McDonnell Problems Hit Cuccinelli Too

You may be watching the gathering storm around Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a graduate of Pat Robertson’s Regent University and a serious right wing nutjob, with as much glee as I am. But it looks like his problem of taking major kickbacks and benefits from a controversial company in his state may hit his handpicked successor, Ken Cuccinelli, as well.
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What Is ‘Primarily Political’?

The Inspector General for Tax Administration at the Treasury Department has issued a preliminary report on the IRS’ targeting of Tea Party and “patriot” groups that applied for 501(c)(4) status. You can see that report here. The report does conclude that inappropriate criteria was used, but finds no evidence that it was anything other than bureaucratic incompetence that caused it:
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The Real IRS Scandal

The IRS has admitted that they targeted Tea Party and “patriot” groups for additional scrutiny when they applied for non-profit status over the last couple years, something that is clearly beyond the pale. The real question, which should be answered by the Inspector General of the Treasury Department who is investigating, is who authorized this and who knew about it. There is no evidence at this point that the White House had any role in it, but time and evidence will tell.
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Fix the Debt: Fiscal Responsibility for Thee

ThinkProgress links to a new report by the Institute for Policy Studies and the Campaign for America’s Future about a group called Fix the Debt, which is made up of the CEOs of many large and powerful corporations. While demanding fiscal responsibility, they all make far more money both personally and for their companies because of tax breaks on their own compensation:
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Business as Usual Continues in Politics

When President Obama took office, he promised to change business as usual in Washington. No lobbyists would work in his administration, he declared, but quickly made so many exceptions to the rule that it became irrelevant. And in reality, as Noam Scheiber notes, virtually nothing has changed; the revolving door is still revolving as quickly as ever, especially in the second term.
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Roberts’ Convenient Loss of Memory

Still reading Jeffrey Toobin’s new book, The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court, and found this very interesting quote from Chief Justice John Roberts in the chapter about the ruling in Citizens United v FEC. Legal experts have long regarded Roberts as an advocate of judicial restraint. That’s why his ruling in the health care reform case was not all that surprising given his past statements. But it makes it very difficult to explain his actions in Citizens United.
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Interesting Facts About the Citizens United Ruling

I’m reading Jeffrey Toobin’s new book The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court and there is some very interesting information about the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that I wasn’t aware of. There are lots of fascinating facts about how the case was decided that are worth taking a look at. Toobin discussed much of this in an article in the New Yorker.
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More Lobbying = Lower Taxes

Joseph Rotella and Dennis Van Roekel have an article at U.S. News and World Report that details more than $220 billion in tax subsidies given to some of the largest corporations in the world, allowing them to pay very low taxes even while earning record-breaking profits. And it’s hardly a coincidence that many of them pay more for lobbying than they do in taxes:
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