Paul Krugman: Ted Cruz's Giant Leap Into the Known (NY Times Blog)
When it comes to health care, there are lies, damned lies, and CBO-bashing. Republicans are deploying all three strategies, with Mike Pence's vile lie about the disabled - the utterly false claim that Medicaid expansion has actually hurt those most in need of help - drawing lots of justified outrage. But the really big push over the next couple of days will be the attempt to trash CBO estimates that are almost sure to show massive losses, even if the CBO is somehow prevented from considering the Cruz amendment.
Ashley Alman: Ohio Pushes Back Against Mike Pence's 'False' Health Care Claims (Huffington Post)
"That's what we call #fakenews," [Ohio] Gov. John Kasich's spokesman said.
Yashar Ali: Trump Campaign Paid $50,000 To Trump Jr.'s Lawyer Days Before Bombshell NYT Report (Huffington Post)
The use of campaign funds to pay for Trump Jr.'s personal legal bills is also eyebrow raising. President Trump claims he is worth $10 billion dollars (Bloomberg News says he is worth $2.86 billion and Forbes says he is worth $3.5 billion). A majority of Trump's campaign donations come from low-dollar donors, the type that give less than $100. That a family worth billions is using campaign committee funds to pay personal legal bills is not something that is likely to go over well with Trump's base in the long-run.
Matthew Yglesias: I don't believe Donald Trump Jr., and neither should you (Vox)
Trump's Jr.'s story has shifted a lot. My colleague Dara Lind has a detailed rundown of Trump Jr.'s shifting stories about this meeting, but here's an express version: …
Henry Rollins: It's Amazing How Quickly We Got Used to the Trump Dumpster Fire (LA Weekly)
Almost any situation, when endured for long enough, goes from how it is now, to just how it is. What came before becomes harder and harder to remember.
Daniel Politi: Almost 3,500 Coloradans Cancel Voter Registrations Over Fraud Commission Fears (Slate)
County election officials say in general voters give two reasons for canceling their registrations. Some outright say they don't trust the president's voter-fraud commission while others said they're only realizing now how much of their personal information was already public under state law.
Robert Evans: Why You Can Sometimes Get Fired For Being A Freaking Hero (Cracked)
1. Doing The Right Thing Can Be Against Company Policy.
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Michelle in AZ
Stuart shared this. So pretty!
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Thanks, Linda (& Stuart)!
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from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THE LIARS WHO RUN OUR COUNTRY!
THE CROOKS AND THEIVES.
SLAVERY IS ALIVE AND WELL IN NASHVILLE.
THE REAL DRUG PROBLEM!
TRAMPLE THE TURTLE!
THIS IS NOT FUNNY.
I THINK THAT I SHALL NEVER SEE, ANOTHER LIVING, BREATHING TREE.
THE FRAUDS, THE CROOKS AND THE TURTLE.
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In The Chaos Household
Five new butterflies!
British actress Jodie Whittaker was unveiled Sunday as the first woman to play "Doctor Who", telling fans of the cult BBC science fiction series they should "not be scared by my gender".
The 35-year-old, who starred in the British award-winning drama "Broadchurch", will take over from Scottish actor Peter Capaldi later this year as 13th incarnation of the Time Lord.
Fans were treated to a brief glimpse of Whittaker, walking towards the Tardis in a forest, in a clip shown after the Wimbledon tennis final on BBC television.
The adventures of the doctor -- a time travelling, humanoid alien who traverses the universe -- have maintained a loyal following since they were first aired in 1963.
Whittaker anticipated some controversy over the choice of a woman as the new doctor despite such a move being well trailed, but said viewers didn't need to worry.
Touts Revived River
Portland is well-known as a tree-hugging, outdoorsy city, but the river that powers through its downtown has never been part of that green reputation.
For decades, residents have been repulsed by the idea of swimming in the Willamette River because of weekly sewage overflows that created a bacterial stew.
Now, the recent completion of a $1.4 billion sewage pipe has flushed those worries - and the river once shunned by swimmers is enjoying a rapid renaissance.
The city has partnered with a civic group called the Human Access Project to entice residents into the Willamette this summer with a roster of public swimming events and a flood of announcements that the river, finally, is safe for human use. The campaign is aimed at reversing the impact of decades of public health warnings in an eco-savvy city with a hard-earned green reputation.
The river is the city's largest public space, but less than 5 percent of the city's footprint has access to the waterfront, said Willie Levenson, who heads the Human Access Project and is working closely with Portland to expand swimming options.
Chechnya's strongman leader has harshly denounced claims that his southern Russian republic has tortured and even killed gay men, denying that there even are any homosexual men in his region.
Kremlin-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has faced wide international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them.
"This is nonsense. We don't have those kinds of people here. We don't have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada," Kadyrov says in an interview with HBO Real Sports cable television show. HBO released excerpts of the June 30 interview on Friday.
Kadyrov also called those making the allegations "devils."
"God damn them for what they are accusing us of," he said.
Lodged In One Eye
27 Contact Lenses
A woman was found with 27 contact lenses lodged in her eye.
However she was unaware they were there until the lenses were discovered by a trainee ophthalmologist.
Seventeen lenses were found by Rupal Morjaria, who noticed what he described as a "blueish mass", the Mirror reported.
She then found another 10 lenses on a second inspection,
The woman had been due to have cataract surgery, but it was postponed after the discovery.
27 Contact Lenses
Approval Rating At 70-Year Low
Donald Trump's (R-Crooked) approval rating has plunged in a national poll, published on Sunday, that charts Americans' perceptions of a stalling domestic policy agenda and declining leadership on the world stage.
The Washington Post/ABC News poll, which put Trump's six-month approval rating at a historic 70-year low, came amid mounting controversy over Russian interference in the 2016 election.
It emerged on Saturday that Trump's campaign committee made a payment to the legal firm representing the president's eldest son almost two weeks before a meeting between Trump Jr and a Russian lawyer promising compromising information on Hillary Clinton was made public.
Trump now has a 36% approval rating, down six points from his first 100 days' rating. The poll found that 48% believed America's leadership in the world is weaker than before the billionaire took office, while support for Republican plans to replace Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act was at just 24% compared with 50% who support the former president's signature healthcare policy.
Trump, who has spent the weekend at his private golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, attempted to downplay the poll's findings. On Sunday morning he used Twitter to claim, incorrectly, that "almost 40% [approval] is not bad at this time" and that the poll in question had been "just about the most inaccurate around election time!".
Campaign Paid Lawyer
Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) campaign paid $50,000 to the law office now representing Donald Trump Jr. a little more than a week before news surfaced of an unreported meeting with a Russian attorney that has prompted new accusations of collusion.
The payment to the Law Offices of Alan S. Futerfas, dated June 27, was disclosed in a filing with the Federal Election Commission on Saturday. It was described as covering "legal consulting" fees.
Trump Jr. admitted to meeting with a Russian lawyer in New York City during the 2016 presidential campaign after he was told she might have damaging information about his father's rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
The payment was made to Futerfas' firm days before the story about the meeting broke, which caused a scramble inside the White House and Trump Tower to contain it.
The disclosures do not say who Futerfas was hired to represent. Spokesmen for Trump's re-election campaign and Futerfas did not respond to requests for comment.
To Pay $11.2M Over Data Leak
The Ashley Madison adultery website will pay $11.2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed after the dating site was hacked in July 2015, exposing data of millions of users, its owner said Friday. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of roughly 37 million users, which also included some celebrities.
Ashley Madison is a website dedicated to facilitating affairs between consenting adults, allowing a safe place for those who discretely search for a partner. Its slogan is "Life is short, have an affair." The data theft leaked users' email address, names, home addresses, credit card details and sexual fantasies.
According to the documents, obtained by TMZ, users with valid claims can claim compensation up to $3,500. The amount that will not be claimed would be donated to charity. The proposed preliminary settlement, however, requires the approval of a federal court in the city of St Louis.
Layn Phillips, a former federal judge who mediated the settlement, said in the accord offered "a valuable recovery for the class in the face of many obstacles," including the company's preference that victims independently negotiate their claims. He made it clear the victims have to directly get in touch with the company and ask for the settlement.
Last year, Ruby Corp, formerly known as Avid Life Media Inc, agreed to pay $1.66 million to settle a probe by the Federal Trade Commission and several states into "data security and deceptive practices."? The massive hack resulted in Ruby losing more than a quarter of its revenue. Following the hack, the owner spent millions of dollars on cyber security.
Europol said on Sunday 66 people had been arrested for trading horsemeat unfit for human consumption and it had seized bank accounts, properties and luxury cars following an investigation into a food scandal that shocked European consumers.
Tests carried out in Ireland in 2013 showed that meat in some products labeled as beef was in fact up to 100 percent horsemeat.
Spanish police began investigating a group which slaughtered Spanish and Portuguese horses too old or in too bad a condition for human consumption, forged their documentation and sent them to Belgium, a large horse meat exporter in the European Union.
The European police agency Europol said 65 people were arrested in Spain, and the main suspect, a Dutch citizen, was arrested in Belgium.
An EU investigation revealed that less than 5 percent of all beef products tested had come back positive for horse DNA.
Weekend Box Office
'War for the Planet of the Apes'
Monkey business still pays. "War for the Planet of the Apes" took down "Spider-Man: Homecoming" at the North American box office, opening with an estimated $56.5 million in ticket sales.
Universal's family sequel "Despicable Me 3" pulled in $18.9 million in its third week, bringing its cumulative total to $188 million domestically. Sony's Edgar Wright action comedy "Baby Driver" followed behind with $8.8 million; its three week gross is $73.2 million.
The weekend's other most notable new entrant was Kumail Nanjiani's acclaimed romantic comedy "The Big Sick," which expanded to about 2,600 theaters after three weeks of limited release. The Lionsgate-Amazon Studios film, produced by Judd Apatow, made $7.6 million - a rare success for a comedy in a summer full of disappointment .
The horror film "Wish Upon," from Broad Green Pictures, was the weekend's only other new release. It opened with $5.5 million and a dismal C CinemaScore from audiences.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers also are included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.
1. "War for the Planet of the Apes," $56.5 million ($46 million international).
2. "Spider-Man: Homecoming," $45.2 million ($72.3 million international).
3. "Despicable Me 3," $18.9 million ($71 million international).
4. "Baby Driver," $8.8 million ($6.2 million international).
5. "The Big Sick," $7.6 million.
6. "Wonder Woman," $6.9 million ($3.3 million international).
7. "Wish Upon," $5.6 million.
8. "Cars 3," $3.2 million ($20.1 million international).
9. "Transformers: The Last Knight," $2.8 million ($6.7 million international).
10. "The House," $1.8 million.
'War for the Planet of the Apes'
Oscar-winning actor Martin Landau, most closely associated with scene-stealing character turns in such films as "North by Northwest," "Crimes and Misdemeanors" and "" as well as the classic TV series "Mission: Impossible," died Saturday in Los Angeles, according to his publicist. He had been hospitalized at UCLA where he experienced complications. He was 89.
The lanky, offbeat-looking veteran of the Actors Studio, for he which he was currently West Coast co-artistic director, had many ups and downs in his career. His greatest successes (three Oscar nominations and one win) came later in life when he returned to character roles like the one that first won him notice, as James Mason's sinister gay henchman in Alfred Hitchcock's "North by Northwest."
He was Emmy-nominated five times, and most of his leading man roles came on television, most notably as Rollin Hand, a master of disguise on "Mission: Impossible." He later spent a couple of years starring in syndicated sci-fi series "Space: 1999," on which, as with "Mission: Impossible," he co-starred with then-wife Barbara Bain.
After a dry spell, his career roared back to life in the late 1980s when Francis Ford Coppola cast him in "Tucker: The Man and His Dream," which brought Landau the first of three supporting noms. It was, he reminded one journalist, the first time this "Jewish kid from Brooklyn" took a role that called for him to play Jewish.
An even more impressive turn as a successful Jewish ophthalmologist haunted by a secret in Woody Allen's drama "Crimes and Misdemeanors" brought him an Oscar nomination for the second year in a row.
In 1994 came the part of a lifetime for a character actor, the dying, once-famous screen ghoul Bela Lugosi, in Tim Burton's whacked-out "Ed Wood." Landau won the supporting actor Oscar.
During the 1960s he had character roles in "The Greatest Story Ever Told," "Nevada Smith" and "The Hallelujah Trail."
Landau had been doing television work since the 1950s but got busy in TV in the mid-'60s, with several guest appearances on sci-fier "The Outer Limits" and spy skein "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." He was producer Gene Roddenberry's first choice for the role of Spock on "Star Trek," but the role wound up going to Leonard Nimoy after Landau opted for "Mission: Impossible." (Nimoy would later take a recurring role on "Mission: Impossible.")
However, roles in "A Town Called Hell," "Operation Snafu" and another villain role in "They Call Me Mister Tibbs" didn't result in major acclaim.
Television came to the rescue again with the two-year run of "Space: 1999" in the mid-'70s. Numerous TV movie turns reached a nadir with "The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island" in 1981.
He and Bain divorced, and Landau spent the '80s in roles in mostly obscure films. He also worked as an acting teacher.
The Brooklynite started out as a cartoonist, spending four years with the New York Daily News from 1948-51, then turned his attentions to acting. He claimed that he and Steve McQueen were the only two among 2,000 applicants whose auditions gained them admittance to the Actors Studio (of which Landau later became an officer).
His film debut came in a small role in "Pork Chop Hill" in 1959, followed by a larger role in "The Gazebo." Then he drew attention for his role in "North by Northwest."
He is survived by two daughters, writer-producer-casting director Susan Landau Finch and thesp Juliet Landau of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fame, a sister and a granddaughter.
George A. Romero
George Romero, whose classic "Night of the Living Dead" and other horror films turned zombie movies into social commentaries and who saw his flesh-devouring undead spawn countless imitators, remakes and homages, has died. He was 77.
Romero is credited with reinventing the movie zombie with his directorial debut, the 1968 cult classic, "Night of the Living Dead." The movie set the rules imitators lived by: Zombies move slowly, lust for human flesh and can only be killed when shot in the head. If a zombie bites a human, the person dies and returns as a zombie.
Romero's zombies, however, were always more than mere cannibals. They were metaphors for conformity, racism, mall culture, militarism, class differences and other social ills.
Romero's influence could be seen across decades of American movies, from John Carpenter to Edgar Wright to Jordan Peele, the "Get Out" filmmaker. Many considered "Night of the Living Dead" to be a critique on racism in America. The sole black character survives the zombies, but he is fatally shot by rescuers. Peele on Sunday tweeted a photo of that character, played by Duane Jones, and wrote: "Romero started it."
Ten years after "Night of the Living Dead," Romero made "Dawn of the Dead," where human survivors take refuge from the undead in a mall and then turn on each other as the zombies stumble around the shopping complex.
The third in the Romero's zombie series, 1985's "Day of the Dead," was a critical and commercial failure. There wouldn't be another "Dead" film for two decades.
"Land of the Dead" in 2005 was the most star-packed of the bunch - the cast included Dennis Hooper, John Leguizamo, Asia Argento and Simon Baker. Two years later came "Diary of the Dead," another box-office failure.
There were other movies interspersed with the "Dead" films, including "The Crazies" (1973), "Martin" (1977), "Monkey Shines" (1988) and "The Dark Half" (1993). There also was 1981's "Knightriders," Romero's take on the Arthurian legend featuring motorcycling jousters. Some were moderately successful, others box-office flops.
George Andrew Romero was born on Feb. 4, 1940, in New York City. He grew up in the Bronx, and he was a fan of horror comics and movies in the pre-VCR era.
Romero graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1960. He learned the movie business working on the sets of movies and "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which was shot in Pittsburgh.
The city became Romero's home, and many of his films were set in western Pennsylvania. "Dawn of the Dead" was filmed in suburban Monroeville Mall, which has since become a popular destination for his fans.
George A. Romero