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Sherrod Brown does 'rumpled serious guy' really damn well.


Yesterday was the Center For American Progress's annual "CAPIdeas" conference, featuring talks and panels by all sorts of cool progressive folks like Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Cecile Richards, and Sherrod Brown, the fabulously rumpled US Senator from Gravelly Voice, Ohio. After he spoke yesterday, he posted to the Twitters some of his ideas for tax policies that would go some way toward fixing the Republicans' Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads Act of 2017. Brown linked to three amendments that he offered last year that "would have actually put more money back in the pockets of American workers and fixed some of the broken incentives in our economic system," and which belong in any future Democratic tax reforms. Like bills that could be passed if Dems take back Congress this fall, and boot Trump in 2020.

We won't get into the policy weeds, but let's have a round of applause for the ideas Brown would like to see enshrined in tax policy. First up, there's the "Patriot Corporation Tax Credit," which would steer tax cuts only to corporations that pledge to keep good jobs -- and corporate headquarters -- in the USA. The credit would go to companies that pay a minimum of $15 per hour and which provide decent healthcare and retirement benefits. It would also require companies to cover the difference between their pay and military pay for military Reservists and National Guard members who are called up for active duty.

Our particular favorite idea is the Corporate Freeloader Fee, which would apply only to mega-corporations "who file at least $100,000 in payroll taxes with the IRS daily for at least 180 days straight." It's intended as a counter to the market wisdom that leads companies to artificially lower prices for consumers by offloading the social costs of low wages onto government programs like Medicaid or the ACA, or even food stamps for some of the lowest-paid workers. Yes, Walmart, he means YOU. And you too, McDonalds:

The Corporate Freeloader Fee levies a fee based on the number of employees at a company who earn less than 218 percent of the federal poverty rate, or $26,250 in 2017. The fee increases as the percentages of a company’s workforce who earn less than a living goes up. Companies can reduce fees by providing healthcare benefits and making contributions to employee retirement plans.

Don't pay enough to keep your workers off government assistance? You will now, fuckers.

Finally, there's the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would expand access for working people to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, because an increase in pay for lower-income people shouldn't be punished with higher taxes or loss of eligibility for those tax benefits. Imagine that!

All three of these proposals would be good for the economy, since they'd put more money into the budgets of middle- and working-class folks, who would then spend it on their families. You want to talk about the economics of tax cuts? Instead of vaguely wishing corporations and the rich might expand hiring (instead of plowing their tax cuts into stock buybacks that just make them richer), policies that improve the buying power of workers actually result in more spending on stuff, and thus more demand for stuff, which is good, goddammit, for business. It's what Obama meant when he talked about "growing the economy from the middle," and what our favorite billionaire, early Amazon backer Nick Hanauer, has been saying since forever:

If there were a shred of truth to the claim that the rich are our nation’s job creators, then given how rich the rich have gotten, America should be drowning in jobs!

Rewarding only the "job creators" for their wonderful skill at making money, says Hanauer, isn't just unfair: It's also "terrible for business. The best ideas in the world aren’t worth jack shit unless you have someone to sell to."

Hey, why don't we popularize the term Demand-Side economics?

So, hey, that brings us to this week's viral video of an entitled white asshole losing his shit about stuff he has no business losing his shit about. Here he is at a Manhattan coffee shop, threatening to call ICE on the staff and customers because he heard them speaking Spanish:

Jerkwad Trump Voter (you just know he is) complains, "Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English," which he apparently thinks is the law. Happily, everyone around him laughs at his stupidass complaints that "every single person in the shop, including some of the customers," has been assaulting his ears with Spanish. "This is America," he wails, as a bystander mocks, "yeah, it IS America!"

As the poor bewildered lover of His America is asked to leave, he adds,

So I will be following up, and my guess is, they’re not documented. So my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country. If they have the balls to come here and live off of my money--

I pay for their welfare. I pay for their ability to be here. The least they can do, they least they can do is speak English…. If you intend on running a place in midtown Manhattan, your staff should be speaking English, not Spanish!

Yeah, the people who work at the chi-chi coffee shop are obviously undocumented and on welfare, or maybe Puerto Rican (same thing), and by White Jesus, he will have justice!

Of course, if anyone working at the coffee shop does qualify for assistance, that would only be the case if they're not getting adequate wages and benefits -- not that the entitled asshole's assumptions should be given any credence. (Sure, NYC's Fresh Kitchen probably doesn't pay enough taxes to be subject to Brown's Freeloader Fee, but again, not really the point).

Also too: What the fuck is this pinche gringo even upset about? Monolingualism should be embarrassing, as former Bill Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet reminds us:

Your country, Entitled Asshole Guy? Get the fuck outta here. Also, not too surprisingly, Shaun King is trying to identify the douchey white guy, and is pretty certain he's been spotted being an asshole (yelling "you are not a Jew!" and chanting "MILO! MILO! MILO!" at a rabbi who objects to killing Palestinians) previously.

Clearly a guy who knows what New York is all about: White people who speak English and agree with Donald Trump.

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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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I'd mentioned this week that there's definitely probably a tape out there of Donald Trump referring to a black person as a "nigger," because Trump is a racist and that's sort of what they do. Sarah Huckabee Sanders won't even affirmatively deny such a tape exists, and she's from the "two plus two equals five" school of communications management. I also speculated that once the tape was released, Republican supporters of the president would flock to defend his vile words: "Hey, if you rearrange the letters in "nigger," you get "ginger" and who doesn't like redheads and the occasional Dark 'n' Stormy?"

The shameful display has already started and the supposed recording isn't even available for pre-order on iTunes. George State Senator Michael Williams stated in appearance on CNN's "New Day Saturday" that if Trump -- who's the president, by the way -- did say "nigger," it would certainly concern him as an "individual" but "not necessarily as a person that is running our country." So, uh, what the hell is that? This has been a standard argument from Republicans ever since Trump crawled his way out of the sewers of birtherism and onto a major political stage: "We think Trump is a terrible human being -- seriously, we have to shower immediately after meeting with him -- but we still think he's a suitable steward of the most powerful nation on the planet."

Normally, you'd think this would work the other way. You know, your brother-in-law is a nice enough guy. Your sister certainly could've done worse. You don't mind the slightly rambling sports-ball discussions with him at family gatherings. He's good for looking after the kids (as long as your sister is present or reachable by cell), but you'd never invest your hard-earned money into whatever half-assed business venture he's trying to get off the ground nor would you back his run for any serious political office.

I've long had issues with the "brilliant asshole" archetype in TV and movies. It's almost always a white male (because women and minorities must be perfect) whose emotional immaturity and overall jerkass behavior we're told to overlook because they're so goshdarned awesome. Do you want some PC "cuck" or do you want Dr. House to figure out that the MS symptoms you're suffering are really just because you ate a stale doughnut? Sherlock Holmes doesn't have time for your feelings or social niceties -- not while he's solving mysteries and being dreamy.

Trump, however, isn't "brilliant." He's just a guy who says "nigger." They're hardly a scarcity in the market. You don't even have to venture out to a klan rally to find one. You can order online -- same day social media delivery.

Williams argues that Trump didn't use the word "nigger" when he was in the "office of the president." It was just some youthful indiscretion when he was almost 60. I don't even know where he's going with this. Does he think Trump has changed? He routinely insults and belittles black people. He also calls black NFL players who peacefully protest "sons of bitches." Was that his way of weaning off calling us "niggers"? Has he been wearing a "nigger" patch on his arm to control his cravings for the racial epithet?

"He used the word in his personal life," Williams said. (It was actually in a workplace context -- SER) "Now if he were president and were to go on TV and use the n-word, I'd have a major problem with that."

media.giphy.com

It's heartening repulsive to see that Williams draws the line at Trump holding an official "nigger" press conference. I think once we reach that point, Trump will probably also reveal that his buddies on the Supreme Court discovered a typo in the Thirteenth Amendment and black folks' work-life balance will start to really suffer.

"I will always say using the n-word is wrong, and it's bad, and should never be accepted in our society. But just because (Trump) might have done it years ago, not as our president, doesn't mean we need to continue to berate him because he used it," GOP state Sen. Michael Williams, who is white, told CNN's Victor Blackwell on "New Day Saturday."

Blackwell, who is black, had to sit there and listen to this crap from a white elected official who is just 45 years old. You know, the word "nigger" doesn't even appear in the Dred Scott decision, for example, but that's not necessary for reasonable people to understand that it was racist as hell. We all know Trump is racist, but now Republicans can't even repudiate the worst demonstrations of his racial animus. The first black president hasn't even been out of office for two full years and already "nigger" is being redefined. What would once end a campaign in its tracks when Blackwell and I were growing up is now just an "oops, my bad."

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Conservatives want to be oppressed. Or, rather, for everyone to think they are being oppressed and to then give them what they see as the impunity and moral upper hand that comes along with being an oppressed group of people. They want it very, very badly and think it is very unfair that all the people they have oppressed have this privilege and they do not. This morning, Trump took to Twitter to vow to protect them from the worst kind of oppression of all -- imaginary social media censorship!

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