Who is the Most Reviled Person in America?

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Here is the LA Times describing how the tea party targeting scandal at the IRS got its start:

In March 2010, a manager in a Cincinnati determinations unit asked a screener to get a handle on the issue, according to the report from the Treasury Department’s inspector general for tax administration. The agent started pulling applications with political-sounding names, such as “tea party” and “patriots.”

And just who is this screener? Here’s the New York Times:

For months, the Tea Party cases sat on the desk of a lone specialist, who used “political sounding” criteria — words like “patriots,” “we the people” — as a way to search efficiently through the flood of applications for groups that might not qualify for exemptions, according to the I.R.S. inspector general. 

….It is not yet clear which manager in Cincinnati asked for an initial keyword search of Tea Party applications, Congressional aides said. One of the employees that the House committee is seeking to interview this week, Joseph Herr, had been a manager in charge of the group of specialists in Cincinnati from its inception through August 2010, according to the aides.

So we don’t yet know who this poor schmoe is. But we’re going to subpoena Joseph Herr and make him tell us! And when that happens, this mysterious lone specialist will officially become the most reviled person in America. I can hardly wait.

BY THE WAY: Both of these pieces are well worth reading. They are among the first in what is quickly becoming a whole new subgenre: the story about how the Cincinnati office of the IRS is completely and totally FUBARed. I expect this to culminate in a 20,000-word piece in the New Yorker.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

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