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  • Today's comic by Tom Tomorrow is Science Stuff:
    Cartoon by Tom Tomorrow - Science Stuff
  • These are the Sunday essays you missed:
    White hoods, dunce caps and Paul Ryan, by Jon Perr

    Charles Koch whines as the Harry Reid Kochtopia pushback begins, by Egberto Willies

    Democrats must run against Obamacare repeal. Not just for Obamacare. Against repeal., by Ian Reifowitz

    Does your state get an 'F' for how it teaches the civil rights movement?, by Denise Oliver-Velez

    Some country for rich old white men, by Dante Atkins

    Thomas Perez: 'Live in my world and you'll see what a difference we can make', by Laura Clawson

    Liberals are the intolerant ones?, by Mark E Andersen

    Daily Kos Elections Senate Power Rankings: Inaugural April edition, by Steve Singiser

  • Economists should measure happiness:
    When discussing media, the philosopher Marshall McLuhan once said, "We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us." Much the same principle applies to economic indicators; once they have been developed they begin to shape our experience and perceptions in ways we rarely realize. Most of us accept numbers as devoid of ideology, as accurate and unbiased descriptions of the world we inhabit — this is their allure.

    In his new book The Leading Indicators, the economist Zachary Karabell takes the opposite tack, arguing that "the world these statistics say we are living in and the world we are actually living in often diverge." Like Freud, Karabell investigates the unconscious assumptions that permeate our lives, in his case focusing on our dependence on statistics.

  • Chili's cancels fund-raiser for anti-vaccine group:
    Chili’s Grill & Bar recently announced that, in an effort to mark Autism Awareness Month, hundreds of its locations across the country would donate 10 percent of customers’ checks on April 7 to the National Autism Association. But thanks to that particular group’s stance on vaccines, that move sparked considerable controversy. [...]

    In response, pro-vaccine groups started calling for a boycott of the restaurant chain. Angry comments flooded Chili’s official Facebook page. “Hosting a fundraiser for an organization that encourages parents not to vaccinate their children is not only irresponsible, but also unforgivable,” one comment reads. “Come for dinner, stay for pertussis,” another jokes.

    It didn’t take Chili’s long to address the controversy. On Sunday, the company canceled the fundraiser.

  • One simple graph explains the reach of vaccines.
  • Hello and goodbye:
    It’s a story we all know—Christopher Columbus discovers America, his European buddies follow him, they meet the indigenous people living there, they indigenous people die from smallpox and guns and other unknown diseases, and the Europeans get gold, land, and so on.

    It’s still happening today in Brazil, where 238 indigenous tribes have been contacted in the last several decades, and where between 23 and 70 uncontacted tribes are still living. A just-published report that takes a look at what happens after the modern world comes into contact with indigenous peoples isn’t pretty: Of those contacted, three quarters went extinct. Those that survived saw mortality rates up over 80 percent. This is grim stuff.

  • Ann Coulter wants Romney to run again: Coulter made her desires known in an interview with radio host Howie Carr.
    CARR: Yeah, but people are saying, ‘No, Ann, no. No more RINOs.’
    COULTER: Well, that’s just the mob taking over—you may not have the tribe wanting to run Romney again, but the idea the he’s a RINO, as opposed to what, Rick Perry, who gave illegal aliens in-state tuition. The same thing with Chris Christie. And, as I say, Ted Cruz is a disaster on illegal immigration.
  • Mickey Rooney, 93, R.I.P.:
    One interviewer encapsulated a repeated criticism of Rooney—that he was always acting—by describing a conversation with him as "one long monologue punctuated by pauses for applause."

    When he was in his early 70s, Rooney joked about the fallout from a life lived in the spotlight: "When I open a refrigerator door and the light goes on, I want to perform."

  • The less Americans know about Ukraine, the more eager to invade:
    On March 28-31, 2014, we asked a national sample of 2,066 Americans (fielded via Survey Sampling International Inc. (SSI), what action they wanted the U.S. to take in Ukraine, but with a twist: In addition to measuring standard demographic characteristics and general foreign policy attitudes, we also asked our survey respondents to locate Ukraine on a map as part of a larger, ongoing project to study foreign policy knowledge. We wanted to see where Americans think Ukraine is and to learn if this knowledge (or lack thereof) is related to their foreign policy views. We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up ACA & 2016 news. BiPM's Cheers & Jeers updates us on OK. The Mozilla mess. Are we still tip-toeing around torture? Fire hydrants shut down by water co. because water's "for farms & homes, not fires."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lost in the shuffle: (7+ / 0-)

    New season of “These Guys”

    direct link to video
    the usual diary plugging same

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:03:13 PM PDT

  •  The last time I saw Mickey Rooney on TV (0+ / 0-)

    He was touting a correspondence course in acting. Seriously. I think it was on Johnny Carson or something like that. The host was incredulous, of course.

    What a schmuck.

    •  Your life has been impeccable, no doubt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JeffW, nellgwen

      But I don't think Mickey Rooney ever claimed to be a saint or without flaws.  He was an actor who did some good work in Hollywood back in the day and at this moment, isn't that enough?

      •  My life has not been impeccable (0+ / 0-)

        But I never tried to rip people off with a bogus correspondence course. BTW I was a theater major and a professional actor at one time, and I know what's involved in actor training. He was stealing from people.

        •  Was he prosecuted? (0+ / 0-)

          No, and you seem pretty sketchy on the details yourself.  Maybe it's time to let it go?  

          And for a professional actor, too bad that you can't act like most decent people when they hear that someone passed.  

      •  He was Judy Garland's best friend when (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Darmok, Senor Unoball

        she had very few friends, or people in her life she could count on. Her dad ad Mickey, at one time that was it.

        And who can forget his role as Stubby Index Finger in Evil Roy Slade.

        Well I'm just a tree, but if I were you I'd listen to your GHOST FRIEND! Howard-Big Bang Theory

        by nellgwen on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:44:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  'Twas ever thus... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:08:40 PM PDT

  •  Chili's obvious bowed to the pressure of the (0+ / 0-)

    Vaccination Mafia. They're a lesser know group unlike the Gay Banditos that drove Brendan Eich to resign from Mozilla.

    Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:10:42 PM PDT

  •  they only read NatGeo for the articles (4+ / 0-)

    We found that only one out of six Americans can find Ukraine on a map, and that this lack of knowledge is related to preferences: The farther their guesses were from Ukraine’s actual location, the more they wanted the U.S. to intervene with military force.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:10:42 PM PDT

  •  that vaccine chart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    is amazing.  Of course, one anti-vaxxer had to twit that we need a chart on the oooh-scary vaccine side effects and one dumbass starts a back and forth because he doesn't understand morbidity vs. mortality.  Oh, oopsie!

  •  That vaccination graph was epic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, sow hat, nellgwen, Eric Nelson

    Smallpox:  extinct.  

    Polio:  extinct in the United States.

    Chicken pox:  down by 90%

    Measles:  down by over 90%

    And so on and so on and so on.

    Impressive as hell...but wouldn't you know it, a bunch of anti-vax loons showed up to claim that the charts were wrong, and that they needed to show "adverse reactions" alongside the declines in morbidity to show that vaccinations are REALLY evil.

    It never ends.  Never, ever ends.  

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

    by Ellid on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:15:25 PM PDT

  •  Money buys happiness, up to a point: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson
    With every doubling of income, people tended to say they were more and more satisfied with their lives on a 10-point scale – a pattern that continued for household incomes well above $120,000.

    But when asked to assess the happy hours of the previous day – whether people had experienced a lot of enjoyment, laughter, smiling, anger, stress, worry – money mattered only up to about $75,000. After that, money didn't buy more (or less) happiness.

    These figures are for U.S. households.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:20:50 PM PDT

  •  Chilis, Nooo! (0+ / 0-)

    Delicious french fries or be true to my beliefs..

    by LazyActivism on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:22:14 PM PDT

  •  When is some parent gonna sue McCarthy (0+ / 0-)

    or that anti-Vacc group.  Maybe she'll shut the fuck up when she finds out she's gonna get sued every time some parent doesn't vaccinate their child after following her advice and their kid dies from a preventable disease. She is a truly horrible person.

    "In 20 years, the GOP will be small enough to drown in a bathtub." - me

    by estamm on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:23:46 PM PDT

  •  Sure Romney should run again... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, nellgwen, Eric Nelson, BlueKS

    ...after all, he's the White Horse('s Ass) Candidate!

    As for Ms. Evil Mutant, she sure has flip-flopped since the Outlaw Joisey Whale got a sensitive part of his anatomy in the wringer. Didn't she originally say if the Republicans didn't run Christie in 2012, they'd lose?

    Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 12:26:22 PM PDT

  •  I can't believe this (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, Eric Nelson, BlueKS, JeffW

    I actually agree with Ann Coulter!

    Run, Mitt, run.

  •  Is this the same Ann Coulter... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nellgwen, JeffW

    who said at the CPAC in 2012 to nominate Chris Christie because Romney would lose?   So the fallout from Bridgegate makes Bitter Mitt a better candidate now?  His same bullshit policies, inability to relate to the average person, etc., yeah, he is a shoo in alright.  

  •  as opposed to what (0+ / 0-)

    Rick Perry, who gave illegal aliens in-state tuition

    Because educating the best in American so they can be productive and create economic opportunity is a bad thing.  Much better to let those who grew up in the country, but may not be willing to work as hard, to get a state sponsored education.

    It is like the white girl who sued UT because, of course, a white person is always the better choice than a black person.  I mean, as her father said in a radio interview, there are places for those people, but white children are expected to get into UT.

    Of course Texas has a few more wacko social conservatives now, much like the rest of country who think Perry giving in state tuition was a bad idea, so there is a push to remove it, and the next governor, if she is not Davis, may do so. So we will see how much money the national prople give to Davis to help her win.  I suppose they will just not even try, saying that it is not worth it, but really not caring that we are leaving a bunch of potential on the table by not maximizing the education of our children no matter where they or their parents were born.

    Because, of course, as long as the aristocracy is happy, that is all that matters.

  •  "invade" Ukraine? Putin's the one who wants to do (0+ / 0-)

    that. Helping Ukraine may or may not ne wise, but it's not "invading."

  •  Coulter is just phoning it in these days (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Noodles, Eric Nelson

    Even if you think Mitt Romney is a paragon of humanity (BTW I know some Mormons who do as a matter of pride in their culture) it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see second nominations for losing candidates are no way to go.  It didn't work for Adlai Stevenson in 1956 and it didn't work for William Jennings Bryan in 1900.  The jokes have been made, and the jokes are what people see when they see their pictures.  Michael Dukakis and George McGovern wisely retired from public view.  

    I get it that she's proposing Romney to avoid a fight between social conservatives and "Pants-Down Conservatives" (P.J. O'Rourke's term for dope smoking adulterers like himself), as a candidate who's acceptable to both wings, so, maybe that's just the plan:  delay the inevitable fight, postpone it till 2020, and go ahead a put up a front of a serious race this time with a fake, damaged candidate who's job is to lose, kind of like those hapless white guys who play the Harlem Globetrotters.    

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

    by Kangaroo on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:02:19 PM PDT

  •  Don't be mistaken about the size of the US army. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Patango, Eric Nelson, JeffW

    When the New York Times (among others) says Pentagon Plans to Shrink Army to Pre-World War II Level it means a comparison to the forces level of 1940, which had doubled from the year before in preparation for the onset of the war.   The true pre-WWII force level of the active duty US Army was 269,023, about two thirds the 440,000 which Hagel is currently proposing.

    Play chess for the Kossacks on Join the site, then the group at

    by rhutcheson on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:26:34 PM PDT

  •  What happens if you reverse... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    ....the Travon Martin/Zimmerman situation?

    Even though the two cases aren't parallel, this case out of Pittsburgh is similar.  

    A black man may have stood his ground and shot and killed a white man during a fight/attack.  Verdict: voluntary manslaughter.

    You can't spell "Dianne Feinstein" without "NSA".

    by varro on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:40:15 PM PDT

  •  Coulter, paraphrased (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson, JeffW
    Only Romney is mean-spirited and racist enough to be a true conservative.

    "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

    by Sarge in Seattle on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 01:45:28 PM PDT

    •  Even shorter Coulter; 'GOP has - zero' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      COULTER: Yeah, I think he was a fantastic candidate. As I’ve told you before, he would have won by a larger landslide than Ronald Reagan did in 1980 without Teddy Kennedy’s immigration bill. And it’s basically impossible to beat an incumbent, but he is head and shoulders better than the other candidates we had. And I don’t want to name them, but I mean you go through the list — and for one thing, as you and I discussed, and this is the most important point, that all of your listeners have to tell all of their friends knock it off with the Congressmen or inspirational figures. It’s got to be a Governor or a Senator, preferably a Governor. And, you know, there is a limited world — a list of who those people are, and they all have problems.

       - emphasis added

  •  Yes! economists should measure happiness.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    ..that is one of the reasons that Robert Greenstein and Jarod Berstien @ CBPP is a favorite source for me. They know the numbers and they put those numbers into a real life context.

    A better path is not to seek precise, fitted, individualistic metrics, but rather a more holistic vision of society.
    Whether it's Gross National Happiness (GNH) or General Well-Being (GWB) vs the "U-Index (..a "numerical representation of how much time people spend doing things they find unpleasing..) this approach has the messaging advantage that we Dems could tie directly into the Constitution's " promoting the general welfare" into every legislative agenda as a sort of test of the validity of it, and get the into peoples thoughts

    The republicans agenda would demonstrably fail on every issue I can think of; from civil liberties and rights to environment, to  national defense, even to the GOP's record on fiscal "prudence" they are so proud of - with zero justification - documented (2007-2008 cash as just one of many examples) Their rhetoric is skin deep to please the eye but fake a lie (Paul Ryans budget is absolute proof of that)

    This is dangerous to any bad policy and its no matter which party it comes from

    And another version of alternate to GDP measuring

    Genuine Progress Indicator, which takes into account 26 indicators of progress, to better measure the environmental and social impacts of growth, as well as its distribution.
    This is a really good idea.
    Joseph Stiglit: numerous reports on inequality,  quality of life, and sustainability
    Not just to get at the truth on so many issues like wealth disparity built into our goofed up tax code and other unfairness, but as a continuing and revival of what #OWS and it's success showed was a populist message that hit home even amongst normally rival groupings -  Dems/GOP/independents.

    There was widespread attraction to #OWS exposure of inequality that spread nationally on this kind of perspective looking at - "how are things going"

    Thx MB

    P.S. I can also imagine a lot of "concerned" economists and others fearing this approach too. When the "bottom line" of profit takes a back seat to the real bottom line - people

  •  Thanks, MB, especially for the GDP alternatives (0+ / 0-)

    link.  I'm really pleased this issue is finally getting wider MSM coverage.  More, please!

    Pessimism of the intellect; optimism of the will. - - Antonio Gramsci

    by lehman scott on Mon Apr 07, 2014 at 05:19:52 PM PDT

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