I’m going to divert from my vacation posting to direct your attention to this mirthful posting by Charlie Pierce about how the IRS could make the Republicans go even nuttier than they already are.
Over at Bloomberg Politics, Margaret Talev has lit the fuse by which dozens of heads may go supernova all at once. I mean it, this woman is calling for the mother of all cable-news tantrums. She may also be calling for the immediate spontaneous combustion of Darrell Issa and anyone standing within a 15-foot radius of him. Amid other suggestions as to how the president can continue to do the job he was elected (twice) to do, and fck with the minds of the opposition at the same time, both laudable goals, she drops the big one. I like her style, I must say.
So-called dark-money nonprofits, such as those affiliated with the Koch brothers, could find it much harder to muck around in elections. Under current practices, up to half of these groups’ money can be spent on politics. Changes to the Internal Revenue Service regulations governing 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations could shrink the percentage they can devote to election activities such as advertising. Overall, the aim would be to make it more difficult for any nonprofit group to engage in campaign politics; in practice, it would likely be perceived as a disproportionate handicap of conservative donor-backed organizations. These are among the reforms that the administration, regulatory groups or Congress could take on if so inclined (which Congress probably is not).
Oh, my sweet Jesus H. Christ on a Vespa, if the IRS were to adjust its regulations so as to end the laughable farce that Citizens For Limited Whatever is actually a social-welfare organization, and not a well-financed exercise in ratfcking, a regulatory adjustment that is only overdue by about 20 years, it would take the jaws of life to get our pals from True The Vote off the ceiling. Not only is this excellent public policy, because it goes at least some distance toward rendering our elections less of a plutocratic puppet show, it’s also a remarkable political kick in the nuts. My god, what a wonderful idea this is. Do it now.
Okay, back to the beach.