IRS says it lost emails from 5 other employees linked to probe

irs

Associated Press:

The IRS says it has lost emails from five more workers who are part of congressional investigations into the treatment of conservative groups that applied for tax exempt status.

[...]

On Friday, the IRS said it has also lost emails from five other employees related to the probe, including two agents who worked in a Cincinnati office processing applications for tax-exempt status.

The agency blamed computer crashes for the lost emails. In a statement, the IRS said it found no evidence that anyone deliberately destroyed evidence.

I am shocked they dumped this news on a Friday afternoon (not really.) I’m also just as shocked to learn that they are using the same excuse of a crash that they used when emails of Lois Lerner and others were reported to be missing.

DC ranked 2nd snobbiest city in America

dc-flag

Movoto ranks DC the 2nd snobbiest big city in America behind only San Francisco. No wonder Nancy Pelosi fits in so well in both places.

Here’s the top 10 (full data):

  1. San Francisco
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Seattle
  4. Scottsdale, Ariz.
  5. Oakland, Calif.
  6. Portland, Ore.
  7. Irvine, Calif. (tie)
  8. Honolulu (tie)
  9. Madison, Wis.
  10. Atlanta

The criteria used:

  • Median home price (the higher the better)
  • Median household income (the higher the better)
  • Percent of population with a college degree (the higher the better)
  • Private schools per capita (the more the better)
  • Performing arts per capita (the more the better)
  • Art galleries per capita (the more the better)
  • Fast food restaurants per capita (the fewer the better)

Taco Bell testing a taco “shell” made of a biscuit

biscuit-taco

Foodbeast has the details:

Their new Biscuit Taco touts a “warm, flakey, golden brown biscuit that happens to be shaped in the form of a taco.”

The biscuit tacos they are testing for their breakfast menu include:

  • Sausage, Egg and Cheese
  • Bacon, Egg, and Cheese
  • Sausage and Cheese
  • Egg and Cheese
  • Sausage and Gravy
  • Chicken with jalapeno honey sauce

They have already been tested in Atlanta and San Antonio and are currently being tested in Los Angeles and Orange County in California, according to Foodbeast.

Notre Dame’s student health plan to cover abortifacients, contraceptives

notre-dame-university
National Catholic Register:

The University of Notre Dame has approved a student health-insurance plan that features contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs and other preventive services covered under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate.

The university’s decision to provide the group health plan for students comes as Notre Dame pursues its legal challenge to the HHS mandate. Critics thus expressed concern that the move could undermine the university’s legal case, especially when other options were available for circumventing compliance requirements for the mandate.

“The university need not provide student health insurance at all,” said Gerard Bradley, a constitutional scholar at Notre Dame’s law school, who outlined the options available to university administrators.

 

Bradley noted that only group health plans must comply with the mandate. Consequently, the university also had another option: It could have opted to self-insure the plan for students and avoid coverage of services that violate Catholic teaching.

Earlier this year, Notre Dame denied recognition to a group supporting traditional marriage. Throw in that and the flap over President Obama receiving an honorary degree and speaking there, along with some other moves, and Notre Dame’s Catholic character appears to be in the process of being degraded.

If nothing else, this move makes the HHS mandate suit the university is engaged in more complicated.

Ben Carson’s Gaffes

Ben Carson

My latest piece in The Ring at Practical Politicking discusses Dr. Ben Carson’s history of gaffes over the past couple of years and how they are evidence that so far he isn’t mounting a serious or credible campaign for President in 2016.

An excerpt:

[Matt] Lewis also noted that Carson would be “easily dismissed as a crank” if he stayed on the path he was on. It would appear that Carson hasn’t not changed course since Lewis made these remarks. While he may be good for a sound bite and throwing out red meat on the stump, this won’t make him a serious or credible candidate unless he makes changes quickly.

I previously wrote a feature article for Practical Politicking looking into whether Carson is a serious candidate. Today’s piece on his gaffes is a followup to that original piece.

Berkeley mandates free marijuana for the poor

marijuana

Fox News via Standing Firm:

Weed welfare?

That’s what the Berkeley City Council in California has unanimously approved, ordering medical marijuana dispensaries to donate 2 percent of their stash to patients making less than $32,000 a year.

The new welfare program in the liberal-leaning city is set to launch in August 2015.

The ordinance, which passed in August and is the first of its kind in the country, comes at a time when several states are debating how to handle a growing movement to legalize marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

But Berkeley’s decision to effectively order weed redistribution is prompting a vocal backlash.

The usual suspects have spoken for and against this measure.

Canonization process for Archbishop Fulton Sheen halted

sheen

From a statement from the Diocese of Peoria:

It is with immense sadness that the Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, Bishop of Peoria and President of the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Foundation, announced today that the Cause for Sheen’s beatification and canonization has for the foreseeable future been suspended. The process to verify a possible miracle attributed to Sheen had been going extremely well, and only awaited a vote of the Cardinals and the approval of the Holy Father. There was every indication that a possible date for beatification in Peoria would have been scheduled for as early as the coming year. The Holy See expected that the remains of Venerable Sheen would be moved to Peoria where official inspection would be made and first class relics be taken. Subsequently, the Archdiocese of New York denied Bishop Jenky’s request to move the body to Peoria. After further discussion with Rome, it was decided that the Sheen Cause would now have to be relegated to the Congregation’s historic archive. Countless supporters especially from the local church in Central Illinois have given their time, treasure and talent for this good work with the clear understanding that the body of Venerable Sheen would return to the Diocese. Bishop Jenky was personally assured on several occasions by the Archdiocese of New York that the transfer of the body would take place at the appropriate time. New York’s change of mind took place as the work on behalf of the Cause had reached a significant stage.

This happened before in 2010 before the cause was eventually reopened. Sheen’s Wikipedia entry has details on the cause for canonization as well as the most recent ending of it. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the Archbishop of New York and Sheen is buried in the territory of the Archdiocese of New York.

An actor named Ramon Estevez, a Catholic, adopted the name Martin Sheen to honor Archbishop Sheen.

UPDATE

More at The Deacon’s Bench.

Comments from Pat Archbold:

This release is shocking in its directness that Archdiocese of New York (Read Cardinal Dolan) repeatedly promised to transfer the remains of Archbishop Sheen and has now reneged, causing a fatal blow to the cause.

I cannot even imagine what legitimate reason could be given for making and breaking such a promise. Terrible.

ISIS beats, tortures, kills Iraqi Christian who won’t convert

isis-flag

Christian Post

A Christian man in Iraq has reportedly been beaten, tortured, and killed by terror group ISIS for refusing to renounce his faith and convert to Islam.

Ankawa.com reported on Tuesday that the 43-year-old man, Salem Matty Georgis, remained in the Syriac Christian town of Bartella after it was captured by ISIS on August 7. A relative said that the man was suffering from heart disease and could not leave the town with his family because of his illness.

Georgis hid in his home for three weeks, but eventually had to venture outside in search of food. He was then confronted by an ISIS patrol in town.

“The patrol arrests him and tried to force him to convert to Islam, but he completely refused. Thus, the militants beat him and tortured him until he died in their hands,” the relative explained.

The militants dumped Georgis’ body, which was later discovered by a Bartella resident and buried.

The article goes on to quote eyewitness accounts about children’s camps and people being forced to watch lashings, beatings, beheadings, and crucifixions.

Dax Shepard to direct and star in CHiPs movie

chips

Deadline reports:

Warner Bros has set Dax Shepard to write, direct and star in a screen version of CHiPS, that TV series that ran from 1977-83 and featured two officers who patrolled the highways of California armed with motorcycles and the tightest khaki cop uniforms in television history. Shepard will play Officer Jon Baker (played in the original by Larry Wilcox), while Michael Pena is attached to play Frank “Ponch” Poncherello, the role Erik Estrada originated. Rick Rosner created the NBC series.

Here’s the iconic opening of the show:

Man charged with killing pregnant girlfriend; no charges yet in death of unborn child

worrell-mugshot

On June 20, Baltimore County Police responded to a home in the Rosedale area of Baltimore County after a 911 call from a resident who found her daughter severely injured. The victim, later identified as Summer Shemida Smith, was declared dead on the scene. Smith was 33 years old and lived at the home with her mother. Media reports indicated that her pregnancy was full-term. Her unborn child also died. After an autopsy the next day, police announced that Smith’s death was the result of homicide. At the time, police did not announce autopsy results for her unborn child.

Today, September 2, a report from The Baltimore Sun reports an arrest has been made:

Baltimore County police have charged a 32-year-old man with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his pregnant girlfriend in June.

Kenneth Walter Worrell III of the 5800 block of Lillyan Avenue is alleged to have stabbed Summer Shemida Smith, 33, who was nine months pregnant. The Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s office is reviewing the case to see if additional homicide charges could be filed in the death of the unborn child.

The report indicates DNA via blood on a receipt dated 6/20 was found in Worrell’s car. Will prosecutors actually file charges for the death of the unborn child? Logic would indicate that they should  in light of Maryland’s fetal homicide laws since previous reports indicated the pregnancy was full-term.

Maryland has a fetal homicide law (§ 2-103) which says that a defendant can be prosecuted for manslaughter or murder if (via NCSL.org) the perpetrator “intended to cause the death of the viable fetus; intended to cause serious physical injury to the viable fetus; or wantonly or recklessly disregarded the likelihood that the person’s actions would cause the death of or serious physical injury to the viable fetus.”

Under Maryland law (§ 2-209), viable “means that stage when, in the best medical judgment of the attending physician based on the particular facts of the case before the physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus’s sustained survival outside the womb.”