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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 36,356

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Environmental Scientist

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An Interview With a Texas Abortion Doctor Who Can No Longer Do His Job

On Tuesday the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block a new law in Texas that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, a measure that has caused at least a dozen clinics in the state to stop terminating pregnancies. Dr. Lester Minto owns and operates one of the affected clinics, Harlingen Reproductive Services. I spoke with him last week as he awaited the Supreme Court’s vote.

Slate: Are you closed? 

Lester Minto: Of course not. I have nine ladies scheduled for tomorrow.

Slate: What do you tell them? 

Minto: That I do not do abortions. I cannot do them legally. And I tell them that I know that there are other things that people do.

Slate: What do other people “do?”

Minto: If they have a passport and enough money, they go over the border to Mexico and go to a pharmacy and buy misoprostol at a pharmacy. It is an ulcer drug, but it works as an abortifacient. It is not as effective mifepristone, which is the on-label medicine used in the U.S. But in these ladies’ situations, misoprostol can be a good choice. It is proper medicine in a blister pack from a proper pharmacy. Someone might even know how to dose it. But it can be an expensive choice. In the U.S., misoprostol costs 10 to 12 cents a pill. I have had ladies charged $80 a pill at Mexican pharmacies. Also passports are expensive and can take too long to get if you don’t have one already. Misoprostol only works up to about seven weeks after your last menstrual period. You need a passport now just to walk over the bridge into Mexico and back. Of course if you are undocumented this isn’t an option at all.



People have killed nearly 10% of all the wild red wolves this year.

by Jason Bittel

Authorities in North Carolina say they discovered another dead red wolf this week, apparently killed by a gunshot wound. Another is suspected dead, too, but wildlife officials were only able to recover its collar, which appears to have been cut off the animal. This marks four dead wolves since the beginning of October, and eight total killed this year.

Those numbers may not sound like much until you consider that there are only 90 to 100 wild red wolves left in existence. Living in northeastern North Carolina, this last handful of wolves (which were nearly wiped out by government-sanctioned hunting) is the result of an intense U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reintroduction effort that began in Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in the 1980s.

“Nearly 10 percent of red wolves living in the wild have been killed by poachers this year, putting the species on the fast track to extinction,” said Brett Hartl with the Center for Biological Diversity in a press release. “The actions of a few ignorant, misguided criminals have severely crippled the recovery of one of the rarest animals in the United States.”

As a result of the most recent spate of killings, the Center for Biological Diversity has doubled its donation to the bounty pool for information leading to an arrest, bringing its total contribution to $10,000. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, North Carolina Wildlife Federation, and the Humane Society of the United States have all also kicked in funds to bring the grand total to $26,000.



Piles of tar-sands waste (Koch Krap) in Chicago are pissing people off

By John Upton

Clouds of coal dust and petroleum coke, a waste product from the refining of tar-sands oil, have been enveloping neighborhoods on Chicago’s southeast side. Federal, state, and city officials are finally moving to temper the dangerous air pollution.

The villains: KCBX Terminals (a division of Koch Industries) and Beemsterboer Slag Co.

The villainous acts: The companies own three terminals along the Calamut River that are storing huge piles of coal and petroleum coke, aka petcoke, which is coming from a nearby BP refinery. But they aren’t bothering to cover all that gunk to make sure it stays on site, so it’s being picked up by winds and blown over neighboring homes, forcing residents to stay indoors.

The plot: The piles of petcoke are expected to grow in Chicago and elsewhere around the country as refineries switch to processing tar-sands oil from Canada. Detroit suffered a similar problem (also courtesy of the Kochs) until city, state, and federal officials banded together to chase it away with lawsuits and legislation.



Obamacare Shows How Americans Are Becoming Jerks

By Christopher Flavelle Nov 19, 2013 11:44 AM ET

New Gallup poll numbers show Americans increasingly dispute the idea that government has a responsibility to make sure everybody can get health insurance. It's tempting to see that as an indictment against Obamacare, but it might just mean more Americans are becoming jerks.

What's clear is that the shifting views on health care predate the Affordable Care Act. The number of Americans who think health care is the government's responsibility hovered around two-thirds for the first half of the 2000s, peaking at 69 percent in 2006. Then those numbers started falling, hitting 50 percent in 2010 and 42 percent this year.

The shrinkage of American generosity during that period wasn't just about health care. The onset of the recession corresponded with a change in public opinion on a range of issues, and in most cases the effect was to make Americans less caring about others.

Starting in 2007, the portion of Americans who said the government should guarantee every person enough to eat and a place to sleep started falling, from 69 percent to 59 percent last year. People who said the government should help the needy, even if it means going deeper into debt, fell from 54 percent to 43 percent over the same period.

That increased callousness extends beyond Americans' views of helping the needy. In 2007, 60 percent of respondents agreed that people should be willing to pay higher prices to protect the environment; by last year, that figure was 43 percent. The share who said the U.S. should "pay less attention to problems overseas" rose from 76 percent to 83 percent between 2007 and 2012.



Republicans Push Plan to Renege on Medicaid Promise

By Sarah Mimms

During the nasty campaign for Virginia governor last month, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., tried to poke a hole in Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe’s pledge to tap the full federal funding promised to states for expanding their Medicaid programs.

“The notion that the federal government is going to keep matching Medicaid spending at this level is a notion that is just a faulty premise. It’s going to get cut,” Ryan said on a conference call with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli in late October.

Now Ryan’s right-hand man on the Budget Committee, Rep. Tom Price, and other House Republicans are pushing a plan that would ensure those federal dollars do not come through.

Price, a Georgia doctor, brought up the issue during a meeting of the budget conference committee on Wednesday, arguing that by forcing states to pay for at least a portion of their expanded Medicaid programs, Congress could mitigate some of the sequestration cuts—a key goal for Democrats on the committee.

Currently, the federal government has promised the states that it will kick in 100 percent of funding for a Medicaid expansion over the first three years. After that, the government will pay for at least 90 percent of the program indefinitely. So far, 25 states and the District of Columbia have expanded the program under those terms, while another four are considering an expansion. McAuliffe, who narrowly defeated Cuccinelli on Nov. 5, has made it a top priority when he assumes Virginia’s governorship in January.

Price suggested Friday that the federal contribution should be dropped to 90 percent immediately. While the issue is not currently under “official” consideration in the budget conference committee, he said, many House Republicans are discussing such a proposal.



The sabotage efforts continue….

The Fear- and Scandal-mongering is reaching new heights

“This either gets fixed or this could be the demise of the Democratic Party."

“Is he even more unpopular than George W. Bush? I think that’s already happened,” said one Democratic chief of staff.


Frankly, I wish these assholes would quit or be fired. If you can't work for your party and President, and be positive while doing it, you need to find another line of work. Because these assholes are doing the Republicans dirty work for them.

Toon- When do we learn how to read?

Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest









Wednesday Toon Roundup 2- Mayor Ford

Wednesday Toon Roundup 1- Gopers

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