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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Monday Toon Roundup 1 - The Don Con

The Worlds Second Largest Blackout

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico more than six months ago, devastating the island’s economy and the electrical grid. Efforts to restore full electricity service continue. As of the beginning of this week, more than 100,000 Puerto Ricans were still without power. What was already the largest blackout in American history has now likely become, in our analysis, the second largest blackout in the world.

In a Class of its Own Within the US

Late last October, a little more than a month after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, we analyzed its impact on electricity service in Puerto Rico, as well as the US Virgin Islands, which were also devastated by the storm. At that time, power had been restored to only 26% of Puerto Rico and only 16% of the USVI, based on utility data submitted to the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability. Using the share of generation restored as a proxy for the ratio of customers with electricity, we estimated that Hurricane Maria produced the largest blackout in US history.

During the remainder of 2017, utilities in PR and the USVI made modest progress in restoring electricity service, with support from the federal government and utility crews from around the country. Yet at the start of 2018, 55% of Puerto Rico and 26% of the USVI remained without power. Utilities began reporting the number of customers for whom service had been restored directly, as well as the percentage of pre-storm power generation restored. Full service was restored in the USVI in February, according to DOE data. As of the start of this week, power was back on for 96% of Puerto Rico, with 53,000 customers still in the dark. A “customer” is a household, which means between 100,000 and 200,000 Puerto Rican residents still lack electricity service.


Absolutely a disgrace.

Tax policy is a bore, until they take your Social Security and Medicare away

By Edward Kleinbard

Procrastinators race to the post office on Tax Day to postmark their tax returns or file for extensions. Sensible people use Tax Day as a time to consider their financial picture for the year ahead. But this April, in light of how Congress radically rewrote our tax obligations for 2018 onward, Tax Day might also profitably serve as an occasion for citizens to contemplate the tax health of the nation.

This checkup requires examining both taxes and government spending. We quickly see that budget deficits — how much spending exceeds revenues — are extremely large and growing at a disturbing rate. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the 2019 deficit will be just shy of $1 trillion. That is a roughly 50% jump in the deficit from its 2017 level — extraordinary, considering we're in good economic times.

Tax cuts do not pay for themselves — not the Trump tax cuts, nor in any other case in modern U.S. practice. So we face only two possible courses of action: Either we tax ourselves more, or we dismantle the social safety net (in particular, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) that protects Americans from destitution or disability. Which is the right direction for our country to pursue?

There is no law of economics that says record-low tax revenues are the prerequisite to a thriving economy. What we actually need, like it or not, are more tax revenues to fulfill our promises to support our fellow citizens. To do so does not require any radical ideas or bankrupting the middle class. We can raise several trillion dollars of new revenue over the next decade with some straightforward moves.


Nikki Haley channels Colin Powell on Fox this morning

Haley: Chemical attack could happen in US ‘if we’re not smart’

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended U.S. strikes on Syria in the wake of the country’s chemical weapon attack, saying on Sunday a similar chemical attack could happen in the U.S. if precautions are not taken.

“This very easily could happen in the United States if we’re not smart, and if we’re not conscious of what’s happening,” Haley told Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”

“We have to be very conscious of the fact that we cannot allow even the smallest use of chemical weapons. That’s why you saw the president strike this past weekend, that’s why you saw him expel sixty Russian spies after the attack in Salisbury,” she said.



Sorta like this, Nikki?

Mr Fish- Q:Why Did the Chicken Cross Itself?

Prominent Lawyer in Fight for Gay Rights Dies After Setting Himself on Fire in Prospect Park

A lawyer nationally known for being a champion of gay rights died after setting himself on fire in Prospect Park in Brooklyn early Saturday morning and leaving a note exhorting people to lead less selfish lives as a way to protect the planet, the police said.

The remains of the lawyer, David S. Buckel, 60, were found near Prospect Park West in a field near baseball diamonds and the main loop used by joggers and bikers.

Mr. Buckel left a note in a shopping cart not far from his body and also emailed it to several news media outlets, including The New York Times.

Mr. Buckel was the lead attorney in Brandon v. County of Richardson, in which a Nebraska county sheriff was found liable for failing to protect Brandon Teena, a transgender man who was murdered in Falls City, Neb. Hilary Swank won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Mr. Teena in the 1999 movie “Boys Don’t Cry.”


'I am gay' protests as China bans 'homosexual' content on Weibo

China's Sina Weibo said it would remove "homosexual" content from the popular microblogging platform, prompting a storm of online protests Saturday under the hashtag "I am gay".

Weibo said in a statement Friday it had begun a "clean-up campaign" to remove "illegal" content, including "manga and videos with pornographic implications, promoting violence or (related to) homosexuality".

It is the latest sign in a crackdown by the ruling Communist Party to purge the Internet of any content deviating from its "core values ​​of socialism" while stifling criticism of social norms and established policies.

The three-month campaign will also tackle "violent video games, like 'Grand Theft Auto'," Weibo said on the official account of its administrators.



Weekend Toon Roundup 2 - The Rest





The Issue

Weekend Toon Roundup 1 - Flippy Floppy

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