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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,632

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Mike Connors, Mannix Star, Dies at 91

Source: Variety

Mike Connors, best known for playing detective Joe Mannix on 1960s and ’70s show “Mannix,” died Thursday in Tarzana, Calif. He was 91.

He had been diagnosed a week ago with leukemia, according to his son-in-law Mike Condon.

“Mannix” ran for eight seasons from 1968 to 1975 and was the last series from Desilu Productions. Connors won a Golden Globe for his performance as a tough, athletic investigator, who in quintessential detective show style, insisted on doing things his own way and often got beat up in the process. He drove an impressive series of muscle cars including a Dodge Dart and Chevrolet Camaro.

Desilu president Lucille Ball convinced CBS not to cancel the show despite initial poor ratings, and it caught on after being retooled into a somewhat more conventional detective series. Mannix’s secretary, played by Gail Fisher, was one of few African-American actresses on TV at the time. “Here’s Lucy” produced a crossover episode in 1971 with Connors and Ball, called “Lucy and Mannix Are Held Hostage.”

Read more: http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/mike-connors-dead-dies-joe-mannix-1201971140/

TRUMP CREATES TEN MILLION JOBS FOR FACT CHECKERS

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In less than a week as President, Donald J. Trump has created ten million jobs for fact checkers, the Department of Labor has confirmed.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of HonestyWatch, a Minnesota-based fact-checking organization, called the pace of hiring in the fact-checking industry since Trump’s Inauguration “blistering.”

“The nation’s supply of fact checkers is being stretched to the breaking point,” he said. “There are not enough fact checkers to keep up with the exponential growth in alternative facts.”

Dorrinson said that he expects hiring in the fact-checking sector to remain robust for the next four years, outpacing employment in manufacturing, agriculture, and technology.

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trump-creates-ten-million-jobs-for-fact-checkers

U.S. judge finds that Aetna misled the public about its reasons for quitting Obamacare

Aetna claimed this summer that it was pulling out of all but four of the 15 states where it was providing Obamacare individual insurance because of a business decision — it was simply losing too much money on the Obamacare exchanges.

Now a federal judge has ruled that that was a rank falsehood. In fact, says Judge John D. Bates, Aetna made its decision at least partially in response to a federal antitrust lawsuit blocking its proposed $37-billion merger with Humana. Aetna threatened federal officials with the pullout before the lawsuit was filed, and followed through on its threat once it was filed. Bates made the observations in the course of a ruling he issued Monday blocking the merger.

Aetna executives had moved heaven and earth to conceal their decision-making process from the court, in part by discussing the matter on the phone rather than in emails, and by shielding what did get put in writing with the cloak of attorney-client privilege, a practice Bates found came close to “malfeasance.”

The judge’s conclusions about Aetna’s real reasons for pulling out of Obamacare — as opposed to the rationalization the company made in public — are crucial for the debate over the fate of the Affordable Care Act. That’s because the company’s withdrawal has been exploited by Republicans to justify repealing the act. Just last week, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) cited Aetna’s action on the “Charlie Rose” show, saying that it proved how shaky the exchanges were.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-aetna-obamacare-20170123-story.html

Judge blocks Aetna-Humana health insurance merger on antitrust grounds

Source: LA Times

The proposed $34-billion merger of Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. to form one of the nation’s largest health insurers was blocked Monday by a federal judge on antitrust grounds.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge John Bates in the District of Columbia was a victory for the Justice Department, which under the Obama administration sued to stop the deal.

In his decision, Bates agreed with the agency’s assertion that the deal would threaten competition, especially in the market for seniors who buy privately operated Medicare health plans called Medicare Advantage.

“Federal regulation would likely be insufficient to prevent the merged firm from raising prices or reducing benefits,” and there is “valuable head-to-head competition between Aetna and Humana which the merger would eliminate,” Bates wrote.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-aetna-humana-20170123-story.html

SDG&E Seeks to Install Thousands Electric Vehicle Chargers in San Diego

San Diego Gas & Electric filed a series of proposals with the California Public Utilities Commission to install tens of thousands of electric charging stations in key areas to encourage the transition to zero-emission electric vehicles.

If the proposals are approved, additional electric charging stations would be installed at San Diego International Airport, Port of San Diego, for delivery fleets, taxi/rideshare, Park-and-Rides and residential homes throughout the region. These programs would build upon the company’s efforts to install electric charging infrastructure at 350 apartments, condos and businesses as part of the Power Your Drive program.

The filing is in response to Senate Bill 350, which recognized the vital role energy companies will play in widespread transportation electrification by installing and expanding the charging network and other necessary infrastructure.

“SDG&E has spent more than a decade reducing our carbon footprint through the rapid expansion of clean energy. We all want to breathe cleaner air, which means slowing down the impacts of climate change will require an increased focus on the areas that produce the most harmful emissions,” said Caroline Winn, the utility’s chief operating officer. “We are committed as a business and a community partner to improving lives by developing meaningful solutions.”

https://timesofsandiego.com/tech/2017/01/22/sdge-seeks-to-install-thousands-electric-vehicle-chargers-in-san-diego/

DISTURBED MAN GETS PAST WHITE HOUSE SECURITY, GIVES PRESS CONFERENCE

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A man who was described as “visibly deranged” eluded the Secret Service on Saturday and gave a five-minute press conference at the White House.

The man, who somehow obtained White House credentials in order to bypass security, unloaded a delusional and paranoid rant that left a room full of experienced reporters shaken.

“We were all very, very scared,” Tracy Klugian, a reporter who witnessed the incident, said. “The things he was shouting made absolutely no sense, and he seemed to just get angrier and angrier.”

After a stream-of-consciousness tirade in which he accused the reporters of being part of a far-reaching conspiracy to distort reality, the man abruptly walked off “before he could do any real harm,” a Secret Service spokesman said.

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/disturbed-man-gets-past-white-house-security-gives-press-conference

Will Trump be the end of the Pax Americana?

With the “America First” emphasis in his truculent inaugural address, Donald Trump has signaled that a radical reorientation of American foreign policy may be in the offing. For more than 70 years, the United States has been the world’s leading champion of free trade, democracy, and international institutions, particularly in Europe and East Asia. But for how much longer?

In his interview last week with the Times of London and the German newspaper Bild, Trump called NATO “obsolete,” promoted the breakup of the European Union and suggested that German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of one of America’s most important allies, is no more trustworthy than Russia’s anti-American dictator, Vladimir Putin. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump sent the dollar tumbling after he said he favored a weaker dollar so as to reduce the trade deficit, abandoning our traditional policy.

Trump’s other pronouncements and, even more strongly, his protectionist personnel picks, indicate that he may be gearing up for a trade war against nations such as China and Mexico that he views as unfair competitors. “Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength,” he claimed in his inaugural address, turning the lessons of the 1930s on their head.

Thus, coming after eight years of President Obama’s “lead from behind” foreign policy, we may finally be seeing the long-predicted breakup of the Pax Americana — not because of external pressures but because of an internal decision that the burden of global leadership is no longer worth shouldering.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-boot-trump-reorients-us-foreign-policy-20170122-story.html

I Promise To Work Tirelessly To Achieve My Campaigns Goals, Threatens Trump In Terrifying Address

WASHINGTON—Leaving the nation in an uneasy state of dread as he spoke from the Capitol steps, incoming President Donald Trump reportedly delivered a disturbing inaugural address Friday in which he repeatedly threatened to work hard to implement his campaign promises.

“Everything that I’ve stood for in this campaign, all of the goals I’ve set, I will work around the clock until each one of them is achieved,” Trump ominously warned the country, prompting inauguration attendees and those watching at home to exchange tense, fearful glances with nearby friends and loved ones as the newly installed president made several additional intimidating assertions that he would “seek to enact” the agenda he had espoused throughout his run for office.

“My focus now will be turning my campaign pledges into reality. It is my guarantee to you, the American people, that I will do my best to accomplish everything I said I would do when you elected me president.”

A collective gasp was then reportedly heard emanating from the National Mall as Trump issued a sinister threat to begin swiftly carrying out his campaign’s plans as soon as his speech concluded.

http://www.theonion.com/article/i-promise-work-tirelessly-achieve-my-campaigns-goa-55094

I reported on Obama longer than anyone else. Here's what I learned.

This new guy named Barack Obama was speaking forcefully, delivering one of his first speeches as an Illinois lawmaker with such eloquence that I turned up the volume on the squawk box that carried his voice from the Senate floor to my press room office one floor below.

“Who’s that?” I asked the statehouse pundit who happened to be sitting on our dusty orange couch.

“Barack Obama? Sounds like some kinda black militant,” he said, and went back to gnawing on his soggy cigar.

The year was 1997, and the Illinois Capitol was a place where newcomers got their labels shortly after arrival. After politely asking a man in the office to stop calling me “baby,” I was the man hater. An intern with Mexican parents was “that Chicano chick.” Obama was the latest black radical, based first on his name and then on his interest in criminal justice.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-obama-and-me-20170121-story.html

Donald Trump's executive order on Obamacare will cripple the health insurance market

The day after the election I wrote that Republicans would find it hard to repeal Obamacare — but not so hard to vandalize it.

In his first official action after being sworn in as president, Donald Trump applied the first smear of graffiti to a law that today brings health coverage to more than 20 million Americans.

The executive order Trump signed at the White House gives the Department of Heath and Human Services and other government agencies broad latitude to start undermining the law. It encourages them “to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay” any provision of the law that would “impose a fiscal burden” on pretty much anyone — state, hospital, doctor, or patient.

In the first hours of theTrump administration, healthcare experts were divided about the impact of the order.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-obamacare-trump-order-20170120-story.html
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