For the Billionaires Bad at Math

As others have noted, Bill Gates had a bit of a minor freakout about Elizabeth Warren’s proposed wealth tax, admitting that he doesn’t know how much he would have to pay and seemingly begrudged having to do the math.

Well, never let it be said that Warren is not the billionaire’s friend. She has subsequently released a tax calculator for billionaires. The results are beauteous to behold.

It starts in the obvious way:

Elizabeth Warren's wealth tax calculator starts with the obvious question: Are you a billionaire?

Step one: Are you a billionaire?

Go! Now! Make up a net worth and see how much you would be taxed.

They Satirize Themselves

From the blog of a (seemingly) genuine gun-fondler and Trump devotee:

Pooh & Piglet Find The Best in the US Constitution

Seriously: there’s no reason to buy the guns except that they’re allowed? Joining the NRA when we know that they most probably broke laws on a massive scale to let Russians help determine the outcome of a US election?  It’s hard to believe this is serious, and yet the original blogger certainly seemed sincere.

 

 

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Wins

A while back Mano posted about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a younger woman running against an establishment Democrat (also the 20-year incumbent) in the NY-14th’s primary. For a number of reasons her candidacy was considered a minor referendum on the DNC’s willingness to run away from its base in selecting and supporting candidates.

Ocasio-Cortez was given little chance of winning, but win she did. The real questions now are, will the DNC take any lesson away from the loss of Rep. Joseph Crowley in this primary, and if so, what will they learn? Vox’s commentary on the race concludes with this bit:

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Holy Freuding Freud, Alabama: Your Court Elections Are Partisan?

First off, have I mentioned that I love The Root generally, and Michael Harriot specifically? Well, it and he have a new article up about the man republicans have nominated to run for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama.

The focus?

The man who could replace Roy Moore as the next chief justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court is a lot like Moore—only more racist and homophobic.

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Persky Recall Preliminary Numbers

At about 7:40 am Pacific, several outlets are calling the election in favor of the recall. I don’t have any updated numbers (so I’m not sure how they’re sure, though they seem to be), but I can link you to Splinter’s reaction.

I’ll post a separate update on Persky later.

Don’t know when things will be official, but the percentages haven’t been changing as more precincts report. Best guess at 12:20 Pacific is that Persky is gone. I’m so happy about that.

11:48 pm Pacific time:

With 43 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent of the county’s voters favored recalling Persky while 41 percent opposed the recall. On the same ballot, Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson led civil rights lawyer Angela Storey, 70 to 30 percent, in the election to serve the last four years of Persky’s term.

At 10:58 pm pacific time:

With 39 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent of the county’s voters favored recalling Persky and 41 percent opposed the recall. On the same ballot, Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson led civil rights lawyer Angela Storey, 71 to 29 percent, in the election to serve the last four years of Persky’s term.

More updates as the SFC updates their reporting.

At about 8:45 pm the San Francisco Chronicle reported these numbers:

With 17 percent of precincts reporting, 59 percent of the county’s voters favored recalling Persky and 41 percent opposed the recall. On the same ballot, Assistant District Attorney Cindy Hendrickson led civil rights lawyer Angela Storey, 71 to 29 percent, in the election to serve the last four years of Persky’s term if he is removed from office.

 

 

You know what’s ruining this country? Talking about racism.

Maxine Waters has been getting praise the last couple of days for her actions in standing against a bill designed to erode consumer protections. The protections in question are designed to make it harder for auto-loan companies to discriminate against people of color in lending terms.

The auto-loan business is unlike, say, the mortgage business where it’s relatively rare for the seller of a home to negotiate the terms of a mortgage taken out by the buyer. In the car business, negotiating the terms of a potential loan is part of the wheeling and dealing that goes into the process of selling the car. It turns out that there’s a lot of data that discrimination in loan terms has been happening even very recently. (This, unfortunately, is actually quite like mortgages where we know from the information that came out after the 2008 housing crash that people of color had been systematically pressed into taking unfavorable loan terms.) Because of this, these regulations have a direct impact on car dealerships themselves who are implicated in creating unfair terms – indeed the closely-connected, but frequently legally-separate loan companies don’t always know anything about the race of the buyer, but the car seller interacting with a buyer face-to-face certainly does. And it’s that seller negotiating the terms. So, of course, car sellers were a primary target of the regulations.

This has not gone down well with car sellers who take great exception to the idea that people of color being routinely charged more interest than white folks should in any way reflect badly on them … or justify intrusive government regulations. Trump, of course, is here to help out those beleaguered racists who desperately want the freedom to change people different interest rates based on race. Thus entered Maxine Waters and her praiseworthy defense of reasonable regulations on the floor of the House.

Not everyone found Waters’ defense praiseworthy, however. Mike Kelly, coincidentally the owner of several car dealerships, did not like Waters’ floor speech one bit. Not that he wanted to disagree with her, of course. He hated being put in a position where he was forced to disagree with her. The truly terrible thing about repealing anti-discrimination protections is that when repealing law whose entire purpose is to prevent discrimination based on race, the repeal’s opponents mention race at all!

“We have seen the economy take off,” Kelly, who also owns three auto dealerships, exclaimed. “I just think that if you come to the floor and there are 60 minutes to debate. 30 minutes on each side. But as I was sitting there, I had 30 minutes of Democrats coming down and talking about how bad automobile people are because they discriminate against nonwhite buyers. I said that’s not America. We don’t talk about those things.”

There’s so much to address. I’d love to leave the Jordan Peterson post up longer. I need to follow up on what happened in Gaza, Jerusalem, and the West Bank yesterday. And yet, here I am quoting some asshat white man who thinks the biggest tragedy in repealing a requirement that we not discriminate based on race is that we violate the sacred dictum that in REAL AMERIKKKA we shouldn’t ever talk about race.

Fuck Trump’s America.

 

Pat Davis: Fuck the NRA

A city councilor running in 3rd place in the New Mexico first congressional district has created a commercial that actually sounds like someone upset about the extravagant gun violence in the United States. The first words Pat Davis speaks in his new ad?

Fuck the NRA.

He goes on to criticize the anti-regulation/anti-legislation position of the NRA on gun ownership, possession and use as being one cause of “dead children”.

Pro-lifers have always been odd to me. On the one hand, I find it difficult to believe that they see medical abortion as anything remotely comparable to murder or even euthanasia. After all, think about what that would really mean. Wouldn’t the people who believe that shun birthdays as points for celebration in favor of conception days? Wouldn’t they have funerals after miscarriages? Why do they put off naming a child until it’s born? And yet we don’t see that – or at least we don’t see that from even 10% of the people who claim they’re pro-life.

On the other hand, if they aren’t parroting something that only vaguely represents a tribal position rather than a genuine and specific personal belief, then the consistent thing to do really is to chain oneself to the doors of clinics, to hold die-ins at the Capitol Building, and generally use every non-violent means possible to preserve life. Do they do that? No. The extremists of the “pro-life” movement bomb clinics, throw acid, and commit murder. While I can understand the rationale behind killing one to save two (or more), it’s not a rationale that holds all life to be sacred, as they claim to do.

But as hard as it is to come to grips with the behavior of the self-named “pro-life movement”, the gun control movement is equally weird. I do believe the laxity of US gun laws results in deaths that would not otherwise have occurred. So why am I not doing everything I can to stop gun sales? Part of it is explained by relevant differences between the situation: if you believe abortion is murder, then you know where and when murders are going to be carried out. That’s not the same as gun control advocates who believe that lax gun laws are legislative negligence destined to result in deaths at various unknown times in various unknown places. But it’s still a little weird that there seems to be so little urgency in the rhetoric of proponents of stricter monitoring of guns sold and stricter regulation of what guns can be sold and to whom.

That’s why I welcome this ad. Yes, it may have taken a 3rd place primary candidate to make the ad, but the ad is positively drenched in an honest embrace of what it means to say that legislative gun control negligence is causing death.

Watch it for yourself, and remember to vote, wherever you live.

 

Somehow, I think this republican and Malcom might agree on some things

So over at The New Civil Rights Movement, queer writer David Badash comments on goat fucking, child molester Erick Erickson‘s new story. Apparently, a member of the House of Reps went off on Trump and the position in which he has placed congressional republicans. I wouldn’t ever recommend giving the goat fucker any clicks, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun quoting from Badash’s coverage:

If we’re going to lose because of him, we might as well impeach the motherf**ker,

And that’s just the rep getting going.

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Joe Biden is a Thug, and not the good kind

During an anti-violence rally, of all things, Joe Biden saw fit to declare:

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,'” Mr. Biden told the crowd. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said ‘no.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.’ “

In the midst of a national outcry about violence in schools, prompting but not only prompting intense, renewed attention on US gun laws, and at a rally specifically called to oppose violence, albeit focussed on sexualized violence, Biden chose to use his platform to endorse teens beating on teens.

As they say in the UK, “Good show, Mr. Biden. Good Show.”