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During Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump pretty much admitted, without directly saying so, that he doesn’t pay income tax, and he’s very proud of it. Here’s an excerpt from the debate transcript:

CLINTON: Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks. Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

That kind of response by people accused of shirking their responsibilities to pay income taxes isn’t new to me. I have heard people say that avoiding paying taxes is like a sport to them. They think of it as a challenge, and they put their all into the game.

Hillary Clinton doesn’t think that’s a good game. She kept talking over his interruption and said:

CLINTON: So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide.

Charles Krauthammer, longtime conservative Republican pundit for The Washington Post and Fox News, is on the record for not supporting Trump for president. Trump’s self-satisfied statement about avoiding income taxes provided him with more evidence for why Donald Trump is not presidential material. Via Media Matters:

[Donald Trump] couldn’t resist the temptation to be the smart ass and to show that he’s clever. Look, the pride he has is his success. That’s how he defines himself, and he wasn’t ashamed to admit that he could have done this. He was actually conceding that he may not have paid any income tax. Now, in a boardroom with a bunch of other CEOs and you’re boasting about your success, you say that. You don’t say it in a presidential campaign. Whereas Hillary said today, if it’s smart not to pay any taxes and you’re a billionaire, well what about the rest of us? And I think this thing could have legs, first concession that he may not have paid taxes.

Or to put it another way, in the words of The Rude Pundit:

And she wiped the floor with him on his tax returns. I cannot remember a more bizarre moment in a debate than Trump saying, proudly, about not paying any federal income taxes, “That makes me smart.” No, motherfucker, that makes you a pathetic worm who gets all the benefits of the government without contributing when you brag about how much money you have.

Right. He wants to “Make America Great Again” but he doesn’t think he should pay taxes, and his tax plan is to cut taxes for all his billionaire friends that aren’t smart enough to figure out how they can pay nothing.

However, I did find a post on Crooked Timber by Corey Robin who thinks that Trump’s boastful comment about avoiding taxes may have been to his advantage:

On the other hand, there’s a not so small current in American politics that would hear that, that Trump didn’t pay his taxes, and think, with him, that he was indeed smart for having outsmarted the system. And would want to align themselves with him as a result. In the hope that they too could learn these tricks some day or that they too could one day be rich enough not to pay their taxes.

This is a nation of con men (and women), as everyone from Melville to Mamet has understood. A nation that dreams of, and longs for, the quick buck. The more crooked the path, the more glorious the payoff.

I can only hope that for all of our sakes that Charles Krauthammer is right (I can’t believe I just typed that) about how Trump not paying taxes will turn away voters, because most people, including most of Trump’s supporters, don’t like freeloaders (especially the non-white, non-Christian ones).

San Francisco’s backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick (#7) is coming to Seattle on Seattle’s annual Canada Day game. The Canadian national anthem, “Oh Canada” will be played before “The Star Spangled Banner”. Kaepernick started the national-anthem protests against police killings of unarmed black people across the country. What will he do during the Canadian national anthem? Stand? Sit? Kneel?

kaepernick-anthem-kneel

Since the Canadian anthem will precede the US anthem, I think he will be standing for that (Canada doesn’t have a racist-cop problem do they?) and take a knee before “The Star Spangled Banner”. He has probably thought this through to the media reaction: He stood up for Canada but not the US?!!!!!! What horrible ungrateful, military-hating man! Who does he think he is? Why doesn’t he just move to Canada?!!!!!! And all the racists  will say: “Move to Canada N***R!”, or worse, “MOVE BACK TO AFRICA WHERE YOU CAME FROM N****R!!!!” Who knows? It certainly would keep people talking, and that is the whole point of protest.

You will have to watch the pre-game festivities at 1:00 p.m. on Fox tomorrow to find out what he does and how the media reacts.

 

Donald Trump pretty much started his run for the presidency as head of the “birther” movement. He led the charge to prove that  President Barack Obama wasn’t born in America and was therefore ineligible to hold office. He demanded that Obama present his official birth certificate to the public, and Obama complied by releasing his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii. Well that wasn’t enough proof for Trump. He thought it was a fake, and continued to question Obama’s citizenship until last Friday, when he said at the end of a thirty-minute pitch to the media about his new Washington D.C. hotel:

Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States period. Now, we all want to get back to making America strong and great again. Thank you, thank you very much.

Vox exposes the numerous lies in that fifty-two word statement.

For the absolute best television coverage of Donald Trump’s statement, watch this “Closer Look” segment from Seth Meyer’s Late Night show.

But you knew it wouldn’t be long before Donald Trump threw them some red birther meat to his deplorable, racists supporters.

CNN – Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that his statement late last week that President Barack Obama was born in the US was motivated by politics, not by a genuine change of heart.

Answering questions about the issue for the first time since his sudden change, Trump said he abandoned his long-held “birther” views on Friday because he “just wanted to get on with” his campaign.

“Well, I just wanted to get on with — you know, we wanted to get on with the campaign. And a lot of people were asking me the questions,” Trump said in an interview with local Columbus, Ohio station WSYX, when asked what had changed his position.

i.e., wink, wink, I didn’t really mean what I said on Friday. Get that? Obama wasn’t born in the United States period.

The undefeated, but always cheating, New England Patriots (2-0) host the undefeated Houston Texans (2-0) tonight in a conference match-up on Thursday Night Football. Watch it on the NFL Network or CBS tonight at 8:25 p.m. ET.

People think that since Tom Brady is suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo is injured, New England is forced to start their rookie third-round pick, Jacoby Brissett. But you know Bill Belichick doesn’t like going to an unproven rookie to run his offense, so he has to have found a way to cheat his way out of this situation. Cheating is one of the things he does best you know.

Reporters said yesterday that the New England coaches were trying to get Garoppolo ready to play, even though he obviously shouldn’t and probably can’t. My theory? Belichick has arranged to have Brady impersonate Jimmy Garoppolo.

garoppolo-brady

It wouldn’t be that hard. Just change jerseys. You can’t really see their faces with those helmets on, so who would know?

Or, with a little help from Gisele Bündchen’s makeup crew, Tom could do as Robert Downey Jr. did for the movie Tropic Thunder:

robert-downey-jr-tropic-thunder

And impersonate Jacoby Brissett.

jacoby-brissett

So don’t be fooled tonight night when you watch the game. The guy behind center taking snaps, handing the ball off, throwing the ball, and hopefully getting sacked may not be wearing  number 12, but he will actually be the Pat’s suspended-for-cheating quarterback Tom Brady. He just won’t look like Tom Brady.

nfl-line

The line was “pick” but it changed this morning to favor Houston by one point. With Tom playing instead of Jimmy or Jacoby, it’s got to be New England by at least five. Bet on it!

Update: Bill Belichick played it straight and started the real Jacoby Brissett, and the Patriots won the game 27-0! Who needs Tom Brady when Houston has the fumbly, dropsy, picksies? They were TRRRRRRRBL!!!!!!

I don’t know why it took me so long to put together this list of The Best Albums of 2015. Just too busy I guess. But now that football season is over, I’ve not much else to do this Valentine’s Day Sunday. Right now I’m just sittin’ around listening to vinyl, drinking Batch 15 IPA and eating some chocolate. Just the right combination to get me motivated enough to list the best albums of 2015 and embed some cool videos.

Coming in at Number One on the chart is Courtney Barnett‘s Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. This album also topped KEXP’s 2015 listener poll, and here’s the song they played to end the countdown.

Sleater Kinney reunited in 2014 and released No Cities to Love in early 2015. They didn’t miss a beat during their ten-year break.

Wilco surprised everyone by dropping Star Wars for free! Not that I would download a crappy mp3 or anything like that. I waited for the hard copy and also saw them live at Marymoor Park on a warm summer evening last August. Here they are live on Stephen Colbert’s show performing “Random Name Generator”.

Julia Holter topped MOJO Magazine’s list, so I went out and bought Have You In My Wilderness to hear what all the fuss was about. I really liked it. It’s a real album, so you have to sit and listen to start to finish a few times to appreciate it.

Melody Gardot is not on a lot of people’s radar, probably because her albums are found in the Jazz section of your local record store. Her latest album, Currency of Man, is jazz leaning towards blues and rock, and it has a sharp political edge to it. Perfect for the troubled times we live in. Here is the real standout track “Preacherman”. It’s a pretty intense video with a long introduction, so be patient. The song starts at about 2:50.

I’ve been a big fan of Johnny Dowd ever since I heard his 1999 album, Pictures from Life’s Other Side, and saw him live at The Tractor Tavern. His new album is titled That’s Your Wife on the Back of My Horse, and here’s a quirky video for “White Dolemite”.

Kurt Vile has been pretty prolific over the past few years, and every album he puts has something really great on it like “Pretty Pimpin'” from b’lieve i’m goin’ down.

I had not heard of Houndmouth before 2015, but they got some airplay on KEXP, and I liked what I heard, so I bought Little Neon Limelight. And I’m glad I did.

Nadine Shah has one of the most powerful singing voices. I love what she does with it on Fast Food. Too bad she isn’t appreciated much on this side of the Atlantic, because she should be. Then maybe she would tour here and I could see her live.

I heard about Israel Nash from friends who are really into his music. I bought 2014’s Rain Plans some time in 2015 and loved it. I missed his sold out show at The Sunset Tavern, but I did see his ridiculously short 30-minute set at Bumbershoot, and then saw what was one of the best shows of the year at The Crocodile in December in support of his latest album Silver Season. Here’s “Have You Seen L.A. Lately”.

And here’s ten more favorites from 2015 listed without video support.

LowOnes and Sixes
Laura MarlingShort Movie
Royal HeadacheHigh (a shoutout to Troy Nelson at KEXP for turning me on to this band this summer)
Paul WellerSaturns Patterns
Jason IsbellSomething More Than Free
CalexicoEdge of the Sun
Alabama ShakesSound and Color
Julien BakerSprained Ankle (an album that is almost too personal)
Rhiannon GiddensTomorrow Is My Turn
The Oh SeesMutilator Defeated At Last

That’s twenty. There’s more great stuff from 2015, but this post is too long already. You can check out The Guardian’s list here and Pitchfork’s list here.

Super Bowl 50 2016 Bay Area
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When is Super Bowl 50?

Super Bowl 50 is Sunday, February 7th at 3:30 p.m. PT.

How to watch the Super Bowl this year:

Watch it live:

Super Bowl 50 will be carried live on CBS. If you have yet to “cut the cord,” you can find the affiliate station in your area using  this CBS TV Stations and Affiliates guide from CBS News.

You can also watch it on the public airwaves if you’re old-school. Get a digital antenna and tune to your local CBS affiliate.

Watch it online:

CBS Sports will be streaming the game live. Tune in to CBSSports.com, NFL.com or SuperBowl.com. Beware – you can only stream it on your mobile phone if you are an eligible Verizon Wireless subscriber using the NFL Mobile app. There’s a little ambiguity as to whether it will stream to your browser on your phone, but it seems as though you can do so on a tablet.

Stream it on your set-top box:

Apple TV, XBOX ONE, Roku all have CBS Sports apps available. Check the app store for your device.

What time does the Super Bowl start?

The game kicks off at 3:30 p.m. pacific. 4:30 p.m. mountain. 5:30 p.m. central. 6:30 p.m. eastern.

The pre-game show will basically be on as soon as you wake up in the morning. CBS also has a list of pre-game programming for Super Bowl 50.

Where is Super Bowl 50 taking place?

Super Bowl 50 will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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Donald Trump is trying to lose. But he’s just as big a failure at that as he would be as President of the United States

Months ago I predicted Donald Trump’s unfair attack on John McCain’s military service would sink his presidential aspirations. No republican, I reasoned, could reconcile the indefensible position Trump was taking.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. Sarcastically, Trump quipped, “He’s a war hero because he was captured.” Then, he added, “I like people that weren’t captured.” – The Washington Post

Even the conservative Washington Post was predicting that this argument wouldn’t go over well with the Republican party’s base. In this seemingly devastating indictment of Trump‘s vile attack on McCain, the Post pulled no punches. Quoting such GOP standard bearers as Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, and even the RNC’s Chief Strategist and Communications Director Sean Spicer, it seemed as though the Post was announcing the death of the clownish political campaign of a man widely believed to be using his ostensible ambitions as nothing more than a narcissistic publicity stunt. Read More →

photo from seller's website

photo from seller’s website

What dedicated follower of the Lord Jesus Christ wouldn’t covet this beautiful weapon designed for killing people in a gloriously efficient manner?

This semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Spike’s Tactical isn’t just any old secular assault rifle though, this one is emblazoned with the cross of the Knights Templar, a religious order that fought Muslims in the 12th-century Crusades. Read More →

My 8 year old’s big plans for this past weekend: “Can we go to the Mystery Soda Machine? You really don’t know what’s going to come out and then you have to drink it no matter what it is. The buttons just have question marks all over them. And it’s really dirty.” Nobody knows who fills it, it’s empty until you put your coins in, and there’s a magic rule that you have to drink what you get.

That machine has been there for as long as I can remember. Seems like it only had one “mystery” button before, though. Now they’re all “?M?Y?S?T?E?R?Y?” buttons. It’s been forever since I even paid attention to it.

Adding to the silliness of the whole thing, the mystery was amplified by my never letting on that I knew exactly where we were going and that there was nothing actually mysterious about the mystery soda machine in any way and I have walked by it (with both of them!) more times than I can count and have lived around the corner from it more days of my life than I have not.

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