Far Right Loses Big Fight for Government Shutdown


The far right elements of the Republican party lost a big fight over funding for Planned Parenthood as the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution to keep the government funded for another two months as they work out the details on the 2016 federal budget. The party leadership badly wanted to avoid a shutdown, while the Tea Party types, the Ted Cruzes, badly wanted to prove their purity by fighting to the end a battle they could not win. … [Read more...]

Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Tax Plan


After making a lot of noise about how he thinks the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes, especially hedge fund managers, and previously calling for a 14.5% one-time tax on the wealthy, Donald Trump released his official campaign tax plan the other day and it looks absolutely nothing like that. In fact, it looks pretty much exactly the opposite, proposing trillions of dollars in tax cuts that would blow a massive hole in the federal budget. … [Read more...]

Surprise! Tax Cuts Don’t Raise Revenue

Keith Hall, an economist who was one of George W. Bush's chief economic advisers, has been named the new head of the Congressional Budget Office, a bipartisan agency that provides relatively objective information for Congress to help them evaluate the impact of legislation under consideration. And at his very first news conference in that position, he threw cold water on pretty much the only economic and tax plan the Republicans ever have. … [Read more...]

Another Incredibly Bad Atheist Meme


Here's a meme shared all over my Facebook feed by atheists over the last couple days that is so far beyond being merely stupid that I fear I need to invent a new word to properly convey just how astonishingly idiotic it is. I'm frankly shocked that anyone with a high school diploma could find it even the least bit plausible because it is so far from reality that it left my jaw agape when I saw it. Here ya go: … [Read more...]

No, the GOP Doesn’t Really Care About Spending and Debts

Andrew Sullivan finds another example showing how phony the Republicans' alleged concerns about spending and debt clearly are. They suddenly discover the cause of fiscal responsibility when a Democrat is in the White House, but even that convenient epiphany magically disappears when it's time to go to war, when they grab the pom poms and start cheering. … [Read more...]

In a Rare Move, Congress Actually Does Something

In what almost seems astonishing, Congress has apparently struck a deal to actually pass legislation to fix a problem. Congressional negotiators have reached a tentative deal on a bill to fix some of the pressing problems in VA health care, including emergency funding. … [Read more...]

Obama Continues the Christian Right Gravy Train

Andy Kopsa, a terrific investigative reporter who briefly worked with my former employer, the American Independent News Network, has a long piece in the Nation about how the Obama administration has continued funneling huge amounts of money to Christian right organizations under the faith-based partnership programs, funds they use to proselytize and spread false medical information. … [Read more...]

Another Failure of Supply Side Economics

Supply-side (or trickle-down) economics, the only economic plan the Republicans have had for the last four decades, claims that if you lower taxes you'll boost the economy so much that it will boost tax receipts enough to make up for the lost revenue. That has never been true and here's yet another example of it in Kansas, where reality has shown the exact opposite of what Republicans predicted. … [Read more...]

Not So Fast on the Accommodation Workaround

The day after the Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, I wrote that the administration should be able to essentially moot the decision by extending the accommodation given to religious non-profits to for-profit companies as well. Turns out it isn't quite that easy. … [Read more...]

No Tax Breaks for Ark Park?

Answers in Genesis famously was given $43 million in tax breaks by the state of Kentucky a few years ago, but according to a local news site in that state those breaks have expired and they have had to reapply for them with a dramatically scaled-down project. … [Read more...]

Bill Submitted to Broaden Parsonage Allowance

The Freedom From Religion Foundation won a district court case (now on appeal) challenging the tax break for parsonage allowances for ministers. The judge ruled that because it applies only to ministers and not to other non-profit leaders, it violates the Equal Protection and Establishment clauses. A legislator has now proposed a bill to broaden that exemption to avoid the violation. … [Read more...]

Government Funding Spurs Enormous Innovation

A new book called The Entrepreneurial State, written by a British economist, apparently documents the fact that government-funded scientific and medical research has paid massive dividends in spurring technological innovation and life-saving medications and treatments. … [Read more...]