(Uh, this post is full of the word shit…those with fragile sensibilities have been warned.)
Last week Boston Boomer mentioned the repetition of political news stories, that it is difficult to even find something to write about that really isn’t a re-hash of something we have said before.
It really has been the SSDD, same shit different day, and I am sick and tired of it.
So this post will highlight the usual crap, and touch on a few items that are just interesting…and have nothing to do with all the bullshit that is being spread around these days.
There is a group of states who have said no to Obamacare, 26 states who now will have their insurance one stop shop marketplaces set up and run by the Feds. (Sounds ironic doesn’t it.)
A total of 26 Republican-led or Republican-leaning states have declined to establish insurance exchanges, a centerpiece of the reforms ushered in by the Affordable Care Act, ceding control of a critical element of their health care system to the federal government.
The ACA requires the creation of the one-stop marketplaces called exchanges to connect buyers and sellers of health insurance — the vehicle through which the law would expand coverage and protect consumers. The law encourages states to build their own exchanges under the guidelines. If they refuse, the federal government will take on the task.
By last Friday’s deadline, just 17 states and Washington, D.C., submitted their plans for exchanges. Just four of them are governed by Republicans — Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. An additional seven states intend to build their exchanges in partnership with the federal government. The exchanges are scheduled to go live on Jan. 1, 2014.
Of the remaining 26, twenty-four have Republican governors. The other two, Montana and Missouri, have decidedly conservatives electorates and Republican-controlled legislatures.
Kaiser Health News has a chart of where the states stand:
Personally, I think this story is a prime example of the political machine dishing the same old shit once again.
When the ACA created this structure, it seemed like a no-brainer that states would be on board. Why would any of them, especially the ones hostile to the law, willingly give up control of their health care systems to Washington?
Ironically the answer, by and large, is politics. Conservatives activists detest “Obamacare” and argue that any governor who agrees to build an exchange is abetting the law, even though the consequence of not doing to is to surrender more control to Washington. There is a substantive gripe, too: conservatives contend that the law offers too little flexibility for states to craft the exchanges in accordance with their needs.
I still wish like hell this Obamacare would magically morph into a single payer option, which would be the best way to get healthcare coverage to the masses. But that wish of mine is itself bullshit because it will never happen.
More crap is expected next month as the GOP right-wing nuts (CPAC) get together to discuss the topics they love. Maddow has a contest going on at her blog: TRMS writing challenge: The missing CPAC panels
Seriously, here are some of the actual titles of scheduled events:
CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, hits Washington March 14-16. In addition to speeches by Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Steve King, Michele Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Phyllis Schlafly, Sarah Palin, Brent Bozell, Rick Santorum and the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre, CPAC is proud to present these panels (all real, BTW):
- Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?
- The Future of the Movement: Winning with Generation X/Y
- Stop THIS: Threats, Harrassment, Intimidation, Slander and Bullying from the Obama Administration
- How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love Plastic Water Bottles, Fracking, Genetically Modified Food, & Big Gulp Sodas
- Is America Coming Apart?
- The Fight for Religious Libery(sic): 40 years After Roe V. Wade
- Getting Hollywood Right
- Free at Last: When the Right to Work Came Back to the Midwest
Good grief! Now if that is not a list of the same old shit, I don’t know what is!
There was some surprising news last night, I expected to have to write about the latest controversial execution in my home state of Georgia, but check it out…a last minute stay of execution was granted to Warren Hill, a man that has learning disability. Warren Hill granted stay of execution
Warren Hill, 53, has been granted a stay of execution from the federal appeals court for the 11th circuit. Photograph: Ho/AFP/Getty Images
Warren Hill, an intellectually disabled prisoner, has been spared the death chamber just 30 minutes before he was due to die by lethal injection in Georgia despite a US supreme court ban on executions of people with learning difficulties.
Hill, 53, had already taken an oral sedative of Ativan to help calm himself for the gurney before he learned of the stay of execution from the federal appeals court for the 11th circuit. The court agreed to consider the issue of his intellectual disabilities in the light of a 2002 US supreme court ruling that prohibits executions of “mentally retarded” prisoners as a breach of the constitutional safeguard against cruel and unusual punishment.
Georgia is the only state in the union that insists prisoners must prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that they have learning difficulties – a standard that experts say is almost impossible to achieve.
Hill had been scheduled to be executed at 7pm at the same prison where Troy Davis was put to death in September 2011 amid massive international outcry. Davis’s death, despite substantial evidence of his innocence, prompted dramatic scenes at the prison where hundreds of protesters were confronted by armed Swat police armed with a police helicopter flying overhead.
This article from the Guardian makes a point to mention there were fewer protesters this time around.
Hill’s scheduled execution attracted a comparatively small response, with few protesters and campaigners present in the prison grounds as the appointed hour approached. This was the second time in seven months that Hill has come close to the death chamber: last July he was spared by just 90 minutes and the experience was repeated on Tuesday night with just 30 minutes to go.
I guess many people are feeling the apathy that SSDD brings to those who deal with the same shit every day, you know what I am talking about…that feeling of why even bother, things are never going to change. Shit always trickles downward…and it is invariably the same folks getting shit on, over and over again.
One more political link: GOP lawmakers propose $30 million a year to fund Cops in Schools program
Freshman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and six other House Republicans have proposed legislation that would spend $30 million a year on federal grants to help put police officers in schools across the country.
The Protect America’s Schools Act is a reaction to the December shooting at a Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children dead. After that shooting, National Rifle Association President Wayne LaPierre suggested that children in schools be protected by armed guards, and Meadows’s bill would appear to be a step in that direction.
“According to a recent Gallup poll, 53 percent of Americans believe that increasing police presence at schools would be very effective in preventing future tragedies,” Meadows said last week. “After speaking to local law enforcement, superintendents and principals in my district, I believe this is the best path forward.”
His bill, H.R. 751, would fund the Cops in Schools grant program, which has not been funded since 2005. Up to $30 million per year could be distributed in grants to help states afford the placement of police in schools.
Meadows said this spending would be offset with unspent funds from the operations budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The winners and runners-up in the second annual Shit London photography awards, celebrating the city’s ugliest buildings, worst shop names and most depressing views…
Finally the big night has arrived!
The first presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will take place tonight at 9PM in Denver, Colorado. The moderator will be Jim Lehrer of PBS. You can watch the debate on CNN, C-Span, or live stream it at multiple sites around the internet. Lots of people are boycotting CNN because they haven’t fired Erick Erickson. I plan to stream it on the C-Span site.
This has to be one of the most hyped presidential debates in history. I know all you Sky Dancers are extremely knowledgeable and don’t need to be told what to watch out for in the debate, but I’ll provide a few links just so you can see what different blogs are saying about it.
Talking Points Memo:
What to What To Look For In The Debate — And How To Unspin It. Brian Beutler will be watching for what the candidates say about a number of issues from a liberal point of view.
health care reform – How will Romney differentiate Obama care from Romney care?
Medicare and Medicaid – These have become difficult issues for Romney. Beutler doesn’t say this, but I’ll be watching to see if President Obama uses this to his advantage and especially if he makes a real commitment to protect these important programs.
Welfare – Romney made a big issue of welfare based on a blatant lie about Obama’s policies. Will Obama call him out on it? How will Romney try to fudge his lies?
Taxes – Romney claims he can lower taxes for everyone and still cut the deficit. Everyone knows that’s impossible. Can Obama force him to get into specifics and defend the indefensible?
Tax Returns – Journalists have been digging out lots of embarrassing tidbits from Romney’s recently released 2011 return. Will Obama get into the nitty gritty? How will Romney defend his low tax rate?
47 Percent – This will be huge for Obama to hit Romney on. Can Romney defend his ugly remarks? Polls show they have had a powerful effect on voters around the country.
The Wall Street Journal
has a piece today that reflects expectations for the debate from the conservative side. Apparently the Romney campaign is mostly focused how how they’ll spin the debate to best effect.
Wednesday’s debate will offer an important moment to help shape the Romney campaign’s message moving forward. Here’s a look at how they plan to capitalize on it.
Team Romney’s debate-monitoring strategy is, essentially, broken into three parts. A group of staffers in an annex office in Boston have their own version of a war room to monitor televisions, debate transcripts and Twitter. That helps feed the rapid response effort – a group of some two dozen staffers in a second-floor conference room in Boston.
Unlike past debates where the response crew pumped out lengthy research documents, this time they’ll focus on pithier push-back using Twitter and Tumblr. The strategy is partly to inform the media, but it’s also designed to provide supporters with simple talking points.
Politico spells out the Republican point of view
on what to watch for in the debate. I’ll just give you some brief excerpts. They say Romney has to
be aggressive without attacking the president, who has high personal approval ratings too fiercely. He has to seem tough but also presidential, assertive but not snide. He has to accuse Obama of not being honest with voters, without sounding shrill.
As for Obama, they say he needs to attack Romney aggressively while still maintaining his nice guy image.
Fact one: Obama’s surge against Romney was powered by a relentless, pounding summertime assault — led by surrogates and staff for the most part — on his challenger’s fitness to lead and capacity to comprehend the struggles of regular working people.
Fact Two: Obama’s surge was also fueled by a huge lead over Romney on personal approval — and that edge could disappear if he appears too negative tonight.
Politico says the 47 percent issue and Libya will be the biggest vulnerabilities for Romney and Obama respectively.
There is a substantial chance that either candidate will say something new, and memorable, when answering a question about one of those topics, which have posed problems for Romney and Obama, respectively, over the past few weeks. There’s a moderate chance both will.
Romney is well aware that he will be asked about his remarks, secretly videotaped at a fundraiser last May, that 47 percent of Americans — those backing the president in his reelection bid — considerer themselves “victims” and expect free things from government.
The administration’s initial claim, that the Benghazi protest was modeled after one taking place in Egypt against a video that expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, has been disputed. Nine days after the attack on the Sept. 11 anniversary, White House press secretary Jay Carney described it as a “self-evident” terror attack, but one of “opportunism,” not premeditation.
That description has also changed. While the issue is not dominating all cable news coverage as it did in the first few days after the death of four American diplomats, for Republicans, it cuts to the heart of Obama’s strength on foreign policy, historically a Republican calling card in national elections but an area that has favored the president since the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Politico also suggests that Obama “may not be ready for prime time,” and that Romney may have a chance to “get under Obama’s skin” early on. Finally, they expect both candidates to bring up Bill Clinton.
As with the WSJ, Politico–which gets plenty of leaks from the Romney campaign–is more focused on style than substance. We have to assume that is Romney’s focus as well. No mention of the famous “zingers” that Romney has been rehearsing for months.
Romney made a little news in the past few days.
Today he said that he will not continue Obama’s program of giving work permits to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children, but he wouldn’t take away any permits that have been given out before he became president.
If elected president, Mitt Romney would not continue the new program that grants work permits and suspends deportation for two years for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors, his campaign says, according to the Boston Globe.
Romney would not revoke work permits for people who obtain them by the time he would take office, on Jan. 20, but he would not grant any after that, the campaign says, according to the Boston Globe report.
Critics of Romney’s latest position on the initiative say it will doom the vast majority of the more than 1 million people who could be eligible for it. Since the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, USCIS, began accepting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications on Aug. 15, only 29 people have been granted deferred action and work permits.
Romney has also been talking about a cap on tax deductions as a way to pay for his tax cuts on top earners.
The Obama campaign seized on Romney’s comments in an interview with a local TV station in Colorado Monday night, saying that his mention of a possible $17,000 cap on itemized deductions would mean higher taxes for “many families.”
The campaign used the example of a family of four making $125,000 a year, and another of a family of three with an annual income of $85,000. Both, the Obama campaign said, would claim more than $17,000 a year in tax deductions, meaning that under Romney’s idea of a cap they would pay more than they do now.
But a Romney campaign adviser not authorized to speak publicly said that the biggest number used by the Obama campaign to come up with its result was one not included under a cap system: the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance. This was a $16,000-a-year value under the Obama campaign example, but without that number, in its scenarios the two families would get a tax cut, instead of paying more, according to the Romney advisor.
An Obama campaign adviser, who spoke on the condition he not be identified, said that “even if health is not included, it’s very easy to get to the same math starting with the mortgage interest deduction.”
So those two issues might come up in the debate.
I expect Romney to come out swinging like he did against Newt Gingrich in the Florida Primary debate. If he’s too wired, I think he could hurt himself early on by coming across as a boor, which is never difficult for him. I think he’ll also hurt himself badly if he doesn’t come out with some straight talk about the numbers in his tax plan.
For Obama, I agree with Politico that he needs to be aggressive, and I don’t think he needs to worry about coming across as mean. He would have to go a long way for anyone to think he has a nastier attitude than Romney. I also want to see Obama stand up strongly for the social safety net and make a real commitment to protect it. I’m sure Jim Lehrer will bring up Simpson-Bowles, and I’d like to see Obama explain why there are serious problems with the media’s favorite hobby-horse. Finally, I think he needs to push Romney hard on abortion and birth control.
What will you be watching for tonight?
It is hot as hell out there! All day today I’ve thought it was Tuesday…not sure why, because of all the days out there, Monday definitely has a feel.
*Jerry, Kramer and Newman in the Saab*
Kramer: What’s today?
Newman: It’s Thursday.
Kramer: Really? Feels like Tuesday.
Newman: Tuesday has no feel. Monday has a feel, Friday has a feel, Sunday has a feel….
Kramer: I feel Tuesday and Wednesday…
Jerry: All right, shut up the both of you! You’re making me nervous.
Anyway, here are tonight’s links…in link dump fashion.
The heat was getting to Boston Boomer today, hopefully it has cooled off for her. I know it has been hot down here in Banjoville, but it looks as if the drought we are experiencing has hit a milestone. Check this out:
10 Largest Droughts Since 1895
The 2012 drought disaster is now the largest in over 50 years, and among the ten largest of the past century, according to a new report released by the National Climatic Data Center today.
As The Weather Channel reported in an exclusive preview of the report Sunday, data computed from the Palmer Drought Severity Index shows that 54.6 percent of the contiguous 48 states was in drought at the end of June, the highest percentage since December 1956, and the sixth-highest peak percentage on record.
The June State of the Climate drought report from NCDC, released today, shows that in records dating to 1895, only the extraordinary droughts of the 1930s and 1950s have covered more land area than the current drought.
And by a slight margin, the current drought actually covers more area than the famous 1936 drought, though other droughts in the Dust Bowl years – particularly the extreme drought of 1934 – still rank higher.
That is something, isn’t it?
For another hot topic, remember that douche, Tosh? Tennessee Guerilla Women: Misogynist Daniel Tosh Makes One Rape Joke Too Many
Someone, it may have been Ralph, had posted a link to this petition below, I signed it, but I thought it would be good to front page the link.
At long last, there appears to be a serious outcry about Comedy Central’s famed Rape-Joker Daniel Tosh, a low-life who has long earned his living by encouraging similarly mindless young men to rape and think lightly of it. Tosh earns his living by spewing forth loathsome misogyny in the form of rape ‘jokes.’
After Tosh ‘joked’ at a comedy show that it would be so very ha-ha funny if five guys would only rape a woman in his audience (the woman had dared to object to his rape jokes), the loathsome misogynist is suddenly the talk of bloggers everywhere. Tosh, the Rape Joker, is said to be furiously scrambling to remove the rape jokes from his new, about to debut, rape joke show. But without his rape jokes, does Tosh have an audience?
I don’t know how I feel about this next link, so perhaps you all could give me your thoughts on it: Science Cheerleaders: Give Us an S, T, E, M! (Video)
Or rather, go scientists. The Science Cheerleaders are 175 former NFL and NBA dancers who are scientists and engineers, mathematicians, IT professionals, molecular science Ph.Ds. That is, these ex-professional cheerleaders all have now had to “lower their standards” and work in the STEM fields, in science, technology, engineering and math, as Chris Matyszczyk tongue-in-cheekly puts it on CNET.
Here are the Science Cheerleaders performing at the US Science and Engineering Festival in what Jezebel describes as the “perfect antidote for that crappy EU Science: It’s a Girl Thing! video we all rolled our eyes at a month ago
You can click the link to see the video.
According to their website, the Science Cheerleaders aim to “playfully challenge stereotypes, turn everyone onto science by encouraging participation in citizen science activities, and inspire young women (including 3-4 million U.S. cheerleaders) to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math,” while making the point that, yes, “science is accessible to ALL!”
It’s no secret that women are under-represented in the STEM fields. Just recently, a student (an English major) sat in my office and said she regretted that she hadn’t had a stronger foundation in science in high school and earlier, as she could see that jobs in the STEM field (vs. in journalism) were numerous and well-paying and, even more, seemed interesting. She was well aware of the numerous courses in math, biology, chemistry and physics she had never taken and, two years into her college studies, cannot suddenly change her major and stay beyond her scholarship.
But I do have to agree with Jezebel that
It’s a shame that it takes a team of dancing Disney Princesses to give girls permission to want to enter the fields of science and technology (you can do it because conventionally beautiful women do it!), but it’s also a shame that smart women can’t be pretty, and pretty women can’t be smart.
We don’t need another source of corporate news online. We certainly don’t need more portals that exploit real news operations like Britain’s The Guardian, which is struggling to stay afloat.
As for MSNBC’s original arena, television news, only 6 major corporations own most broadcast television news outlets in the United States. There has also been alarming concentration of ownership in radio, e.g. Clearchannel, which has boycotted artists for their political views. The situation in television news won’t be better if there are 7 corporations. Corporate-owned news has served us very badly as ownership has become concentrated. This, despite the valiant efforts of many honest journalists and editors, who, however, operate in an extremely unfavorable business environment and are often shunted aside in favor of infotainment and fluff or political misdirection. Much of the pressure comes, not just from the corporate higher-ups, but from the advertisers who pay for the news to be carried on the airwaves. In essence, cornflakes and tampons rent the news for us, but only as they please.
Read the rest at the link. I wonder if we will have to change all our MSNBC blog RSS feeds…hmmm.
This next article is tongue in cheek…I wonder if it is goose tongue? I love this bit from Jezebel, it is about Steve King, Congressman Thinks Birth Control Is Worse than Animal Cruelty
Iowa Republican Steve King currently fighting to oppose California’s right to regulate eggs from out of state, but he argues against Affordable Care Act on the grounds that the government shouldn’t have the right to tell states what to do. He’s also against letting states outlaw fois gras, and in favor of letting states outlaw birth control. Regulate the shit out of human ovaries but, my god, do not intrude onto the sacred ova of poultry. How did we get here? What in tarnation is going on?
The tea party at it’s hypocritical best:
Rep. Steve King is an unfortunate victim of what’s known as Obama psychosis, a tragic condition affecting thousands of Americans, with no cure in sight. You see, since declaring that the first priority of the 112th Congress was to make sure that Barack Obama was a one term President, conservatives have launched a campaign of NO that might rival that of the most dogged toddlers. They’ve blocked judicial nominations, further inflamed a global economic scare when they threatened to block raising the debt ceiling to make a point about how much they hate spending money, almost shut the government down over Planned Parenthood funding, and fought the Affordable Care Act tooth and nail. It should come as no surprise that in their campaign to stymie the President at every turn, congressional Republicans occasionally opposed issues that turned them into goofy looking hypocrites.
According to ThinkProgress: GOP Congressman: States Can Ban Birth Control, But Not Foie Gras
Californians have recently voted to enact laws banning the sale and production of both eggs from cruelly housed hens and foie gras, a delicacy created by force-feeding ducks. While this may seem within the legal bounds of a state’s ability to regulate local commerce, one Congressman is up in arms about it: Steve King (R, IA). King, despite being one of the most outspoken proponents of states’ rights in Congress, is so convinced that California’s laws violate the Commerce Clause that he pushed through legislation overturning the animal rights acts and similar statutes in other states:
Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican who represents the country’s leading egg-producing state, said he introduced the amendment because the California law and others like it “scrambles and creates a patchwork quilt of state regulations.”
“If California wants to regulate eggs that come into the state, fine,” King said. “But don’t be telling the states that are producing a product that’s already approved by the USDA or the FDA how to produce that product.”
He said that the California requirement violates the commerce clause of the Constitution, which gives the federal government jurisdiction over interstate commerce issues.
King believes the entire Affordable Care Act – not simply the mandate, but the whole law – is an unconstitutional use of federal power under the Commerce Clause. This means that, according to King, any federal regulation of the insurance industry is unconstitutional. King also thinks states can ban contraception. These radical beliefs aren’t a surprise: King adheres to an extreme interpretation of the Tenth Amendment which aims to gut federal power.
So King appears to to think federal regulation of farming is constitutional, but regulation of the health care industry is not. A state ban on birth control is fine, but banning foie gras isn’t.
Of course, King has a perfectly good reason for going against his principles: saving his own skin. King is in the midst of a bruising reelection battle as a consequence of redistricting. The largest industry spending on his behalf is big agribusiness, which isn’t thrilled about California’s laws. King’s home state of Iowa has no standards for ethical caging of egg-producing hens, a fact which was linked to a significant salmonella outbreak in 2010.
Only looking out for his best interest..or should I say his supporters best interest. Back to the Jezebel link, in which King:
wasn’t so keen on federal authority back in February, when he argued that Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court case that determined that it was illegal for states to outlaw contraception and set the privacy groundwork for Roe v. Wade, was a bunch of crap because states have the right to act in ways they see fit. He said,
Why should I care about the conclusions that have been brought forward by the Supreme Court if we can race from 1965, Connecticut having a Tenth Amendment right to establish a policy, a Supreme Court that creates a right to privacy that’s the foundation for mandated abortion, and here were are discussing whether we’re going to mandate everybody in America fund and provide that contraceptives. … Why should I care?
I get it now! States’ Rights means “states” have the “right” to agree with Steve King.
So there you have it — everyone should have the right to interfere with the sale of birth control to women who don’t want to be pregnant, but no one should have the right to violate a woman’s right to force feed a duck until its liver becomes engorged with fat, and then killing the duck and eating the liver.
Would that be served with “Fava Beans, and a nice Chianti?” What An Ass…uh, Rep. Steve King that is…
Hey, speaking of dicks…Jonah Falcon, Man With World’s Largest Penis, Frisked By TSA At California Airport
Turns out it’s legal to have a weapon of mass conception at the airport.
Jonah Falcon was stopped and frisked by the TSA at the San Francisco International Airport on July 9 because of a bulging package hidden in his pants. But the 41-year-old New Yorker wasn’t packing a dirty bomb, drugs or a Costco-sized tube of toothpaste. The New Yorker has the world’s largest recorded penis.
In an exclusive interview with The Huffington Post, Falcon described his hard times with security guards after his extra carry-on became suspect.
“I had my ‘stuff’ strapped to the left. I wasn’t erect at the time,” said Falcon, whose penis is 9 inches flaccid, 13.5 inches erect. “One of the guards asked if my pockets were empty and I said, ‘Yes.’”
Falcon said he knew that his interview was about to get a lot more personal when he was led through one of the X-ray body scanners and passed a metal detector.
“Another guard stopped me and asked me if I had some sort of growth,” Falcon said, laughing.
Indeed he did have a growth.
There are some…er…pictures at the link.
And lastly, this video is fabulous, h/t FDL. Makes the world seem small, a place where we all can enjoy a dance or two…well, except for the folks in Syria who have to have their faces blurred out. Enjoy it:
That’s all folks….stay cool!
Funny how sometimes you miss things, little things.
While writing this post I am watching Taxi Driver, I’ve seen it many times, but for some reason I must have missed the director’s cameo. I don’t know maybe I’ve just forgotten that Martin Scorsese was sitting on the steps, watching Cybil Shepard walk by…in that white dress.
(Of course Scorsese has that speaking role in the cab as the crazed husband…but that scene is one I remember.)
Anyway, seeing this film again only makes those later Scorsese films, particularly the ones he did with Leonardo di Caprio even more disappointing.
Strange introduction I know, but I am dieting, and my fuzzy memory may just be the result of my body going through popcorn withdraws. Seriously, you have no idea just what kind of popcorn “freak” I am…and this no-fat Greek yogurt just is not giving me the same kind of satisfaction as those greasy salt covered popped kernels do.
I am so glad to see this week come to an end, my dad is refusing to listen to the doctor’s recommendations…so it is back to the same old story. Damn it’s so frustrating, it’s like living a re-run every six to seven months. I really don’t mean to ramble on like this, but when you see the paltry selections of links I have for you today, you will see that I am just too tired…and to hungry to write a long post.
On Friday, I posted a bunch of cartoons about the Penn State cover-up. Well, this first story reads like something you would see in one of those cartoons. (Especially the ironic bit about the Blue Ribbon.) You will see what I mean, check it out, emphasis mine. Artist paints over halo on Joe Paterno mural
Michael Pilato had put a halo over Paterno’s image after the beloved coach’s death in January, but said he felt he had to remove it Saturday after a report that Paterno, former university president Graham Spanier and others buried allegations of child sex-abuse against ex-assistant Jerry Sandusky. Paterno’s family denies the claim.
Pilato added a large blue ribbon, instead, on Paterno’s lapel symbolizing support for child abuse victims, a cause the artist said Paterno had endorsed.
Pilato earlier removed Sandusky from the downtown mural. He said he hasn’t made a decision on Spanier’s image. Spanier has not been charged. Sandusky has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.
Paterno wearing a ribbon to support child abuse victims? A cause Paterno supposedly endorsed, it just makes me sick!
Ugh, my guess is that I am not the only one feeling ill after reading that crap. This next link is not as disturbing, it discusses some pathetic statistics about uninsured women…however there is some hope that as the ACA kicks in, many of these women will finally get some coverage. Nearly Half Of American Women Afraid They Can’t Afford To Get Sick
In England, getting sick is a health issue, not an economic one.
Indeed, a full 91 percent of U.K. women are confident they could afford the costs associated with a serious illness. Not so in the United States, where 48 percent of women can’t express such confidence, according to a recently released study by The Commonwealth Fund.
No doubt a lot of that has to do with a lack of insurance. In 2010, roughly 18.7 million women in the United States, or 20 percent, did not have access to health insurance. This amounts to 6 million more women without insurance than just ten years before. (h/t: EurekAlert)
This new report by the commonwealth fund says the number of uninsured has increased since 2010. Now one in four Americans are uninsured.
This is all important because the decision to seek help is tremendously influenced by whether someone has insurance. While only 32 percent of insured women were put off from seeking care because of cost-related issues, that percentage more than doubled among uninsured women, the study found.
The report does estimate that the percentage of women in the United States without access to health insurance will fall to 8 percent upon the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. In Texas, which today is estimated as having the highest percentage of uninsured women, approximately 11.6 percent of women will remain uninsured after the act’s full implementation.
As I mentioned up top, I recently started a diet, everyone in my family has. We are trying to eat healthier. I guess keeping a journal will be another way to help to lose the weight. Keep a journal, don’t skip meals to shed weight: study
Want to drop those extra pounds without starving yourself? Keeping a food journal, not skipping meals and eating out less often, particularly for lunch, will help, according to new research released on Friday.
Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, in a study that looked at the impact of various self-monitoring techniques in older overweight and obese women, showed that simple changes in behavior can make a difference on the scales.
They found that in the year-long study women who kept journals lost six pounds (2.7 kgs) more than those you didn’t, but if they skipped meals they dropped eight pounds (3.6 kgs) less than women who ate regularly.
Ladies who lunched in a restaurant at least weekly lost on average five fewer pounds (2.3 kgs).
Maybe a journal will help keep track of what I eat, but I fear my notes will turn into nothing more than bitch sessions, full of long passionate run-on sentences about the foods I am craving, intertwined with the typical cursing associated with someone whose put off dieting for so long.
Again I go off on a tangent.
Hillary is in the news again, Hillary Clinton most-traveled Secretary of State ever -
Jul. 14, 2012 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues on her marathon diplomatic trip around the world in Egypt, marking her 9th country in 13 days. Clinton has traveled to 102 countries as diplomat to the world.
Wow, what a woman!
I will end this post with two clips, the first one is from the movie Taxi Driver, and the scene is one of the most famous in all cinema. You talkin’ to me?
Then we have the same scene, only with a South Park finish…as Mr. Garrison goes shopping for just the right gun. I’ve tried to embed the video on this post, but it may not be working correctly. Anyway, be sure to check it out.
Someone in my neighborhood has begun celebrating Independence Day already, so I’m writing this with the sound of firecrackers in the background.
That may soon be followed by thunder and lightening, so I shouldn’t have any trouble staying awake long enough to finish this post. As long as my power doesn’t go out, everything should be fine!
That’s downtown Boston in a thunderstorm. Isn’t it gorgeous? Now let’s see what the morning papers have in store for us.
Everyone is agog about physicists’ discovery of a new particle–is it the “god particle?”
Physicists in Europe will present evidence of an entirely new particle on Wednesday, Nature has learned.
But more data will be needed to officially confirm whether it is indeed the long-awaited Higgs boson — the particle thought to be behind the mass of all the others.
Even as rumours fly in the popular media, physicists have begun quietly cheering at CERN, the European particle-physics lab near Geneva in Switzerland. “Without a doubt, we have a discovery,” says one member of the team working on the ATLAS experiment, who wished to remain anonymous. “It is pure elation!”
For nearly half a century, physicists have predicted the existence of a particle that helps to endow others with mass. Named after theoretical physicist Peter Higgs, the boson is the upshot of a mathematical trick that unites the electromagnetic and weak nuclear forces into a single ‘electroweak’ interaction. It is considered the final, crucial piece of the standard model of particle physics.
I’m fascinated by physics, but this thing is beyond my comprehension. From what I can figure out it has something to do with an energy field that permeates the universe; so to me it sounds like confirmation of something that has been talked about by mystics for centuries.
“We think the Higgs boson really gets at the center of some physics that is responsible for why the universe is here in the first place and what the ultimate structure of matter is,” said Joe Lykken, a theoretical physicist at Fermilab….
“You can think of it as an energy field. We believe there is a Higgs energy field spread out in the whole universe,” Lykken said. Photons — light particles — are unaffected by this field. But as other elementary particles move around, he explained, “they feel this energy field as a kind of sticky molasses that slows them down and keeps them from moving at the speed of light.”
When enough of that field is packed into a small enough space, Lykken said, it manifests as a particle — the Higgs boson.
A group of researchers will leave today to mount a search for the wreckage of Amelia Earhart’s plane.
Organizers hope the expedition will conclusively solve one of the most enduring mysteries of the 20th century – what became of Earhart after she vanished during an attempt to become the first pilot, man or woman, to circle the globe around the equator.
A recent flurry of clues point to the possibility that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, ended up marooned on the tiny uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, part of the Pacific archipelago Republic of Kiribati.
“The public wants evidence, a smoking gun, that this is the place where Amelia Earhart’s journey ended,” said Richard Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). “That smoking gun is Earhart’s plane.”
The expedition was scheduled to begin yesterday, but the group’s departure was postponed because of an administrative issue. The trip will last 16 days, with 10 days spent on the search for the wreckage.
One of my cousins works in the White House, and her power has been out since that big storm the hit the mid-Atlantic states. According to my mom, many people in Indiana are also without power. Hundreds of thousands in the Eastern U.S. are in the same boat, and there is a likelihood of more blackouts. During a heat wave like this, that can be more than inconvenient–it could be dangerous.
Electrical utilities are advising customers in and around Washington that it may well be a whole week before all power is restored after the unusually potent storm that ravaged the mid-Atlantic region on Friday. Many customers are outraged as to why it would take so long.
More than two million people in the eastern United States, including more than 400,000 in the greater Washington area, were still without power on Monday.
The storm, which claimed at least 22 lives, shuttered businesses, stores and gas stations and littered the region with fallen tree limbs and downed power lines, many of which are still strung along poles above ground.
It hit during a period of record-breaking heat and immediately shut down air conditioning systems across an area well known for its hot, humid summers and poor air quality.
As evidence grows that Chief Justice John Roberts changed his vote on the Affordable Care Act case at the last minute, Republicans are gnashing their teeth and cursing their former idol as a traitor to the cause: Scorn and Withering Scorn for Roberts
The day after Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the Supreme Court’s four-member liberal wing to uphold the health care overhaul law, he appeared before a conference of judges and lawyers in Pennsylvania. A questioner wanted to know whether he was “going to Disney World.”
Chief Justice Roberts said he had a better option: he was about to leave for Malta, where he would teach a two-week class on the history of the Supreme Court. “Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress,” he said on Friday, according to news reports. “It seemed like a good idea.”
The chief justice was correct to anticipate a level of fury unusual even in the wake of a blockbuster decision with vast political, practical and constitutional consequences. The criticism came from all sides. And it was directed not at the court as whole or even at the majority in the 5-to-4 decision. It was aimed squarely at him.
Read the rest at the link. The NYT tried to “balance” their story by claiming that liberals are angry too. Seriously? Even they admit the wingers are “particularly bitter.”
Former Dubya speechwriter Michael Gerson describes “John Roberts’ alternate universe.” And Marc A. Thiessen asks, “Why are Republicans so awful at picking Supreme Court justices?”
While conservatives agonize, a new Kaiser Health Tracking poll finds that 56% of Americans “would like to see the law’s detractors stop their efforts to block its implementation and move on to other national problems.” More evidence that conservatives are out of touch with reality and headed for disaster in November unless they can manage to buy a clue.
CNN also ran a poll on reactions to the ACA decision–also asking respondents about their attitudes toward the Supreme Court.
According to a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday, the public is divided on last week’s ruling, with 50% saying they agree with the Supreme Court’s decision and 49% saying they disagree. And there is the expected partisan divide, with more than eight in ten Democrats agreeing with the decision, more than eight in ten Republicans disagreeing, and independent voters divided, with 52% disagreeing and 47% agreeing…..
“Despite howls of protest from many Republican leaders, only about one in five Americans – and only 35% of the Republican rank and file – say they are angry about the decision,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “And despite victory laps by many Democratic leaders, only one in six Americans – and only one in three Democrats nationwide – say they feel enthusiastic about the court’s ruling.”
But attitudes toward the Court generally have changed.
“As recently as April, Republicans and Democrats had virtually identical positive opinions on the Supreme Court. But not any more,” adds Holland. “That’s the biggest change that the court decision has created.”
The court’s approval rating among Democrats jumped by 23 points; to 73%. Among Republicans, it fell by 21 points, to 31%. Approval of the Supreme Court among independents edged up five points, to 53%.
I’ll end with a story that is a few days old, but still interesting: Mormons quit church in mass resignation ceremony.
A group of about 150 Mormons quit their church in a mass resignation ceremony in Salt Lake City on Saturday in a rare display of defiance ending decades of disagreement for some over issues ranging from polygamy to gay marriage.
Participants from Utah, Arizona, Idaho and elsewhere gathered in a public park to sign a “Declaration of Independence from Mormonism.” [....]
The Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is known for its culture of obedience, and the mass ceremony was a seldom-seen act of collective revolt.
After gathering in the park, participants hiked a half-mile up nearby Ensign Peak, scaled in 1847 by church President Brigham Young to survey the spot where his Latter-day Saints would build a city.
At the top, those gathered gave three loud shouts of “Freedom,” cheered, clapped and hugged.
The reasons participants gave for leaving their religion included the Mormon church’s political activity directed against the LGBT community, racism and sexism in the church, and the church’s efforts to cover up its own troubling history, which includes violent acts and polygamy.