Saturday , August 24 2019
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Articles by run75441

Denmark Offers to Buy the US

3 days ago

Andy Borowitz, The Borowitz Report, COPENHAGEN: After rebuffing Donald J. Trump’s hypothetical proposal to purchase Greenland, the government of Denmark has announced that it would be interested in buying the United States instead.
“As we have stated, Greenland is not for sale,” a spokesperson for the Danish government said on Friday. “We have noted, however, that during the Trump regime pretty much everything in the United States, including its government, has most definitely been for sale.”
“Denmark would be interested in purchasing the United States in its entirety, with the exception of its government,” the spokesperson added.
A key provision of the purchase offer, the spokesperson said, would be the relocation of Donald Trump to another country “to be

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Sunday Morning Commentary

6 days ago

What is going on lately in the nation. Maybe you do not read it, but these authors/cartoonists can depict each of today’s issues in one image.
Immigration, CEO Pay, Guns, and Retirement
Click on each image to enlarge.

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Science Backed Home Healthcare Remedies

6 days ago

From treehuggers, “Home Remedies,” Melissa Breyer, August 12, 2019
treehugger publication was also a part of Slate’s “Green Challenge” which Slate started publishing in conjunction with treehugger.org. a decade plus few years or so ago.
Chicken Soup for a Cold?
Toronto-based dietitian and Director of Food and Nutrition at Medcan, Leslie Beck:
“There is no evidence to prove that eating chicken soup is effective at treating the common cold. However, it’s not a total bust.” She continues;
“A 2000 University of Nebraska study found homemade chicken soup containing chicken, lots of vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper inhibits the activity of inflammation-causing white blood cells in blood samples taken from volunteers. It was thought this could reduce the flow

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Traffic Jam in Shenzhen, China

10 days ago

” The long line of trucks is a traffic jam of military trucks. Shenzhen (China), to state the obvious, is across the border and located just north of Hong Kong (see map). This show of force could still be a well poised threat to Hong Kong warning them to discontinue their protests or else. Shenzhen is an approximate 20 miles from Hong Kong and can be traveled by rail, bus, or limo.
Click on the images to enlarge. On a business trip, I was scheduled to visit a PCB manufacturer in Shenzhen and was routed through Shanghai instead of Hong Kong which added hours to my trip as compared to an ~ hour coming out of Hong Kong. A train would have stopped near the Westin where I was staying.
It was obvious the company travel agency did not know the route or bother to

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Recycling is Broken

14 days ago

Lloyd Alter at treehuggers: The only thing that really works for recycling is full producer responsibility. If a producer sells a product, the container is theirs and the contents belong to the customer. This is how it used to work with beer, pop, milk, water for the water cooler, and it is what consumers and producers have to get back to achieve zero waste and a circular economy.
California has a long history of calling for deposits on both PET plastic, aluminum, and bottles under the California Redemption Value (CRV). At one time the recycler ePlanet had 600 facilities collecting drop off recyclables throughout California where people could get their deposits back.
On August 5, ePlanet closed down the remaining 284 recycling plants laying off 700

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Another Nail in the Coffin of Democracy and Journalism

15 days ago

Commom Dreams, Jake Johnson, August 6th, GateHouse Media announced it will purchase Gannett (USA Today, Detroit Free Press, Indianapolis Star, and other major American newspapers). GateHouse Media publishes 144 daily newspapers, 684 community publications, and over 569 local-market websites in 38 states.
If approved the result will be a $1.4 billion news conglomerate. Common Cause stated a “combined GateHouse-Gannett entity would own one in every six newspapers in the nation and control over 100 local news operations.” While the media giants touted their commitment to “journalistic excellence” in a press release, the merger announcement comes with plans for $300 million in annual budget cuts.
A study by the University of North Carolina confirmed the U.S.

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“4 out of 5 mass Shooters Were Not Diagnosed with Mental Iillness,

17 days ago

Half showed no signs of a prior, undiagnosed illness.” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), and plainly speaking, they were not mentally ill.
Yesterday on Monday morning;
President Trump: “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun. We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment and if necessary, involuntary confinement.” This is coming from a narcistic man who behaves irradicably and irrationally.
In response to President Trump’s remarks, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT).
“Nineteen of 20 murderers had no diagnosis of a mental illness. Four out of 5 mass shooters had no mental illness diagnosis, and half showed no signs of a prior,

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Enforcing the Constitution

19 days ago

I have met this man on several occasions. He is one of the most unimposing and quiet people I have ever run across. You would never know he is one of the most knowledgeable and capable constitutional attorneys in the nation having testified to Congress on SCOTUS appointments.
Erwin Chemerinsky: In Marbury vs. Madison, in 1803, the Supreme Court declared that it is “the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is.”Quoting Chief Justice John Marshall from Marbury vs. Madison (1803) footnote 742, the Court declared:
“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases, must of necessity expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each

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Making Political Fun of the President

July 25, 2019

Donald Trump addressed a rightwing crowd (Turning Point USA) in Washington on Tuesday. The audience roared in support of the president standing in front of the Presidential Seal. Now take a close look at the seal. It had been doctored to include a two-headed eagle – the same as the Russian seal and in place of arrows in one of the eagle’ talons – there was golf clubs.
Click on the image for better detail.

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Tomorrow

July 24, 2019

Everyone is waiting for tomorrow to see what Mueller will tell the House. I am going to say it will be nothing other than what has already been said verbally. No one is going to read the text version and see what was really said by Mueller. Only a few of us will and I have yet to find a place to place it in my bathroom.
In Michigan in May, Congressional Representative Justin Amash had a townhall in his district to explain why he called for the impeachment of DTrump. He did not call it to first explain why he supported Trump or to say I was mistaken in giving him my support since he took office. He absolved himself of the responsibility of doing so and he marched to the same tune as the rest of the House Republicans. Instead Justin arrived at his support

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A Voice from England

July 19, 2019

Trevor and I worked together on the supply of antennae for keyless go automobiles including Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, Skoda, etc. I had met him while working in Germany as the Purchasing Manager for North America. He was representing a German/Czech company.
I spent time traveling around Germany, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. Partook of Czech Budweiser beer which is many steps up from the American version. We have been exchanging words on the situations and conditions in England, Europe, and the US. It sounds as bad as the US; although, I would like to think we are far worse than what Europe is experiencing. This exchange was started with a short comment I made on Facebook:
A few racist remarks by the Pres and suddenly the imprisonment of immigrants

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House’s SECURE Act and the Senate’s RESA Act

July 17, 2019

Congress has been busily working on a much-needed way to improve Middle Class savings and growth over the span of their employment to boost their retirement.
Dueling bills to restructure IRAs and 401ks appear to be redundant. Better known as the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act” (SECURE Act) H.R.1994 and the Senate has a similar bill, the “Retirement Enhancements and Savings Act” S.792 (RESA). Both bills were passed with bipartisan support.
For the ultra rich? A major outcome of the Trump tax bill were tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations. Besides much of the resulting income increases going to 1% of the household taxpayers, the same 1% were given the ability to shelter large amounts of income in gifts to their heirs. It is a great

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Protecting The Fed

July 16, 2019

Mark Thoma has a post up on Facebook. Apparently, Trump intends to nominate Dr. Judy Shelton to the Fed. I knew Trump was bat-sh*t crazy and now he has confirmed he is bat-sh*t stupid too (if you did not already know this). It is hard to know which is worse as they come in a daily stream of excesses.
I do not necessarily agree with my former Econ Prof (not Mark) from time to time; but, he does have a deeper knowledge on the topic than I, to which I listen even though the politics of it may differ from mine. I do get the impression he is deeply concerned as is Mark Thoma and disappointed with the present administration and their impact on the nation, its financial status, and the economy.
Dr. Judy: “How can a dozen … people meeting eight times a year decide

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The Mutt Speech

July 8, 2019

One Mutt’s Speech for You to think about after celebrating the long Weekend from the nationalistic holiday called the Forth of July while others are fleeing terror and violence.
John Winger: “Cut it out! Cut it out! Cut it out! The hell’s the matter with you? Stupid! We’re all very different people. We’re not Watusi. We’re not Spartans. We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! Here’s proof: his nose is cold! But there’s no animal that’s more faithful, that’s more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw ‘Old Yeller?’ Who cried when Old Yeller got shot at the end?
Nobody cried

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United States Women beats the Netherlands 2-0, wins its fourth World Cup

July 7, 2019

This clip is of Rose Lavelle scoring the second goal in the 69th minute of the game. The clip has been disabled and must be seen on YouTube. Click on the arrowhead first and then the “Watch this video at YouTube” and it will take you there. [embedded content] United States’ Rose Lavelle doubles lead vs. Netherlands | 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Highlights, Fox Sports, Fox News, July 2, 2019.
Nothing like going in for the winning insurance goal coming after Team Captain Megan Rapinoe converted a penalty kick. Megan Rapione went on to win the Golden Ball as the most valuable player during the Women’s World Cup and the Golden Boot for being the top scorer.
A Huge Well Done!

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Destroying Social Security to Save It

July 7, 2019

Connecticut Representative John Larson Proposes Plan To Destroy Social Security In Order To Save It, by Dale Coberly
Connecticut Congressman John Larson introduces H. R. 860, Social Security 2100 Act which will cuts taxes, strengthen benefits, prevents anyone from retiring into poverty, and ensure Social Security remains strong for generations. larson.house.gov
It sounds good, but of course he wants it to sound good. In the past we have had to be worried mostly about plans from the “Right,” the crazy people who want to Save Social Security in order to destroy it. Their plans sounded good, too.
To make it easier on myself, I am going to just list Larson’s points and offer a few words about them in the hope you will think twice.
Larson: The Social

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Democratic Presidential Candidates Addressing Maternal Healthcare

June 27, 2019

Back in April, I finished up an article for ConsumerSafety.Org called A Woman’s Right to Safe Healthcare Outcomes. The topics covered in this as given to me by ConsumerSafety.Org were Clinical Trials, Essure, and Maternal Mortality. All of the topics dealt with women’s healthcare. Of the three issues addressed, I found Maternal Mortality to be the most compelling.
I told the story of a white upper middle class couple, Lauren Bloomstein a nurse and her husband Larry a surgeon. They went to the hospital to have their first baby. Lauren was a healthy young woman who did everything right. Unfortunately Lauren’s OB before and during her delivery missed many of the signs she was suffering from preeclampsia or high blood pressure. Lauren died after giving birth

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Supreme Court to hear cases over ACA risk-corridor funds

June 25, 2019

Supreme Court to hear cases over ACA risk-corridor funds
“The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday it will take up cases over whether the federal government must pay billions of dollars to health insurers that sold coverage on the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
Letter to The Editor – Modern Healthcare Alert
If you are going to report on this particular incident with the Cromnibus Act which passed December 11, 2014, why not give the complete history of how the Risk Corridor Program was stymied?
Initially, then Budget Committee Republican Ranking Member Senator Sessions wrote a letter to the GAO asking whether the Risk Corridor payments were being appropriated correctly. In a letter back to Sessions the GAO said Agencies can only appropriate funds at the

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Does President Trump Read “JAMA Network Open?”

June 23, 2019

It is doubtful Trump reads much beyond his own signature on Executive Orders and Twitter commentary. Someone is attempting to align him with current thinking creating a persona of his being a thoughtful and reasoning president as opposed to . . . ?
In “Again, Healthcare Cost Drivers Pharma, Doctors, and Hospitals ,” I had posted stats from a 2016 JAMA paper covering the period from 1996 to 2013. Healthcare costs had increased $1 trillion of which 50% was due solely to pricing. One significant factor in the JAMA report was the $66 billion increase in costs for diabetes treatment of which $44 billion was due to pharmaceuticals pricing. One impact to diabetes treatment was Eli Lilly’s increases for Humalog which was $21 per vial in 1996. By 2017, the

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Women Strike in Switzerland for Equal Pay

June 19, 2019

Interesting there is not a peep on this in the US and literally hundreds of thousands of women gathered in the streets of the Swiss cities. 40,000 in front of parliament in Bern and the same was repeated in the cities of Lausanne, Geneva, and other places. It is said the turnout is greater in numbers than the protest in 1991. Much of the same inequalities are recognized in Switzerland as they are in the US. Women lose is salary if they take time off. This is not only in gross income, it is in hourly, weekly, or month income when compared to equivalent paid time period.
However in Switzerland, there is a movement afoot to again equalize the differences experienced between genders which has been written into the Swiss constitution. In Switzerland, equal

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Housing and Young People

June 14, 2019

We’ve lost the plot on the classic life arc of yesteryear. Places where real estate is cheap don’t have many good jobs. Places with lots of jobs, primarily coastal cities, have seen their real-estate markets go absolutely haywire. The most recent evidence of this remarkable change comes in a new report by the real-estate firm Unison. The company, which provides financing to homebuyers by “co-investing” with them, calculated how long it would take to save up a 20 percent down payment on the median home in a given city by squirreling away 5 percent of the city’s gross median income per year.
Nationally, the gap between income and home value has been rising. Using “Unison’s methodology“, it took nine years to save up a down payment in 1975. Now it takes 14.

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Covering the Sahara Desert with Solar Panels to Fight Climate Disaster?

June 10, 2019

Juan Cole at Informed Comment has a post up by Will de Freitas Should we cover the Sahara Desert with Solar Panels to Fight Climate Disaster?
A map of North Africa is shown, with a surprisingly small box somewhere in Libya or Algeria shaded in. An area of the Sahara this size, the caption will say, could power the entire world through solar energy.
Over the years various different schemes have been proposed for making this idea a reality. Though a company called Desertec caused a splash with some bold ideas a decade ago, it collapsed in 2014 and none of the other proposals to export serious amounts of electricity from the Sahara to Europe and beyond are anywhere close to being realized.
An engineer at Nottingham Trent University has researched various

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Interesting Healthcare Outcomes . . .

June 9, 2019

“Opioid Overdose Now Provides 1 in 6 Donor Hearts,” Ashley Lyles, MedPage Today
Overdose-death donors have accounted for a rapidly growing proportion of cardiac allografts, with a 14-fold increase from about 1% in 2000 to now 16.9%, “consistent with the rising opioid epidemic,” reported Nader Moazami, MD, of New York University Langone Health in New York City, and colleagues in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. Earlier findings:
A total of 1,710 of 15,904 (10.8%) cardiac transplantations were from ODDs, approximately a 10-fold increase from 2000 (1.2%). ODDs were more frequently older than 40 years of age (87.2% vs 70.1%; p
In many states, overdose-death donors comprised greater than 25% of cardiac allograft donors in 2018, with a high of 50% in Delaware.

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“While Considering Medicare For All: Policies For Making Health Care In The United States Better”

June 7, 2019

Robert Kocher and Donald M. Berwick “While Considering Medicare For All: Policies For Making Health Care In The United States Better,” Health Affairs
Dr. Donald Berwick is the former Director of Medicare and Medicaid who talked about waste in Medicare and Doctors knowing such waste exists.
“It is unlikely that the United States will move quickly to a full publicly financed health insurance when Congress next considers health policy after the 2020 presidential election. Despite its theoretical advantages, passage of Medicare for All would require a massive political battle to make feasible the shift from private to public funding, to develop enough public trust to expand an entitlement program for all Americans, and to mitigate the disruption for many of

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Michigan, Do Not Be Fooled – You Just Lost More Than You Got in Return

June 1, 2019

No Fault Auto Insurance
I am active in Michigan politics and many do not like me. The state’s no fault insurance has been a cost burden on many people. There is a lack of transparency in how the fees for the Personal Injury Protection portion of No Fault insurance were calculated, how fees to doctors and hospitals are set, and how much is in the PIP fund.
Over the last couple of weeks Republican Senate Leader Mike Shirkey and the Republican House Leader Lee Chatfield have led the Republican controlled Senate and House along with a few Dems to pass a bill gutting the present No Fault Insurance in Michigan and stranding constituents. The new bill relies on Commercial Healthcare, Medicare, and Medicaid plans to replace life time Personal Injury Protection and

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SOCIAL SECURITY, a little bad news (sorta) and a little good news (sorta)

May 24, 2019

By Dale Coberly
The bad news is that we have slipped past the day when we could have saved Social Security from ever reporting “short term actuarial insolvency” by raising the payroll tax one tenth of one percent per year (about a dollar per week). This is only sorta bad because it doesn’t really matter . . . sorta. Social Security can still pay ALL promised benefits forever…by raising the payroll tax one tenth of one percent per year.
The reason it is sorta bad is that the people who hate Social Security will react to a Trustees Report of “short term actuarial insolvency” as if the world was going to come to a violent end tomorrow and they would lose all their money. “We told you so!” would be their last words. Well, not their last words,

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“Can You Patent the Sun?”

May 21, 2019

I have access to too many articles on a daily basis to the point of where I can not read them all much less write on each topic. This particular one emanates from SWI or Swiss Info High Pharma Margins Squeeze Health Systems by Jessica Davis Plüss. The topic? Cancer drug pricing is rising rapidly and margins are exceeding 80% of price according to Swiss Public Television known as RTS. I find it interesting the Swiss are discussing what to do with cancer drug companies, the pricing of the drugs, and still maintain a good relationship. This is also relevant to non-cancer related drugs.
As you must know by now, healthcare pricing is controlled in Europe. Pricing and costs are more of a complaint in the US and still not an actionable item where Congress takes

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Morehouse Keynote Speaker To Graduates, I am Paying Off Your Student Loan Debt

May 20, 2019

Morehouse College seniors got a surprise Sunday, Billionaire investor Robert F. Smith announced during his commencement speech he would pay off the student-loan debt for the historically black college’s graduating class. Morehouse President David A. Thomas; “The total amount of student loan debt from the 396 students adds up to about $40 million. He called Smith’s gesture “a liberation gift.”
Smith: “‘When you have to service debt, the choices about what you can go do in the world are constrained,’ (Smith’s gift) gives them the liberty to follow their dreams, their passions.”
It would be an interesting to track these students and compare the results to others who are burdened with student loan debt.

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What if Trump does not leave If He Loses in 2020?

May 12, 2019

There is a number of comments and commentary about the 2020 election and what if Trump refuses to leave. I put up a few and also a good article from Vox.
– A comment (ken_lov) stolen from another site I frequent and read from time to time:
“From time to time on other websites I’ve outlined a scenario where the Supreme Court agrees with Trump that the 2020 election was irreparably tainted by fraud and interference from abroad, and consequently issues an injunction ordering the electoral college not to meet. The constitution provides no guidance about what should happen in such a situation. Trump would therefore be free to act more or less as he saw fit, especially if Republicans had a majority in at least one chamber of Congress and resolved that he was the

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