Sunday, October 22, 2017

True to his muse

The abysmal vulgarity of his American fascism is entirely to be expected from the author of Main Street and Elmer Gantry, both of which were made into movies when Hollywood made literature into movies and not comic books.

His Corpo State rather suicidally closes all the real colleges and universities, replacing them with worse than merely philistine, fake schools with curricula absent Greek and Sanscrit but heavy on close order drill.

Come to think of it, the ascendancy of Bozo brings Hofstadter to mind, after all these years.

And Ortega, and Marcel.

Afterthought.

The far more macho writer, Hemingway, was all the same so much greater an artist of prose.

Come to that, Lewis was no artist at all, no more than Dreiser.

As a writer, his merits do not require, and are quite other than, that.

While even at his worst, Hemingway has that, always.

He is an artist of prose.

Novelists are not poets, so that side of things can be neglected in their estimation.

But that is a mistake.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Pop cult sucks. Whose fault is that, again?

Conservatives complain about the sewer of contemporary black thug music.

And they are not happy with Neflix homoporn or Hollywood making comic book shows featuring sexy, straight women who are heroes only because they behave like seriously butch dyke fantasies.

But what about the shows featuring troops and cops who make Trump's counsels of police brutality and war crimes seem quite mild?

These are not the troops or cops who should be presented to Americans - or to anyone - as heroes.

And talk about realism, artistic liberty, or popular taste is just a copout.

Chicago PD?

Hawaii Five-O?

These types have got to be great favorites with the Trump fans who now dominate the Republican base.

They have all the vulgar brutality of The Duce and his - mercifully - 3rd rate, watery fascism.

The assholes are in plain view, in The White House

White House: It’s ‘Highly Inappropriate’ For Journalists To Criticize A General

The topic was Kelly's attack on Rep. Frederica Wilson, an attack made in course of defending Bozo against charges by her that he had made insensitive remarks to a gold star mother about the death of her son during a condolence call, including words to the effect that "he knew what he signed up for."

Perfectly true, but perhaps not really the moment to point that out.

But the general chose to make that defense by attempting to explain and justify the use of exactly such words during the call, thus admitting that the congresswoman's report was true, though The White House and Bozo personally had spent over a day lying that he never said any such thing.

His defense also contained an exhibition of wholly implausible and unjustified faux outrage at the behavior of the congresswoman, and included damning falsehoods about her past conduct.

When reporters raised questions about all that, this happened.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters Friday that it would be “highly inappropriate” for them to question chief of staff John Kelly because he served in the military as a general.

“If you want to go after Gen. Kelly, that is up to you,” she said. 

“If you want to get into a debate with a four-star Marine general, I think that is something highly inappropriate.”

Well, who for one second actually believed him, anyway?

The man is a ridiculous, pathological liar, a global joke, a buffoon, an utter clown.

Exclusive: Pentagon Document Contradicts Trump’s Gold Star Claims

In the hours after President Donald Trump said on an Oct. 17 radio broadcast that he had contacted nearly every family that had lost a military servicemember this year, the White House was hustling to learn from the Pentagon the identities and contact information for those families, according to an internal Defense Department email.

The email exchange, which has not been previously reported, shows that senior White House aides were aware on the day the president made the statement that it was not accurate — but that they should try to make it accurate as soon as possible, given the gathering controversy.

Not only had the president not contacted virtually all the families of military personnel killed this year, the White House did not even have an up-to-date list of those who had been killed.

Hey, it's an ill wind . . . .

Forecasters Say the East Coast Is Going to Have Another Warm Winter

A big chunk of the United States is likely in for another weirdly warm winter. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released its winter-weather outlook, and right now they’re calling for warmer-than-normal temperatures along the East Coast and the southern two-thirds of the country. 

The northwest corner of the U.S. could see some colder-than-average temperatures, but on the whole, the U.S. might be breaking a few heat records again.

Then comes the snark.

This is maybe good news if you prefer windbreakers in January — maybe a little less so if you’re concerned about the fate of the planet.

Oh, go fry your ass.

Lower gas bills, less risk to my heart health from shoveling snow, safer driving and walking conditions, fewer nights worrying about frozen pipes maybe bursting, and less money wasted paying others to dig out the driveway - what's not to like?

And, hey, the planet will outlive us all.

Interesting that, after the mild winter of 2016-2017, we have just had a mild summer rather than one hotter than normal.

Nice.

Is that really an admission?

And how would the alleged admitter even know?

Fox Host Admits Trump Lied About Not Telling Gold Star Widow 'He Signed Up For This'

My wife the other day said something about Kelly admitting Trump did say it by explaining why he said it and attempting to justify saying it.

But I didn't see or hear anything like that.

Until just now.

The admission came during the same comments in which Kelly attacked the congresswoman repeatedly with no real justification, playing the hatchet man for Trump, telling vicious lies about her, and revealing himself to be in fact rather a Trumpist, personally.

Not quite the "responsible adult" of Democratic narration.

John Kelly, Trump’s chief of staff whose son died in combat, defends president’s call to Gold Star widow

But Kelly also appeared to effectively confirm Wilson’s account by echoing some of the language she had described — an account that Trump had called “totally fabricated.”

Kelly said Trump’s message to Johnson was: “He knew what he was getting himself into, because he enlisted. There’s no reason to enlist. He enlisted. And he was where he wanted to be, exactly where he wanted to be, with exactly the people he wanted to be with when his life was taken.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

Oops. Time for an attitude adjustment.

Just more evidence people are really weird.

TX Congresswoman: It’s The ‘Responsibility Of The Female’ To Prevent Sexual Abuse

You could spin this as a woman insisting women need to stand up and show their strength and power.

Nope.

A manufactured flap

Florida Democrat calls Niger ambush 'Trump's Benghazi'

Democrats are calling the ambush the result of "a massive intelligence failure."

The investigations and todo are efforts by its everyday critics and even enemies to hammer Trump and his administration.

John Kelly lied about Democratic U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson to deflect blame from The Duce

It's about the accusation that, on the phone, he told a gold star mom that her dead son "knew what he was getting into," or words to that effect.

President Donald Trump told the widow of a soldier killed in an ambush in Niger that her husband "knew what he signed up for," according to a Florida congresswoman who says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone.

Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson on Tuesday on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson's husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called.

When asked by Miami station WPLG if she indeed heard Trump say that she answered: "Yeah, he said that. 

To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn't say that to a grieving widow." 

She added: "That's so insensitive."

A dishonorable man posing as America’s most honorable man

Steve M.

Kelly also overheard the phone call, and came in front of the cameras to "defend" Trump by joining in the Fox/Breitbart attacks on the congresswoman and her credibility, some of them racially charged.

Kelly slandered the congresswoman mightily to undermine her as a source.

Oh, and what's with the kiddie cowboy hats?

In every photo I've seen of her, she's wearing one.

Lemmings cruising toward a crash?

Velshi and Ruhle, in politically spun news, have once in a while over several weeks been questioning the health of the stock market, reporting that some economists and knowledgeable players see the current phase of our nine year old bull market as a bubble, a rerun of the scene just before the great crash of 2008.

(But where are the bad mortgages?)

Today they pointed out that we are in the region economists think of as full employment, meaning that apart from people changing jobs or voluntarily not working pretty much everybody who wants a job and can be relied upon to do it is working.

And when you are at full employment and a boom continues employers compete for workers by raising wages and benefits.

But that isn't happening to the extent expected or wanted.

Wages and benefits are rising, but more slowly and less than they would have in the past, and that has been the story pretty much throughout this bull market.

Their explanation in part is that automation has been enabling productivity rises without much rise in the market for labor, and little or none for the least skilled.

That part makes sense.

Too, they concede the Sanders/Trump claim that globalization means that importation of cheap goods from overseas has prevented demand from driving up US domestic production of those same or similar goods and thus pushing up US wages.

While that is true, as well, it doesn't mean protectionist policies would not drive up prices more than wages, or that it would not drive up prices paid by Peter while driving up wages paid only to Paul

The last part is that interest rates are too low and are causing a mere bubble in stock values.

That part is doubtful, since too low interest rates would cause notable inflation, and we aren't having that.

The Duce is the working man's friend

He said so and I believe him, even though this two-step (budget cuts, then tax cuts) is all about making life cushier for the super rich.

The Senate passed its budget plan: Here's what that means for tax cuts, what it doesn't and what's next

It's a Koch move, this is.

And The Duce is solidly behind it and its wonderful benefits for ordinary Americans.

The biggest thing — which senators from both parties emphasized this week — is the passage of "reconciliation instructions" that tell the Senate Finance Committee that a tax bill cannot be filibustered if it adds $1.5 trillion or less to the deficit.

Filibusters require 60 votes to break, which means Democrats could derail the tax bill even though they are in the minority. 

A bill brought up under reconciliation requires only 51 votes to pass, and Republicans hold 52 seats (plus, they have Vice President Pence to break a 50-50 tie).

So no filibuster can stop it.

It is not a law, so the budget cannot actually cut or raise spending or taxes. And this year, it is widely assumed the spending levels for the fiscal year — which actually began Oct. 1 — will not really be used by appropriators.

That means it's aspirational, even bullshit, and a fig leaf for gigantic tax cuts without matching, accompanying cuts in spending.

$5 trillion in cuts [are] mentioned overall, but most are not specified.

It's such airy bullshit they don't even bother to even pretend they know where spending cuts will come from.

Except for this helpful point.

Over the next 10 years, the budget calls for $473 billion in cuts from Medicare and $1 trillion from Medicaid.

Velshi and Ruhle point out that, as for the tax cuts, the GOP hasn't got any clear idea what it will do about cuts for middle income people, the vast bulk of actual America taxpayers.

It has been rock solid for years about what it wants to do for the rich and super rich: get rid of the estate tax, massively cut corporate taxes, and get rid of the alternative minimum tax, all giving huge benefits to the likes of the Koches.

Just not up to the job

Milza and Berstein, about halfway through their book, say Mussolini was lacking in the mental caliber necessary for the dictatorship he brought about and headed, and that by 1936 syphilis and the diet prescribed for his ulcer seriously undermined his energy.

He delayed hard decisions as long as he could and then made them impulsively.

He did not delegate, ultimately.

They describe his style as one of hysterical narcissism.

Sounds more like Bozo all the time.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Really? Sinclair Lewis's bad guys are atheists?

About half way through It Can't Happen Here, Secretary of Education Macgoblin, drunk, says the only thing "we" agree with the Communists about is rejection of religion.

Official atheism of the Corpo State?

Official hostility toward religion?

First suggestion of that in the book, so far.

Official atheism was not typical of European fascism, as I recall.

Homage to Catalonia?

What little American coverage there has been has taken a neutral to sympathetic tone, sometimes seen in such nuances as calling it a conflict about independence rather than secession or schism.

Anyway, Madrid still says nope.

Spain to impose direct rule as Catalonia leader refuses to back down

But nowhere near as aggressive as Lincoln after Fort Sumter.

Of course, Catalonia has no secessionist army.

Yet.

By the way, you might be a geezer if the way newsies now pronounce "homage" sounds both wrong and pretentious to you.

If you Google it for a definition and press the gizmo to hear it said you will find the pronunciation familiar from your own youth, however.

And so your judgment of the newsies will be that far vindicated, despite all your years.

Quick, look over there! Instead of Russiagate, Uranium!

The Duce finished the presser with the governor of PR by echoing Sean Hannity's and Breitbart's claims that Russiagate is fake news and a hoax, while the purchase of a Canadian company that controls a fifth of US Uranium mining by a Russian company, during the O administration, approved by Secretary Clinton and eight other key government agencies, is a real scandal.

Specifically, it's a corrupt Hillary scandal.

(Lock her up!)

The Republican congress has rushed to investigate this latest Clinton outrage.

Is Benghazi next (again)?

GOP media (Breitbart, Fox) are running stories Comey was fired for declining to prosecute Hillary over the emails, and that his decision was an egregious case of pro-Democratic corruption that cries out for investigation.

Bozo vs the Democratic media critics

About his presser with the Governor of Puerto Rico and the federal effort.

Could the feds have done better?

Maybe.

Have they done a really good job?

Probably.

Could they have done so well that the Democratic media critics would commend them, The White House, and the Trump administration?

No way.

The times, they are a changin'

Jefferson Davis school to be renamed after Obama

A public school in Mississippi named after Jefferson Davis is being renamed to honor former President Obama.

. . . .

Ninety-eight percent of the students who attend the Davis Magnet school are black, according to the publication.

“Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him,” Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson said.

The name change is meant "to reflect a person who fully represents the ideals and public stances consistent with what we want our children to believe about themselves."

George W Bush defends the American creed against Trump in New York City

Nobody has the transcript and no single report touches all the bases, yet, but clips indicate he vigorously attacked "blood and soil" nationalism, as did McCain the other day, and spoke in favor of globalism, democracy, and capitalism, against protectionism and socialism, and for an inclusive American identity.

Breitbart has several stories attacking GW and his speech.

The MSM offer sympathetic coverage.

Not really interested

MSNBC this morning.

The Duce, who hinted the other day he liked the Lamar Alexander initiative to shore up the Ocare individual coverage market, quickly spun around and denounced anything that just gave more money to the insurance companies.

That's Bozo-code for denouncing CSR payments, absolutely crucial to affordability of health insurance for tens of millions of working Americans doing a tad too well for even expanded Medicaid.

He sticks with the idea he'd rather just let it crash and burn, though his first choice would be for the congress to finally do a repeal/replace.

Paul Ryan, asked about the Alexander initiative, dismissed it with the comment he'd rather see people working on repeal/replace.

Update.

During his presser with the governor of Puerto Rico, at the very end, The Duce was asked about the Alexander effort and said he would support it as a temporary move to head off harm to people, but reiterated his hatred for giving any money to profiteering insurance companies and the absolute need for repeal/replace to make really, really wonderful coverage available to all Americans.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"He knew what he signed up for."

Trump denies telling widow of fallen soldier, 'He knew what he signed up for'

Nobody would put it past him, particularly if she went off on him, blaming him for her husband's death.

But he might not have done it.

It's like an accusation of pussy-grabbing.

It could be true, it could be false, but a denial from him would be worthless.

President Donald Trump today denied telling the widow of a fallen U.S. soldier, 'He knew what he signed up for," in a phone call he made Tuesday, contradicting a Florida congresswoman who said she was with the woman at the time.

Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was with Myeshia Johnson in a car headed to Miami International Airport on Tuesday afternoon to meet the body of Johnson's husband, Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson, who died in Niger this month, when the president called.

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday night, Wilson, a Democrat, related Myeshia Johnson's conversation with Trump, saying, "Basically, he said, 'Well, I guess he knew what he signed up for. But I guess it still hurt.' That's what he said."

Phoney or grossly unprofessional

Stef Ruhle choking up talking about the troops killed in Niger whose deaths drew little comment from the empath in The White House.

What a faker.

Talk about collaboration

On TV right now.

The Republicans who run the committee are letting Sessions refuse to answer questions about Russiagate without a shred of justification for the refusal, questions of a sort to which they have in the past insisted on answers from officials of Democratic administrations.

Sessions and his Republican, especially southern good-ole boy, allies are using the occasion to attack mostly northern and coastal sanctuary cities (they act in violation of the law in order to protect illegals) and justify his (also unlawful) denial to those cities of legally mandatory, not at all discretionary, law enforcement assistance money.

Raised voices, blows struck on desktops, "They're here illegally!"

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Speaking of that "blood and soil" thing

Florida governor declares state of emergency before white nationalist's speech

Governor Rick Scott of Florida has declared a state of emergency ahead of a speech by a white nationalist leader this week at the University of Florida, in order to free up resources to prepare for possible violence.

Richard Spencer’s speech on Thursday in Gainesville is part of a national campaign to use outrage over racist events on university campuses to draw attention to white nationalist ideas. 

The tour is also designed keep fringe provocateurs like Spencer in the media spotlight.

Spencer has advocated for a “white ethno-state” in North America that would be achieved through “peaceful ethnic cleansing”.

He is most famous for shouting “Hail Trump!” at a white nationalist conference after Donald Trump’s inauguration as president in January, a cry some supporters greeted with Nazi salutes.

He is a mini George Lincoln Rockwell.

Russians, like Bannonites, used Dem race baiting to aid Trump

Russian troll factory paid US activists to help fund protests during election

McCain vs the thug in The White House

McCain: Half-baked, spurious nationalism is unpatriotic

A pretty frank blast at the soft nazism of the Buchananite, Bannonite Trumptists from a man not at all inclined to just curl up and die.

A defense of American globalism from World War Two to our own time.

Too, his speech reminds us how many in the nation's leadership classes have paid the blood tax in person, as well as familially, over the years.

We [he and Joe Biden, who presented him the award] didn’t always agree on the issues. 

We often argued – sometimes passionately. 

But we believed in each other’s patriotism and the sincerity of each other’s convictions. 

We believed in the institution we were privileged to serve in. 

We believed in our mutual responsibility to help make the place work and to cooperate in finding solutions to our country’s problems. 

We believed in our country and in our country’s indispensability to international peace and stability and to the progress of humanity. 

. . . .

We are blessed, and we have been a blessing to humanity in turn. 

The international order we helped build from the ashes of world war, and that we defend to this day, has liberated more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. 

This wondrous land has shared its treasures and ideals and shed the blood of its finest patriots to help make another, better world. 

And as we did so, we made our own civilization more just, freer, more accomplished and prosperous than the America that existed when I watched my father go off to war on December 7, 1941.

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain “the last best hope of earth” for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

We live in a land made of ideals, not blood and soil. 

We are the custodians of those ideals at home, and their champion abroad. 

We have done great good in the world. 

That leadership has had its costs, but we have become incomparably powerful and wealthy as we did. 

We have a moral obligation to continue in our just cause, and we would bring more than shame on ourselves if we don’t. 

We will not thrive in a world where our leadership and ideals are absent. 

We wouldn’t deserve to.

Trump warns McCain after senator’s blunt speech

President Trump on Tuesday issued a warning shot after Republican Sen. John McCain questioned “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in America’s foreign policy, saying “people have to be careful because at some point I fight back.”

Trump said in a radio interview with WMAL in Washington, “I’m being very, very nice but at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

McCain: 'I’ve faced far greater challenges' than Trump's threats

Trump and Iran, Trump and Korea

Not the man he took him for, Trump has outdone standard globalism and joined the War Party.

Pat Buchanan.

The Christianist Koch-boy waiting his turn

Trump Reportedly Jokes About Mike Pence Wanting to 'Hang' Gays

President Donald Trump once joked in private that Mike Pence "wants to hang" gay people, according to a profile of the vice president in The New Yorker on Monday.

The story, citing two anonymous sources, said Trump enjoys needling the conservative former Indiana governor about his views on abortion and homosexuality and, when a conversation with an unnamed legal scholar turned to gay rights, the president motioned to Pence and allegedly joked, "Don't ask that guy — he wants to hang them all!"

Yes, she is a nutjob

Not everyone who slams Trump and the GOP is someone you'd want to sit next to on a plane.

Much less vote for.

San Juan Mayor: It May Be Easy To Disregard Puerto Rico Because We’re A US Colony

Because corporate leaders raise wages whenever they can

Americans would see up to a $9,000 raise if US cuts corporate taxes, says Trump economic advisor

The art of the standup comic lives among the white nationalists and Republicans, generally.

"Why don't you just die?"

Climbers and strivers, minorities, women, and young men, all no more than in their thirties, claiming Nancy, Steny, and their like are just dead weight and need to get out of their way

Actual Democrats, of course, rather like Nancy and Steny.

And these young storm trooping Dems, oddly, never pull that agist stuff when they're talking about Bernie.

All the same, it would be nice if one of them, or any Democrat, would run in Pennsylvania's 18th, Tim Murphy's stupid red district, for the sake of the blue sliver of Mount Lebanon that got jammed into it by the Republican gerrymandering machine.

He has run unopposed for a very long time.

He's supposedly not going to run in 2018, but odds are still pretty bad we'll get some brave soul to vote for in the D column.

Watching MSNBC.

Update.

And the same idea used by the Bannonites in their effort to shove aside the GOP establishment.

Delusions of the left

Doremus had assumed that .  .  . Liberal Capitalism would pastotally lead into State Sociaism, with governmental ownership of mines and railroads and water-power so settling all inequalities of income that every lion of a structural steel worker would be willing to lie down with any lamb of a contractor,  and all the jails and tuberculosis sanatoria would be clean empty.

Doremus is supposed to be a liberal.

Then I am no liberal.

Reading It Can't Happen Here.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Good advice not allowed

Telling whites (or blacks) to avoid certain neighborhoods, especially at night.

Telling girls not to walk alone, especially at night, especially in certain areas.

All that sort of thing.

Except, of course, black people telling their kids to be afraid of cops.

Who can make sense of PC's arbitrary rules?

'You should have been more careful': when doctors shame rape survivors

True enough, nobody needs the attitude or the hint that in some degree it's your own fault.

But still, the real world is what it is.

Meanwhile, in terrorism news

Mogadishu truck bomb: 500 casualties in Somalia’s worst terrorist attack

At least 239 people killed and hundreds seriously injured in attack blamed on militant group al-Shabaab

At least 500 people are believed to have been killed or seriously injured in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in one of the most lethal terrorist acts anywhere in the world for many years.

The death toll from Saturday’s attack, which involved a truck packed with several hundred kilograms of military-grade and homemade explosives, stood at 239 on Sunday but is expected to rise as more bodies are dug from the rubble spread over an area hundreds of metres wide in the centre of the city. 

At least 300 people were injured, according to local reports.

Pretty scary way to put it

Tillerson on North Korea

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday his diplomatic efforts will continue as long as they possibly can despite the saber-rattling on both sides of the Pacific.

"Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops," Tillerson said on CNN's "State of the Union."

A remark that completely nullifies the reassurances that immediately followed.

Tillerson said prioritizing diplomacy to try to curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions is President Donald Trump's preferred avenue. 

Despite a statement on Twitter that suggested diplomacy won't work, the President wants to avoid violence, Tillerson said.

"The President has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically," Tillerson said. 

"He is not seeking to go to war."

Trump denies certification, says the Iran deal is off

And in bizarre defiance of the constitutional allocation of powers and responsibilities he told the congress they were responsible for getting a better deal, not him.

They and, even more weirdly, the Europeans.

But Nikki Haley and Tillerson both say the US is actually staying in the deal.

And the Iranian government says Trump's speech violated the deal.

And May and Merkel and the French say the deal is still on.

Meanwhile, Trump insists publicly and repeatedly that talking to the North Koreans is a waste of time, while Tillerson and Haley promise they are continuing to talk and work toward a peaceful resolution.

What the hell?

Fake left, move right

Buzz Windrip's Fifteen Points

Mussolini, Hitler, and the general run of early 20th Century fascists, real and imaginary, ran much further left than Trump on the class war issues and ignored most of their lefty promises when they got into power.

Still, Trump ran a lot further left than the GOP and still orates further left, while in fact his actions and agenda on these things have been much more in line with standard plutocrat-serving Republicanism.

Enjoying Sinclair Lewis, again.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Duce lies some more about health insurance

I suppose there is some consolation in the fact that he shot his own stupid white trash voters in the foot, and didn't only hurt lots of others who knew better than to think he really had their backs.

Trump responds to critics of healthcare order with claim 'millions' will benefit

Donald Trump on Saturday heralded his latest moves to undermine Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, tweeting that “millions of people” would benefit from his executive order on access to cheaper insurance and his scrapping of federal subsidies.

Analysts, physician groups, state attorneys general and Trump’s political opponents disputed the president’s views and said millions of people would in fact suffer, because his actions threaten to boost premiums and rattle insurance markets under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

An analysis by the Associated Press showed that nearly 70% of those benefiting from the federal subsidies live in states Trump won last November. 

One Floridian interviewed by the AP said Trump’s cut would be “a death sentence” for some.

Well, they know he's lying

US allies in Europe vow to stand by Iran nuclear deal

Trump announced Friday that he would not recertify the multilateral agreement, claiming Iran had not kept its end of the 2015 deal, and called on Congress and US allies to address its "many serious flaws" or see it "terminated.".

. . . .

Announcing his move, Trump cited "multiple violations of the agreement." 

However, the International Atomic Energy Agency, American allies and the US government all have said Tehran is complying with the official pact.

May, Merkel and Macron reiterated in their declaration that Iran had not been found in breach of the deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and that it had been unanimously endorsed by the UN Security Council.

"Therefore, we encourage the US Administration and Congress to consider the implications to the security of the US and its allies before taking any steps that might undermine the JCPoA, such as re-imposing sanctions on Iran lifted under the agreement," they said.

Both May and Macron had spoken with Trump in the days before his announcement to urge him to maintain his country's commitment to the deal, which the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, the EU and Iran signed in 2015.

Yesterday's optimism is gone. Trump really slammed Ocare.

Trump is moving on several fronts to fulfill his evil promises as far as he can without help from the congress.

Ocare is only one of them.

Yesterday some claimed the insurance companies had another gummint pocket to pick to keep selling the good stuff at not impossible prices.

Doesn't sound it, today.

Sounds like he did what he said he would do if the congress didn't repeal and replace: just blow it up.

The government will lose some $200 billion, millions of people will pay more, and millions will lose coverage.

A win for The Duce and the idiot right.

Trump Pushes Obamacare To Detonation, Forges Path Away From GOP, Democrats

Back in March, after the first Republican legislative failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, during the Trump presidency, President Trump went before cameras in the Oval Office and revealed some of his thinking when it came to the politics of health care.

"I've been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode," Trump said. 

"It is exploding right now."

Experts said the ACA wasn't "exploding," but that it needed fixes to help incentivize insurers to stay in marketplaces.

But now, six months later, Obamacare may actually be on the road to "exploding" — catalyzed by an accelerant poured over it by Trump. 

The moves he's taken risk blowing up the individual markets by making insurance too expensive for lower- and middle-class families. 

Not really any consolation in this thought.

Too many people will be hurt really badly.

Trump's actions, however, could backfire politically, threatening to shift blame for the health care act's shortcomings from Obama and Democrats to Trump and Republicans.

That's something Republicans have feared and now believe will happen.

"If people lose their cost-sharing reduction payments — their subsidies — it's going to be pretty hard to blame a former president — Barack Obama — for that," moderate Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania told NPR's All Things Considered on Friday. 

"We Republicans control the House and the Senate and the White House. If there are problems, we will likely own them. It's pretty hard to say that the former president is somehow going to be able to accept all the blame. He's out of the game right now."

The heart of the matter:

At issue is the president's decision to end subsidies that help offset the cost of insurance for anyone making up to three times the federal poverty level — that's a yearly household income of $97,000 for a family of four.

Trump's action could mean premium increases of 20 percent by 2018 for people buying insurance through exchanges, the Congressional Budget Office estimates, and more than that in subsequent years. 

And the CBO estimates it will wind up costing — not saving — the government almost $200 billion over the next 10 years.

And this, too:

Trump's move came a day after he took yet another step to undermine Obamacare by signing an executive order allowing groups of small businesses and associations to band together to buy health insurance.

That could draw younger, healthier people away from the exchanges. 

It might give younger people a discount for cut-rate coverage, but it would likely drive up the price of premiums for Americans who need care.

That's not all the Trump administration has done that could pull the rug out from under the ACA — it has also shortened the sign-up period for health care; closed the federal exchange on Sundays; and cut the budget for marketing efforts, including ending advertising to urge sign ups.

Friday, October 13, 2017

It just keeps getting worse

Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high

The United States will not be escaping the obesity epidemic crisis anytime soon: 

Nearly 40% of adults and 19% of youth are obese, the highest rate the country has ever seen in all adults, according to research released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Since 1999, there has been a staggering rise in the prevalence of obesity, particularly in adults, without any "signs of it slowing down," according to the study's lead researcher, Dr. Craig Hales, medical epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Youth obesity rates seem to be more stable in recent years. 

However, it is "too early to tell" what direction youth obesity prevalence will take. 

At least four more years of data are required to truly understand the direction, Hales said.

What is "very striking" about this information is that there has been a 30% increase in adult obesity and 33% increase in youth obesity from 1999-2000 data to 2015-16, despite government-focused efforts to address the issue, according to Michael W. Long, assistant professor at the Milken Institute of School Public Health at George Washington University.

The Duce tells lies to justify a stupid move

The mini-Mussolini in The White House is an agent of the most dangerous of globalists, people Pat Buchanan regularly calls "The War Party" and whose preferences are the very opposite of putting America First.

Trump's own America Firstism is mostly a farrago of rhetorical idiocies.

This is why Soros called his foreign policy stance an incoherent mess during the campaign.

This is the sort of thing that validates Tillerson's calling him a moron.

This is why people fear he will blunder or bluster us into a major war, if not literally into World War Three.

And that very incoherence is the reason the morons who voted for him love him.

Trump says Iran violating nuclear agreement, threatens to pull out of deal

The friend of America's forgotten men strikes again

Trump will scrap critical Obamacare subsidies

Trump, GOP congress, try to send Ocare into death spiral.

The white working class morons who voted for the moron in The White House will approve and blame Democrats for any personal pain that results.

President Donald Trump plans to cut off subsidy payments to insurers selling Obamacare coverage in his most aggressive move yet to undermine his predecessor's health care law.

The subsidies, which are worth an estimated $7 billion this year and are paid out in monthly installments, may stop almost immediately, since Congress hasn’t appropriated funding for the program.

The decision — which leaked out only hours after Trump signed an executive order calling for new regulations to encourage cheap, loosely regulated health plans — delivered a double whammy to Obamacare after months of failed GOP efforts to repeal the law. 

With open enrollment for the 2018 plan year set to launch in two weeks, the moves seem aimed at dismantling the law through executive actions.

More detail on what this does is here.

The pussy hound and the Values Voters

Trump addressing Evangelicals who love him.

It's about the agenda and getting it done.

He gave them Gorsuch and in his speech he hit on their themes, many of them manufactured for them by right wing talk radio.

In victory lap with values voters, Trump boasts 'Guess what, we're saying Merry Christmas again'

He boasted of steps to protect religious liberty, including an executive order erasing the "Johnson Amendment" -1954 legislation that put tax exemptions at risk if a church of other tax exempt entity endorsed a candidate. 

Pastors had bristled for decades under what they viewed as a gag rule.

How does an executive order "erase" law?

And didn't the people who love him spend most of O's tenure in office complaining about the Democrat's unconstitutional refusals to more vigorously enforce laws not beloved by those of his party, like certain immigration laws?

Not so long before the 2016 race he'd supported abortion rights and gay marriage. He'd been twice divorced. 

But by the time he'd won the GOP nomination he had embraced a social conservative platform. 

And -- with Democrat Hillary Clinton as the alternative -- many conservative Christians enthusiastically embracing him. 

. . . .

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, warmed up the crowd by recalling that the last time Trump spoke at the summit, two months before Election Day, polls showed little chance for him to win.

"We said it would be worth it for just one thing. 

If we could get a conservative on the Supreme Court like Neil Gorsuch it would have been worth it, and indeed we have done it. Don't you think [Gorsuch]is better than Supreme Court Justice Bill Clinton?" Meadows said. 

"Somehow we as people of faith knew that God still reigns over the affairs of nations."

He pointed to roughly 150 other judicial nominations from Trump, judges who will protect religious freedom and "make sure that we turn back this country to its roots."

. . . .

"This is our moment," said Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, opening the conference in a hotel ballroom set with around 1,000 seats, an hour before Trump took the stage.


"We have like-minded swamp drainers from around the world," he said, invoking Trump's vow to "drain the swamp" by stripping power in Washington from corporate interests, lobbyists and others.

Says NPR,

80 percent of white evangelicals cast their vote for Trump last November, according to exit polls.

That's a higher percentage than supported President George W. Bush in 2004, Sen. John McCain in 2008 or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2012.

Since taking office, Trump has made many of the voting bloc's priorities a reality, from putting Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court, to issuing a religious liberty executive order, to weakening the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.

Left and right

Huey Long was a man of the left, more extreme than FDR, Democratic hero, whom he supported in 1932 but against whom he competed in 1936.

Buzz Windrip was Huey Long with significant authoritarian themes added in, seasoned with American patriotism, to the point of open and express rejection of the Constitution, of separation of powers, of the core idea of an executive and a government bound by laws.

At the head quote of chapter 5, he sounds like Trump attacking the press.

Reading It Can't Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis, 1935, again.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Why he is a moron.

What was that meeting about, after which Tillerson called Trump that?

Discussing nukes, Trump demanded our arsenal be increased tenfold, in defiance of numerous treaties, the vast and crippling cost, the stupidity of an unlimited arms race with Russia, a planning process requiring  Congressional agreement, and reality generally.

It took much explanation and heated argument to get him off demanding that.

Has it not occurred to anyone that treaties bind our president?

Evidently, not to him.

And that he urged this will cement support among his moron voters.

Does blowing off a treaty in defiance of his obligation to faithfully execute the laws count as an impeachable offense?

Does anything this total ass could do count as that, to our Republican Congress?

This story, which he branded a lie, provoked his attack on NBC.

Harvey Weinstein

Making corporations much more vulnerable to suits, regulatory costs, and criminal charges for such behavior is long overdue.

What do they do now?

Coverups, intimidation, and payoffs.

And given that fear causes so many women to keep it dark for so long, the stories coming out all at once, as with Cosby, only after some straw breaks the camel's back, statutes of limitations that protect sexual predators and rapists for crimes not prosecuted fairly quickly should be revised.

Why is it so hard to prosecute this stuff? 

There is never any physical evidence and rarely corroboration for the accusations of any one victim.

A multitude of victims coming forward can easily convince us that there is a pattern and that it is much more likely than not that some, even most, and perhaps even all, of the accusations are true.

But that doesn't by itself make any individual accusation probable beyond reasonable doubt.

Still, there is no question of logical proof in a courtroom. 

Moral confidence, not mathematical certainty, is what is required and aimed at. 

But anything that is known to increase the statistical likelihood of the accused committing the crime in question at all does and should increase the subjective probability of his guilt in any particular case, helping arrive at moral confidence. 

Hence for some types of crimes, sex crimes among them, police look at known offenders. 

A multitude of accusations concerning separate occasions as well as any previous convictions should and does make any individual accusation more credible. 

But that is no guarantee that sort of thing is admissible evidence.

Maybe it should be. 

Ask any insurance company whether the past is a valid clue of the present and future. 

Ask any law enforcement agency about recidivism, repeat offenders, and professional or habitual criminals. 

Among them, for example, serial rapists. 

Once bitten, twice shy.

Shrugging off US treaty obligations, The Duce considers Japanese nukes

Speaking to the press, he returns to his campaign position.

It's the TV cowboy logic of "more guns, less crime," so his fans love it.

He's ok with current US allies getting their own nukes, and shrugs off proliferation as inevitable when speaking of that.

Not so sanguine about Iran or North Korea.

Too stupid to see the role of a universal nonproliferation treaty in helping prevent unsuitable regimes from getting nukes?

Or deliberately signaling unwillingness to continue making their own nuclear disarmament acceptable to our allies by guaranteeing their safety under our nuclear umbrella?

Or not a thing in his hollow head, at all?

But a reaffirmation of America First.

Per the news, Bozo is still expected to decertify Iranian compliance and thus kill, or at least undermine, the Iran deal, tomorrow.

He will lie to the world that he is only claiming they are not observing its spirit, but he will decertify they are observing its letter, and that will be another lie.

He has said not one word about what to do about Iran, or the deal, absent certification.

Mini-Mussolini attacks NBC, 1st Amendment

In a tweet, the thug in the White House attacks them for fake news, says they are bad for the country, and rhetorically asks at what point their licensing needs to be challenged.

Congress is reconsidering broadcast licensing law.

Hey, Putin does it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The attacks on Columbus are an attack on America

Statues for Lee, Jeff Davis, and the Confederacy were and are affirmations of slavery, white supremacy, racism, and Jim Crow, and few of today's whites are actually for any of those things.

But Trump, people on his side about those statues, and many of those on the other side, all said it was not really just about the Confederacy but about the whole history of the US, and of whites in America.

Some of them, like Pat Buchanan himself, tried to make the defense of the worst crimes of white racism and the defense of white America per se, and even of Western Civilization, the same cause.

They were wrong.

But not this time.

Statues to Columbus really are celebrations of the white peopling of the Americas and the rise of the greatest of the white settler states of the Western Hemisphere, the United States of America, itself.

You're not going to find a lot of white Americans - or others, if they are honest - who think the world would have been a better place had white America not happened, however ugly sometimes was the way it happened.

You're not going to find a lot of white Americans willing to agree the very existence of white America is and should be something calling for public shame.

Just how easy do the Dems want to make it for others to tar them as the party of nonwhites who hate whites and all their works, as Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter have been doing for years?

How far do they want to publicly make the old Zinnite cheer their motto, "Hey, hey; ho, ho. Western Civ has got to go"?

Emotionally satisfying for some Democrats, mostly nonwhites, I am sure.

But not actually faithful to the views of most Democrats, I am equally sure.

And politically it is just sooo not wise for Democrats to affirm old Jeremiah Wright's fervent cry, "God damn America!"

The white nationalist right has been defending Columbus and the white peopling of America for some years.

Trump Embraces the Culture War

Less of a chore than it sounds

Daily Mail: Steve Bannon to Back Primary Challengers Against Every Incumbent GOP Senator Except Cruz

Cruz apart, there are only seven of them up for reelection in 2018.

So, seven crackpots of the Trump variety, ignorant and bigoted loons who loathe government, DC, globalism, and nonwhites.

Crazier and stupider right wing radicals who would rather blow up Washington City than have sex with a ten.

Shouting brownshirts with inane delusions chanting "Lock them up!"

Just what America needs, his voters think.

Is Bozo really a moron?

Donald Trump's IQ obsession, in 22 quotes

Wikipedia reports "moron" used to be tied by psychologists to an IQ of 51 to 70.

That would be a Delta +, maybe?

So, Bozo is not literally a moron. But it's an entirely apt hyperbole, eh?

Smart and very smart people can have the most fantastic and dangerous notions, frighteningly remote from reality.

Actually, humans are so lost and absurd that might even be the norm.

As for the spectacular, cult leaders, ideologically committed politicos of exceptional violence, and serial killers are often quite bright, like the noted Alphas Shoko Asahara (Aum Shinrikyo founder and perp of the Tokyo sarin gas attack), Marshall Applewhite (Heaven's Gate), Pol Pot (Khmer Rouge), Abimael Guzman (Shining Path), Ted Kaczynski (the Unabomber), Ted Bundy (serial rapist, necrophiliac, and killer of 30+ women), and Mao Zedong (who needs no introduction).

Nobody seems to think Hitler was much better than a Beta +, but Mussolini was probably an Alpha.

So while the mini-Mussolini in The White House is all but certainly at least an Alpha minus, that really says nothing about whether a fellow would be competent or trustworthy in power.

And, as all the world knows, this particular Alpha minus is neither.

By the way, researchers even today believe IQ to be pretty strongly tied to genetic endowment (heritability above 0.70), though susceptible to physical influences like disease or injury.

Maybe so is being both an egregious clown and a revolting thug.

The lemmings set another record for ecstasy

Monday, October 9, 2017

Talk of war intensifies

And perhaps so does the actual danger of war.

Britain prepares for possible war with North Korea

Theresa May's government prepares to support America in a war with NK.

Mattis urges military 'to be ready' with options on North Korea

Australians fear North Korea standoff will lead to war

Moscow says escalation of tension on Korea peninsula unacceptable

South Korea threatens to drop blackout bombs on North Korea

Corker: Trump setting US 'on the path to World War III'

Trump's talk is a major betrayal of his official America First-ism that positively thrills his base of white Harley-riding trailer trash, who surely see it as entirely about defending America and not at all about defending South Korea.

They are, after all, ignorant and stupid admirers of bullies, a boatload of deplorables, and that is why they chose him in the first place.

He knows his people and is more in tune with them than the Buchananite publicists whose claims to speak for them are lies, as are the claims of conventional GOPsters to speak for the American people, or even just Republicans.

Trump's price for not totally screwing the dreamers he so absolutely just loves

Trump lists demands on immigration in exchange for DACA

The idea he would sign a clean DACA bill if the congress gave him one was pure baloney.

Apparently, he did agree a while back to sign a DACA bill in return for a modest tightening of border security, but he has now broken his word and gone to a harsher position.

Sure, the real Buchananite position is that any deal for any price is a betrayal and all illegals should be deported.

But this is him trying to do what he can for white nationalism, and his voters if not Breitbart will give him full credit, whether the deal goes through or not.

Pelosi and Schumer have already rejected these demands.

President Donald Trump has told congressional leaders that his hard-line immigration priorities must be enacted in exchange for extending protection from deportation to hundreds of thousands of young immigrants, many of whom were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

Trump's list of demands included overhauling the country's green-card system, a crackdown on unaccompanied minors entering the country, and building his promised wall along the southern border.

Many were policies Democrats have said explicitly are off the table[.]

. . . .

The White House also said it wants to boost fees at border crossings, hire 10,000 more immigration enforcement officers, make it easier to deport gang members and unaccompanied children, and overhaul the asylum system. 

And it wants new measures to crack down on "sanctuary cities," which don't share information with federal immigration authorities, among other proposals.

Happy Columbus Day

Cities all over America, governed by Democrats and more heavily nonwhite than the country at large, are putting an end to their Columbus Day celebrations and parades and replacing them with festivities for Indigenous Peoples' Day.

What?

They're not happy Columbus discovered America?

They want to say the world would have been a better place had it not happened?

Phooey.

If they say that they are lying, by which I mean exactly that it is false and they know it.

Apart from Indians personally pushed aside or killed during the white peopling of the Americas, or blacks personally made slaves for or in the Americas, everybody in the world, including the descendants of both those groups, has been better off because of the white peopling of the Western Hemisphere and the rise of the greatest of the settler states, the United States of America.

But these people don't want to celebrate that?

Or perhaps they just don't dare?

They prefer to behave publicly in such a way as to endorse the idea that the white presence in the Americas is guilty and shameful.

No, rather than celebrate that they want to celebrate the so-called "indigenous peoples", the nonwhites who were already here when Columbus showed up.

Why, really?

Who doubts that if the Indians had been left to themselves over all these centuries they would be living here today just as they did when the white colonials started to arrive?

And what would they have contributed in that case to civilization and the world at large?

Not even their actual contributions, which in fact have mostly been to the inventory of the world's food crops.

No small thing, when you think about it; but, really, pretty much only that.

Anyway, "indigenous peoples" is just PC-speak for that other n-word, "natives," by which the racial bien-pensants mean whoever happened to be already there when the white people showed up, anytime during or after 1492.

But in actual fact, humans are indigenous (native) only to Africa, or all of us to the entire planet, and indigenism is a politically motivated hoax, a lie, and a weaponization of history by losers and their allies of the left.

And when you are praising someone it's pretty much routine to omit mention of his "dark history", even if it's Columbus, though that is not acceptable to the likes of Asian chick and CNN racial PC cop Holly Yan.

Trump's praise of Columbus omits dark history

Update.

Breitbart has four stories on this issue listed on its front page "trending now" section, today.

Four stories.

Of course, they have been stoking the war on Columbus for as long as there has been a war on Columbus.

Over a decade, now, surely?

Cost to taxpayers: $96,000.00

MSNBC says that's the cost of Pence's trip to Indianapolis for no purpose but to walk out on the kneeling players.

Orchestrated with Trump?

Absolutely.

The mini-Mussolini of white rage has been goading the players for weeks, has he not, intentionally provoking them to get in deeper and deeper?

This is Trump in a favorite pose, that of the white tribal leader sticking up for his people against hostile blacks and their endless faux victimization, their ingratitude, and their hatred for America.

Democrats and Trump both, in fact, think it's good for them to paint him as the white guy in a grudge fight with America's blacks.

And, truth be told, it's not just Trump but, really, the whole Republican Party that's been playing the flip side of the race card, not since Nixon, but since LBJ set the Democrats' new course by sticking his finger in the eyes of segregationists - mostly Democrats, at the time, but not since - all over America.

Way too much of the classe politique, and too many of our major political institutions, are way too invested in fomenting suspicion, hostility, and divisions among whites and others, especially blacks, among the American people, and making all that the political obsession of the media.

Anything but the class war it's really all about, right?

The sun rose today and Trump lied

For 25 years it has been American policy to use means short of war to prevent NK getting nukes.

For 25 years it worked.

And then, on Bozo's watch, it didn't.

So Trump said 25 years of policy failed.

Not him.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

The weekend tweet war extends into Monday.

Corker vs Trump, or establishment GOP vs Trump.

Corker has almost seen through him.

He's not really the president but he plays one on this incredible, insane reality show on TV, and his fans just looove him!

Wait, he's really the president?

Friday, October 6, 2017

Biden defends "the liberal world order"

What's that?

Global democratic capitalism, the very thing O and Hillary publicly trumpeted and Bernie could barely think of without a curse.

Biden hammers Trump in scathing speech

“I really feel incredibly strongly that the women and men sitting before me, who have been the intellectual backbone of the foreign policy establishment in this country for decades, have to start to speak out,” he said. 

“President Obama and I have been very quiet and respectful, giving the administration time, but some of these roots are being sunk too deeply. I believe it’s time to challenge some of the dangerous assumptions that are attempting to replace that liberal world order.”

Biden, who spent four decades serving in high public office, was receiving the Zbigniew Brzezinski annual prize at the Center for Strategic and International Studies thinktank. 

The auditorium was packed, with many people standing, and hushed as he offered a damning verdict on the Trump presidency.

Acknowledging that many Americans feel left behind by globalisation, he said: “The appeal to populism and nationalism is a siren song, a way for charlatans to aggrandise their power, raise themselves up, break down those mechanisms that were designed, whether in our constitution or internationally, to limit the abuse of power, and destabilise the world.

“It’s not alarmist. We’re walking down a very dark path that isolates the United States on the world stage and, as a consequence, endangers – not strengthens – endangers American interests and the American people.”

. . . .

“Among the many problems plaguing this administration’s foreign policy: ideological incoherence, inconsistent and confusing messaging, erratic decision-making, unwillingness or inability to solve problems caused by understaffing. When’s the last time, in the state department, you can stand on the seventh floor and yell and hear an echo?”

. . . .

Both Democratic and Republican administrations in the past had worked to uphold the liberal international order, he continued. 

“The president’s vision, in contrast, is grounded in a disturbing admiration for autocrats and an apparent faith that the world will mistake bluster and bullying for strength.”


He derided Trump’s recent appearance at the UN, where the president emphasized national sovereignty and self-interest. 

“To stand in the well of the general assembly, and wave the flag of narrow nationalism, while warning of a future vulnerable to ‘decay, dominion and defeat’ marks a dangerous revision of political small-mindedness that led the world to consume itself in two world wars in the last century, and it abandons America’s hard-won position as the indispensable nation, as a leader that inspires more than fear.”

Go read it.

Good stuff.

More on the Internet and fake news

YouTube alters search algorithm over fake Las Vegas conspiracy videos

And they lie about it, just like Facebook.

YouTube has made changes to its algorithms after it was strongly condemned for promoting offensive and false conspiracy theory videos about the Las Vegas shooting.

The move to shift the way it delivers search results contradicts YouTube’s earlier statements defending its performance during breaking news.

After a gunman inside the Mandalay Bay hotel fired on a music festival, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more, videos claiming that the shooting was a hoax and a “false flag” spread like wildfire on YouTube, earning millions of views.

A “Las Vegas shooting” search on the Google-owned platform led users to numerous videos questioning whether the government was lying about the basic facts of the tragedy and suggesting victims could be “actors”.

On Wednesday a YouTube spokesperson insisted the site was highlighting reputable videos and told the Guardian that conspiracy videos on its search page did not violate its standards. 

But less than 24 hours later the company altered its position, implementing changes to its platform in a direct effort to better promote reputable sources.

A YouTube source confirmed on Thursday that the company tweaked its search algorithms late on Wednesday night, hours after survivors and victims’ relatives criticised the company for prominently featuring videos with hoax claims. 

Limbaugh and others are pushing another right wing conspiracy theory, trying to tie Paddock to the so-called "Resistance" to the Trump administration.

The biggest purveyors of fake news are the people who complain most about it, starting with Bozo, The White House Moron, himself.

More from the Guardian story.

YouTube’s initial statements, followed by its readjusted algorithms, speak to the broader ethical challenges technology companies face regarding their role in providing major platforms for fake news and propaganda. 

Facebook and Google were both caught promoting rightwing blogs and conspiracy sites hours after the Las Vegas shooting, forcing the corporations to admit that they had made mistakes in spreading misinformation about the identity of the shooter.

Silicon Valley has faced heightened scrutiny over the last year for allowing political propaganda and fake news to reach wide audiences, possibly playing a part in Russia’s efforts to interfere with the US presidential election.

Escape plan?

Las Vegas police say gunman Stephen Paddock had an escape plan

So said Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo.

Not a word on what the plan actually was or why they think he even had one.

Generally, mass shooters don't expect to live to go to prison.

And, generally, they don't.

Lock them up!

I mean, really.

When they aren't using personal email accounts for public business they're using personal cells, or anyway hacked, "compromised" cells.

And they couldn't stop yelling about Hillary's emails.

John Kelly's personal cellphone was compromised, White House believes

White House officials believe that chief of staff John Kelly’s personal cellphone was compromised, potentially as long ago as December, according to three U.S. government officials.

The discovery raises concerns that hackers or foreign governments may have had access to data on Kelly’s phone while he was secretary of Homeland Security and after he joined the West Wing.

Tech support staff discovered the suspected breach after Kelly turned his phone in to White House tech support this summer complaining that it wasn’t working or updating software properly.

Kelly told the staffers the phone hadn’t been working properly for months, according to the officials.

The NRA is wrong and the ATF is right

Bump stocks do not convert a semi-automatic rifle to full automatic.

They just automate and speed trigger pulls each of which fires only one shot.

So to ban them a change in the law is required, not just an "interpretation" of existing law.

MSNBC says the ATF made the call during the Obama administration.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crappy and vacuous support for a good idea

Repeal the Second Amendment in the NYT.

There is no there there.

And is this true or just another liberal fantasy of persecution, Islamophobia, and racism?

I’m not the first pundit to point out that if a “Mohammad Paddock” had purchased dozens of firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition and then checked himself into a suite at the Mandalay Bay with direct views to a nearby music festival, somebody at the local F.B.I. field office would have noticed.

On the other hand, given LV is a really big gun-show and gun-rights city just chock full of white people who love their guns, then, even if it is true, so what?

Is the idea supposed to be that this guy was some sort of right wing terrorist who got a free pass?

Or maybe that white people in general who want to slaughter large numbers of people get a free pass?

Really?

And they said they would fix this by the end of September

Just another failure by the Congressional GOP that, this time, failed to do what it didn't really want to do, anyway.

Trump sketches out DACA deal with Republicans at White House dinner

Lindsey Graham promised a bipartisan clean bill would be on the president's desk by the end of last month.

He said Trump was enthusiastic and would certainly sign it.

He and Dick Durbin shook hands on it.

Didn't happen.

And it looks like it won't.

Stop at nothing politics of the left

While the stacked deck of Article V lends some justification to judges lying about the US constitution "in a good cause", similar arguments made to justify lying about the law are much less convincing.

Nuff said.

Or do I have to say it is not Sessions who is lying about the law, here?

Sessions takes a hatchet to transgender worker protections under Title VII of civil rights law

Attorney General Jeff Sessions took action Wednesday to try to turn back the clock on the steady progress that has been made toward providing equal treatment for transgender Americans in the workplace. 

Entirely ignoring the decade-long trend of courts viewing "sex" discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as protecting transgender workers, Sessions issued a memo saying the new policy of the federal government is exactly the opposite.

No talking!

WEAK: White House Open to ‘Thoughtful Conversation’ on Gun Control

Breitbart's headline to a story relating The White House's and Bozo's openness to eventual discussion of gun control.

Even that is already too much of a concession, for some, as Democrat media have been reporting since the LV massacre.

GOP Sen. John Cornyn Wants Hearing on Bump-Stock Ban

More rain in Spain

Spanish court blocks Catalan Parliament's independence move

Spain's highest court has suspended a meeting of Catalonia's regional parliament planned for Monday in an apparent attempt to prevent Catalan President Carles Puigdemont's expected declaration of independence.

The Constitutional Court said Thursday it had issued the suspension decision following a request from the Catalan Socialist Party.

The parliamentary session was to have been Puigdemont's first opportunity to make a formal declaration of independence under a Catalan referendum law that the Constitutional Court had previously ruled illegal.

Asked by CNN about the court's decision, the Catalan government responded: "We will see."

Iran certification

180 House Democrats ask Trump to certify Iran nuclear deal

The intelligence community told him Iran is in compliance with the deal.

Tillerson told him that and told him to sign off that it is.

So has anybody else in the cabinet with something to say on it, I think.

But Trump promised his base, as moronic as the man himself, throughout his campaign that he would scuttle the deal, denouncing it then and repeatedly after his election as horrible for the US and for the world.

That was one of the inconsistencies in his positions that led some to characterize his entire agenda as incoherent nonsense.

It's a position of the "war party" who have continued even since his election to urge a US war against Iran, opposed by actual Buchananite America Firsters and defended by John Bolton, who might be his choice for Secretary of State if Tillerson leaves.

(It is seriously reported Bozo rejected Bolton and went with Tillerson to start because he thinks the Captain Kangaroo moustache is not appropriate for a man in the cabinet.)

And it seems (God knows why) the only way he can do that is to lie and say Iran is not in compliance.

So every 90 days his hesitations put the world on tenterhooks while he decides.

The only known alternative to the deal is war.

About guns and the Second Amendment


What's the obvious "big" gun goal, a moonshot way beyond universal background checks or even another assault weapons ban? 

Gun registration? 

Confiscation of some weapons? 

The repeal of the 2nd Amendment? 

What does the left actually want?

I think wary liberals like me resist boldness on guns not just because we fear electoral failure, but because we expect blood in the streets -- literally. 

I think there'd be civil war if serious restrictions on guns were imminent (and certainly if there was a serious possibility that the 2nd Amendment could be repealed). 

I left the following comment at Steve M.'s post, in which he goes on to say he thinks many on the left value the Second Amendment, themselves, for the reason given by right wing militia types who say it's a guarantee people can more effectively resist tyranny than a disarmed populace could.
I personally think the Second Amendment is a lot of trouble and should be repealed. 
The Article V process goes far to ensure there will be no repeal of the Second Amendment without very broad and deep support for that among voters in general, necessarily including millions of gun owners who agree it stands in the way of sensible lawmaking and effectively hands too much power over the issue to judges quarreling about its meaning. 
And repeal would only result in federal and state legislatures being empowered to do what seems reasonable to them, which in some states might include considerable deference to local authorities. 
Certainly, in some states we might see less state and local regulation and in others we would see much more, and much more restrictive, regulation. 
Los Angeles is not Dallas, and rural California is not rural Texas. 
I don't see anything like nationwide, absolute, and universal civilian disarmament emerging from such a situation. 
Gun rights people will still be voting to protect their guns and rights long before anyone but the most extreme crackpots is tempted to start shooting. 
And that includes me, a Pennsylvanian and owner of three handguns who has voted the straight Dem ticket in every election for decades. 
I was an NRA member many years ago but dropped out because they stopped being about training and safety and became a lobby defending extremist positions and urging their members to prioritize gun issues over all other political issues. 
All of that seemed nuts, to me. 
Still does.