The Dems Debate and the Tax Man Cometh 


The Democratic Debate was lively tonight. I think Bernie did a good job overall. I think Hillary is getting a bit nervous, with Bernie snapping at her heals.

The commentators stated after the debate that “Hillary cleaned Bernie’s clock,” on the gun control question. I mentioned to my husband that I agree with Bernie’s decision to vote against holding gun makers and dealers responsible, as long as they did the appropriate background checks. What no one has mentioned is WHO does these background checks? Using that thought process, shouldn’t they be held liable as well, if a background check came back approved on someone who later committed a crime?

I believe in Texas background checks are performed by the Texas Department of Public Safety, though I am not sure on that. For all I know, that work is contracted out to some third party, in my state, as well as others. The point is, it’s really no different than if a drunk driver kills someone and has a floorboard full of empty Budweiser bottles – it’s doubtful that Budweiser would be sued, or be held responsible. If someone stabs someone with a Buck knife, no one would try to sue the knife company.

You can still walk into any gun show in Texas and sell your weapons with no background check, or exchange of any paperwork, with anyone who is willing to pay the price you are asking. Anyone who happens to have paid the ticket price to get into the gun show and has cash in their pocket. And how many crimes are committed with stolen guns? (No, I have not had a chance to actually research the numbers on this.)

Anyway – it seems like the audience was giving Bernie some good feedback, from what I could tell.

Changing topics, about a month ago I had a job interview, in my industry, for a job I have a great reputation for doing sucessfully. The position was being vacated by an old friend and colleague, who gave me an excellent recommendation. The interview went really well. I found out, via FaceBook, that I did not get the position, but another friend and colleague was offered the job instead. She is about ten years my junior. Though I wasn’t super jazzed about going back to a place I feel sucked my soul out, and it was also for over a third less than I what I used to make doing the same job – I won’t lie, the snub hurt. I need the money, I need the benefits, I need something to do with my time – I am getting so unfocused, and feel that I am adrift. BUT, I will keep looking!

Last, but certainly not least, it’s tax time in the U.S. It’s no secret that my husband and I have been surviving on our 401K money for over the last two years. So, let me be a little more frank – after our standard deductions, our taxable income this year was $29, 252. My taxes, and penalties for keeping my bills paid – surviving on about a third of what we are used to making – was close to $10,000. Oh yes, I did the math, our tax rate was 32.8%.

I could be wrong, but I doubt any millionaire, or billionaire, paid 32.8% of their income in taxes – but I bet a shit ton of them paid as much as, or more than, I paid to their accountants to ensure they did not pay that high of a percentage in taxes due to all the loopholes the rich have at their disposal. To me, that is a crime . . .

On a side note – my dad’s 76th birthday is coming up, and he is a staunch Republican. I bought him a Feel the Bern coffee mug, so he could start his days thinking about his “bleeding heart Liberal” (in his opinion) daughter. And I can’t wait to wear my Bernie Sanders T-shirt 🙂

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Just some things I’ve been thinking about . . .

Everything is Broken – One-Liner Wednesday


Everything seems broken . . .

In honor of Linda Hill’s One Liner Wednesday . . . no it’s not funny or inspirational – but it’s factual.

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#1linerWeds badge by nearlywes.com

[NOTE: I really like Bob Dylan’s and especially Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s versions of these songs, but this version by Immaterial had that right touch of melancholy it seemed to deserve today.]

Just something I was thinking about . . .

I’ve got a sad heart . . .


I am truly saddened at what is going on in my country, and the world these days. I mean to the point that it is affecting my mood immensely. Add to that the fact that we are still not working real jobs (meaning we are still essentially living off of our 401Ks), and that just exacerbates the gloomy, sometimes despondent, mood I find myself in lately.

My heart hurts for Brussels right now. I’ve read that ISIS has taken credit for this horrendous act of terrorism, and reports say an ISIS supporter boasted via social media that, “what will be coming is worse.”

On the home front, in the good ole USA – I have been watching the debates, and many of the town halls, and other appearances by the presidential candidates. It’s no wonder, I have this sick hopeless feeling in my gut I’m having a hard time shaking off . . .

If we don’t find a way for at least most of us to get along in some form or fashion, and have the capacity to have thoughtful, considerate, compassionate,  unifying conversations that may involve some compromise by all – we’re all screwed.

But this is what we have and our young people are watching this . . . and learning – good or bad . . .

 

 

What a horrible example Trump sets – and I realize as a journalist how sound bites can be manipulated, but his comments are just wrong in any context, as well as the fact that I actually watched him say most of the things in their entirety.

And this was one of my favorite, “Are you fucking kidding me?!?” moments. When asked who he consults on foreign policy issues, Trump stated – I shit you not! –

“I’m speaking with myself, number one. Because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.” 

AND that, my friend, is the front runner of the Republican Party. I’d call that the major ingredient in the beginning of WWIII and annihilation of life as we know it. Just saying . . .

I hope, in spite of all these nightmarish things going on around us, that this finds you all doing well in your part of the world.

On a final note, I’ve been busying myself making marmalades, lately. This was my first year to make them, and they’ve turned out quite tasty. I made ruby red grapefruit, orange and what I call Texas Sunshine, which is oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines, pineapple, and cherries. Much of the citrus fruit came from the trees of family and friends, so that was really cool!  It’s also beautiful to look at 🙂 Like a little jar of sunshine!

tex-sunshine-marm-flowergirl   marmalades

Anyway, just some things I’ve been thinking about . . .

My Shit’s F*ed Up


So today, one of the happiest things that happened to me was I got some cigarette coupons in the mail . . . what does that tell you . . .

My shit’s fucked up!! {Laughing just a little at that one . . .}

I’m still watching the political debates, town halls and caucuses. Heard Donald Trump’s Nevada caucus victory speech last night. Between his, “We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated,” and all his, “Winning, winning, winning . . .” I wanted to bang my head against the wall and vomit. Really . . . every time he talks about winning, I see Charlie Sheen and his bat-shit crazy public unraveling. And the American people are falling for it, even the highly educated – tripping over themselves to jump on his bandwagon.

And this fight over the newly vacated Supreme Court Justice seat not hours after Judge Scalia passed away is ridiculous. The Republicans keep dragging their heels deep, and the deeper they drag, the higher Trump goes in the polls.

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are still running a close race, for now. I keep trying to get me a Bernie t-shirt to wear and freak out all my family (and many of my friends!), but they haven’t had the ones I want in my size the last few times I checked his site.

In honor of Linda Hill’s One-Liner Wednesday  . . . our shit’s fucked up, people!!!

1linerwedsbadgewes

Just something I was thinking about  . . .

The Pinball Machine


I gotta admit, I’m already tired of all the politics, and it’s just really gearing up. Tonight, there’s a Democratic Town Hall Meeting with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. I’m recording it to watch later. Right now, I am waiting on my husband to get home with our tortilla soup from our favorite Mexican restaurant. We’ll watch Richard Dreyfuss as he portrays that scumbag Bernie Madoff, while we eat.

While I was looking for something on YouTube today, I ran across a video about my pinball machine. I have mentioned that I love pinball a time or two on here. My husband surprised me with it for Christmas in 2006.

He told me he was going to be spending a little money on my present, and when I asked how much and he vaguely told me, I was like – that sounds like a lot of money we probably didn’t need to be spending, and since we had recently lost our beloved dog of over thirteen years (and my husband and daughter kept saying we needed to get another dog, though I wasn’t ready) I was worried that’s what he wanted all that money for. So, I told him I had transferred the money he needed from savings and that he best not be bringing anything home that breathed, ate, or peed. He laughed . . .

Fast forward to Christmas Eve – he had been storing the pinball machine at my sister’s house, and he brought it home that day. I have to admit, I was surprised as hell, happy and honored that he had put so much thought into my surprise gift, and excited to start banging balls.

Once he got it in the house and all set up, I noticed the images on the machine. After doing some research on it, I found references like the porn of pinball machines at the time. I couldn’t help but laugh at that one, and when I asked my husband about it, he said of the four machines the guy had for sale, this one was the cheapest nice one he had – and it was $600 – the next nicest one was over $2000. So, the porn of pinball machines was the one.

Anyway, I LOVE the machine, though it is old and is starting to show a little wear (fading a little on the wooden deck and the cabinet). It was fun finding new rubber gaskets and bulbs and a few other parts I had to order – okay so now I had invested another $300 or so in it.

BUT, it is an excellent stress reliever, I can tell you that, and often I play so hard, my aging wrists, finger joints and shoulders ache. It’s a good kind of ache, though – especially when I score high. I keep a list of my highest scores taped to the side and my goal is always to beat my highest score to date. And when you score high – it makes a lot of noise!!!

So, getting back to the video – I found this video today and it cracked me up! I felt like we all might need a little comic relief, so thought I’d share it.

Here’s a shout out to Wyrd Smythe over at Logos con carne – I was looking to ensure the date was right (1979) when I ran across this video 🙂

So here’s the Bally 1979 Future Spa pinball machine I work out my frustrations on!

(Laughing – my husband said this woman’s  big cheesy grin reminds him of Olivia Caridi from The Bachelor . . . )

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Iowa – just a stepping stone


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I just saw the late night poll results from the Iowa caucuses, and I had to share! The Donald did not come out on top, as he expected. Bernie and Hillary are running neck in neck, so close that even at 99% of the precincts reporting, it’s still too close to call.

So the numbers for the Republicans went like this:

Cruz took 28% with 51,649 votes,
Trump took 24% with 45,416 votes,
and
Rubio came in at 23%, with 43,132 votes.

Of course, these numbers don’t really mean anything, and it’s still anyone’s race. And I have to say, Iowa doesn’t exactly represent the rest of the nation. I can’t wait to see what happens in New Hampshire!

I heard somebody on TV say, “The eyes of the world are watching us tonight.” I believe that is probably true.

On a personal note – Way to go, Bernie!!

Bernie-revolution

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Bernie & the DNC (JJIJ)


I find more things on Facebook these days. I realize you have to take about half of that with a grain of salt. But this, this seems right on the mark. Thanks AJ+.

Now, I know why I never knew when any of the Democratic debates were being held –

 

Just something I was thinking about . . .

[A proud participant of Just Jot It January, hosted by Linda G. Hill.]

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Debates & Debacle (JJIJ)


So I watched the debates this last week, both of them. Did you?

I missed one of the Democratic debates, and chose not to watch the December Republican debate, but what I have seen is that the overall tone of the Democratic debates have been far more civilized and respectful than the Republican debates. All that testosterone on one stage maybe, I don’t know, but the Republicans seem to talk less about the topics at hand – the problems in this country and HOW they would alleviate them – and more about themselves and each other.

Hillary Clinton was on Jimmy Fallon last week. He mentioned something about her watching the Republican debates, and taking a shot every time they said her name – she laughed and said she wouldn’t “make it past the first half hour.” I noticed they did say her name A LOT. Shit, I would’ve been drunk if I’d a been playing that game – really.

It was a good interview.

After watching the debates, I could say so much, but let me just mention a few random thoughts . . .

The Republican debate is almost always a debacle at worst, a circus at best – and this one was no exception. Donald Trump was all over Ted Cruz and they argued back and forth many times. The moderators completely lost control of the event. Marco Rubio referred to it as Court TV – I suspect it was worse.

Several times Trump mentioned that we must repeal and replace Obamacare. Replace it with what? He never said, and I don’t think they ever asked. Couldn’t believe one of the questions was is Hillary Clinton an enabler of sexual misconduct. WTF kind of question is that in this context and setting?

About half way in, there was talk between them about how they shouldn’t be tearing each other apart – great, I agree, but I don’t want to be part of that discussion. Them treating each other respectfully should’ve been a given – so not sure why we would waste precious time discussing that, either. OH wait, maybe because they don’t really have any answers, or answers that most of us would like, agree with, or understand in the context of our problems.

John Kasich mentioned the 50+ year old unemployment problem, but I’m not sure retraining us is necessarily the answer, though that could be helpful in some instances. Our jobs didn’t go away and we didn’t become incapable of doing them with the same vigor. The insurance companies don’t want to cover us.

Christie cracked me up when he said he is kicking President Obama out of the White House this fall. We all know this is Obama’s last term, he has to leave no matter which party wins. And contrary to Christie’s belief, Obama hasn’t “brainwashed” me against guns, nor do I feel he is trying to take them from me. No one will . . .

Rubio vehemently said criminals do not get guns from gun shows. I disagree, and I know how easy it would be for them to do it. I’ve seen exactly how it works. I can show him, too. He also called the EPA the Employee Prevention Agency. Of course, I bet he has never lived too near a toxic waste site, or an EPA Superfund site, though they are way more common than you think. I’m sure he hasn’t had his whole neighborhood bulldozed and perimeter fenced with security guards. I have, and all that entails. This is why we need health and safety regulation, because we are still finding and cleaning up the irresponsibility of the past.

I’m not sure any of them actually get it or understand it . . . the real issues, I mean.

NONE of them think Bernie Sanders is a viable candidate! Kasich even laughed about it, saying no one will vote for Bernie – he’s not an issue. That may sneak up and bite them in the ass.

The Democratic debate was lively. Sanders mentioned the heroin epidemic and how the pharmaceutical companies are also to blame. Well of course they are – after decades of addicting people to their Vicodin and Oxycontin and when the laws abruptly changed to make these drugs mostly unavailable to all the addicts they have grown to spike their profits. Shame on you . . . and I saw the heroin epidemic coming, but that’s a story for another day.

Sanders said we need to stand up to corrupt insurance and pharmaceutical companies – that it’s time to end Congress being owned by big money, and get back to Congress meeting the needs of the people. Clinton didn’t touch that too much.

It was enlightening to know that Clinton makes a large sum of money from Goldman Sachs for speaking events. O’Malley didn’t get much talk time – Hillary is definitely noticing Bernie now . . .

Obviously, these were some of the little things that caught my attention, and sometimes little things are telling. I figured you have already heard all about the major points. Oh yeah – Saturday Night Live had fun with the Republican debate this last Saturday as well. I tried to find a link, but none are posted yet. That’s the one thing I LOVE about election season – Saturday Night Live’s (and other comedians’) parodies!

Oh, and what about those New York values . . . {shaking my head, laughing!}

Just something I was thinking about . . .

Also part of Just Jot It January – check it out over on Linda G. Hill’s blog.

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Diane’s 70 (JJIJ)


I love Diane Keaton and am amazed that she just turned 70 years old last week, on January 5. The Oscar-winning actress has made 49 movies, appeared on television, and won many other awards in a career acting in drama and comedy that has spanned 46 years.

Here’s a few clips of her interviews that I just love, as well as the trailer for my favorite D.K. movie, Something’s Gotta Give. She is so me in this movie. 😉  (AND yes I can be a sucker for a good romance, though that is so not all I am about. One of my other fav movies is Man on Fire – go figure 😉 )

Anyway – here’s Diane . . .

You go girl!! ❤ 🙂

 

 

She just cracks me up!!!

Anyway – Happy 70th Birthday Diane, you badass you 😉

Just something I was thinking about . . .

jjj-2016

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/

Conversations Today (JJIJ)


I am going to work hard to start posting more regularly and getting involved in writing events again. This last year, wasn’t really feeling it – though the year passed so quickly not sure I felt anything!

I also want to try and keep up with all your posts, as well. I have missed those! I spent almost all day yesterday catching up with a few. I really enjoyed that!

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Mystery Marinade

While cooking dinner, my husband came up and saw several empty bottles on the counter.

Husband:  What’s that? Is our marinade a mixture of stuff?

Me:  Yep 🙂

Husband:  OH, that ought to be good [a little sarcastically, with a twinkle in his eye]

Me:  Be glad we have stuff to mix! And something to put in that mystery marinade!  [laughing]

BTW – the chicken turned out great, mystery marinade and all LOL!

We wanted to Facetime with the grandkids today, so I called my daughter this morning to tell her. As often happens, it went to voicemail. I knew she was home, as we both share our locations with each other on the Find-A-Friend app. I left her a message. Yeah, she never called back. I’m sure she was busy today, but still.

About 6:30 tonight, I called her again, hoping she would answer and the kids would be able to get their mini iPad and spend a little time with us. Yep, you guessed it, voicemail, again. Again I left her a message.

Me:  Well I’m at the hospital, but it was just a minor little heart attack, nothing to worry about. Just call at your earliest convenience . . .  [by this time I was laughing, as I finished the message]

 Of course, I called from the home phone, so pretty sure she knew I was kidding . . . 😉

Yeah, feeling my Wheaties a little, today 😉

Just something I was thinking about . . .

jjj-2016

http://lindaghill.com/2015/12/31/just-jot-it-january-2016-rules/