They keep coming back, like the villains of a good zombie movie, chanting "more taxes, more taxes." Long ago, Congress passed the alternative minimum tax, or AMT—a simple flat rate to ensure that in an insanely complex tax code, no one escapes paying something. Now we need an alternative maximum tax as a simple, rough-and-ready way to limit the tax zombies´ economic damage. Call it the AMaxT. With Monday´s deadline for filing tax returns looming, let´s start a national conversation: How much is the most anyone should have to pay?
Paul Ryan is ready to move beyond last year’s failed presidential campaign and the budget committee chairmanship that has defined him to embark on an ambitious new project: Steering Republicans away from the angry, nativist inclinations of the tea party movement and toward the more inclusive vision of his mentor, the late Jack Kemp. Since February, Ryan (R-Wis.) has been quietly visiting inner-city neighborhoods with another old Kemp ally, Bob Woodson, the 76-year-old civil rights activist and anti-poverty crusader, to talk to ex-convicts and recovering addicts about the means of their salvation. Ryan’s staff, meanwhile, has been trolling center-right think
In the recent government shutdown fight I found myself in polite (on my part at least!) disagreement with the elements of the right inclined to denounce the “Republican establishment.” No need to rehash all that again. But, I will say that in the wake of the Cuccinelli defeat, I think the critics of the establishment have the better side of the argument. If the folks running the party want the tea partiers to support their preferred candidates — when they’re the nominee, at least — it should work the other way around as well. It now appears that Cuccinelli, a
A campaign strategist for Republican Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said that the national GOP abandoned the campaign in its final days. At the end of the race, Cuccinelli was closing in on Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who eked out a two-point victory on Tuesday despite exit polls that showed McAuliffe was up by seven points. According to the Washington Post, Chris La Civita said that financial support from national Republican sources dried up on October 1. “There are a lot of questions people are going to be asking and that is, was leaving Cuccinelli alone in the first week of October, a smart
Boyd Marcus, the chief of staff for Cantor until 2003—who later teamed with another GOP operative Ray Allen to found the firm Marcus Allen, which Cantor employed until earlier this year—joined the McAuliffe campaign after Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, with whom Marcus campaigned, did not win the GOP nominee in Virginia. “I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done,” Marcus told the Associated Press in August when he joined McAuliffe’s campaign. Cantor employed Marcus Allen until the day before Marcus left the firm to work
Leave it to Mark Levin to say exactly what many conservatives have believed but not said. The RINO wing of the GOP — and Karl Rove specifically — do not want a Ken Cuccinnelli victory in Virginia. In this corner we have believed this for some time. In its own way this reminds of the 1980 presidential race. The RINO in question than was one of Ronald Reagan’s GOP primary opponents — Illinois Congressman John Anderson. Anderson lost resoundingly to Reagan in the primaries, but as usual picked up a core of fans in the liberal media.
The St. Louis Rams lost Sam Bradford to a season-ending knee injury last weekend, and according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, decided to call up 44-year-old Brett Favre to see if he was interested in playing for them. Favre wasn’t interested. (Snip) Schefter’s report, which cites an anonymous source and leads with a reference to Tim Tebow, also included comment from a source who was familiar with the Rams’ conversations and also how Twitter works.
Recently on this blog, Larry Bartels drew attention to an astonishing fact: the public is as conservative as it has been in 50 years. To highlight this point, Professor Bartels presented the public’s policy mood — James Stimson’s measure of public support for government programs—from 1950 to 2012. In a recent article, Julianna Koch and I generated measures of policy mood for each state from the 1950s to 2010 (our measures our here). What we found is that the conservative opinion shift Professor Bartels highlighted repeats itself in every state. The figure below presents one illustration of this pattern. Here we
Speaker John Boehner has said he will not bring up any bill that does not have majority support from at least 118 Republicans. Republicans will insist on securing the border and maintaining respect for the law, and most will refuse liberals’ calls for pathways to citizenship. But, with over 100 open to legalization, and still others who have not explicitly opposed it, a path to legalization might not be far away. A full list of the representatives is below. Some may have since changed their minds, but all spoke positively of legalizing immigrants within the last year.
A newly published memoir by Rep. Luis Gutierrez takes President Barack Obama to task on immigration, saying the White House tried to stifle the congressman´s reform campaign, broke a promise to press the issue and took action only after being "outflanked by Marco Rubio." In "Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill," Gutierrez complains that deportations increased after his fellow Chicago Democrat took over the White House. And Gutierrez, who endorsed Obama twice for president, describes his frustration over what he viewed as Obama´s unmet pledge to push for
We are less than one and a half weeks from the Showdown at the CR (Continuing Resolution) Corral, and establishment politicians, of both parties, are panicking. The latest turn of the screw came last week, when opposition from 43 apparently non-establishment Republicans forced Speaker Boehner to cancel a vote on a CR because that CR would have continued to fund Obamacare. Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume concisely captured one source of GOP panic over the weekend, on Fox News Sunday: [T]he axiom in Washington that when the government shuts down, it doesn´t matter who causes it, Republicans get blamed, is
Bobby Jindal is outraged over a Department of Justice lawsuit against a Louisiana school voucher program. The suit, which he (repeatedly) calls “cynical, immoral, and hypocritical” and the “worst misuse” of federal desegregation laws, aims to stop a program that allows poor students in failing schools to enter a lottery for a voucher to attend a better school. The program is an integral part of Jindal’s education agenda, which he’s been implementing in Louisiana since he was first elected governor in 2007.
De-funding Obamacare is tough politically. It is not complicated, though, even though some want you to think that. De-funding is a simple idea surrounded by political jargon and double-speak. If voters are convinced that the task is too complex, they might forgive politicians for not going all-out to de-fund it. De-funding in turn is still second-best to outright repeal. So here is an “Idiot’s Guide to De-Funding Obamacare.” The title isn’t intended to call anyone a dummy, but to stress that this is not rocket science. Anyone who understands how a checking account works can understand how to stop Obamacare
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said on a conference call organized by Karl Rove’s Crossroads organization for large donors and their advisers on Oct. 30 that the Tea Party movement, in his view, is a “nothing but a bunch of bullies” that he plans to “punch … in the nose.” On the call, according to a donor who was on it, McConnell personally named Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) as Tea Party conservatives he views as problematic for him. “The bulk of it was an attack on the Tea Party in general, Cruz in particular,” the source, a
Fraud can be so brazen it takes people’s breath away. But for a prosecutor tasked with proving a swindle — or what federal law describes as a “scheme to defraud” — the crucial thing is not so much the fraud. It is the scheme. To be sure, it is the fraud — the individual false statements, sneaky omissions, and deceptive practices — that grabs our attention. As I’ve recounted in this space, President Obama repeatedly and emphatically vowed, “If you like your health-insurance plan, you can keep your health-insurance plan, period.” The incontrovertible record — disclosures by the Obama administration in
Fear swept through Borough Park, Brooklyn, as soon as the news got out: A young man was randomly assaulted by strangers early Friday morning, and the attack was possibly part of the so-called Knockout Game. Four men were arrested, but on Friday night only one was charged and the others were released. The attack added to a growing log of reports of such crimes in the Northeast and beyond. Young assailants were randomly picking unlucky targets and trying to knock them out with just one punch. Yet police officials in several cities where such attacks have been reported said that the “game” amounted
A teen playing the "Knockout Game" in Lansing, Michigan unwittingly targeted a concealed carry permit holder and was shot twice. He survived and is now in jail. As Breitbart News previously reported, the "Knockout Game" thrives in areas where victims are unarmed. In the "game," teens approach a stranger on the sidewalk or in an alley and punch the stranger in an attempt to knock him or her out. A punch that results in a knockout scores one point. WILX in Lansing reported that teenager Marvell Weaver, who is black, tried to knock out a father who was standing at
WASHINGTON -- Democrats quickly enjoyed the first fruits of a milestone Senate vote making it harder for the Republican minority to block President Barack Obama´s nominations: They swiftly ended a GOP filibuster against one of his top judicial selections and prepared to do the same for two others. Over the longer term, they might regret what they did and how they did it, Republicans and others are warning. When Democrats muscled the changes through Thursday over the opposition of every GOP senator, it helped heighten Congress´ already high level of partisan animosity. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., used a process that
Today, President Obama and the Democrats are faced with the opportunity to take a timeout – a timeout from ObamaCare. I believe that they should delay ObamaCare for six months to a year. America’s health care system isn’t something that can be pieced together on an ad-hoc basis amidst failing websites, party infighting, bickering insurers and a confused American public. Since the website launched last month, it has become increasingly clear that the policy – and indeed the mechanics – weren’t ready yet. And while I, along with the rest of the American people, would’ve preferred that it had worked
Joining the hosts of MSNBC’s The Cycle on Friday, legendary NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw previewed a special on the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination that will air on MSNBC that night. Recounting his experiences from that day, he said that the reaction to JFK’s assassination, “mostly in conservative states,” was encapsulated by his interaction with one man who expressed satisfaction over the president’s killing. “This was unusual but it was not unheard of,” Brokaw told the MSNBC hosts, prefacing a conservative’s reaction to JFK’s killing. “As I came running out of the announce booth, the chief engineer,
To the average American, ObamaCare is part web site disaster, part shattered campaign promise writ very, very large. Millions of Americans have already been forced out of their existing health care policies, a number that may skyrocket in the new year. Russell Simmons sees it differently. The hip-hop mogul says ObamaCare is already so successful it´s saved thousands, if not millions of lives. Yes, we initially wanted single payer, and we had to compromise back in 2009 for the Affordable Care Act. But, it is a damn good piece of legislation that has already saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives. So,
For the White House, November has been the cruelest month, with increasing worry among Democrats that a year from now could mean another midterm electoral disaster, similar to the results in 2010 when Republicans picked up over 60 House seats to gain control and netted six Senate seats as well. Each day produces a new poll with terrible numbers for the president and his policies. The Obama approval level has dipped below 40% in several surveys in recent days, and yesterday hit an all-time low of 37% in a CBS poll — a survey that in the past has often
If voters had been aware last year that they might lose their health-care plans when Obamacare went into effect, Republican President Mitt Romney would be sitting in the White House today, according to a poll released Friday. A Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research survey conducted from Nov. 18-20 asked voters who supported President Barack Obama in 2012: “As you may know, millions of Americans have lost their insurance plans despite President Obama’s promise that, quote, ‘if you like your plan, you can keep it.’ If you knew in 2012 that this promise was not true, would you still have voted
President Obama said Friday he does not worry much about his safety because of the “outstanding” Secret Service detail that shadows him everywhere he goes. Obama said the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago transformed the presidential security detail to a point where he hardly thinks about safety. "It´s not something I think about, mainly because we have a Secret Service that does an outstanding job every single day," Obama told ABC News in an interview set to air next week. For example, the open-air car Kennedy was riding in while shot in Dallas in 1963
Ahmad Rashad, a Pro Bowl wide receiver, has made yet another great catch. The Minnesota Vikings legend has rebounded from his broken marriage to Sale Johnson — the ex-wife of Jets owner Woody Johnson — and is said to be dating Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s most trusted senior adviser. Rashad, a sportscaster and a close friend of Michael Jordan’s, is keeping the romance on the down low. “They haven’t gone out in public,” one source told me. “They are sneaking around.” (Rashad’s manager did not respond to questions about the relationship, and the White House declined to comment on Jarrett’s personal life.) Rashad, who