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Definition: Trump’s Razor

Posted on May 13th, 2017 at 0:38 by John Sinteur in category: News

“The dumbest possible reason for why Trump did something is the reason Trump did something.”


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Lincoln

Posted on May 12th, 2017 at 17:22 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. You extended the linkage. Impressive.

Trump threatens Comey: Better hope there are no tapes

Posted on May 12th, 2017 at 17:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President Trump on Friday morning issued a cryptic threat to fired FBI Director James Comey amid a storm of media leaks contradicting the White House.

“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump tweeted.

A number of reports emerged late Thursday revealing current and former FBI officials dispute Trump’s account of a meeting he had with Comey earlier this year.

Trump in an NBC interview on Thursday said Comey had requested a dinner with him, during which Trump asked whether Comey wanted to stay on as the FBI head.

The president also said Comey told him three times — twice over the phone and once at their dinner meeting — that he was not the subject of any FBI investigations.

But that claim has been met with raised eyebrows in Washington. Bureau officials, speaking to the press, have contradicted Trump’s claims on several points.

Officials told NBC that the White House requested the dinner meeting, not Comey. A former senior official said that Comey would never have told the president he was not under investigation.

So….. a prez who openly admits he fired Comey because of the Russia investigation (and thus admitting to obstruction of justice, an impeachable offense) who now threatens a private citizen and while doing so basically admits the FBI has information that would be damaging to him… A private American citizen who has been asked to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence committee. If that’s not pretty blatant witness intimidation I don’t know what is. Pass me the popcorn please.

Oh, and somebody should read history to Trump.

1973. Alexander Butterfield was testifying before Congress, and answered some minor question with a comment about checking the tapes. “What tapes?” was the question that everyone asked. This was the first that anyone outside of the Nixon circle knew that he was taping the Oval Office.

And yes, they were subpoenaed.


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Comments:

  1. Quote:

    A source close to Comey told me this morning: “He hopes there are tapes. That would be perfect.”

  2. I just received a history book printed in 2054. Here’s what it says: “Director Comey played a very minor role in Trump’s impeachment, for a very limited amount of time.”

Birdie.

Posted on May 10th, 2017 at 10:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

Deadly Drive


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How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

Posted on May 9th, 2017 at 20:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

It may come as a surprise that, in buying a seasonal pie ingredient, you might be participating in a carefully designed social-science experiment. But this is what online comparison shopping hath wrought. Simply put: Our ability to know the price of anything, anytime, anywhere, has given us, the consumers, so much power that retailers—in a desperate effort to regain the upper hand, or at least avoid extinction—are now staring back through the screen. They are comparison shopping us.


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35 of 37 economists said Trump was wrong. The other two misread the question. 

Posted on May 9th, 2017 at 0:31 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

President Trump’s administration says his tax cut will pay for itself. It turns out it’s really hard to find an economist who agrees.

The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business regularly polls economists on controversial questions. In a survey the school published last week on Trump’s tax plans, only two out of the 37 economists that responded said that the cuts would stimulate the economy enough to cancel out the effect on total tax revenue.

Those two economists now both say they made a mistake, and that they misunderstood the question.

“I screwed up on that one,” said one of those two economists, Kenneth Judd, when asked about his response to Trump’s tax claim. “I meant to say that this is a horrible idea, a bad idea — no chance in hell.”

The other respondent who said that Trump’s tax cuts would pay for themselves was Bengt Holmström of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who confirmed in an email to The Washington Post that he had also misread the question.

Besides Judd and Holmström, another 35 economists said that the tax cuts would not finance themselves, and five more did not answer the question.


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SIGGRAPH 2017 : Technical Papers Preview Trailer

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 19:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


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What? It’s a odd time to be making a move about Britain having to make a hasty and poorly planned exit from Europe? Nah, it’s the perfect time!

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 13:15 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Comments:

  1. That should get Ms. May’s “contemptible little army” of deplorables all aroused.
    (Yeah I know, different war; the theme is the same, apparently).

    Fintan O’Toole on the cult of heroic British failure, mentions Dunkirk:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-brexit-resurrects-the-english-cult-of-heroic-failure-1.2947706

Mexican Drug Smugglers to Trump: Thanks!

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 12:57 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Crouched in the spiky terrain near this border city, a veteran smuggler known as Flaco points to the steel border fence and describes how he has taken drugs and people into the United States for more than three decades. His smuggling techniques include everything from throwing drugs over in gigantic catapults to hiding them in the engine cars of freight trains to making side tunnels off the cross-border sewage system.

When asked whether the border wall promised by President Trump will stop smugglers, he smiles. “This is never going to stop, neither the narco trafficking nor the illegals,” he says. “There will be more tunnels. More holes. If it doesn’t go over, it will go under.”

What will change? The fees that criminal networks charge to transport people and contraband across the border. Every time the wall goes up, so do smuggling profits.


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Comments:

  1. Having been a “border bouncer” (pot smuggler) some 45 years ago, I can attest to this.

  2. @Spaceman: Blimey! Next thing you’ll be tellig us you are a pirate :-]

Cartoons

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 12:35 by John Sinteur in category: News


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The Republican Party is sociopathic: If you didn’t know that already, the health care bill should make it clear

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 1:12 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

As detailed by the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, exhibiting three or more of the following traits is sufficient for the diagnosis of sociopathy:

  • Callous unconcern for the feelings of others
  • Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms and obligations
  • Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them
  • Very low tolerance to frustration, a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence
  • Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment
  • Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalization for the behavior that has brought the person into conflict with society

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders adds these two qualifiers:

  • Deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  • Impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead

The Republican Party’s policies on health care, the economy, the social safety net, law enforcement and racial issues, and its attitudes toward women, gays and lesbians, and other vulnerable and marginalized groups fit many of these criteria. In their reactionary, revanchist and destructive approach to political community and the commons, modern American conservatives in general also exhibit many sociopathic traits.


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Comments:

  1. Add economic incentive and most people fail this test.

Donald Trump former aide Carter Page refuses to provide Russia contacts to Senate

Posted on May 7th, 2017 at 1:05 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Former Trump adviser Carter Page has declined to provide records of his communications with Russians to the Senate intelligence committee, saying that anything of note has already been recorded by former President Barack Obama’s administration.

Remember when holding people in contempt was a thing, or is that just for reporters?

Anyway, on March 24th:

“I would eagerly welcome the chance to speak with the Committee to help finally set the record straight following the false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by certain politically-motivated suspects in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other Americans,” Page wrote in the letter that he provided to CNN.

So… Page doesn’t know what he can withhold. He doesn’t want to give them EVERYTHING, but he can’t risk leaving out anything they already have. His only play here is to refuse and say they have anything he has and hope that it’ll fly and when they present everything they have hope they are missing really damning stuff, at which point he says “yep, you have it all.”

It’s not going to fly because it’s obvious why he’s doing this.


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GOP rep: ‘Nobody dies because they don’t have access to healthcare’

Posted on May 6th, 2017 at 18:17 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) drew intense jeers at a town hall Friday when he defended the GOP’s ObamaCare repeal plan by claiming nobody dies due to lack of access to health care.

Hint: you’re nobody to him.


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Thieves drain 2fa-protected bank accounts by abusing SS7 routing protocol

Posted on May 6th, 2017 at 16:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A known security hole in the networking protocol used by cellphone providers around the world played a key role in a recent string of attacks that drained bank customer accounts, according to a report published Wednesday.

The unidentified attackers exploited weaknesses in Signalling System No. 7, a telephony signaling language that more than 800 telecommunications companies around the world use to ensure their networks interoperate. SS7, as the protocol is known, makes it possible for a person in one country to send text messages to someone in another country. It also allows phone calls to go uninterrupted when the caller is traveling on a train.

The same functionality can be used to eavesdrop on conversations, track geographic whereabouts, or intercept text messages. Security researchers demonstrated this dark side of SS7 last year when they stalked US Representative Ted Lieu using nothing more than his 10-digit cell phone number and access to an SS7 network.


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Blame the messenger…

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 23:25 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

In an attempt to defend Collins’ comments, his spokesman, Michael McAdams, tried to blame The Buffalo News.

“Once again The Buffalo News is twisting a Republican’s words to fit its out-of-touch, liberal narrative,” McAdams said, according to the publication. “Congressman Collins has been intimately involved in the creation of this legislation from its inception… He understands the impact it would have on Western New Yorkers. To infer Congressman Collins doesn’t understand the disastrous impact Obamacare has had on our region and our nation is absolutely shameful.”


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Did Little Bobby Tables migrate to Sweden?

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 20:21 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

As you may have heard, we’ve had a very close election here in Sweden. Today the Swedish Election Authority published the hand written votes. While scanning through them I happened to notice

R;13;Hallands län;80;Halmstad;01;Halmstads västra valkrets;0904;Söndrum 4;pwn DROP TABLE VALJ;1

The second to last field1 is the actual text on the ballot2. Could it be that Little Bobby Tables is all grown up and has migrated to Sweden? Well, it’s probably just a joke but even so it brings questions since an SQL-injection on election data would be very serious.

Someone even tried to get some JavaScript in there:

R;14;Västra Götalands län;80;Göteborg;03;Göteborg, Centrum;0722;Centrum, Övre Johanneberg;(Script src=http://hittepa.webs.com/x.txt);1

I’m pleased to see that they published the list as text and not HTML


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Comments:

  1. Easy enough to add left right facing marks though.

Every Republican who voted for this abomination must be held accountable

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 18:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

I won’t mince words. The health-care bill that the House of Representatives passed this afternoon, in an incredibly narrow 217-to-213 vote, is not just wrong, or misguided, or problematic or foolish. It is an abomination. If there has been a piece of legislation in our lifetimes that boiled over with as much malice and indifference to human suffering, I can’t recall what it might have been. And every member of the House who voted for it must be held accountable.


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  1. “Ok…sure thing…as soon as I put down my entertainment device & big Mac” (…said the average apathetic American)

Video: Cassini’s first Grand Finale dive over Saturn

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 11:11 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Cassini’s series of ‘Grand Finale’ dives by Saturn continues to mesmerize us. In the above video, you’ll first see a ‘Cassini-eye-view’ of the surface of Saturn whizzing by, starting with the swirling north pole of Saturn. But it doesn’t stop there, as NASA/JPL-Caltech also shows you a three dimensional simulation of exactly where the probe is as it’s capturing the images.


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Ah, the new Republican Health Plan

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 9:41 by John Sinteur in category: News


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  1. That’s so Canadian 🙂

All of the Netherlands was silent for 2 minutes today to remember victims of war. This dominoes delivery boy stopped in the middle of the streets

Posted on May 5th, 2017 at 0:00 by John Sinteur in category: News

 

(info)


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  1. That’s very touching.

    BTW, if anyone has any cash to spare, there’s an appeal for South Sudan.

Republicans run from MSNBC reporter as he asks them if they’ve read the bill they’re voting on

Posted on May 4th, 2017 at 23:59 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

A recent MSNBC clip shows a reporter stationed in a hallway in the U.S. Capitol complex, standing outside of a room where Republican members of Congress were meeting prior to an expected 1 PM vote on the latest version of the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare). As each member walks out of the meeting, the reporter asks, “Congressman, have you read the bill?” In the clip, at least six different members refused to answer the reporter’s question, or give him anything other than a brief acknowledgement.


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Billboards target lawmakers who voted to let ISPs sell user information

Posted on May 4th, 2017 at 23:57 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

When Congress voted in March to block FCC privacy rules and let internet service providers sell users’ personal data, it was a coup for the telecom industry. Now, the nonprofit, pro-privacy group Fight for the Future is publicizing just how much the industry paid in an attempt to sway those votes.

The group unveiled four billboards, targeting Reps. Marsha Blackburn and John Rutherford, as well as Sens. Jeff Flake and Dean Heller. All four billboards, which were paid for through donations, were placed in the lawmakers’ districts. “Congress voting to gut Internet privacy was one of the most blatant displays of corruption in recent history,” Fight for the Future co-founder Tiffiniy Cheng said in a statement on the project.


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Comments:

  1. “Congress voting to gut Internet privacy was one of the most blatant displays of corruption in recent history,”

    Along with all the other ones…

  2. I actually called the number on the billboard and spoke to an aid. She explained that all they did was to move the regulations back to the FTC where it belongs and that their was long standing rules there that were crafted 20 years ago. I asked her when the first browser came out and when online shopping started and when tracking shopping and search started? I then asked how 20 year old rules could possible cover things not yet being used/invented. I also reminded her the FCC is the proper place for such. Bottom line, a pleasant conversation with a brainwashed drone. Your government at work, the best policy special interests and big money can buy.

Republicans Had a Party to Celebrate Obamacare Repeal Vote in House

Posted on May 4th, 2017 at 23:18 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Goddamn them all. Goddamn the political movement that spawned them and goddamn the political party in which that movement found a home, and goddamn the infrastructure in which their pus-bag of an ideology was allowed to fester until it splattered the plague all over the government. Goddamn anyone who believes that blind, genetic luck is a demonstration of divine design. Goddamn anyone who believes in a god who hands out disease as punishment. Goddamn anyone who stays behind the walls and dances while the plague comes back again.


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Comments:

  1. Terrible. Now the people who find themselves in the position of Vic Chesnutt, in debt from medical bills and in need of surgery, will once more have to resort to drastic measures.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXgY_YIK9hA

  2. The little guy, the sick, the poor – Republicans have no use for them, unless they are dumb_f_ck stupid and believe and vote the conservative bullshit.

Darth Seder

Posted on May 4th, 2017 at 0:01 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Thoughts on Republican Healthcare Reform and Obamacare from a Hospital Bed

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 at 22:42 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Human health is not a commodity, to be bargained and sold and traded as though it were any other consumer good.


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Despite Everything, I Am Happy Hillary Lost

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 at 21:45 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

I didn’t vote for her. Despite everything — despite all the chaos I feel coming — I cite Edith Piaf:

Je ne regrette rien.

I read “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” a book by two reporters for The Hill who promise to make you feel sympathy for the defeated Democratic nominee and her followers. It didn’t work on me.

Like their subject, authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes ignore policy in favor of a behind-the-scenes investigation of how a Too Smart To Fail presidential campaign got clobbered by an orange reality TV star who spent almost nothing and who didn’t even have an organization in most states.

According to Allen and Parnes, there were too many warring centers of power within Clintonland. Without a strong leader at the top, her officials spent more time and energy vying for her loyalty (and stabbing one another in the back) than working on winning. She liked it that way, even though the same dysfunction had plagued her failed 2008 primary race against Obama.

Campaign manager Robby Mook is the book’s villain: so obsessed with granular data that he can’t see the big picture or feel the voters’ pulse, contemptuous of time-proven polling techniques, as convinced that he has nothing to learn from people with experience as a Silicon Valley Millennial. He’s the guy who told her she didn’t need to visit Wisconsin — and she hired others like him in 2008.

Staffers were blinded by personal loyalty, so they couldn’t perceive and move to address big problems before they blew up, like EmailGate. And they were ideologically homogenous. Coming as they all did from the center-right corporatist wing of the Democratic Party, they couldn’t Feel the Bern when Sanders emerged as a potent force or figure out how to reconcile with his progressive base who stayed home on Election Day as a result.

Most damning of all,  “Hillary had been running for president for almost a decade and still didn’t really have a rationale [for why she wanted to win and what she would do if she did].” For such an experienced candidate, this was a rookie error; didn’t she remember what happened to Ted Kennedy when he couldn’t come up with an elevator pitch in 1980?

Page after page reinforces the conclusion that this is a woman who does not, cannot, does not want to learn from her mistakes.

When you think about her policy history, this rings true. After all, she voted to overthrow the secular socialist dictator of Iraq in 2003, lost the presidency in 2008 because of that vote, yet then as secretary of state advised Obama to arm and fund the radical jihadis against the secular socialist dictators of Libya and Syria. About which — despite creating two failed states — she has no regrets. There’s really no other way to put this, so I’ll just say it: this makes her an idiot.

She didn’t have the right personality to lead human beings. She didn’t deserve to be president. America, and the world, are better off without her.

Which does not mean I’m not scared of Trump.


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  1. I dunno. I’d always opt for the lesser weevil.

  2. I’m not saying we couldn’t have found a better leader, but I think it’s crazy to rejoice because we elected a worse one.

  3. Hillary was deeply flawed. She was the product of a corrupt DNC. She was a corrupt politician with big money interests. In many respects, she is very much like Trump – secretive, disrespectful, and self serving. When will the U.S. ever get a socially moderate/liberal and fiscally sound, even conservative leader. Never I am afraid.

“The Donald“ kills European right-wing Populism

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 at 21:28 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

The impact of Trump on European policies is surprising: A significant downward trend of right-wing-parties, especially far-right-wing as FPO in Austria, AfD in Germany, Front National in France or as we saw with Partij poor de Vrijheid of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands is taking place. European people seem to realize that they don’t want to have guys like Donald Trump and his surrogates being their leaders and forging their future by defining policies or lifelong assignments such as supreme court judges. European people are shocked about the unpredictable, provocative and strange behavior of the US president and they start to understand that they don’t want to have this sort of people in charge in their own country.

Any right-wing campaign works the same way:

First you define a group of people (minority) who you can blame responsible for the problems of a larger group of people (majority). The elites are guilty that working class is suffering. The foreigners are guilty that the life of the residents isn’t better as it is. The muslims are threatening the lives of Christians. And so on.

Second you create an obscure message how everything will turn cheaper, better, more free, more safe, more national once you are in power. It’s easy to be destructive and find populistic arguments since any country or social system has its inherent deficits.

Third you communicate an immediate threat. Refugees and fear of terror are the major trends these days. Fear creates social dynamics and let people become interested in your absurd proposals and  utopia promises.

Until now hardly any right-wing populist in later Europe came to power and was forced to deliver on his campaign-promises. In US Donald Trump succeeded, won the electoral college and would be in the position to deliver on his promises now. The world is watching and he’s failing on huge scale.


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Whoever made this clearly had a handle on the situation.

Posted on May 3rd, 2017 at 15:02 by John Sinteur in category: News


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Benedict XVI Warns of ‘Dangerous Situation’ With Radical Atheism and Radical Islam

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 22:44 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Here is the text of the pope emeritus’ comments, which were made in Polish and translated for the Register:

I was greatly moved, grateful and happy to learn that an academic conference on the topic of “The Concept of the State From the Perspective of the Teachings of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Pope Benedict XVI” (Pojęcie Państwa w perspektywie nauczania Kardynała Józefa Ratzingera/Benedykta XVI), attended by the representatives of Poland’s government and Church and organized under the patronage of the president of the Republic of Poland, was held to coincide with my 90th birthday.

The topic of the conference brings government and Church officials into common dialogue on a topic that is of key significance to the future of our [European] continent. The contrast between the concepts of the radically atheistic state and the creation of the radically theocratic state by Muslim movements creates a dangerous situation for our age, one whose effects we experience each day. These radical ideologies require us to urgently develop a convincing concept of the state that will stand up to the confrontation between these challenges and help to overcome it.

During the agony of the previous half-century, Poland gave the world two great figures — Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and Pope St. John Paul II — who not only reflected upon these issues, but also carried within themselves suffering and vivid experiences; thus they continue to give us guidelines for the future.

I give my blessing to all of you and would like to express my sincere gratitude for the work that you do in these circumstances.

Benedict XVI
Vatican, April 15, 2017

Yes, those radical atheists and all the horrible atrocities they’ve committed in the name of no gods. Why just last week there was the thing, at the place, with all the people. Truly horrible.

But what the heck is radical atheism? Is that like when you really really really don’t believe in god? Is it like trigonometry and climate studies? Anthropology?

Well, it looks like we will have to make a choice, people.

Norway or ISIS…you choose.


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Comments:

  1. Ha, ha.

    Seems like he meant “radically secular state”, and in practice meant the kind of state that legalizes abortion, euthanasia, etc.

  2. Like Norway?

Republican: Sick People Don’t Deserve Affordable Care

Posted on May 2nd, 2017 at 22:33 by John Sinteur in category: News

[Quote:]

Republicans usually defend their health-care position with an array of buzzwords like choice, patient-centric, or competition. In a CNN interview, Representative Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican, makes the case for Trumpcare in much starker terms: It will free healthy people from having to pay the cost of the sick. “It will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool that helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy,” explained Brooks. “And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

I would say I hope he gets hit by a bus – not hard, just to break his hips – but I won’t. I don’t want any bus driver traumatized.

The guy doesn’t even understand the very basic premise of insurance – I’d like to see him extend his argument to fire-insurance for his home.


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Comments:

  1. So, we now know that these guys know that they can say any bloody thing at all…no consequences.

    Incidentally, I just found this article by Fintan O’Toole; although it’s 10 months old, it is prescient and, I think, interesting and has just won an award:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/fintan-o-toole-brexit-and-the-politics-of-the-fake-orgasm-1.2707398

  2. I guess he’ll want to limit medical care for our soldiers by this same logic. They have a highly dangerous life style.

  3. Will, talk to anybody who has to deal with the VA..


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