Conservatives Are Digging Very, Very Deep to Keep IRS “Scandal” Alive

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Conservative desperation to revive the IRS “scandal,” which basically imploded in their laps weeks ago, continues apace. Steve Benen reports today that the latest is a scoop by the Daily Caller about a White House meeting with IRS chief counsel William Wilkins in 2012. The fact that this was trumpeted in the Caller is pretty much all you need to know about this supposedly nefarious meeting, but click the link if you want the (extremely boring) details of what really went on.

For sheer entertainment value, though, a friend passes along the fun and games on Fox last night:

So Greta Van Susteren has on an unfortunate Virginia organic farmer — not coincidentally, I’m sure, an attractive young blonde — who says she was audited by the IRS because of her affiliation with the Tea Party!

Under mild questioning, she admits that most of her apparently many disputes are in fact with the county government. Despite the headline and her flat assertion, she provided zero testimony or explanation for how her IRS problem might have anything to do with the Tea Party.

Never mind. One of her many accusations of outrageous government harassment is that the county fined her for having a birthday party for eight little girls on her farm! Oh, the horror! How could such a thing possibly be?

A birthday party! Tyranny has run amok. However, what millions of Fox watchers will never learn is that her dispute is actually over her refusal to pay for a $150 permit if she wants to use her farm for commerical activities (hosting events, selling other people’s craft items) that it’s not zoned for (i.e., growing and selling food). The county also wants to make sure that she has parking and bathrooms on the site. That’s it. But it doesn’t matter. Another urban legend on the right has been born, and it will now live forever.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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