Pitts: What was the IRS thinking?

May 20, 2013


Excerpt: Well, this is a fine mess.

After years of moaning about various “conspiracies” against them, conservative activists finally have a real (i.e., not manufactured by Fox or inflated by Limbaugh) piece of evidence to take before the court of public opinion.

Meaning, of course, last week’s revelation that the Internal Revenue Service has been giving extra scrutiny to groups with the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their names. Extra scrutiny from the IRS is about as welcome as extra scrutiny from the proctologist, so one can hardly blame conservative groups for complaining, as they’ve done since last year.

Unfortunately, those complaints got no traction until Friday, when the IRS admitted the practice. Lois Lerner, director of the IRS division in charge of tax exemption, was speaking at an American Bar Association conference in response to a question about whether the conservative groups had been singled out. She admitted they were.

These groups reportedly amounted to about a quarter of the 300 organizations flagged for review between 2010 and 2012, but according to Lerner, there was no political intent. Rather, she says, the words became a shortcut used by employees to help them sort through the explosion of groups seeking tax exemption under the Internal Revenue Code. The relevant Code section, 501 (c) (4), requires that any exempt group be working to promote “social welfare” and that political action not constitute its “primary activity.” The groups the IRS flagged were not necessarily denied exemption, but were subjected to extensive questioning and required to produce membership lists and donor information.

Tuesday, the Justice Department launched an investigation. Two congressional committees are also looking into the matter. Every taxpayer not employed by the Obama administration should welcome the news.

Under the most charitable interpretation of the facts, this unit of the IRS used god-awful judgment. Under the least charitable, it engaged in ideological harassment inimical to and violative of, the First Amendment.


Eph 2 8-10

Manufactured by Fox? Get a life Pitts...


Read it again.

The Answer Person

Who cares? they SHOULD be checked. No one is above the law and when you are a fringe group, it is the same as driving with loud music playing. You attract attention in a negative way. Move on and get over it. If you are doing nothing wrong then you have NOTHING to worry about!


Sure thing, answer, along with anyone with a strange haircut, or with who prays to the wrong deity, right? We gotta get these weirdos under our thumb where's we can keep an eye on 'em, eh?


And do you feel the same way about the Associated Press's reporters and editors' treatment? I don't have to ask about the Fox reporters' treatment. Like any perceived consecutive, they get what they Deserve and... Shut UP!


All 501(c)(4) should be done away with!


Eph ..He ' s right yea manufactured by fox. Or are you to far gone with the rest of them uptight snobby right wingers to see the truth if it smacked you in the face. FOX. Is the most one sided network ever and it's news should be banned for its biased one sided ingnorance.


Yeah, Fox should be definately banned !! Why would anyone need to know the TRUTH !!


Larry, your silly. Numerous studies have shown that people who watch Fox (Faux) News know less about current events than individuals who watch no news at all

Erie County Resident

Sure thing unWise. that is why all your liberal media machines like MSNBC, ABC, CBS, AP, and many others are turning on your master Obama after HIS DOJ attacked the AP service and the 1st Amendment.
Yeah the liberal media tells the truth all the time ... LMAO!


Give it a rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fascinating. You actually put ABC, CBS and AP in same basket as MSNBC. The reality is that FOx is extreme right-wing, MSNBC is extreme Left-wing and the others are somewhere in the middle. What color is the sky in your world?

2cents's picture

(it's news should be banned for its biased one sided ingnorance)

I think it is spelled MSNBC if I am not mistaken : )


You are mistaken! AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2cents's picture

Haaaa Haaa! Rachel Madcow is a trip, one from Mars.


She's very intelligent.She's no Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman.
I'm sure she could out- debate EVERYONE who comments here.

2cents's picture

Never said she was not, just way way left and will back people even when they are in the wrong just because of a party affiliation. That is not good news anchoring in my eyes. I listen to the three majors plus some offshore stations to round out opinion.


'...will back people even when they are in the wrong just because of a party affiliation".

Ehhhhh,ummmm,I don't know about that one.You're going to have to cite an example.


MSNBC is to the Left what Fox is to the Right. Both are Opinion networks masquerading as news networks. The difference, of course, is that most Democrats seem to realize that about MSNBC, while conservatives accept Fox as Gospel. A clear example of confirmation bias.


I agree with that.
I have my mind in gear and weigh what EVERYONE says.
FOX watchers gobble propaganda down whole without one brain cell firing.

Mime Bloggling

What started out as a probable diversion from the Obama administration from the Benghazi debacle has now turned into a HUGE smoking gun for this President.

From the American Spectator:

Obama and the IRS: The Smoking Gun?

“For me, it’s about collaboration. — National Treasury Employees Union President Colleen Kelley on the relationship between the anti-Tea Party IRS union and the Obama White House

Is President Obama directly implicated in the IRS scandal?

Is the White House Visitors Log the trail to the smoking gun?

The stunning questions are raised by the following set of new facts.

March 31, 2010.

According to the White House Visitors Log, provided here in searchable form by U.S. News and World Report, the president of the anti-Tea Party National Treasury Employees Union, Colleen Kelley, visited the White House at 12:30pm that Wednesday noon time of March 31st.

The White House lists the IRS union leader’s visit this way:

Kelley, Colleen Potus 03/31/2010 12:30

In White House language, “POTUS” stands for “President of the United States.”

The very next day after her White House meeting with the President, according to the Treasury Department’s Inspector General’s Report, IRS employees — the same employees who belong to the NTEU — set to work in earnest targeting the Tea Party and conservative groups around America. The IG report wrote it up this way:

April 1-2, 2010: The new Acting Manager, Technical Unit, suggested the need for a Sensitive Case Report on the Tea Party cases. The Determinations Unit Program Manager Agreed.

In short: the very day after the president of the quite publicly anti-Tea Party labor union — the union for IRS employees — met with President Obama, the manager of the IRS “Determinations Unit Program agreed” to open a “Sensitive Case report on the Tea party cases.” As stated by the IG report.

And as for Lois Lerner:

And...by the way.. thank God for Fox News AND Rush Limbaugh. If we had to wait for the likes of a Leonard Pitts/Sandusky Register type of reporting we'd never know anything.

Oh, and did you hear this late breaking story?

Before AP: DOJ Targeted Fox News' James Rosen


No real surprise here. No wonder people don't trust their government or the main stream media.


There needs to be INDEPENDENT commissions formed in order to ferret out the truth regarding Benghazi, IRS/Conservative groups and the DOJ/AP scandals.

Basically, the questions to be answered are: WHO knew WHAT and WHEN?

And the IRS is gonna oversee the mandatory insurance requirement for ObamaCare?

Get ready for proctology exams from the govt. on a national scale.

And the German people under the Nazi regime thought that they were free too.


The Big Dog's back

Yep. Can't wait see which Repub sent out those phony e-mails.


There is no such thing as an independent commission. Think Ken Star. Have at it. The last time republicans went down that road Bill Clinton was re-elected. This time it will be his wife.

The Big Dog's back

Exactly eriemom. Bring it on righties.


And then we can do an independent commission on Bush and WMD and Afghanistan and Iraq, his handling of the pre-9/11 warnings he ignored and. Gotta love it when the wingnuts whip out the Nazi comparisons. Silly, just silly....



Eph 2 8-10

Some of you nice folks are like a frog placed in a pot of water. The heat is turned up and he is just as happy as can he be--until it's too late. He is cooked. Think about it.


Nah. Even GOP leaders are in agreement that the current IRS problem originated at the low level, and not with Obama. Keep wishing and dreaming...


Some of YOU nice folks are just plain DUMB! You guys are OBSESSED with the President. Go get a job or a hobby or something


"You guys are OBSESSED with the President."

Seems like the network Sunday news shows had a similar obsession.

Bob Schieffer destroying the Obama sock puppet was fun:


2cents's picture

Watched it yesterday and enjoyed every minute of it.

Would love to see her put her pointed questions to Mr. Obama or his cronies.

In order to swallow all of the Campaigner-in-Chief's continuous line of bull crap, it's necessary to suspend all rational and critical thinking.

Obviously, the lib teachers in public schools did a good job of dumbing down their students over the yrs.

H*ll, most of 'em can't spell or don't even think to use Spellcheck before they post. "ingnorance"? LOL


Actually, you have it backwards. Teachers impart knowledge to their students, and I think most would say that the party that dumbs things down is the Republican Party. From opposing evolution, global warming and basically being anti-science and anti-education in general, the GOP has earned that reputation. And as long as you keep giving the microphone to under-educated and intolerant people like Palin and Bachmann, the party will continue to alienate people who value education and good old' smarts.


@ coasterfan:

Hit a nerve huh?

Keep spewing out the "ingnorance."

I'd be willing to bet that an analysis of student drop-out rates between conservative and liberal communities would help to prove the liberal teacher dumbing-down premise.

"The most important intellectual ability man has yet developed–the art and science of asking questions–is not taught in school!"

- Neil Postman

So true.


Maybe take up bowling.


This is super funny....... I agree that I wish there was a unbiased media network with no ties or affiliations with any political parties. There isaleft side and a right side to every issue and a truth that lies in the middle. It is our job to figure that out I guess


What ties and affiliations might you be referring to Mr Sole? Although I am aware that at least three major News Agency's have close relatives that work right in that thar White House. How coincidental, don't ya think?


I loved it, the IRS might just leave me alone now. Are the Teabaggers apolitical.


If you want to corrupt someone, just give them power!


A text conversation between my brother and I.:
Bro: Had a dream that a clown was kicking my ass because of a possessed rodeo clown belt buckle he was wearing. The whole dream was spent trying to find a way to snag the buckle. When I finally de-buckled him I beat him like a red headed step child. I suddenly feel the need to go clown bashing. I have to stop watching supernatural before going to bed.

Me:I hate clowns. Want to go hunting, brother? Ever watch that episode of Bones where the dude shot the freakin' clown head on the ice cream truck? I fell on the floor....really, i did...it was that funny..

Bro: I'm in. Where's the nearest circus? Saw that episode and it was funny.

Me: The nearest circus with the most clowns is in Washington DC. We're gonna need some things...

Bro: Ha! We're going to need LOTS of things.

This was after all the scandals uncovered, "so far".


Remember: IRS employees are unionized.

Do union members tend to be liberal and vote Democrat?

"AmSpec Scoop: Obama 'Met With Anti-Tea Party IRS Union Chief the Day Before Agency Targeted Tea Party'":

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom...


There are too many self appointed religious nuts; calling themselves pastors, who sign onto their garage -type churches just to be granted tax exempt. I think every organiaztion should pay taxes...good for the IRS to chase them down..........