National Park Service Twitterers go rogue

This week employees of the National Park Service got their collective panties in a bunch when the Trump administration insisted they stop tweeting climate change “facts” via the official Park Service Twitter account. Their response was to create an “alt” account and move their tweeting activity to the new account. Other agencies such as NASA soon offered up solidarity by creating their own “rogue” Twitter accounts. This graphic from the Facebook page “Really American” sums up the week:

National Parks Rogue Tweets | Right Thinking Blog

The new administration stating what should and should not be sent over official channels (such as “official Twitter”) is not “corrupt censorship.” It is a difference of opinion about the issue of climate change, manifested in terms of what gets tweeted out in an official capacity.

With any channel, it is the account owner’s prerogative and responsibility to monitor and manage what gets communicated under their name. As savvy Twitter users, the Park Service staff should have understood things might change with a new president. Crying over “corrupt censorship” is just another example of people being unable to accept that opinions exist beyond their own.

My snarky alter-ego would add… that if the Surgeon General or the Health & Human Services teams were using their official government Twitter accounts to tweet pro-life facts, these same people would be on the other side arguing for some censorship.

 

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Tax chart comparisons for Clinton and Trump plans

Fox News shared this graphic today on Twitter, which shows proposed income tax rates under Hillary Clinton’s plan.

Proposed Clinton Tax Rates | Right Thinking Blog

 

Because no comparison to Trump’s plan seemed immediately forthcoming, I was able to ferret out the information and compile it for you here, in a pretty simplistic fashion (I know…!!) because that’s how I roll.

So, for comparison purposes, above is Clinton’s tax plan as shared by FoxNews. Here are the current tax brackets, so you can see what might happen to your personal income tax level under Clinton (source: TaxFoundation.org):

Current 2016 tax rates | Right Thinking Blog

Now, Donald Trump proposes to do the following with the tax brackets: He would create just three individual income rates: 12%, 25%, and 33%. Documents I sourced did not give a handy-dandy summary graphic like the one Fox created for Clinton, so I did a bit of research and created one myself. The documents I reviewed stated that Trump’s plan was the same as the proposed GOP plan, and this chart from the Republican tax/economy proposal shows how the three proposed tax brackets would consume the existing seven brackets:

GOP Tax Bracket plan | Right Thinking Blog

Assuming sources and the above charts are accurate, here is my super-simple chart that shows who would be paying what under the Trump/GOP individual tax plan:

GOP Tax Bracket plan | Right Thinking Blog
Using these figures, we can see the following:

  • Personal income tax for single filers making under $37,650 would be 12% with Trump, and 15% with Clinton.
  • Personal income tax for single filers making $37,650 – $190,150 would be 25% with Trump, and 25 – 28% with Clinton.
  • Personal income tax for single filers making $190,150 and above would be 33% with Trump, and 33 – 43.6% with Clinton.

By the way, the Trump/GOP plan also includes a variety of other attractive elements, such as saving the deduction for home mortgage interest, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, making childcare expenses 100% deductible, and simplifying tax rules to the extent that individual returns could be filed on a postcard, thereby eliminating the need for a federal IRS.

The full GOP plan can be found here.  And, Trump’s full “economic vision” document can be found here.

 

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Hillary’s moment

woodhullmarkerDepending on how things shake out, Hillary Clinton could become our country’s first woman president. The Democrats last week took great pride in their “historic” nominating convention, but they had to be mindful of the label “first.”

It seems that Clinton is not the country’s first female nominee for President – a fascinating person named Victoria Woodhull holds that honor, having run in 1872 from the Equal Rights Party.

I don’t watch a lot of other networks (unless I want to know how bad America is, in which case I tune to CNN), but I can report that the Fox News Network has been very careful to classify Clinton as the “first woman nominated by a major party.”

I was thinking about the historic aspect of Hillary’s candidacy as I watched her walk out on the stage to make her acceptance speech. I don’t like Hillary, but I tried very hard to “get my mind right” and look at her from the viewpoint of a supporter – as someone who was actually celebrating her accomplishment. And you kn0w – I was really torn. I have read a great deal about the Clintons, and I believe she has been working toward this for a very long time. How amazing it must feel to work for something your whole life, and then finally have your moment to shine, to claim your prize.

I also watched the amazing mother-daughter moment where Chelsea Clinton spoke and then introduced her mother – and her mother walked out on stage to accept the nomination as the nation’s first woman president, with her adult daughter there to congratulate her. Can you imagine what that might be like? In that moment, I really – really – wanted to be happy for her.

But all I could be, was sad.

Sad, because her run is so shrouded in the heavy cloak of her many mistakes and controversies, not the least of which is the very process that brought her the nomination. Is there really a great deal of pride and joy in claiming a prize that was given in the way this one was?

And secondly, while it would indeed be historic for her to win, I think it comes about 30 years too late for the youngest young women to really understand its significance. The television coverage gave us close-up shots of women in the audience – women my age and older, veterans of the 20th century women’s movement, and their faces were tearful with pride. It is finally happening, we have reached the top, you could almost read their minds.

But try to drum up excitement among today’s young female voters for a Clinton Presidency by telling them she’ll be the first woman to hold the office, and you’ll likely hear nothing but crickets chirping. “So?” they’ll shrug. Or in today’s parlance – “Meh.” And you can’t even blame them – they simply have no historical perspective from which to draw the slightest bit of appreciation for a first woman anything. They’ve lived their whole lives seeing women do everything already and there’s no memory of women NOT doing all these things, or worse, being put down for trying to do these things. A female presidency would have been a huge deal if it had happened in the 70’s or 80’s – but now? Oh it’ll still be a headline because the Baby Boomers are still 60 million strong and it’s significant for many of them. But that storyline will fade almost immediately after the election.

It’s a shame for Hillary that the significance of her achievement will be lost on the youngest voters. It’s an even bigger shame that she worked all those decades to achieve a goal, only to have it over-shadowed by the consequences of her own faulty decisions and mis-steps.

 

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Things are not looking good for ‘weird dude’ Tim Kaine

kainedogs

 

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Leaked DNC voicemails reflect frustration, hysteria of election cycle

After the Wikileaks dump of some 20,000-plus emails that turned out to – surprise – show DNC staffers rigging their election process to ensure that Hillary Clinton got the nomination, another dump occurred this week during the Democratic convention consisting of 29 voicemail messages. After exhaustive research working round the clock, we’ve compiled the following about the leaked voicemails:

  • Of the 29 voicemails in the leak, 26 were people who could be heard screaming, “SPEAK TO A HUMAN. SPEAK TO A HUMAN. I WANT TO SPEAK TO A @#$ HUMAN!!”
  • Two of the voicemails were Eric Trump: “Is your refrigerator running? Good, because it’s a better candidate than Hillary Clinton!”
  • And one message was simply Bernie Sanders asking Debbie Wassermann Schultz to “call me back ASAP.”
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Chelsea-Ivanka grudge match

There was some chatter today about whether Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump should get together for a “summit meeting” of sorts, and talk about their parents running for president. I think it’s a great idea. I’ll even participate! I’ll be the one to submit this question: Could each of you please discuss how well you feel your dad treats women?

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Obama’s legacy: the abusive spouse

obama1Watching President Obama deliver his convention address in Philadelphia last night, I was both captivated and horrified. Obviously, he is a very effective orator even if all you hear are his cadence and modulation, and all you see are the people listening with tears in their eyes.

The problem is, while all the beautiful words about unity and America’s still-evolving potential for greatness were inspiring to hear, it was sad and disconcerting to understand that they were completely at odds with the past almost-eight years of his leadership.

It occurred to me, watching him, that he embodies the typical abusive spouse: He berates and belittles you, slowly crushing you and extinguishing your light. And then, just when he sees that you’ve mustered the courage to say that you no longer believe his lies and you won’t stand for it anymore, he draws you back in with soaring words and a vision of how great things can be if you just give him another chance.

The problem is, of course, that once you detect this pattern, the blinders come off and you realize: it’s not about love – it’s about control. And that realization is key to this election: while both parties fight for control of the branches of government, Democrats specifically want to control people. Their lives, their pocketbooks, their behavior, and their thought.

It’s also critical to understanding the lure of Obama – he seeks to control, but for some megalomaniacal reason he seeks it through this cycle of beautiful, loving words vs. spirit-crushing actions:

He claims we are stronger when we are united, but as President he did not lead with unity – he led with divisiveness.

He claims that nations around the world respect us more than ever, but he did not lead with pride  – he led by apology for America’s past sins over and over again, all around the world.

He did not lead to lift America up and inspire other nations to rise to her level, he led to bring America down to the level of nations whose political and economic systems do not work as well as ours, because he perceived them to be more honorable.

He did not lead to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, he led to subvert it.

And, he did not lead to keep America safe. He led to purposefully allow – despite his rhetoric about love and a common creed – the dangerous infiltration into our borders of people who clearly do not love us, indeed whose sole and stated purpose in life is to destroy us, to eliminate us from the face of the earth.

And so his legacy will be – at least in part – as the arrogant, abusive spouse. Because although he preaches well, about love and unity and strength in America, he doesn’t lead by his own preaching. He doesn’t have America in his heart. He doesn’t accept that the core of what makes America great and unique in the world, is not love – but liberty.

And that liberty is perhaps an even greater gift than love.

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Also not a thing: the Pledge on Prompter

Look, there was plenty to moan about on day 2 of the liberal love fest going on in Philly last night, but one thing that isn’t a thing is putting the Pledge of Allegiance on the teleprompter.

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Dinesh D’Souza seems disappointed to find the Pledge of Allegiance on the Democrats’ teleprompter. Via Twitter.

Think about it: you know you cringe and mock when a singer fumbles the words to the National Anthem, right? I look at this as Democrats Making a choice between mockery for relying on prompter… and total evisceration should someone happen to forget or stumble through the words while leading its recital in front of millions of viewers.

No harm/ no foul here, it was the smartest decision they made all day.

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Build bridges, not walls… oh wait…

The Democrats love to loathe Donald Trump and his proposed wall down at the southern US border (“We’re gonna build a wall, it’s gonna be a terrific wall…”). They claim it’ll never work to keep out the unwanted illegal immigrants and the drugs.

So imagine the surprise of the conservative Twitterati when, instead of open borders at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia, they found… wait for it… WALLS!

Big ones, surrounding not just the actual venue, but a much wider perimeter around the venue. Trying to create a “safe space,” I suppose. Or something.

And not just outside, but INSIDE, as if they felt that those on stage needed protection from the unwashed masses on the floor.

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Democrats kick off their convention, an event they will use in part to mock GOP nominee Donald Trump’s “stupid wall,” from behind a wall.

But never fear, folks on Twitter are VERY quick to help a brother out. It didn’t take long for someone to post this, along with the tweet: “…I fixed it for you…”

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Calm down… Taco Bowl isn’t a slur

Regarding the DNC email leaks, I’m certainly all for exposing real bigotry wherever it exists. But I don’t think they’re calling Hispanics “taco bowls” in the tweet referencing taco bowls.

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I think they are meaning to get more “engagement” online (meaning, people talking about it) out of the photo of Trump eating a taco bowl. Which was plenty stupid to start with.

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