Thom's blog

Supreme Court Justice John Roberts and the imaginary "gay lobby"

After yesterday's landmark challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the pro-equality crowd is hopeful that the Supreme Court will strike down the discriminatory law. During the oral arguments, the majority of the Justices seemed ready to strike down DOMAs key provision, which denies same-sex couples the right to all the federal benefits of marriage.

Day two of the LGBT Equality - DOMA before SCOTUS

Today, the federal Defense of Marriage was challenged before the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor.

Privatize the profits. Socialize the pollution.

You don't have the right to know you're being poisoned. At least, not in Wyoming. Yesterday, County District Judge Catherine Wilking ruled against environmental groups fighting to make public the list of toxic ingredients used in hydraulic fracking fluid. According to Judge Wilking, Wyoming's state oil and gas supervisor was authorized to withhold the information, because the list of chemicals is considered a trade secret.

Can the House and Senate budgets find common ground?

Minutes before 5am, early Saturday morning, members of the Senate did something they haven't done in four years - they passed a budget. The $3.7 trillion dollar outline for 2014 passed with a 50 to 49 vote, and it includes $100 billion in stimulus spending and raises $975 billion in new revenues over the next decade. Now the challenge will be to reconcile the Democratic Senate budget with Paul Ryan's austerity plan in the House.

Economic terrorism is no way to run a country.

Republicans are already plotting their next opportunity to take our nation hostage. At his weekly press conference, John Boehner said the GOP will refuse to raise the debt ceiling in May, if the president doesn't agree to more spending cuts. President Obama already agreed to cuts in the fiscal cliff deal totaling $1.5 trillion over the next decade.

Get ready for another derivative meltdown.

Despite gridlock in Washington, a new effort to loosen Wall Street regulations and water down the 2010 Dodd Frank Act is getting bipartisan support in Congress. Republican Representatives Patrick Henry and Scott Garrett are backing the measure, as is Democratic Rep. Gwen Moore. Moore justified her support by saying the plan is only meant to relieve regulatory burdens on companies that do business with big banks.

We all deserve a vote!

Next month, the Senate will vote on gun control legislation, but provisions that the majority of voters support won't be in the bill. Yesterday, California Senator Diane Feinstein's assault weapons ban was pulled from the legislation, despite a Pew Research poll showed 55% of Americans support the ban.

Is it time for a $33 minimum wage?

No matter how you calculate it, minimum wage has flat-lined over the past 50 years. That's the finding in a 2012 study from the Center for Economic Policy Research. The study reads, “By all of the most commonly used benchmarks – inflation, average wages, and productivity – the minimum wage is now far below its historical level.” If wages had kept up with productivity gains since 1968, it would be nearly $22 dollars an hour.

Could a tax on Cyprus bank deposits bring down E.U. banks?

When you think European financial crisis, you think Greece, or Spain, or Italy. But economic trouble in the small island nation of Cyprus is causing a serious panic throughout Europe. Because of Cyprus banks' exposure to the financial troubles in neighboring Greece, the island nation's banks need a bailout.

Is 'The American Dream' a fantasy for younger workers?

For generations, the American ideal has been that each successive generation becomes more prosperous and successful than the one before it. But unfortunately, that's no longer the case. A new study from the Urban Institute indicates that, while American wealth as a whole has doubled over the last 25 years, younger people have fallen behind as a group.

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