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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Those Republican Party Tax Cuts?


Check out what none other than Goldman Sachs has to say today about the outlook for the nation given the new, much larger national debt due to the Republicans' tax cuts for the already-wealthy and corporations.

Goldman Sachs: 

The fiscal outlook for the US 'is not good' 


A little from the article:

"The fiscal outlook for the United States 'is not good,' according to Goldman Sachs, and could pose a threat to the country's economic security during the next recession.

According to forecasts from the bank's chief economist, the federal deficit will increase from $825 billion (or 4.1 percent of gross domestic product) to $1.25 trillion (5.5 percent of GDP) by 2021. And by 2028, the bank expects the number to balloon to $2.05 trillion (7 percent of GDP)."


This on top of what was already reported about the effects of these, again, Republican Party tax cuts:

Government set to borrow nearly $1 trillion 

this year, an 84 percent increase over last year


Not done there, there's also this:


All so they could pour more of the nation's wealth on the people who already have a great deal of it all.

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Thanks, Republicans! Y'all are terrific!


Monday, May 21, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Royal Cellist Edition


You have to admit. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, whatever they're otherwise called now, have magnificent taste in cellists. This is what he was already capable of at just 13 years.




MLK International Airport: Yeah, That's Not Happening


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I just saw this report online at KCUR's site:

NAME GAME

After weeks of discussing which street to name after Martin Luther King, Jr., an advisory group is recommending not renaming a street — but the new terminal at KCI Airport. Mayor Sly James appointed the committee last month to gather public input and make an official recommendation after a group of local activists began a push to rename Paseo Boulevard after King. Kansas City remains one of the biggest cities in America without a street named after the civil rights icon. In a vote yesterday, committee members selected renaming the new airport terminal with 63rd Street as a second choice. KCUR's Andrea Tudhope reports supporters of renaming The Paseo say they aren't finished.

Right.

I have news for anybody who wants this and who thinks it might happen, that they might somehow let our new, grossly expensive airport be named after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.

It's not.

This city and area are both far, far too filled with racists and racist sympathizers for them to let this happen. This city loves its segregation far too much to do anything remotely like this. It's the last thing they want our airport--their airport--named after or known for.

You can put money on that.



Sunday, May 20, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Birthday Edition


Yessir, the birthday edition. Dedicated to none other than Joe Cocker, born this day, May 20, 1944, and Cher, born Cherilyn Sarkisian, 1946.

Going chronologically here.   And please forgive the choice of songs for each.  I had to.




Have a great week, y'all.


Quote of the Day -- Police Officer Edition


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"I know some have strong feelings about gun rights but I want you to know I’ve hit rock bottom and I am not interested in your views as it pertains to this issue. Please do not post anything about guns aren’t the problem and there’s little we can do. My feelings won’t be hurt if you de-friend me and I hope yours won’t be if you decide to post about your views and I de-friend you." 

"...people at the state level and the federal level in too many places in our country are not doing anything other than offering prayers. I'm grateful that I'm working a city with the mayor who is transformative, Sylvester Turner, and what we're starting to see is that local governments are starting to make a difference, and I think that the American people, gun owners, the vast majority of which are pragmatic and actually support gun sense and gun reform in terms of keeping guns in the right hands. We need to start using the ballot box and ballot initiatives to take the matters out of the hands of people that are doing nothing that are elected into the hands of the people to see that the will of the people in this country is actually carried out."

-- Art Acevedo, Chief of Police, Houston Texas

Link:

Missouri Republicans: It's Class Warfare, All Right


There is a terrific article out just now at Daily Kos on our own state of Missouri and the Republicans' fight for "Right to Work" laws.

Not only are their efforts unfair to the point of obscene, working to cut the wages of working Missourians, but if they get this, it will hurt Black Missourians and their paychecks even harder.

What “right-to-work” in Missouri means for black workers


A little from the article:

The passage of a so-called “right-to-work” (RTW) law in Missouri would hurt black workers the most, according to two new fact sheets by EPI’s Valerie Wilson and Julia Wolfe. As Wilson explains, “Contrary to how the phrase sounds, these [RTW] laws actually restrict the rights of workers by cutting the financial support going to unions, thus limiting the ability of unions to help workers bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions.” The authors find that black Missourians would be disproportionately harmed by RTW, as they are more likely to be covered by a union contract than other workers. The authors also find that wages of black workers in Missouri and other non-RTW states tend to be higher than wages of black workers in RTW states.
As Warren Buffett so famously and rightly said, "There's class warfare, all right, but it's my class, the rich class, that's making war, and we're winning."

Thanks, as ever, Republicans!
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All you are is consistent.

Wouldn't it be great if, one day, and one day soon, very soon, the articles on Missouri and Kansas could and would be positive and for the people instead of what we've been getting for the last at least 10 years or so?

Wouldn't that be nice?

Link:

Read the fact sheets 


America: We Learn Nothing



It's not remotely deniable.

Proof? 

This was first posted on Facebook in 2012.

We learn nothing.

We don't learn and we don't give a damn.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- When We Were Young





Quote of the Day -- On Defense--and Deficit--Spending


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"For 40 years we were led to think of the Russians as godless, materialistic and an evil empire. When the Cold War ended, we suddenly discovered that Russia was a poor Third World country. They had not been equipped to take over the world. In fact, they were just trying to improve a miserable standard of oppressive living, and couldn't. They had to spend too much on arms build-up. We didn't win the Cold War; we bankrupted the Russians. In effect, it was a big bank exhausting the reserves of a smaller one."

And now, we're doing it to ourselves. That is, we are bankrupting ourselves, honestly, spending obscene amounts on "defense", far outspending any and every other nation on the planet.

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And for no good reason.


Two Headlines That Tell All About Guns In America


Yet another shooting.

Image result for santa fe school shooting

Yet one more mass shooting in America.

This one in Santa Fe, Texas.

More students killed in their own grade school.

And with all we know about these and however much we don't want them to occur, there were two very telling headlines, articles in the news this week that describe the situation we're in. It tells of what we're allowing, what with all the far-too-easy-to-obtain weapons. Here they are. Here's the first:


Let's face it, there are so many shootings, so many mass shootings in America, we can't even keep track of them, it's that obscene.

Here's the second headline and article.

2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren 

than service members


It's nearly incomprehensible that even one of the above is true, let alone both.

It's unconscionable this is our situation. It's unconscionable we allow it.

What's it going to take America?

How many innocent Americans---of any age, really---have to die before we have simple, intelligent, meaningful weapons reform and controls so these at least happen less frequently?

The rest of the world does it.

We should, too.

Link:

Santa Fe school shooting: 10 dead 

and 10 wounded in Texas



The Bizarre, Completely Unbelievable Evolution of Collusion Denial from this White House


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Beset by leaks, White House talks firings, 

not apologies


From Aaron Blake of the Washington Post this week.

"Here are the seven distinct stages of collusion denial I've identified:"

1. November 2016: No communications, period

Hope Hicks: “It never happened. There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”

2. February 2017: There were no communications, “to the best of our knowledge”

Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “This is a non-story because, to the best of our knowledge, no contacts took place.”

3. March 2017: There were communications, but no planned meetings with Russians

Donald Trump Jr.: “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I'm sure, I'm sure I did. ... But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”

4. July 8, 2017: There was a planned meeting at Trump Tower, but it was “primarily” about adoption and not the campaign

Trump Jr.: “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow-up.”

5. July 9, 2017: The meeting was planned to discuss the campaign, but the information exchanged wasn't “meaningful”

Trump Jr.: “No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

6. December 2017: Collusion isn't even a crime

President Trump: “There is no collusion, and even if there was, it’s not a crime.”

Jay Sekulow: “For something to be a crime, there has to be a statute that you claim is being violated. There is not a statute that refers to criminal collusion. There is no crime of collusion.”

7. May 2018: Even if meaningful information were obtained, it wasn't used

Giuliani: “And even if it comes from a Russian, or a German, or an American, it doesn’t matter. And they never used it, is the main thing. They never used it. They rejected it. If there was collusion with the Russians, they would have used it.”


Friday, May 18, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- I Like This Guy


New artist Calum Scott.



Have a great weekend, everyone.


Another Shooting. Today. More Students Dead


Students and parents at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Tex., where there were reports of an active shooter on campus Friday.CreditMichael Ciaglo/Houston Chronicle, via Associated Press


10 more people dead, today, this morning.

No more "thoughts and prayers."

NOW is the time to talk about gun control.

Now is the time to ENACT weapons controls.

Background checks for mental stability and criminal history, at the very least, required, coast to coast, for all weapons purchases.

For starters.


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Notes, Facts, Recent Developments On This Presidential Administration


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The following are just some of the most recent developments emanating from this Presidential Administration. Source: Wake Up To Politics

--The Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

--The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 of pages of testimony and documents related to the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between top Trump campaign officials (Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort) and Russians. Trump Jr. told the panel that he had been expecting the Russians to provide "potential information about an opponent" in the meeting, which was set up after he received an email promising dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of "Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump."


So with that, right there, the Trump family, the Trump campaign to have Donald J Trump, was willing to turn to a self-sworn enemy of the United States in order for him to become President.

If that's not treason, ladies and gentlemen, nothing else is.

--In a new financial disclosure form, President Trump formally acknowledged reimbursing his longtime lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, for an October 2016 $130,000 payment to adult-film actress Stormy Daniels.

Proving the President did, in fact, lie when he said, publicly, on the record, on Air Force One, that he had no knowledge of any payment to Stormy Daniels.

--The Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) detailing payments Michael Cohen received from AT&T, pharmaceutical company Novartis, and a firm tied to a Russian oligarch were leaked by a law enforcement official who became considered after other reports went missing, the official told the New Yorker

But wait.  It gets better.

The official said that two reports documenting even larger transactions flowing into Cohen's accounts suddenly disappeared from the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) database, a rare occurrence, driving him to leak the third report.

A summary of the last year of the investigation of this President and his election campaign:

In the past year, Mueller has...brought 75 criminal charges against 19 people — including President Trump's former national security adviser, former campaign chairman, and two other former campaign aides — and three companies, racking up five guilty pleas and one sentence, according to CNN.



Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Open Letter to PBS


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Dear PBS,

Why, oh why do you not give us, America, Americans, an intelligent nighttime talk show along the lines of the old "Dick Cavett Show"?

It was intelligent and adult and calm and elucidating and different and erudite, frequently funny and dependably, reliably wonderful.

We could do it again.

You could do it. You could do it again.

Go, find a new, the new Dick Cavett of and for our age.

Someone intelligent and educated but not off-putting who can and would, night after night, have wonderful, insightful conversations with people from all kinds of backgrounds. A brilliant, witty person who also isn't a sycophant to or about his guests. Someone both sophisticated and folksy who can and would relate to the most educated and most common of us all, the way Mr. Cavett did, night after night.

No one is doing anything remotely like it. It would be one of a kind, for sure. The other, major networks certainly aren't going to do it. You'd be all by yourself.

Again, you can do this. And only you can or would do it. Please. It would be, like the original, wildly successful.

We'll beg, if we must.


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Entertainment Overnight -- Happy Birthday, Stevie


Wishing a happy 68th birthday to the man, himself, little Stevie Wonder, born Stevland Hardaway Judkins, this day, May 13, 1950.

Happy birthday, brother Ray!


And thanks for all the great music and memories!

I thought this next version of my favorite song of his was especially appropriate since he mentions his mom and her passing. This is, after all, Mother's Day, of course.


Have a great week, y'all!


Don't Look Now But a Town In Rural Missouri Just Got Hit. And Hard


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I hadn't seen anything of this but it seems a hospital in rural Missouri, in the town of Kennett, is closing.

116-bed Missouri hospital to close 

next month


The website Axios simply and clearly points out three very big factors of all this:
  • Many people are worried residents won't get care at all or will suffer from having to drive long distances for hospital care.
  • "We have two nursing homes, and people are already talking about pulling their loved ones out because there's not a hospital close enough," one worker said.
  • "This little town just lost its biggest employer...financially, a lot of businesses are going to suffer," another employee said.
  • Kennett is a farming community in Dunklin County, whose residents are poor and have some of the worst health outcomes in the state. (The area overwhelmingly voted for President Trump in 2016.)
Get that.

Not only losing your town's only hospital but also it's biggest employer. Talk about a double, if not triple or worse "whammy."

Can you imagine even being elderly in that town, let alone in a nursing home, knowing your town is losing its hospital?

If you had a loved one in a nursing home there, would you keep them there?

Worse, if you were in that nursing home and in reasonably good condition otherwise, would you want to stay there, in that town, in that nursing home?

What do you bet the nursing home or homes in Kennett, Missouri will be losing patients, customers? And quickly?  I would be very surprised if, in only a couple to a few years, the nursing home or homes there don't also close, have to close. I certainly hope I'm wrong about that.

Then, can you imagine being an employee of the hospital? Thinking you had a job for life? And you're in rural Missouri, rural America. The nearest hospital is 50 miles away. Further, do you think they have many job openings? It's questionable, at least.

The heck of it is, this is not good for the town of Kennett but it's not good for that entire area. It's not good for that region, that part of the state. Simply put, it's no way good for Missouri.

It's not good for America. It's not good for the nation.

____________________________________________________________

More of the fuller situation that brought this about here, below:


Other links:







More of Just How Unprecedented this Presidency and His Administration Are


It's hard to keep up with the news of just how, exactly, as I said in the title above and as I've said here before, how not just unprecedented but completely, totally unprecedented this Trump Presidency and his administration are.

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There have been the unprecedented protests of the administration, widespread and nationwide but also worldwide, even before he became President. Then there were, have been, the protests against him, personally, ever since, up to today.

There is the fact that he's known to have paid for the service of at least one female "escort", if not more than one.

There's the fact that both he and people in his presidential campaign and now, again, in his administration, have worked and do work with our self-sworn enemy, Vladimir Putin and the Russians.

Then there is the fact that this President takes money in, on the side, as it were but literally, in his official, public position, as leader of the nation, from many businesses, hotels, etc., from across the nation and globe. Which, by the way, goes against our very Constitution, given the important-to-a-lot-of-us Emoluments Clause.

Next, additionally, there is the fact that this President has put people in charge of government agencies they were, up to that point and date, vehemently, publicly against.

Senate Panel Approves EPA Critic Scott Pruitt to Head Agency


Oh, yeah, Scott Pruitt is a real beauty, he is.



Trump picks former Eli Lilly exec Alex Azar to head HHS


Here's just some of his head of HHS' handiwork:


Then there is the spending of Trump's government picks.

Scott Pruitt's $43000 

soundproof phone booth



He wants to take us, the nation, backward, into the past, and does it two ways, not just one.

Trump pledged to revive coal industry



There was the big man's famous phone call.

Trump Congratulates Putin, 

but Doesn't Mention Meddling in U.S. Elections


He attacks the press--repeatedly, continually and famously. Or rather, infamously.

Trump launches second day of attacks 

against the media


He attacked his own, our own FBI.

Trump attacks FBI and Mueller investigation 

in morning tweets


He attacked his own, our own Justice Department. And more than once.


Heck, he attacks businesses and businessmen.

Trump Attacks Amazon, Saying 

It Does Not Pay Enough Taxes





Heck, this President Trump has even verbally, publicly attacked American Veterans.

All those times President Trump dishonored 

U.S. veterans and military



Then there's all his vacations.



Heck, this President and his administration are so bad, even Right Wing, Republican Party-owned Fox goes against them at times.

Watch ‘Fox & Friends’ anchors take apart White House over McCain insult


Now, today, there is this.


Just who, exactly, is this guy working for?

Well, I mean, who is he working for besides the already-wealthy and corporations, anyway.  That we much know. Here's what his and his Republican Party's very recent tax plan, tax cuts for the already-wealthy and corporations are doing to us all.

How the Republican tax bill benefits the rich



Why the GOP Tax Bill Will Make 

Wealth Inequality Worse


Here's how they did it.


And here's the effects their tax cut plan has had so far.

Under Trump's watch, national debt 

tops $21 trillion for first time ever


One thing is for sure. Warren Harding and Richard Nixon, both, together and separately, have nothing, nothing on this guy. He outdoes them both, hands down.

And it's only the first year and a half of this Presidency.

God help us. God help us all.