Marc Dion: The Guy's Guide to Sexual Harassment (Creators Syndicate)
When I was a kid, if I belted one of my cousins in the mouth while arguing over a sled, and knocked him face first into a snow bank, my mother used to apply one piece of wisdom. "How would you like it if somebody did that to you?" she'd say, shortly before clipping me sharply over the left ear. She was right-handed, so her shots always landed on my left ear.
Josh Marshall: Republicans Are Building Themselves a Political Trap with 'Tax Reform' (TPM)
Given how this year has unfolded, we should not underestimate Republicans' ability to snatch legislative defeat from the jaws of victory. Still, it looks like Republicans will get their prized 'tax reform'. Yes, the bill is horrendous policy on numerous fronts. But don't ignore the fact that Republicans appear to be building a perilous trap for themselves to fall into. Yes, they're jamming it through before anyone can get a good look at what's in it. Even they don't know what's in it. But remember, they and we will have all 2018 to find out.
Benjamin Lee: The Disaster Artist review - James Franco's ode to bad film-making is a riot(The Guardian)
The story behind cult movie The Room is brought to life with affection and painstaking detail and features a staggering transformation from the lead.
Lee Fang: GOP'S LIST OF ECONOMISTS BACKING TAX CUT INCLUDES GHOSTS, OFFICE ASSISTANTS, EX-FELONS, AND A SPRINKLING OF REAL ECONOMISTS (The Intercept)
But a review of the economists listed on the letter reveals a number of discrepancies, including economists that are supposedly still academics but are actually retired, and others who have never been employed as economists. One might not even exist.
Lenore Skenazy: The Senses Census (Creators Syndicate)
But perhaps most amazing of all is the fact that this exhibition is in a modern-day science museum, and it actually ends on a high note, celebrating mankind's inventiveness. So many exhibitions (and documentaries and magazine articles and nonprofit donation appeals) end with the exact opposite message: "Nature is great, but man has screwed it up forever. Thanks a lot, manglers."
Froma Harrop: Democrats Need to Drop Identity Politics - Now (Creators Syndicate)
To concede that white working-class Americans have problems needing to be addressed does not preclude acknowledging the justified complaints of various minorities - ethnic, racial and gender-based. But this fixation on identity groups causes two kinds of harm.
Froma Harrop: Little Shelter in the Land of the Scam, Home of the Fleeced (Creators Syndicate)
A circle in hell has been set aside for financiers who fleece ordinary folks. This hot place has long rung with demands of death to the agency that protects working Americans from their pillage. President Trump is on the case as he tries to kill the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by putting its enemies in charge.
Alice Ollstein: How The Senate GOP Got The Votes To Overhaul The Tax Code And Strike A Blow To Obamacare (TPM)
A few hours before the final vote, the Senate's Republican Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) told TPM that leadership overrode Corker's concerns and convinced every other member of the caucus-despite ample evidence to the contrary-that the tax cuts will pay for themselves. "There are those of us who simply believe that the economy will grow much faster than the Joint Committee on Taxation projects," he said. "Their modeling is defective.
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Michelle in AZ
I sold short-sales and foreclosed properties exclusively between 2007 and 2013. When I had my first equity sale (where the seller came out with money) in 2013 I literally had to ask my broker how to proceed; I'd forgotten after 6 years in the trenches with people who were beset with the worst woes a homeowner can have.
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
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY.
"…MASS MURDERING NATURE."
"…A SCREAMING NIGHTMARE."
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Visited the local mall - it was no busier than any other Saturday.
Republicans Will Cut Social Security And Medicare
Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Little Marco) admits that the Republican tax cut plan to aid corporations and the wealthy will require cuts to Social Security and Medicare to pay for it.
Rubio told reporters this week that in order to address the federal deficit, which will grow by at least $1 trillion if the tax plan passes, Congress will need to cut entitlement programs such as Social Security. Advocates for the elderly and the poor have warned that entitlement programs would be on the chopping block, but this is the first time a prominent Republican has backed their claims.
"We have to do two things. We have to generate economic growth which generates revenue, while reducing spending. That will mean instituting structural changes to Social Security and Medicare for the future," Rubio told a crowd at a Politico conference. Rubio's talk of structural change is vague, but will likely include changing the rate and age of Social Security and Medicare payouts.
So where does that money come from?
The simple answer is Social Security and Medicare, which together comprise 38 percent of the total federal budget, second only to military spending.
If He Watched Fox News
Former President Barack Obama on Friday said Fox News's coverage is so "weird" that he wouldn't even have voted for himself if his only source of news was the right-leaning network.
"Those who watch Fox News and those who read the New York Times occupy completely different realities. If I watch Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me," he said at the Hindustan TimesLeadership Summit in India. "Because there's this unrecognizable character ... I would watch it [and say] 'Who is that guy? This character named Barack Obama and he's just portrayed in these weird ways.'"
Obama was bemoaning the fact that technology enables snap judgments and so-called "information silos" in which different groups of people get different news. As far as Fox News goes, he may have a point: After the first year of his presidency, the Center for Media and Public Affairs found that Obama coverage on Special Report with Bret Baier was 79 percent negative.
"There are these selective clips that come out where the sentence isn't finished, and it is all edited and shaped to promote a certain story," Obama said Friday, adding that those "multiple realities" make it hard for democracy to work.
Obama has railed against Fox News before. In 2010, he told Rolling Stone that while he supported the right to a free press, he saw the outlet as "part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view." He went on to say that he thought that perspective was "ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world."
ABC Suspends For 4 Weeks Without Pay
ABC News has announced that Brian Ross would be suspended for four weeks without pay "effective immediately."
Ross came under considerable fire on Friday after he erroneously reported on live television that then-candidate Donald Trump (R-Crooked) had instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians. In a correction seven hours later, the channel admitted that it was "President-elect" Trump who had made the request of Flynn - a pretty significant difference.
ABC issued a correction on Twitter and also updated their original article.
"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday," the network continued in its latest statement. "The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.
"As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online," it concluded.
CBS Evening News
The "CBS Evening News" gets a new face and an additional run time starting Monday.
Jeff Glor takes over as the broadcast's anchor replacing Scott Pelley, who was shown the door - or, rather, sent back across the street to "60 Minutes" - after six years this past spring. The network also announced Friday that the evening news will be replayed each night at 10 on the CBSN streaming service, an additional viewing opportunity for people who aren't around a television set at dinnertime.
The shift to a 42-year-old anchor and effort to make the evening news more accessible to more screens represents a generational change.
Glor's ascendance is evidence of another shift in perception in television news. The evening newscasts had long been the flagships for news divisions, home to leaders like Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. Morning shows are where the money is for broadcasters. Cable news networks, where the light never goes out, suck away attention - even though more than 20 million people sit down to watch the ABC, CBS or NBC newscasts each weekday evening.
When ABC hired David Muir to anchor "World News Tonight," it turned to a young (he's 44), lesser-known newsman instead of a glittery, expensive star. The network has been rewarded as ABC eclipsed Lester Holt on NBC's "Nightly News" in the ratings.
CBS Evening News
Guilty Plea Pulls Pence Closer To Russia Spotlight
With Michael Flynn's guilty plea bringing fresh attention to what Vice President Mike Pence (R-Right-Wind Radio Hack) knew about possible Russian collusion and when he knew it, Pence's office has a ready answer: Not much and really late.
So far Pence has remained at the periphery of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
He's repeatedly toed the Trumpian line that any suggestion of collusion between the campaign and the Russians was nonsense. But he's also pointed out that he wasn't chosen as Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) running mate until after the campaign started making contact with Russian officials. And he's been careful to couch his own remarks about Russia with phrases like "I'm not aware" and "the president has made it very clear."
Now, Flynn's guilty plea to a single count of lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russian officials moves Pence closer to the spotlight.
When Flynn, Trump's original national security adviser and longtime campaign aide, was fired just three weeks after the president took office, the purported reason was that Flynn had lied to Pence about his contacts with Russia during the transition - a transition led by Pence himself.
Hails 'Traditional Values'
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday participated in a congress of top clerics in Moscow, a first for a Russian leader, in a drive for ever tighter relations between the Kremlin and the Orthodox Church.
The symbolic gesture, hailed by Patriarch Kirill as a "historic event," shows Putin's eagerness to fortify already strong ties with the church ahead of March presidential polls, despite a constitutional separation between church and state in the country.
Putin is the first Russian president to visit the meeting of Orthodox bishops, the Russian church's top decision-making body that meets at least every four years and which, among other things, elects the patriarch.
Since Putin first came to power in 2000, the Russian church has enjoyed vastly increased influence and finances, with the government supporting restitution of cathedrals and monasteries that served non-religious purposes in Soviet times.
The church is also increasing its impact on traditionally secular institutions such as schools, with the educational system establishing lessons in religion and clerics lobbying for conservative textbooks.
A Has-Been Actor & A Fascist
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte brought in a special guest on Friday to rally troops battling Islamic State followers in the south -- US action "hero" Steven Seagal.
The star of 80s and 90s hits like "Hard to Kill" and "Under Siege" joined Duterte in a visit to an army camp on the island of Jolo.
He was there to impart martial wisdom to soldiers fighting the feared Abu Sayyaf, a band of Muslim extremists, some of whose members have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.
Although his military background outside Hollywood is questionable, Seagal lectured the troops on how they would have to steel themselves for a lengthy war of attrition.
A beaming Duterte praised Seagal, telling the troops "he is a soldier so he is on the same wavelength with you when he talks".
Postal Regulators Move
Seeking to bolster the ailing U.S. Postal Service, federal regulators moved on Friday to allow bigger jumps to stamp prices beyond the rate of inflation, a move that could eventually add millions more dollars to companies' shipping rates from prescription drugs to magazine subscriptions.
The Postal Regulatory Commission announced the decision as part of a much-anticipated, 10-year review of the Postal Service's stamp rates. It concluded that the post office's mounting red ink from declining mail volume and costs from its pension and health care obligations hamper the ability to provide reliable mail and package service in the digital age.
The commission's plan would give the Postal Service freedom to raise the price of its first-class stamp, now at 49 cents, by an additional 2 percent above the rate of inflation to help avoid bankruptcy and make needed multi-billion dollar investments, such as upgraded information technology and new delivery trucks.
The post office could also tack on another 1 percent to the stamp price if it met certain standards for "operational efficiency" and quality service.
In all, that could translate to an increase of up to a few cents each year, depending on rates of inflation, compared with roughly 1 cent per year previously. The new pricing system would be in place for at least the next five years.
As more states lessen or eliminate marijuana penalties, the Army is granting hundreds of waivers to enlist people who used the drug in their youth - as long as they realize they can't do so again in the military.
The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted. The big increase is just one way officials are dealing with orders to expand the Army's size.
"Provided they understand that they cannot do that when they serve in the military, I will waive that all day long," said Maj. Gen. Jeff Snow, head of the Army's recruiting command.
The marijuana use exclusions represent about one-quarter of the total misconduct waivers the Army granted in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. They accounted for much of the 50 percent increase overall in recruits who needed a waiver for some type of misconduct.
Army data show more than 8,000 recruits received waivers in 2017, compared with about 6,700 last year. Most waivers concerned physical or mental health.