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I did some of the math on this Rep. Duffy guy in Wisconsin with the six children and the beat up minivan he says he drives.  You would be shocked how some people milk the tax code for all they can get.

For example, six children is good for $22,200 in exemptions.  Not too shabby.  Now, I know some people actually need those exemptions, but others are clearly greedy and are abusing it rather shamelessly.  Be fruitful and multiply, and never pay taxes again.  It needs to stop.

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As long as you can.  Demand explanations of their bullshit.  Suggest you'll donate (but don't actually do so) if they answer your questions.  In other words, treat them like 419eater.com treats Nigerian email scammers.

I got a cold call from somebody connected with Speaker Boner that went something like this.  

"We're conducting a public opinion survey, would you like to participate?"

Me:  Sure, why not.

"As you know, Speaker John Boehner is out to clean up Washington, cut the deficit, bla bla bla....  He wants to know what you think the 112th Congress' top priority should be."

Poll

What do you do when the Republicans come around asking for money?

30%22 votes
57%41 votes
11%8 votes

| 71 votes | Vote | Results

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Undoubtedly, the payroll tax holiday set to commence, well, next paycheck, will provide some small measure of help for some people.  I think I heard some blathering head on CNN talking about an average biweekly boost of around $40.  I think that's probably a bit on the high side, and I would guess the median amount is probably closer to $20, but every little bit helps, I guess.

I'm a big fan of using the tax code to accomplish worthy goals, getting people to trade in for more fuel-efficient cars (even if they were made in Japan), handing out fat tax credits to people who do certain types of energy-saving home improvements, deferring taxes on retirement account contributions, that sort of thing.  It's good for the economy, even if it doesn't provide the sort of immediate jolt that might be desired right now.

Which brings me to the other sort of tax relief, the sort that I was never a big fan of, whether it was George W. Bush pushing it, or President Obama accepting it, grudgingly or otherwise, in order to get shit done.  I think it's downright shameful that we have to accept the sort of gross, wasteful idiocy insisted upon by the Republicans in order to do a little bit of good for people who actually need the help.

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Sun Dec 12, 2010 at 03:57 PM PST

It was ten years ago today.

by Steaming Pile

Ten years ago today, five members of the U.S. Supreme Court decided the 2000 presidential election by rendering a verdict in Bush v. Gore that stopped the recount, such as it was, in Florida.  I remember where I was at the time.  I was at the Carousel Mall in Syracuse watching the news on a TV in a store window - real movie stuff.  A woman next to me said, "thank God."  I wanted to tell her, "you can thank somebody else for that - just you wait."

Yeah, this is short.  So sue me.  I think everybody who has not yet written a diary today should write one just like this telling the rest of us where they were in 12/12/00 when five Supreme Court justices called it on behalf of a bare minority of Americans.  That is all.

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fourthcornerman published THIS angry rant just now.  I wouldn't have put it quite so bluntly, nor used quite as much profanity, but I kind of get where he's coming from.

President Obama has to try to represent 300,000,000 or so people.  This includes quite a few "rednecks", right-wing bigots, etc, who I will point out are far more ignorant than stupid, for the most part.  Some people can't be reached, but that doesn't mean the President should not try.

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It's like wrestling with a pig.  You get all sweaty and stinky and the pig likes it.

I was at my Dad's last week celebrating his 70th birthday, and of course, that means my pigheaded right-wing brother has to be there.  I'm in the kitchen getting dinner ready because my wife and I are the ones putting this shindig together, and I start hearing my brother start talking his shit.

Now, I know I pretty much stand alone when it comes to political discussions at Dad's house.  For this reason, I try my best to avoid discussing politics there.  Things just go better when we're talking about the local college sports team's recent exploits than when talking about the news of the day.  Then I get a call to the living room to help shut my brother up.  Sigh.

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I just ran across this article on Consumerist about the 3000 mile oil change.  Basically, it's completely unnecessary for most people, particularly those who drive newer cars.

Now, I usually split the difference between what the owner's manual says and what the oil change guy says.  But that's still too often nowadays, and it appears that the people who wrote your operator's manual were right all along.  Don't believe me, or Consumerist, or the manufacturer of your particular vehicle?  Believe the State of California, who have apparently done some research on the subject:

So changing your oil at 3000 miles is a waste of money, doesn't help your car, and is bad for the environment.  Who knew?  Sorry about this being short; I know how certain people frown upon this, but I thought this was something worth sharing, even if I don't have 10,000 words to write about it.

Poll

How often do you change your oil

20%18 votes
14%13 votes
50%44 votes
13%12 votes

| 87 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

I caught another "discussion" on the evening news last night while at the gym, and got all pissed off.  As with all of these "discussions," 55 seems to be the grandfathering cutoff for most of the idiot Republicans’ schemes to destroy Social Security. Those of us born after 1955 should not even be debating whether to go to the polls in November - it should be a given that we will show up, to the last man and woman.

So it seems that after having been in the workforce in some capacity since about 1980 or so, and paying my payroll taxes, and not complaining too much about it, that for whatever reason, the Republicans think the government won't be able to afford my retirement.  Oh, you people out there who are already eligible to join AARP (I think you have to be 50) are good to go, but since I won't be on AARP's mailing list for another few years yet, Rand Paul, Sharron Angle, or the GOPer running in my congressional district aren't afraid of me.

This has to change.

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Roll film - Star Trek III, The Search for Spock

"Come on aboard, Klingons," said Captain Kirk as he and his skeleton crew prepared to beam down to the Genesis planet, but not before setting the self-destruct timer.  He'd already done the math, and figured about 2/3 of the Klingons on the Bird of Prey off the Enterprise's bow would be on the boarding party, giving him a sliver of a chance to kick the Klingons' asses as the film came to a climax.

Republicans don't have to wish failure on President Obama - deliberately or not, they've already set booby traps, monkey wrenches, and time bombs all through the machinery of America.  Funny how as soon as one massive mess has been kinda, sorta cleaned up, the fire mostly put out, or whatever, another catastrophe happens that just adds to our collective misery, that gives the Obama Administration one more massive pain in the ass to deal with on top of everything else.  No wonder people still think the country is going in the wrong direction - it is.  It's been set to self-destruct by the same people in the Establishment who saw the writing on the wall in the fall of 2008 that the gig was up and they were about to be turned out on their asses.  Maybe, just maybe, they can get some of it to stick to the new guy.

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The decision in question is whether a state (the one that begins with F, naturally) can send juveniles who haven't killed anybody to prison for life without parole.

The forces of enlightenment and reason narrowly won this case 5-4.  I'll leave the speculation as to which four voted, "throw away the key, and to hell with the Eighth Amendment," to you all.  I trust 99.99% of you would guess correctly.

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You heard it here first.  My prediction is that the new British Parliament will last no longer than one year before it collapses and new elections are called.

http://www.nytimes.com/...

Tories and Lib Dems governing together?  You gotta be shitting me.  Now, I don't claim to know a whole lot about political parties in the UK, but I don't see much of a marriage here.

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Yes, it can be done.  Say you're a certain county sheriff who just got a couple minutes' face time with Keith Olbermann, you think the new AZ immigration law to be a crock of shit, but you don't want to get sued.  What to do?

Well, from time to time, I get stuck in a long line of cars during my evening commute.  At the head of this line are Oneida County's finest, checking for seat belt compliance and whatever else they can find looking through your windshield.  You know, if you manage to get ticketed during one of these compliance checks, given the amount of time you spend stuck in traffic, you probably deserve to lose your license for being a complete blithering idiot.  But I digress.

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