Posts tagged White House

The Real IRS Scandal

Darrell E. Issa, American politician

What, me worry?

If you’re look­ing for a real scan­dal among this season’s fauxrage, here it is.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dar­rell Issa (R-​​Vista, CA), chair­man of the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee, has been revealed defin­i­tively to be a fraud and a liar. He has been engaged in a cam­paign to cre­ate a scan­dal that doesn’t exist, and that he knew doesn’t exist. This isn’t the first time he has vio­lated the pub­lic trust. It is not likely to be the last.

Back in May, it was revealed that the IRS had been giv­ing scrutiny to right-​​wing polit­i­cal groups apply­ing for 501(c)(4) tax exempt sta­tus. Issa has been try­ing to prove — and has been claim­ing — that orders to tar­get these groups came from Wash­ing­ton, and prob­a­bly directly from the White House. He has, how­ever, known all along there is no evi­dence of this. We now know he has known for quite some time that his accu­sa­tions are not only unsup­ported, but also untrue. (more…)

The Hatter Resolution

If I had a world of my own,” said Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hat­ter, “every­thing would be non­sense.” It would seem House Repub­li­cans are tak­ing this thought to heart, and using it as advice for the future of Amer­ica. We may be on the verge of see­ing an evo­lu­tion of the Tea Party, from tri­corn hats to Alice in Won­der­land. It may be an inten­tional change.

Start­ing today, House Repub­li­cans will unveil the CR or “Con­tin­u­ing Res­o­lu­tion,” their threat­ened spend­ing plans for the remain­der of the fis­cal year. After the eco­nomic debates of the 2012 cam­paign, one might think the pri­or­i­ties of the win­ning party would receive some con­sid­er­a­tion. Yet it doesn’t appear so. As details of Repub­li­cans plans leak out, we’re see­ing a move even far­ther toward aus­ter­ity and puni­tive spend­ing cuts than any­thing envi­sioned in the Ryan bud­gets of past years.

The impend­ing bud­get plan is so far afield, so divorced from real­ity, that it actu­ally includes a ban on fed­eral fund­ing for the anti-​​poverty group Alliance of Com­mu­nity Orga­ni­za­tions for Reform Now or ACORN — even though ACORN was dis­banded three years ago, and hasn’t existed since 2010. (You can read the cur­rent pro­posal for the Con­tin­u­ing Res­o­lu­tion here. Check out page 221.)

That’s not the only bit of non­sense in this Repub­li­can plan. The bill includes fewer real dis­cre­tionary dol­lars than were avail­able to George W. Bush in FY 2008. This is more an ide­o­log­i­cal man­i­festo than a seri­ous pro­posal.

The Next Act

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

The Pres­i­dent gets serious

The next round of bud­getary pos­tur­ing and hijinks in is full flower. This act must play out by the first of March, when the sequester cuts — delayed by the last bud­get deal — are again sched­uled to kick in. Here’s where things now stand.

Pres­i­dent Obama has made a pro­posal for han­dling the upcom­ing cri­sis that Con­gress has once more inflicted upon itself. Many Repub­li­cans — though, sur­pris­ingly not all — have voiced pre­dictable objec­tions. Repub­li­cans are push­ing for all cuts, all the time, pri­mar­ily to Medicare and Social Secu­rity, both of which seem to be on increas­ingly good finan­cial footing.

We’ve got just over there weeks before the cuts kick in, cuts designed to be too hor­ri­ble to con­tem­plate, so hor­ri­ble they would force Democ­rats and Repub­li­cans to work together. They have been hor­ri­ble enough that they’ve forced Con­gress to delay them once. What will hap­pen next? (more…)

Canaries and Coal Mines

Sur­vey USA has just front-​​paged an aston­ish­ing poll show­ing Rand Paul’s sup­port plum­met­ing by dou­ble dig­its, and Con­way clos­ing the gap to a sta­tis­ti­cal tie. The inter­nals are espe­cially fas­ci­nat­ing… (and admit­tedly controversial.)

You can see the poll results here: http://​www​.sur​veyusa​.com/

So what do you think? Is this poll a mas­sive out­lier, or a straw in the wind?  I think it’s the first indi­ca­tor of a mas­sive national shift. The momen­tum is turn­ing, thanks to a long, slow build-​​up of Tea Party neg­a­tives that has sud­denly reached crit­i­cal mass. And I’m fairly cer­tain this poll is not an outlier…it’s a har­bin­ger of things to come.

Dems have begun deploy­ing their mas­sive ad buys in crit­i­cal mar­kets. Vot­ers are pay­ing atten­tion. The GOP base is grum­bling and dispir­ited by the Pledge to Amer­ica, which just doesn’t look crazy enough to suit them. And Tea Party can­di­dates all over the coun­try are mak­ing the fatal mis­take of telling us what they really think. When we do the post-​​game analy­sis we’re going to say, “Yup, the last week in September…that was when it all started turn­ing around.”

Some­thing is hap­pen­ing. Hold onto your hats.

Eye of Newt; Toe of Frog

Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the House.

Image via Wikipedia

Exactly 16 years ago, Newt Gin­grich released his “Con­tract With Amer­ica.” It made an instant con­nec­tion with vot­ers, and six weeks later the Repub­li­cans swept to a 54-​​seat pickup in the House and major­ity sta­tus. (more…)

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