Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Last Call For Douchebag Darrel

GOP Rep. Darrel Issa's "IRS Scandal" charge has just run headlong into the brick wall of reality named Rep. Elijah Cummings.  Evan Puschak blogging at The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell's site:

Rep. Elijah Cummings–ranking Democrat on the House Oversight Committee–made good on his promise to release more transcripts from the committee’s interviews with workers at the Cincinnati IRS. Despite protests from chairman Darrell Issa, Cummings made available Tuesday the full interview of the IRS Screening Group Manager, who handled groups applying for tax-exempt status.

“This interview transcript…debunks conspiracy theories about how the IRS first started reviewing these cases,” Cummings wrote in a letter to Issa. “Answering questions from Committee staff for more than five hours, this official—who identified himself as a ‘conservative Republican’—denied that he or anyone on his team was directed by the White House to take these actions or that they were politically motivated.”

The “conspiracy theories” Cummings mentions were disseminated by Issa himself. On May 14th, Issa said unequivocally, “This was the targeting of the president’s political enemies effectively and lies about it during the election year, so that it wasn’t discovered until afterwards.” But he had no evidence to support this claim.

And not only does Issa lack evidence to support his nutjob claims, the evidence that the committee does have 100% contradicts those claims.   If anything, the "conservative Republican" whistleblower came forward out of a desire to vet Tea Party organizations to make sure they didn't screw up fundraising rules for the big Republican groups.  He was helping the GOP, not targeting them. 

In other words, if anyone's guilty of politics in the IRS, it's conservatives who want to make sure that the Citizens United gravy train of campaign billions rolls on unimpeded.  Imagine that.

Nice of Darrel to actually find the real scandal in this mess.  Will he do anything about it?

What do you think?

More Immigration Disintegration

Yesterday I pointed out that as I've been saying for months now, the House will not let the Senate immigration bill pass in any form.  Indeed, Orange Julius promised that any bill that can't get a majority of Republicans to vote for it won't even come up for a vote, and House Republicans are warning that if Boehner breaks that rule and allows the Senate bill to even get an up or down vote, he's political toast.

But Greg Sargent disagrees and believes Boehner is bluffing.

There are two apparent endgames here. Either the House ends up not passing anything. In that case Boehner will have to decide whether to allow the House to vote on the Senate bill — including a path to citizenship. He claims he won’t allow it if a majority of Republicans opposes it. But the pressure on him to allow a vote will be very intense, from powerful GOP stakeholders such as the business community and wide swaths of the consulting/strategist establishment.

Or, alternatively, the House passes something and we go to conference. What happens if whatever emerges from conference contains a path to citizenship, and a majority of House Republicans don’t support it? Asked today by reporters what would happen then, Boehner’s response contained a key tell:
Asked he would require majority Republican support on a bill that came out of  a formal negotiation with the senate, Boehner said “we’ll see when we get  there.”
In other words, Boehner would not rule out a vote that violates the supposed “Hastert Rule.”

I admit, Boehner's in a tough bind.  But Sargent forgets that the nutjob wing of the party always exacts a price.  Right now that price is the end of any citizenship path for undocumented immigrants, and when you have major conservative outfits promising to primary any House Republican who votes for the Senate bill, you're going to see that brick wall come up real fast, just like 7 years ago.

Immigration reform will not pass the House.  This is all but a guarantee.

Nuclear Turtle Alert

Shorter Mitch McConnell:  Harry Reid doesn't have the balls to touch the filibuster, because I will end you freakin' libtards if he does.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday starkly warned Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) not to eliminate the filibuster on presidential nominations, threatening to end the 60-vote threshold for everything, including bills, if he becomes the majority leader.

“There not a doubt in my mind that if the majority breaks the rules of the Senate to change the rules of the Senate with regard to nominations, the next majority will do it for everything,” McConnell said on the floor.

About as subtle as nuclear waste, the GOP.

"Make no mistake, a vote to end the filibuster is a vote to complete Yucca mountain," Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., warned Reid in a Tuesday morning floor speech. "If the Democrats can turn the Senate into a place where a majority of 51 can do anything they want, soon a majority of 51 Republicans are going to figure out the same thing to do," he said earlier in that same speech.

Here's a thought.  Has anyone considered that the next Republican Senate majority (definitely a possibility in 2014) will completely trash the filibuster anyway?

Reid should just get on with it.


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