Ron Johnson And Ted Cruz Join The Rand Paul/Mike Lee Opposition To Obamacare Lite

Tea Party senators claim to be “open to negotiation” yet insist on repealing Obamacare, which no version of the AHCA has come close to doing.

As widely predicted in this space and elsewhere, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have come out in quick opposition to the first draft (as written) of the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). But for weeks now, the parlor game in Washington has been: Which Republican would have the courage (or is it opportunism?) to join them, thereby tipping the whip count to 51-49 against, and potentially incurring the same kind of wrath that President Donald Trump deployed so effectively against the House Freedom Caucus?

The answer just came—Paul/Lee’s fellow Tea Party senators, Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.). Johnson had been pretty vocal last night about the rushed and secretive drafting process, while Cruz has been oscillating between his personae as Mr. Anti-Obamacare and someone who wants to “get to yes.”

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NYT Blames GOP When Both Democrats And Republicans Are Shot

A New York Times editorial blames Republicans for violence against Democrats and blames Republicans for violence against Republicans.

The media’s big problem right now is that everyone in the country knows how they’d be covering yesterday’s shooting if the parties were reversed.

Progressive Democratic activist James Hodgkinson spent years on social media and in local and national politics focusing on his hatred of Republican politicians. On Wednesday, he went after a group of Republican politicians as they practiced baseball in the early morning, shooting a member of the Republican leadership, two capitol police, a legislative aide, and a lobbyist. Rep. Steve Scalise remains in critical condition.

Hodgkinson’s social media trail and the accounts of neighbors leave no question that the man was politically engaged, aligned with progressives, and upset with Republicans.

Some media coverage of the incident has been fine, if restrained. The media have not chosen to make this shooting a referendum on leftist political violence, on the use of extreme rhetoric and conspiracy theorizing by major mainstream media, on the dangers of the resistance movement. There has been no rush to introspection.

Some media treatment has been disgusting. The New York Times ran an editorial that is dangerously dishonest.

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Lois Lerner’s Tea Party-Targeting Testimony Can Stay Secret

Critics seek transparency in IRS probe

Lois G. Lerner and Holly Paz, two key figures in the IRS‘ tea party-targeting, can keep testimony about their role in the targeting secret, at least for now, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

The two women had said they feared death threats and other harassment if their depositions in a class action lawsuit against the IRS became public.

U.S. District Judge Michael R. Barrett had originally ordered their depositions be sealed, but on Thursday he removed that prohibition and instead said the testimony should be deemed “confidential,” keeping it secret until he can see what the women had to say and what effect releasing it to the public would have.

He said the parties in the case can eventually ask to make the information public, and at that point the burden will be on Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz to explain why it should be kept secret….continue reading

Tea Party Bias Case: IRS Execs Say Lives At Risk

Details about tea party bias claims against the IRS could remain secret because current and former agency officials say their lives are in danger if they publicly testify about the case.

Lois Lerner and Holly Paz both have argued in recent court filings that the threat to their lives outweighs the public’s right to hear their testimony about how IRS employees in Cincinnati and Washington, D.C., handled applications for tax-exempt status from tea party groups.

They recently filed evidence to support their claim under seal in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. Though that evidence has not been made public, court records indicate it relates to death threats and other harassment the women say they endured after their names were connected to the bias claims against the IRS several years ago…. continue reading

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