Category Archives: Taxes

Look Back, Rewind, Reverse, Republicans dig in

(I wrote this for the Urban News a couple of months ago.)

You’d be excused if you thought this was 2010 or 2011 or even 2012. For one party, they simply are replaying their greatest hits. It doesn’t seem to matter whether those hits brought them any political gain or not. As you remember, Lois Lerner, not Lois Lane, who worked at the Daily Planet and could be found in the SuperMan cartoons, was the IRS official who was at the center of the Republican-led IRS investigation. Remember the IRS was targeting tea party groups. This caused initial outrage but soon, with a little investigative reporting, it was clear the IRS was targeting not just tea party groups but also liberal groups with words like “progressive” who were applying for tax-exempt status. The targeting was probably okay since political groups shouldn’t be given tax exempt status. The House just voted to hold Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress for pleading the 5th. (My good friend, Linda [the lawyer] pointed out, “On the law, it is well established that a witness cannot “testify” and then claim the Fifth. That is what Lerner did. Her “opening statement” made assertions about her innocence that is impermissible when exercising your right to remain silent. You have to remain silent. You can’t open the door and then slam it shut.” As usual, she brings the knowledge.) Let’s remember that no court in the history of the US has upheld a contempt of Congress citation when someone employs their constitutional right not to incriminate themselves. Yet, the Republicans just voted for this. Why? They “believe” that Lois Lerner is holding the key to a White House backed conspiracy.

Benghazi. Yes, Benghazi. Republicans are dredging up Benghazi, once again. John Boehner just appointed a special select committee which is made up of 7 Republicans and 5 Democrats to investigate Benghazi, once again. Now, it is important for me to say that Benghazi was a tragedy in which 4 Americans died including Ambassador Stevens. We’ve had 7 investigations into the Benghazi tragedy. It is clear we did not have adequate security. Once the fighting started, we did not have adequate military assets in the area to intervene before 4 Americans were dead. These are facts. It is also been discovered that Ambassador Rice’s talking points which are given to her before she went on the Sunday morning talk shows were changed. They were not change by the White House. There’s no evidence that the White House was involved. It is clear that they were changed for political reasons. All of this information is already known. One must wonder why Republicans want to open yet another investigation. Continue reading Look Back, Rewind, Reverse, Republicans dig in

News Roundup – The Players, Department of Justice, Michael Sam

Rickie Fowler hits a close at TPC Sawgrass – the Players Championship. Martin Kaymer is tied for the lead with Jordan Spieth.

Did the Department of Justice abuse their classification to delay the presentation of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev? “As a number of outlets are reporting, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s lawyers have submitted a long anticipated motion to suppress the statements he made during the weekend the FBI interviewed him while he kept asking — 10 times — for a lawyer. The motion also provides detail on something that bmaz and I found to be just as important — DOJ’s delay in presentment, basically delaying the time before he got a lawyer. It describes how the Public Defenders Office tried to inform Dzhokhar they could represent him, twice trying to give the FBI lawyers letters to do so. The FBI refused the letters each time.”

Michael Sam was chosen by the St. Louis Rams. Michael Sam is the first openly gay football player to be chosen in the NFL. He’s a long shot to make the team. Continue reading News Roundup – The Players, Department of Justice, Michael Sam

News Roundup: Severe Flooding, Snowden, Jobs, IRS

For the last four or five days we’ve had torrential rains with severe flooding which has been unrelenting. We are in a flash flood watch through Sunday evening.

It appears that both Venezuela and Nicaragua are interested in granting Edward Snowden asylum. I know that there have been some Americans who believe that Edward Snowden has done a great thing. They believe that Snowden has become the conversation over safety versus personal liberties. I would suggest, though, that there has been no conversation. Instead, we’ve had pundits yelling at each other without any real discussion over this topic.

The new jobs report is out. The economy picked up 195,000 jobs.  We desperately need more. The economy has gained over a fifth of the jobs lost in the great recession. We’ve got a long way to go. Continue reading News Roundup: Severe Flooding, Snowden, Jobs, IRS