The man who led the Internal Revenue Service when it was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status told Congress on Tuesday that he knew little about what was happening while he was still commissioner.
Douglas Shulman, who vacated his position last November when his five-year term expired, told the Senate Finance Committee he didn’t learn all the facts until he read last week’s report [...]
from Armstrong Economics:
Politicians in the USA like to point their collective finger at China for corruption problems while they sanction a legalized system of corruption that ensured the NY bankers will NEVER be prosecuted. Furthermore, in the USA, politicians receive untold millions legally funneled to them by political action committees. The PACs assure that Congress votes the way that those who provide the money want it to. Why is Goldman Sachs above the [...]
Apple’s Tim Cook will make his debut testifying before Congress on Tuesday, when the chief executive will press lawmakers to simplify corporate taxes as well as defend the company’s tax practices.
Cook will appear before the Senate Homeland Security subcommittee on investigations, which is looking into what it calls “the structures and methods employed by multinational corporations to shift profits offshore” and how that affects taxes paid. Read hearing announcement and witness [...]
The United States bumped up against its borrowing limit Sunday, forcing the Treasury Department to employ “extraordinary measures” to make sure the government keeps paying its bills.
After a brief hiatus, the nation’s debt limit has returned as a major hurdle for Washington to overcome, and one that will play a central role in fiscal fights heading into the fall.
Congress agreed to suspend the nation’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit the last [...]
The U.S. will reach its debt limit on Saturday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told congressional leaders in a letter on Friday, but said the U.S. is taking extraordinary measures to keep paying bills. Lew said those measures, including previously announced suspension of sales of state and local Treasury securities, won’t be exhausted until “after Labor Day.”
Lew asks Congress for debt increase, says it’s ‘not open to debate’
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew [...]
The CBO said this week that America’s fiscal deficit will be much smaller than anyone thought, and that long term debt growth will slow by at least 3 points through the next decade.
That’s good news right?
In his note today, Deutsche Bank‘s Joe LaVorgna says there is even more than meets the eye in the report.
Specifically, the rosier CBO report means there’s now less pressure on Congress to keep the Sequester, and more [...]
(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Sander Levin (D.-Mich.), the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, has joined Rep. Dave Camp (R.-Mich.), the committee chairman, in demanding that the Internal Revenue Service answer by next Tuesday thirteen questions posed by the committee relating to IRS discrimination against conservative and pro-Israel groups and, where relevant, provide all internal agency documents and communications substantiating the answers.
The committee’s bipartisan demand for documents includes [...]
Recent events suggest that the 44th president may not be immune to the phenomenon that historians call the “second-term curse.”
Not four months after his ambitious inaugural address, President Obama finds himself struggling to move his legislative agenda through an unbudging Congress.
And over the past week, two flaring controversies — one over his administration’s handling of the killing of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Libya, the other over Internal Revenue [...]
May 10, 2013
Savings from efficiency efforts and increased revenues from some categories of business were not enough to prevent the U.S. Postal Service from posting a loss of $1.9 billion in its second fiscal quarter, postal officials announced Friday.
The loss, following one of $1.5 billion in the first quarter, spurred officials to once again call on Congress to enact changes the Postal Service has proposed, including switching to five-day [...]
When it became clear last fall that the CIA’s now discredited Benghazi talking points were flawed, the White House said repeatedly the documents were put together almost entirely by the intelligence community, but White House documents reviewed by Congress suggest a different story.
ABC News has obtained 12 different versions of the talking points that show they were extensively edited as they evolved from the drafts first written entirely by the [...]
The Republican-controlled United States House of Representatives approved a bill on Thursday that would require the government to begin paying back foreign nations before spending funds on domestic items.
Full Faith and Credit Act – Requires the Secretary of the Treasury, in addition to any other authority provided by law, to issue obligations to pay with legal tender, and solely for the purpose of paying, the principal and interest on U.S. obligations [...]
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) entered a letter from law enforcement officials nationwide warning of the dangers of the immigration bill S.744 into the judiciary committee record today.
The letter To Congress from the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council of the American Federation of Government Employees Affiliated with AFL-CIO warns of the discretionary power the bill gives to “political appointees” and takes away from law enforcers:
“Congress can and must take decisive steps [...]
“Congressman Lamar Smith of Texas really does not understand science. Not scientific method, not scientific theories or laws, none of it. Which is why he submitted a bill draft titled the “High Quality Research Act” which would in effect add a politician into scientific studies.
The bill says that any research done using federal funds (which is the majority of research done in the United States) must have its results and [...]
President Barack Obama is traveling to Texas to promote technology-based education, training and jobs as he seeks support in Congress for economic initiatives he proposed earlier this year.
Stops today around Austin, including at Manor New Tech High School and at an Applied Materials Inc. (AMAT) factory, as well as meetings with students, workers and entrepreneurs, are intended to give Obama a platform to promote proposals from his February State of the Union speech. Those include raising [...]
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday explicitly accused China’s military of mounting attacks on American government computer systems and defense contractors, saying one motive could be to map “military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis.”
While some recent estimates have more than 90 percent of cyberespionage in the United States originating in China, the accusations relayed in the Pentagon’s annual report to Congress on Chinese military capabilities were remarkable in their [...]
The U.S. Senate is expected to pass a new law Monday making it easier for states to enforce online sales tax
Local retailers are rejoicing while small online shops call the expectation a huge burden as they scramble to comply with soon-to-be law
Few taxpayers know they’re expected to pay sales tax on online purchases, so a new law likely to pass in Congress Monday will help states force retailers to pay [...]
The public face of the National Rifle Association implored members Saturday to never give up their weapons in the wake of recent gun control efforts in Congress that he said will “destroy us and every ounce of our freedom.”
“We will never surrender our guns, never,” Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told several thousand people during the organization’s annual member meeting, which is part of the yearly NRA convention being held [...]
“While I believe the concern over a devalued dollar as a result of an unsustainable federal deficit is justified, I am unable to support this legislation,” Brewer, a Republican, said in an open letter to state Senate President Andy Biggs.
Brewer noted that the “administrative and fiscal burdens” for taxpayers and the revenue department “remain vague.” She also cited uncertainty over whether the legislation would have required the state to exempt [...]
There’s no question about it, the middle class must pay more taxes to control the national debt, says Doug Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
“Putting the debt on a sustainable path will ultimately require increases in taxes or cuts in government benefits or services for people who consider themselves to be in the middle class,” Elmendorf said in a speech at Harvard University.
The CBO director, CNNMoney notes, had [...]
Forty-four percent of Republicans agree that armed revolution may be necessary to protect American liberties, according to a gun control poll conducted by Farleigh Dickinson University (pdf).
Eighteen percent of Democrats and 27 percent of independents agree that Americans may need to take up arms against their government, the study’s authors found.
The study also found a stark contrast between Democrats and Republicans’ views on gun control legislation. While 73 percent of [...]
On Friday morning, President Obama held a press conference to address the automatic spending cuts, known as the sequester, that will be taking effect given that no deal has yet been reached. Underlining that the “pain” of these cuts is unnecessary, the president again faulted Republicans for allowing us this situation to happen.
Americans are “resilient” and will make it through this patch, Obama said, but Washington isn’t making matters easy. [...]
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA is paying $424 million more to Russia to get U.S. astronauts into space, and the agency’s leader is blaming Congress for the extra expense.
NASA announced its latest contract with the Russian Space Agency on Tuesday. The $424 million represents flights to and from the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, as well as training, for six astronauts in 2016 and the first half of 2017.
That’s $70.6 million per seat — well above the previous [...]
UK study confirms the dangerous link between drinking alcohol, being overweight and liver disease
Liver disease is the fifth biggest killer in the UK
Number of people dying from condition has risen by 20 per cent over the past decade
Being overweight and drinking alcohol dramatically increases the risk of developing fatty liver disease, according to a study presented at the International Liver Congress.
A study of over 100,000 British women found that being [...]
Sequester, tight budgets means DHS buying less ammunition
Tight budgets are forcing the Homeland Security Department to buy less ammunition, two top officials are slated to tell Congress on Thursday as the House oversight committee continues investigating the Obama administration’s ammunition purchases.
Despite the potential for cuts, the department still reported stockpiling more than 260 million rounds of ammunition as of November 2012 — a two-year supply, according to information provided to the committee ahead of a hearing on Thursday.
Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/25/sequester-tight-budgets-means-dhs-buying-less-ammu/#ixzz2RTmTTgSm
When President Obama first ran in 2008, he claimed his economic policies would “foster economic growth from the bottom up and not just from the top down.” He said he’d put in place “an immediate rescue plan for the middle class” and would end the “tired, worn-out, trickle-down ideologies we’ve been seeing for so many years.”
Obama got all he wanted in his first two years in the White House, when [...]
Congress is preparing to take action on a bipartisan proposal to raise taxes on flu vaccines. This is not a tax on the wealthy, but rather on a broad swath of Americans, or at least those who choose to be immunized against the flu.
In February, identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate to add seasonal flu vaccines to the IRS code as taxable. The legislation would exact a 75¢ per [...]
Washington, D. C. – Over 40 United States Congressmen have signed a letter calling upon the secretary of the Army to rescind a briefing by an instructor who classified evangelical Christianity and other faiths as “religious extremism” next to Al Qaeda and Hamas.
As previously reported, the training session occurred a year ago in Pennsylvania, and involved an Army Reserve unit that was receiving training on worldwide religious extremism. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) [...]
Of all the military services facing budget pressure this year, the Army is in the direst of straits. The budget Congress finally passed a month ago will help matters, but the service says it’s still more than $15 billion short of funds in fiscal 2013.
Army senior leaders told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that the elimination of a continuing resolution and thepassage of a formal budget only fixed about a [...]
from Sovereign Man:
Surprise, surprise… the completely insolvent US government has yet another idea to raise revenue in the Land of the Free: a new tax!
The Marketplace Fairness Act was introduced some time ago, and we’ve discussed it before. But it’s now being rushed through Congress as quickly as possible.
It’s aim? To collect sales tax for online transactions. And in addition to being financially debilitating, the bill is also a bureaucratic nightmare.
Remember the woman who volunteered as a host for a Neanderthal pregnancy, a few weeks ago ? This was a news item here at GLP.
It appears something yet more outlandish and spectacular was attempted in 1927 by a Soviet biologist named Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov and his son Ilya Jr.
They tried to impregnate female chimanzees, using their own sperm, and using as a technique artificial insemination (rather than the “natural” way, [...]
Anonymous: CISPA Internet Blackout April 22nd
The internet is bracing itself for a blackout in protest against CISPA on Monday, as the controversial law makes its way to the US Senate. Hacktivist group Anonymous has urged for the blackout and is now storming Twitter with calls for action.
Official Unofficial CISPA Discussion Thread.
What is going on?
CISPA, or The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act is a bill that has just passed [...]
“On April 17, New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg issued a statement to the public that he intends to propose a bill or amendment to regulate black powder, and other forms of explosive components, in the wake of the Boston Marathon Massacre. The bill would demand full Federal background checks of anyone seeking to purchase the minor explosive, similar to recent attempts by Congress to require full background checks on the [...]
From FDL News:
As was reported yesterday, President Obama signed a law gutting insider trading regulations on Congress. An incredible act when one considers the 2008 campaign platform of Barack Obama to roll back the influence of lobbyists and “change Washington” by bringing transparency to the federal government.
By signing this law, Obama has done incredible damage to transparency and open government – allowing, in effect even promoting, the continuing corrupt practices [...]