Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network
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Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN

Veteran's resources. This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance.

PRAWN Flyer (PDF) Updated 20Feb2010

Information sheet on Austerity


Ray Torres is the director of the short film

Beyond Credit Unions

The film is available for groups to show. Contact Ray at 215 753 9022


I kinda like this as an anthem for the left these days.

Brief history of PRAWN

PRAWN's mission is to:
  • Network groups, organizations, and individuals to stop the repression caused by "never ending wars" at home and abroad, by the US corporate military state
  • Support organizations having common ground
  • Educate and activate the general public

Local Resource Organizations

National Organizations

Marlene Santoyo's Political Allies Newsletter

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Commentary Archives
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Webmaster: Rich Gardner

Upcoming Events


will CONTINUE to be held at
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
Tuesday evenings, 6:00 to (at least) 6:45 PM
6900 Stenton Ave. (Stenton at Gorgas Lane), Phila 19150

Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East - Peace Vigil

Held at the corner of 19th & JFK Boulevard

1st & 3rd Fridays of each month - all are invited to attend



Drone Free Horsham

Protests are held last Saturday of each month, 12:00noon to 2:00pm

North corner of Horsham Air Base
Intersection of Easton Road & W. County Line Road

Facebook event page

YouTube - Living Under Drones

Protests held on Apr13, Jun13, Jul13, Apr14, May14, Jun14, Apr15, Jul15, May16, Jun16, May17

Senate Intelligence Committtee Torture Report

(Local copy, the redacted summary)

Midsection archive

facing road
Anti-Drone Protest May '17
May Day at Clark Park

May Day celebration at Clark Park

Marching near Liberty Bell
March for Science

rally-170302-00330 (115K)
Rally on 41st day of Trump Presidency.
15 days into Trump's presidency

Protest held on 15th day of Trump presidency

Women's March in Philadelphia

Women's March in Philadelphia during first week of Trump Administration.

Marching in Central Philadelphia

March held a few days before President Trump's inauguration

protest-160708-00222 (202K)
A Black Lives Matter protest.

protest-160528-00158 (244K)
Anti-Drone Protest outside Horsham Air Base.
Social-Forum-150628-00117 (144K)
Social Forum - Phildelphia 2015
Protest-150425-00025 (236K)

Anti-Drone Protest at Horsham Air Base.

climate march

Climate March NYC / Comments from reporter Naomi Klein. / The significance of the march

Rally for Michael Brown

rally for gaza

Rally for Gaza


Gay Pride Parade - Vets For Peace and FUMCOG contingents


May Day 2014


Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett arranges to meet with students of one of the schools that he's been defunding, but cancels when students, parents and teachers make it clear that they were goingto protest his visit. We all assembled anyway.

drone protest

Anti-drones protest

group photo

Syria strike protest

Horsham Air Base

Protest at Horsham Air Base about proposed Drone Command Center

Anonymous protests

Last (?) Protest on behalf of Pfc. Bradley Manning

gay pride parade

The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade

Brad Manning demo

Demonstration on behalf of Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins next Monday.


May Day USA 2013
May Day 2013
Horsham Air Base drone protest
Protesting drones at Horsham Air Base
Sandy Hook Vigil
Vigil for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Visual essay on event and on the gun control issue

near Liberty Bell

National Gathering Facebook page
Live-blog of National Gathering

in front of school board
Rally at the School Board to defeat the Knudsen Plan

May Day Rally
Also, same problems that apply to privatized schools apply to prisons as well.

Decarcerate PA
march & rally story

bellringer with vigilers in background
The "Final Friday" vigil concludes

Dilworth Plaza

Occupation of Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia

Protesting War in Libya

Declare Peace
Declare Peace & protest of interception of Boat to Gaza

Mt Airy Day
Mt Airy Day 2011


Philadelphia's Take Back The Night annual march and testimony

two groups
UNAC opposed to the wars abroad

Lafayette Park
Noting the beginning of the 8th year of the Iraq War. Also, protest of how Pfc. Bradley Manning is being treated.

At Love Park
Two protests in support of the citizens, workers and unions of Wisconsin.
MSB Plaza     Love Park

rally for Egypt
In support of the Egyptian people against their dictator Hosni Mubarak. Update on situation. Videos of another protest shortly afterwards.

Vets protest

Veteran-Led Civil Resistance to U.S. Wars
Announcement    \ Flyers    Photos   Huffington Post


Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.

After a reporters lists the many reasons why people hate the Trumpcare proposal, HHS Secretary Tom Price says:

"It’s really perplexing, especially from the insurance companies, because all they have to do is dust off how they did business before Obamacare."

But why should America "dust off" anything? Trump and other Republicans didn't run on returning to the old days, they all ran on producing something better than the ACA/Obamacare.

Yeah, the President is now conducting a "Made in America" week. Kind of a problem with that is that pretty much all of the products he's ever sold were and still are made overseas. Of all the presidents, Trump is about the least credible one to conduct this sort of PR exercise.
MSNBC's Ali Velshi specifies just where all of the Trump products are made.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made a speech in 2014 about how he'd run the Senate if he had the chance. His current strategy to replace the ACA/Obamacare violates every single one of those promises. If he succeeds in this plan, his strategy will be copied and the Senate will effectively become a partisan institution, creating plans in secret, behind closed doors and then ramming them through in a "party over country" manner.

A piece in our local paper tries to paint liberals as being just as violent as conservatives are. The central part of its case is the liberal accusation that the Republican health care plan will kill people. But as Vox explains, this is an entirely accurate accusation. If you withdraw health care plans from people who have recently gained coverage under the ACA/Obamacare, you are indeed condemning people to death. This is not a case of hyperbole.

From the piece: "Norm Eisen, the Obama White House’s chief ethics attorney, recently told the AP that Trump is 'becoming more and more brazen in his efforts to monetize the presidency.' The fact that this quote is broadly applicable is a problem."

Energy Secretary Rick Perry asks Energy Department to study proposition that renewables weaken electrical grid. Department concludes renewables strengthen electrical grid. Problem is that the Department is clearly skeptical that Perry will include their conclusion in his final report.

With two firm "no" votes in a closely-divided Senate. moderate have nowhere to hide. They can vote for a bill they have denounced as horrible or they can be a lightning rod for outraged hardcore right-wingers. One vote can decisively kill the replacement plan, but that involves lots and lots of very real risk.

Update: Right-wing Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Jerry Moran (R-KS) rescue the GOP moderates by coming out against the Trumpcare bill. 

Secret Service gets blamed for not screening/vetting Donald Trump Jrs visitors.
1. USSS wasn't protecting Don Jr at the time of his meeting with Russians
2. USSS is not a political chaperone. They do not screen visitors for politics.

What's amazing here is that some people still don't understand that capitalism and health care simply don't mix. Never have. Never will. We've had since at least the Truman Administration to set up a private-enterprise-based health care insurance system. We went for the ACA/Obamacare because it couldn't be done.

Fox News complains about how the ACA/Obamacare was passed. Sorry, but as the article here specifies, the passages of Obamacare and Trumpcare are like night and day. The Trumpcare procedure is far more closed, rushed and secretive than Obamacare ever was!

VP Pence's lies about Trumpcare are so bad, a Republican Governor feels obliged to publicly correct him.

This just amazes me! Senator Cruz is alleged to be a really smart guy and he comes out with this really mangy, flea-ridden dog of a plan. Is it his fault or is Trumpcare just essentially unworkable to begin with?
BTW, according to Fox News' Sean Hannity, any Republican senator that doesn't vote for Trumpcare is a dirty, rotten, no good scoundrel and traitor!

With Senators Collins and Paul both being a firm "No" and McCain being out for surgery, McConnell only has 49 votes. Any and all delays are good!!!

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said this week that it is “crazy” for people to refer to him as a “climate denier.”
Pruitt puts forward four questions that he feels need to be answered. All four of them have long since been answered.

Very cool Bastille Day gift to justice! Woman who was busted for laughing at a Jeff Sessions hearing exonerated!

Good! Most of the Republican members of the House Climate Solutions Caucus held firm when it came to permitting the military to study the impacts of climate change 20 years out.

Commission that has requested enormous amounts of of private, confidential information publishes private, confidential information of critics. On the one hand, this appears to be standard, basic Trump Administration incompetence. A failure to consider important aspects and to be responsible and diligent. I suspect there's also a royalist feeling of "How dare those wretched peasants oppose the magnificent plans of Our Glorious Leader!!!"

Woo hoo! Muslim ban takes a legal hit! The Supreme Court left the definition of "close family member" vague, so the federal court in Hawaii has now ruled that it includes grandparents.

D'oh! So much for Senator Ted Cruz being the smart one. His ACA/Obamacare repeal bill counts the same pot of money several times. Hey! Math is hard!

The House Judiciary Committee sends the Attorney General a letter (Letter included with piece), asking why a case involving Natalia Veselnitskaya and $230 million was abruptly settled for a token $6 million just two days before it was scheduled to go to trial. Natalia, as you may recall, is the Russian lawyer that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with and that allegedly did not provide them with anything useful to use against Hillary Clinton.

President boasts of great achievements, but neither one had anything to do with him. ISIS in Iraq and Syria in January of this year was already collapsing. To use a World War II analogy, the battle of Normandy was over, the Rhine River Valley had been occupied and the race to Berlin was on. In terms of the economy, his actions to slow down economic growth haven't taken effect yet. He's simply fortunate to have taken office at this time.
Detailed rundown of "achievements."

Wow! What an incredibly, brazenly cynical way to sell the most damaging possible policy! The idea McConnell is selling is that future lawmakers will intervene to make sure that really damaging provisions won't get carried out. As the blogger says: "This isn’t how responsible legislating in a mature democracy is supposed to work."

I consider this statement to be entirely believable

"Many people, and many political pros, said everybody would do that. If you got a call and said, 'Listen I have information on Hillary and the DNC,' or whatever it was they said, most people are going to take that meeting, I think."

Yes, I truly believe President Trump sees absolutely nothing wrong with getting clandestine help from a foreigner when conducting a campaign against a domestic political opponent.

Wow! The Trump Administration thought they'd get good coverage from the President's European trip? That was a horrible trip that revealed the complete contempt in which our country is now held by the rest of the world.

Crowd of lefties is supposedly fooled into cheering for Adolf Hitler quote. Not much cheering is audible and the quote isn't from der Fuhrer anyway. There was a book put out in 2009 called "Liberal Fascism," where the author was convinced that liberal ideology was derived from fascism. Problem is, fascism is a strictly and entirely right-wing ideology. People took strong exception to the idea that liberal ideology had any connection at all to fascist ideology and said so very eloquently.

The Larsen C ice shelf just calved, a chunk of now-floating ice about the size of Delaware, another reminder that sea level rise is coming

Unfortunately, there's nothing surprising about teen abortions surging in Texas after Planned Parenthood was defunded. Can the pregnancy-related services that PP provides be replaced? Sure, but it requires a substantial investment and the monetary returns are slim to none. You have to make the investment for the mission, not for the money. There's no sign that there's any will to provide that investment, so the services that PP provides don't get replaced and unwanted pregnancies happen more frequently.

Very good question. How could anyone have believed that a private citizen from Russia could possibly have derotarory information Clinton? Wouldn't that information, by definition, have to have come from its government?

Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) says we're too concerned with scandal and wants us to focus on "what Congress and the administration is doing to create jobs and provide health care.”
Fine. They haven't done diddly-squat to create jobs since the stimulus was passed in 2009 and are attempting to take away health care from tens of millions of citizens. 

Very happy to hear that the Voter Integrity Commission has been stopped in its tracks. As many bloggers and reporters pointed out when the commission first started out, the security for the information that was submitted was seriously short of requirements. A lawsuit is forcing them to protect the data they get from around the country before any other action can be taken.

Woo hoo! Trumpcare vote delayed yet again!!!!
Good commentary on the scandal with Russia versus Trumpcare. We should redouble efforts against Trumpcare!

CAIRO/BEIRUT (Reuters) - "The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told Reuters on Tuesday that it had "confirmed information" that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed."

Heh! How unpopular was the President's idea of a "Joint Cybersecurity thing with Russia"?
It was so-o-o-o unpopular...!!!!!!
Seriously, it was really unpopular. The idea has been withdrawn and President Trump now claims that he never meant it seriously and tries to switch the subejct to Syria. 

“Short version--> @DonaldJTrumpJr met with known Russian agent to get damaging info on Clinton and was disappointed when she didn't deliver”
Sounds about right to me. Further details.

It's pretty obvious here that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley isn't on the same page with the President, that she got her briefing from someone who's PR-aware and who knows what the President should say instead of from the President himself. It's also quite clear she has no idea what Rudy Giuliani is talking about.

Very sad to hear that the Trump Administration wants to re-fill Guantanamo with prisonrs because emptying out Gitmo was a big priority of Obama's. Once the Supreme Court declared that Gitmo fell under US jurisdiction, there really wasn't any point in keeping it open. The whole point of it was to be outside US law. It's nothing but a stain on our reputation.

So Kris Kobach, whose voter fraud commission has requested that all 50 states give it massive amounts of voter data, had an opportunity to talk to all 50 state Secretaries of State and declined to try and engage in any sort of face-to-face persuasion.

So, at about the six-month mark of the Trump Presidency, how is Melania's anti-cyber-bullying effort going? Well, there's an office that deals with that, they know everyone in the field and no one reports her having been in touch with any of them.

Picture is shown of President Trump as isolated with no one talking to him. I found this
disturbing because it reminds me of the younger George Bush during the last years of his presidency when he was similarly isolated. And clearly, policy has a LOT to do with it.

"Just a few weeks ago, in an interview on Fox News, Ivanka Trump said that she tries 'to stay out of politics.'”
Yes, heads of governments often have others sit in their places for short periods, but these are usually the Secretary of State, other government ministers or senior officials. Not often one has a daughter sit in. 

"He was there at conception so he ought to be there through the whole process," Republican Representative Kim Hammer, the bill's primary sponsor, tells Bustle. "I think that all life, from conception through birth and right up through death by natural causes, needs to be treated with dignity, respect, and also a unified approach to deal with the remains."
But of course, if the fellow "was there" because he was a rapist, then the woman who's been raped gets treated like absolute dirt as the dignity of the fetus takes priority over hers.

Assessing the Trump-Putin meeting at the G20 Summit. Good quote on Trump "questoning" Putin on whether he hacked the US electoral system in 2016: “Both the fence and the burglar agreed there was no need to relitigate who the TV belonged to.”

The idea of "clean coal" never made any sense to me. Hey, guess what? Yeah, it's a complete myth.

Top White House ethics official decides he's really not accomplishing anything and quits.

So, when you get a student loan and then get poor grades, you pay. Everybody understands that. No one has a problem with that. But what if the school goes bankrupt, leaving you with a big loan to pay off? There was going to be a solution for that starting July 1st, but we have a Secretary for Education who happens to favor for-profit schools. So too bad, so sad! DeVos has "delayed" the law taking effect.

Republican Senators re-define losing health care coverage as gaining freedom

So Rush Limbaugh is sort of a Republican Party whip. He puts out the word of the day to the faithful and tells us what the GOP bigwigs are thinking. He's currently amazed that Stephen Hawking is predicting Venus-like conditions if we don't get global warming under control soon. 
Does LiveScience agree? They don't agree with Hawking completely, but they feel that Hawking is more right than wrong.
BTW, according to Climate Central, the Larsen C ice shelf is near breaking off. The shelf is 277 cubin miles or about the size of Delaware.

D'oh! Trump's people neglected to book a hotel for the G20 Summit, so they have to stay in government-owned quarters in Hamburg, Germany. Still quite luxurious, but an embarrassment. Not entirely clear why the Obama Administration didn't book rooms.

Pennsylvania's Senator Pat Toomey shows us how courageous he is and assembles eight people for a "town hall" to discuss the Republican alternative to the ACA/Obamacare. 
“In the Jewish tradition, you need ten for communal prayer. Fewer than that is definitely not a town hall." 

Awww! Poor Dana Loesch! (I rub my fingers together in "tiny violin" motion) Loesch claims that this statement:

"The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom is to fight this violence of lies with a clenched fist of truth."

is NOT a call for violence. "it’s just word play" she says.

D'oh! Hobby Lobby was cheered on by Christians as it stood against women's contraception. Now they've been caught with ancient Iraqi artifacts. Such moral people!
Heh! "Green said that Hobby Lobby imported the artifacts as part of its 'passion for the Bible.'”

Gee, who would have thought it? There's a procedure for the federal government to request information from states, a procedure that was completely ignored in the case of the voter fraud commission. 

Iran holds a cartoon contest starring President Trump. Over 75 countries participated with 1,600 enries.

It's distorbing to see an American politician trying to de-legitimize their opposition. Senator Ted Cruz was asked about the opposition to the Republican alternative to the ACA/Obamacare and he "dismissed them as a 'small group of people on the left who right now are very angry.'”
Actually, the Indiana Republican Party put out the request to hear "horror stories" about the ACA and people instead made 7,500 comments about how much they valued and appreciated it. But society can't have any sort of real debate when one side regards the other as not legitimately expressing real opposition. 

Bipartisan group of senators visits Afghanistan. They decide that it's not so much that the US has a bad strategy on Afghanistan, but that it has no coherent strategy at all on Afghanistan.

Good! There are essentially two greenhouse gases, carbon (which mixes with oxygen to become CO2) and methane, which is an even more potent at keeping heat trapped close to the surface. This decision restricts methane.

A thinkpiece on why a third of the Democratic Party now opposes Israel.

Woo hoo! As I said earlier, if you want to draw parallels between the war against ISIS and World War II, we're coming up on the Battle for Berlin/Okinawa stage!

North Korea launched another missile last night.
“Picking a twitter fight with a nuclear-armed dictator is not wise – this is not reality TV anymore. 12/”

Good! As usual, the administration's actions are a complete cluster****, with their request for huge amounts of voter data  running headlong into voter privacy laws, security concerns and questions about how the requested data will be used.

CNN expresses outrage at the video of the President slamming a person with a CNN logo for a head. "The president fights back,” one staffer said. “It’s rich that some of you people [in the media] can never take a joke.” Yeah, it's hilarious that the President is getting violent material from a far-right subsection of Reddit. And BTW, a journalist who tracked down where the President got the video from has been receiving death threats, so the "joke" is very much in the minds of the people reacting to it.

Sure, this makes complete sense! [/snark] Y'see, MSNBC's Chuck Todd is wrong about the effects of the Republican replacement for the ACA/Obamacare because Todd isn't taking into account legislation that hasn't yet been written!

President Trump tweets a slightly-altered video of himself from his wrestling promoter days beating the crap out of a person whose head has been replaced with a CNN logo.  Ana Navarro from This Week says: “It is an incitement to violence. He is going to get somebody killed in the media.”
Kind of amusing that Sarah Sanders Huckabee put this statement out just a few days ago: "The President in no way form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary." 
@SHSanders45 6/29/17

So how are things going with the Russia connection? Here's a rundown.

Tucker Carlson tries desperately to draw a false equivalence between the former president and the current one. And no, the left doesn't hate President Trump because he's a nationalist, the left hates the fact that Trump tries to conduct policy as though there was no one to his left on any policy issue. When it comes to conducting or even discussing any kind of policy, he only recognizes the right and the far-right points of view. Trump has made absolutely zero real outreach to any Democrats. He's just not the slightest bit interested in getting their policy input.

"The last employees departed from the science division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy last week, leaving the division completely unstaffed." CBS News.
As with the White House office for women and girls, the Trump Administration obviously just couldn't care less about certain issues. People who work there know that, they can see it and they're reacting to it.

"Trump has shown himself intellectually and emotionally incapable of making the transition from minor entertainment figure to major political figure." Quote 1
"Barack Obama says Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is “unfit to serve as president.”  [The former] President Obama is correct." Quote 2
Quotes from my usual lefty sources? Actually, no. These are from the National Review.  NR was a "Never Trump" publication, decided to support him, still supports him on the Russian connection, but has serious doubts about his fitness for the office he holds. 

Ugh! The wild, unhinged conspiracy theorist Alex Jones put out the bizarre notion that there were sex slave on Mars. People actually took this nonsense so seriously that NASA had to officially deny it. 

As the piece says, if you care about, say, bringing business principles to government, you're going to allocate office space, personnel, time and money to that project. If you don't care about supporting women and girls as a distinct group as Ivanka Trump obviously doesn't, then yeah, you're just going to do some public relations posturing and will then leave it at that.
BTW, and now seriously, would an administration that cared, even a little, tiny bit, for the status of women, ever be pulling crap like this?!?!? A group of young women from Afghanistan was going to the US as part of a robotics team and were denied visas. 
Update: the young women made it to the robotics event on time, only because the Trump Administration was embarrassed enough.

Ah, here we go. The whole "red team/blue team" concept of challenging the science of climate change didn't begin with Secretary of Energy Rick Rick Perry, but with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. As a scientist points out though:
“You don’t set up peer review by finding people opposed and people in favor,” Andrew Rosenberg, director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists, told ThinkProgress. “What you find are really good scientists that are willing to put in the time to dig in.”
BTW, here's the scene where Secretary of Energy Rick Rick Perry gets completely owned by Senator Al Franken.

New analysis from CBO with longer timeline shows even more massive losses to regular folks. The point, of course, is that the "health care" plan put forward by the Senate is really just a tax cut for those who make over $100,000 year. It's especially generous to those making plus-$400,000.


The right-wing commenter Meghan McCain brought up a very good point about Presdent Trump's rather disgusting comment about Mika Brzezinski: "It makes my job talking to millennial women about politics - about why they should become conservatives? Much more difficult."

In 2001, shortly after the September 11 attack, the US passed an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). Congresswoman Barbara Lee has put forward a resolution cancelling it. This time, it was accepted by the House Appropriations Committee!

Kris Kobach has demonstrated enormous enthusiasm for suppressing the votes of demographics that are likely to vote Democratic. The call for voter data from all 50 states is deeply worrisome.
Assistant Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Huckabee demonstrates just why there's so much hostility between the Trump Administration and the press corps. The newly-assembled election commission is run by someone (Arkansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach) with a long history of working to suppress the votes of likely Democrats and he's made a highly suspicious information request without any clear justification for it. Sanders, speaking for the President, is convinced that anyone who refuses Kobach's request is just playing PR games and is grandstanding just for the publicity. It's impossible to have a productive dialogue when there's so much contempt for any opposition being expressed by the Administration.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says words to the effect of: "Aww, you mean, terrible, judgemental liberals! You're holding the President of the United States to the civilized standards we'd expect of that office!"
An especially amusing actual quote from her: “He’s new. He will adapt and he will learn.” Ha, ha, ha! No, he won't. The "pivot" is something people have been claiming will come for several months. Never had, never will.

Yes, the NRA ad here is quite disturbing. Borrows very freely and heavily from Nazi heritage to make its point.
One very important aspect of gun ownership the NRA ad makes clear. By completely ignoring the Philando Castile case, where a peaceful, law-abiding, legally gun-owning black man got gunned down by the police, the NRA makes it clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that guns are for white people only.

A suggestion is made to build an island with seaport facilities right off of Gaza. It would be connected to the mainland via a long, narrow bridge. There's no reason that all of the facilities can't be located right on mainland Gaza except for Israel's security needs. 

As the blogger says, this is hardly a reason to point and laugh at the President, but a reason instead to be concerned. The President simply doesn't have a firm enough grasp of policy details to be a meaningful presence during policy negotiations. Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell are carrying the entire weight of negotiations over the AHCA/Trumpcare themselves. 
Also, a local columnist points out that foreign policy is also a complete mess.

The author of this piece also presses for Voter ID, a method that disenfranchises many millions of legitimate voters for every fraudulent voter that it catches, but his central point is a sound one. Paper ballots can't be hacked and are easy to keep track of. They constitute a permanent, audit-able record.
We need to go "old school" on voting.

Woo hoo! "In a unanimous vote Monday, the typically staid U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution backing municipalities’ efforts to obtain 100 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2035."

From back in January, but very good to keep in mind. No, the ACA/Obamacre was not failing when Obama left office!

In a segment where a Fox News person tries to blame Democrats for Republican troubles with ther health care bill, I found one line from this really troubling: “They don’t have faith in free markets.”
Well, why should they? If the free markets were doing such a great job, why did Bill Clinton put Hillary in charge of coming up with big revisions to the health care system? If free enterprise was doing such a wonderful job, why did the younger George Bush put Medicare Part D into place? Making big changes to the system was part of Obama's presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012 and he won both by substantial margins. I see no reason why any such faith in free markets would exist. 

Ah, poor Secretary Perry, with his oh-so-inn-tell-lek-shoo-al-looking glasses, wants to have a debate, he says. Actually that debate on climate change is long since over. Most of the world is satisfied with the answer and has moved on to solutions.

Shorter Senator Ron Johnson: "Yeah, the new version of the Senate replacement for the ACA/Obamacare takes coverage away from 19 million people, but hey! We spend less meony!" Which is kind of like saying you got a great deal on a car, it just doesn't have any doors or an engine.

Wolf Blitze and Dana Bash discuss health care and bemoan that Republicans and Democrats can't agree to cooperate. But when the CBO scores three Republican plans and each time concludes that the plan with deny coverage to over 20 million people, then denying coverage is very clearly not an accident or a mistake. It's not a bug, it's a feature. It shows the two parties are viewing the issue from fundamentally different angles.

I've always understood the term "pro-life" to apply exclusively and entirely to the pregnancy/abortion question. Rolling Stone: "Every single GOP senator who calls him or herself pro-life who votes for the Republican health care bill knowingly will be voting for legislation that will kill tens of thousands of Americans per year." Being "pro-life" has absolutely nothing to do with any other part of human affairs.

Senator Al Franken is becoming a real threat to climate change dismissives. Hoo yah for him!

So the CBO score for the Senate's version of the AHCA/Trumpcare is out. Is there any meaningful distinction between this and the House version? There are a few minor differences, but the bills are pretty much "six of one, half dozen of the other."

Hmm, interesting. I hadn't gotten the impression that there was any meaningful distinction between types of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. Obviously, any and all settlements can be negotiated, provided there was equivalent land that could be traded for and where it was might make a difference, but I've never heard of any of the Palestinians drawing distinctions between types of settlements. According to the Palestinians that I've spoken with, all Israeli settlements are bad and they should all be removed.  

President Trump makes a not-terribly-credible call for unity and togetherness. One of the problem with Democrats working with the President to join efforts is that, at the same time Trump calls for Democrats to help out, he blames “Democrats resisting, fake news media,” or even “deep state leaks.” He also insists on referring to Senator Warren (D-MA) as "Pocahontas." Oh, and that Hillary Clinton cheated Bernie Sanders. Trump then wonders why Democrats aren't eager to join him.  

Sarah Klift is a real go-to source for a number of the blogs and she looks here at "process stories" as opposed to substantive stories on what a policy will do. Unfortunately, TV news generally does much better with process stories and does a poor job of examining the substance of proposed policies.

The Senate version of the AHCA/Trumpcare is unveiled. Gee! What a surprise! A bill written by 13 men behind closed doors gives very little consideration to women and their health needs. Most mentions of women have to do with pregnancy/abortion.

A detailed run-down of the promises made, and broken, by the AHCA/Trumpcare. 
General consensus of major editorials on the AHCA is that it's more just a tax break for the rich than anything else.

So how's the whole election integrity issues going? Yeah, President Trump is still convinced that three to five million improper votes were cast in the 2016 election, even though the statistical record shows that illegitimate in-person voter frauds constitute about one out of every three to four million legitimate votes.
Having worked as an election clerk, I can testify that in-person voter fraud would not be an easy thing to pull off.

Any chance that Republican moderates will vote against the horrible botch that is the AHCA/Trumpcare? Personally, I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel on it.

*Sigh* A complete idiot (Secretary Perry) tries to argue with an informed and intelligent person (Senator Franken).

"Behind all of Trump’s boneheaded policies in the Middle East is an unmistakable urge for confrontation with Iran." Informed Comment.
Invading Iran was an awful, terrible, no-good idea back in 2003 when "Real man go to Tehran" was a phrase. The idea hasn't improved in the slightest.

From NBC Politics:
“Mitch McConnell: "I regret that our Democratic friends made clear early on they did not want to work with us"”
But the process was completely closed, there were no hearings, no opportunity to participate. Of course Democrats were most likely asked to agree that the ACA/Obamacare was falling apart and of course it wasn't, so that's probably what McConnell means. As Democrats disagreed with the premise of the bill, there was no room for any further discussion with them.

I really don't blame Jared Kushner for taking an old idea and re-packaging it as his own inspiration (The GAO has identified nearly 10,000 data centers, of which almost half have been closed as data can be easily transferred). It just shows that he has a ridiculously large portfolio. Again, I'm absolutely fascinated to see what he comes up with as a Mid East, Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Demonstrating his complete political impotence, President Trump insists that air traffic control be separated into a private organization. Republican senators ignored him.
Working on infrastructure was a big campaign promise that Democrats could get behind and support. Democrats have now given up on working with the President.
Quote from the piece: "The president’s political capital doesn’t really exist in any meaningful sense."

The Congressional Black Caucus met with President Trump in March. Now Trump is requesting another such meeting and again, he wants to meet with the entire 49-member caucus. For fhe first meeting, it made sense to meet all 49 members at once. For subsequent meetings? If all he wants is a photo-op, then having all of the members present would be an understandable thing to do. Wouldn't make sense for any othen reason. Besides, they asked him to do something about Flint, Michigan's water crisis and he's done nothing so a meeting would be pointless in any event.

"A new Missouri bill would target abortion providers and sanction employment and housing discrimination against people who use birth control or have an abortion." Feministing. Sorry, but I have a major problem with permitting employers to have that much control over an employee's personal life. Birth control is an extremely personal issue and is none of the employers' business. Heck, employers don't have any business even knowing about whether an employee uses birth control or not!   

‘I Need More Mexicans’: A Kansas Farmer’s Message to Trump
File this under "Be careful what you wish for..."
The movie "Seven Years a Slave" touched on this. There was a scene where a white worker labored (for pay) next to black slaves and they all picked cotton together. The white person underperformed and thus disappointed the slave-holder. The lesson here is that people who have worked better, less strenuous jobs don't like going backwards to field work. Even if we free up positions in field labor by discouraging undocumented immigrants, that won't automatically get those jobs filled.

Comparison of the process used to construct the ACA/Obamacare with the highly restricted and secretive process used for the AHCA/Trumpcare.

So what's the President's policy towards Cuba? Essentially, as with a great many other things, he's concerned with the priorities of a very small group of people (in this case, hardline Cuban emigrants back from when Cuba went Communist) and eff everybody else and any other consideration. ,

Milestone gets crossed! Wind and solar energy now make up 10% of all energy produced in US!

Philandro Castile was murdered by a trigger-happy, overzealous policeman. The policeman has now been cleared completely.  
Many African-American men are now concerned and asking "If I'm pulled over, should I tell the police I'm armed? That's what  Castile did and look what happened to him!" Even the right-wing National Review agrees that the verdict was a miscarriage of justice. Comedian Trevor Noah wonders why the NRA has a problem with this as the case represents everything they allegedly oppose.

This is very disturbing. Eight senators were asked what the purpose of the AHCA/Trumpcare bill was. It shouldn't have been that difficult to answer that question. But yeah, they fully intend to ram through the bill anyway.

Woo-hoo! President Trump has set a record! It took Richard Nixon 1,580 days for a federal investigation of him to begin. For Bill Clinton, it was 1,835 days, Trump has achieved that landmark in only 145 days!   

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calls for regime change in Iran. This just strikes me as an amazingly, incredibly fantastically bad idea! Conquering Iraq was relatively easy, holding onto it proved incredibly tough. Iran's army won't fall anywhere near as easily and they've had years to prepare a behind-the-lines guerrilla war.

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