Chart of the Day: Arab Unrest

Calling it a “Shoe-thrower’s index,” The Economist offers this look at where the next revolts in the Arab world might come. Read More

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43 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Arab Unrest

  1. I wonder how the US would rate on this scale, given the emergence of the corporate-funded right wing extremists who are rapidly taking over the GOP.

  2. Obama’s going to give Bush a Medal of Freedom.
    Yeah. That’s why we all voted to Obama: so he could make courageous decisions like this.

  3. Jamie, here are my Oscar picks, thanks for posting the nominations:
    Best Motion Picture of the Year
    • The King’s Speech
    Achievement in Directing
    • David Fincher, The Social Network
    Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
    • Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
    Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
    • Christian Bale, The Fighter
    Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
    • Natalie Portman, Black Swan
    Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
    • Helena Bonham Carter, The King’s Speech
    Tie Breaker – Film with most Oscars & How Many
    The King’s Speech — 4
    For those who want to play, Jamie’s nominee list here.. http://blogs.cqrollcall.com/trailmix/2011/02/dc-decoder-birthday.html#comment-328976

  4. The shoe-thrower’s index: sounds like a good name for an indy film.
    It looks like the amount of money a country’s powers-that-be have to pay the underlings is inversely proportional to the number of shoes thrown.
    Washington had better stop monkeying with cutting programs that stick it to the little guy and just get the job market humming, again.

  5. pogo, from a legalmed guy’s pov, whacha think?
    “President Barack Obama’s recently unveiled Federal Budget for Fiscal Year 2012 calls for “a more aggressive effort to reform our medical malpractice system to reduce defensive medicine, promote patient safety, and improve patient outcomes” and “encourages Republicans to work constructively with him on medical malpractice as part of an overall effort to restrain health costs.” It then allocates funding for state-by-state implementation of medical justice reform initiatives, including health courts.
    As the Associated Press reports, “Obama’s budget calls for $250 million in Justice Department grants to help states rewrite their malpractice laws in line with recommendations that his bipartisan debt reduction commission issued last year…Topping the list of ideas in an Obama administration summary of the proposal are health courts.”
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/president-obamas-budget-includes-a-breakthrough-to-address-medical-malpractice-reform-and-move-beyond-partisanship-116313134.html

  6. OK, I’ll play
    Best Motion Picture -- True Grit. (Even with 10 of them, the only ones I’ve seen (well, not really seen these, but…) are the ORIGINAL True Grit and the 2 prior Toy Stories (LP: was of the age then), and animation is fun, but really)
    Achievement in Directing -- The Coens -- True Grit (Same explanation as BMP)
    Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role -- Jeff Bridges (Only know 3 -- Firth has a funny accent and Franco isn’t much of an actor IMHO)
    Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role -- Geoffrey Rush -- The King’s Speech (Only know 2 of them, and despite his funny accent, Rush is twice the actor that Bale is -- but if they’d starred opposite each other in The Fighter, Bale woulda kicked his ass)
    Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role -- Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole (This one was really tough -- of the 3 nominees I know, I love Annette Bening and Natalie Portman…yowza, but there’s just something about Nicole -- maybe it’s the accent)
    Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role -- Amy Adams, The Fighter (Couldn’t pick any of them out of a lineup except Amy Adams, but liked her Amelia Earhart)
    Tie Breaker -- The King’s Speech -- 5 (I’m not stupid enough not to pick that one … but I’d be happy if True Grit won -- having seen the original and all) :-)

  7. pat, that’s an area I’ve had a LOT of experience with, and I am of 2 minds about medmal reform. First, as a rule juries are wholly incompetent to decide any complicated medmal case for a dozen good reasons, the first being that medmal cases are state court cases and state court juries tend to have the bottom third (ok, half) of the pool in the seats, no matter how you measure the pool. In anything but the simplest case they don’t understand the medicine and tend to rule in favor of very sympathetic plaintiffs (regardless of whether malpractice occured) or believe the expert witness that tells the most understandable story (whether it reflects the medicine that happened in the case or not).
    OK, htat rant expressed, for medmal reform that is at all fair to patients and providers (and yes, Virginia, it is critical that the system be fair to both) there has to be a filter of some sort to weed out the meritless cases regardless of the severity of the injury suffered or alleged by the plaintiff. An imperfect system is one that is being used in a few states -- requiring a Certificate of Merit be filed with the Complaint where a practitioner certified in the specialty at issue attests that in his/her opinion, based upon a review of themedical records, there is evidence sufficient to conclude that a breach in the standard of care applicable occured and that breach caused or contributed to the injury. It’s a gamable system, but it does weed out some stupid cases, both directly through reviews and indirectly because docs and practitioners want to be paid to do this and some folks (read plaintiffs’ attorneys here) don’t want to pay until they know there’s a case.
    Gotta run to a meeting, but I’ll come back and address this in a bit. Stay tuned if you give a crap about MHO.

  8. pogo, am waiting with baited breath. solving this issue is critical to rein in the insurepigs who gig docs and the health system as a whole. hard on the politicians tho’ with the big pacs at war on each side. to say nothing of the poor guy who lost the wrong leg from incompetant surgeon’s oops or the gal that’s got a sponge, clamp and mrsa accidentally in her abdomen.

  9. OK, back.
    Other approaches are medmal nonmonetary damage caps, exclusion of nonmonetary damages for emergency care, health courts, and there are others.
    So the merit to the health courts -- which is a whole step beyond certificates of merit -- is that the concept of consistency, based upon medical industry standards, would be introduced into the system, in effect establishing legally sanctioned practice protocols in a manner of speaking, which would set a floor above which a practitioner would not be considered to have been negligent and below which he or she would be considered negligent.
    Plaintiffs’ attorneys hate this concept and doctors and their insurers love them -- for different reasons. Plaintiff attorneys think that the jury system is perfect enough for intersection accidents AND for medical cases (it isn’t) and that juries in their collective wisdom can understand the medicine and weed out frivolous claims (they can in some cases and can’t in others), and they make a constitutional argument under both state and federal law that deserves a fair hearing. Numbers like 9 of 10 medmal claims end in defense verdicts are thrown around to support that jury competence claim -- but those figures always ignore the other side of the coin -- that 99% of all cases are settled. That, Virginia, changes the calculus. Fact is, no one can tell you what percentage of settled OR ADJUDICATED cases did or did not have merit medically and how much those that did not cost in judgments, settlements OR medical costs from the practice of defensive medicine. Take the arguments of the two sides and the truth is somewhere in the world between them.
    When it comes to discussing this issue, the positions of the two sides are nothing but the paint stripe on the tip of the iceberg. At $250M in grants to try and write laws consistent with DC recommendations, it’s seed money to start the squalling, and little else. Finding a middle position acceptable to both sides of the legal world, that passes constitutional muster and does anything to address rising health care costs is not something that will be accomplished by throwing a quarter billion bucks at the states to change their laws to look like something a commission that Obama didn’t even follow for the most part in his own budget recommendations in a trillion and a half buck or so budget.
    (And this doesn’t even begin to touch on the pharmaceutical component of the equation, and which I could argue is a bigger part of the problem than critters who drink that mother’s milk will even start to acknowledge).

  10. “ExxonMobil is experiencing an identity crisis. For a century and a half — ever since John D. Rockefeller switched from the produce business to oil in Cleveland, and created the precursor to Exxon along with the entire petroleum industry as we know it — this company has been synonymous with the distinctive personality of oil. But as we learned yesterday, Exxon is now mostly a natural gas company.”
    http://oilandglory.foreignpolicy.com/

  11. pat,
    There is no question that there has to be an avenue for folks harmed by medical negligence to get, as the saying goes, “full and fair” compensation. There is a tragic level of fault based medical mishaps out there, and any system changes that are put into effect absolutely must provide for redress for those injured/killed as a result of those mishaps. Medmal has changed (at least here) over the past 10 or so years and isn’t the lottery it used to be.
    One practically insurmountable problem with any reform oriented measure like the one presented in the budget is that it is driven by national forces and implemented state by state. Aside from the VA and a handful of rural and low income medical programs (and medicare, of course) the feds are a small player in the provision of medical care, and the fed approach (at least in the MC/MC arena) has been to restrict reimbursment to a level just below actual cost of care as a means of controlling cost -- whcih does absolutely nothing to control the cost of care but rather articficially obscures it.
    You realize that this is a discussion that is well beyond the scope of a blog…:-) I could go on for hours and just get started at that.

  12. Interesting -- but no, I couldn’t begin to… I never really thought about the Arab League being restricted to, well, arabs. I thought it really was a league of nations in that northern Africa area that used the name since most of the countries there are what we Indo-Euros in this corner of the world call Arabs, but didn’t think it would be to the exclusion of states with similar interests that weren’t predominantly Arab, but had been overrun by the Arabians in the 7th century and after. But, like I said, I never really cared much about that part of the world beyond our military involvements there and certainly have never done much study of the region.

  13. Data gathered between 1951 and 2000 from across Europe, Asia and North America showed that, on average, the most extreme 24-hour precipitation event in a given year — whether rain, snow or sleet — increased in intensity over the last 50 years of the 20th century.
    When this measurable spike was compared with changes simulated by climate models, the fingerprint of human influence on Earth’s weather patterns was unmistakable, Zwiers said.
    “The observed change cannot be explained by natural, internal fluctuations of the climate system alone.”
    The main driver was simply more water in the air. “In a warmer world the atmosphere has greater moisture-holding capacity,” he explained.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110216/sc_afp/climatewarmingweatherfloods

  14. Scientists connect global warming to extreme rain
    (AP) -- One group of researchers looked at the strongest rain and snow events of each year from 1951 to 1999 in the Northern Hemisphere and found that the more recent storms were 7 percent wetter. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to be a substantial increase, said the report from a team of researchers from Canada and Scotland.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110216/ap_on_sc/us_sci_climate_floods_3

  15. The study stops 11 years ago , the growth of water vapor in the atmosphere is relentless . That is why South Korea has suffered it’s all time snow event, just 4 months after suffering it’s all time rain event.

  16. In fact, the computer models underestimated the increase in extreme rain and snow. That is puzzling and could be even more troubling for our future, said Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University, who wasn’t part of the study.

  17. Best Movie The King’s Speech
    Director David Russel
    Actor Jeff Bridges
    Sup Actor Jeremy Renner
    Actress Annette Bening
    Sup Actress Amy Adams
    Most gold The King’s Speech -- 4

  18. Fearless prediction : 4 star general & archduke of the Korean Empire, grandbaby kim, will be tidied away into a small box -- to use Colin McEvedy’s phrase -- within two months of his dad’s funeral. baby kim’s murderous sister will join him in minutes.

  19. Maryland -
    Insurers face consequences of global warming
    Some companies are refusing to write new policies on waterfront properties because they say it’s too risky
    Meteorological forecasts showed a 40 percent greater chance of a strong hurricane making landfall on the Eastern Seaboard this year than in previous seasons. A spate of catastrophic storms that have hit the Gulf Coast in recent years also led home insurers to reassess their risk levels.
    ‘‘Two years ago, three years ago, we never would have thought our exposure would be as great as it is,” said Jeff Williams, Allstate’s regional counsel. Now, he said, the hurricane risk is ‘‘virtually uninsurable.”
    http://www.gazette.net/ stories/ 021607/ polinew204537_32320.shtml

  20. haley barbour finds nothing wrong with honoring a terrorist who murdered captured, unarmed, US soldiers.
    Barbour’s another good argument for birth control.

  21. http://www.taylormarsh.com/2011/02/16/debbie-schlussel-and-the-american-rights-war-against-women/
    “Debbie Schlussel, and the American Right’s War Against Women”
    “I did say that it warms my heart when reporters who openly deny that Islam is violent and constantly promote it get the same kinds of threats of violence I get every day from Muslims. Because now they know how it feels. They aren’t so dismissive of the threats when those threats are directed at them, instead of at us little people. And yet they still won’t admit that THIS. IS. ISLAM. Lara Logan was among the chief cheerleaders of this “revolution” by animals. Now she knows what Islamic revolution is really all about. – Debbie Schlussel”
    Ms. Schlussel uses Ms. Logan’s horrific sexual assault to target Islam, but also the professional war correspondent herself.
    A “‘revolution’ by animals” is how Schlussel describes the Egyptian sacking of Hosni Mubarak.
    Women working and covering dangerous parts of the globe have been under attack for a long time. What Schlussel won’t acknowledge, even ignores as she does today, is the recent report that the Pentagon turned a “blind eye to rape victims” in our own military.”
    Damn, what a piece of shit human being this Schlussel is…..

  22. Haley Barbour and Chris Christie
    Two Fat Guys (no offense to the overweight) from the GOP
    Really Haley Barbour …first of all he gets really really angry when any reporter asks him a slightly difficult question.
    Second, he is a Fog Horn Leghorn eating a fist full of cornpone and a really really mean person.
    And Chris Christie …they’ll have to bring back the taft bath tub. And he is using the financial crisis to punish people who have opposed him
    At a time when being over weight is the largest part of the national health crisis these two waddle onto the national scene.
    I hope Mike Huckabee does an intervention.

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