ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL

It's an article of faith among Republicans that the Obama administration is and has been Up To No Good, and certainly mountains of evidence would be uncovered if only they could appoint a Special Prosecutor or two to root around for a year. This, as I understand it, is the sole point of trying to make a big deal out of a complete non-scandal (Benghazi) and pretty sorry excuse for a Big Scandal (the IRS thing). Just make enough noise to bring back Ken Starr and an ample staff who can eventually uncover evidence that Obama let someone use his parking pass, in blatant violation of the terms and conditions of the parking rules, twenty years ago.

That is why we live in a nation in which it's an extra-super-huge deal that some people who work for the IRS may have been aggressively thorough with blatantly political Tea Party organizations applying for tax exemptions as "Social Welfare" groups in order to avoid disclosing their donors, and not the slightest bit scandalous that American corporations worth trillions of dollars pay essentially nothing in income tax.

The disparity between what causes outrage and what should has grown so large that it's not even surprising anymore.

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29 Responses to “ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL”

  1. Xynzee Says:

    "…if only they could appoint a Special Prosecutor or two to root around for a year."

    Whilst we cannot for the life of us afford Meals on Wheels, but we can definitely find enough in the budget for "fishing expeditions".

  2. The Mad Dreamer Says:

    The thing that gets me is why anybody should be surprised or even unsupportive of the IRS paying closer attention to right wing groups. They are, after all, the same groups that proclaim taxation to be theft, among other things. If they don't want to be looked at with a keen eye, perhaps not holding positions that basically paint them as a suspect would work.

    But of course, holding sensible positions is incongruent with being a right wing group.

  3. Middle Seaman Says:

    Republicans aren't a political party in the traditional sense. It a collection of rooming mercenaries employed by the rich bent on destruction and looting.

  4. Ed W. Says:

    Wait, wait, wait. Obama let someone use his Zone 6 Parking Pass?! The hell?! Parking is pretty tight around here*, and if Obamao was letting some lowly Legislative Assistant use it to park on MY BLOCK, I swear, I'm never voting for him again.

    * This is true, Obama used to live down the street from me, back when he was a Senator. When he was running for President (illegally), he wasn't in town much, but we could tell when he was because there would be a batch of sinister-looking black Chevy Suburbans parked on the corner late at night.

  5. LK Says:

    There's a complementary of the Apple tax scandal back in my neck of the woods (Israel). Like all Developing-but-wannabe-developed countries (e.g. Ireland, Malaysia or New Mexico), Israel is offering serious tax breaks and often downright grants (a.k.a bribes) to anyone willing to set up significant operations here, and commits to employing enough people for enough time (and at the right locations). Part of the "catch", is that income earned from these operations must be spent in Israel in order to qualify for the tax break (which ranges from a 50% reduction to complete elimination of income tax). In the last ten years or so there was a build-up of somewhere between 15 and 30 billion US dollars of these "locked profits" that companies are unwilling to spend here, but don't take out of the country to avoid paying the taxes on them. Last year our genius of a Finance Minister (seriously, a Philosophy professor) passed through parliament a law giving these companies (mostly huge multi-nationals) a "limited-time special offer", where they can get their money out at reduced rates. the excuse was "we need the money now, and can't force them to pay the taxes they owe".

    I won't go into the obvious rant, just point out two differences between Israel and the US in these two pretty similar "scandals"- while in the US there's a Senate investigation going on, and CEO's are brought in to testify, in Israel the law passed through the Knesset (our congress) like a hot knife through butter. On the other hand, while most media reports I've seen in the US were pretty neutral on the subject, In Israel prominent media players actually made noise about it, trying to make it into a full-scale scandal. But the disconnect between voters and their representatives in Israel makes DC look like it's a warm, loving home for all citizens.

  6. darbywithers Says:

    I look forward to the day when, the sea levels rising up to meet Manhattan, the republicans turn to the camera and cry out to the liberals: 'How could you let this happen to our planet!'

  7. J. Dryden Says:

    @ darbywithers: You're already seeing the warm-up act as the GOP figures out ways to blame the state of Moore on the Obama administration.

  8. Ten Bears Says:

    I would have thought that by now one of the priestly class would have blamed it on dog's dissapproval of liberal behavior.

  9. Arslan Says:

    Benghazi wasn't a scandal. Libya was a scandal, but you'll never hear a Republican say a peep about that. Personally I think what happened in Benghazi was pretty hilarious. It used to take years, if not a couple decades for the consequences of supporting terrorists to come back on the US. Now they've seriously reduced the turn-around time.

  10. Sean Says:

    I love love love motherfucking-LOVE living in a country where we will never do any real cutting to the MIC's Sacred Budget…But where millions of kids either go to bed hungry or, even better, they go to bed with bellyfulls of Mickey D's and Mac and Cheese. Just awesome. MOTHERFUCKINGAWESOME.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    Conservatives are like monkey's in their cages, flinging their watery poo at the "Blah" zoo-keeper, hoping some of it will stick.
    And even if it doesn't, but comes close, they all jump up and down, shriek, and form a jirle-cerk to share their pleasure and express their joy.

    What happened at Benghazi was tragic for the 4 people dead, and their families, friends, and colleagues – but as a scandal, it's not even a mole-hill, let alone a mountain.
    And the same Republicans who cut the State Department's security budgets for embassies and consulates, have the chutzpah (apparently pronounced "CHOO-tspa, in a certain Minnesota Congressional district) to try to concoct some sort of nefarious plot, and blow that up into a scandal, to blame a Democratic administration for what is a tragedy, not a scandal. And a scandal that more security might have been able to prevent, but the money wasn't there.

    Conservatives never see their own mountains of bullshit, but they've never met a Democratic mole-hill that didn't require tents, oxygen tanks, mountain-climbing gear, and Sherpa guides (probably, as unpaid interns).

    Instead of trying t gin-up a scandal out of everything that happens, Republicans, how about a "Jobs Bill?"
    And like to see one with two Amendments.
    The first, would require people running for political office, to have at least a 100 IQ.
    The second, would require people running for political office, to pass a sanity check.

    But, sadly, there'll be no "Jobs Bill" – because that might help the same economy that they want to destroy, for political purposes.
    And besides, that would help 'the wrong kind of people' – as opposed to a bill that would help 'the right kind of people,' by giving them still more tax breaks.

  12. c u n d gulag Says:

    OY!!!
    I need more coffee before I hit "Submit Comment."

    That paragraph about Benghazi should have ended with, "And a tragedy that more security might have been able to prevent, but the money wasn't there. And if there's any scandal, THAT is it."

  13. Xynzee Says:

    @CU: and why wasn't there money for better security — particularly — in a historically acrimonious region/nation?

    Wouldn't have anything to do w/ GOP lead budgetary cuts could it? Nah! Didn't think so either.

  14. HoosierPoli Says:

    And the Obama administration should allow its officials to testify but refuse to take an oath, and bask in the hypocritical fury.

  15. sluggo Says:

    I have not been paying too close attention to this, just sound bites, and parts of stories on the TV news. I am usually reasonably well informed by listening to the news and reading news articles, but I tend to use up most of my attention working and living so I need to really on the media for the basic news of the day.

    The New Yorker link you provided is the first succinct account of the facts, the who, what and where that old fashioned journalism used to take pride in. I suspected that the story was something along these lines, but since I did not try to ferret out the truth myself by doing research, I have been hearing TV news blathering for two weeks without getting any facts.

    What passes for journalism these days is simply sad.

    Anyway, thanks for passing on the facts.

  16. Gavin Kith Says:

    Good post, and impressively brief as well.

  17. 1douchebag Says:

    It's all filler to distract us from the real scandal:

    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2013/05/21/alex-jones-explains-how-government-weather-weap/194167

  18. Mo Says:

    Don't read Taibbi today, you'll want to run into the street screaming.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/deja-vu-on-the-hill-wall-street-lobbyists-roll-back-finance-reform-again-20130521

  19. c u n d gulag Says:

    @Xynzee,
    Well, of course it's not the Republicans fault!

    They were powerless to keep, or increase, the budget(s) for embassy and consulate security – unless the money to do that came from programs that benefitted the poor, the sick, the disabled, the old, the young, etc…

    And you couldn't expect them to carve some money for that kind of security, from out of the over $500,000,000 NATIONAL Security Budget, now can you?
    (Especially not when you were secretly hoping that something horrible would happen, and you could blame either – or, dream-of-all-dreams – BOTH, Obama and Clinton!!!).

    No, the fault lies entirely with Obama and Clinton, who should have appropriated the remaining money better.
    The Republicans hands are clean of any blood!

  20. xynzee Says:

    @Mo: I hate you :p

  21. anotherbozo Says:

    As usual, Ed is terrific at putting matters in the right perspective. It almost makes up for the headache I get from those very matters.

  22. Ten Bears Says:

    A third requirement, c u n d: take a drug test.

    Not for "illegal" drugs.

    No fear.

  23. Charles D Says:

    What galls me about both these "scandals" is that they are dangerously close to uncovering real issues but dancing safely around the edges. I would dearly love an investigation into what actually was going on in that CIA "safe house" in Benghazi and an open public discussion about why we overthrew a stable government in Libya and replaced it with Al Qaeda terrorist chaos, and why we were and are exporting the same terrorists to Syria to carry out another similar adventure. I would dearly love an investigation of the whole idea of giving favorable tax treatment to organizations engaged in campaigns for public office. But fat chance of either.

  24. Tim Says:

    The funniest part was when they were complaining that the delays caused by the paperwork might have prevented them from influencing the 2012 election.

  25. just me Says:

    Ten Bears Says:

    May 22nd, 2013 at 4:20 am
    I would have thought that by now one of the priestly class would have blamed it on dog's dissapproval of liberal behavior.

    Oh thank you for that! With all the Senate spending scandals and a crack smoking mayor here, I needed a good laugh! It was just so appropriate, given that our dog, Harper be thy name, will undoubtedly try to blame the whole fuss on a schmeer campaign by the meddling librul media. Or more likely, hide from it.

  26. Phoenician in a time of Romans Says:

    * This is true, Obama used to live down the street from me, back when he was a Senator. When he was running for President (illegally), he wasn't in town much, but we could tell when he was because there would be a batch of sinister-looking black Chevy Suburbans parked on the corner late at night.

    Almost certainly filled with his drug-dealing thug friends. Yo.

    (/wingnut stupifity if you have to be told)

  27. Fiddlin Bill Says:

    Charles D above seriously asserts that Kadafi was "a stable government in Libya?" His suggestion amounts to Kissinger's brand of real politic. In that foreign policy it's ok to blow up civilian airliners, but not to even consider nationalizing oil resources. No doubt that way of looking at Libya was, in truth, how the Republicans looked at Libya. And Iraq. And Iran. And Guatemala. And Nicarauga. And So Forth.

  28. Linda Says:

    The IRS "scandal" is what is known in baseball as a "brushback pitch." If you raise hell about even THREATENING to investigate the phony "charities" that the tea party people run, we will holler scandal. That's a sure way to never have them investigated.

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