I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling tired, because it’s been a busy day. My stovetop percolator arrived, and I must say, even though it’s not yet “broken in”, brewed coffee is far better than dripped. I’ll need to get more tubing, though, because running an IV from the stovetop is further than from the countertop. Store to Door delivered groceries, so I had to clean first. It’s a beautiful 62° day, so I took an hour to go out and cat-bask in the sunshine. I should probably go lazy, but the tomorrow’s lead article just needs doing too much.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:40). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Daily Kos: FL-13: After an intensely hard-fought special election where total spending likely topped $13 million, Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink by a margin of 48.4 percent to 46.6 percent in Florida’s 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night, holding the seat for the GOP. Libertarian Lucas Overby ended up with 4.8 percent of the vote. Even though Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in 2012 by about 1.5 points, it appears Sink couldn’t overcome the troubling tendency for key chunks of the Democratic electorate to stay home during non-presidential elections.
Republicans will crow that unhappiness with Obamacare, which was the focus of much of their advertising, led to Sink’s undoing, and it’s possible those attacks provided Jolly’s winning margin—but of course, with such a tight outcome, anything could have been responsible, such as Sink’s personal flaws as a candidate. And importantly, the November electorate will likely be less Republican, on a relative basis, than you’d find in a March special election, so Democrats should likewise exercise caution before panicking that the Affordable Care Act spells doom.
Of course, a win is still a win, but there’s a constant Beltway temptation to read far too much into a single special election. Close races also make for poor object lessons, as luck tends to play an outsize role, much like in a baseball game decided by a single run. But at the same time, even if this election augurs nothing for November, this was still very much the sort of district that Democrats need to capture in order to have a shot at some day taking back the House.
Voters, if you vote for the Democrat, you’re voting for the Democrat. If you vote for the Republican, you’re voting for the Republican. If you vote for a third party, you’re voting for the Republican. If you do not vote, you’re voting for the Republican. All the people of FL – 13 will now be punished for the stupidity, apathy, and laziness of their district. The ones who stayed home deserve it most of all.
From The New Yorker: In a preview of what promises to be a heated race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) head-butted his rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the floor of the United States Senate this morning.
The melee “came without warning,” one observer said, as Sen. Paul took to the well of the Senate to give a speech recommending a strong but measured response to the crisis in Ukraine.
Almost immediately, a furious and beet-red Sen. Cruz began heckling Sen. Paul, calling him a “Kentucky-fried Communist” and demanding that he “apologize to Ronald Reagan this very instant.”
Sen. Paul seemed to ignore the heckling at first, but as Sen. Cruz’s taunts descended into a stream of profane name-calling, the Kentuckian leapt from the well of the Senate and began throttling Sen. Cruz before administering the decisive head-butt.
Andy has reminded me of Mad Magazine’s scenes we’d love to see.
From Think Progress: The largest American multinational companies parked an additional $206 billion of profits in offshore accounts last year, according to Bloomberg, bringing the total amount of profits stashed where U.S. tax officials can’t touch them up to about two trillion dollars.
The 307 companies that Bloomberg examined now hold a combined $1.95 trillion offshore, allowing them to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those earnings. The majority of the total is concentrated in just a few corporate hands. The largest 22 of those companies hold more offshore than the other 285 combined.
General Electric leads the pack, with $110 billion held offshore. Tech companies like Microsoft ($76.4 billion), Apple ($54.4 billion), IBM ($52.3 billion), and Google ($38.9 billion) also dominate, along with drug companies like Pfizer ($69 billion) and Merck ($57.1). The tech giants have drastically accelerated their offshore holdings in recent years, with Microsoft and Google more than doubling and Apple more than quadrupling offshore profit holdings from 2010 to 2013.
I’d say it’s time for an offshore profits penalty of 90%. That would move those funds onshore in VERY short order!!