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Stonepounder

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Member since: Sun Jun 27, 2010, 09:05 PM
Number of posts: 3,832

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Pentagon confirms U.S. ground operations in Yemen

Source: NBC News

WASHINGTON — The Defense Department on Wednesday acknowledged for the first time "multiple ground operations" in Yemen, while noting that the Islamic State has doubled in size in the war-torn country, where an insurgency by Houthi rebels has allowed terrorist groups to seek haven.

"U.S. forces have conducted multiple ground operations and more than 120 strikes in 2017," said a statement from the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

The goal is to "disrupt the ability of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS-Yemen to use ungoverned spaces in Yemen as a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and base of operations to export terror worldwide."

Before Wednesday's statement, the extent of the U.S. counterterrorism operations in Yemen was unknown under the Trump administration, with only sporadic acknowledgement of U.S. military operations there. Unlike the campaign in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State, the Defense Department did not provide regular updates on either air or ground operations in Yemen.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/pentagon-confirms-u-s-ground-operations-yemen-n831616



Gee, lets get another war going in the Middle East.

The G.O.P. Tax Bill Is Unworkable

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-gop-tax-bill-is-unworkable?mbid=nl_Daily%20121917%20Nonsubs&CNDID=27161810&spMailingID=12596533&spUserID=MTMzMTgyODIwMTg3S0&spJobID=1301807259&spReportId=MTMwMTgwNzI1OQS2

With the House of Representatives set to pass the final version of the Republican tax bill on Tuesday, and a vote in the Senate expected later in the week, here is a prediction: no matter which party controls Congress after next year’s midterms, lawmakers will eventually be forced to revise this tax bill substantially. This legislation simply isn’t workable in the long run. Unless it is fixed, it could end up crippling the tax system.

<snip>

What isn’t yet fully appreciated is how porous and potentially unstable the rest of the tax code will be after the bill is passed. With a corporate rate of just twenty per cent, and a big new break for proprietors of unincorporated businesses and certain types of partnerships, the new code will contain enormous incentives for tax-driven restructurings, creative accounting, and outright fraud. Every tax adviser and scammer in the country will be looking for ways to reclassify regular salary income as favored types of business income. For tax accountants, the first step will be to see how many of their well-to-do clients could feasibly convert themselves into corporations. “Taxpayers will be able to shield their labor income from tax by simply setting up a corporation and having their income accrue in the form of corporate profits. . . . Income that would have been taxed at the high individual rates is instead taxed at the low corporate rate,” an updated report from a group of tax experts at New York University, the University of Chicago, and other places noted on Monday. Investment income is also taxed at the lower rate. “There is really no downside to this game,” the report said.

<snip>

In many instances, this sort of reorganization would be perfectly legal. In other cases, in which the rules are ambiguous, the I.R.S. would doubtless try to crack down. But the I.R.S. is reeling after years of budget restrictions—it has lost about a fifth of its workforce since 2010—and the scale of the problems introduced by this new tax bill could very quickly overwhelm the tax agency. The shortfall in tax revenues could be enormous.

Perhaps that is what Republicans want to happen. Undoubtedly, there are some in the Party who would like to see the tax base decimated, the I.R.S. crippled, and the federal government forced to slash spending on domestic programs, particularly entitlement programs. But, for anybody who believes in a properly functioning government, a rational, clearly defined tax system is essential. The Republican reform doesn’t meet that standard. In the words of the report, the “haphazard lines” that the legislation creates are “fundamentally unfair and inefficient,” and, taken as a whole, it represents “a substantial blow to the basic integrity of the income tax.” It won’t survive in its current form.

Confounds the Science - (Parody of) Sound of Silence

&feature=youtu.be

Found at: https://parodyproject.com/

Santa's sleigh is pulled by female reindeer!

%3Fw%3D2000&w=700&q=85

https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/feminism/2017/12/science-proves-santa-s-sleigh-pulled-team-strong-powerful-underrated-women

Science proves Santa’s sleigh is pulled by a team of strong, powerful, underrated women

You know Dasher, and Dancer, and Prancer, and Vixen; Comet, and Cupid, and Donner and Blitzen – but do you know that these most famous reindeer might actually be females?

Reindeer, sometimes called caribou, are a species of large deer that sport antlers – regardless of gender (unlike other deer species). According to the San Diego Zoo, male reindeer shed their antlers in early winter, while females won’t shed theirs until later in the spring after they give birth to calves.


--------------

MALE REINDEER LOSE THEIR ANTLERS IN WINTER AND FEMALES DON'T THEREFORE SANTA'S SLEIGH IS ACTUALLY PULLED BY A TEAM OF STRONG, POWERFUL, UNDERRATED WOMEN!!!!! YOU GO, GIRLS!! I SEE YOU!!!

How The Federal Reserve Could Rain On Trumps Tax Cut Parade

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― Republicans say their tax overhaul bill will juice the economy, and most economists agree that cutting corporate taxes could boost growth, at least in the short term.

But one reason the boost won’t be as strong as Republicans might like is that the Federal Reserve would be expected to move to keep that growth in check.

<snip>

“If the tax cuts are deficit financed, that is going to juice the economy and it will overheat, significantly raising the odds of a recession early in the next decade,” Zandi told HuffPost.

<snip>

The Fed has a dual mandate to maximize employment and keep the rate of price growth stable, pursuing the latter goal by targeting a 2 percent inflation rate. If inflation show signs of exceeding the 2 percent threshold, the Fed could hit the brakes by raising an influential interest rate. An increase in the benchmark federal funds rate ― the rate banks charge one another for overnight lending ― would dampen economic growth by raising the cost of credit throughout the economy.

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/donald-trump-federal-reserve-offset-tax-cuts_us_5a2076cae4b03350e0b55f99?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009



So just about any way you look at it there is no way that they will get the economic growth they are prattling on about.

Our country that has existed for 240 years is no more.
Posted by Stonepounder | Fri Dec 1, 2017, 12:09 AM (8 replies)

In the first nearly 200 years of its history, the US impeached only one President.

In the last 40 years we have forced one to resign to avoid impeachment, impeached one, one and will probably impeach another.

Interestingly enough the legislation that gave birth to today's PACs was passed in 1971, three years before Nixon's resignation.

Does anyone question the implication that today's government is 'of the Oligarchs, by the Oligarchs, and for the Oligarchs'? I am including large corporations under the umbrella term 'Oligarch' since Citizens United gave corporations 'personhood' status.

Some Congressmen have openly stated that they can't vote against the abomination of a Tax Bill that Congress is trying to ram through because then 'big money' would basically throw them out of office. And, at the same time, the GOP is working just as fast as it can to stuff the Federal Judiciary with as many Oligarch-friendly judges as it can.

The GOP is a treasonous party that does NOT believe in the Constitution of the United States and desires nothing more than to be part of the gravy train and screw the constituents. Folks, we are well and truly screwed and there is not a damn thing we can do about it, since all three branches of government are totally against us.

More interesting dots connecting.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross divested many of his holdings. One holding he kept was in a company called Navigator Holdings, a shipping company specializing in transporting liquified natural gas around the world.

The (in)famous Paradise Papers have exposed that Ross has made millions from his holding in Navigator, through a network of holding companies in the Cayman Islands. Navigator's biggest client is the Russian petrochemicals giant Sibur, whose biggest stake holder is Kirill Shamanov, a Russian billionaire and the son of one of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle of oligarchs. He’s also married to Putin’s youngest daughter.

So, Ross is making millions via his investment in a company connected directly to Putin. And this is our Commerce Secretary.

{sigh}

Info pulled from http://verifiedpolitics.com/putins-daughter-just-got-outed-wife-trumps-commerce-secretarys-business-partner/

Sandy & Richaed Riccardi - As Time Goes "Bye!"

Yet another clueless move by 'the gang that doesn't care about shooting straight'.

Kellyanne 'alternate reality bozo' Conway spouted off on Faux News on Monday:

"Doug Jones in Alabama, folks, don't be fooled. He will be a vote against tax cuts. He is weak on crime. Weak on borders. He is strong on raising your taxes. He is terrible for property owners.

I'm telling you that we want the votes in the Senate to get this tax bill through. And the media -- if the media were really concerned about all of these allegations, and if that's what this is truly about, and the Democrats -- Al Franken would be on the ash heap of bygone half funny comedians"


Enter the Hatch Act:

The 1939 Act forbids the intimidation or bribery of voters and restricts political campaign activities by federal employees. It prohibits using any public funds designated for relief or public works for electoral purposes. It forbids officials paid with federal funds from using promises of jobs, promotion, financial assistance, contracts, or any other benefit to coerce campaign contributions or political support.


(Emphasis mine)

The penalty, as specified in the act is:

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be immediately removed from the position or office held by him, and thereafter no part of the funds appropriated by any Act of Congress for such position or office shall be used to pay the compensation of such person.


What happens when there is a blatant violation of the Hatch Act - Kellyanne clearly violated the Act - and the President ignores the fact and keeps her on and keeps paying her? Trump has already stated that the Ethics laws don't apply to the White House, how about other laws? What happens when Trump & Co blatantly refuse to obey laws they don't agree with and Congress does nothing?

When do we accept that the United States, as we have known it all our lives no longer exists?

We (men) can't be perfect all the time, no matter how hard we try.

I can state categorically that I have never in my life knowingly sexually harassed or assaulted a woman.

I can also state categorically that I have, on a few occasions, made a woman feel uncomfortable by my behavior.

I ain't perfect, but I try to be respectful of boundaries. I haven't always (the vast majority of the time, but not always) succeeded.

Let me tell you how it should work. Many years ago I worked as a contractor for the U.S. Post Office in San Jose, CA. Eventually I was 'promoted' to 'Team Leader'. (Note: the only thing 'Team Leader' meant was that I became the other contractors in my department came to if they had an issue or conflict between USPO demands and the rules of our contract. They would come to me and I, in turn would go to either the Contract manager or the USPO supervisor to resolve the issue.)

There was a woman on our team who thought that she deserved the job and was angry that I had been 'promoted' instead of her. One day she called me and demanded that I come to her cube because she had 'something she needed to discuss'. I went to her cube, resolved her issue, and then told her that the proper procedure was for her to come to me, not demand that I come to her. At which point she decided to file a 'sexual discrimination' complaint against me.

Our contracting manager and the USPS Department Manager immediately began interviewing me, her, and every other contractor and USPS employee in the Dept. After all interviews were complete, the determination was that no discrimination had occurred.

She appealed.

So, the issue was kicked up to the Division USPS guy and the Division contracting rep. Again everyone was interviewed, again, no discrimination.

She appealed again.

Special investigators were flown in from Washington DC. Again interviews, a review of why I was promoted, a review of why I was chosen over her. How I interacted with other contractors. How I interacted with supervisors. Etc. Final decision, no discrimination. The woman who filed the complaint was given the choice of staying in our dept or being transferred to another dept. She chose the transfer.

The point being that her complaint was taken seriously, was investigated throughly and impartially, and we both came out of it with our reputations intact.

Had I offended her? Absolutely. Was I in the wrong? I never felt that I had. Did she think I was wrong? I'm sure she did.

But that's how an issue like that should be resolved. Not in the press, not in a rush to judgement. If you are willing to make a claim, then be willing to have it investigated. In the case of Roy Moore there is plenty of contemporaneous testimony that the events occurred. In the case of Al Franken, there is none. In the case of Trumpenstein there is plenty of contemporaneous testimony.

Most of us men admit we ain't perfect. But we do our best.
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