And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Linkee-poo needs to laugh, and when the sun is out I've got something I can laugh about

"Researchers at NASA have discovered a huge upwelling of hot rock under Marie Byrd Land, which lies between the Ross Ice Shelf and the Ross Sea, is creating vast lakes and rivers under the ice sheet." And now we'll hear from the climate change denialists that the Earth is warming because of a mantle bloom under the whole Earth.

The new tax gimmick of letting provision expire (to get a better CBO score). And here I'll just say that while all those other "temporary" reductions sometimes were extended, the one example they gave of a tax cut that wasn't directly impacted "middle-class" people. All the ones that did get extended have an active and vocal lobbing system. There's not a lot of money lobbying for the middle-class.

"Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) got points for honesty Tuesday while advocating for Republicans’ tax bill to slash the corporate tax rate and eliminate the estate tax, among other things… 'My donors are basically saying, "Get it done or don’t ever call me again,"' Collins said." Dear Rep. Collins, you're not supposed to say that out loud in front of reporters.

"The Democratic sweep in the off-year elections Tuesday arguably dials up the urgency for the GOP to deliver a major legislative win after nearly a year of coming up short. Yet the knotty work of solving the math problem at the heart of the exercise remains." You know, if the GOP had actually done it's homework over the last 8 years, it wouldn't be in this predicament. Instead, it was easier to mouth platitudes, lie, and promise the Moon instead of doing the work. There's a lot of talk about the Tortoise and the Hare, but there's also the story of the Ant and the Grasshopper. It's a long, long way to Tipperary.

"Health care spending in the United States increased by about $933.5 billion between 1996 and 2013, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA. More than half of this surge was a result of generally higher prices for health care services." This is my shocked face.

"Whereas in the past states had to prove that proposed changes (to Medicaid) would 'increase and strengthen' health coverage of their low-income population, that requirement is gone, replaced with language that welcomes proposals for work requirements, drug tests and other hurdles that experts predict would reduce the Medicaid rolls by hundreds of thousands of people." Remember when candidate Trump said he wouldn't touch Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?

"Even though medical marijuana is legal in more than half of US states, it remains illegal under federal law. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration does not regulate derivatives of the plant, including (cannabidiol) extracts."

"… Trump said(,) 'And I can only say this, if he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead. So that’s the way I feel about it.'… The gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, on Sunday opened fire in a Texas church, killing 26 and wounding about 20 others. After leaving the church, Kelley was confronted by a nearby resident with a gun, police said. He was found dead with three gunshot wounds, including at least one self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said." Note the gunman was finished firing in the church and leaving the scene before being confronted, and that it is most likely the bullet that killed him came from his own gun.

The automation of the legal profession. The robots are coming for your job.

"The House Intelligence Committee on Monday released the full transcript of the former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page's testimony before the panel last week, portions of which support details in an explosive collection of memos outlining alleged collusion between the campaign and Moscow before the 2016 US election." Well, there's a little fire in that smoke after all (not that I doubted it, given that I actually paid fucking attention at the time). (Grokked from a number of people)

"So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross' missing $2 billion. And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004." Big hand for our Secretary of Commerce, everybody. So basically a braggart nominating another braggart, who'd a thunk it? So, besides the imbroglio of the money laundering going on at the Cyprus bank he worked at, apparently he is merely a hundred-millionaire, not the billionaire he made himself out to be. (Grokked from Dan)

Ah the Democrats, exceptionally adept at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. But last night was pretty damn sweet.

"Residents in (Maine) grappling with a heroin epidemic and an aging population voted Tuesday to deliver a rebuke to Republican Gov. Paul LePage and join 31 other states that have expanded Medicaid under former President Barack Obama’s health care law." Odd, people actually want government to work for them and help improve their lives. "'Voters have made it clear they want more health care, not less.'" (said David Farmer, spokesman for pro-expansion Mainers For Health Care).

But, "In a statement Wednesday morning, LePage said he would not allow expansion to go into effect until the program 'has been fully funded by the Legislature at the levels DHHS has calculated.'" Because why wouldn't he block it as much as he could.

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