Shootin' the Breeze

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Archive for the tag “IRS”

Lois Lerner and Rose Mary Woods

Rose mary Woods

Rose Mary Woods was a White House secretary who accidentally erased 18 minutes of an audio tape that she was transcribing when President Nixon was asked for such tapes in connection with his impeachment. 

  I wonder whether Rose Mary left the White House to go to work for the IRS.  She was probably asked to back up Lois Lerner’s computer in order to save the emails requested by Congress when, dang it, Ms. Lerner’s computer crashed.  That inept Ms. Woods must have worked on other IRS computers too because I heard that six other computers crashesd at the IRS.  As bad luck would have it, the six IRS employees who used those six computers are also being investigated.  What are the odds of that happening?  I took Probability & Statistics as a mathematics course many years ago and, golly, even I am astonished by the improbability of all those computers crashing, the very ones containing emails that were being sought. 

I am sarcastically guessing that if my computer crashed, IRS technicians could retrieve all information helpful to convict me of tax evasion, were I being investigated.  I have heard that there are IT people who have the capability of retrieving emails from crashed computers.  Of course, in this investigation of the IRS, that is not possible because, as conscientious environmentalists, the IRS destroys crashed computers by some process of recycling that is very green, and very convenient for Lois Lerner, who “took the 5th.”  Those of us who are trained in the law, formally or by watching TV, know that is saying that one cannot answer because answering could incriminate oneself, and the 5th Amendment to the Constitution protects one from self-incrimination. 

Lois Lerner

I once claimed that my dog ate my homework.  It did not work then either.  I still had to produce the homework, or flunk the assignment. 

Lois Lerner might have a dog who crashed her computer, or maybe Rose Mary Woods has a dog and brought it to work.  It could happen.


Non-Essential Workers

It would hurt my feelings to be labeled a non-essential worker in the present partial government shutdown.

I am dealing with the VA Regional Counsel on a case involving a veteran, and learned that office is shutting down today.  Having used up its budget, the employees in this VA legal office are being “furloughed” as non-essential workers.  Think what that does to the self-esteem of lawyers of all people.

If I had any say, I would let the VA lawyers and paralegals keep working with pay and put the IRS workers on furlough instead.  I don’t want anyone there at the IRS to open the envelope containing my check for income tax.

It is non-essential (to me) that they deposit that check. Take your time, IRS mail room workers.  No hurry! Let my check collect dust.

Un-united States

I’m just a country lawyer and do not understand a lot of the legal stuff going on with some of the conflicts between certain states and the federal government.  It appears that the principle of federal preemption, namely, that federal law trumps state law when there is a conflict, is no longer being followed.

For example, the states of Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana within certain parameters.  The trouble, legally speaking, is that marijuana is categorized as a controlled substance per federal law, which means the folks in Colorado and Washington who rely on the legality of using marijuana under state law are nevertheless breaking federal law.  So now the federal government, headed by President Obama, has to decide whether to look the other way concerning violation of federal drug laws.

Another option is to have the United States Attorney General sue those states, like he did Arizona for passing a law about checking people there to see whether they are U.S. citizens. That law was offensive to the administration, but it is less clear to me that Arizona is in conflict with federal law by asking if federal immigration laws are being followed by persons in Arizona.  You’d think that would help the federal government by identifying those in the country in violation of immigration requirements.   Arizona is not in direct defiance of federal law, it just went a step further by seeking to determine compliance with federal law.

It seems analogous to have the federal government sue the states that still make possession of marijuana illegal for having state criminal laws that make it a crime to do what is already a crime under federal controlled substance laws.  Huh?  I’m lost, but I’m just a country lawyer.  U.S. Attorney General Holder could explain the distinction to me, probably.

Apparently, it was important to President Obama to tell Arizona to refrain from helping identify violation of federal immigration laws.  State marijuana laws that violate federal law  are okay just like violation of immigration law is okay.  This disinterest in enforcing federal laws has created a legal environment that could be advantageous to those of us who are burdened by another federal law.

Since I live in Colorado, and since it has gotten away with legalizing something under state law that is illegal under federal law, I have an idea about making something illegal under state law that is legally required under federal law.  Flip the concept.

As you are painfully aware, especially this time of year, the Internal Revenue Code is a federal law that requires citizens to pay income taxes.  I don’t smoke marijuana but I do pay taxes.  It would benefit me more if my state government would make it illegal in Colorado to pay federal income taxes.  States’ rights!

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