Friday, November 17, 2017

Conservationists offer $150K to buy a forest, government sells it to loggers for $40K less

Andrea James · Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 9:55 am

Indiana’s Yellowwood State Forest is a scenic forest that Indiana's Department of Natural Resources put up for sale. But after conservationists gathered $150,000 to preserve the forest for another 100 years, the government sold it to a local logging company for $108,785.

Read more

Australian voters say yes to same-sex marriage

Rob Beschizza · Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 9:53 pm

Australian voters overwhelmingly approved the introduction of same-sex marriage Tuesday, with 62% in agreement and 31% saying no. Nearly 79% of eligible voters mailed in a ballot.

Read more

Republicans’ tax bill could trigger a $25 billion cut to Medicare

Tara Golshan · Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 4:35 pm

The Republican tax reform bill could trigger something President Donald Trump promised would never happen: an automatic $25 billion cut to Medicare.

Republicans are trying to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut — which the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday could trigger a sequestration across some major mandatory spending programs, like Medicare, federal student loans, and agriculture subsidies, and even some funding for customs and border patrol.

It all comes down to the “pay-as-you-go,” or PAYGO, rule — a 2010 law that says all passed legislation cannot collectively increase the estimated national debt. In other words, if Republicans want to pass a tax cut, they have to pay for it with mandatory spending cuts — or, inversely, if Congress boosts funding for entitlement programs, it has to increase taxes.

If Congress violates this law, the Office of Management and Budget, which keeps the deficit scorecard, “would be required to issue a sequestration order within 15 days of the end of the session of Congress to reduce spending in fiscal year 2018 by the resultant total of $136 billion,” the CBO said in a letter to Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

Republicans are already balking at the notion.

“No such thing is going to be triggered automatically,” Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who sits on the Senate Budget Committee, told reporters about the CBO’s letter Tuesday.

Read more

Hannity give-away

Fox News host Sean Hannity on Tuesday announced he will give away hundreds of Keurig coffeemakers to fans of his show, who have been smashing the machines en masse in protest of the company’s decision to pull advertising from the conservative commentator’s show.

“To all of my supportive and devoted fans of the show, I am giving away 500 Keurig machines as a thank you for always standing by me,” Hannity tweeted. “We accept the apology of the Keurig CEO, and look forward to enjoying a nice cup of apolitical Joe.”

Despite Hannity’s claim, Gamgort did not apologize to Hannity. In a letter to staff obtained by the Washington Post, the CEO apologized to employees “for any negativity” they experienced as a result of the announcement.

Read more

Rand Paul To Attempt To Shoehorn Obamacare Mandate Repeal Into Tax Bill

Alice Ollstein · Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 12:21 pm

The zombie has risen again.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), back in Washington following a brawl with his neighbor that left him with six broken ribs, announced Tuesday that he plans to introduce an amendment to the GOP tax reform bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Read more

Why Incompetent People Think They're Amazing (miss Cellania) · Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 10:42 am

You know the basics of the Dunning-Kruger effect: incompetent people don't recognize how incompetent they are because …they're incompetent. That's the simplified version. David Dunning, one of the scientists the effect is named for, designed a TED-Ed lesson that goes a little deeper into the subject.

People as a whole are very bad at evaluating their own skills and expertise in one area or another due to lack of knowledge. Even experts have a hard time evaluating their relative expertise because, while they may know their own subject well, they have a knowledge gap in evaluating others for comparison. The Dunning-Kruger effect doesn't have to hold us back, but overcoming it requires an open mind and at least some humility. (via Digg)

Read more

Religiously speaking

The U.S. - a nation plagued by GunFail

News, opinions, tweets and more 11.17.2017

Political posters