Politics

Union Pulls Black College Support Over Ties With Koch Brothers

By on 7.14.14 | 11:59AM

Remember when liberals protested a new ambulatory care center because the Koch brothers funded it? They’re at it again, but this time it is donations to help black youths go to college that are the menace to society. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) announced in a public letter on Thursday that it will end support for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) after the group accepted $25 million from the Koch brothers.

AFSCME president Lee Saunders wrote in his letter to UNCF president Michael Lomax that he considers the actions of UNCF “a profound betrayal of the ideals of the Civil Rights Movement” as “the Koch brothers and the organizations they fund have devoted themselves for more than a decade to attacking the voting rights of African Americans.”

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Reform and Prejudice

By on 7.14.14 | 10:52AM

A movement older than the Tea Party, the nebulous coalition of conservative wonks now commonly referred to as reform conservatives has gained an increased public profile of late as the smart set with ideas for the Republican Party and an active response to the reactive Tea Party and passive party establishment. Not to be confused with the homonymous Austrian political party, reform conservatives, in as much as they are a unified whole, believe the current GOP electoral slide cannot be arrested without positive reform. As Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry summated in Forbes, “in order to win sustainably, Republicans must put forward policies that are credible, conservative and directly address the day-to-day concerns of lower-middle Americans.”

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The VA: Inept Bureaucrats or Worse?

By on 7.11.14 | 4:28PM

A shocking lack of self-awareness has befallen the Obama administration over the past several weeks, specifically when it comes to its own handling of the Veterans Affairs scandal. It began back in early May, when, after calls increased for VA secretary Eric Shinseki to be canned, the president “regrettably,” and after a lot of prodding from members of Congress on both sides, accepted the resignation, despite a clear need for a change of leadership.   

After the resignation things only got worse for the VA, with shocking reports of widespread backlash against whistleblowers at VA hospitals. Almost one in four whistleblowers reported being punished in one way or another, from having their hours docked to being moved to another position.

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United Auto Workers: Chattanooga’s Creepy Stalker

By on 7.11.14 | 3:21PM

Have you ever gone on a couple dates with someone, but then decided it just wasn’t going work out? It’s a tough spot to be in, especially when you know they are totally into you and you have to be the one to call it off.

Chattanooga was in that position in February of this year with the United Auto Workers (UAW). Ever since Volkswagen opened its American manufacturing headquarters in Chattanooga in 2011, the UAW has been the city’s heavy-breathing suitor. Give them this: the union has been very persistent. Caving to their determination, Volkswagen finally agreed to go on a few dates.

It never was a fairytale affair by any stretch. Rather, the UAW begged for affection on the grounds that the relationship was a rational fit. More sales than romance, really.

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Stockman: Arrest Lois Lerner

By on 7.11.14 | 2:06PM

After evidence surfaced on Wednesday showing that Lois Lerner had sent suspicious emails inquiring as to the way electronic records were handled by the IRS, the fervor reached a climatic peak in some conservative circles. Congress, mostly on party lines, 231-187, with six Democrats joining Republicans, voted back in May to hold Lerner in contempt of Congress. With this new information, Congressman Steve Stockman has introduced a resolution to arrest Lerner.

Announced in a press release, Stockman said:

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Politics

The IRS Oddities Add Up

By 7.11.14

Curiouser and curiouser. It's hard to see how the details of the ongoing IRS investigation could anything but mystify a fair-minded and careful observer.

Yesterday came news that employees at the tax-collecting agency use an internal instant messaging system called OCS, and that conversations held on it are not archived automatically. Further, Lois Lerner, the woman in charge of the department that targeted conservative non-profit groups, had specifically inquired about that very point. “I was cautioning folks about email and how we have had several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails — so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails,” she wrote to IT support in 2013. “Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable — I don’t know.…Do you know?”

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Enemy of the Week

Photo-Ops and Downs

By 7.11.14

Everyone’s scolding our president for passing up a golden opportunity to participate in his one-millionth photo-op since 2008. But it’s not his fault. No one made him a serious offer. Had Republicans been less obstructionist they would have asked a certain blonde Danish prime minister to intervene. “Mr. President,” she would have purred, “do please join me for a selfie along the Rio Grande.” It’s not enough that they’ll always have Johannesburg. Before you know it, we’d have seen them splashing and frolicking in the river’s borderline waters, pursuing full immersion in the immigration crisis. Michelle, we assume, would have come along as chaperone and lifeguard. Afterward, the president would have appeared before the press, still dressed in dripping trunks and life vest. Summer is supposed to be about fun.

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Book Chat

A Conversation With Pat Buchanan

By 7.11.14

Pat Buchanan’s latest book, The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority (Crown, 400 pages, $28), chronicles the political resurrection of Richard Nixon after he suffered defeats in the presidential election of 1960 and California gubernatorial election of 1962. It’s a fantastic read, giving an insider's look at the Nixon's character and the nation's politics during the turbulent mid-to-late 1960s.

I was lucky enough to sit down with Mr. Buchanan and ask him about the book, Richard Nixon, and the making of a president.

Ryan Girdusky: How did Richard Nixon, despite losing in 1960, put together a coalition for his 1968 comeback? And who was the New Majority?

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On Immigration, Where Obama Fails, Conservatives Can Rise

By on 7.10.14 | 6:15PM

As violence erupted in Central America, thousands of people fled to the U.S.-Mexico border, crossing into Texas, California, and Arizona. This crisis has sparked ire on both sides of the political aisle. The president, however, has refused to even visit the border. He called such a visit a “photo op”:

“Nothing has taken place down there that I’m not intimately aware of,” Obama said during a hastily arranged news conference here, where he began a two-day visit to the state for Democratic fundraising and an economic event. “This is not theater.”

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Not All of Lois Lerner’s Emails Went Missing

By on 7.10.14 | 3:24PM

On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee released several more emails in its ongoing investigation of the IRS, written by Lois Lerner. They suggest that Lerner may have tried to hide documents from the congressional investigation.

The emails, which Chairman Darrell Issa tweeted out last night, can be found here on his page. In one of them, Lerner, discussing Microsoft Operating System with an IT member within the IRS, said:

I had a question today about OCS. I was cautioning folks about email and how we have several occasions where Congress has asked for emails and there has been an electronic search for responsive emails – so we need to be cautious about what we say in emails. Someone asked if OCS conversations were also searchable – I don't know, but told them I would get back to them. Do you know?

The response from Maria Hooke, summarized, is that while the Electronic Data Request goes on an honor system, none of the emails are saved automatically, unless chosen by the user. Lerner’s response: “Perfect.”

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