Update on Tax Exempt Complaint Against Media Matters

There have been new developments since the phony tax-exemption complaint against Media Matters For America. For those who haven't heard, the Fox News Channel has ran several pieces and stories claiming Media Matters is in violation of it's 501(c) 3 tax-exemption status. Taxpayers' Subsidizing Media Matters' War on Fox News and even one on Special Report With Brett Baier. Fox Nation has launched a campaign for it's readers and viewers to file a complaint with the IRS. It will be interesting what the IRS will say after their inbox gets filled with the same complaint.

I posted a video explaining why this is a non story. To summarize it, I explained how Media Matters' criticism of  the misinformation on Fox News is no different than the Media Research Center trying to expose and combat Liberal media bias. The MRC also has a tax exemption under 501(c) 3. I've chatted in some forums with people who really believe this is a real story and really think MM is a different case than the MRC.
The excuse is not only pathetic, it's intellectually hilarious.


Fair and Balanced Fracking Debate


There has been alot of noise going on about fracking. Fracking or Fracturing -- vital to extracting gas from shale formations -- involves injecting tanker-loads of water and sand into a gas well to blow apart the rock and release the gas. The whole discussion about it is whether or not the technique of  fracking puts dangerous chemicals in the drinking water and/or sets your faucet on fire. I am especially worried about this debate partly because it's hard to hear the most objective experts on this technique. The loud noise is coming everywhere from corporately funded studies, hysteria driven rumors, and unbiased scientific studies that are not corporately or emotion driven. Its a question of whether this is another anti-vaccine scare hoax or another tobacco cancer bombshell. I dug painfully through the noise to try and separate health hazard from hysteria land listened to stories and incidents cited as evidence for or against the technique. Where to start? Well the truth is I don't know where to start. There are just so many arguments being made by all sides that I have trouble separating fact from fiction. So I'm going to present the arguments with the disclaimer of who is saying it so you can read with critical observation. I'm leaning towards that fracking is more dangerous than proponents say it isn't.


Phony Tax Exempt Complaint Against Media Matters


Last Tuesday (6/21/11),  an article in the  Washington Times alleged that Media Matters is improperly receiving tax-exempt status. I not going to pretend to be an expert in tax-exempt statuses as said Ellen at Newhounds when discussing this story. I'm just going to offer my observations about this complaint against Media Matters.

Is Media Matters legally tax exempt under 501(c)(3)? 

From the IRS
To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes. None of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. It may not be an action organization- not attempt to influence legislation or participate in any campaign for or against political candidates. Organizations under 501(c)(3) are also known as charitable organizations. Organizations described in 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170. The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction. 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative (lobbying) activities they may conduct. See Political and Lobbying Activities, Lobbying Issues

So it seems to me that yes Media Matters is legally tax-exempt under 501(c)(3) as they say on their site.

So what's the complaint?


Did Glenn Beck Endorse Rick Santorum For President?

While watching the Rachel Maddow show I've heard her say Google "Santorum". Whenever shes discussing the candidates and gets to Santorum, she just says Google Santorum. I've heard alot of other pundits say that. I thought it meant him having a an embarrassing track record or something. But its more obscene. Just actually Google Santorum you'll see what I mean. I wonder if Beck has
In 2003, American columnist Dan Savage initiated a campaign to associate the surname Rick Santorum with a sexual act. Savage described the campaign as a response to certain comments by Santorum, widely regarded as homophobic, and culminated in the creation of a vulgar word association.


Debunking Federal Reserve Conspiracy Theories from "The Creature From Jekyll Island"

If you're ever going to discuss the real concerns about the Federal Reserve, these are myths to avoid spewing otherwise you'll be seen as discredited or crazy. These particular myths come from book "The Creature From Jekyll Island" by G. Edward Griffin an notable John Birch Society member.. Some myths are misleading distortions of history, others are down right fictional revisionist history.

BY: Edward Flaherty, Ph.D. Department of Economics College of Charleston, S.C. 
Posted on Public Eye
Original Full Post

If you do want to know the real concerns, I'd suggest reading Secrets of the Temple by William Greider.

Fox News' Racist Business Host, and Beck Calling to Kill Obama

This week on The Big PIcture: Eric Bolling has a problem with race, Rush Limbaugh has a problem with women, and Glenn Beck has a problem with violent rhetoric. Just a regular old week in the conservative media.


Fact Checking 2nd Republican 2012 Presidential Debate

I've put together the most reliable fact checking organizations that have pointed out and checked the claims made during the GOP debate in New Hampshire.

Some false claims made in the debate I noticed right away and so did the fact checkers.


Read the fact checkers' full reports on the debate.

Some highlights in the debate I think are disqualifiers straight up are from the anti-muslim bigots Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain.

Read More on Cain

Read More on Gingrich


Myth: Welfare Recipients are Drug Using Mooching Monsters

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Here in my home State of Florida, my insane Governor Rick Scott has signed a bill for mandatory drug testing of welfare recipients. In his world welfare recipients are drug using mooching monsters and we need to treat them like they are.

Rick Scott: "Well, what you have to think about is you have to think about the children in those families and those households. When-when there's drug abuse-drug abuse in those households, you know, if you go in and you find that, those kids, you know, are, are having problems. And so, basically, on top of the fact that we'll save money because, uh, you know, we'll make sure these, you know, recipients don't use drugs-because my experience is, if you do test people they generally do the right thing. But on top of that, if you do find a problem, those children will be taken care of and we'll find those problems early rather than late, so I think it's the right thing to do."

Before he imposed such radical actions based on his personal belief about welfare recipients, Scott should have considered the cases the ACLU has won against this draconian policy.

The reasons they've won the cases are fairly relevant.
  • Welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population.
  • 49 States Rejected the program for fiscal and practical reasons. (I don't know if this is Florida's first time trying to implement the policy)
  • The average cost of a drug test is about $42 per person tested, not including the costs of hiring personnel to administer the tests, to ensure confidentiality of results and to run confirmatory tests to guard against false positives resulting from passive drug exposure, cross-identification with legal, prescription drugs such as codeine and legal substances such as poppy seeds."
  • Most types of drug tests fail to detect alcohol abuse – the most commonly abused substance among Americans.
  • The policy is opposed by the American Public Health Association, National Association of Social Workers, Inc., National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs, National Health Law Project, National Association on Alcohol, Drugs and Disability, Inc., National Advocates for Pregnant Women, National Black Women’s Health Project, Legal Action Center, National Welfare Rights Union, Youth Law Center, Juvenile Law Center, and National Coalition for Child Protection Reform
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