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Bill USA

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Member since: Wed Mar 3, 2010, 05:25 PM
Number of posts: 4,917

About Me

Quotes I like: "Prediction is very difficult, especially concerning the future." "There are some things so serious that you have to laugh at them.” __ Niels Bohr Given his contribution to the establishment of quantum mechanics, I guess it's not surprising he had such a quirky of sense of humor. ......................."Deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of another's position is a basic technique of (dis)information processing" __ I said that

Journal Archives

Americans' for Prosperity's Debunked Obamacare 'victim' doubles down on victimhood


You'll be shocked, shocked to learn that the Koch brothers' Americans for Prosperity is responding to the debunking of their anti-Obamacare ad featuring leukemia patient Julie Boonstra by pouring $300,000 more into another ad. This ad will not answer to the facts presented by critics of the ad, but will feature Boonstra, again, as victim because—irony alert—she's being silenced.

In the new ad, Ms. Boonstra says the attacks on her credibility have been devastating and accuses Mr. Peters of trying to silence her. “All I want is to be listened to,” she says in the commercial. “There are thousands of people out there who are hurting because of Obamacare.”

Tim Phillips, the president of Americans for Prosperity, which is backed by the billionaires David and Charles Koch, said the organization was standing by its ads and would not be deterred by criticism from Democrats like Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, who last week called the first Michigan ad “absolutely false.”

“We are completely comfortable about the accuracy of every item in our ads,” said Mr. Phillips, who suggested that Mr. Reid was trying to start a political dispute to shift attention from what he called an effective advertising campaign.

Reality check: of course Boonstra is being listened to, thanks to the $2 million that the Koch brothers is pouring into this campaign, $300,000 on this ad alone. She's being listened to and questioned about the factual statements she's making—the implication that she's losing her doctor and that she's paying so much more money out of pocket—which turned out not to be true. That's what is in question, not her free speech. If she were doing an ad that told the truth, that she has an ideological problem with Obamacare and is opposed to it because of that, no one would be questioning her.

But that doesn't make for a compelling ad. No, there has to be victim and it has to scare people. If Boonstra isn't a victim of Obamacare, she's the victim of mean people who are trying to silence her. Because she "believes" she's being hurt by Obamacare, even though she cannot or will not provide any proof that this is true.

And so we have another professional conservative victim. There's nothing conservatives love to do more than to pretend that they are being persecuted and silenced. They particularly like to do that by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to blanket the airwaves with their complaints, so that the whole world can hear how they're being silenced.

In the new ad she repeats the lie that her new plan is NOT meeting her needs (not an exact quote) but the truth is, her new plan with Blue Cross includes the doctor she says she likes as a participant. She can keep her doctor. And the new plan is $2 dollars more expensive than the one she had (not to mention it also thanks to Obamacare has NO LIFETIME CAPS ON TREATMENTS ... AND NO CANCELLATIONS IF YOU GET TOO SICK).


will the World stop Assad?: UN: 5.5 Million Syrian Children Affected by War

UN: 5.5 Million Syrian Children Affected by War

The number of Syrian children affected by the civil war in their homeland has doubled in the past year to at least 5.5 million — more than half the country's children — with devastating effects on the health, education and psychological well-being of an entire generation, the United Nations children's agency said Thursday.

The conflict, which enters its fourth year this month, has unleashed massive suffering across all segments of Syrian society, but the impact on children has been especially acute, according to a new report by UNICEF. Malnutrition and illness have stunted their growth; a lack of learning opportunities has derailed their education; and the bloody trauma of war has left deep psychological scars.

"After three years of conflict and turmoil, Syria is now one of the most dangerous places on earth to be a child," the agency said. "In their thousands, children have lost lives and limbs, along with virtually every aspect of their childhood. They have lost classrooms and teachers, brothers and sisters, friends, caregivers, homes and stability."

"Millions of young people risk becoming, in effect, a lost generation," UNICEF said.

For-profit college group, linked to ALEC, keeps working to harm students & taxpayers RepublicReport



It’s a busy time for APSCU, the trade association of America’s for-profit colleges. The group spends its time trying to block reasonable measures to hold the worst actors in its industry responsible for their systematic abuses of students and taxpayers, as if the industry is permanently entitled to the enormous amounts of federal taxpayer money — $33 billion in a recent year — that it receives. And the industry is under siege, now that media and government investigations have exposed that many for-profit colleges offer a toxic mix of deceptive recruiting, high prices, low quality instruction, and poor job placement records.

Last week the Guardian revealed documents that, among other things, reaffirmed the link between the troubled for-profit college sector and the controversial corporate advocacy group the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The documents show that ALEC is facing financial pressures, in part because numerous major corporations quit after media exposed its role in promoting the Stand Your Ground gun laws. ALEC was criticized after Florida police invoked Stand Your Ground in initially refusing to arrest George Zimmerman, the shooter of Trayvon Martin, and ALEC was already under scrutiny at the time for its role in advancing “Voter ID” laws that make it harder for citizens to vote. ALEC documents showed that the group has a “prodical son” (sic) project that seeks to return to the fold lapsed members, and that list included the for-profit college companies Kaplan and Bridgepoint Education. Republic Report was the first to report last year that industry members including Kaplan, Bridgepoint, Corinthian Colleges — and APSCU itself — have all been ALEC members. The documents revealed by the Guardian also show that ALEC listed as possible recruits for membership the for-profit college businesses Capella, DeVry, and Education Management Corp.

Although we don’t know whether any of those companies were actually recruited or joined ALEC, the documents do remind the public of APSCU’s partnership with the group that advanced controversial gun and voting laws just as it opens a two-day event in Washington this morning, called “Inaugural State of the Workforce Symposium: From Education to Employment.” Keynote speakers scheduled for the APSCU event include Representative John Kline (R-MN) and Rob Andrews (D-NJ), both regular recipients of campaign contributions from the for-profit college industry, as well as, curiously, Andrew Stern, the former president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has taken a strong stand against for-profit college abuses.

Given that in the past year numerous for-profit college companies, including Corinthian and Career Education Corporation, have been accused by state attorneys general and others of misleading students about their job placement rates, and given that for-profit colleges today account for 13 percent of college students but nearly half of all student loan defaults, it would be great if APSCU actually got serious about pressing its members to train students for careers. But this two-day session is just talk, not action.

- See more at: http://www.republicreport.org/2013/for-profit-college-group-linked-alec-working-harm-students-taxpayers/#sthash.Y1xPvWIk.dpuf

Robert Reich re expected follow-up Supreme Court decision to Citizens United ruling


The Supreme Court is on the brink of doubling down on the Citizens United decision's shameful legacy. If the Court sides with the plaintiff in McCutcheon v. FEC and overturns aggregate contribution limits, a single individual could spend as much as $3.6 million on a single election -- enough to buy the attention of the President and every single member of Congress.

Poll: Dem Michelle Nunn Tied With Leading GOPer For GA Senate Seat


Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA), the leading Republican in the field, is tied with Democrat Michelle Nunn in a general election matchup in the Georgia Senate race, according to a new Public Policy Polling survey released Monday.

Broun had the best matchup of any of the Georgia Republican candidates polled in the primary. Nunn and Broun are tied with 38 percent support each in a head-to-head matchup. Twenty-four percent of those surveyed said they were unsure who to support.

Nunn meanwhile holds small leads over the other GOP contenders in direct matchups in the race. In a matchup with Rep. Phil Gingrey, Nunn leads 42 percent to 40 percent. Against former Secretary of State Karen Handel, Nunn gets 43 percent while Handel gets 39 percent. And in a general election matchup between Nunn and Rep. Jack Kingston, Nunn gets 44 percent and Kingston gets 41 percent, the poll found.

The poll was conducted from March 5 to March 6 among 580 Georgia voters.

of course, this is before the Cock Brothers buy up all the air time and suffucate any incipient dialogue with disinformation and propaganda. Ain't life grand in America where the Government is for sale to the highestobidder thanks to the Roberts Hoch Court. Corporate Fuedalism, where everybody who works for a living (that's you if you aren't wealthy enough to live off your investments) is sinking into serfdom.

Randomized, double-blind study: CoQ10 cuts all heart related causes of mortality by half.


The Q-SYMBIO study (2) randomised 420 patients with severe heart failure (New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class III or IV) to CoQ10 or placebo and followed them for 2 years. The primary endpoint was time to first major adverse cardiovascular event (MACE) which included unplanned hospitalisation due to worsening of heart failure, cardiovascular death, urgent cardiac transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Participating centres were in Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, India, Malaysia and Australia.

CoQ10 halved the risk of MACE, with 29 (14%) patients in the CoQ10 group reaching the primary endpoint compared to 55 (25%) patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio=2; p=0.003). CoQ10 also halved the risk of dying from all causes, which occurred in 18 (9%) patients in the CoQ10 group compared to 36 (17%) patients in the placebo group (hazard ratio=2.1; p=0.01).

CoQ10 treated patients had significantly lower cardiovascular mortality (p=0,02) and lower occurrence of hospitalisations for heart failure (p=0.05). There were fewer adverse events in the CoQ10 group compared to the placebo group (p=0.073).

Professor Mortensen said: "CoQ10 is the first medication to improve survival in chronic heart failure since ACE inhibitors and beta blockers more than a decade ago and should be added to standard heart failure therapy."

Rep. Cummings: "I Was Trying To Help Issa When He Cut Off My Mic"


The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said Thursday that he was "trying to actually help" Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) get information from a former IRS official when Issa cut off his microphone at a hearing on the agency's screening of conservative groups.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) explained on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that when he asked a procedural question after Issa adjourned the hearing, he was simply trying to get former IRS official Lois Lerner's attorney to provide the committee with a proffer. That agreement would have told the committee what Lerner would have said if she testified during the hearing instead of invoking her Fifth Amendment rights.

"I just looked at the clip and it seems like Chairman Issa thinks he can read my mind," Cummings said. "He forgets sometimes that, quite often, we are as Democrats in this committee left out of the discussions with regard to deliberating and working with trying to get a proffer and those types of things. But he forgets I'm a lawyer and I've been practicing for over 20 years."

Cummings also suggested that Republicans on the committee may have violated Lerner's Fifth Amendment rights when they decided that a statement she gave denying the allegations against her constituted a waiver of those rights.

Rep Cummings sir, don't you realize you're dealing with a lizard in degenerate, car thief, Issa??

Epigenetics provides explanation of fearful conservatives who cling to the 'tough guy' charicature

... as a way of keeping all those 'scary' people from hurting them.

Researchers found that mice raised by inattentive mothers, or exposed to bullying by larger more aggressive mice (cf. insecure fathers who like to bully their children), were less able to cope with stress when mature, while those with attentive mothers grew up to be "calm and brave".   Mice raised by inattentive mothers showed greater methylation of genes regulating glococorticoid receptors which resulted in the mice not being able to handle stress as well as those raised by more attentive mothers (or not subjected to bullying when young).

Interesting stuff.


According to the new insights of behavioral epigenetics, traumatic experiences in our past, or in our recent ancestors’ past, leave molecular scars adhering to our DNA...


With the assistance of postdoctoral researchers, they began by selecting mother rats who were either highly attentive or highly inattentive. Once a pup had grown up into adulthood, the team examined its hippocampus, a brain region essential for regulating the stress response. In the pups of inattentive mothers, they found that genes regulating the production of glucocorticoid receptors, which regulate sensitivity to stress hormones, were highly methylated; in the pups of conscientious moms, the genes for the glucocorticoid receptors were rarely methylated.

Methylation just gums up the works. So the less the better when it comes to transcribing the affected gene. In this case, methylation associated with miserable mothering prevented the normal number of glucocorticoid receptors from being transcribed in the baby’s hippocampus. And so for want of sufficient glucocorticoid receptors, the rats grew up to be nervous wrecks.

To demonstrate that the effects were purely due to the mother’s behavior and not her genes, Meaney and colleagues performed a second experiment. They took rat pups born to inattentive mothers and gave them to attentive ones, and vice versa. As they predicted, the rats born to attentive mothers but raised by inattentive ones grew up to have low levels of glucocorticoid receptors in their hippocampus and behaved skittishly. Likewise, those born to bad mothers but raised by good ones grew up to be calm and brave and had high levels of glucocorticoid receptors.


latest GOP accomplishment: More Than 2 Million Unemployed Workers Are Now Going Without Benefits


As of this week, the number of long-term unemployed people who are no longer receiving unemployment benefits hit the 2 million mark, according to the National Employment Law Project.

At the end of last year, Congress failed to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program that made sure those who had been out of work for 26 weeks or more received unemployment benefits. That immediately left 1.3 million people without a lifeline, and the ranks will swell to 2.3 million by April 5 if Democrats can’t find a way to make Republicans drop their filibuster of the extension.

Lori of Austin, Texas is one of those millions going without unemployment benefits. “I started working when I was 12 years old, started paying taxes when I was 15 years old,” she told ThinkProgress. At almost 60 years old, she has more than 40 years of experience as a registered nurse working in the neonatal intensive care unit of hospitals.

But she lost her job at the end of 2012. She went a few months without benefits on the assumption that she would quickly find new work, but that didn’t pan out. By March of last year, without a job or any prospects, she enrolled in the unemployment benefits program. She started the EUC program in September but then was cut off along with everyone else at the end of the year. “What irritates me about this is that I have worked hard all my life, I have not lived on the government nor any of their hand out programs,” she said. “This is a benefit that an employer takes out of your salary and you pay in so that when something happens, you have this benefit.”

Just heard Marko Pejanovic playing Copin's Fantasy Impromptu. He's 12 yrs old. Incredible! Sounds

like a veteran concert pianist. He shows feeling in his playing which, it seems so many young pianists of late don't seem able to do - (maybe it's a style thing).


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