Very good commentary on the AP scandal by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
“He was misled and I don’t know how you can stand by a story if the story is wrong,” Shuster argued. “He could have put this email out and said, ‘I’ve been debriefed on the email from a Republican congressional source and here’s what they tell me.’ Instead, ABC News said that they ‘obtained’ the emails and Jonathan Karl made it seem if he had read them directly. So, the story was wrong, the attribution was wrong. And he’s still not characterizing the source as a Republican source, even though other news organizations are already doing that.”
“The story was not wrong,” Rubin disagreed.
“Jennifer, it was wrong,” Shuster replied. “Because the overall Republican point here was that the Obama administration was trying to protect the State Department — the Obama administration was trying to protect the State Department and that the White House was somehow trying to characterize the talking points or change the talking points in order to minimize political damage. That Republican idea is just flat out wrong!”
So apparently if Jennifer Rubin can’t defend her position she simply tries to mute her opponent. Seems like a loss to me.
A Travis County district court judge ruled this week that a Houston-based tea party group is not a nonprofit corporation as it claims, but an unregistered political action committee that illegally aided the Republican Party through its poll-watching efforts during the 2010 elections.
The summary judgment by Judge John Dietz upheld several Texas campaign finance laws that had been challenged on constitutional grounds by King Street Patriots, a tea party organization known for its “True the Vote” effort to uncover voter fraud.
Having failed twice before, Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe, is promoting another stealth creationist bill, House Bill 116, which “provides relative to textbooks and other instructional materials for [public] elementary and secondary schools.”When Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Dubberly, expressed concern that HB116 could permit adoption of controversial books on evolution and other subjects (Advocate May 13), he was exactly right.
Hoffmann responded, “That is not what this is about. I guarantee you that is not my purpose in bringing this act.” The facts show otherwise. Enabling school boards to buy creationist books is precisely Hoffmann’s purpose, as I documented two years ago at the Louisiana Coalition for Science (LCFS) website: lasciencecoalition.org
In a speech on April 15 before the McLennan County Republican Club, Greg Abbott, the Republican Attorney General and a potential candidate for governor in 2014, declared that Battleground Texas represents a bigger danger to the state than Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea:
One thing that requires ongoing vigilance is the reality that the state of Texas is coming under a new assault, an assault far more dangerous than what the leader of North Korea threatened when he said he was going to add Austin, Texas, as one of the recipients of his nuclear weapons.
Texas’s 38 votes in the Electoral College, Abbott said, are “the last line of defense” for those who want to protect the American future.
The drive to turn Texas blue, primarily by mobilizing Hispanics, threatens to disrupt the security and comfort of incumbents in both parties. Many elected officials in Texas currently represent majority or plurality Latino districts, but face no serious challenge because registration and turnout rates are uniquely dismal in Texas’s Hispanic precincts.
More: Targeting Texas
The IRS division responsible for flagging Tea Party groups has long been an agency afterthought, beset by mismanagement, financial constraints and an unwillingness to spell out just what it expects from social welfare nonprofits, former officials and experts say.
The controversy that erupted in the past week, leading to the ousting of the acting Internal Revenue Service commissioner, an investigation by the FBI, and congressional hearings that kicked off Friday, comes against a backdrop of dysfunction brewing for years.
Moves launched in the 1990s were designed to streamline the tax agency and make it more efficient. But they had unintended consequences for the IRS’s Exempt Organizations division.
Checks and balances once in place were taken away. Guidance frequently published by the IRS and closely read by tax lawyers and nonprofits disappeared. Even as political activity by social welfare nonprofits exploded in recent election cycles, repeated requests for the IRS to clarify exactly what was permitted for the secretly funded groups were met, at least publicly, with silence.
All this combined to create an isolated office in Cincinnati, plagued by what an inspector general this week described as “insufficient oversight,” of fewer than 200 low-level employees responsible for reviewing more than 60,000 nonprofit applications a year.
In the end, this contributed to what everyone from Republican lawmakers to the president says was a major mistake: The decision by the Ohio unit to flag for further review applications from groups with “Tea Party” and similar labels. This started around March 2010, with little pushback from Washington until the end of June 2011.
A Washington ‘Whodunit’: Who Fed Bogus Benghazi ‘Emails’ to the Media? **UPDATE: A ‘Glaring Omission…’**
Here’s the Republican membership of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (the Committee is chaired by Democrat Thom Carper of Delaware):
Tom Coburn, (OK) Ranking Member
John McCain (AZ)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Rob Portman (OH)
Rand Paul (KY)
Mike Enzi (WY)
Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Pretty juicy list! Note how stacked the minority side of the committee is with presidential aspirants, potential aspirants, a former aspirant, and some of the most hardcore tea party Senators, including some, like Rand Paul, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, who have gone after, first Susan Rice, and then Hillary Clinton guns blazing on Benghazi. But only one of those Senators ALSO sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence — which is the one that my administration source says got the February briefing”
And that person is Tom Coburn.
Now, what makes Coburn interesting?
The Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration sent a letter to Congressman Darrell Issa and Congressman Jim Jordan on July 12, 2012 informing them they would be auditing the IRS in response to their concerns that certain groups might be receiving extra scrutiny. The letter came in response to a June 28th letter of that year from Congressman Issa and requests for an investigation.
The veteran tax lawyer whose pre-arranged question to an IRS official at a panel last week prompted the admission that the agency had targeted conservative groups said in a written statement on Friday that she did not know what the answer to the question would be.
“It was a prepared Q & A,” outgoing acting IRS chief Steven Miller told Congress on Friday, in response to a question from Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
Nunes asked Miller if the question itself, which was asked by Celia Roady, a veteran tax lawyer, was planted in advance.
“I believe we talked about that, yes,” Miller responded.