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Afternoon Roundup- Tax Day

Ok, So, today is tax day. Do you know where your refund is? I got a refund but not a rebate. 😦 Apparently, I am wealthy now so I do not need the extra cash. This happens to a lot of New Jerseyans. The money goes out but rarely comes back. *sigh*

How are the candidates doing on taxes? Well, we know that Clinton is all up to date. Yup, 30 years of tax returns in the public domain. Obama? Hmmm, there seem to be a few years missing, like 1997-1999. I’m sure he just misplaced them on his messy desk. Happens all of the time. Ha-Ha! Remember when Hillary lost a box of Rose Law Firm billing records during her move from Arkansas and the Republicans made a federal case out of it? Ah, yes, the good old days, when you could be expected to testify before a grand jury about your missing box of billable hours. And there was no THERE there. Makes you all nostalgic, doesn’t it? I’m sure that will never happen to Obama.

McCain on the other hand is busily spending his day planning more tax cuts for corporations including what would amount to a $1.4 Billion break for Exxon. Then there are all of those offshore tax shelters and corporations where various wealthy individuals and companies have socked away *trillions* of dollars.

Speaking of money, Obama is outspending Clinton by something like 2:1 in advertising. This week, he is spending $3.3 Million on advertising in PA. I saw one of his ads when I was in PA. It was one of those rally things with hope and change yadda-yadda-yadda. All that was missing was closing his eyes and clicking his ruby slippers together three times. But hey, some people like that stuff. It rarely results in a sale but you can never be too careful. If you’ve got a few bucks sitting around and you want to purchase a second or two of a Hillary spot, see this page toot sweet.

Hillary has some new proposals for keeping manufacturing in the US. One of them includes $20 Billion in plant restructuring costs to help Detroit carmakers make the transition to more fuel efficient cars. She also plans to reward companies that keep jobs from going overseas. And here’s an odd by insightful reason for it: if you don’t have an active manufacturing base, it’s a national security risk. Yeah, because you have to outsource your defense industry needs to China, for example. Not a good thing. So, she’s thinking ahead and developing policy strategically.

Oh, and as for Bitter-gate, Mom says that it’s dying down and that Obama needs to make another gaffe to keep Pennsylvanians entertained. I was going to say that tomorrow’s debate should be good hunting grounds but he’s had time to study up in the past 6 weeks. No doubt we will be seeing a smoother presentation (preferably without the use of ‘ah’ or ‘um’, which convey a sense of hesitation to the listener.) He’s probably polished his policies to a fine sheen. We are going to see a new and improved Obama. The media has already written the congratulatory post debate scripts for him.

But what I want to see is someone ask them about things that only a true Pennsylvanian would know. So here is a little quiz for Hillary to help her prepare:

  1. What do older Pennsylvanians say when they mean, “I’m going to clean my house”?
  2. What do Pittsburghers call bologna?
  3. What is a gum band?
  4. How does one pronounce the second person plural pronoun?
  5. What is Blennd?
  6. What does Primanti’s in Pittsburgh put in its sandwiches?
  7. What is Happy Valley famous for?
  8. Explain the complex liquor laws and where you can buy a sixpack.
  9. Describe the difference between Amish and Mennonite.
  10. What is (was) the significance of William Penn’s hat in Philadelphia?

Bonus questions:

  1. (from Dany): What is Pennsylvanian (or at least Coal Cracker) for “Turn out the lights”?
  2. (from Charles Lemos): Name the two Presidents from Pennsylvania. (Hint the second only had his home there but was born elsewhere.)
  3. (from Dany): Where do you find hex signs?

Ok, Hillary, just put your answers in the comments. No cheating with wiki. And all of you Pennsylvanians out there, suggest more questions.

Here are the answers, courtesy of Sarah, who thought the quiz was “too easy” (show off 😉 ):

1. “red up” as in red up the room-we’re having company (from ready up?)
2. Jumbo
3. rubber band
4. You-uns (in my town of Washington, Pa) RD: I say yinz.
5.Lemon Blennd – the drink RD: Reymer’s Lemon Blennd is a ooncentated lemon drink. Add H2O and stir.
6.slaw and fries on that Primanti Bros. sandwich in Pittsburgh
7. State College/ Penn State home
8.sixpacks can be bought at a bar, a beer distributor for a case, nothing in the supermarket or conveniance store (tho that is changing at designated stores), nothing on Sunday, liquor from a State store
9. Amish – no modern machines of any kind, Mennonite -some modern machines, like tractors, sometimes you see cars RD: I’ve seen Amish teenagers cheat at a laundrymat.
10. No building used to be able to be built in Phila taller than Wm Penn’s hat on City Hall – OK now
11. shut the lights or shut out the lights RD: alternate answers are “outten the lights” or “close da light”
12. Buchanon born here, Eisenhower lived here

By George! I think I’ve got it!

They’re projecting. Anglachel has been getting close to this for about a week now (just go read all of her recent posts). Why is it that the Obamanable Knowmen, ie all the Big Boy Bloggers, are jumping on the Obama bandwagon with such desperation, as if their entire lives depended on it? Why are so many DINKS following suit and children? Why are so many upper middle class “educated” people Obamaphiles? What is the Change! they are so hoping for? And why did Obama think he could talk down about the middle-working class and get away with it among these people?

It’s because the conservative movement’s economic policies and media messaging is starting to affect them too. They are afraid that the working classes are going to become a burden on them, just like all the aging boomer women who will be drawing social security checks in the next decade. They think they are never going to see that money so why not cut off the entail here?

*WE* have become the underclass that the bitter DINKS don’t want to support. If only WE would have been smarter, we could have gotten jobs in the new economy and could fend for ourselves. Without US, they could go their merry way in this Brave New World where competition for jobs is getting tougher, compensation harder to come by. They are barely able to keep up themselves. So they don’t want to have to share too much. The tax burden for the rest of us is going to become too burdensome. The pressure is now on them, the ones that still have jobs and benefits, to start hitting on the next layer down in the pecking order.

WE are the new welfare queens with our entitlements, the new immigrants who will work for dirt wages and can be treated like second class citizens, the new disadvantaged subgroup who will face discrimination. But it’s all OUR fault because we weren’t smart enough or not enlightened enough or didn’t like people not like ourselves. We are parasites on the new working class- the “creative class”. They are scared because The Bushies were too successful. The top is a new unattainable stratosphere, The rich took their part of the pie and the next tier, waaaay down the income ladder, doesn’t want to share much of what’s left. This is all a rationalization for leaving us out. They are giving in to the right wing media whether they know it or not. But *this* time, it’s OK for them because it’s their livelihoods at stake. Obama is giving them an excuse to dump us on an ice floe.

Well, my eyes are open.

(And MI and FL makes a lot more sense now.)

Tuesday: Tough

Guys, I broke down and watched Hardball yesterday. Yep, girded my loins and waded right into it. What I learned was that nobody cares about being called unsophisticated rubes who are too bitterly bigoted to see Obama’s magnificence. It’s no biggy. How did Tweety et al know that? Oh, you know, they’ve been around politics for so long. Plus, Bob Shrum was utterly convinced that Hillary better not try to win with superdelegates because that would devastate the party and drive away AAs and wealthy DINKS and young’uns and we would lose the election.  (This is an area in which he has a lot of experience) He forgot about the 60% of the Democratic party that actually vote. You know, women. Apparently, we don’t care that Obama will have to win with superdelegates and by suppressing MI and FL and by extension all of the other Clinton states. They just know we’ll be cool with that.

In other news, Obama won tomorrow night’s debate handily with his brilliant rhetoric and freshness. Everything he said carried the weightiness of a moment in history. His policy statements, delivered right after hers, were extraordinarily well developed and detailed. He more than accomplished what he needed to do tomorrow night. This performance has already boosted his numbers in PA and he has, in fact, already won by losing by less than 20 points. It is time for Clinton to drop out for the good of the party.

From the web:

  • Clinton goes where Obama fears to tread on the Colbert Report. I haven’t been watching Stewart and Colbert since the new year. Is it still safe to watch Colbert or has he gone to Guyana too?
  • Paul Krugman sounds pretty negative and bitter in Crisis of Confidence from yesterday’s NYTimes. Well, what can you expect from a hick who lives in the small town of Princeton, NJ? I live right up the road and the place is a real backwater.
  • Listening to podcasts frees your hands to do actual work. ( I think I might try that today…) This past Sunday’s This American Life called Leaving the Fold had an act on Jerry Springer. It turns out that Jerry was once a brilliant politician, a committed liberal and someone who could bring his audience to tears during a stump. speech. This story tells what happens when you follow the money instead of your bliss.

OK, Conflucians, go finish your taxes and don’t forget to check the box to contribute to the Presidential campaigns. Someday, someone will use it. And if your state allows you to contribute your return to various causes, consider taking them up on the offer. NJ allowed me to donate to breast cancer research, protection of state wildlife and abused children. It feels great to give back, knowing that other bleeding heart liberals across the state are pooling their dollars for good causes.