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ICE Detention Beds New Stumbling Block To Border Deal

NPR reports that an impasse in the border negotiations is a Democrat demand to reduce the number of detention beds, to which Trump responds - "that is crazy."

The point of the reduction would be to force Trump to prioritize who gets detained, thereby it's believed leading to violent criminals becoming the focus for detention. the remaining families etc would not be split, and the horror stories of children in detention would be eliminated.

That is a fair point, and by itself appears to be a reasonable solution.

However, that solution does NOT address the Repub concern that a huge number of people not detained just disappear into the States and don't show for their hearings. That also is a fair point, and should be addressed with potential solutions.

Seems to me that solution for BOTH sides is simple - reduce beds or even eliminate detention completely for anyone not accused of a violent crime, but issue ankle bracelets to everybody else.

Win - win. Completely solves the Dem issue about unreasonable detentions; and completely solves the Repub issue about people disappearing.

Any Repub who would reject that and demand detention might be getting a kickback from the prison industry. And any Dem who would be so outraged at a bracelet as to reject the elimination of the detention horrors has to be someone who has lost perspective.


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Supreme Court Will Hear Partisan Gerrymandering Cases In March


      This is how the GOP plans to take over our election system. They can't win in 2020 unless they do this. Hard to believe several have tried to get this up for vote in our Justice Department for several years, and nothing was done. But now the nine are conservatives so they plan to put this up to vote on in March. They didn't waste no time and they know they can't if this goes well for registered voters I will be totally surprised.

      We all know where this is going. After March the only way left for this to be fixed is too redo the election process. Because they will refuse to hear any cases brought to them on gerrymandering.

      Put your thinking caps on because if they gerrymander the states to hell and back we have to figure out on how to beat them at their own game. The only way I know how to do it is to register as a republican and vote for democrats.


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      IRS: Why Up To 25% Of Tax Payers Expecting A Refund Will Not Get One


          [Tax Business]

          This is a follow up story to the one about middle class and conservative tax payers upset/shocked about having their refunds cut or finding they actually owe taxes. Owing taxes, and not being due a refund, is new to many. Most refunds, according to the IRS, will be smaller (8% on average), and many others who are used to receiving a refund will not be getting one (up to 25%).

          Linked is a report on the IRS reasons as to why that is true, but not totally true.

          They say that it is indeed true that due to the new tax reform law that about a quarter of tax payers who normally would have gotten a tax refund will not be getting a refund this year. But, tax payers should remember, says the IRS, that this new tax reform law also reduced what the income earners paid in advance to the IRS through payroll deductions. Therefore most income earners should understand that they have already received, as part of their take home pay, any tax savings due to them.

          John Q -- "But due to increased fees and health insurance premiums I didn't take home more!"

          This isn't going to sit well with people.

          Expect the number of stunned people to steadily grow as this new tax reality hits home.

          It's a new day at the IRS. It is Trump day!

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          A study puts wealth inequality in a historical perspective.


          The Poor? Cannon Fodder and cheap labor as always!

          “America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism.

          In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives. On the other hand, more than 4,000 lower-level bank employees got a big dose of harsh capitalism. They lost their jobs.

          Banks that are too big to fail – courtesy of the 2008 bank bailout – enjoy a hidden subsidy of some $83bn a year, because creditors facing less risk accept lower interest on deposits and loans. Last year, Wall Street’s bonus pool was $31.4bn. Take away the hidden subsidy and the bonus pool disappears.

          Trump and his appointees at the Federal Reserve are easing bank requirements put in place after the bailout. They’ll make sure the biggest banks remain too big to fail.

          Trump is promoting socialism for the rich and harsh capitalism for everyone else in other ways. GM has got more than $600m in federal contracts, plus $500m in tax breaks. Some of this has gone into the pockets of GM executives. Chairman and CEO Mary Barra raked in almost $22m in total compensation in 2017 alone.
          But GM employees are subject to harsh capitalism. GM is planning to lay off more than 14,000 workers and close three assembly plants and two component factories in North America by the end of 2019.

          When he was in business, Trump perfected the art of using bankruptcy to shield himself from the consequences of bad decisions – socialism for the rich at its worst – while leaving employees twisting in the wind.

          Now, all over America, executives who run their companies into the ground are getting gold-plated exit packages while their workers get pink slips.

          Sears is doling out $25m to the executives who stripped its remaining assets and drove it into bankruptcy, but has no money for the thousands of workers it laid off.

          As Pacific Gas and Electric hurtles toward bankruptcy, the person who was in charge when the deadly infernos roared through northern California last year (caused in part by PG&E’s faulty equipment) has departed with a cash severance package of $2.5m. The PG&E executive in charge of gas operations when records were allegedly falsified left in 2017 with $6.9m.

          Under socialism for the rich, you can screw up big time and still reap big rewards. Equifax’s Richard Smith retired in 2017 with an $18m pension in the wake of a security breach that exposed the personal information of 145 million consumers to hackers.

          Wells Fargo’s Carrie Tolstedt, 58-year-old "most powerful female banker in the United States," though "fired for cause" related to the company's account fraud scandal, departed, in 2017, with a $125 million exit package after being in charge of the unit that opened more than 2 million unauthorized customer accounts.

          Around 60% of America’s wealth is now inherited. Many of today’s super-rich have never done a day’s work in their lives.

          Trump’s response has been to cut the estate tax to apply only to estates valued at over $22m per couple. Mitch McConnell is now proposing that the estate tax be repealed altogether.

          What about the capitalist principles that people earn what they’re worth in the market, and that economic gains should go to those who deserve them?

          America is on the cusp of the largest inter-generational wealth transfer in history. As rich boomers expire over the next three decades, an estimated $30tn will go to their children.

          Those children will be able to live off of the income these assets generate, and then leave the bulk of them to their own heirs, tax-free. (Capital gains taxes don’t apply to the soaring values of stocks, bonds, mansions and other assets of wealthy people who die before they’re sold.)

          After a few generations of this, almost all of the nation’s wealth will be in the hands of a few thousand non-working families. To the conservative mind, the specter of socialism conjures up a society in which no one is held accountable, and no one has to work for what they receive. Yet that’s exactly the society Trump and the Republicans are promoting for the rich.

          Meanwhile, most Americans are subject to an increasingly harsh and arbitrary capitalism in which they’re working harder but getting nowhere, and have less security than ever.

          They need thicker safety nets and deserve a bigger piece of the economic pie. If you want to call this socialism, fine. I call it fair.

          Robert Reich, a former US Secretary of Labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley

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          HEY LADIES

          Absher, an app that Saudi men use to monitor women's travel and stop them leaving, is available for download on iTunes and the Google Play store.
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          Insect Apocalypse


              Insects Are Dying En Masse, Risking

              ‘Catastrophic’ Collapse Of Earth’s Ecosystems

              The insect apocalypse is indeed upon us, according to

              the first global scientific review of insect population decline.


              Native bees, butterflies, moths, beetles and aquatic insects are among the insects that have been worst-hit,

              the scientific review concluded.

              By Dominique Mosbergen



              There have been warning signs for years about plummeting insect populations worldwide, but the extent of the potentially “catastrophic” crisis had not been well-understood — until now.

              The first global scientific review of insect population decline was published this week in the journal Biological Conservation and the findings are “shocking,” its authors said.

              More than 40 percent of insect species are dwindling globally and a third of species are endangered, concluded the peer-reviewed study, which analyzed 73 historical reports on insect population declines.

              Chillingly, the total mass of insects is falling by 2.5 percent annually, the review’s authors said. If the decline continues at this rate, insects could be wiped off the face of the Earth within a century.

              “It is very rapid. In 10 years you will have a quarter less, in 50 years only half left and in 100 years you will have none,” study co-author Francisco Sánchez-Bayo, an environmental biologist at the University of Sydney, Australia, told The Guardian.

              “If insect species losses cannot be halted, this will have catastrophic consequences for both the planet’s ecosystems and for the survival of mankind,” Sánchez-Bayo added.

              A new global scientific review has concluded that the shocking rate
              of extinction of insect species and loss of insect abundance threatens
              a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”

              Scientists have warned that a human-caused sixth mass extinction is now underway on Earth. Vertebrate species, both on land and under the sea, are threatened at a global scale because of human activities.

              But according to the new review, the proportion of insects in decline is currently twice as high as that of vertebrates and the insect extinction rate is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles.

              Insects play a profoundly important role in Earth’s ecosystems. They are a food source for many animals, are critical pollinators and recycle nutrients back into the soil.

              In a November New York Times report about a possible “insect apocalypse,” scientists were asked to imagine a world with no insects.

              They found “words like chaos, collapse, Armageddon,” the Times wrote. ”[One entomologist] describes a flowerless world with silent forests, a world of dung and old leaves and rotting carcasses accumulating in cities and roadsides, a world of ‘collapse or decay and erosion and loss that would spread through ecosystems.’”

              According to the new scientific review, habitat loss because of intensive agriculture is the top driver of insect population declines. The heavy use of pesticides, climate change and invasive species were also pinpointed as significant causes.

              “Unless we change our ways of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the review’s co-authors wrote. “The repercussions this will have for the planet’s ecosystems are catastrophic to say the least.”

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              Devastated By One Shutdown, Dreading The Next


                  With four days left in negotiations, thousands of government workers are wondering if they will face another government shutdown. Why? Because he is determined to have something that will not do what he promises, stem the tide of illegal immigration.

                  His insistence of once again shutting down the Federal Government is not off the table, perhaps he should consider these words;

                  FRESNO, Calif. — The federal government had finally called her back to work after 35 days, but now Vicki Ibarra wondered how she could afford to get there. Her used sedan had been repossessed by the bank a few days earlier. The family minivan had a faulty engine and barely any gas. Her Internet had been cut off a month into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, so she used a friend’s wireless password to log into her bank account. There was $0.38 left in checking and $7.80 in savings, the sum total of 16 years at the IRS.

                  Ms. Ibarra is a dedicated government employee who works for the IRS. Her account in of what the shutdown has and is costing her is heartbreaking.

                  Some of this forum – in their attempt to support Trump – will offer some half-ass lame excuses along with attempts at equivalency of other shutdowns. Bottom line, shutting the government does not work, and they have long term effects. Yes, government workers will receive back pay, but, as pointed out in this article, Ms. Ibarra, still has to deal with the increase of debt she occurred during the shutdown.

                  “I’m not trying to make up excuses,” she said. “I’m just saying, that number is giving you the wrong idea. This isn’t me. I’m a go-getter. I’m a single mother. I usually take care of everything myself.”

                  “Right, but this is your score,” the banker said. He gestured back to the number in bold, and she nodded.

                  “No problem,” he said. “We can still do an application and see what comes back.”

                  “But I’m not going to qualify, right?” she said.

                  “We can’t really say.”

                  “But probably not.”

                  “No,” he said. “I’m sorry. Probably not.”

                  “So what am I supposed to do?” she asked, her voice rising an octave, the frustration building, eye shadow smudging on her cheeks as her sentences collided. “I can’t even. . . . I’ve been working nonstop, and then it’s just. . . . Can’t you see this isn’t my fault? How am I supposed to prepare for something that’s —”

                  He reached across the desk and lightly touched her arm. “Look. There are other options,” he said, and he pointed down the street, in the direction of a sprawling shopping center with three payday lenders. She collected her papers off his desk, left the bank and drove a half mile down the road, parking in front of a neon green billboard that read: “Instant Cash Today!”

                  I guess this is what Trump meant when he said; “I’m sure that the people that are on the receiving end will make adjustments.”

                  I encourage you to read the article.


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                  Bezos Has A Limp


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