Devin Nunes, GOP’s worst best example


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Take it far enough back and I have spent a fair piece of time with honest conservatives – a contradiction in terms for today’s Republicans – I participated in a few political actions with conservative friends who’d supported my own activities confronting American racism and more. Including being a founding member of the Young Republicans chapter in my home town BITD.

Cycle back to the 21st Century and ask anyone who says they’re a “traditional American conservative” if they’re a registered Republican. If they say, “yes” – then they spend more than tolerable time in their political life playing at “Let’s pretend I’m not a hypocrite!”

‘Nuff said.

American War on Terror Sees “The Enemy” in 39% of the Countries on Earth


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…In the Trump era, the longest war in American history, the one in Afghanistan, is only getting longer. U.S. troop levels are on the rise. Air strikes are ramping up. The Taliban controls significant sections of the country. An Islamic State-branded terror group spreads ever more successfully in its eastern regions. There are, according to the latest report from the Pentagon, “more than 20 terrorist or insurgent groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

…So many years later, the war on terror should be seen as an endless exercise in the use of multiplication tables — and not just in Afghanistan either.

More than a decade and a half after an American president spoke of 60 or more countries as potential targets, thanks to the invaluable work of a single dedicated group, the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, we finally have a visual representation of the true extent of the war on terror.

Fifteen years of dedicated military intervention – and billion$ of wasted dollars and lives – American military policy, American foreign policy, mostly led by conservatives and hawks, has accomplished diddly-squat.

Trump, GOP corporate pimps, will not erase Net Neutrality


Liars in Trump Swamp can’t even convince rank-and-file Republicans

❝ On December 14, the Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality regulations put in place under the Obama administration. These regulations categorized broadband as a utility and forced internet service providers to treat all data on the internet equally.

❝ The day before the vote, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman released details of an analysis of the FCC’s public comment process that concluded that more than two million comments were made using stolen identities. The FCC refused Schneiderman’s request that the vote be delayed to allow for further investigation, and now, he’s suing to prevent what he calls the “illegal rollback of net neutrality.”

Futurism got an exclusive interview with the attorney general in which he details why net neutrality matters, why the FCC’s repeal was illegal, and what he plans to do to stop the repeal from moving forward.

There are many reasons why netizens are confident of defeating the corporate attack on an open democratic internet. They start with users getting off their collective rusty dusties and fighting to defeat the forces who believe they can buy and sell anything and everything.

Insurance companies drive physicians crazy – nearly half now prefer upgrading Obamacare to single-payer

❝ There are many reasons people put off going to the doctor. One of the big reasons is cost — a huge arc in the current debate about whether and how to repeal and replace Obamacare, which sought to increase the number of Americans with quality health insurance. Another is access, or finding a doctor who takes your insurance and has appointment openings. But whatever the reasons, the disconnect means that many people choose to become patients only in extreme circumstances and are then at the mercy of the system.

❝ “It really debases and demeans and takes away your dignity to be shuffled around when you know you have something wrong with you,” said Dr. Paredes, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Lakeland, Fla., who practiced in a variety of healthcare settings before retiring two and a half years ago. “I think healthcare is something that should be available to everyone from cradle to grave.”

That’s one of the main reasons nearly half of the 500 doctors who responded to a February LinkedIn survey said they would support a single-payer healthcare system, or Medicare-like coverage for everyone, not just the elderly, instead of the current patchwork model of insurance coverage.

Aside from the crap lies offered by Congressional Republicans…

❝ …For many physicians, the issue comes down to efficiency. In their responses, they cited the administrative hassle of working with multiple insurance companies, each with its own rules and billing procedures. And they pointed to some of the less visible costs, like patients who bounce from one healthcare provider to another as their health plans change.

A total of 48% of physicians said they would be in favor of single-payer healthcare, while 32% were opposed and 21% said they didn’t know.

❝ And even though doctors acknowledged that they might take a financial hit under a single-payer system, many respondents said it would be more than mitigated by getting out of the collection business. In other words, even if they earned less, there would be more patient care and less of the aggravation that comes with negotiating with and tracking down payment from multiple insurance companies.

RTFA for pretty middle-of-the-road analysis. For me, the truth has always been cost. Social Security and Medicare each are national insurance programs with premiums paid by the insured and, generally.their employers. There’s an artificial cap allowing high earners to stop paying the SSA tax at just over $100K income. Still, both of these systems are run with administrative costs less than 3%. And they work well. Helluva lot better than the motley arrangement Obamacare relies on.

Our adorable insurance companies declare their administrative costs run 14-25% and jack up all their rates accordingly. Couple that with a Congress that refuses civilians the same right the military has to negotiate fixed prices for prescriptive drugs – and we get screwed twice by the existing system. That’s the system Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats want to make more expensive and less safe for the insured.

Humbug!

Thanks, Barry Ritholtz


Milestone: July was the warmest month ever recorded — think any politicians on the payroll of Big Oil noticed?

July 2016 was the warmest month ever recorded, the latest in a slew of new temperature records set in the past several years, according to two new reports.

Scientists have recorded month after month of record-breaking temperatures this year, but July shattered all those records to become the hottest of any month in any year since record keeping began. The data was confirmed separately by NASA and the Japanese Meteorological Agency and provides near certainty that 2016 will be the hottest year in recorded history.

July was 0.78°C (1.4°F) warmer than the 20th century average, according to the JMA. Locations across the globe experienced extreme heat in July, including a so-called heat dome that hit across the U.S. and record temperatures of 54°C (129.2°F) in Kuwait…

Climate scientists attribute the spike in temperatures to man-made global warming along with a number of shorter-term climate patterns. In particular, El Niño — a phenomenon characterized by unusually high temperatures along the equatorial Pacific — drove up temperatures late last year and early this year…

Mail me a penny postcard if you heard anything from the Republican Party about this. Please include Blue Dog Democrats from coal, oil or natural gas-producing states.

TIME tried to include a cop-out at the end of the article, e.g., hopes that La Niña might make a difference. I’m on NOAA’s mailing list for weather events. La Niña is barely 50/50 at the moment to happen and the best description is for extra-normal. Whatever that might mean in your neck of the prairie.

No, the embargo on science, evidence-based reality, by conservative politicians has reached the same high as Earth’s greenhouse temperatures. The latter is a product of natural processes even when reacting to man-made causes. The former is a declaration of war on truth by lying politicians. That especially includes opportunists like Trump and his trumpkins – the usual scum who show up seeking fame and fortune from populist ignorance and stupidity.