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      Proof that there was never a national emergency – our military was used by @realDonaldTrump for a political stunt to try to stem Republican losses in the midterm elections. https://t.co/Rv1JNgvcVD— VoteVets (@votevets) November 19, 2018 Sort of gives the game away when you remove the troops after the election but before the caravan arrives. https://t.co/JrwY […]
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      So, May has a Brexit deal. It’s a terrible deal, which makes the UK subject to many EU laws, and which doesn’t allow Britain to withdraw from the deal if the EU doesn’t want it to. This has caused ministerial resignations, and Corbyn has come out against it. But the interesting part is what the […]
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Bonhoeffer on stupidity

PM found this insightful and prescient quote by legendary German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

It summarizes perfectly everything that's wrong with Trump, his voters and America at this point in our history. We can thank Rush, Fox News, Ann Coulter, and a whole host of other right wing mouthpieces for encouraging us to let ignorance reign.


Stride: Just a-wanna

Senators Susan Collins and Jack Reed were caught (accidentally on purpose?) on an open mic discussing how they REALLY feel about Trump. Short take: they think he's crazy, stupid and incompetent. Read the whole transcript at WaPo.
John McCain came back to the senate after his recent surgery for glioblastoma, a particularly aggressive form of brain cancer. He voted to open debate on the healthcare "reform" bills that the Republicans are offering us. They include straight out repeal of Obamacare and all kinds of other goodies. The vote was 50-50. Mike Pence was the tie breaker.

Let debate begin. Release the hounds.

Stroll: Watercolor in the Rain

The Republicans are going to try to ram healthcare "reform" down our throats again today. They'll try for a procedural vote. If successful, they'll begin debate.

No one really knows what in this bill. I'm looking forward to Sherrod Brown, Lizzie Warren or Al Franken taking the time to read the bill while they have the floor.

The GOP donors must be livid that they're not getting what they want. And what do they want?


Theirs. Not yours.
Trump gave a speech to the Boy Scouts at their annual Jamboree in West Virginia.

Did the Scouts do a thorough background check on Trump and his minions who came with him? Because the speech sounds completely inappropriate for a crowd full of minors. He is not a very good role model for boys who are supposed to be "clean in thought, word and deed".

I used to be a member of the Board of Ed in my former town and I guarantee you that if Trump had given a speech like that to our students, the next session of the Board would be chock full of angry parents demanding an apology and heads to roll.

Trump is pissing off the spooks again. This time it's in Syria where he has shut down a covert CIA operation to assist rebel forces against Assad. The Russians reportedly didn't like the the operation. I'm sure there's no story here. Nothing to see, people. Move along, move along.

Oh, and he's getting ready to fire AG Sessions. Loyalty only goes one way.

Then he'll have more leeway to get rid of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.

Seth Meyers' Closer Look goes over the White House changes and what's really in Trump's tax returns. That's really what he's worried about. Mueller is legally able to look at several years of Trump's taxes filings.

Hmmmmm, what could be worse than a billionaire not paying his taxes…?

SNL is going to have a field day with Scaramucci.

When I tell people that I had to reinvent myself after my industry collapsed in the wake of the "patent cliff" and Pharmageddon that followed it, they have a hard time wrapping their heads around it. How could Big Pharma sharply curtail research, stop pursuing some therapeutic areas altogether and contract as severely as it has? Why are so many scientists out of work? That's not what their elected officials keep telling them. They say there's a shortage of STEM professionals.

Does. Not. Compute.

Nevertheless, big Pharma shed a huge component of its small molecule research in the last 10 years. To understand the difference between small molecule and biologics drugs, the latter being the focus of recent drug discovery efforts, check out this article from The Conversation about biologics and what makes them so expensive.

BTW, there's no reason why some of us in small molecule research couldn't easily move to biologics. Some of us were already involved in molecular biology and we're doing work with recombinant DNA. It wasn't necessary to sideline us.

There's more than enough new science to keep us blissfully employed for the rest of our lives and then some.

Why is it that so many American scientists are sidelined? I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.