Paul Krugman: "Shifts Get Real: Understanding the GOP's Policy Quagmire" (NY Times Blog)
So now the lies and willful ignorance are catching up with them - again.
Michael Hiltzik: "Time's up: As CHIP expires unrenewed, Congress blows a chance to save healthcare for 9 million children" (LA Times)
Is there any more poignant example of how Congress' wasteful partisanship affects ordinary Americans? It's hard to imagine one. If the lawmakers can't act in support of a program that was enacted in a spirit of bipartisanship and serves the most truly defenseless members of society, there's no hope for them.
Iraqi cleric praises Jews, says Muslims seen as 'world's headache' (The Times of Israel)
Shiite clergyman calls on Muslims to imitate Jews, who 'were killed and burned' by the Nazis, but emerged to win 'respect of the world through science.'
Anna Green: 3 High-Strung Facts About Fawlty Towers (Mental Floss)
1. BASIL FAWLTY WAS BASED ON A REAL PERSON.
Zeon Santos: 10 Actors Who Appeared In Music Videos Before They Were Famous (Neatorama)
Most of the music videos made in the 1980s and 1990s were made in Los Angeles, where actors and musicians freely mingle before and after their careers had taken off. This Hollywood connection between pop music and visual media made music videos the perfect platform for launching an actor's career, and some of the most famous faces in Hollywood started out as unknown extras in music videos.
16 Of The Most Magnificent Trees In The World (Bored Panda)
Granted, not all of these amazing beautiful trees are trees (the Wisteria is a vine, Rhododendrons are shrubs, and bamboo technically belongs to the grass family), but we'll give them a pass because they are amazing, huge and beautiful. So once you step outside and take a breath of fresh air, hug the nearest tree and say thank you!
Jake Young: 10 Gamers Share Their Weirdest Online Multiplayer Experiences (Dorkly)
There's something magical that can happen when you drop thousands of strangers onto a server and tell them to play nice together. Whether it's tales of epic battles or the bizarre friendships forged along the way, the power of online multiplayer has a way of hitting you hard, all from the comfort of your gaming PC.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
No matter what insincere crap he says Wednesday when he visits Las Vegas, we all know, thanks to Howard Stern, how Predator would have reacted if he had been in Las Vegas--he would have seen the "disgusting" blood and turned away rather than try to help or save lives. Inhuman ass.
Only took Predator a few hours to respond about Vegas. And he's already planning to visit on Wednesday. Much difference in the time and level of response when it comes to PR?
It was a shooting; the guy is dead. Hospitals are already dealing with the victims. Meanwhile people are still in NEED of HELP and still DYING on PR thanks to his inaction and ineptitude. Ass.
"San Juan mayor in hurricane spotlight after Trump tweets," by AP's Danica Coto in San Juan: "In Puerto Rico's hurricane-ravaged capital, it seems Carmen Yulin Cruz is everywhere these days: handing out bags of ice, wading through chest-deep floodwaters, hugging people in need of comfort. Cruz has long won attention across the island for her hands-on style of leadership in San Juan. But this week she rose to international prominence as a target of Twitter attacks by U.S. President Donald Trump - including one tweet Sunday calling her and others 'politically motivated ingrates.' ... A graduate of Boston University and Carnegie Mellon, she is also a former member of the island's House of Representatives."
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
WING NUTS SHOOT BLANKS.
TAKE YOUR 'THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS' AND SHOVE IT!
DEAR SANTA. PLEASE BRING ME A 'HAPPY SWITCH' FOR CHRISTMAS.
"SLIP THE JUICE TO ME BRUCE."
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Every time I think I've run out of foul-mouthed invectives to hurl at the TV, another asswipe asks for my thoughts and prayers.
Because those thoughts and prayers were so successful over 15,000 citizens were slaughtered by guns last year, and that isn't enough for the NRA.
If our purchased-by-the-NRA Congress was unwilling to do anything after Sandy Hook, why do you think they'll do jackshit this time?
And as sure as Donald Trump will visit Las Vegas for a photo-op, there will be a next time.
We laugh at ancient cultures that sacrificed virgins to the volcano gods.
But we are all sacrificial virgins on the the NRA's altar of the second amendment.
Maybe I'm looking at this all wrong, and I should be grateful that the NRA wants me to be a virgin again.
After Las Vegas Massacre
A guitarist who performed at the country music festival where the country's deadliest shooting in history took place has reversed his position on gun control, saying "I cannot express how wrong I was."
Caleb Keeter, part of the Josh Abbott Band, took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the massacre at the Route 91 Harvest festival late on Sunday night in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Mr Keeter's band had performed earlier in the day on Sunday, just hours before the shooting that killed at least 59 people and injured more than 500 more.
"I've been a proponent of the 2nd Amendment my entire life," Mr Keeter wrote.
"Until the events of last night. I cannot express how wrong I was. We actually have members of our crew with CHL licenses, and legal firearms on the bus. They were useless."
"We need gun control. RIGHT. NOW," Mr Keeter's statement read.
Calls Out 'Horribly Racist' T-rump
John Oliver joined the chorus of voices calling out President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Execrable) for his response to the humanitarian crisis unfolding on Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Over the weekend, Trump complained that the people suffering "want everything done for them." He even bemoaned the island's financial problems.
During Sunday's broadcast of "Last Week Tonight," Oliver compared those "horribly racist" comments to Trump's speech in New York City when he announced his candidacy.
"Trump is basically saying, 'When hurricanes hit our people, they're not hitting our best. They're killing poors. They're killing lazies. And some, I assume, have said nice things about me,'" Oliver said.
Blasts T-rump Over Puerto Rico Tweets
Bernie Sanders has condemned Donald Trump (R-Pendejo) over his tweets criticising the mayor of hurricane-struck San Juan, saying: "It's unspeakable. I don't know what world Trump is living in".
Over the weekend, and 10 days after Hurricane Maria left 95 per cent of Puerto Rico without electricity and 50 per cent of its residents without drinking water, the President stepped up his attacks on the mayor of its capital city, Carmen Yulin Cruz, after she asked for more help, saying that people were dying.
Mr Sanders, who challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic primary and who many believe may have beaten Mr Trump in the general election, said the President had spent the weekend tweeting from his "fancy golf club", while the mayor of San Juan was trying to secure food, water, fuel and electricity for her residents.
"It's unspeakable and I don't know what world Trump is living in," Mr Sanders told CNN.
He added: "We all have to remember the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens and entitled to the same help as any other community in America."
Court Jails Opposition Leader For 20 Days
A Moscow court on Monday sent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to jail for 20 days for calling for an unsanctioned protest, which would keep him away from a major rally this weekend.
Police detained Navalny on Friday, preventing him from traveling to a rally in a major Russian city that had given its official permission to hold the gathering. Charges brought against the Kremlin's top rival relate to the upcoming rally in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city and President Vladimir Putin's hometown, which has not been sanctioned.
After he announced his presidential bid last year, Navalny, arguably Russia's most popular opposition politician, inspired a grassroots campaign in Russian regions to support his nomination.
"20 days in jail. Old man Putin got so scared of our rallies in the regions and decided to make himself a little present for himself for his birthday," Navalny tweeted shortly after the ruling Monday evening.
The rally in St. Petersburg was scheduled for Saturday, which is also Putin's birthday.
Open Carry, Concealed Weapons, Machine Guns Legal
Nevada has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country, a legislative condition that is sure to come under renewed scrutiny in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history on Sunday night in Las Vegas.
Nevada law does not require firearms owners to have licenses or register their weapons, nor does it limit the number of firearms an individual posses. Automatic assault weapons and machine guns are also legal in the state as long as they are registered and possessed in adherence to federal law, according to the National Rifle Association.
Nevada does not prohibit the transfer or possession of assault weapons, 50-caliber rifles or large-capacity ammunition magazines. Local law enforcement issues concealed handgun licenses. Open carry is legal without a permit.
Initial reports on social media appear to have shown that lone-wolf shooter Stephen Paddock used a high-caliber automatic weapon in the Las Vegas shooting. In shared footage of the attack, scores of rounds of ammunition can be heard going off in a matter of seconds.
Such weapons were previously prohibited under the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004. Several lawmakers have attempted to renew the ban, coming closest, but still failing, after the Newtown schoolshooting in 2012.
'This Is The Price Of Freedom'
Former Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly (R-Horndog) said Monday that the massacre in Las Vegas hours earlier - the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history - was "the price of freedom."
"Once again, the big downside of American freedom is on gruesome display," he wrote in a blog post titled "Mass Murder In America."
O'Reilly went on to describe the gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Craig Paddock, as "psychotic" and to argue that strict gun control won't keep weapons out of the hands of "violent nuts."
Public safety, he explained, requires "logical gun laws," but unfortunately the issue is "polarizing."
"The NRA and its supporters want easy access to weapons, while the left wants them banned. This is the price of freedom. Violent nuts are allowed to roam free until they do damage, no matter how threatening they are. The Second Amendment is clear that Americans have a right to arm themselves for protection. Even the loons," he wrote.
Authorities Aren't Calling It An Act Of Terrorism
Las Vegas Massacre
A 64-year-old man slaughtered dozens of people late Sunday night, firing hundreds of rounds into a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas.
President-for-now Donald Trump (R-Odious) called it an "act of evil." But why, many wondered on social media, aren't authorities using the term terrorism to describe a horrific attack that left at least 58 dead and more than 500 people injured? Was it because the shooter wasn't Muslim? Was it because he was white?
Similar questions came up after a left-wing extremist opened fire on a Republican congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, in June. And again when a white supremacist crashed into a crowd of anti-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August. Weren't those acts of terror as well?
There's a reason that law enforcement authorities are hesitant to label an attack like the one in Las Vegas as terrorism. Specific federal statutes target international terrorism and acts associated with groups that the U.S. government has labeled as foreign terrorist organizations. But there's no specific federal statute aimed at acts of domestic terrorism, meaning acts inspired or carried out on behalf of domestic extremist organizations. Some federal laws are aimed at particular acts that might be carried out for terrorist purposes, like hijacking planes or assassinating government officials, but mass shootings are not on that list.
So had Stephen Paddock lived, it's unlikely that he would have faced federal terrorism charges. And unless authorities turn up evidence that his attack was motivated by hatred for a specific racial group - which is unlikely, given that he fired indiscriminately into a crowd of thousands - there's a good chance he wouldn't have faced any federal charges at all.
Las Vegas Massacre
Amplify Far-Right Disinformation Campaigns
Google And Facebook
The aftermath of the mass shooting in Las Vegas followed the usual dreary choreography of disaster news: First, disinformation rolled in from the usual assortment of trolls, then social media platforms amplified it.
On Monday morning, Google's Top Stories section promoted threads from 4chan, an online forum that's a popular source of disinformation campaigns. The threads had deliberately misidentified suspects and victims, tying the shooter to Democrats, leftist groups, Islamic terror organizations, the federal government and others.
Facebook, meanwhile, promoted a post from The Gateway Pundit to the top of its news feed, even though it had misidentified the suspected shooter.
The Gateway Pundit - a right-wing blog that routinely traffics in disinformation but has received White House press credentials from the Trump administration - identified the suspect as "Geary Danley," a name that had previously been circulating on 4chan. The story said that Danley, "reportedly the murderer of at least 20 concertgoers in Las Vegas," was "a far-left loon." (4chan and others also mentioned Marilou Danley, who is apparently Paddock's girlfriend, though police have since said they don't believe she was involved in the shooting.)
On Monday morning, after Facebook had helped spread The Gateway Pundit's misinformation, The Gateway Pundit deleted the post in question without explanation.
Early Monday afternoon, however, Facebook was still promoting questionable news sources on its safety check-in page for the Las Vegas shooting, with links to sites like theantimedia.org, rednewshere.com and dennismichaellynch.com appearing ahead of stories from NBC News or local Las Vegas outlets. At another point, Facebook also featured two stories from Sputnik, a Russian-sponsored outlet that has been the subject of a federal investigation into whether it deliberately spreads propaganda.
Google And Facebook
Exec Fired for 'Deeply Unacceptable' Post
CBS has fired a network legal executive who wrote on social media that she is "not even sympathetic" to victims of Sunday's Las Vegas shooting and referred to country music fans as "Republican gun toters."
Hayley Geftman-Gold, who served as senior counsel for strategic transactions at CBS, posted to Facebook on Monday morning, "If they wouldn't do anything when children were murdered I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I'm actually not even sympathetic bc country music fans often are Republican gun toters."
A CBS representation told TheWrap that the network condemns Geftman-Gold's comments and that she has since been let go from the company.
Geftman-Gold, who appeared to have disabled her Facebook account, could not be reached for comment.
But she later issued a statement apologizing for her "indefensible" and "shameful" post.
US singer Tom Petty died on Monday night at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles after he suffered cardiac arrest, manager Tony Dimitriades said.
He died peacefully at 8.40pm local time surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends.
The musician gained fame as part of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in the late 1970s, a band that was seen as integral to the heartland rock movement. Their biggest hits included I Won't Back Down and American Girl.
Petty was originally part of country rock band Mudcrutch who gained regional popularity but did not attract a mainstream audience. They later reformed in 2007 but originally split after Petty and other members joined the Heartbreakers. In 1977 the band gained success with the song Breakdown but it was their second album You're Gonna Get It! that became a top 40 hit.
Throughout the 80s, the band enjoyed major hits including You Got Lucky and Change of Heart and collaborated with Bob Dylan as well as Stevie Nicks. Petty continued to work with Dylan as part of the band Traveling Wilburys alongside Roy Orbison, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne.
Petty also enjoyed solo success but always returned to the Heartbreakers, releasing their final album in 2014. "I don't see that I have anything to offer as a solo artist that I couldn't do within the group better," he told the Sun. "We get along so well it's embarrassing really. It's a love fest!"
The band had been on a 40th anniversary tour since April that finished last week at the Hollywood Bowl. In an interview with Rolling Stone last December, he suggested it would probably be his last.
"We're all on the backside of our 60s," he said. "I have a granddaughter now I'd like to see as much as I can. I don't want to spend my life on the road. This tour will take me away for four months. With a little kid, that's a lot of time."
Petty has also been outspoken in his protection of the rights of artists, taking issue with record companies on a number of occasions over what he believed to be unjust practices. Earlier this year he was named MusiCares person of the year for his "career-long interest in defending artists' rights" as well as for his charitable work with the homeless population of Los Angeles.
Throughout his career, he sold more than 80m records worldwide.