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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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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