Stepping up its probe of allegedly improper campaigning by churches, the Internal Revenue Service on Friday ordered a liberal Pasadena parish to turn over all the documents and e-mails it produced during the 2004 election year with references to political candidates.
All Saints Episcopal Church and its rector, the Rev. Ed Bacon, have until Sept. 29 to present the sermons, newsletters and electronic communications.
Posts filed under ‘George W. Bush and Co.’
Just sayin’ folks. Let’s not forget that the Bush administration did some pretty reprehensible things with the IRS too:
The IRS investigation was triggered by an antiwar sermon delivered by its former rector, the Rev. George F. Regas, at the church two days before the 2004 presidential election. The summons even requests utility bills to establish costs associated with hosting Regas’ speech. Bacon was ordered to testify before IRS officials Oct. 11.
The tax code bars nonprofits, including churches, from endorsing or campaigning against candidates in an election.
Facing the possible loss of his church’s tax-exempt status, Bacon said he plans to inform his roughly 3,500 active congregants about the investigation during Sunday’s services. Then he plans to seek their advice on whether to comply.
“There is a lot at stake here,” Bacon said in an interview. “If the IRS prevails, it will have a chilling effect on the practice of religion in America.”
In July, the IRS warned 15,000 tax-exempt groups across the nation, including churches and nonprofit organizations, to stay neutral on politics.
At the time, IRS officials said the agency also began expediting investigations into charges of improper campaigning under a new enforcement program, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative. Under it, the IRS will no longer wait for an annual tax return to be filed or for the tax year to end before investigating allegations of wrongful campaigning.
Since 2004, the IRS has investigated more than 200 organizations nationwide.
I saw W. being interviewed on CNN this morning ahead of the opening of his presidential library later today. The dude was so nonchalant; he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Meh, history will be the judge.”
You got that right George.
Folks, we’re dragging the s*it he did along like a ball and chain and it’s going to be a long, looong time before we’re free of those shackles. Take a look:
It Will Take Decades To Recover From The Bush Disaster
$2.2 trillion and who knows how many hundreds of thousands of deaths later, this is what happened in Iraq today:
BAGHDAD – Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki on Sunday to stop Iran from flying arms across Iraqi territory to the beleaguered Syrian regime, but found him unwilling to give ground.
Here’s a report by CNN’s Arwa Damon on what life is like in Iraq today, ten years after the U.S. invasion. Donald Rumsfeld should watch it, given his delusional tweet Tuesday about “liberating” Iraqis.
Wow. Very powerful:
I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.
I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.
Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.
A certifiably insane Donald Rumsfeld sent this tweet out yesterday on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the invasion of Iraq:
Ugh, just, I mean, unbelievable.
Ten years ago. From CNN:
Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush
DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) –There are a lot worse things in country music than your wife leaving you or your dog dying. There’s stations not playing your music because you done gone and said some things against the president.
Music superstars the Dixie Chicks are finding out that criticizing President Bush’s plans for war in Iraq can cost you air play, big time.
Country stations across the United States have pulled the Chicks from playlists following reports that lead singer Natalie Maines said in a concert in London earlier this week that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”
Love how CNN tossed its journalist cred and signaled it was on Bush’s side when it titled its article, “Dixie Chicks Pulled From Air After Bashing Bush.” Bashing Bush? Really?
That’s how insane we were. Bush & Co. said mushroom clouds were on the way and when the Dixie Chicks saw through that, as so many of us did, and said they were “ashamed,” CNN said they were “bashing” Bush when they should have been questioning him too.
Such bad memories.
I’ve read a couple blurbs today about how the American public “just doesn’t want to remember the Iraq war” and I’m kind of in that camp. It’s so upsetting. We went insane, lead by our still-crappy, sheep-like, stenographic, Washington-centric, corporate-owned media.
Sadly, all signs point to it being able to happen again.
I don’t know what to say on this, the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I was against the war before it began and I’ve been against it ever since. I thought we were being lied to all along and it turns out, that’s exactly what was happening.
So much misery.
In my opinion the invasion was one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever seen.
(It’s indicative of the fantasyland George Bush lived in when we’re reminded that Bush gave his “mission accomplished” speech six weeks — SIX WEEKS — after the March 19, 2003 invasion. (The war officially ended on December 15, 2011).)
William Rivers Pitt, a real journalist — we need a thousand more like him — on the run up to the Iraq war:
Over the last few years, MSNBC refashioned itself as the progressive news alternative to networks like Fox and CNN by giving Keith Olbermann an opportunity to do actual journalism on television for a few years, and by putting people like Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz front and center. Even Chris Matthews, the human weathervane, appears to have gotten the memo. But I remember a phone call I got from an MSNBC producer in February of 2003. Hans Blix and his weapons inspectors had not been in Iraq for 100 hours when this woman called me on my cell, told me she’d read my book, and asked me to appear on the network. There was, however, one caveat: she told me I was expected to argue that Blix and the inspectors were doing a terrible job and should be ignored, which just happened to be the exact line being peddled at the time by the Bush administration. I told the producer that I did not agree, that the inspectors needed to be given time to do their jobs, and that undermining them might lead to a devastating war. The MSNBC producer chuffed a cigarette-roughened laugh into my phone and hung up on me.
That happened – I remember the details not only because of how gruesome the conversation was, but because when she hung up on me, I almost lost control of my car and nearly wound up in the Charles River – and the fact of it tells you everything you need to know about MSNBC and the rest of the alphabet-soup cohort that is America’s “mainstream” news media. I did not do what that MSNBC producer asked me to, but you can bet all the money you have that she found someone who would a few phone calls later. You might have even seen it on TV.
The war against Iraq, in the end, was nothing more or less than a massive money-laundering operation that took American taxpayer dollars, soaked them in blood, and redirected them to Certain Friends In High Places. It was, as I said years ago, a smash-and-grab robbery[*] writ large, aided and abetted by an American “news” media which had its own profit motive, and which made a nifty sum off the whole deal. Even better for them, today they get to enjoy the ratings and advertising dollars to come when they broadcast their somber “documentaries” about how terrible it all was, how many lies were told, how many mistakes were made, and all without ever looking inward at their own enormous complicity.
* Halliburton, KBR, United Defense, the Carlyle Group, independent military contractors like Blackwater and a crowd of American oil companies are still counting the riches they earned from their participation in the carnage.
I’m proud to say I was one of the millions of people around the world who demonstrated (more than once) against the war. It has turned out pretty much exactly as I feared.
Ten years ago today I was part of the largest protest in human history when I marched against the war on Iraq:
On February 15, millions of people protested, in approximately 800 cities around the world. Listed by the 2004 Guinness Book of Records as the largest protest in human history, protests occurred among others in the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Syria, India, Russia, South Korea, Japan, and even McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
15 million people and George W. Bush blew them off, calling them a “focus group.”
So what is W. doing these days, four years after he left office? Building homes for Habitat for Humanity? Trying to convince the world to do something about climate change? No. He’s painting bizarre pictures of himself in a bathtub and a shower:
Oh man. He’s fucked up. And just think, he was once the most powerful man on the planet.
Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, John Bolton, Lindsay Graham and Erick Erickson Praise Obama’s Drone Plan/Kill list
They’re all warmongers so if they love it, I don’t!
To wild GOP crowd cheers, Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachman vehemently defend Obama’s assassination policy.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) will offer a resolution next week commending President Barack Obama’s use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki.
We no longer have to transport ourselves to a magical alternate reality to ponder what a love child between Richard Nixon and Dick Cheney would look like. Given a Justice Department memo obtained by NBC News, we can conclude that child would look like none other than President Barack Obama.
“Just kill the terrorists before they kill us.” Land of the free and home of the brave? No. When I saw folks tearing up at the Super Bowl over those words I gagged.
We’re a scared bunch of sheeple. We stood by while almost 60,000 Americans were killed in Vietnam because our leaders told us the commies were coming to get us. Ten years ago yesterday, Colin Powell lied his face off in front of the United Nations Security Council and as a result, we invaded Iraq because they (I’m gagging again) supposedly had WMD and were ready to send a mushroom cloud over the U.S.
None of that was true.
Yet, again, we’re so scared of the lies we’ve told ourselves, all in the name of kill them before they kill us.
Defense spending — our tax dollars! — has doubled since 2001.
Ten years ago there was no such thing as the Department of Homeland Security but now we’re dumping untold billions dollars into that agency because it’s supposedly keeping us “safe.
And now we have drones — millions going to defense contractors for their new toys that we’re paying for — AGAIN, out of our tax dollars that — and President Obama’s kill list predicated on his supposed authority to kill Americans without their Constitutional right to be charged and tried by a jury of their piers.
They tell us these drone strikes are keeping us safe. But they aren’t: “Drone attacks are doing nothing but inciting more hatred” say Pakistani protesters. Google it yourself. There’s a whole bunch of info out there about how drone attacks are actually making us less after
So when will be again become the land of the free and the HOME OF THE BRAVE and when will we stop being scared little people who sacrifice their future for defense contractors and politicians who want to enrich them?
Former First Dog, Barney Bush, George W.’s 12-year-old Scottish Terrier, died today.
Former President George H.W. Bush is in the intensive care unit of a Houston hospital and is in “guarded condition,” family spokesman Jim McGrath said Wednesday.
“The President is alert and conversing with medical staff, and is surrounded by family,” McGrath said in a statement.
When an 88-year-old former president is in intensive care, in guarded condition, surrounded by family it makes me wonder what they aren’t telling us.
I’m going to hold my tongue but suffice it to say I’m thinking a compliant media, limos on Constitution Avenue, something having to do with a rotunda, and speeches by Jeb and the hope of the party, George P.
“Heck of a Job Brownie” is Fox’s FEMA Expert
Bush’s former FEMA Director, “Heck of a Job Brownie,” on Fox’s Your World w/Neil Cavuto today to
talk about criticize the government’s response to Hurricane Sandy:
“[George W. Bush has] become increasingly agoraphobic,” this person adds of the former president. “He looked startled by the whole thing. But he doesn’t like people, he never did, he doesn’t now.”
Indeed, George W. Bush, now 66, has spent the past few years living as invisibly as possible, working diligently on his golf game at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Dallas, showing up at a Rangers baseball game, or being spotted eating a steak in one of his favorite restaurants.
While the rest of the world judges his years in office, he’s taken up painting, making portraits of dogs and arid Texas landscapes. “I find it stunning that he has the patience to sit and take instruction and paint,” says a former aide.
This is (1) George W. Bush being wracked by guilt for causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and (2) feeling the negative vibes of almost every human being on the planet who was conscious during the time he was in office.
His is not a life lived well.
This would be Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle today on “The Five:”
“People Knew Not To Do Anything On The Watch Of Bush And Cheney”
(See the video here.)
Really? Gee. The last time I looked at facts (sorry wingers), 9/11 happened on Bush and Cheney’s watch.
The irony is that the person moderating the conversation with Guilfoyle is Dana Perino, George W. Bush’s former press secretary. In December, 2010, Perino said: “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during Presidents Bush’s term.”
Watch Fox. Be dumb as a rock.
Here is an interesting article succinctly laying out why the war in Afghanistan is — still — a colossal failure. Here’s the bullet point:
Beyond al Qaeda, the U.S. president has achieved little of strategic importance in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is incorrect, if not disingenuous, when he says that the Taliban’s momentum has been “blunted.” The Taliban’s spear is sharp as ever. Last week, on Sept. 14, it cut through Camp Bastion, one of the most secure foreign bases in Afghanistan. There, in a complex attack that cost $10,000 or $20,000 at most, it destroyed six jets valued at up to $180 million. The ratio of cost to achievement of the $100 billion-a-year war in Afghanistan is indefensible, though it must be said that the president, with his emphasis on “nation-building here at home,” recognizes this uncomfortable fact.
The U.S. surge is over. All troops brought into Afghanistan after December 2009 will have returned home by the end of this week. But the Taliban surge has just begun. Attacks on coalition forces by Afghan security personnel — the Taliban are responsible for a small, but probably growing number of these — are on the rise. The Taliban reintegration campaign — designed to bring low-level Taliban into the fold — is working, but in an unintended way, with the penetration of the Afghan security forces by Taliban infiltrators.
The local militias raised by coalition forces and Kabul are a motley of opportunistic, quasi-jihadi criminals on temporary leave. The training program has been put on hold due to the rising green-on-blue attacks. The most crucial element of Obama’s Afghanistan strategy — the transition of control to Afghan security forces — has been effectively suspended with the pause in joint coalition-Afghan operations.
Last we heard, we were going to train Afghan security forces and when we felt they were ready to take charge of their country, we were going to leave. But now, what with the rise in “green on blue” attacks, that training plan is on hold.
So now what?
Paul Wolfowitz was a guest on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN yesterday. Yes, CNN. You know, that raving liberal station.
So undoubtedly Zakaria and Wolfowitz, international war criminal, had a frank and honest discussion, right?
Since when do we look back and think of Bush’s wars of choice that have killed untold hundreds of thousands as his — or our – “freedom agenda” and one of the major players who lied us into those wars as “the brain?”
Yo. Fareed. I’m looking at you.
The Republicans apparently sent out a memo overnight asking if people are better off now than they were four years ago, because the “liberal media” is all over it, with wall-to-wall speculation.
The thing is, nobody seems to be talking about the fact — the inconvenient fact — that George W. Bush was in office four years ago and he would be for five more months. Not only that, but here’s another inconvenient fact:
That longest red line there in the middle is January, 2009. Obama was sworn in on January 20. Look at the trajectory before and after.
For the media to bite on this Republican talking point and go along with the implication that Obama was in office four years ago without (1) pointing out that he wasn’t, and (2) citing facts as to what the economy was actually doing back then, is journalistic malpractice.
For a larger version of the chart above, go here.
The seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is upon us and parts of New Orleans are flooded or flooding. Yet Jeb Bush is speaking at the Republican National Convention tonight, touting his brother.
This is my Tweet of the Day:
In a sane world, Condoleezza Rice would be in The Hague.
ABC’s Jonathan Karl Wants Us to Buy BS Excuses as to Why Bush and Cheney Won’t be at the Republican Convention
ABC bimbo Jonathan Karl — ABC News’ “Senior Political Correspondent” writes a cute little article about how Dickhead Cheney just happens to have a fishing trip planned that will keep him from attending the Republican convention in Tampa this month. And he thinks we’re dumb enough to believe his crap:
Dick Cheney has plans for the end of August, but those plans don’t include going to the Republican convention in Tampa.
In fact, while his party gathers to formally nominate Mitt Romney for President, Cheney will be out of the country.
He tells me he is going fishing – in Canada.
Yo, Karl you’re dumber than I am:
“I’ve got a fishing trip planned that week,” Cheney told me. “I’ve done a lot of conventions over the years, but this is a special trip I’ve been planning on for a long time.”
Cheney, an avid fly fisherman, has been a fixture at Republican conventions since the 1970s, but this won’t be the first one he’s skipped. He didn’t go to the 2008 in St. Paul, Minn., either.
Gosh Jonathan. Do you remember 2008 and why Cheney skipped that convention? Because he was hated: 18 percent positive and 74 percent negative. Hello!
He also has good Republican company when it comes to missing this year’s convention: former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush aren’t going either.
He’s still hated. And so is George. That’s why they’re not going to be in Tampa.
This pathetic piece is considered “news” in these here United States of America and a guy like Jonathan Karl gets paid millions to report it.
This from Jeffrey Goldberg over at Salon, complimenting Obama on likely being more willing to attack Iran than Romney:
In Israel-Iran Conflict, Don’t Rely on Romney
Romney, by all accounts, is uninterested in inheriting the mantle of President George W. Bush, who invaded two Muslim countries and lost popularity and credibility as a result. Romney, despite his rhetoric, is more of a pragmatist than Bush, and far more cautious. An attack on Iran is an incautious act, one that even Bush rejected.
The unilateral use of force in the Middle East for a liberal Democrat like Obama is a credential; for a conservative Republican like Romney, it could be an albatross. I argued in a previous column that Romney is more likely than Obama to oversee a revitalized Middle East peace process. That’s because conservatives are better positioned to make peace; liberals are generally better positioned to launch preventive strikes at the nuclear programs of rogue nations. We know that U.S. voters, and world leaders, allow Obama extraordinary leeway when it comes to deadly drone strikes, precisely because of his politics, character and background. (We are talking about a man, after all, who won the Nobel Peace Prize while ordering the automated killing of suspected Muslim terrorists around the world.) Romney will get no comparative slack.
Democrats have the (undeserved) wimp badge hanging around their neck whereas Republicans have the gun-slinging Texan hanging around theirs. Obama may think he could earn his macho bona fides by going all the way against Iran whereas Romney probably feels he would look like another half-cocked Bush.
Makes scary sense to me.
This is exactly the kind of shallow answer I would expect from George W. when asked if he misses public life:
“Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful,” Bush told the Hoover Institute’s Peter Robinson. “But I have no desire for fame and power anymore. … I crawled out of the swamp and I’m not crawling back in.”
Ugh. Think fingernails being dragged across a caulk board.
What does one say about this headline? I mean, it’s gobsmackingly unbelievable. Karl Rove apparently has no self-awareness or sense of how he’s perceived:
OMG. Yesterday I heard that George W. endorsed Mitt Romney but it wasn’t until this afternoon that I learned how he endorsed him. Geezus. It’s hilarious:
Mitt Romney has the support of George W. Bush.
“I’m for Mitt Romney,” Bush told ABC News this morning as the doors of an elevator closed on him, after he gave a speech on human rights a block from his old home — the White House.
No press conference. No flags. No handshakes. No back slapping. No hugs. No waves. No swooning wives. No stage packed with kids. No stage packed with grandkids.
Seems to me we can draw one of two conclusions. Or maybe they’re both true: (1) George isn’t all that thrilled with Mitt. (2) Mitt would rather not be associated with George.
Either way, damn I wish we had video.
If Mitt Romney picks Florida Senator Marco Rubio as his vice presidential nominee, we’re gonna have fun with this quote from Rubio today on CNN’s “State of the Nation:”
I haven’t gone through the comparison,” Rubio told CNN’s Candy Crowley. “I think that presidents serve in different times with different challenges. And so I think that George W. Bush, in my opinion, did a fantastic job as president over eight years, facing a set of circumstances during those eight years that are different from the circumstances that a President Romney would face.
Bush lied us into a war; he passed an unfunded Medicare prescription drug program (a gift to the drug and insurance companies) that could cost as much as much as $1.2 trillion; he passed the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and he let the banks crash the global economy, to name but a few of his accomplishments. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what Republicans think is a, ahem, “fantastic job.”
So, keep the video handy. If Romney does pick Rubio it’s gonna get a whole lot of airtime. If Romney doesn’t pick Rubio, we can save it and use it when Rubio runs. Heehee.
Like any state legislature dealing with 8 percent unemployment and thousands of its residents facing disenfranchisement, the Tennessee Senate is targeting the menace of underage hand-holding.
Last week, the Senate passed SB 3310, a bill to update the state’s abstinence-based sex education curriculum to define holding hands and kissing as “gateway sexual activities.” Just one senator voted against the legislation; 28 voted in favor.
And uh oh:
How far are the wingnuts going to push this back? Will being born eventually be labeled as a “gateway to sexual activity?” Might as well. That’s how absurd this is getting.
Three years after Darth Vader left office, the Associated Press ran this photo today (screenshot because I have a feeling it’ll be taken down):
See the original article here (if it’s still there).
Yep. That’s the way most of us think of good old Dick.
I wonder who will be fired for not using a picture like this, one more in line with the image the establishment wants us to have of the Dick: