budget&tax

Top military budgets in the world.

1 United States 596 billion
2 China 215 billion 
3 Saudi Arabia 87.2 billion 
4 Russia 66.4 billion 


Imagine. If we only spent as much as China did, maybe a little more. Still be #1, but without the ridiculous margin. 

We could instantly add 380 BILLION dollars to our budget without even touching taxes. 

That’s $1,190 per person in the US instantly. 

Its quite stunning that Trump’s budget plans, Trumpcare, tax policies disproportionately fall on his supporters. Its quite a thing …

“In rural Appalachia, people are so poor that there is a federal program dedicated to lifting them out of poverty. Through the Appalachian Regional Commission, the government pitches in on projects that these rural communities badly need but can’t quite afford — everything from fixing roads, to building computer labs, to training workers, to opening health clinics.

   These efforts have become so widely admired that in recent years Congress launched, with bipartisan backing, sister agencies to help other rural regions stuck in generational cycles of poverty. Together the programs spend about $175 million each year bringing jobs and opportunities to places that long have felt left behind.

   President Trump, who won rousing victories in these same parts of rural America, would eliminate that funding.”

Also See: President Trump won big in these places. Now he wants to eliminate 3 agencies dedicated to helping them - Washington Post

With health care reform dead, here are the 5 things Republicans will focus on next

  • A failure on health care does not mean the conservative agenda will come to a screeching halt. Here’s the legislation to watch:
  • The federal budget: The Republican bill unveiled Tuesday would make cuts to Medicaid and Medicare while boosting defense spending. It is supported by the White House, but could cause a split between moderate and conservative House Republicans.
  • Tax reform: The White House is signaling a pivot from health care to tax reform, a move Republicans have long craved. It’s too early to know the details, but the GOP has long promised to slash the corporate tax rate and close loopholes. They could also cut taxes for wealthy Americans.
  • Debt ceiling: The Republicans first highlighted the power of the debt ceiling by fighting Obama about the debt limit in 2011. The federal government is again expected to hit its debt limit in October. That means Congress has to raise the debt ceiling, the maximum amount of debt the U.S. government can hold, currently nearly $20 trillion.
  • Government shutdown: If Congress fails to agree on funding, the government will run out of money in September. Back in May, Trump said the government could use a “good ‘shutdown’” to force Democrats to kill the requirement for 60 votes before advancing Senate legislation.
  • Energy: In late June, Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) introduced bipartisan legislation to overhaul regulations on America’s energy sector and natural resources, from fossil fuels to national parks. The bill has been fast-tracked in the Senate. Read more (7/19/17)
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7 Reasons Why Trump’s Corporate Tax Cut is Completely Nuts

Donald Trump wants to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent, in order to “make the United States more competitive.”

This is nonsense, for 7 reasons:

1. Profitable U.S. corporations already pay on average of only 14% according to the Government Accountability Office. That’s less than a lot of middle-class families pay. (And that’s less than half the official 35% corporate tax rate.) What’s more, some giant corporations pay little (if any) U.S. taxes because of loopholes or because they shift their profits offshore to tax havens.

2. Trump’s corporate tax cut will bust the federal budget. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center projects it will reduce federal revenue by $2.4 trillion over 10 years. This will either require huge cuts in services for all of us, or additional taxes paid by us to pick up the corporate tab.

3. It’s based on supply-side, trickle-down nonsense. The White House says the tax cuts will create a jump in economic growth that will generate enough new revenue to wipe out any increase in the budget deficit. Rubbish. Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush both cut taxes mostly for the rich, and both ended their presidencies with huge budget deficits.

4. It will create a new special loophole for hedge fund managers, big law firms and real estate moguls like Donald Trump. They could slash the  tax rate they pay on their business income from 40 percent to 15 percent. 15 percent is what a middle-class person pays. Do you think people like Trump should pay a tax rate that someone making $60,000 a year pays?

5. It creates an international race-to-the-bottom on corporate tax rates that the U.S. cannot possibly win. One of its supposed attractions is it makes U.S. corporate taxes more “competitive” internationally. But we can’t match the rates in tax havens, which are often ZERO. And other countries will just lower their taxes in response. That’s what happened after 1986, the last time the U.S. cut corporate tax rates.

6. American corporations don’t need a tax cut to be competitive. They’re already hugely competitive as measured by their profits – which are near record highs– while the share of taxes they pay are at record lows. Corporations should be doing more to pay their fair share, not getting a giant tax cut!

7. Corporations won’t use the extra profits they get from the tax cut to invest in more capacity and jobs. That’s the White House line, but it’s baloney.  Corporations are now using a large portion of their profits to pay their CEOs’ hefty pay packages and to buy other companies in order to raise their stock prices. There’s no reason to suppose they’ll do any different even with more profits.

So don’t fall for Trump’s corporate tax plan. It will be a huge windfall for corporations and billionaires – like many of Trump’s own cabinet members, family members, and likely even Trump himself (although because he won’t release his taxes, we can’t tell how much he’ll enrich himself from his own tax plan).

We do know who will lose out: The rest of us.

Understanding Scottish Independence: for Americans

It seems like a lot of Americans don’t understand the relationship between the UK and Scotland. Let me tell you a story to try to help you understand.

Imagine that Canada has a terrible disaster of some kind. They’re completely bankrupt. They can barely feed themselves. Maybe it was a huge meteor strike or something. Anyway, Canada is kind of lowkey screwed.

So America decides to help their little brother to the north. They offer to bail out Canada, as long as Canada joins the US, and the ten provinces and three territories of Canada become 13 new states.

For a while things are pretty okay. Canadian currency becomes American currency and every Canadian dollar is valued exactly like American dollars. The Canadian capitol in Ottawa is shut down, and Canada sends their representatives and senators to Washington DC. The old provinces can still collect state tax, but all the federal taxes get sent off to the IRS, and the Canadians get Federal funding the same as other states.

Not all Canadians are happy about the arrangement. They feel like their identity as Canadians is lost. It seems like there are more and more barbeque joints and fewer and fewer Tim Horton’s as time goes by. They want to still be Canadians, but everyone now calls them Americans. After all, they’re all from North America, right?

The problems start to arise when it comes to governing. The Americans draft a bill in congress that cuts all funding for French language education and television. The Canadians are incensed! They are told, “You have representatives in Congress. Just tell them to vote against it!”

They do, but there are only 26 Canadian Senators and 50 Canadian Representatives in Congress, while there are 100 Senators and 435 Representatives from the US. Even when Alaska and Minnesota vote with Canada, there are not nearly enough votes, so they lose all of their Federal funding for French tv and education.

That ends up just being the start. The US cuts funding for the Canadian socialised medicine and welfare programs. They decide it’s not fair for them to get better healthcare and welfare protection than the other states. They’re told that if they want to keep those things they’ll have to raise the money from their own state budgets and state taxes. But they have restrictions on how much they can raise in state tax, so services are strained.

There are little problems here and there as well. Whenever Canadians go down to the original states, the locals refuse to take their Canadian money or give them a hard time, even though it is legal US currency.

Most of the former members of the Canadian national hockey team are recruited into the US olympic hockey team. They do really well in the early rounds, and headlines scream “USA! USA!” When the Canadians point out that every player on the team is Canadian, the Americans scoff and say, “Quit being so nationalistic. We’re all Americans.” The team loses in the final to Russia. The headlines scream, “American Bid for Gold Destroyed by Incompetent Canadians.”

Canada is rich in oil and other natural resources, which are now owned by the US government. With so much land and so few people, per capita they contribute more money to the US budget than they get back in Federal spending. They ask to get more of it back to pay for healthcare and education, but they are outnumbered in congress as usual.

Socially, Canadians are just different. The Canadian states legalise gay marriage across the former Canada with little fuss and the only protests came from the south. They have strict firearm restrictions and they resent that Americans keep bringing in guns.

A war breaks out in Europe. Planeloads and boatloads of European refugees pour into North America from Britain, France, and Spain. The President immediately reacts and calls for restrictions on refugees, claiming that there is no space for them, and they’re too dangerous. Meanwhile, Canada wants to welcome as many refugees as possible. There is plenty of space in Canada, they love welcoming new cultures, and they want to help. Unfortunately, immigration is not a state-level power, so they are banned from accepting refugees.

The US decides to increase their military spending and starts wars all over the world, as usual. Canada pays their share and then some. Americans start to feel uncomfortable with all the nuclear stockpiles in the country, but they refuse to get rid of them. Instead, they park their entire store of nukes just outside Toronto. Not a single Canadian voted to approve the move.

Things start to break down. The Canadians have long recovered from their original crisis, and it just seems like they no longer have any power to govern themselves. They are socially far more liberal than the original states, but their votes don’t mean anything in Congress, so they are constantly saddled with an extremely conservative government.

They’ve been an independent country before. They know it’s possible. If they broke out of the US, they could bring back socialised medicine and welfare and the French language. They could spend more on health and education and less on the constant wars. They could make the Americans take their nukes back, so that they aren’t endangering their largest city.

The Americans don’t understand. “Your population is so small! You’re part of the greatest country in the world! You’ll never have that kind of global clout if you leave us.”

But the Canadians don’t want global power. They just want to take care of themselves and be Canadian again.

So that’s basically what the relationship between Scotland and England is like. Scotland doesn’t want an Empire like England does. We just want to take care of ourselves on our own terms. Our priorities and values are just fundamentally different.

There’s one thing about Dracula adaptations that always bugs me: the reincarnated wife plot. Dracula is haunted by tragic death of the love of his life, usually from before he became a vampire. (In Francis Ford Copolla’s fever dream Vlad the Impaler is so sad about his dead wife that he yells at God and stabs a cross and that turns you into a vampire, apparently). Then, he lays eyes on Mina. He immediately knows that she is his dead wife reborn through oceans of time or whatever. Their love is destined and he must have her. 

I’m particularly thinking about Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula (which is a ludicrously inappropriate title; I’ve decided to go with BS Dracula instead). The NBC Dracula series also jumps on the dead wife bandwagon. Dracula Untold too, though as far as I can tell that movie has less than one percent to do with the novel. (I get the feeling these adaptations are playing follow the commercially successful leader). For an interesting change of pace, there’s also the 1973 Dracula starring Jack Palance where Lucy is the reincarnated wife. 

I hate this cliché with every fiber of my being. I don’t want it anywhere near my favorite novel. Honestly, I don’t think I’d want this story anywhere. But, it’s particularly awful in the context of the original novel. Let me just sort of spew my rageful thoughts out here, particularly with BS Dracula in mind.

Firstly, this plot completely takes away Mina’s agency. Dracula is the only one who remembers their connection. He has to tell her that they’re supposed to be soulmates. And, he starts pursuing her before she knows any of this. There’s some hefty entitlement going on here. She was with him before, so she’s going to be with him now, even if she has no memory of it. He lost his lady, he was sad, he spent hundreds of years moping and murdering innocent people, and then he gets a replacement. She takes away his sadness and brings out his better nature (not that he attempts to make any restitution to his victims; apologizing for eating babies just wouldn’t be romantic, I guess).

Mina isn’t presented as having any real choice in the matter. She has to be same woman as she was in her previous life. She has to love him back. Her previous life up to this point doesn’t matter. It’s like that bit from Daria: without knowing it, she’s just been waiting her entire life for him to show up and now her life can really begin. She exists to be in love with him.

Yet, this relationship is supposed to be positive for both of them. Being with Dracula fulfills some need she wasn’t even consciously aware of before. Because, you see, Victorian society is repressing her sexuality and individuality. So, she needs a man to come along and liberate her. Of course, she can’t be really fulfilled with Jonathan. I mean, come on, he’s a kind, naïve, well-mannered, generally nice guy. How boring is that? He needs to be a complicated, ambiguous, dangerous, mysterious, dark and brooding loner who murders people, but he feels bad about it so it’s okay. 

That brings me to the second thing that enrages me about the dead wife cliché: how it stands in comparison to the canonical relationship between Jonathan and Mina.

Dracula and Mina’s love is supposed to be based on destiny. They’re in love because they’re soulmates. They’re in love because they’re in love. It’s a grand romance that was always meant to be. But, it doesn’t feel like it’s based on anything about them as people and how they relate to each other on a practical level. 

Jonathan and Mina’s love is shown in their actions as well as their thoughts towards each other: simple things, not always grand gestures. Jonathan takes recipes home for Mina. She memorizes the train schedule to help him out. They learn shorthand together. They have common interests (“Trains are so cool.” “I know, right?”). They supported each other in their careers. They set up a household together. They deal with day to day issues. I can’t imagine Mina and Dracula working on a budget, doing taxes, discussing schedules with the serving staff, giggling at each others dumb jokes, complaining about the latest changes in the train schedule or just getting ready for bed and chatting over the boring minutiae of the day, like I can with the Harkers.

And even in more extreme situations, their relationship is far more meaningful. Jonathan faces off against vampires and bloodthirsty wolves to see his fiancée again. Mina travels to a strange country on her own and marries Jonathan while he’s in his sick bed. She supports him through is grief and trauma. As I’ve said before, she puts together the group, and is ultimately the one who is responsible for stopping Dracula, because she wants to get to the bottom of what’s wrong with her husband.

Even through the grief of losing his second father and the lingering trauma from his ordeal at Dracula’s hands, Jonathan wants to take care of Mina. To the point that he inadvertently harms her by agreeing to keep her out of the investigation. And he regrets his actions. When Mina says that she’s “unclean,” Jonathan embraces her, reassures her that there’s nothing wrong with her. He tries his best to comfort her as her condition worsens. He will stand by her in life, death, or undeath.

What does Dracula concretely do for her? He feels bad about the countless people he’s murdered. He offers her generic “love.” He fills some need she didn’t know she had, that in the movie comes off primarily as just sexual. She has to be with him. In trope terms, she exists to be his morality pet and replacement goldfish.

I’m not saying I don’t enjoy love at first sight, love that persists across time, reincarnated soulmates. I’m a romantic. But, there needs to be something behind that. I need to know that these people work as friends, as partners. The reincarnated wife plot in BS Dracula and its imitators isn’t romantic. It’s soaring strings, staring into each other’s lives, sex, and vague destiny trying its hardest to tell me that its romantic.

Why would I want to see that when I have Mina and Jonathan’s love story? When I have a personal, real, human love story?

Hell, consider Jack and Lucy’s relationship: a lonely, complicated man with a dark side (and, yeah, a strain of self pity) who is turned down by the woman he loves who is in love with a more traditionally romantic hero. And? He respects her, accepts her choices, supports her even if he’s still hurt by the loss. He doesn’t force the issue, he doesn’t think that she needs his love to make her life complete. He’s a good person. He’s likable despite, maybe because of his faults. We want to see him overcome his demons and live a better life. I don’t want to see Dracula redeemed. I don’t see him as a dark, gothic rebel saving Mina from those stupid, Victorian preps. I don’t want Mina to be reduced to an object for his redemption arc.

He’s a terrifying villain because he’s an abuser, a manipulator, a sadist, who violates people physically, mentally, and emotional to take away their power. Dracula is something fundamentally evil in an unsettlingly real way. There’s nothing sympathetic about Dracula. Rewriting the story to make him an antihero only reflects that the author thinks that Dracula, dark, tortured, dangerous, powerful, is a figure we should identify with, above someone like Jonathan. And popular culture seems to by and large agree that this is the story we want to see. And that doesn’t reflect well on the popular psyche.

The reincarnated wife plot isn’t more interesting than the love story in the book. Jonathan and Mina Harker aren’t boring. They’re a romance we can really aspire to. 

Occupations Masterlist:

The Music Industry~

OKAY, so under this cut you’ll find a list of #55 jobs your characters can hold in the music industry aside from classic band members/solo artists. I know for bandom RP especially it can be hard to come up with unique jobs for OCs that still enable them to create connections. I’ve organized everything into categories for easy searching and defined even the most intuitive titles, so hopefully this helps!

Keep reading

vanityfair.com
Trump’s Tax Plan Would Be 23,500 Times Better for the Ultra-Rich than the Poor
Yes, really. It would also raise the deficit by $3.4 trillion.
By Bess Levin

It is instructive to recall the many instances in which the Republican Party, in a more dignified universe, might have been expected to disown Donald Trump. On the campaign trail, there was the infamous “grab ‘em by the p—y” fiasco. Since taking office, there have been a gobsmacking number of tweets that might have prompted concern for his mental state, like the one in which a sitting president, doing his best impression of a tween-age mean girl, attacked Mika Brzezinski and claimed she’d had a facelift because she was mean to him on TV; or when he baselessly accused the F.B.I. director he had fired of criminal activity, based on a botched Fox News segment; or when he went to the mat to defend his eldest son’s meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer after being promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton straight from the Russian government.

Of course, we all know why, against all odds, the G.O.P. has stood by 45: tax cuts. Yes, the prospect of shrinking the government while simultaneously transferring trillions to the rich takes precedence over potentially punishing the president for any unsavory campaign dealings with a foreign government. Especially when, as a new analysis of Trump’s proposed tax plan shows, said redistribution would be bigger and bolder than anything in Paul Ryan’s wildest dreams.

According to the Tax Policy Center, the cuts that Team Trump included in their bullet-point outline last April could result in a loss of revenue between $3.4 trillion and $7.8 trillion over 10 years. To whom will those benefits go? We’ll give you two guesses, but you’ll only need one.

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How Not to Balance the Budget on the Backs of the Poor

Donald Trump wants to slash Medicaid, Social Security disability, and food stamps in order to expand the military and give the rich and corporations big tax cuts.

There’s a far better way to help balance the federal budget – cap tax expenditures.

The federal government is diverting hundreds of billions of tax dollars every year to help the wealthiest Americans become even wealthier through tax expenditures that are the equivalent of government handouts – allowing the wealthy to deduct or exclude from their taxable incomes large amounts of employer-provided health care, retirement savings, and mortgage interest.

These tax expenditures demand reform for three big reasons:

1. First, they are unfair. Middle and low-income workers don’t get from their employers nearly as much health insurance and retirement income as do corporate executives. Many get none at all. And their mortgages– if they have any– are usually much smaller, because they live in homes that don’t cost as much.

2. Second. these deductions and exclusions are nonsensical. Originally, they were put into the tax code to give people financial incentives to get health insurance, to save for retirement, and to buy a home. But the rich don’t need financial incentives to do these things because they’re … rich.

3. Finally these deductions and exclusions are hugely expensive. They cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year– $348 billion in 2015 alone– the lion’s share going to high income families.

Instead of wasting these billions on making the wealthy even wealthier, we should be using these resources to provide better healthcare, retirement security and affordable housing to low and middle-income households, including households of color, who are currently losing out.

There’s no reason why America’s wealthy should be able to deduct or exclude from their taxable incomes more than, say, $25,000 a year for employer-provided health care, retirement, and mortgage interest.

Limiting those deductions and exclusions would be rational, fiscally responsible, and fair. Unlike Trump and Republican budgets that want to slash Medicaid, Social Security disability, and food stamps.

The Wall

$15 BILLION for a wall along a small stretch of the southern border does nothing but cost taxpayers.

We have over 100,000 miles of border, 5,525 with Canada, 1,989 with Mexico, and 95,000 with the oceans… You really think a wall on 2% of the border is going to do anything?

If you’re worried about drugs, remember that 3.1 million Americans admit to abusing non prescription cough medicine (Addiction Center). 2.4 million Americans admit to abusing prescription drugs (National Institute on Drug Abuse). And that is just stuff you get from your doctor or medicine store, so is a wall going to stop that?

Worried about “illegal” immigrants? Well if we ignore the fact that borders are a human concept and that no human is actually illegal, and we ignore our moral obligation to help our fellow man, then let’s just remember that migration from Mexico is LOWER in recent years than before. It peaked in 2007 and now is at or around NET ZERO PERCENT (Politifact, Center for Immigration Studies).

Guns… This is America, I can buy a gun from a family member and it does not have to be registered, nor do I have to be licensed. Only if I want to carry it in public would I need a permit, which is just a matter of a background check and $20. In 2013, there were more than 10.9 million manufactered guns in America (Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms, and Explosives), in 2009, it was estimated that Americans possessed at 310 million (2012 Congressional Research Service report)… Think about that considering our population is 318 million. So is a border wall going to stop anyone from getting a gun? No.

But ‘illegals’ don’t pay taxes! Wrong - undocumented immigrants pay more than $10.6 billion in local taxes every year (Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy), and 50%-70% pay income taxes (Congressional Budget Office), and if we provided a pathway for citizenship, they would contribute even more.

‘Illegal’ immagrants cannot receive welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, or any other benefit (CNN Money), so don’t go there either.

I think it is also worth mentioning that Trump’s proposed 20% tariff on Mexican imports to ‘reimberse’ American taxpayers, would actually cost us. Mexico is our third largest trading partner (U.S. Trade Representative) and a terrif would raise CONSUMER prices… In layman’s terms, Mexico will increase the price of car parts, food, medical equipment, etc, to cover the cost of the tarrif, passing the burden onto American consumers (Tax Policy Center).

And lastly, let me just remind you that in August of 2005, Mexico literally sent us their best - for the first time since 1942, Mexican troops entered the United States to respond to Hurricane Katrina. Then President Vicente Fox -the same one who called Donald Trump a child and said “I am not paying for that fucken wall”- offered us his condolences on behalf of Mexico, the Mexican Red Cross sent experts, the Mexican Navy sent ships, rescue vehicles, and helicopters, personnel, and 250 tonnes of food. The Mexican Air Force sent planes with 200 tonnes of food. 349 sailors and 184 solders, as well as other personnel and experts, crossed our borders to help us as our citizens across the region faced unimaginable disaster.

So let’s take a moment to think this through, ignoring every aspect of the fact that these are human beings and Mexico is a partner, based on our own economic benefits, this wall makes no sense, and when you think about it, we will only be hurting ourselves.

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TRUMP’S BONKERS BUDGET

Donald Trump ran for president as a man of the people, who was going to fight for those who were left behind – but everything we’re hearing about his forthcoming federal budget says exactly the opposite: Spending that’s a great deal for big corporations that have hired armies of lobbyists, and great for the wealthiest few like himself. But leaving everyone else a lot worse off.

Here are four important early warning flares:

1. Trump’s budget will increase military spending by 10 percent (even though U.S. military expenditures already exceed the next seven largest military budgets around the world, combined). And that’s frankly scary for a lot of reasons from what it signals about his foreign policy priorities to the impact of that whopping spending hike like this on other parts of the budget.

2. Trump actually plans to cut corporate taxes (even though U.S corporate profits after are higher as a percentage of the economy than they’ve been since 1947).

3. He’s going to pay for this – in part – by cutting billions of dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency (which would strip the EPA of almost all its capacity to enforce environmental laws and regulations, at a time when climate change threatens the future of the planet). This is precisely the opposite of what the United States ought to be doing.

4. Last – but by no means least – huge leaps in military spending plus tax cuts will also mean big cuts to programs like food stamps and Medicaid (at a time when the U.S. has the highest poverty rate among all advanced nations, including more than 1 in 5 American children).

This is only the first step in the budget process, but with Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate these priorities have a good chance of being enacted, which is why we have to raise our voices – and push back – now.

Republicans in Congress are likely still recovering from the last recess – dubbed appropriately “Resistance Recess.” We need to take that winning spirit of resistance into the budget fight – and the time to start is right now.

So, let your members of Congress know that Trump’s budget is not your budget. Trump’s spending and tax priorities are not in the best interest of most Americans. And then let’s get to work to make sure we get a Congress in 2018 that reflects YOUR priorities.

List of Presidential cats

* Tabby, Dixie - Abraham Lincoln
* Piccolomini, Siam, Miss Pussy - Rutherford B. Hayes
* Valeriano Weyler, Enrique DeLome - William McKinley
* Tom Quartz, Slippers - Theodore Roosevelt
* Puffins - Woodrow Wilson
* Smoky (bobcat), Tiger (house cat), Tax Reduction, Budget Bureau (lion cubs) - Calvin Coolidge
* Tom Kitten - John F. Kennedy
* Shan - Gerald Ford
* Misty Malarky Ying Yang - Jimmy Carter
* Socks - Bill Clinton
* India “Willie” - George W. Bush

Martin van Buren also briefly owned two tiger cubs gifted by the Sultan of Oman before Congress forced van Buren to donate them to a zoo.

naviigatenorth  asked:

Edward Elric, for the headcanons? :)

Thank you for asking!! Sorry it took me a few days to answer. (I practically started writing a fic for the answer to heart crushing. XD)

Realistic: When Edward becomes a dad, he becomes a Dad™. Team Mustang jokes that he’s like the reincarnation of Hughes, with all his photos and rambles about his wife and children. You thought he was bad when someone cracked jokes about his height? Try saying something about his kids and see how defensive he gets.

Hilarious: There were actual fights over who was going to take on the roles of parents of the groom for his wedding. Hohenheim had likely died by then, so he was out of the running, but there was still the Curtises, Roy, Riza, and Major Armstrong (”LET ME GUIDE YOU THROUGH THIS PIVOTAL MOMENT, WITH THE TRADITIONS THAT HAVE PASSED DOWN THE ARMSTRONG FAMILY FOR GENERATIONS!” *sparkle sparkle*) squabbling amongst themselves. It takes Ed trying to elope for them to calm down.

Heart crushing: My original answer accidentally turned into a mini-fic. Oops. (I think I’ll clean it up later and post it on its own.) Basically, Ed lives in near constant fear that he’ll become like his father. Yes, he doesn’t hate the man as much as he used to; and he’ll admit, he can even understand Hohenheim’s reasons for going away. But that doesn’t change the damage his absence caused. Ed doesn’t want Winry to wear the same sad, lonely expression his mother did. He doesn’t want his children hardly knowing their father, and growing up thinking that he didn’t care about them or his mother. He swears up and down that he’ll be better…but he’s terrified that that’s a lie.

Doesn’t work with canon: Hrmm, this one’s difficult…. So, essentially all of Ed’s teenage years, he spent in the military. At one point, Roy realizes that Ed is growing up, and sort of heaves a sigh and decides since there’s no one else really to teach the kid how to be an adult, it’s up to him. Edward is none-too pleased with the prospect, but there’s really no avoiding it. So Colonel Mustang teaches him how to drive (not a fun experience for anyone), what’s up with taxes and budgeting, has a very uncomfortable talk, and shows him how to shave.

The North Korea Reframe

Prior U.S. presidents framed the North Korean nuclear program as a problem between the United States and North Korea, with China as an unhelpful third party with its own interests. That framing was weak and useless. North Korea did whatever it wanted to do.

President Trump recently changed the frame. Now it’s not so much a problem between the United States and North Korea as it is a branding battle between China and the U.S., with North Korea being the less-important part of the equation. President Trump has said clearly and repeatedly that if China doesn’t fix the problem in its own backyard, the USA will step in to do what China couldn’t get done.

See the power in that framing? China doesn’t want a weak “brand.” 

Keep reading

Can you afford to buy a home in the biggest US cities? 🤔 

This map illustrates just how much you need to earn to buy a home in America’s biggest cities. It backs up something that many prospective homebuyers are feeling: Making enough $ to pay for even an average-priced home can be a struggle. When buying a home, you need to budget for interest, taxes, insurance — not to mention a down payment. Those costs add up, especially when you consider that median home prices rose in most of America’s 27 largest metro areas, as incomes remained stagnant. 💸💰💵🤑

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