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Grab bag Friday

There have been just a few things that I wanted to cover but that don’tneed separate posts.

  • From the Economist: ONE IN six adults in the 33 mostly rich countries of the OECD is obese (measured as a body mass index of 30 or more) according to a report published on September 23rd. The fattest countries are the United States and Mexico, where around a third of adults are obese. Britain’s adults are the biggest in Europe. By contrast, Asian OECD countries Japan and South Korea are the leanest. Governments will count the eventual cost: health-care spending on an obese person is 25% more than for someone of average weight. And the problem is not confined to the rich world. In rapidly developing countries such as China, Brazil and India obesity rates, though still low, are growing fast as the dietary habits of the ever-increasing middle classes change. (Ed. Note – The Economist notes that they made an error in these data. The US is the most obese country and NOT Mexico.)

  • For some reason, there is a buzz around the $100 million that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, is giving to the Newark public school system. He might be trying to clean his image. Really? S, he is the first millionaire billionaire to try to whitewash his image? If you give me $100 million, I’ll hold a press conference and thank you without worrying about your motivations. Arianna has more: So the $100 million donation to Newark’s crumbling public schools is not in and of itself the story? The story is figuring out the motivation behind it? Is this what we have come to? Can you think of anything more ridiculous? I really don’t care why Mark Zuckerberg is donating $100 million of his own money that will make a profound difference to the lives of Newark’s children. I care very much that it’s being done — that one of America’s worst school systems will be getting a massive infusion of funds.
  • The Republican “Pledge” is one of the biggest pieces of public misinformation in a long time. I’m still laughing at Republicans who now think that their plan will reduce the deficit.
  • One of the best examples of a non-story is Rep. Steven King being steamed that Stephen Colbert testified on Capitol Hill. I’m sorry, but I don’t care that Rep. King is steamed. He seems to love being on Fox and will say anything to be on the network, again.
  • Speaking of a media hound, there is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president. He made wildly inaccurate statements during his UN speech yesterday, accusing the US of being behind 9/11.  Then again, this is par for the course. He has denied that millions of Jews were killed during the Holocaust.
  • Finally, on a lighter note, a lost language may have been found.
By |2010-09-24T19:44:28-04:00September 24th, 2010|Civil Rights, Healthcare, Iran, Science|Comments Off on Grab bag Friday

Healthcare reform to help millions

From listening to Republicans, I thought that nobody would benefit from healthcare reform. I guess they were wrong.

From AP:

The first stage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is expected to provide coverage to about 1 million uninsured Americans by next year, according to government estimates.

That’s a small share of the uninsured, but in a shaky economy, experts say it’s notable.

Many others — more than 100 million people — are getting new benefits that improve their existing coverage.
Overall costs appear modest at this point, split among taxpayers, employers and individuals who directly benefit, although the biggest part of the health care expansion is still four years away.

For weeks, the White House has been touting the new law’s initial benefit changes, even as Obama dares Republicans to make good on their threat to repeal his signature social policy achievement. Now, a clearer picture is starting to emerge from the patchwork of press releases.
In 2014, government tax credits will help uninsured workers and their families pay premiums, and Medicaid will take in many more low-income people. Eventually, more than 30 million will gain coverage, sharply reducing the number of uninsured and putting the nation on a path to coverage for all citizens and legal immigrants. (more…)

By |2010-07-06T06:41:44-04:00July 6th, 2010|Congress, Healthcare|Comments Off on Healthcare reform to help millions

GM drop kicks Tiger Woods

As humans, we are supposed to learn from our mistakes, having larger brains than most other mammals. When I see us making the same mistakes over and over again, though, I just have to wonder if our larger brains are working.
Although Tiger Woods is an athlete, he seems to be someone who has at least a few neurons that work. Why wouldn’t someone want to make an alliance with Woods to strengthen their company? How about adding Tiger Woods to a creative team to completely re-do the Buick line? How about using Tiger Woods is an example of someone who does not rest on their laurels, but instead tries to get better every day?

Instead of doing any of the above, GM has decided to cut their contract with Tiger Woods. They are saving money, they say. Give me a break! Fire a couple of executives who continue to make bad decisions again and again… now that would save billions.

From AP:

Turns out, Tiger Woods wouldn’t really rather have a Buick. At least not anymore.

When Woods ended his nine-year relationship with General Motors Corp. on Monday — a mutual decision between a megawatt celebrity who doesn’t need the work and a teetering corporation that needs every penny — it offered yet another snapshot of how badly the American economy has deteriorated.

Woods is the world’s most marketable athlete with an estimated $100 million endorsements a year. If his agreement with one of the world’s most active sports sponsors broke apart, some experts to wonder if any endorsement or sponsorship deal is really ironclad in these tough times.  (more… )

By |2008-12-01T20:49:59-04:00December 1st, 2008|Economy, Sports|Comments Off on GM drop kicks Tiger Woods
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