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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 13,366

Journal Archives

Trump just nixed a major argument against releasing the Mueller report

President Trump said Wednesday for the first time that he would be okay with the public release of the Mueller report. In doing so, he eliminated a major justification for withholding it.

Ever since now-Attorney General William P. Barr testified at his confirmation hearing earlier this year that he would be constrained in releasing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings in the Russia investigation, the conventional wisdom has shifted. While many expected to see a Starr Report-style public document detailing everything Mueller found, it quickly became clear that probably would not happen, at least initially. Mueller is operating under a different statute than Kenneth Starr was during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and Justice Department guidelines prohibit revealing information about people who are not being indicted and that is obtained via grand jury.

But the reason that information generally is not released is to protect the people involved. And the most high-ranking person involved — Trump — just gave it the green light.

“I don’t mind,” he said when asked whether the report should be public. “I mean, frankly, I told the House if you want, let them see it.”


The Brexit mess gets messier as the deadline nears

For more than two years, British Prime Minister Theresa May has been looking for a pair of exit ramps — one to successfully navigate her country out of the European Union, as called for by voters in a 2016 referendum, and another to avoid further damage to her deeply divided Conservative Party. The damage to herself appears irreparable.

The prime minister was dealt a terrible hand by her predecessor, David Cameron. It was Cameron’s decision to call the Brexit referendum in the first place, hoping — and perhaps believing — that it would once and for all quiet the anti-Europe wing of his party. It proved a spectacularly failed gamble.

Unexpectedly, the referendum measure narrowly passed, a crushing blow to a political establishment that had lined up almost uniformly in favor of remaining. It also foreshadowed a political revolt by anti-elitist voters that hit the United States a few months later with the election of Donald Trump as president.

And as Britain nears the March 29 deadline for leaving the E.U., Trump continues to undermine the already weakened prime minister as he wages an international war against elites.


'Devin Nunes' Cow' mooves past Devin Nunes in Twitter followers less than 2 days after lawsuit

Parody Twitter account “Devin Nunes’ Cow” now has more Twitter followers than Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California less than two days after appearing as a subject of a lawsuit by the congressman.

The relatively obscure account had only about 1,000 followers before Nunes filed a lawsuit against Twitter and individual accounts, including “Devin Nunes’ Cow” Monday evening.

By 12:40 p.m. EST on Wednesday, “Devin Nunes’ Cow” reached 395,000 followers, which beats the congressman's 394,500 followers.

Over the past two days the anonymous account received a boost from high-profile people including Andy Lassner, executive producer of The Ellen Show, and conservative lawyer George Conway, who is married to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.


And the cow's followers will only continue to increase in the days ahead.

DoE plans world's fastest supercomputer

The U.S. Department of Energy says it is working on a supercomputer that will break the target of exaFLOP computation – a quintillion (10^18) floating-point computations per second – in order to handle high-performance computing and artificial intelligence.

Being built in conjunction with Intel and Cray Computing, the Aurora supercomputer will cost more than half a billion dollars and be turned over to Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago in 2021, according to a statement by the DoE.

“Aurora and the next-generation of Exascale supercomputers will apply HPC and AI technologies to areas such as cancer research, climate modeling, and veterans’ health treatments,” says Energy Secretary Rick Perry. “The innovative advancements that will be made with Exascale will have an incredibly significant impact on our society.”

Projects include “developing extreme-scale cosmological simulations, discovering new approaches for drug response prediction, and discovering materials for the creation of more efficient organic solar cells,” DoE said in a statement.


Historians Uncover Lost Socrates Dialogues

Historians Uncover Lost Socrates Dialogues Where He Just Gave Up And Started Screaming That Opponent A Fucking Brainwashed Shill

CAMBRIDGE, MA—In a landmark discovery that sheds new light on the development of Western thought, historians announced Tuesday they had found several lost Socratic dialogues in which the ancient Greek philosopher simply gives up and screams that his debate opponents are all fucking brainwashed shills.

“In these newly unearthed texts, there are numerous instances in which Socrates accuses his interlocutors of having small penises before going on to claim he has fucked their wives,” said Harvard University professor Helen Speck, citing dialogues in which Socrates proposes that anyone who disagrees with him is a pathetic piece of shit on the payroll of the Athenian aristocracy and ought to just kill himself.

“We’ve uncovered many rhetorical tactics previously undocumented in the classical canon, such as Socrates’ tendency to scream ‘Fuck you!’ ad nauseam until his challenger stopped trying to express his viewpoint. We even have contemporaneous accounts suggesting Socrates doxxed his opponents, posting their addresses all over the Acropolis and inciting his followers to harass them. It’s pretty amazing to see our culture’s philosophical tradition being born here.”

Speck added that Plato, the most famous student of Socrates, received an education centered around learning to shout a stream of relentless, unsubstantiated libel at anyone believed to be a giant pussy.


Where Spider-Man and Captain America Intern: The White House Economic Team

Source: NY Times

The 2019 Economic Report of the President runs 705 pages and features chapters on “expanding labor force opportunities” and “ensuring a balanced financial regulatory landscape.” It also claims to be written by Batman.

For the second straight year, the group of economists that do regression analyses and forecast annual growth rates for President Trump has slipped a straight-out-of-Comic-Con Easter egg into its annual report. [Not nerdy enough to know what an Easter egg is? Read here.]

The list of Council of Economic Advisers interns on Page 624 of the report includes Steve Rogers (a.k.a. Captain America), Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Bruce Wayne (Batman). There’s also Aunt May (Peter Parker’s guardian; apparently there are no anti-nepotism rules at the council), J. T. Hutt (a superfan abbreviation for Jabba the Hutt, the “Star Wars” gangster who hangs a frozen Han Solo on his wall), the actor John Cleese, Kathryn Janeway (a “Star Trek” captain) and someone called John Snow (more on him later).

The names stuck out because most Council of Economic Advisers interns are university students — depending on which movie or comic you prefer, Peter Parker is the only one on the list who fits that bill — and also, real human beings.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/19/us/politics/interns-council-economic-advisers.html

Somehow I feel this report is not something to joke about.

Scientists Discover Dangerous Link Between Book Learnin', Back Talk

TUSCALOOSA, AL—Confirming decades of speculation concerning the potentially disruptive effects of runaway literacy, scientists at the University Of Alabama published a study Tuesday establishing a definite and potentially dangerous link between the practice of book learnin’ and increased back talk.

“According to our data, processing information from these highfalutin’ books has a direct correlation to getting a little too big for your britches and turning into a real sass-back,” said professor and co-author Jedediah Lee Lutz, noting that participants who gleaned moon-eyed ideas from reading were much more likely to get notions way above their raising.

“There appears to be a clear connection between book learnin’ and acting like you plum don’t got no horse sense.”

Lutz recommended that concerned authority and parental figures simply smack them book talkin’s right out the offending party’s fancy little mouths.


I love the Onion.

The ridiculousness of Devin Nunes suing 'Devin Nunes' cow' -- and what it really signals

There is a Twitter account called “Devin Nunes’ cow” that has tweeted nasty things about Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.). Evidently, the account is not actually run by a cow belonging to Nunes. Nunes is now suing his purported cow.

Nunes is suing @DevinCow, along with another parody account called @DevinNunesMom, Republican strategist Liz Mair and Twitter as an organization, alleging a concerted effort to defame him and work against his 2018 reelection campaign. He’s also accusing Twitter of unfairly targeting conservatives through a practice known as “shadow banning.” He’s asking for $250 million.

What might be most notable about Nunes’s suit is that this is the first battle he chose. Nunes said on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Monday night that this is “the first of many” lawsuits to come. Does he really think his most obvious and airtight case involved ... @DevinCow and @DevinNunesMom?

Here’s a sampling of the tweets he alleges are defamatory, using language directly from the lawsuit Fox obtained:

"Devin Nunes’ cow has made, published and republished hundreds of false and defamatory statements of and concerning Nunes, including the following: Nunes is a ‘treasonous cowpoke.’”
“'Devin’s boots are full of manure. He’s udder-ly worthless and its pasture time to move him to prison.' ”
“In her endless barrage of tweets, Devin Nunes’ Mom maliciously attacked every aspect of Nunes’ character, honesty, integrity, ethics and fitness to perform his duties as a United States Congressman.”
@DevinNunesMom “falsely stated that Nunes was unfit to run the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.”
@DevinNunesMom “falsely stated that Nunes was ‘voted ‘Most Likely to Commit Treason’ in high school.’ ”
@DevinNunesMom “falsely claimed that Nunes would ‘probably see an indictment before 2020.’ ”


I personally think Devin Nunes' cow makes some pretty good points. Hooray for Devin Nunes' cow!

How vision plans rig the eyewear market while keeping consumers in the dark

People tend to think of the vision plans offered by employers as being like any other health insurance. They’re not.

The reality is that vision plans, headed by market leaders VSP and EyeMed, are primarily discount programs intended at least in part to promote sales of eyewear affiliated with each company.

“The vision plans expect you to get patients in, get them out, sell them glasses,” said Myles Zakheim, an optometrist with offices in Brentwood, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. “Their goal is to push as much product as they possibly can.”

Other health insurers may steer patients to specific drugs, say, but that’s because they have sweetheart deals with the drugmakers, not because the insurers themselves manufacture the drugs.


Murdoch family launches a new Fox; former House Speaker Paul Ryan joins company's board

Source: LA Tmes

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has spun off various television assets — including the Fox News Channel and Fox broadcast network — to form a new company that will be known simply as Fox Corp.

The spinoff completed early Tuesday is part of a multi-pronged process that will culminate with the $71.3-billion sale of the rest of Murdoch’s entertainment company to Walt Disney Co. The company announced that it had finished the process of issuing shares in the new Fox Corp. to investors of 21st Century Fox.

Fox announced its board members, including former U.S. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.). Other board members include Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch, Anne Dias, Chase Carey, Roland A. Hernandez and Jacques Nasser.

The new Fox is now “a standalone, publicly traded company,” the company said. Its shares are listed on the Nasdaq market; Tuesday marks the first day of trading.

Read more: https://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-fox-spinoff-20190319-story.html

I am somehow not surprised by this move by Ryan.
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