The blocks that make up the IRS building might not even be as dense as some of those who work inside
This post originally published in 2013. I believe, that while some of the details have changed, the overall message still applies two-plus years later
The Internal Revenue Service is on course to hand out $70 million in bonuses even as the agency is mired in scandal. The IRS is still under fire for targeting conservative groups prior to the 2010 and 2012 elections. This latest news is sure to draw ire from Republicans in both the House and Senate – and rightly so. Continue reading
Well, it has been roughly a gazillion months since I was able to post here. My stubbornness to fix the site problems by myself, as well as some writing contracts caused this to fall by the relative waste-side. It’s not that I was abandoning The Midwest Wing, it is just that the task ahead of me so daunting that it kind of pushed me away. It appears, though, that almost all of the problems are now fixed. While I still can’t create “pretty permalinks” I am really not going to let an inconsequential matter such as that keep me from ramping this back up. There is so very much to talk about…and I haven’t talked about any of it. Continue reading
(A reflection upon our election…and what the Founding Fathers of our nation thoughts were towards voting and how important it was)
Americans HATE electoral politics. How else can you explain the low turnout year after year and the immense relief that comes on the first Wednesday of November (the day after Election Day)? They are continually bombarded with ads on the television, the radio, in their mailbox and their neighbor’s front yard. Once Election Day passes, they won’t have to worry about being called at night for the sixth time in seven days asking them who they plan to vote for or why they should vote for this candidate over the other. For many, they simply cannot wait until this is over, for life to return to normal. They either don’t plan to vote or they go into the voting booth and check off the most familiar names they see without really thinking about the consequences.
With Congressional approval well below 20 percent one would think that Americans would be energized for change. Perhaps the problem is that they just don’t feel that their votes will matter or they don’t know who or what these candidates really are. Others lament the “dirty politics” of negative ads. The truth though is that negative campaigning has been around almost as long as the nation has existed. Continue reading
Too often the debate centers around the image on the left when what we should really be talking about is on the right
Last week another gun related tragedy occurred, this time in Washington State. A young man entered the cafeteria, brandished a weapon, and started shooting before turning it in himself. His actions led to several injuries and three deaths (including his own).
Afterwards, reports focused on how well liked the young man was but that he had seemingly been under some emotional duress recently according to his Twitter feed. Well, no shit! Top notch reporting there.
People who are feeling good about life, about themselves and their personal situations, do NOT start a shooting spree at school that leads to their death. People who are emotionally stable and chemically balanced in their brain simply don’t do things like this. Continue reading
Last week it was announced that U.S. Representative Steve King would not seek the senate seat being vacated by long time Senator Tom Harkin. Harkin, despite facing staunch challenges from Iowa Republicans, will have served 30 years in the Senate by the time he retires (he also served ten years in the House prior to being elected to the Senate in 1984). King, long thought to have an eye on the Senate, declined stated that he would not run for the seat, following in the footsteps of Rep. Tom Latham and Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds earlier this year.
It seems that you can’t turn your head these days without seeing a story on Michigan’s precocious Congressman Justin Amash (R – MI 3). The latest stories center around the possibility of a Senate run to replace Carl Levin, who is retiring following the completion of his sixth (!!!) term in 2014, as well as the so-called rise of Libertarianism within the GOP rank and file in Washington DC. But Amash has been in the news almost since he arrived in DC following the 2010 elections. Following the recent election he even garnered support from a few colleagues as an alternative to then – and current – Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio.
Hand-tinted photo of the White House north face, circa 1900 – courtesy of whitehousemuseum.org
The Republican Party, while not solidified behind any candidate(s) yet, appears to favor someone who has served as governor rather than as a senator. According to the recent Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of those who identify themselves as Republicans prefer someone with a governor’s background while 23 percent favor senatorial experience.
While Quinnipiac’s poll surveyed Republicans’ feeling towards former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ), Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with Rubio and Ryan leading the pack with 19 and 17 percent respectively. However, when names were removed and the generic question of “if you had to choose, would you prefer that the Republican party nominate for President a candidate with experience as a governor or experience as a United States Senator” was posed to respondents, the numbers showed that 59 percent favored a governor while 23 favored a senator and 18 percent were undecided.
I Voted Today (Photo credit: Madison Guy)
With our latest election now in the rear-view mirror I thought it was an apt time to discuss the “voter ID..ea” (see what I did there). Many liberals were up in arms in late October and early November in states that had so-called “strict” voter id laws (such as showing a driver’s license in order to vote) by saying this discriminated against the poor. Conservatives on the other hand, were trumpeting the evolution of such laws as ways to cut down on voter fraud. As if often the case, both sides have valid points.
North Dakota State Mill in Grand Forks, North Dakota, 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today, citizens in North Dakota will go to the polls to decide whether or not to end property taxes. That’s right – END property taxes. This isn’t a measure like many states have, where they will cap them at a certain percentage, or lower them. North Dakotans (is that what they call themselves?) will be voting on a measure that removes over $800 in revenue from the State and completely ends the levy of property tax on the citizens. The measure is not likely to pass (according to the linked NYT article) but it is very interesting to look at.
Recently, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stated that he supported a measure for the State of Michigan to collect sales tax from online purchases. While citizens are supposed to pay this sales tax anyway, there usually is not a mechanism built into the site for them to do so, as such, they must self-report this. As you can imagine, this frequently goes unreported. While some on the right would try to use this as ammunition against a moderate politician, this policy is especially sound for a state still trying to recover from a decade of mismanagement and budgetary issues. Michigan is hardly alone in this measure, Indiana also considered a similar measure this year (they have an agree with Amazon.com to start collecting taxes in 2014).