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Home country: USA
Current location: Georgia
Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
Number of posts: 38,939

About Me

Environmental Scientist

Journal Archives

Come Caption Scott "Kochwalker"!

Harley an awkward ride for 'union-busting' Republican Walker

For Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, there's something awkward about the Harley-Davidson motorcycles that he has been posing on at presidential campaign stops: each one bears a sticker on its frame that reads "Union made in the USA."

Walker has made the iconic American brand a centerpiece of his campaign kick-off tour this month, visiting four dealerships and sometimes showing off his own 2003 Harley Road King as he seeks to harness its appeal to older white male voters.

But there is another side to Harley that the Republican candidate has been less vocal about - it is a leading example of a successful company that has a strong relationship with labor unions.

Walker, by contrast, has made his union-busting credentials the foundation of his White House bid, touting it as the prime example of his leadership success and as evidence of how he can defeat powerful vested interests and even foreign enemies.


Sex trafficking: Lifelong struggle of exploited children

By Ian Pannell
BBC News

In the US, poverty, deprivation and exploitation draw thousands of its own children down into a dark underworld that offers few ways out.

It is a world few Americans are aware of. But tens of thousands of American children are thought to be sexually exploited every year.

It's believed that every night hundreds are sold for sex.

The FBI says child sex abuse is almost at an epidemic level, despite the agency rescuing 600 children last year.

"Trafficking" often conjures images of people from other countries being smuggled over land and across the sea and then forced to work against their will in foreign lands. People are trafficked into America from Mexico, Central and South America. But the vast majority of children bought and sold for sex every night in the United States are American kids.


So where are all those 'conservative' groups on this issue? (crickets)

America! Greatest Nation On Earth

'President Christie's' choice for Supreme Court would be Samuel Alito clone

What kind of U.S. Supreme Court would a President Christie strive to create? The most conservative one possible, based on an interview Gov. Chris Christie gave to conservative radio talk show host Michael Medved on Tuesday afternoon.

Christie, a Republican candidate for the White House, ducked a caller's question about whether gay marriage was really a states rights issue, but answered immediately when asked who he'd appoint to the bench of the highest court in the land; Christie identified an associate justice widely thought to be the court's most conservative by legal scholars.

"If you want to know the kind of justices to the Supreme Court that a President Christie would pick, you need to look at one seat on the Supreme Court, and that's the seat of judge Sam Alito," Christie said.

Christie noted that both he and Alito shared a similar background, having both previously served as United States Attorney for New Jersey, and that picking someone like Alito would ensure that "the judiciary does their job the way their supposed to, which is to interpret the laws, not to make new ones."



Fortunately, the only "presidency" Chrispie is headed for is his local hot dog eating contest organization.

NYT: Bernie Sanders Throws a Nationwide House Party for Over 100,000 Would-Be Foot Soldiers

It had all the markings of a Washington house party: guests milling about, talk of politics and policy, a few custom cocktails and a crowd that would make a fire-code enforcer sweat.

Oh, and Senator Bernie Sanders.

Indeed, on what the campaign is calling one of the most important days of its upstart movement, Mr. Sanders came to this small apartment in southwest Washington, looked into a camera and spoke live to what his campaign said was more than 100,000 supporters nationwide.

“Enough is enough,” Mr. Sanders, a Democratic presidential candidate from Vermont, told his followers, listing grievance after grievance, from income inequality to the Citizens United ruling to the minimum wage to Sandra Bland. Then he called on them to act.


“This poster is beautiful,” Mr. Sanders told Ms. Sharma. He read it aloud: “What it says is, ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’ Maybe that is what this campaign is about.”

the rest


Tom the Dancing Bug TOON: "I sacrifice thee in the name of The Second Amendment"

Divers Find Giant Floating Blob, Have No Idea What It Is

While underwater off the coast of Turkey, a group of divers encountered a translucent blob about the size of a car.

The blob felt “very soft,” divers said, and appeared “gelatinous.” From afar, the mass looked almost invisible, but up close, the group spotted countless little dots floating in the 13-foot sphere.

Diver Lutfu Tanriover, who captured the blob (which he called “the thing”) on video, told the blog Deep Sea News that the group felt both “excitement and fear” as they approached the mysterious mass.

Even after close inspection, the divers say they couldn’t figure out what the blob was.

Christopher Mah of The Echinoblog ended up being the first to the plate. Mah said in a tweet that Dr. Michael Vecchione, a squid expert and scientist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, had come up with a possible answer.

The blob, Vecchione said, was likely an enormous squid egg mass -- the “largest” he’s ever seen.


How Medicaid forces families to stay poor

by Andrea Louise Campbell

On a crisp California morning in February 2012, my sister-in-law, Marcella Wagner, was driving down the interstate toward Chico State University, where she had just entered the nursing program. She was thinking about the day ahead when suddenly another driver swerved in front of her. To avoid a collision, she jerked the wheel hard, and her car veered off the freeway. It rolled over, crushing the roof. The other driver sped off, never to be found. Marcella was seven and a half months pregnant. Miraculously, the baby survived and was not harmed. But Marcella was left a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the chest down and with little use of her hands. She will need a wheelchair and round-the-clock personal care assistance indefinitely.

The accident caused more than the physical and emotional devastation that upended Marcella's career plans. It also brought about an economic tragedy that hurtled her young family into the world of means-tested social assistance programs, the "safety net" of public programs for the poor. My brother, Dave Campbell, works for a small company that doesn't offer employee benefits. Nonetheless, before the accident Marcella had managed to secure health insurance for both her and the baby. Her pregnancy and 60 days' postpartum care was being covered by Access for Infants and Mothers, California's health insurance program for middle-income pregnant women. After the birth, Marcella would have been able to join the university's student health plan. The baby would be covered by the Children's Health Insurance Program, the federal-state plan for lower-income children. Marcella and Dave thought they were all set. And then, with the accident, they fell down the social assistance rabbit hole.

At first I thought I would be a great help to Marcella and Dave as they negotiated this web of programs. After all, I'd been teaching and writing about social policy for years, first at Harvard and then at MIT. But I was soon humbled by how immensely complicated the programs are on the ground, and shocked by how penurious. The programs that Marcella now needs as a quadriplegic have helped her in many ways, but have also thrust her, my brother, and their young son into poverty, with little hope of escape. Until this accident, I did not realize the depth of the trap.

And this is not just the story of one family hit by tragedy. Millions suffer under such program strictures and limitations. Between ages 25 and 65, two-thirds of Americans will live in a household receiving means-tested benefits, according to sociologists Mark Rank and Thomas Hirschl. And even if we avoid these programs during our working years, most of us will be disabled at some point in old age, and Medicaid — a means-tested social assistance program — is the most likely source of the help we'll need. This is an American story, the product of the uncertain and incomplete system of social protections in the United States.


This mesmerizing video shows how incredibly vast space really is


Light travels at about 186,000 miles per second. That's an incomprehensibly fast speed — faster than any other object in the universe.

But the video above shows how huge just our corner of the galaxy is, even for a photon of light traveling at that remarkable speed. The film, by artist Alphonse Swinehart, gives you the view you'd see if you were a particle of light traveling from the sun across the solar system — even though it's 45 minutes long, you still don't even reach Saturn.


Wednesday Toon Roundup 3- The Rest



The South


Health Care



Lion Killer



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