This is Pretty Clear

Regarding DHS’ potential shutdown, here’s Speaker John Boehner (R, OH):

We want to get a conference with the Senate. Now, they’ve made clear that they don’t want to go to conference. But they’re going to have a vote.

And

A spokesman for [Senator Harry (D, NV)] Reid said Sunday there will be no negotiations with the House over Homeland Security funding and immigration.

That spokesman, Adam Jentleson, added:

Senator Reid has been clear for days on the fact that there will be no conference[.]

Finally, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D, CA):

Non-neutrality of Net “Neutrality”

The Federal Communications Commission set aside two decades of laissez-faire policy Thursday to assert broad authority over the Internet, voting to regulate broadband providers as public utilities and overruling laws in two states that made it harder for cities to offer their own Web service.

And

The commission pledged to use a light touch….

The FCC’s “rule” violates express Congressional instruction not to do this. With the FCC’s lawlessness made manifest, how can their pledge be believed?

Taxes and Audits

Fox Business reported the following earlier in the week:

The IRS says budget cuts forced the agency to reduce the number of tax audits last year to the lowest level in a decade.

In 2014, fewer than 1 percent of individual tax returns were audited, the lowest rate since 2004. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen says the number of audits is likely to decline again this year.

In a speech on Tuesday, Koskinen said there are fewer audits because the tax agency has fewer agents. He said the IRS is down more than 2,200 revenue agents since 2010.

Mending Fences

President Barack Obama‘s national security adviser castigated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying the Israeli leader’s plan to address a joint session of Congress next week has been “destructive” to the relationship between the two countries.

Most administrations would take advantage of the visit of a major ally’s head of state to work out programs, resolve differences (at least down to a dull roar), even to mend fences.

Not President Barack Obama and his administration.

This is fence mending ego-ridden style. Obama just can’t stand to have grown adults not saying, “Mother, may I?” to him.

A Thought on Net Neutrality

…as conceived in secret by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.

The image below, from the AP via USA Today, is…illustrative. The outage about which the article was written was clearly the result of vandalism. Read carefully, those signs taped to the window in the image.NetNeutrality

Think about them. Think about what happens when Government controls the Internet. The concerns presently center of free speech, and those concerns are of extreme importance. But the same control gives Government control over what businesses will be allowed to operate on the Internet, and at what cost—unique, perhaps, to a company of which Government disapproves.

A “Clean” DHS Bill from the Senate

The Senate passed, yesterday, by 98-2, a bill that funds DHS fully and sent it to the House.

If (House) Republicans are smart, they’ll accept the trap the Senate Democrats have given them, take up the Senate bill, and amend it to include the original measures to block President Barack Obama’s immigration “executive actions.” That will force the bill to a House-Senate Conference Committee, and the result of that goes to each house of Congress for reconciliation vote—no filibuster.

A Question

Taking the current kerfuffle over funding DHS as an example, debates over this sort of thing generally center on the foolishness/stubbornness/futility of Republicans for demanding things unacceptable to the Democrats in Congress be included in the bills needing passage. Such debates include Republicans decrying their party’s foolishness/stubbornness/futility.

Yet these debates never discuss Democrat foolishness/stubbornness/futility for demanding things unacceptable to Republicans be included.

This brings me to my question: on what basis is the Democrat position taken ipso facto to be the correct/default position, and the Republican position taken ipso facto to be wrong?

Funding DHS

Senator Jeff Sessions (R, AL) had some thoughts on the Senate floor Tuesday following the Senate Democrats’ refusal to allow funding for DHS on Monday.

A number of things have been happening today with regard to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. There’s been a lot of spin about that and that somehow the Republicans are blocking the funding of the Department of Homeland Security. This gives new meaning to the word “obfuscation,” I suppose, or “disingenuousness.” The truth is, the House of Representatives has fully funded the Department of Homeland Security. It’s provided the level of funding the President asked for. It’s kept all the accounts at Homeland Security as approved through the congressional process. It simply says, but, Mr President, we considered your bill, this amnesty bill that will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security numbers, Medicare benefits. You can’t do that. We considered that and rejected it. So we’re not going to fund that.

One More Nail

…in what should be Obamacare’s coffin. Even if repeal will take some years and a Republican President.

More than half of tax filers who received subsidies for health insurance premiums may owe hundreds of dollars because they got tax credits that were too large, complicating an already messy tax season that has seen about 800,000 incorrect tax statements sent to consumers who obtained coverage via the federal HealthCare.gov exchange.

Almost six weeks into tax filing season, 52% of people who enrolled in insurance through state or federal exchanges are finding they must pay back a portion of their tax credits, according to a report Tuesday by tax preparation firm H&R Block Inc. and based on their clients. The average amount paid back is $530….

Why?

…is this man still on the payroll?

Robert McDonald, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, wrongly claimed in a videotaped comment earlier this year that he served in the Army’s elite special forces, when his military service of five years was in fact spent almost entirely with the 82nd Airborne Division during the late 1970s.

Haven’t had done, yet, with these problems of stolen valor, now that it’s reaching into the upper echelons of our Federal government?