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n2doc

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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 35,197

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3- Middle East










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Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- GOPers























Toon - McRage




Paul Krugman - It’s Health Care Costs, Stupid

In today’s column, I tried to emphasize a point that is weirdly absent from public discourse, at least among VSPs: the favorite VSP “solution” to the long-run budget deficit, raising the Medicare eligibility age, actually yields only minor savings. The point is that if you want to control Medicare costs, you can’t do it by kicking a small number of relatively young seniors off the program; to control costs, you have to, you know, control costs.

And the truth is that we know a lot about how to do that — after all, every other advanced country has much lower health costs than we do, and even within the US, the VHA and even Medicaid are much better at controlling costs than Medicare, and even more so relative to private insurance.

The key is having a health insurance system that can say no — no, we won’t pay premium prices for drugs that are little if any better, we won’t pay for medical procedures that yield little or no benefit

But even as Republicans demand “entitlement reform”, they are dead set against anything like that. Bargaining over drug prices? Horrors! The Independent Payment Advisory Board? Death panels! They refuse to contemplate using approaches that have worked around the world; the only solution they will countenance is the solution that has never worked anywhere, namely, converting Medicare into an underfunded voucher system.

So pay no attention when they talk about how much they hate deficits. If they were serious about deficits, they’d be willing to consider policies that might actually work; instead, they cling to free-market fantasies that have failed repeatedly in practice.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/its-health-care-costs-stupid/

Study Bolsters Link Between Routine Hits and Brain Disease

By KEN BELSON
Published: December 3, 2012

The growing evidence of a link between head trauma and long-term, degenerative brain disease was amplified in an extensive study of athletes, military veterans and others who absorbed repeated hits to the head, according to new findings published in the scientific journal Brain.

The study, which included brain samples taken posthumously from 85 people who had histories of repeated mild traumatic brain injury, added to the mounting body of research revealing the possible consequences of routine hits to the head in sports like football and hockey. The possibility that such mild head trauma could result in long-term cognitive impairment has come to vex sports officials, team doctors, athletes and parents in recent years.

Of the group of 85 people, 80 percent (68 men) — nearly all of whom played sports — showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., a degenerative and incurable disease whose symptoms can include memory loss, depression and dementia.

Among the group found to have C.T.E., 50 were football players, including 33 who played in the N.F.L. Among them were stars like Dave Duerson, Cookie Gilchrist and John Mackey. Many of the players were linemen and running backs, positions that tend to have more contact with opponents.

more

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/sports/study-bolsters-link-between-routine-hits-to-head-and-long-term-brain-disease.html

Zombies are among reasons for increased gun sales

BY JOSH KERNS

Gun sales are soaring across the country. The FBI reported earlier this week requests for background checks skyrocketed 20 percent on Black Friday over the same day last year. A noted gun rights advocate says zombies are just one reason why.

"There is I guess, you would call it a cottage industry that's sprung up in the last couple of years," Dave Workman of the Second Amendment Foundation and editor of The Gun Mag said in an interview with Ross and Burbank.

He's not kidding.

"A lot of people appear to be really enthralled by this. I've seen lines of zombie targets, I know one or two ammunition companies have introduced boxes, lines of cartridges they called zombie cartridges, shotgun shells and rifle shells."

more

http://mynorthwest.com/75/2141812/Zombies-are-among-reasons-for-increased-gun-sales

Curiosity Rover Finds Organic Signal on Mars, But Not Definitive: NASA

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has discovered complex chemistry on the Red Planet after, as well as hints of long-sought organic compounds that could aid primitive life, scientists announced today (Dec. 3).

The Curiosity rover found evidence of chlorine, sulfur and water in Mars dirt studied by its onboard laboratory, as well as organic compounds (chemicals containing carbon) inside its Sample Analysis at Mars instrument. However, the science team can't yet be sure whether these compounds truly come from Mars, or arise from contamination transported to the Red Planet onboard Curiosity.

"SAM has no definitive detection to report of organic compounds," Paul Mahaffy, SAM principal investigator at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said during a press conference at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

"Even though instrument detected organic compounds, first of all we have to determine whether they're indigenous to Mars," said John Grotzinger, Curiosity's project scientist.

The announcement came after recent rumors—which NASA attempted to dampen last week — that Curiosity had made a huge discovery on Mars.

more
http://www.space.com/18741-mars-rover-curiosity-discovery.html

Monday Toon Roundup 4- The rest

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Palestine State





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