Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Tolerance, Diversity and Gay Rights

Gay Marriage is a Human Right and Gay Marriage IS the definition of marriage.

This pretty much kills the IRS "scandal"

Cons, how many times are you people going to cry wolf?

This pretty much kills the IRS scandal 

The scandal has been a fiction all along as new documents show the IRS targeted liberal groups as well

BY Alex Seitz-Wald

Remember the IRS scandal? How the tax agency improperly singled out Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny in a nefarious political vendetta against conservatives because the agency is either inherently liberal or was acting on orders from the Democratic President? Remember how it cost even Mitt Romney the election?

Well, as it turns out, that whole scandal is entirely bogus. False. A fiction. The entire notion that the agency singled out groups with “Tea Party” in their name in simply wrong, we learn today, thanks to new documents revealed by the Associated Press. The documents, and confirmation from officials, show the IRS targeted groups with other keywords in their names, including “Progressive” and “Occupy.”

“There was a wide-ranging set of categories and cases that spanned a broad spectrum” on the lists, newly appointed IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel said on a conference call with reporters.
So the IRS was targeting Tea Party groups, but it was also targeting progressive groups, which means it wasn’t really singling out anyone. And remember the only group actually denied tax-exempt status was a progressive one. 

This should put this matter to bed forever. All along, everyone agreed that the problem with the IRS’ behavior was that the agency seemed to be giving extra scrutiny to groups of one political affiliation, and not the other. Now we know that it targeted groups on both sides.

The IRS still considers some of the criteria “inappropriate,” but this seems to deescalate the controversy to an wonky internal agency matter, rather than a national political scandal. /

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Issa furious after Democrat releases transcripts proving no scandal

When the facts contradict the lie... hide them: -targeting-2013-6

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, released more than 200 pages of interview transcripts Tuesday afternoon after the committee's Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to do so. 

Cummings is seeking to dispel any notion that targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service was ordered from Washington.

Cummings released transcripts with an IRS screening group manager described as a "conservative Republican," who said that the targeting of the Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status started with low-level workers in Cincinnati. The witness also said that there was no communication on the targeting with any senior IRS officials or with anyone in Washington or the Obama administration.

The release of the transcripts came after two weeks of back-and-forth squabbling between Cummings and Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who Cummings accused of selectively releasing portions of the transcripts.

Issa immediately decried the release of the transcripts, saying he was "deeply disappointed" at Cummings' decision. He said their release would encourage IRS officials to "navigate investigative interviews" with Congress.

And... now moving on to the next manufactured conservative scandal against Obama.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Terms like "Superman" reinforce gender imperialist stereotypes

The new American film, "Man of Steel" has been released and though I have not given it much initial thought I am concerned about its gender emphasis.

What does the term "Superman" mean? What is the intent? 

 It would be easy to superficially assume that being a "man" is superior to people who are not classified as male or to those without gender.  This automatically puts a film such as "Man of Steel" in conflict with a increasingly progressive society that rejects outdated gender-roles and the very notion of gender.   We are an increasingly Bi, Gay and Transgender world.   We would feel a greater connection with a "SuperPerson".

From what I have seen, "Man of Steel" has received tepid reviews and hopefully the film will not do well at the box-office.   The concept of Superman is outdated does not have a place in society that strives for diversity and rejects war and nationalism.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

What cons are (deliberately?) ignoring in the IRS "scandal"

So cons have tried to portray the IRS scandal as a case of Obama, or someone in his administration, using the IRS to go after political opponents. They've accused the IRS of trying to "stifle free speech."

There's some factual problems with that narrative since there's no evidence that this was directed from above and none of the groups investigated had their application turned down (although some withdrew said application).

But there's a larger meta problem of logic with this narrative as well. Namely that no ones speech was "stifled". What we're talking about are groups which applied for 501(c)4 status which allows them to raise money tax free from undisclosed donors. You don't NEED 501(c)4 status to organize a group and play politics. You'll just have to disclose your donors and pay appropriate taxes. So what these Tea Bagger groups were doing wasn't applying to be able to engage in politics but rather applying to be tax exempt and not have to disclose donors.

Now here's the real kicker. You don't actually NEED pre-approval from the IRS to set up a 501(c)4 organization. You can just claim that status and run your group as one and it will only be adjudicated by the IRS if some issue comes up. So none of these Tea Bagger groups had to apply to the IRS or get their approval to run a 501(c)4. BUT, if they started running as a 501(c)4 and then later it was determined that they weren't they'd have to disclose their donor lists. So the ONLY reason these groups would be seeking pre-approval would be because they wanted to assure donors that their donations would remain anonymous. In other words they wanted to raise unlimited amounts of dark money to influence the election. This doesn't really jibe with the conservative narrative of these poor groups being stifled from expressing their opinions.