Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Political Landscape

While we were incommunicado on our cross country dash, our president further heaped glory upon himself.  After totally dissing NATO and the EU, he went on to weaken Prime Minister May’s position on Brexit and praised her rival, Boris Johnson.  He and the missus were late to have tea with the Queen of England, he walked in front of her while inspecting the troops and failed to modulate his pace to that of a 92 year old woman – thus demonstrating his complete disregard for her.  Next he’s off to Finland to continue his bromance with Vlad.  Today, when asked who he considers a great foe of the US, he said it would be the EU.  I can’t stand it.  But enough about him.

dump and queen

Who has been keep an eye on the FCC?  Their fearless leader, Ajit Pai, is continuing his efforts to kill the Lifeline program.  It’s a program that subsidizes internet access for poor people.  It particularly benefits Native Americans.  He’s cutting direct subsidies to the tribes, and he’s requiring that those people who do receive subsidies must use the major carriers instead of resellers.  Resellers do not charge as much as the majors.  It’s a two-fer of badness!

Pai is also busy trying to circumvent a court challenge to Sinclair’s take over of the Tribune network of stations.  If that goes through, Sinclair will be in 77% of markets.  This flies in the face of rules put in place in the 1970s that limited how many markets a single owner could be in.

Update to post 7/16/18:  This is from the NYT
The Sinclair Broadcast Group’s plan to create a broadcasting behemoth that could rival Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News was dealt a potentially crippling blow on Monday by the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Sinclair, already the largest owner of local television stations in the United States, is seeking to buy rival Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. The F.C.C.’s chairman, Ajit Pai, said Monday that he had “serious concerns” with the acquisition and was seeking to have a judge review aspects of the deal.
Apparently, Pai is being investigated for his tireless work on behalf of the Sinclair company.  So he's recommending that the purchase of Tribune be referred to an administrative law judge. Maybe this will be derailed, that would be a good thing.  End update to post.

Meanwhile, HHS is taking down a data base containing 20 years worth of medical guidelines.  It costs $1.2M a year to keep the database up.  HHS is claiming that due to budget cuts, they just can’t afford to keep it going.  This is stupid.  Doctors use this when they have a question about treatment options.  For the cost of one golf outing for the president, they could keep the database up.  They’re not even going to archive it!  It’s going to be flat out gone tomorrow.


So there you go!

If you spend a lot of time talking on your cell phone, read this.  Apparently some studies which were paid for by the industry, might not have been telling the complete truth about the dangers of the radiation cell phones emit.  Jim sent me this – it’s very informative.

Update to post 7/21/18:
NYT did an opinion piece on the AHRQ.  I think there was lobbying by manufacturers of drugs, surgeons and etc. when their drugs/procedures/and etc. were shown to be useless.   So, the evidence based guidelines had to go.

Update to post 7/22/2018:
The Guardian has posted a rebuttal to the cell phones give you cancer article, referenced above.  I guess we can all start talking again.


  1. That photo says it all. It's always about himself. Always.

  2. Yes very true, DT didn't endear himself to us. His arrogance looms out of every photo of him.

  3. Yes, that photo sums up the whole disaster that is our president. Oh wait, it got worse.

  4. It just gets worse and worse. Almost unfathomable that he can continue to go below zero as a President and a human being. Or perhaps he's not the latter...highly likely, in fact.