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       *** MANDOS POST *** I have been thinking about writing another post about Britain and Brexit for some time, but every time I started it, there’d be literally another new dramatic twist, so I’d stop.  But now it seems like a corner is being turned. What the corner really is, we’ll still have time […]
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John Oliver explains Puerto Rico – in 2015

You want to know why Puerto Rico is so messed up?

Blame Strom Thurman. Don’t ask because there isn’t an answer. But don’t miss this segment from Last Week Tonight from 2015. And stick with it to the end. This catastrophe was going to happen. It was only a question of when.

Meanwhile, CHIP funding expires in 3 hours.

That’s right, the funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program that provides medical coverage for 9 MILLION children, will expire at midnight tonight because Congress was too busy in the last 2 weeks trying to end Obamacare and they didn’t get around to pushing the funding bill through on time.

Some states will run out of money for CHIP by next week.

Imagine your kid struggling to breathe due to an asthma attack and you have to foot the bill for a trip to the ER. Well, you wouldn’t be on CHIP if you could afford to pay for that out of pocket. I imagine that’s going to come out of funds for rent, food, car payments, gas money, you know, stupid things like that.

This is what happens when you elect a mob and an incompetent non-politician to run the country.

Things fall apart. The center cannot hold… The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”

We are going to become the equivalent of any other corrupt and dysfunctional country.

This is what the aggrieved white Trump voters asked for. Not that they give a fuck about anyone but themselves. Unless their kid or grandchildren are on CHIP.

I have a stupid question.

Considering that Puerto Rico’s electrical grid is in such poor shape, the electric company is broke and the infrastructure is pretty much destroyed, why can’t Puerto Rico take some of the load off that failing infrastructure with a mass conversion to solar energy??

How much sunshine does it get a year? You would think that off-grid would be a priority there considering the island could do without Creamsicle’s callous remarks about self-sufficiency. Surely he wouldn’t get in the way of Puerto Rico’s solar conversion. Right?

What do you say, Nydia Velazquez?

HA! Not so stupid after all. There are renewable energy companies already looking into it according to this recent article from Reuters. Can we get Congress to push a bill through to fund it? It’s the least we could do after the horrible neglect of the last week.

Saturday: Waiting for a friend.

Turns out Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States and the people who live there are regular American citizens. Who knew??

About half the country apparently. Is our children learning?

And if you are in the half that didn’t know that, you are much more likely to feel indifferent to the plight of Puerto Ricans. You’d think that we would care because they’re human beings but whatever. They’ve got to go with the fellow Americans they have, not the ones they wish we would be.

The Weeds has a really good podcast on the White House response to Puerto Rico and the complications of dealing with a bankrupt territory. Matt Yglesias talks with Eliza Barclay and Alexia Fernández Campbell in this episode. Standard warning: Matt has a really whiney voice and in this podcast, he indulges in some mansplaining, which is unforgivable because he should know better. I don’t know, maybe he does this intentionally so people like me listen and find reasons to criticize. No publicity is bad publicity, eh, Matt?

Still, The Weeds is one of the best policy podcasts around. Subscribing is highly recommended, Matt’s voice not withstanding.

Jeez, now the Big Orange is going after the mayor of San Juan for not being self-sufficient. Why doesn’t he want to help Puerto Rico just because it’s the right thing to do? Because there are sick people who need help and babies who need clean drinking water? No, instead he wants to appeal to the worst instincts of his base and let them kick Puerto Rico when it’s down. He really is shameless. Evil is when you know what you’re doing to other people is wrong but you do it anyway. That’s Trump and his voters. Completely devoid of empathy and restraint.


Meanwhile, I’m at the mall, you know, the one where they filmed zombie movies.

No zombies today. I’m wandering aimlessly, looking for stuff I do not need and putting off cleaning my house. Does H&M sell corkscrews?

Why are they doing this?

I’ll get to that in a minute.

But first, let’s look at the numbers in the new Tax Reform package. Check out this nifty graph from Vox that shows who will benefit the most from the Republican tax reform package:

According to Paul Krugman 79.7% of the tax cuts would go to the top 1%. The 99% below them get 20% of the tax cuts.

Come now, Trump voters, is this the policy that you hoped for so desperately when you voted him into office? Not only do the middle and lower classes get screwed but the give away to the ultra wealthy blows a $2.4 Trillion dollar hole through the budget.

I’m guessing that some thoroughly mentally compromised individual is going to look at those numbers and say something like, “well, they pay the most in taxes, they should get the most back. And anyway, they’re job creators.”

Except trickle down economics has never worked for the middle class because the job creators don’t create jobs with that money.

And there is the problem. There are no incentives for the wealthy to do anything responsible for anyone but themselves. That’s why they do it. It’s because they can. We vote into office THEIR candidates, not YOUR candidates. They know how to push your buttons with abortion and affirmative action and undeserving poor people and unfuckable, unlikeable Hillary. And has been working extraordinarily well for them.

Their goal is to unburden themselves from being their brother’s keeper. For all they care, we might as well be Bangladesh. It’s not THEIR problem if your kid’s schools deteriorate as you are forced to buy junk health insurance at inflated prices and your bridges are falling apart.

It’s YOUR problem for voting their people into office. If you don’t care about your own needs, why should they?

Can we get this guy for our president? Please??

Courtesy of pm317, here’s a message for all of us from Lt. General Silveria at the USAF academy

E Pluribus Unum.

Can someone send this to Trump?


If you’ve ever wondered…

… then the Republicans have a tax cut for YOU!

You’re going to love this twitter thread from Michael Linden, Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute.

Friday Fast for Puerto Rico

Hi Conflucians,

In the past 9 years, we’ve had a lot of ups and downs. But nothing compares to what our fellow Americans are going through in Puerto Rico right now in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Aid has been slow to get to that country, er, unincorporated US territory. Some of it has to do with the President’s (not MY president) worst instincts: protecting a shipping industry at Puerto Rico’s expense and abandoning it because it owes money to Wall Street and can’t pay FEMA back for its share of its own rescue.

That’s a crime, people. If “out of many, one” means anything at all, it means that we stick up for ALL Americans no matter where they come from or what island or state they just happen to live in when their fiscal matters are mismanaged and exploited by others.

So, today, asking you to join me in this Friday Fast and give your lunch money to Puerto Rico. Here’s the latest appeal from Trevor Noah:

You can also contribute via one of the links in Stephen Colbert’s Hurricane relief page.

Here’s what you do:

1.) Pick an org

2.) Donate your lunch money for today. If I go out to lunch, I spend around $8-11. Because today is September 29, I am going to donate a multiple of $9.29.

3.) Leave a comment below.

We did this in 2008 for Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign and raised thousands of dollars. All those little contributions add up quickly. As Margaret Meade said:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Enjoy you water and crackers. 😘


I’ll go first: