Butch Femme Planet  

Go Back   Butch Femme Planet > POLITICS, CULTURE, NEWS, MEDIA > In The News

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-30-2021, 03:36 PM   #1
Kätzchen
••• ♡•♡ •••

How Do You Identify?:
Femme
Preferred Pronoun?:
She
Relationship Status:
Real Lucky ツ
 
Kätzchen's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: With my beloved <3
Posts: 14,590
Thanks: 36,716
Thanked 30,835 Times in 9,486 Posts
Rep Power: 21474863
Kätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST Reputation
Default The Op-Ed's & Social Commentary Forum Thread

Here is the place where you can post a Social Commentary article: Many times I have come across a great Op-Ed or Social Commentary and feel it deserves to have its own place so the message of the article is not lost and easily found.

Rico and I took a few days off from listening or reading news stories, but today we both read a social commentary article, found on MSNBC. We agree wholeheartedly with the author of this article. We hope you do too.

If you find an Op-Ed or Social Commentary that you would like to share with others, please feel free to post it here in this forum thread.





_________________________________________________.
__________________________________.
______________________.

How To Fix What's Wrong With The Republican Party

Jan. 30, 2021, 3:45 AM PST
By Michael Steele, MSNBC Opinion Columnist

During his 1796 Farewell Address, President George Washington said: “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the Power of the People and to usurp for themselves the reins of Government; destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

Washington knew what he was talking about. The Republican Party has become infected by such “cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” who have done their very best to “subvert the power of the people.” Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is not running for re-election to the Senate because of this infection. House Republican Conference Chair Liz Cheney is under attack from her fellow caucus members because of this infection. Our fellow Americans stormed the halls of the U.S. Capitol because of this infection.

But once seized by infection, the GOP must want to get better; and therein lies the rub.

Like so many Republicans, I’m sick and tired of talking about saving a party that shows few signs of wanting redemption, which makes it increasingly hard to hold on to the tattered remnants of a once-proud party. Indeed, since the insurrection more than 30,000 Republican voters have dropped their affiliation with the GOP, with many echoing the words of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, “I can no longer call myself a fellow Republican.”

Despite my own pessimisms about the Grand Old Party, I believe its salvation can still be found in our guiding principles, which do not include putting kids in cages, spewing lies and conspiracies and fermenting deadly insurrections. For those Republicans who remain behind, it’s time to refocus on what it means to be a Republican. While former President Donald Trump spent four years trying to reshape as much of the Republican Party into his image as possible and, failing that, setting the rest on fire, I agree with Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., who said, “There is a real split for the future of the party, and that epic battle has commenced.” Bring it on!

Americans are exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually. But are we too exhausted to address our wounds and unify behind our shared beliefs? To truly unify, we must first be honest about what our nation is going through. Minds may be fogged over by the magnitude of current events, but we need to dig deep and not just fight for America, but define what it stands for and what it stands against.

First, we must be honest: Republicans are standing in the way. How do we begin to embrace a shared truth if 72 percent of Republicans think the presidential election was illegitimate? Even as we attack the “Deep Lie” of a stolen election, Republican members of the House and Senate continue to spread its nasty seeds among the American people. The only person who tried to steal an election was Donald J. Trump. He incited an insurrection, infused it with the vilest vinegar of poisonous lies and then pumped it into the bloodstream of his followers. Perhaps worse, Republican officials in Congress who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution supported it, excused it and did the same. And they’re still excusing it.

Second, my fellow Republicans must stop playing stupid. Stop acting like you don’t know what Trump and his supporters in Congress and across the country did and continue to do. The insurrectionists were asked to come to Washington by Trump, encouraged to violence by Trump and supported by Trump in a seditious conspiracy that left seven Americans dead in its wake. Meanwhile, there is growing concern that some Republicans in Congress aided and abetted the insurrection. If proven, they all need to be held accountable.

Even as the House of Representatives has impeached Trump for the second time and the Senate is now faced with a clarifying moment of truth and accountability, are Republicans prepared to hold Donald Trump accountable? The fact that Trump is no longer in office is no excuse to avoid your constitutional responsibility. At the very least, he should never be allowed to run for office again.

Joe Biden will be a successful president — if we allow him to be. He is offering all of us an invaluable gift: unity. We need it to address the Covid-19 pandemic and economic stagnation for mainstream Americans, as well as to disinfect, cleanse and apply salve on our racial wounds. But we must address all the wounds to the body politic, not just those visibly hemorrhaging the lifeblood of our democratic republic.

Ultimately, the truth of this fight is grounded in one simple question that has nothing to do with a partisan debate on issues. The very survival of our democracy is directly and solely contingent on our collective answer: Do we still believe in America? It’s on us to understand and answer exactly what that question is asking.

We Republicans cannot heal ourselves or the wounds we’ve caused this great nation while clinging on to Donald Trump. So let us unite under our shared principles — without him. Let us reclaim our credibility — without him. Let us affirm our sources of inspiration and leadership as a party not of Trump but of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney, and of men and women who still give a damn about the one thing that matters: America.
__________________

Kätzchen

_________ ____________

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us,” ~ Helen Keller.
Kätzchen is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Kätzchen For This Useful Post:
Old 04-03-2021, 10:52 AM   #2
Kätzchen
••• ♡•♡ •••

How Do You Identify?:
Femme
Preferred Pronoun?:
She
Relationship Status:
Real Lucky ツ
 
Kätzchen's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: With my beloved <3
Posts: 14,590
Thanks: 36,716
Thanked 30,835 Times in 9,486 Posts
Rep Power: 21474863
Kätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST Reputation
Arrow Robert Reich (op-ed/blog)

For those of you who value the political opinions offered by Robert Reich, here is a direct link to his blog: https://robertreich.org/

______________________________________.

What if We Actually Taxed the Rich?

Income and wealth are now more concentrated at the top than at any time over the last 80 years, and our unjust tax system is a big reason why. The tax code is rigged for the rich, enabling a handful of wealthy individuals to exert undue influence over our economy and democracy.

Conservatives fret about budget deficits. Well, then, to pay for what the nation needs – ending poverty, universal health care, infrastructure, reversing climate change, investing in communities, and so much more – the super-wealthy have to pay their fair share.


Here are seven necessary ways to tax the rich.

First: Repeal the Trump tax cuts.

It’s no secret Trump’s giant tax cut was a giant giveaway to the rich. 65 percent of its benefits go to the richest fifth, 83 percent to the richest 1 percent over a decade. In 2018, for the first time on record, the 400 richest Americans paid a lower effective tax rate than the bottom half. Repealing the Trump tax cut’s benefits to the wealthy and big corporations, as Joe Biden has proposed, will raise an estimated $500 billion over a decade.

Second: Raise the tax rate on those at the top.

In the 1950s, the highest tax rate on the richest Americans was over 90 percent. Even after tax deductions and credits, they still paid over 40 percent. But since then, tax rates have dropped dramatically. Today, after Trump’s tax cut, the richest Americans pay less than 26 percent, including deductions and credits. And this rate applies only to dollars earned in excess of $523,601. Raising the marginal tax rate by just one percent on the richest Americans would bring in an estimated $123 billion over 10 years.

Third: A wealth tax on the super-wealthy.

Wealth is even more unequal than income. The richest 0.1% of Americans have almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent put together. Just during the pandemic, America’s billionaires added $1.3 trillion to their collective wealth. Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax would charge 2 percent on wealth over $50 million and 3 percent on wealth over $1 billion. It would only apply to about 75,000 U.S. households, fewer than 0.1% of taxpayers. Under it, Jeff Bezos would owe $5.7 billion out of his $185 billion fortune – less than half what he made in one day last year. The wealth tax would raise $2.75 trillion over a decade, enough to pay for universal childcare and free public college with plenty left over.

Fourth: A transactions tax on trades of stock.

The richest 1 percent owns 50 percent of the stock market. A tiny 0.1 percent tax on financial transactions – just $1 per $1,000 traded – would raise $777 billion over a decade. That’s enough to provide housing vouchers to all homeless people in America more than 12 times over.

Fifth: End the “stepped-up cost basis” loophole.

The heirs of the super-rich pay zero capital gains taxes on huge increases in the value of what they inherit because of a loophole called the stepped-up basis. At the time of death, the value of assets is “stepped up” to their current market value – so a stock that was originally valued at, say, one dollar when purchased but that’s worth $1,000 when heirs receive it, escapes $999 of capital gains taxes. This loophole enables huge and growing concentrations of wealth to be passed from generation to generation without ever being taxed. Eliminating this loophole would raise $105 billion over a decade.

Six: Close other loopholes for the super-rich.

For example, one way the managers of real estate, venture capital, private equity and hedge funds reduce their taxes is the carried interest loophole, which allows them to treat their income as capital gains rather than ordinary wage income. That means they get taxed at the lower capital gains rate rather than the higher tax rate on incomes. Closing this loophole is estimated to raise $14 billion over a decade.

Seven: Increase the IRS’s funding so it can audit rich taxpayers.

Because the IRS has been so underfunded, millionaires are far less likely to be audited than they used to be. As a result, the IRS fails to collect a huge amount of taxes from wealthy taxpayers. Collecting all unpaid federal income taxes from the richest 1 percent would generate at least $1.75 trillion over the decade. So fully fund the IRS.

Together, these 7 ways of taxing the rich would generate more than $6 trillion over 10 years – enough to tackle the great needs of the nation. As inequality has exploded, our unjust tax system has allowed the richest Americans to cheat their way out of paying their fair share.

It’s not radical to rein in this irresponsibility. It’s radical to let it continue.



______________________________.

https://robertreich.org/

*** Be sure to click on the citation links provided in the article/blog post. I like this about Reich in particular, how he backs up his political assertions and observations with facts.
__________________

Kätzchen

_________ ____________

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us,” ~ Helen Keller.
Kätzchen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-30-2022, 10:24 PM   #3
Kätzchen
••• ♡•♡ •••

How Do You Identify?:
Femme
Preferred Pronoun?:
She
Relationship Status:
Real Lucky ツ
 
Kätzchen's Avatar
 

Join Date: May 2010
Location: With my beloved <3
Posts: 14,590
Thanks: 36,716
Thanked 30,835 Times in 9,486 Posts
Rep Power: 21474863
Kätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST ReputationKätzchen Has the BEST Reputation
Default MSNBC: Michael A. Cohen's Op-Ed on the other Michael Cohen (T---p's fixer).

Michael Cohen was once my nemesis. Now he's just a grifter.
We share a name — but I'm not buying what his new book is selling.

by Michael A. Cohen

For the past seven years, Michael D. Cohen, Donald Trump’s former fixer, has been the bane of my online existence.

Rarely does a day go by when I don’t receive an email, tweet or direct message from fans and enemies of the other Michael Cohen (as I like to call him). One person even asked me for legal advice (unlike the other Cohen, I’m not a lawyer). For years, a local New York City car service has sent me text messages to let me know my driver is pulling up to my apartment, when in reality, it’s outside of his.

But then, last week, my editor asked me if I’d review Cohen’s new book “Revenge,” which chronicles the former Trump lawyer’s legal troubles and his claims that the Justice Department has been hopelessly politicized by Donald Trump. No longer do I view Cohen as a nuisance, with whom I have the misfortune to share the same last name. Rather, after leeching on to Donald Trump for fame and fortune, the other Cohen has now positioned himself firmly within the anti-Trump resistance, but with the same old cynical aspirations.

Cohen has publicly rehabilitated himself by making a complete 180: from close Trump associate to seething Trump hater. His contempt is palpable. Among the epithets he hurls at his former boss are “the Mandarin Mussolini,” “Frankenstein’s monster,” a truly horrible human being,” “bloviating asshole, ”the poster boy for fascism,” “an orange-faced piece of shit,” and in perhaps the book’s most vivid turn of phrase, “the largest piece of shit ever to be dropped on the American public.” This is catnip for the anti-Trump crowd.

But what has helped Cohen stand out from the coterie of Trump acolytes who have sought to cash in on their public change of heart about the former president is a tale of redemption and repentance. Cohen paid a significant price for his association with Trump — a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to eight felonies. Having truly hit rock bottom, and owning up to his mistakes in enabling Trump, Cohen now seeks forgiveness through self-flagellation.

In Cohen’s telling, he had blinders on his eyes when it came to the former president. He was seduced by power and Trump’s charisma, only to finally realize that it was all a charade. Now his commitment is to stop Trumpism dead in its tracks.

“Making amends” for siding with a man he calls “the slime of humanity” is, says Cohen, “one of the driving forces of my life.” It’s a small wonder that he named his popular podcast “Mea Culpa.”

Many in the anti-MAGA world have taken pity on Cohen. I know because I regularly receive their messages intended for him in which they lavish praise on his about-face and wish him godspeed in his pursuit of redemption.

On the surface, Cohen’s road to Damascus awakening appears refreshing. But “Revenge” is the story of a man who can’t stop feeling sorry for himself, and who is far more focused on retribution than personal rehabilitation. Cohen has some legitimate beefs. After nearly a year in prison, he was furloughed as part of an effort by the Bureau of Prisons to reduce prison populations during the Covid pandemic. But when he refused to sign a document pledging not to publish a book about Trump, he was returned to Otisville and held in solitary confinement. Cohen says the move was orchestrated by Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr to silence him. That the former president politicized the Justice Department and, under Barr’s tenure, the agency, in effect, became Trump’s personal law firm has been well-established.

I’m sympathetic to Cohen’s plight. But only up to a point.

Cohen spends much of “Revenge” assuring readers that he actually did nothing wrong. Everyone involved in his case is corrupt or incompetent — and he is a victim. He pleaded guilty, he says, to spare his wife and kids — and only after intense pressure from the Department of Justice, which he calls the Department of Injustice. His tax problems were the result of his bumbling accountant. The presiding judge in his case “failed miserably” to be “fair and impartial.” The FBI agents who went after him were “corrupt, vindictive, and intellectually lazy.” Federal prosecutors, he whines, “have done very well for themselves” after bringing his case to court. The media “had it in for him.” The warden at the minimum security prison in Otisville where he served his sentence reminds him of a Nazi commandant. (One of the few people Cohen has kind words for is, hilariously, his fellow inmate at Otisville, former reality star Michael “The Situation" Sorrentino. “Of all the miserable time I spent in Otisville,” writes Cohen, “spending time with ‘The Sitch’ was among some of the best. If ever there was a reality show that needs to happen, it would be the adventures of Sitch and Fixer.”)

Cohen’s chosen narrative creates a mass of contradictions. Early on, he defends his tenure with Trump by reminding readers that he hadn’t even worked for his presidential campaign. Yet, five pages later, Cohen boasts, “I helped get him elected president.” He says the FBI agents who raided his home in 2017 “were very cordial, very professional” — and in the next paragraph, complains that they took photographs of his “college-aged daughter’s underwear.” The raid was undertaken, he says to destroy his reputation, with the Justice Department's interest “in protecting Donald Trump.” Yet, on the next page, he writes, “the investigative zealots who came after me did so to punish Donald Trump.”

For chapter after chapter, Cohen takes the absolute bare minimum responsibility for his actions, claims he is genuinely remorseful … and then quickly paints elaborate, evidence-free, often-indecipherable conspiracy theories that portray him as the victim of government persecution, somehow orchestrated by Trump.

At the root of all of Cohen’s problems, or so he claims, is Trump’s vindictive and corrupt efforts to target him. It’s no wonder that the anti-MAGA crowd has been quick to take him under its wing. He’s telling them what they want to hear about the man they despise.

But it’s hard to square Cohen’s claims with the fact that he willingly spent years working for a man who he suggests has committed numerous crimes and is a veritable blight on humanity. He wants us to believe that only after his life fell apart did he come to understand Trump’s truly awful nature as a threat to the country. I don’t buy it. Cohen’s acid, whiny, self-serving tone in “Revenge” belies his oft-stated assertion that he has seen the proverbial light. True introspection would mean focusing on the errors made by Michael Cohen and acknowledging that he brought misfortune on himself, not a nearly 300-page jeremiad against all those who allegedly did him wrong. Cohen wants all the credit for his path toward redemption without truly making amends.

Perhaps the most telling moment in “Revenge” comes when Cohen asks himself, “Would I still be in the Donald Trump cult if I hadn’t paid for my experience with time in prison?” In a rare moment of candor, he admits, “Had I not been thrown under the bus, I cannot, with any honesty, say that I would be out of the cult of Trump.”

But in his indomitable one-step forward, two-steps back approach to penance, Cohen writes, “what I can emphatically state is that I would not be touting the bulk of the statements Donald Trump has spewed. I wouldn’t be touting his agenda of racist, sexist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic and anti-Semitic crap that has further divided this country. This I am certain of and I hope that’s explanation enough.”

We know this is not true. Did Cohen leave Trump’s orbit after the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape? Did he protest when Trump’s campaign ran a closing ad in November 2016, widely criticized for its antisemitic tone? Did he complain when Trump proposed banning Muslims from entering the country or push back on his boss’s incessant calls to “build the wall”?

Of course not. The racket was too good, and Cohen was more than happy to toil for Trump so long as he could turn a profit.

After the former president threw him out of the cult, Cohen needed a new path to fame and notoriety — and he has clearly found it. “Revenge” is not a redemptive tale of a man who has learned his lesson. It’s simply another grift — by a man who learned from the best.

(LINK)
__________________

Kätzchen

_________ ____________

“What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us,” ~ Helen Keller.
Kätzchen is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Kätzchen For This Useful Post:
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:39 PM.


ButchFemmePlanet.com
All information copyright of BFP 2018