Thursday, November 30, 2017
Showing even less warmth and emotional intelligence than Ivanka's giant clam white-out Thanksgiving table, Melania Knavs decked the White House halls with creepiness. The internet promptly skewered the Slovenian Super-Wife with well-deserved snark.
A few of my favorite comments (and the link has many, many more):
Captures the aesthetic of our long national nightmare.
This year's theme: A Blair Witch Christmas.
The exact opposite of holiday cheer.
I'm so sorry for your loss. Prayers for whomever died. Props for the super creepy funeral tho.
An American Horror Story.
Our feckless leader delights in provoking and insulting North Korea, pulling us ever-closer to an unthinkable disaster.
He re-tweets racist Islamophobic propaganda videos, in open support of white supremacy and hatred.
He pushes the spineless GOP to pass a terrible tax cut bill which will jack up the deficit and reward big business and the wealthy, while doing nothing (or less) for anyone else. The bill also sabotages the ACA and is hugely unpopular with the public, but Congressional Republicans don't give a shit. They will disregard our wishes, cram it down our throats at warp speed, and call it a "win." What's lost is any remnant of genuine representative democracy.
As sexual predators suddenly drop like flies, he endorses a child molester for the U.S. Senate and mocks others accused of sexual harassment, while pretending his own myriad accusers are lying and taped evidence against him is fake.
Our nation's highest office is held by a demented pig. Is there nothing we can do? Are we completely helpless and powerless?
This is an absolute low point for America. We are living a national disgrace, with an onslaught of fresh horrors every day. Yes, it's fatiguing, but we mustn't lose our sense of outrage. If you're not pissed off, there's something wrong with you.
It's time to impeach. Past time. In any other job setting, this dangerous dotard would've been canned long ago. But somehow, in the most important job in the world, the castrated and enabling GOP looks away and has "no comment." To them, our very own Idiot Amin has done nothing to warrant impeachment.
So, in 2018 and again in 2020, it will be up to us to restore order, dignity, and good sense to our government. If you vote for a Republican, you're a damn fool.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Monday, November 27, 2017
It's time to revive Keith Olbermann's old title for the day's biggest asswipe, except of course we now know who takes the dishonor today and every day.
Today, while ostensibly honoring the celebrated World War II Navajo code talkers, he saw fit to pose them in front of an Andrew Jackson portrait (Jackson was a notorious Indian killer and perpetrator of the Trail of Tears atrocity), and then make incredibly poor-taste comments about Elizabeth Warren, calling her "Pocohontas."
These dignified old gentlemen looked at him like he was The Worst Person In The World. Which he is.
Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall this morning at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau when two bosses showed up?
The CFPB was established by Congress as part of the Dodd-Frank Act. The agency's mission is to do exactly what the name implies -- protect consumers from wrongdoing by financial institutions. And that it has done. America needs the CFPB.
|"Dude, you're in my chair."|
There is conflicting opinion about which of the two acting directors is legitimate. Most believe that Cordray's action was appropriate and within his authority under Dodd-Frank. Beyond that, virtually all CFPB staffers are loyal to Cordray and English, not the new guy saboteur.
Both English and Mulvaney were there this morning. Both said they were running the show. Mulvaney brought donuts. I heard they were stale.
Let the lawsuits begin!
Sunday, November 26, 2017
You gotta hand it to the Repug-licans -- they are tenaciously persistent in pursuit of their hateful, destructive pet projects. They are bound and determined to kill Obamacare, give huge tax cuts to the wealthy, and fill the government with anti-government ideologues. (Mick Mulvaney to head the CFPB? Puh-leeze!)
Buster has posted about this many times before. Please reread below as necessary, then leave a comment on the FCC website at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/express, or call them at 202-418-0193.
The FCC commissioners will vote on December 14th. They're expected to kill net neutrality with a 3-2 party line vote. That's right. Three Republican bureaucrats are ready to fuck up the internet for hundreds of millions of Americans. The odds are against us, but let's speak out one more time before we turn loose an army of lawyers and sue Ajit Pai into oblivion.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Net Neutrality In Jeopardy Again? GoFCCYourself!
The Trumpistopheles administration is hell-bent on undoing every bit of good done during the Obama years. The latest example is another push from the big ISP's to eliminate the FCC's rules on net neutrality -- the long-held idea that all internet data/traffic should be treated and delivered equally, without "fast lanes," "slow lanes," or premium-priced websites.
This issue last came up in 2015, and the FCC at that time came down firmly in favor of net neutrality and regulation of the internet as a public utility. This is what we want, and what we have for now. But Trump's new FCC chairman is Ajit Pai, a former Verizon lawyer. He's a dissembling jackass, ready to do the bidding of Comcast, AT&T, Charter, Verizon, Cox, CenturyLink, et al. Those big ISP's still want to destroy net neutrality so they can play favorites and charge us more for less.
Below you'll find links to a good article on the subject by Troy Wolverton of the San Jose Mercury News, plus links to some of my old posts on net neutrality.
Since it is virtually impossible to figure out how to leave a comment on Ajit Pai's new FCC website, Oliver and his team purchased the URL "gofccyourself.com." This takes you to a page where you click "Express" in the upper right, then you're taken directly to the comment page. (You write a comment, review it, then submit it. I just did it, and it works.)
Please do this, and leave a comment or ten to the effect that you support strong net neutrality, backed by Title II oversight and regulation of all Internet Service Providers. Let's try to get more than 3.7 million this time. With slimeball Pai in charge, we're gonna need it.
So, just do it. As Oliver said, "Don't tell me you don't have time to do this. If the internet is evidence of nothing else, it is evidence that we all have way too much time on our hands."
The GOP's integrity bar keeps getting lower and lower. With the Roy Moore scandal, it's currently subterranean.
According to the Alabama Republican party, their governor Kay Ivey, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the sexual predator who is our fake president, and the serial pedophile Moore himself, Moore is problem-free and good to go because he has denied the allegations. He was asked, and he said no. What else do you want?
Al Franken, on the other hand, promptly admitted his wrongdoings (unwanted butt pats and an unfunny frat-boy prank photo), apologized profusely, had his apology accepted, and asked to have himself investigated by the Senate. To Moore and his apologists, Franken is just another godless degenerate Democrat, obviously much, much worse than Holy Rollin' Roy -- because Franken admitted his sins and Moore denied his obvious ones. Never mind everything else.
It's the latest defense tactic for the Gross Old Pervert party -- implausible deniability. In the face of intractable truth, forget the facts, ignore the evidence, call the accusers liars, and deny, deny, deny.
Mr. Moore, did you cruise the local mall looking for sex with underage girls? "These claims are completely false. I deny them. These nine women are all lying."
Mr. Fake President, is it true that you put your hands up women's skirts, grabbed them by their pussies, moved on them like a bitch, and just started kissing them without waiting for permission? "This is a conspiracy, completely false, fake news. I deny it all. Never happened. All sixteen of these women are lying. I'll probably sue."
So all you have to do to "prove" your innocence is just say you didn't do it? How very handy. If it's really that easy, imagine how it might have worked at times in the past:
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is the global media conglomerate devoted to schlocky conservative propaganda. News Corp owns Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, Fox Broadcasting and the Faux News network, among many others.
Just before kick-off of yesterday's Ohio State-Michigan game, an unidentified "cameraman" banged into Buckeye star J.T. Barrett while the QB was warming up, and injured Barrett's knee. Barrett was able to play into the third quarter, but then his knee flared up and he was done for the day. When he came out, Michigan had just retaken the lead and things looked bleak for the Bucks.
Luckily, Ohio State rallied and came back to win the game. After the game, OSU head coach Urban Meyer was incensed when he learned how Barrett's injury had occurred. Meyer called for an "all-out investigation" of the suspicious incident, to be jointly conducted by the Big Ten, the Warren Commission, the Watergate Committee, Metropol, Mossad, Scotland Yard, Robert Mueller and Tomas de Torquemada.
Said Meyer, "We need to learn more about this mysterious cameraman, but we all know the game was televised by Fox. Coincidence? I don't think so."
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Daughter-wife Ivanka has a "lifestyle company," whatever the hell that means. Last week her company tweeted a suggestion for Thanksgiving table decor:
Responses were immediate and hilarious!
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The photo is from today's annual White House ceremony pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey. I have no interest in the trivial tyrant in the center of the shot. It's the other two who intrigue me.
The one on the left looks like America's next serial killer. And on the right is the animatronic Bride of Trumpenstein wearing what appears to be my grandmother's carpet.
"I love paying income taxes," said no one, ever. Yet government does require sufficient funding and taxes are the cost we pay for a civilized society. The urge to cut taxes for the sake of cutting them is wrong-headed and unworkable.
President Reagan -- the right's beloved Saint Ronnie -- discovered this in his first year in D.C. In the thrall of supply-side ideology, Reagan pushed for the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, a.k.a. the Kemp-Roth Tax Cut. It slashed all tax rates, and he hailed it as the "World's Largest Tax Cut." But the ERTA didn't work. It did not produce any of the anticipated miracle revenue growth. Instead it ballooned the federal deficit and sent interest rates from 12% to 20%. So in 1982, Reagan began a series of corrective tax increases. (Most conservatives have conveniently forgotten this history.)
Then in 1986, Ronnie and Democrats Tip O'Neill and Dan Rostenkowski brokered the Tax Reform Act of 1986. It was billed as a "simplification," but it wasn't. Such things never are. But its changes were sweeping enough that to this day, federal tax code is know as the Tax Code of 1986.
TRA86 reduced the number and rates of individual tax brackets. From 15 brackets ranging from 0% to 50%, we went to just two brackets of 15% and 28%. TRA86 "broadened" the tax base by reducing or eliminating many tax deduction/shelters, especially those for corporations. It retained and enhanced favorable treatment for individual real estate ownership and investment.
Given funding necessities and the march of time, we eventually grew back to seven tax brackets with current rates ranging from 10% to 39.6%.
Today's GOP says that, after 31 years, the time has come for another major revision to the tax code. Maybe. They claim that TRA86 was an economic shot in the arm. Debatable. It was a boon to the real estate/home equity markets, but did not by itself spur any other real economic growth.
But the 1986 Act had two qualities notably absent in today's tax "reform" circus:
1. It was bipartisan, with Republicans and Democrats working together for almost two years before enacting it.
2. It was "revenue neutral," meaning it was paid for, designed to maintain revenues and not increase the deficit. It raised taxes on corporations to give tax cuts to individuals.
Ronnie at least tried to fair. Donnie makes no such attempt, and doesn't even lie about it very well. It's a Merry Christmas hand-out to those who need it least -- the Donor Class!
*Oh hell, I'll 'splain it now. Most large corporations are C-corps, and they pay corporate tax rates. Pass-through entities are non-C-corp businesses where the owner's personal income "passes through" the company and is taxed at the individual rate (up to 39.6%), not the corporate rate. Pass-throughs include partnerships, sole proprietors, LLC's and S-corps. Ninety-five percent of all U.S. businesses are pass-throughs. Only five percent are C-corps. Pass-through entities generate 40% of total U.S. business income. They are not necessarily "small" businesses. The GOP tax plans propose to cap the individual tax rate on pass-through owners at 25% max. But 90% of all pass-through owners are at 25% tax or less right now. They won't benefit at all from the new cap. However, the pass-through landscape does have few high-income players -- half of all pass-through income is now taxed at the top 39.6% individual rate. For them, a cut to 25% would be huge! The Trump Organization owns over 500 pass-through companies.
|And so many, many more.|
No random/ambush kissing, touching, hugging, or grabbing of ass (or other parts). It's not cute or sexy. It's assault, and it's somewhere between creepy and criminal.
No "accidental" nudity. No greeting female guests/co-workers in your towel, robe, or birthday suit. It's nice to have a penis, and it's great to be proud of it, but you're not allowed to take it out in public, or wave it around in people's faces.
No manipulation or exploitation of women for sexual gratification. No using your power, position or status to extort sexual favors. Really scummy, and probably criminal.
No "dating" of children. That's called statutory rape or child molestation. Definitely criminal.
No excuses. Think with the big head, dummy!
It's much in the national news right now, but it's nothing new, and it's not limited to the U.S. The problem of men behaving badly is global and age-old, going all the way back to whoever it was who first believed that women were somehow not equal, were a bit inferior, and could therefore be oppressed, abused, sexually harrassed, underpaid and denied equal rights forevermore. But the times, they are a-changing, and women are no longer willing to just quietly "accept it." The #MeToo movement has helped a lot. We've finally reached a tipping point. Good.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Continuing their pattern of doing every awful thing imaginable, the Trump administration/wrecking crew has reversed a rule banning big-game hunters from importing African elephant parts for display as "trophies." Can't you hear Beavis & Butthead (Don Jr. & Eric)? -- "Oh, Daddy, please! We just gotta have more elephant tails! Please, Daddy, please!"
African elephants are an endangered species.
The rationale for this fish-in-a-bowl "sport hunting" is that it creates necessary revenue for animal conservation efforts. Wealthy trophy hunters pay very large fees for the privilege of killing these magnificent creatures, and all that money helps protect and preserve the animals and their habitat. The hunters have convinced themselves they're actually saving animals by killing them and mounting their heads on a wall.
I call big BULLSHIT! I will readily grant that African animal conservation takes a bunch of money. But if the primary concern of these high-minded hunters is really the preservation of elephants, lions, leopards, etc., they should just donate the fee or an even larger amount, and skip the killing part. That would literally save an animal and help the cause.
And I can hear their reply: "Hell no, you pantywaist lib-tard! If I'm coughing up $50 large, I'm friggin' shootin' something! Yee-ha!"
|A whole lot of "conservation" going on here.|
Thursday, November 16, 2017
|Ohio's next governor?|
We will always need a CFPB. We should have established one a long time ago. The reason we didn't is that conservatives believe in the fairy tale of self-regulation, and resent the idea of any government oversight of business dealings. Republicans have loathed Cordray and the CFPB from the get-go. In a recent party line vote, Republicans spit in his eye and overturned the class-action rule, returning to the bad old days of bank-controlled forced arbitration (where banks always win and consumers always lose).
Cordray's sudden departure leaves the CFPB in a weird spot. The agency will continue to exist and do its work, but without his leadership and vision. Control will initially fall to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who will appoint an interim director. Don't expect much. Mnoosh and Trump will undoubtedly select the one individual who can do the most harm to consumer finance. They may pardon Bernie Madoff and give him the job. But take heart -- our turn will come again, and soon.
It's reported that Cordray will enter the 2018 Ohio governor's race. As much as I hate to see a strong consumer advocate like him leave D.C., I'll be glad if he runs for governor. He's a former Ohio Attorney General and he'd clearly be the strongest Democrat, with a good chance of winning next November. He'd make a great governor.
Although he hasn't even announced his candidacy, Ohio Republicans wasted no time in attacking him. Ohio GOP Chairperson Jane Timken said yesterday, "Ohio voters know a swamp creature when they see one, and just like Hillary, Crooked Cordray can't be trusted."
Jane, you ignorant slut! I give you a D for originality with your recycled Trump-speak, and an F for your knowledge of swamp creatures.
|Jane, these are swamp creatures.|
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
(Yet another email to my useless weenie Republican Senator Rob Portman.)
Portman office staffers: Please see that Rob himself gets this and reads it fully. I want and expect a brief personal reply from the Senator, not the usual staff-generated policy boilerplate.
Tax cuts, cancer, and the GOP playbook, in four steps:
1. Decide to quickly ram through an enormous tax cut for corporations and wealthy individuals with only Republican votes by using the budget reconciliation loophole and the 51-vote simple majority.
2. Write your own partisan budget "rules" allowing you to increase the deficit by up to $1.5 trillion, which will of course increase the national debt. In other words, give yourselves the authority to make make deep tax cuts without paying for them. (The GOP's self-proclaimed fiscal responsibility is a crock.)
3. With your tax cut plan reducing federal revenue so much that you struggle to meet the $1.5 trillion deficit cap, you attempt to get there by cutting popular, long-standing tax deductions like mortgage interest, state and local taxes, medical expenses and student loan interest. Also, you'd trigger an automatic $25 billion cut in the hugely-popular Medicare program.
It's this last step that's the cruelest insult. You're willing to trade lives for tax cuts, and I am a prime example. Your constant undermining of the ACA will kill me -- literally.
That's why I'm writing you again, Rob. This February I was diagnosed with Stage 4 metastatic bone cancer. I've undergone major surgery and radiation. I'm now being treated and kept alive by a targeted therapy medication, which I will need for the rest of my life. My total billable medical expenses so far this calendar year are in excess of $325,000. I'm self-employed and covered by the ACA, and for that, I'm thankful beyond words. Without the ACA, I'd be broke and dead.
Rob, here's what I need you to answer for me: You and your insurance-ignorant party persist in blatantly sabotaging Obamacare. Now you've dragged it into your tax cut scheme. When, due to your actions, even my subsidized premiums become impossibly expensive, what would you suggest I do? Obamacare is my Plan A, my best option by far, and it's working for me. Since you so desperately want to take it away from me, please tell me, what's my Plan B?
I await your prompt and brief answer.
cc: Sen. Mitch McConnell
Sen. Chuck Schumer
Sen. Sherrod Brown
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Clown Prince and global chump Donnie Destructo has returned from his big-boy trip where he met all his Asian "friends" (and BFF Vladi-Pooh). He has of course resumed his disgraceful daily ass blow-outs of tweets, shiny-object deflections, and lies.
As a public service announcement to keep us properly focused, Buster offers this simple reminder:
RUSSIA! RUSSIA! RUSSIA!
MONEY! MONEY! MONEY!
CORRUPTION! CORRUPTION! CORRUPTION!
The appointment of Brett Talley to the federal judiciary is patronage, partisanship and judicial packing at its very worst. He's just three years a lawyer, has never tried a case, has a "not qualified" rating from the ABA, and conveniently forgot that his wife is a White House lawyer. And the fake president wants to reward him with a lifetime appointment to the federal bench?
How about no? How about hell no? How about no friggin' way?
Even you, Rob, can muster the speck of integrity necessary for a "no" vote. Can't you?
I'll be watching your vote.