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Member since: Sun Sep 7, 2008, 05:13 PM
Number of posts: 17,926

Journal Archives

Yet another attack on women by another means

Trump's plan would remove the head of household exemption. Disproportionately 'head of households' (single parents) are women. Their taxes will go up for having the audacity of not being married.

“If you’re a low- or moderate-income single parent, you’re going to get hurt,” said Tax Policy Center fellow Bob Williams, according to CBS News.


There is a way to bypass the Electoral College without a constitutional ammendment.


States are allowed under the Constitution to award their electors however they like. In theory having a coin flip would be legal. The national popular vote is an interstate compact where the states pass legislation to award all their electors to the winner of the national popular vote.

So far 11 states (well 10 states + DC) totaling 165 electoral votes have passed this compact in their state. States which have already passed the national popular vote:

To avoid penalizing states which adopt early the compact only takes effect once states totaling 270 electoral votes pass similar legislation. Once that happens the winner of the national popular vote will always have 270+ EV and the electoral college is essentially moot. It will still exist until repealed by an amendment but it will be easier to repeal it after a couple of decades under the national popular vote. Even if you are in favor of a full repeal the national popular vote is a way to get there.

Meet the Toy Smuggler of Syria

This man risks his life to bring toys to the kids of Syria.

Our POTUS wants you to make a plan ...

Sadly in Virginia I can't vote early. However if you live in a state that hasn't asininely decided 3 million people must all vote in the same 11 hour window ... VOTE EARLY!

In the good ol' days ...


This is a chilling example of why Trump can not be President.

(not sure how to embed the video)

Does Pence not get the irony of leaving this tweet up?


The 2016 Chevy Volt: An energy-efficient car that doesn’t drive like one

Overall, the Volt was easy to drive. It handled curves and bumps in the road well, the brakes were super smooth—not always the easiest thing to accomplish with a hybrid that has to juggle regenerative braking and traditional brake disks—and the high-tech safety features were a nice bonus. We're now big fans of Apple CarPlay when it works. The Volt is an efficient car, too—with help from the tracker on the dashboard I even beat Chevy’s promise of 53 electric-only miles by a mile

Once I was past the electric range of the car, the Volt was still smooth and handled extremely well. When I got back into my old Civic Hybrid at the end of the day, which is slow to accelerate and doesn’t absorb potholes and bumps in the road well, it was a noticeable difference. Yes, my own car is older, but the Volt didn't feel like an energy-efficient car. And that's a good thing. Stay tuned for a full review of the Volt in the coming months.


I am often accused of being biased in favor of Tesla but I have to give credit to Chevy here. The 2016 Volt is pretty impressive and if Chevy can deliver on a 200 mile 2018 Bolt well they will finally redeem themselves for the EV1 debacle. I wonder if Chevy is kicking themselves. Keeping the EV1 running as a niche production line would have been a tiny portion of their budget but the experience gained would have allowed them to utterly destroy competitors in the plugin hybrid and EV segments. Still better late than never. More EVs from everyone please!

Drug Goes From $13.50 a Tablet to $750, Overnight

Source: New York Times

Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“What is it that they are doing differently that has led to this dramatic increase?” said Dr. Judith Aberg, the chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She said the price increase could force hospitals to use “alternative therapies that may not have the same efficacy.”

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html?partner=msft_msn&_r=1

Wow. I had no idea this is happening. Then again it isn't surprising. It is mostly nich medicines which end up below the radar. Not exactly sure how the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals sleeps at night


NASA releases panoramic photo of "arctic sunset" over Pluto


The latest images from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft have scientists stunned – not only for their breathtaking views of Pluto’s majestic icy mountains, streams of frozen nitrogen and haunting low-lying hazes, but also for their strangely familiar, arctic look.

“This image really makes you feel you are there, at Pluto, surveying the landscape for yourself,” said New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern, of the Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, Colorado. “But this image is also a scientific bonanza, revealing new details about Pluto’s atmosphere, mountains, glaciers and plains.”


I am so happy this mission didn't get axed. We know so little about Pluto and Horizon collected so much it will continue to download it to us for the next three years as it sails into the dark. But no retirement for Horizon yet. In a couple years it will maneuver to do a flyby of a Kuiper Belt Object "named" 2014-MU69 on January 1st, 2019. Since it is so far from the sun (>40x as far as Earth) we know almost nothing about the Kuiper Belt. A total bonus mission.

I am not sure how I feel (or how I should feel) about this.

In the middle of last school year, Lila Perry came out as transgender. Before that, she had been living as a gay male.

But that’s not who she really was. No longer was she going to pretend, Lila said.

So this year, she told teachers and administrators at Hillsboro High School, where she is a senior, that she would no longer be content to use a unisex faculty bathroom. She wanted to be treated like other female students, including access to bathrooms and locker rooms for girls.

Her decision spread quickly through the small Jefferson County school district and, on Monday morning, students at Hillsboro High School walked out in protest. During the walkout, Lila was locked in the principal’s office. She said she and administrators worried about her safety.



I try to think of myself as progressive (at least on social issues). Where is the line between the rights of the individual and the rights of everyone else? Is it bigoted for the parents of the (anatomical) girls in the school to not want a transgender student in the same bathroom? I get the idea of gender identity being different than anatomical gender. I guess I am confused as to how this will all play out in the practical sense.
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