The IRS didn’t just investigate groups based on their perceived political views, but also targeted groups for “educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights” or advocating limits on government or deficit spending, reports the Washington Post. Meanwhile, the Obama Justice Department is demanding that colleges adopt sweeping unconstitutional speech codes that ban even speech that would not offend a “reasonable person,” but only hypersensitive people, notes a prominent law professor. The Post describes the additional groups targeted by the IRS:
The Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights have now effectively defined dating and flirting as “sexual harassment,” in addition to demanding that colleges adopt unconstitutional speech codes.
Can websites be forced to change to accommodate the disabled — by using “simpler language” to appeal to the “intellectually disabled,” or by making them accessible to the blind and deaf at considerable expense?
Generally, the First Amendment gives you the right to choose whom to talk to and how, without government interference. There is no obligation to make your message accessible to the whole world, and the government can’t force you to make your speech accessible to everyone, much less appealing to them.
In the Daily Caller, historian and presidential biographer Charles C. Johnson writes that Mel Watt, President Obama’s nominee for director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, helped create the subprime crisis. FHA oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. John Berlau writes that Watt also flunks privacy and transparency tests, adding that while in Congress, Watt “pushed government programs to help welfare recipients buy homes during the creation of the subprime mortgage bubble,” ultimately at taxpayer expense.
In the Washington Post, Allan Sloan notes that while President Obama wants to cap American citizens’ IRAs at $3 million or substantially less — discouraging saving and investment in the process — Obama’s own-taxpayer-subsidized retirement benefits are worth more than twice as much, a massive $6.6 million. A sweet pension for me, but not for thee, seems to be Obama’s thinking. Continue reading
The U.S. government is blocking imports of a standard, normal-smelling French cheese, largely out of squeamishness. The cheese in question is Mimolette, a commonplace, orange French cheese so mild in flavor that I once confused it with cheddar when I visited my French relatives and ate it for the first time. The government’s de facto ban on the cheese has triggered protests in New York City, reports the Global Post:
The New York Times yesterday described how the Obama Administration, despite opposition from career civil servants, radically expanded a legal settlement that had already become a “magnet for fraud,” paying out vast sums of money over baseless claims of discrimination at the Agriculture Department in the Pigford case.
A Senate committee will soon vote on Obama’s nomination of left-wing radical Thomas Perez as Labor Secretary. Perez, currently the assistant attorney general for civil rights, has been described by Cato Institute lawyer Ilya Shapiro as a man “who personifies … this administration’s flouting of the rule of law.”
Menacing free speech, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has ruled that Germany violated international law by not prosecuting a former German legislator for statements he made in an interview with a cultural journal. The statements included comments critical of immigration and the alleged dependence on welfare of Turkish immigrants to Germany. Continue reading
Earlier, the Supreme Court closed the door on most lawsuits by foreigners alleging nebulous violations of “human rights” or international norms by multinational corporations. (It did that in dismissing a lawsuit by Nigerians against Shell oil companies.) GMU law professor Michael Greve observes that before the Supreme Court ruling, the Alien Tort Statute [ATS] had “become a playpen for a cabal of … plaintiffs’ lawyers.”