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Why the Republican Congress’s First Act Was to Declare War on Math

GOP war on mathThe first substantive act of the new, all-Republican Congress was a telling one: House and Senate leaders, now in partisan accord and able to impose an undiluted partisan imprint upon the institution, struck a blow in their decades-long struggle on behalf of low taxes for the rich and against the bookkeeping standards that have stood in their way.

In a rapid vote yesterday, the House directed the Congressional Budget Office to use “dynamic scoring” — a Washington term of art to describe imposing conservative ideology upon the once-neutral task of measuring the budgetary impact of legislation.


At Least Six Millionaires to Take Senate Oaths Tuesday

Millionaire senatorsThere's no shortage of statistics to show that Congress no longer reflects the demographics of the nation it represents. That's especially true when it comes to personal finances. Of the 13 newly elected members of the Senate to be sworn in Tuesday, at least six are millionaires. That's a conservative estimate and the proportion is almost certainly higher.

Their arrival in the Senate comes as the wealth gap between the nation's top 20 percent of earners—including many members of Congress—and every other income group in America has reached its widest point in at least three decades, according to a Pew Research Center study released in December. Pew also found in a report released in October that the issue of income inequality is of growing importance to the American public. Forty-six percent of respondents said it's a “very big problem,” while 32 percent said its a “moderately” big problem.


Senator Pushes Keystone XL Pipeline With Egregiously Misleading Statistic

Keystone misinformationAs the 113th Congress ends and the 114th Congress begins, at least one thing remains the same: Supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline are still using the misleading claim that the controversial project will create 42,000 jobs.

Speaking on Meet the Press on Sunday, Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) told host Chuck Todd that a bill to approve Keystone XL — the pipeline proposal that would send up to 830,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands oil per day down to Gulf Coast refineries — would be the first legislation sent to President Obama’s desk in 2015. And Obama should sign it, Barrasso said, noting that the pipeline would mean 42,000 new jobs.


Edward Brooke, first black U.S. senator elected by popular vote, dies

Edward BrookeEdward Brooke, the Massachusetts Republican who was the first African-American to be popularly elected to the U.S. Senate, died on Saturday at the age of 95, the state Republican Party said.

Brooke was Massachusetts attorney general when he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1966, at a time when the country was gripped by racial unrest.


Michael Grimm has decided to resign from Congress days after pleading guilty: sources

Michael GrimmRep. Michael Grimm has decided to resign from Congress in the wake of his guilty plea on a felony tax evasion charge, sources told the Daily News Monday night.

Grimm (R-S.I.) said after he entered his plea last week that he planned to continue serving in the House.  But he reversed course after speaking Monday to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who has taken a hard line on GOPers facing ethics charges.


House Majority Whip Steve Scalise Spoke At White Supremacist Conference In 2002

Steve ScaleseTwelve years before he was elected by his colleagues as House majority whip, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) spoke at a conference hosted by the white supremacist group European-American Unity and Rights Organization.

Louisiana political blogger Lamar White Jr. dug up a number of posts on Stormfront, one of the original white supremacist websites, that place Scalise at the 2002 EURO gathering. According to one user who attended the conference, Scalise -- then a state representative -- spoke to the organization at a workshop "to teach the most effective and up-to-date methods of civil rights and heritage related activism."


Rep. Michael Grimm Expected to Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion

Michael GrimmRepublican Congressman Michael Grimm will be in court tomorrow to, according to reports, plead guilty to one of the many federal charges leveled against him. Back in April, Grimm was charged on multiple counts of fraud and tax evasion.

Grimm had allegedly not provided accurate numbers for both profits and employee wages for Healthalicious, the New York restaurant he ran, and thereby avoiding having to pay more in taxes.

People close to Grimm told The New York Times that the congressman will plead guilty to just one count on tax evasion.


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