The Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism

The widely circulated photo of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was found on a beach in Turkey and whose family was “making a final, desperate attempt to flee to relatives in Canada even though their asylum application had been rejected” by the Stephen Harper Government, has caused widespread outrage and forced Western leaders to acknowledge that there is a “refugee crisis”. In Canada, the leaders of the Liberal and New Democratic parties have used the news of Kurdi’s tragic death, along with the deaths of his five-year-old brother and his mother, to criticize the Harper Government’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis. Justin Trudeau and Thomas Mulcair have called on Canada to accept more Syrian refugees, while the Harper Government, with its lust for military action, insists on more illegal bombing raids in Syria and Iraq as the solution to the surge of Syrian refugees. The real tragedy is the […] Read More

New IRS process for recommending nonprofit audits draws critiques

Relatively inexperienced IRS managers could take the reins of gatekeeping panels with significant sway over dark money groups under the terms of a memo sent to agency managers last week and obtained by OpenSecrets Blog. The panels determine whether non-profits involved in political activity are called out for audits. Effective July 17, a team of three IRS employees will make up Political Activities Referral Committees (PARCs), which are tasked with “[recommending] referrals for audit in an impartial and unbiased manner,” according to the memo. To refer an audit takes a majority vote of the three committee members. Those three will be selected from a pool of manager-level employees (civil service grade GS-14 equivalents) at random. That means the PARCs will likely consist of workers with little experience administering exempt organizations, said Marcus Owens, a Washington, D.C.-based lawyer and former head of the IRS Exempt Organizations division. “I analogize it as, an […] Read More