Another blow to the theory that “rogue agents” in a local IRS office were responsible for targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny:
An Internal Revenue Service supervisor in Washington says she was personally involved in scrutinizing some of the earliest applications from tea party groups seeking tax-exempt status, including some requests that languished for more than a year without action.
Holly Paz, who until recently was a top deputy in the division that handles applications for tax-exempt status, told congressional investigators she reviewed 20 to 30 applications. Her assertion contradicts initial claims by the agency that a small group of agents working in an office in Cincinnati were solely responsible for mishandling the applications.
Ron Fournier points out that second-term Obama administration scandals are biting into the president’s approval ratings:
There is a common element to the so-called Obama scandals—the IRS targeting of conservatives, the fatal attack in Benghazi, and widespread spying on U.S. journalists and ordinary Americans. It is a lack of credibility.
In each case, the Obama administration has helped make controversies worse by changing its stories, distorting facts, and lying.
The abuse of trust may be taking a toll on President Obama’s reputation.
A CNN/ORC poll of 1,104 adult Americans June 11-13 shows the president’s job approval rating at 45 percent, down 8 percentage points in a month.
Among young voters, only 48 percent approve of the president’s performance, a 17-point decline since the last CNN/ORC poll. These are the president’s most loyal supporters, and the future of American politics.
The drop in presidential approval is across the board, affecting Obama’s standing on every issue measured: The economy (down 2 points); foreign affairs (down 5 points); federal budget (down 4 points); terrorism (down 13 points); and immigration (down 4 points).
Asked for the first time by CNN/ORC about the president’s handling of “government surveillance of U.S. citizens,” 61 percent of Americans said they disapprove.