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Gender: Male
Hometown: City of Angels
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 7,421

Journal Archives

Argentina's Macri mulls sale of ARSAT 3 to top spy satellite maker Hughes

To counter the FUD in the identically named thread, looking at the stand the satellite is resting on in the picture there clearly shows who the satellite manufacturer is.

And it ain't Hughes Network Systems.

McConnell Pulls Plug on GOP Health Care Bill, Will Seek Obamacare Repeal

Source: NBC News

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Monday night that he lacked the votes to pass the Senate health care bill after two more Republican senators came out against it, leaving the party short of a majority.

Instead, he said the Senate would vote on a full repeal of Obamacare, with two years before the repeal goes into effect to allow time to create a new system. The new plan may appear to fulfill a seven-year GOP promise, but it faces extremely difficult odds after many moderate Republican senators have already come out against repeal without an immediate replacement.

Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Mike Lee of Utah set the chain of events in motion Monday night when they announced on Twitter that they both would oppose the current bill, which was released just last week.

Moran and Lee followed two other Republican senators who had already said they wouldn't support the bill: Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/two-more-health-care-defections-dooms-current-gop-bill-n783926

Here are the hidden horrors in the Senate GOP's new Obamacare repeal bill

Senate Republicans unveiled a new, “improved” version of their Affordable Care Act repeal bill Thursday, so the treasure hunt is on: the search for provisions so horrifically inhumane that they’ve had to be concealed deep in the measure’s legislative language and procedural maze.

We’ve found quite a few, with the help of professional spelunkers Andy Slavitt, David Anderson, Larry Levitt and others. Here are some of the provisions in the so-called Better Care Reconciliation Act, or BCRA, that the Senate GOP really doesn’t want you to know about.

—The measure kills the birth control and women’s health screening requirements. The Affordable Care Act advanced women’s healthcare rights immensely by mandating that health plans cover contraceptives, as well as a range of preventive screenings, without deductibles or co-pays. Conservatives have been trying to roll back those guarantees since the ACA’s enactment. The new Senate bill eliminates them.

That action is part of the Cruz Amendment, on which more below. It allows states to authorize the sale of health plans that don’t include the women’s health provisions. Observes Dawn Laguens of Planned Parenthood, “Insurance companies would once again be allowed to refuse to cover basic preventive healthcare, as well as charge women co-pays for birth control, immunizations and cancer screenings.” She calls this “a major step backward for women.”


A Judge Has Ordered the Arrest of Peru's Former President in Corruption Scandal

A judge ordered the arrest of former President Ollanta Humala and his wife Thursday night as they face money laundering and conspiracy accusations tied to a construction scandal involving Brazilian company Odebrecht.

The preventative detention, which would keep Humala and his wife Nadine Heredia in jail for up to 18 months while they are investigated, came after prosecutors argued the couple could flee Peru to evade justice.

Shouts of protest could be heard in the courtroom as Judge Richard Concepcion issued his ruling.

The allegations against Humala stem from testimony by the former head of construction giant Odebrecht, who said he illegally contributed $3 million to Humala’s 2011 presidential campaign. The couple is also accused of taking undeclared funds from the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez during a previous, unsuccessful presidential bid.


Trustees project biggest Social Security increase in years

Millions of Americans who rely on Social Security can expect to receive their biggest payment increase in years this January, according to projections released Thursday by the trustees who oversee the program.

But older Americans shouldn't get too excited.

The increase is projected to be just 2.2 percent, or about $28 a month for the average recipient. Social Security recipients have gone years with tiny increases in benefits. This year they received an increase of 0.3 percent, after getting nothing last year.

Some good news for seniors: The trustees project that Medicare Part B premiums will remain unchanged next year. Most beneficiaries pay $134 a month, though retirees with higher incomes pay more.


Scions and Scoundrels

What befalls a country riven by a dynasty of deception and disrepute? What comes of a country being forced by its puerile “president” to retreat from its world leadership, set to a soundtrack of world mockery? What to make of an enterprise of corruption that Trump calls a family when they abandon any semblance of propriety and all things we once found appropriate?

The America that I know and love is hanging by a thread, and Trump’s scandalous camarilla is playing with the shears.

The latest shoe to drop is that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort (campaign chairman at the time) met last summer in Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer because, according to emails released by Trump Jr., he was told that he would receive dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support” for his father.

Trump Jr.’s response: “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”


White House launches preemptive strike on CBO, anticipating report on health care bill

Source: Yahoo News

Awaiting a new Congressional Budget Office score on the latest rewrite of the Republican health care bill expected next week, the White House has launched an attack on the nonpartisan group.

In a video published to its social media accounts, the White House claims that the CBO uses faulty numbers. It disputed projections that 22 million more Americans would be without health insurance by 2026, compared with keeping Obamacare. The video came in conjunction with a press release citing critiques of the CBO from the Council of Economic Advisers, a group of political appointees.

The White House deleted and then reposted the video after initially misspelling the word “inaccurately” in its story about the importance of accuracy. The video was then retweeted on the @POTUS account.

As the White House video states, CBO projections for coverage under Obamacare were wrong, in part because the agency didn’t foresee a Supreme Court ruling allowing states to opt out of the Medicaid expansion in the bill. The agency also forecast that more employers would drop their own health insurance plans than actually did. After the Supreme Court ruling, which led to 19 states dropping the Medicaid expansion, the office’s revised prediction projected that 89 percent of Americans below age 65 would have insurance in 2016. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number was 89.7 percent.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-house-launches-pre-emptive-strike-cbo-anticipating-report-health-care-bill-195845596.html

Misspelling "inaccurately" really helps your argument that the CBO's numbers are inaccurate.

National Trust For Historic Preservation Raises Millions To Demolish Trump's Boyhood Home

WASHINGTON—Overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from the public, the National Trust for Historic Preservation reported Wednesday that it had raised more than $8 million in just three days to demolish President Trump’s boyhood home in Queens, NY.

“Thanks to the generosity of the American people, we are well on our way to bulldozing the president’s first home as part of our mission to uphold America’s cultural heritage and values,” said NTHP president Stephanie K. Meeks, adding that not only had dozens of companies come forward to match their employees’ donations but that dozens of children had made much smaller contributions to the cause by sharing their allowance money.

“Still, we never imagined that razing the site where the 45th president spent his early years would be greeted so enthusiastically. Big donors, small donors—it seems that Americans from all walks of life want to chip in to make sure that no trace of this structure exists for future generations.”

Meeks went on to say that the ground upon which the historic childhood home once stood would be immediately available for new development.


Desperate for cash, Tesla competitor Faraday Future scales back plans yet again

Faraday Future’s future continues to fade.

The Chinese-funded, Gardena-based electric-car start-up said Monday that it is scaling back its already scaled-back plans.

The potential Tesla competitor had abandoned plans to build a 3-million-square-foot factory in North Las Vegas, and said it would build a 1-million-square-foot plant instead. Now, the cash-starved company said it’s searching for an existing building to produce its luxury FF 91 electric car.

The search for cash is more pressing, however. The company’s primary funder, Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, is in deep financial trouble. Assets belonging to him and and his wide-ranging technology company, LeEco, have been frozen by courts in China and elsewhere in the face of unpaid loans.


Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists

Over the past six years, rooftop solar panel installations have seen explosive growth — as much as 900 percent by one estimate.

That growth has come to a shuddering stop this year, with a projected decline in new installations of 2 percent, according to projections from Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

A number of factors are driving the reversal, from saturation in markets like California to financial woes at several top solar panel makers.

But the decline has also coincided with a concerted and well-funded lobbying campaign by traditional utilities, which have been working in state capitals across the country to reverse incentives for homeowners to install solar panels.

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