Tag Archives: Campaign 2012

News & Comment

The Case for the IRS Targeting the Tea Party

It seemed to come as a great shock when it was recently revealed that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) examines some taxpayers more closely than others.

Really? Because no one has ever objected to the IRS targeting some tax returns for audit. Among them:

  • Millionaires (in fiscal 2011, the IRS audited 12.5% of them)
  • People reporting more than $200,000 in income
  • People claiming confusing tax breaks like the first-time homebuyer credit
  • Home office workers
  • Small business and self-employed people generally
  • Very low income filers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
I’m not saying the IRS should target according to ideology. I’m saying it should target according to likelihood that tax laws are being flouted and circumvented.

So why, in the wild west of the first election years since the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling allowing political action groups, many with questionable funding, to mushroom and proliferate…why should anyone be surprised the IRS would exercise scrutiny on these here today, gone tomorrow groups? Why, in fact, would they not demand that the IRS do precisely that before granting tax-exempt status to whoever applies for it?

And why not specifically take a hard, cold look at tea party groups?

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Poetic Justice

A Non-Unifying Principle

Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum tried to meld their abilities.
They thought together on a ticket they could beat Mitt Romney.
But they couldn’t quit the argument
Over which one would be the president —
See, the only thing missing from their unity ticket was … unity.

Enumerati

Voting Level in 2012 Was Average

129,058,169

Number of votes cast in the November 2012 presidential election. The eligible population of voters is 221,925,820, so the percentage who voted was 58.2 percent, making the turnout exactly in the middle of the previous 17 elections — better than eight but worse than eight.

News & Comment

Hope for 2013

A horse, of course: Hope

For the sake of argument, let’s say there are no coincidences in this world (an idea otherwise known as Trish’s Law of No Coincidences).

If you disagree, then please explain to me how Americans choose the name “Hope” for the young Clydesdale featured in the 2013 Budweiser Super Bowl ad, which was born the weekend of Pres. Obama’s second inauguration.

Obama, for those who missed the last five years of history, has been needled and scorned by both Republicans and Democrats, by late-night comedians and old movie stars (O.K., maybe just Clint Eastwood), by Sarah Palin (“How’s that hopey-changy thing working for ya?”) and Hillary Clinton, all for his message of hope.

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News & Comment

Super Bowl Flashback: It Really Was Halftime in America

As the country gathers tonight to watch the big game — and the million dollar ads — let’s not forget this little gritty little ditty from only one year ago.

The ad was widely misinterpreted as Clint Eastwood endorsing the Obama administration’s decision to bail out Chrysler (and GM), despite many Republicans, including eventual presidential nominee Mitt Romney, saying we should let the biggest manufacturing sector in America, and about one million jobs, liquidate.

Eastwood denied that he supported Obama and backed up that assertion last summer, when he gave arguably the strangest performance of his career at the Republican National Convention. Eastwood rambled through an improvised exchange with a chair that he pretended was the president, and which he fantasized was arguing with him and threatening him.

Maybe Eastwood should have embraced the ad’s original interpretation because it turns out it really was halftime in America, and the majority of voters were better players than Eastwood or Romney.

News & Comment

Online Voter Registration Pushes Total of California Voters to 18.2 Million – GOP Share Drops Below 30%

Although California’s new online voter registration system did not open until September last year and was only available for 45 days, it accounted for more than half of the 1.4 million new voters who registered in advance of the November elections.

The number of registered Republicans in California dropped below 30 percent for the first time in over a century.

Not surprisingly, since this was its intent, of the 590,788 voters who registered online, 46 percent were 18 to 29 years old. Thirty percent were between 18 and 24.

The new registrations put the number of registered voters in Californian at 18,245,970, or 76.7 percent of those who are eligible [PDF].

This good news for democracy represented yet more bad news for the California Republican Party, which saw its percentage of registered voters drop below 30 percent for the first time since the 19th century. The party now represents 29.3 percent of the state’s electorate. That’s down from 31.4 percent four years ago.

Democrats represent 43.66 percent of registered voters in the state, while 21 percent are independents.

News & Comment

Same GOP Chair and Members Reach Same GOP Conclusions

We’ve heard it before. “Compassionate conservatism” springs to mind. But the GOP’s search for reasons behind the trouncing it took in the 2012 elections will continue to prove fruitless as long as the party keeps coming up with the reassuring but false answer that they just need to improve their talking points.

Steve Benen, on the Maddow Blog:

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus declared, “It’s not the platform of the party that’s the issue. In many cases, it’s how we communicate about it. It is a couple dumb things that people have said.”

Benen: GOP officials took a long look in the mirror and decided… they’re awesome just the way they are!

An RNC member from West Virginia added, “We don’t need a new pair of shoes; we just need to shine our shoes.”

I see. So a few months after a national election in which President Obama won re-election fairly easily, Senate Democrats unexpectedly expanded their majority, and House Democrats received well over 1 million more votes than House Republicans, GOP officials took a long look in the mirror and decided … they’re awesome just the way they are.
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Verbatim

Whoo-Hoo!

All you Fashionistas may want to know that Mrs. O tonight is wearing a gown from Jason Wu. Who? Wu. And shoes by Choo.

— @WestWingReport on Twitter

News & Comment

Obama Takes a Last Look

Andrew Kacynski (@BuzzFeedAndrew) at Buzzfeed tweeted this bittersweet snippet of film, just after Pres. Obama’s inauguration today.

The president stops as he leaves the reviewing stand and looks back at the capacity crowd gathered to celebrate the start of his second term, and explains to those around him, “I want to look out one more time. I’ll never see this again.” After Kacynski tweeted the moment, @BarackObama himself retweeted it.

Take a moment and watch.

News & Comment

Obama Has a Lot of Fight Left in Him. We Need to Be Equal to the Job Ahead.

No matter how unhappy it makes Rep. John Boehner (at least that’s how he looks in this great picture from The Atlantic), Pres. Obama is in Day Two of his second term. His address to the inaugural crowd included the first explicit reference to gay Americans during an inaugural speech. The Washington Post has the full transcript.

He also promised to address climate change, but only with the help of those of us who support that, and reminded us that our help didn’t end when we voted for him. If you haven’t signed up for Organizing for Action yet, hurry. There’s no time to waste.