H&R Block’s entire business model is premised on taxes being confusing and hard to file. So, naturally, the tax preparation company has become — along with Intuit, the company behind TurboTax — one of the loudest voices on Capitol Hill arguing against measures that make it easier to pay taxes. For example, the Obama administration has pushed for automatic tax filing, in which the IRS uses income information it already has to fill out your tax return for you. That would save millions of Americans considerable time and energy every year, but the idea has gone nowhere. The main reason? Lobbying from H&R Block and Intuit.
[blog ed. note — Whores, whores, whores. Whores.]
Columba Bush, the wife of Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, penned a laudatory op-ed on Sunday praising the anti-drug addiction work of Dr. Miriam Adelson, one half of one of the political world’s most powerful donor couples.
Adelson and her husband, Sheldon, founded the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Clinic for Drug Abuse Treatment & Research in 2000. Recounting a recent visit to the Las Vegas clinic in which she met the doctor, Bush praised Adelson and her staff for their work with those suffering from opioid prescription drug addiction.
The impression is fast setting in that Scott Walker, former King of Iowa, is a nonsense person and a ridiculous presidential candidate.
What’s been the hot topic over the past week? Ending birthright citizenship for children of undocumented immigrants. That’s what Donald Trump wants to do, either through constitutional amendment or aggressively court-challenging statute. This isn’t a new conservative idea, and it’s something that plenty of other candidates have happily subscribed to for a conservative leg-up in the field. It’s definitely not what RNC chairman Reince Priebus wants them talking about right now, but Reince Priebus can go suck an egg.
What is happening to the Republican Party? I put that question to Lindsey Graham, the senator from South Carolina and basement-dwelling presidential candidate, who was getting ready to hold a campaign event in Hooksett, New Hampshire. “Well, the front-runner is crazy,” Graham said.
He was referring, of course, to Donald Trump, the GOP’s seemingly unstoppable chart-topper, who has survived outrage after outrage that would have ruined a conventional candidate. He commands, on average, double the support, among potential Republican primary voters, of his nearest challenger. Graham—who is running in 15th place—calls him “a huckster billionaire whose political ideas are gibberish.” And while he expects voters eventually to come to their senses, he said, “I think a certain amount of damage has been done already.”
As Trump evinces surprising staying power atop the Republican field, nervous party members increasingly fret that he is hurting the image of the GOP and damaging its eventual nominee—who most assume will not be Trump. The most obvious problem is Trump’s outspoken opposition to immigration and immigrants, which has offended Hispanics—a fast-growing voter demographic the party can’t afford to lose ground with—and dragged other candidates into a discussion of inflammatory ideas like ending birthright citizenship.
But many Republican strategists, donors, and officeholders fret that the harm goes deeper than a single voting bloc. Trump’s candidacy has blasted open the GOP’s longstanding fault lines at a time when the party hoped for unity. His gleeful, attention-hogging boorishness—and the large crowds that have cheered it—cements a popular image of the party as standing for reactionary anger rather than constructive policies. As Democrats jeer that Trump has merely laid bare the true soul of the GOP, some Republicans wonder, with considerable anguish, whether they’re right. As the conservative writer Ben Domenech asked in an essay in The Federalist last week, “Are Republicans for freedom or white identity politics?”
Following revelations that former Family Research Council vice president Josh Duggar abused several minors when he was a teenager, which prompted him to quit his post at one of the country’s leading anti-gay organizations, Gawker reported yesterday that the Religious Right leader and reality TV star also had a paid account on Ashley Madison, a website for people seeking extramarital affairs, while he worked as a top FRC official.
“Someone using a credit card belonging to a Joshua J. Duggar, with a billing address that matches the home in Fayetteville, Arkansas owned by his grandmother Mary — a home that was consistently shown on their now-cancelled TV show, and in which Anna Duggar gave birth to her first child — paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015,” according to Gawker.
Duggar has boasted in the past that his family “is like the epitome of conservative values,” and other conservative activists agreed, such as right-wing radio host Steve Deace, who said back in 2013 that “this whole thing called Western Civilization might hinge on the Duggars.” Even after Duggar’s abuse allegations came to light, he was defended by Religious Right leaders, including Mike Huckabee, who viewed him as a victim of liberal persecution.
At the time the sexual abuse revelations came out, we pointed out that Duggar and his mother, Michelle Duggar, both campaigned against protections for LGBT people by painting them as a threat to children’s safety. Duggar has also portrayed gays and lesbians as a threat to marriage and railed against threats to “sexual purity”:
The homeless man was lying on the ground, shaking, when police arrived early Wednesday. His face was soaked, apparently with urine, his nose broken, his chest and arms battered.
Police said two brothers from South Boston ambushed the 58-year-old as he slept outside of a Dorchester MBTA stop, and targeted him because he is Hispanic. One of the brothers said he was inspired in part by GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.