March 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Even areas of agreement in Congress get snarled in political gamesmanship. That's what's happening to a $1-billion Ukraine loan package that has widespread support, but is stalled by a partisan fight over other issues, including the Internal Revenue Service's regulation of political activity. As a result, Congress is now expected to recess for a week without approving the loan guarantees to the new government in Ukraine. Trouble hit when both Democrats and Republicans used the popular aid package as a vehicle to push through more divisive items that otherwise would not have had much of a chance.
March 7, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican chairman of the House oversight committee, has apologized to Rep. Elijah E. Cummings for adjourning a hearing while the panel's top Democrat was speaking. Apology accepted, Cummings said after receiving a call from the Vista, Calif., congressman Thursday night. Cummings, of Maryland, added in a statement that he hopes that as the House's top investigative committee moves forward, it "will seek resolution rather than unnecessary conflict.
March 5, 2014 |
A House committee hearing examining the Internal Revenue Service's alleged targeting of conservative groups turned heated Wednesday when the panel's Republican chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa, aggressively questioned a former IRS official even after she invoked her 5th Amendment right not to testify. The incident prompted Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, to launch a tirade against Issa, accusing him of running a “one-sided” and “un-American” investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 |
The spectacle that was Michael Jackson's life shows no signs of abating with his death. There was the conviction of the doctor who gave him the fatal overdose of a powerful anesthetic, battles over his will, attempts to remove the executors of his estate and the wrongful death suit against the promoter of his doomed comeback tour. Now, Jackson's estate is in the midst of a fight with the Internal Revenue Service. PHOTOS: Michael Jackson | 1958-2009 The agency has told Jackson's executors that the estate owes $505 million in taxes and an additional $197 million in penalties, for a total of more than $702 million.
January 31, 2014 |
Tax season, that time of year that spurs Americans to gnash their teeth and root out reams of old documents, officially kicked off Friday. The Internal Revenue Service started accepting and processing paper and online returns, as well as preparing refunds. Individuals have until April 15 to file their tax returns. The tax agency is actually getting a late start this year after the government shutdown delayed the opening of tax season by 10 days to Jan. 31. More than 148 million individual tax returns will be filed this year, the IRS estimated.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 13, 2014 |
The most specious (and probably predictable) reaction to the unfolding scandal imperiling the presidential aspirations of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is a silly attempt at misdirection by whiny conservatives who complain that journalists ignored the Obama administration's Benghazi and IRS “scandals” but have jumped all over Christie. Because he is a Republican. I don't know where this fake talking point first originated - my guess is Fox News - but my in-box has been full of emails from readers asking, as one did: “So how does Benghazi impact Clinton?
January 9, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The head of a criminal probe into allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative groups and tea party supporters personally donated a total of $6,750 to President Obama's election campaign and the Democratic National Committee, spurring Republicans to call for her removal. Republicans said Thursday that political contributions by Barbara Bosserman, a prosecutor in the Justice Department's civil rights division, raised questions about her objectivity and the integrity of the investigation into the IRS. "It is unbelievable that the department would choose such an individual to examine the federal government's systematic targeting and harassment of organizations opposed to the president's policies," Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista)
December 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In its last workday of the year, the Democratic-controlled Senate overcame GOP objections Friday to confirm two high-profile Obama nominees to the Department of Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service, but put off final approval of Federal Reserve chairwoman candidate Janet L. Yellen until January as part of a late-night cease-fire so lawmakers could adjourn for the holiday recess. After heated debate, the Senate narrowly approved Alejandro Mayorkas, President Obama's controversial pick for the No. 2 job at Homeland Security, in a 54-41 vote.
December 20, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - After heated debate, the Senate narrowly approved President Obama's controversial pick for the No. 2 job at the Department of Homeland Security on Friday morning. Alejandro Mayorkas will be the deputy Homeland Security secretary following a 54-41 vote. No Republicans voted “yes.” Mayorkas will report to the new Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson, who was confirmed Tuesday. Shortly after that vote, John Koskinen was confirmed as commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service and Brian Davis was slated for approval later Friday as a district judge in Florida.
November 26, 2013 |
Way too late to avert scandal, the Internal Revenue Service has set forth new guidelines defining political activities by nonprofits. These are activities for which donations aren't eligible for tax exemptions or donor confidentiality. What scandal, you ask? It's not the bogus scandal about the IRS targeting "tea party" and "patriot" groups for special scrutiny. It's the real scandal that these groups or any others were trying to get tax breaks and anonymity for political donations in the first place. Unsurprisingly, conservative groups instantly put up a big squeal about the IRS rules; after all, they're the ones who have exploited the murky old rules most assiduously.