Andrew Tobias: Whataboutism
I had never heard this term before - "whataboutism." As in: Sure, Trump is a pathological liar who's destroying our government and our standing in the world, but what about the child porn ring Hillary ran out of a pizza parlor? What about the four Americans she killed at Benghazi? What about the uranium deal?! The attorney general needs to appoint a special prosecutor!
Alice Ollstein: "The Zombie Rises: Senate Moves To Insert O'Care Mandate Repeal In Tax Bill" (TPM)
The latest incarnation, blessed on Tuesday by Senate GOP leadership, is an amendment to Republicans' long-awaited tax overhaul bill that would repeal Obamacare's individual mandate. Such a policy change would save the government more than $300 billion but cost about 13 million people their health insurance coverage, and drastically hike premiums for those who remain in the individual market, experts say.
Mark Morford: China's Alibaba just did $25 billion in sales in a single day. Scared yet? (SF Gate)
While Alibaba's sales on Singles Day were much larger than Amazon's biggest haul to date, Amazon's chief is still richer. Jeff Bezos boasts a net worth of $94.8 billion, topping Jack Ma's $40 billion. This is not because Bezos (or Jack Ma, for that matter) provide a service that abets and improves the tender and needful soul of the human animal. I mean, obviously.
Michael Gregor, MD: How to Maximize Nutrient Absorption (NutritionFacts.org)
Unhealthy lifestyle behaviors associated with an increased risk of premature death include smoking, excessive alcohol drinking, and not eating enough greens. The best way to get your greens is in whichever way you'll eat the most of them, and one way to sneak extra greens into your daily diet is with whole-food smoothies, "a potent blend of good nutrition" in a quick, portable, delicious form.
Nosheen Iqbal: Don't tell me black cover models don't sell - editors have the power to change cultural perceptions (The Guardian)
Alexandra Shulman trashed her legacy in an eyewatering interview in which she tried to justify her appalling record of black cover stars with this tired argument.
Lanre Bakare: "Mark Bradford: the artist and ex-hairdresser forcing America to face ugly truths about itself" (The Guardian)
He caused a sensation at the Venice Biennale by turning the US pavilion into a comment on slavery, Trump and police brutality. The outspoken painter talks about feeding off rejection, muscling into Monet territory - and what he'd like to do to middle-class lawns.
Ron Dicker: Bill Murray Keeps Being Bill Murray, Buys Tickets For SteelDrivers Fans (Huffington Post)
"If only everyone in the world was like Bill Murray!"
Gavin Haynes: Out-trolling Trump: Cards Against Humanity's history of winding up the president (The Guardian)
The people behind the bad-taste parlour game have purchased part of the Arizona desert in an attempt to block a Mexican border wall. It's just their latest attempt to mock the commander-in-chief.
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Michelle in AZ
Roy Moore has now been thrown out of 3 courts. The Alabama Supreme Court in 2003. The Alabama Supreme Court in 2016. And the Gadsden Mall Food Court in 1980.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Thanks, Linda (& Stuart)!
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
Napa & Sonoma
from Marc Perkel
Marc's Guide to Curing Cancer
So far so good on beating cancer for now. I'm doing fine. At the end of the month I'll be 16 months into an 8 month mean lifespan. And yesterday I went on a 7 mile hike and managed to keep up with the hiking group I was with. So, doing something right.
Still waiting for future test results and should see things headed in the right direction. I can say that it's not likely that anything dire happens in the short term so that means that I should have time to make several more attempts at this. So even if it doesn't work the first time there are a lot of variations to try. So if there's bad news it will help me pick the next radiation target.
I have written a "how to" guide for oncologists to perform the treatment that I got. I'm convinced that I'm definitely onto something and whether it works for me or not isn't the definitive test. I know if other people tried this that it would work for some of them, and if they improve it that it will work for a lot of them.
The guide is quite detailed and any doctor reading this can understand the procedure at every level. I also go into detail as to how it works, how I figured it out, and variations and improvements that could be tried to enhance it. I also introduce new ways to look at the problem. There is a lot of room for improvement and I think that doctors reading it will see what I'm talking about and want to build on it. And it's written so that if you're not a doctor you can still follow it. It also has a personal story revealing that I'm the class clown of cancer support group. I give great interviews and I look pretty hot in a lab coat.
So, feel free to read this and see what I'm talking about. But if any of you want to help then pass this around to both doctors and cancer patients. I need some media coverage. I'm looking for as many eyeballs as possible to read these ideas. Even if this isn't the solution, it's definitely on the right track. After all, I did hike 7 miles yesterday. And this hiking group wasn't moving slow. So if this isn't working then, why am I still here?
I also see curing cancer as more of an engineering problem that a medical problem. So if you are good at solving problems and most of what you know about medicine was watching the Dr. House MD TV show, then you're at the level I was at when I started. So anyone can jump in and be part of the solution.
Here is a link to my guide: Oncologists Guide to Curing Cancer using Abscopal Effect
from that Mad Cat, JD
IT'S TIME TO KICK SOME ASS!
NOSEY IS FREE!
HOW DOES HE DO IT?
THE ROBBER BARONS.
REPUBLICAN CLASS WARFARE.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Mostly cloudy but pleasant.
Rolls Back Local Media Ownership Limits
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday rolled back longstanding limits on local ownership of media outlets, making it easier for TV stations and newspapers to be collectively run.
The FCC voted 3-2 to loosen the limits on local ownership of TV stations, radio stations and newspapers, reversing what FCC Chairman Ajit Pai (R-Comcast) described as one of its stalest rules.
Some of the revisions included eliminating a rule generally prohibiting a single individual or company that owns a daily newspaper from owning a radio or TV station in the same market and a similar stipulation regarding cross-ownership of radio and TV stations.
A rule known as the "eight-voices test," which prevented a station owner from purchasing another station if it would leave less than eight independently owned stations in the area, was also repealed, making it easier for a company to own multiple stations in a single market.
Critics of the changes said the decision will leave control of most media in the hands of a small number of companies, including Sinclair Broadcast Group, which could receive help from the new rules in its efforts to merge with Tribune Media.
Hall of Fame
From modern water cooler-moment dramas to groundbreaking late night comedy; from topical, transformative series in absorbing settings to taboo-busting stand-up comics and character-reflecting sitcom settings, the 24th Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame ceremony honored the crème de la crème from the past five decades of channel-surfing - and offered a few of its own water cooler moments along the way.
The 2017 inductees were a glittery and profoundly influential crop indeed: Writer-producer Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of zeitgeist-heavy series including "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder"; writer-producer John Wells, whose groundbreaking series include "China Beach," "ER" "The West Wing" and "Shameless"; the late comedian, talk show host and television personality Joan Rivers; production designer Roy Christopher, who crafted iconic environments for sitcoms like "Welcome Back, Kotter," "Murphy Brown" and "Frasier," along with many Academy Award and Emmy ceremonies; and the legendary original cast members of "Saturday Night Live," Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Case, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman and, posthumously, Gilda Radner and John Belushi.
After Winfrey impressed and Rhimes inspired, the assembled audience - which included "Shameless" stars William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and Shanola Hampton, "Scandal's" Tony Goldwyn, Joe Morton, Darby Stanchfield, Scott Foley and Katie Lowes and "Grey's Anatomy's" Kim Raver, James Pickens, Jr., Jason George, Debbie Allen, Isaiah Washington and Sarah Drew, "Private Practice's" Kate Walsh and KaDee Strickland, and TV icons Phylicia Rashad and Jimmy Smits - saved its most raucous response for when Lily Tomlin invited the original Not Ready for Primetime Players to take the stage.
Curtin, Chase, Newman, Aykroyd and Morris clowned in individual acceptance speeches that included fond nod to their late cohorts Belushi and Radner, as well as call backs to classic sketches like Land Shark and "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!"
Bill Murray made a surprise appearance in the audience, and was later invited onstage, admitting that because he didn't formally join the "SNL" cast until its second season, he hadn't been invited to attend the ceremony until Newman brought him as her guest. "It's actually okay, I'm fine," said Murray. "It really was a delight to sit there and to watch them, because the truth is that they are history, and I'm just lucky enough that I was the new guy, and I'm okay with being the new guy. I always was okay with that - except five minutes ago: I really was bitter."
Confirms Ratner Is Out Of 'Wonder Woman' Sequel
Actress Gal Gadot has confirmed that Hollywood producer Brett Ratner will not be involved in the "Wonder Woman" sequel, calling the decision "the right thing to do" after multiple women have come forward with sexual harassment allegations against him.
"Everyone knows the way that I feel because I'm not hiding anything," she said Wednesday on NBC's "Today" show after being asked about an article claiming she had demanded his ouster.
"But the truth is, there's so many people involved in making this movie, it's not just me, and they all echoed the same sentiments. You know what I mean?" she said. "Everyone knew what was the right thing to do, but there was nothing for me to actually come and say, 'cause it was already done before this article came out, you know?"
Ratner, who in recent weeks has faced allegations from at least eight women, helped co-produce the Warner Bros. film through his production company, Rat-Pac Dune.
Page Six reported Saturday that Gadot had threatened to abandon the franchise unless Ratner was axed.
Sets Auction Record
A Chagall oil painting shining with love for his first wife and adopted home Paris sold for $28.5 million in New York on Tuesday, almost doubling the artist's previous auction record, Sotheby's said.
Considered one of the greatest works by Marc Chagall to come onto the open market, "Les Amoureux" had previously remained in the same family for nearly 90 years since 1928, the year it was painted.
Sotheby's said the painting unites the French-Russian artist's two greatest loves -- Bella, his childhood sweetheart, muse and first wife, and the French capital, his adopted home.
The painting was chased by three determined bidders, with interest from Asia and Russia, in a more than 10-minute bidding war that soared well above its pre-sale estimate of $12 to 18 million.
The auction house established the previous auction record for Chagall in 1990, when "Anniversaire" from 1923 sold for $14.9 million.
Fails To Sell At Auction
'Raj Pink' Diamond
The "Raj Pink", the largest Fancy Intense Pink diamond in the world, failed to sell at auction, despite being the highlight of a Sotheby's sale of precious jewels.
The rare 37.3-carat stone, which the auction house was hoping would entice bids of up to $30 million, was among several lots that did not find buyers at the sale in Geneva on Wednesday, in a possible sign of a softening in the diamond market.
Sotheby's had high hopes after rival Christie's on Tuesday sold a huge 163.41-carat diamond known as the "Art of Grisogono" for nearly $34 million.
Although that was the highest price ever paid at auction for a D colour diamond, an industry expert said it fell short of expectations.
Other lots that failed to find buyers on Wednesday included the "Donnersmarck diamonds", two yellow gems weighing 102.5 and 82.5 carats that once belonged to the Paiva, a Parisian courtesan of the 19th century.
'Raj Pink' Diamond
Creates New Jobs
The Keystone Pipeline has been temporarily shut down after it leaked more than 200,000 gallons of oil in South Dakota.
Crews shut down the controversial oil pipeline on Thursday morning. Officials are looking into the cause of the leak, which is the largest Keystone leak in South Dakota to date, according to a spokesman for the state's Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
TransCanda, the company that operates the pipeline, said it had leaked 5,000 barrels - or about 210,000 gallons - before it was shut down.
Protesters have resisted the extension of the pipeline, which is slated to stretch from Canada to Texas, for fear of just such a leak. The extension would link Canada's Alberta oil sands to refineries in the US. Residents of states in the pipeline's path worried it could contaminate local water supplies and have other, longer-term environmental impacts.
The Nebraska Public Service Commission is set to announce next week whether they will allow the extension - known as the Keystone XL - to be routed through the state. The decision is seen as the last big, regulatory hurdle through which the extension must pass before it is constructed.
Pushes US Behind German For Best International Image
Thanks to President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Buffoon), the U.S. lost its top spot as the country with the best brand image, according to a new study released Thursday.
The U.S. dropped to sixth place, losing its No. 1 spot to Germany. The survey, conducted by the Nation Brands Index, questioned public opinion on 50 countries by examining their brand in terms of governance, exports, tourism, investment, immigration, culture and heritage. The U.S. was behind France, the United Kingdom, Canada and Japan, but came in second in exports and culture.
Global opinion of the U.S. has gotten worse since 2016. In the category of governance, the U.S. fell from 19 to 23 in the survey.
British political consultant Simon Anholt, who conducted the study, told Deutsche Welle the Trump effect is to blame. "The loss of the U.S.'s image in the governance category is indicative of the Trump effect, which was triggered by President Trump's policies and his 'America First' message," he said.
The Pew Research Center released a study in June that found that the world's view of the U.S. has dropped under Trump, whom a majority of countries view as arrogant, intolerant and dangerous.
Won't Trickle Down
It's time to drive a stake through the heart of President-for-now Trump's (R-Corrupt) and Republicans' misleading assertion that their tax cuts are for the middle class and for workers. These tax cuts are overwhelmingly designed to help the rich, to further comfort the already very comfortable.
If the tax plan were truly a plan for the middle class and not a plan for the rich, it wouldn't lavish nearly as many benefits on the wealthiest Americans: phasing out the estate tax, eliminating the alternative minimum tax, cutting the business pass-through tax rate. The Trump-GOP plan would also chop the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 20% - a move that heavily favors affluent people because they own a disproportionate share of corporate stocks.
The GOP plan does include some measures that will help many middle-class Americans, like doubling the standard deduction and modestly increasing the child tax credit, but in truth those measures do little to undo the huge tilt toward the rich.
According to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the richest 5% of households will receive 61% of the tax cuts in 2027 under the House plan. The middle fifth of households would get 8% of the cuts, just one-sixth of the 48% share going to the top 1%. The bottom 60% of Americans would get just 14% of the cuts in 2027, less than a third of what the top 1% gets. Does that seem like a plan for the middle class and for workers?
The Joint Committee on Taxation found that, on average, households earning between $20,000 and $40,000 would end up paying more, not less, under the House GOP plan. Several analyses have found that between 25% and 45% of middle-class Americans would ultimately pay more, not less, under the tax plan. How can this be a tax cut for middle-class Americans if so many middle-class Americans will be facing tax increases instead of tax cuts?
OK With Assault Claims
Republican Senate hopeful Roy Moore may see himself as "the only one that can unite Democrats and Republicans," but one political pundit begs to differ.
On Wednesday's episode of MSNBC's "Morning Joe," The Daily Beast's Sam Stein questioned the "moral thread" of Moore's conservative base. Moore, a former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, is facing allegations from at least five women who say he made advances on them when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s. One woman alleges that Moore undressed and touched her sexually, and another says he violently sexually assaulted her.
In spite of the accusations, Moore has ignored the suggestionsof a number of fellow Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), to drop out of the race. On Tuesday, the 70-year-old steered clear of the controversy when he defiantly spoke at the "God Save America Revival Conference" at Alabama's Walker Springs Road Baptist Church.
The support for Moore on display at that event perplexed Stein, a former senior politics editor at HuffPost. "These people who are sitting in this event are comfortable enough with accusations of child molestation to support this guy," Stein said, "but forcibly opposed to the concept of a gay couple getting married."
Moore, a longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, doubled down on that stance during his Tuesday appearance, reportedly recalling the time he ordered state judges not to respect the 2015 Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. (He was suspended from office in 2016 as a result.)
Global Concert Tours
The Top 20 Global Concert Tours ranks artists by average box office gross per city and includes the average ticket price for shows Worldwide. The list is based on data provided to the trade publication Pollstar by concert promoters and venue managers.
1. The Rolling Stones; $10,212,672; $160.54.
2. U2; $8,890,455; $113.92.
3. Coldplay; $5,761,835; $103.59.
4. Metallica; $4,043,977; $104.84.
5. Lady Gaga; $3,466,727; $118.04.
6. Paul McCartney; $3,290,780; $122.10.
7. Guns N' Roses; $3,259,917; $113.70.
8. Bruno Mars; $2,241,572; $114.26.
9. Roger Waters; $2,193,990; $120.28.
10. Depeche Mode; $1,526,448; $80.94.
11. Ed Sheeran; $1,409,620; $85.39.
12. James Taylor; $1,335,001; $87.35.
13. Neil Diamond; $1,288,026; $104.04.
14. Kendrick Lamar; $1,267,568; $90.84.
15. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,121,312; $84.15.
16. Queen + Adam Lambert; $1,110,448; $98.74.
17. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; $1,084,704; $89.82.
18. J. Cole; $1,045,296; $79.20.
19. Florida Georgia Line; $1,035,861; $51.51.
20. Jerry Seinfeld; $1,035,219; $123.24.
Global Concert Tours