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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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:

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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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