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, February 28, 2017

Linkee-poo is guilty, I am war, I am the root of all evil, lord, I can't drive on the left side of the road

Jim Hines posts his 5th income results blog post wrapping up this year. I haven't had a chance to read it all yet (and I didn't link to all of his posts, I suggest them all), but thought I'd post it hear before it fell off my mental radar.

Also, frankly, I wanted at least one link that wasn't politics.

"A piece on the notorious conspiracy theory website Infowars.com blatantly lied about the site’s promotion of the so-called “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, after the site’s creator Alex Jones deleted evidence he promoted the conspiracy." We have always been at war with Eastasia. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Some good news from the Arizona Legislature: SB 1142, the bill that would have allowed protest organizers to be prosecuted for racketeering if a demonstration turned violent, is effectively dead." Good news, but not like this is our first rodeo. Killed in committee can mean obscurity, but it doesn't mean the idea is dead (like if it hit the floor and failed an open vote, or was amended out of existence). (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

Jeff Sessions, the great defender of civil rights. "For the last six years, the Justice Department has sided with the citizens and civil rights groups fighting Texas' voter ID law, which a federal judge at one point found to be intentionally discriminatory against black and Latino voters. But its position changed Monday when the department decided to drop its claim that Republican state lawmakers enacted the law to make it harder for minorities to vote." Yep. Gee, if only someone could have seen that one coming. Fortunately, because government sucks at protecting citizens (and especially minority) rights, there are organizations that will continue the fight.

"Jewish community centers in at least 11 states received bomb threats on Monday, echoing similar waves of threats on Jan. 9 and Jan. 18." I'll bet if someone thought these were being committed by Muslims, there's be a major investigation and tweets from POTUS.

"William Owens, whose son William 'Ryan' Owens became the first American to die in combat under the Trump administration, says he refused a chance to meet President Trump and that he wants an investigation into his son's final mission — a raid in Yemen whose merits have been called into question."

"President Trump's budget will propose a $54 billion increase in defense spending, while slashing domestic programs by the same amount. The president told the nation's governors on Monday that his plan 'puts America first,' and that 'we're going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to people.'" All while increasing the largest piece of the discretionary spending pie.

While trying to make a "up by their boot-straps" argument for the success (and needed support) of Historically Black Colleges and Universities, our Secretary of Education praises the result of the Jim Crow South which forced the formation of the HBCU schools. Would it be amiss to suggest the Sec. of Education go back to school and learn something? (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"President Donald Trump last week called on his supporters to hold massive rallies on his behalf, and on Monday some of them did their best to meet his demands." Remember, this was going to be bigly. Hugely massive rallies. Bigger than all those people in pink, pussy hats. Most of Trump's rallies could have been held at the local Starbucks. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"'I haven’t called Russia in 10 years,' (Trump) told a reporter who asked him whether a special prosecutor should carry out an investigation." Oh really? Say, remember this? "It has been a day thick with phone calls for President Trump. By the end of the day, the president will have spoken over the phone with the leaders of five countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin." That was January 28, 2017. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, responding to calls for an independent investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russia, said Saturday that the House would not engage in a 'witch hunt' and that 'at this point, there’s nothing there.'" This is just more of the same, "we know what conclusion we want, and we'll continue to dig (or not) until we find our proof" mindset that got us 8 Benghazi investigations. (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

"It is true the debt outstanding declined by $12 billion in the first month of Donald Trump’s presidency. We applaud the president for focusing on the debt as an important metric of success and economic health, but would point out that the improvement this early in his term has to do with normal fluctuations in spending and revenues rather than new policies he has implemented." It was basically the debt that had been scheduled to be retired. "In fact, the Washington Post’s Wonkblog reports that, even on a day-to-day basis, fluctuations even greater than the one Trump referenced are not unheard of…" And that $200B from Obama, you might remember that's was the stimulus that helped blunt the economy's free fall.

PBS Newshour report on what the effects of repealing Obamacare on hospitals. Actually the effects have already arrived. While we're normally slow this time of year (after the rush of people getting work done after covering their deductible), we are much slower this year and the money is on people not knowing if they'll have insurance. So while it would be more rational to get care while you have it, that's not the way most people's brains work. And then there's this, "And for some hospitals to survive or break even, it will require Congress to restore billions of dollars in funding that kept hospitals afloat before the law took effect." Also, for most people with employer based healthcare, their premiums have risen slower that usual under Obamacare because they were no longer helping healthcare facilities cover the losses for people who can't pay.

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