Monday, May 13, 2013

Obama: I Heard About The IRS Through The Grapevine

Clearly, the nation may witness the appointment of a special prosecutor in the IRS scandal that erupted on Friday, May 10, 2013.

From the New York Daily News, “On Friday, the IRS apologized for what it acknowledged was ‘inappropriate’ targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if those groups were violating their tax-exempt status.

According to Reuters, “When tax agents started singling out non-profit groups for extra scrutiny in 2010, they looked at first only for key words such as ‘Tea Party,’ but later they focused on criticisms by groups of ‘how the country is being run,’ according to investigative findings reviewed by Reuters on Sunday.

“Over two years, IRS field office agents repeatedly changed their criteria while sifting through thousands of applications from groups seeking tax-exempt status to select ones for possible closer examination, the findings showed.”

“At one point, the agents chose to screen applications from groups focused on making ‘America a better place to live.’”

Obama said he first learned about the IRS actions from news reports Friday. He said those responsible for the practice should be held "fully accountable."

The president added that his administration will get to the bottom of what happened at the IRS. "I have no patience for it. I will not tolerate it."

“Politicizing the IRS was one of the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon,” noted Doug Schoen, who handles polling for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “That being said, we are still a very long way from that point.” But, Schoen added: “The allegations are very, very serious, and it is simply impossible to believe that it was just Lois Lerner and some low-level employees in Cincinnati who came up with this scheme to systematically focus on Tea Party and ‘patriot’ groups.”

“What became clear in the first 72 hours of the story was that this (a) wasn’t an isolated, dumb incident by some random field office, (b) was something high-level officials were aware of, and (c) was going to be in the news cycle for quite some time.” 
“The problem for Democrats is that the IRS’s targeting of conservatives plays directly into a long-held belief by many Republicans (and even some independents) that official government arms are being used to carry out political agendas.” 
“’Any political scandal that begins by validating previously held contentions of a political opposition is bound to be trouble,’ said one senior Senate GOP operative. ‘When it includes denials that have been proven false, it gets much worse.’”

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