Climate deniers cheer study that shows Trump’s policies will destroy America


Climate deniers cheer study that shows Trump’s policies will destroy America

Widely misreported study confirms that only immediate and deep cuts in carbon pollution can avert a climate catastrophe

Joe Romm     September 25, 2017

A widely misreported new study finds — just as many studies have found before — that without sharp and nearly instantaneous emissions reductions in carbon pollution, the world is headed towards catastrophic levels of global warming.

But the authors’ original framing of their analysis — “Why the 1.5 degree C warming limit is not yet a geophysical impossibility” — led to Alice-in-Wonderland headlines, such as this one from Politico on Monday: “Climate skeptics find new favorite talking point.”

Sure, it’s “not yet a geophysical impossibility” that the world could take the actions needed to keep total warming to about 1.5°C (2.7°F). It’s also “not yet a geophysical impossibility” that I could become the next President of the United States. But neither of those things are going to happen, and so neither merit a headline.

“The study has been readily misrepresented by the usual suspects in the climate denial echo chamber as calling into question the urgency of carbon emissions reductions, when it does absolutely no such thing,” climatologist Michael Mann explained in an email to ThinkProgress.

Of course, it bears pointing out that the climate change deniers invariably push absurd talking points (which Skeptical Science does a great job of debunking).

This study, which found that super-aggressive emissions reductions could prevent total global warming from hitting 2.7°F would raise alarm bells in a more normal media environment. After all, the world has not embraced instantaneous and sharp emissions reductions. Instead, President Donald Trump has said global warming is a hoax and has adopted policies aimed at undermining U.S. and global climate action.

The authors explain that there is a chance of limiting warming to 2.7°F, the level scientists and governments have declared is the safest — but only if we see “a straight line decrease in CO2 emissions from today’s values to zero in about 40 years.”

This is what America will look like if we follow Trump’s climate policies. Leaked draft reveals a devastated America, up 8 feet of sea level rise, 18 degree F Arctic warming-unless we embrace Paris climate deal warming under aggressive climate action (left) versus Trump climate policies (right). CREDIT: National Climate Assessment, final draft

“It’s worth noting that this budget explicitly considers a scenario that assumes strong action to reduce the contribution of non-CO2 gases (such as methane) to future warming is also undertaken alongside limiting CO2 emissions,” the authors add.

In reality, the world has not come close to adopting such policies. Worse, Trump’s domestic and global climate policies, which include leaving the Paris climate agreement, make them all but unattainable.

The analytical team at Climate Interactive has a chart showing where we are headed, and what is required to get on the lower warming path. The “national plans” that more than 190 countries committed to in Paris only require action through 2025 or 2030. If action is frozen after that, then total warming would be a disastrous 6.0°F. If Trump’s policies triumph now, we would be headed for an unimaginable 7.6°F warming.

The Paris goal is to stay “well below” 3.6°F, the threshold beyond which scientists project impacts rapidly shift from dangerous to catastrophic. To do that requires adopting policies that are considerably more ambitious than Paris — and doing so as soon as possible. Again, by abandoning the treaty, Trump makes such goals wildly implausible, even if they are still “geophysically possible.”

Bottom Line: Far from being an analysis that vindicates the deniers, the study underscores what a disaster their preferred climate policies continue to be America and the world.

Battle of the Century

John Hanno September 23, 2017

             Battle of the Century

The war of words between Donald J. Trump and Kim Jung Un should really be fought in an arena familiar to both of these antagonists, an MMA ring in Las Vegas.

                                        The Dotard v. Rocketman
                                        USA              North Korea
                                           71                 33
                                        6’2″             5’9″ with Cuban heals
                       236 or 267 lbs           20 Stones or 280 lbs
                          Small Hands            Short Arms
  Over 4,000 Court battles             No one lived to tell tale

A Conor McGregor v. Floyd Mayweather rematch would certainly take second billing to any MMA fight between The Dotard and Rocketman. Worldwide viewership would be off the charts. Naturally, the Art of the Donald would try to negotiate a favorable pay per view deal, with an 80-20 split; but Rocketman would surly threaten lobbing a missile at Guam unless he gets equal treatment.

The purse should be set by the United Nations. Winner take all. If Dotard wins, Rocketman will have to give up his maniacal plans to join the list of nuclear juggernauts and also use that money saved from cuts in onerous military spending to actually feed every North Korean citizen more than a small bowl of rice every day. If Rocketman wins, The Dotard will have to actually appoint highly qualified State Department folks, who would then sit down with the North Koreans and negotiate an effective and lasting peace accord. Both fighters must stipulate to parking their oversized egos and stopping the crazy escalation of boastful and reckless hostilities.

This fight must be shown in Prime Time on broadcast and cable TV so all the world would be able to view it for free.

As soon as this fight would be announced, Las Vegas and other book-makers would quickly establish the odds. Based on the all important jowl factor, The Dotard with 4 chins and Rocketman with no chin at all, this would be a plus for Dotard. And the fact that Rocketman broke both his ankles because he put on two much weight and insists on wearing shoes with Cuban heals so that he looks taller than he is, another plus for Dotard. Since Dotard hates any type of exercise and Rocketman does a lot of parading before his military troops, Rocketman gets an advantage. Rocketman smokes and drinks to excess but Dotard loves fast food so I guess that’s a draw. The Dotard gets a boost from his past experience in professional wrestling. Since Rocketman is almost 40 years younger, that should be an advantage for him. But to be fair to The Dotard, considering his advanced age and his elevated PSA levels, both fighters would get two covfefe breaks; but The Dotard would get two additional breaks. Considering the physical condition of these two participants, if either fighter makes it past the second round, it will be a miracle.

Rocketman would have Dennis Rodman for his cornerman and The Dotard would certainly use Vladimir.

The fight would conform to unified MMA rules. They would be designated Super Heavy Weights. No No’s include

  • No groin attacks.
  • No knees to the head on a grounded opponent.
  • No strikes to the back of the head or the spine.
  • No head butts. (Sorry, soccer fans.)
  • No eye gouging.
  • No fish hooking.
  • No fingers in an opponent’s orifices. (Eww!)
  • No biting.
  • No hair pulling. (Besides, that’s so second grade.)
  • No strikes or grabbing of the throat.
  • No manipulation of the fingers or toes.
  • No intentional grabbing of the ring or cage.
  • No intentional throwing of your opponent outside of the ring or cage. (That stuff belongs in professional wrestling.)
  • And considering the reputation of these two fighters, No grabbing below the waist, no spitting, no lying and no demeaning name calling.

My prognostication? Late in the 1st round, Dotard grabs Rocketman by the bul-al (Korean for testicles) and refuses to let go. Rocketman finally screams no mas. Dotard does a disjointed victory dance but is quickly disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct. Dotard goes on a twitter rant and claims Referee HRC fixed the fight.

It appears both of these flawed and unlikely leaders probably wouldn’t think twice about sending young men and women into battle for the slightest of provocations or insults, but does anyone actually believe either one would lead the charge.

North Korean leader Kim called Trump a what? A ‘dotard’

Associated Press

North Korean leader Kim called Trump a what? A ‘dotard’

Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press,              September 22, 2017

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Famous for using bombastic, derogatory and often-awkward English slams against enemies, North Korean state media sent people scrambling for dictionaries Friday with a dispatch that quotes leader Kim Jong Un calling President Donald Trump “the mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

The what?

Dotard means a person in a feeble or childish state due to old age. It’s a translation of a Korean word, “neukdari,” which is a derogatory reference to an old person.

It was used in an unusual direct statement from Kim that the Korean Central News Agency transmitted verbatim in response to Trump’s speech at the U.N. this week, in which he mocked Kim as a “Rocket Man” on a “suicide mission,” and said that if the U.S. is “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Past KCNA reports have used the Korean word against South Korean conservatives, but they rarely translate it as dotard.

Sometimes, it is translated into the neutral “old people” or omitted, depending on the context or the importance of the statement. KCNA last used the word in February to describe supporters of ousted South Korean President Park Geun-hye, whom it also called “neukdari” and a “prostitute.” Before that, KCNA called Park’s conservative predecessor, Lee Myung-bak, “the traitor like a dotard.”

So why did KCNA use the word again?

It may have simply resorted to a Korean-English dictionary. Putting “neukdari” into a popular online Korean-English dictionary in South Korea returns two English equivalents: an “aged (old) person” and a “dotard.”

There has been a widening linguistic divide between the rival Koreas, but “neukdari” has the same meaning in North Korea as in the South, according to a South Korean organization involved in a now-stalled project to produce a joint dictionary.

The Korean version of Friday’s dispatch places “michigwangi,” which means a mad or crazy person, before “neukdari,” so a more accurate translation might have been a “crazy old man” or an “old lunatic.”

In the past, KCNA has occasionally not published English versions of crude insults directed at U.S. leaders or officials in an apparent effort to differentiate its statements for domestic audiences and outsiders.

KCNA called President Barack Obama a “monkey” in 2014, but attributed the remarks to a factory worker and did not issue an English version. Later the same year, an unidentified North Korean defense commission spokesman called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry a wolf with a “hideous lantern jaw,” but again only in Korean.

After Trump threatened North Korea with “fire and fury” in August, Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the North’s strategic rocket forces, was quoted in a KCNA Korean dispatch as saying Trump showed his “senility” again. But the KCNA English dispatch omitted that word.

This story has been corrected to fix KCNA’s last usage of “dotard.”

GOP’s know-nothing approach to health care is symptom of a bigger disease

The Seattle Times

GOP’s know-nothing approach to health care is symptom of a bigger disease Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., listens during a news conference at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia on Jan. 25. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Republicans’ odd and repeated failures to come up with a health-care reform plan, despite controlling all branches of government, might be because the anti-government party doesn’t want to govern.

Danny Westneat , Seattle Times staff columnist        September 22, 2017

A few years back, our state’s highest-ranking GOP official, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, went on a fact-finding mission. It sums up why Republicans still are struggling to do anything constructive about health care.

McMorris Rodgers, who is in the leadership of the U.S. House, asked the public to “please share your story with me so that I can better understand the challenges you’re facing” regarding health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.

More than 10,000 people responded (10,659 to be exact). As I wrote at the time, most of the stories were positive. (“I was recently diagnosed with Fibromuscular Dysplasia and thanks to Obamacare, I know I won’t be dropped by my insurance carrier.”) But also, that same week, the state released data showing McMorris Rodgers’ own district had some of the higher Obamacare sign-up rates in the nation.

She ignored all of it — the stories she had solicited and the inconvenient data she hadn’t — when she called for the total repeal of the health law the next day.

I’m recalling all of this now because fast forward 2 ½ years, and the Republicans’ obsession with this issue has become almost pathological. They’re still at it — still pushing repeal, still with no viable plan of their own, and still not listening to the opinions of the public or myriad experts and medical-interest groups.

The first problem with what McMorris Rodgers did is that it was phony. She was trolling the internet for talking points to support her already adopted position.

But the larger problem — the one that continues to hang the party today — is that she wasn’t remotely interested in the real story.

That real story is mixed. It’s complicated. It’s true, Obamacare hasn’t worked well for many people who don’t qualify for a subsidy. But at the same time it has directly helped hundreds of thousands of people in this state, and brought the uninsured rate here to historic lows. You can’t put all that on a bumper sticker.

Yet the GOP, heedless of these complexities, keeps rolling out one half-baked repeal attempt after another. How half-baked? Well Friday, when GOP Sen. John McCain announced he couldn’t support the latest “Graham-Cassidy” repeal bill, he noted in passing that senators of his own party still don’t know “how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, or how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

So he’s saying they basically know nothing. They’ve been at it seven years. They know so little they are being schooled nightly about the contents of their own bill by a late-night TV comedian, Jimmy Kimmel.

Now, health-care reform is dense, and the trade-offs can be crippling (as the Democrats discovered). But understanding the basics isn’t that hard. There’s something else going on here, something elemental and disturbing.

The GOP just doesn’t seem interested in the substance of this issue, beyond checking off a campaign promise (a wildly implausible promise, at that, of spending billions less on health care yet somehow making it better for everyone). How else to explain why they keep coming up with simplistic proposals that everyone in the industry opposes and that cut coverage for millions of people?

The latest bill’s central premise is proof of this disinterest. It punts the federal role in health care to the states, giving them block grants. That’s fine as far as it goes, but it’s another way of saying: “We have no clue. You figure it out.”

Or as the state Medicaid directors put it in an unusual opposition letter this week: The GOP plan “constitutes the largest intergovernmental transfer of financial risk from the federal government to the states in our country’s history.”

Yikes. Maybe health care is special kryptonite for Republicans. Maybe they’ll craft better policy if they ever move on to something else. But maybe this is a group that is so anti-government in its DNA, it has no idea how to govern.

Or worse, like McMorris Rodgers with her fake survey, they don’t want to know.

Danny Westneat’s column appears Wednesday and Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-2086 or

Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself’ Is in Full Effect


Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself’ Is in Full Effect

The Graham-Cassidy bill is earning the nickname.;0,0.0969xh&resize=768:*Getty

By Jack Holmes        September 21, 2017

Lindsey Graham has really good healthcare that he definitely won’t lose, even if the moral catastrophe he’s calling a “reform” bill passes the Senate. Graham has cosponsored an Obamacare Repeal and Replace Plan with the impressively mendacious Bill Cassidy and two other Republican heartthrobs. It is somehow worse than the previous plans.

The bill would usher a number of shocking cruelties into law, not least the possibility that as many as 32 million Americans could lose health coverage. That’s 10 percent of the population. We don’t know for sure because Republicans are trying to force the bill through the Senate before its effects can be assessed by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The bill is full of fun surprises, like the loophole it creates allowing insurers to deny people coverage for a series of basic medical treatments, including:

  • Pregnancy and maternity care
  • Prescription drugs
  • Mental health services
  • Reproductive health services, including birth control
  • Substance abuse treatment

These were among the 10 “Essential Benefits” that the Affordable Care Act mandated insurance companies had to provide to people who bought their insurance policies. That approach was based on the idea that people’s medical needs might include emergency room visits or prescription drugs, and that insurance companies shouldn’t be able to deny them coverage for things they might actually use. This concept is apparently unacceptable to Republicans—or at least to the donors paying their campaign bills. We can assume Republicans will just wish the millions of Americans suffering in the opioid epidemic the best of luck.;center,top&resize=768:*Graham makes his case for the bill.                Getty

Graham-Cassidy opens a very intentional loophole where states can apply for waivers to change the definition within their borders of what constitutes an Essential Benefit. If, say, Mississippi successfully applies to strike pregnancy from the list of Essential Benefits, then insurance companies in Mississippi can refuse to cover some or all procedures involved in pregnancy, or jack up rates on patients who use those services. It would essentially end these protections in states where insurance companies have sufficient influence over state officials.

A host of red states opted out of Obamacare Medicaid expansion after a Supreme Court decision allowed them to. It was free money from the federal government to start, with a relatively small uptick in state contributions down the line. However, it would also have been a win for Barack Obama.

Luckily, the revenge can extend further: Graham-Cassidy is the first Republican plan that would actively punish (primarily Democratically-controlled) states for expanding Medicaid under Obamacare by redistributing some of their funds to red states that refused to expand coverage. This would, according to Graham, “create parity,” even though there could have been parity if Republican governors had simply accepted free money from the federal government to get more of their citizens insured. This could have less than ideal impact for Republicans in future elections, as the states that stand to have their funding shipped off to Texas, Alabama, et al. include Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

The same waiver mechanism could be applied to preexisting conditions. States could apply for waivers to get certain illnesses and medical conditions exempted from pre-existing condition classification. Insurers could then deny coverage to people with those conditions, or jack up their rates. The preexisting conditions provision in Obamacare is based on the concept that people who are already sick may need healthcare, and in America, to get healthcare you need insurance. No need to concern yourself with that any longer.

Let’s give the insurance companies the benefit of the doubt—never a wise decision—and assume they wouldn’t cancel coverage for certain pre-existing conditions, and instead just raise rates on patients who have them. Since Republicans would rather not see a CBO score, we must turn to an outside source: the left-leaning Center for American Progress. As with previous Republican bills, the Center ran estimates on hypothetical premium increases for a 40-year-old with a number of different conditions. Here’s what they found:;center,top&resize=768:*Getty

4-grand extra for asthma? It’s a bargain! Just ignore that extra $72,000 if you happen to have brain cancer.

That same waiver mechanism could also be used to circumvent the ACA’s ban on annual and lifetime coverage caps. Soon we could return to the days when an insurance company could arbitrarily cap the amount they’ll pay for your medical care in a year or in your life, regardless of the fact that you did not choose to get, say, a chronic illness like multiple sclerosis. It’s for cases like these that the various Republican bills were so aptly nicknamed “Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself” by the folks at Pod Save America.

Another type of cap the bill fully supports is a cap on Medicaid spending. Graham-Cassidy would end the Obamacare Medicaid expansion program, which currently covers 15 million people, and would pull all childless adults off the program. Instead, the bill will give states a capped block grant for both Medicaid and to substitute for the subsidies provided to people so they can buy plans in Obamacare exchanges. These will be capped at a lower growth rate than scheduled under the current system, and the grants will simply end in 2026, at which point states can either replace federal dollars or roll back coverage. Again, RAGFY.

These Republican bills are aptly nicknamed “Repeal and Go Fuck Yourself.”

One estimate from the left-leaning Commonwealth Fund on Wednesday projected 15 to 18 million would lose insurance by next year, with 32 million off the rolls by 2026. Because Graham-Cassidy will, like the earlier bills, repeal the individual mandate, premiums could spike as much as 15 to 20 percent. Even if these constitute the worst-case scenario, the mediocre case wouldn’t be pretty. It would leave fewer Americans insured, and the ones still on the rolls could be paying more for patchy coverage that might not even have their back when their baby is born.

Actual doctors are almost unanimous in their opposition to this bill. As The Atlantic tells us, it’s very rare for physicians to agree as strongly on anything as they do on the belief that the Graham-Cassidy bill is absolute trash. The bill’s detractors include:

  • The American Medical Association
  • The American Psychiatric Association
  • The American Public Health Association
  • The National Institute for Reproductive Health
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics
  • The Association of American Medical Colleges
  • The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • The Federation of American Hospitals

This is not a comprehensive list. Some of these groups were critical of the Affordable Care Act, but only in regard to certain problems that have emerged with the law. They are all united in forceful opposition to the central goals of the Graham-Cassidy trainwreck.;center,top&resize=768:*Getty

So why is Lindsey Graham, a Senate veteran normally known for shoveling money towards defense contractors, putting his neck out on this bill? Why are any of his colleagues giving it a moment’s consideration? It’s hard to say for sure. Certainly, Republicans are desperate to complete the final act of their grand, seven-year-long piece of performance art known as Repeal and Replace Obamacare. Having run on that magic incantation for four straight election cycles, they feel they must deliver for The Base—particularly the members eager to strike Barack Obama’s name from every history book for some reason.

But the real reason this bill has a chance is money. It is not merely the fact that the bill’s savage cuts to health coverage for some of the most vulnerable among us—the youngest, the oldest, the sickest, the poorest—open up billions of dollars of budget savings, which Republicans then plan to use in their grand attempt at tax reform. It’s that the real owners of the party, the donors and the fat cats, have demanded it. At least, that’s the intel The Guardian dug up at a Koch Brothers megadonor conference in June. The “piggy bank” holding a cascade of cash, much of it set to be filtered through dark money operations into Republican campaign coffers and the Super PACs that abet them, are closed until the rich guys get their tax cut.

If reports Thursday morning are anything to go on, Graham doesn’t actually know much in terms of details about his own bill. It’s not as much what he knows as who he knows, however. Not only is Graham very well acquainted with the donors demanding this thing, he’s also BFFs with John McCain, whose dramatic deciding vote spelled death for the previous Senate Republican healthcare bill and etched a truly delicious expression on the face of Mitch McConnell. Perhaps Graham has been enlisted to get his old friend on board. Better get to boarding, Lindsey.

Years of Living Dangerously


Years of Living Dangerously

The Trump administration says its not the time to talk about climate change.

The Donald J. Trump Administration says it's not time to talk climate change.Read more: Years of Living Dangerously #YEARSproject #ClimateFacts

Posted by EcoWatch on Thursday, September 21, 2017


America’s Best Christian

America’s Best Christian

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian

September 21, 2017

Speak English? YOU FIRST!

Hark! NEW VIDEO: Almost 20 Words & Expressions You Need to Humanely Euthanize Now. Glory!

Posted by Mrs. Betty Bowers, America's Best Christian on Thursday, September 21, 2017

The bait and switch at the heart of the new Obamacare repeal bill


The bait and switch at the heart of the new Obamacare repeal bill

Graham-Cassidy is being sold as giving states flexibility. But it hugely cuts health care spending.

by Andrew Prokop       September 20, 2017

As Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) try to wrangle Senate votes for their Obamacare repeal bill before September 30, they’re relying on one argument most of all: Their bill, they say, will give much more flexibility to individual states to figure out how to make health care work.

Cassidy and Graham like to emphasize that their bill would roll back Obamacare’s spending and regulations and would instead simply send states money in a block grant. States, they say, would be free to figure out how to use that block grant money however they see fit — they’d be able to experiment with their own approaches. Even moderate Republicans are likely tempted by an argument like that.

Here’s the catch: The bill doesn’t just move around Obamacare’s spending. It severely cuts federal spending on health care overall — both for Obamacare and for traditional Medicaid. And since covering people costs money, the result will inevitably be that millions of people will lose coverage.

The Graham-Cassidy bill is essentially a Trojan horse for these dramatic cuts on health spending that Republican leaders have been pushing all along. Three features of the bill in particular make this clear:

1) The bill dramatically cuts and restructures traditional Medicaid. Like previous Obamacare repeal bills Republicans have put forward, Graham-Cassidy goes far beyond just rolling back Obamacare, to instead restructure the finances of the Medicaid program as a whole.

It does this by converting Medicaid to a “per capita cap” system, in which the federal government would no longer commit to open-ended funding to help states afford enrollees’ health bills. Instead of matching the money states spend on Medicaid enrollees, the federal government would provide a set amount of money to states to spend on recipients.

Using numbers from previous Congressional Budget Office scores, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that this proposal would cut about $175 billion from traditional Medicaid between 2020 and 2026. Experts argue that per capita caps also give states incentives to kick more expensive patients off Medicaid or roll back coverage.

2) In turning Obamacare’s spending into a block grant, Cassidy and Graham aren’t just redistributing it — they’re reducing it: In theory, it would be possible to restructure Obamacare’s existing spending into block grants for states — and even to distribute it differently among states — without cutting spending overall.

But that’s not what Graham-Cassidy does. Per CBPP’s analysis, the way the bill’s block grant formula is designed, it would dole out “$239 billion less between 2020 and 2026 than projected federal spending for the Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies under current law.”

Cassidy has tried to dismiss the CBPP numbers as coming from a liberal think tank. But since the CBO hasn’t released its analysis yet — and won’t have time to before Senate Republicans’ September 30 deadline — these are the outside numbers we have to work with.

3) The new block grant ends entirely after 2026, and there is nothing to replace it afterward. Yes, the vaunted block grants that Graham and Cassidy say will give states such flexibility have a built-in expiration date. They have claimed that this is because of the Senate’s budget reconciliation rules, though it’s not clear how or whether that’s true.

The practical effect, though, would be to set up a major fight several years down the road about whether these block grants should be continued at all, or whether they should be reduced even further. And since the default outcome if no action is taken is for the block grants to vanish, conservatives who want even deeper spending cuts will have the advantage in this showdown.

We can see the CBPP’s estimated impact of these three provisions together in the below chart:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

From 2020 to 2026, there will be cuts from the transformation of Obamacare funding into a smaller block grant (in dark red) and the restructuring of traditional Medicaid (in pale red). Then in 2027, the block grants disappear entirely, meaning enormous cuts unless Congress manages to agree on a deal to continue them.

So the argument about giving states “flexibility” leaves out a whole lot. Less money would be available to states overall in those newly flexible block grants, and on top of that, traditional Medicaid would be cut — which clearly points toward millions losing coverage overall. And that’s even before the whole system is set to fall off a cliff in 2027.

With all this in mind, Graham-Cassidy looks a whole lot like all the previous GOP Obamacare repeal bills this year. At its core, it’s basically another way to cut hundreds of billions in federal health spending and toss millions off coverage.

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Ripped Teen Sex Slaves From Schools and Forced Citizens to Watch Executions, Defector Says


North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Ripped Teen Sex Slaves From Schools and Forced Citizens to Watch Executions, Defector Says

Greg Price, Newsweek           September 21, 2017

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un Ripped Teen Sex Slaves From Schools and Forced Citizens to Watch Executions, Defector Says

Kim Jong Un’s depravity and abuses of power have no bounds, extending even to North Korea’s upper echelon. The North’s authoritarian regime snatches teenagers out of school to be his sex slaves, forces members of the country’s upper class to watch executions and Kim is perfectly content to eat expensive lunches while his people subsist on grass, a defector told the Daily Mirror this week.

In order to protect the defector, The Mirror did not publish her real name nor the names of her family members, but refers to her as Hee Yeon Lim and states she’s a 26 year old whose father was a senior officer in Kim’s regime. Hee spoke to the British news outlet in a secret location in Seoul, South Korea days after Kim and his regime conducted its sixth nuclear test this month.

Hee claimed supreme leader Kim forces those in the walled-off country’s “upper-class elite” to watch executions, and said she was witness to a mass execution of 11 musicians who were put to death by an anti-aircraft gun shortly after Kim took over for his late father Kim Jong Il in 2011. The musicians were killed over allegedly making a pornographic video, and Hee said 10,000 people witnessed their execution.

Though she was considered privileged compared to millions of the North’s other citizens, Hee was standing 200 feet away from the kill site.

“We were ordered to leave our classes by security men and made to travel to the Military Academy in Pyongyang,” Hee told The Mirror. “There is a sports ground there, a kind of stadium.

“The musicians were brought out, tied up, hooded and apparently gagged, so they could not make a noise, not beg for mercy or even scream,” she said. “What I saw that day made me sick in my stomach. They were lashed to the end of anti-aircraft guns.”

The musicians’ bodies “disappeared” and then tanks ran over their remains “repeatedly,” Hee said.

Over the years, and well before Kim Jong Un came to power around 2011, defectors have managed to escape the North’s violent regime and tell their stories.

Earlier this month, 30-year-old Hak Min recounted the brainwashing tactics used to strike fear into citizens to USA Today. He’s now in Seoul running an iPhone repair shop after defecting in 2013, and instead of Kim’s picture hanging in his shop, he’s put up one of Apple founder Steve Jobs, whose biography has inspired him.

“When they brainwash students in North Korea they say: ‘We can read your words, actions and thoughts,’” Hak said. “If you have bad thoughts about the Kim family they will know. But in the book, Jobs said: Do not let others’ thoughts rule over you. Do what you want. Be yourself.”

Defectors have provided significant information about Kim’s regime and helped shed light on the human rights atrocities occurring in the North, but their numbers slipped recently. This week, South Korea reported a recent 12.7 percent decrease in the number of defectors leaving the North to the South between January and August of this year, with 780 fleeing compared to 1,417 throughout 2016.

CNN’s Jake Tapper Destroys Trump’s United Nations Speech Lie About U.S. Job Growth This Year.

Occupy Democrats

CNN’s Jake Tapper Destroys Trump’s United Nations Speech Lie About U.S. Job Growth This Year.

September 21, 2017. CNN’s Jake Tapper just dropped in with a little reminder for our Narcissist-in-Chief — You can’t make up facts! Watch here as Jake debunks Trump’s blatant lie about job growth the last eight months!

Jake Tapper Destroys Trump's Lie About U.S. Job Growth

CNN's Jake Tapper just dropped in with a little reminder for our Narcissist-in-Chief — You can't make up facts! Watch here as Jake debunks Trump's blatant lie about job growth the last eight months!Shared by Occupy Democrats; like our page for more!

Posted by Occupy Democrats on Wednesday, September 20, 2017