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I have figured out the Trump job-creation numbers. I don't like it.

We all know, because Trump has told us, that job creation is at a record pace.

The other day, I was looking around my little burg and noticed something odd: The vast majority of the jobs that have been created here have something to do with food - and almost all the places that were offering jobs also offer home delivery. The rest of the jobs are in banking and telecommunications.

Therefore, I believe it to be completely feasible that the reason all these jobs are being created is people are scared to leave their homes thanks to the epidemic of mass shootings. If someone can find a telecommuting job, homeschool their children, and have everything they need delivered through DoorDash, UberEats, Walmart Home Delivery, and whatever online shopping site they choose to go through, they can just barricade themselves in the house and keep the world away.

You can read this as "Trump has nothing to do with this" or "Trump has everything to do with this, and that's a problem" but that's how I see it.

Trump, the Pope and a bucket of chicken

Three American “prosperity gospel” preachers, Jim Bakker, Joel Osteen and Paula White, were granted an audience with the Pope at the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. They called Donald Trump and asked him if he’d like to go along. “Sure!”

Before they went to the Sistine Chapel, Trump had his driver stop at a KFC for a bucket of chicken. “Are you sure that’s okay?” asked Jim Bakker. “I’m the president. I can do anything I want.”

When they got to the Vatican, the three ministers went to the altar to receive the Pope’s blessing. Trump sat at the back of the room, eating his chicken and throwing the bones on the floor. The pope entered the sanctuary, walked past the three preachers, went straight to Trump, made the sign of the cross and walked out of the room.

The ministers were flabbergasted.

“Mr. President, how is it that you were blessed by the Pope and we were not?”

“It wasn’t like that at all,” Trump said. “He stood in front of me and said…

(pointing at the sky) Who are you to desecrate the sanctity of the House of God?

(pointing at the floor) Now pick up those chicken bones…

(pointing to his left) get those three con artists…

(pointing to his right) and get the hell out of my church.”

I believe the Alabama people shot themselves in the foot

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have heard the extremist Alabama law also prohibits crossing state lines to receive abortion care.

If that happens, the line of attack that’ll work best will be on freedom to travel.

One of the finest ideas I've ever heard from the Hard Right

So today I was working on the very, very Republican weekly we print, and I found this lovely little piece on the Editorial page:


Condensed version: because everyone hates robocalls, President Trump (yes, it pains me to type those words) should implement, and take credit for, a one-cent tax on every phone call made in America. The intent will be to make robocalling so expensive that no one will do it any more.

So...let's look at just how wonderful of a thing this tax would be.

First, it won't do shit to the robocall industry. I would be VERY surprised if any robocalling company was located inside the US; if any are, it wouldn't take much for them to pick up and move. You couldn't levy a tax on a call originating outside the US, so any robocall firm in, say, India or Nigeria would be automatically exempt.

It WILL whack the hell out of legitimate businesses in the US. Places like hospitals and hotels live on the phone. If a corporation makes ten thousand calls a day across all its branches, they'll have to come up with an extra $26,000 a year just for the taxman.

Local governments will also get raked over the coals with this tax.

It will also do a real number on the elderly. Life Alert bracelets call the company frequently. Granny's on a fixed income guys, she ain't got an extra ten bucks a month for taxes.

And let us not forget our Millennial population. Those folks live on the phone. An extra $20 or $30 per month may not sound like much to you, but that's a couple of meals to them.

All to stop something (or not stop it, more than likely) that's not much more than a nuisance.

So...why is this such a fantastic idea? Because if Trump does anything this stupid, especially after passing the "Trump got his tax cut, GFY" bill, it will pretty much guarantee the GOP will get its asses handed to it next November.

My "difference between D and R" joke is becoming popular

In ref https://www.democraticunderground.com/100212071513 (Utne Reader condensed version: a hurricane hits Florida and causes a billion dollars in damage. The Democratic solution is to send the Army and spend $1.2B of tax dollars. The Republican solution is to start a faith-based charity and give tax cuts to encourage people to donate. That’s what they do, and it ends up costing the taxpayer 10 times as much as if we’d followed the Democratic solution in the first place.)

This morning I learned the joke has over 3200 upvotes on Quora.

Should we send Trump two steel balls?


We’re about two minutes from a quart of frozen strawberries and a nonexistent key.

I was asked for a joke describing the difference between D's and R's...

This is what I sent.

A hurricane caused a billion dollars in damage to public infrastructure like bridges, roads and parks. The Republican president called a special session of Congress to discuss how to fix it.

A Democratic Congressman stood up. “Mr. President, I recommend we send the 10th Mountain Division, a fleet of dump trucks and loaders, and a team from the Army Corps of Engineers to the disaster area. While the 10th Mountain is busy running refugee camps and removing debris, the Corps of Engineers will decide what needs to be fixed and how much it’ll cost. Then we fund the reconstruction effort using tax dollars. It’s simple and efficient, and we’ve done it before so we know exactly how. I estimate the total outlay to be $1.2 billion and it’ll take a year to completely recover.”

A Republican Congressman then took the podium. “Mr. President, I recommend that instead of sending Government Welfare to the disaster area, we set up a Faith Based Private Sector Disaster Relief Charity and cut taxes on the population segment earning more than $500,000 per year by $5 billion. The people who receive this tax cut will be so grateful, they will donate all of it to the charity. It will only take six months to recover under my plan.”

Because the president is a Republican, he naturally selects the second option. Six months later, roughly $75 million has been donated to the charity. It took 75 percent of the donated total as “administrative costs” and the rest of the money was embezzled. None of the money ever made it to the disaster area. Eight months after the disaster happened, the 10th Mountain and the Corps of Engineers were finally deployed. The report from the Engineers commander was grim: “Due to inexplicable delays in starting work and subsequent damage due to weather conditions in the relief area, construction costs will likely be at least triple what they would have been if reconstruction would have started immediately after the hurricane.” It took three years to rebuild. The total bill for recovery came to $7 billion, in addition to the $5 billion tax cut, and 25 percent of the population of the area moved away because they couldn’t stand to live there any longer.

Wait. That’s not a joke. That’s how Republicans really do business.

Need advice on high-end DSLR purchase

Before we start: NO I am not giving up film! I'm shooting film on my summer vacation, I'll shoot film next year, I'll shoot film until there's no more film left to shoot and no more me left to shoot it - and considering that Kodak is on the verge of re-introducing 120 Ektachrome film is here to stay.

Given that, I work for a newspaper and I'm starting to get a lot of pictures published. The first couple pictures I took were on my iPad. The second two were on my iPhone. (Strangely enough, I was coming back from shooting film when I found those pictures.)

Not really liking what I was getting from i-stuff, I bought a Nikon D2X. So far I've done three parades and one high-school Renewable Energy project with it. It's working pretty well, but I really need better low-light sensitivity; the D2X only goes to ISO 800.

I own pro glass - 28-70/2.8D and 80-200/2.8D Nikon ED lenses, and it gets used for film work - so I'm only interested in Nikon SLR bodies. I don't shoot video. (If I did, I would want to be able to sync audio with video using time code, which you can't do on a DSLR.)

I see three cameras that would do great: the Nikon D3S, D4S and D5. (The first two I would buy used, naturally.) The D4S has a stop more low-light sensitivity than the D3S does, and the D5 gives two stops over the D4S.

Now for the important question: Which camera will give me the best-looking photographs?
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