WTF 2/7

 

It may be too early to say the sky is falling … butttt…

I said it way before the presidential election… I said it many times… I said it in words that were clear, concise and to the point…

I said…

What makes any one think… believe… that a man who has a history of acting financially irresponsibly, a history of defaulting on debts by claiming bankruptcy… a history of cheating folks out of their money… a history of acting in a racist manner, a history of being guilty of misogyny and frankly of abusing women… a history of just acting like he is better than everyone else, or in plain and blunt words… like his shit don’t stink… what makes any one believe that he will ever do anything that will ever benefit any of we the people?

Simply put, what makes anyone think that billionaire turned politician Trumpty Dumpty would ever do anything to help working America improve their lives in any manner at all?

Seriously…

In fact, why do we the people continually believe that billionaires care about us at all when it all comes down to the reality of life in America?

Want further proof of this?

Chew on this cud…

The United States government is set to borrow $1 trillion this year which is an 84% jump from last year.

Grokking that yet?

The United States government which is essentially … hell, essentially… it is run by the elephants. They control the House, they control the Senate and they have their man sitting in the White House… the elephants control the present government in the U.S. which the Treasury department recently announced is on track to borrow nearly $1 trillion this fiscal year … President Trumpty Dumpty’s first full year in charge of the budget. (Chicago Tribune)

Double what the government borrowed in fiscal year 2017.

According to the Chicago Tribune here are the numbers…

“The U.S. Treasury expects to borrow $955 billion this fiscal year, according to documents released Wednesday. It’s the highest amount of borrowing in six years, and a big jump from the $519 billion the federal government borrowed last year.”

Treasury mainly attributed the increase to the ‘fiscal outlook’.”

The GOP likes to claim it is the party of fiscal responsibility, and that without them the country would sink into financial ruin.

The Chicago Tribune further reported ….

“The Congressional Budget Office was more blunt. In a report this week, the CBO said tax receipts are going to be lower because of the new tax law.”

Grokked all that?

Already the recently passed federal tax law… the supposed new and improved tax law which would save Americans all sorts of money… is doubling federal borrowing expenditures to the tune of $500-plus billion to add almost one trillion damn dollars… that we do not have… to keep the government running.

Simply… the tax law is already fucking we the people in every damn orifice it can and Trumpty and the elephants aren’t even offering to smile and at least offer some sort of lubricate to make the fucking go down easy.

At least the donkeys would probably had passed Medicare For All…

So, while we were losing our jobs and living out of cardboard boxes and being hungry, we would not have to worry about how we would pay to get needed medical help from illnesses like pneumonia which we all would be getting from not having enough to eat or minimally sufficient shelter to protect us from the storm.

But not the damn elephants.

They go for the jugular and say they are doing one thing from one side of their mouths and, then as they laugh out the other side of their mouths they say much obliged and they take the money and run straight to their off-shore bank accounts to keep it all nice and safe in tax free havens.

With a deficit that is so far up the politicians can hardly see the bottom of the hole they have financially created, the government is now adding another log onto the debate fire that will be occurring in Congress over which sector gets what… infrastructure, military, disaster relief, health, education, etc…

This is one of the very reasons why the elephants… especially the SOBs like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell… want to cut what they call entitlement benefits like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security instead of the added, and very unnecessary, funding that Trumpty and the elephants want to give to ever-expanding defense budget. Like we really need to make killing and suffering faster, more expedient and better than anything the world has already seen or will see?

Maybe we should start thinking about giving peace a chance?

Or at least minding our own damn business and then staying out of other countries situations and/or problems. Like maybe letting them determine their own futures … just like we supposedly did once upon awhile back in the 18th century?

The Chicago Tribune article further states, “What’s particularly jarring is this is the first time borrowing has jumped this much (as a share of GDP) in a non-recession time since Ronald Reagan was president, says Ernie Tedeschi, a former senior adviser to the U.S. Treasury who is now head of fiscal analysis at Evercore ISI. Under Reagan, borrowing spiked because of a buildup in the military.”

Damn… that sound familiar?

Like maybe something our current administration is saying that needs doing?

Trumpty didn’t mention this new debt… nor did he mention any of the present debt the country is currently mired within… in his State of the Union address.

Marc Goldwein, senior policy director at Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, says the absence of any mention of the national debt is frustrating considering that America has a major economic problem looming.

If not already staring straight in every Congresspeep’s greedy eyes.

And as if right on cue… the interest rates on U.S. government bonds hit the highest level since 2014. And, that, in turn, helped to drive partly drove the worst weekly sell-off in the stock market in two years.

On Friday (2/2) the Dow fell 666 points.

Then on Monday (2/5)…

The Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index fell more than 4%… eliminating its gains for the year. The 4.1 percent drop was the worst for the S&P since August 2011.

The Dow average fell more than 1,000 points, its biggest point drop ever. Percentage wise… the Dow fell 4.6%… something it also did in 2011.

And Tuesday (2/3) …  After two huge sell-offs in a row, U.S. stocks are up and then down, and then up and then down… like a punch drunk over the hill prize fighter. all over the map on Tuesday.

The Dow went down overnight and opened on Wall Street still even lower than its previous two days… at one point it was down by 567 points and then it rallied to go higher by 367 points before settling in at about a few points higher than Monday at its close. At noon it stood at 12 points higher.

(Check here for the latest market index numbers.)

The S&P was about 0.4% lower. And Nasdaq was about 0.1% down.

The words from analysts and economists that are slowly creeping out for the public’s ears are… “recession in 2019” because government’s fiscal policies are out of control and becoming unmanageable, if not already there.

The Federal Reserve was also buying a lot of U.S. Treasury debt since the crisis, helping to beef up demand. But the Fed recently decided to stop doing that now that the economy has improved. It’s another wrinkle as Treasury has to look for new buyers.

Coming back to bite them: Paul Ryan listens as Rep. Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, talks up the Republican tax cuts, which will necessitate trillion-dollar annual borrowings for several years.
(From Financial Review)

And Trumpty’s Treasury is also forecasting borrowing over $1 trillion in 2019 and over $1.1 trillion in 2020.

Funny… before being elected one of Trumpty’s platform planks was he would reduce the national debt.

Now he don’t talk so loud…

Goldwein says, “Every time you feed your addiction, you grow your addiction.” He also says that right now there does not appear to be any budgetary restraint in Washington… from both sides of the aisle.

But if good ship America keeps on taking on water in the form of budget deficits as is currently happening, then maybe the financial markets might just might kick start congress into taking proper action.

Just don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress to do that. You just might pass out and I hear oxygen is getting mighty expensive these days.

Please… stop the tweets…

An illegal immigrant, Manuel Orrego-Savala, who had a blood alcohol level of 0.239, which is nearly three times the legal limit of 0.08, was arrested early Sunday morning when he attempted to flee the scene on foot after he drove along the shoulder of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis and hit two men… Edwin Jackson, a member of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts, and ride-sharing operator Jeffrey Monroe, who had pulled over to help the sick Jackson.

Monroe and Jackson were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County Coroner’s Office. Monroe was 54; Jackson was 26.

Orrego-Savala, from Guatemala, who had been deported in 2007 and 2009 and was using the alias Alex Cabrera Gonsales, was arrested and being held in the Marion County (Indiana) jail while the police work with U.S. federal immigration officials. Investigators are also working with the prosecutor’s office to file criminal charges.

Trumpty Dumpty tweeted Tuesday about the deaths of Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson and one other man over the weekend, which were caused by a suspected drunk driver who is in the U.S. illegally.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

So disgraceful that a person illegally in our country killed @Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson. This is just one of many such preventable tragedies. We must get the Dems to get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!

8:32 AM – Feb 6, 2018

And that is the only reason he even mentioned the tragic death of this NFL player… because it could benefit his biased and racist immigration agenda and proposed policies.

Please, stop the tweeting… stop watching Fox News and other dumbass TV shows all day while you be eating your Mickey Ds. Try doing your job… like getting a damn realistic budget passed instead of being an obstructionist and calling for a government shut down because the donkeys won’t get on board to pay for your damn stupid wall be along the US-Mexico broder.

PLEASE… just do it!

News Item…

In Austin, Texas, city council-members voted 10-1 on Thursday to bar their city from doing business with any company involved in the construction of President Trump’s expanded wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Austin joins dozens of other cities that have moved to divest from border wall contractors.

In response, Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke this week accused cities of “blackballing” companies, telling a crowd at the Border Security Expo in San Antonio the practice is something “we shouldn’t be tolerating.”

Screw off Deputy Secretary …

And more to the point…

Put that in your damn craw, Mr. Trumpty Dumpty and choke on it!

Laughing my ass off…

 

 

Free speech could be an endangered species…

In the time since Trumpty Dumpty has become Prez, more than 20 states have proposed bills that would crack down on protests and demonstration… which… by the by is something that the United Nations (UN), has called “incompatible with US obligations under international human rights law.”

What the international organization is barking at are certain proposed laws… some of which are now passed, some which have already been defeated, while others are still under consideration…  that could increase the penalties for protesting in large groups, ban protesters from wearing masks during demonstrations and, in some states, protect drivers from liability if they strike someone taking part in a protest.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says more than 30 separate anti-protest bills have been introduced since November 8, 2016 in “an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century”. Their introduction comes amid a huge increase in activism and engagement, much of it inspired by Trump’s election to the presidency.

The ACLU, and the National Lawyers Guild, also say many of the laws or bills being proposes are “very probably unconstitutional. “

Vera Eidelman, who works in the ACLU’s speech, privacy and technology project, says, “This flood of bills represents an unprecedented level of hostility towards protesters in the 21st century. And many of these bills attack the right to speak out precisely where the Supreme Court has historically held it to be the most robust: in public parks, streets and sidewalks.”

In 2017 the ACLU issued this statement…

“In response to epic protests around the country, state legislators in nearly 20 states proposed bills in 2017 that would restrict people’s right to protest. The ACLU fought back and many of the bills died or were amended to remove unconstitutional language. For those that passed, we’re hopeful that protestors will exercise their right to dissent and courts will prevent the use of these laws to unconstitutionally burden protest activity.”

The ACLU created an interactive map of most of the states which have proposed various anti-protest bills. The map was current as of June 23, 2017.

A list follows of the states on the map that proposed anti-protest laws. The status of each proposed law… “passed,” “died” or “currently under consideration” … is also noted.

Why is it important to list “laws” if they have already been defeated?

Simply… if the lawmakers of a state proposed a damn law once but it got defeated, they can certainly propose the law again… and again… and again… until they eventually have the “right” votes in place to pass the law that they want enacted so that they can shut we the people the fuck up!

Think back to how one time in America’s history states used voter registration laws to repress Black voters… to discriminate against Black people by using legal manipulations of registration regulations to deny them their constitutional right to participate and vote in elections. If, as noted above, one of these anti-protest laws were to eventually be enacted who gets to interpret whether a protest is illegal or legal according to the law? What criteria is used to apply the law and by which group of politicians… elephants or donkeys… Conservatives or liberals… black politicians or white politicians?

Regardless of any political/social descriptions, understand this… whoever is most likely in power in any state that has an anti-protest law, the powers that be are most likely the ones being protested against… at least in some way or in part… AND they will most likely apply the law to inhibit any public display of anti-them. Which means, it would most likely be applied in a very discriminatory manner, and, more to the point, in a manner that would inhibit we the peoples’ constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Think how certain states are to this day still trying to enact voter ID laws…  and how they manipulate these laws so that some state governments make hard, if not almost downright impossible, for certain folks to have the proper ID so that they can go and do their jobs as citizens…  vote for their representation in government.

Think how Trumpty keeps trying to get his version of how immigration rules… for who can enter the country and under what guidelines. Think about how many times Trumpty has been slapped t down by the courts but he is still trying to get an immigration law past the U.S. courts. Try it often enough? Hell, who knows… sooner or later he just might succeed in getting his racist bullshit enacted into law.

Think how the elephants kept trying to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and failed… and then tried again… and again… and again.  They couldn’t succeed so they wrote a little amendment… barely noticeable in the larger scope of what was being proposed… and inserted it into the recently passed tax bill that eliminated the individual mandate.

The individual mandate was this ACA rule that said people must buy health insurance or pay a penalty unless they qualify for a limited number of exemptions. Most Americans get insurance through their employers or through the government in the form of Medicare or Medicaid. But everyone else must actively seek out coverage to comply with ACA’s individual mandate. The individual mandate was created to stabilize the non-group insurance market. ACA prohibits insurers from charging sicker consumers more for health insurance, or denying them coverage altogether. But to insure people who have pre-existing conditions at the same rates as healthy people of the same age, insurers need plenty of healthy consumers … those who pay premiums but don’t use much care… to subsidize the sick.

If healthy people drop out of the market because they are no longer are mandated to have coverage, insurers would need to raise their rates to cover the remaining, sicker customer base. The roughly 85% of marketplace customers who qualify for the government’s premium subsidies won’t feel the brunt of these premium increases, because the elephant’s tax bill doesn’t affect the subsidy structure. But the rest of them… those who make too much to qualify for assistance… could find themselves priced out of the market. And without any affordable coverage and if they stay healthy? All is good. But… if they suddenly get sick? Or, if a catastrophic circumstance should happen… and some serious debilitating injury should occur? Some health situation should arise where they can’t go to work? Some situation which would begin to eat away at their finances? They are just shit out of luck and could wind up in bankruptcy.

The alternative? Pay the exorbitant and prohibitive insurance premiums so that they are insured. Either way those people are fucked. Who are those people. Mostly middle-class folks who are struggling to pay the rent, provide for their families. Or young folks just entering the job market after graduating with their degrees and trying to make it in the real world. Those who are fortunate enough to get real work that pays well, gamble they won’t need insurance mostly because it just another bill they would need to pay and they already are saddled with enormous college tuition loan debt plus having to pay for all their other expensive necessities… like rent, transportation, food, etc…

The individual mandate was created to prevent all of that from happening.

So… those are some of the reasons why we need to be aware of what some state governments are trying to do to inhibit we the peoples’ constitutional right to freedom of speech in America.

Some of the states that either have tried to enact anti protest laws… with the law’s status as of June 2017.

MINNESOTA

  • HF 55/HF 390/HF 896 and HF 1066: Died. These bills would have stiffened penalties for protesters who obstructed traffic or access to airports.
  • HF 322: Died. Would have made protesters liable for policing costs if they were convicted of unlawful assembly or public nuisance.

MICHIGAN

  • HB 4643: Died. Would have increased penalties for picketing, allowed companies to challenge pickets without having to show any actual harm, and repealed a law that requires employers to include information about an ongoing strike when they advertise to hire employees who will replace those on strike. The bill passed the House, but was then shelved.

IOWA

  • SF 426/SF 111: Died. Would have punished protesters who repeatedly block traffic with up to five years in prison.

MISSOURI

  • HB 179: Died. Would have criminalized wearing a mask at a protest in certain circumstances.
  • HB 826: Died. Would have expanded the definition of “unlawful assembly” and would have criminalized protests that intended to impede traffic by created a new crime, subject to a penalty of up to seven years in prison.

COLORADO

  • SB 35: Died. Would have punished environmental protesters with up to 18 months in prison and/or $100,000 in fines by reclassifying the misdemeanor of obstructing or tampering with oil and gas equipment into a felony.

ARIZONA

  • SB 1142: Died. Would have added “rioting” to organized crime statutes, thereby making participation in or organization of a protest that turns into a riot a criminal racketeering offense; would also have enabled police to seize the assets of anyone involved in a protest that at some point becomes violent and would have enabled prosecutors to charge individuals who were not involved in the riot. The bill passed the Senate, but the Speaker of the House then reported it to be “officially dead.”

OKLAHOMA

  • HB 1123: Passed. This law punishes protesters who willfully trespass on “critical infrastructure,” with enhanced penalties for those who do so in order to harm the infrastructure’s operations. Under the law, the state can impose a $1 million fine on any organization “found to be a conspirator” in such trespass. Bill text available here.
  • HB 2128: Passed. This law appears to make anyone who is merely arrested for trespass liable for any damages to property caused while trespassing. Bill text available here.

INDIANA

  • SB 285: Died. Would have instructed police to use “any means necessary” to clear protesters off a roadway. The bill was amended to tone down the allowance of “any means necessary” to only a ticket and fine, but the watered-down version also failed to move through the legislature.

ARKANSAS

  • HB 1756: Passed without anti-protest language. As initially drafted, this bill would have criminalized lingering on the sidewalk or on public transit in a way that “seriously annoys” others. The bill passed and became Act 847, but no longer includes that language, though it expands the definition of loitering.
  • SB 550: Vetoed. Would have criminalized mass picketing, but the governor vetoed it.

TENNESSEE

  • SB 902: Passed. This law imposes a fine of $200 on protesters who obstruct an emergency vehicle from accessing a street or highway. Bill text available here.
  • SB 944: Died. This “hit and kill” bill would have immunized drivers who accidentally hit a protestor on a roadway.

MISSISSIPPI

  • SB 2730: Died. Would have criminalized protests that obstruct the passage of emergency vehicles with up to 5 years in prison.

VIRGINIA

  • SB 1055: Died. Would have punished protesters with up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500 for engaging in “unlawful assembly” after “having been lawfully warned to disperse.”
  • HB 1791: Died. Would have expanded the crime of incitement to riot and heightened penalties for encouraging others to riot against police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical care providers. The governor vetoed this bill.

NORTH CAROLINA

  • HB 330/SB 229: In Senate committee (passed House). Would enhance protections for former government officers against threats and assaults. This bill was introduced by a Republican lawmaker who pledged to introduce legislation to criminalize protesters heckling politicians in the state.
  • HB 249: In House committee. Would create a new crime of “economic terrorism,” enhance penalties for protesters who obstruct traffic, and make protesters liable for policing costs.
  • HB 330: In Senate committee (passed House). This “hit and kill” bill would create immunity for anyone who hits a protestor blocking traffic, unless the protest had a permit.

GEORGIA

  • SB 160: Passed without anti-protest language. As introduced, this “Back the Badge” bill would have increased penalties for protesters who blocked any highway, street, sidewalk, or other public passage. The anti-protester language was stripped from the bill as passed.
  • SB 1: Died. Would have prohibited certain activity “intended to advance . . . any ideology or belief” as domestic terrorism. The Senate voted the bill down.

FLORIDA

  • SB 1096: Died. This “hit and kill” bill would have criminalized protests that obstruct traffic and exempted drivers from liability if they struck a protester under certain conditions.

NORTH DAKOTA

  • HB 1293: Passed. This law criminalizes protests on private property where the notice against trespassing is “clear from the circumstances.” It also creates a civil trespass offense that gives officers the option of issuing a citation and $250 fine.
  • SB 2302: Passed. This law allows the attorney general to respond to a large protest by appointing out-of-state law enforcement officers as “ad-hoc special agents.”
  • HB 1426: Passed. This law increased penalties for riot offenses.
  • HB 1304: Passed. This law punishes wearing a mask while committing a crime (including minor offenses) to avoid recognition or identification in any public forum, or in a group on private property without written permission. .
  • HB 1203: Died. This “hit and kill” bill would have allowed drivers to run over any protester obstructing a highway, as long as a driver does so accidentally.
  • HB 1193: Died. Would have punished protesters at private facilities and created penalties for those directly or indirectly cause more than $1,000 in economic harm to the government or an individual with up to 5 years in prison.

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • SB 176: Passed. This law enables officials to prohibit protests of more than 20 people on public lands in certain circumstances and expands the crime of trespass; enables the Department of Transportation to prohibit protesters from stopping on the highway; and criminalizes protests that stop traffic on the highway.

Another thousand words…

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