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Is CDC Planning For A Walking Dead Zombie Apocalypse? #preparedness
@ASTHO not well enough. We need state salt stockpiles  and clear rules as to how to distribute them when everyone is busy fleeing.
Therefore we’ve begun a project to monitor the 2014 congressional primaries.  As the primary season begins in March and sprawls over the summer months into September, we hope to gain insights into the future of the Democratic Party and into the future of the Republican Party.  We are interested in not just the horse race but in the conversation within each party.  Since incumbent members of Congress pay as much – and often more - attention to their primary constituency as they do to the general election, we want to know what shapes the worldviews of Congress.  To do this we’ve enlisted two seasoned, award winning national political reporters; Walter Shapiro and Jill Lawrence.  Shapiro, a veteran journalist who has covered the last nine presidential campaigns, is currently a lecturer at Yale University and a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU.  Lawrence, a writer and analyst who has covered every presidential campaign since 1988, is launching a column with Creators Syndicate this spring.   As the primary season wears on throughout the summer, Shapiro, Lawrence and the scholars here in Governance Studies at Brookings will be examining the Congressional primaries and asking what they mean for the future of each political party and for American politics.
Jason Millman/Wonkblog:
The Obama administration on Monday announced that 5 million people had signed up for Obamacare exchange plans. Hours earlier, a self-employed Web developer from Michigan had already predicted the milestone would be hit on Monday.

Meet Charles Gaba: He’s not a professional statistician, heath care expert or a political operative. He’s a self-described “numbers geek” who just wants to know how the new health care law is actually doing.

He’s been tracking the most up-to-date enrollment information and offering his own projections on his blog, On the same day he predicted the 5 million signups milestone, he accurately predicted California would hit the 1 million mark. For policy wonks and health care journalists who have clamored for more information about Obamacare enrollment, Gaba’s blog has become a must-read.
His next big prediction: The final signup tally will hit 6.22 million.

And who are the uninsured? Kaiser Family Foundation will walk you through it here.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Maggie Fox/NBC News:

The National Rifle Association should not be allowed to hold up the nomination of a new surgeon general, editors of one of the world’s top medical journals said Wednesday in an unusually strongly worded commentary.

The editors of the New England Journal of Medicine accused the NRA of political blackmail and said members of Congress had given in to the lobby group’s pressure.

Hearings on the nomination of Dr. Vivek Murthy are on hold for now after 10 Democrats in the Senate said they would probably vote against his nomination. The White House says it’s re-thinking its strategy for the nomination, although a spokesman told NBC News that President Barack Obama wasn’t ready to give up just yet.

It’s all due to pressure from the NRA, the three editors –- Dr. Jeffrey Drazen, Dr. Gregory Curfman and Stephen Morrissey -- wrote.

The NRA opposes Murthy, who is on the staff of Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, because he’s spoken out for mandatory gun safety training and an assault weapons ban -– changes that many Americans, include some gun-rights supporters -– also approve of. Murthy has said his focus as surgeon general would be on obesity, not guns.

“Still, 10 Senate Democrats are apparently prepared to vote against Murthy's confirmation because of his personal views on firearms — a demonstration of just how much political power our legislators have ceded to the NRA,” the three editors wrote.

“The critical question is this: Should a special-interest organization like the NRA have veto power over the appointment of the nation's top doctor? The very idea is unacceptable,” they added.

David Wood has an amazing series starting on "moral injury" due to war. Read here, listen to an interview he did with Julie Mason here.
There is a long silence after Nick finishes the story. He’s lived with it for more than three years and the telling still catches in his throat. Eventually, he sighs. “He was just a kid. But I’m sorry, I’m trying not to get shot and I don’t want any of my brothers getting hurt, so when you are put in that kind of situation … it’s shitty that you have to, like … shoot him.

“You know it’s wrong. But … you have no choice.”

Lawmakers and members of the public on Wednesday called for the chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to resign in the wake of a traffic scandal and an investigation into his law firm's relationship with the bistate agency that oversees the region's many bridges, tunnels and airports.

At a monthly Port Authority board meeting on Wednesday, local residents and several legislators said David Samson's leadership as chairman has been marred by last September's politically-motivated lane closings at the George Washington Bridge as well as an ongoing probe into possible conflicts of interests between his private law firm and official Port Authority dealings.

Sheila Bapat:
Late last week, President Obama issued an executive order expanding current overtime protections for U.S. workers. The move is critical for many in the U.S. who work more than 40 hours a week in sectors that pay little, but are nevertheless currently “exempt” from overtime pay.

Given how current overtime regulations disproportionately affect women’s earnings, this executive order — and other recent wage policies — is one of the most feminist positions Obama has taken. The administration has also made it a priority to raise the minimum wage and enforce existing labor laws. Women earn significantly less than men across the board, and they are also working in fields in which labor laws tend to be violated more frequently. Thus the Obama administration’s focus on improving labor protections is of deep significance with respect to both recognizing these gender disparities and undertaking efforts to transform them.

A proposed law to allow Connecticut physicians to assist terminally ill patients in ending their lives has opened a debate about the nature of sin, what constitutes an invasion of privacy, even the definition of suicide.

The bill has struck a chord with people such as Sara Myers, 59 years old, of Kent, Conn., who said she supported the concept even before she was diagnosed three years ago with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. She said she was unsure whether she would ever opt to end her life but would like the right to seek a doctor's help if she decided to do so.

"The emotional comfort of knowing that if I got to the point where I didn't want to go on—that I could do it in a loving and peaceful way and not put anybody in legal jeopardy—would just let me rest a whole lot easier," Ms. Myers told lawmakers on Monday at a legislative hearing on the bill.

The Connecticut Catholic Public Affairs Office, which represents the state's Roman Catholic bishops, and many in the hospice industry oppose the bill.

Leon Weiseltier on the new 538 and Nate Silver:
The quality of opinion journalism in America is a matter of concern for opinion journalists, too. Opinion, after all, is easy. In a democratic society, moreover, opinion is holy. “It’s just my opinion”: with those magical words, which are designed to change the subject, Americans regularly seek sanctuary from intellectual pressure on their utterances. Their opinions do not deserve such immunity, of course, and neither do the opinions of columnists. The state of American punditry is not strong. A lot of it is lazy, tendentious, and lost to style. But Silver’s outburst is nonetheless a slander. There are all sorts of pundits just as there are all sorts of quants. The editorial pages of The Washington Post in particular are regularly filled with analytical and empirical seriousness. But Silver wishes to impugn not only the quality of opinion journalism, he wishes to impugn also its legitimacy. The new technology, which produces numbers the way plants produce oxygen, has inspired a new positivism, and he is one of its princes. He dignifies only facts. He honors only investigative journalism, explanatory journalism, and data journalism. He does not take a side, except the side of no side. He does not recognize the calling of, or grasp the need for, public reason; or rather, he cannot conceive of public reason except as an exercise in statistical analysis and data visualization. He is the hedgehog who knows only one big thing. And his thing may not be as big as he thinks it is.
More criticism summarized here. You knew that was coming after Nate's opening broadside (which also sets up the fox and hedgehog stuff). Me, I think we need a bit more time to see how it develops. I'm optimistic with people like Harry Enten and Carl Bialik, but the opening week was, well, a bit soft. And in the end, having three high profile ventures (led by Nate Silver, Glenn Greenwald and Ezra Klein) on the scene trying to do things differently is likely to do more good than harm, even if they don't all succeed equally in what they set out to do.

Then again, that's easy for me to say. I'm not threatened by their existence.

LA Times:

Is there really a link between vaccine and autism, cellphones and cancer, the HIV virus and the CIA? Almost half of Americans believe the answer is yes for at least one of the many medical conspiracy theories that have circulated in recent years. And the attitudes and behavior of those conspiracists toward standard medical advice reflect that mistrust, says a study out this week.

A pair of University of Chicago social scientists set out to determine the extent of "medical conspiracism" among the U.S. public and conducted a nationally representative online survey. They gauged knowledge of and beliefs about six widely discussed medical conspiracy theories and explored how belief in those theories influenced individuals' behavior when it came to matters of health.

Their results appeared as a letter published online this week in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine...

The authors of the letter, J. Eric Oliver and Thomas Weed, said the conspiracy believers spanned the political spectrum and tended to espouse conspiracy theories outside of medicine as well. But they found that the more conspiracy theories a person endorsed, the more likely he or she was to take vitamins and herbal supplements and buy mostly organic food, and the less likely he or she was to get an annual physical, wear sunscreen, visit a dentist or get a flu shot.

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Comment Preferences

  •  According to PZ Myers, 538 has a big, big problem (13+ / 0-)

    They hired a climate change denialist:

    If this is true, then shame on Nate.  

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:37:12 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the roundup this morning, Greg (6+ / 0-)

    Re the distress about the new 538: It appears that facts greatly distress right-wing nut jobs. Many of the RWNJ were very upset when their protective bubble wrap exploded around them on election night, 2012.

    I have never heard of a "conspiracy" between the CIA and the HIV virus. In what way can they possibly be connected?

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:41:35 AM PDT

  •  Evil guns & NRA win again; we lose & is why (8+ / 0-)

    We can't have nice things & that America is NOT civilized, never has been, never will be.

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:43:09 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for the round-up! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, rl en france, legendmn

    We live in interesting times.

  •  This for that (0+ / 0-)

    Why don't doctors who support Dr. Murthy stop treating NRA members, giving them a taste of their own medicine, so to speak. In fact, why don't we all shun them?

    My Governor is more corrupt than yours

    by voicemail on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:51:32 AM PDT

  •  Nice to know theyre debating the nature of sin in (3+ / 0-)

    Connecticut. Be sure to wake me when they sort it out. Meanwhile, hundreds more will suffer tortures of the damned that youd be imprisoned for if you inflicted them on a dog. Or a lab rat.
    Some days Im really weary of the US of effing A.

    •  complaints, complaints (0+ / 0-)

      if you want to wake up when things are perfect, click here.

      "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 Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:11:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But we got FREEDOM ya know. Individual LIBERTY. (9+ / 0-)

      And a shitload of "moralist" busy making sure our individual sense of morality and what is best for our most intimate lives does not apply. They are compulsive in legislating who we can sleep with, how we can "sleep" with them, when parents or just a woman can decide that fetus is too damaged to bring into the world or just whether it is something she cannot manage and how we choose to die.

      Of course those are the loudest posers of freedom and liberty—quite often in their view to use oppressing that of someone else.

      My "liberal" bones dry up completely with respect to that crowd and eternal enmity kicks in big time.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:17:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Jazz pundit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Onomastic

    For news off the century please check out my diary

    21st Century Jazz

    Which besides jazz punditry also has some great music in the article and in the comments.

    Hairy Larry

    Please join the Protest Music Group where we sing truth to power.

    by hairylarry on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 04:58:56 AM PDT

  •  Boards and comissions populated by political hacks (13+ / 0-)

    instead of people with demonstrated competence in the subject field reminds me of the old British system in which titled idiots were sure for the prestige job and army officers bought their commissions. It has a constant cost and, in my sense over the past few decades, the practice is getting worse.

    I can only snarl when I see items such as today's article about the future Metrorail Silver Line to Dulles airport. I've just seen too many fiascoes such as this where once we had the skills to bring off big projects with generally much smaller glitches and roughly on schedule and around budget. Now, from computer systems to civil engineering projects, I'm reminded of fiascoes I've seen in the "less developed" world where—again—connections, patronage and corruption rule over competence.

    I'm wondering how Spain, poor old slow Spain, can pull this off and has expanded the system since while we cannot build a line of light rail from Vienna Metro to just half way to Dulles without schedule and technology chaos. Folks, we are far closer to what used to be called the second world than most here realize—except (like the old collapsed USSR) in military hardware.

    The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

    by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:04:20 AM PDT

    •  Because so many want us on a constant war (7+ / 0-)

      footing and a steady stream of tax dollars to the MIC we will not see great public projects anywhere else.  Our priorities are bollixed up unless we learn to be comfortable in road rubble.

      Building a better America with activism, cooperation, ingenuity and snacks.

      by judyms9 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:09:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  also lack of commitment (7+ / 0-)

        Most civilized countries have accepted that promoting the common welfare (via projects like light rail to the airport, renewable energy generation, canals, flood mitigation -- and social services like maternity and well-baby care) is one of the primary functions of government.

        In the US, for much of our history and certainly now, that attitude has been labelled "communism" and marginalized, and/or those tasks relegated to the private sector (where many of our political leaders have made good money on them, since 1750), and the only "legitimate" government function has been amassing the largest military cancer on the planet.

        •  The NUMBER 1 syndrome is also at play. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          judyms9, a2nite, SueDe, Calamity Jean

          There is a long history of teams, organizations, businesses and nations getting fat, dumb and happy as big Number One. They start resting on past glories and descend into Has Been categories.

          From infrastructure to our attitudes and frequently very self image we are resting on a condition existing briefly after our production and organizational skills did "win World War II" by outproducing everyone else. We didn't do that on military skill, though we had an adequate amount. We didn't do that on our genius of research and invention, from that ubiquitous 40 mm "pom pom" on our ships to code breaking machines much of the original thinking came here from our allies, though we did a goodly bit.We didn't do that on unique courage, though there was plenty of that. We did do that by for grabbing on to peculiar organizational and industrial skills originating here earlier in the century to bury the enemy under production "stuff" and logistical capability.

          The single most telling scene in a popular period war movie was the brief one in Battle of the Bulge where a chocolate cake from America was brought to a command car—along with a realization that, no, the U-boats were not winning if a Cake with sugar and chocolate, something Germans had almost forgotten, could get to an enlisted soldier in the Ardennes.

          We've been coasting domestically, in both infrastructure, advanced status in civilian applications and worldview for decades on that once upon a time all while bedazzled by factual military superiority.

          I've often said it here. The premise of the book and movie, the note that kicked the story off, Russia House has given me a sinking feeling in my gut for years. When I see a bunch of our TP/GOP idiot types chanting WE'RE NUMBER ONE my snarl shows. Fat, dumb, and (un)happy bullshit! In far, far too many ways that count we are way back in the also rans. See where we stand on infant mortality lately? Mortality in general? Medical outcomes?

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:27:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It goes beyond that problem. I think it has an (10+ / 0-)

        origin akin to that old British Imperial scheme. It has been a long time since I checked my references but there is or was a trend of scholarly thought that we suffer from the Anglo disease.

        It is one rooted in that old British system in which "gentlemen" did not engage in trade. Finance was fine, "trade" was demeaning. Anyone watching PBS period pieces knows of the land poor nobility seeking a rich tradesman's offspring in turn seeking access to the upper class for their daughters or sons. That attitude continued certainly into my lifetime. It was responsible for a "brain drain" in which the U.K. lost scientists and engineers who could never become top management in companies dependent on their talents because they were not "gentlemen"—so they came to the U.S. during a time before our recent obsession with "finance" over substance. To some extent we inherited that disease. I've watched a period in which bright young people aspired to be scientist and engineers flip to one in which brokerage and finance were the dream.

        We are paying the price, as did and I think still does England (part of Scottish nationalism today is disgust with the still strong flavor of that stuff). We are again into "connections" matter far more than competence and the goal is to play with money rather than actually build things to make money.

        By the way, those attitudes prevail still in much of Latin America—also former colonies of "gentry" driven societies. Until very recently the idea of an "educated" person in some of those cultures actually getting their hands dirty with practical things, even engineering, was alien in some sectors. An "educated" man managed and financed things and dabbled in poetry or art and had "servants" to fix or build things. That is dying in more progressive and advanced parts, but is still quite strong in the more traditional areas.

        Now I see that here: "I'm 'educated' making good money! Me change the spark thing on the lawnmower? Hell no! I have a service anyway!" Three decades ago young "yuppie" neighbors were looking oddly at two of us older guys in old raggedy jeans and shirts actually fixing a lawnmower. It has gotten worse, much worse.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:38:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          codairem, Calamity Jean

          I'd note that the 'brain drain' now differs from the British 'gentlemen' problem in an important way. Then, skilled people willing to take a risk could actually up and move somewhere -- because there were opportunities in other places.

          But now, with Globalization, opportunities have been compromised everywhere. The option to up and move somewhere for greater risk/reward is massively compromised.

          In today's world the brain drain is simply people giving up due to lack of any opportunity. This is incredibly clear in the number of highly educated people - people with proven experience and skill - working retail just to put food on the table.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:37:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cultivation of domestic brains is also a factor. (4+ / 0-)

            First, I disagree to some extent with the situation here in the U.S. of "highly educated people - people with proven experience and skill - working retail" as a general statement—yet one correlating to that change in aspirations I mentioned.

            Yep, here in the D.C. area I know of restaurants with advanced degree wait staff, and not there because tips are wonderful. Advanced degrees in English, various arts, law even in a city full of lawyers. At the very same time I know recruiters in IT and engineering that complain of having no qualified applicants that are not Indian or Korean or of another immigrant community. That is definitely correlated with that shift I watched when ambitious, smart kids quit saying engineer or doctor or scientist as their aspiration and started looking at "finance" whether Wall Street or just real estate.

            Now for the domestic cultivation. I know of definite cases in "less developed" countries with which I have connections where a large engineering project requires import of skilled workers, often from China, Korea or India. In each case a terrible shortage of domestic engineers and other such skills drove that. Sons and daughters of "educated" families, the ones going to and driving the courses at the better schools, shunned those fields until very recently. So it was left to the ambitious sons and daughters of the ignorant getting the education within a less than first class system. The governments allowing import of those skilled workers had no intention of their becoming residents and in on particular case made it clear part of their job was OJT for citizens then go home. They contracted with foreign firms to provide the immediate skills and train their citizens. But then we are NUMBER 1! so we just import our South and East Asian technical class for the long haul. By the way, I enjoy the result; the great Indian and Korean restaurants I have nearby and some wonderful doctors.

            Supposing there was a less than fully employed engineering or scientific worker not up there in the cream with an established reputation, a prize catch, they are not usually going to be welcome as a permanent immigrant. And those highly educated as lawyers and historians and language are already a glut, from the "old educated class" in some of those places.

            The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

            by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:08:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I keep hearing this (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              so I suppose it is true. Anecdotally however, myself and most of the Scientists and Engineers that I know (I am a Geneticist),  also know US-trained Scientists and Engineers that have difficulty finding jobs. I think that many employers now instinctively look for technical people in Asia. Are they easier to fire?

              •  I've no idea beyond the fact that in the IT and (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Charles Hall

                related fields I still keep up with the employee pool with qualifications seems to be Indian or East Asian. My feeling is that here in the D.C. area people with qualifications and the "native" background for the special security clearances are sucked up in DoD/Intel work and the pool for just general work or collateral security clearance are scarce so that the immigrant population, even B-1 visa peopel are in demand.

                One of the indicators I keep noting are the native/foreign student ratios in our engineering and scientific schools. Somehow, like some Latin countries I'm familiar with, the "hard sciences" have fallen into "not my choice" for our old "native" population.

                Don't mistake me. I'm not at all adverse to immigration. My "world" is far beyond our borders. I despair that we are not keeping up. I get furious, absolutely murderous hostile, to those flag waving idiots that scream #1 despite evidence, because I want us to keep up. The fact I see is that in the hard sciences, engineering and relate fields we are losing—and that is like the feeling of watching a truly favored home team being crushed for me.

                My sig line pulls punches.
                Big time. Those foes are swarming all around like termites in full season.

                The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:54:53 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is interesting. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Most of the technical people that I know are in Biology and Chemistry. Computer Science, especially the workhorse stuff like programming and IT do appear to be places where we are falling behind. I agree that it is frustrating. I am all for immigration too. I would just prefer that if someone hires overseas it is because they are the best fit for the job, not because there is no one in the US in the game. On the Biology and Chemistry fronts however, I think that there is something else going on. I've never been in HR so maybe I don't know the whole story, but I've seen too many cases where the official line is "there are no US citizens that are qualified" when I know people on the market that seem qualified to me.

          •  Interesting insight into possible origins of bias (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            judyms9, pelagicray, Calamity Jean

            against professions that require one's hands to get dirty. That distaste also contributes to the denigration of so-called female professions, which are very likely to involve physical, hands-on care (necessarily dirty work in many cases).

            Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue If you'd like to join the Motor City Kossacks, send me a Kosmail.

            by peregrine kate on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:16:00 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Good friends, ones of long, long standing (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              peregrine kate

              that I miss also make me shake my head in puzzlement and amusement.

              One, more curious, more widely read and more inclined to "practical" things, is my age. Yet, with a full time maid and another full time cook he will call the maid from the back of the house to fetch his glass from the table on the verandah that is five feet from his seat. I probably dwarf his total wealth, yet he lives like a prince of olden times comparatively. He has never cooked something he ate in his whole life. He would be aghast. Yet he is a "practical man" in his place. He knows how to wire a switch—though he would never do it himself! I laugh, even have teased him, that I'd never be in such a position. I'd never be so helpless that if my servants left I'd not know how to feed myself. He even get a glimmer, though I think he really does not "get it" in any real sense.

              In that peculiar culture, in a very traditional and "backward" part of an "emerging nation," it is/was considered scandalous to do something practical. I scandalized in-laws doing such things. They knew I was "educated" and from the then superpower United States, yet I could wire a switch or paint a wall. They feared me being seen doing so. No man of substance in the culture would "know how" to do those things. It was if POTUS donned old clothes and entered the sewers! Of course what I noted was that many of the practical services rendered by "appropriate" people were absolute crap! When the "electrician" left, the guy that couldn't read or sign his name what I saw was "Oh shit!''

              Wonderful friends, the best friends I have over nearly fifty years, yet I shake my head. They are in a culture trending toward what we had. I can shake my head and tolerate. When I see us descending into that shit I snarl.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 12:21:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We're going to have to expand our (0+ / 0-)

        idea that the country has experienced takeover by the Military/Industrial complex and admit, particularly after the revelations of the past few months, that the takeover actually has been accomplished by the Military/Industrial/Intelligence complex.  And because the Intelligence systems were born and grown in secret over 75 years, we didn't notice how complete the takeover had become.

        There's not a chance in this world of any future president and congress of any party willing to break up this insidious complex - it's far too useful and profitable.

        "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 Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 02:56:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the Wood link (4+ / 0-)

    Marked for later - must read the other two pieces in the series. A few years back our plane was halted at the gate so a family could receive their dead soldier coming back from war. The whole right side of our plane watched the ceremony, most quietly crying. I was crying for the waste and in anger. Read somewhere this morning that Bill Kristol is complaining about the public being so "war weary" - you're right Bill, let's hope that feeling sticks around for a long, long time. And for the soldiers who come home with invisible wounds, we just leave them to figure it out on their own. Shameful.

    “We keep going regardless of knowing the cost, regardless of knowing what it’s gonna do,” he said. “The question we have to ask the civilian population is, is it worth it, knowing these mental issues we come home with? Is it worth it?”
  •  But I am threatened by the existence (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wintergreen8694, Iberian, skohayes

    Of people like Bill Kristol

    In fact, the idol of war-weariness can be challenged. A war-weary public can be awakened and rallied. Indeed, events are right now doing the awakening. All that’s needed is the rallying. And the turnaround can be fast.

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 05:59:55 AM PDT

    •  I just cannot wrap my head (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      se portland

      around these people drooling to start another war.
      Sarah Palin, the fucking idiot, said "The only way to stop a bad guy with a nuke is a good guy with a nuke."
      Holy crap, we dodged a bullet there.
      Here a picture of her from her speech at CPAC- see what it says on her hand?
       photo 2f377896-17c5-430f-8f96-62dcce800f0f_zpsb06628ee.jpg

      <3 vet

      Your beliefs don't make you a better person. Your behavior does.

      by skohayes on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:45:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I read the LA Times article. (4+ / 0-)

    I have to laugh that they lump all people that think outside of the box as morons that believe in conspiracy theories.
    In this world we live in, how can someone talking about Monsanto even begin to expect people to think they are some kind of benevolent force?

    Instead of labeling all these people crazy, I submit that these large entities either government or multinational corporation have lost the trust of much of the population for very good reasons and should work to earn their trust by shining sunlight and disinfectant on said questionable activities.

    I live in NC and recently watched our Governor deny Medicaid expansion to the poorest of our residents. This action will result in some of these people being unable to obtain medical treatment and result in their deaths. Worse yet, it was all going to be paid for and they still denied the expansion. What can this be attributed to? The worst of human nature on full display for all to see.

    Lets extrapolate a little. Apply this lesson to big business and you realize that the people making decisions are just human and will, in some cases put corporate profits ahead of the people. Examples? Big pharma not releasing contrary test data indicating problems with their  blockbuster drugs such as Vioxx, Meridia, AVANDIA, Baycol. Toyota just got fined over a Billion dollars for withholding safety information from consumers. How about the starter problems just uncovered in GM vehicles. Turns out they knew a full 9 years about the potential fatal results of the starters slipping and causing a disastrous number of fatal accidents.

     Do any of these things prove any number of wacky CT's? no obviously not. But if companies and government want the trust of the population they must earn their trust. Here in the US, I think as a nation we did trust a bit more than in other nations, but that trust has taken a hit with one revelation after another, the latest being how completely we are spied on, with proof and corresponding lies by our elected officials.

    So, excuse me if I laugh at the scorn heaped on people that think for themselves. I think some very bright people have a healthy dose of skepticism. Some might even have landed here at Dkos.

    Truth is harmonious, lies are discordant.

    by Babsnc on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 06:11:58 AM PDT

  •  Dr. assisted suicide (7+ / 0-)

    Had it in Oregon for years.  We voted for it, and when those who opposed it managed to get in on the ballot again, we passed it again.  Not just yes, but hell yes.  

    The most profound effect has been to greatly improve end of life care programs, hospices, docs prescribing enough pain meds.  Most of the folks who get the prescription never use it - as the woman in CT said, just knowing it is there is a comfort.  Total in 2012 - 77 people.

  •  How about some plain talking from Democrats (4+ / 0-)

    Stop the defensive babbling and start talking about the GOP's long failed trickle down economic history. All congressional dem candidates should attack the republican cornerstone economic policies of tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Make the message simple. Trickle down economics does not work.

    If we lie to the government, it's a felony...but if they lie to us it's politics.

    by rmb on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 07:35:51 AM PDT

  •  Nate Silver & Ezra Klein..... (0+ / 0-)

    Both have taken hits this past week for their recent hires.

    Whoops, boys!  Google anyone?  

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