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Somehow You Just Knew Atheists Were Responsible [EvolutionBlog]

July 20, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

Here’s Texas Republican representative Louie Gohmert explaining the cause of the killings at that Colorado movie theater:

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said Friday that the shootings that took place in an Aurora, Colo. movie theater hours earlier were a result of “ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs” and questioned why nobody else in the theater had a gun to take down the shooter.    Read more

No feminine mystique here: Women’s health care problems glaringly clear [The Pump Handle]

July 20, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

by Kim Krisberg

Legislative attacks on women’s health care are so commonplace these days that they make proposals that don’t include a state-mandated vaginal probe seem moderate.

In fact, so many legislators are introducing proposals under the guise of protecting women’s health (2011 marked a record number of reproductive health restrictions), that it was pretty refreshing to read how the Affordable Care Act will actually protect women’s health. Like, for real.    Read more

“A job well done for President Obama” [A Few Things Ill Considered]

July 19, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

This is not my opinion!  But forget about damning with faint praise, given the source this is damning with high praise.    Read more

Battling antivaccinationists at FreedomFest, part 2 (Dr. Whitaker responds) [Respectful Insolence]

July 19, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

During this year’s TAM, I had the distinct pleasure of accompanying Steve Novella and Michael Shermer to debate an antivaccinationist at FreedomFest, a conservative/libertarian confab that was going on in Las Vegas at the same time as TAM. That antivaccinationist turned out to be Dr. Julian Whitaker, a man who champions Dr. Stanislaw Burzynski and is one of Suzanne Somer’s doctors. There’s no polite way to put this, Steve Novella wiped the floor with Dr. Whitaker, mercilessly pummeling him with facts, analysis, and logic to the point where even the audience appeared to be grumbling.    Read more

Why Romney is Struggling to Explain His Time at Bain [EvolutionBlog]

July 18, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

Via Andrew Sullivan, we have this interesting essay, by Jacob Weisberg, discussing why Mitt Romney is struggling to defend his history at Bain Capital. The whole essay is worth reading, but I especially liked this part:    Read more

Alienating Moderates [EvolutionBlog]

July 18, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

In the course of a generally favorable review of Among the Creationists over at The Panda’s Thumb blog, Matt Young wrote the following:    Read more

Of Geese and Ganders [A Few Things Ill Considered]

July 17, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

“Show me the code!” This is the rallying cry of climate “skeptics” everywhere and the foundation of the numerous climate conspiracy insinuations hurled around the blogosphere.

Well, apparently what is good for the goose, the infamous Hockeystick, is not so good for the gander, the Wegman Report.

Please see John Mashey’s article on Desmog Blog.    Read more

Chicken, UTIs, and a long-festering antibiotic problem [The Pump Handle]

July 16, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

If you haven’t yet read Maryn McKenna’s riveting Atlantic article “How Your Chicken Dinner is Creating a Drug-Resistant Superbug,” you should. McKenna, working with the with the Food and Environment Reporting Network, has delved into research that’s been accumulating about the association between the extensive use of antibiotics in poultry and the increase in drug-resistant urinary tract infections.    Read more

Healthcare Survives Supreme Court [Page 3.14]

July 16, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

Chief Justice John Roberts proved himself an independent thinker last month, siding against his fellow conservatives (and Republican appointees) in upholding the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Roberts agreed that Congress could not force a citizen to buy insurance, but allowed the individual mandate to survive as a tax. In the meantime, the ruling placed limits on federal power to expand Medicaid, leaving 16 million people in the lurch.    Read more

Hunger games: Congress targets food stamps

July 13, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

by Kim Krisberg

Hunger in America can be hard to see. It doesn’t look like the image of hunger we usually see on our TVs: the wrenching impoverishment and emaciation. Talking about American hunger is hard because, well, there’s food all around us. Everywhere you look, there’s food — people eating food, people selling food, people advertising food, people wasting food, people dying of eating too much food. The obesity epidemic alone is getting so big that it’s slowly swallowing the health care system in billions of dollars of care.

We have a food problem.

But food cost money. So for some people, the problem is access to enough food. And in the aftermath of a recession, the foreclosure crisis and high unemployment, many more Americans need help putting food on the table. Specifically, many more families are seeking help through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as SNAP and previously referred to as the food stamp program.    Read more

Albany Plan of Union [Greg Laden's Blog]

July 4, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

The following document was written by Benjamin Franklin in 1754, and is said to have been influenced by the structure of the Iroquois Confederacy, of which Franklin was well aware.  This is essentially the first draft of the Articles of Confederation and closely reflects Franklin’s contribution to the Constitution of the United States.

The Albany Plan of Union

It is proposed that humble application be made for an act of Parliament of Great Britain, by virtue of which one general government may be formed in America, including all the said colonies, within and under which government each colony may retain its present constitution, except in the particulars wherein a change may be directed by the said act, as hereafter follows.    Read more

Happy birthday, Freedom of Information Act! [The Pump Handle]

July 4, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

While the adoption of the Declaration of Independence is the most important anniversary that the US celebrates on July 4th, this date is also the anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act. President Johnson signed the FOIA on July 4, 1966 – although he apparently wasn’t happy about it, and refused to hold a signing ceremony.

The National Security Archive — which is not a government agency, but a nonprofit based at the George Washington University (where I work) — looked back at the history of FOIA on its 40th anniversary in 2006, and reported:    Read more

Things I Learned from My Foster Children, Part I [Casaubon's Book]

July 3, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

A little while back we took our current foster sons to visit the university where Eric teaches physics.  The boys had never visited a university before, and were curious about who goes there and what they do when they are there.   This led to a discussion of the value of a college education, what kinds of jobs require college, and what kind don’t.

From here, we segued to “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and it was here that the enormous gap between my biological children, trained from birth to see an adult profession/vocation, mixed perhaps with informal economic activities, as their future; and K. and C.’s very different experience.    Read more

Another Week of GW News – July 1, 2012 [A Few Things Ill Considered]

July 3, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

Logging the Onset of The Bottleneck YearsThis weekly posting is brought to you courtesy of H. E. Taylor. Happy reading, I hope you enjoy this week’s Global Warming news roundup    Read more

Still more SCOTUS coverage, especially on Medicaid [The Pump Handle]

July 2, 2012 by ScienceBlogs

Joe Paduda at Managed Care Matters has posted the second of two parts in the special edition of Health Wonk Review responding to the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act: Part I is here, and Part II is here.

I’m delighted with the Court’s decision to uphold the law as a whole, but concerned about its making the Medicaid expansion optional. One Slate article and two posts on the Health Affairs Blog (one of which was included in Part I of the special-edition HWR) are especially helpful in thinking about the Medicaid aspect of the decision:    Read more

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