I Cannot Support the GOP’s Tax Reform Plan As It Stands

I am pro-life. I will not vote for a pro-abortion candidate. And it disgusts me that the GOP continues to fund Planned Parenthood. But they have decided to scrap the adoption tax credit from their tax reform plan.

Adoptions in this country are costly, bureaucratic affairs. Under current tax law, families can get a credit of up to $13,460 for the costs of adoption. It is a tremendous help to parents who want to bring orphaned children into their homes. I know many people who have tried to adopt. It is an emotional and costly process. The tax credit helps alleviate some of the cost, which in turn can help alleviate some of the emotional strain families suffer going through the process.

The GOP calls itself a pro-life party. But it continues to fund Planned Parenthood and now wants to kill the adoption tax credit.

I’d rather kill the tax reform plan.

This really is a hill to die on in the fight for tax reform and you should call on your member of congress to oppose this plan unless the adoption tax credit is restored.

Papa John’s Cites NFL Protests for Sluggish Pizza Sales

Papa John’s, the official pizza company affiliated with the NFL, is not too keen on the football players protesting the national anthem, suggesting these very action are hurting company sales.

“The NFL has hurt us,” company founder and CEO John Schnatter said. “We are disappointed the NFL and its leadership did not resolve this.”

https://twitter.com/i/moments/925791849230475264

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter added.

Papa John’s stock is reportedly down 8.5 percent as of yesterday.  The company not only has a deal with the NFL, but 23 different teams comprising the league.

Schnatter, who is reportedly a Republican, has been in the news before. In 2012, he said escalating healthcare costs under Obamacare will contribute to the rise of pizza prizes. He also took flak for his defense of buying himself a 24,000-square-foot home.

Earlier this year, he published a book called Papa: The Story of Papa John’s Pizza in which he slammed regulation and compared the U.S. in 2016 to 19th century Germany.

“America in 2016 is on the path to becoming what Germany was in 1867,” Schnatter wrote in his new book, per Business Insider.

“If you believed the wrong thing, the government attacked you. If you became successful, the government took your money,” he said. “And if you dared go against the whims and will of society’s rulers, the government beheaded you.”

“You’ve got to have free markets with limited government, with the proper amount of regulation where you don’t jam entrepreneurship,” Schnatter continued.

It’ll be interesting to see how the company will be affected by this in the long-term.

NEW: Top Charlottesville newspaper endorses Gillespie for Governor

Just days before Virginia’s much anticipated gubernatorial election is set to be held, Charlottesville’s most prominent newspaper has endorsed Ed Gillespie.

The Daily Progress notes the former RNC Chairman of Virginia earned their endorsement for his detailed economic policies that have “has the best chance of leading Virginia to a brighter economic future.”

“Mr. Gillespie’s overall philosophy is that a wise government should support the conditions in which businesses can thrive and in which Virginians can to keep more of their hard-earned money — a premise with which we agree.”

“Mr. Gillespie would promote regional approaches to development, such as GO Virginia; emphasize technology growth, including the tech and bio-tech business accelerator projects in and around Charlottesville; push for “workforce transformation” opportunities to help workers qualify for today’s jobs; collaborate with schools and universities to improve workforce readiness; enact policies to help Virginia businesses capture more venture capital; and advance efforts to create ready-to-build sites throughout Virginia, since many industry prospects are seeking such locations — and competitor states are providing them.”

Gillespie has been gaining grounds over his Democratic opponent and current Lieutenant Governor in recent weeks, leading many to believe the race will be much closer than anticipated.

The election will be held on Nov. 7.

Rubio breaks with GOP, slams House Tax Plan

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL.) said on Thursday that House Republicans are not working hard enough in their attempts to help working class families.

“House #TaxReform plan is only starting point.But $600 #ChildTaxCredit increase doesn’t achieve our & @potus goal of helping working families,” Rubio tweeted.

The former 2016 presidential candidate teamed up with First Daughter Ivanka Trump to boost tax credits to help middle class families.

The proposed GOP plan would increase the child tax credit from $1,000 per child to $1,600 per child.

In an op-ed for Breitbart in August, Rubio called the current $1,000 tax credit “inadequate and inaccessible to some working class families.”

“As the party of working families, Republicans must not let this opportunity go to waste. We must ensure comprehensive tax reform includes specific and meaningful tax relief for parents. After all, families are the fundamental building blocks of our communities, and the health of our society depends on families being able to provide safe and secure homes, raise active citizens, and love their children unconditionally in ways no other social institution can. Families are how values are passed on from generation to generation. We simply cannot have a strong nation without strong families.”

Rubio instead argues the credit should be increased to $2,500 per child, applying it to both income and payroll taxes. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has also sponsored this proposal.

BREAKING: Judge Spits in Slain Soldiers’ Faces, Gives Bergdahl No Jail Time

Military judge Col. Jeffery R. Nance has made good on his promise to take President Trump’s harsh criticism of disgraced U.S. Army member Bowe Bergdahl as “mitigating evidence” in his sentencing.  Today he ruled that Bergdahl would receive a $10,000 fine, dishonorable discharge, and a reduction in his rank from Sergeant to Private.

That means no jail time.  None.  Not a second to be spent in prison for abandoning his fellow soldiers by leaving his post in 2009, walking into Taliban territory, being captured and costing the lives of at least six American soldiers who came to find and rescue him.

This latest travesty in the case of Bergdahl offers one final slap in the face of the families of slain soldiers Clayton Bowen, Morris Walker, Kurt Curtiss, Darryn Andrews, Michael Murphrey, and Matthew Martinek.  Having just arrived in Afghanistan shortly before being sent to search and potentially rescue Bergdahl, their unit had not been given the benefit of time to study and learn the terrain they would encounter, nor gather any intelligence about what they could face.

What they faced was about 150 Taliban fighters that surrounded them and took their lives.  Took their lives because Bowe Bergdahl had decided to disgrace himself and his country by abandoning his post.

Those six heroes and their families were not the only ones to suffer for Bergdahl’s traitorous action.  Sgt. First Class Mark Allen was shot in the head trying to rescue the deserter.  According to his commanding officer, Sgt. Walters,

On the second morning of the search, “an insane amount of fire came out of nowhere,” Sergeant Walters said. Militants had them surrounded. In minutes, half the team had been wounded. Sergeant Walters turned to see “a cloud of blood” spraying from the head of Sergeant Allen.  “I started treating his wounds, talking to him, telling him to hang on,” Sergeant Walters said.

He did hang on, but had to have part of his brain removed leaving him incapable of speaking, walking, or taking care of himself. Yet the man who caused all this receives no jail time because apparently the judge thinks President Trump’s harsh comments were enough.

It’s almost unimaginable to try to understand what the families of the slain and injured heroes must think about their country.

Bowe Bergdahl disgraced his country, costing six lives in the vain effort to rescue a man who had betrayed them.  Yet President Obama willfully exchanged five top Taliban commanders to get him back – commanders who will return to the battlefield and potentially take the lives of even more honorable American soldiers.  As if that wasn’t disgraceful enough, the Obama Administration marked Bergdahl’s return with a triumphant Rose Garden ceremony where he was unconscionably regaled as “honorable” and described as having served “with honor and distinction.”

Imagine the disillusionment you would feel as a family member of one of the actually distinguished heroes.  And now, as you try to find comfort in the fact that at least the current president properly recognizes Bergdahl for the traitor that he is, a judge uses that as impetus for giving the dishonorable private no jail time.

Unforgivable.

Sam Smith’s Sexy Sadness

I really only know a couple of things about British pop sensation Sam Smith.  One is that he did a song with the DJ act Disclosure called “Latch,” of which I’m rather fond.  Another is that he sang the indisputably worst song ever from a James Bond movie–and when I say worst, I mean a terrible, awful, over the top piece of caterwauling that sounds like two stoned cats in an alley who can’t decide if they’re mating or fighting.  It’s so bad it makes Madonna’s song from Die Another Day almost listenable by comparison.  It also has the rather cliché title of “Writing’s On the Wall,” which is rather inexplicable as the film it comes from is called Spectre.  If John Barry and Don Black can come up with with a song called “Thunderball,” certainly Smith could have worked the actual movie title into his ditty–couldn’t he?

Naturally, Smith took home an Oscar for Best Original Song.  Click here if you want to hear it, and if you dare.

Alas, this post is not a lament on the injustices of the Academy, or even their questionable taste–although that might make for some fun reading at a later time, what with all the sexual harassment revelations pouring out of Hollywood like a tsunami out of some Roland Emmerich eco-disaster movie.  No, we’re here because of Sam Smith, who recently had an ill-conceived conversation with the New York Times whilst promoting his new album.  Smith expressed a certain, ah, hope that even David Bowie would have been loath to consider in his Berlin Trilogy days.  As I can’t quite bring myself to type the words, I’ll just let the Times Twitter feed explain it:

I’ll confess that when I first saw the tweet with picture, I had the horrible notion that somehow Morrissey had gone completely around the bend this time–but, thankfully, it was only Smith apparently trying to ape Morrissey’s coiff.  Kind of apropos, since Morrissey used to front for a band called the Smiths, although that outfit was much better at expressing odd concepts without inspiring utter horror in their vulnerable listeners.  “And on cold leather seats, well it suddenly struck me I just might die with a smile on my face after all” strikes me as far more sensible than attempting coitus with my own sorrow.  How would one even do such a thing?  How would you know if your partner ever achieved climax?  And would Xanax be an effective prophylactic?  The questions boggle the mind.

At any rate, I suppose we should commend Sam Smith for exploring bold new avenues in auto-erotica.  They actually seem quite tame at a time when you can select from a smorgasbord of 52 different genders on Facebook–just one wobble outside the orbit of normal, actually.  I do wish he’d try something different with the hair, though.  Perhaps something more akin to Simon Le Bon from the Seven and the Ragged Tiger era or that chap from a Flock of Seagulls.  If you’re going to bring the 80s back stylistically, one might as well go all the way.