posted by gyma
Hurry -- this is on sale for only $58 (originally $79).
posted by gyma
From San Francisco, where there's a push for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr.
Oh no, we couldn't possibly pay people $15/hr., which in San Francisco is not a living wage, because CEOs are underpaid.
In 1965, CEOs made 20x as much as their average employee. In 2013, that had risen to 296x.
The Malaysian passenger plane that was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday was carrying more than 100 public health experts on their way to a prominent international meeting on AIDS, according to several news reports. Their deaths have prompted an outpouring of grief from the scientific community.
Those passengers were on their way to the 20th International AIDS Conference, which begins on Sunday in Melbourne, Australia. The group hosting the event expressed its “sincere sadness” at receiving the news in a statement released on the afternoon of Malaysia Airlines MH17′s fatal crash.
Relaxing at last. Few hours in magnificent Aussie bush. Ewes lambing, cows calving, great season. Later hoping show off mobs of kangaroos.— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) July 18, 2014
posted by gyma
I can't believe Rush Limbaugh is still on the air, but he is. And this is what he had to say today after hearing the news about the Malaysian Airlines crash:
LIMBAUGH: It's a Malaysian Airlines jet and can you -- I've got the British Open on the top menu, monitor, I haven't had CNN on all day, what do you bet they have broomed everything and are covering wall-to-wall the Malaysian Airlines flight shot down by a missile? This is, I mean, you talk about -- I don't want to appear to be callous here, folks, but you talk about an opportunity to abandon the bad Obama news at the border, and no, I'm not suggesting anything other than how the media operates.
No worries, Rush, none of your listeners thought you were callous. That's because they are all idiots.
Charlie makes the point the Democrats are still frightened of their own shadows:
The annual Netroots Nation gathering is an almost placid affair. For example, in contrast to the CPAC convention, at which every wingnut with delusions of grandeur showed up and at which enough red meat was thrown out to give the Potomac atherosclerosis, this hootenanny is remarkably uncontaminated by major politicians, and especially by those national politicians who allegedly aspire to a higher office than the one they presently hold. The only real marquee names are Senator Professor Warren, who speaks on Friday morning, and Vice President Joe Biden, who pops in this afternoon to inflame the masses as only he can. Hillary Clinton is too busy having a really bad book tour. The absence of Martin O'Malley (Esquire's Official Political BFF) is very puzzling; if, as has been speculated, he represents a challenge within the Democratic party from "the Left" -- I know, I know, but play along -- this is a crowd into which he should be stage-diving. There is panel after panel about organizing around issues important to those activists with whom O'Malley should be familiarizing himself.
Nevertheless, having been to CPAC, it's hard not to conclude that the two national parties continue to have conspicuously different attitudes toward their respective bases. At CPAC, every high-profile Republican showed up, whether or not they happened to have five votes in the hall. Chris Christie got hooted at by the denizens of the monkeyhouse, and nobody seemed to know quite what to do with Rand Paul and his devotees. But they showed up. Here, once again, it is fair to conclude that the national Democratic party -- at least as represented by its high-profile national figures -- can still be scared away from its base and its issues by a strong breeze. The people at Netroots are being held at arm's length in a way that national Republicans never would dare hold CPAC. And with the triangulated, deadening specter of an inexorable Clinton Restoration looming over everything, and that includes everything here, it's difficult to see that changing very much. I'm sure Senator Professor Warren will get a wild ovation tomorrow. How long and how profoundly that ovation echoes in our politics is still very much an open question.
To be fair, were oodles of prominent Dems to show up at Netroots Nation the GOP might accuse the party of being a bunch of Dirty Fucking Hippies. By staying away, Republicans won't be able to do so and will instead have to rely on highlighting policy differences and presenting rational arguments in hopes of winning elections.
At least, I think that's how it works.
Making with the bang-bang:
Researchers at Texas A&M University, for a study published in the Journal of Human Resources, concluded that homicides had increased by 8 percent in the more than 20 states that had passed "castle doctrine" laws, many of which include Stand Your Ground provisions. That equals 600 additional homicides every year in those states, they wrote.
At the same time, however, the researchers found no detectable decrease in burglary, robbery or aggravated assault.
The Georgia State researchers found that homicides in states with those laws increased by 7.1 percent. In particular, they detected an increase in homicides among white males, while the effect was mostly negligible among white females and blacks.
Who could have guessed that laws which legalize murder would result is more murders?
Peace in the Middle East:
Marking the latest and most ambitious attempt to bring stability to the region, the United Nations announced Wednesday that every single person in the Middle East will receive his or her own sovereign nation as part of a historic 317,000,000-state solution.
At press time, reports confirmed the outbreak of more than 90,000,000 new wars across the region, with sources estimating the current death toll at approximately 700,000.
The end of America approacheth:
Each year, about 10,000 people contact poison centers in the United States, afraid that they gave too strong a dose of medicine or were confused by measurement directions, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. About three-quarters of the callers are parents trying to administer medicine to children younger than 12, often baffled by such options for measuring as milliliters, milligrams, teaspoons, tablespoons and droppers.
Now many professional associations have begun recommending that a uniform unit be adopted for liquid medicines: the milliliter.
The milliliter is, of course, European, which, of course, means They are trying to turn the United States of Freedom and Liberty* into a Communist Hellhole.
The time to stop them is now.
*Some restrictions apply; offer not available to blacks, browns, gays, lesbians, women in general, anybody to the political left of Joseph McCarthy, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Zoroastrians, atheists, those generally disliked by Real Americans™, and the wrong kind of Christians.
It probably won't happen but yet another example of how the 0.01% protect themselves:
Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop [California] into smaller entities.
"It’s important because it will help us create a more responsive, more innovative and more local government, and that ultimately will end up being better for all of Californians," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the campaign. "The idea ... is to create six states with responsive local governments - states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents."
Read: smaller government makes it easier and less expensive to buy public policy for personal or organizational advantage.
Proponents say the division would help create a more business-friendly environment...
See above about making purchases easier and less expensive.
...solve the state’s water issues...
Breaking up states magically creates more water! Who knew?
...and ease traffic congestion.
Breaking up states magically reduces the number of vehicles on the road! Who knew?
Mr. Draper recently purchased $19 million worth of bitcoins that had been seized by the government.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume the the collected works of Ayn Rand are mandatory reading at Draper University of Heroes, "a school for innovators. We are helping people do the great things they are capable of. Expect to be inspired. To do things you didn’t think were possible. To be fearless. To build a network of friends, mentors and colleagues that you will take with you on your path".
This is one of those times at which you can only say, Of course:
Under the 2007 deal cut to build Consol Energy Center, the state’s contribution was set at $7.5 million annually for 30 years, but in reality, taxpayers have ponied up far more than that and likely will be on the hook for even more in the years ahead.
Since 2009, state taxpayers have shelled out an extra $5.08 million to cover shortfalls in the money needed to pay off the debt on the $321 million arena, and the state is estimating that it will need another $5.6 million over the next five years for the very same purpose.
That’s in addition to the annual $7.5 million payments the state is contractually obligated to make.
The state has been forced to dole out more money because of a little-known provision in the accord.
When governments contract with wealthy companies andor individuals it always emerges that there's a "little-known provision" which ends up picking our pockets.
“I don’t know why they would have done those kinds of bonds and why the state taxpayers should be on the hook for it,” [State Senator Jim Ferlo] said. “The Penguins and their billionaire owners should be on the hook for some of the debt.”
Billionaires become billionaires or stay billionaires by doing just this sort of thing.
CNBC's Rick Santelli, who five years ago stood on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and, to the cheers of salt-of-the-earth options traders, invented the grass roots Tea Party, finally gets called out by his own, and how:
While shouting “I was right! I was right!” Santelli walked off camera as the traders on the floor behind him applauded. “End of conversation,” the off-camera Santelli can be heard shouting. “Hasta la vista!”
Steve Liesman then took advantage of his co-panelist’s absence to criticize him in a calm, but firm, manner.
“It’s impossible for you to have been more wrong, Rick. Your call for inflation, the destruction of the dollar, the failure of the U.S. economy to rebound. Rick, it’s impossible for you to have been more wrong. Every single bit of advice you gave would have lost people money, Rick,” Liesman said.
At this point, Santelli re-emerged on camera, attempting to shout over Liesman, who simply continued, saying “there is no piece of advice that you’ve given that’s worked, Rick. Not a single one. The higher interest rates never came. The inability of the U.S. to sell bonds never happened. The dollar never crashed, Rick. There isn’t a single one that’s worked for you.”
Click through to see the highly entertaining video of the event!
If I were much younger and more science-minded I'd be getting into the microbes within us:
In his new book, “Missing Microbes,” Dr. Blaser links the declining variety within the microbiome to our increased susceptibility to serious, often chronic conditions, from allergies and celiac disease to Type 1 diabetes and obesity. He and others primarily blame antibiotics for the connection.
The damaging effect of antibiotics on microbial diversity starts early, Dr. Blaser said. The average American child is given nearly three courses of antibiotics in the first two years of life, and eight more during the next eight years. Even a short course of antibiotics like the widely prescribed Z-pack (azithromycin, taken for five days), can result in long-term shifts in the body’s microbial environment.
Other studies have found major differences in the microorganisms living in the guts of normal-weight and obese individuals. Although such studies cannot tell which came first — the weight problem or the changed microbiota — studies indicate obese mice have gut bacteria that are better able to extract calories from food.
Further evidence of a link to obesity comes from farm animals. About three-fourths of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in livestock. These antibiotics change the animals’ microbiota, hastening their growth.
When mice are given the same antibiotics used on livestock, the metabolism of their liver changes, stimulating an increase in body fat, Dr. Blaser said.
Even more serious is the increasing number of serious disorders now linked to a distortion in the microbial balance in the human gut. They include several that are becoming more common in developed countries: gastrointestinal ailments like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease; cardiovascular disease; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; digestive disorders like chronic reflux; autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis; and asthma and allergies.
Microbes in the gut are fascinating things. And while antibiotics are maybe the closest we've come to a "miracle" drug, it's becoming clear that there are costs associated with them.
While antibiotics are over-prescribed for humans, the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock as well as growth hormones like rBGH, which often causes infections in cows that require treatment with antibiotics, should be made illegal, period.
posted by gyma
[Eli Chone, a 22-year-old American living in Israel.] is one of the more than 50 people gathered on the dark hill to see Israel bomb Gaza from close distance. The hill has been transformed into something that most closely resembles the front row of a reality war theatre. It offers a direct view of the densely populated Gaza Strip.
People have dragged camping chairs and sofas to the top of the hill. Several sit with crackling bags of popcorn, while others smoke hookahs and talk cheerfully. People come and go from the site in a steady stream.
At least 159 Palestinians are dead, and they are mostly civilian women, children, and the elderly, and more than 1,000 are wounded.
Number of Israeli casualities: 0
posted by gyma
In a previous post, I wondered whether Rick Perry was dumb enough to take some advice from Louis Gohmert. D'oh!
Go read the whole thing and look at the disgusting photos Sean Hannity posted on his Twitter account. These two bozos are dangerously stupid.
Are they going to mow down a bunch of innocent children trying to escape just this type of behavior at home?
What an embarrassment.
posted by gyma
Here's Louis Gohmert, who *has* to be in the running for the dumbest fucking guy on the planet*, comparing the influx of Latino refugee children to the D-Day invasion:
Even with $3.7 billion that’s requested, there’s no way for what’s being called for is going to stop the invasion that’s occurring,” Gohmert said. “That’s why I’m hoping that my governor will utilize Article 1, Section 10, that allows a state that is being invaded — in our case more than twice as many just in recent months, more than twice as many than invaded France on D-Day with a doubling of that coming en route, on their way here now under Article 1, Section 10, the state of Texas would appear to have the right, not only to use whatever means, whether it’s troops, even using ships of war, even exacting a tax on interstate commerce that wouldn’t normally be allowed to have or utilize, they’d be entitled in order to pay to stop the invasion.
I wonder if Rick Perry is dumb enough to take Gohmert's advice.
Unfortunately not enough people are talking about how this is really all Dubya's fault for, you know, signing that bill back in 2008 that protected children from the likes of Louis Gohmert.
Oh, and President Obama isn't doing himself any favors these days.
*Move over Doug Feith, you have some serious competition.
posted by gyma
Who elects these people?
"I don't want get into the debate about climate change. But I'll simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There's no factories on Mars that I'm aware of."
-- Kentucky state Sen. Brandon Smith (R), quoted by WFPL, apparently not knowing that the average temperature on Mars is -81 degrees.
And who exactly is the "we" he's referring to? He's a businessman, not an academic.
A year 2000-related bug has caused the US military to send more than 14,000 letters of conscription to men who were all born in the 1800s and died decades ago.
Shocked residents of Pennsylvania began receiving letters ordering their great grandparents to register for the US military draft by pain of “fine and imprisonment.”
The youngest of the men would have been 117 this year. Families who received the notices can safely ignore them, said Pat Schuback from the Selective Service.
And here you thought that we made it through Y2k without a disaster.
Indiana elected officials are allowed to use state-owned property for political purposes, state authorities decided Thursday, as long as they have drafted a formal policy permitting it.
The offices covered by the rule, according to the newspaper, are: governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent.
Our republic needs to start growing bananas.
Working in the shadows:
The nation’s statehouses lost more than one-third of the journalists devoted to covering legislative matters full time, according to a study released on Thursday morning by the Journalism Project at the Pew Research Center.
The study’s researchers said that the news outlets adding reporters typically offered their content to narrower audiences or were backed by partisan outlets. For example, these figures include journalists associated with organizations like the Alaska Budget Report, which charges $2,397 a year for a subscription, and the Austin Monitor in Texas, where subscriptions cost $1,099 a year. The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, which identifies itself as supporting free market principles, is a major financial backer of many journalists in statehouses across the nation.
Expect corruption to
follow get worse. The big money boys know that money is best exchanged in the dark, like during the original Gilded Age.
Not so eradicated after all:
A government scientist cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week — decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box.
The six glass vials were intact and sealed, and scientists have yet to establish whether the virus is dead or alive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.
Still, the find was disturbing because for decades after smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, world health authorities said the only known samples left were safely stored in super-secure laboratories in Atlanta and in Russia.
The CDC might want to do something about that.
posted by gyma
There's an article in this morning's The Denver Post about the Western Conservative Summit in Denver this weekend. A look at the line up of guest speakers makes me believe the collective IQ of the state will drop significantly in just a few days.
Here's a sampling of the line-up:
Ben Carson, M.D.:
I think what’s happening with the veterans is a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider.
We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn't that ironic?
I will tell you that I had a mother last night come up to me here in Tampa, Florida, after the debate. She told me that her little daughter took that vaccine, that injection, and she suffered from mental retardation thereafter.
I don’t know about you, but I believe in the Jesus who died to save himself, not enable lazy followers to be dependent on him. He didn’t walk around all willy nilly just passing out free healthcare to those who were sick, or food to those who were hungry, or clothes to those in need. No, he said get up, brush yourself off, go into town and get a job, and as he hung on the cross he said,”I died so that I may live in eternity with my Father. If you want to join us you can die for yourself and your own sins. What do I look like, your savior or something?” That’s the Jesus I want to see brought back into our core values as a nation. That’s why we need to repeal Obamacare.
Bobby Jindahl (no Obamacare quote because this one is just too good to pass up):
Because the left wants: The government to explode; to pay everyone; to hire everyone; they believe that money grows on trees; the earth is flat; the industrial age, factory-style government is a cool new thing; debts don’t have to be repaid; people of faith are ignorant and uneducated; unborn babies don’t matter; pornography is fine; traditional marriage is discriminatory; 32 oz. sodas are evil; red meat should be rationed; rich people are evil unless they are from Hollywood or are liberal Democrats; the Israelis are unreasonable; trans-fat must be stopped; kids trapped in failing schools should be patient; wild weather is a new thing; moral standards are passé; government run health care is high quality; the IRS should violate our constitutional rights; reporters should be spied on; Benghazi was handled well; the Second Amendment is outdated; and the First one has some problems too.
*Or as tea partiers refer to them, the "A-List of Conservative Thinkers"!
posted by gyma
I've never felt too bad throwing away those pleas for money from my alma mater, but after reading this, I'll do so with relish.
Five UC Berkeley law faculty members, including John Yoo, were announced as UC Berkeley School of Law endowed faculty chairs last week.
In December of 2008, Berkeley City Council voted 7-2 to urge the University of California to terminate his tenured faculty status if he were prosecuted and convicted of human rights violations.
Maybe only right winger alums are giving to the university so the administration felt they had no choice in honoring one of their own.
posted by gyma
Exercise is good for me; exercise is good for me; exercise is good for me. Better pump up the bicycle tires:
A slightly more dire scenario could see Iraqi oil production decline from current levels due to various insults to its existing oil production systems. Perhaps there will be more voluntary shut-downs of pipelines and refineries, as happened to Iraq’s biggest refiner in Baiji Tuesday morning. A complete loss of Iraqi production would spike the world oil price up to $200 per barrel pretty quickly.
Oil is currently selling for $104-$111 a barrel. You do the math.