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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

In Chicago and other cities that depend on the glow of restored historic buildings to lure tourists and create jobs, there were mixed emotions over the $1.5 trillion tax package that Congress approved Wednesday -- relief that legislators did not kill a major economic incentive for preservation, but uncertainty over the incentive's future impact because it's been weakened. The existence of the decades-old incentive, the federal historic preservation tax credit, was thrown into doubt last month when the House voted to abolish it. The final bill keeps the credit, but instead of allowing developers to reap its full 20 percent benefit when a restored building opens, as they can now, the credit will be parceled out over five years. read more


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Mike Lofgren: When I was in elementary school in the early 1960s, Summit County, Ohio was ranked second among all the counties in the United States by median household income. All four of the major American tire manufacturers of the time -- Goodyear, Goodrich, Firestone, and General -- had enormous production facilities in Akron, the county seat. The money rolled in, and life was good. Twenty-three years later, on a dismally cold January morning, I left Akron, Ohio, and the Midwest, never to return except for the briefest of visits. What had happened? According to Jon K. Lauck, an adjunct professor of history and political science at the University of South Dakota, it's because the Midwest, like Rodney Dangerfield, just doesn't get any respect from anyone ... he argues that the Midwest at the beginning of the 20th century was perhaps the most dynamic and most "American" of all the country's regions, as well as a hub of American literary excellence. read more


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Men under the influence of alcohol are more likely to see women as sexual objects, a study has found. Researchers from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in the US went beyond the mere anecdotal evidence to investigate some of the circumstances and factors that influence why men objectify women. The study, published in journal Sex Roles, involved 49 men in their twenties and was conducted in the safe space of a college laboratory. Eye-tracking technology noted which part of the women's bodies men were looking at ... They spent less time looking at faces and focused far longer on chests and waists. This was particularly true when viewing women who had been rated high in attractiveness. The findings suggest that whether a man will sexually objectify a woman depends on the alcohol intoxication of the man ... read more


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Rolling Stone writer Matt Taibbi, known for his hard-hitting reporting on Goldman Sachs in the wake of the 2008 Subprime Mortgage Crisis, fell from grace this October after controversial passages from an old book he'd co-authored, The eXile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, resurfaced and were spread online. eXile purports to be the memoirs of Taibbi and co-author Mark Ames, both of whom headed the notorious tabloid magazine by the same name in Moscow in the ‘90s. Indeed, a disclaimer on the copyright page calls the work nonfiction. However, this is not entirely true. Put simply, like the original magazine, much of eXile was made up for the purposes of satire. Paste was able to trace the effort to cast eXile as a factual memoir back to an alt-right author named Jim Goad in 2011. Goad, whose magazine, ANSWER Me!, had been parodied by The eXile, began tweeting about the Natasha passages, and tagging the outlets that hosted Ames work or had him on as a contributor. read more


Friday, December 15, 2017

Porn stars hate this loss of freedom. Watch one of their explainers above about why the disappearance of net neutrality sucks harder than they ever could... The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing. The FCC decision is intensely controversial on other levels. Perhaps the most unsettling is this: apparently a vast number of comments made in support of doing away with net neutrality were fake, leading opponents to understandably conclude there's something super sketchy about the whole thing.


Comments

You can pretend aca improved health care, go ahead.

#25 | POSTED BY DAVETHEWAVE

Obamacare is indeed improving healthcare ...

www.drudge.com

Without Obamacare there were no patient quality and safety standards, and by virtue of identifying all those crappy hospitals, it's working just as it was designed to do.

Obamacare was 2000 pages, and Nancy Pelosi absentmindedly said they'd have to pass it to find out what's in it.

Here's what's in it ... medical errors account for hundreds of thousands of patient deaths EVERY YEAR. That does NOT account for the 2 to 4 million patients that are injured in American hospitals EVERY YEAR.

So it should be not hard to understand that Obamacare wasn't just about the exchanges and the individual mandate ...

It was also all about creating quality and safety standards that NEVER existed before -- in an industry that accounts for 3 trillion dollars annually, of which 30% is waste with no benefit to patients, and more often than not harms patients (Obamacare naysayers need to re-read this sentence a few thousand times).

Before Obamacare, private healthcare had ZERO incentive to improve how well they treated patients because their mistakes and errors could easily be hidden from the public. And while mistakes and errors from private healthcare still mostly don't see the light of day, the U.S. Government is watching for shoddy clinical practices and watching for poor quality of care that injures patients.

Also, Obama made the same mistake that Pelosi did by saying people could keep their doctor -- well, why the hell would any intelligent person want to keep a doctor NOT adhering to ANY quality and safety standards? Duh!

So there you go, Obama and Pelosi were right, and all the stupid Republican talking points about keeping one's doctor and finding out what was in the ACA are all moot -- and this is why Republicans will never repeal Obamacare (undermine it, yes ... but they'll never fully repeal it).

Trump Employment Gains Are Not Helping Rust Belt
www.newsweek.com

President Donald Trump says America's dropping unemployment rate is one of his greatest accomplishments -- but Rust Belt states so crucial to Trump's White House win last year have been largely left out of the employment boom.

Unemployment is up in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio since May, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, even as the national unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

Factories nationwide have added 171,000 jobs so far in 2017, but most of the benefits are in the South, where labor unions are weakest.

The largest gains in manufacturing jobs between 2010 and 2016 were in South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia.

... Trump has so far been unable to make good on his promise to revitalize the deindustrializing Midwest by bringing back meaningful factory jobs.

And the Midwest is suffering not only from lost jobs.

The Rust Belt was one of the biggest beneficiaries of the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but most of the bills proposed by Trump to repeal or replace Obamacare would undo the expansion.

And the Republican tax bill set to pass this week would likely increase insurance premiums, analysts say.

The bill largely favors the richest Americans, business owners and their shareholders leaving the struggling Midwest behind.

The GOP claims that business owners will use their extra money to create jobs, but research shows that over the past 30 years, trick-down economics have have barely budged worker's wages.

President Trump's favorability has dipped in states like Michigan and Indiana, leaving some worried that he won't be able to win these crucial areas in 2020.


Just like what Lofgren is saying, the Midwest can't catch a break.

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