The IRS accepts the fiction that Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS group is a "social welfare" organization and thus does not have to disclose its donors. You may remember telling the IRS to clarify its rules so that obvious multi-hundred-million dollar political operations would qualify as "social welfare" organizations -- but you may not know that Republicans got a rider put into the last appropriations bill forbidding the IRS from clarifying the matter any further. I wonder what other land mines are in that bill.
You knew Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), currently contending for Florida's open Senate seat, also ran a hedge fund, right? Well, the New York Times finds that his relationship to his hedge fund belies his populist reputation. Not just because one of his marketing documents cited old advice that "the time to buy is when there's blood in the streets," or because he plainly set up his hedge fund so that he did not have a fiduciary responsibility to his clients because House rules wouldn't have allowed that -- most of us will always equate a hedge fund manager with a riverboat gambler, if not a bankster. Recall that Mr. Grayson doesn't think raising taxes on the rich (like himself!) is a good idea.
Julia Belluz, writing at Vox, explains "Why Fruits and Vegetables Taste Better in Europe." As always, it's mainly because we do things big in 'Murica -- we favor the big fruit over the small fruit (because big fruits are easier to pick, and thus require less labor!) and we favor the big grower over the small grower. Also, we like to have whatever we want regardless of whether it's in season or not, and Europeans regulate their produce a lot more stringently than we do (we regulate for safety, not quality, not that I particularly want our government to regulate food for quality). But this doesn't mean we have to grow more of our own food, though we should -- it means we need to be choosier about where we shop.
If find yourself thinking today's wave of Islamophobia is a new thing, Jack Jenkins, writing at Think Progress, reminds us it's not, in relating the story of Americans in the late 19th century regarding Mormons as a non-white, "foreign" race. This may surprise you, considering the oft-repeated description of Mitt Romney as the Whitest White Man Evah, but Mormons, too, were once perceived as a "fanatical" people with beliefs "incompatible with civilization." Of course, folks these days try to avoid openly associating brown skin with Muslims, but in the 19th century, folks talked openly of a "striking uniformity in facial expression" in Mormons, at about the same time Samuel Eliot Morrison did the craniometry experiments that "proved" the supposed intellectual inferiority of blacks.
Finally, not even 24 hours after Antonin Scalia's death, Great and Awesome Real American President Mitch McConnell (E-KY) spewed this forth: "The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new President." Like how he infers the people have no voice except on Election Day? What law prevents the people from expressing their will to their elected representatives in the Senate whenever the President appoints a Supreme Court justice? The law of Mitch McConnell getting whatever he wants and damn the rest of us, apparently. What anti-democratic rubbish.