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Newest pot sales numbers show Colorado on track for an even bigger payday in 2017

The green rush won’t last forever. But it looks far from over.State agricultural regulators tour a cannabis growing facility in Colorado in January. CREDIT: AP Photo/Kristen WyattThree years, billions of dollars, and thousands of new jobs into Colorado’s legal marijuana experiment, we’re still nowhere near the economic ceiling of retail cannabis.New monthly revenue figures indicate the state is on … [Read more...]

The strange origins of the GOP ideology that rejects caring for the poor

No, that’s not what Jesus says.CREDIT: AP/Eric GayThe ongoing Capitol Hill brawl over health care and budget cuts is getting Biblical.In recent months, GOP lawmakers have taken to quoting Christian scripture to defend conservative fiscal policy and their effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The first example came from Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), who argued in early March that Jesus would … [Read more...]

House votes to dismantle key Dodd-Frank regulations

Experts are worried this could cause the next financial crisis.Trader Daniel Leporin, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, May 17, 2017. CREDIT: AP/Richard DrewThe House overwhelmingly voted on Thursday to kill 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations. The Financial Choice Act, introduced by House Financial Services Chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), would weaken the ability of … [Read more...]

Lawmakers finally rejected Sam Brownback’s bad economic policies

“I think a lot of people saw the state was not going to pull out of this decline.”Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to the legislature in Topeka, Kansas, Jan. 12, 2016. CREDIT: AP/Orlin WagnerKansas is in a fiscal crisis. Lawmakers have to close an over $300 million deficit by this month. Infrastructure spending has been put on hold, the state’s Supreme Court has ruled that public schools aren’t … [Read more...]

Trump’s reputation as a dealmaker is a sham, walking away from Paris proves it

The arse of the deal: America, Trump voters and Trump himself all lose, bigly.CREDIT: AP/Eric SchultzThe man who wrote The Art of the Deal just put a knife into one of the best deals ever negotiated on behalf of this country. His decision Thursday to abandon the Paris climate agreement proves he is in reality one of the worst dealmakers in history.Of course, with six bankruptcies and an astounding … [Read more...]

Unemployment just fell for all the wrong reasons

Thousands of people gave up on work.CREDIT: iStockThe economy added 138,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate declined slightly to 4.3 percent, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of jobs added was less than the 185,000 analysts had expected.The unemployment rate is now at a 16-year low, but it appears to have fallen for mostly negative reasons last … [Read more...]

The National Endowment for the Arts fuels rural economies. Trump wants to eliminate it.

“We’ve done exactly what an investor would want to see: taken the [NEA] money and leveraged it into private investment.”CREDIT: Flickr/Knight FoundationBlayze Buseth was always an artsy kid while growing up in the small, rural town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. But he never imagined that he could turn his love of ceramics into a profession.“I really didn’t even consider creating artwork as being … [Read more...]

Exxon shareholders vote to force company to disclose climate risks

In a first, the oil and gas giant will be forced to consider risks to its assets as the world moves to a low-carbon future.CREDIT: AP Photo/Mark HumphreyIn a surprise victory for climate advocates, 62 percent of Exxon shareholders voted in favor of a resolution requiring the oil and gas giant to report how its business will be affected by global efforts to address climate change and keep warming … [Read more...]

Google says it costs too much to prove that it has no gender pay gap

Google claims it analyzes its own pay data every year but that it would cost too much to hand it over to the government.Google CEO Sundar Pichai. CREDIT: AP Photo/Eric RisbergEarlier this year, the federal Department of Labor (DOL) accused Google of having a “systemic” gap in pay between men and women. In its defense, Google shot back by saying that its own internal analysis shows that it has … [Read more...]

Top Trump economic adviser: ‘Coal doesn’t even make that much sense anymore’

But investing in solar and wind can make us “a manufacturing powerhouse,” admits Gary Cohn.National Economic Council Chair Gary Cohn listens as President Donald Trump speaks in the White House, Jan. 23, 2017. CREDIT: AP/Pablo Martinez MonsivaisWhether or not the United States will remain in the historic Paris climate agreement is a major question surrounding President Donald Trump’s trip to Italy … [Read more...]

Trump wants to end a program that helps people in nearly every community in America

Trump’s budget eliminates the Community Development Block Grant, a massive and important source of funding for local needs.CREDIT: AP Photo/Gerald HerbertJust before delivering her first son, Pam Lozano started looking for childcare. She only had a certain amount that she could spend on it, though, given that she was a student in medical assisting school. While she looked at several daycares in … [Read more...]

Trump’s budget would limit food stamp benefits for larger families

The proposal echoes racist, sexist myths about “welfare queens.”Budget director Mick Mulvaney holding a copy of President Trump’s budget. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew HarnikAs things currently stand, a household that qualifies for assistance to buy food gets a larger food stamp benefit if it has a larger family. The logic is pretty clear: the more people there are to feed, the more help a low-income … [Read more...]

Behold the full horror of Donald Trump’s 25 percent food stamps cut

Austerity’s violence, aimed at hollow stomachs.A volunteer distributes bread at a food bank in Ohio. CREDIT: AP Photo/Mark Duncan, FilePresident Donald Trump wants Congress to slash federal support for food assistance to the poorest Americans by some 25 percent over the next decade, the White House budget unveiled Tuesday shows.Such a deep cut could be backbreaking for the more than 40 million … [Read more...]

Bank previously run by Trump’s treasury secretary pays big fine for defrauding the government

Steve Mnuchin oversaw OneWest during the time that the government said it got FHA money it didn’t qualify for.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin shaking hands with President Donald Trump. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex BrandonThe reverse mortgage subsidiary of OneWest, the bank founded and formerly run by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that was later bought by CIT Group, agreed to an $89 million settlement … [Read more...]

America’s biggest employers leave their hourly workers out of paid family leave

Many companies offer corporate employees generous leave without extending it to the people who actually serve customers.Starbucks baristas Jessica Svabenik, left, who’s expecting a child, and Kristen Picciolo, right, who didn’t get any paid leave. CREDIT: AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenNiko Walker has given Starbucks seven years of his hard work, moving up the ranks from barista to shift supervisor. As a … [Read more...]

Missouri lawmakers just took raises away from minimum wage workers

“They literally took money out of the pockets of individuals.”Fight for 15 protesters in a Kansas City, Missouri Taco Bell in 2014. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charlie RiedelBettie Douglas was about to start her long walk to the bus to go to work on Monday morning when a man from the water company showed up at her house in St. Louis, Missouri. He was there to cut off her service.That news threw her into a … [Read more...]

States have green light to drug test the unemployed

An Obama-era rule that restricted drug testing for unemployment insurance is now history.Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) on the left, who authored the original provision. CREDIT: AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteSince the 1960s, federal law has banned states from drug testing jobless people who apply for unemployment benefits. After the recession, however, Republicans wanted to allow … [Read more...]

The 2020 Census is in big trouble

The Census Bureau’s leader just stepped down just as it faces a huge funding crunch.A volunteer advertising the 2010 Census. CREDIT: AP Photo/Jason E. MiczekThe Census Bureau now has no leader after John Thompson resigned from his position as director on Tuesday. His resignation comes at a critical time as the agency gears up to conduct the 2020 Census — and was already facing big funding … [Read more...]