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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
Number of posts: 43,377

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Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Tuesday Toon Roundup 1- Changes

Ken Burns or Instructors?

August 22, 2016
Scott Jaschik
U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (at right), a Wisconsin Republican in a tough re-election battle against Democrat Russ Feingold, used an appearance on Thursday to say the "higher education cartel" is raising prices and preventing reforms that would help college students learn at affordable prices.

He criticized accreditors and tenured professors for blocking reforms. He said that he favored "certification," in which people could demonstrate competency or skills in certain areas through testing rather than earning degrees. (The University of Wisconsin is a leader in competency-based education, in which students earn degrees sometimes in ways similar to the path Johnson suggested.)
Johnson also said the education system could become much more affordable by changing the role of instruction.

"We’ve got the internet -- you have so much information available. Why do you have to keep paying different lecturers to teach the same course? You get one solid lecturer and put it up online and have everybody available to that knowledge for a whole lot cheaper? But that doesn’t play very well to tenured professors in the higher education cartel. So again, we need destructive technology for our higher education system," he said.


Donald Trump’s Extremely Sick Campaign

First, the GOP nominee was an Obama Birther. Now he's a Clinton Deather.
August 22, 2016

The 2016 race has taken an increasingly ghoulish and morbid turn as Donald Trump’s campaign has decided to start making allegations about Hillary Clinton’s health. In keeping with the chaotic nature of the campaign, these accusations are internally inconsistent but they all allege that Clinton is too physically fragile to be president.

Last Monday, the Republican nominee suggested that Clinton “lacks the mental and physical stamina to take on ISIS, and all the many adversaries we face.” His spokespeople, surrogates and media allies have been much more blunt. On CNN on Thursday, Trump national spokesperson Katrina Pierson claimed that Clinton suffered from dysphasia, a dysfunction in the brain that hampers the ability to both understand and communicate. As a guest on Fox News Sunday, Rudy Giuliani attacked the media for failing to “point out several signs of illness by .” Giuliani suggested viewers “go online and put down Hillary Clinton and illness and take a look at the videos for yourself.”

These rumors date back to at least 2014, when Republican operative Karl Rove used a three-day Clinton hospital stay to deal with a blood clot to suggest that the former Secretary of State might have a “traumatic brain injury.” Trump flirted with this rhetoric occasionally in the early days of his campaign, but since he’s been sinking in the polls, it has become the mainstay of his campaign. Yet by focusing on Clinton’s health, Trump is proving the frailty of his own campaign, not just because these desperate arguments are based on lies (although they are) but also because they show that Trump’s retreating from any sort of political debate with Clinton. Indeed, increasingly shrill speculation about Clinton’s health bolster the idea that Trump is already moving beyond politics and is trying to position himself for a post-election role as a media magnate.


Nuclear accident in New Mexico ranks among the costliest in U.S. history

When a drum containing radioactive waste blew up in an underground nuclear dump in New Mexico two years ago, the Energy Department rushed to quell concerns in the Carlsbad desert community and quickly reported progress on resuming operations.

The early federal statements gave no hint that the blast had caused massive long-term damage to the dump, a facility crucial to the nuclear weapons cleanup program that spans the nation, or that it would jeopardize the Energy Department’s credibility in dealing with the tricky problem of radioactive waste.

But the explosion ranks among the costliest nuclear accidents in U.S. history, according to a Times analysis. The long-term cost of the mishap could top $2 billion, an amount roughly in the range of the cleanup after the 1979 partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania.

The Feb. 14, 2014, accident is also complicating cleanup programs at about a dozen current and former nuclear weapons sites across the U.S. Thousands of tons of radioactive waste that were headed for the dump are backed up in Idaho, Washington, New Mexico and elsewhere, state officials said in interviews.


Monday Toon Roundup





Another case of Pharma gouging

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - In the midst of what some call a heroin epidemic, the cost of Naloxone, a life-saving antidote, is skyrocketing.

About four times every day, Indianapolis first responders rely on Naloxone (also known as Narcan, which is the brand name) to save the lives of men and women over dosing on heroin.

With heroin abuse growing exponentially in Indianapolis and other major cities, the price of Naloxone, also so know as Narcan, quadrupled in just two years.


Weekend Toon Roundup



Health Care





Friday TOON Roundup 2 - The Rest









Friday TOON Roundup 1 - Deck, rearranged

Report: Contractors outnumber U.S. troops in Afghanistan 3-to-1

Defense Department contractors in Afghanistan still outnumber U.S. troops by a 3-to-1 margin according to new research released this week, raising questions again about the role those workers play in the ongoing wars overseas and the oversight they receive.

The data, compiled by the Congressional Research Service and first reported by Politico, shows contractor numbers in both Iraq and Afghanistan dating back to fiscal 2007. Combined, the Defense Department spent more than $220 billion on contractors in both war zones for a variety of services and support.

The numbers show that the non-military defense workers have outnumbered U.S. troops in Afghanistan continuously since mid-2011, even as the numbers of both have drawn down steadily. But the ratio between the two groups continues to widen as administration officials work to reduce the roles played by armed military personnel in the war-torn country.

In early 2012, the number of defense contractors in Afghanistan peaked at more than 117,000 individuals, as compared to around 88,000 U.S. servicemembers.

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