The White House didn’t address the IRS audit until now because no one forced them to. And therein lies the real scandal. It’s not that the IRS’s Cincinnati office took an ill-advised shortcut to catch organizations abusing 501(c)(4) tax status, or that certain White House officials knew about the audit and didn’t volunteer that information to the press. It’s that Republicans took so long to politicize it! Here was the government agency tasked with collecting America’s hard-earned money—money that, surely, would be frittered away by a profligate liberal administration—being accused of targeting conservative groups, and all Republicans could manage was a lousy subcommittee hearing?
When you take a step back from the IRS scandal, there does appear to be something slightly sinister going on. Except that the scheming is on the right and not the left. Since the Republican House takeover in 2010, conservatives have laid the groundwork for a cynical two-step: First, squeeze funding for government programs, making it harder for civil servants to do their jobs. Then, when the inevitable screw-up comes, use it as further justification for cuts. Against this backdrop, the IRS scandal looks like only the latest step in the conservative long-game.
The means by which JPMorgan shareholders kept Jamie Dimon in charge reveal real weaknesses at the bank, with no fallback plan should Dimon ever leave. That doesn’t represent the stability of its corporate governance; it represents a crisis.
If Krugman means by “lack of compassion” that I don’t devote nearly as much of myself as I should to helping others directly, he’s absolutely right. I assume from the way he writes that he is out there most Sunday mornings painting poor people’s houses, serving up soup and making sandwiches. And I congratulate him for it.
“There is nary a hoodie in a tech founder’s wardrobe that hasn’t gotten a mention in the press, which has come to fetishize the casualwear of Silicon Valley. But is the liberal mainstream media really reporting both sides of this story?”
See more from Noreen Malone’s piece, “Fourteen Tech Founders NOT Wearing Hoodies,” here.
(Photos from Getty Images)
By the time Hurricane Sandy hit, in late 2012, earlier disasters had depleted the disaster contingency fund. Getting relief to the stricken Northeast meant appropriating new money, and that sparked the memorable debate over whether Congress needed to find offsetting cuts to pay for relief funds in the Northeast. Among those conservatives making the case for offsets were Oklahoma senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe.
Obama and McCain are still following their own personal political incentives, as they always have. But now that they’ve feasted on moulard duck breast and Colorado lamb acai during a group hangout, the attention has once again turned to whether their overlapping priorities “can break the gridlock in Washington.” Let me spare you any unnecessary excitement: The answer is no.
If traditional institutions reduce suicide, as Douthat suggests, then suicide rates should be lower in the South, where religiosity is highest, or in the inland West, where marriage is most common. Instead, suicide rates are lowest in the northeastern corridor, with Washington, D.C., and New York rounding out the bottom of the list.