Josh Marshall: Our Problem with Monopolies, and Why Everything Sucks (TPM)
[Time Warner Cable's business class service] was quite simply a disaster - a slow motion seven year disaster. It frequently went out. Or it got ridiculously slow for no reason. We'd call and be told it was out neighborhood-wide when we later learned it was a problem with our connection. Or a problem supposedly with our modem was actually the whole block. Or we'd be told […]
Josh Marshall: Which of Them Will Drop The Knife? (TPM)
The fun thing for Republicans about this morning's [May 2] push to pass Trumpcare 3.0 in the House is that it's so close that basically each of the remaining undecided Republicans will reasonably be the "deciding" vote that lost health care for 20+ million people and got rid of protections for people with pre-existing conditions. So not, "House Republicans passed" it. But you, Rep. X cast the deciding vote that lost these 20+ million people lost their health care. You did it. It was you.
ALICE OLLSTEIN: "Message To Health Care Holdouts: Relax, The Senate Will Save You" (TPM)
Republican leaders boasted Tuesday that they are on the cusp of securing the votes needed to repeal the Affordable Care Act […].
As leaders pressure and cajole the remaining holdouts to fall in line, several lawmakers confirmed that one argument they are using is an assurance that the Senate will strip out many of the bill's most controversial provisions.
Mark Morford: "100 days in the hole: Trump's vulgar America, so far" (SF Gate)
Blocking Trump's most odious attempts to defenestrate human progress? Now that's an accomplishment. And it's all thanks, of course, to numerous heroes, institutions and fearless resistance fighters, from the ACLU to community-hall protesters, Women's March activists to a re-galvanized, newly focused mainstream media. Resistance is strong, and getting stronger.
JASON FAGONE: WHAT BULLETS DO TO BODIES (Huffington Post)
The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.
Garrison Keillor: Late-night driving, right-hand thinking (Washington Post)
I'm old and cautious and on Social Security. But I could still pull off something big.
"In these uncertain times we all need to steady each other": Lucy Mangan is exasperated by the election (Stylist)
Why? Why now? I mean, for the love of God, Theresa, why call a general election now? I mean - I know why. The Conservatives are miles ahead in the polls (because Labour is currently headed by some old geography teacher offcuts from the Seventies that someone thought would be lolz to put a baseball cap on and have stand for the leadership two years ago) and want to turn that into a massive parliamentary majority.
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Michelle in AZ
It's always all about money with the pathetic, ignorant, racist, misogynistic orange ass.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
TRUMP IS HAVING A COW!
JUST LIKE SCALEY!
GET THE LEAD OUT!
THEY WILL BE LAFFER-ING ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.
THE REPUBLICAN LIARS, CHEATS AND THIEVES.
"WHAT A DISGUSTING, LYING, DESPICABLE EXCUSE FOR A HUMAN BEING."
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
The power charger for the kid's computer took a dive, but we found a replacement. A very expensive replacement. Yikes.
Defends Controversial Jokes
Stephen Colbert has addressed the controversial jokes about Donald Trump (R-Corrupt) that sparked a #FireColbert campaign over the past two days… but stopped short of an apology.
"Welcome to 'The Late Show.' I'm your host, Stephen Colbert," he says at the top of Wednesday night's show, according to a transcript obtained from CBS. "Still? I am still the host? I'm still the host!!"
"Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine," he continues. "So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don't regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So, it's a fair fight."
The rant in question was sparked by Trump's treatment of CBS News' John Dickerson during an interview, when POTUS abruptly stopped the conversation after Dickerson questioned him about wire-tapping claims. Colbert took it upon himself to say to Trump the things Dickerson could not.
On Monday, Colbert addressed Trump directly, telling him, "Sir, you attract more skinheads than free Rogaine. You have more people marching against you than cancer. You talk like a sign language gorilla that got hit in the head. In fact, the only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c--k holster."
Fracking In Only National Forest
Four conservation groups on Tuesday sued the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in an attempt to halt fracking plans in a portion of Ohio's only national forest.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Columbus, argues that the federal agencies failed to sufficiently analyze risks to watersheds, public health, climate and endangered species including Indiana bats, before auctioning 670 acres (270 hectares) in December of the Wayne National Forest in southeast Ohio for eventual hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of underground shale.
The groups are seeking an injunction to halt oil and gas leasing and development until a new assessment can be made. Fracking involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to fracture shale and release natural gas and oil.
The portion for forest in question, known as the Marietta Unit, is located near Ohio's border with West Virginia along the Ohio River. The Bureau of Land Management's environmental assessment previously found no significant impact in opening leasing to gas and oil companies.
Conservation groups who filed the suit, including the Ohio Sierra Club and the Ohio Environmental Council, argued fracking would bring roads, well pads and gas lines into the state's only national forest, destroy Indiana bat habitat and other threatened species, and pollute watersheds and water supplies.
From the perspective of us here on Earth, clouds are usually pretty boring. Sure, sometimes we spot one that looks cool or see a unique formation that we take a photo of for Instagram and then move on with our lives. But for astronauts and satellite cameras looking down on the planet from above, clouds have a ton of personality. Recently, NASA Earth Observatory created a fantastic video compilation of some of the most stunning cloud photographs the agency has captured over the years, along with handy bits of info about how clouds form and why they act the way they do.
From Canada and Morocco to Madagascar and Peru, each cloud formation is completely different from the ones before it, and each has a unique set of circumstances that allowed it to take shape.
One of the coolest of the bunch, and the only one in the slideshow that shows signs of direct influence form humans, is this photo of what NASA terms "hole-punch clouds."
The thin sheet of cloud cover over Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas in this image shows how human air traffic can change the way clouds look and move. The holes and jagged scars in the clouds are actually created by jet liners making their way through.
Luxury Train Has Bath And Fireplace
It's got Michelin-starred chefs, solid cypress bathtubs and a cosy snug complete with roaring fire: the Shiki-Shima could hold its own against any five-star hotel. Not bad for a train.
In a country best known for its super-fast "Shinkansen" bullet trains, the emphasis in Japan's latest extravaganza on rails is on savouring the moment, with no expense spared to create the most luxurious travelling experience.
Customers willing to shell out up to 950,000 yen ($8,500) per person can enjoy a top-of-the-range suite aboard the Shiki-Shima for four days and three nights of unparalleled extravagance.
The 10-car train has huge viewing windows through which customers can see the northern Japanese countryside used to grow the ingredients in seasonal delicacies prepared by the onboard chefs.
After dinner they can gather for a drink around the piano, or sit and soak up the atmosphere next to the fireplace -- actually a trick created by steam and coloured light -- on a journey that takes them from Tokyo to the northernmost island of Hokkaido and back again.
Doubles Down On Dubious Civil War Claim
Donald Trump (R-Fabulist) has doubled down on his assertion that President Andrew Jackson could have prevented the Civil War.
"President Andrew Jackson, who died 16 years before the Civil War started, saw it coming and was angry," Trump tweeted late Monday. "Would never have let it happen!"
In a Sirius XM Radio interview published earlier that day, Trump seemed to suggest that Jackson, a slaveholding plantation owner who died in 1845, could have struck a deal to stop the Civil War, which began in 1861, and that the causes of the bloodiest conflict in the nation's history had not been thoroughly assessed, addressed or discussed.
"I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn't have had the Civil War," Trump said. "He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart, and he was really angry that he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, 'There's no reason for this.' People don't realize, you know, the Civil War, you think about it, why? People don't ask that question. But why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?"
The comments raised the eyebrows of many historians, who questioned Trump's understanding of Jackson's beliefs specifically and American history in general.
The Heritage Foundation, a leading conservative think tank that has gained influence in Republican-controlled Washington, fired its leader Jim DeMint on Tuesday, and sources close to the situation said the organization's leadership determined he had veered too far from its conservative principals and too close to Donald Trump's White House.
A scathing statement from Thomas A. Saunders III, chairman of The Heritage Foundation's Board of Trustees, did not go into specifics of any disagreement but did cite problems with internal communications and other "management issues."
"After a comprehensive and independent review of the entire Heritage organization, the Board determined there were significant and worsening management issues that led to a breakdown of internal communications and cooperation," Saunders said in a statement.
Two political operatives who work with the organization said DeMint's opponents argued that he had grown too close to Trump and too far from the conservative principles on which the organization was founded.
Donald Trump (R-Grifter) has reportedly frozen $10 million (£7.7m) of grants destined to counter violent extremism in the US.
More than 30 organisations were pegged by former President Barack Obama's office to receive funding, although the White House has since put the grants on hold pending review.
Among those approved were local governments, city police departments, universities and non-profit organisations fighting all forms of violent extremism in the US.
Former white supremacist Chuck Leek, who has since become a volunteer with Life After Hate - one of the organisations that was due to receive government funding - said the white supremacy movement was becoming more active.
"The white supremacist movement is far more active in the last six months than I have seen it in 10 or 12 years," he told CBS.
Shortly after Terrill Thomas was put in solitary confinement, US prison guards deemed him too noisy and cut off his water supply.
A week later the 38-year-old mentally ill black man was found dead on his cell's concrete floor.
The stunning details of Thomas' dehydration death have sparked national outrage in a country with an already controversial criminal justice system.
Thomas's death has shone a controversial spotlight on Milwaukee's ultra-conservative, cowboy hat-wearing black Sheriff David Clarke, who ardently supported Donald Trump (R-Crooked) during the presidential campaign.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel daily, Clarke flew into a rage and threatened Milwaukee's chief coroner who had ruled Thomas's death a homicide.
Fossil Fuel Champion To Run Renewable Energy Office
Donald Trump (R-Mountebank) has chosen a champion of fossil fuels to run the federal government's renewable energy office.
Daniel Simmons will be the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy's acting assistant secretary, according to a memo obtained by E&E News.
The appointment is the latest in a string of appointments of climate science deniers and people with links to fossil fuel companies to key positions in the administration.
Despite evidence that wind and solar power are now either cheaper than fossil fuels or on track to be so within a few years, Mr Simmons has repeatedly criticised renewable energy for being more expensive than oil or gas.
Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher whose apocalyptic ministry grew into a multimillion-dollar network of businesses and property before he was convicted in Arkansas of sexually abusing girls he considered his wives, has died in prison. He was 82.
Once known for designing elaborately decorated jackets for celebrities including Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, Alamo died on Tuesday at a federal prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina, according to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
The disgraced preacher was convicted in 2009 on charges that accused him of taking girls across state lines for sex, including a 9-year-old girl. The judge who sentenced him to the maximum 175 years in prison told him: "One day you will face a higher and a greater judge than me. May he have mercy on your soul."
Alamo started preaching along the California streets in the 1960s, advocating a mixture of virulent anti-Catholicism and apocalyptic rhetoric. He claimed God authorized polygamy, professed that gays were the tools of Satan, and believed girls were fit for marriage.
"Consent is puberty," Alamo told The Associated Press in September 2008, during the same weekend that state and federal agents raided the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in the tiny southwest Arkansas town of Fouke in an investigation of child abuse and pornography.
Former followers said Alamo grew increasingly unhinged after his wife, Susan, died from cancer in 1982. Her body was kept in a room at the ministry, and his followers kept a vigil, praying for months for a resurrection.
Eventually her body was buried in a crypt on the ministry's 300-acre compound in northwest Arkansas. But in 1991, Alamo ordered his followers to pack up before federal marshals seized the property to satisfy a court judgment.
At its height, Alamo's ministry claimed thousands of members nationwide. It was perhaps most known for leaving fliers on car windshields that outlined everything from Alamo's feared "one-world government" and his belief in flying saucers to his hatred of the Vatican and homosexuals.
Tony Alamo was born Bernie Lazar Hoffman on Sept. 20, 1934, to a Jewish family in Joplin, Missouri. He arrived in Los Angeles in the 1960s, claiming he was a music promoter with clients including the Beatles. He and his wife legally changed their names to Tony and Susan Alamo after they married in Las Vegas in 1966.