SDB Evening News Reads for 070711: Murdoch, NASA, and Medicaid

Don't be bald! Vintage Newspaper Ad

It is truly a Summer Day here in North Georgia…aka Banjoland.  The sky is getting that afternoon thunderstorm look to it, and the dogs don’t want to stay outside in the heat…we have to kick them out the door. I guess it is hot everywhere, even under the porch.

Oh, if only to be a resident of New York, particularly a resident in this Senator’s district…I bet you know who I am talking about.  Damn, I wish this woman was my Senator:  Keep Doing What You’re Doing, Senator Gillibrand

Remember how the number of women in Congress actually declined in 2010, despite the feminist trailblazing of Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, and Sharon Angle? New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand does.

The Times reports that Gillibrand has launched a campaign called Off the Sidelines, “to mobilize women across the country, in advance of the national elections next year and as evidence emerges that the slow but steady progress made by women in elective politics has begun to stall.” Its actual work sounds not unlike that of EMILY’s List, with which Gillibrand recently held a Facebook chat; The Times says the Senator has “activated her network of donors to help female candidates, emerged as a headliner among audiences of women, tried to recruit female candidates, advised women thinking about running, and started a Web site,”

The story doesn’t mention it, but the difference between Gillibrand’s efforts and say, Sarah Palin’s Mama Grizzlies is that she’s become one of the most visible progressives in the Senate on issues that affect women and LGBT people. Her legislative work and stances reflect the difference between just having women in office and having women in office that work to advance women and vulnerable populations.

She pushed back on the proposed defunding of Planned Parenthood, was instrumental in getting Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repealed and spoke out against the anti-choice Stupak amendment during the health insurance reform debate. She’s been campaigning for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and to allow military women the same access to abortions as civilian women on government insurance. (Of course, as a congresswoman representing a conservative district, she wasn’t so nearly so gay-friendly, but however opportunistic a cause it is for her, she’s getting shit done.)

I would have put the word “feminist” in quotes when describing Palin and the others…cause they are not feminist in my opinion, not no how…not no way!

The article from Jezebel goes on to say:

And here she is in a March interview with Capital New York on what has been loosely known as “the war on women” (unless you’re talking to the White House) — aka the Republican agenda.

“You can die a slow death by just not doing something and I feel that’s what’s happened to the women’s movement in the last decade. We’re not doing enough. Now there are great advocacy groups that are working hard night and day to try to protect women’s reproductive freedoms, to protect women’s reproductive health. The Republican Party is focused entirely on undermining women’s rights and reproductive health…. In my view there is a war on women that is not being sufficiently fought against and I’m going to do the best I can with the women and men who are in the Senate who feel as passionately as I do.

All I can say is, hell yeah! Keep doing what you are doing Senator Gillibrand.

Other links you may find interesting here:

A Gillibrand Campaign: More Women In Politics [NYT]
Related: Kristen Gillibrand On The War On Women [Capital New York]

Did you hear the latest on the News of the World, Murdoch has shut the paper down…check out these next two links…Where the Murdoch empire and British politics intersect | Comment is free | The Guardian

Rupert Murdoch with his former NoW editors Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. Photograph: Graeme Robertson/Getty Images
Looking, presumably, for a photograph that showed Rupert Murdoch with his two former News of the World editors, Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, in the same picture, the Daily Telegraph yesterday came up with one of the three of them in church. Murdoch is seated in the front row on the aisle, and his two henchmen in the row behind him. It was taken in June 2005 and, though the caption didn’t say so, the occasion was a service in St Bride’s, Fleet Street, to mark the end of the street’s 300-year association with the British press following a decision by Reuters, the last great news organisation still based there, to depart for Canary Wharf.
I remember the occasion well, because I was present in church, and I heard Murdoch give a reading from Ecclesiasticus (“Let us now praise famous men” etc). He was only one of the speakers, and the theme of the service, pervading everything everyone said, was praise for the high standards of reporting, and devotion to truth and objectivity, for which Reuters was noted. Murdoch’s group looked serious and devout.

Oh the irony…please click on the link to see the picture of this man…it does speak volumes.  For some Q & A on the scandal, here is a link to a discussion held by Guardian’s Editor Alan Rusbriger. Guardian was the newspaper that broke the story: Phone hacking: Q&A with Alan Rusbridger | Comment is free |

I mentioned Wednesday about the replacement telescope for Hubble that NASA is working on, it is called JWST, James Webb Space Telescope, well here is the latest news on that…

AFP: US lawmakers vote to kill Hubble successor

That link goes to an AFP article, so no quotes, but here is more on the funding cuts: BBC News – JWST backed by Nasa amid call to scrap telescope mission

The James Webb Space Telescope remains central to Nasa’s mission, deputy administrator Lori Garver says.

The agency chief was responding to moves in the House of Representatives to cull the troubled observatory, which is now $2bn over budget.

A House appropriations panel has put forward a bill that would clip Nasa’s 2012 budget and end JWST funding.

But Garver told BBC News: “James Webb is obviously part of our future that we believe very strongly in.”

She said the White House administration and the Nasa management would be working with the House and the Senate to produce a budget that would enable the agency to fulfil its science and exploration objectives. “The process is not over,” she added.

Ms Garver was speaking here at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida where Nasa is preparing to launch its last ever shuttle mission.

The JWST is supposed to be the next great undertaking in space astronomy.

The telescope would have the biggest mirror ever sent into orbit and incorporate detectors capable of seeing the very first galaxies to form in the Universe.

This BBC article has a picture of the telescope, or you can just click here for NASA’s web page:

The James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope (sometimes called JWST) is a large, infrared-optimized space telescope. The project is working to a 2018 launch date. Webb will find the first galaxies that formed in the early Universe, connecting the Big Bang to our own Milky Way Galaxy. Webb will peer through dusty clouds to see stars forming planetary systems, connecting the Milky Way to our own Solar System. Webb’s instruments will be designed to work primarily in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum, with some capability in the visible range.

Webb will have a large mirror, 6.5 meters (21.3 feet) in diameter and a sunshield the size of a tennis court. Both the mirror and sunshade won’t fit onto the rocket fully open, so both will fold up and open once Webb is in outer space. Webb will reside in an orbit about 1.5 million km (1 million miles) from the Earth.

It will be such a shame if this project looses funding. However, with all the defunding of necessary agencies like Planned Parenthood and possible cuts to Medicaid…I will be very surprised if NASA is able to continue with the JWST Project.

Speaking of Medicaid, there is a new study out of Oregon that proves what we know already to be true…and damn those PLUBs and Jackass Politicians…they can shove their Medicaid cuts up their hypocritical bung holes.(Uh btw… Obama is lumped in with that Jackass group.)

Study Finds Benefits in Health Insurance for the Poor –

When poor people are given medical insurance, they not only find regular doctors and see doctors more often but they also feel better, are less depressed and are better able to maintain financial stability, according to a new, large-scale study that provides the first rigorously controlled assessment of the impact of Medicaid.

While the findings may seem obvious, health economists and policy makers have long questioned whether it would make any difference to provide health insurance to poor people.

It has become part of the debate on Medicaid, at a time when states are cutting back on this insurance program for the poor. In fact, the only reason the study could be done was that Oregon was running out of money and had to choose some people to get insurance and exclude others, providing groups for comparison.

Some said that of course it would help to insure the uninsured. Others said maybe not. There was already a safety net: emergency rooms, charity care, free clinics and the option to go to a doctor and simply not pay the bill. And in any case, the argument goes, if Medicaid coverage is expanded, people will still have trouble seeing a doctor because so few accept that insurance.

The recent threats from Obama’s administration to make cuts in Health Care cost, as discussed here and here, the release of this new report seems to be perfect timing.  I doubt it will actually make any difference.  The NYT article goes on to say:

The new study, published Thursday by the National Bureau of Economic Research, avoided that problem. Its design is like that used to test new drugs. People were randomly selected to have Medicaid or not, and researchers then asked if the insurance made any difference.

Health economists and other researchers said the study was historic and would be cited for years to come, shaping health care debates.

“It’s obviously a really important paper,” said James Smith, an economist at the RAND Corporation. “It is going to be a classic.”

Richard M. Suzman, director of the behavioral and social research program at the National Institute on Aging, a major source of financing for the research, said it was “one of the most important studies that our division has funded since I’ve been at the N.I.A.,” a period of more than a quarter-century.

Take a look at the links above to get all the actual statistics.

This next link is just plain cool as hell: Lab-made organ implanted for first time –

For the first time, a patient has received a synthetic windpipe that was created in a lab with the patient’s own stem cells and without using human donor tissue, researchers said Thursday.

Previous lab-generated transplants either used a segment of donor windpipe or involved tissue only, not an organ.

In a laboratory in London, scientists created a trachea, which is a tube-like airway that connects at the voice box and branches into both lungs.


The form was made of polymers that had a spongy and flexible texture. Stiff rings around the tube mimicked the structure of a human trachea.

The form was then bathed in a solution containing the patient’s stem cells “to get the cells to grow on the sponge material,” said David Green, president of Harvard Bioscience. Stem cells can divide and turn into a range of cell types, including those in organs.

This is the artificial trachea, covered in the patient's cells.
This is the artificial trachea, covered in the patient’s cells.

His company worked on the stem cell solution, which is seen as a pink liquid in the photo at left. The purpose was to “seed” the synthetic windpipe — as you would seed a new lawn — to grow on the structure.

“Stem cells from the own patient were growing inside and outside,” Macchiarini said. “This structure was becoming a living structure.”

The stem cells were given physical or chemical cues to create the desired type, Green said.

Once the cells were thriving on the form, the artificial trachea was implanted into the patient.

His body accepted the new trachea, and he even had a cough reflex two days after the surgery, Macchiarini said.

Wonderful news isn’t it?

Well, what are you all doing this evening? We have some beautiful fresh corn that I am going to put out on the grill…if the weather cooperates. Mmmmm….yummy!

7 Comments on “SDB Evening News Reads for 070711: Murdoch, NASA, and Medicaid”

  1. janicen says:

    That’s an amazing story about the trachea created from stem cells. I get choked up when I think about all of the people who will benefit from this science.

    • The Rock says:

      Personally, I’m quite pissed about it. This country should be leading the world in this kind of technology. Not only is it a market that will EVENTUALLY exist throughout the world, money that we needlessly give away in tax breaks and/or corporate giveaways can over-adequately fund the research. Rather, these christians fight all progress that doesn’t fall in line with their own personal dogma. That should have been done in this country. If we can develop the means to so completely end life, then we should at all times lead the world in inventions that enhance life to its fullest.

      But that organ IS REALLY COOL!!!!

      Hillary 2012

  2. paper doll says:

    His body accepted the new trachea, and he even had a cough reflex two days after the surgery, Macchiarini said.

    That’s amazing! Thanks!

  3. dakinikat says:

    Obama warns he will veto any short term debt deal –

  4. Minkoff Minx says:

    There is a new push for “Caylee’s Law” that now has a petition up at

    ‘Caylee’s Law’ petition drive: Do missing child laws need to change? –

    One of the most unfathomable aspects of the just-concluded Casey Anthony murder trial was that no one reported 2-year-old Caylee Anthony missing, or dead, until a month after the child’s disappearance. That’s something that Michelle Crowder has set out to discourage in the future – by making “failure to report” a federal crime.

    Ms. Crowder, of Durant, Okla., has created a “Caylee’s Law” petition, which is circulating online at, a social change platform. The petition had collected more than 475,000 online signatures by Thursday afternoon, two days after a Florida jury acquitted Ms. Anthony of charges, including capital murder, that she was responsible for Caylee’s death.

    The Caylee’s Law petition calls for establishing two new federal offenses: the failure of a parent, legal guardian, or caretaker to notify law enforcement of a missing child within 24 hours, and the failure to report the death of a child within one hour of discovery.

    Criminal Justice Petition: Create Caylee’s Law |

    • bostonboomer says:

      I think that’s kind of dumb. Why would there be a need for such a law. Not reporting your child missing would be covered under law against child endangerment and neglect wouldn’t it? It just seems like when we are in this terrible financial crisis, passing a federal law like this just to satisfy people who don’t like the way our court system works (innocent till proven guilty) would be a terrible waste of resources. I mean, our economy is about to crash and we need another unneccessary federal law?

      I can think of lots of ways the government could improve the protection of children without a law like this. How about better funding for social services instead of paying social worker poorly and giving them unmanageable caseloads?

  5. Minkoff Minx says:

    South Sudan: the birth of a new republic | World news | The Guardian

    Tomorrow, the Republic of South Sudan will become a newly independent nation. Last January, the overwhelming majority of its people voted in a referendum to break away from the rest of Sudan and establish an independent republic, marking the end – it is hoped – of two generations of conflict.

    South Sudan, with its largely non-Muslim population, will now offer a stark contrast to the Arab, Islamic north governed from Khartoum by President Omar al-Bashir. It will be governed by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, the political wing of the rebel army that fought with the north before a peace accord was signed in 2005. Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Southern Sudan region, must now try to rebuild a war-ravaged country, with the focus on constructing a functioning capital in Juba.