Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Call For The Black (And/Or Jewish) List

It's okay everyone, outdated concepts like racism and anti-Semitic hatred are over and stuff according to the Supreme Court and we don't need archaic relics like the Voting Rights Act and equal protection for those of different races or religions, so everything's fine, don't worry about things.

 Federal agents were tracking Ohio resident Richard Schmidt’s imports of counterfeit sports jerseys when they stumbled upon his arsenal of 18 guns, more than 40,000 rounds of ammunition, and bulletproof body armor. Besides the arsenal, he had lists of Jewish and black leaders in Detroit, MI. He is also an ex-felon who killed a Hispanic man and wounded two others 24 years ago.

Yet before December, no one even noticed that Schmidt, 47, was amassing weapons illegally, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Instead, federal investigators zeroed in on his sports memorabilia shop around September 2011, tracking his shipments of knock-off jerseys from China for over a year before they discovered the cache of firearms.

Schmidt plead guilty to federal gun charges and the counterfeit racket last month, and will be sentenced in October. But many connected to the crime are still scratching their heads over how an ex-felon with ties to white supremacist groups was able to get his hands on so many guns.

“I can’t tell you how he got all those guns and ammunition,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach told the Plain Dealer. “It’s not that I won’t tell you; it’s that I can’t. This is somebody who should never have had one gun, one bullet. But he had an entire arsenal.”

We don't need gun control either, apparently.  Can't stop a convicted killer from amassing a huge arsenal of firearms and ammunition, because it's just too hard, so why bother?  America!

Schmidt is technically banned from possessing a gun for the rest of his life. In 1989, he pulled a gun on three men during a traffic argument, killing one man and wounding the other two. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and served 12 years in prison.

Scott Kaufman, the head of the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit, was spooked after discovering he was on Schmidt’s list. “For a convicted violent felon to amass an arsenal with 40,000 rounds of ammunition with no red flags popping up is problematic,” he told the Plain Dealer. “No matter where you stand on the gun issue, it makes you wonder. The moment I saw my name in this guy’s notebook, I freaked out.”

Why would anyone be freaking out?  He was just exercising his constitutional right to have multiple firearms and tens of thousands of rounds.  While being a convicted killer and felon.  And a white supremacist.  And an anti-Semite.  And a guy with a list of black and Jewish targets.  Just leave the guy alone already!

Pot Holder: DOJ Flips On State Marijuana Laws

In a huge shift on federal drug policy, Eric Holder and the Justice Department have issued new prosecutorial guidelines for marijuana-related offenses, which boil down to "as long as the states that have legalized pot keep it under control, we're good."

More than six months after Washington and Colorado passed ballot initiatives to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said today he would not sue to block the implementation of the laws — at least not until he sees how the laws operate in effect. This announcement came as little surprise, after reports from earlier communication between DOJ and the governor.

More significantly, the Department of Justice also issued new guidance to prosecutors today calling for scaled back prosecution not just of users of marijuana, but also of distributors and growers complying with state law.

The guidance includes this passage:

Accordingly, in exercising prosecutorial discretion, prosecutors should not consider the size or commercial nature of a marijuana operation alone as a proxy for assessing whether marijuana trafficking implicates the Department’s enforcement priorities listed above. Rather, prosecutors should continue to review marijuana cases and on a case-by-case basis and weigh all available information and evidence, including, but not limited to, whether the operation is demonstrably in compliance with a strong and effective regulatory system.

So yes, big change from raiding large pot growers just because they are large pot growers.  This is a big step in the right direction for the Justice Department, and the second major signal this month that the US has al but admitted to losing the War on Drugs.

And it's about damn time.

Well, If Wingers Didn't Hate The IRS Before...

...they'll SUPER ULTRA HATE the IRS after today.

All legally married same-sex couples will be recognized for federal tax purposes, regardless of whether the state where they live recognizes the marriage, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday.

The federal rules change is one of many stemming from the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. That ruling found that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits, but left open the question of how the federal government would actually administer those benefits.

“Imagine a pair of women who marry in Albany and then move to Alabama,” Justice Antonin Scalia wrote at the time of the decision. “May they file a joint federal income tax return? Does the answer turn on where they were married or where they live?”

As of the 2013 tax year, same-sex spouses cannot file federal tax returns as if they were single. Instead, they will have to opt for filing as “married filing jointly” or “married filing separately.” The location of their marriage — as long as it is legal — or residence does not matter: a same-sex couple who marry in Albany and move to Alabama will be treated the same as a same-sex couple who marry and live in Massachusetts.

Today’s ruling provides certainty and clear, coherent tax-filing guidance for all legally married same-sex couples nationwide,” Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said in a statement. “This ruling also assures legally married same-sex couples that they can move freely throughout the country knowing that their federal filing status will not change.”

Three reasons why homophobic jackasses in the GOP are furious over this: One, well, the whole homophobia thing. Two, hey look, in one stroke, Obama's IRS are the good guys now! Reason number three comes from my friend Jeff Fecke:



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