And while we’re discussing social-media ‘bias’, let’s not forget Ted Cruz whining that Twitter highlighted all the rude snark about his totally 100% sincere SPACE PIRATES!!! speech this week (while somehow erasing the hundreds of YAY TED! responses he was expecting).
I’m betting this will be another one of those MAGAt-rally-pleasing Trump “announcements” to which his loyal minions respond by yelling “Jawohl, Hair Fuhrer!” and doing… absolutely fekking nothing.
UPDATED: In unprecedented move, Trump WH asks people to share stories of political bias targeting them on FB, Google, Twitter, seeking names, account links and more. Free speech advocates are alarmed, and open gov experts question use of taxpayer resources https://t.co/SCNfFcqgSD
It rules in profound ways that Republicans are going to have to whine about inane Twitter shit just as much as Trump does to show that they're loyal to him. If this all goes right, half the Senate will be sending pissy .@ messages to Bette Midler by early 2020.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-05-18 22:52:552019-05-18 22:52:55'Censorship!!!' Open Thread: Feel Free to Just STFU, Now
President Donald Trump has requested paperwork allowing him to move forward quickly with pardons for accused US war criminals, The New York Times reported Saturday.
The pardons from a President who on the campaign trail expressed support for “tougher” tactics than waterboarding and going after the families of terrorists could come “on or around Memorial Day,” two US officials told the Times.
One military official told the Times that the White House made its request to the Justice Department on Friday, and that while pardon files typically take months to assemble, the Justice Department had stressed the files needed to be completed before the coming Memorial Day weekend.
The Times said those who could potentially receive clemency include a Navy SEAL who is facing trial for shooting unarmed civilians and murdering a wounded person, along with a range of others accused or convicted of shooting or killing unarmed civilians.
First things first, the fact that he is doing this on Memorial Day should be your first clue the giant orange talking anus has no idea what the fuck he is doing. Memorial Day is to honor our war dead. Those who died in service to our nation. It’s also the day where our jingoistic citizenry run around telling everyone inappropriately “Thank you for your service” and we try to not look disgusted and say “Thank you, but I’m not fucking dead, just on the inside.” Regardless, this would be inappropriate on Veteran’s Day, too, but less so than on Memorial Day.
Second, pardoning war criminals doesn’t honor our troops regardless what fucking day of the year it is done. It’s a spit in the face of every man and woman who served honorably in the military. It’s saying “hey- you’re all murderers anyway.” It’s fucking disgusting.
Third, those convicted of war crimes by the military are most assuredly guilty. It’s about as easy to convict soldiers of these things as it is to convict a cop of manslaughter. Those convicted are the most egregious cases imaginable. I mean jesus tapdancing christ, in the My Lai massacre, 500 unarmed civilians were murdered, gang raped, and had their corpses mutilated, and approximately ONE person, Lt. Calley, a platoon leader which is the lowest unit level in existence, was convicted. And then he was even pardoned had his sentence commuted.
This is a god damned disgrace. You want to do something to honor soldiers on Memorial Day, dollhands? Just shut the fuck up and go away for the weekend.
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2019-05-18 18:26:002019-05-18 19:17:51President Bone Spurs Doesn't Fucking Get It About the Military and Never Fucking Will
In a long tweet thread, Republican congressman Justin Amash (Michigan) says that he feels that President Trump must be impeached.
Here are my principal conclusions: 1. Attorney General Barr has deliberately misrepresented Mueller’s report. 2. President Trump has engaged in impeachable conduct. 3. Partisanship has eroded our system of checks and balances. 4. Few members of Congress have read the report.
In comparing Barr’s principal conclusions, congressional testimony, and other statements to Mueller’s report, it is clear that Barr intended to mislead the public about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s analysis and findings.
Under our Constitution, the president “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” While “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” is not defined, the context implies conduct that violates the public trust.
In fact, Mueller’s report identifies multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice, and undoubtedly any person who is not the president of the United States would be indicted based on such evidence.
While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.
We’ve witnessed members of Congress from both parties shift their views 180 degrees—on the importance of character, on the principles of obstruction of justice—depending on whether they’re discussing Bill Clinton or Donald Trump.
America’s institutions depend on officials to uphold both the rules and spirit of our constitutional system even when to do so is personally inconvenient or yields a politically unfavorable outcome. Our Constitution is brilliant and awesome; it deserves a government to match it.
Two-thirds of the country supports Roe v. Wade, 2/3rds supports comprehensive gun reform, 2/3rds supports increased taxes on wealthy w/ expanded healthcare coverage, and yet 1/3 of the country is determining much of the path. This is tyranny of the minority in action.
Well, yes, that is largely true. But we also have a problem of how those leftists are distributed. There are fairly reactionary—or at least easily manipulated by reactionaries—electorates in over a dozen states, and more where keeping them down takes a strong effort. https://t.co/Un3Eh1LmnX
Also — and I say this with genuine admiration, not to mention drool — if ‘this is how the sausages are made’ culinary treats were to become an American institution, there would be a lot more interest from our notoriously lackadaisical voters!
These were the least competent political criminals since… well, thinking about it, neither the Watergate burglars nor Ollie North’s merry band of mercenaries were exactly masterminds, either. And as cynical political observers keep pointing out, no halfway successful lawbreaker would be dumb enough to work for the sundowning narcissist currently occupying the Oval Office — it’s all nitwits, has-beens and wanna-bes.
THERE'S MORE Judge Sullivan demands that public gets to learn everything Trump's lawyer John Dowd said in voice mail to Flynn's lawyer. In his calls, Dowd appeared to suggest it wasn't good idea for Flynn to cooperate, it would upset @realdonaldtrump https://t.co/ZTDP8p0EvC
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-05-18 02:35:182019-05-18 02:35:18Late Night Open Thread: SPEAKING OF FOOLS...
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Cheryl Roferhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgCheryl Rofer2019-05-17 21:42:432019-05-17 21:43:09Michael Flynn Urged Matt Gaetz On While Supposedly Cooperating - And Open Thread
For just $2,999 or $4,999, you can be updated to "more exclusive events and functions with Glenn Beck and his hosts, such as private tours in Athens, as well as onboard premiums, special affairs, dinners and onshore tours." https://t.co/dnGtvz5uck
Fortunately for the crew — and boy howdy do I feel sorry for those poor folk! — Beck’s target audience is almost certainly old enough to be outside the measles-susceptible anti-vaxxer demographic. Unlike the wretched Scientologists on the Seastead earlier this year…
In the depressing sequel to The Stand, humanity quickly develops a cure for the plague, but half the population refuses to take it because of a video they saw on RandallFlagg69’s YouTube channel, and we’re wiped out anyway. https://t.co/evUHQsjcL4
I have been thinking, like so many people this week, about rage. Who I’m mad at, what that anger’s good for, how what makes me maddest is the way the madness has long gone unrespected, even by those who have relied on it for their gains.
For as long as I have been a cogent adult, and actually before that, I have watched people devote their lives, their furious energies, to fighting against the steady, merciless, punitive erosion of reproductive rights. And I have watched as politicians — not just on the right, but members of my own party — and the writers and pundits who cover them, treat reproductive rights and justice advocates as if they were fantasists enacting dystopian fiction.
This week, the most aggressive abortion bans since Roe v. Wade swept through states, explicitly designed to challenge and ultimately reverse Roe at the Supreme Court level. With them has come the dawning of a broad realization — a clear, bright, detailed vision of what’s at stake, and what’s ahead. (If not, yet, full comprehension of the harm that has already been done).
You can not compromise one inch with fanatics. The moment you buy into their framework of things (“ABORTION IS EVIL”) and start saying things like it should be “safe, legal, and rare,” you are losing the battle. The only acceptable answer is “I support it and fuck you for telling people what to do with their own fucking body.”
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2019-05-17 17:29:392019-05-17 17:29:39You Ladies are Just Being Hysterical
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00John Colehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgJohn Cole2019-05-17 11:34:232019-05-17 11:34:23Mid Day Moment of Zen
Ever get an email from HR saying everyone's salary is going down by $500?
Most of us have. But instead of saying your salary is lower it says your deductible is increasing. Same difference: the benefits that tie you to your job and suppress your wages are worth less every year. https://t.co/KvBz9lNNt7
I can see where she is coming from. I disagree with it in detail.
Increased deductibles have differential impacts conditional on prospective healthcare costs.
I am assuming that the counterfactual is constant deductible in year 2and a fixed compensation pie with elements (cash, insurance, 401(K) etc) shifted around for any number of reasons.
An individual who has healthcare costs in the future year that are below the current year deductible has no new exposure. They are no worse off. If anything they are slightly better off if we assume that there is an inverse relationship between deductibles and premiums and then assume that higher premiums means lower net cash compensation which assumes a constant compensation bundle whose components are merely shifted around.
An individual who has healthcare costs in the future year that is above the current year deductible is losing money. They will get a slight increase in cash compensation due to lower premiums but they will take a cut in income net of medical expenses because they are paying dollar for dollar the difference between the old deductible and their total medical spending. There is a narrow wedge of people in this category who will on net be better off but most people in this group will be on net worse off.
Increasing deductibles means, all else being held constant, lower net of healthcare take-home pay for people who have high medical costs in the policy year. Conversely, higher deductibles are great for people who barely if ever touch the medical system in the policy year. This policy decision has significant differential impacts as a function of prospective healthcare spending. Broadly, higher deductibles are good for employees who have the following attributes: young, healthy, childless, male. Again broadly speaking, higher deductibles are bad for employees who are some combination of: older, pre-existing conditions, have children, and female.
I am not sure if a lawyer would ever want to raise a case of sex discrimination on the basis of a company changing their insurance plan design, but there is a decent argument that could be made that the change in plan design has easily foreseeable disparate impact.
UPDATE 1 Talking to a couple of lawyers this morning and they are all saying that this would be a long shot argument at best.
On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/F26326FB-4E1D-4573-BCC7-F9D2E0E2900C.jpeg30244032Alainhttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAlain2019-05-17 05:00:112019-05-16 21:21:53On the Road and In Your Backyard
More voters say they are “extremely” interested in the 2020 presidential election TODAY than said the same about the 2016 election on the DAY BEFORE the 2016 election! This level of attention to politics is nuts! pic.twitter.com/XmyjqYt7HM
Stuck at 41%. Looks like some soft Repubs or indies move from Biden to Trump. Only diffs from there is candidates in order of name recognition don’t consolidate the Biden then Sanders vote, but no voters move to Trump. https://t.co/bqWTkiF91v
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-05-17 04:56:412019-05-17 05:30:28Friday Morning Open Thread: Not So Fast, Squash Boy
Gravel, who celebrated his 89th birthday last weekend, is not typically included in the count of Democratic White House hopefuls. There’s a reason: He initially said he was not really running for president. He was running to get into the party’s televised debates, like he had in 2007, when he emerged from decades of obscurity to hector the Democratic field about the risks of nuclear war. And he was doing so this time at the behest of some perspicacious, teenage left-wing activists, whose stated goal was to not to win but to shift the party to the left.
That has been enough to get Gravel halfway to the 65,000 donors needed to qualify for a slot in the debates, a stronger position than at least a half-dozen candidates who say they’re actually running. The Gravel project epitomizes what the primary has become before it can be winnowed down: a contest with a clear leader in the polls (former vice president Joe Biden), a left-wing challenger (Sen. Bernie Sanders), a few candidates with the money and staff to seriously compete, and a whole lot of candidates who are not being taken seriously…
For those keeping score, de Blasio's 2020 announcement appears to have been scooped by a high school journalist & the Iowa group hosting his visit spelled his name wrong https://t.co/0QoP6ley9Y
A former top aide for De Blasio told me this is exactly right: He is utterly bored and hates being mayor. He doesn’t expect to win but he just wants to get out of NYC. It’s… pathetic. https://t.co/hFdhMcMVv7
I, of course, blame the Republicans — after their 2016 KKKlown Karnival ended with the ‘winner’ embedded in the Oval Office like a tick, why wouldn’t any halfway ambitious politician try during the next cycle? Jonathan Bernstein, at Bloomberg Opinion:
… There was always going to be a large field in this cycle, given that there was no obvious front-runner and most Democrats think President Donald Trump is beatable. Those are two standard reasons that candidates choose to run. Read more
https://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpg00Anne Lauriehttps://www.balloon-juice.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/balloon_juice_header_logo_grey.jpgAnne Laurie2019-05-17 00:28:412019-05-17 00:31:22Late Night 2020 Election Open Thread: Steve Bullock, Bill de Blasio, Mike Gravel, Uncle Tom Cobleigh* et al.