Paul Krugman: Health-Reform Realities (NY Times)
So progressives must set some priorities. And it's really hard to see, given this picture, why it makes any sense to spend political capital on a quixotic attempt at a do-over, not of a political failure, but of health reform - their biggest victory in many years.
Isaac Chotiner: Hillary Clinton Won Sunday Night's Debate (Slate)
With a strong defense of President Obama, she got the better of Bernie Sanders.
Andrew Tobias: This Will Be A Terrific Week ...
Aaaaaaanyway . . . despair does little good, even in falling markets, and my point is: I would like to dedicate this week to making you feel better. So one day this week I will add health and length to your life. And another day this week I will make you feel good about an important new macro-economic development we're about to nail down.
Nora Caplan-Bricker: The Infamous Reddit "Ask a Rapist" Thread Is Now the Subject of a Research Study (Slate)
Garden-variety cultural sexism lays the foundations for extreme violence against women, according to a study published this month in the journal Psychology of Violence. Which means that in educating teens and college students about consensual sex, ideas about women as "gatekeepers" and men as captives to their high libidos need to be the first notion to go.
Dana Stevens: "I Just Want to Be As Flexible As Air, As Light" (Slate)
Oscar nominee Charlotte Rampling on giving herself over completely.
Mike Bedard: 5 Classic Kids Movies That Teach Terrible Lessons (Cracked)
#5. The Lego Movie: Free Will Is An Illusion
Jawn Louis: "4 Movies For Kids (Watched Again As A Cynical Adult)" (Cracked)
Have you ever rewatched a TV show or movie you loved as a kid? Maybe a stray repeat of Dexter's Lab catches a younger relative's eye while you're flipping through channels, and purely out of nostalgia, you decide to watch it with them. It's fun at first, but then you start asking questions. How the hell did he afford all that lab equipment? Didn't the $35,000 electric bills his experiments must have produced ever cause his parents any concern?
David Bruce's Amazon Author Page
David Bruce's Smashwords Page
David Bruce's Blog
David Bruce's Lulu Storefront
David Bruce's Apple iBookstore
David Bruce has over 80 Kindle books on Amazon.com.
Michelle in AZ
David E Suggests
from Marc Perkel
from that Mad Cat, JD
PLAYING POKER WITH THE PLANET!
Time to Tell the Saudis to Drink Their Oil
THE INSIDIOUS AND EVIL MONSANTO!
THE NAZIS IN AMERICA!
"WELCOME TO THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA" R.I.P. GLEN.
MEDICARE FOR ALL: LEAVING NO ONE BEHIND.
EEK!!! A BUG!
EAT THE RICH!
Visit JD's site - Kitty Litter Music
In The Chaos Household
Bit of rain on the way home from work added an extra hour. Ack.
Republicans Dump For Upcoming Debate
The Republican National Committee severed ties with NBC for an upcoming presidential debate, instead choosing to partner with CNN.
The RNC's debate committee voted unanimously Monday night to pull out of an arrangement with NBC for the Feb. 25 debate -- scheduled one week before "Super Tuesday," when Republicans in 14 states go to the polls and caucuses.
"The Republican National Committee has decided to move forward without NBC's participation in our February debate in Houston, Texas. The RNC has awarded the debate to CNN, who will broadcast it on Thursday, February 25th in Houston at a location to be decided," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.
The decision is a blow to NBC, which hosted the Democratic national debate Sunday. The RNC had suspended their relationship with NBC News after the Republican presidential debate on Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colo. The committee claimed the debate was poorly handled, and focused mostly on "gotcha" questions.
Ticks In Almost Half Of U.S. Counties
Ticks that can spread Lyme disease now live in almost half of U.S. counties, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Varieties of the blacklegged tick that may carry bacteria responsible for Lyme disease are present in 45 percent of counties nationwide, compared with just 30 percent in 1998, researchers found.
"It's important for people to be aware that there may be ticks in areas where they haven't seen them previously so that they can take steps to help protect themselves and their families," lead study author Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the CDC, said by email.
Since the late 1990s, the number of reported Lyme disease cases in the U.S. has more than tripled, Eisen and colleagues report in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Deer ticks are now established in 842 counties across 35 states, compared with 396 counties in 32 states in 1998. These ticks used to be concentrated in northeastern states but have move west and south.
Cops Thought She Was a Danger to Herself
Ted Cruz's wife, Heidi, was once so depressed that a police officer wrote: "I believed that she was a danger to herself."
The incident happened in 2005 shortly after Heidi quit her high-powered job at the White House and moved to Austin, Texas, to be with her husband, who was state solicitor general.
Police responded to a 911 call about a woman in a pink shirt sitting next to an expressway and found Mrs. Cruz sitting on the ground ten feet from speeding traffic with her head in her hands.
The story appeared in Monday's New York Times and was first reported by Buzzfeed.
In his book, A Time For Truth, Ted wrote that Heidi's moving to Texas "led to her facing a period of depression."
Not For Infants
Plant-based beverages like almond milk can't be used to replace breast milk or infant formula, a new report warns.
The authors of the report describe an infant in Spain who was fed only almond beverages or almond flour-based formulations from age two months to 11 months and developed fractures and failure to thrive due to scurvy.
Scurvy is a serious condition caused by lack of vitamin C in the diet. Once the scourge of sailors who did not have access to sources of vitamin C during many months at sea, scurvy is rare today.
Dr. Isidro Vitoria of the Hospital Universitario y Politecnico La Fe in Valencia, Spain, and coauthors report the case of a male baby who was born at term, vaccinated according to Spanish guidelines, and fed with a cow's milk based formula for the first two and a half months of life.
When he developed skin inflammation, a medical doctor recommended he be switched to daily intake of a prepared mixture including almond drink, almond flour, sesame powder, brown rice malt, brown rice, millet and a sachet of probiotics and prebiotics marketed in Spain.
Man-Made Heat Has Doubled Since 1997
The amount of man-made heat energy absorbed by the seas has doubled since 1997, a study released Monday showed.
Scientists have long known that more than 90 percent of the heat energy from man-made global warming goes into the world's oceans instead of the ground. And they've seen ocean heat content rise in recent years. But the new study, using ocean-observing data that goes back to the British research ship Challenger in the 1870s and including high-tech modern underwater monitors and computer models, tracked how much man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years.
The world's oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy from 1865 to 1997, and then absorbed about another 150 in the next 18 years, according to a study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change.
To put that in perspective, if you exploded one atomic bomb the size of the one that dropped on Hiroshima every second for a year, the total energy released would be 2 zettajoules. So since 1997, Earth's oceans have absorbed man-made heat energy equivalent to a Hiroshima-style bomb being exploded every second for 75 straight years.
Muslim Women Risk Deportation
Muslim women who fail to learn English to a high enough standard could face deportation from Britain, Prime Minister David Cameron announced Monday.
He also suggested that poor English skills can leave people "more susceptible" to the messages of groups like Islamic State (IS).
Cameron's comments came as his centre-right Conservatives launched a Â£20 million ($28.5 million, 26 million euro) language fund for women in isolated communities as part of a drive to build community integration.
Immigration rules already force spouses to speak English before they come to Britain to live with their partners.
But Cameron said they would also face further tests after two and a half years in the country to make sure their language skills were improving.
Hits A New Low
The Russian ruble, battered by weak oil prices, on Monday fell to an all-time low against the euro and dropped to its lowest level in more than a year against the dollar.
The Central Bank set the official exchange rate at over 85 rubles to the euro on Monday. The national currency declined by 2 percent to 79.1 rubles to the dollar in Moscow, its lowest trading level since December 2014.
Oil, the mainstay of the Russian economy, recently plummeted to under $30 a barrel, a 13-year low. The ruble is also under pressure from economic sanctions that the West imposed on Russia for its involvement in the Ukraine crisis.
Russia is running a budget deficit of 3 percent of GDP this year, and the government is looking to cut 10 percent from the federal budget, which was drafted with oil prices of $50 a barrel in mind.
All Russian ministries are expected to present their proposed cuts by the end of the month with a view to cutting 500 billion rubles ($6.3 billion) in government expenses, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.
2015 A 'Tipping Point'
When future generations write the history of humanity's faltering quest to repair Earth's climate system, 2015 will have its own chapter.
Nature, along with the usually fractious family of nations, conspired to make it a landmark year: almost certainly the hottest on record for the planet as a whole, and a rare moment of unity when 195 states pledged to curb the carbon pollution that drives global warming.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will likely report Wednesday on record-breaking heat in 2015.
They could point to the most powerful hurricane ever registered; freakish, above-freezing temperatures -- if only for a day -- at the North Pole in December; or life-threatening droughts in eastern and southern Africa.
Experts have also come a step closer to concluding that our impact on Earth's bio-chemical systems has been so massive as to justify the christening of a new geological era. The "golden spike", or start date, for the Anthropocene -- the "Age of Man" -- will probably be the mid-20th century.
Weekend Box Office
'Ride Along 2'
Kevin Hart and Ice Cube have ended the monthlong box-office reign of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."
Their "Ride Along 2" topped the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend in North America with an estimated $41.5 million over four days, according to studio estimates Monday. The Universal release took in $35.3 million Friday through Sunday.
In second was Alejandro Inarritu's 1820s frontier saga "The Revenant," which earned $39 million over four days, capitalizing on its leading 12 Oscar nominations Thursday. In two weeks of release, the Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film has made nearly $100 million, making it an unexpectedly big success for distributor 20th Century Fox and producer New Regency. The budget for "The Revenant" swelled to $135 million amid production delays.
Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Monday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to Rentrak. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Tuesday.
1. "Ride Along 2," $41.5 million.
2. "The Revenant," $39 million.
3. "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," $32.6 million.
4. "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," $19.7 million
5. "Daddy's Home," $12 million.
6. "Norm of the North," $9.3 million.
7. "The Forest," $7 million.
8. "The Big Short," $6.5 million.
9. "Sisters," $5.5 million.
10. "The Hateful Eight," $4.4 million.
'Ride Along 2'
Glenn Frey, who co-founded the Eagles and with Don Henley became one of history's most successful songwriting teams with such hits as "Hotel California" and "Life in the Fast Lane," has died.
Frey, who was 67, died of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, the band said on its website. He died on Monday in New York. He had fought the ailments for the past several weeks, the band said.
Guitarist Frey and drummer Henley formed the Eagles in Los Angeles in the early 1970s, along with guitarist Bernie Leadon and bassist Randy Meisner. They would become a top act over the next decade, embodying the melodic California sound.
An Eagles greatest hits collection from the mid-1970s and "Hotel California" are among the best-selling albums in history.
Frey was born in Detroit and was raised in its suburbs. His solo hits include "The Heat Is On" and "Smuggler's Blues."
Frey was lead vocalist on the Eagles' breakthrough hit, "Take It Easy," a song mostly written by Jackson Browne that came out in 1972. His other showcases included "Peaceful Easy Feeling," "Already Gone" and "New Kid in Town."
The Eagles split up in 1980 but reunited in 1994 and were one of the world's most popular concert acts. The band, which for years was made up of Frey, Henley, Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit, was supposed to have been honored at the Kennedy Center last month. But the appearance was postponed because of Frey's health problems.
Frey, known for his oversized jaw, big grin and blunt personality, loved music, girls and the rock 'n' roll life. He would meet up with Henley, Meisner and Leadon while all were trying to catch on in the Los Angeles music scene, and for a time the four backed Linda Ronstadt. They also befriended such other Los Angeles-based musicians as Browne and J.D. Souther, who would collaborate on "New Kid in Town" and other Eagles songs.
Frey and Henley also became estranged for years, their breach a key reason the band stayed apart in the 1980s. Henley had vowed the Eagles would reunite only when "hell freezes over," which became the name of the 1994 album they never imagined making.
Dale Griffin, drummer for rock group Mott The Hoople, has died aged 67.
He was a founder member of the group, best known for classic tracks Roll Away The Stone and All The Young Dudes.
The latter was written and produced by David Bowie, who sang backing vocals on the track.
The band, who made eight albums during their five-and-a-half year existence, reformed to mark their 40th anniversary in 2009 - but Griffin was too ill to take part.
Born in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, the drummer played in a number of local bands before forming Silence with singer Stan Tippens, keyboard player Verden Allen, guitarist Mick Ralphs and bassist Pete Overend Watts in the late 1960s.
They got a record contract in early 1969 and went to London to record under producer Guy Stevens, who renamed the band Mott the Hoople after a 1967 novel by Willard Manus. Not long after, Tippens was ousted by vocalist Ian Hunter, although he remained as their road manager.
Although they built up a cult following (a raucous gig at the Royal Albert Hall led to the venue banning rock acts), they struggled to sell records and were on the verge of breaking up in 1972, until Bowie stepped in and persuaded them to stay together, placing them under the care of his manager Tony De Fries.
He also offered them the song Suffragette City - but they wanted Drive-In Saturday instead.
Bowie refused to give it up, but wrote them the anthemic All The Young Dudes instead (its narrative forms part of the story of Bowie's alter-ego Ziggy Stardust).
The song reached number three in the UK and the top 40 in America, giving the band a new lease of life. Later albums produced hits such as Honaloochie Boogie, All The Way From Memphis and Golden Age of Rock'n'Roll.
During the 80s, Griffin and Watts formed a production company and produced albums for Hanoi Rocks and The Cult. Griffin then joined the BBC and produced many of John Peel's Radio 1 sessions from 1981 to 1994, including Pulp, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark.
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease just as the Mott The Hoople reunion was about to begin. His parts were played by his friend, The Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, although he joined the band on stage for encores during their five-night stint at the Hammersmith Apollo.
Dale is survived by his long term partner Jean Smith.
The Bay Area music community was reeling after news broke that Mic Gillette, a talented trumpet and trombone player and founding member of East Bay soul-R&B powerhouse Tower of Power, died unexpectedly over the weekend. He was 64.
Gillette will be remembered for more than being a key component of Tower of Power's legendary horn section, which is routinely ranked among the best of its kind over the last 50 years. He also touched many in the East Bay with his tireless involvement with and support for middle and high school music programs.
Growing up in California, Gillette took to music at a very early age. His father, Ray Gillette, was an acclaimed trombonist who reportedly performed in legendary big bands led by Harry James, Tommy Dorsey and others.
Gillette was still a teen in the mid-1960s when he began working with a group of musicians with whom he would go on to form the Oakland band Tower of Power. Alongside saxophonists Emilio Castillo, Stephen "Doc" Kupka and Skip Mesquite; multi-instrumentalist Greg Adams and others, Gillette helped Tower of Power break through to mainstream popularity in the early '70s, with such classic soul-funk offerings as "Bump City" and "Back to Oakland."
The acclaimed brass player, who performed on both trumpet and trombone, was prominently featured on the band's best-known recordings, including such hits as "You're Still a Young Man," "So Very Hard to Go" and "What Is Hip?"
He remained with Tower of Power until the mid-1980s, when he decided to trade in the touring life to spend more time with his family. He rejoined the seminal Oakland act from 2009 to 2011.
Gillette was also a member of two other highly influential Bay Area rock acts -- Sons of Champlin and Cold Blood. He also spent some time in Blood, Sweat & Tears, the jazz-rock act known for such popular tunes as "Spinning Wheel."
His talents were greatly valued by some of the biggest artists in the world. Over the decades, Gillette recorded and performed with such platinum-selling outfits as the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Sheryl Crow and the Doobie Brothers, among many others. He also formed his own group, the Mic Gillette Band, of which his daughter Megan was a member.