naked cap: Walmart Has Thanksgiving Food Drive for its Own Needy Employees.
I remember a time when the Ways and Means Committee would have responded immediately to something like this. Elsewhere, I see people online lauding businesses for hiring homeless people. One must be careful to ask … “For how much per hour?” A pittance is not enough, though it seems to salve the ‘better than nothing’ crowd. Living wage, one hopes (desperately). We who can maintain an even financial keel have no conception of how significantly the system is tipped against those currently suffering in this economy.
McClatchy: Obama woos tribes, says he’ll visit Indian Country in 2014.
Words, words, words. The sequestration hurts. Actions, Mr P. Actions.
SF New Mexican: Folk Art Market to unveil new name, new ventures.
Hmmm. They need to consider how they lay out the Market. For the last two years, I’ve been hearing locals say it’s just too crowded and too hot, so they forego the experience. I try to encourage people to ride their bikes … makes getting in and out so much easier. No standing around in the heat for a bus. The Market even has a ‘bike concierge’.
DoubleMesh: Men Posing Like Motorcycle Models.
Some things you just wish you could unsee. But it needs to be expressed so we’re aware of how ridiculous some of these poses actually are, and how demeaning.
Related: There’s a ‘reality’ meme on Tumblr: you can tell if a woman actually rides the motorcycle she’s posing with by her footwear. Folks post all kinds of shots that percolate through on the regular ‘motorcycles’ and ‘vintage motorcycles’ hashtag searches - and it’s true. You can tell instantly. Nobody kickstarts a cafe racer with Louboutins — and you’d risk serious injury to try. But you’ll also realize there were a great deal of very happy motorcycling ladies in the past. [I wish I could point you, but when I want to find anything on Tumblr, their new search feature is just too limited. Experiment with some search terms, you’ll eventually find a couple.]
Bloomberg: How McDonald’s and Wal-Mart Became Welfare Queens.
“Both McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are engaging in perfectly legal behavior. The system was set up long ago in ways that failed to imagine companies doing this. Yes, they are taking advantage of the taxpayer, but they are also operating within the law. Which means it is time to change those outdated rules.” The proposed solutions: raise the minimum wage, and charge back public assistance to the companies. Sounds excellent to me.
ProPublica: Coming in January: Obamacare Rate Shock Part Two.
“So many people may feel they have a grip on their premium costs and think they have reasonable coverage only to encounter unpleasant surprises in the form of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance amounts.” Read that fine print before you go signing up for a specific plan, kids.
Raven Foundation: How a Pacifist Says Thank You on Veterans Day.
A year old - but still a worthy read. “For the pacifist, the battle is with the Empire of Violence that exists in every nation, in every ideology, indeed, in every human heart.”
Economist: Daily chart - Remembrance.
Most infographics take a couple of seconds to parse. This one takes a couple of minutes.
PS Mag: How the Patients Most in Need of Insurance Are Getting Squeezed.
“But as problems continue to bog down the federal health insurance marketplace, Healthcare.gov, it’s an open question whether people in the risk pools can get a policy in time. ‘They are very frightened because many of them are undergoing chemotherapy or they’re on high-dollar drugs, and they need to make certain that they have coverage effective January 1.’” Because of the problems and the confusion, some have less than seven weeks now to get a policy. The site still isn’t working reliably, and accurate rates are apparently hard to come by, even when the site works properly. A recipe for financial disaster; is it any wonder people are slow to sign up? “Dear Mr President, an extension is the only humane solution.”
Rolling Stone: How Republicans Rig the Game.
“He who controls redistricting can control Congress.” There is no honor in victory through gaming the system.
BBC: WW1 anniversary means battlefield business for Belgium.
“It makes me frown when I see souvenir shops selling poppy gin, poppy chocolates, poppy umbrellas and even chocolate helmets.” Talk about leaving a bad taste.
Guardian.UK: CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds.
“Doctors and psychologists working for the US military violated the ethical codes of their profession under instruction from the defence department and the CIA to become involved in the torture and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists, an investigation has concluded.” Please, please tell me no inhuman research is being done during the process, a la Dr. Mengele. One ethical barrier broken, the others tend to fall like dominoes in such settings.
Guardian.UK: Modernist art haul, ‘looted by Nazis’, recovered by German police.
I caught this yesterday, and meant to link it. What’s even more interesting, other articles mention that Gurlitt wasn’t registered with his municipality. He was a complete ‘non-entity.’ For all intents and purposes, he didn’t exist.
Later: Here’s that other article.
US News & World Report: Top Hospitals Opt Out of Obamacare.
“Many companies have selectively entered the exchanges because they are concerned that (the exchanges) will be dominated by risky, high-using populations who wanted insurance (before Obamacare) and couldn’t afford it … [snip] … They are pressed to narrow their networks to stay within the premiums.” It’s going to be very difficult to snatch success from the jaws of defeat, when some are not willing to play the game.
The Nation: States Taken Over by the GOP in 2010 Are Screwing Over the American Worker.
Ugh. You’ll excuse the slight title modification, for space.
Metafilter: WWI in Color.
Another amazing find on MeFi.
NBC: Obama admin. knew millions could not keep their health insurance.
“Four sources deeply involved in the Affordable Care Act tell NBC NEWS that 50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law.”
Lightbeam for Firefox.
Watching us watching them watching us.
CNN: Furloughed workers turn to food pantries.
I sincerely doubt Republicans are winning any voters this way.
ProPublica: In Big Win for Defense Industry, Obama Rolls Back Limits on Arms Exports.
“Come tomorrow, thousands of parts of military aircraft, such as propeller blades, brake pads and tires will be able to be sent to almost any country in the world, with minimal oversight – even to some countries subject to U.N. arms embargos. U.S. companies will also face fewer checks than in the past when selling some military aircraft to dozens of countries.” Arming people we may have disagreements with is the epitome of idiocy, but it makes perfect sense to a capitalist military industrial complex.
KUNM: Exemption To ACA Could Leave Many Native Americans Uninsured.
“Beginning January first, most Americans will be required to have health insurance or pay penalties under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). But Native Americans are one of just a few groups that won’t be fined if they don’t buy insurance. That exemption could mean status quo for a big part of Indian Country: high health disparities, and no access to care.”
priceonomics: Making a Living Collecting Cans.
I found the article fascinating.
Guardian.UK: If we want a civilised society, charities can’t fill the void left by government.
Charities are at best an ill-fitting band-aid. The flow of cash and goods is never constant. There are some things that only ‘big government’ can do.
Later, related: New Yorker, How the Government Shutdown Hurts the Poor.
Atlantic/Cities: How Poverty Taxes the Brain.
“Put another way, the condition of poverty imposed a mental burden akin to losing 13 IQ points, or comparable to the cognitive difference that’s been observed between chronic alcoholics and normal adults. The finding further undercuts the theory that poor people, through inherent weakness, are responsible for their own poverty – or that they ought to be able to lift themselves out of it with enough effort.” That it takes a scientific study to get people to understand this, speaks to the lack of empathy in America today. Weight this alongside how the economic/financial deck is stacked against the working poor, and you’ve got a recipe for permanent debt-ridden wage-slaves. And the Republicans scream “Don’t feed the alligators” when debating food stamps and WIC. Don’t get me started.
CJR: Reviewing Obamacare coverage—Week 1.
Always appreciate finding a balanced overview.