Are House Republicans Not Just OCD, But Bipolar as well?

— Vickie Rock, a Disgruntled Citizen

IRSscandalOver the past year, we’ve heard one claim after another ad nauseum from Republican members of Congress as to how the IRS is discriminating against Republican groups in obtaining 501c4 tax-exempt status. Frankly, that’s a status that NO group promoting political activity should be granted, period.

Not one single Republican/Tea Party group was actually found to have been denied 501c4 status or had such status revoked.  Yet that didn’t matter.  Rep. Issa and his minions in a flagrant display of classic Obsessive Compulsive Dysfunction kept spreading lies with the help of their FoxNews mouthpieces.  Truth be known, it was NOT  Teapublican leaning groups who had their 501c4 status denied/revoked, but Democratic groups, EmergeAmerica and their state affiliates, like EmergeNV.  (Emerge educates/trains/ prepares Democratic women to run for office.)

Last week, in the U.S. House, HR 3865, the “Stop Targeting of Political Beliefs by the IRS Act of 2014,” was passed by a 243-176 vote.  A sum total of 14 Democrats voted for passage of the bill, and it’s now being touted as a “bipartisan” effort. (Really? What’s the magic number to classify a bill as “bi-partisan”?  One, Two, Five, Fourteen?)  It’s unclear, though, exactly what, if anything, it’s intended or expected to correct.  It looks more like an intentional perpetuation of the conflict we’ve now been experiencing for the past year.

Democrats who voted FOR passage:

  • Barber (AZ)
  • Barrow (GA)
  • Costa (CA)
  • Cuellar (TX)
  • Gallego (TX)
  • Kirkpatrick (AZ)
  • Larsen (WA)
  • Matheson (UT)
  • McIntyre (NC)
  • Murphy (FL)
  • Owens (NY)
  • Peterson (MN)
  • Rahall (WV)
  • Sinema (AZ)

HR3865 mandates that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards and definitions that were in effect as of January 1, 2010, that were being used to determine whether an organization qualifies for tax-exempt status because it operate exclusively for social welfare shall remain in effect for just ONE YEAR after enactment of this Act.  (What? Do they think between voter suppression and the promotion of bogus propaganda using these groups that they’ll be able to take both houses using, abusing and obliterating all other political contenders within the next year?)  The lack of clarity of these standards has resulted in confusion and difficulty administering the Code, as well as delays in the processing of applications for tax-exempt status. Passage would prohibit the Secretary of the Treasury from issuing, revising, or finalizing any regulation (including proposed regulations), revenue ruling, or other guidance not limited to a particular taxpayer relating to such standards and definitions.

So let’s see, HR3865 mandates that the IRS must keep the debatable and erroneous skim milk definition of “EXCLUSIVELY” currently being used by the IRS—that same definition that re-defined “EXCLUSIVELY” as “PRIMARILY”—that same definition that has yielded fodder for Rep. Issa’s bogus claims of retaliation against 501c4 groups of the Teapublican persuasion:

Exclusively:

  • limited to the object or objects designated: exclusive attention to what’s cited
  • limiting or limited to possession, control, or use by a single individual or group (those performing social welfare functions)
  • an exclusive right (as to sell a particular product, or in this case to be entitled to tax-exempt status to those performing social welfare functions)

Primarily:

  • for the most part; mostly; chiefly; mainly; largely; generally; some of the time

HR3865 looks to me to be nothing more than a king-size order of obsessive compulsive dysfunction with a rabid side order of bipolar dysfunction. Should the Senate be so foolish as to let this bill see the light of day and take a vote which yields passage, they’ll be able to rant,  rave and second guess each and every decision the IRS makes, claiming that somehow, the President is behind each and every one of those decision.  Maybe they’ll even go so far as to institute actual impeachment proceedings based on their bogus misinformation campaigns.  On the other hand, maybe they should just take a good hard look in their mirror instead and then make a serious decision to seek medical help.  The Affordable Care Act can help them deal with their dysfunctional behavior.

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IRS Scandal Manufactured by Darrell Issa’s Himself

Darrell Issa has been shown to be a liar – and a fraud . Why would Issa suddenly do a 360 – and start up the Benghazi investigation again – when he’s been so adamant about getting to the bottom of the so-called IRS scandal? Issa’s sudden change in witch-hunting direction may have something to do with the not-so-surprising revelation that the entire IRS debacle has been one large manufactured scandal – created by Issa himself. According to the inspector general of the Treasury Department – whose report helped drive the IRS political targeting controversy – the examination into conservative groups was limited because of a request from Republicans in the House.  A spokesperson for the Treasury’s Inspector General for tax administration Russell George – said that the IG’s office was asked specifically by Congressman Darrell Issa himself – “to narrowly focus on Tea Party organizations.”

Benghazi Review Board Chair Says Notion Of Cover Up Is ‘Pulitzer Prize Fiction’

— by Ben Armbruster

Amb Thomas Pickering.fw

The co-chair of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board on the Benghazi terror attacks last year said on Wednesday criticized those claiming the Obama administration’s response to the attacks has the elements of some kind of Watergate-style cover-up.“I think the notion of a quote, cover up, has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction attached to it,” former Ambassador Thomas Pickering said on MSNBC. He also rebutted claims that the review board tried to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from scrutiny:

PICKERING: I saw no evidence of it. She did publicly take responsibility for what happened below her and indeed one of the things the Congress did in preparing the legislation that established the Accountability Review Board was to say we don’t want a situation where heads of agencies take responsibility and then nobody who made the decision in the chain has to suffer any consequences for failure for performance. I believe in fact the Accountability Review Board did it’s work well. I think the notion of a quote, cover up, has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction attached to it.

Pickering wanted to testify at today’s House Oversight Committee hearings on the Benghazi attacks, which was billed as letting State Department officials expose an Obama administration cover-up of wrong-doing in handing the aftermath of the attacks. “I am willing to testify,” Pickering said. “I made that clear yesterday and the White House I understand made that clear to [Committee chair Rep. Darrell] Issa [R-CA]. He declined. I don’t know the reasons for that.” Pickering also countered claims that the military could have done more to respond to the attacks:

PICKERING: The aircraft at Aviano were 2 to 3 hours away but there were no refueling aircraft available. I think that speaks for itself. It has all along. I don’t see any contradiction. … There should be no controversy over that. Aircraft were there but they were not available in a time span that could have made any serious difference in connection with the issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Republican Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) shot down his colleagues’ conspiracy theory laden claims about the Obama administration and Benghazi. “We need to know were these people culpable or not. If they were, why are they still on the payroll? Other than that, I’ve been able to read all the cables. I’ve seen the films,” Corker said. “I feel like I know what happened in Benghazi. I’m fairly satisfied.”


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.

Everything You Need to Know About The GOP’s Opposition To Protecting Native American Women From Abuse

— by Guest Blogger on Dec 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Our guest blogger is Erik Stegman, Manager of the Half in Ten campaign for the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

As the last window of opportunity to pass a fully-inclusive Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Reauthorization comes close to shutting in the final days of the 112th Congress, many are wondering why Republican House leadership, particularly Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), are so opposed to the provisions protecting Native American women on tribal reservations. Other Republican leaders — including Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA), John Kline (R-MN), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) — have proposed a reasonable compromise that protects Native women, but it puts them at odds with the Majority Leader.

With the Issa compromise on the table and backed by several House Committee chairs, what are Republicans like Cantor still so concerned about that they’re willing to hold up the landmark law that funds services, strengthens law enforcement for domestic violence, and increases accountability for offenders?

Here’s everything you need to know about the GOP’s opposition to new protections for Native women on tribal lands:

1) Non-Native men will continue to receive a jurisdictional free pass for abusing Native women:

In response to the epidemic rates of domestic violence against Native women on reservations, the Department of Justice issued a legislative proposal that would restore Tribes’ ability to prosecute misdemeanor crimes of domestic and dating violence committed by non-Natives against Native women. This proposal also requires that the non-Native offender either live or work on the reservation and be in an existing relationship with the victim. DOJ statisticsshow that 3 out of 5 Native women had been assaulted by their intimate partners and 56 percent of American Indian women have non-Indian husbands.

Today on Indian reservations, the local governments don’t have the ability to respond to domestic violence crimes in their community if the perpetrator isn’t Native. Without this ability, non-Native offenders often go unpunished on tribal land because the only ones who can bring them to justice are federal prosecutors who are often hundreds of miles away and lack local resources to properly investigate and prosecute these crimes. The result, according to a recent National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-funded report, the offenders become emboldened, and the violence escalates to rape and in some cases homicide. On some Indian reservations, the homicide rate of Native women is 10 times the national average.

2) Republicans are more concerned with Non- Native perpetrators than Native victims:

So why do some Republicans like Cantor still have issues with a well-reasoned, narrowly-scoped DOJ proposal to reduce violence against Native women on reservations? An unbalanced concern for the rights non-Native men accused of these crimes. Even though the current Senate version of VAWA includes a full set of constitutional protections for suspects of abuse, including due-process rights and a right to counsel, Cantor and other Republicans continue to stall the VAWA Reauthorization because of baseless constitutional concerns for those accused of abusing Native women.

In the spirit of compromise within their own caucus, Issa and his colleagues proposed a powerful extra protection for defendants in their bill last week: a new right to remove the case to a federal court if the defendant’s rights are violated by a local tribal court. Although advocates for Native women would prefer to see the Senate version passed, this compromise is a reasonable way to get a deal done and improve the system of justice on reservations. It will clarify that all persons who commit a crime of domestic or dating violence on an Indian reservation will be arrested and held accountable, regardless of their race.

3) Local tribal law enforcement is more responsive to Native women:

The Senate version of VAWA would end jurisdictional black holes that give non-Native men a free pass to abuse Native women and evade justice. It would provide local tribal law enforcement with the much-needed ability to investigate and prosecute crimes against Native women in their own communities, just as other state and local authorities do for other victims in the country. Prosecuting these crimes requires sensitive and time-consuming work with family and community members. Tribal prosecutors are down the street on the reservation and work closely with the tribal police who respond to these crimes. Restoring local control will provide the victim, the family, and the community the ability to seek responsive justice locally. There’s no reason that their ability to fully prosecute these crimes should rest on the skin color of the accused abuser.


This material [“Everything You Need to Know About The GOP’s Opposition To Protecting Native American Women From Abuse”] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.