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?
From Daily Kos: New Yorker Cover = Bridge-gate Perfection
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.
A High Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb!