Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: IRS

The Black Robe Regiment is Spreading its Wings

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, November 5, 2014:

The Black Robe Regiment is enjoying a welcome revival, thanks to IRS waffling and dithering. Its initial iteration dates back to 1776 when Reverend John Peter Muhlenberg concluded his Sunday sermon with this:

In the language of the Holy Writ, there was a time for all things: a time to preach and a time to pray. But those times have passed away.

 

There is a time to fight and that time is now coming!

He then threw off his black robe revealing a full military uniform and marched to the back of his church where he demanded: “Who among you is with me?” 300 men from his congregation stood up and joined Muhlenberg that day.

The “regiment” of patriot-pastors grew to the point during the Revolutionary War that British Prime Minister Horace Walpole remarked: “Cousin America has run off with a Presbyterian parson!”

The second iteration was ignited by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in 2008 with its declaration that

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$25 Billion Wasted last year, says Senator Coburn

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, October 24, 2014: 

Official portrait of United States Senator (R-OK).

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK).

Entering his final year as Senator from Oklahoma, Dr. Tom Coburn just issued his “Wastebook” for 2014, listing 100 examples of government waste totaling more than $25 billion. They range from the ridiculous to the sublime, from the silly to the fraudulent. The fact that $25 billion is less than 7/10 of 1% of the total budget does little to mute the message or soften the impact of the ghastly, egregious projects at which the federal government is throwing heaps and gobs of taxpayer monies.

Faced with deadlines, journalists at the Washington Post, MSN.com, and GOPUSA.com were forced to pick and choose from this rancid buffet. The Post selected

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1500 Pastors Defy IRS, Preach on Social & Political Issues

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, October 6, 2014:

English: The Bill of Rights, the first ten ame...

As Pastor Jim Garlow was finishing his sermon yesterday to 2,000 of the faithful at his Skyline Church east of San Diego, he exhorted them to oppose Republican Carl DeMaio, who is running for the House of Representatives. He is against DeMaio, not because he is a homosexual, but “because of his activism against certain things.” Garlow explained:

I want babies protected in the womb. I want marriage defined as one man, one woman. You can’t have the advancing of the radical homosexual agenda and religious liberty at the same time. One will win, one will lose.

And then he added this:

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BATFE: the Agency that Just Won’t Go Away

This article was first published at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, July 25, 2014:

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and ...

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) National Response Team

News that gun prosecutions under Obama have dropped an astonishing 25 percent raised hopes that this most feared agency (outside of the IRS) was going away. A closer look reveals exactly the opposite.

News about the drop came from Syracuse University, which, at the request of the Washington Times, looked at the data from the Justice Department over the past 10 years and concluded that

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ATF: Guns are the Problem

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 24, 2014: 

English: New York, NY, September 14, 2001 -- N...

Initial hopes were that somehow the bad press that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (still known as ATF) has been receiving had caused the agency to pull back in its prosecution of criminal cases involving guns. But those hopes have faded.

Reports from Syracuse University showed that there were 6,791 such prosecutions recommended by the ATF in President George W. Bush’s last year (2008), while there were just 5,082 gun violation cases under Obama in 2013 — a decline of 25 percent. The all-time high occurred during the Bush administration in 2004, when 8,752 cases were brought by the Justice Department. And so far this year, prosecutions have declined even further, likely to end the year at fewer than 4,400, if the present trend continues.

On the surface this appears to contradict the president, who stated, following the Newtown massacre, “We should get tougher on people who buy guns with the express purpose of turning around and selling them to criminals. And we should severely punish anybody who helps them do this.”

The obvious incongruity between these numbers and public pronouncements by the anti-gun president was reflected by Robert Cottrol, professor at George Washington University: “We have this irony. The Obama administration, which is asking for more in the way of gun regulations … is actually prosecuting less of the gun laws already on the books.”

Many excuses were offered to explain the dichotomy — among them, budget cuts and bad press. This appeared to be reinforced by some ATF agents interviewed anonymously by the Washington Times, who said the agency had been burned by scandals such as Fast and Furious and an extensive report by USA Today on setting up fake stings to entrap potential criminals:

The current climate within ATF is: Let’s take a step back and not go after too many hard-hitting violent crime cases that use informants or undercover agents. We can’t just go it alone anymore….

We need buy-in from everybody: local law enforcement [and] other agencies. Then, and only then, [will we be] able to sell it [and have] the U.S. attorney come on board.

There was sequestration, which a spokesman for the ATF used to explain the apparent decline: “ATF faces key resources challenges in staff attrition …  resources are limited and difficult choices must be made with regard to priorities.”

The press has certainly been bad for the ATF. The “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal has become common knowledge in the United States, while the USA Today study is causing people to link “false stings” with the ATF as well. Back in June 2013, journalists at the paper invested hundreds of man-hours poring over thousands of pages of court records and agency files, not including hours of undercover recordings of sting operations that transcended the law. According to the paper, here’s how the ATF conjured stings to create arrests and convictions:

The stings work like this: When agents identify someone they suspect is ripping off drug dealers, they send in an undercover operative posing as a disgruntled courier or security guard to pitch the idea of stealing a shipment from his bosses. The potential score is almost always more than 5 kilograms of cocaine — enough drugs to fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars on the street, or to trigger sentences of 10 years or more in prison.

When the target shows up ready to commit the robbery, he and anyone else he brings with him are arrested and charged with a raft of federal crimes, the most serious of which is conspiring to sell the non-existent cocaine.

Upon conviction, the unsuspecting target could spend the next 25 years of his life in jail.

USA Today quoted a former ATF supervisor who asked rhetorically, “Do you want police to solve crimes, or do you want them to go out and prevent crimes that haven’t occurred yet?” Another ATF source defended the practice:

Are we supposed to wait for him to commit a murder before we target him as a bad guy? Are we going to sit back and say, well, this guy doesn’t have a bad record. OK, so you know, throw him back out there, let him kill somebody, then when he gets a bad record, then we’re going to put him in jail?

Judges have increasingly answered that question by calling such stings “disreputable,” “tawdry,” and bordering on entrapment.

A closer look at what the ATF is doing, however, shows a change in direction with undiminished enthusiasm. The focus now is not on the criminal and his crime, either present or future, but instead on the gun — who’s making it, shipping it, or buying it. For that, the ATF is using an obscure section of the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) that allows the agency to go after violations perceived in the making, shipping, buying, and selling of firearms. The rules are tricky and often difficult to follow. Here’s a brief snippet:

No person shall make a firearm unless he has (a) filed with the Secretary a written application, in duplicate, to make and register the firearm on the form prescribed by the Secretary; (b) paid any tax payable on the making and such payment is evidenced by the proper stamp affixed to the original application form; (c) identified the firearm to be made in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe; (d) identified himself in the application form in such manner as the Secretary may by regulations prescribe, except that, if such person is an individual, the identification must include his fingerprints and his photograph; and (e) obtained the approval of the Secretary to make and register the firearm and the application form shows such approval. Applications shall be denied if the making or possession of the firearm would place the person making the firearm in violation of law.

According to the Justice Department, just when prosecutions of criminals using guns has appeared to taper off, prosecutions under this obscure part of the NFA has increased an astounding 243 percent just in the last five years, and is up another 129 percent so far this year.

And then there’s the Hobbs Act, enacted in 1946, prohibiting the interstate shipment of property, including firearms, where there is any perception of illegality in the process. It is on track this year to become the third-most-prosecuted gun statute, compared to just a few years ago, according to the Times.

Robert Sanders, a former ATF assistant director, says the shift from criminals to guns is deliberate. “The agency’s philosophy has shifted to ‘guns are the problem and access to guns is the problem’ rather than the criminal being the direct instigator of crime.”

The ATF is not going away any time soon. It’s just morphing into a more efficient, effective, and frightening version of itself.

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House Slashes IRS Enforcement Budget Almost 25 Percent

This article first appeared at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, July 16, 2014:

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

Earlier this week the House of Representatives took up the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act to fund the government for the next 12 months. In the process it took advantage of the opportunity to savage the IRS by cutting its funding severely, specifically its enforcement budget dedicated to “assisting” taxpayers to stay in compliance with its 74,000-page tax code.

Thanks to Lois Lerner (former director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the IRS and potential future inhabitant of a federal penitentiary for her role in ordering the illegal scrutinizing and delaying of conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status and then covering up those orders by conveniently losing potentially incriminating e-mails), members of the House had a field day piling on amendments to the bill. Along the way they relieved themselves of some of the frustrations they have felt as the IRS has rebuffed and stalled them during various House committee investigations into those matters.

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Don’t Worry, Ms. Lerner: Your Emails Are Out There and Mr. Issa Will Find Them for You

 

Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, June 20, 2014:

In early August 2011, when Lois Lerner, then the Director of the Exempt Organizations Unit for the IRS, discovered that her computer had crashed, she asked the internal IT people to help her out and restore her files. By Friday, August 5, she hadn’t heard back from them so she called Lillie Willburn, the IRS Field Director involved. Late Saturday evening she received this from Lillie:

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House Investigator Issa Subpoenas Lois Lerner’s hard drive

Rose Mary Woods (1917-2005), Richard Nixon's s...

Rose Mary Woods (1917-2005), Richard Nixon’s secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, subpoenaed the hard drive from Lois Lerner’s computer that allegedly crashed – along with those of six other IRS personnel – in August 2011. He wanted everything, including “all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers” plus “all [other] electronic communications devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner.”

When asked about the matter, an IRS “spokesman” told Politico:

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Medtronic Announces Largest “Tax Inversion” deal in move to save taxes

Ten-dollar bill obverse/reverse

The announcement earlier this week that Medtronic is buying up Covidien in a $43 billion “tax inversion” deal confirms that momentum is building for more and more companies to use this strategy as a way to avoid high US corporate tax rates. Medtronic, a huge medical device maker headquartered in Minneapolis, will buy Covidien, a smaller company in the same business. Although Covidien is run out of Mansfield, Massachusetts, it has been incorporated for tax purposes in Ireland since 2009.

Once the deal is complete, a new company will emerge with a much lower income tax liability because

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Large Employers face huge fines for not Complying with ObamaCare rules

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A just-discovered ruling by a writer at the New York Times earlier this week threatens to upend various employer-sponsored health plans and ultimately cost employees more for coverage they likely won’t be using. The ruling by the Internal Revenue Service back in September negates an option that many employers with more than 50 employees were considering: canceling their plans and just reimbursing their employees with funds to go buy their own coverage on the ObamaCare exchanges.

This option, according to the IRS, would cost employers $100 per day for each employee

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Obama Administration Choking off Bank Lending to Gun Dealers

Cover of "The Second Amendment"

Cover of The Second Amendment

For seven years Theodore Roosevelt Liberti – known to his friends as “T.R.” – ran a retail gun shop in New Jersey and then moved it to Florida. T.R.’s bank had always been BankUnited (BU) which handled his accounts and cleared his customer’s credit card purchases. But when he decided to open an online store called Discount Ammo-N-Guns, BankUnited closed his accounts on March 12 “pursuant to the terms and conditions listed in our Depositor’s Agreement.”

When T.R. demanded a further explanation, the bank remained silent. T.R.’s wife and business partner, Elizabeth said:

I was very angry. They were very inconsiderate. We had all our credit cards going through that bank.

All of a sudden we had to run and find another bank to keep our business going. We [had to] shut down for two weeks.

[BUT] wouldn’t even tell us why.

When the bank finally responded, its explanation was unsatisfactory:

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The Likely Happy Ending to the IRS Targeting Scandal

Stop Corruption

Stop Corruption (Photo credit: kmillard92)

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, May 9, 2014:

To some, the two votes on Wednesday in the House of Representatives – one to cite IRS official Lois Lerner for contempt, the other to demand that the Justice Department appoint a special prosecutor for investigate further the IRS’ targeting scandal – represents the end of the matter.

The Inspector General’s report issued back in May 2013 has long since been forgotten, the FBI’s investigation came up empty, and now Wednesday’s contempt citation is headed for oblivion.

But the aftermath, the residuals, are significant. And positive.

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House holds Former IRS Official Lois Lerner in Contempt

Lois G. Lerner

Lois G. Lerner (Photo credit: SuperSleuther)

On Wednesday the House of Representatives charged former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official Lois Lerner with contempt of Congress, and then voted minutes later to ask the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to look into the targeting scandal centered (so far) around Lerner.

The first vote passed 231-187 with every Republican and six disaffected Democrats voting for contempt. The second vote passed 250-168 with two dozen Democrats supporting the appointment of a special prosecutor.

The issues now arrive at the desk of Washington, DC’s US attorney, Ronald Machen who,

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IRS Revokes Tax-exempt Status from Patrick Henry Center

English: US Postage stamp, Credo issue of 1961...

US Postage stamp, Credo issue of 1961, 4c, famous quote by Patrick Henry (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now, at last, Gary Aldrich is free to speak his mind on matters of great concern to him without having to worry about overstepping the bounds imposed on his First Amendment rights by the Internal Revenue Service. His Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty had its tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code revoked, effective last July. The final determination letter was dated December 31 but just released to the media this week. It said:

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Social Security Stops Seizing Refund Checks for Decades-Old Debts

Social Security Poster: old man

Social Security Poster: old man (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mary Grice, a resident of Maryland, was expecting her refund checks of $4,462 from the IRS and the state of Maryland. They never came. Instead she got a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) saying that they took them to settle a debt owed by her father – in 1977. When the Washington Post learned that she was filing suit over the matter, things began to happen. She told them: “It was a shock. What incenses me is the way they went about this. They gave me no notice.”

Her attorney, Robert Vogel, amped up the issue, putting the SSA on the defensive. Their explanation was spotty. Apparently

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Fewer IRS Audits again this year

English: Anti-United States Internal Revenue S...

The whining from IRS Commissioner John Koskinen began almost from the day he was sworn in as the latest head of the dreaded agency back in December: not enough funding, not enough agents, not enough audits, too many responsibilities, nobody cares, oh darn.  Last year the IRS audited less than 1 percent of all returns from individuals, the lowest rate since 2005. Whined Koskinen, this year “the numbers will

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Al Sharpton Adroitly Sidesteps Charges he was an FBI Informant, with the Media’s help

“Reverend” Al Sharpton’s denials have just enough ring of truth about them that the media are accepting them at face value. On Monday The Smoking Gun’s three investigative reporters published their nearly 30-page exposé “Al Sharpton’s Secret Work as FBI Informant” based on documents they obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act. On Tuesday the media began publishing his denials.

USA Today’s lead read:

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Senator Levin Castigates Caterpillar for Using Legal Loopholes

Caterpillar logo

Caterpillar logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Using the power of the bully pulpit as chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Michigan Senator Carl Levin attacked Caterpillar on Tuesday for using loopholes in the law to save the company an estimated $2.4 billion in taxes since 2000. Executives from Caterpillar as well as the company’s accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) were called on the carpet for

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Why do Tea Party Groups Seek Tax Exempt Status in the First Place?

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Friday, February 7, 2014:

Midst the outrage following President Obama’s declaration that there’s “not even a smidgen of corruption” inside the Internal Revenue Service have come some interesting questions: just how far up the chain of command does the corruption go? Does it reach to the top levels of the IRS? Does it reach to the White House? Does it reach to the president himself?

Who cares? Those are the wrong questions.

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At Bottom, Obamacare Is Just Plain Unadulterated Force

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014:

The warm, smiling actors in the Obamacare ads are hiding something. Behind the seductive invitation to buy health insurance because it’s the right thing to do, because your friends are buying it, because it’s “smart,” lies the

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.