A little late and a little light on the links. Is there anything less productive in corporate America than a training class that lasts for a day and a half? It combines the worst productivity killing aspects of meetings with a long duration. Why?
On to the links…
These 90s are Happening Weeks Later than Average—Climate change is real and it is here in eastern Iowa.
World’s Largest Miner BHP says 2017 is ‘Tipping Point’ for EV Boom—This is a commodities giant making this claim. Not Tesla. Not Nissan. Not General Motors.
Colorado Landfills are Illegally Burying Low-Level Radioactive Waste from Oil and Gas Industry—If you doubt the need for good regulation and tight enforcement just imagine living near a landfill that accepted illegal radioactive waste. Who wants to bet me that there will be no fines levied by the EPA for this egregious violation of law?
The Most Effective Clean Energy Policy Gets the Least Love—These mandates work because it allows for tailored solutions to a goal. If you are in Arizona or Nevada install some solar. If you are in Iowa build some wind turbines.
Coal. Guns. Freedom?—Somewhere along the line coal came to symbolize something among the far right wing in the United States. It went from being a fuel for making steel or electricity into a potent political symbol. Too bad it’s all a myth.
Congress Is Broken. Bring Back Pork.—It’s a simple idea and it might do some good to breaking down the partisan gridlock in Washington. But what would Ted Cruz bitch about when the camera were rolling?
Elon Musk’s Solar Partnership Strategy Doesn’t Look So Crazy Anymore—Maybe Elon Musk was on to something with his idea of combining solar, batteries, electric cars, and the service all in one place.
Assumed Safety of Pesticide Use is False—Fake news! Fake statistics! Lies! Where is Trump’s outrage over falsity? Oh wait, Scott Pruitt told him to like these guys.
Sea Turtles Appear to be “Bouncing Back” from the Brink of Extinction—It’s not all bad news all the time. People like turtles and conservation efforts seem to be working. It feels like a breath of fresh air to be talking about something positive.
The History of Sears Predicts Nearly Everything Amazon Is Doing—What goes up, must come down. Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it. Shall we continue? Amazon is a high flier right now, but give it a decade or two.
Posted in Linkage, Uncategorized
Tagged Amazon, climate change, coal, Colorado, Congress, Elon Musk, extinction, failure, High Country News, Iowa, landfills, linkage, links, myth, pork, radioactive waste, renewable energy mandates, sea turtle, Sears, Solar City, Tesla, Trump, weak
No he is not Michael Bolton. Not Michael Bolton the computer programmer. You know, the other Michael Bolton. I digress.
Rod Blum is apparently a think skinned, no talent clown who happens to represent the 1st district of Iowa. During an interview, which he requested, KCRG’s Josh Scheinblum wasted no time and had zero chill for Blum’s bullshit. Check out the full exchange here.
With a group of school children watching Rod Blum got to question two before going all “boom, outta here.” The question that got him was about his willingness to accept donations from out of his district while claiming to not represent anyone outside of his district. These are some real tough questions Rod. The problem, as many Iowans in the district see it now, is that Rod Blum represents moneyed interests with names like Adelson and Koch. We will never know because the groups that give Rod Blum his campaign cash do not have to disclose their donors.
Things did not get any better for Rod during his scheduled town hall in Dubuque when he was asked to defend his slavish adherence to the Trump-Ryan agenda.
How do people think things are going to go in Cedar Rapids tonight? The suspense is terrible, I hope it will last!
Posted in Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged 1st District, Cedar Rapids, Congress, Dubuque, Iowa, Josh Scheinblum, KCRG, Michael Bolton, No talent ass clown, Office Space, Rod Blum, town hall
After months of wondering and wishing Rod Blum finally announced that he is going to hold town hall meetings that will be open to the public. The schedule is as follows:
- May 8th in Cedar Rapids
- May 9th in Cedar Valley
- May 10th in Dubuque
- May 11th in Marshalltown
There is no mention of the events on Rod Blum’s website—surprise, surprise—so take the announcement with a grain of salt. Also, expect last minute changes and strange attendance requirements. At the rate Republican members of Congress are going I am expecting loyalty oaths and polygraph test as a condition of admittance.
My favorite part from a recent Cedar Rapids Gazette article on the town hall announcement was this logic from Rod Blum’s staff:
…staff said it had not received requests for town hall forums until after other events had happened. Staff also said Blum was too busy during a recess in February to host forums and has no forums scheduled for the current two-week break that started this week.
Sure, we all believe that line of bull.
Thursday is apparently the day when Paul Ryan, the anointed intellectual godfather of the right wing in Congress, and Donald Trump, otherwise known as a Russian stooge at this point, are going to put the American Health Care Act to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives.
According to members of the Freedom Caucus, a right wing group of Tea Party conservatives, the bill does not have the votes. According to Donald Trump, the self-styled ultimate closer and dealmaker who somehow went bankrupt in the casino business, the bill is going to pass because…um, Obamacare bad. Seriously, that is the logic at this point.
What about Iowa’s first district Congressman Rod Blum? Normally, his vote is in line with Paul Ryan and the stooges because Rod Blum is a nothing member of the House. Really, take a moment and try and find any legislation the guy has authored or fought for in any way that is substantive. Take a moment and try to find a hearing where he was a forceful contributor. I will be here waiting for your reply.
The guy will not meet with his constituents, but according to his own Twitter account he is not going to support the bill. Blum adds the important caveat “in its current form” which allows him the wiggle room to vote yes if some inconsequential change is made and he can go home without being called a spineless liar.
I will not hold my breath expecting him to be an actual no vote when the arm twisting is done, but stranger things have happened.
Posted in Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged Affordable Care Act., AHCA, American Health Care Act, Congress, disaster, Donald Trump, Iowa, Obamacare, Paul Ryan, Rod Blum, spine
Republicans in Congress, with the House leading the charge under the guidance of Paul Ryan, are conducting a great game of three card Monte with the American public.
The proposed American Health Care Act is a joke. It’s like Diet Obamacare and everyone with half a brain understands that fact. It is also the type of bill that is so neutered yet destructive enough that it is finding strange bedfellows in opposition like the entirety of the Democrats in Congress and Rand Paul. If you ever thought Rand Paul would be a dissenting vote on Republicans’ attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act raise your hand?
Now the spin begins. Republicans and Donald Trump are trying to sell the idea that the goal is cheaper health insurance. This is a farce because cheaper health insurance generally does not cover any health care. If something is cheaper it usually means one of two things: someone else is picking up the tab or you are getting less coverage. It is a zero sum game.
Under the Affordable Care Act the federal government was subsidizing your health insurance if you were so qualified to receive subsidies on the individual market. Under the American Health Care Act you will just receive less coverage. “But it is cheaper!” Paul Ryan will scream with Ayn Rand-esque shrillness. Yes, just like a regular cab rear wheel drive F-150 is less expensive than a crew cab four wheel drive F-150. Both trucks are F-150s, but one is cheaper because it has less content. Everyone understands why those two trucks are priced differently and people will understand why health insurance is cheaper under Paul Ryan’s plan when they discover it covers no actual health care.
Thankfully, after seven years of claiming to work on a replacement for Obamacare and despite Donald Trump’s promise of amazing coverage for everyone Republicans have shown their utter lack of vision and leadership on the issue by producing a piece of crap bill. Furthermore, provisions in the bill that would be windfalls to multi-millionaire CEOs and other rich people just show who the paymaster of the Republican Party really is in 2017.
Paul Ryan, the wunderkind of the right wing, finally saw fit to release his proposed “replacement” for the Affordable Care Act. Let me sum it up for you:
- If you relied on the individual market or Medicaid for health coverage you will get less. According to Paul Ryan you will like it because the free market will warm your insides with the fiery glow of Ayn Rand’s ridiculous ideology.
- If you relied on Planned Parenthood for any health services you are screwed because Paul Ryan hates Planned Parenthood. This is red meat thrown to a conservative base that might have a hard time supporting the bill, but can now hide behind the fact that it defunds Planned Parenthood. Imagine the member of Congress going back to angry constituents, “I realize you are getting less health care, paying more, and even being denied coverage but we defunded evil Planned Parenthood.” Look for this to be Ted Cruz’s defense when the human blobfish eventually goes along with passage.
- If you are wealthy you like this bill. Why? You will pay less in taxes. It is the right wing salve for the soul. Got an HAS? You will get to sock away more money under this plan. The problem with this part of the plan is that poor people are living paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to fund an HAS for future health obligations.
- The bill keeps the popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act that deal with keeping your children on your insurance until age 26 among others, but I suspect that these provisions will be weakened or removed entirely as the bill works its way through committee and reconciliation assuming it gets that far in the process.
Republicans do not understand how people actually live. Asshats like Jason Chaffetz subscribe to the old Ronald Reagan “Cadillac driving welfare queen” when saying bullshit like this:
Americans have choices. And they’ve got to make a choice. And so maybe rather than getting that new iPhone that they just love and they want to go spend hundreds of dollars on that, maybe they should invest in their own health care. They’ve got to make those decisions themselves.
This is the first shot in a war that Paul Ryan intends to fight over the government providing any sort of assistance to anyone other than the rich and corporations. Remember, Paul Ryan only has eyes for…
Posted in Health, Politics
Tagged Affordable Care Act., blobfish, Congress, Donald Trump, health care, health insurance, HSA, Obamacare, Paul Ryan, pre-existing conditions, rich get richer, taxes, Ted Cruz