The People’s Work Is Profitable

If you were concerned that the country’s economic doldrums might
be injuring the incomes of the people’s representatives, fear no
longer. The Center for Responsive Politics
reports
that

Nice work if you can get it.For the first time in history, most members of
Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal
financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive
Politics.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net
worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed
last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net
worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the
May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from the previous
year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members
elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a
millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate….

[C]ongressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million,
while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost
exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last
year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000,
respectively.

Welcome to the Senate.The median net worth for all House members was
$896,000 — that’s up from $856,000 in 2011 — with House Democrats
(median net worth: $929,000) holding an edge over House Republicans
(median net worth: $884,000). The median net worth for both House
Republicans and Democrats was higher than in 2011.

Similarly, the median net worth for all senators increased to $2.7
million from $2.5 million, but in that body it was the Republicans
who were better-off. Senate Democrats reported a median net worth
of $1.7 million (a decline from 2011’s $2.4 million), compared to
Senate Republicans, at $2.9 million (an increase from $2.5
million).

The broader Washington area is doing
pretty well
too. Or at least the parts are that contain the
people who run the country and the people who lobby or contract
with them.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/the-peoples-work-is-profitable
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The People's Work Is Profitable

If you were concerned that the country’s economic doldrums might
be injuring the incomes of the people’s representatives, fear no
longer. The Center for Responsive Politics
reports
that

Nice work if you can get it.For the first time in history, most members of
Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal
financial disclosure data by the Center for Responsive
Politics.

Of 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net
worth of $1 million or more in 2012, according to disclosures filed
last year by all members of Congress and candidates. The median net
worth for the 530 current lawmakers who were in Congress as of the
May filing deadline was $1,008,767 — an increase from the previous
year when it was $966,000. In addition, at least one of the members
elected since then, Rep. Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), is a
millionaire, according to forms she filed as a candidate….

[C]ongressional Democrats had a median net worth of $1.04 million,
while congressional Republicans had a median net worth of almost
exactly $1 million. In both cases, the figures are up from last
year, when the numbers were $990,000 and $907,000,
respectively.

Welcome to the Senate.The median net worth for all House members was
$896,000 — that’s up from $856,000 in 2011 — with House Democrats
(median net worth: $929,000) holding an edge over House Republicans
(median net worth: $884,000). The median net worth for both House
Republicans and Democrats was higher than in 2011.

Similarly, the median net worth for all senators increased to $2.7
million from $2.5 million, but in that body it was the Republicans
who were better-off. Senate Democrats reported a median net worth
of $1.7 million (a decline from 2011’s $2.4 million), compared to
Senate Republicans, at $2.9 million (an increase from $2.5
million).

The broader Washington area is doing
pretty well
too. Or at least the parts are that contain the
people who run the country and the people who lobby or contract
with them.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/the-peoples-work-is-profitable
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FBI Finally Contacts Tea Party Groups Targeted by IRS

Maybe I should stop claiming my dog as a dependent.Why, it seems like it was about
seven scandals ago when last we heard about the IRS targeting Tea
Party nonprofit groups for extra-special possibly politically
motivated scrutiny. While I’m sure some people figured it was all
water under the bridge by now, the FBI has finally gotten around to
actually contacting people at these groups for their investigation.
The Washington Times has heard from a lawyer
representing some of them. However, there’s now a new cause for
concern: The DOJ lawyer overseeing the investigation is a donor to
President Barack Obama. That certainly makes things a
bit awkward
:

The progress was revealed a day after The Times reported that
the Justice Department lawyer who is leading the investigation into
the IRS, Barbara Kay Bosserman, has donated more than $6,000 to
President Obama’s presidential campaigns — a move that, for many
Republicans, has called into question the entire investigation.

“They say the fox isn’t good to guard the henhouse; the fox is
probably not good to investigate the henhouse, either,” said Sen.
Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican. “I think these investigations need
to be done by independent people outside of the
administration.”

Mr. Holder ordered an FBI investigation in the days immediately
after the internal auditor of the IRS revealed that the agency had
been inappropriately targeting tea party groups for intrusive
scrutiny and wrongly delayed the approval of hundreds of
conservative groups’ applications for tax-exempt status.

Little has been heard about the progress of the investigation in
the eight months since, and House Oversight and Government Reform
Committee Chairman Darrell E. Issa began his own investigation into
the FBI’s efforts.

Given the nature of government, I do have to wonder if there’s a
major DOJ attorney capable of leading the investigation who
hasn’t made donations to major political figures (imagine
who would be complaining if she had donated to Mitt Romney). Not
terribly long after the scandal broke, it appeared that the
executive branch was
treating the matter seriously
and acknowledged that what
happened was absolutely unacceptable. But then at a press
conference later White House spokesman Jay Carney derided the
scandal as
“phony”
partisan outrage. It was a bizarre approach, given that
partisanship is arguably the source of the scandal in the first
place. By any reasonable definition, this is a partisan
scandal.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/fbi-finally-contacts-tea-party-groups-ta
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Peter Suderman on Healthcare After Obamacare

On
January 19, 2011, in one of their very first actions after retaking
majority control of the House of Representatives, Republicans voted
to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a.
Obamacare. The vote was largely symbolic, but for the House GOP,
the repeal vote was the necessary fulfillment of the core campaign
promise that helped sweep them back into power. That promise,
however, was only half fulfilled. Republicans had not merely vowed
to remove Obamacare; they also said they would pass a program of
their own in its stead. Peter Suderman details the party’s struggle
to find such a program.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/peter-suderman-on-healthcare-after-obama
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Don't Miss "2014 New Year's Policy Resolutions" at Reason's DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: https://americasfuturefoundation.kimbia.com/jan14rt

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/dont-miss-2014-new-years-policy-resoluti
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Don’t Miss “2014 New Year’s Policy Resolutions” at Reason’s DC HQ on Tuesday, 1/14 at 6:30 p.m.!

AFFWhat should the liberty
movement’s priorities be this year? Find out at America’s Future Foundation‘s
upcoming panel
discussion and debate
, which will be held at Reason’s DC HQ on
the evening of Tuesday, January 14.

Featuring:

Moderated by Thomas
Clougherty
, Managing Editor, Reason Foundation

There will be a reception with light refreshments starting at
6:30 p.m. The panel will begin at 7:00 p.m.

This is event free for Hit & Run readers (use promo
code reason2014
) and AFF members. $5.00 admission for the
general public.

Register: https://americasfuturefoundation.kimbia.com/jan14rt

Reason is located at 1747 Connecticut Ave. NW, a few blocks
north of the Dupont Circle metro stop on the red line.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/dont-miss-2014-new-years-policy-resoluti
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Sorry Mr. FBI Director, Challenging Government Snooping Is Heroic

FBI Director James ComeyFBI Director James Comey is perplexed. It seems
many Americans view revealer-of-snooping-and-eavesdropping Edward Snowden as a
whistleblower on wrongdoing and a hero.
How can this be
, he asked a room full of reporters at a
lunchtime interview Thursday. After all, the
president
said hoovering up everybody’s private information is
OK,
lawmakers
said it was a swell idea, and
judges
gave a big-ol’ thumbs-up to the practice. “I see the
government operating the way the founders intended,” Comey insists.
“So I have trouble applying the whistleblower label to someone who
basically disagrees with the way our government is structured and
operates.”

Here’s the thing that Jimmy doesn’t understand. When government
officials do terrible things, and structure the rules to authorize
themselves to do terrible things, blowing the whistle on their
shenanigans is a good thing to do because it goes against
the horrible, horrible “way our government is structured and
operates.” Given the risks involved—former CIA Director James
Woolsey suggests Snowden “should
be hanged by his neck until he is dead
.”—challenging government
officials in defiance of the rules those same officials have
crafted to whitewash their misdeeds can, understandably, be
characterized as “heroic.”

The fact is, many Americans don’t think of Comey, and James
Clapper, and General Keith Alexander, and their friends and
enablers in the three branches of government as being on the same
side as us. Snowden scored a coup for our side by revealing the
other side’s creepy surveillance schemes.

And let’s be honest here. Comey did himself no favors when, in
the same interview, he argued against a
review panel’s recommendations
that the FBI’s own use of
secretive and intrusive national security letters be subject to
some kind of oversight.

“What is broken for which we need that solution?” he asked.

Where to start…? Where to start…?

What would seem tobe broken is the political class’s sense of
right and wrong, and their appreciation of individual liberty and
privacy. And that’s why so many of us cheer for Edward Snowden and
hope for more like him.

Maybe there’s somebody with access to FBI files who feels the
same way.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/sorry-mr-fbi-director-challenging-govern
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A.M. Links: FBI Director Doesn’t Think Snowden is a Whistle-Blower, Former NJ Transport Official Held in Contempt, E-Book Sales of Mein Kampf Surge


  • FBI Director
    James Comey doesn’t think that Edward Snowden is a
    whistle-blower, saying that he has “trouble applying the
    ‘whistle-blower’ label to someone who just disagrees with the way
    our country is structured and operates.”
  • A former New Jersey transportation official has
    been held
    in contempt
     by the New Jersey General Assembly’s
    Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee
    for not answering questions relating to the Christie
    administration’s lane closure scandal.
  • E-book sales of Adolf Hitler’s manifesto
    Mein Kampf
    are surging despite the fact that sales of
    the printed edition have remained mostly unchanged for years.
  • South Koreans are not happy about
    Dennis Rodman’s
    visit to North Korea.
  • The
    Central African Republic’s
    interim president has resigned after
    a meeting of the Economic Community of Central African States in
    Chad.
  • A
    chemical spill
    in West Virginia has closed down much of the
    state’s capital.

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/am-links-fbi-director-doesnt-think-snowd
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Kurt Loder Reviews The Legend of Hercules

The Legend of HerculesIt
is a truth universally acknowledged that any genre movie dumped
upon us in the barren month of January is likely a dog. When the
movie’s producers withhold it from press scrutiny until the night
before it opens, that likelihood approaches certainty. And when the
movie’s director is revealed to be Renny Harlin, whose past
transgressions are several, the case is all but closed. So The
Legend of Hercules
is no surprise, writes Kurt Loder. The
story is a hash of beefcake mythology, the dialogue a steady
dribble of earthbound utterance; and the sword-clanging
action—encased in some of the cruddiest 3D since Clash of the
Titans
—is a master class in un-excitement.

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2014/01/10/kurt-loder-reviews-the-legend-of-hercule
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