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Judge rules IRS must turn over any White House taxpayer information requests

August 30, 2015

 On Friday a judge, Amy Berman Jackson, ruled that the IRS must turn over all, if any, requests the White House made for confidential taxpayer information. Of course this all dates back to the IRS targeting scandal, if not before. Here is more:

The Internal Revenue Service must turn over any White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, a federal judge ruled Friday.

The IRS cannot cite taxpayer confidentiality laws to avoid turning over the information requested by Cause of Action, Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled. Cause of Action has waged a two-year battle to discover whether Obama administration officials had any hand in the IRS’ targeting of conservative non-profits.

The IRS cannot cite privacy protection “to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” the judge said Friday, according to the Washington Times.

“This court questions whether section 6103 [of the tax code] should or would shield records that indicate confidential taxpayer information was misused, or that government officials made an improper attempt to access that information,” wrote Jackson.

  We do not know if the White House has made any such requests, however the fact that the IRS has been unwilling to cooperate makes one think they are trying to hide something.

Cause of Action sued in 2013 to get a look at whatever requests the White House, or other federal agencies, had made.

The IRS refused, saying even the existence of those requests would be protected by confidentiality laws and couldn’t be released, so there was no reason to make the search.

The judge said Friday, however, that the agency couldn’t use the privacy protection “to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit.”

  Suddenly the IRS is concerned with confidentiality, only it is not the taxpayers’ confidentiality the agency is worried about but rather the White House’s.

Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Open thread for Sunday, August 30th: ‘Ever Fallen in Love?’

August 30, 2015

 open-thread Here is the open thread for Sunday, August 30th. Please feel free to post links to interesting articles and to discuss whatever issues arise during the course of the day. Nothing is off-topic here.

  Last week we covered 11 stories, did you miss any of them? If so there is an easy way to make sure it does not happen again. I understand that all of you are busy and cannot always find the time to check the blog for updates so why not subscribe to America’s Watchtower and receive email updates whenever I write a new post? That is the easiest way to follow the blog to ensure you never miss another post.

  In addition to subscribing you can also follow America’s Watchtower on Facebook and Twitter by clicking the links on the right. But you will get more than that for I often post links to articles I probably will not be writing about so it is a great way to keep up with what is happening.

  The Twitter widget in the sidebar is fully interactive. This widget updates my tweets in real time and allows you to respond to or retweet my tweets right from the blog. It also allows you to tweet me right from America’s Watchtower. How cool is that! If you do not have a Twitter account what better reason do you need to sign up for one!

  Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have fallen in love with? Here is The Buzzcocks with that very same question.

Jeb Bush’s top fundraisers leave his campaign

August 29, 2015

 Despite the establishment’s best efforts to foist him upon us Jeb Bush has not been able to gain much momentum after some early success. With his campaign now sputtering comes news that some of his top fundraisers are bolting his side.

  Here is more:

Three top Jeb Bush fundraisers abruptly parted ways with his presidential campaign on Friday, amid internal personality conflicts and questions about the strength of his candidacy, POLITICO has learned.

There are different versions of what transpired. The Florida-based fundraising consultants — Kris Money, Trey McCarley, and Debbie Alexander — have said that they voluntarily quit the campaign and were still working with Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise Super PAC. Others said the three, who worked under the same contract, were let go because they were no longer needed for the current phase of the campaign.

   There are conflicting stories as to why these men have left the campaign, as well as whether they were fired or if they left on their own, however Jeb Bush’s remaining people are trying to put a happy face on for the public.

Donors last week told POLITICO that they still felt good about Bush’s chances and that they weren’t worried about Bush’s recent slip from second to third place in averages of national polls. As the son and brother of former presidents, the former governor of the third-most populous state in the nation has a broad, deep-pocketed and savvy donor base.

  Normally I would agree with this because once the establishment picks its candidate it is a guarantee that the money will flow in while at the same time the other Republican candidates will be strangled out by the establishment–the money, except for individual donations, will dry up and eventually the preferred candidate will win. And of course the voters will believe they chose the candidate when nothing could be further from the truth, it is an illusion.

  But this is not a normal election year and there is a wildcard in this case in the name of Donald Trump. The establishment will not be able to strangle him out of the race by cutting off the money because he has the means to support himself and his candidacy. This could just be the beginning of Jeb Bush’s problems…

Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Federal judge blocks EPA’s new water regulation

August 28, 2015

 The EPA was set to enact a new water regulation which many people believe would grant the agency power to regulate puddles and small streams on private property but last night a Federal judge, Ralph Erickson, issued a temporary injunction ordering the EPA to put a halt to the implementation of this rule while an ongoing lawsuit is decided.

  Here is more: 

President Obama’s push to extend the EPA’s regulatory hand to ditches and small streams to enforce clean water rules was blocked Thursday by a federal judge, who said the administration had overstepped its bounds in trying yet another end run around Congress.

Judge Ralph R. Erickson called the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of a reasoned process,” and issued an injunction preventing the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from claiming oversight of millions of acres of land that contain small bodies of water.

Judge Erickson, who sits in federal district court in North Dakota, said he’d looked at all the evidence he could, and couldn’t see how the EPAjustified the 4,000-foot standard.

“The rule asserts jurisdiction over waters that are remote and intermittent waters. No evidence actually points to how these intermittent and remote wetlands have any nexus to a navigable-in-fact water,” he wrote.

He said the change in definition was big enough that the administration should have gone through a full public notice and comment period.

  He also ruled that it appeared as if the EPA overstepped its bounds:

Read more…

Republican leadership has no plans to talk about illegal immigration at Town Hall meetings

August 27, 2015

 For all of my perceived problems with Donald Trump there is one issue (as a couple of people who regularly comment on America’s Watchtower have reminded me) that he has brought to the forefront of the debate which otherwise would have been forgotten, and that is the issue of illegal immigration.

  For all of the Republicans’ bluster on this issue concerning Barack Obama’s Executive Orders none of the candidates were talking about it and that is because when it comes to illegal immigration and amnesty the Republicans and the Democrats are on the same side.

  The Republicans would rather not talk about this issue for the aforementioned reason and if this story is true they still have no plans to talk about it despite Donald Trump skyrocketing to the top of the polls. Here is more:

Read more…

Hillary Clinton compares pro-life Republicans to terrorists

August 27, 2015

 Hillary Clinton compared pro-life Republicans to terrorists earlier today, here is what she had to say:

“Now, extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States,” Clinton said. “Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

  Of course, like most Democrats, she couched this by basically claiming that the Republican are anti-women but this  is a blatant misrepresentation of what those of us who believe an unborn baby is a life actually stand for and I find the comment to be despicable. I am not alone:

Read more…

Donald Trump tells GOP leadership he will not run a third-party candidacy

August 26, 2015

donald trump Donald Trump has been unwilling to vow not to run a third-party candidacy if he does not win the Republican nomination. If he were to run as an independent it would ensure the Democratic nominee would win the Presidency and he sees this as leverage in the Republican primary.

  I however see this threat as more like extortion than anything else–vote for me or I will do what it takes to make sure nobody but a Democrat wins in 2016. This threat could also entice people who would otherwise not vote for him in the primary to do so out of fear of a third-party run, however according to this story Donald Trump is now telling the Republican leadership he will forego a third-party run if he does not win the nomination.

  Here is more:

Read more…

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