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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Environmental Scientist

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Bullet pierces federal court in Oakland

The U.S. Marshals Service is reviewing security procedures at the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in downtown Oakland after a bullet ended up lodged in the jury room of a judge.

The bullet passed through the second-floor chambers of U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White before coming to rest in the jury room, said Deputy U.S. Marshal Joseph Palmer, a spokesman for U.S. Marshal Don O’Keefe, who is responsible for federal courthouse security. The round was discovered Sunday afternoon, when the building at 1301 Clay St. was unoccupied, Palmer said.

It doesn’t appear that White or his staff were targeted, Palmer said.

“At this point, it appears that this was a stray bullet, and it does not appear that the courthouse, any federal judges, or members of the court family were specifically targeted,” O’Keefe said in a statement. “However, the security of federal judges and court staff remain a top priority for the U.S. Marshals, and we will continue to work alongside the courts to determine if any additional security is needed.”



Pablo Picasso painting conceals mysterious portrait beneath

A previously unknown portrait has been discovered hidden beneath an early painting by Pablo Picasso -- and now experts are trying to figure out who the mysterious figure is.

Conservators at the Phillips Collection in Washington told the Associated Press that they have long suspected something hidden beneath Picasso's 1901 painting "The Blue Room." Using X-rays and infrared imaging, they identified the portrait of a bearded man wearing a jacket and bow tie, with his head resting on his right hand.

An analysis confirmed that the hidden portrait was likely painted just before "The Blue Room," curators told the AP.

"The Blue Room" joined the Phillips Collection in 1927 and depicts a nude woman bathing. Experts have used advanced infrared imagery to study the image behind the painting. Scholars have ruled out the possibility that the hidden painting is a self-portrait by Picasso, the AP said. No documentation seems to exist, and no clues on the canvas reveal the man's identity, the scholars said.



The Wonking Dead

By Paul Krugman

The Commonwealth Fund is out with a new report comparing advanced-country health care systems, and the (mostly pre-Obamacare) US system looks very bad indeed: vastly higher spending per capita than anyone else, with worse results.

Of course, this is nothing new. And as always pointing out the obvious brings out claims that the US system is somehow superior despite its lousy outcomes. Aaron Carroll helpfully reminds us that all of the arguments surfacing here are zombies – arguments that should have died in the face of clear evidence that they’re wrong, but keep on shambling along nonetheless. (I actually learned the term “zombie idea” from the health care discussion, specifically the unending attempts to trash the Canadian system.)

I think it’s important, however, to be explicit about something Carroll obviously knows but doesn’t emphasize: the reason for the prevalence of zombies in this field. Some of it is chauvinism. But the main reason for the zombies is unwillingness to accept facts that conflict with ideology. The American health care system is by far the most privatized, most market-oriented system in the advanced world; it’s also far and away the most expensive, without any sign of getting anything for all that money.

If you are committed to the view that the magic of the market solves all problems, this is disturbing – so it must not be true. Bring on the zombies!


Best title ever!

Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest


The Issue



Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: We have become destroyer of countries

Monday Toon Roundup 2: The Rest



The Issue


Monday Toon Roundup 1: Iraq

Just surreal

I don't have cable tv at home, so I don't see the stream of crap normally. This morning in my hotel they had CNN on at the breakfast space. First up comes a commercial for Natural gas, touting the 'clean wonders of tracking'. The very next commercial was for Koch industries, of course, talking about all the jobs they produce. To top it all off the next one was for ChristianMingle. Just surreal.

Weekend Toon Roundup


The Issue





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