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Home country: U.S.
Member since: Tue Dec 29, 2015, 03:16 PM
Number of posts: 12,341

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I love Rachel Maddow, BUT....

If she says---contemporaneous--one more time tonight, I'm going to scream! I stopped counting at 20.

Kind of like this other thing she's started doing with drumming on the desk.

Back to your regular programming.

TV Commercials Overload

What is the TV commercial that you despise the most that is running currently? The one that makes you throw things at the TV?
Mine is the one where the guy is walking along the street bitching about not being able to find a shirt that looks good un-tucked. It is his, "passion". So he opens his own store.

Now....you have to wonder. Does this guy have no other issues in his life? How can you be passionate about any article of clothing?

From Senator Mitch McConnell

I just received this email from McConnell. I have no idea who this General is in the salutation. This is the first response after months of contacting his office. I thought it may be of interest here. I can't even read the whole thing, I'm so pissed off at the lies. I'm debating on sending a response, but this is a canned email anyway, and I'm sure no one will read it, especially if I start off by saying, You Ignorant Prick.

Dear General XXX;

Thank you for contacting me regarding Obamacare. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts on this most important issue.

In 2010, President Obama teamed up with his allies to rush health care legislation through Congress by promising the American people decreased costs, more jobs, a strengthened Medicare program, and “If you like your plan, you can keep it.” Now more than ever, it is clear that President Obama delivered an abundance of broken promises.

Across the Commonwealth, health insurance premiums are soaring, while healthcare choices are dwindling. This year, Kentuckians are faced with insurance premium increases as high as 47 percent and nearly half of the counties have only one health insurance provider on the federal exchange— that is no option at all.

The legacy of Obamacare is one of increased costs, diminishing choices, and broken promises. It is a failure and the pain many Kentuckians and others across the country continue to experience under Obamacare is deeply personal, the betrayal middle class families are feeling is clearly palpable, and—unless we do something—many Americans will continue to lose their health plans. They will continue to get stuck with insurance that costs more and offers less. Choices will continue to shrink uncontrollably. Costs will continue to rise unsustainably.

On January 20, 2017, President Trump took office and made dismantling Obamacare a top priority for his administration. Since his inauguration, President Trump and the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price have taken actions to ease the regulatory burdens of Obamacare that have directly targeted the middle class for the last several years.

Since the beginning of the 115th Congress, several pieces of legislation have been introduced to address the failures of Obamacare, one such being the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628). The AHCA was introduced on March 20, 2017 and aims to provide relief to the middle class by increasing access to care, helping to stabilize the insurance market, and ultimately to lower premiums. Notably, this bill would restore power to the states and begin moving health care decisions for Kentuckians out of Washington and allow people to be in charge of their own healthcare. On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives voted to move beyond the pain of Obamacare and passed the AHCA. As the Senate considers legislation to repeal Obamacare, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind.

Moving forward, Congress will continue to work with the administration to build a bridge away from what is not working and towards better care. In the meantime, if you would like to receive periodic updates from my office, please sign up for my eNewsletter at http://mcconnell.senate.gov/, become a fan of my page on Facebook by visiting http://www.facebook.com/mitchmcconnell, or follow my office on Twitter @McConnellPress.



Riders UP!

Derby time, from KY

Well-Known Orca Who Died Had Shocking Level of Toxins in Her Body

Last year, a group of orcas living in the UK endured a heartbreaking tragedy after one of their well-known members was found dead. Now, more troubling news has followed: this week, scientists announced that she had a shocking level of toxic pollutants in her body.

Lulu, the orca who died, was a member of a small resident population of orcas living off the coast of Scotland who are known as the West Coast Community.

In early January, her body was sadly discovered on the shore of Scotland’s Isle of Tiree. It wasn’t clear whether she stranded before or after she died, but scientists from the Scottish Marine Animal Strandings Scheme determined that she had most likely drowned as a result of entanglement.

They wrote at the time, “There were deep, granulating wounds … consistent with a rope wrapping around the tail and trailing behind the animal, probably still attached to something at the other end. This would have made normal swimming very difficult, and we suspect the animal had been entangled for several days. She hadn’t fed recently but had swallowed a large amount of seawater, most likely as she eventually succumbed to the entanglement and drowned.”

Scientists found that Lulu had “shocking levels” of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in her system, which were high enough to make her one of the most contaminated animals ever recorded.

These findings paint a grim picture for the future of these orcas, and for other marine animals.

“The levels of PCB contamination in Lulu were incredibly high, surprisingly so,” Dr. Andrew Brownlow, head of the Scottish Marine Animal Stranding Scheme and veterinary pathologist at Scotland’s Rural College, told BBC News. “They were 20 times higher than the safe level that we would expect for cetaceans to be able to manage.”

Even though they were banned decades ago, PCBs are still extremely persistent in the environment and have continued to make their way into marine ecosystems, even finding their way to the deepest parts of the ocean. They make their way through the marine food web, accumulating at high levels in top predators where they pose a serious risk to their health.

Lulu was estimated to be about 20-years-old when she died, but despite being mature enough, scientists also found she never had a calf. Alarmingly, no calves have been seen among her family members for more than 20 years, which has raised concerns that they are going to go extinct. With as few as eight members left, Lulu’s death has made that even more likely.

The presence of PCBs is suspected of playing a role in the infertility among this group, and may also have contributed to Lulu’s death.

“It is potentially plausible that there was some effect of the PCBs that was in some way debilitating her so she wasn’t strong enough or even aware enough to deal with this entanglement (in fishing line),” added Brownlow. “We very rarely see entanglement in killer whales – actually this is one of the first cases we have documented.”

Her death has raised more questions and worries about how marine animals are going to fare carrying these toxic burdens, among the other threats they face, and about whether we’ll take meaningful action to keep safe from yet more pollution in their environments.

Our actions may have doomed the West Coast Community, but it remains to be seen whether we’ll act quickly enough to save others, including our own beloved Southern Resident Killer Whales.


What's the goofiest thing your pet has ever done?

I have a kitty that used to step on the speed dial button for 911 on my desk. After the cops showed up at my doorstep 3 times, I decided I could dial two extra buttons!

I had a wonderful Borzoi for 12 years. She was super smart. One day she watched me sorting out okra from the garden, then sidled up and stole one. After deciding it was not to her taste, she brought it back and laid it on the table again.

What's yours? Photos optional.

Zinnia Question

Anyone ever have zinnias self-seed from the previous year? I didn't think they could do that, especially through a Zone 7 winter. But weeding the area of my garden where I had a bunch last year, it certainly looks like zinnia seedlings. Can't decide whether to yank them out or not.


Today is International Beaver Day!


Robots Take Over The Apparel Production

Published on April 3, 2017 on LinkedIn by Susanna Koelblin

First large scale shoe robot factory unveiled: Adidas will use machines in Germany instead of humans in Asia to make shoes.


Adidas, the German maker of sportswear, has announced it will start marketing its first series of shoes manufactured by robots in Germany from 2017. More than 20 years after Adidas ceased production activities in Germany and moved them to Asia, Adidas unveiled the group’s new prototype “Speedfactory” in Germany. As of this year, the factory will begin large-scale production. What's more, Adidas will also open a second Speedfactory in the U.S. in 2017, followed by more in Western Europe. According to the company, the German and American plants will in the "mid-term" each scale up to producing half a million pair of shoes per year.


Cost of an Industrial Robot: €/$ 5 an hour

German robot maker Kuka, acquired last year by China’s Midea, estimates a typical industrial robot costs about 5 euros an hour. Manufacturers spend 50 euros an hour to employ someone in Germany and about 10 euros an hour in China. Rather than seek out an even cheaper source of labor elsewhere - in another emerging Asian economy, say - Chinese manufacturers are choosing to install more robots, especially for more complex tasks. China isn't getting rid of the work, just the workers.

Several excellent graphs here.

Re-Homing a Horse

I have a cute little Quarter Horse mare, that showed up with a gelding, at my barn when I was still out in CA. They were starving, wormy, with sores, and nylon halters embedded in their noses. I only meant to get them rehabbed, and then find other homes for them.

That was several years ago. I ended up moving them with my other horses from CA back to KY. I placed the gelding (35 years old, and hardly any teeth left) with a friend as a companion to her old gelding. He's still in great shape, and doing very well. I still need to re-home the mare. I have ridden her previously, but she was trained Western. I ride dressage. Have not had time or energy to re-train her for a discipline for which she's not really suited. I want her to go to a home that only wants her as a pet or companion, or is willing to put her back into professional training for a tune-up. She's not a kid horse without that. We think she's about 20 years old. She's about 14 hands, healthy, with good feet, all vacc's and worming current. Bright chestnut with white markings.

I am in southwestern Kentucky. Please email me privately for more info and photos. Sorry, Photobucket can't seem to rotate this photo.

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