Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 21

Pathetic Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn Says Cuts Must Be Made Before He'll Support Tornado Relief




For A Year, GOP Leadership Ignored IRS Targeting Of Tea Party Groups (VIDEO)


I'm still hoping Michele Bachmann is the Republican nominee for Senator in Minnesota, but if she's having this much trouble with her House seat (h/t Trollhattan)….

With Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann facing a widening campaign finance probe, her Democratic challenger is out with a new poll showing him in a close race with the conservative firebrand.

The survey, conducted by Public Policy Polling and obtained by POLITICO, shows Democrat Jim Graves leading Bachmann, a four-term congresswoman and former GOP presidential candidate, 47 percent to 45 percent. The results are within the poll's 4.4 percentage point margin of error.


Chuck Pierce reminds us that ABC's Jonathan Karl isn't exactly a neutral observer of the news when it comes to this whole Benghazi blow-up.  Pierce looks into a FAIR background check on Karl:

Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)-such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O'Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10). The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the ISI's first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04). The Collegiate Network also provides paid internships and fellowships to place its members at corporate media outlets or influential Beltway publications; 2010-11 placements include the Hill, Roll Call, Dallas Morning News and USA Today. The program's highest-profile alum is Karl, who was a Collegiate fellow at the neoliberal New Republic magazine.

Well now.  The question of "Why choose Jonathan Karl" to launch Operation Clown Car seems to have been pretty firmly answered, eh?

Assuming the FAIR report is accurate, then Jonathan Karl was not trained as a journalist, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce journalists. It produces partisan warriors. He was not trained as a reporter, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce reporters. It produces propagandists. He was not trained as a newsman, because the Collegiate Network doesn't produce newsmen. It produces hacks.

Funny how that works.

Also, Joy Reid is following the other end of this trail: who leaked to Karl in the first place? Do check this piece out: Reid has a pretty good theory that the Gooper in question is Sen. Tom Coburn, or someone on his staff.  It's definitely very interesting.


Posters In Washington State Capitol Claim Gun Laws Are Just Like Anti-Gay Discrimination

Virginia GOP Nominee For Attorney General Introduced Bill Forcing Women To Report Their Miscarriages To Police

The Hill: House Republicans last week proposed legislation that would suspend the ability of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to conduct audits until the IRS itself is audited by Congress.

The bill, from Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), is the latest in a string of measures that have been offered in the wake of the IRS's admission it applied extra scrutiny to conservative groups over the last few years. Republicans have said those activities were politically motivated and went unreported by senior Obama administration officials in the run-up to the 2012 election.

"We're seeing the tip of the iceberg," Fleming said last week. "Tea party groups, conservative professors, opinion makers who dared to speak out against Obama, and even Billy Graham were targeted for interrogations that dug into private records, seeking information on everything from donor names to Facebook posts.
See, here's the thing though; that's not the problem. "I hate to keep confusing the 'narrative' with facts, but when it comes to the 501(c)(4s), we aren't talking about tax audits," Ed Kilgore clarifies. "These were reviews of applications that nobody was required to submit, and that nobody needed to submit unless they were pretty sure they were on the borders of political activities incompatible with tax-exempt status (otherwise, they could just file their tax returns like anyone else and claim tax-exempt status). As for the Graham 'charities,' these were 501(c)(3)s that are subject to much stricter scrutiny, and were gearing up for a massive political ad campaign in North Carolina in favor of a same-sex marriage ban. Even then, nobody was kicking down Billy Graham's door and seizing his files or assets; it was a review of the organizations' status, which was quickly concluded."

Fleming's bill isn't designed to address any real problem, but instead is meant to confuse people about the nature of the IRS controversy. He — along with a lot of other Republicans — wants you to believe that the IRS was ready to throw people in jail, rather than just asking them to fill out a little extra paperwork… That is, if they wanted to. They could always just refuse. In any case, no one was being audited — this is bullshit.

"It's all based on a lie bordering on a Big Lie," Kilgore says. It doesn't qualify as the Big Lie because they aren't actually saying it straight out. They're supplying you with misleading information and letting you fill in the blanks, making up your own Big Lie.

I think Kilgore's giving Fleming way too much credit for honesty. If he gets off the liar charge, it's only on a technicality. The result is the same, after all.


Science and an 18-year-old Student Win the Day

This is incredible. A student invented a transistor that will allow a battery to recharge in seconds.

An 18-year-old science student has made an astonishing breakthrough that will enable mobile phones and other batteries to be charged within seconds rather than the hours it takes today's devices to power back up.

Saratoga, Calif. resident Eesha Khare made the breakthrough by creating a small supercapacitor that can fit inside a cell phone battery and enable ultra-fast electricity transfer and storage, delivering a full charge in 20-30 seconds instead of several hours.

The nano-tech device Khare created can supposedly withstand up to 100,000 charges, a 100-fold increase over current technology, and it's flexible enough to be used in clothing or displays on any non-flat surface.

It could also one day be used in car batteries and charging stations not unlike those used by the Tesla Model S, which includes "supercharger" technology that promises to charge vehicles in 30 minutes or less.

"I'm in a daze," Khare told CBS San Francisco after being honored among the three finalists at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix over the weekend. "I can't believe this happened."

Over 1,600 finalists from around the world competed in the science fair for a $75,000 scholarship grand prize awarded by Intel. Runners-up received $50,000 scholarships.

This is why I believe we'll have Star Trek-level technology sooner than predicted. Sometimes this biggest breakthroughs happen when we least expect them — and from unexpected sources.


How Many More Disasters Before We Take This Crisis Seriously?


According to a new report released today by Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce committee , Obamacare may lead to a significant reduction in the cost of health insurance in some states.

Early filings show that insurers in some states are planning to lower their premiums after President Obama's healthcare law takes effect, Democrats noted on Monday.

Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee cited the initial rate filings to argue that the health law's Republican critics have oversold the potential effect on premiums. [...]

Premiums the cheapest plan in Oregon are expected to fall by an average of 11 percent, and customers in Washington could see a price drop of 21 percent for the cheapest policy, according to the Democratic summary of state rate filings.

Why are insurers in some states planning to lower their premiums? Because they discovered that after they place their insurance plans on the exchange market, they would not be competitive without lowering the cost. And that's the entire point of establishing a state exchange market. The point is to lower costs.

It's the free market at work. Or as Republicans like to call it — big government socialism.

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