Former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D-MT) certainly made some headlines last week when he announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Montana. But he did it in a very pathetic, divisive way.
During his announcement, Bohlinger disgustingly compared Tea Party Republicans to the Taliban, religious extremists that once ran the Afghanistan government, and blamed them for the last month’s government shutdown.
“We need to challenge the Tea Party representatives who like the Taliban shut our country down,” Bohlinger said on Wednesday, according to the Billings Gazette, which covered the announcement. The paper also noted that the Montana Democrat also compared the shutdown to the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor and the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Bohlinger served as Lt. Governor of Montana from 2005 to 2013, serving as a Republican on a joint ticket with Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT). He backed Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) in his re-election bid last year. He left the Republican Party earlier this year.
“In the ’70s and ’80s, the Republican Party was fiscally responsible. They had a social conscience. It’s a different party today,” Bohlinger said in July, according to the Independent Record. “I have a hard time identifying with the hard right. The Republican Party left me in the ’90s.”
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) has been worried about the prospect of a conservative primary challenger, so much so that he brought on staffer who has experience working with the grassroots. He’s also taken a noticeable track to the right, though he’s avoided closely aligning himself to his Tea Party colleague, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
But recent poll, conducted by Gravis Marketing and conservative new outlet Human Events, showed that Cornyn would “lose” a hypothetical primary challenge by former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) by a 10-point margin.
Paul, who didn’t seek re-election to the House last year, would take 44% of the vote, while Cornyn would receive 34%. Twenty-two percent (22%) of the 563 registered voters said they were undecided.
Don’t get your hopes up, Ron Paul fans. This is just a hypothetical. Paul has launched a couple different endeavors lately, including the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity and the Ron Paul Channel.
While Cornyn leads in hypothetical match-ups against conservative House members from Texas, including Reps. Louie Gohmert and Steve Stockman, he trails a “generic Tea Party candidate,” 46/33. Cornyn’s approval rating stands at 46/30, though Cruz enjoys a higher approval rating among Texas Republicans, at 73/16.
Barring a credible conservative primary challenger, it would seem that Cornyn is on the path to winning the GOP nomination, making the seat a lock for Republicans in the 2014 mid-term election.
If you identify somewhere on the libertarian to Tea Party spectrum, you’re likely used to a number of unfounded and illegitimate labels from the Left. Their current in vogue talking point during the ObamaCare standoff, promoted endlessly by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), is that Tea Party members are “modern anarchists.” That’s an accusation not worth acknowledging with a full rebuttal.
What is worth acknowledging is that Grand Theft Auto V’s Trevor Phillips character may be the most captivating character in videogame history. No, that’s not a non sequitur, because Trevor is the ultimate manifestation of a true modern anarchist. A meth-dealing, mass-killing maniac who, in the moments of calm between fits of rage, is introspective enough to understand that his brand of chaos is a recipe for misery.
Spoiler Alert: If you have not played GTA V yet, what are you waiting for?! Seriously though, spoilers contained below.
Anarchists reject marriage, monogamy, and nuclear family primacy. Which might explain why our introduction to Trevor is the image above. Enjoying a drug-addicted woman from behind while watching TV in his trailer. Immediately followed by the brutal killing of that woman’s boyfriend. This is Trevor in a microcosm.
“Mine ain’t nothin’ special, but this boy gets the job done.”
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) is as classless as ever.
The controversial Florida Democrat sent out an email on Monday features an image of a burning cross — using it to spell “Tea Party” — and the body of the email features comments he made during a recent interview with Al Sharpton on MSNBC.
“I think that ordinary Americans are with the President. They’re appalled by the Tea Party’s tactics,” Grayson told Sharpton. “At this point, the Tea Party is no more popular than the Klan.”
“They simply want to bring about the End of Days, as quickly as possible,” said Grayson of the Tea Party. “That’s the ultimate Tea Party Republican desire, to bring about the End of Days. The Republican Party has become the largest suicide pact in history. And I hope they don’t take us with them.”
Grayson, who is unapologetic about the email, isn’t new to controversy, though this may be his most distasteful example to date. In 2009, he threatened to imprison an activist who created a website that was critical of him. He also accused Republicans who opposed ObamaCare of wanting the sick to “die quickly.”
As I sit before my keyboard today, mulling over the events of recent months and what they portend for America’s future, I find myself fighting a wave of discouragement. The foundation of what is good and great about America is not only being eroded, but is actively under attack.
After a two week long fight in which they were excoriated by Obama, Democrats, and their obedient lapdogs in the press as “hostage-takers,” “legislative arsonists,” and “terrorists” who negotiate “with a bomb strapped to their chests,” Republicans surrendered and agreed to a deal in which they got nothing they asked for, and gave Obama another trillion dollars in borrowing power, unimpeded implementation of Obamacare (including keeping in place an exemption from Obamacare for Obama himself, members of Congress and their staff, and special exemptions for the labor unions which have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to Democrats in recent elections).
It makes me weary to think about the suffering this nation faces now because of the decision to hand the reins of power to a man who despises the Constitution, who declared his intent to “fundamentally transform” our beloved America. It makes me wearier still to contemplate the increasing suffering we face with each passing day that we indulge our collective ignorance and apathy.
Do we truly think we can borrow a trillion dollars per year indefinitely? That we can allow a president to paint his political opponents as not just wrong on the issues, but as racist, hateful, and evil, and that it will not lead to levels of animosity that will incite violence? What kind of president declares half the citizens of his country to be evil? How can he possibly think he can make such blatant character assassinations and still be able to unite the people of this country?
Discussions between the Internal Revenue and the White House over a lawsuit pertaining ObamaCare’s contraception mandate led to the disclosure of confidential taxpayer information, according to The Daily Caller, which obtained emails between the parties from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee:
Top Internal Revenue Service Obamacare official Sarah Hall Ingram discussed confidential taxpayer information with senior Obama White House officials, according to 2012 emails obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and provided to The Daily Caller.
Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations division, also received an email alongside White House officials that contained confidential information.
Ingram attempted to counsel the White House on a lawsuit from religious organizations opposing Obamacare’s contraception mandate. Email exchanges involving Ingram and White House officials — including White House health policy advisor Ellen Montz and deputy assistant to the president for health policy Jeanne Lambrew — contained confidential taxpayer information, according to Oversight.
The emails provided to Oversight investigators by the IRS had numerous redactions with the signifier “6103.”
The number of Americans who believe the federal government is too powerful has reached a record high, according to a poll released earlier this week by Gallup, though the historical numbers reflect partisan divisions depending on which party controls the White House.
The Gallup poll, conducted between September 5-8, found that 60% of American adults believe that the federal government is too powerful, surpassing the previous high recorded in September 2012, while 32% say that the government has about the right amount of power, which is a record low.
Just 7% of Americans believe that the federal government has too little power.
An eye-popping 81% of Republicans believe that the federal government has too much power. And though only 38% of Democrats agree with that view, that number is up from 28% just last year. Sixty-five percent (65%) of independents believe the government has too much power.
The Obama Administration has come under criticism from both Republicans and Democrats concerned about the erosion of civil liberties through the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, which collects Americans’ phone and Internet metadata even if they’re not suspected of a crime. The Internal Revenue Service’s politically motivated targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups has been heavily criticized by Republicans.
But the historical patterns show that Republicans (Bush 2003-2009) and Democrats (2009 to present) are less likely to think the federal government has too much power when their party has control of the White House, as you can see in the chart below.
Lois Lerner, the official at the center of congressional inquiries into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups, has retired, according to a statement released by the agency:
Lois Lerner, the Internal Revenue Service official investigated by Congress over the agency’s scrutiny of Tea Party groups, has retired effective today, the agency said in a statement.
Lerner, the tax agency’s former director of exempt organizations, was placed on paid administrative leave earlier this year. Last week, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel told a congressional panel that Lerner was “technically still employed.”
The agency declined further comment, citing privacy concerns.
Refusing to resign over her alleged role in the scandal, Lerner was instead placed on paid administrative leave in May, just after she invoked her Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate herself in a hearing before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Republicans on the committee believe that Lerner waived her rights by declaring her innocence before invoking the Fifth Amendment.
There is a new wrinkle in the IRS scandal. Documents obtained by USA Today shows that the tax agency targeted Tea Party and conservative groups specifically because of what they deemed to be “anti-Obama rhetoric” (emphasis added):
Newly uncovered IRS documents show the agency flagged political groups based on the content of their literature, raising concerns specifically about ”anti-Obama rhetoric,” inflammatory language and “emotional” statements made by non-profits seeking tax-exempt status.
The internal 2011 documents, obtained by USA TODAY, list 162 groups by name, with comments by Internal Revenue Service lawyers in Washington raising issues about their political, lobbying and advocacy activities. In 21 cases, those activities were characterized as “propaganda.”
Tax law experts say those comments appear to show IRS employees trying to apply the murky rules governing political activities by social welfare groups.
But the American Center for Law and Justice, a nonprofit legal institute that represents 23 of the groups appearing on the IRS list, said it appears to be “the most powerful evidence yet of a coordinated effort” by the IRS to target Tea Party groups.
Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC’s Hardball, said on Thursday night that the IRS’s targeting of Tea Party and conservative groups is a “phony,” using the issue rail against non-profit groups that engage in politics and the Citizens United ruling, which overturned campaign finance laws that suppressed political speech.
Matthews made the comments during a segment with Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who alleges that leftist groups have been targeted in the same manner as conservative organizations and has filed a lawsuit against the IRS seeking to clarify tax-exempt laws, and Nia-Malika Henderson.
“[T]o this point [House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s] witchhunt has found no witches, not in the White House, of course. In fact, the entire narrative — this so-called ‘scandal,’ this repeated scandal — has gotten pretty hard to follow,” said Matthews in the lead into the segment.
“In fact, is it a scandal? Well, yesterday House Democrats released new evidence that the IRS was also targeting liberal groups in addition to flagging groups with names like ‘progressive.’ They also flagged applicants with terms like ‘emerge’ and, of course, ACORN, a group on the left which would associate with liberal causes,” he added before introducing Van Hollen. “Issa’s camp have dismissed those reports, of course, which could be evidence that he’s using the issue to score political points instead of actually trying to solve whatever problems there are at the IRS.”