Testimony from Fusion GPS on Trump and the Russians. Republicans don’t want you to see this!

❝ This is the document released publicly by California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony to committee staff taken behind closed doors on August 22, 2017.

Click here to get to the CNN Post of the testimony. That creepy feeling is just the NSA watching you through the camera on your computing device.

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


Click to enlarge

…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.

No One Is Taking On Pot Legalization

❝ Why don’t more politicians attempt to make marijuana legalization a national issue?

Harry Enten over at FiveThirtyEight looked at the polling last week and wondered about it. And the numbers are impressive. As he reports, almost two-thirds of Americans backed legalization in one recent poll, and while Democrats are somewhat more likely to favor it, the gap between the parties is unusually small for a policy question. Enten suspects that a big reason no politician has taken it up as a national issue is that they just haven’t caught up with the rapidly moving shift in public opinion.

❝ That’s possible. But I can think of some other reasons.

RTFA to check out what Jonathan Bernstein thinks are the reasons.

Poisonally, I think chickenshit politicians have chickenshit reasons to rationalize away most progressive action. Followed closely by cowardly reasons they use to rationalize away most action that might jeopardize re-election in the slightest.

Americans Retiring Later, Dying Sooner, Sicker In-Between

❝ The U.S. retirement age is rising, as the government pushes it higher and workers stay in careers longer.

But lifespans aren’t necessarily extending to offer equal time on the beach. Data released last week suggest Americans’ health is declining and millions of middle-age workers face the prospect of shorter, and less active, retirements than their parents enjoyed.

❝ Here are the stats: The U.S. age-adjusted mortality rate—a measure of the number of deaths per year—rose 1.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to the Society of Actuaries. That’s the first year-over-year increase since 2005, and only the second rise greater than 1 percent since 1980.

At the same time that Americans’ life expectancy is stalling, public policy and career tracks mean millions of U.S. workers are waiting longer to call it quits. The age at which people can claim their full Social Security benefits is gradually moving up, from 65 for those retiring in 2002 to 67 in 2027.

Almost one in three Americans age 65 to 69 is still working, along with almost one in five in their early 70s.

Mail me a penny postcard when you’re confident either of the TweedleDee and TweedleDumb political parties we’re allowed is going to do a damned thing about this. To make it better, that is.

Meanwhile, read the rest of the article. Then go find some independent organization that tries from the grassroots on up to change this crap situation for the better. Hint: it probably won’t be someone with the word “Party” in the last half of their name.

Christianity in America grudgingly moves in opposite directions

A series of Pew Research Center polls released last week shows how ideas about religious belief and morality are increasingly falling along racial and political lines. Fifty-six percent of Americans now say that belief in God isn’t a necessary component of morality, up from 49 percent in 2011. The uptick reflects the wider prevalence of the spiritually unaffiliated, or “nones,” as nearly a quarter of Americans identified as atheist or agnostic in 2011.

The change may be only a 7-point difference. But those differences manifest themselves almost exclusively along political lines.

Having resolved this discussion to the best information available in science and philosophy – at the time – I’ve been a philosophical materialist, a dialectician, an atheist since 1956. Every serious scientific publication I’ve read since has only strengthened that conviction.

While Republicans have roughly held steady in their attitudes — 50 percent say a belief in God is necessary for morality, while 47 percent say it is not — Democrats have shown the most change in their perspectives. Almost two-thirds of Democrats and Democratic-leaning voters now say belief in God is not part of being a good person, compared with 51 percent in 2011.

RTFA for more directions – and direction – the authors seem solid that this portion of their survey speaks most accurately to changes in the United States.

Access to birth control pills easier in 102 countries – outside the U.S.

On World Contraception Day, let’s reflect on the fact that Americans still need to see their doctor to get birth control.


Click to enlargeAP/Charles Dharapak

❝ In this March 25, 2015, file photo, Margot Riphagen, of New Orleans, wears a birth control pills costume as she protests in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, as the court heard oral arguments in the challenges of President Barack Obama’s health care law requirement that businesses provide their female employees with health insurance that includes access to contraceptives.

Yup. This is about as advanced and up-to-date as Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats think our healthcare should get. Keep access control in the pockets of the medical-industrial complex.