Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Judges who try to make law...

Two Hours After A Court Strikes Down Obamacare Subsidies, Another Appeals Court Upholds Them (Click here to read more)

By Ian Millhiser  
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CREDIT: AP
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A little after 10am Tuesday morning, two Republican judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered much of the Affordable Care Act defunded. Just two hours later, another federal appeals court, the Fourth Circuit, issued a unanimous opinion upholding the same subsidies that were struck down in the DC Circuit’s order.

As we explained this morning, both cases hinge upon a glorified typo in the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare gives states the option to run a health insurance exchange selling coverage to their residents, or they may elect to have the federal government run this exchange. If read in isolation, one line of the Affordable Care Act suggests that only “an Exchange established by the State” can offer subsidies to help people pay for health insurance in the exchange. The DC Circuit’s opinion relied on that line to conclude that federally-run exchange subsidies must be defunded.
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Yet, as the Supreme Court has made clear — and as the Fourth Circuit reiterates in its opinion — a federal law should not be interpreted by reading a single line out of context. Rather, “a reviewing court should not confine itself to examining a particular statutory provision in isolation” as the “meaning—or ambiguity—of certain words or phrases may only become evident when placed in context.” A full explanation of why the DC Circuit misread the law and ignored other key provisions of the Affordable Care Act can be read here.
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Religious belief - it defies all rational thought.


So, your god is everywhere?


TV News polling - what a bunch of hooey!


TV News polling - what a bunch of hooey!


Here's a simple concept - teach children that fantasy is real and they will be have trouble with distinguishing fact from fiction

Researchers: Children exposed to religion have difficulty distinguishing fact from fiction (Click here to read more)

By Scott Kaufman
Friday, July 18, 2014 12:28 EDT
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A study published in the July issue of Cognitive Science determined that children who are not exposed to religious stories are better able to tell that characters in "fantastical stories" are fictional - whereas children raised in a religious environment even "approach unfamiliar, fantastical stories flexibly."
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In "Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds," Kathleen Corriveau, Eva Chen, and Paul Harris demonstrate that children typically have a "sensitivity to the implausible or magical elements in a narrative," and can determine whether the characters in the narrative are real or fictional by references to fantastical elements within the narrative, such as "invisible sails" or "a sword that protects you from danger every time."
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However, children raised in households in which religious narratives are frequently encountered do not treat those narratives with the same skepticism. The authors believed that these children would "think of them as akin to fairy tales," judging "the events described in them as implausible or magical and conclude that the protagonists in such narratives are only pretend."
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And yet, "this prediction is likely to be wrong," because "with appropriate testimony from adults" in religious households, children "will conceive of the protagonist in such narratives as a real person - even if the narrative includes impossible events."
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Shooting report

Too many people have guns for too many wrong reasons.






Gun control - Because gun control advocates believe they are ABOVE the law.


Our law enforcement teams are getting THAT bad

Federal Judge Blasts ATF For Luring Man With No Criminal Record Into Trafficking Cocaine (Clik here to read more)

By Nicole Flatow July 18, 2014 at 9:00 am Updated: July 18, 2014 at 9:24 am
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An undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) infiltrated Jeremy Halgat's life for three years before he lured him into drug crimes "designed and engineered by the government." He had Halgat's home searched and found nothing. He tried to get Halgat to buy illegal guns and Halgat recited federal gun law. Finally, after many rejected requests and a heavy hand by the agent, ATF Task Force Officer Agostino Brancato got Halgat to play a role in a cocaine sale, in pleas that exploited their false friendship, and Brancato's false claims of monetary desperation.
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A federal magistrate judge recommended this week that criminal charges against Halgat carrying a term of up to 20 years in prison be dismissed.
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"[T]he government's investigation deployed techniques that generated a wholly new crime for the sake of pressing criminal charges against Halgat," Judge Cam Ferenbach wrote.
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Brancato was investigating Halgat because he was in a suspected motorcycle gang that was the target of a mission known as "Operation Pure Luck." But Halgat had no criminal record and appeared committed to abiding by the law. Although he was an occasional cocaine user, he stated many times that he had long ago disavowed cocaine trafficking. When Brancato repeatedly asked him over the course of five weeks to buy cocaine, invoking language that they were "familia" and monetary desperation, Halgat repeatedly refused, stating that "I had a wakeup call one day" and on another occasion, "I can't fucking help. I can't help."

Gun control - yes, it really works that well

The Next Time a Gun Nut Says We Need More Guns to Make Us Safer, Just Show Them This (Click here to read more)

Here are the top 10 states with the most gun homicides per 100,000 people:

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    Louisiana (18.8)
    Mississippi (17.9)
    Alaska (16.9)
    Wyoming (16.7)
    Oklahoma (16.6)
    Montana (16.3)
    Arkansas (16.0)
    Alabama (16.0)
    New Mexico (14.8)
    South Carolina (14.8)
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Notice something?  8 out of 10 of those states has a Republican governor (the exceptions being Montana and Arkansas), and all except for New Mexico have a Republican controlled state legislature / general assembly.  Not only that, but since 2000, every state but New Mexico (2008, 2012) voted for the Republican candidate for president.
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Needless to say, these aren't exactly "liberal anti-gun" states.
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For the record, the national average for gun homicides per 100,000 is 10.38.  So these states aren't only above average, they're well above average.

NSA spying is a perversion.

Snowden Alleges NSA Officials Routinely Passed Around Intercepted Nude Photos (Click here to read more)

By Judd Legum July 17, 2014 at 5:05 pm Updated: July 17, 2014 at 9:51 pm
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In an interview with The Guardian, former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that government analysts would routinely pass around sexually explicit photos they stumbled across.
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In the course of the interview, building on the massive leak of NSA documents that he made public, Snowden made the startling claim that a culture exists within the NSA in which, during surveillance, nude photographs picked up of people in "sexually compromising" situations are routinely passed around:
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    Now in the course of their daily work, they stumble across something that is completely unrelated to their work in any sense. For example, an intimate nude photo of someone in a sexually compromising situation, but they're extremely attractive.
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    So what do they do? They turn around and they show their coworker. And their coworker says 'Oh hey, that's great. Show it to Bill down the way.' And then Bill sends it to George, George sends it to Tom, and sooner or later this person's whole life has been seen by all of these other people.
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The allegations are distinct, though not dissimilar, to something NSA official have already admitted is a problem: Analysts spying on their love interests. According to NSA officials such situations are relatively rare. But they are common enough to have a name: LOVEINT.
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Ted Cruz: Sharing his wealth of hate and fear.


A fairly large percentage don't see their own hypocrisy


Wanted: forward thinkers.


The GOP - they don't mind if soldiers sacrifice their lives, but don't ask others to sacrifice a dollar.


The "corporations are hurting America" problem has been raging for a long time.


The income inequality problem - where it all began.


The GOP - people on the wrong side of humanity.


Identifying America's job creators


A Republican view of King Ronnie - and the reality.


Things President Obama wants the Tea Party followers NOT to do


Monday, July 21, 2014

When big business is your best friend...


Hate and fear rule the GOP


And then there's THIS problem...


The transitiion will be amazing...


Do the Republicans really know better?



When a congregation of Christians is unclear on why they are there.


If you believe in an ever-present god, you must draw one of these conslusions.


Religion prevents... (Bertrand Russell)


Wow - Some rational thought in the south

Missouri Governor Vetoes Guns-For-Teachers Legislation (Click here to view the source)

Julie Smith
AP - July 15, 2014, 4:18 PM EDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed specially trained teachers to carry concealed guns, asserting that the move could jeopardize student safety in public schools.
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The veto by the Democratic governor sets up a potential showdown with the Republican-led Legislature, which could override Nixon if it gets a two-thirds vote of both chambers during a September session.
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Nixon announced the veto with a written statement on the deadline day for him to take action on bills passed earlier this year.
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"Arming teachers will not make our schools safer," he said. "I have supported and will continue to support the use of duly authorized law enforcement officers employed as school resource officers, but I cannot condone putting firearms in the hands of educators who should be focused on teaching our kids."
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The Missouri legislation called for allowing public school districts to designate certain teachers or administrators as "school protection officers," who would undergo special training to carry concealed weapons.

Shooting report

Too many shootings, not enough gun control.






Ammosexualism = taking pleasure in the power to kill. Another reason we need more gun control.


Where the Republicans find their inspiration

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 07:00 AM EST

10 (insane) things I learned about the world reading Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" (Click here to read more)

The only thing that matters in life is how good you are at making money -- and other gems

Adam Lee, AlterNet
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Over the past year, I've been reading and reviewing Ayn Rand's massive paean to capitalism, Atlas Shrugged. If you're not familiar with the novel, it depicts a world where corporate CEOs and one-percenters are the selfless heroes upon which our society depends, and basically everyone else - journalists, legislators, government employees, the poor - are the villains trying to drag the rich down out of spite, when we should be kissing their rings in gratitude that they allow us to exist.
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Rand's protagonists are Dagny Taggart, heir to a transcontinental railroad empire, and Hank Rearden, the head of a steel company who's invented a revolutionary new alloy which he's modestly named Rearden Metal. Together, they battle against evil government bureaucrats and parasitic socialists to hold civilization together, while all the while powerful industrialists are mysteriously disappearing, leaving behind only the cryptic phrase "Who is John Galt?"
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Atlas Shrugged is a work of fiction, but as far as many prominent conservatives are concerned, it's sacred scripture. Alan Greenspan was a member of Rand's inner circle, and opposed regulation of financial markets because he believed her dictum that the greed of businessmen was always the public's best protection. Paul Ryan said that he required his campaign staffers to read the book, while Glenn Beck has announced grandiose plans to build his own real-life "Galt's Gulch," the hidden refuge where the book's capitalist heroes go to watch civilization collapse without them.
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Reading Atlas Shrugged is like entering into a strange mirror universe where everything we thought we knew about economics and morality is turned upside down. I've already learned some valuable lessons from it.
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1. All evil people are unattractive; all good and trustworthy people are handsome.

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2. The mark of a great businessman is that he sneers at the idea of public safety.
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3. Bad guys get their way through democracy; good guys get their way through violence.
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4. The government has never invented anything or done any good for anyone.
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5. Violent jealousy and degradation are signs of true love.
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6. All natural resources are limitless.
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7. Pollution and advertisements are beautiful; pristine wilderness is ugly and useless.
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8. Crime doesn't exist, even in areas of extreme poverty.
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9. The only thing that matters in life is how good you are at making money.
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10. Smoking is good for you.
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Money really DOES s;peak - and it speaks loudly.

Union Pulls Support After College Accepts Koch Gift (Click here to read more)

.JESSE J. HOLLAND - July 11, 2014, 4:22 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (AP) - A powerful government workers' union will end its support for the United Negro College Fund after the group accepted $25 million from the conservative powerhouse Koch brothers and the college fund's president appeared at a Koch event.
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In a letter made public Thursday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said it will no longer partner with or raise funds for the fund, known for its iconic motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."
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AFSCME President Lee Saunders said the actions of the college fund's president "are not only deeply hostile to the rights and dignity of public employees, but also a profound betrayal of the ideals of the civil rights movement."
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The fund supports historically black colleges and universities and provides scholarships. It accepted a $25 million grant last month from Koch Industries Inc. and the Charles Koch Foundation.
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The Koch brothers are major contributors to conservative causes and are often vilified by Democrats and liberals. After accepting the grant, Saunders says UNCF President Michael Lomax spoke at a Koch Brothers summit in California.
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Saunders called the Kochs "the single most prominent funders of efforts to prevent African Americans from voting" and said Lomax's appearance at their function was "a betrayal of everything the UNCF stands for."
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Lomax said the fund never had a litmus test for donors.

Gun control - because gun owners make stupid mistakes at random (VIDEO)


The GOP gets Freudian


The GOP - not very nice people.

From 2013

American bullies


Obamacare is a decent improvement in the way health care works in the U.S.


Scalia's views as ancient as the Bible


Will conservatives eventually get sick of themselves?


The haters and the big-hearted are in conflict - Robert Reich


Stop corporate inversions


The dumbing down of America - Carl Sagan


Corporations should be carefully restrained...