This is box-of-rocks level stupid

Ladies and germs, this is the website for the House Republican’s plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

There is a plan to get there

The House Republican Healthcare Plan lowers costs, provides more control and more choices to pick a plan that meets our needs, not a plan that Washington mandates.

That’s it. Oh, there’s a 0:31 second video you can watch. It ends with the exhortation “Learn more at,” which, as we’ve seen, has a title and a single sentence.

They are flailing. They didn’t expect the pushback they’re getting at town hall meetings. They thought they’d be treated as saviors, relieving Americans from the oppression of Obama and his plan. One of them, Rep. Mike Burgess of Texas,

came up with a novel approaching [sic] to the messaging this afternoon: “If the numbers [of people with health insurance] drop, I’d say that is a good thing.”

He had been asked at the Conservative Political Action Conference here about how to defend decreased health coverage under repeal and/or replacement, Burgess who chairs the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, targeted the individual mandate that requires people to buy insurance. “We’re not going to send an IRS agent down to chase you down and make you buy health insurance, so if the numbers drop, I’d say that is a good thing because we’ve restored personal liberty, and I’m always for that,” he said.

Quoth the author of the article, Robert Schlesinger of US News, “If you listened to Burgess, you’d think that all or most of those people were dragged kicking and screaming into the system and that they yearn for liberation from the tyranny of being able to afford catastrophic illness.”

One of their elders, former Speaker John Boehner, even said yesterday, “They’re basically going to fix the flaws and put a more conservative box around it.” His reasoning? “In the 25 years that I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever one time agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like. Not once,” Boehner said.

I hope he’s right.

CEO Presidency

News Item: How Trump’s campaign staffers tried to keep him off Twitter

They feed him as much praise as they can find in the media.

The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.


Staff members had one advantage as they aimed to manage candidate Trump’s media diet: He rarely reads anything online, instead preferring print newspapers — especially his go-to, The New York Times…


“Trump is also, however, a near-nonstop consumer of cable news…”

When the hell does he do any work if he’s watching the tube all day accumulating grievances? Also, it’s not like he’s got a fully-staffed White House to do his work for him. As of two days ago he still had 514 senior positions without nominees, much less confirmed and on the job. Beyond that he has to have some 150 people in the White House alone to staff its various functions.

Most incompetent and volatile President in history.

Music Music Music

A while back Library Thing made some programming changes which allowed its users to catalog their music and movie libraries. I have heretofore been keeping a spreadsheet of my CD and Vinyl music collections, but the widget I used to use to convert Excel to HTML doesn’t work with Open Office spreadsheets and it’s a pain to go into HTML and add individual items as I buy a CD, so it was never current.

With Library Thing I’ve made it a habit of adding any new book into my electronic library the moment I bring it home. Granted the initial entry took quite a while, but once that was done keeping up is a snap. As I recall that first data entry project included about 1,400 books in 2005; there are a lot more now. Anyway, by adding CDs to the system I can get a better handle on what I’ve got. While entering the first 200 I’ve found two duplicates (eclectic! One was Emmylou Harris’s Blue Kentucky Girl and the other was The Beach Boys Greatest Hits collection called The Sounds of Summer.); I hope there aren’t too many more.

Eyeballing what’s left I’d say I’m about 60% done with the CDs. The vinyl collection is static; maybe I can import from a spreadsheet file for those. I doubt I have more than 30 DVDs, so those won’t be a big deal to enter.

And the grift goes on

Wasn’t that Presidential press conference today fun?

Here’s some news that isn’t. Trump, his wife and his kids are costing the US Treasury a fortune because of their travel and their separate households. To add insult to injury,

For Trump, the costs come with an additional perk: Some of the money flows into his own pocket. While Trump has removed himself from managing his company, he has refused to divest his ownership, meaning that he benefits from corporate successes such as government contracts.

The Defense Department and Secret Service, for instance, have sought to rent space in Trump Tower, where leasing a floor can cost $1.5 million a year — though neither agency has disclosed any details.

The estimates are that his three trips to Florida so far this year (three weekends out of four since his inauguration, mind you) have cost us $10 million. New York City is paying $500,000 per day to guard Trump Tower. Every business trip his kids take includes Secret Service personnel, of course.

Agents are now tasked with guarding multiple homes and protecting Trump’s four adult children, including the globe-trotting sons running the family business and daughter Ivanka, whose family recently moved into a Northwest Washington neighborhood.

Donny boy might increase the deficit several hundred million bucks just by virtue of his lifestyle.

Let the intifada bloom!

It’s not that I think General Flynn would have advised Trump to support the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, but almost any National Security Adviser might have tried to tell the man that suggesting the US abandon it might cause the Palestinians to get angry.

In his news conference with Mr. Netanyahu in Washington on Wednesday, Mr. Trump directly broke with diplomatic tradition on the issue by saying his concern was the “deal,” not whether that included a state for Palestinians.

“I’m looking at two states and one state,” Mr. Trump said. “I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

You know, this guy has no clue what the job of President of the United States is. He seems to think it’s nothing but a series of negotiations between countries. War, peace, trade; they’re all deals to Trump. Since he’s persuaded himself that he’s the best negotiator in the history of mankind he’s very confident in his ability to force other parties to his will, making “the best deal ever.” Here he is, speaking first of Israel:

I think they very much would like to will make a deal, or I wouldn’t be happy and I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t be as optimistic as I am. I really think — I can tell you from the standpoint of me being from the standpoint of Israel, I really believe they want to make a deal. And they’d like to see the big deal.


I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they are taught from a very young age. They’re taught tremendous hate. I’ve seen what they’re taught. And you can talk about flexibility there too, but it starts at a very young age and it starts in the schoolroom. And they have to acknowledge, as you know, they’re going to have to do that.

There’s no way a deal can be made if they’re not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country.

So the Palestinians will be lectured by Donald J. Trump and they will come around, just as Israel will be magnanimous to those haters because Trump said so.

The moderate Palestinians are angry, but the militants? Well,

Hazim Kassim, a spokesman for Hamas, said on Wednesday, “What Trump said is new, but whatever he says, we in Hamas still believe that resistance is the only way to liberate our lands from the Israeli occupation.

“It is now clear that the U.S. has provided a cover for aggression, occupation and the confiscation of Palestinian land,” he continued. “The U.S. is never serious when it comes to Palestinians’ human rights.”

It’s hard to disagree.

He’s unfit to be President just on the grounds of naiveté alone.

Let the kids run the leagues

New Jersey news item:

After four years playing as girls and boys together, St. John’s 5th grade CYO basketball team was told two weeks ago that the girls can no longer play.

Not only that, because they had played in the previous games this season, the entire season is now forfeit.

So what did the boys on the team do? They voted unanimously to refuse to play without their teammates.

In response to one of the boys’ parents who wrote a letter to League Director Donovan, he said

he understood her frustration and anger, but the facts are their roster is illegal per league guidelines, it was reported by another program and the proper protocols must now be followed. Donovan did not respond to a request for comments on the decision.

In league rules obtained by NJ Advance Media, there is no mention of whether the teams in the St. John’s team’s division – the JV black league – can or cannot be coed, though other divisions are mentioned as strictly boys or girls teams.

The Archdiocese of Newark ought to look 150 miles north to Storrs, Connecticut. That’s the home of the University of Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team, which won its 100th consecutive game this evening.

White House advisor Stephen Miller is an idjit

Several examples:

This is the weasel who appeared on Fox News Sunday today and said the following:

The United States of America has a terrorism problem. We’ve had hundreds cases of foreign national entering our country from other countries and plotting, attempting, or even carrying out terrorist attacks. We’ve spent countless dollars a year, and we have thousands of federal officers and investigators who do nothing but run around the country trying to stop terrorist attacks for no other reason because we make the mistake of letting people in who harbor hatred for this country.

We do not have hundreds of foreign nationals attempting or carrying out terrorist acts. We have people who live here who have been radicalized, but they have numbered fewer than 20 in the years since 9/11, not in the hundreds. We also don’t have thousands of people chasing all over the country; we have local FBI offices and local police forces who are on the lookout for people who might lean toward committing a terrorist act.

He’s also the guy who told George Stephanopoulos of ABC on This Week today that it was widely known in New Hampshire that hundreds of voters bused in every election from Massachusetts to commit fraud. The Republican party chair in New Hampshire called that claim nonsense and offered a $1000 bet if he was wrong.

Even in high school he was a bigot:

The president’s young adviser was a provocateur in his California high school, where he was hostile to Latinos and other minorities. Stephen Miller wrote in his high school yearbook: “There can be no fifty-fifty Americanism in this country.”


“When I entered Santa Monica High School in ninth grade, I noticed a number of students lacked basic English skills. There are usually very few, if any, Hispanic students in my honors classes, despite the large number of Hispanic students that attend our school,” Miller wrote.


In that article, Miller also complained about his school’s celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the existence of a gay club and a visit by a Muslim leader.

Univision notes that it

requested an interview with Miller through several White House press officials, but received no reply. Subsequently, the White House rejected the veracity of this article and requested a rectification. But Univision has verified the credibility of the sources used in addition to Miller’s own writings. Univision again requested an interview with Miller to express his point of view, but did not receive a response.

From what I can tell this kid hasn’t an honest bone in his body. He’s a true believer and a zealot, and facts don’t mean much to him.