Later On

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

Archive for March 28th, 2019

What we know from court records regarding the Mueller investigation

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This comment on Quora from Michael Rees provides some very useful information:

Luckily there is some stuff Mueller released that can be read right now that once read you will know for sure that Barr is full of it

Most people don’t realize this but all those people that took plea deals you can read what they admitted to right on the DOJ website:

Special Counsel’s Office

Just click on the statement of offense under the name of the case.

I recommend starting with George Popadopolis. It is short but extremely informative and interesting if you like stories about attempted collusion.

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 7:34 pm

Adam Schiff reviews what we DO know—and he won’t resign

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Watch the video at the beginning of this article. It’s powerful.

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 3:19 pm

The human cost of the Republican party and the Trump administration

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From today’s “Daily 202” in the Washington Post:

— Two rulings issued last night by the federal district court in D.C. illustrate the human dynamics that make it so incredibly difficult to cut holes in the safety net. Judge James Boasberg threw sand in the gears of the Trump administration’s campaign to compel poor people who depend on Medicaid to hold jobs in exchange for health benefits. For the second time, he rejected Kentucky’s work requirement program and declared the rules that recently took effect in Arkansas “cannot stand.”

Boasberg, an Obama appointee, said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar behaved in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when he signed off on the plans without considering the human impact and the intent of Congress when it established Medicaid. While his rulings technically apply only to the two states, they could also impact six other states that have received permission from the Trump administration to begin work requirements and seven other states that have applications pending.

The judge opened his 35-page Arkansas decision with an anecdote about one of the approximately 18,000 people who were denied coverage between September and December for failing to comply with the state’s new requirements.

“Adrian McGonigal is 40 years old and lives with his brother in Pea Ridge, Arkansas,” Boasberg wrote. “He used to have a job working in the shipping department of Southwest Poultry, a food-service company located nearby, although he received no medical insurance through his employer. Like many Americans, he has several serious medical conditions. Beginning in 2014, McGonigal was able to receive medical care — including regular doctor visits and numerous prescription drugs — through the state’s expanded Medicaid program. In mid-2018, however, McGonigal learned that he would be subject to new work requirements. …

“Despite his lack of access to, and difficulty working with, computers, he was able to report his employment in June 2018, but he did not know he needed to continue to do so each month. As a result, when he went to pick up his prescriptions in October, the pharmacist told him that he was no longer covered, and his medicines would cost him $800. In the absence of Medicaid, he could not afford the cost of the prescriptions and so did not pick them up. His health conditions then flared up, causing him to miss several days of work, and Southwest Poultry fired him for his absences. He thus lost his Medicaid coverage and his job.”

— My colleague Amy Goldstein, coincidentally, published a powerful piece yesterday morning from the small town of Marianna, Ark., about how hard it is for poor people in a job-starved region to comply with rules that may sound easy to you but turn out to be quite onerous: “Computers are so scarce that even the public library has a sign out front saying it does ‘not offer the Internet’ — a problem for the work requirement’s first several months, when people could not yet phone in their monthly reports.” Amy’s story includes these two particularly evocative examples:

Elizabeth Cloinger, 47, who lives in a trailer next to her cousin’s house just outside town, thought she was complying with the new rules. She has been on Medicaid for years and already had a job, working seven days most weeks as a home health aide. Her wages — 9.25 an hour, with 50 cents more for hospice patients — and her hours met the new rules. Yet she received a June letter saying she needed to verify that her income made her eligible, or she would be cut off.

“She called the listed phone number and faxed information to a state employee in Pine Bluff. She was told that, like many people, she was exempt from the work requirements — in her case, because she was caring for her 20-year-old daughter recovering from a car accident and her 3-year-old granddaughter. But on Aug. 18, she received another letter, saying she had been terminated because she had not verified her income. In December, four letters arrived saying she needed to update her email address, then 11 more in January. Each letter told her to create an online account. She doesn’t have a computer and didn’t realize that the program requires everyone to get an email address.

“In all these months, Cloinger hasn’t seen a doctor for the swelling in her right foot, which makes it hard to stand for long. Nor has she addressed the throbbing around the scar from her hysterectomy two years ago. ‘I won’t go’ to the doctor, she said, having just finally paid off — in $10 monthly installments — a hospital bill for the X-rays she needed for a torn tendon before she got onto Medicaid. ‘I am just putting it in God’s hands,’ Cloinger said. ‘He is going to let me stay on this Earth to see my grandbaby be raised.’”

Conisha Gatewood, 31, also got caught up in the confusion. She was referred to an obstetrician-gynecologist for nonstop menstrual bleeding caused by ovarian cysts: “But when she arrived for a September checkup, she was told she no longer had insurance. ‘I was like: ‘Yes, I do. They sent me the papers in June.’’’ She thought she had done everything right, creating a password and an online account. The state had used an automated system to fill in her child-care job and work hours. A letter from the state confirmed that, she thought, telling her she did not need to search for a job because she already worked. But then another letter came, telling her she needed to do a job search after all. ‘I was so confused,’ Gatewood said. ‘I already had a job. No one could tell me what I needed to do.’

“By the time she was cut off, she had found a better-paying position, selling cellphones inside a Walmart. In January, she reapplied to Arkansas Works — and was rejected because her December phone sales, high for the holidays, put her just over the income limit. She should go to her doctor this month, but she hasn’t made an appointment. She has also stopped filling prescriptions, including for the birth control pills that correct her bleeding.”

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 1:49 pm

Nice example of scum: NRA officer enlisted a Sandy Hook truther to sow doubt about Parkland shooting, emails show

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Isaac Stanley-Becker reports in the Washington Post:

In the week after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., killing 17 students and staff members and renewing calls for gun control, the National Rifle Association fell silent.

But the day after the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting, an NRA training coordinator based at the group’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va., sprang into action behind the scenes. He sought information countering the official version of the grisly, and familiar, events, which involved a lone gunman and a legally purchased firearm.

For support, he turned to Wolfgang Halbig, a conspiracy theorist intent on proving that the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which left 26 students and staff members dead in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, was a hoax.

“You have included me with a lot of Information since the Sandy Hook Incident and I do appreciate it very much,” the NRA coordinator, Mark Richardson, wrote on Feb. 15, 2018, according to emails published by HuffPost on Wednesday. “Concerning what happened in Florida yesterday, I have been asking the question and no one else seems to be asking it.”

He pushed the deluded idea that the gunman, a former student at the school, had not acted alone, posing questions about how he had gained entry and where he had kept his equipment.

“To pull the fire alarm, he had to already be inside. Correct?” he wrote. “When my Children were in school the only way into the school was through the front door and past the main office.”

As with Sandy Hook, Richardson observed, “There is so much more to this story. He was not alone.”

Halbig, a former Florida state trooper and school administrator, replied the following day, inviting Richardson to call him to discuss the incident.

The subject line of his emailed response included, in all caps, the name Avielle Richman, one of the 20 students killed in Newtown. For years, Halbig has accused Richman’s parents of falsifying the first-grade girl’s death, writing on his website that their intention was “to steal money from hard-working Americans.”

Jeremy Richman, her father, a neuroscientist who had founded the Avielle Foundation in his daughter’s name, died in an apparent suicide on Monday, following the apparent suicides of two teenage survivors of the Parkland shooting.

The deaths returned the nation’s focus to the two communities, which have been besieged by online abuse and threats stoked by conspiracy theories that depict the victims as “crisis actors.”

But the correspondence shows how an officer of the NRA saw these theories as potentially useful to his cause. The inquiry, sent from Richardson’s work email, was evidence of the curious handshake in which the gun-rights organization has found itself with the most extreme purveyors of Internet falsehoods.

“The NRA literally drives conspiracies about school shootings to fear monger gun owners to buy more guns,” David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting who has become a prominent advocate for gun control, wrote on Twitter.

Richardson didn’t return an email seeking comment. He defended himself to HuffPost, saying he was posing a “legitimate question” about how the shooter had entered the school. The NRA didn’t immediately return a request for comment. . .

Continue reading. There’s much more.

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 8:51 am

GOP heartlessness is a political loser

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Jennifer Rubin has an interesting column in the Washington Post this morning:

You may have already seen the viral video of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) reading Republicans the riot act for pulling a political stunt rather than giving the Green New Deal a respectful hearing:

That’s political gold — and not only because it provides such a glaring contrast to cynical Republican know-nothingism: “During floor debate ahead of a vote on the Green New Deal,” The Post noted, “Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told his colleagues that if they really want to address environmental concerns they’ll encourage people to couple off and have more babies.” Ocasio-Cortez’s response was politics at its finest because it employs rhetoric and emotion in the service of public policy rooted in values — and it shames the opposition for violating basic human norms of empathy, honesty and rationality.

Ocasio-Cortez understands what many progressives do not: “Climate” is inanimate; climate change is an abstraction for most people. Farmers under water, Floridians without homes, kids dying of asthma and entire towns wiped out by forest fires are real and they occur in blue and red districts. Laughing in the face of a farmer who lost his livelihood is cruel and signifies unfitness for public service. It is as morally indefensible as refusing to “believe” in germ theory when families could avoid devastation or in medicine when thousands could be saved. And that reality, that climate deniers mock those who suffer from its results, needs to be hammered home again and again.

In fact, Democrats need to label emergency funding bills for natural disasters “Climate damage abatement” — let know-nothing Republicans argue about that.

It is a mistake to define climate change as a national-security risk, as some progressives have done. National-security risks are handed off to the military and to the intelligence community. Instead, climate change should be properly thought of as an epidemic that left untreated will injure, impoverish and kill our people. Denying the cause of those calamities isn’t climate denial, it’s a denial of human suffering.

So long as Trump and his ilk can mock science and paint those aware of the threat as hysterics, a good 35 percent or so of the country will reject sensible measures to abate the problem.

Instead, Democrats should go into red America devastated by climate change and explain they are there to help reduce the threat of extreme weather, rising tides and the like. And even if, on the infinitesimal chance these anti-climate-change efforts have little impact, wouldn’t that be akin to taking out an insurance policy to cover the harms these phenomena cause?

If Democrats also explain that these same measures create high-paying jobs throughout the country, it will soon dawn on even the most ideological voters that if we have a chance to minimize all this suffering — their own suffering — and all get richer, it’s madness to do nothing, waiting for the next natural catastrophe to strike and limp along with a 20th-century, oil-based economic model. Democrats can even avoid using the term “climate change” — call it extreme weather defense, rising tide abatement or forest-fire prevention. That’s what reducing climate change will do, after all.

Telling voters who don’t trust experts to trust experts probably isn’t a winning strategy. Telling them to believe their own eyes and their doctors’ diagnoses is far more effective . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 8:42 am

Spearmint and the Phoenix Artisan Double Open Comb

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I really love Wickham’s Garden Mint with its spearmint fragrance, and my Simpson Emperor 3 Super seemed to like it as well: the lather was excelent.

I have the aluminum version of Phoenix Artisan’s Double Open Comb razor, and I find it extremely comfortable and quite efficient now that I have loosened 1/4 turn from totally tight. And I find its light weight encourages the use of light pressure, all to the good. Three passes to a BBS finish, and then a splash of TOBS Shaving Shop to finish the job.

“Gourmet shaving” (the term) came up in conversation yesterday, and I realize why I like it. We must eat food to live, but gourmet eating brings the pleasure of eating to the fore. We must shave in order to have no beard, but gourmet shaving brings the focus to the pleasure, beyond mere beard removal.

Written by Leisureguy

28 March 2019 at 7:34 am

Posted in Shaving

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