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, February 17, 2017

Linkee-poo, now's the time that we need to share, so find yourself, we're on our way back home

"Pixar is offering a free course through Khan Academy that can help you find the kind of stories you want to tell -- and help you tell them better. The 'Art of Storytelling' is the latest installment in a series of free courses from the studio called 'Pixar in a Box.'" I haven't checked this out, and man does Pixar have a lot of stuff on here (the Khan Academy app). Well, the story has a link to the Khan Academy page with the class, but bugger-all if I can find it on their app. (Grokked from Matt Staggs)

"Merck & Co Inc said on Tuesday it will halt a late-stage trial of an Alzheimer's drug after it was determined that it had no chance of working, marking the latest in a long line of crushing disappointments in efforts to find an effective treatment for the disease."

"That (TX state senator) Schwertner broke a table while trying to silence a woman opposing (an abortion-restriction) bill that would solely impact women is all the more jarring considering the events that grabbed headlines last week… And if Schwertner was really table-breaking concerned about the time allotted for public testimony, he probably wouldn't have let the first speaker (and dozens after), a representative from the anti-abortion advocacy group Texas Right to Life, ramble on in support for twice as long as Hennessy was allowed to speak." Asshole. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

Oh, hey, the GOP finally has a healthcare plan! "Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., called the 18-page outline 'guideposts and a road map.'" Sigh. So it's not so much a plan, "more like guidelines" (said in the voice of Geoffrey Rush as Capt. Barbossa). "Most of the plan is silent on how much money lawmakers want to put behind their proposals… The elements of the plan include replacing the subsidies that help people buy insurance through Obamacare exchanges with fixed tax credits to buy coverage on the open market… Obamacare subsidies increase as premiums rise so that consumers are responsible for the same premium amount, which is tied to their income. The tax credits proposed by Ryan are not tied to income but rise as a person ages and insurance rates increase."

"House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Thursday that congressional Republicans weren’t interested in working with Democrats on a replacement for Obamacare because the opposition party 'want to go down the socialized medicine path.'" Wait, there's a path? Also, "hey, this boogeyman no longer works, let's try this older model out and see if it still has some juice." Just as a reminder, of the people who claim they're against Obamacare, approximately half (from the expanded polling sites that I've seen this sorted out) are against it because it didn't include the Public Option.

So, conservatives hate that Obamacare taxed the rich, the medical appliance makers, and those who had "cadillac plans." But, if they tax everyone who has employer based insurance, sure they're good with that. The word you're looking for is "retrograde".

A Pennsylvanian family working through the issues that divide us. And see, the Dad gets it. He doesn't know how to put it into practice, yet. But I think when he sees that conservative politics is not going to "bring the jobs back", he might change this time. Not so much from just disappointment in Trump, but that he has seen this movie 3 times now (Reagan, GW Bush, and now Trump). He remembers what life was like (and he doesn't want to go back to the dirty skies of the 70s). When he's given the full picture, he understands it. I recommend the audio of the story.

You want to know a surefire way to increase crime and decrease citizens reporting crime? "Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse… El Paso County Attorney Joanne Bernal said the ICE arrest inside a courthouse was 'unprecedented and stunning.'" That's one way.

How is Trump's EO and the general demeanor of the White House and its supporters affecting our country? "Royal Canadian Mounted Police are reporting a flurry of illegal crossings into Canada in recent months. Officials say Quebec province has seen the highest influx of people seeking asylum, with many crossing in snowy, remote areas in northern New York." Yep. Canada is processing asylum seekers (aka refugees) fleeing the US for Canada. You know all those jobs about "I'm going to Canada if…"? Yeah. People are actually doing that now. Unfortunately for me there's a big, damn lake in the way.

Janet Yellen brings the smack down. "When it comes to the economy, it’s becoming uncomfortably apparent that in many cases, self-described “incredible” businessman Donald Trump either has no idea what he’s talking about or he’s lying." Well, it's becoming obvious to more people. See, Trump fit into the American Myth, that if you're a "successful businessman" you must understand all the hard stuff about economics (micro and macro), law, organization, etc. You must also be "brave" and "sharp" and "work harder." This is all the myth of why they have money and the rest of us don't. The most common explanation, however, is that they simply had more money than the rest of us to start with.

So how are all these convolutions around immigration helping to keep us safe? "FBI agents arrested Benjamin Thomas Samuel McDowell, 29, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., accusing him of buying a gun and ammunition as part of a plan to carry out a white supremacist attack. " Who could have seen that coming? I wonder which one of the seven countries covered by the EO Benny is from? And what madrassa was this young man radicalized in? "'Local police said McDowell developed white supremacist connections while previously incarcerated.'"

Is the Resist/Indivisible movement the mirror image of the Tea Party? I'm not entirely certain (at this point, are there any national conference call organizing going on), but the response has been similar. Although for the Tea Party, there was a money trail back to Koch own/run organizations who helped foot the bill for lots of things (not actual "money to protestors", but back door organizing efforts) and so far there's not comparable link for this movement. I'm just worried about the longevity of this movement.

"'I don't think (the president) knew what the CBC was. And then I think the young lady, Ms. Ryan (a reporter), cleared it up and made sure he knew of what it was. But I think a lot of people assume that all black people know all black people,' (Rep. Elijah) Cummings said." Those cringe-worthy moments.

"Trump administration considers mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants." The words you're looking for are Posse Comitatus Act. Although the National Guard is excluded from Posse Comitatus when acting under the authority of the governor, if the President activates them they become federal troops, which are covered (mostly by association and precedent). "The troops would not be nationalized, remaining under state control." Yeah, I think almost any lawyer could drive through that tissue wall without breaking a sweat. Although Sean Spicer now says that's not true and the reporters should have asked him (for the record the reporters state they asked 5 times for clarification). (Grokked from Paolo Bacigalupi)

So, how's that "The Jobs President" thing going? "A Virginia winery owned by President Trump’s son Eric has requested permission to bring in nearly two dozen foreign workers, according to a new report." I'll bet that plays well in Coal Country. (Grokked from Vince O'Connor)

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