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Really Katie? I realize that no one likes the IRS, but this is just a smear job that caters to readers who already have an implicit distrust of any government agency, period. The Supreme Court granted cert to one of these cases, and decided that "willful" violations of the prohibition against transaction structuring only include those attempts to evade the law that cover up illegal activity. In other words, the IRS was disallowed from enforcing the law in the manner described above by Katie. Thank Congress for their decision that the Court's interpretation did not comport with their intent. They quickly amended the reporting requirements to criminalize the deposits, themselves. The author of the SCOTUS opinion decrying this approach was written by none other than Justice Ginsburg. She correctly pointed out that transaction structuring goes on all the time, for tax purposes and other reasons, and does not necessarily point to a nefarious purpose or a willful violation of the law. Congress apparently disagreed.
In response to:

Journalists in Screech Advocacy Mode

wtmoore1 Wrote: Sep 10, 2014 8:03 PM
Boy is that not even close to true. Ferguson is located in north St. Louis County (as opposed to St. Louis city). The larger county government is overwhelmingly Republican, as is the state legislature in Missouri. The only argument that can be made is that Ferguson residents might have the ability to effect the city government and the makeup of the Ferguson police force. However, police brutality and mistrust of police by the local citizenry has severely undermined the civic participation of the African-American community in Ferguson for decades. In short, young black men in Ferguson are not motivated toward occupations in law enforcement because the police are seen as antagonistic toward their interests. If one is subjected to unwarranted stops frequently, why would he or she think that the same police force that detains them unjustifiably will be fair in evaluating a job application?
arpiem, I forgot that you were a Constitutional scholar that can just pronounce what is contained in the Constitution and what isn't. And your syllogism about my mother's hypothetical abortion is of no help. Everything is a cause of everything that comes after it, whether direct or indirect. Had my grandmother died in a car accident at age 15, I would not be here. Had my life really begun already in 1947? Seem unlikely. There's this little thing called attenuation in the law. And it matters tremendously.
rightmostofthetime, No, actually, states are prohibited from restricting or criminalizing abortions in the first two trimesters. That's sort of the thrust of the Roe v. Wade decision. Let me put the above more simply. A common conservative criticism of Roe v. Wade is the right of privacy that the court somehow "magically" locates in what they court calls the "penumbra" of the Bill of Rights. Meaning, taken together, the Bill of Rights implicitly protects a right of privacy from government intrusion that includes various private activities. The right of privacy was Supreme Court precedent before Roe v. Wade, and was introduced in Connecticut v. Griswold. That case dealt with a married couple challenging a law that obstructed their ability to obtain contraceptives. The court ruled that the government had overstepped its bounds by trying to regulate behavior between spouses of a purely private nature. The court found a right of privacy supported by the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and the 9th Amendment. Later courts shored up the foundation of a right to privacy by grounding it in the due process clause of the 14th Amendment as well. Given that these legal principles protect parents' right to send their children to non-government schools, married-couples' legal right to live their private lives without government intrusion, and patients' rights to medical treatment of their choice, I'm not very clear on the conservative objection. Would conservatives really deny that a Constitutional right to privacy exists? Or would they find a right to privacy somewhere else in the Constitution that somehow draws a different line, with abortion on the other side?
The suspicion of liberal values here is conspiracy-level ridiculous. Like there is some shadow liberal convention every year where everyone meets and decides what parts of a secret, fascist agenda is palpable enough to be advanced to the citizenry. The majority of liberals are just like the majority of conservatives: well-meaning. While good intentions can't unilaterally solve problems, demonizing the ideological opposition has a way of stagnating useful solutions. Simply pointing out areas of disagreement over appropriate standards to adopt based on the language of applicable laws, ones where reasonable and intelligent people may differ, does nothing to show the overall inclination for or against a particular law as written. More simply put, I don't think conservatives are evil or stupid. I think many of the policies for which they advocate are wrong-headed. That's a policy disagreement, not a personal one.
So, obviously you disagree with a right to privacy contained in the penumbras of the Bill of Rights, otherwise you wouldn't have mentioned it. I'm curious, would you honestly argue that parents aren't protected from government intrusion by a right of privacy in a manner that enables them to choose how they raise their kids (e.g. sending their kids to religious schools rather than secular government schools), or would you locate the right of privacy somewhere else in the Constitution that somehow prohibits abortion, while simultaneously protecting conservative values?
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

wtmoore1 Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 4:11 PM
The Christian right confuses "persecution" with no longer being able to impose their agenda on everyone all the time.
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

wtmoore1 Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 4:08 PM
Illbay, It doesn't surprise me that you believe this, given the misinformation out there, but it's blatantly untrue. There are protected categories contained in federal non-discrimination law that prohibit employers from denying employment on the basis of race, national origin, religion, gender, age, and disability, as well as some state laws that prohibit restricting employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. In all 50 states it is patently unlawful to deny employment to a Christian because they are a Christian, and this covers denying employment to those with Christian beliefs on the basis of their beliefs. Atheists are equally protected. The ability to choose non-religion over religion is a negative right contained in the free exercise clause of the 1st Amendment--much like the freedom of speech bestowed by the same implicitly contains a negative right that prohibits others from forcing you to speak. As the Supreme Court LOVES to quote in every case implicating the 1st Amendment, your absolute right to swing your fist ends precisely where the next person's nose begins.
In response to:

The Coming Christian Revolt

wtmoore1 Wrote: Jul 21, 2014 3:07 PM
This column has to be a joke. In the same breath that Matt uses to decry a "war on Christianity," he attempts to affirm his right to refuse employment to those with views he finds antagonistic to his religious values. So, I can refuse to hire Christians on the basis of their religion because I don't agree with their beliefs, right? Wrong.
The guy has been here since he was a kid, and is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the Washington Post. If there was a sensible way for him to attain citizenship, he would have pursued it. He has no control over his situation as a child, and now as an adult, the avenue conservatives expect him have take is to return to a country he doesn't know anymore or have ties to and wait a decade or more to return to a place that is already his home? He didn't break our immigration system twenty years ago, and he didn't take advantage of any laws when brought to our country as a child.
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