Hofacre dealing with an increase in applications contradicted this, even though she didn't order the targeting and that makes no sense whatsoever.

You don't know the timeline because the hearings repeatedly have said it was due to an influx of applications. I never suggested Hofacie said that. The statement originated with the Republican IRS Agent not leaked by the Republicans who said the investigation began with him and a colleague because of the influx of tea party applications.




It's you making leaps of logic, in assuming that by posting any circumstantial evidence, I must be inferring a massive conspiracy that Obama knew about and directed. But I don't think that, and I explicitly said so back on page 1.

Then you are contradicting yourself. Your circumstantial evidence that isn't, the only point of bringing it up, that IRS officials frequently visited the White House is to infer he did know. Otherwise making an issue of it is pointless.


Wow. You must be pretty hard up for arguments if you're stuck accusing me of hypocrisy preemptively, for a thread I never started.
It's only a matter of time.



I have a reply to each point already written up (quick preview: you apparently don't know what "systematic" means), but there's little point in posting it without addressing these:

What is your point?
So I didn't know it before, so what?
You really need to ask? The point is that you offer opinions on issues you're not informed about. You argue about things you're ignorant of. You dispute things for awhile and, when it goes nowhere, you suddenly say it doesn't matter. These are problems. These things indicate that you're not arguing in good faith. And if you're not arguing in good faith, you have no reason to expect people to take what you say seriously.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
I have a reply to each point already written up (quick preview: you apparently don't know what "systematic" means), but there's little point in posting it without addressing these:



You really need to ask? The point is that you offer opinions on issues you're not informed about. You argue about things you're ignorant of. You dispute things for awhile and, when it goes nowhere, you suddenly say it doesn't matter. These are problems. These things indicate that you're not arguing in good faith. And if you're not arguing in good faith, you have no reason to expect people to take what you say seriously.
I argue in good faith. Do you? You have posted things here without understanding what it actually says, out of context, or inferring things that is not in evidence. So Uh, you accuse me of doing the same think you do?



I argue in good faith. Do you? You have posted things here without understanding what it actually says, out of context, or inferring things that is not in evidence. So Uh, you accuse me of doing the same think you do?
Holy projection batman



You're not getting it. It's not arguing in bad faith to be wrong about something. It's arguing in bad faith to be wrong because you didn't make a good faith effort to be informed in the first place. It's arguing in bad faith to say "so what?" when it's pointed out to you, as if it doesn't matter so long as you can come up with some counter accusation.



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
You're not getting it. It's not arguing in bad faith to be wrong about something. It's arguing in bad faith to be wrong because you didn't make a good faith effort to be informed in the first place. It's arguing in bad faith to say "so what?" when it's pointed out to you, as if it doesn't matter so long as you can come up with some counter accusation.
That is your opinion and again how is that different than you insisting numerous times in a different thread an article said something in a bill became law even after it was repeatedly pointed out it did no such thing and also asserting the absurd claim discussing what is in a separate amendment before it is voted on is the same as discussing what is in a proposed bill?



will.15's Avatar
Semper Fooey
Strike a big blow against the "it was just a couple of rogue underlings" excuse:
Now this is false. It did originate based on current information in the Cincinatti office. The only known outside Washington request for information came from an agency that the Cincinatti office notified asking for guidance. It is not yet known if the Washington IRS lawyer did anything improper. If he set up guidelines that only applied to tea party groups he would have. If the guidelines were applicable to all groups of a similar nature he is within the guidelines. Asking for samples is not in itslef a violation.

So you printing this stuff without checking its accuracy in good faith?