What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, "hooray for our side"

Friday, September 22, 2017

Linkee-poo joins the news dump Friday

Just going to say it, gods I wish we could get to a place where I have more writing, social, and science links than political links.

"A ransomware attack sweeping the globe right now is launching about 8,000 different versions of the virus script at Barracuda's customers, Eugene Weiss, lead platform architect at Barracuda, told Axios, and it's hitting at a steady rate of about 2 million attacks per hour." Remember when we thought spammers were the scum of the internet? (Grokked from Dan)

"Fossilized dinosaur feces are challenging some basic assumptions about dinosaur eating habits… Hadrosaurs… are among the most common herbivores of the Cretaceous period. But new research suggests that actually, these animals also chowed down on crustaceans. The prehistoric snacking was likely intentional and linked to mating behaviors." And you thought coprolite was just one of those funny things. Also about how science changes.

"NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has observed a planet outside our solar system that looks as black as fresh asphalt because it eats light rather than reflecting it back into space. This light-eating prowess is due to the planet’s unique capability to trap at least 94 percent of the visible starlight falling into its atmosphere." Well, it doesn't "eat" light (such as a black hole does), it's just the day side of the planet is so hot there's no clouds to reflect light, and whatever the hot Jupiter is made of doesn't reflect much light. (Grokked from Dan)

"While they pondered their predicament (child in need of life saving surgery which required them to travel to another hospital, going pass a border patrol stopping point) in a Harlingen, Texas, hospital, a Border Patrol agent showed up in the waiting room — Oscar Sanchez suspects a nurse turned them in — and said he could arrange for officers to escort the parents through the checkpoint to Corpus. But the agent said when they arrived, they would be arrested and put into deportation proceedings. The couple agreed." Your child's life or safety, that was the choice. This is being done in our name all to satisfy the racist agenda of the alt-right.

"For nearly two weeks, the company’s official Twitter account has been directing users to a fake lookalike website, the sole purpose of which is to expose Equifax’s reckless response to the breach." Tell me again how these companies don't require heavy regulation and oversight (no, really, Congress was about to pass new laws exempting credit bureaus form some regulations and capping liability). These companies' business is data. And they have no clue as to how to protect it. But then, you aren't their customer, you're the product. (Grokked from Dan)

"But the U.S. Education Department has just called a halt to the enforcement collaboration between itself and CFPB. This move leaves 44 million student loan borrowers, owing $1.4 trillion in debt, with potentially less, or at least less-coordinated, oversight of their rights." Ah that Trump administration, always looking out for the little guy.

"As part of a project that looks at gun violence in Chicago, WBEZ examined who is getting fatally shot and the impact it has on the survivors."

"Police in Oklahoma City on Tuesday night fatally shot a deaf man who they say was advancing toward them with a metal pipe as witnesses yelled that the man was deaf and could not hear them… 'In those situations, very volatile situations, when you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision or you can really lock into just the person that has the weapon that'd be the threat against you,' (Capt. Bo Mathews, the police department's public information officer) told reporters." You literally have training so that doesn't happen. Getting tunnel vision leads directly to a police officers' deaths. When you are training with a firearm for situations where you are shooting at live targets you are trained to keep your eyes and ears open.

And in other news, Flint, Michigan, still doesn't have clean water. "The fertility rate in Flint, Mich., dropped precipitously after the city decided to switch to lead-poisoned Flint River water in 2014, according to a new working paper."

"President Donald Trump’s commission to look into his claims of illegal voting in the 2016 election may have to start pretty close to home… Jeffrey Gerrish, President Donald Trump’s pick for deputy U.S. trade representative, may have voted illegally in the 2016 election, the New York Times and Washington Post reported on Wednesday." How do we know there was fraud? Because we did it!

"The inspector general's office at the Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing requests to investigate the private jet travel of the agency's chief, Tom Price, who reportedly chartered five flights last week, drawing widespread criticism from congressional Democrats." Remember when Republicans were all up in arms over how much the previous president spent on travel? You know, like how Sec. Price did when he was in Congress.

"'You know, I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn’t be considered,' (Sen. Chuck) Grassley told Iowa reporters on a call, according to the Des Moines Register. 'But Republicans campaigns on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign.'" Or, "we promised we'd fuck you over, so we're gonna fuck you over." So now you know, this is about losing face (and campaign donations). What it does to your lives and the healthcare market doesn't even come into play.

"Other Republican senators, meanwhile, fell back on political explanations for a bill that experts warn could result in millions losing their insurance. 'If we do nothing, it has a tremendous impact on the 2018 elections,' said Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). 'And whether or not Republicans still maintain control and we have the gavel.'" That's the real reason, the fear that even with their massive gerrymandered advantage that they would lose. Everything else is magical thinking (and bribery by giving the smaller states, which have the same percentage of representation in the Senate, more money). (Grokked from John)

Pork alert. "The language could mean 'potentially hundreds of millions' of extra dollars for Wisconsin, said April Grady, a health care consultant. She and other analysts said they were not aware of other states that would benefit from the provision… Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is one of the co-sponsors of the health care overhaul that Republican leaders hope to push through the Senate next week." Also note that Sen. Johnson is defending this extra money for the "the innovative reforms of Wisconsin." Say, aren't those "innovative reforms" at the state level supposed to save us money?

So, what happens when you cut government spending because you also promised the voters you would do that as well? "Cleanups at some U.S. hazardous waste sites have stopped or slowed down because the Environmental Protection Agency does not manage its Superfund staff effectively to match its workload, an internal government watchdog said Tuesday." And then there's the people you hire. "President Donald Trump’s nominee to oversee chemical safety at the Environmental Protection Agency has for years accepted payments for criticizing studies that raised concerns about the safety of his clients’ products, according to a review of financial records and his published work by The Associated Press."

"An international group of cryptography experts has forced the U.S. National Security Agency to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close U.S. allies." You know that feeling when your face hurts after forcing a smile for too long? That's how my shocked face feels right now. (Grokked from Dan)

"A real estate company dropped its ties to a state lawmaker Tuesday night after she shared an image on Facebook depicting protesters being hit by a vehicle under the caption, 'All Lives Splatter.'" Not just any politician, Lynne Hix-DiSanto is the majority whip in the South Dakota legislature. Guess which party is in charge of the legislature. No, go on, guess. Well it's no fun unless you guess. (Grokked from John)

"While it’s been reported that CNN and Fox News won’t hire former White House press secretary Sean Spicer as a paid contributor, NBC News confirmed Tuesday that the other three of the big five — ABC, NBC and CBS — won’t be offering Spicer a contract either… And it’s all because of a 'lack of credibility,' several network insiders told NBC." Gee, ya think? On the other hand, when has that stopped the networks from hiring other Trump wonks? So my guess is the real reason is how crappily Spicer treated the reporters and the news industry while he thought he had power and than many of the reporters told their bosses there was no way they'd work with him.

Although there's now rumors that Sean Spicer kept copious notes of meetings, directions, and daily happenings since joining the Trump campaign and then as communications director. I think I smell a subpoena.

"President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager (Corey Lewandowski) said Tuesday that he hoped any of Trump’s campaign staff who may be found to have improperly influenced the 2016 election 'go to jail for the rest of their lives.'" In my head, the camera then swings to the cop standing behind him who is twirling a pair of handcuffs around one finger.

"President Donald Trump is considering a further reduction in the number of refugees allowed into the United States as the administration works to re-shape American immigration policy, officials say." Because of course he is. This is the slow walking back scenario. If his travel ban is upheld by SCOTUS, do you really think that 1) it'll only be 3 months and 2) he won't expand it to other countries? The president is not as inscrutable as he likes to think he is. Just think, "If I were a racist, misogynist, xenophobic asshole, what would I do?" More than likely that's you're answer.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Linkee-poo, when the night has come and the land is dark and the moon is the only light we'll see

I say ye, Stanislav Petrov. A person who embodied the phrase "cooler heads at the switch." Also note, the thing that tipped him off was his system had only detected 5 missile launches. There is no such thing as a "limited exchange." All scenarios lead to the imperative to launch everything at once. That's the only way to "win". Note, "win" in this case is an esoteric concept as the world would be dead within a few months. There is no winnable nuclear war.

"The attorneys general of 41 U.S. states said Tuesday that they're banding together to investigate the makers and distributors of powerful opioid painkillers that have, over the past decade, led to a spike in opiate addictions and overdose deaths."

"But not all demographics were equally inspired to go to the polls. Turnout was up among white, Hispanic and Asian students, but down among black students." While they mostly talk about group motivation, it's almost like there is some other factor at play here.

"Rigid gender stereotypes tied to increased depression, violence and suicide in children." Look, I'm serious. This is my shocked face.

Just going to drop this here, "Certain species of ducks' penises become longer when the birds are fighting with other males to catch a female's eye."

"It turns out (Jimmy) Kimmel understands the (healthcare) bill's impact better than its authors do." We live in a world where comedian talk show hosts are better policy experts than experienced politicians.

"Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost." Because what would the truth have anything to do with conservative politics and talking points. These are people who would argue, if they saw political advantage in it, that the Sun rises in the West. (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

Son of a bitch, Ricky didn't lose that number. I really can't read this story of how Rick Santorum is leading the current charge to repeal Obamacare as the grand "fuck you" of his failed political career.

In depth journalism into the world of the alt-right. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Linkee-poo, willow weeping in the water waving to the river daughters, swaying in the ripples and the reeds

Listening to Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's The Vietnam War on PBS. When I was growing up one of the most often things I heard about the war (until I took it on myself to learn more about it) was how the News and Hippies lost us the war. The most often phrase I hear from the documentary is the line about how "the American people were not to know" about our expansion, our increase in troop levels, our wanton destruction. Much of that came out in the Pentagon Papers. Yeah, I think that had a big effect.

"A last-ditch effort by Senate Republicans to repeal and replace ObamaCare is gaining steam, suggesting lawmakers could face another vote on ending the former president’s signature law later this month." Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Although I find it interesting the recurring line that the GOP only has until the end of this month to pass this under reconciliation (only needing 50 votes). IIRC, it's they can only pass a bill regarding health insurance by reconciliation until the start of the new fiscal year as they only get one concept through by reconciliation per fiscal year. I'm not a parliamentarian (although I play one on the internets), but I'm pretty sure that if they wanted to they could chose healthcare again as their one bill per fiscal year (for fiscal 2018). I believe this is being set up as a "well we tried" way of losing (why can't we keep trying? because the rules don't allow us to, quick, run and gag the parliamentarian).

"(GOP) optimism, however, seemed to spread in a closed-door meeting Thursday in which members and aides say that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made it clear that he would bring the bill to the floor if Cassidy and Graham delivered the votes to pass it. There was a recognition that the GOP didn't have any choice but to try again to finally deliver on their seven-year campaign promise."

You might have seen a Guardian article about how the Koch network of donors is holding money back from the GOP unless they pass Repeal and Replace. That article is 3 months old. Still true, but not a new wrinkle.

Looking for a bluetooth signal while pumping your gas may help you spot an inline credit card skimmer. (Grokked from Jeff Beeler)

"A study this month in the International Journal of Obesity found that a specific diet's success may come down to the bacteria mix in one's gut, as observed in stool samples." I have fat microbes.

"Around the country, facilities have been caught unprepared for far more mundane emergencies than the hurricanes that struck Florida and Houston, according to an examination of federal inspection records. And these nursing homes rarely face severe reprimands, even when inspectors identify repeated lapses."

"Researchers caught the bacteria Mycoplasma hyorhinis hiding out among cancer cells, thwarting chemotherapy drugs intended to treat the tumors they reside in." Son of a bitch. (Grokked from Dan)

"The biologists had an idea of what was going on: The increased light was making the algae grow faster, but they ended up containing fewer of the nutrients the zooplankton needed to thrive. By speeding up their growth, the researchers had essentially turned the algae into junk food. The zooplankton had plenty to eat, but their food was less nutritious, and so they were starving." Same thing when they're exposed to more CO2 in the atmosphere. Also, know why chicken doesn't taste like chicken anymore? Because that bird on your plate isn't even half a year old (more than likely it's less than 3 months old). (Grokked from Kameron Hurley)

One word, plastics. "And lately, the shellfish biologist is making other unappetizing comments to her dinner party guests — about plastics in those shellfish." Plastic, it's what's for dinner.

It's the end of the world as we know it. Another whackaloon has surfaced saying September 23 is the beginning of the end. But this time even the evangelical world is scoffing. Which makes me wonder since it will be at a time that is hidden, the "experts" wouldn't know when it was. So maybe he's on to something?

People giving advice on if a woman should take her husband's Hispanic-sounding surname.

Racists gonna racist. "'My two currently appointed attorneys, Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani, are Jewish and Indian respectively,' (Dylann) Roof wrote in a letter filed Monday with the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. 'It is therefore quite literally impossible that they and I could have the same interests relating to my case.'"

"We can neither confirm nor deny." Project Azorian, the Glomar Explorer, Howard Hughes, the CIA, and Russia.

"Russian media reported Tuesday that three people were wounded at major Russian military exercises when a helicopter accidentally fired a rocket at a crowd of invited spectators." Oopsie.

"President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee raised an unprecedented $107 million… the committee pledged to give leftover funds to charity. Nearly eight months later, the group has helped pay for redecorating at the White House and the vice president’s residence in Washington… But nothing has yet gone to charity." Yeah, my face is going to get suck in "shocked face" mode for a while. Same as it ever was. (Grokked from Chuck Wendig)

"If there is one defining characteristic of the sinfulness of the Trump administration, it’s the daily and calamitous shredding of America’s unwritten political and institutional norms." Yep. And unfortunately, at least for me, that's beginning to feel "normal." And there is, on a daily basis, so much of it that to counteract the actions or at the very least point them all out is a frustrating and futile exercise. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

"Donald Trump Jr. has reportedly given up his protection from the U.S. Secret Service because of privacy concerns." You know, you had a good out with, "I don't want to burden the tax payers…" and you blew it. Plus, what privacy concerns. The Secret Service will watch their charges break the law (within limits, supposedly) and not interfere because that's not their charge (underage drinking, philandering, and obstruction of justice just to name a few we know of). (Grokked from Fran Wilde)

"A group of angry young immigrants chanting 'all of us or none of us' shut down a news conference by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who was on her home turf in San Francisco on Monday to try to drum up support for legislation that would allow immigrants illegally brought to this country by their parents to stay in the U.S."

So, that went well. Our president's speech to the UN, where he actually went for the "believe me." Note, that's his bluffing tell.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Linkee-poo same trailer, different park

Ship of fools. Jim Wright on the current tribulations and why Democracy is hard. You've gotta want it.

"After eight months of living in isolation on a remote Hawaii volcano, six NASA-backed research subjects will emerge from their Mars-like habitat on Sunday and return to civilization." Um, there's some things that have happened… Okay, yes, they got everything, but it was delayed by 20 minutes (electronic transit time to Mars). Lucky stiffs.

So after all the news about the industrial pollution exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey (note, they were still polluting before Harvey, it's just it was worse in the aftermath), "The EPA will not renew the lease of its lab in Houston, potentially dealing a severe blow to the agency’s role in monitoring the effects of Hurricane Harvey on the area when the current lease expires in 2020." Yeah, that's a smart move. If you're an industrial polluter that doesn't want to be caught, that is. But, you know, they're going to find other lab space. Supposedly.

An NPR "talk with William Evanina, head of U.S. counterintelligence." I have many thinky thoughts about this. But from the interview, while it was meant to reassure us, it makes me worry to hear that cointel appears to be on a mostly defensive footing. That is the worst stance cointel can take. It is most effective when it's on the offensive. Case in point the response to the Facebook ad buy from Russia. Okay, got caught with our pants down, but now it sounds like he's saying, "It'll come again. We've hopefully have things in place to prevent what happened last year from happening again, but we can't prepare for what they may do next." Yes. Yes we can. That's the whole point. But it requires having adults in charge who can make the tough decisions that may make like harder for our intelligence operations and government, but by doing so would cut the knees out of any disinformation campaign no matter how it's played. So you may say, "Steve, how do you do that?" Well folks, it's simple. Have strong, robust, trusted news reporting. That means passing legislation requiring the news to tell "the truth" (most countries have these laws, and the US used to, until Reagan pushed through legislation repealing them). You build trust in "official" news organizations by making sure reporters know their jobs and do them well (and aren't cut off by the news companies, also probably not letting a lot of the mergers of the 2000's and early teens happen), you instill an aversion to conspiracy theory and make sure everyone's BS meters are working. Doing that you create an environment where such attacks, no matter how they're attempted, will fail. But then at least one political party would be put at a disadvantage. So, yeah, I don't think that'll happen.

"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday acknowledged that he did initially request a government plane to travel to his honeymoon in Europe, but he said he only did so because he needed access to secure communications while abroad." Uh, yeah, Bob. Just like you needed to "see" the gold in Ft. Knox on the same day and time as the solar eclipse. And you know, as a cabinet level secretary, sure you'll probably have to see some "secret" documents. But you were going to be traveling around Ireland (IIRC). Government jets aren't like RVs that you can tow with you.

Warning, dark humor ahead. "The Dallas City Council voted… to remove the statue but was met with a series of delays, including a brief court stay obtained by a pro-Confederacy group and a collision between a semitrailer and a crane assigned to remove the statue." The crew removing the statue had a police escort and tactical officers with automatic rifles to provide security. Like you do. The driver of the truck that hit the crane originally assigned to lift the statue died. So you could say he died for "The Cause."

"The Trump administration is backing legislation that would suspend U.S. financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority until it ends what critics say is a long-standing practice of rewarding Palestinians who kill Americans and Israelis." Yeah, that won't bite us in the ass at all.

"Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has unveiled an unusual strategy to help ease the chronic food shortage faced by many of his nation's 30 million people — something he calls Plan Conejo, or 'Plan Rabbit.'" Oh don't be shocked. You do know what guinea pigs were originally bred for, right? But Venezuela has some of the same cultural precepts that we do, so it's going to be a tough sell.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Linkee-poo, didn't you love the things that they stood for? Didn't they try to find some good for you and me?

The ongoing debate about paper vs screens in education. Paper is superior. They kinda waffle on the question of retention and processing information because "they're not sure how to test for it." Let me be clear, paper is superior. Handwriting notes activates 5 areas of the brain (language centers and body memory centers) whereas typing activates only 3. The physical act of writing is fundamentally different than typing (even the same information). Studies consistently show information read on paper has 3-5x the retention and at least twice as much comprehension as the same information read on a screen (while the article waffles, again this is because how your brain processes information on paper, which has a physical presence/address in the universe whereas the screen has 1 address, the screen). This isn't a "older people don't get it" issue. This is how we are wired as humans. That may change, but it won't be one generation, it'll take at least 4 generations (this is based on basic dynamic physiology of humans, not any rigorous study), of which the second generation is just being born.

A video love letter to Cassini highlighting the mission, the discoveries, and the eventual end.

"Take a movement break every 30 minutes, say experts. No matter how much you exercise, sitting for excessively long periods of time is a risk factor for early death, a new study published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine found." The problem is their guidelines. "'For every 30 consecutive minutes of sitting, stand up and move/walk for five minutes at brisk pace to reduce the health risks from sitting,'" Yeah, who works in an office that you can do that? I did once, although I would probably get in trouble for being absent from my desk for 1/6th of the day, and I doubt I could find excuse enough to justify it (although note, for the PRN/Hospital job I can achieve that without even paying attention to it, one of the reasons I like that job). However, the research doesn't really link the results of being sedentary to death, just that there's a relationship. "Asked if, say, a standing desk might be helpful for those who work desk jobs, Diaz said 'there is limited evidence to suggest that standing is a healthier alternative to sitting.'" Bugger (full disclosure, at the day job I have a convertible desk now, although I've been too tired of late to really utilize it).

"But climate change is threatening both pollinators and the areas where coffee can grow… The researchers projected that by 2050, climate change could reduce the amount of ground usable to grow coffee in Latin America by up to 88 percent." Well that should get some people's attention. I'm old enough to remember the coffee price shocks of the 80s (price shocks which are now laughable in the face of $5-$10 cups of coffee).

"5 dead, others evacuated at Hollywood nursing home without power after Irma." Few people remember that New Orleans didn't flood as Katrina hit the coast, but after the storm passed on up the Mississippi water shed. Everything in the Southern Midwest drains into the Mississippi. It's often the after effects of these storms that kill the most (including disease).

"Over the objections of four liberal justices, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday night that Texas does not immediately have to redraw electoral districts that a lower court found diminished the influence of minority voters." Note, they didn't rule the 2010 redistricting constitutional, they just said that Texas didn't have to redraw the districts until the case is decided. But this does mean that more than likely, even if SCOTUS finds Texas in violation, there won't be time to redraw the districts before the 2018 midterms and state wide elections. "The decision was yet another indication of the influence of President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, who joined the court in April. Without a full complement of five conservative justices, the court likely would have tied 4 to 4, and Texas’s request for a stay would have failed." Yes, that.

Martin Shkreli finds out being a dick has consequences.

Florida man travels to NC. "North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation says a man who was evacuating Florida due to Hurricane Irma was shot and killed at a hospital."

"A student at a high school in rural Washington state opened fire outside a biology classroom on Wednesday, killing another student and wounding three others before being caught." Okay, so now that we don't have a black, socialist president, can we call about sensible gun control.

"The air was heavy with the smell of gasoline and other harder-to-place odors. The neighborhood (flooded by Harvey) is ringed by industrial sites, the biggest of which is the Valero oil refinery, separated by fences from backyards and playgrounds." We don't need no stinking regulations, industry stinks enough on its own. Note it's not new to have polluted air in these areas, it's just "worse" than "normal".

"We’re all accustomed to the busywork of managing personal finances. You check your 401(k) retirement account, making sure your portfolio is carefully balanced. You scan your bank and credit card statements from time to time to verify the charges. These are things responsible people do… But there’s a good chance you’ve spent time recently on a chore you didn’t sign up for: finding out if hackers possibly stole information about you from Equifax Inc…"

"Following a rash of retirements, House Republican leaders are scrambling to get something done legislatively to convince other frustrated members not to toss in the towel in a tough political environment." I guess always threatening your members with challenges from the right isn't a winning proposition in the long term.

Donald Trump's supporters aren't racists. Uh, yeah. Yeah they are. Given the howling over a reported deal on DACA, yeah, they are. Oh, and for the asshole Steve King, apparently these kids aren't asking "properly." And then there's Trump's other thing. "President Donald Trump on Thursday said he was not interested for 'amnesty' for undocumented immigrants protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but he wants to let them 'stay' in the United States." And he's right, it's not "amnesty", but he's wrong because his side of the aisle keeps calling it "amnesty." You can't have the cake and eat it too. But here I'll state, Trump doesn't give a shit about the DACA kids, but he knows just ordering ICE to round them up and ship them out is a losing proposition. So he'll be able to blame this on Congress. "Oh, I wanted them to stay, but Congress couldn't get their shit together so we have to follow the law and kick them out." And then he'll wink to the Nazis to let them know that was the plan all along. And now that Trump is walking back The Wall, he's lost Ann Coulter for good. You know, until he deports all those "Mexicans", and then they'll be straight.

The House gets its homework done early. So now the spending bill is off to the Senate. Where it'll be changed. They'll have to have a conference committee and then have that report/marked up legislation passed by the House and Senate, and then have the President sign it, and then it'll be an actual appropriations bill. Note, this is why the House typically has to pass their first version before the August recess (so, yeah, they're still late, they're just not as late as usual).

"An influential industry panel plans to vote Thursday on recommendations that the Federal Aviation Administration eliminate or scale back dozens of safety rules, including one on airline pilot qualifications." I don't see anything that could go wrong.

"Proposed United States budget cuts could put in jeopardy great progress in reducing global poverty and disease and lead to 5 million more deaths from AIDS alone, the philanthropist Bill Gates warned on Wednesday." The money we spend on these programs is minuscule compared to the benefit we gain. And then, "Melinda Gates is calling on world leaders to step up global aid funding, saying 'a loss of U.S. leadership' is resulting in 'confusion and chaos' in some of the most vulnerable corners of the planet."

"A fact-finding hearing by President Trump's commission looking into voter fraud exposed self-inflicted rifts among its members during the panel's second meeting Tuesday in Manchester, N.H." That's putting it mildly. Let's see, it exposed Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State in Kansas (which means he's in charge of the elections) as an ignoramus when it comes to election law. "Kobach acknowledged that the issue (of valid ID and residency laws) was 'complicated' and said more research needed to be done." Maybe you should have done the research before you published the article, Kris. Just an idea. But "(people) worry that the 12-member panel is stacked with members who believe that voter fraud is extensive and will use its conclusions to push for more restrictive voter laws… Kobach and the commission's chairman, Vice President Pence, have denied this, saying they have no preconceived ideas and will follow the facts where they lead… Still, several members of the commission — including Kobach — have argued that voter fraud is a serious problem that undermines public confidence." You might need a c-collar (used in accidents to stabilize the neck) from that whiplash.

"That makes six turnovers from Republican to Democrat in contested state House and Senate races so far in 2017 -- and 26 out of 35 races (at the state legislative and congressional level) in which the Democratic nominee has overperformed Hillary Clinton's showing last November. (Worth noting: Republicans have yet to flip a Democratic-controlled seat so far this year.)" Now if the Democratic Party can actually leverage that into lasting successes, that would be great. But wait, we're too busy trying to tell Hillary to be quiet and thinking Bernie farts rainbows.

"The meeting (with Sen. Tim Scott) comes as Trump has struggled with his relationship with African-American lawmakers on Capitol Hill and the constituents they represent. In June, the Congressional Black Caucus declined a second meeting with Trump, after concluding that the concerns it had expressed during an initial meeting with the new president 'fell on deaf ears.'"

"House Speaker Paul Ryan backed off months of promises that the Republicans’ tax plan won’t add to the nation’s ballooning deficit, declaring Wednesday in an AP Newsmaker interview that the most important goal of an overhaul is economic growth." Man, I'm going to have to develop my Shocked Resting Face, cause this is getting tiring. So get prepared to up the national debt, 'cause I've been through the previous tax overhaul and about 6 tax cuts, none of which have increased economic activity.

Hillary Clinton on her new memoir.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Linkee-poo is very, very late

Jerry Pournelle was the first big name author I ever met in real life (that I can remember), years before I decided to write SF/F. He stopped by a booth I was manning at a convention. Friend I was with explained to me who he was once he left.

"Kitchen sponges are full of bacteria…" blah blah blah talk to the hand. Why, yes, Virginia, your sponge (and TV remove, and cell phone, and…) are covered with bacteria. So are you. And your sponge may have an incredibly dense population of bacteria (it is after all a moist, porous surface and typically isn't kept in sunlight). But the vast majority of bacteria aren't pathogens.

"On Sept. 15, 2017, the spacecraft will make its final approach to the giant planet Saturn. But this encounter will be like no other. This time, Cassini will dive into the planet's atmosphere, sending science data for as long as its small thrusters can keep the spacecraft's antenna pointed at Earth. Soon after, Cassini will burn up and disintegrate like a meteor."

"Sen. Ted Cruz said Tuesday that a staff member of his was responsible for 'liking' a pornographic Twitter post with the Texas lawmaker's account, chalking up the social media snafu to a 'mistake.'" Well, yes, a "mistake" is probably what it was.

"Hundreds of thousands of (Rohingya) continued to stream via land and rickety boats into Bangladesh this week, arriving exhausted, dehydrated and recounting tales of nightmarish horrors at the hands of the Burmese military, including friends and neighbors shot dead and homes torched before their eyes." Ethnic cleansing. And just an example of how religion, any religion, can be used to justify the most horrific of actions. Also an example of why you want the military to be under civilian control (which is not the case in most of the world). Suu Kyi’s hands are tied, even if she wished to intervene (of which it's not entirely clear she would).

"Mexico will no longer send the emergency aid offered to Texas after Hurricane Harvey, to focus on those affected by a deadly earthquake and Hurricane Katia that struck the eastern state of Veracruz last week, the Mexican Foreign Ministry said Monday." Not that Trump accepted the offered aid, or even recognized it's offer, or said anything about the earthquake. Note, we haven't offered to help Mexico recover from it's disaster.

"Virtually any Android, Linux, or Windows device that hasn't been recently patched and has Bluetooth turned on can be compromised by an attacking device within 32 feet. It doesn't require device users to click on any links, connect to a rogue Bluetooth device, or take any other action, short of leaving Bluetooth on. The exploit process is generally very fast, requiring no more than 10 seconds to complete, and it works even when the targeted device is already connected to another Bluetooth-enabled device." Also affects iOS devices. Bluetooth, for the most part, is just an open port on your machines. (Grokked from John)

"Readers' questions this month center around what insurance companies need to tell customers about their benefits and when. For example, does my insurer have to give advance notice if it changes my benefits?" Yeah, the health insurance industry doesn't need any regulation or an enema. Single. Payer. Now.

"Streets in San Diego will be power-washed every other week and hand-washing stations are being installed where homeless people congregate under a plan to combat a deadly outbreak of hepatitis A, according to the mayor's office." I predict little chance of success.

"Cancer drugs cost far less to develop than industry-backed research asserts, an analysis published Monday asserts. Research and development costs are a major reason that drug companies justify high prices, so this dispute has a direct bearing on the cost of medical care." Let the battle of studies begin. They say this, PHARMA says that, PHARMA doesn't share their data so there's no real way to know, except… "In an invited commentary that accompanies the JAMA Internal Medicine analysis, Merrill Goozner, editor emeritus of the magazine Modern Healthcare, notes that 'the industry consistently generates the highest profit margins among all U.S. industries.'" And it does that at all stages of the supply chain (manufacturing, wholesale, benefit managers, resellers, and your local pharmacy).

From NPR, a chapter excerpt from "Big Chicken: The Incredible Story of How Antibiotics Created Modern Agriculture and Changed the Way the World Eats" that shows how the use of antibiotics in agriculture can lead to human diseases, antibiotic resistance and increase allergic reactions. And a demonstration of how the worries about agricultural use of antibiotics started long ago.

Middle-class incomes were "up" last year. "'I’ll be middle class again if I keep my spending to bare bones,' West said." That's not how it works. Of course it depends on your definition of middle-class. Also I'll not that the small increase is no where near the increases the top 10% have seen.

Sometimes (well, many times) the enemy of my enemy is still also my enemy. Also see earlier comment about how sometimes people will abandon their kindred for power.

"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Tuesday said that President Trump's goal of lowering the corporate tax rate to 15 percent may not be achievable." This is my shocked face. But by gum they're going to make a try at it. And if you read between the lines it's quite obvious that the general individual tax payer is going to get screwed in this deal.

"Kobach claimed that 'now there's proof' of voter fraud in last year's election, enough to have likely changed the outcome of a key Senate race. He cited a report that more than 5,000 New Hampshire voters used out-of-state drivers' licences (SIC) as identification and have yet to update those licenses, even though new residents are required to do so within 60 days of moving to the state." Kris Kobach is full of shit. "What Kobach didn't say in the Breitbart column is that there are other possible explanations for all the out-of-state voter IDs. The most likely is that many were used by out-of-state college students, who are still eligible to vote."

Oh, and for the record, Steve Bannon is also full of shit. You know, while there shouldn't be any religious test for government service, I'm coming to the conclusion that one should be able to pass a basic history and government test before being allowed to run for office (or serve at certain levels).

"Trump voters are very complex. They are conservatives who believe big government is getting out of hand. They want lower taxes for the middle class. They believe in comprehensive immigration reform. They want an economic policy that reflects the average… Nah, I’m just bullshitting. They just don’t like black people." Man, my shocked face is getting a workout these days. "The study did not include data about black Trump supporters because Omarosa and Ben Carson were kinda busy." Oh, snap! (Grokked from Ken McConnell)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Linkee-poo came in from the wilderness, a creature void of form

So, after claiming the storm was being over hyped to, I don't know, sell all the bottled water or something, Rush Limbaugh is bugging out of Florida. Not because of the storm, but something something legal issues something. So all you people who believed his rantings about the storm (and really, about almost everything) I have one word. Suckers.

Tobias Buckell is here to help those of you wanting to help with the devastation already caused by Irma.

The storms aren't only here on Earth.

"About half of medications for chronic disease aren't taken as directed, according to a review published in 2012 in Annals of Internal Medicine. The problem has been estimated to result in increased hospitalizations, more premature deaths and a tab of between $100 billion and $289 billion a year." And cost isn't the first reason. "Bender says two areas have shown some promise. One is training health care providers to engage with and talk with patients about their medications." Yes very much this. Most people don't understand medications, what theraputic blood-levels means, that many drugs aren't a "take a pill and feel sunshine" response. I know it's a pain, but take the gorram drugs, people.

"Worried you may be affected by Equifax's massive data breach? The credit bureau has set up a site, equifaxsecurity2017.com, that allows you to check whether your personal information was exposed. But regulators are becoming concerned that the site could pose risks to consumers… The website's terms of service potentially restricts your legal rights."

"Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ignited a backlash after announcing plans to revamp an Obama-era guidance for colleges and universities on how to handle sexual assaults on campuses to better protect students who are accused." Hey, I've got an idea, every report of sexual assault on campus should be immediately reported to the local police department and not by the campus police.

"Mr. Redick turned out to be a remarkably elusive character. No Melvin Redick appears in Pennsylvania records, and his photos seem to be borrowed from an unsuspecting Brazilian. But this fictional concoction has earned a small spot in history: The Redick posts that morning were among the first public signs of an unprecedented foreign intervention in American democracy." So, not only fake news, but promoted by fake people. Yes, friends, we are in the midst of information warfare.

"The Billy Bush Saturday to me is a litmus test." Steve Bannon on the leaked Access Hollywood tape and the campaigns response.

Editors note: apparently today I'm boring in Russia. Sigh. They're so fickle.

Scenes from a Commute

Dramatic clouds were dramatic this morning. Including several rainbows (some of which I couldn't get images of, sorry).

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Linkee-poo, run to the hills, run for your lives

All my Russian friends are back. I missed you guys. Well, not really, but I'm glad we're not spoofing addresses. We shouldn't have secrets between us.

America, you gotta step up to the plate. Hits from Russian IP addresses are overtaking you. ("I'm big in Russia, apparently")

This one is for you guys. "Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings." Naughty naughty. Again, Putin's game is not a Trump Presidency, it's an unstable and weakened West. A Trump Presidency just helps that along, it has a multiplying effect. "An official familiar with Facebook’s internal investigation said the company does not have the ability to determine whether the ads it sold represented any sort of coordination." Dear Congress, only Mueller is going to do your homework for you. Nobody else is going to do it.

The Earth Wind Map focused on Irma. Updated every 3 hours. (Grokked from John)

Because you knew there were conspiracy theories around Irma… "The ominous warning from conservative fire starter Rush Limbaugh was this: Don't trust those meteorologists." Because, apparently, meteorologists are in the pocket of big-media and big-retail, or something. Meanwhile on the other side of the island, "…Alex Jones of Infowars began a segment this week by claiming, 'I’m not saying Irma is geoengineered.'" But it was aliens. Oh wait, that's the other show. Okay Rush and Alex, put your money where your mouth is and go down to Florida (well, Rush is already there), say to one of the Southern and Eastern beaches, and stand there while Irma comes in (or brushes the coast depending on where she turns). Do that. Broadcast live from there and I'll believe you.

For any of my readers along the East Coast, Irma is not a "evacuate if you want" kind of storm. It's a "get the fuck out if you can" storm. Get the fuck out if you can. For South Florida and the Keys, no matter which track Irma heads on, you're screwed. She's a big storm and even if she just goes up the coast, you all are going to be inundated. Unless Houston looked like a load of laughs to you, understand that the Houston level of flooding and damage is going to be the least you'll see. If Irma hits and comes up the peninsula, forecast are for her to be a Level 3 storm when she hits the Georgia line. My suggestion is if you have somewhere West of the Appalachians you can hold up, go there.

How prevalent are plastics? "Research published by Orb Media, a nonprofit journalism group, has revealed that microplastics have contaminated high proportions of drinking water and bottled water. Samples from the United States tested positive in 94% of instances, while Europe's contamination averages around 72%." We're boned. (Grokked from Dan)

"Food prices in America were down for the longest period in about 60 years." Yeah, I didn't notice either. But note on the chart of retail food prices, the time the green line is above 0% is much more than the time below. This is bad statistics.

"A trial kicking off Wednesday morning in federal court in Louisville will decide whether Kentucky will become the first state without a single (abortion) clinic."

"But scientists at NASA have sketched the rough outlines of a plan that they say would not only spare us from a deadly super-eruption but also turn the Yellowstone supervolcano into a source of electric power. In a write-up of the plan first shared with the BBC, the team argues that we could siphon heat from the caldera until it becomes too cool to erupt — and convert the geothermal energy into electricity." Uh, yeah, Bob. One of the things that remains with me from my trip to Yellowstone is the number of geysers destroyed by human activity. At the beginning of the park, even the rangers would throw items into geysers to watch them blow out. Things like little rocks, sticks, trees, boulders… and many of these were the premier geysers (height and intensity of eruptions, not to mention regularity). And they're all ruined now. Including the "spectacular" geyser just up the hill from Old Faithful Inn. They attempted to tap it's heat to provide hot water for the inn. That plan didn't work, and the geyser now mostly just bubbles (instead of "spectacularly" erupting every 35 minutes or so). (Grokked from Kelly Swails)

Here we go, here we go again. "On Wednesday, McCain told the Hill that he backed a proposal from Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that would end the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and insurance subsidies, and instead dole out money to states for whatever health insurance programs they favored. McCain, Graham’s closest friend in the Senate, said that he would obviously support Graham’s bill. After killing the GOP’s last repeal attempt, saying that the Senate needed to return to regular order, McCain hinted that he could make an exception." (Grokked form Chuck Wendig)

"The wife of the U.S. Treasury secretary, Louise Linton, has called the Instagram picture she posted last month and the subsequent comments-section argument she got into with a follower 'indefensible.'" Well, that only took a few weeks. But at least there's one person near the White House that can have a moment of self-reflection.

"A descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee is stepping down as pastor of a North Carolina church after negative reactions to his comments supporting racial justice activists on an MTV broadcast." Because heritage something something.

Take a deep breath. "President Donald Trump on Tuesday claimed he ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to restore the balance of executive power." So the guy who boasted about signing the most executive orders EVAR is now screwing over almost 800,000 people because he's trying to bring balance back to executive power. So after that laugh, aren't you glad I said to take a deep breath first. I mean, you could've popped a lung.

"Chris Crandall… studies prejudice. In 2016, Crandall did a study examining how then-candidate Trump's rhetoric affected people's standards of what speech is permissible… 'It's not so much what's in your head and heart, as it is you looking around and seeing what's acceptable, seeing what's okay, seeing what people will tolerate. And the election changed people's notion of what was tolerable,' Crandall says." The Hidden Brain Podcast about free speech, when we defend it or abandon it, and how that ties into racism. The text article is fairly light on the subject, I highly recommend listening to the podcast.

"A GOP sponsor of a bill that would protect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children said Republicans like Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach are part of a 'fringe' group who like to use immigrants as a scapegoat for economic struggles." Dear Rep. Carlos Curbelo, um, I'm not sure how to say this, but maybe you should look at who doesn't have a problem with ending DACA. It's more than the "fringe." They're the fucking base. People like Kobach who pretends to be smart about others, but is suddenly stupid when it comes to looking at himself.

"Because membership lists at Trump’s clubs are secret, the public has until now been unable to assess the conflicts they could create. USA TODAY found the names of 4,500 members by reviewing social media and a public website golfers use to track their handicaps, then researched and contacted hundreds to determine whether they had business with the government… The review shows that, for the first time in U.S. history, wealthy people with interests before the government have a chance for close and confidential access to the president as a result of payments that enrich him personally. It is a view of the president available to few other Americans." Well, I'm sure it's only a problem if they intentionally lose at golf to the President. Sorry, the link has a wonky version of USA Today (at least for me). (Grokked from Kelly Link)

Why 3 months? "Democrats believe kicking the debt limit debate into December would increase their leverage on Republicans to secure stabilization funds for health-care markets and resolve the legal status of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children." Dear GOP, stop the bellyaching. You control Congress and the Senate, if you want something different you can pass it yourself.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Linkee-poo, Monday, Tuesday (wait, that ain't right)

Again, go with "what would a racist and misogynistic president do" and Trump will go that way. Every. Single. Time.

Irma is already a Category 5 Hurricane. That's all the scale goes up to, and she's still strengthening (but will weaken by the time she makes it to Florida, but if she goes into the Gulf, she may revive her strength).

Replacing radiologists with AI. "In health care, you could say radiologists have typically had a pretty sweet deal. They make, on average, around $400,000 a year — nearly double what a family doctor makes — and often have less grueling hours. But if you talk with radiologists in training at the University of California, San Francisco, it quickly becomes clear that the once-certain golden path is no longer so secure." Okay, let's clear up some misperceptions in this article. First, radiologist spend 13-15 years in post-secondary education and residencies (longer than any other medical speciality - Edit Janiece reminds me some specialties are as long or longer /), so they don't start earning that until they're 31+ (and heavily in debt - 13 years of school will do that to you). So, yeah, they make a lot of money (I'm not saying they aren't rich, but let's put that number in perspective). Also, you may think that your doctor is going too fast for only spending 15 minutes with you. Radiologists will spend 2-5 minutes reviewing and dictating an exam (those thousand of images take a little longer, but if a viewing takes more than 15 minutes even with those thousand images, something is wrong and the radiologist may receive a report for moving too slowly). During that time the radiologist will look at the images in different "windows" (contrast and brightness settings), so even if it's a 2 view chest x-ray, they'll review each image in at least 3 different windows. For that 2-5 minutes, radiologist reports change the course of people's lives. Radiologists are often sued (for missing something that should have been an incidental finding, or for misdiagnosis). Now, AI will be able to do a lot of the work (there's a position I looked at call a "Radiologist Assistant", think Physician's Assistant but for radiology - yeah, that position will go away), but nobody is the same on the inside. X-rays aren't all the same, there are subtle differences that can obscure pathology even if you're only 1-2 degrees off (even less with skull x-rays). AI can take away much of the routine work, and even may help with incidental findings (#1 most missed diagnosis, pancreatic cancer, because it's hard to see, and if that's not the initial suspected diagnosis it's easy to miss). Machine learning is great, it can spot lots of patterns and discern patterns we can't even see, but it's not so great at variety of patterns or knowing when to ask more questions.

"Automatic speech seems to originate in structures in the right hemisphere of the brain, whereas Wernicke’s and Broca’s areas are on the left." So cursing isn't a part of the "normal" language centers. Hmm, make me wonder if a lot of animal vocalization is actual cursing? Not mentioned in this article on What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves by Benjamin Bergen is that cursing can actually lessen our perceived levels of stress and pain. This is why I've encouraged some patients to swear (some people swear and then apologize profusely, my most common response is, "Darling, some of my friends are Senior Chiefs in the Navy, that wasn't swearing, try again but do it better"). (Grokked from Dan)

Continuing the cult of conservative victimization, "A company that publishes books by Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, Ann Coulter and other conservative authors says it wants nothing to do anymore with The New York Times and its best-seller list." And the villagers rejoiced… Yeah, I don't think the NYT bestseller list is an opt-in/opt-out kinda list. "'I ask you to consider this: We are often told it’s foolish to bite the hand that feeds you,' Marji Ross, president and publisher of Regnery, said in a letter to its authors. 'I say it’s just as foolish to feed the hand that bites you.'" I'm sure that sounded much better in your head, Marji Ross. (Grokked from John Scalzi)

Remember when I said that Congress already has a lot to do, and if the President ends DACA with a 6 month window for Congress to act that means DACA is dead because Congress won't be able to get to it? Well, here's a short run down of everything Congress needs to do before the end of the month. Expect a CR bill to keep the government running until December (maybe even February), expect some delaying action on the other bills (like 3 month or a 1 year extension "as is"). But even doing that will take up all their time. And as we all know, the GOP can't walk and chew gum at the same time. Oh, and lest we forget, they also need to investigate Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and probably rehash the Clinton Emails and Benghazi time sinks.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Linkee-poo on a long weekend

I know I've said this before here (can't remember the last time), but science is not immune from observational bias. "A set of ancient footprints has been found on a Greek island. They are extremely old – 5.7 million years – yet they seem to have been made by one of our hominid ancestors… At that time, hominins are thought to have been confined to Africa. The discovery supports the controversial suggestion that they may also have been living in eastern Europe." So some people are now saying modern hominids evolved in Europe instead of Africa. One footprint does not counter thousands of observational points and our own DNA. But there's a lot of people invested in the "Europe" narrative. It's the lingering vestments of racism. More likely is that we're wrong about when hominids left Africa. And with Occam's Razor being such, more likely the instance (if the footprint holds up).

"A seven-year-old girl stumbled across a 4ft sword in the same lake where King Arthur's Excalibur was said to have been thrown." Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. And, yes, it's most likely a prop of some kind because 1) not nearly enough rust and 2) wrong style of blade. But damn that's going to make a wonderful "What I did on my Summer Vacation" essay. Although it is said that Arthur will return at the time we most need him. :: looks around :: Yep, about that time I would say. (Grokked from Joshua Parker)

I think I posted this before, but in case I didn't, "It may well be that the Russians didn't affect the actual numbers last November but, as Bloomberg points out, that was not for lack of trying." (Grokked from Vince O'Conner)

Why do I think the President is a racist and a misogynist? Science. Whenever a moment comes of "I'll tell you later" question regarding policy, I think, "If I were a racists or misogynist, which direction would I go?" So far I've yet to be surprised. "President Donald Trump has decided to end the Obama-era program that grants work permits to undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as children, according to two sources familiar with his thinking. Senior White House aides huddled Sunday afternoon to discuss the rollout of a decision likely to ignite a political firestorm — and fulfill one of the president’s core campaign promises." As for that 6-month window where Congress could act: 1) they have a budget, appropriations, Harvey (and possibly Irma) relief, tax reform, and a few other things on their docket that they won't be able to get done and now they're supposed to add "immigration reform" to the list? Yeah, right. 2) 6-months puts us in the start of the primary races, and a "conservative" Congress is mostly a racist congress, so they won't vote for it (even through DACA is immensely popular). 3) Even if the "conservative" members weren't racists, they know they couldn't oppose the President on this issue and not see a challenge from the right. (Grokked from Miranda Suri)

As someone who has studied comedy and comedians, laughter is a powerful weapon. "The Department of Justice will retry a woman whom prosecutors say disrupted Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general by laughing." (Grokked from Kathryn Cramer)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Linkee-poo going up to the country, trying to get away

Have a great Labor Day folks. Don't forget to huge a union member if you enjoy having a long weekend. And for all my Russian friends, have a fabulous Monday.

"Police bodycam videos released during Wubbels' news conference showed the officer… growing increasingly impatient as she tried to explain, according to hospital protocol, why she couldn't draw an unconscious patient's blood for a police investigation." When she refused the officer arrested her (she was released and no charges were pressed). Dear officer, get a fucking warrant. It's not that hard. And yes, she has an excellent case and the city will probably end up paying her a lot of money. Yes, in the ER we work with various police departments. We are as accommodating as possible. But if you don't have a doctor's order, a warrant, or are placing the patient under arrest, the police are there at our discretion and you aren't getting your tests done (and yes, I've seen officers have to be reminded of this). You know the rules, officer.

"Saying that Kenya's recent national election that gave President Uhuru Kenyatta another term in office was held in an unconstitutional manner, the country's Supreme Court has annulled the results of the Aug. 8 vote. The surprising announcement prompted celebrations by opposition candidate Raila Odinga." Yeah, we don't have that function here.

"Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, wakes up each morning to a growing problem that will not go away. His family’s real estate business, Kushner Cos., owes hundreds of millions of dollars on a 41-story office building on Fifth Avenue. It has failed to secure foreign investors, despite an extensive search, and its resources are more limited than generally understood. As a result, the company faces significant challenges." I'm sure almost nearly $2b of debt that soon needs to be repaid is the farthest thing form Jared's mind as he works for the White House. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

Dear Mr. President and Fox News, just give it up. "Do we know if this is true?… Well, we're looking into it." Pub-Lease. Hearsay presented as "news." Look, I know the GOP is all about the late nights before the due dates to get their term papers done (note 7 years of "we have a better plan to replace Obamacare" and then when they actually have the chance, then they try to figure it out… 7 years), but not all of us are wankers. Professionals sometimes develop communications ahead of time. For instance the NYTs has many obituaries written for people who are still alive. For a news story that reporters know will happen, they'll sometimes write the story and wait to add the particular details when the event happens. If you had a professional speech writer, you'd know how this works.

And the best twist to that EVAR… "One of President Donald Trump's most controversial advisers helped him draft a letter to FBI Director James Comey in May explaining why he was being fired, but the White House counsel thought the letter was problematic and ultimately blocked it from being sent… FBI special counsel Robert Mueller obtained the letter…" Man, there's an awful lot of shoes dropping. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Forget President Trump’s problems within recalcitrant Republicans and oppositional Democrats. Now he’s facing a mob of menacing dinosaurs." Then the T-Rexes (T-Rexii?) come for you, you know you're doing something wrong. (Grokked form Marie Vibbert)