Healthcare: A Congressional Exemption.

© nicolasjoseschirado, fotalia.

Rethuglicans are still hard at work, trying to figure out how to repeal the ACA, without working overly hard on the whole ‘replacement’ aspect. The more egregious parts of the repeal ‘n’ replace have kept some conservatives from getting on board, but Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) has come up with a cunning plan: we’ll exempt members of congress and their families! Now we can screw over all those peons and stay safe, yay! Disgusting asshole.

A new amendment to the Republican ObamaCare replacement bill exempts members of Congress and their staff from its effects.

The new changes to the bill would allow states to apply for waivers to repeal key ObamaCare provisions, such as the protection against people with pre-existing conditions being charged more and the requirement that insurers cover a range of health services, like prescription drugs and mental health.

The GOP amendment exempts members of Congress and their staffs to ensure that they will still be protected by those ObamaCare provisions.

The exemption was flagged by health law professor Tim Jost.

Democrats quickly jumped on the development, arguing that Republicans are willing to take away protections for the general public, but not themselves.

“The best evidence yet that the new GOP repeal plan is a disaster for people’s health care is that the GOP exempted Members of Congress from living under it,” said Leslie Dach, director of the Protect Our Care Campaign, one of the main groups fighting repeal.

The amendment is helping to woo some conservatives, who argue that the ObamaCare regulations are driving up premium costs, and note that high-risk pools would be able to fill the gap.

Via The Hill.

“And now there’s a lot of words, I won’t bother reading everything,”

Time for a Pants On Fire Reality Check! The white house has released “President Trump’s 100 Days of Historic Accomplishments.” Historic. Right. I suppose “President Trump’s 100 Days of Abysmal Failure” didn’t go over well. As usual, the press release is “alternative fact” based, and has little to do with reality in any way, shape or form.

The release sorts Trump’s accomplishments into three categories. Front and center is a section entitled “TAKING EXECUTIVE ACTION” that touts the 30 executive orders Trump has signed in hist first 100 days — a total the White House says is higher “than any other President since Franklin Roosevelt.”

There are two big problems with that claim, however.

First, it’s false. As historian Peter A. Shulman explained, the White House is overlooking executive orders not included in the American Presidency Project, the non-comprehensive source the Trump administration appears to have used to tally the number of executive orders signed by previous presidents.

When executive orders not included in the American Presidency Project are included, FDR’s total actually dwarfs Trump.

FDR signed 99 of them. That’s considerably more than 30, but this isn’t a bloody contest, in spite of the Tiny Tyrant’s trying to make this all about ratings too. Fucking idiot.

…Besides those inaccuracies, it’s odd that Trump would tout EOs as an accomplishment, since he repeatedly criticized President Obama for signing them. In December 2015, candidate Trump blasted Obama’s EOs and characterized them as the last resort of presidents who can’t work with Congress.

“I don’t think he even tries anymore. I think he just signs executive actions,” Trump said of Obama. “That’s the way the system is supposed to work. And then all of a sudden, I hear he tried, he can’t do it, and then, boom, and then another one, boom.”

Trump also blasted Obama’s executive orders in 2012, tweeting that they represent “major power grabs of authority.”

[…]

There’s also the question of how much credit Trump should take for signing executive orders that in some cases he seems to be barely familiar with. For instance, during a signing ceremony for an executive order on agriculture on Tuesday, Trump, reading off a sheet of paper, said, “So this is promoting agriculture and rural prosperity in America. And now there’s a lot of words, I won’t bother reading everything, but agriculture and rural prosperity in America — that’s what we want.”

And that alone rather neatly sums up the Idiot Unpresident. “I don’t have the slightest idea of what I’m doing, and I’m not going to *gasp* read, but it must be good, because I’m going to sign it, and someone said…”

Oh gods. Just not enough facepalm in the universe. Not enough. Think Progress has the full reality check.

The Art of Whipped Cream.

Selected character studies, oil on board, dimesions variable. All images courtesy the artist and Paul Kassman Gallery. (Click for full size!)

In a performance at the Metropolitan Opera and a parallel gallery exhibit, artist Mark Ryden imbibes his sugary design aesthetic through costume and fashion prints. In his latest venture, the Portland-based artist creates classic, painterly pastel works with a childlike fantasy.

The art show, The Art of Whipped Cream, opening in May at Paul Kasmin Gallery in NYC, features the final realizations of each costume from the opera, Whipped Cream, a graceful choreographed feat by Alexei Ratmanksy. His illustrations encompass the bedtime dreams of prima ballerinas, pink, and lots of candy and pastries. Ryden’s merry band of misfits includes a smiling half-dragon, half-muppet creature, and tiny humans masquerading as multilayered cakes. The two-dimensional drawings at Paul Kasmin are rendered in oil on board and graphite on paper.

[…]

Mark Ryden’s solo art exhibit, The Art of Whipped Cream, shows  at Paul Kassman, May 20–July 21, 2017. Find more information about the show, here.  Purchase tickets for the ballet, Whipped Cream, taking place at the Metropolitan Opera House, here.

You can read and see much more at The Creators Project.

The Whipped Cream Curtain Call:

Word Wednesday.

Recondite

Adjective.

1. Hidden from sight: concealed.

2. Difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend: deep.

3: of, relating to, or dealing with something little known or obscure.

– reconditely, adverb.

– reconditeness, noun.

[Origin: Latin reconditus, past participle of recondere to conceal, from re– + condere to store up, from com– + –dere to put.]

(1649)

The Anarchist Cookbook, with its dangerously flawed bomb formulae, hasn’t maimed half so many hands as HPL’s mythos. His writings look more like fiction than allegorically-described recipes to most people, which is a good thing; but every so often a reader of his more recondite works becomes unhealthily obsessed with the idea of the starry wisdom behind it, starts thinking of it as something real, and then tries to reverse-engineer the design of the pipe bomb he’s describing, not realizing that Quality Control was not his strong point. – Equoid, Charles Stross.

Caving On The Wall and Other Sundry Items.

Tucker Viemeister.

The Tiny Tyrant has backed off on the “fund my wall or else” threats, now saying it can wait until September. Think Progress has the full story.

In the meantime, in spite of the Tiny Toddlin’ Tyrant’s tweets about destroying healthcare, the ACA is becoming more and more popular. Rather funny how it took Trump to make people realize that the ACA is a good thing.  Raw Story has the full article.

Politico has an exposé on the white house fake war on fake news. It’s quite enlightening! Recommended Reading.

And, Amnesty International has compiled 100 human rights violations committed by the Tiny Tyrant in these first not-quite-100 days. A good illumination of just how much damage has been done in regard to human rights in a very short amount of time. Think Progress has the full story.

And then, there’s the trouble with Flynn. – Aaaaaand, the white house didn’t hire Flynn, oh no, no, no, nope, we didn’t!

Reactions on 100 Days…

Can the bar go any lower? Donald Trump brags he got ‘higher ratings than 9/11’ in interview about the first 100 days. Link.”

The Twittersphere isn’t too impressed by all the trumpeting over those first 100 days which don’t count at all, no.

Via Raw Story.

NC: Judge Smacks Republicans, Hard.

North Carolina Judge Douglas McCullough. Image courtesy of Loiacono Literary Agency.

North Carolina rethuglicans are once again trying to use dirty tricks in an attempt to nullify Gov. Cooper’s authority. One republican judge refused to play along, and went for an ethical play of his own, which certainly paints the rest of the rethugs in a very ugly light indeed.

In a dramatic response to a power-grab by Republicans in the North Carolina legislature, a Republican judge resigned today to circumvent efforts to strip power from the Democratic governor.

The Charlotte Observer reports that following today’s surprise resignation by Republican Judge J. Douglas McCullough, Democrat John Arrowood was sworn in.

[…]

North Carolina has a mandatory retirement age for judges. To prevent the Democratic Party governor from appointing replacements for Court of Appeals judges nearing forced retirement, the Republican Legislature passed a bill to shrink the size of the court from 15 to 12 judges — thereby denying the Democrat of three scheduled appointments.

The legislation was vetoed on Friday, but a successful veto override was expected later tonight.

However, before the legislature could vote to override Governor Cooper’s veto of House Bill 239, Judge McCullough resigned 36 days prior to his forced retirement. This allowed the appointment of Judge Arrowood at 9:45 a.m. this morning.

“I did not want my legacy to be the elimination of a seat and the impairment of a court that I have served on,” Judge McCullough explained.

Newly sworn-in Judge John Arrowood is the first openly gay member of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

A standing ovation for Judge McCullough, a man of integrity and ethics. You deserve a resounding thank you from all over, and if they were capable of it, the rest of the republicans should be damned ashamed of themselves. If all republicans were like you, Sir, I would not have a problem with them.

Via Raw Story.

A Tangled Tale: The Red Pill.

The Daily Beast has uncovered the tangled origins of Reddit’s angry and toxic Red Pill forum. It turns out the creator of said forum is a once upon a time democrat turned republican, Rep. Robert Fisher. He’s quite the specimen, to say the very least. The article is in-depth and link heavy, so just a bit here.

Last November, voters in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region re-elected to the state House of Representatives a man who appears to be one of the secret architects of the Internet’s misogynistic “Manosphere.”

The homegrown son of a preacher, 31-year-old Robert Fisher is a Republican who represents New Hampshire’s Belknap County District 9. In addition to his legislative duties, Fisher owns a local computer repair franchise, and in his spare time, seems to have created the web’s most popular online destination for pickup artistry and Men’s Rights activists, The Red Pill, according an investigation by the Daily Beast.

An investigation into Fisher’s online aliases found a trail of posts linking the lawmaker to the username Pk_atheist, the creator of The Red Pill—an online Reddit community of nearly 200,000 subscribers which promotes itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men.”

The Daily Beast has the full story.

Trilliums!

Beautiful Trilliums, and some unidentified flowers from Voyager:  “Today I actually found two red Trilliums. They are quite rare and only last a day or two. The white trilliums are up, but not open yet. They last much longer, generally about two weeks. We also have a variegated green and white Trillium that is unique to our woods. The colour variation is actually due to a virus that otherwise doesn’t harm the plant.” Beautiful flowers, and a very interesting plant, too. Click for full size!

© Voyager, all rights reserved.