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Switzerland
  • From the Pork Barrel: Bill Maher Indoctrinates Our Youth

    * Bill Maher surprised a Political Science class at UCLA for MTV's Stand In. If that doesn't confirm all of Rick Santorum's fears about liberal indoctrination, I don't know what will.

    * Thank God for Rush Limbaugh. Without him, we'd never have found out that Barack Obama once shoved a girl back in the 5th grade. Unless we read Obama's autobiography.

    * Looks like Michele Bachmann's Swiss citizenship plan just got… poked full of holes.

    * If Bill Clinton was our first black president, does that mean Barack Obama will be our first gay president?

    * Don't forget to download our Election Companion App for iPhone and iPad – use it to follow along for our weekly Sunday liveblog. In this week's Very Special Mother's Day edition Ilya Gerner and his mother will be co-blogging Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Fox News Sunday at 10am/9c.


    Tags: Barack Obama, Bill Maher, Education, LGBT, Michele Bachmann, MTV, Switzerland
  • Michele Bachmann, Switzerland's Newest Cuckoo

    Michele Bachmann suspends her campaignCongratulations, Switzerland! After 500 years of democracy and peace, elaborate clocks are no longer the only kind of cuckoos your scenic confederacy will be known for…

    [Michele] Bachmann (R-Minn.) recently became a citizen of Switzerland, making her eligible to run for office in the tiny European nation, according to a Swiss TV report Tuesday…

    Marcus Bachmann, the congresswoman's husband since 1978, reportedly was eligible for Swiss citizenship due to his parents' nationality — but only registered it with the Swiss government Feb. 15. Once the process was finalized on March 19, Michele automatically became a citizen as well, according to Honegger, [a reporter for Swiss public television].

    Marcus Bachmann's application reportedly came at the behest of his children, the three youngest of whom have become Swiss citizens automatically, while the oldest have earned a fast-track path to naturalization. It must have been an awkward conversation. Sure, the prospect of a Bachmann presidency was terrifying, but asking your own father to plot escape plan from the United States to a tyrannical land of universal health insurance mandates has to be equally uncomfortable.

    There are other theories as to why dual citizenship in the United States and Crazylvania wasn't enough for the Minnesota congresswoman. She's now eligible to ruin politics in a whole other country. And the Alpine heights of Switzerland make for an ideal location to welcome the Rapture. But a less celestial explanation suggests that this is part of a transparent ploy to qualify Bachmann for the position of IRS Commissioner in a Mitt Romney administration. What better way to learn the ropes of promoting tax avoidance than to visit Romney's money?

    Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images


    Tags: Marcus Bachmann, Michele Bachmann, Switzerland
  • Tax Returns Confirm Mitt Romney Is America's Richest Unemployed Person

    Newt Gingrich has really done a number on the Mitt Romney campaign. This past week, Gingrich jabbed at Romney so hard that his tax returns came loose

    Mitt Romney offered a partial snapshot of his vast personal fortune late Monday, disclosing income of $21.7 million in 2010 and $20.9 million last year — virtually all of it profits, dividends or interest from investments. None came from wages, the primary source of income for most Americans. Instead, Romney and his wife, Ann, collected millions in capital gains from a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments. The couple gave away $7 million in charitable contributions over the past two years, including at least $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…

    The Romneys sent somewhat less to Washington over that period, paying an estimated $6.2 million in federal income taxes. According to his 2010 return, Romney paid about $3 million to the IRS, for an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent.

    Breaking news: Romney is a very wealthy man, paying a relatively low effective tax rate, and your reaction to this information will be premeditated by prior ideological beliefs.

    Romney pays taxes at a lower rate than some middle-class taxpayers because our laws give preferential treatment to capital income. At some point, everyone including Romney, earns wages that are taxed using the full income tax schedule. If that post-tax income is invested, rather than consumed on booze and hookers, the returns on that investment are withheld lightly to avoid double-taxation. And say what you will about Mormon mannequins, but they have little use for booze and hookers.

    Alternatively, Romney's returns show that supply-side, trickle-down tax cuts end up "trickling down" to bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands, where — because they're people too, my friends — Romney's blind trusts are vacationing. And though criticizing the Swiss holdings of the ultra-wealthy is probably proof that you hate America (somehow), it's difficult to justify regressive tax cuts as job-creation measures when the money ends up in Lugano instead of Louisville.

    But whatever you think of tax policy, don't weep for Mitt! On the day he declared himself unemployed, Romney earned 120,000 barely-taxable dollars.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images


    Tags: Ann Romney, Mitt Romney, Money, Newt Gingrich, Primaries, Republicans, Switzerland, Taxes
  • The Onion: Wealthy Swiss Tourist Offers U.S. Government $87 Billion to Buy Indiana's Populace for Just One Night

    The Onion reports on a particularly interesting offer

    Sources on Capitol Hill have confirmed that visiting Swiss banker Maximilian Krieger met privately with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders Friday, offering the U.S. government the equivalent of $87.3 billion for one night with the entire population of Indiana…

    "Let me be frank: You have something I want, and I, in turn, have something you want," said the debonair Krieger, according to an Oval Office staffer who was briefed on the meeting. "Of course, I'd be most delighted to assist you in any, how shall we say, pecuniary matters? All I ask in return is 12 hours alone with that lovely Indiana of yours."…

    According to Krieger, limousines will be dispatched to escort every Indiana resident, all of whom will be treated to an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, and champagne. Krieger stated that he and Indiana's citizenry would then retire back to his private suite to "enjoy the pleasures of one another's company."

    From everything I know about Indiana, I'd guess that they'd be into this. Maybe a little too into it, if you know what I mean.Have you seen the way its vast stalks of corn undulate seductively in the wind? Ugh!

    I'd feel a little more safe about this if it were Missouri we were talking about. That state has its knees permanently bolted together.


    Tags: Barack Obama, House of Representatives, Indiana, Money, Sex, Switzerland, The Onion
  • Scroogey Swiss Judge Persecutes Noble C.I.A. Informants

    Merry First Work Day After Christmas, sugar lumpkins! Did your children sufficiently rejoice over the leavings of a mythical fat man in a creepy suit? No? Well, surely a tale of alleged James Bond-ian international nuclear smuggling will serve to brighten your mood!

    A seven-year effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to hide its relationship with a Swiss family who once acted as moles inside the world’s most successful atomic black market hit a turning point on Thursday when a Swiss magistrate recommended charging the men with trafficking in technology and information for making nuclear arms.

    First of all, "magistrate" is an adorable occupation. It is up there with "cooper" and "blacksmith" in the Cute Professional Nomenclature Hall of Fame. Second, what what whaaat?

    This naughty Swiss family sounds just as clever and even more inventive than the Swiss Family Robinson, who crafted an entire live/work Kennedy-esque compound using only their smarts and the surprisingly useful bounty of a wrecked ship. Let's learn more about our new neutral, chocolate-loving, ski-happy heroes!

    The three men — Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, Urs and Marco — helped run the atomic smuggling ring of A. Q. Khan, an architect of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program, officials in several countries have said. In return for millions of dollars, according to former Bush administration officials, the Tinners secretly worked for the C.I.A. as well, not only providing information about the Khan network’s manufacturing and sales efforts, which stretched from Iran to Libya to North Korea, but also helping the agency introduce flaws into the equipment sent to some of those countries.

    Friedrich, Urs, and Marco ratted on their boss to the C. I. frickin' A.?! These Swiss warriors risked the Wrath of Khan to make our government happy? WHY exactly are these people being prosecuted in their dumb, clock-obsessed home country?

    The U.S. should offer these Aryans sanctuary in a marvelous Florida treehouse of their very own, plus give them their own starfleet to command, plus give them a lifetime supply of Yodels for their trouble.


    Tags: CIA, Spying, Switzerland