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Thursday :: July 13, 2017

Senate Republicans Introduce New Health Care Bill

Here is the new version of the Senate Republicans Health care bill. The Atlantic has some details.

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DOJ Announces Nationwide Bust of Opiate Prescribers

The Department of Justice announced a nationwide take-down of pain pill prescribers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, M.D., announced today the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, involving 412 charged defendants across 41 federal districts, including 115 doctors, nurses and other licensed medical professionals, for their alleged participation in health care fraud schemes involving approximately $1.3 billion in false billings. Of those charged, over 120 defendants, including doctors, were charged for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics. Thirty state Medicaid Fraud Control Units also participated in today’s arrests. In addition, HHS has initiated suspension actions against 295 providers, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists.

The press release contains a link for more information, but as of now, the link is a dead one.

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Wednesday :: July 12, 2017

Trump Sr., Trump Jr., Jared and the Russians

So Donald Jr. released his emails. He has now added page 4:

One of the early emails shows it's the Russian Crown Prosecutor he's going to meet with who according to Goldstone, is working on behalf of the Russian government to help Trump win. Why would anyone believe the prosecutor's current denial was crafted by her rather than the Russian Government? Is there even a "Crown Prosecutor" in Russia? (Turns out there is no such thing and she's a lawyer, but not for the Government.)

On Jun 3, 2016, at 10:36 AM, Rob Goldstone wrote: Good morning. Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting. The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father. This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government's support for Mr. Trump- helped along by Aras and Emin.

The Trump son responds: [More...]

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Tuesday :: July 11, 2017

Tuesday Open Thread: Amazon Prime Day

Has anyone found any great deals on Amazon? I haven't so far. I'll be in a CLE (via webinar) this afternoon so I can't blog. They ask you questions periodically to make sure you are paying attention.

As for Don, Jr., the one thing I don't hold against him is hiring an experienced defense lawyer. The choice of a lawyer and who the lawyer has represented in the past has nothing to do with whether one is guilty -- everyone is presumed innocent. Everyone who finds themselves a "person of interest" a subject or a target of a federal grand jury investigation should retain the most experienced and knowledgeable attorney they can.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Monday :: July 10, 2017

Mosul Liberated, ISIS Continues to Fight

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is in Mosul today to declare liberation of the city.

But the end of the Islamic State’s hold on Mosul does not mean peace is at hand. Other cities and towns in Iraq remain under the militants’ control, and Iraqis expect an increase in terrorist attacks in urban centers, especially in the capital, Baghdad, as the group reverts to its insurgent roots.

There are still ISIS pockets fighting. That didn't stop the Prime Minister who tweeted out victory this morning. [More...]

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Trump's Wall of Denials on Russia is Crumbling

The Washington Post on Trump's changing Russia stories and on Donald Trump, jr.

The New York Times broke the story. More on Trump jr's two different stories on Russia meetings.

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Sunday :: July 09, 2017

Sunday Open Thread: It's a Girl!

The TL kids are having a girl! I've already started buying clothes.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

[More pics below --from the "gender reveal" party for those who are interested:

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Saturday :: July 08, 2017

Saturday Open Thread

Donald Trump didn't make the G2 meeting on Africa today. Ivanka took his place.

The first daughter was spotted slipping into Trump's seat at a working session on “Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health,” putting her shoulder to shoulder with British Prime Minister Theresa May. Russian President Vladimir Putin was sitting one seat down.

The protests in Germany over the G-20 meetings have been huge.

Iraqi troops finally defeated ISIS in Mosul.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thursday :: July 06, 2017

Thursday Open Thread

I'm not seeing much in the news, and I'm spending all my free time learning and riding my new Peloton bike. It's so much fun. I'll do a review of it in the next few days, I'm still getting the hang of it but I just love it.

One other thing I'm loving: You Tube Red -- you tube with no commercials, ad messages and you can save the videos to view later offline. I screen them to my big TV. You Tube is offering 3 months free and you can cancel before the month fee starts if you want. It's such a more pleasant viewing experience.

This is an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Tuesday :: July 04, 2017

Happy 4th of July: Ain't That America and Open Thread

Ain't that America.

Here's what I wrote in 2011:

Today is a day we should be reveling in the greatness of our nation, but instead I fear for the health of our democracy.

Six years later, I feel like we're all living on a prayer we get through the next four years intact.

Some thoughts on patriotism and the 4th of July. More here:

At times of crisis the most patriotic act of all is the unyielding defense of civil liberties, the right to dissent and equality before the law for all Americans.

[More...]

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Monday :: July 03, 2017

Chris Christie at the Beach, Trump Playing Tennis

Chris Christie had a state beach all to himself this weekend. The New Jersey state legislature failed to agree on a budget, causing a government shutdown on Friday. But that didn't stop Christie and relatives from going to the beach, which was closed. A photographer from the New Jersey Ledger snapped the pix.

Christie is beyond tone-deaf.

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Friday :: June 30, 2017

Friday Night Open Thread: Lifestyle Edition

Dinner at the end of a long, hot week: Grilled flat iron steak and chicken, guacamole, lettuce, fresh cilantro, bits of red onion, wrapped in tortillas, accompanied by a large gin and tonic. [More...]

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Hospital Shooter Was Disgruntled Doctor Who Worked There

Another incidence of a mentally troubled shooter:

A disgruntled doctor armed with an assault rifle and wearing a lab coat went on a rampage in the Bronx hospital where he had worked on Friday, killing a female doctor and wounding six other people — five of them seriously — before setting himself on fire and shooting himself in the head, the authorities said.

Who in their right mind sets themselves on fire? What a painful way to die.

Witnesses described medical workers ripping a fire hose from the wall to use as a makeshift tourniquet on one victim’s leg, while others recalled the horrific sight of the gunman, his torso aflame, running down a hallway.

Here's a photo of the shooter, Dr. Henry Bello. He resigned when he learned he was to be fired, apparently over a sexual harrassment allegation.[More....]

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Thursday :: June 29, 2017

Thursday Open Thread

Time for a new open thread. Your choice, all topics welcome.

Other things I'm reading: Abuse Allegations at Chinese Shoe Factory where Ivanka's shoes are made. Ivanka has been ordered to testify at a deposition in the case alleging she copied another company's shoe design (photo of the shoes here.)

Here's the Supreme Court opinion on the travel ban and the latest on the new travel rules to take effect at 6 pm today.

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The Ugly American Hits a New Low

The media is exploding about the Ugly American Donald Trump and his latest tweet about a tv host's plastic surgery.

“I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”

Trump seems to have a "thing" about blood and women -- first Meghan Kelly and now Mika Brzezinski.

What a shame for America that a man with such a vulgar, low-class way of expressing himself is occupying a desk in the oval office.

P.S. Memo to Donald: You could use a facelift yourself. Have you noticed how much your face has aged since January?

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