Monday, March 20, 2017

March 13, 2017
By Steve LaBlanc
Boston (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker (click here) says he wants to make sure Massachusetts continues to maintain a health care system that has delivered insurance to about 97 percent of its residents.
The Republican governor made his comments Monday after the release of a Congressional Budget Office report that found 14 million Americans would lose coverage next year under legislation proposed by House Republicans. The number could jump to 24 million by 2026.
The GOP proposal relies in part on cuts to the federal-state Medicaid program, forcing states to pick up the tab.
Baker, a former health care executive, says federal Medicaid dollars are critical to helping insure Massachusetts residents. He says the state receives about $10.5 billion in federal Medicaid reimbursement each year, a little more than half of the state’s total $19 billion in Medicaid spending....       

Bermuda is caught in a whirlwind. Literally.

Satellite Imaging (Visible and Infrared), Lightning and Radar (click here)

There is small craft warnings through Wednesday. I have a feeling it might develop into more than that.

If the winds sustain the surface ocean in the middle of the Atlantic will not behave. The energy in the wind will be transmitted to the ocean surface.

March 20, 2017
UNISYS Water Vapor GOES East Satellite (click here for 12 hour loop - thank you)

There is no sense in reading a bill that changes by the second.

Tax credits. Really? Senior citizens are going to be able to pay for their expenses long enough for tax credits to kick in? Republicans are idiots. We will be seeing Senior Citizens escorted to prison for not filing their taxes, bankruptcy for not paying medical bills and loss of their homes. Republicans are stupid people.

March 20, 2017
By Susan Cornwell and Valerie Volcovici

U.S. House Republicans (click here) are working on changes to their healthcare overhaul bill to provide more generous tax credits for older Americans and add a work requirement for the Medicaid program for the poor, House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Sunday.

Ryan said Republican leaders still planned to bring the healthcare bill to a vote on the House of Representatives floor on Thursday. Speaking on the "Fox News Sunday" television program, he said leaders were working to address concerns that had been raised by rank-and-file Republicans to the legislation.

Republicans remain deeply divided over the healthcare overhaul, which is President Donald Trump's first major legislative initiative. It aims to fulfill his campaign pledge to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the signature healthcare program of his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama.

Democrats say the Republican plan could throw millions off health insurance and hurt the elderly, poor and working families while giving tax cuts to the rich.

"We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill currently does" for lower-income people age 50 to 64, Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said of the tax credits for health insurance that are proposed in the legislation....

Prime Minister Theresa May will introduce Brexit next week.

March 20, 2017
By Jon Clifton

Another metric, however, showed something different happening in the U.K. ― “happiness.” In the two years leading up to Brexit, Gallup found that the percentage of people who were “happy” (or thriving) was in dramatic decline. In fact, the 15-percentage-point decline in the percentage of people rating their lives positively enough to be considered thriving was so dramatic that it remains among the largest two-year drops in Gallup’s history of global tracking....

The reality on the street has been very different for those in the UK than the propaganda of the government. In 2013 the reality of 'the street' became more and more apparent. While the GDP was suppose to indicate the country was doing well enough, the reality was "the money was flowing in one direction, to the top 10 percent.

17 March 2016
By Graham Vanbergen

Forty years after Margaret Thatcher came to power the true extent of neoliberal market reforms are still unravelling and inequality, as we are now hearing almost daily, has inexhorably taken a grip and harming society much more widely as a direct result with evidence of rising poverty its consequence.
The Equality Trust and High Pay Centre has average pay for UK workers calculated as £26,500. However, average pay conceals the reality for millions.
For instance, the top 0.1% are earning a few pounds over £1 million a year and the top 1% are earning an average £271,888. What this figure hides is the fact that the top FTSE chief executives are earning an average of £4.3 million and it takes them just 2.5 days to earn the average annual workers pay. These statistics do not include other successful groups such as self employed entrepreneurs.
The top 10% of UK workers earn £79,196. But the truth here is that this also includes the earnings of the top 1%, meaning the next 9% don’t really earn that figure.
What is grotesque is the next number that should shock everyone. The average pay of the next 90%, (by stripping out all earnings of the top 10%, including the 1% and 0.1% groups) leaves an annual income of just £12,969. Yes, you read that right. Stripping out the top 10% of average pay, leaves just £12,969 average pay for the remaining 90% of the population.
What is interesting about the figures collated by the Inequality Trust is that the data is about two years old (not their fault – it’s what is available), so things will actually be slightly worse as all analysts agree that inequality is getting worse, not better.
That statistic itself is shocking enough on its own but many people in that 90% category earn considerably more than £12,969, leaving the bottom 20% earning around £5,500 per annum....

The idea the British 'finally got it' is not a new phenomena. People are people and their physiology hasn't changed from the beginnings of existence. People of any nationality, any country understand oppression of their well being and have within them the need for hope. Hope is an important thing, HOWEVER, when hope turns to despair because the anticipation becomes a different reality there is a change in their survival and unrest sets in.

It has been the case through the beginning of time, the people, the masses if you will begin to look through the same lens and see their foolishness and the threat to their children's well being and all hell breaks loose. It is fact, it will never change. Get used to that idea. The lowest income individual has a friend and they another friend and they others and the masses begin to care about each other because "There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford," witnessing so called criminals being lead to the scaffolding for hanging.

As Bradford, an evangelical preacher realized in 1555, witnessed men and women being put to death by rules of law; the law can serve a master of ill intent upon their subjects. Bradford eventually was burned at the stake without a change in his demeanor. Poor fool.

The modern day 'stake' is homelessness, impoverishment and now in the USA obstruction to a quality education resulting in impoverishment, homelessness, etc. In the USA it is disguised through racism and the stereotype of laziness. The reality is setting in and the American people are finally seeing their foolishness in allowing anger rule their decisions. But, there is the popular vote and the Russians, too.

This is paranoia and oppression.

March 19, 2017
By Lisa Rein and Juliet Eilperin

The political appointee (click here) charged with keeping watch over Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his aides has offered unsolicited advice so often that after just four weeks on the job, Pruitt has shut him out of many staff meetings, according to two senior administration officials.

At the Pentagon, they’re privately calling the former Marine officer and fighter pilot who’s supposed to keep his eye on Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “the commissar,” according to a high-ranking defense official with knowledge of the situation. It’s a reference to Soviet-era Communist Party officials who were assigned to military units to ensure their commanders remained loyal.

Most members of President Trump’s Cabinet do not yet have leadership teams in place or even nominees for top deputies. But they do have an influential coterie of senior aides installed by the White House who are charged — above all — with monitoring the secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration....

This level of paranoia is definitely something that should not be tolerated. It will interfere with smooth running of the government. It will slow things down and cause second guessing by decision makers.

Donald Trump needs to be impeached. This is ILLNESS and not function. It is deploying the SS into the government structure.

I fully expect the "LOYALIST MONITORS" to patrol the agencies seeking federal employees to fire. When that occurs it will most likely be racism.

Each result is based on a three-day rolling average. (click here)

Spring Equinox 2017 in Northern Hemisphere was at 6:28 AM

March 19, 2017
By Steve Raleigh
Spring officially arrived at 6:28 Monday morning. Of course, that's when the sun (direct solar rays) was directly over the equator and the vernal equinox arrived.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the word equinox is derived from two Latin words: aequus (equal) and nox (night)....

Just to add some perspective to Earth's rotation around Sol, our sun's name, the orbit is not always equal distance.

Below the folks in New Jersey have brought more facts to the surface of those interested.

The Cherry Blossoms in DC had to have their peak season revised to later because of the harsh cold.

UPDATE: (click here) The National Park Service posted on March 17 that about half of the cherry blossoms survived the cold and that they expect those to bloom late next week....

...In the meantime, we’re seeing a stretch of very cold weather with temperatures that are damaging the blossoms that are in the later stages of their development. It is not yet clear how much damage they will have sustained when all is said and done.

On March 15, the NPS put out a press release that said, in part: “With temperatures moderating after the current cold snap, peak bloom of the Yoshino variety of cherry trees is still expected to occur within the projected March 19-22 window. However, the number of cherry trees that reach the blossom stage may be reduced as a result of the recent cold temperatures.”

2017 Cherry Blossom Watch (click here)

"Morning Papers"

The Rooster


The rooster asked what happens when a basketball is given 'spin' when thrown from the top of a dam?

"Of course, The Magnus Effect."

"Good Night, Moon"

The waning gibbous

21.7 days old

55.3 percent lit

March 19, 2017
By Joe Rao

If you have a telescope, (click here) you might want to consider setting your alarm on Monday (March 20) for around 5 a.m. local daylight time (4 a.m. standard time if you live in Hawaii, Arizona or Puerto Rico, which do not observe daylight time). If you step outside at that hour and look southeast, you'll see what are probably the two most popular celestial objects to look at through a telescope: Earth's moon and the planet Saturn.
On Monday, which is the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, the moon will be just hours away from officially arriving at its last quarter (or half-moon) phase. And hovering about 2 and a half degrees below the moon will be Saturn, the "Lord of the Rings."...