Jamelle Bouie: A GOP Without Fear (Slate)
Why Republicans are so intent to pass a bill that in a normal world should spell their doom.
Jim Avery: 5 Absurd Things American Schools Do To Completely Ruin Lunch (Cracked)
With the exception of those of us raised by wolves, everyone's familiar with the human rights violations known as school lunches (wolf school lunches are great). American school cafeterias are the stuff of nightmares, with the quality of their food lying somewhere in the range of "underfunded prison sponsored by McDonald's."
Jordan Breeding: 4 Awful Things That Should Not Still Be Happening In America (Cracked)
4. Many American Towns Still Don't Have Proper Utilities
Paul Krugman: Pure Class Warfare, With Extra Contempt (NY Times Blog)
The Senate version of Trumpcare - the Better Care Reconciliation Act - is out. The substance is terrible: tens of millions of people will experience financial distress if this passes, and tens if not hundreds of thousands will die premature deaths, all for the sake of tax cuts for a handful of wealthy people.
Barack Obama: Facebook
I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party. Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what's really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.
Andrew Tobias: Georgia
… So my bottom lines are: hats off to everyone for trying, but going forward we need to be: 1) as STRATEGIC as possible (just $15 million of those $25 million would have allowed the DNC to quadruple the $7,500/month it sends to strengthen each of the 50 state parties, allowing each to approach the kind of operation Nevada ran last cycle - where we won the Senate seat, 3 of the 4 House seats, and flipped both chambers of the state legislature blue); 2) PUMPED, not discouraged - we can ABSOLUTELY win back the House in 2018 (and the Senate and state chambers) even if we don't prevail in deep red districts. …
Robert Cooper: Shakespeare's Politics (The American Interest)
We know little of his political opinions, but there's much we can learn of them from the recurrent themes of his works.
Charles McGrath: How A. E. Housman Invented Englishness (New Yorker)
The poet's longing for a lost golden age is now a national identity.
Peter Robinson: "Halsey: 'I used to be a social queen - now I'm terrified of people'" (The Guardian)
From homelessness to troubled relationships, New Jersey pop force Halsey hasn't had a smooth ride to the top of the charts. Ahead of her Glastonbury debut, she explains how she channeled her troubles into a strange, striking new record.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
THERE SHOULD BE NO SUCH THING AS A CONSERVATIVE DEMOCRAT.
"TO THE GUTTER OR THE GRAVE"
WAKE UP AND PEE. THE WORLDS ON FIRE!
IS THE PRESIDENT A TRAITOR?
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Bit more marine layer.
Trevor Noah, one of the most prominent comedy hosts in the United States, has spoken out against the wider problem of racial bias among police, saying he has been stopped by American officers "eight to 10 times."
Noah, who is South African and hosts "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, made the remarks after a Minnesota police officer was acquitted of all charges over the fatal shooting of 32-year-old Philando Castile last July.
Speaking to the audience between taping segments for the show on Tuesday, the 33-year-old said he had been stopped by police "at least eight to 10 times" in the six years he has lived in the US.
"I've been stopped in rental cars, I've been stopped in my car, I've been stopped in a car with tinted windows, a car with rims, a car with no rims. I've been stopped in a Tesla," Noah said.
"You get to a point where you realize it's just part of a black person's life in America," he added. "It's insane that it's such a normal thing."
An unguarded moment in an interview has renewed speculation over one of contemporary art's great mysteries -- could elusive graffiti activist Banksy be Robert Del Naja of band Massive Attack?
Goldie, a well-known DJ who was a friend and competitor of Del Naja as the two sprayed Bristol in southwest England with graffiti in the 1980s, made an apparent slip of the tongue in an interview this week.
Goldie was speaking with dismay at the high prices that can be fetched for works by Banksy, whose signature style is politically provocative graffiti that appears suddenly on walls around the world.
"Give me a bubble letter and put it on a T-shirt and write 'Banksy' on it and we're sorted... We can sell it now," Goldie told the Distraction Pieces podcast.
"No disrespect to Rob. I think he is a brilliant artist. I think he has flipped the world of art over," he said, before pausing and switching the conversation to music.
More than half of Americans want stricter gun laws, while still preserving the rights of most people in most places to carry most types of guns, a Pew Research Center survey has found.
While half of Americans see gun violence as a very big problem in their country, fewer than 10% of American adults said that "almost no one" should be able to legally own a gun, and only 10% said that "almost no types" of guns should be legally available to buy. Overall, however, 52% want stricter gun laws.
In other countries, last week's mass shooting on members of Congress that left House majority whip Steve Scalise seriously wounded might have started a debate over stricter gun control laws. In America, the response was different: the leading gun rights organization agreed to train members of Congress and their staff on how to use guns in self-defense.
The Pew survey of nearly 4,000 American adults found some areas of agreement. Strong majorities of gun owners and non-gun owners support background checks for private sales and sales at gun shows, as well as barring those on terror watchlists from buying guns - two federal policies Republicans in Congress have rejected.
Even among gun owners, though, the survey found clear differences in firearm usage. Republican gun owners reported shooting or going to a gun range more often than Democratic gun owners did. And 55% of Democrats who reported owning a handgun said they never carry their gun with them. By contrast, the majority of Republican gun owners said they carry their handgun with them at least part of the time.
Sends Sketch Artist To Press Briefing
In response to the White House's recent trend of prohibiting cameras at press briefings, CNN on Friday said it sent its in-house Supreme Court sketch artist, Bill Hennessy, to Sean Spicer's latest press briefing.
CNN said it "equated press briefings to a Supreme Court argument -- an on-the-record event at which cameras are banned." The network argued sketches of the briefing had news value in the same way courtroom sketches do.
News organizations and the White House Correspondents' Association have protested the Trump administration's decision to scale back on-camera press briefings to unprecedented levels.
CNN reported that Spicer and deputy press Sarah Huckabee Sanders have held most of the briefings off-camera in June, with only four such occasions permitting cameras to broadcast the event.
The White House Correspondents' Association urged the Trump administration to stop holding off-camera press briefings in a statement released Friday. The association's president, Jeff Mason, said he'd spoken with Spicer and Sanders and that the pair had agreed to consider the WHCA's concerns.
Reckless, Erratic And Incompetent
Donald Trump (R-Crooked) entered the Oval Office with zero political experience, touting his successes as one of New York's most famous business moguls to carry his 2016 presidential campaign to victory. But the president's managerial skills can be described as "antagonistic," "authoritarian" and "confusing," according to some of the most prominent chief financial officers from around the world.
CFOs representing Yahoo, Wells Fargo, UPS, Target, Starbucks and SiriusXM, among others at CNBC's Global CFO Council, were tasked with describing Trump in the group's quarterly survey. Each used a single word to characterize the president's leadership capabilities, with several C-level professionals using the same negative-leaning phrases, CNBC reported Friday.
Four CFOs described Trump as "chaotic." Two said the president was "erratic," with another two stating that he is "reckless." The commander-in-chief also was called "unpredictable" by two of those surveyed.
The vast majority of answers were far from positive, alluding to the president's ego and short temper by calling him "narcissistic," "self-absorbed" and "disjointed." Other responses were less damaging, though arguably unfavorable: One CFO called Trump "unconventional," while another wrote the president is "disruptive."
Hundreds of men swept up in the hunt for al-Qaida militants have disappeared into a secret network of prisons in southern Yemen where abuse is routine and torture extreme - including the "grill," in which the victim is tied to a spit like a roast and spun in a circle of fire, an Associated Press investigation has found.
Senior American defense officials acknowledged Wednesday that U.S. forces have been involved in interrogations of detainees in Yemen but denied any participation in or knowledge of human rights abuses. Interrogating detainees who have been abused could violate international law, which prohibits complicity in torture.
The AP documented at least 18 clandestine lockups across southern Yemen run by the United Arab Emirates or by Yemeni forces created and trained by the Gulf nation, drawing on accounts from former detainees, families of prisoners, civil rights lawyers and Yemeni military officials. All are either hidden or off limits to Yemen's government, which has been getting Emirati help in its civil war with rebels over the last two years.
The secret prisons are inside military bases, ports, an airport, private villas and even a nightclub. Some detainees have been flown to an Emirati base across the Red Sea in Eritrea, according to Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab and others.
Several U.S. defense officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the topic, told AP that American forces do participate in interrogations of detainees at locations in Yemen, provide questions for others to ask, and receive transcripts of interrogations from Emirati allies. They said U.S. senior military leaders were aware of allegations of torture at the prisons in Yemen, looked into them, but were satisfied that there had not been any abuse when U.S. forces were present.
Lacks 'Fundamental Understanding' Of Climate Science
US Energy Secretary
The American Meteorological Society has told Rick Perry he lacks a 'fundamental understanding' of science after the US Energy Secretary claimed carbon dioxide was not a primary cause of climate change.
The former governor of Texas told CNBC TV that "the most likely the primary control knob [for climate change] is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in", rather than greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity.
Becoming the latest of Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) administration to dispute established science without any attempt at reasoned argument, Mr Perry also said it was "quite all right" to be a sceptic about climate change, suggesting the trait was one held by any "wise, intellectually engaged person".
In a letter, Keith Seitter, executive director of the American Meteorological Society, agreed that scepticism and debate were "critically important to the advancement of science".
"Scepticism that fails to account for evidence is no virtue. As noted above, the role of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases as the primary driver for the warming the Earth has experienced over the past several decades is extremely well established."
US Energy Secretary
Rising Temperatures And Acidification Threaten Species
Water temperatures in the northwestern Mediterranean are increasing much faster than global averages, threatening the survival of several species, French researchers said.
Weekly water temperature readings by researchers at the Villefranche-sur-Mer oceanography laboratory have shown that Mediterranean surface water temperatures have increased by 0.7 degrees between 2007 and 2015.
The researchers, who believe their findings apply to an area that includes Spain, France, and Italy, also said in a note summarizing their study that the water's acidity has increased by nearly seven percent.
"The acidification and warming up of the water are due to carbon dioxide emissions from human activities," French CNRS researcher Jean-Pierre Gattuso told Reuters.
Gattuso said that plankton tends to migrate north in order to maintain an optimum temperature, but that is not possible in the Mediterranean, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean only via the narrow Strait of Gibraltar.
Stock Hits Record
McDonald's has long been the first job for legions of teenagers, but they soon could be getting competition from a new source: the fast food chain's automated kiosks. McDonald's share price hit a record $154 Thursday, and analysts credited the company's gradual move toward self-serve kiosks, CNBC reported.
Within the past year, McDonald's eateries across the country have installed large kiosks where customers can place their own orders. Through the kiosks, you can construct orders and customize burgers or meals without needing a human cashier. The chain hopes to have the kiosks installed in 2,500 restaurants by the end of the year and also plans to launch mobile ordering in 14,000 locations within the same timeframe.
In a post to clients, CNBC reported, financial analyst Andrew Charles of the Cowen Group said the chain's kiosk initiative will help improve its bottom line. Elsewhere in his note to investors, Charles upgraded his sales growth estimates for McDonald's from 2 percent to 3 percent and raised the price target for the company from $142 to $180.
The endorsement comes amid some struggles for the long-standing fast food chain. In recent years, McDonald's has struggled to remain competitive against consumer trends that have favored artisanal and local food. In response, the chain has explored adding higher-end variations to its standard menu, including burger options that feature boutique toppings like guacamole.
For workers, McDonald's move toward digital cashiers echoes larger retail trends. Akin to supermarkets and stores using self-serve checkout lanes, retailers have frequently looked toward computers and other automated stations to help improve efficiency and minimize labor costs. Among fast food and fast casual chains, Wendy's and Panera Bread also have explored adding similar kiosks to their stores.