HomeAds11/15 News Roundup: John Fetterman Announces Campaign For PA Lieutenant Governor, GOP Plan To Scrap ACA Mandate & More
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Few adolescents who’ve sat through homilies would accuse priests or rabbis of lacking material. House Republicans beg to differ. Under their tax bill, religious institutions—and all nonprofits—would be able to endorse politicians for the first time since 1954.

The House tax cut plan would repeal a tax provision, known as the “Johnson Amendment,” that blocks churches and other nonprofits from electioneering. The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), a nonpartisan Congressional body, expects that this change would lead to billions of dollars of political-spending being routed through nonprofits that can collect tax-deductible contributions without disclosing their donors. As a result, mega-donors like the Koch brothers would likely get tax write-offs for funding television ads and get-out-the-vote operations.

Hardly any churches and nonprofits support the move, which watchdog groups warn could easily become the next Citizens United, the 2010 Supreme Court decision that opened the door to unlimited corporate political spending. The Senate tax bill leaves the Johnson Amendment in place, but that could change as the two chambers reconcile the differences between their bills.

The JCT predicts that the loophole will lead to an explosion of tax-deductible donations that would cost the government between $400 and $500 million per year in lost tax revenue. The government does not reimburse donations dollar for dollar—meaning the political spending could be four times higher than what the government loses in revenue, according to the National Council of Nonprofits. In other words, nonprofits would take in up to $2 billion of political donations per year. The Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance group, estimates that all federal elections in 2016 cost nearly $6.5 billion. (The House bill would reinstate the Johnson Amendment in 2024 for budgetary reasons, but Republicans would likely push to extend it.)

Don midwest
Don midwest

my God

how much worse?


Don’t ‘nonprofits’ already do plenty of electioneering? (See political wing of PP for ex.)

So much for churchgoers’ tithes going towards their pastor/minister/priest/iman/rabbi etc. etc., and the rest going towards funding community efforts aimed at relieving suffering?

Would this, in effect, turn some churches into money-laundering factories?

Hello? Holy Trinity? I’m considering making a large donation to your church. Also, I happen to be quite excited about ____ candidate for Governor. Do you think we’d make a good fit?

And the flow of money into the political process quickens.


Wow, what an amazing campaign video. Letterman seems like an amazing guy!


Americans Are Stressed About the Future. Here’s Why That’s Promising

I’ve come to believe that this work of reimagining is humble, small, often taps feminine energy, is fundamentally indigenous—and local. One way to learn what that means is to ask people who are rebuilding after a major collapse, like those now living in Puerto Rico. So I called up my colleague at PeoplesHub, Melissa Rosario, who lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Melissa had been building Colectiva Feminista en Construcción, an urban center of cooperative economics, ecologically light living, and “embodied pedagogy” (healing, starting with the body). In the aftermath of the hurricanes, her work has taken on a new immediacy, she told me. Along with friends in the Puerto Rican diaspora—in Detroit, New York, and elsewhere on the U.S. mainland—she has been assembling healing supplies: herbal tinctures and syrups for respiratory and immune system health, salves for treating wounds, graphics showing acupressure points, instructions in breathing exercises and other techniques for working through trauma, emotional overwhelm, depression, and insomnia.

“We want to restore to people the sense that their body can tell them what’s wrong, that they know best what they need,” she told me.

One of the first places where she brought the medicine kits was to a group of moms, grandmothers, and children from a nearby neighborhood, who, along with a feminist collective, were using an abandoned building as a gathering place. A party was in full swing when Melissa arrived: Children were making masks for Halloween, while others were dancing to music playing from battery-powered speakers.

Melissa told me that her work, and the work of other progressives, is now more immediate, more grounded in people’s needs instead of in abstractions.

Also, because internet connections and electricity are scarce, people are spending less time on their devices.

“It’s wiping away the distractions, the veils,” she said. “I feel much more clear and aligned and just present. If you’re aware, there are more possibilities. It’s thrilling, hopeful, and also exhausting!”

The joy Melissa described in the abandoned building reminds me of the joy I witnessed on my road trip when people gathered to grow and share food or create a cooperative enterprise.

Building together locally is a no-regrets strategy. It releases joy at a time when so many are stressed—just the company of others, engaged in a common purpose, satisfies a deep soul yearning. And if there’s a natural disaster, we’ll need each other to rebuild.


Troopaganda Eats Its Own Tail
What if it occurs to someone to suggest that perhaps war isn’t justifiable at all?

First they tell you what to think the wars are for. They’re for protection from evil enemies, for spreading democracy and human rights.

Then you discover that wasn’t so. The evil enemies were actually human beings and no threat. The wars on terrorism have created many more enemies and spread terrorism far and wide. They’ve endangered rather than protected. They’ve damaged democracy at home and abroad. They’ve violated human rights and normalized their violation.

Then they tell you to keep the wars going for the sake of the poor fools sent into them and coming out of them with PTSD, brain injury, moral injury, and suicidal tendencies. If you’re not for harming more troops you’re “against” the troops.

Then you discover that this is all a twisted lie, that these one-sided slaughters that so devastate even the aggressors have no benefits, that people could have better and better-paying and more satisfying and less environmentally destructive jobs in peaceful industries for less financial, moral, and societal expense. It turns out the wars are for weapons profits and resource control and political domination and sadism.


House Approves $700B ‘Cash Cow for Weapons Companies’—But Single Payer ‘Too Expensive’
“What if we tell House Republicans and Democrats that North Korea wanted to close schools, take our healthcare away and pump CO2 into our air—we could suddenly, magically find $700 billion dollars for all of it.”

In a bipartisan show of support for endless war and out-of-control military spending, the House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the nearly $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 that aims to boost war outlays by $80 billion—an amount that critics noted would easily cover the costs of free public college tuition and other initiatives that are frequently dismissed as too expensive.

The final vote tally was 357-70, with 127 Democrats throwing their support behind the bill. Sixty-seven Democrats—including Reps. Barbara Lee of California, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, and John Conyers of Michigan—voted against the legislation.

“Flint still doesn’t have drinking water, we are told we cannot have affordable single-payer, free college education is too costly, we do not have money to help the homeless, we do not have money to fix our infrastructure.” —Matthew Battle


If someone like Kaine is against, superdelegates probably will be eliminated.


Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine is urging the Democratic National Committee to end its tradition of using superdelegates, which activists say diminish the influence of regular voters at the expense of party bigwigs in the presidential nominating process.

“I have long believed there should be no superdelegates. These positions are given undue influence in the popular nominating contest and make the process less democratic,” Kaine wrote in a letter Wednesday to DNC chairman Tom Perez, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.

The plea from Kaine — himself a former DNC chairman, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, and a superdelegate — puts him on the side of many backers of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s primary opponent in last year’s race for the White House. Under the current system, elected officials and influential party members get to cast a vote for their preferred presidential candidate with extra weight, regardless of how their state or district votes during the primary.


He backed Bernie’s run in the primary.


Didn’t see the lower comments before I added mine. BTW, I find this site extremely hard to use.

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