Links for 10-23-2014

  • Judicial Watch received the Vaughn index for the Operation Fast and Furious documents the Obama administration claims are covered by executive privilege. The index lists 15,662 documents, including emails between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife (who is not a government employee) and emails between DOJ (including Eric Holder) and the White House.

  • A federal district court judge dismissed two lawsuits filed against the IRS and IRS employees over their targeting of conservative groups. The judge ruled that since the IRS eventually granted the groups tax exempt status — even if that took years — they had no basis to sue. He also denied monetary damages. The takeaway is that the IRS can target you and there’s no (legal) way to punish them for it.

  • Kevin Williamson uses victims of screwed-up no-knock SWAT raids as a launching point for the observation that we’re all serfs:

    It’s perverse: If an ordinary citizen makes a typo on his 1040EZ, he could be on the hook for untold sums of money, fines, even jail time. When the IRS abuses its power to harass political enemies, nothing happens. A few years ago, an employer of mine entered the wrong Social Security number on my paperwork — I have barbaric handwriting — and the error took months of telephone calls and mail to fix, a period of time over which I was threatened with all sorts of nasty consequences by the Social Security Administration and the IRS. But when the Social Security Administration oversees the payment of millions of dollars in benefits to Nazi war criminals summering on Croatian beaches, nothing happens. If you’re an ordinary schmo, a typo can land you in jail. If you work for the government, you can burn the face off a baby and walk.

  • Bumper harvests are triggering huge subsidy payments under the 2014 Farm Bill — you know, the farm bill that was supposed to save us lots of money. Yeah, that one.

  • A company headquartered in Fremont, California, Electronics for Imaging, imported workers from India and paid them $1.21/hour — what they would have made in India on an hourly basis, translated into U.S. dollars.

  • Palmdale, California thought it landed a Japanese light rail factory that would employ 300 people — right up until the International Brotherhood Workers Union Local 11 used threats from an environmental group to pressure the company to unionize the plant.

  • The Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives, Bobby Harrell, pleaded guilty to criminal ethics charges and resigned his seat effective immediately. Harrell, a Republican, will serve three years’ probation, pay a $30,000 fine, and surrender $94,000 in campaign funds that he used for personal purposes.

  • A cheating scandal at the University of North Carolina covers 20 years and more than a thousand athletes, most of whom were football or basketball players. The university won three basketball championships during that period.

  • A Palestinian drove his car into a crowd of people waiting at a Jerusalem light rail station, killing a three month old American girl, Haya Zissel-Brown, and injuring eight other people. Israeli police shot and killed the assailant as he fled the scene.

  • ISIS killed a Yazidi military commander, Khairi Murad Shex Khider, during a mortar attack on Wednesday.