Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for May 22nd, 2017

A sculptor takes us through it in a fascinating 8-minute video

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From Jason Kottke:

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 9:10 pm

Posted in Art, Video

The guilty flee when no one pursues: Trump: ‘Never mentioned’ Israel in Russia meeting

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Jordan Fabian reports in The Hill:

President Trump said Monday that he never mentioned Israel during an Oval Office meeting when he disclosed highly classified intelligence to Russian diplomats.

“I never mentioned the word or the name Israel. Never mentioned during that conversation,” Trump said in Jerusalem during a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“They’re all saying I did, so you have another story wrong,” he continued. “Never mentioned the word Israel.”

Netanyahu said during the meeting with Trump that “intelligence cooperation is terrific” with the United States.

“It’s never been better,” he added.

Trump reportedly shared sensitive intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office earlier this month. The intelligence was about an Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) plot involving explosive devices in laptops carried on commercial airplanes. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 9:08 pm

Trump trouble mounts, as he reveals that he for some reason MUST stop the Russia investigation

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It’s becoming increasingly evident how desperate Donald Trump is to kill the Russia investigation. I’m getting the idea that whatever will be uncovered’s going to stink to high heaven.

Kevin Drum has a nice post on this, quoting the report. From Drum’s post:

. . .  This. Is. Nuts. Trump is not only corrupt, he’s an unbelievable moron. He personally asked the NSA director and the overall director of national intelligence to publicly weigh in on an ongoing investigation. Not only that, he basically asked them to lie, since they weren’t privy to what the FBI was doing. In what universe did Trump think that either of them would respond positively to such a blunt request? Or that this kind of thing wouldn’t leak?

What’s more, in addition to directly asking Comey to shut down the FBI investigation, he apparently had some of his aides call senior intelligence officers to ask them to intervene with Comey. There are two big questions here:

If there really are contemporaneous memos from Comey, Rogers, and maybe Coats, and if all three can be called to testify about their conversations with Trump, then what more do we need? This is Nixon-level stuff.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 5:41 pm

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Olivia P. Judson writes in Nature:

Abstract

The history of the life–Earth system can be divided into five ‘energetic’ epochs, each featuring the evolution of life forms that can exploit a new source of energy. These sources are: geochemical energy, sunlight, oxygen, flesh and fire. The first two were present at the start, but oxygen, flesh and fire are all consequences of evolutionary events. Since no category of energy source has disappeared, this has, over time, resulted in an expanding realm of the sources of energy available to living organisms and a concomitant increase in the diversity and complexity of ecosystems. These energy expansions have also mediated the transformation of key aspects of the planetary environment, which have in turn mediated the future course of evolutionary change. Using energy as a lens thus illuminates patterns in the entwined histories of life and Earth, and may also provide a framework for considering the potential trajectories of life–planet systems elsewhere.

Free energy is a universal requirement for life. It drives mechanical motion and chemical reactions—which in biology can change a cell or an organism1,2. Over the course of Earth history, the harnessing of free energy by organisms has had a dramatic impact on the planetary environment3,​4,​5,​6,​7. Yet the variety of free-energy sources available to living organisms has expanded over time. These expansions are consequences of events in the evolution of life, and they have mediated the transformation of the planet from an anoxic world that could support only microbial life, to one that boasts the rich geology and diversity of life present today. Here, I review these energy expansions, discuss how they map onto the biological and geological development of Earth, and consider what this could mean for the trajectories of life–planet systems elsewhere.

In the beginning

From the time Earth formed, around 4.56 billion years ago (Ga), two sources of energy were potentially available to living organisms: geochemical energy and sunlight. Sunlight is a consequence of the planet’s position in the Solar System, whereas geochemical energy is an intrinsic property of the Earth. Geochemical energy arises when water reacts with basalts and other rocks8,​9,​10. These water–rock reactions—which continue today11—generate reduced compounds such as hydrogen, hydrogen sulfide, and methane8,​9,​10. Oxidation of these compounds releases energy, which organisms can capture and store in the form of chemical bonds. Although sources of geochemical energy can be at or near Earth’s surface, they need not be: many are deep within the planet, out of reach of sunlight.

Assuming that life did not parachute in, fully formed, from elsewhere, a number of authors12,​13,​14,​15 have argued that the transition from non-life to life took place in the context of geochemical energy, with the ability to harness sunlight evolving later (Fig. 1). Consistent with this, both phylogenetic16 and biochemical13,17 evidence suggest that the earliest life forms were chemoautotrophs, perhaps living by reacting hydrogen with carbon dioxide and giving off acetate, methane and water13,16. Mounting evidence3700-Ma sea-floor sedimentary rocks from west Greenland. Science 283, 674–676 (1999).” href=”https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0138#ref18″>18,​19,​20,​21,​22 suggests that the transition from non-life to life may have taken place before 3.7 Ga—a time from which few rocks remain23.

(i) Life emerges; epoch of geochemistry begins. (ii) Anoxygenic photosynthesis: start of energy epoch 2, sunlight. (iii) Emergence of cyanobacteria. (iv) Great Oxidation Event: energy epoch 3, oxygen. (v) Probable eukaryotic fossils appear. (vi) Fossils of red algae appear. (vii) Start of energy epoch 4, flesh. (viii) Vascular plants colonize land; fire appears on Earth. Finally, the burning logs indicate the start of energy epoch 5, fire. The dates of (i)–(iii) are highly uncertain. For (i) I have taken the earliest date for which there is evidence consistent with life20. For (ii) I have taken the earliest date for which there is evidence consistent with photosynthesis3700-Ma sea-floor sedimentary rocks from west Greenland. Science 283, 674–676 (1999).” href=”https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-017-0138#ref18″>18,19,21. For (iii), I have marked the date currently supported by fossil evidence for the presence of cyanobacteria (see main text, ‘Cyanobacteria and the oxygenation of the air’). Tick marks represent intervals of 25 million years. Figure drawn by F. Zsolnai.

Energy epoch one: geochemical energy

Analysis of biochemical pathways suggests that, under favourable environmental conditions, early autotrophs could readily have adopted a heterotrophic lifestyle, feeding on the contents of dead cells24. At this time in Earth history, oxygen was at trace levels25, so the first ecosystems would have been anaerobic.

Early ecosystems may have quickly diversified to take the form of a microbial mat, where the waste products of one group of life forms feed the metabolism of another26,27. Such an arrangement generates layered communities of organisms, each layer having a different metabolic speciality28,29. In anaerobic ecosystems of this type, mobile predation is essentially nonexistent: growth rates are so low that hunting and consuming other organisms doesn’t yield enough energy30. Viruses, however, are likely to have been an important force from early in the history of life31. They act as agents of death—and by lysing cells, they would have provided additional sources of organic carbon to heterotrophs. Viruses also transport genes from one host to another, and thus may have enabled the spread of evolutionary innovations. Many of the coevolutionary selection pressures of the modern biosphere would have been minimal (for example, predation and the opportunity to live inside other organisms) or absent (for example, sexual selection).

The niches available would have been those near sources of geochemical energy, suggesting a patchy, local distribution of life. Consistent with this, geochemical models32,​33,​34 suggest that the productivity of the biosphere before it was powered by the sun would have been at least a thousand times less than it is today, and may have been one million times less.

Owing to the scarcity of rocks from Earth’s remote past, the impact of early life on the planetary environment is also hard to assess. Life inevitably creates a suite of changes in its environment (Box 1), and the establishment of life would have initiated biogeochemical cycling, but owing to the low productivity of the biosphere, the initial effects are likely to have been small32,​33,​34. . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 2:09 pm

Posted in Evolution, Science

Rough justice: Trump’s plans to cut food stamps could hit his supporters hardest

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Caitlin Dewey and Tracy Jan report in the Washington Post:

President Trump’s anticipated cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, will likely be felt most in regions of the country with chronic high rates of unemployment — from the rural Southeast to aging manufacturing towns to Indian reservations.

People in those regions are temporarily exempt from national work requirements for the SNAP program, because there are not enough jobs there for everyone who wants one.

But there is growing anticipation that the budget to be unveiled on Tuesday could incorporate proposals drafted by the conservative Heritage Foundation that would eliminate or curtail the unemployment-rate waivers. That means the federal government could cut off assistance to unemployed adults who live in areas where few jobs are available.

The areas hit would likely include Southern and Central California, where the unemployment rate can spike as high as 19 percent, as well as cities, such as Detroit and Scranton, Pa., where joblessness remains rampant. The change would also affect numerous counties in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Louisiana, according to anti-poverty advocates who were familiar with budget discussions within the administration.

Across the board, the people with the most to lose under plans to tighten work requirement are Native Americans living on reservations, where large percentages of unemployed adults rely on SNAP.

“It’s unconscionable, cruel and ineffective,” said Josh Protas, the vice president of public policy at MAZON, a national anti-hunger organization that focuses on hunger on reservations, among other problems. “I’m honestly not sure what their goal is.”

Changes to the work-requirement waivers will likely not be the Trump administration’s only proposed cuts to SNAP. While details remain sparse, Trump is expected to propose cutting as much as 25 percent of the program’s funding over 10 years, which would go far beyond past House Republican proposals — and require far more than axing SNAP’s unemployed adults. (According to the Department of Agriculture, only 14 percent of the people who receive benefits are able to work, and do not.) . . .

Continue reading.

Trump’s budget also guts Medicaid, again an important program for his supporters. See “Trump Officially Breaks Promise Not to Cut Medicaid.”

This pattern—promising something and then totally failing to deliver what was promised—is a standard motif for Trump: he promises to pay contractors on his building projects, then reneges (and in some cases driving a long-established company out of business, as happened to a Philadelphia cabinetmaker); he promises training and jobs for those enrolling in Trump University; and so on.

This pattern of breaking promises was well known, but…

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 1:51 pm

The Bondage of American Workers

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Paul Krugman writes in the NY Times:

American conservatives love to talk about freedom. Milton Friedman’s famous pro-capitalist book and TV series were titled “Free to Choose.” And the hard-liners in the House pushing for a complete dismantling of Obamacare call themselves the Freedom Caucus.

Well, why not? After all, America is an open society, in which everyone is free to make his or her own choices about where to work and how to live.

Everyone, that is, except the 30 million workers now covered by noncompete agreements, who may find themselves all but unemployable if they quit their current jobs; the 52 million Americans with pre-existing conditions who will be effectively unable to buy individual health insurance, and hence stuck with their current employers, if the Freedom Caucus gets its way; and the millions of Americans burdened down by heavy student and other debt.

The reality is that Americans, especially American workers, don’t feel all that free. The Gallup World Survey asks residents of many countries whether they feel that they have “freedom to make life choices”; the U.S. doesn’t come out looking too good, especially compared with the high freedom grades of European nations with strong social safety nets.

And you can make a strong case that we’re getting less free as time goes by.

Let’s talk first about those noncompete agreements, which were recently the subject of a stunning article in The Times (the latest in a series), plus a report from the Obama administration pushing for limits to the practice.

Noncompete agreements were originally supposed to be about protecting trade secrets, and therefore helping to promote innovation and investment in job training. Suppose that a company trying to build a better mousetrap hires a new mousetrap engineer. Her employment contract might very well include a clause preventing her from leaving a few months later for a job with a rival pest-control firm, since she could be taking crucial in-house information with her. And that’s perfectly reasonable.

At this point, however, almost one in five American employees is subject to some kind of noncompete clause. There can’t be that many workers in possession of valuable trade secrets, especially when many of these workers are in relatively low-paying jobs. For example, one prominent case involved Jimmy John’s, a sandwich chain, basically trying to ban its former franchisees from working for other sandwich makers.

Furthermore, the terms of the clauses are often defined ridiculously widely. It’s as if our hypothetical mousetrap engineer were prohibited from seeking employment with any other manufacturing firm, or in any occupation that makes use of her engineering skills.

At this point, in other words, noncompete clauses are in many cases less about protecting trade secrets than they are about tying workers to their current employers, unable to bargain for better wages or quit to take better jobs.

This shouldn’t be happening in America, and to be fair some politicians in both parties have been speaking up about the need for change (although few expect the Trump administration to follow up on the Obama administration’s reform push). But there’s another aspect of declining worker freedom that is very much a partisan issue: health care.

Until 2014, there was basically only one way Americans under 65 with pre-existing conditions could get health insurance: by finding an employer willing to offer coverage. Some employers were in fact willing to do so. Why? Because there were major tax advantages — premiums aren’t counted as taxable income — but to get those advantages employer plans must offer the same coverage to every employee, regardless of medical history.

But what if you wanted to change jobs, or start your own business? Too bad: you were basically stuck (and I knew quite a few people in that position).

Then Obamacare went into effect, guaranteeing affordable care even to those with pre-existing medical conditions. This was a hugely liberating change for millions. Even if you didn’t immediately take advantage of the new program to strike out on your own, the fact was that now you could.

But maybe not for much longer. . .

Continue reading.

See also “How Noncompete Clauses Keep Workers Locked In,” by Charles Dougherty, which begins:

Keith Bollinger’s paycheck as a factory manager had shriveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but then he got a chance to pull himself out of recession’s hole. A rival textile company offered him a better job — and a big raise.

When he said yes, it set off a three-year legal battle that concluded this past week but wiped out his savings along the way.

“I tried to get a better life for my wife and my son, and it backfired,” said Mr. Bollinger, who is 53. “Now I’m in my mid-50s, and I’m ruined.”

Mr. Bollinger had signed a noncompete agreement, designed to prevent him from leaving his previous employer for a competitor. These contracts have long been routine among senior executives. But they are rapidly spreading to employees like Mr. Bollinger, who do the kind of blue-collar work that President Trump has promised to create more of.

The growth of noncompete agreements is part of a broad shift in which companies assert ownership over work experience as well as work. A recent survey by economists including Evan Starr, a management professor at the University of Maryland, showed that about one in five employees was bound by a noncompete clause in 2014.

Employment lawyers say their use has exploded. Russell Beck, a partner at the Boston law firm Beck Reed Riden who does an annual survey of noncompete litigation, said the most recent data showed that noncompete and trade-secret lawsuits had roughly tripled since 2000.

“Companies of all sorts use them for people at all levels,” he said. “That’s a change.”

Employment lawyers know this, but workers are often astonished to learn that they’ve signed away their right to leave for a competitor. Timothy Gonzalez, an hourly laborer who shoveled dirt for a fast-food-level wage, was sued after leaving one environmental drilling company for another. Phillip Barone, a midlevel salesman and Air Force veteran, was let go from his job after his old company sent a cease-and-desist letter saying he had signed a noncompete.

Then there is Mr. Bollinger, whose long-running legal battle is full of twists and turns that include clandestine photography, a private investigator, a mysterious phone call and courthouse victories later undone by losses in appeals court.

Read the whole thing.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 10:44 am

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, apparently an idiot, praises the lack of protest in a country where it’s punishable by death

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Wilbur Ross shows the downside of Trump’s penchant to hire those who will ensure that Trump is the smartest guy in the room. Philip Bump reports in the Washington Post:

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross offered two highlights from his trip to Saudi Arabia in an interview with CNBC on Monday morning. First, he enjoyed the two bushels of dates he was given by Saudi Arabian security guards and, second, he was pleased that he saw no protester with “a bad placard.”

Perhaps because an American-style protest is illegal in that country and can result in a death sentence.

Ross was using the lack of protesters as an example of how warmly the Trump administration was received in the country.

ROSS: There’s no question that they’re liberalizing their society. And I think the other thing that was fascinating to me: There was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard, instead there was …

CNBC HOST: But Secretary Ross, that may be not necessarily because they don’t have those feelings there, but because they control people and don’t allow to them to come and express their feelings quite the same as we do here.

ROSS: In theory, that could be true. [??? – LG] But, boy, there was certainly no sign of it, there wasn’t a single effort of any incursion. There wasn’t anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood. And at the end of the trip, as I was getting back on the plane the security guards from the Saudi side who’d been helping us over the weekend all wanted to pose for a big photo-op. And then they gave me two gigantic bushels of dates, as a present, as a thank you for the trip that we had had. That was a pretty from the heart, very genuine gesture. It really touched me.

It’s sort of fascinating, really, that Ross so seamlessly transitions from “they are liberalizing their society” — a recognition that the Saudi regime is staunchly rigid and conservative — to “and there were no protests.”

It’s also fascinating that Ross dismisses the host’s interjection about why there were no protests. “In theory,” there were no protests because it’s illegal? No, in practice. . .

Continue reading. Video at the link.

Read the whole thing. The Executive Branch is now in the hands of these people.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 10:33 am

Justices rule North Carolina improperly relied on race in redistricting efforts

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Robert Barnes reports in the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature unlawfully relied on race when drawing two of the state’s congressional districts.

The decision continued a trend at the court, where justices have found that racial considerations improperly predominated in redistricting decisions by Republican-led legislatures in Virginia, Alabama and North Carolina. Some involved congressional districts, others legislative districts.

The states had contended their efforts were partisan attempts to protect their majorities, which the Supreme Court in the past has allowed, rather than attempts to diminish the impact of minority voters, which is forbidden.

But the justices declared North Carolina had relied too heavily on race in their efforts to “reshuffle,” in the words of Justice Elena Kagan, voters from one district to another. They were unanimous in rejecting one of the districts, and split 5 to 3 on the other. . .

Continue reading.

I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would make of the Republican party today.

I sure hope SCOTUS takes up the gerrymandering case and puts an end to gerrymandering now that an objective test has been developed.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 10:18 am

Posted in Election, GOP, Government, Law

An example of how a hidden agenda becomes obvious: IEA projections of growth of solar photovoltaic output each year

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I saw that via Kevin Drum’s good post, which includes the graph below, in which the solid line is what has transpired in the past and the dotted line is what the IEA figures the future will be:

Drum comments:

That looks…odd, doesn’t it? Solar PV has grown at a pretty fast clip over the past decade, but the IEA assumes the growth rate will suddenly level out starting this year and then start to decline. And this is their optimistic scenario that takes into account pledges made in Paris.

Read the whole thing.

 

 

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 10:13 am

Trump continues to work to destroy Obamacare, this time attacking the middle class

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Kevin Drum lays out the transparent GOP strategy to hurt Americans by making their healthcare insurance more expensive. The GOP really seems to harbor ill will against the middle class and the poort.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 9:05 am

Trump links from Radley Balko, including Trump’s asking Comey to jail journalists

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Radley Balko in the Washington Post:

Here’s the latest roundup of the Trump administration’s record on issues related to civil liberties and the criminal justice system. As usual, if you can think of anything I’ve missed, please feel free to leave links in the comments section.

  • Perhaps the most overlooked and disturbing bit to come out of the Trump-Comey affair: President Trump urged then-FBI Director James B. Comey to jail journalists who publish classified information.
  • About 30 current and former prosecutors in several large cities around the country — including Manhattan, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston and Kansas City — have written a letter to protest Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s directive to federal prosecutors to seek harsher sentences.
  • Report: The Justice Department is using a law designed for attorneys who defraud immigrants to attack the attorneys who provided pro bono assistance to immigrants affected by the Muslim ban.
  • “Bad hombres” update: Data from Immigration and Customs Enforcement shows a 158 percent increase in arrests of immigrants with no criminal history so far this year over the same period last year. Of the immigrants arrested who had a record, 91 percent involved only nonviolent crimes. Put another way: “For every arrest of an immigrant with a violent conviction, ICE arrested four immigrants with no criminal history and 10 with a previous non-violent conviction.”
  • A preliminary look at how Trump’s immigration policies are affecting policing: Latinos in Dallas, Denver and Philadelphia have been less likely to report crimes to police since Trump took office.
  • Gay people in Chechnya are reportedly being kidnapped, beaten and murdered. Some are seeking asylum in the United States. So far, the United States is refusing to grant them visas. 
  • This week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference in Saudi Arabia, but neglected to inform U.S. media.
  • Here’s a thorough critique of the new “sanctuary city” bill now under consideration by the House Judiciary Committee.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 9:01 am

Trump hypocrisy continues at home and abroad

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In the Washington Post James Hohmann points out Trump’s double-dealing ways:

THE BIG IDEA: If you studied Donald Trump seriously during the campaign, nothing about his first four months in office has been terribly surprising. The former reality television star’s life has always been clouded by chaos and controversy. He overpromises and underdelivers. He plays fast and loose. He’s brash and unapologetic. He’s often failed spectacularly when he tried to do big things. He’s never taken personal responsibility.

In the past few days, several of Trump’s rivals for the Republican nomination have taken I-told-you-so snipes:

  • “I don’t understand why people are that shocked,” Marco Rubio said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “This president ran a very unconventional campaign. … That’s what the American people voted for. And in essence, you know, this White House is not much different from the campaign.”
  • “When I ran for office, I said he is a chaos candidate and would be a chaos president,” Jeb Bush said Friday at a hedge fund conference in Las Vegas. “Unfortunately, so far chaos organizes the presidency.”
  • “The things that have swirled around this White House are the reasons that caused me not to move forward and support him,” John Kasich said during a CNN town hall last Tuesday. “Part of my concern was not just some of what I saw during that campaign, but also there wasn’t a real grasp on the issues … I don’t like people that say, ‘I told you so,’ but … I was the one Republican who would not endorse Donald Trump.”

On the other hand, if you truly took Trump at his word – i.e. face value – his performance thus far has been shocking. He has repeatedly broken campaign promises big and small, and he’s demonstrated hypocrisy by doing many of the exact same things he used to rip Barack Obama for. His strikes on Syria and escalation of the war in Afghanistan suggest that even some of the signature positions he staked out before becoming president were driven more by political convenience than principle. His frequent golf outings, an activity he once said he would give up if he won, are small but routine reminders.

— Trump’s first full budget, which will be formally released tomorrow, is yet another example of him not doing what he promised as a candidate. The president tweeted this exactly two years ago:

He’s also on the record making this promise. Note that he mentions Social Security and Medicaid:

But tomorrow Trump will propose gutting Medicaid by more than $800 billion over the next 10 years, Damian Paletta scooped last night. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off benefits for about 10 million people.

In total, the president’s first full budget will propose $1.7 trillion worth of entitlement cuts over the next decade, “a source with direct knowledge” tells Axios’s Jonathan Swan. In addition to Medicaid, the president plans to put the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) on the chopping block. SSDI, obviously, is part of Social Security.

Trump’s budget would also push millions of Americans off food stamps. “The cuts include a whopping $193 billion from food stamps over the coming decade — more than 25 percent — implemented by cutting back eligibility and imposing additional work requirements,” the Associated Press’s Andrew Taylor reports. “The program presently serves about 42 million people.” Andrew, who obtained talking points being circulated by the White House, adds that the president’s blueprint includes huge cuts to federal employee pensions, welfare benefits and farm subsidies, as well.

Damian’s sources say Trump will call for zeroing out federal funding to Habitat for Humanity, subsidized school lunches and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which coordinates the federal response to homelessness across 19 federal agencies.

“A key element of the budget plan will be the assumption that huge tax cuts will result in an unprecedented level of economic growth,”he explains. “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told a Senate panel last week that these tax cuts would end up creating trillions of dollars in new revenue, something budget experts from both parties have disputed. The tax cuts would particularly benefit the wealthiest Americans, as Trump has proposing cutting the estate tax, capital gains and business tax rates. The White House will use its presumed new revenue from the tax cuts combined with broad spending cuts to claim that its changes would eliminate the budget deficit over 10 years.”

All of this taken together underscores the stark ideological division inside the administration. OMB director Mick Mulvaney is a tea partier who co-founded the House Freedom Caucus and wants to starve the beast of big government. Trump was a Democrat for most of his life, however, and he’s stocked his senior team with populists and globalists who want to “prime the pump.” That creates an odd dynamic which leads to a budget that simultaneously calls for the federal government to be spending less on discretionary spending 10 years from now than it did in 2001 while also calling for $200 billion in new infrastructure spending and $25 billion to support Ivanka’s European-style liberal family leave proposal.

Many rank-and-file Republicans on Capitol Hill are already dismissing Trump’s budget as unserious and say it is dead even before arrival.

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 8:48 am

Rooney Finest Style 2 and Strop Shoppe Vivace with iKon 102 and Barrister & Mann Reserve Spice

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The perfect Monday shave: Rooney Style 2 Finest making a great lather from Strop Shoppe’s Vivace shaving soap, then three passes with the iKon 102, leaving a perfectly smooth face with no problems at all. A good splash of Barrister & Mann’s Reserve Spice completes the job.

Written by Leisureguy

22 May 2017 at 8:31 am

Posted in Shaving

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