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Why Do New Yorkers Live Longer?

New posts at Many Years Young 8/3/15

Why Do New Yorkers Live Longer?

Get up, stand up: stand up for your waist!

Get Moving on Cancer Protection

Buddy Up for a Better Workout

Plus lots more.

Oligarchy Of Super PAC Megadonors Have Conquered American Politics

Oligarchy Of Super PAC Megadonors Have Conquered American Politics

(Huffington Post) A new oligarchic era of American politics came into full view on Friday, as super PACs disclosed fundraising details showing billionaires bankrolling the 2016 presidential race to an unprecedented degree. ..

For the first time in more than a century, the majority of funding for a presidential election is coming in six-figure or larger checks from corporations and the wealthiest Americans. The presidential campaigns, limited to a maximum of $5,400 from a single donor, raised a combined $128 million. Super PACs supporting those candidates pulled in $260 million, with $208 million from those giving $100,000 or more.

“The 2016 presidential candidates and their individual-candidate Super PACs are wiping out the nation’s anti-corruption candidate contribution limits,” Democracy 21 president and longtime campaign finance reform advocate Fred Wertheimer said in a statement. “In doing so, the presidential candidates and the Super PACs supporting them are creating the kind of system that the Supreme Court has described as an inherently corrupt system.”

Hillary Clinton gets less Wall Street money than you think

Hillary Clinton gets less Wall Street money than you think

(Vox) One of the most persistent knocks on Hillary Clinton is that she’s too close to Wall Street and Washington’s K Street lobbying industry.

It’s true that Clinton, a former New York senator, has strong ties to the titans of finance: Big banks and investors are generous donors to the Clinton Foundation; they’ve given to this campaign and Clinton’s past bids; and some of Clinton’s closest allies in politics have been through the revolving door between Washington and Wall Street. Similarly, many Clinton backers, including some former aides to her and her husband, lobby for a living.

But a close look at Clinton’s first campaign finance report of the 2016 presidential campaign shows that she raised $46 million with limited backing from the nation’s top financial institutions and lobbying firms.

Instead, as her campaign has long maintained, Clinton’s war chest is being stocked by a wide base of supporters. The richest sources of cash for her include federal workers, lawyers, media company employees, Hollywood agents, and California state workers — and, yes, a handful of Wall Street investment houses and prominent Washington lobbying firms.

It’s not just Hillary, says Krugman – Caro:

Wall Street Now Hates Democrats

Which ‘Senior Official’ Smeared Hillary Clinton?

Which ‘Senior Official’ Smeared Hillary Clinton?

(Joe Conason) In the aftermath of that famously discredited New York Times story about a “criminal referral” regarding Hillary Clinton’s emails, a few important questions stand out, among many that remain unanswered.

Exactly who told Times reporters Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo that the referral to the Justice Department—concerning whether information in her emails that wasn’t classified should have been—was a matter for criminal investigation?…

Clinton did nothing wrong, and the ensuing journalistic firestorm was, in reality, no more than a boring bureaucratic dispute over what should or should not be kept secret.

Yet determining who did this is important because—if we accept the editors’ version that the reporters’ sources misled them—one or more federal officials evidently tried to smear a presidential contender with a falsified leak, under cover of anonymity. That may or may not be a federal crime, but it should be a firing offense at the very least. And the public has a right to know if officials in the nation’s top law enforcement agency tried illicitly to influence a national election.

The Myth of Mobility

The Myth of Mobility

(Washington Monthly) [A] new study - based on a unique longitudinal analysis of income tax data – [finds] that children largely inherit the income prospects of their parents.

“[C]hildren raised in low-income families will probably have very low incomes as adults, while children raised in high-income families can anticipate very high incomes as adults,” write co-authors Pablo Mitnik and David Grusky of the Stanford University Center on Poverty and Inequality in a report published by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Russell Sage Foundation.

In particular, the study finds, children raised in wealthy households can expect to enjoy incomes that are at least 200 percent larger than the expected incomes of children raised in low-income households and 75 percent larger than the incomes of children from the middle class.

As a result of the persistence of these advantages – and disadvantages – from generation to generation, Mitnik and Grusky conclude: “[T]he United States is very immobile.”

The Economist, a conservative British publication, burst this myth bubble more than a year ago. – Caro

Median wealth by country

Median wealth by country

Undernews:

1. Australia $193,653
2. Luxembourg $153,967
3. Japan $141,410
4. Italy $123,710
5. Belgium $119,937
6. United Kingdom $115,245
7. Iceland $ 95,685
8. Singapore $ 95,542
9. Switzerland $ 87,137
10. Denmark $ 87,121
11. Austria $ 81,649
12. Canada $ 81,610
13. France $ 81,274
14. Norway $ 79,376
15. Finland $ 73,487
16. New Zealand $ 63,000
17. Netherlands $ 61,880
18. Ireland $ 60,953
19. Qatar $ 57,027
20. Spain $ 53,292
21. United Arab Emir. $ 47,998
22. Taiwan $ 45,451
23. Germany $ 42,222
24. Sweden $ 41,367
25. Cyprus $ 40,535
26. Kuwait $ 40,346
27. United States $ 38,786 [Emphasis added.]

Occupy Democrats

Gee, all those socialistic European countries are doing way better than us. Even SPAIN.

Maybe the higher savings rate has something to do with Europeans facing lower costs for common services such as child care and health care by paying for them in their taxes, instead of in a “free market” system, where individuals are at a bargaining disadvantage and we’re forced to pay profits to private companies. – Caro

America’s Most Loved CEO Is Having the Best Comeback Ever

America’s Most Loved CEO Is Having the Best Comeback Ever

(Bloomberg) Last July, 25,000 grocery workers in New England revolted when Arthur T. DeMoulas, chief executive of Market Basket, a regional discount supermarket chain, was fired by the company’s family-run board. After a month-long work stoppage in which business slowed to a few customers, the board reversed itself. DeMoulas was back in charge.

In the intervening year, Market Basket has had to pick up the pieces left over from last summer’s front-page family feud. How’s it been going? Actually, the company appears stronger than ever — and there is a lesson here for retailers and the broader business community struggling to make customers happy and keep workers productive.

“Our business model in many ways is a simple one,” DeMoulas said in an e-mail. It’s based on “respecting people,” saving customers money, providing high levels of service and sharing the company’s success with workers.

If the past year is any indication, that model is working.

How to destroy your political opponents with lies and exaggerations

California to review video targeting Planned Parenthood

(AP) California Attorney General Kamala Harris said Friday that she plans to review two undercover videos released by anti-abortion activists aimed at discrediting Planned Parenthood’s procedures for providing fetal tissue to researchers, to see if any laws were broken…

She said her office will look into “allegations that individuals impersonated corporate officials from a fake biologics company, resulting in the release of secretly filmed videos of Planned Parenthood physicians without their consent.”

Good! Put the people making these lying videos in prison. The right to free speech shouldn’t include the right to lie on this scale. Make no mistake: This is about destroying Planned Parenthood, just as the same group of people destroyed ACORN. – Caro

Court Halts Anti-Planned Parenthood Vids

(Daily Beast) The Los Angeles Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order Wednesday banning an anti-abortion group from releasing any additional footage of officials from a California company that provides fetal tissue to researchers. The group, the Center for Medical Progress, is the same organization that previously released sting videos of a Planned Parenthood leader discussing the sale of aborted fetuses for medical research. The order bars the anti-abortion group from releasing video of three leaders at StemExpress shot at a restaurant in May until a court hearing Aug. 19.

Planned Parenthood seeks fed study of fetal tissue research

(AP) Under fire for its role in providing fetal tissue for research, Planned Parenthood asked the government’s top health scientists Wednesday to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

Planned Parenthood’s request to the National Institutes of Health came as Senate Republicans pressed their fight to bar the organization from receiving federal aid. Likely opposition from at least one GOP senator highlighted the long odds the GOP will face in a Senate showdown vote expected early next week.

The group also took its websites down after a hacker attack it blamed on “anti-abortion extremists” blocked access by what Planned Parenthood said are the sites’ 200,000 daily visitors. The organization said it fixed the problem but took its sites down for the day to “ensure that we are fully protected.” It redirected visitors to its Facebook page.

Mediterranean Lifestyle May Decrease Cardiovascular Disease by Lowering Blood Triglycerides

New posts at Many Years Young 8/1/15

Mediterranean Lifestyle May Decrease Cardiovascular Disease by Lowering Blood Triglycerides

Mediterranean Diet for Cholesterol and the Heart?

Two-Week International Diet Swap Shows Potential Effects of Diet on Colon Cancer Risk

Homebound Seniors Could Soon Use Food Stamps for Grocery Delivery

Plus lots more.

Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant

Higher wages a surprising success for Seattle restaurant

(AP) Menu prices are up 21 percent and you don’t have to tip at Ivar’s Salmon House on Seattle’s Lake Union after the restaurant decided to institute the city’s $15-an-hour minimum wage two years ahead of schedule.

It is staff, not diners, who feel the real difference, with wages as much as 60 percent higher than before. One waitress is saving for accounting classes and finding it easier to take weekend vacations, while another server is using the added pay to cover increased rent…

As Washington, D.C., and other cities consider following Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles in phasing in a $15-an-hour minimum wage, Ivar’s approach, adopted in April, offers lessons in how some businesses might adapt. Ivar’s Seafood Restaurants President Bob Donegan decided to raise prices, tell customers that they don’t need to tip, and parcel the added revenue among the hourly staff.

For some of the restaurant’s lesser paid workers — including bussers and dishwashers — that’s meant as much as 60 percent more. Revenue has soared, supportive customers are leaving additional tips even though they don’t need to, and servers and bartenders are on pace to increase their annual pay by thousands, with wages for a few of the best compensated approaching $80,000 a year.

“It’s been a surprise,” Donegan said. “The customers seem to like it, the employees seem to like it, and it seems to be working, at least in this location.”

A World Where Man Beats Machine

A World Where Man Beats Machine

(Bloomberg) American workers may be on the cusp of grabbing a bigger bite of the economic pie after decades of getting fewer and fewer crumbs.

A significant slowdown in labor-force growth in the U.S., China and elsewhere will put a premium on finding workers in the years ahead. Companies will have to pay up to get the people they want with the skills they need to keep expanding their businesses.

“We’re going from a world of generally too much labor to a world of labor shortages,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “When we look back 10 years from now, the labor share of income will have hit bottom now.”

Workers’ gain will be employers’ pain, as company profits are pinched by rising salaries. Stock-market investors also may lose out as they’re forced to adjust to a weaker earnings outlook, said Gad Levanon, a managing director at the Conference Board in New York. Income inequality might even be curbed, as the rich reap less in the way of capital gains while employees earn more in wages, he added.

U.S. political fight over Iran nuclear deal goes Hollywood

U.S. political fight over Iran nuclear deal goes Hollywood

(Reuters) The U.S. political battle over the Iran nuclear agreement has gone Hollywood, thanks to a new video strongly backing the deal featuring boldface names from Jack Black and Morgan Freeman to former spy Valerie Plame and Jordan’s Queen Noor…

The famous names, including veteran diplomat and former U.S. U.N. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, say the deal negotiated between the United States, other world powers and Iranis the best option available. They list dire options if it falls victim to congressional “sabotage.”

U.S. lawmakers have until Sept. 17 to accept or reject the agreement.

I’m glad there’s a rebuttal to the ads I’ve been seeing that warn the deal is terrible for the U.S. In fact, the experts say that it’s a good deal. However, you can always count on right wingers to ignore evidence they don’t like. – Caro

What You Don’t Understand about Suicide Attacks

What You Don’t Understand about Suicide Attacks

(Adam Lankford, associate professor of Criminal Justice, University of Alabama)  Ariel Merari’s research team conducted psychological tests of preemptively arrested suicide bombers and found evidence of suicidal tendencies, depressive tendencies, and previous (non-terrorist) suicide attempts. David Lester found that many female suicide bombers seem driven, at least in part, by post-traumatic stress disorder, hopelessness, and despair. And in several recent articles, I summarize evidence of psychological similarities between suicide terrorists and people who commit nonviolent suicides, coerced suicides, and mass-murder-suicides…

In the Islamic religion, there are powerful prohibitions against conventional suicide, and shooting oneself in the head—which many mass murderers do—would be considered an unforgiveable crime against god.

Unfortunately, “martyrdom” has become a dangerous loophole: it is the only way Islamic suicide attackers believe they can guarantee their own death, and yet go to heaven instead of hell. In the Middle East and Asia, they typically commit suicide bombings. In the United States, they tend to use firearms instead of bombs, and plan on dying via “suicide by cop.” In both cases, these attack methods help disguise their suicidal motives…

As I have argued elsewhere, the key to deterring Islamic suicide attackers—both in the United States and around the world—is to expose their suicidal motives and close the “martyrdom” loophole, once and for all. Until suicide attackers are widely seen for the desperate, traumatized, and mentally ill people they really are—instead of “psychologically normal” altruists—America will continue to suffer Islamic mass shooters who seek glory and heavenly rewards through death.

In this fake city, cars learn to talk to each other

In this fake city, cars learn to talk to each other

(CNET) A total of 122,000 miles of roads link Michigan’s fertile central farmlands to its northern wilderness and its southeastern industrial core. But this month, 4.2 miles of new pavement will link that road system to the future, too.

Those streets are part of Mcity, a 32-acre test facility at the University of Michigan that’s funded in part by automotive and tech companies. There, researchers from academia, government and private industry will explore two profoundly transformative automotive technologies: cars that drive themselves and cars that communicate wirelessly with each other.

Fountain of youth? Texas scientists testing breakthrough aging drug

New posts at Many Years Young 7/31/15

Fountain of youth? Texas scientists testing breakthrough aging drug

Dementia Friendly America Expansion Will Help Elderly Stay in Their Homes Longer

Essential New-Car Features To Keep Seniors Driving Longer

Experimental Drug Could Treat Hot Flashes, Other Symptoms of Menopause Without Harmful Side Effects

Plus lots more.

Healthcare improving for older Americans

New posts at Many Years Young 7/29/15

Healthcare improving for older Americans

Health Spending: The $2 Trillion Question—Or Questions

The Disappearing Entitlements Crisis

Covered California proposed rates to increase by only 4 percent in 2016

Plus lots more.

Americans are finally consuming fewer calories

New posts at Many Years Young 7/27/15

Americans are finally consuming fewer calories

Can food mentions in newspapers predict national obesity rates?

Is Your Favorite Grocery Store Making You Fat?

Body Fat Can Send Signals to Brain, Affecting Stress Response

Plus lots more.

Court Smacks Down Pharmacy That Refused To Fill Prescriptions On Religious Grounds

Court Smacks Down Pharmacy That Refused To Fill Prescriptions On Religious Grounds

(ThinkProgress) Pharmacy owners do not have a constitutional right to refuse to dispense medicines that they object to on religious grounds, according to a decision handed down Thursday by a federal appeals court. Had the plaintiffs in this case prevailed, it would have not only permitted them to refuse to fill many birth control prescriptions (which is what these particular plaintiffs hoped to achieve), but it could have also potentially enabled pharmacists to refuse to fill a long list of prescriptions, including “diabetic syringes, insulin, HIV-related medications, and Valium.”

Stormans v. Wiesman concerned a Washington state rule that permits individual pharmacists to refuse to fill a particular prescription “so long as another pharmacist working for the pharmacy provides timely delivery,” but does not generally allow the pharmacy itself to refuse to deliver a prescription “even if the owner of the pharmacy has a religious objection.” Intervenors in the case, who joined on the side of the state officials defending the rule, include an HIV-positive man and a woman with AIDS who feared that they would be denied “timely access to their prescription medications” if the court sided with these plaintiffs.

So shouldn’t the same standard apply to bakers who want to refuse to serve gays?  - Caro

Solar Power And Desalination Join Forces In California’s Central Valley

Solar Power And Desalination Join Forces In California’s Central Valley

(ThinkProgress) Solar power turns the sun’s energy into electricity. Desalination removes unwanted minerals from saltwater so it can be used for drinking or agriculture.

These two technologies have typically been employed separately in the effort to live more sustainably and limit dependence on finite resources. Now in California, a company has found a way to merge the two with the aim of providing long-term relief to farmers suffering the impacts of the state’s devastating four-year drought…

WaterFX, a San Francisco-based water producer for agricultural and commercial users, recently announced that its California subsidiary, HydroRevolution, plans to build the state’s first commercial solar desalination plant. To be located in the agriculture-intensive Central Valley, the plant will ultimately generate up to 5,000 acre-feet, or 1.6 billion gallons, of clean water per year — enough water for 10,000 homes or 2,000 acres of cropland. It will be built on 35 acres of land currently used to grow salt-tolerant crops, and will recycle unusable irrigation water from a 7,000-acre drainage area into a new and much-needed source of freshwater for nearby water districts by removing unwanted mineral and salts.

Terrifying Proof That America’s Infrastructure Is Failing

Terrifying Proof That America’s Infrastructure Is Failing

(Charlie Pierce) What does it look like when America fails to maintain its basic infrastructure? A lot like this scene in Desert City, California, Sunday, when the Tex Wash bridge collapsed after a weekend of heavy rains, injuring one driver and snarling traffic for miles.

The bridge is a vital part of Interstate 10, which connects Southern California to Phoenix. ”Interstate 10 is closed completely and indefinitely,” Terri Kasinga, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Transportation, told the Associated Press…

With I-10 shut down, drivers traveling between California and Phoenix will be forced to either divert to Interstate 8 to the south or Interstate 40 to the north, both of which add hundreds of miles…

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, one in nine bridges in America was rated “structurally deficient” in 2013. Plus, in the ASCE’s 2013 annual report card, bridges scored a C+, while dams and roads were given a D, and levees received a D-. Said the ASCE of its dismal report: ”Our infrastructure systems are failing to keep pace with the current and expanding needs, and investment in infrastructure is faltering.”

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