Archive for Washington

Lauren Mayer: 'Dynamic Scoring'

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LaurenMayerDynamicScoringw306h202


Lauren Mayer is a singer/songwriter/pianist who writes comedy songs about everything from Supreme Court decisions to the Kardashians. She proudly supports leftist causes including equal pay, reproductive choice, fair minimum wage, addressing climate change, and marriage equality.
Note: Check out Lauren's CDs, including her latest, "If My Uterus Were A Gun (And Other Musical Rants From The News)" - available at "http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/laurenmayer8" as well as on iTunes and Amazon. Her website is laurenmayer.com. She's on Twitter at @laurenscomedy

From YouTube:

A musical salute to the GOP tax policy's new war on math

From the video:

When the facts are kind of boring, just make them up to fit your case!

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Out of Print? New Media is all about the digital, Ba-bey.

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The day the Hearst printing presses in Washington state turned out the last edition of the famed Seattle Post-Intelligencer, a few years back. I’m all for the New Media, hell, I’m here, but I confess to a well of sadness springing up within. This marks the first newspaper of it’s size and age (146 years) to move completely online.

I’m compelled to ask, what’s next for the industry guillotine, America? Are we poised on the cusp of being a society completely Out of Print?

The fateful day The New York Times put advertising on their front page, it heralded a seismic shift in the mores and future of print journalism. Next, The Washington Post saw the need to nearly jettison the in-depth nature of the business section they’ve been producing since the 1880′s. Their Book World section bit the dust already. Folks can now download
such things to Kindle or iPad.

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WaPo was my local paper for several wonderful years, and just long enough ago that they were still considered a part of the famed biased liberal media. As a matter of fact, my mentor/professor Sec. Madeleine Albright had some fascinating stories involving her marital sticky wickets while she was married to one of the paper’s legendary editors. She was at State under
President Carter for some events her spouse felt to be of keen interest to him, but alas, his security clearance didn’t accommodate that level of pillow talk.

I confess to now getting the bulk of my news online. As bloggers we crave and seek the dérnier cri on every topic, it’s virtually part and parcel of one’s self esteem as an informed and truly proactive citizen.

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We nearly haven’t the patience for print. Instant gratification triumphs again. My European friends and acquaintances have been right since school, we drive-through life as Americans, opting for speed -- over true depth or revelry.

Then a shiny link takes our eye, and the phenomenon of the Internets add clicks in to gear … fourteen links later, you’re about to click Review Purchase/Submit for a lilac smooth-cup, balconette pushup bra On Sale for next-to-nothing at Victoria’s Secret.

So I ask, with as usual a relevant Seinfeld in mind, what is genuinely savor-worthy anymore?

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For there used to be nothing like a Sunday morning built around your local/chosen, plump with possibilities and plans, uber-gigantic print newspaper. Passing the husband my Powerbook along with seconds on raspberries simply won’t cut it.

Not only would there be créme fraiche garnishing my keyboard, I’d also have to stand on my head to navigate pull-down menus for him. And it’s just not as satisfying to get fired up about a Maureen Dowd piece, and dramatically evince a “Can you believe her? Read this!!” when you are referencing a computer screen rather than angrily passing the real thing with a satisfying paper snap.

Then the stereotypical obvious: how in the world can one hide behind the Living section at the breakfast table? Shall we see men parading into their daily bathroom multi-tasking sessions with a laptop under their arms for a good read of the sports headlines? I think not.

I do love the New Media, again, I participate a bit in variants of the same. Yet I also feel strongly that this is a rapidly morphing cultural paradigm with far-reaching and yet unanticipated ripples. Now Don’t Even Pack re the green arguments, we have mentally pre-countered them all.

I leave you with two alarming and cautionary words : Crossword Puzzles.

 

fiscal

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NYT's Maureen Dowd OD's On Marijuana And Blames The Candy

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There's nothing like trying something before writing about it. And that's what New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd did recently -- and not without some lingering effects. For an article she was writing on Colorado's legal marijuana culture, she decided to try some of the "edibles" which contain cannabis. So far so good.

So, she bought a caramel-chocolate flavored candy bar which she said looked so innocent, like the Sky Bars she used to love as a kid. After she took one bite, then another, she didn't notice anything happening. Perhaps she was disappointed but for whatever reason, she decided in her impatience to gobble down the rest of the bar.

She waited, and then it happened. The effects began. In her NYT article, she writes:

But then I felt a scary shudder go through my body and brain. I barely made it from the desk to the bed, where I lay curled up in a hallucinatory state for the next eight hours. I was thirsty but couldn’t move to get water. Or even turn off the lights. I was panting and paranoid, sure that when the room-service waiter knocked and I didn’t answer, he’d call the police and have me arrested for being unable to handle my candy.

Based on that experience, she's come to some conclusions. The biggest one being that the entire marijuana industry was set up for potheads, people who smoked frequently. This nascent business has to educate new or first time users prior to selling them the edible goods so people will know what to expect to feel.

That's not a bad idea. But her article goes on to condemn and point out the dangers of legalization, even trying to equate her unfortunate experience with people jumping off buildings and kids eating marijuana-laced goodies and ending up with irreparable harm. These are possible, but not probable. And the reason is, she OD'd because she lacked common sense.

The next day, a medical consultant at an edibles plant where I was conducting an interview mentioned that candy bars like that are supposed to be cut into 16 pieces for novices; but that recommendation hadn’t been on the label.

So in essence, she took 16 times the amount she should have taken. No wonder she got herself into a bit of a problem. If she had bought a fifth of scotch and drunk the whole thing, she would have gotten sick or drunk or both on that too. There's no suggested servings printed on a bottle of booze. So I find it a bit disingenuous that she faults the experience on her naivete. She's been around. She knows you don't go from one bite to the whole bar, just as you don't go from one shot glass of Glenlivet to the whole bottle.

Her suggestion that if this had been alcohol, she'd have known better doesn't really hold water. She claims in her article that people know you have to be careful in how much you drink, when only an idiot or the most simpleminded would think that taking too much of a marijuana laced edible wouldn't lead to some ill effects.

But that said, I do think the public has been so scared by lies and innuendos--the Reefer Madness syndrome--that more education of the public might not be such a bad thing. But Dowd's reckless accusations that it was the lack of full labeling or the implication that she needed more knowledge to safely ingest is a disservice to an industry. If she was new to this kind of purchase, why didn't she ask when she bought the candy bar how much she should take to feel some effects? The next day when she asked, she was told. A bad assumption on her part made an ass of her, not a better investigative columnist.

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Republicans Are Right - Obamacare is Closing Hospitals - And For Good Reason

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Obamacare

Death Panels. Cancelled insurance coverage. Long lines. Doctors refusing patients. Hospitals closing. The GOP pulled out all the stops in their multiple pushes to kill Obamacare. And of all of their warnings, threats and cautions, they actually were right in one of their many alarms. Hospital closings.

But I don't think this is what they had in mind. From Talking Points Memo:

On the last Wednesday in January, the RotaCare Tacoma free clinic in Washington state put away the chairs in the university janitor's lunchroom where it had made its home and closed its doors for the last time.

The clinic, served by volunteer physicians and registered nurses, had carried 150 patients at any given time to serve the uninsured population in this city of about 200,000. But after Obamacare took full effect in January, and this clinic completed its drive to enroll all of its patients in coverage, it didn't have anyone left to serve.

What? Obamacare has really done it now. In its attempt to bring health coverage to those that couldn't afford any, it has now caused a volunteer organization to close its doors, pull shut the drapes and send everyone home? Damn that Obamacare! It was supposed to be helping people!

How can we allow this socialist program to continue when it's causing such irreparable harm? Maybe this is just an isolated incident. Or maybe it's not.

That makes RotaCare Tacoma an unusual case, but not an entirely unique one. Free clinic directors in Iowa and Ohio said they haven't seen anything like it on a systematic level. But there is the story of a free clinic in Medina, Ark., which closed in April after seeing its numbers dwindle from 300 to 80 to three as people obtained coverage through Obamacare in the first three months of 2014.

Putting aside the stupid arguments the Republican healthcare Chicken Littles have expounded over the past five years, the Affordable Care Act is working, and in ways even better than expected.

So maybe the Republicans were right about the closing of health care facilities. Let's give them that. But let's also wallow over the fantastic reason this is coming into being. Millions who needed insurance are now getting it. And millions more who had it are now getting upgraded, fuller coverage. There's a long ways to go, but Republican governors are starting to hear the rebellious calls and realize they can not keep healthcare away from millions much longer.

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