Chris Christie and Cory Booker with a “humorous” video:
We should be so proud:
URBANA – A new study that looked at the hunger trends over a 10-year period found that 14.85 percent of seniors in the United States, more than one in seven, face the threat of hunger. This translates into 8.3 million seniors.
“In 2005, we reported that one in nine seniors faced the threat of hunger,” said Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics and executive director of the National Soybean Research Laboratory who led the data analysis on the study. “So, unlike the population as a whole, food insecurity among those 60 and older actually increased between 2009 and 2010.”
According to the study, from 2001 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 78 percent. Since the onset of the recession in 2007 to 2010, the number of seniors experiencing the threat of hunger has increased by 34 percent.
Gundersen said that the fact that seniors in our country are going without enough food due to economic constraints is a serious problem that will have greater implications for senior health.
“Compounding the problem is that food insecurity is also associated with a host of poor health outcomes for seniors such as reduced nutrient intakes and limitations in activities of daily living,” Gundersen said. “Consequently, this recent increase in senior hunger will likely lead to additional nutritional and health challenges for our nation.”
The increases in senior hunger were most pronounced among the near poor, whites, widows, non-metro residents, the retired, women, and among households with no grandchildren present.
“What may be surprising is that out of those seniors who face the threat of hunger, the majority have incomes above the poverty line and are white,” Gundersen said.
Other key findings in the study are that those living in states in the South and Southwest, those who are racial or ethnic minorities, those with lower incomes, and those who are younger, ages 60 to 69, are most likely to be threatened by hunger.
I keep saying I’ll do it but I don’t stick to it. This is really frightening stuff:
A Princeton University research team has demonstrated that all sweeteners are not equal when it comes to weight gain: Rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides. The researchers say the work sheds light on the factors contributing to obesity trends in the United States.
“Some people have claimed that high-fructose corn syrup is no different than other sweeteners when it comes to weight gain and obesity, but our results make it clear that this just isn’t true, at least under the conditions of our tests,” said psychology professor Bart Hoebel, who specializes in the neuroscience of appetite, weight and sugar addiction. “When rats are drinking high-fructose corn syrup at levels well below those in soda pop, they’re becoming obese — every single one, across the board. Even when rats are fed a high-fat diet, you don’t see this; they don’t all gain extra weight.”
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I got hooked on “Smash,” the new show about the making of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. The big conflict in the show is which actress is going to play her, and the decision went all the way down to the wire in the season finale.
I finally figured out why I wasn’t especially invested in which actress played Marilyn – it’s that both of them were wrong. The thing I loved about Marilyn is that she knew she was a parody of herself, the same as Dolly Parton is. But like Dolly, she was always in on the joke, and winked at the audience to let you know.
That’s what’s missing from the show: the wink.
James O’Keefe. Not that it matters, he’s a hero to the nuts no matter what.
Puzzling? No, not really. Washington “journalists” are more interested in maintaining their own commercial viability, and that requires the ability to maintain cognitive dissonance. I can’t believe they’re so shocked! Greg Sargent:
Last month, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein published an Op edand a book making the extremely controversial argument that both parties aren’t equally to blame for what ails Washington. They argued that the GOP — by allowing extremists to roam free and by wielding the filibuster to achieve government dysfunction as a political end in itself — were demonstrably more culpable for creating what is approaching a crisis of governance.
It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis. As Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum note, these are among the most quoted people in Washington — yet suddenly this latest topic is too hot for the talkers, or not deemed relevant at all.
I ran this thesis by Ornstein himself, and he confirmed that the book’s publicity people had tried to get the authors booked on the Sunday shows, with no success.
“Not a single one of the Sunday shows has indicated an interest, and I do find it curious,” Ornstein told me, adding that the Op ed had well over 200,000 Facebook recommends and has been viral for weeks. “This is a level of attention for a book that we haven’t received before. You would think it would attract some attention from the Sunday shows.’
Ornstein also noted another interesting point. Their thesis takes on the media for falling into a false equivalence mindset and maintaining the pretense that both sides are equally to blame. Yet despite the frequent self-obsession of the media, even that angle has failed to generate any interest. What’s more, some reporters have privately indicated their frustration with their editorial overlords’ apparent deafness to this idea.
“The piece focused on press culpability — it would be hard to find a more sensitive issue for the media than the question of whether they’re doing their job,” Ornstein said. “We got tons of emails from some of the biggest reporters in the business, saying, `We’ve raised this in the newsroom, and editors just brush it aside.’”
Boehner wants another debt-ceiling showdown. Ezra:
So of course Boehner will try and use the debt ceiling as leverage again. And again. And again. It’s pretty clear that, at this point, there’s no going back to the time when debt-ceiling increases came smoothly. If I were the market, I’d take the fact that the leader of one of the two parties has publicly said that he “welcomes” debt-ceiling showdowns as evidence that the United States is almost certain to default on its debt — if only temporarily — within the next decade or so.
The question is what, aside from complain, Democrats and the business community will do to stop him. Somehow, the debt ceiling needs to be taken off the table once and for all, either because Republicans forced a default in a way that they were blamed for the consequences and scared into never doing it again or because the president successfully pulled off one of the more creative maneuvers suggested during last year’s showdown (Bill Clinton, for instance, argued that Obama should invoke the Fourteenth Amendment — which says “the validity of the public debt of the United States … shall not be questioned” — to raise the debt ceiling unilaterally).
Internet, sometimes I really love you:
Scott Widak and his family recently received the greatest gift anyone in their situation could receive — a viral act of encouragement and kindness from complete strangers.
Widak, 47, has Down syndrome and is terminally ill with liver disease. After frequently checking in and out of the hospital, Widak is now at home with his 85-year-old mother, who’s helping with his in-home hospice care.
To cope with such a challenging situation, Widak’s nephew, Sean O’Connor, turned to the Reddit community to see if anyone would be interested in sending a letter to his uncle.
“One of my uncle’s favorite things to do is open mail, and I thought that if he got a lot of mail it would cheer him up,” says O’Connor.
Within three hours, the post received more than 1,300 comments, most of which expressed interest in sending mail. O’Connor then included a link to a news article about Widak and his art, along with two photos of him and his mother, a P.O. box address and a few things he’s interested in, like Johnny Cash.
Due to the amount of personal information, Reddit removed the post four hours later — which was apparently enough time for most of the commenters to copy the address.
Following the post, Widak received hundreds of letters from all over the world, including the United States, Sweden, Finland, Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom and Mexico. According to O’Connor, there is still mail coming in.
In addition to beautifully written letters, Reddit users have sent custom artwork, art supplies, DVDs and personal keepsakes that they wanted to pass on to Widak.
Sony Music Entertainment sent him 15 CDs/DVDs, which were mostly by Johnny Cash.
“The mail that’s arrived has all been extremely positive and thoughtful,” says O’Connor. “My family and I are amazed at how so many strangers could come together for a random act of kindness.”