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Grats T-DaveK!

Good day and it IS a beauty. While sunbathers and those who like to take a dip in the Lake or Park District pools are a bit disappointed as, well, it hasn’t been a typical ChiTown summer. We’ve only had a couple/three days in the 90s. It’s like May or September in the middle of July. Read that, really nice.

Before we get started, t’day, a note of Congrats to T-DaveK, who became a Grampa this week. I don’t have the specifics…just that he’s a Grampa.


You may find it interesting in that Tax-Cutter in Chief, Paul Ryan is involved in “raising” a tax as is, Grover Norquist, dickhead-in-chief and leader of “Americans for Tax Reform”.


I like O’Donnell as he worked in the Senate; helped draft legislation and speaks from real experience. Give it a few minutes.

Rewrite: the GOP’s secret tax


Rewrite: the GOP’s secret tax

A whole lot of people found out about the Republicans’ secret tax hike today. Lawrence O’Donnell explains in his latest Rewrite.
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Now that you have, didja see the eenfahmoos, “user-fee”? That became fashionable in the ’80s when “piss-down-the-fat-cats-leg” economics, aka, “trickle-down” were dopted. Our leader saw that there wasn’t enough $$$ after cutting taxes, so, he and his guys came up with, ahem, “User Fees”. They couched them as not being a tax as it only affected those who would “use” on whatever they chose to charge those “fees”. Yet, a tax is what they are.


A good example would be toll roads. The only folks who pay them are the ones who use them. But as O’Donnell says, they don’t just stay where they are charged. Like many other taxes, they are dumped into the general fund. We Ella Noisemakers know that. While we pay through the butt-sphincter to use tollways, that money is also used for non-tollway work. Oh well.





Dire Straits – Ride Across The River + lyrics

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Thought I’d get all-y’all in the mood with a little “Ride Across the River” music.


Now that I have, here’s a link to US News & World Report’s item on what’s going on in DC. as far as what’ going on is concerned…


House chairman: $3.7B border request ‘too much’ – US News


House chairman: $3.7B border request ‘too much’ – US N…

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s $3.7 billion emergency request for the border crisis is too big and the House won’t approve it, the chairman of the …
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Here’s the thing. As disappointing as Barry can be/has been, he acted quickly and wjhat does he get? A response from his opposition saying they won’t…that’s the contraction for “will not”…do anything on this until after the mid-term elections in November. So, as the air-raid sirens on the right scream and wail about how Barry drags his feet, yadda-yadda-yadda, (reference former Hillary operative and now GoperGuber of Texas, as one), they will now wait 3-1/2 months before the House does anything.


In another story, one GOPer was quoted as saying they won’t do anything until the law signed in 2008…read that “The Wonder Years” or “Dubya Does D.C.”…is changed. Again, on the one hand, IT’S A CALAMITY! WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! BARRY HAS TO DO SOMETHING…NOW! Then they sit back down and do what? Nothing but wait for an act of Congress? Anyone know what that is? I mean, other than naming Post Offices and Libraries, what have they done?


Look folks, I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But I do know this. Demanding action; getting it; then saying, “No. That’s not what I meant.”, doesn’t cut it.


And before I get all sortsa “Barry’s no saint”, emails, I agree. There have been many times where he just didn’t “get it” or didn’t want to which blew up in his face. 5-years ago, he allowed the lunatic fringies to take over “The Mob”, i.e., “us”. He allowed the likes of Caribou Barbie to become household names by not calling them out when they purposefully mischaracterized things. He has to bear the burden for allowing the Tea Partiers to have gotten such a stranglehold on Congress. As of last year, there were 66 House members of The Tea Party Caucus. So, of 435 elected representatives, a mere 15% of them have successfully held up just about any, meaningful legislation since 2010. these characters make Leonidas’ 300 Spartans look like chumps, as, eventually, the Spartans fell. Oh well.




-So, Walgreen’s is rumored to be eying moving its world HQ to Ireland to avoid paying US taxes. Here’s a quote ‘splainin’ it: “I do think people now more than before care because of rising issues of income inequality and justice and the fact that large companies have come under more scrutiny,” Weber said. “People expect corporations to fulfill their citizen duties as taxpayers like everyone else.”

While several U.S. companies have moved to lower-tax countries since 2012, Walgreen has caught the attention of taxpayer groups and unions that have criticized the potential tax maneuver. They have blasted Walgreen for contemplating fleeing the United States even though it benefits from government insurance programs. Nearly one-quarter of Walgreen’s $72 billion in sales in its last fiscal year came from Medicaid and Medicare, according to a report by Americans for Tax Fairness and Change to Win Retail Initiatives, a union-backed group.

“It is unconscionable that Walgreen is considering this tax dodge — especially in light of the billions of dollars it receives from U.S. taxpayers every year,” Nell Geiser, associate director of Change to Win Retail Initiatives, said in a statement. “Walgreen should show its commitment to our communities and our country by staying an American company.”


Back in “The Wonder Years” US corporations were allowed to “offshore” their HQs and still partake in government contracts…read that, TAXPAYER FUNDED, contracts. So, they get to leave; pay lower taxes than domestic corporations or us; then take OUR tax money for themselves but don’t pay as much?


Whiskey! Tango! Coitus!


Then it gets personal as we live a short, 3-1/2 block walk from -not only — a 24-Hour Walgreens but a 24-Hour Walgreens with a 24-Hour pharmacy, with a 24-Hour Drive-Up RX pick-up window.  Talk about convenience!


Then I think about this and what I/we will do if they move thir HQ to The Emerald Isle?. There are two CVS stores, 6-blocks away and we own their stock, so maybe we should be more supportive of a company we “own”, right? That’s where this gets tricky.


Y’see, we also own another local stock which is about to do the very same thing, via a buyout of an Irish firm which will allow them to switch to Irish taxes as opposed to US. We’ve owned this stock for years and it has done very, very, well…even under those “oppressive” US taxes and even during the downturn. So, what to do? Get self-righteous and sell it or keep it and keep those dividends?


See? A quandary, no?





-So, The Rock’s “Hercules” opens Friday. I just may pay to see it as, well, it’s a toss-up between he and Achilles as my fave hero of Greek Mythology. I figured if I could watch that claptrap Kevin Sobo TV-series, I guess I can give this a try…I’ll just have to overlook little “Rockisms”, like “Do I LOOK afraid?” That aside, the modern CGI we have looks fantastic, especially the Nemean Lion and The Hydra. I’m a-wunnerin’ what the Augean Stables will look like. :-)


To correct something I heard on the tube this morning…Hercules was a demi-god…not a God…not at first. He was a son of Zeus the King of the Olympian Gods and the human, Alcmene, which made him the recipient of the wrath of the Queen of the Gods, Zeus’ wife, Hera. After his death, because of the love Zeus had for him and also because he was stronger than even some of the Olympians themselves, Zeus took him to Olympus where he then became an Olympian as well as a  God.


If/when I see it, a review will follow. You have been caveated. I am a YUGE fan of Hercules and his story.



-Had the opportunity to re-watch “Gravity” on HBO yesterday afternoon. It’s still excellent and worth the time…about 90-minutes.


Also watched “The Exorcist” for the first time. Yes, you read that right…41-years after its release. Here’s the thing. Having been raised Cathoic and educated in Catholic schools, this wasn’t something so shocking to me. I felt about this about the same as I had with “The DaVinci Code”. So what? Mary Magdalene and Jesus were more then just friends? That’s a surprise? Never mind.


-”The Leftovers”. HBO’s newest mini-series is starting to get some traction. We got more insight into Police Chief Garvey’s situation, with which I have a bit of an issue. Yes, I understand “exposition” and its importance, but did they have to wait till midway through the 4th episode to work in that the Chief’s kids aren’t really his? That his G.R.-wifey had them with someone else. Well, I can’t really say that. We KNOW that Tom is his stepson but we don’t about the daughter, Jill. After all, a simple, “You’re NOT my Dad!” from her would have served the same purpose. That may have been one of the issues one reviewer had that I’d read, in that they were turned off after Episode 4. We’re not. Not yet. So far, the cast has done well. This is a tough story. By that I mean we are watching the “left-behinds” of the 98% of the world’s population and how they cope or are unable to with that/those losses of loved ones. We’ll see.


-”Ray Donovan”. Man, this is one muthafuja  of a Showtime show. It doesn’t hurt that it seems to be so popular that

it ‘s able to get Ann-Margret to appear in a cameo.(She looked great, by the way.) Watching how Ray, (Liev Schreiber), was able to wriggle his way out from under LA FBI Special Agent In Charge’s, (Hank Azaria) thumb, somewhat, was storytelling at its best. He is…but not completely…but for now, he is…but we know he really isn’t as Mickey’s a real smooth operator and will find a way to cause more trouble for anyone who falls anywhere near his orbit, no matter whom his parole officer is.


-”The Last Ship”. I’ve come to an opinion of this show that it is kind of a “Sea Trek”, a la “Star Trek”. Now before I get pilloried by Trekkies, allow me. Eric Dane’s Captain is Kirk. Adam Baldwin’s a mix of Bones and Chekov, though Rhona Mitra’s Dr. Rachel Scott seems to be a bit of a mix of Spock and Bones, too. I came to this in that each week, instead of being aboard the Starship Enterprise, “boldly going where no one has gone before”, they do boldly sail around the world; each week encountering yet another group of hostiles/friendlies/whatevers in search of the “cure”/provisions/whatever.


As mentioned last time. The stories have some flawed plots. Still, so far; so OK. And, those Arleigh Burke class DDGs are awesome ships.


-”Under the Dome”. Well, there hasta be one flop. This show appeared to have had “legs” in its premiere season, last year. However, since then, not so.


I’m not going into how it’s become Cabot Cove, again. I will say, though, that I mentioned to MBH that there’s been a noticeable absence of anyone from the outside world trying to get “INSIDE” the dome! Last year, they tried blowing it up with a M.O.A.B., fer Pete’s sake! Since then? Nothing. Yes, it’s based on a Stephen King story and because of that, one’s disbelief has to be suspended mightily. But the producers/writers have taken it away from that and, well, let’s just say that I’m not watching it. Too bad.






-When last we met, I mentioned how badly they’d played since THE TRADE of July 4th. Then yesterday, they told their Gold Glove 2nd-sacker, Darwin Barney that he’d been “Designated for assignment”…or…they cut him. It could have been from the early success of rookie call-up, Alismendy Alcantara. Or, that Emilio Bonifacio was returning from the DL. Or, the simple fact that the guy just…can…not…hit. He’s a great guy and a team player and hopefully, he’ll wind up on a contender with enough bats in their order to cover for that and just let his mitt do his talking. He’d be a perfect #9-hitter in the AL.


-Are Rizzo and Castro giving Cubs fans reasons to believe these guys may know what they’re doing?

After last night’s game, in which Rizzo launched two in a 5-0 win over San Diego, to put him in a tie for the NL lead with 23, along with Castro’s steadier performance, should we start giving the TheoCrats some props? They dumped the Swami as Mgr. at the end of last season and changed some coaches and it seems to have helped. Yes, they’re W/L still sucks. I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about a kid who’s on a 40-homer pace who may become the lynchpin of their lineup, who looked lost last year…as did Castro.


It’d be nice if the others turn out as well though the odds are against that.



-While they’re ahead of DaFlubs in W/L% with .480 over .418, not much else to say other than wondering if they will make any big trade(s) by next  Thursday.




-Will spend a few minutes on the NFC North as that’s the “home” division to the majority of our readers.



-Have seen some prognostications of 10-6. ProFootballTalk’s Power Rankings has them ranked as 12th overall to win the Super Bowl, 7th in the NFC.


They did add some horses to their defense, which shouldn’t be hard to improve on, as last year was the team’s worst ever.


Their offense was ranked 2nd in the League n scoring last year. So, with all its starters returning; the addition of Jared Allen among others on their defense, they could/should do well.


That said, their first-half schedule is tough. A year ago, Joe’s Jets woulda seemed like a break. Not so this year. They also have to face Whitney’s Pats, in New England, as well as the Niners, Packers and Panthers. Their second half has 5 of 8 games against divisional foes. Should be interesting.


Oh yeah. Jay better “man-up” this year. He has no excuses. He may have the best set of receivers in the League. yeah. I know I just typed THAT about a Chicago Bears team. Hardta believe, huh?



-ProFootballTalk’s Power Rankings have them 5th-overall and 3rd in the NFC behind Seattle and the Niners. They should…repeat…should be much better this year. With Eddy Lacy and the return of the ground game, they are no longer a one-dimensional offense which only ran the ball to “keep defenses honest”. They lost James Jones to F/A, which to some teams would be devastating, while a loss, really isn’t. They still have Nelson and Cobb, besides their other wideouts. There IS a question at TE as Jermichael Finley still hasn’t been signed and his career may be over, though Bears fans may not think there was much of a difference between he and Andrew Quarless.


Their defense should be improved what with the additions of former Bear, Julius Peppers and 1st round pick, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. They’ve said they’ve trimmed down their defensive playbook. We’ll see. Last year, while the offense scored as good as most, they couldn’t stop teams on defense when they had to.


Two other things bode well for them.

One is Mike McCarthy noting that his teams lead the NFL with player/games missed by a YUGE margin. Don’t get me wrong. I love their “Next man up” philosophy, as it IS a winning philosophy. That said, if Clay Matthews is going to return to be  the NFL’s “Scourge of QBs”, he can’t do it sidelined with hammies.


The other? Aaron Rodgers.


Detroyit Lions.

-Well as many have said and done over gawd knows how long, with all their talent, once again, I must say, watch out. That is, if their new head coach, Jim Caldwell can impose discipline to this group. PFT ranks them 21st-overall and 12th in the NFC.

One can only wonder if the lackadaisicalness of this team under Jim Schwartz for as long as he was there can be expunged in one year.

They still have a bodacious front-four; Matthew Stafford, MegaTron among others. Every year, I am wary yet every year, well, you know.


Minnehaha ViQueens…

-Here’s another team with a new coach and some talent. They do have “Purple Jesus” up there and he’s still about as good as there is in the League.


Trouble is, and their coach said it without thinking he did, when he said his three QBs were really good. Guys, when a team talks about having 3-QBs, it’s because they don’t have 1. Even though they have Norv Turner as their new O/C, he may have proven the old saw that coaches are only as good as their players, in that since his years at Dallas with Aikman, Emmit and Michael, well, he hasn’t done quite as well, has he?


PFT has them ranked as 27th-overall and, ahem, 16th in the NFC. That qualifies them as the Hercules of their Conference as right now, they’re holding everyone else up!


Last thing. Not much on “This Date in MLB” but this: Lou Gehrig hit the first of his MLB record 23, career grand slams, against the Washington Senators in 1925.


OK, I’ve been at this about 3-hours and am tiring of it, so will sign off for now.


Remember, any day we can look down at plants instead of up at their roots, it’s a good one.






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