Monday, July 31, 2017

Disaster: Megyn’s Sunday Show’s ‘Initial Run’ Pulled After Just Eight Episodes!

Breitbart ^ | 30 Jul 2017 | Tony Lee 

The initial run of Megyn Kelly’s Sunday newsmagazine show will reportedly be taken off the air at least two episodes earlier than scheduled because of her disastrous ratings. Last week, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly set another viewership low with just 2.71 million total viewers. In the last three weeks, her show has failed to beat the years-old Dateline rerun the network ran in her show’s time slot when Kelly took a week off during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

According to the New York Post, “Kelly’s ratings-challenged Sunday show was announced as a limited” run that would return after the football season. The network was reportedly angling for at least ten episodes but apparently decided to end Kelly’s misery after eight episodes as Kelly’s downward spiral in the ratings did not stop.

An NBC spinmeister claimed that Kelly’s show was going off the air after this week’s show because she needs to be “freed up to focus” on her morning show. Translation: Kelly needs to do all she can to not ruin NBC’s crown jewel Today franchise. Network executives, who reportedly have been freaking out about Kelly’s poor ratings, are probably praying that Kelly simply does no more harm than she has already done in her short time at the network.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Pakistani IT Scammers - There’s more than bank fraud going on here!

National Review ^ | July 29, 2017 | Andrew C. McCarthy 

In Washington, it’s never about what they tell you it’s about. So take this to the bank: The case of Imran Awan, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s mysterious Pakistani IT guy, is not about bank fraud.
Awan and his family cabal of fraudsters had access for years to the e-mails and other electronic files of members of the House’s Intelligence and Foreign Affairs Committees. It turns out they were accessing members’ computers without their knowledge, transferring files to remote servers, and stealing computer equipment — including hard drives that Awan & Co. smashed to bits of bytes before making tracks.
This is not about bank fraud. The Awan family swindles are plentiful, but they are just window-dressing. This appears to be a real conspiracy, aimed at undermining American national security.
While some Awans were rarely seen around the office, we now know they were engaged in extensive financial shenanigans away from the Capitol. Nevertheless, the Daily Caller’s Luke Rosiak, who has been all over this story, reports that, for their IT “work,” the Pakistani family has reeled in $4 million from U.S. taxpayers since 2009.
That’s just the “legit” dough. The family business evidently dabbles in procurement fraud, too. The Capitol Police and FBI are exploring widespread double-billing for computers, other communication devices, and related equipment.
Why were they paid so much for doing so little?
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Trump’s 'America First' vs. McCain’s 'America Last'

PJ Media ^ | July 28, 2017 | David P. Goldman 

Not the supposed protectionist Donald Trump, but the “free trade” wing of the Republican Party has taken the United States into a trade war that it can only lose. New sanctions against Russia passed by the House and Senate last week force Europe into a de facto alliance with Russia against the United States, and by extension with China as well. It is the dumbest and most self-destructive act of economic self-harm since the United States de-linked the dollar from gold on August 15, 1971, and it will have devastating consequences. The charade in the House and Senate may embarrass Trump, but it also poses a threat to European energy supplies as well as an extraterritorial intrusion into European governance. Berlin, Paris and Rome will conspire with Moscow to circumvent the sanctions while attacking the United States at the World Trade Organization and other international fora.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and their counterparts in the House of Representatives allowed their dudgeon against a sometimes provocative president to overwhelm their sense of self-preservation. The sanctions will hurt Russia, but not nearly as much as they will hurt the United States over the long term. The White House envisioned sanctions as a bargaining chip, to be used to persuade Moscow to behave in the Ukraine and to limit the ambitions of its Iranian ally of convenience. In their present form, however, the president will have no authority to remove sanctions imposed by Congress. That turns a feint into a threat. Wars have been started over less.
The Democrats along with the McCain Republicans, it will be remembered, accused Trump of undermining the Atlantic Alliance....
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018, Part 1 ^ | July 31, 2017 | Kurt Schlichter 

“We cannot tolerate this any longer,” said the former CIA Director at the head of the table. “We have to forcibly retake the government from Donald Trump. It is the only way save our democracy.”

His audience nodded solemnly. The men and women gathered at that secret February meeting on the top floor of 241 West 41st Street, the New York Timesbuilding, were Democrat politicians, media figures, retired and active members of the federal security bureaucracy, and several Establishment Republicans, and they were at wit’s end. There simply was no other choice. Donald Trump must be replaced, and it no longer mattered how. This meeting was the genesis of the bloody coup of April 2018.
Out of power, with #TheResistance fading, the ruling class elitists dislodged from their sinecures by the arrival of Donald Trump and his populist followers in 2016 were desperate. There was no guarantee they would retake power in 2020, or even 2024, were Ivanka to run. Their Trump/Russia fiasco had crashed and burned. They had created the pseudo-scandal to convince the electorate that Trump and Putin had been tongue-kissing during the election and, instead, it backfired on the Democrats by revealing their Fusion GPS/FSB shenanigans. Worse, somewhere in a DOJ safe house, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was trying to keep out of prison by spilling her guts to Jeff Sessions’ investigators.
It had been all the mandarins could do to suppress that scandal, though in the uncontrolled media – and in Trump’s accursed tweets – Democratic corruption was still under a spotlight. After Trump went on the internet (since no network but Fox would show his speech) to explain that he was firing Robert Mueller for his massive conflicts of interest and his inability to run a professional, leak-free organizationnothing happened. The media railed, Capitol Hill was in an uproar, but the people understood that having the accuser’s best buddy lead the investigation makes it a sham, and Trump’s numbers didn’t budge. In fact, polls for Trump-allied primary candidates rose. Future Michigan Senator Kid Rock was even acting like a real candidate, releasing a position paper on tariff policy –“My position is standing up for America first and not bending over for these damn foreigners! Word.”
The Democrats were stalled and powerless as General John Kelly’s focused and disciplined White House staff, in conjunction with the cunning and vindictive Mitch McConnell (who relieved Schumer-ally John McCain of his beloved Armed Services Committee chairmanship “reluctantly, so my good friend John can focus on his health and his family”), began pushing through appointments, filling empty court seats, and notching legislative wins. The media’s credibility was in free fall – CNN’s ratings dipped below those of Love, American Style reruns on the That 70s Channel network. And the GOP Establishment, frozen out of government jobs and abandoned by donors, was in a panic. “You should see how many empty cabins we have on the Weekly Standard Does Scandinavia cruise!” whimpered one disgruntled conservative publisher.
And the uncouth nature of these red state barbarians – it was too much to bear. Just the other day, a senior White House advisor had gone on Tucker and said that if Chuck Schumer didn’t like the recent repeal of the legislative filibuster, he could “Kiss me where the Good Lord split me!”
But how would one pull off a coup d’etat in the United States? Most of the political hacks had no idea, while the military experts understood the massive challenge. Some answers were obvious – in the Third World, the first thing the plotters take control of are the radio and TV stations and the newspapers. In America, the media was already in the bag. Hell, they would cheerlead a coup. But the actual seizure of power? That was more complicated.
“You just send in some soldiers and take over everything,” said the younger and, astonishingly, stupider California senator. “You know, with guns. How hard can this Army stuff be?”
Retired – actually, fired by Trump – General Leonard Smith, who had been promoted by Obama after failing to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who successfully spearheaded the transsexuals in foxholes initiative, tried to explain.
“Look, it’s a matter of numbers. We take all our land forces in CONUS…”
“What’s CONUS?” asked a former Clinton Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of Defense.
“The continental United States,” the general replied, annoyed. “We have maybe 45 brigade combat teams total available, counting everything active and reserve, Marine and Army. Less than one per state. And a city takes a brigade to control – at least. New York would take ten. And that’s assuming they were all loyal to us. There’s police and federal law enforcement too, but we also have 100 million armed Americans who might object.”
“Ridiculous,” sniffed the senator. “How can a bunch of citizens armed with their deer rifles stop a modern army?”
“Oh, I don’t know, Senator. Ask the Vietnamese. Or the Afghans. Look, we need speed and focus. Step one is to decapitate the government by eliminating the current leadership, via capture or … otherwise. Step two, take the the key control nodes before the administration can react. Step three, use the inertia of the military and law enforcement. We get them on our side – whether they know it or not – and keep them moving and following orders so they do not have time to reflect and react against us. But you need to understand and to go into this with your eyes open. If we do this, people will die. Are you ready for that?”
“If breaking a few eggs is the price of restoring democracy by removing the president these Neanderthals elected, so be it,” said a MSNBC hostess. The general, thinking about the high position he had been promised in the new government, said nothing. For him, it was worth the risk.
They set about making contacts, enlisting support, and drafting plans. Their agents in the intelligence community ordered surveillance on dozens of government and civilian leaders expected to be loyal to the administration. Military contacts recruited key commanders and routed others into vital posts. For example, near Washington, the 3rd Infantry regiment’s commander was suddenly relieved and a new one assigned. The commander of the DC National Guard was likewise vetted and enlisted. At the FBI, arrest warrants for “Treason” were drafted and signed by friendly judges and then held for the right moment. Some hints of these preparations filtered up to law enforcement, but sympathizers throughout the federal government ensured the tips were routed to the circular file.
Timing was everything – all the pieces had to be in place to act. But they weren’t. As the weeks wore on and February turned to March and March into April, the plotters grew anxious. Every passing day made it more likely that their plan would be leaked and exposed. It actually was exposed once – a CNN reporter did a segment headlined “Rumors of a Military Coup in Swirl in Washington” before the executives shut it down. Luckily for the conspirators it was on Chris Cuomo’sshow, so no one saw it.
Pressure was growing. The economic news was improving as the market hit new highs. Trump-allied candidates were winning primaries as Obamacare collapsed and the people somehow failed to hold those who did not enact it responsible for it. But then a window of opportunity arose. On April 25th, 2018, the President would be at the White House, but the Vice-President would be flying back to Indiana, Attorney General Sessions would be at home in Alabama, and Defense Secretary Mattis would be at an Air Force base in Nebraska. Congress would be in town, as would the Supreme Court. They carefully reviewed their proscription lists – neutralizing key individuals was as important as securing physical locations – and the schemers prepared to act.
The vast majority of the coup catspaws would have no idea of their place in the big picture; they would be assigned specific tasks within the scope of their typical duties and only find out after it was too late that they had been part of the plot. But others knew exactly what they were doing, including a significant number of military and law enforcement trigger pullers who would undertake active measures.
At 8 p.m. on April 25th, cruisers from the Washington, D.C. Police Department received orders to shut down each of the bridges into the city and key land routes in from Maryland due to a “terrorist alert.” The TV stations reported it, but police appeared at local radio stations demanding they go off the air “by order of the Mayor.” In the meantime, a convoy of a dozen vehicles marked “Secret Service” turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue.
General John Kelly walked into the Oval Office where the President was speaking to his colorful communications director. “Mr. President, I have received a report from the CIA of a major potential terrorist operation. I’ll talk to DHS and FBI and see what else we know. We are increasing security here at the White House.”
“What’s going on?” asked Donny Coleman, a uniformed Secret Service officer at the White House gate. He’d been on the job twenty years and never seen anything like this. A dozen Secret Service vehicles with lights were lined up behind the barrier, everyone was in tactical gear, and the head honcho wasn’t in a mood to chat.
“Emergency Response Team. Open the damn gate!” he shouted. “There’s a major terrorist threat.”
But Donny Coleman had not been told of a convoy suddenly appearing because of a major terrorist threat he had heard about just two minutes before, and moreover, he was an affable guy who took pride in knowing just about everyone in the Uniformed Division of the United States Secret Service, and he didn’t know any of these guys.
“Let me hit the gate button,” he said, and walked into the guard shack, hit the button that read “ALARM,” drew his .357 magnum SIG Sauer 229 and dropped to the ground as the claxon sounded and a flurry of 5.56 mm bullets shredded the walls.
“What the hell is this?” Jeff Sessions asked as a half-dozen armed men pushed into his living room in his Alabama home. He had given all but one of his security detail the night off; that man lay on the porch, shot through the forehead.
“Shut up,” said the biggest one, smashing the Attorney General in the mouth.
The pilot of Air Force Two, a C-32 (the military version of a Boeing 757) looked out her window.
“Where’s our escort?” the lieutenant colonel asked. The F-16s had been right there at their wings as they had approached Indianapolis – a nice gesture to welcome their passenger home. The scope showed the two fighters had dropped back.
There was a piercing tone in the cockpit. “Missile lock!” shouted the pilot and the plane’s automatic defense systems came to life. Too late. Four AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles slammed into the jet. It spiraled down into a cornfield north of Jasper, Indiana, at 7:32 p.m. local time.
“Secure the President!” shouted General Kelly as gunfire erupted outside. “Get him to the bunker!” The Secret Service guards did, surrounding him, weapons out. Agents and Marines rushed through the halls, stopping to open hidden cabinets packed with M4s and ammo.
“You need to see this,” Anthony Scaramucci, the communications director said. Kelly followed. In the comms room, he saw the same picture on all the screens – except for Fox, which was snow. It was Hillary Clinton, stiff at a desk, looking a bit like she had imbibed some liquid courage. She was reading off a sheet of yellow paper.
…no choice but to act decisively to restore democracy and our Constitution by removing the Trump junta. Our armed forces are acting to protect our country by transferring leadership to the National Committee of Recovery and Reconciliation, made up of prominent citizens from all political parties, which will govern until fair elections free of foreign collusion can be held …
Kelly caught the President and his escorts at the elevator. The battle outside sounded like the general remembered Fallujah sounding. Except, inside the White House, he had only a few Secret Service agents and some Marines to hold off the onslaught.
“Sir,” he said. “It’s a military coup.”
PART 2 of "The Military Coup Against Donald Trump of 2018" runs Tuesday.





A Better Deal?




Rocky Horror Picture Show


Sanctuary Cities


Hey Democrats


The Three Stooges




What the fuck happened?


Real Collusion


No Takers!


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Smokers Continue to Cost All of Us More Than All Of Obamacare!

valuewalk ^ | July 29, 2017 | JOHN F. BANZHAF 

Government cracks down on tobacco but there is better way to cut health-care costs!

The federal government has announced plans to reduce the amount of nicotine in cigarettes in a completely untested attempt to reduce smoking, but this approach will take many years to even be put into effect, and such an approach ignores many other proven techniques which will work more quickly, and could slash health-care costs now, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf.
Banzhaf has been called “The Man Behind the Ban on Cigarette Commercials,” “The Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry,” and “a Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Billions of Dollars.”
The approach announced Friday by the Food and Drug Administration [FDA] involves two different sequential rulemaking proceedings, a process which will take many years even to put a new rule into place, and one likely to be delayed even more by the inevitable litigation.
The FDA proposal also not only omitted for the nicotine-reduction requirement so-called e-cigarettes, a growing source of nicotine and nicotine addiction in both children and adults, but also extended until 2021 the time for manufactures of this deadly and addictive product to submit applications.
The announcement that the government plans to regulate nicotine in tobacco cigarettes, but not e-cigarettes, and to give e-cigarette manufactures years more time to submit their applications, was made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who, coincidentally, was previously on the board of e-cigarette maker Kure.
Ironically, there are many other actions the federal government could take which would have a much bigger and more immediate effect, says Banzhaf, noting the increased pressure to do something about rising health-care premiums now that efforts to pass health-care reform legislative have collapsed. Here’s why.
The American Lung Association estimates that smoking costs the American economy about $322 billion a year. This includes over $175 billion in direct medical care for adults, but does not include the huge increased indirect costs such has higher numbers of complications from surgery, delayed healing, etc.
Most of this alarming cost is now being borne by nonsmoking taxpayers in the form of higher taxes (to pay for Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs) as well as ever-escalating health-care costs (in the form of higher premiums, changing deductibles, etc.).
Since the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] estimates that Obamacare would cost about $1.34 trillion over the next decade – just under $140 billion/yr – reducing smoking could cover the entire cost of any new health plan – including many times over the costs attributable to pre-existing conditions – without using taxpayers’ money, or imposing higher insurance rates on the great majority of Americans who do not smoke.
Indeed, notes Banzhaf, since neither Obamacare nor any of the major Republican approaches to change it actually reduce health-care costs. but rather simply try to shift the huge existing burden, doing something like reducing smoking may be the only way to reduce health-care costs which are now imposed on policy holders, taxpayers, medical device makers, and others.
Here are several ways it could be done much more quickly and effectively than the totally untried long-term technique of reducing the nicotine concentrations in tobacco cigarettes.
One simple measure would be to raise the federal cigarette tax from its current level of $1.01/pack – a rate which has remained unchanged since 2009.
The Congressional Budget Office has recommended an increase of fifty cents per pack – an amount many studies have shown would significantly reduce the rate of smoking, and the huge medical costs imposed on the American economy, by the mere fifteen percent of adult population which still smokes – and an increase of one dollar per pack would have an even larger effect on reducing unnecessary health-care costs.
Interestingly, the CBO noted as one reason for raising the tax that “tobacco consumers may underestimate the addictive power of nicotine and the harm that smoking causes.”
Numerous studies have shown again and again that significant increases in cigarette tax rates are one of the most effective ways to help persuade smokers to quit.
Unlike most government anti-smoking programs which cost millions to hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars, the cost of using this very effective technique is zero; or even less than zero, since net revenue increases even after making allowance for the reduction in the number of smokers.
Prohibiting smoking in workplaces and public places is another technique which has been proven to be very effective in reducing the rates of smoking and, like increasing taxes, is one of the few measures which cost taxpayers nothing.
Yet more than forty percent of the population live in a jurisdiction which does not yet have a comprehensive smoking law prohibiting smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and bars.
The federal government could remedy that problem, and immediately slash smoking rates, simply by adopting a federal clean indoor air act similar to that proven to be so effective in many states.
Alternatively, much the same result could be achieved without the need for any action by Congress by providing strong incentives for jurisdictions which do not now have comprehensive smoking restrictions to adopt them.
For example, the Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], which includes the FDA, could simply adopt a policy of giving priority in awarding health-related grants to jurisdictions which protect nonsmokers – and thereby also help persuade smokers to quit – by having clean indoor air restrictions in place.
The keen competition for these billions in grants would provide a very strong incentive for these remaining jurisdictions to join the remainder of the country, and save money, by prohibiting smoking.
A third technique would be to rescind guidance under Obamacare which requires companies to permit smokers to avoid the fifty percent smoker surcharge Banzhaf helped get included under Obamacare by simply spending a few hours each year in smoking withdrawal classes.
Congress intended to impose personal responsibility on smokers, the fifteen percent of the adult population which impose an unnecessary $322 billion dollar a year cost on all taxpayers, and not to let them skirt this requirement by attending a class or two, argues Banzhaf.
The current health-care costs and medical expense crisis cannot be solved, or even significantly reduced, simply by shifting the new costs of insuring tens of millions of previously uninsured Americans to other entities such as middle class workers, hospitals, medical device makers, etc., notes Banzhaf.
Nor will tinkering around the edges – adopting electronic medical care records, improving record keeping, reducing unspecified “waste,” etc. – do much to solve the underlying problems, he says.
“It’s obviously far more effective to prevent a heart attack, lung cancer, or stroke from ever happening – e.g. by reducing smoking – than to treat it, no matter how effective the treatment might be.”
The best and most effective way to attack the health-care cost crisis is to recognize that so much of it is caused by smoking, and to start imposing personnel responsibility on the fifteen percent of American adults who continue smoking, expecting nonsmokers to absorb the cost, subsidize their insurance, etc., he says.

Oregon finds nearly half the Medicaid recipients checked in recent months no longer qualified! ^ | July 29, 2017 | Jeff Manning & Hillary Borrud 

Oregon has determined it awarded Medicaid health benefits to more than 37,000 people during the past year who earned too much money or otherwise failed to qualify, new figures show.

That high number represents nearly half the Medicaid recipients whose incomes the state rechecked this spring and summer. It has come to light as the state health authority works through a backlog of eligibility checks caused by technology problems and the spike in enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

The count surpasses predictions to the Legislature by agency director Lynne Saxton, who pegged the number at 32,000. And it almost certainly will climb higher, as the agency has another 31,000 cases still to check.
Historically, around 28 percent of Oregonians on Medicaid no longer qualify for the program at annual check-ins. Now, as Oregon works through its backlog, the rate of people being deemed ineligible is closer to 45 percent.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Trump threatens insurer payments — and health care enjoyed by Congress

STAT News ^ | 29 Jul, 2017 | LEV FACHER 

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Saturday indicated he will make good on a months-old threat to destabilize the health insurance market if Senate Republicans cannot repeal and replace major elements of the Affordable Care Act.
The first part of the ultimatum likely refers to cost-sharing reduction payments made by the federal government to insurers, which in turn offer plans with discounted deductibles and copays for many low- or middle-income Americans buying plans through ACA marketplaces.
The second portion, while far narrower in scope, is significant in that it highlights an additional tool at the president’s disposal for acting unilaterally on health policy. Though ACA repeal has been in the spotlight throughout 2017, other rumblings regarding subsidies specific to Congress have been rare.....
“By blowing the whistle on this special deal concocted by OPM, we will make members of Congress better understand the burdens of ObamaCare, thereby incentivizing members to get to work on a good repeal and replace plan,” DeSantis wrote then in a statement.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

McCain’s Revenge ("He's no hero")

american spectator ^ | Ross Kaminsky 

For Republicans and our country, turnabout is not fair play.
Senator John McCain waited two years to get his revenge against Donald Trump for saying that McCain is not a war hero. But with a giant middle finger — or more precisely a thumb — McCain, perhaps assuming that he’ll never run for election again, showed Donald Trump that repealing and replacing Obamacare would not be the “so easy” venture that the great “deal-maker” promised.
I understand that these two men don’t like each other. I understand that revenge is a dish best served cold. But by looking to hurt President Trump — which I have no doubt was one motivation of the “maverick” Senator — John McCain cemented his reputation as a politico who always talked a good game and who traded on his former heroism but who in the end was a harmful influence in American politics. (I say cemented because McCain’s reputation had already gone substantially in that direction with his involvement in the unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Incumbent Protection Act — which may not be its official name — his incessant efforts to get and keep America in wars, and his mindless desire to promote “bipartisanship” over principle, party, and, in this case, country.)
In the closing moments of his “triumphant” return-to-the-Senate speech on Tuesday night, Senator McCain said that after the debates and votes on health care reform, he planned to stay in D.C. for a few days managing the Senate approval of the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”), normally a fairly non-controversial process, before returning home for treating for his recently diagnosed brain cancer.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

NFL Owners Apparently Not Interested in Colin Kaepernick...wonder why!

SBNation ^ | 27 Jul 2017 | Adam Stites 

Colin Kaepernick is likely being blackballed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. There have been plenty of other reasons and excuses provided by NFL teams to explain why the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback is still a free agent, but Kaepernick’s protests from the 2016 season loom large.
In a Thursday morning appearance on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike, Adam Schefter said he believes that NFL owners have tried to keep coaches and front-office personnel from going after Kaepernick.
“Do I think that certain owners have blocked teams from visits or interest? I do, I do believe that,” Schefter said. “And I think that there has been more interest in him from the coaching and front office level than there has been at the ownership level. So it was always going to take a unique opportunity for him to be brought in, in the right place, at the right spot, at the right time.”
Many others believe NFL owners have halted general managers from signing Kaepernick, but Schefter is one of the most connected reporters in the league and one of the few to actually say that owners are likely the reason Kaepernick is still a free agent.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Donald Trump Threatens to Cancel Some Health-Care Benefits for Lawmakers!

Wall Street Journal ^ | July 29, 2017 | Louise Radnofsky 

President Donald Trump made one of his most explicit threats to cut off payments to insurance companies to force senators and lobbyists back to the bargaining table for a GOP health-care bill, and saying, for the first time, that he was also willing to cancel some of lawmakers’ health-care benefits.
“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Mr. Trump tweeted Saturday.
For months, Mr. Trump has threatened to stop reimbursements to insurance companies—a part of the ACA—but his administration has always paid them in the end, including amid significant uncertainty in June and at a crucial moment in GOP negotiations just a week ago in July.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Liberal news outlets work overtime to hide a huge Democratic scandal and more!

Fox News. com ^ | July 29, 2017 | Dan Gainor 

Watching news outlets go out of their way to hide a potentially huge Democratic scandal is almost funny. So-called journalists are too busy covering presidential tweets to report on a topic that might embarrass their friends.
Welcome to the Imran Awan-Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal or Compugrab, as I like to call it.
Awan was the top IT aide to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The FBI reportedly “seized smashed computer hard drives” from his home. He was “arrested trying to flee to Pakistan after wiring almost $300,000 to the country,” according to The Daily Caller, which has owned the story because it does actual news reporting.
Here’s an amazing paragraph from the Caller: “Awan and members of his family received $4 million from the Democratic congressmen they were working for since 2010. Wasserman Schultz has been especially uncooperative with the probe into her staffers and even threatened the Capitol Police chief for gathering evidence. She refused to fire Awan until after he was arrested, even though Capitol Police had already revoked Awans’ access to the congressional IT system in February in relation to a major security breach.” ($4 million, and you wonder where your tax dollars go.)
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Ditch Mitch ^ | July 29, 2017 | Jeff Crouere 

Yesterday morning, the rationale for why conservatives across the country should support Republican Party candidates and enable the GOP to control Congress was completely shattered. By losing a 49-51 vote, the Republican led U.S. Senate failed a pass a “skinny” repeal of Obamacare, condemning the nation to more suffering from the horrors of socialized medicine.
It was a stunning failure for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who was tasked with crafting legislation that would attract at least 50 Republican votes. In the end, McConnell was only able to muster 49 Republican votes, so the reform measure failed. Three turncoat Republicans joined all 48 Democrats to defeat the best chance to repeal at least some of the most offensive aspects of Obamacare.
It was a bitter defeat for the GOP, the President and all healthcare reform supporters. Now, health insurance premiums and deductibles will continue to increase. Insurance companies will continue to withdraw from certain states and choices for struggling Americans will become more limited.
For Americans who do not want health insurance, they will continue to be mandated to buy the product. Others who cannot afford the skyrocketing premiums will have to pay an outrageous fine to the IRS. In addition, many employers will be forced to trim the number of full time workers to escape their expensive Obamacare coverage mandate. Thus, the lack of GOP leadership in the Senate will result in real pain for the American people.
Most of the blame for this debacle rests squarely on the shoulders of Majority Leader McConnell. Since the November 2016 election of Donald Trump as President, McConnell has had over eight months to develop legislation that would pass the Senate. With such an embarrassing failure, McConnell should be removed as Senate Majority Leader. Republicans need a leader who can deliver for not only the country, but also for the Republican Party.
Mitch McConnell has enjoyed over 10 years as Republican Party leader in the Senate. First as Minority Leader and since January of 2015 as Majority Leader. In that time, he has not been an advocate for conservative reform. In the presidential election, he was not a strong advocate for Donald Trump. In fact, he spent the entire presidential campaign trying to distance himself from the populist oriented GOP nominee.
McConnell is the ultimate insider, he is a creature of the swamp that controls the Beltway and our federal government. As a Senator for 33 years, McConnell long ago ceased being a reformer and became part of the dreaded Republican Party establishment. He is ill-suited to promote Donald Trump’s “drain the swamp” agenda.
Along with his failure to pass the Obamacare repeal, McConnell has allowed the Senate to delay action on dozens of Trump administration nominees. What is the use of having Republican leadership of the Senate when its’ leader cannot produce any legislative accomplishments?
On the major items in the President’s agenda, the Senate has not been able to provide victories on even one of them, except the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. At least the House passed a healthcare reform bill, even though it was imperfect. Unfortunately, the Senate seems incapable of doing anything, which is why McConnell should be fired as Majority Leader. If he had any decency, he would resign his post, but we should not expect such a selfless act from a lifelong politician like Mitch McConnell.
Under McConnell’s leadership, the Senate has produced six months of worthless talk and debate, but no legislative victories for President Trump. If this continues the GOP will suffer the same result in the 2018 mid-term election as what happened in the 2006 election, after four years of Republican Party leadership of the Congress and the White House.
In that period, Republicans used their majorities to deliver more debt, grow government, increase federal regulations and bureaucracies, add entitlement programs and start a brand-new government department. Thus, the Republicans acted like Democrats and the base reacted by withdrawing support for the party.
Eventually, this GOP abandonment of their principles paved the way for the 2008 election of President Barack Obama and Democrat majorities in Congress. The result was a hard-left agenda and possibly the most damaging President in our nation’s history.
Similarly, the current failures will probably ensure Democrats make gains in the 2018 mid-term elections and possibly take control of Congress. In this case, with the GOP Congress doing nothing, the GOP base will be demoralized and will not turnout in substantial numbers in the next election. In contrast, the left is stark raving mad about Donald Trump and is very energized to elect a Democrat Congress in 2018.
Liberals know that if Democrats are elected to Congress, they will deliver legislative victories for their base. For example, the stimulus bill and the “Affordable Healthcare Act” were rammed through in the first two years of the Obama presidency. In contrast, conservative voters should have no confidence that congressional Republicans will deliver anything of real substance. The sobering result is that no matter which political party controls Congress, the federal leviathan grows.
Until the Republicans remove ineffective leaders like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they will accomplish absolutely nothing and only set the stage for the Democrats to achieve full power once again.

The 7 Republican Obamacare Judases in The Senate ^ | July 29, 2017 | John Hawkins 

The Democrat Party has run into trouble largely because it became way too radically liberal, way too fast. The Democrat Party of the Clinton years would have been terrified of publicly supporting many of the abominations forced down the throats of the American people during Obama’s tenure as President.
However, the Republican Party has almost the exact opposite problem.
They’re married men who don’t want to stop dating. They’re singers who can’t carry a tune. They’re preachers who are no longer men of faith. The GOP is run by men who find sincerely held Republican beliefs to be mildly embarrassing in a, “You can’t seriously believe that, can you?” sort of way. I know this for a fact because I’ve been on email lists with Capitol Hill staffers. Some of them were EXACTLY what you’d hope they would be: conservative, respectful of the people who got their bosses elected and serious about helping the country. Some of them were squishy, but at least listened to the opinions of the base. Unfortunately, quite a few of the others were smug, acted like the voters owed their bosses instead of the other way around and seemed to think of themselves as part of a feudal over-class that deserved to rule over the rest of us peasants because they’re in D.C., duh! When you see that attitude in the staffers, what it really tells you is what they’re hearing from their bosses in the office every day.
That contrasts with what WE, the VOTERS, have been hearing from their bosses every day. During the Obama years, there was one message we heard over and above all others. One that was repeated time and time again. One that was repeated so often that EVERYONE knew that’s what the Republican Party wanted to do. It was that if the Republican Party had its way, it was going to torpedo Obamacare. By 2014, the GOP had tried to defund Obamacare at least 6 times, and by the Democrats’ count, had tried to gut the law more than 50 times. Republican candidates across the country promised to repeal Obamacare. Mitt Romney promised to repeal Obamacare. Donald Trump promised to repeal Obamacare. It was as close as possible to a central message of the GOP beyond, “Obama? Aren’t you sick of that guy? And Hillary? Seriously? She gives me the creeps!”
So, what happens when Republicans FINALLY control the House, the Senate and the presidency and vote on repealing Obamacare? Seven Republican senators VOTED AGAINST a straight repeal of Obamacare with a two year window to come up with a replacement. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.; Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.; Susan Collins, R-Maine; Dean Heller, R-Nev.; John McCain, R-Ariz.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Rob Portman, R-Ohio all decided that after years of claiming to oppose Obamacare at every turn, they now want it to stay in place. Why, it’s almost as if they’ve been lying to you for years about their opposition to Obamacare! In fact, it reminds me of something that Ted Cruz once said that rings true right now,
“Part of what’s so problematic with Washington is how many Republicans want a show vote to pretend to their constituents they’re fighting for what they say they’re fighting for, rather than actually fighting for it and actually winning. In both parties, you’ve got entrenched politicians who have barely veiled contempt for the American people. They think their voters are gullible rubes – and you give them a little ‘show vote,’ you tell them, ‘Hey, I’m totally with you,’ then they go to Washington and they don’t actually do what they say.”
This SHOULD BE a big deal. It’s like the Pope coming out as a Satanist. It’s like walking into your bedroom and finding your wife and best friend both naked. It’s like being the last man on earth and hearing a knock at the door. So what price are these Republican Judases paying? Did Mitch McConnell threaten to try to cut them off from their donors? Did the National Republican Senatorial Committee tell them not to expect their support the next time they run for office? Did anything of consequence happen to any of them at all beyond Trump firing off a mild (for him anyway) tweet against Lisa Murkowski? This is so big that Republican Congressman Mo Brooks called for Mitch McConnell to be kicked out of his leadership position for this failure.
“If they’re gonna quit, well then, by golly, maybe they ought to start at the top with Mitch McConnell leaving his position, and letting somebody new, somebody bold, somebody conservative take the reins so that they can come up with a plan that can get through the United States Senate and serve the needs of the American people."
Isn’t he right? Mitch McConnell has a backbone made from butter and cream cheese; he couldn’t talk a telemarketer into taking his money and other than his correct, but not extraordinary decision not to move on Merrick Garland, his reign has been nothing but one long string of losses, punishing failures and missed opportunities. I’m sure he probably remembers to send a card to everyone on his birthday and does a great teenage mutant ninja turtle impression, but we should expect more out of our leaders. It’s fine to criticize Trump for his staff shake-ups, failures and Twitter obsession, but at least he’s trying to do SOMETHING other than sit on his butt and soak in the ambience of his important job. Can anyone say the same of Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Lamar Alexander or Lisa Murkowski?
There is nothing these senators who voted against the repeal of Obamacare have ever done or will ever do that can make up for their betrayal. None of them should ever represent the Republican Party in a general election again. That shouldn’t just be the position of the voters they have lied to; it should be the position of the REPUBLICAN PARTY. If this vote isn’t stepping over a bright red line for a Republican in Congress, then nothing does. The GOP shouldn’t aspire to be a pure party full of Jim DeMint and Rand Paul clones, but there should at least be some core tenets it believes in. It should be honest. It should mean well. It should represent something more than running the country into the ground to maximize the chances of a few stuffed shirts keeping their cushy jobs. If that isn’t what the GOP is really about, then prove it. Punish the Republican senators who sold all of us out on Obamacare and show that the GOP at least wants to be something more than all talk and no action.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Director Pompeo Details How the CIA Is Changing Under President Trump

Washington Free Beacon ^ | July 26, 2017 | Bill Gertz 

Director Pompeo Details How the CIA Is Changing Under President Trump

CIA Director Mike Pompeo: 'This organization is going to be in the business of stealing secrets'

BY: Bill Gertz
July 26, 2017 5:00 am

The following are excerpts of an interview with CIA Director Mike Pompeo by Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon senior editor and veteran national security reporter.

Bill Gertz: Tell me about your first six months at CIA.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo: The agency is frankly in a place where it's got great people out there doing the right thing, and the good news is we've got a president who's going to let them go do it. More than let them, he's going to demand that [the agency] give them the authority and capacity to take on those challenges in a way that is in the deepest traditions of what the CIA has done when it was at its best, when it was at its high points throughout its decades of service to the country.

The president—I'm with him often—turns to us for questions that are broad and complex, and is looking for answers and for our capacity to deliver them to him and to other senior leaders in government.

And so when you say, "Mr. President we've got work to do on that one," he says: "What do you need to go get it done?" And he has been willing to give us the scope and the authority to go do it and I know they'll hold us accountable too.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

John McCain Sends A Final “F You” To The American People

DB Daily Update ^ | 7.28.2017 | David Blackmon 

Sen. From the News Media John McCain sent what may have been a final “fuck you” to the American people in the wee hours of the morning, joining quasi-Democrat Susan Collins and the flip-flopping Lisa Murkowski as the 3 GOP votes needed to kill the final effort to get an Obamacare reform bill passed out of the senate. A few minutes prior to casting his vote, Sen. McCain was seen yukking it up with Chuck Schumer on the Senate floor. No doubt they were sharing memories of all the previous times they had joined hands in efforts to screw the American people. Good times…good times…
Anthony Scaramucci is either in waaaaaayyyyyyy over his head, or he is exactly the guy President Trump needed to bring in as a senior advisor to help clean out the swamp creatures who still infest the West Wing of the White House. I can’t really decide which option to believe about this guy, and yesterday’s hysterics did not inspire a lot of confidence. Not because of all the profanity – such discourse is the norm in DC – what disturbs me is his apparent naivete’ when dealing with leftwing fake journalists like Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker. After Lizza published his telephone tirade against Reince Preibus and Steve Bannon, Scaramucci claimed he thought their conversation was “off the record.” This displays a belief that he or any other person loyal to the President can actually trust one of these fake journalists to keep their word with them.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Man buns and metrosexuals: Inside America's war on masculinity ^ | 7/28/2017 | Mason Weaver 

WND recently reported that Princeton University was instituting a “men’s engagement manager” to battle aggressive masculinity. Not only is Princeton’s decision foolish, but the fact some are too afraid to call this foolish is even more foolish.
Of course, the notion that men are dangerous and aggressive is a correct and required fact of society. We are dangerous, so stop attacking us. We are aggressive, so stop pushing us.
To all the feminists and feminist-lite men who hate strong, protective, aggressive and dangerous men, get over it. We are aggressive to any attempt to misdirect our children and a danger from any threats to our culture. We love our family, culture, nation and God. It was strong, aggressive and dangerous men who defeated our enemies, built the cities and explored the world. It is because of their courage we live safely today.
The reason society can enjoy the nightlife is because of aggressive and dangerous men who fought back the darkness. We had to be more aggressive and dangerous than the bear, wolf and those other clowns down the hill.
So, now that we have saved women and those metrosexual men from the dangers of the night, you want us to put our hair up in a bun, slide into onesies/rompers and put on makeup? You want us to debate bathrooms, if men can have babies and how to moisturize our skin?
Where did this start, and how did we get here?
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Conservative Case for Universal Healthcare

The American Conservative ^ | July 25, 2017 | Chase Madar 

Don’t tell anyone, but American conservatives will soon be embracing single-payer healthcare, or some other form of socialized healthcare.
Yes, that’s a bold claim given that a GOP-controlled Congress and President are poised to un-socialize a great deal of healthcare, and may even pull it off. But within five years, plenty of Republicans will be loudly supporting or quietly assenting to universal Medicare.
And that’s a good thing, because socializing healthcare is the only demonstrably effective way to control costs and cover everyone. It results in a healthier country and it saves a ton of money.
That may seem offensively counterintuitive. It’s generally assumed that universal healthcare will by definition cost more.

In fact, in every first-world nation that has socialized medicine–whether it be a heavily regulated multi-insurer system like Germany, single-payer like Canada, or a purely socialized system like the United Kingdom–-it costs less. A lot, lot less, in fact: While healthcare eats up nearly 18 percent of U.S. GDP, for other nations, from Australia and Canada to Germany and Japan, the figure hovers around 11 percent. (It’s no wonder that smarter capitalists like Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway are bemoaning the drag on U.S. firm competitiveness from high healthcare costs.) Nor are healthcare results in America anything to brag about: lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality and poor scores on a wide range of important public health indicators.
Why does socialized healthcare cost less? Getting rid of private insurers, which suck up a lot money without adding any value, would result in a huge savings, as much as 15 percent by one academic estimate published in the American Journal of Public Health. When the government flexing its monopsony muscle as the overwhelmingly largest buyer of medical services, drugs and technology, it would also lower prices-–that’s what happens in nearly every other country.

So while it’s a commonly progressive meme to contrast the national expenditure of one F-35 with our inability to “afford” single-payer healthcare–and I hesitate to say this lest word get out to our neocon friends–there is no need for a tradeoff. If we switched to single payer or another form of socialized medicine, we would actually have more money to spend on even more useless military hardware.

The barrier to universal healthcare is not economic but political. Is profligate spending on health care really a conservative value? And what kind of market incentives are working anyway–it’s an odd kind of market transaction in which the buyer is stopped from negotiating the price, but that is exactly what Medicare Part D statutorily requires: The government is not allowed to haggle the prices of prescription drugs with major pharmaceutical companies, unlike in nearly every other rich country. (Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pledged to end this masochism, but the 45th president has so far done nothing, and U.S. prescription drug prices remain the highest in the world.) Does anyone seriously think “medical savings accounts” with their obnoxious complexity and added paperwork are the right answer, and not some neoliberal joke?

The objections to socialized healthcare crumble upon impact with the reality. One beloved piece of folklore is that once people are given free healthcare they’ll abuse it by going on weird medical joyrides, just because they can, or simply let themselves go because they’ll have free doctor visits. I hate to ruin this gloating fantasy of lumpenproletariat irresponsibility, but people need take an honest look at the various health crises in the United States compared to other OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries. If readily available healthcare turns people hedonistic yahoos, why does Germany have less lethal drug overdoses than the U.S. Why does Canada have less obesity and type II diabetes? Why does the Netherlands have less teen pregnancy and less HIV? The evidence is appallingly clear: Among first-world countries, the U.S. is a public health disaster zone. We have reached the point where the rationalist santerĂ­a of economistic incentives in our healthcare policies have nothing to do with people as they actually are.

If socialized medicine could be in conformity with conservative principles, what about Republican principles? This may seem a nonstarter given the pious market Calvinism of Paul Ryan and Congressmen like Reps. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) and Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), who seem opposed to the very idea of health insurance of any kind at all. But their fanaticism is surprisingly unpopular in the U.S. According to recent polling, less than 25 percent of Americans approve of the recent GOP healthcare bills. Other polls show even lower numbers. These Republicans are also profoundly out of step with conservative parties in the rest of the world.

Strange as it may seem to American Right, $600 EpiPens are not the sought-after goal of conservatives in other countries. In Canada, the single-payer healthcare system is such a part of national identity that even hard-right insurgents like Stockwell Day have enthusiastically pledged to maintain it. None of these systems are perfect, and all are subject to constant adjustment, but they do offer a better set of problems–the most any mature nation can ask for–than what we have in the U.S.
And virtually no one looks at our expensive American mess as a model.
I recently spoke with one German policy intellectual, Nico Lange, who runs the New York outpost of the German Christian Democrats’ main think tank, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, to get his thoughts on both American and German healthcare. Is socialized medicine the entering wedge of fascism and/or Stalinism? Are Germans less free than Americans because they all have healthcare (through a heavily regulated multi-payer system), and pay a hell of a lot less (11.3 percent of GDP) for it?
Mr. Lange paused, and took an audible breath; I felt like I had put him in the awkward spot of inviting him over and asking for his honest opinion of the drapes and upholstery. “Yes,” he said, “we are less free but security versus freedom is a classic balance! National healthcare makes for a more stable society, it’s a basic service that needs to be provided to secure an equal chance for living standards all over the country.” Even as Mr. Lange delineated the conservative pedigree of socialized medicine in Germany–“You can certainly argue that Bismarck was a conservative in founding this system”–I had a hard time imagining many Democrats, let alone any Republican, making such arguments.
Indeed, the official GOP stance is perhaps best described as Shkrelism than conservatism, after the weasel-faced pharma entrepreneur Martin Shkreli, who infamously jacked up the price of one lifesaving drug and is now being prosecuted for fraud. (Though in fairness, this type of bloodsucking awfulness is quite bipartisan: Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan corporation, which jacked up the price of EpiPens from $100 to $600, is the daughter of Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), who defended his daughter’s choice.)
But GOP healthcare politics are at the moment spectacularly incoherent. Many GOP voters have told opinion polls that they hate Obamacare, but like the Affordable Care Act. And as the GOP healthcare bill continues to be massively unpopular, Donald Trump has lavished praise on Australia’s healthcare system (socialized, and eating up only 9.4 percent of the GDP there). Even in the GOP, this is where the votes are: Trump’s move to the center on questions of social insurance–Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security–was a big part of his appeal in the primaries. The rising alt-Right, not to hold them up as any moral authority, don’t seem to have any problem with universal Medicare either.
It will fall on “reform conservatives” to convince themselves and others that single-payer or some kind of universal care is perfectly keeping with conservative principles, and, for the reasons outlined above, it’s really not much of a stretch. Lest this sound outlandish, consider how fully liberals have convinced themselves that the Affordable Care Act–a plan hatched at the Heritage Foundation for heaven’s sake, and first implemented by a Republican governor–is the every essence of liberal progressivism.
Trump’s candidly favorable view of Australian-style socialized healthcare is less likely a blip than the future of the GOP. Republican governors who actually have to govern, like Brian Sandoval and John Kasich, and media personalities like Joe Scarborough, and the Rock, will be soon talking up single-payer out of both fiscal probity, communitarian decency, and the in-your-face evidence that, ideology aside, this is what works. Even the Harvard Business Review is now giving single-payer favorable coverage. Sean Hannity and his angry brigade may be foaming at the mouth this week about the GOP failure to disembowel Obamacare, but Sean’s a sufficiently prehensile fellow to grasp at single-payer if it seems opportune–just look at his about-face on WikiLeaks. And though that opportunity has not arisen yet, check again in two years.
The real obstacle may be the Democrats. As Max Fine, last surviving member of John F. Kennedy’s Medicare task force, recently told the Intercept, “Single payer is the only real answer and some day I believe the Republicans will leap ahead of the Democrats and lead in its enactment,” he speculated, “just as did Bismarck in Germany and David Lloyd George and Churchill in the UK.” For now, an invigorating civil war is raging within the Democrats with the National Nurses Union, the savvy practitioner-wonks of the Physicians for a National Health Program, and thousands of everyday Americans shouting at their congressional reps at town hall meetings are clamoring for single-payer against the party’s donor base of horrified Big Pharma executives and affluent doctors. In a few years there might even be a left-right pincers movement against the neolib/neocon middle, whose unlovable professional-class technocrats are the main source of resistance to single payer.
I don’t want to oversell the friction-free smoothness of the GOP’s conversion to socialized healthcare. Our funny country will always have a cohort of InfoWars ooga-boogas, embittered anesthesiologists and Hayekian fundies for whom universal healthcare is a totalitarian jackboot. (But, and not to be a jerk, it’s worth remembering that Hayek himself supported the socialized healthcare of Western Europe in one of his most reasonable passages from the Road to Serfdom.)

So even if there is some banshee GOP resistance at first, universal Medicare will swiftly become about as controversial as our government-run fire departments. Such, after all, was the trajectory of Medicare half a century ago. You read it here first, people: Within five years, the American Right will happily embrace socialized medicine.

Chase Madar is an attorney in New York and the author of The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind the Wikileaks Whistleblower.

Gang of 7




Bring Out The Dead!


Listen Up, Princess




A bette deal




Appa Pie!




Drain the colon!




Won't bother!




Thursday, July 27, 2017

Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage Debate Catches Small Businesses in the Middle

The Christian Science Monitor ^ | July 27, 2017 | Jessica Mendoza 

SEATTLE—The posters on display at the entrance to her Capitol Hill store say it all: “You are safe here.” “Black Lives Matter.” “Resist Trump: keep America great.”
“I was raised on the most progressive politics,” says Jon (pronounced “Joan”) Milazzo, who co-owns Retrofit Home, a furniture shop on a busy corner of downtown Seattle. A native Vermonter who moved west about 30 years ago, Ms. Milazzo is all for the idea that employees – especially those at the bottom of the pay scale – receive a fair wage for their work.
But she is straining to reconcile her principles with what’s best for her business. Seattle’s 2015 minimum wage ordinance raises hourly pay by 50 cents to a dollar per year until all companies in the city hit $15 by 2021. Milazzo says she’d be happy to comply – if she didn’t also have to contend with soaring property taxes and rental and utility rates. Instead, she’s condensed her store hours and cut entry-level jobs.
“You can’t just say to the little people, ‘Now pay everybody more,’ ” she says. “Where does it come from?”
Seattle, among the first cities to adopt a $15-an-hour minimum wage ordinance, has been the setting for a debate over the effects of the policy so far. The dispute centers on two apparently conflicting studies, both released this year. One, from the University of Washington, found that the ordinance significantly reduced average earnings for low-wage workers throughout the city because employment opportunities declined. Another, from the University of California, Berkeley, found that job loss – specifically in the food service industry – was minimal, and that wages indeed rose for workers making the least.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Thank Donald Trump for banning transgenders from military service! ^ | July 26, 2017 | 

NOTE: After signing the petition, you will have the chance to send a personalized postcard to the White House, thanking President Trump for this pro-family and pro-America decision. You pay the postage, we'll print and mail your card.

President Trump announced on July 26, 2017 that he was banning transgendered individuals from serving in the U.S. military 'in any capacity.' This is an incredible decision from President Trump that will save the United States government from paying for very expensive 'sex change' surgeries.

This decision will also protect female soldiers from having to share showers, bathrooms, and barracks with men that "identify" as women - a policy actually outlined in a recent Army training policy!
Trump recognized the extreme "disruption" that transgendered people would cause in the military, and chose to focus on "decisive and overwhelming victory" instead.

President Trump is making our military great again! Let's overwhelm him with our support!
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Study: Trump’s Trans Ban in the Military Will Save Taxpayers Up to $8.4 Million Annually!

Cybercast News Service ^ | July 26, 2017 | 10:49 AM EDT | Gage Cohen 

President Donald Trump’s decision on Wednesday morning to ban transgender individuals from serving in the military “in any capacity” has the potential to save taxpayers up to $8.4 million dollars per year, according to a RAND study. […]
This decision comes two weeks after the House of Representatives failed to pass the Hartzler Amendment, which would have prohibited the Pentagon from using taxpayer funds to pay for sex reassignment surgeries. 23 Republicans joined 190 Democrats to vote down Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s (R-Mo.) amendment.
The RAND Corporation, a public policy research organization, conducted a study last year to “assess the implications of allowing transgender personnel to serve openly.” The study found that there is an estimated 1,320 to 6,630 transgender individuals currently serving in the military.
The research center calculated transition-related health costs for transgender people to be as much as $8.4 million annually. The President’s decision will alleviate taxpayers of that cost, as well as of any disruptions or lost service caused by transgender surgeries. …
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

The Rise and Fall

TIMELINE: RISE AND FALL OF HILLARY CLINTON (nominated one year ago today)
twitter ^ | 7-26-17 | DFU 
Posted on 7/26/2017, 11:43:15 PM by doug from upland

‘They don’t even try’: Hungary’s new border fence called ‘spectacular success’!

World Tribune ^ | May 2, 2017 | World Tribune Staff 

Skeptics who believe a border wall will not stop illegals from entering the United States may want to look at what’s happening in Hungary.

On the day its border fence was completed, the influx of illegals entering Hungary went down from 6,353 one day to 870 the next. For the remainder of that month, illegal border crossings were steadily below 40 per day, officials said.
Border patrols prevent dozens of crossings every day and catch migrants who make it into Hungary within the first few miles of the border, according to authorities. /Reuters
“They don’t even try,” a local border guard told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We haven’t had a Syrian in six months.”
Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s pledge to stop illegals from flowing into the country appears to be a spectacular success.
Hungary’s 96-mile long, 14-foot tall double-line fence includes several layers of razor-wire capable of delivering electric shocks. The barrier features cameras, heat sensors and loudspeakers ready to tell migrants they’re about to break Hungarian law if they as much as touch the fence, the April 30 Daily Caller report said.
Nearly every police officer in Hungary is part of a rotation to monitor the border fence at all times. Temporary military bases house the police while they do their rotation.
Additionally, Hungary will train and pay more than 1,000 volunteers to deploy as “border hunters”.
Illegals who are caught are arrested and dropped off on the Serbian side of the fence. They don’t get a chance to apply for asylum unless they do so at a “transit zone” where they are held in housing containers while their cases get processed, the Daily Caller report said.
In September 2015, thousands of migrants streamed across the border every day as they made their way north to Austria, Germany and Scandinavia.
“It was an invasion,” Laszlo Toroczkai, the mayor of Asotthalom, told the Daily Caller. “Illegal immigration is a crime in a normal country. It’s not a normal thing to break into a country.”
“By the mid-year it was well beyond 100,000 people who came across,” said Zoltan Kovacs, a spokesman for the Hungarian government. “You should at least have the ability to handle what’s going on.”
Kovacs added: “You might not like it, it’s not a nice thing, but … the only way to stop illegal border crossings is [to] first build a fence, man it, equip it, and also, in parallel, build up your capabilities in terms of legal confines, legal circumstances to be able to handle what is coming.”

The Parties




1.8 Million




All Aboared?








The New Face!


New Blood


Try it again!






I did not...


VA Hospital






More of the same!




Till Death


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

President Trump announces US military ban on transgender individuals

Fox 6 News ^ | POSTED 8:17 AM, JULY 26, 2017, | CNN WIRE SERVICE 

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he plans to reinstate the ban transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces.

The decision reversed a policy initially approved by the Defense Department under President Barack Obama, which was still under final review, that would allow transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. Defense Secretary James Mattis announced last month that he was delaying enactment of the plan to begin allowing transgender individuals to join the US military.

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Republicans Must Repeal and Replace Obamacare or They'll be Replaced as the Dems Were From 2010-2016

IWB ^ | Robert Carbery 

Medicaid now covers over 74 million people, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. The numbers were nowhere near this high of a percentage when it began in the 1960s. With the passage of Obamacare, an entitlement that Republicans were put in power to pull back, those on the Medicaid dole spiked dramatically. But is it too late? Once a government program begins, it is impossible to stop it.

Obama knew this and that is why he lied his way into ensuring that this monstrosity of the federal government’s intrusion into our healthcare system passed no matter what. People are used to it know so it now appears here to stay.

Republicans have been declaring throughout the Obama administration’s eight tumultuous and government power-grabbing years that they will repeal and replace every word of Obamacare. They even held pointless votes in the House that they knew had no chance of passage to show how serious they were.

Now that they have all the power in Washington DC, they can’t deliver. If they do not, we will see the rise of the Democrats once again as Americans get more worked up about healthcare than just about any other issue.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Mattis Orders Full Review Of Any Military Training That Has Nothing To Do With Warfighting ^ | 7/25/17 | Jonah Bennett 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis has ordered a full review of any military training not directly relevant to warfighting.

Mattis told the services to conduct a review of the “requirements for mandatory force training that does not directly support core tasks,” according to a Friday memo obtained by Military Times.

In other words, Mattis wants a full examination of all the hours of burdensome, irrelevant training service members have to undergo before deployment.
(Excerpt) Read more at ...

Smiles for Sanity

various | 7/26/2017 | various 

Two Alberta Farmers were looking at a Sears catalog and admiring the models.
One says to the other, ‘Have you seen the beautiful girls in this catalog?’
The second one replies, ‘Yes, they are very beautiful. And look at the price!’
The first one says, with wide eyes, ‘Wow, they aren’t very expensive. At this price, I’m buying one.’
The second farmer smiles and pats him on the back. ‘Good idea! Order one and if she’s as beautiful as she is in the catalog, I will get one too.’
Three weeks later, the younger farmer asks his friend, ‘Did you ever receive the girl you ordered from the Sears catalog?’ The second farmer replies.....

‘No, but it shouldn’t be long now. I got her clothes yesterday!’

The List


The View






The only thing...