About the knitting -- it's at the bottom of the post!
Well, the election is past. I'm as mad as hell that the pavoter site still claims my absentee ballot hasn't been received. I put the ballot in a mail box on Oct. 2, so it got picked up on Oct. 3. When I checked 10 days before the election, I saw there was a problem because it hadn't been received. I downloaded a new ballot and sent it in on Nov. 2, adding tracking to it. Well, it's arrived, but not yet registered on the site as having been received. I shall call the in Philadelphia Election Board, again, on Monday. I called them on Tuesday, election day, and was assured there were bags and bags of absentee ballots waiting to be scanned into the system. I'm hopeful. I don't think the number of absentee votes will swing PA in the other direction, but I do want to know that my vote was received and counted.
Now, about the election result. I'm disappointed. I'm not shocked. Somehow, I was convinced this was possible once the Brexit vote came as a true shock in June. I'm now just as concerned about the upcoming French Presidential election. A couple of weeks ago, I read Paul Theroux's Deep South on the recommendation of a fellow overseas American (in Brazil). It is another eye-opener. The way the rest of the United States has neglected the South is horrifying. The thing is, I bet there are, maybe smaller, pockets of such neglect all over. Look at the water in Flint. The economy has improved during Obama's presidency, but too many people are not really feeling it. So, that explains one part of the electorate, who believe that they've lost and others (minorities, women) have gained too much. Then, there are those who have, have a lot, and will always vote for the traditional Republican promises of lower taxes and eliminating the estate and gift taxes. Now, Trump, in his victory speech, says he'll get to work on the infrastructure as a first priority. Good. I think everyone agrees US infrastructure needs to be repaired or rebuilt. But, any bill that calls for an expense has to have a "pay for" element. That's a rule the Republicans put into place. So, how are they going to pay for this infrastructure if they cut taxes?
The Republicans have also promised residence-based-taxation. That's my thing. I will work to hold them to this promise. They have also vowed to repeal FATCA. If we have residence-based-taxation, I really have no problem left with FATCA. All my reporting will be done to France and I would have no reporting left for the US. The OECD has come up with its own automatic information exchange formula, requiring financial institutions to report the accounts of account-holders who do not reside in the country of the institution to their country of tax residence. That suits me fine. The thing is, the US won't sign on to that. They are only interested in inbound reporting, and are not at all desirous of outbound reporting - just think of all the NRA (non-resident aliens) who have US accounts, who are either government officials or in the opposition at home and add the US citizens who live abroad who maintain accounts in the US. Personally, it's not a problem for me if my US accounts were reported directly to the French. I do it, myself, already. But it would be expensive for banks to put such reporting in place. Now, the IRS and US banks had no qualms about imposing that on foreign institutions, but the US banks do not want to bear such an expense. It has been terribly expensive for foreign institutions to comply with FATCA, but since that expense didn't cost the IRS, the US doesn't care. Institutions that have found compliance with FATCA to be just too expensive have preferred to eliminate the US-tainted customers. The Democrats finally came to realize that FATCA was flawed and their promise was to allow us a "same country exclusion" which would have helped us in our home countries on the condition that it did not require more expense for the banks.
Now, I'm working on an intarsia picture. It's difficult for me, and I can already feel underneath that there are some dropped stitches here and there that will need repair. The intarsia is 96 stitches wide and 114 rows longs. I've made the entire piece a bit wider, so it will make a rather large pillow or a wall hanging. I can only concentrate on a few rows a day, so I figure it'll take me another 10 days to 2 weeks to complete.