Dems on the House Oversight Committee have released transcripts showing that an IRS manager in Cincinnati — who refers to himself as a conservative Republican — is the one who came up with the idea of centralizing Tea Party-type applications for review. I think centralize is a better word for what happened than “targeting,” with its perjorative connotation. It makes sense to centralize similar applications to make sure that you are processing them consistently, and that’s exactly what the manager says he was doing.
He also says that the White House wasn’t involved.
Some IRS officials in Washington became involved as well after the Cincinnati guy originated his centralized reviews, but there’s no evidence that they weren’t trying to find fair criteria to judge how much of these groups’ activities was political and not “general welfare” to determine if they deserved a tax exemption as 501(c)(4) groups.
But Darrell Issa’s attempts to portray a White House going after its “enemies” as Richard Nixon tried to do seems exaggerated and misguided.
I was angry at the White House for initially acquiescing right away that there was an IRS “scandal” here at all and for accepting the term “targeting” of Tea Party groups. Centralizing is not targeting.
Sen. Lindsey “Butters” Graham (R-SC) suddenly seems to realize that Marco Rubio (R-FL), his fellow “Gang of Eight” member on immigration reform, is walking running away from the very reform he helped draft, leaving Graham twisting in the wind.
Poor Butters says he’s puzzled. Um, here’s a clue for you, Butters — 2016.
The misguided GOP focus on deficits and austerity in the U. S. is messing up the whole world’s economy. From the NYT*:
“The Europeans lately have slightly eased their austerity policies, after four years of deep spending cuts and rising taxes that many economists blame for keeping the Continent in recession long after America’s ended.
“And the Obama administration, after years of pressing Europe to adopt American-style stimulus measures, is now presiding — if reluctantly — over European -style austerity that is measurably slowing its recovery. …
“The new reality in the Unites States reduces the president’s already limited leverage in his fiscal debate with Europeans…even as Europe’s woes continue to act as a drag on its trading partners, including the United States.”
I would force every Republican member of Congress to write “Keynes was right” on the blackboard 1,000 times.
* “Lines Blur in U.S.-Europe Debate on Austerity,” Jackie Calmes
Is it just a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch announced he’s divorcing Wendi and Fox News announced that Sarah Palin is coming back on the same day?
Back at the beginning of the year, Roger Ailes offered to renew Palin’s contract but at a smidge of the $1 million a year she had been getting. She stomped off in a huff in her cheesy red Naughty Monkeys and has now come crawling back, given that nothing else has turned up for her since (unless you count Bristol and Willow appearing on Joan and Melissa Rivers’ show).
I think this has just been a really long contract negotiation, one Ailes knew he would ultimately win.
I’d love to hear the tape of Palin begging. Where the hell is the NSA when you need them?
We can all sleep better at night now, people, especially if you live in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry has solved a terrible problem.
It’s now okay to say “Merry Christmas” in Texas public schools. Also, you can display symbols of Christmas if you have symbols of more than one religion or just one religion (guess which one!) and a secular symbol.
So look for Frosty the Snowman joining the Three Wise Men in the manger. Perhaps Frosty will be holding a menorah.
I’ve never been a fan of Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, but I give her credit for vigorously pushing to get Medicaid expansion under Obamacare in her state, which means health care for another 350,000 Arizonans.
It took till the middle of the night, but she got it through her House, and the Senate votes today.
If Arizona expands Medicaid, it will be the 21st state to do so.
Sen. Jeff Flake’s (R-Arizona) teenage son has been caught using racist, homophobic, and anti-Semitic language on Twitter. He’s chosen the name “n1ggerkiller” to play video games. All the names in the world, you wonder what in his upbringing and home life led him to that particular choice.