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marble falls

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Name: had to remove
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Hometown: marble falls, tx
Member since: Thu Feb 23, 2012, 04:49 AM
Number of posts: 15,403

About Me

Hand dyer mainly to the quilters market, doll maker, oil painter and teacher, anti-fas, cat owner, anti nuke, ex navy, reasonably good cook, father of three happy successful kids and three happy grand kids. Life is good.

Journal Archives

Former GOP Ethics Lawyer Explains Why 'We Need to Get the Republicans Out of the House and Senate'


Former GOP Ethics Lawyer Explains Why 'We Need to Get the Republicans Out of the House and Senate'
Richard Painter has long been a Republican, but he fears what his party had become under Trump.
By Cody Fenwick / AlterNet
April 30, 2018, 10:33 AM GMT

https://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/former-gop-ethics-lawyer-explains-why-we-need-get-republicans-out-house-and-senate

Richard Painter is best known for his position as the White House's chief ethics lawyer under the Republican President George W. Bush, but he's running for the Senate in Minnesota as a Democrat.

He'll be running in the party primary against Sen. Tina Smith, who replaced Sen. Al Franken after he stepped down when multiple women accused him of unwanted groping.

On MSNBC Monday, he explained why he's decided to make his first foray into electoral politics and why he is running so passionately against the Republican Party.
AlterNet - The best daily political newsletter. Don't miss out.

"I've been a Republican for a long time and tried to turn the Republican party around on a range of different issues, but I've given up," he said.

On the topic of his Democratic opponent, he said Smith is not going "as good a job as she could do. But I want to start with the fact that the number one priority is we need to get the Republicans out of the House and Senate who are not standing up to President Trump, that's the number one priority, whether the victor in the fall is myself or Tina Smith."

He added that Smith should "be a lot stronger against President Trump. She should have come out against his trade war, which is going to destroy agriculture in our state. She should call for his removal from office, quite frankly, because he is not showing that he can conduct himself as president in accordance with the Constitution."

Watch the clip below:

"The number one priority is we need to get the Republicans out of the House and the Senate who are not standing up to President Trump."

– Fmr. Chief WH Ethics Lawyer @RWPMinnesota, says after his announcement to run as a Democrat in Minnesota Senate race. pic.twitter.com/PKQj67wORJ
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) April 30, 2018

What the real issue is with the continuing criticsm about Michelle Wolf is ALL about....



The press is keeping this alive, not us or the deplorables.

Celebrate International Fact-checking Day: Avoid falling for fake news

Celebrate International Fact-checking Day: Avoid falling for fake news

By Amy Sherman on Monday, April 2nd, 2018 at 6:00 a.m.
PolitiFact offers its guide to spotting fake news.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/apr/02/how-avoid-falling-fake-news/

As you scroll through posts on Facebook and spot the latest meme or attack on a politician, do you find yourself wondering if it is true?

April 2 is International Fact-Checking Day project of the International Fact-Checking Network, in partnership with fact-checking organizations around the world, including PolitiFact. Make sure to follow @factchecknet and #FactCheckIt on Twitter to take part in the global conversation.

Here are eight tips to help you spot fake news.

Be skeptical

If a post strikes you as outlandish, put the headline in a search engine and see if you can find some mainstream news accounts on the same topic. For example, if former President Barack Obama had actually appeared in court in handcuffs, it would have been covered by multiple news outlets worldwide — not just some random blogs.

Run a URL background check

Some websites with glaringly inaccurate stories have an "about" section on their homepage or on Facebook that identify their content as satire. Take the fine print from America’s Last Line of Defense as an example: "Nothing on this page is real. It is a collection of the satirical whimsies of liberal trolls masquerading as conservatives. You have been warned." Other fake news websites have names that are similar to real websites but on closer examination are a little different. For example, The Politico News is a fake news website with a similar name to Politico, a real news website.

Scour social media history for bias

When the stock market fell in February, a man in England named Shaun Usher shared what appeared to be a years-old tweet on the topic from Donald Trump. Saying "there’s *always* a tweet," Usher linked to a supposed Trump tweet that said, "If the Dow Joans ever falls more than 1000 ‘points’ in a Single Day the sitting president should be 'loaded' into a very big cannon and Shot into the sun at TREMENDOUS SPEED! No excuses!"

Some of Trump’s past tweets have come back to haunt him as commander in chief, but this one never happened. Usher had to make it clear that his previous tweet was a joke: "Sweet mother of god. Not for one second did I think people would believe that to be genuine."

A glance back at Usher’s Twitter feed showed he had been critical of Trump in the past, once calling him the "dumbest sack of meat."

Real or Fake? Take the fake news quiz to find out!

Google the quotes

Many false stories have incendiary quotes. A story that said the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public schools "will not teach the tenets of Islam or Sharia Law" included alleged quotes by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. When we searched for the quote, we found it only on suspicious blogs — and in fact-checks that debunked the claim.

Put authentic quotes in context

Another tactic of fake news generators is to distort real comments from politicians and celebrities into the worst possible meaning. One story said that Oprah Winfrey told a Fox News host "all white people have to die." But her full comments, told to a BBC interviewer, had more context: "As long as people can be judged by the color of their skin, the problem is not solved. There is a whole generation — I said this for apartheid South Africa, I said this for my own community in the south — there are still generations of people, older people, who were born and bred and marinated in that prejudice and racism, and they just have to die."

Consider the sources in the story

Some stories appear to be legitimate because they include quotations from experts and real-sounding reports. Sometimes the experts are fake. And other times, the sources are not as solid as they seem.

One headline about the FDA announcing "vaccines are causing autism," for example, linked to a 2005 brochure for Tripedia, which said adverse side effects include autism. But the brochure also stated, "Because these events are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequencies or to establish a causal relationship to components of Tripedia vaccine." A credible story about the FDA and a vaccine would include interviews with an FDA official as well as someone from the drug maker. That wasn’t the case here.

Read beyond the headline

Some headlines are clickbait and don’t fully reflect the nuances in the story. Take the headline "Ohio student suspended for staying in class during National Walkout Day." It creates the impression that the student was suspended simply for skipping the walkout one month after the Parkland shooting. The story itself stated that the student was suspended for choosing to stay in a classroom rather than go to the school-sanctioned alternative to the protests, study hall. A statement from the school district said that students had to be in a supervised location.

Watch out for doctored photos

Real images can easily be manipulated to create a phony impression. After Marjory Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez appeared in a video by Teen Vogue ripping up a gun-range target poster, someone then doctored the image to show Gonzalez ripping up the Constitution. A search on Twitter showed that some users pointed out that the image was doctored including Don Moynihan, a professor of public affairs at University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moynihan, like most professors, posts an extensive bio and resume on a public website, which helps viewers determine his credibility.

Some fake news stories use real, yet unrelated images. By using Google for a reverse image search, you can find the actual source of the photo. (Sadly, this trick does not work for video — try these tips instead.) For example, a fake story about a murdered NFL attorney (who didn’t even exist) included a photo of two police officers at a crime scene. We searched Google images and found it matched an Associated Press photo of a crime scene near the site where a police officer was fatally shot in the Bronx in July.

What I want to know is: Where's all the self-congratulatory self-puffed and fluffed missile...

porn of before during and after. Not even a satellite shot. Don't we get any documentation of the billions they wasted on this military parade for cheetolini Syria. He must be proud, he's blooded Macron and Mays.

Where are the usual post mortem yips of glee, with photos and video.

Pentagon Sucks the Air Out of Trumps Mission Accomplished

Pentagon Sucks the Air Out of Trump’s ‘Mission Accomplished’

While the president crowed about attacking Assad, the military defined what it achieved minimally – leaving unsettled what the U.S. has actually accomplished.

Spencer Ackerman
04.14.18 11:22 AM ET

Almost as soon as Donald Trump declared “mission accomplished” in Syria, the Pentagon dialed the claim back substantially.

In reviewing the Pentagon’s assessment of what U.S. warplanes and cruise missiles did last night to three suspected chemical storage and production facilities, U.S. defense representatives defined success in the most tactical of terms. That formulation resolved none of the relevant questions over the ultimate impact of a strike that Trump ordered after a substantially similar one last year failed to deter Bashar Assad from launching a chemical attack.

But the Pentagon claimed tactical success. Unlike last year’s 59-Tomahawk-missile fusillade, no Tomahawks malfunctioned. Syria’s vaunted air defenses along the Mediterranean coast failed to shoot down any U.S. hardware, despite Russian claims of interception. (Though, for good measure, the U.S. launched most of Friday’s Tomahawks from ships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, and its B-1 bombers fired missiles with a 620-mile range.) Most of the 40 Syrian interceptor missiles launched after the U.S. cruise missiles had already struck their targets. And a threat from a Russian diplomat to target American ships proved empty.

“We met our objectives,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, pressed on the president’s proclamation. “It was mission accomplished.”

But the objective of the mission wasn’t to hit three Syrian chemical sites in and of themselves. It was, like last year’s strike on the Shayrat airfield, to deter Assad from future chemical attacks. And that depends on calculations that last night’s strike won’t resolve. Last year, for instance, Assad held off chemical attacks for a whole three months – resuming them, conspicuously, after Trump and his then-secretary of state signaled that they would work with Russia on a political resolution to the Syrian civil war and back away from a demand Assad relinquish power.

“We did the same strike last year,” said Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat on the intelligence committee. “He still used chemical weapons on his own people. Why would this be different?”


Assad retains the capability to do so, the Pentagon conceded. While White said Assad’s ability to produce a chemical arsenal was “crippled,” her Joint Staff colleague, Lt. Gen. Frank McKenzie acknowledged, “I would not say they’d be unable to conduct a chemical attack in the future.” The strikes, McKenzie added, ought to make Assad “think twice” before doing so.

That calculation remains outside the U.S.’ control. Assad’s hold on power is guaranteed by sponsors Russia and Iran, who are now diplomatically supported by America’s NATO ally Turkey in retaliation for Washington’s sponsorship of Ankara’s Kurdish enemies. The Syrians sent signals almost immediately after the strike that they considered it a flesh wound.

Nor could the administration sing from the same sheet music about what the strikes actually represent. Trump called them the inauguration of a “sustained” campaign, but his defense secretary, James Mattis, said they were “right now” a “one-off.” At the Pentagon on Saturday morning, the message was that any follow-on depends on Assad’s behavior.

And that underscored the groundhog-day dynamic of the latest strikes. Hit too little and Assad shrugs off the impact. Hit too much and risk a frightening escalation with the nuclear power backing Assad. McKenzie wouldn’t describe any high-level conversations between the Pentagon and the Russian foreign ministry, but reminded: “We don’t want to get into a fight with them, they don’t want to get into a fight with us.”

Beyond the strikes themselves, the Trump administration has not decided on its objectives on Syria – beyond a proximate defeat of Islamic State, which is unrelated to the fate of Assad – let alone a strategy to achieve them. The day before the strikes, Mattis testified that the U.S. still wants to “not engage in the civil war itself,” but “at times, you’re going to see some contrary impulses.” White reiterated U.S. support for a diplomatic process in Syria that appears far less relevant than the one led by the Moscow-Tehran-Ankara bloc.

It may then be only a matter of time before Trump’s strike cycle repeats. Easier to declare the mission accomplished once the missiles impact.

-- with reporting by Allison Quinn


Like we say here in Texas: All tactics, no strategy.

Political medicine is bad medicine for veterans

Political medicine is bad medicine for veterans

By Rory E. Riley-Topping, opinion contributor — 04/13/18 03:15 PM EDT

http://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/383007-political-medicine-is-bad-medicine-for-veterans

Political medicine is bad medicine for veterans


It seems that the phrase was first coined in 1945 by Clem Whitaker and Leone Baxter, the husband and wife duo behind Campaigns, Inc., and was in reference to the gubernatorial campaign of Earl Warren, who, in vying to be governor of California, proposed compulsory health insurance. The policy behind the slogan was that health insurance should be voluntary and involve individual choice, not be forced upon us by the government.

As the recent debates about the future of VA health care have become engulfed in partisan divide, this is an important phrase to remember. Political medicine is bad medicine for veterans too.

When the news first break four years ago that veterans couldn’t access care at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., because employees there were using secret wait lists to manipulate the hospitals quality statistics, Americans across the political spectrum were shocked and appalled. And, rightfully so — after all, they had trusted the VA to take care of those who served with their tax dollars, and they felt taken advantage of.



Although public interest in veterans's health care at large has waxed and waned since then, the systemic issues regarding access to care uncovered at the VA four years ago remain unresolved. Unfortunately, a permanent solution regarding access to VA care has not yet been found because, like most other things in Washington, the issue has become wrapped up in partisan politics.

The oversimplified version of political medicine at VA is that republicans favor privatizing the VA, whereas democrats favor greater investment in the current system. Ultimately, both sides want the same thing: better health care for veterans, but once again, politics corrupts the message.

No republicans are calling for wholesale privatization or dismantling of the VA, and no democrats are arguing to completely eliminate access to private care. (It is of note that VA has contracted out some care to private hospitals since World War II). Rather than argue which side is correct, let’s look at the history of other government health care programs to see that a practical, policy-driven solution is possible.

As anyone who’s followed the Affordable Care Act debates over the last decade knows, stripping politics from health care is easier said than done. Health care, for veterans and the general population, is vast and it is complicated. All too often, politicians limit themselves to making the occasional judicious-sounding statement about the need to invest in government health programs in order to halt waste and improve efficiency. The VA is no exception.

Here are a few recent examples:

On March 9, 2018, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) stated that he was “deeply concerned” about an OIG report’s findings on the DC VA Medical Center, and that he “look[s] forward to pressing the VA and working with [his] colleagues in Congress to ensure that we are able to offer the best care for our veterans.”

On Feb.13, 2018, Sen. ohnny Isakson (R-Ga.), stated that “I look forward to working with the Department of Veterans Affairs in the year ahead as we continue to take steps to provide top-notch services to our veterans.”

And on Jan. 11, 2018, Senator Rob Wydman (D-Ore.) stated that “Our country’s commitment to the veterans who have served so proudly demands they receive the best possible health care when they return home.”

The examples cited above are merely meant to show the type of generic political statement often made in reference to the VA, and not to disparage any individual members’ political views on the future of VA health care.

However, it is also important to note that no amount of tinkering with a broken bureaucracy will fix the program’s deficiencies. One of VA’s chief challenges in moving forward is that it places many health care decisions in the hands of bureaucrats rather than consumers, i.e., the veteran themselves. Deferring to veterans directly is good policy, not just political theater.

An analysis of other government health-care programs shows that only the market allows consumers to make proper decisions about their healthcare decisions by having access to all information and an ability to weigh various alternatives.

For example, in 1997, Congress enacted the Medicare Advantage program, formerly known as Medicare+Choice, allowing Medicare recipients to choose private insurance plans for their coverage. At first, the program proved challenging to implement, as the benefits of competition can be relied on only in markets where the elements of competition exist.

This should serve as a valid warning to the Trump administration on VA health-care — choice is, overall, a good thing, but a choice program that is hastily implemented rather than well-thought may backfire in terms of political will.

Moving forward, a balance of traditional fee for service Medicare, which is more on par with the current VA system, has been implemented in conjunction with Medicare Advantage.

Like those eligible for Medicare, veterans’ health care needs do not fit into a one size fits all category. Whereas sicker beneficiaries tend to enroll in Fee-For-Service, healthier beneficiaries choose Medicare Advantage.

Similarly, whereas more disabled veterans with health care needs directly related to their service may benefit more from traditional VA health care, non-service connected veterans and others with health-care needs that mirror those of the general population, may benefit more from a choice program.

Aside from the political challenges of reforming the VA health-care system, Medicaid shows us that it is possible to offer both a traditional and choice of private insurance model.

Although a system that maintains two parallel tracks for VA health care comes with its own challenges, it would supply the necessary data as to what type of health-care veterans themselves choose, based on geography, age, and other factors, and not just what the politicians or the bureaucracy choose for them.

Rory E. Riley-Topping has dedicated her career to ensuring accountability within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to care for our nation’s veterans, and is also the owner of two rescued Dobermans. She is the principal at Riley-Topping Consulting and has served in a legal capacity for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, the National Veterans Legal Services Program, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, and can be reached on Twitter @RileyTopping.

Tapper asks RNC chief: What gives you 'moral ground' to question Comey's integrity?

Tapper asks RNC chief: What gives you 'moral ground' to question Comey's integrity?
By Ben Kamisar - 04/13/18 06:07 PM EDT

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/383109-tapper-asks-rnc-chief-what-gives-you-moral-ground-to-question-comeys-integrity


.@jaketapper: Yes, there are hypocrites in the Democratic Party who once bashed and are now embracing James Comey. But see what Donald Trump said about Comey in 2016, days after the then-FBI director announced he reopened the case into Hillary Clinton’s emails pic.twitter.com/V4kvFRKgak
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) April 13, 2018

CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Friday pressed Republican National Committee (RNC) chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel over whether the party believes it has the "moral ground" to question former FBI Director James Comey's integrity.

<snip>

"Whatever issues there are with James Comey, what is the deal with Broidy and Cohen and Wynn and how does that give you any moral ground to question anyone's integrity?" Tapper asked, referring to various GOP officials caught up scandals.


McDaniel, whose committee has launched a campaign to undermine Comey ahead of the release of his book that criticizes President Trump, responded by arguing that Comey "discredited himself" with "his own testimony before Congress."

"He said he didn't leak and then he did reveal that he gave his memos to a friend to give to a reporter," she said.

"With the way he handled the Clinton investigation and now revealing in his book that he used polls to to determine his decision to reveal to the public he was reopening the Clinton investigation, our job at the RNC is to make sure we are highlighting for the American people this person who will get 24 hour news coverage. We need to present the real James Comey."

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that RNC deputy finance chair Elliot Broidy had paid a former Playboy model after an affair that ended in her saying she terminated a pregnancy. Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, helped negotiate that payment, according to the Journal. Cohen, who also serves as a deputy finance chair for the RNC, is now under criminal investigation and the FBI raided his properties this week.

Earlier this year, RNC finance chairman Steve Wynn also resigned after accusations of sexual assault and harassment emerged going back decades.



On Friday, Tapper pushed the RNC chairwoman about the "double standard" of labeling Comey as a liar, ticking through unverified claims made by the president including that vaccines contribute to autism and that Sen. Ted Cruz's (R-Texas) father was involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

"I know you're head of the RNC and not inclined to criticize the president. But this is a man who has said falsely thousands of Muslims were on TV and cheering in New Jersey on 9/11, and that Ted Cruz's father was involved in the Kennedy assassination and President Obama was not born in this country," he said.

"They are all patently false claims so why the double standard, why do you care about James Comey telling the truth but not President Trump?"

McDaniel pushed back and accused the media of having "an obsession with covering President Trump."

"They have covered him nonstop and the most negative way that we've seen for any president," she added.

"They're going to bring James Comey on and we don't think he'll get the proper vetting. That is something we want to make sure that the facts get out."

Laura Ingraham Accidentally Delivered The Best Self-Own Of 2018

Source: HuffPo


Laura Ingraham Accidentally Delivered The Best Self-Own Of 2018
Fox News host has now lost more than two dozen sponsors.
By Ed Mazza
X

<snip>

As a result, it raised eyebrows on Wednesday night when she delivered an awkward reference to doing her show without a commercial break ― not because of fleeing advertisers but because of all the material she had.

“Fantastic segment,” she said, thanking her guests. “We got more, though, here. We’re going to do the whole show without a break.”

<snip>

She didn’t do the show without a break, but sponsors continue to pull the plug on “The Ingraham Angle.”

On Thursday, Red Lobster became the 26th advertiser to dump the show, according to The Wrap.

<snip>

Read more: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/laura-ingraham-self-own-commercial-break_us_5ad0084ce4b016a07e9abf47



She's going down like Limpbaugh and Glen Beck.

Cops Fired After Blaming Missing Half-Ton Of Pot On Stoner Mice

A judge tried to weed out the truth.
By David Moye

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mice-marijuana-argentina-skeptical-judge_us_5acf8ca6e4b016a07e9a3036

What a ratty thing to do ― blaming mice for 1,000 pounds of missing marijuana.

That’s the dubious excuse eight police officers in Pilar, Argentina, gave after a half-ton of pot disappeared from a police warehouse.

About 13,000 pounds of bud were supposed to be in storage, but a recent police inspection revealed 1,000 pounds were missing, according to The Guardian.

Javer Specia, the city’s former police commissioner, was ordered to explain the shortfall to a judge. He and three subordinates told the skeptical jurist the missing marijuana must have been eaten by mice.

Experts, however, sent that theory up in smoke, saying rodents wouldn’t confuse marijuana with food. In the off-chance they did, the mice likely would have died from the dope, and investigators would have found the cannabis-laden corpses, according to USA Today.

“Buenos Aires University experts have explained that mice wouldn’t mistake the drug for food, and that if a large group of mice had eaten it, a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse,” a spokesperson for the judge said.

All eight officers were dismissed from their jobs, and will testify in front of the judge on May 4. The judge will then decide if the drugs are missing due to “expedience or negligence,” according to the BBC.

Louisiana Private School Teacher and Aide Fired After Mom Secretly Records Them Mocking Her Autistic


Louisiana Private School Teacher and Aide Fired After Mom Secretly Records Them Mocking Her Autistic 12-Year-Old Son
The hero mother planted a recording device to prove what was happening.
By Brad Reed / Raw Story
April 11, 2018, 8:09 AM GMT

<snip>

Local news station WBRZ reports that Baton Rouge-based Hope Academy is firing both a teacher and a teacher’s aide who were heard ridiculing the autistic boy’s intelligence while being secretly recorded by a tape recorder planted by the boy’s mother.

“Camden, why don’t you have anything written down?” one adult in the recording can be heard saying to the boy. “That’s why you can’t sit with everyone. Tell your momma that.”

“Let’s see what they do with him in f*cking public school,” adds another adult. “He was going to go to Live Oak Middle. Uh ah, he wouldn’t make it for a minute.”

One of the people in the recording can also be heard sarcastically imitating noises that the boy makes.

<snip>

Hope Academy says that it has fired one of the adults in the recording effective immediately, while the other adult in the recording will be formally terminated within the next two weeks.




http://hopeacademybr.org/ is this school's website. They are an academy for autistic and children with other difficulties.
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