Tea Party Group Suing IRS -- The NorCal Tea Party Patriots is one of many right-wing groups to which the Internal Revenues Service seems to have paid undo attention in dealing with the group's request for tax-exempt status. The group is suing, and it hopes to achieve class status for other such groups, meaning a huge political headache for the White House and the IRS. This journal has no time for the Tea Party reactionaries, but this is more important than mere politics. At some level, IRS staffers abused their power. [21 May]
Russia Sends Assad Anti-Ship Missiles -- Russia has delivered anti-ship missiles to the struggling Syrian regime. The Foreign Ministry in Moscow claims the shipments don't violate any international rules, but this matter goes far beyond international law. It is, in effect, an insurance policy to protect the Assad government from strikes by the West, which have become more likely after experts confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. Russia has given Syria a counter-strike capacity. [17 May]
IRS Tea Party Scandal Misses Big Picture -- The IRS has admitted that some of its agents were excessively rigorous in determining whether certain right-wing advocacy groups qualified for tax-exempt status under section 501 (c) of the US tax code. The acting commissioner resigned yesterday, and it appears the powers that be have punished the agents involved. The Republicans are not satisfied; Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) wants to know who's going to jail? However, the entire problem is merely a symptom of something bigger -- the abuse of charitable status for political purposes. [16 May]
Russians Arrest US Embassy Staffer for Spying -- The Russian government has detained a member of the American embassy staff on charges of spying. This comes at a time when the US and Russia are trying to work a bit closer together in the aftermath of the Boston bombing which had ties to the Chechen terrorism that has plagued Russia for years. This arrest serves as a reminder that there are parties in both nations who still view the other as a bigger threat than any teenage yahoo with a pressure-cooker bomb. [14 May]
Pakistan Elects Sharif Prime Minister -- Pakistanis voted in huge numbers Saturday to elect a new parliament and prime minister. The Pakistan Muslim League-N appears to be on course for a not-quite majority. Its leader, Nawaz Sharif (the N in the party name stands for "Nawaz"), will move into the PM's house shortly, and talks have begun to assemble a government. It is not a bad result for Pakistan, but the new PM's in-tray is full. [13 May]
Copyright 2013 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.