Connie’s out at her Ladies of Elks meeting and Neil is wandering around the house doing some honey do list stuff…so I grabbed the keyboard to just wonder about some random stuff from the news.
The Democrats seem to be hell bent on ramming through the President’s $1.9 trillion corona relief bill…even though it’s still packed with pork…and even through all the previously authorized funding hasn’t been spent yet…and they don’t seem interested at all in anything remotely resembling compromise. For instance…those folk who are well off just don’t need a stimulus check. Connie and Neil certainly don’t need it and since this whole thing is just blowing up the deficit…with the relief already passed and this additional $1.9 trillion the government has already spent more additional funds than an entire year of the federal budget. That doesn’t mean that spending during a pandemic is a bad thing…but one would think that smart spending would be in order. Yes…give folks who are low on the income scale some assistance…but in the interest of not bankrupting the country well off people maybe should be not on the handout list. Unfortunately…progressives seem to just want to buy votes by shoveling cash out the door and they don’t seem to mind that eventually the bills come due and just printing more money sends us down the path of Venezuela and Zimbabwe…deficit spending eventually causes massive inflation and the resulting loss of purchasing power by everybody in the country. Add in the absolute refusal of the left to even discuss compromise and it seems they’re just ignoring the fact that they don’t have a mandate from the election last year…they have only the slimmest of majorities in both houses of Congress…I predict that their reckless spending will cost them seats in 2022.
Impeachment trial number 2 starts today…and to me it seems obviously doomed to failure…the former President will not be convicted and thus cannot be prohibited from running for further office as conviction and removal has to happen first. So the Ds in Congress are not pushing a resolution…along with some Republicans…to pass a resolution declaring that he is guilty of insurrection under the 14th amendment that says “who engaged in insurrection”. Unfortunately…there’s no constitutional provision that allows Congress to simply declare that someone engage in insurrection so assuming this even got enough votes to pass would be challenged in court. Frankly…the former President should not be allowed to run again in our opinion…but skirting the rules and ignoring the Constitution to accomplish that goal…just like ignoring them to ban guns, allow gay people to marry, or allow people to declare they’re of a different gender now…is just plain wrong. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what the outcome of that is.
Out in the PRC…you may have seen how the governor (who’s about to get have to go through a recall election) banned churches from having services since they are hotbed super spreaders of COVID. Unfortunately for him…he also allows bars to remain open as well as other public gatherings as long as masks, capacity limits, and social distancing are in accordance with the rules. Naturally…several churches in the republic filed religious discriminations against this and last week SCOTUS ruled in favor of the churches…saying that whatever rules you have for bars and other public gatherings must also apply to churches…in other words the rules are the same for everybody. Again naturally…Justice Sotomayor in her dissent accuses the majority of “ignoring the science”…essentially stating that the science that allows bars to remain open is different from the science that shuts churches. Wrongo…
All during the last election cycle…we kept hearing how the Trump tax cuts were “a boon to the rich” and how the rich weren’t paying their fair share and how we should raise their taxes…in fact even our new President is in favor of doing so. Unfortunately…their rhetoric outruns the facts as to who pays taxes and what share of taxes the rich pay.
Here are a few facts from the IRS…ya know…the people who actually collect taxes and manage the system.
Under the first year of the previous administration tax cuts (2018)…the top 1% of filers which is people with incomes of $540,009 or more paid 40.1% of all income taxes…this is about double their share of the total income. This 40.1% is the highest percentage for the top 1% dating back to at least 1980. The top 10% (incomes over $151,935) paid 71% of all income taxes…again the highest since 1980.
In the same year (2018), the bottom 50% (incomes less than $43,614) paid 2.9% of all income taxes…a reduction over the previous year’s 3.1%.
So…despite the claims of Schumer, Pelosi, Biden, et.al.…the previous administration tax reform actually made the system more progressive…i.e., the rich paid more under the new system than the old system. Seems to me that all of those et.al. Ds mentioned in the last sentence are just liars who ignore any actual facts.
Progressives also want to increase the number of SCOTUS justices and impose term limits on them…and again they’re spouting ‘facts’ that just aren’t true to support their demands. Specifically…they’re stated as fact that the current SCOTUS members are “out of control” and “ignoring the Constitution” when if one fairly reads the decisions they are following the actual words in that document. Yes…there’s a difference between conservative/liberal and loose/strict constructionist points of view…but they’ve yet to point out a single instance where those inherently evil conservative justices have done anything wrong. They have done things the progressives don’t like…but tough. The Constitution says what it says…not what you want it to say. Even the great sainted RBG says that expanding the court would be wrong and serve simply to turn it into a partisan political tool. As to term limits…that’s clearly unconstitutional despite the dodge that they’re not being limited, just transferred to non voting ‘senior justices’ so that they can be replaced by someone more to their liking. Me…I think they should leave it alone and stop trying to politicize the court. After all…FDR tried that back in the 1930s and was soundly rejected.
The real problem is that none of the progressives bother to think about the long term effect of their demands…for that matter the far right doesn’t do so either. Both groups are interested in immediate gratification and getting their demands met…ignoring any effect on long term economic stability as well as the fact that majorities are fleeting and the next time the other guys are in charge it will just be another tit for tat thing. We witnessed that recently…back during the Obama administration the Ds got rid of the filibuster for lower court judges over the Rs objections and confirmed nominees to various courts. They were warned that it would come back to bite them in the ass by the other side…and sure enough when the other side had the majority they eliminated the filibuster for SCOTUS justices and the result was that a Republican administration appointed 3 justices over the Obama administration’s 2. Now the other side is back in charge…so naturally they want to eliminate the filibuster entirely. Fortunately…there are a few smart centrist people in their party who realize this is a stupid idea…despite progressives claims that the minority is simply obstructionist. Funny how their tune changed from when the Ds were in the minority…at that time they were simply a principled opposition who wisely used the filibuster to oppose unconscionable legislation. Funny how one side’s principled opposition becomes obstructionist when they’re no longer in the minority.
Our legal system is out of whack. Just this week…a guy who sexually assaulted a woman during a bank robbery got 30 years…while a guy who killed his wife got just 16…and the grandfather who let his 3 year old grand daughter fall out the window on a cruise ship to her death got 3 years probation. The family of the latter is still suing the cruise line claiming the line is at fault because the window is open. Video and still photos of the scene clearly show that the grandfather knew the window was open (he leaned out of it before picking her up) and he had to pick her up 3+ feet from the deck and extend her outwards almost 2 feet before he lost his grip on her. How this can be anybody’s fault except 100% the grandfather’s is beyond me…but their lawsuit claims the photos and video are “misleading”.
Another one from the PRC…further evidence that the people who run San Francisco are just wacko.
They posted a job offering on the city web site for a director of the Code Enforcement Department…and in the education requirements it says “high school diploma or GED” but that 2 years of experience would suffice if the applicant didn’t have that much education. No professional licensing required, no advertising on job boards where said licensed professionals might see it, and paying $12K a year more than a similar offering last week. The second one was for an equivalent job in Fort Worth TX…with college degree required, masters degree desired, and professional licensing required. Obviously SF management wanted to give the job to an insider and wrote requirements their chosen one would meet…but then as noted in the
article I found on this…the department is a hotbed of nepotism.
Why is it that on one hand Ds are demanding that Representative Greene be expelled from Congress but they’re quite OK with AOC
refusing to apologize for accusing Senator Cruz of “trying to murder me”…even worse she denies that she used the word murder but her tweet is in the linked article…so again…don’t confuse her with the facts, her mind is made up.
Up in our former state in VA…the teachers union in Fairfax County is refusing to go back to work as directed by the Board of Education and will continue to teach from home…the students will be back in class and the district has had to hire ‘classroom monitors’ to control the classroom while the teachers stay home. There are few to no instances of transmission of corona via in person schooling as long as appropriate precautions are in place…but the teachers unions have too much power and simply refuse to follow the directive of the district. They should be told to report to work or be fired…simple as that. Remote learning is a joke and is just penalizing the kids who will have lost almost 2 years of eduction by the time school is over for the summer…and it’s a shame that teachers who would rather sit at home than do their jobs are causing this. Those kids…particularly the disadvantaged ones…will never catch up.
Interesting things found on the net.
The narrowest street in the world is named Spreuerhofstraße and it is located in Reutlingen Germany. It was built in 1727 during reconstruction efforts after a citywide fire in 1726 and ranges from 12.2 inches to 19.7 inches in width.
The narrowest street in the UK is Parliament Street in Exeter…dating from 1651 and ranging from 25 to 45 inches in width.
The US’s narrowest street…Treasury Street in St. Augustine, FL…measuring just a bit under 7 feet and it was built back in the Spanish ownership days. It leads from Bay Street on the waterfront to the Royal Spanish Treasury building and was designed to be wide enough for 2 men to carry a chest of gold but not wide enough to allow a carriage to get in and make off with the gold.
This one takes a little thought.
Here’s a combined track of all tropical storms worldwide that have been tracked. Note that they don’t go across the equator, this is because of the Coriolis Effect. Also note that almost all of the category 5 ones occurred in the Pacific and not the Atlantic…this is likely because of the longer fetch of warm water they can cross before getting to land which gives them longer to grow in intensity.
So Tom Brady won the Super Bowl…again…we thought all along that he would likely pull off the upset as it’s not nice to pull on Superman’s cape ya know. While some other QBs have greater individual skills than he does…his belief that he is destined to win and his ability to get his teammates to also believe it is what makes him great. He now has more SB championships than any single NFL franchise…and at least according to the sports media is the greatest of all time…don’t know if that is true or not as the game today is different than it was even 20 years ago and that was different from 20 years before that and 20 years before that and 20 years before that. While I don’t really get a vote…for team sports I think that the greatest player is not the guy with the best individual statistics…it’s the guy that makes his team better. Looking through the last 30 years or so…there’s a lot of debate whether MJ is better than Lebron and whether Brady is better than Manning or Rodgers or Montana…same goes with baseball although I don’t give a rat about that sport so no names there. In my book…for football it’s hard to vote against Brady and in basketball it’s hard to vote against Magic. Both of them took their teams to levels that would not have happened without their presence…Magic, like Montana before him and Brady now…simply makes the people around him better just by being there and that’s the definition of great.
I have to say we didn’t watch the game…the NFL has no interest for anybody in our house. The only thing worth watching is the commercials and by most evaluations I’ve seen on the web they continued their downhill slide this year.