Republican Health Care Plan Revealed

Notwithstanding Trump’s timed tweet that there are no tapes, the Senate GOP has released their version of “Obamacare Lite” and already (NPR reports) four GOP Senators are stating their opposition: Lee, Paul, Cruz and one other from the “libertarian” (mislabeled as “conservative”) wing. But soft:

The conservative health care problem
Caitlin Owens / Axios

— Even before the Senate health care bill is released, conservatives already want to amend it. Sen. Ted Cruz may try to amend the bill to let insurers sell health plans that don’t comply with Affordable Care Act rules — but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may not let him, because he doesn’t want any Republican amendments….

The general consensus is that it’s merely the House bill with some provisions re-stated in order to seem less cruel. Continue reading

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We Have No Reason To Believe The Election WASN’T Stolen

Democrats Seethe After Georgia Loss: ‘Our Brand Is Worse Than Trump’
New York Times

—  Democrats seethed, second-guessed and sought to regroup on Wednesday after a disappointing special election defeat in Georgia, with the party’s campaign chief in the House of Representatives outlining alternative paths to taking power …

Until we have transparency in our elections there is no reason to accept them as valid. I fear that we may not have had a “legitimate” election since at least 2000. The only reason Obama was allowed to win is that they couldn’t cover up landslides. The REAL “tell” was the 2014 off-year elections in which EVERY election broke (mirabile dictu!) in the GOP’s way. Continue reading

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War not enough of a ratings grabber to be of note

But look way down the page of Memeorandum, less trafficked and important than “Senate GOP Plans Health Care Vote Next Week”, “GOP considers cancelling August recess to salvage agenda “, “Spicer searching for candidates to take over White House briefing”, “Megyn Kelly’s Alex Jones interview got lots of attention, but not many viewers”, “Otto Warmbier, American student detained in North Korea for 17 months, dies” and “Mother with knife killed by police was pregnant and had mental-health issues, family says”:

Russia to treat US jets in Syria as ‘targets’ after America guns down first regime warplane
Tom Batchelor / The Independent

Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are also present as “targets” amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.  The country’s defence ministry said it would track US-led coalition aircraft with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down. A hotline set up between Russia and the US to prevent mid-air collisions will also be suspended….

It says much about our priorities as a nation, and our parochial mindset (with a soupçon of denial of the Endless War) that we are taking this less seriously than the other “important” stories of the day. Continue reading

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Coma, Comey, Coma, Comey, Coma Chameleon

Attorney General Sessions DID release a breathless DEFENSE of his position on Justice Department letterhead, of course. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Department of Justice Issues Statement on Testimony of Former FBI Director James Comey
U.S. Department of Justice

—  In response to testimony given today by former FBI Director James Comey, Department of Justice Spokesman Ian Prior issued the following statement:  — Shortly after being sworn in …

Otherwise, the “Superbowl” of Washington D.C. hearings is over. The “once in a generation” testimony is completed for now. And, aside from getting Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III’s panties in a knot, it was NOT the taut courtroom suspense drama hyped yesterday.

It wasn’t all that exciting. But, in the long game, it was important.

Still there is a matter of some curiosity that no other outlet is covering. Continue reading

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‘You’re A Nation’? or ‘Urination’?

Trump Will Withdraw U.S. From Paris Climate Agreement
Michael D. Shear / New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy.…

I listened to part of the speech: it was at the point Der Drumpf said that because we are going to experience a 3-4% GDP growth rate and, therefore, needed all the energy that we could muster, including “clean  coal” that my gorge began to rise and I shut off the GOPaganda machine rather than projectile vomit.  Everybody was being “unfair” to us and mean to us. Standard Trump position: clueless tantrum based on not getting everything his way.

Never mind that the USA has been responsible for a huge chunk of the world’s carbon pollution. Trump is more than willing to pretend that all countries are equal and WE are somehow getting the shaft (“The United States, with less than 5 % of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources—burning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world’s natural gas.” –  Worldwatch Institute). This is simply delusional. Continue reading

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Fake News From False Prophets

UPDATED BELOW

Glenn Reynolds is one of the last of the original right wing “pundit” bloggers. His blog “Instapundit” well known and he parlayed it into a gig on the editorial board of USA TODAY — the newspaper for the subliterate that has lots of pictures™. And today he decided to betray that “trust” by going full PRAVDA:

Did Barack Obama try to hack the election?
Glenn Harlan Reynolds / USA Today

The Obama administration’s illegal spying may have been worse than Watergate.  —  In 1972, some employees of President Nixon’s re-election committee were caught when they broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters to plant a bug…

Oooh. Scary OBAMA! But it’s sheerest BS, and toxic BS at that. Listen to the money shot [emphasis added]: Continue reading

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Betwixt Censorship and Offense

I started out as a First Amendment absolutist. I remain as pragmatically attached to the notion as life will admit: there ARE no absolutes on the terrestrial sphere. But an issue came up (I dare you to figure out WHICH news story this was occasioned by) and this was my response in various public fora:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” ~ The First Amendment

The unfortunate corollary to the First Amendment is that butthurt, no matter how well-intentioned, has been sacrificed to the right to express one’s self freely. Continue reading

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