(I don’t mind the time change, but I’m surely about to get tired of two weeks of people bitching about it on social media.)
And on a related rant:
Meanwhile, I went ahead and did my taxes yesterday, because I also am tired of the bitching about refunds vs. tax cuts, as laid out in this Scott Stantis cartoon.
But I figured I should find out my own situation before I ranted over this one, which is that I made about $200 more this year than last year, while my taxes are down about $250.
I don’t consider a net gain of $450 a year so wonderful as to make me feel like part of the One Percent, but we did warn people when the tax cut was passed that they needed to check their withholding.
Digging for Moral Deductibles
Candorville swings the conversation a bit elsewhere, because, instead of picking through bank records trying to sort personal spending from deductible stuff, a whole lot of us have been picking through our lives trying to sort personal failings from criminal actions.
Most of us, I suspect, have moments we hope will not suddenly come to light, but I also suspect that those who worry about it most have the least to worry about, given the response of those who are dragged into the spotlight.
Nearly 30 years ago, I said that I would forgive Clarence Thomas if he simply said, “I was going through a divorce, I was really feeling messed up and I am truly embarrassed by and sorry for my behavior during that period.”
Which he didn’t.
Nor did Brett Kavanaugh, who might have apologized for having been a spoiled, ungoverned young man who has since gotten his act together, if he had enough self-awareness and decency to make that a fact.
Meanwhile, for those of us who do look back with a shudder, I think the worry is less the occasions when we know we messed up (most of which we dealt with at the time) than the times we had no idea we were stepping over somebody else’s personal limit.
I did my best to live by Nelson Algren’s famous rules, “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.”
Problem being that, while someone will introduce you to Doc before the first hand is dealt, and, while Mom’s has neon over the front door proclaiming the name of the place, that third one calls for insight and foresight that most of us don’t possess at 19 or 20.
And anyone who has ever gotten a ticket for speeding knows how futile it is to say, “I didn’t notice the signs.”
BTW, Algren said a woman, but I think he’d accept “person.” It’s not gender-specific advice.
Nor, you will notice, did he mention anyone being “crazy.” Just more troubled than you are.
Well, anyway, one of you was probably breaking the rule.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Speaking of forgiveness, Donald Trump was reportedly autographing Bibles down in tornado land the other day.
Someone put up a meme on social media saying it was like Hannibal Lecter autographing a cookbook, but Lecter was apparently an excellent cook, so that metaphor doesn’t work.
As award-winning Clay Jones points out, the whole thing is pretty idolatrous or blasphemous or something, to begin with.
I don’t think Jimmy Carter would autograph a Bible and he knows what’s inside it.
And — adding Ed Hall’s take to it all — I’m old enough to remember when right-wingers condemned Carter for admitting that he sometimes looked upon women with lust, which he said in the context of admitting a fault. He certainly wasn’t bragging about grabbing their genitals or getting them to have sex with him even if they were married to someone else.
Or paying off his mistresses.
Or having a whorehouse madam serve as his social secretary.
Geez, I hope Dear Leader washed his little hands.
Other Juxtaposition of the Day
And speaking of hypocrisy that rises to the level of blasphemy, here are a pair of cartoons that attempt to analyze a situation that nearly defies understanding.
Part of the issue is that Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized an Israeli lobby and those who follow its preferences with language she might have known wouldn’t fly.
She apologized for saying “It’s all about the Benjamins,” but it leaves a question of whether a less flippant condemnation of political contributions would have gone unchallenged.
But Jews are, understandably, touchy about the money thing.
And a remark about people with a dual loyalty would have been fine, had she been talking about Irish-Americans who want Britain out of the Six Counties, but the accusation of dual loyalty has been thrown at Jews enough times that it carries a different significance.
In any case, the Democrats got fired up and Omar apologized for the way she phrased things, though she didn’t apologize for the words rightwingers then put in her mouth which she hadn’t said.
About which time, as award-winning Matt Davies points out, it became obvious that there was no fire after all.
Except that, as Rogers notes, the party who nominated and devotedly follows a man who thinks Mexicans are mostly rapists and drug-dealers and that their children are incompetent jurists (having dual loyalties) and that Third World countries are shitholes was adamant that the Democrats punish Omar beyond having her apologize and explain her position.
So the Democrats came up with a wide-ranging condemnation of hate and everyone voted for it except 23 Republicans who are apparently in favor of hate because look how well it’s working for them.
At least somebody is having a good day
Good on, ya, Dean.
Keep your karma clean and you never know what you might come across.