Congress is about to ban the government from offering free online tax filing | Ars Technica

Just in time for Tax Day, the for-profit tax preparation industry is about to realize one of its long-sought goals. Congressional Democrats and Republicans are moving to permanently bar the IRS from creating a free electronic tax filing system.Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Rep. Richard Neal (D-Mass.), passed the Taxpayer First Act, a wide-ranging bill making several administrative changes to the IRS that is sponsored by Reps. John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa).In one of its provisions, the bill makes it illegal for the IRS to create its own online system of tax filing. Companies like Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, and H&R Block have lobbied for years to block the IRS from creating such a system. If the tax agency created its own program, which would be similar to programs other developed countries have, it would threaten the industry’s profits.

Source: Congress is about to ban the government from offering free online tax filing | Ars Technica

IFPI Slams Pirate MEP For ‘Lobbying’ Kids, Forgets a Decade of Rightsholders Doing Just That – TorrentFreak


Yet another war of words on Twitter over Article 13 has delivered one of the great ironies of recent times. After Pirate MEP Julia Reda called on kids to ‘lobby’ their parents over the controversial legislation, she got a “shame on you” from IFPI for “manipulating minors”. Trouble is, the entertainment industries have been doing the same for well over a decade.

Source: IFPI Slams Pirate MEP For ‘Lobbying’ Kids, Forgets a Decade of Rightsholders Doing Just That – TorrentFreak

Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California Drug-Price Ballot Measure


The measure would lower drug prices for state agencies. Big drug companies are so terrified, they’ve ponied up an astounding $109 million to fight it.

Source: Big Pharma Paid LGBT Groups and Others That Opposed California Drug-Price Ballot Measure

John Boehner Cashes Out, Joins Corporate Lobbying Firm That Represents China


The news comes just a week after Boehner joined the board of tobacco giant Reynolds American for an estimated $400,000 a year.

Source: John Boehner Cashes Out, Joins Corporate Lobbying Firm That Represents China

After key donations, GOP tried to keep poisoned kids from suing lead makers | Ars Technica


Leaked documents reveal how $750,000 in donations led to laws in Wisconsin.

Source: After key donations, GOP tried to keep poisoned kids from suing lead makers | Ars Technica

MPAA Lobbyist / SOPA Sponsor to Draft Democratic Party Platform – TorrentFreak


The Democratic Party has appointed a committee tasked with drafting the party’s platform. The 15-member panel includes MPAA lobbyist Howard L Berman, an attorney and former U.S. Representative who not only co-sponsored SOPA and tried to enshrine P2P network sabotage in law, but has also been funded by Hollywood throughout his career.

Source: MPAA Lobbyist / SOPA Sponsor to Draft Democratic Party Platform – TorrentFreak

AT&T gave $62K to lawmakers months before vote to limit muni broadband | Ars Technica


Missouri bill would make it difficult for cities to offer Internet service.

Source: AT&T gave $62K to lawmakers months before vote to limit muni broadband | Ars Technica

Disney CEO asks employees to chip in to pay copyright lobbyists | Ars Technica


Letter boasts of beating Aereo, getting TPP—and wants workers’ help in 2016.

Source: Disney CEO asks employees to chip in to pay copyright lobbyists | Ars Technica

Just Before Passing Surveillance Expansion, Lawmakers Partied With Pro-CISA Lobbyists


The night before Congress passed legislation to expand surveillance power, legislators attended a party with the chief lobbyists for the bill.

Source: Just Before Passing Surveillance Expansion, Lawmakers Partied With Pro-CISA Lobbyists

“They Pray to the Money”; House Republicans Decry Speaker John Boehner’s Lobbyist-Friendly Congress

“He’s not a policy leader. He’s a political leader. He knows how to raise money,” Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., told North Carolina radio host Tyler Cralle. “We have allowed the money to control policy in Washington, D.C.”

Source: “They Pray to the Money”; House Republicans Decry Speaker John Boehner’s Lobbyist-Friendly Congress