A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims that only Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status “received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs.”
A series of IRS documents, provided to ThinkProgress under the Freedom of Information Act, appears to contradict the claims by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and his House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that only Tea Party organizations applying for tax-exempt status “received systematic scrutiny because of their political beliefs.” The 22 “Be On the Look Out” keywords lists, distributed to staff reviewing applications between August 12, 2010 and April 19, 2013, included more explicit references to progressive groups, ACORN successors, and medical marijuana organizations than to Tea Party entities.
The IRS provided the heavily-redacted lists to ThinkProgress, after nearly a year-long search. From the earliest lists through 2012, the “historical” section of the lists encouraged reviewers to watch out for “progressive” groups with names like “blue,” as their requests for 501(c)(3) charitable status might be inappropriate. Their inclusion in this section suggests that the concern predates the initial 2010 list.
Explicit references to “Tea Party,” included in the “emerging issues” section of the lists, also began in August 2010 — but stopped appearing after the May 10, 2011 list. From that point on, the lists instructed agents to flag all political advocacy groups of any stripe. The documents instructed the agents to forward any “organization involved with political, lobbying, or advocacy” applying for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status be forwarded to “group 7822″ for additional review. Groups under both categories are limited in the amount of of lobbying and political activity each can undertake.[read more]
How about that.
We’ll know America has pulled back from the brink when 1) our military expenditures are drastically reduced, and 2) the tax code is reformed to close the widening gap between haves and have-nots.
America could cut its military expenditures by half and still outspend China, Russia and Saudi Arabia combined. Imagine how 400 billion dollars trimmed annually from the defense budget could transform this nation if it were injected into education, infrastructure, health care and the commons.
Regarding the tax code, a little history is warranted. From the Second World War until 1963, those in the highest income brackets were taxed at a rate of 90 percent on “excess” income. Many consider these years to be America’s economic hay day. The marginal tax rate dropped to 70 percent throughout the 1970s, to 38.5 percent under Ronald Reagan, and to as low as 28 percent under George H. W. Bush before climbing slightly. It has remained at 35 percent during the Bush II and Obama years. All attempts by the Obama administration to re-balance the tax code have been nixed by the GOP, whose members, in overwhelming numbers, have signed the Tea-Party’s “Norquist Pledge” opposing increases in marginal tax rates.
Meanwhile, economic disparity has grown dramatically since 1970.
"All of that…has helped me form what I call my 70 Percent Rule for decision-making. … If we just wrest our eyes, literally and figuratively, from our digital gizmos and the shitty, spoiling impatience they instill, we’ll see that this life, this planet, is amazing. That it is something just to be in the world, seeing and hearing and smelling. That for trillions of miles in every direction from earth, life really is blood-boilingly, eye-explodingly horrific. These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. …So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over. And…when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It’s incredible!”
"You’ve got to embrace discomfort…It’s the only way you can put yourself in situations where you can learn, and the only way you can keep your senses fresh once you’re there."
"I’ve never been suicidal…But I’ve wanted to be.”
“This is an obliterating genius, an absurd, self-disgusted, generous, horny, inquisitive, belligerent, deep-felt, smart-stupid, bare-naked, vulgar, deeply ruminative, face-fuckingly frank genius. “
The Federal Communications Commission will propose new rules that allow Internet service providers to offer a faster lane through which to send video and other content to consumers, as long as a content company is willing to pay for it, according to people briefed on the proposals.
The proposed rules are a complete turnaround for the FCC on the subject of so-called net neutrality, the principle that Internet users should have equal ability to see any content they choose, and that no content providers should be discriminated against in providing their offerings to consumers.
The FCC’s previous rules governing net neutrality were thrown out by a federal appeals court this year. The court said those rules had essentially treated Internet service providers as public utilities, which violated a previous FCC ruling that Internet links were not to be governed by the same strict regulation as telephone or electric service.
|—||Chief justice John Roberts, realizing that texts are routed through a service provider (via maxistentialist)|
|—||Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, wondering if TV technology can be used to censor violent video games (via maxistentialist)|
A majority of the 18 million acres of lakes and more than 940,000 miles of rivers assessed in a recent report by the EPA did not meet designated-use standards for simple activities such as fishing, swimming or drinking.
See how many of these “impaired waters” are in your state and learn more from the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.
I’m finding this funnier than I probably should.
Scottish Batman [pandyland]
ME PARENTS AH DEEAAAAAADDD
More than a small crush on jw
I laugh at people that claim that black women aren’t funny. Seriously it makes me fucking lol. In my mind someone that says some lol-centric garbage like that should not be taken seriously. Ever. Things like that- “Women aren’t funny.” “Black women aren’t funny.” Etc. Garbage….
Today’s decision eviscerates an important strand of our equal protection jurisprudence. For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government.
I respectfully dissent.
|—||Supreme Court Justice SONIA SOTOMAYOR, concluding her forceful, data-driven dissent in Schuette v. BAMN; her dissent begins on p. 51. (via inothernews)|
Just… Wow.FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The family of a Texas teenager sentenced to probation after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck will pay for just a fraction of his court-ordered treatment, a court official testified Friday.Ethan Couch’s parents will be charged $1,170 a month for his treatment at the North Texas State Hospital in rural Vernon. The facility That amount would cover less than two days of treatment, which costs $715 a day, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/1qoRLts).Couch’s case drew national attention due in large part to his defense’s argument that his wealthy parents had coddled him into a sense of irresponsibility — a condition that a defense expert called “affluenza.”Couch, 17, killed four people last year when his vehicle rammed into a crowd of people trying to help the driver of a disabled vehicle south of Fort Worth. Investigators said he was driving his family company’s pickup truck while drunk and with traces of Valium in his system.Couch admitted to causing the wreck and received 10 years’ probation from State District Judge Jean Boyd rather than prison time, as prosecutors and Couch’s victims wanted. Several of his victims have since sued the Couch family, with most of them reaching confidential settlements.Debbie Spoonts, placement supervisor for Tarrant County Juvenile Services, said the facility decided what Fred and Tonya Couch would pay based on a sliding scale.A message from The Associated Press seeking comment from Spoonts on the facility’s payment policy was not immediately returned Friday.