Jan 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling both ill and exhausted, because I has to unpack and stow a grocery order.  In the old place, I would not have been capable of doing it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:28 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: New Yorker Cover = Bridge-gate Perfection

0115NewYorker

I could not have said it better!

From NY Times: F.B.I. investigators do not believe Internal Revenue Service officials committed crimes in the unusually heavy scrutiny of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status, a law enforcement official said Monday.

Prosecutors for the Justice Department who have been overseeing the case have not made a decision about whether to file charges against the officials — although that would seem unlikely given the F.B.I. investigators’ conclusion, according to the official, speaking anonymously because he could not talk on the record about a continuing investigation.

Despite an admission by the I.R.S. that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups, by searching for groups with the words “Tea Party” or “Patriots” in their names, many legal experts and law enforcement officials say they do not believe that the scrutiny broke the law. Some members of Congress had called for the Justice Department to investigate the tax-collecting agency. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report Monday that criminal charges were unlikely.

I.R.S. documents show the agency gave the same scrutiny to some liberal groups, using the key words “Progressive” and “Occupy.”

The IRS was just doing their job, in light of the Republican rule that misinterpreted the original law by substituting "predominantly" for "exclusively". No group engaging in any politically activity at all should qualify for the 501(c)(4) status that allows secret fundraising.  Although this always has been a non-issue, Republicans continue to offer the lie to deflect from their own REAL scandals.

From Think Progress: On Monday evening, House and Senate negotiators unveiled a bill that fills in the details of the budget agreement reached at the end of last year. If passed, the appropriations bill doles out specific funds to a huge variety of government programs. It now heads to the House and Senate, where it will likely be voted on Wednesday in the former and before the weekend by the latter.

A second round of sequestration cuts would have taken place if Congress hadn’t reached a deal and would have been even more damaging than the reductions in 2013, but instead lawmakers increased spending to partially undo the automatic cuts. But until yesterday’s bill, it wasn’t clear which programs would get complete relief and which would still have reduced budgets. Here’s how the negotiators handled some of the programs that suffered from sequestration last year…

Click through for the details. While there are things in this bill that progressives will not like, I think we won more than we lost in it. The Republicans did not get any of their poison pills like defunding ObamaCare or cuts to earned entitlements, and funding was restored for some of the neediest Americans, albeit not to the levels I want to see. It’s certainly a major improvement over the automatic cuts that the Republican sequester will mandate, if this does not pass.

Cartoon:

0115Cartoon

A High Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb!

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  17 Responses to “Open Thread–1/15/2013”

  1. I am fascinated with the Christie story.  I am watching a man's bright and shiny political career go up in smoke. Each day, something more horrible comes out in the news regarding the way Christie bullied officials and entire towns. It has been a reign characterized by self-interest in a brand new way. It's as if NJ existed solely for Christie's benefit. I believe his political aspirations for the WH are now toast and I wonder if he'll be impeached.

  2. Dr Mercola says that Vit D3 (and Vit K2 too – see his site at mercola.com) is the stuff to take to make as sure as possible that we don't get flu…Even now it would surely help shorten the life of the illness?

    Good grief – Terrie, you and your husband had a bad dose of it too – what is going round? I am VERY glad you are all recovering!

    It seems the Christie Bridge Scandal will just gain steam rather than losing it – it really is extraordinary – what a dirty trick to play on so many people. Am waiting for them to blame Democrats – as they always do.

    Please rest, dearest TC, and I am so glad that your new apartment is so much better than the old. Get better gently and thoroughly!

  3. 4:17 I'm just relaxing in my own bed enjoying the scenery.

    • 3:47  I'm glad I am not up this tree otherwise it would break and I'd fall on my butt again.  Physio for one tailbone injury is enough!

  4. I love the cover on the New Yorker.

    I'm not up to commenting yet. Just trying to heal. The surgery was more extensive than he first thought it would be. He wanted to put me into rehab for a week or two but I talked him into sending me home. Shane is being a very good nurse. I think it was the right decisiion. The discharge planner at the hospital thought so too.

    Have a wonderful day everyone!

  5. Christie has always been a bully, however I would sort of smile and let the brazen little bastard go on his way———but now by putting the screws to many other people, he has totally screwed himself, right out of the run for the presidency and maybe into prison.   

    TC–if you are not on some antibiotics for this flu, get thou arse to the doctor, PLEASE

  6. 5:10 well, better than nothing

    New Yorker – Yup.  Hold that thought.  Angelica, been watching politics long?  In the 1960's, even the 1970's, possibly the 1980's, Christie's career would be over.  Now not so much.

    IRS – You know, Mark Twain used to say that God made a mistake putting Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and that if, instead, he'd put Martin Luther and Joan of Arc there, we'd still be in paradise today.  But frankly I wouldn't trust even Martin Luther and Joan of Arc to enforce the tax system we have (which badly needs doing), let alone reform it (which also needs doing). 

    Budget – well, good luck to all of us.

    I think you are right not to go to a doctor for flu, so many are complicit in unnecessary antibiotics.  Bottom line is you know you best.  (I also swear by elderberry incidentally, and not just as an anti-viral, it is also "M-A-G-I-C."  See the libretto to "Hansel and Gretel.")

  7. As the wonderful Samuel Clemens stated. "Their is no native criminal class except Congress"

    and also ,for your enjoyment.

    A" Patriot",A person who can holler the loudest, without knowing what he is hollering about.

     My. Mr. Clemens was quite the Oracle.!

  8. Puzzle — 3:47  I'm glad I am not up this tree otherwise it would break and I'd fall on my butt again. Physio for one tailbone injury is enough!

    Daily Kos — No more required!  Thank you New Yorker for a succinct article!

    New York Times — The Republicanus/Teabagger miscreants must have selective memory and knowledge, really low self esteem if they feel the need to draw attention to others and not themselves.  Bunch of putzes!!!

    Think Progress — I wonder what the Republicanus/Teabaggers would say to the fact that there were/are 2 wars that were never paid for . . . 2 Republicanus/Teabagger wars!?!

    "…Republicans had originally objected to the extension of the program because it wasn’t paid for. …"

    I have only heard sputter, sputter, spit and then a deflrction to another topic.

    This might be an improvement over the cuts, but there is so much more that needs to be done.

    The best solution: vote out all Republicanus/Teabaggers from Congress!  2014 mid terms would be a damn good start!

    Hey, what do you call a thousand Republicanus/Teabaggers at the bottom of the sea?

    Answer:  A damn fine start!  Just watch out for the pollution!

    Cartoon — Hmmm…. the day that the television was not available for regular programming!

    • ~~The best solution: vote out all Republicanus/Teabaggers from Congress!  2014 mid terms would be a damn good start!

      This is my goal… :oops:

  9. ~~If Teabaggers want to try and claim that the IRS targeted their radical right-wing groups in an effort to prevent them from delivering the votes to get Romney elected – then they obviously WERE a partisan political operation … and should never have been granted 501(c) status to begin with.
    It drives wingnuts CRAZY when the government is actually DOING ITS JOB!
     

  10. Graphic:  I don't think Christie will recover from this one.

    NY Times:  I think the 501(c)4 hs been abused so much, it should be done away with.

    Think Progress:  Do you think the Republicans are finally seeing the light of day?  This is a little improvement, at least.

  11. Get well soon, TC 

  12. Thanks everyone.  I'm working on it.

  13. Tom, I’ve been having problems posting comments on Open Thread. Can you tell me if I’m doing anything wrong?