A federal judge threatened to hold IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in contempt Wednesday after the IRS failed to produce, as ordered, newly recovered emails of former IRS official Lois Lerner.
U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan had ordered the IRS on July 1 to turn over Lerner emails on a weekly basis in response to a lawsuit by the watchdog group Judicial Watch.
The lawsuit focused on the 2013 scandal in which the IRS acknowledged agents had improperly singled out Tea Party and other conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
However at a U.S. District Court hearing in Washington Wednesday, Sullivan threatened to hold officials, including Koskinen, in contempt for not producing the documents as ordered every Monday.
“If there is further noncompliance, I will haul into court the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service to show cause why that person should not be personally held in contempt of court. I can’t make that any clearer,” the judge told Geoffrey Klimas, the Justice Department attorney representing the IRS.
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The Los Angeles Superior Court order issued Tuesday prohibits the Center for Medical Progress from releasing any video of three high-ranking StemExpress officials taken at a restaurant in May. It appears to be the first legal action prohibiting the release of a video from the organization.
The Center for Medical Progress has released three surreptitiously recorded videos to date that have outraged most Americans. The Senate is expected to vote before its August recess on a Republican effort to bar federal aid to Planned Parenthood in the aftermath of the videos’ release.
In a statement Wednesday, center leader David Daleiden said StemExpress was using “meritless litigation” to cover up an “illegal baby parts trade.”
“The Center for Medical Progress follows all applicable laws in the course of our investigative journalism work,” he said.
StemExpress is a Placerville-based company started in 2010 that provides human tissue, blood and other specimens to researchers. Planned Parenthood is one of the company’s providers of fetal tissue.
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“Life is fair!” said nobody, ever. Why? Because anyone who is naïve enough to think that the world conforms to their seemingly innate sense of fairness is too young to articulate such a complex notion.
I’m sure one of your parents broke the news to you that the opposite is true, perhaps after your sister got to spend the night at a friend’s house and you had to stay home, or your brother got just a little bit bigger slice of cake than you did.
Clearly, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken this to heart, making unfairness, particularly the economic sort, the center of his campaign. In his speech on July 18 in Phoenix, he spoke at length about the “grotesque level of income and wealth inequality” in America, asserting that the wealth of the bottom 99 percent barely outweigh the immense wealth of the top 1 percent.
But redistribution isn’t the real goal, only a means to an end—and that end isn’t bringing the poor into the middle class. That end is equality. You see, if you look across the globe at the countries that have been managed under socialism and communism, the real result is that nobody gets what they want. If we cannot all be rich, then we must all be poor.
Read more at The Federalist…
Republican lawmakers took a first step Monday toward trying to fundamentally change the way unions operate, introducing legislation that would restrict how they spend campaign money — and could keep cash away from Democratic candidates in 2016.
Their complaint: Unions are taking advantage of dues-paying members and sending their money to Democratic candidates whether members like it or not.
The Employee Rights Act, introduced Monday by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah., and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., would allow union members to tell their bosses they don’t want their share of dues going to certain candidates or causes, without fear of retaliation.
It also would seek to stop intimidation tactics by requiring secret ballots for employee elections regarding issues like unionizing or striking.
Any bid to restrict union political donations could have a big impact on Democrats, who get the lion’s share of union campaign money. According to the Center for Union Facts, unions in 2012 contributed nearly $90 million to Democratic Party and aligned organizations.
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Abolishing state-recognized marriage would actually separate family members in the eyes of the law. Getting rid of state recognition of marriage is also key to “removing the veil of privacy” that protects spouses and the family, according to Fineman, who has argued for doing just that in her book, “The Autonomy Myth.”
Libertarians have a lot more discernment to exercise before totally signing on to the idea that ending state recognition of marriage actually keeps the government at bay. Kuznicki’s article and Dalmia’s recent essay are all-too-rare examples of libertarian writing that considers the potential pitfalls of that idea.
So, I’d like to offer some questions to ponder.
1. How does lack of state recognition of marriage—replaced by a system of domestic partner contracts—actually shrink government involvement? Trading in the simple marriage license for a system of contracts seems akin to trading in a simple flat tax for today’s Internal Revenue Service tax code.
2. How would you deal with possible legislation to license all parents, including biological parents, once the state no longer recognizes any union, including that of biological parents, as marriage? As stated above, the loss of state recognition of their union as anything more than an ordinary contract will deprive biological parents of the presumption of custody.
3. How does privatizing marriage preserve spousal immunity? At present, the government cannot force you to testify against your spouse. That is currently the law in all 50 states. But once the state no longer recognizes you and your spouse as a family unit—only as partners in an ordinary business-style contract—the case for spousal immunity significantly weakens.
4. What do you make of the fact that Sunstein, the Obama administration’s regulator-in-chief from 2009 to 2012, argues for essentially the same plan? Sunstein is a long-time advocate of policies that grow government. He’s a big fan of nanny-state style “nudging” intended to modify everyone’s behavior.
5. How would abolishing state-recognized marriage promote freedom of association for all? The family serves as a buffer zone, or mediating institution, between the individual and the state. But logically, if the government does not have to recognize your marriage, it does not have to respect it. It does not have to recognize your family relationships at all, or your family as a unit. You are merely a separate party in an ordinary contract with someone else, as far as the state is concerned. Please explain how abolishing state-recognized marriage protects the family and helps insulate individuals from an increasingly Leviathan state.
Stella Morabito is a senior contributor to The Federalist.
Read more at The Federalist…
Lawmakers across the country are calling on Congress to defund Planned Parenthood after undercover videos surfaced showing their top executives negotiating the sale of fetal body parts collected from abortions. Ultimately, the videos highlight the abortion giant’s disregard for human life and their dedication to their bottom line, which is to make more money.
In a new Fox News report, contributors Shannon Bream and Jacqueline Pham help Americans understand how families are forced to help Planned Parenthood’s abortion business through their tax dollars. In fact, the news network created a “Taxpayer Calculator” so that people can find out exactly how much their family gives to Planned Parenthood each year based on their household income.
Over the last 10 years, Planned Parenthood has gotten more than $4 billion in state and federal government aid. Any bid to defund the organization may face long odds.
But how much is it costing you?
Here’s a sample: Individuals making between $50,000 and $100,000 paid just $15.51 toward Planned Parenthood. However, those making more than that paid considerably more. Individuals making above $250,000 have paid, on average, roughly $420 toward the organization.
As LifeNews previously reported, the initial undercover video was seen by over two million people and since then nearly every Republican candidate for President has urged Congress to defund Planned Parenthood. However, top Democrats in our country have said little about the group’s actions and the President actually thanked them for helping him implement Obamacare.
Read more at LifeNews.com…