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NY Times on a 43% drop in obesity levels in the youngest children:

Experts point to several possible explanations for the fall, but say a full understanding remains elusive. Children now consume fewer calories from sugary beverages than they did in 1999. More women are breast-feeding, which can lead to a healthier range of weight gain for young children. Federal researchers have also chronicled a drop in overall calories for children in the past decade, down by 7 percent for boys and 4 percent for girls, but health experts said those declines were too small to make much difference.

Another explanation is that some combination of state, local and federal policies aimed at reducing obesity is starting to have an effect. Michelle Obama has led a push to change young children’s eating and exercise habits and 10,000 child care centers across the country have signed on. Many scientists doubt that anti-obesity programs actually work, but proponents of the programs say a broad set of policies applied systematically over a period of time can affect behavior.

Slawomir Sierakowsky:
It is true that the foreign ministers of Germany and Poland worked hard to negotiate a truce between the opposition and Mr. Yanukovych. But their determination came not from the belief that a strong Europe stood behind them, but rather from the awareness that the West would not defend the opposition if it came under attack by Mr. Yanukovych’s armed forces or those of President Vladimir Putin of Russia.

The events of the last week have made it clear that the European Union is an attractive economic arrangement — but one that is devoid of opportunities for pursuing serious foreign or defense policies.

See also: Don't Count Out Tymoshenko in Ukraine from Bloomberg.

More politics and policy below the fold.

HUFFPOLLSTER: Arizona Republicans Back Veto Of SB1062 http://t.co/...
@pollsterblog
Politico:
As Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer weighs whether to sign a bill that would allow businesses to deny services to gay customers, top national Republicans just want the issue to go away.

Proponents of the legislation – which Brewer has until Saturday to sign or veto and is reportedly leaning against – say the bill is designed to protect religious liberty. But many Washington Republicans see it as a political loser, giving the left another cudgel to attack conservatives as intolerant, while motivating liberals and younger voters ahead of the midterm elections. It also threatens to widen the chasm between social conservatives and GOP operatives, who have become increasingly public in their support for gay marriage.

HHS:
Another Significant Milestone: Marketplace Enrollment Hits 4 Million
#ACASignups Drat. I was off by 0.9% this time: http://t.co/... #Obamcare @LOLGOP @Eclectablog @DemFromCT @ThePlumLineGS @CitizenCohn
@charles_gaba
Greg Sargent:
The bigger story here is that, in order to sell these Obamacare “horror stories,” AFP needs to either shield the full stories from comprehensive scrutiny or actively mislead about them. AFP’s indictment of Obamacare now rests largely on cancelled plans and the subsequent unpredictability people are now enduring, both of which are being used to create the impression that untold numbers of people are getting shafted by the law. Given that Obama did falsely claim people could keep their plans, perhaps Dems are vulnerable to this attack.

But the plain fact remains that these Obamacare horror stories simply don’t reflect a full accounting of the overall impact the law is actually having on its alleged victims. And this is crucial to the broader Republican “Obamacare horror stories” strategy, too — it is a feature of the strategy, not a bug.

Jonathan Chait:
Is It Mean to Debunk Lies About Obamacare?

In response to Greg Sargent, who has written a series of posts debunking the claims made by putative Obamacare victims, York added a fourth argument – the woman has cancer:

AFP's media allies make it plain: If you fact check group's ads, you will be accused of attacking/silencing cancer victim.
@ThePlumLineGS
@ThePlumLineGS Hit 'em harder! Don't let those cancer patients get away with it!
@ByronYork
So the new rule in conservative media is that, if you have a terrible enough disease, your claims can be used in attack ads and any reporter who tries to verify them is insensitive to their illness. Too bad conservatives hadn't discovered this principle in 2012, because it would have been fun to watch them defending that ad featuring a man blaming Mitt Romney for his wife's death.
Talking Points Memo:
Oops: GOP Bill Would Strip 1 Million Workers Of Health Coverage

A Republican-led bill designed to "save American workers" would cause 1 million workers to lose their health care coverage and increase the deficit by $74 billion, according to Congress' official scorekeeper.

The legislation, offered by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) and 208 co-sponsors as a tweak to Obamacare, would change the definition of a full-time work week under the health care law from 30 hours per week to 40 hours. The aim was to mitigate the effect of the law's employer mandate, which says businesses with 50 or more workers must offer insurance to full-time employees.

Jonathan Chait excoriates pediatricians (and has a point!):
Trust them – they’re doctors! Not small-business owners trying to exclude the competition with hand-waving claims about complexity.

It is surely true that some routine ear infections will turn out to be a “more serious, underlying condition,” and that, theoretically, a single doctor with a long-term relationship may have a slightly better chance of correctly diagnosing the condition. But accepting the higher cost and massive inconvenience of traditional office-based medical care in order to ward off that tiny and probably nonexistent risk is the sort of trade-off that incumbent interests are always defending, but which has made American medicine the worst deal in the advanced world.

I'm a pediatrician, but I can't find myself attacking urgent care clinics for filling a gap that needs filling (otoh if your pediatrician's office IS open, and many are open weekends and evenings, go there).

Politico:

Conservative activists threatened revenge for Republican governors who boosted Obamacare. Now it looks like they were mostly blowing smoke.

Around the country, Republicans who defied the base and embraced Obamacare’s massive expansion of Medicaid are better positioned for reelection than those who did not. None has garnered a serious primary challenge so far, and even Democrats have struggled to field strong contenders to take them on.

Alex Roarty:
Under Attack From the Establishment, Tea-Party Candidacies Fizzling
Unvetted candidates are hurting the reputations of conservative outside groups.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Ack, pft! (16+ / 0-)
    Many scientists doubt that anti-obesity programs actually work, but proponents of the programs say a broad set of policies applied systematically over a period of time can affect behavior.
    Doubt is the ground state of science, and an assumption of 'no change in results' from a study is called the 'null hypothesis', and is the frequent starting assumption to be proved or disproved, so as not to bias the outcomes.

    So saying 'many scientists doubt' does not have the same implication that it might seem to to the layman.  It just means they haven't actually analyzed any specific data or performed any specific studies yet.

    •  Map of the states (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      Map from RWJF (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) column - the data is from a couple years ago.

      Nine states, thoroughly Republican, did not take part including TX, LA, OK, AK, WY, UT, SC, VA and MA.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:26:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is Brewer thinking of not vetoing the hate bill? (12+ / 0-)

    If she's having an internal debate with herself over it, then she's even a worse person than I thought.

  •  Brewer stalling on the Arizona (13+ / 0-)

    bill is just part of the bait and switch, pretending that it's a tough decision. Just reinforces the "I fought hard" argument for all of those yes voters who are now saying they really meant no. And please proceed, strategists.

    “The idea that someone in Montana, or North Carolina or Alaska will predicate their vote for Senate on a law in a state 2,000 miles away is crazy,” said GOP consultant Brian Walsh.
    By the way, Sen. John Thune is my sleeper GOP 2016 candidate.
  •  Thanks for the interesting roundup, Greg! (16+ / 0-)

    Wonder why our side is so bad at explaining and defending the ACA?  Perhaps we should haul out the Explainer-in-Chief to put the matter straight--he's in Kentucky at the moment.

    My other question is: did the insane legislators in Arizona really not expect the firestorm their egregious bill has ignited?  Do they really live in that kind of bubble?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 04:53:03 AM PST

  •  Kid obesity news is great! Combined with Obamacare (25+ / 0-)

    gains for kids (no denial of coverage for diabetes, asthma etc.) it almost seems as if our society is waking up to the idea that it is a nice thing to try and make a better world for future generations. Back in 2002 I took a part time job at a public high school teaching Biology and was amazed that there was a soda machine available to the kids ( but "only" after classes were over) as growing up in the 50's and 60's such things were unheard of. It was explained to me that this was one way of helping fund the sports program which seemed particularly deranged. I am guessing those machines are on their way out if not already out of most public schools and yesterday the First Lady was making that a part of her mission to improve the health of our kids. Of course CNN had some cretinous politician on who was bloviating about how this would be a strike against freedom and capitalism or some such bullshit.

    Funny how that awful brown family in the White House seems to pretend that they are nice, respectable parents with charming kids who care more about the nations children than about the soda companies profits....some sort of commie plot I imagine.

  •  exceptionally bad punditry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, DocGonzo, rl en france

    that there about the Ukraine and the EU and the West by Sierakowsky. What is this, a neocon institute? I am astonished that such a commentary is being taken seriously enough to make the NYT front page. Same-old, same-old: only military means give foreign policy clout? What nonsense.

    •  otoh it does highlight the adage (4+ / 0-)

      "put your money where your mouth is". So far EU has not, and a ton of cash will be needed.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:13:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, eleven billion. (0+ / 0-)

        and they´re mobilising it as we speak. The Ukraine is going to get the money it needs to avoid bankruptcy, since the EU chiefs aren´t dolts.

        If the Russia invades militarily, there is noone in the world who´s going to counteract them militarily (openly). That is blatantly obvious and has nothing to do with whether or not the EU or the US have their balls together. The Ukraine is not in the NATO screen, neither was Georgia. If things go well it may eventually get there - if it wants - but politics plays today.

        this entire testosterone approach to foreign policy is wrong and counterproductive. The EU especially has deserved mad props for the emergency action of their three FM´s who were there when it mattered and kept talks alive until Yanukovitch conceded an eventual retreat from power, leading to his collapse. Without them he could conceivably have gotten willing parts of the army to move, he was trying to. We´d be looking at an entirely different situation now.

        (and, in all this outlook of the "pundit" I do miss an interest in the opinions of the Ukraine themselves. Are they now just a pawn for great power politics for this Pole?)

        •  At Least $12B (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Josiah Bartlett

          Russia had committed $15B in loans to Ukraine, but dropped the deal this past weekend as Putin lost his grip through Yanukovych after giving only $3B.

          So even before Ukraine faced increased costs and lowered opportunities on its Russian front, it still was short $12B.

          The EU will have to give more than that. I expect NATO will give some too, unless Putin escalates on that offer. Either way I expect the US (you and me, not our richest) will be paying, because we're the pockets closest to the grabbing hand, as always.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:57:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  And this is clearly an EU opportunity (0+ / 0-)

        And I fear the EU only sees short term debt obligations. Putin will bide his time, play the "I'm the only game in town" card after the opposition flounders long enough and 3-4 years from now all the Western pundits will lament the "lost opportunity."

        Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:32:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not unlikely. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          The real cause for pause for the EU, though, is how much purchase the far right is able to gain as the situation remains in flux.  They're not a large contingent (less than 10% of the legislature, which is a damn site less than US RW crazies have in Congress and across state and local governments), but they had an outsized presence in the Maidan protests, including the push against Klitschko's power sharing agreement with Yanukovych which led to the latter's resignation and fugitive escape, as well as to the former's diminution as he was forced to eat crow after participating in the EU facilitated negotiations.

          If Svaboda and the even further-right, paramilitary Right Sector can be marginalized going forward via some deft politics by Klitschko, Yatsenyuk, and the OSCE, then an EU-friendly govt in Kiev can possibly be established, but the Crimea and other Eastern parts may well have to be jettisoned for that to happen. It's going to be a high wire act for the moderates with many clowns shaking the guy-wires (not to mention the Ringmaster Putin standing by, with a set of industrial wire cutters).

          Unfortunately, Asst Secy of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador Pyatt are two of those clowns and their neocon leanings are closer to Svaboda's fascism than to Klitschko's or Tymoshenko's populism.

          "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

          by nailbender on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:54:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't believe the new government, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nailbender, Laurel in CA

            hopefully run by moderates able to navigate the choppy waters between the EU and Russia, will have as much to worry about from eastern Ukraine as alarmists are insisting.  When Yanukovych fled Kiev, he headed east, an assumed stronghold of Russian influence and where he thought he would be welcomed and aided in his escape.  But the east rejected him and made his escape and subsequent flight much more difficult.

            Russia offers Ukraine many commercial opportunities that could be beneficial to both countries, not the least being access to fuel sources.  The EU offers Ukraine an opportunity to be aligned with the developed world, a release from authoritarian control and a chance for more egalitarian economic growth.  A really effective Ukrainian government will be one that can take advantage of both sets of opportunities without being subsumed by one or the other.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:16:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's very complicated, not the least by the fact ` (0+ / 0-)

              that the chief prosecutor of the Rada is Makhnitskyy, a Svaboda star who may well become the moderates way of placating the right, going forward.  If they were to appoint him special prosecutor for the Regions party corruption investigation, that would let Svaboda strut without having to let them have a direct hand in legislation, but it would also alienate the East and the Crimea to a crippling extent.

              As to Yanu's denouement, it was much like Nixon's, his corruption being broadcast in real time as the tweets from his palace were being disseminated, the Olympics were in their closing ceremony phase, and the army had abandoned him.  He was a pariah. And he did find a place to light, after all.  He may have also been obscuring his final destination, knowing that the corruption that was being unveiled would be too incendiary to confront out in the open.

              "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi, 6/30/07 // "Succeed?" At what?

              by nailbender on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:55:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  If Vlad moves on Ukraine, we can rely on Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, salmo

    to send Putin a sternly worded email and issue a stream of concerned tweets to the Ukrainian opposition, as long as theyre alive. This is unfortunately one of those moments where it would actually be helpful to have a guy (or gal) in the Oval Office whose a little less predictable and would actually keep Vlad up at night wondering if a land invasion of Ukraine would face annihilation by a US NATO led air and missile strike. Of course Obama's above that sort of thing. As the Russians well know.

    •  They know that our military is weakened from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hawkseye, coloradocomet, tb mare

      Iraq and Afghanistan, and that the American people are sick and tired of war.

      They also know Europe...

      However, there are other consequences beside military if they wanted to invade.

      I don't see the reason to be promoting McCain-ism here.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:47:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "The Amurkin peeple are tired!" Cop out #1 (0+ / 0-)

        on the old lefty hit parade. Because its not really an 'argument'.
        And sometimes you just have to do things, or at least have other people credibly believe you might. Or you get rolled.
        As an individual and a nation.

    •  Really? (5+ / 0-)

      That's what we want? Someone that the Russians (and we) can't count on not to start WWIII?
      Seriously, a US/NATO direct attack on Russian forces should be out of the question for any president except in response to a direct Russian attack on a NATO country.

      The Empire never ended.

      by thejeff on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:58:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  From Russian sources, Vlad is moving on all fronts (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc

      In Crimea, he is clearly trying to play separatist card, and may yet succeed.
      Everywhere else, he is actually taking May 25 elections seriously and will probably try to build up Russian-leaning candidate.

      Keep in mind that there is enough Russian-speaking population in Ukraine that, if mobilized, can win him elections.  That's why Western Ukrainians have hard time winning elections and have to stage revolts every 10 years to get to power.

      The revolt leaders did not win any points by repealing the language law right away.

      Also, new finance minister said that they need 35 billion dollars this year.  Yanukovich-EU talks broke down when EU could only offer 2 billion loan, with huge austerity strings attached.  Now there is noise from EU that they may give more, and with less austerity.

  •  Good morning, he said drolly. (10+ / 0-)

    Why is there a $115,000 statue of a wild boar in my living room, right below the giant hole in my roof?

    Oh, Ukraine.  You just can't resist playing with catapults, can you?

    -

  •  Doktor Dworkin....I'm liking Malloy....the kid's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, rl en france

    got spunk!

  •  Under attack from the establishment... (7+ / 0-)

    what a nice read, particularly this closing statement:

    "That's a very big shift and it proves that they're not interested in winning a majority," said Matt Hoskins, the SCF's executive director. "Their goal [is] to protect incumbents and elect more moderate Republicans who won't rock the boat. They're not interested in building a new Senate, they want to protect the old one."
    Heh.  Imagine that, the GOP old guard fighting the battle of their lives against the same part of the party that they thought would be the immortal phoenix they could ride up out of the ashes to save the party (and of course they would discard them once they were no longer useful).  Funny how things turn out, eh?

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:09:28 AM PST

  •  OMG (12+ / 0-)

    Barnicle just jumped on Cokie Roberts when she said leaving Afghanistan was a "cut and run" - bwahahaha. Getting your right wing talking point slapped down by Barnicle of all people - who knew he was even awake. Even Joe is saying "define suddenly leaving" a war we've been in for 10+ years!

    •  Cut and run (0+ / 0-)

      That would be a looooong slooooow cut and, one hopes, a very fast run. How many times can we say we should not have engaged Afghanistan in a land war and expected anything like a reasonable country out of it.

      The only lasting benefit will be if young girls are allowed to continue in school, allowed to work for their own money and eventually turn the country toward what we in the west would call civilization and away from the militant Taliban politics.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:58:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  For Right Price, Consumers Accept Limited Choice (6+ / 0-)
    Most people with private insurance still get their coverage through their employer. Among members of that group, limited networks are unpopular, according to the poll from The Kaiser Family Foundation. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)  Fifty-five percent would rather buy a plan that costs more but allows them to see a wider range of doctors and hospitals, while only 34 percent prefer a less expensive plan with limited providers.

    However, those views are reversed among people who either lack insurance or are buying their own coverage. Only 35 percent would pay more for a greater array of options, while 54 percent said they would rather save money and accept the narrower choices.

    That willingness wanes if they are told they cannot visit their usual doctor or hospital. In that case, the share of people buying their own insurance who are willing to go into the narrower network drops from 54 percent to 35 percent.

    http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/...

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:24:04 AM PST

    •  It disgusts me that Obama and the ACA are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laurel in CA, TerryDarc

      being blamed for people losing their plans or their doctors.  Of course I'm not surprised that Republicans are laying the blame at the door of the White House, but regular folks should know that decisions on doctors and plans are up to insurance companies.  So if a plan on healthcare.gov doesn't include a person's doctor, or if a person's plan has been canceled, it's the insurance company that has made the decision to drop the doctor or cancel the plan.  

      The ACA says nothing about what doctors are to be included in plans or which plans have to be canceled.  It requires that plans must meet a set of minimal  requirements.  If a plan doesn't meet those requirements it's the fault of the insurance companies, not the law.  Insurance companies knew for years certain plans did not meet the law, but they continued to sell them anyway (possibly hoping Republicans would win the White House in 2012 and they wouldn't have to change anything).

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:59:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ironic coming from Kaiser (0+ / 0-)

      where, among other things, my son was born. Kaiser hospitals are fine (if a bit sterile) but completely remove choice - or at least did when we were members.

      There are, however, a reliable source of news on the health care/hospital front.

      What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

      by TerryDarc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:01:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  KFF is completely separate from (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TerryDarc

        Kaiser permanente health care delivery. But you make the point that narrow networks have existed for a long time and predate ACA.

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:09:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So far I've heard just about all the angles on the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hawkseye, a2nite, TerryDarc

    AZ hate bill, but I haven't heard anyone posit this scenario:
    A restauranteur denies service to a patron because they're gay. The patron says, "Oh, no I'm not. Prove it, or I'll sue."
    In which case the restauranteur of course would lose his shirt.
    I have heard mention of its unconstitutionality.
    It's an idiotic bill. It's ugly, unconstitutional, and it's supremely idiotic.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:42:12 AM PST

    •  Is it worded to give cover for that? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TerryDarc, David54

      The SYG law here in Florida is so broadly written that it can be interpreted as short-circuiting the "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard for criminal convictions.  All you need is "reasonable fear".

      I think I've read the AZ bill says "sincerely held beliefs".  How do you sue someone when the law gives them cover like that?

      •  It would seem that if it gives them too much (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SueDe

        cover it would be held unconstitutional or in violation of the civil rights act, because it's so broad it's also cover for racism, etc.

        At any rate, it's stupid. What they want to do in the red states is drive out all the poor, black, disabled, gay, Muslim, hispanic if they're not willing to work for less and keep their mouths shut about rights...etc.

        They want fortress states, enclaves, gated communities...
        Cysts of evangefundelical Christianity.

        Compounds.

        Bunkers.

        This law is at the "event horizon" where the sane Republicans have suddenly awakened to the fact that their "free enterprise" is about to be sucked into a black hole of stupidity.

        You can't make this stuff up.

        by David54 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:58:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't it a little hard (0+ / 0-)

          to see how SYG is legal? Challenged in any reasonable SCOTUS one would hope that it would be dumped. Ditto for this AZ anit-gay law abomination.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:11:01 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Devoid of Serious Foreign or Defense Policies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, tb mare
    The events of the last week have made it clear that the European Union is an attractive economic arrangement — but one that is devoid of opportunities for pursuing serious foreign or defense policies.

    And yet Poland and Germany got Ukraine's parliament to eject their tyrannical president and call new elections for a few months from now. So Ukraine's people can make a clear choice between EU or Russia as their defining region.

    Meanwhile, neither the EU nor any of its members has started a war anywhere since the EU included them.

    That all sounds like pretty serious foreign and defense policies. Unless you're a "serious person" who can't be satisfied unless a political organization pursues war.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:53:59 AM PST

  •  So having cancer is a license (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, hawkseye, a2nite, tb mare

    to being a lying sack of shit?  

    Wow who knew?  

    So what's the excuse for the GOP being lying sacks of shit?  Do they have cancer too or ARE they a cancer?

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 05:56:10 AM PST

    •  Repugs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, tb mare

      doing what they do best: 1. twist the truth to fool people not smart enough to think for themselves. 2. Make shit up to fit their preconceived notions of the truth. 3. Whine when they are called on it.

      We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

      by Ohkwai on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:07:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shock: EU lacks manifest destiny. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marsanges, a2nite

    The problem with the EU relative to the US is that it doesn't interfere enough in other countries?

    The institution this points to for reform is the UN. The security council veto should be abolished.

    Until then, it's up to the Ukranians to accept, expel or horrors negotiate with the Russians.

    ... The European Union is ... devoid of opportunities for pursuing serious foreign or defense policies.
    Defense from whom? Of what?
  •  Neocons and other hawks often accuse people (0+ / 0-)

    of learning nothing from the history of the second world war. I think the real problem is that they learnt everything from it.

  •  Crimea at Stake (3+ / 0-)

    Crimea is basically a large island in the Black sea, connected by a couple tiny isthmuses and a bridge to the mainland, where Russia keeps its navy in the only port that doesn't freeze solid in the Winter. It's 60% Russians. It was assigned to the Ukraine republic by Khruschev in 1954, but wasn't integrated, and has been "part of Ukraine" since independence from the collapsed Soviet Union in 1991.

    It's been the object of some of Russia's most aggressive territorial ambitions for centuries. Many countries, including the UK, have fought wars there to keep Russia from getting it.

    After Yanukovych and the mayor and governor of his base far to the Northeast of Ukraine escaped (probably into Russia) over the weekend, Crimea has seen mobs in the streets tearing down Ukrainian flags and replacing them with Russian flags. A fairly high Russian parliament member (who heads its committee for ex Soviet republics) was speechifying in the streets of Sevastopol, its capital, assuring people Russia would protect them, grant them citizenship (many already have it), etc.

    Meanwhile, in 2008 Georgia instigated a shooting war with Russia over Azkhaban and South Ossetia. Russia didn't (yet) quite gain those territories from Georgia, but Russian troops remain stationed there. Russia evacuated many people with new Russian passports, but these "new Russians" will not give up their claims to Azkhaban territory any more than Cubans in Miami have.

    I think the same thing will happen in Crimea. I think Russia will integrate it with Russia's Krasnodar region that's connected to Crimea by its eastern bridge.

    Note that the Krasnodar/Crimea bridge is only about 200 miles from Sochi, where the Olympics ended as the conflict began. All the Russian military deployed there in the name of security over Chechnya is about 30% closer to Crimea where the real action is.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:16:45 AM PST

  •  Bobby Jindal's tantrum (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, SueDe, gchaucer2, zestyann

    at the NGA White House meeting did not go over well back home. House editorial at the Advocate: "dissed his host before the coffee cups were cold." And the always-brilliant Handelsman:

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 06:47:25 AM PST

  •  It's hard to clock 40 hours a week (0+ / 0-)

    when your bosses prevent you from working overtime because their bosses disallow it.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 07:25:14 AM PST

  •  Some pediatricians work weekends. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sharon Wraight

    My father was a practicing pediatrician for almost 50 years.  He retired a few years back.

    His office was open on Saturday and on Sunday morning, as well as holidays.  To him, this was just a normal part of the service he and his partners offered to their patients.  The kids he saw came largely from working class families whose parents often didn't have the luxury of missing work for a whole morning to take a sick kid to the doctor.  So his practice accommodated itself to that reality.  He never viewed being a pediatrician as a job you could do by working only 9 to 5, Monday through Friday.

    And while I'm sure my dad would agree that almost any competent medical professional can diagnose a routine ear infection in a toddler, he's a strong proponent of having a "medical home" and getting all your care there.  He's told me many times that there's no substitute for taking a thorough history from a kid's parents, and a doctor who's seen a patient for years will do a much better job of diagnosing and treating any problems than someone seeing the patient for the first time.

    "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

    by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 08:59:30 AM PST

    •  indeed your dad is correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FogCityJohn

      but you can't dictate to patients where to go and when. You have to recognize they will act in their own self interest. Pick a local walk in and work with them.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:11:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understand the problem. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        My doctor's office isn't open on holidays or weekends, so if I have a problem outside of the office's opening hours, I'm screwed.  (Mind you, the office is open only Monday through Friday, from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 1:30 to 5:00.)  

        So I get why people go to walk-in centers.  I went to one recently myself.  My point is simply that I think it would be better if doctors could work out at least some limited weekend hours so that I could get all my health care in the same place.  I just think it's better to have complete records in one office.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 09:39:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  the future (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn

          1. e-records make the concept obsolete
          2. walk ins call your doc/oncalldoc and coordinate care, just like ERs do now
          3. solo docs join in coverage groups that provide weekend office hours. Patients then choose either covering doc they don't know or walk in. Oh, sorry, that's now. They choose walk in because they don't like/don't know the on call doc. See the problem?

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 10:44:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, right now . . . (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sharon Wraight

            if I want to see a doctor in the flesh outside of regular office hours, I have no choice but to go to a walk-in center.  My doctor's practice has a covering physician outside of those hours, but that doctor is available only for telephone consultation.

            So for me, whether I like the covering doctor or not is irrelevant.  I won't be seeing him/her anyway.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Wed Feb 26, 2014 at 11:51:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  I once had a staph infected boil (0+ / 0-)

    develop rapidly in my groin.  It was very painful and I went to the ER at about 10:00 pm (no urgent care back then)  They diagnosed and drained it, gave me antibiotics and Phisohex for showering and told me to check in with my doc in a week.  

    I was new in town and had only been to that doc a couple of times.   When I saw him he yelled at me for going to the ER.  I could only supposed that he feared I had contracted the infection in his office (possible, since I was being treated for irritable bowel) and was pissed that the hospital knew.

    I changed doctors immediately.

  •  Not a pundit, but a "news" story in the WAPO (0+ / 0-)

    The worst hatchet job I've ever seen.  Public pensions come at expense of the poor.  The real story is not that public pensions are generous, but that private pensions are pitiful or non-existent.  Nothing in this article about private companies paying CEOs or shareholders less out of exorbitant profits to fund private pensions.  Instead it pits the workers, public and private, against each other.  

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    (not sure if I did this right for the link)

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