The GOP Will Let You Keep Your Baby In Your Home Office But They'll Never Pay You A Decent Wage


In the runup to the 2014 midterms, the GOP has finally decided it is time to get their policy wonkiness on and roll out some super-well-thought-out bills that will totally fix things for workers everywhere, and you will all be so totally rich and relaxed if you just vote Republican this November.

What will your vote get you? Awesome new bills like this one, which will let you put a crib in your home office, because Mitch McConnell is pretty sure that is the fix for everything.

Called “A Fair Shot for Everyone,” one key piece of the Republicans’ package, introduced by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), is the Working Parents Home Office Act, which allows parents to deduct home office costs from their taxes if they have a baby crib in the office. “These are just the kinds of things that could make a difference in people’s lives now,” McConnell said.

OK, we agree that not being allowed to deduct your home office cost if your home office is also in possession of a screaming child is bullshit, but this is not actually a signature piece of legislation, particularly from the people that opposed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and pretty much every other measure that would actually pay workers more.

In case you were wondering, here is a quick and dirty way of figuring out how much money you'd get to deduct for your home office if you're now allowed to stick a crib in it.

Beginning with 2013 tax returns (filed in 2014), the IRS has begun a simplified option for claiming the deduction. This new method uses a prescribed rate multiplied the allowable square footage used in the home. For 2013 the prescribed rate is $5 per square foot with a maximum of 300 square feet. The space must still be dedicated to the business activity as described above.

These are 2013 numbers, but there's no reason to think that this will suddenly be a huge moneymaker for your 2014 taxes. Don't get us wrong -- we're not too good (or too rich) to be happy with an extra $1,500 worth of tax deductions, but that isn't actually "go to the club and throw it around" kind of money either.

What other awesome plans do the Republicans have to make sure you are flashing mad stacks of cash if you just will just elect them? What say you, Susan Collins?

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) has introduced the Forty Hours is Full Time Act, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s 30-hour workweek rule.

We know this is a particular hobbyhorse of the right -- that if companies have to comply with the Act's requirements, they'll just fire people to stay under the 50-person threshold it applies to -- but it is awful tough to spin this one as a big pro-worker initiative. You may -- MAY -- be able to keep your job, but you can't have insurance. Sorry, sucka.

What else ya got, GOP? Let's check in with Senator Deb Fischer.

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) has endorsed an alternative to the Democrats’ Paycheck Fairness Act. It includes language to prevent employers from retaliating against workers who discuss or inquire about their salaries. It also would not raise caps on punitive damages that employees may seek in courts, a key provision of the Democratic bill.

So, you will prevent the employers from retaliating against an employee who has the goddamn gall to compare salaries, which is really the fucking bare minimum of employee protection and we can't even begin this is still a thing. But you, Deb Fischer, will give workers a lower cap on the damages they can recover when their employers dick them over, salary-wise. Workers of the world will thank you forever for that lower damages cap, because nothing says "pro-worker" like "less money after you've already been screwed out of money." With brilliant bills like this, we fully expect the proletariat to rise up and vote GOP this fall.

[Think Progress/The Hill]

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FINALLY. Of course, we say "finally," because we haven't been behind the scenes in the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to witness the negotiating and wrangling firsthand, so we don't know what it's taken to make this happen, but clear your calendars for July 17, because Bobby Mueller is goin' to Congress!

Committee chairs Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler sent the letter late yesterday, accompanied by a subpoena, for Mueller to testify at 9 a.m. Eastern on July 17, which is a Wednesday, so you will presumably not be busy with brunch. The hearings for each committee will be back to back, after which members of Mueller's staff will meet with committee staff behind closed doors.

Schiff told Rachel Maddow last night that it should not be viewed as a friendly subpoena, because as we all know, Mueller has been very reluctant to become the star of the political circus this will surely create. However, he's gonna have to suck it up, because as we all saw after what happened when Mueller addressed the nation for 10 whole minutes, there is great value in actually having Mueller breathe life into his own work, for an American audience that hasn't read his 448-page report. (And we don't blame them/you! We probably wouldn't have read it all if it wasn't our job. It would probably be on our "list," like "someday I am going to watch 'The Sopranos' start to finish finally. And then I will read the Mueller Report!")

Point is, it needs to happen on live TV, where people can gather around at work and on the train and in the Fantastic Sams while they gets their hair did, and let this highly respected public servant tell the story of how America's most hostile enemy attacked the 2016 election in order to help Donald Trump, how the Trump campaign was positively orgasmic over that reacharound, and how Trump criminally obstructed the investigation into that hostile foreign attack at every turn.

And because Robert Mueller is a patriotic American who respects the rule of law and our institutions, he will be complying with the subpoena, because of fucking course he will.

Right off the bat, we have a couple of questions:

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Beds at the 'temporary' shelter in Homestead, Florida. US HHS photo.

The House of Representatives passed a $4.5 billion emergency bill to fund detention of undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers yesterday, but the bill's demands that government meet minimal standards of humane treatment led Donald Trump to threaten a veto, because no one puts cruelty in a corner. The bill passed largely along party lines, 230-195, with four progressive Democratic first-term representatives opposing it because they believed the machinery of the New Cruelty shouldn't get a single dollar more. Trump prefers a bill already passed by the Senate, which would provide a similar level of funding $4.6 billion), but lacks the House bill's crazy radical requirements that migrants be held in less horrifying conditions than have been reported in the last week.

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