Thursday, May 19, 2016

Last Call For GOP Animal Farm

The Party Of Trump won't even follow their own rules if it means preventing anyone from helping those people even for a moment.

The House floor devolved into chaos and shouting on Thursday as a measure to ensure protections for members of the LGBT community narrowly failed to pass, after Republican leaders urged their members to change their votes.

Initially, it appeared Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney's (D-N.Y.) amendment had passed, as 217 "yes" votes piled up over 206 "no" votes when the clock ran out. The measure needed 213 votes to pass.

But it eventually failed, 212-213, after a number of Republican lawmakers changed their votes from "yes" to "no" after the clock had expired.

GOP leaders held the vote open as they pressured members to change sides. Infuriating Democrats, they let lawmakers switch their votes without walking to the well at the front of the chamber.

"Shame! Shame! Shame!" Democrats chanted as they watched the vote tally go from passage of Maloney's amendment to narrow failure.

Twenty-nine Republicans voted for Maloney's amendment to a spending bill for the Department of Veterans Affairs and military construction projects, along with all Democrats in the final roll call.

"This is one of the ugliest episodes I've experienced in my three-plus years as a member of this House," Maloney, who is openly gay, said while offering his amendment.

According to the office of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), at least seven Republicans changed their votes, including Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), Bruce Poliquin (Maine), David Valadao (Calif.), Greg Walden (Ore.), Mimi Walters (Calif.) and David Young (Iowa).

Denham, Valadao, Poliquin and Young are among the most vulnerable Republicans up for reelection this year. Walden, meanwhile, chairs the House GOP campaign arm.

So now the House GOP has inserted a poison pill that would override President Obama's executive order banning LGBTQ discrimination in federal defense contracts, meaning that contracts could go to companies that openly discriminate against gay and lesbians.


So what does the House GOP leadership have to say?

When asked about the vote-switching, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) denied knowing whether his leadership team pressured Republicans.

"I don't know the answer. I don't even know,” Ryan told reporters.

He defended the provision in the defense bill.

"This is federalism; the states should do this. The federal government shouldn't stick its nose in its business,” he said.

Democrats accused Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) of leading the Republican operation to flip votes.

The federal government has no business regulating federal defense contracts?

These people are awful.

The Jackasses Next Door

The problem with the tech industry's blinding lack of diversity is there's nobody around to tell these developers and programmers and disrupty types "Hey, maybe people might use our new app for something pretty awful and racist."

One message on the web forum asked neighbors to be on the lookout for “two young African Americans, slim, baggy pants, early 20s.” Another warned of a “light skinned black female” walking her dog and talking on her cellphone. 
“I don’t recognize her,” the post read. “Has anyone described any suspect of crime like her?” 
These postings appeared on the Oakland forums of, a website intended to be a virtual neighborhood hangout for the tens of thousands of neighborhoods and hundreds of local police departments that use it to communicate with residents. The site’s chief executive and co-founder, Nirav Tolia, describes it as a place to find a babysitter, a plumber or a missing cat, and to have a “kind of ‘Leave It to Beaver’ chatter.” 
But people also use it to report suspected crimes. And as Nextdoor has grown, users have complained that it has become a magnet for racial profiling, leading African-American and Latino residents to be seen as suspects in their own neighborhood.


The site plans to require users who wish to alert neighbors of suspicious activities or people to fill out a form with a description of clothing or some other identifying markers beyond race. In this way, the company says, it will prevent users from relying on race alone in their descriptions, reducing the likelihood that innocent neighbors are targeted unfairly. 
The site already requires people to register using their real names and verifies their home addresses before approving their profiles, a policy that was meant in part to prevent the antagonistic posts that are common on social media. 
“This isn’t just our issue, this is a broad societal issue that was playing out on Nextdoor,” Mr. Tolia said. 
He added that “really egregious” racially charged posts represent a small fraction of the hundreds of thousands of posts that are up each day and are usually flagged by other users. “But this is a bigger issue than one guy sniping at his neighbor,” he said. 
The complaints about Nextdoor have come from across the country, but have been loudest here in Oakland, where nearly a third of all households use the platform, according to the company. The city is 28 percent black, 26 percent white, 25 percent Latino and 17 percent Asian. 
“What I saw was just shocking to me,” Monica Bien, who signed up for Nextdoor after moving to Oakland in 2014, said of the comments on the site.

Yeah, see, the problem is not how the people in the post are being described, the problem is that people are automatically assuming that black or brown men in their neighborhood must be suspicious.

God I despise the tech world at times.

OK, Take The Money And Run

Oklahoma Republicans are about to test out what hurts them most; taking Obamacare's Medicaid expansion or having to cut services or raise taxes to make up a $1.3 billion budget gap. And with oil money down the drain, even Obama-hating Republicans are willing to take the money and run.

Despite furious opposition by conservative groups, Republican Gov.Mary Fallin and some GOP legislative leaders are pushing the plan, and support appears to be growing in the overwhelmingly Republican Legislature. Details have not been ironed out but the proposal is based on an Indiana program that received federal approval. 
Obama called on states to expand their Medicaid insurance for low-income residents as part of his 2014 health overhaul designed to shrink the population of uninsured Americans. Most Democratic-led states did so, along with a handful of GOP states. 
But in Oklahoma, even with 20 percent of its population on Medicaid, it's been no way, no how. Until now. 
A bust in the oil patch has decimated state revenues, compounded by years of income tax cuts and growing corporate subsidies intended to make the state more business-friendly.
Oklahoma's Medicaid agency has warned doctors and other health care providers of cuts of up to 25 percent in what the state pays under Medicaid. 

Oh, and let's not forget that this is the morally correct thing to do here, as well as Oklahoma legislators not really having much of a choice.

"We are nearing a colossal collapse of our health care system in Oklahoma," warned Craig Jones, the president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, which represents more than 135 hospitals and health care systems in the state. "We have doctors turning away patients. We have people with mental illnesses who are going without treatment. Hospitals are closing, and this is only going to get worse this summer if the Legislature does not act immediately to turn this around." 
In the poverty-wracked southeastern corner of the state, where 96 percent of babies in the McCurtain Memorial Hospital are born to Medicaid patients, most health care would end, said hospital CEO Jahni Tapley. 
"A 25 percent cut to Medicaid would not put my hospital in jeopardy, because we are already in jeopardy," Tapley said. "A 25 percent cut would shutter our doors for good, leaving 33,000 people without access to health care."

Closing hospitals and nursing homes because you're too prideful to take money from the black president's plan that's designed to give you money kind of makes for really good attack ads against you, just saying.

Have to ask how many people suffered in the meantime.


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