Great moments in Venn diagrams

The Republican war on logic and math continues with this Venn diagram produced by losing governor Scott Walker to try and persuade people that the legislation passed by the lame-duck legislature and signed by him stripping the incoming Democratic governor of some powers was not a blatant anti-democratic act.

This graphic from The Progressive magazine compared Walker’s idea of a Venn diagram with how it should actually be used.

Don’t these people have aides who have at least some basic knowledge and can stop them from embarrassing themselves?

Cracks appear in Israel’s wall of support in the US Congress

The US congress has a good claim to being the most loyal supporters in the US, if not the world, of whatever the Israeli government does. For the longest time the Israel lobby in the US, led by the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), was able to command the support of Congress for even the most right-wing Israeli government policies, however cruel and unjust towards the Palestinian people in the Occupied Territories and Gaza. It managed this by contributing to congressional campaigns and working hard to defeat any congressperson who voiced even the mildest criticisms of Israeli policies.
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Ignore rumors about Trump quitting before the end of his term

One of the features of the current administration of Donald Trump is that it has caused the political rumor mill in the US to go into overdrive. There are non-stop speculations about possible personnel changes, squabbling among aides, indictments by the special prosecutor and US attorneys, and so. Most of these speculations can be safely ignored because they are fact-free and largely serve as fillers to meet the needs of the 24/7 cable news channels. But there is one particular speculation that keeps surfacing from time to time that is particularly absurd and that is the one that says the Trump will leave office before his term is over because of the mounting legal troubles involving convictions of his close associates.
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Challenge to ranked-choice voting in Maine thrown out

The only congressional races to use ranked choice voting are those in Maine and the first time it was used was in last month’s elections and it produced a result in the second Congressional district that illustrated how it works. When the first choice votes were counted, the Republican candidate Bruce Poliquin came in first and the Democrat Jared Golden came second but none of the four candidates got the required 50%+1 votes. So the second choices of those voted for the candidates who came in third and fourth were then tabulated and Golden emerged the winner.
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A tedious old ritual with a new twist

For the last 20 years, ever since then speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich shut down the government by refusing to pass funding bills as part of a power play with then president Bill Clinton, we have had basically budget gridlock with the usual process of passing appropriation bills being sidelined and replaced by stop-gap Continuing Resolutions (CR) being passed. The only exceptions seem to be appropriations for the military and tax cuts for the wealthy, both of which seem to have no problems being passed.
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A match made in heaven

Donald Trump is flailing around trying to find someone to serve as his chief of staff. As I wrote earlier, the position will only attract grifters because Trump, his family, and his close associates are all grifters and no one who has any sense of self-respect or integrity would take on the job. So it is no surprise at all that odious Piers Morgan is publicly applying for the job and has given 10 reasons why he should get it. His reason #10 is actually correct: “You need someone whose reputation won’t be remotely tarnished by working with you and who won’t mind in the slightest if you suddenly fire him.” Morgan’s reputation is that of being an annoying and stupid person and there is no way that even Trump could tarnish it even more.
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David Cameron’s disastrous legacy

[UPDATE: May survived the no-confidence vote within her own party by a margin of 200-117. This is hardly a ringing show of support and was arrived at only after she reportedly promised that she would step aside before 2022, when the next general election is due.]

British prime minister Theresa May is facing a vote of no-confidence within her own party to be held later today, that was triggered by at least 48 members of her party calling for one. At this point, it may be well to recall the key figure that set in motion the current chaotic state of affairs and that is her predecessor as prime minister David Cameron who created a mess and walked away, leaving others to deal with it.
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Fighting the internet monopolies

It is well known that people in the US pay more and get worse internet services than people in most other developed countries. Why? Because the major internet companies have pretty much carved up the country into regions that are dominated by one or a couple of companies, thus killing competition, and the government regulators have let them do it. But some communities are going their own way, such as the small town of Charlemont, Massachusetts that has just 1300 residents and covers an area of 26 square miles.
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How confederate monuments perpetuate the lies about slavery

Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler were commissioned by the Smithsonian and The Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute to visit the monuments to the Confederacy in the south to see what messages were being promoted about that turbulent period in American history. Their long report dispels the common idea that these monuments consist mainly of statues of people who made a name for themselves during the Civil War. They say that they go much further and actively promote a series of lies about history: that the Civil War was not primarily about slavery, that most owners treated their slaves like members of their family, and that life under slavery was better for black people than as free people. And what is worse is that many of these are funded by taxpayers.
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Brexit shambles continues apace

The British parliament was due to vote tomorrow (Tuesday) on the deal that prime minister Theresa May arrived at with the EU negotiators but today she canceled the vote. She said that she was doing so because she realized that it would lose badly. It is not unusual for the party in power to cancel a vote on a bill but it is rare that it does so after the debate on it is well underway, as it was the case here where three days of debate had passed and 164 MPs had spoken. It shows a bad miscalculation on the part of May and her chief whip and constitutes a serious loss of credibility.

Her speech in parliament announcing the decision was met with scornful laughter.

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