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PA SB 3, the anti-choice forces are back

The anti-choice forces are again trying to restrict abortion rights with PA SB 3.

Not much has changed except they are trying again. Read something new and what I had to say about this when they tried in February.

Reverse Robin Hoods of the Senate

It seems we have quite a few reverse Robin Hoods in the US Senate.

Remember Robin Hood. Rob from the rich and give to the poor. But that was back in the old days.

Modern Republicans are trying to rob from the poor and give to the rich. The Congresssional Budget Office (CBO) report is out on their tax bill and it confirms this.
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Net Neutrality is almost gone

Net neutrality, it’s not just for nerds.  It sounds like kind of a technical thing but most of us should care.

Why? Freedom of choice is the short answer. And by that I mean our choice. Not the choice forced on us by the company that provides our internet service.
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A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived by Adam Rutherford

The full title is “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes “ .  Adam Rutherford is hardly a household name at least here in the US. But I hope it will be a name that people looking for good science writing will remember.
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Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way

I just ran across this article. It is a few days old but seems to capture the essence of the GOP congress: Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way.

The full title is The Republican tax bill is moving through Congress at light speed and the subtitle is
The GOP’s playbook: Move fast and don’t let facts get in the way. It was published in Vox a few days ago and is specifically about tax plans but does capture the general GOP approach in this Congress.

We have previously seen a similar approach fail on healthcare. My hope is that it fails again. i would like to see tax reform but I believe this is an important issue and deserves a full debate on the merits of various measures. Move slowly enough to consider the facts and possible consequences of your actions.

Senate tax plan to help the rich

Both houses of Congress have their own tax plan. Each rushed through quickly with little of the input you would expect in major legislation.

The House version has already been passed. There will be a vote on the Senate version in the very near future. In my opinion, neither is good.

But here is one opinion on the Senate version. Of course, it could change before the vote but my guess is it will not be for the better.

Read it all, but here is just a small portion –

Surely, we will have other debates in the future with thoughtful arguments on every side. But not this time. The numbers are in and it’s clear: this tax bill helps the rich and hurts everybody else. Just ask the very people who wrote it.

Russian security at our Russian embassy

Russian security at the US Embassy in Moscow. What could go wrong?

Elite Security was founded by a former head of the KGB. At one time he was Vladimir Putin’s boss in the Russian spy agency. But Elite Security was given a multi-million dollar contract to provide security services at the US Embassy in Moscow.
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Local Pennsylvania Republicans mislead

The national Republican party has mislead us for years but it has grown especially intense recently (see my previous posts on Donald Trump). In general, my local Republican Party in Chester County, Pennsylvania seemed to me to be a fairly responsible bunch.

However, the recent “Chester County Republican Gazzette” seemed very misleading. Pennsylvania has a contitutional amendment on the ballot tomorow and I have not been able to make up my mind on it. But the recent “Gazette” seems highly misleading on this in my opinion. This makes me doubt the rest of what they say.
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The unscientific chief scientist

The Senate is ready to confirm the unscientific chief scientist. I was about to say an unqualified chief scientist but then I thought that he did have the one qualifier that matters in this case. That is, the support of President Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate that seems to approve the President’s nomininees, irrespective or qualifications or suitability.

The Under Secretary of Agriculture for Research, Education, and Economics is better known as the chief scientist of the Department of Agriculture.
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Volunteers for the Trump campaign

So now George Papadopoulos joins the ranks of volunteers for the Trump campaign. Sounds pretty low and the President Trump himself had made it sound even less inportant by refering to George Papadopoulos as a “low level volunteer” (see twitter Oct 31).

However volunteers are not always unimportant. As CBS news pointed out:

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Trump’s Legacy: Dow’s nerve poison, damaged brains

This week I read an article by Nicholas Kristof in the Sunday New York Times called Trump’s Legacy: Damaged Brains. This is about the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stance on the insecticide chlorpyrifois.

The chemical was banned from residential use 17 years ago but it still used on food and in various other places. The EPA was ready to further limit use but the Trump administration put a stop to that. Here is a small quote from Mr. Kristof’s article:
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NYC Vital Records Update

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a threat to New York City vital record access.

I am happy to say there was a great outpouring of support at the public meeting about this and support for the online petition concerning vital record access.

Read about this in some detail on the blog of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

We need a strong EPA

Why do we need a strong EPA? There are many reasons but here is a good reminder to how America looked before there was an EPA to regulate pollution.

Kevin Loria’s article Vintage photos taken by the EPA reveal what America looked like before pollution was regulated reminds us of a few things the EPA is doing (or avoiding) today but more importantly shows pictures of the good old days before we decided to regulate pollution.

Perhaps there are some who miss the good old days when rivers caught fire or companies were free to poison the drinking water. But I like the clean water and clean air. I’m old enough to remember the good old days and certainly do not miss the pollution.
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