Thom's blog

Don't frack with DC!

The oil and gas industry is already cozy with Washington, but soon they might be neighbors. Fracking companies want to move in to the George Washington National Forest. That forest is one of the largest undeveloped areas east of the Mississippi, and it also supplies water to the DC metro area. In the coming weeks, the U.S.

The essence of Obamacare is working fine.

As of today, more than half a million people have signed up for Obamacare. However, many more people may have enrolled, but they were unable to because of glitches on the healthcare website.

For some, the pain of the shutdown isn't over...

The government shutdown may be over, but that doesn't mean that life has returned to normal for many people around our nation. Federal workers, who were furloughed during the shutdown, will receive backpay for the time they weren't able to work, but many others won't be so lucky. And, many businesses, research projects, and government contractors are now struggling to make up for the lost time and income.

Congress avoids default.

Only hours before the debt limit deadline, Congress finally passed a temporary measure to avoid default. The plan was approved 81 to 18 in the Senate, and 285 to 144 in the House. The Continuing Appropriations Act funds the government through January, suspends the debt limit until February, and directs both parties to agree on a long-term budget by December 13th.

Will they or won't they?

Monday evening, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell negotiated a deal to end the economic standoff. Their plan would temporarily fund the government and lift the debt ceiling, and leave the next round of sequester cuts in place. In addition, their deal would require income verification for Obamacare recipients, and establish a committee to work out a broader budget plan by December 13th.

Can the Senate end the debt-limit standoff?

Over the weekend, House Republicans and President Obama hit a stalemate in fiscal negotiations, and the Senate moved on to work out their own plan. On Saturday, after meeting with the President, House Speaker John Boehner told his party that talks with the White House had broken down. So, Senate leaders immediately started their own negotiations to deal with the government shutdown, and the debt ceiling.

Last Hours of Humanity: Warming the World to Extinction

If you were standing outdoors looking at the distant and reddening sky 250 million years ago as the Permian Mass Extinction was beginni

Can Senate Democrats prevent disaster?

House Republicans continue to point the finger at President Obama for the government shutdown. However, Senate Democrats are moving forward with a plan to prevent economic disaster. According to the New York Times, rather than waiting for the Tea Party to come to their senses, Democratic leaders in the upper chamber will present a debt ceiling increase proposal this week.

How much damage can SCOTUS do in one term?

Our government is still shut down, but that won't stop the kings and queens of America from holding court. This week, the Supreme Court begins their new session, and the docket looks like a Republican wish list of laws they'd love to see overturned. On Tuesday, the justices will hear oral arguments in McCutcheon v. FEC, which is another challenge to campaign contribution limits.

Who's really winning in the government shutdown?

The real dangers of this government shutdown are becoming clear, but Republicans just want to keep up their political game. On Thursday, we found out that the Capital Police, who stopped a potentially-dangerous situation at the White House, will soon see their pay disappear. In Gulf Coast states, thousands of FEMA workers are furloughed, even as Tropical Storm Karen is expected to become a hurricane.

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