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A Trojan Horse GOP Tax Bill Advent Calendar

A Trojan Horse GOP Tax Bill Advent Calendar

Trump’s GOP Tax Plan Isn’t What it Seems

Every day I learn something new about the Trump-led GOP tax reform bill, but today I learned a steaming pantload of really frightening things about not just the bill, but also the sneaky Trojan Horse style of politics that seem to be unfolding here.

  1. The Tax Plan is being passed under the rules of reconciliation so that it doesn’t have to reach the 60 vote majority in the Senate.
  2. The Senate has crammed this bill full of language that fundamentally changes the rules on a variety of social issues unrelated to tax reform.
  3. While we focus on the endless stream of clowns coming out of the passenger side of the car, we’re not paying attention to what’s getting in on the driver’s side.

Counting down the days

I’ll try to refrain from weeping into my keyboard long enough each day to keep this updated. And only really sneaky shit makes the list. And I really expect the world to implode some time before Christmas gets here anyway, so don’t expect a novel.

Day 1. The Chained CPI

“the chained CPI was really an attempt to reduce the deficit on the backs of senior citizens” – New Republic

This is pretty insidious. The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the cost of a list of essential items and is used to define things like poverty levels, living wage, inflation, and income disparity. The chained CPI turns it upside down, starting first with the amount of money people can live on and then averaging out which common items one can get on that budget. This calculus includes trade-offs against quality of life, such as buying processed chicken instead of steak, bundling up rather than turning on the heat, and shopping at thrift stores.

Day 2. Concealed Carry

“Anyone in Los Angeles, for example, could get a permit online from VA, without ever stepping foot there. And that would enable carrying a gun in LA every day.” – Adam Winkler (@adamwinkler)

Biggest, boldest move by the NRA since 2004.

Day 3. Religious Politics

“We’re really worried that changing the law in this way would open the floodgates for political contributions to be funneled through all 501(c)(3) organizations, fundamentally changing the nature of houses of worship and indeed our entire nonprofit sector.” – 90.9 WBUR-FM, Boston’s NPR news station

Day 4. Granting Individuality to a Fetus – 

“Nothing shall prevent an unborn child from being treated as a designated beneficiary or an individual under this section” – Brookings Institute, featuring this beauty from Politico: “The proposed tax plan is a huge leap forward for an antiquated tax code, and we hope this is the first step in expanding the child tax credit to include unborn children as well.”

Day 5. Restrict Access to Higher Education

“The ploy appears to be to destroy higher education, to shift the tax burden onto the most educated rather than the most financially successful, and to disincentivize graduate school as a viable option for the majority of people who’d choose to pursue it otherwise.” – Ethan Siegel, Forbes

Day 6. Trickle-down Taxation

“If teachers lose tax break for school supplies, will parents pick up the tab?” – (@mandy_mclaren), Louisville Courier Journal

This is what Australia thinks about Americans and Guns

This is what Australia thinks about Americans and Guns

Comedian Jim Jefferies riffs on Americans and how they love their guns, via Vox:

You have guns because you like guns! That’s why you go to gun conventions; that’s why you read gun magazines! None of you give a shit about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door.

Concealed Cary Permit

Concealed Cary Permit

I’ve had this unpleasant, ongoing argument with gun owners to whom I’m inextricably connected for the REST OF MY LIFE. I can’t argue it with them, so I want to argue it with you.

Individual gun ownership is guaranteed by the 2nd amendment and has been recently confirmed as the constitutional intent of that section of the bill of rights. Still, are gun rights absolute? Just because the government has sanctioned your right to brandish a deadly, intimidating, silent threat on your hip or under your jacket doesn’t explain to the rest of the world why you have the right to scare the living shit out of everyone around you just because you are so scared of everything around you that you’re willing to scare the living shit out of everyone around you.

So I have a few questions. And honestly, I have so many liberal friends that are into guns that I don’t consider this an issue that will automatically win me kudos from my fellow harikari bloggers.

1. Are you safer with a gun on you?
2. Are you safer with the person next to you having a gun on them?
3. Is it important to conceal the gun you carry for personal protection?
4. When entering someone’s house with a concealed weapon, would you tell them you have a weapon and ask for their permission to bring it inside?
5. Would you let someone you don’t know into your own house, knowing they had a concealed handgun on them?
6. Would you throw someone out if you found out they had a concealed handgun, but failed to inform you of it or to ask permission to bring it into your house?
7. Would you be offended if someone asked about the security of your gun collection before bringing their child into your house?
8. Would you take your child into a house where there was a gun collection which you couldn’t be sure it was secure, safe, and child proof?
9. If you inquired about the safety of someone’s gun collection in an environment where your child was present and they responded defensively, would you back down?
10. If someone said, “take my word for it; I’ve taken dozens of gun safety classes,” would you feel safe taking their word and leaving your children with them?
11. Have you ever been outraged when someone needed more than your word to feel safe with your gun ownership, collection, or experience?
12. If you were at Wal•mart and you saw someone walk in with a gun, would you ever think, “damn, I should have brought my gun!”?
13. If you were at Wal•mart, walking in with a weapon on your hip, does it make you feel good that some people see you walking in and think, “damn! I should have brought my gun.”?
14. Does some people feeling like Q. 12 and others feeling like Q. 13 make you think that there is probably a better answer to this problem?

Santa’s Bag of Goodies is Stuffed with Machine Guns

Santa’s Bag of Goodies is Stuffed with Machine Guns

Christmas Machine guns

Santa with shotgun

So much for satire.

Gun Club’s Santa Delivers Machine Guns, Year After Year

From Fox News in Phoenix:

The Scottsdale Gun Club is inviting people to enjoy Santa and Machine Guns.

The family event allows people to take a holiday card picture with St. Nick — and a high-powered fire arm.

Santa poses against a backdrop of an $80,000 Garwood minigun.

Families can choose to pose with other firearms, ranging from pistols to modified AR15s.

They also get a chance to test out the machine guns.

Dress your kids up like little Christmas Soldiers

So dress up the kids in camo and hurry on down to the Scottsdale Gun Club’s Family Christmas Photo Special to get the perfect family photo for your Christmas card, because nothing says “Merry Christmas” quite like you and your family flanked by Santa and his machine guns.

Sitting on Santa's lap, pointing an assault rifle at your children's mother's head. CUTE!