Tuesday Morning Open Thread: A Responsible Social Safety Net

This will not come as a surprise to anyone who’s heard Elizabeth Warren talk about being a single mom desperately using M&Ms to toilet-train her daughter over a long weekend… because if the toddler wasn’t out of diapers, the daycare center wouldn’t admit her, and if the daycare center balked, Mommy wouldn’t be able to take the job she desperately needed to feed them both.

Whether or not it’s the best metric, money is how we measure the worth of jobs, and establishing that the people who care for our kids are ‘worth’ a living wage, well…

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Update: Ratfvcker Rog “Apologizes” (for What That’s Worth)

Grifters gonna… cover their flabby arses:

Gave the lawyers on twitter some cheap entertainment, at least…

Did you say ‘lawyers on twitter’?…
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Late Night Sportsball Open Thread: Kaepernick Is Still Pissing Off All the Reicht Right People

The Guardian trolls the NFL:

Colin Kaepernick’s lawyer says his client still wants to play in the NFL, and believes he would fit in well at the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

On Friday, Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid settled a complaint of collusion against the NFL. Reid and Kaepernick claimed the league’s owners blackballed them because they had protested against social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. The terms of the agreement are confidential.

Kaepernick has not played in the league since he left the San Francisco 49ers at the end of the 2016 season. In an interview with CNN on Saturday his lawyer, Mark Geragos, said the 31-year-old “absolutely wants to play” and said Kaepernick continues to stay in shape and is game fit.

Geragos said the Carolina Panthers would be a “natural place” for Kaepernick. They signed Reid last season, and their starting quarterback, Cam Newton, will have shoulder surgery this offseason. There was no significant backlash from Panthers fans when they signed Reid, who was a teammate of Kaepernick at the 49ers.

“I think you’re going to see … within the next two weeks that somebody is going to step up and do the right thing, and you want me to predict who?” Geragos said. “Besides the Panthers, it would not surprise me if [Patriots owner] Bob Kraft makes a move.”…

Not that I understand (American) football, either, but I seriously doubt Kaepernick will ever play on an NFL team again (assuming he actually wanted to do so, what with the CTE and the bodily trauma and all). NFL owners seem to have the power to punish lèse-majesté to a degree that Donald Trump can only covet, and Kaepernick’s offended their conception of ‘their’ players as dumb serfs to be treated the way they’d treat their prizewinning racehorses and pedigreed dogs, except it seems the ASPCA has more legal scope than the NFL Players Union.

But I think Jemele Hill’s take in the Atlantic is excellent — “Kaepernick Won. The NFL Lost”:

The terms of the settlement, announced on Friday, were not disclosed. But it doesn’t matter how much money Kaepernick ultimately receives from the NFL; what matters is that he bested a league that has a long history of pummeling its opposition in court, especially players.

In a way, the NFL had no other choice. Last August, arbitrator Stephen Burbank rejected the NFL’s request to have the case dismissed. That meant he believed Kaepernick’s team had compiled enough receipts to present their case. With another hearing reportedly scheduled for next month, did the NFL really want to let Kaepernick’s legal team expose those receipts in court?…

That Kaepernick was the one to make the NFL eat crow is a special kind of karma. This is just punishment because the league incompetently handled the player protests, starting with Kaepernick’s, from the beginning. Had the league not been so heavy-handed in policing the protests, this issue likely would have abated sooner. Had the league ignored Trump instead of cowering to his bullying, appeasing Trump wouldn’t have become a priority. Had one league owner had the guts to sign Kaepernick, this collusion case would have been a nonstarter…

Though this legal battle with Kaepernick has been resolved, he isn’t going away either. The league will forever have to live with the fact that it was complicit in destroying someone’s career simply because he wished to bring attention to the injustices suffered by his people. If owners and Roger Goodell believe that they no longer will have to face questions about why Kaepernick isn’t in the league, they’re wrong. No matter what an arbitrator rules, how the NFL treated Kaepernick will always be the mistake they can never amend.

RussiaFvckery Open Thread: Brexit, Too Also

Putin: Maybe I can’t make Russia Great Again, but I *can* do my best to bring America / Britain /the E.U. down to our level!

Lenin: When it comes time to hang the capitalists, they will vie with each other for the rope contract.”

In August, Sam Patten, a US political consultant who had worked for Cambridge Analytica on campaigns in the US and abroad, struck a plea deal with Mueller after admitting he had failed to register as a foreign agent for a Ukrainian oligarch.

He became a subject of the special counsel’s inquiry because of work done with Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, in Ukraine. He had also set up a business with Konstantin Kilimnik, a key figure who Mueller has alleged has ties to Russian intelligence and who is facing charges of obstruction of justice. In a 2017 statement to the Washington Post, Kilimnik denied any connection to intelligence services. Kaiser, however, is the first person connected directly to both the Brexit and Trump campaigns known to have been questioned by Mueller.

The news came to light in a new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, which premiered at the Sundance film festival last month and is expected to be released later this spring. Film-makers followed Kaiser for months after she approached the Guardian, including moments after she received the subpoena. She claims the summons came after the Guardian revealed she had visited WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange while still a Cambridge Analytica employee in February 2017, three months after the US election…
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Money Messaging Open Thread: Trump Stole Your Tax Refund & Gave It to His Rich Cronies

(Jack Ohman via GoComics.com)

If that isn’t part of the Democratic messaging for 2020, shame on the campaigners. I know that financial planners advise that it’s best not to overpay one’s taxes, but lots of Americans (I’ve been among them) still prefer to treat an annual refund as a form of savings account. And the GOP’s ‘tax cut’ scam means that a lot of us are going to get smaller refunds — or be required to pay money we don’t have.

Eric Levitz, at NYMag, “Trump Tax Cuts Are (Probably) About to Become a Political Disaster”:

Even with (allegedly) light withholding, the the tax bill’s breaks for middle-class people weren’t large enough to attract much notice. Between changes in salaries, health-care premiums, and 401(k) contributions, most Americans didn’t detect much tax relief in their paychecks. The Trump tax cuts actually became less popular after they took effect. And, of course, Paul Ryan’s majority drowned in a blue wave.

Now, the bill for the GOP’s (reported) withholding shenanigans is coming due: The average American’s tax refund was 8.4 percent lower in the first week of 2019 than it was one year ago (under the pre-Trump tax code). And while Americans have trouble noticing tax changes when they’re dispersed across 12 to 24 separate paychecks, they do typically pay very close attention to the size of their refunds. About three-quarters of the country typically qualifies for a tax refund most years — and for many of those households, that check from the IRS is the largest lump sum they’ll receive all year…
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