Friday, March 07, 2014

Lois Lerner Attacked By The Racist Right!

Been over a year for the IRS scandal.

Been over a year for the Benghazi scandal.

Been over a year since the former IRS official who is constantly hounded by Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) over her role in the alleged targeting of Tea Party affiliated groups. She got death threats because of the continuous name drops from the likes of King Hippo (aka Rush Limbaugh) and P*ssy Ass Sean Hannity (aka That Guy Who Helped Obama Win).

This week brought some fireworks at the umpteenth congressional hearing. Issa and his counterpart Congressman Elliah Cummings (D-MD) got into a heated confrontation during Lois Lerner's testimony.

Cummings slammed Issa for not allocating time for him talk. He also called to question to why Issa's committees netting no smoking gun results.

Lerner’s lawyers had said she would simply plead the Fifth again, and asked lawmakers to reconsider a public hearing, citing the numerous death threats the former IRS official had received since the scandal first surfaced. It was also reported that she wanted immunity in exchange for answering questions. But Issa said that she would not be granted any such protections when she appears this Wednesday before his committee.
No new friends. A testy spat between Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Elliah Cummings.
The IRS targeting controversy has taken several twists since Lerner first declined to testify up through her testimony this coming week. It was revealed that the tax agency had also included progressive groups on its so-called Be On The Look Out lists, though not in the same kind of numbers or frequency as Tea Party groups. The Treasury Department’s inspector general -- who first uncovered the targeting –- said he was dismayed that he hadn’t picked up on the targeting of progressive groups during his investigation.

Republicans, in the meantime, have continued to make the case that there was a larger political motivation behind the targeting and have sought to tie the IRS' watch lists to influence from higher up in the Obama administration. Lerner will likely be pressed hard on this.

The IRS, which is currently being investigated by six different entities over the controversy, is also trying to revamp the rules it uses for weighing how to apply tax exempt status to political organizations. Under the drafted rule, the IRS would limit the amount of "candidate-related political activity" that groups claiming to be social welfare organizations can conduct. The IRS would also define candidate-related political activity to include certain communications such as direct advocacy for a certain candidate, voter registration drives and offering up grants and donations.

Republicans have strongly objected to the proposal, calling it a violation of free speech. Democrats have argued that it would bring some clarity into a tax-exempt application process that -- as demonstrated by the IRS mess -- clearly needs it.

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