May 222013
 

This will be today’s only article, because I had a rough day yesterday.  I wracked up my leg again by stumbling and catching myself on it the wrong way, and the pain interfered with my rest.  So I think I’d better not push myself at this point.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:12 ( average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws on a bipartisan vote, sending the most significant immigration policy changes in decades to the full Senate, where the debate is expected to begin next month.

The 13-to-5 vote came as the committee reached a deal on one of the final snags threatening the legislation — and agreed to hold off on a particularly politically charged amendment, which would have added protections for same-sex couples.

After intense behind-the-scenes negotiations, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, struck an agreement with the group of eight senators who drafted the original bill to address his concerns about visas for skilled foreign workers who could fill jobs in the high-tech industry…

It is truly sad that the only way to get this bill past Committee Republicans had to include a hate offering and a greed offering. Gay couples should have the right to apply fore green cards for their spouses. American workers will take big pay cuts or lose their jobs to foreign skilled workers, but there will be no savings for US consumers, just more profit for the 1%. Nevertheless, in spite of all its flaws, it is the most significant step toward immigration reform in a generation.

From The New Yorker: President Obama’s handling of controversies about the I.R.S., the Justice Department, and Benghazi has raised “grave doubts” about his ability to cope if he ever became involved in an actual scandal, prominent Republicans said today.

“If this is how he handles this stuff, Lord have mercy on him if he ever has to deal with a real scandal,” said newly elected Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S. Carolina). “Quite frankly, I don’t think he has what it takes.”

“The true test of a leader is this,” Rep. Sanford added. “When he gets in a fix, does he have the presence of mind to lie about his whereabouts? Sadly, I don’t think President Obama passes that test.”

Mr. Sanford’s concerns mirror those of another leading Republican lawmaker, Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana).

Perhaps Trail Walker and Diaper Dave should head up a new federal agency: the Department of Adultery.

From The Nation: Here are just five examples of bogus 501(c)(4) groups that deserve more scrutiny under the law:

The American Action Network is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit run by corporate lobbyists like Vin Weber (of Sallie Mae) and Tom Reynolds (of Goldman Sachs)…

…The Commission on Hope, Growth and Opportunity is a 501(c)(4) organization reportedly set up by lobbyist Scott Reed…

…The American Justice Partnership is a 501(c)(4) group run in part by Republican consultants Dan Pero and Cleta Mitchell…

…The American Future Fund is a 501(c)(4) group set up by a number of Republican operatives, and has aired millions of dollars in attack ads against President Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress…

…The 60 Plus Association is a front group designed by Republican operatives to appeal to senior citizens…

…It’s clear why these Republican operatives used 501(c)(4) organizations as tools to move millions in political money. Big publicly traded corporations have been eager to exploit the Citizens United decision but have avoided Super PACs because Super PACs face regular disclosure requirements. 501(c)(4) never have to disclose donors. For instance, health insurer Aetna accidentally revealed that it had provided $3 million to the American Action Network, a fact the company apparently wanted to keep secret…

Click through for much more, including the details of how these Republican groups are using anonymous donations to fund political activity illegally. Where there are Democratic organizations that do so as well, the extent of Democratic crime does not begin to compare with Republican.

Cartoon:

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  20 Responses to “Open Thread–5/22/2013”

  1. "“The true test of a leader is this,” Rep. Sanford added. “When he gets in a fix, does he have the presence of mind to lie about his whereabouts? Sadly, I don’t think President Obama passes that test.” "

    That tells us so much about the Repuglicons – the true test of a leader is how he LIES – explains so very VERY much about them!

    Keep safe TC – slowly and carefully wins the race!

  2. 3:00 flat! Boy, am I ever thirsty now!

  3. I don't want Obama lying about where he is – let's leave that to the Repubs.  That being said, Sanford doesn't have a leg to stand on with respect to anything.

    While it seems that Repubs are really abusing non profit status, I'm sure there are Dem orgs that are doing the same thing.  Which side has more is a big question.

    • Lisa, I agree, but several organizations have anylized the spending these groups do and determined that most are Republican, far and away.  As for Obama, he has been up front that he will ply by the prevailing rules, whatever they are, but wants the money out of politics.

  4. Rest, good Friend! Your health is more important than anything right now! I think all here would agree with me on this point.

    NY Times ~ We all know that no bill will ever pass without major concessions to the Big All-Important 1%.

    The New Yorker ~ ROFLMAO

    The Nation ~ These are just a drop in the bucket. Having worked for the IRS in the past, they have always had flags. They changed constantly but they are always there. It is the only way they could even attempt to catch a small percentage of the cheaters. Believe me.

    Cartoon ~ pictures of the actual Axis of Evil.

     

     

    • Amen Patty on the health!  We need you ready to run for the 2014 midterms!

    • Thank you both.

      Sad, but true.

      :-)

      The key hewre is that thise flags should be nonpartisan.  Had the policy inclused Teabaggers and Progressives, it would be a non-issue.

      Thanks!

  5. Puzzle — 3:53  Bogged down in your sandy footprints Jerry!

    NY Times — Reminds me of the crap in the BC north-east coal fields although there it isn't "skilled workers"  .  A company, right from the get-go advertised for coal miners with Chinese language skills.  So 200 foreign workers were brought in from China.  Although contested in courts that this was taking jobs from Canadians, the courts sided with the federal government that this was within policy.  That area is also sheep country and I suspect that the courts had a lot of wool pulled over their eyes.  In my estimation, the Chinese workers will work for less pay and under mor dangerous conditions.  Even though the company still has to operate under Canadian laws, who is going to say anything about infractions? 

    I certainly don't like the exclusion of LGBT families.  THAT is just plain hate and discrimination, but then what would you expect from Republican/Teabaggers?

    The New Yorker — Andy did it again!  Sanford, aka Mr Family Values should know all about lying — he certainly did enough of it!

    The Nation — I can hear the cries from Republican/Teabaggers now!  "The IRS is unfairly targeting Republican groups!"  We had a pet phrase that we used for auditing as well as sales — "Inspect what you expect!"  

    The IRS should focus on big players that skirt the law, especially the ones proven to have passed the 50 percent threshold, as I’ve documented above.

    I agree with the author, go after these 5 for starters.  Oh wouldn't I love to see these guys caught in a web of lies and deceit.

    Cartoon — Oh you're going to catch it from the American Association of Pond Scum!  Every time I see a picture of McTurtle in particular, I just start heaving!

    • We were all WAY mashed!

      Once this passes, if it does, we need to launch a reform to include them.

      Amen.

      I do too.

      My sincere apologies tol pond scum everywhere.  I wasxz referring to the scum that forms in a cup of InsaniTEA.