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Member since: Mon Jan 30, 2006, 06:07 PM
Number of posts: 103,169

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Question: How were Senate Rethugs able to vote to repeal the ACA?

How were they able to use the Budget Reconciliation process to do that and avoid a filibuster?

They've never been able to do that before, because repealing the ACA would trash the budget, not help it -- and the BR process is only supposed to be for measures that help the budget.

So does anyone know how they were able to use BR this time, when they weren't allowed to all the previous times?

If they could now, they certainly could if the Rethug is elected President.

Adolph Trump says he's no racist -- FDR did it, too, with the Japanese.

And that's the one thing he's right about. FDR "did it." But "it" was a terrible, fearful, and racist thing.

People here who want to deify FDR should remember -- he led us out of the depression, instituted financial reforms that lasted for decades ,and was a giant figure for much of the 99%.

BUT he was also a racist and the person who ordered the internment of Japanese Americans in camps during WW2.


Trump showed little inclination to back down, however, and instead compared the proposed ban to actions taken by Franklin D. Roosevelt against Japanese and German "enemy aliens" during World War II, though he stopped short of advocating internment camps.

Asked in an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program if his proposal went against treasured American values, he responded: "No, because FDR did it!"

If Hillary were to make an "if men could get pregnant" statement,

like Bernie recently did, and Obama did before him, she wouldn't be applauded for it, as if she were a hero.

She'd be accused of "playing the gender card."

Every progressive woman has probably made a similar statement. Several decades ago Gloria Steinem said, "If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament."

But it's only men who think "if men could get pregnant" statements are insightful and new.

Women say, "duh."

Bernie says the President got it RIGHT in his Sunday address.


On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders agreed with the president. "President Obama is right," he wrote in his statement. "ISIS will be destroyed with an international coalition in which Muslim troops on the ground are supported by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and other leading powers."

And Hillary also has called for greater help from other powers in the region, while ruling out US ground forces.

She added the United States needs "much better help" from Sunni and Kurdish groups on the ground fighting the insurgents, but ruled out sending in U.S. ground forces, as has President Barack Obama.

Growing number of cyber shills

I do wonder, sometimes.


Since the dawn of online reviews, businesses have been attempting to game the system by flooding sites with bogus star ratings, fictitious reviews. And even though the major sites have enacted safeguards to prevent automated ways of rigging reviews, there’s little they can do to stop an actual human from logging on to boost a review in exchange for a few pennies.

And that’s literally all it takes, says a new study from researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara, which found that a growing number of companies are turning to shadowy shills in China, where a fake review — or a Facebook like, a Twitter follower, etc. — from a real person can run you as little as $.13 to $.70.
The chart shown above (from the UCSB study) shows what two China-based companies charged per-task for things like posting on forums and registering accounts.

Explains InfoWorld.com:
Organizers enlist dozens or hundreds of professional shills. They orchestrate mass account creation (bolstering “XYZ Systems now has 100,000 registered users” claims), generate bogus ratings, post canned cut-and-paste positive reviews — and follow up with screenshots of their successes. Money flows from the customer to the organizer, then to the shills. And it’s very difficult — if not impossible — to trace.

Abusive private messages

Is there any action to take on these, other than blocking the person from sending future abusive emails?

I just got a PM that is titled "Fuck You" and goes on to tell me how much I suck as a person. This person then got two hides (he was abusive in the thread to other posters, too) and his account is now "flagged for review.)

I've never, with all my posts, had anyone send me an abusive email before. Maybe I've just been lucky.

All products created by Big Pharma are not created equal.

All products approved by the FDA are not equally safe and effective.

Not every person benefits from the products that benefit most other people.

Drugs are a vital part of the health care system but not every drug is equally safe and effective.

Vaccines are a vital part of the health care system but not every vaccine is equally safe and effective.

A vaccine, like a drug, may be taken off the market when the risks turn out to outweigh the benefits. (As with the old DPT vaccine.)

Having specific concerns about a particular drug or vaccine in particular situations does not make anyone either anti-drug or anti-vaccine.

Given all the above, mandated vaccines historically have been reserved for potentially serious diseases that can be spread through casual contact: like measles, whooping cough, etc.

HPV was the first vaccine that a governmental unit (Rick Perry's Texas) tried to mandate even though it was for a disease that was NOT spread through casual contact.

IMO, in order to preserve public confidence in the system, we should be wary of mandating vaccines that are not spread through casual contact unless the disease is both life threatening and not easily treatable. (Such as an HIV vaccine)

Big Pharma will produce the vaccines it deems to potentially have the most profit. That's why Big Pharma wants a mandate -- for everything. Big government should only mandate vaccines based on overall social good -- not the economic good of Big Pharma.

Big Pharma will pick the low-hanging fruit -- i.e., produce the vaccines that are easiest to produce. That does not mean we have to eat everything Big Pharma picks. We can only eat so much, so we need to be choosy.

Vaccines should be prioritized on a public health need -- not based on which is easiest or most profitable for the drug companies. So the decisions regarding the need for a vaccine or a mandate should be driven by the CDC and/or the FDA, not Big Pharma.

Only a legal loophole allowed the sale of the CA shooters weapons.

Someone other than the shooters legally purchased the weapons (after which they were illegally transferred to the shooters) but the weapons shouldn't have been able to be purchased by anyone in CA -- except for a legal loophole.


The two assault-style rifles that the attackers used to carry out a shooting massacre in San Bernardino on Wednesday were legally purchased in California due to a technical loophole in the state's assault weapons ban.
Meredith Davis, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), confirmed to The Huffington Post that the two long guns were bought legally in the state, but declined to identify the dealer who sold the weapons or the person who purchased them. Davis said that law enforcement is still investigating how the shooters, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, acquired the rifles, since someone else purchased them.
The Smith & Wesson M&P15 that Farook wielded and Malik's DPMS A-15 were both legal in California despite the state's tough assault weapons ban because they had button mechanisms to release their ammunition magazines. An exception known as the "bullet button loophole" allows rifles that would ordinarily be prohibited to be manufactured and sold if they have the button-release feature, since their magazines are then considered fixed rather than detachable.
The loophole has spawned a cottage industry for gun makers in California, some of whom specialize in specially manufacturing assault-style rifles to comply with state law.

Rosa Parks had no children and her only brother died decades before she did.

So there may not be anyone left who can truly speak for her now.

But we should all remember her. She had a long and productive life as a citizen-activist, and 23 years spent working as a secretary for US Rep John Conyers.

ON EDIT: She had a substantial estate when she died, which she left to a charity. Her nieces and nephews sued the charitable trust and battled all the way to the Michigan Supreme Court, where they finally lost -- and yet, with her papers and memorabilia valued in the millions, the battle didn't end till earlier this year, ten years after her death.


At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP. She had recently attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen "tired of giving in". Although widely honored in later years, she also suffered for her act; she was fired from her job as a seamstress in a local department store, and received death threats for years afterwards. Her situation also opened doors.

Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she briefly found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American U.S. Representative. She was also active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US.

After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and lived a largely private life in Detroit. In her final years, she suffered from dementia. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, and a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman and third non-U.S. government official to lie in honor at the Capitol Rotunda.


She ranks as one of the greatest civil rights icons of all time, all starting with a seemingly simple act of refusing to move from a bus seat. Rosa Parks passed away at age 92 in 2005, living in a modest apartment in Detroit, Michigan. Rosa Parks estate was modest too. Officially valued at $372, 624 in monetary terms, but of course priceless in terms of memories and historical significance.

Her final wishes were not so modest. She assigned all of her belongings to a charitable institute to “educate and motivate youth and adults, particularly African American persons, for self and community betterment.” She called this the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. She named her close friend, Elaine Steele, along with a retired Detroit judge, to oversee her estate. She also named Elaine Steele as a prominent beneficiary, including a 90% recipient of royalties, with 10% passing to her nieces and nephews.

But Parks’ many nieces and nephews did not agree with her final will and trust, which were created in July, 1998. They sued to challenge the estate plan, accusing Steele of using undue influence on Parks. Steele denied it. After the case was started, amid claims of mismanagement, the probate judge removed Steele and the other appointed executor and replaced them with two local attorneys.

On the eve of Rosa Parks estate trial, the parties settled with a confidential settlement agreement that upheld the will and trust as valid, re-instituted Steele and the retired Judge as the executors, and gave the nieces and nephews additional rights and royalties related to Parks. This left Steele in control of Rosa Parks’ Institute.


Because of the fight over Parks’ will, historians, students of the movement and the general public have had no access to items such as her photographs with presidents, her Congressional Gold Medal, a pillbox hat that she may have worn on the Montgomery bus, a signed postcard from King, decades of documents from civil rights meetings, and her ruminations about life in the South as a black woman.

Parks wanted people to see her mementos and learn from her life, said Elaine Steele, a longtime friend who heads the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, a foundation Parks co-founded in 1987 in Detroit.

“In my opinion, it was quite clear what she wanted,” Steele said.


Thankfully, on what would have been Parks’ 102 birthday earlier this year, 7,500 manuscripts, 2,500 photographs and other artifacts from Parks’ estate became available to researchers for the first time at the Library of Congress. The library is housing them on a 10-year-loan from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation who would eventually purchase the collection for $4.5 million last year (obviously about half the initial asking price). A portion of the artifacts are available to the public in the library’s Jefferson Building and several items also appear in the library’s civil rights exhibit.

According to Steven G. Cohen, who represents the Rosa & Raymond Parks Institute, the family dispute has been settled, stating: “I’m sure I speak for everyone involved: they’re thrilled with the disposition of the artifacts and the use made by them."

The Senate just repealed ACA and defunded Planned Parenthood; Bernie didn't vote.

Obama will veto this piece of shit, but it should never have had to come to his desk. With a vote as close as this one, any one vote might have been critical.

Bernie was out campaigning.

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