Climate Accord: Trump To Pull Out.

“Montenegro Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, center right, after appearing to be pushed by Donald Trump, center.” CREDIT for caption/photo: AP/Matt Dunham.

There’s been a great deal of anxiety laden speculation over the Paris Climate Accord, as that represents our last, best hope. It seems it’s a last, best hope that the Tiny Tyrant wants no part of, and plans to withdraw from.  This is not yet formal, and the Tiny Tyrant is subject to doing rapid turnabouts on a whim, but he’s never been secretive about his scorn for the climate accord, or his desire to pull out. The damage he has already done here in uStates is tremendous, it won’t be long before we’re back to 1970s levels of pollution, with smog alerts and steeping in trash and toxicity once again. Naturally, this will lead to a much sicker populace, one which will not be able to take care of themselves, thanks to the Fuck You Care Plan. There’s one other country which is also adamantly against the climate accord. Bet you don’t need three guesses, either. It’s Russia.

President Donald Trump has privately told “confidants” he intends to leave the Paris accord on climate change, “according to three sources with direct knowledge,” Axios reported Saturday.

After persuading voters that America isn’t great anymore, Trump apparently intends to make sure of it — by having this country lead the effort to kill humanity’s last, best hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change.

Quitting a unanimous agreement by 190+ nations after a two-decade negotiating process would make us a rogue nation, a global pariah, like Vladimir Putin’s Russia. And, it could make Putin happy, as we’ll see.

While Trump tweeted out Saturday from Italy that “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after the G7 meeting, “The whole discussion about climate has been difficult, or rather very unsatisfactory.” She added, “Here we have the situation that six members, or even seven if you want to add the EU, stand against one.”

Axios notes that “Although Trump made it clear during the campaign and in multiple conversations before his overseas trip that he favored withdrawal, he has been known to abruptly change his mind.” They add, however, top political appointees at EPA “were relieved” when Trump refused to join a consensus G7 statement reaffirming “their strong commitment” to the Paris accord.

While the White House’s attack on domestic climate action already undermines the global effort to avert climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t discount the importance of a U.S. withdrawal from Paris — especially if Trump teams with Russian President Vladimir Putin to undermine the whole global negotiating process.

Think Progress has the full story.

“Malignant reality is taking hold”

President Trump in Washington on Monday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times.

Yet more psychiatrists are speaking up, in spite of the fact they may have their licenses taken away, because of the grave danger they see, not just posed by Trump, but the warping of sentiment and attitude, the increase in hate, bigotry, and violence. Chauncey De Vega has an interview with psychiatrist Bandy Lee, available at Alternet or a Salon Podcast.

President Donald Trump is a clear and present danger to the United States and the world.

He has reckless disregard for democracy and its foundational principles. Trump is also an authoritarian plutocrat who appears to be using the presidency as a means to enrich himself and closest allies as well as family members. Trump’s proposed 2018 federal budget is a shockingly cruel document that threatens to destroy America’s already threadbare social safety net in order to give the rich and powerful (even more) hefty tax cuts. His policies have undermined the international order and America’s place as the dominant global power. It would appear that he and his administration have been manipulated and perhaps (in the case of Michael Flynn) even infiltrated by Vladimir Putin’s spies and other agents. The world has become less safe as a result of Trump’s failures of leadership and cavalier disregard for existing alliances and treaties.

Donald Trump’s failures as president have been compounded by his unstable personality and behavior. It has been reported by staffers inside the Trump White House that he is prone to extreme mood swings, is cantankerous and unpredictable, flies into blind rages when he does not get his way, is highly suggestible and readily manipulated, becomes bored easily and fails to complete tasks, is confused by basic policy matters and is unhappy and lonely. And despite bragging about his “strength” and “vitality” during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump appears to tire easily and easily succumbs to “exhaustion.” Trump is apparently all id and possesses little if any impulse control. He is a chronic liar who ignores basic facts and empirical reality in favor of his own fantasies.

Between the scandals and the emotionally erratic behavior, Donald Trump would appear to be a 21st-century version of Richard Nixon, to date the only American president forced to resign under threat of forcible removal. In all, this leads to a serious and worrisome question: Is Donald Trump mentally ill? Moreover, what does Trump’s election reveal about the moods and values of his voters? How are questions of societal emotions and collective mental health connected to the rise of fascism and authoritarianism in America? Do psychiatrists, psychologists and other mental health professionals have a moral obligation to warn the public about the problems they see with Donald Trump’s behavior?

In an effort to answer these questions, I recently spoke with Dr. Bandy Lee, a psychiatrist at Yale University who specializes in public health and violence prevention. She recently convened a conference that explored issues related to Donald Trump’s emotional health and how mental health professionals should respond to this crisis. The proceedings from this conference will be featured in a forthcoming book expected later this year.

Our conversation has been edited for length and clarity. A longer version can be heard on my podcast, available on Salon’s Featured Audio page.

Full article at Alternet.

None So Blind As The Faithful.

Screen Grab. Playable video at link.

The willful blindness of some people never ceases to baffle me. I’m not much a one for taking things on faith, and I never take any politician on faith of any kind. Politics being what they are, an arena for game playing, with rewards for lying and other duplicitous behaviour, it strikes me as pure folly to rely on faith in the words of any politician, and in particular when it comes to someone like Trump. I’m not overly inclined to being sympathetic to Trumpholes, but it’s difficult to not have compassion for those who feel betrayed as result of their blind faith in a person who did not deserve it in any way. The best they can do now is to get damn active in The Resistance, and try to atone for boosting the Tiny Tyrant into place.

An upstate New York man who sold many of his possessions last year to fund a months-long tour playing music at Trump rallies now regrets his vote for the Republican candidate.

“I had everything riding on the fact that he was going to make things better,” Kraig Moss told the Associated Press. “He lied to me.”

Then-candidate Donald Trump looked Moss in the eye at one rally in Iowa and told the grieving father he would help end the drug epidemic that had claimed his 24-year-old son, whose ashes accompanied the truck driver to 45 rallies.

“He promised me, in honor of my son, that he was going to combat the ongoing heroin epidemic,” Moss said. “He got me hook, line and sinker.”

Post-election analyses found that Trump over-performed in Rust Belt counties ravaged by public health crises — such as drug and alcohol addiction and suicide — but the president’s budget released this week slashes funding for addiction treatment, research and prevention.

Medicaid funding would shrivel under Trump’s 10-year plan, which could devastate coverage to an estimated three in 10 adults addicted to opioids.

[…]

Trump promised during the campaign and after his election to help families suffering from the opioid epidemic — but his voters feel betrayed by the president’s focus on tax cuts, military spending and border security.

“I didn’t see this coming,” said Paul Kusiak, of Massachusetts, who told Trump the candidate about his sons’ successful battles with addiction. “I’m trying desperately to have hope and take the president at his word.”

[…]

“Inside I’m screaming,” said Sandra Chavez, of Sacramento, whose son died from an infection related to drug use. “We’re going backward with Donald Trump’s plan.”

Trump has proposed cutting funds for addiction research, prevention programs, drug courts and prescription drug monitoring, as well as eliminating support for training of addiction professional.

Justin Butler, a 36-year-old Trump voter from Cleveland, fears he will be back on the streets, using drugs and selling them, if Medicaid stops paying for addiction treatment.

“He’s turning his back on people,” Butler said. “He’s a liar.”

It’s one hell of a harsh lesson, and none of these people, in spite of voting for Trump, deserves to be tossed aside like so much trash. None of us deserve that. That said, as noted earlier, being sorry isn’t enough. Regretful Trump voters need to channel that disappointment and betrayal into working for The Resistance, and to now work to get the Tiny Tyrant unseated.

Via Raw Story. There’s a similar story, about a Trump voter who is completely dependent on SSI, finding out she most likely will not have that anymore under the Tiny Tyrant.

The Fiscal Interests of the Unborn.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney (R) listens as U.S. President Donald Trump meets with members of the Republican Study Committee at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 17, 2017.

In a stunning display of republican “compassion”, Mick Mulvaney defended the $3.6 trillion cuts to domestic programs in the tragic Trudget. Rather than address all those who desperately need assistance to simply put food on their table; people who already face a tangle of red tape to get the slimmest of benefits, Mulvaney waxed dispassionate about the fiscal rights of the non-existent. It’s great, just fabulous, to take food away from living children, because of Mulvaney’s grandchildren, who are at this point, non-existent. But hey, the potentiality of grandchildren, well, that’s important! Much more important than poor children, who barely have enough food to keep them alive.

It should not need to be pointed out that food which allows for subsistence is a terrible thing when it comes to children. Children who are not eating enough have an awful time trying to concentrate, they do poorly in school, and aren’t very active physically, because that takes energy, and when you don’t have enough fuel, well, you get the picture. The domestic programs in place can barely manage to get enough food to families, it’s not as if it’s a massive bounty. There is a massive, horrible problem in America when it comes to hungry children. That problem keeps getting buried, stuffed in the back of closet, and given the Trudget, it seems as though republicans think it’s okay if they just get on with starving, as those hungry children are not important at all when weighed against the non-existent.

During a hearing about the $3.6 trillion in cuts to domestic programs included in President Trump’s proposed budget, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney made a case that the fiscal interests of the unborn should take precedence over the lives of present-day Americans — or at least those who rely on food stamps to eat or public schools to educate their children.

During a hearing on Wednesday, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) grilled Mulvaney about the budget’s 25 percent cut to food assistance for the poorest Americans.

“Mr. Mulvaney, at least 20 percent of people eligible for SNAP don’t even receive SNAP because of stigma and other reasons,” she said. “So there are more people who need SNAP benefits… And you have a 13 percent cut in the Department of Education. The most vulnerable kids who need — ”

Mulvaney cut her off and made an impassioned case that people like Lee aren’t sufficiently concerned about his “unborn grandchildren.” He said:

What about the standard of living for my grandchildren who aren’t here yet? Who will end up inheriting $30 trillion in debt? Fifty trillion dollars in debt? A hundred trillion dollars? What about their standard — who’s going to pay the bill, Congressman? That’s what this is all about. That’s what this new perspective is. Who is going to pay for all the stuff you just mentioned? Us? Or somebody else? And I suggest to you if it’s important enough to pay, to have, then we need to be paying for it. Because right now, my unborn grandchildren are paying for it, and I think that is morally bankrupt.

And there you have it, the rethuglican rationale in all its ugliness – the non-existent are paying, and that’s bad, really super-evil! I had no idea the non-existent had pockets to pick.

Think Progress has the full story.

Pants On Fire: Fact Check Time!

USA Today published a highly embarrassing article about the Fuck You Care Plan, which was also highly deceptive. A good many people saw their tweet, and no doubt will simply take it on faith that it’s correct. It’s not. This sort of chicanery is not helping, it’s already difficult enough for many people to figure out what the hell is true, and what is not. Too many people rely on headlines or brief glimpses to form an opinion, then busily spread misinformation all over the place. This is the worst sort of irresponsibility.

Wednesday afternoon, the Congressional Budget Office released an absolutely brutal report quantifying the consequences of the massive health care bill that recently passed by the House of Representatives. Among other things, the report concludes that “the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 23 million in 2026.”

That’s right, 23 million people will lose health coverage under Trumpcare.

Here’s how USA Today decided to cover this news:

USA Today: #BREAKING CBO says House Obamacare repeal bill covers 1 million more people than prior draft.

USA Today’s tweet, which also tracks a breaking news alert that appeared at the top of its website, is literally true. A previous CBO report found that an earlier version of Trumpcare would strip 24 million people of health insurance by 2026 — slightly more than the current version.

But USA Today’s take on the CBO report is also a case study in how media can mislead its audience without actually making any factually untrue statements.

Though this reality may sometimes be lost on reporters who are immersed in national political debates, most Americans don’t actually keep track of the latest twists and turns arising from the Congressional Budget Office. Outside of a small number of hyper-engaged individuals, very few voters will remember that, more than two months ago, CBO found that 24 million people will lose coverage under Trumpcare.

Think Progress has the full story.

A $2 Trillion Error and More…

CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais.

The math in crafting the budget was seemingly too difficult for an administration embroiled in scandal. President Donald Trump promised that he would balance the budget for the first time in over a decade and he would do it without cutting spending for defense or Social Security. The numbers were flawed, however.

According to New York Magazine, Trump’s budget assumes a $2 trillion increase in revenue through economic growth that can’t be verified or supported by any estimations by anyone, anywhere. Even the Trump administration’s supposed economic growth wouldn’t pay for the $2 trillion error. Previously, Trump claimed his cuts would be paid for by the growth expected to come in, as a result of his tax breaks. The plan is akin to a credit card that has an interest rate that pays off your card as you spend money on it. The administration has double counted the growth.

Via Raw Story.

This whole mess is turning out to be worse than the Fuck You Healthcare Plan. Apparently, our Tiny Tyrant is not in the least disturbed by numbers which simply do not work. It will be great, yes, of course it will, because it has ‘greatness’ on the label, see, and if you have branding, you don’t have to care about anything else. Might be best if everyone prepares for bankruptcy. There’s a great deal to be disturbed about, so here’s the Oh Fuck Roundup:

Congressional Republicans balk at the arrival of Trump’s cruel budget: Not everyone’s on board; in fact, plenty aren’t.

Trump’s budget sacrifices diplomacy for bigger guns: The State Department would see massive cuts, while the Defense Department would get its budget padded further.

Here’s where the White House got its insane growth projections: Trump’s budget sets a wildly implausible growth target and then seeks to achieve it by cutting food stamps and disability benefits.

Student loan borrowers should brace themselves for Trump’s budget: The news is particularly grim for graduate students.

The outrageous assumptions hiding a $6 trillion hole in Trump’s budget: The budget is so detached from reality, it’s created its own theory of economic growth.

Trump’s budget would destroy the health coverage of at least 14 million poor people: The budget blueprint embraces Trumpcare’s massive cuts to Medicaid — and then cuts the program even more.

Trump’s ‘welfare reform’ will destroy the program: Welfare fails to help families in poverty. Trump would make it much worse.

Asshole Mulvaney’s Take.

That’s enough bad news, ennit?

Kicking Kirchmeier.

Oceti Sakowin Camp. © C. Ford, all rights reserved.

There’s a petition, and yes, I know people get petition tired, but please click on over and sign this one, to remove the murder-minded and incompetent Kirchmeier from his position as Sheriff of Morton County. Kirchmeier took a brutal stance from the beginning, and as some of you will recall from the Standing Rock posts, he spread misinformation and outright lies from the beginning, and never stopped telling lies, either. He used all the climate justice warriors as an excuse to spend outrageous amounts of money on military equipment, so he could play a latter day Custer, obviously hoping for better results. In the end, his unholy alliance with the oil companies worked out just fine for him, giving him equipment to oppress and harm, all while lining his pockets. Please help out by adding your name to the petition.
 
Remove Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, of the Morton County Sheriff’s Office.

Republicans Never Change.

In fairness, most political parties change reluctantly, the the republican track record in that regard is particularly dismal. In the midst of common repub refrains, such as “no one ever died from not having access to healthcare” and the more recent “health care systems shouldn’t help someone who “sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes.”

Mulvaney said he agreed with the idea in principle, but with one a very specific caveat: taxpayers shouldn’t help people who fall ill because of, ostensibly, their own actions.

“That doesn’t mean we should take care of the person who sits at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes,” Mulvaney said. “Is that the same thing as Jimmy Kimmel’s kid? I don’t think that it is.”

Mulvaney was attempting to defend the AHCA, which was narrowly approved by House of Representatives this month without a single Democratic vote. In its current form, the bill would essentially allow insurance companies to price people with pre-existing conditions out of the health insurance marketplace. Meanwhile, so-called “Trumpcare” includes a $880 billion cut to Medicaid, which stands to result in roughly 24 million Americans losing their health insurance because of premium increases.

There’s simply so much fucking wrong there. It’s all wrong. Naturally, republicans don’t give a shit about human nature, or the problems of poverty and a dirty marketplace, which allows for high food prices, food deserts, and the lure of cheap food which is not all that good for you. Republicans have never been fans of the big picture, nor do they care about indulging in such “bad” behaviour themselves, they always have a fucktonne of excuses for any hypocrisy on their part. It’s gosh darn wonderful all these aging, white, wealthy rethugs are so glowingly healthy. I expect that has a great deal to do with privilege, money, and of course, health care coverage. But you won’t find a rethug admitting to that.

There’s been this sense of nagging familiarity with the current effort to kill off a good portion of the uStates population (what a good way to kill off all those irresponsible poor people!), and it finally dawned on me: the righteousness of prohibition and the chemist’s war, in which the federal government spent a great deal of time coming up with ways to murder all those citizens who just wouldn’t stop drinking. They deserved it, oh yes they did! Naturally, those who had money weren’t as likely to be served up the poison concoctions, and there was more than a great deal of hypocrisy to go around. Herbert Hoover, who ran successfully at the time for office of president, had been pro-prohibition on his platform, even though it had been shown to be a mess, not only increasing the amount of people dead from alcohol, but successfully creating alcoholics out of novice drinkers, who prior to prohibition, may have simply had a beer or glass of wine. In prohibition, the only option was for the hard stuff. (Unless you were brewing beer at home, of course.) Hoover called prohibition a noble experiment. He didn’t believe in it though, as he often managed to wander into the Belgian Embassy on his way home, which, being foreign territory, he could enjoy fine, safe liquor.

The New York papers – those wet publications so despised by the Anti-Saloon League – promptly embraced Norris’s report as evidence of a government policy gone haywire. “Prohibition in this area is a complete failure,” the Herald Tribune’s editorial page declared, “enforcement a travesty, the public a victim of poisonous liquor.” Columnist Heywood Broun wrote in the New York World, “The Eighteenth is the only amendment which carries the death penalty.” And the Evening World described the federal government as a mass poisoner, noting that no administration had been more successful in “undermining the health of its own people.

I think we’re there again, with the stripping of healthcare.

The impact of Norris’s report ripped outward beyond his city. U.S. Senator James Reed of Missouri told the St. Louis Post that the New York medical examiner had convinced him that Prohibition supporters were uncivilized: “Only one possessing the instincts of a wild beast would desire to kill or make blind the man who takes a drink of liquor, even if he purchased it from one violating Prohibition statutes.” The St. Paul Pioneer Press called the government “an accessory to murder when it uses deadly denaturants.” Even the Cleveland Plain Dealer, which had supported the Eighteenth Amendment, said that sympathy for the cause did not mean “we wish to inflict punishment upon those who persist in violating Prohibition laws.”

And the Chicago Tribune put it like this:

Normally, no American government would engage in such business. It would not and does not set a trap gun loaded with nails to catch a counterfeiter. It would put “Rough on Rats” on a cheese sandwich even to catch a mail robber. It would not poison postage stamps to get a citizen known to be misusing the mails. It is only in the curious fanaticism of Prohibition that any means, however barbarous, are considered justified.

Dry newspapers found Norris less persuasive. Alcohol killed thousands of people long before Prohibition was enacted, they pointed out. “Must Uncle Sam guarantee safety first for souses?” asked Nebraska’s Omaha Bee. The Springfield Republican of Southern Illinois dismissed the whole outcry as “wet propaganda.” And the Pittsburgh Gazette Times pointedly raised a question that puzzled even opponents of the law: why would people persist in drinking white mule and Smoke, paint shop hooch and bathtub gin, when they must know that it could kill them? Didn’t the obstinate guzzler bear some responsibility? Wasn’t it possible that “the drinker himself is to blame for the ills that befall him as a result of his libations?” the Pittsburgh editors wrote plaintively.

The endless quest to point a finger at every person who does not manage to conduct themselves in the purest and most saintly manner. Again, human nature. We are there again, too. Not only is there a drive to remove access to health care, but with the rollback of anti-pollution regulations, people will, once again, become sicker, many of them with dangerous, chronic diseases, such as asthma, with children being most vulnerable. Then we have Sessions, who is determined to fuel the slavery industry of private prisons, and put even more people in prison for minor drug offenses. There was move towards sanity, with lightening of marijuana laws, and along with that, an increase in the economy, but Sessions doesn’t like that, oh no. Much better to be draconian assholes, yes. I wouldn’t be surprised if paraquat was brought back.

In early 1927, wet legislators in Congress tried to pass a law to halt the extra poisoning of industrial alcohol. They had failed, overwhelmed by dry legislators’ declarations that no one would be dead if people simply obeyed the law and tried to live in a morally upright fashion.

Why, doesn’t that sound familiar?

Norris, in response, argued that this imposition of one group’s personal beliefs on the rest of society could not be justified as moral. Further, he said, the experiment of the Eighteenth Amendment proved his point. Yes, the law had changed the old ways of life, the old style of drinking. But it had created another drinking lifestyle and another kind of immorality: “It has failed to reduce, moderate, or control heavy drinking. It has created a new social order of bootleggers, and its blunders have protected an infant industry until it is now so secure in the law and the profits as to be a real menace to our national security and integrity.

“And,” Norris concluded, “death follows at its heels.

We are there again, too. In particular, the awful stew of the current regime, if they get their way, will see an increase in ill health, imprisonment, and death, primarily among the poor, and women and children, and they are fine with that.

All quotes about the prohibition are from The Poisoner’s Handbook, by Deborah Blum.

UPDATE: Oh, and look at this – there’s a move to gut the U.S. Chemical Safety Board. Poisons and explosions for everyone!

“What The Fuck Is That?”

© Getty Images.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has also responded to the idiocy of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID).

“Like this guy, this congressman, you might as well say, ‘People don’t starve because they don’t have food.’ What the f— is that? What are you saying? How can you say that?” Harris asked during an interview with Pod Save America, a podcast run by former Obama staffers.

Harris, a freshman Democrat, appeared to be referring to Rep. Raul Labrador’s (R-Idaho) statement that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

[…]

Asked what Democrats could do to slow the bill down now that it’s reached the Senate, Harris said its critics should “just speak the truth.”

“The truth is that these folks are playing politics with public health,” she said during the interview. “If Republicans want people to lose their healthcare, then the Republicans need to lose their job.”

She added that “[Republicans are] engaged in all this happy talk that is bull — not truth.”

Loud cheers for Sen. Harris being unafraid to speak up and out. The Hill has the full story.

Those Primitive Indians Just Don’t Understand, No.

Obama Legacy; Bears Ears National Monument.

The Fight for Bears Ears has been going on for a very long time; people have been happy with Pres. Obama’s protective national monument status. Now the GOP is arguing that us dumb Indians, gosh, we just don’t understand. If places are declared national monuments, it will seriously impact our primitive lives, and we wouldn’t be able to do native stuff, like gather firewood, so um, just give us the land, and everything will be great! There really isn’t deep enough mockery for these arrogant colonialists.

Speaking alongside Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke about the Trump administration’s order to review — and potentially shrink or eliminate — nearly 30 national monuments, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said Native Americans were “manipulated” into their support for the 1.35 million acre Bears Ears National Monument southeastern Utah.

“The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness,” Hatch said on Sunday. “Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land… Just take my word for it.”

Oh, right. We should just take the word of a white man. Gosh, that’s worked so well in the past.

Hatch’s dismissal of native voices is not only condescending, it is incredibly inaccurate in the case of Bears Ears. Protections for Bears Ears were nearly 80 years in the making. Most recently, the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition, which brought together five tribal nations, pushed for the protection of the Bears Ears region. After the group received no substantial response from the Utah Congressional delegation about protecting the area, the group opted to propose that President Barack Obama should create a national monument, which he did in December 2016.

[…]

But variations of Hatch’s argument have been routinely made by critics of the national monuments — namely, Republican politicians in Utah. Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has long purported that a national monument would get rid of critical tribal activities, such as firewood gathering. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) similarly stoked fears that the federal government would seize native American land for the monument. Utah state legislator Mike Noel (R), who is looking to join the Trump administration, launched an investigation into the tribal support of a Bears Ears National Monument, calling it a “charade.”

These accusations are part of a continued misinformation campaign targeting tribal members that started during the lead-up to the monument designation. In the summer of 2016, flyers meant to antagonize local Navajo were found posted around towns adjacent to the now national monument. One of the flyers impersonated an Interior Department press release that claimed the government would be taking over four million acres of Navajo reservation land. Others suggested the national monument would ban firewood gathering and Native American access.

Think Progress has the full story.

Sunday Facepalm.

artika.info.

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned the stupidity of Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID). Rather than just admitting his “no one ever died from not having access to health care” was extraordinarily wrong and stupid, he is, of course, doubling down, and blaming the media for focusing on a “5 second clip”. I think they are focusing on the stupid which fell steaming from your mouth, Mr. Labrador, especially in light of your history of saying equally stupid things in regard to health care.

On Saturday, Labrador posted a statement on the exchange, saying that his response “wasn’t very elegant” and criticizing the media coverage.

“In the five-second clip that the media is focusing on, I was trying to explain that all hospitals are required by law to treat patients in need of emergency care regardless of their ability to pay and that the Republican plan does not change that,” he said. “It certainly doesn’t help that the media is only highlighting a five-second video, instead of the entire exchange.”

Labrador’s longer explanation, however, also doesn’t hold up.

No kidding it doesn’t hold up. One of the reasons the Affordable Care Act was so necessary was because those without coverage would go to the ER, usually waiting until they were in a dire state. People taking care of their health in such a way drives up cost all the way around, for everyone. Mr. Labrador is also woefully ignorant of the fact that hospitals do come looking for their money, and they are quite serious about that, too. So, a really stupid, ineffective way to have a healthy citizenry, but that’s good, because you still have that option! I mean, if you don’t feel well, just go park yourself in a busy ER for 10 hours or so, you don’t need to work, right? Then, after you’ve been treated, and realize you can’t afford medicines or aftercare, you had best gather up all your stuff, get a new identity and move, because a big damn bill will be chasing you. Yeah, excellent choice, that. Well, as the rethugs have pointed out time and time again, there are options: there’s Jesus, or you could just die.

Think Progress has the full run down, with all the necessary numbers and links.

A New Vaginal Ring.

Medscape.

Researchers are working on a new vaginal ring, which combines contraception and dapivirine, an antiretroviral drug. The outlook is good, but at least here in uStates, the current political climate could not possibly be worse for a method of contraception which also shields from HIV transmission.

A new vaginal ring containing dapivirine, an antiretroviral drug, as well as a hormonal contraceptive, levonorgestrel, has started its first trial. If all goes according to plan, women will have a single product that shields them from both HIV transmission and unintended pregnancy.

The National Institutes of Health-Funded Microbicide Trials Network is overseeing the Phase I trial, after the multipurpose ring was proven safe in two larger trials called ASPIRE and The Ring Study, each of which tested the durability of monthly dapavirine rings.

However, the newest study, which will be conducted at Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Alabama at Birmingham, is testing to see if the ring will be able to provide a three-month supply.

The nonprofit International Partnership for Microbicides developed the original monthly rings. While the benefits of contraceptive rings have long been known, it wasn’t until women who participated in ASPIRE and The Ring Study expressed the need for a single product providing both a contraceptive and anti-HIV drugs that researchers began moving forward with the idea.

Plus has the full story.

If You Don’t Talk To Your Constituents, I Will!

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY ) on MSNBC — screenshot.

Cheers to Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who has come up with a brilliant plan, given the sheer amount of rethugs who refuse to show at town halls and other meetings, unwilling to face angry constituents. I think this needs to be implemented, not just used as a threat. Get out there, Dems, and talk to people.  All the Twitterati, get this one out to all your Dem reps, light a fire.

Appearing with MSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Friday, a New York congressman called out a Republican House member from a neighboring district for ducking his constituents’ questions about the newly passed GOP health care plan and said he might hold a town hall there himself.

Saying, “If it takes a Democrat,” to face constituents to talk about their health care worries, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) said he’s willing to go to GOP districts and host town halls.

“Maybe a Democrat ought to go into every district where a Republican who supported TrumpCare won’t hold a town hall meeting, and do it for them,” Maloney told Maddow “I think every Republican who voted for this thing ought to have to stand in front of their voters and explain it.”

Maloney was focusing his ire on New York Republican Rep. John Faso who is refusing to meet with constituents, including one woman, Andrea Mitchell (not the NBC host), who is suffering from brain cancer and worries she will be left without insurance under the AHCA.

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“And if it takes a Democrat to go in and do it for them for a while, I’ll explain what’s in this bill, and if he doesn’t like it, he should stand up and explain it himself.,” Maloney explained.

Video at the link.

And, in one of the top 10 stupidest, most idiotic statements ever, the winner is Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who stated, at a town hall, “Nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.”

Can I just point to every fucking generation of people since there were people? Yeah, lots of dead people because no health care. Jesus Christ.