FORTUNE -- I don't know what to say about Tom Coburn, the pro-gun, pro-death penalty, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, Southern Baptist deacon and junior senator from Oklahoma.
What does this have to do with Apple (AAPL)?
On Tuesday, during an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joe to promote his new book, The Debt Bomb, he was asked about the Sunday New York Times' front page story on Apple's tax strategies (see "Double Irish With a Dutch Sandwich").
"I'm livid about that," he said. "We have a tax code. Why should Apple pay at 10% and some company that can't export their technology, why are they paying 35%? Let's get rid of the loopholes."
Yet when asked by co-host Mika Brzezinski about the so-called "repatriation holiday" that Apple and others have been lobbying for -- a tax break that would permit U.S. corporations to bring an estimated $1 trillion in foreign profits back to the U.S. without paying the 35% the IRS currently taxes businesses on overseas earnings -- he was all for it.
"I think they're two different things, Mika," said Coburn, who sits on the Senate's Finance Committee's subcommittee on taxation and IRS oversight.
I'm no tax expert, and I don't have an informed opinion on whether tax-free repatriation would be good or bad in the long run for the U.S. economy. But I'm pretty sure that the tax holiday Coburn favors would save Apple a hell of a lot more than all the little loopholes that make him so livid.
But what do you expect from a guy who's against Schindler's List, Rachel Carson and the STOCK act?
Below the fold: Coburn's appearance on Morning Joe. Skip to 10:37 for the bit about Apple.
A lot of room to grow, says one. The beginning of the end, says the other.
Few analysts have championed Apple (AAPL) as long or as loyally as Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, who stuck his neck way out ahead of the pack with his early iPhone sales predictions.
Few analysts are more deeply reviled by Apple investors than JMP Securities' Alex Gauna, who has made quite a name for himself as an MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Aug 26, 2011 5:54 AM ET
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