The real problem with our national debt is nothing like what Republican debt scolds say it is:

In the 1950s, wealthy families had an effective tax rate (what they actually paid, after deductions, etc.) of around 50%. The rich paid about half of what they made. Since Ronald Reagan, and then George W. Bush, and then Trump enacted one Rich Man’s Tax Cut after another, what the wealthiest pay has shrunk drastically, to an average effective tax rate of 8.2% over recent years, less than many middle-class Americans. What does this have to do with the debt ceiling, or the federal debt in general? I’m glad you asked.

Secret Service releases study on mass shootings: It’s economics, misogyny, and conspiracy theories:

The last two weeks have brought back the reminder that mass shootings in the United States continue unabated. In their wake, the Secret Service published a 60-page report on Wednesday that details the data they have about mass attacks. The study, conducted by the U.S. Secret Service’s National Threat Assessment Center, examines 173 mass shooting incidents that occurred between 2016 and 2020. Each attack included in the report resulted in at least “three or more individuals injured or killed across public or semi-public spaces, including businesses, schools, and houses of worship.”

First off – The fact that there were 173 incidents over 4 years should be a sign we have a problem.

Notable statistics/predictors:

  • 96% of the attackers studied were male, 3% were female, and 2% were transgender. (IE This is a dude thing)
  • 72% of attackers experienced some kind of financial stressor sometime prior to the attack.
  • Just under 20% of attackers had an “unstable housing” situation at the time of the attack.
  • While there was a large age range, the average age of an attacker was 34 years old.
  • 41% of attackers had a history of “engaging in at least one incident of domestic violence.”
  • Less than a quarter of those firearm attacks involved guns acquired illegally.

Demographics wise, the breakdown pretty much represents the racial diversity of the nation: (IE Dude problem not a race problem)

  • 57% of attackers were white.
  • 34% of attackers were Black.
  • 11% of attackers were Hispanic.
  • 4% of attackers were Asian.
  • 1% of attackers were American Indian.

Behind the scenes of Durham investigation reveals special counsel engaged in serious abuse of power:

As the end of 2022 approached, it became clear that all Durham had really done was vindicate everything about the original Russia investigation. That shouldn’t be surprising, since the parallel report put together by a Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee determined that there had been more than 100 contacts between Trump’s team and Russian agents, that Trump’s team had actively sought more assistance from Russia, and that the close association of members of Trump’s campaign with Russian agents represented a threat to the United States. The reason the Russia investigation found connections between Trump and Russia was simple enough — there were connections between Trump and Russia.

Ending Suspension of Trump’s Accounts With New Guardrails to Deter Repeat Offenses | Meta:

The suspension was an extraordinary decision taken in extraordinary circumstances. The normal state of affairs is that the public should be able to hear from a former President of the United States, and a declared candidate for that office again, on our platforms. Now that the time period of the suspension has elapsed, the question is not whether we choose to reinstate Mr. Trump’s accounts, but whether there remain such extraordinary circumstances that extending the suspension beyond the original two-year period is justified.

The normal state of affairs is that presidents don’t attempt coups, traitors who violate their oath of office get arrested and are barred from being re-elected. There’s nothing normal about lord dampnut, and giving him a voice or any kind of attention other than illuminating his crimes is a problem.

From the via

So no matter what Trump does, the longest they’ll suspend him is another two years? This is whistling past the graveyard. Trump wasn’t suspended because he posted something, say, racist or untruthful or hateful. It’s not about Trump and his supporters being on the political right. The man tried to overthrow the democratically elected government of the United States while serving as President of the United States. He still insists he was correct to do so, and quite obviously intends to try again. If there were only one person in the world suspended from Facebook’s platforms, it should be Donald Trump. No one is more dangerous. No one is more deserving of being outcast as a pariah.

Mass shootings and America’s unique gun violence problem, explained – Vox:

No other high-income country has suffered such a high death toll from gun violence. Every day, more than 110 Americans die at the end of a gun, including suicides and homicides, an average of 40,620 per year. Since 2009, there has been an annual average of 19 shootings in which at least four people are killed. The US gun homicide rate is as much as 26 times that of other high-income countries; its gun suicide rate is nearly 12 times higher.

Technically this is only the second worst thing the GOP has done to us as far as deaths in recent years, with 500 people a day still dying from COVID.

The Availability of Guns and Books in America:

Exaggerating China’s military spending, St. Louis Fed breaks all statistical rules with misleading graph – Geopolitical Economy Report:

In an attempt to grossly exaggerate China’s defense spending, and simultaneously downplay the US military budget, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis published a jaw-droppingly deceptive graph.

If a student presented this in a statistics 101 class, the teacher would likely give them an F. But because it involves Washington’s public enemy number one, Beijing, the US regional reserve bank was awarded a Golden Star for exemplary service in the New Cold War.

military spending graph with different scales on right and left axis

Florida teachers told to remove books from classroom libraries or risk felony prosecution:

Teachers in Manatee County, Florida, are being told to make their classroom libraries — and any other “unvetted” book — inaccessible to students, or risk felony prosecution. The new policy is part of an effort to comply with new laws and regulations championed by Governor Ron DeSantis (R).

Evil.

Daring Fireball: The Onion’s Supreme Court Amicus Brief Defending Parody:

Speaking of entertaining legal documents that address serious issues, I’ve been meaning to link to the amicus brief filed by The Onion on behalf of Anthony Novak, who is suing the police department of Parma, Ohio in a case now before the Supreme Court. Long story short, Novak created a parody Facebook account for the police department; the police arrested him and he spent four days in jail, simply for having mocked them; and when Novak subsquently attempted to sue the police department for civil damages, the Sixth Circuit court of appeals held that the police could not be held responsible under the bullshit doctrine of “qualified immunity”.

jwz: Trump Betrayed by His Diet Coke Valet:

When FBI agents first interviewed Nauta, he denied any role in moving boxes or sensitive documents, the people familiar with the situation said in interviews before Nauta’s name became public. But as investigators gathered more evidence, they questioned him a second time and he told a starkly different story — that Trump instructed him to move the boxes, these people said.

Chef kiss