TBIF Reads

Good Morning!

Today we’re thanking the Buddhas for Friday just ’cause I feel like it!!  Well, not that any Buddhas had anything to do with naming today Friday or inventing the calendar or anything.  Let’s just say I felt contrarian today.

So, some of the Republicans who want to be president had a debate last night and it was all about denial of the last few centuries or progress.  Heck, it was denial of maybe 5 or so centuries.  Here’s a blast from the past from one of the more “credible candidates”.

MR. BROKAW: In the vast scientific community, do you think that Creationism has the same weight as evolution, and at a time in American education when we are in a crisis when it comes to science, that there ought to be parallel tracks for Creationism versus evolution in the teaching?

GOV. PAWLENTY: In the scientific community, it seems like intelligent design is dismissed — not entirely, there are a lot of scientists who would make the case that it is appropriate to be taught and appropriate to be demonstrated, but in terms of the curriculum in the schools in Minnesota, we’ve taken the approach that that’s a local decision. I know Senator Palin — or Governor Palin — has said intelligent design is something that she thinks should be taught along with evolution in the schools, and I think that’s appropriate. My personal view is that’s a local decision —

MR. BROKAW: Given equal weight.

GOV. PAWLENTY: — of the local school board.

MR. BROKAW: And you would recommend it be given equal weight?

GOV. PAWLENTY: We’ve said in Minnesota, in my view, this is a local decision. Intelligent design is something that, in my view, is plausible and credible and something that I personally believe in but, more importantly, from an educational and scientific standpoint, it should be decided by local school boards at the local school district level.

I guess he doesn’t think stuff like science should be left up to scientists.  School Boards know so much more.  But that’s pretty funny, because last night, he couldn’t exit that question fast enough.  He also said he was for cap-and-trade before he was against it.

10:07 p.m. “Do we have to?” Pawlenty’s candid comment before he’s asked to listen to an old interview where he backs the cap-and-trade approach to put a price on carbon. Afterwards, he reiterates he’s changed his mind. “I don’t try to duck it, bob it weave it. I’m just telling you I made a mistake.”

10:05 p.m. Pawlenty pivots off a question about creationism to burnish his blue collar credentials: “My family is a union family,” he said. “It’s not about bashing unions it’s about being pro-jobs…Pressed on to answer the creationism question: “I believe that should be left up to parents and local school districts.”

The shocker of the evening was that  there is another pro-choice Republican politician still standing besides Rudy Guilliani.  It’s Governor Gary Johnson of New Mexico.  Former Senator Rick Santorum is as Spanish Inquisition as ever.

10:00 p.m. Santorum offers a robust defense of the party’s social conservative wing — and takes a direct shot at Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels: “Anybody who would suggest we call a truce on the moral issues doesn’t understand what America is all about,” he says.

9:56 p.m. Johnson acknowledges he’s writing off the anti-abortion vote. “I support a woman’s right to choose up to the viability of the fetus,” he says.

9:54 p.m. Gays could get married if they want to under a President Paul: “The government should just be out of it,” the congressman says of the definition of marriage. “I have my standards, but I shouldn’t have the right to impose my standards on others… Just get the government out of it.”

If you haven’t noticed, Mittens and a few others were AWOL.  The debate was carried by Fox News.  This is interesting.  Gingrich didn’t show up but his contract with Fox was ended as was Rick Santorum’s contract.  How DO they tell the difference between dabblers and done thrown the hat in?  Huckabee still has his program.  Then, there’s the Donald on NBC.  NBC isn’t talking one way or the other about canceling whatever reality show Trump’s cooked up at the moment.

Fox News has terminated its contracts with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Sen. Rick Santorum after the deadline for them to decide on presidential bids passed on May 1, a source familiar with the move told POLITICO.

Fox suspended the two contributors in early March and stopped paying them as they mulled presidential runs, but left them the option of returning to the network. The contracts’ end marks another sign that Gingrich, who has repeatedly delayed his decision citing business obligations, is in the race — though he dropped out of tonight’s Fox debate.

For what it’s worth, the pundits and the focus groups liked former CEO Herman Cain’s debate performance.   For some reason, Santorum came in second with the Fox News debate focus group.  Most of them should just head to the ice floes now for the good of society.

In an interesting twist of fate,  Paul Ryan Agrees That His Budget Includes An Individual Mandate  for Health Insurance.

Q: If Medicare becomes a voucher program, would you require seniors to purchase private insurance and if so isn’t that an individual mandate? If you will not require them to purchase insurance how do you propose to prevent a situation where the costs of uninsured seniors is very expensive and gets passed on to me as a private policy holder? […]

RYAN: Its mandate works no different than how the current Medicare law works today, which is you just select from a wide range of different plans. It literally would be like Medicare Advantage…

So much for the faux outrage on “Obamacare”.  This was the same kind of crap that went on back in the day when it was all called Dolecare.  The centerpiece of all the Republican plans has been forcing people to buy stuff from private businesses.  I still can’t figure out how Obama got the Democrats to go along with it after they’d been fighting it for like 15 years.

The Daily Mail asks “Will Bin Laden’s sea burial backfire?” According to one British scholar, Radical Muslims have already renamed the Arab Sea  location ‘Martyr’s Sea’

Radical Muslims are already calling the site of Osama bin Laden’s ocean burial the ‘Martyr’s Sea’, according to one of Britain’s leading Islamic scholars.

The US said the decision to drop bin Laden’s body into the North Arabian Sea was taken to avoid creating a shrine for the slain Al Qaeda chief.

But Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at Cambridge University, claimed yesterday that the move could backfire on the Americans.

Speaking on Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, he said it was ‘disappointing’ that bin Laden wasn’t taken into custody.

‘By tipping him into the sea, the Americans may have created a kind of shrine. Some radicals are already calling the Arabian Sea the Martyr’s Sea,’ he said.

Okay, here’s a  new study that’s  interesting but maybe not very useful:   WILL a baby be a boy or a girl? If the mother started her period at a young age, it is more likely to be a girl.”

That’s according to Misao Fukuda at the M&K Health Institute in Hyogo, Japan, and colleagues, who found subtle differences in sex ratios of children depending on when a mother entered menarche.

Fukuda asked over 10,000 mothers the age at which they had begun their period and the sex of their baby. Forty six per cent of the children born to women who began their periods at age 10 were boys. This figure rose to 50 per cent when the woman began her period at 12, and 53 per cent when the women entered menarche at age 14 (Human Reproduction,DOI: 10.1093/humrep/der107).

Fukuda points to previous research demonstrating higher levels of the female sex hormone oestradiol in women who entered menarche before the age of 12. This may lead to spontaneous miscarriage of fertilised male eggs, he says. The theory is plausible, says Valerie Grant at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, as male embryos are known to be more vulnerable to hormone imbalances.

WAPO has a very interesting personal feature up on Bradley Manning:  “Bradley Manning is at the center of the WikiLeaks controversy. But who is he?” It basically gives a brief biography of the young solider in the center of so much controversy and trouble.

Despite his struggles, Manning was excited about his future in Army intelligence, a field that suited his analytical mind. “It’s going to be a different crowd when I get through with basic,” he told the friend. “I’m going to be with people more like me.”

He enjoyed classes at the Fort Huachuca, Ariz., intelligence school, where he received a top-secret security clearance, graduated and joined the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, N.Y.

It was here, constrained by the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, that he began speaking out anonymously about gay rights. He attended a rally in Syracuse and noted on Facebook that he had gotten an “anonymous mention” in an article. The reporter wrote of a gay soldier who complained he was “living a double life. … I can’t make a statement. I can’t be caught in an act.”

Manning now had a love interest: Tyler Watkins, a freshman interested in neuroscience at Brandeis University who was an active member of Triskelion, the Brandeis club for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students. Manning began to make weekend visits to Watkins’s dorm at the tranquil, wooded campus west of Boston. On his Facebook page, Watkins declared that he was “totally in love with Bradley Edward Manning!!!!!!!”

It still seems that TV is centered on OBL.  I’m glad that we’ve been able to scrap up some alternatives around here. Well, that’s enough to get you started today! What’s on your reading and blogging list?

44 Comments on “TBIF Reads”

  1. Branjor says:

    that’s interesting but maybe not very useful: WILL a baby be a boy or a girl? If the mother started her period at a young age, it is more likely to be a girl.”

    I have one counter example right off the bat. My mother started her period at 15. I am her only child. Not that a sample of one proves anything.
    The majority of babies born are boys, sex ratio approximately 100 (females):103 (males). (don’t know if the ratio in recent years has changed.) Female puberty has gotten earlier and earlier in recent years, breast development sometimes occurring as young as age 7. Theory is that estrogen hormones in our drinking water may be responsible.

    • joanelle says:

      Well, I kill that theory – I was 9 and have 2 sons:?

      • Woman Voter says:

        Good point.

        I think this will harm women, and I can see men asking about the start date of their dates periods and placing blame on women (Especially in Third World countries) when they don’t deliver a son.

        How many more missing (Millions NOW) women will this cause?

      • bostonboomer says:

        Females have nothing to do with determining the sex of the child. The father provides an X and Y chromosome and mother provides only X chromosome. To make a male you have have a Y sperm.

        Sometimes if a mother’s vagina is toxic in some way and since Y sperm are easier to kill, there could be more likelihood of producing a girl, but how can they be sure the father even produced equal numbers of X and Y sperm in the first place? And since Y sperm are more vulnerable than X sperm to just about any imbalance, how can they be sure it’s estradiol doing it?

        Interestingly, more boys than girls are born in the U.S. every year. I don’t know about Japan.

    • Branjor says:

      The father provides an X and Y chromosome

      The father provides an X or Y chromosome, except in the case of nondisjunction in meiosis of the sperm, in which case the offspring has an abnormal sex chromosome complement.

  2. Pat Johnson says:

    Missed the Republican “debate” last night but it proved that those running are stuck on stupid.

    Creationism is a religious theory yet these fools would have it “taught” as part of the school curriculum. If so, then I am in favor of including “Harry Potter” in history class. Makes about as much sense.

    The GOP will never give up on “social” issues since they have so little else to offer.

    Makes sense since most people are unable to fully appreciate an economics course but can always be counted on to weigh in on whether or not gay marriage or reproductive rights is a good or bad thing.


    • joanelle says:

      If this is the best they’ve got O can stop raising $ for re-election – he’s a shoe-in 😕

    • paper doll says:

      Makes sense since most people are unable to fully appreciate an economics course but can always be counted on to weigh in on whether or not gay marriage or reproductive rights is a good or bad thing.

      lol! True! Part of the GOP attraction I guess. It’s “gut” centred. lol! Like that bumper sticker from years ago, ...” my kid beat up your honor student ” the gut is given sway over the brain…( I always thought a good answer bumper sticker would be 10 years from now, my honor student will fire your kids ass You don’t have to prove any assertion whatsoever ,your ‘gut ” just tells you! lol!So much easier! That and Repugs are angry all the time and don’t apologize. People like expressing anger, particularly these days and Dems are only allowed to get angry at the Clintons

    • mjames says:

      Agree with a small correction. Creationism is not a theory. It is not capable of being disproved (or proved). It is simply a religious doctrine (backed, of course, by faith, not fact). Gravitation and relativity are theories.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Exactly. Which is why Pawlenty said he “believes in it.”

        What is there to teach about creationism anyway? Would it be about how dinosaurs lived on the earth with humans?

  3. glennmcgahee says:

    Its really hard to believe that Santorum has come out of the woodwork again. And all the “social issues” they are obsessed with makes me want to puke.
    Is that the best the media is able to concentrate on either? How about ask a few direct questions about economics and test their brains for activity.
    As for pawlenty, please list those local school boards for America that have chosen to teach the bible so we can avoid hiring those kids in the future. It’ll make room for the other, truly educated, to get the jobs that really matter. Maybe thats where the jounalism students are coming from these days. Mentioning Trump, don’t they parade him out on MSNBC Morning Joe all the time. When I used to watch that show, they worshiped the guy. I may have to start watching again just to catch what they talk to him about now that he has forced Obama to produce a piece of paper that says exactly what the previously released piece of paper said (you know what I’m talking about).
    But best of all, for those that didn’t catch it:

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    There used to be a time when the “silly season” was observed for small portions of time.

    Now the “silly season” is a year round event when even the most odious characters come out of the woodwork.

  5. Woman Voter says:


    Thanks for posting the Bradley Manning story. At one point I was near tears, and it is so heart breaking that the Military Mental Health Services are not a top priority today. One recent story that has been placed on the silent burner was the suicide count of ex-military is not being recorded, so the suicide rates are even higher than the ones that rocked and shocked us all. There needs to be a greater emphasis on counseling and the military’s service men and women’s well being and we need to finally end DADT without delay.

    After reading some of the accounts, which are also shocking since it is ‘sensitive’ mental health accounts of Manning, it leaves you with disbelief at the Army’s failures on multiple levels to not address the problems they clearly sought (Pulling his clearance and pointing out he was in a state of distress.) or at least spotted.

  6. dakinikat says:

    from cnn breaking news

    The U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs in April, much higher than expected. Unemployment rate rose to 9%.

    • dakinikat says:

      RBReich Robert Reich
      Today’s jobs rept. % of Americans working – 64.2 – hasn’t improved. 13.7 million remain out of work. Washington must take action.

  7. dakinikat says:

    also from cnn breaking news

    Al Qaeda released a statement on jihadist forums confirming the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant messages. CNN could not immediately confirm the statement.

    • dakinikat says:

      and a related one:

      Dozens of people in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad have been arrested because of their suspected connections to the compound where Osama bin Laden was shot and killed, a Pakistani intelligence official said Friday.

  8. madamab says:

    Do these GOP politicians understand how completely nuts they sound? I know they’re trying to please their base, but what Independent is going to vote for them? What Democrats are going to cross over? They offend everyone who has a functioning brainstem.

    Perhaps the strategy is for Mitt to descend like a savior, after all the other candidates have killed themselves from foot-in-mouth disease.

    • mjames says:

      Yes, or Jeb Bush.

      • gxm17 says:

        My money’s on Jeb. Though TPTB may decide to let BO have another term as he’s doing such a bang-up job for them. Then again, they probably realize we need to get someone into the oval office who at least appears interested in the plight of people he’s supposed to represent.

      • madamab says:

        I just don’t get why people think this. It doesn’t matter how bad Obama is, it doesn’t make people like Bush any better. All they have to do is see Jeb and go, “Oh, yeah. We hated that guy!” And we’ve already had two President Bushes, right?

        I get that he has a funny name like Barack and Mitt and Newt, but still!

    • B Kilpatrick says:

      They’re all going to get Palined. All of the super-extreme social candidates but one will be weeded out early on in the process.

      • dakinikat says:

        You want to place a bet on that?

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Happened last time. Even in states like Louisiana, Huckabee only made a strong showing because he did things ghetto-style and had “ministers” at churches bus the whole “flock” to the polling place to vote for him.

  9. dakinikat says:

    Oh sheesh, is our country screwed up or what? We can fund all kinds of things but our citizens’ lives are not worth a decent health care delivery system?
    The five-year-old boy who sold 3,000 monster drawings to pay for his own cancer treatment

    Parents Katie and Wiley were devastated by the diagnosis, but were given hope when experts said the type of cancer Aidan suffers from has a 90 per cent cure rate.

    But the family faced a mountain of hospital bills and had to put their home on the market to fund treatment.

    Amazingly, that sale is now on hold thanks to the idea of turning Aidan’s passion for drawing monsters into a money-generating life-saver.

    The little boy has sold more than 3,000 drawings, many of them sketched in his hospital bed as he underwent grueling treatment.

    Total sales topped more than $30,000 and Aidan has sold enough that his family were able to take their home off the market and they no longer require further funding for his care.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Good for Aidan!

    • B Kilpatrick says:

      At least it’s not the NHS.
      One of my mother’s friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. It took them six months to get her an appointment with a radiologist.
      Another was a sixty-five year-old in fairly good health who needed hip replacement surgery. The rejection letter from the NHS included the phrase (I shit you not) “——- has had a good life.”

      • dakinikat says:

        It took me nearly 2 years to get an appointment with a liver doctor down here and in between chemotherapy I had three different doctors because they have a difficult time keeping staff at Ochsner I guess. Hip replacements aren’t exactly necessary procedures. Anecdotal evidence is always hunky dory.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        The non-anecdotal evidence is horrifying.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Hepatology is a very specialized discipline. That has a lot to do with why you couldn’t find one. Radiology isn’t. Six months is obscene, and even the poorest patient in the US WOULD NEVER WAIT THAT LONG. EVER. (Aside from the one case that someone will be able to dredge up.)

        Hell, look at Canada. People always remember that health care in the US costs a lot. They forget that a marginal state like Louisiana has as many MRI machines as Ontario. (The US has something like 19 MRI machines per million, while Canada has about 4.5) Even in a relatively good system like Canada’s, the situation would be far worse without the US to take the demand that they’re unwilling to provide for. At the other end of the spectrum, we could have the NHS with wards spattered with piss, shit and blood for days at a time.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Holding down costs by underinvesting in capital and throwing those who aren’t on death’s door out to the street or else letting them wait for several months – that’s the British way.

      • B Kilpatrick says:

        Or the English way, whichever Pink Floyd said.

      • paper doll says:

        At the other end of the spectrum, we could have the NHS with wards spattered with piss, shit and blood for days at a time.

        Hey at least it would be for free….instead of paying though the nose for it…my point is the arm and leg version is getting close to the clinic already ….so why not have the NHS?

  10. okasha says:

    It’ll be Jeb.

    • T says:

      I think you’re right about that. And the way that Obama has rehabilitated the Bush image, Jeb could win.

    • Pilgrim says:

      I’m hoping Jon Huntsman.

    • paper doll says:

      Whoever it will be, The Powers That Be will see to it the distruction of the middle class goes on…it almost dosn’t matter whoes at 1600 at this point. imo

  11. gxm17 says:

    Here’s my prediction. Trump will have a reality show “The Candidate” which follows his run for the presidency. At which point, America will have officially jumped the shark.

  12. dakinikat says:

    Here’s one from Boston BB:

    Cop’s rape comment sparks wave of ‘SlutWalks’
    Events protest ‘culture that we think is too permissive when it comes to rape and sexual assault,’ organizer says