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Though I saw it all around
Never thought I could be affected
Thought that we'd be the last to go
It is so strange the way things turn

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Flower porn

Well, somebody likes this weather.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Linkee-poo meet you anytime you want at our Italian Restaurant

"Basically, how do we even know what reality IS any more?" The Note to Self podcast on the election, living in different realities, the power of substitute world views, and the reinforcing values of social media (and the dark side of disparate groups finding home and support through long distance connections). :: waives "hi" from our shared delusion ::

"As the debate over health care continues in Washington, one thing not in dispute is that health care industry employment has been going up steadily over the past decade. In Ohio, health care industry jobs now outnumber those in manufacturing. The jobs are good news to state and local economies, but some analysts also say it's a reflection of the high costs and complexity of health care." Okay, yes, it's true that healthcare has some baggage, but it's not at the bottom. It's at the top. The number of VPs at a hospital is in direct proportion to their cost and in inverse proportion to the quality of care. You want to cut people out of the system? Great. Two words. Single. Payer. So many of those jobs in "administration" are there to handle health insurance coding, payments, wrangling, and pre-certification. Get to 1 form, 1 unified coding system (ICD-10 for instance), and standardize the scope of care and you can eliminate about 25% of jobs and increase the quality of care. As for the people involved with directly caring for patients, yeah, we need to up those numbers. Look at every quality of care survey and you'll find the thing everyone gets dinged on is not having enough staff to handle all the jobs. That and "call button wait times", which, again, is a staffing issue. In x-ray, our base mark is 10 minutes or less per exam (note, this is general x-ray, not CT and definitely not MRI). Why? Because we have too many people to x-ray and if we take longer, we push back all the appointment times.

The 10 ways the GOP has been sabotaging Obamacare. Note, most of the horror stories are from states that didn't expand Medicaid and had leadership in government actively trying to sabotage Obamacare. In the rest of the country, things aren't all that bad. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

While it appears that since 2015 people who have switched parties is roughly even (percentage wise) between GOP and Democratic Parties, there's a trend among younger voters to switch from GOP to Democrat and remain there. Not really unexpected (hell, that's when I left the GOP). But there are more young people switching from the GOP to Democrat than there are old Democrats switching to the GOP. And as the data shows, the older one gets, the less likely they will switch parties.

"Many I spoke with said they had made a fundamental mistake of viewing Trump primarily as an ideologue with whom they disagreed rather than what he increasingly appears to be: an ill-prepared newcomer to the world stage, with uninformed views and a largely untested team that will now be sorely tried by a 9-day, 5-stop world tour that would be wildly ambitious even for a seasoned global leader." Our European allies are increasing viewing Trump as incompetent and a clown. Ever see a clown get angry? (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sorry

Sorry for the lack of posting as it appears the center will no longer hold. It isn't for not seeing materials, but for having been caught in the firehose stream of it all and not being able to fight back to the edge. Plus lots and lots of personal stuff. I feel like I'm letting you all down. But really, it's hard to keep up with it all.

I'll just state for the record again, 1) this is what happens when you reward incompetence and can't distinguish between actual success and the ability to keep from crashing into the ground. And 2) Trump is a nightmare, but Pence was so far to the right that there was no way he would have won in the primaries. Pence is a deep "social" conservative. He's disciplined, and experienced. While it might stop this ongoing foot shooting, the results may be worse (you know, except for accidentally starting a nuclear war, or doing it because he's feeling pissy).

Hang on folks. This merry-go-round is losing the brakes.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Linkee-poo on a Sunday

"But after reaching a peak in 2014, sales of e-readers and ebooks have slowed and hardback sales have surged. The latest figures from the Publishing Association showed ebook sales falling 17% in 2016, with an 8% rise in their physical counterparts. At the same time, publishers’ production values have soared and bookshops have begun to fill up with books with covers of jewel-like beauty, often with gorgeously textured pages." Don't get cocky. Quality is the hallmark. It's possible for ebooks to gain quality, but it most certainly won't be in the current direction. That doesn't mean ebooks are dead. It's often easy to say one side or the other. From here on out, it'll be a mix.

So you want to be a writer.

So there was a lot of talk about illegal immigration, the bad hombres, and specifically linking them to the rise of MS-13 during Obama's tenure. Well, all of that was shit. MS-13 was founded in the US in the late 80s, by US citizens, and grew most during Clinton and GW Bush's tenures (it's actually been in decline for the last 6 years). But, hey, let's have ICE go after them. "Though the effort was led by ICE, the focus was not exclusively on immigrants. Of the arrests, 933 were US citizens and 445 were foreign nationals, with 384 in the country illegally." Now MS-13 is a dangerous gang, don't get me wrong here. But you can't defeat it by telling lies about them (to continue to knock the first African-American President) and pretending they are something they are not.

(Map) "Republicans always say 1000 counties with I insurer. They don't tell you that most r in a handful of R-led states where they sabotaged ACA" Not all, but yes, that.

Note to Self podcast on the rise of our Bot Overlords. "Bot armies are taking over Twitter. But they’re not necessarily trying to advance a point of view, according to Phil Howard, a bot researcher. They’re aiming to sow chaos and make dialogue impossible. At the extreme, the goal is to destabilize our very sense of reality." Sowing chaos and making dialog impossible is a good shorthand and distinguishing marker for the Russian propaganda campaigns.

The FBI Director, having outlived his usefulness, is now out. Who is really surprised? I am. I figured this would have been in February. March at the latest.

"In his recent testimony about his decision to send the notorious October 2016 letter to Clinton Congress, FBI Director James Comey painted a dramatic picture of the facts of the case and Huma Abedin’s actions. Altogether it was meant to demonstrate that Comey had little choice but to take action and ultimately send his public letter to Congress… But it turns out what Comey said wasn’t true and the FBI knows it."

"Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn seeking business records, as part of the ongoing probe of Russian meddling in last year's election, according to people familiar with the matter. CNN learned of the subpoenas hours before President Donald Trump fired FBI director James Comey." I'm sure it's just a coinkydink. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

The Washington Post on why Trump won't be impeached any time soon. Wildly unpopular with the general public, he's still pretty popular within the GOP. A large survey result article with lots of data on the divide in America.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Linkee-poo on a Sunday

Lafayette, we are here.

Like reading? Hate fascists? Have at least $20 a month burning a hole in your pocket? Well, here's the Fireside Fiction Antifascist Fiction Club just for you. And they have cool pin. (Grokked from DongWon Song)

John Scalzi talks about the Brain Eater. You think he may be getting a little too whimsical here, but he isn't. I've met that Brain Eater, and it's a tempting offer. It's never your fault, it's everybody else's fault. That's a seductive place to get into. And I've seen my peers all get farther along (in the writing career). Well, friends, it's a harder road to suck it up and tell the Brain Eater to get lost. My friends are my friends, and I'm stoked they're doing well. They're a bunch of great people. And, yes, it's my own fault. I spend too much time here (what little time I have available these days) or trying to mentally recover. I've been working on this writer thing for far too long to not have many successes. But I'm still working at it when I can. Life doesn't get any easier. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.

A large online collection of public domain comics. (Grokked from Wil Wheaton)

Ah, those peaceful times of our dawn of man ancestors. "An ancient pit filled with severed human arms, hands and fingers has been unearthed in France." Nope, still pretty brutal and violent. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)

"Researchers at the University of Oxford may now have overcome this latter challenge (of the effectiveness of analgesic dosages in infants), however. They report May 3 in Science Translational Medicine having identified a pain-related brain wave signal that responds to analgesics, and could be used to measure the drugs’ efficacy." I did a paper for school using fMRI to find the same thing. If it can be done with a simple EEG, that would be amazing. No more, "on this scale, rate your pain" guessing and game playing.

Stands and salutes. You, sir, are the wind beneath my wings. (Grokked from Cheri Priest)

Stephen Blackmore's twitter rant on just what hospital ERs are required to do. Working in a hospital, yep. Look, you come in and we're going to do our best for you. Come in with shit that could be handled outpatient, and you're getting a low-priority slot. If you have insurance you're about to pay about 20x what you would have if you had gone to a GP… and we'll still say you have to go see your GP to get the actual treatment you need. Come in with stupid shit, and I'm sorry, but yes we are judging you. Because we had to come x-ray your sprained ankle which took time away from the person in STEMI two doors down. We are happy to x-ray your ankle in the department on an outpatient basis… which will also cost you a hellalot less. And we can prioritize you lower than the person with their heart attack. And I hate saying this because then there's the other people who are all, "Gee, I really don't want to bother you with this" who have an "OMFG, we got get this person to surgery NOW!" And yes, some of them don't realize it. And sometimes you could say, "Oh, I'm just having a bad day" when it's actually something Very Serious™. (Grokked from Kelly Swails‏)

"High-risk pools are not new -- they existed in 35 states prior to the ACA. History shows they represent an incredibly flawed approach to providing coverage for the most vulnerable because they are chronically underfunded, outrageously expensive, and they provide insufficient access to care." Including Ohio. To say it was a cluster-fuck it being generous. For some people it was cheaper to go private pay, and then declare bankruptcy.

So, one of the reasons the conservative ran so fast to pass the updated TrumpCare was they were afraid to go back to their districts and face the ire of their constituents who expected them to do something. So how'd that work out? "Reed, whose district in upstate New York includes the cities of Ithaca and Corning, held three town hall meetings where the overwhelming majority of attendees had questions about health care. The congressman was met with boos and jeers throughout the forums, with people repeatedly chanting 'Shame!' and 'Vote him out!'" Hell of a job, Brownies. But here is the less we're all about to relearn, as long as their financial supporters are with them, representatives don't really care about your objections. As long as their fundraising is still coming in, that's their measure of "popularity."

"The email from '[White Oak] Digital Display' sent on Wednesday, May 3, was sent to inform the researchers of the 'reason for the change from CNN to Fox.' White Oak is the name of the FDA's campus… The email goes on to inform employees that the decision came from the Trump administration… 'The reason for the change is that a decision from the current administration administrative officials has requested that all monitors, under our control, on the White Oak Campus, display FOX news,' the email reads." And then there's the inevitable denial. The first victims of propaganda are the government employees. If this is actually the case, I recommend any of the "universal 'off' remotes" available. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Linkee-poo pushes it out late Friday night

Heinous fuckery most foul.

McMansion Hell. (Grokked from Joshua Parker‏)

"A conservative group that wants to see the US government address climate change is trying to reach the president through his favorite medium: TV." Well, it ain't perfect, but it's a start. (Grokked from Robert J Bennett)

"Why Some People Are Born to Worry… How do early-life traumas get under our skin? A researcher details his quest for the stress-causing mechanism." As I've said before, I come from small, worried-people stock.

"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told an audience of Wall Street managers that they could thank him for financial deregulation." Tell me again about Clinton's speeches. Jesus, all these people need are top-hats and monocles. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

Hey, remember the UK Embassy that posted a blog entry on Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort? Yeah, wasn't a mistake. "Government-funded news agency Voice Of America has posted a story about first daughter Ivanka Trump's new book… The agency also tweeted a link to the story, written by The Associated Press, from its official Twitter account." (Grokked from Jim Wright)

So when they tell you that Obamacare is broken and driving people into debt, know they are lying. "As legislators and the executive branch renew their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act this week, they might want to keep in mind a little-known financial consequence of the ACA: Since its adoption, far fewer Americans have taken the extreme step of filing for personal bankruptcy… Filings have dropped about 50 percent…" For honesty's sake, "The many experts we interviewed also pointed to two other contributing factors: an improving economy and changes to bankruptcy laws in 2005 that made it more difficult and costly to file. However, they almost all agreed that expanded health coverage played a major role in the marked, recent decline." (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"A Code Pink activist who was arrested during Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing after laughing during introductory comments is now being prosecuted by a Justice Department run by Jeff Sessions." Conservatives, they put the special in the snowflake. Also, you may have noticed my frequent references to deploying the most devastating of political retorts… laughing. They're deathly afraid of being laughed at. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

And speaking of prosecutions for laughing, "Late night talk show host Stephen Colbert’s controversial joke about President Trump drew the attention of the Federal Communications Commission. The agency received 'a number' of complaints about Colbert’s commentary earlier in the week, according to the FCC’s chief." (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"How to: avenge yourself on the Republicans who voted to nuke your healthcare." The bastards. And why did it pass? Because they new it would never survive the Senate, but they needed something to go home with. Now, I wouldn't get complacent about the Senate either sinking or majorly altering the bill, but that's where I'd put my money (mostly on the "sinking" part). It goes to the earlier psychology of "let's pass a repeal… of which we're safe of the consequences because Obama will veto it." But then Mitch McConnell is a grade A asshole, so I wouldn't put down the pitchforks just yet. Now, as to conservatives loosing the House in 2018, let me show you a map of the gerrymandered districts the GOP Majority control. Sure, they're going to lose a handful. Maybe 20 seats. Currently the House is divided 238 to 193. The Democrats would need to pick up all of those, plus 3 more, and not lose any.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Linkee-poo weekend

The Fyre Festival all the kids are talking about.

"Female dragonflies use an extreme tactic to get rid of unwanted suitors: they drop out the sky and then pretend to be dead." Yeah, I've seen that at parties.

I wrote a story (unpublished) about a congressional hearing where the person testifies with a beaker of cloudy water (microbes) talking about how we've changed the environment and by doing so irrevocably alters some of the bacteria at the base of our food change so within a few decades the entire ecosystem was going to collapse. "The question of how Trichodesmium cyanobacteria are reacting to the changing ocean makes a big difference in predicting how other marine life, from whales to mere specks of floating plankton, will react, too." Yeah, that'll do it.

So a little while ago I followed Snopes on twitter because I thought it would be a hoot. Except it's actually damn depressing realizing what stupid shit people would need to have disproved. But then there are things like this, "The former executive director for the Foundation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) is to be appointed 1 May 2017 to serve as the ombudsman for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services department. Julie Kirchner headed the controversial anti-immigration group for a decade before this appointment, ProPublica reports." Yea, not everything snoops covers turns out to be false.

On the new NYT columnist that's causing some waves. "Stephens seems to be arguing that, because a person he knows, who is a climate change activist, just had a baby, it somehow disproves climate science." Stellar logic there, Buzz. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)

"Twenty state attorneys general and the District of Columbia this week sent a letter criticizing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for revoking federal protections for student borrowers." No level of consumer protections are too small to be ignored by this administration.

(Reposted because I apparently forgot to include the link a few days ago. Not sure it's the same article, but there you go) "'You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap," (Rep. Markwayne Mullin - R-Okla.) said at the town hall in Jay, Okla.… 'I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.'" Do you bank the check Rep. Mullin? If so, your constituents (and everyone who pays federal taxes in the US) pay your salary. Taxes aren't a bank account, and you don't get to direct where your money goes (no matter what conservatives say). That's not how they work. As a representative and business owner you are wildly ignorant of the work you're doing. I suggest you retire back to your businesses. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Well, at least he realized he actually had to sign it before going off to his weekend.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Linkee-poo three make a post

I keep hearing Budget Director Mick Mulvaney and Trump talk about getting GDP growth over 4% and how "it hasn't happened for the past 10 years." Nope, it's been much longer than that. "Since 1980, Clinton's years came the closest, but they were just shy of the 4 percent mark on average — closer to 3.8 percent, to be exact. Reagan was next at about 3.5 percent growth, followed by George H.W. Bush, who was slightly above 2 percent. Obama comes in just below 2 percent, and George W. Bush is behind him, at around 1.7 percent." That's from an article from the campaign when Jeb! was talking about getting over 4%. Basically, since we've entered the era of "trickle-down economics" and "tax cuts" we have not had sustained 4% GDP growth. Ever. Hell, I remember Reagan saying that 2% GDP was the new normal. So when they say "10 years", they're lying to you and attempting to frame the argument that Democratic economic principles are bad for the economy.

So a long time ago Congress decided that Medicare couldn't reform itself and rid the system of fraud, so they outsourced the billing processing. How are they doing? "While these improper claims now comprise 11 percent of all Part A and B claims, as recently as 10 years ago, it was only 4 percent. In short, there are more bad actors today." And they cost more. Privatization never reduces cost or increases efficiency of government. Never.

"In this morning’s edition of Mike Allen’s not-Playbook from Axios he introduces what seems to be Ivanka Trump setting up something that sounds a lot like the Clinton Foundation, only in this case run from within the White House by a top presidential aide who is also the President’s daughter, who also runs her own large international company and who also has two brothers who are currently running the President/Father’s company and trying to rake in as much money as possible on the fame and power of the presidency. Also, let’s be honest, the Trumps are a notoriously corrupt family, especially when it comes to running foundations." (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Linkee-poo is all about the Quality

Author of the seminal Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M Pirsig has died. ZAMM is one of the few books I've read several times. Each time I've gotten something different out of it. Although I've only read Lila once (and wasn't as wowed, but it's still an interesting exercise). And so it goes.

"Britain went a full day without using coal to generate power, reports the BBC. It's the first 24-hour period of inactivity there since 1882, when the world's first public coal-fired power plant was stoked at Holborn Viaduct in London." Sounds nice, but isn't the full reality. See, coal plants don't shut down except for yearly maintenance. It takes several hours (sometimes days) to get a coal plant up to temperature to efficiently generate electricity. Electricity is bought second by second. While natural gas can be turned on and off quickly (which is one of the reasons it's replaced coal plants), coal plants have to keep running to be able to generate electricity to feed the grid. So while the grid didn't buy from any coal plants, those plants were still running.

And in the US, solar power, once considered a joke, is becoming more of a problem to central generators. Point-source, wave of the future.

"'Ten times Trump asked [German chancellor Angela Merkel] if he could negotiate a trade deal with Germany. Every time she replied, "You can’t do a trade deal with Germany, only the EU,"' the official said." Slow dogs learn faster than that. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Sure Republicans aren't mean and only what what is best for people. And yet, "In comments that were first reported by Shareblue, Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) told a woman at his recent town hall event that her Medicaid expansion-eligible son’s 'skills' were the reason he is at risk for losing his health care under the Republican repeal plan, and that health care is something to be earned." Republicanism, the Dickensian dystopia plan. (Grokked from Tobias Buckell)

"In a dramatic response to a power-grab by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature, a Republican judge resigned today to circumvent efforts to strip power from the Democratic governor." Pointed to as an example that not all conservatives are rapacious dick weasels, some of them are actually concerned about the character of the nation. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Given Trump’s erratic temperament, his war-mongering comments on nuclear weapons and his interest in increasing the nuclear arsenal have alarmed experts. But there is a longer-term, quieter threat, one that was hurting Americans well before Trump came to power: the threat of environmental devastation." Teen Vogue goes there again. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

"An article on a State Department website about President Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort has been removed after criticism that it was an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds."

So remember when Mike Flynn was outed as having failing to register as a foreign agent and we were all "whew, it was Turkey. At least it wasn't Russia." Well, yep, it actually was Russia or near enough to not make a difference. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Linkee-poo eeks out another one

So you may be wondering how the new job is going? Well, we're a month in and I'm told that we've never been busier and I am (somewhat) keeping up to pace. The hard part, of course, is all the things that are deep tribal knowledge that everyone just accepts as "the way it's done." Well, no. Before everyone knew their parts from years of doing it and negotiating their actions. This is like the night job were we have plenty of "this is the way we do it… except in this case (note 5 different cases, some of which involve knowing the specialties of many local doctors)." Of course, none of it is spelled out in any consistent format to refer to. But, over all, the new job is going well. Unfortunately there is no time at work for recreational surfing. So as you can tell the Linkee-poos have been suffering. Add to that some personal family health issues and there's just been no time to catch up in the evenings. There has been some small progression on the secret projects, but not enough of note. Also add in that the universe has decided to throw in some expensive repair jobs on the home as well as having to be on COBRA for 3 months and it's also been a very expensive start of the year.

Story telling through the use of Rube Goldberg devices. (Grokked from John)

No, you shouldn't eat moldy bread even if you "take the mold off."

"Physicists have created a fluid with 'negative mass', which accelerates towards you when pushed." Well, technically, they've created a few atoms that act like that. (Grokked from John)

"It turns out that escaped pet birds, namely parrots and cockatoos, have begun teaching their wild bird counterparts a bit of the language they picked up from their time in captivity -- and, according to witnesses, that includes more than a few expletives." How we influence our environment in ways we don't understand. (Grokked from Dan)

Wag the Dog or Pysch? Oh, and whatever it was, it didn't stop them from attempting two launches.

"There is no virtue in ignorance." Jim Wright on why having an incompetent in office is a Bad Idea™. I'll also offer a story about Pres. Carter. He was pained as weak and fearful. Did you know that in 1952, Lt. Carter was part of the team at Chalk River that brought there failed nuclear reactor under control and in the rotation of the men lowered into the reactor to try and get the control rods back into the pile? And that experience directly helped formed his views of nuclear power and weapons. Yeah, I also didn't learn about that until later in life.

Stephen Colbert releases the White House visitor's log. (Grokked from Dan)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Linkee-poo is late

Yes, he killed himself once he realized he wouldn't get away. Who could have seen that coming?

John Scalzi on the performance side of writing. Ann Leckie also has some input on this subject. This is something I learned from Scalzi early on during a koffeeklatch at Confusion a long time ago as I was getting serious about being a writer. It also came up during a panel at the last Confusion were I was asked directly by the moderator if I was giving a performance. Yes is the answer. If I'm in front of a crowd (different from being in a group in the bar) I am "on." If you've come to a convention and paid money at the door, or if I ever do a book tour you've come out and possibly have purchased my book, you damn well bet I'm going to make it worth your while. You should damn well expect it. Am I lying? In a sense, yes that I'm being "false." But not in the sense that I'm going to tell you something untrue or violate my core self. John calls this his "public face." And as I said on the panel, "Writer Steve" is 97% the real me, but with different aspects emphasized. That remaining 3% are things about me I'm not going to share with a crowd (note, this percentage may increase in the future as some projects head to launch). There's also probably about 15-20% of me you won't get to know unless we're friends. I expect you're also the same with people whom you barely know (and this is where there is a difference, some people will tell lies directly to your face if they don't know you, not everyone, but you know what I'm talking about. I won't do that, those lies will always be exposed and frankly I don't have enough energy or memory space to keep track of such lies). Now, if you ask me a direct question about that 15-20%, there's a chance I might tell you. However, that 3% is mine. The people who know those things about me can be counted on my fingers with room to spare. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"'If you'd just answer my question, I'd be grateful,' (newly seated Supreme Court Judge) Gorsuch said, flashing frustration." I think I can speak for a lot of people here, Judge, but we also wished the same thing of you. (Grokked from Lisa Morton)

Hey, remember during the 2016 election (I have to specify since the current president has already formed his campaign committee and is holding campaign events for 2020) how Trump supporters, despite obvious signs and symptoms, claimed their support of Trump wasn't about being racist? "In short, our analysis indicates that Donald Trump successfully leveraged existing resentment towards African Americans in combination with emerging fears of increased racial diversity in America to reshape the presidential electorate, strongly attracting nativists towards Trump and pushing some more affluent and highly educated people with more cosmopolitan views to support Hillary Clinton. Racial identity and attitudes have further displaced class as the central battleground of American politics." Yeah, the majority of analysis is coming up racists. Racial anxiety is a soft form of racism. These are the people "who don't hate anybody", but their scared of people who don't look like them and they're also scared of losing their perceived privileged position. Add in religious people who want to roll back societal openness (sexual revolution and breakdown of class and racial barriers) and the upper class longing for "tax relief" and there you have his political coalition. But it was mostly racism (that was the most reliable predictor). (Grokked from John Scalzi)

"(Trump's) bargaining chip is the government subsidies paid to insurance companies so they can reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for low-income consumers — seven million people this year… In an interview with The Wall Street Journal this week, Mr. Trump threatened to withhold the subsidy payments as a way to induce the Democrats to bargain with him." So basically this president is taking the country hostage and saying if he doesn't get his demands, he's going to shoot us all.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Linkee-poo had a supper

A photo of all the Dr. Pepper knockoffs. I know a few others they're missing. Noted because before my diagnosis, I was a staunch Dr. Pepper fan (still am, pissed they stopped making the real sugar version available at the local market, yes, I know about Texas). (Grokked from Dan)

Apparently the sculptor of the "Charging Bull"/Wall Street statue is upset with NYC for allowing "Fearless Girl" to remain. One, you argument of "artistic copyright" is bullshit. Dude, seriously, when you release your art into the wild people will respond to it (and reinterpret it) in ways you can't control or imagine. And then there's this part, "Di Modica had installed the massive bronze in front of the New York Stock Exchange after the 1987 stock market crash, without a permit, in the middle of the night — as a symbol of America's financial resilience. The city eventually responded to the public clamor for the artwork to be allowed to remain in the Financial District, steps from Wall Street." As one artist to another, fuck your protest and drop the uber-macho dream in your head. It's not helping you. (Grokked from Dan)

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. Next up for the political oubliette swan dive, Steve Bannon. Go for gold, buddy, go for gold. (Grokked from John)

"'You say you pay for me to do this? That’s bullcrap," (Rep. Markwayne Mullin - R-Okla.) said at the town hall in Jay, Okla.… 'I pay for myself. I paid enough taxes before I got here and continue to through my company to pay my own salary. This is a service. No one here pays me to go.'" Do you bank the check Rep. Mullin? If so, your constituents (and everyone who pays federal taxes in the US) pay your salary. Taxes aren't a bank account, and you don't get to direct where your money goes (no matter what conservatives say). That's not how they work. As a representative and business owner you are wildly ignorant of the work you're doing. I suggest you retire back to your businesses. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Trump is now threatening a first strike if North Korea continues to work toward another nuclear test. I'm sure this will turn out well.