An injured worker featured in a ProPublica and NPR investigation into the rollback of workers’ compensation nationwide warned Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday not to make the same drastic cuts that his state has made in recent years.
John Coffell, who lost his home after hurting his back at an Oklahoma tire plant, testified as part of an eight-hour hearing on workers’ comp before the entire Illinois state assembly. The rare hearing of “the committee as a whole” was called by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan as a preemptive strike of sorts as newly elected Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner prepares a number of changes to reduce costs for employers.
As part of his “turnaround agenda,” Rauner has proposed:
—Toughening standards so that employees must prove that work caused more than 50 percent of their injuries rather than just aggravating an existing condition
Representatives from the business and insurance communities also cited ProPublica data on workers’ comp benefits for various body parts to note that Illinois is relatively generous. For example, the most an Illinois worker who suffers a complete arm amputation can receive is roughly $440,000 compared with about $200,000 in Wisconsin. Illinois’ law encompasses higher wage earners and pays additional benefits for amputations. But most workers in Illinois receive far less.
The school’s only sex-ed offers lessons in abstinence. (Image via Shutterstock)
School officials have declared an outbreak of chlamydia at a high school in Crane County, Texas, where the only sex-ed course is legally required to emphasize abstinence.
School district officials sent out letters to parents last week warning that 20 of Crane High School’s 300 students have come down with the disease, which afflicts males and females but can cause permanent reproductive damage in the latter if left untreated, the Express-News reports. The letter said parents should be aware of the “growing problem.” The district also planned to have a meeting this week with school officials, parents, and teachers to discuss a strategy and the school’s sex-ed program.
Currently the Crane Independent School District “does not offer a curriculum in human sexuality,” according to its student handbook, but does offer a three-day course in sex-ed each fall semester. Texas law mandates that such courses emphasize abstinence, and indeed a district committee recommended Scott & White’s “Worth the Wait” Abstinence Plus curriculum three years ago.
Colorado has an effective contraception and education program, and the GOP tries to kill it. Texas has a program which has been shown to be ineffective at best, and keeps it.
Why is it so hard for the right to accept that human sexuality is a thing? That some kids are going to be sexually active and that maybe, just maybe, giving them some useful education and facts might be helpful?
Arrgh…. sometimes I just can’t believe how resistant some people are to anything that comes even close to not meeting their rigid notion of “morality”. We are talking about providing meaningful education that can and will have life-altering impacts on these kids for their entire lives. But Texas, in it’s infinite wisdom (spit) feels that it’s better to keep them ignorant and fearful and as a result you have children having children, and all the life impacts that carries.
This is great news! Making bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics, susceptible to the drugs once more, could save millions of lives. Kaleigh Rogers reports
Researchers have proposed a way to force antibiotic resistant bacteria to “evolve backwards” into a pre-resistant state, according to a study published Wednesday in Plos One. It’s just one example of the out-of-the-box thinking science is taking to tackle the problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria before it’s too late.
The team of biologists and mathematicians from the University of California Merced, UC Berkeley, and American University teamed up to look at how antibiotic resistant grew along with antibiotics over the last 80 years.
“There was kind of an arms race for about 20 years where pharmaceutical companies just kept changing the cephalosporins (a common antibiotic) and kept changing penicillin to get away from the resistant bacteria,” Miriam Barlow, co-author of the study and a biologist at UC Merced, told me over the phone. “But every time they did, the resistance could just evolve.”
I have to thank Wrench Wrench for alerting me to this story, via a comment on another LGF post!
Isn’t mother nature amazing? Just look at what these creatures go through, in order to mate! Not only do they show little to no concern for the lives, but they transform from land dwelling creatures to aquatic creatures and back again.
From the youtube description,
Every winter, California newts leave the safety of their forest burrows and travel as far as three miles to mate in the pond where they were born. Their mating ritual is a raucous affair that involves bulked-up males, writhing females and a little cannibalism.
Illinois Couple Indicted for Kidnapping and Transportation of a Minor With Intent to Engage in Sexual Activity
Nicole Eason, 37, and Calvin Eason, 46, formerly of Danville and Westville, Illinois, were charged in an indictment unsealed today with two counts of kidnapping of a minor and one count of transportation of a minor. They were previously charged by a criminal complaint and arrested on April 3, 2015, in Tucson, Arizona. The couple has remained in custody since their arrest.
According to allegations in the criminal complaint, Nicole and Calvin Eason participated in an online adoption discussion board in 2006 and 2007, and sought to adopt a child through a process sometimes referred to as private “re-homing.” This practice is often associated with “disrupted” or failed adoptions, when an adoptive family places their child in another home because the adoptive family can no longer care for the child.
According to the complaint, the Easons communicated with a minor’s parents and allegedly misrepresented material facts about their background to gain the parents’ trust. The Easons also allegedly lied about having a home study “waiver,” which the parents believed was needed to transfer custody of their child. Based on the Easons’ false misrepresentations, the parents transported their child across state lines in 2007. Both Nicole and Calvin Eason allegedly sexually abused the child while he/she was in their custody.
The indictment further alleges that Nicole and Calvin Eason kidnapped a second minor in the same manner in 2008. The Easons allegedly transported the second minor across state lines.
Just a few weeks ago, Wikileaks published more than 30,000 documents from the Sony hack, the huge release of confidential data by cyber criminals who targeted Sony Pictures late last year. The result: a massive, searchable archive of 30,287 documents and 173,132 messages.
As Women and Hollywood reported on Monday, one of those leaked emails was an exchange between Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter and Sony CEO Michael Lynton. In the email, dated August 7, 2014, with the subject line “Female Movies,” Perlmutter appears to be explaining to Lynton why a female-centric superhero movie is a bad business idea:
Nadja Popovich in New York
Over the past seven years, Colorado has run an experiment to see if it could lower the rate of unintended pregnancies, cut abortions - and save the state government some money, too.
The Colorado Family Planning Initiative (CFPI) offered low-income women and teenagers access to low or no-cost contraceptive devices, including IUDs and implants, and trained providers in insertion and counselling techniques. Last year, researchers reported significant drops in the birth rate among teens and young adult women in participating counties. The abortion rate among women between 15 and 19 years old dropped by more than a third; high-risk pregnancies by a fourth.
In July the governor’s office issued a glowing press release, crediting the program with a 40% statewide drop in teen birth rates between 2009 and 2013 - and a 35% drop in abortions.
But, despite the program’s widely reported successes, last Wednesday Colorado’s Republican-controlled senate killed a bill that would sustain and expand CFPI services.
Yesterday, Mike Huckabee, the guitar-playing, Nugent-loving, ex-Governor preacher from Arkansas, announced that he is running for president. This was not unexpected, but it’s always a treat to hear him give a full-blown speech. He’s very talented, after all, at doing what he does best — stoking resentment among the white working class and lifting up the spirits of social conservatives. Often they are the same people. And they are all Mike Huckabee’s people.
In his speech yesterday, Huckabee hit all the right notes to get crowd excited. He pledged to repeal Obamacare and promised instead to adopt what he called a “curative approach,” which means he thinks we should concentrate on curing diseases rather than treating them. It’s an unusual policy, to say the least, but considering who he is and his background as a fundamentalist preacher it’s always possible that he thinks this can be accomplished through faith healing. So there’s that.
On the other hand, he heartily defended Social Security, a very wise move that you would think all the Republican candidates would adopt, considering the average age of their base voter. He also, however, defended Medicare against the encroachment of the evil Obamacare, following a successful GOP strategy since 2010: convincing the elderly that the federal government wants to put them all on the proverbial ice floe in order to give their hard earned health care to people who don’t deserve it.
On Tuesday, Mike Huckabee made it official. The former Republican Arkansas governor and Fox News host launched his second bid for the White House in his hometown of Hope, Arkansas, vowing to stop the “slaughter” of abortion and calling for the protection of the “laws of nature” from the “the false God of judicial supremacy.”
Huckabee is joining a GOP field that’s bigger and more competitive than the one he out-hustled to win the Iowa caucuses seven years ago. The Christian conservatives who flocked to the former Baptist preacher in 2008 can now turn toward other evangelical-minded candidates in the GOP presidential race. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is already in the hunt; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and and ex-Texas Gov. Rick Perry are mulling bids. But Huckabee of today is also a far different candidate than the affable ex-gov who once rocked a bass guitar while stumping with Chuck Norris (although Walker, Texas Ranger is officially on board for this campaign, too). Since dropping out of the 2008 race, he’s flaunted a more combative, occasionally conspiratorial brand of politics—flirting with birtherism, advising prospective enlistees to avoid joining the armed forces until President Barack Obama has left office, and, just last month, warning social conservatives that the United States is “moving rapidly toward the criminalization of Christianity.”