When President Obama released his 2014 budget for the federal government on Wednesday, much of it was spreadsheets and tables. But one corner of NASA's budget looked like something out of a movie script.
The tax code is full of complicated loopholes and deductions that require professional translation. So I called a bunch of accountants and tax lawyers and asked them: What are your favorite, most confusingly named deductions — and what do they actually mean?
Intangible Drilling Costs
"The government will pay you to dig a hole in the ground," says Howard Rosen, a CPA in St. Louis. "You can write it all off immediately."
"A man of genius makes no mistakes," James Joyce wrote in Ulysses. "His errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery." Looks like Ireland's Central Bank has taken that message to heart.
The bank announced Wednesday the launch of a limited-edition coin to honor the Irish writer. The coin features a portrait of Joyce and a quotation from Ulysses, arguably his most famous novel. Trouble is Joyce was misquoted.
Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 7:13 am
The Pentagon's intelligence arm has "moderate confidence" that North Korea may have developed the technology to create nuclear weapons that are small enough to fit on a long-range missile.
NPR's Larry Abramson filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The Defense Intelligence Agency assessment says such a weapon would probably not be very reliable. This is the first time the U.S. has concluded that Pyongyang's nuclear efforts have reached this point.
On Tuesday, April 9th, Chris McGill, an energy supply expert and vice-president of Policy Analysis for the American Gas Association, announced the results of a two year study of the nation's supply of natural gas. This report shows that supplies of natural gas are at an all-time high. I spoke with McGill on Thursday, and talked about some of the things which were revealed in the report. I also asked him about 'frakking', and whether there is any way to be sure that this practice of getting to natural gas is not harming the environment. Tune it to hear our conversation.
Animal-rights activists are hoping for change in Pennsylvania, where they're fighting to end a tradition: live pigeon shoots. At the events, shooters compete to hit birds that are launched into the air.
Elissa Katz remembers feeling helpless at the site of a pigeon shoot, with feathers flying through the air and wounded birds falling to the ground. "They flutter up in the air as they are sprung from boxes. Shooters have shotguns, they are at fairly close range, and they blast away at the birds," she says.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 5:40 pm
A Democrat on the committee of the Jefferson County (Kentucky) Democratic Party says a liberal SuperPAC was responsible for surreptitiously recording a strategy session between Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and some of his campaign aides.
As Mark reported on Tuesday, a McConnell aide is heard saying that actress Ashley Judd, who mulled a run against McConnell, was "emotionally unbalanced."