Wednesday, November 21, 2012

News Nuggets 1112

DAYLEE PICTURE: Oryx climbing a sand dune in the deserts of Namibia.  From National Geographic.

Health Care Reform Rules Give Patients A New Bill Of Rights (Jeffrey Young) from the Huffington Post
"Health insurance consumers won't be discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions, can't be charged more because of gender and will be guaranteed a basic set of benefits under historic new federal regulations published Tuesday."

Unemployed Black Woman Pretends to be White, Job Offers Suddenly Skyrocket from Techyville
"I removed my home phone number, kept my listed cell phone number, and changed my cell phone greeting to say, “You have reached Bianca White.  Please leave a message.” Then I created an online account, listed Bianca as a White woman on the diversity questionnaire, and activated the account. ... The next day, my phone line and Bianca’s email address, were packed with potential employers calling for an interview.  I was stunned.  More shocking was that some employers, mostly
Caucasian-sounding women, were calling Bianca more than once, desperate to get an interview with her."
This story showcases perfectly why affirmative action is still needed!  Keep a hard copy of this story to show those folks who think AA should be done away with or that somehow it "causes" racism.

An Extraordinary Moment: Obama Makes History in Burma (Steve Finch) from The Diplomat
"The Diplomat's Steve Finch reports from Burma on President Barack Obama's historic visit. Will reforms press forward?"

Leave Susan Rice Alone (Andrew Rosenthal) from the New York Times
"The more clear it becomes that Susan Rice, the United Nations Ambassador, did not knowingly deceive the American public about the Benghazi consulate attack, the more Republicans accuse her of having done so. ... As U.N. ambassador, Ms. Rice had no direct involvement in the Benghazi mess, before or during the attack. Do Republicans hostile to her think she should have gone rogue and simply ignored her approved talking points?"

An Economic Dream Team for the President (Paula Dwyer) from the Bloomberg News Service
"When President Barack Obama returns from his Asia trip, he will pardon a turkey, celebrate Thanksgiving with his family and then get down to some serious cleaning. I'm talking about his Cabinet, which Obama must soon reshape to fit the challenges of a second term."

Pomp and Exceptional Circumstance: How Students Are Forced to Prop Up the Education Bubble (Malcolm Harris) from the Boston Review
" The real difference between the two sides was ultimately more about who debtors would owe—the Treasury or private lenders—than about how much. Not a single policy proposal on the proper scale was offered, and so the true size of the problem fell out of the national debate. ... The challenge of student debt, like climate change and other urgent needs, threatens to exceed the capacity of our current political and economic systems."

In Deep-Red, Rural States with Mostly White Voters, a Fear of Being Left Behind from the New York Times via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"...since the election, a blanket of baffled worry has descended on conservatives in this state like early snow across the plains, deepening a sense that traditional, rural and overwhelmingly white states in the center of the country are losing touch with an increasingly diverse and urban American electorate."

Obama Campaign Viewed Huntsman as ‘Very Tough Candidate’ (Peter Nicholas) from the Wall Street Journal
"He didn’t get very far in the Republican nomination fight, but team Obama viewed him as a serious candidate who could pose real problems in a general election."
Nicholas has a sneering tone -- but I very much shared the Obama campaign's view: that if Huntsman ran and got the nomination, he could beat Obama in the general election.  I had very much underestimated how far afield GOP primary voters had drifted ideologically from the political "center" and from reality generally.

Crowds Are This Election’s Real Winners (Betsey Stevenson & Justin Wolfers) from the Bloomberg News Service
"Politics is just the latest front in a war being fought in businesses and consulting firms around the world, with this round pitting quants such as New York Times blogger Nate Silver against the intuition of pundits like James Carville or Karl Rove. The quants bring data, computers and formal models. The pundits -- though they do use data -- rely more on gut feelings, industry experience and personal contacts. In the latest skirmish, the quants won."

The GOP's Diversity Debacle from Politico
"For a party that’s struggling to present a public face that looks more like America, the 2012 election represents something close to a worst-case scenario."

Tea Party Nation Still Trying To Make Romney President (Henry Decker) from National Memo
"Adopting extreme right-wing positions and opposing Obama on every issue, no matter how trivial, hadn’t worked; as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal put it, the GOP must “stop being the stupid party.” Clearly, Judson Phillips never got that message."

Top Republicans Excoriate Romney On Sunday Talk Shows from Talking Points Memo
"If Mitt Romney has any friends left in the Republican Party, they’re in hiding. On the Sunday talk shows, senior Republicans, former Romney surrogates and prominent conservatives piled on their defeated presidential nominee for telling donors that he lost because President Obama bought off minorities and young voters with “gifts.”"

Nate Silver on 'Morning Joe': Why Pollsters Got it Wrong from Politico 
"Silver discussed why so many polls were wrong this year and incorrectly called it as a much closer race for Mitt Romney. Silver said most of the major network polls — NBC/Wall Street Journal, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times — are “pretty good," while the polls that faltered made too many assumptions about the population."

Spurning Chris Christie, Republicans Continue to Dig Own Hole (James Rainey) from the Los Angeles Times
"Republicans seem to have no lack of understanding about how badly their presidential nominee, Mitt Romney,  damaged the party brand by demonizing a good chunk of the electorate as “victims” and “gift” grabbers — the slothful masses who just can’t wait to take a government handout."

Republicans, 2016: In Full Swing from Politico
"Tired of presidential politics? Get over it: Upwards of 15 prominent Republicans are privately contemplating 2016 campaigns for the presidency — and the most serious and ambitious of the bunch are already plunging in, some quite publicly."

Holiday Movie Preview 2012: 'Django Unchained,' 'The Hobbit' And More (PHOTOS) from Moviephone
"This year may be coming to a close, but the next month and a half will see the release of some of 2012's most buzz-worthy flicks. So -- like a department store on Black Friday -- you need a plan."

Pardoned Turkeys Stay at W Hotel from Fox News
"Two lucky turkeys don’t just get to keep their lives this Thanksgiving, they get to live the high life. The ritzy W Hotel in Washington is letting them stay and giving them the VIP treatment..."

Thinking of Thanksgiving Delicacies? Then How about Trying Some Turkey Sushi, Velveeta Cheesecake and Tofurky from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"The ability to fake it will be put to the test, when cooks emerge from the kitchen with delicacies like Velveeta cheesecake, turkey sushi and Tofurky - recipes that just shouldn't be be allowed to see the light of day... or reach the table. "

Vroom with a Hue: McLaren Supercar Gets £90,000 Psychedelic Paint Job that's Turned it into Art on Wheels from the Daily Mail [of the UK] 
"A McLaren MP4-12C has become the world’s fastest piece of artwork after a tuning firm gave it a £90,000 multi-coloured makeover."

Big News From Mars? Rover Scientists Mum For Now (Joe Palca) from NPR 
"Grotzinger says they recently put a soil sample in SAM, and the analysis shows something earthshaking. "This data is gonna be one for the history books. It's looking really good," he says."

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