Philadelphia Regional Anti-War Network
 front page

Associated website:
Economics Blog for UFPJ-DVN

Veteran's resources. This page summarizes available governmental, organizational and other resources and makes them easily accessible to those searching for assistance.

PRAWN Flyer (PDF) Updated 20Feb2010

Information sheet on Austerity


Ray Torres is the director of the short film

Beyond Credit Unions

The film is available for groups to show. Contact Ray at 215 753 9022


I kinda like this as an anthem for the left these days.

Brief history of PRAWN

PRAWN's mission is to:
  • Network groups, organizations, and individuals to stop the repression caused by "never ending wars" at home and abroad, by the US corporate military state
  • Support organizations having common ground
  • Educate and activate the general public

Local Resource Organizations

National Organizations

Marlene Santoyo's Political Allies Newsletter

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Commentary Archives
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2013, 2012, 2011
2010, 2009, 2008,
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Webspace provided by 1&1 Internet
Webmaster: Rich Gardner

Upcoming Events


will CONTINUE to be held at
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
Tuesday evenings, 6:00 to (at least) 6:45 PM
6900 Stenton Ave. (Stenton at Gorgas Lane), Phila 19150

Bubbies & Zaydes (Grandparents) for Peace in the Middle East - Peace Vigil

Held at the corner of 19th & JFK Boulevard

1st & 3rd Fridays of each month - all are invited to attend



Drone Free Horsham

Protests are held last Saturday of each month, 12:00noon to 2:00pm

North corner of Horsham Air Base
Intersection of Easton Road & W. County Line Road

Facebook event page

YouTube - Living Under Drones

Protests held on Apr13, Jun13, Jul13, Apr14, May14, Jun14, Apr15, Jul15, May16, Jun16, May17, Aug17

Senate Intelligence Committtee Torture Report

(Local copy, the redacted summary)

Midsection archive

speaker at rally
Treatment of Puerto Rico and 250th day of Trump Presidency

Singer and announcer

Horsham Air Base Aug 2017

facing road
Anti-Drone Protest May '17
May Day at Clark Park

May Day celebration at Clark Park

Marching near Liberty Bell
March for Science

rally-170302-00330 (115K)
Rally on 41st day of Trump Presidency.
15 days into Trump's presidency

Protest held on 15th day of Trump presidency

Women's March in Philadelphia

Women's March in Philadelphia during first week of Trump Administration.

Marching in Central Philadelphia

March held a few days before President Trump's inauguration

protest-160708-00222 (202K)
A Black Lives Matter protest.

protest-160528-00158 (244K)
Anti-Drone Protest outside Horsham Air Base.
Social-Forum-150628-00117 (144K)
Social Forum - Phildelphia 2015
Protest-150425-00025 (236K)

Anti-Drone Protest at Horsham Air Base.

climate march

Climate March NYC / Comments from reporter Naomi Klein. / The significance of the march

Rally for Michael Brown

rally for gaza

Rally for Gaza


Gay Pride Parade - Vets For Peace and FUMCOG contingents


May Day 2014


Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Corbett arranges to meet with students of one of the schools that he's been defunding, but cancels when students, parents and teachers make it clear that they were goingto protest his visit. We all assembled anyway.

drone protest

Anti-drones protest

group photo

Syria strike protest

Horsham Air Base

Protest at Horsham Air Base about proposed Drone Command Center

Anonymous protests

Last (?) Protest on behalf of Pfc. Bradley Manning

gay pride parade

The 2013 Philly Gay Pride Parade

Brad Manning demo

Demonstration on behalf of Bradley Manning, whose court-martial begins next Monday.


May Day USA 2013
May Day 2013
Horsham Air Base drone protest
Protesting drones at Horsham Air Base
Sandy Hook Vigil
Vigil for Sandy Hook Elementary School
Visual essay on event and on the gun control issue

near Liberty Bell

National Gathering Facebook page
Live-blog of National Gathering

in front of school board
Rally at the School Board to defeat the Knudsen Plan

May Day Rally
Also, same problems that apply to privatized schools apply to prisons as well.

Decarcerate PA
march & rally story

bellringer with vigilers in background
The "Final Friday" vigil concludes

Dilworth Plaza

Occupation of Dilworth Plaza, Philadelphia

Protesting War in Libya

Declare Peace
Declare Peace & protest of interception of Boat to Gaza

Mt Airy Day
Mt Airy Day 2011


Philadelphia's Take Back The Night annual march and testimony

two groups
UNAC opposed to the wars abroad

Lafayette Park
Noting the beginning of the 8th year of the Iraq War. Also, protest of how Pfc. Bradley Manning is being treated.

At Love Park
Two protests in support of the citizens, workers and unions of Wisconsin.
MSB Plaza     Love Park

rally for Egypt
In support of the Egyptian people against their dictator Hosni Mubarak. Update on situation. Videos of another protest shortly afterwards.

Vets protest

Veteran-Led Civil Resistance to U.S. Wars
Announcement    \ Flyers    Photos   Huffington Post


Archive of actions & photos

Info, articles, etc.

Woo hoo! After the fall of their capital Raqqa, ISIS is pretty much defeated. Assistance from Obama and Trump helped. but Muslims did the great majority of on-the-ground fighting.

President Trump takes credit for the defeat of ISIS. *Sigh* Okay, if we were to use World War II analogies and consider the fall of Mosul in 2014 as Pearl Harbor, then when the Trump Administration took office, Allied troops had won the Battle of Normandy and were taking France. Soviet troops had won the Battle of Kursk and were well on the way to Berlin, and the Japanese Navy had lost the Battle of Guadalcanal and the US Navy was well on its way to Tokyo. Yes, the Trump Administration was not completely irrelevant, but all they did was to follow the Obama plan. 

"Judge: Newest Travel Ban Has ‘Same Maladies’ As Previous Version"
How the ban is put together is still a complete cluster****. 

For example, Iraq failed to meet the security benchmark but was omitted from the ban. Somalia met the information-sharing benchmark but was included. 

And BTW, there have been no attacks from any of the banned countries since the first ban was initiated. What no one appears to be able to satisfactorily explain is why Chad ever made it onto the list of banned countries. 

President Trump says:
"Obamacare is finished, it's dead, gone. You shouldn't even mention it. It's gone. There is no such thing as Obamacare anymore."
Is he right? Yeah, it's Trumpcare now. Any problems or price rises are all entirely his fault now. Ah, but of course "And I'm not going to blame myself" because he's never to blame for anything.
The blogger also lists lots of lies that Trump told.

Representative Trey Gowdy (R-SC) tried very hard to make a public impression of a hard-nosed, hard-charging former prosecutor who didn't easily let guilty politicians off the hook when he went after Hillary Clinton and her emails. Gowdy has asked the Trump White House about email use by various people including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and the White House has said effectively "eff you." So what will Gowdy do now?
Update: Nah, subject changed. Gowdy is drawing equivalences between Obama and Trump DOJs, claiming both were improperly using the Steele Dossier on Trump's Russian activities. 

Attack in Niger leaves three US Green Berets dead and two others injured. 

President Trump, after a very lengthy silence on Niger attack, makes an astonishingly clumsy, thoughtless and careless condolence call to one of the widows. 

President claims to have proof that he didn't make an astonishingly insensitive statement concerning a dead Army Sargeant, but we remember that Trump made the same claim concerning a conversation with former FBI director James Comey and that turned out to be a lie.

Mother of widow confirms Trump's "disrespect" of fallen soldier. 

Touching twittter story about getting a puppy from Iraq to the US and responsibility and professionalism.

Here's the problem with having an unregulated, un-mediated window into the mind of an erratic, impulsive chief executive like President Trump. Not only do we get a window into what he thinks, but we get an insight into the what subjects he's NOT giving any thought to. And the latter list is a pretty lengthy one.

Back in 1996, engineers estimated it would cost $400 million to fix problems in Houston that were making flooding much more serious than it had to be. What does it cost to fix hurricane damage in Houston today? Eh, a mere $180 billion.

The SF Chronicle wonders: 

As raging wildfires devour the lives, homes and dreams of Californians in an unprecedented scale, one voice has been conspicuously mute through day after day of crisis: President Trump.

One of the many tweets put out by the President since the California wildfires began was “Nobody could have done what I’ve done for Puerto Rico with so little appreciation.” The appreciation of US citizens would be a whole lot greater if the guy would do his job. That is, his whole job and not just the parts he finds agreeable!

It was clear to me that, as a presidential candidate, Donald Trump's criticisms of the Iran agreement were very vague, fuzzy and non-specific. The blogger presents an excerpt from a Fox News interview that shows that the President really has no idea what the agreement contains. 

Since the beginning of Trump’s political career, there are all kinds of examples of him condemning the Iran deal, but there are literally no examples of him accurately describing what the policy is, what it does, what it includes, or what would happen if he kills it.

Should President Trump talk with people like Sean Hannity and John Bolton about Iran and nuclear weapons? Sure. One never knows where one will get good advice from. But the real question here is should the president depend exclusively on people like Hannity and Bolton? There I have to come down squarely on "No!" A decision this important requires listening to all viewpoints and making a carefully reasoned decision.
Can a president rely on his "gut"? The younger George Bush did that quite a bit and I think his gut was about the worst decision-maker I ever saw.

Heh! You know the war against weed is going poorly when a governor has to make up a completely fictitious reason to keep waging it. “Kentucky governor says he’ll never legalize marijuana because of the ‘overdoses'

Oh, good grief!
"It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Irans government end its pursuit of death and destruction. President Donald J. Trump"
Yeah, the blogger I got this from described as a paper that seems as though it was written by a 20-year old pulling an all-nighter. Note that in the very first sentence, the writer(s) forgot the apostrophe when referring to Iran.

Regardless of potential legal problems with the ACA/Obamacare, there are appropriate and there are wildly irresponsible and inappropriate ways of dealing with those problems. The Trump Administration has obviously chosen to take the hastiest and most destructive route possible.

A corporation has a "religious objection"?
Sorry, but I've worked for my share of incompetent bosses who couldn't even do their own, mandated jobs properly. In no way, shape or form is a corporation capable of making deeply personal decisions for employees.

Results be damned, Betsy DeVos loves her some online charter schools
As we've seen with regular brick and mortar charter schools, this not a movement driven by parents, teachers or students as it's not a matter of people discovering that charters work better than regular schools. This is instead a movement driven by investors who have captured the government and who then bend it to serve their interests.

FEMA says it's the responsibility of the mayors of towns in Perto Rico to get food, water and other supplies to residents. Okay, but do the mayors have the trucks, fuel and communications necessary to do that? Also, residents are being asked to do lots and lots of bureaucratic paperwork before they get assistance. 
Reminds me of the system the younger George Bush set up for the areas surrounding New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Residents of areas that needed help had to phone in their requests. Problem was, the phone system wasn't working as the floods had wiped most of it out.

A Twitter user posts a picture of a sheet telling residentsof a town in Puerto Rico who need assistance to phone or email for that assistance. The island doesn't have phone service or the internet as all of the electricity is knocked out.

On the wildfires in California.
“Satellite image of California last night. Those aren’t lights. They’re wildfires.” And
“California wildfires 
17: Deaths so far 
100+: Injuries 
200+: Missing persons 
122,000: Acres burned
$65 billion: Est property damage" 

Yeah, Harvey Weinstein is guilty of terrible things and Clinton and Obama should probably have spoken up earlier, but seriously, members of the Trump Administration are tossing stones from a glass house here! They have no business trying to put on airs and to act all holier-than-thou here 

Whuuh!?!?!?! Rush Limbaugh, taking the correct, First Amendment-friendly position on football players kneeling?!?!?! I'm pleasantly shocked and surprised.

Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev’s granddaughter notes that President Trump's attacks on our media today remind her of Joseph Stalin's attacks on the media in his day. 

“Here, President Trump defined ‘fake news’ the way Joseph Stalin defined ‘enemies of the people’: if they offer a slightest objection to his rule they must be wrong,” Kruscheva told the Washington Examiner. “And they must be silenced.”.

Two months ago, the President declared opioids to be a crisis. But nothing's been done since then. Opioid policy is at a complete standstill. I would suggest that the proposed policy is causing a lot of confusion and indecision. When Ronald Reagan became president, he said that the fiscal deficit was the nation's biggest domestic problem. That's been the word for the Republican Party ever since. But there's a very well-understood way to fight the opioid epidemic and that involves spending a lot of money. But the party wants to pass big tax cuts for the rich (they're calling it "tax reform"). The result is that no one in Congress or the presidency really wants to do anything about opioids.

Ah, here we go! The story-behind-the-story as to why Secretary of State Tillerson called President Trump a "f***ing moron" and yes, it does indeed make Trump sound like a complete and utter idiot.

Hackers from DEFCON found it very easy to hack voting systems. Fortunately, they're helping to fix the problem.

After oil, coffee is second-most traded commodity in the world. Climate change puts coffee at great risk.

Film producer Harvey Weinstein found to be a serial sexual harasser. He was a straight-up rapist along with using blackmail and pressuring Hollywood women to have sex with him. He was also very litigious towards those who wanted to make accusations. 

Alex Jones: "I mean, there’s some truth to, hey you know what you’re getting into when you go to Hollywood."
No, that's something that needs to be changed. That's not something where we can say it's the fault of anybody but the attacker. With Jones' attitude, nothing will ever get cleaned up.

Representative Marsha Blackburn includes in her campaign video (She's running to become a Senator) the statement: “I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts. Thank God.” Twitter ruled that the statement could not be used because it was inflammatory. They later reversed themselves. But what what was obvious from the very first day that the video from the Center for Medical Progress aired was that the statement was an unmitigated, flat-out lie. Years of investigations showed that no "baby body parts" were ever sold, by anybody, to anybody. Apparently, Twitter does not make decisions based on truthfulness.

Got this link from comments to a tweet. Kind of amazing how many diplomatic positions are still unconfirmed or where no nomination has even been made. If a certain president were to spend less time on the golf course and more time working, there might not be so many empty spots.

Survey of President Trump's obsession with IQ scores. Interesting that for an alleged intellectual giant, he spelled Jon Stewart's first name correctly on 8 May 2013 (though he put a question mark after Stewart) but spelled it "John" on 22 May 2013. Yep, real intellectual powerhouse there!

"The Mad King & His Criminal Enablers" Status on Puerto Rican recovery.

Comedian John Oliver looks at Confederate monuments and how we might deal with them. 

Hmm. Interesting response to Senator Meadows' criticisms. 
"It's easy to be bold when you're not coming back."”
Yeah, file this under "Profiles in Cowardice."

Dove Soap puts out an ad where a black woman uses it and then magically turns into a white woman. The way to head off debacles like this is to get some ethnic diversity in the team that approves and produces ads. 
It's good to use focus groups and other tools, but I'm thinking of Robert Clary, who played Corporal Louis LeBeau in the TV show Hogan's Heroes. Clary was a Holocaust survivor, who could monitor scripts as they were presented to the actors at rehearsals. Did the scriptwriters ever come up with plot situations that would offend those who survived the Holocaust? We'll never know, because Clary was there to nip any such things in the bud.
The idea behind the Dove Soap ad, turning an African into a European is actually quite old.

"Pence leaves Colts game after protest during anthem"
I guess Pence's poor tender fee-fees were hurt by players exercising their First Amendment rights. Considering the hours it took to fly there and on to Pence's next stop, the cost must have been a least $250K. 

Very, very interesting that a white nationalist demonstration took place just the night before and neither the POTUS nor the VPOTUS had anything to say about it.  

Why is this a problem? "The de facto head of President Donald Trump’s voter fraud commission [Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach] drafted a proposal for the administration to amend the National Voter Registration Act with a proof of citizenship requirement to join the rolls..."
Because "Research shows that up to seven percent of Americans do not have a birth certificate or U.S. passport and that people without access to such documents proving citizenship are disproportionately minority citizens." Voter suppresssion works to favor Republican voters.

Keith Olbermann examines President Trump's disdain for Puerto Rico.

Gotta say, I have no faith whatsoever in Senator Cotton’s military analysis of the situation with Iran. I think he’s being hugely over-optimistic about not having to fight an enormous conventional conflict in that country. It’s good that Cotton doesn’t want to simply throw out our nuclear agreement with Iran. His preference is to go back to the negotiating table and to obtain a “better deal” ("better" would be entirely from the perspective of the US, of course). But Iran has no reason whatsoever to renegotiate anything. They’re happy with the deal as is. If the US decides to pull out of the deal, the onus for breaking it will be entirely on us. And of course, if the US proves to be a faithless negotiating partner, that impacts how seriously North Korea will take anything we say.

"Trump: Filibuster Rule Is A ‘Death Sentence’ For Republicans"
This is disturbing because President Trump seems to feel that political parties, or at least the Republican Party, exists only to pass highly partisan bills, bills that the other party, in this case Democrats, will never even consider agreeing to. Kinda defeats the whole purpose of having a democracy when a party completely gives up on even trying to persuade or to find any sort of consensus or common ground.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was very skeptical of the US when negotiations began under Obama, charging that the US would drag in unrelated issues to try and toss a monkey-wrench into the deal. Nobody's mocking Khamenei now as that's exactly wha Trump is now doing

Good thing the Mueller investigation continues! Yeah, this Trump dossier was unverified, but the reporting it did continues to have been pretty solid.

Republican donors are making it very clear that they're upset at not getting their money's worth from the the GOP Congress and the Trump Administration. And yes, I agree with the blogger that, hey now "Let’s not insult honest sex workers" when talking about Congress.

Our former FLOTUS Michelle Obama points out that, y'know, Republicans may be a bit unsympathetic towards women and people of color because, y'know, they're usually "all men, all white."
This of course caused Fox News to have an absolute conniption and to completely lose it.

UN Ambassador Nikki "Haley tries, fails to explain UN vote against rebuking use of death penalty to target LGBTQ people" Major problem with Haley's explanation was that she claimed the death penalty was being condemned wholesale, for all cases of all types. No, this concerned the death penalty for being gay. Period. The ensuing lies and confusion proceeded from that false premise.

Presiden Trump suggests wiping out Puerto Rico's debt? Sounds like a winner to me! Of course, if I were in charge, I'd do something like take over PR's debt payments for a few years or bargain down creditors to take a "haircut" on repayment (creditors would have to settle for so many dimes on the dollar) or something else that wouldn't just wipe out creditors. But yeah, this is a good way to begin the conversation!
Update: D'oh! President Trump changes his mind and decides that Puerto Rican crditors have to have their interests taken into consideration. It's really a problem to have an amateur president who started at the top and doesn't understand how loose, casual comments can panic financial markets. 

"We Asked GOP Senators What Congress Can Do To Prevent Mass Shootings” One telling question was "Any laws he broke, any loopholes and laws he took advantage of?"
Yes, actually. A big loophole was that once a background check is run, federal computers "forget" the person that was just investigated. That is, any record that the person had a check run on them is promptly deleted. That's how the shooter was able to acquire so many guns without ringing any alarm bells. It's one thing to acquire collectables, it's quit another to amass modern, highly lethal weapons.   

"House Passes An Abortion Ban After Letting Children’s Health Program Expire" Subtitle to piece: "The White House said the move will 'facilitate a culture of life.'” *Sigh* Truly difficult to parody or make fun of such ridiculous nonsense. 
Now, the children who were benefiting from the CHIP program were not simply cut off with nothing as of 1 October. The states still have money to continue the program for at least a month or so. But it does show the truth of the saying that anti-choicers care deeply about the child until the child is born! Once the child is out of the womb "You got a problem? Ha! Tough luck, kiddo!"

Big rate hikes happening to the ACA/Obamacare. This has everything to do with Republican sabotage and attempts to repeal it and nothing to do with the shape the program was in during January of this year.

So former Sheriff David Clarke, who served four terms as Milwaukee’s top law enforcement official and was the go-to guy for commentary on law enforcement issues for Fox News, is asked what we can do about events like the massacre that just occurred in Las Vegas. He shrugged his shoulders and wondered why people even ask. In other words, pro-gun conservatives don't have anything even vaguely resembling an answer.

White House decides that national unity after the Las Vegas shooting is best served by a focus on ... abortion?!?!?!

The singer Tom Petty died last night (Oct 2). His death was announced a few hours before he actually passed, so there was a lot of confusion, but it was clear from the descriptions of his condition that he wouldn't survive for long.
This video is based on Little Nemo in Slumbreland (the strip ran from 1905 to 1914) and the video came out shortly after this volume of reprints did. Happy to see Petty was either a comics fan or history buff or something like that.

Awww! Laura Ingraham steps all over Sean Hannity's boyish fantasy of being the hero that saves the day. Yeah, these heroes who step in and stop the bad guy do occasionally appear, but they're always off-duty police and never free-lance heroes who just happen to be armed and on the scene.

The shooter wasn't in a steel-reinforced concrete bunker, but as far as people with pistols shooting back from the ground were concerned, he might as well have been. Pictures starting at about the 3:20 mark.He was several hundred yards away and a few hundred feet up in the air and no one wanted to strike any of th surrounding rooms. Maybe a professional sniper, properly armed could have successfuly shot back.

In December of last year, the Obama Administration finalized a rule that would have prevented 75,000 people from buying guns (People who couldn't handle their own financial affairs, for example). In February, the Republican House and Senate passed a bill repealing the Obama rule and the Republican President signed it. #complicit

For quite some time, the mantra of the NRA has been: "The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.”
I think by now that theory has been thoroughly tested and has been found wanting.

Dana Perino of Fox News says:
"...what if it turned out that there was some sort of ISIS connection? And that takes the NRA piece off the table."
Erm, no. No, it doesn't. It just means that an ISIS person was able to exploit weak gun laws to obtain a gun inside the US without a background check. Yes, ISIS has really told their members not to try and smuggle guns into the US as it's so easy to legally pick up a gun once they get here.

Very good piece on the Puerto Rico issue. Severe dereliction of duty on the President's part.

Horrors! Shooting in Las Vegas leaves at least 50 dead.

"Thoughts and prayers" tweets from Congresspeople & Senators who voted against the 2013 Assault Weapons Ban. Also, President makes brief speech. In both cases, no policy solutions are offered. Since Newtown, CT, there have been many solutions available, but none have been enacted into legislation.

And remember, it's never the correct or proper or appropriate time to talk about solutions to mass killings.

President Trump is correct when he says that three presidents prior to him didn't manage to find a permanent solution to North Korea and nuclear weapons. He also appears to be confused by the last several North Korean leaders all having names that started with Kim Jong and seems to think they're all one person. This does not give me the slightest confidence that he has the vaguest clue as to what he's doing!

Puerto Ricans jumping in and doing what they can. No, they aren't just sitting around and waiting for help to arrive.

Ana Navarro is furious at President Trump's attacks on the Mayor of San Juan.

The Kurds have been strong, loyal and militarily effective allies against ISIS, but their vote for independence creates lots of headaches. None of the surrounding countries that contain Kurdish minorities are happy.

Justice Department lawyer Hashim Mooppan says:
"Employers under Title VII are permitted to consider employees' out-of-work sexual conduct," Mooppan told the judges. "There is a common sense, intuitive difference between sex and sexual orientation."
But it's far from clear why the difference should be meaningful. Sure, back in the old days, way back when, one might argue that from a company's public relations perspective, but that ol' dog hasn't hunted for quite some time now. It's far from clear why the off-hours sexual conduct of an employee should be of any concern to anyone.

Rather odd statement concerning the response to the Puerto Rican crisis:
“It didn’t require a three-star general eight days ago,” [Tom] Bossert [President Trump’s homeland security adviser] said of the government response.
Erm, yeah, it kinda did. Had there been someone with real authority and a sense of urgency there, the situation might not have deteriorated so much.

San Juan has plenty of shipping containers full of needed goods, the problem now is getting them from the capital city to where they're needed. But yeah, the President is confirmig the worst, most pessimistic fears of his critics. He's completely unfit for office.


Rally for Puerto Rico and observance of 250th day of Trump Administration.

The Mayor of Puerto Rico's capital, San Juan, wonders where this "good news" is that a bureaucrat is talking about. President Trump is, of course, less than pleased about being criticized over his failure to do his job. 

President Trump complains that the Mayor of San Juan is demonstrating poor leadership. Joe Scarborough responds: “Poor leadership would be hiding at a country club golfing while fellow Americans are suffering and dying. She's not doing that. You are."

President Trump wants to use small nuclear plants to restore Puerto Rico's power grid. Not a bad idea (Except for the time involved, of course), but he appears to be fuzzy on the deatils.

“Wouldn’t it make abundant good sense if we had small modular reactors that literally you could put in the back of C-17 [military cargo] aircraft, transport it to an area like Puerto Rico, and push it out the back end, crank it up, and plug it in?”

Erm, the plants weigh about 650 tons, showing yet again how in touch he is with his own proposals.

Kurds in Iraq vote overwhelmingly to establish a separate state. Iraq not at all pleased by that. This is kind of a touchy situation because there are Kurds in Iran, Turkey and Syria, so none of those states want to see Kurdish independence.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price draws a rather, erm, shall we say, interesting distinction here. He spent at least $400,000 of taxpayer money on chartered flights, but wants to cover only "his seat," which he calculates at just a little over $50,000. The problem is that a chartered flight is one that wasn't scheduled to go to a destination. It's a plane that was just going to sit in hangar until you chartered it and you then directed it to go to a destination.

Price gets booted out. The whole incident points to extremely sloppy supervision and oversight on the part of the Trump Administration. Reporters are finding new travel abuses as we speak. 

Price claims that he got approval for all of his flights. Very clearly, the Trump Administration had an utterly worthles travel approval process where bureaucrats just rubber-stamp every request. 

So what do the deficit hawks have to say about the Republican plan to slash taxes for the wealthy? Crickets, of course. Yep, as usual. Deficits are awful under Democratic administration. Under Republican ones? Eh. Somehow those "iron laws" of fiscal discipline become fuzzy and irrelevant.
This latest round of excuse-making is a good one: One of their goals is to "end carve outs for special interests." Ha, ha, ha! That, I assure you, will never happen!

Good! The Jones Act stated that all seaborne transportation has to be American-flagged. This was preventing much-needed supplies from reachng Puerto Rico. Still more to be done, but a very good beginning.

Media gives President Trump's statements on his tax plan a pass, uncritically repeating his statements without noting that the pressure to move on to taxes is coming from major campaign donors. Obviously, campaign contributors aren't concerned about how taxes affect common people, so the media should always keep the motivations of those who are pushing the tax issue in mind.

Reporter asks President why Sudan was removed from the travel ban. President really doesn't appear to have a clue.

Senator Lindsey Graham admits hae had no clue as to what he was doing when he served as the point person for the latest attempt to repeal/replace the ACA/Obamacare.
You know what's amazing here is that the time to start designing a replacement for the ACA was in 2010, right after it passed. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has been content to have other paint him as a master strategist and Speaker Ryan really enjoys playing a policy wonk. If either of these images were true, the GOP would have had a fully-worked out plan ready to go when Trump took office. Problem is, both of these images are complete fiction and always have been.

One quick item to remember about the proposed tax breaks is that 65% of the people oppose cutting taxes for rich people.

Wow! The statement of a whacked-out, raging fanatic. "[Trump] has done such a tremendous job with virtually no help." You know why he's received no help? He has deliberately and consciously alienated people. In his very first statement to the assembled VIPs of government, he talked about the "millions" of illegally-cast votes that Clinton received and that's why didn't win the popular vote. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told him he wasn't going to get anywhere by openly mixing fantasy with reality. He didn't appreciate her comment. That's why he doesn't get much help!

When policemen kill unarmed black civilians,and football players kneel during the anthem in response, it's Rush Limbaugh who's the real victim here. Problem is, sports figures are just supposed to be TV characters, they're not supposed to be real people with real issues.  

Extremely happy to see that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is faring so poorly and that's not just schadenfreude. His plan was to spend years and years blocking and obstructing, after which he was going to become a successful Majority Leader who was going to pass all sorts of good legislation. Had the second part of his agenda been successful (The first part was undeniably very successful), many people were prepared to copy his obstructionist tactics. I would love to see McConnell forcibly retired from his position in disgrace!

Trevor Noah was on fire here with a really good show on our President and race relations. The Katy Tur interview is well worth watching, but the first two segments are really good.

It's a really wonderful and marvelous thing that all five living former presidents are united in calling for aid to Puerto Rico, which really, desperately needs aid immediately. The current POTUS and the House and Senate? Taking away health care plans from tens of millions and giving more tax cuts to the wealthy are their priorities! The term for that is moral bankruptcy.

Puerto Rico could be a serious showcase for wind and solar energy but Congress has to drop its obsession with the ACA/Obamacare and needs to forgive Puerto Rico its $70 billion debt.

Even if we presume, as the newsperson here suggests, that Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) is correct about the flaws and problems with the ACA/Obamacare, that still leaves unanswered the question: "How is the Graham-Cassidy bill any sort of improvement over the ACA?"

On the one hand, we (quite justifiably) beat up on the President for ignoring Puerto Rico at a time when the American territory really desperately needs help. On the other hand, the press doesn't really seem to give a damn any more than the political leadership of the country does.

"Kushner used private email to conduct White House business"  
Hmm. Gee, I think I recall someone else doing the same thing. What was considered the appropriate response? Oh, yeah, that's right! "Lock him up! Lock him up!"

"'They Can Do Free Speech On Their Own Time': Mnuchin Lashes Out At Players Who Take A Knee For Anthem"
Sounds like Treasury Secretary Mnuchin would have liked the younger George Bush practice of "Free Speech Zones," areas where people could protest but that were set well away from where anybody could see them.

Russian cyber-attacks on election systems in 2016 mainly consisted of reconnaissance missions, hackers trying to determine where the weak spots were. States are wondering though, why they're just now getting informed of these attacks.

If campaign donors are demanding that the ACA/Obamacare be dismantled so as to make it easier to get tax cuts, then that sounds to me like a really, really seriously good argument for campaign finance reform. If politicians are pushing for a bill that the entire medical profession opposes strictly because campaign donors are demanding it, that sounds an awful lot like a seriously broken system

What's interesting about President Trump's speech here is to see that, once again (as has been clear for several months), he has absolutely no clue as to what's actually in the bill he's promoting. Therefore, he can't fathom why anyone would oppose it.

NSFW (Not Safe For Work) summary of President's speech. Seriously, if drug sugglers are going to toss drugs over the wall, they're not going to toss five to ten pound bags by hand. It's far more likely they'd use bags that were 100 pounds or over and they'd use a catapault. Whether the wall was transparent or not, you'd never see it coming and if it hit you, you woudn't survive it. 

Fox News host Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery suggests that charity can make up for the deficiencies in the Grahan-Cassidy bill. It was in the 1700s that people began thinking that charity really wasn't enough and was insufficient by itself to solve health problems. So hey, she's only about 300 years off! 

Lou Dobbs says:  President Trump is "possibly the strongest individual to serve in the Oval Office in my lifetime" and that he has "established himself as the leader of this nation." Hmm. Well,if you read the first few paragraphs here, it's very clear that, as Jimmy Kimmel said "At this point [Trump] would sign anything if it meant getting rid of ObamaCare. He’d sign copies of the Koran at the Barnes and Noble in Fallujah, if it meant he could get rid of ObamaCare.” I'm just not sure what definition of "strength" covers such utter and absolute desperation to repeal something that regular people all over the US are fighting very hard to keep.

Very cool! The current FLOTUS could very easily have had Michelle Obama's White House garden dismantled or could have just ignored it and allowed it to fall into disrepair. Melania Trump put on some jeans and a flannel shirt, invited some young people over and spent a few hours in the garden.

White House has questions about the new replacement bill for the ACA/Obamacare. 
Let's take these objections one at a time:
1. "One official said the concerns from governors have alarmed some in the White House" Good! The White House should be alarmed because it's an awful bill that will hurt people!
2. "we really aren't sure what the impact will be” Erm, have y'all tried actually reading the bill or getting the architects to explain it to you? Figuring out what a bill will do isn't that hard!
3. "the bill could bring political blowback from the left and right." Yes, yes it very much could because it's a bill that neither completely throws out all the aspects of the ACA nor does it improve on the ACA. It's a stinking, flea-ridden dog of a bill that should be put out of its misery. As Senator McCain says, the Senate needs to go back to regular order.

So Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price appears to have used private jets for government business when cheaper commercial flights were most likely available. Normally, politicians accused of such things can lean on their reputations for straight dealing and selfless service. Kind of a problem with that is that Price has no such record to fall back on.

Hard to take issue with any of this:
Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Thursday that Donald Trump’s address to the UN had been the performance of a “cowboy” or a “mobster.” The US president’s words, he said, were “disturbed” and “detached from reality.”

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel claimed that Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was misrepresenting his own bill. Politico refereed. Turns out Kimmel and his crew were making completely accurate charges and the Senator wasn't being at all truthful.
*Sigh* America 2017!

Computers are great. I use 'em all the time. But for balloting, we can never have an all-digital system. Paper must be part of the picture! Computers can only be a side feature.

Asked why it's necessary to replace the ACA/Obamacare, nine Republican Senators come up with some, erm, ah, interesting answers. Senator Inhofe's idea that "as a general rule the states do things better than the federal government does [things]" and that transferring health care to the states will cause efficiencies that will make up for federal cuts seems very highly questionable. I'm not really sure that's the case at all. Senator Cruz likes the idea of "consumer freedom,"
but medical care doesn't respond to market incentives as a medical procedure is not a market capitalist procedure. And Senator Kennedy demonstrates that the theory of states rights has definite limits as he wants to forbid states to set up single-payer systems. He should talk to Senator Inhofe about how states always make better decisions than the federal government does.

Senator Bill Cassidy just can't help lying about his horrible, vicious health plan. He says it's designed to be better than the ACA/Obamacare, but no one who has crunched the numbers on it agrees. Does the bill cover pre-existing conditions as Cassidy claims it does? Not really. States are permitted to charge higher premiums for those people, meaning sure, people can get coverage, but they'll somehow have to come up with the money for ruinously higher premiums.

Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico with 155 mph winds. No one there has electrical power because the power lines were all brought down. The island got a foot of rain in just a few hors.

Ahh, so that's what's been going on with former Sheriff David Clarke lately. He was caught plagiarising his 2013 thesis. Kind of stupid in that he stole from the "9/11 Commission Report" and the younger George Bush's "Decision Points," neither of which is an obscure source.

"Trump blocks woman with stage 4 cancer on Twitter after she criticized his latest health care plan."
Interesting piece. Reminds me of the younger George Bush and Cindy Sheehan. Like President Trump today, Bush demonstrated cowardice in the face of a woman who just wanted a real conversation about a serious issue.

In an absolutely astonishing bit of poor timing, President Trump threatens the lives of all 25 milion North Korean citiznes and FLOTUS Melania Trump makes a speech denouncing cyber-bullying.

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