IRS to Issue ‘Scary Letters & Threats,’ Hire Thousands of New Employees to Enforce Health Care Law

Can the Internal Revenue Service police President Barack Obama’s health care mandate while simultaneously collecting all the taxes for running the federal government?

The question is being renewed in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding most of the 2010 Affordable Care Act as a tax issue rather than one of interstate commerce.

Nearly 2 1/2 years before taxpayers will have to start providing proof on their tax returns that they have health insurance, key Republicans suspect the agency already is diverting resources from collecting taxes to gear up for becoming the government’s health care cop.

“Knowing the complexity of the health law, there’s no question that the IRS is going to struggle with this,” said Rep. Charles Boustany Jr., R-La., chairman of the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee. “The IRS wants more resources. Well, we need to start digging down into what are they doing with the resources and personnel.”

Ways and Means Committee Republicans have accused the IRS of obscuring its cost of putting in place the health care law by absorbing it into other parts of the agency’s budget. They cite a June report by the Government Accountability Office that said the IRS has not always accurately identified spending related to the new health care law.

“The agency’s repeated lack of transparency to Congress and its failure to provide accountability to the American taxpayers raises fundamental concerns about implementation authorities vested to the IRS,” the top four Republicans on the Ways and Means Committee wrote in a June 27 letter to the IRS commissioner.

Read more here.

Congressional bully pushes anti-bullying legislation

The congresswoman known for giving her staffers profanity-laced nicknames, throwing temper tantrums and, at times, throwing objects, has introduced anti-bullying legislation.

In March 2011, The Daily Caller ran an expose of Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s treatment of her staff, complete with tears, shouting, waiting, cursing and quitting (Jackson Lee has one of the highest turnovers on Capitol Hill).

“‘You stupid mother-effer’ was like a constant,” one former staffer told TheDC. “Like, all the time. But the interesting thing is she would really project that behavior more towards her African-American staffers. She would have other ethnic groups in the office, like interns or whatnot. But it was really her African-American staffers who she felt comfortable enough to really curse out. … This is something we always talked about. We chalked it up to her just feeling more comfortable acting out her aggression toward a certain group of people versus others.”

The irony might have been lost on the congresswoman — on Monday afternoon, her “Juvenile Accountability Block Grant Reauthorization and the Bullying Prevention and Intervention Act of 2012” is up for a vote.

“As we saw recently with the viral video of bus monitor Karen Klein being verbally assaulted, 21st century bullying has reached beyond its previous scope of only affecting young people,” Jackson Lee said in a statement. “Now, our seniors are getting bullied, there is bullying in the workplace and some would even suggest that there is bullying between the two parties on Capitol Hill. When will it all end?”

Jackson Lee, who once made a staffer write a memo in front of colleagues about the staffer’s own incompetence, is also a self-described founding member of the Congressional Anti-Bullying Caucus, launched late last month.

Read more here.

Family slugged with ‘carbon tax fee’ for funeral

A Melbourne family who claim they were slugged an extra $55 “carbon tax charge” when burying a relative were told “even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax”.

Erica Maliki and her family were burying her father-in-law at Springvale Cemetery when she was told the price per burial plot had increased because of the carbon tax.

Her father-in-law died on June 30, the day before the carbon tax was introduced, and was buried early last week.

“I thought to myself, ‘What carbon could possibly be used by putting a man in a grave?’” Ms Maliki said.

“All they did was put the dirt back in. How can they charge us a carbon tax for burying someone?”

Ms Maliki’s son Zaid said the cemetery’s receptionist told his sister-in-law “even the dead don’t escape the carbon tax”.

“We are pretty upset… that comment was a kick in the guts,” he said.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said it would be “reprehensible” if any cemetery was taking advantage of grieving families by overcharging them for funerals.

Read more here.

Olympic athletes leak Village’s sex, drinking and drug secrets

Let the games — and the wild, drunken sex and debauchery — begin!

In the run-up to the 2012 Summer Olympics, which kick off July 27, a new book reveals just what goes on at Olympic Villages worldwide — and no matter the host country, it’s always a struggle keeping booze and condoms in strong supply.

According to the anonymously authored exposé “The Secret Olympics” — written by a former British competitor — organizers supplied 70,000 condoms to athletes at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The stockpile ran out in a week.

While alcohol and drugs are banned at Olympic Villages, competitors often fill water bottles with booze and smuggle in weed and doping agents.

“When I’m there, I’m in two different gears,” says one female US Olympian, who spoke to The Post on the condition of anonymity. “I’m so focused that I see nothing else, or I’m partying my butt off.”

While officials don’t condone such behavior, they don’t condemn it, either — the only thing that matters, say those who spoke to The Post, is that the image of the Olympics remain unsullied.

Or, as the anonymous author writes: “What happens in the Village stays in the Village.”

Remember the worldwide outrage and disbelief when swimmer Michael Phelps — who won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics — was caught smoking pot out of a huge bong in 2009? Or, that same year, when a stripper named Theresa White came forward to say that Phelps likes threesomes and short girls, and that he “should get another gold medal for lovemaking”?

If Phelps were a major-sport athlete, none of those revelations would have been surprising.

Olympians, however, are held to an impossibly high standard.

“We could never be part of a reality show,” says the female Olympian. “The USOC [United States Olympic Committee] wants a particular image and brand.”

Olympic Villages are vast, pre-fab communities, divided into smaller subdivisions by nation. The United States’ area has a 24-hour McDonald’s, as well as sponsored beer halls: a Budweiser House and a Heineken House.

Read more here.

Lobbyists Hold ‘White Trash Reception’ on Capitol Hill

“Hey y’all – get gussied up in your Sunday jorts, mullets, and fullets and come on down to the White Trash Reception,” an email that accompanied the invitation reads, according to National Journal.

White Trash Reception
July 19, 2012 5:30 – 9:30 pm
[address clipped]

Grab some suds and grub with Strategic Health Care! Please RSVP (rite so vittles pre-pared) to [email clipped].

Peggy Tighe, Beth Swickard, Jason Gromley, and Kyah Flickinger

Read more here.

Obama parade parody causes controversy

A parade entry portraying President Barack Obama and using the term “Obamanation” has made some angry, and others upset at the negative attention.

It happened in the city’s annual Fourth of July parade.

The float showed a person dressed as President Obama with one sign that read “Huntsville Welcomes Obama’s Farewell Tour?” On the back, another sign said, “Ask about our assault gun plan. Call Eric Holder.”

On one side of the issue, people are saying the float was disrespectful and had no place in a patriotic parade. The other side says it was all in good fun.

Huntsville Mayor Jim Truett and City Council member Laurie Allen say the entry doesn’t reflect the views of the city. They say it was entered at the last minute, not through usual protocol and they would not have approved it if they had seen it.

“I don’t think we would have allowed it, in fact I know we wouldn’t,” said Allen. “We just don’t want that. It’s a family-oriented celebration.”

Weber County Sheriff Chief Deputy Klint Anderson told Fox 13 News his department contacted the Secret Service after some residents expressed concern the float was a threat to the President.

See the video here.