Rationally Thinking Out Loud

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Michigan’s push to end gerrymandering offers ‘hope’ for divided nation, advocates say | NBCNews

In push to end gerrymandering, an unlikely state steps into the spotlight

PORT HURON, Mich. – In a country where Democrats and Republicans have spent the past year battling over allegations of election fraud and attempts at voter suppression, the earnest scene playing out in a conference room here last week almost didn’t make sense. The stakes were high.

A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina — ProPublica

A Trump Tax Break To Help The Poor Went To a Rich GOP Donor’s Superyacht Marina

The Rybovich superyacht marina lies on the West Palm Beach, Florida, waterfront, a short drive north from Mar-a-Lago. Superyachts, floating mansions that can stretch more than 300 feet and cost over $100 million, are serviced at the marina, and their owners enjoy Rybovich’s luxury resort amenities.


I Will Only Drink Diet Soda…

I only drink diet soda and it been that way with me for decades now.

Another Garbage Study Says Diet Soda is Bad For You

This post contains a video, which you can also view here. To support more videos like this, head to patreon.com/rebecca! If you watch my Twitch streams, you may know that I am a fan of caffeinated, carbonated, sugar-free beverages. They power my video game murder.

I grew up in an off-the-grid Christian commune. Here’s what I know about America’s religious beliefs | Salon.com

I grew up in an off-the-grid Christian commune. Here’s what I know about America’s religious beliefs

The only time I saw Brother Sam in person, he was marching like a soldier as he preached, with sweat running like tears from his temples and the Bible a heavy brick in his right hand.

Why the GOP Couldn’t Tell Its Base the Truth About Obamacare | NYMagazine

…the passage of Obamacare was a traumatic event for Republicans. The wound it opened in the party’s psyche has not fully healed, and even more than a decade after its passage into law, they cannot reconcile themselves to its legitimacy.

The passage of Obamacare, even though it merely incrementally expanded an existing program (Medicaid) and copied a program designed by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney) was met by unmitigated hysteria on the right. What seemed to unhinge conservatives was less the substance of the bill than the very idea of Democrats using their control of government to … govern. Republicans became fixated with the sinister machinations that they believed had produced the bill.

They attacked “backroom deals,” which is of course a description for every deal ever made in Washington. They threw a fit at the use of budget-reconciliation procedures to iron out minor differences between the House version and the Senate version, the latter of which had attracted 60 votes. At one point, the proposed use of an obscure maneuver called “deem and pass” inspired conservative media to call the process “demon pass,” a symbolic expression of their belief that the legislation was demonic.

Why Republicans Could Never Tell Their Voters the Truth About Obamacare

When the Supreme Court landed its latest, and possibly last, legal defeat to right-wing opponents of Obamacare, the immediate response on the right was, oddly enough, to mock the liberals who warned that the lawsuit might succeed. Conservative lawyers circulated lists of liberals who predicted that Amy Coney Barrett would side with the plaintiffs; National Review turned that list into its lead story.

Opinion | Warren Buffett and the Myth of the ‘Good Billionaire’ – The New York Times

Opinion | Warren Buffett and the Myth of the ‘Good Billionaire’

Warren Buffett appears to be the safest kind of billionaire: the good kind. Mr. Buffett is neither Zuckerbergian messiah nor Musky provocateur, neither Bezosist space cadet nor Sacklerian undertaker. He is, or seems to be, quiet, humble, indifferent to money, philanthropic and critical of the system that allowed him to rise.

The Last Days of the President – The Atlantic

The quote is from this Atlantic article…

The Last Days of the President

After leaving the presidency in 1969, Lyndon Johnson lived out the remaining four years of his life in retirement. One of his former speechwriters recounts how he spent it. On the night before Christmas, 1971, Lyndon Baines Johnson played the most improbable role of his varied and controversial life.


Opinion | What the Rich Don’t Want to Admit About the Poor – The New York Times

Opinion | What the Rich Don’t Want to Admit About the Poor

I’m not going to pretend that I know how to interpret the jobs and inflation data of the past few months. My view is that this is still an economy warped by the pandemic, and that the dynamics are so strange and so unstable that it will be some time before we know its true state.


Clinton’s Responsibility

Clinton’s Responsibility

In 1992, when Bill Clinton announced that he planned to “end welfare as we know it,” he was taking up a unique position for a Democrat. The party of Lyndon Johnson typically had to fight hard to preserve the country’s limited social safety net; it was unprecedented for a Democrat to strongly disparage welfare and vow to destroy it.

Trump Cower Moscow – PREVAIL by Greg Olear

…By failing to properly inform the American public of the true nature of Donald John Trump, our media, our intelligence services, and our FBI allowed a Russian asset to take the White House. Those three institutions failed, catastrophically, and their combined failures cost almost half a million lives and came this close to ending the republic.

James Comey, the FBI Director, disclosed the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, but not the far more dangerous one into Trump’s ties to Russia; that dunderheaded decision effectively handed Trump the presidency. The intelligence services did not speak out in 2016, because of the strict practice of not discussing counterintelligence cases—as if there could be a bigger counterintelligence failure than a Russian puppet installed in the White House who subsequently killed half a million of us. The media didn’t speak out because of institutional fear, or shoddy leadership, or worry about ratings and clicks, or laziness, or incompetence, or corruption, or all of the above. The Russia story exposes Trump, but it also highlights these enormous, embarrassing institutional failures.

By the grace of God and Nancy Pelosi, or else just dumb luck, we made it through four years of Trump with the republic intact. But if we do not learn from our mistakes, another Trump will come along—a Josh Hawley, maybe—who will succeed in ending the American experiment. It’s time for these institutions to come clean and admit they fucked up. The first step to recovery, after all, is admitting there is a problem.

Trump Cower Moscow

IN THE EARLY 90s, a New York executive who worked for a prominent financial services company flew to London to attend a conference. While there, he hobnobbed with another executive, an American who worked in the firm’s Moscow office. Accompanying the Moscow executive were some Russian nationals-KGB officers moonlighting as security and logistics detail for the company.

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