Jul 152017
 

The last couple days have been extremely hectic.  On Thursday I went to my Prosthetist, Amanda and got new shoes.  They were a little loose, but I figured they were workable, as I broke them in.  I lay down to rest for a couple hours after I returned home and published.  I found out that, when my foot is up and not in a shoe, it gets smaller.  When I put the shoe on to get up for supper, and transferred from my bed to my wheelchair, hopping with my walker, my foot came out of my shoe, and I almost fell.  The new shoes have to go back.  ARGH!  My appointment with Megan was interrupted by a fire drill at Providence Professional Plaza, and they evacuated a large six floor medical building, myself included.  Megan cleared me for surgery, and I returned home at around 4:30.  I’m very, very tired, but surviving medical mahem.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (RWW Channel): RWW News: Trump Wants To Repeal Johnson Amendment So RR Pastors Can Praise Him

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Any pastor has always been able to speak out and say that he or she supports a particular candidate. The Johnson Amendment never prevented that, nor was it intended to. What it did prevent is a pastor ordering his church to support a candidate or using the church’s tax exempt facilities for the benefit of a candidate. That should remain a violation of 501(c)(3).  I don’t mind paying a little more in taxes so churches’ tax exemption helps pay for the charitable work some churches do.  I do mind helping them fund political activities, especially ones I oppose.  RESIST!!

From Daily Kos: The House Republicans tried to exempt themselves from Trumpcare and the reaction was so angry and so bad that they had to abandon the effort. But that example wasn’t enough to deter Mitch McConnell.

Senate Republicans included a provision that exempts members of Congress and their staff from part of their latest health care plan.

This exemption could have the effect of ensuring that members of Congress have coverage for a wider array of benefits than other Americans who purchase their own coverage.

If RepubliCare becomes law, which I doubt, the Republicans that pass it should be the first to experience the RepubliCare Death Benefit: if you can’t pay, you get to die! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: The White House on Thursday made public a trove of emails it received from voters offering comment on its Election Integrity Commission. The commission drew widespread criticism when it emerged into public view by asking for personal information, including addresses, partial social security numbers and party affiliation, on every voter in the country.

It further outraged voters by planning to post that information publicly.

Voters directed that outrage toward the Trump White House and the voter commission, often using profanity-laced language in the 112 pages of emails released this week.

Just as Trump and his Republican Rectum Reich released these emails from voters, you can be sure that the Republican so-called Election Integrity Commission will either publish voters’ personal information, or forward it to Putin’s FSB (formerly KGB). RESIST!!

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Apr 172017
 

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees the free practice of Religion, but forbids any government attempts to establish a state religion by giving it preferential treatment over others.  In violation of the Constitution, Trump promised to make pseudo-Christians more powerful, if they ignored his ongoing perversions and helped install him as Fuhrer.  Now Lyin’ Ryan is giving them their reward.

church-stateThe Washington Post reported on Friday that congressional Republicans are including repeal of the Johnson Amendment in their draft “tax reform” bill.

The Johnson Amendment is a decades-old legal restriction that prevents churches, like other tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, from explicitly endorsing or opposing candidates for political office. As part of his bid for Religious Right support in the presidential campaign, Trump had promised to make conservative Christians more politically powerful by eliminating it.

The idea that this restriction has stifled the voice of conservative Christians in the public arena is, of course, ridiculous. Right-wing evangelicals and their conservative Catholic allies have vast access to the airways and the public through media empires and political organizations, and they were among Trump’s biggest boosters.

Churches already have the right to talk about issues, register voters, and even distribute voter guides produced by right-wing groups. Repealing the Johnson Amendment could turn some churches into political machines that launder donations from politically-minded donors as tax-exempt religious contributions.

That’s a terrible idea. As the Post notes, more than 4,500 nonprofits recently urged congressional leaders not to weaken or repeal the amendment. Earlier this month, nearly 100 religious and denominational groups, including PFAW’s African American Ministers in Action, sent their own letter telling congressional leaders not to make houses of worship “another cog in a political machine or another loophole in campaign finance laws.” People For the American Way is among dozens of nonprofit groups who signed a March letter saying the restriction has “helped maintain the integrity and autonomy of our religious and charitable sectors and preserve the boundary separating church and state.”…

From <Right Wing Watch>

Giving pseudo-Christian Dominionists more power over the state is only the first step they plan.  The second is to use the state to force their piety codes onto YOU.

RESIST!!

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Mar 272017
 

I’m still way south of healthy, but I want to try to post normally for a day.  I know I won’t be able to do so tomorrow, because Wendy is coming a day and a half early to de-stink the TomCat, before she goes to Colorado.  Wednesday is up in the air, as it’s a grocery delivery day.  The pain is still quite severe, but it hurts as much or more in bed, as it does here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:35 (average 6:15).  To do it, click here.  How did they do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Full Frontal Channel): Trump’s Hard Power Budget | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

 

I’m four days late with this one, but late Sam is better than no Sam. RESIST!!

From YouTube (Media Matters Channel): Donald Trump’s Great Health Care Negotiating

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

The art of the deal? I think he’s about the art of the steal!! RESIST!!

From Washington Post: REP. PETER DEFAZIO (D-Ore.) has a long record of clever legislative proposals for financing infrastructure. His latest, announced Wednesday, is to increase the federal gas tax by up to 1.5 cents per year, with proceeds going to pay interest on an annual surface transportation bond issue of $17 billion through 2030. It would be the first hike in the gas tax, currently 18.4 cents per gallon, since 1993. The resulting dollars would pay for a 30 percent increase in spending from the Highway Trust Fund, above what’s currently planned.

Oregon leads the way. Of course it’s too rational for Republicans to pass. RESIST!!

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Reich v. Reich on Tax Plan

 Posted by at 1:24 pm  Politics
Feb 202017
 

The Republican Reich has a new "populist" tax plan, which they claim is designed to keep and create more jobs in the US.  To someone, who has not dug down and considered the actual effects, it even looks fairly good.  But once I considered what the plan will really do, I felt amazed at just how sneaky-evil  Republicans can be.  Fortunately, you don't have to trust me.  Robert Reich takes on the Republican Reich for us.

reich

Watch your wallets. Republicans are pushing a new corporate tax plan that will end up costing most of you a bundle. Here’s what you should know about the so-called “border adjustment tax."

The U.S. imports about $2.7 trillion worth of goods a year. Many imports are cheap because labor costs are much lower in places like Southeast Asia.

Our current tax code taxes corporations on their profits. So, for example, when Wal-Mart buys t-shirts from Vietnam for $10 and sells them for $13, Wal-Mart is only taxed on that $3 of profit.

But under the new Republican tax plan, Wal-Mart would be taxed on the full price of imported items, so in this case the full $13 sale price of that t-shirt. As a result of this tax, Wall Street analysts expect retail prices in the U.S. to rise as much as 15 percent…

From <Robert Reich>

 

In short, poor and middle class shoppers pay more for their goods, and the tax is distributed to billionaires, who use it to increase automation for exports, increasing their own wealth, but creating few, if any jobs.  Republicans plan to tax YOU for welfare for billionaires.

RESIST!!

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Dec 112016
 

If you read the monthly reports, you will find that Politics Plus readers tend to be older, poor, and more female that male (although of course both are represented.)  Those of us living in the Unitd States who fit that description are probably living mostly or totally on the earned benefits of Social Security.  I know I am.

So I thought that the content of this article from Mother Jones should be posted to Politics Plus.

Now, it's nothing new that Republicans want to cut Social Security (or should I say gut Social Security?)  That has been true since it was created in 1935.  But usually, when government programs are cut that people depend on, current recipients at least are "grandfathered" in so that the cuts will apply to future beneficiaries.  Well, that's not exactly true of this bill.

The Mother Jones article includes the complete first draft of the bill, but also refers to Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo, from whom I'd like to quote:

[Y]ou're out of luck even if you're a current beneficiary….  [R]eviewing the summary of the GOP bill, keep the following in mind. If you've been working for any number of years, but especially if you've been working for two or three decades, you've been paying in not only money for current beneficiaries but additional money which was invested in US government bonds to make it possible for Social Security to pay benefits of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers….  This plan appears to foresee the government never paying that back to Social Security. In other words, your payroll taxes have been socking away additional money to cover the growing senior population. But this bill says too bad. That money goes for high income tax cuts.

Nancy Pelosi had this to say:  "Apparently nothing upsets House Republicans like the idea of hard-working people getting to enjoy a secure and dignified retirement."  Yes, she went into more detail, but that sums it up.

Even Yahoo! Finance has a scary article: 

The bill introduced by Johnson, who was recently acting Chair of the Ways and Means committee, slashes benefits, adds means testing, and would raise the retirement age from 67 to 69.  For most workers, the bill would cut Social Security benefits substantially. As Michael Linden, associate director for tax and budget policy at Center for American Progress, pointed out on Twitter, a letter from Social Security’s Office of the Actuary calculated workers making around $50,000 would see checks shrink by between 11% and 35%.  Nearly every income bracket would see a reduction….

The Mother Jones article is the only one I found which has the actual complete text of the draft bill.  It is 54 pages long.  I haven't finished reading it myself yet – I am still dreading it.  But I wanted to get this up so we can all share.

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Nov 272016
 

Wendy is about to leave.  She rubbed and scrubbed a very stinky TomCat, did some light housework, and cooked me a rotini casserole.  We had eggs over easy and O’Brien potatoes for brunch.  She rubbed my shoulder with Icy Hot.  I’m listening to the Chargers v. Texans meditation, and my Broncos meditate with the Chiefs this evening.  May the holy Ellipsoid Orb shine its blessed light on your team, unless they live under an arch.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: President-elect Donald “I’m supported by fear and hatred and ignorance” Trump has a fantastic new tax plan. Well, it’s not “new.” It’s basically the same shitty Republican tax plan that destroys the poor and working classes every time it gets enacted. Trump says the largest tax reductions are for the middle class. He also has a bridge in New York to sell you if you believe that. If you are wealthy, guess what? You will get to pretend that you are going to “create jobs” with your new found wealth—on top of the wealth you already have. If you are in the middle class? Sorry, Charlie!

Most married couples with three or more children would also pay higher taxes, an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found. And while middle-class families as a whole would receive tax cuts of about 2 percent, they’d be dwarfed by the windfalls averaging 13.5 percent for America’s richest 1 percent.

How about single-parent households that make decent money?

“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Bob Williams, a fellow at the Tax Policy Center.

[…]

But Lily Batchelder, a visiting fellow at the Tax Policy Center and former deputy director of President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council, estimates that roughly 7.9 million families with children would pay higher taxes under his proposals. About 5.8 million are led by single parents. An additional 2.1 million are married couples.

This has always been Republican tax policy. It’s raise YOUR taxes to give massive tax cuts to billionaires, aka No Billionaire Left Behind.

From NY Times: Nearly three weeks after Election Day, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said on Saturday that it would participate in a recount process in Wisconsin incited by a third-party candidate and would join any potential recounts in two other closely contested states, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

It’s about time!!

From YouTube (TYT Channel): It’s Time to Stand with Standing Rock

 

Amen!!

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