Tax Reform–Yet Again

It is that time of the year again……that time when the GOP has the grand plan for tax reform….a grand plan that changes little over the years.

The problem is that after all these years  the only people that benefit from these plans are the rich and corporations.  And yet they sell their crap to the average person with promises of more jobs, better pay and more prosperity for the Middle Class…..after decades of the same tired promises how has that worked out for the Middle Class?

Since the 1980’s the Middle Class has been on a downhill run to the bottom and all that time corporations are making so much cash that their CEOs are making obscene bonuses…..

Now we approach the newest edition of their grand scheme for tax reform….and there is NOTHING new!

“We have arguably the worst tax system in the industrialized world,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told a gathering in Hillsboro, Oregon on Wednesday.

He called the current system “complicated,” “paternalistic” and “condescending.”

Source: Ryan Plugs Tax Reform: Current System ‘Paternalistic,’ ‘Condescending’

He , Ryan, is right but the tax plan we have now is the child of the GOP and yet they want to stick it to the middle class again….

President Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans seem to be on the same page about tax reform. Unfortunately for middle-class Americans, that means they both support a plan that is widely expected to benefit the wealthy at the expense of the rest of the country.

According to Politico:

The options include capping the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners; scrapping people’s ability to deduct state and local taxes; and eliminating businesses’ ability to deduct interest, while also phasing in so-called full expensing for small businesses that allows them to immediately deduct investments like new equipment or facilities.

The Middle Class can look forward to more downward pressure on their necks by the government…..once again corporations will make out…….. they will turn everything around with a lower tax bracket…..a lie that just keeps giving.

Nothing changes with the GOP……corporations come first the people are just an irritant they must endure…..if you are a working stiff then you are SCREWED!

But Trump will offer up his grand plan and after he does I will analyze it but I am not looking for anything but help for the rich.

USSR: What Happened?

Yes, I do like to take a look back at history…..it is interesting to see how a simple decision could have possibility changed everything.

Take the fall of the Soviet Union….the propaganda would have us all believe that it was Reagan and his mindless spending that helped the demise of the USSR.  That is a good story but there is more to the fall that some simple propaganda…..

Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the Communist Party, relives the last days of the USSR…..

There is one moment — a single decision — that some people still hold against Mikhail Gorbachev today, 20 years later.

Gorbachev, the last leader of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and last president of the Soviet Union, his wife and his closest confidants had survived the attempted coup by the KGB, the military leadership and the interior minister. They returned to Moscow from their house arrest at Gorbachev’s vacation home in the Crimean resort of Foros. Their plane landed in the capital at 2:15 a.m., local time, on August 22, 1991.

Source: The Gorbachev Files: Secret Papers Reveal Truth Behind Soviet Collapse – SPIEGEL ONLINE

There seems to always be more to the story than we are told…..

More on the fall of the USSR….

Three minutes after seven in the morning on August 19, I got a phone call from Ed Salazar, one of my political officers, asking if I had been listening to the radio. The radio had just broadcast the news that Mikhail Gorbachev had given up his office as president of the Soviet Union to Gennady Yanayev and that they had formed a committee on what they called an “extraordinary situation” and that Mr. Gorbachev was at rest in his dacha down in Foros in the Crimea.

Everybody assumed this meant they were trying to remove Gorbachev. This was the middle of the night in Washington, and so I suppose the initial government reaction from the United States was that of the embassy. Our own initial reaction was a degree of shock, because no one frankly expected this. There was also a degree of uncertainty about just what was going on because the announcement was made and nothing happened for a couple of hours. There were no military personnel to be seen—nobody showed up for a couple of hours. There were no tanks on the streets until later that morning. So nobody quite understood what was going on except what was on the radio and the fact that they had been making these announcements.

Source: Fall of the Soviet Union—The Inside Story – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

There are those alive today that know very little about the USSR….but a look into the reasons and events that lead to the downfall could very well be a learning moment for the world…..

A Look At War

After Vietnam I went to college and set my mind on the study of conflict (war)…..after experiencing it first hand I felt I need to take a look at it from all sides.

There are far too many people that view war from a distorted prism…there is nothing romantic or heroic about war…..war is barbaric, chaotic and ugly…..

I fear that policy-makers do not talk enough about the inherent ugliness of war. War is state sanctioned brutality, the outcome of which is death, destruction and suffering in order to achieve a political objective unobtainable through diplomatic means. It is a contest of wills settled through extreme violence where devastation is the rule, not the exception.[2] War is also based on a crude and cruel calculus where success usually relies upon the ability to both inflict and sustain greater casualties than the opposition. Its enduring features are friction, chaos, and chance; all of which lead to uncertainty, and none of which are natural allies of the delivery of precise violence or predictable outcomes, which seem increasingly to be what society, and in turn, policy-makers expect.

Source: War Isn’t Precise or Predictable — It’s Barbaric, Chaotic, and Ugly | RealClearDefense

We are sending more of our troops into a meat grinder and few seem to mind or even care…..has it become so common place that we brush off conflict with a flick to the channel changer?

American Religion Perverted

Below is a piece I read written by a theological professor….it tries to answer some questions that I have heard asked in the past.

Every election we hear lots about religion and its place in our society…..but just how much religion has been there in all of the 241 years of the presidency?

Source: God In America: God in the White House | PBS

Evangelicals continue to redefine religion in America.

If that is what religion has become, I want nothing to do with any of it.” This came from a young adult, speaking about the takeover of religion by the political right-wing that now owns the evangelical version of the Christian faith. My young friend is not alone. There are millions of young, and not so young, Americans echoing the same sentiment.

Source: American Religion Perverted | Articles | Senior Correspondent

I may not agree with parts of this article but I do believe that it should be read and questions answered.

Closing Thought–29Aug17

Adopt A Nazi!

You can adopt a tiger….or an elephant or maybe a whale….now there is a new twist to the concept……

The term neo-Nazis has had a bad couple of weeks…..it all started with the protests in Virginia….

Now a group is raising money for a specific purpose…..crowd funding has become the way of the future for raising the needed cash for this dream or that….and this one is very clever use of the cash raised……

More than 1,800 people have “adopted a Nazi” in the US, raising nearly $133,000 to help neo-Nazis and white supremacists “fund their own demise”.

The campaign, launched by the Jewish Bar Association of San Francisco (JBASF), invites individuals to donate money for every person planning to attend a right-wing rally scheduled for Saturday in the northern California city.

Source: ‘Adopt a Nazi’: How groups are countering neo-Nazis | USA | Al Jazeera

Seriously? 2020?

As things shake out in DC all eyes turn to the possibilities for the 2018 election.  We all are aware of the antics in Foggy Bottom….all the games….all the jockeying for position…..all the theater…with all that going on there are still some people that are looking to the 2020 elections for the “change” we are a;ways in search of…..

Not for the first time….there is a stir in the backrooms about a possible 3rd party ticket….an independent ticket…..

And suddenly, there’s a hot rumor about a presidential ticket for 2020—featuring a Democrat and a Republican, no less. The potential pairing is GOP Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, reports Mike Allen at Axios. The two (nicknamed “the Johns”) have been making the rounds of late talking about health care, and things are going so well that they’re reportedly toying with the idea of an independent bid in 2020, with Kasich as the presidential contender. Coverage:

  • Nothing formal:CNN has a source familiar with the discussions who confirms all of the above, while stressing that it’s all informal at this point. “The idea of a joint ticket has been discussed, but not at an organizational or planning level.”
  • Expanding platform: Both Axios and CNN say that while the two have been focusing on health care for now, they’ll be expanding their platform in the near future. Job creation and immigration will be two main topics, with a particular focus on helping those losing jobs to automation. A podcast or perhaps a cable show also may be in the works.
  • Health care: The pair plan to release their ideas for stabilizing the nation’s insurance markets next month, and they aim to get other governors to sign on, reports NPR. They wrote about the broad strokes and the need for a bipartisan approach in the Washington Post in June. One specific idea: They don’t like the ObamaCare rule requiring businesses with 50 or more employees to provide insurance; the number should be higher, they say, as it currently hurts small businesses.
  • Worry for Democrats: At the National Review, Jim Geraghty argues that it would be bad news for Democrats if such a ticket comes to be. (He’s skeptical it will.) “If you’re a vehement Trump foe, you want the anti-Trump vote split in as few ways as possible,” and Kasich-Hickenlooper could steal needed electoral votes from Democrats (including a total of 27 in the governors’ home states).
  • Not quite a denial: Hickenlooper was asked about the possibility of a joint ticket in early August and said, “I don’t think Kasich would ever do that,” per Politico. But he didn’t exactly rule it out: “You never know. You never say. … I do like the idea of working with him in some context at some point.”
  • 503 days: On Thursday, Hickenlooper said on MSNBC that he wouldn’t even think about a presidential run until his gubernatorial term ends, per the Hill. And he knew that he had precisely 503 days left.

A couple of thoughts……too damn early to be thinking that far ahead.  Who knows what direction this country will travel 7+ years from now.  Second, who the Hell is Hickenlooper?  If you are not a political junkie then this name means absolutely NOTHING to you.

This is a stupid report that deserves to be shelved until 2020 looms closer.

The Prague Spring–1968

1968 was a good year for history…..wars, protests, naval disasters, etc…….

Long before the Arab Spring there was the Prague Spring in 1968…..it was billed in the West as the Czechs attempt to throw off the bonds of communism and step into the light of democracy.

There were volumes written in support of this action here in the West….but was it about Communism and democracy?

On the morning of Aug. 21, 1968, Mr. William Teltscher realized that his trip to Czechoslovakia had ended before it really started. Being a descendant of a traditional wine-trading Jewish family from Mikulov, south Moravia, he decided to visit his native country for the first time since his family left Czechoslovakia in 1939 for England, escaping the Nazi furor. However, he landed in Prague’s Ruzyne airport only to see the tanks being unloaded from Soviet transport planes, so he turned around and left the country on the next plane for London.

He was apparently one of those who believed the Prague Spring might eventually lead to significant changes to the totalitarian system or at least give the citizens of Czechoslovakia the feeling that they are once more able to determine their country’s destiny. Like many other hundreds of thousands, he was deceived.

Source: Exploding the myth of Prague Spring | Prague Post

Once again history was not exactly as it has been painted by the media…..but we already knew that…..right?