Hurricanes and Libraries with Michelle LeSur

We started our show this week with a discussion of Republican exaggerations of the demise of Obamacare. Ryan claimed that dozens of counties were without an insurer. Turns out the actual number was one when he said it, and is now zero.

In my block I discussed hurricanes and the lack of infrastructure and zoning laws, as it relates to Harvey, and Houston Texas. Houston was not ready for another hurricane, as reported by the Texas Tribune. Thankfully, the dams holding back two reservoirs are holding, for now. The Army Corps of Engineers is being forced to release water into Buffalo Bayou, which runs through Houston, in order to prevent failure. I talk about the problems with Zoning and Climate Change as it relates to Hurricanes. Unfortunately, we’d finished recording the show before Trump decided to use Texans as political meat shields by pardoning Arpaio and banning Transgender recruits from the military.

Michelle spoke passionately about Libraries and the purpose they serve in our communities. She talked a little about their history, but mostly about their future. We talked about how we measure how people use libraries, and about a Pew Research survey that breaks Americans into cohorts based on their library usage, which includes a quiz you can take here.

Arliss will be back next week!

Will

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Charles Gaba on the ACA & How Fake News Works

19 December 2016 – We are thrilled to welcome back ACA expert Charles Gaba (ACASignUps.net, Brainwrap.com, Brainwrap on Daily Kos and @Charles_Gaba on Twitter) to the show. It’s hard to even understand all the rumors flying around about the ACA (aka “Obamacare”) these days and Charles helps us to parse what different options will mean. Basically the ACA is a towering healthcare Jenga and the GOP is imagining they can pull the foundational blocks out without the whole thing crashing down. They are wrong. [BWT – there’s a GoFundMe on Charles’ ACA page. His work is unique in media and often quoted by progressive media everywhere so if you can, pitch in a little to help him out.]

Will and I combined our blocks to talk about how fake news works, define propaganda, touch on the PropOrNot controversy which was stirred-up by the Washington Post and then get into detail about how sites like TruthDig and TruthOut are exhibiting pro-Russian bias rather dramatically. For us, sites like Naked Capitalism, are still important and trusted sources but we recognize that all sources have a certain amount of bias and it is essential that every consumer be clear about how that bias may or may not be slanting coverage of a given topic. We do definitely concur with seventeen different US intelligence agencies that the Russian government did directly interfere with the US election. This puts our democracy at risk and it is not wrong to be alarmed.

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Matt “Neo” Taibbi

General show notes:  I apologize for suddenly having to cancel the show last week. On Friday morning I rushed little Matt “Neo” Taibbi to his exotics veterinarian in Cincinnati. They stabilized him and then I rushed him up to a major exotics veterinary hospital (with their own CT Scanner, MRI equipment etc) in Columbus, Ohio. Neo’s medical team fought all through Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday morning but shortly after 9AM, while snuggled in my arms, Neo hopped over the Rainbow Bridge. He was only five, a young and strong bunny, so none of us were prepared. Neo is mourned by his loving life partner, David Dayen, his new bunny friend, Mercy, and his human family. We are all crushed to lose such a bright spirit so soon.

Will and I will be taking the next two weeks off to spend the holidays with our respective families. We will return on 9 January to kick-off 2017 with an all new show packed full of information you won’t hear in this detail in many other places.

Many Carrots of the Season – Arliss

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Charles Gaba & Elections!

29 February 2016 – This week, we talked Iranian, Irish, and Scottish elections. I discussed Labour’s demise in Scotland, and talked about how they’ve never recovered from the death of Donald Dewar. It looks as if Labour is heading for yet another defeat in the upcoming Holyrood elections.

Arliss went over some banking terms (I know! What could possibly be more exciting?) because the jargon of the financial industry is a language of obfuscation. In order for us to understand what the heck these people are talking about, we need to learn what is essentially a separate language. That’s by design. If nobody can understand the words Banksters use to describe what they’re doing, then nobody can legislate against them. This is the first of a multi-part series which will get deeply into the weeds of banking reform.

Following that, we had a fantastic conversation with Charles Gaba (aka Brainwrap) of acasignups.net, who talked about the massive entity that is the US healthcare system and some of the options available for healthcare reform. He explained to us how even minor changes in theory become sweeping changes in practice, and we discussed in detail how Marco Rubio and the GOP killed even the modest Co-Op non-profit options that we sought to create when the Public Option was blocked.

Thanks for listening, everyone, and we’ll see you next time!

Will

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