Well, the preliminary numbers for CA are in — and they’re looking very good, with costs coming in below expectations. At this point, it looks as if this thing is indeed going to work.
And think about the political dynamics. Because the Supreme Court decided to let states opt out of the Medicaid expansion, some states — notably Texas — will have a pretty dysfunctional version of Obamacare in 2014, although even those systems will provide significant benefits to many people. Still, the whole political calculus was supposed to be that Republicans in red states could point to the horrors of Obamacare and ride them to political victory. Instead, it looks as if we’re going to see blue-state residents reaping the benefits of a functional health care system, while red-state residents are denied many of those benefits, for what looks like no better reason than mean-spirited spite — because what’s going on is, indeed, mean-spirited spite.
Predictions that Obamacare will be a big political issue are probably right — but not in the way gleeful conservatives imagined.
In case you ever wondered just how much wealthy students dominate America’s top colleges, here’s a nice illustration from a new report by the Century Foundation. At the most selective schools in the country,* 70 percent of students come from the wealthiest quarter of U.S. families. Just 14 percent come from the poorest half. And while these statistics date back to 2006, I think it’s safe to say they haven’t changed greatly in the last few years.
Geology is what we look to when we want enduring monuments. Rock and metal outlast anything made of living tissue. Or do they? In another example of science getting poetic, it seems that a symbol of ephemera — a butterfly — provides evidence of a mountain long turned to dust.
Monarch butterflies are some of the toughest insects in the world. Their migration takes them from southern Canada to central Mexico. The journey is so long and difficult that it outlasts the butterfly’s lifetime. Monarchs lay eggs at different stages through the journey. No one generation makes the whole trip.
Along this journey are several sites that have become local treasures and tourist attractions. The monarchs, flying in swarms, group together to rest in small areas, covering the trees like bright orange leaves. But although these sites are the most showy part of the journey, they’re not the most amazing.
The amazing part of the journey is the sudden eastward turn that monarchs take over Lake Superior. Monarchs fly over the lake, necessarily, in one unceasing flight. That alone would be difficult, but the monarchs make it tougher by not going directly south. They fly south, and at one point of the lake turn east, fly for a while, and then turn back toward the south. Why?
Biologists, and certain geologists, believe that something was blocking the monarchs’ path. They believe that that part of Lake Superior might have once been one of the highest mountains ever to loom over North America. It would have been useless for the monarchs to try to scale it, and wasteful to start climbing it, so all successfully migrating monarchs veered east around it and then headed southward again. They’ve kept doing that, some say, even after the mountain is long gone.
This puts a new spin on how we look at geology and geography. We think of mountains as structures that are, nearly, ageless. They stand while successive generations of animals change and evolve around them. Perhaps not this time, though. This time, butterflies kept up their same pattern while the world changed under them, the mountain wearing away, or being destroyed. This time, flesh outlasted stone.
So let me get this straight. A Monarch butterfly whose life span is one year, so that it takes several generations to complete it’s migration cycle (just getting my head around that idea already gives me a headache) is genetically programed to fly around a mountain that was a millennium ago, located where Lake Superior is today. Just thinking about this is a religious experience for me.
Stand by. The Religious right assholes are either going to go apeshit about this or try to bury it. Please, feel free to tweet/retweet it to Bryan et al.
(CNN) - Just days after she announced to the world from tornado-ravaged Moore, Oklahoma, that she is an atheist, it looks like Rebecca Vitsmun has found salvation.
Not from the Lord, mind you, but from other atheists and friends of atheists.
An Indiegogo campaign titled “Atheists Unite,” launched late Thursday by stand-up comic Doug Stanhope, is raking in dollars to help her family rebuild. Less than 17 hours after going live, it met its 60-day goal of $50,000. A little more than an hour later, as we prepared to publish, donations were at $55,000 - and growing.
//Wonder how Fischer will react?
But also remember this. There are others who also need our help. So please, if you can, donate to them as well.
Charles. May I suggests an addtion to the Category selction. Natural Disasters
As Democrats and the media continue to hammer Virginia lieutenant governor hopeful E.W. Jackson for his past comments on social issues, the Christian minister says he is battling what he calls the “mainstream media’s caricature” of him.
In an email sent to The Daily Caller this week, the running mate to Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said “every one of those comments has a context and were spoken in my role as a minister, not as a candidate.”
So everything is okay, nothing to see here. Can’t you see he is the real victim in all this?
Highlights of his comments as a “Minister”:
Jackson on gays and lesbians:
Referred to gays and lesbians as “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally.”
Said regarding homosexuality: “it poisons culture, it destroys families, it destroys societies; it brings the judgment of God unlike very few things that we can think of.”
Argued that gays seek to “sexualize [children] at the earliest possible age” and use “totalitarian” tactics.
Claimed gays are hurting black women: “I’ve heard a lot of young black ladies that a lot of young black men seem to be gay. I’ve heard them complain about it, they say ‘so many of these guys are homosexuals’ and they are frankly frustrated by it.”
Demanded the reinstitution of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell : “The military has been decimated by this lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender policy that has now been implemented. It’s an abomination and it’s only going to weaken us militarily and they need to undo it,” warning that the policy’s repeal is a “disaster of historic proportions.”
Contended that homosexuality is “killing black men by the thousands” and said of gay rights advocates: “what they’re promoting is killing people.”
Called GLSEN founder and anti-bullying activist Kevin Jennings a “radical homosexual activist” who should have been “imprisoned” in a letter demanding he resign as head of the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools.
Said there is a “direct connection” between gays and pedophilia.
Jackson on Obama and Democrats:
Wondered how the Democratic Party “managed to hold on to black Christians in spite of an agenda worthy of the Antichrist.”
Proclaimed that “the Democrat Party has shown itself to be anti-Christian, anti-Bible, anti-family, anti-life and anti-God… We’re calling people to come out of the Democrat Party and not support candidates who represent its values and the rebellion that it represents against God. That certainly would include President Barack Obama.”
Claimed that Democratic Party supporters are “insulting their faith and blaspheming their God” by supporting a “coalition of the godless.”
Warned that ministers who support Obama “are going to have to answer to God” if they encourage “their congregations to support this abomination.”
Said Democrats believe “that the Bible is a lie and indeed they are saying that God is a liar.”
Argued that “liberalism and their ideas have done more to kill black folks whom they claim so much to love than the Ku Klux Klan, lynching and slavery and Jim Crow ever did, now that’s a fact.”
Maintained that Obama “seems to have a lot of sympathy for even radical Islam” and “clearly has Muslim sensibilities,” arguing that Obama “certainly does have a lot of affection and favor for Islam, that seems to be his priority…Christianity, I don’t really think about that with him, I really don’t, that’s a joke.”
Compared Democratic leaders to “slave masters” who make sure that black people who disagree with them are “punished.”
Insisted that Planned Parenthood “has been far more lethal to Black lives than the KKK ever was.”
Predicted that African Americans will “overwhelmingly” vote against Obama as a result of his endorsement of marriage equality and a move of God to “stir the hearts of His people” and push them against the Democrats.
Maintained that the President and First Lady are both Communist sympathizers who dislike America.
This is some powerful stuff. I wouldn’t want to be an Obamacare repealing Republican asshole in a state that isn’t embracing the Affordable Care Act in 2014. Once small businesses learn that California (and other states embracing the ACA) are less expensive, they’ll flock out of the states that don’t.
Covered California, the agency tasked with constructing and maintaining the Golden State’s insurance marketplace, announced in a press release that rates submitted by 13 insurers for the 2014 individual marketplace were far lower than initially expected, ranging from a stunning 29 percent below the current average premium for small business health plans to only two percent above them.
For Californians who will gain coverage in the marketplace, that means affordable health plans with a minimum base of ten “essential health benefits,” including prescription drug services, mental health care, and maternity services. And the announced rates are even better for consumers considering that they don’t take Obamacare’s federal insurance subsidies into account. Depending on income, the average middle-aged Californian would pay anywhere from $40 to $300 per month for a mid-level “Silver” health plan on the marketplace. Younger, healthier Americans looking to buy bare-bones “Bronze” health plans would end up paying less than $170 per month — or even nothing at all — if they make less money and receive federal Obamacare subsidies.
29 per cent…hell, even a Conservative can understand what that means.
Spacecraft could determine their position anywhere in the solar system to within five kilometres using signals from x-ray pulsars, say astronomers.
Navigating in space is a tricky business. The usual method relies on Earth-based tracking stations to work out a spacecraft’s distance using radio waves, a process that is accurate to within a metre or so.
That’s fine for the radial distance, but tracking a spacecraft’s angular position is much harder because of the limited angular resolution of radio antennas. The current technology produces an uncertainty of about four kilometres per astronomical unit of distance between Earth and the spacecraft.
So for a spacecraft at the distance of Pluto, that’s an uncertainty of 200 kilometres and at the distance of Voyager 1, the uncertainty is 500 kilometres.
So a way for spacecraft to determine their own position accurately would clearly be useful.
Today, Werner Becker at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Germany and a couple of pals have worked out the practical details for an autonomous spacecraft navigation system using pulsars signals. They say that technology being developed now would allow spacecraft to work out their position to within five kilometres anywhere in the solar system.
Bioresorbable splint used for first time, successfully stopped life-threatening tracheobronchomalacia, case featured in New England Journal of Medicine
Ann Arbor, Mich. - Every day, their baby stopped breathing, his collapsed bronchus blocking the crucial flow of air to his lungs. April and Bryan Gionfriddo watched helplessly, just praying that somehow the dire predictions weren’t true.
“Quite a few doctors said he had a good chance of not leaving the hospital alive,” says April Gionfriddo, about her now 20-month-old son, Kaiba. “At that point, we were desperate. Anything that would work, we would take it and run with it.”
They found hope at the University of Michigan, where a new, bioresorbable device that could help Kaiba was under development. Kaiba’s doctors contacted Glenn Green, M.D., associate professor of pediatric otolaryngology at the University of Michigan.
More: Baby’s Life Saved With Groundbreaking 3D Printed Device From University of Michigan That Restored His Breathing