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FSogol

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Gender: Male
Hometown: Northern VA
Member since: Fri Oct 29, 2004, 10:34 AM
Number of posts: 21,614

Journal Archives

"Dear Moron"

From Darrin Bell's Candorville

Tom the Dancing Bug on Corporations: Pinocchio Inc.

Injured by Executive Order?



Do too many of your constituents have health insurance?

West African Hackers turn trash into treasure with 3D printer built from e-waste

"What’s a hackerspace doing in West Africa? And can it really build a sub-$100 3D printer out of discarded e-junk? “The better question is why hasn’t anyone thought to set up a hackerspace before now” says Afate Gnikou, one of the principal members of Woelab, a hackerspace based in Togo, West Africa. With prototypes already printing parts for the next generation of machines, Gnikou and his colleagues at Woelab are close to realizing their goal of creating a 3D printer which can to turn the region’s growing piles of imported e-waste from an environmental problem into an economic asset. "

SNIP

"But beneath its MacGyyver-esque appearance lurks a rather well-engineered machine. It doesn’t set any speed records, and it seems to need a bit more frequent fine-tuning than a store-bought unit but most of the samples it produced appeared to be at least as well-formed and sturdy as one would get from a standard Prusa printer. Afate said that he expects that the final design which will be released for general use will have additional refinements which will improve print quality and reduce the amount of tinkering a user will have to do in order produce it."

"Woelab has several other projects underway which use Maker-type technologies to create tools which address some of the region’s unique problems and opportunities. These include an Arduino-controlled water-conserving irrigation system and implementing an African version of the OmNom plastic recycling system."

Whole article from Lee Goldberg at Engineer Design News at:
http://edn.com/electronics-blogs/diy-zone/4432977/Hackers-turn-trash-into-treasure-with-open-source-3D-printer-built-from-e-waste-?&elq=4612371b2d414167bee4eea50b6e524a&elqCampaignId=18469

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before.

You can't make them change if they don't want to, just like when they do want to, you can't stop them.” —Andy Warhol.

Warhol would have been 86 yesterday.

Don’t think Obama has reduced inequality? These numbers prove that he has.

By Zachary A. Goldfarb of the Washington Post



Today, the average after-tax income of a member of the top 1 percent of earners is $1.12 million. The average after-tax income of someone in the bottom 20 percent is $13,300. That means the average person at the top takes home 84 times the income that the average person in the bottom takes home.

Now, consider what it would be like if none of President Obama’s tax policy changes had happened: not the upper-income tax hikes negotiated at the beginning of last year, not the upper-income tax increases imposed by the Affordable Care Act, not the low-income tax credits enacted in the 2009 stimulus and later renewed.

In this alternative universe, the average member of the top 1 percent would take home $1.2 million, or 6.5 percent more in income, according to a new analysis. The average member of the bottom 20 percent would bring home $13,100, or 1.2 percent less in income. As a result, the average member of the 1 percent would take home 91 times what the average person in the bottom would bring home.

If you've wondered whether Obama has made any headway at reducing income inequality, here's evidence that he has. Based on tax policy alone, he has slightly increased the income of the poor and more significantly reduced the income of the rich. That's according to a new, exclusive analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, conducted at the request of The Washington Post, that compared today's income distribution with what it would look like if President George W. Bush's tax policies were still in place.


Whole article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/23/dont-think-obama-has-reduced-inequality-these-numbers-prove-that-he-has/

"Here’s why Obama should get credit for reducing income inequality"

By Zachary A. Goldfarb of the Washington Post


My post last week on how President Obama has reduced income inequality sparked a bit of a wonk feud.

MSNBC’s Timothy Noah took me to task, arguing that I was too quick to say that Obama has reduced inequality. He says that inequality has increased under Obama, with the top 1 percent gobbling up 22.46 percent of income in 2012, versus 18.12 percent in 2009, citing the Saez-Piketty World Top Incomes database. New York Magazine’s Annie Lowrey and Vanderbilt professor Larry Bartels also say inequality has increased under Obama, but they agree with me that there is less inequality than there would be without his policies. And Time’s Michael Grunwald suggests that I actually understated how much Obama has done, because I did not capture the full breadth of measures in the stimulus.

This is quite a wonk feud, but like the best wonk feuds, we all actually agree. Yes, the rich have grown farther apart from the rest of us during the Obama years. And yes, Obama’s tax policies and the Affordable Care Act are narrowing inequality to less than it would otherwise be. But the discussion is instructive in that it raises interesting questions about how we experience inequality; how we measure it; and whether we ought to give credit to policymakers -- namely, Obama -- for doing anything about it, or conversely whether we ought to criticize them for failing to do enough about it.


SNIP His 4th point is the best where he states:

The key policies Obama introduced include: higher tax rates on the wealthy, new levies on upper-income Americans in the Affordable Care Act and expanded refundable tax credits for the poor. They also include a more generous program of health insurance for low- and moderate-income Americans, achieved through subsidies and expanded Medicaid.


My selections from the article really don't do it justice. The entire article is here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/07/28/heres-why-obama-should-get-credit-for-reducing-income-inequality/

Comedian Brett White on the difference between Marvel Comics and DC Comics

From a tweet:

DC/WB is all like "Wonder Woman's too confusing for a movie!" and Marvel/Disney is all like "Here's a raccoon with a machine gun"

https://twitter.com/brettwhite/status/366999192016662528

Good article on McDonnell's trial

McDonnell lawyers used a variation of "It is his wife's fault" defense by claiming his wife fell in love with Williams.

Petula Dvorak ridicules this in today's Washington Post:

"On Wednesday, the rapt gaze of former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell followed Jonnie Ray Williams, a former car salesman turned nutraceutical entrepreneur, as he strode across the courtroom and took the witness stand for the first time. I was waiting for her to clasp her hands together and moon, “Oh, Jonnie,” or maybe blow him a kiss.

Her puppy crush is a sad act scripted to avoid jail time for allegedly selling the prestige of the governor’s office in exchange for the Rolex on her husband’s wrist, the Ferrari joy ride, the private jet trips, the $70,000 life raft to save a real estate investment, the vacation at the lake house, the help with a daughter’s wedding, the fancy golf gear and the rounds of golf Bob McDonnell and his sons played at $300 a pop."

SNIP

"All the lovesick melodrama about the first lady having a crush on Williams has probably been manufactured by the defense attorneys. Maybe they have some evidence to back up this story line. But when this scandal began, Bob and Maureen McDonnell showed up in court holding hands, presenting themselves as a solid, Christian couple.

Now they are changing that narrative, walking in and out of court in separate entourages, riding different elevators, brushing past each other without even making eye contact. The staging borders on ridiculous. They are doing nothing more than selling Virginians another tale."

Whole article here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/heres-jonnie-cue-the-rapt-gaze-from-former-va-first-lady-maureen-mcdonnell/2014/07/31/15e4d600-18b8-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

Anyone following the Bob McDonnell corurption trial?

In an early thread on McDonnell, I goofed on the defenses already trotted out by his lawyer:

Which defense will he use? His lawyers have already trotted these out:
It wasn't illegal.
If it was illegal, McDonnell didn't know.
It is his wife's fault.
Everybody does it.
Sometimes courts get things wrong, so this case should be dismissed since they might get it wrong.
This is just political.

(Did I miss any of his defenses?)


Of course McDonnell lawyers used a variation of "It is his wife's fault" by claiming his wife fell in love with Williams.

Petula Dvorak ridicules this in today's Washington Post:

"On Wednesday, the rapt gaze of former Virginia first lady Maureen McDonnell followed Jonnie Ray Williams, a former car salesman turned nutraceutical entrepreneur, as he strode across the courtroom and took the witness stand for the first time. I was waiting for her to clasp her hands together and moon, “Oh, Jonnie,” or maybe blow him a kiss.

Her puppy crush is a sad act scripted to avoid jail time for allegedly selling the prestige of the governor’s office in exchange for the Rolex on her husband’s wrist, the Ferrari joy ride, the private jet trips, the $70,000 life raft to save a real estate investment, the vacation at the lake house, the help with a daughter’s wedding, the fancy golf gear and the rounds of golf Bob McDonnell and his sons played at $300 a pop."

SNIP

"All the lovesick melodrama about the first lady having a crush on Williams has probably been manufactured by the defense attorneys. Maybe they have some evidence to back up this story line. But when this scandal began, Bob and Maureen McDonnell showed up in court holding hands, presenting themselves as a solid, Christian couple.

Now they are changing that narrative, walking in and out of court in separate entourages, riding different elevators, brushing past each other without even making eye contact. The staging borders on ridiculous. They are doing nothing more than selling Virginians another tale."

Whole article here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/heres-jonnie-cue-the-rapt-gaze-from-former-va-first-lady-maureen-mcdonnell/2014/07/31/15e4d600-18b8-11e4-9e3b-7f2f110c6265_story.html

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