Baltimore photojournalist J. M. Giordano of the City Paper has been on the front lines of protests in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in police custody. Yesterday morning, Giordano and another protestor were apparently swarmed by police officers and beaten — and the whole thing was caught on camera.
Reports say that about 100 Baltimore City officers and 30 residents were involved in the early morning clash. When Giordano was pushed to the ground and surrounded by officers, City Paper managing editor Baynard Woods was nearby and managed to shoot some video of the incident.
On Tax Day, House Republicans decided it was important to vote on a bill that would remind the American people how their party had turned a record surplus into a record deficit — while helping to create the worst inequality of wealth since the Great Depression.
After years of cuts affecting the people most injured by the Great Recession, Republicans voted 240-179 to repeal the Estate Tax, which currently only applies to the 5,400 richest estates, each totaling at least $5.43 million. This repeal would cost $269 billion over the next 10 years, which will be close to half the cost of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, better known as food stamps), which benefits 46.5 million of the poorest Americans. They need that money for luxuries like breakfast or dinner.
Apparently Republicans looked at this chart (above), which shows how the richest 16,000 or so families have sucked up nearly all of the gains of the economy over the last few decades, and thought, “How can we help that top squiggle go higher?”
There’s no chance this bill will become law under President Obama. But Republicans still believed this was an important statement to make, after years of maligning deficit spending and blasting struggling Americans as “takers.” Conservatives, who often see taxes as incentives, are fine with the taxes you pay on your labor. But to encourage you to play with money in the markets, taxes on investments should be lower. And to encourage you to have the richest parents possible, you should pay no taxes on inheritance. It’s all about personal responsibility.
Why won’t Republicans let this idea die? Because they don’t have to.
By calling this tax on the people who have benefited most from the society we’ve built together the “Death Tax,” they’ve made it extremely unpopular. They also push the lie that it’s meant to help “family” farmers, without producing one “family” farmer it helps. And they argue that the money has already been taxed, though billions of it hasn’t, thanks to another tax shelter for the rich known as “step-up tax” basis. Actually, the person inheriting the money has never paid a dime of taxes on it.
It’s fallacious economics, designed to warp our economy with avaricious accumulation of wealth by those who need it least. And yet it’s still good politics.
That’s our Republican Party, where the life expectancy of a horrible idea is forever. Here are five more horrible ideas Republicans won’t let die.
1. The richest should pay no taxes — or just pay lower taxes than you.
Marco Rubio’s tax plan is amazing for numerous reasons. It doesn’t just slash the top tax rate lower than George W. Bush did. It doesn’t just raise taxes on some middle-class families as it adds $4.5 trillion to our deficit. It cuts the taxes on investments to zero. When billionaire Warren Buffett complained that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, Rubio thought the problem was that Buffett pays any taxes at all. Imagine how much more his kids could earn on their tax-free inheritance if their dad never paid taxes on his earnings! With incentives like that, why would anyone ever be poor again?
It’s a tax cut that’s so huge that New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait suggests it achieved a metaphysical impossibility: It’s too large for Republicans to believe it exists. But the massive, gold coin-filled swimming pools this plan hands out to the rich aren’t the problem for the Wall St. Journal. It’s the tax credits Rubio wants to give to middle class families, in his attempt to seem like a different sort of Republican. If we pay for those credits, the supply-siders argue, people might choose to be born middle class again. Or, even worse, we won’t be able to cut taxes for billionaires again.
Rubio has already felt the need to “fix” his plan once to make it more friendly to the rich. Looks like he’s going to have to do another draft.
It gets worse, much, much worse.
2. More war
3. Punish the immigrants
4. Keep people uninsured
5. WRECK SOCIAL SECURITY
Which begs the question of how will they pay for #2? But they already have a “solution” to that, it’s TEH FAIR TAX (i.e. TAX THE POORS).
Were you aware that there’s memory only malware out now for windows? A dangerous new trend is detailed.
With additional analysis from David Agni
Improvements in security file scanners are causing malware authors to deviate from the traditional malware installation routine. It’s no longer enough for malware to rely on dropping copies of themselves to a location specified in the malware code and using persistence tactics like setting up an autostart feature to ensure that they continue to run. Security file scanners can easily block and detect these threats.
A tactic we have spotted would be using fileless malware. Unlike most malware, fileless malware hides itself in locations that are difficult to scan or detect. Fileless malware exists only in memory and is written directly to RAM instead of being installed in target computer’s hard drive. POWELIKS is an example of fileless malware that is able to hide its malicious code in the Windows Registry. These use a conventional malware file to add the entries with its malicious code in the registry.
In August 2014, POWELIKS’s evasion techniques and use of Windows PowerShell were observed as a potentially dangerous tool for future attacks.
Unlike so many industrial innovations, the revolving door was not developed in Detroit. It took its first spin in Philadelphia in 1888, the brainchild of Theophilus Van Kannel, the soon-to-be founder of the Van Kannel Revolving Door Company. Its purpose was twofold: to better insulate buildings from the cold and to allow greater numbers of people easier entry at any given time.
On March 31st at the Wayne Country Treasurer’s Office, that Victorian-era invention was accomplishing neither objective. Then again, no door in the history of architecture—rotating or otherwise—could have accommodated the latest perversity Detroit officials were inflicting on city residents: the potential eviction of tens of thousands, possibly as many as 100,000 people, all at precisely the same time.
Little wonder that it seemed as if everyone was getting stuck in the rotating doors of that Wayne County office building on the last day residents could pay their past-due property taxes or enter a payment plan to do so. Those who didn’t, the city warned, would lose their homes to tax foreclosure, the process by which a local government repossesses a house because of unpaid property taxes.
“Oh, my lord,” exclaimed one bundled-up woman when she first spotted the river of people, their documents in envelopes and folders of every sort, pouring out of cars, hunched over walkers, driving electric scooters, being pushed in wheelchairs, or simply attempting to jam their way on foot into the building. The afternoon was gray and unseasonably cold. The following day, in the middle of a snowless meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the governor of California would announce the state’s first-ever water restrictions as a result of an unprecedented, climate-change-influenced drought. Here in Michigan, city residents were facing another type of man-made disaster: possibly the largest single tax foreclosure in American history.
“It’s the last day to pay,” one woman heading toward the rotating glass chamber yelled to a pedestrian who had slowed to watch the commotion. Inside, a Wayne County Sheriff’s Department officer-turned-traffic-controller boomed instructions to a snaking line of people. “When you get to the eighth floor, you will get a number. Keep that number! Then go to the fifth floor.’”
The eighth floor, however, turned out to be little more than another human traffic jam, a holding space for thousands of anxious homeowners who faced hours of waiting before reaching the desk of some overworked city representative down on five. Yet, as a post office delivery worker gaping at the fiasco told me, this was less hectic than it had been a only few days earlier, when the treasurer’s office had rented out the Second Baptist Church across the street. There, people waited for the opportunity to enter the revolving doors to take the elevator to the eighth floor before heading for the fifth floor to…you get the gist.
In fact, the whole week had been a god-awful mess. A day earlier, rumors had it, a woman had passed out in the elevator between the eighth and fifth floors en route to “making arrangements,” the euphemism for getting on a payment plan that might save your home.
“What happens if you can’t pay?” a slender man asked me as we dodged a new wave of people surging through the glass cylinder.
“Then they sell your house at auction,” I replied.
Polish border guards on Monday blocked entry into Poland for 10 Russian bikers who said they were following a path commemorating the Red Army victory’s over Nazi Germany 70 years ago.
Border guard spokesman Dariusz Sienicki announced the decision after members of the Night Wolves, a nationalistic Russian group loyal to President Vladimir Putin, approached the border and tried to enter Poland.
Polish authorities said last week they would ban entry for the group, with leaders calling their plans to ride through Poland as part of World War II commemorations a provocation. The Night Wolves vowed to enter anyway and 15 were seen Monday morning at the border crossing between Brest, Belarus, and Terespol, Poland.
Belarusian guards let them pass but they were then held in a hangar by Polish officials.
“These people will not cross into Poland. Each of them will individually receive a decision denying them entry into Poland’s territory,” Sienicki said.
The latest poll demonstrates once more how far the party controlling most of America is out of stride with the public.
American voters support same-sex marriage 58 - 34 percent, with strong support from every party, gender and age group except Republicans, who are opposed 59 - 33 percent, and voters over 55 years old, who support same-sex marriage by a narrow 48 - 43 percent.
By a 69 - 26 percent margin, including a 50 - 44 percent margin among Republicans, voters say businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians.
By a smaller 58 - 35 percent margin, voters say businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays and lesbians, even if it violates a business owner’s religious beliefs.
Again, there is strong agreement among all groups except Republicans, who say 56 - 37 percent a business owner should be allowed to deny service based on religious belief.
Trade Policy as a political trading chip.
Legislation allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement would ordinarily be divisive within the House Democratic Caucus, but progressives say there’s even more at stake in this most recent fight: 2016.
If they can’t stop the TPA bill, the nearly 70 voting House members in the Congressional Progressive Caucus are determined to make such a ruckus that the party’s 2016 candidates — presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton in particular — realize Obama’s middle-of-the-road approach to trade, or any major policy area, is not acceptable.
“I think if we were to keep fast track from happening here, then the message is pretty clear to the national campaigns, Hillary’s in particular, that this is an issue that’s going to energize the base,” said CPC Co-Chairman Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz.
Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to gay marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing “poor judgment.”
Mr. Reisner put the apology on Facebook, where a page calling for a boycott of his properties, the gay-friendly OUT NYC hotel and his Fire Island Pines holdings, had gotten more than 8,200 “likes” by Sunday evening.
“I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake,” wrote Mr. Reisner.
.@Avengers 2 hits overseas first, and BIG: $201.2 million. Yikes http://t.co/BO0bxj6ppm pic.twitter.com/itwgq88lnR
Independent movie theater owners in Germany, who control almost 700 screens, are boycotting Disney-Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” as a protest against what they see as punitive booking terms. The film debuted to a massive $201.2 million across 44 international territories this weekend.
The German theaters claim that Disney raised its rental fee from 47.7% to 53% of ticket sales, according to broadcaster Deutsche Welle. Disney has also cut its contribution to advertising, and done away with advances for 3-D glasses.
“Approaching the industry with these conditions is completely unusual and, for me, a scandal,” said Andreas Kramer from industry lobby group Hauptverband Deutscher Filmtheater.
The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard on Monday accused Saudi Arabia of treachery against the Islamic world and compared the kingdom to Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported.
“Today, the treacherous Saudis are following in Israel’s footsteps,” Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari was quoted as saying.
“Saudi Arabia is shamelessly and disgracefully bombing and mass killing a nation that is fighting against the arrogant system,” or world powers, he said. He was apparently referring to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been waging a monthlong air campaign against Iran-supported rebels, known as Houthis.
Iran has provided the Houthis with political and humanitarian support but denies arming them. The Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, last year, and Yemen’s internationally recognized president has fled the country.