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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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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