Good Friday Evening!
Just a few for you tonight, I am still overwhelmed by things out of my control. Maybe I will just have a bowl of Frosted Flakes and chill out a while.
This is an open thread…
Oh man, this is too much!
Paul Ryan appeared on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace today and admitted to that the new “Ryan Plan” budget is based on the assumption that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed along with the planned Medicaid expansion.
Here’s the transcript of the interview.
Ryan explains that he plans to turn Medicare into a voucher program and Medicaid, food stamps, and “49 different job training programs spread across nine different government agencies” into block grants and let the states decide what to do with the money. Wallace had some questions.
Let me ask you about a couple of the specific cuts that you made last year, and tell me if they’re not in the new budget — I assume that they are. You cut Medicaid by $770 billion, over the next 10 years. You cut $134 billion from food stamps. You cut $166 billion from education, training and social services.
WALLACE: Can you honestly say by turning Medicaid into a block grant and giving it to the states that you can cut $770 billion —
WALLACE: — out of that program, over the next 10 years, and that’s going to have no impact on legitimate recipients?
RYAN: These are increases that have not come yet. So, by repealing Obamacare, and the Medicaid expansions which haven’t occurred yet, we are basically preventing an explosion of a program that is already failing.
So, we’re saying don’t grow this program through Obamacare because it doesn’t work. Prevent that growth from going because it’s not going to work, it’s going to hurt people who are trying to help, it’s going to hurt hospitals and states and, give the states the tools that they are asking for.
I’m kind of surprised Wallace didn’t do a Ricky Ricardo-type double take after that.
WALLACE: I’m going to pick up on this because I must say I didn’t understand it. Are you saying that as part of your budget, you would repeal, you assume the repeal of Obamacare?
WALLACE: Well, that’s not going to happen.
RYAN: Well, we believe it should. That’s the point. That’s what’s — but this is what budgeting is all about, Chris. It’s about making tough choices to fix our country’s problems.
And here’s the really crazy part. Wallace points out that, you know, Obama won the election and Medicare was a huge issue during the campaign and the voters rejected the Romney/Ryan plan.
Ryan doesn’t buy it:
I would argue against your premise that we lost this issue in the campaign. We won the senior vote. I did dozens of Medicare town hall meetings in states like Florida, explaining how these are the best reforms to save the shrinking Medicare program and we are confidently this is the way to go. It has bipartisan support. It’s an idea that came from Democrats in the first place.
Wha– ?! Has this guy gone around the bend or what? Haven’t the House Republicans already tried to repeal Obamacare more than 30 times?
Here’s the video from Think Progress:
This is a completely wacko, insane, what-is-he-smoking open thread!
After reading all the “God is good, god is great, let me thank him for this rape” shit last night, I honestly did not think I could write today’s post. It was so upsetting to me. (For reasons you all know.) I can not believe the way things are going in this election. So this morning there will be a few links that I think you will find interesting and no, they ain’t political…save for one.
Now, since I started this post with the words, rat’s ass, here is a cartoon about one I hope we will finally be rid of in 13 days.
Well, I guess you are all aware that today is October surprise day…Here is what Cannonfire thinks about these “Scandals.”
The only October surprise I am watching for is named Sandy….Yup, there is a possibility of some bad weather in the Appalachians and Northeast.
Tropical Storm Sandy was expected to become a hurricane on Wednesday as it approaches the south coast of Jamaica, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, prompting authorities on the Caribbean island to close schools and prepare shelters to take in residents of flood-prone areas.
The storm was centered about 195 miles south of the Jamaican capital, Kingston, late on Tuesday evening and had top sustained winds of 60 miles per hour (95 km per hour).
Forecasters said a tropical storm watch might be issued for south Florida on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, but the storm did not pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico, where U.S. oil and gas operations are clustered.
And before you blow this off as a ridiculous warning, remember the Perfect Storm back in 1991. Tropical storm Sandy scenarios: Northeast smash or out to sea most likely
Some computer models continue to simulate a crushing storm for early next week near or close to the East Coast. The explosive storm develops as tropical storm (or hurricane) Sandy merges with a powerful cold front charging towards the East Coast late this weekend.
Although a historic storm is a possibility, the storm could deliver just a glancing blow or even miss the East Coast entirely. And for residents of the mid-Atlantic (including Washington, D.C. and points further south), a direct hit is not particularly likely although it cannot be ruled out.
Residents of the Northeast, perhaps, should be most concerned. The European model – which did the best job simulating hurricane Isaac’s track in late August – delivers a devastating blow from central New Jersey to southern New England (including New York City), with Long Island and southern Connecticut ground zero. The model simulates the storm’s minimum central pressure below 940 mb, which is the equivalent of a dangerous major hurricane.
Y’all keep an eye on Sandy…latest updates here. Hey, as I was posting this a new storm has been formed in the Atlantic, Tony. At least, it looks like Tony will be staying away from the US Atlantic coast.
Okay, now for some cool links.
I saw this picture on Andrew Sullivan’s blog weeks ago, it is the oldest tree on earth, well older than “Jeeezus.”
Looks like the tree in Tim Buton’s Sleepy Hollow…
Meet the bristlecone pine:
The oldest of the living bristlecones were just saplings when the pyramids were raised. The most ancient, called Methuselah, is estimated to be more than 4,800 years old; with luck, it will soon enter its sixth millennium as a living, reproducing organism. Because we conceive of time in terms of experience, a life spanning millennia can seem alien or even eternal to the human mind. It is hard to grasp what it would be like to see hundreds of generations flow out from under you in the stream of time, hard to imagine how rich and varied the mind might become if seasoned by five thousand years of experience and culture.
So, as Autumn gets into full swing, take a few minutes to look up in night sky: What bright star flashes red and green in northeast?
Every year in autumn, we get questions from people who see a bright star twinkling with red and green flashes, low in the northeastern sky. Capella is a golden star when seen higher up in the sky. If you could travel to it in space, you’d find that it’s actually two golden stars, both with roughly the same surface temperature as our local star, the sun . . . but both larger and brighter than the sun.
At mid-evening, don’t mistake the much brighter planet Jupiter for Capella. At mid-northern latitudes, Jupiter rises in the east-northeast about two and one half hours after Capella does. In the Southern Hemisphere and northern tropics, Jupiter rises before Capella. Whereas Jupiter shines with the brighter and steadier light, Capella sparkles fiercely, flashing with the colors of the rainbow when near the horizon.
If you live at far northerly latitudes, you can star-hop from the Big Dipper to Capella, as depicted on the chart
And why does the star blink so?
So here is a golden star that flashes red and green when it’s low in the sky. Why does it do that? The reality is that every star in the sky undergoes the same process as Capella, to produce its colorful twinkling. That is, every star’s light must shine through Earth’s atmosphere before reaching our eyes. The key is that, when you look at an object low in the sky, you are looking through more atmosphere than when the same object is overhead. The atmosphere splits or “refracts” the star’s light, just as a prism splits sunlight.
That’s where Capella’s red and green flashes are coming from … not from the star itself … but from the refraction of its light by our atmosphere. When you see Capella higher in the sky, these glints of red and green will disappear.
By the way, why are these flashes of color so noticeable with Capella? The reason is simply that it’s a bright star. It’s the 6th brightest star in Earth’s sky, not including our sun. Capella is in the constellation Auriga the Charioteer, but since antiquity it has carried the name “Goat Star.”
The star will rise to overhead around 3-4 am in any time zone…look for it.
Now for something completely different: Adorable tiny echidna puggle to be raised in captivity
A tiny echidna puggle is being hand-fed by a staffer at the Taronga Wildlife Hospital of western Australia after being found on a walking trail.
The short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a relative of the platypus, according to the San Diego Zoo’s Animalbytes website. They’re also known as spiny ant-eaters, even though they aren’t related to the North and South American animals known as anteaters.
As baby dogs are called puppies and baby foxes called kits, baby echidnae are called “puggles.” The echidna puggle in this video got separated from its mother somehow. It may have fallen from her pouch, a feature that echidnae have in common with marsupials like kangaroos and koala bears.
Now named “Beau,” the little puggle hasn’t grown any spines or fur yet. Annabelle, the vet nurse caring for Beau, said that in all of her years caring for sick or hurt echidnae, she’s never seen one this young. Mother echidnae have no teats, but rather flat milk “patches” on their bellies, so Beau the puggle drinks milk from the flat of Annabelle’s hand.
They still don’t know the sex of the puggle, that is because it is still a baby and it will be months before the vets will not know if Beau is a boy or girl. There is video at the link, too cute.
Finally, here is some good news: Disabled patients to benefit from Medicare change
Lawyers for Medicare patients say the Obama administration has agreed to a change that would help people with severe chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s keep receiving rehabilitation services, even if they’re not getting better.
The proposed agreement filed with a federal judge in Vermont would allow Medicare patients to keep receiving physical and occupational therapy and other services at home or in a nursing home so that they can remain stable, said Gill Deford, a lawyer with the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
That’s been a problem for thousands of patients because of a longstanding Medicare policy that says they must show improvement to keep getting rehab. Deford’s group and other organizations challenged it in a nationwide class action suit.
This will be a relief for so many families…so what are you reading or thinking about today?