Author Topic: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State  (Read 260587 times)

Crafty_Dog

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G M

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Crafty_Dog

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ccp

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Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« Reply #1006 on: May 13, 2021, 07:24:44 AM »
I would Durham is up against an army of mobster DC democrat lawyers

I am sure he gets no help from Merrick

Crafty_Dog

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Failure to faithfully execute
« Reply #1007 on: June 05, 2021, 07:45:57 AM »
https://www.theepochtimes.com/mkt_morningbrief/biden-and-harris-flout-constitutional-immigration-duties_3843852.html?utm_source=Morningbrief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=mb-2021-06-05&mktids=7fed606d021d3f8d1c8724cf617eba3c&est=YfF1XE%2Fb1y7FRGv19OUmsgVFJYiy7ksCDL7CPV3KF2S5oEc16D5Uhm%2FIHcB%2Bp%2BnU%2BCvX



"On the other hand, the duty imposed upon him [the president] to take care, that the
laws be faithfully executed, follows out the strong injunctions of his oath of
office, that he will "preserve, protect, and defend the constitution." The great
object of the executive department is to accomplish this purpose; and without it, be
the form of government whatever it may, it will be utterly worthless for offence, or
defence; for the redress of grievances, or the protection of rights; for the
happiness, or good order, or safety of the people."

--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833
« Last Edit: June 05, 2021, 08:06:03 AM by Crafty_Dog »





Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: ule of law wins one!
« Reply #1012 on: June 08, 2021, 08:46:17 AM »
https://www.wsj.com/articles/judges-immigrants-and-the-rule-of-law-11623104715?mod=opinion_lead_pos4

t’s usually a good day at the Supreme Court when Justices left and right agree unanimously on the law, helping to restrain lower judges with overactive political imaginations. That happened Monday in Sanchez v. Mayorkas, as the High Court put a corner of immigration law back in proper order.

The case was brought by Jose Santos Sanchez, who came to the U.S. illegally in 1997. When earthquakes struck his native El Salvador in 2001, Mr. Sanchez received permission to stay in the U.S. and work under the shelter of Temporary Protected Status. After 20 years of “temporary” status, he and his wife have built a life.

TPS recipients can seek permanent residency, but the key statutory provision is limited to people who were lawfully “admitted.” So a foreigner arriving on a student or tourist visa, say, might get TPS after a disaster at home and then eventually receive a green card. Because of Mr. Sanchez’s initial illegal entry, he was denied permanent residency. But he argued that the grant of TPS itself constituted a legal “admission.”


Mr. Sanchez lost at the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, but the judiciary was split on the matter. In a 2013 case, the Sixth Circuit accepted an argument akin to Mr. Sanchez’s. That ruling featured a footnote chastising the U.S. Code “that using the term ‘alien’ to refer to other human beings is offensive and demeaning.”

A little of this spirit seems to live at the Supreme Court: In a case last month, Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave a quote from a 1987 opinion by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, but she conspicuously edited the line to say “noncitizen” instead of “alien.”

No Justice adopted a strained reading of immigration law in the Sanchez case. “Sanchez was not lawfully admitted, and his TPS does not alter that fact,” Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the Court. “He therefore cannot become a permanent resident of this country.”

As salutary as this is for the rule of law, it’s a sad day for Mr. Sanchez. He and his wife have lived in the U.S. for decades. He has worked as a mechanic and paid taxes. Their youngest son was born here. They deserve a permanent resolution, but it must come from Congress. Judges who try to pry open loopholes are relieving lawmakers of the pressure to act.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Return of the IRS Scandal
« Reply #1013 on: June 08, 2021, 09:40:24 PM »
Return of the IRS Scandal
Someone leaked the tax information of individuals to serve the left’s agenda.
By The Editorial Board
June 8, 2021 6:39 pm ET



That didn’t take long. Less than half a year into the Biden Presidency, the Internal Revenue Service is already at the center of an abuse-of-power scandal. That news broke Tuesday when ProPublica, a website whose journalism promotes progressive causes, published information from what it said are 15 years of the tax returns of Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and other rich Americans.

Leaking such information is a crime, since under federal law tax returns are confidential. ProPublica says it received the files from “an anonymous source” and doesn’t know who provided them, how they were obtained, or what the source’s motives are.

Allow us to fill in that last blank. The story arrives amid the Biden Administration’s effort to pass the largest tax increase as a share of the economy since 1968. The main Democratic argument for a tax hike is that the rich should pay their “fair share.” The ProPublica story is a long argument that somehow the rich don’t pay enough. The timing here is no coincidence, comrade.

Someone at the IRS—or someone who hacked the IRS—leaked the documents to influence the debate in Congress. And right on time, Ron Wyden, the Senate’s chief tax writer, opened a Finance Committee hearing Tuesday by mentioning the ProPublica data dump.


“What this data reveals is that the country’s wealthiest—who profited immensely during the pandemic—have not been paying their fair share,” Mr. Wyden said. “I’ll have a proposal to change that.” You can bet he will.

***
Yet the striking fact of the initial ProPublica story—it says the disclosures will continue for months—is how undramatic the findings are. It turns out that billionaires are very good at reducing their taxable income. Who knew?

Investors and entrepreneurs like Messrs. Buffett and Bezos make most of their money from the appreciation in the value of their assets. Most of Mr. Bezos’s wealth comes from the rising value of his stock in Amazon, which he founded. Mr. Buffett has long admitted he pays a relatively low income-tax rate because his wealth is based in the value of his company, Berkshire Hathaway.


There is no evidence of illegality in the ProPublica story. As these columns keep pointing out, the rich can afford to hire lawyers and accountants to exploit every part of the tax code to pay the minimum amount of income tax the law allows.

ProPublica knows this, so its story tries to invent a scandal by calculating what it calls the “true tax rate” these fellows are paying. This is a phony construct that exists nowhere in the law and compares how much the “wealth” of these individuals increased from 2014 to 2018 compared to how much income tax they paid. ProPublica says that Mr. Buffett’s “true tax rate” over that period was only 0.10%.

But wealth and income are different, and what Americans pay is a tax on income, not wealth. ProPublica makes much of the fact that these billionaires pay a lower rate on capital gains and dividends than they do on income. The story suggests this is unfair, but it isn’t.

The preferential rate for capital gains and dividends has been a central part of the tax code for decades, and for good reasons. Congress has wanted to encourage capital investment; assets are often held for decades and gains are only realized upon their sale; gains can’t be adjusted for inflation over the years they are held; and investors can’t deduct net capital losses from income beyond $3,000 a year. Bipartisan majorities have long supported this part of the tax code.

But this has changed as the political left has risen in the Democratic Party, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders ran for President calling for a new tax on wealth. The ProPublica story essentially argues for the Warren-Sanders agenda. We’ll leave the case against such a tax for another day, but the political point is that Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders lost. Mr. Biden didn’t run on a wealth tax.

***
This still leaves the real scandal, which is that someone leaked confidential IRS information about individuals to serve a political agenda. This is the same tax agency that pursued a vendetta against conservative nonprofit groups during the Obama Administration. Remember Lois Lerner ?


This is also the same IRS that Democrats now want to infuse with $80 billion more to chase a fanciful amount of uncollected taxes. As part of this effort, Mr. Biden wants the IRS to collect “gross inflows and outflows on all business and personal accounts from financial institutions.” Why? So the information can be leaked to ProPublica?

The IRS says it has begun an investigation into the tax-return disclosure, and by all means send the guilty to prison. But Congress should also not trust the IRS with any more power and money than it already has.

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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The IRS tax leak
« Reply #1016 on: June 15, 2021, 08:13:33 PM »
We can save the pros and cons of a wealth tax for another day, but notice how gratuitous was ProPublica’s use of stolen tax data for 25 wealthy taxpayers (and it claims to have data on thousands more Americans).

By definition, these returns don’t contain information about unrealized stock-market, real estate and other asset gains that aren’t “income” under U.S. tax law but ProPublica has decided should be. For almost the entirety of its purpose, ProPublica relies on Forbes’s long-running research into the wealth of the richest Americans.


Forbes did the work, tracking down and valuing the wealthy’s assets for the years 2014 to 2018. More to the point, at any time in the past three years, anyone could have calculated how much the wealthy would have owed if unrealized gains were taxed. And did. Using the same Forbes data, economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, in a single sentence in a Washington Post op-ed in April, said everything ProPublica really had to say.

Forbes engaged in enterprising journalism. Whoever stole the tax returns was enterprising in another sense. ProPublica was enterprising only in inventing a piffling rationalization for publishing the stolen data and proclaiming itself the author of an important scoop.


This rationalization comes down to a conceit: a taxpayer’s actual payment in a given year, which ProPublica extracts from the stolen returns, compared against their Forbes unrealized gains reveals what “we’re going to call . . . their true tax rate.”

This is a misuse of the word “true.” So Jeff Bezos paid a tax rate of just 0.98% during years when he paid taxes of $973 million because the unrealized appreciation of his Amazon shares was $99 billion. Follow-up press reports all trumpeted this 0.98% “true” rate but it’s a hypothetical rate based on a hypothetical change in the tax code. At least engage in the thought experiment honestly and recognize that such a tax would also affect the market value of his shares. ProPublica doesn’t because the true tax rate is just a contrivance thrown in to give a role to the stolen documents.

ProPublica’s outgoing chief Richard Tofel claims the piece is “the most important story we have ever published. . . . The findings are extraordinary.”

A more cogent reaction was that of economist and blogger Tyler Cowen : “ProPublica acted unethically, and in fact nothing fundamentally new or interesting or surprising was learned from their act as accessory” to data theft.

Let’s step back. When journalists are handed confidential information by a source, they aren’t under any obligation to interpret the data or put the construction on it the source wants.




In this case, ProPublica claims not to know who provided the tax returns; it could have been a foreign intelligence agency. I doubt the 25 richest taxpayers, much less thousands of others, all use the same careless tax preparer or have the same angry niece.

This is the information ProPublica laundered into the public domain—laundered is the right word here because, in this first installment at least, ProPublica didn’t meet its own stated standard of bringing information to light sufficiently extraordinary to justify the privacy violation.

ProPublica is free to make its own judgment but marched predictably and exploitably to the tune of its source, whom ProPublica said claimed to support the outfit’s “previous coverage of issues surrounding the IRS and tax enforcement.” Realistically, was there a chance ProPublica would refuse the data? When it didn’t, it had to find something in it to justify its meretricious scoop. That’s the significance of the “true tax rate” gimmick ProPublica came up with.


Picture a group of editors and reporters pretending to labor to a conclusion that was foreordained because the world knows how to play on the vanity of journalists.

Meanwhile, it’s news that tax returns of thousands of Americans, which the government is pledged to protect, now are in the hands of unknown numbers of private parties and criminals.

This is the real abuse—ProPublica describes itself as a “nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power.”

Let’s end by noticing the relevance to a story that has exploded in the last few days about Trump-era investigations of leaks to journalists. Anonymity is supposed to protect sources but it also protects journalists. It protects them from the public finding out whom they are being manipulated by. It protects them from accountability for untruths they serve as conduits for. They can always claim they accurately reported the words of sources who can’t be asked if their words were accurately reported or if the relationship to the reporter was arm’s-length and skeptical rather than conspiratorial.

The very wealthy are deemed public figures for press purposes; their tax payments arguably are newsworthy. The people who stole the tax documents might go to jail, but the journalists won’t unless they conspired in or facilitated a criminal act. Undoubtedly ProPublica at least hires some smart lawyers, but a bigger help would be for journalists to conduct themselves nondisingenuously in the matters that the public can see so it will have reason to trust them in matters that it can’t.


G M

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No longer your military
« Reply #1018 on: June 22, 2021, 12:03:55 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The war on the rule of law; the Deep State
« Reply #1019 on: June 22, 2021, 12:12:12 PM »
From Don't Ask, Don't Tell

to

We are telling you to watch the show and tell.