IRS

The IRS Tries to Squirm Out of the Law

Forget tax rebels. Now it's the tax collectors getting creative with the rules.

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Lois Lerner
CSPAN

In "'It's So Simple, It's Ridiculous'" (May 2004), I explored the exotic world of tax rebels-Americans who believe citizens have no legal obligation to pay income tax. They describe themselves not as mere "tax protestors" but as a "tax honesty" movement, since they believe honesty about the income tax means admitting that none of us legally owe it.

The movement's prospects looked bleak. "A sober assessment of the empirical evidence," I wrote, shows "that victories for the tax honesty movement (the occasional criminal acquittal or mistrial) lead inevitably to a later defeat (further convictions or civil seizures)."

While tax protestors fare no better nowadays, it's the tax collectors who are today making headlines by quibbling about how to interpret various tax laws. Congress has been investigating reports that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may have aimed unusually abusive information requests, denials of status, and bureaucratic foot-dragging at nonprofit groups with a conservative bent.

In May, former IRS official Lois Lerner, who had been in charge of the efforts directed at such groups, pled the Fifth Amendment before Congress. She now insists that all possibly incriminating emails regarding abuse of power aimed at the administration's ideological enemies were lost when her hard drive crashed and was subsequently destroyed. The agency also claims to have lost records for six other employees, including another senior official whose hard drive suffered a conveniently timed crash. Like a tax honesty advocate who argues that he has no taxable income in a technical sense, the IRS is now making difficult-to-believe claims to avoid providing evidence that might prove them liable for having violated the law.

In 2004, I wrote: "Never has any court anywhere—much less the IRS—accepted as valid any of the many arguments the movement offers for how and why there is no legal obligation for individuals to pay federal income tax. In fact, courts will fine you up to $25,000 for even raising them, insisting such arguments have been rejected so often by so many courts at so many levels that they are patently frivolous and time-wasting."

The IRS, however, has an advantage tax rebels do not: No matter how absurd their excuses may be for failing to obey the law, the legal powers that be continue to take them seriously.

NEXT: Thousands of Pro-Democracy Activists Clash With Government Forces in Hong Kong

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  1. Congress has been half-heartedly investigating reports

    Given the blatant, contemptuous disregard for Congressional oversight, the lack of special prosecutors, contempt of Congress, and people in jail, I can’t call Congress anything other than half-hearted these days.

    1. I think they call them “independent counsel” if they’re hired by Congress.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S…..government

      I’m not entirely clear on the process to appoint one, but if it requires the approval of the Senate, that would explain why there isn’t an independent counsel going after Lois Lerner and the IRS already.

      In fact, that’s the only reasonable explanation I can think of–except, maybe, incompetence on Boehner’s part.

      Does anybody know, is it necessary for both houses of Congress to appoint an independent counsel, or can the House just do that on its own? Seems to me that if the House has the authority to hold hearings, compel people to testify under oath, etc., then it should have the power to appoint an independent counsel to go after people based on the findings of that hearing, perjury, the destruction of evidence in the course of those hearings, etc.

      So, I’d like to know:

      1) Is it necessary for the Senate to approve the appointment of an independent counsel, or can the House do it on its own?

      2) If the House can do it on its own, why hasn’t an independent counsel been appointed to go after Lois Lerner and the IRS already?

      The contempt vote made some Republicans feel great, I’m sure, but I suspect Ms. Lerner and the IRS would take an independent counsel seeking charges against them much more seriously than a contempt vote in the House. Everything but an independent counsel seeking an indictment is just for television.

      1. I know it’s a little simplistic on my part, but I think that Congress et al are a little… done with Independent Counsels.

        After the Clinton debacle, I think everyone kind of lost their taste for it. Nixon, Reagan, Bush I all had one. Republicans. Then Clinton got one and I think everyone finally said, “Whoa… whoa, they can do it to US too?” and that was the end of that.

        I see it as the one rare case where both sides have kind of decided not to wield that particular tool of power, because they finally understood it can be used against them.

        1. There was one under W right? The one that indicted Scooter Libby.

          1. Was there? I forgot about that.

        2. I think that Clinton was successful in spinning the Whitewater investigation, etc. as a witch hunt to embarrass him for cheating on his wife. “It’s all about sex”, doncha know!

          This isn’t about sex. And we’re not really going after Obama.

          There is another positive, in my opinion, on this, which is that if the Obama Administration does have something to worry about with Lois Lerner, then an independent counsel will be an enormous distraction…

          Normally, I might see that as a bad thing, but considering that the Obama Administration is all about making the last two years of his presidency all about international agreements on climate change (that apparently don’t need the advice and consent of the Senate), having something to distract the Obama Administration away from its agenda can only be a good thing for the country.

          1. “It’s all about sex”, doncha know!

            Yep. And to this day liberals will say he was impeached for a blowjob, when they know he was impeached for lying under oath. Occasionally you can get them to admit the truth, and the very next day they’re lying again.

            1. Well, let’s admit it; he was impeached for stonewalling every investigation that might have brought more serious charges AND because the President of the United States isn’t supposed to be banging the help.

              Sorry, Ms. Lewinsky, but you really aren’t up to Presidential Mistress standards.

              1. If he’d told the truth then there would have been no grounds for impeachment. He didn’t rape her, and it’s not illegal for a president to cheat on his wife. It is illegal to lie under oath. So it wasn’t about the blowjob.

                1. If he’d told the truth then there would have been no grounds for impeachment.

                  Ah, but remember that at the time, the Democrats and the left were in a frenzy about the awfulness of sexual harassment, which was defined to include even voluntary sexual acts between a boss and an underling. You see, the “power imbalance” means that the underling cannot truly give consent.

                  Of course, all that (plus the “women never lie about sexual assault” meme) went out the window once Clinton got caught.

              2. Everybody in that deal went to prison–except for Hillary and Bill.

                Even the sitting governor of Arkansas was convicted!

                The RTC money that was intended to bail out the widows and orphans who had their savings at Madison Guaranty (because the S&Ls; weren’t covered by FDIC) ended up in Bill Clinton’s election campaign fund.

                Neither Bill Clinton nor Hillary disputed that fact–they just claimed they had no idea how the money got there!

                If embezzled money from a government bailout ends up in the POTUS’ campaign fund out a shady real estate deal put together by the First Lady, yeah, seems like you might to have a special prosecutor take a look at that!

                You’ve gotta remember, too, that this was back before the internet took off. Very few people on the internet before AOL and Netscape took off–so people were relying on the major news channels (all three of them!), CNN and their local newspaper for news. If you think spin is bad now, back then the liberal media was the whole ball game.

                1. But, but, Jon Stewart says only Fox News is biased, he even told Chris Wallace that!

              3. Take a look at what Bill Clinton’s mother looked like when young, and it might become clearer why he was attracted to Monica.

        3. The US Office of Independent Counsel law expired in 1999.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U…..nt_Counsel

          It was always a Democratic push and after the Clinton years they realized it could actually be used against a Democratic President.

      2. I did a quick search and everything I saw read “Congress can appoint” so I assume it requires House & Senate.

        Even if it was just the House, there are two reasons Boehner won’t back it:

        i) it wouldn’t be bi-partisan and Boehner is one of the pols who has bought into the need for bipartisanship uber alles.

        ii) Boehner has also made it fairly clear that he sees the Tea Party groups as more of an enemy of Congressional Republicans than an ally.

        1. Incidentally, when Lois Lerner decided to go after Tea Party groups for opposing the president, she wasn’t being bipartisan either.

          Again, we’re not talking about going after Barack Obama. We’re talking about going after the IRS.

          There’s this thing called “the law” in this country, and if we don’t enforce it, there’s little reason for people to abide by it.

          Incidentally, Boehner is about as principled as a worm.

          I know he sees the Tea Party as the enemy, which is an excellent reason to remove him from the Speakership as soon as possible. When he says he likes bipartisanship, I think that means he thinks establishment Republicans should hate their own grass roots just as much as the Democrats do.

          …that being said, if it weren’t for the Tea Party, Boehner wouldn’t be the Speaker.

          1. Don’t forget that bipartisanship normally means Republicans caving into Dems and Dems standing up for their rights as a minority party and telling the Rs to go pound sand.

            In some ways, the Tea Party has become to the Republicans what African-Americans are to Dems: “thanks for the votes; we promise to do more of what you want – suckers.”

            1. There’s an Ayn Rand quote that says that in any compromise with evil, evil always profits.

              Bipartisanship is always a compromise with evil.

              1. Indead. When I argue with those who say that Congress needs to compromise to get stuff done, I ask them to drink a glass full of poison. WHen they decline I ask them to compromise and drink half a glass of poison.

                How does one compromise with those whose policies will certainly destroy you?

                1. I usually point out that compromise gave is the 2/3 clause, don’t ask don’t tell, the Compromise of 1877, etc.

                  1. compromise gave is the 2/3 clause

                    I assume you mean 3/5?

                    1. Yes 3/5 and “gave us.” Clearly multitasking is not my forte.

                2. Indead.

                  Awesome typo. Better than a John.

                  1. Oops, musta missed a red squiggly line. Sorry.

      3. In fact, that’s the only reasonable explanation I can think of–except, maybe, incompetence on Boehner’s part.

        I would like to add on to this sentence by saying that Boehner isn’t a leader in any sense of the word. He exhibits not one single trait of competent leadership.

        1. this, all day

          Boner is the opposite of a leader. As is Dear Leader. Horrid people, they are.

  2. She now insists that all possibly incriminating emails regarding abuse of power aimed at the administration’s ideological enemies were lost when her hard drive crashed and was subsequently destroyed.

    Which is bullshit.

    And even if it were true (which it’s not), her head should be on a pike outside the IRS offices, serving as a reminder to all who use PST files.

    1. Is there an alternative when IT limits your byte use on the email server and you have no permission to install other software? That’s a sincere question, not snark.

      1. I’ve done some exchange server administration (by default, I’m not an exchange administrator by trade) and I believe there are a number of alternatives– some of them commercial– however my alternative to my users was simple: Don’t use your inbox as a document management system.

        When a user reached his mailbox limit and called me, I’d spend ten minutes with them showing them how to manage their inbox, and usually within about 5 of those ten minutes, we had reduced the size of their inbox dramatically.

        The #1 cause of an inbox reaching its quota is attachments, and I’d estimate that somewhere between 99.7 and 99.9% of your typical user never deletes an email with an attachment. So a quick tutorial about how to save off the attachment and then remove it from the email while actually keeping the original email itself (if they required it) was painfully simple.

        There are a lot of layers to the Lois Lerner situation which would fill my comment quota space here… but here’s a great article about why not to use PST files, and it reads like a Lois Lerner cautionary tale:

        http://www.techrepublic.com/bl…..pst-files/

      2. A quick social-reality addendum– having managed an exchange server for an enterprise– there are certain… realities that come into play.

        All of our top-level officers had “unlimited” email exchange boxes, because they were Important People.

        I have a strong feeling that Ms. Lerner would have qualified as someone who would have been allowed a slightly higher quota than say, someone in Housekeeping.

        But even having said that, there are so many problems with Lerner’s tale of woe– that even if it were true, that she was using a local PST file– those emails would have been discoverable by using a half dozen other methods. Like going to the persons she exchanged emails with.

        And of course, from my understanding, this is why the IRS started claiming EVERYONE had hard drive failures.

        The whole story is rotten to the core.

        1. Anyone with a brain and some motivation to actually investigate all this would have taken the IRS cover story at face value, and started subpoenaing IRS IT staff.

          The posture would be that, as described, the IRS IT system is in comprehensive violation of federal law, and we’re going after the IT staff responsible for it.

          IT would roll over in a heartbeat, and lo!, we would suddenly have the emails and plenty of evidence to go after the senior officials engaged in the coverup.

          1. You pretty much nailed it.

            Not having the emails, for whatever stupid contrived reason, is simply a different legal violation. Saying “I lost them” doesn’t get her off the hook at all.

            Yet, no one is doing what you suggest.

            1. Just for the record, in case any of you haven’t caught on yet, “fuck you tulpa” is actually Tulpa–or my real name is Belinda Carlisle.

              I’d say it’s about 85%.

              1. omfg…

              2. I don’t think so, Belinda.

                1. Just keep it in mind.

                  …and watch.

                  1. Tulpa makes really stupid statements and then twists and turns, Tulpafies, in a very familiar and contemptible way. I’d recognize his bullshit under any handle. This guy is not Tulpa.

                    1. You need more data.

                      https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..nt_4780718

                      Read down at the bottom of that thread, too.

                      I’m just suggesting you consider the possibility and keep watching.

                      You’ll see the same things I do.

                      I mean, a normal person wouldn’t post under a self-hating moniker like that, and you’re a normal person, so you don’t think like that…

                      But we’re talking LOL Tulpa, here.

                    2. I’m not looking at that thread. I don’t need to. I’ve seen this guy make enough posts to know he’s not Tulpa. Tulpa is a retard. He can’t hide it. I’d have noticed this guy was Tulpa by now.

                      You’re wrong. Don’t be a Tulpa and insist you’re right.

                    3. Don’t be a Tulpa and say new data isn’t going to change your mind.

                  2. Also, this guy is clear and concise. The opposite of Tulpa. Sorry Belinda, but you’re wrong.

                    1. Keep watching.

                    2. I’ve been watching for a while. Keep insisting he’s Tulpa and I might start calling you Tulpa Carlisle. You’re adding nothing to the conversation with your accusations.

                    3. It’s either Tulpa or someone who acts exactly like Tulpa.

                    4. So he disagreed with you vehemently, and that makes him Tulpa? You’re acting pretty petty here, Ken.

                    5. No, it’s that he consistently acts like Tulpa in thread after thread after thread…

                      I gave one example.

                      Seriously, y’all. Don’t paint yourselves too far into that corner.

                      Aren’t you gonna feel really silly if you end up having gone to bat for Tulpa?

                      And for what reason?

                      Because your knee-jerk impulse is to always disagree with Shultzmaster K?

                      I think it’s hilarious if Tulpa runs around trying to feel included under the monicker “fuck tulpa”, and I mean LOL funny, but the other reason I brought it up was to save you all from the embarrassment of falling for Tulpa’s rouse.

                      You don’t have to believe anything you don’t want to believe, but, for your own sake, keep an eye out, watch and laugh, and don’t paint yourselves too far into that corner. There’s nothing wrong with being fooled at first.

                      I didn’t recognize him at first either.

          2. Oh absolutely. I’m sorry I didn’t mention that, but why the director of IT wasn’t on the stand is still a mystery to me.

            Having Lois… fucking… Lerner telling me her hard drive failed makes me want to punch my fist through my monitor.

            I can’t speak for the Federal IT department, but in our IT department, we were constantly butting heads against people who used PST files.

            And, we had a major figure in RISK MANAGEMENT who had a 3gig PST file and we fought and fought and fought with her about it.

            Thankfully, it’s not my problem anymore.

          3. “IT would roll over in a heartbeat, and lo!, we would suddenly have the emails and plenty of evidence to go after the senior officials engaged in the coverup.”

            Yeah, and if there’s anything we can depend on with government bureaucrats, it’s CYA memos.

            Nobody in the federal government goes against procedures without writing a memo to their supervisor to absolve themselves from culpability first–and it’s been that way with all bureaucrats since forever.

            When the ancient Sumerians first invented cuneiform (and bureaucracy), it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the first accounts of what they did and who they did it for was simply to cover their own bureaucratic asses.

            The people who made those decisions and went against procedures have copies of what they said and when they said it somewhere. If Monica Lewinski was smart enough to save her blue dress, these bureaucrats are smart enough to cover their own asses. …and those people don’t want their hard drives to fail.

        2. I thought there was a story a few months back that they’d actually recovered the hard drive date. Did I miss an update?

          1. The hard drive date? Please explain. Or better yet, a link to the story.

            1. Duh, typing fail. The hard drive data.

              And this isn’t the original story but it has the issue covered:

              http://www.forbes.com/sites/ro…..-or-worse/

              Trigger warning: intro ad to click thru before site.

              1. Congress requested all Ms. Lerner’s emails from early 2009 to April 2011.

                What bugs the shit out of me, we’re not talking about ancient emails here. Hell, SarbOx (which I admittedly presume the federal government is not subject to *pause for irony*) requires you keep at least five years on hand.

                That the director doesn’t keep emails– all of which are in the National Fucking Interest– for three years is shocking.

                And if it’s a technical issue about Inbox quotas or hard drive space, you’d think that someone who’s daily email activity were in the National Fucking Interest would probably employ an archival solution.

                But again, even if everything Lerner says is “true”, that her personal hard drive crashed– and ignoring all the weapons-grade retard that implies– the tendrils of those conversations exist elsewhere. And the only explanations for them not existing elsewhere is if everyone else involved also stored their emails locally, and each person also had an equivalent hard drive crash.

                At that point, there are layers of failure at so many and sundry points, it strains the mind to think it possible.

          2. “In a stunning revelation, the president of the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch told Fox News that Justice Department attorneys have intimated that Lois Lerner’s “lost” emails likely exist in back-up computers”

            http://www.westernjournalism.c…..jfwiBi6.99

            STUNNING REVELATIONS OF SHIT PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE ASSUMED WHEN THIS BECAME A STORY

            Because Congress doesn’t understand what ‘backups’ are

            1. We need someone in IT in Congress.

              1. The root of so many problems is that the overwhelming majority of government employees lack any knowledge of anything outside of the bureaucracies that employ them.

                It would be nice if there were some way to get experts involved to clear up all this shit without turning it into a TOP MEN situation.

                Another point to ponder is that an expert can bullshit much more effectively than someone who just doesn’t know what they’re talking about. That hypothetical IT member in Congress could potentially come up with a much better excuse for the absence of those emails, and a lot more people would buy it.

        3. Thomas Massie schools IRS chief Koskinen on probability.

          Odds of a harddisk failure within ten days are about one in a thousand. But that probability assessment is for a hdd failure of any type. The odds of a completely unrecoverable hdd failure within ten days is at least an order of magnitude greater.

          The probability of multiple simultaneous hdd failures as described by the IRS is infinitesimally small.

          But it does not matter. The IRS is above the law in this and all other matters.

          1. DAMN. Expressions of probabilities in terms of odds can be ambiguous:
            by “an order of magnitude greater”, I mean 1:10,000. (The probability is an order of magnitude smaller.)

            1. You blew the link, too.

          2. You sf’d the link.

            You see, this is why this is so hard to discuss, because this goes so deep, that you could fill a thread with a thousand comments all at max character limit, just describing how foolish this whole thing is.

            Hard drives fail.

            One hardly needs a PhD in computer science to understand that if you absolutely positively need the data from a hard drive, you can probably get it except in the most specific or disastrous of circumstances.

            Sometimes it gets expensive. A few thousand in the most extreme cases.

            I have seen hundreds of hard drive failures over my career of 30 years in IT (note hundreds over 30 years… that tells you how rare it actually is) and catastrophic failure is probably only a small percentage of those.

            Admittedly, almost never did the data absolutely positively have to be recovered. But I’d estimate in 90% of those cases, there was NOT a head crash, but a mechanical failure, head servo, or the spindle motor, or the attached controller-board failed.

            In almost all those cases, the data lost wasn’t worth recovering. But had there been a congressional investigation, and someone had come to me and asked, probably all of those failures could have had the platters removed, placed into another platform and recovered 99% of the data.

    2. I love that. The head of the IRS can’t find the evidence to prove she didn’t engage in wrongdoing, and so believes the case is closed. Try telling the IRS that you’re fairly sure you’ve paid all the taxes you’re legally required to pay but can’t find the documentation to prove it. See how far that gets you.

  3. Most Americans know that all the rah-rah bullshit they learned in school about government doesn’t apply with the IRS. They make the rules.

    A few people, however, believe all the rah-rah bullshit about “rule of law” and such, and think that the IRS doesn’t have authority to collect taxes on their earned income. Then they learn the hard way that the IRS has authority not only to collect taxes, but also to take everything, simply because they have guns and prisons and an army of lackeys willing to use them. Rule of law has nothing to do with it.

    Like voting, tax protest is just a futile and stupid gesture to be done on somebody’s part.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-xgd_eETE

    1. You gotta love those people, though. They still want to believe that the America in the Declaration of Independence is not only possible–but real.

      What if all us cynics were wrong? What if standing in front of a judge, accused of a crime that doesn’t really exist, all you had to do is say a simple truth, and it magically unlocked the real law–the law that no judge would dare defy?

      And what if that real law said that all income taxes can only be paid voluntarily, and there was no prosecutor, judge, or law enforcement officer that could do anything about it?

      I want a guy that thinks like that serving on my jury. That’s what the tax honesty movement should do–embrace the same stance only as a jury nullification movement. What if the feds couldn’t find a unanimous twelve man jury willing to convict someone of tax evasion anymore?

      The answer is that the IRS can do plenty to make your life miserable without ever taking you to court for anything.

      1. Ha! There are no juries in US Tax Court.

        Sure, a jury may decide not to convict in criminal court. But only if the jurors understand that 1) income tax law is invalid in advance, because the judge will disallow any presentation of an argument to that effect, and 2) juries have power to nullify legislative law and regulations despite the explicit instructions by the presiding judge to the contrary.

        Even if the tax truther prevails in criminal court, US Tax Court is going to screw him out of his net worth and future income, consigning him to a life of poverty. Better than being behind bars, but still pretty damned miserable.

        And the next time the tax scofflaw tries it, he may not be so lucky, and end up a political prisoner like Irwin Schiff, Peter Schiff’s father, who is serving a 13-year term in the Fed Pen.

        1. Yeah, and even without a Tax Court, can’t they do all kinds of other things to screw with you?

          Do you need to lose a case in Tax Court before they garnish your wages?

          What can they tell your employer about you? Who wants to promote a guy that’s in trouble with the IRS? Who wants to put him in a position where he’s handling money?

          What can they do to your credit rating?

          All the stuff we talked about how the IRS can make people miserable by way of the individual mandate applies–they don’t have to throw you in jail to make your life miserable.

          1. Yes, indeed. They can fuck you up before your case goes to Tax Court. For example, to get a hearing in Tax Court one must first pay whatever the IRS says is his deficiency. Lots of folks simply cannot do that because they don’t have the resources.

            I will say that, in my experience, a taxpayer can get a somewhat reasonable response from the IRS once he files suit in Tax Court, provided it is reasonable and not a tax-truther argument. I went round and round with the morons at the IRS, and couldn’t get a reasonable resolution from them. After I paid up according to their demands and filed suit in Tax Court, an IRS attorney contacted me. I explained why their position was faulty, and since this guy had three digits in his IQ, he actually understood my explanation. I eventually got my $15K back and never actually went to court. One problem is that most people don’t have the $15K necessary to pay up before they can get redress in Tax Court. Another problem is that most people lack the time, training, and disposition to understand IRS regulations and tax law. So they are screwed.

            1. That’s almost as bad as saying you must serve life in prison before you can present your arguments for your innocence of charges for murder.

    2. Most Americans know that all the rah-rah bullshit they learned in school about government doesn’t apply with the IRS.

      FIY.

      1. I really don’t know whether the majority of Americans really know that all the rah-rah bullshit they learned in school is bullshit. However, I am confident that most know it doesn’t really apply with the taxman. The Kafkaesque requirement to self-incriminate with Form 1040 is enough for sentient beings to understand that the BoR is a dead letter, for example.

  4. P. J. O’Rourke talks to Rand Paul

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..ce=twitter

  5. The hard drives would appear if they exonerated her.

    1. Not likely, because then someone else would might be on the hook.

      “Just tell me you did it, and it’ll be aight” usually means if you tell them, it ain’t gonna be aight.

      1. What I meant was, if there was no wrongdoing at all the hard drives would appear.

        1. Oh, sorry, my bad. I interpreted “exonerated” as “given immunity.

          1. No, it’s not your bad, Paul, that’s just typical Tulpa.

            1. You’re a bloviating windbag. It annoys me. I can’t stop being annoyed by it anymore than you can stop being a bloviating windbag. That obviously hurts your feelings.

              But the off topic personal attacks? No one was talking to you or about you. What the fuck is wrong with you guy?

              1. I guess it became obvious in this thread:

                https://reason.com/blog/2014/09…..sy#comment

                The completely missing the point–and attacking other people because you don’t understand what they’re saying.

                Moving the goalposts is pure Tulpa, too.

                We’ve talked about it a hundred times around here–the funny thing about Tulpa is that he can’t hide himself. If he makes more than three comments in a row, all the Tulpa comes out!

                Look up at that thread again, too. The attacking people for no reason–telling them no one cares what they’re saying…

                It’s pure Tulpa.

                And crawling back here under the disguise of a self-hating moniker is hilarious! This is also what Tulpa would do.

                …you act exactly like Tulpa–and not just in one way. And it’s fucking hilarious.

                1. “Wow, Border Patrol agents are just like the rest of us? ”

                  No actually, they aren’t “just like the rest of us” and if you can’t understand why and how, you’re exactly as stupid as your longwinded off topic stupidity about the NFL makes you appear.

                  You post the worst shit. Really, you’re easily one of the worst posters on the board just for sheer volume of garbage you litter everywhere.

                  Get a fucking editor, troll.

                  Oh my god I was kidding but I actually did hurt your feelings!

                  And then you chased me down in this thread to dredge it back up because I never bothered to even look at that thread again until today.

                  That is so sad for you.

                  1. By the way, thank you for making this thread about you and your stupid speculations, Ken.

                  2. Yeah, that’s the stuff Tulpa used to say.

            2. Uh, Ken… Why would Tupla say “The hard drives would appear if they exonerated her.” ???

              1. Whatever it meant, the goalposts got moved, didn’t they?

                Tulpa’s always running around with the goalposts.

                That’s like his second favorite move!

                I mean it’s typical Tulpa; it’s hilarious.

                If Paul has an answer for what Tulpa meant the first time, then of course Tulpa didn’t mean that! Tulpa meant something else entirely!

                LOL

  6. Signaling Post-Snowden Era, New iPhone Locks Out N.S.A.

    Fuck director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey with a broken glass studed jack hammer.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09……html?_r=0

    1. Of course, I’d expect Corney to say exactly the same thing if Apple had programmed a back door in the device.

      The state of affairs in the US is so pathetically dishonest that I would have more confidence in new iPhone if Apple were Russian rather than a US company. At least the Russians have no interest in facilitating the IRS.

    2. It would probably hurt more if the jackhammer wasn’t broken.

      Just sayin. . .

  7. Only U.S. Citizens with tax I. D. numbers, (social Security numbers) owe the income tax. That’s the contract they are enforcing. Without that, they have no contract to enforce.
    Why else would they have parents getting tax ID numbers for their newborns (by granting a tax deduction)?

    1. Because people were claiming deductions for more children than existed in the US…

  8. “avoid providing evidence that might prove them liable for having violated the law.”

    We can ‘to prove this. The FBI has investigated this and concluded that there’s nothing criminal going on. We’ve tried pimping this investigation to the press , but the only people who pick it up are Tea Paty Crazies and Fox News. It’s a bullshit fake scandal. Can you guys go back to more rand paul articles?

    1. Yeah, because having the government investigate and clear itself is an absolutely above-the-board, credible process that never results in the covering up of wrongdoing, ever.

    2. Guess if Nixon had destroyed the tapes after the subpoena you would have been ok with that too. Except in his case there was dear of backups. And of course today, computer files such as .pst files and archived emails are NEVER backed up…

      The FBI. The same group that solved the anthrax letter mailer case.

  9. No matter how absurd their excuses may be for failing to obey the law, the legal powers that be continue to take them seriously.

    Well, duh. You don’t become a legal power by questioning your fellows in government. You become a legal power by giving them what they want. Reminds me of listening to an interview with a former constitutional judge who said he was force out of his job because he refused to play the game. The game being some legislator comes into his office with legislation that is clearly in violation of the constitution, and the job of the judge is to come up with some clever interpretation that justifies it.

  10. Has anyone seen the Raid movies? They’re Indonesian action movies and have the best action sequences I’ve ever seen.

    Clip from the first Raid movie.

    Scene from the second.

    I highly recommend both, although the second is much better.

    1. Yeppers. Great popcorn stuff. Very well made (atmosphere, cinematography, etc.)

      I wouldn’t say the second is much better, personally. But whatevs. If you don’t mind subtitles (or speak Indonesian) and love you some cinematic ultraviolence, these should be on your shortlist.

      1. The last major fight scene in the second movie is unbelievable. When they’re in the kitchen. I also think the car chase is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Both those scenes are better than anything in the first.

        1. I’ve seen the first movie multiple times (own the DVD) and the second only once (will buy the DVD eventually), and I slightly prefer the first movie. The action in the sequel is of course great, but all the plot and dialogue parts dragged the running time to two and a half hours. Not the ideal length for this type of thing.

          And I REALLY like the final 2-on-1 fight in the first movie.

          1. I personally think the second half of the second movie is the best part of the series. I agree that the somewhat convoluted plot made the first half drag more than it should have.

            That’s why I prefer the second. Starting with the assassination that occurs right around the half-way point, the second movie becomes incredible.

            1. Lemme test a theory:

              I’m first movie/thin crust.

              I’m betting you second movie types are more Chicago-style.

              1. I’ve never seen the second movie, and I’m brooklyn style.

                Does that statistic mean anything?

  11. Awesome protest:

    REUTERS/Rick Wilking – Protesters at Bear Creek High School hold a sign to demonstrate against proposed changes to a history curriculum that would stress patriotism and discourage civil disobedience.

    All week, Jefferson County, Colorado, high school students have walked out of their classes to protest proposed AP History curriculum changes that they say censors American history by downplaying the legacy of civil disobedience.

    According to The Denver Post: “Hundreds of high schoolers across the county have hit the streets protesting a proposed curriculum committee that would call for promoting ‘positive aspects’ of U.S. history and avoiding or condoning ‘civil disorder, social strife or disregard of the law.'” On Thursday, the fourth and most attended day of the weeklong protest, more than 1,000 students walked out of class behind a new unified slogan ? “It’s our history; don’t make it mystery.”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/…..00253.html

    1. Speaking of retards….

      1. You get off on obeying government – you fuckhole.

        1. REASON IS SO MEAN TO OBAMA YOU GUYS SHOULD CUT HIM SOME SLACK!!!!!

      2. It isn’t sentient.

    2. I wonder how much positive media coverage I would have gotten if I protested my middle and high school curricula.

      “Why are you making me celebrate Black History Month? Why should I have to write a biography of Arthur Ashe? And if I must, will I also be required to write about a notable Asian American? If not, why not? Are some ‘people of color’ more equal than others?”

      1. “Why do I have to write a letter to my Congressman about saving the rainforests? Why must we watch Oliver Stone’s Platoon in American History class? Why must I write a report on the political impact of Madonna?”

      2. I think if you got hundreds of your classmates to walk out with you you’d get press.

        1. Yes, and all the coverage would consist of claims that he was racist and evil.

          That’s why he said ‘positive coverage.’ Given that Mitch Daniels was attacked for telling history teachers at the college he ran not to teach the grossly inaccurate People’s History of the United States, it’s fairly obvious that disagreeing with what is taught is only okay if you hold the proper views.

          If you’re a conservative arguing that poorly researched Communist agitprop shouldn’t be taught to 18 year olds, you’re an evil monster who should be driven from your job.

          1. I think you’re wrong. The Governor of a state telling state school teachers what not to teach is not like hundreds of students protesting what a school board requires, regardless of the politics involved.

            1. He wasn’t the governor of the state, Bo. He did this when he was the fucking President of Purdue.

              Do you think the president of a university should have no control on what his own employees teach at that university, particularly when they’re teaching explicit propaganda? Or should presidents of major universities look the other way if a teacher decides to teach Rush Limbaugh as the unvarnished truth?

              Also, you’re having difficulty with reading comprehension today. I flatly said that he was trying to tell teachers not to teach something at the university he ran which clearly meant that I was talking about his tenure as president of Purdue. Up above, MBC said he wondered how much POSITIVE coverage he’d get, and you responded that he’d definitely get media coverage.

              Both of your claims were refuted in the very posts you subsequently criticized.

              1. “Do you think the president of a university should have no control on what his own employees teach at that university”

                No, I don’t. Academic freedom at colleges usually means choice of text is determined by the instructor, not college administration.

                I don’t know a whole lot about Daniels other than being governor of Indiana, when you said ‘at the university he ran’ I assumed that meant as the governor, ‘the boss’ of a state school system

    3. I saw that on the news and wondered how it was received by the crowd here, many of whom seem to think it id ‘progs’ not conservatives, who would have to be behind a curriculum pushing ‘respect for authority.’

      That might be true where they live, but here in a very red state it is not.

      1. I haven’t lived in Colorado in 15 years, but the state isn’t exactly red. While there are fairly large centers of conservatives such as Colorado Springs, but Denver’s population outweighs most of that.

        And all the ski towns are as liberal as you can get (though even as a libertarian, those towns are one of the things I miss most).

        Even aside from that, Jefferson County is west Denver – rich white liberals.

        Even the pics in the article of protestors shows what are unlikely conservative kids (especially the nude couple).

        Aside from all of that – I for one applaud their efforts and firmly believe even the best Constitutional government setup to stongly protect individual negative rights, will fail eventually if no one (or two few) actively fights to maintain those freedoms.

        It just wouldn’t surprise me if the same kids were protesting the lack of emphasis of all the man made environmental problems, especially global warming.

        Which for me, is decidedly less worthy of support than the current protest.

  12. Pul- leeze. Everyone knows These students are just regurgitating talking points given to them by their lefty history professors. All I need to know and want to know from history comes from reading books by judge napolitano. The founding fathers were fantastic, Lincoln was a fascist, fdr was a racist fascist, Reagan (see founding fathers), 9/11 was an inside job, and obama (see fdr)

    1. When conservative nutjobs take over our education system look for new Scopes Monkey Trials and mandatory Christian Bible classes until 18 years of age.

      AND WOE BE UNTO HIM THAT DARES CRITICIZE THE CONSERVATIVE AGENDA ON H&R!

      1. I’m as much against conservative nutjobs taking over the education system as anyone, but I have a hard time believing that conservative nutjobs are in danger of taking over anything.

        It looks to me like the schools are mostly run by teachers’ unions and their government bureaucrat minions.

        1. Why would you assume that ‘government bureaucrats’ such as school administrators would be allied with teacher unions ( on anything other than overall funding)?

          1. On anything other than overall funding?!

            That’s kind of a big thing, isn’t it?

            What do you imagine they disagree on?

            You think one wants to teach evolution and the other doesn’t?

            1. I’m not sure but in most areas labor unions and management are at odds rather than being on the same page.

              1. They’re the same thing in this case.

                The teachers’ labor unions want management to spend as much money as possible, and management wants to give the unions as much money as they possibly can.

        1. Except that the teachers are overwhelmingly Democrats and the average child is vastly more likely to be fed left-wing untruths than right-wing ones.

          All the ‘heinous lies’ listed in that breathless Salon article are either A) being taught in like 2 schools in the country or B) are being taught nowhere and Salon’s just making shit up. The lack of links to evidence in that piece, except for one study which they rely on without bothering to fact check it, makes me a bit skeptical of Salon’s claims.

          What lie are you more likely to learn in schools: That white settlers were noble, wondrous men who wished only to live in harmony with savage natives, or that Native Americans were ‘in tune with nature’ and never fought before being corrupted by the white devil? Schools are vastly more likely to teach the second lie than the first one, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m not too worried about the right somehow ‘taking over’ an overwhelmingly leftist institution.

          Here’s a white privilege conference attended by thousands of teachers in Wisconsin where they were taught that white people literally did not exist before the 1600s. In the video, they force an 8 year old to repeat the propaganda they have just fed him.

          Now, tell me again how I should fear the right because a random ass school in Louisiana taught something ridiculous.

          1. I’d like to see some data about how far teachers skew Democrat, especially by state. I’m not saying that your generalizations aren’t more true than not, mind you, but I bet there’s interesting state and local variation.

              1. I think a poll of teachers would be better than what an organization like the ATF gave to who, considering the ATF doesn’t represent most teachers.

                1. The NEA gives 57% of donations to Democrats, 4% to Republicans. Those are the two largest unions and the VAST majority of teachers belong to one or the other.

                  1. Do they? I’m honestly not sure.

                    And, note, that many people have to join these unions and may not share their preferences.

                    1. Wikipedia says the AFT membership is 900,000, the N EA is 3.2 million. This site says there are 7.2 million teachers

                      http://www.census.gov/newsroom…..-ff15.html

                    2. Fearing conservative indoctrination of children through public schools is absurd.

                      Even in the South, they vote creationists off the school board!

                      It’s a boogie-man! Hiding under your bed.

                      Career bureaucrats and teachers’ unions are going to be infiltrated by creationist conservatives, huh?

                      Think about it!

                      The Westborough Baptist Church isn’t a vast right-wing conspiracy. They have 40 members.

                      Forty!

          2. Here’s another video from that conference, a conference vastly larger and with greater importance than any of the schools being criticized in that Salon piece.

            In this video, a man claims that Christianity forced people to convert through violence but Islam ‘used economic incentives’ so Islam totally didn’t colonize people.

            That would doubtlessly shock all the people living in Vienna when the Ottomans besieged it twice, the Spaniards who were conquered by Moorish Muslims, the Africans first conquered by a Muslim Caliphate and then re-conquered by the Ottomans, or the Indian Hindus conquered by the Mughal Empire. I actually do agree that Muslims at the time were more civilized than Christian Europeans, but to claim they didn’t conquer and forcefully convert people is absurd.

            This sort of anti-Christian, pro-Muslim propaganda, despite having no basis in truth, is vastly more likely to be taught in schools than anything approaching rightist propaganda. When the left owns 95% of American school districts and uses them as propaganda colonies, I am not going to pretend that conservatives doing the same bullshit in a few backwards hick hovels is the greatest threat to American education.

            1. I’m curious, where does your information that thousands of teachers attended this conference come from? Is there proof of that in the video?

              1. Fuck off, you are stupid.

        2. Lie No. 3: Climate change is a massive hoax scientists have perpetuated on the public.

          Lie No. 8: Dragons actually once existed.

          Wow, conservatives are stupid. They are probably introducing dragons into the mix to eventually shift the blame (breathing fire) for climate change from fossil fuels to dragons.

          1. Yeah, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the existence of dragons is not a mainstream conservative belief. The existence of a miasmatic and eternally unproven patriarchy, on the other hand, is an incredibly common left-wing belief.

            Which of those is taught in American colleges and is therefore more likely to infect American discourse?

            Jesus Christ. The Value Voters Summit was yesterday. I shouldn’t have to defend conservatives against idiotic attacks when we had Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum sharing a stage yesterday. Attack conservatives for things they actually ought to be attacked about, not for the nonsensical fantasia engaged in by Salon.com in order to justify their use of American schools, particularly history departments, as left-wing propaganda factories.

            1. I never heard the word ‘patriarchy’ from a professor until about my third year of college. I think that kind of thing is exaggerated.

              1. Perhaps you shouldn’t have attended a shit hole school. Did your parents hate you ? I understand if they did.

            2. Here, I’ll help. Here’s Rick Santorum’s speech from the 2012 Value Voters Summit.

              Knock yourself out. There’s gotta be some stupid shit in there that conservatives deserve to be mocked for rather than weeping over the fact that some mouldering coal town in West Virginia is allegedly teaching kids about dragons.

            3. I shouldn’t have to defend conservatives…
              After reading that list I would hope you would understand why those high school students are protesting. You should be defending them and not conservatives who are inculcating these students with republican propaganda. Do you really want them being taught that dragons exist. We should all be supporting those students.

              1. I’m also not sure this is as rare as Irish suggests:
                http://www.thedailybeast.com/a…..ather.html

                1. No, it’s not rare. This is a nearly country wide strategy by conservatives to infiltrate the schools with the end goal of transforming these non-partisan institutions of education into fascist production factories.

                  This is why they attack teachers unions so voraciously. The teachers are the main obstacle to their attempts to establish a theocracy.

                  1. “his is a nearly country wide strategy by conservatives to infiltrate the schools with the end goal of transforming these non-partisan institutions of education into fascist production factories.”

                    Well, but the left works pretty hard in that area too.

                    1. Well, but the left works pretty hard in that area too.

                      I don’t think the facts support that. From Irish’s posts above:

                      The American Federation of Teachers gave 89% of its total political donations to Democrats and 0% to Republicans.

                      and

                      The NEA gives 57% of donations to Democrats, 4% to Republicans

                      If democrats were corrupting schools then teachers and teacher’s unions would not be giving them money. Democrat’s policy seems to be that they just want the facts taught while placing partisan politics aside, at least when it comes to education and science. This is why they have the wide spread support of teachers and their unions.

                    2. If democrats were corrupting schools then teachers and teacher’s unions would not be giving them money.

                      Logic, how does it work?

                    3. If democrats were corrupting schools then teachers and teacher’s unions would not be giving them money.

                      Logic, how does it work?

                      Yeah, that’s beyond parody.

                      And notice the suspicious lack of fear about all that money corrupting politics.

                    4. Logic, how does it work?

                      I don’t understand this comment. What I said is perfectly logical. A teacher’s number one priority is their students education. If there was some external agent attempting to hinder a teacher in fulfilling her duties to the students the teacher will naturally work to counteract that agent. It is due only to conservatives’ attempts to politicize education that teachers ally themselves with democrats.

                    5. “A teacher’s number one priority is their students education.”

                      The number one priority of a teachers’ union is not the students’ education.

                      The number one priority of a teachers’ union is to justify the dues they charge by doing everything they can to make teachers are paid as much as possible for doing as little as possible.

                      Individual teachers have all sorts of priorities. There are really goods, I know, for whom their number one priority really is their students.

                      Those teachers often get buried in a union environment, where how much you’re paid isn’t a function how well you do your job. In a union environment, you’re paid by how long you’ve been on the job–and that’s it.

                      The incentives screw up people’s priorities. I’d rather cut off one of my fingers than have to work in that kind of environment.

                    6. Individual teachers have all sorts of priorities

                      The teachers job is to educate the students. The union is the collective will of the teachers. That will is concentrated toward effectively completing the job; which, again, is educating the children.

                    7. LOL

                      This moron actually believes this bullshit propaganda.

                      So Moron, I guess we can stop paying teachers completely then, since their only priority is educating children, they’ll just keep doing so without pay right? Especially since they have collective will to enable their doing so.

                    8. since their only priority is educating children, they’ll just keep doing so without pay right?

                      They are paid to teach. I am missing your point. I guess I should have said work priority.

                      I don’t even know why we are talking about teacher pay. This thread was about conservatives’ attempts to infiltrate the classroom with republican propaganda. This deflection onto teachers’ pay is a common misdirection tactic:

                      The trouble is that the current teacher-bashing rhetoric plays right into the hands of conservative politicians who want to slash pay and benefits for teachers.

                    9. It’s not even just believing the propaganda; it’s also the broad self-justifying pronouncements.

                      Like we’re all supposed to take his or her word for it?

                      The unions are the concentrated will of the teachers who want effective education–why? Why are we supposed to believe that? Because you say so?!

                      I’ve never believed anything for that reason–since I was ten years old and in church.

                    10. “The teachers job is to educate the students. The union is the collective will of the teachers. That will is concentrated toward effectively completing the job; which, again, is educating the children.”

                      If the teachers union is the collective will of the teachers, concentrated towards effectively educating children, then why do the teachers’ unions organize opposition to, spend so much money trying to stop, and generally attempt to thwart school choice–effectively trapping (especially minority) children with few options in failing schools?

                      What you’re saying does not compute.

                    11. Here are a few reasons to oppose vouchers:

                      Various states have employed an extensive school voucher system that has allowed creationist dogma to flourish.

                      Louisiana’s notorious voucher school system has let some crazy nonsense fly in the classroom, including the claim that dragons used to roam the planet.

                      Here is another reason out of a myriad of others:

                      In addition, many religious schools that receive taxpayer-funded vouchers discriminate in hiring and admissions. For example, in Georgia, more than 100 schools that discriminate against LGBT students are eligible for taxpayer funds.

                      With teachers top priority being the education of children I think it is quite obvious why they oppose vouchers.

                    12. A+ trolling job. Nobody caught on. This is how it’s done people.

                    13. With people like Tony in the world, how are we supposed to know?

                    14. I have no doubt that a lot of kids would do better in Catholic schools, where they teach kids all sorts of things I don’t believe in.

                      So what?! If they’re better off than they were in their local public school, who cares if they also teach them about creationism? How are kids in the religious school doing on reading and math?

                      Looks like you don’t care as much about the students learning as much as you care about your bias against religious belief.

                      “In addition, many religious schools that receive taxpayer-funded vouchers discriminate in hiring and admissions. For example, in Georgia, more than 100 schools that discriminate against LGBT students are eligible for taxpayer funds.”

                      First you said that the teachers and their unions were primarily concerned with the effective education of their students; now you’re telling me that they oppose something we think is good for students–because it isn’t inclusive of LGBT…

                      Do you see any contradictions there?

                      Looks like the unions care more about LGBT than they do about the effective learning of the students.

              2. You should be defending them and not conservatives who are inculcating these students with republican propaganda.

                Holy shit, you’re one stupid partisan hack. The curriculum that these students are chimping out about hasn’t even been implemented into the AP US History classes. It was part of a proposal that these courses simply avoid the Howard Zinn “everything evil that ever happened is the fault of white men and the US” version of history that typically gets pushed (I ought to know, I scored a 5 on that particular exam 20 years ago by parroting what I knew the testers wanted to hear). The one stupid thing that it included was to avoid encouraging disrespect of authority. Disrespect of government authority should be highly encouraged, not glossed over.

        3. So, basically, what the left did starting in the 60s, but a mirror version.

    2. Tell me again about how Venezuela is great and the only people suffering are the rich who have nobly been stripped of their ill-gotten gains by the glorious Chavez revolution.

      That’s the kind of history that’s simply irrefutably true, right AS?

      1. It’s Democratic. It’s… complicated.

    3. Also:

      Everyone knows These students are just regurgitating talking points given to them by their lefty history professors.

      Yes, almost certainly. The people who made the curriculum are not the teachers. I’m sure the teachers want to teach a leftist view of history, as teachers in virtually all public schools do. The fact that the curriculum has been made rightist does not preclude the teachers from attempting to inculcate a leftist worldview in their students.

      Incidentally, I had high school teachers who were literally pro-Communist, claimed the Soviet Union was great, and taught Howard Zinn’s easily disproven ‘history’ book in class. I’m from a conservative suburb of Chicago, but that didn’t stop the teachers from essentially spouting Marxist propaganda with no basis in reality.

      And I never had a protest on the matter because I wouldn’t have gotten slavish, bootlicking coverage for ‘speaking truth to power’ if I’d criticized the leftist totalitarianism my teachers were praising. Then again, you don’t seem like the sort who’d care much about people being forced into mass graves by the omni-benevolent state, so it’s unsurprising you don’t care about such bourgeois niceties as the obliteration of human rights forced upon people by every socialist government in history.

    4. Speaking of retards who expect libertarians to defend conservatives….

      1. It’s also hilarious because AS conflates libertarian stereotypes with conservative stereotypes. The people who would criticize Lincoln (Thomas Woods, Di Lorenzo, etc.) are not the same people who would praise Reagan. Similarly, people who read Napolitano are not the same as those who are pro-Reagan.

        Also, 9/11 truthers are rarely conservative. Some are libertarians, but the majority are left-wing conspiracy theorists and anti-Semites.

        1. You won’t ever get me to sing Reagan’s praises. Sure he got taxes lowered, and that’s a good thing, but his escalation of the war on drug users and deficit spending made him anything but a libertarian hero.

          1. He wasn’t perfect, but he did change the very conversation in this country about the role of the government, and I think he deserves ‘much props’ for that.

            1. What good did it do? Seriously. Government grew exponentially under his reign. The conversation may have been about less government, but the reality was the exact opposite.

              1. And he started a tradition of Republicans claiming to be in favor of free markets while restricting them at every opportunity. As a result, you now have people conflating economic liberty with the incompetent governance of statist Republicans.

                That alone did vast damage to the actual cause of freedom.

                1. More people talk about real liberty and free markets than before Reagan came on the scene. I think the Tea Party, for example, would not have been sans Reagan

                  1. More people talk about real liberty and free markets than before Reagan came on the scene.

                    I’ll give Milton Friedman more credit than Reagan for that.

                    1. You’d be flat wrong. Friedman himself knew Reagan popularized pro market rhetoric in ways he could not touch.

                    2. Reagan talked the liberty talk, but he walked the statist walk.

                    3. That’s at least debatable
                      http://vpostrel.com/blog/milto…..ald-reagan

                  2. Interesting point, but I am hesitant to fully agree. I think it may be a chicken-egg situation. TEA party types have always been around in large numbers but they haven’t been organized before. They were Nixon’s silent majority and Reagan voters. It just took a vile statist like Obama to get their dander up.

                    1. GEEEEZ. I amend that. They came along before Obama, but he certainly kept them going.

                      TARP brought them out in large numbers….Rhino Bush.

                    2. I think for at least many of them there’s quite a intellectual journey from being in Nixons silent majority to the current Tea Party, and Reagan was the pivotal stop on that journey. Before Reagan you had a GOP of Nixon and Ford, after Reagan we have Cruz and Paul.

                2. And he started a tradition of Republicans claiming to be in favor of free markets while restricting them at every opportunity.

                  Exactly. Free markets don’t mean tax breaks for special interests combined with “good” regulation.

                  Free markets mean not having to ask permission and obey orders as a condition for engaging in economic activity.

                  1. But surely lowering taxes, which Reagan accomplished, is a net gain for liberty?

                    I think you’re both overestimating how much people find markets discredited due to the failures of GOP administrations like Reagan re govt spending and regulation, most that care realize that comes from not going far enough.

                    1. But surely lowering taxes, which Reagan accomplished, is a net gain for liberty?

                      I acknowledged that, Botard.

                    2. But surely lowering taxes, which Reagan accomplished, is a net gain for liberty?

                      I don’t even agree with this. Lowering taxes is only good if you also lower spending. If you lower taxes without lowering spending, you just pay for that spending through taking on debt. That debt may be paid in the future through increased taxes or inflation, but it will be paid.

                      Reagan lowering taxes was therefore meaningless. All he did was take money from the future to pay for his spending, which, if anything, is actually less responsible than paying for it in the present. If people have to pay for their spending now, then they’d consider what they need and what they don’t. If you irresponsibly allow them to put their spending on the backs of their children, then people have no clue what the real costs actually are, and behave in a less responsible manner.

                    3. Well, the resulting deficits do provide an incentive against increasingly costly government spending being ratcheted up though.

                    4. “Well, the resulting deficits do provide an incentive against increasingly costly government spending being ratcheted up though.”

                      +1

                      I’d also add that the idea that the government is ever going to be so flush with cash that it decides to cut spending is delusional.

                      We should laugh at people who believe in such things.

                      Scientology makes more sense than that!

                      The only way you’re ever going to get the government to cut spending is by cutting off how much money they have available to them to spend by tax cuts.

                      The reason California didn’t spend more money was because they couldn’t get their hands on any more money. You should hear them complain about Prop 13.

                      If only they had more money to spend, all of their problems would go away!

                    5. “I don’t even agree with this. Lowering taxes is only good if you also lower spending. If you lower taxes without lowering spending, you just pay for that spending through taking on debt.”

                      The Laffer Curve is real.

                      Raising taxes is ineffective, because at the rate we’re already at, our limitations on revenue aren’t dependent on the tax rate–they’re dependent on the rate of GDP growth, which is in no small part a function of taxation.

                      I remember this from Reason, but Google took me to this:

                      http://mercatus.org/publicatio…..mains-flat

                      Please note the graph of marginal tax rates vs. tax revenue.

                      Slashing tax rates does not result in less revenue for the government–not at the levels we’re still taxing at. It’s possible that slashing rates could mean less revenue–but we’re nowhere near getting rates that low.

                    6. I mean, slashing the top marginal rate from 90% to 25% gave us the same percentage of GDP in tax revenue.

                      You’re certainly not getting any more taxes out of raising marginal rates–not as a percentage of GDP over the long run.

                      And by discouraging GDP growth with higher tax rates, we’re still forgoing a certain amount of tax revenue from growth.

                    7. Lowering taxes is only good if you also lower spending.

                      Not necessarily. Lowering tax rates doesn’t necessarily result in less revenue, since the money that would have been spent on taxes can be spent on creating more taxable income.

                      If you lower taxes without lowering spending, you just pay for that spending through taking on debt.

                      Spending went through the roof. It wasn’t a matter of lowering taxes and not lowering spending. It was a matter of lowering taxes and increasing spending.

                    8. “Lowering tax rates doesn’t necessarily result in less revenue”

                      Exactly.

                    9. Taxes and tax rates are not the same thing. Lowering tax rates doesn’t mean lowering taxes. If you must pay a high tax rate on income that you would have invested in creating more income, then you don’t get to create more income. If tax rates are lowered, and you are allowed to use that money to create more income, then you have more taxable income at the lower rate. It could be a wash.

                    10. Lowering taxes is only good if you also lower spending.

                      My source is a poor one, but didn’t Reagan lowering taxes, double revenue?

                    11. I’m not sure they doubled, but they increased.

                      Here’s another graph showing the same thing:

                      http://mercatus.org/sites/defa…..alysis.pdf

                      The green line is tax revenue–as a percentage of GDP. The red line is marginal tax rates.

                      As tax rates fell (you can see them drop precipitously during the Reagan Administration), revenue as a percentage of GDP did not fall–it stayed about the same.

                      Where the real increases in tax revenue came from was from a growing GDP. After the tax cuts, you’re getting more GDP growth, than you would have had otherwise, with higher taxes.

                      Revenue from taxes isn’t sensitive to the tax rate; it’s sensitive to GDP growth. …and GDP grows more with lower tax rates.

                    12. Where the real increases in tax revenue came from was from a growing GDP. After the tax cuts, you’re getting more GDP growth, than you would have had otherwise, with higher taxes.

                      This.

                      My source was Rush L on the radio yesterday. Said fed revenue went from $500b to $1T.

                      All the charts I can find, show revenue as a percentage of GDP. I suppose I could look up the GDP in those years and do the math, but that’s almost work.

                    13. Well that’s the important thing.

                      It’s so obvious that adding cost to things by way of taxation inhibits GDP growth that maybe not very many people are going to bother publishing something to show it.

                      If you want more tax revenue (not that increasing tax revenue should be the primary goal of economic policy), slash taxes! For goodness’ sake.

                      Raising marginal tax rates, by the way, also actively discourages businesses from hiring unemployed people (who pay no income tax). Sincne employers have to pay workers their take home pay–plus whatever percentage in income tax–raising tax rates increases the cost of hiring them.

                      There’s no situation in which people want more of something because it’s taxed at a higher rate…and that applies to labor and everything else, too.

                      There are situations in which we might see less tax revenue after slashing marginal tax rates, but it wont’ be because the tax rates were slashed. It’ll be because of something else…

                      If you lower marginal tax rates a week before the housing bubble bursts, you’re probably going to see less tax revenue–but that isn’t because of the lower tax rates. It’s because the housing bubble burst. You’ll probably get more tax revenue with the bubble bursting than you would have with higher tax rates and the bubble bursting, though.

                    14. …that we didn’t see a major cut in tax rates during the last recession, by the way, is probably the best evidence of all that Barack Obama is completely incompetent. Anybody who thinks you shouldn’t slash marginal tax rates during a bad recession is an idiot.

                      Why?

                      Because those taxes inhibit GDP growth. I don’t know of anybody with any credibility who thinks that slashing taxes doesn’t help GDP growth.

                      Even the Marxists understand that.

                    15. but didn’t Reagan lowering taxes, double revenue?

                      I’m not sure about it doubling, but I’m pretty sure that total collected tax revenue increased.

                      When you let people keep more of their money, and they use that money to make more money, then you have more money to tax.

                      A smaller piece of a bigger pie may be bigger than a larger piece of a smaller pie.

                    16. What’s this, Let’s Ignore Veronique de Rugy Day?

                    17. Increasing marginal tax rates does not increase tax revenue.

                      Decreasing marginal tax rates does not decrease tax revenue.

                      Tax revenue is actually a function of GDP growth.

                      GDP growth is in no small part a function of lower tax rates.

                      Where tax rates currently are, decreasing those tax rates would most likely increase tax revenue as GDP grew.

  13. Reading through comments above regarding the easily verifiable (if not patently absurd) claims about the “unrecoverable” information backing Lerner’s claims, I once again am led to the inescapable conclusion that we are “governed” by morons.

    Governance in this country would be inestimably improved if Congressmen were selected randomly from records at the DMV.

    ————–

    Also-

    Crack open another quart of paint thinner, Shreeek. I wish to be entertained.

  14. Melissa Harris Racetroller was breathlessly singing the praises of The Greatest Attorney General of the Modern Era, Eric Holder, this morning, you nitpicking racists. (I watched for an unbearable ten seconds or so).

    1. Maybe she should read actual reporting from her network

      ” Holder will leave his successor with the task of explaining and justifying many controversial policies. Here are four of the most significant civil liberties failures of Eric Holder’s time as America’s top attorney.

      Prosecuting leakers and whistleblowers

      Spying on journalists

      Guantanamo Bay is still open

      Dodging requests for transparency about targeted killings“”

      etc.

      I notice that MHP’s piece this AM was called, “How Eric Holder ‘Impacted Change

      This is the ridiculous way progs talk without saying anything.

      “Enable Action!” “Inspire Progress!” “Engage Positivity!”

      positive-sounding nothing-words, bonded to other positive-sounding nothing-words.

      I find it remarkable that so many people want to give the guy credit over *voter ID laws*…

      …which are really just a bullshit technical battle over the way scumbag Dems engage in urban ballot box stuffing.

      They seem to think its a moral victory of some kind.

      1. MSNBC is griping? My goodness!

  15. I learned all I needed to know when I was in my 20s, and I worked as a manager for a housing developer near the Austin IRS headquarters. A number of IRS managers lived in our houses, and I had quite a few interactions with them. We built decent, upper middle class houses. We did the best we could in the time frame and budget we were allowed. But new houses sometimes get cracks in the sheetrock, or an appliance might break or whatever. The homeowners would call, and I would go over and make sure whatever it was got fixed. Except when it was IRS people, I knew I was going to have a bad day. It was never enough just to show me the issue. They always had to yell at me, and threaten to have me and my parents audited, and take away my truck, etc. As far as I could tell, these folks woke up angry, spent the day pissed off, and went to bed enraged. And it is not like there were lots of problems with those houses. It was usually something barely noticable, but my job was to deal with even the smallest issue seriously and immediately. I think probably the IRS attracts an anti-social element. People who join just because they want some power over people, and equate that with respect. Looking back, I think they were really just pitiful.

    1. That is evil.

      They’re an evil entity.

      Doesn’t surprise me that it’s full of evil people.

    2. Power corrupts, but what is under-appreciated is that the corrupt seek power.

  16. Like Obo declaring the latest war without congressional approval, nothing will be done absent some political pressure on Obo.
    The Rethugs aren’t gonna; most of them are no more desirous of small gov’t than the Ds.
    Tony assured us a couple of says ago that to asshole lefties, a prez pushing the limits of power is just fine; the oath of office be damned. I’ll have to presume that lefty thugs presume it is also perfectly acceptable for a gov’t agency to do the same.

  17. Its interesting all of the talk on education in the thread reminded me of a bunch of ducks walking around quacking in the barn yard while walking away from the pond instead of towards it.

    I never finished college because other than the math classes, and a few good teachers that taught classes like logic, and philosophy, they were mostly slanted in their teachings, and taught crap that just wasn’t truthfully. I had a history teacher try to teach things about Vietnam that I knew weren’t true, because I had been there. So I walked out and never looked back.

    If we want to give our children and young adults a real education, the least we can do is teach them both sides of the story, and let them decide what they want to believe. Slanting it one way or the other is just plain BS.

    It is no wonder our country is in the mess it is in. It is just a propaganda fed society, that has no idea what the hell the truth is anymore.

  18. my co-worker’s aunt makes $68 an hour on the computer . She has been laid off for six months but last month her income was $21310 just working on the computer for a few hours. check…..

    ???????? http://www.netjob70.com

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