Friday, March 31, 2017

Yer No Bunny Til Some Bunny....


This was the entertainment of the day....Bunnybun was sheltered from the pouring rain under Bug's car at school for at least 7 hours.   I threw him a carrot before we left for dinner,and when we came back, it was gone, but he was still there.  Bug said he's still there now (I'm back at the hotel).

Evidently he is the "parking lot rabbit" and must live somewhere nearby Bug's apartment. On nice days, he hops around the lot avoiding cars. He's fairly large, so he must be pretty good at it.  It's not a huge lot, but there's not a lot of grass or yardage around, so one wonders where he might be living.

And yes, I am aware that Bug's car is holding up the house. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

WTF is Wrong With Bill O'Reilly?

Oh Yeah, he did.
During Fox & Friends, O'Reilly watched a clip of Waters, a black Democrat from California, saying on the House floor that criticism of the president was patriotic.
"We fight against this president and we point out how dangerous he is," Waters said on the floor. "...We're fighting for democracy. We're fighting for America. We're saying to those who say they're patriotic, but they turn a blind eye to the destruction he is about to cause to this country. You are not nearly as patriotic as we are."
O'Reilly was asked for his thoughts on Waters' comments. He instead discussed her appearance.
"I didn't hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig," he said, referencing the late soul singer.
While two of the Fox & Friends cohosts joined in on O'Reilly's comments, Ainsley Earnhardt cut in to say she had to defend Waters.
"You can't go after a woman's looks," she said. "I think she's very attractive."
O'Reilly replied, "I didn't say she wasn't attractive... I love James Brown, but it's the same hair."


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Chickens Roosting in the White House SWAT Office

Yes, they're coming for You

Led by the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, The White House Office of American Innovation will be an autonomous entity enforcing the president’s will. Described as an internal “SWAT team” of strategic consultants, and staffed with former business executives, the office will cut down democratic rule in favor of top-down authoritarianism.
And the excuse is the same one used to deny equity for minorities, the same one used to dismantle protections for the poor and the same one used to unfairly label and close our public schools – we need to run government like a business. 
But government is not a business. 
The goal of a business is profit for the few. The goal of government is service to the many.
 .  
 All I can say is, Resist.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Antennas are Sixty Bucks at BJs.

Y'all didn't really think Comcrap would let you stream tv without paying more for it, did ya?

Comcast launched a TV streaming service in a few cities back in 2015, and this year, it’s apparently planning a major expansion. According to Reuters, Comcast plans to relaunch its streaming service, currently called Stream, under a new name and make it available everywhere Comcast is offered across the US.
The new service will reportedly be called Xfinity Instant TV, and it sounds fairly similar to what Stream already provides. The report says it could start at $15 per month for major broadcast networks, like ABC and NBC, but it could go up to $40 per month by adding on additional channels, like ESPN.

Xfinity Instant TV would be a competitor to streaming services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and DirecTV Now, but there’s a really critical detail here: Comcast’s service would only be available to households already paying for Comcast internet service, according to
 Reuters. And if it’s anything like Stream — which, by all means, it appears to be — it likely won’t count against Comcast subscribers’ internet data caps.Stream is currently only available in certain cities within five states — Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Hampshire — so a nationwide launch would be a major expansion. Reuters reports that it could happen in the third quarter of the year.
Data caps?  We don't have those.....

Well, there ya go.  If you were thinking of cutting the cord, this is still a potentially cheaper option (well, until data caps...) than cable.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Sorry, Yeah, Ok....

Now that we're done with Trumpdontcare, that he has screwed our relations with Germany, called for patsy Paul Ryan to step down, we get to wait to see if Gorsuch will be The One.  

Gorsuch is the one who was the appellate court judge in the SCOTUS case I observed in January, which I also posted about yesterday.  

Significantly, Judge Neil Gorsuch, currently in confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court's vacant ninth seat, has repeatedly ruled the other way on similar cases.
IDEA's standard of a "free appropriate public education," reads Gorsuch's opinion in one of these cases, also about an autistic child in Colorado, "is not an onerous one." His precedent was directly contradicted by the Supreme Court this week.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn questioned him in light of this new ruling during his hearing, asking:
"Why ... did you want to lower the bar so low? "
Gorsuch responded that he had made a mistake. "I was wrong, Senator, because I was bound by circuit precedent, and I'm sorry."

So, no, we don't want him.  He hates kids with disabilities, and ice road truckers.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Younannymouse!

I mean, Unanimous!

The decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District could have far-reaching implications for the 6.5 million students with disabilities in the United States.
The case centered on a child with autism and attention deficit disorder whose parents removed him from public school in fifth grade. He went on to make better progress in a private school. His parents argued that the individualized education plan provided by the public school was inadequate, and they sued to compel the school district to pay his private school tuition.
The Supreme Court today sided with the family, overturning a lower court ruling in the school district's favor.
The federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act guarantees a "free appropriate public education" to all students with disabilities. Today's opinion held that "appropriate" goes further than what the lower courts had held.
"It cannot be right that the IDEA generally contemplates grade-level advancement for children with disabilities who are fully integrated in the regular classroom, but is satisfied with barely more than de minimis progress for children who are not," read the opinion, signed by Chief Justice John Roberts
I was pretty sure the outcome would be good.  Haven't gotten to read the opinion yet, but it has to be good - Roberts was really "on" that day!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Why This Healthcare Bill Should Fail.

Don't want to sound like a broken record, but realize that all school districts bill Medicaid for the services their disabled children receive in school.

If you're at all interested in seeing how much the state school districts would lose if the ability to bill Medicaid would be gone, here's a link with a table of how much each state gets from the Fed, along with how much each district in Pennsylvania gets.  FYI, Pennsyltucky gets the 4th most Federal Medicaid $$ in the nation.



Thursday, March 23, 2017

Busted or Done?

So Trumpy-poo is Making Congress Vote?

The move to delay the vote came after House conservatives said there was no deal struck on the bill following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House Thursday. According to the NBC News vote count, GOP leaders were still at least eight votes short of winning enough backing for passage.

Either something is up, and they are all lying to us (which would be nothing new), or he is going to set it up so that most of Congress is going to lose their jobs in 2018....

One can dream......


Friday, March 17, 2017

Top o'the Morning To Ya!

Our article is now on the DC NBC website.  If you could take a second and just click on it, so that it gets bumped to the front page, we'd really appreciate it!!!   Thanks muchly!!!




Thursday, March 16, 2017

Who the Hell, is Right....

Really.  Who the FUCK cuts Meals on Wheels from the budget???  I mean, I don't even know any Rethugs who think MOW is a bad, nasty, expensive thing....

Who in the hell zeroes out Meals on Wheels? Who decides that a program that spends $3 million to help volunteers feed the elderly and infirm in their communities is something that the country can no longer afford? Who are the men in the meetings who make this kind of call? What are their names? Trot them out so the country knows who they are. C'mon, David Brooks, find out who they are and explain why National Greatness Conservatism has a problem with starving elderly shut-ins.
The National Endowment For The Arts? The National Endowment For The Humanities? The Corporation For Public Broadcasting?
Who in the hell zeroes out the NEA, or the NEH, or the CPB? Who decides that rural museums, and Ken Burns, and Antiques Roadshow are too elitist for a country full of righteous bumpkins? I'll tell you who does. Newt Gingrich does, that's who, and 23 years ago Newt Gingrich was the superstar of the conservative movement, the intellectual anchor of the modern Right, until, of course, he became a public embarrassment. You know who else does? George Effing Will, just today, that's who. These programs did not become targets last November.

Now, I actually get the NEA.  It's been dead for quite a while.  They haven't given shit to orchestras in years.   And the Corporation for Public Broadcasting gets plenty of money from the Soros and Kroc.  

I'm more concerned about the Medicaid BS and the EPA.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Know the Answer to This.

The proverbial cardboard box in an alley, that's what.   But they didn't ask me that question.

Inside her Avondale, Chester County, home, Lisa Lightner effortlessly pivots from a conversation about Medicaid to opening the door for a milkman to feeding her son, Kevin, 10. In a moment she looks away, Kevin pushes a small bowl of macaroni off the tray of his specialized wheelchair. Now, Mom is cleaning up his mostly uneaten dinner from the floor.  
Three friends who live with the same struggle -- running a household and caring for a disabled child -- sit nearby and each testify to Lightner's unique ability to juggle tasks. 
"She's unbelievable," one friend, Lynn Thomas Guidetti, says. "I don't know how she does it."
Guidetti is referring to how Lightner also writes an advocacy blog about special needs children and volunteers as a Democratic committeewoman in Chester County.
Lightner then puts into words what she and her friends, Guidetti, Susan Rzucidlo and Laura Boyer, now confront more than ever.
"What will happen to him after I'm gone? This is something I ask myself all the time."
Her son lives with severe forms of epilepsy and intellectual disability. He will depend on his mother and father for the rest of his life. 
"Why is all this being done on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens?" Lightner asked. 
She and the other women have vowed to fight any legislation that would decrease Medicaid's ability to those most vulnerable Americans. All see the federal program as greatly improving their children's lives.
"All budgets reflect values and if you’re cutting Medicaid, what do you really value?” Rzucidlo said.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Going After the Weak.

That's what Trump is trying to do with this latest bill repealing the ACA....put a clause in there to cut Medicaid.   You know, the insurance for disabled children and adults, and also the elderly poor....it's what keeps Grandma in the nursing home without the family having to go broke.

"That would mark a dramatic shift for the state-federal program that has operated as an entitlement since its inception in 1965. And, such a change would trigger deep consequences for people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid to access everything from doctors to support services to live in the community, advocates say.
“The legislation revealed by House Republicans … is a giant step backwards in the treatment and care of individuals with disabilities,” said Curt Decker, executive director of the National Disability Rights Network. “It caps Medicaid funding which means a sharp reduction in services and availability of this important health care lifeline for children and adults with disabilities. In short, this plan is terrible.”

There are SO many people who still don't know the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.  Even after people sit there and explain it to them, they still revert to Rethug jargon.  I guess it's easier to stick your head into the sand.  Until, of course, you're the one who needs the nursing home, right?

Putting caps on Medicaid is no different than cutting it.  So, you can say goodbye to your kid's ABA, wraparound therapy services, aides in school, speech/occupational therapists, social skills, adult waivers - oh that's right, the providers don't take Medicaid.....mental health services and the pharmaceuticals that go with them, respite for families.

You can say, oh, they won't pass it.  They may not.  And again, they may.  Do we really trust them?  Bernie can do all the town halls he wants.  They can agree with them on MSNBC all he wants.  It doesn't make them "get it."

Get this.  Cuts in Medicaid will actually KILL PEOPLE.

Blizzard my Asss.

So we're supposed to be getting a snowpocalypse.....were supposed to get 18-24"" of snow overnight, so far, maybe 4"....and a crapload of ice.  The news has all kinds of info on "speed restrictions" - hey, I think that if people are driving on ice, it won't matter how slow they go.... I love a good snow.  This stuff we're getting, not so much.

I just got up and turned up the heat.   Remembering an ice storm from 3 years ago where we lost electricty for almost 4 days.  That was lovely.   And after we got the power back, we found that we had lost trees, so many of our 100' arbor vitae had split in half.  Some into the roof of our shed.  Some into the yard.  It wasn't enough to totally decimate the wall of privacy but I fully expect it to go one of these winters.  If we ever get any snow again....real snow....

Here's hoping you don't have too much ice to deal with.  My poor flowers....

Friday, March 10, 2017

Don't Watch....Read

That is my mantra.  I am done with TV news, I have no idea how they even look themselves in the mirror, for all the flipping and flopping....

Since the election, I want to smack:  Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, MSNBC for putting Greta VanSustern on there (UGH PLEASE), everyone on the TODAY show.  Shit, Brian Williams is actually relief from the madness.

I have been reading online news a lot more - good stuff, not Fake News - and also watching some things on YouTube, like good old Olbermann.

But there is so much out there, and the noise is deafening.  The only cable network I can stand to watch any more is TCM.   Yes, I have my favorite shows (Game of Thrones, House of Cards, Homeland, Shameless) - but since they aren't on all year round, I have no need of regular TV.

A friend says, it's an escape!  What am I escaping from?  Stupidity?  Horrible shit?  That's on TV.  All over the place.  It's more of an escape to turn the thing off.

I wish I could convince the rest of Amurrika that regular TV is half the problem.  Maybe more.


Wednesday, March 8, 2017

640,000, To Be Exact.

That is how many disabled children rely on Medicaid in Pennsylvania.

Both proposals represent the most sweeping overhauls to Medicaid in a generation. Some budget analysts and advocates have said the proposals would decrease funding by 25 to 30 percent and leave service providers as wide-ranging as hospitals and school districts fighting for federal dollars each year.
George said block grants would fundamentally change the way Pennsylvania allocates for psychiatric services, speech and language therapy, social workers and in-school special education.
Pennsylvania’s use of Medicaid for special needs services dates to a 1988 federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It's not a very stable funding method, George said, and the Republican proposals would be drastic. 
“Medicaid was always intended to supplement education,” George said. “In Pennsylvania, you could argue it supplants education."
 (snip)
“Once you block grant a program, it diminishes over several years, and can eventually go away,” Valentina Viletto, director of MCIU’s community and government relations, said. “When you hear about privatization, this is the beginning of that kind of process. This is a national issue.”

People moved to Pennsylvania in Droves for years because we had better services than most other states.   Now, if these Medicaid cuts and block grants pass, it just won't matter where you are any more.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Thursday, March 2, 2017

He Has a Point

Steven Singer from my newest blogggroll addition, that is....a "War on Ignorance", indeed -

But watching the orange one speaking to Congress last night, I got an idea. I know how to get this dimwitted blowhard to support public schools. And every conservative lawmaker will back him up.
 Sound impossible? Not really. But the best part is we don’t need the Democrats to do a darn thing. As if they could. Their thumbs are planted so firmly up their own asses it would take an army of proctologists to save the party.
We don’t need them. All we need is language. Just rename things. ....(snip)
Here’s plan: Trump wants to increase military spending by $54 billion. So we reclassify education as a branch of the military.
Defense spending already tops $600 billion a year. Federal education spending is only about $70 billion.
 I know what you’re thinking. If we do that, the armed forces are going to gobble up school funding. Not necessarily.
They can’t spend all the money they get now! The waste, fraud and abuse in the military is legendary. Piles of money – literally piles of cash – simply go missing and no one knows where they went or is held responsible.

There is definitely an in there, because uneducated people make lousy ass troops.  Can't think on your feet if you can't think, period.

Someone out there HAS to be able to think up a way for something like this to actually work.  You can say this is funny, but what they want to do to the educational system now is far from a laugh.  Something has to happen, and soon, before DeVos finds her pencils.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Gerry Mandering Busted

It's about time we got something in our favor....how long before it trickles down to PA, who can tell?

On Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court corrected a serious error by a lower federal court that, if allowed to spread throughout the judiciary, could have significantly bolstered future attempts to draw gerrymandered districts.
Bethune-Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections concerns 12 Virginia state legislative districts that were allegedly drawn as racial gerrymanders. Each district was drawn to ensure that black voters would make up at least 55 percent of the district’s voters. The state claims it did this in order to comply with the Voting Rights Act as it stood prior to the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision gutting much of the law.
The Court largely avoided the question of whether 11 of the 12 districts were drawn lawfully, sending the districts back down to the lower court for reconsideration. It did, however, correct a mistake by the lower court that would have effectively allowed illegal gerrymanders to thrive so long as they are pretty.
“An essential premise of” the lower court’s opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy explained on behalf of the Court, is that map is not an illegal racial gerrymander unless “there is an ‘actual conflict between traditional redistricting criteria and race that leads to the subordination of the former.’”