From the same guys who don't want young women to know about abortion, and in fact from the very same bill that contains the language shutting down information on abortion -- the omnibus spending bill just passed last weekend -- comes news that the House Republican leadership slipped in a provision to allow themselves a quick look at any American's tax returns. It's against the law to reveal or divulge any tax return, but the House Republicans wrote themselves a wee exception that would have rendered them immune from prosecution. The WashPost has a full story this a.m. on the scandal, but it's been percolating for a couple of days in the blogosphere, particularly over at Talking Points Memo.
Just as with the "Tom DeLay Rule," it's very hard now to find any Republican Congressman who admits either knowing about the provision or approving of it ... though they all voted in favor. Josh Marshall has pretty much fingered Rep. Ernest J. Istook Jr. (R-Okla.) as the writer of the provision, and like any struck dog, Istook is yowling in pain. (Actually, it was Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) who said Istook did it.)
They don't want women to know there's such a thing as abortion, but they want to be able to paw through IRS returns with impunity. And you think our fears of a police state are paranoid delusions! They ARE paranoid. But delusional? We think not.
And now, having been outed in the press, they have to come back after Thanksgiving to repeal that provision, which was the Senate's stipulation. Gawd knows what else is hidden in that 1,000+ page wad of wood pulp!