Why Are Republicans Rushing This Tax Scam?

Al Drago for the NY TIMES

❝ So, it seems that Republicans are responding to the devastating defeat in Alabama – which is part of a sustained pattern of underperformance in special elections, demonstrating that bad polls reflect reality, not bad polling, by … doubling down on a massively unpopular tax plan, whose main focus is on cutting corporate taxes.

In fact, they’re rushing to jam the thing through before Doug Jones can be certified, in a stunning act of hypocrisy from the same people who demanded that Obamacare wait until Scott Brown was seated and held up a Supreme Court seat for a year. It’s outrageous. But it also looks like really bad politics, especially given what we know is coming: calls next year for cuts in popular social programs, because of a deficit Republicans just voted to explode. So what are they thinking?

❝ I don’t know for sure, but I’d suggest three possible factors in this mad rush.

❝ First…Today’s Republicans are apparatchiks, who have spent their whole lives inside an intellectual bubble in which cutting taxes on corporations and the rich is always objective #1…that the whole game was to win by playing on social issues, national security, and above all on racial antagonism, then use the win to push fundamentally unpopular economic policies…

❝ Second…The idea is that voters are impressed by your record of wins, or conversely that they’ll turn away if you don’t win enough.

Trumpublicans repeat that stupidity all day long.

❝ Third – “I guess I’ll be looking for a lobbying job/ think tank position/commentator role on Fox News in 2019” – in which case your mission in what remains of your Congressional career is to keep donors and the party machine happy, never mind the voters.

Which is what public service in a 2-party system made up mostly of corporate pimps ends up offering to voters.

OK to drop body in trash? Why do you think that’s allowable?

Pierce County prosecutors have charged Anthony T. Clark with first-degree murder, unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of a controlled substance…

Prosecutors allege Clark shot 16-year-old Devondre Davis in the back of the head on Wednesday…

Clark gave conflicting statements about what happened in the apartment and to Davis.

According to court documents, he initially said he didn’t know why he was arrested. He later said he’d shot Davis but it was an accident. He then told detectives that Davis had arrived at the apartment with rock cocaine and a gun. Clark said Davis was near the bedroom closet because they were looking for Clark’s mother’s jewelry to steal and sell.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office has identified the the 16-year-old boy found slain in a garbage bin on Tacoma’s East Side this week as Devondre D. Davis…

Tacoma police arrested the man Wednesday after he asked some neighbors if he could put a dead body in their trash can in an alley in the 500 block of East 36th Street. The neighbors reported the encounter to officers, who found Davis’ body.

Unlawful possession of a controlled substance? Charge him with unlawful possession of a brain!

FBI busts scareware rings in the United States and Europe

Police in the United States and seven other countries seized computers and servers used to run a “scareware” scheme that has netted more than $72 million from victims tricked into buying fake anti-virus software.

Twenty-two computers and servers were seized in the United States and 25 others in France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom…

The suspects involved in the scheme, who were not identified, planted “scareware” on the computers of 960,000 victims. The scareware would pretend to find malicious software on a computer. The goal is to persuade the victim to voluntarily hand over credit card information, paying to resolve a nonexistent problem.

Latvian authorities seized at least five bank accounts believed to have been used by the leaders of the scam…

U.S. authorities also said…they disrupted a second scam, charging two Latvians with running a similar scareware scheme that led to $2 million in losses through an advertisement placed on a Minnesota newspaper’s website…

Law enforcement officials would not confirm whether the seizures were directly connected to a raid early on Tuesday morning at a web-hosting company in northern Virginia where they took servers, a move that disrupted more than 120 websites.

U.S. authorities have been more aggressive this year in trying to stem cybercrime and have been scrambling to investigate several hacking attempts on U.S. institutions and corporations.

I know there’s no patch for stupid; but, it seems possible – since there have already been a few examples in the field – for the FBI to place software on a few compromised machines and trace back control of botnets to criminal sources.

Grab and incarcerate the crooks – and throw away the key.

Free Market is not a license to steal!

Death Panels waiting to deploy – again – on behalf of the Republican Party

President Obama traveled to New York City today, where he pointedly told members of the city’s financial industry to stop fighting reasonable industry reform.

“We will not always see eye to eye,” Mr. Obama said to members of the banking industry in his speech at New York’s Cooper Union, not far from Wall Street. “We will not always agree. But that does not mean we have to choose between two extremes.”

“We do not have to choose between markets that are unfettered by even modest protections against crisis, or markets that are stymied by onerous rules that suppress enterprise and innovation,” he continued. “That’s a false choice…”

But he also lamented that some on Wall Street “forgot that behind every dollar traded or leveraged, there is family looking to buy a house, and pay for an education, open a business, save for retirement.”

“A free market, he said, “was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it…”

The president targeted Republicans, among them Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell, who have suggested the legislation is actually going to encourage future taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street.

“That may make for a good sound bite, but it’s not factually accurate. It is not true,” he said, to applause. He said the system as it stands is what led to bailouts.

“A vote for reform is a vote to put a stop to taxpayer-funded bailouts,” he said. “That’s the truth. End of story. And nobody should be fooled in this debate.”

I hope American voters take the time to examine the facts of what is proposed instead of relying on the Party of No to tell them what to believe.

Being gullible enough to believe in Death Panels ain’t going to solve your fears about Wall Street.

Thanks, Cinaedh, for the pic

Dumb crook of the day!

A slippery character

Seventy-five bottles of body lotion stuffed down his pants did not help Chamil Guadarrama make a slick getaway.

Guadarrama, 30, of Framingham, was arrested Wednesday night on a charge of shoplifting more than $250 from Bath & Body Works in the Eastfield Mall, said Sgt. John M. Delaney, aide to Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet.

When he was apprehended by mall security officers Jane Colon and Jeff Lawlor and held for police after a brief foot chase, Guadarrama was found with 75 8-ounce glass bottles of lotion stuffed into his pants, Delaney said.

“They could not fit Mr. Guadarrama into the cruiser because his pants were bursting at the seams and he could not bend over,” Delaney said.

He said Guadarrama was wearing ordinary trousers but had string tied around each ankle to keep the bottles from slipping out…

A clerk at the store spotted Guadarrama slipping bottles of lotion through his zipper, and alerted security, Delaney said. Colon asked him to stop, but Guadarrama tried to run, he said.

Given the sheer volume of merchandise down his pants – the equivalent of nearly 5 gallons – the 5-foot, 10-inch, 210-pound Guadarrama did not exactly tear through the mall with a sprinter’s speed…

Guadarrama pleaded innocent at his district court arraignment Thursday. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to return to court on March 19.

I’m getting tired of the automatic “Not Guilty” pleas. Can’t we institute a system where crooks like this ditz can plead guilty and get better TV in their cells or something – for not wasting taxpayer money and court time?