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A Different Time

Balloon Juice - 9 hours 48 min ago

After the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the directors of the nuclear weapons laboratories on both sides quickly got together in early 1992 to work on securing nuclear weapons and the materials they are made from. They were supported by their governments. NATO helped. The cooperation was a marvelous thing to see and to experience. I had a small part in dealing with leftover Soviet nuclear problems.

In 1998, I traveled to Estonia to help deal with a former Soviet uranium-processing plant. I’ve written up my experience. Siegfried Hecker, the director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and a primary mover in the lab-to-lab cooperation, has collected the experiences of many participants in a two-volume set, Doomed to Cooperate. He has also set up a website for more information, which is where my story appears.

Check it out. Here are before and after photos of one part of the site.


Cross-posted at Nuclear Diner.

Categories: Politics

WATCH As Trump Shoves Another NATO Leader Out Of The Way

Crooks and Liars - 9 hours 50 min ago

At this point, Trump's sole purpose seems to be embarrassing the United States in front of the entire planet.

Fuckface von Clownstick, indeed.

Source: Towle Road

At a NATO gathering in Brussels, Donald Trump appeared to shove Montenegro Prime Minister Duško Markovic out of the way to get to the front of a group of leaders.

Trump’s shoving got the attention of the other leaders, who watched as he adjusted his jacket with a smug look of satisfaction.

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Categories: Politics

Zombie Trumpcare at a glance, from the CBO

Daily Kos - 9 hours 50 min ago

The Congressional Budget Office's devastating score of Trumpcare is kind of a slog to actually read. Just ask Freedom Caucus leader Rep. Mark Meadows! So in order to help those Republicans who didn't bother to read the bill or the CBO report, here's some of the lowlights from the report of what they voted to inflict on the public. The report House Speaker Paul Ryan says he's "actually comforted" by.

  • The number of people losing insurance in the next year is 14 million, the same as in the original Trumpcare. It would force 23 million out of insurance in the next decade, 1 million fewer than the original Trumpcare. As Dylan Matthews points out it "costs $218 billion more than the original, covers 1 million more. That's $218,000 per new person insured."
  • By 2026, 51 million people will be uninsured, compared to 28 million under current law—Obamacare.
  • Among those uninsured, "the increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income—particularly people between 50 and 64 years old with income of less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level." Like, 800 percent more expensive.
  • Relatedly, it would increase Medicare disproportionate-share payments to hospitals by $43 billion in the next decade, because of the costs of treating so many new uninsured patients.
  • It would destabilize the individual insurance market for one-sixth of the population in the states that get the waivers to avoid providing comprehensive coverage, which would mean that premiums for people buying comprehensive plans would be unaffordable.
  • It would cut $834 billion from Medicaid in the next ten years, and cut 14 million people out of Medicaid coverage.

But, hey! It would be a $663 billion tax cut over the next 10 years for the rich! That's what matters most of all to Republicans, and probably the part of this that Ryan finds particularly comforting. Well, that and fulfilling his frat-boy dream of destroying Medicaid.

Make the 23 House Republicans who voted against their constituents for this bill pay. Please give $1 to each of our funds targeting the most vulnerable House Republicans.

Categories: Politics

Republicans react to Montana candidate Gianforte committing assault on eve of election

Daily Kos - 9 hours 54 min ago

Some assorted reactions to Republican candidate for Congress Greg Gianforte attacking journalist Ben Jacobs on the night before the special election in Montana.


Paul Ryan held a press conference to spread the GOP line.

"There's never a call for physical altercations ... with the press or just between human beings."

See. You shouldn’t hit the press or human beings. But is Ryan going to do a single thing about it? Call on Gianforte to withdraw? Threaten to not seat him if he wins? Of course not! Keeping a Republican in the seat is what counts. What’s a little assault on a reporter anyway?

"The people of Montana will make this choice."

Louie Gohmert on how much he wishes he could get in on grabbing reporters by the neck and slamming them down:

“You know, we didn’t have a course on bodyslamming when I went to school. I missed that course. I’m sorry I missed it.”

Trent Franks on how this is all the fault of “the left:”

“The left has precipitated this tense, confrontational approach throughout the country in recent months.”

Matt Gaetz holds to the cowardly line when asked if this acceptable and introduces trial by election.

“That will be up to the people of Montana to decide. Voters have chance to render a verdict on both candidates.”

Mac Thornberry laughs it off and also believes he who wins is automatically innocent.

“Ya’ll are really into this. We’ll see what the election shows.”

The best reactions are still below the fold …

Categories: Politics

Ben Carson: 'Poverty Is A State Of Mind'

Crooks and Liars - 9 hours 58 min ago

He's Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. NYTimes:

“I think poverty to a large extent is also a state of mind,” he said, according to a transcript of the interview that was released on Wednesday. “You take somebody that has the right mind-set, you can take everything from them and put them on the street, and I guarantee in a little while they’ll be right back up there.”

He added that helping people may not better their lives.

“You take somebody with the wrong mind-set, you can give them everything in the world — they’ll work their way right back down to the bottom,” Mr. Carson said.

The Times gets points off for blurring Armstrong Williams as "a friend and conservative media personality." C&L readers know Williams as a long-time grifter. He was Carson's business manager who it is said was responsible for the implosion of Carson's 2016 Presidential Campaign. He also was the guy in the center of the Bush Administration's payment to columnists to promote "No Child Left Behind."

So you see, poverty is a state of mind if you're always willing to take money on the grift. You're never poor if you're looking for the next political scam to fill your bank account.

read more

Categories: Politics

The Cable TV Industry Is Getting Even Less Popular

Slashdot - 9 hours 58 min ago
Aaron Pressman, writing for Fortune: It seems nobody loves their cable TV or home Internet provider. Wireless carriers, however, are on the upswing.That's the news from the huge annual survey of 43 industries from the American Customer Satisfaction Index. In 2017, cable operators and ISP tied for last place, with an average customer satisfaction rating of just 64 percent. The wireless industry was still near the bottom of the rankings, in 38th place, just below the U.S. postal system. But its 73 percent score was up almost three percentage points from last year. Many of the same companies, like Comcast and Verizon, dominate both fields, ACSI noted. And neither industry offer much choice to consumers, with most localities having only one or two cable and Internet providers. The cable industry's rating slipped 1.5 percentage points from last year, while the rating for ISPs was unchanged.

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Categories: Misc

Pokémon’s Magikarp Jump splashes onto iOS for worldwide release

9to5Mac - 9 hours 58 min ago

Pokémon fans have long been waiting for an official game to make its way to the App Store. Last week seemingly out of nowhere, the company announced it would be releasing a new game, titled Magikarp Jump. Having been released in select countries earlier this week, it is available now in the US and rest of the world.


Categories: Misc

T-Mobile’s DIGITS program with phone number flexibility leaving beta, coming to all customers

9to5Mac - 10 hours 9 min ago

T-Mobile announced today that its DIGITS program will be leaving beta and launching soon. DIGITS offers phone number flexibility across multiple devices as well as the option to use multiple numbers with one device. The new program will be available for all T-Mobile customers starting next Wednesday, May 31.


Categories: Misc

Here's embarrassing video of Trump shoving a NATO leader so he can be center stage for a photo op

Daily Kos - 10 hours 19 min ago

Donald Trump’s having a tough go in Europe. First he met with French President Emmanuel Macron, who apparently used a death grip to squeeze Donald Trump into submission. President Macron looks quite satisfied with himself for one-upping Trump on the handshake:


Then German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a speech with a not-so-subtle dig at The Donald:


Not content to be embarrassed only by other world leaders, Trump decided the time was right to embarrass himself (and the United States) by rudely shoving another NATO leader out of the way so he could be center stage for the group photo.

Thursday, May 25, 2017 · 6:13:31 PM +00:00 · Jen Hayden

Super slo-mo is the best yet.


Categories: Politics

Hidden good news in the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina rate filing

Balloon Juice - 10 hours 22 min ago

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina just filed their initial rates for the ACA individual market for 2018. The headline will be that they are asking for a 22.9% average rate increase. The second headline is that they assume that Cost Sharing Reduction subsidies will not be paid. That assumption drives 61% of the rate increase. The SERFF filing is here.

There is subtle good news in the rate filing. Another 13% of the rate increase is driven by the reinstitution of the 3% Health Insurance Premium tax. That is a one time hit that is to be baked into the cake of future rates. This means only 26% of the entire rate increase or roughly five percentage points is due to increased medical costs or service utilization. Trend and morbidity is under control. Below are segments of the consumer justification.

5% trend is a healthy trend. That is a the trend of a market that is fairly stable and reasonably priced.

There are a few other North Carolina notes for the individual markt. Aetna is withdrawing. This should allow Blue Cross and Blue Shield to play aggressive subsidy attachment point games even as they seem to be adapting a single index rate that spreads the CSR compensation costs to all metal bands. Subsidized buyers have the chance of seeing excellent deals on the Exchanges if BCBS-NC prices in the same manner as BCBS-Tennessee prices in their single carrier counties.

Categories: Politics

Check out this iPhone 8 clone with rear fingerprint sensor

iDownloadBlog - 10 hours 24 min ago

The images of an iPhone 8 clone that hit the web yesterday give us a good indication what an iPhone 8 with a rear-mounted Touch ID sensor might look like. According to Benjamin Geskin, who tweeted out the rendered images, the device is based on an early iPhone 8 prototype.

The images were originally posted on Chinese social media platform Weibo. “All my sources said that this is totally wrong design,” Geskin cautioned, adding that iPhone 8 “is not going to look like that.”

The phone sports a slim bezels on the front face with no physical Home button.

On the back, we can clearly see a vertically stacked dual-lens camera and a Touch ID-like sensor, positioned below the Apple logo. The copycat device features an aluminum chassis.

iPhone 8, as you know, is said to feature a glass sandwich design in order to avoid any potential interference with its wireless charging components.

The placement of the fingerprint sensor on China’s iPhone 8 clone actually makes sense to me: it’s relatively easily reachable with one’s index finger, as opposed to Galaxy S8’s fingerprint sensor positioned next to the rear camera.

Some reports have suggested that one of the more than ten iPhone prototypes Apple has been testing has a rear Touch ID. Newer reports, however, have indicated that Apple has managed to integrate Touch ID into the display assembly after all.

Still, the company was smart enough to engineer an iPhone with a rear Touch ID as a fallback device, just in case.

To me, the biggest takeaway from looking at these renderings is that iPhones would look much better with some additional color options beyond the usual black, silver and gold choices.

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Categories: Misc

John Kasich Extends Ohio’s Sub-Par Job Growth Streak to 53 Consecutive Months

Plunderbund - 10 hours 31 min ago

53 Consecutive Months Of Sub-Par Job Growth

New data for April 2017 show Gov. Kasich, whose platform was to be a jobs governor, has extended his sub-par job growth streak to 53 consecutive months. Ohio’s preeminent number cruncher, George Zeller, reports that the new April 2017 data show that “Ohio is still recovering from both the 2000s recession and the 2007 ‘Great Recession.’ But, Ohio’s growth remains too slow and is well below the USA national average.”

One big pothole for Mr. Kasich comes with a revised downward change in jobs created in the past, a figure Zeller pegs at “a massive -138,100 jobs.” Zeller writes that the downward revisions to previous “good” months in June and July 2016 were unusually large and in excess of 30,000. The newly released figures, Zeller tells Plunderbund, find that on a seasonally adjusted basis, Ohio lost 5,700 jobs during April 2017.

“With the newly released 5,700 job loss during April 2017 in Ohio, the state’s job gain during the first four months of 2016 declined to a badly needed but still too slow 9,100 jobs seasonally adjusted,” Zeller says, adding, “But, this leaves a huge hole from the gigantic downward revision to last year’s 2016 data from the annual benchmark revision.”

“The new figures mean that the speed at which Ohio is gaining jobs during an economic recovery continues to be alarmingly too slow,” Zeller says. Ohio’s year-over-year job growth between April 2016 and March 2017 is a slowing 0.60 percent, which Zeller notes is a slowing rate during April 2017 at 1.51 percent. “Thus, Ohio’s rate of job growth during April 2017 is once again slower than the USA national average,” he concludes. “This extended Ohio’s current streak of below average job growth to fifty-three consecutive months following the annual benchmark revision to the data and the disappointing March and April 2017 Ohio job losses.”

According to Mr. Zeller who resides in Cleveland, where job growth is virtually nil, it will take Ohio nearly three years to recover the jobs that Ohio previously lost during the 2000s recession. “That is extremely troubling.”

In addition to losing durable manufacturing jobs, the normal bread and butter of Ohio’s economy, the state continues to suffer as government job sag with the loss of another 1,900 public sector government jobs, most of which were driven by a loss of 2,600 jobs in State Government. Gov. Kasich is proud of fewer workers working in the public sector, since he values private sector jobs over public sector jobs, even though the loss of the latter keep him underwater with the nation.

“A counterproductive Austerity policy of slashing Government employment continues to prevent Ohio from speeding up its slow and below average growth rate to a vigorous employment recovery that the state badly needs,” Zeller instructs.

Broadway John Takes Bows

Gov. Kasich is reaping plaudits from national reporters who apparently have no clue about how bad he’s doing back home, where his job approval rating has slumped to 42 percent in a poll top-heavy with Republicans. His new national fame comes from his defense of expanded Medicaid and an alternate universe where he is really the president, not Donald Trump, who he remains critical of when he finds it to his advantage.

In the race to fill Kasich’s seat in 2018, some Democrats, like Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, are taking dead aim at his years in office as their platform to make Ohio great again. Gov. Kasich will continue soaking taxpayers on his quest for a future after his years of governing Ohio officially end on Jan. 1, 2019.

These days folks are more likely to cross paths with John Kasich at the largest independent bookstore in Texas in Austin, or at book stores in Florida, where reports say he will speak at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.  At his Florida appearance, touted as “Florida’s largest nonpartisan political and public affairs organization” dating back to its inaugural speaker, President Jimmy Carter, tickets are $77 apiece for the general public. Or they can just watch him on TV during a visit to New York City.

“I’m so happy with myself!” Gov. Kasich said recently in an interview with Matt Bai at Yahoo. “I’m so happy with this book! I’m so happy with this tour. I’m so happy with how my family is being treated, the way my friends look at me and talk to me. It’s great! And there’s not a single thing I would change! I’m a happy guy, and not looking forward to another political campaign, no matter how hard that is for people to believe.” That is hard to believe, governor, which is exactly why it’s not believable. When you say never say never, and that you’ll change your mind if “duty calls,” we’ll keep our powder dry.


Categories: Politics

Happy Hour Podcast 121 | 10.5-inch iPad Pro expectations and macOS 10.13 wishlist ahead of WWDC

9to5Mac - 10 hours 34 min ago

This week Benjamin and Zac discuss more 10.5-inch iPad Pro expectations, Apple’s settled patent dispute with Nokia and why it matters, a wild iPhone 9 rumor, and our macOS 10.13 wishlist ahead of WWDC 2017. 9to5Mac’s Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and Apple’s Podcasts app, or through our dedicated RSS feed for Overcast and other podcast players.


Categories: Misc

Google AI AlphaGo Wins Again, Leaves Humans In the Dust

Slashdot - 10 hours 38 min ago
Google's AlphaGo has defeated the world's best Go player in the second out of three games, scoring an overall win for the artificial intelligence algorithm in the fiendishly complex board game. CNET adds: The human gave it his all. "Incredible," wrote DeepMind founder and CEO Demis Hassabis on Twitter while the match was underway. "According to AlphaGo evaluations Ke Jie is playing perfectly at the moment." The match took place over a year after AlphaGo bested Lee Sedol, one of the world's top Go players, in four out of five matches in March 2016. It also beat European champion Fan Hui 5-0 in October 2015. The match was being played in China, the place where the abstract and intuitive board game was born. The government, however, isn't a big fan of letting its citizens know about the battle and has censored all the livestreams in the country.

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Categories: Misc

Nowhere to hide

Balloon Juice - 10 hours 40 min ago

In 2010, there were over 100 House seats that Cook Political report rated as competitive. I expect that number to be at least as high in 2018. I have nothing against the DCCC but they tend to spend a lot of money in a small number of races that are winnable.

Not to get all Nassim Nicholas Taleb on you, but the probability tails here are fatter than most people think. Last night, a Montana Republican running for House choked, punched, and body-slammed a reporter, and is now facing misdemeanor assault charges. That race was close already, and the assault occurred so near to the election that it may not have a massive effect, but let’s be honest: we’ve got 238 Republican incumbent assholes running in 2018, at least a few are going to pull some kind of similar shit, and we’ve got to have Democratic candidates who can take advantage when that happens.

So this year we will be raising district funds for the eventual Deocratic nominee in all 238 districts with Republican incumbents. No quarter, nowhere to hide. If a Republican Congressman goes to Indochina…..

Goal Thermometer

Categories: Politics

Wine and weed? Some Oregon vineyards try hand at pot farming

Medina Gazette - 10 hours 49 min ago

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Bill and Barbara Steele moved to this sleepy corner of Oregon to start their own winery after successful, high-powered business careers.

Categories: Misc

Controversial IVF doctor gives hope to older Indian women

Medina Gazette - 10 hours 49 min ago

ELLENABAD, India — To see Manjeet Kaur around her little daughter is to see joy at its purest.

Categories: Misc

Wine and weed? Some Oregon vineyards try hand at pot farming

Medina Gazette - 10 hours 49 min ago

JACKSONVILLE, Ore. — Bill and Barbara Steele moved to this sleepy corner of Oregon to start their own winery after successful, high-powered business careers.

Categories: Misc

Controversial IVF doctor gives hope to older Indian women

Medina Gazette - 10 hours 49 min ago

ELLENABAD, India — To see Manjeet Kaur around her little daughter is to see joy at its purest.

Categories: Misc

GOP candidate for US House charged with assaulting reporter

Medina Gazette - 10 hours 49 min ago

BOZEMAN, Mont. — The Republican candidate in the nationally-watched election Thursday for Montana's sole congressional seat has been charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly grabbing a reporter by the neck and throwing him to the ground.

Categories: Misc