Posts Tagged ‘tea party’
“When I finish this rewrite, it will hardly be worth taking to the bathroom”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, released more than 200 pages of interview transcripts Tuesday afternoon after the committee’s Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), refused to do so…
Cummings released transcripts with an IRS screening group manager described as a “conservative Republican,” who said that the targeting of the Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status started with low-level workers in Cincinnati. The witness also said that there was no communication on the targeting with any senior IRS officials or with anyone in Washington or the Obama administration.
Democrats have posted the key portion of the transcript here, in which the manager says he initially was made aware of a case involving a Tea Party group when an agent “asked for guidance.” He agreed with the agent that there “wasn’t enough information” to determine whether the group should have a tax-exempt status, and said he elevated the issue to his “area manager…”
“I do not believe that the screening of these cases had anything to do other than consistency and identifying issues that needed to have further development,” the manager said.
He also told the Oversight Committee that he believed no one from the White House was involved in the IRS’ screening of Tea Party groups.
Cummings called on Issa to release the entire transcripts, which Issa said would harm the investigation. Cummings asked him for specific reasons, and demanded he respond by Monday. When Issa didn’t respond, Cummings released the entirety of the transcripts.
Issa’s office also did not respond to requests from multiple media outlets — including this one — that asked whether he would eventually release full transcripts.
Like any rightwing punk, Issa is pissed that the actual transcript of the hearing is available for ordinary citizens to read and review. The Republican habit of clipping snippets of information to give an opposite view of reality is notorious; but, this example of a hypocrite and liar like Issa trying to get away with doing the same – with information that’s part of the congressional record – is despicable.
Of course he’s pissed off. Like most populist four-flushers he can’t stand to have reality interfere with ideology. The humorous bit is that just about the only time the IRS was ever proven to be complicit in political attacks was at the hands of a Republican president. A scumbag named Nixon.
Tea Party groups say they’re urging Republican governors to rethink supporting a bipartisan plan backed by President Obama to overhaul U.S. public schools…
“This is the issue that could change things for the Tea Party movement,” said Lee Ann Burkholder, founder of the 9/12 Patriots in York, Pa., which rallied 400 people to a recent meeting to discuss working against Common Core.
The White House has promoted Common Core, written by governors and state education officials in both parties and largely funded by the private Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to create consistent math and reading standards from kindergarten through 12th grade nationwide. The standards don’t dictate curriculum; states would determine the curriculum and how to prep students for standardized tests based on Common Core.
The standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia and are to be implemented by 2014.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican facing re-election next year, told the Post, “We didn’t see it coming with the intensity that it is, apparently all across the country.”
Supporters have expressed concern that a drop in state participation could weaken potential benefits, such as the ability to compare student test scores across states, while creating logistical hurdles for school districts developing curriculum and training teachers, the Washington Post said…
No surprise that a Georgia Republican craps his drawers when Noodnik Know-Nothings threaten him.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan voiced frustration with opposition over Common Core last week while on Capitol Hill, the Post said. He rejected comments by U.S. Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Ariz., that many of his constituents groused that federal money was used to “bribe” states to accept a “federal takeover of curriculum.”
“It’s not a black helicopter ploy and we’re not trying to get inside people’s minds and brains,” Duncan said.
Of course, trying to establish useful standards for education nationwide – instead of populist slogans – always threatens rightwingers who fear educated citizens almost as much as democracy or civil rights.
Surely they can find some way to include guns and religion into their desperate last-minute shriek.
The tornado that hit Oklahoma on Monday resulted in more than 20 deaths and is expected to cost the federal government untold billions of dollars in aid and recovery. But Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), who has long objected to federal funds being spent on everything from veterans benefits to relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, is already insisting that any additional appropriations should be paid for with cuts elsewhere. “That’s always been his position [to offset disaster aid],” Coburn spokesman John Hart said. “He supported offsets to the bill funding the OKC bombing recovery effort.”
Indeed, during his time in Congress, Coburn has portrayed his efforts to rein in federal spending as a principled stance against accumulating larger deficits and passing debt to future generations. But Coburn hasn’t always opposed government spending that is not offset by budget cuts. The senator known as “Doctor No” has voted to fund the war in Iraq, the 2008 bank bail out, and even relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina…
By insisting that funding for tornado relief be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget, Coburn is representing his ideological purity rather than the needs of his Oklahoma constituents.
People who care more for dollars than human beings are worth about as much to our society as fossilized pig excrement. Homeboys may be dumb enough to vote for them – but, they still don’t deserve greedy bastards like Coburn representing them in Congress.
Coburn and his ideology are a waste of space on the face of the Earth. He is a symptom of just how incompetent our 2-party system has gotten – when all that results from a choice of two is one more louse on the pimply butt that is the United States Congress.
Jon Stewart rocks!
It will be nothing but fun to watch the Birthers who ran all their Trumped-up blather over a non-white Democrat born in Hawaii running for president. Even worse – winning.
Now, they get to flip-flop when the same silly questions on presidential eligibility are asked of their favorite white Republican Kool Aid Party Kandidate – born in Calgary.
Senator Rand Paul is coming under pressure from some multi-national businesses to drop his opposition to tax treaties between the United States and other nations.
Citing privacy concerns about Americans’ tax data, Paul, a Republican and libertarian, has single-handedly blocked Senate action on treaties with Hungary, Switzerland and Luxembourg that have been signed by authorities on both sides, but have been awaiting Senate review since 2011.
At least six other tax treaties or treaty updates — with Chile, Spain, Poland, Japan, Norway and Britain — may soon be added to the Senate’s queue for confirmation votes.
Major U.S. businesses such as IBM Corp and Fluor Corp are lobbying for Senate action on tax treaties, according to Senate lobbying disclosure documents.
“How many treaties will be held hostage?” asked Cathy Schultz, a lobbyist for the National Foreign Trade Council, a Washington, D.C.-based group that represents companies such as Caterpillar and Pfizer.
Paul has said he is concerned that recent treaties would give foreign governments too much access to U.S. citizens’ tax information, a stance that has some support among like-minded conservative libertarians.
“Rand Paul is not a typical senator who may bend over to business lobbyists,” said Chris Edwards, director of tax policy at The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank…
He’s right. Paul bends over for the thugs who own the business lobbyists. And the Cato Institute btw.
No new tax treaties or treaty updates have been approved since 2010, when Paul was elected as the junior senator from Kentucky on a wave of support for Tea Party-aligned Republicans.
Paul recently declined to answer questions from a reporter in a Capitol hallway about the “hold” he has placed on the treaties. Under Senate rules, one senator can prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor…
In recent years, tax treaties have begun to play an increasing role in efforts by the United States and major European Union countries to crack down on tax avoidance.
The U.S. Treasury in 2012 began signing new tax pacts with countries as part of implementation of the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, a 2010 anti-tax-evasion law.
Hilarious. Because nutball Tea Party libertarians consider taxation intrusive to their privacy – and private gain – there are a few opportunist Republicans who think this suddenly makes that party less pro-Business.
It may show the party to be pro-stupidity by trying to interfere with global commerce; but, Paul isn’t doing so on behalf of people who are screwed by global corporations. He’s doing this to protect the profits squirreled away in tax havens like Switzerland and the Cayman Islands by crooks who wouldn’t pay a fair share to their own funeral if they could get away with it.
Al Gerhart was charged Tuesday with two felonies involving an email that threatened a state senator to pass a bill…A co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party was charged Tuesday with blackmail over an email that he admits sending to a state senator.
Both counts are felonies…
Gerhart sent the email March 26 to Sen. Cliff Branan, promising to make the senator a laughing stock unless the Senate Energy and Environment Committee passed a bill dealing with a United Nations plan.
Branan, R-Oklahoma City, is chairman of the committee. The senator turned the email over to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Misspelling one word, Gerhart wrote: “Branan, Get that bill heard or I will make sure you regret not doing it. I will make you the laughing stock of the Senate if I don’t hear that this bill will be heard and passed. We will dig into your past, yoru family, your associates and once we start on you there will be no end to it. This is a promise…”
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater commended Branan for reporting the email.
“I believe he was very courageous in the way he handled this knowing there could be further repercussions to him or to his family,” Prater said Tuesday. “The manner in which Sen. Branan has handled this situation will hopefully prevent this … from happening in the future.”
Branan said Tuesday that once he turned the email over, it was “out of his hands.”
Apparently Tea Party nutballs consider extortion and blackmail protected by constitutional rights – and no longer are crimes.
Keeping an eye on the dimbulbs
For three years and more, policy debate in Washington has been dominated by warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. A few lonely economists have tried from the beginning to point out that this fixation is all wrong, that deficit spending is actually appropriate in a depressed economy. But even though the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far — where are the soaring interest rates we were promised? — protests that we are having the wrong conversation have consistently fallen on deaf ears.
What’s really remarkable at this point, however, is the persistence of the deficit fixation in the face of rapidly changing facts. People still talk as if the deficit were exploding, as if the United States budget were on an unsustainable path; in fact, the deficit is falling more rapidly than it has for generations, it is already down to sustainable levels, and it is too small given the state of the economy.
…America’s budget deficit soared after the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that went with it, as revenue plunged and spending on unemployment benefits and other safety-net programs rose. And this rise in the deficit was a good thing! Federal spending helped sustain the economy at a time when the private sector was in panicked retreat…
But after peaking in 2009 at $1.4 trillion, the deficit began coming down. The Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit for fiscal 2013 (which began in October and is almost half over) to be $845 billion. That may still sound like a big number, but given the state of the economy it really isn’t.
Bear in mind that the budget doesn’t have to be balanced to put us on a fiscally sustainable path; all we need is a deficit small enough that debt grows more slowly than the economy…
Right now, a sustainable deficit would be around $460 billion. The actual deficit is bigger than that. But according to new estimates by the budget office, half of our current deficit reflects the effects of a still-depressed economy. The “cyclically adjusted” deficit — what the deficit would be if we were near full employment — is only about $423 billion, which puts it in the sustainable range; next year the budget office expects that number to fall to just $172 billion…
So we do not, repeat do not, face any kind of deficit crisis either now or for years to come…
Put it this way: Smart fiscal policy involves having the government spend when the private sector won’t, supporting the economy when it is weak and reducing debt only when it is strong. Yet the cyclically adjusted deficit as a share of G.D.P. is currently about what it was in 2006, at the height of the housing boom — and it is headed down.
The conservative hobgoblins inside the Beltway, the fiscal fearmongers in charge of the Republican Party still refuse to acknowledge John Maynard Keynes understanding of economics. What happens is every government that actually succeeds in bringing their nation out of recession utilizes Keynesian analysis and solutions. Sometimes they rename them to keep from offending fashionable conservatives.
Sometimes they’d rather keep a nation in the dumper and dying a slow death rather than aid workers and their families struggling through the economic doldrums. After all, they aren’t the folks who are hurting.
Sometimes – like today’s Republican Party – they’d rather keep saying NO while hoping that’s sufficient to put them back in charge of the economy they destroyed. That will require multiple episodes of ignorance and gullibility on the part of American voters.
Struggling to resuscitate the beleaguered GOP’s fortunes and finances in a solidly blue state, California Republicans received blunt advice this weekend from Republican strategist Karl Rove: “Get off your ass…”
…Rove said Republicans have grown too “comfortable talking to each other,” and they have failed to grow the party beyond its core of older white voters. Nearly 70 percent of the nation’s two fastest-growing demographics – Latinos and Asian Americans – supported Democrats in 2012.
What Rove wants – and the Tea Party bubbas reject – is coming up with more and better lies. Not only the usual agitprop of fairy dust economics; but, plain and simple denial of racism and bigotry should be sufficient – he thinks – to fool American voters.
There is soul-searching going on in every corner of the convention, which drew more than 1,000 party activists. The party confronts historically low voter registration in California – just 29 percent of state voters are registered Republicans, compared with nearly 44 percent who are Democrats. An additional 1 in 5 California voters now registers with no party preference – a growing number that threatens to turn the GOP into a minor party. Republicans hold no major statewide offices in California and are the minority party in both chambers of the state Legislature. From this position of weakness, the state GOP is also saddled with a debt that incoming chair Jim Brulte said could be as high as $800,000…
Jerrie Libby, a party delegate from Sutter County and a Tea Party organizer, watched Rove’s address wearing a red Tea Party T-shirt, which she called “a silent protest” against Rove’s efforts to back establishment candidates over grassroots favorites…
“I want to tell him, ‘Karl, we are all conservatives. Stop bashing us,’ ” said Libby, a retired teacher and almond farmer. “We are eating our own in this party…”
The House on Thursday gave final approval to a renewal of the Violence Against Women Act, sending a bipartisan Senate measure to President Obama after a House plan endorsed by conservatives was defeated…It amounted to a significant victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, who have assailed Republicans for months for stalling the legislation.
The successful measure passed the Senate last month with 78 votes — including those of every woman, all Democrats and just over half of Republicans.
The alternative unveiled by the House last Friday immediately came under sharp criticism from Democrats and women’s and human rights groups for failing to include protections in the Senate bill for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse. The House bill also eliminated “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from a list of “populations” that face barriers to receiving victim services — and stripped certain provisions regarding American Indian women on reservations.
With House Republicans divided, the leadership agreed that it would allow a vote on the Senate bill if the House version could not attract sufficient votes, and it failed on a vote of 257 to 166. Sixty Republicans joined 197 Democrats in opposition; 164 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted for it.
The newly passed legislation creates and expands federal programs to assist local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Most notably, the bill goes further by offering protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse, as well as allowing American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to take their case to tribal courts, which otherwise would not have jurisdiction over assailants who do not live on tribal land…
The legislation’s approval underscored the divide in the Republican party as it struggles to regain its footing with women after its 2012 electoral drubbing among female voters. House Republicans — even split at the leadership level — ultimately bowed to what they saw as the best interests of their party nationally, even if that meant overriding the will of the majority of rank-and-file Republicans.
“Over more than two decades, this law has saved countless lives and transformed the way we treat victims of abuse,” Mr. Obama said in a statement. “Today’s vote will go even further by continuing to reduce domestic violence, improving how we treat victims of rape, and extending protections to Native American women and members of the L.G.B.T. community.”
“Renewing this bill is an important step towards making sure no one in America is forced to live in fear, and I look forward to signing it into law as soon as it hits my desk,” Mr. Obama said…
Various flavors of House Republicans will now spend the next few weeks fabricating the next generation of lies about why they voted against the Senate bill, why they tried to pass a bill riddled with loopholes.
This has been a bill generating automatic bi-partisan support for decades. It has grown in breadth and concern as have the same qualities among American voters. But, now, the nutballs in charge of the Republican Party not only reject growing and learning, they reject bipartisan discussion and negotiation – and most of all – they reject any bill which appears to reflect the leadership of President Obama.
They have the stature that tiny minds deserve. An STD infecting Congress!