Archive for health

Hit Me With Your Best Shot - on ice, please, and lots of ice

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BabyIceORIG
Vertical dunking on the rocks? Genius.

The trend moving to all corners of the country (and overseas), of getting dunked and with a very large bucket of ice water (hope they at least add a lime wedge) is full-blown viral.

Even Grandma Ethel Kennedy  took it like a sailor. AND she also challenged President Obama.

Still giving back, Dame Ethel.

pippin

The viral trend has drawn celebrities, athletes, and politicians, including the Kennedys, to participate in the #IceBucketChallenge. And they spared no one — after thirty or so members of the Kennedy family poured freezing water over their heads, they nominated "Grandma Ethel," one of the eldest in the family, to follow suit. She did — but not before she named President Obama to be next.

Next, QEII? Bet she'd still have her ubiquitous purse. Doncha' sometimes wildly wonderwhat the Queen has in her trademark hand bag? 

Morning Schmoe got frisky for a few moments on messnbc.

rachel-maddow-msnbc-ice-water

GO Maddow!

Then the Roundtable of The Morning Ick:

Gaah!

 

For the record, ALS is Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It’s a disease of the nerve cells in both the brain and the spinal chord that control voluntary muscle movement. Over time, it weakens your muscles and your ability to voluntarily control your muscles, killing you. ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Here is the website to donate to the ALS Association: ALSA.org. And here is another website, made by the family of Peter Frates who was recently diagnosed with ALS; they are heavy proponents of “striking out ALS” and the ice bucket challenge: www.petefrates.com.

gunscar2

Here's the history, ably summarized by The Verge.

WHAT'S GOING ON?
Everyone you've seen is participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The challenge involves daring a person to dump a bucket of ice water over their head within the next 24 hours, or else donate money — usually $100 — toward fighting ALS. Even if a person completes the challenge, they're more than welcome to donate money too.

Once a person completes the challenge, they're also supposed to dare several other people — usually three — to participate, which is why the challenge has been growing and growing.

 

Photo courtesy of

 

This Hawaiian footage of flash-mob dumps/observers, below, is priceless.

Jimmy Fallon outdid himself - video below.

Now that's funny right there, no matter how you judge the cause.

 

bucket

colbertonfox

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Ebola for Dummeez, att: Donald Trump

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fear cartoon ebola

The following is Donald Trump's needlessly-fear-mongering tweet about the Ebola patients coming back home to the United States for treatment to, you know, save their lives:

This confirms for the umpteenth time what an utter ignoramus and needy attention-seeker Trump is.

I have been critical of Alex Witt in the past, but she outdid herself today. She conducted a thorough, crystal clear, and ultra-informative interview with infectious disease specialist Dr. William Schaffner from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine about the Ebola virus and how it spreads. Unfortunately, MSNBC only provided part of the excellent segment that extended into a second interview with their medical correspondent, Nancy Snyderman. I'm including an earlier conversation that she and Snyderman had instead.

Donald Trump could learn a thing or two about a thing or two. Whipping up fear inside the U.S. is reckless and stupid, two things at which Trump excels. One thing at which he miserably fails: Telling the truth.

Dr. Schaffner's obvious sub-specialty is spreading the truth and dispelling rumors about this "terribly serious infection, but one that's not readily transmissible." Presenting Ebola for Dummeez:

The fears are unfounded, Alex. I'm going to tell you honestly that we in public health and infectious diseases are a little surprised at how much anxiety there is about this, because we know about this infection, we know it's very serious, we know how it's transmitted, and we're very confident that we can take care of such patients safely...

They're going to take very good care of this patient absolutely safely, no hazard to folks in the street...

You can imagine that the resources [in Africa] are not as elaborate as those that we have here. .. It's the supportive care [that we have here] that's going to help these people surmount this infection...

Being able to send specimens immediately off to the laboratory and get the results back quickly, and then assessing organ function... we can monitor the heart very carefully, and then if something goes wrong, we can call in the specialists to attend to it, we have the drugs available, and we can monitor their impact very, very carefully...

We have [resources] available in this country and virtually in every large community hospital. It's very reassuring...

In Africa [Ebola] strikes most people who are adults, because they exchange body fluids... One of the ways it's spread in Africa has to do with funeral practices and cultural activities that are deeply embedded. When someone dies, out of respect to the person who's passed, the body is washed very, very carefully, including all the body orifices, and that's done by family and dear friends. And it's in that actual activity that they're exposed to the virus and transmission can occur to those family and friends... That's part of the reason it's spreading...

Airborne transmission has not been demonstrated... is very unlikely. So there's no good evidence of that at present [In a later part of the segment that wasn't included in the clip, this is confirmed and expanded upon by Snyderman]. And in any event, these patients that are being brought here are being protected from airborne transmission. Our healthcare workers are taking the appropriate precautions...

[Re: The protective gear]: They know how to put it on and in what sequence to take it off so that they don't contaminate themselves. They're very rigorously trained, and when you do it, you're observed doing it correctly...

It's not the amount of oxygen [in the room, levels, ventilation], it's that the room is balanced so that air goes into the room, it doesn't leak out. It is then filtered and exhausted after it's cleansed, so it's very rigorously controlled.

There was so much more information that we could all appreciate. MSNBC did us a disservice by editing down the segment.

Here is the clip of Alex Witt with Nancy Snyderman:

Alex Witt:

What are the chances that the virus could spread here in the U.S.?

Snyderman:

Zero to none.

Got that, Trump?

stfu plz

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Breaking: Federal Appeals Court Gives Obamacare Significant Setback

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nononononoandno

More details to come, Fvx Nation has Karl Rove practically limboing under a pole, so they think it's good news over in fantasy world.

A Washington D.C. Federal Court of Appeals has just tried to make an end run around Obamacare and fee/subsidy systems as they pertain to the I.R.S., a decision that could seriously imperil implementation of the Affordable Care Act. As MSNBC reported," … without those subsidies, insurance could become prohibitively expensive, seriously hurting the law and potentially pushing it into a death spiral." Link below.

MSNBC looks as if they will be updating their coverage regularly, link here.

Footage as soon as possible of John Earnest's first block of questions in the Press Room.

From the New York Times.

Federal Appeals Court Deals Setback to Health Care Law
In a ruling that could upend President Obama’s health care law, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the government could not subsidize premiums for people in three dozen states that use the federal insurance exchange. The 2-to-1 ruling could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace.

IfYoureBuyingImSellingw244h244

Under the Affordable Care Act, the court said, subsidies are available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.
The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.

Update, 12:35 PMEST  Another federal appeals court in the neighborhood, hailing in from Virginia this time, made some opposite news shortly after lunch. Think Progress reported that the first case rests just about on a typo:

Punishing Millions For A Proofreading Error

The two Republicans’ decision rests on a glorified typo in the Affordable Care Act itself. Obamacare gives states a choice. They can either run their own health insurance exchange where their residents may buy health insurance, and receive subsidies to help them pay for that insurance if they qualify, or they can allow the federal government to run that exchange for them. Yet the plaintiffs’ in this case uncovered a drafting error in the statute where it appears to limit the subsidies to individuals who obtain insurance through “an Exchange established by the State.” Randolph and Griffith’s opinion concludes that this drafting error is the only thing that matters. In their words, “a federal Exchange is not an ‘Exchange established by the State,’” and that’s it. The upshot of this opinion is that 6.5 million Americans will lose their ability to afford health insurance, according to one estimate.

 

Update 2:35 PMEST Ultimately, the ruling in Virginia opposed the decision made in the District. Think Progress said:

Unlike the DC Circuit’s opinion, the Fourth Circuit is a model of judicial restraint and humility. Although all three judges on the Fourth Circuit panel were nominated by Democratic presidents (Judge Roger Gregory, who authored the opinion, has the unusual distinction of being nominated by both President Clinton and the second President Bush), the majority opinion does not claim, as the DC Circuit did, that this case is a slam-dunk for their political party’s preferred outcome. Indeed, it claims that different provisions of the law seem to conflict with one another, and that the meaning of the statute is ambiguous. Though Judge Gregory’s opinion concludes that the Obama Administration “make[s] the better of the two cases” regarding how the law should be read, he also writes that “we are not convinced that either of the purported statutory conflicts render Congress’s intent clear.”

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Pat Robertson: Busily Sowing A Fear of Witchcraft Like It Is 1692

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ideasfrompornPat
Huge thanks to the folks at Raw Story for getting this offensive smut of Pat Robertson's reported and out on the airwaves.

As a direct female to female descendent of Rebecca Nurse, hung in Salem, Massachusetts a rather long time ago, this ticks me off. Royally. This is the best Pat can come up with? Is he just ripping off Alan Ball, catching a little True Blood cachet because he heard there were some Right Wingers in it?

{Sidebar: If you're a fan, you so know that there ARE Wingers in True Blood and they are SO well depicted it's as electrifying as Sookie in a Mood ... the Tea Party undercurrents are handled with deftness, and if you have been watching Ball forever, you know why his first HBO Series 'Six Feet Under' is still important as a wild, California-West Coast lens or socio-political record of the Bush culture and years.}

Back to the candidate for reigning King of the Regressive Right Asshattery, Pat Robertson. This ... blind, lame and deeply crippled philosophy, or transparently rampant superstition, is the sort of intellect of a man they build universities 'to' in places like Virginia? The husband pursued the collegial Arts at Lynchburg for a spell, bless his New Jersey heart, the tales are frightening and completely explain his time as a Dead Head.

pat-robertsoncraycray

Witchcraft? Seriously?!?

Without further ado. Pat Robertson.

What a way to celebrate Bastille Day ... bring out the Senior Religionist Fringe!

In a nutshell, Pat Robertson answered a 700 Club Dear Abby letter from a mother claiming her son was in demon-induced agony by telling her to look over to Ancestry.com or the family Bible and find the wicked witch of an ancestress she was meant to identify and fixate blame on.

Rebecca Nurse was said to have gone to her death with the kind of dignity my generation might expect from Dame Judy Dench or the intrepid Ethel Kennedy.

Idon'talwaysListentoPatR

In the meantime, Pat Robertson is busy sowing fear, creating one more 'Other' to avoid, casting seeds of hate and demonizing those he imagines are out to get him. How much does Pat Robertson remind you of a paranoid conspiracy-theorizing guy with fully-stocked and staffed bunkers in at least two countries?

Somewhat more eccentric underneath than either J. Edgar Hoover at home or a randy Dick Morris ... The Full Vitter Truthiness Challenged Territories?

Excerpted from one of the great folks over at Raw Story, David Edwards, these eminently Tweetable, Bizarro Robertson 700 Club and All Purpose Christian talking points that really rang my alarm bell.

Instead of recommending that the mother seek medical attention, Robertson said that the boy could be “oppressed or possessed by demons.”

Sounds smart.
really-snl

You see, the mother had mentioned extreme belly pain in a teenage boy, distress akin to a gut punch - a Big Mac might have been the first culprit looked to. Or an aversion to organized religion at ungodly hours. But, no, Robertson had the cockamamie 'truth' to be touted in his absolutely un-researched reading of the situation, aka a shot at the most fashionable Hater target du Jour for Wingers, the occult or 'somebody in witchcraft'. Double points if the witch is a member of the LGBTQ community or a skin color other than 'pale'.

pat1

“You need to get somebody with you who understands the spiritual dimension and doing spiritual warfare,” he continued. “If I were you, I would look back in your family. What in your family — do you have anybody involved in the occult, somebody in witchcraft or tarot cards or psychic things?”

“Has there something been there that you don’t know about. Some grandparent, great grandparent or something. Look into the family tree, and then get some people in there and cast this stuff out. But that does not sound like normal.”

So Robertson is advocating for exorcism, now? Has he been watching too much modern melodrama on the silver screen, got a wee streaming habit, there Pat? Global warming, No Way ... but looking back to cast out demons and witches is your spiritual and gastroenterological diagnosis?

Better reenroll in one of your Born Again colleges. Silly season doesn't even cover it.

Which leaves progressives faced with the farsical and fanciful or simply surreal set of circumstances to dissect. And an unendingly enormous appreciation of humor.

justshootme

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Talk To The Trees And They Now Will Listen To You

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Rain Forest

In 1951 a Broadway musical called Paint Your Wagon with book and lyrics by Alan J. Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe hit the boards. Then, in 1969 it became a successful film with popular songs like "They Call the Wind Mariah" and "Wanderin' Star."

But there was also another tune which Clint Eastwood sang in the movie version: "I Talk To The Trees."

I talk to the trees
But they don't listen to me
I talk to the stars
But they never hear me

Now there's a way to talk to the trees and they WILL listen to you.

According to HuffPo: 

Did you know that Americans throw away 150 million cellphones every year? Well now there's a new way to put some of those old phones to use. A startup called the Rainforest Connection plans to turn old, unwanted Android phones into sophisticated listening devices that can help prevent illegal logging and poaching.

Waste not, want not. So don't just toss away those old phones when you get a new one. Do something good for the environment. Help prevent the destruction of the rain forest. A simple recycling or your old cell can help save the rain forest which in turn helps save our environment.

The phones will not only help protect trees and endangered species, they will also have a direct effect on the planet. Rainforest Connection says each of their deployed phones will save 300 hectares of forest. This will provide a CO2 benefit the equivalent of removing 3,000 cars from the road for a year.

That's so little effort to do so much good. Maybe next time you talk to the trees, they WILL listen to you. Or at least there will still be trees to talk to.

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Breaking: Hobby Lobby and Corporate Contraceptive Power Upheld by SCROTUS *Updated*

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Image, Cagle Cartoons

Image, Cagle Cartoons

Supreme Court Rules for Companies in Hobby Lobby Case.

SCROTUS screwed us again. When Alito was rumored to be writing, we knew.

As feared, they ruled for the Green Family and Hobby Lobby and Born Again Wackadoos everywhere this disappointing Monday in late June. Poli-comedian John Fugelsang summed it up.

The women's movement just took a giant hit. From MSNBC news, the initial shock and awe. Craig Melvin had the anchor chair.

 

 

Absolutely catch Nicole Sandler's program now or later on Radio Or Not, as she superbly gives the Progressive view on Hobby Slobby and other SCROTUS rulings coming down the pike. And catch her post "Supremely Wrong", fresh this morning right here at the Carnival.

Some fine background from Think Progress should catch you up to where we are - still reeling from the decision and seeing how the ruling is explained to We the People.

From the day the justices agreed to decide whether employers with religious objections to birth control can refuse to follow a federal rule requiring employer-provided health plans to cover contraception, a broad array of Court watchers have treated the Hobby Lobby litigation as the single most important issue facing the justices this term,this site has probably given this impression as well.

Cartoon by Shan, Durango Telegraph.

Cartoon by Shan, Durango Telegraph.

Updates below on this absurd Hobby Lobby Ruling!

8:55 a.m. PST UPDATE From The Caucus Blogs at the New York Times:

Justice Samuel Alito, writing for the Court, declared that family-owned corporations like Hobby Lobby cannot be forced to pay for contraception for employees. The ruling means that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 applies to corporations, that the contraception requirement placed a substantial burden on companies like Hobby Lobby, and that the government has not chosen the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest — the most demanding test in constitutional law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the court’s four-member liberal wing, said the contraception coverage requirement was vital to women’s healthy and reproductive freedom. Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan joined almost all of the dissent, but they said there was no need to take a position on whether corporations may bring claims under the religious liberty law.

On that point, Justice Ginsburg, joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, said the court’s decision “is bound to have untoward effects” in other settings.

“The court’s expansive notion of corporate personhood,” Justice Ginsburg wrote, “invites for-profit entities to seek religion-based exemptions from regulations they deem offensive to their faiths.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling was greeted by cheers from anti-abortion groups that gathered at the court Monday morning. As soon as the decision was announced, chants arose of “Hobby Lobby wins! Hobby lobby wins!”

liarliar

Lori Windham, a lawyer representing Hobby Lobby, celebrated the decision but was cautious in interpreting it, noting that the ruling was “narrow and careful.”

10:30 PST Analysis continues to grow. Ronan Farrow Daily at MSNBC had a roundtable to discuss.
Akhil Amar, Terry O’Neill, Karen Finney and Robert Traynham have a look at the Supreme Court’s ruling that once again puts businesses before people.

10:40 a.m. PST Nicole Sandler posted Supremely Wrong -- a Progressive do not miss.

1:30 p.m. PST Alex Wagner had some fine analysis on her MSNBC program, Now, at the top of the hour.

If you want to make your voice heard, Daily Kos paved the way.

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Mid-Day Distraction: Gluten-Free People Have No Idea What Gluten Is

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Jimmy Kimmel

A Jimmy Kimmel Pedestrian Question!

What is Gluten?

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