Of Henry and Barack

Henry II had a stalwart friend and assistant in Thomas Beckett his chancellor. When there was a chance to elevate Thomas to a position of arch-Bishop of Canterbury Henry did so, thinking he’d have a close ally in the Church. What he didn’t realize was that Beckett was loyal not to him as his chancellor but the office … and when he was head cleric … he was likewise loyal to his office and no longer a close friend and ally of the King. In a frustrated rage (and Henry had a temper) Henry famously hollered  “will someone not rid me of this meddlesome priest” … and two knights took him at his word, rode forth in the night to Canterbury and slew the Bishop in cold blood at the altar, an act which shocked and horrified both England and their King who never actually intended this act to be carried out.

The left in general and the left elite in particular see themselves as the faithful guardians and representatives of the people. A popular movement arising naturally belongs within their party, not the opposition. When this occurs it is an affront to their long held assumptions that the ordinary folk are their constituents and this movement is a betrayal (just talk to a gay conservative as to how liberals treat with them … for a party that thinks that harsh words against oppressed groups are harmful, they are mighty quick to use them themselves).

Mr Obama has joked about using the IRS as a political tool, he’s remarked how Tea Party members were nefarious, he’s publicly called out persons and groups to be targeted by liberal pressure. Low and behold a few knights ride out to do his bidding. Actually more than a few, but who’s counting. Apparently we are to believe there was no connection between his attitude, the atmosphere he encouraged in his administration and its behavior. History if I remember, finds Henry culpable for the consequences of his remarks. History likewise, will likely find Mr Obama culpable for the spate of government overreach and partisanship it demonstrates …

On the other hand, it seems calls for “impeach the bum” keep coming from the right. Uhm, a few points to this remark:

  • Biden? Geesh
  • The President is tried in the Senate, by Senators not a few of whom have Presidential aspirations and for which a majority share the same political party as the President.
  • Which means, the only actual good that would come of impeachment is … that it would shut down the federal government for a month or so.
  • and finally, Biden? If that doesn’t frighten you, nothing will.

Oh, wait. Point #3 might be the actual point. Impeachment even without conviction would be likely to hamstring the President during and afterwards … and he’s not going to be convicted so the Biden threat isn’t very real.

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38 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    Low and behold a few knights ride out to do his bidding.

    Errr yea except we have the actual law that congress wrote. Under the universe of tax exempt groups, we have a section for political groups. We have a section for pure charities and churches which have to be non-political. And we have a section for ‘social welfare’ organizations that can be a ‘little bit’ political but not ‘primarily political’.

    This leads us to ask what the hell someone loyal to the office (IRS agent) is supposed to do when a bunch of groups suddenly apply for the last type of tax exempt status with names like “Tea Party”? That sounds like a political group to me. How do you tell if a group is not ‘primarily political’? You gotta ask em lots of questions about what they do and hope you can figure it out from there.

    Apparently we are to believe there was no connection between his attitude, the atmosphere he encouraged in his administration and its behavior.

    Sadly this is what constitutes ‘evidence’ in the right wing world. The truth isn’t what the facts tell you, the truth is what conforms to your worldview. Hence Obama must have told the IRS to target Tea Party groups because Obama’s ‘nefarious’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean coming from the party of Bush, Cheney, Romney, and the car thief Issa). Yet the overwhelming evidence is that the IRS responded the best it could to a law that is absurdly subjective.

  2. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    This leads us to ask what the hell someone loyal to the office (IRS agent) is supposed to do when a bunch of groups suddenly apply for the last type of tax exempt status with names like “Tea Party”? That sounds like a political group to me. How do you tell if a group is not ‘primarily political’? You gotta ask em lots of questions about what they do and hope you can figure it out from there.

    Uhm, except that the upswing in politically motivated checks precede the upswing in these applications. Causality is not a liberal concept today?

    The truth isn’t what the facts tell you, the truth is what conforms to your worldview.

    Apparently if it isn’t recorded and on the record it could never have happened. Except that Obama did make those jokes, he did make those remarks about the Tea Party on record. So you figure he said better not worse off the record. Yah, keep dreaming.

    from the party of Bush, Cheney, Romney, and the car thief Issa

    OK. You have to realize I’m living in Illinois, where the last three (two?) Democratic governors are in jail and corruption in Chicago politics is the order of they day. Don’t talk to me about the goodness of politicians.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Two points to remember, now that this has come to light, Mr Obama has a far harsher view on what occurred than you pretend to … and that like Obama nothing Henry said “on record” actually told the knights to do what they did. They inferred that is what he wanted them to do.

  4. Boonton says:

    Uhm, except that the upswing in politically motivated checks precede the upswing in these applications.

    Again you are tasked with reviewing applications. Political parties do not qualify for the examption. “Social welfare” groups do. When an application for “Tea Party of XXX” hits, whatcha going to do? If you’re loyal to the law, you’re going to have to try to figure out are they really a political group or are they a social welfare group that just has ‘some politics’. If you’re not, you can just rubber stamp approve them all and there won’t be any trouble.

    Except that Obama did make those jokes, he did make those remarks about the Tea Party on record.

    So what?

    Ahhh so Obama is guilty because he is critical of the Tea Party. I didn’t know that a group dedicated to liberty means no one is allowed to be critical of them.

    Don’t talk to me about the goodness of politicians.

    I don’t recall talking to you about the ‘goodness of politicians. Seems your reality detection mechanism is on the fritz again. How about we explore something more close to home? Let’s explore your goodness. Do you think you’re a Thomas Beckett or King Henry in chracter?

  5. Boonton says:

    Speaking of Beckett, let me suggest a more interesting analoge. Beckett has, of course, the advantage of being a real person but I think a much better example would be Ned Stark from Game of Thrones. Without giving too much away, the series begins with a man asked by his King (and friend) to serve an office and who is loyal to the office. His dedication to loyality in a very unjust world sets off a series of wars, murders and intrigue. Like Beckett such loyality doesn’t turn out too good for his personal welfare but it’s also not clear that his choice was good for the larger society either. Nonetheless, he is a man of duty and he does what duty demands whether the consequences are good or bad.

    But this will require some knowledge of the series so let me just drop it as a recommendation. From what I understand the HBO series is roughly following the books and can serve as a decent substitute for reading the first few books, which are kind of long.

  6. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    So what?

    And King Henry made a off-hand remark about “getting rid” of a priest. So Obama is just as guilty as Henry, both make intemperate jokes and some guys take him literally and act on it. History judged Henry as sharing in guilt.

    “Social welfare” groups do.

    Except you think social welfare doesn’t include “education about peoples rights and the Constitution” … at least on your side of the aisle.

    I’m neither Beckett or Henry. I took too much to heart the Taoist teachings of being the wizened useless tree for interesting-times survival to heart. I am a moth not drawn to the flame of notoriety.

    I read the first book (maybe two) when they came out … I’ve got them as a set of four right now from Amazon, but other reading keeps pulling me away. For my money the Erickson/Malzaan series is far far and away the best fantasy series written in the last 20 years.

    As far as fun/fiction reading recommendations … a shorter book I really enjoyed was “The Scar” by a husband and wife team (Dyachenko). For the first third of the book I didn’t really know where the narrative was leading, stick with it it was good. Precinct 13 as good … kind of like Aaronivitch’s magic+modern-newbie-cops thing. I’ve also gotten sucked into the Sandman Slim series ….

    I also think political situation draws too obviously from Richard and Edward IV … read this instead. It is a very very good book.

  7. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    “I don’t recall talking to you about …” Yes you did. Quoth the Boonton,

    Obama’s ‘nefarious’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean coming from the party of Bush, Cheney, Romney, and the car thief Issa)

    Goodness (and not-Goodness) galore.

  8. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    “Tea Party” is not a political affiliation. Nowhere is there a registered politician running as a member of the political party known as “Tea Party”. Social welfare group describes them better than political party.

  9. Boonton says:

    And King Henry made a off-hand remark about “getting rid” of a priest. So Obama is just as guilty as Henry, both make intemperate jokes and some guys take him literally and act on it.

    You said Henry was innocent above. So which is it? Of course your theory that low level IRS officals ‘took a joke literally’ is supported neither by evidence nor plausibility

    Except you think social welfare doesn’t include “education about peoples rights and the Constitution” … at least on your side of the aisle.

    Never said that, but it would be nice if you could at least admit it’s rather difficult to objectively enforce a law that says an application to a special group must be denied if the group is ‘primarily’ political but may be a bit political.

    I’m neither Beckett or Henry. I took too much to heart the Taoist teachings of being the wizened useless tree for interesting-times survival to heart.

    Really? Well let’s look at the 4 reasons you gave for not impeaching Obama.

    1. You don’t like he would be president if he was.
    2. You doubt it could carry the Senate
    3. You list as a pro that it might occupy the gov’t’s attention for a month or so.
    4. #1 again.

    Notice none of your reasons even mention whether or not Obama is guilty or worthy of impeachment under the rules of the Constitution. Instead your first instinct isn’t about loyality to the law but about figuring out what may or may not be good for ‘your team’. You may think you’re Gandalf looking at wizened trees my friend but you could give Henry a run for his money.

    I read the first book (maybe two) when they came out

    Then there’s no spoilers when we talk about Ned Stark’s fate, or for that matter what a misreable person the 14 yr old King is? Ned does illustrate an interesting story IMO because his loyality to the law is admirable but it’s not clear its a good thing. The man who would ‘rightly be king’ is not clearly all that much better and given the entire monarchy was based on murdering the previous ‘mad king’ his goodness in a mean world doesn’t necessarily translate to bringing about good consequences.

    “I don’t recall talking to you about …” Yes you did. Quoth the Boonton,

    Your quote doesn’t support your assertion.

    “Tea Party” is not a political affiliation. Nowhere is there a registered politician running as a member of the political party known as “Tea Party”. Social welfare group describes them better than political party.

    Actually it has run candidates or at least endorsed them, but given your loose loyality to the law it shouldn’t be surprising you’d define a political group you are partial too as a virtual charity. Look if you want to argue political groups should be tax exempt like charities then do so but note your readers are not as prone to delusion as you are.

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Notice none of your reasons even mention whether or not Obama is guilty or worthy of impeachment under the rules of the Constitution

    If you were D/A in a district … you would bring a person to trial known the court was never going to convict even if he was guilty? You like wasting your time and money?

    You said Henry was innocent above.

    I said history has judged him guilty.

    Of course your theory that low level IRS officals ‘took a joke literally’ is supported neither by evidence nor plausibility.

    …. why do you think they thought they’d get away with it?

    Never said that, but it would be nice if you could at least admit it’s rather difficult to objectively enforce a law that says an application to a special group must be denied if the group is ‘primarily’ political but may be a bit political.

    Yah. It’s hard. Especially when your own party biases not longer have to be taken off the table.

    Your quote doesn’t support your assertion

    I see. Unethical behavior has nothing to do with goodness? Right. Have you ever ever heard of negative numbers. They are numbers too and not in a different category.

    Actually it has run candidates

    “It”. What is “it”. How do you define it? At best it is a populist movement, with no head and lots of disparate members. That’s like saying the “Objectivist” party supports X. Except there is no such beast.

  11. Boonton says:

    If you were D/A in a district … you would bring a person to trial known the court was never going to convict even if he was guilty?

    If the D/A does not think the person is guilty he should not be going to trial regardless of what he thinks the outcome might be. Again you seem to think the primary consideration is utilitarian. Can he ‘score’ or ‘not score’ a point. If his primary loyality is to the law then his goal should be first to determine if there’s good cause to think there’s guilt.

    …. why do you think they thought they’d get away with it?

    Get away with what? These were non-political appointees in an organization that rarely leaps into regular politics whose highest official above them was actually a Bush appointee. Exactly what did you think ‘they’ thought they were going to get? A Presidential appointment? A raise? A promotion? Your theory is that they are so enamoured of Obama that they took a off context joke so literally simply for the satisfaction of helping Obama out?

    I see. Unethical behavior has nothing to do with goodness?

    So if absolute proof is produced that Obama had nothing to do with this. Not only did he not order it but those who implemented it weren’t following your ‘joke theory’ but were simply trying to implement a convoluted law as written you will say Obama is good?

    “It”. What is “it”. How do you define it? At best it is a populist movement, with no head and lots of disparate members

    How does a political party endorse candidates for office? It announces that they endorse this or that candidate, which is what many Tea Party organizations have done. You seem to be saying you know enough about them to know they are ‘social welfare’ groups but they are so disparate and diverse you can’t say if they are political or not. You actually make the case for the policy, given that many Tea Party groups are clearly political (by the definition of normal people, not yourself), but they are so diverse and disparate it makes all the sense in the world to scrutinize applications from groups that claim to be non-political Tea Party type groups.

    At worse you can argue that this is profiling…but uh ohh, you’ve endorsed profiling when it comes to the TSA!

  12. Boonton says:

    BTW, speaking of this ‘joke theory’, Obama also joked about using drones if Justin Bieber got any funny ideas about spending time with his daughters (I think he was talking about them going to some show or something he was doing). If an Obama-loving air force officer took it upon himself to bomb his house upon hearing such a joke I doubt anyone would consider Obama guilty for even a second nor consider the officer’s action to be remotely resonable.

  13. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    If the D/A does not think the person is guilty he should not be going to trial regardless of what he thinks the outcome might be. Again you seem to think the primary consideration is utilitarian.

    No. You are using the “most horrific” hermeneutic which you often turn to using.

    If his primary loyality is to the law then his goal should be first to determine if there’s good cause to think there’s guilt.

    Right. And then … he has to consider his chances of winning the trial. If any jury selected is going to have a majority the pocket of the defendent … he won’t bother. And that’s the point being made.

    Get away with what?

    Duh.

    Your theory is that they are so enamoured of Obama that they took a off context joke so literally simply for the satisfaction of helping Obama out?

    No. My theory (actual theory not your straw man) is that jokes and remarks like this made acceptable to consider doing what they did.

    It announces that they endorse this or that candidate, which is what many Tea Party organizations have done.

    Actually that’s not all a party does. And you knew that.

    At worse you can argue that this is profiling…but uh ohh, you’ve endorsed profiling when it comes to the TSA!

    And you’ve endorsed profiling when it comes to using the IRS as a political tool for the candidate in power.

  14. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    So far (as I know) drones flying in the US aren’t armed. When they are … do you think this would be a funny joke? Do you think lots of jokes and causal acceptance on the part of the administration might make going that step a little easier?

    Your favorite uncivil blogger Krugman still believes that right wing remarks and gun-rhetoric led to the Congresswoman from AZ being shot. Apparently, such notions that casual acceptance of a thing is bad only when it is convenient to your favorite political ends.

  15. Boonton says:

    So far (as I know) drones flying in the US aren’t armed. When they are … do you think this would be a funny joke? Do you think lots of jokes and causal acceptance on the part of the administration might make going that step a little easier?

    1. I would assume that drones sometimes are armed in the US, if only for training and experimental purposes.

    2. Such jokes are very occasional and always in the context of a light hearted event so no I’m not concerned that Obama’s joke may result in the end of Beiber’s musical career.

    Your favorite uncivil blogger Krugman still believes that right wing remarks and gun-rhetoric led to the Congresswoman from AZ being shot.

    Well now that you mention it you do seem to be pushing a double standard here. Sarah Palin can put a bull’s eye over the face of one of her less favorite members of congress. Are you saying that’s OK provided the person that shoots her is just plain crazy? You seem to be saying its ok to ‘joke’ but you’re blamed if someone takes you up on the joke….but then it has to be proven that they acted on your joke and not for other reasons like being crazy? (Of course the ‘bull’s eye’ target wasn’t in the context of a joke but a rallying cry….so why does your Henry analogy not apply? Because the crazy person who shot her wasn’t motivated by it? If he was would it?). At the very least your ‘method’ here seems to place the burden of proof on the charge that the act was motivated by the so-called joke rather than simply assuming it.

    Actually that’s not all a party does. And you knew that.

    You mean like running radio ads for a Republican candidate (http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2013/05/27/experts_say_at_least_some_conservative_groups_were_appropriately_flagged.html)? you’re right.

    And you’ve endorsed profiling when it comes to using the IRS as a political tool for the candidate in power.

    Actually that would be “we are Democrats so let’s give non-Democratic groups that apply for this a hard time”. The reality appears to be more like “hey lots of lots of groups using the name ‘Tea Party’ have suddenly applied for this status, many of them are political groups but some may not be so they need to be scrutinized to see exactly what they are trying to do”.

  16. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Such jokes are very occasional and always in the context of a light hearted event

    Like a graduation? Light hearted?

    Well now that you mention it you do seem to be pushing a double standard here.

    You’re confusing some things here. (a) people in power perhaps should not joke about abusing said power, especially powers often abused. (b) I am not saying Obama shouldn’t joke, although I am serious about the dangers of joking about abuse of power. I said history has judged against Henry for his joke and that likewise they may find against Obama for similar reasons. And no, the warden of a prison can’t make jokes about raping prisoners while a prisoner can … when a guard knows about abuses … how will that joke affect his actions? Hmmm? If a warden makes such jokes in a prison where rape is rampant, why do you not find that problematic?

    I also find the following troubling and I think that sort of thing is going on with some of these scandals. There was a remark by one of the White House aids that he didn’t inform the President of (the IRS thing?) because … well, frankly because if he did then the President couldn’t deny knowing about it and his knowing about it could be a liability … and therefore nothing was done about it.

    If the President isn’t sacking him for that kind of thing post haste then he is in fact liable for the things his underlings fail to tell him, because he has instructed them to not tell him. If you don’t find that a corrosive dangerous practice … then you really really must love tyranny and your loss of freedoms. ’cause that’s what you’re hoping for.

  17. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    The reality appears to be more like “hey lots of lots of groups using the name ‘Tea Party’ have suddenly applied for this status, many of them are political groups but some may not be so they need to be scrutinized to see exactly what they are trying to do”.

    Except the causality bites you in the butt. The upswing in checks on conservative groups predated the upswing in Tea Party applications. I’ve read that the targeting of Constitutional/Tea Party phrases didn’t actually result in increased actual non-granting of permits, i.e., the profiling was both ethically and effectually misguided.

    You keep trying to defend the Ohio IRS office. You do realize even Obama has excoriated this, sacked a number of IRS officials who covered it up? Why do this if there was no wrong doing? I mean gosh, in an election campaign what might be the problem with a Democrat majority office statistically heavily waiting checks against the opposition party? Apparently you are at loss to see why this might be problematic. I find that, frankly, amazingly dishonest.

  18. Boonton says:

    Like a graduation? Light hearted?

    Ok, please post the exact links to the ‘jokes’ you claim Obama made about auditing people and we can then examine the context. If you want I’ll look up were the drone strike joke came from as well.

    (a) people in power perhaps should not joke about abusing said power, especially powers often abused.

    I’m unaware that drone strikes have often been used to improve the quality of pop music.

    (b) I am not saying Obama shouldn’t joke, although I am serious about the dangers of joking about abuse of power.

    I’m unclear then why should we be considering the merits of impeaching Obama if you’re not even saying the one thing you actually claim he did is not something he shouldn’t do?

    I said history has judged against Henry for his joke and that likewise they may find against Obama for similar reasons.

    History may find our entire history is an illusion and we are all inside vats run by giant computer machines. Or history may find Obama’s in a consipiracy with the lizard people of ceti-alpha6 to sell out humanity. Pretty shabby if all you have supporting your argument is a ‘maybe someone other than me will actually bother collecting facts and discover its true!”

    There was a remark by one of the White House aids that he didn’t inform the President of (the IRS thing?) because … well, frankly because if he did then the President couldn’t deny knowing about it and his knowing about it could be a liability

    Which aid was that?

    Except the causality bites you in the butt. The upswing in checks on conservative groups predated the upswing in Tea Party applications.

    Upswing? Do you have any numbers here or ancedotes? Left wing groups are coming out now too. Some have been denied, other have had to go thru years of questions before they could obtain their status.

    You keep trying to defend the Ohio IRS office. You do realize even Obama has excoriated this, sacked a number of IRS officials who covered it up?

    And it works for both sides to revert to a rubber stamp policy whereby political groups applying for the status get it, but that’s not what the law says! Obama at least has acknowledged the laws’ wording and advocated that Congress rewrite it so the rules are more clear. Congress, I think, would be happy to see a chastized IRS revert to a rubber stamp policy.

    Which brings us back to the question of who you are….or who are you less of? Are you more Henry, loyal to what ‘works’ for your interests, or are you more Beckett, loyal to the principles at hand? With your statements about impeachment you revealed yourself to be much less Beckett and much more Henry. With the profiling question you open up some opportunity to evaluate Obama.

    Obama has been against profiling and as you point out he has been critical of the IRS here, even though it ‘works’ for him in the sense that it frustrates political groups opposed to him. You on the other hand have supported profiling when its come to Arabs getting on planes or teen boys wandering around gated communities. Now when profiling seems to have merit you suddenly discover it’s the functional equilivant to having Beckett murdered!

  19. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Are you more Henry, loyal to what ‘works’ for your interests, or are you more Beckett, loyal to the principles at hand?

    I think you misunderstand the conflict between Henry and Beckett. Henry was interested in consolidating power, so he nominated his loyal chamberlain/assistant/friend … who was a loyal chamberlain/assistant/friend because that was his job … and when he got a new job he did that devotedly as well.

    With your statements about impeachment you revealed yourself to be much less Beckett

    You mean with your (purposeful) misunderstanding of my statements about impeachment.

    Now when profiling seems to have merit you suddenly discover it’s the functional equivalent to having Beckett murdered!

    The profiling, alas perhaps to your disappointment, didn’t have merit. You noted one group in which the case had merit. The problem was statistically it has been found that a disproportionate number of conservative groups where targeted, but alas there were not a disproportional actual refusal to grant cases. Just harassment.

    I’m unclear then why should we be considering the merits of impeaching Obama if you’re not even saying the one thing you actually claim he did is not something he shouldn’t do?

    See. Misunderstanding. In the linked piece I noted that many conservatives are considering impeaching Obama … and that aside from the possible merits, there is not reason to think he might be convicted and that if he was convicted that would put Biden in the President’s chair, a think conservatives find a worse alternative to the current knucklehead. So my question (aimed primarily at conservatives) is to what end would you impeach? Why? Apparently you feel a D/A should file cases he doesn’t have a chance winning (or that would put a worse felon in a position of power) just because feels he has a valid case. I think you are a naive D/A. Neither Beckett nor Henry were naive in that way. Both used all manner of chicanery to get what they wanted … it’s just that Beckhett was riding the horse of the office not that of personal relationships. I don’t think that even makes the Ned Stark question (personal relationships vs state as defining one’s role).

    But no. I don’t think he should make any jokes at all of that sort. Ever … or at least until he’s not President any more.

    Return to the jokes. Do you agree (or not, and if not explain why) that a warden by virtue of his position should not make jokes about prison rape presiding over a prison in which rapes occur. There is a principle here, when you are in a position of leadership over a group with great authority shouldn’t make jokes about abusing that power especially when the group which you lead is tarnished with abuses of the very sort you are joking about.

    Put this in perspective. You are governor of a state. It comes to light that one of your prison warden’s is making public jokes about gang rapes in prison laundry rooms. This is a prison in which such rapes do occur. Do you let it slide. Is that OK? Do you think that will have any effect on the rape frequencies in that prison? Does he keep is job? If not. Why not? If so, do you censure him in any way? Was what he said appropriate?

  20. Boonton says:

    The problem was statistically it has been found that a disproportionate number of conservative groups where targeted, but alas there were not a disproportional actual refusal to grant cases.

    It has been found? You mean there’s data on the total number of groups that applied, the total denied, the total given more intense questions? Where has this data been published?

    You mean with your (purposeful) misunderstanding of my statements about impeachment.

    What’s so hard to understand about your statement? You left out any concern about guilt or innocence. That’s a matter of record.

    In the linked piece I noted that many conservatives are considering impeaching Obama … and that aside from the possible merits, there is not reason to think he might be convicted…

    Ohh?

    You wrote:

    History if I remember, finds Henry culpable for the consequences of his remarks. History likewise, will likely find Mr Obama culpable for the spate of government overreach and partisanship it demonstrates …On the other hand, it seems calls for “impeach the bum” keep coming from the right. Uhm, a few points to this remark:

    You didn’t even nod your head to the question of merit, yet now in the comment threat you’re pretending you did. In fact, you seem to have originally been asserting there was merit. Ohhh wait, reading carefully you don’t say that. You judge that history will say there’s merit…but you always seem to avoid taking a real stand. You can’t say Obama should or shouldn’t be impeached. You say other people(s) conclude…of course these are always abstract sets of people (‘Conservatives’, or ‘History’). Seems to me like you’re trying to keep all your options open by always leaving yourself enough room to claim “I didn’t say that”.

    I think you misunderstand the conflict between Henry and Beckett. Henry was interested in consolidating power, so he nominated his loyal chamberlain/assistant/friend … who was a loyal chamberlain/assistant/friend because that was his job … and when he got a new job he did that devotedly as well.

    Henry wanted to consolidate power because that would have been to his advantage as King. If Henry was not king, he no doubt would have wanted limits on the monarch’s power. Note in Game of Thrones Ned takes the position that the kings older brother should take the throne, not his younger brother despite the fact that his younger brother seems a much nicer and much more stable fellow. While the eunuch, who cares about the realm (“because someone has too”) thinks that would be an ideal solution, Ned will have none of it. If the Queen’s son is not the King’s, the crown must past to the King’s oldest brother, period. Ned is loyal to duty, not to what would seem to ‘work’ at the moment.

    Return to the jokes.

    I never left. I asked you to cite the jokes in question so we could examine their actual content and context. You’ve yet to do so. It would seem doing so is likely going to leave you with a problem of timing. You’ve claimed that this anti-conservative surge happened after Obama’s ‘jokes’ but before the Tea Party movement took off. Little problem here, the Tea Party movement’s first protests started in Feb. 2009 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement). Obama assumed office on Jan 20 of the same year.

    So the Tea Party movement started almost at the point Obama took office. You’ve claimed the IRS started targeting conservative groups at behest of an ‘Obama joke’ but before the Tea Party took off. When did this joke take place? Jan 21st?! Or did the IRS start doing this before Obama took office? But then how exactly would history judge Obama to be the Henry of the IRS here?

  21. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    You didn’t even nod your head to the question of merit, yet now in the comment threat you’re pretending you did.

    No. I ignored the question of merit. Let’s try an analogy. I’m sheriff in a small town and you’re my deputy. Some people come in and complain about Rancher Osmirch, who they claim has done a number of questionable things. I point out that if we manage to bring Mr Osmirch to trial we (a) can’t convict him because he owns the judge and (b) if we do manage to convict him then his brother will take his place at the range and his taking the ranch will be worse than what you have now. You complain in my remarks I didn’t consider his guilt or innocence (the merits). And that’s right. I’m not saying he’s not guilty or is guilty, I’m making the point that at this time there is no reason to bring Mr Osmirch to trial … you won’t get justice (even if your case is good) and you won’t like the results if he’s found guilty. You do however make a good point. Democrats, not the GOP, should by my arguments be pushing for impeachment … ’cause you all think he’s innocent and a trial might bring that out. Eh?

    My point is that I think actual role of a D/A or sheriff is to bring offenders to trial through to conviction. That last part is important. If you can’t get a sentence, then you aren’t doing your job. If bringing a guy to justice will make a bigger criminal come to power, that’s also not doing your job. You are a public defender, a keeper of the peace. Not a waster of the towns time and money.

    You’ve claimed the IRS started targeting conservative groups at behest of an ‘Obama joke’ but before the Tea Party took off

    The joke was at an graduation commencement address … which was before the summer’s upswing in political party invesigations which were pre-election. The timing works.

    It would seem doing so is likely going to leave you with a problem of timing.

    I see. You think Feb 2009 is when the upswing in applications for tax excempt status began?

    I suspect you think the Tea Party is a political party because it has the word “party” in its name. Uhm, that “party” refers to an event in the revolution, not that it is a political party.

  22. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Return to the jokes

    Prison warden. Remember there are inappropriate jokes for those in power. You are governor. What do you do to the warden who made those remarks?

  23. Boonton says:

    No. I ignored the question of merit

    No you didn’t, you asserted you thought history would decide Obama was responsible for it. While you could technically argue that sometimes the judgement of history ends up being wrong, it’s fair to judge your position as backsliding now.

    You complain in my remarks I didn’t consider his guilt or innocence (the merits). And that’s right. I’m not saying he’s not guilty or is guilty, I’m making the point that at this time there is no reason to bring Mr Osmirch to trial

    Strange, seems to me the first question to ask is whether he is innocent or not. If he is there’s no reason to consider any of your other questions. Your latter considerations are also a stretch. If he’s really guilty is it really impossible to believe he could be tried in the Senate? Is it not even worth the attempt in the name of justice? Is Biden really so horrible that the world would blow up if he took over for another 3 years or so? Are you talking about President Obama here or the Emperor from Star Wars?

    You do however make a good point. Democrats, not the GOP, should by my arguments be pushing for impeachment … ’cause you all think he’s innocent and a trial might bring that out. Eh?

    Our justice system is premised on trials after indictment with probable cause. Not as a ‘test of innocence’.

    My point is that I think actual role of a D/A or sheriff is to bring offenders to trial through to conviction. That last part is important. If you can’t get a sentence, then you aren’t doing your job.

    If you can’t get a conviction/sentence because your evidence was faulty or your arguments bad, then you aren’t doing your job. If you can’t get a conviction because the jury is corrupt or other people don’t want to do their jobs that doesn’t mean you stop doing yours.

    The joke was at an graduation commencement address … which was before the summer’s upswing in political party invesigations which were pre-election. The timing works.

    1. No upswing has been established. You refuse to provide any data and seem to think just making stuff up consitutes an argument.

    2. No joke has been established.

    3. You claimed the joke and upswing predated the rise of the Tea Party. Yet Feb 2009 is way before any summer commencement address could have been made.

    I see. You think Feb 2009 is when the upswing in applications for tax excempt status began?

    Again you wrote:

    The upswing in checks on conservative groups predated the upswing in Tea Party applications.

    By Feb 27 2009 the Tea Party was organizing national synchronized rallies/protests in over 40 major cities. By April of that year over 750 Tea Party groups participated in tax day protests (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Tea_Party_protests,_2009). By the beginning of 2010 there were already numerous reports about the ‘rise of the tea parties’, surveys of their members and opinion about them and their impact on elections and the Republican Party.

    So according to your timeline there must have been some window of time. First Obama must have made a joke at a commencement address (which would normally be around June), then an upswing in IRS scrutiny, then an upswing in Tea party applications for the status.

    Your hypothesis also begs plausibility. Just about how many applications are there in any given month and of them how many from conservative groups? Even assuming Tea Parties, for some strange reason, decided to form quickly but wait a year or so before applying to the IRS were there enough non-Tea party conservative groups applying in those few months between the alleged June joke and whenever the Tea Party applications came in to generate an ‘upswing’?

    You are governor. What do you do to the warden who made those remarks?

    At any point would I be allowed to see the remark in question before making a decision?

    Uhm, that “party” refers to an event in the revolution, not that it is a political party.

    It does? Sounds to me like the word has a double meaning that could go either way. Does every Tea Party group agree with you on that? Even ones that have run their own candidates on ballots or endorsed candidates? Now you’re just trashing what remains of your credibility. Everyone knows the Tea Party is a political movement. Everyone acknowledges you can have an overall political movement but have groups aligned with it that are not in themselves primarily political. But now you’re trying to have your cake and eat it too. You’re telling us Obama targetted the Tea Party because he doesn’t like their politics, and also trying to tell us the Tea Party has no politics. Hmmmmm

  24. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    At any point would I be allowed to see the remark in question before making a decision?

    There’s this thing called google. Ever heard of it? Try it sometime. Joke was made at a 2009 commencement address, which you say are “very lighthearted” (trivial?) events. Kinda like a roast, I guess. Clearly you are not the parent paying for a kids education.

    At any point would I be allowed to see the remark in question before making a decision?

    Is that relevant? How bad the joke is matters? More seriously, apparently asking for the particulars of the joke means you’d admit that some jokes are in fact out of bounds. It is a joke making light about prison rape. Can you suggest a prison rape joke that would be OK for a prison warden to make? How about also one that is beyond the pale. What basis do you distinguish “allowed” rape jokes from “out of bounds” rape jokes?

    Strange, seems to me the first question to ask is whether he is innocent or not.

    So to the committee of ranchers and townspeople who’ve come to your office, you want to argue the basis of the case … and not just cut the whole thing off with “what is the point” of your coming in the first place?

    Your latter considerations are also a stretch. If he’s really guilty is it really impossible to believe he could be tried in the Senate?

    That’s right. If was guilty … I don’t think a Democrat Senate would break party lines and vote to convict. You can’t even be bothered to google for remarks and you’re less beholden to the party than the average Senator.

    No you didn’t, you asserted you thought history would decide Obama was responsible for it.

    I did and I do.

  25. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    If you can’t get a conviction/sentence because your evidence was faulty or your arguments bad, then you aren’t doing your job.

    I see. You live in a corruption free world. Wake up!

  26. Boonton says:

    Hmmm, this seems to be the joke in question:

    Now, before I begin, I’d like to clear the air about that little controversy everyone was talking about a few weeks back. I have to tell you, I really thought it was much ado about nothing, although I think we all learned an important lesson. I learned to never again pick another team over the Sun Devils in my NCAA bracket. And your university President and Board of Regents will soon learn all about being audited by the IRS.

    Your statement was:

    Mr Obama has joked about using the IRS as a political tool,

    You seem to have failed to identify such a joke. Or are you going to go with the theory that the above joke caused a “Henry’s knights moment” deep in the IRS?

    To me this would appear to be the Justin Bieber type joke, something so over the top that it’s context is by definition a joke. And yes opening a commencement speech with a self-effacing joke is pretty standard.

    Is that relevant? How bad the joke is matters? More seriously, apparently asking for the particulars of the joke means you’d admit that some jokes are in fact out of bounds. It is a joke making light about prison rape. Can you suggest a prison rape joke that would be OK for a prison warden to make?

    People make jokes about being audited all the time. They even make jokes about being bombed (see, for example, McCain’s ‘bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran’). Jokes about rape are typically more difficult to pull off. You’re asking could a joke about prison rape ever be ok? Beats me, decades ago it might have seemed like you couldn’t do a joke about Hitler singing about springtime in Paris, but Mel Brooks found you could.

    So to the committee of ranchers and townspeople who’ve come to your office, you want to argue the basis of the case …

    Err yes, if a committee of people come and say ‘charge this person with the crime of X’ the first and most important question is ‘is there evidence to reasonably suspect he is guilty of X?’ It seems pretty obvious to me that question comes before questions like “does the jury like him so much will they never vote to convict” or “do we like the guy who would take his place more or less than him?”

    I see. You live in a corruption free world. Wake up!

    So I think OJ Simpson killed his wife. I think the prosecution had a very good case against him. I think it was a good thing that they presented the case and argued for a conviction. Perhaps if they were better forecasters they would have realized LA at the time was so racially polarized and he had such strong legal representation that they couldn’t get a conviction against him. If they had realized that, I think they would have been worse if they decided not to charge him.

  27. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    So I think OJ Simpson killed his wife. I think the prosecution had a very good case against him. …

    Let’s see, the example given was a case in which you feel that the judge and jury would never convict or give a fair trial. Did you think that the case here? Or is this just you bringing irrelevant material forth to cloud the issue?

    Err yes, if a committee of people come and say ‘charge this person with the crime of X’ the first and most important question

    I see. They have lots of things to bring forth, some good, some bad, some cloudy, and you could talk about it all day. But the judge is corrupt and any likely jury will be tainted. So why not forestall the discussion with the question of “to what end” might we bring this forth?

    People make jokes about being audited all the time

    Yes. And those people are not the IRS or those in charge of the IRS. As pointed out, a inmate can make jokes about prison rape that the warden cannot. This is the point.

    Or are you going to go with the theory that the above joke caused a “Henry’s knights moment” deep in the IRS?

    I will go with the theory that casual attitudes (as evidenced in jokes like that) toward politicization of regulatory agencies (the Chicago way) allowed IRS agents to think they were both doing the right thing and that were pleasing their bosses.

    Again. Return to the warden. You fire him or not? He can make a prison rape joke if it is in a self-deprecatory context?

    Beats me, decades ago it might have seemed like you couldn’t do a joke about Hitler singing about springtime in Paris, but Mel Brooks found you could.

    Apparently you aren’t getting this. Mel Brooks was not a Nazi leader. Maybe Mr Brooks can make jokes about death camps (although I don’t recall that in the show) … but Mr Himmler’s joking about weight loss and mortality in death camps comes off as threatening in a way that Mr Brooks joking about it does not. I suspect you actually agree, but can’t bring yourself to admit such for rhetorical reasons.

  28. Boonton says:

    I see. They have lots of things to bring forth, some good, some bad, some cloudy, and you could talk about it all day

    Not really. You either have evidence or you don’t. It’s either valid evidence or it’s not. You have come forward claiming that Obama joked about using the IRS to audit political enemies. You can’t produce such a joke after being asked multiple times. You claim that this auditing happened before the Tea Party rose, but the Tea Party Rose before the joke and provide no evidence to refute my hypothesis that an influx of political right wing groups seeking tax exempt status quite sensibly lead to the idea of profiling such groups.

    To date you (representing some type of incoherent mob demanding I charge someone with a crime) have presented bad evidence, cloudy evidence and demonstrated that you’re not even aware of the nature of the evidence you have. I don’t indict because there’s no case to indict, not because the world is so corrupt they would never convict.

  29. Boonton says:

    So now let me present an alternative accusation built on ground that is almost as spurious as Mark’s, but being ever so slightly less spurious, I think if Mark thinks his argument merits a judgement of guilt, he must concede mine has a better justification for assignment of blame and guilt.

    Let’s call this argument the Glen Beck Henry, or GBH.

    People like Mark are so given to hyper-partisanship that they make serious accusation without bothering to get the actual facts. Multiple times, for example, we have seen Mark trumpet supposedly foolish sounding Biden quotes only to discover when the full context was explored they either weren’t very foolish or didn’t even really exist.

    So in my GBH hypothesis, Obama’s joke about losing a basketball bet was morphed by the right wing rumor machine into a joke about auditing political enemies. Since most people like Mark pass on what they hear without bothering to even try to verify the primary source, it gets spread. These memes might combine with others (such as right wing groups complaining about the IRS auditing them or giving them a hard time) to turn mutate into larger memes.

    Under this hypothesis, the joke combines with gripes to become a pseudo-form of ‘common knowledge’ that Obama wants the IRS to bother groups that hate him. Low level IRS agents, then, adopt this as a policy either because they themselves like Obama and want to help him out or because they think this is ‘unofficial policy’.

    The fault, then, lies in a failure of charity. Namely failure to give credit to those you disagree with. Let me illustrate, suppose someone told me Mark was a huge pornographer. I would say while I lean towards disagreeing with Mark, such a statement doesn’t quite sound right to me so before running with it I’d want to see some support. I’d want to see what the speaker things qualifies as a pornographer (are they total prudes over reacting to some innocent comment?). Why they think Mark is one (are they mistaking him with someone else?) Where they are getting these facts etc.

    Yet the right does not typically do this with Democratic Presidents. Whatever the charge, by whoever, is accepted without criticism. Hence an outrageous meme can pass on unchecked because no one bothers to see if it passes even a simple plausibility test. As a result, the right may have set off its own ‘Henry moment’ in the IRS.

    Now of course I don’t think GBH is a hypothesis that’s very likey to be true. I think my original one was much more likely, that the profiling was a rational response to trying to enforce a poorly written law. But GBH is built using the same type of reasoning as Mark’s hypothesis but it better fits basic facts hence it’s a better hypothesis which Mark should now embrace…provided he considers his arguments to be worthy of serious consideration.

  30. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    As logical fallacies go, you’ve discovered a new one … the schizo fallacy. We have left-Boonton and right-Boonton l-B and r-B for short.

    l-B notes the joke, follows the link, googles around a bit and finds a joke and talks about it. r-B talks about how Mark can’t find said joke.

    Let’s see r-B says,

    You either have evidence or you don’t. It’s either valid evidence or it’s not. You have come forward claiming that Obama joked about using the IRS to audit political enemies. You can’t produce such a joke after being asked multiple times. You claim that this auditing happened before the Tea Party rose, but the Tea Party Rose before the joke and provide no evidence to refute my hypothesis that an influx of political right wing groups seeking tax exempt status quite sensibly lead to the idea of profiling such groups.

    “you can’t produce a joke” … except l-B linked it found it quoted it and l-B and I discussed it.

    “You claim that this auditing happened before the Tea Party rose” no … I claimed the rise in applications occurred before the profiling did. And low (see below) the rise in applications post dates the Tea Party quite a bit and has an independent cause.

    “Tea Party rose before the joke” .. so? Apparently the instantly applications appeared. Might applications rise for other reasons than the emergence of a party. l-B might mention that applications are not constant at the emergence of a party to r-B.

    Provide no evidence to refute my hypothesis that an influx of political right wing groups seeking tax exempt status quite sensibly lead to the idea of profiling such group. Again, it has been noted (WSJ and other places) that the rise in groups with Constitution and such in their statements of purpose were rising after the profiling began. Apparently r-B only reads right The uptick in applications wasn’t timed with the rise of the Tea Party, which as l-B might wish to inform r-B … but arose with the SCOTUS ruling on campaign finances.

    Some timelines for you … here and here and here. Note … the uptick in applications isn’t about the Tea Party rising … left wing and right wing applications were coming in. It’s just that the Democrats in the IRS decided to focus on their political opponents disproportionately.

    l-B and r-B might want to have a talk. Apparently the latest news is that the White House is going back to the “we’re really dumb” argument. This agrees with my Nixon era upbringing in which politicians being dumb and corrupt is kinda what we grew up to expect.

  31. Boonton says:

    Some timelines for you … here and here and here. Note … the uptick in applications isn’t about the Tea Party rising … left wing and right wing applications were coming in.

    Your first link says the targetting began mid-2011. That’s well after the alleged joke and the rise of the Tea Party. It does not say anything about when applications came in, but it does note the head of hte department, Lois Lerner, came to the IRS in 2001 and became dept. head in 2006. While wikipedia and other sources don’t seem to have much biographical information on her, this would be a case where absence of evidence is evidence of absense. Your theory would be more plausible if there was evidence that Lois Lerner was some type of hyper-partisan Democrat (who, somehow, became head of a department under the reign of Bush)….then you might be able to argue she was the ‘knight’ who ‘took the joke too literally’.

    Your second link starts in March 2010 when the IRS flagged 10 “Tea Pary type” applications. Your 3rd link simply copies the first two timelines.

    Your links do not say that the Tea Party groups, which erupted in Feb of 2009, opted to wait a year before filing for status. Absent any evidence that they did, we should assume they filed for their status more or less around the time they took off.

    Additionally, you claimed that the IRS first started targetting non-Tea Party conservative groups and THEN went after Tea Party applications. The earliest entries in your timelines, though, mention no ‘pre-Tea Party’ groups, mention no delay in Tea Parties filing for status at all. Here are the facts so far:

    Jan 2009 Obama in office

    Feb 2009 Tea Party groups launches a 40 city coordinated protest

    Apr 2009 750 groups do Tax Day protests

    May 2009 Obama’s alleged joke

    Beginning 2010- already numerous ‘rise of the Tea Party longform articles appearing

    March 2010 – first mention of any conservative applications ‘flagged’ by the IRS for greater scrutiny, that number only 10.

    You have failed to provide:

    1. Evidence of any ‘uptick’ pre March-2010 of non-Tea Party type group applications being scrutinized

    2. Evidence that many Tea Party groups, for whatever reason, opted to wait a year or more before filing for the status thereby providing a window of time for your charge that the scrutiny began before the Tea Party applications started rolling in.

    What you have provided supports my preferred hypothesis. The Tea Party rose as a notable group of mostly poitical associations. As the IRS started seeing applications of a mostly political group seeking status as mostly non-political come in, they do what they do all the time, they added it to their profile of things to watch for (Just as the IRS may profile waiters who claim no tip income, or bars who claim few cash sales and only credit card based sales)

    l-B notes the joke, follows the link, googles around a bit and finds a joke and talks about it. r-B talks about how Mark can’t find said joke.

    You alleged “Mr Obama has joked about using the IRS as a political tool”. After asking for this joke(s) numerous times, you finally toss out a link that has Obama joking about the IRS auditing a school whose basketball team supposedly cost him a sports bet. You failed to provide a joke about using the IRS for political purposes and the example of a joke, being even further away from plausible seriousness, makes your “Henry moment” hypothesis even harder to sustain. Namely:

    Mark’s initial theory: Obama jokes about using the IRS to punish those who disagree with him politically. Louis Lerner, either because she’s so madly in love with Obama that she’ll do anything to ‘help’ or because she thinks it’s some type of ‘order’, starts pushing Tea Party centered profiling.

    Mark’s new theory now that someone has called him out on his sloppy ‘facts’: Obama jokes about the IRS punishing those who cost him sports bets. Lois Lerner, errr, what? Assumes Obama is telling her to audit basketball teams? No political groups. If your theory is that Lerner was a hyperpartisan then the connection to joke seems artificial. If she was so partisan she could simply decide to give the groups a rough time without prompting from a ‘joke’. If she thought she was following some type of orders from the President encoded in a commencement address, then how would auditing schools with basketball teams imply Tea Party profiling?

    The only reason I’m still calling you out about failing to provide the joke is that I’m giving you a window to perhaps submit some other joke example that fits your description better. I’m leaving open the possibility that maybe you were thinking of some other speech and some other joke and cited this one by accident.

    But if this is all you have, then you’ve actually presented evidence to support my version of your ‘Henry hypothesis’ whereby it’s the right, in their refusal to be charitable and respectful of facts, ironically ended up triggering their own audit pitfalls! I think my initial hypothesis is more likely to be true but the funny thing is this alternative has to be more likely than your hypothesis.

  32. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    Links provided have given evidence of your requested #1 and #2. The uptick in all applications occurred after the SCOTUS ruling, the number of such organizations went from about 1000 to 3000 in a short time. These new applications and groups came from all walks (as you note it is after the emergence of the Tea party). The reason for special scrutiny of Tea Party applications in particular in this upsurge is the question you a dodging.

    The Tea Party rose as a notable group of mostly poitical associations. . As the IRS started seeing applications of a mostly political group seeking status as mostly non-political come in, they do what they do all the time, they added it to their profile of things to watch for (Just as the IRS may profile waiters who claim no tip income, or bars who claim few cash sales and only credit card based sales).

    Except that they did not flag the applications of left wing political groups seeking status as mostly non-political. That is the problem. See the examples of some non-flagged political as non-political linked today.

    But if this is all you have, then you’ve actually presented evidence to support my version of your ‘Henry hypothesis’ whereby it’s the right,

    I see. You give Henry a pass. He after all didn’t specifically say “kill” Beckett, … hmmm.

  33. Boonton says:

    The uptick in all applications occurred after the SCOTUS ruling, the number of such organizations went from about 1000 to 3000 in a short time. These new applications and groups came from all walks (as you note it is after the emergence of the Tea party). The reason for special scrutiny of Tea Party applications in particular in this upsurge is the question you a dodging.

    Changing your story it seems. You wrote

    “Uhm, except that the upswing in politically motivated checks precede the upswing in these (Tea Party group) applications.”

    Now you’re saying the applications went up really fast but the IRS didn’t start the scrutiny until Tea Party groups started joining the game. So what’s your story? Did the IRS start scrutinizing politically right wing groups before the Tea Party surge or after?

    Except that they did not flag the applications of left wing political groups seeking status as mostly non-political.

    They didn’t? Multiple left wing groups have come forward to say their applications too took forver to process and came with all types of followups. You say that the increase of 1,000 to 3,000 applications per year came from groups of ‘all walks’ but the reality is you’ve presented no data to support that. As far as I know there’s no public list of all groups who apply for the status so we can’t sort them into buckets of ‘left’ ‘right’ neither’ to analyze.

    I see. You give Henry a pass. He after all didn’t specifically say “kill” Beckett, … hmmm.

    Actually the problem is it seems pretty clear there was a connection between what Henry said and what his knights did. One can debate did Henry really intend that or did he try to paint his actions in another light after the fact. As an analogy to this, though, you’ve fallen totally on your face. At this point there’s no plausible connection to anything Obama said or did and what the IRS did.

  34. Boonton says:

    Except that they did not flag the applications of left wing political groups seeking status as mostly non-political. That is the problem. See the examples of some non-flagged political as non-political linked today.

    You provided no examples of such in todays link. You provided examples of left wing groups that have 501 status. So what? There’s plenty of right wing groups that have it too. No information is provided about how long it took the applications for those groups to be processed, if they had to answer follow up questions and if so what types.

    Remember the Tea Party had over 750 groups organized in less than a year before the first report of ‘profiling’ and then it was only 10 groups that were ‘profiled’. Granted we don’t know how many of the 750 applied for 501 status but it seems reasonable to assume quite a few did which would mean even if you were a ‘Tea’ group you had a pretty good chance of being treated like everyone else seeking the status.

  35. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Now you’re saying the applications went up really fast but the IRS didn’t start the scrutiny until Tea Party groups started joining the game.

    I didn’t say that.

    You say that the increase of 1,000 to 3,000 applications per year came from groups of ‘all walks’ but the reality is you’ve presented no data to support that.

    What? You are saying that the upswing in applications due the court ruling were predominantly from one party? That makes no sense.

    At this point there’s no plausible connection to anything Obama said or did and what the IRS did.

    I see. There is no plausible connection between taking a casual attitude toward politicizing what should be neutral agencies and a agency taking politically motivated actions. Riiiight.

    You realize you are arguing a point nobody defining the IRS is making? Lerner, Obama, and the admin are all admitting what was done was wrong. Their contention is that it wasn’t directed from Washington and the White House. You can’t even see the problem.

  36. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    OK. You provide me with links showing the key phrases used to flag left wing groups for inappropriate use of the 501 status, you know, like “pro-choice” or some key pet left wing cause.

    Oh, and those groups noted seemed very non-political.

  37. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    Remember the Tea Party had over 750 groups organized …

    Yah, all top down …. or actually not top down. You’re forgetting what populist movement means, one thing it means there isn’t any hierarchical coordinated structure.

  38. Boonton says:

    What? You are saying that the upswing in applications due the court ruling were predominantly from one party? That makes no sense.

    Why not? Is there some sociological law that says group formation is always symetrical? If 750 Tea Party groups form in April then 750 OWS groups must form? It would actually be pretty amazing if it happened to always work out that way, wouldn’t it?

    Consider from around 2007-2010 or so the Republican Party was in shambles. It had a deeply unpopular President, failed economy, failed war effort. The 2008 election sucked pretty much ‘cross the board for them. It would be quite plausible for Republican leaning people to be more open to creating novel organizations and groups given the failure of their traditional groups. On the flip side Democratic leaning people probably were much more enthused by the ‘official’ groups that already existed.

    I see. There is no plausible connection between taking a casual attitude toward politicizing…

    What casual attitude toward politicizing? Your joke was about using the IRS to punish college basketball teams which cost the President to loose bets!

    You didn’t claim the problem was a ‘casual attitude’. You claimed it was the President made jokes about using the IRS for political purposes and, supposedly, some overzealous IRS manager took him literally. You’ve produced no such joke to date but keep pretending you have. Remember I’m only being nice here keeping this issue open just in case you were confused in your citation and meant to reference some other joke when I asked you for support.

    You realize you are arguing a point nobody defining the IRS is making?

    You’re the only one making this Henry analogy, and the only one who made a prediction about how history will judge this affair. Both seem to be going poorly for you.

    OK. You provide me with links showing the key phrases used to flag left wing groups for inappropriate use of the 501 status

    Why? You’re the one claiming the rate of left wing groups were getting approved easier than right wing ones. To establish that you need a list of right wing groups, a list of left wing groups, and some metrics on who got approved, who got denied and who got approved after extra questions.

    Yah, all top down …. or actually not top down. You’re forgetting what populist movement means, one thing it means there isn’t any hierarchical coordinated structure.

    How does that alter the fact that of 750+ groups, only 10 got flagged at the beginning of the program? That would imply even with profiling, many groups either got intensive questions without profiling or went thru the process without any troubles at all.