The fleecing of the American people

So much good stuff written about this horrible tax bill, but I’ll just go with EJ Dionne on top of his game:

Dec. 20, 2017, will live on as a day of disgrace and dishonor.

It will be remembered as the day when a government of, by and for the people became a government of, by and for wealthy campaign donors — and of, by and for wealthy Republican politicians themselves.

We thought the corruption, self-dealing and social indifference of the Gilded Age were long behind us. But we underestimated the raw nerve of President Trump, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

This Triumvirate of Privilege has returned us to the “age of betrayal,” as writer Jack Beatty called the years of the robber barons. The goal has always been to roll back the social advances that the country has made since the Progressive Era. On Wednesday, the demolition crews in the House and Senate struck a devastating blow.

The tax law loots the federal treasury on behalf of major corporations and the richest people in America. It sharply shifts the nation’s tax burden onto wage and salary earners whom Trump, Ryan and McConnell treat as serfs expected to bow before the wielders of capital, including real estate titans such as the president himself. It also creates an utterly unstable tax code. So many new opportunities for evasion were stuffed into this monstrosity that not a single person who voted for it can fully know what its effects will be.

This lobbyists’ wish list was passed with unconscionably reckless haste because those who confected it didn’t want mere citizens to grasp what they were doing…

All except the willfully blind must now acknowledge that, sadly, the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower is dead. Friends of sane budgeting and compassionate health-care coverage placed their hopes in three Republican senators — Jeff Flake of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine. Each expressed grave doubts about this bill — and then folded.

Chart of the day

A student shared this interesting chart at me which uses data to look at gender by occupation.  Here it is boiled down to ratios:


Photo of the day

Loved this gallery of the “most 2017 photos ever.”  So many good ones.  But in honor of my firstborn’s love of fidget spinners, I present Barron Trump with his:

Barron Trump (top right), son of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump, uses a fidget spinner while stepping off Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on June 11, 2017. 

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty

Taking offense at Christmas time

First, the latest from PPP (including a little snark at the end from Tom Jensen):

PPP’s annual holidays poll finds that it’s really only Trump voters who get offended about the ‘Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays’ debate. 23% of Trump voters say they’re offended by the phrase ‘Happy Holidays,’ while only 3% of Clinton voters say they’re offended by the phrase ‘Merry Christmas.’ In fact there are actually slightly more Trump voters- 6%- who say they’re offended by ‘Merry Christmas.’ Overall just 13% of voters are offended by ‘Happy Holidays’ and just 4% are offended by ‘Merry Christmas,’ suggesting this issue perhaps gets a little bit more attention than it deserves.

70% of Clinton voters say they don’t care whether people say ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Holidays,’ and among those who do care they actually choose ‘Merry Christmas’ 23-7. On the other hand only 25% of Trump voters say they don’t care about this issue- 66% prefer ‘Merry Christmas’ to 9% for ‘Happy Holidays.’

All this data suggests that Trump voters are the real snowflakes on the ultra important holiday nomenclature issues.

And if you’d like to explore the matter further, Pew did some fairly extensive polling on religion and the holidays:

Note again, how it is Republicans far more like to be bothered by the “wrong” Christmas greeting.

Also interesting to see that 90% of Americans celebrate Christmas, and for quite a few, simply as a cultural holiday.


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