Tag Archives: senate

Orwellian: CIA clears itself of spying on Senate committee…

Yahoo News:

A CIA panel Wednesday cleared agency officials of any wrongdoing when they accessed the computers of a Senate committee investigating the agency’s involvement in torture. The finding ended a yearlong dispute marked by angry accusations of “hacking” and criminal misconduct.

Instead, the panel — whose members were appointed by CIA Director John Brennan — faulted the agency’s own outgoing inspector general for suggesting in a report that there may have been grounds to discipline five officials at the agency.

The findings by the so-called CIA accountability board drew sharp objections from some Senate staffers who were involved in the torture report, citing it as yet another example of the CIA’s own inability to police itself.

Ya think?

Senator Dick Durbin to Walgreens: Stay in Illinois or else….

Senator Durbin is the second most powerful Democrat in the Senate. Illinois has the highest taxes in America so companies are leaving in droves. Time to whip out the thug card….

National Review:

Score another victory this week for the Senate’s lead political thug, Dick Durbin. The second-highest-ranking Senate Democrat and lead political henchman coerced retail giant Walgreens to stay in Illinois and not move as planned to Switzerland.

The government’s intimidation campaign against Walgreens was so heavy-handed that it would make Richard Nixon blush. Walgreens was set to move in order to reduce its tax liability and avoid the 40 percent income tax rate it pays as an Illinois-based corporation. This would have saved the company and its mostly American shareholders an estimated $4 billion over five years.

But back in July Mr. Durbin sent an astounding letter to Walgreens CEO Gregory Wasson warning the company, and demanding that it abandon its plans to relocate.

He lambasted the company’s move as a “clever tax dodge,” and threatened that “deeply patriotic” customers would not “support Walgreen’s decision to turn its back on the United States.” He added, subtly, that “nearly all of your $2.5 billion in profits earned last year were from sales to U.S. taxpaying customers.”

That was followed by other threats of political retaliation. “Much of Walgreens financial success was built on programs and infrastructure provided by the U.S. government” and “the future success of Walgreens will continue to depend on U.S. taxpayers and government-funded programs.” Just in case Mr. Wasson didn’t get the point, he reminded him that “nearly 25% of Walgreens profits were from U.S-funded Medicare and Medicaid programs.”

Unfortunately, our elected officials in Congress now feel they have the political power to carry out these threats with impunity.

Now Mr. Durbin is celebrating the Walgreens shakedown. The big losers here were the shareholders — including thousands and thousands of middle class Americans — whose retirement funds include Walgreens stock. The stock fell in the 24 hours after the announcement by more than 10 percent and so shareholders lost at least $6 billion on the announcement. That’s a lot of financial wreckage from one single senator.

In case there is any doubt that Mr. Durbin’s threats were heard, the statement by Walgreens about why it was not moving after all was revealing. The firm cited big risks of “consumer backlash and political ramifications, including the risk to our government book of business.” In other words: We got your message, Mr. Durbin.

 

Robert Reich cold busted in naked political deception (video)

This is not the first time Robert Reich has engaged in this kind of chicanery, courtesy of the oh so gimme a break liars at Moveon.org.

[Editor’s Note: Yes we said liars. So many political operatives lie so brazenly that the time for calling the simple truth what it is has come.]

Nice video, but… now, the rest of the story courtesy of The Right Scoop who described this pretty well:

In short, reconciliation is a Senate rule that allows passage of a budget bill with a simple majority, bypassing the normal process that requires 60 votes.

It’s also been dubbed the ‘nuclear option’ in the past.

So lets fast-rewind back to 2010 for a sec and read a quote by the same Mr. Reich who wrote an article in the Huffington Post:

“My free advice to the president: If you want to get health care enacted you must use reconciliation and quickly…

Explain to the American people you understand their impatience. The Constitution does not require 60 votes in the Senate to pass legislation. A majority will do. That’s called democracy.”

Of course we know that the Senate did use reconciliation on Obamacare, even though it wasn’t a budget bill. They violated the rule of reconciliation in order to pass Obamacare with a simple majority (or ram it down our throats) and Robert Reich was a major advocate of this.

But now, when Democrats are about to lose the Senate, he warns against Republicans using reconciliation – even properly – to pass their right-wing destructive agenda. What’s good for the goose is not good for the gander if you’re a hypocritical Democrat.

For more past hypocrisy of Democrats on reconciliation, read here.