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Over Easy: Friday Free for All


What's the news today?

Whew! It has been quite a week, hasn’t it? In case you were out in the garden, or moving, or in a cave somewhere…

You probably know that the IRS “scandal” is really no scandal at all! But here are things maybe you didn’t know (I didn’t):

IRS Sent Same Letter to Democrats that Fed Tea Party Row

501(c)(4) certification is voluntary!

The IRS doesn’t require so-called 501(c)(4) organizations to apply for tax-exempt status. If anyone wants to start a social welfare group, they can just do it, then submit the corresponding tax return (form 990) at the end of the year. To be sure, the IRS certainly allows groups to apply for tax-exempt status if they want to make their status official. But the application is completely voluntary, making it a strange basis for an alleged witch hunt.

And from the Inspector General’s Report (PDF)

… approximately one-third of the applications identified for processing by the team of specialists included Tea Party, Patriots, or 9/12 in their names, while the remainder did not.

Seems that the National Mortgage Settlement still allows banks to steal homes. David Dayen gives us the details.

The White House released the Benghazi, Benghazi!! BENGHAZI! (h/t Charlie Pierce) emails, and they’re pretty much a nothingburger. And did you know that 39% of voters don’t know where Benghazi is? (PDF)

One interesting thing about the voters who think Benghazi is the biggest political scandal
in American history is that 39% of them don’t actually know where it is. 10% think it’s in
Egypt, 9% in Iran, 6% in Cuba, 5% in Syria, 4% in Iraq, and 1% each in North Korea and
Liberia with 4% not willing to venture a guess.

Smugglers are bringing buckets of KFC chicken through the Gaza tunnels. I’ve always liked KFC chicken, but not THAT much.

Oh, and the debt crisis? Um, never mind.

If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $642 billion, CBO estimates, the smallest shortfall since 2008.

While all this is happening, we also have tornadoes in north Texas, and wildfires in SoCal and Wisconsin! Never a dull moment!

Late update: Christy Hardin Smith is going to have chemo for her breast cancer.

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I retired from the University of Notre Dame in the Office of Information Technology in 2010. I'm divorced, with two grown children and 8 grandchildren. I'm a lifelong liberal and a "nonbeliever."