Scroll down to read this post.


I am now in the final week of my July fund-raising campaign for Behind the Black, celebrating its 14th anniversary. Thank you all, from the people who have donated small amounts to those who have given large sums. I cannot truly express how much your support means to me.


The support of my readers through the years has given me the freedom and ability to analyze objectively the ongoing renaissance in space, as well as the cultural changes -- for good or ill -- that are happening across America. Four years ago, just before the 2020 election I wrote that Joe Biden's mental health was suspect. Only in the past two weeks has the mainstream media decided to recognize that basic fact.


Fourteen years ago I wrote that SLS and Orion were a bad ideas, a waste of money, would be years behind schedule, and better replaced by commercial private enterprise. Even today NASA and Congress refuses to recognize this reality.


In 2020 when the world panicked over COVID I wrote that the panic was unnecessary, that the virus was apparently simply a variation of the flu, that masks were not simply pointless but if worn incorrectly were a health threat, that the lockdowns were a disaster and did nothing to stop the spread of COVID. Only in the past year have some of our so-called experts in the health field have begun to recognize these facts.


Your help allows me to do this kind of intelligent analysis. I take no advertising or sponsors, so my reporting isn't influenced by donations by established space or drug companies. Instead, I rely entirely on donations and subscriptions from my readers, which gives me the freedom to write what I think, unencumbered by outside influences.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind the Black.


You can support me either by giving a one-time contribution or a regular subscription. There are five ways of doing so:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652


You can also support me by buying one of my books, as noted in the boxes interspersed throughout the webpage or shown in the menu above. And if you buy the books through the ebookit links, I get a larger cut and I get it sooner.

IRS renews harassment of tea party groups

Still working for the Democratic Party: Despite repeatedly saying it has stopped its harassment of conservatives, the IRS this week issued a new set of invasive questions to one tea party group that has been waiting since 2012 for its non-profit application to be processed.

Worse, the IRS did it publicly, and in the process released confidential information.

More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public. Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case, and that’s one of the few narrow exceptions to strict IRSprivacy laws.

Still, the move to release the information has inflamed an already tense class action legal battle between the IRS and tea party groups who feel the agency is still targeting them more than three years after it promised to cease. “The IRS has taken the unprecedented step of publicly filing actual return information,” said Edward Greim, who is handling the case on behalf of more than 400 groups targeted by the IRS. He said the questions asked by the IRS show the agency has not ceased the intrusive questioning that landed it in trouble in the first place back in 2013.

This behavior tells us more about Barack Obama and the Democratic Party than the IRS itself. When the scandal initially broke, Obama expressed outrage and anger that such harassment was happening, but from the beginning has literally done nothing to end it. Instead, the IRS has stonewalled every investigation and court suit, including continuning its harassment of the President’s opponents. That could only be happening if the man running the executive branch, Obama himself, approved that behavior. In addition, the investigations have found that numerous Democratic members of Congress not only demanded this harassment, they continue to help the IRS in its stonewalling.

Expect worse should Hillary Clinton win the election. Her track record when she was first lady was actually worse than Obama’s.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.


The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News


  • wodun

    Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case

    That’s funny because the IRS used privacy laws designed to protect the victims from exposure to shield themselves from identifying who at the IRS was involved in this illegal pogrom.

  • hondo

    They now feel comfortable in the belief that they have a very pliable and partisan Civil Service up and down the ranks.
    Just as I believe the MSM is a one party media in search of a one party state –
    so too the majority of the civil service workforce – from clerk to administrator.

  • Al

    It also tells us something about the Republican party whom, beyond show hearings, have done little to deal with the problem.

  • Cotour

    Why would the IRS do anything different?

    They have received absolutely NO counter indication from their overlords. It has been plainly demonstrated through non action that they operate above the law.

  • wayne

    Everyone– Good stuff.

    Al– absolutely, Show-Hearing’s.

    If Mitch/Ryan/Boehner had wanted to get to the bottom of this, they had the power to do so. They chose not to.

    What scares me even more– the political appointees at the IRS have been systematically squirrelling themselves into the civil-service for almost 8 years. Getting rid of them next year, is essentially impossible.

  • Stosh

    The disorganization of the TEA parties was the reason someone like Trump could be nominated, the only candidate out of 17 that Killary could possibly beat…

  • Phill O

    Hindsight is 20X20. My TEA PARTY cousins in Utah and some of my conservative buddies in NM indicate Hillary will probably win. Do you want that? What are you willing to do to stop it? Obama and crew have probably moved the goal posts to the extent the Dems will win from now on.

    What do you think about Bill Clinton talking about how terrible Obama care is. Nick indicate he thought he is setting Hillary up to introduce government run system. You will love a Canadian system down there. It is great for emergency stuff. Good luck if you have a chronic problem. I know of people who have died waiting; kind of reminds me of the VA. Oh yah, the cost! Look for taxes to skyrocket and carbon taxes too boot. I had to wait 8-9 months for an MRI. Everything up here costs %50 more or more. I buy a bottle of Tequila in Mexico (or cheaper at the US border store) for $35.00. Here the same costs 0ver $80:00. I know several people who vote liberal, then buy stuff from the USA saying the Canadian firmed are greedy. Nope, just trying to pay the extra taxes.

    What are you willing to do to stop it? Really! If you get Trump in, then you might get the laws enforced for ousting a non-compliant politician who reneges on election promises. However, that goes two ways. Remember what the Dems tried with Scot Walker.

  • Garry

    A couple of points:

    -As I’ve stated from the beginning, of course the Republicans didn’t do anything substantial about the IRS abuse; the Tea Party was a bigger threat to the Republicans than to the Democrats. This is because e Tea Party actually believes in the things RINOs claim to believe in.

    -I don’t have the time or inclination to find the exact quote, but in one of his trollapaloozas, Andrew W said something I understood to mean “I’m only talking about the basic democratic process being broken; so long as I get to vote for the candidate of my choice, it’s not broken”

    Well, Andrew, this is a good example of something short of a military coup that breaks the basic democratic process you were talking about.

    By taking this action, the IRS prevented the Tea Party groups from being able to raise funds. As a grassroots movement, the Tea Party was not built around specific individuals, and formed spontaneously. Without being able to raise funds, it wasn’t able to get on an equal footing with the Republicans and Democrats.

    It’s worth repeating Stosh’s post above:

    “The disorganization of the TEA parties was the reason someone like Trump could be nominated, the only candidate out of 17 that Killary could possibly beat…”

    The IRS did its best to prevent the Tea Party from getting organized.

  • wayne

    Garry- excellent stuff!

  • Cotour


    “The disorganization of the TEA parties was the reason someone like Trump could be nominated, the only candidate out of 17 that Killary could possibly beat…”

    You have that exactly backwards. Trump is the manifestation of the Tea Party and is the only candidate that could make it to defeat her. The Tea Party is about the rejection of the status quo and the need to reconnect with the Constitution. Trump is that rejection, although he is not quite the rejection the staunch Conservatives envisioned.

    Should he win and do well in his administration he is the first real initial step in the process to those goals.

  • Garry

    Cotour wrote,

    “Trump is the manifestation of the Tea Party and is the only candidate that could make it to defeat her. The Tea Party is about the rejection of the status quo and the need to reconnect with the Constitution. Trump is that rejection, although he is not quite the rejection the staunch Conservatives envisioned.”

    Perhaps many are voting for Trump to break from the status quo (whether they can expect him to is another matter), but Trump has made no statement (that I know of) that indicates he would like to reconnect with the Constitution. Nor has he expressed a desire for a leaner, less intrusive government. The Tea Party is all about small government, Trump is not.

    You have compared Trump with the founding fathers, Captain Kirk, and now the Tea Party. I’m not buying any of them (although my knowledge of Captain Kirk is weak, but he’s irrelevant anyway). Trump is fairly unique in American politics, and there really is no parallel.

  • wayne

    thank you.

    (more like Bella Oxnyx from A Piece of the Action, original series, but I digress.)

  • Cotour

    “Trump is that rejection, although he is not quite the rejection the staunch Conservatives envisioned.””

    I agree that he is not what was envisioned by the Tea party, but there he is. As far as the Founders analogy goes, my point is that he thinks different, the Founders thought different. It takes this different kind of thinking to change the paradigm.

    I assume that you agree that we can no longer allow the status quo to continue. How do you break the status quo? You stop doing business as usual.

    And I have stated my concern that he does not generally speak of the Constitution except about the Second Amendment, which represents thee fundamental different thinking of the Founders. Its a start.

    Trump has two potentials, both good and bad, it will be two things that will make him a success. 1. Its up to his ability to face himself and his ego and grow beyond himself. He is not doing well on that count IMO and 2. His success will also depend on who he surrounds himself with and their willingness to confront him when he needs some perspective.

    Although someone who thinks out side of the box does not always listen. Its going to be a mixed bag but if he wants to prevail and be a “winner” he is going to have to adapt and evolve in ways that he may be very resistive to. We will find out soon enough.

    It was crazy, it got crazier and now it is going to get really crazy.

    But from crazy chaos comes order. Its got to be Constitutional order.

  • Garry

    You may as well compare Trump to Jesus and Mohammed; they also thought different and changed the paradigm.

    Or maybe you can look just a micrometer under the surface and find this Trump is unique, and not like the founding fathers or the Tea Party.

  • Cotour

    And still he is preferable to Hillary.

    There is risk, we deal with it, we get over it, we manage it.

    (I would not go so far as to compare him with either Jesus or Muhammad, neither of which were Americans. I consider Trump at the minimum an American concerned about America. Hillary, not so much)

  • Garry

    I see the election as voting for a sure failure (Hillary) vs. a wild card that can be a bigger failure, or could do some good.

    It’s a familiar situation to me; life has handed me many situations where my perception was that there was only one realistic option that had a chance of success, however remote, but that option could also lead to disaster. I have always taken that option, knowing that disaster is a real possibility, but having no better alternative. The results have been mixed, and in hindsight my perspective of these situations was off in some cases; there were some options I failed to see at the time.

    “But from crazy chaos comes order [sometimes[. Its got to be Constitutional order [or we’re in big trouble].”

    I added the parts in brackets to emphasize that “it’s got to be” doesn’t indicate inevitability, but, for lack of a better word, desperation. I do agree that we need a shakeup of the existing order.

    As I’ve written many times before, I will don my hazmat suit and cast my vote for Trump. However, I have little hope that things will get better if he is elected. In the first debate alone, I saw many openings that screamed for him to lay out some solid plans that I hope he has, while educating the viewer, but he missed all these layups. I don’t see much leadership there, and even if he has good plans, I don’t see support coming from Ryan/McConnell (assuming the Republicans keep their majorities). I think the only hope is Trump being guided by those around him, and I with few exceptions, I don’t know who these people are.

    This is not the type of risk that can be managed at our level; we can only hope and try to make our voices heard.

  • Cotour

    Garry, no reasonable person could argue with your conclusions.

    And we move on.

  • wayne

    Yes, well stated Garry.
    (I need an iron-man suit to do this…and I might very well bail at the last second.)
    –I know whom I’m against 100%, but there is no-one, I actually support.

    And I remain highly concerned over the down-ballot, and Mitch/Ryan will still (most likely) remain in control. And they funded every damn thing, and more. When they had a choice, they sided with Barry. When they had a chance to assert Congressional power, they chose to support Barry. Mitch/Ryan, hate Conservatives more than they dislike Barry, and they don’t really dislike him at all.

    I’ve been watching DJT, on C-Span, 2-3 times a week, deliver his stump-speeches.
    When he’s on-prompter, he sounds marginally-OK, when he goes off-prompter, the same old lefty BS pops out of this mouth. (That’s when we see what he really thinks.)

    Tariff’s would kill us dead in short order– companies don’t pay tariffs, people do.
    We actually manufacture a lot in the USA, but we are so productive, we don’t need as-many of those jobs as we did in the past. Those aren’t “coming back,” not now, not ever, never.

    They will NEVER get rid of the ACA— “they want to fix it.” That’s why it’s always presented now as “repeal and replace.” (I don’t want it replaced, I want it gone.)
    We have 40 million people on SNAP, we have 25 million people who get free-cell phones, and we have like 20 million people on Medicaid.
    Trump won’t touch any of those Programs, unless Mitch/Ryan want them touched…and we already know, they don’t and won’t.

  • Garry

    Wayne, you pretty much nailed it.

    Big picture, my hope is that the two majority parties disintegrate, and perhaps this will be precipitated by what happens as a result of this election. That step is necessary, but the real work starts with filling the power vacuum. The best potential for this was embodied in the Tea Party.

    If this ever happens, it will be a messy process spanning generations. The alternative is the gradual but certain deterioration we’ve all experienced of late.

    An Article 5 Convention is the best hope for a solution, but we can’t do that until enough people realize that we need it. Perhaps the aftermath of this election will eventually bring people to their senses, and unfortunately that woud involve a lot of pain.

  • wayne

    Ref– Article 5
    We’re closer than one might think. (I say we are within striking distance.)

    –“Republicans” control more State Legislatures now, than they have in a long time. (lots-o-RINO’s granted, but at the State/Local level, people are pissed. (hence Trump)
    — There is Model-legislation already written (for States) & already adopted in many (but not enough, yet)
    — Convention advocates/delegates, are in the process of selecting & writing Amendment’s, and working out the rules for a Convention, in coordination with the States.
    –The Federal Congress & The Judicial Branch play zero role in all this.
    –Mitch/Ryan can whine all they want, they can’t touch a Convention of States.

    (They just did a “simulation” Convention of States, September 21-23; testing out proposed rules & determining what State delegates want to see in the way of actual Amendment language.)

  • PeterF

    Aaaand looping back around to the original subject, this continued abuse by the IRS, can only end badly. For the revenuers, and possibly also for the US citizenry. But most definitely for the bureaucrats.
    The best the IRS can hope for is that they will lose their jobs because an article V convention repeals the 16th amendment and adopts a fair tax.
    The worst that could happen would be very BAD for the rank and file IRS employee and worse for the administrators.

  • Phill O

    Garry “I saw many openings that screamed for him to lay out some solid plans that I hope he has, while educating the viewer, but he missed all these layups.”

    There is a danger to laying out too many plans as follows: It gives the opposition to come up with seemingly valid arguments against. It is always easier to say it will not work and yet not have any good solution yourself. Sorry, but I was in Government too long.

    Pence had the right idea in his debate. Let us hope learned.

    Along with the “The childishness sweeping America” just posted by Bob, this stuff is not making my day.

    One question: If the poles show Trump behind, why does he get bigger audiences than Hillary?

  • Edward

    Phill O asked: “One question: If the poles show Trump behind, why does he get bigger audiences than Hillary?”

    Whether or not they agree with Hillary’s policies, people just aren’t enthusiastic about having such scum and villainy in office; they may have been excited about her ten or fifteen years ago, but not any more.

    Trump’s followers liked him when he was saying “You’re fired!”, and want to be in his presence. Trump today is like Hillary before; celebrated for no real reason. Sort of like Kim Kardashian or Paris Hilton.

  • ken anthony

    Claiming Trump has no substance is pure slander. I was disappointed with Trump’s debate performance, but then I read the transcript. Hillary was polished, but people are seeing through it, especially when she was lecturing all of us on cyber security.

    Trump, OTOH, was full of substance but failed on style. He needs to learn how to shut up after making a point so he doesn’t remove its impact.

  • Edward

    ken anthony wrote: “Claiming Trump has no substance is pure slander.”

    Actually, that is incorrect. It isn’t libel, either.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *