Teal, Dark

Observed on P Street, between 26th and 27th Streets, Georgetown, D.C.:

Teal and gray

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A Lack of Gratitude: The ACA Edition

I’m not sure what to make of this (boldface mine):

Atlanta resident Ted Souris, 62, describes himself as an “arch-conservative” who initially opposed the health law. He said he had mixed feelings about the ruling. He receives what he calls “a pretty hefty subsidy” to buy insurance — he gets $460 and pays $115 a month for insurance.

I’m so against Obama, and I hate that he has any kind of victory,” Souris said, “but it’s nice that I don’t have to worry” about affording health coverage.

He said that he doesn’t like getting what he calls “a government handout” but that the law — and the subsidy — allowed him to retire early and still have coverage. “I am glad I have the Affordable Care Act, and I appreciate that I got the subsidy.”

And the congregation responds: This is why we can’t have nice things.

Meanwhile, another reminder that better than is not the same as good:

Tom Clark, 63, of Waunakee, Wis., who retired from his longtime job at the Canadian National Railway two years ago, called the decision “a huge weight off my chest — a huge relief.”

In the months before coverage was available under the health law, he was cashing in his pension fund to pay the $2,000 monthly premium for a plan that covered his wife, a diabetic who works as a clerk in a liquor store, and one of his two college-age sons.

After the family signed up for coverage in December 2013, a subsidy reduced his monthly premium to about $580.

I’m still going to be about $500 a month short,” Clark said Thursday. “If I had lost [the subsidies], I don’t know what I would have done.”

Still work to be done.

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Links 7/2/15

Links for you. Science:

The equality of pain
The Nobel Prize Is Bad And We Should Feel Bad
Long-Exposure Photographs of a New Zealand Cave Illuminated by Glowing Wormsby
5,200 Days in Space
A scientist just raised 4 serious questions about the blood test that made Elizabeth Holmes a billionaire

Other:

Wingnuts’ Confederate flag crisis: Why they can’t admit who’s really responsible for Dixie’s latest defeat
The Inside Story of Hobby Lobby’s New Bible Museum on the National Mall
‘A Flower for the Graves’
“Progressive” Obama: He’s Melting, He’s Melting
The Silver Bullet That Will Create A Progressive South Doesn’t Exist
Why Chicago Won’t Go Bankrupt—And Detroit Didn’t Have To
How Victim-Blaming Led to the Rape Kit Backlog
Privatize Metro? Be careful what you wish for. (there’s no a priori reason to think, given how easy it is to buy local politicians, that a private company would be held any more accountable)
Does your church ban gay marriage? Then it should start paying taxes.
Are they defending the Redskins name or the Confederate flag? (I got 10/16)
Dear county clerk refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples: Get a new job
The Confederacy Won the Peace
Audit: School Modernization Agencies Broke Rules, Didn’t Keep Track of Money
One Industry That Will Hate Obama’s New Overtime Rules: The Media (or they could just pay their workers more than the $50,440 annual salary overtime threshold. SLATEPITCH!)

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Clouds Over Cairo

After a rainstorm, at 17th and P Streets, Dupont Circle, D.C. (the Cairo is the apartment building in the background). No filter was used; this was the color of the sky:

Cairo after the deluge

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Maybe the First $50 Billion Should Have Told You Something?

First rule of holes–stop digging (boldface mine):

Puerto Rico’s governor, saying he needs to pull the island out of a “death spiral,” has concluded that the commonwealth cannot pay its roughly $72 billion in debts, an admission that will probably have wide-reaching financial repercussions.

The governor, Alejandro García Padilla, and senior members of his staff said in an interview last week that they would probably seek significant concessions from as many as all of the island’s creditors, which could include deferring some debt payments for as long as five years or extending the timetable for repayment.

The debt is not payable,” Mr. García Padilla said. “There is no other option. I would love to have an easier option. This is not politics, this is math.”

Given that Puerto Rico uses the dollar–and thus can’t print more–how did anyone think an economy with a GDP of $103.1 billion–smaller than the state of Massachusetts–why didn’t someone realize that after, oh let’s say $50 billion of debt, these debts were never going to be paid back.

Atrios is right: it makes you wonder whether the bond sellers’ actual job is to price risk appropriately.

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Links 7/1/15

Links for you. Science:

This Beetle Uses Its Poop as a Shield or Sword
What’s The Point Of Science Without ‘Eureka!’ Moments?
What’s really warming the world?
California’s Children Win, Anti-Vaxxers Lose
The Underfunded, Disorganized Plan to Save Earth from the Next Giant Asteroid

Other:

Living in L.A. Made Me Get Over My Body Issues
The five most frustrating things about Metro’s problems
After 14 years of watching Christie, a warning: He lies
Driven by Love or Ambition, Slipping Across the Color Line Through the Ages
A few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, a whole lot of people are getting high
Meet the Democrat in D.C. who is cutting taxes for the rich – and for everyone else (keep in mind that these cuts and increases are quite small)
A simple twist of fate
There’s a giant victim culture temper tantrum coming from the Christian right
Questions abound for new program that rewards teachers based on SAT and ACT scores
Why the Green Party’s Jill Stein Makes More Sense Than Republicans
Easy AA: The Supreme Court might destroy affirmative action because this white woman’s grades weren’t good enough.
I’m 28, I just quit my tech job, and I never want another job again
The Good News and the Bad News
Vision Zero D.C. (cool interactive map of where all the problems are)
Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can’t Dogfight: New stealth fighter is dead meat in an air battle
We have been thinking about Internet harassment all wrong

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A Paragraph I Never Thought I Would Read

Feel the Bern:

For Louis Celli, at the American Legion, Sanders’s progressive views make some sense in the context of advocating for veterans’ programs. “Who better than a socialist to advocate for veterans’ health care?” he asked.

Pretty much Gog and Magog territory right there.

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