It's Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, and if you didn't know that before, now you do. Vice President Kamala Harris is making a big push to publicize and explain the newly expanded tax credit included in the American Rescue Plan.
Aside from being considerably bigger than the previous version, the biggest change to the child tax credit is, of course, that a good portion of it will now be sent out monthly. Qualified families can be paid up to $300 per month for children under 6 and $250 per month for older children, which should allow a more stable income source during the pandemic and its recovery; for families that did not receive stimulus checks or file tax returns last year, registration is now available at ChildTaxCredit.gov. The first payments will be sent out on July 15.
In 2012 the Diocese of Orange purchased the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove and renamed it Christ Cathedral. Then they spent several years raising money and redesigning the interior to make it suitable for Roman Catholic services. All this time it was closed to the public. Then came another year or two when it remained closed, allegedly because of "organ tuning." Then came COVID-19. Finally, a couple of months ago I checked again and it appeared to be semi-open.
I say semi-open because there's no real way to know when it's open outside of scheduled services. However, despite being told by a security person that it was always closed, it turned out that, in fact, it was kept open semi-randomly before and after baptisms, funerals, and so forth. So I finally had a chance to go inside and see what it looked like. Here's a gallery of pictures so you can see it too.
First off, here's a panoramic view of the interior:May 15, 2021 — Garden Grove, California
This space is much smaller than before. Basically, the diocese built offices around the perimeter and reduced the size of the church itself considerably. Just for comparison, the old church had a capacity of 3,000 while the new one has a capacity of 1,000. Here's a closer look at the altar:May 29, 2021 — Garden Grove, California
Here's the exterior. It hasn't changed much:June 1, 2021 — Garden Grove, California
And here's the exterior looking directly up from the western end. FWIW, this is a panoramic shot and a very difficult one to get right.May 29, 2021 — Garden Grove, California
Finally, here are two sculptures on the cathedral campus. Moses, as always, looks pissed. Jesus is ministering to some young native Americans, which is a bold move considering the church's currently battered reputation in the history of early California.May 29, 2021 — Garden Grove, California May 29, 2021 — Garden Grove, California
Tristin Goods, the father of an 11-year-old girl who was killed in a fatal car crash days before Christmas, is finally speaking up about the incident, accusing a state police officer in upstate New York for the death of his child, the Associated Press reported.
“What did I do? What threat did I pose?” Goods asked in an exclusive interview with The New York Daily News. “It is just so hurtful. The guy was crazy. It’s illegal what he did.”
Goods was stopped for speeding while driving with his wife and two children on Dec. 22, 2020. Instead of handling the situation appropriately with a ticket, the officer who stopped him not only accused his family of hiding drugs in their car but pepper-sprayed them without warning.
I wish this, this, or this in particular had been the last of what I’d written about Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s politically motivated stunts, but when you have an approaching summer, a troublesome power grid, and no real policy solutions as reelection approaches, all you have are stunts.
The latest one is a claim that he’ll complete the previous president’s stupid border wall, and will order local law enforcement to begin arresting migrants who have crossed into the state. The plan has been panned as “legally dubious,” and Greg hasn’t offered much of anything to change that. But when it comes to how to pay for his wall, he apparently has an idea: donations! Because that worked out so well the last time folks tried it.
Last year, Senate Republicans were already feeling so desperate about their upcoming midterm prospects that they rushed to wish Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa a speedy and full recovery from COVID-19 so that he could run for reelection in 2022. The power of incumbency is a huge advantage for any politician, and Republicans were clinging to the idea of sending Grassley—who will be 89 when the '22 general election rolls around—back to the upper chamber for another six-year term.
GOP fortunes have improved slightly since then, with historical trends boosting their midterm prospects since Democrats now control the White House and both chambers of Congress. But the Senate map is still a long ways away from a gimme for Republicans, and several recent developments have brought good news for Democrats.
The first of those is a new poll from the Des Moines Register showing that nearly two-thirds of Iowa voters (64%) believe "it's time for someone else" to hold Grassley's seat versus the 27% who want to see the octogenarian reelected to an eighth term. Women voters were especially brutal, with seven out of ten saying they were ready to give Grassley the heave-ho.
Trump mused about sending infected Americans to Guantanamo, seeking to keep COVID numbers down, @yabutaleb7 @damianpaletta report in their gripping new book, “Nightmare Scenario.” https://t.co/1BW2OY575o pic.twitter.com/bkSQJta7pH
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) June 21, 2021
Thank the gods of bureaucracy, without the civil service, things could have been even worse:
… The book — which draws on interviews with more than 180 people, including multiple White House senior staff members and government health leaders — offers new insights into last year’s chaotic and often-bungled response, portraying the power struggles over the leadership of the White House coronavirus task force, the unrelenting feuds that hampered cooperation and the enormous efforts made to prevent Trump from acting on his worst instincts. The Post obtained a copy of the book ahead of its June 29 publication.
The book offers new insights about Trump as the president careened between embracing miracle coronavirus cures in his quest for good news, grappling with his own illness — which was far more serious than officials acknowledged — and fretting about the outbreak’s implications for his reelection bid…
Trump’s rages frequently distracted senior officials and slowed the national response, the authors found, with the president touting his hunches and eventually turning to handpicked advisers including the radiologist Scott Atlas, who had no infectious-disease or public health experience. But the book also depicts the president as ineffectual and out of touch while his health and national security officials tried to manage the worsening outbreak…
… Rather than fire Fauci, White House officials increasingly tuned out the advice from him and other top health officials, the book says, with Trump instead leaning on Kushner, an array of economic advisers and other trusted allies who lacked infectious-disease expertise.
Trump’s top deputies adopted a similar strategy of issuing threats or isolating their rivals, undermining efforts to manage the outbreak, Abutaleb and Paletta write.
Kadlec, who had overseen the purchase of 600 million masks, took the plan in late March to Kushner — who exploded in anger, throwing his pen against the wall in frustration when he learned the masks would not arrive until June.
“You f—ing moron,” Kushner reportedly said. “We’ll all be dead by June.”…
I would very much like to see Young Prince Jared grilled, on camera, by lawyers representing some of the people who lost loved ones while Kushner played ‘Master of Industry’ with his HBS friends. Unlike his reprehensible father-in-law, Jared is just smart enough to realize how much of a criminal trail he left during the first desperate months of the pandemic.
The post Another Terrifying Pandemic Read: ‘Nightmare Scenario’ appeared first on Balloon Juice.
A New York Times story on the ongoing effects of Team Trump's spectacular mismanagement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is notable for two reasons. First, because of a seeming unanimity in assigning blame: Everyone involved who is not former HUD Head Ben Carson or speaking on behalf of Carson pins a good chunk of the blame on Carson's incompetence and lack of interest. That left a void eagerly filled by lower-level party apparatchiks who did care what HUD did, in that they wanted HUD to stop doing almost all of it.
Two dozen bipartisan legislators have introduced a new bill that would expand and expedite the visa program for Afghans who aided U.S. military and will be at risk when our forces leave Afghanistan by September 2021. The ALLIES Act, introduced by the House’s Honoring Our Promises Working Group, would increase the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) cap by 8,000, as well as safely “remove burdensome” requirements that have slowed the application process.
“When I served in Iraq and Afghanistan, I worked closely with local translators and contractors who were critical to our safety and the success of our mission,” said Colorado Rep. Jason Crow. “They performed this service at great risk to themselves and their families, but with the understanding that the U.S. would stand by them. Now it is time for the U.S. to honor our promises and protect our Afghan partners.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki crushed Rep. Jim Jordan's lame attempts to attack the Biden administration's economy over fuel prices.
Gas prices have risen from this time last year. That's not surprising given that a year ago demand for fuel during the COVID lockdown was at historic lows.
Price increases are also understandable because of cyber attacks on our pipeline as well as problems with OPEC. But Jim Jordan certainly has amnesia when it comes to prices pre-pandemic and under Traitor Trump.
Average gas price:
June 2020: $2.21
June 2021: $3.07
President Biden’s economy!
Jen Psaki was quick to respond and it was not pretty for Gym.
You forgot to mention that gas prices are the same now as they were in June 2018. Or that this time last year unemployment was 11.1% -- today it’s 5.8%.@POTUS agrees families shouldn’t pay more at the pump – that’s why he’s opposed to GOP proposals to raise the gas tax. https://t.co/tc5cDXrbJR
The schedules set up by Congress last December—with the pandemic still raging and the Senate majority undecided pending the special election in Georgia—are proving unworkable just six months later. Something's gotta give, and that something is the ridiculous amount of recess they've currently got scheduled over the next three months.
As the calendar now stands, the House is scheduled to be in session for just nine days from July 2 through September 19. Nine. The Senate is now scheduled to leave Thursday for a 10-day July 4 recess, and then to be out starting August 6 until September 13. That leaves them about 16 days for legislative work between the end of this week and a whole lot of critical deadlines tied to the end of the fiscal year on September 30. When you throw in all of the Mondays and Fridays that are on the legislative schedule but no floor work is actually done because they're travel days for members, well, even congressional leaders are thinking they have to do something.
That means getting members prepared for having less time in recess. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is softening them up. "House Democrats are committed to advancing President Biden’s ambitious agenda to build back better," one of Hoyer's advisers, Katie Grant Drew, told The Washington Post. "The House schedule will ensure time for the committee process and floor consideration of legislation as we get our work done for the American people." Meaning clawing back some of the "district work period," also known as "recess."
Ammon Bundy, the guy who engaged in a violent standoff with the federal government in 2016, wants a government job.
This past weekend he announced he is running for Governor of Idaho. But what caught people's attention was his attempt at humor. He began his announcement by "joking" that his pronouns are he/him.
— Verigo Kennedy (@VerigoKennLove) June 20, 2021
The cardboard cutout of Ronald Reagan in the background appeared as confused by the attempt at "humor" as we are. There was also a cardboard Trump and someone with a "Little Gay King" cape. So he's got those cardboard/red satin endorsements going for him.
The Government Accountability Office rained on Traitor Trumps' parade, as they determined that the former president did not deliver on his border wall claims, and lied about what he actually built.
This will not come as a surprise to readers of this website.
The Washington Times, a right-wing publication and Trump ally, put it best, "the Government Accountability Office has delivered a scorching report card on his border wall. It calculates that he completed only 69 miles of the wall system he promised Americans — not the more than 450 miles he claimed."
The Washington Times continued, "The GAO said the administration front-loaded construction of fence panels to meet Mr. Trump's deadline, and that meant shortchanging the roads, lights and other technology for the highly touted "wall system."
Building a border wall and promising "Mexico would pay for it" was one of Trump's signature promises when he ran for office in 2015-6.
As the seditious ex-president failed to meet his campaign promise even Fox and Friends attacked Trump for his claims. Host Brian Kilmeade said, "Mexico is off the hook, he's right, the president never should have said Mexico is going to pay for the wall."
State college coaches are the highest-paid public employee in MOST U.S. states.
The NCAA signed a 2016 agreement with Turner Broadcasting and CBS to air their March Madness - just March Madness - through 2032...
...for eight point eight BILLION dollars.
But "student-athletes" who take a 25$ meal from anyone as a gift? Are thrown out of the league.
This serfdom, and yes, some will use a stronger word, has to end. Already fifteen states have passed laws overruling the NCAA on student-athlete compensation.
The NCAA was hoping the Supreme Court would deem their position as "special" and not subject to anti-trust rules as they have in the past. But that's over. The Court ruled unanimously that the NCAA is violating anti-trust by preventing student-athletes from receiving EDUCATION-related compensation for their work on the court and field.
The decision is yet to be made on compensation for the athlete's name and likeness. But this ruling proves NCAA heavy handedness doesn't fly at the High Court. It's time for some serious share the wealth for those athletes who make college sports possible.
By Frank Gettridge
The past year has been tough on educators as health and safety overwhelmed instruction and learning. Moreover, an abrupt shift to remote learning made it difficult for schools to prioritize much beyond ensuring students and families had the resources they needed to thrive in an unpredictable and unimaginable circumstance. But now, a little more than one year after racial justice uprisings sparked a worldwide racial reckoning, the calls to address institutional racism in public schools are intensifying. However, making the necessary changes will be more challenging than some people think.
Leading advocacy groups marked the first Juneteenth to be celebrated as a federal holiday by calling on the Biden administration to protect Black immigrants from deportation. While the administration has recently redesignated Temporary Protected Status to immigrants from Haiti, advocates say that ongoing conditions in African nations including Cameroon, Mauritania, and Somalia make a safe return for people like Susan impossible.
She said during a press call hosted by Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) and the African Bureau of Immigration & Social Affairs (ABISA) last week that “if we were sent back to Cameroon, we would be killed.” She spent an agonizing six months in immigration detention, and without relief provided by programs like TPS, could now face deportation to imminent danger. “Cameroon is temporarily unsafe for us,” she said.
If there's one thing Donald Trump cannot stand, it's an underling stealing his limelight. Trump was notorious for alienating some of his highest profile appointees once they started to gain their own national profile. Exhibit A: Steve Bannon, who started down a rocky road after being featured in a Time magazine cover story in which he was tagged, "The Great Manipulator." By August, Bannon was out on his ear.
Now, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may be starting to muscle Trump out of the way in a bid to become the GOP's 2024 nominee. A straw poll at the Western Conservative Summit found that DeSantis edged out Trump as the top pick among summit attendees, 74.1%-71.43%. Though the top two potential candidates were separated by less than a few points, they both outshone the next contender, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, by roughly 30 points. Cruz secured the third position with 43%. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got 39% and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina received 36% to round out the top five. Attendees at the summit of some 500 people were asked to vote for all the candidates they approved of for president in 2024.
President Joe Biden has made it as clear as he possibly can that he's not going to accept a bipartisan infrastructure proposal that includes a hike of the gas tax. That highlights the essential problem of getting a deal done: how it's going to be paid for. With interest rates continuing at record lows and a U.S. economy primed to be unleashed, that shouldn't be the main hangup. The money is there to be had cheaply, and the super wealthy are there to finally be forced to pay taxes. Republicans will refuse to either take on more national debt, or to allow taxes to be raised on the people who can afford it.
"The President has been clear throughout these negotiations: He is adamantly opposed to raising taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year," White House spokesman Andrew Bates said on Friday. "After the extraordinarily hard times that ordinary Americans endured in 2020—job losses, shrinking incomes, squeezed budgets—he is simply not going to allow Congress to raise taxes on those who suffered the most." In case that message wasn't absolutely clear, Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated it Monday on CBS’ morning show. "An idea that's been floating around that certainly the president would not support is a gas tax which would raise taxes on people making less than $400k a year. We're just not going to stand for that."
Sen. Bernie Sanders, the independent chair of the Senate Budget Committee, backed Biden up on that Sunday, adding he will also oppose a fee on electric vehicles. "If it is roads and bridges, yeah, of course we need to do that and I support that," Sanders said on NBC's Meet the Press Sunday. "If it is regressive taxation—you know, raising the gas tax or a fee on electric vehicles, or the privatization of infrastructure, no I wouldn’t support it, but we don’t have the details right now." That privatization bit is key, too. There hasn't been much in the way of information from the group of 21 Republicans and Democrats who have agreed in principle to a deal, but what has leaked out shows that they've discussed having a fire sale of public assets to pay for the plan—putting those roads and bridges in private hands.
Here’s the officially reported coronavirus death toll through June 20. The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.
On Thursday, as part of a plea agreement, Mark McCloskey just entered guilty pleas to numerous misdemeanors to the gun-waving incident last year and had to pay thousands of dollars in fines and having to give up the gun he had brandished at peaceful racial justice protesters. On Saturday, he tweeted pictures of himself holding the new AR that he had just purchased:
— Mark McCloskey (@mccloskeyusa) June 19, 2021
But wait, there's more. There's always more.
After entering the guilty pleas, he stood on the courthouse steps and tried to turn it into a campaign stunt in his race for US Senate:
The Daily Caller told their audience that a man who claims to be Candace Owen's brother is just a concerned parent at a school board meeting speaking out against the new right-wing boogeyman, critical race theory.
This week I wrote a post about how Fox News was hoodwinking their audience by having Republican operatives pose as concerned parents, screaming at school board meetings that if schools teach their children critical race theory, their children will be taught to hate America and white people.
The Daily Caller featured an article from a site called Faithwire about a man claiming he couldn't possibly have been oppressed by white people: ‘How Do I Have Two Medical Degrees If I’m Oppressed?’: Father Blasts CRT In A Passionate Speech':
An Illinois father became furious Monday during a speech against critical race theory (CRT) given at a school board meeting.
Ty Smith, a weekend radio show host, blasted CRT at a school board meeting, saying that it will lead children to hate one another and that his personal successes are proof that he is not oppressed due to his race, Faithwire reported.