Ryan health plan died of bad politics

Source: USA Today
by Christian Schneider

"On the morning of May 27th, 1995, Republican Rep. Sam Brownback's legislative director made his first appearance on C-Span's Washington Journal cable television show. Fielding phone calls from viewers early on a Saturday morning, the 25-year old congressional staffer passionately argued for free-market based changes in the American health care system as he fired off budget numbers like a Gatling gun. 'We would like to offer more choices to health care recipients,' he nervously told viewers. 'We would like to instill private sector forces such as choice,' he said, adding that seniors should be able to both choose their own doctor and "have an incentive to go and save some money in the health care market.' Nearly 22 years later, Paul Ryan stood in front of the nation as House speaker, explaining why his dream of free-market oriented health reform was dead." (03/29/17)


Westinghouse files for bankruptcy protection

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

"Westinghouse, an iconic Western Pennsylvania company with deep roots across the region, filed for bankruptcy Wednesday, potentially putting its about local [sic] 4,500 employees in jeopardy. The company's bankruptcy comes amid financial turmoil in the U.S. nuclear power industry for Toshiba, the Japanese device giant that bought the Cranberry-based company in 2006. Westinghouse intends to reorganize itself and emerge from bankruptcy, said Sarah Cassella, a company spokeswoman. … The bankruptcy filing Wednesday will trigger a host of legal questions about whether Toshiba remains responsible for losses at Westinghouse and whether the utilities that own the reactors under construction will have to eat more of the cost of completing them. That could mean higher rates for consumers in those areas. In seeking protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy act, Westinghouse could still finish building those plants." (03/29/17)


Freedom Feens Radio, 03/29/17

Source: Freedom Feens Radio

"Chandler, Jim, James and Veloschka tell you the truth about liberty. FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!" [various formats] (03/29/17)


A victory for the Eighth Amendment

Source: The Atlantic
by Garrett Epps

"The major news out of Moore v. Texas, the Supreme Court's death-penalty decision announced Tuesday, is that all eight of the current justices rejected a crude list of 'factors' the Texas courts had evolved to tell when a criminal defendant can be executed despite evidence that he or she is intellectually disabled. … all the justices on Tuesday rejected what Texas called the 'Briseno factors,' named after a 2004 case in which the state Court of Criminal Appeals interpreted Atkins as requiring it to 'define that level and degree of mental retardation at which a consensus of Texas citizens would agree that a person should be exempted from the death penalty.' This 'folks 'round here' standard is almost a laughable misreading of the Eighth Amendment, which applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The aim of the amendment was and is not to empower local majorities to define 'cruel and unusual' — quite the reverse." (03/29/17)


SCOTUS orders new look at New York's credit card surcharge ban

Source: Bloomberg

"The U.S. Supreme Court ordered closer scrutiny of a New York law that bars merchants from imposing surcharges on credit-card purchases, giving a group of retailers a partial victory by saying the measure might violate their free-speech rights. Chief Justice John Roberts said the federal appeals court that upheld the law was wrong to analyze it as a form of price regulation. Writing for the high court, he said the measure regulates speech, requiring it to meet a tougher legal test. The decision to return the case to the lower court was unanimous. The case is part of a broader fight by retailers to reduce the $50 billion in 'swipe fees' they pay card companies each year. Merchants say they could discourage card use — and reduce those fees — if they were allowed to explicitly impose surcharges on credit purchases." (03/29/17)


Chuck Schumer goes unhinged

Source: Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor

"If Trump came up with an inexpensive cure for every type of cancer and initiated a program to distribute it to every person on the planet free for the benefit of mankind, Chuck Schumer would stand up on the senate floor to block it just like he plans to filibuster Trump’s appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the SCOTUS. Since Schumer whines and objects without exception to everything Trump says and does; since he is always invariably negative, he has lost all credibility to opine on any matter involving the President. Everyone knows that he goes way beyond partisan party politics; he does it just for the fun of it. Now Schumer, according to numerous witnesses, is even causing ugly scenes with people in public for simply minding their own business." (03/29/17)


Former president of Yemen, now puppet of Saudi invaders, denounces Iran

Source: The Washington Post

"Yemen's embattled [former] president has launched a scathing verbal attack on Iran, saying the non-Arab and mostly Shiite nation is pursuing expansionist policies to destroy the Arab identity. Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told an Arab summit in Jordan on Wednesday that Iran 'is the true sponsor of terrorism.' [A Saudi-led war of invasion] has raged in Yemen for two years. The fighting pits Hadi's troops, backed by a Saudi-led international military coalition of mostly Arab states, against Shiite Houthi rebels [sic], led by Abdul-Malek al-Houthi and backed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his forces. Iran [allegedly] supports fellow Shiite Houthis." (03/29/17)


Free Talk Live, 03/28/17

Source: Free Talk Live

"People Shocked By Standard TSA Security Screening :: Strip for TSA :: Mexican Police :: Will your ISP soon be selling your internet history? :: Government Organized Crime :: Privacy and the Market :: Loyalty Cards :: Dessert :: Minimum Wage :: Net Neutrality :: Privacy Solutions :: AFTERSHOW – For Real This Time :: HOSTS — Ian, Mark, Johnson." [Flash audio or MP3] (03/28/17)


The marvelous cloud-mind that is the market

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Matt Ridley

"The invention of exchange had the same impact on human culture as sex had on biological evolution — it made it cumulative. So human technological advancement depended not on individual intelligence but on collective idea sharing. The 'cloud,' the crowd-sourced, wikinomic cloud, is not a new idea at all. It has been the source of human invention all along. That is why every technology you can think of is a combination of other technologies, and why simultaneous invention is so common as ideas come together to meet and mate when mature. Which is, of course, why the internet is such an exciting development. For the first time, humanity has not just some big collective brains (called trade networks), but one truly vast one in which almost everybody can share and in which distance is no obstacle." (03/29/17)


Philanthropy earns Priscilla Chan Visionary of the Year nomination

Source: San Francisco Chronicle
by Erin Allday

"Priscilla Chan was just a few years into marriage when she and her husband decided it was time to fulfill a promise they’d made together, quietly, long ago: to build a multibillion-dollar philanthropy serving children and families. Chan was newly pregnant and not long out of her pediatric residency at San Francisco General Hospital. Her husband, Mark Zuckerberg, was busy running Facebook. 'It was like, 'Mark, it’s not good timing to launch something, with a newborn," Chan said with a laugh. But they were young and eager, and the prospect of starting a family was propelling them with new urgency. So, a year and a half ago, they founded the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropy focused on science and education that they will fund with 99 percent of their Facebook shares over their lifetimes." (03/29/17)