39 thoughts on “The Weekend Weather Worry”

  1. center for public integrity:

    You paid taxes. These corporations didn’t.



    About twice as many of the largest U.S. companies reported they didn’t owe taxes in 2018 compared with previous years, a partial result of the 2017 Trump tax law, according to a report.

    This story was published in partnership with NBC News. 



    Taxpayers are scrambling to make last-minute payments due to the Internal Revenue Service in just four days, but many of the country’s largest publicly-held corporations are doing better: They’ve reported they owe absolutely nothing on the billions of dollars in profits they earned last year.

    At least 60 companies reported that their 2018 federal tax rates amounted to effectively zero, or even less than zero, on income earned on U.S. operations, according to an analysis released today by the Washington, D.C.-based think tank, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. The number is more than twice as many as ITEP found roughly, per year, on average in an earlier, multi-year analysis before the new tax law went into effect.

    Among them are household names like technology giant Amazon.com Inc. and entertainment streaming service Netflix Inc., in addition to global oil giant Chevron Corp., pharmaceutical manufacturer Eli Lilly & Co., and farming and commercial equipment manufacturer Deere & Co.

    The identified companies were “able to zero out their federal income taxes on $79 billion in U.S. pretax income,” according to the ITEP report, which was released today. “Instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes, as the new 21 percent corporate tax rate requires, these companies enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion, blowing a $20.7 billion hole in the federal budget last year.” To compile the list, ITEP analyzed the 2018 financial filings of the country’s largest 560 publicly-held companies.

    [continues listing the companies]

  2. politico:

    Pascrell suggests contempt of Congress for Mnuchin over Trump’s tax returns


    LOL, slam dunk case considering merriam webster’s

    Definition of contempt



    1a : the act of despising : the state of mind of one who despises : disdain glared at him in contempt
    b : lack of respect or reverence for something acting with contempt for public safety
    2 : the state of being despised
    3 : willful disobedience to or open disrespect of a court, judge, or legislative body contempt of court


  3. x-r,  how goes it in MN speaking of this weekend’s weather forecasts?

    with the melting snow, this will mean even more flooding down stream for southern parts of the Midwest.  terrible news for the farmers already hard hit by tariffs as well as previous floods.   these woes also have a cascade effect for the rest of the country at the grocery store.

  4. NYTimes:

    The People Demand Answers: What Happened to Julian Assange’s Cat?

    The cat had a sizable social media following that let it transcend the complicated politics of its master.


    It is a concern of the tens of thousands of people who followed “Embassy Cat” on Twitter and Instagram, watching for more than a year as an indisputably adorable kitten crawled along Mr. Assange’s shoulder and sat in on meetings with his visitors. No matter one’s feelings about Mr. Assange, the cat, who had lived in the Ecuadorean Embassy with the WikiLeaks founder as he holed up to avoid capture, was a made-for-social-media star.


    Little is known about the cat’s whereabouts now, or if we can follow it on Instagram. The Ecuadorean Embassy in London did not return an email seeking information on what happened to the cat. But several published reports in recent months suggest the cat had left the embassy months ago.

    La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, reported in November that Mr. Assange had given the cat up “to spare the cat an isolation which has become unbearable and allow it a healthier life.”

    Sputnik, a Russian state-run news source, wrote on Thursday that the cat was taken by an associate of Mr. Assange and had not been at the embassy since September.

    “It is not here,” the newspaper quoted a representative as saying. “We are not a pet store, so we do not keep pets here.”

    The Ecuadorean government, among a set of new rules delivered to Mr. Assange last year, requested that he do a better job looking after his cat, threatening to send the cat to an animal shelter if Mr. Assange did not comply.

    The cat was largely known as Embassy Cat, but Mr. Assange said in a 2017 interview with The New Yorker that he called the cat Michi or Cat-stro.

    Since its first post in May 2016, the account has not been able to resist a cat pun, though it does not stray far from the basics. It wished followers a good “Meow-ning,” drank “Meow-lk” and demanded action “immeowdiately.” It sought “purrfection” and was interested in “counter-purrveillance.”

    The Instagram account has not uploaded a new photo since March 2017, while the Twitter account has not been active since March 2018.

  5. great picture of said cat at 2:52 minutes in in video below with further info from trevor noah


  6. the hill:

    Thousands of Russian Twitter accounts turned their misinformation focus to supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in 2016 after he lost the Democratic Primary to Hillary Clinton.

    A study by Clemson University researchers reported by The Washington Post found that thousands of tweets from Russian-owned accounts masquerading as conservative accounts supporting President Trump began targeting Sanders’s supporters shortly after the primary concluded.

    “#BlackMenForBernie Leader Switches to Trump! I will Never Vote for Hillary, Welcome aboard the Trump Train,” read one tweet sent by a Russian account pretending to be a “Southern., Conservative Pro God, Anti Racism” Twitter user from Texas.

    “Conscious Bernie Sanders supporters already moving towards the best candidate Trump! #Feel the Bern #Vote Trump 2016,” read another account known as “Red Louisiana News” that was actually operated by Russians.

    It’s not clear how successful or effective the efforts were.

    About 12 percent of Sanders voters said they ended up voting for Trump over Clinton in the general election, according to The Post. That was smaller than the 24 percent of Clinton supporters who said they voted for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in his 2008 bid for the White House against the eventual winner, President Obama.

    Still, the number of Sanders voters who supported Trump in key swing states (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania) was higher than Trump’s margin of victory in those states.

    “I think there is no question that Sanders was central to their strategy,” Darren Linvill, one of the two Clemson researchers behind the study, told the Post. “He was clearly used as a mechanism to decrease voter turnout for Hillary Clinton.” 

    A spokesman for Clinton said that it was imperative that Democrats work together in 2020 to stop Russian disinformation efforts aiding the president, and work to defeat Trump.

    It’s important for “everyone else, especially Democratic candidates, to work together and support each other to defend against these threats,” Nick Merrill told the Post.

    The Hill has reached out to the Sanders campaign for comment.



    repeated from above for emphasis: “the number of Sanders voters who supported Trump in key swing states (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania) was higher than Trump’s margin of victory in those states”

  7. LOL.  Haillary has retained her sense of humor, making a pretty funny comment about Assange and SFB.

    The moderator wondered whether Hillary Clinton might have thoughts on Julian Assange’s arrest — noting that Clinton has “some familiarity” with the WikiLeaks founder’s work.
    “I do, I do,” she replied, laughing, three years after WikiLeaks published leaked emails from her campaign chairman, along with a trove of emails sent to and from her private server.
    Following Assange’s arrest in London on an unrelated U.S. hacking charge, Clinton said that he should be held responsible.
    “The bottom line is he has to answer for what he has done, at least as it’s been charged,” she said on a stage in New York.
    Then she joked: “I do think it’s a little ironic that he may be the only foreigner that this administration would welcome to the United States.”

    Oh, and it’s supposed to rain here this weekend.  The sky is filling…

  8. April 15th here is supposed to be raining like hell.  But if you live in Massachusetts, it’s a holiday… Patriots Day…  the Boston Marathon.  So their taxes aren’t due until Tuesday the 16th.

  9. Everyone loves running in the pouring rain, and dealing with the additional traffic in Boston the Marathon brings right?

  10. Had nothing else to do so I listened again to “Revolution #9″……it’s still strange, after all these years.

  11. Thanks for asking, Ms Pat. It snowed here. After weeks without it, a few hundred of us forgot how to drive in the stuff and had car accidents. However, this wasn’t a monster. Yet. 

  12. How much snow did you get XR, and was the “us” in your comment globally describing Minnesotans or personal?

  13. Sturg, some things don’t improve with time – not sure about Revolution #9 – but I’m in your camp – still strange.  I didn’t quite get it back then and still don’t.  Must be art.

  14. The most calming thing I’m doing today is my taxes.
    I have the soul of a CPA. Just put me over in the corner and let me crunch the numbers. Why do you have to be old before you realize what you were destined to be
    love you all

  15. Revolution # 9
    ooooh let me get that on the list
    It is appropriate for a memorial service right?

    ok maybe if I make a trip to Colorado for brownies

  16. I just read yesterdays thread, even the parrot who usually wants to bite a chunk out of my hand wants to comfort me. 
    yes I am tearing up. and thankyou seems so limited.
    Sherry’s passion was her neighborhood and we set up a 501c3 several years ago to collect donations and grants. McCoy friends Y amigos. It is tax deductible check it out.  Be sure to leave me your contact information so I can verify your contribution
    The website
    scroll down until you find the paypal donate button

  17. Everyone of them knew that as time went by they’d
    Get a little bit older and a little bit slower but
    It’s all the same thing, in this case manufactured by
    Someone who’s always umpteen


    fragment from revolution #9 to ponder

  18. wapo:

    An American political consultant whose guilty plea marked the first confirmation that illegal foreign money was used to help fund Donald Trump’s inaugural committee was sentenced to probation Friday by a federal judge who cited his cooperation with U.S. prosecutors.


    W. Samuel Patten, 47, in August admitted steering $50,000 from a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician to Trump’s committee in an investigation spun off from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Patten acknowledged he was helped by a Russian national who is a longtime associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and the case was referred to prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington and the Justice Department’s national security division.


    Before he was sentenced, Patten, accompanied in court by his wife, sister and friends and neighbors, thanked the judge for her handling of his case and asked for a sentence that would permit him to “continue in whatever way I can to serve my country.”

    In sparing Patten from prison, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson accepted prosecutors’ request for leniency and noted no federal sentencing guideline directly applies to his offense of failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. Patten’s defense sought probation citing the substantial assistance he provided in several ongoing, undisclosed investigations.


    He was sentenced to three years of probation, 500 hours of community service and fined $5,000.


    Patten’s offenses were “not a technicality, and not an oversight,” Jackson said in court, but serious offenses calculated to influence public policy and opinion in the United States for a foreign government “without telling the American people that it was those very Ukrainians paying you to do the talking.”

    “The whole point, and only point, of the FARA (Foreign Agent Registration Act) statute is to ensure transparency in the public policy and the political process,” Jackson said. “If people don’t have the facts, then democracy doesn’t work.”

    Patten “earned the trust of the government and became a reliable and valuable resource” for Mueller’s Russia investigation and prosecutors with the U.S. attorney’s office, Patten’s attorney Stuart A. Sears said in sentencing papers.


    Jackson referred to that assistance, noting Patten did not try to justify or blame his actions on others, “and more importantly, you’ve done everything in your power to make amends” by assisting prosecutors.


    “This is not a picture of someone who’s motivated by greed, someone who sells his services to the highest bidder, or someone who’s looking for a cushy or comfortable situation,” Jackson said.


    Patten has been released on his own recognizance since pleading guilty Aug. 31.


    Without that cooperation in the case, Jackson said she would have considered some prison time for Patten’s lying in the Senate’s Russia probe.

    The judge also distinguished his case from Mueller defendant Paul Manafort’s. The former Trump campaign chairman is was given a 7-1/2 year prison term for hiding tens of millions of dollars of income from undisclosed lobbying work for a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician. Manafort’s term includes 30 months Jackson imposed for conspiracy to defraud the United States by abusing FARA and other laws.


    “Just to clarify, my prior sentence for Paul Manafort was not” just for conspiring to violate FARA, but also to violate foreign bank account registration requirements,] income tax and money laundering laws, Jackson said.


    Assistant U.S. Attorney Fernando Campoamor-Sanchez agreed, saying Patten “really is in a different position [from other FARA cases], we believe in a positive way.”




  19. Rev 9 is really interesting–it never made it onto Armed Forces Radio so this is the first time I’ve heard it. I’ll see if I can get it to do its thing in surround sound in the media room.

  20. more on that “from Russia with love” bernie story.  this time from wapo:

    Inside the Russian effort to target Sanders supporters — and help elect Trump


    One reason that Sanders was on Russia’s radar has been little noted: he, like Trump, opposed trade deals such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Russian President Vladimir Putin had been critical of the TPP, saying it was secretive and “hardly facilitates sustainable development of Asia Pacific.”


    During the primaries, Sanders gave at least three interviews to a Russia-controlled television network, RT, in which his trade stance was highlighted. The network in February 2016 criticized MSNBC for breaking away from Sanders after he said he was “helping to lead the opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.” The network posted a story headlined, “Bernie Sanders ‘censored’ by MSNBC while criticizing trade deal.” 


    Around the same time that Sanders was featured on RT, Russian employees at the Internet Research Agency were given a document explaining how to influence the U.S. election. The workers were told to “use any opportunity to criticize Hillary and the rest (except Sanders and Trump — we support them),” according to Mueller’s indictment of the Russians. 

    The Twitter database shows the impact. The tweets sent from Russia, cloaked to look as though they came from Americans, included: “Bernie Sanders looks to black voters to boost his underdog campaign”; “Hillary Clinton’s summer of drama creates openings for Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden”; and “I’m for Bernie all the way!” 


    Then, in July 2016, WikiLeaks released emails from the Democratic National Committee that suggested the party machinery was tilted against Sanders. The DNC computers were later revealed to have been hacked by Russia. The hack prompted Trump to stoke the divide among Democrats. “Leaked e-mails of DNC show plans to destroy Bernie Sanders,” Trump tweeted July 23, 2016. “. . . On-line from Wikileakes [sic], really vicious. RIGGED!” 


  21. was thinking about music for Mrs jacks memorial service. As she was a Beatles fan and she has the whole box set…..
    Which album should I choose?

  22. Jack, that’s a decision only you can make. I suspect as you go through the cuts on the albums you’ll come across ones that will break your heart, and others that will bring forth incredibly joyful memories. For a memorial service, I think one of the goals is allowing the participants to be uplifted in the Celebration of Life. I would let that guide my selection. And, that would give me something to talk about mingling after the service. Flatus

  23. Mr Pogo,
    We got about 4″ of snow yesterday, and another 2 or 3″ today. People are yakking about ‘dirty Texas snow’. 

    It looks like the sun is trying to peek through right now – 2pm CDT.

  24. Because we make oodles of phone calls to Canada, and a few to Mexico, it was a surprise to discover that our phone service does not stretch to Europe.
    I want to make a dozen or two phone calls, up to 15 mins in length each, to Britain and W. Europe. Does anyone have any suggestions for a 1. cheap, 2. easy for an old not-so-techie guy to access, 3. cancel anytime service ?

  25. XR, when can you plant things outside? All of our flowers are set and I have our tomatoes ready to go outside tomorrow. Down here, the normal guideline is to wait until Easter which, in a normal year, would already have been celebrated.

  26. XR, I have a carrier, viatalk.com, that runs over my excellent hi-speed internet connection and goes everywhere. It’s what Ma Bell could and should have been. I have full-featured old-fashioned phones all over the house.

  27. A friend of ours who has multiple special needs is going to be traveling around in Europe for a week or so. Sweetie and I want to make sure that he can get to planes, trains, cabs, hotels, conferences, eateries and bathrooms, safely and on time. It’ll mean calling airports and hotels in particular. Any suggestions will be gratefully accepted.

  28. Mr Flatus, here in St Paul we can safely plant on May 15th. In the Mississippi Valley south from Lake Pepin, one can safely plant a week or two earlier. Outside of the Metro high pressure cell, the safe date is probably May 20th. There are places in the northern part of the state that aren’t safe until the first week of June. 
    Sweetie has been to Charleston, but my experiences of SC have only been in the far north, around the ill-named Clemson University. 

  29. With the added detail you provided, if he has a premium credit card, he may be able to shift much of the burden to their travel service.

  30. X-R
    Do a google search independent travel for the special needs traveler and add the issues and what you want to do  there are a few travel agencies that specialize in this type of thing and they may already have the framework in place.

  31. Here there and everywhere
    All you need is love
    Happy just to dance with you
    Let it be
    Because (the world is round)

  32. We talked to the dottir in Europa just the other day, but since the other part of “we” isn’t in the Aries right now, I haven’t a clue about how it was done.

  33. Jack, there’s not much I could add to Sturg’s suggestions.  
    Although, the Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/ The End medley is a good one – depending upon the tone you are trying to set for the memorial.  

  34. XR, if you get a good answer to your cheap euro telephone conundrum, share it please.  AT&T looks like it’s trying to raise money to put its kid through college with its rates – $10/day per device.  I’m betting you can get a prepaid phone there for less.  Try browsing this.

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