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Whew

I’m happy to announce that last night, with the help of Tech Sensei Chris, I finally got my printer working and now have a real live boarding pass.

He’s mentioned before that he hates HP printers with a passion, and now I understand. Four days of this torture…

Three down, one to go

If I lived in Seattle, I’d leave. Of course, it’ll spread to the rest of the Northeast eventually, so there’s no place to run:

June 12 (NHK) – The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has been forced to reconsider its plan to cool the spent fuel storage pool of the No. 4 reactor.

Water injection from a special vehicle has not been intense enough to cool the water in the pool, allowing the temperature to remain at more than 80 degrees Celsius.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, aims to install a circulatory cooling system that will pump water out of the pool and return it there as coolant. The utility originally hoped to put the system in place next month.

On Friday, workers entered the 4th floor of the No. 4 reactor building where the pool is located for the first time since the nuclear disaster took place.

They found a large hole in a wall created by the March 15th explosion. They also discovered that a nearby pipe necessary for the cooling system had been mangled.

TEPCO says the repair team found it hard to work near the pool as equipment had been destroyed and debris was scattered on the floor.

Fixing the damaged pipe is expected to be extremely difficult. In addition, it remains unclear if there is another pipe that can be used for the cooling system.

Medicare saves money

Krugman:

Well, as the health economists Austin Frakt and Aaron Carroll document, right now Americans in their early 60s without health insurance routinely delay needed care, only to become very expensive Medicare recipients once they reach 65. This pattern would be even stronger and more destructive if Medicare eligibility were delayed. As a result, Mr. Frakt and Mr. Carroll suggest, Medicare spending might actually go up, not down, under Mr. Lieberman’s proposal.

O.K., the obvious question: If Medicare is so much better than private insurance, why didn’t the Affordable Care Act simply extend Medicare to cover everyone? The answer, of course, was interest-group politics: realistically, given the insurance industry’s power, Medicare for all wasn’t going to pass, so advocates of universal coverage, myself included, were willing to settle for half a loaf. But the fact that it seemed politically necessary to accept a second-best solution for younger Americans is no reason to start dismantling the superior system we already have for those 65 and over.

Now, none of what I have said should be taken as a reason to be complacent about rising health care costs. Both Medicare and private insurance will be unsustainable unless there are major cost-control efforts — the kinds of efforts that are actually in the Affordable Care Act, and which Republicans demagogued with cries of “death panels.”

The point, however, is that privatizing health insurance for seniors, which is what Mr. Lieberman is in effect proposing — and which is the essence of the G.O.P. plan — hurts rather than helps the cause of cost control. If we really want to hold down costs, we should be seeking to offer Medicare-type programs to as many Americans as possible.

Suburban soccer mom values

Yes, I’m sure there are some exceptions, and sorry if you get lumped in with the rest of them, but yeah, I pretty much agree. The only thing she missed are those annoying little stick figure decals of Mommy, Daddy, Little Boy, Little Girl and a dog that infest the back window of every fricking minivan.

WTF? People have been reproducing for a long time — do you want some kind of an award?

Crystal vases

The Last Royals:

Hospitalized

Clarence Clemons has had a stroke.

Virtually speaking

I’m on tonight with Amato and Niewart, right this minute. Tune in!

Memories

I see from my Facebook page that I graduated high school 39 years ago today. Strange, it seems like yesterday!

Douchebag Dana

Can you get any crazier? We invade them, kill hundreds of thousands of their people and this prick asks them to cover our expenses:

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraqi authorities have asked for a US congressman to leave the country after he called for Baghdad to repay part of the money spent by Washington since the 2003 invasion, a spokesman said on Saturday.

Republican representative Dana Rohrabacher’s remarks at a news conference in Baghdad stood in stark contrast to those by senior American officials, who have pressed Iraqi officials to decide soon whether they want US troops to stay beyond a year-end withdrawal deadline.

“We called the US embassy yesterday and we told them to ask the congressmen to leave Iraq,” government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told AFP. “We don’t want them here. What they said was inappropriate.”

Dabbagh said Rohrabacher and his congressional delegation had not raised the issue in a meeting with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, contradicting the US politician’s comments that he had spoken about potential repayments with the Iraqi leader.

It was not immediately clear if Rohrabacher and the delegation were still in the country when the request was made.

“Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years,” Rohrabacher told journalists at the US embassy on Monday.

Can you imagine all the angry chain emails that would be flying if a Democrat had said that?

Great minds think alike

So I’m standing in line at a store yesterday with my best friend, whose purse I backed up on and ran over with my car an hour earlier, breaking one of the wooden handles. “Maybe you could duct-tape it, I said. “They should make duct tape in colors and patterns. Women would use the hell out of it.”

“They already do,” the young cashier told us. “In Staples. They have camouflage, cheetah prints, all kinds of stuff.”

Since we were right next door to a Staples, we went over. Sure enough, they had a pretty good assortment of colors and patterns — including a great orange and pink tie-dye that looked great with my friend’s purse.

Anyway, just thought some of you might want to know.

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