Tag: Orders

Obamanomics Update: U.S. Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low – 16 Consecutive Months Of Declines

Manufacturing Recession Deepens: Factory Orders Drop To Five Year Low; 16 Consecutive Declines – Zero Hedge

In 60 years, the U.S. economy has not suffered a 16-month continuous YoY drop in Factory orders without being in recession. Moments ago the Department of Commerce confirmed that this is precisely what the U.S. economy did, when factory orders not only dropped for the 16th consecutive month Y/Y, after declining 1.7% from last month…

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…but at $454 billion for the headline number, this was the lowest print since the summer of 2011.

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Market reaction: stocks rebound on the news and are now well in the green.

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Judge Orders IRS To Turn Over Secret List Of Conservative Groups It Targeted – Accuses Government Of Acting In Bad Faith

Court Rebukes IRS For Tea Party Targeting, Orders Release Of Secret List – Washington Times

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A federal appeals court spanked the IRS Tuesday, saying it has taken laws designed to protect taxpayers from the government and turned them on their head, using them to try to protect the tax agency from the very tea party groups it targeted.

The judges ordered the IRS to quickly turn over the full list of groups it targeted so that a class-action lawsuit, filed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots, can proceed. The judges also accused the Justice Department lawyers, who are representing the IRS in the case, of acting in bad faith – compounding the initial targeting – by fighting the disclosure.

“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws – all of them, not just selective ones – in a manner worthy of the Department’s name. The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in a unanimous opinion for a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “We expect that the IRS will do better going forward.”

Justice Department officials declined to comment on the judicial drubbing, and the IRS didn’t respond to a request for comment on the unusually strong language Judge Kethledge used.

The case stems from the IRS‘ decision in 2010 to begin subjecting tea party and conservative groups to intrusive scrutiny when they applied for nonprofit status.

An inspector general found several hundred groups were asked inappropriate questions about their members’ activities, their fundraising and their political leanings.

The IRS has since apologized for its behavior, but insisted the targeting was a mistake born of overzealous employees confused by the law rather than a politically motivated attempt to stifle conservatives.

Tea party groups have been trying for years to get a full list of nonprofit groups that were targeted by the IRS, but the IRS had refused, saying that even the names of those who applied or were approved are considered secret taxpayer information. The IRS said section 6103 of the tax code prevented it from releasing that information.

Judge Kethledge, however, said that turned the law on its head.

“Section 6103 was enacted to protect taxpayers from the IRS, not the IRS from taxpayers,” he wrote.

Edward Greim, a lawyer at Graves Garrett who is representing NorCal Patriots, said they should be able to get a better idea of the IRS‘ decision-making once they see the list of groups that was targeted.

“What we’ll be able to see is how, starting in the spring of 2010, with the first one or two groups the IRS targeted, we’ll be able to see that number grow, and we’ll even be able to see at the tail end their possible covering up that conduct,” he said.

He said they suspect the IRS, aware that the inspector general was looking into the tax agency’s behavior, began adding in other groups to try to muddle the perception that only conservatives were being targeted.

Tuesday’s ruling is the second victory this year for NorCal Patriots.

In January U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott certified their case as a class-action lawsuit, signaling that she agreed with NorCal Patriots that the IRS did systematically target hundreds of groups for special scrutiny.

Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. But until the IRS complies with the appeals court’s ruling this week, the list of those groups is secret.

Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.

The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations.

The Justice Department has concluded its own criminal investigation into the IRS and said the targeting was the result of bad management. But investigators said they found no criminal behavior, and specifically cleared former IRS head Lois G. Lerner, saying her fellow employees said she tried to correct the problems when she learned of them.

Republicans dismissed that investigation as a whitewash by the Obama administration.

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Obama Regime Crime Spree Update: IRS Erases Hard Drive Against Judge’s Orders

Chaffetz, Jordan Erupt After IRS Erases Another Hard Drive – Daily Caller

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Leading members of Congress are ripping IRS officials for erasing a computer hard drive after a federal judge ordered it to be preserved.

“The destruction of evidence subject to preservation orders and subpoenas has been an ongoing problem under your leadership at the IRS,” Committee on House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz and Rep. Jim Jordan , wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen late Thursday.

“It is stunning to see that the IRS does not take reasonable care to preserve documents that it is legally required to protect,” Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, and Jordan, an Ohio Republican, said in the letter to Koskinen.

The IRS recently admitted in court to erasing the hard drive even though a federal judge had issued a preservation related to a Microsoft Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the federal tax agency last year, according to court documents. Microsoft accuses the IRS of inappropriately hiring an outside law firm to audit it and of failing to hand over related documents requested under the FOIA.

Chaffetz and other members of the oversight panel began calling for Koskinen’s impeachment in October. Chaffetz and Jordan in their letter point out that the IRS in March 2014 also destroyed 422 backup tapes containing as many as 24,000 emails sent or received by Lois Lerner, former director of IRS’ Exempt Organizations Division.

Lerner was the central figure in the scandal sparked by the tax agency’s illegal targeting and harassment of conservative and Tea Party non-profit applicants during the 2010 and 2012 election campaigns.

Samuel Maruca, owner of the hard drive in question and a former senior IRS executive, participated in the IRS hiring of the outside law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP allegedly to investigate Microsoft. Maruca left the IRS in August 2014, according to court documents.

Chaffetz and Jordan told Koskinen to hand over all documents on IRS preservation policies and all documents related to the destruction of Lerner and Maruca’s hard drives.

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Sweden: 14,000 Illegal Aliens Under Deportation Orders Disappear Without A Trace

Uh Oh: 14,000 Illegal Immigrants In Sweden Disappear Without A Trace – Progressives Today

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Bernie Sanders thinks America should be more like Sweden. Does his thinking include thousands of illegal immigrants who suddenly go missing?

Truth Revolt reported:
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Sweden: 14,000 Illegal Immigrants Disappear Without Trace

Of the 21,748 people who have been given deportation orders by Sweden’s Migration Agency last month – the largest number in history, by the way – 14,140 are registered by police as “departed” or “wanted,” the Swedish website The Local reports.

“We simply don’t know where they are,” said Patrik Engström, the head of the national border police.

It is unknown how many of the missing are still in the country or may have left for elsewhere in Europe. The rest of the illegals are either in refugee centers, in custody, or living in separate accommodations they have arranged for themselves, awaiting deportation.

The Swedish government has previously announced it wants to step up efforts to ensure that people without the legal right to stay in Sweden exit the country. But police say most of its resources are currently devoted to carrying out ID checks after Sweden stepped up border controls.

“It’s a huge task and it is completely dependent on the police being allocated resources,” said Engström.

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This could never happen in the United States. Right?

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Obama Regime Orders Illinois School District To Let Boys Who Wear Dresses Use Girls’ Locker Rooms

Feds Order High School To Allow Boys Who Dress As Girls To Use Girls’ Shower, Locker Room – Daily Caller

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The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has ordered a taxpayer-funded school district in the suburbs of Chicago to allow a male transgender student who dresses like a girl and otherwise identifies as female to use the girls locker room and shower on school premises.

The feds delivered the edict against Township High School District 211 in Palatine, Ill. on Monday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The Department of Education has given the school district one month to let the student use the girls locker room. If the district does not capitulate, it risks losing federal funding.

The Department of Education’s civil rights division made its Title IX ruling after a two-year investigation using a “preponderance of evidence” standard.

President Barack Obama’s Department of Education – which manifestly is not vested with judicial powers – has taken to applying Title IX, a comprehensive 1972 federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, to transgender cases.

The unidentified high school student at the center of the ruling currently is listed as a girl in school files, uses girls’ restrooms and plays on girls’ sports teams.

That’s not enough, though. The student wants to be treated like a female in every respect by the school district that enrolls more than 12,000 students.

Showering in a different place is “blatant discrimination,” John Knight, director of the LGBT and AIDS Project at ACLU of Illinois, told the Tribune.

The ACLU of Illinois is representing the student.

“It’s one thing to say to all the girls, ‘You can choose if you want some extra privacy,’ but it’s another thing to say, ‘You, and you alone, must use them.’ That sends a pretty strong signal to her that she’s not accepted and the district does not see her as girl,” Knight also told the Chicago newspaper.

On Monday, the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights agreed.

“Student A has not only received an unequal opportunity to benefit from the District’s educational program, but has also experienced an ongoing sense of isolation and ostracism throughout her high school enrollment at the school,” the letter from the Office for Civil Rights proclaims.

The Tribune has made the full text of the Department of Education’s Title IX letter to school officials available here.

School officials had worked out a plan under which the student could use a separate locker room and shower facility so that girls using the primary girls’ locker room and shower would not feel uncomfortable. The goal was to balance rights – to accommodate the student while, at the same time, “to protect the privacy rights of all students when changing clothes or showering before or after physical education and after-school activities,” according to a recent school district press release obtained by the Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper.

“We are very hopeful that we are going to be able to work to find a solution before this gets to the matter of funding,” Township district superintendent Daniel Cates told the Herald in the days leading up to Monday’s proclamation. “If we were to implement OCR’s unilateral mandate of unconditional access, we believe it sacrifices both student privacy and overrides the will of our local board of education.”

In a recent statement, Cates stressed the rights of every other female in the school district.

“The students in our schools are teenagers, not adults, and one’s gender is not the same as one’s anatomy,” Cates explained. “Boys and girls are in separate locker rooms – where there are open changing areas and open shower facilities – for a reason.”

In a statement obtained by the Tribune, the transgender student said he is elated with the ruling from Washington.

“This decision makes me extremely happy – because of what it means for me, personally, and for countless others,” he said. “The district’s policy stigmatized me, often making me feel like I was not a ‘normal person.’”

Catherine Lhamon, the Obama-appointed assistant secretary for civil rights in the Department of Education, also issued a statement about the male transgender student.

“Unfortunately, Township High School District 211 is not following the law because the district continues to deny a female student the right to use the girls’ locker room,” Lhamon said, according to The New York Times.

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Pen And Phone Update: President Asshat Orders Paid Sick Leave For Employees Of Federal Contractors

Obama Orders Government Contractors To Offer Paid Sick Leave – One America News

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President Barack Obama on Monday ordered government contractors to offer their workers seven days of paid sick leave a year and, without naming them, knocked Republican presidential candidates for advocating what he said were anti-union policies.

Obama signed an executive order on sick leave during a flight on Air Force One to Boston, where he spoke at a union event. The White House said it would affect some 300,000 people.

Starting in 2017, workers on government contracts will earn a minimum of one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Contractors can offer more generous amounts at their discretion.

Speaking to a friendly crowd without a tie or jacket, Obama said such policies were beneficial to employers.

“It helps with recruitment and retention,” he said.

Unions and organized labor are a key constituent to the Democratic Party whose support will be critical in the 2016 presidential election.

Obama, who joked that he was glad not to be on the ballot next year, made thinly veiled references to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for anti-union remarks and policies. He did not name them by name.

The executive order follows a series of measures by the White House to expand access to paid leave. In January, Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the government to advance up to six weeks of paid sick leave for the birth or adoption of a child, or for other sick leave-eligible uses.

Obama is also pressing Congress to pass legislation giving government employees six additional weeks of paid parental leave. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said he could not say what the cost of implementing the seven-day paid leave rule would be to contractors.

“We believe the cost of implementing this rule is offset by the efficiencies that come with reduced attrition, increased loyalty, all of those things that have been documented in a number of studies of state laws that have been enacted,” Perez told reporters on a conference call on Sunday.

Obama also used the trip to Boston to renew his call for Congress to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require all businesses with 15 or more employees to offer up to seven paid sick days each year.

According to the White House, an estimated 44 million private-sector workers, about 40 percent of the total private-sector workforce, do not have access to paid sick leave.

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Leftist Corruption Update: Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose White House Requests For Taxpayer Information

Federal Judge Orders IRS To Disclose WH Requests For Taxpayer Info – Washington Free Beacon

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A federal judge on Friday ordered the Internal Revenue Service to reveal White House requests for taxpayers’ private information, advancing a probe into whether administration officials targeted political opponents by revealing such information.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia rejected the IRS’s argument that a law designed to protect the confidentiality of such information protected the public disclosure of such communications with the White House.

The law, 26 U.S. Code § 6103, was passed after the Watergate scandal to protect citizens from retribution by federal officials. Jackson scoffed at the administration’s claims that the statute could be used to shield investigations into whether private tax information had been used in such a manner.

“The Court is unwilling to stretch the statute so far, and it cannot conclude that section 6103 may be used to shield the very misconduct it was enacted to prohibit,” Jackson wrote in her order.

The decision was a victory for Cause of Action, the legal watchdog group that sued the IRS in 2013 seeking records of its communications with the White House and potential disclosure of confidential taxpayer information.

The group called the decision “a significant victory for transparency advocates” in a Friday statement

“As we have said all along, this administration cannot misinterpret the law in order to potentially hide evidence of wrongdoing,” said Dan Epstein, the group’s executive director. “No administration is above the law, and we are pleased that the court has sided with us on this important point.”

The lawsuit came after Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, the IRS’s official watchdog agency, revealed that it was investigating whether Austan Goolsbee, the White House’s former chief economist, illegally accessed or revealed confidential tax information related to Koch Industries.

The corporation’s owners, Charles and David Koch, are prominent funders of conservative and libertarian groups that often oppose the White House’s policy priorities.

Goolsbee “used Koch Industries as an example when discussing an issue noted in the [President’s Economic Recovery Board] report that half of business income goes to companies that do not pay corporate income tax because they are pass-through entities and that many of them are quite large,” the White House said in 2010.

His apparent knowledge of Koch’s tax history, detailed during a conference call with reporters, “implies direct knowledge of Koch’s legal and tax status, which would appear to be a violation” of federal law, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, at the time.

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