At a speech in Vermont today, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) attempted to walk back his earlier comment calling the IRS “the new Gestapo.” He failed.
“What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated,” LePage said to Paul Heintz, a reporter from Burlington’s Seven Days at a fundraiser in Vermont. “Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad ? yet.”
On Saturday, LePage said in his weekly radio address, “You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo ? the IRS.” After outcry from Jewish groups including the Anti-Defamation League, the governor released a statement partially backtracking his comments. On Wednesday, the head of the union representing IRS employees also demanded an apology for the insensitive remark, saying his rhetoric put federal employees in danger. But
LePage doubled down when confronted, even when Heintz pressed him:
HEINTZ: Do you have a sense of what the Gestapo actually did during World War II?
LEPAGE: Yeah. They killed a lot of people.
HEINTZ: So the IRS is headed in that direction? They’re headed in the direction of killing a lot of people?
HEINTZ: Wait, are you serious?
LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said the governor’s “radio message that will be released on Friday will also include an apology for language that may have offended people.”
California lawmakers earlier this month passed a series of foreclosure reforms known as the “Homeowners’ Bill of Rights” that are meant to protect borrowers from wrongful foreclosures. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed the legislation into law Wednesday, giving California homeowners “some of the nation’s strongest protections from foreclosure and aggressive bank practices.” Under the law, banks are prohibited from practices like robo-signing, which led to the approval of fraudulent documents, and dual-tracking, a predatory practice that sent borrowers into foreclosure even as they pursued loan modifications. The law also makes it easier for borrowers to deal with their banks and gives them the right to sue banks if the new laws are violated.
This is a really nice, simple explanation of the core issues in this election. Reich lays it out simply and clearly as a choice between progressive and regressive movement in the country.
I can't possibly summarize it as simply as he says it, so just watch.
About 4 percent of the electorate has a favorable view of Mr. Obama, but does not approve of his job performance. The way those voters behave in November could be decisive.
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Thursday's revelations in the Boston Globe that Mitt Romney did not in fact leave Bain Capital in February 1999 have put the GOP standard bearer in hot water. At best, the contention if true would mean Romney lied to the American people to avoid paternity for job-killing deals that nevertheless lined his own pockets. At worst, the Republican nominee flouted SEC rules and broke the law.
But largely overlooked in the discussion of departure date as Bain Capital CEO is why Mitt Romney used to claim he was only on leave between 1999 and 2002. If Romney really permanently left Bain in 1999 to run the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, he might have been ineligible to run for governor of Massachusetts.
As the Globe noted in its story, "financial disclosure documents Romney filed in Massachusetts show that he was paid as a Bain Capital executive while he directed the Olympics." But it is the last sentence in the article which may be the most important:
In Romney's 2002 race for governor, he testified before the state Ballot Law Commission that his separation from Bain in 1999 had been a "leave of absence" and not a final departure.And why was Mitt Romney testifying before the Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission? Because, it turns out, for three years he paid property taxes to Utah while claiming his $3.8 million Park City mansion was his "primary residence." And unless he could convince the Commission that was a mistake and that his tony Belmont estate was still home, Bain Capital CEO Romney would never have become Governor Romney.
Continue reading below the fold.
Mitch McConnell (Reuters)Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is taking on hostage-taking duty for the Republicans this week, and as always, it's in order to protect the rich and powerful from paying their fair share of taxes. On Wednesday, Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to set up two votes on the tax extensions: the Democrats, which would just extend the cuts for the first $250,000 in earnings, and a Republican bill that would extend it for rich people, too.
On Wednesday Reid tried to set up a vote on the competing proposals, but Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) objected to his unanimous consent request, saying that Republicans would not allow a vote to be set up until Obama's proposal was presented to them in paper form.Does he want that paper presented on a silver platter, from bended knee? Perhaps he'd like a nice iced latte with that.
Of course McConnell blocked it, because if it was voted on in unanimous consent it couldn't be filibustered and McConnell is afraid, as Democratic Senate aide told Greg Sargent, that the Democrats' bill would pass. The last thing McConnell?or any Republican?wants is for this issue to be resolved. The tax bill for millions of middle-class Americans is far too valuable a hostage for him to let slip away.
We know that Republicans desperately want to avoid the defense side of the trigger cuts. We know that Democrats, at least at the leadership level, want to revert the top two marginal tax rates back to the Clinton-era levels. There's a way in which this[...]
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They really know what matters in revenue-strapped Kansas. The attorney general's office there has paid $675,000 to outside lawyers to fight challenges to the state's draconian new anti-abortion laws.
Never mind that the state fixed its budget shortfall this year with cuts across many programs, including schools, where Wichita teachers now scrounge for discarded pencils and buy used sneakers at garage sales for gym classes. Never mind that the model Judge Riddel Boys Ranch for juvenile offenders faces a shutdown. Never mind that much of the half-billion shortfall that forced these kinds of cuts was created by the Republican governor's reducing taxes, with a skew?can you guess??for Kansans in the upper income tiers.
While Kansas has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars defending its decision to deny funding for Planned Parenthood's non-abortion services?like cancer-detecting breast exams?and to restrict private insurance coverage for abortions, Shawnee County decided last fall that defending women against domestic violence was no longer possible because of its budget shortfalls. So it transferred the responsibility to the city of Topeka. And the city council there decided that it couldn't afford to prosecute either and solved the problem by repealing its domestic violence law.
So Kansas treats women as punching bags, spending money to defend laws that deny them critical health care and refusing to protect them from assholes who literally treat them as punching bags. All in the name of budget priorities. Sickening. Infuriating. And typical.
The Life Sciences Report: Most of your coverage is Canadian-based. Why limit yourself to that?
Philippa Flint: We are a healthcare-specialized boutique investment firm with a primary goal to provide coverage of the Canadian . . . → Read More: Profit from Canadian-Based Biotechs and Specialty Pharmas: Philippa Flint
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The GOP campaign is a sci-fi movie with computerized flashbacks to former times and places.
Tonight takes ?the candidate? to a Wyoming of yore, transporting the Mitt cyborg for fund-raising to a bygone Bush-Cheney era that has otherwise been erased from memory in 2012.
In Jackson Hole, it will spend congenial hours in a virtual reality simulation of a decade ago, mingling with Dick, Lynne, Liz and their very rich friends with checkbooks after being projected back to the old civil rights era the day before to be booed by the NAACP, a scene designed to be explicated for the faithful by Rush Limbaugh.
Romneybots are everywhere to be tracked down in a grownup version of ?Where?s Waldo??
If there is a real person in all this, he is as elusive as those 21stcentury actors constantly being teleported to movie sets of the 1930s or 1960s, depending on the plot?s requirements. While flashbacks create an appearance of actuality, the audience knows some demented director is really pulling the strings.
Lovers of old movies will recognize all this as a high-tech update of what Mel Brooks did in ?Blazing Saddles,? the classic spoof of cowboys sitting around a campfire emitting brain farts and punching horses in the tale about undermining a black sheriff that ends with a giant brawl breaking through studio walls and spilling from one movie set to another.
Sci-fi spectacular or Brooksian comedy, will the real Mitt Romney stand up? Voters need a reality show before November.
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