What the IRS tactics have meant for some individuals

Where are these news stories from places other than Fox?  Isn't it interesting to see the damage actually done to people's lives?  Could it be that such news stories would increase anger against the IRS and the Obama administration?  From Fox News:
. . . While initially waiting for IRS approval, Devereaux dipped into his own bank account, maxed out credit cards and even borrowed money from friends so his group could put on a civic-engagement training session at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington. His goal was to eventually set up a steady stream of revenue for a tax-exempt nonprofit.
The next time Devereaux heard from the IRS, they had requested details and credentials on every single speaker and all the educational materials provided in the 78 classes held at the hotel. The IRS also wanted information on all 45 vendors, their credentials and a donor list.
Devereaux refused.
Five rounds of IRS letters later, and United in Action’s tax-exempt status is still in limbo.
If they are denied, Devereaux’s group would owe the federal government “somewhere in the neighborhood of $70,000 in back taxes,” he said, referring to money he would owe the government on donations.
“It’s more than we have in our bank account,” he said. . . .
Waco Tea Party President Toby Walker said her group applied for a 501(c)(4) status in July 2010. She’d call the IRS from time to time to check on the progress but was basically told, ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you,’ she said.
Then in February 2012, the IRS finally made contact.
Walker said she was asked questions that went well beyond the purview of the agency's authority. They wanted to know everything about the Waco Tea Party group, their relationships with public officials, lists of volunteers and every single news story the group had ever been mentioned in.
Walker said the request was so lengthy and intrusive that had she complied with the demands, she “would have needed a U-haul truck of about 20 feet.”
While Walker’s group was finally granted tax-exempt status in March 2013, she said a lot of damage has already been done. She said people were afraid to support her group financially because they had not received the IRS-stamped status.
Others were afraid that they might be targeted by the IRS if they supported Walker’s group publicly. Having one of the most powerful government agencies angry at them wasn’t a risk many people were willing to take. And so the group suffered, she said.
“We spent thousands of our own dollars fighting this,” she said. “If this happens to one organization in America, we should all be outraged.” . . .

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Very liberal, pro-Democrat Google charged by Whistleblower with massive tax avoidance scheme

Google execs are among the biggest supporters of Obama and other Democrats who are constantly pushing for higher tax rates, but they have no problem break the law to avoid paying taxes themselves.  Google execs have also benefited greatly from Obama's stimulus dollars.  From the London Sunday Times:
A FORMER Google executive has blown the whistle on a massive and “immoral” tax avoidance scheme that has “cheated” British taxpayers out of hundreds of millions of pounds over the past decade. 
Barney Jones, 34, who worked for the internet search giant between 2002 and 2006, has lifted the lid on an elaborate structure which diverts British profits through Ireland to the Bermuda tax haven. 
Although Google’s London sales staff would negotiate and sign contracts with British customers, and cash was paid into a UK bank account, deals were technically booked through its Dublin office to minimise its liabilities here. Jones, a devout Christian and father of four, is ready to hand over a cache of more than 100,000 emails and documents to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), detailing the “concocted scheme”. . . .

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More than 8,000 French households income tax rates topped 100%

And people are surprised that some of the wealthy are leaving France?  From Reuters:
More than 8,000 French households' tax bills topped 100 percent of their income last year, the business newspaper Les Echos reported on Saturday, citing Finance Ministry data. . . .
Les Echos reported that nearly 12,000 households paid taxes last year worth more than 75 percent of their 2011 revenues due to the exceptional levy. . . .

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Something to remember if people with mental health issues are banned from owning guns: CDC claims 20% of children have mental disorders

Why do I think that mental health experts have an incentive to keep expanding the number of people defined as having mental health disorders?
Nearly 1 in 5 children in the U.S. suffers from a mental disorder, and this number has been rising for more than a decade.
According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 20 percent of American children are suffering from mental disorders such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression and autism.
The CDC’s first study of mental disorders among children aged 3 to 17 also found that the cost of medical bills for treatment of such disorders is up to $247 billion each year.
“This is a deliberate effort by CDC to show mental health is a health issue. As with any health concern, the more attention we give to it, the better. It’s parents becoming aware of the facts and talking to a health-care provider about how their child is learning, behaving and playing with other kids,” said Dr. Ruth Perou, the study’s lead author. . . . .


Colorado Sheriffs file lawsuit to stop new Colorado gun laws

From Fox News:
Weld County Sheriff John Cooke said he and his colleagues were "not the ones playing politics with this."
"We believe that the Legislature were the ones who were playing politics," he said.
Gun control opponents say the language in the regulations is unclear and doesn't provide safeguards to prevent people from inadvertently breaking the laws.
Ammunition magazines, for example, are easily converted to larger sizes, which the bill bans. Gun rights advocates also say the law expanding background checks doesn't provide enough exemptions for temporary transfers and that people conducting private transactions will have a difficult time getting appropriate checks.
Lawmakers allowed several exemptions in the background check legislation, including transfers between immediate family members, shooting events and temporary transfers of up to 72 hours.
State officials, including Attorney General John Suthers, have worked to defend the intent of the laws. Suthers, a Republican responsible for defending the law against the legal challenge, issued a statement Friday giving guidance to law enforcement on how the magazine limit should be enforced.
He said magazine features "must be judged objectively" and that magazines that hold 15 rounds or fewer can't be defined as "large capacity" simply because it can be modified to include more.
The state has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit. . . .

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IRS scandal: Mainstream media fails to show the slightest curiosity about inconsistencies in Obama administration defenses

It has been troublesome that so much of the media is already arguing from the beginning of this last week that this wasn't like Watergate.  My question is: how could they already know that the Obama White House wasn't involved in these decisions?  What would have happened with Watergate if the media had shown the same quickness in drawing conclusions?  

Politico provides one of many examples of how the mainstream media.
Lew also defended Sarah Hall Ingram, a commissioner who has been targeted by Republicans for formerly overseeing the tax exempt division before heading to her current post helping the agency implement the health care law.
Ingram, Lew said, was not involved in the targeting program.
“Chronology matters in cases like this,” he said. “I’ve asked some questions since becoming aware of this, and my understanding is her responsibilities moved over from the tax exempt unit to implementation of the Affordable Care Act before there was any opportunity to be involved in this.”
Ingram served as the commissioner of tax-exempt organizations between 2009 and 2012. . . .
Why not even list some obvious questions such as the events at the tax exempt division occurred during  early 2010, early in the 2009 to 2012 period when Sarah Hall Ingram was in charge of the division?  How could she have been involved in the implementation of the ACA in March of 2012 before it was signed into law on March 23, 2010?

March 1, 2010:  An IRS manager in Cincinnati, Ohio asks employees to begin searching for 501(c) tax exemption applications using the terms Tea Party, Patriots and 9/12 as their criteria. 
April 1, 2010:  Managers in Washington, DC and Cincinnati decide to send a “Sensitive Case Report” about the Tea Party cases up the chain in Washington. 
April 19, 2010:  The Sensitive Case Report is shared with two executives in Washington, DC, one of whom is Lois Lerner and the other her immediate subordinate.   
August 12, 2010:  The IRS creates a “BOLO” (Be on the Lookout) listing instructing agents to identify Tea Party case files. 
December 13, 2010:  A manager for the Exempt Organizations (EO) group at the IRS in Washington informs the manager in Cincinnati that the processing of Tea Party cases would soon be reviewed with the Senior Technical Advisor to Lois Lerner, the Director of EO. 

June 1, 2011: The Acting Director of Rulings and Agreements in Washington, DC, Lois Lerner’s immediate subordinate, asks the manager in Cincinnati for the criteria used to identify Tea Party groups. 
June 29, 2011:  The Director of EO in Washington, DC, Lois Lerner, is briefed that the criteria being used by employees includes “Tea Party,” “Patriots,” “9/12 Project,” “Government Spending,” “Government Debt,” “Taxes,” “make America a better place to live,” and cases with statements that criticize how the country is being run. 
July 5, 2011:  The BOLO listing criteria is revised to search for “organizations involved in political, lobbying, or advocacy.” 

January 25, 2012:  The BOLO is updated to change the search criteria to “limiting/expanding Government,” “Constitution and the Bill of Rights,” and “social economic reform/movement.” 
March 12, 2012: Senator Chuck Schumer sends a letter to IRS Commissioner Shulman along with six of his Democrat colleagues, calling for the agency to impose a strict cap on the amount of political spending by tax-exempt, nonprofit groups. 
There is another problem.  Let's just say that Sarah Hall Ingram immediately started working on Obamacare when it became law even though she was still technically in charge and running the tax exempt division.  Why was that?  Was something being hidden by her not being officially assigned to Obamacare?  For example, where costs for Obamacare being shifted onto other programs?

Take another claim from something taken seriously by the mainstream media, Salon.com.  "No evidence of White House involvement . . . none is found in the IG’s report"

If the IG did not interview people in the White House, how could the report determine that there was no evidence of White House involvement?  If the IG did interview people in the White House, how could the Obama White House claim that they had no knowledge of IRS punishing conservatives?

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American College of Physicians plans new report on firearms regulation

The American College of Physicians last put out their policy position on guns in 1996.  Among their positions is a ban on all semi-automatic "assault" weapons.
"favors strong legislation to ban the sale, possession, and manufacture for civilian use of all automatic and semi-automatic assault weapons""sale and possession of handguns should be restricted. Purchases of handguns should be subject to a waiting period, satisfactory completion of a criminal background check, and proof of satisfactory completion of an appropriate educational program on firearm safety"
They are updating their previous positions and have made this announcement:

The American College of Physicians plans to issue an exhaustive, evidence-based review of firearms policy and gun violence later this year.The current policies are "a little dated," so "we’re going through an evidence-based review on firearms policy and gun violence [to] come up with more contemporary recommendations," said Dr. David L. Bronson, immediate past president of the ACP.
"We are aware that firearms are part of the American culture, and this can be a divisive issue for this country and for some of our members," said Dr. Bronson at the annual meeting of the ACP. He said that’s one reason why the college will take an evidence-based approach to formulating its new recommendations. . . .
Dr. Bronson noted that opponents of proposals to rein in firearms may also find ways to reassert their rights and desires in legislation unrelated to gun violence. "You have to keep your eye on the ball," he said, adding, "they have a relentless lobby."


The IRS scandal grows: Deliberately delaying info until after the election, hiding information, clear evidence that people right next to Obama knew about the problem

OK, so senior Obama officials were told of IRS probe last year, but they did nothing with this information?  Now we are told how upset and outraged they are by this information, but if they were so outraged, wouldn't they have said something publicly about this last year?  
“We have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior,” [Jack] Lew said.
Isn't the proof of their lack of outrage shown by their lack of action?  From The Hill newspaper:
Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general (IG) for tax administration, testified that he told the department’s general counsel and Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin about the probe in June of 2012 — months after media reports started detailing Tea Party complaints about the IRS. . . .
But the attention is quickly shifting to Wolin, who is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee and Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) on Wednesday, where he will be grilled on what he and other Treasury officials knew — and when.
Treasury confirmed Friday that George’s office told Wolin about the forthcoming audit last year, and that the inspector general personally told Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about it in March. Lew confirmed that timeline in an interview with Bloomberg Television.
But the Treasury department also says neither Lew nor Wolin found out about the inspector general’s findings until they started filtering out to the public last week. . . .
NBC's Lisa Myers "reported this morning that the IRS deliberately chose not to reveal that it had wrongly targeted conservative groups until after the 2012 presidential election."  Obama administration officials clearly knew what the scandal was about (conservative groups being targeted) in June 2012.

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has apparently been less than forthcoming in his answers to questions about the scandal.  It looks as if Lew knew about the scandal while he was Obama's chief of staff, which means it is quite possible that Obama knew about it as well.  Examples of how difficult Lew is with speaking openly about what he knew can be seen here:
. . . Bloomberg's Al Hunt asked Lew, whose Treasury Department oversees the IRS: “When were you first notified that IRS agents were targeting conservative groups like the Tea Party?”
Instead of answering Hunt’s question directly, however, Lew instead chose to answer when he first learned about the IG report, a tactic President Barack Obama also used earlier this week during a press conference.
“I learned the substance of this report last Friday when it became a matter of public knowledge,” Lew claimed. “Before that, in mid-March [2013], I had had a conversation, just a getting-to-know-you conversation, with the inspector general right after I started, and he went through a number of items that were matters they were working on. And the topic of a project on the 501(c)3 issue was one of the things he briefed me was ongoing.”
Hunt then asked whether former Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Lew’s deputy, Neal Wolin, or the general counsel knew about the IRS’s political profiling of conservative groups.
“I think that there was-the heads-up that I got was something that was a matter of public knowledge,” said Lew. “It was posted on the IG's website in the fall of 2012. I believe that other is typically the practice that an inspector general notify the agencies when matters are opened. I was not aware of any details.”
It is possible that "fall of 2012" could refer to a period of time before the election. Regardless, Lew would have discovered the investigation in his capacity as President Obama's chief of staff, meaning that it is possible the president knew of the investigation in 2012 as well. . . .
A very different take on the same interview is available from Politico.  Others, such as acting IRS director Steve Miller, are having massive memory failures.
. . . That’s the kind of week Miller is having. To make matters worse, he spent most of the hearing saying he didn’t remember things — like the details of how he first learned of the targeting — and insisting he didn’t mislead Congress by not telling lawmakers.Over and over again, Miller swore he just answered the questions lawmakers asked him in various letters. “I answered the questions as they were asked,” Miller told Charles Boustany of Louisiana.
At times, Miller struggled to find phrases that wouldn’t sound politically tone deaf. He tried to pick a fight over whether the IRS search terms should even be called “targeting” — even though they included terms like “tea party,” “Patriots” and “9/12,” and the inspector general report says specialists were told to look specifically for tea party applications. . . .
Miller also made laughable claims such as the targeting of conservative groups, and conservative groups only, was simply an effort to make IRS agents "more efficient in their workload selection." 

Now we learn that since the IRS knew that a critical IG report was coming out, the Obama people asked a member of the press to raise the whole issue in a press presentation a week ago.

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Obama administration rejects reasonable person standard in determining what represents sexual harassment.

The Obama administration apparently views an unwelcome request for a data as serious as rape? In a letter to the University of Montana, the Obama administration defined sexual harassment this way:
"an unwelcome request for a date . . . need not be 'objectively offensive' . . . regardless of the reasonableness of her feelings, and school administrators may be legally required to discipline her 'harasser.'"
Seriously?  From the WSJ:

The letter rejects the requirement, established by legal precedent and previous Education Department guidance, that sexual harassment must be "objectively offensive." By eliminating this "reasonable person" standard—which the Education Department has required since at least 2003, and which protects the accused against unreasonable or insincere allegations—the right not to be offended has been enshrined in a federal mandate. 
The letter further states that campuses have "an obligation to respond to student-on-student harassment" even when that harassment occurs off-campus. In some circumstances, the letter says, universities may take "disciplinary action against the harasser" even "prior to the completion of the Title IX and Title IV investigation/resolution." In plain English: Students can be punished before they are found guilty of harassment. . . .

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Even after massive government subsidies, Fiat is losing about $10,000 on each of the tiny electric cars that it sells

At about 1:55 into the video the host notes that Fiat is losing $10,000 for each of the Fiat 500es that are sold.

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Scary: Obama uses the power of the federal government to destroy his political opponents

These audits just didn't represent the costs of lawyers' fees and delayed refunds, but also all of the time and emotional drain that was spent personally dealing with the audits.  From Kimberly Strassel in the WSJ:
. . . Mr. Obama now professes shock and outrage that bureaucrats at the IRS did exactly what the president of the United States said was the right and honorable thing to do. "He put a target on our backs, and he's now going to blame the people who are shooting at us?" asks Idaho businessman and longtime Republican donor Frank VanderSloot.
Mr. VanderSloot is the Obama target who in 2011 made a sizable donation to a group supporting Mitt Romney. In April 2012, an Obama campaign website named and slurred eight Romney donors. It tarred Mr. VanderSloot as a "wealthy individual" with a "less-than-reputable record." Other donors were described as having been "on the wrong side of the law."
This was the Obama version of the phone call—put out to every government investigator (and liberal activist) in the land.
Twelve days later, a man working for a political opposition-research firm called an Idaho courthouse for Mr. VanderSloot's divorce records. In June, the IRS informed Mr. VanderSloot and his wife of an audit of two years of their taxes. In July, the Department of Labor informed him of an audit of the guest workers on his Idaho cattle ranch. In September, the IRS informed him of a second audit, of one of his businesses. Mr. VanderSloot, who had never been audited before, was subject to three in the four months after Mr. Obama teed him up for such scrutiny.
The last of these audits was only concluded in recent weeks. Not one resulted in a fine or penalty. But Mr. VanderSloot has been waiting more than 20 months for a sizable refund and estimates his legal bills are $80,000. That figure doesn't account for what the president's vilification has done to his business and reputation.
The Obama call for scrutiny wasn't a mistake; it was the president's strategy—one pursued throughout 2012. The way to limit Romney money was to intimidate donors from giving. . . .
Peggy Noonan has a similar list here:
. . . Hal Scherz, a Georgia physician, also came to the government's attention. He told ABC News: "It is odd that nothing changed on my tax return and I was never audited until I publicly criticized ObamaCare." 
Franklin Graham, son of Billy, told Politico he believes his father was targeted. A conservative Catholic academic who has written for these pages faced questions about her meager freelance writing income. Many of these stories will come out, but not as many as there are. People are not only afraid of being audited, they're afraid of saying they were audited. 
All of these IRS actions took place in the years leading up to the 2012 election. They constitute the use of governmental power to intrude on the privacy and shackle the political freedom of American citizens. . . . 
Fox News has this story about a Texas Tea Party group's filing with the IRS.

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What some celebrities think of the IRS scandal

Bill Maher's statement is the strongest argument against ever giving the government much power to begin with.  The fact that he believes it is so understandable that the government would take these actions must scare anyone and make them think twice before advocating new government programs.  Will Maher rethink his support of so much new government?


Illinois Senate to consider bill that will only give police discretion over who gets permits

The new proposal could be voted on as early as Friday.  From the Peoria Star:
An Illinois Senate panel approved a measure Thursday allowing the carrying of concealed weapons, but the committee's move followed sharp questioning from Republicans concerning whether packing a gun in Chicago should require special permission and how authorities would determine who is fit to carry. . . .
The most vociferous opposition to the measure has been over a provision that would require gun owners who want to carry in Chicago to get not only a statewide permit from the Illinois State Police, but from the Chicago police. Raoul has repeatedly said the density of Chicago creates greater "sensitivities" to guns and requires an extra layer of scrutiny.
But the NRA has rebutted Raoul's contention that the legislation creates a "shall issue" permit system, requiring police to OK public gun possession for anyone who obtains the proper training and passes a background check. That's because it contains language requiring police to find that an applicant is "of good moral character" and has a "proper reason" for carrying a gun. . . .
All one has to do is look at NYC to see how discretion is used in granting permits to limit issuance to only wealth whites.  I suspect that few people will get permits with this discretion.

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Excellent analysis by Ezra Levant: "The CBC is using taxpayer’s dollars to shut down private sector journalism"

Chris Wallace refers to MGLC as "the bible of the pro gun rights movement" and that "there are now some pretty impressive numbers to back up that premise"

Here is a partial transcript from Fox News' Special Report on May 10th:
CHRIS WALLACE: The bible of the pro gun rights movement is a book titled "More Guns, Less Crime." It's a title that has been endlessly mocked by gun control advocates. But tonight correspondent Doug McKelway tell us there are now some pretty impressive numbers to back up that premise. Good evening, Doug.
DOUG MCKELWAY, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good evening, Chris. Those numbers come from a Department of Justice report released this month that analyzed gun crime from 1993 to 2011. And it found homicides declined by 39 percent while non-fatal gun crimes dropped 69 percent. And it found that among prisoners convicted of gun crimes, only two percent of them bought their guns at a flea market or at a gun show.
CHRIS COX, NRA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: The people who support this freedom know these truths to be self-evident. They know that law abiding gun owners aren't the problem. Our opponents are going to ignore the facts the way they've always ignored the facts.
MCKELWAY: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi attributed the gun crime decline to the ten-year assault weapons ban that Congress passed in 1994.
NANCY PELOSI, (D-CA) HOUSE MINORITY LEADER: Deaths have gone down in large measure because of the legislation that was passed. The problem is even though we have great laws in California and in Maryland and New York, Connecticut, you can name many states, as long as these those guns can cross state lines without having background check attached to them, we still need that legislation.
MCKELWAY: A recent study by the liberal Center for American Progress backs Pelosi's point, finding, quote, "A clear link between high levels of gun violence and weak state gun laws." The Center points to New York City, for example, which has dropped from over 2,000 murders a year 20 years to 418 last year.
ARKADI GERNEY, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS: What happened in New York was tough laws including tough gun laws, really smart, tough policing.
MCKELWAY: But the non-partisan DOJ study contradicts Pelosi's view. It found that handguns, not assault rifles, caused 90 percent of fun injuries. And the NRA rejects the Center for American Progress's finding of a link between high gun violence and weak state gun laws.
COX: The sales of the guns in this country have gone through the roof. The number of people with concealed carry permits has gone through the roof. And violent crime with firearms has continued to decrease. You certainly can't make an argument that more guns equal more crimes. And you can make a very serious argument that guns in the hands of law abiding people are a benefit to society.
MCKELWAY: Yet a separate gun study by Pew Research on May 7 finds Americans are unaware of the gun crime decline. A majority of American think it has gone up despite this new evidence to the contrary. Chris?
WALLACE: Doug, thank you.

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Homicides at school for children from 1992 to 2010

The BJS report is available here.  It is pretty hard to look at these numbers and see a pattern during and after the assault weapon ban.


Lois Lerner, at the center of the IRS storm, rewarded handsomely by Obama administration

Lois Lerner apparently sent at least one of the letters to conservative groups out under her own signature.
The director of the Internal Revenue Service division under fire for singling out conservative groups sent a 2012 letter under her name to one such group, POLITICO has learned.
The March 2012 letter was sent to the Ohio-based American Patriots Against Government Excess (American PAGE) under the name of Lois Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division. . . .
It is unclear if American PAGE had been selected for any additional scrutiny. But at the time of the letter, the group was in the midst of the application process for tax-exempt nonprofit status — a process that would stretch for nearly three years and involve queries for detailed information on its social media activity, its organizational set-up, bylaws, membership and interactions with political officials. . . .
Lerner has also been caught making numerous false statements from only "low level" involvement, that there was "no political bias," and that "seventy-five organizations effected."   Yet, Lerner is the one who has been extensively rewarded for her work by the Obama administration.  From the Washington Examiner:
Lois Lerner, the senior executive in charge of the IRS tax exemption department and the federal employee at the center of the exploding scandal over the IRS targeting of conservative, evangelical and pro-Israel non-profits, was given $42,531 in bonuses between 2009 and 2011. . . .
An additional point.  Obama appears tough by removing Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller.  Headlines claim: "IRS: First head rolls."  But he didn't really do that.  1) Miller will soon be out of a job anyway because acting commissioners are only allowed to serve for six months and his six months are up in early June.  2) Miller isn't leaving right away and will leave when his acting assignment ends.  As Miller writes:
"It is with regret that I will be departing from the IRS as my acting assignment ends inearly June."
So my reaction is: is this serious?  


Even some Democrats are getting tired of Obama never accepting responsibility for anything bad that happens in his administration

Even Dana Milbank at the Washington Post has this:

President Passerby needs urgently to become a participant in his presidency. 
Late Monday came the breathtaking news of a full-frontal assault on the First Amendment by his administration: word that the Justice Department had gone on a fishing expedition through months of phone records of Associated Press reporters
And yet President Obama reacted much as he did to the equally astonishing revelation on Friday that the IRS had targeted conservative groups based on their ideology: He responded as though he were just some bloke on a bar stool, getting his information from the evening news. . . .


After a couple times almost passing concealed carry on college campuses, is this the year for Texas?

At least if some state schools allow people to carry concealed handguns, it will make it harder for gun control advocates to predict disaster.  From Fox News:

A bill to allow concealed handgun license holders to carry their weapons into Texas college buildings and classrooms got a significant boost in the state Senate on Tuesday, but it remains unclear if it has enough momentum to become law. . . . 
But the House passed a version that lifts the statewide ban on guns at school while still allowing individual campuses to ban weapons. . . . 
"I will take what I can get," said Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels. "Swing for the fences, but be happy with first base." 
The House voted to approve the bill on May 6, prompting Sen. John Whitmire, chairman of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, to schedule Tuesday's public hearing just a couple of weeks after he declared the issue dead this session. The committee passed the bill on to the entire Senate with a 4-2 vote. 
The bill's fate in the full chamber remains unknown and supporters were cautious about predicting it will pass. 
Republicans hold a 19-12 majority and approved a broader version of the bill in 2011. But Senate rules still require at least 21 members to vote to bring a bill up for debate. Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, leader of the Senate Democratic Caucus, said the bill may not have the support to pass the Senate. . . .

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TrackingPoint Innovations: A Smart Gun that rarely misses, even at long range

Control advocates are obviously having a very hard time keeping up with the technological changes.  The device is currently very expensive:
A team of 70 people spent three years creating the technology. Schauble says there's nothing else like it, even in the military. For civilians, TrackingPoint sells its high-end, long-range guns directly. With price tags of up to $22,000, they're not cheap. . . .

An interview on Fox News is available here.



Something gun control advocates should really fear: So-called "constitutional carry" for Illinois

If right-to-carry concealed carry laws are deemed so dangerous by gun control proponents, letting anyone who is not a criminal carry a gun with no other regulations should be really bad, right?  Well, on June 9th, if Illinois hasn't adopted a concealed handgun law by that point in time, it will be legal to carry a concealed handgun in Union county and probably effectively in the rest of the state.  The problem for gun control advocates is the same as it is each time that states pass right-to-carry laws: they have made predictions about impending disaster that never occur.  In this case the damage could be worse since the claims of doom have been particularly loud and the change in laws in Illinois could be particularly extreme with all regulations ended on June 9th.

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Press's questions to Acting IRS Commissioner

Press goes after Acting IRS Commissioner

Acting Commissioner: "We will talk on Friday."


Democrats breaking ranks on IRS scandal

Elijah Cummings on IRS: Laws 'probably broken' 'this is one of the most alarming things that I have ever seen'


Even the media is becoming outraged by what is being found

AP exec editor: Never 'seen anything like this'

AP exec editor: "I have been in this business more than 30 years, and our first amendment lawyers and our lawyers inside the AP, and our CEO a well known first amendment lawyer, none of us have ever seen anything like this."


Newest piece at National Review Online: Children and Guns: The Fear and the Reality

My newest piece at National Review starts this way:

Should you ask your neighbors if they own a gun before your child plays at their house? And what do you do if they say yes?After the tragic accidental death this month of a two-year-old Kentucky girl who had been shot by her five-year-old brother, the answer may seem obvious: Do not let your child play at a gun owner’s home, at least if you are not sure he is locking up his guns. . . .



Just when you thought that the IRS scandal couldn't get any worse, this comes up.  Confidential information on the conservative groups that the IRS was hassling were given to Liberal organizations.  From the Daily Caller:

The division of the Internal Revenue Service that improperly scrutinized the tax-exempt status of conservative groups sent confidential information on 31 conservative groups to the well-funded liberal nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica, according to a revelation made by ProPublica Monday.
“The same IRS office that deliberately targeted conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year,” according to the ProPublica report.
“In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved — meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We madesix of those public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.),” according to ProPublica. . . .


Prediction: Texas will see a big increase in the number of concealed handgun permits

At the end of last year Texas had 584,850 permit holders.  Reducing the number of training hours to obtain or renew a permit from 10 hours to 4 to 6 hours will dramatically increase the number of permit holders (a copy of the bill is here).  The exact increase in permits depends on how the final regulations on training are drafted, but it could increase the number of permits to over 750,000.  Reducing the number of hours will reduce the cost of permits, and that will increase both the number of permit holders but also the share of permits held by poorer individuals.  The $140 fee for permits will still make Texas' permits among the most expensive in the country. Texas is still relatively unique in requiring retraining for renewal -- eliminating that would have a dramatic effect on the number of permits.


Portland man with concealed weapon takes down criminal

Another concealed carry permit holder who uses a concealed handgun permit to stop criminal (video link here).  Oregon had about 5% of its adult population with permits in early 2011, though I suspect that it has increased substantially since then.

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Specialization of labor in obtaining food different between Neanderthals and Humans

Is this specialization of labor one of the reasons that humans outcompeted Neanderthals?  The WSJ has this:

. . . In all hunter-gatherer societies there is a sharp difference between the foraging strategies of the two sexes. Men generally travel far in search of mobile prey that they need to bring down with well-aimed projectiles. Women generally go out in groups and search for good sources of roots, ripe berries or nuts, which they use their acute powers of observation to spot and collect. . . .
This sexual division of labor over foraging is not only far more marked in people than in most other animals (it was, arguably, the first "gain from trade" we stumbled upon, benefitting both sides), but it may be a relatively recent feature of our evolutionary history, invented in Africa just 150,000 to 300,000 years ago. Some archaeologists have concluded that Neanderthals did not practice it: that female Neanderthals were co-operative hunters with men, not gatherers. . . .


Prosecutors in Trayvon Martin case fight to keep Martin's toxicology report from trial

Why would a prosecutor think that it is reasonable to hide Trayvon Martin's drug use and violent history from the trial?  Violent criminal history is one thing, but what can you say to justify excluding drug use or texting at the time of the attack?  The texting surely goes directly to Trayvon's state of mind.  From WKMG Orlando, Florida:
. . . The state said in motions filed on Friday they want to prevent Zimmerman's attorneys from bringing up Martin's personal life, including his school records, previous suspension from school, fights, text messages sent prior to his death unless related to case and his social media use.
The motion also says the state wants to prevent the defense from using Martin's toxicology report, which showed the level of marijuana in Martin's blood the night he was shot and killed.
The state's filings suggest they fear the defense may try to attack Martin's character, instead of focusing on whether Zimmerman murdered Martin. Assistant prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda argued that Martin's past is irrelevant and would clearly be designed only to prejudice the jury. . . .



Nikki Goeser's title of her new book says it all: "Denied a Chance: How gun control helped a stalker murder my husband"

Nikki Goeser, the winner of the last Sybil Ludington Women’s Freedom Award, has a dramatic new book.  From the description:
“For Nikki Goeser it was a day like any other ... with one exception. Her husband, Ben, had only 16 hours to live. On that fateful day in Tennessee, the man she loved would be murdered by a beast who was stalking her. In compliance with state law Nikki had left her legal firearm locked in the car. With the help of legislatively created pistol free zones, one evil man gunned down Nikki’s husband as she was forced to look on, alone, defenseless and disarmed by an ill-conceived law designed to save her. Read this inspiring story of courage through remorse, as one woman struggles to seek justice for the man she loves. Follow Nikki Goeser as she fights to ensure that others are never held victim to the same terrible fate.”
The paperback version is available here and the Kindle version here.


Illinois may soon become a "constitutional carry" state like AZ, AK, WY, VT, and virtually of of MT

Some information from the Canton Daily Ledger
Q: What happens if no law is enacted by June 9?
A: Gun-rights advocates use the term “constitutional carry” to describe a state in which, with an obsolete, discredited law on the books, Illinoisans could carry any type of weapon anywhere, at any time, concealed or not.
Technically, only those defendants directly affected by the 7th Circuit’s ruling — the attorney general and Union County law enforcement officials — would be prevented from enforcing the law. But it’s likely anyone arrested for illegal weapons possession would have a strong case for having a conviction tossed out based on the 7th Circuit’s ruling.
Phelps wants to avoid that scenario.
“A lot of gun owners don’t want a lot of restrictions so they want to go off the cliff,” Phelps said. “I’m worried about that because of the uncertainty that it brings.” . . .


Judge Jeanine Pirro nails it on the Benghazi whistleblowers

This discussion by her is well worth your time (click here for link).


Obama's past IRS abuses can't be blamed on "low level workers," Austan Goolsbee and the Koch Brothers

This isn't the first time that President Obama's administration has abused the IRS's powers.  Austan Goolsbee who was Obama's chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors told reporters the amount of money that the Koch brothers had paid in taxes in 2010.  Note that this, like the abuses against the Tea Party, also occurred in 2010 and that it involved people that that administration hated as much as the Tea Party.  The current ruckus isn't the first time that Obama administration abuses of the IRS have been compared to the Nixon administration.

President Obama claims that he has "no patience" for the "outrageous" IRS mess, but if true, why didn't he do anything or even comment about Goolsbee's actions?

This is part of the discussion from my book Debacle (references in book):

[Austan] Goolsbee also learned how to punish the president’s political adversaries. The battle between the Koch bothers and President Obama hasn’t gotten as much coverage as that between George Soros and Republicans, but it is about as bitter.New Yorker headline gives one side of the “The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.”71 Goolsbee entered the fray at an August 27, 2010, press briefing where he let slip that he knew that Koch Industries, a multibillion-dollar energy business run by the libertarian Koch brothers, had paid no income taxes. “[W]e have a series of entities that do not pay corporate income tax, some of which are really giant firms. You know, Koch Industries is a multibillion-dollar business,” Mr. Goolsbee told reporters during an on-the- record background briefing on corporate taxes. 
Koch Industries is a privately held company and therefore their tax returns and tax payments are not normally publicly available. This recalls shades of Richard Nixon’s abuse of the Internal Revenue Service to collect information on his enemies, and there were serious questions of how Mr. Goolsbee obtained this information. At first, the White House sent Politico an email explaining that the information was publicly available and referenced testimony to the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board and Koch’s own website.72 But they were just dead wrong. How much taxes Koch Industries pays appears in neither place. 
The Obama administration then switched to a second line of defense: that Mr. Goolsbee simply misspoke, that he didn’t mean to say what he said, and that it was merely a coincidence that he had just happened to guess their tax information.73 But it was quite a lucky guess. The IRS’s Inspector General promised to look into whether Goolsbee had illegally gotten confidential tax information,74 but a report was never released, and with Democrats in control of both the Senate and House at the time, there was no congressional pressure on the Obama administration to release the report.75  . . .

UPDATE: There is no public record of whether you are an S corp.  There is a public record if they are an LLC, but they can be set in various forms and that won't be public record.  They could also be a C corp and that wouldn't be public information.  Thus for Goolsbee to even know that they are an S corp or what version of being an LLC would be problematic.  Specifically on the point The Koch's lawyer had this point:

"contrary to the administration official's statement on what sources were used by the administration, neither the Koch website nor Forbes' list of private companies has information regarding Koch's tax filing status.  This is confidential information.  Given these facts, one must wonder why the White House is anonymously commenting on the confidential tax status of Koch Industries."

UPDATE: Here is another example of abuse.
”It is likely that someone at the Internal Revenue Service illegally leaked confidential donor information showing a contribution from Mitt Romney’s political action committee to the National Organization for Marriage, says the group.” . . .  
UPDATE: Fox News has this updated discussion on Goolsbee.  If the last paragraph in the quote below, it sounds as if many people in the Obama administration were in on this leak of IRS info.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney took some heat Tuesday after he told reporters that nobody in the Obama administration had targeted conservative groups in the past.  
Many questioned the statement and pointed to a 2010 incident involving Austan Goolsbee, Obama’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Goolsbee told reporters on Aug. 27, 2010 that Koch Industries, a billion-dollar energy company run by the politically influential Koch brothers, paid no income taxes. 
The tax records of Koch Industries -- a private company – would not have been public information and therefore should not have been known to Goolsbee. At the time, the Obama team backpedaled and said the information was made public in two places – which turned out to be untrue. Then the Obama administration said Goolsbee had misspoken and that he had guessed the company’s confidential tax information. 
At the time, the IRS had promised to look into the Goolsbee gaffe but a report was never publicly released. 
A source familiar with the situation suggested to FoxNews.com Tuesday that Goolsbee’s comments were a “calculated” attempt by the administration to insert Koch’s name into his discussion about companies that don’t pay taxes. . . .
Rush Limbaugh had this extended discussion where a caller (me) brought up the Goolsbee example.
RUSH: To the phones. People been waiting patiently as always. Up first, John in Philadelphia. Hello, sir. Thank you for the call.
CALLER: Oh. Thank you very much. You know, I think this is a very important issue. This isn't the first time that the Obama administration has abused the IRS' powers. In 2010, at the same time they were going after the Tea Party, Austan Goolsbee -- the chairman of the president's council of economic advisers -- was using the IRS to go after the Koch brothers, probably somebody that they hated as much as the Tea Party. There was a press briefing where Goolsbee told the press how much money the Koch brothers have been paying in taxes. You know, at first they said that the information was "publicly available," and when that turned out not to be the case, the administration said, "Well, you know, he simply accidentally guessed the exact amount that they pay."
RUSH: You know, that's exactly right. I'd forgotten that, but you're exactly right. Austan Goolsbee did tell the press how little the Koch brothers were paying in taxes -- in his perspective, how little -- and there was no way he coulda known that.
CALLER: Right.
RUSH: Unless somebody at the IRS had shared the data with him.
CALLER: Right. This is cover-up by the Obama administration. The inspector general for the IRS was supposed to release a report on Goolsbee, and after the furor died down they kept on delaying it.
RUSH: Yeah.
CALLER: Eventually they just never released the report on Goolsbee. So this is one thing. If you want to go and show that this is a pattern -- you know, and Goolsbee's not just some low-level staff person. He was chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors. And the Obama administration should finally be forced to release the inspector general report on what Goolsbee knew and how he released that information.
RUSH: Well, technically it's not how he released it; how he got it. There's only one way he could know it, and that is if he was able to pick up the phone, call the IRS, and say, "Give me the numbers on the tax return for the Koch brothers and for Koch Industries," and if the IRS gave him the information, bammo! Major, major violation. And, you're right. They've tried to let the passage of time cause everybody to forget about it, because there have been events take place in subsequent days which have taken precedence.
Those events have caused everybody to forget about it. You didn't. You're exactly right.  . . . 

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Big omission in media coverage of 19 injured in New Orleans Mother's Day Parade Shooting

I have been looking at the media coverage of the shooting on Fox News, USA TodayNew York Daily News, and others ignore a crucial part of the story: the shooting was likely gang warfare, most likely drug gang warfare.  As the Associated Press notes: "Police say gang turf wars often are the root cause." The surprise is that these other stories often relied on the AP report, but still left out this important fact.



What is the risk of a six year old dying from an accidental gun shot?

Lisa Maxbauer recently wrote a piece in the New York Times worrying about her six-year old visiting homes of gun owners.  Here are some numbers from the CDC for both six year olds and those under age 10.

For other ways of accidental deaths, the numbers are as follows: