And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Linkee-poo was burned out from exhaustion, buried in the hail

DongWon Song on not quitting your day job. "But here’s the thing: Success isn’t an accident. Success doesn’t just happen to you. Success is a thing you aim for. Something you work for. But before all that it HAS to be something you dream of." And as the old saying goes, luck favors the prepared.

NPR's book concierge guide to 2017's great reads. Hey, I know a couple of those.

"NASA has nailed an engine test on a spacecraft 13 billion miles away." I'm so old I remember when the Voyager missions we still exploring the planets (as they zipped by).

"A weapon as legendary as the dagger of King Tutankhamun needs an epic backstory, and last year X-ray analysis showed that the iron in the ancient blade had come from meteorites. Now, a French study has found that the artifact was far from alone as all iron tools dating back to the Bronze Age have otherworldly origins."

"A uterus implanted into a woman from a living donor resulted in a successful birth in Dallas last month, the first such delivery in the United States."

"Fishermen are worried about an offshore wind farm proposed 30 miles out in the Atlantic from Montauk, N.Y., the largest fishing port in the state. They say those wind turbines — and many others that have been proposed — will impact the livelihood of fishermen in New York and New England." Because, you know, environmental damage and stuff. Also includes scallop fishermen who literally scraped the ocean floor free of all plants to haul in their catch.

I think I posted a link to a story about how YouTube is being flooded with "children's videos" which are violent and sexual in nature (and how many of them could have been autogenerated or just quickly put together as a way to maximize ad revenue). "YouTube, which has come under fire for posting videos aimed at children with violent and sexual themes, said it will dramatically increase the number of people overseeing content in 2018."

"A Kentucky lawyer who disappeared after his conviction in a massive social security fraud case is in a Honduran jail. Eric Conn escaped house arrest in Lexington six months ago before heading to New Mexico. He then reportedly traveled to Mexico and Guatemala, and spent the last three months in Honduras."

Fact checking Commissioner Pai's statement on Net Neutrality. It's what you'd expect.

"Federal authorities sought to take back guns from thousands of people the background check system should have blocked from buying weapons because they had criminal records, mental health issues or other problems that would disqualify them." I'm sure that's normal. Say, how many people bought firearms on Black Friday?

"Here's a look at some of the changes that individual filers could expect if either the House or Senate versions is included in the final bill."

"In 2015, Republicans changed the budget rules in Congress so that official scorekeepers would be required to analyze the potential economic impact of major legislation when determining how it would affect federal revenues… But on Thursday, hours before they were set to vote on the largest tax cut Congress has considered in years, Senate Republicans opened an assault on that scorekeeper, the Joint Committee on Taxation, and its analysis, which showed the Senate plan would not, as lawmakers contended, pay for itself but would add $1 trillion to the federal budget deficit." Republicans are all about the rules, until it concerns their little red ball. Note that the Joint Committee on Taxation uses the dynamic scoring all the rage in conservative circles (the CBO and the JCT used "static scoring" until 2015 when the GOP mandated the change by law).

Sen/ Grassley, realizing he shit all over most of America in public, tries to put a good spin on his words by throwing the farmers under the bus. "But according to the Register, the actual numbers do not support that narrative. Citing 2016 data from the IRS, the newspaper determined 5,219 tax returns were affected by the current estate tax. Only 682, or 13 percent, of the tax filers owned farm assets." Note that "owned farm assets" does not actually equate to "farmers." Also note that smart people don't pay the estate tax (having moved their assets to trusts, incorporating, or transferring to their heirs before they die). And finally note that if you give someone a gift of over $10,000, they also owe income tax on that gift. Explain the difference between that tax and the estate tax. It's a transfer of capital. That's actually where we make taxes. We have an estate tax to prevent the rise of an aristocracy by circumventing the inheritance of vast sums of wealth.

While I hate to promote a book by Corey Lewandowski but this Washington Post article shares enough tidbits to let you know the mindset of the president. As I said way back in early 2016, Trump is every asshole CEO and manager I've ever worked for.

"Manafort evidently failed to tell the government that he was ghost-writing a draft op-ed about his work in Ukraine as late as November 30. He was working on it with 'a longtime Russian colleague' who is 'assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence,' according to the special counsel's court filing." Lock him up (unfortunately they're just talking about keeping the GPS tracking on him). Thank Gru that America has the dumbest criminals ever. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Here's the money quote Dowd gave to Axios: The 'president cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution's Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.'" Ah, the right of Kings. It's good to be the king. Except we don't have kings and no one is above the law.

"U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) for data on accounts held by President Donald Trump and his family, a person close to the matter said on Tuesday." I haven't looked yet, but I see a storm of tweets from the president because of this. (Goes and makes more popcorn)

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