Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic ranking member on the House Oversight Committee, released more than 200 pages of interview transcripts Tuesday afternoon after the committee’s Chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa R-Calif., refused to do so.Cummings is seeking to dispel any notion that targeting of Tea Party groups by the Internal Revenue Service was ordered from Washington. Cummings released transcripts with an IRS screening group manager described as a “conservative Republican,” who said that the targeting of the Tea Party groups applying for tax-exempt status started with low-level workers in Cincinnati. The witness also said that there was no communication on the targeting with any senior IRS officials or with anyone in Washington or the Obama administration.
In this world there’s a lot of rhetoric about which economic philosophy works best, which produces the most corruption and just how much power and money is too much.
Each advocate claims the ideologies they oppose lead to economic destruction while claiming theirs leads to the greatest economic prosperity.
I hate to break it to all of them, but in the end—they’re all the same.
(Newser) – The whistleblower who leaked details of the NSA’s secret surveillance programs has revealed himself as 29-year-old Edward Snowden, a former technical assistant with the CIA who has been working at the NSA for four years for a number of outside contractors. Snowden asked the Guardian to unveil his identity (“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he says) and the paper has obliged with a lengthy account of the story behind the story. Amongst other revelations:
Another GOP “autopsy” is out, and this one, from the College Republican National Committee, looks at why young people rejected the GOP in 2012. And — unsurprisingly — it found a “dismal present situation.”
“Grand Old Party for a Brand-New Generation” basically finds that the GOP’s biggest problem with young people is that it’s not the Democratic Party. Think Progress‘ Igor Volsky looked at the study and found that younger voters simply don’t trust the GOP or agree with them on much of anything.
Focus groups were asked how voters would describe the GOP. “The responses were brutal: closed-minded, racist, rigid, old-fashioned.”
The CRNC reminds us that as recently as 2000, the GOP came within 2 percentage points of winning the youth vote. However, that was before the Bush administration and the Tea Party movement, which has moved the party further to the right on social issues than it has been in generations.
The report recommends re-messaging the GOP’s policies. For instance, it suggests shedding the talking point “We need to reduce the size of government because it is simply too big,” which was only endorsed by 72 percent of respondents in favor of “We need leaders who aren’t afraid to fight existing interests like big companies and big unions in order to reform outdated and unsustainable programs,” which 93 percent of respondents liked. Because you know how Republicans love to go after big companies — for donations!
Despite Paul Ryan’s charming references to his iPod, the report found that “to shed the brand of being old-fashioned, the GOP need not just find young candidates who can make pop culture references with ease.” Instead they need to find leaders who speak to young people’s concerns.
The closest the report gets to making a helpful recommendation is “Don’t concede ‘caring’ and ‘open-minded’ to the left.” To do this, they would need to quickly change the course of the GOP Titanic that’s headed into a generational iceberg.
Here are five reasons it doesn’t look as if that will happen.
OK, this is really shocking: a Heritage Foundation economist has been accused of presenting false, deliberately misleading data and analysis to the Senate Budget Committee.
What’s so shocking? Not the false, misleading data and analysis — that’s SOP at Heritage. Remember the disappearing forecast of 2.8 percent unemployment under the Ryan plan, and various other Heritage escapades? What’s shocking is that they got called on it, in real time.
What is the future likely to bring? A reasonable stance might be to try to look at the human species from the outside. So imagine that you’re an extraterrestrial observer who is trying to figure out what’s happening here or, for that matter, imagine you’re an historian 100 years from now — assuming there are any historians 100 years from now, which is not obvious — and you’re looking back at what’s happening today. You’d see something quite remarkable.
For the first time in the history of the human species, we have clearly developed the capacity to destroy ourselves. That’s been true since 1945. It’s now being finally recognized that there are more long-term processes like environmental destruction leading in the same direction, maybe not to total destruction, but at least to the destruction of the capacity for a decent existence.
And there are other dangers like pandemics, which have to do with globalization and interaction. So there are processes underway and institutions right in place, like nuclear weapons systems, which could lead to a serious blow to, or maybe the termination of, an organized existence.
On New Year’s Day, in a cramped room in the Capitol basement, House Republican leaders faced an angry caucus. Democrats had negotiated them into a corner — virtually every American would be hit with a massive tax increase unless the House agreed to block the hikes for everyone but the wealthy.
A freshman lawmaker seized a microphone and demanded to know how the leaders planned to vote. House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) was a yes, but his top two lieutenants were opposed.
Newser – The Boy Scouts of America’s decision last month to allow gay members was made with the blessing by many churches and religious groups—but not all of them. And here’s a pretty significant opponent: The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in America with 45,000 congregations and 16 million members, says it will now urge its followers to leave the Scouts, reports CNN. The Boy Scouts says Baptist churches currently sponsor nearly 4,000 units, containing more than 100,000 kids.