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

Monday, July 31, 2017

Linkee-poo, if you open up the door we'll all come inside and eat your brains

The BEAM inflatable module has made it through a year in space in good order. So, there's an interesting technology.

"An international team of scientists analyzed data from nearly 43,000 men in dozens of industrialized countries and found that sperm counts dropped by more than half over nearly four decades." Mother Nature, man, she will mess you up. Oddly has some mention of increases in diabetes and stress, but oddly no mention of xenoestrogens.

"Gross domestic product increased at a 2.6 percent annual rate in the April-June period, which included a boost from trade, the Commerce Department said in its advance estimate on Friday. That was more than double the first quarter's downwardly revised 1.2 percent growth pace… There was, however, little inflation in the economy in the second quarter and wage growth decelerated despite a tightening labor market." So, no Trump Bump (note, actual numbers came in lower than the projected numbers in this article). Also, it's amazing how that second statistic (wage stagnation) affects the first.

"'There are so many qualified men and women who wanted to serve this administration and their country who have been completely demoralized and completely disinclined to do so based on the paperwork we have to put forward, divesting assets,' (Trump spokesperson Kellyanne) Conway said." So the ethics rules about disclosure are working as intended. Thanks for letting us know.

"More recently, the group has turned its attention to the books being used in Florida's schools. A new state law, developed and pushed through by Flaugh's group, allows parents, and any residents, to challenge the use of textbooks and instructional materials they find objectionable via an independent hearing." Yeah, I'm sure it won't be abused at all. "'We're not a democracy, we're a constitutional republic,' Flaugh says." Yep, he's "one of those." So maybe Inherit the Wind should be required viewing before these people are allowed to challenge a book.

Federal judge upholds fine levied again Kris Kobach for patter of misleading the court in cases of voter id fraud. You know, he's the guy the president tapped to lead the federal voter fraud commission. (Grokked from Katheryn Cramer)

But, "Earlier this week, a federal court ruled that Kobach could proceed with his request for voter data because Trump’s commission was not an 'agency' of the federal government and was exempt from undertaking a privacy impact assessment before collecting such data. On Wednesday, Kobach sent a second letter to all 50 states, once again asking them to turn over voter information to Trump’s commission." So if I were a Sec of State, I would use this to rebuff his request. He's not acting with the force of government therefore his request fall under the state version of FOIA requests (in Ohio these fall under our Sunshine Laws). Most states charge a fee for such information requests and are limited in what data they can provide. Those states who already have sent data should now send a bill. (Grokked from Laura J Mixon)

And here's the lesson for the day, dictators and authoritarians often find willing stooges to advance their agenda.

"Much of Thursday's hearing was spent getting at the bigger question: Why is the Russian president so fixated on the Magnitsky Act?" A glimpse into Putin's Russia.

"Lahren said during a debate at Politicon Saturday with liberal comedian Chelsea Handler that she is on on her parents' healthcare insurance. The ability to stay on your parents' plan until 26 is a major aspect of the healthcare legislation." Okay, 1) yes, while bashing Obamacare she admits that she's actually benefiting from its reforms, but 2) she was debating a comedian. (Grokked from Jim Wright)

"Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Sunday said President Donald Trump will decide in the next week whether or not to end crucial Obamacare subsidies." Well someone is going to get a lesson in The Law real soon. Also, the Treasury will be on the hook for those payments. Expect lawsuits.

"On June 28, (2016,) federal cyber experts noticed that the network credentials of an Arizona county elections worker had been posted on a site frequented by suspected Russian hackers. The password and username discovered by the FBI could let someone access the state's voter registration system." And then the wheels came off the bus.

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