about being liberal or conservative anymore y'all. That is a hype offered by the fascist whores who want to confuse the people with lies while they turn this country into an aristocratic police state. Some people will say anything to attain power and money. There is no such thing as the Liberal Media, but the Corporate media is very real.
Paul Krugman is awesome. Here is
his brief and cogent explanation of why the insurance market for health care is problematic.
...providing health care to those previously denied it is, necessarily, a matter of redistributing
from the lucky to the unlucky. And, of course, reversing a policy that expanded health care is
redistribution in reverse. You can’t make this reality go away.
Left to its own devices, a market economy won’t care for the sick unless they can pay for it;
insurance can help up to a point, but insurance companies have no interest in covering people they
suspect will get sick. So unfettered markets mean that health care goes only to those who are
wealthy and/or healthy enough that they won’t need it often, and hence can get insurance.
If that’s a state of affairs you’re comfortable with, so be it. But the public doesn’t share your
sentiments. Health care is an issue on which most people are natural Rawlsians: they can easily
imagine themselves in the position of those who, through no fault of their own, experience expensive
medical problems, and feel that society should protect people like themselves from such straits.
The thing is, however, that guaranteeing health care comes with a cost. You can tell insurance
companies that they can’t discriminate based on medical history, but that means higher premiums for
the healthy — and you also create an incentive to stay uninsured until or unless you get sick, which
pushes premiums even higher. So you have to regulate individuals as well as insurers, requiring that
everyone sign up — the mandate, And since some people won’t be able to obey such a mandate, you need
subsidies, which must be paid for out of taxes.
[SOURCE:Paul Krugman | New York
Times | 18 January 2017]
So you fools who think repealing the Affordable Care Act is going to automatically launch free-market
nirvana need to throw up the cool-aid immediately. When people think of free markets, they act like
all interactions between professionals, citizens, customers, and people are the exact same. They
treat every business and economic sector like a flea market or restaurant industry: everyone is
freely interacting with the same access to customers and citizens based upon the same criteria, so
those that use their resources more efficiently or perform the best services will inherently
succeed. In this model, hard work will accrue profit and customers will benefit.
Which is fine, but health care is not a flea market or a restaurant. You can choose if you want to
shop and dine, where you want to shop and dine, AND even whether you want to shop and dine. When
you get sick or have health issues, ignoring the problem is not an option. It's also not beneficial
to society at large because people with contagious diseases or chronic disorders that forego
treatment affect everyone as
a result and turn a bad situation worse, thereby increasing the necessary health costs. When costs
increase on those who cannot afford such costs, when costs increase because of delayed or decreased
treatment options, these costs spread out over those who can pay, namely
those who do buy insurance. This is why health insurance costs increased every year in the decades
preceding president Obama.
Costs will be increasing very shortly. Bank on it. Health care rationing will also increase, which
means micro-management of individual cost decisions will affect decisions about customer health that
probably will not be in the best interest of the health of that individual -- but in the best
interest of the
insurance company. It is precisely these perverse incentives that make health care an economic
sector than CANNOT achieve efficiency if it is treated like a free market.
Repealing the ACA was stupid, but you never know, this might precipitate the ground-work for
something that will be much better, because the pain of this stupid action will arrive very shortly.
Middle class voters everywhere will not be happy when their precious health insurace costs increase
by 20% per year or more over the next few years.
Wednesday, 18 January 2017 at 18h 42m 1s
The recent west coast weather
Notice the counter-clockwise spinning system over the Pacific ocean between Hawaii and Washington
State. The South part of the tail carries all the water. This is partly due to the spinning of the
Earth towards the East which induces orthogonal rotational weather systems
(orthogonal here means "perpendicular to the surface of the Earth"). The thing is that there are
competing spins that meteorologists understand as "High" pressure versus "Low" pressure systems. Low
Pressure is due to occupancy of air by water molecules which drops the air due to the weight,
inducing the spin cycle. A high pressure has less water occupancy, and might be very dry, which
induces moisture to "rush" into the high pressure pocket.
As the Earth spins, Low pressure systems
get created in reaction to the spinning of the Earth, which thereby induces reactions from High
pressure areas. The interactions between these two regions of air mass largely dictates the seasonal
patterns over the globe, but there are other factors, such as upper atmosphere pattern (sometimes
called the "Jet Stream"), geographical topography (such as Mountain ranges), and even sunspots.
During the past few years of drought here on the West coast, a High pressure system over Northern
California and the Pacific ocean a thousand miles off the Oregon Coast blocked the spinning Low
weather systems and sent them into Washington State, Oregon, and Canada. In January 2015 California
had summer weather conditions in January, and San Francisco had no rain at all during January for the first time in recorded
history. This was wierd (see below) because January is the middle of the central distribution
of recorded data and is typically the month when rain occurs more often.
Here is the Monthly Precipitation for various Bay Area locales:
[SOURCE:Chelsea Harvey | Business
Insider | 30 January 2015]
...young adults had a good run in Reagan years before the nasty hangover of the 1990-1991 recession
kicked in. From Fortune, summarizing a report by a group called the Young Invincibles, using Fed data:
The report found that millennials—15 to 34-year-olds in 2013—were worth roughly half as much
as the boomer generation and are earning about 20% less in comparison to young adults in 1989. While
millennials earned $40,581 on average in 2013, members of the boomer generation earned $50,910
annually in 1989.
Meanwhile, young adults with debt and a degree in 2013 earned roughly the same as those who had
no degree at all in 1989: $50,000.
The lower number on the paycheck has also materialized in the form of a lower net worth. While
Millennials are worth about $10,900, the Boomers were worth $25,035 at the same age.The lower number
on the paycheck has also materialized in the form of a lower net worth. While Millennials are worth
about $10,900, the Boomers were worth $25,035 at the same age.
...needless to say, one of the factors driving the lackluster post 2007 results is the lousy quality
of jobs. 94% of the new jobs created in the Obama era were part-time or temporary.
The lack of a steady job makes it hard to save for a down payment and hard to have enough in the way
of steady earnings to qualify for a mortgage. And in our society, where the property rights of
tenants are generally poor (unlike some other societies) and landlords can and do raise rents
aggressively, owning real estate historically was the way that the middle class accumulated wealth
for retirement. The 30 year mortgage matched the typical productive earning years of the (male) head
of the household. When he retired, he would own his house rent free and face much lower costs, or
could move into a smaller home and free up equity. Housing was a tax-advantaged forced savings
vehicle; the traditional model provided a wealth buffer for retirees even when real estate
appreciated only at its long-term historical level of a mere 0.5% real price growth per year.
The resolution of the crisis again turned the old model on its ear. Housing before the crisis was at
strained valuations in relationship to average incomes and rentals. Yet the priority after the
crisis was to restore home prices to their former levels. Now in fact, outcomes have varied
considerably, with the top 10% communities that have done well in the “recovery” seeing turbo
charged home price gains (which in New York, San Francisco, and increasingly other major cities have
been amplified by Russian and Chinese flight capital).
Sunday, 15 January 2017 at 10h 7m 54s
This is a good idea
Digby recently put out a post about how it's important to keep a weekly list of
events during authoritarian crises so as to not forget how far things evolve, and not become
defeated by moving goal posts.
She came up with 36 for week 9, and has lists for the other 8 weeks to boot. Kick ass.
The Office of Government Ethics director publicly lamented, "we seem to have lost contact with
the Trump-Pence transition since the election."
Three vendors have placed liens on the Trump hotel in DC for unpaid bills of over $5 million, in
The OGE similarly said they had not completed ethics reviews of Trump's cabinet nominees.
Leader McConnell said the Democrats need to "grow up" on Trump's desire for speedy confirmations.
Sean Hannity endorsed a tweet which said "Make Russia Great Again" with the word, "Amen."
Hannity later deleted his tweet.
Meryl Streep used her Golden Globes lifetime of notable work speech to eloquently attack Trump,
without mentioning his name.
Trump responded via a tweet that Streep is an "over-rated" actress, and denied he had mocked a
Trump took credit for a Fiat Chrysler plant and jobs in MI and OH. Fiat Chrysler responded that
Trump had nothing to do with it.
Trump appointed Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to a top WH post, possibly violating the 1967
federal anti-nepotism statute.
Trump told the NYT that all the dress shops in DC are sold out for his inauguration. This was a lie.
Trump team dismissed the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy, responsible
for maintaining our nuclear arsenal, as of January 20. Trump also dismissed the commanding general
of the DC national guard.
Cory Booker became the first US Senator to speak out against a fellow sitting senator at a
confirmation hearing (Sessions for AG).
CNN reported a bombshell - Intelligence chiefs had briefed Trump that Russia had gathered
information to blackmail him (the dossier).
Same day, BuzzFeed published contents of the dossier, which apparently had been in the hands of
the FBI and some in the media since the summer. Contents included the infamous golden shower.
Trump denied having been briefed, and said the contents of the dossier were confirmed by
intelligence to be fake. DNI Clapper issued a public statement indicating the dossier's contents are
still being verified (not fake), and media reported that Comey met with Trump one-on-one to review
the dossier the prior Friday.
Trump held his first press conference since July. Trump packed the room with paid employees, who
applauded him, and jeered at reporters.
At presser, Trump said he had no plans to release his tax returns, or resolve conflicts of
interest, saying, "I have no-conflict situation because I'm president."
Trump bullied reporters at two news outlets, calling them "fake news," and used other news
outlets as evidence.
The director of the OGE publicly blasted Trump's non-plan for dealing with conflicts of
interest. Next day, Rep Jason Chaffetz threatened to investigate the OGE.
Next day, while meeting with CEO of AT&T at Trump Tower (AT&T needs approval for their merger
with Time Warner, parent company of CNN) Trump tweeted CNN is "FAKE NEWS" and tanking.
Rep Barbara Lee said she would not attend Trump's inauguration. During the week, the list grew
to 6 members of Congress.
Trump encouraged his followers in a tweet to "buy L.L. Bean," in violation of a WH policy
prohibiting the endorsement of products.
The Justice Department inspector general opened an investigation into allegations of misconduct
by the FBI and Comey, leading up to the election.
C-Span's online broadcast was interrupted by Kremlin-backed broadcaster RT, while Rep Maxine
Waters was speaking. Waters has said she will not meet with Trump. The broadcast was also
interrupted that morning when a Senator discussed Russian hacking.
WAPO reported that Michael Flynn, Trump's NSA, spoke to Russia's envoy on Dec 29th, the day
Obama announced sanctions on Russia. Trump team initially denied this, then later, said they spoke
only once that day. Reuters reports they spoke 5 times that day.
Trump continued to deny Russian hacking, and to use quotes around Intelligence in his tweets.
Trump appointed Rudy Giuliani to a cybersecurity role - albeit though a private company.
Trump appointed a sixth Goldman Sachs (past or present) employees to a major role in his
After Congress was briefed by Intelligence chiefs, Rep John Lewis said, "I don't see Trump as a
Next morning, Trump tweeted a disparaging attack on Lewis, on MLK weekend, saying he was all talk.
Democrats in Congress were furious with FBI director Comey's unwillingness to answer their
questions and fully brief them.
UK media broke that the former agent who gathered the info in the dossier, had shared his
findings with the FBI, starting in the summer, and had become concerned that a cabal within the FBI
was compromised and attempting to cover-up information.
The Senate announced hearings on possible Russia-Trump ties, and said subpoenas would be used if
The FEC sent Trump a letter listing 247 pages of illegal contributions to his campaign.
In the wake of the Trump dossier becoming public, Russia's cybersecurity head is out of a job.
Human Rights Watch issued it's annual report of threats to human rights around the world. For
the first time in 27 years, the US is listed as a top threat because of the rise of Trump.
A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump's favorability ratings continuing to slide to historic lows for
modern day presidents: only 37% of Americans view Trump favorably.
I wrote this almost 10 years ago. I still cry around the 5:35 ish mark. I'm beginning to
think this song meets the criteria of magnum opus (10 years and still tears, right?) One of my
personal favorite compositions.
Good Lord if I ever actually recorded all my compositions. Easily two hundred.
Thursday, 12 January 2017 at 21h 28m 28s
Seesaw by Kowalski
I still dig this song, and video.
Thursday, 12 January 2017 at 18h 55m 59s
Those credible stories about a Russian Dossier
[SOURCE:Paul Wood | BBC News |11 January
[SOURCE:Scott Shane | New York Times | 11
The Obama "birther" story had a shelf life into his second term, with Trump stroking the flames from
day one. This story however concerns various sources which all point to Russia having blackmail
tapes and video on Donald Trump from not one but two incidents involving Russian hookers. And then
Trump accuses CNN of being a "fake" news pusher because he was upset that CNN was the first major
television news outlet to break the story. He refuses to take a question from the CNN reporter, but
then takes a question from the well-known fake news pusher Breitbart. Now I am not a fan of CNN. I
call them the "Corporate News Network" but publishing fluff stories is not the same thing as false.
Ignoring stories that affect the connected rich and corporations, or putting a certain paradigmatic
slant on whatever news story they present is not the same thing as fake.
That's not what Breitbart does. Breitbart publishes actual fake stories. Promotes them even.
Breitbart regularly allows politically contrived videos to be shown which give such a skewed
perspective that it is beyond a shift based on ideological preferences (like CNN) slicing speeches
and video in a way that portrays events in a false manner.
The corporate media may do a poor, incomplete job on reporting about matters that affect the
coin-counters in corporatocracy, but they don't publish fake stories unless they are planted by
political operatives and get snookered. "Fakebook" and Breitbart actually enable and sometimes
originate fake news to pollute the minds of the weak and ignorant. There are people who are paid to
produce daily memes and content on Facebook. The corporate media however is more
sophisticated. It does the job by making the perspective sound reasonable, by using selected facts
to make an argument.
So when Trump calls the Corporate News Network "Fake News" ... Me thinks you protest too much, kind
If people talk shit about me that I know is not true, I laugh. I could give a shit less. If
people wanna listen to liars, that's their choice. True friends will see your heart. When you get
upset about other people talking shit, it's because there is some element of truth in what people
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 at 19h 58m 5s
I write a new poem today. Oh joy
I call it ... Hypocrisy.
It’s team A versus team B
versus teams C and D
and maybe even E
and then of course there is always
team I don’t give a fuck
about this team bullshit
can you just leave me alone
and let me live my damn life
without all this pressure and fucking pretense
Yes yea I know
I know there ain’t no “I” in TEAM
but that’s like saying no cat will eat out of a dog’s bowl
or all the stars in heaven can never be seen as once.
Yea duh no shit mother fucker
everyone realizes the letter “I” is nowhere to be found in the four letters that constitute
the word “TEAM”.
Are you implying something about my personal character when you bring this shit up
during the most odd instances.
Me pointing at inconsistency
You saying how I am insensitive.
Me saying that your words are inaccurate
You saying that I don’t appreciate you.
Me saying that you are full of shit.
you say that I have no respect.
if I call you out on your bullshit
that has nothing to do with whether I give a fuck or care
the fact that I bother means
that I care
so don’t belittle the genuine perspective and honest logical argument
with some disclaimer or denial
that resides within your own
your own obvious insecurity.
When the emperor wears no clothes
you can either cheer
but you can never deny the truth in the nakedness of hypocrisy
because it will always be there
for all to see.
Wednesday, 11 January 2017 at 19h 28m 0s
Oh by the way ...
This is how these fucking people operate ...
LAUREN WINDSOR (narrator): Convicted criminal and right-wing con artist James O'keefe and
his cohorts in the Trump Foundation-funded Project Veritas are at it again; this time, infiltrating
progressive groups in an attempt to create a storyline smearing progressives by promising to fund
money for violent schemes to unsuspecting advocates. But this time the tables were turned. We
received a tip on suspicious behavior and immediately recognized O'Keefe's malicious handiwork. We
partnered with Ryan Clayton of Americans Take Action and launched a counter-sting.