May 29, 2013, 9:28 am EDT
Four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives are enough for Michele Bachmann.
The Minnesota republican posted a video on her website on Wednesday declaring that she will not seek a fifth term in office next year. Last year, Bachmann eked out a slim win over a Democrat challenger, but supporters had expected her to run again, the Associated Press noted.
Bachmann became well-known for her strident conservative views and occasionally inflammatory remarks that seemed ready-made for cable television debates. She launched a failed presidential bid last year, hoping to leverage her popularity with arch conservatives and the Tea Party. Read
May 23, 2013, 10:42 am EDT
Lois Lerner, who led the Internal Revenue Service unit that awarded tax-exempt status to advocacy groups, appeared on Wednesday before the Oversight and Government Reform Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, which is investigating revelations that conservative groups were targeted for extra scrutiny and delays.
Her appearance was brief. Lerner read a prepared statement in which she said she had broken no laws, nor violated any IRS regulations. Then she proceeded to invoke her Fifth Amendment right not to answer questions put to her by lawmakers. Faced with her refusal to provide answers, she was dismissed, Reuters noted.
Not surprisingly, lawmakers, especially republicans, objected. Committee chairman Darrel Issa (R-Calif) noted that by reading a statement protesting her innocence, Lerner had actually waived her Fifth Amendment rights. He said she could be called back to testify again. Read
May 22, 2013, 10:35 am EDT
Nearly 2 years after resigning from Congress in the midst of a Twitter-photo scandal, former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner announced — via a YouTube video — he will run for Mayor of New York City.
Weiner acknowledged in the video that “I made some big mistakes and I know I let a lot of people down, but I’ve also learned some tough lessons.” Read
May 21, 2013, 12:07 pm EDT
A U.S. Senator from Oregon says he will introduce legislation to repeal part of a spending bill that is widely seen as benefiting biotech giant Monsanto (MON).
On Monday, Jeff Merkley declared that he would offer an amendment to the farm bill currently before the U.S. Senate to cancel the spending bill’s clause that protects manufacturers of genetically modified crop seeds from lawsuits. Merkley, a democrat, called the provision “an outrageous example of a special interest loophole,” Salon noted.
Environmental activists have dubbed the provision the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Advocacy organizations noted that the provision was added to the spending bill without appropriate review in the Senate’s agricultural and judiciary committees. Read
May 21, 2013, 11:08 am EDT
Don’t mess with the state of New York — especially the Department of Agriculture.
Reality star Khloe Kardashian learned this lesson the hard way. Her high-end clothing line Rich Soil recently received a “cease and desist” letter from the state — currently led by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration — after one of its New York-themed t-shirts beared a striking resemblance to the state’s Department of Agriculture logo.
The letter warned that “it would sue if Rich Soil did not immediately stop selling the shirt and provide an estimate of how much money it has made off the design,” according to The NY Daily News. Read
May 20, 2013, 8:35 pm EDT
The Supreme Court agreed today to hear arguments from a man who was allegedly kicked out of a frequent flyer program for complaining too much.
Rabbi Binyomin Ginsberg sued Northwest Airlines (which ceased operations in 2010 after Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) merged with it) after he was dismissed from their frequent flyer service in 2008.
According to Ginsberg, he was told he was removed from the program because he filed too many service complaints. He was also accused of seeking compensation after booking reservations on full flights, knowing he would be bumped to other flights. Read