Thursday, July 28th, 2022

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Manchin finally agrees to a bill, surprises everyone

The new compromise bill includes $430 billion in new spending on energy, electric vehicle tax credits and health insurance investments. It more than pays for itself by raising minimum taxes for big companies and enforcing existing tax laws, Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement.

The bill would impose a 15% minimum tax on corporations with profits over $1 billion, raising $313 billion over a decade, they wrote. Companies could claim net operating losses and tax credits against the 15%.

The U.S. corporate tax rate dropped to 21% from 35% after a 2017 tax cut pushed by then-President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans, but many companies pay much less than that, and some of the largest pay no federal taxes, research groups including the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy have found.

7/28/2022 5:15 am | | Tags: us politics, democrats, taxes

My Hollywood Plan

When I decide to go Howard Hughes and go to Hollywood and make movies, I've already figured out my thing. You know, every director has a thing. M. Night Shyamalan makes movies with twists. Spielberg is simply about making great movies. Christopher Nolan makes blockbusters which you feel smart if you understand (or just say you understand so you don't appear dumb to your friends.) Ron Howard makes movies that tug your heartstrings and wistful for simpler times. George Lucas' is proving that you don't have to be a great writer to make great movies. You know, that sort of thing.

Well, when I decide to go make movies, I want to be known as the director who creates "alternate realities." I don't necessarily mean in my movies, though I might do that too. But when I have a movie come out, I want to pick a theater somewhere in the world like say- Sioux City, Iowa. And what I'll do is everywhere in the world gets the movie, except Sioux City. A theater there gets a movie with a significant difference from the rest of the world's for the first showing, and JUST the first showing. After that the alternate film is destroyed / deleted / erased.

Say, if I made 'Titanic,' Sioux City would get the version where the ship doesn't sink and everyone is rescued and Rose and Jack live happily ever after. Or, maybe, if I made Ocean's Eleven, I'd have a version shown in Icapuí, Brazil that would feature Tom Cruise as Rusty instead of Brad Pitt. Or I'd make Spinal Tap, and the version in Hasselt, Belgium would go to 12 instead of 11.

You get the idea.

I'd refuse to answer questions or ever acknowledge it. Everyone on the film would be contractually obligated to do the same.

Everytime a movie of mine came out, the world would be wondering where the alternate reality would appear. And only after the first film goers left their theater would they find out if they had just been transported to an alternate reality from everyone else.

After I die, my autobiography would come out. And, well... you can guess what I'd do with it.

7/28/2022 5:54 am | | Tags: movies, fun, hollywood

JetBlue is buying Spirit Airlines

I've heard of moving quick but this seems a bit wild. Just yesterday news of the Spirit + Frontier deal dying. And today JetBlue swoops in. I can only assume more conversations were had in the lead up to this.

I've never flown Spirit (or Frontier for that matter.) I've flown JetBlue once or twice, it was fine. Also, I've come to realize that I had mixed up when Alaskan Airlines bought Virgin; for some reason I was thinking they had bought JetBlue.

7/28/2022 6:12 am | | Tags: airlines, business

"China’s BYD was written off by Elon Musk. Now it’s beating Tesla."

7/28/2022 6:23 am | | Tags: electric vehicles, china, tesla

The Forward Party - a new Centrist third party

From their WaPo editorial today:

David Jolly is a former Republican congressman from Florida and is executive chairman of the Serve America Movement. Christine Todd Whitman is a former Republican governor of New Jersey and co-founder of the Renew America Movement. Andrew Yang is a former Democratic presidential candidate and is co-chair of the Forward Party.

And here is their one-sheet touting this party's priorities

Free People. Revitalize a culture that celebrates difference and individual choice, rejects hate, and removes barriers so that each of us can rise to our full potential.

Thriving Communities. Reinvigorate a fair, flourishing economy and open society where everyone can live a good life and is safe in the places where we learn, work, and live.

Vibrant Democracy. Reform our republic to give Americans more choices in elections, more confidence in a government that works, and more say in our future.

Maybe I'm cynical, but I will be shocked if this works. In college I thought of myself as libertarian (small l, though I did cast some votes for big Ls.) I still like the libertian utopic vision where people take care of people and government can be small - but it simply isn't true.

As for the reality of a third party in American politics - we've had buzzing gnats of third parties for years but no one comes close to competitive in size. This just feels to me like a big swing in hopes of hitting a home run when the odds are heavily saying they're going to be another strike out against the political Ohtanis of the world.

7/28/2022 6:31 am | | Tags: republicans, democrats, political parties, us politics

My morning activity today

7/28/2022 9:01 am | | Tags: blacksmithing

"Manchin’s Inflation Reduction Act is really a climate and energy bill. What’s in it?"

More info on the bill that was announced last night. I appreciate Vox's breakdowns.

Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer claimed in their joint statement that the bill delivers enough on climate to cut pollution by roughly 40 percent by 2030. (Economic modelers at Rhodium Group said that after an initial review of the bill, the 40 percent figure was “plausible.”) The legislation helps move the US a little closer to its stated goal of cutting pollution in half within the decade.

7/28/2022 2:44 pm | | Tags: us politics, climate change, democrats

"Meet the Group That’s Been Bringing Bison Back to Tribal Lands for 30 Years"

7/28/2022 3:19 pm | | Tags: first nations, bison, conservation

Redditor /u/Hoyarugby delivers great insights and context about American black men volunteering to go fight in Ethiopia and defend it from Mussolini

Reddit title for this photo: "African Americans in Harlem volunteering to go to Ethiopia and fight to save Africa’s last uncolonized nation from fascist Italian dictator Mussolini. Almost all volunteers were blocked from leaving by the US government. Few managed to go to Ethiopia. Summer 1935."

The top comment, which I linked, is super interesting and yet another example of a moment in American history I had no awareness of.

The war that is being discussed is The Second Italo-Ethiopian War which I did know about (only at the highest level of awareness, no real in depth knowledge) but I was completely unaware of this aspect of it from the US history perspective.

7/28/2022 4:16 pm | | Tags: us history, black history, africa, ethiopia, italy, war
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