Paul Krugman: Republicans' Tax Lies Show the Rot Spreads Wide and Runs Deep (NY Times Column)
Bad faith touches every aspect of the G.O.P.'s sales pitch to ram a bill through.
JIM TANKERSLEY: A 'Main Street' Tax Speech Becomes a Trump Riff on the Rich (NY Times)
Attacking the rich is exactly the sort of language that helped Mr. Trump win the presidency, and that has formed the foundation of the sales pitch both Senate and House Republicans have made for their versions of the tax bill. It is not supported by independent analyses.
Josh Marshall: Everything Falls Away But the Racism (TPM)
[…] racism - white racial grievance, immigration restriction, generalized bashing of basically any political or cultural assertion by African-Americans - is the only consistent and persistent line connecting the campaign to the presidency. This is not quite the same as saying that that's the only real bottom line for his supporters - though there's a lot of truth to that. But for Trump, that's clearly the only thing that isn't opportunistic and situational. Those all fall away. The only thing that doesn't is the ethno-nationalism and racism. It's the real him.
Alice Ollstein: JCT Report: No, The GOP Tax Bill Does Not Pay For Itself (TPM)
Just a few hours before holding a vote on a bill to fundamentally overhaul the American tax code and kill Obamacare's individual mandate, senators received a bombshell report from the Joint Committee on Taxation finding that the bill would cost the federal government about $1 trillion dollars over a decade, even when taking into account increased revenues from economic growth.
Jill Filipovic: Matt Lauer is gone. He's left heartbreak in his wake (Guardian)
The beloved NBC host was fired on Wednesday. We must deal with complexity of admiring a man - and accepting that he may have done something awful.
Anna Leszkiewicz: Paddington 2 is a perfect tonic for the gloomy winter (New Statesman)
There are wonderful little jokes hidden amid the slapstick.
Ruth Graham: Why Garrison Keillor's Fall From Grace Feels Particularly Queasy-Making (Slate)
Keillor's shtick was nostalgia, so I hope it's appropriate to indulge on some on the eve of his fall from grace. He was a masterful storyteller and stylist, a booster of great musical talents, and a compelling performer, heavy breathing and all. Who knows what else he might be-we'll surely find out. Lake Wobegon never existed, but it will still hurt to watch it burn to the ground.
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
Cynthia shared the link below. I am Joy!!!!
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
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
"WE ARE STILL IN".
"CROSS MY HEART AND HOPE TO BE LORETTA LYNCH"
"…HE MIGHT JUST BE PITIFUL."
TAKE THE WEENIE OUT OF YOUR BUTT!
IS TRUMPS CASTLE CRUMBLING?
THE NEW ROYAL FAMILY.
DOES TRUMP HAVE DEMENTIA?
VACUUM YOUR WALLET CLEAN WITH THE NEW "HOOVER DELUX"!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
It's Friday, so I'm running late.
A year and a half after calling Donald Trump (R-Crooked) a "kook" who was "unfit for office," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-Narnia, blasted the press for attempting to label Trump as "some kind of kook not fit to be president."
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Graham responded to a question about whether he was concerned about reports of Trump dabbling in conspiracy theories by saying his real issue was with the media questioning the president's mental stability.
"You know what concerns me about the American press is this endless, endless attempt to label the guy as some kind of kook not fit to be president. He did win, by the way. He beat me and 16 others."
Perhaps the media got the idea from something Graham said on Fox News in February 2016, when the two were squaring off in the 2016 Republican primary.
"I'm not going to try and get into the mind of Donald Trump because I don't think there's a whole of space there," said Graham. "I think he's a kook. I think he's crazy. I think he's unfit for office."
Uncomfortable Video Clips Circulate
"Pretty sweater. Keep bending over like that," Matt Lauer tells his "Today" co-host, Meredith Vieira. "It's a nice view."
That off-air comment, captured by cameras in 2006, is one of the uncomfortable moments in what amounts to an excruciatingly awkward highlight reel that's been circulating over social media since Lauer's sudden downfall on Wednesday, when NBC fired him for inappropriate sexual behavior.
Some of the clips are merely a little cringe-worthy given the hindsight of subsequent events; others more disturbing. In the latter category is Lauer's less-than-tasteful - some would say nasty and patronizing - questioning of actress Anne Hathaway in 2012 after paparazzi had taken a revealing photo up her skirt as she exited a car. "Seen a lot of you lately," Lauer wisecracked. Then, saying "Let's just get it out of the way," he forced her to respond to the tawdry incident and tell him what "lesson" she'd learned. Hathaway was lauded for her restrained answer, in which she found a way to segue smoothly to her character in "Les Miserables," the film she was there to promote.
In a much more high-stakes encounter in 2016, during the election, Lauer was roundly criticized for interrupting candidate Hillary Clinton repeatedly and grilling her endlessly on her personal email issue - asking her if it was a disqualifying factor in her presidential quest - while he was much less challenging of her opponent, Donald Trump. Lauer was accused not only of a lack of preparation but, by some, of sexism. "I was almost physically sick," Clinton would write in her memoir, "What Happened."
Then there was Lauer's 2014 interview with the first female CEO of General Motors, Mary Barra . After mentioning her significant qualifications for the job, he then asked: "There are some people who are speculating that you also got this job as a woman, and as a mom, because people within General Motors knew this company was in for a very tough time, and as a woman and a mom you could present a softer face and softer image for this company as it goes through this horrible episode. Does it make sense or does it make you bristle?" Barra responded firmly that she was "selected for this job based on my qualifications."
Heretical Text Discovered At Oxford University
An original copy of a piece of heretical Christian writing describing Jesus's secret teachings to his brother James has been discovered in archives at Oxford University.
The script, more than 1,500 years old, is one of only a small number of early Christian texts to have been found in Greek, their original language of composition.
Biblical scholars from the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) discovered several fragments of the manuscript, known as the First Apocalypse of James, lost among the Egypt Exploration Society's archives at Oxford.
The text forms part of the the Nag Hammadi library - a collection of 13 Coptic Gnostic books discovered in a terracotta pot in Upper Egypt in 1945 - and was previously thought only to have survived in Coptic translations.
The apocryphal writings were considered heretical because they fell outside the canonical boundaries set by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria. In a 367AD letter that defined the 27-book New Testament, the Bishop wrote: "No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them."
T-rump Doesn't Understand The Bible
Sweet Jesus, Donald Trump (R-Voll von Scheisse) doesn't even understand the Bible's most important story!
At Thursday night's annual Christmas tree lighting at the White House, the president-for-now recounted the birth of Jesus by saying it "begins 2,000 years ago with a mother, a father, their baby son."
Their baby? Um, care to take a paternity test?
As all devout Christians believe, Jesus is not the son of Joseph, but of God. Yes, the future savior was born in Bethlehem during the time of Herod to Mary, the wife of Joseph. And, as Luke 2:1-20 tells us, Joseph was around when Jesus was born.
"According to the bible, GOD was the father of Jesus. Faux Christian Trump who does not attend church!" added a Twitter user named Arizona.
Federal Judge Slams Administration
A visibly frustrated federal judge ordered the Trump administration to tell her - by 5 p.m. Thursday - whether an American citizen the government has detained incommunicado for months has been advised of his constitutional rights and whether he has asked for legal representation.
The U.S. government accuses the man of fighting for the Islamic State, but so far has refused to release his name or charge him with any crime. Instead, the military has imprisoned him in Iraq, without access to a lawyer, since mid-September. The man has asked for a lawyer at least twice, The Washington Post reportedlast month.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a habeas corpus petition - a formal way to challenge an individual's imprisonment - on the man's behalf on Oct. 5, after he had already been in prison for several weeks. If the group prevails, it could force the government to allow its lawyers to represent the detainee and to meet with him privately.
The Trump administration has argued that because the ACLU's lawyers do not know the prisoner, they do not have legal standing to represent him in court. But U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan was unimpressed by that argument in a Thursday morning hearing.
Chutkan asked Kathryn Wyer, the Justice Department attorney arguing on behalf of the government, at least four times whether the prisoner had been advised of his constitutional rights and whether he had asked for a lawyer. Wyer initially dodged the question, telling the judge that the Defense Department has not made formal statement on those matters, and attempted to shift the focus to whether the ACLU has standing to represent the detainee.
Versus Christian Faith
When conservative Christian baker Jack Phillips (R-Bigot) in 2012 politely but firmly told Colorado gay couple David Mullins and Charlie Craig he would not make them a cake to celebrate their wedding, it triggered a chain of events that will climax on Tuesday in highly anticipated U.S. Supreme Court arguments.
Phillips contends the U.S. Constitution's free speech guarantees protect him from making a cake that would violate his religious beliefs against gay marriage. To Mullins and Craig, the baker's refusal represented a simple case of unlawful discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In one of the biggest cases of the conservative-majority court's nine-month term, the justices -- just two years after legalizing gay marriage -- must decide whether Phillips' action was constitutionally protected and he can avoid punishment for violating Colorado anti-discrimination law.
A ruling favoring Phillips could open the door for certain businesses to spurn gay couples by invoking religious beliefs, as some wedding photographers, florists and others already have done.
The brief encounter at Phillips' Masterpiece Cakeshop in the Denver suburb of Lakewood left Mullins and Craig distraught. They filed a successful complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the first step in the five-year-old legal battle that the nine justices will resolve in a ruling due by the end of June.
Evidence Mounts Against
Climate Change Hiatus
Evidence is mounting against the so-called climate change hiatus - a period lasting from 1998 to 2012 - when global temperatures allegedly stopped rising as sharply as they had before. This misconception can be explained, in part, by missing temperature data from the Arctic, a new study finds.
That seeming pause in rising global temperatures had been used as evidence by climate skeptics to suggest that the Earth wasn't really warming at an unnatural pace.
To get around the data gap, researchers from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) and China created the first global data set of surface temperatures. They filled in the missing puzzle piece with data taken from buoys drifting in the Arctic Ocean during the so-called global warming hiatus, the researchers said.
"We recalculated the average global temperatures from 1998 to 2012 and found that the rate of global warming had continued to rise at 0.112 degrees Celsius [0.2 degrees Fahrenheit] per decade, instead of slowing down to 0.05 degrees C [0.09 degrees F] per decade as previously thought," study co-researcher Xiangdong Zhang, an atmospheric scientist with UAF's International Arctic Research Center, said in a statement.
The new estimates reveal that the Arctic heated up rapidly during this period - more than six times the global average, said Zhang, who is also a professor with UAF's College of Natural Science and Mathematics.
Climate Change Hiatus
The military has identified 100 sailors and Marines killed when the USS Oklahoma capsized during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 76 years ago, officials said Friday.
The milestone comes two years after the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency dug up nearly 400 sets of remains from a Hawaii cemetery.
Officials exhumed the bodies after determining that advances in forensic science and genealogical help from families could make identifications possible. The buried Marines and sailors have been classified as missing since World War II.
The agency has said it expects to identify about 80 percent of the battleship's missing crew members by 2020.
The agency has been studying dental records and DNA to make identifications. It sent exhumed remains to a lab at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, for analysis. The lab sent some 5,000 samples to a military DNA lab.
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; $8,923,368; $115.47.
3. Coldplay; $4,648,194; $110.96.
4. Lady Gaga; $2,961,474; $115.83.
5. Guns N' Roses; $2,881,756; $114.84.
6. Bruno Mars; $2,443,357; $108.70.
7. Roger Waters; $2,219,746; $118.32.
8. Ed Sheeran; $1,423,663; $85.04.
9. Depeche Mode; $1,372,431; $87.90.
10. Kendrick Lamar; $1,204,555; $87.16.
11. Tim McGraw / Faith Hill; $1,113,064; $83.22.
12. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band; $1,084,704; $89.82.
13. Florida Georgia Line; $1,066,577; $53.38.
14. Jerry Seinfeld; $1,023,544; $121.06.
15. The Weeknd; $997,112; $84.52.
16. Luke Bryan; $995,284; $53.18.
17. J. Cole; $969,354; $80.78.
18. Zac Brown Band; $968,969; $51.39.
19. Dave Chappelle; $958,016; $122.67.
20. John Mayer; $872,558; $64.92.
Global Concert Tours