Category Archives: Taxes

50% of Millennials would give up their right to vote to get student loans erased

dont vote dont complainFrom Fox Business: As the staggering national student loan debt tally sits at an all-time high of $1.33 trillion, according to the Department of Education, many Millennials say they would go to extreme lengths to wipe their slate clean.

According to a new survey from Credible, a personal finance website, 50% of all respondents (ages 18-34) said they would give up their right to vote during the next two presidential elections in order to never have to make another loan payment again.

Other extremes include a willingness to ditch ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft (44%) and giving up travel outside of the country for five years (42%) to have student loans forgiven (I hardly consider these expenses as an “extreme”e to give up).

Yet, only 27% said they would be willing to move in with their parents for five years or give up texting at 13%. Of the 500 Millennials surveyed, only 8.2% of them chose to keep paying off their debt and not give up anything.

The survey comes just as The Associated Press reports that tens of thousands of former students have been left in limbo as the Trump administration has delayed action on requests for loan forgiveness, according to court documents. The report says The Education Department is sitting on more than 65,000 unapproved claims as it rewrites Obama-era rules that sought to better protect students.

During his campaign, Trump proposed student loan forgiveness after 15 years of repayment. However since taking office, Trump and Secretary of Education Betsy Devos’ initial education budget have sought to eliminate current loan forgiveness programs.

In July, FOX Business reported on a similar survey from MoneyTips.com that found that nearly 42% of Americans think President Trump’s administration should forgive all federal student debt in order to help stimulate the economy.

Michael Dubrow, co-founder of MoneyTips, told FOX Business that while the survey didn’t specifically focus on Millennials (ages 18-29) a majority of them were “especially passionate” about it, nearly twice as much as those 50 and older.

“Even if older people are still paying off their loans, younger people paid more and borrowed more for higher education,” Dubrow said in an interview in July.

DCG

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Mets pitcher, a “Texan Republican,” links hurricanes to US pulling out of Paris Climate Accord

noah snydergaard

Private Mets’ Delta jet (l) that pitcher Syndergaard (r) flies each season

I wonder how much carbon emissions this pitcher and his team emit while flying via their private Delta jet each season to play baseball? Hypocrite.

From Fox News: New York Mets star pitcher Noah Syndergaard tossed a curveball to Twitter fans late Monday, suggesting the number of deadly hurricanes that have ravaged the United States in recent weeks is “karma” for the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Syndergaard, 25, a starting pitcher for the Mets who has been on the disabled list since May, linked the spate of recent hurricanes – Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria – to President Trump’s June pullout from the Paris deal. On Saturday, a European Union official said the U.S. may be open to reviewing the terms of the accord, but National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster quickly shot down the “false report.”

“U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate Accord. Then hit by 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks. Global Warming Karma?” Syndergaard wrote, adding the hashtags: “I’m a Texan Republican” and “wake up.”

Syndergaard, nicknamed ‘Thor’ for his likeness to the fictional character due to flowing, blonde locks and a chiseled frame, tweeted later: “…..and I know Karma.”

To that post, he added the hashtag “take the MRI.” That tweet was an apparent dig at himself for refusing an MRI before he was scheduled to pitch on May 1. Syndergaard ended up injuring himself during the game, after which he was placed on the disabled list. He has yet to pitch in another major league game this season.

Social media users quickly responded to the pitcher’s climate change claim.

“Stick to baseball because weather obviously isn’t your strong point,” Rdsknsfan3 wrote.

“You just lost a lifetime Mets fan. Stick to pitching, if you can stay healthy for even one freaking season. Stupidity Karma?” MaximilianoNJ wrote.

Added LHVPundit: “Stick to what you know (baseball) and leave the science to scientists. Mets fans don’t care about where you stand on political issues.

DCG

Rocklin charter school won’t allow parents to opt out of “transgender” teachings

robin stout rocklin superintendent

Rocklin Superintendent Robin Stout

Solution: Disenroll and/or homeschool.

I told you about this school in August when a kindergarten teacher led a “transgender” discussion in class, to introduce a child who was “transitioning,” without notifying parents of the discussion. Many parents were outraged.

Looks like the school is doubling down on denying biology and moving forward with the “transgender” agenda.

From KCRA: The school board for Rocklin Academy Charter School voted late Monday night in favor of a literary policy that allows controversial books like “I Am Jazz,” which is about a transgender girl, to be read in class and won’t allow parents the option of opting their children out of that lesson.

However, the school will “endeavor” to notify parents about such controversial topics.

Hundreds of parents packed the charter school board meeting for the Rocklin Academy Family of Schools Monday for a passionate debate about gender identity and its place in the classroom.

Some parents proposed a new policy requiring the charter school to let them know if controversial topics, like gender identity, would be discussed in class and allow their students to opt out.

“For them to say that they can teach my child about transgender without me even knowing about it is wrong,” said parent Chelsea McQuistan, who has two children who attend Rocklin Academy Gateway and a third who is about to enter kindergarten.

“Gender and sexuality are not the same thing, and I think we end up in a place where parents can opt out of anything they find offensive, which is subjective,” said Jen Hansen, another parent in the charter school.

The debate was sparked in June when a Rocklin Academy Gateway transgender student brought the book “I Am Jazz,” to her kindergarten class. She then asked the teacher to read the book, which is about a transgender girl’s transition, to the class so other students knew what she was going through.

Some parents said their children came home questioning their gender after school. “This book was outside the curriculum and I see it as a controversial subject to discuss with a kindergartner,” said Wendy Sickler, who is the parent of two kids at Rocklin Academy Gateway.

Ankur Dhawan’s daughter was in class when the teacher read “I Am Jazz” to students and was taken aback when she told him about it.

“I’ve struggled with the question of parental notification quite a bit. But when I put my need against the child who’s going through that transition, I realized it’s not the same thing,” Dhawan said. “This child needs us to come together as a community and respect their dignity and their character.”

California law allows parents to opt out of sex education, but gender identity doesn’t fall under that category.

“It’s like race or religion or ethnicity. It’s a protected class but it’s not sex ed so parents actually don’t have the opportunity to opt out and it would be illegal for the school to make it possible to opt out,” said Elizabeth Ashford, who works for Fiona Hutton and Associates, the public relations firm hired by Rocklin Academy to serve as spokesperson.

“It does not prohibit an opt-out provision for school districts, so for them to say that is just disingenuous,” California Family Council Director Greg Burt said in response to Ashford’s statement.

The school board heard more than three hours of comment before they voted late Monday to not to change their current literature policy, which allows the inclusion of transgender characters, and “endeavor” to notify parents about controversial topics.

“The school is going to endeavor to do that,” Ashford said. “If they can’t get to it ahead of it, they will try to inform the parents after the fact.”

The board also struck down a proposal to allow parents to opt out of gender identity topics in class.

Rocklin Academy said 14 families have chosen to disenroll from their charter schools as a result of this issue, and they expect more families to withdraw in the wake of the board meeting.

DCG

Strict gun control in Chiraq: One person shot every 2 hours and 18 minutes

chicago2

Below are the shooting numbers for this past weekend. Expect the final tally to go up by Monday morning. It always goes up.

From MyFoxChicago: Nine people have been shot dead and at least 27 others wounded in Chicago since Friday evening.

Four of the murder victims were shot on Friday night in the Brighton Park neighborhood on Chicago’s Southwest Side. In that attack, three men and one woman were shot dead in a car. The woman was pregnant. Chicago police said that shooting was gang related and that three of the victims were gang members.

The website “HeyJackass.com,” which tracks violence in Chicago, said that on average, a person is shot about every 2 hours and 18 minutes in the city. On average, two people are murdered every day.

So far this year, more than 500 people have been murdered in Chicago. The vast majority of the killers used a gun.

DCG

Playing politics in exchange for American lives: California “lawmakers” approve sanctuary state bill

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Kate Steinle: Murdered by an illegal alien in sanctuary San Francisco

The death of Kate Steinle meant nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, to demorats in California.

I cannot express here, within our guidelines, how outraged I am with the so-called lawmakers of that state. 

From Fox News: Lawmakers in California on Saturday passed “sanctuary state” legislation even as President Trump and his administration have vowed to crack down on jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration agents.

The bill approved early Saturday limits police cooperation with federal immigration authorities and is intended to bolster protections for illegal immigrants in the state.

But the acting director of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Saturday warned of “tragic consequences,” saying the policy “will make California communities less safe.”

“By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety,” Thomas Homan, the acting director of ICE, said in a statement. “Disturbingly, the legislation serves to codify a dangerous policy that deliberately obstructs our country’s immigration laws and shelters serious criminal alien offenders.”

Homan said ICE wants to work with local law enforcement to prevent “dangerous criminal aliens” from being released back onto the streets.

The legislation will now be considered by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced his support after the top state Senate leader agreed to water down the bill and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases.

The bill that passed Saturday prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. It also prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.

The legislation follows Trump’s vow to crack down on sanctuary cities. Such policies limit just how much local law enforcement officials cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

The debate about sanctuary cities intensified in July 2015 when Katie Steinle, 32, was killed as she strolled along the San Francisco waterfront with her father. Steinle was fatally shot by a illegal alien with a criminal record who had slipped into the U.S. multiple times illegally.

On Friday, a federal judge in Chicago has ruled Attorney General Jeff Sessions can’t withhold public grant money from so-called sanctuary cities for refusing to follow federal immigration policies.

U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber made the ruling Friday, in which he granted Chicago’s request for a temporary “nationwide” injunction.

The ruling means the Justice Department cannot deny grant money requests until Chicago’s lawsuit against the agency is concluded. Leinenweber wrote that Chicago has shown a “likelihood of success” in its arguments that Sessions overstepped his authority with the requirements.

The city of Chicago sued the Trump administration in August after it threatened to withhold funds from sanctuary cities, and refused to comply with the Justice Department’s demand that it allow immigration agents access to local jails and notify agents when someone in the U.S. is about to be released from custody.

At least seven cities and counties, including Seattle and San Francisco, have refused to cooperate with new federal rules regarding sanctuary cities.

DCG

Detained illegal alien who jumped off a balcony is paralyzed and now suing the government for lifetime medical care

Judge Judy shakes head rolls eyes

From Sacramento Bee: A year ago, Luis Alberto Mendez was an able-bodied immigrant from Mexico who worked as a carpenter. He had suffered from depression, but his lawyer said he had gotten the symptoms under control with medication. He was also undocumented illegal.

Today Mendez is a quadriplegic who is confined to his brother’s home in San Jose. He needs constant care and has no money. He blames Sacramento County and the U.S. government, and he’s suing them both.

Mendez, 37, is a native of Mexico who does not dispute that he was in the United States illegally in 2016. When agents detained him, he willingly signed an order agreeing to immediate deportation, his lawyer says. If the government had just sent him home then, he contends, he would not be paralyzed.

Instead, he was taken to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center in Elk Grove. There, his lawsuit claims, jailers ignored his pleas for access to medical care. He eventually attempted to kill himself by jumping off a second story balcony on the prison grounds, his lawyer said.

The fall didn’t kill him, but it left him a quadriplegic in need of a lifetime of medical care. His lawsuit accuses the U.S. government and Sacramento County of negligence, Fresno attorney Douglas Gordon said Friday.

“He is at a little home in the San Jose area being tended to by his family,” said Gordon, who filed the lawsuit in federal court in Sacramento on Thursday. “He’s quadriplegic; he has no money.”

The circumstances that led to Mendez being detained remain unclear.

Gordon, his lawyer, notes that federal policy at that time would have directed immigration agents to leave him alone because he had no felony convictions or criminal ties that would have led them to deport him.

Nonetheless, ICE agents set up shop outside his San Jose home in August 2016 waiting for him to appear. “They had him on some sort of list, had information on where he lived,” Gordon said. “They waited for him to come out of his house, and when he came out on his bicycle riding to work they detained him.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman James Schwab said the agency would not comment on pending litigation.

But Gordon maintains that federal policy at the time, under the Obama administration, required that ICE agents ignore his presence in the country and focus instead on dangerous criminals or gang members.

“The worst crime that ICE has on him was a 2015 assault that was dismissed as misdemeanor,” Gordon said. “He was not supposed to be targeted.”

When Mendez was apprehended by ICE for removal on Aug. 15, 2016, the agency was working under the Morton Memo, authorized by President Obama in March 2011. That memo states that ICE’s number one priority is “aliens who pose a danger to national security or a risk to public safety.”

Immigrants convicted of crimes, particularly violent criminals, felons, repeat offenders and members of organized crime, all were singled out as priorities.

Those with mental health issues, like Mendez, were not supposed to be targeted. “Absent extraordinary circumstances or requirements of mandatory detention, field office directors should not expend detention resources on aliens who are known to be suffering from serious physical or mental illness,” the memo states.

Mendez apparently was targeted despite that edict, and appeared before a deportation officer on Aug. 15, 2016. He signed a voluntary deportation order, which typically would have resulted in him being flown home to Mexico.

Instead, for reasons that have yet to be explained, Mendez was given a notice to appear before an immigration judge in the future. He was shipped off to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, where federal officials contract with the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department to hold ICE detainees.

Once there, the suit states, Mendez began asking for help for his psychiatric needs, which included access to anti-psychotic drugs to deal with a schizophrenia diagnosis, his attorney said.

Mendez had been suffering from depression before he was detained, and tried to cut himself on his neck in February 2016 and again in June 2016, Gordon said. He subsequently was prescribed anti-psychotic medications and he “was well maintained and doing fine,” Gordon said.

“Then, he was detained,” Gordon said, and authorities denied him access to such medications.

Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton declined to comment on the suit Friday, saying county officials had not yet seen it.

The lawsuit says that because Mendez was denied “reasonable care,” he attempted to kill himself by jumping off “an elevated structure” and fell, hitting his head and suffering spinal cord injuries, a traumatic brain injury and other damage.

The injuries will require a lifetime of medical care, his attorney said, and his family has had difficulty caring for him.

“They’ve struggled to get him on Medi-Cal,” Gordon said. “He has nobody to care for him except his brother and sister, who work. It’s a real struggle for the family.”

DCG

King County judge pulls sanctuary city measure from Burien ballots

judge liz berns

The judge who made the ruling: Elizabeth Berns

The good judge stated the language in the petition was “inflammatory.”

About the judge who made the ruling:

“Judge Berns has been active in the LGBTQ community helping others understand domestic violence and sexual assault within that community. She has co-authored a chapter on LGBTQ Minorities and Sexual Offenses in the Sexual Offense Bench Guide for Judges, and a chapter on LGBTQ DV in the Domestic Violence Manual for Judges. She is the Project Chair for the King County Domestic Violence and Child Maltreatment Coordinated Response Oversight Committee, and is on faculty for the National Council of Juvenile & Family Court Judges for judicial education programs entitled “Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases.”

From Seattle Times: King County Elections is pulling an anti-sanctuary city initiative off the Nov. 7 Burien ballot, following a Thursday court ruling. The initiative calls for repealing a city ordinance, passed by the City Council in January, that bars police officers and other city employees from asking about a person’s religion or immigration status.

King County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Berns issued a preliminary injunction Thursday morning declaring the ballot measure invalid on several grounds, including that it exceeded the scope of authority granted to initiatives and deviated from state requirements “for the contents and form of a petition.”

“It was a little overwhelming to get to this point,” said Hugo Garcia, a member of Burien Communities for Inclusion, the group that sought the injunction. “But yeah, I’m very happy.”

The initiative, pushed by the organization Respect Washington, sparked a fierce immigration debate in Burien that mirrored the national one prompted by President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about Mexicans being criminals and stealing American jobs.

Burien Communities for Inclusion cited language in Respect Washington’s petition to argue that it used inflammatory language that misrepresented the ordinance it sought to repeal.

The petition said the ordinance “threatens the safety of every Burien citizen and legal resident by allowing criminal aliens, like the one who shot Kate Steinle in San Francisco, to prey upon others inside our once peaceful town.”

Trump, among others, has cited Steinle’s murder in 2015 by an undocumented immigrant illegal alien as justification for cracking down on illegal immigration.

The plaintiffs also successfully argued that the petition intruded upon the city’s rights to govern its own affairs.

“It tells the city of Burien what kind of instructions to give its employees,” said Dmitri Iglitzin, a lawyer for Burien Communities for Inclusion, which includes city residents and other immigrant advocates.

Neither Respect Washington nor its lawyer could be reached immediately for comment.

Janine Joly, senior deputy King County prosecutor, said Thursday she had not yet heard of an appeal filed by the group. If Respect Washington did appeal, and won, she said a court would have to issue emergency relief to get the initiative back on the ballot.

The deadline for sending ballots to the printer is Thursday, said King County Elections spokeswoman Kafia Hosh. “Our team is working right now to create new ballots without the measure,” she said. The county is required to send ballots to overseas residents and service members by Sept. 23.

Garcia said the initiative had created a lot of fear in Burien, even for him, a naturalized American citizen who came here from Mexico when he was 8. “As a Latino male, I don’t know that cops are going to be able to differentiate whether I’m documented or undocumented illegal,” he said.

DCG