"He is about to make his final bow after nearly five years as one of the most popular incarnations of Doctor Who. But it seems the BBC are squeezing as much as they can out of the success of David Tennant.
By the end of the Christmas period, the actor will have made 75 appearances in three weeks on the Corporation’s TV channels and radio stations.”
"What Darwin Never Knew" offers answers to riddles that Darwin couldn’t explain. Breakthroughs in a brand-new science—nicknamed "evo devo"—are linking the enigmas of evolution to another of nature’s great mysteries, the development of the embryo. NOVA takes viewers on a journey from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic, and from the explosion of animal forms half a billion years ago to the research labs of today. Scientists are finally beginning to crack nature’s biggest secrets at the genetic level. The results are confirming the brilliance of Darwin’s insights while revealing clues to life’s breathtaking diversity in ways the great naturalist could scarcely have imagined.
“Republicans may carp about poor administration of the TSA, but it’s hard to place blame on the President or even Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano considering that the GOP is not even allowing a vote on a new head of the agency. What’s more, as Smith notes, more than 100 Republicans in Congress voted against legislation funding the TSA this year. This all highlights a larger problem: Republicans’ unwillingness to allow the government of the United States to function properly. As The New York Times detailed this weekend, fully 75 administration nominees who have already been approved by the relevant committees have not received votes in front of the full Senate — a sorry situation that quantifies the destructive tack taken by the GOP. The government isn’t supposed to work like this. While it is acceptable and even proper for the minority to provide meaningful opposition to the administration, it is deleterious to our nation for Republicans to inhibit the government from even functioning…”
“We have to attack Obama relentlessly from the left. Right now he is a giant that is unmoved by anything in his left flank, he keeps looking to his right and ducking and worrying and moving to accommodate them. They are so loud and so visible. It’s hard to miss them. We have to make him look left. We have to shake him off his foundation. Rahm Emanuel gave a wonderfully condescending interview to the Wall Street Journal where he explained that the White House has nothing to worry about from the left. That’s exactly what we have to change. Unfortunately, the only way to capture their attention and make them accommodate us rather than Fox News Channel is to hurt them. When we can put on the same kind of pain and pressure on the Obama White House as Fox does, that’s when they’ll have to move, at least to get out of the way. You inflict political pain by voting things down. So far progressives have been completely unwilling to do this. They got rolled on healthcare because they had no intention of putting their foot down – and everyone knew it. The next time Obama pushes a corporate agenda, progressives have to knock him upside the head. Deny him. Or as the kids would say, send his shit. And make a big stink out of it. Draw everyone’s attention to how far right Obama is and how out of whack he is with the American people. If that scares you and you start to worry about damaging a Democratic president, you’re never going to win at this game. You’re never going to get the policies you want.”
My patient Sherry is 24, pregnant, and the mother of a 7-month-old son. Although her pregnancy was not planned, Sherry and her husband were initially excited to have a little brother or sister for their boy. Then Sherry’s early ultrasound showed she had twins. She and her husband spent several weeks eagerly anticipating the growth of their family.
But the next ultrasound showed that the twins are conjoined, or Siamese. The babies are joined at the head, sharing a brain, and chest, sharing a heart. They have two spines, four arms, and four legs. It would be impossible to separate them. If they survive after birth, it would only be for a few minutes. One heart can’t keep two bodies alive. The risk of stillbirth is also very high.
Now 19 weeks into her pregnancy, Sherry tells me she is depressed. She wakes up every morning wondering if today will be the day her babies will die inside her. How would she deliver them? She knows that she would probably need a cesarean section because their combined size might make them too large for the birth canal. Sherry then imagines carrying the twins for another four and a half months. She sees herself delivering stillborns or watching her babies die minutes after their birth.
Sherry must decide whether to continue her pregnancy. An abortion might give her and her husband some emotional relief. And if the twins are small enough, she might not need surgery to remove them.
But because Sherry’s insurance will not pay for her abortion, she has to worry about money on top of her other fears. She is on Medicaid, which will cover the twins’ delivery, alive or dead, but not an abortion—fetal abnormality isn’t enough to get around the Hyde amendment. Although the abortion would be less expensive in a clinic, Sherry would have to go to a hospital since she could need surgery. She would be responsible for the entire bill of at least $10,000 to cover the operating room, anesthesia, medication, and other fees. This expense would destroy her family’s financial well-being.
Sherry can carry her babies to term who cannot and will not live, or she can have an abortion and possibly bankrupt her family.
Sherry’s pregnancy is medically rare, but her dilemma about money is all too familiar. When a woman doesn’t have insurance coverage for abortion, she and her family suffer.
In January, Israel will become the first country in the world to give people who sign their organ donor cards points pushing them up the transplant list should they one day need a transplant. Points will also be given to transplant candidates whose first-degree relatives have signed their organ donor cars or whose first-degree relatives were organ donors.
In the case of kidneys, for example, two points (on a 0-18 point scale) will be given if the candidate had three or more years previous to being listed signed their organ card. One point will be given if a first-degree relative had signed and 3.5 points if a first-degree relative had previously donated.
“…what [Obama] did campaign on explicitly and without reservation was clean government and the end of business as usual. Indeed, the word “change” was predicated on that simple promise alone. This is where the problem lies with the left and a fair number in the middle. The technocrats in Washington see health care reform as a triumph of pragmatic manipulation of the various levers of power. The media is celebrating that Obama Plays by Washington’s Rules. But for a good many people, that very fact violates the central rationale for his presidency.”—Digby: “Promises and Paradigms” (via ryking)
George W. Bush shouldn’t be making PBS shows, he should be watching them. “Sesame Street” is the one he could benefit from the most.
PBS had better not be canceling “Bill Moyers Journal” and “Now” just to pay for this shit; my PBS donation was going to be half of what it normally is every year due to those cancellations, but PBS can kiss even that good-bye since it’s getting into bed with the worst “president” in American history.
Mike, you’re a fucking jerk. (Kidding. But not really. I like you anyway.)
Yes, Mother Teresa was anti-abortion/contraceptives. She was a Catholic nun, so I wouldn’t expect her to be pro-choice. But she did a lot to emphasize what I consider to be the better ideas within religion— a commitment to compassion and service to others.
I disagree with her views on abortion/contraceptives, but anyone that dedicates so much of their life to peace and aiding the poor is pretty fucking cool to me.
I don’t know. Maybe I just have an issue with people giving with the right hand while simultaneously taking with the left. If more people in these areas (mostly Africa)used contraceptives the spread of AIDS could be seriously slowed. Not to mention the fact that there’s neither enough clean water nor food for the people who live there now, nevermind all the kids they keep having.
Yes, Mother Teresa did some good. However, she also did some evil.
There’s also the aspect of “no one does anything unless it serves some need within themselves”. I’m just putting quotation marks there because it’s something that comes out of my mouth a lot. Sure, Mother Teresa was a Saint in many people’s eyes, but Saint is just another word for someone who does a lot of work to help others with a lot more publicity than others doing similar work.
Anyway, I think a lot of the work she did was great, but I don’t believe there are any completely unselfish acts committed by humans. Maybe we’ll eventually evolve to that point, but we’re a long way from it now.
Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah wanted to ban any insurance plan that gets taxpayer dollars from offering abortion coverage. The stronger restrictions mirrored provisions in the House-passed health care bill.
The Senate bill currently allows insurance plans to cover abortions but tries to separate private funds from federal money. It specifies that abortion coverage can only be paid for with private dollars.
Majority Leader Harry Reid said the legislation is about access to health care, not abortion.
(When I’m in a “nice” mood) I’m sometimes unsure of how to respond when people send me things telling me how much “god” loves me, wishing me things that “god” can do for me, prayers to “god” or Jesus, etc., on my behalf. Depending on the context, I usually feel offended to varying degrees, but I like to pick my battles and these are rarely worth the trouble. When they’re sent by old friends who maybe have ‘forgotten’ that I’m an atheist and their intent is loving, I try to be at least somewhat gracious and avoid being rude (which means I have to just say nothing).
But I wish they’d stop sending them. When I have time, I’m going to make up some email greeting thingies that I can send in return. They’ll be wishing people the bollocks to make things happen in their own lives, have thoughtful words about accepting that we often have fuck-all influence over many things in the world, and reassuring them that if they think some angel is sitting on their shoulder it’s most likely actually a giant spider and they should take care of that right away.
A Department of Justice official who is in a relationship with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) withdrew as a finalist for Montana U.S. Attorney to live with the senator in Washington, a Baucus spokesperson confirmed to Main Justice today.
Melodee Hanes, the Montana senator’s former state director, withdrew earlier this year after Baucus sent her name and two others to the White House as his recommendations for the state’s top federal prosecuting job.
“This is a political act, even though that’s not what it feels like to me,” she said. “If anyone knows someone who’s gay or lesbian … they’re less likely to vote against them to take away their rights. I can be that lesbian you know now …”—‘Family Ties’ mom: ‘I am a lesbian’ (via ryking)