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Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 137,971

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That's one tastey damned burger

Nearing the end of the first quarter it's Deep State 57 Trump U. 7

Well Chris we're almost done with the first quarter and Deep State is really putting an ooold fashioned Tuscaloosa whompin on Trump U. 57 to 7.

Yeah this has really been something else. Deep State's experience together and solid leadership has been a stark difference from Trump U's almost chaotic beginning.

Keith: Rumbling stumbling bumbling.

Chris: yeah it's like they never even practiced before this game. Deep State clearly had a plan to go to the air early and then put Virginia in the game and relied on their strong ground game.

Keith: Hello Heisman!

Chris: Other than that rather unorthodox touchdown with Gorsuch, the only thing that looked organized or coordinated from their side was their Pep rally. I've never seen so much screaming and yelling IN a huddle.

Also, their schemes are very confusing. I'm not sure what they had in mind when that one guy ended up in the bushes.

Keith: Like a barn fight with a whole lot of chickens.
Speaking of their support, this has been an odd one.

Chris: Yeah usually the fans sit in the stands not as a cheering section ON the sideline.

Keith: Speaking of cheering Trump U only seems to have two cheerleaders. The dark haired one and what I'm guessing is a grad student.

Chris: Why does the one keep pointing at the press box and scowling and the other keeps yelling about Bowling Green?

Keith: Harder to figure out than a MIT math problem. Whatta you see going forward?

Chris: From the Deep State more of the same. Ground game. For Trump U, I'd say stay away from all the penalties and in fighting. We heard a lot about this Kushner kid coming in but we haven't anything from him yet. Also they really need to stop this Jr. kid from just running onto the field on his own. He's gotten the ball twice and run the wrong way both times.

Keith: Couldn't find his way out of Tallahassee with a map. Okay we'll be right back after this.

He was talking about black People

To Repubs "phone" hints at "Obama phones" (the program was started in the W years) which to them means black People. I've listened to enough talk radio to know that Chaffetz was talking to that audience.

Thank you President Obama - Obama's Top 50 Accomplishments

Obamaís Top 50 Accomplishments

1. Passed Health Care Reform - After five presidents over a century failed to create universal health insurance, signed the Affordable Care Act (2010).

2. Passed the Stimulus - creating a total of nearly 3.7 million new private-sector jobs.

3. Passed Wall Street Reform: Signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (2010)

4. Ended the War in Iraq

5. Began Drawdown of War in Afghanistan

6. Eliminated Osama bin laden

7. Turned Around U.S. Auto Industry

8. Recapitalized Banks

9. Repealed ďDonít Ask, Donít TellĒ

10. Toppled Moammar Gaddafi. No American lives were lost.

11. Told Mubarak to Go

12. Reversed Bush Torture Policies

13. Improved Americaís Image Abroad

14. Kicked Banks Out of Federal Student Loan Program, Expanded Pell Grant Program

15. Created Race to the Top

16. Boosted Fuel Efficiency Standards: Released new fuel efficiency standards in 2011 that will nearly double the fuel economy for cars and trucks by 2025.

17. Coordinated International Response to Financial Crisis

18. Passed Mini Stimuli

19. Began Asia ďPivot"

20. Increased Support for Veterans

21. Tightened Sanctions on Iran

22. Created Conditions to Begin Closing Dirtiest Power Plants

23. Passed Credit Card Reforms

24. Eliminated Catch-22 in Pay Equality Laws

25. Protected Two Liberal Seats on the U.S. Supreme Court

26. Improved Food Safety System

27. Achieved New START Treaty

28. Expanded National Service

29. Expanded Wilderness and Watershed Protection

30. Gave the FDA Power to Regulate Tobacco

31. Pushed Federal Agencies to Be Green Leaders

32. Passed Fair Sentencing Act

33. Trimmed and Reoriented Missile Defense

34. Began Post-Post-9/11 Military Builddown

35. Let Space Shuttle Die and Killed Planned Moon Misssion

36. Invested Heavily in Renewable Technology

37. Crafting Next-Generation School Tests

38. Cracked Down on Bad For-Profit Colleges

39. Improved School Nutrition

40. Expanded Hate Crimes Protections

41. Avoided Scandal

42. Brokered Agreement for Speedy Compensation to Victims of Gulf Oil Spill

43. Created Recovery.gov

44. Pushed Broadband Coverage

45. Expanded Health Coverage for Children

46. Recognized the Dangers of Carbon Dioxide

47. Expanded Stem Cell Research

48. Provided Payment to Wronged Minority Farmers

49. Helped South Sudan Declare Independence

50. Killed the F-22


Fake News

When I first heard about fake news on the Facebook "News Feed" I thought it was some feature of Facebook that I wasn't aware of. Then I looked down and saw that the little blue icon was the "News Feed". I never imagined that Facebook would be seen as a source of news. I just took as the daily postings and random thoughts of people I've met along the way in life. Some funny, some informational, many with links to clickbait multi-page lists, but not news. I had a couple of people (mostly guys I served with in the Army) who'd tag me on the latest spin from C-league conservative sites. The odd part about that is the lists of the most influential fake news websites didn't include any of the sites they posted. I figured that youngcons/ijreview/etc were near the top of the lists. Nope. There's a giant pile of these fake news sites out there and a lot of it comes from Macedonia of all places.

Personally most of the mainstream news to me seems fake anyway. I don't mean this in terms of the "6 corporations that control everything you see" (which they do), I mean this as my reading of the major news organizations -print and television- that instigate fights and division and then sit back and report on it. We have no large news operations in this country. Their product, especially on television, is drama not news.

A short list of fake news we've seen:
WMD and the other reasons given for the war on Iraq
PFC Jessica Lynch - that was actually a staged fake news story
The toppling of the Saddam statue -also staged
The "Mission Accomplished" speech and it made for TV reporting imagery
IRS scandal
Birtherism- any reporting on that was promotion
The daily promotion of The Tea Party in its infancy
The list goes on and on

Oddly the root of fake news goes back to "60 Minutes" which was considered the gold standard of TV news. The reporting was great but it did something no other news show had ever done, it made a profit. Walter Cronkite didn't have commercials on his evening news when 60 Minutes debuted. He wanted to be free of sponsors complaining to the network chiefs and controlling what and how stories we reported. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine then made news subjective. The opinion pieces no longer were at the end of the newscast in the form of a point-counterpoint or a clearly labeled editorial usually by the old guy who used to be the anchor. U2 prophetically sang "When fact is fiction and TV reality" on their 1983 album "War". The Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987.

The next big leap was the creation of entertainment "news", specifically "Entertainment Tonight". At one point in the mid 90's a survey came out that something like 10% of the public thought ET was "the news". I've had several co-workers who confirmed this. They didn't watch or read anything that would normally be considered news. Mary Hart's legs were insured for $1 million which in itself actually became a news item. They'd moved the desk so you could see her legs and the "news personality" became part of the news.....which, you could see this coming, lead us to Fox News. Flashy graphics and BLONDES AND LEGS!!!! As Annie Savoy said in "Bull Durham", "a guy will listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay". Sex sells. It brings people into listening range of any nonsense Fox News was putting on the air. Fox News became number one in cable news and the other networks followed them down rabbit hole after rabbit hole trying to keep up or increase ratings. Profit in what used to be a required public service until 60 Minutes.

We now have the ability to choose our own news and apparently people choose to lie to themselves. They create their own reality. An actual news story from this week sadly ties in with people deciding to escape reality and live in a fantasty dream world - there have been more drug overdoses this year than people killed in car wrecks or (separate) by guns. We've simply checked out so falling for something as ridiculous as the pizza-prostitution story is almost understandable.

I guess I'm just a news junky (sorry not meant in jest to the above) who's developed an ability to read/watch "the news" and filter it back to something that makes sense. Or, rather, I just do what people used to do - read a story with a critical eye, weigh the validity of the source, and cross check it to other sources.

The "Information Age" has become the mis-information age.

"Post-Truth" is the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year.

Email from a 5th grade teacher about the girls in her class

I cannot express to you how absolutely wonderful this group of girls has been. I feel like Iím usually sending home e-mails about ďgirl drama,Ē but these eight ladies have been just the opposite. They are empathetic and patient and genuine. I always have girls that want and try to be this way; they are very tolerant of others who are different or donít fit in. These girls are way beyond tolerant. They are accepting. They value everyone and they are leaders that encourage others to do the same. Itís kind of surreal and I am so thankful for all of them. They have read books about all kinds of different disabilities and have used that knowledge to help younger friends in our special education programs. At lunch they found every child that was sitting alone and invited them to eat with our class. This was not just a do-something-nice-feel-good idea. They befriended these children ALL year. One of the girls, who really struggles with social skills, remarked that she had never had a friend before this year. Another said that no one ever talked to her outside of class. I canít imagine what those girls used to feel, and I donít think your girls have any idea the lasting mark that they have left on the lives of others. Thank you so much for raising such amazing young ladies.

A favor - as a 15 year DU member I ask you to read this. BIG PHARMA "Pharma Bro" & Chariites

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek.

I was contacted about this story and did not comment. Ben Elgin is a top notch researcher/writer and you should Google his articles - oil, pharma, etc. - if he found me connected to this issue he is really top notch. We had a Facebook message conversation and he sent me a hand written letter. I used to work for one of these charities.

How Big Pharma Uses Charity Programs to Cover for Drug Price Hikes

Bloomberg Businessweek

Thatís just a fraction of the total cost. Turingís new price for an initial six-week course of Daraprim is $60,000 to $90,000. Who pays the difference? For Medicare patients, U.S. taxpayers shoulder the burden. Medicare doesnít release complete data on what it pays pharmaceutical companies each year, but this much is clear: A million-dollar contribution from a pharmaceutical company to a copay charity can keep hundreds of patients from abandoning a newly pricey drug, enabling the donor to collect many millions from Medicare.

When Turing bought Daraprim and sought to boost its annual revenue from $5 million to more than $200 million, the use of patient-aid funds was considered essential, internal company documents show. Last May, as the company did its due diligence before the purchase, one executive warned in an e-mail that new, high copays would force toxoplasmosis patients to seek alternative drugs.

A yearís supply of Gleevec can be produced for less than $200, according to Andrew Hill, a researcher at the University of Liverpool. When the drug was introduced, in 2001, its U.S. price was $30,000 a year. At that level, it would have recouped its development costs in just two years, according to a letter from 100 cancer specialists, published in the medical journal Blood in 2013. The price is now up to $120,000 a year in the U.S. (Itís priced at drastically different rates around the world: $25,000 a year in South Africa, for example, and $34,000 a year in the U.K.)

In December the inspector general gave a favorable advisory opinion to Caring Voice Coalition, a charity that attracted $131 million in contributions last year. Five former managers and employees say Caring Voice favored drug companies that were donors over those that werenít. Patients who needed donor companiesí drugs got help quickly, the former staff members say, while patients who had the same disease but used another companyís drug were sometimes steered away or wait-listed. The former employees asked that their names not be used because they signed nondisclosure agreements or they feared backlash from the charityís executives.

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