Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 184

On Politics
I laughed at the video of the IRS workers doing the Cuban Shuffle. After all, how many organizations do team building exercises? However, their use of Star Trek and Gilligan’s Island didn’t make me smile.

As Washington continues to pursue the IRS issue, politicians continue to politicize the event while avoiding the tough question: Do political groups fit the definition for 501 (C)(4) tax exemption as an organization organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare? Here are examples, and the regulation is below.

The promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office. However, a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity. However, any expenditure it makes for political activities may be subject to tax under section 527(f).

See the IRS-cited examples for yourself.

This week marked the passing of the last WW II veteran to serve in Congress – Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ). It’s obvious that the current generation of Congress could learn much from The Greatest Generation, but fat chance of that happening.

Two interesting reads about dysfunctional government from the AP and Washington Post .

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Gap forced to recall pants after man dies eating 37 pairs of corduroys
  • Angelina Jolie stuns on first rollerblading competition since double mastectomy
  • Family’s euphemism for genitals really weird
  • Company hosts fun night for employees to get drunk and complain
  • Vain Galapagos tortoise trying to pass for 90
  • Teen declares, “You’re not my real step-dad!”

Interesting Reads
Obamacare indicators
David Ignatius on Obama and counterterrorism
Americans and financial literacy
The Breadwinning Females from Pew Research
Black/White marijuana arrest gap in charts
Adrenalin: A book review
Comparisons and human cognition

This past week was the 71st anniversary of WW II’s Battle of Midway. Because John Erickson is such a WW II buff, here are two links: Pictures & Maps and the Japanese story.

CNN’s Jeanne Moos reports on a moose statue attracting a moose.

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On Potpourri
I am proud to say that I smiled the first time I saw this Cheerios commercial, thus sadly shake my head at the controversy.

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Ohio State University President Gordon Gee put himself in the negative spotlight, so he retired. Good riddance – I never cared for him.

For those needing to know: GEICO’s Hump Day commercial with the camel does air on days other than Wednesday.

I hope to announce the next act of Time: The Musical on the next Monday Morning Entertainment post.

There will be a Saturday Morning Cartoon post this weekend.

As a change of pace, here is a peaceful sendoff into your weekend. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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52 thoughts on “Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 184

  1. That Gieco commercial made me smile. I had heard about it but I hadn’t yet seen it. So thanks for that!

    In regards to the IRS scandal, I agree that there needs to be some more questions being asked. However, I do feel that the organization ultimately in charge of the finances of the common man decided to foolishly splurge. And for that, amongst other things, I feel that some hard looks need to be taken to the organization. And to any other such organization that does the exact same thing.

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    • Peter,
      I am having a difficult time seeing that political groups …. both from the right and the left … qualify for that tax exemption – thus that is not the question being asked. Meanwhile, cheers to the Geico commercial

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  2. I wasn’t aware of that Cheerios commercial until your post Frank. I thought it was adorable, but I’m not surprised that bigots who fantasize about turning back the clock have their knickers in a twist over it. May they stuff themselves with heart-unhealthy breakfast fare. The lonely moose story was a lot of fun. And you’re doing another Saturday morning (or, for me, possibly Sunday afternoon) cartoon post! Yay!

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  3. Glad to hear the hump day commercial airs on other days. I shared it with a few friends and they loved it. Thanks for making me look cool!

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  4. Cheerios commercial very cute. Moose? Haaa excellent.
    Congress Indeed they have alot to learn from Greatest G!! Happy weekend sir!

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  5. Well if you didn’t know I am one part of a mixed race couple so the Cheerio’s controversy simply pissed me off. The narrow-minded bigots of this nation need to pull their heads out of their nether regions, get over it.

    The moose, oh my now that was funny!

    As to the IRS issues, why is no one asking the right question? The question you asked? Do any of these political groups (Right or Left) qualify? They do not in my opinion and none of them should be exempt. They are political groups who do not one single thing for the public good.

    The reading looks great today, I am saving your link for later as I am pressed for time and must come back.

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    • Val,
      I don’t want to claim to know your reaction, but I see your point. Personally, I am proud to say that I didn’t notice …. and still don’t …. yet remain disgusted.

      Why are is Washington asking the right question? That’s easy – they want to make it a political issue, and they benefit from contributions and work of these orgs.

      As one I know who will examine the reading, enjoy!

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    • Good Morning Alex,
      LOL … what’s right …. the closest thing you come to a TV is when you pass one elsewhere. 😉 …. but I think you will enjoy the hump-day commercial (linked in the post).

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  6. I also think that “dinky” is a rather weird term, but it’s hardly worth writing to the newspaper about. 😕 I smiled at the Cheerios commercial whilst listening to the Adagio for Strings. Nice combination, Frank. 😀

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  7. I am as Guap…there was controversy in the Cheerios commercial? Seriously? The kid poured too many Cheerios on her Daddy and he made a mess on the carpet when he got up? That’s all I saw. Ugh…really. Come on…

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  8. I doubt seriously that the tea party groups applying for that status were anything close to social welfare promoters. What a stupid scam! I don’t blame the IRS for taking the time to investigate those organizations. Seems to me they were doing their jobs. What a mess.

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      • I believe what happened is that a flood of these applications came in and alerted the IRS to what appeared to be a scam. And so their attention became focused on this anomaly. I’m not willing to assume that anyone was targeted for political reasons. Can’t people just do their jobs? And why isn’t the discussion about misuse of this category?

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  9. I heard about the Cheerios controversy but hadn’t actually bothered to watch the ad until now… I’m actually shocked and a bit confused that there was any ‘controversy’ over this. Also, I’m suddenly wondering, are there actually that few mixed-race couples around in advertising and the media, that this one stirs up a small storm? I can’t say I’ve really noticed one way or the other. I’m sure there’s a PhD student out there somewhere who has done a thorough analysis…

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    • Twixt,
      Glad you were able to see the commercial here. Very sad that many in society still feel that way. …. and I agree that there must be a PhD student out there with your answer. 😉

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  10. Hump Day commercial is great, as are this bunch of onions. My fav is, “Teen declares, “You’re not my real step-dad!””, says a lot!!!
    As for the question of whether political parties, groups, etc should be tax exempt? Answer is simple and logical, no they shouldn’t. It’s a no brainer, but apparently those in Washington with no brains are having difficulty finding the answer.

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  11. As usual, I love your posts because they make me think and smile. The unrequited Moose love is sad/funny/amazing. The negative reaction to the Cheerios commercial is mind-boggling. Thanks.

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  12. Looking forward to tomorrow’s Time announcement. “Teen declares”, had me howling! And Cheerios? That is a precious commercial, and I don’t even like Cheerios!! No comments on government, as I’m trying to keep down my coffee, and want to enjoy what’s left of the weekend. 😀 Hope you had a lovely weekend Frank!

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    • Victoria,
      As I write this, the Time announcement is about 6 hours away. Gotta love knowing that at least one person sits in anticipation. 😉 No problem not commenting about government, after all, not much nice to say about the sad state of affairs.

      Like

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