A primary characteristic of any authoritarian situation, from East Germany to high school, is the total uselessness of facts and evidence as a defense against anything. Trump is in the White House because he and his people understood this from the start. His movement isn't about facts. All that matters to his followers is that blame stays fixed in the right direction. While Trump's new staff spent the first few weeks tearing apart presidential tradition like a troop of apes let loose in the Louvre, progressives spent their energy pushing news outlets like The New York Times and CNN to begin using words like "lie" in headlines, as if this were somehow going to be a game-changer. When the Times finally began doing just that in its coverage of President Trump ("Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers" was the paper's proud January 23rd formulation), a parade of self-congratulation ensued. read more
WASHINGTON A handful of lawmakers is again making attempts to open 24 new Department of Veterans Affairs facilities across the country, some of which have been held up by Congress for two years.
The VA must receive congressional approval to lease medical facilities with annual rent payments totaling more than $1 million, according to federal law. Combined, the 24 facilities most of them outpatient clinics -- would cost about $228 million during the leases, which in some cases can last 20 years.
Congress has not approved a medical facility lease for the VA since 2014, said the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va.
Warner and Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, reintroduced legislation that would give the VA the go-ahead to open the clinics. Rep. Julia Brownley, D-Calif., reintroduced a similar measure in the House. read more
Only 36 percent of Americans can name the three branches of government
One-Third Don't Know Obamacare and Affordable Care Act Are the Same
TechCrunch: Good riddance to one of the worst places to socialize on the internet. Amazon-owned IMDb announced today it will be closing down its discussion board later this month, and turning off the ability for users to private message each other. The company claimed the decision was made because the boards were "no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide." ... Instead, the boards were notoriously known for hosting some of the most pointless and hateful commentary around. They've been compared, in many cases, to YouTube's sort of unfettered brand of internet commentary -- which is another way of saying, these boards were full of trolling. ... Given the current political climate, where offensive language and hate speech have been normalized thanks to President Trump's rhetoric, it's not surprising that IMDb would want to take itself even further out of the fray. read more
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on the Senate confirmation hearing for David Shulkin, the nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs: President Donald Trump's pick to lead Veterans Affairs is reiterating his support for VA's workforce, calling them the "best in health care."
David Shulkin says at his confirmation hearing that VA employees often get a bad rap and the vast majority seek to do the right thing.
He was responding to a question by Sen. Jon Tester... who asked his opinion on Trump's past description of the VA as "the most corrupt." Shulkin says he did not discuss with Trump the Republican's past comments on the campaign trail, but both agreed that much work needs to be done. But Shulkin says anyone who "beats up" the VA is counterproductive and "destructive" and "it's got to stop." ... Shulkin is pledging to use his best judgment to put veterans first - even if it means disagreeing with President Donald Trump. read more