Escape from Elba
Exiles of the New York Times
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316  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 08, 2018, 05:00:09 PM
A good way to implode (or further implode) a Latin American economy is to cut the flow of remittance money from immigrants who are working here.  The latest from the team Trump seems consistent with their isolationist and anti-humanitarian gameplan....

Fuck Trump and the high horse he rode in on and trained to trample on brown people who do more honest work in a week than the Asshole-in-Chief has done in his entire life.

I don't disagree with the idea that Temporary means Temporary.

The solution isn't to throw out the people, the solution is to throw out the system. The solution is to throw out the solution.

The solution is growth. Hemispheric economies are what the natural progression of Capitalism (FSOTD) begs. And we're up against it. The European Union, China and Asia, The subcontinent.

A pan American (or two) economy is our greatest strength in the battle for the future. We were all hot for El Salvador when we thought the Soviets might want to be there. And now we act as though she's coyote ugly. But what makes us think the Russians aren't interested in her anymore? And what of the Chinese? How stupid do they need to be to want to ignore the opportunity that a vacuum that is formed by our vacuousness? ("His Vacuousness" seems to be the right sobriquet for the "Stable Genius.")

We hired this guy hoping that he was a deal maker. Thing is that AT BEST he's a dealt. He doesn't seem to be looking to move forward at all. He is only looking at collecting all the chips he can and piling them up. (I won't let myself get too distracted by the casino lessons he, apparently, did and did not learn.) If you don't buy El Salvador while its still cheap, you're going to have to buy it back from the Chinese at a much higher price. Or the Russians, or Germany.

The Chinese have been probing South America for quite some time now, making sweet deals with Brazil, making nice with Chile. We're already behind in this game of Stratego. And we're retreating! The Germans have already used Mexico as a back door into the US market, and instead of rising to the challenge, we've backed away in favor of the multinationals (as if they are us) who have been joining forces with the whomever is in their best short term monetary interests.

We live in such exciting times. It is so depressing to watch us cocoon.
317  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 08, 2018, 04:29:03 PM
For those agitating for a "third party," a serious (or even half-assed) run by Oprah for President could be the trigger you're looking for.  It's rare that I use the word "embarrassing" twice in one day, but here we are.   

So you think she'd win?
318  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 08, 2018, 04:10:01 PM
I have a great deal of respect for Oprah. Am I a "fan"?  not sure.  But I think she is a good person, and she has done well for herself (financially and otherwise) by intelligently speaking truth to power.  Last night... bravo.

But I really think the last thing this country needs is an Oprah vs. Trump 2020.  

She would beat him, despite the (ahem) demographic challenges.  But we need to reverse out of this personality worshipping downward spiral Trump has our politics on.  Not deepen it.

Not to mention, Politics is a craft. It is something that you can take up as a hobby. But you won't be the best in your field if you don't have the training. Oprah's success is partly coalition building and delegation of responsibility. But it was her decision to be a big investor in (wasn't it?) Nike that propelled her growth. And her decision to buy big into Weight Watchers (hasn't worked yet I guess it HAS, holey moley! I stopped watching, I couldn't wait anymore) in an effort to replicate her result (you know what they say about past performance and future results) is the sort of thing that a President can't really do.

For that reason and NeedsAdjustment's I wouldn't support her in the primaries, and I shake my head in expectation that the Democrats are going shove defeat down the throat of victory again.

But I have to admit that she is "The American Success Story" on steroids! She should be (and probably is) celebrated as such.
319  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 08, 2018, 03:42:50 PM
Quote from: Excerpt of e-letter received from Senator Collins
Under the new law, the seventy-two percent of Mainers who already use the standard deduction can expect to pay lower taxes.  In fact, most Maine households will see their taxes lowered and will have more money in their paychecks when withholding tables are adjusted later this winter.  The law nearly doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for joint filers.  The child tax credit is also doubled from $1,000 to $2,000, and with my strong support up to $1,400 of that tax credit will now be refundable in order to benefit low-income families.
A family in Maine with $24,000 in income will not pay anything to the federal government.  A single mother earning $35,000 with one child will see her taxes drop by nearly 4,000 percent.  Instead of paying money to Washington, she will be getting back nearly $1,100 to help her make ends meet.  A couple with no children, earning $60,000, will see their taxes fall by more than $900.  And a couple with two children earning $60,000 will get a tax cut of about $1,700.
Building on these tax cuts, I authored three key amendments, signed into law, that will allow taxpayers to deduct up to $10,000 in state and local taxes, deduct medical expenses, and make tax-free contributions for retirement savings.
?  [sic]     The original Senate bill would have eliminated what is known as the SALT deduction that prevents double taxation and is particularly important for a high-tax state such as Maine.  My amendment restored the deduction for property taxes up to $10,000, and the final law goes a step further to allow the deduction of property and income or sales taxes up to this level.
?  [op sic]     The original House bill would have eliminated the long-standing medical expenses deduction used by approximately 8.8 million Americans annually—nearly half of whom make less than $50,000 per year.  My amendment, praised by AARP and 44 other consumer groups, restored the deduction and lowered the threshold for claiming the deduction for unreimbursed medical expenses from 10 percent to 7.5 percent of income for 2017 and 2018.  Seniors and others struggling with high unreimbursed health care costs, including for long-term care for a loved one and those with expensive, chronic health conditions, will benefit.
?  [Ibid sic]     The original Senate bill would have eliminated the ability of public employees like firefighters, school teachers, and police officers, as well as clergy and employees of nonprofits, to make “catch-up” contributions to their retirement accounts.  My amendment preserves the ability of these individuals, who are generally paid less than their counterparts, to make these “catch-up” contributions for a more secure retirement.   

Quote from:  Except of an e-letter to Senator Collins
Beyond this, however. Please, Senator Collins, do not insult my intellect. We live in a global economy where the foreign exchange markets adjust for international differences in cost of goods sold. If our products are too expensive, then the rest of the world buys less of them. As they do that the demand for US Dollars goes down Demand goes down, price drops. When the price of the dollar has compensated for the higher costs, the price of the good is equivalent to the locally produced item. Dropping taxes does not make our goods less expensive I.E. "More Competitive."

Beyond this, it flies in the face of the fact that US Multinationals have a stockpile of earnings they made as a result of sales worldwide (contrary to the argument of our "non competitive" tax onus) which they theoretically will repatriate. As if they haven't repatriated billions by taking advantage of the artificially low interest rates, we hard working Americans have paid for over the past decade. Apple, for example in effect repatriated some $16Billions by issuing bonds at below inflation coupon rates (thus insuring themselves that the totality that they pay back will be less than the present value of the money they borrowed). What did they do with that money? They bought $14Billion in Apple stock. Thereby increasing the net worth of highly compensated Apple management and other large shareholders of the company. Oh, and the rise in Apple stock also figures positively into the executive compensation plan.  But a single parent with $3,000 total income per month will get nearly $100 per month, a 3.3% "tip." A 2.8% "tip" for the cited family of four. Wait a second, there's an 18% penalty for maintaining the family? Color me underwhelmed.

Let us further, not forget that while the top corporate rate may have been 35% there are a plethora of tax advantages we already gave to businesses. Such that companies including Exxon/Mobil and General Electric have had years when their effective tax rates were 0% and lower.

So, please.

Further to this is the law that none of us can change, the law of supply and demand. When everyone has more money, nobody has more money. The prices of everything is a function of the number of dollars available to pay for them. Increase the dollars available and the prices will rise. So that hypothetical single parent will have a net $0 increase in purchasing power. Because all the other single parents will also have the bump in their income, and they're all spending it on the same things. The prices will rise and the $100 won't buy them a bean more than they can afford today.

This all, not even to mention the global trade war this tax bill has already sparked. Nor does it mention the undermine the phrase "Full Faith And Credit Of the United States" when, after a two decade borrowing spree that capped off a four decade history of "Borrow and Spend," economics, when we have a strong economy, instead of using the money to pay down our debts, we increase the debt, with no practical benefit to show for it. Our infrastructure is an embarrassment versus the developed world. How are we going to fix that, and fight a war, and remain belligerent around the globe, and support a military (including a Navy!) and service our debt, and run up another Trillion dollars in deficit spending? With a cut to revenues? What is likely to happen to our credit rating, Senator? And then what?

Yes, you have been better than most of your colleagues on the right. I applaud you. I implore you, however, to join with other "Traditional Republicans" and create a true power sharing relationship that ends the mean-spiritedness that has enveloped our nation. Ironically, the Republican party has been taken over by the very people the Republican Party was formed to combat. Why is rural Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and New England Republican? Because the founders of those areas were Abolitionists. Yet now the party is shoulder to shoulder with an ideology that is anathema to the memories of OUR ancestors.

I didn't get into how she wants double credit for the deductions (250 for teachers) that they'll never get because they won't be itemizing deductions anymore. Among other things.

320  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 07, 2018, 04:29:20 PM
BTW, another Freudian slip by the Orange peel.

"Stable Genius,"? Well he's full of horse shit, that's for damned sure!
321  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 07, 2018, 04:26:55 PM
became President of the United States at his first attempt.

Like A Virgin

Ran for the very first time?

No, Donald had been laughed out of the race at least twice before. Saying, "I'm Out," while still mouthing the words "I'm In."

Actually, I think it was four times that he said that he was going to run before this time. It might have been 5 or even 6. I believe I had heard hot air balloons in every cycle since George H Bush. Not all of them got to the formal declaration stage, or even the "I'm considering," stage. But they all made it to the, "Why, I oughta'," level. Speaking of Stooges.
322  Science and Technology / Science and Religion / Re: Science and Religion on: January 07, 2018, 11:05:33 AM
So I have been having a discussion with my buddy and with my nephew about leading us not into temptation.

It goes to show that there is damn little that is new in this world that the Pope just recently (but since I started playing with it) come out to opine on this very subject.

See, in the Lord's Prayer it entreats God to "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." That's what the translation Americans have agreed on. Apparently, in many languages it comes out the same.

So my "insight" is, so if it is God that LEADS us into temptation, how can he get mad if we fall for it? That's entrapment! (for those who want to claim we're a "Christian Nation" this would be evidence of the opposite.) It is basic to our existence that the police (the state) can not put us in the path of crime and then arrest us for that crime.

So anyway, the Pope agrees with me (I like the Pope, he's a smart guy!) that this would be counter to Godliness. So the Pope says the prayer is translated incorrectly. Of course Fundies are up in arms because, well because they're always up in arms.  

I think you are mistaken and the Pope is engaged in wishful thinking.

For all that Jesus was trying to show a different way, he was still a product of his time and the so-called Old Testament God still had a lot of sway.

That's the deity that commanded a man to kill his son to prove his faith. That's the deity that, when Pharoah was ready to let the Jews leave Egypt, "hardened Pharoah's heart," that Pharoah would order his soldiers to chase the Jews leading to their destruction under the Red Sea.

Why? To make a point. I have no difficulty believing the version given, granting any was given, was "and lead us not into temptation."

Was Judas rewarded for doing what he was required to do? I don't think so.

I only uniggied you because this seemed to be directed towards me. As I said in a different post to a different poster, it is rude to ignore direct questions. But I will ask you please to disengage with me in all of your further discussions. You are a mean spirited troll. You bring negativity into every discussion I have ever had the ultimate displeasure to observe you in. And now that you can be ignored, I encourage everyone to take advantage of that luxury in the sad case that, when this forum is fixed, if you are again "Un Ignorable" at least they can look back fondly at these times.

Your first problem here is that you either can't read or can't write (not mutually exclusive.)

Either I am right in that it is the Lord's intent to lead us into temptation, or I am wrong. If I am right then I am not mistaken.

Nor would I be mistaken in thinking that the Pope is looking to change the wording. He may be engaged in wishful thinking. Or you might just be a putz who has an opinion that he is willing to stand by. Whereas he is a man who has spent his entire life pondering the relationship between man and God. I'm not willing to weigh your opinions equally.

Your understanding of Christianity might even be thinner than my own. Not your fault (I'll say FSOTD) given the myriad differing opinions among Christians. Many of the most fervent Christians ignore the concept of the New Covenant when it doesn't suit their purposes.

So citing examples from the actions of the sonless father towards the father of a son is not anywhere near an example of "leading into temptation." Nor is a stratagem to kill the "False God Worshipping" Egyptians thus showing His power over both man and nature likely to be more than a cautionary tale of allowing oneself to be blinded by lust.

Not to mention that the next episode included the 10 Commandments which were heavy on the, don't follow your primal lusts, which translate more directly as "Temptations."

As to your conclusions, You know what they say, Garbage In Garbage Out.

Good bye.
323  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 05, 2018, 08:01:19 AM

More fun looking at others' pictures than were I on the coast myself.

And who knows - this might never make it to ocean front property if as the water level rises the ocean floor keeps dropping!

324  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 04, 2018, 07:45:25 PM

Havin' fun?
325  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 04, 2018, 12:15:44 PM

...Democrats ought to be campaigning HARD on national legalization. Given the proportion of Americans already living in states where MJ is legal. Given the problem with money not being able to enter the banking system  being in the billions per year. Given the opioid epidemic as contrasted to the palliative nature of MJ, and the number of sore seniors  preferring it to the prescription meds.

They can campaign for a "Veto Proof Majority" and give Americans the victory that Multinational Corporations just got. "An end to prohibition within 60 days of the new congress! IF you turn out and VOTE!"

The downside I see for a "Pot in every chicken" platform (with apologies to Herbert Hoover) is the largish number of Americans who still tend to lump all drugs together (that residue of Puritanism, perhaps) and would conflate legal MJ and the opioid epidemic.  Plenty of red or purplish states where a Democrat, to unseat a Rethug, has to be squeaky clean.  Many elders could back THC-free MJ for medicinal, but not necessarily the Senseless Amelia that makes the Grateful Dead listenable.   Plus, MJ is not such a big issue for the Millennials, who are far more concerned about stuff like free/reduced college, affordable rent, and net neutrality.  (not that I disagree with the economic benefits of legal MJ, like all that tax revenue, and fewer young A-As going to prison, etc.)

I'll probably go back and look at the voter turnout in CO the year it was on referendum (I decided against the pun, because then it would only be fair to add the b too.)

As I remember, however, it was yuge!

I think it this way, too. The number of people who will turn out to vote "Pro" will be large. The issue will not motivate nearly as many to vote "Con."

Also, if it becomes an election issue, well then we can move past the false narratives of the debate. And we can move to new false narratives.

For example, we can talk about the opportunity for farmers. (We won't mention that there will be scant profit in the industry, but as we do we'll note that mostly anyone can grow an Herb Garden, so the savings versus today's paradigm is enormous.)

We can stop talking about getting high and laying around doing nothing (largely a canard) and we can shine a light on how the common user these days will take a hit of concentrated concentration and focus on the task at hand. Let me tell you, from personal experience, as a guy who is easily distracted, when I'm in Maine (where it is legal) and I have a project that takes my undivided attention, a toke keeps me focused till the job is done. And I haven't had "The Munchies" since I was a teenager. I sure had them then, but in today's "reality" it just is not a side effect.

We can face the "Gateway Drug" BS and put it in its proper place.

We can talk about the businesses that will grow out of the new industry (which, BTW, when it's legalized in the USA will be a global industry. How do you think the Arabs have been able to be alcohol free all these centuries?)

Alcohol will be the biggest loser in a legalized Herb nation. Personally, I quit my 30+ year relationship with Martinis (and alcohol of all sorts) Why? Because I'm type 2 diabetic and I'm over 50 and I'm 6'1" 230 (obese by their standard) which means my doctor prescribes a statin for cholesterol. Those things are very hard on the liver, and a Martini is kicking my liver while it's down. This comes as news to most of the people that I have spoken about it to. (That Lipitor is hard on the liver) and there is an alarming spike in Liver Cancer since 1987 (the year they intro'd Lipitor). I work in a very stressful industry, I have the same right to distress as any martini slurper does.

I don't smoke nearly as much as I used to drink. I used to have a martini most every evening. When I told the dr, he looked at me like "3 martinis a night, got it." which would have annoy me, but it was a big assed martini made with Sapphire Gin (94 proof) so...

When I was on the beach... OK half of one, 6 dozen of the other. But since then... well this is NY and I am a law abiding citizen. Who has been known to visit Mass, on occasion.

Point being. When Herb is legal, a plethora of drink form of MJ will be the right alternatives for social occasions. Huge industry. Lots of good paying jobs. With a product that can be exported.

Point is that it will be an erosion of their base. A strong percentage of folks even in "Safe Districts" (not to mention West Virginia) don't want to take medical Mary from Grandma.

Who in Kentucky doesn't say "Hey, I could be the Jack Daniels of Herb Likker!" It's not unlike, We're in a dry county, but we are all for the legality of Sippin' Whiskey.

I think it is a huge winner for the D's!

326  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 04, 2018, 11:40:20 AM
The headline says that Trump breaks from Bannon.

But it seems to me that it is Bannon distancing himself from the Trump disaster (Which, it's always a good move to move away after you've thrown gasoline on the fire!)

Note the quote was given a year and a half ago, when the Trump meeting story first broke.  So yes, it may be Bannon distancing himself from a building disaster, but if so that shows Bannon suspected that the scandal would grow.  Another quote, not getting as much attention, is Bannon saying that he thinks there is no chance that Jr. didn't go to Sr. immediately with info on the meeting.

Also possible that Bannon thought he was off the record.  Apparently Wolff recorded all the conversations and included some in his book that were supposed to be off line.  Which is not OK.

Also like the quote where Bannon says if he were in charge, the meeting would have taken place in a motel somewhere in New Hampshire with lawyers present.  Like, "If you are going to collude with a hostile foreign intelligence agency, this is how I would do it..."

Itz ME, too. When I heard that one it was more of the, "Don't these guys know that there are protections against self incrimination?" sort of reaction.

And then came the image of OJ's book, If I Did It!
327  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 04, 2018, 10:28:36 AM
The headline says that Trump breaks from Bannon.

But it seems to me that it is Bannon distancing himself from the Trump disaster (Which, it's always a good move to move away after you've thrown gasoline on the fire!)

Meanwhile... the Republican hopes in 2018 just went up in smoke!

Why grab the third rail other than both legs are broken on the first two and there is a train (running on schedule, dammit!) headed at you?

Democrats ought to be campaigning HARD on national legalization. Given the proportion of Americans already living in states where MJ is legal. Given the problem with money not being able to enter the banking system  being in the billions per year. Given the opioid epidemic as contrasted to the palliative nature of MJ, and the number of sore seniors  preferring it to the prescription meds.

They can campaign for a "Veto Proof Majority" and give Americans the victory that Multinational Corporations just got. "An end to prohibition within 60 days of the new congress! IF you turn out and VOTE!"
328  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: January 01, 2018, 10:12:46 AM
Ah shit, there goes that New Year's Resolution. Shit, shit, also the one about cussin'!
329  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: December 30, 2017, 12:09:13 PM
If the presence of the polar vortex here in these areas where it doesn't usually make an appearance is "weather" rather than "climate" (and I agree), then its presence doesn't argue one way or another with regard to global warming. As you said weather and climate ARE different.

A single isolated event doesn't argue one way or another.

An increasing number of extreme events does.

To "them," it's not about climate or weather, it's about the whether.

As to an increasing number of extreme events. All that does is redefine what "Extreme," means. How many "Storm of the century!" events happen in a century? Should be just 1. So if there are more, which is wrong? The storm or the expression?

Thing about that is, people lived through it. And within a few whiles (more if your skin is brown and you speak Spanish) it's all AOK again, so why worry?

Which reminds me:

Alfred E. Newman looks worried!

The "What, Me Worry?" Kid!
330  National / Bush Administration / Re: Bush Administration on: December 30, 2017, 11:55:08 AM
"'Smoked too many onesies' isn't mockery of a dead woman? " Likewise, "Some say she was in it for the money."

"If [those don't] sound like mockery to you, that possibly explains a lot of the flack you get here." [It also explains a lot of the flack he doesn't get, due to the inclusion of his handle on 9 ignore lists.]

Many here do choose willful ignorance over any kind of challenge to their views. That's their flaw, not mine.

No, not "any kind," your kind.

Are you familiar with the concept of "axiomatic?" There are certain principles that have been established as basic truth. When someone comes along and constantly flouts the axioms claiming that they are "challenging their views." it isn't incumbent on those who hold to the axioms to re-present the proofs of the axiom. It is the job of the challenger to present their proof.

When the challenger consistently refuses to accept the repeated refutation of their flawed proof it is natural for him to be shunned by the group.

Obviously, you are not on my ignore list (right now). I do find your line of reasoning to be repulsive and boring (mostly boring). I would not, if I were you, consider that to be a badge of honor.    

The day I start to care what you or any of the other self-important twits here think of me personally, has yet to come, nor likely ever will.

The "group" is a circle jerk all wishing to remain self-contained within its chosen echo chamber.

I've never cared to be part of such a fraternity of sheep.

Shun away.

And there's your major malfunction. It isn't "personal," it's logical. What I said can be applied to anyone in any circumstance that chooses to insist that 1+1= Avocado.

Meanwhile, to assert that you don't care what others think of you, while constantly advancing a line of argumentation that has been roundly disproved, is juvenile.

You're in a conversation because you're trying to prove your argument's worth by discrediting another's argument. Which means you care what others think. So to say that you don't (and call others silly names while doing so) is a lie. "You're only fooling yourself."
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