Gut-Wrenching Footage Shows Abandoned Baby Being Rescued From Plastic Bag

While parenthood can be one of the greatest sources of joy in one’s life, not everyone is prepared for such a commitment and thus upon hearing that they are expecting, go to some rather disturbing means to get out of it.

And in places where access to family planning health services is low, mothers can get truly desperate after the baby arrives. Worse still is when cultural norms surrounding single motherhood make that status so frowned upon that their lives become unlivable. Sadly, this often ends in people taking drastic and devastating measures.

After a late night of partying and celebration, a group of friends from Caloocan City, Philippines, heard distant crying sounds in the early hours of the morning. Upon further inspection, they made the heartbreaking discovery of a small baby covered in blood and stuffed inside of shopping bags. The infant was discovered in the sidecar of a motorcycle and still had the umbilical cord attached.

Medics confirmed that had the group of friends not discovered the child when they did, it is incredibly likely that the baby would have suffocated inside the plastic bags.

(via Daily Mail)

This is truly tragic for the child. I hope that this baby gets a fresh start after enduring something so terrible.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/plastic-bag-baby/

Want to Learn How to Mine in Space? Theres a School for You

Hunter Williams used to be an English teacher. Then, three years into that job, he started reading the book The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. The 1966 novel by Robert Heinlein takes place in the 2070s, on the moon, which, in this future, hosts a subterranean penal colony. Like all good sci-fi, the plot hinges on a rebellion and a computer that gains self-awareness. But more important to Williams were two basic fictional facts: First, people lived on the moon. Second, they mined the moon. “I thought, ‘This is it. This is what we really could be doing,” he says.

Today, that vision is closer than ever. And Williams is taking steps to make it reality. This year, he enrolled in a class called Space Resources Fundamentals, the pilot course for the first-ever academic program specializing in space mining. It's a good time for such an education, given that companies like Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources are planning prospecting missions, NASA's OSIRIS-REx is on its way to get a sample of an asteroid and bring it back to Earth, and there's international and commercial talk of long-term living in space.

Williams had grown up with the space-farers on Star Trek, but he found Heinlein’s vision more credible: a colony that dug into and used the resources of their celestial body. That's the central tenet of the as-yet-unrealized space mining industry: You can't take everything with you, and, even if you can, it's a whole lot cheaper not to—to mine water to make fuel, for instance, rather than launching it on overburdened rockets. “I saw a future that wasn't a hundred or a thousand years away but could be happening now,” says Williams.

So in 2012, he adjusted trajectory and went to school for aerospace engineering. Then he worked at Cape Canaveral in Florida, doing ground support for Lockheed Martin. His building, on that cosmic coast, was right next to one of SpaceX's spots. “Every day when I came to work, I would see testaments to new technology,” he says. “It was inspiring.”

A few years later, he still hadn't let go of the idea that humans could work with what they found in space. Like in his book. So he started talking to Christopher Dreyer, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines’ Center for Space Resources, a research and technology development center that's existed within the school for more than a decade.

It was good timing. Because this summer, Mines announced its intention to found the world’s first graduate program in Space Resources—the science, technology, policy, and politics of prospecting, mining, and using those resources. The multidisciplinary program would offer Post-Baccalaureate certificates and Masters of Science degrees. Although it's still pending approval for a 2018 start date, the school is running its pilot course, taught by Dreyer, this semester.

Williams has committed fully: He left his Canaveral job this summer and moved to Colorado to do research for Dreyer, and hopefully start the grad program in 2018.

Williams wasn't the only one interested in the future of space mining. People from all over, non-traditional students, wanted to take Space Resources Fundamentals. And so Dreyer and Center for Space Resources director Angel Abbud-Madrid decided to run it remotely, ending up with about 15 enrollees who log in every Tuesday and Thursday night for the whole semester. Dreyer has a special setup in his office for his virtual lectures: a laptop stand, a wall of books behind him, a studio-type light that shines evenly.

In the minutes before Thanskgiving-week class started, students' heads popped up on Dreyer's screen as they logged in. Some are full-time students at Mines; some work in industry; some work for the government. There was the employee from the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, an office tasked, in part, with making sure the US is obeying international treaties as they explore beyond the planet. Then there’s Justin Cyrus, the CEO of a startup called Lunar Outpost. Cyrus isn’t mining any moons yet, but Lunar Outpost has partnered with Denver’s Department of Environmental Health to deploy real-time air-quality sensors, of the kind it hopes to develop for moony use.

Cyrus was a Mines graduate, with a master’s in electrical and electronics engineering; he sought out Dreyer and Abbud-Madrid when he needed advice for his nascent company. When the professors announced the space resources program, Cyrus decided to get in on this pilot class. He, and the other attendees, seem to see the class not just as an educational opportunity but also as a networking one: Their classmates, they say, are the future leaders of this industry.

Cyrus, the FAA employee, and Williams all smiled from their screens in front of benign backgrounds. About a dozen other students—all men—joined in by the time class started. The day's lesson, about resources on the moon, came courtesy of scientist Paul Spudis, who live-broadcasted from a few states away. Spudis, a guest lecturer, showed charts and maps and data about resources the moon might harbor, and where, and their worth. He's bullish on the prospects of prospecting. Toward the end of his talk, he said, "I think we'll have commercial landings on the moon in the next year or so." Indeed, the company Moon Express is planning to land there in 2018, in a bid to win the Google Lunar X Prize.

Back during Halloween week, the class covered the Outer Space Treaty, a creation of the United Nations that governs outer-space actions and (in some people's interpretations) makes the legality of space mining dubious. The lecture was full of policy detail, but the students drove the ensuing Q&A toward the sociological. Space mining would disproportionately help already-wealthy countries, some thought, despite talk in the broader community about how space mining lowers the barrier to space entry.

In this realism, and this thoughtfulness, Dreyer's class is refreshing. The PR talk of big would-be space mining companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries can be slick, uncomplicated, and (sometimes) unrealistic. It often skips over the many steps between here and self-sustaining space societies—not to mention the companies' own long-term viability.

But in Space Resource Fundamentals, the students seem grounded. Student Nicholas Proctor, one of few with a non-engineering background, appreciates the pragmatism. Proctor studied accounting as an undergrad and enrolled at Mines in mineral economics. After he received a NASA grant to study space-based solar power and its applications to the mining industry, Abbud-Madrid sent him an email telling him about the class. The professor thought it would be a good fit—and Proctor obviously agreed.

After Thanksgiving-week class was over, students logged off, waving one-handed goodbyes. Williams had been watching from the lab downstairs, in a high-tech warehouse-garage combo. There, he and other students work among experiments about how dust moves in space, and what asteroids are actually like. Of course, they're also interested in how to get stuff—resources—out of them. An old metal chamber dominates the room, looking like an unpeopled iron lung. "The big Apollo-era chamber is currently for asteroid mining," Williams explained, "breaking apart rocks with sunlight and extracting the water and even precious metals."

While Williams closed up class shop downstairs, Dreyer and Abbud-Madrid hung out in Dreyer's office for a few minutes. Dreyer, leaning back in his well-lit chair, talked bemusedly about some of the communications they receive. “We get interest from people to find out what they can mine and bring back to Earth and become a trillionaire,” he said.

That’s not really what the Space Resources program is about, in part because it’s not clear that’s possible—it’s expensive to bring the precious (to bring anything) back to Earth. The class focus—and, not coincidentally, the near-term harvest—is the H2O, which will stay in space, for space-use. “No matter how complex our society becomes, it always comes back to water,” said Abbud-Madrid. He laughed. “We’re going to the moon,” he continued. “For water.”

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/want-to-learn-how-to-mine-in-space-theres-a-school-for-you/

Should the Upper Middle Class Take the Biggest Tax Hit?

Humans learn the concept of fairness at a very young age. After all, it doesn’t take long for a child to start whining about a sibling who gets an extra serving of ice cream. As the Republican-controlled Congress tries to push through tax reform this year, one group of Americans may similarly question why it’s coming up a scoop short.

The upper middle class gets relatively few benefits and a disproportionate number of tax hikes under the $1.4-trillion Tax Cuts and Jobs Act approved by the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Families earning between $150,000 and $308,000—the 80th to 95th percentile—would still get a tax cut on average. But by 2027, more than a third of those affluent Americans can expect a tax increase, according to the Tax Policy Center.

If the House bill becomes law, overall benefits for the upper middle class will start out small, and later vanish almost entirely.

Is this fair? Some argue it’s only right for the upper middle class to carry a heavier burden. This is because the top fifth of the U.S. by income has done pretty well over the past three decades while the wages and wealth of typical workers have stagnated. People in the 81st to 99th percentiles by income have boosted their inflation-adjusted pre-tax cash flow by 65 percent between 1979 and 2013, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That’s more than twice as much as the income rise seen by the middle 60 percent. (The top 1 percent, meanwhile, saw their income rise by 186 percent over the same period, but that’s another story.)

“Many upper-middle-class families will tell you they do not feel wealthy,” said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning think tank. “Their standard of living [is] closer to the middle class than to the top 1 percent.” The income numbers don’t tell the whole story, he explained. The upper middle class is weighed down by high costs: Affluent workers live in expensive areas, pay a lot for real estate and daycare, and are taxed far more than Americans further down the ladder.

Richard Reeves, a senior fellow at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, isn’t buying that argument. He’s the author of “Dream Hoarders: How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, and What to Do About It.”

“There’s a culture of entitlement at the top of U.S. society,” Reeves said. While others focus on rising wealth of the top 1 percent, Reeves argues that the gap is widening between the top 20 percent and everyone else. The upper middle class is guilty of “hoarding” its privileges, using its power to skew the job market, educational institutions, real estate markets, and tax policy for its own benefit, he contends.

“The American upper middle class know how to take care of themselves,” Reeves said during a presentation at the City University of New York last week. “They know how to organize. They’re numerous enough to be a serious voting bloc, and they run everything.”

So by his measure, the tax legislation’s disproportionate hit to the upper middle class is indeed fair.

A family earning $240,000 a year is bringing in four times the U.S. median household income of $59,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. All that money, along with the upper middle class’s political power, buys some huge advantages, Reeves said. For example, affluent parents compete for access to the best schools, bidding up home values in the best school districts. Then, they use zoning rules to prevent new construction, keep property values high, and prevent lower-income Americans from moving in. In the process, children of this demographic end up at the most prestigious universities, nab the best internships and jobs, and ultimately join their parents at the top of U.S. society. 

The very existence of the House tax bill rebuts Reeves’s argument that the upper middle class is in a position to manipulate Washington. (The Senate is considering its own tax legislation, which differs from the House bill in several ways.) Compared with middle class Americans, the upper middle class is less likely to see marginal tax rates fall under the House legislation. The bill also limits or scraps entirely some of the group’s favorite tax breaks, especially deductions for state-and-local taxes, and medical expenses, and tax breaks for education.

If you’re part of the upper middle class and concede you should be paying more, don’t count on wealthier groups making the same sacrifice—at least under the House bill. 

While a repeal of the alternative-minimum tax helps some people with incomes below $300,000, it’s more likely to benefit those on the higher wealth rungs. The very rich, including President Donald Trump, who has been pressing for a legislative victory before the end of his first year in office, would benefit from a repeal of the estate tax, lower corporate tax rates and a lower “pass-through” rate on business income. The House bill explicitly tries to limit the pass-through benefit for doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other high-earning professionals—traditional denizens of the upper middle class. 

This all may seem terribly unfair to members of the upper middle class, but there are some provisions they can take solace in. The bill leaves untouched some sweet tax breaks that predominately benefit people with lower six-figure salaries, such as 529 college savings plans and 401(k)s and other retirement perks. The CBO calculates that two-thirds of the government’s costs for retirement tax breaks go to the top 20 percent.

But beyond these few exceptions, much of the upper middle class will still take it on the chin.

And maybe they should. Higher taxes on the upper middle class make sense to some liberal tax experts—but only if the proceeds are used the right way, they said, for things like better health care, more affordable college, and rebuilding infrastructure. Under the House bill, though, any new tax revenue is used to offset tax cuts—much of which will benefit the super wealthy and corporations, especially over time.

“There would be a lot of people in the country who would be willing to chip in for those goals,” said Carl Davis, research director of the left-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. In the House plan, however, the upper middle class is “going to pay more for a bill that’s going to grow the national debt, and provide the lion’s share of the benefits to corporations and their shareholders.”

Riedl, who has advised Republican candidates, argues the upper middle class should get a more generous tax cut under GOP tax reform. “It’s hard to argue the upper middle class is not currently paying its fair share,” he said. Reeves said the U.S. should ultimately tax the upper middle class more—but “the top 5 percent more still.”

Looking at Republican tax plans, Reeves said, “it’s like they only read half my book.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-20/should-the-upper-middle-class-take-the-biggest-tax-hit

    Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino just tastes like sugar and regret

    Please drive this away from me.
    Image: STARBUCKS

    Nothing says Christmas like a cold cup of sugar. 

    At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I took a sip, and another one of the Christmas Tree Frappuccino. It’s Starbucks’ latest concoction that has people running out to corporate coffee shops, where they spend $5 and most likely take a bunch of smartphone photos to later post on social media. 

    Like this: 

    Like any good business reporter, I jumped on the trend Sunday. After my editor shared a piece by The Denver Post reviewing the drink and some tweets of people’s reactions, I asked if I could go get one and try it myself. Because that, my friends, is reporting. 

    Well, I’ve been wanting to get one ever since my sister shared the Starbucks ad in our family group Thursday morning. 

    Three hours later, my mom shared a picture of hers. Her review: “It is delicious.” Her favorite part was the candied cranberry topping. 

    Image: screenshot

    Image: screenshot

    I had participated in two of the previous limited-edition Starbucks drinks. 

    The Unicorn Frappuccino, a trend debut, was actually not too bad in my biased opinion. Though I think I was on an emotional high because I drank them with Chloe the Mini Frenchie (RIP). 

    important coffee meeting with @kerrymflynn who you would share a unicorn frappuccino with? 🦄☕️

    A post shared by Chloe The Mini Frenchie (@chloetheminifrenchie) on

    The Zombie Frappuccino was strange, but I was also in the middle of emceeing an event in Columbus, Ohio. 

    I definitely couldn’t let this one escape me. 

    And so that’s how I ended up drinking 420 calories on a Sunday morning. Fortunately, I live four blocks from a Starbucks, so it wasn’t too burdensome to put on a jacket and walk out in the cold weather for a frozen beverage. 

    The most embarrassing part was probably ordering when I asked for a “Christmas Tree Frappuccino” and the barista replied, “What?” So then I had to repeat myself over a cringeworthy order while the person in front of me just sipped her cup of hot coffee. 

    I waited to take a sip until I could take photos. Because, of course, that’s exactly what Starbucks wants us all to do. All of our tweets are free ads. Actually, they’re not just free. We’re not getting paid. We’re paying them. Starbucks is making money having us all make ads for them. It’s brilliant, and I’m happy to be part of it. 

    I got home and looked at the drink on my counter. The Matcha whipped cream had melted to half its height from before. I finally noticed that there was no candied cranberry topping. But I regretfully took a sip. And oh man, it was not good.

    Thin Mints are great (Disclosure: I’m a Girl Scout). Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream is awesome. 

    The Starbucks Christmas Tree Frappuccino is not either of those things. Every sip of this beverage is an overload of sugar. I’d rather crush up a bunch of Thin Mints and mix them with some ice and milk in a blender than continue sipping this. 

    I’m not going to tell you not to get a Christmas Tree Frappuccino because you can probably make your own decisions. But this is not good and you can spend $5 on something else. If you need the picture, go to Starbucks and just wait for someone else to order one. But be good to yourself, and don’t drink it. 

    Please. 

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/10/starbucks-christmas-tree-frappuccino-review-sugar-regrets-photos/

    This Is The One Seasonal Treat We Love That Could Be As Bad As Smoking Cigarettes

    Would it really be the holiday season if we didn’t unearth our large collections of scented candles, filling our homes with just about every wintery, festive scent we can think of?

    I, for one, love taking advantage of all the holiday candle sales at places like Yankee Candler and Bath and Body Works. I mean honestly, how can you pass up a deal like buy three, get three free? The holidays are the perfect time to stockpile all your winter apple, sugar plum, and evergreen products before they’re discontinued for another year.

    But because we live on planet Earth and we simply can’t have nice things, a recent string of studies have revealed that lighting a candle in your home might not be as relaxing as you may think. In fact, it could be harming the health of not only you and your family but your pets as well.

    While your favorite candles may smell good to you, their chemical makeup could be making you sick.

    According to MCS-America, most fragranced products contain anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 different chemicals. Even more alarming is the idea that despite the U.S. National Academy of Science have declared that fragrances should undergo neurotoxicity testing, most of the products on the market have not undergone testing to make sure that they’re safe for humans.

    Many of these chemicals have also been identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) as being potentially hazardous.

    What makes scented candles so horrible for humans is the exhaust given off by these candles. The exhaust is regularly adding harmful toxins into your home, oftentimes without our knowing. Scented candles are made from paraffin, which is a petroleum-based product.

    When burned, aroma-therapy candles can be even more dangerous than your basic scented three-wick.

    In a 2009 report from South Carolina State University, lead researcher and chemistry professor Dr. Ruhullah Massoudi addressed the risks surrounding candles containing paraffins. “For a person who lights a candle every day for years or just uses them frequently, inhalation of these dangerous pollutants drifting in the air could contribute to the development of health risks like cancer, common allergies, and even asthma.”

    Paraffin candles can also be as dangerous to your lungs as second-hand smoke and often times contain the same toxic by-products found in diesel exhaust.

    The exhaust given off from aroma-therapy candles can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as toluene, acetone, and benzene. According to the USEPA’s Toxicology Data Network benzene is known as a human carcinogen, while the other two compounds have large levels of human toxicity.

    Candles with more fragrance, like those found at Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candle, are also said to produce more soot, according to a 2001 study performed by the EPA. The same study also mentioned the cancer risks associated with benzene, toluene, and acetone.

    In an attempt to market safe, “green” scented products to consumers, many companies took to releasing green products.

    However the emissions given off by these products proved to be no different than those without a special “green” label. A 2009 article published in Environmental Impact Assessment Review revealed that in a study of 25 “green” products, there was a combined list of 133 known VOCs, most of which were outright labeled on the product’s packaging.

    In more severe cases of interactions with chemicals found in scented candles, a person may become severely ill from what doctors refer to as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

    A person with MCS may become gravely ill after exposure to the vapors and airborne chemicals given off by the scented candles or fragrance products. Their illness is so severe, that the patient must isolate themselves from society for periods of time to avoid reactions to chemical exposure.

    But human lungs aren’t the only ones at risk thanks to your favorite scented candles. Your pet’s health could be in danger, too.

    When it comes to your cats and dogs, the same toxins and chemical compounds that are toxic for humans to breathe in are doubly as potent for our pets. In addition to benzene, compounds such as Carbon Tetrachloride and lead are often found in the scented wax of many candles or the composition of the candle wicks. All three of these compounds can prove deadly for your cat. The concentration of these emissions can linger in the air for up to 10 hours after the candle has been lit, increasing the odds of your pet being exposed.

    Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/wicked-candles/

    Back At The Helm: Steve Jobs Returned To Work At Apple Today After The Holistic Medicine He Was Taking Kicked In

    It was a sad day in Silicon Valley when Steve Jobs stepped down as Apple CEO in 2009 for health reasons. His road to recovery has been long and bumpy, but luckily this story now has a happy ending: Steve Jobs returned to work at Apple today when the holistic medicine he was taking finally kicked in and cured his cancer.

    The visionary genius behind the MacBook and iPhone is back where he belongs!

    When Jobs stepped down to concentrate full time on fighting pancreatic cancer, many questioned his decision to focus mainly on alternative medicine treatments. Well, the critics are eating their words now, because even though it took eight years for his vegan diet, acupuncture treatments, and meditation to take effect, they have clearly paid off. Today Steve Jobs is looking more spry than ever, and it’s all thanks to the careful regimen of special juices, bowel cleanses, and being legally dead for six years that gradually brought him back to health. In a world dominated by hospitals and the promise of the quick fix, Jobs deserves credit for sticking with his spiritualistic treatments that have him back at the helm of his company.

    Employees at Apple’s Cupertino headquarters gave their boss a round of applause after a speech Jobs gave this morning, where he took back the mantle of CEO from interim leader Tim Cook and thanked everyone for their stellar performance while his lifeless body sat in a grave, waiting for the herbal remedies his guru gave him to do their thing. During one especially inspiring moment, Jobs reminded his employees to always tune out the naysayers, because he is living proof that even though it took nearly a decade to fully realize the effects, enlisting a psychic for medical advice ultimately worked out for him.

    Wow! What an amazing personal journey! Welcome back, Mr. Jobs. We can’t wait to see what ideas you’ll dream up for Apple next.

    Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/back-helm-steve-jobs-returned-work-apple-today-aft-7050

    6 Easy Ways To Burn Calories Without Actually Working Out

    Thanksgiving can be one huge blur of red wine, unresolved tension from last year’s political debate, and too many slices of your mom’s pumpkin pie. I mean, we don’t blame you for eating your feelings. Between all the preparing, forced family time, awkward personal questions, and sampling every dish before it hits the table, the holiday can be pretty exhausting. Nothing’s stopping you from eating your Thanksgiving meal like you’re preparing for a nuclear apocalypse (not a bad idea considering the way things are going for our country rn), and we get it. However, if you want to burn a few extra calories to get your body ready for all your fav dishes, we’ve found a few ways that don’t consist of skinny teas or any other Instagram diet hacks. Here are some scientifically proven ways to burn calories so you can go ham at Thanksgiving dinner:

    1. Drink Lemon Water In The Morning

    Remember when we used to take gummy bear vitamins just because we were told they were good for us? That’s kind of like what lemon water is today. Basically every nutritionist and health guru in LA swears by a glass of hot water with lemon in the morning, so we believe that it does something for us. Drinking lemon water first thing in the morning has been proven to kickstart your digestive system and speed up your metabolism, so it will help you burn more calories throughout the day. Drink a huge cup of lemon water on the morning of Thanksgiving and you’ll feel better all day even when stuffing your face with pumpkin pie. Like, an extra slice is fine because I drank lemon water, right??

    2. Get Off The Couch And Help Out

    Being home for Thanksgiving is basically an excuse to lay around all day and try to drink enough wine to deal with your annoying second cousins, but if you actually do something to help out, you’ll end up burning calories just by being *somewhat* helpful. Help carry the groceries inside, cut the vegetables, or take the dog on a walk. I know laziness is inevitable when you’re home and don’t have any responsibilities, but any sort of moving around helps keep you active. I’m not saying carrying a case of water bottles inside the house from the driveway is gonna make you lose three pounds, but keeping your body active will prevent your metabolism from slowing down throughout the day, and we can honestly use any help we can get at this point.

    3. Get In A Quick HIIT Workout

    There’s no better excuse to escape family time than your physical health. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even work out the other 364 days of the year. Thanksgiving is the perfect time to lie to your loved ones about your personal priorities and insist on spending a few minutes by yourself to get in a quick workout. I mean, this is assuming your high school dealer is out of town and your friends are busy with their own families. Either way, HIIT isn’t such a bad last resort, and it’s the most logical way to burn calories when you’re planning on indulging later on. Even a 15-minute interval-based workout can help you burn calories for up to 24 hours afterwards, so put on a sports bra and do the damn thing. We even made a workout routine for you, so what’s your excuse?

    4. Drink Cold Water

    Thanksgiving can be a great time to catch up on your hydration, considering you don’t remember the last time you actually drank a full water bottle unless you were severely hungover or coming out of some bootcamp class that still gives you PTSD. We already know that staying hydrated keeps you full and clears your skin, but apparently drinking cold water helps your body burn more calories when at rest. When you drink cold water, your body has to work to bring the water up to its own internal temperature, which burns calories without you even realizing. If I were you, I’d start chugging.

    5. Add Cinnamon

    Luckily for you, cinnamon is kind of a seasonal staple, so it’s probably in a good number of your Thanksgiving desserts already. Cinnamon has been proven to help you burn calories and lose weight because of its regulatory effect on blood sugar levels. Here’s how it works. When your body’s insulin levels increase, it increases the metabolism of glucose, and the cinnamon helps prevent fat from being stored from the high blood sugar. In other words, a scoop of cinnamon can stabilize your blood sugar and prevent your body from holding onto extra fat. Sprinkle some in your coffee or anything else that makes sense to put cinnamon in. It’s Thanksgiving… it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

    6. Eat The Brussels Sprouts Side Dish

    There’s a ton of amazing food at Thanksgiving, but brussels sprouts are KEY if you want to burn calories while eating. It sounds impossible considering all foods have calories, but eating cruciferous vegetables like brussels sprouts will actually make your body burn calories because it needs to work extra hard to digest the fiber. This applies to veggies like kale and broccoli, too. There’s basically this scientific phenomenon where some foods have a thermal effect, which means your body uses extra energy to digest them. Brussels sprouts are packed with fiber, so your body will literally burn calories while digesting it. Everyone wins.

    Read more: http://www.betches.com/easy-ways-to-burn-calories

    Senate Passes Tax-Cut Bill in Milestone Move Toward Overhaul

    Senate Republicans narrowly approved the most sweeping rewrite of the U.S. tax code in three decades, slashing the corporate tax rate and providing temporary tax-rate cuts for most Americans.

    The 51-49 vote — achieved just before 2 a.m. Saturday in Washington and only after closed-door deal-making with dissident senators — brings the GOP close to delivering a much-needed policy win for their party and President Donald Trump. 

    After the vote, Trump said on Twitter that he looks forward to signing a final bill before Christmas. Vice President Mike Pence tweeted that a pre-Christmas tax cut would be a “Middle-Class Miracle!”

    Before it goes to Trump, lawmakers will have to resolve differences between the Senate bill and one the House passed last month, a process that could begin Monday. Although both versions share common top-line elements, negotiations on individual provisions inserted to win votes, particularly in the Senate, may be protracted and difficult. The final product will end up being a central issue in the 2018 elections that will determine control of Congress.

    “We’re going to take this message to the American people a year from now,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said after the vote.

    Speaking in New York on Saturday, Trump also predicted the tax package would be a winner for Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections. “We got no Democrat help and I think that’s going to hurt them in the election,” Trump said at a fundraising event.

    Read about the sticking points between Senate, House bills.

    Both the House and Senate measures would cut the corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent — though the Senate version would set that lower rate in 2019, a year later than the House bill would. Also, the Senate bill, unlike the House version, would provide only temporary tax relief to individuals, ending tax cuts for them in 2026. Both bills are expected to add more than $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit over 10 years, before accounting for any economic growth.

    Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who had cited concerns over the bill’s effects on federal deficits, was the only Republican dissenter. McConnell rejected revenue scores that suggested the bill’s tax cuts would add to the deficit. He predicted it would be a “revenue producer” by stimulating economic growth. Congress’s official tax scorekeeper this week said otherwise.

    The House and Senate bills also align on the contentious issue of individual deductions for state and local taxes: They’d eliminate all but a deduction for property taxes, which would be capped at $10,000.

    Mortgage Interest

    But they differ on the home mortgage-interest deduction; the House bill would restrict that break to loans of $500,000 or less with regard to new purchases of homes. The Senate legislation would leave the current $1 million cap in place.

    They also differ — narrowly — on the tax rates they’d apply to multinational companies’ accumulated offshore earnings. The House bill would tax those profits at 14 percent for earnings held as cash and 7 percent for less-liquid assets. The revised Senate bill contains a lengthy section that has no direct mention of the rates, but a person familiar with the Senate plan said they’d be 14.5 percent for cash and 7.5 percent for less-liquid assets.

    Senate Republican leaders muscled the sweeping legislation through the chamber less than two weeks after releasing the bill draft. Many GOP lawmakers, including Corker and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, have expressed concerns that the party has little to show so far before next year’s congressional elections, after the collapse of an Obamacare repeal earlier this year and no action on issues ranging from immigration to infrastructure.

    ‘Working Families’

    Trump expressed gratitude to McConnell and Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch for steering the measure through the Senate.

    “We are one step closer to delivering MASSIVE tax cuts for working families across America,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

    Republicans were able to bring the legislation to a vote using Senate rules that allowed them to approve it with a simple majority, therefore without any Democratic support. The GOP controls just 52 votes in the chamber, eight shy of what’s typically needed to move controversial measures that draw delaying tactics by opponents.

    Narrow Majority

    That narrow majority made it important for Senate leaders to try to hold every member’s vote; moderate Senator Susan Collins of Maine used that leverage to secure various concessions, including an agreement to enhance an individual deduction for large unreimbursed medical expenses through the end of next year. The House bill would eliminate that tax break.

    Democrats decried the bill’s deficit impact and complained they were shut out of the process to help draft the measure. They cited research showing that the legislation primarily benefits the nation’s highest earners and business owners, and will bleed federal revenues in a way that hurts domestic programs.

    “At a time of immense inequality, the Republican tax bill makes life easier on the well-off and eventually makes life more difficult on working Americans, exacerbating one of the most pressing problems we face as a nation — the yawning gap between the rich and everyone else,” said Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York during debate on the bill.

    ‘Back of a Napkin’

    Schumer noted that a set of last-minute revisions to the bill changed it in ways that had yet to be analyzed by the Joint Committee on Taxation, Congress’s official scorekeeper for the effects of tax legislation. “Is this really how Republicans are going to rewrite the tax code? Scrawled like something on the back of a napkin?”

    McConnell said the bill, the first text of which was introduced on Nov. 20, went “through the regular order.” He dismissed complaints like Schumer’s. “You complain about process when you’re losing,” McConnell said.

    Attention now shifts to a House-Senate conference committee — a specially appointed, temporary panel that will be charged with hashing out the differences in the bills and preparing a final version for both chambers to consider. Party leaders will select a small group of lawmakers, likely from the House and Senate tax-writing panels in each chamber, who would then be approved by each chamber.

    That work could start as early as Monday, with many high-stakes issues to be worked through. The deadline of Dec. 31 is an artificial one, though — aimed partly at securing a victory well in advance of the 2018 congressional elections. Republicans would have until the end of 2018 before they lose their ability to clear final passage in the Senate without a filibuster.

    Expensing Provision

    Both bills share some key central elements: They both almost double the standard deduction for individual taxpayers while eliminating personal exemptions. They both allow companies to fully and immediately deduct the cost of their spending on equipment for five years. But the Senate version would slowly step down the expensing provision after the five-year period — a feature that the House bill doesn’t provide for.

    Yet there are many differences — ranging from the taxation of business income to the amount set for the child tax credit — and Senate negotiators may have the upper hand during talks. That’s because the wafer-thin two-vote majority in the Senate will make it harder to usher a final bill back through that chamber.

    The House bill would consolidate the current seven individual tax brackets to four, leaving the top tax rate at 39.6 percent. The Senate bill would have seven brackets — with lower rates, and a top rate of 38.5 percent. Studies have shown that many of the tax bill’s benefits would go to the highest earners — and some middle-class taxpayers might actually pay more — a finding that could impact the House-Senate talks.

    The Senate bill includes a repeal of Obamacare’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty. The House bill does not.

    Pass-Through Businesses

    Senators approved a 23 percent tax deduction — subject to certain limitations — on business income earned from partnerships, limited liabilities and other so-called pass-through businesses. The House version would create a 25 percent tax rate for such business income — with restrictions on which businesses could qualify. Small businesses would get extra relief under the House legislation as well.

    The House bill would also eliminate the estate tax, while the Senate version would limit the tax to fewer multimillion-dollar estates, but leave it in place. And after 2025, the limits would lift.

    Under current law, the estate tax applies a 40 percent levy to estates worth more than $5.49 million for individuals and $10.98 million for married couples. The Senate bill would temporarily double the exemption thresholds. The House bill would double the exemption thresholds, and then repeal the tax entirely in 2025.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-02/senate-passes-tax-cut-bill-in-milestone-move-toward-overhaul

      Trump to call Egyptian president following mosque attack, calls for border wall and travel ban

      President Trump said he planned to call Egypt’s president following Friday’s bombing and shooting attack in the country’s volatile Sinai Peninsula, a horrific assault that claimed the lives of at least 235 people and wounded 109 others.

      Trump tweeted Friday he would discuss the “tragic terrorist attack” with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. Trump continued his tweet by reiterating the United States’ need for a border wall and travel ban. 

      “Will be calling the President of Egypt in a short while to discuss the tragic terrorist attack, with so much loss of life. We have to get TOUGHER AND SMARTER than ever before, and we will. Need the WALL, need the BAN! God bless the people of Egypt,” Trump tweeted.

      Earlier Friday, Trump denounced the deadly attack, calling it “horrible and cowardly.”

      Trump tweeted Friday: “Horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers in Egypt. The world cannot tolerate terrorism, we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence!”

      The White House also released a statement condemning the attack and offered their condolences to the families affected.  

      Islamist extremists were suspected of launching the attack on the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, some 25 miles from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish, Egypt’s state news agency MENA reported. Officials suspected a local affiliate of ISIS of carrying out the attack. Islamic militants consider Sufis heretics because of their less literal interpretations of the faith, The Associated Press reported.

      Security officers said the men opened fire on worshipers during prayers while driving in off-road vehicles. A Ministry of Health spokesman said the terrorists set off a bomb during the attack.

      “[the extremists] were shooting at people as they left the mosque,” a resident told Reuters. “They were shooting at the ambulances too.”

      Resident Ashraf el-Hefny told The Associated Press many of the victims were workers at a nearby salt firm who had come for Friday services at the mosque, which had contained some 300 worshipers.

      “Local people brought the wounded to hospital on their own cars and trucks,” el-Hefny said.

      Security officials told local media that militants were blocking escape routes from the area by blowing up cars and leaving the burning wrecks in the street.

      Sky News reported the Egyptian Government declared a three day period of mourning following the mosque attack.

      El-Sissi condemned the attack, calling it “criminal” and “cowardly” and expressed condolences to the victims and their families. The president vowed the attack “will not go unpunished” and that Egypt will persevere in its war on terrorism.

      No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but ISIS has targeted Sufis in the past, notably beheading a leading Sufi religious figure, the blind sheikh Suleiman Abu Heraz, last year and posting photos of the killing online. 

      The attack was the largest single targeting of Egyptian civilians and the first on a large mosque congregation since the ISIS affiliate began its campaign of violence against the state following the military’s 2013 overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president.

      Last month, militants attacked police in the Western Desert, killing 16 officers. Security officials have told journalists that dozens more, including high-ranking counterterrorism officers, perished in the Oct. 20 attack some 84 miles southwest of the capital, Cairo.

      Militants have also been blamed for attacking Egypt’s small Christian population. Attacks on the Christian community has surged in recent month with a series of suicide bombings claimed by the extremist Islamic state group of killing more than 100 since Dec. 2016.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11/24/trump-to-call-egyptian-president-following-mosque-attack-calls-for-border-wall-and-travel-ban.html

      4 Lesser Known Trump Administration Fuckboys Who Are Actually Shady AF

      The Great Orange Meanie himself can be so distracting that it’s easy (and more comforting at times tbh) to forget that he has an entire cabinet of shitheads facilitating his outlandish behavior and allowing him to Tweet come-ons at North Korea and Lavar Ball at 3:00AM. Sure, you know Kushner, Bannon, and Tillerson, but have you heard of these other shady monsters standing blindly standing on the sidelines as America goes down in flames? No? Well then let’s put them on blast.

      Steven Mnuchin

      You probably saw this picture recently and thought to yourself “Fuck, another God forsaken James Bond movie I’m going to have to endure this Christmas with my Dad.”

      Well, I have good news and bad news. You won’t have to suffer through two hours of everyone pretending that Daniel Craig is God’s gift to the world because this is not the latest Bond villain. No, it’s former Goldman Sachs bro and current Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton, his way-too-hot-for-him wife that for sure married him for love. Old Stevie here got his job by having no morals being rich af, and that’s basically it. He had no government experience before taking Alexander Hamilton’s old job, but he did design a mail opening system for Trump Tower and was an executive producer on , so there’s that. Steve is a major supporter of the Republican tax bill –  aka the bill that would give giant tax cuts to people who do shit like take tone deaf pictures holding giant stacks of money and looking slightly off camera – because fucking duh.

      We also don’t have time to go into Louise Linton right now but like, shes basically a mashup between a Real Housewife and Cruella De Vil and you should really just Google her or something.

      Scott Pruitt

      Scott Pruitt is the Administrator of the Environmental Protection agency, AKA the guy in charge of saving the planet. Pruitt is a literal climate change denier, who went into office promising to back off the “overreaching” focus on climate change that was in place and “move towards things like cleaning up the air, land, and water.” So you’re going to stop focusing on climate change, but also save the environment? Sounds like those might go hand and hand, but I guess I’m not an environmental expert. Oh wait, neither is Pruitt. Scott Pruitt’s claim to fame isn’t that he’s like, a climate scientist or anything like that. It’s that when he served as Oklahoma Attorney General, he sued the EPA 13 times. That’s like, the political equivalent of making you Administor of the [Your Ex] Protection Agency. 

      Since taking office he’s held true to him promises, rolling back environmental protections, given the fossil fuel industry sway in public health decisions, and moved towards a system that will likely undermine actual pollution clean-up efforts. At least he’s honest? 

      Dan Scavino

      Dan Scavino is the White House Director of Social Media and I have only one question for him: What the fuck? What the actual fuck, Dan?

      Trump is 71-years-old, are you really telling me that you can’t figure out some way into tricking him into thinking he isn’t tweeting? Remember how Jim opened a Word doc and made Creed think it was his blog? Literally do that. He’ll have no idea.

      Better yet, about a month ago it was revealed that Scavino may actually be ghost writing some of Trump’s tweets when an identical tweet appeared on both their accounts at the same time. So, like, Trump’s tweets might actually be  by somebody? Sad! Whatever, Dan. Have fun being a 41-year-old social media director.

      Ryan Zinke

      As Secretary of the Interior, part of Zinke’s job is to “honor our nation’s responsibilities to tribal nations,” so you can probably guess how well that is going. One look at this guy tells me that that particular duty isn’t high on his priority list, probably because he’s too busy scamming old people and ensuring that Puerto Rico remains entirely powerless months after Hurricane Maria. Yeah, remember that shady two-man company that somehow snagged the $300 million contract for restoring power to Puerto Rico? That was Zinke’s friend.

      Another one of his jobs is to sustain America’s water, lands, wildlife, and energy sources which makes that time he told a bunch of oil execs that “fracking is proof that God’s got a good sense of humor and he loves us,” extra poignant. Thanks, Zink!

      Oh, and while serving as a Congressman to Montana, Zinke conveniently neglected to mention that he was living in California. I mean, we can’t really blame him for that one, but still. Sketch.

      Read more: http://www.betches.com/4-shady-trump-administration-bros