Well That’s Just What We Needed

So the flooding has subsided slightly, all the roads are a disaster zone with the edges washed away and half the guard rails just hanging off cliffs, so OF COURSE the temperatures have dropped to 30 and it is snowing.








Browser Outrage Dump

Time for another thread, I’d say, and I don’t have the functioning synapses to come up with anything new to say about the moral and intellectual crater that is both the Republican Party and the right’s public intellection bunch. (Did you know that Ron Johnson’s mug is being considered as the “After” portrait in the upcoming “Don’t Eat Tide Pods” campaign? Or that Rod Dreher’s thought leading crunchy conservative Christianity is racist to its root?)

So here I’m just going to lock and load some stuff I’ve kept open in my browser, waiting for the moment to foam in rage over here.  Think of this not so much as considered analysis (don’t think of it as all). Rather, it’s a very partial catalogue of how much damage decades of GOP anti-government, and worse, anti-society sabotage has done.  A goad, perhaps, though I hope no new one is needed, to crush these sorry f**ks come November, and forever after.

So here they come, in no particular order:

From Stat: “Drop in U.S. life expectancy is an indictment of the American health care system”

According to the CDC, the average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. fell by 0.1 years, to 78.6, in 2016, following a similar drop in 2015. This is the first time in 50 years that life expectancy has fallen for two years running. In 25 other developed countries, life expectancy in 2015 averaged 81.8 years.

The article acknowledges the impact of the opioid epidemic on those figures but notes that cross-country comparisons reveal systemic failures that make the disaster so much deeper here.  And then there’s the way we treat — or don’t — our elderly:

It is widely accepted that the accessibility and quality of medical services strongly affect life expectancy among the elderly and elderly Americans fall behind their counterparts overseas when it comes to being able to get and afford the health care they need.

This may seem surprising given that Americans over 65 enjoy universal health insurance coverage under Medicare. But as valuable as Medicare is, it provides far less protection against the cost of illness, and far less access to services, than do most other Western countries. In a recent cross-national survey, U.S. seniors were more likely to report having three or more chronic illnesses than their counterparts in 10 other high-income countries. At the same time, they were four times more likely than seniors in countries such as Norway and England to skip care because of costs. Medicare, it turns out, is not very good insurance compared to what’s available in most of the western world.

Next: that GOP assault on environmental regulation and protection?

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Floriduh Iguana! Wait, What?

Beware the falling iguanas in South Florida.

When temperatures dip into the 30s and 40s, people from West Palm Beach to Miami know to be on the lookout for reptiles stunned — but not necessarily killed — by the cold. They can come back to life again when it warms up.

Iguanas, which can be as long as six feet, are not native to South Florida. They have proliferated in the subtropical heat, causing headaches for wildlife managers — and occasionally popping up in toilets. It took a prolonged cold spell to significantly reduce their population in 2010. (The same cold snap also resulted in the deaths of many invasive Burmese pythons.)

Iguanas climb up trees to roost at night, said Ron Magill, communications director for Zoo Miami.

“When the temperature goes down, they literally shut down, and they can no longer hold on to the trees,” he said. “Which is why you get this phenomenon in South Florida that it’s raining iguanas.” (Including on windshields.)

The larger the iguana, the greater its chance of survival, Mr. Magill added.

“Even if they look dead as a doornail — they’re gray and stiff — as soon as it starts to heat up and they get hit by the sun rays, it’s this rejuvenation,” he said. “The ones that survive that cold streak are basically passing on that gene.”

And they have a plan!

He suspects that, within a couple of decades, iguanas will creep north because they will be able to withstand colder climates.

More at the link.

Stay frosty, unless you’re experiencing bombogenesis, then stay toasty! And beware of falling iguanas!

Open thread!

Also, no iguanas were harmed in the writing of this post.



Friday Afternoon Open Thread: Meanwhile, Outside the Trump Bubble…

… the howling winds of chaos are far from metaphorical. Don’t forget your gloves / scarves / hats!

***********
Also, PSA:



He’s Just Trolling Me Now

He’s on a god damned mission to make me mental:

Fucking hell.



Russiagate Open Thread: Trump’s “400-Pound Guy” Unearthed

This is nice to know, because from past history Clovis is strictly a
cash-in-advance professional, and while the Trump / GOP organizations may not have kept the best records I’m sure Sam always got certified receipts to store away.

(Also, back in Texas, Rick Perry is guffawing.)


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According to The Washington Post’s Dan Lamothe the USNS Comfort Will Not Be Deployed

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe has broken some interesting news: the USNS Comfort will not be deployed to Puerto Rico. Here are the details:

And here’s Lamothe non twitter reporting on the topic at WaPo.