Monthly “Assie” Award–April 2017

A rainy Sunday….time to kick back and set the chess board up for my granddaughter’s visit….a cup of Jamaican Blue Mtn and a couple of waffles…and relax……

It is the last Sunday of the month and time to release the IST monthly Asshat Award winner…..

There were many that could have won this award but I could not get past this one…all I can say is ……..unbelievable.

IN SANER TOUGHT

ASSHAT “ASSIE” AWARD FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 2017

A pastor in the US has claimed a gay man was “cured” of his sexuality by eating a special cake cooked by “saved” ex-prostitutes and “anointed with prayer.”

Lance Wallnau, a Christian speaker who takes credit for US President Donald Trump’s election victory, was Periscoping last week when a viewer asked him to pray for her gay son.

“They baked a cake for the owner of the bar, who was gay, and very adamantly anti-Christian,” he said. “They basically prayed over the cake – it was an anointed cake.”

“The power of God hit him when he was eating the cake,” Wallnau claimed. When the man went back to the guy who had given him the cake, he told him he had had a “weird experience” when eating the cake.

Congrats!

But if you believe that gay is curable then I have a swell bridge I will sell you cheap!

An email will be sent to this winner with the congrats of IST staff.

To my readers please….I want this award to be a people’s award so if any of you run across something that you think would be a good contestant in the “Assie” send it to me….the reader will be credited for its discovery.

We are on the countdown to December when IST will award the annual winner of the Asshat “Assie” Award of the year.

But before I go…some great tunes for a rainy Sunday……

Time for me to take my leave……thanx for everything my friends and on to May……peace, love and rock n roll…..chuq

How Does Trump Compare In History?

Day 99…..and counting

Tomorrow we come to the first 100 days of the Trump administration….as a history geek I wanted to let the American public know just how Trump has done as compared to other presidents….

As he neared the end of his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump touted his first three months as a rousing success.

“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,” Trump told an audience in Kenosha, Wis.

That’s a pretty high bar, especially for an administration that has registered historically low levels of support in public-approval polls for presidents this early in their terms.

The White House didn’t respond to an inquiry for this article, but when asked about some of the president’s 100-day accomplishments during the April 19 press briefing, White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited a series of executive orders, including some on regulatory reform; a drop in border crossings; and job creation. He said more details would be offered as the 100-day mark approached.

Source: How do Donald Trump’s first 100 days rate historically? | PolitiFact

So far Trump has accomplished NOTHING he promised in his “Contract with American Voter”…..but Hell do not take my word for it….read the “Contract” for yourselves…..

Source: O-TRU-102316-Contractv06.indd – O-TRU-102316-Contractv02.pdf

Is history being made?  Or is it a cruel joke?

A Flynn Of A Different Color

First let me say….I Love This Stuff!

It appears that the Flynn controversy is far from over…..the discredited Trump adviser is once again in the news….

Documents released by lawmakers show President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was warned when he retired from the military in 2014 not to take foreign money without “advance approval” by Pentagon authorities, the AP reports. Also, the Defense Department inspector general’s office confirms in a separate document that it is investigating whether Flynn failed to obtain prior approval. The chairman and senior Democrat on the House Oversight Committee say they want the Army to rule on whether Flynn informed and asked permission for the payments from Russian and Turkish entities. Flynn earned tens of thousands of dollars from Russia’s state-sponsored RT television network and from a Turkish businessman linked to Turkey’s government. (Flynn may face criminal prosecution.)

I am sure that some of those mentally challenged people that still support Trump will have lots to say about this….all I can add is the US Constitution…..the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, noting it “prohibits receipt of consulting fees, gifts, travel expenses, honoraria, or salary by all retired military personnel, officer and enlisted, regular and reserve, from a foreign government unless congressional consent is first obtained.”

And now the Trump team is pushing an old reliable excuse….it is Obama’s fault!

Spicer made the remark during a press briefing on Thursday, when asked about suggestions the White House may have failed to properly vet Flynn.

“His clearance was last reissued by the Obama administration in 2016 with full knowledge of his activities in 2015,” Spicer said. “All of that clearance was made by the Obama administration.”

In other words……Flynn was NOT vetted…a National Security Adviser with no vetting….now there is a good idea.

Back in the day, during the Clinton Benghazi and email hearings, I watched the head of the House Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, play his part well got on his high horse and did everything to chastise Clinton short of banging his shoe on the podium….from his chair had several long diatribes on conduct and such (it was all so much beautiful political theater)…he was outraged, to say the least.

And now that there is a GOP president and his adviser having a tough time…was he the same “tough” representative?

You tell me.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), chairman of the Oversight Committee, said the payments were “inappropriate” and that there are “repercussions for the violation of law.”

I have called Repubs many things…toads, worthless etc but the one word that describes them the best is COWARD!

And Rep. Chaffetz has proven my point.

After being a firebrand with Clinton to avoid all the crap that will come about because of the Flynn affair….Chaffetz is decided it is time to run home and hide…..

Jason Chaffetz now says that he’s immediately taking leave from Congress due to a problem with his foot. Considering the controversial roller coaster of events surrounding Chaffetz over the past two weeks, this is not particularly plausible. Sure, he’s having the foot surgery. But it’s for a twelve year old injury (CNN), and he’s using it as a timely excuse to bail. It may be that he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, the rock being Russia and the hard place being the FBI.

Like I said….COWARDS!

It’s Tax Reform Time Again

Well sports fans it is that time of the year again….the presidential push for tax reform.  And our Trumpy boy is no different….he has said he wants to give the country tax reform…..but as usual when the GOP uses the term “tax reform” they mean a tax cuts…reform is NO where in the equation.

The problem is what he is offering is not tax reform but rather the ever popular tax cuts.

The White House on Wednesday began laying out President Trump’s tax plan, which calls for sharp cuts for businesses and individuals. The administration says the cuts will spur economic growth and bring jobs and prosperity to America’s middle class, though lawmakers were worried about ballooning federal deficits. Much of the details have yet to be hashed out with Congress. Some highlights, per the AP:

  • Trump’s plan would reduce the number of personal income tax brackets to three from seven: rates of 10%, 25%, and 35%. The current maximum is 39.6%.
  • It would double the standard deduction for married couples to $24,000, while keeping deductions for charitable giving and mortgage interest payments.
  • The administration plans to provide tax relief for families with child care expenses, too, although the specifics have yet to be included.
  • The plan would trim deductions utilized by wealthier Americans. This would include deductions for state and local tax payments, a change that could alienate support from lawmakers in states such as California and New York with higher state taxes.
  • It would also repeal the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax.
  • On the corporate side, the top marginal tax rate would fall from 35% to 15%.

Small businesses that account for their owners’ personal incomes would see their top tax rate go from 39.6% to the proposed corporate tax rate of 15%. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who earlier called the plan the “biggest tax cut” in history, said the change for small-business owners—a group that under the current definition could include doctors, lawyers, and even major real estate companies—would be done to ensure that wealthier Americans could not exploit the change to pay less in taxes.

As you can see…these are tax cuts….reform would require legislative action on the tax code….a thousand plus page code…..this does nothing to reform….but it does return us to the days of the damn silly “trickle down economics”….or “voodoo economics”…….

President Trump’s tax reform plan unveiled Wednesday heralds the return of the Laffer curve, or as it’s more commonly known—thanks to the first President Bush—”voodoo economics.” The New York Times reports the Laffer curve was first sketched on a napkin by Arthur Laffer in 1974. The curve says that if you cut taxes enough, you can make up for the financial shortfall through economic growth. And that’s exactly what Trump’s team is pitching—though it’ll mean adding billions upon billions of dollars to the national deficit while waiting on that promised growth. Here’s what else you need to know about Trump’s tax reform plan:

  • While Republican lawmakers were supportive in public, they’re grumbling in private, CNN reports. Congressional Republicans are upset Trump’s promised tax-reform plan is more of a tax-cut plan. One senior GOP aide says it’s “not even close” to tax reform.
  • CNBC reports the plan is missing one thing that Wall Street really wanted: a steep reduction—all the way to 10%—for companies that bring earnings back to the US from overseas.
  • There are eight reasons Trump’s tax reform plan likely won’t get through Congress, according to the Washington Post. They include that Republicans may not tolerate a huge deficit increase and that the GOP head of the Senate Finance Committee is openly wondering if it’s a “good idea.”
  • Politico argues the plan released Wednesday was less a step toward actual tax reform and more something for Trump to use to bolster his 100-day presidential resume. It was a single page of “mostly general principles” largely carried over from campaign promises.
  • Mother Jones reports Trump’s tax reform plan will make the Trump family richer in four different ways, including by cutting the tax rate for “pass-through corporations.” The Trump Organization is made up of pass-through corporations, and the plan would cut the tax rate of Trump and his children from 39.6% to 15%.
  • But we may never know exactly to what extent Trump stands to benefit from his tax reform plan, according to the Washington Post, as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the president still “has no intention” of releasing his tax returns.

The trickle down was promised in the 1980’s and so far that trickle has not found the middle class….and yet the GOP still thinks the idiots in society will believe the bullshit from 35 years ago…..and guess what…they will!

Please stop calling it reform and label it what it is….a cut….nothing more than that.

Closing Thought–27Apr17

Recently New Orleans starting taking down some of the Civil War monuments….I have mixed emotions….one these should not be destroyed instead move them to a location and build a theme park around them….”How Not To Fight A War”…..believe it or not it is a heritage….a heritage that I think is disgusting but one nonetheless….

I bring this up because of something that your president has done…..but it has little to do with mortar and stone monuments (for now)…….

President Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday instructing the Department of the Interior to review the designations of national monuments by his predecessors, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.

Trump’s order reportedly will instruct Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to examine those designations to determine whether they were within the scope of a century-old law that allows presidents to set aside federal lands without congressional approval.

The executive order is mainly geared toward reviewing President Obama’s designation of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah in December, according to the Tribune. The 1.35 million acre site was preserved due to its Native American heritage, but critics say Obama’s designation was an overreach of executive power.

Trump is expected to sign a broader series of executive orders on energy and the environment this week, following an executive order that began undoing Obama’s climate change agenda.

“I am taking an historic step to lift the restrictions on American energy, to reverse government intrusion and to cancel job-killing regulations,” Trump said last month.

(thehill.com)

This is a con job…the US has enough oil outlets without destroying anything else….but what can we expect from a “businessman” for a president?

Of course this one is more to rape the national parks for the oil than about our other monuments….but will it effect those waiting to be built?  Like the WW1 monument……

The one good thing is that it is an EO and can be flushed down the toilet with the rest of the toilet paper.

A musical interlude to end the day……an excellent album of my generation….Super Session…….

Enjoy the rest of your day…I am off like a dirty shirt….back in the morrow…peace out….chuq

What About “Net Neutrality”?

If you are a blogger then you use the internet a lot….researching your thoughts before they are written….and if you are a blogger then you have some sort of internet defense widget on your site….for we all are concerned about the loss of the internet for public consumption.

Well it looks like our President one Donald J. Trump, is siding with the internet companies in their dash to massive profits and total control……but that was before….it looks like something has changed in the Trump admin…..but unfortunately, to me, something still smells about this……

A top US regulatory official on Wednesday unveiled plans to roll back so-called “net neutrality” rules that require broadband firms to treat all online traffic equally.

The announcement by Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, signals a new round of wrangling over internet regulatory policy by seeking to reverse rules aimed at avoiding the emergence of “fast” and “slow” lanes at the discretion of carriers.

Pai, speaking to a Washington forum, said the 2015 FCC order — which is being challenged in court by major broadband firms — did not deliver on its promise but rather added new regulatory burdens which stifled investment.

Source: Flash – US regulator vows to roll back ‘net neutrality’ rules – France 24

We must be aware of the gimmicks that these politicians will pull…..

We need to be vigilant……this too will pass into a control substance.

I trust no one when they start dicking with the neutrality thing….

How about you?

Is It The Downfall Of Western Civilization?

I have seen many TV shows and heard of movies that use the downfall of Western Civilization as their main premise…..I have talked to numerous people that also see mankind as a cancer and that civilization could be short lived…..

Situations are pointing to an end to Western civilization….at least according to some predictors…….including one Davis Brooks……

In his New York Times column Friday, David Brooks is worried about what might be the ultimate big picture: the collapse of Western civilization. He sees the signs all over, particularly in the rise of “strong men” around the world such as Vladimir Putin, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, Kim Jong Un, and, yes, our own president. “While running for office, Donald Trump violated every norm of statesmanship built up over these many centuries, and it turned out many people didn’t notice or didn’t care,” writes Brooks. Modern governments, he adds, are beginning to resemble “premodern mafia states, run by family-based commercial clans.” He’s also worried about the rise of fringe parties, as can be seen in the presence of Marine Le Pen in France, and the “collapse of liberal values at home,” as seen in the shouting down of speakers at college campuses.

“These days, the whole idea of Western civ is assumed to be reactionary and oppressive,” he concludes. “All I can say is, if you think that was reactionary and oppressive, wait until you get a load of the world that comes after it.” At the BBC, Rachel Nuwer paints a similarly dark picture after interviewing scientists and historians about the long-term prospects for Western societies. The two main themes are growing economic and ecological stresses, but she does end with a hint of hope, summing up the view of one of her interviewees: “Western civilization is not a lost cause, however. Using reason and science to guide decisions, paired with extraordinary leadership and exceptional goodwill, human society can progress to higher and higher levels of well-being and development.” Click for Brooks’ column, and for Nuwer’s.

Disclaimer:  I do not use NYT much as a source ut I read this piece and thought it would make good fodder for conversation…….

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.

Yes a very heavy subject…..and please let the rest of us in on what you think about the prediction of the downfall of Western civilization.