* The Associated Press reports new revelations that continue to complicate the notion that the IRS story is a presidential “scandal”:
The Internal Revenue Service’s screening of groups seeking tax-exempt status was broader and lasted longer than has been previously disclosed, the new head of the agency said Monday.
An internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press said that besides ‘‘tea party,’’ lists used by screeners to pick groups for close examination also included the terms ‘‘Israel,’’ ‘’Progressive’’ and ‘‘Occupy.’’ The document said an investigation into why specific terms were included was still underway.
* That document was released by Dems on the House Ways and Means Committee, which is running its own probe of IRS conduct. You can read it here. It is a new IRS “be on the lookout” list, or BOLO list, from November of 2010 that they say shows progressive groups were targeted, too. Here is the description in the BOLO:
Political activities. Common thread is the word “progressive.” Activities appear to lean toward a new political party. Activities are partisan and appear anti-Republican. You see references to “blue” as being “progressive.” Applicants submit 1023. Their “progressive” activities appear to show that (c)(3) may not be appropriate.
In a release, Dem Rep. Sander Levin, the ranking Dem on Ways and Means, said the newly released BOLO shows that the original inspector general’s audit claiming inappropriate criteria had been used failed to share the full picture. Levin is asking J. Russell George, the author of the original audit, to explain why the info was omitted.
* Sam Stein comments:
The revelation complicates accusations that IRS officials screened groups in a concerted effort to sideline tea party organizations during the 2012 election. Instead, it would suggest that the filters were applied to ensure that applications for similar groups were reviewed in a consistent manner.
* This comes after the release of full witness testimony undercut Darrell Issa’s claim Washington directed the targeting of conservatives. So again: What’s Issa’s endgame here?
* Meanwhile Stein has lots more on the meaning of these latest revelations right here.
* The Senate passes the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment by 67-27, breaking the GOP filibuster by a comfortable margin. That sets the stage for passage of the Senate immigration reform bill this week.
There will be a lot of analysis to the effect that reform’s chances remain dim in the House. That may be true, but you should not buy John Boehner’s insistence he definitely won’t allow any vote on anything that lacks majority House GOP support.
* Ed Kilgore has a smart post detailing why he remains pessimistic that John Boehner will allow immigration reform to pass with mostly Dems. I’m not predicting he will, just saying that if enough Rs privately want it to pass, Boehner very well may let it pass.
That’s the sort of thing you’ll hear amplified in a big way if and when the pressure on Boehner to allow a House vote really gets going.
* A good read from Jonathan Bernstein on how Obamacare could remain quite unpopular even if the Affordable Care Act works out exceptionally well. Yes, those are the same thing; that’s exactly the point.
* Sean Sullivan lists five reasons why Ed Markey is almost certainly on his way to victory in Massachusetts tomorrow. Interestingly, conservative outside groups just never really stepped up for Gabriel Gomez.
* Juliet Eilperin has an interesting piece detailing how Obama’s promised climate change push could end up giving Republicans more fodder to obstruct Obama’s pick to head the EPA.
* And the other day, Mitch McConnell publicly called out scholar Norm Ornstein for being wrong about everything. Ornstein strikes back, pointing out that actually McConnell was the one who was, well, wrong about everything.
Of course, what probably rankles McConnell is that Ornstein’s book accurately calls out the GOP’s unprecedented obstructionism for what it is. If you haven’t read it, you should.