Excerpt: Which brings me to those poll numbers. Suffolk University and USA Today released a poll this week, which found that among people who trust Fox News the most, the president’s approval rating has been sinking. His favorability among Fox devotees in June was 90 percent. In October, it was 74 percent. This week? Fifty-eight percent. If that trend continues, he will be underwater with the Fox audience long before the 2018 midterms.
Well, if you are getting Bob
& Bonnie's Annual Christmas Newsletter, you know it's Christmas and we are celebrating
the Birth of the Christ Child. Or Hanukkah. Or Milad un Nabi. Or the Celtic
Yule for the Winter Solstice when the light returns. Or, for the commercially
minded, the best shopping season of the year, which the churches keep trying to
ruin by pushing religion into it. Or almost the end of football season, when
the NFL players can return to drugs, assaults and domestic violence full time
for a break from plying a kid's game for millions. Or get their heads examined.
Regardless of how you
celebrate the end of the year, and the coming of the New Year, we wish you all
the best. As always, the year flew by. And the world's in a hell of a mess.
Always has been.
This year, Bob & Bonnie
returned to work. In January, Bonnie started working for the DAV scheduling
rides to the VA for veterans in RockCounty. She really liked
the job. Unfortunately, the job paid poorly for 15 hours and required 30 hours
a week, the rest being "volunteer time." And it came with a lot of
stress which she didn't need along with her other stress from. The result was a
painful bout of Shingles, despite her having had the shot. In May, Bob
convinced her to give it up.
In February, Bob took a job
as a PT security guard with a great company. Nice to be back in Uniform. He
enjoyed the work, but, alas, was too reliable. He had asked for 20 hours a
week. When they found out that he was a team player, they started calling him to
fill in, giving him 11-hour shifts, and weeks up to 37 hours. He couldn't keep
it up and get his medical stuff (Still 1.5 hours every morning and every night)
done, so he gave it up.
But in July he was hired as a
writer-editor for the My Life, My Story
project at the Madison VA Hospital. It's 20 hours a week, Monday-Wednesday,
days, and pays about twice what the security job did. He interviews veterans,
writes up their life stories, gets it in their patient records for their
providers to read, and provides them with copies for their family and friends. We
think that stories written for the project will be read by veterans' great
grandchildren, long after we are gone. He and the other writer-editor have
admin duties (not as much as the boss) supporting the 20 volunteers. His boss,
Thor, and co-worker, Seth, are bright, easy to get along with, team players. They
and the volunteers are all excellent writers. He loves it!
Also in July, Bob's cousin
Bruce and cousin-in-law Diane stopped by
in their motor home for a visit. If was great to see them; it had been
In June, Bonnie's 88-year-old
father, Ted, fell and, not wearing his Life Alert, was on the floor for over 24
hours before going to the hospital. She drove there and spent a month getting
things in order, arranging for care to come in daily, cleaning out his house
and getting him needed support. She went back late October for ten days for a
We had to say goodbye to
Tommy, Britnye's tuxedo cat, who developed kidney problems. But we welcomed
Madison, a sweet, affectionate calico girl we rescued from the shelter. Caramel
and Marmalade are still with us.
In September, we celebrated
our 25th wedding anniversary with dinner out and a nice party at our condo.
In October, we took an
anniversary getaway for four days to the Castle La Crosse B&B. It's the
grandest house we have ever stayed in and the hosts and breakfasts were wonderful!
The grandkids still live
about 20 miles away with their mom and dad/step-dad, Julie and Lupe., Britnye,
17, is doing great her junior year and still has a passion for dance. She took
first place at the Midwestern Stars Dance Competition.
And she also was in the
musical Little Women.
Dale, 5, started kindergarten
and is taking dance with his sister. He plays T-ball in the summer. In
September, he went with us to the Wisconsin Scottish Games and got his first
Bob's brother Mark is still
living with us, and also got a new kilt.
Bonnie's son Dale still lives
but was here for a visit early in December.
So it was an eventful year,
with a lot of stress, especially for Bonnie. But a lot of great developments as
well. We are happy and relatively healthy for our years. We hope that 2018 is
good to you and yours.
Excerpt: Yet public opinion inside Vietnam about the meaning of the war has quietly shifted in the last two decades as Vietnamese gained the freedom to travel abroad, as scholars gained access to previously classified documents, and as the internet broke the government’s monopoly on access to information. The internet has been the government’s chief adversary more than anything else. Most Vietnamese were born after the war, and without the internet they would not have been able to know what really happened during the war and in its aftermath. No opinion survey on the topic is permitted, but one gets a sense of the public mood by following online discussions and by initiating informal conversations with ordinary Vietnamese. Much to the government’s chagrin, Vietnamese now view the war as a proxy war and civil war rather than one for national liberation and unification. In fact, Mr. Le Duan, the leader of the Communist Party who is now acknowledged by historians as the primary architect of the war effort within North Vietnam’s leadership, said in closed meetings that the ultimate goal of the war was to establish communism all over Vietnam. As recently declassified documents show, Mr. Duan repeatedly insisted that the war was fought not only in Vietnam’s interests but also for the Soviet bloc.
Congratulations, Alabama Deplorables. You got rid of that RINO, Sen. Luther Strange who only voted with Trump 90% of the time and was friends with Mitch McConnell. And you got an abortion-supporting liberal democrat to represent you. One more vote against the Trump agenda or for Impeachment. Nice job.
“We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. The explosion is in our population … I love it. They are shitting in their pants with fear. I love it.”
Snopes: This is an excerpt from a statement by José Angel Gutiérrez, then an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at Arlington (and a former leader of the La Raza Unida political party) at a Latino conference held at the University of California, Riverside on 14 January 1995, regarding the effects of California’s recently-passed Proposition 187 ballot measure (which sought to bar illegal immigrants from public education and other social services provided by the state):
Excerpt: I teach in a law school. For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors. They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison. This year in my Foundations of Law course for first-year law students, I found my students especially impervious to the ancient wisdom of foundational texts, such as Plato’s Crito and the Code of Hammurabi. Many of them were quick to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as “classist” and “racist,” and thus unable to engage with those ideas on the merits. So, a couple of weeks into the semester, I decided to lay down some ground rules. I gave them these rules just before beginning our annual unit on legal reasoning. Here is the speech I gave them.
Excerpt: As I noted late last night, the Republican party dodged a bullet yesterday. As frustrating as it is to lose a Senate seat in a ruby-red state, it would be worse to spend the next three years having every inane, offensive, and Constitutionally illiterate utterance from Roy Moore’s mouth hung around the necks of rest of the party. (This assumes that the GOP didn’t feel the moral and political need to expel him after a Senate Ethics Committee investigation.) Sometimes your primary voters completely mess up and nominate a walking liability. Better to take the short term pain for the longer-term gain. Roy Moore got a bit more than 48 percent in a state where Republicans consistently win 65 percent or more statewide. To the extent there is still a Republican mainstream, Roy Moore isn’t in it. Nationally, this group doesn’t like the idea of thirtysomething men dating teenage girls in general and wasn’t so certain that Moore didn’t do something inappropriate with those four named girls. Whatever their concerns about Islam, they don’t think that Muslims should be barred from holding public office. They’re big fans of all the current constitutional Amendments, not just the first ten. They don’t think the era of slavery was great for family values. They don’t think that you could say America is the focus of evil in the modern world. Most Republicans know that you are not legally required to take the oath of office on a Bible; it’s not clear that Moore campaign spokesman Ted Crockett knew this.
Excerpt: If there is anyone who didn’t quite understand the quote: “there are trillions of dollars at stake”, in the context of the 2016 election, well, a letter today from the biggest EU economic nations will provide greater context. Additionally, as you absorb the position behind their claims, never forget how much foreign governments spend in lobbying the U.S. congress for legislation adverse to the interests of U.S. workers. Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain are claiming the U.S. congress has no right to reform the U.S. tax code because the reforms undercut their ability to hold an advantage over the U.S. in multinational trade deals. This quote is particularly enlightening: […] The letter argues that proposed changes to the U.S. tax code could give American companies an advantage over foreign rivals.
New Analysis Shows Federal Tax Reform Could Add Over 65,000 Jobs to Wisconsin’s Economy and Boost Wages by Nearly $2.5 Billion
Historic reforms will turbocharge Wisconsin’s economy, adding tens of thousands of jobs while cutting the tax burden for working families
MADISON, Wis. - Wisconsin’s economy could see a big boost if Congress completes its work to overhaul the tax code for the first time in 30 years, according to a new analysis released today by the MacIver Institute.
John Dunham & Associates calculates that 65,318 jobs would be created in 2018 if tax reform is enacted. The same study shows that Wisconsin workers could see their wages increased by nearly $2.5 billion.
The study also showed significant tax reductions for Wisconsin taxpayers – especially those in middle to lower income households, who would see their taxes reduced by as much as 8.7 percent.
Dunham modeled the analysis off the House-passed version of the bill. A conference committee is working this week to produce a final version of the bill that is expected to be taken up for a final vote next week.
“Our IRS code is one of the most complex and costly tax systems in the world. We are well past due to make our tax code more competitive, fairer and less costly. This analysis shows that Wisconsin workers, small businesses and corporations all will be big winners if Congress finishes the job on tax reform,” said Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute.
“With all the work Governor Walker has done to reform the tax and business climate in Wisconsin, we are primed for an economic boom. If Congress can pass this tax cut and comprehensive reform of the tax code, it will launch the Wisconsin economy and have a real impact on the lives of all Wisconsinites,” Healy said.
“The bottom line is this: This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to dramatically reform the federal tax code. It’s the peoples’ money, let them keep it. They’ve earned it,” Healy said.
Fast Facts - The study found the House-passed tax reform bill will:
Grow Wisconsin wages by $2.5 billion in 2018
Add more than 65,000 Wisconsin jobs in 2018
Increase Wisconsin’s economic growth by 0.7% over 10 years
Cut Wisconsinites’ income tax burden by up to 8.7%
This is a campaign to help the family owned bakery that's been badly affected by the undercutting of their business by a "progressive" college administrator, because one of the family had the temerity to chase a shoplifter who tried to smuggle out two bottles of wine. The thief and two friends assaulted the store clerk, were arrested, pleaded guilty, admitted their crime. But they were Black and the clerk was White, and the college executive claimed very publicly that this was racism in action by a well known racist firm. (Whose Black employees denied this vehemently!) Their business has suffered and they are in a lawsuit with the college. I think this is a cause worthy of some support and made a small donation. Take a look at the site, read the story, decide for yourself what you think about it and might wish to do. And please pass on to others. -Del
Most of you who see this message already understand and are on SS now. But this is good to pass on to everyone younger. I like to think that anyone educated and intelligent knows that SS is only there as a supplement to the retired person's budget, and could never be considered as a major income for a full lifestyle. But maybe some young people don't really understand that, so they should see this. Pass on as you see fit. --Del
Excerpt: Just how did two of CNN’s Manu Raju’s sources separately make the exact same mistake when describing a September 2016 e-mail from WikiLeaks to the Trump campaign? CNN Public Relations says “the network does not believe that the sources intended to deceive the reporters.” Have they checked? How certain are they? How upset are all of the reporters and editors who worked on this story?
Bruce G. Ohr, a senior Justice Department official demoted last week for concealing his meetings with the men behind the anti-Trump “dossier,” had even closer ties to Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the incendiary document, than has been disclosed, Fox News has confirmed: The official’s wife worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 election.