Shameless Plug

Every Christmas party and family gathering I go to typically has a least a minute of confusion where everyone decides who is going to be in charge of the tunes. That then leads to questions about how that person’s phone can be connected to the speaker system where we are, or whether they can log in to Spotify to access the epic playlist they’ve made to share with the group. Instead of all that may I offer a simple suggestion: let Alexa do it.

If you’re an Amazon Prime member then you can ask Alexa to “Play Christmas Music” and get a pretty solid mix of holiday hits headed your way. Bonus: since it’s playing through your Echo, it also doesn’t require setting up any speakers or doing anything extra… it just works.

It’s not entirely the best solution for a large gathering (for that I’d recommend trying a Pandora or Spotify station hooked up to some real speakers), but for some no-fuss background music for dinner or opening gifts, it’s great.

To do it, enable the Christmas radio skill on Alexa.

This year you can also have Santa curate your tunes. Enable the iHeart Santa skill on your Alexa and then ask to “talk to Santa Claus.” Santa will ask you a few yes or no questions to get to know you and then will play a selection of tunes he thinks you’ll enjoy based on your answers.

Mueller might have the goods

The paper of record reports today that Robert Mueller has an early draft of a letter Trump and one of toadies had prepared in advance of firing Comey.  Things appear to be moving more quickly (working holiday for the Mueller team).  This could explain the full on barrage of nonsense that we are seeing from the GOP, in an effort to dirty Mueller and his investigation up.  If I was a cynic,  I would say that they’re trying to get ahead of something bad and win this in the court of public opinion before something drops.

We’ll keep an eye on this but my Spidey sense is telling me that something is about to pop soon;  either Trump making a move to get rid of Rosenstein (and Mueller as a result)…or Mueller is about to pull something new out of his bag of tricks.


In case you were wondering

CBO: Senate tax bill increases deficit by $1.4 trillion

So much for the mythical “fiscal conservative” eh?

The Senate GOP tax plan will increase the deficit by more than $1.4 trillion over a decade, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
The CBO score comes as senators are already voting on amendments to the legislation and are expected to pass the bill in the early morning hours of Saturday.
The legislation, according to CBO, would have the largest deficits between the 2019 fiscal year and the 2022 fiscal year.
The finding comes as GOP senators have largely ignored warnings that their tax plan would increase the deficit. Republicans argue that economic growth will more than make up for any increases to the national debt.
An earlier CBO estimate on the version of the tax plan passed by the Senate Finance Committee also found the bill would increase the deficit by roughly $1.4 trillion.
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) is the only GOP senator expected to vote against the bill, citing concerns on the spending.
“At the end of the day, I am not able to cast aside my fiscal concerns and vote for legislation that I believe, based on the information I currently have, could deepen the debt burden on future generations,” he said earlier Friday.