Sunday, November 3, 2013

Last Call For The Evolution Of A Honey Boo Boo

Richard Dawkins has evolved into a self-parody, apparently.

World famous English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and unrelenting critic of religion and the religious, Richard Dawkins, has turned his anger on airport security rules after he had a jar of honey confiscated. 
Dawkins, who is no stranger to Twitter controversy following alleged anti-Muslim comments he made back in August, declared on the micro-blogging site that ‘Bin Laden has won, in airports of the world every day’after security took away his jar of honey
The outspoken atheist, who came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, criticised what he called ‘dundridges’ - his word for petty jobsworths - and described the confiscation of his honey as a 'STUPID waste.'

Honey.  A jar of freaking honey, and this guy goes bugnuts.  Somehow, I'm glad to be reminded that not everyone in the atheist/agnostic/nondeist camp has their head straight on either.

No, You Can't Keep That Land Mine Of A Policy

The NY Times editorial board makes a powerful argument as to why the whole "You can keep your policy" brouhaha is nothing but hot air:

Congressional Republicans have stoked consumer fears and confusion with charges that the health care reform law is causing insurers to cancel existing policies and will force many people to pay substantially higher premiums next year for coverage they don’t want. That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it. 
Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that. By law, insurers cannot continue to sell policies that don’t provide the minimum benefits and consumer protections required as of next year. So they’ve sent cancellation notices to hundreds of thousands of people who hold these substandard policies. (At issue here are not the 149 million people covered by employer plans, but the 10 million to 12 million people who buy policies directly on the individual market.) 
But insurers are not allowed to abandon enrollees. They must offer consumers options that do comply with the law, and they are scrambling to retain as many of their customers as possible with new policies that are almost certain to be more comprehensive than their old ones. 
Indeed, in all the furor, people forget how terrible many of the soon-to-be-abandoned policies were. Some had deductibles as high as $10,000 or $25,000 and required large co-pays after that, and some didn’t cover hospital care
This overblown controversy has also obscured the crux of what health care reform is trying to do, which is to guarantee that everyone can buy insurance without being turned away or charged exorbitant rates for pre-existing conditions and that everyone can receive benefits that really protect them against financial or medical disaster, not illusory benefits that prove inadequate when a crisis strikes.

But Republicans are against this.  Think about that for a second.  The Times then makes the real pitch that the administration basically can't say...

Many higher-income people who won’t qualify for subsidies, however, will have to buy policies providing more benefits than they want. Maternity care for those who will not have children is one sore point. But that is one price of moving toward universal coverage with comprehensive benefits. And some of these higher-income people could suffer a catastrophic accident or illness that would previously have bankrupted them, but will now be paid for by insurance.


And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why Republicans are in full panic mode.  It's why they shut down the government.  It's why they are pretending President Obama is the anti-Christ.   It's why they refuse to help fix the initial transition issues.  It's why red states are sabotaging their own exchange mechanisms.

Think about THAT for a moment.  Why are Republicans really so terrified of Obamacare?
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