Paul Krugman: "How Many People Just Voted Themselves Out of Health Care? (Updated) (Updated again) (And again)" (NY Times Blog)
My original update was right! Screwed up dates. So it's back to around 5 1/2 million Trump chumps.
Josh Marshall: Still Missing the Horror of Medicare Phaseout (TPM)
… building an exchange and subsidy adjunct for non-seniors onto an existing and fairly robust private health insurance system is one thing. Creating one from scratch for people who are all pretty much by definition bad risks is close to laughable. Laughable if you're not bankrupted or dying because you couldn't get care. … Ryan and Trump want to pass a bill to phase out Medicare in just six months.
Paul Krugman: Twitter
"If Trump did a Carrier-style deal every week for the next 4 years, he could bring back 4% of the manufacturing jobs lost since 2000." - Paul Krugman
"Every savvy CEO will now threaten to ship jobs to Mexico, and demand a payment to stay. Great economic policy." - Justin Wolfers
Garrison Keillor: Could President Trump Be Part Of God's Plan? (Hartford Courant)
So many Trumpists have written in since the election, and I am grateful for their interest and also impressed by the sheer variety of their profanity. I never learned to swear that well because by the time my mother died, at 97, it was too late for me to learn.
Lindy West: Disney's Moana strikes at the heart of proto-Trump America (The Guardian)
Millions of Americans are falling in love with a brown-skinned, undeniably feminist heroine, destroying the premise that they rejected diversity in this election.
"Behold the benefits of sticky-back plastic": Lucy Mangan on the mood-lifting perks of crafting (Stylist)
I'm so down at the moment that I can't even read. This is usually my failsafe method of escape. But times change - by which I mean 'get sh*tter than ever and then just when you think they can't get any more sh*t, they do' - and we must change with them.
Ruth Spencer: "Adrienne Truscott takes back rape jokes: 'Artistic commentary feels like it's in peril'" (The Guardian)
Is it ever OK to joke about rape? Adrienne Truscott thinks so. Since 2013, the comedian has been satirizing and skewering rape culture via her award-winning show Asking For It, which has been praised for its sophisticated treatment of a topic that so many comics fail to confront.
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
required reading prior to trump administration
The animals of the Manor Farm lived badly because their farmer Mr. Jones, a mean and always drunk man, exploits them. One day Old Major, the old pig who led the animals, called a meeting of all the animals and told them about a dream that he had the previous night. He had dreamed about an old song called, 'Beasts of England' that started a resistance against the human beings. When Old Major sang the song every other animal started to join in. Everyone was very excited about rebelling. Old Major died a few days later and two young pigs, Snowball and Napoleon, started leading the preparations for the Rebellion. About three months later they revolted against Mr. Jones and they took over the farm. The purpose of the revolution was to create a fair society made only by animals, or animalism and it was based on seven commandments such as "Four legs good, two legs bad" and most importantly: "All animals are equal". They also changed the name of the farm to "Animal Farm" from Manor Farm.
Snowball, an inventive and vivacious pig and Napoleon, a big and cruel-looking pig, started to fight for leadership. In the meantime Mr. Jones was planning to attack to get the farm back but when he did the animals won the battle called "The Battle of the Cowshed" and Mr. Jones was forced to stay out of the farm. One day, when Snowball announced his plans to build a windmill, Napoleon arrived in the farm with nine big and cruel dogs that made Snowball run away bleeding. From that day Napoleon was the real dictator of the farm; if an animal didn't agree with him, he was eaten up by his dogs. If something went wrong (like when the windmill they'd worked so hard on was wrecked), Napoleon blamed it on Snowball, who, according to him, was sneaking around Animal Farm ruining everything. When Boxer, the strongest horse in the farm, lost his strength because of old age and fell while he was building a windmill, Napoleon sent him to be slaughtered. Now Napoleon had pity on nobody. He and the pigs were like Mr. Jones - they exploited the other animals, they took advantage of the foolishness of some animals and they came into contact with human beings for business although they had said it was forbidden. In the end they became like human beings, they started to walk on their hind legs and they changed the old maxim with a new one: "Four legs good, two legs better". Nothing was changed and their resistance seemed to be useless.
For those of you who think this is a cute kiddie story, it is a parody about the takeover of nations by dictators.
Here's a link to Animal Farm / George Orwell
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
"DONALD TRUMP IS A DISASTER..."
HOW TO BLOW A DOG WHISTLE.
WHO VOTED FOR THIS MANIAC?
WATCH THE SHIT HIT THE FAN!
STOP THE GRIFTING, FIGHT FOR 15!
LET'S MAKE A DEAL DONALD!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Our sweet kitty-boy, Spot, died unexpectedly.
Punish Drunk Drivers With Nickelback
A Canadian police department is taking proactive steps to keep this holiday season safe by threatening to punish drunk drivers with its Nickelback cassette tape.
The Kensington Police Service in the Prince Edward Island province posted a message on Facebook last weekend encouraging holiday revelers to divvy up driving duties, jot down the number to a cab company or plan to sleep at a friend's house.
But "for those dumb enough" to drink and drive, the department has a plan.
"[W]hen we catch you, and we will catch you, on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a years driving suspension we will also provide you with a bonus gift of playing the offices copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail," the post reads.
"Now, now, no need to thank us, we figure if you are foolish enough to get behind the wheel after drinking then a little Chad Kroeger and the boys is the perfect gift for you."
Ukraine Moves New Safety Dome
Ukraine on Tuesday unveiled the world's largest moveable metal structure over the Chernobyl nuclear power plant's doomed fourth reactor to ensure the safety of Europeans for future generations.
The gigantic arch soars 108 metres (355 feet) into the sky -- making it taller than New York's Statue of Liberty -- while its weight of 36,000 tons is three times heavier than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
The 2.1-billion-euro ($2.2-billion) structure sponsored by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has been edged into place over an existing crumbling dome that the Soviets built in haste when disaster struck three decades ago.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko was visibly proud at his impoverished and war-torn country's ability to deal with one of the worst vestiges of its Soviet past.
Thousands Displaced For Telescope
Humanity's best bet at detecting aliens is a giant silver Chinese dish the size of 30 football fields -- one that simultaneously showcases Beijing's abilities to deploy cutting-edge technologies and ignore objectors' rights as it seeks global prominence.
The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) in the country's southwest, which began operations in September and cost 1.2 billion yuan ($180 million) to build, is the world's largest radio telescope.
Once fully operational, FAST will be able to peer deeper into space than ever before, examining pulsars, dark matter and gravitational waves -- and searching for signs of life.
Authorities also hope it will bring tourist dollars to the province of Guizhou, one of China's poorest regions.
But it comes at the cost of forcibly displacing about 9,000 villagers who called the site in Pingtang county their home.
Thousands of people have signed an online petition urging the Bank of England to ditch its new 5 pound notes following revelations the fivers are made of polymers that contain rendered animal fat. The bills entered circulation in September.
BOE confirmed the notes contain tallow, the same substance found in candles and soap.
The notes are the bank's first effort at printing on plastic, with 10-pound and 20-pound bills to follow by 2020. The notes are expected to last longer and are more secure than their paper counterparts, Bloomberg reported.
The polymer is produced by Innovia Films. A spokeswoman told CNN Money the touch of tallow helps control static. She said scientists are working to eliminate the tallow "but obviously that will take time."
Innovia supplies polymer for currency to 23 other countries, including Australia, Canada, Mexico and New Zealand, but it was unclear of they contain animal fats as well.
Stocking The Swamp With Millionaires And Billionaires
President-elect Donald Trump (R-Grifter), who rallied populist voters by vowing to "drain the swamp" of the Washington elite, is filling his Cabinet with people who share a familiar trait: They're very rich.
On Wednesday, Trump announced Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive who served as his campaign finance chairman, as his choice for treasury secretary and Wilbur Ross, a private equity investor, as his pick for secretary of commerce.
According to Forbes, Ross has a personal fortune estimated to be worth $2.9 billion, making him the country's 232nd richest person. Mnuchin, who spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs before founding a Hollywood film investment firm, is said to be worth $40 million, though some consider that estimate too low.
Elaine Chao, Trump's choice for transportation secretary, was labor secretary under former resident George W. Bush and is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chao's net worth: about $22 million.
That's chump change in comparison to Trump's choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, former chair of the Michigan Republican Party and a major GOP donor whose family's net worth is estimated by Forbes to be $5.1 billion, making them the 88th richest in America - and richer than her would-be boss. According to Forbes, Trump's net worth fell $800 million last year to $3.7 billion, making putting him at No. 156 on the magazine's list of wealthiest people in the U.S. (Trump, who claims to be worth far more than $10 billion, railed against the "bankrupt magazine" last year, when Forbes assigned him a $4.5 million net worth.)
Biggest Ever Coral Die-Off
Great Barrier Reef
Warm seas around Australia's Great Barrier Reef have killed two-thirds of a 700-km (435 miles) stretch of coral in the past nine months, the worst die-off ever recorded on the World Heritage site, scientists who surveyed the reef said on Tuesday.
Their finding of the die-off in the reef's north is a major blow for tourism at reef which, according to a 2013 Deloitte Access Economics report, attracts about A$5.2 billion ($3.9 billion) in spending each year.
"The coral is essentially cooked," professor Andrew Baird, a researcher at James Cook University who was part of the reef surveys, told Reuters by telephone from Townsville in Australia's tropical north.
He said the die-off was "almost certainly" the largest ever recorded anywhere because of the size of the Barrier Reef, which at 348,000 sq km (134,400 sq miles) is the biggest coral reef in the world.
Bleaching occurs when the water is too warm, forcing coral to expel living algae and causing it to calcify and turn white. Mildly bleached coral can recover if the temperature drops and the survey found this occurred in southern parts of the reef, where coral mortality was much lower.
Great Barrier Reef
Declining Caribou Herd
The size of a large caribou herd in Alaska's Arctic region has dropped by more 50 percent over the last three years, and researchers who have tentatively ruled out hunting and predation as significant factors for the decline are trying to determine why.
The state's Central Arctic herd, which roams an area of north-central Alaska about the size of Ohio, hit a peak of about 70,000 caribou in 2010.
It fell to 50,000 in 2013. That year, spring arrived late, meaning caribou had to trudge through snow later than usual at a time when their bodies are already stressed and not getting the grasses they need for nutrition.
Surveys by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game suggest the herd dwindled to about 22,000 caribou this year. There has been a higher than normal rate of death among adult female caribou tracked with radio collars but the reason for that is unclear, said state wildlife biologist Beth Lenart.
The department does not believe hunting is a factor in the decline, saying caribou killed by hunters account for a small portion of overall deaths. The department doesn't think predation by wolves and bears plays a large role in regulating Arctic caribou herds, and biologists so far have not detected diseases affecting the herd, Lenart said.
Ticket Packages, $25,000 to $1 Million
Want to attend a ladies luncheon with Melania Trump? Or a candlelight dinner with President-elect Trump and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence? Want to hobnob with Trump Cabinet nominees and congressional leaders?
Easy: Simply plunk down $1 million to the Trump inaugural committee - a gift that guarantees high-rolling donors and corporate executives special access to the new leadership about to take over in Washington.
A copy of the package deals offered by the Trump inaugural committee was obtained late Tuesday by Yahoo News. It shows the enticements that are being offered to big contributors who are willing to chip in to help cover the $75 million tab the inaugural committee - chaired by private equity investor and longtime Trump friend Thomas Barrett - is hoping to raise for the event.
As is the custom for presidential inaugurations, the package deals progressively increase in cost - with more access, more events, and more tickets the more you give. These packages are, to say the least, not exactly for the blue-collar workers who helped Trump take Michigan or Ohio. And, given the hefty price tags, they could interfere with Trump's efforts to "drain the swamp" of special interests in the nation's capital.
The lowest-priced offering, at $25,000, gets you two tickets to the Inaugural Parade, an "entertainment-filled" Victory Reception, admission to the Inaugural Concert and Fireworks show and a black-tie ball. The next level, for $100,000 donors, will get you four tickets to those events - plus two tickets for "an intimate policy discussion and dinner" with select Cabinet appointees. A $250,000 check will get will get you all that plus admission for two to the Ladies Luncheon where you get to "meet the ladies of the first families." But if you also want to attend the Candlelight Dinner with Trump and Pence, the price tag for admission for four is $500,000.
Prime-time viewership numbers compiled by Nielsen for Nov. 21-27. Listing include the week's ranking and viewship.
1. NFL Football: Pittsburgh at Indianapolis, NBC, 20.88 million.
2. NFL Football: Kansas City at Denver, NBC, 18.44 million.
3. "60 Minutes," CBS, 17.27 million.
4. "NCIS," CBS, 14.86 million.
5. "Thursday Night NFL Pre-Kick," NBC, 14.69 million.
6. "Sunday Night NFL Pre-kick," NBC, 13.14 million.
7. "Dancing with the Stars" (Monday), ABC, 12.08 million.
8. NFL Football: Houston at Oakland, ESPN, 11.79 million.
9. NFL Thursday Pre-game, NBC, 11.73 million.
10. "NCIS: Los Angeles," CBS, 11.39 million.
11. "Dancing with the Stars" (Tuesday), ABC, 10.98 million.
12. "Bull," CBS, 10.89 million.
13. "The Walking Dead," AMC, 10.40 million.
14. "Football Night in America," NBC, 9.86 million.
15. "The Voice," NBC, 9.64 million.
16. "The Voice' (Tuesday), NBC, 9.47 million.
17. "This Is Us," NBC, 9.00 million.
18. "Madam Secretary," CBS, 8.97 million.
19. "NCIS: New Orleans," CBS, 8.50 million.
20. "Survivor" (Special), CBS, 7.74 million.