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CNN Allows Peter King To Claim Bush Administration Left Obama A Stable Iraq

CNN Allows Peter King To Claim Bush Administration Left Obama A Stable Iraq ::posted Tue, 01 Sep 2015 02:00:02 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1KYKhFN

It seems that Darth Cheney and his demon spawn daughter are on a book tour these days, pimping their latest masterpiece: Exceptional: Why the World Needs a Powerful America, otherwise known as Dick and Liz pretend that all of America’s problems started when the evil Kenyan usurper got elected. I hate to break it to them, but other than in the wingnut echo chamber that still thinks the Bush administration could do no wrong, there’s not enough polish in the world to shine up the giant turd his administration left behind known as the invasion of Iraq.

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NRA Shill Tells Dead Journalist’s Parents To Just Calm Down

NRA Shill Tells Dead Journalist’s Parents To Just Calm Down ::posted Tue, 01 Sep 2015 01:00:02 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1KYzUBP

If, God forbid, I were faced with the reality of losing a child to random, unnecessary gun violence, the last people on earth I’d want to listen to would be someone in bed with the NRA. But that certainly isn’t stopping their shills from dispensing advice.

On August 30, the NRA’s [Colion] Noir posted a video response to the shocking August 26 murder of Parker and Ward, which happened while they were filming a live news report. The two journalists worked for Roanoke, Virginia ABC affiliate station WDBJ and were killed by a disgruntled former co-worker.

Noir, who is the face of an NRA effort to influence a younger demographic, said in his video post that while he has “no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child,” “sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they’re there to help us”:

NOIR: And to the parents of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, I have no right to tell any parent how to grieve for the loss of their child. Grief-inspired advocacy can be extremely effective and powerful and I say run full speed to find a way to end violence like this. However, sometimes in a fight we can become so emotional everyone and thing starts looking like the enemy, even if they’re there to help us. I’m deeply sorry for your loss.

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Family Reject Council: Nick Anderson

Family Reject Council ::posted Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:19:32 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1X7eX0H

By Nick Anderson

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Paris to Ban Cars for a Day

Paris to Ban Cars for a Day ::posted Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:10:57 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1Jx6qND

Pixabay

In an attempt to encourage more sustainable transport and raise awareness of high levels of pollution that the city suffers from, Paris will go car-free for one day next month. On Sept. 27, a Sunday, the Journée Sans Voiture, or Day Without Cars, will turn the French capital into “a pedestrian and bicycle paradise” free from traffic congestion, automotive noise pollution and vehicle emissions.

From Web Urbanist:

Timed to coincide with a United Nations climate conference and European Mobility Week, the move is partially a display of possibilities for car-free cities as well as a statement about the environment. The 1st through 7th, 10th and 11th arrondissements (city sections) will all participate; monuments and gathering spaces such as the Champs Élysées, the Bastille, and the Eiffel Tower are included as well.

Other metropolitan areas around the world including Montreal, Bogota, Mexico City and Ho Chi Minh City are following France’s lead and instituting similar vehicular restrictions to various degrees. In such cities, photographers will be able to stand in the streets, capturing unique shots of urban architecture and infrastructure without the risk of being run over. Facing increased traffic, cities like London and Los Angeles are already considering ways in which to permanently reduce congestion and give over areas to mass transit, cyclists and pedestrians.

Some cities have longer-term visions for a car-free future as well. In China, plans and budgets have been established for a car-free city built from scratch. In Abu Dhabi, a car-free, self-sufficient city is also in the works, though some question its feasibility. Meanwhile, Hamburg has firmly committed to a 20-year plan to eliminate cars, keeping routes for public transportation and emergency vehicles but otherwise handing city streets over to paths and trails for walkers and bikers.

Read more here.

—Posted by Roisin Davis

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Ted Cruz hosts to event attendees: you may get murdered by bees.

The Hosts of This Ted Cruz Event Warned Attendees They Might Get Murdered By Bees ::posted Mon, 31 Aug 2015 16:10:43 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1Js414k

Attendees to a Ted Cruz event on Sunday held at the farm of a Dover, New Hampshire couple were handed an eyebrow-raising disclaimer before entering the premises. “You may be at serious risk if you enter our property,” the flyer warned, listing off the litany of perils that potentially awaited Cruz supporters, including bees, wasps, hornets, packs of coyotes, rabid raccoons, and, most ominously, very large turkeys.

The disclosure at Sen. Cruz’s event this morning on Back Road has warnings against bees, coyotes, rabid raccoons, skunk and moose. #nh #fitn #nhpolitics #2016

A photo posted by Phil Elliott (@philelliott) on Aug 30, 2015 at 6:04am PDT

According to local press reports, everyone survived the event unharmed by the wildlife.

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Ohio Republicans are freaking out about the Denali name change

Ohio Republicans Are Freaking Out About the Denali Name Change ::posted Mon, 31 Aug 2015 15:36:47 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1KyYFZu

On Sunday, President Barack Obama announced that the official name for the highest peak in North America, Alaska’s Mount McKinley, would formally be changed to its Athabascan name: Denali. This makes a lot of sense. The mountain was known as Denali long before a gold prospector dubbed it McKinley after reading a newspaper headline in 1896, and it has officially been known as “Denali” in Alaska for about a century, according to the state’s board for geographic names. The state and its Republican legislature have been asking Washington to call the mountain Denali for decades. And for decades, the major obstacle to getting this done has been Ohio, McKinley’s home state.

We need not spend much time discussing Ohio in this space, but suffice it to say that Ohioans are a very proud, if sometimes misinformed, people, and the birthplace of mediocre presidents won’t just take the marginalization of those mediocre presidents lying down. It will fight! To wit, the state’s congressional delegation has decided to show off that old Ohio fighting spirit by condemning the decision in sternly worded press releases and tweets. Here’s GOP Sen. Rob Portman:

This decision by the Administration is yet another example of the President going around Congress (4/5)

— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) August 31, 2015

Pres McKinley was a proud Ohioan, and the mountain was named after him, as a way to remember his rich legacy after his assassination (2/5)

— Rob Portman (@senrobportman) August 31, 2015

No it wasn’t! McKinley was assassinated in 1901. The mountain was named McKinley in 1896, by a random gold prospector who had just returned from the Alaskan Range to find that the governor of Ohio had won the Republican presidential nomination. This is like naming the highest point in the continent after Mitt Romney. Is Portman suggesting that the fix was in as early as 1896? Did Czolgosz really act alone? Was Teddy Roosevelt in on it? My God! Congress did pass a law in 1917 formally recognizing McKinley as the mountain’s name, but that was really just paperwork.

Let’s see what else they’ve got:

Boehner stmt: naming continent’s highest mt 4 McKinley was “testament 2 his great legacy” including Ohio govship, victory in Spanish-Am War

— Julie Davis (@juliehdavis) August 31, 2015

The Spanish-American War hadn’t happened yet in 1896—William Randolph Hearst wouldn’t start that for another two years! Okay. Here’s GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs, all but engraving his sternly worded response on obsidian:

My full statement on @POTUS ignoring an Act of Congress and changing the name of Mount McKinley. http://pic.twitter.com/nsLLOiUBU8

— Rep. Bob Gibbs (@RepBobGibbs) August 31, 2015

Job-killing name change!

I haven’t seen this much loathing directed at Denali since the last time I went on Yelp.

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H&R Block lobbied to make tax forms even harder for poor people to fill out

H&R Block’s Push to Make Tax Forms Harder for Low-Income People ::posted Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:00:11 +0000:: http://ift.tt/1LF3mjb

In late July, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a 2016 federal agency funding bill that came with instructions to the Internal Revenue Service to vastly expand the paperwork for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

This buried provision adds a layer of red tape for which the tax-preparation company H&R Block has lobbied heavily for more than a year, in letters and hearings. H&R Block and other tax-prep companies stand to benefit handsomely, while taxpayers who are unable to navigate the complicated new forms will face two costly alternatives: Pay a tax preparer to parse the forms, or give up the EITC, a crucial tax break for low-income families.

In 2013, more than 27 million working families and individuals received the EITC. It gives households making less than a certain annual income (ranging from $39,000 to $53,300) a bigger tax refund, based on a formula that takes into account marital status and number of children. Numerous studies have shown that the EITC reduces poverty, improves health and incomes, and diverts people out of social welfare programs.

In several letters to Congress over the past year, H&R Block has pushed to expand the Schedule EIC—the form required to claim the credit—as a backstop against tax fraud and improper payments. The new form would go from one page to five, and it would incorporate most of a 30-question eligibility checklist that only paid preparers, as opposed to self-filers, are currently required to submit. The Senate incorporated the proposal into its 2016 funding provisions, which require the IRS to use an expanded Schedule EIC next tax season.

In its letters and hearing testimony, H&R Block encouraged lawmakers to add similar paperwork to claims for other refundable tax credits. Again, the company was successful: The Senate bill adds paperwork to the Child Tax Credit; the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which reduces taxes owed for tuition-paying college students; and the Premium Tax Credit, which helps families pay for health insurance.

“Along with undercutting the EITC’s basic purpose…by discouraging eligible working families from filing for it, the committee’s proposed directive is unnecessary,” writes Robert Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. That, he says, is because self-filers are already inundated with eligibility information: The rules are covered extensively in five pages of EITC instructions appended to tax-return forms, and in a separate 37-page IRS pamphlet.

“This seems to me like a fairly naked attempt by Block to get its market share up by basically driving a lot of people away from self-preparing,” Greenstein told Politico Pro. (Greenstein was not available for comment on this story.)

H&R Block said in a statement last week that “this is not about competitive business interests. It’s about reducing fraud and protecting the future of the EITC.”

H&R Block has used the threat of fraud for years in arguing for a more complex tax filing system. In fact, studies have found that the majority of EITC overpayments are the result of unintentional error, not fraud—and research suggests that self-filers are already pretty good at getting it right. As Vox points out, a 2014 IRS study found that EITC claims filed from 2006 to 2008 by paid preparers were more likely to result in overpayments than self-filed claims.

CBPP’s Greenstein also notes that there’s a double standard when it comes to tax-preparer companies’ advocacy around fraud. The Treasury Department estimates that $16-19 billion was lost in 2014 from EITC overpayments. But the underreporting of business income cost $122 billion in 2006 (the latest year for which data are available) and is the single largest component of uncollected taxes.

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