Category Archives: Taxes

Hiding in Plain Sight

If you haven’t seen this bit from John Oliver’s new show, you should.  You should watch it before Tuesday’s election, and then again periodically, just so you remember what I keep telling you.  That elections matter.  And that it is important to pay attention to not just Federal elections, but to the ones lower down the food chain.

Apparently it takes someone from England, from the country from which we declared our independence, to explain to us just how we are letting our own government get away from us.

Because we don’t pay attention to “the unimportant levels of government.”

Ummm, it is at the state level that we’re really getting screwed.  I can attest to this as a resident of “Virginia is For Ultra-sounds.”    Yup, it is the folks whose names we don’t even know, who get to decide these issues that most impact your life and mine.

They are also the ones gerrymandering the US Congressional districts.  They are eliminating access to abortion, to birth control and screwing us in a hundred different ways.  And the state legislatures are the breeding ground, where the Not Ready For Prime Time Players go until they become the Michelle Bachmann’s and the Louie Gomert’s who end up framing our national debate.

[I read recently that John Oliver has been proclaimed the best journalist currently working.  I don't recall who said it, but I think they are right.]

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One Born Every Minute

Just today I realized that I really am a good person.  Nice.  Law-abiding.

It’s true. Because somehow today I did not live out my longest held fantasy.  One that I’ve wanted to enact since childhood.

I will admit that I was close to doing it.  Possibly closer than I have ever been to saying “What the Hell, I’m gonna do it! — Now!  Today!”

I will admit to seriously considering doing it just for the moment when I was struggling to get into the driver’s seat of my car today at lunch time.  The moments.  OK, it took half of my damn lunch hour.

You see, I had an important errand that I had to take care of.

But some asshole had parked so close to my car that I couldn’t even get my purse into the car from the driver’s side.

Did I deserve to be placed in this, ummm, position?  Did I park outside of the white line? No. I was parked just fine, thank you very much.  Parked within the designated parking spot.  Straight.  Did I mention that I was well within the white lines on both sides of my car?  Well I was.

I did not deserve to be treated in such a manner.

So when I realized that without liposuction, a detention in a concentration camp or a colonic, there was no way in hell I could get to the driver’s seat from the driver’s side.  I was annoyed, I stood there for minutes with my hands on my hips, glad there were no children milling about to increase their vocabulary.

But I had no choice; I had to go. So I walked to the passenger side of the car, to climb into the driver’s seat. I soon realized that the driver’s seat was as close to the steering wheel as vehicularly-possible.  I realized that I was also not supposed to exert myself following my surgery.

Did I mention that it was important that I go?

So I struggled to get my body into the driver’s seat without a cerebral hemorrhage.

Somehow, I managed.

The cerebral hemorrhage happened when I carefully backed out of my parking spot, and realized two things:

  1. There were 24.5 parking spots in that section of the parking lot alone, and five floors of empty parking spots on the floors above us; there was no reason for someone to park in such an assholic/inconsiderate manner.
  2. The car sported a special license plate.

Instantly, I started fantasizing. Within a heartbeat, I was transported back in time. Teleported to the very first movie I remember watching.

I was very young.  Young enough to be crabby that my brother, Bob, had control of the TV.  Annoyed that he was watching a movie instead of cartoons.  Annoyed enough to forget that as long as the TV was on I didn’t really care what was showing.  (I had, just that morning, been watching the test pattern.)

The movie was brilliant, and I have never watched the test pattern since.  It was called

If I Had A Million

 It was a compilation of a bunch of sequences where various characters were given a million dollars that they could spend however they chose.  It later became the TV series “The Millionnaire” where a wealthy man would give people $1 million as long as they didn’t tell where it came from.

Anyway, in the move If I Had A Million, WC Fields’ lady-friend Mary had just had her new car ruined by what we would today call an “asshole,” but who was then called a “Road Hog.” When WC Fields and Mary Boland  got their million, they knew just what to do:

They bought a bunch of old clunker cars, and whenever there was a road hog around, they would ram their clunker into him, causing the jerk to totally wreck his own car, along with theirs.  But that didn’t matter, because that was why WC and Mary had bought those old clunkers!

They did this repeatedly.  And it has been my fondest wish since I was about six years old, to be able to do that to the bad drivers, the folks who cut people off, who weave and edge and drive dangerously.

Revenge would be so sweet!

But in spite of being a wise ass, I am not an asshole. I did not smash the car that parked so inconsiderately. I did not accidentally-on-purpose run my keys along the $60,000 Audi Q7 SUV. I did not even spit in its general direction.

It was especially challenging because I realized that the owner is represents everything I hate. I realized that I’d seen him before, changing lanes discourteously.  He (and yes, it was a he) had an overpriced car that he drove like he owned the road.  And those specialty license plates?

Photo Credit:  VA DMV Website

The Asshole was A Tea Partier! Photo Credit: VA DMV Website

 

And I realized that I really needed to feel sorry for the dumb rich guy.  You see, this genius paid extra taxes to the Commonwealth of Virginia so that he could protest paying taxes.

Photo Credit:  izquotes.com

Photo Credit: izquotes.com

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The Rule of Law

Let me preface this post by saying this: I get it.

My Dad, whom I adored, was a WWII vet.  I toured European battlefields with him.  I read the history and heard the tales.  I stood on Omaha Beach and looked up the cliffs that those boys had to scale.  I stood on Utah Beach and looked up steeper cliffs and then down them from the top, through the craters left by our bombs.  I have been fascinated by the history of WWII, by the battles.  By the true contest between good and evil that that war represented in my mind.

I get it.  Really.  They are, truly, the Greatest Generation

So yesterday when my blood pressure hit the roof, it wasn’t that I wanted to deny veterans, especially WWII vets, anything.

My first impression when I read that vets from a Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight crossed over the barricades erected because of the government shutdown was:  Good For YOU!

Until, that is, I learned that it was two GOP Congressmen who were responsible for the “storming.”  According to this article, the barricades were moved by a pair of GOP members of Congress, Mississippi Rep. Roger Wicker and Michigan Rep. Bill Huizenga.  Congressman Huizenga proclaimed it the “the best civil disobedience we’ve seen in Washington for a long time.”

And THAT is when my blood boiled.

Not because the Vets got in.  But because the barricades were opened by the very same folks responsible for them being there in the first place.  Once again, GOP members of the House of Representatives were defying the law.  Because they don’t believe it applies to them.

The GOP shut down the government over a temper tantrum has voted to shut it down because the Senate and the President won’t defund the Affordable Care Act.  Obamacare.

I have said this before:

The Affordable Care Act is a law that went through all three branches of our government as established under the constitution.  According to the rules we set up for our Government, adopted in 1791.

Obamacare passed the House of Representatives (Authorized under Article I of the Constitution);

Obamacare passed the Senate. (Also authorized under Article I);

Obamacare was signed into law by the President (Granted that authority under Article II of the very same Constitution); and

Obamacare was upheld by the Supreme Court (Ditto — Article III).

The GOP lost the 2012 election over this issue (in large part).

The very same folks who do not respect the rule of law by accepting the reality of a duly enacted United States Law also do not accept the consequences of their refusal to govern.  THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IS THEIR FAULT ENTIRELY.

They have no respect for the rule of law.  None.  Laws, to them, apparently, should be followed only when they deem it appropriate.  Last night, Michelle Bachmann announced that GOP members will be there to open the barricade to all Vets.  Because the GOP does not respect the rule of law — but does respect a good PR.

Here, thanks to my blogging buddy, Vickie Lester at Beguiling Hollywood, is a list of a few things that happened on the first day of the government furlough

[Yesterday,] two hundred patients were turned away from the NIH, thirty of them children. Most of whom, because of the severity and difficulty of the disease they faced, had been sent to this research facility as a last resort. [This means, of course, that they will die.  And their blood will be on GOP hands.]

Veterans applying for disability benefits could not be helped.

In a week poor women and children will not be fed.

Food safety inspectors have been furloughed.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that fully 16% of ALL workers in the United States work for the Federal Government.  Those percentages are highest, actually, in Republican states.  How long can a huge percentage of the workforce go without pay because of a GOP tantrum.  How long should they?

The list of who is considered “non-essential” goes on and on.   Things are only going to get worse.   Because many businesses rely on those federal workers to buy their products, to eat in their restaurants.

Call your Congressman/woman

 or Any Representative you think should hear from you

Tell them to pass an unencumbered budget

Tell them to open up the Government

The US Capitol Switchboard Number

 202 244-3121

I am borrowing again from Vickie:

A thought from Andrew Sullivan:

I want to begin with a simple quote, a letter from Abraham Lincoln, facing a very similar constellation of forces as president Obama does with today’s nullification party, and sounding remarkably like his 2008 successor from Illinois:

What is our present condition? We have just carried an election on principles fairly stated to the people. Now we are told in advance, the government shall be broken up, unless we surrender to those we have beaten, before we take the offices. In this they are either attempting to play upon us, or they are in dead earnest. Either way, if we surrender, it is the end of us, and of the government. They will repeat the experiment upon us ad libitum.

*     *     *

Thanks to Carrie of The Write Transition for this information:  This Huffington Post link lists the Republicans who are ready to fund the government with no strings attached. Let’s hope it keeps growing. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/01/house-republicans-clean-cr_n_4024755.html

As I mentioned to Carrie, though, Peter King (R-NY) is on the list.  He has been preaching a clean Continuing Resolution for days, but keeps voting with the GOP.

So as always, we’ll see.

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Go Fish

Did you play “Go Fish” as a child?  Of course you did.  Remember how wonderful it felt when you could shout out:

“I Got What I Asked For!”

How’s it feelin’ long about now?  Because many folks got exactly what they asked for by electing folks to government who don’t believe in Government.  What did they get?

A Defunct Government.

From Dailykos.com

From Dailykos.com

And now the House GOP, it a temper tantrum has voted to shut it down because the Senate and the President won’t defund the Affordable Care Act.  Obamacare.

That is a law that went through all three branches of our government as established under the constitution.

Passed by the House of Representatives (Authorized under Article I of the Constitution);

Passed by the Senate. (Also authorized under Article I);

Signed into law by the President (Granted that authority under Article II of the very same Constitution); and

Upheld by the Supreme Court (Ditto — Article III).

The GOP lost the 2012 election over this issue (in large part). [Yes they did.  The House retained the majority because of gerrymandering.  They lost the popular vote.]

Parts of Obamacare became effective long ago.  The part that allows us to keep our kids on our policies until they’re 26, for example.  Great provision, isn’t it?

THE REST OF IT GOES INTO EFFECT TODAY IN SPITE OF THE SHUTDOWN.

So they are doing all of this for nothing.  Except for show.

Sums Up the GOP nicely, don't you think? (Photo:  NY Daily News)

Sums Up the GOP nicely, don’t you think?
(Photo: NY Daily News)

I saw the perfect description of what they are doing in a column by Michael Tomasky:

Republicans Aren’t Hostage Takers, They’re Political Terrorists

Because if they win, they will do it again and again.

Vote out folks who

(1) do not understand how our government works; and

(2) do not believe that there really is a point to having a government; and

(3) think that by stamping their feet long and hard enough, they can erase the results of elections.

Elections matter.  Vote the GOP OUT.

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Why I’ll Never Murder My Husband

If you should hear that I’ve been arrested for killing my husband, don’t believe it for an instant.

It’s not that there aren’t moments when,  in spite of being a most devoted spouse, that I’d like to to bump him off.  There are.

Baseball season comes to mind, for example.  Although if John dies of boredom from the constant droning of baseball announcers, I don’t think it constitutes murder.

And music differences might send me over the edge.  Some day, I might just need to listen to Linda Ronstadt without someone asking me to change the music.

So why shouldn’t you believe I’d murder him?

John does our taxes every year.  He has been doing them since we got married.  Before that, I filed a 1040EZ form.  I plan to die first just so I never have to do them.

Google Image

Google Image

John spent the weekend tearing out his hair, scratching his head and swearing.  Me?  I went out to lunch and read blogs.

Life is good.

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Throne Update

It seems like just the other day when I was telling you about David Siegel in my post Robbin’ a Better Hood.

You know, it was the story of David, the poor billionaire CEO of Westgate Resorts who likes to sit on a golden cherub-encrusted throne.  In case you can’t remember, he threatened his employees with termination if Mitt Romney doesn’t become president, if Obama wins and raises his taxes.  He also complained about not getting any happy hours.

Oh, it was just the other day!

Well, I’ve learned so much since.  And I just gotta share.

You see, I learned that apparently CEO’s are pack animals.  And a bunch of other CEOs are doing the same thing to their employees so that they can protect their billions.

At first I was confused.  How could so many folks, living high on the hog, come up with the very same idea?

Then I learned just last night that there is a common thread here that, well, I for one would never have guessed.

Because guess who is telling those CEO’s to do that?  Guess who is showing his leadership ability by actually getting billionaire CEOs to follow an order?  Guess who has the morals and ethics of a crack whore?

[26:30]  I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, you pass those along to your employees.  Mitt Romney, June 6, 2012.

Yup, it’s Mitt.  The guy whose team is in favor of voter suppression (heard the one about the Arizona Voter ID cards that were sent out with the wrong date for election date – funny thing, it’s only wrong on the Spanish ones).

Can you say “Watergate?”  Can you say “Iran Contra?”  Can you say “Tammany Hall?”  Are you listening Mitt Romney?

I heard that Ann will be cancelling her next few campaign stops.  She’s out shopping for furniture for the Oval Office.

Or maybe they should go on the Truman Balcony.
The view of the peasants is way better from there..

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Robbin’ A Better Hood

Many of you think that I am a communist with socialist sympathies.  Or a socialist with communist proclivities.  Or that I want to take from the rich and give to the poor.  That I have fantasies of becoming the next Mother Theresa or at least Madonna.  The singer, not the, you know, Madonna.

Nope. Not me at all.
That gum would be in my earrings

But it’s not at all true.  I’m not a socialist, I’m a liberal.  Someday the GOP will understand the difference between a liberal and a socialist.  But certainly not before it’s convenient.  And definitely not before November.

Personally, I work hard and am pretty well paid for my efforts.  I like that.

I also like the fact that my husband works less hard and is paid even better.  Of course that would piss me off royally if I didn’t get to spend more than my share of that haul.

That said, well, I know I’ve been lucky, especially when it comes to the folks I’ve worked for.  Yes, I’ve been incredibly lucky in bosses.  None of them has asked me to do anything illegal, unethical or even too terribly yucky.  Stupid sometimes, annoying at others, but legal and honest and ethical.   And none have ever threatened me.

So when I read this article about a very different type of boss, well I saw red.

Not exactly like this,
but it was definitely red.

Did you hear about David Siegel, the owner of Westgate Resorts?  His estimated net worth is close to $2 Billion.  Yeah.  That’s with a “B.”

You may recall him from the stories about his house, Versailles:

A quaint little cottage, ain’t it?
A mere 90,000 sq. ft.

Here’s the ballroom.

Doesn’t YOUR house have a ballroom?

David made his money selling Time Shares.  You know, those “must have” vacation resort scams?  My parents owned one.  Thanks, David.  Can you say “total rip off”?  I bet you say it a lot.

Now David’s worried.  And that’s never a good thing when all that money is at stake.  You see, David is worried that President Obama may get re-elected.  And David’s worried that if President Obama is re-elected, he might have to pay more taxes.  So he threatened his 7,000 employees, telling them that they may just not have a job if Obama gets 4 more years.

Actually, David held back.  He didn’t cross that line.  No sirreee Bob.  He didn’t tell the folks dependent on him who to vote for!  That would be bullying!  That would be unethical!  That would be illegal!

Here’s what he did say.  I’ll use his words, not mine.  Here’s what David A. Siegel, Billionnaire, said in an email sent to all of his employees on Monday:

As your employer, I can’t tell you whom to vote for, and I certainly wouldn’t interfere with your right to vote for whomever you choose. In fact, I encourage you to vote for whomever you think will serve your interests the best.

Good start, don’t you think.  Then he explained to his workers just how hard the life of a billionaire can be:

I eat, live, and breathe this company every minute of the day, every day of the week. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour.

I admit I’d be ticked off if there was no happy hour.  Imagine.

And then David mentioned that his employees might just want to think carefully about who they vote for come November:

If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company. Rather than grow this company I will be forced to cut back. This means fewer jobs, less benefits and certainly less opportunity for everyone.

So, when you make your decision to vote, ask yourself, which candidate understands the economics of business ownership and who doesn’t? Whose policies will endanger your job? Answer those questions and you should know who might be the one capable of protecting and saving your job. [Emphasis mine.]

David on his Golden Throne

Talk about folks who feel “Entitled”!

So, in spite of the fact that the Presidency offers no such powers, I’m going to lobby hard for something.  Nationalization of David Siegel’s assets.

Yup, I’m going to work towards nationalization of the assets of this asshole.  Just the one asshole.  We could use a new National Park in Central Florida, wouldn’t you say?  Disney gets so crowded these days.  We can call it “OverTheTop-Land.”

Of course, if I hear of more of those buckaroo billionaires screwing with people’s right to vote, well, I might just rethink just how keen I am on nationalization.  Because you know what they say about socialists/communists.  Once they start marching, all the dominoes fall.

Elections matter.  And nobody has the right to tell their employees how or for whom to vote.

[And if anybody seriously thinks that I am either a socialist or a communist, or that I think there is any authority for anyone to nationalize the assets of anybody in the country, you are reading the wrong blog.]

*     *     *

A special thank you to my friend, frequent commenter and budding author, Clinton, for telling me about this article:  CEO to Workers: I May Fire You if Obama Wins

All the pictures are from Google Images.  Thanks, Google.  What was life like before you?

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