TPM News

TPM News.

Though much has been made about Democrats’ positioning on Obamacare as 2014 approaches, it may be Republicans that face more hurdles in the early parts of the campaign.

In seven of eight Senate races the incumbent senator facing a serious or semi-serious primary challenger is a Republican. That’s in contrast to incumbent Democrats. In the eight races just one includes an incumbent Democrat with a primary challenger.

More at Think Progress:

Governing by Obstruction

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Governing by Obstruction

My Wag

Both Parties want to get their way all the time. How you operate when you’re in the minority will most likely be the way you are treated when you have Executive power. The GOP is/has been using their power to obstruct to such an extreme degree that the DEMs have used the Nuclear Option to restrict the use of the Filibuster for Executive appointments…except for SCOTUS nominees.

From Think Progress:

Senate-trade-bills

“The reality is we face is that the blue slip rule can be more problematic than the filibuster, in part because it is a silent, unaccountable veto,” an administration official familiar with Obama’s thinking on judicial nominations told TPM.

The blue slip is not a formal Senate rule and can be ignored. Over time, some committee chairs have adhered to it more closely than others. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has stood by the blue slip tradition and said after the filibuster change that he will continue to do so.

Treasury And IRS To Crack Down On Super PACs Masquerading As Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Groups | ThinkProgress

My Wag:

Non-profits designated 501(c)(3) by the IRS abuse their status by conducting partisan practices.

From the IRS:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.  Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Further info at Think Progress

Treasury And IRS To Crack Down On Super PACs Masquerading As Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Groups | ThinkProgress.

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Treasury And IRS To Crack Down On Super PACs Masquerading As Tax-Exempt Social Welfare Groups

United_States_Treasury_Building

CREDIT: Rchuon24/Creative Commons

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed guidelines on Tuesday that could force dark-money political groups like Crossroads GPS and the American Future Fund to spend less of their money on campaign advertising and other overt electioneering. If implemented, this guidance would clarify what actions by tax-exempt social welfare organizations are limited “candidate-related political activity” and what actions can count toward their principal purpose.

George Zimmerman Had A Small Arsenal With Him When He Was Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges | ThinkProgress

My Wag

George Zimmerman was a threat before Trayvon Martin. Now he is a bigger threat due to the changes that have taken place after he killed Trayvon. More guns, more disturbed thinking and actions towards his wife or ex-wife (I don’t really know), past girlfriend and current girlfriend.

He thinks he’s a star and now it seems that he has to feed at the trough of public media exposure. It makes me ill.

George Zimmerman Had A Small Arsenal With Him When He Was Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges

By Annie-Rose Strasser on November 26, 2013 at 4:52 pm

George Zimmerman Had A Small Arsenal With Him When He Was Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges

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When police took George Zimmerman into custody for domestic violence charges earlier this month, the man who killed Trayvon Martin was armed with five firearms and 100 rounds of ammunition, according to a warrant released by police on Tuesday.

Zimmerman’s girlfriend alleges that he assaulted her, brandishing a shotgun in her face and telling her she would “regret” calling 911 for help. According to the warrant, a 12-gauge high capacity shotgun wasn’t the only weapon he was carrying. He also had an AR-15 assault rifle and three handguns — a Glock 19, an Interarms .380-caliber, and a Taurus 9mm.

He used a different handgun, a Kel-Tec 9 mm pistol, on the night he shot Trayvon Martin.

More at Think Progress

 

George Zimmerman Had A Small Arsenal With Him When He Was Arrested On Domestic Violence Charges | ThinkProgress.

THE TRUTH ABOUT FOOD STAMPS

1 VoteI have always known that conservatives were spreading flat-out lies about Food Stamps but I have never had the time to do the research and write an article about these falsehoods. Today I found this article by Dave Johnson and checked his facts but I knew he was correct. Interesting and truthful read! mab Conservatives have widely circulated stories about people using food stamps to buy cigarettes and alcohol. The Blaze trumpets stories like, “THIS 65-YEAR-OLD CLERK WAS FIRED FOR REFUSING TO SELL CIGARETTES TO A FOOD STAMP CUSTOMER” and outlets like Fox echo it. These kinds of stories are everywhere in the right-wing echo chamber.Here are the facts: According to USDA, households may use food stamps to buy foods, such as breads and cereals; fruits and vegetables; meats, fish and poultry; and dairy products. Also they can buy seeds and plants which produce food to eat. (In some areas, restaurants can be authorized to accept SNAP benefits from qualified homeless, elderly, or disabled people in exchange for low-cost meals.)Households may not use food stamps to buy beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes or tobacco; pet foods; soaps, paper products; household supplies; vitamins and medicines; food that will be eaten in the store; hot foods.

via THE TRUTH ABOUT FOOD STAMPS.

via THE TRUTH ABOUT FOOD STAMPS.

Scalia and gay marriage: How the justice misunderstands morality.

My Wag: Scalia would have made a great dictator. He knows how everyone should behave and he knows how to F-with those who don’t.

Scalia and gay marriage: How the justice misunderstands morality..

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Justice Antonin Scalia appears on “Fox News Sunday” on July 27, 2012. Scalia robs morality of its intellectual component, equating it to what people simply don’t like.

Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images

In a speech last week titled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” Justice Antonin Scalia told the North Carolina Bar Association that the court has no place acting as a “judge moralist” in issues better left to the people. Since judges aren’t qualified—or constitutionally authorized—to set moral standards, he argued, the people should decide what’s morally acceptable.

But does Scalia, whose quarter-century on the bench has marked him as the court’s moral scold for his finger-wagging views on social issues, have a coherent understanding of what it means to say something is or isn’t moral, and of morality’s proper role in the law?

Scalia would have you believe it’s liberal, pro-gay sympathizers who are imposing their own brand of moral laxity on the nation, and unconstitutionally using the courts to do it. His angry dissent in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case ending sodomy bans—decided 10 years ago this week—blasted the court for embracing “a law-profession culture that has largely signed on to the so-called homosexual agenda [which is] directed at eliminating the moral opprobrium that has traditionally attached to homosexual conduct.”

ObamaCare

My Wag:

Excellent informative journalism about a very misunderstood and ridiculed law: The ACA. Image

Derisively named ObamaCare by it’s detractors but smartly embraced by it’s creators, we now have a well written piece succinctly named:

Understanding ObamaCare by David Nather

Here is the link and a small sample.

“If you want to cut through all of the noise and just get
to the bottom line of what the fight over President
Barack Obama’s health care law is really about, you
can learn a lot through the stories of two Georgia Republicans.
One wants to wipe Obamacare off the books. The other says
he needs it to stay alive.
 
Clint Murphy is a real estate agent in Savannah who used
to be a Republican political operative. He’s also a survivor of
testicular cancer, which means he can’t get health insurance
now. The only way he’ll be able to get it, he says, is through the
Affordable Care Act — otherwise known as Obamacare.
When open enrollment for Obamacare coverage begins on
Oct. 1, Murphy will be able to sign up for health insurance,
and the insurer won’t be able to turn him down for having
a pre-existing condition. That’s why he has been telling his
story to media outlets and working with the law’s biggest
supporters to make sure Obamacare survives. He’s tired of
being uninsured.
 
Tom Price is one of the House Republicans who keeps voting,
over and over, to get rid of the law or starve it to death.
But Price doesn’t want to just be a wrecking ball. The orthopedic
surgeon is the author of one of the only fully developed Republican
alternatives to Obamacare, and he has been talking it up every chance he gets.
Price has heard Murphy’s story, and has total sympathy for
him. It’s “terrible,” Price says, to be locked out of the health
insurance market like that. But Price says he has a better answer
for Murphy: create special health plans that would be
offered through membership associations.
“If we made it a goal that [people with pre-existing conditions]
would have access to pools of health insurance with
millions of others, … then you’ve solved the problem without
putting Washington in charge,” Price said.
Murphy’s response: That’s nice, but Obamacare is already
the law. It’s time to move ahead and make the law better —
because everyone knows it’s not going away.
“Get off of this ‘my way or the highway,’” Murphy told POLITICO.
“This stagnation they’re creating, it has a real cost to
the rest of us. The stakes are literally life and death.”
That pretty much sums up the battle lines the entire nation
faces as Obamacare opens for business. Part of the nation
wants to throw the law out. Even if they don’t want to shut
down the government or default on the debt limit, they hate
the law and see it as an expensive disaster. The other part is
siding with the Democrats: Enough, already. Get on with it.