At yesterday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on the IRS, six conservative groups — five Tea Party organizations and NOM, the National Organization For Marriage — played the victim. The Tea Party groups were angry because the IRS actually dared to investigate and make sure they weren’t scamming the system. A tax exemption is not a right, it’s a privilege, and most of the Tea Party groups claiming they are promoting “social welfare” — which the laws says has to be your primary purpose for the tax-exemption — are lying.
Some Democratic Congressmen, not that the mainstream media has bothered to report — actually challenged the “victims” at yesterday’ hearing.
But Congressman Jim McDermott, Democrat of Washington state, wasn’t going to play any games:
â€œBut as I listen to this discussion, Iâ€™d like to remind everyone what we are talking about here,â€ Rep. McDermott told the “victims.” â€œNone of your organizations were kept from organizing or silenced. We are talking about whether or not the American taxpayers would subsidize your work. We are talking about a tax break.â€
â€œEach of your groups is highly political,â€ McDermott continued. â€œFrom opposing the Presidentâ€™s healthcare reform, to abortion restrictions, to gay marriage, youâ€™re all entrenched in some of the most controversial political issues in this country â€“ and with your applications you are asking the American public to pay for that work. Many of you host and endorse candidates. The line between permitted political activity and non-permitted political activity can be very fine, and itâ€™s important that tax payers know which side you fall on.â€
NOM’s victim-playing did not go unaddressed either.
In an op-ed at the Huffington Post published after he participated in yesterday’s hearing, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, continued to take John C. Eastman, Chairman of NOM, the National Organization For Marriage, to task:
Let’s get real and stop the charade about what a ‘social welfare’ organization is.
Last year, internal National Organization for Marriage (NOM) strategy documents were leaked, stating that the organization seeks “to drive a wedge between gays and blacks” by promoting “African American spokespeople for marriage,” thus provoking same-sex marriage supporters into “denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” and “to interrupt the assimilation” of Latinos into “dominant Anglo culture” by making the stance against same-sex marriage “a key badge of Latino identity.”
Does this sound like social welfare to you?
Social welfare organizations should work in the public interest — not to divide, exploit, and conquer.
When I brought this up at the hearing today, Dr. Eastman, Chairman of the Board of NOM, angrily groused, “To say that defending traditional marriage doesn’t qualify for defense of the public good is beyond preposterous.”
To Dr. Eastman, I say that it is the denial of my constituents, and all Americans, the right to marry the person they love that is preposterous. To exploit racial and religious differences so you can fundraise for and enforce your specific worldview is preposterous.
One last note.
I know I will make no friends among my progressive colleagues by stating this, but my responsibility is to my readers, to reporting the truth, and to moving the progressive agenda forward with facts.
I’m extremely disappointed in some larger left-leaning news organizations and their associated bloggers, and others with major platforms for not covering yesterday’s hearings better. Some didn’t cover it at all, some just pointed to the same two-minute seven second video of Eastman responding with rhetoric to Rep. Earl Blumenaur. Not all of us have the resources that some well-funded groups do. Most of these groups in the past have done an excellent job covering the lies and twisted tales the right weaves daily.
That is no longer the case.
If you don’t think the progressive news media has grown complacent, try this.
Go to YouTube and search for “IRS,” or “IRS hearing,” or anything else related.
You will find hundreds of copies of selectively-edited videos, with titles that clearly show they were uploaded by right wing Tea Party supporters.
There are (almost) none from the left.
(And thanks to The Raw Story for the above video and transcript, and for being one of the few outlets to actually report on the critical parts of the hearing, and not from a right-wing false point of view.)
I watched a good portion of yesterday’s hearing — in fact, I was, to the best of my knowledge, the first blogger to tip off the rest of the liberal media that there was a hearing scheduled for yesterday.
Rep. Charlie Rangel executed a superb, eloquent take-down of NOM’s chairman.
I’d like to see that video — other than in a non-embeddable C-SPAN version.
If someone can find it I’ll add it here.
The New Civil Rights Movement doesn’t get any funding, we don’t have any resources other than a laptop, our smarts, and our occasional wit.
Progressives are getting lazy and complacent, as I noted last week in “To The LGBT And Progressive Communities On Our â€˜Lossâ€™ In The Illinois Marriage Fight.”
Time to get back to work.
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In Angry Letter McCarthy Warns Thompson J6 Docs ‘Do Not Belong to You’ – After Defending Trump Taking Classified Info
House Minority Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy in an angry letter to Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) warned the Chairman of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack that his role will end on January 3 and it is “imperative that all information collected be preserved.” The California Republican congressman had a dramatically different position on Donald Trump‘s unlawful retention of well over ten thousand items from the White House, including at least 300 documents with classified markings, including some classified at the highest levels.
McCarthy, who is running to be Speaker of the House but is facing strong opposition from some of the GOP caucus, nevertheless is acting as if he will wield the gavel.
His letter, angry and accusatory in tone, also strongly suggests Republicans will hold their own hearings on the January 6 attack on the Capitol and on democracy, but with a vastly different focus.
“The American people chose Republicans to lead the 118th Congress,” McCarthy’s letter begins. “On January 3, 2023, your work as Chairman of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol will come to an end,” McCarthy told Thompson in his letter, which was reported on by CBS News.
“For those reasons, I remind you and your staff on the Committee to preserve all records collected and transcripts of testimony taken during your investigation in accordance with House Rule VII. As the Chairman, regardless of who may be directing the work of the Committee, you are responsible for the work done by its members and staff.”
Some have suggested that Thompson could transfer some or all of the Committee’s work product – all transcripts and other evidence – to the Senate.
McCarthy continued with his angry attack.
“It is clear based on recent news reports that even your own members and staff of the Committee have no visibility into the totality of the investigation. Some reports suggest that entire swaths of findings will be left out of the Committee’s final report. You have spent a year and a half and millions of taxpayers’ dollars conducting this investigation.”
House Republicans, including McCarthy, spent million dollars on six Benghazi investigations, the last one of which McCarthy admitted was designed to harm former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations.
“Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping,” McCarthy bragged in 2015.
Unlike his defense of ex-president Donald Trump unlawfully removing and retaining at Mar-a-Lago approximately 13,000 items belonging to the National Archives from the White House, McCarthy warned Thompson the Committee’s work does not belong to the Chairman.
“It is imperative that all information collected be preserved not just for institutional prerogatives but for transparency to the American people,” McCarthy wrote. “The official Congressional Records do not belong to you or any member, but to the American people, and they are owed all of the information you gathered – not merely the information that comports with your political agenda.”
That’s actually false.
The Committee has undoubtedly uncovered government secrets, including national security information, classified information, and information, for example, the Secret Service needs to keep secret to allow it to continue to secure its protectees. It also has entered into agreements with witnesses that prevent it from releasing those documents, transcripts, and other evidence to the public.
Politico’s senior legal affairs reporter Kyle Cheney says, “Kevin McCarthy’s letter demanding that the Jan. 6 committee preserve its records is mostly nonsense because the committee is planning to release all but a few of its transcripts.”
McCarthy continued, warning: “Although your Committee’s public hearings did not focus on why the Capitol complex was not secure on January 6, 2021, the Republican majority in the 118th Congress will hold hearings that do so.”
He then served up what some might say is a threat.
“The American people have a right to know that the allegations you have made are supported by the facts and to be able to view the transcripts with an eye toward encouraged enforcement of 18 USC 1001.”
18 U.S. Code § 1001 is the federal statute that makes it a crime to knowingly make false statements.
McCarthy had a very different take when the U.S. Dept. of Justice executed a legal search warrant of Donald Trump’s Florida residence and resort, Mar-a-Lago, to retrieve government-owned materials, including classified documents.
“Joe Biden and the politicized Dept. of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump,” McCarthy said on Sept. 1. “That is an assault on democracy.”
“Joe Biden and the politicized Department of Justice launched a raid on the home of his top political rival, Donald Trump. That is an assault on democracy.”
— House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, before Biden gives remarks in Philadelphia, attacks the lawful Mar-a-Lago search pic.twitter.com/qDwPSzrYs8
— The Recount (@therecount) September 1, 2022
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Treasury Dept. Finally Hands Over Six Years of Trump’s Tax Returns to Powerful House Committee
The U.S. Dept. of the Treasury has finally handed over six years of Donald Trump’s tax returns, after the U.S, Supreme Court denied the ex-president’s request to block the document transfer. The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is now in receipt of all six years, according to a Wednesday afternoon report from CNN.
The returns are primarily from Trump’s time as president.
The Committee will need to work quickly, as Republicans will take over the House majority early next year, and the current Chairman, Richard Neal, will no longer serve in that role.
Republicans are expected to end any investigations into Donald Trump, including his tax returns, as they begin investigations into top GOP priorities: Hunter Biden’s laptop, the origin of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
Image via Shutterstock
Trump Allies So Shaken by His White Supremacist Dinner a Top Campaign Aide Will Now ‘Be Present With Him at All Times’
Top allies of Donald Trump were so disturbed by his decision to have dinner with white supremacist Nick Fuentes last week that the ex-president and 2024 GOP candidate will now have a handler with him around the clock.
The Associated Press also reports the campaign has also changed the protocols for visitors and will start to vet guests who come to see Trump, after the few procedures in place allowed antisemite Kanye West to bring along three guests.
“In an acknowledgment of the severity of the backlash and an effort to prevent a repeat, Trump’s campaign is putting new protocols in place to ensure that those who meet with him are approved and fully vetted, according to people familiar with the plans who requested anonymity to share internal strategy,” the AP adds, revealing the campaign apparently does not trust the 76-year old ex-president to make decisions about who he should or should not spend time with.
“The changes will include expediting a system, borrowed from Trump’s White House, in which a senior campaign official will be present with him at all times, according to one of the people,” the AP adds, revealing what appears to be a previously unknown fact.
The lax security at Mar-a-Lago was in place when Trump was storing 300 documents with various classified markings, including documents with top secret information and a set with the highest level of classification.
In yet another stunning revelation the AP reports that the antisemitic Holocaust “denier” and white supremacist Fuentes “arrived by car with Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, and was waved into the club by security, even though only Ye had been on the security list, according to one of the people present and others briefed on the events.”
The AP also reports that “Fuentes apparently did not show his ID and the car’s driver, a frequent guest at the club, got in using a credit card after misplacing her license.”
The report does not mention the other two guests Trump dined with, reportedly far right wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who has supported adult men having sex with young teens, and Karen Trump 2016 aide Karen Giorno, who was reportedly involved in a pay-for-pardon scheme.
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