Tidbits - September 5 2019

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TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY



ANOTHER FIRST

  This will be the first issue ever printed BEFORE the high school and Carolina and Clemson football games are played.
  Because of the Labor Day holiday on Monday, the normal printing day, we are getting the September 5 issue printed on Thursday, August 29.
  It is being printed while Clemson is playing Georgia Tech, and as a Dish Network subscriber, I’m not going to be able to see it unless there are last minute changes.
  I read an article that the ACC Network is a hard sell nationwide. The only ACC football team the nation cares about is Clemson, and unless Clemson plays in every televised game, the ad revenue is going to be weak.
  The network should have started up during basketball season,  because the ACC is the best basketball conference in the country. Many fans throughout the country want to see UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, Virginia, etc., play.
  The ACC has one of the best baseball conferences, too, and wins national titles in many non-revenue making sports, as well.
  Hopefully, Dish will add the ACC, and restore the Fox channels that carry the Braves, or I may cut the cord.

REMNANTS..

  I am currently on a trail mix kick.
  My favorite is sweet and salty, which features raisins, M&M’s type chocolate, peanuts and sunflowers seeds.
  Invariably, I eat all the good stuff, raisins, chocolate and peanuts, and the sunflower seeds sink to the bottom.
  Not that I don’t like sunflower seeds, but I usually eat the trail mix while I’m lying in bed, and some of the little sunflower seeds miss mouth and I end up sleeping on them.
  The other day I counted four bags, one fifth full of sunflower seeds.
  That was such a waste, I thought. I decided to doctor them up.
  After I picked up the papers at the Index-Journal Tuesday morning, I drove over to Big Lots to look for raisins and M&M’s.
  I was disappointed. The smallest amount of raisins I could get came in a five little boxes package. I didn’t need that many.
  Then my quest for M&M’s was shattered, when the only flavor of M&M’s I couldn’t find was the original M&M’s and that’s what I was searching for.
  Well, it was a good idea.
  As I turned to leave the candy section something caught my eye.
“Excelsior!” I saw a box of Raisinettes.
  That solved the chocolate and raisin problem in one package.
  When I got home, I poured all the sunflower seed remnants into one bag, emptied my box of Raisinettes, the shook up the contents.
  My trail mix is really good ... except I still miss my mouth with the sunflower seeds.....

HOW DID WE?

  I pulled out of my driveway to cruise the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting last week and had reached the Gillians, when I realized I forgot my camera.
  I pulled into their driveway, turned around and went back to the house to get the camera.
  I have been known to leave my camera before, and usually when that happens I just take pictures with my phone, but it’s simpler to post an album to Facebook from the camera.
  When I got to the Shrine Club, I decided to see if the cell phone signal had improved from last year.
  Last year I got the “no service”  message inside the building. I may as well have been on Pluto.
  When I reached from the phone in my belt holster, all I grabbed was air. I had left my phone at home in the charger.
  Good thing I went back and got the camera!
  As the meeting end neared, I started going through the “what if list” of things that could happen if you don’t have your phone.
  I lived the first 44 years of my life without the luxury of having a cell phone, and for many years the only day I cut on my cell on was when I drove Lexington on Tuesday to pick up the papers.
  Then I got my first smart phone, a Blackberry, and my life changed.
  Like any teenager, I can’t get along without my phone.
  What if I didn’t have my phone and have to use someone else’s to call someone.
  I couldn’t, because I don’t know anyone’s number anymore. My phone keeps up with that!

GIVE AWAY, BUT DON’T

  Many of the presidential candidate are pushing government give-away programs like free college tuition, and Medicare for all, etc.
  You would think if they wanted the government to give away your tax money, they would also be generous with their giving to charity. Wrong!
  Read these charitable contribution  figures I’ve gotten from several stories on the internet:
 •Former Vice President Joe Biden : 1.8 percent
  • Elizabeth Warren: 5.5 percent.
  • Jay Inslee: 4.1 percent.
 • Bernie Sanders: 3.4 percent.
  • Amy Klobuchar: 1.9 percent.
 • Kirsten Gillibrand: 1.7 percent.
 • Senator Kamala Harris reported no charitable contributions from 2011 through 2013, years when she was California’s attorney general. In 2014, she married Douglas Emhoff, a lawyer, and in 2018, the couple gave 1.3 percent of their income to charities.
  • Beto O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, gave the least, with donations of just  0.31 percent of his income.
  • Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, gave the smallest dollar figure, just $765 out of $135,013 in 2017, the last for which he itemized his deductions. That’s 0.6%.
  •Cory Booker, New Jersey’s junior senator, in 2018 claimed the highest charitable deduction at 16 percent, or $24,000. Last year, he relied on his Senate income but in earlier years, Booker, who is single, has made significantly more money in speaking fees and book royalties. In 2013, he gave almost 49 percent of his income to charity, and over the past 10 years, he’s given 10 percent.
  Hats off to Cory Booker.
  Boo to Beta, Mayor Pete and Sen. Harris. Your “generosity” is pathetic.
  I don’t see how candidates can support government funded proposals to help others, when they are not willing to help others personally through charitable giving.
  That’s the Democratic side, but what about the Republicans?
  As you know President Trump has not released his tax returns. He may not want the public to see how little he gives the charity.
  He did have a charitable foundation, but it was largely funded by others and sometimes spent money to benefit Trump himself.
  The New York attorney general sued the Trump Foundation last year, alleging that it used funds for the benefit of the president and his children, and the foundation in December agreed to shut down.
  •Mike Pence hasn’t released his returns lately, which he says he’s done in solidarity with the president. Earlier returns showed charitable deductions that outpaced those of most Democratic candidates by a wide margin. In 2015 for example, the vice president claimed charitable deductions of $8,923 on income of $115,526, which comes to a rate of about 7.7 percent. His giving in previous years ranged between 5.4 percent and 9.2 percent.