Monday Reads: Daylight Wasting Time Daze editionPosted: March 15, 2021
Good Morning Sky Dancers!
I’m slow and groggy today! I can never get used to this time change. It feels like I’m surrounded by a cloud and this will go on for quite some time. I’m grading midterms right now so you can only imagine how many times I read the same thing over and over before I realize my mind keeps trying to drag me back to bed and I just can’t. The older I get the worse it gets even though I generally don’t do any thing in the early morning this time of year because the time change forces us in to the dark during the morning commute which I hated even more when I had to do it. But it still feels like I’m frantically trying to get caught up with everything including the post.
My paintings today are by women abstract expressionists because their work pretty much represents the blur going on in my mind right now!
So, two white men have been arrested and charrged in the “assault on police officer Brian D. Sicknick, who died after Jan. 6 Capitol riot.” This is from WAPO.
Federal authorities have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian D. Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot but have not determined whether the exposure caused his death.
Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania and George Pierre Tanios, 39 of Morgantown, W.Va., were arrested Sunday and are expected to appear in federal court Monday.
“Give me that bear s—,” Khater allegedly said to Tanios on video recorded at the Lower West Terrace of the Capitol at 2:14 p.m., where Sicknick and other officers were standing guard behind metal bicycle racks, arrest papers say.
About nine minutes later, after Khater said he had been hit with bear spray, Khater is seen on video discharging a canister into the face of Sicknick and two other officers, arrest papers allege.
Khater and Tanios are charged with nine counts including assaulting three officers with a deadly weapon — Sicknick, another U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as C. Edwards, and a D.C. police officer identified as B. Chapman. They are also charged with civil disorder and obstruction of a congressional proceeding. The charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors filed charges after tipsters contacted the FBI allegedly identifying Khater and Tanios from wanted images released by the bureau from surveillance video and officer-worn body camera footage, the complaint said. It said the men grew up together in New Jersey, and that Khater had worked in State College, Pa., and Tanios owns a business in Morgantown.
So, just a bit more on one of the arrestees. from The Washingtonian. ““Sandwich Nazi” Charged in Assault on Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick”. He’s one of the many good people on boths sides I guess.
Tanios has trademarked Sandwich University, “Sandwich U,” and “King of the Fat Sandwich,” according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office database. A 2014 BuzzFeed article described Sandwich University as a “drunk person’s paradise” and recommended the entire menu for its innovations in fried food. The Fat Freshman, for instance, is a sandwich comprising cheesesteak; chicken tenders; bacon; mozzarella sticks, and “secret sauce.”
A May 2019 post from Tanios’s Instagram page spotlights a one-star review that appears to describe him as resembling Donald Trump, if he were a restaurant manager. Tanios says it’s “To epic not to share” and includes the hashtag “#Dontletpoliticsdivideus.”
Next up in Biden’s economic plan is an increase in taxes on the very wealthy and finding ways to close corporate tax loophooles. Bloomberg reporters Nancy Cook and Laura Davison liken it to the one that happened in 1993 when Clinton put his policies into effect.
With each tax break and credit having its own lobbying constituency to back it, tinkering with rates is fraught with political risk. That helps explain why the tax hikes in Bill Clinton’s signature 1993 overhaul stand out from the modest modifications done since.
For the Biden administration, the planned changes are an opportunity not just to fund key initiatives like infrastructure, climate and expanded help for poorer Americans, but also to address what Democrats argue are inequities in the tax system itself. The plan will test both Biden’s capacity to woo Republicans and Democrats’ ability to remain unified.
“His whole outlook has always been that Americans believe tax policy needs to be fair, and he has viewed all of his policy options through that lens,” said Sarah Bianchi, head of U.S. public policy at Evercore ISI and a former economic aide to Biden. “That is why the focus is on addressing the unequal treatment between work and wealth.”
While the White House has rejected an outright wealth tax, as proposed by progressive Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, the administration’s current thinking does target the wealthy.
The White House is expected to propose a suite of tax increases, mostly mirroring Biden’s 2020 campaign proposals, according to four people familiar with the discussions.
The tax hikes included in any broader infrastructure and jobs package are likely to include repealing portions of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as making other changes to make the tax code more progressive, said the people familiar with the plan.
The following are among proposals currently planned or under consideration, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private:
- Raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%
- Paring back tax preferences for so-called pass-through businesses, such as limited-liability companies or partnerships
- Raising the income tax rate on individuals earning more than $400,000
- Expanding the estate tax’s reach
- A higher capital-gains tax rate for individuals earning at least $1 million annually. (Biden on the campaign trail proposed applying income-tax rates, which would be higher)
White House economist Heather Boushey underlined that Biden doesn’t intend to boost taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year. But for “folks at the top who’ve been able to benefit from this economy and haven’t been this hard hit, there’s a lot of room there to think about what kinds of revenue we can raise,” she said in a Bloomberg TV interview Monday.
The Vatican continues its assault on any thing that wasn’t determined to be cool by some old cranky white men some time in the Dark Ages. This is from CNN: “Vatican says it will not bless same-sex unions, calling them a ‘sin'”.
The Vatican said Monday that the Catholic Church would not bless same-sex unions, in a combative statement approved by Pope Francis that threatens to widen the chasm between the church and much of the LGBTQ community.
Explaining their decision in a lengthy note on Monday, the Holy See referred to same-sex unions as a “choice,” described them as sinful and said they “cannot be recognized as objectively ordered” to God’s plans. The stance is certain to disappoint millions of gay and lesbian Catholics around the world.
“The blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit,” the Vatican’s top doctrinal office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote in the statement.
God “does not and cannot bless sin,” the statement added.
So this study from Nature is something I can truly relate to: “Pandemic burnout is rampant in academia. Remote working, research delays and childcare obligations are taking their toll on scientists, causing stress and anxiety.”
A year into the coronavirus pandemic, many in the academic scientific workforce are experiencing a state of chronic exhaustion known as burnout. Although it is not a medical condition and can occur in any workplace where there is stress, burnout is recognized by the World Health Organization as a syndrome. Its symptoms are physical and emotional, and include feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from and feelings of negativity or cynicism towards one’s job; and a reduced ability to do one’s work.
At its core, burnout is caused by work that demands continuous, long-term physical, cognitive or emotional effort.
Indicators of the syndrome have risen sharply in some higher-education institutions over the past year, according to surveys in the United States and Europe. In a poll of 1,122 US faculty members that focused on the effects of the pandemic, almost 70% of respondents said they felt stressed in 2020, more than double the number in 2019 (32%). The survey, conducted last October by The Chronicle of Higher Education and financial-services firm Fidelity Investments in Boston, Massachusetts, also found that more than two-thirds of respondents felt fatigued, compared with less than one-third in 2019. During 2020, 35% felt angry, whereas just 12% said that in 2019. The results were released last month.
And with that, I’m getting back to grading!
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?