Acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller has resigned, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday.
"It's inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. Obama said. "I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS."
Given the controversy surrounding this audit, it's important to institute good leadership, Obama said.
"The IRS has to operate with absolute integrity."
Reuters reports Miller has said there is a "strong and immediate need" to restore public trust in the agency, but he will leave the agency in early June.
"It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends in early June," Miller said in an internal message that was released by the IRS. "This has been an incredibly difficult time for the IRS given the events of the past few days, and there is a strong and immediate need to restore public trust in the nation's tax agency."
Miller became acting commissioner in early November, after Commissioner Douglas Shulman completed his five-year term. Shulman had been appointed by President George W. Bush.
On Monday, Obama called the incident “outrageous” and vowed to crack down on IRS officials who may have singled out conservative groups for scrutiny when they applied for a certain kind of tax exempt status.
"The IRS is supposed to be apolitical," Camp says. "What's even more troubling is where this may lead in the future, given that we are apparently finding out that the IRS is not able to complete its mission in an apolitical and professional way."
Attorney General Eric Holder announced Tuesday the FBI will begin a criminal probe into the IRS actions.
The House Ways and Means Committee has a hearing scheduled on the targeting allegations on Friday where Miller is expected to attend, confirmed a committee aide late Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The mission launched in 2009 to hunt for Earth-like planets circling distant stars may be coming to an end because of a faulty part in the space telescope.
Students deemed "willfully defiant" accounted for nearly half of California's 700,000 suspensions last year. Many educators are cheering the Los Angeles Unified School District's decision to ban such suspensions, arguing the category is too broad and disproportionately targeted black students.
The Associated Press story that prompted a Justice Department subpoena of journalists' phone records blew the cover of a double agent embedded in Yemen's al-Qaida affiliate.
Among the things we learned about the IRS from the inspector general's report was that their boss told the group of employees at the controversy's heart to stop their dubious practices. Which they did, for a little while at least.
The IRS scandal has put a spotlight on a part of the tax code increasingly popular with political groups. Donors can't get tax deductions for giving to 501(c)(4) organizations like they would for charities. But the names of those donors can stay private.
A new rifle goes on sale on Wednesday, and it's not like any other. It uses lasers and computers to make shooters very accurate. A startup gun company in Texas developed the TrackingPoint rifle, which is so effective that some in the shooting community say it should not be sold to the public.
Tributes are appearing online for Richard Swanson, the Seattle man whose plan to dribble a soccer ball all the way to Brazil to raise money for charity ended Tuesday after he was struck and killed by a pickup truck in Oregon.
The first city in the country to allow 16- and 17-year-olds vote in municipal elections is a progressive town on the edge of Washington, DC. But the push to allow people to vote or at least register before 18 is ongoing in numerous states.
The eurozone has just shrunk for six straight quarters, making this the longest recession since the euro was born more than a decade ago. Nine out of the 17 economies that use the single currency are now contracting. And the second largest -- France -- has just slipped into a double-dip, its second recession in a row.
France has many flaws as an economic power. But the country’s biggest problem right now may be...geography.
“The economy in France is largely dependent on Europe. Europe is its main trading partner," says Douglas Yates of the American University in Paris. "With Europe near zero percent growth, that affects French exports."
Sales of French cars, chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals and clothing have slumped especially in France’s two biggest markets: Spain and Italy. But will Germany -- Europe’s giant economic locomotive -- pull the continent out of the mire? Not likely, says Michael Steen of the Financial Times.
"Germany which is the growth engine supposedly is just barely crawling out of negative territory," says Steen. "It shrank in the fourth quarter of 2012. It’s just growing a little bit now."
Europe is sinking under its own homegrown debt crisis. It’s weighed down by austerity measures and traumatized by radical economic reform, largely prescribed by Germany. And yet in a globalised world the effects of Europe’s malaise are felt well beyond its borders, the effects are lapping up on the other side of the Pond.
“Our colleagues in the United States are still deeply concerned about developments in the euro area.”said the head of Britain’s central bank, Sir Mervyn King at a news conference today. He claimed that the United States and Asia are praying for Europe’s recovery which "if it were to happen would go a very long way to help the world economy as a whole."
In other words: France, Spain, Italy and Europe’s other troubled economies are not only dragging each other down, they’re proving a real drag for the rest of the world, too.
When 23-year-old musician Solomon "Sully" Omar left Denver for Afghanistan — his parents' homeland — his hopes for Kabul weren't high. Instead, he discovered a music scene that was "alive and breathing," bursting with "crazy metal and dub step."
On Wednesday the company launched All Access, a paid subscription service that will put it in direct competition with Spotify and Pandora.
More than 300 freed abductees are part of an online community they call the RooterHood, where they can share their stories, their fears, and get help.
The Cannes Film Festival is under way, and though Angelina Jolie won’t be there, her star power will. She’s already generating buzz -- albeit indirectly -- for a film being screened on Saturday: 'Decoding Annie Parker'.
It’s not a big budget production like festival opener T'he Great Gatsby'. “We have no promotional machine,” says director, co-producer and co-writer Steven Bernstein. “Our office consists of two people.”
He spent six years making the film, though didn’t expect it to garner wide distribution or attention. “The subject matter certainly limits it to a certain degree,” Bernstein says.
But that subject matter could now be the film’s secret weapon.
'Decoding Annie Parker' stars Helen Hunt as Mary-Claire King, the scientist who discovered that a mutation in the BRCA1 gene was a predictor of breast cancer. The presence of that mutation is what led Angelina Jolie to undergo a double mastectomy.
Her revelation in the New York Times on Tuesday brought attention to the issue of hereditary breast cancer just days before Bernstein flew to Cannes.
“It’s a tragic serendipity,” he says.
Bernstein has received hundreds of emails in the days since and enough interest that he is in talks to double the number of cities where he will hold screenings. In a model the movie's website calls “filmanthropy,” those screenings will be benefit events for charities, such as the American Cancer Society, CancerCare and Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE).
“What we try to do is bring awareness,” says FORCE’s Amy Byer Shainman, “and Angelina Jolie, in one swoop, brought that awareness globally.”
The benefits of that awareness could spread, too, if the film signs a distributor at Cannes. Bernstein hopes to strike a deal that combines a theatrical release with premieres that continue to split ticket proceeds with cancer charities.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled Amy Byer Shainman's surname. The text has been corrected.
The hedge-fund billionaire who shook up Yahoo’s leadership last year is taking his brand of shareholder activism to Japan. Daniel Loeb wants Sony to spin off its movie and music division and focus on reviving its consumer electronics business.
Loeb’s fund, Third Point, has become Sony's biggest shareholder by amassing a $1.1 billion stake. But his task may be more difficult than he expects. There’s a long line of powerful American investors who have been frustrated, thwarted and humbled by Japan’s business traditions and entrenched bureaucracy.
American companies are expected to put shareholders first. Japanese thinking is different, rooted in the country's history.
“The company was seen as a kind of a communal organization that owed its allegiances to its employees, to its customers, to suppliers, to management, not to the shareholder,” says Arthur Alexander, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University and former president of the Japan Economic Institute.
Historically, American investors, including the colorful T. Boone Pickens, have found that asking for big change provokes a strong Japanese reaction: “Shock and fear,” according to Richard Linowes, an American University management professor with experience at Goldman Sachs and Accenture.
“But I do think also that there’s this recognition that sometimes you need an outsider to bring in another view,” he adds.
It’s an experience Josh Schechter is familiar with. He’s co-president of Steel Partners Japan Asset Management.
“It’s often difficult for outsiders to come in right off the bat and demand changes to longstanding business practices,” Schechter explains.
In a previous iteration, Steel Partners lost a six-year battle for change at a Japanese condiment company, Bull-Dog Sauce. There has also been success. Schechter now holds a seat on the board of Aderans, a Japanese wig maker.
Even when Japanese managers know hard decisions are necessary, they may be reluctant to go against longstanding business traditions. Foreign investors can give them cover for change.
“It is sometimes helpful for management to just say, ‘Look, we have a sizable foreign interest and we have no choice,’” says Ulrike Schaede, professor of Japanese business at University of California, San Diego.
She and other Japan watchers point out that Sony is used to hearing foreign perspectives. After all, until last year, its CEO was a British-born American. And Sir Howard Stringer is still chairman.
Kai Ryssdal: You know the phrase "activist shareholder"? Well if you want to be one, it helps a whole bunch to be really, really rich.
Daniel Loeb is. Both. His hedge fund -- called Third Point -- has bought itself a billion-dollar stake in Sony. Loeb is after that company to spin off its movie and music division and focus on reviving its consumer electronics business.
But even being Sony's biggest shareholder may not be enough clout. Marketplace's Mark Garrison reports on how powerful American investors often get a chilly response in Japan.
Mark Garrison: American companies are expected to put shareholders first. Japan specialist Arthur Alexander at Georgetown says the Japanese view is different and rooted in history.
Arthur Alexander: The company was seen as a kind of a communal organization that owed its allegiances to its employees, to its customers, to suppliers, to management, not to the shareholder.
Historically, American investors, including the colorful T. Boone Pickens, have found asking for big change provokes a strong reaction. Richard Linowes is an American University management professor.
Richard Linowes: Shock and fear! But I do think also that there’s this recognition that sometimes you need an outsider to bring in another view.
Josh Schechter knows this first hand. He’s a co-president of Steel Partners Japan Asset Management.
Josh Schechter: It’s often difficult for outsiders to come in right off the bat and demand changes to longstanding business practices.
In a previous iteration, Steel Partners lost a six-year battle for change at a Japanese condiment company, Bull-Dog Sauce. There has also been success. Schechter holds a seat on the board of Aderans, a Japanese wig maker. Ulrike Schaede, professor of Japanese business at U.C. San Diego, says foreign investors can give Japanese managers cover for change.
Ulrike Schaede: It is sometimes helpful for management to just say, look, we have a sizable foreign interest and we have no choice.
She and other Japan watchers say Sony is used to hearing foreign perspectives. Remember, until last year, its CEO was a British-born American. And he’s still chairman. In New York, I'm Mark Garrison, for Marketplace.
The Census Bureau projects, for the first time in almost two centuries, immigrants will be the main source of U.S. population growth as early as 2027.
For any of you Dunder Mifflin fans out there, tomorrow night is the last chance to see Dwight, Angela, Jim and all your other favorite characters -- on primetime NBC.
"The Office" is already syndicated on TBS and Fox -- you can even buy episodes from the iTunes store. So what does a beloved sitcom stand to gain these days once it’s put out to pasture?
Thanks to the Internet, we can watch TV anytime and almost anywhere. Which must mean bazillions of dollars for content providers, right? When Michael Scott, the regional manager for Dunder Mifflin, realized what was available online, he shut out all other life forms.
But to truly appreciate "The Office," you have to know its storyline -- and very original characters. Like Dwight, and his beet farm, or Angela, and her obsession with cats.
Paige Albiniak, an editor with Cable and Broadcasting Magazine, says it’s these inside jokes that make it hard for casual viewers to tune in to just one episode.
“Let’s switch over to the 'Big Bang Theory,' which does incredibly well in syndication. That show is not nearly as available online,” she says.
Albiniak notes you can't stream the "Big Bang Theory" on Netflix. She says that’s because when the cable networks and local TV stations pay, likely upwards of $2 million an episode, they expect a lot of bang for their buck.
“The more they pay for it, the more exclusivity they get," Albiniak says.
But Jethro Nededog says for shows with lower ratings, like NBC’s "The Office" or "30 Rock," there can still be life, and profit, after the TV screen goes dark. He's senior TV writer with Hollywood website, TheWrap.com.
“The difference in the online age, is that a show that under performs on broadcast can actually find a pretty huge audience online,” he says.
Nededog notes that even if a show’s audience is smaller, when it’s online, advertisers know viewers watch episodes over and over and over again.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly said "The Big Bang Theory" couldn't be streamed on Amazon.
Actor Wendell Pierce, who stars in David Simon's Treme, is trying to combat New Orleans' food deserts by building convenience and grocery stores in the city's neediest areas. But a host of stumbling blocks still make it hard to get fresh, healthful foods to people living in these areas.
After decades of trying, scientists say they've finally figured out how to make personalized embryonic stem cells. One day, these designer cells may help treat an array of diseases. A jolt of caffeine and and a little electric shock helped to do the trick.
Congress will convene its first hearing into the IRS this week for targeting conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status. Under the tax code, the social welfare groups are known as 501(c)(4)s.
The hearing is still set for Friday. President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that acting IRS director Steven Miller resigned.
The House Ways and Means Committee is still set to put Miller on the hot seat.
As we've previously reported, political groups are written in to the tax code in such a way that the IRS must deal with them, and has the power to reject some groups that are too overtly focused on particular candidates or races. But Republicans and Democrats alike have condemned the policy that led progressive groups to be quickly approved, while subjecting conservative ones to extra scrutiny.
"The IRS is supposed to be apolitical," Camp insisted. "What's even more troubling is where this may lead in the future, given that we are apparently finding out that the IRS is not able to complete its mission in an apolitical and professional way."
Even though the IRS is sometimes called upon to make tough calls, Camp says their role here was clear.
"What we may find out is that we need to pass legislation and amend the law, but under current law these groups are absolutely appropriate and able to be approved."
When asked whether IRS employees should go to jail over this, Camp said, "They may."
Correction: An earlier version of this text misstated the scheduling of the hearing date.