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Fred Thompson Explains How Tax Returns Work: Let's Say There's a Guy Watching Pornography...

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PoopyDadgum bumblebee-belchin' hoopdy bumbler mcdoo Fred Thompson, the former Senator who was convinced to "run for president" in 2008 because he drove a pick-up truck, has finally weighed in on the issue of Mitt Romney's undisclosed tax returns. Writing at National Review, which is trying to reestablish its cred after publishing that editorial a few weeks ago telling Romney to release his returns, the ol' derper says, shucks, well I says, I says don't release those taxy money-papers to the presscritters -- just ignore those dumblydoodlies; they don't deserve nothin' so much in the way of informinatin' and such like. The whole media sitchee-ation's a lot like pornography, what with the watchin', and the frownin', and the no-goodin'. (Fred Thompson has written a poor column.)


Starting with the second paragraph:

These tax-return demands are just one of the ways politics gives us an excuse for doing what we could not otherwise get away with.

An adult watching movies every day during daylight hours would be frowned upon (unless he were a movie critic). A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized (unless he were a judge hearing a case about that subject matter). But a political race allows us, as “concerned citizens,” to consume information about what a candidate did with his lunch money in junior high, as well as whom his wife dated when she was a teenager.

As far as perennial guilty political pleasures go, none has achieved a greater and more predictable status than reviewing the tax return.

Thank god he put in those parenthetical caveats, otherwise Fred Thompson might have been in danger of writing stupid analogies! (This deserves further consideration: "A middle-aged man poring over reams of pornographic material would be ostracized"? Fred, writing columns in a major political media outlet hardly counts as ostracism. Another reason that this doesn't stand up is that there are more than zero middle-aged men in the world who have not been ostracized.)

Oooh, now he's going to teach us about retirement contributions:

Oftentimes, the more successful a person has been, the longer and more complicated his or her tax return will be. It is, therefore, that much more target-rich for the opposition. The thought of the selective and misleading use of a “rich guy’s” tax return makes the political ad man’s mouth water.

A small example: There is a provision in the tax law that allows a business owner, large or small, to set up a retirement account and not pay taxes on income that goes into that account until the money is drawn out, possibly years later. You must include and set aside money for your employees, too, although you can have as few as one employee. This deferral of taxes on the retirement contribution, of course, makes your taxable income less. This in turn lowers the current percentage of taxes paid on gross income.

In everyday life, such retirement accounts are considered sound and responsible. In the political world, such retirement planning is tailor-made for the 30-second unscrupulous ad.

Indeed. In everyday life, it is considered sound and responsible to put away $6,000 each year towards one's retirement. That's why most retirees have 100 million dollars now.

[NRO]

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Republicans are devouring each other's carcasses, and we are here for it! Especially when one of those Republicans is King Kris of the Kansas Votefucker Klan ... errr, Clan! It's been a week since Kansans cast their votes in the gubernatorial primary, and the GOP looks to be rolling up its sleeves for a slugfest.

As we type, Kobach leads by 298 votes out of more than 314,000 cast -- a whopping 0.00095 percent, if you round up! The Kansas GOP begged Donald Trump to stay out of the race and leave the field clear for sitting governor Jeff Colyer, who took over when Sam Brownback wandered off to bring Jesus to the Hottentots on behalf of the US government. Safe bet that Colyer would be gearing up for the general election now if President Twitterthumbs hadn't flapped his yap. So thanks for that, Donny!

No, really, THANKS!

Remember the hanging chad debacle in Florida? Now picture it in a landlocked state with more cows than people. It's like fantasy island for Devin Nunes, ALLEGEDLY.

Oh, but we are to kid!

After first insisting he wasn't going to recuse from the counting, Secretary of State Kris Kobach (one and the same!) wrote Colyer a fabulously bitchy letter agreeing to hand off the tabulation to his deputy, Eric Rucker. Colyer had made the shocking suggestion that Kobach delegate responsibility to the Kansas attorney general, rather than his own political appointee, and Kobach was stretched out on the settee with a fit of the vapors at the gross impropriety of it all!

I will not breach the public trust and arbitrarily assign my responsibilities to another office that is not granted such authority by the laws of Kansas.

After several anguished paragraphs, Kobach closed by remonstrating that Colyer was betraying his office by destroying the faith of Kansans in the sacred integrity of their electoral process.

As governor of Kansas, your unrestrained rhetoric has the potential to undermine the public's confidence in the election process. May I suggest that you trust the people of Kansas have made the right decision at the polls and that our election officials will properly determine the result as they do in every election.

Said the guy whose entire adult life has been dedicated to whipping up panic about millions of imaginary illegal alien voters.

So now these two princes can kick the crap out of each other WITH VOTES, specifically, provisional ballots cast by unaffiliated voters under the supervision of poorly trained poll workers. Kansas holds closed primaries, meaning only registered Republicans can vote to select the GOP candidate, BUT an unaffiliated voter can cast a vote by checking a box identifying as a Democrat or a Republican at the polling place. This was news to some poll workers, who mistakenly directed over one thousand unaffiliated voters to use provisional ballots without checking the box indicating party preference. Whoops!

So, will those provisional ballots be counted based on voter intent? Or tossed based on strict interpretation of the statute? And does Kansas law mandate tossing mail-in ballots that arrive without a postmark on Wednesday, since there's no forensic proof that they were mailed before midnight on Tuesday? And how disgusted will the Kansas electorate be when one of these assholes emerges from the melée holding the other one's scalp? And how many millions of dollars are going to be spent on litigating the Republican primary while this nice lady Laura Kelly, the Democratic minority whip of the Kansas Senate, is out campaigning for November?

Even before this debacle, Kobach looked significantly weaker against Kelly than Colyer, with self-funded Libertarian Jeff Orman threatening to throw a wrench in the works. The Wichita Eagle reports on a Remington Research Poll conducted in July:

In a Kelly-Orman-Kobach race, the poll puts Kelly and Kobach effectively in a dead heat — 36 percent for Kelly and 35 percent for Kobach, with Kelly's lead within the margin of error. Orman has 12 percent.

Colyer leads in a three-way race with Kelly and Orman, according to the poll. In that scenario, Colyer receives 38 percent of the vote, while Kelly gets 28 percent and Orman receives 10 percent.

Which is ONE POLL, in a deeply red state, but ... Kobach is a crap candidate who's likely to emerge from this fight with two black eyes and a pissed off base. If there's anyone who can blow this election, it's Kris Kobach.

Keep fighting, Kris! You can do it! (And now we need a shower.)

And YOU need an OPEN THREAD!

Follow your FDF on Twitter!

Money us, PLEASE! Throw a tip in the jar, or click here to keep your Wonkette snarking forever.

[Kobach letter / Wichita Eagle / Mother Jones / Kansas City Star]

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While most people spent this weekend telling Nazi punks to fuck off, a couple 11-year-olds were in Las Vegas hacking into voting machines. Why? BECAUSE IT'S FUN!

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