Ways and Means Committee Votes to Release Investigation of the IRS’s Mandatory Audit Program Under the Prior Administration | Ways and Means Committee – Democrats

Dec 30, 2022, Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—The Ways and Means Committee voted to publicly release the Committee’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Mandatory Audit Program under the prior administration.

The Committee’s investigation found the mandatory program was dormant, at best, with only one audit opened while the former President was in office, and none have been completed.

Excerpts from Chairman Neal’s opening statement:

“Ways and Means is entrusted with great responsibilities. Today, the weight of our job is heavy. Congress serves as a check on the Executive Branch, and our Committee is entrusted with oversight of our revenue system. We all come to Ways and Means with the goal of creating a fairer tax code. Because at the root of it all, it is our federal tax system that funds the democracy we all cherish and love.

Our voluntary collection relies on the public confidence that our tax laws are applied evenly and justly, regardless of position or power. For four years, the Committee has been reviewing how the IRS enforces the federal tax laws against, and ensures compliance by, a president.

“A president is no ordinary taxpayer. They hold power and influence unlike any other American. And with great power comes even greater responsibility.

“We are only here today because four years ago, our request to learn more about the program under 6103 was denied. This was the first time that this key oversight function was hampered, and our Committee’s jurisdiction was challenged.

“The Committee expected that these mandatory audits were being conducted promptly and in accordance with IRS policies. However, our review found that under the prior Administration the program was dormant. We know now, the first mandatory audit was opened two years into his presidency. On the same day this Committee requested his returns.

“We anticipated the IRS would expand the mandatory audit program to account for the complex nature of the former president’s financial situation yet found no evidence of that. This is a major failure of the IRS under the prior administration, and certainly not what we had hope to find.

“But the evidence is clear. Congress must step in. I’ve proposed legislation to put the program above reproach. Ensuring IRS conducts yearly, timely examinations while publicly disclosing certain information.

“Our work has always been to ensure our tax laws are administered fairly and without preference, because at times, even the power of a president can loom too large.”

Neal’s opening statement is available HERE.

The Committee’s report is available HERE, and JCT’s report (Attachment I) is available HERE.

Neal’s Presidential Tax Filings and Audit Transparency Act of 2022 (Attachment J).

Attachment A, Attachment B, Attachment C, Attachment D, Attachment EAttachment F, Attachment G, & Attachment H.

The vote to go into Executive Session was 23-16, and the vote to transmit the documents to the House was 24-16.

Editor’s Note: The attachments to the article contain Trump’s tax returns, the .zip file Attachment E. I’m posting that attachment online here.

Source: Ways and Means Committee Votes to Release Investigation of the IRS’s Mandatory Audit Program Under the Prior Administration | Ways and Means Committee – Democrats

America’s culture war targets librarians – Coda Story

Librarians across the country are under threat as efforts to ban books about marginalized groups reach a fever pitch

By Erica Hellerstein, 21 December, 2022 

Daniella Zalcman

Amanda Jones awoke one morning in late July to the buzz of a text message. The air was balmy already — Louisiana summer weather. Jones, a middle school librarian with a slick brown bob, bright yellow glasses and the warm demeanor of someone who has mastered the art of talking to teenagers, squinted at her phone.

“You need to look at this,” a friend messaged her, with a link to a Facebook post. When she clicked on it, she began shaking and gasping for breath.

“My heart was racing. My blood pressure was through the roof,” she said. “I lay in bed for two solid days and cried so much my eyes swelled shut.”

It had all started that week at a public library board meeting. The meeting’s official agenda included a vote on whether the library should restrict access to several books that dealt with themes related to gender, sexuality and LGBTQ issues. Jones, who is also the president of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians, decided to weigh in.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: America’s culture war targets librarians – Coda Story

The Best Diners, Drive Ins, And Dives Restaurant In Every State | Mashed

Editor’s note: The restaurant selections in this article are based on the opinions of the Mashed editorial team. They have not been selected by Guy Fieri.

By Alexandra Cass / Updated: Dec. 29, 2022 2:06 pm EST

There’s a solid chance any time you turn on Food Network that you’re gonna see Guy Fieri and his spiky hair headed to Flavortown on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The show has filmed nearly 40 seasons, and that means visiting more than 1,250 restaurants around the country along the way (via dinersdriveinsandivelocations.com).

So it’s safe to say that Guy Fieri has seen — and tasted — it all. And you can taste it all too, if you’ve got a big appetite and you’re willing to do some traveling. But where to start?

A thousand restaurants is a lot to swallow, but what if you aim for, say, 50 of Fieri’s favorites? Well, Mashed has done all the work for you. We’ve gone across the map, state by state, to round up the tastiest and most “funkalicious” food destinations featured on Triple-D. Here are the best Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives restaurants in every state.

Source: The Best Diners, Drive Ins, And Dives Restaurant In Every State

‘Tradwives’ promote a lifestyle that evokes the 1950s. But their nostalgia is not without controversy | CNN

By Harmeet Kaur, CNN, Published 11:38 AM EST, Tue December 27, 2022

Editor’s Note: The past year was filled with uncertainty over politics, the economy and the ongoing pandemic. In the face of big changes, people found themselves longing for a different time. CNN’s series “The Past Is Now” examines how nostalgia manifested in our culture in 2022 — for better or for worse.

Tradwives champion strict gender roles in which men are the providers and women are the homemakers.
Debrocke/Classicstock/Getty Images

CNN — On certain corners of the internet, a segment of women is exhibiting a nostalgia for an era it has never known. These millennials and zoomers glamorize the aesthetics of 1950s Americana, donning retro fit-and-flare dresses and posting vintage illustrations of aproned housewives placing dinner on the table.

Their politics, too, hearken back to that of the post-World War II boom (at least, for those who were straight, White and middle class). In their ideal society, men are the providers, women are the homemakers and the nuclear family is the holy grail.

Tradwife influencers often share images of 1950s housewives on social media, while encouraging submission to one’s husband.
Debrocke/ClassicStock/Getty Images

These young women belong to a small subculture called “tradwives.” Short for traditional wives, tradwives aren’t your average stay-at-home moms. They sneer at what they consider to be modern-day feminism, with its girlbosses and its ungratifying grind, and wax lyrical about the value of traditional gender roles. Crucially, they promote submission to one’s husband, sometimes evoking fundamentalist Christian principles in their beliefs.

Source: ‘Tradwives’ promote a lifestyle that evokes the 1950s. But their nostalgia is not without controversy | CNN

This year I’m thankful for US public libraries – beautiful icons of a better civic era | The Guardian

The US can often be cruel to its citizens, but the public library is a sanctuary and a vision of what our country might one day be

By Moira Donegan, Wed 28 Dec 2022 10.13 EST

‘The public library does not understand its patrons as mere consumers, or as a revenue base. Instead, it aspires to encounter people as minds.’ Photograph: BA E Inc./Alamy

If you proposed it now, at any town council or city hall meeting, you would be laughed from the room. The concept is almost unthinkably indulgent, in our austere times: an institution, open for free to anyone, that sells no products, makes no money, is funded from public coffers, and is dedicated solely to the public interest, broadly defined. And it’s for books.

If the public library did not already exist as a pillar of local civic engagement in American towns and cities, there’s no way we would be able to create it. It seems like a relic of a bygone era of public optimism, a time when governments worked to value and edify their people, rather than punish and extract from them.

In America, a country that can be often cruel to its citizens, the public library is a surprising kindness. It is an institution that offers grace and sanctuary, and a vision of what our country might one day be.

Source: This year I’m thankful for US public libraries – beautiful icons of a better civic era | Moira Donegan | The Guardian

Sherlock Holmes will finally escape copyright this weekend – The Verge

Metropolis, To The Lighthouse, and the final Holmes stories are all entering the public domain.

By Adi Robertson / @thedextriarchy, Dec 28, 2022, 10:00 AM PST

A portrait of Holmes by artist Sidney Paget.

Watching the copyrights on art expire still feels like a novelty. After all, the US public domain was frozen in time for 20 years, thawing only in 2019. But this weekend’s Public Domain Day will give our cultural commons a few particularly notable new works.

As outlined by Duke Law School’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain, the start of 2023 will mark the end of US copyrights on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s final Sherlock Holmes stories — along with the seminal science fiction movie Metropolis, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, and the first full-length “talkie” film The Jazz Singer.

The public domain lets anyone republish, remix, or remake works without the permission of the rights holder — typically long after the original author is dead. In previous years, it’s created booms around new interpretations of works like The Great Gatsby, which entered the public domain in 2021.

More generally, you can thank it for Dracula Daily, a newsletter that creatively recontextualized the classic vampire novel, or its spiritual successor Whale Weekly about Moby Dick. And as the Duke summary points out, the public domain frees archivists to preserve and redistribute works that might otherwise be lost, like a wealth of silent films (including Metropolis) whose copyright is definitively expiring this year.

Source: Sherlock Holmes will finally escape copyright this weekend – The Verge