You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2017.

And make no mistake, the tax reform bill is attempting to punish blue states, despite the fact that we already pay much more into the federal taxes than we receive in terms of spending.  This editorial suggests that it may come back on Republican Congressional representatives in the liberal states.

But what if blue state legislators get clever and recategorize income tax into something which remains deductible?   From this Vox article:

This second option is what the state payroll tax fix to the Republican tax bill involves. States usually impose income rather than payroll taxes when raising general revenue, and levy them on the individual side. But they could tax wages on the employer side instead and accomplish the same thing.

And — this part is crucial — employer payroll taxes are still deductible under federal law. The business can just write them off their corporate income tax (or individual tax, if the business is a pass-through entity).

Of course this doesn’t address the amounts of capital gains taxes blue state rich folk are used to deducting, but I imagine the legislators can dream up some sort of fix for that as well, or maybe the very wealthy won’t care so much since they’re getting huge breaks in the highest marginal tax rates.  But as the article also points out, the same people might get pissed off that their cousins in Alabama are paying less in taxes, so probably they will care just because most people who get rich care dramatically (even melodramatically) about those things.



If you can access Facebook.

My radio show last night if you want to hear it.

First half hour is pretty much just my voice, which was starting to fail to my sore throat. And then I got plastered with calls for the second half. Talked a little bit about Star Wars, until someone called in telling me that I was giving too much away. But essentially, my show was a quest for good science fiction movies I haven’t seen. Alas, nobody named any. I think I’ve pretty much viewed what’s out there – “good” by my elitist nerd criteria anyway.

So maybe someone can surprise me with the title of a good science fiction movie, domestic or foreign, which I haven’t seen.

Was that a lie?

There is speculation that the Republicans are going to shut down their inquiries by the end of the month, hoping the backlash will melt away by next November.  There is speculation that Trump is getting ready to fire Rosenstein (after his testimony on Wednesday frustrated Republican justifications) and then Mueller.

Tuesday’s election result has Republicans freaking out as they try to jam through an extremely unpopular tax break for the rich.  Their hope is that people will be stupid enough to change their minds when they see a few dollars added to their paychecks in February.

I heard some speculation on KGOE today, the Devil’s Advocate, that Trump may fire Mueller as soon as this weekend!

Chuck Rogers had some thoughts last night: Thursday Night Talk Dec 14, 2017

I haven’t really read up on the women President Trump preyed upon. I just figured when it got to five accusers I knew all I needed to know, and that number would more than triple within days. Jessica Leeds has been interviewed before, but this is the first time I’ve listened to her. The story is fascinating – not just what happened, but how a letter to the editor sprang her into the national spotlight. She really comes across not just as believable, but impressive in her depth as well as integrity. I challenge anybody to listen to her and tell me that she’s lying.

The interview begins about 25 minutes or so into the video.

Link to story.

Oh, and please, please – somebody bring up Lou Dobbs’s bulls— stunt.  Make my day!

And where’s that defamation suit Trump promised?



Guess what we’re going to talk about?

7:00 as always.

TNT Logo

Since Doug Jones’s historic and unexpected win was declared last night a number of posts have crossed my timeline along the lines of “so they managed to not elect a child molester, whoopie,” to “Well we owe gratitude to the black voters, no thanks to the white voters.”

In other words the voters of Alabama (and no, the black voters, as amazing as their turnout and unity were, could not have done it alone in a state in which 26 percent of the residents and 30 percent of yesterday’s voters were black) handed progressives an amazing unlikely win, and we’re still judging them because they do not perceive and think the way we do.

I intend to write something longer another time, but this just indicates to me a huge necessity for progressives to occasionally wander outside of our echo chambers and give up the attitudes which helped Trump to power and which enable our own representatives to use phrases like “basket of deplorables” and not understand why that hurts. It indicates that secular culture is oblivious to the perceptions of religious culture – we refer to evangelical culture as “the American Taliban” not realizing how inaccurate it is, but also not realizing the ways in which it IS accurate.

There are communities, and people in our own communities, who see the universe (not just the world) on completely different terms, and we’re so busy patting ourselves on our collective backs for how forward thinking we are, that we just don’t have a concept that others are operating from a different cultural context, and looking at the world from a different lens. The guy on NPR yesterday morning who saw voting for a likely child molester as a lesser evil to the “genocide of the unborn” he sees associated with Doug Jones isn’t evil. He’s wrong, and the implications of his beliefs on the liberty of women and other concerns are huge, and we have to oppose him politically. But we do not have to frame his beliefs as motivated by a desire to maintain power over women. Nor do we have to adjudge his vote as one motivated by feelings of white superiority. We cannot read his mind. We can only hear his words. And then we do what we have to politically. And we really need to make damn sure that we understand that the opposition to abortion and other “social issues” as the media like to refer them is hardly limited to the white working class.

And we need to toss the phrase “white working class.”

There were enough white people in the state, mostly working class, who either changed their vote or simply abstained from voting, to turn the tide against Moore and what he represents. We need to embrace the moment and those who set aside the angry agenda long enough to act sensibly – sensibly on our terms. For a moment, they thought like us. And now, all over social media, and God knows where else, we want to start punishing them all over again because they think and perceive differently from us. Because they are the “white working class.”

There are people who have not had the opportunity to take your ethnic woman’s studies class in college. They have probably never heard the word “intersectionalism.” But they are not stupid. They know you judge them and possibly on a certain level of justification, they feel that you hate them. But I’m going to say this now, and I will repeat it in the future: There can be no intersectionalism without class. Do you want to keep losing ground? Keep judging them.

I mean, look at the map.  Yes, Moore is ahead, but hardly anything in Montgomery has been counted.  Less than 1/4 of Birmingham and the surrounding areas.  And it looks like much of the rural areas have been counted.  Doesn’t look like Trump had much of an effect in Mobile.  We could be looking at a huge progressive win in one of the reddest states in the country!

Still, Moore is up by 5.  I’ll feel better when that changes.

Addendum:  Moore up by 8 percent now, but still lots of Birmingham, Mobile, and Montgomery to count.  And Jones is winning in Madison County!

Second addendum:  Spread is back down to 5 when some Birmingham results came in.  Okay, I’m walking away from the screen for awhile!

Third addendum:  Jones just took the lead!  86 percent counted.

Final addendum:  AP just called it for Jones!!!!

I think I took this a couple of years ago.  Just came upon it in my stash while looking for something else.




December 2017