A Corrupt IRS

Two Congressmen have some concerns, and they want IRS Commissioner John Koskinen removed. Ron DeSantis (R, FL), House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security Chairman, and Jim Jordan (R, OH), Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits and Administrative Rules Chairman, laid out their case in Monday’s Wall Street Journal. RTWT, but here are the highlights.

  • Failure to inform Congress. Koskinen concealed—during repeated sworn testimony—from Congress for four months his knowledge that the IRS that it had “lost” vast amounts of Lois Lerner’s (of “I didn’t do it” infamy) emails.

Change the Subject

At the Federal level, Republicans in Congress are attempting to take national-level steps to curb union abuses of members and nonmembers. The particular abuse is union use of dues to fund a particular party’s candidates, whether the union members support that party or candidate or not for now, at least, the Congress is ignoring union states’ practice of collecting dues from non-union members—which the employees are required to pay as a condition of keeping their jobs—and using those coerced dues also for political work rather than union activities related to work).

Projecting Again

Recall the union violence threatened and inflicted in Wisconsin when Governor Scott Walker (R) was working to break union strangleholds on the state government and local school districts.

Now, in nearby Illinois, we get this.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union sent a memo to its members expressing fear that in the face of union intransigence in negotiations with the State’s government, Governor Bruce Rauner (R) might use the National Guard and retired state workers to keep the government open should the AFSCME decide to strike.

School Choice and Unions

There’s a contradiction in terms.

In January parents filed a petition to convert Palm Lane Elementary in Anaheim into a charter under California’s 2010 parent-trigger law, which allows a majority of parents in any failing school to force changes.

Naturally, the school’s district officials and teachers union demurred. Never mind that

Palm Lane had made the state Department of Education’s list of underperforming schools since 2003. Fewer than 40% of students scored proficient in English in 2013. About 85% are Hispanic, and most are low-income.

(Where is the Obama DoJ and disparate impact? Oh, wait…).

Freedom to Dissent

Four men already had been convicted of murder in southeastern China when a fifth person confessed to the crime. But when lawyers demanded to review case documents to clear the men’s names, the court stonewalled. So the lawyers unfurled banners outside the venue.

They protested for days, alongside social activists who insulted the top judge, and uploaded pictures online.

Authorities say these lawyers have strayed far beyond their professional role into illegal activism aimed at sabotaging the country’s legal system. …

Nuclear Weapons Deal Agreed

President Barack Obama and his lesser foreign policy wonk, John Kerry, have agreed that Iran can have nuclear weapons and the missile delivery systems to carry them.

This is from Omri Ceren, via Power Line:

The Iranian nuclear program will be placed under international sponsorship for R&D

Sort of: “a major power” will work with Iran to develop next-generation centrifuge technology, ostensibly merely for production of useful isotopes of various elements. Never mind that “isotope production” other than bombarding atoms with neutrons is exactly what is done to enriching uranium.

The sanctions regime will be shredded

Disparate Impact

Disparate impact is the racist theory that if practices result in an imbalance (as defined by disparate impact aficionados) in racial representation in this or that arena (see housing, for instance), than the practices must stop until—based solely on race—sufficient races are brought into the arena to achieve an acceptable balance of races. Notice that none of disparate impact has anything to do with the wishes of members of this or that race, already present or absent from the arena. By design, it has nothing to do, also, with the intent of the managers of the arena.

The Encryption Divide

Silicon Valley and Washington have spent the past year arguing over whether technology companies should enable users to encrypt their digital lives in such a way that not even the Federal Bureau of Investigation could unscramble the information.

And

In private conversations, administration officials have said they don’t want Congress to pass a new law or to dictate to how tech companies should write code, said people briefed on the conversations.

That much is appropriate.

There’s no divide here, except in the minds of an overreaching government. The Constitution is quite clear. Get a warrant. That’s often inconvenient to Government. That’s part of the point.

Another VA Failure

An ex-Army scout and Iraq War veteran tried at two separate Veterans Administration clinics to get treatment for his PTSD. Does he actually have PTSD? I’m spring-loaded to believe so, but I don’t know. And neither does this veteran, unless he’s been previously diagnosed. The problem is that he can’t get that treatment, or even a diagnosis and so effective treatment for what medical problem he might really have.

“The VA isn’t taking new patients.” He got that at both of the Georgia clinics he tried. If you follow the link to the video he recorded, the relevant action starts at around 6:45.

Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Free Speech

Not directly, because this Oregon law predates Kennedy’s Obergefell ruling, but this is the inevitable outcome of his ruling on free speech.

Aaron and Melissa Klein, bakers who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, lost in an Oregon court and have been ordered to pay $135,000 in “emotional damages” to the couple for whom they refused the baking. Administrative Law Judge Alan McCullough, who found for the victimhood couple, ordered the fine, but nothing further.