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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Linkee-poo ponders the future

Fifty years after the Detroit revolution. When I was a kid, it seemed it was a Summer event that some city would burn, either set by the rioters, or by the police (as in the Philadelphia MOVE fire). And the beat goes on.

"A Wisconsin company is offering to implant tiny radio-frequency chips in its employees – and it says they are lining up for the technology." Um, they're called "badges", they don't involve surgery. There's no implantation. And it works exactly the same.

On the same day the president goes against the DoD and bans transgender service members, "The US Justice Department on Wednesday argued in a major federal lawsuit that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers from discrimination, thereby diverging from a separate, autonomous federal agency that had supported the gay plaintiff’s case." Dear Log Cabin Republicans, seriously, WTF are you waiting for? (Grokked from John Scalzi)

NPR asks if it really matters that Jr and Manafort won't be under oath. Well, yes, technically they still need to tell "the truth." But there's two big differences. "Should someone lie knowingly without taking an oath, they would be breaking the false statements statute. Should they lie after taking an oath, they run the risk of also being charged with perjury." Well that, and if they're under oath those statements are admissible in court. So even if they didn't perjure themselves, their testimony would essentially be depositions for the Mueller investigation. And that's why they're not under oath. Also, after issuing a subpoena for Manafort to appeal, there's word now that the Senate is withdrawing that subpoena.

"The House Financial Services Committee on Tuesday considered looking into President Trump's financial ties, particularly those linking him to a bank that had been involved with laundering Russian money." But then the Republicans shot it down. Because even though that's the committee's bailiwick, they say "other committees are looking into it." And that's why you have an independent council.

"Energy Secretary Rick Perry thought he was speaking to the Ukrainian Prime Minister about energy policy. Instead, a pair of Russian pranksters pressed the cabinet member on pig manure." A Cabinet Secretary. Pranked. Normally, Sec. Perry, one has a staff which can prevent this from happening.

"Senator Susan Collins was caught on a hot mic on Tuesday expressing concern over President Trump's mental health and questioning his understanding of the budget process." Dear Sen Collins and Reed, you aren't the only ones. And no, he has no clue as to the budgeting and appropriations process.

President Trump goes after Sessions again.

"The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debating a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. It remains uncertain as to what that replacement might look like. No formal legislation has been drafted. But senators moved to take the procedural first step, known as a 'motion to proceed.' The vote was 51-50, with Vice President Pence casting the tiebreaking vote." Right now they are operating under rules for reconciliation (which means no filibuster, but also all parts of the legislation need to be budget related). The parliamentarian has already rules that parts of the two plans floated by Mitch McConnell do not qualify for reconciliation. A full repeal also doesn't qualify. However a partial repeal (individual and employer mandate, taxes on higher incomes, tax on implantable devices) would destroy the individual markets and damage the ACA/Obamacare so much that they will have to do something. But from this point on, the Republicans own healthcare (even if they're unable to pass anything). The good news for them is if they do nothing, the Obamacare markets have been stabilizing. If Congress decided to actually fully fund all parts the markets would work as intended (and rate increases for most of us would be below 8%, which I can tell you is historically low).

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