Saturday, December 9, 2017

We Have App(liance)s For That

Hi there! 

Things are  bit cooler outside ye olde Fortress of Ineptitude. A cold front is moving through which brought some snowfall which was supposed to be nothing of consequence. It would look pretty when falling down but not stick. 

It stuck. So we've got that going on. 

Things are also a bit cooler inside ye olde Fortress of Ineptitude. No, the heating is working fine. But earlier this week, a new refrigerator was brought to the fortress to replace the one that’s been here for 23 years.  

About a year ago, the old refrigerator began its slow creep towards death. The ice maker stopped working.  Well, that was annoying but we could work round it thanks to the remarkable devices called ice trays. 

But then we began to notice other things. Drinks were no longer quite as chilled as they used to be. Items in the freezer did freeze but slower and not as hard as they used to.   

It took a while to do something about the old refrigerator. I was still recovering from the consequences of my stroke, fall and broken elbow from the start of the year.  But the usual things that paralyze action here in the Fortress were still a factor. 

Can we fix the refrigerator? 
Should we fix the refrigerator? It is 23 years old for God’s sake!
If we get a new refrigerator, what should we get? 
What if we don’t get the best deal on a new refrigerator?   

As I’ve noted before, getting anything new for Fortress leads to the inevitable realization that someone else got a better deal.

“Oh yeah! I got that same refrigerator for $200.00 less!”  
“Oh yeah! I got that same refrigerator for $200.00 less and it was delivered by waitresses from Hooters!”  
“Oh yeah! For the same price, my refrigerator keeps food colder and can travel in time!”  
“Oh yeah! For the same price, my refrigerator keeps food colder and provides immediate, mind blowing sexual gratification!”   

Oh and in addition, we also needed to replace our washing machine. The tub inside stopped twirling around. Which is important to the clothes cleaning process. 

I actually tried to get the washing machine fixed. I was advised that the price for fixing it would come to about $780.00 which is about the price of a new washer AND dryer.  

The upside to not having a fully functioning washing machine was I had to go my favorite laundromat, Suds ‘n’ Duds, which is also a bar.  My daughter Randie would go with me and mostly enjoyed the experience. Suds ‘n’ Duds is located in a quaint older neighborhood populated by dog loving hipsters. Randie isn’t big on hipsters but she loves dogs.   

Still, we ultimately agreed that it would be better if we had our own fully functioning washing machine.  

I should point out that our dryer was working just fine by my wife Andrea insisted that we should replace the dryer too.  Apparently one cannot buy a new washing machine without getting a new matching dryer at the same time. It is the law! Or maybe in the Bible.   

The day we made our purchase from Home Depot from an extremely patient man named Steve, we ame home and I opened the freezer door of our old fridge. The ice bin with the ice maker was full of ice.   

After nearly a full year of NOT working, the ice maker kicked out some ice. 

Well played, old refrigerator. Well played. But too late. 

So this past Wednesday, our new appliances were delivered. The delivery guys were polite and professional. M, I’m scrambling to get a clear path through the clutter that adorns the Fortress of Ineptitude.  

As I write this, we haven’t run a load of laundry yet with the new machines (maybe by the time this posts) but the fridge is already bringing us new joy by providing us with cold drinks that are actually cold. 

The new fridge is about the same dimensions as the old one but it has a more modern design inside and with LED lights in both the main part and the freezer.  

Our new fridge is cool. Literally. It feels good to be part pf the 21st century.  

Friday, December 8, 2017

The FrankenMoore Monster

 Al Franken groped some women he shouldn’t have groped. 

He kissed some women he shouldn’t have kissed. 

And gosh darn it, people didn’t like that.   

So we got today’s resignation of Al Franken from the U.S. Senate.   

While Al Franken heads out the back door, it looks like Roy Moore may be walking in the Senate’s front door.  

Even though Roy Moore groped some women he shouldn’t have groped. 

He kissed some women he shouldn’t have kissed. 

But gosh darn it, does it really matter? 

It doesn’t matter to  Trump... God help me, that stupid, simpering, cowardly, moronic, ignorant, pathetic man-child son of a fucking bitch… who endorsed Moore for the U.S. Senate seat from Alabama. 

It doesn’t seem to matter to the Republican National Committee. In the wake of the numerous accusations of Roy Moore’s lecherous advances on under age women, the RNC withdrew its support from the Moore campaign.  In the wake of Li’l Donnie’s outright endorsement of Moore in advance of the December 12th election, the RNC has opted to restore its support to Roy Moore.  

It sure as hell doesn’t seem to matter to a big chunk of Alabama’s voters with polls still showing a strong and significant level of support, despite the accusations of sexual improprieties with under aged women.  

Moore’s actions do matter to the Democratic Party which is why Al Franken had to go. It’s hard to cast aspersions on the character of Roy Moore when the list of women Al Fraken reportedly groped and/or kissed without their consent continued to grow. Maybe the hard right conservatives of the Republican Party I comfortable with their hypocrisy but the Democrats, particularly for women in the party in positions of power, do not have that luxury. 

But what about among the Republicans? Is there anyone in the GOP who is embarrassed by the presence of Roy Moore in their party? 

Actually, yes. Yes there are. 

Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the state’s senior senator, who backed Strange in the primary: “I don’t think anybody’s surprised here. The president’s interested in keeping 52 votes up here, and I’d like to, too. But a lot of us have different views on it, you know.”  Shelby cast his vote for a write-in candidate, but he declined to say for whom he voted.

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis: “The president has voiced his support for him, so I’m sure that was instructive in [the RNC’s] decision. … That’s a call they have to make; it’s not something I’ve personally done or will do.”

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said flatly that she does not think the RNC should be supporting Moore. 

South Dakota Sen. John Thune, the third-ranking Senate Republican, said of the RNC’s decision: “I don’t understand that move. I guess that’s consistent with what the president wants to see happen, but it’s not consistent with what I’ve been saying. I just think, again, we’re putting ourselves in a situation where we’re going to have a cloud of uncertainty and a cloud of distraction come January.” 

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake tweeted a picture of a check made payable to the campaign of Doug Jones, Moore’s Democratic opponent in the Alabama senate race. 

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who has called for Moore’s expulsion should he be elected, said Tuesday that the campaign arm’s position has not changed. 

While the RNC is back on the Moore train, Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell has said that National Republican Senatorial Committee will not get re-involved in Moore’s campaign.   

“Look, I’ve made my position perfectly clear,” McConnell said. “I had hoped that Judge Moore would resign — in other words, withdraw from the race. That obviously is not going to happen. If he were to be elected, I think he would immediately have an issue with the Ethics Committee, which they would take up.” 

Moore didn’t seem eager to win McConnell’s backing. Toward the beginning of his speech in Fairhope on Tuesday night, Moore ticked off a list of Trump’s unfulfilled promises, from building the wall to rolling back NAFTA. Why weren’t they getting done? “Mitch doesn’t want it,” Moore said.

Which make Moore a liar as well as a pedophile. I have very little respect for Mitch McConnell but if Li’l Donnie’s wish list isn’t getting done, its hard to blame that on McConnell who’s tried every trick in the book to get Trump’s legislative agenda through the Senate. Which is tricky to do when you’re relying only on Republicans and Republicans can’t always agree among themselves what they want to accomplish.  Plus add a less than clear and coherent push from Trump’s White House, well, no wonder Trump's laundry list ain't done.  

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee who has called for Moore’s expulsion should he be elected, said Tuesday that the campaign arm’s position has not changed. 

“The last two senators expelled from the Senate were the two Missouri senators in 1862,” said Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), though he said he agrees with Gardner’s decision to have the NRSC stay out of the race. “So expulsion is not something that the Senate has generally thought was the business of the Senate.” 

There are questions if the Senate can expel a Senator for conduct prior to that person becoming a Senator. 

So there are some Republicans looking at this mess in Alabama and realizing, too little and too late, that the rice for power can be too high. 

As for Al Franken, dude you seemed like a good guy as a Senator but with regards to your repeated indiscretions with how you’ve treated women, I am sadly and most sincerely disappointed in you.    

And it is more than a bit ironic that as you head out the back door, Roy Moore may welcome get to enter by the front door. And if that happens, I will be sadly and most sincerely disappointed in a whole chunk of a very stupid humanity.  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Oh, Jerusalem

So, Trump... God help me, that moronic son of a bitch.

I think to save time, I’m just going to cut ‘n’ paste that opening line to every Trump centric post  I make here on I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You.  

But is it strong enough to properly convey my disdain for Li’l Donnie?    

So, Trump... God help me, that moronic son of a bitch.

I think it might be a bit lacking. Let’s try this: 

So, Trump... God help me, that stupid, simpering, cowardly moronic, ignorant, pathetic man-child son of a fucking bitch.

I still feel like I’m going too easy on him, 

So, Trump... God help me, that moronic son of a bitch is once more playing to his base at the expense of U.S. interests and credibility,  

You know how Li’l Donnie is always going on about the United States being caught up in bad deals because the U.S. doesn’t get anything out of it.  But Li’l Donnie, self professed deal maker extraordinaire will make the best deals where the U.S. doesn’t get screwed.  

So what does the United States get out of Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. and eventually moving the U.S. Embassy there? 

The United States gets screwed.  

First of all, we piss off every single country in the world. Not one government on the entire planet recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

This is important because the status of Jerusalem is in dispute. Both Israel and the Palestinian have a claim on Israel and until some kind of lasting peace agreement can be worked out, neither side can completely claim Jerusalem as theirs.  

So why does Trump get out of recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. and eventually moving the U.S. Embassy there? 

Others have that same question.  

Dana Allin, International Institute for Strategic Studies: “It’s very difficult to imagine what U.S. interest it serves if you assume it has a basic interest in promoting a peaceful settlement to the conflict,”

Leslie Vinjamuri, associate fellow in U.S. and Americas program at the London-based Chatham House think tank: “It flies in the face of his goal of peace in the region. It’s going to undermine U.S. interests to bring peace and stability to the region."

Yossi Mekelberg, head of the International Relations and Politics Program at Regent's University London: “You’ve prejudiced one of the most sensitive, most delicate, one of the most explosive issues between the Israelis and Palestinians, in the Arab World, in the Muslim world, and all three monotheistic religions in one go. So, well done, Mr. President!”  

Since the 1979 Camp David Accords, American presidents have refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel or move the U.S. Embassy. The U.S. approach has been that Jerusalem's status should be negotiated between the Israelis and Palestinians. 

The Palestinians seek the city's eastern sector, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as the capital of a future independent state. They fear that Trump's declaration essentially imposes on them a disastrous solution for one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

So why would Trump make such a move? 

Ooh! Ooh! Let me take that one! 

Dave-El, I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You: “He’s a stupid, simpering, cowardly moronic, ignorant, pathetic man-child son of a fucking bitch!”  

Basically, it plays to his base of Bible thumping evangelicals and Muslim hating fear mongerers. 

Leslie Vinjamuri: "He’s made these pledges on the campaign trail and he’s had a lot of criticism that he’s not delivering. It’s driven by domestic politics, he’s speaking to his base.” 

Also, it's the opposite of what Obama would do.    

Leslie Vinjamuri: "It also feeds into his desire to be seen as the anti-Obama by evangelicals and hardliners who saw Obama as too pro-Palestine. He wants to say to his base that he is bringing America back to before Obama. But of course he’s not, because all presidents have recognized the complexity of Jerusalem.”

Of course, it all can come down to the simple madness of King Donnie who does whatever pops into his head or whatever is put their by Sean Hannity, Alex Jones or the gang on Fox & Friends.  

Yossi Mekelberg: “The timing of it, the need for it, baffles most of us. I think we are in a completely in uncharted territory with the Trump administration and that rationality and logical decisions are hard to come by." 

Dana Allin: "Trump's decision appears more impulsive than methodical. I think he promised to do so in his presidential campaign, and he doesn’t see why he shouldn’t go through it.” 

Or to put it another way.  

Dave-El, I’m So Glad My Suffering Amuses You: “He’s a stupid, simpering, cowardly moronic, ignorant, pathetic man-child son of a fucking bitch!”  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

As Long As They Get the Win

So, Trump... God help me, that moronic son of a bitch. 

Let me make it clear: talking about Trump does not make me angry. I am ALWAYS angry every day this small minded idiot is still in the Presidency. Talking about Trump just gives voice to the anger that is already there.  

So, Trump... God help me, that moronic son of a bitch, has gone all in and endorsed Roy Moore for the open Alabama senate seat. 

And the Republican National Committee (RNC) is back on the Moore train as well. 

When the accusations came out of Roy Moore having inappropriate relations with teen age girls, the RNC backed off its support of Moore’s campaign. Then the RNC looked around and saw no one was joining them. 

So Roy Moore when he was in his 30s was accused of scoring some sexy time with teenage girls, accusations that at least skirted the edges of statutory rape, at least one of who was 14 years old. And everybody’s OK with that? 

While poll numbers for Moore against his democratic opponent, Doug Jones, have fluctuated a bit, there is still a core base of support that has not given up on Moore and may push him over to victory when the special election is held on December 12th.  

The morally rock ribbed evangelical conservative Christians of Alabama would sooner read the Koran than vote for a Democrat.  

Reactions from Alabama Republicans to the accusations against Moore fall into two camps.  

Fake News
The whole story is  a liberal hit piece from a liberal mouthpiece, the Washington Post. The women are all lying, manipulated and paid off by a liberal media that’s out to bring down such a good Christian man. 

It Doesn’t Matter
So what if Roy Moore really did have a thing for teen age girls? That was over 40 years ago. Besides, old dudes used to get jiggy with teen age girls all the time in the Bible, right? Anyway, Moore has repeatedly asserted his bonafides as a morally rock ribbed evangelical conservative Christian person. Besides, the alternative is letting a Democrat win. Statutory rape or not, there is no well in hell we’re letting a Democrat win!  

Besides, what about all the teenage girls he did not try to have sexy time with?  So about a half dozen women have accused Roy Moore of inappropriate behavior? It doesn’t  matter compared to all the women he didn’t rape. 

Seriously, a Roy Moore spokesperson went on CNN with this defense:  “We need to make it clear that there’s a group of non-accusers, that have not accused the judge of any sexual misconduct or anything illegal.”   

The biased liberal news media fails to give equal attention to a far larger group: women who made it through their teenage years without Roy Moore trying to get into their pants. 

Maybe I can try this with my wife. 

“Yes, I had sex with Tin Fey but think about all the women I didn’t have sex with!” I’m sure she would understand.  

So with this two prong refutation of the accusations against Roy Moore, it’s either not true or it doesn’t matter if it is, Roy Moore is still a viable Republican Senate candidate in Alabama.  

So the RNC must be thinking, “Why are we the only one running away from Roy Moore?”   

Especially when Trump, sniveling little man child coward that he is, does what he’s been itching to do for weeks now to fully endorse Roy Moore. 

Li’l Donnie has made it clear all along he wants a Republican win to keep his slim GOP majority in the Senate, any consequences be damned. Trumpy is all too willing to embrace either “fake news” or “it doesn’t matter”, as long as he can score a win. Besides, Li’l Donnie is the last person we would ever expect to take a stand regarding inappropriate behavior towards women, given his own reputation.  

Can you believe this, Li’l Donnie is now trying to claim the Access Hollywood tape that was revealed last year where he boasted that he could just grab any woman “by the p***y” is not actually him but is faked. Billy Bush called bullshit on that; yep, that was Trump. 

So Trump, an invertebrate and perpetual liar, lacking in any moral foundation, endorses Roy Moore for Senate. No surprise.  

And the RNC, which sacrificed whatever shred of soul it had left for a Trump victory last year, would of course climb back on Roy Moore’s wagon. 

As long as they get the win, nothing else matters.  

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Crisis On Earth Pop Culture

Here are some pop culture stuff from my weekend.  

I finally got to see all of Crisis On Earth-X. It was awesome. It was not just for the heroes teaming up to punch Nazis from an alternate Earth but watching these gals and guys come together for some really cool character moments.  

Like the drunken one night stand between Alex Danvers and Sara Lance (White Canary). It was a situation that was fraught with humor, particularly with Alex's awkward morning extrication from a sleeping Sarah or a post hangover complaint to Kara about how bright this Earth is. ("Don't they have clouds on this Earth?"). But it also served to advance Alex's story arc in the aftermath of her break up with Maggie Sawyer.  

The series was peppered with these kind of character moments that gave an added dimension to the hero vs. villains stuff. 

But bonus points to the action being more than just "alien being of immense power out to destroy stuff". The Nazi dopplegangers from Earth X are nefarious and complex. Evil Oliver and Evil Kara love each other even as they do there damndest to do evil stuff like attempting to steal Good Kara's heart. 

If there was a shortcoming, it was the almost generic nature of the Earth X Nazis a bad guys. I think we needed to see more of why Nazis are bad, their hatred of all that isn't there idea of human perfection. We get some lip service to that a couple of times, like the concentration camp on Earth X where we meet The Ray who is imprisoned for the "crime" of being gay. 

Still, it's hard to knock Nazis as imminently punchable bad guys.  

The bad guys get there comeuppance but the good guys pay a price. Alas, poor Martin Stein. We knew actor Victor Garber was leaving Legends of Tomorrow but who knew his grand exit would come during the grand crossover. 

All in all, Crisis On Earth-X aimed high and hit the mark. The Jutice League over in the DCEU should be so good.  

We saw Coco again, mostly at the urging of my daughter Randie who is completely enraptured by the whole Coco experience. We saw it a different theater with a better screen and sound system so that alone made it a worthwhile second trip.  

And with a better screen and sound, Olaf is still irritating.   

I saw the penultimate episode of Outlander Season 3 last night. Claire and Jamie are so far from the highlands of Scotland as they arrive in Jamaica. But being far from home does not stop our intrepid pair from running into 4 people they know. Thinks are getting weird. 

My family went to see Disney On Ice as sort of a nostalgic throwback to Randie’s childhood on the eve of her 17th birthday.  Yes, it was a bit silly and Randie is definitely outside the target demographic but it was a most enjoyable and entertaining event.  

The segment spotlighting Tangled was particularly amazing with some very impressive aerial work as skates soared in the air as well as along the ice.  

What I haven’t written a lot about since this blog returned to life a month ago is Doctor Who.  Make no mistake, I am still a enamored with Doctor Who as ever and I’m totally psyched to see what Jodie Whitaker does as the Doctor. But the struggles with writing that led me to short down this blog back in the 1st of September are still real. Despite that, however, I am working on a new Doctor Who fan fiction script that I intend and hope to post to this blog before the 20174 Christmas Special airs. 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lower Taxes, Lower Taxes Again, Lower Taxes Some More

Fiscal conservatism.

It used to be a pillar of the Republican Party. 

Fiscal conservatism, to put it simply is don’t spend money you don’t have and don’t spend money who shouldn’t be spending. The upshot of fiscal conservatism is limited government, reduced spending and lower taxes. 

Over time, fiscal conservatism was replaced by lower taxes. 

Lower taxes. Lower taxes. Lower taxes. Lower taxes. 

It became the endless refrain of the Republican Party.  

Lower taxes is a tool of fiscal conservatism but lower taxes is NOT actual fiscal conservatism.  

Let’s say you are the government of “you”. The founding principals of the government of you are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You jusy want to live your life, to be free and do what makes you happy. To enjoy nice meals in nice restaurants, to see plays and movies that bring you joy, to do things that bring fulfillment to your lifelike painting water color landscapes and taking guitar lessons. And you could do all that too but there is a tax on your time to do these things. 

You would have more time if you didn’t have to go to your damn job. 40 hours a week is 40 hours not enjoying nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music. That 40 hours is a tax on your time. 

So you arrange for a tax cut. You cut your hours at work to 35 hours. That’s five more hours to enjoy nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music.

However, that’s also five hours less income to pay for nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music.

True fiscal conservatism would indicate you have to “pay” for that tax cut. So you might cut attending “plays” from your budget to make up for those five hours of lost income. 

But what if you don’t. You insist that having those five hours to do fun stuff will make you a happier person, a more productive employee and you can earn in 35 hours what you earn in 40.  

But you know what would make you happier? Even MORE time to enjoy nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music. 

So you push through another tax cut, this time three more hours out of your work week.  Now you have EIGHT hours more to enjoy nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music. 

And you might be a happier person but those additional earnings don’t come through with your reduced schedule. 

And then stuff happens. You got sick and had to go to the hospital; whoops, you now have medical bills. Your car broke down; car repairs ain’t cheap. A winter storm strikes, pushing temperatures down to sub-zero so your heating bill shoot way up. 

Now fiscal conservatism would say it’s time to get your ass back to work. You have more expenses than funds to cover them Yes, you need a tax increase, put more hours in at work to get some money back to take care of these expenses.  

No! You are NOT about tax increases! You are only about tax cuts! You propose that the answer to your medical expenses, car repair bills and heating bills as well as continuing to enjoy nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music is another tax cut.  

You give yourself another two hour tax cut. You’re now working only 30 hour a week to cover your medical expenses, car repair bills and heating bills as well as continuing to enjoy nice restaurants, movies, plays, painting and music is another tax cut but life can only get better because there is more time for you. 

This, of course, stupid.   

Yet this is how Republicans approach tax policy. Whatever it takes, lower taxes. Lower taxes. Lower taxes. Lower taxes.

Who doesn’t want lower taxes? I would put it to you that the most left leaning, tree hugging, whale saving vegetarian liberal in a VW van wouldn’t say no to lower taxes. Lower taxes means more money in my pocket and that’s a good thing.  

But why do we pay taxes in the first place? To fund those functions that help us to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, that sort of thing. 

If your idea of a fiscal strategy is to lower taxes, lower taxes again and then lower taxes some more, there may be more money in  my pocket but less money for police officers, fire fighters, teachers, soldiers and more. Yeah, I’ll get mine but what of those who need help? Maybe I’m OK but what of the general Welfare of our nation?   

Since 2012, the state of Kansas has pursued a fiscal strategy is to lower taxes, lower taxes again and then lower taxes some more.  How did that go? 

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback came into office on the wave of the Tea Party movement with a three point plan. 

1. Cut taxes
2. Blah blah blah blah
3. Prosperity! 

Brownback’s tax plan, enacted with the help of a conservative-dominated Legislature, initially earned him praise from small-government advocates as a potential model for elsewhere in the nation. 

But the promised growth didn’t show up. Revenues were lower than expected, meaning budget shortfalls would be greater than expected.

State programs were slashed it didn’t help. The state Supreme Court intervened, saying the budget didn’t provide enough funding for the state’s public school system. 

The state’s credit rating was downgraded.  

Then the state’s credit rating was downgraded again.  

The Kansas state legislature, still controlled by Republicans, mind you, looked at all this and decided, “Well, this sucks”.  The state was facing a $889-million budget shortfall through June 2019.

Republican Rep. Melissa Rooker observed, “It’s not just in blue districts; it is statewide. People recognized the damage being done to infrastructure, schools and the services and the state functions they depend on.”

Fiscal conservatism would say it’s time to get your ass back to work. So the Senate voted 27 to 13 and the House of Representatives 88 to 31 to increase income taxes and raise a projected $1.2 billion over the next two years. 

The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank with a major hard on for tax cuts, downgraded Brownback from an “A” grade in 2014 to a “D” in 2016.

That’s like Harvey Weinstein telling Matt Lauer, “Dude, you went too far.”   

Rep. Dan Hawkins, a conservative Republican, wasn’t on board with eh proposed tax increase at first. But after it was clear that Brownback had zero interest in any compromise, Hawkins flipped his support.

“My thought is, this is probably as good as it’s going to get,” Hawkins said. “Let’s just stop this nonsense and make sure the state can move forward and pay our bills and do what we need to.”  

Old habits die hard so Gov. Brownback vetoed this legislation but the Kansas state legislature overrode that veto.  

In short, lower taxes is a good thing but it’s not the only thing. Taxes are how we pay for a free, equitable  and safe society. But it’s a lesson that gets forgotten I the rush to lower taxes, lower taxes again and then lower taxes some more.  

And the lesson learned in Kansas is being ignored in Washington DC in a desperate bid to score a win for the Republican Party and Li’l Donnie. 

Here’s a thought: how about scoring a win for the American people? That would be a nice change of pace. 


While you were sleeping.....

The Senate Republican tax passed early Saturday morning  a bill that recycles decades of Republican ideology on trickle-down economics and trusts that executives will hand over their new gains to average-income workers.

Just like Kansas was hoping for. 

After months of negotiations, the Senate passed the proposal, 51-49, with just one Republican ― Bob Corker of Tennessee ― joining all Democrats in opposition. Corker took issue with how much debt the bill would produce, and after the Senate parliamentarian struck down Corker’s debt-control proposal, GOP leaders invited the retiring Republican to just vote no rather than finding him an accommodation.

This legislation will cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, which all along has been the priority all along. Republicans say this dramatic reduction will unleash the economy and raise wages. It is more likely the money will go to shareholders instead of workers.

So there's that.  

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Garrison Keillor? Really?

Oh, what the hell now?


Garrison Keillor, the former host of "A Prairie Home Companion," said Wednesday he has been fired by Minnesota Public Radio over allegations of what the network called improper behavior. In a follow-up statement, he said he was fired over "a story that I think is more interesting and more complicated than the version MPR heard."


OK, I was a bit surprised when I woke up Wednesday morning to the news Matt Lauer was fired but come on. In retrospect, are we really that shocked? OK, maybe I’m not being fair to Matt Lauer but he helped push out Ann Curry as Today co-host so yeah, I admit I might be a bit biased against him.


But come on! Garrison Keillor? Really?


Or as Mark Evanier put it:

This Just In…

Published Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 9:59 AM

Garrison Keillor? Garrison Keillor???

You and me both, Mark. 


OK, this is striking a bit too close to home now. I’ve been a fan of his work for years. I met the man last year. He spoke with my daughter Randie. He was a perfect gentleman to her and well, everyone I saw him speak to that night.


Really? Garrison Keillor?  


Mr. Keillor, what do you have to say for yourself. 


In an email to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Keillor said he had put his hand on a woman's bare back in an attempt to console her. "I meant to pat her back after she told me about her unhappiness and her shirt was open and my hand went up it about six inches. She recoiled. I apologized. I sent her an email of apology later and she replied that she had forgiven me and not to think about it," Keillor told the newspaper.


"We were friends. We continued to be friendly right up until her lawyer called."


Oh, I’ve been there, Garrison. I have been there.


Minnesota Public Radio confirmed Keillor had been fired, saying it received a single allegation against Keillor about "inappropriate behavior" and didn't know of any other allegations. MPR said it was notified of the allegation last month and that it stemmed from Keillor's conduct when he was responsible for producing "A Prairie Home Companion."


The firing Wednesday came shortly after Keillor, an avowed Democrat, wrote a syndicated column that ridiculed the idea that Sen. Al Franken should resign over allegations of sexual harassment.


"A Prairie Home Companion" has been a public radio staple for more than 40 years; Keillor stepped down as host last year and musician Chris Thile has just started his 2nd season as its current host.  Minnesota Public Radio said the name of the show would be changed.


Really? No more “A Prairie Home Companion” because of a single allegation against a man who is no longer hosting the show?




MPR also said it will end distribution of "The Writer's Almanac," Keillor's daily reading of a poem and telling of literary events, and end rebroadcasts of "The Best of A Prairie Home Companion" hosted by Keillor.


Is this getting out of hand? 


Let me say as simply and directly as I can: women shouldn’t have to put up with shit. There! Not complicated at all, guys!




Really? Garrison Keillor?  


As Mark Evanier noted on hi blog, “Everyone just needs to remember that punishments should fit crimes and that every crime exists in various degrees.   Patting the butt of an adult who does not want you doing that is not the same wrong as rape or pedophilia or sexual extortion.  It also helps to keep in mind that much of this is not about sex or only about sex.  Much of this is about abuse of power.”  


After way too long for women suffering countless indignities and abuses without any justice, is the pendulum swinging too far the other way? I mean, who knows? Maybe we’ll find out that Garrison Keillor is an old perv who is constantly putting his hand on a woman's bare back and God knows where else? Or maybe it was just an inadvertent slip without any guile or ulterior motive? Who knows? But I think there is this fear that every misstep is being treated the same, regardless of intent or severity.   


I think women who have been abused, humiliated and assaulted should see justice done, no question about it. 


But come on! Garrison Keillor? Really?

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