Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Obama's General Synod speech prompts IRS to investigate UCC's tax-exempt status

Written by J. Bennett Guess
February 26, 2008

The Internal Revenue Service has notified the United Church of Christ's national offices in Cleveland, Ohio, that the IRS has opened an investigation into U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's address at the UCC's 2007 General Synod as the church engaging in "political activities."

In the IRS letter dated Feb. 20, the IRS said it was initiating a church tax inquiry "because reasonable belief exists that the United Church of Christ has engaged in political activities that could jeopardize its tax-exempt status."

The Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, called the investigation "disturbing" but said the investigation would reveal that the church did nothing improper or illegal.

Obama, an active member of the United Church of Christ for more than 20 years, addressed the UCC's 50th anniversary General Synod in Hartford, Conn., on June 23, 2007, as one of 60 diverse speakers representing the arts, media, academia, science, technology, business and government. Each was asked to reflect on the intersection of their faith and their respective vocations or fields of expertise. The invitation to Obama was extended a year before he became a Democratic presidential candidate.

"The United Church of Christ took great care to ensure that Senator Obama's appearance before the 50th anniversary General Synod met appropriate legal and moral standards," Thomas told United Church News. "We are confident that the IRS investigation will confirm that no laws were violated."

@ UCofC News


One has to wonder if this is not a "Rovian" maneuver to begin with. When BO takes care to ensure that their are no conflicts with current law then gets slammed with this it is eerily similar to the DEA punishing doctors for prescribing medical marijuana. One also has to wonder where this issue from the IRS originated, the RNC is the likely culprit or even the WH could be involved, thats the beauty of being fascist, everything remains hidden and out of sight so as to not comprimise the integrity of the facsist right.

Now more than ever we need to throw open the curtain and see who is really pulling the ropes and levers. My guess would be the BIG MONEY interests responsible for the current reign of terror right here in the good ole USA.

They hate to lose.



DEN said...

*crickets chirping*

DEN said...

Well judging from the comments yesterday there is a slight disagreement going here about which candidate is best.


Discussion is good, clears the air, as long as we don't get into personal attacks like the real candidates do(they get paid to).

Score so far:

Alan- Obama
Micki- Hillary
Sal- Paul
Doc- ?
Hajji- Obama
Jeanne- ?
Den- Nader(yea right!)Obama

David B. Benson said...


Once again.

Be sure to play nice now.

Den --- You could mark me down for Christine G., but she's not running.


Saladin said...

It's true DEN, Warmongering CFR puppets are simply not my cup of tea. Especially those who are dancing on the strings of that lunatic Zbigniew Brzezinski and promise to do Israel's bidding come hell or high water. You can call me a purist for peace ;-)

David B. Benson said...

Sad story:

Exxon Valdez oil spill lingers in Alaska

tytandanmar said...

Count me for Obama. I will not vote for Clinton or McCain. They are nothing but entrenched politicians who will change nothing if elected. At least with Obama, there is a chance for change. Whether it happens or not remains to be seen, but I do not fear an Obama presidency the way I do a Clinton or McCain presidency.

David B. Benson said...

Scary story?

Poll make McCain president

micki said...

Micki- Hillary


Says who?

My guy was Edwards. I've just never gotten on-board the bash-Hillary bandwagon. I think it's unseemly and hateful.

But, you're right I'm NOT for Obama. No way. Never.

Alan said...

Scary story?

Yeah it is! But, I find those results hard to believe. McCain is the 'war candidate' and about 70% of Americans are against the war now. I hear alot of conservatives rail against him. So where do these numbers that support McCain come from? It's not the left, and it's not the right... and I don't think there's enough voters in the 'middle' to elect him, even if he was able to get them all (and I think that's highly unlikely he could get all of 'em).

DEN said...

Those numbers and this story:

Blames Clinton, Obama for describing situation as bad

The billionaire investor who recently purchased Tribune Co., the parent firm of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune, described the economy as solid for farmers, credit companies and CEOs with strong balance sheets in a CNBC interview Tuesday -- right on the heels of several falling economic indicators.

Sam Zell, the equity fund titan who owns Tribune, ironically has struggled to maintain control over his own paper. The LA Times fired its top editor in January after he rejected a Tribune order to cut $4 million from the newsroom, one year after his predecessor was fired for the same thing.

Zell also blamed Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for "much of the current economic troubles."

Take a look at the new owner of the LATimes

Nasty evil rich dude was the creator of the bogus poll if not the promoter. Look at his picture and tell me he is a 'nice guy'.


Alan said...

Colbert channeled Micki!
There once was a man named McCain

Who had the whole White House to gain,

But he was quite a hobbyist

Of boning his lobbyists,

So much for his ’08 campaign.
In the Chronicle today, there's a good 'toon of McCain in the middle of the bed, with 3 dudes wearing "Lobbyist" t-shirts on each side of him, along with McCain saying "What woman?".

David B. Benson said...

Micki -- Willing to express your objections to Obama?

His climate policy statement appears to be reasonably sound. About all I care about these days...

Saladin said...

Mr. Benson, if you are willing to continue the slaughter of millions of innocent people in exchange for climate salvation then Obama is your man! The more dead people the less CO2!

ยบ¿carol said...

Score so far:

Alan- Obama
Micki- Hillary
Sal- Paul
Doc- ?
Hajji- Obama
Jeanne- ?
Den- Nader(yea right!)Obama
Carol - Edwards *sniff* Then it will hafta be Obama, I guess.

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Perhaps the slaughter has reached the millions by now, depending upon just which areas of strife are included.

But climate change will lead to even greater resource wars, with many, many more millions dead.

Possibly billions, even some abrupt climate change occurs. Be wise to head all that off.

So far, very little of what must be done is even started.

David B. Benson said...

Carol --- You need to change your scorecard:

Micki --- Edwards sniff, now ??

DEN said...

I knew I was forgetting someone dammit!

I hate getting old!

David B. Benson said...

Err, scratch even, replace with if.

Scary word, if. Nobody knows what or when an abrupt climate change might occur.

DEN said...

Oil @$102/barrel, glad I ride a motorcycle, yikes another $40 billion in profit I suppose.

Wonder what would happen if everyone just stayed home for a week?

David B. Benson said...

Den --- It's called peak oil. Happening now. Right before your eyes.

At the same time that the Indians and Chinese can (finally) afford automobiles.

If by everybody, you ment everybody in the U.S.A., then the price of crude would change very little.

tytandanmar said...

Has anyone heard the rumour about Hillary dropping out if she doesn't win Texas and/or Ohio with big margins or doesn't win at all? Supposedly it is because if she is behind in the delegate count come convention time and a major rift occurs in the party, Clinton Inc. doesn't want the blame. Especially if Obama has enough votes to win the nomination. I can only see this happening if Clinton Inc. believes Obama cannot beat McCain. They will gracefully bow out now and vocally support Obama for party unity but will not lift a finger to help him get elected. That includes Clinton Inc. staying on the sidelines both monetarily and physically and behind the scenes, emploring supporters to save their money until 2012. If she makes it a fight now and loses, there is no way she can come back in 2012 especially if Obama wins. It will be Kennedy challenging Carter all over again. Say what you want about Carter with his misguided policies and all, but he was still a likeable person. Hillary does not enjoy such popularity.

If McCain wins, she will be running against a 74 year old man, who obviously will have continued the war in Iraq. Right now McCain is considered a likeable guy as was Bush 43 early on. But after 4 years, if he should try for re-election, he may end up as Bush 41. A one termer.

Of course, all this is a gamble on Clinton Inc.'s part. If Obama wins, it will be 2016 before Hillary could mount another challenge. Could she be a politically viable force in 2016? I doubt it. Again just a rumour. My gut feeling tells me there will be a knock down drag out fight for the nomination now. This could be her last chance.

DEN said...

Next 9/11 coning soon:

Thousands of foreign student pilots have been able to enroll and obtain pilot licenses from U.S. flight schools, despite tough laws passed in the wake of the 9/ll attacks, according to internal government documents obtained by ABC News.

"Some of the very same conditions that allowed the 9-11 tragedy to happen in the first place are still very much in existence today," wrote one regional security official to his boss at the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.

"Thousands of aliens, some of whom may very well pose a threat to this country, are taking flight lessons, being granted FAA certifications and are flying planes," wrote the TSA official, Richard A. Horn, in 2005, complaining that the students did not have the proper visas.

Under the new laws, American flight schools are only supposed to provide pilot training to foreign students who have been given a background check by the TSA and have a specific type of visa.

But in thousands of cases that has not happened, according to the documents and current and former government officials involved in the program.

"TSA's enforcement is basically nonexistent," said former FAA inspector Bill McNease, in an interview for ABC News' "World News With Charles Gibson."


Oh yea, just the Dems fault because they did not pass the chimps wiretapping BS, yea sure!

TSA= Totally Stupid Agency

David B. Benson said...

Oh goody!

Haynes steps down

A small positive step for the Gitmo inmates.

micki said...

First, I have no illusions about changing anyone's mind on Barack Obama. No way. Emotions run hotter than facts. Dr. B, if you have your mind made up that he's A-OK on climate change, I doubt if I can alter your view either, but I'll take your request seriously.

I have a list of reasons why I cannot support him (nor will I vote for him -- if he's so BLUE, my vote in Washington State won't alter the outcome of the Electoral College).

But, taking just one example of his ever-changing history on the climate crisis, I distrust him on COAL. He has played both sides of the fence on coal-to-liquid as the political landscape moves under his dancing feet.

As a co-sponsor (and, I think, author) of S. 154, Coal To Liquid Fuel Energy Act of 2007, he tried to satisfy the coal industry, but got into trouble with environmentalists. As his presidential campaign advanced, his aides described his "new" position on CTL as a "clarification." (Oops. Please just ignore that bill I sponsored RECENTLY that favored thecoal industry.)

Obama's campaign, when it saw he couldn't have it both ways, with the coal industry and the environmentalists, on CTL (and new coal-fired plants, which he favors), he began to use language that provokes my skepticism about his honesty and intentions -- in explaining his changing views on coal, he claims he's trying to "form alliances across traditional divides." Well, guess who's on one side of that divide? Obama's top environment and energy advisor on his campaign, Bob Sussman, spent much of his career lobbying and lawyering with the firm Latham & Watkins, which represents the coal power utilities.

Obama is included in a bipartisan group of lawmakers, to push to provide federal loan guarantees, tax breaks and other subsidies to spur the production of fuel from coal.

A study concluded that turning coal into liquid fuel yields 125% more carbon dioxide than producing diesel fuel and 66% more than gasoline. If the carbon dioxide is captured and permanently stored, liquid coal emits 20% more greenhouse gas than diesel but 11% less than conventional gasoline. (Argonne National Laboratory)

Doesn't this mean that in a best case scenario -- if all new CTL plants are accompanied by CO2 sequestration facilities -- you come out with a fuel that's barely better on greenhouse-gas emissions than gasoline?

With regard to global warming, the very best we could do with CTL is stay on the same disastrous trajectory we are on now. Should that deserve taxpayer subsidies?

Obama, who has sponsored separate legislation to cap carbon dioxide emissions, said his support for coal fuel depended on finding a way to remove the greenhouse gases emitted in production.

But the bill does not require that the fuel be produced without increasing greenhouse gas emissions, though it does offer tax incentives to encourage the use of technology that captures carbon dioxide.

For me, I view the CTL issue as a clear dividing line for legislators. Is Obama serious about global warming, or is he more concerned with the parochial corporate interests of the coal industry?

And, as far as his connections to ELECTRICITY AND EXELON, go here for an interesting overview from The Baltimore Sun.

I thought this was pretty damned funny, even though it's serious. Too bad Obama can't be as honest as Joe Biden:

Bill Maher: Senator Biden, forgetting about the upcoming Iowa caucus for just a moment, which would you honestly say is more likely to contribute to the death of your average American: a terrorist strike or high-fructose corn syrup and air that has too much coal in it?

Joe Biden: Air that has too much coal in it. Corn syrup next, and then a terrorist attack. But that does not in any way diminish the fact that a terrorist attack is real. It's not an existential threat to bring down the country, but does have the capacity still it can kill thousands of people. But hundreds of thousands of people die and their lives are shortened because of coal plants, coal-fired plants, and because of corn syrup.


DEN said...

Ty, it is in Hill's best interest to stay in it until the convention, she really needs to tone down the shrillness a bit, she acts panicked.

Might quit, might not, speculation without more information is folly.

Boyd Coddington died today, R.I.P.

He along with Chip Foose and others established a new genre of street rod art.
He was 63.

Hate to see the car guys go.

David B. Benson said...

Micki --- Thanks. He obviously has not been climate friendly. However, he has changed his mind. Or rather his campaign documents say the right things.

No guarantee he isn't being honest about this.

Possibly it is a question of which person running for prez would have the longest coattails, bringing in a super-majority in both houses?

Can't say I feel that good about the 2008 elections. Too much rides on actually doing the right things, starting ASAP!

P.S. The corn syrup bit is just silly. The coal parts are not.

David B. Benson said...

Juan Cole today

Informed Comment

appears to favor BHO.

micki said...

However, he has changed his mind. Or rather his campaign documents say the right things.

No guarantee he isn't being honest about this.

No guarantee that he is being honest either.

I recall when many of the gullible in the land fell for a compassionate conservative and found out, too late, that the "guarantee" was invalid.

But, really Dr. B! To author and/or co-sponsor that legislation just months ago and NOW he's changed his mind?


David B. Benson said...

Micki --- No guarantee that he is being honest ...

Yes, that was what I meant to write.


Possibly so. The other possibility is that he has actually been convinced. Hard to tell about someone about whom so little is known and is not a scientitst.

Is BHO another lawyer?

tytandanmar said...


I do forsee her staying in all the way. But, should she lose both Texas and Ohio, there will be calls for her to step aside especially now that McCain has wrapped up the nomination. And you know that pressure will be stepped up even further if she loses Pennsylvania. I still believe the Clinton team is in it to the end, but will it do more harm to them than good? Remember, we are dealing with a political team that has been together since the early 70's. They are smart and shrewd whin it comes to politics. If they see 2012 as a better opportunity they will take it. If they do, look for Hillary not to run again for the Senate and pull a few years of Al Gore type activism. Then again, she and Al may be vying for the presidency in 2012. At least there are interesting scenarios on the Democrat side. The Republican side is quite ridiculous if you ask me.

David B. Benson said...

I doubt that Al Gore has any interest in running for prez at any time in the future.

I suppose his attitude might change...

Anonymous said...

Is BHO another lawyer?

Harvard Law School grad.

Chicago Sun Times: Obama admits he played a mostly behind-the-scenes role at his law firm, Miner Barnhill & Galland. He researched the law, drafted motions, prepared for depositions and did other less glamorous work during his three years full-time and eight years "of counsel" to the firm.

"I was an associate, and a lot of my work was in the research and writing," Obama told the Sun-Times.

****"I was one of the better writers. I ended up doing the more cerebral writing,**** less trial work," Obama added. "That's actually something I regret -- not doing more trial work."

"He wrote lots of substantial memos, but he didn't try any cases," said Judson Miner, a partner in the firm who was Obama's boss.

A search of all the cases in Cook County Circuit Court in which Obama made an appearance since he graduated from Harvard in 1991 shows: Zero.

His practice was confined mainly to federal court in Chicago, where he made formal appearances in only five district court cases and another five in cases before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals -- a total of 10 cases in his legal career.

*****And I'm also extremely modest about my superb skills, he said humbly.

DEN said...

Ty, crazy as it seems I expect them to both be on the main ticket, as two they have more strength than the geezer can muster no matter how much they jigger the machines.

Obama-Prez, Hill-Vice prez?

They both get more press than the geezer would ever hope for now.

Mis-selecting the VP would tilt the scales considerably and jeopardize the Dems chances of winning.

Either candidate must select wisely or face defeat.

Hajji said...


For good or bad, (depending on your POV) I'm off immediately after work on Friday for Cincinnati.

Our goal is canvassing at least One Million homes, in Ohio alone, on Saturday and Sunday. Monday and Tuesday will follow with one of the most intensive GOTV (get out the vote) efforts in history.

I most likely won't be posting here until Wednesday at the earliest. I'll check e-mail and such, but I'm gonna give as much of my waking time as possible to turning out the vote.

I know some of you see such effort as misguided or fruitless (or just plain fruity!) but I can do little to change the trajectory of this nation. I CAN do this, however, and I believe it to be the right thing, right now.

I thank you for all the support you've shown me and my family over the past few years. If it weren't for so much time reading the things you've posted, following the links and imprinting my brain with your words and positions and infinite wealth of information, I'd probably still be in the recliner...watching and bitching as the world spins in revolutions without cause.

There's only so much one can do, sitting in front of the computer.
Much to Jill's chagrin, I DO plan on being as personally active AFTER January of next year as I can be.

You see, no matter WHO is president, no matter in WHAT direction they might try and drive the collective conciousness, it just won't be to the benefit of the vast majority unless we get as many folks, well at least PAYING ATTENTION, forget active INVOLMENT as possible.

Doc Benson keeps showing us how critical the next few years will be in determining the state of the planet.

Saladin keeps showing us how detrimental governmental intrusion can be to our personal freedoms and how devestating it can be to people across the globe.

Alan keeps us informed on the nuts and bolts...and NASCAR and UFC!

Carey reminds us how it is to feel everything, sometimes all at once.

Carol, Jeanne, et al...

In other places, the Captain, eyes, John Schwarz, Pandemoniac and the rest all have many things to say and much to learn from...

Hell, I'm even finding myself aligned with Tytandanmar these days...if THAT can happen, well then there IS hope.

Mostly, we all want the same things... we just want 'em in different ways, through different means.

I wish all of you the same thing I wish for my family and me.

Security, health, prosperity and a chance at complacency. Would that we all die seeing our loved ones doing ok, in a world that was pretty much gonna be ok.

For that I wish.

text me @ 864-915-5283



Hajji said...



I keep saying like a mantra Obama/Edwards, Obama/Edwards...

I think there might be something with Elizabeth's health, more than anything else...just what I've heard from local sources.


tytandanmar said...

Den, correct again. Obama/Clinton or Clinton/Obama would beat a McCain/? ticket. This is why I believe that will never happen. History will be made on the Democrat side regardless of who wins the nomination. If Hillary wins, she will not want to share the limelight with the first black VP. If Obama wins, he will not want to share it with the first female VP especially when a former president comes with the package. If Hillary wins the nomination, I think she needs Obama to win but she will be too selfish to choose him. If Obama wins the nomination, he doesn't need Hillary to beat McCain. Conservatives are not going to come out for McCain against a candidate whose last name is not Clinton.

All in all, at least it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

tytandanmar said...


As Mr. Obama told you in South Carolina, "Let's go get them!"

I wish you and the team of volunteers you will be working with success and especially a memorable experience.

Re Jill: Between the both of you and all the volunteer work you both have done and the military service of her children, I can't imagine either of you not involved in something. One of these days you will both be able to sit back in front of the fire place with a glass of Merlot and look at each other an just smile. Then you will know your work has just begun!

Be safe in your travel. I still need my Obama button.

DEN said...

T, I suspect there are issues with Elizabeth's health but have not heard anything pro or con.

Campaign rigors might be too much.

They are such nice people too.

I wish them well.

tytandanmar said...

After debate questions:

Why all the secrecy with the Clintons and tax returns?

How can Hillary blame the Bush Administration for delaying the release of documents relating to the Clinton administration when the documents being requested are already in possession of the Clintons at the presidential library in Arkansas?

Why didn't Obama answer Hillary's demand for "rejecting" Mr. Farakahn's statements instead of "denouncing" them with "It depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is. I would have given a case of beer to see the look on her face had he said that.

DEN said...

$3.39/gal to keep the oil co. profits up for regular unleaded here and climbing, some one said $4.00/gal is coming for summer travel.


Try sleeping with that thought, UGH!

DEN said...

Ty, there ya go picking nits again.

I'm off to dreamland, Ta ta!

tytandanmar said...

Are they not legitimate questions?

And, besides, I do not part with my beer easily.

tytandanmar said...

Okay, so I am picking nits.

Okay, I do part with my beer easily... when nature calls.

But I at least get to drink it first.

Alan said...

Speaking of beer, check out the Beer Can House.
Call John Milkovisch a man ahead of his time.

No one talked about recycling or reducing their carbon footprint back when Milkovisch started covering his house with beer cans in the 1960s. And folk art was something you might find in Appalachia or Latin America, not a working-class neighborhood near Memorial Park.

Today, Milkovisch's creation is celebrated as one of those quirky, only-in-Houston experiences unknown to many natives but a draw for tourists from all over the world. Its $202,000 renovation will be unveiled Friday at a party billed as the Beer Can Opener, and it reopens to the public next month.
It goes on... and there's a video clip there as well.