Tuesday Open Thread

“It is easy when we are in prosperity to give advice to the afflicted.”

–Aeschylus

17 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. ZappateroZappatero says:

    Meanwhile, Republicans plan to add a Trillion or so to the National Debt that they seemed to care about up 'til last November:

    If the Democrats were proposing increasing the debt by $1.5 trillion with even a mixed package of tax cuts and spending increases, the conversation would be completely dominated by the usual suspects, defrosted from their cryogenic capsules at the various astroturf groups and suddenly respectable think Tanks, arguing that the Debt was going to kill us all.

    I'm glad the Democrats are mostly (not entirely) not making this argument about Teh Deficit, but when they are in charge, the Republicans don't even have to, because the New York Times, NPR, and presidential debate moderators will do it for them. It is baked into objective journalism that Deficits Are Bad When Democrats Can Be Blamed For Them.

    Nobody really cares about the deficit, which is why I am glad the Democrats are (mostly) not obsessing about it, but when totebaggers and NYT readers get this stuff broadcast into their brains daily it has an effect, especially because it doesn't come from nasty partisans but from objective journalists and Bipartisan Commissions On How The Debt Is Worse Than Nuclear War.

    Who fits Atrios' above exceptions? Michael Bennet. Looking at you too, Mark Udall.

  2. ModeratusModeratus says:

    Free Steve Lebsock. He's a typical Democrat sexual predator.

  3. DavieDavie says:

    The American Taliban Party (aka GOP) is definitely putting Personhood in both the Senate and House versions of the Deficits Don't Matter but Wealthy Patrons Do Tax Cut Bill

    Republicans are making tax reform about abortion rights.

    A widely criticized provision that would give fetuses access to college savings plans made it into the draft tax bill Senate Republicans released last week.

    The measure is similar to one included in the House’s tax plan. The provision would enable an embryo or a fetus ― defined by the proposed legislation as “an unborn child” ―  to be named as a beneficiary to a 529 college savings account, a tax-advantaged way parents can invest money to save for education costs.

    It’s already relatively easy, under current tax law, to open a 529 before a child is born. The real intention here is to sneak anti-abortion language into federal law, according to feminists and abortion rights advocates.

  4. DavieDavie says:

    The GOP tax bill really does seek to enforce a permanent underclass and hereditary upperclass:

    Suppose that a child from a working-class family decides, despite limited financial resources, to attend college, probably taking out a loan to help pay tuition. Well, guess what: Under the House bill, that interest would no longer be deductible, substantially raising the cost of college.

    What if you’re working your way through school and your employer contributes toward your education expenses? The House bill would make that contribution taxable income.

    What if your parent is a university employee, and you get reduced tuition as a result? That tuition break becomes taxable income. So would tuition breaks for graduate students who work as teaching or research assistants.

    So what we’re looking at here are a variety of measures that will close off opportunities for children who weren’t clever enough to choose wealthy parents.

     

    So this isn’t just ordinary class warfare; it’s class warfare aimed at perpetuating inequality into the next generation. Taken together, the elements of both the House and the Senate bills amount to a more or less systematic attempt to lavish benefits on the children of the ultra-wealthy while making it harder for less fortunate young people to achieve upward social mobility.

    Or to put it differently, the tax legislation Republicans are trying to ram through Congress with indecent haste, without hearings or time for any kind of serious study, looks an awful lot like an attempt not simply to reinforce plutocracy, but to entrench a hereditary plutocracy.

     

  5. Diogenesdemar says:

    Well, if it’s Tuesday, then it must be about time for more thoughts and prayers? . . .?

    Vice President Mike Pence ✔@VP

    Saddened to hear of the shooting in N. California, the loss of life & injuries, including innocent children. We commend the effort of courageous law enforcement. We'll continue to monitor the situation & provide federal support, as we pray for comfort & healing for all impacted

    2:10 PM – Nov 14, 2017

     

    I must be getting old, because it’s getting hard to remember a time when the American flag wasn’t always flying at half-staff ??

     

        • DavieDavie says:

          Thanks Dio, I had never heard that before (non-religious parents spared us kids the gory details).  This paragraph is sadly appropriate:

          Though LaPierre is the pope of this religion, its most successful Peter the Hermit, preaching the crusade for Moloch, was Charlton Heston, a symbol of the Americanism of loving guns. I have often thought that we should raise a statue of Heston at each of the many sites of multiple murders around our land. We would soon have armies of statues, whole droves of Heston acolytes standing sentry at the shrines of Moloch dotting the landscape. Molochism is the one religion that can never be separated from the state. The state itself bows down to Moloch, and protects the sacrifices made to him. So let us celebrate the falling bodies and rising statues as a demonstration of our fealty, our bondage, to the great god Gun.

  6. RepealAndReplace says:

    They're B-A-C-K!

    Yes, the Senate Republicans want to repeal the individual mandate provision of Obamacare. As part of tax reform. This interesting because it was Senate that could get a bill through while the House just barely did.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/14/us/politics/tax-plan-senate-obamacare-individual-mandate-trump.html?&hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

     

    • DavieDavie says:

      So not only does the GOP bill raise taxes for millions of middle class families (45% by 2026), they can cause health care premiums to skyrocket for millions more:

      If it becomes law, the repeal would save more than $300 billion over a decade but result in 13 million fewer Americans being covered by health insurance by the end of that period

      So if you can't afford health insurance, you and your family get to go bankrupt before you die! 

      But at least Paris Hilton's inheritance will be safe. A Republican wet dream is about to come true.

      • MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

        #ProsperityJesus is simply giddy

        Richest 1% now owns half the world's wealth

        The wealthiest 1% of the world's population now owns more than half of the world's wealth, according to a new report.

        The total wealth in the world grew by 6% over the past 12 months to $280 trillion, marking the fastest wealth-creation since 2012, according to a new report from Credit Suisse. More than half of the $16.7 trillion in new wealth was in the U.S., which grew $8.5 trillion richer.

        But that wealth around the world is increasingly concentrated among those at the top. The top 1% now own 50.1% of the world's wealth, up from 45.5% in 2001.

      • notaskinnycooknotaskinnycook says:

        Got to pay for the tax cut somehow!

  7. MichaelBowmanMichaelBowman says:

    Is this what #winning looks like?  Are we tired yet?  I'm guessing the #FlatEarthSociety is popping a cork on this one. 

    Trump won’t meet with American Nobel Prize winners

    President Trump will not meet with the American Nobel laureates this year, Stat News reported.

    The decision breaks with that of past presidents, who have met with the American Nobel Prize winners nearly every year since 2001.

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