Day: November 7, 2016

Paul Ryan admits Obamacare is here to stay after Clinton victory

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House Speaker Paul Ryan admits that a Clinton victory in tomorrow’s general election dooms efforts to overturn Obamacare. The battle moves on to preventing evolution toward a single-payer system; Republicans fear a public option may prove a more popular way to lower costs than feeding the poor to insurance companies.

Ryan admitted that a victory by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton would mark the end of his quixotic quest to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That may seem like an obvious conclusion, but it qualifies as a noteworthy statement because it’s coming from the man who oversaw dozens of hopeless votes to overturn the 6-year-old health care law. …

Weber: Obamacare doesn’t get repealed, likely ever, if Hillary wins. Doesn’t get repealed. Agree?

Ryan: Yes. Yes, I do agree. Hillary’s talking about a public option, which is basically double-down on government-run health care. That’s the opposite of what we’re offering. We actually have a plan to replace Obamacare. All of us have basically gotten to consensus on what our plan is, but we have to win an election to put it in place.

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Great inexpensive external display

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In an upcoming episode of the Cool Tools Show podcast, I tell the story of how I wrecked my iMac by trying to replace the hard drive. Instead of buying a new iMac, I bought an Acer G257HU 25-inch (2560 x 1440) display and connected it to my MacBook Pro. I actually like this set up more than having two different computers. The display is gorgeous and the brightness can be cranked way up if you need it.

For $260 I have no complaints about this monitor. I wouldn’t complain if it had cost $500. I’m using a $10 Thunderbolt-to-DisplayPort cable to connect the laptop to the display.

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A travel diary about getting lost on the most isolated island in Japan

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In 2009, illustrator Florent Chavouet decided to shrug off city life and get lost somewhere off the beaten path. Way off the beaten path. Stating, “The country [Japan] claims more than four thousand islands. But I only know two,” as reason enough and taking pencils in hand, Chavouet traveled to the smallest, most isolated island he could find: the small fishing island of Manabeshima.

A good travel diary is built on unfamiliar, sometimes incomprehensible scenes brought to life by the ability of its author to paint pictures in the readers’ minds. He or she must make both the physical and cultural descriptions of a place and its people understandable, and relatable. In lovely, delicate colors, Chavouet does exactly that. Whether it is by detailing the furnishings and artifacts layered in a photographer’s home or in the odd and surprising detritus cluttering up the local post office, the author shows us all the minutia of daily life on this tiny island.

Chavouet has a knack for finding the little details that define people and places in our minds. We meet Hironobu, whose “round belly fills him with joy.” We meet a nameless vagabond who seems to take delight in inserting himself into Chavouet’s personal space. We meet Reizo-san, an old man who taught English in Hiroshima after the war. And on and on until it seems that the entirety of the town must have come straight from central casting just to populate this charming locale.

In between and alongside the descriptions and sketches of people and places are all the tiny things that make up daily life. There are sketches of fish and vegetables and maps of the local cat gangs’ territories. There are structured stories about spending a day crab fishing or attending the village festival. There is a glossary and an appendix and even a fold-out map of the island.

I had never heard of Manabeshima before I picked up this book. I still have a hard time finding it on a map. But that’s not really all that important. What matters is Chavouet’s sense of earnest enthusiasm. It’s contagious. Which makes this a book worth reading again and again while you plot your next adventure. While watching a local production about gods and devils, Chavouet notes, “[It’s] A bit on the light side for a script but it makes you want to be in it.” I guess you could say that about Manabeshima, too.

Manabeshima Island Japan: One Island, Two Months, One Minicar, Sixty Crabs, Eighty Bites, and Fifty Shots of Shochu

by Florent Chavouet

Tuttle Publishing

2015, 144 pages, 7.5 x 10 x 0.6 inches (softcover)

$17 Buy a copy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

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Cute two-faced calf is oldest of its kind to survive

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Meet Lucky, a two-faced calf who lives in Campbellsville, Kentucky. Lucky is just over a month old but may be the oldest animal of its kind to survive with the genetic abnormality, called diprosopus. From National Geographic:

The calf was named Lucky by the McCubbins’ five-year-old daughter, Henley, after her parents told her the rare animal was lucky to be alive. Most such genetic or developmental defects are aborted in the womb, although a few make it to birth. Most of those die within a few days.

For a two-faced or two-headed animal to make it to adulthood is extremely rare. It’s considered ultrarare in the wild, although two-faced cat “Frank and Louie” lived to at least 12 years old, thanks to the care of its owners.

So far, Lucky has been doing well, the McCubbins said, although the middle two of her eyes don’t work. She can only walk in circles and falls down a lot.

Lucky needs some help eating, and both mouths move at the same time.

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The Millennium Falcon makes a great quadcopter

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The Millennium Falcon is pretty well shaped to fly as an RC quadcopter!

I’m a huge fan of Air Hogs RC toys, and have been destroying their boats in salt water for years and years. I was thrilled to see someone flying this giant 27″ Millennium Falcon XL around the beach this weekend, and even happier to find out there is a smaller, 10″ version that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

The fine person flying the XL model on the beach said the big guy a little rough to control, however the smaller unit is a great indoor flyer. It doesn’t surprise me, the XL model is pretty ambitious.

I know which nephew of mine is getting the smaller one for Hanukkah!

Air Hogs – Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon XL Flying Drone 2.4GHz 4-Channel with Gyro via Amazon

Air Hogs Star Wars Remote Control Millennium Falcon Quad via Amazon (10″ model)

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Teen who allegedly got sexts from Weiner writes an open letter to Comey

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The teenager who allegedly received texts from Anthony Weiner wrote an open letter to FBI director James Comey to let him know that his sloppy, sleazy actions violated her privacy. “I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me,” she writes.

From Buzzfeed:

Mr. James Comey

FBI Director

November 2, 2016

I am the 15-year-old (now 16) who was the victim of Anthony Weiner. I now add you to the list of people who have victimized me. I told my story originally to protect other young girls that might be a victim of online predators.

Your letter to Congress has now brought this whole matter back into the media spotlight. Not even 10 minutes after being forensically interviewed with the FBI for seven hours, I received a phone call from a REPORTER asking for a statement. Why didn’t you communicate with the local FBI agents that I had just spoken to? They could have scheduled our interview sooner or scheduled a time to interview me later, or change locations of the interview. My neighborhood has been canvassed by reporters asking for details about me.

In your letter, you chose to use a vague approach, meaning the media had to keep searching to try and find out what evidence you had uncovered and how. Every media outlet from local to national has contacted me and my family to get my “story.” Why couldn’t your letter have waited until after the election, so I would not have to be the center of attention the last week of the election cycle?
In his “cooperation” with you and with his love of the spotlight, Anthony Weiner has given information that led to the media finding me. You have assisted him in further victimizing me on every news outlet.

I can only assume that you saw an opportunity for political propaganda.

I thought your job as FBI Director was to protect me. I thought if I cooperated with your investigation, my identity as a minor would be kept secret. That is no longer the case. My family and I are barraged by reporters’ phone calls and emails. I have been even been blamed in a newspaper for causing Donald Trump to now be leading in some polls and costing Hillary the election.
Anthony Weiner is the abuser. Your letter helped that abuse to continue. How can I rebuild my life when you have made finding out my “story” the goal of every reporter? When I meet with my therapist next time, she will already know what we are going to talk about before I get there by reading Friday, October 28th, 2016’s New York Times article.

I may have been Weiner’s victim, but the real story here is that I am a survivor. I am strong, intelligent, and certain that I will come out from under this nightmare, but it will not be as a result of your doing your job to protect me. I hope that by making my letter to you public, you will think about how your …read more

Glenn Beck tries out decency

Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Glenn Beck, well-known right wing conspiracy monger, seems to have changed his tune. President “Obama made me a better man,” he says. He said Michelle Obama’s recent speech was “the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan.” He also says he is a supporter of Black Lives Matter, and considers Trump to to be “dangerously unhinged.”

From The New Yorker:

Beck’s interactions with Donald Trump helped, too. He told a story of Trump summoning him to a guest room at Mar-a-Lago; Trump then telephoned him from an adjacent room. “We had this weird, almost Howard Hughes-like conversation,” Beck said. He left convinced that Trump was nuts. “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”

Beck went on, “What’s most tragic about this is us. We have, as a culture, embraced the bad guys. I love Tony Soprano. But, when a Tony Soprano shows up in your life, you don’t love him so much.

Members of the alt-right movement have branded Beck a turncoat and have threatened to kill him.

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Glenn Beck tries out decency

Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia

Glenn Beck, well-known right wing conspiracy monger, seems to have changed his tune. President “Obama made me a better man,” he says. He said Michelle Obama’s recent speech was “the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan.” He also says he is a supporter of Black Lives Matter, and considers Trump to to be “dangerously unhinged.”

From The New Yorker:

Beck’s interactions with Donald Trump helped, too. He told a story of Trump summoning him to a guest room at Mar-a-Lago; Trump then telephoned him from an adjacent room. “We had this weird, almost Howard Hughes-like conversation,” Beck said. He left convinced that Trump was nuts. “This guy is dangerously unhinged,” he said. “And, for all the things people have said about me over the years, I should be able to spot Dangerously Unhinged.”

Beck went on, “What’s most tragic about this is us. We have, as a culture, embraced the bad guys. I love Tony Soprano. But, when a Tony Soprano shows up in your life, you don’t love him so much.

Members of the alt-right movement have branded Beck a turncoat and have threatened to kill him.

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AOL "You've Got Mail" guy is now an Uber driver

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When you logged into AOL in the 1990s, you were greeted with the voice of Elwood Edwards. Last night, Brandee Barker was headed to one of Hillary Clinton’s Ohio campaign headquarters for canvassing when she happened to meet Edwards. He was her Uber driver!

OMG OMG my @Uber driver in Ohio was the You’ve Got Mail voice Elwood Edwards!!! I made him say it in this video #GOTVforHRC pic.twitter.com/Jgcl7v040D

— Brandee Barker (@brandee) November 5, 2016

From CNN:

Edwards, a longtime voice actor, recorded the famous famous phrase — along with others like “Welcome,” “File’s Done” and “Goodbye” — because of his wife. Back in the late 80s she worked for Quantum Computer Services, the company that would later become AOL, and she overheard the company’s CEO saying he wanted a voice to notify people when they receive email.

She told them about her husband, he recorded the phrases on a cassette tape and became the internet’s voice. He was paid $200 for the voice over, he told Barker.

In addition to his voice over work, Edwards worked for several years as a news editor at a TV station in Cleveland before recently retiring.

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Chinese police make full-beam drivers stare into headlights for punishment

“Tonight we are carrying out punishments using a high beam,” said Shenzhen Traffic Police on their Weibo account. The photos posted by the police show people seated in folding chairs facing a police car with its headlights on. The punishment is administered for one minute. Violators are also fined $44.

From BBC:

On the Weibo microblogging site, many people agree. “Am I the only one who thought a minute was too short?” reads one comment, which garnered 12,000 likes from other users. Another person feels the campaign is “long overdue”, while one berates “selfish, inconsiderate drivers”. A few people are concerned that the punishment could seriously damage eyesight, and one declares: “This is a human rights violation”.

Shenzhen’s traffic police have opted for unconventional penalties before. Last year, they made jaywalkers choose between paying a fine or wearing a green hat and vest while directing traffic.

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Sweet Potato Casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole

I still remember the day when I tried sweet potato casserole for the first time. It was four years ago in Washington, D.C. at a Friendsgiving gathering during law school.

My friend topped his sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and while I gamely gave it a try, I just couldn’t get past how overly sweet and mushy the marshmallows made the dish. To me, melted marshmallows belong in s’mores and rice krispies treats.

When I started making sweet potato casseroles for my own Thanksgivings, I decided to skip the marshmallows altogether and topped my casserole with a nutty pecan crumble instead. I love how this adds a crunchy contrast to the creamy sweet potatoes in this classic holiday dish.

Continue reading “Sweet Potato Casserole” »

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Hong Kong erupts after Beijing refuses to allow dissident lawmakers to re-take oath

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Elected representatives of Hong Kong’s Youngspiration party deliberately mangled their oaths of office, refusing to swear loyalty to China (instead swearing to Hong Kong) and pronouncing China as “Shina,” a term dating from the Japanese occupation of China (they also held up a banner that said “Hong Kong is not China”).

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National Guard helicopter, seven cop vehicles sent to warrantlessly seize a single marijuana plant from an 81-year-old Massachusetts grandmother

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81-year-old Peg Holcomb of Amherst, Mass wasn’t home when a low-flying Massachusetts National Guard helicopter and seven ground-based law-enforcement vehicles raided her home, and demanded that her son allow them to seize a single marijuana plant she’d been cultivating in her back yard.
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These CES-honored Headphones by A-Audio are 73% off

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While noise-canceling over-ear headphones usually cost in the $200-300 range, A-Audio’s well-reviewed release is now available on sale for just $79.99. But are they legit?

In terms of sound, these headphones really do deliver. They’re built with powerful circuitry and 40 mm drivers that provide impressive audio. With their patented 3-Stage technology, these headphones also allow you to switch between passive audio, bass enhanced, and active noise cancellation modes—meaning you get to pick the listening experience that suits you best in any given situation.

The ear cups are actually made with memory foam, which may sound excessive, but is actually incredibly comfortable. You can wear them comfortably for hours at a time. It also helps to isolate the sound and block outside noises. The noise canceling functionality all-in-all is very effective.

The design is fairly durable, too—thanks to chrome plating, steel construction, and zinc hinges. The Sound Guys gave the A-Audio Legacy Headphones an 8.5 out of 10, and CES named them a 2015 Honoree at their exclusive Innovation Awards.

For a limited time, the A-Audio Legacy Headphones can be yours for 73% off retail, just $79.99. You won’t find a better pair at that price.

Also explore the Best-Sellers on our network right now:

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FBI clears Clinton: "new" emails were duplicates, irrelevant

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The FBI has cleared Hillary Clinton over the “new” emails found on disgraced Democratic politician Anthony Weiner’s seized computer. The emails, which the FBI thought may be relevant to an earlier investigation of Clinton’s inappropriate use of a private email server while in office, turned out to be mostly duplicates of those already covered by the investigation.

FBI Director James Comey told lawmakers Sunday the agency hasn’t changed its opinion that Hillary Clinton should not face criminal charges after a review of new emails.

“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July,” Comey wrote in the new letter to congressional committee chairmen.
Comey dropped a bombshell on the presidential race last month when he sent a letter to Congress saying the FBI had discovered emails in a separate investigation that could be connected to the now-closed probe of whether Clinton mishandled classified information. The move infuriated Democrats and emboldened Republican nominee Donald Trump.

The announcement brings to an end a week of political chaos triggered by Comey’s vague letter insinuating—at least to Republicans and the media—that Clinton once again risked legal sanction over the personal email account. Comey, in an oddly Comey-centered press event earlier this summer, then described the private email server as inappropriate but not something worthy of indictment.

In the days that followed Comey’s letter to congress, sent barely two weeks before election day, even Clinton’s foes found themselves discomfited by the FBI’s exquisitely-timed involvement in domestic politics. Trump, though, exalted as polls tightened: though Clinton still leads, the possibility of a landslide (or indeed a Democrat Senate) is now deemed less likely by poll trackers.

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Trump closes out campaign with inspiring, poignant message of hate for Jews

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The final major ad buy of millionaire Donald Trump’s presidential campaign? A sinister affair featuring financial elites, piles of money, (((global special interests))), international entities, oh and lets make sure there are plenty of actual Jews in there in case people don’t get the message.

As he talks about the “levers of power in Washington” and the “global special interests,” images of billionaire George Soros, a Jewish hedge fund tycoon, philanthropist, and a major backer of liberal causes, and Janet Yellen, the Jewish chairman of the Federal Reserve, appear on the video.

In addition, an image of the Jewish CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, also appears when Trump talks about the “global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

The speech from which the two-minute ad was excerpted, and which Trump is shown delivering as the ad winds to a close, was given at a rally last month in West Palm Beach, Florida. That speech had already been condemned for what critics described as drawing on anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the global control of Jewish bankers and its echoes of the 19th century anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.”

Also, black rappers.

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