Reince Priebus

Obama administration delays employer mandate until 2016

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced this afternoon that it will delay enforcement of Obamacare’s employer mandate until 2016 for businesses with less than 100 employees.

The employer mandate is a provision of Obamacare that requires businesses with 50 or more full-time employees, defined as someone who works at least 30 hours a week, to offer health insurance benefits or face a punitive, $2,000 per worker tax.

The provision was supposed to take effect at the beginning of 2014, as required by statue. Businesses expressed concern about the mandate, and many responded by cutting hours or dropping health benefits. The Treasury Department unilaterally delayed enforcement of the provision last summer, making the announcement in a blog post.

The Treasury Department announced today that it is delaying enforcement of the provision for businesses with 50 to 99 full-time employees until the beginning of 2016.

“While about 96 percent of employers are not subject to the employer responsibility provision, for those employers that are, we will continue to make the compliance process simpler and easier to navigate,” said Mark Mazur, Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy.

The GOP’s Worst Enemy

Reince Priebus

After RNC Chairman Reince Priebus unveiled the Republican Party’s Growth and Opportunity Project last month, conservatives were hopeful this marked a fundamental change in the direction of the party. The 100-page document’s emphasis on engaging the grassroots and broadening party appeal seemed to indicate GOP leaders were looking to make amends with their base. Less than a month later however, the RNC renounced these claims and once again revealed the greatest hindrance to the GOP’s success: the party itself.

Many Republicans were aghast to witness the blatant political theater that took place last year during the Republican National Convention. Not only were controversial rules changes ushered in by Romney supporters and the establishment but video was released shortly thereafter revealing that the votes were rigged.

As an attempt to quell the growing animosity among grassroots conservatives, the RNC launched the Growth and Opportunity Project and offered to further discuss the rules changes at the RNC’s Spring Meeting.

Initially, it was believed the RNC was sincere in their efforts to overturn the recent powergrabs that rendered delegates nothing more than pawns being used in a chess match that had long been decided without them. As FreedomWorks New Media Director Kristina Ribali noted however, this was hardly the case:

A few more thoughts on the Reince Priebus and GOP Liberty situation

Yesterday, United Liberty Editor Jason Pye did a write-up on Reince Priebus and his recent attempts to reach out to the Ron Paul Republicans/Liberty wing of the GOP. This action has naturally been met with much skepticism from the Freedom forces of the GOP. As a member of that group, I just wanted to expound on a few things:

First off, with all due respect, for those thinking that Priebus did this solely because he was concerned about keeping his position, that just isn’t the case. No one, and I really mean no one (including potential challenger Mark Willis), had any real hope that Priebus would be unseated. Of the 168 members of the RNC, there might have been upwards of two dozen or so that could be counted on to vote against Priebus. However, Mark Willis, the Liberty GOPer from Maine, wasn’t able to get the majority vote of the 3 different state RNC memberships to even be placed on the ballot.

Secondly, Priebus has been reaching out to the Ron Paul/Liberty people before, during, and after this most recent RNC meeting. The writing is on the wall - the Liberty forces have the momentum. And even though they’ve been the ones most involved in the degradation of the GOP for the last decade, the establishment GOP is now exhibiting what might be the strongest and most intense of human instincts - self-preservation.  It’s also just common sense, as evidenced by this recent quote from long-serving, social conservative RNC Iowa Committeeman, Steve Scheffler:

“If you don’t start including new people, you’re going to die on the vine…the old guard needs to be inclusive.”

Rand Paul is recruiting tech-savvy conservatarians to transform the GOP

Rand Paul and Technology

“The conservative movement is looking for a few good nerds,” writes Patrick O’Connor in the Wall Street Journal.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers are keynoting the 2014 LincolnLabs Reboot conference in San Francisco in mid-July. The conference is an annual gathering of right-of-center tech nerds who want to “close the digital gap with Democrats.”

Garrett Johnson, who co-founded LincolnLabs, said, “The purpose of the conference is to set a high bar for what can be achieved if you bring together problem-solvers in the political space with problem-solvers in the technology space.”

Earlier this year, tech companies from Silicon Valley met with Republican operatives in New York City to discuss digital advancements for campaigns. During that meeting, Republicans admitted lagging behind Democrats technologically during the last two presidential cycles.

As the Washington Post reported in July 2013:

RNC offers to pay for security to keep World War II Memorial open

 RNC)

The Republican National Committee (RNC) has offered to put up enough money to hire five security guards to keep the World War II Memorial open to the public for the next 30 days or, presumably, whenever the government shutdown ends.

“The Obama administration has decided they want to make the government shutdown as painful as possible, even taking the unnecessary step of keeping the Greatest Generation away from a monument built in their honor,” said RNC Chairman Priebus at the memorial dedicated to the brave soldiers who fought in World War II.

“That’s not right, and it’s not fair. So the RNC has put aside enough money to hire five security personnel to keep this memorial open to veterans and visitors,” he said. Ideally, I’d hope to hire furloughed employees for this job.”

The World War II Memorial has become ground-zero of the government shutdown. The National Park Service closed popular attractions around the country, including monuments and memorials in Washington, DC.

On Tuesday, a group of World War II veterans from Mississippi, some of whom were in wheelchairs, visited the memorial, pushing aside the barricades blocking their entry with help from members of Congress. A group from Ohio was threatened with arrest if they crossed the barricades. Both groups were on trips sponsored by the Honor Flight Network.

NBC follows CNN, scraps Hillary Clinton miniseries

Following in the footsteps of CNN, NBC announced on Monday that it would scrap a planned miniseries on the life of Hillary Clinton, who is thought to be the frontrunner for the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination:

NBC has scrapped its controversial Hillary Clinton miniseries project.

“After reviewing and prioritizing our slate of movie/miniseries development, we’ve decided that we will no longer continue developing the Hillary Clinton miniseries,” the network said in a statement Monday.
[…]
NBC announced in July that it was developing a four-hour miniseries based on Clinton starring Diane Lane, with plans to air the effort before Clinton was likely to announce her candidacy for president. The project was due to be written by Frozen River’s Courtney Hunt and would have recounted Clinton’s life as a wife, mother, politician and cabinet member from 1998 to the present. The script would have started with Clinton living in the White House as her husband Bill Clinton is serving the second of his two terms as president and would have included her likely run for president.

Despite pressure from the Republican National Committee (RNC), NBC explained that the decision to end the project was a financial move. CNN canceled its planned documentary because of a lack of cooperation from the Clintons and their associates.

Director cancels CNN’s Hillary Clinton documentary

Hillary Clinton

In a post at the Huffington Post on Monday, Charles Ferguson, who was slated to directed a documentary on Hillary Clinton for CNN, announced that he has canceled the project because of lack of cooperation from Clinton and her allies:

The day after the contract was signed, I received a message from Nick Merrill, Hillary Clinton’s press secretary. He already knew about the film, and clearly had a source within CNN. He interrogated me; at first I answered, but eventually I stopped. When I requested an off-the-record, private conversation with Mrs. Clinton, Merrill replied that she was busy writing her book, and not speaking to the media.

Next came Phillipe Reines, Hillary Clinton’s media fixer, who contacted various people at CNN, interrogated them, and expressed concern about alleged conflicts of interest generated because my film was a for-profit endeavor (as nearly all documentaries and news organizations are). When I contacted him, he declined to speak with me. He then repeated his allegations to Politico, which published them.
[…]
Next came David Brock, who published an open letter on his highly partisan Democratic website Media Matters, in which he endorsed the Republican National Committee’s position, repeating Reines’ conflict of interest allegations and suggesting that my documentary would revive old, discredited Clinton scandal stories.

Ferguson — who gushed over Clinton-era “reform” proposals, including a carbon tax and government-run healthcare — noted that the answer to his inquires for an interview with Clinton were denied. Since he wouldn’t get the documentary he wanted, he decided to cancel the project:

RNC bans CNN, MSNBC from 2016 presidential debates

The Republican National Committee (RNC) followed through on Chairman Reince Priebus’s threat to ban CNN and MSNBC from participating in the party’s 2016 presidential debates during its quarterly meeting this weekend in Boston:

“We don’t have time for the media’s games,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said before the vote at the RNC summer meeting in Boston. “We’re done putting up with this nonsense. There are plenty of other news outlets.”

According to the resolution, called “In support of media objectivity and accountability” and obtained by The Hill, the RNC called the planned films “political favoritism” and accused NBC and CNN of airing “programming that amounts to little more than extended commercials promoting former Secretary Clinton.”
[…]
In addition to voting on action against the networks, the resolution says the RNC “shall endeavor to bring more order to the primary debates and ensure a reasonable number of debates, appropriate moderators and debate partners are chosen, and that other issues pertaining to the general nature of such debates are addressed.”

The resolution passed unanimously without much, if any, discussion or debate, outside of Priebus’s remarks to committee members.

Earlier this month, Priebus sent letters to executives at both networks threatening them with retaliation if they moved forward on planned shows about Hillary Clinton, who is thought to be a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

RNC threatens television networks over Hillary Clinton shows

Hillary Clinton

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had strong words yesterday for CNN and NBC, demanding that the two networks to drop their plans to run planned shows about Hillary Clinton or the RNC wouldn’t partner with them in 2016 Republican presidential primary debates.

NBC recently announced plans to produce a four-hour miniseries about Hillary Clinton. Just days later, CNN revealed that they would produce a documentary based on her life. Clinton is thought to be a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, which is the reason for the RNC’s protest.

Though the networks deny that they are trying to influence voters ahead of Clinton’s likely run for the White House, Priebus isn’t buying it. In letters to Robert Greenblatt of NBC and Jeff Zucker of CNN, Priebus expressed disappointment in the networks and called their actions a “thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 president election.”

“As an American company, you have every right to air programming of your choice. But as American citizens, certainly you recognize why many are astounded at your actions, which appear to be a major network’s thinly-veiled attempt at putting a thumb on the scales of the 2016 presidential election,” wrote Priebus to the two network executives. “This special treatment is unfair to the candidates for the Democratic nomination in 2016 who might compete against Secretary Clinton and to the Republican nominee, should Clinton compete in the general election.”

RNC Trashes Grassroots in 2012 Election “Autopsy”

Reince Priebus

The Republican National Committee released its long-awaited “autopsy” of the 2012 election, which is supposed to help the GOP determine a way forward in future elections. Let’s just say that the report is disappointing if you view the grassroots as an important part of the process:

The GOP’s prescription to cure the ills that helped bring on yet another disastrous presidential cycle would revamp its presidential nominating rules in ways to benefit well-funded candidates and hamper insurgents - a move that quickly heated up the already smoldering feud between the Republican establishment and the tea party-inspired base.

Tucked in near the end of the 97-page report, formally known as The Growth and Opportunity Project, are less than four pages that amount to a political bombshell: the five-member panel urges halving the number of presidential primary debates in 2016 from 2012, creating a regional primary cluster after the traditional early states and holding primaries rather than caucuses or conventions.
[…]
The recommendations are also a nod to the party’s donor class. Several donors bluntly told RNC Chair Reince Priebus at meetings right after the election that they wanted Iowa, with its more conservative base, to have less of a role in the process.


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