Jonathan Cohn: An Iowa Teenager Didn't Wreck His State's Health Care Market. Here's Who Did. (Huffington Post)
A case study in Obamacare success and failure.
Paul Krugman: "Tax Cut Fraudulence: The Usual Suspects" (NY Times Blog)
… until a few days ago the Trump sales pitch was a bit different from past GOP arguments for tax cuts, involving (a) a novel invocation of the supposed benefits of massive capital inflows from corporate tax cuts, and (b) outright lies on an unprecedented scale. But what I've been seeing lately is a revival of some more traditional, Bush-era fraudulence. Two items in particular. First, the claim that the rich pay practically all the taxes, so that of course they have to get the bulk of the tax cut. Second, claims of vast growth, because Reagan.
Laurie Penny: We are governed by Peter Pans who refuse to look after the next generation (New Statesman)
The Tories have a young-people problem - the problem being that young people hate them.
Laurie Penny: The threat to free speech on campus is a right-wing fantasy (New Statesman)
Nobody is actually being censored at all - they're just being spoken back to.
Matt Broomfield: Why you should give money directly and unconditionally to homeless people (New Statesman)
Who are you to judge what they do with that cash?
Arwa Mahdawi: If you believe studies into selfishness, we are all terrible people (The Guardian)
If you like sitting in window seats, believe in God and go to the gym, science says you're probably a self-centred monster.
Amelia Abraham: I didn't grow up with LGBT kids' TV characters - but I found them elsewhere (The Guardian)
The Disney Channel has introduced its first ever LGBT storyline in Andi Mack - but in my formative years, I had to look outside kids' TV to find my small-screen role models.
Jonathan Jones: Impressionists in London review - how not to tell the origin story of modern art (The Guardian)
Tate Britain, London. This pea souper of a show nearly achieves the impossible feat of making Monet seem dull, while illuminating little about British links to impressionism.
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
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David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
Best laid plans...
In the spirit of Halloween, here's a challenge: Everybody name a movie that best describes "The best-laid plans.."
Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton in "A Simple Plan" (1998)
DJ Useo added:
My offering to the challenge is the movie "Titanic". A strong parallel I think, with people insisting the boat was "unsinkable".
Maynard's much younger, more handsome brother, Ed, concurred, answering:
Bill Paxton and Billy Bob Thornton in "A Simple Plan" (1998)
Dave in Tucson replied:
In response to Michelle in AZ's challenge I would suggest A Bridge Too Far where everything really did go South.
Billy in Cypress responded:
DELIVERANCE is a good choice, and I would add WALKABOUT.
Thanks, Ed, Dave, Billy & DJ Useo!
Any other "best laid plans..."?
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
First Ed Gillespie's commercials harped on fear--MS-13 gangs. Then in southern Virginia they added the crap about saving Confederate monuments. Now they're constantly running ads conflating Northam, a pediatrician, and child molesters! (He's favored returning voting rights to former prisoners so he's setting child molesters out among us!)
It amazes me how desperate & depraved the Republicans in VA are.
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
FIGHTING THE EVIL!
DOXXING THE DEMONS.
GHOSTS OF THE PAST.
STARVING THE BEAST!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM FRUMPY TRUMPY.
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Marine layer hunkered down most of the day.
Confusion Coming With Legal Marijuana
Ready or not, California kicks off recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1. And, mostly, it's not.
Los Angeles and San Francisco are among many cities still struggling to fashion local rules for pot shops and growers. Without the regulations, there could be limited options in many places for consumers eager to ring in the new year with a legal pot purchase.
In general, California will treat cannabis like alcohol, allowing people 21 and older to legally possess up to an ounce and grow six marijuana plants at home.
The state intends to issue only temporary licenses starting in January, and it has yet to release its plan to govern the estimated $7 billion marketplace, the nation's largest legal pot economy.
If businesses aren't licensed and operating in the legal market, governments aren't collecting their slice of revenue from sales. The state alone estimates it could see as much as $1 billion roll in within several years.
Emmy Honor Rescinded
Kevin Spacey will no longer be honored at the 2017 International Emmys amid allegations that the actor sexually harassed then-14-year-old Anthony Rapp.
Rapp came forward with the accusation on Sunday, detailing the 1986 encounter in Spacey's home to BuzzFeed News when the Broadway star was a teenager and Spacey was 26. Spacey responded to the story on Twitter, explaining he does not recall the incident, and he announced that he now chooses to "live as a gay man."
The International Emmy Awards tweeted Monday that, given the new information, the organization has rescinded a planned recognition for Spacey.
"The International Academy has announced that in light of recent events it will not honor Kevin Spacey with the 2017 Intl Emmy Founders Award," the tweet read.
Netflix announced the cancellation of its original series "House of Cards" following the sixth season, which is set to air in 2018. The show's creator, Beau Willimon, released a statement Monday calling the sexual harassment allegations "deeply troubling."
12 Years Ago
Today, Kevin Spacey issued an apology after being accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.
The actor Anthony Rapp, now 46, made the allegation in an interview with BuzzFeed News, forcing the statement from Spacey (58) who also came out as gay.
12 years ago, the cartoon Family Guy ran a joke in an episode in which the baby character Stewie runs across the screening saying he has 'escaped from Kevin Spacey's basement'.
It is not the first time Seth Macfarlane, who created the show, appears to have hinted at a Hollywood scandal before it happened.
Back in 2013 he joked about disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein who this year has been accused of multiple cases of sexual assault.
German Train Plan Condemned
Plans by Germany's national rail provider to name a train after Jewish diarist Anne Frank came under fire Monday, with a foundation saying it "caused new pain" to those who experienced deportations.
"The (train's) naming is controversial," the Anne Frank Foundation said of the plans by Deutsche Bahn.
"A combination of Anne Frank and a train conjures up the image of persecution of Jews and deportations during World War II," the Amsterdam-based foundation said in a statement.
The rail company had asked for suggestions of who to dedicate their new ICE high-speed trains to.
A jury including two historians chose Frank from a shortlist of 25 names, out of a total of 19,000 proposals for candidates.
Hits Record High
The concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has hit a new high, the UN said Monday, warning that drastic action is needed to achieve targets set by the Paris climate agreement.
"Concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged at a record-breaking speed in 2016 to the highest level in 800,000 years," the World Meteorological Organization said.
The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency's annual flagship report, tracks the content of dangerous gasses in the atmosphere in the post-industrial era (since 1750).
Researchers have "reliable, direct measurements" of C02 concentrations rates going back 800,000 years using air bubbles preserved in ice in places like Greenland and Antarctica, the head of WMO's atmospheric environment research division, Oksana Tarasova, told reporters in Geneva.
But by studying fossilised material the WMO also has rough estimates going back even further.
Thanks, Alex Jones
Survivors of the Las Vegas shooting earlier this month have been accused of "acting" by online trolls and conspiracy theorists.
One victim told CTV News that his social media has been inundated with comments from people who say the shooting was a hoax, and he was forced to delete his accounts.
Braden Matejka and his girlfriend tried to escape the festival when he was shot in the back of the head, but was not fatally wounded. He still cannot move his head and suffers pain.
He received thousands of messages like "You're a lying piece of s*** and I hope someone truly shoots you in the head".
Mike Cronk, another survivor, was targeted after giving interviews to ABC and NBC about the shooting, with online searches autocompleting his name to "Mike Cronk crisis actor".
YouTube also declined to remove certain conspiracy theory videos which questioned whether several mass shootings were using the same "actors" - posting photos of victims in the Aurora cinema shooting, Sandy Hook Elementary School and the Boston bombings. The social media platform said that not all of the videos violated its standards. Facebook and Google were also accused of advertising right-wing blogs and conspiracy theories.
It might have been a good idea for Akron locals to clear out after white nationalist sympathizer Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) boasted in a tweet Saturday that he and Donald Trump Jr. were setting out on a "peasant hunt" in Iowa. The foray sounded even more ominous because King touted Trump's shooting skill along with his extreme support of the Second Amendment's right to bear arms.
King quickly corrected the tweet to what he intended to say all along and announced instead an Iowa "pheasant hunt," - meaning birds, not people - causing peasants everywhere to breathe a sigh of relief. But it was far too late to keep Twitter quiet about the embarrassing gaffe.
Social media users took the opportunity to take shots at Trump and King, who has a controversial history of racist digs, appealing to white nationalist rhetoric. King came under a storm of criticism in March after he spoke up in support of far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders. He tweeted that Wilders understands that we "can't restore our civilization with someone else's babies," apparently referring to immigrants or people of color.
King invited Trump on the opening day of pheasant season for his annual Col. Bud Day Pheasant Hunt Saturday at the private Hole 'N the Wall Lodge and preserve in Akron, the Wisconsin-based Chippewa Herald reported. King hosts the two-day hunt each year as a political fundraiser.
Trump, who nailed a bird or two, recounted "witty" campaign stories to participants, said King, but avoided the press tagging along on the hunt. The 30 politicians on the hunt bagged about 95 birds. Trump Jr.'s hunting landed him in hot water in 2012when he released several photos of himself with dead animals he had killed while on a safari. In one photo he proudly held aloft the tail of an elephant he had killed.
Using Manafort To Raise Cash
Only an hour after former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted on conspiracy against the U.S., money laundering and other charges on Monday morning, President-for-now Donald Trump's (R-Corrupt) son sent out a campaign fundraising email asking for contributions. The mass email from Eric Trump makes no reference to charges against Manafort and his former business associate Richard Gates, but the subject line reads "Still standing," and the timing speaks volumes.
"There's new opposition against my father and this Administration every day. The mainstream media continues to play politics, creating division and turning the American people against one another," the email starts off, then states in italics, "But as a loyal supporter of our movement, I know you know the truth."
Eric Trump's email appeals to Trump's support base, the group of Americans most likely to overlook or dismiss Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller's serious charges on Manafort, who along with Gates surrendered to the FBI on Monday morning. "My father has spoken out time and time again against those who have tried to bring this country down, and will always do so to protect hardworking Americans whose values have been forgotten by Washington," Eric Trump's email states.
Then he gets to the point: "To stand with us, please consider making a crucial end-of-month contribution before the deadline tomorrow," and has two red boxes which email recipients can click on to "Contribute $1."
Clicking the boxes links to a campaign webpage that doesn't have a $1 option, but rather $35, $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, $2,700 and $5, in that order. Selecting $5 changes the option to "other," which then allows $1, but no amount less than that. There's also a box to check to make it a recurring monthly donation.
An incredibly rare octopus invasion of a Welsh beach may have been caused by recent storms that battered the Irish Sea, experts fear.
More than 20 of the solitary creatures were spotted coming out of the water in New Quay, Ceredigion, and crawling up the beach on three consecutive nights, baffling locals, who have never witnessed such a phenomenon.
The curled octopuses, a common species in British waters, are very secretive creatures and usually found at depths of up to 100m.
Dr Steve Simpson, a lecturer in marine biologist at the University of Bristol, said it was "extremely odd" behaviour and incredibly rare for octopuses to venture on dry land in such a manner.
He said: "They are fairly vulnerable on land and it's hard to imagine they have found a new food source. They may be aggregating to reproduce but they do tend to be territorial and solitary."
Dennis Banks, who helped found the American Indian Movement and engaged in sometimes-violent uprisings against the U.S. government, including the armed occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973, died at age 80, his family announced Monday.
Banks, whose Ojibwe name was Nowacumig, was one of several activists who founded AIM in Minneapolis in 1968, and he was a leader of the group's takeover of Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in 1973, in a protest against both the U.S. and tribal governments. The village had been the site of a massacre by U.S. soldiers in 1890 that left an estimated 300 Indians dead. The occupiers held federal agents at bay for 71 days; two Native Americans died and several agents were injured amid the frequent gunfire.
Banks died Sunday night at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, surrounded by about 30 people, including siblings, children and grandchildren, said daughter Tashina Banks Rama. He had heart surgery earlier this month and was in high spirits until pneumonia he had contracted after the surgery took a turn for the worse on Friday, she said.
Banks and fellow AIM leader Russell Means faced charges stemming from the Wounded Knee occupation, but a judge threw out the case. However, Banks spent 18 months in prison in the 1980s after being convicted for rioting and assault for a protest in Custer, South Dakota, earlier in 1973. He avoided prosecution on those charges for several years because California Gov. Jerry Brown refused to extradite him, and the Onondaga Nation in New York gave him sanctuary.
Banks also helped lead a takeover of the Bureau of Indian Affairs offices in Washington, D.C., in 1972 as part of a protest dubbed "The Trail of Broken Treaties." And he was a participant in the 1969-71 occupation by Native Americans of Alcatraz Island, the site of the former prison in San Francisco Bay.
Banks lived near the town of Federal Dam on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and was a member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, one of the many bands of Ojibwe, also known as the Chippewa or Anishinaabe, living in North America. In the late 1990s, Banks founded a company that sold wild rice and maple syrup, trading on his famous name.
In 2010, Banks joined several other Ojibwe from the Leech Lake and White Earth bands who tested their rights under an 1855 treaty by setting out nets illegally on Lake Bemidji a day before Minnesota's fishing season opener. He also went to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota to join last year's protests of the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
Rama said the family plans to hold wakes Wednesday evening at the Minneapolis American Indian Center, and Thursday and Friday on Leech Lake Reservation. Banks will be buried on the reservation in a traditional ceremony Saturday.
Banks is survived by 20 children and more than 100 grandchildren, she said.