Saturday: Hey Girl…get your geek on!

Click for more "Neuroscientist Ryan Gosling"...

Hello news junkies… the political scene is bumming me out even more than usual. See the top story on memeorandum as of 2:35 AM Friday night/Sat. morning…or go directly to the Think Progress piece, entitled “GOP Ups The Ante, Introduces Legislation To Allow Any Employer To Deny Any Preventive Health Service.” (Also, stay tuned because later this weekend the one & only Minkoff Minx will have a barn-burner on all the mass hysteria over free Magdalene pills!) It’s not even just that alone, though. Don’t even get me started on the rest of the current event stories that are dominating the headlines in general–not only are they bumming me out, but they are boring the daylights out of me–Wonk the Vote, a bona fide news junkie. That is, if they aren’t making me want to cry my eyes out first (see bombings in Syria, via Reuters). I guess you could say I have a case of Political Affective Disorder, though that’s nothing new. I’ve been dreading the 2012 cycle for the last four years anyway. Perhaps my condition is just reaching a tipping point, because I am utterly depressed by the fact that–during a week when American women have had to fight tooth and nail for their basic autonomous, civil rights and health care not to be torn asunder by C-Street– “One Million” Moms finally mobilize…to try to defeat the… Evil Dancing Ellen?!? Gahhhh. This is the moment “one million moms” have been waiting for? What, is Ellen’s association with JC Penny going to mean the onesies they sell are going to have some kind of gayish-cooties and turn America’s babies into adult RuPauls big giant day-glo orange crying John Boehners or something? Come on, don’t these “activists” already have enough supermarket freezer cases across the country to protect from Ben and Jerry’s Schweddy Balls?

Though–thanks to the karma chameleon–these busy-bodies have fallen flat on their grizzly mama arses, handing Ellen an even more loyal fanbase than ever called “1 Million People who Support Ellen for JC Penny”! (I’m one of those growing millions, btw…if you haven’t joined already, Sky Dancers, please check the Millions for Ellen page out on Facebook.)

All this to say…it definitely smells like manufactured political theatre across BOTH aisles at work to me (and we’re not even officially into the general election yet.) I’m deeply cynical about this. Wedge issues during an election year and all that. Sorry, I’m not all Woo-Hoo President Oprecious over his fake-saving of our rights–which never were in contradiction with the constitution anyway. From right to left, it all seems calculated for emotional-political effect on some oligarch’s part. Plus, I’m still waiting on someone to make sure none of my oh-so-fungible tax dollars never go to war, torture, or capital punishment. Just my… ya know… very humble, girly-wonk two-pieces-of-copper.

At any rate, I’m super-duper-dejected by all the news leeching off of the body politic’s oxygen tank at present, so I’m going to focus the rest of this round-up on a few links this week that either left me a) happy, b) intrigued, or c) thoroughly entertained.

Click for more "Neuroscientist Ryan Gosling"...

Oh, and also on Ryan Gosling.

If you’re like me, and you love the “Hey Girl” flashcards all over the internet, both for the eyecandy quotient and the sheer hilarity+nerdy-girl-utility of it all…You’re welcome. If you’re with Historiann and you don’t understand what’s so appealing about Mr. “baby goose,” then my apologies. It’s only one Saturday morning. You’ll live. ;)

So here’s the happiest link I read all week, via Sci Am:

A PET scan's bright areas reveal the concentration of amyloid beta, a protein that forms a plaque in Alzheimer's patients. The scan compares the brains of a healthy patient (left) and a patient suffering from Alzheimer's (right). Image: Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center, NIH

Cracks in the Plaques: Mysteries of Alzheimer’s Slowly Yielding to New Research

Science is bringing some understanding of the heritability, prevalence and inner workings of one of the most devastating diseases
By Daisy Yuhas  | February 6, 2012 |

This has been a big week in Alzheimer’s news as scientists put together a clearer picture than ever before of how the disease affects the brain. Three recently published studies have detected the disease with new technologies, hinted at its prevalence, and described at last how it makes its lethal progress through the brain.

The first study strengthens the body of evidence that says early-onset and late-onset Alzheimer’s should be classified as the same disease. The other two studies shed light on how the tau protein–the buildup of which causes the protein to tangle and kill brain cells–spreads through different brain regions.

As the adage goes, knowledge is power…can’t wait until these “cracks in the plaques” build up to a critical mass of findings that inevitably breaks the myelin-implicated mystery wide open and points the way to the cure!

Ok, this next one didn’t make me happy per se, but it made for some pretty stimulating geek-grist… it’s another one from SciAm (guess Bostonboomer–who did a Science-y post last night–and I have been on similar wavelengths!):

Click to go to the Nature article... The current continents (left) are set one day to merge into the supercontinent Amasia (right), centred over the Arctic. Mitchell et al, Nature

Next Supercontinent ‘Amasia’ Will Take North Pole Position

Next supercontinent will form over the Arctic Ocean.

February 8, 2012 |

By Kerri Smith of Nature magazine

In 50 million to 200 million years’ time, all of Earth’s current continents will be pushed together into a single landmass around the North Pole. That is the conclusion of an effort, detailed in the February 9 issue of Nature, to model the slow movements of the continents over the next tens of millions of years. (Scientific American is part of Nature Publishing Group.)

One World, One Continent, One Love after all! So maybe in about 50 million to 200 million years, the military-industrial complex will finally wane a little? Hey, a satyagraha-loving Wonk can dream… ;)

Until then, we have plenty of idiocrats to keep us entertained…especially everybody’s least favorite body politic fluid, Rick santorum! Speaking of whom–my last “read” is a “political” link that just made me laugh my heineken off, via a blog called “Tyranny of Tradition” (this is satire–or is it? Hard to tell the way Rick santorum oozes his crazy for all to see these days):

February 10, 2012

Rick Santorum Declares War On Heavy Metal

Rick Santorum has been on the offensive lately, but his target has not been Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney or even President Barack Obama.  For the past week, Santorum has been using his campaign to take aim at an issue he feels to be the single most dangerous force in America today: Satanism in heavy metal.   “If you listen to the radio today, many of these brand new, so-called heavy metal music bands like Black Sabbath, Venom, The WASP and Iron Maiden use satanic imagery to corrupt the minds of young people,” announced Santorum at a 10,000 dollar a plate sock-hop in Valdosta, Georgia on Thursday.

 To which my very first automatic response was…Inert Gasses Declare Non-Reactive War on Rick Santorum! And, I had the perfect Lolcat in mind when I thought it too:

Alright, well that’s all I’ve got… turning this over to y’all in the comments. What’s on your reading lists this weekend? Anything extra nerdy? This is the place to share!


91 Comments on “Saturday: Hey Girl…get your geek on!”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Wonk, “great minds” thinking alike this morning:

    http://thewiddershins2.wordpress.com/

    And please, Rick Santorum before coffee?

    Ugh!

  2. There never really is a right time for santorum ;)

  3. Pilgrim says:

    I sometimes think Americans like being preached at. Obama is rather preachy, Santorum more so still.

    And they have a thriving culture of revivalist evangelical preachers.

    It helps if these same preachers happen to indulge in some real slimy sexual sin, the more scandalous the better. Then they can wallow around in an orgasm of tears and repentance and absolution and forgiveness. They kinda like that. Something like Newt’s multiple marriages and churches…is rather exciting….gives ‘em something to forgive. And Newt can bay away about God and religion and church and nobody notices the reeking hypocrisy.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m not sure where it came from but I sure am tired of it. I do know that I do not want to live any where near anybody that takes santorum’s brand of insanity seriously. He is in need of meds and a doctor’s care.

      • Pilgrim says:

        Dak, Santorum would bring the nation much closer to Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” her deadly serious warning if only people can read it and heed it.

    • They’re all Elmer Gantry with teleprompters. Newt could never win a general election in this country, especially not against Barack Obama….but he’s a conservative wet dream that they could have someone with a triple digit IQ as a nominee… that is until good ol’ Jeb gets his chance in 2016 or whenever.

      • Neither could santorum ever win against Obama. Not in a general election electorate. Obama can out-Elmer Gantry him any day… and at least he can fake sounding 21st century. santorum sounds straight out of the middle ages…

      • Woman Voter says:

        I guess jobs and the economy will just have to wait while Santorum goes after those social issues he seems obsessed with are dealt with in his mind. Record burning is surely next.

        • dakinikat says:

          Disgusting isn’t it? Jindal is there whipping them into a frenzy today. I really really really HATE these people. They have the brains of banana slugs and the moral fiber to match.

  4. Delphyne says:

    I love Chemistry Cat!

    I can’t help but notice how the PET scan and the new Amasia continent look similar – perhaps the continent should be named Amnesia so it can forget the craziness that we’re currently experiencing on all other continents.

  5. Carolyn Kay says:

    The only science joke I know: Ammonia, ammonia, ammonia. Get off, get off, get off.

    Carolyn Kay
    MakeThemAccountable.com

  6. dakinikat says:

    I hate to keep harping on this but there appears to still be a number of people that think the HHS statement on birth control coverage was some how negotiated with the bishops and represents a cave in. This is not true.

    Here is a new statement from last night from the Bishops saying they don’t accept the “accommodation” and find it still violates their “religious freedom”. As I’ve said in at least three posts, the religious freedom argument is bogus. I’ve shown numerous SCOTUS cases and opinions of constitutional lawyers on this. This change improves the chances that Griswold cannot be challenged on that basis. Because of that, it strengthens women’s right to birth control.

    I would like to point out this particular part of the BIshop’s new “temper tantrum” as it was characterized by Obama in his presser.

    “These changes require careful moral analysis, and moreover, appear subject to some measure of change. But we note at the outset that the lack of clear protection for key stakeholders—for self-insured religious employers; for religious and secular for-profit employers; for secular non-profit employers; for religious insurers; and for individuals—is unacceptable and must be corrected. And in the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.

    We just received information about this proposal for the first time this morning; we were not consulted in advance.”

    http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-026.cfm

    This was a win for women and not a negotiated compromise with the Red Beanie Babies.

    • It’s a fake-win for women, imho. There was never any constitutional issue to “negotiate.” It all seems like ginned up “rallying the troops” around their red/blue cones at election time. I’m just not seeing how this was some huge win Obama gave us or that we even seized for ourselves by pushing him. He played politics with our rights a0gain, for his own expedience, and instead of negotiating the rest of (women’s and children’s) healthcare coverage, we’re still left thinking the reproductive aspect of it was in jeopardy and saved and that’s all our wimminy brainz should be concerned with… when in reality, that is a big illusion. There’s no way not standing by the mandate would have flown–the public opinion polling on the issue bore that out. Obama roped a rightwing-dope though and scored the “women’s vote”… that’s what happened. Honestly, he must have had some help from Bill Clinton in course-correcting this debacle.

      • dakinikat says:

        I think from listening to the presser and watching stuff happen yesterday that this policy move was in the works all along and for some time. The Bishops forced them to pull the trigger. You don’t get insurance companies to pony up benefits without extended negotiations. I worked for UHC during the Hillary hearings. A woman VP held a meeting in our building of the committee because she was an appointee. I knew exactly what the analysis was on all accounts of everything on the table. They had the actuaries crunch those numbers for both the Hillary plan and the Dole plan and they never came to any table without having a lot of analysis.

        Frankly, I think some savvy woman lawyer in HHS had been charged with finding a way around Stupak and that this had been worked on for some time because they knew of the backlash from women from back then. I think the Bishops–with their Sunday lecture a few weeks ago–forced their hand. I think Obama just announced it and pulled the rug out from under their one year adjustment period because he was pissed that the Catholic Dems and the press that were making this a religious freedom issue when it was clearly not. The more I watch the presser, the more I see that Obama really didn’t like the button being pushed at a time not of his calling. He characterized the bishop’s push as a “temper tantrum”. I don’t think this was a brilliant last minute play by any means since I think that Sibelius and some folks in the HHS had worked to ensure this end run would pass any constitutional challenge. I think it had the usual feel of luck of timing coming after the Komen debacle. I don’t think this “saved” women at all. The right is established in Griswold and there are quite a few SCOTUS precedents that protect that. I do think the fact we have universal coverage for birth control is something that’s worth being happy about regardless of where it came from. We’ve never had it before so it’s a step forward. I could’ve done without the political hooplah but the bishop’s forced the issue and it’s an election cycle. From what I can tell in the press, very few folks are really calling this entire thing a good deal for Obama. Like I said, I see it as a win for women based on some hard work by some one within the HHS that we’ll probably never hear named. Universal coverage in insurance and medicaid for birth control is a benefit we’ve never had before.

      • I’m just jaded Kat, sorry… I’m in a funk… can’t help but think Axelrod et al. marked off “Women’s Vote” box during yesterday’s presser, and that it will be enough for the “women for Obama” who were on the fence whether to do the footsoldiering they did for him last year. I’m happy for universal coverage of birth control, but I still find the intended optics of all this unsettling.

        • dakinikat says:

          The spin all over the TV is not in Obama’s favor. I just don’t see how this politically benefited him at all. Look at the discussion we’ve had here. There’s no talk about the universal coverage, only discussion of “negotiated” rights. How is that working in his favor? Again, I think the trigger got pulled way before they wanted it to be pulled. But, that is just my take on it and not worth much as being any thing other than my opinion.

      • Woman Voter says:

        I saw a segment this morning on MSNBC and they actually mentioned the President Obama Stupk Executive Order and how this was all pre-arranged and that it was to bring Obama as defending women’s reproductive rights. So, they were aware of the polling numbers and how the women were fed up with being toyed with. So, if true, then what you state here explains in detail what they were talking about in the morning show.

        Thanks.

      • Delphyne says:

        He played politics with our rights a0gain, for his own expedience, and instead of negotiating the rest of (women’s and children’s) healthcare coverage, we’re still left thinking the reproductive aspect of it was in jeopardy and saved and that’s all our wimminy brainz should be concerned with… when in reality, that is a big illusion. There’s no way not standing by the mandate would have flown–the public opinion polling on the issue bore that out. Obama roped a rightwing-dope though and scored the “women’s vote”… that’s what happened. Honestly, he must have had some help from Bill Clinton in course-correcting this debacle.

        I agree with you, Wonk – it’s great that birth control pills will be available to women. It is the principle of seeing that our civil rights as women are simply optional that bothers me. As I understand it, the EEOC states that employers who do not cover birth control are violating the Civil Rights Act (for discrimination by sex) and that religious institutions are not exempt from following the law. All Obama had to do was say that.

      • Woman Voter says:

        Keep ending up on the sacrificial alter, then getting a semi rescue… Tired of it.

      • dakinikat says:

        IBlame Twisty Faster
        He just can’t resist fucking with women’s health to keep the pinkfaced plutocrats happy. Screw that mealymouth Obama. bit.ly/x3p9pE

        good example of how a lot of women’s blogs are taking this …

        Melissa at Shakesville isn’t acting “grateful” either

        http://shakespearessister.blogspot.com/2012/02/obama-blinks-on-birth-control.html

        and they are pissed at FDL http://my.firedoglake.com/peterr/2012/02/10/no-one-could-have-anticipated-volume-249/#comment-258955

        (except for TBogg who is his usual OBOT self)

        I’m not seeing this as an Obama PR win at all.

      • well I’m looking at the Democratic women’s orgs party line on this one, rather than the tv spin… because I think that’s what’s more crucial here. They’re all lauding Obama… and on various blue blogs you’ve got progs going, “Women, Remember in November!”

      • ralphb says:

        Dak, You’re right and on Violet’s blog I learned that health care was a human right, until Obama fucked it all up for us. In what version of the US is health care a right? It should be but it damn sure isn’t yet.

        Regardless of the EEOC ruling, there are 20 states with no mandate for contraceptive coverage and in none of the states was there a mandate for no co-pay. If this is not some abstract argument about what should be but rather what is, and getting help for poor women then this is a win. Otherwise, fuck it, the ladies who lunch can buy their own BC pills.

      • GranholmTWR The War Room
        .@SenGillibrand Do you think Obama’s stance on birth control is a part of a political calculation to appeal to women and young voters?
        19 hours ago Fa

        SenGillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand
        @
        .@GranholmTWR Pres Obama is a true champion for women, which is why it’s so impt for us to turn out for him in November.
        19 hours ago

        SenGillibrand Kirsten Gillibrand
        @
        .@GranholmTWR Pres Obama has shown commitment to protect women’s access to preventive care–it was an impt part of his health reform plan.
        19 hours ago

        Cecile Richards:

        “In the face of a misleading and outrageous assault on women’s health, the Obama administration has reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring all women will have access to birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays, no additional hurdles, and no matter where they work.

        “That’s why women have consistently applauded the Obama administration for one of the greatest expansions for women’s health in decades.

        “Unfortunately there are significant and immediate threats to women’s health and access to birth control in the House and Senate that would completely take away access to birth control and severely undermine women’s health.

        NationalNOW National NOW
        NOW Prez @Terryoneill quoted: Backlash Against #BirthControl Mandate Might Aid President bit.ly/ACk7qp via @rollcall @ambreenali
        8 Feb

        Taylor Marsh: President Obama Hands Women the Future

        @rtraister is on board w/ premise that Obama’s team gamed the contraceptive ruckus brilliantly, whether initiating or not. #uppers
        3 hours ago Retweeted by @rtraister

      • which makes the religious right bishops look like the out-of-touch turds that they are to the general electorate.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I’m not grateful for this or anything like that. I didn’t know that was the designated standard for judging an action by a politician. My interest in politics has always been psychological, I guess. I’m fascinated by the twists and turns it takes and the personalities involved. I don’t know what I’ll do with my vote. I’ll decide in November, I guess. This particular decision by Obama won’t influence it either.

        But yesterday I finally saw something I liked in Obama: impatience with ignorance and medacity. Naturally, as the politican he is, he had to throw in a sop to the religious nuts. Obviously politicians are motivated by the desire to win votes. Sometimes they do the right thing because they believe it’s right; sometimes they do it for questionable motives. To me it’s about the result, not the motives. I really don’t care what FDR’s motive was in creating social security. I’m just glad he did it.

        And no, I’m not comparing anything Obama has done to FDR and/or social security….

      • janicen says:

        dak, I really appreciate your coverage of this issue. I’ve looked at it and looked at it, and I’m thrilled with how this has worked out. If the Obama administration planned for it to work out this way, then they are brilliant and if they didn’t really plan it out and just stumbled into it, then I say good on ‘em. From what I see, Obama has protected women while at the same time exposing the Catholic leadership for their anti-woman position. This isn’t about their (The Catholics) morals, this is about keeping women as second class citizens. When the other right wing Republicans jumped on board, thinking they would seize the opportunity to beat up Obama again, they unwittingly acknowledged Obama’s healthcare plan. This so-called dreadful plan that will mean the end of life as we know it, has suddenly become something that has become accepted but needs tweaking.

        I think the drubbing that Obama is taking in the MSM over this is something we’ve seen before. They’ve tipped their hand now, we now know they want Romney, and they will paint Obama in a negative light from now until November.

        Honestly, I never thought I would hear myself say it, but I’m actually considering voting for Obama over this whole thing. I think his getting everything he wanted while appearing to appease the lunatics has been genius.

        • dakinikat says:

          Thanks. All I know is that all women with medicaid and insurance now have access to birth control and most significantly without co-payments. We have never, EVER had that before and I don’t care how we got it. Although I do like that it seems unlikely that can challenge Griswold in the courts with a religious conscientious objector angle. That’s a big step forward imho.

          Now, if we can turn back the tide on the other things.

          • dakinikat says:

            Preventive services that will be covered without co-pay include:

            Contraception and contraceptive counseling: Women will have access to all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling.
            Well-woman visits: This would include an annual wellness visit to a doctor. If deemed necessary by her doctor, additional preventive-care visits would also be covered.
            Gestational diabetes screening: This screening is for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant, and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes. Women who have gestational diabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Their children are at risk for being overweight and insulin resistant.
            HPV DNA testing: Women who are 30 or older will have access to human papillomavirus (HPV) testing every three years, regardless of Pap smear results. Early HPV screening, detection, and treatment reduce a woman’s risk of cervical cancer.
            STI counseling, and HIV screening, and counseling: Sexually active women will have access to annual counseling on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). These sessions have been shown to reduce risky behavior in patients, yet only 28% of women aged 18 to 44 reported that they had discussed STIs with a doctor or nurse.
            Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling: Pregnant and postpartum women will have access to comprehensive lactation support and counseling from trained providers, as well as breastfeeding equipment.
            Domestic violence screening: During their lifetimes, 25% of U.S. women are the target of intimate partner violence. Early detection and intervention increases an abused woman’s safety.

            http://women.webmd.com/news/20110801/no-more-copay-for-womens-wellness-birth-control

      • ralphb says:

        BB, right on. I care about the policy and not the motives of whoever did it. If it’s good policy and works, it’s a win. I don’t think there is any need to be grateful, that’s why they are elected.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        I am with you Wonk, fake win indeed.

        • dakinikat says:

          What, you don’t want birth control with out co-payments and a whole bunch of other women’s preventative health care? You don’t think women that work at Catholic organizations getting access to that isn’t a big deal?

          http://women.webmd.com/news/20110801/no-more-copay-for-womens-wellness-birth-control

          I’ve done my homework on this one. Believe me. It’s not smoke and mirrors. It’s the law and with that accounting trick “accommodation”, every fricking constitutional lawyer I’ve seen on TV and read says there’s no grounds for challenging it on “religious freedom”. (Not that there was much of chance of a viable challenge to start out with). The HHS did their work on this one. I’ve spent four days researching this. It’s genuine. I was waiting for a cave in … it really didn’t happen.

  7. bostonboomer says:

    “Make like myelin.” That’s a good one! The perfect joke for a developmental psychologist’s convention too!

  8. Woman Voter says:

    Oh, look those 98% Catholics who use reproductive care are speaking UP!

    For Immediate Release
    10 February 2012
    Campaign by US Bishops Forces White House to Concede; Women’s Access to Birth Control Is Now “On a Wing and a Prayer”

    The White House has announced what it would like us to call an “accommodation” on access to insurance coverage for birth control.

    Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, said: “We are glad to see that the administration did not choose to cave completely to the bishops. But the reality is that this compromise relies on insurance companies doing the right thing, and gives victory #1 to the bishops on their ‘religious liberty’ shopping list.
    http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/news/pr/2012/campaignbybishops.asp

    That is right, there is no fine print to hold them to their ‘honored word’…details, details, but Obama is an attorney surely he knows to get it in writing, or maybe not….

    Google President Obama Stupak Executive Order

  9. Pat Johnson says:

    So how come these “religoius rights” morons aren’t up in arms over vasectomies that are covered by insurance???????

    Vasectomies put a stop to all those pesky little sperms just itching to get their mitts on the egg thus leading to that precious baby that has as many rights as I have. Where’s Rick Santorum when you need him?

    Kind of a contradiction in terms from my perspective.

    (Bet Newtie had a vasectomy he doesn’t want us to know about. Either that or Callista is taking the Pill by the handful.”

  10. Joyce says:

    Hey Wonk, great post. Much of my thinking about politics as usual has been, and no doubt will continue being, along the “this is so damn predictable and boring” line. And wondering yet again why this process, both campaigning and governing, is considered a good idea. To state the very, very obvious: keep playing the same game, keep accepting the same only-two-choices “option,” and, well, we’ll keep playing the same game.

    • Thanks Joyce–love that you put option in quotes! There really is no meaningful alternative out there… just eggs over easy or sunny side up….

      • northwestrain says:

        “And that’s not even to get into the obvious fact that women’s-health issues have been treated as little more than a bargaining chip by a Democratic president. Again.”

        Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/obama-contraception-deal-6654248#ixzz1m6YLBTff

        Charles P. Pierce

        I can’t believe I’m quoting a guy on women’s human rights issues — but when a guy is right and says it well . . . . . .

      • I think it’s a win for Obama AND C-street frankly…they both get what they need politically out of this, which is to keep the oligarchy game going.

        Women *were* supposed to get free birth control before all this phony nonsense started.

        • dakinikat says:

          Yes. But the Catholic Bishops forced this into the headlines with their letters read from the pulpit two Sundays ago. This was long in the works. It just sped things up. I’m not really seeing any political winners from this from what I can see on the TV. There’s still the same bashing going on from both sides with the same tropes about “religious freedom”. Obama’s working on other stuff now. I disagree with Amanda Marcotte who thinks this was some behind the scenes political maneuver. I don’t care what the political dynamics are, however. ALL these women get birth control with NO co payments by no later than August of this year. That’s not anything that’s ever happened before.

          • dakinikat says:

            Now, if we could only hope to get better access and coverage for abortion services … I know that’s a wild hair though at this point. Getting tired of people trying to deny women their constitutional rights, frankly!

      • foxyladi14 says:

        Thanks for the roundup! great post. :)

  11. gxm17 says:

    Did Rick take a trip in the wayback machine? Black Sabbath hasn’t been “brand new” for four decades. Or have Ozzy’s kids started a Black Sabbath reboot?

    Don’t forget “Stay,” all you Gosling fans. I think he’s got that Adrien Brody thing going on. It all about the eyes. I can’t understand why some folks don’t see it, but then again, I’ve never been a Brad Pitt fan (he’s a good actor I just don’t think he’s all that looks wise).

    • Hey gmx! I think that “news story” was an Onion-like satire. It’s from a blog, not a news source. But this is how noxious santorum is…that we’d readily believe he was expanding his Crusades and going after Metallica.

    • northwestrain says:

      Santorum is a time traveling alien. Same guy, same topic, jumping from the past up through the present. He was there to urge the villagers to burn the witches — he was on orders from someone higher up.

      Actually Santorum is an extremely rigid person — everything is black and white and HIS way is the only acceptable way. He basically believes in mythology. Back when the bible was cribbed from earlier mythology texts — sperm was “seed” which was “planted” in the field or womb. Women’s only contribution was providing the gestation tank. I don’t remember when the egg’s connection to human reproduction was figured out — but not during biblical times.

    • gxm17 says:

      Thanks for the head up. I’ve been seeing this all over the net and never clicked the link to see that it’s satire. But, yes, I think Rick lives in the wayback machine, by several hundred years.

  12. boogieman7167 says:

    OT OT why is it that when there was the threat that Kadhafi,s might use military force on civilian’s of Libya there was the major up-cry by the by the united states and the international community and so many where so eager to go to war and impose a no fly / no drive zone /

    but know in syria when that county’s dictator is killing civilian’s by the thousand’s no a sound coming from the same people that where so eager to help libyas rebels ????????

    • ralphb says:

      Reason #1: The Libyan rebels asked for the help and the Arab League said “sure”. The rebels in Syria haven’t asked for intervention, only weapons now I think.

  13. ralphb says:

    PPP h/t political wire

    Rick Santorum has pulled ahead of Mitt Romney among Republican voters nationally, 38% to 23%. They are followed by Newt Gingrich at 17% and Ron Paul at 13%.

    A key reason for Santorum’s surge is his own high level of popularity: 64% of voters see him favorably to only 22% with a negative one. But the other, and maybe more important, reason is that Republicans are significantly souring on both Romney and Gingrich. Romney’s favorability is barely above water at 44% to 43% while Gingrich is upside down at 42% to 44%.

    Most interesting: “If Gingrich dropped out 58% of his supporters say they would move to Santorum, while 22% would go to Romney and 17% to Paul. Santorum gets to 50% in the Newt free field to 28% for Romney and 15% for Paul.”

    Speaking of Rick and the wayback machine. Frothy!!!

  14. NW Luna says:

    Ugh, Santorum’s going to be here on Monday.

    Washington will become a flash point in the nation’s culture wars on Monday, as Republican presidential contender Rick Santorum brings his socially conservative message to the state on the same day Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign a bill legalizing gay marriage.

    In his first foray here in advance of the state’s March 3 GOP caucuses, Santorum is planning a 7 p.m. campaign rally Monday at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma, according to plans sent by his campaign to state Republican leaders.

    He ought to check himself into that History Museum, in the 18th-century section.

    • northwestrain says:

      The WA State History Museum is smack dab in downtown Tacoma. (The aroma from Tacoma).

      Anyway there is a glass museum right next to the History Museum. And then there is a great marina. Downtown Tacoma has a downtown marina — so very Washington.

      Anyway — the State History Museum had an exhibit in honor of the women’s right to vote amendment to the Constitution. Now that battle brought out all the idiots — some of the pamphlets against Women voting were very much like the crap being used by the GOP and religious right today in their war against women.

      Hopefully the museum and surrounding area can be fumigated after the flat earthers vacate the place.

  15. Hey Girl… “talk finance to me, baby” edition… (for Dr. Dakinikat and all the other econ wonks out there!)

    (photo coming in a sec…)

    hey girl

    More Finance Ryan Gosling here:

    http://financeryangosling.tumblr.com/

    • dakinikat says:

      I hate to admit this. I know what the abbreviations are but I have no idea who Ryan Gosling is or anything about the reference of the in your …

      roflmao I am an American culture idiot!!!

      • Gosling is actually a Canadian actor… anyways he’s all the rage and there was a protest brou-ha-ha when Bradley Cooper bested him for Sexiest Man Alive. Meanwhile studious and resourceful girls in school started turning various photos and stills of him into internet tumblr flashcards/memes to help them memorize their subject material. So there’s Neuroscientist Ryan Gosling like the embedded in my post, there’s Finance Ryan Gosling like the one I embedded for you in the comments, there’s Public History Ryan Gosling over at the Historiann link I included up top, etc.

      • ralphb says:

        Thanks Wonk. I had no clue either and still don’t know why I should know him.

    • dakinikat says:

      That’s Weighted Average Cost of Capital and Discounted Cash Flows for any one that cares, btw.

  16. NW Luna says:

    Med/science news:

    Destructive plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients have been rapidly cleared by researchers testing a cancer drug on mice.

    The US study, published in the journal Science, reported the plaques were broken down at “unprecedented” speed. Tests also showed an improvement in some brain function. Specialists said the results were promising, but warned that successful drugs in mice often failed to work in people.

  17. ralphb says:

    Scarecrow: Bishops Still Want To Take Away Eve’s Apple

    As I’ve argued before, the Bishops want to compel the government to choose covered medical services based on the Bishop’s religious preferences. That would obviously violate the establishment clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment. The Bishops also argue that many of their institutions self insure. So? If an institution wants to function as an insurance company, it can, but that doesn’t create any special privilege to ignore the coverage rules that apply to all other insurance companies.

    What the revised Administration rule does is to separate the government’s role in deciding the essential medical services that insurers must cover from the revenue collection function of the employers who elect to offer employer-provided insurance. Employers don’t have to offer insurance, but if they do, the insurance must meet the minimum national insurance requirements.

    The new rule properly puts religious institutions in the right context. The Bishops will squawk, because they want to control the government role. But they are fighting the First Amendment when they make that demand.

    I think what Obama did actually strengthened the underlying public policy.