BartCop Entertainment Archives - Friday, 1 September, 2017


1 September, 2017

(Updated Daily)

[210 days in a row]


Recommended Reading

from Bruce

Suzanne Moore: Feminism gave women a glimpse of a happy world. But for young girls that promise is being dashed (The Guardian)
Non-stop social media, sexual objectification and pressure to perform at school are all contributing to young women's declining mental health

Ranjana Srivastava: As cancer progresses some patients weep, some get angry and others are bewildered (The Guardian)
Oncologists have to give bad news. But we can't help it when our imaginations are held captive by a particular patient.

Tom Danehy: Place your bets: Oddsmaker Tom offer some propositions for the upcoming months. (Tucson Weekly)
Donald Trump, Over/Under: exactly one Presidential term. This one you could bet over, under, or exactly one. There are some interesting possibilities. If he runs again, he could lose in the primary, lose in the general, or get reelected. He could choose not to run again. He could die or get impeached. Personally, I think he might just quit, a la Richard Nixon. Maybe wake up one day and say to himself, "It was a lot more fun just being rich and stupid than being rich, stupid AND President."

CAROLINE RANDALL WILLIAMS: President Obama, Where Are You? (NY Times)
President Obama, now is the time to start talking.

ANTHEA BUTLER: The Cheap Prosperity Gospel of Trump and Osteen (NY Times)
This empathy-less prosperity gospel also permeates attitudes about the role of our government. Consider when Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson said in March that poverty was a "state of mind." Representative Mo Brooks of Alabama echoed this in a May interview when he said that "people who lead good lives" don't have to deal with pre-existing medical conditions.

Deborah Orr: Humans are losing touch with nature - it's a tragedy with no quick fix (The Guardian)
British alienation with the countryside points towards the same problem as the rise in alcoholism and gambling addiction: we've lost our place in the world.

Deborah Orr: Ten years on, we're getting into another debt crisis (The Guardian)
The early signs of the 2007 credit crunch are back. With wages stalled and prices rising, more and more are turning to loans and plastic cards to make ends meet.

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Michael Egan

Donald Trump Blasts Biblical Moses as 'Incompetent and Weak' - Editorial and Political Cartoons


Editorial and Political Cartoons

Superman Abandons Earth

Editorial and Political Cartoons


Trivia Question of the Day

According to theatrical superstition, The Scottish Play or The Bard's Play are euphemisms for what work by William Shakespeare?


Send your answer to Marty

Throwback Thursday Trivia Question from Yesterday

What is the name of this Tony-award winning American actor, comedian, director, and drama teacher, known for his comedic roles on stage and in films, children's television and cartoons, and as a game show panelist?

       Charles Nelson Reilly                                                      Source

Charles Nelson Reilly II (January 13, 1931 - May 25, 2007) was an American actor, comedian, director, and drama teacher, known for his comedic roles on stage and in films, children's television and cartoons, and as a game show panelist.        Source

Mark. was first and correct with:
   Charles Nelson Reilly. (Wow, I had to use both functioning brain cells to remember that one.)

Randall wrote:
   Charles Nelson Reilly

Alan J answered:
   Charles Nelson Reilly.

mj said:
   With three names
  I'm surprised he didn't moonlight as a serial killer. Charles Nelson Riley.

David of Moon Valley replied:
   even with little sleep from this hospital bed i know that that's Charles Nelson Reilly....

Jim from CA, retired to ID, responded:
   Charles Nelson Reilly

Harry M. said:
   Charles Nelson Reilly

Deborah wrote:
   I'm pretty sure that's Charles Nelson Reilly. The Match Game aired when I wasn't watching much TV/didn't own a TV, but I remember being places when it was on a TV in the room.
  Back to Phoenix, AZ level heat through the next 5 days, with super-low humidity. Perfect fire weather. I'm hoping not.

Stephen F replied:
   Charles Reilly

Adam answered:
   Charles Nelson Reilly

John I from Hawai`i says,
   "Charles Nelson Reilly."

Billy in Cypress responded:
   It looks like a young Charles Nelson Reilly.

Gene said:
   Charles Nelson Reilly.

zorch replied:
   Charles Nelson Reilly

Dale of Searing Diamond Springs, Norcali, wrote:
   Charles Nelson Reilly…
  Sactown and area will probably break records tomorrow and Saturday…Wowie Zowie!

Joe S     answered:
   I know, I know! It's Charles Nelson Reilly. I didn't know all that stuff about him, but I knew it was him. I kinda liked him, he was fun. There a lot, a whole lot, of comedians that I don't like, like Kevin James. Can't stand him, not funny, Kevin can wait forever before I watch anything with him in it. And I don't like Will Ferrell or Adam Sandler either. Not funny. Now W.C. Fields, that's funny.

Daniel in The City took the day off.

Dave in Tucson took the day off.

Kevin K. in Washington, DC took the day off.

DJ Useo took the day off.

BttbBob   has returned to semi-retired status.

  September 1 Birthdays - Celebrities Born September 1 | Famous Birthdays

Sally has retired.

MAM     In memory.




Middle Class Political Economist

Now a Blogger-Columnist at US News and World Reports "Economic Intelligence"



Reader Suggestion

Michelle in AZ

Putin 'holiday mansion' revealed by Russian opposition leader | World news | The Guardian

The real villains in Harvey flood: urban sprawl and the politicians who allowed it | Billy Fleming | Opinion | The Guardian

A nice bit of squirrel: should we chow down a diet of invasive species? | Life and style | The Guardian

'Someone missed the point': Lord of the Flies 'all girls' remake spawns social media backlash | Film | The Guardian

A massive Italian food theme park is on the verge of opening, and it looks insane - SFGate

Los Angeles City Council votes to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day

Pathetic turnout for 'grassroots' tax reform rally funded by billionaire Koch brothers

Voting Rights Group Will Target More Politicians Who Block Ballot Access | HuffPost

The Cheap Prosperity Gospel of Trump and Osteen - The New York Times

Amazon study discovers 381 new species in two-year period - BBC News

'Viceroy's House': A Warm-Hearted Look At The Sunset Of The British Empire : NPR

Leading Anti-Vaxxer Calls for U.S. Naval Blockade of Australia After Being Denied Visa

Trump administration steps up sabotage of health insurance markets, slashing advertising efforts 90%

Texas Republicans Helped Chemical Plant That Exploded Lobby Against Safety Rules

Greg Abbot: Texans Are Tougher Than God's Storm, But God's The Toughest Of All? Really?

Thanks, Michelle!



Reader Comment

Current Events

Family admits he's mentally unstable!

Kathy shared the link. As I told her, if he's suicidal, I, for one, won't stop him. Nor will I let the knowledge that criticism gets to him stop me from criticizing the racist, misogynistic, corrupt bastard:

Eric Trump Warns That Your Criticism Is Depressing Trump And Making Him Suicidal

Linda   >^..^<
     We are all only temporarily able bodied.

Thanks, Linda (& Kathy)!



Bonus Links

Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp

Eric Trump: Negative media could make you kill yourself out of depression | TheHill

Gorka: Trump 'isolated,' GOP leaders living 'fantasy illusion' | TheHill

Tillerson moves to close State cyber office | TheHill

Trump praises crowd size while touring Harvey damage | TheHill

Arpaio falsely ties conviction to Obama administration | PolitiFact

Why Harvey Won't Be Trump's Unifying Moment | Esquire

NRATV host: President Obama "set race relations back 100 years in this country" -

Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback - POLITICO

Trump's shrinking West Wing - POLITICO

Trump's electoral threat against Sen. Claire McCaskill raises legal questions - POLITICO

Senators' silence kills probe into Zinke's alleged Alaska threats | TheHill

Fox News poll: Majority thinks Trump is tearing the country apart | TheHill

Republicans postpone net neutrality hearing - Axios

Hurricane Harvey: Houston's flooding made worse by unchecked urban development and wetland destruction - Quartz

Harriet Tubman May Not Oust Andrew Jackson From the $20 Bill | NY Magazine

Trump's narcissism is poisoning America | The Week

Harvey Didn't Come Out of the Blue. Now is the Time to Talk About Climate Change | The Intercept

Trump's handling of Harvey is a massive blunder - but watch out for what Republicans will do next -

Report: Congress is eyeing cuts to FEMA's budget to pay for Trump's wall - Vox

Arctic Warming Made Harvey A 'Killer Storm,' Climate Researcher Says | HuffPost

Amazon Is Now The Boozy Friend Who Can Bring You Alcohol In Less Than Two Hours | HuffPost

Donald Trump has an ethanol deal for Chuck Grassley, who will be speaking with Donald Trump Jr. soon -

This Republican Pollster Is Losing Faith in the GOP - The Atlantic

Anonymous White House Advisers Have Accidentally Made the Best Case for Removing Trump From Office | GQ



from Marc Perkel

Patriot Act

Patriot Act NSA Spying Unconstitutional Section 215 National Security Letters Must End

My name is Marc Perkel and I have decided to announce that I will not comply with the so called "Patriot Act" laws requiring me to disclose information about my customers. If I receive a national security letter I will immediately photograph it, post it online everywhere I can, and then make a video of me burning it. I will then await my arrest. If you want to put me in jail then come get me mother fucker.

Come Get Me Mother Fucker | Putting and end to NSA government Spying





Selected Readings

from that Mad Cat, JD








Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music


In The Chaos Household

Last Night

Extra hot, extra humid, extra cranky.

Tonight, Friday:

CBS begins the night with a RERUN 'MacGyver', followed by a RERUN 'Hawaii Five-0', then a RERUN 'Blue Bloods'.
On a RERUN Stephen Colbert (from 7/21/17) are Kenneth Branagh and Cara Delevingne.
On a RERUN James Corden, OBE, (from 6/14/17) are Fred Armisen, Tituss Burgess, Edgar Wright, and Gavin DeGraw.

NBC starts the night with a FRESH 'Diana, 7 Days', followed by 'Dateline'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Fallon (from 7/28/17) are David Spade, Desus & Mero, and Penn & Teller.
On a RERUN Seth Meyers (from 8/17/17) are Michael Moore, Carrie Coon, Little Big Town, and Roy Mayorga.
On a RERUN Carson 'The Scab' Daly (from 4/27/17) are Jonah Ray, Bonobo, and J.D. Dillard.

ABC opens the night with a RERUN 'Shark Tank', followed by 'What Would You Do?', then '20/20'.
On a RERUN Jimmy Kimmel (from 8/10/17) are John Lithgow, Jay Baruchel, and Diana Krall.

The CW offers a RERUN 'Masters Of Illusion', followed by another RERUN 'Masters Of Illusion', then a RERUN 'Penn & Teller: Fool Us'.

Faux has a RERUN 'MasterChef', followed by a RERUN 'Beat Shazam'.

MY recycles an old 'American Ninja Warrior', followed by another old 'American Ninja Warrior'.

A&E has 'Live PD' and 3 hours of 'Live PD: Police Patrol'.

AMC offers the movie 'Tombstone', followed by the movie 'Predator', then the movie 'Predator 2'.

BBC  -   
 [6:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 6 - EPISODE 13-The Wedding of River Song
 [8:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 1-Asylum of the Daleks
 [9:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 2-Dinosaurs on a Spaceship
 [10:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 3-A Town Called Mercy
 [11:00AM]    DOCTOR WHO - SEASON 7 - EPISODE 4-The Power of Three
 [12:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 21-The Return of the Archons
 [2:30PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 23-A Taste of Armageddon
 [3:45PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 24-This Side of Paradise
 [5:00PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 25-The Devil in the Dark
 [7:20PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 27-The Alternative Factor
 [8:30PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 28-The City on the Edge of Forever
 [9:40PM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 29-Operation: Annihilate!
 [12:00AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 21-The Return of the Archons
 [2:20AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 23-A Taste of Armageddon
 [3:30AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 24-This Side of Paradise
 [4:45AM]    STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES - SEASON 1 - EPISODE 25-The Devil in the Dark    (ALL TIMES EDT)

Bravo has the movie 'Couples Retreat', followed by the movie 'Couples Retreat', again, then the movie 'The Dilemma'.

Comedy Central has 'Futurama', 'South Park', another 'South Park', followed by the movie 'We're The Millers'.

FX has the movie 'Lone Survivor', followed by the movie 'Captain Philips'.

History has 'Ancient Aliens', followed by a FRESH 'Ancient Aliens: Declassified'.

IFC  -   
 [6:00AM]    BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW-I Can't Believe This Used to Take Days
 [6:30AM]    PORTLANDIA-Separation Anxiety
 [7:15AM]    THE EAST
 [10:00AM]    JAVA HEAT
 [12:15PM]    STOKER
 [2:30PM]    THE EAST

Sundance  -   
 [6:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [6:30AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [7:30AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [8:30AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:00AM]    The Andy Griffith Show
 [9:30AM]    Cold Mountain
 [1:00PM]    The Queen
 [3:00PM]    Law & Order-Misconception
 [4:00PM]    Law & Order-In Memory Of
 [5:00PM]    Law & Order-Out of Control
 [6:00PM]    Law & Order-Renunciation
 [7:00PM]    Law & Order-Heaven
 [8:00PM]    Law & Order-Turnstile Justice
 [8:59PM]    Law & Order-Dissonance
 [9:58PM]    Law & Order-Standoff
 [10:57PM]    Law & Order-Return
 [11:56PM]    Law & Order-Burn Baby Burn
 [12:55AM]    Law & Order-Amends
 [1:54AM]    Transparent-Why Do We Cover the Mirrors?
 [2:35AM]    Transparent-Kina Hora
 [3:19AM]    Transparent-Flicky-Flicky Thump-Thump
 [4:00AM]    Our Idiot Brother    (ALL TIMES EDT)

SyFy has the movie 'Mission To Mars', followed by a FRESH 'Killjoys', then the movie 'Need For Speed'.

 [6:15 AM]      Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
 [8:00 AM]      Hell Below (1933)
 [9:45 AM]      Operation Pacific (1951)
 [12:00 PM]      Up Periscope (1959)
 [2:00 PM]      The Enemy Below (1957)
 [3:45 PM]      Destination Tokyo (1943)
 [6:15 PM]      The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964)
 [8:00 PM]      Beach Party (1963)
 [10:00 PM]      Muscle Beach Party (1963)
 [12:00 AM]      Surf Party (1964)
 [2:00 AM]      For Those Who Think Young (1964)
 [4:00 AM]      Ride the Wild Surf (1964)     (ALL TIMES EDT)

Saturday   -  08/02/17

 [6:00 AM]      Daughters Courageous (1939)
 [8:00 AM]      Tycoon (1947)
 [10:30 AM]      The Phantom Thief (1946)
 [12:00 PM]      Cheers For Miss Bishop (1941)
 [1:45 PM]      Rancho Notorious (1952)
 [3:30 PM]      The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
 [6:15 PM]      A Conversation with Gregory Peck (1999)
 [8:00 PM]      2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
 [10:45 PM]      Westworld (1973)
 [12:30 AM]      Demon Seed (1977)
 [2:15 AM]      Scanners (1981)
 [4:15 AM]      Them! (1954)     (ALL TIMES EDT)

Antenna TV - Johnny Carson (from 09/02/74) - Doris Day, Rodney Dangerfield, Burt Mustin, and Carol Wayne.

Bounce TV

Comet TV

Cozi TV

Decades TV Network


Heroes and Icons

Find Justice - Justice Network

Get TV

Grit - Television With Backbone - Grit

Laff - You Know You Want To. - Laff


MOVIES! TV Network

RTV - The Retro Television Network

the works

This TV

Any opinions?   Marty

Or reviews?   Marty

Support the e-page!

(See below for addresses)


People march and chant slogans against Donald Trump's proposed end of the DACA program that protects immigrant children from deportation at a protest in front of Trump International Hotel in New York City, Aug. 30, 2017.
Photo by Joe Penney


The Sideshow - by Avedon Carol


Simpsons Composer Fired After 27 Years

Alf Clausen

During his 27 years working on The Simpsons, Alf Clausen has scored more than 560 episodes, been nominated for 21 Emmys, won two (1997 and '98).

Including nominations for other series, he is believed to be the most-nominated composer in Emmy history. Oh, and Clausen has won five Annie Awards, which celebrate accomplishments in animation.

Despite the sterling CV, the esteemed composer has been fired from The Simpsons.

Variety reports that producer Richard Sakai told Clausen they were seeking "a different kind of music" and he would no longer score the Fox show. The publication adds that speculators believe cost cutting measures led to the decision, despite the show still making massive profits.

Clausen was known for using a 35-piece orchestra every week, something that creator Matt Groening insisted happen. Hiring the musicians and recording often cost millions of dollars every year.

Alf Clausen


Pictures and flags hang on the gates of Kensington Palace in London to pay tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Aug. 31, 2017.
Photo by Kirsty Wigglesworth


LEGO's Biggest and Most Expensive Set Ever

Star Wars

LEGO's just-announced Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon will be the largest - and most expensive - set the company has ever sold.

The new Millennium Falcon LEGO set includes a whopping 7,541 pieces, and comes with a price tag to match: $799.99. Fans can buy it in stores starting Oct. 1.

The updated Falcon set surpasses LEGO's other massive models, including items like the Taj Mahal, the Tower Bridge and the Death Star, according to USA Today. It also comes 10 years after LEGO first released its Ultimate Collector Series Millennium Falcon in 2007. That model had 5,195 pieces, making it the biggest set released at the time.

The updated version of Han Solo's smuggling ship stands at 33 inches long, 22 inches wide and 8 inches tall. It can be built to look like the Millennium Falcon from the original Star Wars movies or from the more recent The Force Awakens.

The Falcon also comes with a set of minifigures from different eras of the Star Wars saga that fans can place at various locations on the model.

Star Wars


Newhead News


Man With An Opinion

Dan Rather

Former news anchor Dan Rather has said Donald Trump (R-Bamboozler) is "seized with fear" over what special counsel Robert Mueller may find in a probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

"Donald Trump is afraid," Mr Rather told MSNBC. "He's trying to exude power and strength. He's afraid of something that Mueller and the prosecutors are going to find out."

"A political hurricane is out there at sea for him, we'll call it Hurricane Vladimir if you will, the whole Russian thing," he said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It's still pretty far out at sea, but each day ... this hurricane, this political hurricane ... is building in intensity."

Dan Rather


A girl sitting on the shoulders of her father holds a sign reading "Keep Families Together" at a protest against President Trump's proposed end of the DACA program that protects immigrant children from deportation, in New York City, Aug. 30, 2017.
Photo by Joe Penney


Large-Scale Layoffs

Disney-ABC TV

'Disney-ABC Television Group will be reducing annual costs at the unit by 10% by the close of Disney's fiscal year next month, with a restructuring of operations that is expected to include hundreds of layoffs.

Plans for cost-cutting measures across the group, which includes the ABC television network, ABC News, ABC Studios, the ABC-owned stations division, and entertainment cable channels including Freeform and Disney Channel, are still being developed. Disney-ABC sources tell Variety that no headcount for staff reductions has formally been determined and that details of the cost-cutting effort are fluid. But it's clear that the effort will involve major staff cuts in order to reach the 10% cost reduction target.

Sources said the restructuring is seen as a means of cutting overhead in areas that have become outmoded or less vital to the management of the channels such as traditional sales and distribution, and aspects of marketing operations for ABC and the cable channels. Sources said Disney is looking to streamline and modernize in some areas in order to free up resources to direct into content development.

The cuts are expected to hit ABC and Disney Channel hardest as they have the most extensive overhead. Both networks are also struggling with ratings declines, heightened competition and changing viewing habits. Disney-ABC TV Group is said to have been given a mandate to modernize operations. There's been some noticeable departures of high-level executives in recent months who haven't been replaced, suggesting that Disney-ABC has been eying cuts through attrition, including Ben Pyne, former distribution chief, and longtime ABC business affairs chief Jana Winograde.

The latest initiative will inevitably revive rumors that Disney no longer views ABC as one of its long-term core brands. Disney has consistently denied speculation that it is looking to sell ABC, but the cost cuts come at a time when competitors are plowing money into TV content. Netflix earlier this month poached ABC's highest-profile producer, Shonda Rhimes, signing her to a multi-year deal, and ending her 15-year relationship with ABC Studios that yielded hits such as "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal."

Disney-ABC TV


Digby's Hullabaloo


$1B Disaster Funds Cut To Finance Wall

House GOP

Donald Trump (R-Crooked) is promising billions to help Texas rebuild from Harvey-caused epic flooding, but his Republican allies in the House are looking at cutting almost $1 billion from disaster accounts to help finance the president's border wall.

The pending reduction to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster relief account is part of a massive spending bill that the House is scheduled to consider next week when lawmakers return from their August recess. The $876 million cut, which is included in the 1,305-page measure's homeland security section, pays for roughly half the cost of Trump's down payment on the U.S.-Mexico border wall that the president repeatedly promised Mexico would finance.

It seems sure that GOP leaders will move to reverse it next week as floodwaters cover Houston, the nation's fourth-largest city, and tens of thousands of Texans have sought refuge in shelters. There's only $2.3 billion remaining in federal disaster coffers.

The disaster relief cut was proposed well before Harvey and the politically bad optics are sure to lead lawmakers to do an about face, though that would create a money crunch in homeland security accounts.

The FEMA cut is the handiwork of House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J. - the major force behind a $50 billion-plus 2013 Superstorm Sandy recovery package - and Rep. John Carter, whose home state of Texas is suffering badly from Harvey.

House GOP


Royal fans hold a Welse flag to remember the late Diana, Princess of Wales, outside Kensington Palace in London, Aug. 31, 2017.
Photo by Frank Augstein


T-rump Touts Helping The Rich

'Middle Class' Tax Relief

A year after saying he would raise taxes on the rich, Donald Trump (R-Corrupt) is now pushing a proposal that instead would give those Americans an enormous tax break.

Trump gave few details at a Wednesday speech in Springfield, Missouri, instead offering very broad priorities: a tax break for the middle class; fewer "loopholes"; bringing home companies' overseas profits; a much lower corporate tax rate.

Trump said providing that tax cut would help middle- and working-class Americans because businesses would hire more employees. "We must reduce the tax rate on American businesses so they keep jobs in America, create jobs in America, and compete for workers right here in America," Trump said at Loren Cook Company, a manufacturer of fans and blowers. "Millions of struggling citizens will be lifted from welfare to work. They will love getting up in the morning. They will love going to their job. They will love earning a big, fat, beautiful paycheck."

"Giving huge tax cuts to businesses in the hopes that wealth will magically trickle down to hardworking Americans is pure folly, and not supported by the facts," said Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal, the ranking member on the House's tax-writing panel.

And while Republicans and some Democrats argue that taxes are too high, taxes for all but the richest Americans are lower now than at any time since President Ronald Reagan took office, according to a HuffPost analysis of data from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

'Middle Class' Tax Relief


Administration Wants To Bail Out

Contrarian Climate Scientists

Climate contrarians, like Trump's EPA administrator Scott Pruitt (R-Petro Whore) and Energy Secretary Rick Perry (R-Dim Bulb), don't understand how scientific research works. They are basically asking for a government handout to scientists to do what scientists are should already be doing. They are also requesting handouts for scientists who have been less successful in research and publications - a move antithetical to the survival of the fitness approach that has formed the scientific community for decades.

The helping handout would be through a proposed exercise called a "red team/blue team" effort. It is a proposal that would reportedly find groups of scientists on both "sides" of the climate issue (whatever that means), and have them try to poke holes in each others' positions. I will explain why this is a handout but first let's talk about the plan and how it interferes with the scientific process.

I say that Pruitt and Perry don't understand how science works because we are already doing "red team/blue team" exercises everyday in our normal line of business. Science works by challenging each other and our ideas. If we think that a colleague has made an error, we tend to be merciless and tenacious to correct the errors. This is part of the premise of the concept of peer review - where we send studies and manuscripts to journals to have other experts objectively review them for errors.

So forming a red team would basically amount to a governmental helping hand to scientists who have not succeeded in the scientific arena. Since they cannot compete in the cut-throat area of scientific research, they would be given a free pass by the government to circumvent the normal peer review process. Let's be clear, the red team cannot make the case in the scientific arena so they would be given a free pass to make their claims in the political arena.

But regardless of its manifestation, the result would be that contrarian scientists - who have already failed to make their case - would have their voices elevated to an inappropriate position of equality with those scientists whose work has survived scrutiny. The public would simply see two groups of "scientists" opposing each other, making it difficult for non-experts to discern who is correct. Finally, it would promote political ideology over scientific quality. Science works by being competitive; the best ideas and the best scientists are rewarded. The failed scientists and scientific ideas are discarded. By giving a free handout to failure, it would create an environment where you don't have to be good at your job; you just have to have the right politics.

Contrarian Climate Scientists


People hold signs against Donald Trump's proposed end of the DACA program that protects immigrant children from deportation at a protest in New York City, Aug. 30, 2017.
Photo by Joe Penney


The Kids Are Alright

Young Americans

Very few young people approve of the job Donald Trump (R-Grifter) is doing in office.

According to a new Gallup poll, the president's approval rating among voters aged 18-29 is just 20 percent.

The president is, however, polling high among older age groups. Trump's approval rating among 30-49-year-olds is 33 percent. His approval among people between the ages of 50-64 is 42 percent, and his approval among people over the age of 65 is 43 percent.

Overall, just 35 percent of adults approve of Trump's handling of his job. The president's approval rating has not risen above 35 percent since August 19 when he received a 36 percent approval rating.

Young Americans


201 MPH Wins

Hyperloop Competition

A team of students from Germany sent a carbon-plastic pod whizzing through a tube at 201 mph (324 km/h) last weekend, securing the top spot in Elon Musk's second Hyperloop competition.

Musk, the founder of SpaceX, Tesla and brain-interface company Neuralink, aims to revolutionize transportation with his Hyperloop concept, which he envisions as a series of underground vacuum tubes through which transportation pods levitated by air would zoom at nearly the speed of sound.

In January, SpaceX held its first Hyperloop Competition for students to test prototypes of pods. The winning team, WARR Hyperloop from the Technical University of Munich, again took top prize in the second Hyperloop Pod Competition, which was held between Aug. 25 and 27. The team's pod was one of only three that met the technical criteria for testing inside the 0.8-mile (1.28 km) tube at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.

The WARR Hyperloop pod was a complete redesign of the team's first winning structure, the student engineers wrote on their website. Made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, the pod weighs only 176 lbs. (80 kilograms) and can accelerate from zero to 217 mph (350 km/h) in just 12 seconds.

The pod is a prototype, as SpaceX's test tube is a mere 6 feet (1.8 meters) in diameter. But Musk envisions tunnels that can accommodate 6,800-lb. (3,100 kg) pods holding up to 28 people each, as he wrote in a white paper introducing the concept in 2014. Musk's vision is that the Hyperloop would provide fast transportation between cities less than about 900 miles (1,500 kilometers) apart. He claims the Hyperloop system could whisk people from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or from Munich to Berlin, in about 30 minutes. That would require speeds of about 760 mph (1,220 km/h).

Hyperloop Competition



In Memory

Richard Anderson

Richard Anderson, the actor best known for playing Oscar Goldman in the TV series "The Six Million Dollar Man" and its spin-off "The Bionic Woman," died on Thursday aged 91.

Anderson, who was born in New Jersey, passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, according to his spokesman Jonathan Taylor. His character Oscar Goldman ran a secret government spy agency in both shows, which ran simultaneously in the 1970s.

"The Six Million Dollar Man" starred Lee Majors as Steve Austin, an astronaut seriously injured in a crash. During each opening sequence, Goldman would intone: "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man."

With his fatherly demeanor, Anderson also took a number of small roles in several major series from the 1960s to the 1980s including "Perry Mason," "Murder, She Wrote," "Dynasty," "The Love Boat," and "The Fugitive."

Richard Anderson



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