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Last Build Date: Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:28:52 +0000

 



Humiliated Trump issues ultimatum to GOP: pass healthcare act now or I'll never repeal Obamacare

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 02:25:05 +0000

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Trump, his deal-making skills having failed him, simply ordered his party Thursday night to pass his unappetizing Obamacare replacement plan, or else. And the "else" is Obamacare, forever and ever and ever.

It was far from clear, however, that Ryan and Trump have the votes to muscle the package through the House after several members of the hardline House Freedom Caucus refused to back it following a marathon session of negotiations Thursday with Trump and other top aides.

“We have been promising the American people that we are going to repeal and replace this broken law,” Ryan said. “Tomorrow we’re proceeding.”

But the speaker refused to answer shouted questions from reporters after the meeting about whether he had the votes to pass the health-care measure.

In a closed-door meeting with House Republicans Thursday night, according to Rep. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.), Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told his former colleagues “the president needs this, the president has said he wants a vote tomorrow up or down.”

Party conservatives want health insurers free to sell junk policies that provide little care and to make unlimited profits; moderate Republicans fear what the resulting death toll will do to their election prospects. But both are needed to pass the bill.

Either Trump's presidential authority evaporates within weeks of his inauguration, then, or party resistance to him collapses completely. I'm taking bets! Mine: conservatives will do what he tells them. Shame comes to them naturally, and they won't want to burn him until they can get rid of him.




Racist border policies mean Toronto school board will no longer allow trips to Trump's USA

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:12:54 +0000

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Toronto high-school students have been visiting the USA since their inception; I remember my own high-school trips to Buffalo's Albright Knox gallery warmly. But they are a relic of the past, because the Toronto District School Board will not risk harassment and worse of its students at the US border, where people born to Arab or Muslim families, or in majority-Muslim families, report widespread discrimination. (more…)




Senate votes to allow ISPs to collect and sell personal data without permission

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:05:42 +0000

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In a party-line split, the U.S. Senate today voted to allow internet service providers to retain personal data without permission and sell it to whomever might pay for it.

The Senate voted 50:48 in favor of S.J. 34, which would remove the rules and, under the authority of the Congressional Review Act, prevent similar rules from being enacted. It now heads to the House for approval.

“If signed by the President, this law would repeal the FCC’s widely-supported broadband privacy framework, and eliminate the requirement that cable and broadband providers offer customers a choice before selling their sensitive, personal information,” said FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeny in a joint statement.




No, the meme-slinging alt-right Pepe worshippers didn't win the election for Trump

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 19:58:30 +0000

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Despite the widespread belief that meme-warriors won the election through tactical shitposting of photoshopped Pepe the Frogs in Nazi arm-bands, the reality is a lot more complicated. (more…)




Anti-theft toilet paper dispenser with facial recognition technology

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:39:39 +0000

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The public bathroom at Beijing's Temple of Heaven Park now has a toilet paper dispenser outfitted with a camera and facial recognition technology to prevent toilet paper theft. From the New York Times:

Before entering restrooms in the park, visitors must now stare into a computer mounted on the wall for three seconds before a machine dispenses a sheet of toilet paper, precisely two feet in length. If visitors require more, they are out of luck. The machine will not dispense a second roll to the same person for nine minutes.

At the Temple of Heaven Park, one of Beijing’s busiest tourist sites, many people said on Monday they were pleased by the new machines.

“The people who steal toilet paper are greedy,” said He Zhiqiang, 19, a customer service worker from the northwestern region of Ningxia. “Toilet paper is a public resource. We need to prevent waste...”

I agree with park visitor Wang Jianquan, 63: “The sheets are too short."

"China’s High-Tech Tool to Fight Toilet Paper Bandits" (NYT)




Amazing body paint illusion of a woman cut in half

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:28:29 +0000

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Israeli makeup magician Ilana Kolihanov created this wonderfully creepy optical illusion. See more of her incredible work on her Instagram feed.