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Krugman: The 1 percent has created a monster

In a post at his New York Times blog, the award-winning economist and columnist Paul Krugman argues that the right’s crusade against Obamacare is a byproduct of class antagonism and a radical right-wing movement that’s gone beyond the control of its hyper-wealthy benefactors.

Concerning the government shutdown over Obamacare, Krugman writes, “There’s a definite class-war aspect to this fight, pitting the interests of the 0.1 percent against those of lower-income families.” But according to Krugman, that doesn’t explain the whole story, because “the 0.1 percent, by and large, are pleading with the GOP to knock it off.” He then notes that even Karl Rove, “more or less the designated defender of upper-class privileges,” is complaining over not being listened to.

Ultimately, Krugman concludes, the radical right is like Frankenstein’s monster, with the hyper-wealthy playing the role of the doomed mad scientist. “[M]y working theory,” he writes, “is that wealthy individuals bought themselves a radical right party, believing … that it would cut their taxes and remove regulations.” What the .01 percent didn’t realize is that “eventually the craziness would take on a life of its own, and that the monster they created would turn on its creators as well as the little people.”


Troop of Walruses 10,000 Strong Hauls Ashore in Alaska

A herd of walrus approximately 10,000 strong has come ashore on Alaska's northwest coast.

The burly, tusked mammals have gathered on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea near Point Lay, about 700 miles north of Anchorage.

On Sept. 12, aerial observations indicated between 1,200 and 4,000 walruses had hauled out on the island. The number swelled to as many as 8,000 on Sept. 22 and has since grown to roughly 10,000, though a more accurate count is impossible to make from aerial photos.

Towards late summer and into fall, walruses tend to herd in large aggregations such as this, but officials from NOAA fisheries report that the mass aggregations in this region of Alaska are a relatively new phenomenon.

In 2011, about 30,000 walruses were observed not far from where this recent aggregation has been spotted.



8-year-old suspended from Florida school for using fingers as gun during game

By Travis Gettys
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 11:22 EDT

An 8-year-old Florida boy was suspended from school for pretending to use his finger as a gun.

Bonnie Bennett told WKMG-TV that her son was suspended Friday from Harmony Community School in Osceola County after playing cops and robbers with another student.

“There was nothing in his hand,” Bennett said. “He used his thumb and index finger. It was a game. He made no threatening advances or threats to harm anyone. No words were said.”

Bennett said she wouldn’t have been upset if the boy had been punished some other way, but she’s concerned that the suspension will cause her son to be classified as a “violent offender.”


World's smallest Penis contest

World's smallest penis is a science competition that encourages scientists and engineers to draw the world's smallest penis. Draw your penis using the smallest possible tools available: cells, bacteria, lithography, self-assembly, molecular beam epitaxy, focused ion beam, etc. The choice is yours.


1) No public funds can be used directly* to fabricate your penis.
2) Submissions must be made without affiliations.
3) The penis must consist of 2 balls and a penis**.
4) Size matters***.

* training sessions, demo patterns for testing new equipment or experiments where the required patterns are inconsequential are permitted (i.e. at no additional cost)

** keep it classy

*** but it's what you do with it that counts (give details of process)


The Senate Continuing Resolution Is ALREADY a Compromise

By Michael Linden and Harry Stein

The Senate-passed measure to keep the government operating represents an enormous compromise by progressives to avoid a damaging government shutdown. The Democrat-controlled Senate agreed to temporary funding levels that are far closer to the Republican-controlled House budget plan than they are to the Senate’s own budget for fiscal year 2014. Moreover, this concession is only the latest of many such compromises over the past several years.
The Democrat-controlled Senate passed a continuing resolution, or CR—a temporary funding measure meant to keep the government operating—that would set the relevant funding levels at an annualized total of $986 billion. That’s about $70 billion less than what the Senate endorsed as part of its comprehensive budget plan back in April. But that actually understates the extent of the compromise.

When President Barack Obama first took office in 2009, his budget proposed $1.203 trillion in discretionary spending for FY 2014. The Senate CR is about $216 billion, or nearly 18 percent, lower than that. Actual enacted funding levels for FY 2010, when the Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress, totaled $1.185 trillion in 2014 dollars. The Senate CR is about $200 billion below that, a cut of nearly 17 percent.

After the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party took control of the House of Representatives and offered a budget plan that proposed dramatic spending reductions. That plan, authored by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), envisioned FY 2014 funding levels at $1.095 trillion. Note that the funding in the current Senate-passed CR is about 10 percent less than the levels in the original Ryan budget.


The next time someone whines about how Democrats 'aren't compromising", point them to this.

The nut doesn't fall far from the tree (Cruz Sr. again)

Ted Cruz's Dad Cites Manipulated Obama Quote, Bogus Health Care Claim In Incendiary Speech
BY Brian Tashman on Tuesday, 10/1/2013 1:00 pm

In a speech Friday, Rafael Cruz, Religious Right activist and father of Sen. Ted Cruz, cited a fake quote from The Audacity of Hope to suggest that President Obama is a Muslim.

In audio obtained by ColoradoPols.com, the elder Cruz told the Adams County Republican Party, “Barack Obama said: If the winds shift, I will side with the Muslims.” When an audience member shouted, “He is Muslim!,” Cruz seemed to agree and replied: “McCain couldn’t say that, because it’s not politically correct. It is time to stop being politically correct!”

The quote of Obama saying he will “side with the Muslims” has been making the rounds on right-wing chain emails. The myth-busting website Snopes.com found that the line is a “rewording of a passage” from his book regarding “the importance of not allowing inflamed public opinion to result in innocent members of immigrant groups being stripped of their rights” and “contains no specific mention of ‘Muslims.’”

In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific reassurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.

Cruz also repeated the thoroughly debunked claim that Obamacare will require people to have “end-of-life counseling” every five years, which he refers to as “suicide counseling.” PolitiFact called the charge an “outright distortion” of a provision that would have allowed Medicare to “cover the cost of end-of-life counseling sessions,” which are optional, and to “cover one session every five years.” The sessions would not have been mandatory and would not have “encourage[d] patients to end their lives.”

But even that provision isn’t currently law: It was dropped from the final bill thanks to far-right conspiracy theories.

- See more at: http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/ted-cruzs-dad-cites-manipulated-obama-quote-bogus-health-care-claim-incendiary-speech

Kepler-7b: Astronomers Create Cloud Map of Jupiter-Like Exoplanet

This artist’s rendering shows the gas giant Kepler-7b, left, and Jupiter, right. The cloud map shows that clouds cover the western side of the gaseous planet, leaving the east cloud-free. Dr Demory and his colleagues speculate the clouds are made up of minerals containing silicates. Image credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / MIT.

Discovered in 2009, Kepler-7b is about half the mass of Jupiter, but is nearly 1.5 times its size.

It orbits its host star, Kepler-7, every 5 days at a distance of approximately 0.06 AU.

Kepler-7b is marked by high clouds in the west and clear skies in the east.

Previous studies have resulted in temperature maps of planets orbiting other stars, but this is the first look at cloud structures on a distant world.

“By observing this planet with Spitzer and Kepler for more than three years, we were able to produce a very low-resolution ‘map’ of this giant, gaseous planet,” explained Dr Brice-Olivier Demory of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who is a first author of the paper accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters (arXiv.org version, full paper in .pdf).



Electric fish may have switched from AC to DC

Image of the two new species with graphs of their electric organ discharges (EODs). Brachyhypopomus walteri (top) has a longer, thinner tail and produces an EOD with both positive and negative phases.

Two very similar species of Amazonian electric fish share a key difference: One uses direct current (DC) and the other alternating current (AC), according to research that formally describes the two species for the first time.

The paper was published Aug. 28 in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

Until now, the two types of knifefish were often mistaken for each other and placed together in fish collections. Both communicate with weak electric discharges and "electrolocate" – special receptor cells in their skin can pick up distortions in electric currents made by objects in the water.

The researchers report that one of the species, Brachyhypopomus bennetti, has a large electric organ and a short fat tail and produces direct current, or a monophasic, signal; the other, Brachyhypopomus walteri, has a more typical electric organ, a long thin tail and an alternating current, or biphasic signal.


See The World's First Images Of Actual Hydrogen Bonds

Scientists have just seen for the first time one of the most important physical interactions in our world — the special type of bond called the hydrogen bond that holds our DNA together and gives water its unique properties, including surface tension.
When a tiny hydrogen atom is in a molecule with a much bigger atom, like nitrogen or oxygen (for example, in water), that larger atom, pulls away some of the negative charge from the smaller one, giving the smaller one a slightly positive charge on one edge. That slightly positive charge is electrically attracted to the slightly negative charge on the large atom of another molecule.

In the image to the right you can see the big red atoms (oxygen in this case) exert a pull on the hydrogen atoms in other water molecules around it. Those dashed lines are the hydrogen bonds.

Now we can actually see a real picture of a hydrogen bond between molecules of 8-Hydroxyquinoline in the images below. The chemical forms hydrogen bonds and lies flat in one plane, so it's easier to visualize.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/first-images-of-a-hydrogen-bond-2013-9

Security footage shows six police kicking and beating a man before setting a dog on him


A man was left needing hospital treatment after police punched and kneed him, struck him with batons – and set a police dog on him that bit his neck and head.

David Connor Castellani, 20, was charged with aggravated assault after the incident, but is suing Atlantic City police for using excessive force.

The incident occurred on an Atlantic City street in the early hours of June 5 this year.

Mr Castellani had been ejected from a casino for being under-age and the footage, taken by the casino’s CCTV system, begins with him remonstrating with police officers.

A short while later three officers run up to Mr Castellani just after he shrugs his shoulders, and wrestle him to the ground.

(warning graphic pics at link)
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2438833/CCTV-footage-shows-David-Castellani-beaten-Atlantic-City-police-officers.html
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