Donald Trump gives another speech. Should we care?

Yesterday, Donald Trump gave a speech to a joint session of congress and the media today is full of analyses about what it all means. Should they bother? After all, we now know that he is a pathological liar so why should we take anything he says on major policy issues seriously? For those interested in what he said, here is an article that gives the highlights and fact-checks them. Is anyone surprised that the speech contained a lot of cherry-picked data, misleading information, and outright lies?
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Handle is an impressive robot

According to the information on the YouTube website that had the video below, this impressive robot was made by Boston Dynamics:

Handle is a research robot that stands 6.5 ft tall, travels at 9 mph and jumps 4 feet vertically. It uses electric power to operate both electric and hydraulic actuators, with a range of about 15 miles on one battery charge. Handle uses many of the same dynamics, balance and mobile manipulation principles found in the quadruped and biped robots we build, but with only about 10 actuated joints, it is significantly less complex. Wheels are efficient on flat surfaces while legs can go almost anywhere: by combining wheels and legs Handle can have the best of both worlds.

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Jon Stewart tells journalists to take up a new hobby: journalism

He appears on his old friend Stephen Colbert’s show again and gets back in the groove and was in fine form, with he and Colbert doing some improvisational comedy along with the set bits. My favorite line was when he told the media that their hopes that Donald Trump would become more presidential after he was elected was absurd because “70-year old men don’t get less cranky or racist as time goes by”. I totally agree with him that the hostility between Trump and the media may be the best thing that happened to the latter.
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Trying to make America white again

In response to the harsh rhetoric against immigrants and the increased efforts to round up undocumented people and summarily ship them out, we have heard the increased use of the term ‘sanctuary’ as in ‘sanctuary cities’ and ‘sanctuary college campuses’. However, such places have no legal standing. Members of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) still have the legal authority to go anywhere and seize people they suspect of being undocumented. What the places that call themselves sanctuaries are doing is saying that they will not use their own police or other powers to cooperate with ICE in any way in identifying and rounding up potentially deportable people. In response, federal and state Republican governments are threatening to punish such sanctuaries financially for their defiance.
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Health care chaos

Donald Trump has suddenly discovered that reforming health care is not easy but, as is typical with narcissists, he thinks that his own prior ignorance and later realization of such an obvious thing must be the same for everyone, saying “I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject” and “Nobody knew that health care could be so complicated.” Actually, everyone knew this.
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Donald Trump versus ‘The Resistance’

One thing you have to say about Donald Trump is that he has galvanized grass roots organizations that had been dormant during the Obama administration. People are attending local town hall meetings and loudly voicing their concerns about the measures that the Republicans are proposing, and many of those meetings have been so raucous with overflow crowds that Republican congress people are either avoiding holding them altogether or cutting them short and escaping through back doors. The movement has acquired the name ‘The Resistance’.
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More on the Obama administration’s war on transparency

One of the most hypocritical features of the Obama administration was its public claim to be strongly in favor of transparency, to the extent of proudly boasting that it was “the most transparent administration in history”, while constantly working behind the scenes to kill any attempts at greater transparency. Trevor Timm writes about what a new lawsuit has revealed.
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How good journalism should work

The long running controversy over what contacts Donald Trump and members of his campaign staff had with Russian government officials and the nature of those discussions have been going on for some time, with Trump vigorously denying any wrongdoing, though since he is a pathological liar, his assurances do not count for anything. Jon Schwarz says that Trump can easily settle this issue once and for all if he wanted to.
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Why the Obama-Clinton faction is supporting Perez over Ellison

UPDATE: Perez wins the election.

Today in Atlanta, the Democratic party will vote for a new party chair to replace the neoliberal party hack Donna Brazile who replaced another neoliberal party hack Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Glenn Greenwald addresses the question why Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton urged Tom Perez to challenge Keith Ellison to run for the chair of the Democratic National Committee even though both share broadly similar political positions. He points to a long article by Clio Chang in The New Republic that says that these two neoliberals want to prevent the Bernie Sanders wing of the party from taking control of the party organization.
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