Saturday Morning Open Thread


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What’s on the agenda, as we count down towards the end of the calendar year?

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191 replies
  1. 1
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    blech.

  2. 2
    tybee says:

    no indictments yesterday. i has a sad.

  3. 3
    NotMax says:

    Couple of things.

    First, FYI.

    Spurred by the multitude of sexual abuse scandals, top Hollywood executives have tapped Anita Hill to chair the newly formed Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. Source

    Second (totally switching gears) – found on Netflix, the so far fetching series Servant of the People. Only one episode under the belt thus far, but if there is such a thing as gently blistering, that would cover it.

    Premise: after a YouTube video of him ranting against the political status quo goes viral, a nebbish high school history teacher is elected president of Ukraine.

  4. 4
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I think I’m in the blech camp this morning.

  5. 5
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: My night owl wife didn’t even go to bed until I’d been up for an hour. I get cranky when I don’t get my schnuggles.

  6. 6
    Chet says:

    17 degrees outside, and I want to do an 8 mile run. Can’t decide if I’m going to choose the cold outside, or the drudgery of the treadmill.

  7. 7
    Amir Khalid says:

    @tybee:
    All in good time. Der Müller mahlt langsam, doch er mahlt außerordentlich klein.

  8. 8
    NotMax says:

    @satby

    In need of a little cheering up?

    The fanciful sea creatures on this 16th century map are a delight of imaginary artistry. (Embiggen the map at the link for fuller viewing.)

  9. 9
    tybee says:

    @Amir Khalid: i want them now.

  10. 10
    Amir Khalid says:

    This is perhaps more awkward than scheduling your wedding for Super Bowl Sunday. The groom’s brother is President of England’s Football Association, and duty-bound to be at Wembley Stadium for the final of the sport’s oldest knockout tournament; he faces an unpleasant choice. At least half the wedding guests will spend the day furtively (or otherwise) following the match on their smartphones. The festivities are at risk of being interrupted by untimely cries of jubilation and/or woe.

  11. 11
    satby says:

    @NotMax: very cool!
    I’m just tired, and feeling behind on everything, looking forward to the holidays being over.

    Speaking of, shipping cut off and the JACKALS free shipping coupon code ends Monday for anyone who’s interested. After Monday no promise of delivery by the 24th, shipments seem to really be lagging this year.

    Hope raven got his tickets!

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Cool.

  13. 13
    satby says:

    @Amir Khalid: the wedding will probably be scheduled much earlier in the day, wouldn’t you think?

  14. 14
    Henry Brown says:

    The GOP tax-cut bill is available in many places now… one of them is http://thehill.com/policy/fina.....n-tax-bill
    CAUTION! the bill itself is 1097 pages and the explanation is 570 pages

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @Amir Khalid

    Nothing perks up a wedding reception like a good scrum.

    ;)

  16. 16
    satby says:

    I have to get going to the market. We’re looking forward to a warm snap today, so it should be busy. Everyone have a great day (or night, Amir 😉)!

  17. 17
    Amir Khalid says:

    @satby:
    A regular family’s wedding would likely be over well before the 3pm kickoff, I guess, if they manage to book the church for earlyish Saturday morning in football season. But this groom’s family is for obvious reasons a different matter.
    ETA: Oh, and a great day too, to one and all.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    Allison is from Champaign!

  19. 19
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    You would think someone would have blacked out that date.

  20. 20
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Henry Brown:
    And how long are the handwritten annotations?

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Happy Saturday everyone!

    @Steeplejack (phone): They should have used google calendar, to check the date.

  22. 22
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @JPL:

    It’s like, what, scheduling a Kardashian wedding on Super Bowl Sunday?

  23. 23
    sharl says:

    Just documentin’ the atrocities here…today’s entry comes thanks to the NYT’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg (second paragraph):

    A longtime champion of the working class, Mr. Rubio had tried in vain to secure a more generous tax break for lower-income Americans

    There is much dismay in certain parts of Twitter over the bolded bit; quite the head-scratcher for me too. Is this normal fare from Ms. Stolberg? I certainly know her name, but I hadn’t associated her with this kind of nonsense before.

    Have a lovery day, everyone!

  24. 24
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):
    If a prominent Kardashian were required to attend the game as head of the NFL, and if the wedding reception were to coincide with kickoff.

  25. 25
    Henry says:

    @Henry Brown: The official document(s) from house http://docs.house.gov/floor/De.....2017-12-18 (because it was released late yesterday it is the bottom of the page) and unlike the one at hill dot com one must have a PDF reader to read it…

  26. 26
    Basilisc says:

    They know they face massive losses in the midterms. They don’t care. In 2019 they’ll still have the presidency, the SC, probably the Senate, or at least a filibuster-strength minority in the Senate. Any attempt to restore net neutrality, address climate change, fix what’s left of the healthcare system or reverse any of the many deregulatory atrocities will go nowhere. Deficits will be huge and growing; the media and “centrist” Democrats will be gunning for SS, Medicaid, Medicare. They’ve already won.

    Just some cheery thoughts as we head towards the holidays.

  27. 27
    Henry says:

    @Amir Khalid: since no one has complained yet no handwritten changes but because of the length of the documents suspect that there will be more than one

  28. 28
    MomSense says:

    My friend who had the stroke last week has been staying with me for a few days. She can’t go back to where she was living and there is a lot of family drama but I managed to find her a new place and some people to move her things for her. We are going to go scope out the new place today and then move her in tomorrow.

    This hasn’t been the restful break from work I needed but I still have a few days next week to recoup.

  29. 29
    Amir Khalid says:

    @sharl
    I think that line, along with that whole story, is an example of what’s known in my former trade as “beat sweetening”. The facts don’t make Li’l Marco look all that heroic but the presentation tries hard.to paint him that way.

  30. 30

    @Henry Brown:

    the bill itself is 1097 pages and the explanation is 570 pages

    I’ve been told that long bills are bad, ya know like PPACA being over 1000 pages.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Basilisc:

    the media and “centrist” Democrats will be gunning for SS, Medicaid, Medicare.

    I know you are from an alternate universe, the only question is which one.

  32. 32
    kansi says:

    The GOP will all dutifully walk the plank. It’s what they do. I just hope the pond is full of gators.

  33. 33
    Amir Khalid says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:
    I think I remember reading that the PPACA’s word count was less than that of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, a book that millions of children have read to the end.

  34. 34
    JPL says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: In fact in the olden days 24/7 news would talk about the length of the bill ad nauseam.

  35. 35
    Brachiator says:

    I’m glad I’ve seen the new Star Wars movie, since spoilers are popping up everywhere. I ejnjoyed The Last Jedi, with some reservations. Coming out of the theater, I could see that a lot of teens and pre-teens were hopped up and giddy with post Star Wars excitement, so it may be a fantabulous movie for kids. And I’m pretty sure that these fans of the movie had no problem with the fact that a lot of the heroes in the movie were, you know, uh, girls!  And also, too, nonwhite people.

    I will say no more, not even hint at the plot. It was good to see familiar faces again, new cast members and old ones.

  36. 36
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Amir Khalid: Well, just like the tax cut bill it’s a sure thing that the donald didn’t read it.

  37. 37
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning,Everyone 😄😄😄

  38. 38
    Brachiator says:

    The best explanation of GOP behavior right now is they’ve become fatalistic about massive electoral losses and so are simply doing what they believe/trying to please the donors and lobbyists who can give them jobs after they’re voted out

    The GOP are fanatics. The most ardent of them believe that big government must be defunded.

    It is interesting to note, for example, that California Republican representatives voted for this bill, even though they know that this bill will hurt people in this state.

    They also know, as a practical matter that the plutocrats and conservative business interests will shower them with money, to thank them for a job well done. And many of them are in safe districts, or think that they are.

    Fortunately, the Democrats have a tremendous opportunity to spank the GOP for their hubris.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    Boy, there must be plutocrat celebrating this week! HUGE win for rich people.

    Sadly, it’s never enough. They’ll be back to rob Medicare and Social Security and anything else that isn’t tied down.

    The standards were lowered during the course of this bill. The analysis began with the bill harming lower and middle income people. When Republicans made some minor adjustments to harm lower and middle income slightly less that was then considered a “win” – although they are worse off than they were before.

    The best lower and middle income people can hope for is the Trump Administration and Congress won’t harm them A LOT. That’s considered a “win” for us- worse off than we were before any of these people went to work on this bill. On the flip side, look at the outcome for wealthy people- they won HUGE.

    Income inequality is about A GAP. That’s what it is- a difference. When rich people win huge and poor and middle income lose (lose big or lose smaller- doesn’t matter) that gap widens and it will widen again.

  40. 40
    chris says:

    Older I get the more I hate winter. Swept off the car at seven and set out to meet somebody 100km away at 8:30. Took me 15 minutes instead of the usual 6 to get to the highway and pull into Tim Horton’s and call to reschedule. I’ve been driving in the winter for nearly 50 years and I know when I’m beat.

    The fun part is that I was going to buy a set of lightly used snow tires to replace the all-seasons on my car. Oh well, tomorrow is another day and besides, Timmy’s coffee and a donut for breakfast. (Shut up, diet.)

  41. 41
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @sharl:

    Thanks for getting my rage gland inflamed so early in the morning! That article was an unbelievable fluff piece. I hope Stolberg’s hands didn’t get too chapped from the gentle ball-washing she did for Rubio.

    Christ, the only quote she had by one of his “supporters” was from his own goddamn pollster. Meanwhile, two of the three (quite accurate) critical quotes were characterized as from people associated with “a left-leaning policy organization” and “a left-leaning news website.”

    I looked eagerly for the comments to see how Stolberg would be roasted, but then I remembered: no comments on news stories. Grr.

  42. 42
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @MomSense:

    Bless you for helping your friend.

  43. 43
    Jager says:

    We’ve been watching “The Crown” for a couple of weeks.
    My question is: Mrs. J is speaking with an English accent and insists that I bow when I approach her and when I leave her presence, I must gently take her hand, kiss it, bow again and back out of the room. Does seem right to you?

  44. 44
    Kay says:

    I thought Ivanka was helping draft this tax bill? She’s passionate about children. You may not know that.

    What, specifically, did she get “for children”? What benefit? In what specific ways is any child anywhere better off as a result of her fake job? Has to be an improvement. Can’t be “well, rich people wanted to roast poor children and eat them and I persuaded them to wait until after the holidays”

    I don’t accept the lowered Trump standards. I want to see a benefit. Better off than the day these people took office.

  45. 45
    Lapassionara says:

    @Kay: Income inequality was one of the causes of the Great Depression.

    I saw someone trying to justify this bill by pointing to the JFK tax cut. That tax cut put more money in the hands of those working for a paycheck. I remember it well because, although a student, I had a part time job at the time, and my check got larger.

    The Republican Party is killing the republic.

  46. 46
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Kay: You know, children with trust funds.

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Steeplejack (phone):

    Rubio really played them. He’s the biggest beneficiary of the new lowered standard for Republicans. As long as they don’t actively make things worse for poor and middle income people they are showered with praise.

  48. 48
    randy khan says:

    @Basilisc:

    I doubt that any Democrat will be gunning for Medicare or Social Security. None did in 2005, and they’ve gotten smarter since then, not stupider.

  49. 49
    JPL says:

    @Kay: Ivanka can use their 529 to fund private education for their children. Of course, it’s difficult for the poor and middle class to take 10,000 a year out of the fund.

  50. 50
    bemused says:

    I’ve had my eye on Pete Souza’s Obama book but thought I’d wait until all the holiday hullabaloo and expense is over. I was surprised and gasped when we unwrapped an early Christmas gift from good friends and there it was. What fun it will be for our family to look through the book when we host a bunch on Christmas day. I don’t have time with all the holiday prep to properly savor the book now but what fun it will be for the family to look through when we host dinner for a crew of them Christmas day.

    Souza could do separate book of Obama with children. I never get tired of seeing him with kids.

  51. 51
    randy khan says:

    About the Obama video: Dear Lord, I miss him.

  52. 52
    Matt McIrvin says:

    This bill is unpopular because the Democrats correctly sold it as an upward transfer of wealth. But it does have temporary cuts for other people in it–they just sunset and reverse later on. I think what the Republicans are thinking is that when people actually see those temporary cuts, they’ll change their minds and love the whole thing, and then the Republicans can run later on “making the tax cuts permanent” and blame the sunsetting on Democrats not passing another bill, just like they did with Bush’s tax cuts.

  53. 53
    Matt McIrvin says:

    …And that the resulting push to cut Medicare can be successfully blamed on wasteful spending on T-bone steaks for the undeserving.

  54. 54

    @Jager:

    Does seem right to you?

    For your own good, I’d do what she says; she might send you to The Tower.

  55. 55
    bemused says:

    @Kay:

    “She’s passionate about children. You may not know that.”

    You crack me up…in a laugh/sob way. Very dry, just what a Minnesotan with scandinavian DNA enjoys.

  56. 56
    chris says:

    Good guy millionaire releases his tax return. He’s not impressed with new law even though it will save him 100k.

    This millionaire is revealing his taxes to show just how much the GOP tax plan favors the wealthy pic.twitter.com/ajOLxLeoR4— NowThis (@nowthisnews) 15 December 2017

  57. 57
    MattF says:

    Alison Krauss! On my ‘should be much famouser’ list. I’ll note that other musicians think she’s amazing. And she is.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @Lapassionara:

    It’s silly to compare to JFK’s time. JFK had a robust middle class.

    I’m just going with what I was told by media and Donald Trump. I was told they were very concerned about the plight of the working classes and income inequality. That was given as the explanation for why Donald Trump won- they all denied it was racism and dog whistles and wrote millions of words about how the working classes had been abandoned.

    Why no concern for income inequality now? So income inequality and the plight of the white working class is topical and urgent exactly as long as Donald Trump needs it to be to win an election? Once he wins it disappears? Wow. He couldn’t have planned that better himself.

  59. 59
    Ocotillo says:

    Is anyone trying to get Preet or Sally Yates to run for political office?

  60. 60
    Kay says:

    @chris:

    They’re acting as if “favors the wealthy” doesn’t matter as long as it doesn’t actively harm the not-wealthy.

    But that’s what income inequality is- the difference between the two groups. The gap grows when you boost the wealthy even if you leave the middle and lower alone and of course it won’t “leave then alone”. It will harm them.

    Apparently the absolute best low and middle income people will get out of our government is they will not harm us a lot over a short period of time. That’s their BEST work. That’s now considered a big win for us, equal to the actual huge win for rich people.

  61. 61
    Chyron HR says:

    @randy khan:

    Yes, but Democrats won’t stop the Republican majority from gutting social security and Medicare, which the Democratic Socialists of America have assured me makes it 100% the Democrats’ fault.

  62. 62
    Brachiator says:

    @Kay: Something I posted earlier may bear repeating.

    On Tuesday, I taught a tax update class to a gathering of tax professionals. During the class itself, I tried to stay neutral when discussing the proposed tax bill, but during the breaks, I could talk more openly when asked about. When I got home a neighbor, whose son is a graduate student, got to talking to me about the bill as well.

    My overall conclusion is that the bill is cruel.

    If corporations are people, the new law goes out of its way to protect and nurture them. Every possible tax break, credit and deduction has been maximized for the benefit of business and wealthy individuals.

    Today’s NYT has a story about how lobbyists furiously worked at the last minute (and opened up their checkbooks) to get more breaks into the law. And lawmakers were very receptive, and recognize that various industries deserve extra help to grow up and succeed in life.

    People, not so much, especially the working poor. It’s true that some people will pay lower taxes or no taxes at all. But that is all they get, and only grudgingly. Business gets all manner of refundable credits, carrybacks and carryforwards. With some skill, some wealthy people may never pay taxes again for the rest of their lives.

    But provisions such as an enhanced earned income credit, especially for the single working poor or any other measures that might help lift people out of poverty are nowhere to be seen.

    Republicans fundamentally believe that poor people deserve their station in life, but the government has been too hard on the wealthy, and has unfairly taken too much of their money to throw at ungrateful wretches and sick children.

    The wealthy deserve everything they have earned. The rest of us deserve nothing but a slap on the ass by the invisible hand of the free market.

    No wonder the GOP want to go after Medicare and Social Security next. Surely there is something more the government can do to help the rich? It’s all part of the new prosperity gospel of the plutocrats.

    ETA. Rubio holding out for a larger child tax credit was a feeble side show. It does not begin to address the problem.

  63. 63
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kay:

    What, specifically, did she get “for children”?

    Well, for her children she got them an estate tax free inheritance.

  64. 64
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MattF:

    ‘should be much famouser’

    No, we should keep her to ourselves.

  65. 65
    What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Kay: Kinda wonder if the rich will ever figure out that eventually Americans are going to start wanting nice things again to the point that jorb kreeaytors rhetoric is going to totally fail to sell. At that point we’re going to start looking for money to pay for those nice things, and we’ll find it by raising taxes on the wealthy to WWII era levels, because that’s where all the money is. If it were me I’d let sleeping dogs lie and be content with where tax rates are now. The alternative is a few years of lower taxes followed by confiscatory rates later.

  66. 66
    Lapassionara says:

    @Brachiator: What happened to the rules of reconciliation? I thought the bill could not add too much to the deficit if it is to be passed with just 50 votes. Looks to me like it massively adds to the deficit and soon.

  67. 67
    Chyron HR says:

    @Lapassionara:

    You’re allowed to blow up the deficit under reconciliation as long as you pretend that the deficit will go down 10 years later.

  68. 68
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Brachiator:

    The wealthy deserve everything they have earned.

    On this I agree. Let’s make them go out and actually earn their money.

  69. 69
    debbie says:

    @Lapassionara:

    They were able to cut taxes then because they’d paid down the debt from WWII. Unlike, you know, this current crop of crooks.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    @Kay:

    Why no concern for income inequality now?

    Because it’s their own damn fault for being poor.

  71. 71
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Lapassionara: @Chyron HR: That and the magic dust of Dynamic Scoring. (said with deep voice echo effects)

  72. 72
    Gator90 says:

    @MattF: The loveliest human voice I’ve been privileged to hear (though not in person, sadly).

  73. 73
    charluckles says:

    The “thinking” Trump supporters in my circle went on and on about how we were all going to be better off under the new simple tax code without loopholes and give aways to special interests. There was even a big editorial in my local paper about it. The tax code is way too complex with too many loopholes and a simplification will drive new economic growth blah, blah, blah.

  74. 74
    chris says:

    @Kay: I read somewhere that the SALT deduction is gone immediately. That’s going to hit a lot of middle and upper income people on their tax returns in the spring which is good news for Repubs a few months before the midterms, right?

  75. 75
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Gator90: You poor deprived child….

  76. 76

    @charluckles:

    the bill itself is 1097 pages and the explanation is 570 pages

    That ain’t simple.

  77. 77
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I’ve been curious about the fetish for protecting passive investors in this bill, all at the expense of working people – even high earners.

    We incentivize the wrong conduct. I’ve seen some descriptions of capital and concomitant earnings on capital as zombie labor which, instead of scaling a broad societal benefit and lowering costs, becomes the source of rent-seeking behavior.

  78. 78
    Steeplejack says:

    @charluckles:

    What are they saying now that the truth is coming out—that it’s not simple and that there are lots of loopholes and giveaways to special interests? Or are they just like “La-la-la, I can’t hear you!”

  79. 79
    Hellbastard says:

    This was one of my big concerns after the election last year: that the right-wing media/think tank circuit is so robust that the repubs in office would be willing to flush their own government careers for a once in a generation legislative agenda knowing full well that they could parachute into a comfy gig elsewhere.

  80. 80
    Spanky says:

    @Kay:

    Income inequality is about A GAP. That’s what it is- a difference. When rich people win huge and poor and middle income lose (lose big or lose smaller- doesn’t matter) that gap widens and it will widen again.

    Historically, a huge gap in wealth has resulted in the same outcome, time and again. And it’s not good news for the wealthy.

    Civilized behavior is only a very thin veneer over human nature.

  81. 81
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Remember when “trust fund baby” was an insult?

  82. 82
    mai naem mobile says:

    @NotMax: I hope they pay Anita Hill big big $$$ for this and I hope there are photos of her everywhere with big time Hollywood celebrities(Tom Hanks,Spielberg ,Clooney,Streep etc.) to make Ginnie and Clarence Thomas green with envy. Enough to have Ginnie Thomas drunk dial her again.

  83. 83
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Brachiator:

    The filthy legacy of Calvin and Rand – poverty (or relative poverty) is all because of your sins.

  84. 84
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Spanky: It will be the epitome of irony when the government they have gutted isn’t there to protect them anymore.

  85. 85
    d58826 says:

    OK I’m a big pessimist. I’ve been told that repeated by folks on the BJ (I don’t take it as as insult since it is true) and by my family. But hard to to be upbeat when this is on my twitter time line in the past two hours :
    1. forbidden words at CDC
    2. Joshua Tress NP superintendent reprimanded for saying climate change was affecting the trees
    3. Der Fuhrer welcomed the NRA to the WH on the 5th anniversary of Sandy Hook
    4. the tax bill and every last ‘honorable’ gooper falling over themselves to vote for it
    5. the continued destruction of Obamacare
    6. the Western Wall (and presumably the Muslim shrines that sit on it will always be part of Israel
    7. the MSM witch hunt into the personal e-mails of those two FBI officials (while totally ignoring the official conduct of the NY field office with regard to Hillary just prior to the election)
    8. reactionary and incompetent judicial appointments and
    9 more public Putin love.

    And all of that before the morning caffeine buzz has set in :-)

  86. 86
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Ocotillo: I wouldn’t mind Preet being appointed to Gillibrands seat if she becomes POTUS. He did work for Schumer at one point. IIA guessing he will run for NYAG.

  87. 87
    germy says:

    Trump hosted the NRA at the White House on the anniversary of Sandy Hook massacre https://t.co/kuUmEUFbKD— Oliver Willis (@owillis) December 15, 2017

  88. 88
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    HB 1563: not a right wingnut gun bill

    To amend chapter 571, RSMo, by adding thereto two new sections relating to firearm sales.
    Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
    Section A. Chapter 571, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto two new sections, to be known as section 571.700 and 571.702, to read as follows:
    571.700. 1. (1) Prior to any firearm purchase in this state, a prospective firearm purchaser shall, at least seventy-two hours prior to the initial request to purchase a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer located at least one hundred twenty miles from such purchaser’s legal residence, confer and discuss with a licensed physician the indicators and contraindicators and risk factors, including any physical, psychological, or situational factors, that may arise with the proposed firearm purchase. Such physician shall then evaluate the prospective firearm purchaser for such indicators and contraindicators and risk factors and determine if such firearm purchase would increase such purchaser’s risk of experiencing an adverse physical, emotional, or other health reaction.
    (2) At the conclusion of the conference required under subdivision 1 of this subsection, if the prospective firearm purchaser chooses to proceed with the firearm purchase, the licensed physician conducting such conference shall sign and require the prospective firearm purchaser to sign a written statement that such purchaser is fully aware of all physical, psychological, or situational factors of such purchase.
    2. No firearm purchase shall be allowed without voluntary, informed consent, given freely and without coercion.
    3. A licensed firearm dealer shall orally inform the purchaser of a firearm the 18 following, and reduce it to writing:
    (1) The name and license number of the licensed firearm dealer;
    (2) The immediate and long-term medical risks associated with firearms, along with medical descriptions and photographs of fatal firearm injuries, as collected by emergency pediatric medical professionals, law enforcement, and prosecutors’ offices;
    (3) Alternatives to purchasing a firearm, which shall include materials about peaceful and nonviolent conflict resolution; and
    (4) A statement that the dealer is available to answer any questions concerning the purchase of a firearm, together with the telephone number of the dealer where the dealer may be reached to answer any questions the purchaser may have.
    4. The prospective firearm purchaser shall obtain written consent of his or her parents in order to qualify for the purchase of any firearm.
    5. Prior to the sale of any firearm, a purchaser shall:
    (1) Be required to view a thirty-minute video on fatal firearm injuries, as collected by urban medical professionals, law enforcement, and local prosecutors, and verify in writing he or she viewed the entire video in the presence of a licensed firearm dealer. Such video shall be approved by the department of public safety; and
    (2) Verify in writing by a licensed physician that the purchaser has toured an emergency trauma center in the nearest qualified urban hospital on a weekend between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. when gun violence victims are present.
    6. Within seventy-two hours of a firearm purchase, the prospective firearm purchaser shall meet with at least two families who have been victims of violence involving a firearm and two local faith leaders who have officiated, within the past year, a funeral of a victim of violence involving a firearm who was under the age of eighteen.

    I think I love State Representative Stacey Newman.

  89. 89
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @d58826: Nuclear war with North Korea will mean we don’t care about any of those things.

  90. 90
    rikyrah says:

    @Kay:
    But, it does harm the not-wealthy

  91. 91
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Yup. Spoiled rich boys used to be mocked, corrupt local sheriffs used to be despised.

    The world has flipped end over end.

  92. 92
    Spanky says:

    I just got an email from Preservation Maryland with a link to the Ultimate
    Gingerbread Architectural Style Guide
    , and most are un.be.lieve.able.

    And I never knew there was a style called Brutalism. Huh!

  93. 93
    chris says:

    @Spanky:

    Historically

    What is this history of which you speak? Asking for my plutocrat buddy who’s never read a book.

  94. 94
    d58826 says:

    @Matt McIrvin: I knew someone here would find the bright side:-) :-) :-)

  95. 95
    tobie says:

    @chris: Is SALT gone? What about the tax on student loans? Or the tax on waived tuition for grad students? It kills me that dollars I spend in taxes to fund public schools gets taxed but private school tuition is tax deductible. This is beyond insanity.

  96. 96
    Steeplejack says:

    @germy:

    Stuff like this makes me wonder how much Trump administration stuff is deliberate provocation or just epic dumb-shittery. I would assume the former, except that they’re just so goddamn stupid that you can never rule that out.

  97. 97
    germy says:

    As bad as Trump is, I think the only people I ever see saying this is"the worst it's ever been" are white. We have to keep perspective.— Oliver Willis (@owillis) December 16, 2017

  98. 98
    chris says:

    @tobie: See this optimistic twitter thread.

    the SALT provision is retroactive to 2017 (which it currently is).

  99. 99

    @d58826: Eh, it’s Joshua TREE(singular) NP.

  100. 100
    germy says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Stuff like this makes me wonder how much Trump administration stuff is deliberate provocation or just epic dumb-shittery. I would assume the former, except that they’re just so goddamn stupid that you can never rule that out.

    I get the impression trumputin sometimes doesn’t grasp the full implications of some of the stuff his staff arranges for him. It’s like they’re trolling us through him, the dummy. But other times, he’s fully in on the joke.

  101. 101
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @bemused:

    Souza could do separate book of Obama with children. I never get tired of seeing him with kids.

    I’m with you – I’d love to see a book of Pete Souza’s photos of President Obama with children.

    In the meantime, Souza has a children’s version of his big coffee-table book: “Dream Big Dreams: photographs from Barack Obama’s inspiring and historic presidency: a book for young readers”. (Weird capitalization is from our local library’s catalogue entry.)

  102. 102
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Brachiator:

    If corporations are people, the new law goes out of its way to protect and nurture them. Every possible tax break, credit and deduction has been maximized for the benefit of business and wealthy individuals.

    Paul Krugman made this point in a well-crafted (and True) Op-Ed on Friday (2017/12/15):
    Republicans Despise the Working Class
    Worth a read.

    It’s just now dawning on me (duh) that provisions like the Graduate Student Tuition Waver Tax were very likely inserted as emotional levers, to be removed near the end of the process to induce unwarranted relief/relaxation in opponents. The bill that remains is still pretty horrible and skewed and still punishes blue states and the middle class and poor. (e.g. Not having even a bronze plan means paying often-absurd retail medical rates rather than a negotiated rate.)
    So – does anyone know who added that tuition waver tax? They need to be watched. And outrage needs to be maintained.

  103. 103
    d58826 says:

    When the story first broke the possibility of a romantic link did cross my mind

    Two senior FBI officials who texted each other about President Trump and Hillary Clinton relied on work phones to try to hide their romance from a spouse and made the bureau’s probe of Clinton’s private email server their cover story for being in such close contact, according to people familiar with the matter.

    But surely there must be something more important to obsess over.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/.....;ocid=iehp

  104. 104
    d58826 says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: hmmm. just a graduate of thunder thumbs keypunching school

  105. 105
    tobie says:

    @chris: Wow. They really want to punish middle-class, blue state voters who pay over $10K in state and local taxes and mortgage interest combined. My rep is the execrable Andy Harris. I’ll do what I can to make sure this Koch-funded rep sees the door in 2018.

  106. 106

    @d58826: I made two trips there this past summer for milky way pics.

  107. 107
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @germy:

    If that had taken place early in the administration, yeah, I would have been appalled but would have ascribed the dreadful scheduling to staff incompetence.

    No longer. The events of the past year have finally convinced me that every.single.fucking.thing these people do is deliberate, malicious, evil, carefully thought out, and gleefully enacted.

    The tumbrels and pitchforks rhetoric doesn’t sound quite as hyperbolic as it once did.

  108. 108

    @tobie: Wasn’t he the guy who complained that he’d have a 3 week gap in his health insurance when he became a Congress Critter?

  109. 109
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @tobie:

    See, those who pay more local taxes get nice things – scaled things. The little stuff that make life better like good roads, good schools, a robust support of universities and local social services.

    Conservatives – particularly in Appalachia and the South – think you should pay some rentier for them, if you get any service close at all.

  110. 110
    H.E.Wolf says:

    What’s on the agenda, as we count down towards the end of the calendar year?

    Ploughing onward, with determination, to do the work to get out the Democratic vote in 2018. It’s the most practical way in which I can celebrate the winter solstice and the gradual increase of light.

  111. 111
    tobie says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yep. He’s a doctor and his big claim to fame was that he knew something about the healthcare system. He was a guaranteed vote to get rid of Obamacare but the idea that he might have to wait three weeks for his govt insurance to kick in sent him over the bend. Chances of kicking him out are slim–he represents the Eastern Shore, Maryland’s Kentucky or Alabama–but it’s well worth a fight.

  112. 112

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: We tried that here in CA, people found they kind of liked government to provide those services. This is why CA is now a blue state.

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @H.E.Wolf:
    It’s a thing with book titles and headlines, for some reason. A lot of publications put an initial cap on every word in headlines except articles and prepositions and conjunctions. (Why not those three word types? Shrug. Who knows?) But when you see a whole page of headlines like that, the device fails at attracting your attention to any one story. What I’d much rather see is an initial cap on the first word of the title/headline, and all lower case the rest of the way unless there’s a proper name.

  114. 114

    If our republic is to survive, the Republican party as it stands today needs to be destroyed.

  115. 115
    Schlemazel says:

    @Spanky:
    HOLY COW! Those are some fantastic gingerbread houses

  116. 116
    germy says:

    I just noticed balloon-juice doesn’t have https in front of it anymore. what happened?

  117. 117
    tobie says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: What red states and red counties never realize is that someone does pay for road upkeep, school buses, ambulance service, electric lines, sewer and septic systems, etc. and it’s not them. Add agriculture subsidies in and you’re talking a massive wealth transfer from blue states and blue counties to red ones. Rural life is expensive.

  118. 118
    Amir Khalid says:

    @germy:
    What sort of device are you on? I can still see it on my Windows laptop.

  119. 119
    Schlemazel says:

    @germy:
    Mine still does

  120. 120
    germy says:

    @Amir Khalid: macbook running safari

  121. 121
    Schlemazel says:

    @tobie:
    I repeat this every chance I get
    The counties HRC carried last fall produce 66% of the US GDP
    The counties that Tronald Dump carried produce 33%

    You know, salt of the earth reeel Muricans, taking everything they can & giving back the least they can

  122. 122
    germy says:

    @Schlemazel: if i refresh, it shows up briefly and then disappears.

  123. 123
    germy says:

    I’ve been curious about this:

    Why did everyone just decide to forget about serious allegations of sexual harassment against Steve Doocy? According to Carlson’s complaint, Doocy “engaged in a pattern and practice of severe and pervasive sexual harassment of Carlson.”https://t.co/h2fKTK0n7p https://t.co/FSfQd7Vz9x— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) December 15, 2017

  124. 124
    Schlemazel says:

    @germy:
    OK, thats not right, it should work the other way, go from HTTP to HTTPS automatically.
    Iknow zip about safari but let me do some reading.

  125. 125
    tobie says:

    @Schlemazel: So true. Funny how the people who power the economy are called snowflakes who like free stuff. Ends up that urban voters are the salt of the earth afterall.

  126. 126
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @germy: Because Gretchen Carlson can’t talk about it, thanks to the terms of her settlement with Fox.

  127. 127
    J R in WV says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s a thing with book titles and headlines, for some reason because that’s the rule for titles as determined by library management since public libraries became a thing in England back in, what, 1637 or some when like that. All lot of publications put an initial cap on every word in headlines except articles and prepositions and conjunctions. (Why not those three word types? Shrug. Who knows?) Because that’s the rule.

    Some newspapers skip caps after the first word, treating headlines as sentences, to allow a few extra characters in their headlines, which otherwise aren’t like sentences much at all. Less attention paid to grammarian rules, for example.

    Amir, I’m mostly just playing with the [del] HTML command, but I’m pretty sure that’s the grammarian’s idea of correctness in titles. Not as sure about headlines, which as I say don’t follow many rules of grammar, due to the need for them to take a specific amount of space to fill but not exceed the amount of space required by the width of the story, back when type was cast metal instead of computer generated.

    Headline writers once were much like haiku poets, only on a deadline.

  128. 128
    Schlemazel says:

    @germy:
    I got nothing. I can tell you this shouldn’t happen but I can’t tell you why it is happening or how to fix it. Maybe Mac does not like the CA certificate but I would expect it to complain to you about it not just change. Safari probably has a setting that can prevent it from downgrading but then it probably would block access I assume.

  129. 129
    d58826 says:

    @tobie: Remember all those GOOpers who voted against the Obama stimulus and then showed up for the ribbon cutting ceremonies after the money was spent

  130. 130
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Brachiator: You’re channeling Grassley of IA!! / That man is horrible

  131. 131
    PIGL says:

    @Lapassionara: Yes, it is. And if the Republic plans to survive it needs to kill of the Republican Party and destroy utterly the political and economic power of its major puppet masters. basically anyone with assets north of 20,000,000.

  132. 132
    Another Scott says:

    @Brachiator: Morning, everyone.

    They also know, as a practical matter that the plutocrats and conservative business interests will shower them with money, to thank them for a job well done. And many of them are in safe districts, or think that they are.

    Why would the plutocrats and business shower soon-to-be powerless losers with money? If a Democratic wave is coming in 2018 and 2020, wouldn’t smart plutocrats and businessmen want to shower the Democrats with money to try to influence their policies?

    AFAIK, the party in power always gets a majority (or at least a substantial fraction) of political donations. Lobbyists and Plutocrats want to have influence. Showering money on those without the ability to do anything for you doesn’t make sense. How much impact has Jim DeMint had a Heritage after leaving Congress? DeMint got the boot a few months ago. – Warning Politico!

    Here’s hoping that the Teabaggers and Trumpists walk the plank, find the seas filled with sharks, and end up on an island filled with Komodo dragons and tsetse flies. “But you told me you’d make me rich if I did what you wanted!!!11” “Hehe – that’s what you get for believing us.”

    We’ll see.

    Have a good weekend, everyone.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  133. 133
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Aware of the awful political news but trying to filter it down to background-noise level for the weekend. Currently in New York on a pretty much spur-of-the-moment trip, and enjoying memories of last night’s show. We get up to NYC fairly often, but very rarely want to spend Broadway prices. Still, we were looking through the writeups in New Yorker magazine, and I saw this thing called “Meteor Shower” by Steve Martin, and being a huge Steve Martin fan I decided on the spot it would be worth going to, despite the fact that even our cheap seats were $100. I didn’t even realize on first glance that not only was Martin the author, but the stars were Amy freaking Schumer and Keegan-Michael freaking Key!

    As you’d expect, a play anchored by those two was hysterical! Amy Schumer particularly is amazing in how funny she can be with a small gesture or facial expression. It was a little surreal and I’m still not quite sure what actually happened, plot-wise, but that really wasn’t that important.

    Plus any getaway with the wife is awesome. So don’t harsh my mellow.

  134. 134
    stinger says:

    @tobie:

    dollars I spend in taxes to fund public schools gets taxed but private school tuition is tax deductible. This is beyond insanity.

    It’s actually quite sensible, if your purpose is to eliminate public schools.

  135. 135
    Amir Khalid says:

    @J R in WV:
    In 1637, I think, initial caps on all nouns, even in body copy, was still the rule, just like in German. As a 21st century person I find the liberal use of initial cap in headlines and titles annoying and unnecessary. It isn’t done at Malaysian newspapers.

  136. 136
    Bostondreams says:

    @Brachiator:

    Speaking as an old fan, I loved it. My second favorite after ESB.

  137. 137
    stinger says:

    @Schlemazel: I used to collect headlines, back in the day. The perfect, concise, often punny ones, usually for small below-the-fold stories. Miss them.

  138. 138
    Yarrow says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Gretchen Carlson can’t be the only woman Doocy harassed.

  139. 139
    PIGL says:

    @Spanky: have you ever seen a modern police “platoon” in full riot gear? They may as well be armoured mounted knights facing down a crowd of peasants armed with hoes, the super wealthy think they are invulnerable, and they are right. If there were any entities capable of exploiting temporary tech windows, certain billionaires, their retainers and children would already be dead.

  140. 140
    germy says:

    @Yarrow:

    Carlson can’t be the only woman Doochy harassed.

    I was thinking the same thing. Wondering if he’s waiting for six or seven other shoes to drop.

    Makeup department must be extra busy dabbing the sweat off his face between fox segments.

  141. 141
    Schlemazel says:

    @stinger:
    The other thing from the old linotype days was that stories didn’t always fill the whole column so typesetters would sometime put short oddball stories or odd facts at the bottom. One common bit was to list the letters of the alphabet in buy usage: EAROTNSLCUD . . . and I forget

  142. 142
    d58826 says:

    The definition of porkbarrel spending is government spending in someone elses district!

  143. 143
    PIGL says:

    @tobie: it’s not insanity. These measures further very specific policy objectives. True, they’re not in your interests or mine, 40 years of evidence shows the Republican Party they need not be concerned with that. 40 years of evidence shows the Republican Party they need not be concerned with soccer

  144. 144
    japa21 says:

    OT, but I had seen on Twitter a tweet from Sen. John Cornyn (Neanderthal-TX) going after Holder. I decided to look at his page and check out responses to that tweet and others of his. He is getting lambasted not only for going after Holder but for his support of the tax bill, and it looks like the majority of the negative responses are coming from TX.

  145. 145
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: It has been pretty quiet over at Fox News recently on the harassment front. Wonder what they’re doing behind the scenes to keep everyone quiet.

  146. 146

    Don’t know why everybody is so down on the Money for Nothing and Your Chicks for Free tax bill. I love that song.

  147. 147
    Another Scott says:

    @germy: I’m getting the https connection here on a MacBook Pro running Chrome.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  148. 148
    JPL says:

    @Yarrow: $$$$ I assume the others have been bought off.

  149. 149
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Amir Khalid: @J R in WV:

    Thanks to you both! Great to learn something new, and always a pleasure to hear from the BJ journalist jackals.

  150. 150
    Mike J says:

    Word of the year shortlister, “white fragility.”

    Milkshake duck also made the short list.

  151. 151
    trollhattan says:

    @MattF:
    Yup, Alison is a treasure. It’s fun to listen to her early work with Union Station and note how much her range has changed and filled in. I suspect she has perfect pitch in the Ella fashion. Excellent fiddler too, often lost in appraising her talent.

  152. 152
    bemused says:

    @H.E.Wolf:

    Really! I’ll have to check that out.

  153. 153
    bemused says:

    @tobie:

    I remember that whining newbie to congress too. Only when it affects them, the hell with anyone else.

  154. 154
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo, fka Edmund Dantes: Calvinlism has become the dominant theology in the So Bapt Convention. Pushed by Al Mohler, the de facto Pope of the SBC and president of So Bapt Theological Seminary. Grads being hired have been taught how to change the particular church from a congregation-led to a pastor- and elder-led governance. Very important in all of this is change from the historic SBC mantra of ‘priesthood of all believers’ to a system in which congregation is trained to unquestioning obedience to minister. Many reported instances (at, among other places, the blog thewartburgwatch.com) of members being ‘disciplined’ for trying to find out the minister(s) salary.

    The blog this week discussed the charge filed in Houston vs Paul Pressler, a leader of the 60s conservative takeover of the SBC. He is chareged with decades-long sexual abuse of a younger man. Pressler’s wife, Paige Patterson (co-leader of takeover and now pres of SBC SoWestern seminary in Dallas), his wife, SoWestern Seminary, 1st So Bapt Church of Houston – are co-defendents.

    Pressler and wife, Patterson and wife, have been immortalized in stained glass windows in the chapel at SoWestern seminary.

  155. 155
    d58826 says:

    gop corrution isn’t even subtle anymore

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on possible FBI bias in Mueller investigation: “Those people have got to be immediately removed. When any of us hire employees, you vet them…I don’t know how this wasn’t vetted to begin with.” http://fxn.ws/2kzk3Wb

    https://twitter.com/FoxNews/status/941787754240839680

  156. 156
    Doug R says:

    @Chet: Run around the block a couple of times, then finish up on the treadmill.

  157. 157
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ocotillo: Preetnsaid ‘not interested’ on his podcast.

  158. 158
    Doug R says:

    @chris: Timmie’s has free wi-fi too, eh. Usually my computer says it’s sketchy, but it’s good enough for google maps and going to blogs full of jackals.

  159. 159
    stinger says:

    @Schlemazel: I remember the factoids, too, but not the string of letters. Would love to see an example of that! Meanwhile, you’ll have to excuse me, there are some kids I have to get off my lawn.

  160. 160
    NotMax says:

    @Schlemazel

    Was always taught the sequence was ETAOIN SHRDLU.

    Believe that is even listed as an entry in the O.E.D.

  161. 161
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Schlemazel: “etaoin shrdlu”. That sequence was easy to type because the Linotype keyboard was arranged by letter frequency (according to Mergenthaler), top to bottom and left to right, so “etaoin shrdlu” were the first two columns of keys (there were separate keys for capitals, so there was “ETAOIN SHRDLU” too).

    What it was used for was to mark typos–they’d finish out a ruined line that way and the resulting slug would be thrown back into the melting pot. But sometimes it would get accidentally set and printed anyway and you’d see “etaoin shrdlu” in the paper.

  162. 162
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Which reminds me of the short film “Farewell, etaoin shrdlu”, about the last issue of The New York Times printed with hot metal type:

    https://www.nytimes.com/video/insider/100000004687429/farewell-etaoin-shrdlu.html

  163. 163
    Adria McDowell says:

    @Chet: Run outside in the cold. Not only do you burn more calories that way, running on the treadmill can not replicate running outside. Just dress accordingly.

  164. 164
    Doug R says:

    @Yarrow:

    It has been pretty quiet over at Fox News recently on the harassment front. Wonder what they’re doing behind the scenes to keep everyone quiet.

    The purchase of Fox by Disney for $52,400,000,000 may have something to do with it. The Murdochs plan to keep the TV stations and Fox “news” so everyone may be keeping quiet to keep their jobs.

  165. 165
    Brachiator says:

    @Another Scott:

    If a Democratic wave is coming in 2018 and 2020, wouldn’t smart plutocrats and businessmen want to shower the Democrats with money to try to influence their policies?

    Right now, the Democratic wave is a dream. It is not inevitable.

    People keep believing that Trump being unpopular means that Democrats must be equally popular. This is not true.

    A lot of people will see small tax decreases in 2018. This might be enough to tilt things in favor of the GOP in the midterms.

    The Democrats must give people a positive reason to vote for them. It is not sufficient to sit back and hope that Trump’s unpopularity will do all the work for you.

    Also, the Kochs and the Mercers and their I’ll believe that their money and their increasing control of media can steamroll the Democrats and keep the GOP in power.

    Remember that there are practically no moderate Republicans anymore. The hope is that this will help keep many congressional districts safely Republican even if the voters in those districts are extremely unhappy.

    And lastly, of course, the GOP will do everything they can to suppress votes.

    It all comes down to this. The Republicans are in an incredibly vulnerable position. And more than anything, they are depending on the continuing stupidity of white people. The people who put Trump into office are morons who do not recognize their own self interest, and a smattering of Susan Sarandon type idiot progressive purists.

    Will enough of these fools wise up? Remains to be seen.

  166. 166
  167. 167
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Doug R: There are rumors that James Murdoch is on the short list for Disney CEO when Iger retires. This could be a Murdoch takeover of Disney from the inside.

    (I suspect this would be a disastrously stupid idea. Disney’s founding saint was a howling reactionary, and their desire for all the money is legendary, but the image they try to cultivate right now is of an inclusive, friendly company that is basically apolitical. I can only imagine they’d be wary of jeopardizing that.)

  168. 168
    Brachiator says:

    @Yarrow:

    It has been pretty quiet over at Fox News recently on the harassment front.

    Murdoch recently outraged many employees at Fox, and especially the women, by insisting that the issue of harassment was nonsense. He may be opening up a big can of worms.

  169. 169
    trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    The difference in take-home will be minuscule as to be unnoticeable for nearly all, especially amongst the many start-of-the-year paycheck adjustments we all encounter. I remember being a supervisor telling my folks their salary bump would only be 2% because that’s what the corporation had decided (based on underperforming stock, yadda-yadda). It was utterly disconnected from their performance evaluation and would work out to, oh, eleven bucks net twice monthly.

    The company cared to the same extent the Republicans do with this tax bill. Their “shareholders” are their sole concern.

  170. 170
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    RE. There are rumors that James Murdoch is on the short list for Disney CEO when Iger retires. This could be a Murdoch takeover of Disney from the inside.

    Iger got an employment extension for at least two more years, and the official announcement said that Disney was looking to see where young Murdoch might fit. Rumors aside, Murdoch’s future with the company ain’t guaranteed.

  171. 171
    joel hanes says:

    @germy:

    Lots of browsers now assume that your mind is too weak to retain the http or https part of the URL
    and suppress it in the display.

    I’ll bet that if you copy/paste the URL out of the address bar into a comment or into a text document that you’ll see the htt protocol prefix in what’s pasted.

  172. 172
    Ruckus says:

    @Basilisc:
    While they may have “won” and they certainly haven’t won completely yet, it’s not a one game process. Unless we go into complete governmental/societal meltdown, it is possible to throw the lot of them out and regroup. It’s government, it has it’s ups and downs, right now it is way fucking down but it’s not over, unless they blow it up completely. If they do a complete fuck over of all of us (and themselves) it will be messy and not a pretty sight.
    But giving up hope gets you nothing, no where and no how. Buckle up, saddle up and move on, anything else is letting them win. They want to win this, they have to earn it, 100%. And that will be their Waterloo. There are more of us than them, all they really know is how to bullshit, piss, moan and whine. Learn to politically kick ass, it works a lot better than joining them.

  173. 173
    Brachiator says:

    @trollhattan:

    The difference in take-home will be minuscule as to be unnoticeable for nearly all, especially amongst the many start-of-the-year paycheck adjustments we all encounter.

    Not necessarily true. Many people already get refunds, so there is already some padding in the payroll reductions. And for some, even a small increase in take home pay will feel good.

    Based on the pre conference plans, some people who used only the standard deduction could do well. But using some online tax calculators when the bills were introduced, you could easily see that some single people and married couples without children would actually see tax increases as they earned more money. This would only get worse in future years.

    Strangely, some Republicans know an inherent problem with the bill is that the middle class and the working poor are getting shafted in the long run with this new law. So they try to distract the rubes by insisting that they economy will grow tremendously and that everyone will get wage increases.

    But another odd thing about this new tax law. It assumes an ideal America in which everyone either owns a business with no employees or is a corporation.

    The new tax law could be said to hate mere wage earners.

  174. 174
    Brachiator says:

    @Bostondreams:

    Speaking as an old fan, I loved it. My second favorite after ESB.

    I’ve been hearing that, and even best ever from some fans.

    I’m not sure how I feel about it yet. I enjoyed it and even thought that it was very ambitious in some ways, possibly setting the stage for interesting films to come. But as I said, I still have some reservations.

    Also, I am not sure what nonfans will make of the movie. There is currently a bit of a fan bubble influencing critical reaction.

  175. 175
    trollhattan says:

    @Brachiator:
    I’ve handled enough W-4s to know a good-sized cohort will never see a tax refund due to maxing out their allowances. Plus, state income tax further waters down how much the feds fiddling with the withholding schedules can impact takehome.

  176. 176
    WaterGirl says:

    @joel hanes: @germy: if you even double-click on the url, the http part shows up. they have just hidden it from you. i use safari also.

  177. 177
    Ruckus says:

    @Lapassionara:

    The Republican Party is killing the republic.

    And 160+ yrs ago they tried to save it.
    They are now a parody of a political party and even of themselves. Not a funny one, but a parody in any way you look at it. They are prostituting their entire lives for what really passes as chump change to the people purchasing them. They are $5. political hookers, diseased and not worth it in any way.
    Greed is always the rich man’s downfall, the greediest have always lost everything sooner or later, because while they know money, they don’t understand having their backs against the wall, not being able to have basic necessities, like food, shelter, healthcare, i.e. normal human desperation.
    They want it all, let’s hope they get it all, good and hard.

  178. 178
    Brachiator says:

    @Lapassionara:

    What happened to the rules of reconciliation? I thought the bill could not add too much to the deficit if it is to be passed with just 50 votes. Looks to me like it massively adds to the deficit and soon

    They are saying that $1.4 trillion will be offset by increased revenue and a growing economy in 10 years. It’s magic.

  179. 179
    Ruckus says:

    @What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    The alternative is a few years of lower taxes followed by confiscatory rates later.

    When this has been tried by “governments” before this, it has always, when it gets to desperation times, been bad for those who gained/stolen the most. They always would have stayed rich had they just thought past next month’s bank/investment statement but they got greedy, they figured out how to steal it all, not a penny on the table to fight over and it always comes back to bite them on the ass. Except they never just get a bite taken out because there are always way more pissed off people with nothing left to lose than there are greedy fucks or their security forces, many/most of whom are in the same position as the vast majority. It takes a while to get going, after all it does take large numbers to get to total desperation, but when it gets there, it goes very fast and gets very ugly. Mob mentality is not good but it does and will happen because there is no way to stop it at that point. The sad part of course is that there are many very easy ways to keep it from happening, if only the greedy weren’t so fucking greedy.

  180. 180
    Brachiator says:

    @trollhattan:

    I’ve handled enough W-4s to know a good-sized cohort will never see a tax refund due to maxing out their allowances.

    This is the business I’m in. I’ve run the numbers using actual tax returns. You just cannot say that the impact will be miniscule for the majority of poor and middle class taxpayers.

    That said, I was offended by Trump’s lie that the IRS had verified that millions would be seeing a huge immediate benefit from this bill.

  181. 181
    Ruckus says:

    @Steeplejack:
    C. Both of the above.

  182. 182
    Ruckus says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    If our republic is to survive, the Republican party as it stands today needs to be destroyed.

    They are doing their damnest. There will always be holdouts of course but if they keep up their attempts, like this tax bill, like their current president, they will get it done.

  183. 183
    Ruckus says:

    @germy:
    My mac does this as well in Safari but if you click on the address bar it shows up, HTTPS. I think it is just a display thing, not actually going back to HTTP. FF and Chrome continue to show the entire string in the address bar.

  184. 184
    KS in MA says:

    @Matt McIrvin: This is wonderful! Such sweet memories–I spent my youth working with hot-type typesetters and printers. It was so great to be around all that expertise. I’m gonna send this to all the younguns I work with. :)

  185. 185
    Brachiator says:

    @Matt McIrvin:

    Which reminds me of the short film “Farewell, etaoin shrdlu”, about the last issue of The New York Times printed with hot metal type:

    Just watched the documentary. Great stuff. Thanks for the link.

    I liked the tidbit about deaf printers.

    I was a young pup when the LA Times started transforming their press operations. You needed strong guys to handle the 40 pound plates. Not so much the plastic plates weighing mere ounces. I do not recall seeing any women in the press room shifts I observed. There were, though, as noted women page editors.

    The Times back then would not lay off the old press guys, but tried to retrain those who did not retired. Some could not really adjust to new jobs.

    And I am pretty sure that the next generation of workers were paid less.

  186. 186
    joel hanes says:

    @Brachiator:

    It was not good for anyone’s health to sit all day
    next to a gallon or two of molten pot metal,
    nor to handle slugs containing 84% lead.

  187. 187
    Ruckus says:

    @joel hanes:
    We used to use white lead mixed with oil as a tap lubricant for tool steel. Worked amazingly well, better than any of the modern stuff. It is of course toxic and they had to stop selling it in CA in the 80s but it did work extremely well. Some days it amazes me that people used to live past 30, considering the hazards that were widely used.

  188. 188
    joel hanes says:

    @Ruckus:

    I used to work on wooden boats, scraping, sanding, refinishing.
    White lead paint everywhere.
    I used to cast my own lead soldiers, fishing weights, and decoy anchors from lead we scrounged out of the old backstop hill at the police firing range.

    I wonder who I’d have been without the toxins.

  189. 189
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @KS in MA: The only time I’ve seen a Linotype up close was when I visited the town museum in my dad’s hometown, Bridgeport, Nebraska. It was the machine that had been used for many years to typeset the Bridgeport News-Blade:

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Kobwv9fPf7v9zwKJ2

  190. 190
    Dave says:

    @MattF: I am biased, have been a fan since I first heard her (she was a teenager back then). I’ve seen her perform live, she and Union Station are not just recording artists, they are consummate performing artists. If angels could actually sing, she is what they would sound like.

  191. 191
    randy khan says:

    @Chyron HR:

    Unless they kill the filibuster, they’re going to need 60 votes in the Senate, which aint’ gonna happen. As of January 3, they’ll be 9 votes short.

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