Ben Jacobs and David Smith: Republican repeal of Obamacare fails as healthcare bill pulled from House vote (The Guardian)
Weeks of negotiations over American Health Care Act fail to create GOP consensus around replacement bill in stunning defeat for Donald Trump.
Kristin Salaky: "Hillary Clinton Cheers Move To Pull ACA Repeal Bill As 'Victory For All Americans'" (TPM)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took to Twitter Friday to celebrate the House Republicans' pulling of a vote on their bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, calling it a "victory for all Americans."
Marc Dion: Coat and Tie Required (Creators Syndicate)
I like to dress up for work, even though most of the other men don't. It's a vanity that harms me, since really nice clothes cost more than I can afford. In addition, the desire for a $300 pair of shoes sometimes causes me to volunteer for overtime shifts.
Froma Harrop: The Trump 'Faithful' Get the Budget Cuts They Voted For (Creators Syndicate)
Kentucky has become a favored dateline for many of President Donald Trump's fervent critics. They collect evidence there of betrayal, such as the ABC News item featuring a coal truck driver, "one of the Trump faithful," attached to a breathing tube and weeping over his expected loss of coverage for deadly black lung disease.
Peter Bradshaw: "Rotten Tomatoes: is the semi-fresh aggregation site really destroying cinema?" (The Guardian)
Batman v Superman producer Brett Ratner is right to address the site's dumbing down of film criticism, but his negative review is also a case of sour grapes.
Clive James: 'Coogan and Brydon are the funniest couple since Laurel and Hardy' (The Guardian)
The extras do uncanny impersonations of corpses, and sometimes can't keep it up.
Rosanna Greenstreet: Tracey Ullman: 'My best kiss? Kevin Kline is technically brilliant' (The Guardian)
The actor and comedian on marriage, children, and the records she should never have made.
Hadley Freeman: "Singer, musician, sex offender: let's remember the whole Chuck Berry" (The Guardian)
Why do we turn a blind eye to Berry's convictions, but not Roman Polanski's?
"If you need me, I'll be in the woods": Lucy Mangan on the joy of being alone (Stylist)
Not all heroes wear capes. My latest one is a man called Christopher Knight whose story about how he lived a life of complete solitude in the Maine woods for 27 years has just been published. One day he simply abandoned his job installing alarm systems and took off. After wandering around for a few months he found a good place to shelter and stayed there for nearly three decades, completely alone, completely happy - a silent idol for anyone who has felt the urge to just sack it all off and live the life of a hermit.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
BROWNBACK IS RED IN THE FACE.
THE PAST. THE PRESENT. THE FUTURE.
ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR NOW.
GET A SHAVE, LOSE 50 POUNDS AND SHUTUP!
THE SCAMMERS AND THE SCAMMED.
WAITING FOR A MIRACLE.
"THE NATIONAL RIDDLE"
THERE IS LIFE ON THE PLANET MARS.
POST TRUMP TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER. HE'S COMING TO GET US!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Sunny and on the cool side.
Public Memorial Service
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
Friends, family and fans have gathered together to celebrate the beautiful lives and legacies of Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher with a public memorial service at the Freedom Theater at Forest Lawn Cemetery Hollywood Hills on Saturday. The late mother-daughter duo died just one day apart from each other back in December.
The memorial, which was also live-streamed on DebbieReynolds.com, was organized by Debbie's son and Carrie's brother, Todd. While speaking with ET earlier this week, the producer anticipated that there wouldn't "be a dry eye in the house" -- and he wasn't wrong.
Set to a track from Star Wars, a video began, which featured Carrie's footprints, a Princess Leia birth certificate, pics and videos of Debbie and Carrie from the actress' childhood, and highlights from Carrie's most memorable scenes from the legendary franchise.
The next segment of the video began with vintage footage of Carrie singing Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight," accompanied with clips of scenes from some of her other popular film roles, like When Harry Met Sally, The Blues Brothers and Shampoo.
The video then turned the focus on Debbie, re-playing clips of her best dance moments from Singin' in the Rain, with words from Todd and Carrie about her career and envious drive.
Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher
They took an eight-hour flight just to look out the airplane's window, but it was an extraordinary view.
A charter plane that left Dunedin, New Zealand, late Thursday flew close to the Antarctic Circle to give the eager passengers an up-close look at the Aurora Australis, or Southern Lights.
Otago Museum Director Ian Griffin came up with the idea. An astronomer, Griffin said he was inspired after seeing the Southern Lights while flying as a guest on a NASA observatory plane.
He says the 134 seats on the chartered Boeing 767 sold out within five days and one man traveled from Spain for the trip. He says he could have filled the plane several times over, although they were only selling window seats and seats immediately adjacent, leaving the middle of the aircraft empty.
One seat cost 2,000 New Zealand dollars ($1,400) or double that for business class.
Cod Fishing Catches Plummet
The cod isn't so sacred in New England anymore.
The fish-and-chips staple was once a critical piece of New England's fishing industry, but catch is plummeting to all-time lows in the region. The decline of the fishery has made the U.S. reliant on foreign cod, and cod fish fillets and steaks purchased in American supermarkets and restaurants are now typically caught by Norway, Russia or Iceland in the north Atlantic.
In Maine, which is home to the country's second-largest Atlantic cod fishery, the dwindling catch has many wondering if cod fishing is a thing of the past.
State records say 2016 was historically bad for cod fishing in Maine. Fishermen brought less than 170,000 pounds (77,110 kilograms) of the fish to land in the state last year.
The haul was below the previous record low of about 250,000 pounds (113,398 kilograms) a year earlier. Maine's record year for cod was 1991, when fishermen brought more than 21 million pounds (9.5 million kilograms) of the bottom dweller to the docks, according to records that date to 1950.
Model Making Its Way Around World
It takes just about 27 days for the Moon we all know and love to make its way around the Earth, but it's going to take far longer for a giant model of the Moon to do the same. Museum of the Moon is an art exhibit that provides visitors with an up-close-and-personal look at our planet's only natural satellite, and it's currently traveling between festivals and universities so that everyone can experience its awesomeness.
Created by artist Luke Jerram, Museum of the Moon is described as "a fusion of lunar imagery, moonlight and surround sound composition." In practical terms, it's a huge model of the Moon measuring 30 feet in diameter, with every square inch of its sphere covered in ultra high-resolution NASA imagery of the lunar landscape. At 1:500,000 scale, each centimeter of the manmade Moon represents just over three miles of the real lunar surface.
The idea behind the project is to showcase how the Moon has impacted civilization since the dawn of mankind. To that end, the touring artwork will collect new bits of Moon lore from each place it visits, bringing new stories, beliefs, and traditions to every new location. The mini Moon has already visited France, the UK, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and will hop between festivals in Europe for much of the remainder of 2017.
Torch Health Care Bill
With the vote on the American Health Care Act looming, conservative media personalities and outlets that were backers of President Trump (R-Crooked) throughout the campaign are attacking the Obamacare replacement bill the White House supports.
Ann Coulter, right-wing provocateur and an avid supporter of the Trump campaign, has been attacking the bill as "Obamacare Lite" since its text became public, hammering House Speaker Paul Ryan along the way. "Could some investigative reporter write a piece explaining why Ryan is so hellbent on this deeply unpopular healthcare bill?" she wrote earlier this week, before criticizing Trump and Ryan for making tax cuts next on their legislative agenda instead of trade and immigration.
Matt Drudge, who had mostly stayed out of the AHCA fray, turned the banner of his website against Ryan on Friday morning. The line Drudge chose echoes a 2010 Nancy Pelosi quote, in which the then-House speaker said of the Affordable Care Act, "we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what's in it," a quote that was played often on Fox News and defended by Pelosi.
Breitbart News - formerly headed by Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon (R-Puppet Master) - has also been hammering the bill, which the right-wing site dubbed "Ryancare." On Friday, it promoted a New York magazine story stating that Bannon had expressed concerns over the fact the bill was "written by the insurance industry." The site has also been hammering Ryan, including releasing audio of the speaker during the 2016 campaign saying he wouldn't support Trump and publishing so many storiescriticizing Ryan and the bill that its journalists were scolded by the conservative National Review.
Apologizes for 'Pizzagate' Fake News
Conservative radio host Alex Jones apologized Friday for promoting an anti-government conspiracy theory that allegedly inspired one man to open fire in a Washington restaurant last year.
Broadcasting from his website InfoWars, Jones said he was not the author of the so-called "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory, but regretted prior comments made in support of it. He specifically appealed to James Alefantis, owner of Comet Ping Pong. The Washington pizza place was one of several that the theory's supporters believed hosted a child-sex trafficking ring sponsored by Democratic Party officials. In December, 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch entered the restaurant and opened fire with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle without any reported injuries. After his arrest, Welch claimed he was motivated to take action based on his belief of the theory and that he was an avid listener of Jones' radio show.
"I want our viewers and listeners to know that we regret any negative impact our commentaries may have had on Mr. Alefantis, Comet Ping Pong, or its employees. We apologize to the extent our commentaries could be construed as negative statements about Mr. Alefantis or Comet Ping Pong, and we hope that anyone else involved in commenting on Pizzagate will do the same thing," Jones said in a prepared.
Jones had previously supported the "Pizzagate" theory on his show and website, including a video entitled "PIZZAGATE: The Bigger Picture" posted days before the Comet Ping Pong attack. In the segment, Jones purported to link a number of high-profile pedophilia cases to a major operation led by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief John Podesta and using underground tunnels to traffic young children through the city. The rumors, which were widely discredited by authorities, were further fueled by the hacking and release of private Democratic Party emails, which conspiracy theorists alleged used code words to refer to the child abuse ring.
1 In 7
University of Texass
Nearly 15 percent of female undergraduates at the University of Texas at Austin reported being raped in a survey released by officials at the 50,000-student campus Friday.
The survey comes at a time when Baylor University and state lawmakers are facing a widespread sexual assault scandal involving football players at the nation's largest Baptist university.
The Texas survey data works out to about 1 in 7 undergraduate women in Austin. Nationwide, about 1 in 4 college women reported unwanted sexual contact in a 2015 survey by the Association of American Universities.
The flagship Texas campus is one of the largest in the U.S. and released Friday's report ahead of schedule after a legislator this week revealed the 15 percent figure during a hearing in the Texas Capitol. The Baylor scandal, which has engulfed the university for the past two years, has prompted several bills aimed at increasing reporting and reducing sexual assaults on campus.
Baylor officials have acknowledged at least 17 women reported being raped by 19 football players since 2011. Lawsuits against the school put the number of alleged sexual assaults at more than 50 over a four-year period. The scandal led to the firing of football coach Art Briles and university president Ken Starr (R-Panty-Sniffer) stepping down.
University of Texass
Wants To Bar Victims Testimony
Pink Panty Sheriff
Former Sheriff Joe Arpaio (R-Racist) wants to bar Latinos who were illegally detained in his signature immigration patrols from testifying at his upcoming trial on a criminal contempt-of-court charge.
Lawyers for Arpaio said in a court filing Friday that allowing such victim testimony at his April 25 trial would prejudice their client and be irrelevant in determining whether he committed a crime.
The retired lawman faces the misdemeanor charge for defying a 2011 court order in a racial profiling case that prohibited his immigration patrols. Rank-and-file officers weren't told about the court order, leaving them to violate the order for about 17 months.
Arpaio has acknowledged prolonging his immigration patrols, but he insists his defiance wasn't intentional. The 84-year-old, if convicted, could face up to six months in jail.
Prolonging the patrols fueled an increase in taxpayer-funded legal costs in the profiling case and is believed to have contributed to the Republican lawman's election loss in November to Democrat Paul Penzone after 24 years in office.
Pink Panty Sheriff
"Mr. Social Security" Pleads Guilty
A flamboyant Kentucky lawyer who billed himself as "Mr. Social Security" pleaded guilty Friday for his role in what prosecutors portrayed as a long-running scheme to defraud the government of nearly $600 million in federal disability payments.
Eric C. Conn pleaded guilty in federal court in Lexington to stealing from the Social Security Administration and bribing a federal judge. The man who lived in a palatial eastern Kentucky home and was a frequent world traveler faces up to 12 years in prison at his July 14 sentencing.
Federal prosecutors claimed Conn raked in millions of dollars by paying a doctor and a judge to rubber-stamp false disability claims using phony medical evidence.
Conn, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money and one count of payment of gratuities. His legal team did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
According to the plea, Conn participated in a more than decade-long scheme involving the submission of thousands of falsified medical documents to the Social Security Administration. Those fraudulent submissions resulted in payment of more than $550 million in benefits, it said.