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Monday, June 3, 2013
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Is the IRS scandal like Watergate?
Guests: Bob Woodward

"Talking Points is not linking the IRS scandal to the White House, all we are doing is reporting the facts. Last week we told you that former IRS chief Douglas Shulman visited the Obama White House 157 times, far more than any other department head. Before my analysis last Thursday, there were no mentions last week of Mr. Shulman's abundant visits to the White House on CNN, NBC, CBS, or ABC. That is what is called a news blackout - if the IRS boss visits the White House 157 times, that's a big story. It would be wrong for any honest reporter to lay the IRS scandal at the feet of President Obama, but there is evidence that his deputies are involved. Again, I'm not saying the current IRS scandal is Watergate, but I am saying we should aggressively investigate the story. The sad truth is that some of President Obama's supporters don't want to know the truth, and it was the same way back in 1972. It all comes back to honest reporting, and in 2013 the situation is much bleaker than it was in 1972. Back then the press reviled President Nixon; today much of the press reveres President Obama."

The Factor asked Bob Woodward of Watergate fame whether there are similarities between that scandal and the current IRS situation. "I agree that this needs to be investigated," Woodward began, "and the White House needs to answer questions about the 157 visits by the head of the IRS. I'll put in a request and I have found them to be responsive to these things. Much hangs in the balance here - not just the reputation of the news media for some form of neutrality, but the whole relationship that the White House and the government have with the public. There is deep, deep suspicion about this White House in many quarters, lots of people are asking questions. This is not Watergate, but the road to Watergate is concealment." The Factor agreed that President Obama should aggressively seek the truth: "He could easily come out through his spokesperson and say this is where Mr. Shulman was, here is who me met with. The fact that he doesn't do it should raise the curiosity of every reporter."
IRS spends $50 million taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences
Guests: Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham

The IRS has spent vast tens of millions of dollars on conferences and silly videos. Juan Williams and Mary Katharine Ham evaluated the agency's prodigal ways. "It's excessive spending," Williams conceded, "but the acting IRS Commissioner has testified that things are now under control. It's not a glamorous job to be IRS agents and they were trying to build up morale. Lots of companies have retreats." Ham theorized that IRS spending is a symptom of gargantuan government. "Having things 'under control' now doesn't get all of us our $50 million back. This is just indicative of the larger problem, which is that when you have these gigantic agencies without a lot of accountability you can't get rid of people." Williams also tried his best to rationalize why former IRS boss Douglas Shulman visited the White House 157 times. "They talked about health care legislation and the tax implications. You don't want to impugn somebody's reputation just because they visited the White House."
Why did Douglas Shulman visit the White House so many times?
Guests: Karl Rove

Former White House adviser and Fox News analyst Karl Rove opined on former IRS director Douglas Shulman's frequent visits to the White House. "I'm just shocked," Rove declared. "Mark Everson used to come to the Bush White House when he was at Treasury, but then when he went to the IRS we never saw him again. Douglas Shulman shouldn't have been there that many times, the IRS is an independent agency and being too close to the White House is a problem." Rove reiterated that Shulman had no reason for being such a frequent guest at 1600 Pensylvania Avenue. "They should have had the policy person at Treasury there to talk about tax policies, not the enforcement guy. Either Shulman wanted to be in the White House all the time, which is very problematic, or he had a pal there who let him in. I do hold the President responsible for setting the tone, he was running around making speeches in which he was attacking Tea Party groups and saying they represent a 'threat to democracy.'"
Three "storm chasers" die in Oklahoma tornado
Guests: Chris West and Joe Bastardi

Three "storm chasers" were killed last week while taping the vicious tornadoes in Oklahoma. Sheriff Chris West theorized what probably happened to the men. "I've been to the scene and I saw the debris from their vehicle," he said, "and I believe they were trying to drive parallel to the storm. Either the storm turned on them or this massive tornado system spun off an additional vortex that may have got them. The storm grabbed the vehicle and probably turned it end-over-end for a half mile." Meteorologist Joe Bastardi agreed that the storm chasers were not being reckless. "I think they were trying to travel a safe path but the tornado intensified on top of them. Nature is infinite in its power but sometimes man thinks he can control nature." The Factor cited the deaths as a warning to other adventurers: "We have a lot of these tornado chasers who can get money selling footage to TV stations, but we know how dangerous this is."
Rep. Darrell Issa calls Jay Carney a "paid liar"
Guests: Bernie Goldberg

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, who has led the House investigation into various White House scandals, accused administration spokesman Jay Carney of being a "paid liar" who is "making up things." FNC's Bernie Goldberg reacted to Issa's slur. "Whether Jay Carney is a liar or whether he is simply a public relations man who puts the best spin on things," Goldberg surmised, "this is not a smart thing for Congressman Issa to say. It's a distraction because here we are talking about what he said and not about the scandals he was referring to. It feeds into the image of what kind of people some Republicans are." The Factor concurred, saying that Jay Carney has simply been doing his job: "You can not throw your boss under the bus, even if the boss did something wrong. That's why I don't think this was fair to Carney."
Wisconsin grammar school holds gender "switch it up" day
Guests: Adam Carolla

Adam Carolla entered the No Spin Zone and opined on the Wisconsin elementary school that asked girls and boys to "switch genders" for a day. "Imagine if you went to that principal," he began, "and said, 'Let's do Cowboys and Indians Day or Pilgrims Day?' Putting a boy in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes is bullying. I have a 6-year-old son who had to ride in his sister's pink car seat the other day for a mile and he squealed like a stuck pig the entire time." The Factor concluded, "These educators are pinheads because they don't know how children process things."
Factor Words of the Day
Viewers sound off
Yvonne Robinson, Kerville, TX: "Bill, you did a good job of trying to define why the former IRS chief was at the White House more than anyone else. If there were valid reasons, why didn't Mr. Shulman tell Congress?"

Cory Kent, British Columbia, Canada: "Kirsten Powers should not be giving Shulman the benefit of the doubt. Secondly, you never try to pin anything on anyone, Bill. Except those who break the law."

Neil Gouett, Thousand Oaks, CA: "Kirsten is absolutely correct. Obamacare is a huge undertaking and the IRS must be in regular communication with the White House."

Larry Veasman, Ann Arbor, MI: "If Wendy Walsh believes the youth of today have stronger values than 30 years ago, then she must also believe that Elvis is still alive."
Four aces
If you're seeking out terrific live concerts this summer, consider Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Huey Lewis and the News, and the Beach Boys.
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