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Member since: Fri May 30, 2014, 02:30 PM
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One year on, GOP tax bill is the gift that keeps on taking

A windfall for coal barons, a lump of coal in the stockings of American workers.

DEC 22, 2018, 11:06 AM

n 2018, Republican lawmakers gave the American people a government shutdown for Christmas, sending roughly 800,000 federal employees home for the holidays without a paycheck. And one year ago today, workers unwrapped a tax bill that gifted the country’s millionaires and billionaires even more money.

At the time, Republicans assured the country that their bill would benefit all American workers in the long-term, leading to wage increases, larger bonuses, and a thriving economy that would lift everyone’s financial fortunes. Spoiler! Not so much.

Let’s start with the stock market, Donald Trump’s favorite economic indicator. On December 22, 2017, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 24,782.29. On Friday, the final full day of trading before the Christmas recess, the DJIA closed at 22,445.37.

Friday’s performance on Wall Street — a decline of more than 400 points on the Dow — capped off the worst trading week in a decade. The last time the stock market fell by more than seven percent in a single week came during the height of the Great Recession in 2008.


REPEAL that FUCKING TAX CUT..............................

This unwarranted shutdown has now placed this country into further danger

and I believe Michael Lewis book the Fifth Risk is a must read.........................

"Michael Lewis is a national treasure, whose gift for explaining how finance grifters think and operate has spawned a whole genre, which he dominates with books like Liar's Poker (an insider view of the S&L crisis); The Big Short (a character-driven, crystal-clear explainer on the financial engineering that led to the 2008 crisis), and Flash Boys (the shitty math and bafflegab behind high-speed trading); and now, The Fifth Risk: an astounding and terrifying book about the experts who fill the ranks in the US government and the Trump-administration grifters who are destroying the work they do to keep us from dying of tornadoes, nuclear accident, food poisoning and a million other dangers, large and small.

The Fifth Risk is a very short book, consisting mostly of interviews with current (and usually anonymous) US government officials, as well as former high-ranking officials who left when the Trump administration took over. These are largely extremely technical people, manifestly and palpably motivated by a sense of duty and a commitment to excellence, who have been charged with an insanely hard job: figuring out how to contain all the complex risks of 21st century technical society, including things like a 100-year, 100-billion-dollar nuclear cleanup that involves mitigating vast, badly secured underground stores of waste from the WWII nuclear bomb production effort, which is slowly seeping towards the Columbia River.

Each profile takes on a similar form: the expert's journey to government service is explained (for example, how a deep-sea scientist became one of the first US woman astronauts and then helmed the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; then, the incredibly technical, incredibly high stakes that person lives with (dealing with all the nation's weather data and figuring out how we can not all die from fires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, etc), and then, the kicker: how Trump's shitty administration of grifters and right-wing thinktankies showed up underprepared, disinterested, and actively hostile to the person and the work they did (in this case, how the guy who runs Accuweather and has been lobbying for years to force the government to stop letting us get weather predictions for free ended up in charge of US governmental weather strategy).

It's a powerful format, by turns inspiring, infuriating and terrifying. It's also a powerful repudiation of "public choice theory," a favorite economic theory among the right, whose simplest formulation holds that everyone is looking out for themselves, and that "duty" and other high-minded ideals are at best self-deception from would-be civil-service empire-builders who are just looking to expand their influence at taxpayer's expense. Public choice advocates will tell you that no one really thinks of themselves as a villain, and that your "bad guy" thinks they're doing the right thing just as much as you do."


Trump said a shutdown is the president's fault, and a fireable offense

Guess which president he was talking about?

DEC 23, 2018, 10:56 AM

President Trump has flip-flopped several times in the course of just a week on the shutdown he’s caused. First, Trump said he’d be “proud” to shut down the federal government if a spending deal doesn’t include $5 billion for a wall he said Mexico would pay for. Then on Friday, when a shutdown looked inevitable with no budget deal reached, Trump tweeted, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”

It’s no wonder the president is distancing himself from the partial shutdown, as more than 400,000 federal workers will be forced to work without pay until the government reopens. Indeed, a government shutdown is so damaging Trump once said the president should be fired over it. Of course, Trump said it was fireable offense when he wasn’t the president in office.

In a 2013 interview with Fox & Friends, Trump said the president should be fired if there’s to be a government shutdown, as the responsibility for such a failure “always has to be the top.” In Sept. 2013, for the first time in nearly two decades, a shutdown happened, and it was because the GOP-controlled House wanted to defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

But Trump didn’t get into the specifics of why the federal government actually shut down. He just said President Obama didn’t get “everyone in a room and lead.”

TRUMP YOUR FIRED ASSHOLE.............................

Goose and gull overdose on prescription pills left in park

A goose and a gull overdosed this week after ingesting some of the hundreds of prescription pills that were discovered dumped at a park in California, wildlife officials confirmed.

In photos shared by the nonprofit Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center in Huntington Beach on Facebook this week, hundreds of pills are seen scattered near a playground in Carr Park.

In another photo shared by the center, a goose can be seen lying on its back after ingesting the pills.

“A caring citizen noticed hundreds of pills all over the grass at a park in Huntington Beach yesterday,” the center said in the post.


'We are at war': New York's rat crisis made worse by climate change

Rat-related callouts rise as experts say warming temperatures are helping New York’s rats feed and mate longer into the year

The discarded slices of pizza that litter New York’s streets have long fuelled its sizeable population of rats, but now the city’s growing swarm has a new reason to enjoy their home – warming temperatures

City officials have reported an increasing number of calls from residents complaining about rats, and have warned that milder winters are helping them feed and mate longer into the year. And as winters warm up, more frequent outdoor activity by humans is adding to the litter rats thrive upon.

Rat-related complaints have been on the rise over the past four years, with 19,152 calls made to the city last year, an increase of about 10% on 2016. There are no reliable figures on the number of rats in New York – estimates range from 250,000 to tens of millions – but the surge in rat activity has been replicated in other cities. Houston, Washington, Boston and Philadelphia have experienced large increases in calls to pest control.

Veteran anti-rat strategists have, in part, blamed climate change. “It’s a complex issue but we are seeing rat population increases around the world now,” said Bobby Corrigan, a sought-after rat-catching consultant who once spent a week living in a rat-infested barn in Indiana as part of his PhD research.



Even those tasked with killing rats recognize they will never be eliminated from the New York experience. An anonymous advertising copywriter, who calls herself the “Elena Ferrante of rats”, offers an unusual online gifting service where she will exterminate rats for a fee, providing a certificate to mark the kill.

“I don’t have it out for rats. I think they’re pretty impressive,” she told the Guardian. “There’s just too many of them.”

Deutsch, who has caught rats in places as diverse as Arizona and on cruise ships meandering around Europe, said he has developed “a relationship with rats.”

“They are an incredible animal, I admire their ability to adapt to different situations,” he said. “I look at them as a tremendous success.”

Republicans that think climate change is some fucking crock of shit...............maybe in the next congress someone should call some of these exterminators in and explain to the delusional what this means....................New York is going to spend 32 million dollars on this issue alone.....................32 million.................

UPDATE...............What's Going On With the Volcano?

Current Conditions Courtesy USGS - Hawaiian Volcano Observatory

Tuesday, December 18, 2018, 2:13 PM HST

Activity Summary: Kīlauea Volcano is not erupting. Rates of seismicity, deformation, and gas release have not changed significantly over the past week. Deformation signals are consistent with refilling of the middle East Rift Zone.

Observations: HVO monitoring during the past week showed no significant changes. Low rates of seismicity at the summit and East Rift Zone (ERZ) continue, with events occurring primarily at Kīlauea's summit and Kīlauea's south flank areas, totaling around 220 detected earthquakes in those areas since last check. In the ERZ, tiltmeters showed little change over the last week, with GPS indicating minor inflation downrift from Puʻu ʻŌʻō. Sulfur dioxide emission rates have been below detection limits in the LERZ since early September, though minor amounts of volcanic gas are still present. Sulfur dioxide emission rates were last measured at ~35 t/d at both the summit and ERZ, consistent with the past few months of emissions from Kīlauea.Hazards are still present in the LERZ eruption area and at the Kīlauea summit. Residents and visitors near recently active fissures and lava flows should stay informed, heed Hawaii County Civil Defense and National Park warnings, and be prepared, if necessary, to self-evacuate in the unlikely event of renewed activity. Please note that Hawaii County maintains a closure of the entire flow field and the vents and prohibits access to the area unless authorized through Civil Defense.

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) continues to closely monitor Kīlauea's seismicity, deformation, and gas emissions for any sign of reactivation, and maintains visual surveillance of the summit and the East Rift Zone. HVO will continue to issue a weekly update (every Tuesday) and additional messages as warranted by changing activity.


Mars Express beams back images of ice-filled Korolev crater

Trapped layer of cold air keeps water frozen in 50-mile-wide impact crater

The stunning Korolev crater in the northern lowlands of Mars is filled with ice all year round owing to a trapped layer of cold Martian air that keeps the water frozen.

The 50-mile-wide crater contains 530 cubic miles of water ice, as much as Great Bear Lake in northern Canada, and in the centre of the crater the ice is more than a mile thick.

Images beamed back from the red planet show that the lip around the impact crater rises high above the surrounding plain. When thin Martian air then passes over the crater, it becomes trapped and cools to form an insulating layer that prevents the ice from melting.

The latest picture is a composite of five strip-like images taken from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe, which swung into orbit around the planet on Christmas Day 2003. On the same day, the orbiter released the Beagle 2 lander, a British probe built on a shoestring budget, which touched down but failed to fully open on the surface.


On December 21, 1988 Pan Am Flight 103........................

Three decades after a terrorist bomb brought down Pan AM Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on Dec. 21, 1988, killing 270 people, a joint investigation spanning the Atlantic continues to seek Libyan conspirators involved in the plot.

A new FBI documentary revisits one of its longest-running investigations — a joint effort by investigators here and in Scotland — through the stories of those closest to the tragedy. That includes Glenn and Carole Johnson, the Hempfield couple who spent years lobbying for improved air security after their daughter Beth Ann died in the bombing.

Beth Ann Johnson, 21, then a student at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, and classmate Elyse Saraceni, 20, were returning from a semester in England when a bomb hidden in a cassette recorder exploded in Flight 103’s cargo hold. The explosion killed all 259 passengers and crew members as well as 11 people on the ground in Lockerbie.

Army Maj. Charles McKee, 40, of Trafford, and University of Pittsburgh professor David J. Gould, 45, of Squirrel Hill, also died in the bombing that investigators consider the first terrorist attack on America.


On December 21, 1968 Apollo 8 Launches to the Moon


The Man Who Won the Moon Race
George Low’s idea to shoot for the moon in 1968 may have been Apollo’s boldest decision.

For its annual “Man of the Year” cover on January 3, 1969, Time magazine made the rare choice to honor not just one individual but three: NASA astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders. Their Christmastime lunar voyage on Apollo 8 had been, in the editors’ opinion, a “transcendent legacy” of 1968 and “a journey into man’s future.”

The magazine’s editors also called out for special recognition a single “groundling” from the 400,000 or so people working on Apollo at the time: a 42-year-old, Austrian-born NASA manager named George Low. The name was practically unknown to the public, but had it not been for Low, Time proclaimed, “there would have been no Apollo 8 flight to the moon.”

The editors could have gone further. Without Low, President John F. Kennedy may never have committed the nation to a lunar landing and once committed, may never have recovered from the Apollo 1 fire that had brought the program to a standstill less than two years before Apollo 8’s triumph.

Compared to Apollo-era giants like Wernher von Braun and Neil Armstrong, Low still remains mostly unrecognized. But his reputation has grown with time. “As usual with any great endeavor, it always boils down to a single human being who makes a difference,” Apollo 8 commander Frank Borman said during a panel discussion almost 50 years later. “In the case of Apollo, the person in my mind who made the difference was George Low.”

* * *
Read more at https://www.airspacemag.com/space/apollo-8-george-low-profile-180970807/#5Gs5iEwwmg08PXHe.99

GOP already wants to cancel primaries to protect Trump's re-election

By Oliver Willis - December 20, 2018

Republicans are already working on ways to make Trump look stronger than he is ahead of the 2020 election campaign.

The South Carolina Republican Party is considering a plan that would cancel their 2020 primary out of the apparent fear that a challenger for the party’s presidential nomination would embarrass Trump.

Chairman Drew McKissick told the conservative Washington Examiner, “Considering the fact that the entire party supports the president, we’ll end up doing what’s in the president’s best interest.”

The Examiner noted, “incumbent presidents who faced primaries are in greater peril in the general election, a fact not lost on the Trump campaign and the GOP more broadly.”

In 1992, the Iowa Republican Party chose not to have a presidential ballot as a maneuver to protect President George H.W. Bush. Despite that, he was challenged by Pat Buchanan in the New Hampshire primary, and Buchanan received 40 percent of the vote. The New York Times described the result as a “less-than-impressive victory” for Bush and was a “roar of anger” from the party.


Hey republicans hows that fascist regime of your working for you.....................hows that voice of representation working for you.........................

Just gotta ask, when your grandfathers, uncles and aunts , especially some of those men that were storming the beaches of Normandy, watching and seeing there brother in arms dying on those beaches, or getting shot out of the sky on bombing runs, or going into a concentration camps........................do you think they would support this shit that your fascist party is doing now......................are you that fucking stupid, that you march lock step with a fucking traitor .................

We are coming November 3, 2020......................we are the Democratic party.................

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