• Federal Court Rules To Protect Catholic Group From Document Probe

    Federal Court Rules To Protect Catholic Group From Document Probe

    The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling on a Texas case related to fetal cremation laws on Sunday, putting a check on the power of the state to probe the internal discussions of religious groups.

    The court ruled in a 2-1 decision that the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops (TCCB) does not have to hand over internal communications to Whole Woman’s Health, a Texas-based abortion chain. Whole Woman’s Health is suing Texas over a law requiring embryonic and fetal tissue be buried or cremated, claiming it violates the Constitution by placing an undue burden on women seeking an abortion. The court’s decision came on the eve of the trial. READ MORE...

  • ‘Pig Book’ Spotlights 232 Earmarks Amid Pork That Wastes Taxpayers’ Money

    ‘Pig Book’ Spotlights 232 Earmarks Amid Pork That Wastes Taxpayers’ Money

    All but a relative few farmers and other rural residents have had electricity and telephone service for a generation, but the U.S. government devoted $10 million in the current budget to a duplicative Rural Utilities Service program designed to help pay for energy costs.  

    Taxpayers continue to finance the program even though then-President Barack Obama tried to eliminate the High Energy Costs Program in 2013 because it duplicated the U.S. Electric Loan Program.

    The program buried in the Agriculture Department budget is brought to the surface in the “2018 Congressional Pig Book” compiled by Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog that has put together the catalog of pork, earmarks, and other questionable federal spending since 1991. READ MORE...

  • Federal Court Hands Trump a Win, Brings Rogue Agency Under Tighter Control

    Federal Court Hands Trump a Win, Brings Rogue Agency Under Tighter Control

    You’re fired.”

    President Donald Trump will soon be able to use his famous catch phrase against the head of a troubled federal agency, the Fair Housing Finance Agency, which is led by a single Obama appointee with no meaningful oversight from the president.

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that the agency’s structure is unconstitutional.

    In Collins v. Mnuchin, a three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit issued a per curiam opinion holding that Congress unconstitutionally “insulated the [Fair Housing Finance Agency] to the point where the executive branch cannot control the [agency] or hold it accountable.” READ MORE...

  • At Helsinki, Trump Undermined Our Abusive Intel Agencies, Not America

    At Helsinki, Trump Undermined Our Abusive Intel Agencies, Not America

    America can still be America without the intelligence bureaucracy we have today, or even with our intelligence-gathering back in the control of the Pentagon.

    During President Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Associated Press reporter Jonathan Lemire asked him about Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump — as he has done many times before — responded with an answer that cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment of massive Russian election-interference. READ MORE...

  • Bill Seeks Review of All Ports of Entry for Security Threats

    Bill Seeks Review of All Ports of Entry for Security Threats

    Coming from a border state, one of the newest members of Congress is making her presence felt in the immigration debate by introducing legislation that would require the Department of Homeland Security to review all ports of entry to the U.S. for possible security threats.

    Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., introduced a bill Tuesday that would require the secretary of homeland security “to conduct a ports of entry threat and operational analysis of all air, land, and sea ports in the United States and create a ports of entry threat and operational strategy and implementation plan.” READ MORE...

  • Here's Why The Right Shouldn’t Excuse Trump's Performance At Helsinki

    Here’s Why The Right Shouldn’t Excuse Trump’s Performance At Helsinki

    Never have President Donald Trump’s loyalists been put to a sterner test than they were in the wake of his Helsinki press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. His comments, which put as much faith in Putin’s protestations of innocence in meddling in the 2016 election as the verdict of U.S. intelligence agencies, set off a storm of protest that seemed to dwarf the many previous instances in which the president had outraged his opponents.

    The spectacle of a U.S. president taking sides against his own government while standing alongside a hostile foreign leader abroad was too much, even for many congressional Republicans. Yet while they struggled to come up with a stance that would make clear the party’s willingness to stop Russia — even if their president wouldn’t — much of the Trump base remained loyal, especially the crucial contingent of Fox News prime time hosts. READ MORE...

  • Why Using Social Security for Paid Family Leave Is a Bad Idea

    Why Using Social Security for Paid Family Leave Is a Bad Idea

    This year marks the first time in more than a quarter-century that Social Security has had to dip into its trust fund balance.

    Since its theoretical trust fund is really just a bunch of IOUs, that means the government will have to issue $85 billion in publicly held debt this year—and $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years—in order to maintain scheduled benefits.

    As such, now is not the time to add a new entitlement to Social Security, adding to short-term deficits and expanding benefit payments.

    Yet that’s what a new proposal for paid family leave would do—increase Social Security’s scope and raise its costs. READ MORE...

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