In an effort to make the tax code more obscure …

The IRS is defending its decision to let illegal immigrants claim up to three years’ refunds on income even if they never paid income taxes, telling Congress in a new letter last week that agency lawyers have concluded getting a Social Security number triggers the ability to go back and ask for previous refunds.

Graphene – Good idea.

3D Graphene Aerogel Catalyst Shows Promise for Fuel Cells

I smell another pay off.

Iran says it rejects Obama’s demand for 10-year nuclear work halt

The only toll road built with federal funds that has had the toll removed.

And it was finished early and under budget. Now this.

Tuesday’s public hearing on how much a private firm will charge on newly widened U.S. 36 is going on as planned, despite pleas from a state lawmaker to hold meetings closer to the people most likely to travel the highway.

State Sen. Matt Jones, D-Louisville, asked the Colorado Department of Transportation to postpone the High Performance Transportation Enterprise’s governing board meeting. The meeting at 10 a.m. is to consider a fare schedule for the U.S. 36 corridor from Denver to Boulder.

Fares for eastbound motorists on U.S. 36 heading to Denver from Interlocken — and without an Express Toll pass — could pay $13.83 during peak travel times, according to CDOT.

Well one reason is because it is probably much less secure.

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says he can’t think of a good reason why Hillary Clinton would have used a personal email address for all correspondence when she was secretary of state.
“I think it is, obviously, highly unusual,” he said on NBC’s “Today” on Tuesday morning, following a report by The New York Times that Clinton used a non-government email to conduct official business, possibly in violation of federal record requirements. The State Department acknowledged to POLITICO on Monday that thousands of her emails were not preserved as a result.
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Clinton and her people need to explain the situation in detail, Gibbs said.
“There are lots of briefings that you have, certainly when you go into the White House about preserving any email that you have, making sure it’s part of your official account,” he added. “I think it’s something that they’re going to have to explain in good measure today and probably figure out how to get a lot of those emails, or as many as they can, back to the archives.”

Be careful when you step off the curb.

NYT Reporter Fearing ‘Retribution’ From Hillary Camp for Email Story?

It’s been a little while. …

… But the French come through again with a magnificent made for TV robbery.

Thieves have broken into Fontainebleau palace and stolen 15 Chinese artefacts in a lightning raid, the French culture ministry has said.

The robbery, at the Empress’ Chinese Museum housed by the palace, was over in seven minutes, the authorities said.

Among the items taken was a replica of a crown of the King of Siam, now Thailand, given to Emperor Napoleon III in 1861.

Officials at Fontainebleau palace called the objects “priceless”.

How can this be possible?

African Americans received a “bonus” of 230 points, Lee says.

She points to the second column.

“Hispanics received a bonus of 185 points.”

The last column draws gasps.

Asian Americans, Lee says, are penalized by 50 points — in other words, they had to do that much better to win admission.

“Do Asians need higher test scores? Is it harder for Asians to get into college? The answer is yes,” Lee says.

“Zenme keyi,” one mother hisses in Chinese. How can this be possible?

So – evidently – it went just as planned.

The years-long delay has gutted these groups’ membership, choked their ability to raise funds, forced them to reserve pots of money for possible back taxes and driven them into debt to pay legal bills.

“If you say the targeting issues have been resolved … how come we still haven’t received a determination one way or the other?” asked Rick Harbaugh, leader of the Albuquerque Tea Party, which has been waiting five years for its tax exemption. “We are still being targeted.

Don’t hold your breath.

This man impresses me as beign ‘well over his head’.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts faced a conservative backlash after casting a decisive vote to save ObamaCare in 2012.

Now he must weigh in on the law once again.

The case of King v. Burwell, set for arguments before the Court on Wednesday, threatens to gut the law by invalidating subsidies to help millions of people buy insurance in the roughly three-dozen states relying on the federally run marketplace.

While it is legally far different than the 2012 case — a question of interpreting the text of the law rather than ruling on its constitutionality — Roberts faces the same kind of scrutiny.

Obamacare – What could go wrong II

Massachusetts’ biggest nonprofit health plans lost millions of dollars on operations last year as they covered expensive new drugs and faced costs associated with rolling out the federal Affordable Care Act. The biggest loss came at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, which reported an operating loss of $119 million, up from a $17 million loss the year before. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the second-biggest insurer in Massachusetts, also cited health care reform costs in reporting an operating loss of $18 million, a reversal from a profit of $1 million in 2013. Tufts Health Plan was the sole big insurer to report an operating profit, earning $7 million, up from $4 million the year before. All major health plans ended 2014 with net gains, though, because of income from investments or other sources.

Net Neutrality – What could go wrong.

Net neutrality supporters won a major victory this week when regulators issued the toughest Internet rules the country has ever seen, but their battle is still far from over.

New Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations are already coming under new scrutiny from Capitol Hill and are bound for a gauntlet of legal and legislative challenges assuring that the rules are anything but set in stone.

Graphene – Is there anything that it doesn’t have the potential to do?

Graphene Shows Promise In Eradication Of Stem Cancer Cells

The president of ‘NO’.

The Obama administration is threatening to veto a bipartisan bill introduced by the Senate on Friday that would require any agreements with Iran to be submitted to Congress for debate.

“If this bill is sent to the President, he will veto it,” said National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan in a statement to The Hill. “We are in the final weeks of an international negotiation. We should give our negotiators the best chance of success, rather than complicating their efforts.”

The White House is currently negotiating with Iran over Tehran’s nuclear development program, which is widely viewed as an existential threat to Israel.

In Hong Kong – They’re back.

More than 30 people were arrested as a group of about 400 demonstrators in Hong Kong clashed with police in the latest sign of tensions caused by China’s influence in the city.

Protesters in Yuen Long, in Hong Kong’s New Territories just a stone’s throw from mainland China, chanted to “cancel the multiple-entry permit” and “topple the Chinese Communist Party” as they complained about so-called parallel traders, who buy goods in Hong Kong to sell at a profit across the border.

Demonstrators blocked the area’s main street with garbage bins, halting traffic. Police used pepper spray and restrained some people. A female protester was bleeding from the nose as police dragged her away.

Early on Monday, a police spokeswoman said a total of 36 people aged 13 to 74 had been arrested for offences including possessing offensive weapons, assault, disorder, and fighting.

Kerry has been all over the board on this.

But occasionally he’s been right.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday contradicted National Security Adviser Susan Rice, saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “welcome to speak” in the U.S.

“The prime minister of Israel is welcome to speak in the United States, obviously,” Kerry said on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We have a closer relationship with Israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history,” he added

Flooding the zone.

Crime, gang violence and poverty played major roles in pushing tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children to make the trek, and, to a lesser degree, so did abuse at home and lack of access to good schools.

But the children were also pulled to the U.S. by ties to family already living here and by the belief that even if they crossed illegally, they would be given citizenship, the GAO said after surveying State Department, Homeland Security Department and U.S. Agency for International Development workers in each of the three countries.

“For example, the State official’s response for Honduras reported that some Hondurans believed that comprehensive immigration reform in the United States would lead to a path to citizenship for anyone living in the United States at the time of reform,” the GAO said.

About 60,000 illegal immigrant children from Mexico and the three key Central American countries, traveling without their parents, crossed into the U.S. in fiscal year 2014, with 10,000 coming in May and another 10,000 in June alone.

Taht’s because everybody involved in housing … everybody … is still snake bit.

American Refinancing Boom Seen Fizzling, Bonds Show: Mortgages

The great American refinancing boom of 2015 is turning out to be greatly exaggerated.

In January, concern mounted among U.S. mortgage-bond holders that homeowner refinancing was about to soar, decreasing the value of their securities. Their worries were short-lived. Last month, premiums fell on bonds backed by loans unlikely to refinance. That means investors saw less need for protection against the risk borrowers would repay their mortgages early.

Mikulski throwing it in.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, the longest serving woman in Congress, will not seek re-election at the end of her term in 2016, media outlets reported Monday.

The Maryland Democrat is expected to announce Monday that she will not run for a sixth Senate term, The Washington Post reported.

Ms. Mikulski previously served as the chairwoman of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. The 78-year-old was first elected to the Senate in 1986 after serving in the U.S. House.

Monday morning wake up call.

… and the Western World stays quiet.

In Russia, it’s not uncommon for prominent political figures and dissidents to end up behind bars.

Former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky spent a decade in jail, while two members of the feminist punk group Pussy Riot were in prison for almost two years.

The Kremlin’s latest high-profile prisoner is 33-year-old Nadiya Savchenko, Ukraine’s first female pilot and a poignant symbol of national resistance for many in her home country. She has been jailed in Moscow for close to nine months.

But that’s not all of it: Savchenko’s been on a hunger strike for more than 75 days.

Texas bears the brunt.

A DPS report leaked February 24th warns that “Deported criminal aliens too often exploit the porous border and return to Texas to commit additional crimes.” Spencer Golvach is a victim of one of those crimes. He was sitting at a stoplight when an illegal alien who had been deported four times between 2003 and 2010 randomly shot him. The calloused criminal then drove several miles and randomly shot Juan Garcia. He shot at another couple some miles up the road and was killed by a deputy who heard the gun shots.

Under the super market.

More than 200 skeletons have been discovered in a medieval mass grave beneath a supermarket in the middle of the French capital, with archeologists unsure of how they died or why the bodies were placed there.

The grisly discovery was made beneath a Monoprix supermarket on Rue Sebastopol in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, which stands on the site of a medieval hospital torn down in the 18th century.

When the store’s management decided to carry out redevelopment work on its basement, it gave archaeologists a chance to see what was buried beneath.

What they found was dozens of skeletons of men, women and children aligned head to toe and buried up to six people deep.

“We expected it to have a few bones to the extent that it had been a cemetery but not find mass graves,” store manager Pascal Roy told AFP.

With every socialist collapse the answer is ‘Blame somebody else’.

In case the world needed any more geopolitical risk “hotspots”, overnight Venezuela’s flailing president Nicolas Maduro, faced with an unprecedented economic crisis at home, decided to do what most authoritarian rulers do when faced with imminent civil unrest: point the finger abroad, and in this case, at Washington, as a distraction. With crude oil plunging, with opposition leaders being arrested, and with the economy generally in shambles, Venezuela has in recent weeks accused the United States of being behind an alleged coup plot. Then overnight, Maduro switched from broad generalizations to specifics when, as CNN reports, Maduro said Saturday an unspecified number of Americans were arrested “a few days ago” for engaging in espionage and recruitment activities.

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