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Member since: Wed Oct 26, 2016, 05:18 PM
Number of posts: 5,915

About Me

Don't take what I say too seriously...I'm a dumb-ass.

Journal Archives

One Trump Tax Cut Was Said to Help the Poor. A Billionaire Ended Up Winning Big.

Ain't America great? The taxpayer gets screwed again.

Long article on how a bunch of our tax dollars just went straight into the pockets of the one percent.

Under a six-lane span of freeway leading into downtown Baltimore sit what may be the most valuable parking spaces in America.

Lying near a development project controlled by Under Armour’s billionaire CEO Kevin Plank, one of Maryland’s richest men, and Goldman Sachs, the little sliver of land will allow Plank and the other investors to claim what could amount to millions in tax breaks for the project, known as Port Covington. They have President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul law to thank. The new law has a provision meant to spur investment into underdeveloped areas, called “opportunity zones.” The idea is to grant lucrative tax breaks to encourage new investment in poor areas around the country, carefully selected by each state’s governor.

But Port Covington, an ambitious development geared to millennials to feature offices, a hotel, apartments, and shopping, is not in a census tract that is poor. It’s not a new investment. And the census tract only became eligible to be an opportunity zone thanks to a mapping error. Maryland’s governor chose the area for the program anyway — after his aides met with the lobbyists for Plank, who owns about 40% of the zone.

“This is a classic example of a windfall benefit,” said Robert Stoker, a George Washington University professor who has studied economic development in Baltimore for decades. “A major investment was already planned and now is in a zone where they are going to qualify for all kinds of beneficial tax treatment.”

In selecting Port Covington, the governor had to exclude another Maryland community from the opportunity zone program. In Baltimore, for example, the governor dropped part of a neighborhood that city officials recommended for the program — Brooklyn — with a median family income one-fifth that of Port Covington. Brooklyn sits just across the Patapsco river from Port Covington, in an area that suffers from one of the highest drug and alcohol death rates in Baltimore, which in turn has one of the highest drug fatality rates nationwide.

read more at https://truthout.org/articles/one-trump-tax-cut-was-said-to-help-the-poor-a-billionaire-ended-up-winning-big/

Frogs, beaches and plantain fritters...the BS in Georgia never stops


Georgia has been requiring Puerto Rican natives seeking Georgia driver’s licenses to answer a special set of questions such as “identifying ‘what a meat filled with plantain fritter’ is called; where a specific beach is located; and ‘the name of the frog [that is] native only to PR,'” according to a lawsuit filed this week.

The allegations in the complaint, filed in federal court in Atlanta against two top officials at the state’s Department of Driver Services (DDS), suggest that Georgia is singling out Puerto Ricans for questions that resemble the literacy tests used to deny voter registration to African Americans in the Jim Crow South. Without driver’s licenses, Puerto Ricans moving to Georgia will struggle to find jobs and cast a ballot, where a photo ID is required to vote. A growing number of Puerto Ricans continue to leave the island, which has been devastated in recent years by hurricanes and economic crisis, for better opportunities in states like Georgia.

read more at https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/07/puerto-ricans-seeking-georgia-drivers-licenses-face-specials-questions-about-frogs-and-plantains-lawsuit-alleges/

Strides made during legislative session would do founders proud (Nevada)

Here in Nevada, we have extra reason to celebrate this Independence Day.

Since last Fourth of July, Nevada voters and lawmakers have taken numerous steps to preserve and nurture the participatory democracy that our nation’s founders fought and died for.

Among the highlights:

• This past November, Nevadans overwhelmingly approved the “motor voter” ballot question, creating automatic voter registration at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Under the measure, which drew support from just shy of 60% of voters, registration occurs when someone signs up for a driver’s license or state identification card. The measure will make it more convenient for voters to register and promises to boost participation in elections.

• During the 2019 legislative session, lawmakers approved a bill allowing voters to register and cast their ballots on the same day. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the bill, which went into effect Monday and extends the time that voters can register.

• As of Monday, the right to vote was restored for Nevada felons who’d served their sentences. That will add as many as 77,000 voters to the rolls, which will hopefully increase participation.

These are all steps worth noting on this most American of days. While other states have ramped up voter suppression in recent years, Nevada has lowered barriers that previously had deterred state residents from voting.

Our founders would be proud of us.

...and we passed a minimum wage increase to $15.00 over the next four years.

read more at https://lasvegassun.com/news/2019/jul/04/strides-made-during-legislative-session-would-do-f/

Smilin' faces...lyin' to the races...

Holder - "it's going to be my job to make sure we don't lose sight of those other races."

The Courts Won’t End Gerrymandering. Eric Holder Has a Plan to Fix It Without Them.


“This state is in some ways ground zero for gerrymandering,” Holder told two dozen BLOC canvassers who would knock on doors that afternoon for the progressive judge running in the race. “Last year they called it a blue wave, and yet you didn’t flip one congressional seat here in Wisconsin. That’s not because you didn’t work hard or people didn’t vote. It was because of gerrymandering.” Republicans had so effectively gerrymandered the state that even when Democrats won 53 percent of the statewide vote in 2018, they took only 36 percent of the seats in the state legislature.

For decades, Democrats successfully fought these twin efforts at disenfranchisement in the courts. As Obama’s attorney general, Holder led that charge, filing lawsuits against states like North Carolina and Texas that challenged Republican-­backed laws curbing the right to vote. But this tactic was handed an enormous defeat in 2013, when the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in Shelby County v. Holder, ruling that states with a long history of discrimination no longer needed federal approval to change voting laws. Last week, the court struck another blow, declaring that federal courts couldn’t block partisan gerrymandering. Voting rights advocates face not only a hostile Trump administration but a growing number of federal benches controlled by conservatives. As the GOP’s war on voting has intensified, the traditional ways of protecting ballot access are no longer reliable.

So Holder is pursuing a new strategy, trying to elect down-ballot candidates who can deliver fairer maps and voting laws. The NDRC invested $350,000 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race, hoping that a liberal majority on the seven-­member court might strike down any egregious gerrymanders in the next round of redistricting in 2021. “I don’t think that 10 years or so ago, you would have a former attorney general campaigning for a state Supreme Court justice,” Holder told me. “This is a recognition on the part of the Democratic Party, on the part of progressives, that we need to focus on state and local elections to a much greater degree than we have in the past.”...“I understand people are going to be legitimately focused on the presidential race, as we should be,” Holder said. “But it’s going to be my job to make sure we don’t lose sight of those other races that are going to be extremely important.”
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