IRS ‘Scandal’ Isn’t

Shorter Question Everything

The IRS “Scandal” Was A Scam. Monday’s revelation that progressive as well as conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status had been singled out for review by the Internal Revenue Service left one pressing question: Why did the inspector general’s report detailing improper scrutiny only mention conservative groups? Last night we got the answer: The IG only reported on conservative groups because that’s what Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the notoriously partisan chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told him to do

• The Treasury inspector general (IG) whose report helped drive the IRS targeting controversy says it limited its examination to conservative groups because of a request from House Republicans. A spokesman for Russell George, Treasury’s inspector general for tax administration, said they were asked by House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) “to narrowly focus on Tea Party organizations.”

NSA

• In 2009, Snowden Said Leakers “Should Be Shot” – but He Told Greenwald He Planned to Leak in 2008

Al-Qaida, other terror groups changing procedures to avoid surveillance after NSA leaks. Information has ‘basically alerted people who are enemies of this country . . . and it’s conceivable people will die as a result,’ senator says.

Reproductive Rights

Rick Perry Calls Second Special Session To Pass Abortion Restrictions. After a one-woman filibuster and a raucous crowd helped derail a GOP-led effort to restrict Texas abortions, Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he’s calling lawmakers back next week to try again. Perry ordered the Legislature to meet July 1 to begin 30 more days of work. Like the first special session, which ended in chaos overnight, the second one will include on its agenda a Republican-backed plan that critics say would close nearly every abortion clinic across the state and impose other widespread limits on the procedure.

Georgia Woman Told Vaginal Exam Necessary to Prove Gender for Driver’s License. Poking around inside of women’s vaginas for no good reason is apparently a growing trend. While medically unnecesary, mandatory vaginal ultrasounds are being forced on women seeking abortions, one Georgia woman’s story shows just how deep even low-level authorities’ perceived entitlement to women’s bodies has become. According to Fox 5 Atlanta, Clayton County’s 37-year-old Nakia Grimes did not realize her birth certificate had incorrectly labeled her a male until she prepared to renew her license. A new rule set by the Georgia Department of Driver Services required her obtain a copy of her birth certificate from Vital Record Services. There, an employee told the mother that, to prove she does indeed have a vagina, she’d have to receive Pap exam and deliver to them proof of her reproductive organs.

Colorado Police Department ‘Mistakenly’ Destroyed DNA Evidence in 48 Sexual Assault Cases. In one of the cases, the victim will no longer be able to prosecute her attacker, because the DNA evidence matched to him was destroyed. Colorado’s Aurora Police Department is scrambling to determine how a breakdown in protocol led to the destruction of DNA evidence in 48 sexual assault cases. In the case that made the department aware of the problem, destroyed DNA evidence was matched to an attacker, and the Department was moving toward charges. Instead, Police Chief Daniel Oates was forced to visit the victim’s home, and regretfully inform her that they will no longer be able to prosecute her attacker. At a press conference last night, Oates called the meeting a “very sad” and “painful moment,” adding that he “felt obliged to go and deliver that information myself.”

LGBT

Tim Huelskamp Readies Constitutional Amendment To Ban Gay Marriage. The Supreme Court ruling Wednesday that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional isn’t stopping Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) from trying to block same-sex marriages through another route: by amending the U.S. Constitution. Huelskamp said he plans to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment later this week, a measure that would define marriage as between one man and one woman. DOMA did the same thing, but was a federal law, not a constitutional amendment. As such, the Federal Marriage Act is more far-reaching but also a tougher climb. It requires the support of two-thirds of the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the states, or 38 states. “This would trump the Supreme Court,” Huelskamp told The Huffington Post.

Crimes

US marine’s Iraq murder conviction overturned. Sergeant convicted of shooting a retired Iraqi policeman in cold blood may be released within days. The US military’s highest court has overturned a murder conviction against a marine in one of the most significant cases against American troops from the Iraq war. The court of appeals for the armed forces threw out the conviction of Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins, who has served about half of his 11-year sentence. According to the ruling posted on the court’s website on Wednesday, the judges agreed with Hutchins, who said his constitutional rights were violated when he was held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for seven days during his interrogation in Iraq. Hutchins led an eight-man squad accused of kidnapping a retired Iraqi policeman from his home in April 2006, marching him to a ditch and shooting him dead in the village of Hamdania. None of the other squad members served more than 18 months.

‘Radioactive’ fugitive money launderer with ties to Harper surrenders to U.S. authorities in Toronto court. Politically connected businessman and philanthropist Nathan Jacobson surrendered in a Toronto courtroom Wednesday, ending his flight from American justice. Jacobson, who in 2008 pleaded guilty in the United States to money laundering, is in custody at the Toronto West Detention Centre awaiting transfer to San Diego, Calif., where he is expected to be sentenced to several years in prison for his role in an internet pharmacy that sold controlled drugs to people without proper prescriptions. Jacobson’s 2008 guilty plea was sealed while he helped investigators with the case, and he was able to travel around the world, hobnobbing with politicians in Canada and Israel.

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