Monday, October 02, 2023

Rand Paul demands federal disaster aid for Kentucky after voting against it for everyone else

 Typical republican


Consider the two faces of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

First, the Rand Paul of Dec. 11, writing to President Biden after a string of tornadoes devastated his home state, killing at least 64 and leveling whole communities:

“The Governor of the Commonwealth has requested federal assistance this morning, and certainly further requests will be coming as the situation is assessed. I fully support those requests and ask that you move expeditiously to approve the appropriate resources for our state.”

Second, the Rand Paul of Oct. 24, 2017, on the Senate floor opposing a $36.5-billion disaster aid bill to help residents of Texas, Louisiana, Florida and Puerto Rico after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria as well as victims of wildfires in California:

“People here will say they have great compassion and they want to help the people of Puerto Rico, the people of Texas, the people of Florida, but notice they have great compassion with someone else’s money. Ask them what they’re doing to help their fellow man.”


A cursory glance at his record indicates that he has consistently opposed federal disaster relief measures.


US pays far more for health care than other countries

Sunday, October 01, 2023

Tax-Aide needs volunteers

 Tax-Aide scope of service sometimes changes, so if you previously were not able to have them do your taxes, it is possible they may be able to do them now.


 Tax-Aide needs volunteers! It provides free tax preparation, and it is very personally rewarding to be able to help people. Tax-Aide provides training. They are starting up their training now, sending out training materials. You do not need to be a certain age for us to do your taxes.


Now more than ever, older adults living on a limited income need help getting tax breaks. As a Tax-Aide volunteer, you can help your neighbors in need get money back, making a big difference in a short amount of time.

These days, more people can’t afford to pay for professional tax preparation — and often miss out on much-needed tax breaks and refunds. Since 1968, Tax-Aide has helped over 75 million taxpayers with low to moderate income file their returns.

You don’t have to be a tax pro to volunteer with us — there are many ways to get involved and connect with people in your community. Best of all, giving back with your new friends at Tax-Aide is rewarding and the camaraderie and support makes volunteering fun.

Ten Ways Billionaires Avoid Taxes on an Epic Scale

 See link for details:

Last June, drawing on the largest trove of confidential American tax data that’s ever been obtained, ProPublica launched a series of stories documenting the key ways the ultrawealthy avoid taxes, strategies that are largely unavailable to most taxpayers. To mark the first anniversary of the launch, we decided to assemble a quick summary of the techniques — all of which can generate tax savings on a massive scale — revealed in the series.


Mass Extinction: Entire Branches on Tree of Life Are Dying, Scientists Warn

19 September 2023

Like the comet striking the dinosaurs – in slower motion, but just as deadly – human activity is hacking off entire branches from the tree of life, a new study confirms.

"It is changing the trajectory of evolution globally and destroying the conditions that make human life possible," ecologists warn in their new paper.

"It is an irreversible threat to the persistence of civilization and the livability of future environments for Homo sapiens."


Over 100 Dolphins Dead in Brazilian Amazon

Over a hundred dolphins were found dead in the Brazilian Amazon over the last seven days, amid record-breaking water temperatures of more than 102 degrees. Researchers are working to rescue surviving dolphins and transfer them to other bodies of water, but the task has proved difficult.


Swiss glaciers have lost 10% of their volume in the past 2 years 

 A Swiss Academy of Sciences panel is reporting a dramatic acceleration of glacier melt in the Alpine country, which has lost 10% of its ice volume in just two years after high summer heat and low snow volumes in winter.

Switzerland — home to the most glaciers of any country in Europe — has seen 4% of its total glacier volume disappear in 2023, the second-biggest decline in a single year on top of a 6% drop in 2022, the biggest thaw since measurements began, the academy’s commission for cryosphere observation said.


Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ultra-rich tax cheets

Senate Dems have obtained extraordinary new data from the IRS on tax avoidance by the super-rich.

Nearly 1,000 people who earn over $1 million per year didn't file tax returns at all for at least one year from 2017 to 2020, the data shows.

Also: The 2,000 people who represent the highest-income non-filers in at least one year from 2017 to 2020 owe a total of more than $900 million in taxes.

@RonWyden obtained the data from the IRS. I got a look at it.

GOP wants to gut IRS enforcement.

The GOP House voted to repeal IRS funding for expanded enforcement against rich tax cheats. Most of the 2024 GOP candidates have attacked that funding.

But it's already bringing in more revenues from wealthy tax avoiders. Rs want to roll that back.

Here again, the "working class GOP" makeover is mostly baloney. Republicans claim expanded IRS enforcement will hurt workers and small businesses. 

The reality is enforcement makes it more likely that elites and workers will be treated *equivalently.*

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Biden's $15 minimum wage for federal contractors blocked by US judge

Tipton, an appointee of Republican former President Donald Trump, blocked the Biden administration from enforcing the $15 minimum wage in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, states that last year filed a lawsuit challenging the executive order. State agencies often receive federal contracts.

The judge paused his decision for seven days to allow the Biden administration to file an appeal.



 / Plato /


"No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth."

Hyundai and Kia recall nearly 3.4 million vehicles due to fire risk and urge owners to park outdoors 


Sept. 27, 2023

Hyundai and Kia are recalling nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the U.S. and telling owners to park them outside due to the risk of engine compartment fires.

The recalls cover multiple car and SUV models from the 2010 through 2019 model years including Hyundai's Santa Fe SUV and Kia's Sorrento SUV.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Antarctic winter sea ice hits 'extreme' record low

Sea ice that packs the ocean around Antarctica hit record low levels this winter, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said on Monday, adding to scientists' fears that the impact of climate change at the southern pole is ramping up.

Researchers warn the shift can have dire consequences for animals like penguins who breed and rear their young on the sea ice, while also hastening global warming by reducing how much sunlight is reflected by white ice back into space.



Saturday, September 23, 2023

What republicans are demanding


Sept. 23, 2023




Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Free covid tests Sept. 25

Beginning September 25, every U.S. household can again place an order to receive four more free COVID-19 rapid tests delivered directly to their home. Before You Throw Out "Expired" Tests: Check to see if your COVID-19 tests' expiration dates have been extended.

Auto workers pay

 Sept. 20, 2023

Robert Reich

The Big 3 Automakers have spent $66 billion on stock buybacks and dividends over the decade.

That amounts to roughly $440k for each of the ~150,000 workers covered by UAW collective bargaining agreements.

And we’re supposed to believe they can’t afford to pay workers more?

Monday, September 18, 2023

Global warming is causing increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat and heavy rainfall events

Coumou, D., Di Capua, G., Vavrus, S. et al. The influence of Arctic amplification on mid-latitude summer circulation. Nat Commun 9, 2959 (2018).


We show that interactions between Arctic teleconnections and other remote and regional feedback processes could lead to more persistent hot-dry extremes in the mid-latitudes


The observed increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme heat and heavy rainfall events since the late 1980s, especially in mid-latitude regions, have been linked to anthropogenic global warming.


recent studies that indicate that summer weather has become more persistent in several regions in the mid-latitudes23,24,25. In summer, the hot tail of the distribution is associated with persistent, blocking weather systems, and an increase in their persistence leads to more extreme temperatures.


Monday, September 11, 2023

Love Lights the Way

I'm posting this for all the victims of violence and other tragedies, such as earthquakes,  wildfires, hurricanes, around the world, and their loved ones who grieve for them.

I started writing it a few days after 9/11.
It was recorded  by David Leonard

Love Lights the Way
copyright 2011 Patricia M. Shannon
performed and produced by David Leonard

Hold me close, let me know that you love me,
in this world full of darkness, I need to know you are near.
We don't know where we'll be tomorrow;
let us gather good memories while we are here.

Thru the years you've been right by my side,
my dearest friend, I always can depend -
that when I despair, 'cause hate seems everywhere
our love lights the way to a brighter day.

Hold me close, let us help one another
remember the gladness that we once had.
Hold me close, let us be for each other
a haven of comfort in a world going mad.


Hold me close, let me know that you love me,
I need to know you are near.

Hold me close.
Hold me close.
Hold me close.


Friday, September 08, 2023

That ’70s Show’ Star Danny Masterson Found Guilty of Rape 20 Years Later


Sept. 7, 2023

A judge sentenced “That ’70s Show” show star Danny Masterson to 30 years to life in prison Thursday for raping two women, giving them some relief after they spoke in court about the decades of damage he inflicted.


Thursday, September 07, 2023

Musk Secretly Used Starlink to Foil Ukrainian Drone Attack on Russian Ships:

 packed with explosives “lost connectivity and washed ashore harmlessly,” Isaacson writes, according to CNN. Musk was reportedly motivated to foil the attack out of concern that a strike on Crimea would constitute a “mini-Pearl Harbor” and lead to Russia retaliating with nuclear weapons..

What Kind of Job Is Important

The relevance is really obvious in the wake of the several recent very destructive natural disasters. Obviously, not a comprehensive list of important jobs.


What Kind of Job Is Important
© copyright 2017 Patricia M. Shannon

What kind of jobs are important? What do we really need?
What is it we cannot live without, not just an expression of greed?
We need food and water, shelter from the cold.
The farmer, the plumber, the carpenter are far more important than gold.

Those who have been thru the tunnel/valley, seen the light then returned to our shores,
tell us helping each other, and always be learning, that is what we are here for.
And no one returns from the other side to say that our value is shown
by the size of our stock portfolio, or the number of cars that we own.

Some people think they're important, because they sit at their desks all day
making money by moving money around in a circular way.
But what use is money if there's no one who can buy,
and no one to fix the power lines, or the pipes when the water runs dry.


Texas paid bitcoin miner Riot $31.7 million to shut down during heat wave in August|twitter&par=sharebar

During the crypto boom of 2021, Riot Platforms was raking in cash from bitcoin mining. Now the company is losing so much money that it’s counting on energy credits from selling power back to the Texas grid to keep its costs under control.

Riot said on Wednesday that it earned $31.7 million in energy credits last month from Texas power grid operator ERCOT. The company generated the credits by voluntarily curtailing its energy consumption during a record-breaking heatwave.