Not a Shocker

Nope, not a shocker. Not a surprise. No wonder Trump has been so insistent on not releasing his taxes.

According to the New York Times, which has obtained Donald Trump’s tax information extending over more than two decades:

“The tax returns that Trump has long fought to keep private tell a story fundamentally different from the one he has sold to the American public. His reports to the IRS portray a businessman who takes in hundreds of millions of dollars a year yet racks up chronic losses that he aggressively employs to avoid paying taxes.

Now, with his financial challenges mounting, the records show that he depends more and more on making money from businesses that put him in potential and often direct conflict of interest with his job as president.”

The Times reported that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes the year he won the presidency. In his first year in the White House, he paid another $750.” I bet most of you who are reading this post typically pay way more in federal taxes each year than $750. I know I do.

And Trump paid no income taxes whatsoever in 10 of the past 15 years, beginning in 2000, because he reported losing significantly more than he made.

Of course, Trump has denied that he paid only $750 in personal federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017, but did not provide evidence and again refused to release his tax returns.

Will these revelations have any bearing on the upcoming presidential election? Probably not. His supporters already know that he’s a liar, a conman, and a crook and they just don’t care.

As to the rest of us, we will just sit and stew and wring our hands and it will be business as usual.

What the fuck, America? How did we let this happen to us?

Senior Superlatives

Anyone who knew Ginny knew that she was not at all quixotic. If anything, she felt a lot of antipathy toward those she thought were unrealistically idealistic. And she was never shy about expressing her animosity for her more Pollyanna-like classmates.

So when Ginny didn’t win the Most Likely to Succeed award in the high school’s Senior Superlatives contest, she was totally unperturbed.

But given Ginny’s cynicism and aloofness, she was shocked and surprised — as was everyone else in her school — when she received the trophy as Most Congenial.

Written for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt Prompt (quixotic), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (antipathy), Ragtag Daily Prompt (unperturbed), and Word of the Day Challenge (trophy).

Who Won The Week? 09/27/2020

10CC3057-4EEA-4C80-B8C1-700C0FC6C906It’s time for another Who Won the Week prompt. The idea behind Who Won the Week is for you to select who (or what) you think “won” this past week. Your selection can be anyone or anything — politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors, bloggers, your friends or family members, books, movies, TV shows, businesses, organizations, whatever.

I will be posting this prompt on Sunday mornings (my time). If you want to participate, write your own post designating who you think won the week and why you think they deserve your nod. Then link back to this post and tag you post with FWWTW.

Before I reveal who won the week this week, I need to provide some background. So please bear with me for a moment.

Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that the federal government conducts a comprehensive and complete count of its population once every 10 years. This decennial process provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and federal financial support for local hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources.

The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. And even in the best of times, counting roughly 330 million people is a monumental task. In the middle of a pandemic, it becomes incalculably harder.

The Census Bureau anticipated this back in April, during the first wave of the coronavirus, when it requested from Congress a four-month extension to deliver its data. Current federal law requires the data to be turned in by Dec. 31st. The extension would have run through April 2021. As part of its request, the bureau said it would continue knocking on doors, trying to reach every person in the country, through the end of October.

So of course, Trump ordered the Census Bureau to conclude operations for the census a full month earlier than what the Census Bureau requested. With about four in 10 households yet to be counted, ending the crucial in-person canvas one month early would ensure a significant undercount of minorities, immigrants, as well as rural populations and other groups. Such an undercount would benefit the GOP for the next decade, at least.Okay, with that background out of the way, this week’s Who Won the Week winner is U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in California.

Judge Koh ordered a preliminary injunction to stop the 2020 census from finishing at month’s end and suspended a year-end deadline for delivering the numbers needed to decide how many seats each state gets in Congress. Koh said the shortened schedule ordered by the Trump administration likely would produce inaccurate results that would last a decade.

Naturally, the day after Judge Koh’s ruling, the Trump administration asked the Ninth Circuit Court to immediately suspend her ruling, arguing that the September 30 deadline must stand in order for it to be able to deliver final population counts to Congress by December 31, as it is required to do by federal law.

As Rachel Maddow is wont to say, “Watch this space.

What about you? Who (or what) do you think won the week?

Song Lyric Sunday — It’s All Relative

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim is focusing on siblings, with “brother,” “sister,” and “sibling” as our theme words. I remember back when I was a younger (much younger) man and I was madly in love with a beautiful blonde (well, bleach blonde) who had flowing golden hair. And even though, when this song came out, we were no longer dating, I always thought of her when I heard it. The song? “Sister Golden Hair” by America.

“Sister Golden Hair” was written by Gerry Beckley and recorded by the band America for their fifth album, Hearts, in 1975. It was their second single to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Their first number one hit was “A Horse with No Name.”

According to Beckley, there was no actual Sister Gold Hair. He said that the song was based on a composite of different girls. When asked if it was written to anyone, Beckley said, “No, this is all poetic license. With ‘Sister Golden Hair,’ as far as my folks were concerned, I was writing a song about my sister. They must not have listened to the lyrics.”

Beckley also pointed out that the song’s lyrics were largely inspired by the works of one of my favorite recording artists, Jackson Browne. Beckley noted that “Jackson has a knack, an ability to put words to music, that is much more like the L.A. approach to just genuine observation as opposed to simplifying it down to its bare essentials.” Beckley also said that he found that Jackson’s lyrics could depress him a little bit, but only through his honesty; and it was that style of Browne’s that led to the song, “Sister Golden Hair.” The band previewed the song for Browne while touring together with the singer, and Browne suggested the lyric originally written as, “Will you meet me in V.A.” — referring to Virginia — be changed to “Will you meet me in the air.”

Beckley said that all of America’s songs, including “Horse,” are open to interpretation. But “Sister” was a relationship song and contained a variety of elements. He said that the band always combined the elements of a song, as songwriters, so that they were not verbatim, word for word, for a particular circumstance. I love the sounds, the harmonies, and the flow of most of America’s hit songs. But many of their songs’ lyrics are, well, almost nonsensical — to me, anyway.

Here are the lyrics to “Sister Golden Hair.”

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain’t ready for the altar but I do agree there’s times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Well, I keep on thinkin’ ’bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can’t live without you; can’t you see it in my eyes?
Now I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn’t mean you ain’t been on my mind

Will you meet me in the middle, will you meet me in the air?
Will you love me just a little, just enough to show you care?
Well I tried to fake it, I don’t mind sayin’, I just can’t make it

Doo wop doo wop …

FOWC with Fandango — Antipathy

FOWCWelcome to September 27, 2020 and to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). It’s designed to fill the void after WordPress bailed on its daily one-word prompt.

I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (US).

Today’s word is “antipathy.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.