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The Nerve of the IRS

The craziness of the IRS “scandal” cannot be underlined or emphasized enough. The fact that the IRS decided to scrutinize a group of Americans who basically state that they hate paying taxes and would go to any means to avoid paying taxes should not be a surprise to anyone. In my mind, scrutinizing tea party groups is a little like asking Willie Sutton why he robs banks. (His famous answer, “because that’s where the money is,” may be an urban myth but I like it nonetheless.) Since the disastrous, thoughtless Citizens United decision, the number of 501(c) 4 organizations has skyrocketed from a little over 1700 to well over 3300. The majority of these 501(c) 4 groups were, wait for it… conservative, tea party groups.

More from Vanity Fair:

Unfortunately, given the way this I.R.S. scandal slid so easily into ideological definitions, I fear that few non-politicos are recognizing the real disgrace here: that the federal government—Congress, the White House, the tax agency, and the Supreme Court—has created a situation where blatantly political organizations are able to legally break the law by pretending they’re something that they’re not.

The key to this obscene state of affairs is an entity known as a 501(c)(4), named for the section of the tax code that created it. Supposedly, these are civic associations or organizations devoted to social welfare, which can operate tax-free, but whose donors aren’t allowed to deduct their contributions. Fair enough. (more…)

By |2013-05-23T22:26:15-04:00May 23rd, 2013|Obama administration, Party Politics, Taxes|Comments Off on The Nerve of the IRS

Sour Grapes

Poor Mitt

Mitt Romney has barely been seen in public since his not-so-gracious concession speech from a little over a week ago. Really, I feel a little sorry for Mitt Romney. For the last two years, he’s done nothing besides eat, drink and sleep presidential politics. He turned his whole life upside-down so that he could run for president. As a matter fact, Mitt Romney spent more than just the last two years running for president. To be honest, Mitt Romney’s been running for president for more than a decade. Remember, he ran for Senate and lost. I don’t think he ran for Senate because he had some great desire to be a senator. He ran for Senate because he thought it be an excellent stepping stone to the presidency. He ran for governor of Massachusetts and won. He didn’t want to be governor of the state of Massachusetts. Instead, he wanted to use it as a springboard into the White House. His plan almost worked.

Today, Mitt Romney stuck his head out of his multimillion dollar mansion just long enough to speak with donors. Mitt Romney could’ve been gracious. He could have thanked his donors for all their hard work. He could’ve been magnanimous. Instead, Mitt Romney was a bowl of sour grapes. The reason that he lost, according to Mitt Romney, was because President Obama “focused on giving targeted groups a big gift.” This is the same line of thinking that Bill O’Reilly displayed when he said 50% of Americans simply want stuff from the government. Mitt Romney didn’t lose because he had the nerve to say that illegal (undocumented) immigrants should self deport (which may be the stupidest idea ever to be uttered by a presidential candidate). He didn’t lose because he didn’t support the Dream Act. Mitt Romney did not lose the election because he alienated women by being completely unclear on multiple issues important to women. He didn’t lose because he opposed Obama Care. Instead, he lost because the president appealed to people by offering to give them things. Sour grapes.

Mitt Romney lost the presidential campaign because he didn’t understand electoral politics. Mitt Romney lost because the presidential race came down to seven or eight states –Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nevada. He never had a winning strategy to significantly move the needle in these battleground states. He continued to appeal to Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi. Once he won the Republican nomination, he had those states in his back pocket. He never changed his ultraconservative positions. Those positions caused him to lose in the states that he needed to win. The fact that he almost won Florida, Virginia and Ohio is immaterial.  Winning those states still wouldn’t have gotten him the nomination. He needed to do more.

With nobody but himself to blame, I suspect that he is sitting around his mansion eating a bowl of sour grapes and spitting the seeds on the floor just so that he can watch the help pick them up. Poor Mitt and his sour grapes.

By |2012-11-16T20:12:24-04:00November 15th, 2012|Party Politics|1 Comment

Sandra Fluke at the DNC

Sandra Fluke was pulled into the national spotlight by right wing reactionaries when she was called a slut. Her strong stance has earned her praise and a spot at the DNC.

During this campaign, we’ve heard about the two profoundly different futures that could await women—and how one of those futures looks like an offensive, obsolete relic of our past. Warnings of that future are not distractions. They’re not imagined. That future could be real.

In that America, your new president could be a man who stands by when a public figure tries to silence a private citizen with hateful slurs. Who won’t stand up to the slurs, or to any of the extreme, bigoted voices in his own party. It would be an America in which you have a new vice president who co-sponsored a bill that would allow pregnant women to die preventable deaths in our emergency rooms. An America in which states humiliate women by forcing us to endure invasive ultrasounds we don’t want and our doctors say we don’t need. An America in which access to birth control is controlled by people who will never use it; in which politicians redefine rape so survivors are victimized all over again; in which someone decides which domestic violence victims deserve help, and which don’t. We know what this America would look like. In a few short months, it’s the America we could be. But it’s not the America we should be. It’s not who we are.

We’ve also seen another future we could choose. First of all, we’d have the right to choose. It’s an America in which no one can charge us more than men for the exact same health insurance; in which no one can deny us affordable access to the cancer screenings that could save our lives; in which we decide when to start our families. An America in which our president, when he hears a young woman has been verbally attacked, thinks of his daughters—not his delegates or donors—and stands with all women. And strangers come together, reach out and lift her up. And then, instead of trying to silence her, you invite me here—and give me a microphone—to amplify our voice. That’s the difference.

Over the last six months, I’ve seen what these two futures look like. And six months from now, we’ll all be living in one, or the other. But only one. A country where our president either has our back or turns his back; a country that honors our foremothers by moving us forward, or one that forces our generation to re-fight the battles they already won; a country where we mean it when we talk about personal freedom, or one where that freedom doesn’t apply to our bodies and our voices.

We talk often about choice. Well, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to choose.

By |2012-09-07T05:09:50-04:00September 7th, 2012|Civil Rights, Elections, Party Politics|Comments Off on Sandra Fluke at the DNC
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