Sep 092016
 

Last night I attended the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb from the comfort of my bed.  I was pretty pleased with Trevor Siemian’s performance.  He made lots of mistakes, but you have to expect that with a virtual rookie at QB.  I was so tired that I fell asleep late in the scoreless third quarter with the Broncos behind 7 – 17.  I woke up a couple hours later to a very pleasant surprise.  Yesterday my nerve pain was so severe that I could only get up on George a few seconds at a time.  I had to cancel today’s physical tyranny because of it, and was up for most of last night.  I had discontinues Gabapentin last month, due to side -effects.  Once it was out of my system, I had a doctor’s appointment to choose a new med for nerve pain a week ago, but she had to reschedule it until next Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:26 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0908Broncos21-Panthers20

Woooo Hoooo Ellipsoid Orb!!!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Responding to a question about his qualifications to be Commander-in-Chief, Donald Trump told NBC’s Matt Lauer on Wednesday night, “At my rallies, I have ordered many, many people to attack other people.”

“In the heat of the moment, you have to decide who is going to hit which person, when, and how hard,” Trump said. “I have ordered more people to attack other people than most of our generals have.”

He said that the outcome of the fights at his rallies showed that he has the judgment necessary to be Commander-in-Chief. “You always want to make the bigger guy hit the littler guy,” he said. “That’s how you win.”

Dang Andy! If Rump Dump Trump had possessed the nuclear football at his rallies, the US would be a nuclear wasteland.

From Daily Kos: Wtf? The truth comes seeping out on CNN and don’t kid yourself, what Dana Bash is saying here is exactly how other media outlets are treating Clinton.

Hillary is being held to a higher standard and Trump, with all his hate and scandals is being given a pass because he is not quite the polished politician.

This is breathtaking and piss poor journalism.

Click through for video.  It’s the media’s job to inform the public of what is, not to substitute their own value judgments about expectations for individual candidates.  It seems virtually all broadcast media have become the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, with the exception of the few honest journalists, like Rachel, left at MSNBC.

From NY Times: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont did well in the Pacific Northwest during the presidential primary season with his lectern-pounding message about fairness, need and corporate greed. A ballot measure here this fall that would sharply raise corporate taxes is now testing just how deeply Mr. Sanders’s message about economic inequality has sunk in.

“Our corporations have to be held accountable!” shouted Kayse Jama, the executive director of a group called Unite Oregon, as he rallied several hundred supporters of the proposal, known as Measure 97, on a recent evening in a local shopping mall. He even sounded a bit like Mr. Sanders, his voice hoarse with passion.

If approved by the voters here in November, Measure 97 would create the biggest tide of new tax revenue in any state in the nation this year as a percentage of the budget, economists said — and one of the biggest anywhere in recent history. Oregon’s general fund would grow by almost a third, or about $3 billion a year, through a 2.5 percent tax on corporate gross receipts. The initiative language says the money would augment state spending on education, health care and senior services, but does not bind the Legislature to a specific plan.

I fully support Oregon Measure 97, because the people of Oregon need the funds, it only effects corporations with over $20 million in annual sales, and Oregon has one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the nation. Needless to say, Republicans are siding with greed over need. The Gray Lady covered this unusually well. I strongly recommend clicking through for more info about it.

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Trump Embraces Tinkle Down

 Posted by at 12:33 pm  Politics
Aug 092016
 

When it comes to populism from Rump Dump Trump, it includes hatred of all the people that Republican Supply-side Jesus (the polar opposite of the real Jesus) wants them to hate, especially Muslims and undocumented immigrants (except his wife).  However, when it comes to his economic plan, he embraces the Tinkle Down policies of Paul Lyin’ Ryan.

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From the beginning of Donald Trump’s campaign, there has been a nagging inconsistency in his approach to economic issues. On trade and immigration, he has broken with Republican dogma, arguing that the influx from abroad of cheap goods and low-wage workers has undermined the job prospects and living standards of ordinary Americans. [his own products excluded] On tax policy, however, Trump has stuck to the standard G.O.P. script, promising a slew of tax cuts skewed toward businesses and the rich. To be sure, until Monday, Trump hadn’t talked much about his tax plan, but the broad outlines of it were there on his Web site, serving as a reminder of the limits of his populism.

Trump rolled out his original tax plan last September, after his Republican-primary opponents accused him of lacking policy specifics. I thought at the time that adopting trickle-down economics represented a strategic error for a candidate who was promoting himself as a new type of Republican. Instead of saying he’d slash business taxes and bring the top rate of income tax down to twenty-five per cent, Trump could have promised tax cuts and tax credits targeted specifically at middle-class Americans, citing the fact that wealthy Americans were doing fine and didn’t need another handout. For instance, he could have suggested raising the upper-income cut-off on Social Security contributions and using the cash this generated to pay for higher benefits for everybody. Or he could have eschewed tax cuts aimed at the wealthy in favor of expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, which boosts the take-home pay of low-income working families.

It’s true that without any offsetting cuts in spending, such a tax plan would have raised the hackles of deficit hawks—but the plan he did introduce raised those hackles anyway. A plan aimed at the middle class, however, could have complemented Trump’s populist line on immigration and trade, wrong-footed the Democrats, and allowed him to claim he had a three-pronged approach to raising wages and living standards. In short, it would have made him a much more formidable candidate.

The problem was that moving in that direction would have signalled [sic] that Trump was a genuine populist insurrectionary, rather than a cosseted billionaire who plays one on television… [emphasis added]

From <The New Yorker>

Click through for more of this excellent analysis.

Lawrence O’Donnell provided some analysis of his own, and it’s superb.

Now, if Trump is elected, there will be no money for infrastructure, and he and his Republican Rectumite cronies will have to raise vast sums to pay for his huge increase in welfare for the 0.1%.  They will take it from YOU.  The poorer you are, the more they will take.

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Everyday Erinyes

 Posted by at 10:04 am  Politics
Jul 092016
 

I have two items today which seem to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

Frankly, I did not expect to be sharing this story of grudgingness today.  I try to find outrages that go under the radar, as it were, and, although this is a followup to an earlier story you may remember, I still expected it to be picked up by other sites and get a lot of publicity.  I was wrong.  I find that sad.

"Please accept our condolences on your loss,” explained a letter from the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority of New Jersey. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

The recipient of this letter received no direct benefit from the loan in question, and indeed, no indirect benefit, such as being related to someone who has increased earning power, which sometimes comes to those who graduate from college.  The student, the borrower, was her son.  And he was murdered last year.

The loans were not Federal loans.  The Federal Government has provisions to give some relief to borrowers who experience life-changing circumstances – such as losing a job.  Wken non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor Chris Gonzales was laid off by Goldman Sachs, the Federal Government suspended his federal student loan payments.  However, he had also received some loan funds from New Jersey – which sued him and confiscated his state tax refund.

Marcia DeOliveira-Longinetti, the bereaved mother who received the letter quoted above, has been forced to make 18 monthly payments of $180 to the state.  Only 92 to go.

Not every state administers its own student loan program (states that do not do administer their states' share in the Federal loan programs.)  Two that do are New Jersey and Massachusetts.  But, in Massachusetts, there is automatic debt forgiveness if the borrower dies or becomes disabled.  New Jersey, on the other hand, goes aggressively after loan repayment regardless of the circumstances.  And, since federal law does provide some possibility of relief, New Jersey pretty much stopped giving federal loans some years ago, substituting their own loans instead.

But New Jersey will sell students taking out loans life insurance!  My, what a big heart!  Knock yourself out, Megaera.

There is another story, this one of vengeful destruction, which needs to be told.  THere is a church in Kansas where a volunteer in 2014 attempted to rape and electronically solicit two girls under fourteen who attended the church.  Last year he pleaded guilty to these charges.

The volunteer, who was seventeen, at the time of the crime, had a string of past sexual conduct and crimes behind him, but was still allowed to be around children without supervision.  On June 9 of this year, the girls and their families filed a lawsuit against the church, alleging that the church violated its own protocols, thereby allowing the assaults to occur.

Naturally, the church has filed a petition asking the court to require the victims and their parents to identify themselves publicly before the case can proceed.

Wait a minute, you are probably saying to yourself.  What is this church?  Westboro Baptist?  That's in Kansas, right?  Well, no, it isn't Westboro Baptist, though it is a Southern Baptist church.  It's just creepily similar.  Its name is Westside Family Church.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, has been a victim advocate for 28 years, and has never seen a petition like this before in a case involving children, and only occasionally when the victim(s) are adult.  And children these victims still are.  If they were under fourteen in 2014, they cannot now be older than sixteen.

Clohessy called the move "a shameful move by officials who profess to be 'Christians.'"  I concur.  Tisiphone, you know what to do.

(Note: the photo of mother and son shows the mother and son in the story.  The photo of the girl is a stock photo from Shutterstock, which AlterNet picked to illustrate the narrative.)

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross-posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3997742

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Apr 122016
 

Yesterday, Sarah, my Prosthetist, checked out George.  She ordered a new part to stabilize his ankle, and I’ll have to go back when it comes in.  I had to go to the bank, because I discovered over $100.00 was missing from my desk drawer.  I know it was there on Saturday, and only one other person had been in the apartment since.  So I need to get another shower aide.   I’m disappointed, but not angry.  Desperate people do desperate things, and the money I had lent her was used up.  I’ll tell her tomorrow that it is her last day.  I really needed to make the change anyway, because I have not had both weekly showers on time since January, when she moved out of the building, where I used to live.  I need to deal with people who add stability to my life, not destabilize it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 6:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The war of words between the two Democratic camps heated up over the weekend, as the Clinton campaign accused Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders of “blatantly attempting to win the Democratic nomination for President.”

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the Clinton campaign spokesman Harland Dorrinson said that Sanders’s actions in the past few weeks “left little doubt as to what his true intentions are—namely, to be the Party’s nominee.”

“He’s been raising money, he’s been running in primaries, and, yes, he’s been winning caucuses,” the Clinton aide said. “It’s time for Bernie Sanders to come clean with the American people and admit what he’s really up to.”

“It’s deeply troubling that what appeared at first to be a purely symbolic candidacy has turned into something else entirely,” he said.

In an interview on CNN, Secretary Clinton said that she would not “take the bait” when she was asked whether she thought Sanders was trying to win the nomination, but she stopped short of disavowing the accusation.

Dang, Andy!! Does Bernie have chutzpah or what?!!? The Nerve!! How dare he try to win Hillary’s nomination!! Winking smile

From Daily Kos: Vox is calling for a boycott of using any paid TurboTax product. So am I. If you’ve already filed, don’t use them again. If you haven’t yet filed, I urge you to use a different service, like Jackon Hewitt or TaxSlayer. Or go to an independent accountant.  

The reason, to put it bluntly, is that Intuit, the company that owns TurboTax, has teamed up with Grover Norquist to ensure that paying your taxes is as painful an ordeal as possible.

Intuit has spent over 13 million dollars to lobby AGAINST efforts to make taxes less complicated. After all, if taxes were made simple, then why would you need to shell out big bucks to use their convoluted system? (along with their ever-increasing fees.)

One such effort they oppose is so common-sense that even conservatives are having a hard time making the case against it. (But it’s not stopping them.) It’s called a "Simple Return." Essentially, the onus would be on the IRS, not you, for filling out the tax forms.

You see, the IRS gets all of the same forms in the mail that you do. They already know what you owe, so they would be required to send you a pre-filled out tax return telling you how much you owe (or, if you overpaid, how much you will get back). With one check of the box, you could either accept it, or simply say "No Thanks" and do the taxes yourself. It’s just an option.

I support Vox in this. I use TaxAct.

From Alternet: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant has declared April "Confederate Heritage Month," which has rightfully angered many residents in the state, “especially since the governor refuses to mention what the Civil War was really about—slavery,” The Young Turks co-host Ana Kasparian pointed out on Tuesday.

 

I guess that means Mississippi is now celebrating Republican Racism Month.

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Jan 182016
 

Yesterday I posted my MLK Day article a day early.  I knew I’d be covering the Democratic Presidential Debate today, and was uncertain if I’d have time for both, as I have PT coming and my helper friend coming to organize clothes.  Tomorrow I have a final follow-up appointment with the surgeon, who whittled my leg down to create Stumpy, so I may have just a Personal Update or an Open Thread.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took mw 2:26 (average 4:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0117Broncos23-Steelers16

It was much closer than the score indicates.  Phew!!

Short Takes:

From Christian Science Monitor: What does the federal government do with your money? Take our taxes quiz.

I answered 19 of 25 questions correctly for a total score of 76%. Average reader scored 40%. Click through to take the quiz.

From Alternet: “He’d never beat Trump or Cruz in a general election.”

Wrong. According to the latest polls, Bernie is the strongest Democratic candidate in the general election, defeating both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in hypothetical matchups. (The latest Real Clear Politics averages of all polls shows Bernie beating Trump by a larger margin than Hillary beats Trump, and Bernie beating Cruz while Hillary loses to Cruz.)

This is just the first of six responses to Bernie skeptics from the Reich on the left that is always right, Robert Reich, not the Reich on the right that is always wrong, the Republican Reich. Click through for the other five.

From Raw Story: Musician Carlos Santana mocked Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in an open letter posted on his Facebook page, according to International Business Times.

The message, obtained by Clutch magazine, praised President Barack Obama after his State of the Union address, and then compared Trump to an angry ape. But the open letter was deleted from Santana’s page a few days after he posted it.

“Regarding Mr. Trump,” Santana wrote. “I remember when I was a child living in Tijuana…I often crossed the border to visit the San Diego Zoo. I would hear loud screams and commotion in the distance. As I came closer to the sound, I noticed everyone was staring at an ape in a glass cage. The ape was staring back at the crowd that gathered. With an angry look of disgust, the ape defecated in his hand and threw it at the crowd. This is what I hear when Mr [sic] Trump speaks.

LMAO!! Here’s some refreshment.

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Jan 102016
 

Yesterday was busy.  By the time I arrived home, I couldn't seem to stir myself to prepare an Open Thread in time for publishing.  The one short take I had morphed into today's lead article.  So I threw up my hands, watched a video, and did some major cat cuddling.  My little girl, Annie, was asleep under my desk earlier, but now my big ginger, Winnie, is there, his paw and head resting on my foot.

Short Takes

Think Progress — On Monday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson released his tax plan, the center of which is a flat tax of 14.9 percent.

Rather than different tax brackets for different income levels and categories, the flat tax levies the same rate on all personal and business income, although Carson’s 14.9 percent rate would only apply to people who have incomes above 150 percent of the poverty level, or $36,375 for a family of four. Those who make less would have to make a small tax payment: “Even those who earn little income will pay taxes, no matter how small their contribution might be,” Carson says in his plan. Currently, 46 percent of Americans don’t have to pay federal income taxes because their incomes are too low.

Shades of Mr 999!  Republicans have been in a sweaty dither about the national deficit during Obama's presidency, and now Carson wants to significantly reduce revenues?  He probably thinks it will help him at the polls.  What a jackass!

Politico — Charles Koch is “disappointed” with the line-up of Republican candidates in the 2016 cycle, and is surprised by the lack of influence he and his brother have wielded so far.  

Koch, his brother David, and their network had pledged to spend $889 million on policy and political battles headed into November 2016. But Charles Koch said in October that the political network of donors revised its estimate and instead planned on spending $750 million on politics over two years.

So Charles isn't feeling the love?  Poor baby.  I can hear him now as the campaign finance laws are reformed and Citizens United is overturned!  The reduction is still a drop inthe bucket!

Mediaite — Cruz defiantly scoffed off recent criticism by Republican opponent Donald Trump regarding his citizenship by proclaiming that the question is “settled law.” Here is the thing. It is not. In fact, the meaning of natural born is just simply not defined in the U.S. Constitution.

There are three basic requirements for presidency. First, the President must be 35 years old or older. Second, he or she must be a “Resident” of the Unites States for fourteen years. But the third one is vague and is the heart of the controversy. The President must be a “natural born Citizen.”  Mr. Cruz – a Harvard Law grad, an attorney and former state solicitor general – should know that.

Certainly, Trump is test driving his "birther" screed on Cruz, but so far, not as vehemently as he did with Obama . . . yet!  And then there is the notion put forth in Talking Points Memo that Cruz's mother may have become a Canadian.  Personally, I doubt it.  And of course, the Coultergeist, a Trump supporter, weighed in on the issue in her usual flip-flop style in Mediaite.

My Universeh/t JL

I could not get the video embeded so click here to watch.  When the picture appears, click in the middle of it and the fun begins.

AmazingCats08

I'm ready for the video!  Who's got the popcorn?

 

Yeah Weekend cat

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