Monday, May 27, 2013

The Hornswoggle, The Boondoggle, And the Fall of Constantinople

The Hornswoggle: to bamboozle; deceive; to attempt to get the better of 
someone through deception

So, John McCain took it upon himself to go to Syria. I damned near fell of the stool in the kitchen when I heard that one. He “sneaked” across the Turkish border to meet with rebel commanders? Is this some kind of joke? This is like Geraldo Rivera sneaking around Iraq. It is high on the list of seriously stupid things to do. 

McCain wants to open up another front. He's said as much. It’s not enough that we’re wasting American lives in Afghanistan. It’s not enough that a string of bombs throughout Iraq today killed at least 53 and wounded over 200 Iraqis once again demonstrating how effective our nation building strategy has been in their country. And now McCain wants to bring that same high level of success to Syria?

Note to Syrians: Run, run, run as far away as you can from this guy.

We have no business intervening in the Syrian civil war. None. Nada. Zilch. We don’t belong there. We should not be arming anyone. We should not be advising anyone. Do we really want to get in a pissing war with Hezbollah? This has disaster, death, doom, destruction, and dumb written all over it.

John McCain wants to take more American dollars and waste them in another nunfunded war when we need every damn dollar here to rebuild our own military wounded from the last two ill-fated adventures he was supporting. What? He have some sort of messiah complex that he thinks he’s the savior of the world?  Clearly the man is dealing shy of a full deck these days if he thinks embedding more American soldiers in Arab wars has some kind of return on investment. It does not. Never has, never will. 

Note to We, the People: Just say no.

The Boondoggle: a project that is considered a useless waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy motivations.

Just to get my blood pressure down, I spent a fair amount of Monday reading tax codes. Yep. You read that right. I was tripping through IRS stuff in an attempt to better understand the phrase “tax exempt.” This is no easy thing to do. People go to law school and accounting school to do this. And even then,  not too many of them come away with a thorough enough understanding to actually be able to competently guide someone on the issue. But what I did come away with are some opinions that may or may not be valid…but they’re my opinions so if you know I’m wrong, write and tell me why…but be prepared to support your assertions with examples and, if necessary, case law.

The reality is there is no IRS scandal. The scandalous part is behavior of the people who are saying there is a scandal. The IRS in Cleveland was doing its job. Flooded with applications for 501(c)(4) status, the worker bees did what all worker bees worth their weight in  beeswax do….the batched like applications. Similar applications means you’re doing the research once, applying to each application as needed, and moving on to the next thematic batch. I would guess they do the same thing for community playground groups or Jewish groups or Baptist groups or Muslim groups or even the dreaded Democratic groups. It’s what you do in every single business anywhere in the world. You batch like functions together; to do otherwise is absurd and wasteful.

Just so we’re clear, here’s what 501(c)(4) means:

Title 26 USC § 501 - Exemption from tax on corporations, certain trusts, etc.
(c) List of exempt organizations:  The following organizations are referred to in subsection (a):
(4) (A) Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare, or local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular municipality, and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable, educational, or recreational purposes.
       (B) Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to an entity unless no part of the net earnings of such entity inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.

In a NY Times article,  Groups Targeted by I.R.S. Tested Rules on Politics, former IRS exempt division lawyer Kevin J. Shortill, said:

“My experience has been that the agents immediately start Googling to see what the organization is doing outside of the application…“And that explains why you get these requests for information like, ‘Please print out your Web site and send it in.’ ”

Official Congressional Moron
Isn’t that what anyone in 2013 would do? Come on, folks; the laws maybe on the books since before the inter-web, but it is fair game to use modern technology to research this stuff.

There is no scandal…only morons in Congress who would rather waste time and money than to govern our nation. Remember this at mid-terms Do everyone  favor and don't send them back to the House. 

And the fall of Constantinople

I'm not sure too many people will observe the 560th Anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople To The Turks on May 29th, but it always was an important holiday in this house, celebrated with steaks on the grill and chocolate frosted angel food cake. Well, there maybe steaks....we'll see...but no angel food cake. Just can't do it. 

But I will be remembering what it was like. 

Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Never offer to order things online for other people.
Just say no.


  1. I know we may be preaching to the choir, but I agree with you. The Republicans, Rand Paul, Karl Rove, and the Koch brothers et al. have been longing to find and expose scandals in this administration. Some believe there has been a organized effort to submit as many 501 (c) (4) applications as possible since he Citizens United decision. Of course, my conservative husband believes I should be outraged and that I am not supporting "equal protection under the law" - gee, does this come from listening to Fox News non-stop all day as they keep hammering away on their talking points? On my part, I loved what Randi Rhodes said on her show yesterday (no applications have been denied and THAT is the REAL SCANDAL). She clarifies the law as written and as interpreted by the IRS since 1959 and demands that the IRS apply the law to all these groups seeking tax exemptions although they participate in politics and use their funds to influence elections and tax policy.

  2. Good post, but I am still reeling over the intersection of the Fall of Constantinople and the possible lack of angel food cake, which is good thing. ( I mean the lack of angel food cake)

  3. Thanks for clarifying this issue. It feels like a case of the boys who cried scandle.