Letters: VA real scandal


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  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    June 1, 2013 10:45 p.m.

    Re: Truthseeker -- There was no red flags on this case and how do you know so much about his business ( hearsay ) or from political cronies that didn't like him supporting Romney ? And by the way they didn;t find any thing wrong. You sound like the IRS people who did the targeting-If they are rich it is okay to go after them they are crooks anyway and they don't like big gov't.I can see how the IRS got their Ideas --

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    June 1, 2013 2:04 p.m.

    The guy who had to spend $80,000? The "Poor" Melaluca multi-millionaire--whose business straddles the line of pyramid club?

    Large corporations are regularly subjected to IRS audits. It is a normal part of business.

    The IRS job is to catch cheaters and collect revenue that is due. The IRS is going to look at obvious red flag areas, as any other law enforcement agency does. The 501 (4) (c) area is one ripe for abuse and the Treasury guidelines for this area are vague. The IRS is understaffed in this area as well. The only potential illegal activity by the IRS is if they publically released private data from applicants before approving/rejecting applications. Once an application is approved, the data can legally be made public.

    Furthermore, applicants have the right to sue the IRS if their applications aren't reviewed within a certain time frame.

    Nobody is prohibiting people from conducting business. People can start 501 (4) (c)s and not even apply to the IRS.

  • Hemlock Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2013 1:43 p.m.

    Right, let's forget John Swallow, the IRS, the AP and Benghazi. With all the floor sweeping, my carpet is looking lumpy.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 1, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    I would not say no one was not hurt. But a circus will hurt us all more and I stand by that. To hold the President and his supporters accountable, the best way at this point is at the ballot box. Perhaps, some investigation by an independent body is necessary, and I will go for that, but lengthy congressional hearings and the grandstanding it usually begets is a waste of time with the issues we now face. Impeachment hearings will lead nowhere. The president will not be removed so again it is a waste of time to go down this route. It might make some conservatives feel better but it's a waste of time. I think to the impeachment of President Clinton. Where did that get us. If we all remember, we had Enron and the dot.com bubble burst. Perhaps if Congress had kept its "eye on the ball" that economic downturn could have been avoided. But Republicans went on a crusade they knew they couldn't win and in the end more people were hurt because the economy went down. Now amplify that situation many times. Again, we don't have time for a circus...

  • casual observer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2013 12:08 p.m.

    The "no one died" defense should be abandoned by both parties. It is nonsensical. No one died in John Swallow's problem, Bill Clinton, Elliot Spitzer, Mark Sandford, Eric Wiener, Richard Nixon, you get the idea. The questions about the IRS, Benghazi and spying on the AP/Fox News are potentially serious breaches of government function irrespective of the body count.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 1, 2013 9:24 a.m.

    The scandals referred to as trivial are not trivial. Sweeping them under the rug is not in the pubic interest. They have their individual negative consequences and taken collectively they destroy confidence in a government of the people, by the people and for the people. The VA is an open embarrassment and has been for decades. Anyone truly familiar with the VA system of medicine is terrified that it is looked upon fondly by some politicians as a model for general health care delivery. The VA is single payer, non-competitive, maddeningly bureaucratic, steeped in the civil service mentality that "you can't fire me" and is tragically, sometimes fatally inefficient. The original purpose of treating those who have suffered injury in the service of their country, it is now a monument to politics as usual and wastefulness.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    June 1, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    No one was hurt --- You must have your head in the sand -- ask the guy who had to spend 80,000 dollars to to defend his company from audits that that had no basis.--- plus all the other people who was audited for no reason only because they believed a certain way that didn't agree with the gov'ts way of doing things.Thousand of dollars and time spent to defend illegal Gov't practices.---- You say no one was denied their tax exempt status ? Many are still waiting to get processed and many have given up trying to get an answer.Many were just stalled in the beginning of the election cycle for political reasons.When you write about something you need to get the facts and not from the mainstream media.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:54 p.m.

    I know many conservatives will call for impeachment. Two other Presidents were impeached for far less. But here is the rub, we don't have time for this circus. We have too many pressing issues to be solved. I want every conservative to look into the mirror and ask themselves, how this would be good for this country? Would he be removed from office if impeachment went forward? Not a snowball's chance you know where. But valuable time that could help solve important issues such as health care, jobs, immigration, entitlement reform etc. will be put on the back burner. This is a serious time that needs some serious solutions. I am too upset with these scandals and abuses of powers, and perhaps the people through the ballot in 2014 can send the message to the President and his supporters, that this is unacceptable. But we simply don't have the time for impeachment hearings or grandstanding politicians in congressional hearings why more pressing problems effecting far larger numbers of Americans go unsolved...

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:47 p.m.

    IMO, how our govt. treats its veterans is a crime, pure and simple.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    Truth Seeker! Stop it! You are using actual quotes from Rice and the CIA talking points and actual testimony from hearings? How dare you?! We don't want ANY of that! We just want to yell and scream and make totally unfounded, unsubstantiated accusations. We want to use absolutely no evidence to back up any of our wild claims. After all if Glen Beck said it and I read it on the internets, that's good enough for me, and it should be good enough for you! Who do you think you are?!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 31, 2013 4:24 p.m.

    Let's look at the actual talking points.

    Talking points drafted by the CIA, first sentence (which didn't change through all the various drafts)
    "Attack were spontaneously inspired by the protests at the U.S. embassy in Cairo.”

    Susan Rice:
    "Based on the best information we have to date, what our assessment is as of the present is in fact what began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video."

    It is obvious Rice is referring to the videos inspiring the protests in Cairo and the attack in Benghazi was inspired by Cairo.

    C inspired A
    A inspired B

    Rice did not say C inspired B. Rice said A inspired B.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    May 31, 2013 3:46 p.m.

    I can't help but feel like this "righteous indignation" that the right is demonstrating is, in a way, an attempt to rationalize their conscience for the impeachable offenses committed by President Bush.

    I think they know that he screwed up big time. And now by overreacting for the IRS and Bengazhi, it somehow makes them feel better about the Bush administration's lies.

    How sad

    How many more of our dear daddies would be alive today... How many more beautiful mommies would be alive today... How many more of our precious children would be alive today had the right showed the same skeptism for Bush as they have for Obama?

    Does the right understand that every white cross represents not only a life, but a family and community? Why then... Are they so quick to send these people into harms way? In the Book of Mormon, the nephites engaged in war as a last resort. In self defense. Why then are we so eager to attack countries who haven't directly attacked us? Why isn't war a last resort anymore?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    I concur with the Oversight Review Committee report, which detailed serious problems in the security at the Benghazi mission. That report made specific recommendations for the future. In other words, that actual, serious, real-world problem at Benghazi has been thoroughly investigated and addressed.
    Let's separate out the various aspects of the Benghazi situation. Was security adequate? No, obviously not. Who carried out the attack? Investigation is on-going, with some solid intel on perps, not yet actionable.
    But the talking points? That's just silly partisan nonsense. Focusing on who said what on Sunday talk shows protects no ambassadors and catches no terrorists. Cut it out. And don't say 'the video had nothing to do with it.' State had spent the entire day dealing with fallout from the video. It's hardly surprising, in a chaotic environment, that some intel analysts conflated the video with the attack. Just simple human error, and completely inconsequential.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    May 31, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    Leading up to the passage of obamacare, all the nutty leftists on here, were going on and on about the masterful, amazingly awesome job of dispensing healthcare the VA was doing, and that was part of their selling point in favor of obamacare. Now we find out it's underfunded and scandal ridden? I am shocked, I can't believe it! I am sure the government would never do that!

  • lcg Bluffdale, UT
    May 31, 2013 2:44 p.m.

    The Benghazi attack was unabashedly blamed on a non sequential video that no one had ever seen - on daily talk shows, in the news and even at the UN for several weeks when the administration knew from the get go it was an organized targeted terrorist attack. The hours long attack and our ambassador was horribly tortured before he died - after begging for more security!

    The IRS scandal? According to the Washington Post 3 conservative groups were given the okay for a 501c4 status over the 3 year period in question while 67 liberal groups were approved - including one by Obama's half brother that was fast tracked in 30 days with with no existing address. Some conservative groups were help up for up to 3 years and are still in limbo. They were asked what they prayed for in their meetings, access to their facebook and twitter accounts, etc. These are GESTAPO methods and not appropriate in America.

    Holder lied about his knowledge to the press scandal with the paper trail to prove it. He signed off on the search warrant the for Fox News' James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 31, 2013 2:37 p.m.

    You yourself say the story changed. If the story changed, either the part that was changed, or what it was changed to, HAD to conflict. So at least ONE of them had to be untrue. Untrue=lie.

    There, I have provided the evidence. It is OBVIOUS to those who will see it.

    Theirs was an attempt to communicate the scenario that would allow the least damage to their re-election campaign. Don’t know why they bothered, the lapdog media would not have bothered, anyway.

    The talking points said a spontaneous reaction to a video (one that had been out for months on end)

    You say the talking points indicated terrorists.

    Which was it, terrorists or spontaneous uprising?

    Again a conflict – one or the other was a LIE!

    Don't you ever get tired of apologizing for this guy?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 31, 2013 2:33 p.m.


    During the May 8 congressional hearings on the Benghazi attacks, witness Gregory Hicks -- who was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli at the time of the attacks -- explained that his team had proposed that a small group of four special forces troops leave Tripoli to provide aid in Benghazi, but that they were not authorized to do so by Special Operations Command Africa, a division of the U.S. military:

    REP. ROBIN KELLY: You said that four military personnel were told not to the board that plane and that this call came from Special Operations Command Africa. Is that right?

    HICKS: That's what I understand.

    As The Wall Street Journal reported, diplomats on the ground the night of the attacks had learned of new threats to the Tripoli embassy complex, and a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed to U.S. News that the assessment of Special Operations Command Africa leadership at the time was that "it was more important for those guys to be in Tripoli" for embassy security.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    May 31, 2013 1:23 p.m.

    "the US military does not fly troops into hostile environments without any planning, specific clear and relevant intelligence or support. That's why troops boarding helicopters were told to stand down." And I ask again, who told them to stand down? Apparently only the president can do that?

    So Samuelson if an embassy/consulate/safe house is attacked many, many times don't you think there should've been planning? You don't think the state dept shouldn't have had additional protection for our citizens? Valerie jarrett in the WH has far more security then our Amb.

    BTW, if we don't send troops into hostile environments what in the heck are they doing in Afghanistan?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    May 31, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    This letter demonstrates the kind of fog you live in, when your a full on BHO brown noser. While were at it, I don't recall anyone being damaged by the watergate scandal during the Nixon administration. Nobody killed or murdered, nobody hurt financially or physically....sounds like a lot of to do about nothing!!

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    May 31, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    How can you guys live in a country that persecutes innocent republicans, watches its ambassadors killed on tv while eating popcorn, personally oversee's the IRS's attack on conservatives and patriots, forces religions to change there teachings and has invited the antichrist to the white house for dinner as soon as he done taking 26 two week vacations this year.
    oh yeah he's a marxist, communist, socialist, dictator, king, ...never mind the conflicting definitions, the fox listeners don't know the difference, and aren't going to look it up anyway.

    Maybe it's because you truly want to hate Obama and you somehow need to legitimize this hatred thru these fantasy conspiracy therories, which have little merit outside the faux family entertainers.

    The VA is just another extension of health care that the do nothing, didn't serve, warhawks see as freeloaders, you know the 47%.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    Star Bright,
    Inform yourself. "Help could have arrived?" I know that's a favorite right wing talking point, but it's nonsense. No less an expert than Bob Gates, former Defense Secretary and a Republican has made clear--the US military does not fly troops into hostile environments without any planning, specific clear and relevant intelligence or support. That's why troops boarding helicopters were told to stand down.
    As for 501 (c) (4) applications, remember that political groups are specifically prohibited from receiving tax exempt status. Lots of groups that should have been denied that status got it anyway do to all the noise about it. And don't talk to liberals about IRS targeting--during the Bush years, liberal groups were routinely harassed. I'm not saying the IRS was right; I am saying, once again, no actual harm was done.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 31, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    If Obama's apologists spent half as much time defending the indefensible and spent twice as much time reading BOTH sides, they might finally see that Obama's actions are a scourge on America. No less an "expert" than Bob Woodward, the journalist who helped bring down the Nixon Presidency, has aimed his scorn at Obama, not because Woodward is some kind of "right wing" extremist, but because Woodward, unlike Obama's apologists, does not believe a word that Obama says or that Obama's friends say about Obama.

    When a top-flight democrat and a top-notch journalist can punch holes in Obama's tall-tales, maybe Obama's apologists need to take note. Watching Obama steer the Ship-of-State into an iceberg should be more than even Obama's apologists can stomach.

  • Star Bright Salt Lake City, Ut
    May 31, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    Of course one of the "real scandal" is how our servicemen/woman are treted by this government!
    Interesting - only harm in Benghazi was people were "slightly less informed for a few days."
    So help could've arrived before the last 2 brave men were murdered. When notified about the Amb - they were asked to list him as "John Doe." Are you kidding me? Who gave the order to stand down? Where was the president? Why only one phone call? Obama didn't know about the Amb death until the next morning!
    This administration lied!
    "None one denied..." So those people/organizations who have waited 3 years and are still waiting should be consoled? Was it OK to intimidate these groups and even ask them what was said in their prayers? Romney supporter in Idaho had to spend nearly $100,000 to defend from IRS & he did nothing wrong. Then they went after the top supporters. Remember it could be you next time. BTW, ask Gibson Guitars about it.
    Sorry Mike, Shulman visited over 157 times. No one denies it was with Pres 0bama! There are charts that show his visits against all others. Amazing!

  • Joan Watson TWIN FALLS, ID
    May 31, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    A little government wrong here, a little government wrong there. How many 'winked' at little wrongs a corruption make?

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 9:22 a.m.

    >Lost in DC
    You claim to be familiar with my work. So you are aware that I have recently and publicly called for President Obama's impeachment, right?
    What I care about is evidence. And there is no evidence, none, that the Obama administration lied to the American people in regards to Benghazi. None. Zero. Zippo. Bupkus.
    What the evidence does clearly show is that in the midst of a very chaotic situation, lots of conflicting information was being processed, and in an attempt to communicate the best conclusion reached through all of it, the talking points got the story a little wrong. And I do mean a little wrong. The talking points did say that we had been attacked by terrorists. Just got the motivation a little wrong. This had no effect on the election. Give it up.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    May 31, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    Every time I read a Mike Richards post I end up asking myself why I do so. Most, like todays is nothing but a rehash of the sludge promulgated by right wing web sites. Reality in that view, is nothing but a black and white universe where all things "right" are right and all things "left" are wrong... or course left wing sites are as guilty only in reverse. Would that life were that simple. Impeach? Yah, that really worked with President Clinton didn't it. They couldn't muster but a handful of votes in the Senate even though they controlled the chamber. Now Clinton is getting close to a 70% approval rating in the polls. Nice work, guys. Want to try again on President Obama? Go for it, but don't be surprised if the backlash ushers Hillary Clinton into the oval office.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 31, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    It's true. The recent 'scandals' are not as serious as those screaming about them want them to be.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    May 31, 2013 8:44 a.m.


    I am very surprised with the problems at the VA. I thought when General Shinseki was appointed, the VA would be in good hands.

    As for the IRS:
    The scandal is they are severly understaffed, particularly in the area of scrutinizing exempt applications.

    Over 80 percent of applications submitted for tax-exempt status were from conservative organizations.

    The only organization to have its tax-exempt status revoked was one run by Democratic women to try and encourage more women to run for office.

    There is no requirement that any 501(c)(4) organization apply for approval of their tax-exempt status. If they do not apply, there is a risk of audit and disqualification down the road, but they are not required to apply to be a 501(c)(4) entity.

    There was no limitation imposed by the IRS on these groups' ability to influence the 2012 election.

    Many of the IRS requests for information came about because of activities observed by agents in real time.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Makid, Republicans were howling to the administration about IRS abuses. Their complaints were ignored.

    I have relatives who serve the government overseas. It is frightening to know that under attack they would not be helped or rescued if it would make this administration look bad during a political campaign.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    We also know that Republicans sat on the IRS information for more than 9 months before they brought it forward. Why didn't they bring it up last year during the election?

    That question should be asked more than any other question in the entire IRS "Scandal" debacle. What are or were the Republicans trying to hide. If it was as they are saying now to protect the American people, why not bring it out when they first learned about it last July?

    That is what people should be focusing on, what were they covering up?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:15 a.m.

    Eric – one of our more eloquent BO apologists.

    So glibly dismisses being lied to by the BO misadministration. So what if BO lied, he asks. Eric does not care that people were misinformed.

    The lies were intended to divert attention from this misadministration’s complete mishandling of the situation before and during its occurrence.

    I am disappointed, but not surprised, that they were able to distract Eric from the real scandal.

    He also calmly dismisses IRS abuses.

    “So what” he asks, “if a few groups (opposed to BO and his cabal) were subjected to additional scrutiny? They got their status in the end.”

    He does not care that the abuses cost them additional time and money, after all, they likely opposed BO. He appears unaware that there are timing issues that impact the goals and designs of almost any group. The status is less valuable if the timing is delayed.

    It’s akin to being charged a premium for concert tickets, but not receiving them until the show is over. But according to Eric, that’s OK, because they got the tickets.

    Thank you for pointing out BO's additional scandal

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:11 a.m.


    I think we learned yesterday that the head of the IRS visited the White House 118 times, not the President. Many people work in the house. There were bi-weekly meetings of staff about the implementation of the Affordable Care Act which the head of the IRS often attended.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    May 31, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    No harm, no foul? Who is sitting in the White House today? Would he have been re-elected if he had not covered up Benghazi until after the election? Would he have been re-elected if he had not used the power of the I.R.S. against those who opposed him? Would he have been re-elected if he had not thrown the 1st Amendment protections of a free press under the bus?

    Not only was there a foul but now this nation will have to endure yet another president being impeached for lying and for using the power of his office against his political "enemies".

    The scandal grows everyday. Just yesterday we learned that the head of the I.R.S. visited Obama 118 times, or virtually everyday that Obama was not on vacation, on some expensive outing at taxpayers' expense or on the golf-course.

    The dots are being connected, one by one. Obama will be known as the most corrupt president to ever hold that office before this is over.

    No harm? He can never repay the damage that he has done to America.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    May 31, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    Good points. And the VA problems span far more than just one presidency.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    May 31, 2013 6:27 a.m.

    How confused this guy really is. The VA might be dealing with people badly which is wrong but to believe the other two items mentioned are nothing is wrong.
    In Bengazi, we ignored calls for help and we left people to fend for themselves without doing or trying anything and then we lie about it. Sorry but that is something.
    The IRS targeting groups is not wrong? Are you crazy? And by the way many have not been helped yet.
    It just might help if somebody was actually in charge of the federal government, we need a leader not a campaigner.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 31, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    In the 60 and 70's It was a lot worse. If I was to compare then and now would be like night and day. They are like every place else, doing the best they can with what they've got. I believe that there is honor in in the VA. I respect them.

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 31, 2013 12:46 a.m.

    While we're piling on the Obama administration, here's another scandal that has gone unmentioned in most of the press: HSBC the British banking giant, has been laundering money for the Mexican drug cartels, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. Not one single HSBC exec is going to face prison time for this crime.

    A poor kid selling marijuana on the street will certainly get jail time for his low dollar crime, but launder hundreds of millions of dollars and simply pay a fine that is meaningless in terms of your overall wealth. Just one more example of how standards of law and justice apply differently to the rich than they do to you and me.

    Oh and I agree, there not much there with Benghazi and the IRS "scandal".